RED & BLACK
Florida’s first high school newspaper
Hillsborough High School • 5000 N. Central Ave. • Tampa, Fla. 33603 • Volume 111, No. 5 • March 2011
Kinect challenges the video game world.
SEE PAGE 10
growing in use
What’s going on in the Middle East?
Hot new phones
SEE PAGE 3
SEE PAGE 6
SEE PAGE 7
Gay Straight Alliance promotes tolerance SEE SPECIAL REPORT, PAGES 8-9
www.hhsredblack.com AAA’s PROMISE against underage drinking • Prom Preview
Bright Futures becomes more competitive By Jasmine Edwards Page Editor Students expecting a Bright Futures scholarship after this year may need to take a glance at the proposed requirements needed to obtain a Bright Futures scholarship. After raising the requirements to earn a Bright Futures scholarship last year, the state is planning to possibly do it again. Last year, students hoping to earn the scholarship saw the SAT requirements go up 10-50 points. This year, a proposal in the Legislature would raise the requirements by as much as 250 points. Junior Felix Torres said, “As a junior, that would make it near too imposible for me to reach a 1270 just for the Medallion Scholarship. It worries me that I won’t be able to get the Bright Futures scholarship I was hoping to get.” Bright Futures is facing a 15 percent budget cut under the proposed budget in the House.
And that comes in a budget that also proposes to raise tuition by as much as 15 percent, according to The Palm Beach Post. For many underclassmen, this will be an unfortunate event as senior year arrives, since the chances of receiving a scholarship are slimmer. Now, many incoming seniors will need to have even more focus and initiative to score higher when taking the SATs and the ACTs. Last year, approximately 40 percent of HHS seniors obtained the scholarship, according to college counselor Athena Dicus. Once the criteria changes are made, there will be a drop in eligible students who would most likely qualify for the state
tuition scholarship next year. Students are feeling the pressure of the more challenging requirements for Bright Futures, however, junior Nadia Fernandez said, “That should just inspire people to perform better and try harder, it’s not that bad.”
Changes to FCAT include computer testing By Antonio Brown Staff Writer Students will experience a new version of the state assessment this year, as FCAT 2.0 makes its debut. Testing will be held April 11-21.
9TH GRADE MATH:
Instead of a paper booklet, the Grade 9 math section will take place entirely on computers, and freshmen will no longer take the usual math FCAT. Instead, ninth graders will take an algebra exam in May, which will count for 30 percent of students’ overall grade in Algebra I
“It’s better than what we do now. No more sitting in class.” -Nicholas McRae, sophomore
or an equivalent math course. Although the assessments may seem different, Assistant Principal Stephanie Davis says that the new Algebra I course exam “is the equivalent of the math FCAT and tests the same skills.” (May)
10TH GRADE MATH:
The Grade 10 math section is also completely computerized. In order to have the students to take the math portion, Assistant Principal Anthony Jones said, “We are planning toward having classes rotate in and out
“It’s stupid. We need written tests not on the computer, it’s just easier.” -Hannah Goldberg, junior
of the computer lab.” (Wednesday, April 13-Friday, April 15)
The reading portion of FCAT 2.0 will be entirely multiple choice, with no more short or extended response questions. Sophomores who entered high school in the 2009-10 school year will need a 1926 FCAT score or above in order to meet the graduation benchmark. (Monday, April 11-Tuesday, April 12)
Reading tests will be on paper with the op-
tion to take the assessment on the computer. Math retakes: For those who didn’t meet the requirements, FCAT math retakes will be on computers as well, with paper assessments for students whose education plan calls for them. Some students responded to the changes with concern. Freshman Shanice Jordan said, “I feel that there should still be a math FCAT because some students who are taking geometry may not remember everything from Algebra I and may get confused on the algebra exam.” (March 30-31)
“The reading should be mutiple choice and the math online would suck because it’s a CPU. I don’t like it, I would rather have paper.” -Ruby Clayton, sophomore
HELM makes a comeback after last year’s setbacks
By Eric Martin Staff Writer HELM, Hillsborough High School’s literary magazine, has seen a decline in submissions from students in the past two years. Last year, organizers had problems trying to wrap up the project. “We got a very late start designing the magazine,” editor Megan Jones said, “And so we didn’t release it at all.” As the deadline approached, the publication was continually pushed back. HELM is being proactive to make sure they finish on time. They also are working to ensure the book is more diverse. “This year, we don’t want more than four submissions from the same person,” said editor in chief Keely Orselli. The magazine is intended to reflect different interpretations of a common theme, and Orselli said she is trying to stay true to that. While the club is in charge of managing the publication, they are not the exclusive submitters of material. This year, HELM has taken measures to ensure that more students know about the magazine and what they can submit. Members have been talking to homerooms and hanging up posters advertising the publication and club. Additionally, HELM accepts a variety of different forms of artistic mediums in an attempt to appeal to anyone interested in becoming a part of the magazine. Photography, poetry, short stories, and drawings are all viable means of expression for the magazine. “The kids in the club this year don’t like what happened last year, and want a magazine to come out,” Jones said. They got an earlier beginning to the design process in an attempt to be able to cope with problems that may arise. “We plan to add last year’s submissions to this year’s magazine” Orselli said. This combination will help address the shortage of submissions, as well as accommodate those who paid for a magazine last year. The staff remains optimistic and plans to have the magazine completed and published within the month of April. “It’s a great club. You meet a lot of interesting people and get to see that our school has a lot of talented people,” Orselli said.
By Elizabeth Gwilt Page Editor As new technology replaces heavy textbooks, students’ backpacks may be drastically lightened soon. Clearwater High became the first public school in the region to do away with printed textbooks entirely and substitute them with Kindles. Kindles are Amazon’s take on the eReader. They hold up to 1,500 books and feature E-Ink technology, which makes the screen look as if it was paper. Hillsborough County School Board chairwoman Doretha Edgecomb said she is excited for the future of electronic textbooks. “At some point in time, this technology will be commonplace, but for now we still need investigate it,” Edgecomb said. “We need to look into the data we’ve received from pilot programs as well as see if the switch improved learning,” she said. Once reports on how students responded to electronic textbooks are published, the next step is to train teachers in using this technology. Edgecomb said that she likes the cost factor of the Kindle, as well as the access to the Internet and thousands of books. HHS students had a variety of reactions to Clearwater’s program. Freshman Armaun Richardson was impressed by Clearwater High’s
switch. “I’ve heard of Kindles, and I think it would be the better choice,” Richardson said. “I think students would respect them more than textbooks, HHS should definitely consider converting.” His only qualm: “Students will probably mess around with the features during class,” Richardson said, noting the Kindle’s Internet access and games as tempting distractions. Senior Ciera Burke, however, thinks the county shouldn’t waste their time trying to replace textbooks. “Kids are only going to play with them, and it will take the purpose away, since they’re meant to be a teaching tool,” Burke said. “Plus, Kindles are way more expensive if you happen to lose or break them. The only good I would see out of the switch is the fact that Kindles are more portable.” Junior Markiesia Stewart said she would love having a Kindle instead of books. “It would be way easier to carry around, and since it’s electronic it’s cooler,” Stewart said, “Also I think that people would be more excited about their lessons if they get to use something like a Kindle, but I can’t really picture HHS kids handling them with respect.” “It seems like a positive initiative, and I believe the technology will spread to other schools sooner than later,” Edgecomb said.
Volume 111 No. 5
Zack Peterson & Samantha Matras Editors-in-Chief Jesse Guggino Graphics Editor Nick Bennett Roksana Borzouei Jasmine Edwards Jake Gagne Christine Geshel Elizabeth Gwilt Savannah Howard Jon-Michael Knight Katie Lutton Nico Tavella Brittany Valencic Luke Votzke Page Editors Jimmy Herd-Bond & Drea Sloan Photo Editor Eddie Samuels & Dominic Bromley Multimedia Editors Antonio Brown Nick Cullen Devin Lee Eric Martin
hhsredblack.com MY VIEW: Video commentaries
Rachel Cardona Amanda Glenz Kristine Lee Staff Writers
Joe Humphrey Adviser William T. Orr Jr. Principal The Red & Black belongs to the Florida Scholastic (All-Florida, 2010) and the National Scholastic (First Class, 2010) press associations. The newspaper is an open forum for student expression. Decisions about content are made by student editors. However, the paper is subject to prior review by the school’s administrative staff. The staff editorial reflects the view of student editors, and columns represent the viewpoints of their authors. The R&B welcomes letters from students, teachers and members of the Hillsborough community. Letters December be edited for brevity and clarity, and should be submitted to Room 506 or to The Red & Black, 5000 N. Central Ave., Tampa FL 33603. Advertising content is subject to approval of the editorial board. The Red & Black is printed in partnership with The Tampa Tribune. This newspaper includes content from the MCT Campus wire service. Phone: (813) 276-5620 • Fax: (813) 276-5629 e-mail: email@example.com
Young revolutionaries worth emulating Over the past two months tensions all across the Middle East have continued to rise. Citizens of countries like Tunisia, Libya and Egypt have gathered together to take a stand against their oppressive governments and totalitarian rulers. The most shocking aspect of this history in the making is that many of the revolutionaries are under the age of 20. This fact can help change the way that the world looks at young adults. In Libya, about 47 percent of the population is under the age of 20. This means that the leading fighters of the revolution are young adults who are ready for change in their country, just like many American teenagers. For more than 40 years, Libya had been ruled by Muammar Gaddafi. When Gaddafi obtained power, he abolished all previous laws and created the Five Points. In summation, the Five Points changed Libyan law to make Gaddafi indispensable. From then on, there would be no other leaders besides a Gaddafi family member. The revolts of the past month have broken out because the Libyan people were tired of constantly being oppressed by the government. They were poor, hungry and jobless; all three of these are perfect causes for revolution. It didn’t start with Libya though. In Egypt, Libya’s neighbor, the people were in the same
A young man stands amid the aftermath of celebration the morning after Mubarak’s resignation in Egypt.
state that Libya is currently in. However, with a lot of pushing from everyday Egyptian citizens, Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian leader, was forced to step down. In America, we have the freedom and privilege to play a part in our own country’s affairs. We can, with a little bit of motivation, change the state of our country
without any bloodshed. We can step out and take the initiative to take a stand for what we believe in. Middle Eastern teens don’t have such privileges. In many ways, the youth of America and the Middle East are alike. Both the United States and the Middle East are in need of social, economic and political
change. We all yearn for something new and more effective to happen in our homelands. We’re all young and sometimes underestimated by the generations that have come before us. Sometimes we’re looked at as rebellious teenagers. Maybe it’s time that we begin to fulfill that stereotype. Not rebellious in the stereotypical way, but rebellious in a way that will change the world we live in. However, in many ways we are also different. The young revolutionaries of the Middle East have begun to risk their lives for democracy, something that American youth would never even begin to worry about. We have not known the fear of living in a country with a leader who has almost complete power over our lives. It’s important for us to realize that, as Americans, we have a government that is in place for our well-being, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that we put leaders in charge that will do just that. Middle Eastern teens cannot do that. They have started this revolution as an act of desperation and fear for their lives. Why should we take after these brave Middle Easterners? Because they’re standing up for what they believe is right. Regardless of the consequences, they’re fighting to get the same freedoms that we have had, and sometimes even taken for granted, for over 100 years.
OPINION Our View
First Amendment crucial to American life In America, we can talk about what we don’t like in the government; we can publish stories in newspapers talking about sex, drugs and alcohol; and we can speak our mind and voice our opinion. Why can we do this? Because the First Amendment says Congress can make no law prohibiting the freedoms of speech, religion, press, or the right to petition or peaceably assemble. Imagine a nation where you can’t speak your mind or tell people what you want to change. The First Amendment is one of the most important things that shields us from being a corrupt nation. Without the First Amendment, the government would have the legal power to regulate eveything we say. Even the freedom to assemble is crucial; giving us freedoms as simple as going to the mall with friends. The right for Americans to petition keeps all the political systems in check; stopping America from becoming a communist or even fascist nation. Basically, the First Amendment is a large part of what keeps the United States
CELEBRATING 5 FREEDOMS
This year, The Red & Black took part in Scholastic Journalism Week (Feb. 20-26) to show support for the First Amendment of the Constitution. Our very own opinion editor, Nico Tavella, even dressed up as the Bill of Rights as staff members informed students of our online contest. There was a great participation overall and here are the five winners. • Kelsey Leggett, guest column • Hannah Goldberg, free yearbook • Chazz Cooks, $10 cash • Ryan Barber, $10 cash • Brittany Young, $10 cash
of America a great country. Yet, more importantly, the First Amendment gives power to the US citizens. People can spread opinions through both word of mouth and the press, and then hold rallies and petitions to set everything straight. The government is forced to do what’s right because the people can rise against it if too much injustice occurs. The First Amendment helps to keep us Americans.
‘Gay’ shouldn’t have a negative stigma Kelsey Leggett, the winner of the Scholastic Journalism week contest online, recieved the prize of writing a guest column on any topic she wanted. Thanks to Kelsey and everyone else for participating.
Kelsey Leggett Commentary
In the dictionary, the word “gay” is defined by two meanings: cheery and pleasant or having a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex. In today’s society however, the word has evolved into a derogatory synonym of stupid . “Faggot,” “fairy,” “homo,” “queer,” and “gay” are all words that I hear throughout the day, used as jokes or light insults
towards friends. People label things as “gay” with hardly any justification other than they might not be exactly what they favor, what they are used to, or that they simply don’t like the object in question. But why are these words used in such a degrading and insensitive manner? Living a homosexual lifestyle is not “stupid” or “pointless,” and for adolescents and young adults to create a negative image using their words is senseless. I can’t understand why being with and loving someone who happens to be of the same sex is an insult. Why has “fairy” become as synonymous as “queer” to mean gay, and not a mythological creature out of child’s storybooks? As someone who has befriended people of a same-sex orientation, I find that often times they are some of the most open, kind and hilarious people I know and have done nothing to deserve the unfavorable label they’ve been given. In a society where a black man can become the president
of the United States, one would think tolerance and acceptance of homosexuals would be more existent. However, though we are all taught the phrase: “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” words can be wielded as easily as a sword and can often cause as much pain. If kids think about what they are really saying before they speak, these derogatory terms could retreat from everyday vocabulary. Being “gay” isn’t insulting; there is nothing unconventional about living a homosexual lifestyle. The gay community does not deserve the malicious labels society has given them to be used as insults even on a subconscious level. Think before you speak, because you never know how much your words could harm and offend someone else. This negative association to the word ‘gay’ proves just how important it is for us as a society to look past our differences and see each other simply as fellow human beings.
A CLOSER LOOK
THE MIDDLE EAST
The Middle East and North Africa is in a state of unrest as people fight against their rulers for new leadership and new lifestyles. The people of Tunisia and Egypt were first to begin demonstrations and, like a domino effect, much of the rest of the area has followed. Many protesters are seeking democracy.
Tunisia The uprising all started when one college graduate set himself on fire to inspire the people of Tunisia to fight for freedom on Dec 17, 2010. This act led to a revolt of unemployed college graduates in the country. Many were hurt, jailed and even murdered by police force when the government tried to put down the revolt. On Jan. 14, President Ben Ali fled the country with his family, leaving his position to Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi until things settle down.
A year and a half after the protests of the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which led to a governmental crackdown, the people of Iran began their protests on Feb 14. Thousands of people stood in Tehran, the country’s capital, where police reportedly shot them with tear gas. The unrest has continued to grow in Iran, and the Iranian government has called for all of the anti-government leaders to be tried and put to death.
Libya Libyan protesters now find themselves pitted against their dictator of more than 40 years, Moammar Gadhafi. After numerous uprisings and acts of violence from both sides, the US has intervened. President Obama pledged to try to protect the citizens of Libya from being attacked. Although NATO took over the lead on this effort, Obama has expressed his willingness to help arm the rebels. The UN supported the bombing of Gadhafi’s troops, since it prevented further attacks on the Libyan people. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said that until Gadhafi “ceases his attacks on civilians, pulls his troops back from places they have forcibly entered and allows key services and humanitarian assistance to reach all Libyans,” military action against him will continue.
Algeria In several Algerian cities, protests began in early January over price inflation of food, unemployment, corruption and a complete lack of democracy, with two being killed. The people of Algeria have had rights and freedoms suspended since 1992, when a state of emergency was put in place. The violence continued, and on Feb. 12 thousands of people participated in anti-government demonstrations, and consequently several were jailed. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika cut the prices of basic food necessities and officially announced the end of the state of emergency on Feb. 22, although it is still unknown when the state of emergency will no longer be in effect. Despite the announcements, Algerians continue to protest. Information compiled by Kellen Yent, Nikki Ferrera and Liz Gwilt Graphic by Jesse Guggino • Design by Samantha Matras
In January, people expressed their want for change in the capital city, Amman. They wanted changes in their government, starting with Prime Minister Samir Rifai’s release from power. King Abdullah II, the king of Jordan, fired his cabinet and prime minister on Feb. 1 after four weeks of demonstrations from citizens. The new government leaders and their ideas to reform Jordan will help “to strengthen democracy,” according to Abdullah.
Bahrain The Bahraini revolution has started Iraq
Protests in Iraq have resulted in several deaths and the injury of dozens. People petitioned for easier access to public systems. In response, the cost of electricity was lowered, but Iraqis are still fighting for more accessible government and government-run systems. On Feb. 25, known as the “Day of Rage,” protesters held the most violent of their protests. Over 29 people died during this day, and the protests have since calmed slightly.
Egypt President Hosni Mubarak stepped down after 18 days of mostly peaceful protests starting on Feb 11. He transferred all leadership power to the Egyptian military, and was said to have fled the country. The military has also agreed to work with the civilians for the rewrite of the constitution and the new government. The Tunisian inspired protesters have gotten what they wanted: a chance to create a new government.
with thousands of people flooding the streets, protesting for political reform. The opposing figure, Hassan Machainna, has fled the country, but is expected to return. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa released some prisoners from jail in efforts to appease the protesters. So far, protesting is still going on, though the king and government have not strived to fulfill the people’s demands.
Yemen Yemen, one of the most corrupt nations
in the Middle East, has been dealing with difficulties from their leader. For 33 years, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been on the brink of civil war. The protestors are desperately calling for a stop to corruption in Yemen. Seven members of parliament have resigned due to violence, saying that this move was a protest on violence. It is also a fact that President Saleh will step down after the elections in 2013. The protesters are not pleased.
The Red & Black surveyed 31 students to see how aware the general student population is on what’s going on in the Middle East. One questions asked students to identify a country in distress in the Middle East. Answers included: Jerusalem (a city), Mexico, Baghdad (a city in Iraq), the United States, Louisiana (a state), Korea (not in the Middle East), Asia (a continent) and Islam (a religion).
Are electric cars worth the hype? By Eddie Samuels and Devin Lee Staff Writers Electric cars are here to stay. They aren’t necessarily a new phenomenon, but major car companies are eager to produce new electric models for the mainstream market. The electric car was more popular than the gasoline powered car in the late 19th century, until advances in the internal combustion engine were made. Up until the last decade, gasoline powered cars dominated the market and electric cars remained relatively nonexistent. The recent swing towards interest in electric cars has been fueled by rising gas prices and the green movement. The Toyota Prius, which uses a mix of electricity and gas, represents the transition major car companies are making towards alternative fueling methods. The next step in the progression is the new
2011 Chevrolet Volt. The Volt is capable of running solely on battery power, for 25 to 50 miles. This range is well within the average roundtrip driving distance of the average American motorist. Additionally, for long-distance road trips, the Volt can fall back on a small gasoline powered engine capable of running for over another 300 miles. The Nissan Leaf is the first fully electric car produced by a major motor company. It offers up a range of 62 to 138 miles, depending on a variety of factors that include climate control, speed, driving style, and cargo. Re-fueling is essentially taken care of by plugging the car in every night. And for those forgetful drivers, Nissan created a program that allows the car to text its owner if it is left unplugged. Compared to the skyrocketing costs for a tank of gas ($3.43 per gallon), a fully charged battery is only expected
to cost $2.50. A company called Tesla Motors released its electric supercar in 2008, named the Tesla Roadster. The Roadster is capable of traveling 245 miles on a single charge and can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 3.7 seconds. Needless to say, this car is not held back by its electric power source, but the upscale nature of the car places its total cost well over $100,000. This new trend is working to lessen the dependence on foreign oil, which could eliminate fluctuations in the market caused by the unstable relations with the Middle East (see page 4). Whether you are enticed by the cost efficiency or the claims of zero emissions, the surge in production of electric cars seems sure to please the American consumer.
Toyota Prius Chevy Volt
Electric cars vary widely in Nissan electricty-to-gas Leaf efficiency. GRAPHIC BY
Tesla EDDIE SAMUELS Roadster
The ABCs of the hottest new smartphones A
A B C
The Motorola Droid X is one of the most widely owned and enjoyed smartphones on the market. WIth its 4.3-inch touchscreen and clear and crisp display, it is a pleasure to view images and video on this smartphone. Although it doesn’t have a physical keyboard, which might be offputting to some avid texters, it makes up for this with its Swype feature, which allows the user to drag his finger from key to key without lifting the finger. The Droid X features an 8 megapixel camera and HD camcorder. The HTC Thunderbolt is much like the Droid X in its high quality 4.3-inch touchscreen and 8 megapixel camera, but design-wise it offers an additional feature in its 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. In the software department, the Thunderbolt has a 32 GB MicroSD card and 8GB of internal storage, allowing users to store vast amounts of pictures and videos on their smartphone. The question on many potential buyers’ minds, though, is whether the Thunderbolt has enough features to make it any different from the Evo.
PHOTOS FROM OFFICIAL COMPANY WEBSITES
The Apple iPhone 4 has been hyped by Steve Jobs as being the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone. Upgrades from the iPhone 3G include a thinner build (though slightly heavier), a longer battery life (thanks to the new A4 chip), HD videorecording and the new FaceTime feature. FaceTime utilizes the phone’s frontfacing camera to offer a Skype-like video chat to users. Along with iPhone 4 comes the new iOS4, the newest generation of the already-advanced iPhone operating system. It’s faster, more intuitive and more user-friendly. -Nick Bennett
any times, the deciding factor for how a teenager’s coming out experience will be is the reaction from their parents when they receive the news and the relationship which ensues from that point on. In an article published by the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah, family rejection of
E X P THROUGH S U R EN T E RTA I N M E N T
o-presidents Ashley Danley and Matthew Robertson have established a Gay Straight Alliance at Hillsborough High School through GLSEN. Though in its beginning stages, GSA is expanding with upcoming projects and an increasing community. Danley, a junior, said that her goal for GSA was to “show people to know that we are here and that bullying is not OK.” She said, “I want people to know that there is always
going to be someone there for them to talk to.” Green shares similar sentiments. “Homosexual slurs are more hurtful than [people] think,” he said. He shared that he wants to bring a community together. “There is obviously a wall between straight and gay people and I want to tear down that wall and bring everyone together so we don’t have to argue anymore,” Green said. Though GSA was started this year, Robertson, a junior, has seen Danley and Green’s vision realized in the past months. “I’ve seen a lot more gay people, less bullying and have heard fewer derogatory words being said ... GSA is a place for people to come out, because no matter what they should be proud of who they are,” Robertson said.
Ashley Danley’s coming out story wasn’t dramatic, but rather natural. The junior discovered her homosexuality when she met her current girlfriend and just “knew” she liked her. Danley is still trying to figure herself out, which has been made easier with the confidence that her dad and her friends have given her. Constant verbal abuse from three classmates after class was Danley’s lone bullying experience, but it was enough. Danley reported the incidents to Assistant Principal Harley Shaw and said they were taken care of immediately. Ever since, Danley’s been confident that bullying can be put at bay, if not completely prevented. She started the GSA chapter at Hillsborough with the goal of preventing the bullying of “out” teens, speaking from her personal experience.
ounded in 1990, a time when only two GSAs existed in the US, GLSEN currently has more than 4,000 GSAs registered. GLSEN annually sponsors the No Name Calling Week as well as the National Day of Silence. In their work, they “strive to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.” Frank Roder, the co-chairman of GLSEN Tampa, said, “[GLSEN] is very much aware of suicides that happened a couple months ago and we’ll do everything we can to make sure that [teens] feel like they have a supportive environment around them.” GLSEN does not push kids to come out, but focuses on each situation and assists teens based on their comfort level. In an effort to make students feel secure and comfortable at school, GLSEN is donating Safe Space Kits to every school in Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough county. These kits are designed to offer students a reliable, supervised place where students will be unharmed. The GLSEN Tampa chapter is hosting a Break the Silence rally April 15 in order to raise awareness.
Due to music being the epicenter of a teen’s way of life, some of the most common artists of today have spoken out in defense of gay rights and abuse. Lady Gaga, who is one of the biggest icons of independence and fashion, has defended the growing minority of LGBT teens numerous times. Some others who have been as open about this movement are Adam Lambert, Jason Mraz, Pink and Elton John, to name a few.
ith the recent outpouring of organizations such as Gay Straight Alliance, NO H8 and Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, teenagers are becoming more accepting and comfortable with the gay teen community. Homosexual, bisexual, and transgender teens have received the support previous generations lacked 10 years ago and are more comfortable with their sexuality, especially with being openly gay. LBGT (Lesbian Bisexual Gay Transgender) teens are coming out more due to more parental support, Gay Straight Alliances, nationwide organizations like GLSEN (Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and more receptive, gay friendly television shows. This has resulted in both positive and negative experiences. A National School Climate survey spanning 10 years since 1999 has shown that there has been a decreasing trend in the frequency of hearing derogative phrases concerning homophobia. Nevertheless, the expanding range of communication through social networks has increased the mediums of verbal abuse directed towards homosexual teenagers. A 2009 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that eight in 10 LGBT middle and high school students have been verbally harassed at school, and six in 10 felt unsafe. The lacking feeling of security has caused teens to accumulate absences.
By Jake Gagne & Roksana Borzouei Page Editors
lesbian, gay and bisexual young adults has been seen as a predictor of negative health outcomes. LGBT teens who experienced familial rejection were reported to be 8.4 times more likely to have attempted suicide and 5.9 times more likely to report depression compared to other LGBT teens with lower levels of family rejection. Freshman Anthony Green, discussing how he started accepting himself for who he was, said, “I came to terms and I realized I’m not going to change me because I love me and everyone else does too.” He credits tremendous support from his parents, Kenneth and Angela Green. Knowing not all parents are as supportive, Angela Green wanted to convey that parents who can’t accept their children for who they are “can really miss out on good times and experiences with their children.” “We all had our own opinions about it early on and before he actually made it known, but we just felt that we needed to support him in any way that we could and not try to change him in anyway,” said Angela Green. Ashley Danley’s father, Wes Danley, said, “It’s a shame when parents don’t understand their kids and it makes it so much harder on the family life. I don’t know how to understand [parents shunning their children]. I’d much rather see her happy than struggling trying to figure out who she is.”
by the numbers
Freshman Anthony Green was petrified of people knowing his true identity during his days at Memorial, being unaware of how people would react and even faced internal struggle with his own self that manifested into emotional and physical pain. But his thoughts were quite reverse of the reality that followed his MySpace page that exposed his deep buried homosexuality. Green found that coming out was one the most significantly positive events that have occurred in his life, being eternally indebted to those who embraced his choice and people like his father, who would defend his son in any situation out of love. Coming out has re-sewn the thread of his life in the best possible way, as he’s more outgoing, participates in school, and is, above all, stronger.
50% 40% 80% 40% 60% 27%
of all LGBT youth report that their parents reject them due to their sexual orientation of homeless youth are identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual of LGBT teens have been verbally harassed at school of LGBT teens have been physically harassed at school of LGBT teens feel unsafe at school of students in a typical class room will be directly influenced by homosexuality Source: cdc.gov, glsen.org, pflagphoenix.org
Percentage who consider homosexuality acceptable by year
ALL PHOTOS BY JAKE GAGNE
The members of the Hillsborough chapter of GSA pose with their club banner. The organization’s message, “Love is Love” means “Love can’t be defined by whether you’re black, white, gay or straight: Love is simply love. In any form it chooses to show itself,” said Ashley Danley.
According to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, in 2009 there were 18 shows that had openly gay characters, five of which were geared at teens. And the number continues to ascend, with shows like Pretty Little Liars, Grey’s Anatomy and the hit show Glee all having similar situations about the difficulty of coming out and dealing with the aftermath.
• • • • •
1982 1992 1997 2002 2006
– – – – –
34% 38% 42% 51% 54%
Support for gay teens fosters change
JESSE GUGGINO Source: Gallup Polls
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By Brittany Valencic Page Editor As technology advances, video games follow in its path. The Playstation turned into PS3 and from the Nintendo64 the Wii was born. But no video game has gone where Microsoft has gone, creating a completely controller-less system. With the release of Microsoft’s new Kinect, video games will never be the same. The Kinect brings entertainment to life. This futuristic motion control gaming system puts you as the controller, relying solely on movement. With these innovative features, the Kinect video games can’t stay on the shelves. In a few short months, Microsoft has sold 10 million Kinect gaming systems, prompting The Guinness Book of World Records to name it the “Fastest-Selling Consumer Electronics Device.” With all the hype about this modern gaming system, we wanted to see for ourselves just how revolutionary the Kinect experience is. We invited a handful of students to play on the Kinect and give us their opinions on their experience. The results were unanimous: there is no denying the Kinect is a fun and interactive way to play video games. Students participated in various sports in KinectSports such as skiing, soccer, and boxing. Sophomore Laila Al-Khalaf said, “It’s better than any other gaming system I have ever played. It was a lot of fun.” A majority of the students liked how the game moved with them. Another positive aspect of the Kinect seemed to be the concept of the workout that came with the game play. “These kind of interactive games allow you to move around and be active. Video games aren’t lazy anymore,” said sophomore Ciaralis Ronda. Junior Demondre Daniels agrees. “It’s perfect exercise and a really good workout.” The one flaw that seemed to be mentioned frequently was the reaction time. “My least favorite about the Kinect is the games timing. There is a delay from when I move and when the game moves.” said freshman Matias Marchi.
From left to right; Julio Garcia, Laila Al-Khalaf, Ciaralis Ronda and Matias Marchi all partook in interactive and entertaining Kinect games where they were the controller.
GRAPHIC BY JESSE GUGGINO PHOTOS BY BRITTANY VALENCIC
Ariel Bell: Brass Virtuoso By Jon-Michael Knight most about his musical endeavors and muPage Editor sic in general he said brightly, “Music That profound bellow heard keeps me busy. It keeps kids harmoniously booming along off the streets and out of to “Let’s Go” on football Friday trouble.” evenings here at Chelo Huerta After high school, Field belongs to no other instruBell has his sights set ment than the sousaphone. for Bethune Cookman The sousaphone is a form of in Daytona Beach and the tuba, the largest and lowest of dreams of becoming a all brass instruments, adapted to sit member of “The Pride,” around the player’s body for greater Bethune Cookman’s marching playability while marching in a band. band. Junior Ariel Bell has been an avid Bell hopes to later earn virtuoso of this instrument for two his degree in music eduyears now and his mastery of cation and become the brass instrument family a band director extends also to the trumpet, himself. which he picked up in the Bell is the only sixth grade, the French child in his family horn and the baritone tromthat plays any instrubone. ment though he told us he Bell presently plays the has tried to spark intertuba for two different bands. est in playing music Apart from Hillsborough’s Big in his younger sibRed Band, he also plays in “The lings to no avail. Mighty Marching Lions,” a marching Despite being the band for his church, Revealing Truth only musical talent Ministries. in the family, his The band assembles every weekparents are engaged end to practice and to play at the and supportive. church. The RTM Lions have recently “My parents love getparticipated in the Children’s Gaspating involved,” said Bell, rilla parade and played another event “they encourage me.” on March 12. His pals and peers are Although in a Christian band, Bell equally supportive. Junior declares that he enjoys all types of Demetri Scott takes note of music. “Music is life,” he said. Bell’s devotion, stating, “It’s The 16 year old practices his passion an honor to work with someone on his spare time each weekend. with such dedication and leadership To Bell, inspiration comes from his skills.” Junior Cesar Ortiz even goes band directors as well as Donovan Wells, so far as to liken Bell to “The son of Louis the current band director at Bethune Armstrong.” Cookman University. While resemblance remains disputed, “The way they teach it, they one observation remains: Bell PHOTO BY DREA SLOAN make me more interested in music,” The sousaphone wraps is a young man whose passion he said, and “they also teach me to around junior Ariel and drive to excel in his instrustay focused in school.” ment can take him to great Bell. When asked what he enjoyed heights.
Spring break push-back springs mixed viewpoints Students will have to wait a bit longer for Spring Break this year. Instead of its traditional position in March or early April, this year’s Break is April 25-29. Some students were asked about their opinion on this change. The proposed 2011-12 calendar would move spring break back into March, meaning this could be a one-year bump.
“I love spring break because you get to have a lot of fun and spend time with your family. It’s still fun later. You still get to be out of school.” - Brittney Mingo, sophomore “I think it’s wrong because I think we should have more time. If we’re in school for that many days, I think we should have more time for spring break.” - Daisy Quinones, freshman “Well, I think it’s better because every spring break it rains, and maybe this year it won’t. So I think it’s better this way.” - Danielle Brown, sophomore -Compiled by Rachel Cardona
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Thespians bring alive the Roaring ’20s By Chrissy Geshel Page Editor The famous musical Chicago is the next performance hitting the stage on campus. Chicago has embedded violence, fame and love into one performance. The Thespians chose to perform Chicago for this year’s spring musical for its unforgettable songs, such as All That Jazz and Cell Block Tango, as well as the choreography, and the rivalry between the ambitious Roxie Hart and showstopper Velma Kelly. Nevertheless, obtaining the copyright from the publishing company and approval from Dr. Orr was difficult for the theater troupe. Many aspects of Chicago had to be taken out of the play since they were viewed as too inappropriate for a school production, such as bawdy costumes. Organizers also made the language more appropriate and cut a suggestive scene with Roxie due to its content. “To get our show approved we made sure that costuming would be appropriate and that we toned down the sexuality of the show,” sophomore and Thespian President Kelsey Leggett said. “Our director, Mr. Pittard, has
tried numerous times before to obtain the rights to Chicago but this was the first year we have ever succeeded.” Chicago involves scenes that could be taken as racy, which concerned some members of the cast, such as sophomore Kaeley Starling, playing Annie, as well as one of the choreographers for the production. “The original script and costume plot had parts that made me question if it was even appropriate for outside of school, but changes were made, luckily,” Starling said. Since the content of the musical is much different from previous performances, the Thespians have made many changes that they believe will help bring in a bigger audience. “Plays like Chicago tend to be more popular than others purely because of how risqué they are. It’s how society is these days,” Starling said. Though the show has been edited down to remove the more salacious aspects, the controversial topics in Chicago have interested students. Leggett said, “We chose Chicago because it’s a musical that most everyone knows and found that it would be an exciting experience
Kelsey Leggett belts out All That Jazz in her lead role as Velma Kelly.
for both the cast and the audience.” Some students are already anticipating the spring musical. Senior Garrett Reel said, “I’m excited to see the play because I want to see what interesting things they’ll come up with.” Through fits of jealousy, anger, and pride, all the controversy behind this year’s drama production makes it the musical event of the spring. This year, Chicago runs from April 12-14. Tickets will be sold in Room 129, initially for $5, $7.50 the week of the show and $10 the night of the show.
Brianna Wallace and Rajan Bose practice the Cell Block Tango in a full run of the show in costume.
REVIEW: Sketch comedy troupe delivers another hit
The entire OTB cast performs “Oh Well. Let’s Dance” to the French song “Alors On Danse” for the final skit.
For three consecutive nights a year, Hillsborough High’s students flock to Transitions Art Gallery at the Skate Park of Tampa for the presentation of On the Brink. OTB, Devin Lee as it is commonly Commentary abbreviated by its loyal attendees, is a sketch comedy show put on mainly by students from HHS every year since 1992. This year’s performances ran the nights of March 3-5, filling the cozy venue to its ca-
pacity for each of the shows. As always, the proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales were donated to The Children’s Home, which provides support for abused and neglected children. This year’s show, themed “It Was All A Dream,” featured upwards of two hours of material. Out of the impressively lengthy set, a few sketches became the clear-cut crowd favorites. Senior Danny Ryan said, “skits like ‘Jesus or Jesus’ and ‘Whale Wars’ were hit or miss, and everyone was pleased when they worked out so well.” As OTB veterans, Ryan and Eddie Samuels are proud of how far the show has come with an all new cast. They have no doubts
sophomores such as Alex Gonzalez, Conor Rigsby, and Becca Javier will keep OTB productions running strong once they leave. As a tradition, OTB alums made the pilgrimage back to Tampa to watch the following year’s show and even made a cameo appearance. Any teachers willing to brave the hordes of students to watch the show can expect some recognition as well. Teacher Tom Paloumpis was invited onstage this year to be a contestant in a game-show style skit and was greeted with lots of laughs. OTB is an experience you don’t want to pass up, and it deserves its reputation as the yearly place to be for students with functioning funny bones.
Status Update: Students Get Pumped for FCAT
Clockwise from top right: Seniors Darah Gilbert and Jessie Seigel dance for the pep rally halftime show on March 9; Preston Jackson tries to make a 2-point jump shot over junior Paul Wilson; Seniors Coley Stelter and Tyre Morrison conduct the band in a pregame fight song; The Color Guard presents the flags for the national anthem before the game; Coach Bryan Burgess
does the worm during halftime; Monica Sleeter, Stephanie Davis and Shannan Powell hold up a sign before the game for the faculty team to run through; Vernon Henderson shoots for a threepoint basket at the beginning of the game. PHOTOS BY DREA SLOAN AND JIMMY HERD-BOND
School should add lacrosse program
Lacrosse has been played in the Americas as early as the 5th century. Just last year, it was finally officially sanctioned as a high school sport in Florida. The Florida Jimmy Herd-Bond High School AthCommentary letic Association, or FHSAA, voted to sanction the sport last year. Before, the teams were either purely club or school clubs that had a team but no association with the high school. Schools that have lacrosse teams this year include Alonso, Plant, Jesuit, Wharton, Freedom, Tampa Catholic, Steinbrenner, Pine View, Springstead and Countryside. Now some of you may be asking why Hillsborough High doesn’t have a lacrosse team. I found myself asking the same question at the beginning of the year when I was told that in order to be eligible to compete in the state championships, high school lacrosse teams have to have 100 percent school attendance. This means that you have to go to the school that you want to play for. Teams with athletes from different schools are allowed to play nonchampion games.
According to county athletic director Lanness Robinson, lacrosse is not currently a varsity sport and therefore not compulsory for all schools to field teams. In order to form a Hillsborough lacrosse team, we would have to start a club team and get permission from the administration to use Hillsborough’s name and logo. This year, the 100 percent attendance rule was recanted, and students at other schools were allowed to play for the school of their choice if their school didn’t have a team. I am forced to play lacrosse for the Alonso High School team now; instead of being able to represent my school, I have to wear Alonso shirts and make their school look better. Here at Hillsborough we have a plethora of athletes, and some have even expressed interest in starting a team here instead of having to play at other schools including Alonso and Steinbrenner. Also, Hillsborough has a rich tradition of dominating high school athletics in Florida. Why should we allow other schools such as Plant or Alonso say that they have better athletic programs than we do. In the end it’s a matter of pride. Do we want to be the best at everything, or are we content to say we are mediocre at some things? I believe that we have the pride and athletic ability to compete in and win in every available sport because, after all, we are the Big Red.
PHOTO COURTESY OF GAYE LYNN SCHOLPP
Hillsborough junior Christian Crosby, in the dark blue jersey, attempts to score a goal on Springstead High School. Crosby plays lacrosse for Alonso High School because Hillsborough does not offer the sport.
Dancerettes shift focus to competitions By Jasmine Moore & Amanda Glenz Correspondent & Staff Writer Just what are the Hillsborough High Dancerettes concentrating on now that the football season is over? “Now that football season is over, we compete strictly as a dance team,” said sophomore Victoria Russo. During football season, the team’s dances were more about field placement and coordination with the Big Red Band. During the competition season, the dances created by choreographers are performed JIMMY HERD-BOND onstage to recorded music, like Lady Gaga’s PokerThe Dancerettes perform at the FCAT Pep Rally. At this point in the season, the team face and La Rouxe’s Bulletproof. English teacher Linda Wilson, the new head is focused more on dance competitions than school events. coach, leads the Dancerettes with help from senior
captains Hannah Sewell and Jessie Seigel and junior Tatiana Gutierrez. “It’s honestly the best change we’ve had. [Mrs. Wilson is] a great addition!” Gutierrez said. “The girls have a lot of dance training. They are skilled dancers- especially the captains,” Wilson said of her team. After a season of performing in various competitions, the team participated in the state competition on March 26. “I think we did really well. We got straight superiors,” said Gutierrez. Not everything is always such a big competition though. Even after all their hard work, they still find time to have some fun. “It’s so much fun. We’re basically like a family, like a bunch of sisters,” Russo said.
Tennis sqauds prepare for district competitions Coming off state finals appearance, boys team adjusts to new coach By Amanda Glenz Staff Writer After a 14-1 record last season, 24 year boys’ tennis Coach Mr. Charles Roberts was replaced by newcomer Mark Palus. Mr. Roberts expects good things from Palus, but he is already missing the boys. “They came to me as babies and left as men,” said Roberts. “I really miss that part.” After scrambling to find the new coach, the team is excited about what Palus – a Pro from Cheval – has to offer. “[Palus] is good. He’s got a lot of experience,” said junior Jack Murphy, the No. 1 seed on the team and co-captain with Brian Kowalski. “I think his best strength is his tennis knowledge.” “The new coach is good,” said sophomore Will Clarke, the number three seed. “He’s pretty organized and knows what he’s doing.” On the other hand, Coach Palus is just as excited. “So far we’re playing well!” he said. “The captains are doing a good job with their leader-
ship goals. [The team does] a good job supporting each other.” Overall, Palus thinks the team is pretty strong. The one thing he does want them to work on is having more match experience. The lack of match play is one of the things that Palus is working with the team to remedy. “We’re just trying to get in as many matches as possible,” he said. Even though the top three seeds mostly practice on their own with private coaches, the rest of the team comes together during the weekends and practices together. The team is also experimenting with their doubles teams, seeing how the members play with each other. “They’re doing a good job of bonding,” Palus observed. “Our one and two [seeds] and No. 1 doubles are the best in the district,” said Murphy. “It’s a good, competitive team.” As of March 28, with a cancellation versus Newsome due to heavy rain, the boys’ record is 8-3 with their only losses to rivals Plant and Jesuit and King. Entering districts thie week of April 4, the boys’ team is both physically and mentally preparing, hoping to take down King.
Sophomore Joseph Nguyen-Dinh backhands a ball over the net.
‘We expect to dominate,’ notes Alexis Deriberprey
Sophomore Amanda Glenz returns the ball with her powerful backhand.
By Nick Cullen Staff Writer Improvement has been the theme of the girls’ tennis team this year. For the last few seasons, it has been difficult for coach Leslie Rosen to find enough players to field a team in tournaments and matches. However, this season has featured multiple talented players who have led to a 8-2 record for their district matches. Just as important as the talent of the top five tennis players is the fact that the top four players are all sophomores. Two of the top three players on the team are twins: Manash and Jayash Ramanathan. The two play doubles together and believe they have a clear advantage as twins. “We use telepathy, but sometimes it
doesn’t work,” said Manash, jokingly. The two bring a level of competitiveness to the team that that is mixed with the hard-working spirit of No. 2 player Amanda Glenz. The teams who the Terriers played this season were Plant and Plant City and East Bay and Chamberlain. The Terriers beat Plant City, but fell to Plant. They also suffered a narrow loss to Chamberlain and got rained out in a match against Newsome. “We expect to dominate,” said Alexis Deriberprey, referring to the district tournament. Manash agrees “Since we were number three last year, I’d like to go to states,” she said. Besides the regular district matches and the occasional non-district challenges, the girls’ tennis team had one game that did not go according to plan. Due to a scheduling conflict during a half day, HHS forefitted a match against
Durant. Therefore, the team really only lost two games this season. “We have room for improvement,” said Jayash. In order to prepare for the district tournament, the team meets every Thursday to go over the game plan for the week and the next games. At the practices, all players are expected to be present and play, but the rest of the week is left to the players for them to practice on their own. Most serious players take lessons from other coaches at one of the various club tennis locations in the area. Coach Rosen’s four years of coaching at Hillsborough means that the team has probably already scouted the other teams and the district in preparation for the final matches. Districts occur April 4-5 at Buckhorn Country Club in Valrico. The girls’ toughest competition lies in Chamberlain and King, who were first and second seeds in districts last year.
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Track teams continue push to states Boys’ Track By Zack Peterson Editor in Chief Boy’s head track coach Joe Sipp will tell you better than anyone else that in every critical track event, the finish is the most important part. Last year, after the Terriers placed fourth in states as a team, Sipp and his other coaches gathered together in the brief off-season to hone in on the team’s greatest weaknesses and improve them. They came to the conclusion that their finishes were incomplete. “Every meet, I see kids not finishing hard,” Sipp said. “They start pulling up before they even reach the finish line. It’s not just us; it’s everyone.” From this disturbing observation Sipp developed the team’s new mantra for the season: “Finish! Finish! Finish!” The chant was developed to prevent runners from slowing up short of the finish line. More importantly, it was developed to inspire the team and bring them together in their latest goal: To become state finalists. Carlos Flores, a senior on the team who specializes in the 800 and 400 meter dashes, said the team was “not even 10 points from state finals.” “This year there’s not pulling up before the line,” Flores said. “This year we’re running faster times and we’re running to win.” For the new season, the team has em-
braced this motto, and according to Sipp, it shows. “All the kids are running harder all the way through the finish line now,” Sipp said. Flores shares a similar story. “There’s a more serious attitude this year because of it [the new motto], but we still have fun at the same time,” he said. The season hasn’t been all fun and games though. When two runners failed to “completely finish” during the team’s first meet against King, Tampa Bay Tech and Armwood, the next day’s practice included extra running to reinforce the new principle of finishing hard and all the way through. However, the motto has proved itself to be a motivational factor for the runners. Until a wrenching meet against Jesuit and King where the Terriers placed second, the team had been undefeated in every previous meet. “We’ve had a winning streak for almost the whole season,” said junior Anthony Brown. “We plan to win every race, every event, every meet,” Sipp said. “We won’t be able to do that without finishing.” And if everyone does their part, according to Flores, anything is possible. “We aim to run hard at every practice and every meet. If we do that then we can win states.” DREA SLOAN
Nick Valdes, a long distance runner, finishes hard during a set in the team’s quest to win states.
Girls’ Track By Jake Gagne Page Editor The Lady Terriers walked away from the USF George M. Steinbrenner Track & Field Invitational [last Saturday, March 19] with more than exhaustion from the 102 degree heat. They left the enormous meet with a fourth place finish overall and the top score for Hillsborough County. There were a total of 79 schools and more than 2,000 participants who came together at USF, ranging from elite runners to beginner jumpers and all levels in between, making the competitiveness rival only to the pressure of the state meet. Senior Narricka Williams stole the show with an individual win in the 100 meter hurdles at 14.5 seconds, and second place finishes in the 300 meter hurdles and triple jump. “I was really excited to get that time in the 100 hurdles, it was a big [personal record] for me,” said Williams. “It felt good, I ran off the track; I was so happy.” Williams wasn’t intimidated by the magnitude of the meet, but rather it helped her run her new personal record. “In the 100 hurdles I had actually had somebody, for the first time, to run with, so the [competition] was good.” Other notable finishes for Hillsborough were junior Ciarra Hawkins’ fourth place and sophomore Jorian Ordway’s sixth place in the 400 meters. The Lady Terriers’ 4x400 meter relay team also tallied some points, crossing the finish line behind only three other schools.
The relay included Williams, Hawkins, Ordway and senior Renee Wallace. According to assistant coach Vernest Pilcher, this meet was indicative of how the team will do at states. “Really, I think that we could make a top four or five place at states,” Pilcher said. “There were 79 schools there, and we placed fourth with some major schools there as well as placing better than any other girls team in Hillsborough County … if we don’t win states we are going to be very competitive.” Not only did they finish atop the Hillsborough County scoreboard, but they also finished first of all Class 3A schools, the top three overall being all Class 4A. Hillsborough’s final score of 39 points was only three points behind third-place finisher Osceola, and 17 points below the score of first place finisher Orlando Evans High. Pilcher conveyed that he feels this score will rise to [state meet] level if the determination also increases. “If we could just get a couple more girls to step up and want it, we could do it.” DREA SLOAN
Jorian Ordway, predominately a 400 meter runner, has been a critical figure in the girls’ journey to states. At the USF meet, she finished sixth in her event.
March 2011 edition