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Floridaâ€™s first high school newspaper | Hillsborough High School 5000 N. Central Ave. Tampa, FL, 33603 | hhstoday.com | April 2018 |2017 Volume 119, No.119,4 No. 3 November | Volume
Terror in Texas A string of connected racial bombings occurs in Austin. | p. 2
Swedish invasion The Swedes are coming. Find out about their arrival. | p. 4
Number one runner Junior Lycia Zavala practices to maintain her track title. | p. 12
High school students march in Curtis Hixon Park to demand common sense gun reform in the wake of the Parkland shooting. Read about the march on page 6. | PHOTO BY MAKAYLA BROWN
Red & Black
TOURING SEMINOLE HEIGHTS
Hillsborough High School to be featured in the Old Seminole Heights 20th Annual Home Tour, a tradiition of the neighborhood’s organization..
The Old Seminole Heights 20th Annual Home Tour will take place in Seminole Heights on Sunday, April 8, from 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.. This tour has been going on for 20 years and is a staple event for the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association. "We usually have about 750 people come to the tour and utilize around 125 volunteers," said chairperson of the home tour committee, Debi Johnson. The tour will begin at the Seminole Heights Library and will give tourists access to the selected Seminole heights homes. "We will have homes built in the early 1900s as well as a brandnew home," Johnson said. "All of the homes are a great representation of our historic neighborhood." Hillsborough High School will find its place on the tour due to it being in the middle of Seminole Heights. This part of the tour is going to be managed by the Hillsborough Alumni Association, rather than the home tour volunteers. Tickets are $15 prior to the tour, and $20 if they are bought the day of. These tickets can be purchased on the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association's website, or if purchased the day of they can be bought at the library before the start of the tour. Visitors will also receive a wrist band allowing them access to the homes. The tour is self-guided, meaning that once you purchase your tour ticket, you can decide what route to take.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE AUSTIN BOMBINGS After two and half weeks of an intensive manhunt for the perpetrator of five bombings across the city of Austin, Texas, the culprit of the bombings is dead. The string of bombings began on March 2, when packages were left on people’s porches which detonated upon opening them. A more sophisticated bomb included a trip wire. The fifth bomb exploded at a FedEx facility in nearby Schertz, Texas. It had originally left Austin and was addressed going back to the city. Police then connected this explosion to the recent ones that had put the city on edge. The investigation led by local law enforcement expanded to include ATF and FBI officials scrambling for any tips and clues they could get until they finally managed to get evidence from the FedEx explosion. This evidence provided security footage of the suspect walking into the facility wearing a wig and gloves. Officials then focused their attention on a 24-year-old former Austin Community College student named Mark Anthony Conditt, who lived in Pflugerville, just outside of Austin. Conditt, who is responsible for the deaths of Anthony Stephan House and Draylen Mason as well as the injury of five others was killed by his own bomb after being confronted by police in nearby Round Rock, Texas. Authorities later found a 25 minute re-
cording on Conditt’s cellphone where he admitted to making the bombs but never made it clear if the packages were meant for a specific people out of hatred or if it was an act of terrorism. According to the Washington Post, Bryan Manley, interim Austin police chief, described him as “a very challenged young man”. It is still unclear how the bombs were physically constructed and whether or not Conditt had assistance in coordinating these random attacks but Texas law enforcement expects to find evidence inside his home that could potentially provide an explanation for his motives. Officials were, however, able to track down a blog that was run by Conditt for a government course he was taking in which he made several political posts criticizing same-sex marriage, argued against sexual offender registries and showed support of the death penalty in criminal cases. According to the Washington Post, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said, “as a community we’re just really relieved and just incredibly thankful for this army of law enforcement that has been in our community here for the last week or so”.
STORY BY FERNANDO ROSAS
"We have a group of volunteers that serve as docents at each home. They give the patrons information on the home that they are touring and a suggested path through the home," Johnson said. "We also provide a brochure that tells visitors the history of the home, its architectural style, and information about the current owners." Along with the information on the homes, the tour also provides the tourist with different paths to take depending on the tourists' preferred way of transportation. These include: by bike, motor vehicle, walk, and the option to take one of the home committee’s trolleys. This home tour is an important annual event for the members of Seminole Heights and for the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association because it raises funds which are used in various Seminole Heights projects and keeping the neighborhood association up and running. However, not all the money will be going to the neighborhood association. "This year we have chosen Pyramid Inc as the beneficiary of the charitable contribution," Johnson said. Pyramid Inc is an organization that aids developmentally disabled adults.
STORY BY LAUREN KOMAR
WHAT’S TRUMP UP TO? In an unexpected invitation, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un offered to meet with President Trump to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program. This could bring the two leaders face-to-face after tensions have run high between them. The news broke when Chung Eui-yong, a South Korean national security advisor, spoke to reporters at the White House and told them that Trump would meet with Jong-Un. “Kim Jung-Un has expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible,” Eui-yong said. “Great progress being made but sanctions will remain in place until an agreement is reached,” was tweeted on the President’s Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump. “Meeting being planned!” In a press briefing with reporters, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Trump would indeed meet with JongUn and said, “the meeting won’t take place without concrete actions that match the promises that have been made by North Korea”. However, some of Trump’s aides seem to find the historical diplomat-
ic effort risky and far-fetched, and are deliberating the details and location of where the meeting would take place. A senior State Department official offered to set the location of the meeting in a conference building called the “Peace House,” which is between North and South Korea in the Demilitarized Zone. The decision of the meeting stunned allies, including former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Tilllerson was traveling in Africa when the President made the announcement of the invitation. The New York Times reported that Tillerson expected this. “I know that he’s had it on his mind for quite some time, so it was not a surprise in any way,” Tillerson said. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and former national security advisor H.R. McMaster expressed concerns with the meeting between Trump and Jong-Un but did not decide to outright oppose the president’s efforts. The White House is coordinating the historic summit between the two leaders and it is expected to happen by May.
STORY BY FERNANDO ROSAS
LOSING DAYLIGHT SAVINGS Florida legislature moves forward with efforts to opt out of daylight saving time as a state The Florida legislature has approved a bill that will opt out the state from daylight saving time but not so fast – the final decision is up to Congress to decide the rule
change. Passed by the House with a 103-11 vote and only two dissenting votes in the Senate, the “Sunshine Protection Act” would exempt Florida from moving the clocks “forward” and “backward” every year. Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law soon after, but the bill cannot go into effect until Congress approves it first. Some states like Hawaii and most of Arizona are exempted from daylight saving time which was established by the Uniform Time Act of 1966. It was created with the hope that it would save the U.S. energy, but a 2008 study from the U.S. Department of Energy concluded that daylight saving only reduced annual energy use by 0.03 percent. Those who praised the bill say that it will boost the state’s
economy, save energy, reduce crime due to more sunlight in the evening and allow the tourism industry to flourish allowing shops and businesses to stay open later in the evening. Senator Marco Rubio said it would benefit the state’s agricultural economy since the change in time interferes with the schedules of farmers and to stop using it would increase physical activity among people because of that extra hour. Critics like the Florida Parent Teacher Association claim that children heading to school would wait for buses in the darkness and even asked the Governor to veto the bill. Opponents also claim that it could potentially cause communication and travel problems with the east coast of the U.S., which would be on Eastern Standard Time and an hour behind in the fall. Students have reacted to the decision in different ways. “It’s been used for so long,” freshman Xan Reigel said. “Everything is fine the way it is now so I don’t see the point in changing anything.” “Well honestly I don’t care about the physical fact of changing
BREACH Florida Virtual School recently released a warning to students and families saying that there was a suspected breach of private information. The breach most likely occurred sometime between May 6, 2016 and Feb. 12, 2018. According to their website, FLVS learned that unauthorized individuals gained access to their computer systems which stored personal information of students, parents and teachers. More than 350,000 students were impacted by this hack. “Although the investigation is still ongoing, based on what we have learned to date, we believe that this incident could affect information in FLVS school records, including but not limited to students’ names, dates of birth, school account usernames and passwords, physical school identification as well as parents’ names and parent emails,” FLVS officials wrote on its website.
In an effort to reduce the risk that any student information could be misused, FLVS is offering potentially affected students one year of free identity security protection through Experian, an identity monitoring services company. This offer is only available to students whose information was in the FLVS database from May 6, 2016 to Feb. 12, 2018. FLVS apologized for the incident and stated that they took action immediately by initiating an IT security investigation. However, FLVS believes that no fraud or misuse occurred as a result of the incident. Many students who take classes on FLVS like senior Ana Ardila feel uncomfortable with the news of the breach. “I don’t like the idea of having my information out there” Ardila said. “It makes me uneasy”.
STORY BY JORGE GARCIA
the clocks,” senior Kadina King said. “I would say it’s unnecessary because it messes with my sleep schedule and then I just feel drained for a period of time until I have to readjust myself.” Sophomore David Ma concurs with the timing of the bill. “I would be okay if they changed it after the fall one so we can get that extra hour and then don’t have to change it afterwards.” Senator Rubio introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate under the same name as the state bill in hope that it can be passed before July 1 when it should be effective in Florida. “Florida’s legislature overwhelmingly voted for permanent daylight saving time for the state of Florida. Reflecting the will of the Sunshine State, I proudly introduce these bills that would approve Florida’s will and, if made nationally, would also ensure Florida is not out of sync with the rest of the nation,” Rubio said. If the bill passes in Congress, the “Sunshine Protection Act” will officially take effect and opt out the Sunshine State from daylight saving time year-round.
HCPS In October, Hillsborough County Public Schools voted to shorten the school day by significantly changing bell times. With these changes, high schools would start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m. A series of other additions to the calendar have been revealed as well, including giving all students in the county both Fair Day and Strawberry Festival Day off. In past years, students were only out of school for one of the two days based on their location in the county. Schools closer to the Florida State Fairgrounds were off for Fair Day, whereas those on the Plant City side of the county receive Strawberry Festival Day off. This was put in place in order to allow students to attend one of the well-known festivals without taking too much time away from learning. Next year, students would have both days off. This has received backlash from par-
STORY BY FERNANDO ROSAS
CALENDAR CHANGES ents and school board members who feel that too many days off detracts from student earning time and could affect the district goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020. On the other hand, students such as sophomore Xiomara Gonzalez are excited about the prospect of an extra day off. “I’ve never gone to the strawberry festival, but if the district gives us a day off to go then I definitely will,” Gonzalez said. The extra holiday was added mainly to ensure that the number of school days in a year is strictly limited to 180, partly due to financial concerns as each extra day of school costs the school district anywhere from 5 to 6 million dollars. Other adjustments to next year’s schedule would give students Presidents’ Day off as well and put the last day of school after Memorial Day on May 31.
STORY BY REEMA PATEL
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SWEDES SWIFTLY APPROACH Each spring, IB seniors anxiously await the arrival of a ship docking in Tampa’s port. This ship carries roughly 44 Swedish students who sail from their hometown, a cluster of islands off the coast of Sweden, to a number of cities including Miami, Havana and finally Tampa. The Swedes not only live and attend school on their ship, but are also tasked with sailing and maintaining the ship. Through their travel, they aim to get an idea of the culture and life in places like Tampa, which provide a stark contrast from their Swedish isle. The third-year students are each assigned to a senior who will guide them through some of Tampa’s main attractions. “My friends and I plan on taking our Swedes to the beach and taking them shopping at stores that are exclusive to America,” senior Claire Hamilton said. Afterwards, the Swedish students will have the opportunity to shadow the seniors during the school day. In past years, Hillsborough seniors have attempted to show the Swedes around town while also giving them an idea of the area’s culture and learning about Swedish culture in return. “I’ve heard that all of the visiting students are very kind and willing to try new things,” senior Manasa Satyajit said. Despite plans and preliminary contact with their Swedes, many seniors won’t be entirely sure what to expect until the large sails of the Swedish ship are within sight. “I’d just like to take each moment as it comes and make a lot of memories,” Satyajit said.
SOLO AND ENSEMBLE SEASON
Carefully selected pieces, hours of practice, and nerves make up the process of participating in state solo and ensemble. In S&E, qualified student musicians can challenge themselves and receive feedback.
Simone Francis, 10
Sophomore Simone Francis plays the bass clarinet and is doing ‘Ballade’ by Eugene Bozza, for her solo. “I think I chose it because it was the only thing at that time that I connected with,” Francis said. “It goes through many kinds of emotions in the piece and I really like the contrast.” Francis connects personally with her piece which can help her convey emotions throughout her performance. This is not Francis’ first time at states so she is not nervous. “I don’t really get nervous anymore,” said Francis. “I think that I practiced to the point where I know it’s going to be ok.” In fact, Francis is looking forward to S&E as a learning experience. “I look forward to watching my friends.”
Albert Perez, 12
Senior Albert Perez is going to be attending state solo and ensemble for the first time since he was a freshman. He will be performing ‘Concertino da Camera’ by Jacques Ibert on the alto-saxophone. “My private instructor chose it,” Perez said. “He said it would be a good song to play so I played it. I mean it sounds pretty cool, it’s fast.” Perez didn’t originally know he was going to play the alto-saxophone but now he thinks it is the coolest one. Perez has been practicing diligently but he is still worried. “I’m actually really, really nervous,” Perez said. “Obviously, I’m practicing but there’s always that thought in my mind that I’m not practicing enough.”
STORY BY REEMA PATEL
AFTER SCHOOL STUDY SESSIONS APPROACHING With exam season right around the corner, times are about to get stressful. Here’s five tips on how to maximize your study time and ace your exams!
1. Plan your study session. 2. Before you start studying, make sure to set a schedule for yourself. By doing this, you will ensure that you finish everything you need to and you won’t waste your time trying to remember what else you have to do! 3. Create a system for taking notes. If all of your notes are organized in the same way, not only does it make it easier for you to find information you’re looking for but it gives your brain a pattern to follow and makes it easier to retrieve information. Use multi-colored highlighters, different style bullet points and colorful pens. 4. Take regular breaks. Your brain can only take so much in one sitting, so taking breaks every 40 minutes is recommended as your brain only retains the first and last 20 minutes of any study session. During this break you should drink water, stretch and have a snack. 5. Write out your notes. 6. Research shows that we store information better when we write it out by hand. Start out by recopying your old notes onto a new sheet of paper and add new information as you go.
A woodwind quintet will also be performing ‘Trois pièces brèves’ by Jaques Ibert. The woodwind quintet consists of two sophomores and two seniors. Some of them are also doing individual solos. “Ensembles are really great to work on teamwork between people,” sophomore Amber Lo said. “It’s great for team building.” For seniors Stephanie Albero and Manasa Satyajit, this is the last time to work with these people. “I’ve made a lot of nice memories with the group altogether and practicing,” said Satyajit. “We’ve practiced together, and we have a lot of fun with it so this being the last time we’ll actually perform something together is just really sweet and bittersweet for me.”
STORY BY MERCY TSAY
FORTNITE HOOKS PLAYERS With a fan base of over 3.4 million gamers, “Fortnite: Battle Royale” exceeds the number of players on PUBG and offers new gaming techniques to the battle royale genre. During lunch, free periods, afterschool and all times of the night, students play “Fortnite”. “You better win.” “I’m in a bush texting you right now baby,” senior Joseph Hernandez responds to his girlfriend as he plays “Fortnite: Battle Royale”. When Fernandez is not playing with his senior squad of boys, he plays “Fortnite” with his girlfriend, even though he thinks she does not enjoy the game. “It depends [if I would cancel plans] by how many people are playing with me,” he said. “If I’m by myself, I’m not canceling [anything].” Senior Ivan Morales jokes with Fernandez, telling him to not tell his girlfriend when he plays. “It’s definitely a meme because “Fortnite” rules relationships,” Morales said. But Fernandez says his devotion to “Fortnite” does not hinder his relationship with his girlfriend. “I still give her time and attention,” he said.
What is “Fortnite: Battle Royale?”
Within a sub-genre of shooter games, “Battle Royale,” “Fortnite” is an elimination-style multiplayer or solo game. The winner is the final survivor or team among 100 players dropped from a floating battle bus onto an island. Individuals may not only die from being assassinated, but from remaining outside a randomly placed circle that shrinks and forces the competitors together. The players must scavenge for supplies including: assault rifles, shotguns, and snipers as well as shield potions for extra durability and bandages for health recovery.
For a group of boys, including Fernandez and Morales, a typical weekend night and multiple week nights consist of playing “Fortnite” in a squad, to share the win, yelling at one another on a headset and surrounding and trapping other players until 5 a.m. “We are like ‘yo why you die so quickly’ and just yell at each other,’”
Morales said. “This ain’t a game bro” senior Michael Stockford responded. “When my parents are home I scream out non-cuss words like ‘frick what the frick was that,’” The boys claim to do everything together, but “Fortnite” has become a favorite pastime of theirs and has superseded a similar game, PUBG.
Unique features of “Fortnite”
But unlike other battle royale games, “Fortnite” is free for the PS4, PC and Xbox One. Recently, “Fortnite” Mobile became available for iOS devices and will become available for Android soon. To receive an invitation to play, a player must register with his or her email on the official “Fortnite” website. The portable version has the same core game and supports cross-platform play in which mobile players can compete with gamers using PC and console. Junior Nilliam Perez plays “Fortnite” in her free periods with her friends on their phones. “It makes it easier,” she said. “You can take it anywhere.” Even though Perez is one of the few girls who plays “Fortnite”, she loves the intensity of the game. “When we play on it during class, girls will say its lame, but I find it really intriguing,” she said. The graphics of “Fortnite,” developed since 2012, are also original because it is animated, unlike the realistic PUBG, and creates an arcade aesthetic. “The graphics of “Fortnite,” in my opinion, are perfect for this style of game,” junior Phillip Nguyen said. “The developers of “Fortnite” talked about how much dedication they had for this game and kept pushing back deadlines to add maybe that one weapon that makes the game just a little bit better.” On the other hand, junior David Rodriguez disapproves of the graphics. “I guess the cartoony feel doesn’t let you envelope
yourself into the game very well,” he said. Another distinct feature of “Fortnite” is the crafting system in which players build walls, ramps, stairs and roofs as defenses to stop bullets. The barriers are made from materials knocked out by a pickax, a tool all players land with. “They changed the style of Battle Royale,” Morales said. “You can slide [and] rocket ride; you can do anything.”
Nguyen claims that it is with these appeals that “Fortnite” has gained a fanbase. “This game gives fun and unique gameplay,” he said. “People are able to build bases in this game, changing the gameplay drastically and because building is very hard for people to pick up, it shows us how good people are when they are able to consistently build gigantic forts within small time frames.” “Fortnite” was released on July 25, 2017, yet many students did not begin to play until the game became popular. Attention from celebrities like Drake, Lil Yachty and Travis Scott has also expanded the involvement of youth.
Best friends and seniors Luis Hernandez and Enidio Gonzalez play sports, go to the park and start to play “Fortnite” around 10 until they fall asleep. “You go home take a shower, eat and then you just play” Gonzalez said. He honed his skills by watching YouTube videos and practicing. In the duo game, their strategy is to remain together. “Now I go after the people, instead of hiding [and] waiting for them to come to me,” Hernandez said. Due to the constant updates in the various settings, students anticipate that the game will continue to be popular.
STORY BY KATIE DELK
HQ TRIVIA APP GAINS POPULARITY
A message appears preparing for the game ahead. “Stop what you’re doing,” it says, “It’s time for HQ.” Hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people rush into the loading screen anxiously waiting for the game to begin. The chat erupts with thousands of messages per minute as the game’s host appears on screen. The HQ app has been increasing in popularity over the last few months as users tune in twice a day at 3 p.m. (only on weekdays) and 9.p.m. EST to answer trivia questions in order to win money. Players typically answer 12 questions of increasing difficulties, and
there tend to be multiple winners who split the prize amount. On weekdays, the prize amount is usually under $10,000, although special occasions can cause the prize to rise up to as much as $250,000. Winners generally receive less than $30 after the prize is split, but the feeling of ruthlessly reigning supreme over millions of players is satisfying nonetheless. The app has recently introduced a no-cash-split prize of $25,000 or even $50,000 for its game on Sundays. This means the questions keep going until there is only one winner remaining. The questions start off as basic, but players quickly receive difficult questions from the most random topics imaginable. Hoping that their shared knowledge can result in at least one winner, many players gather together and share answers during games. Players can gain “extra lives” – a chance to stay in the game after getting a question wrong – by getting friends to join the
game, but these “lives” are unusable on the final question. The star of the game show is Scott Rogowsky. While there are a handful of hosts, Rogowsky usually hosts, and fans have become obsessed with him. They refer to him as “Quiz Daddy”, and on the rare occasion that someone other than Rogowsky hosts the game, the chat is spammed with angry, even rude messages pleading for him to come back. The app is not flawless, however, as many players are kicked out during games for no reason. Some have even been eliminated after choosing the correct answer. The screen freezes from time to time, and the thousands of messages in the chat can’t possibly help. The dream of one-day winning even a small amount of money on HQ and showing the best trivia talent among millions of players is one that many students hope to achieve.
STORY BY JADEN SHEMESH
TAMPA MARCHES FOR ITS LIFE
TOP High school students participate in the Tampa March For Our Lives on March 23. The march began in Kiley Gardens with speakers ranging from Kathy Castor to survivors from MSD. LEFT Prior to the march, high school students gathered in Kiley Gardens to hear speakers and have the opportunity to volunteer and pre-register to vote. TOP RIGHT Freshman Patrick Gawienczuk marches with fellow HHS students. BOTTOM RIGHT Senior Alex Barrow marches near the front of the crowd proudly displaying a handmade sign. | PHOTOS BY MARIN FEHL AND MAKAYLA BROWN
numbers. Students Demand Action has experienced an influx in registration, and the March For Our Lives organization has successfully orchestrated nationwide marches against gun violence. All of this has been led by the teenaged voices that emerged from MSD, and they believe there’s enough momentum to keep the movement going. “We are students leaders and we are leading this movement. In history, there have been many successful student-led movements,” Valdivieso said. “We just have to stay united and we have to have one voice and that’s what we’re doing here.” Empowered by the movement, students are promising action in response to inaction, and this starts with political involvement. “If this generation of lawmakers isn’t going to change gun laws for the common-sense safety of students, then I know that our generation will,” Lewicki said. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is optimistic about the future of this student-led movement, despite his experiences in the past. “This movement has the opportunity to reshape the political dynamics of the whole landscape so it’s important that you just don’t walk away from here and assume your job is done, you’ve got to keep at this,” he said. Junior Jackson Roberts is taking this advice to heart. “Younger people need to have a voice more than this gun violence because it shows a bigger picture, it shows that we’ll be able to vote soon and eventually we’ll be able to take government positions and change society,” he said. This summer, he will be traveling to D.C. to undertake an internship with U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, where he plans to further discuss the issue. But this movement isn’t without critics, legislators are already anticipating that this issue will fizzle out. But despite criticisms, Rep. Castor believes students do have the ability to effect change. “Young people need to know their power. They have more power than they understand,” she said. “Don’t give up. You can’t go out for the summer and say you’re on vacation, you have to be consistent and compelling.”
STUDENTS MARCH IN D.C.
An estimated 13,000 students and teachers gathered in Kiley Gardens in downtown Tampa on March 23 to demand gun reform. Kiley Gardens is a sea of people. What would normally be easy to navigate has been replaced by an impassible crowd of handmade signs, determined chanting, and the faint sounds of dog barking from the pet adoption event nearby. The crowd drawn by the Tampa March for Our Lives is met with curious spectators. The crowd and the speakers meet the gazes of those who stop and stare with determination, challenging them to voice their displeasure. But the onlookers from Curtis Hixon and passersby only pause to take in the scene before them. A scene orchestrated by the high school students that have occupied the park, and the national news in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) shooting. At the podium, junior and survivor of MSD shooting Susana Matta Valdivieso addresses the growing crowd. Recounting her experience, a hush falls across the park. “What hit me the hardest was thinking there are parents out here waiting for their children, waiting to hug their children, but they will remain waiting because their children will not be walking out of that school,” she said. “To everyone who thinks being nice to the shy or quiet kid will end school shootings: I knew Nicolas Cruz. I was nice to him, I talked to him whenever I could. Is this atrocity my fault?” It is this instance that has driven Valdivieso to speak out on the topic of gun control. “As a student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I felt like it was my responsibility to talk about this and be a part of the issue. I need to represent what we’ve been through,” she said. “After 7,000 children’s lives have been lost due to gun violence, after 17 of my teachers and classmates died, it is not too early. We’re too late.” She isn’t alone in turning grief over the shooting into action. Junior Patrick Lewicki became empowered by the student involvement evident after the shooting as well. “Seeing the student activism after the recent shooting is what inspired a lot of us to be here because there’s no power quite like the power of the students,” he said. And this is a common theme. Following the MSD shooting, high school students have turned out at protests and walkouts in record
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TOP Sophomores Ava Anderson and Anthony Allen pose in front of the White House after protesting on March 23. BOTTOM Signs left on the White House’s lawn following the march. PHOTOS COURTESY ANTHONY ALLEN
While many students marched in Curtis Hixon Park on March 24, sophomores Anthony Allen and Ava Anderson rallied with thousands of others in Washington, D.C. for a March for Our Lives. The protest called for gun control in response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla on Feb. 23. At 9 a.m., Allen and Anderson took a subway to Washington, D.C. and strode down the streets, coffee in hand, as the crowds grew. “I wasn’t expecting that many people to show up,” Anderson said. She held a poster that said: “stop the silence, end gun violence.” Unlike the Women’s March Anderson attended in Washington 2017, televisions broadcasted speeches delivered by Parkland survivors and leaders of the movement. Anderson said that she was touched and held back her tears as the students spoke. “It was very moving hearing all of the speakers because most of the ones who spoke lost loved ones” she said. Throughout the speeches, protestors chanted. As Allen felt anger surge through the crowd and heard a woman scream insults at the government, goosebumps travelled across his body. “During the march, I honestly can say
it was the first time I felt like a true American, I now know how it feels to have a peaceful protest and not be taken to jail or killed like in other countries,” he said. “I was so shocked because I could hear the pain and anger and violence and passion in her voice.” Surrounded by fellow students, Anderson said she was encouraged. “[The March] gives me hope for our future because one day we will be in charge so at least I know everyone in our generation is more open to change and is educated about those topics,” she said. To initiate steps in government or legislation, both Anderson and Allen support political activism. “I feel like I don’t really have a choice because I feel so strongly about it, that I can’t just sit back and do nothing,” Anderson said. “Since I am privileged because I can go to places like Washington, then I feel like I should use that to speak for others who I know their pain.” In 2020, both sophomores can vote. “[The government] should be serving us, so if that’s what we want then they should be listening to us and if they don’t, we need to get registered to vote and vote them out,” Anderson said. Despite criticism of young adults, Anderson asserted both sides need to listen
and compromise. “I think as an adult you would want to educate children because one day we will be leading the world, so I think they should be more open to change and listen to us because we are the ones in schools, we are the ones whose lives are on the line,” she said. Although there been 30 mass shootings just this year as of Feb. 14, the Parkland survivors and students around the world have become vocal to not let this movement die out like the others. “The push for change is led by students and students know how to connect with other students,” Allen said. “People are tired of turning on their TV and seeing another shooting and innocent people getting killed because our congressmen and women are not making any changes.” In the future of the movement, Anderson and Allen plan to attend local protests. On April 20, another national school walkout will occur. Allen wants to do so to prevent the tragedies and issues from being forgotten. “These protests show that students are not going to lay down and stop, we are going to fight until change happens.”
STORY BY KATIE DELK
STORY BY MARIN FEHL
GRAPHIC BY MARIN FEHL
8 April 2018 RED&BLACK VOLUME 119, ISSUE 4
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Madison Forbis WEB EDITOR Carolin Hearne PAGE EDITORS Katie Delk, Marin Fehl, Jorge Garcia, Lauren Komar, Reema Patel, Mia Perez, Fernando Rosas, Jaden Shemesh, Mercy Tsay, Theontae Walton STAFF WRITERS Makayla Brown, Ria Dey, Arianna McQueen CONTRIBUTORS Gabby Martinez, Jeremy Monge, Giselle Vasquez-Soto ADVISER Jill Burns, MJE PRINCIPAL Gary Brady ABOUT Content decisions are made by student editors MEMBERSHIP Red & Black
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Red & Black
SECRETLY SOCIAL MEDIA In the age of social media, it may seem that we’re becoming less social. But is that the case?
We listen to music on public transportation, we make eye contact with our phones instead of the person we’re trying to engage in painfully awkward small talk with, and we use social media when we have something really important, or really stupid, to say. But despite that, we’re still talking. Because we’re not losing communication, we’re just finding a new way to do it. Social media gives us the ability reach a wide range of people, it projects our voices in a way we haven’t been able to do before. It makes us loud. And right now, the world needs our noise. This isn’t just a fad. People aren’t becoming politically active online for more likes, it’s not something that’s being done to impress other people, it’s because we believe in the change we preach. Our twitters have been transformed into platforms for activism, Facebook has become a way to organize events like the March For Our Lives. And sure, we post memes. But social media has become so much more than that. It’s become a new language, and everyone in this generation speaks it fluently. But we’ve been criticized, and our political efforts have been ridiculed. Our attempts at creating a community of activists have been deemed lazy or ineffective. But this is no longer the age of going door to door and mailing out fliers, this is the age of technology. And what
might have worked in the past is no longer applicable. The world is changing, and our use of social media to express our thoughts is a part of that cycle. Every generation had been criticized by the one before it for doing something differently. When electricity was first made available to the public, people eyed it with suspicion. Same with telephones, and television, and Internet. But now these are all permanent fixtures to our society.
We’re not losing communication, we’re just finding a new way to do it.
No one bats an eyelash at them, and this will be no different. And maybe you don’t like what we have to say. Maybe you don’t like the fact that we’re trying to change how people think because we’ve realized that what we’re doing now isn’t working. Change is always hard. So maybe that’s why our use of social media has been so hard to swallow, and that our new language has become difficult to learn. But if you believe we need to make a change, you should start by listening to the people who are willing to do it.
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The EDITORIAL reflects the view of student editors and can be found in the opinion section Bylined COLUMNS represent the viewpoints of their authors We welcome your LETTERS, which may be edited for brevity and clarity. Submit via email, deliver to Room 506 or mail to Red & Black, 5000 N. Central Ave, Tampa, Florida 33603. ADVERTISING content is subject to approval of the editorial board Visit us online at HHSTODAY.COM CONTACT Phone: (813) 276-5620 Fax: (813) 276-5629 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @HHSTodayOnline
We know that people don’t always take us seriously. We’ve accepted that even our greatest efforts to create change will be deemed inadequate by some, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to give up trying. It doesn’t mean we’re going to throw in the towel and resort to handing out fliers on street corners. Because this isn’t about what the generation before us thinks. Social media is about what we think. It’s about the millennials, it’s about the Gen Z’s, it’s about the people that must fix the systematic problems created by those who ridicule our use of Twitter. So yes, we know that you don’t get it. We know that you think we’re mindless robots with our eyes glazed over and firmly affixed to our phone screens. We know you think we know nothing. But we don’t care. Because when push comes to shove, we’re the ones who must live with the decisions that are made now. We’re the ones who have grown up with the understanding that a school shooting isn’t impossible, or even improbable. We’re the ones that have grown up with phones in our hands, and we’re going to use them. This is our future, and we’re going to build it one Tweet at a time.
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POINT/ COUNTERPOINT: ARMING TEACHERS
After the Parkland shooting, debate has arisen over whether it would be better to give teachers guns. Here are two perspectives on the issue. Keep guns out of class
In light of the recent (and frequent) school shootings, we’ve finally arrived at a solution: putting more guns on campus. Instead of approaching the idea of gun reform, the solution to gun violence that we’ve been waiting for is more guns. But teachers aren’t members of law enforcement, they’re teachers. The decision to arm teachers isn’t a new idea. In Texas, schools have been arming teachers since 2007 to create a safer school environment, and other states have followed suit. In California some teachers can carry guns for this same reason. Because of this, a teacher accidentally discharged a firearm during a public safety class, injuring one student. But Texas and California aren’t the only states to implement policies to get ahead in the apparent arms race in schools. In Georgia, a teacher fired a handgun into an empty classroom. And now, Florida Senate has rejected the ban on assault weapons and instead voted to arm teachers. Good to know we’re safe now. And maybe it’s insensitive to demand drastic policy change so soon after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD). Just like it was insensitive to demand it after Columbine, or Sandy Hook, or Pulse. Just like it was too soon to bring up the fact that over 7,000 children have lost their lives to gun violence since Sandy Hook. Just like it was unfair to demand that weapons of war be removed from the market. But maybe life just isn’t fair. Because it’s not possible that it was fair for children to die on Valentine’s Day when they should have been exchanging dumb cards with their friends. Because it’s not possible that it was fair that members of Congress offered “thoughts and prayers” when parents who had to bury their children demanded that this violence be stopped so that no other parent had to plan a funeral instead of asking how school was that day. Because it’s not possible that it’s too soon to talk about gun control when we are 7,000 lives too late to addressing this issue. We don’t need our teachers to have guns in their classrooms. We need change.
COLUMN BY MARIN FEHL
Help teachers help themselves
My argument is based on the bill Florida lawmakers passed. Florida lawmakers recently passed a bill that includes a program to train teachers to carry guns. Arming teachers is an effective way of deterring mass shootings and protecting the lives of the innocent. Arming teachers is not such a far-off idea. Lots of people forget that teachers are people too outside of school and many of them already have concealed carry permits. In fact, over 97,000 citizens have permits just in Hillsborough County. More than likely, every one of us have crossed paths with someone concealing a weapon on their person and haven’t noticed because, typically, they don’t behave in a way noticeably different from anyone else. Teacher participation in the program would be on a voluntary basis. Teachers who do not want to yield weapons would not be forced to do so; those willing to accept the responsibilities of being armed on a school campus would. Furthermore, the teachers who would be choosing to be armed on campus would not be uneducated in their practice. The bill poses to fund law enforcement training in counties choosing to take part in the program. Essentially, the teachers wouldn’t be ignorant of the weapon they hold, how to use it when necessary, and most importantly, how to store it safely.
Some may see this as a risk; any student could manage to take the gun from the teacher. Locking the gun in a safe wouldn’t be effective because in times of shootings, it can easily take time to take the gun out for use. Giving a teacher a handgun to keep on their person is a viable option because the teacher would have control over the weapon in times of extremity. Lots of students against arming teachers also say school will feel like a prison. However, police and security already walk around on campus armed. It really would be no different, except now teachers have the opportunity to defend themselves and their students when placed in an unfortunate life-
or-death situation. I can’t speak for all of the teachers and school staff who have risked and/or given their lives on behalf of their students in the face of mass shootings. However, I truly believe that if those teachers were willing to throw themselves in front of a bullet to save a student’s life, they’d be willing to shoot one as well. In such an event, an armed teacher would have an actual opportunity of combating the threat of a mass shooter. When police fail to enter the campus in a fast manner and teachers are left to their own means, teachers should have the choice of protecting themselves and the students they teach. Arming teachers would do exactly that.
There’s a precedent
Civilians carrying guns have often utilized their weapon to stop mass shootings before. In Texas, armed citizen Stephen Willeford used his assault-rifle to stop a mass shooter who shot and killed 26 individuals. Another armed UberEats employee shot and killed a man who opened fire on a crowd in Chicago. These stories don’t seem as common as mass shootings do in the United States but still demonstrate how arming people other than the police and military can work to an advantage and ultimately protect innocent lives. Teachers licensed with a conceal-carry permit should be able to carry in schools. The main goal of the proposed bill is not to place students in physical danger or make them feel like school resembles a prison. It’s meant to save lives. Why wait for officials to show up and detain a mass shooter while we helplessly lock the doors and sit in a corner when teachers with gun education and certification can actively protect their lives and the lives of their students?
COLUMN BY GISELLE VASQUEZ-SOTO
VOLUNTEERING THAT’S REQUIRED IS NOT VOLUNTEERING
“I met a homeless person at my one and only time at the local food pantry and it made me realize that my life is great and theirs isn’t.” Sound familiar? It must to college admissions officers. COLUMN BY With the rise of mandatory community MADISON FORBIS service hours in American high schools, community service is becoming an increasingly popular attribute of teenagers’ resumés. But it’s all being done in the wrong manner. While mandating a certain number of hours sounds good on paper, in reality, it becomes the archetypal school-board-pleasing dog and pony show. What is intended to be an “enriching” activity for impressionable 13-18 year olds becomes students pretending to prescribe meaning to something they were essentially forced to do. Every high schooler knows what that feels like.
If we want to get teens involved in the community, we need to let them seek out opportunities that interest them personally. There are so many ways to help other people; if we educate teenagers in all the areas of community service, they’re more likely to find something they enjoy and therefore continue to volunteer in their adult life. I mean, I once watched someone hurriedly complete a required service reflection in the middle of a food court while scarfing down a Doritos Locos Taco. All while talking about how much he hated the place where he had volunteered. Does that sound enriching? Does that seem like he’ll continue volunteering in adulthood? Somehow, I get the impression that he won’t. We can, and we must, make sure that high schoolers’ community service is something they’re personally interested in. Another way to make community service more effective than just a few forms is to talk to the teenagers themselves, and get their
perspective. It’s like when Chicago schools considered making college acceptances and/ or job offers a graduation requirement. Teenagers are still incredibly fluid, haven’t-figured-myself-out-yet people. Giving us more requirements and more walls blocking off potential life paths won’t help us. The only way to effectively change teens is to talk to us, and see what we think before passing legislation or school board bylaws that will impact our lives. If we play our cards right, mandated community service in high schools could help people get involved at an early age. It could make an entire generation that sees the benefits of giving back. That can genuinely find enrichment in donating their time and effort to selfless causes. And maybe, just maybe, it could create a generation that can write an original, thought-provoking community service essay. And that’s a future that admissions officers, along with the rest of us, would like to see.
Red & Black
EVERYBODY LOVES SIMON A semi-spoiler review of “Love, Simon”, the gay romance movie everyone needs
It all started with an anonymous post on the town’s website, that led to an email. “Love, Simon” tells the story of a closeted gay senior in high school who meets another closeted gay boy on the Internet and fall in love. Characters Ms. Albright, Simon’s drama teacher, and Mr. Worth, the vice principal , bring in most of the film’s comedic value, with most of their screen time making the audience laugh every time they are seen. Albright and Worth release a heavy tension created during the film’s climax as two classmates bully Simon another gay student Ethan (Clark Moore), during lunch. The movie has a bit of a slow start, and the plot slightly predictable, but “Love, Simon” is sweet, loving, feel good movie, that will up lift you leaving the theater. The film brings a new spin to the teen romance genre, adding mystery and comedy into the plot, as the protagonist Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), is blackmailed by his classmate Martin (Logan Miller), with emails shared between Simon and his online unidentified love named ‘Blue’, to do everything he can to get one of his best friends Abby (Katherine Langford) to fall in love with Martin. Once Simon has met ‘Blue’ online, he begins to speculate which of his classmates is the person on the other side of the screen and listens to trivial things boys say around him. The movie carries on a mystery with the audience following with Simon to guess who ‘Blue’ could be. Throughout the movie, Simon speculates who ‘Blue’ could be three times, but each time he discovers his predictions
were wrong. Once everyone knows Simon’s secret, he makes a public message for ‘Blue’ to meet at the top of the Ferris wheel, so he can finally know who ‘Blue’ actually is. As Simon is close to giving up, the identify of ‘Blue’ is revealed and the two ride to the top and share a passionate kiss, as a crowd below cheers for the new found lovers. “Love, Simon” is the one of the first major studio films about a gay romance and has showed the world the struggles a closeted person goes through when no one knows the truth and generated many people to be brave enough to come out to those in their lives. (Source: Huffington Post) The film gained massive popular support from many celebrities, months before its release date and gained nearly $11.8 million in its opening weekend. Stars Neil Patrick Harris, Kristen Bell, and Matt Bomer bought out entire movie theaters to allow people to see the movie for free. “…My husband David (@delicious) and I enjoyed @lovesimonmovie so much, we wanted to pay it forward…” Harris tweeted. “Love, Simon” will leave anyone with warm hearts and feeling good, as the story develops into a one-of-a kind movie based on an LGBTQ+ relationship.
STORY BY THEONTAE WALTON
GEORGE EZRA’S WORTH THE WAIT Best known for his song “Budapest”, singer George Ezra has made his return with his sophomore album. “Staying at Tamara’s” comes three years after the release of “Wanted on Voyage”. The album kicks off with upbeat tracks “Pretty Shining People” and “Don’t Matter Now”, before settling into the lazy beats of “All My Love”, then returning to his previous moody, heavy tones. Although perfect for dancing around a room to, it doesn’t seem to have the infinite replay-ability of “Wanted on Voyage”; this is probably owed to the fact that “Staying at Tamara’s” comes with more pop influences than its predecessor. The variety in songs is surprising for such a cohesive album; it seems each song could fit a completely different situation. “Pretty Shining People” is perfect for dancing around your bedroom, while “Hold My Girl” sounds like something you’d cry to at a wedding. The chorus of “Saviour” is reminiscent of “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. Song by song, the album slows down in beat and tone with each song, before rising to a final crescendo in “The Beautiful Dream”, an ephemeral love song. As much as I honestly would have liked a nearreplica of his first album, I can’t deny that this one is good in its own right, and is well worth a listen through.
STORY BY MADISON FORBIS
DC COMICS VS. MARVEL STUDIOS: WHICH IS BETTER? DC did it first- and better DC Comics are better than Marvel for multiple reasons. One of them being that DC came first, and with coming first it had many original characters that Marvel has almost copied in a sense. From Hawkeye to Quicksilver, the heroes from Marvel leave a bad taste in my mouth. Marvel has the worst villains ever. All the villains are easy to defeat and basic. No hero in Marvel has just one arch nemesis. Every movie it’s always something new. But with DC, Batman is automatically paired with Joker.
DC has better backstories that the characters get. The original story allows you to hold an attachment to these characters unlike what Marvel has shown. Marvel has the most basic and boring backstories ever. None of the backstories are as shocking or mind-blowing as a classic DC backstory. The only good thing about Marvel are the movies. But besides the movies, everything about Marvel is bad. The only thing that would make Marvel good would be if they bought DC.
STORY BY JEREMY MONGE
Marvel makes better movies Sorry to say, but Marvel is way better than DC. DC should be renaming its franchise “Justice League” because it seems like all the movies and shows are only about the Justice League heroes. Marvel, on the other hand, makes movies and TV shows about superheroes that aren’t as popular as the Avengers. Marvel has shows like “Inhumans”, “New Mutants”, and “Cloak and Dagger”. DC doesn’t even compare
to Marvel when it comes to the film adaptations. Every Marvel movie is always a smash hit. “Black Panther” alone broke box office records within the weekend it was released. Marvel has the better elite team. The avengers are way better than Justice League, simply because the heroes have better powers. Captain America could take out the entire Justice League within 5 minutes alone.
STORY BY GABBY MARTINEZ
BACK AND FORTH BOATHOUSE The crew team faces challenges in the process of choosing a permanent home for their boathouse For the past year, the Hillsborough crew team has been residing at a boathouse at Rivercrest Park. Prior to last year the team operated out of a boathouse further South along the Hillsborough River at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. The City of Tampa moved forward with renovations to the Julian B. Lane park, prompting the crew team to create a temporary boathouse at the Rivercrest Park. After construction is finished at Julian B. Lane, the club plans to return to the park. While it is known to the team that Rivercrest is only a temporary location, some members wish to remain there. The team has yet to see the new boathouse due to it being a closed construction site, but they have some details on new factors it will include. “The new one will have parking and have secure place for the boats,” junior captain Annberlee Hothem said. The Rivercrest boathouse has a few pods for storage, and a chain-link fence that surrounds the boats. While the new boathouse at Julian B. Lane may seem to be an upgrade from the old, and current ones, some would rather have the current boathouse due to convenience. The new boathouse would be almost five miles from school, while the current one is less than one mile. The deciding factor is ultimately crew’s board of directors. “The board of directors is made up of parent volunteers,” junior captain Luke Bincarousky said. “They wanted to have us stay at our current boathouse
but ultimately decided not to because the new boathouse is bigger and nicer.” Some rowers think that the decision for which boathouse will be theirs is still up in the air, but some think that there is no way that they won’t be at the new boathouse due to size and other upgrades. The new boathouse is dated to open to the public in June of this year, which would be the time crew would move in, if it is decided that they will be moving to that boathouse.
STORY BY LAUREN KOMAR
TOP Rowers lean their oars on the gate of their temporary boathouse as they prepare for practice. MIDDLE There are four storage pods used to store the supplies of the three teams using the boathouse. LEFT The boats used by the team are stored in a gated area. The boathouse the team is moving to will have better security for the boats. PHOTOS BY LAUREN KOMAR
FLAG FOOTBALL SCORES A NEW COACH The flag football team brings in a new season led by new coach Alex Perry. “This year  was my first-year coaching ever,” Perry said. Perry was first exposed to coaching when he was recruited to coach the girls’ basketball team. “It’s different coaching basketball and football,” Perry said. “Football is my sport, basketball not so much. But it all circles back to having a hard work ethic to reach the goals that you want to reach.
Role with basketball
Despite disclaiming basketball to “not be his sport”, Perry has helped the girls’ basketball team improve greatly, winning a total of 8 games last season, compared to only winning 2 games the previous year.
The girls have been very welcoming to Perry, accepting his new coaching style. “Hillsborough is a wonderful experience,” Perry said.
In previous seasons, the flag football team, lost majority of their games, and Perry plans to change that. “I have a lot of plays that I would love to see them do, once we get consistent effort from all the players,” Perry said. To follow the hopes of consistency, Perry brought a practice system he learned from one of his assistant coaches at his Alma Mater Delaware State, that the girls follow every practice. “I’m a trend-setter,” Perry joked. Before coming to Hillsborough, Perry played
football at Delaware State University, and graduated with a bachelors’ degree in Psychology in 2014. “I had planned to go to the NFL, but had a herniated disc in my lower back so I was done with football,” Perry said regarding the end of his football career.
So far, the girls’ flag football, team has lost all their games this season, but Perry is still confident in the team. “The girls continue to put in hard work and come back each week their mindset ready to win,” Perry said. “My hopes for the flag football team is to get a win under our belt.”
STORY BY THEONTAE WALTON
TOP Perry creates new plays and reviews them with the offensive players so that they remember them and play them out in their games. BOTTOM Perry demonstrates throwing techniques, and helps the team learn how to throw better. He also focuses on teaching the techniques more in depth for the quarterback. PHOTOS BY THEONTAE WALTON
Red & Black
NUMBER ONE RUNNER Junior Lycia Zavala currently holds the top position in the county for the 800-meter event in track and field. “37, 38, 39,” Coach Weiser bellows. Junior Lycia Zavala sprints the track in the first heat and meets the 40-second mark as she vehemently pumps her arms and flies to the end.
Before the season
Before the season began in November, Zavala ran over the summer with the team AU and since then, she has practiced every day for two hours at school. “It’s your life now, especially if you are starting to be on top because people are looking at you and coming for you and it is a lot of pressure,” Zavala said. “But that’s what comes with being really good.”
The first meets
Over the five meets of the season, she won first place three times in the 800-meter event. Zavala also runs the 400-meter and does the high jump. The upcoming regionals, districts, county and state meets will limit the number of runners for each race.
First in the county
“Right now, I am first in the district for the 800 and I’m really excited to go because last year I didn’t make it to states but this year I think I have a chance to make it,” she said. “I’m really excited to just show what I got.” Track Coach, Jean Wiser said they will continue working to decrease her time. “She will be ready if she gets her mind right,” Wiser said.
Before track TOP Zavala works on her distance running at practice. MIDDLE LEFT After running, Zavala takes a rest. MIDDLE RIGHT The track team runs together. MIDDLE BOTTOM The track runners sit and talk while taking a break at practice. BOTTOM Zavala helps her teammate with his hair. PHOTOS BY KATIE DELK
However, Zavala has not run her whole life. Before track, she competed in gymnastics for 13 years. Zavala tried out for track her freshman year by the encouragement of her gymnastics coach. She immediately found that the sport was natural for her. “I am pretty athletic, and I have strength and I am really dedicated to what I do, and I want to be really good at what I do,” she said. It was not till one of her first 800-meter runs that Zavala knew she wanted to remain on the team. “I was just exhausted and on the last stretch my coach was like ‘if you want it, you gotta finish’ and I heard that while I was running, and it really motivated me to finish,” she said. “I would always like hold myself back so that
clicked in my head that I can’t doubt myself and I have to push myself.”
Placing in meets
When she places in each meet, Zavala feels encouraged. “[The wins] motivate me and show that I do have potential and I’m not just doing this just to do it and something is coming out of it,” she said.
Not only does Zavala receive encouragement from her wins, but she supports her own teammates. “Lycia is a sister, everyone out here is family,” senior Michael Simmons said. “She is not only a hard worker, she is out here giving up, and she sees us giving up and she is really good at lifting everyone up.” Senior Janay Shuler teared up when she recognized that it is her last year running with Zavala. “Coming from Miami my junior year, I didn’t really know a lot of people, so Lycia was one of the first people I made a connection with and since then, we have been inseparable,” she said. “Lycia is my motivator, she is the person to talk you out of your wrong mind, she is the person that if you know you are in trouble, she will always be there and if you have a bad race and she has a great race, she won’t make you feel bad about yourself she’ll just make sure you know that there is always room for improvement.” As a returning runner, Wiser said the runners look up to Zavala. “She is a role model for the team,” Wiser said. “She is one of our returners from last year and she is experienced, so she knows what she is doing.”
In the future, Zavala wants to earn a scholarship for track and continue to run in college. Zavala said the possibility of a scholarship drives her to do well in school. She plans to stay in Florida and possibly attend USF or FAU unless she receives an offer out of state.
STORY BY KATIE DELK