How did the Fanatics get their start? Page 28-31
BEAST in the paint Zena Edosomwan â€™12 has dominated the paint this year. Page 16-17.
The Playbook Sections 6 Leadoff
—Varsity cross country coach Tim Sharpe’s many superstitions —Pop Culture Grid
10-17 Inside Sports —Rising boys’ basketball stars Derick Newton ’14 and Michael Sheng ’14 —Talented goalies Wade Clement ’12 and Wiley Webb ’12 split time playing in the net —A breakdown of center Zena Edosomwan’s ’12 post moves
Inside 10-17 Sports DANIEL KIM/CHRONICLE
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF THE SCGA
22-23 Capoeira —Golfer Bakari Bolden ’14 participates in capoeira, a style of fighting that originated in Brazil
24-27 Alumni —Russell Lakey ’00 and John Karavas ’00 have started a new high school recruiting website called Babafoo. —Alex Stepheson ’06 plays professionally in Europe
28-31 History of Fanatics
The History of the Fanatics
28-31 DANIEL KIM/CHRONICLE
big red staff Editor in Chief: David Gobel Managing Editors: Michael Aronson, Robbie Loeb, Luke Holthouse, Camille Shooshani Staff: Charlton Azuoma, Eli Haims, Chelsea Khakshouri, Daniel Kim, Judd Liebman, David Lim, Julius Pak, Lara Sokoloff, Saijan Sri-Kumar, Michael Sugerman, Chelsey Taylor-Vaughn, Victor Yoon, Elana Zeltser Adviser: Kathleen Neumeyer Cover photo by Robbie Loeb
2 | BIG RED Winter 2012
Big Red is a publication of the Harvard-Westlake Chronicle. Harvard-Westlake School 3700 Coldwater Canyon Studio City, CA 91604 Letters can be sent to email@example.com
EYES ON THE PRIZE:
Elliot Storey â€™12 stares down his opponent from Alemany at a wrestling meet on Jan. 9. Storey lost his match and the team lost the meet by a score of 60-15. DANIEL KIM/CHRONICLE
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CHASING IT DOWN:
Danielle Duhl â€™12 protects the ball during the game against the Chaminades Eagles. DANIEL KIM/CHRONICLE
4 | BIG RED Winter 2012
Shooting guard Francis Hyde ’13 attempts to block a layup by Loyola point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright ’14. ROBBIE LOEB/CHRONICLE
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CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR:
Goalie Kristen Lee â€™12 barely misses blocking a shot by an oppsing player in a game against Louisville. The team would triumph 19-4. DANIEL KIM/CHRONICLE
6 | BIG RED Winter 2012
Feeling lucky By David Gobel While some might dismiss superstitions as ridiculous or a waste of time, cross country Head Coach Tim Sharpe believes that his superstitions have had a noticeably positive effect on the team’s meet results. “It’s a process that says this meet is a big deal, but it’s not different from any other meet, and we do the same things that we would do,” Sharpe said. “Everyone on the team benefits whether it’s league finals or any other meet. That sameness is so essential that even though we’re in France with Cami [Chapus ’12] and Amy [Weissenbach ’12], I was able to bring out the lucky quarter,
Head cross country coach Tim Sharpe has three superstitions he follows before every meet.
the lucky watch, I had my hat and here we were half across the world, yet some things are still the same.” Sharpe’s lucky charms include his trademark cowboy hat, a stopwatch allegedly from the 1960 Olympics and a lucky quarter. While all three are used by the team for good luck before every cross country meet, the different objects have very different stories as to how they became superstitions. “The original intention was I wanted the kids to be able to see me and find me easily,” Sharpe said of his cowboy hat. “Plus, I like hats. They block out the sun. What we found out was the few times that I didn’t wear the hat, people didn’t run well. So I was like all right, I’m not going to mess this up, and the hat became a thing.” Sharpe bought his stopwatch on the internet. Before every match, Sharpe has the whole team all touch the lucky watch. “It was being auctioned off,” Sharpe said. “It was from the 1960 Olympics. Even if they’re not telling the truth, I didn’t really care, it
Pop Culture Chart
was cool. It was an old-fashioned mechanical watch, and I like to think that brings us some kind of luck.” While the hat and the watch are cross team traditions, the quarter was not initially related to the team. “[When I was younger,] I used to like to play with bows and arrows and stuff,” Sharpe said. “A friend and I were doing some target practice and he was stretching, and he slipped. The arrow flew across and hit me in the leg. Of course, I wailed in pain and thought I was impaled, but it turns out that I just got lucky. It had hit the quarter almost square. From that day forward I was like, that’s my lucky quarter.” All three traditions are used at every single cross-country meet, and with the recent CIF and state titles the girls and boys have won perhaps the superstitions work after all.
Tim Tebow is...
Derick Newton ’14 Basketball
Rocking back and forth
Ken Neisser, History
Alyse Gellis ’13 Soccer
Blaise Eitner, Science
J.J. Jones ’12 Football, Track and Field
Kevin Weis, Math
Jack Temko ’14 Football, Soccer, Lacrosse
Wendy Van Norden, Science
“The Fanatics are like the Loch Ness monster in some ways. Nessie is down there swimming in Loch Ness, she pops up for the Loyola game and people are like, ‘woah, there’s a monster,’ and between games, *whoosh*, she nathanson ’s swoops down and who knows what she’s eating and doing down there.”
—Audrius Barzdukas Head of Athletics
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Highlights, best players and key moments of the Wolverines’ winter athletic season.
Which winter team do you expect to go farthest in CIF this season?
After winning CIF last year, this year’s girls’ water polo squad knows what it takes to make a deep run. Bella Gonzalez ’12 and Morgan Hallock ’13 have filled the shoes of Ashley Grossman ’11 and Camille Hooks ’11, the two biggest factors in last year’s CIF Championship. Eventually, the tight one goal games will start going in the Wolverines’ favor when the Wolverines go to playoffs.
I would say girls’ soccer. The Wolverines have only had two losses the entire season and have been blowing out teams at home. It’s high-octane offense that scored seven goals in a game against Louisville recently and has the capability to carry the team to another deep run into CIF this season. LUKE HOLTHOUSE/CHRONICLE
FREE SHOT: Senior co-captain Bella Gonzales ’12 attempts a penatly shot in the girls’ water polo team’s 16-7 victory over Notre Dame. The girls seeks to defend last year’s CIF title under new head coach Brian Flacks ’06.
How would you rate fan attendance so far this school year?
Barzdukas: The drum-line brought a new level of poly-
rhythmic enthusiasm and complex time signature cheering to football games. The Fanatics have been unusually innovative with their cheers—double entendre, shades of meaning, and clever innuendo have made this as interesting a cheering year as ever. I’d say that fan support is up in terms of energy and creativity this year.
Girls’ soccer is loaded with offensive weapons such as Danielle Duhl ‘12, Catherina Gores ‘15 and Hannah Lichtenstein ‘13, to name a few. The team’s defense has so far been impeccable with goalie Reba Magier ‘12 between the sticks, so I fully expect the squad to continue their stellar play as the season progresses. I believe the girls are due for a deep postseason run after their early second round exit last season.
Taylor-Vaughn: Though the boys’ basketball team’s
pre-season was rocky, the team has definitely come together and put teamwork before personal stats. With Josh Hearlihy ’12 coming back from his injury, the team will be at full potential in upcoming games.
Holthouse: I think there’s been a solid showing of fans
this season. The girls’ soccer team has been drawing some solid crowds, both basketball teams had some fans at their respective home openers, and some Fanatics even made the trek down to Los Angeles Valley College to support the girls’ water polo team on Senior Day. The Head Fanatics have done a good job of communicating with the student body through Facebook to keep fans posted on when games are and how they finish.
Overall, I’m impressed with fan attendance, and I think this year’s Head Fanatics have done a commendable job with notifying students about weekday games that may not have a large crowd otherwise. I still think though that teams like girls’ water polo and girls’ soccer deserve to have more fans at their games because of how dominant they have been so far this season.
Gobel: For football, boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball and
other sports fan attendance has been really strong and the Fanatics have done a good job at avoiding any conflict with the administration like we have seen in year’s past. They have also been really effective at getting people to attend games.
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Michael Aronson Big Red managing editor, varsity golfer
Which winter athlete do you think will be the MVP of the season?
It’s between girls’ soccer’s Catherina Gores ’15 and boys’ basketball’s Derick Newton ’14. Gores has been on a scoring tear, netting multiple hat tricks early in the season. With her innate ability to find the back of the net, she will be a key factor if her team is to go deep into the CIF playoffs. After sitting out his entire freshman season with a shoulder injury, Newton has been well worth the wait. Although having to share the spotlight with veterans Zena Edosomwan ’12 and Josh Hearlihy ’12, the 6-foot-5 forward is the team’s leading scorer early on, averaging about 20 points per contest. He can space the floor well, goes aggressively to the hoop and has all the tools necessary to be the best player on a very talented team this season.
In Derick Newton’s ’14 first season on the varsity squad, he has been beyond dominant. He leads the team in scoring and his size plays strongly to his advantage. The phenom gained 25 pounds since last year and is a huge force to be reckoned with. I think that Newton along with Zena Edosomwan ’12 are the best big men in the Mission League right now which gives the Wolverines a solid chance at beating Loyola and winning the Mission Leauge. Newton not only is a monster in the lane, but he can sink the outside jumper which makes it very hard for defenders to stop him.
Gobel: I believe that Derick Newton ’14 will be the MVP
of the winter season. After sitting out last year due to a shoulder injury, he has come back in a big way this season averaging almost 20 points and 10 rebounds on the season. If the boys’ basketball team wants to continue the success they have had in previous years, Newton and center Zena Edosomwan ’12 will need to keep dominating the front wwcourt.
BALL HANDLER: Derick Newton ’14 dribbles past a Notre Dame defender in the team’s 22-point victory over the Knights. Newton has averaged just under 20 points and 10 rebounds a game in his first season on the varsity team.
What has been the biggest moment of this year in Wolverine athletics?
Taylor-Vaughn: David Gobel Big Red Editor in Chief
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The biggest moment of this school year so far has got to be when Zena Edosomwan ’12 hit the game-winning shot against Crespi. The atmosphere in the gym was really intense, especially after coming back from being down by so much at halftime. The shot Edosomwan hit was the icing on the cake of a great Mission League victory for the team.
The most exciting moment as a Wolverine fan this year for me was when I saw Jason Churchill of ESPN.com list Lucas Giolito ’12 as the number one baseball prospect in the world during this year’s upcoming baseball draft. The thought that our very own right-handed starting pitcher could have his name read in the same sentence as former first overall picks like Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper has really got me excited for the spring season.
PHOTOS BY NATHANSON’S
Let it not be forgotten that every Wolverine team won their homecoming game. I can’t remember seeing a clean sweep across the board on Homecoming in my fiveyear tenure at this school. Girls’ volleyball beat Lakewood 3-1, girls’ field hockey topped Bonita 4-0, and the football team won the nightcap against El Camino Real 39-31.
BIG RED Winter 2012 | 9
Inside: Boys’ Basketball
Climbing up the ladder Forward Derick Newton ’14 and point guard Mike Sheng ’14 trained extensively this past offseason to match up against older players in their first full season together on the boys’ basketball team. By Michael Aronson
SHENG HIGH: Guard Mike Sheng ’14 attempts a layup around Loyola’s Julian Harrell and Justin Childress in the boys’ 64-54 loss on Jan. 13. Sheng had 11 points in the game.
10 | BIG RED Winter 2012
Sophomore talents Mike Sheng ’14 and Derick Newton ’14 have assumed leadership roles on the boys’ basketball squad, leading the team in scoring and assists with Newton scoring just under 20 points and Sheng with five assists per contest. Newton and Sheng met in eighth grade on the Cal Supreme club team as they started to make a name for themselves. Both came to Harvard-Westlake in ninth grade and were promoted to varsity upon arrival, but the 6-foot-5 Newton had to watch his friend and former club teammate from the bench as he rehabbed a season-ending shoulder injury. The two took the court for the first time together as Wolverines this season. “Last year for me was really disappointing,” Newton said. “I was depressed and I even cried when I heard I would be out.” The 215-pound forward gained 25 pounds of muscle to gear up for the Mission League’s competition and stand up to players who are much older than he is. “When I play, I don’t think about how old I am. I look at this year like it’s my last year of playing and I’m going to go as hard as I can,” Newton said. Both Sheng’s and Newton’s roles on the team were amplified this season as last year’s starting point guard Jordan Butler ’11 left for college and this year’s starting small forward and Utah commit Josh Hearlihy ’12 lost much of his senior season due to a knee injury. With the extra minutes, the two were confident in their ability to put up numbers like Butler and Hearlihy had in recent years, and Newton put up a game-high 30 points against Dominguez in December, while Sheng had 10 assists in the team’s win over Hawthorne and seven assists in victories over Mira Costa and Notre Dame. “Right now I’m more of a passive player,” the 5-foot-9 Sheng said. “Derick’s game and my game complement each other because I am in charge of getting the ball into other people’s hands and he is more of a scorer.” Hilliard is impressed with the young men’s performances thus far, but expects more out of them going forward, namely in the team’s matchups against rival Loyola on Jan. 13 and Feb. 3. “They seem to have a pretty good understanding of each other,” he said. “Derick’s role has been magnified. He carries a lot of responsibility for scoring points and rebounding, and Mike has steadily improved, and must continue to.” In this season’s series with the Loyola Cubs, both Newton and Sheng had more to play for, they said.
Inside: Boys’ Basketball
DYNAMIC DUO: Mike Sheng ’14, right, and Derick Newton ’14, left, look to their coach for guidance in the boys’ game against Notre Dame Jan. 6. Newton and Sheng had 15 and six points respectively in the 70-48 win. The two share a common rivalry with Loyola’s sophomore starting point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright,the 15th best point guard in the nation in the class of 2014, according to ESPN’s Top 25 recruiting list for high school basketball. Last year, Jackson-Cartwright outscored Sheng in both of the season’s matchups, and both Sheng and Newton believed they needed to outplay the phenom for the team to have a chance at beating the fourth best team in the state, according to Maxpreps.com. In the first of the two matchups between them on Jan. 13, Newton and Sheng helped the team to an early lead and outscored Jackson-Cartwright after two periods. By the end of the game, Newton and Sheng had 11 points and Cartwright had eight, but the Wolverines still fell to the Cubs 64-54. Going into the rematch between the Mission League powerhouses, both Newton and Sheng said that outscoring Jackson-Cartwright by three points was not good enough to outplay the sophomore phenom and beat the rival cubs. Beyond outplaying Jackson-Cartwright, both Newton and Sheng have the same common goal for their team. “We want to win a CIF and State Championship,” Sheng said. “I think we have the power to do it,” Newton added.
DYNAMIC BIG MAN: Forward Derick Newton ’14 dribbles around Loyola sophomore Mtume Armour in the Loyola game. Like Sheng, Newton had 11 points in the contest.
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Inside: Girls’ Basketball
of her game
Senior Leslie Schuman ’12 quickly adapted to her new role as point guard on the girls’ varsity basketball team. By David Gobel
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Co-captain of this year’s girls’ varsity basketball team Leslie Schuman ’12 doubles as the squad’s starting point guard and leading rebounder. Schuman, who stands at 5-feet 8-inches, made the transition from shooting guard to point guard this year and has given defenders trying to stop her problems all season. “I’m tall for a point guard, especially for high school, so I tend to create mismatches on offense,” Schuman said. “I normally end up guarded by either a short guard who I’m stronger than or a big forward who I’m faster than, so that helps me in terms of getting better shots.” In addition to being a matchup nightmare for opposing teams, Schuman has switched to the new role because of her prior experience playing on the team. Schuman has been on the varsity team all four years of her high school career and is one of the few players on the squad who has had any varsity experience at all. “We were stacked with seniors last year who had basically grown up with each other and in this program, so along with a sort of built-in camaraderie, everyone knew their roles well going into season,” Schuman said. After eight seniors left from last year’s team, Schuman has stepped up to take the main leadership role on the team. “The team dynamic has definitely changed,” Schuman said.
“We lost a lot of scoring from last year but more notably the mental dynamic of the team has changed. This year, I think it took some time for us to figure [that] out, so that was a transition. I wouldn’t say the transition for me into such a leading role was immediate either. I’ve played behind so many great players in my time here that I was used to following the lead of my older teammates, so taking the lead has definitely been different.” Schuman’s transformation into the point guard who drives to the basket and helps create opportunities for her team has been spurred on by varsity head coach Melissa Hearlihy. “[Hearlihy] has helped me grow up so much in the time that I’ve known her,” Schuman said. “When I first met her, I was a young shooter and I didn’t really drive very much, but she has taught me so much about the game and how to make reads. I have a higher basketball IQ because of her. She turned me into a flashier type of player, and she has helped me grow so much playing for her these past four years.” While Schuman has improved significantly during her time as a Wolverine, she said that there are still aspects of her game she would like to work on. Although she is strong at getting to the basket and rebounding, Schuman believes that her passing and dribbling can be improved for the future. Schuman will be playing basketball at Emory University next year.
Sophia Gonzalez ’15 Sophia Gonzalez ’15 has joined her older sister and co-captain Bella Gonzalez ’12 on the girls’ varsity water polo squad. In her freshman season, Gonzales joins a team set to defend their CIF championship winning season. By Luke Holthouse
Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A
What has been the most challenging moment for you this season as the only freshman starting on the team? It was probably against Los Osos because we were down a lot and I knew that people expected a lot out of me, so I knew I had a lot of expectations. What’s been the biggest difference between varsity water polo from water polo at the middle school level? Varsity is definitely a lot more committed than middle school. In middle school, we had practice where you would just show up if you can. But for high school, we have practice and you show up and if you don’t, then there are consequences. How does the game flow differently at the varsity level compared to the middle school level? Game flow is a lot faster. People have a lot more control and everything’s not as jumbled. It’s much more precise. What’s the best and worst part of playing with your sister? The best part would be knowing that she’s always there to support me. She’s really helping me get better. The worst would be, I mean, we do have occasional little snippets at each other. Little like ‘you did this wrong,’ ‘no you did this wrong! Be quiet, I’m older!’ But it’s fun! Do some of the older girls pick on you a little bit because you’re the youngest starter on the team? Do you always have to clean up the equipment after practice? It’s evenly spread out, but I normally get the goggles after the games. What’s your personal goal for the year? My personal goal for this year is to maybe become a better shooter, become more of a part of the offense and keep learning.
Sophia Gonzalez ’15 makes a pass during the varsity girls’ water polo team’s first league game against Notre Dame on Jan 5. The Wolverines won 18-7.
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Inside: Boys’ Soccer
Between the sticks By Charlton Azuoma Much of the boys’ soccer team’s success can be attributed to their two pillars on the backline—goalkeepers Wade Clement ’12 and Wiley Webb ’12. The two combined for eight shutouts through 20 games and held opponents to fewer goals than the Wolverines have scored. “It is big boost for a team to have two outstanding goalies in the back to control things,” Head Coach Freddy Arroyo said. A varsity member of the soccer squad since the ninth grade, Webb brings valued experience to the team, Arroyo said. “Wiley has been with our varsity team since his freshman year,” Arroyo said. “This along with year round training has kept his skills sharp.” Webb is a bit longer than Clement, which helps him to reach more balls. “I’m pretty good at shot stopping mainly –that’s always been my favorite part of the position and what I’m best at,” Wiley said. “Wiley has great reaction reflexes, and makes great saves when needed,” Arroyo said. Clement, on the other
14 | BIG RED Winter 2012
Wiley Webb ’12, left, and Wade Clement ’12, right, are sharing goal time on the boys’ soccer team this season. They have eight shutouts under their belt thus far.
hand, is more a vocal leader. Although he’s also very skilled, his clutch saves and command of the back line is vital for the team’s success. “Wade’s presence in the 18-yard box is what makes him so good. He commands his box, and comes up with big saves at key moments in the game. This gives our team confidence,” Arroyo said. “I bring a lot of vocal qualities to the game. I really like organizing so that I don’t really have to do any shotstopping. It’s probably one of my skills—being lazy,” Clement joked. Since there can only be one starter, the two have to compete for playing time based on who played better in practices leading up to games. Although they’re never at a loss for motivation to improve, they don’t let it interfere with their friendship. “It’s not really about going against him but more what I can learn from him and his technique He’s a really strong goalie. It’s a lot more fun than I would have playing by myself,” Clement said. “Most of the motivation is internal since Wade and I are really good friends and are pretty diplomatic about the whole sharing time thing,” Webb said.
A Day in the Life: Russell Wolfe ’12
Wolfe, a four-year member and co-captain of the varsity wrestling team, practices with both his club team and the school team on the same day.
STAREDOWN: Russell Wolfe ’12 prepares to grapple with an opponent during a meet against Chaminade Jan. 11. DANIEL KIM/CHRONICLE
By Charlton Azouma Up, down, up, down. It is 12:30 a.m. and four-year varsity wrestler Russell Wolfe ’12 is completing his nightly sets of pushups and pull-ups after doing his homework. In the morning, he will wake up and do more sets and then shower to get ready for eight hours of school. After school, he heads straight to Hamilton Gym for wrestling practice, and then drives to practice with his club team, the Junkyard Dogs. Exhausted from his two practices he gets ready to do it all over again the next day. “In practice we work really hard,” Wolfe said. “We’ll wrestle a lot in practice and that’s a really good workout.” This has been his regular daily routine since seventh grade, he said. After listening to middle school wrestling coach Lew Roberts’ pitch for kids to join the wrestling team, he decided he would try out. Wolfe says that he immediately grew to love the sport and decided that he would continue playing in the future. He has been a member of the varsity team since ninth grade. “I really enjoy wrestling because it is so
rewarding,” Wolfe said. “There is nothing better than the feeling of winning a match, because it’s all yours. If you lose, it’s on you but if you win, it’s all the better.” At school practices, he wrestles against teammates in his weight class, either 145 or 152, to work on technique while getting a good workout. The team also does conditioning during every practice by running sprints and doing pushups. “The workouts are brutal,” Wolfe said. “Our coach [Gary Bairos] pushes us until we think we can’t do more, and then we do more.” The Junkyard Dogs consist of mainly wrestlers from school with a few wrestlers from outside of school. They practice three times a week throughout the entire year but practice five times a week in the winter during wrestling season. During the offseason, Wolfe runs the Santa Monica stairs and lifts weights to stay fit. Wolfe has said that he does not want to continue wrestling in college because of the stress that it would have on his life in school. “Wrestling is a really hard sport physically and mentally and just being able to do it makes you tough, strong, and feel good about yourself,” Wolfe said.
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Break Down: Post Moves
In the key with Zena Edosomwan ’12
2 DANIEL KIM/CHRONICLE
“I want to get low position on him. I keep one hand up as a target hand. I’m thinking I want to make a quick move because they’re in a zone and I’ll get double teamed.”
16 | BIG RED Winter 2012
“I don’t really have good cont make a quick move to the mid need to get a quick pivot to th
Zena Edosomwan ’12, who averages a double-double per game, leads the boys’ basketball team as starting center. Edosomwan commands his post moves , depending on the situation and defender, to finish the play and get points up. The 6-foot-8 220 pound captain breaks down each step of his post game.
3 DANIEL KIM/CHRONICLE
trol over the ball but I want to ddle. The help is right there. I he middle and then a jump shot.”
“A dunk is more than just two points. It’s a momentum builder and it gets the crowd into the game. I made a quick move here in the post but all these guys are collapsing.”
BIG RED Winter 2012 | 17
3 r ’1 chor cing S d en mon the F Ray n i : CA out a b ERI AM ée for . M p ps TEA s his é pionshi e s m i ha ra ld C Wor
By Luke Holthouse Jordan and Austria are just two of the countries Raymond Schorr ‘13 has traveled to with United States National Fencing Team. Last March, Schorr flew about 7,500 miles to Amman, Jordan, to compete in the Fencing World Championship. Schorr represented the United States in the épée fencing style. Though he doesn’t speak much Arabic, Jordan’s national language, Schorr felt comfortable in Jordan, finishing 19th of the 91 fencers invited to the tournament. “It was actually really cool,” Schorr said of Jordan. “The people there are all really friendly.” Schorr has been to three European countries for tournaments. He has competed in Sweden, France and
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En Garde in Amman Raymond Schorr ‘13 flew halfway around the world last March to compete in the Fencing World Championships in Amman, Jordan.
Austria. In Austria, at a World Cup event in October 2010, Schorr finished second overall while fencing in the under 20 age group. Schorr was only 16 at the time, yet still managed to win a silver medal fencing against older competition. “You don’t really believe it happens,” Schorr said. “It’s a really good feeling that you get something out of it.” Schorr also finished in second place at a major national competition last summer in Dallas. He finished second overall for fencers in the under 17 age group at the Junior Olympics. While Schorr said he was proud of what he has achieved so far, he wishes he could win a tournament after getting close at two different events. Part of Schorr’s motivation is to win a championship fpr his coach Tigran Shagrian, a four-time Russian National
Champion. Schorr has developed a close bond with him after two years of training with him. “I really want to win a tournament,” he said. “Not only for me but for my coach. I owe everything I have to my coach. If you win a tournament, your coach also gets a medal. I really want to get that for him as well as winning the tournament for myself.” Schorr said that international competition will be much tougher for him now that he has turned 17 and must fence in the tougher under 20 age bracket. While he does not see a trip to the Olympics in his future, Schorr said that he is talking to college coaches about possibly fencing after high school. “I’ve been talking to coaches and I’m looking at a couple of schools, but I don’t know how serious I want to be in college yet,” Schorr said.
At the helm
Scot Ruggles, the mastermind behind last season’s hurry-up offense, replaces Vic Eumont as the head coach of the football program following Eumont’s retirement.
By Luke Holthouse It only took one year for Scot Ruggles to impress the Athletic Department with his fast-paced, hurryup offense. Ruggles was promoted from the offensive coordinator to head coach of the football program on Jan. 13 after only one season on the Wolverine coaching staff, ushering in a new era after the retirement of Vic Eumont in December. “I’m extremely excited and honored,” Ruggles said. “I can’t wait to get going.” Ruggles, who instituted the hurry-up offense style into the football program last year, guided the Wolverines’ offense to average of 31.8 points a game, more than a 10-point increase from the 21.3 points the 2010 football team scored a game. The hurryup style, popularized by the University of Oregon, involves the offense setting up for a play without organizing in a huddle, which prevents defenses from organizing themselves. Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas said that Ruggles was able to teach the offense a complex strategy in just one season and that players responded well to his coaching style. “I believe that Coach Ruggles demonstrated this year his ability to connect with his players and inspire them to be thinking football players,” he said. “And that’s whats exciting about our program going forward. I believe that our teams will be prepared physically, emotionally and mentally for every game they play.” Despite the improvement on offense, the Wolverines continued to struggle overall in the Mission League. Since joining it in 2010, the Wolverines have gone 1-9 in league, missing playoffs both years. Barzdukas is confident that Ruggles will be able to motivate and mentally prepare the team to compete at a higher level in the Mission League. “Expectations are high,” he said. “We believe in our kids, we believe in our senior leadership, and if we play to our potential, I think Harvard-Westlake football will make a statement next year.” Although he worked exclusively with the offense last season, players are confident that Ruggles will be able to work well with the defense this year, as well. Correy King ’13, who worked with Ruggles as a running back last season and also played defensive back, said that Ruggles already has a plan on how to run the defense. King said the team will defend in a “3-3-5 Stack” formation. The formation puts five defensive backs on the field rather than the usual four and allows smaller teams to counteract their lack of size with speed. “Like the offense, it’s going to be really aggressive, smash-mouth defense,” King said.
BIG RED Winter 2012 | 19
GUNMAN: Ben Greif â€™12, participates in markmanship and sharpshooting training as part of his regimen with the pre-military group First City Rifle Corps.
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Straight shot By Luke Holthouse Ben Greif ’12 had never participated in a sharp shooting competition before he entered one last month with the First City Rifle Corps. In front of a group of veterans and fellow marksmen, Greif was a perfect 40 for 40 on the shooting range, winning the shooting competition. “We had a marksmanship field training exercise,” Greif said. “We set up a small range in Rosemont and basically ran through how the army does their qualifications test, and I qualified as an expert marksmen.” The pre-military training group is run by a group of veterans and current military members at the Van Nuys National Guard armory. The group is funded partially by the National Guard as well as the Learning for Life foundation, a subsidiary
of the Boy Scouts of America. The FCRC’s website says its mission is to “produce a competent small-unit leader who is confident that he can lead and overcome all obstacles to accomplish a mission.” Greif said he has been interested in the military for as long as he can remember. He was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point and plans to pursue a career in the military. Sharpshooting is just one of the many things Greif does with the First City Rifle Corps. The group uses weekly training meetings as well as monthly training exercises to prepare members for careers in the army. “It’s not something that I do often,” Greif said of sharpshooting. “It’s just part of the pre-military training program. We don’t do marksmanship too often, but we’re starting to do it more often now that we have a [range] close by that we know we can go to.” PRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF HARIM RIVERA
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THE ART OF THE FIGHT: Bakari Bolden â€™14 trains with his father, crouching, in capoeira, a mixture of martial arts, dance and art that originated from slaves in Brazil.
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By Sarah Novicoff A 9-year-old boy stares in awe as a troupe of capoeiristas kick, duck and dance around his elementary school classroom. They show him some moves and soon the boy is mirroring them almost perfectly. He joins an after-school program, and comes to love capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts. A year and a half later he enrolls in a capoeira academy and begins his real training. It has been approximately seven years since that first day when he saw capoeira and now, Bakari Bolden ’14 is an experienced capoeirista himself, practicing three times a week. “I felt so moved and I was just taken away watching this martial arts disguised as a dance,” Bolden said. “The energy when you are in that circle and everyone is clapping and singing, you feel so much adrenaline and feel so empowered. You have the energy to move really fast and do all these movements like flips and kicks, and it just empowers you.” Capoeira, meaning low-standing grass in Tupi and pronounced “cap-ooey-ra,” originated with slaves brought to Brazil from Africa in the 1500s. Once in Brazil, various African cultures intermingled and created a new and unique, single art form, capoeira. Getting a cord, the equivalent of a black belt in karate, can take almost 30 years, but that’s not what it’s about, Bolden said. Bolden trains at the Capoeira Brasil studio in North Hollywood twice a week. In addition, he travels to their Culver City headquarters and participates in a Circle Day. On Circle Days, around 50 people gather in a circle and train in capoeira together, Bolden said. “A lot of people refer to [capoeira] as a dialogue,” Bolden said. “When somebody does a kick, it’s kind of like a hello. And another person [ducks], and its like saying hello back. It’s a fluid dialogue as if you were having a conversation with another person.” REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GOLF ASSOCIATION
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SHOW AND TELL: Russell Lakey ’00, left, navigates the Babafoo website. John Karavas ’00, right explains the web-
site, designed to aid the high school recruiting process, to a group of students.
Alumni launch sports recruiting site Former Wolverine athletes and classmates Russell Lakey ’00 and John Karavas ’00 started the website Babafoo, to help high school athletes in the college recruiting process. By David Lim In his senior year, Russell Lakey ’00 was the standout player on his basketball team, scoring as many as seven threepointers in a game. Head Coach Greg Hilliard describes the point-guard as an aggressive player who would “risk life and limb to take it at the big shot-blocking centers and come away with points.” “He was one of the most competitive players I’ve ever coached,” Hilliard said. Lakey started getting calls from Division I schools across the country including Georgetown, Vanderbilt and Boston College but held off committing until the end of his senior year. Even with an excellent league-winning senior season overall, this decision almost cost him his college career. “Vanderbilt recruited me to start off my senior year but I played like one bad game in front of them and they just cooled off me,” Lakey recalled. After his sub-par performance in front of college scouts, Lakey’s luck in the recruiting process turned with a single game. “We had a game against Crespi and I played amazing,” Lakey said. “Luckily this one game was on TV. Somehow they got Fox Sports West. [Vanderbilt] saw me and realized they wanted me to play for them again and recruited me again. That’s the only reason I really got a scholarship offer to Vanderbilt, this one game they happened to see.” Basketball teammate and baseball player John Karavas ’00 was not the Division I recruit that Lakey was but still a
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contributor to both teams, who Hilliard describes as “a very good outside shooter” and “a bulldog on defense.” Karavas wanted to continue playing at the Division III level in college. “I actually wanted to play both basketball and baseball when I went to Claremont McKenna College,” Karavas said. “I was talking to the basketball and baseball coach, but when I went there but I actually had to reach out to them and that’s how a lot of small schools work because they don’t have the resources to find athletes.” Remembering their own recruiting experiences, the two former teammates started Babafoo, which Karavas describes as “LinkedIn for high school sports.” Users create free profiles where they can show off their athletic record with videos, pictures, statistics and articles in addition to personal status updates from Facebook and Twitter. “A site like this would have been great for me. I would have been able to contact a coach and show them video and stats, “ Karavas said. ‘“Especially in my senior year when I started to progress, it was really hard for people to know that you played and had just a little blurb in the LA Times and that’s about it,” Lakey added. “Nowadays with the Internet and social media you should be able get stats for any game and information across to lots of people. That’s how one thing our site can really help a lot of people with.” The site also contains special features to help coaches to keep up to date with players they’re interested in. If a coach “follows” a player they’re interested in, the player’s game schedule will immediately be visible to the coach, Lakey said.
Alumni “You know if they have a couple players they’re interested in playing at the same time, so it makes it convenient for college coaches with their hectic schedule looking out for players. “If heavily recruiting a player, [coaches] call once a week just to catch up, but when you have a site like ours, they can go on and they can see all of your status updates. They can see that you twisted your ankle at practice. They can see every game, your stats for the previous game... and they’re still going to be able to keep up to date. It’s a great tool for them,” Lakey said. Karvas said that the key to Babafoo’s strategy is the integration of information about a player from multiple sources into one profile. He said that coaches have to go to multiple sites like Facebook, Twitter or rivals.com to obtain recruiting information. “We want to be that one site where we bring everything together.” Although the site focuses on high-school athletes in the recruiting process “whether you’re a D1 recruit already committed to a school or you’re a team manager, or the guy at the end of the bench,” as Karavas put it, both founders emphasized that Babafoo hopes to create a broader online community high for fans and players, alike. “We really want anyone involved with high school sports to get on our site and check out players that go to their school or they play against in their league,” Karavas said. “Our site is more than just recruiting. It’s more of a social networking site with a lot of derivatives of recruiting.” “You can interact with your teammates, interact with fans, you can interact with family members,” Karavas said. Lakey sees a place for Babafoo even with larger well-established social networks with millions of users for the high school sports
crowd. “It’s very individual while Twitter is dominated by celebrities and actors and actresses, too many people,” he said. “Here these kids have a voice and they’re doing something and they can express themselves in the high school sports world and connect with high school athletes.” Babafoo also allows users to sign up as “fans” or “parents” in addition to as “athletes” or “coaches.” Since its launch in mid-October, the site has attracted around 800 athlete accounts with another 200 falling into the other three user categories. Although there are athletes as young as 13 allowed on the site, the majority of them are sophomores and juniors just entering the recruiting process. Currently, the site focuses on the three sports from which the name Babafoo comes from: baseball, basketball and football. Babafoo also offers accounts for softball players and plans to expand to cover all high school sports in the future with four full time web developers working on the site since January of 2011. Babafoo’s entry into recruiting comes at a time when college athletic scholarships are more important with increasing tuition, and shift for the whole high school sports recruiting field to the internet, Lakey said. But Lakey doubts that Babafoo and other online recruiting websites will replace the traditional recruiting process that he and Karavas went through. “One thing to realize is that there’s still part of the traditional old school recruiting that will never go away,” Lakey said. “No coach is ever going to find a D1 player online and give a scholarship there. They’re going to use [the Internet] as a tool to find out about the player, to keep up to date and then they’re going to meet with kid and watch the kid play. I think part of it will never go away.”
FRONT PAGE NEWS: Former varsity basketball players Russell Lakey ’00 and John Karavas ’00 founded a social networking site for high school sports recruits.
Alumnus creates recruiting film By Michael Aronson In association with his own high school recruiting website calihighsports. com, Jack Davis ’10 is in the process of creating “The Journey,” a documentary of the recruiting process for three high profile high athletes: the Wolverines’ Zena Edosamwan ’12, Oaks Christian’s Jordan Payton and Mater Dei’s Xavier Johnson. The 20-year-old Duke student has had a passion for movie making since he was 14. He took time off from school to work on his website and other recruiting related projects, but he has spent most of his time creating the documentary. “I started to see this new, crazy culture developing around recruiting with Twitter and Facebook and people starting to bombard these kids,” Davis said. “I really thought it would be interesting to document three kids going through that and seeing how the recruiting process in this day and age affects kids and their families.” Davis has a friend helping with the narration in the film and one of his former English teachers editing it. He plans on releasing the 90-minute documentary in May after the three athletes have committed to play in college. “I didn’t realize the depth of the story until I started filming,” Davis said. “My goal is to make the single best product I can and do right by these kids so people can understand their stories.”
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Rebounding overseas By David Gobel After not being able to make get on an NBA squad once he graduated from college, Alex Stepheson ’06 is now continuing his basketball career playing for Greek team Panionios. “Europe is giving me a great opportunity to play against great competition as well as improve on my basketball skills,” said Stepheson. “Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to play professional basketball, so it’s nice to be able to travel the world and make a living doing something you love to do.” As a senior, Stepheson averaged 20.4 points and 17.8. He broke the Wolverine record for career rebounds in just three seasons, and was named a 4th-team Parade All American. While he committed to play basketball at University of North Carolina, Stepheson transferred to USC after two years for family-related reasons. In his senior year at USC Stepheson average 9.8 points and 9.2 rebounds a game and the team made the NCAA tournament at the end of the year. Stepheson was not able to break into the NBA coming out of college, but he did receive offers from multiple European teams. Eventually, he settled on Panionios. “I think Panionios was the best situation for me,” Stepheson said. “Panionios is located in Athens which is a beautiful city, the coaches and other players were all great people, and the living situation was great, so I went for it. Things seem to be working out pretty well. It is a team with a winning tradition that I am proud to be apart of.” At Panionios, Stepheson is leading his team in points, rebounds and blocks. He is currently averaging 12.2 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and around a block per game. In the Greek HEBA A1 League, the league that Panionios competes in, teams play 23 games at a pace of around one per week. The rules of European basketball are very similar to the rules of college basketball, and vary from the ones found in the NBA. Some differences between European leagues and the NBA include that the games are shorter in European leagues
Though former Wolverine standout Alex Stepheson ’06 couldn’t crack an NBA roster, he is now the leading player on a team in Greece.
and the three-point line is closer to the basket. So far Stepheson has really enjoyed the atmosphere of European basketball, he said. “The intensity of the fans is amazing out here,” said Stepheson. “During the game the fans are yelling and jumping the whole time, the stadium is always packed. They take a lot of pride in the teams they support. If you like playing in that type of atmosphere, then you can’t help but love playing here. It’s kind of like [the movie] Green Street Hooligans, but with less violence.” However, Stepheson said, there are some distinctly European elements of the atmosphere that Stepheson isn’t too fond of. “Everyone here smokes cigarettes,” Stepheson said. “During the games you can see a black cloud at the top of the stadium because literally everyone in the stands is smoking. Kills your lungs trying to play in that. I try not to take deep breaths. They need some don’t smoke commercials out here or something.” Stepheson has experienced some homesickness living so far away from home, however he said that his parents have visited him in Athens and his sisters plan on visiting him soon. He has a close friend that has been living with him as well. While living in Greece, Stepheson has had some difficult adjusting to the different lifestyle. “The biggest culture shock is how people drive out here,” Stepheson said. “No laws when it come to driving out here. People parking on the freeway, U-turns on one way streets, it’s crazy. Also, people dress kind of funky out here too. I’m still wearing my usual jeans, Batman Tshirt and Batman backpack though.” Even though Stepheson is certainly enjoying his time playing for Panionios in Athens, at the same time his ultimate goal is to try to make it in the NBA. “I have really improved my game and have good people behind me,” Stepheson said. “I am working on getting back into the NBA for next season. The lockout made things difficult for a lot of good players looking to get into the NBA this year, but I think I will have a good chance at making it next season.”
“It’s nice to be able to travel the world and make a living doing something you love to do..” —Alex Stepheson ’06 Former Wolverine
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RIPPED: Alex Stepheson â€™06 (number 8) spent his college career at North Carolina and USC. He now plays in Greece.
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By Robbie Loeb and Camille Shooshani Every year the shirts change, but the Fanatics’ goal remains the same. The founders envisioned a new type of Wolverine fan: one that would bring energy and passion to Harvard-Westlake sporting events. The administration has reprimanded the club for its behavior, but the Fanatics have survived and grown in the club’s six-year history.
t all began in the summer of 2005, when rising senior Nick Angelich ’06 dreamed up the idea of organizing a band of enthusiastic fans to fire up school spirit at sporting events with outrageous cheers. “I knew there was potential at the school for a raucous atmosphere at the games, but I had no idea it would take off this well,” Angelich said. “[HarvardWestlake] students are the most competitive in the country, so it makes sense they can be just as competitive watching their peers give it their all on their respective courts.” “Your friends spend countless hours on the practice field to get the chance to play what, 12 games? Go out there and show support,” Angelich said in 2005. “It’s the Wolverine way.” Angelich and his best friend Evan Schlossberg ’06 designed red shirts with “Harvard Fanatics” written in
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block letters across the front. The pair initially intended to sell the shirts for profit, but when the school administration caught wind of the emerging fan club, it wanted to join the action. The administration financed the shirts with the stipulation that “Westlake” was incorporated, and from then on, the Fanatics became an official school club. Even though the club recieved funding from the school, the administration remained mostly on the sidelines. “We pretty much were doing everything on the fly, and while we tried to put out an organized and professional vibe, on the whole we had no clue what we were doing,” Angelich said. “We did and said whatever it took to get kids to go to football and basketball games.” Decked in red, the two founders, followed by a pack of Wolverines,
would foster an unprecedented level of fandom at nearly every football and basketball game that year. “I’ve never played in front of such an amazing crowd,” current water polo Head Coach Brian Flacks ’06 said in 2005 after the Fanatics sparked his boys’ water polo team to an nail-biting victory during his senior season. “It was the most fun and energizing crowd I’ve ever seen.” “The venues are all so small [that the crowd] can really have an impact on both your own players as well as the opponents,” Angelich said. Before the Fanatics were founded, the school sponsored a looselyorganized, minimally involved fan club called the “Superfans.” However, the “Superfans” only drew support to big matchups such as the Loyola games. “Everyone would show up for the Loyola basketball game, but that was
Fanatics: A History
SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT: Fanatics at the Loyola game on Jan. 13 cheer on the Wolverines in the “blackout” at Cal State Los Angeles. Both Loyola games were moved to neutral locations for this season after unprecedented fan attendence last year forced the fire marshal to bar the entrance of Taper Gym, which has a maximum capacity of 1,000. really it,” Angelich said. “Nothing to write home about.” “There was not such a sense of community in being a fan,” Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas said. “With the Fanatics now, there is a sense of affiliation, while before you were just one of many.” Angelich, nicknamed “The Godfather” by President Thomas Hudnut, sent out mass emails to Fanatic club members encouraging them to attend upcoming games. Angelich provided food and drinks to encourage people to show up. During the basketball season, Angelich organized a three-and-a-half hour bus drive to take the club up to Fresno for a playoff game on a Wednesday night. The season culminated in over a hundred students showing up at the Long Beach Pyramid to watch the team’s final game. “[We] went as far south as Laguna Niguel and as far north as Bakersfield,” Angelich said. “It became cool to show up Friday night for a game.” While the Fanatics successfully boosted fan support, their initial enthusiasm got out of hand, building tension between the Fanatics and the administration over unsportsmanlike
behavior, according to Angelich. “They were so happy to see a lot more students at the games that they initially let a lot of rowdy behavior slide,” Angelich said. “In my opinion, the school lucked out by not overregulating our behavior, as that would have really turned off a lot of people from the club.” “They were just this group that was organically growing,” Athletic Director Terry Barnum said. “There was nothing to interact with them about. They showed up to games, they were all wearing the same shirts, they cheered and everything was good. It was at that same time when they started to get a little more outrageous and we started to ask them to bring their actions more in line with the school’s mission.” Barely one month after the club’s inception, the complaints started. Studio City Notre Dame’s principal spoke to administrators after a Fanatic allegedly threw food at the Knights’ marching band while yelling, “play a real sport.” As Angelich’s senior year drew to a close, the Head Fanatics appointed “the triumvirate” of Sean Dennis ’07, Ryan Calvert ’07 and John Howe ’07 to
continue their legacy. In a 2006 column, sports editors Lucas Shaw ’07 and Peter Skrumbis ’08 criticized the new Head Fanatics because the stands remained relatively empty for some of the biggest football games of the year. “Crowds are shrinking and we no longer dominate the battle of the fans,” they wrote. “How did this happen?” The Head Fanatics resparked the intense fandom the next year with Brandon Wolf ’08, Trevor Abbot ’08 and Justin Genter ’08 at the helm. “We tried to make it about everybody instead of just a few people,” Wolf said. “We did our best to make it more of a well-run organization and work in tandem with a bunch of other student groups and with the administration.”
t basketball games, the Fanatics inflame rivalries by hurling chants back-and-forth across the stands with the opposing team’s fans, particularly with league foe Loyola’s fan group, “The Pride.” “It’s a matter of ‘can we think of something more clever to say than [they can],’” Barnum said. “You start seeing that across the gym, where
Fanatics: A Timeline Fall 2005: A Fanatic allegedly throws a hot dog at the Notre Dame band while shouting “play a real sport”, their first controversial incident.
Spring 2010: CIF issues two citations to Harvard-Westlake for misconduct
Fall 2011: Kristen Lee ’12 becomes the first female Head Fanatic
2005 Summer 2005: Nick Angelich ’06 dreams up the idea for a new kind of fan
2012 Winter 2008: Fanatics chant “Brokeback Mountain” at a Loyola basketball game, the height of the controversy
Winter 2010: The school introduces a fan behavior code and promotes “acting like champions”
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Fanatic chants through the years: “S-A-T scores” “Left, right, Left, right...” “Take his whistle” “Hey ref, you suck” “Push it, push it, push it...” “Brokeback Mountain” “Scoreboard” “E.T. phone home” “Airball” “Nuts and bolts, we got screwed!” “We can’t hear you!” “Boyola,Boyola”
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they yell something and then we yell something back. Meanwhile nobody is watching the game. That’s where it starts to generate into things that are inappropriate or disrespectful. When it’s taken too far, it can become about one-upping the other school rather than supporting your fellow students.” At a 2008 basketball game at Crespi, after the Celts sealed a victory in the fourth quarter, the Crespi fans bellowed “start the limos,” mocking the stereotype of affluence that Harvard-Westlake students carry. The Fanatics responded with, “you can drive them,” suggesting Crespi students’ inferiority, according to Wolf. The Fanatics repeatedly crossed the line with offensive chants such as “SAT scores,” according to Barnum and Wolf. The chant mocked Crespi students’ intelligence and later, “Brokeback Mountain” questioned the all-male Loyola student body’s sexuality. Fanatics also taunted opposing teams’ players based on their appearances. Fanatics hollered, “E.T. phone home,” whenever one Loyola player, who supposedly resembled Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi alien, touched the ball. The Fanatics had pushed the envelope to the point where the administration had no choice but to step in, Wolf said. “We said no cheers of a certain [derogatory] kind, and the next game, [the Fanatics] showed up with a bunch of whiteboards,” Barzdukas said. The Fanatics wrote their slurs on the whiteboards rather than chant them, exploiting the loophole in the administration’s regulation. “We want to compete hard, but always respect our opponents,” boys’ basketball Head Coach Greg Hilliard said. “We need Fanatics to care about the team and the game they are playing—not the game within the game.” At the height of the conflict in 2009, the Chronicle asked a Fanatic if he thought deprecating cheers such as “Brokeback Mountain” might offend gay students within the Harvard-Westlake community. “I never thought about it like that,” the Fanatic responded. “[The chant] is like a cancer, and it’s not like it’s going to be stopped one day. It’s ingrained in us.” In March of 2010, CIF cited the boys’ soccer team and its coach at the CIF Final in Downey for misconduct. The referee disgruntled the bench after he called a penalty kick against
Fanatics: A History the Wolverines, ending in a shouting match and a citation. The team and coach were required to apologize and were banned from competing in overnight tournaments. Later that month, CIF cited fans at the girls’ basketball state championship game for poor conduct. Following the two CIF-issued citations on fan behavior, the school could not ignore the mounting issues with sportsmanship, according to Barnum. Shortly thereafter, the administration instituted the Sportsmanship and Fan Behavior Committee and appointed science teacher Dietrich Schul to chair the committee. “The focus of the Fanatics was less about supporting the teams and more about making a scene for themselves, making their own entertainment,” Barnum said. “The ‘Boyola’ chants, the ‘Brokeback Mountain’ chants, I think that might have been the seminal moment.” Last year, Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts announced a new school motto: “Act Like Champions.” “True champions are relentlessly positive and gracious always,” Huybrechts said. “True champions respond to a challenge with dignity. They rise above the fray, don’t involve themselves with the pettiness that can accompany longstanding rivalries.” Barnum said that Huybrechts’ message was directed at the Fanatics but added, “It’s something that is important for all of us to keep in mind.” Though Huybrechts never called out the Fanatics by name, her message was clear. Starting in the fall of 2010, the school would intervene when the Fanatics were not “acting like champions.” Head Fanatics Ethan Neale ’11, Brian Harwitt ’11, Brian Shultz ’11, Noor Fateh ’11 and Andrew Hotchkiss ’11 met weekly with the Student-Athlete Advisory Council to determine which chants would be allowed. Though the initial meetings were tense, the Head Fanatics, the Student Athlete Advisory Council and the Sportsmanship and Fan Behavior Committee decided on an official fan behavior policy approved by Huybrechts. The policy states that “all members of the HarvardWestlake community attending sporting events are expected to refrain from disrespectful conduct including verbal abuse, trashtalking, taunting and inappropriate celebrations.” According to Sports Council member and science teacher David Hinden, distracting opposing
players is allowed, but disrespecting them personally is not. “I don’t want the school to become overly-administrative with the Fanatics,” Barnum said. “As long as they keep up with our expectations, I don’t see a need for us to have a lot of extra oversight over the Fanatics.” Despite these new agreed-upon regulations for improving fan behavior, in February of last year, students designed red T-shirts depicting two silhouetted boys holding hands and bore the words “Beat Boyola” in anticipation of the upcoming basketball game against rival Loyola. “This is definitely not a Fanatic thing, and we don’t approve of it at all,” Neale said after learning about the shirt’s existence. “We can’t do anything to stop what people do, but we’d definitely like them to be inside our bounds.”
nce the instigators of offensive fan behavior, Head Fanatics have recently evolved to keep their boisterous followers in check, successfully avoiding major controversy by following the guidelines set in 2010. “For a few years, the focus was more about ‘how can I make a spectacle of myself ’ as opposed to ‘how can I support my team,’ and that’s changing now,” Barnum said. At the Loyola home game in January of last year, the fire marshal arrived and barred the entrance because Taper Gym was packed beyond its 1,000 person maximum capacity with Fanatics crammed in the stands. As a result, both of this year’s Loyola matchups were moved to neutral sites to accommodate the large turnout. Current Head Fanatics Kristen Lee ’12, Judd Liebman ’12, Alex Rand-Lewis ’12, Jake Schapiro ’12 and Wade Clement ’12 have used the club to integrate more aspects of the Harvard-Westlake community by endorsing performing arts events in addition to sporting events. The current Facebook group has nearly 700 members and promotes every sport beyond football and basketball, posting weekly game schedules and results. “We’re very cautious about what we say because we don’t want the Fanatics’ reputation nor the school’s reputation to be tainted,” Liebman said. “We’ve focused on keeping our head cool in the heat of the moment and making sure we don’t lose sight of what’s important. What’s important is respect and sportsmanship.”
THEN AND NOW: Current Head Fanatic Jake Schapiro ’12 climbs on coHead Fanatic Alex Rand-Lewis ’12, above, at a football game agaisnt St. Paul on Senior Night. Rand-Lewis is pictured playing a kazoo, which were distributed to the Fanatics at the game. Evan Schlossberg ’06, left, and Nick Angelich ’06, right, pose for the yearbook, right. The pair founded the Fanatics in the summer of 2005 and designed the red shirts. The Fanatics have been the subject of much controversy in their six-year history for derogatory and insulting chants at sporting events.
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Published on Feb 9, 2012