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Lakewood High School - April 27, 2011

Spartan News Network


Lakewood athletic trainer Erika Miller checks out senior Julian Battiest. It’s Miller’s job to make sure students are healthy and safe for school athletics.

Heroic healing Trainer Erika Miller helps athletes

... page 9

All you need to know about prom ... page 4 The bi-racial experience ... page 6

the hub

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A word from

By TAYLOR LAPUMA SNN Editor in Chief

When people think about journalism, we think about the First Amendment: freedom of speech, press, religion and petition. The First Amendment is something they don’t have in Afghanistan, and that makes the field of journalism very, very tough. SNN got to hear about this first hand with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interview journalists from Afghanistan. The journalists were brought here secretly through the U.S. State Department and the International Council of the Tampa Bay Region. They were taken on a tour of Lakewood High School’s journalism program, the Poynter Institute and the St. Petersburg Times. As the seven anonymous journalists sat in front of us, we asked them questions as a translator bridged the language barrier. They gave us an analogy so we could understand how different and difficult reporting really is for them: Journalism in America is like driving a brand new car on a paved road, one man said. Journalism in Afghanistan is like driving an old car on very rough terrain. “It’s a very difficult and dangerous environment because the society is against free press and will do anything to stop (us). It makes it very difficult for us to report because a lot of people don’t take us seriously,” one of the journalists said. “With the freedoms available to journalism in (America) and all the technology and laws to protect it … if American journalism doesn’t do a good job, you must be very lazy,” another visitor said. Women in Afghanistan have it even harder due to restrictions by the Taliban, the Islamist military that has ruled large parts of the country since 1996. For example, many women can’t have jobs or leave their city to pursue higher education. If they live in a city with a college, they’re lucky; if they don’t, they’re finished after high school. There are about five-million kids in Afghanistan who don’t have access to school and many people who do continue with school and get degrees can’t get jobs because there are very little opportunities. “Security is different in different parts of the country. Because of the threats, women can’t leave where they live to go (out of town) and pursue education. There is (somewhat of an) opportunity but not




nearly as easy as it should be,” a woman visitor said. Another one of the women visitors faced that problem exactly. She was 16 years old and had a high school diploma – and she was already a professional journalist. “Men reporters can pretend they are doing something else (instead of reporting). They can (pose as a) carpenter mechanic or salesman. Since women don’t have those kinds of professions, it’s more obvious what they are doing. I, for one, have never published anything under the same byline,” she said. Another woman, though, was fortunate enough to have been able to attend college and works as a journalist in the province of Herat, which she said is a “safe part of the country.” “There are (legal) woman reporters but they do not have woman anchors (on broadcast news stations) because they don’t want to be seen,” she said. In 2004, Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan's new constitution into law. This constitution gave the journalists more rights. Since then, radio has been the most effective media in the country, because the high illiteracy rate makes it hard for print papers to be successful. There is also not enough power in the nation for everyone to watch television. “Radio is very, very successful and people are very happy with the programming,” a visitor said. The visitors explained that in 2001 there were only about 10 reporters in the entire country, but in the past 10 years the number has risen to about 7,000. There are a lot of colleges and universities for journalists and there are a lot of foundations and organizations for journalism. For this reason, more and more people are able to call themselves journalists. “If this trend continues we are likely to have close to the number you have in the United States,” a visitor said. Having the visitors from Afghanistan was not only interesting, it opened our minds to what life is like outside of our country. We have realized how easy we actually have it in America, and to not take the opportunities that we receive for granted. Speaking to these visitors changed the way we view their country. No longer do we think of war and poverty, but of kind people who are desperately struggling to break free from the grasp of the government and hope to one day have the same freedoms we do.


FLYING HIGH: A seagull soars over Lakewood’s bus circle. The birds often flock to the area in search of the food students leave behind.

The Lakewood lowdown Herring promoted to behavior specialist As he walks through the halls of Lakewood High School, new behavior specialist Maurice Herring says he loves his job. Last semester Herring was a math teacher and in December he was promoted to a behavior specialist, starting the job in February. Herring said he wanted this new job because it is a good start on becoming an assistant principal. “It gives me a whole different aspect with the students,” he said. “It (also) frees up the (assistant principals) and gives them more time.” Herring not only talks with the students with behavior problems, he mentors students also. “Herring understands your problems and is fair but strict when you do something wrong,” freshman Joisha Morgan says. “Herring is doing a good job with the students suffering academically,” assistant principal Harriett Davis said. - MAKINI HARRIS and SACHE DAVIS

Get physical

Physical Night is on May 4 from 5-7 p.m in Lakewood High School’s gymnasium, said athletic trainer and HOPE teacher Erika Miller. All students are welcome to come by and get their check-up. The cost is $15 and there will be a notary on-site for the parent consent form. For more about Miller and her job, see page 9.

New assistant principal after Beam’s retirement Lakewood’s newest addition to the staff is assistant principal Susan AlvaroMaidenberg, who was scheduled to start April 26th. She replaces Laurie Beam who retired on Feb. 27 due to health problems. Principal Bob Vicari said eight possible candidates were interviewed for the position. “(Alvaro is) brilliant. She listens. … She is a loving, caring, great person,” said Vicari. “She’s an expert when it comes to technology and scheduling.” Alvaro comes from Osceola Middle School where she was a VE specialist for five years and then went on to become assistant principal. Before that she taught emotionally handicapped students at Pinellas Park Middle School for six years. “I felt (coming to Lakewood) would be a great opportunity to expand my career experiences in order to make me a more viable candidate for positions in the future,” she said. Alvaro, who will oversee the new Center for Journalism and Multimedia, said she looks forward to working with an older more mature group of students, and she’s excited to attend sports events as well as other events. - ARIANNA CHEVER-HORSLEY and TA’KEYA MONTGOMERY

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Keeping Lakewood ‘green’


Colorful murals are being painted around the school urging students to increase their involvement in recycling at Lakewood High School. During classes and after school, students from the Academy for Marine Science and Environmental Technology took the time to paint in the hallways to get students to participate in the weekly recycling program. Additional commercials are also going to be televised on CATCOM in the morning. “We hope that the murals will encourage recycling here at the school. We don’t know what the outcome will be but we’ll see,” said junior AMSET student Rebecca Formeller. AMSET teacher Brandy Noonan said that the commercials and murals are to promote recycling at Lakewood. “(AMSET) would like the school to become ‘greener’ and recycling is just the start HANNAH GOLIGHTLY | SNN of this. … The hopes are that Lakewood Junior Madalyn Golightly dumps a recycling bin with her classmates juniors becomes more aware of recycling and the Wit Cannon and Ashley Seay. benefits of it.” The goal, she said, is to have everyone the coordinators of the recycling program classes and then brought to one of the many at Lakewood participating in the recycling that takes place every week. When the recycling collection sites around the county. program and further exceed the biweekly program first began, the county provided The recyclables are then collected and goal of 275 pounds. the school with the blue collection bins that sorted by the Pinellas County Solid Waste Recycling began at Lakewood in the are in all of the classrooms. Utilities to be brought to a recycle center. 2005-2006 school year and only included At that time only white paper was alAhmed Evans is a junior in the AMSET paper. lowed to be collected; in more recent years, program who walks around every Thursday “I started recycling because it was a way they have moved to collecting colored with a group of students and goes through to reduce how much waste we were collectpaper (including magazines, notebook the collection process. ing ... to make Lakewood … have a better paper and construction paper), cardboard, “I’m glad that as a school we’re stepattitude toward our future,” Noonan said. aluminum cans and plastic bottles. ping up on recycling,” he said. Recycling first started during World After students’ collect the recyclables War I when people collected glass and tin from each classroom, they go in either the Go to to see exto reuse, said AMSET coordinator James cardboard recycling dumpster or in the paamples of recycling commercials students Kostka. It became popular again in the late per recycling dumpster in the student parkmade. ’60s “with the hippies,” he said. It then ing lot near the tennis courts. The cans and came back again in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Noonan, Kostka and Fawnia Schultz are bottles are cleaned and sorted by AMSET

With more classes, come more choices By NATE PLAINES and ELIJAH FLEWELLEN SNN Staff Writers

With the possibility of an eight-period day in the near future comes opportunity. A plethora of new elective options are being planned for the 2011-2012 school year. Principal Bob Vicari said that these new courses go “hand in hand” with the extended day. “I am very excited about (the expansion of the drama department). I would love to see it expand beyond what I can do,” said teacher Colleen Coughenour. The idea to expand programs here at Lakewood was spurred by a School Improvement Grant. The SGI grant was given to Lakewood to help improve the academic performance of its students. This money would allow for the addition of new classes such as medical technician and college level courses that have yet to be determined, depending on teacher certifications. The music and drama departments are expanding as well, with the addition of seven new classes planned for next year. “We’re just doing this to beef up the arts,” said band teacher Michael Kernodle. “When you offer it, they’ll come.”

New Electives

• Drama I-IV • Technical Theater (set design/lighting/ sound/make-up/costumes) Musical Theater Music Orchestra Jazz Band Chorus Eurythmics (dancers, flag, baton) Medical Tech AP Classes – to be determined Other classes are currently being planned by guidance based on student surveys.

• • • • • • • •


The best and the brightest The valedictorian in Lakewood’s traditional program is Oceana Zanker, with a GPA of 4.48. The AMSET senior said she will be attending the University of South Florida or Eckerd College and plans to study elementary education or science. SNN asked her how she felt when she learned that she was named valedictorian: “Uh, how do I put this in words? Yesssssssss!” she said. Michael Singleton, a senior on Lakewood’s basketball team, is the salutatorian in the traditional program. His GPA is 4.38. He is not sure where he will attend college. “It mostly depends on where I get a basketball scholarship,” he said. He plans to go to medical school to become a pathologist, a doctor who finds cures for diseases. He said when he found out about the honor he was happy. “But at the same time I was humble about it.” The valedictorian of CAT, Austin Bruch, has a GPA of 4.83. “I was excited and thrilled when I found out I was valedictorian.” Bruch wants to attend University of Florida or Georgia Tech to study computer science. He is currently in six advanced placement classes and involved in many clubs. Bruch said his hardest class is AP Calculus BC with teacher Laura Lake. The salutatorian of CAT, Sean Bittner, has a GPA of 4.79. “I was excited, I pretty much knew I was the salutatorian, but it was good to know it was official.” Like Bruch, Bittner wants to attend University of Florida or Georgia Tech to major in chemical engineering. Bittner currently takes part in swim team, along with many clubs. - Information gathered by SNN Staff Writers Kimberly Koagel, Rashelle Griffiths, Cole Hardman and Jeremy Brown.




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Prom 2011:

Midnight Masquerade Last-minute questions answered By CIERRA BLACKSHEAR and CANDICE ISOM SNN Staff Writer

Q: Are there rules for what you can wear at prom? A: The girl’s dress must be school appropriate, with nothing too low cut. Shoulders can be out, but students who wear a dress with low-cut bare back and sides must wear a cover-up. “When in doubt, bring a shawl,” said assistant principal Harriet Davis. Slits must be tasteful and they cannot be as high as the panty line. Boys cannot wear jeans or tennis shoes. “Of course, this is still a ‘no sag’ zone,” Davis said. “Prom is a formal occasion and we still want students to dress like that.” If students are in violation of dress code, they may be asked to change before they’re let in. Q: Are there rules for dancing? A: There are no specific dancing rules, assistant principal Deb Fabrizio said. The administration urges everybody to use their manners and dance appropriately. “This is not a club. This is a prom,” she said. Q: Are there rules for the people who come drinking or with illegal drugs?

A: “We use our expertise. We have officers that can tell if you’re visibly impaired,” Davis said. If students are caught with alcohol or illegal drugs, they will be reassigned to another school or expelled, and will no longer be graduating, according to the circumstance, Davis said. Q: Can you bring a date from another school? A: Students can bring dates from other schools. Everyone who attends must have a ticket that was purchased in advance. They will not be selling tickets at the door on prom night. Q: Can you bring your own mask? A: Masks will be given out at the door that night. If you bring your own, it can only be a mask on a stick. Q: Any advice to seniors? A: “Have fun. There’s always a memory behind prom. Just don’t drink and drive. Just be safe,” said Davis.

Make the Prom Promise!


Date: ____________________ I, _______________________ hereby promise to behave responsibly before, during and after Lakewood High’s Prom. I commit to an alcohol and drug-free prom night because I care about my fellow students, my community and myself. I want to live, and I want to laugh, listen to great music and dance. I want to have an absolutely great time at prom. The day after, I will relive it, hour by hour, with my friends. I want to remember it. All of it. I will not use alcohol at prom. Signed by: _______________________ (



Girls from Lakewood’s prom court wait to see who is crowned prom queen at last year’s prom.

Last-minute prom checklist By SHANTE’ SHEDRICK SNN Staff Writer

Aside from graduation, prom is a very special occasion; it can be the most memorable night in your high school career. The big night calls for a lot of planning, preparations and purchases, but with a slight mishap it can all go right down the drain. With the prom only a few days away, and these key things checked off and out of the way, your stress level is sure to be down for the big night. SNN compiled a list to help you remember everything for the day of prom:

• Give yourself enough time for unfortunate mishaps • Take a bath or shower before you go to your hair and make-up appointment. Remember to shave! • Pick up a corsage and boutonniere then refrigerate them immediately. • Pack your camera, phone, money, makeup, ticket -- Don’t forget your I.D.! • The last thing you should do is put on your dress, just to be safe. • Get set, get going, have fun and eat carefully at dinner to avoid last-minute stains.

When? Friday, April 29, 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Where? The Coliseum in downtown St. Petersburg How much? $50 per ticket How many people? About 325 people will attend Who planned it? The junior class officers

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Extra hour may put a damper on students’ after-school life By IVANA LAM and CIERRA CHAMPAGNE SNN Staff Writers

Next year the school day will be extended. Instead of getting out at 1:30 p.m., students will be dismissed at about 2:35 p.m. Students worry that the new extended time could alter their afternoon schedule. Could one hour really make a difference? Exactly what do Lakewood students do after school? In an effort to answer these questions, SNN surveyed students at Lakewood about what they do. Here are the results. • About 21 percent of students surveyed say that don’t do any homework - ever. • About 24 percent say they spend about one hour on homework. • About 11 percent say they spend two or more hours. • About 85 percent of the student body spends time on social networking sites – about 25 percent in fact spend two or more hours on these sites each day. • Over 50 percent spend two or more hours hanging out with their friends. • Almost 30 percent spend two or more hours participating in sports. • Only about one-quarter of the student population works at an after-school job. To get a closer look, SNN interviewed a couple of students to find out how they spend their time after

school. Freshman James Kane, who is in the CAT program, has a weighted GPA of 3.7. Even with such a high GPA, he said he still manages to hang out with friends and goes to the beach, movies and mall after school. He likes to play videos games, including Call of Duty. He has been on a swim team for six years and has played baseball for seven years. He said before high school he had a choice of going to CAT or the International Baccalaureate program and he chose CAT. He says CAT is a good program. “I still have a life,” said Kane. But Kane said the extended day will definitely affect his schedule with club baseball. He said he will have to get the practices rescheduled or he will have to “find another team to play for.” Junior Chris Felton has a GPA of 3.3. But he does more than just study. He watches basketball, Operation Repo and Jersey Shore. He plays video games such as Midnight Club La, Call of Duty and Madden. Also, he spends time on the social networking site Facebook to communicate with friends. He participates in the school’s band. For about two years, while not in school, he held a job at Tasco. Felton says the extended day will cut into his afternoon schedule. “There won’t be as much time to do homework,” he said. “I’ll just have to stay up later to get it completed.”

SNN reporters surveyed students about their afterschool activities. These graphs show how much time students spend on homework and social networking sites. For more survey results, go to snntoday.snn.

Facebook deprived

Facebook obsessed



Facebook. Everyone knows what it is, and just about everyone has one - so you think. Facebook for some is an addiction. For sophomore Jamez Walker, it’s just another site on the Internet. “I was about to get one, but it’s a waste of time,” he says. “It gets you in trouble, and (it’s) too much drama.” Instead of sitting in front of the computer, checking his status and taking new profile pictures, “I hang out with my friends, try out new things and play basketball.” Being without Facebook for some is a restriction, but for Walker, WALKER it’s a choice. Walker used to be part of a social networking site. He used to have a Myspace, but then he deleted it. “I was going to make the transition but never did.” Walker said his cousins have encouraged him to get one, but he just keeps saying no. If he wants to hear what’s going on he says that, “I will hear it the day of or the day after.” Education, he said, is more important. “I don’t have anything against (Facebook); it’s just not my main priority,” he said. “If I did have one, I would get on it to see what is going on and to laugh at people.” Editor’s Note: Over Spring Break, Walker succumbed to the peer pressure from his cousins and created his first Facebook page. “I get on it to look at what people said and just to get a laugh,” he said. He doesn’t see himself getting obsessed with it, though, and only checks it at the most twice a day.

Facebook dominates the web, media and the lives of some teenagers. One of them is sophomore Eyana Holmes. She uses Facebook to stay connected with new friends and old ones from her hometown, Tallahassee. “I wouldn’t say (I’m obsessed), because it sounds like I have no life… let’s just say ‘fond,’” Holmes says. She had a MySpace account but switched to Facebook because, “everybody moved to Facebook.” But her account was deleted because she was too young. A couple years later, however, Holmes gave Facebook another try HOLMES when she came of age, but she was soon disappointed by Facebook’s bland background. “MySpace had backgrounds and Facebook looked like a plain sheet of paper.” After posting her first status, she began to warm up to Facebook. “It was something about how much I like pie and almost 20 people ‘liked’ it; I was so excited,” Holmes says. Now Holmes stays connected with Facebook on her laptop about three hours a day. Her profile includes 460 friends, 112 photos and frequent status updates. Holmes seems to be rather “fond” of Facebook.

SNN Staff Writer

SNN Staff Writer



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Is it really the best of both worlds? By KALA FUNDERBURK SNN Staff Writer

Senior Chris Ray whose ethnic background is German, British and African says he doesn’t see himself as any one race because he doesn’t fit into just one category. “It has allowed me to view the world in an optimistic way,” Ray said about how his racial makeup has helped him in his everyday life. Multiracial ethnicity is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. In Florida, about 26 percent more people listed themselves as multiracial in 2010 than in 2000, according to the U.S. Census. At Lakewood High School 25 students out of 1,374 identify themselves as multiracial. Senior Max Thuriere, who is Haitian and French, says his parents remind him not to forget where he came from. “I have both my parents in me,” said Thuriere. “My parents tell me that I have just as much white in me as I have black.” Some multiracial students say their racial makeup has provided opporTHURIERE tunities for them that they otherwise would not have. Senior Katie Dunigan, who has an Irish mom and a Jamaican father, said being multiracial helps her with scholarships. Data prep clerk Diana Casias said that being multiracial makes students eligible for more scholarships as long as they list themselves as one race for an ethnic-directed

scholarship and not multiracial. Senior DJ Vanderhere is mixed with German and Mexican ancestry. He says his racial makeup helped him receive an academic scholarship to Barry University in Miami. “It also helps me get girls,” said Vanderhere jokingly. However being able to select multiracial as an ethnicity on surveys and standardized tests was not always available. VANDERHERE “They didn’t add multiracial to standardized tests until two years ago. … It was always ‘other’,” Dunigan said. “I hated marking ‘other’ on tests.” However, there are times when the ethnic identity of these students has been hurtful to them. Dunigan said marking “other” made her feel like an alien. She doesn’t mind when people make assumptions about what race she is but, “I’m not an alien,” she said. “People speak Spanish to me at DUNIGAN work, and I don’t understand a word,” she said. “They assume I’m a race that I’m not and that my family is the same color as me… (But) it’s not a problem, I don’t mind being labeled.” Ray agrees, saying it’s harder for him to fit into certain

crowds. “People assume because of how I dress, I only hang with white people,” he said. “It sucks. I don’t limit myself to one group. I have a diverse group of friends, and I can fit in with everybody.” Vanderhere says people also make assumptions about him. “It makes me feel different; people assume I’m half black or Dominican,” said Vanderhere. Although there are constant assumptions made about multiracial students, many say they don’t let it affect them. “I like to be different. … (It) makes me think highly of myself,” said Vanderhere. RAY Other students say their racial identity is a major part of their life. “I think about my racial makeup every day. It’s brought up almost all the time. People aren’t racist but they still have that mentality. It’s not strong but it’s still there,” said Ray. Thuriere said he wished that race didn’t matter to people. “But the harsh reality is it does. People are quick to judge and put you in a group,” said Thuriere. “I’m happy I’m this way, but sometimes I wish there were no groups at all, just one human race and everyone was blind to color.”

I am not black and I am not white - I am both By DARIAN SYLVESTER SNN Staff Writer

For most people, filling out the race section of certain applications or on the FCAT isn’t that hard. Just choose a box: black, white, Asian or Native American. It’s just that simple. But what is someone supposed to do when they fit more than one box and there is no “check all that apply” option? What about when they’re constantly told they have to choose a race and essentially deny part of who they are? Well, that’s how I’ve gone through my whole life: battling between how I see myself and what society says I am. I consider myself mixed/biracial. I am not black and I am not white. I’m both. However, too often I am put into a category of one or the other for superficial reasons. People say I’m white because



of the music I like, the clothes I wear and the color of my skin. In other cases I’m simply black because my mom is black and that is who raised me. I never quite fit in anywhere. Around whites I’m black and, most often, around blacks I’m white. I have always felt like I stand out in both groups, but more so with blacks. But when I’m around white friends, I still feel out of place. It’s clear that I’m not “one of them.” However, the fact that I am not white is never pointed out but is clearly understood. When my ethnicity is brought up around my white friends, it’s genuinely out of harmless fun. When I’m around black family, not only is it brought up, but comments that are meant to be funny are biting. Their comments make me feel like I don’t fit in. I can remember receiving harsh comments from family and friends, things you wouldn’t expect your own family to say. When I was in about third grade, a close cousin told me that I was not allowed to play with him and my other cousins at our grandparents house. He said the room was

only for black people. Older cousins and other family members have made mean comments too. I think the worst part of it is that these hateful comments and ideas are spreading to their children. The biting comments and forcing biracial people to “pick a side” is a huge issue that needs LEON TOMLINSON | SNN to be fixed. Filling out forms, such as the one above, is often difWhen it comes ficult for those who are multiracial. to “picking a side” as a biracial person Biracial people exist. This great comthe solution is really simple. They don’t bination of different racial groups is a sign have to pick a side. Biracial people are of how far society has come from past race just that, biracial, not one or the other, but relations. Don’t tear us down and cast us both. There should be no marginalization out because we aren’t just like everyone of being one race verses the other because else and don’t fit into any particular box. of how one looks or dresses, or even who Embrace us because we’re definitely here they hang out with. to stay and there are more of us being born every day.

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Sophomore Chevaun Johnson works with a robotic baby in Faith Walker’s child development class. Students take this class to better educate themselves on proper childcare.

Practicing to be parents By SHERRISH GAINES SNN Staff Writer

Crying babies, changing diapers and aggravated teens. No, this isn’t an episode of Teen Mom; it’s the child development class at Lakewood High School. Senior Cierra Blackshear decided to take the “baby class” last year. It sounded simple. Take care of a fake baby. “I thought it was going to be fun,” she said. Blackshear, however, brought the robotic baby back to school after one day and took an alternate research assignment. “It cried too much,” she said. The class, which is a semester-long course, is designed to teach students how to properly care for a child, said nutrition and wellness teacher Faith Walker. Lakewood High has five robotic babies that the students within the course take turns caring for. Every Thursday through Monday, five students are given a seven-pound baby that uses microchips and computer software to record whether the child is being properly cared for. Students are required to feed, burp and hold the babies, as well as properly change their diapers. Every student is required to wear a monitor on his or her wrist, which is the only thing that the baby responds to. That means no dumping baby duties on mom. These babies are the real deal. “I’ve had kids take the baby shopping. They take them everywhere: to church, the mall,” said Walker Throughout the course, students document their experiences caring for the children in a diary. “It’s pretty much a life-like simulation,” she said. Students are even given the choice of whether to breastfeed or bottle feed their

babies. Students can clip a magnetic chip to their shirt, and the computer program registers that the student is breastfeeding. After the four days, the babies are brought back and the results are printed out through the program. Lakewood also shares a series of “sick” robotic babies with Gibbs High School, including one with shaken baby syndrome, whose head is transparent in order to show students the parts of the brain and what happens when a baby is shaken. There is also a crack baby and a baby with alcohol syndrome. Walker said that in addition to frustrated students, she has had parents show up at her classroom door before school demanding that she take back the babies because they were annoying the parents. “It’s kind of funny,” she said. So why is it important to have a child development class? Walker says all you need to do is look around. “It’s needed way before high school. Our population of teen moms is increasing. I don’t think (pregnant teens) know how their life will change. They think babies are so cute. There is more to being a parent than the cuteness,” said Walker. “I honestly think they somewhat glorify teens being mothers.” Like a lot of teenagers, Blackshear, the student who returned her robotic baby after one day, enjoys watching shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. But she says the class teaches about the real struggles of being a teen mother. In fact, Blackshear said, the class did not teach her how to care for a child. “It taught me to have no kids.”



For Spartan athletes: no pain, no gain By RICKY NELSON SNN Staff Writer

During a wrestling tournament in December, junior Cole Hardman took his opponent to the mat and was working to secure a pin. While putting pressure on his opponent’s back with his head, Hardman, who wrestles in the 119-pound weight class, injured his ear. After the match, Hardman said his ear swelled up. At first he tried to clear the pus out himself with a needle. “When I did it, it felt like a bee sting, but longer,” Hardman said. However, it would not drain completely, and Hardman had to go to the doctor. Hardman was diagnosed with cauliflower ear, and surgery was needed to repair the injury. “When I got the surgery, I was numb so I couldn’t feel it, but afterward I was not able to sleep on the ear because it hurt too much. If anything hit it I would be in pain,” he said. Hardman and other students who participate in high school sports always face a risk of injury when competing. With high school contact sports - soccer, football, wrestling and basketball - it has been determined that football is the most dangerous, according to Scott Anderson, the head trainer in Pinellas County. One major reason behind this is that students of many different weights and sizes are tackling and coming into contact with each other, which can lead to injuries. Over 50 percent of the injuries in football are sprains and problems with knees and ankles, he said. “We see about 100 injuries a school reported per year,” said Anderson. Seventy-three percent of the injuries are mild, which means the students are back to practice in one to seven days, 22 percent are moderate, which means they are back after one to three weeks, and five percent are severe enough for the students to be out for over three weeks, he said. Schools require students to buy school insurance to protect them from liability. Deb Fabrizio, Lakewood’s athletic director, said that if a student is injured in a school-related activity, they take the school insurance

Football Fumble

to their regular insurance, and they are covered. “However, we would obviously be liable if there was a big hole in the middle of the field and someone was injured because of it,” she said. Prevention of injuries has gotten better over the years, Anderson said. “Students are more educated about stretching and properly warming up. … Proper technique and off-season conditioning also help to prevent accidents. Education about injuries and how to prevent them go a long way in reducing the number of actual injuries.” Lakewood’s football Coach Cory Moore said he takes steps to prevent injuries by making sure people are doing what they should be doing. Stretches and wearing pads help the football players to limit this. Also, Lakewood trainer Erica Miller is always around to help out any football player who may appear to have suffered an injury. John Gross volunteers as the team physician for the football team. He works with the team because he cares about health and likes working with people. “To help people maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as assisting them when they are ill is extremely interesting and exciting for me,” Gross said. Gross agrees with Anderson about the most common football injuries. “The most common injuries I diagnose and treat are ankle sprains, joint effusions, fractures of various bones, and muscle strains.” Gross also says there may be less than obvious ways of preventing injuries. “Football players should prevent injuries (by staying) well hydrated. Dehydration is the main cause of muscle cramping and being hydrated optimizes performance of individual muscle groups. You’re much less likely to sustain a muscular injury if you’re well hydrated,” he said. The worst injury witnessed by Gross was three years ago at a Lakewood game, when an opposing running back had broken his tibia and fibula, the lower leg bones, during a play. “He required immediate stabilization and ambulance transfer for surgery to repair his shattered bones,” said Gross. Sometimes there might not be time to get advice or help from a doctor. Instead, common knowledge to amateur athletes can help against those injuries before they get worse. “Listen to your body and don’t try to ‘push through’ an injury. Immediate treatment can be summarized with the acronym ‘RICE’ – rest, ice, compression and elevation. For most strains and sprains, doing ‘RICE’ will immediately help,” he explained. For athletes, essential knowledge will help avoid injury. Being prepared is how injuries can have minimal damage and allow students to continue playing the sport they love. “My ear took about 10 days to heal, and I don’t think there was anything I could have done differently to prevent it,” said Hardman.

Baseball Battery

“Oh, no, the season is over,” junior Steven Trudell said he thought after he was hit hard at the Sept. 3, 2010, football game against Gibbs High School. The hit resulted in him tearing his ACL, an important ligament in his knee. He also broke his femur, tore his meniscus and had to be in a wheelchair for about a month and a half. After being hit, Trudell Cartoon by AARON PARRY | SNN sat on the sidelines and continued watching the game, which turned out to be a victory. The night of Trudell’s injury was also the night when a shooting occurred about 100 yards southwest of Spartan Field. The shooting caused such chaos that Trudell didn’t even realize how serious his injury was. “I didn’t go to the hospital until the following Tuesday after the incident,” said Trudell. He was disappointed when he couldn’t play football for more than a month. “It was horrible, I really wanted to play and I felt like I could’ve helped my team,” Trudell said.

- SNN Staff Writer Latelya Carter

Junior Matt Saunders was in the batting cage two years ago, warming up for a game against Dixie Hollins High School. “I was pitching, and the ball came back through the middle, then I tried to duck,” Saunders said. “(But) it hit right up on top of the head.” Saunders said he felt fine for the first three hours. “I even watched the game end,” he said. On the way home after the game, however, he felt progressively worse, with a “throbbing pain” in his head. He lost feeling in his left arm, then lost consciousness when he arrived at his house. Saunders was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with an epidermal hematoma. He was taken to surgery where doctors removed a blood clot from his head. He spent three days in the hospital, and is now fully recovered and is currently one of the pitchers for the Lakewood Spartans. “I never thought that after that I’d come back,” he said. - SNN Staff Writer Nate Plaines


ABOVE: Freshman Nayarid Santiago gets her hip checked out by athletic trainer and HOPE teacher Erika Miller. BELOW: Miller does therapy for freshman Sarah Gray’s ankle in the gym. It’s Miller’s job to make sure students are healthy and safe during athletic activities.

Helping students through teaching and training By ELIJAH FLEWELLEN and SACHE DAVIS SNN Staff Writers

Erika Miller’s injured knee kick-started her teaching career. As a middle school student, Miller broke her kneecap while playing volleyball. She endured physical therapy for about three months. Miller was inspired to be a physical trainer because of the therapist who worked on her. “Just the way that she worked with people and got them able to play,” Miller said. Miller is a teacher and athletic trainer at Lakewood High School. She has been the head trainer at Lakewood for seven years and a physical education teacher for three. She teaches HOPE, a class that informs students about health and physical education. “I love seeing people from the time they get hurt, through rehab, to returning to play,” she said. As a trainer, Miller is required to attend all school sporting events and is responsible for keeping student athletes fit for games, which means she works 20-30 extra hours a week. Sophomore Shabazz Waller dislocated his finger while playing basketball at Lakewood and Miller tended to it. “She tried snapping it back in place, but she gave me a splint and ice instead,” said Waller. Miller’s favorite sport to help out with is football. “There’s always something happening,” Miller said. “You can go a whole basketball game with nothing happening, but there’s always something happening at a football game.”

Before Lakewood, Miller attended the University of Florida in Gainesville. She worked for multiple sports teams while also taking classes at the university. She received a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from UF in 2003. Miller has also done a college rotation at Gainesville High School and interned at Berkley Preparatory High School in Tampa. She says that physical trainers are needed to evaluate the injury and give needed care. Due to her field of work, Miller deals with injuries almost daily. The most common injury she deals with is a sprained ankle. “They are the most common because it involves your feet, and the ankle joint is pretty weak,” she said. Other complaints she tends to during games are muscle strains, cramping and cuts. The worst injury she has dealt with was three years ago when a football player tore three out of four ligaments in his knee in the summer of his junior year. “His knee was literally hanging,” she said. The most unusual injury she has seen so far in her career was when a football player fractured his forearm, which caused the bone to come through the skin. Despite the difficulties of her job, she said she wouldn’t want to do anything else. “I absolutely love what I do.” RACHELLE GADDY | SNN

- SNN Staff Writers Tahrell Jones and Max Thuriere contributed to this story.

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H o L L Y W o o D HoLlA’ Your page for reviews of the latest movies, books, fashion and music.

Big Momma is back

Chris Brown polishes reputation with ‘F.A.M.E’ By SYMONE BROWN SNN Staff Writer


Title: Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son Release Date: Feb. 18 Genre: Comedy Rating: 3 out of 5 stars Funny man Martin Lawrence is back with his third installment of the Big Momma’s House legacy, Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son. Lawrence started back in 2000, and his alter ego is making a comeback after the second movie, which came out five years ago. This time the movie, which came out in February, does not follow the same format laid out in Big Momma’s debut movie, Big Momma’s House: FBI agent Malcolm Turner takes on a silly disguise to fight crime. The latest movie has a twist in the storyline; Malcolm’s teenage son, Trent (Brandon T. Jackson), becomes Big Momma’s cross-dressing sidekick, Charmaine. The duo must go undercover at an all-girls performing arts college after Trent witnesses a murder. Big Momma becomes the house mother at the school while Char-

maine becomes a witness. The evidence to imprison the killer is hidden at the school, and they have to find it before the villain finds them. While there, Trent’s hormones almost blow his cover every time he sees a cute girl, and Malcolm must play a mother figure to the crazy college girls. This is a delightfully cheesy movie. Even though it was filled with clichés, somehow they worked together to produce a decent movie. The comedy saves the movie from becoming annoying. Big Momma’s charm makes the overemotional college girls and Trent’s mediocre music tolerable. However, the movie lacks sincerity and originality, the things that made Big Momma so popular. Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son, rated PG 13, isn’t a disappointment, but it doesn’t top off the Big Momma saga properly even with the new addition, Charmaine. The new school/ old school fusion isn’t enough to make Big Momma’s comeback worth the wait.

Album Review: Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E Stars: 4 out of 5 stars Chris Brown merges the remnants of the good boy he used to be and the bad man he is now on his latest album F.A.M.E., which stands for Forgiving All My Enemies. This album is a collection of emotional ballads, hip-hop head bangers and dance songs with infectious beats. F.A.M.E. is the comeback album we’ve been waiting for. His ill-timed previous album, Graffiti, tanked because the release was soon after the incident with Rihanna. But this album returns Brown to the place that was rightfully his: the top. He embraces his current bad boy status with provocative rhymes on tracks like Look At Me Now featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne and Dueces featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall. He reverts back to his sensitive side on remorseful records like All Back and love songs like Next to You featuring Justin Bieber. Brown takes it back to the days when he was a teenager with a bright smile and a future to match. F.A.M.E. is a melting pot of Chris Brown’s style with influences of greats like Michael Jackson and R.Kelly. But I want to hear more songs like Should've Kissed You. It's genuine and allows Brown to be heard without the help of the studio fluff. I usually hate manufactured songs but he manages to pull it off. Though the album can't wipe his reputation clean, Brown does a good job of polishing it.

Students ready for a night on the Scene By DEONNA MIMS SNN Staff Writer

Sunday evening my girls and I are getting ready for a night to remember. Short skirts and dresses are the most common attire to wear, and we make sure we look our absolute best. Around 8 p.m. we begin to head to our destination, the Scene. Walking up to the club in downtown St. Petersburg, you can already tell it’s going to be crazy and packed. The line is wrapped around the club and two neighboring buildings. The growing body count doesn’t discourage us; our curfew is 1:30 and we are not by any means heading home. So we do the only thing that seems logical—we cut the line. Then we look



for someone we may know, and cut the line again. We hear the music beginning to thump. Let the games begin. The line slowly begins to move, but then all chaos breaks loose. Rowdy teenagers are pushing their way through the line, and unsuspecting weaklings are crushed in the stampede. But like the troopers we are, my friends and I safely make our way to the ticket window to pay our $15 without a hair out of place. As soon as we walk into the Scene we immediately go to the bathroom. Appearances are everything and we have to make sure we look good from the time we start to the time the party ends. The rooms that are lined along the side

show the colorful yet sultry mood of the club where teenagers can chill VIP’ing it up by themselves. We find a set of stairs and head to the second floor, which is not as crowded as the first but at least there’s a lot of comfy looking couches. Not interested, we pass them by and head to the third floor. Now this place is what I like to call “the heart of the twerk.” Although teenagers dance on the first floor, nowhere does it match up to the third. Let me set the scenario: You walk up the steps and immediately fall into a room with wall-to-wall dancing and it’s definitely not for the faint of the heart. It’s worse than your average homecoming “twerk”

and thank God there are no school officials to enforce regulations and bring the party down, though there are bouncers to keep the kids off tables. (Everyone’s looking for a good time, not a lawsuit). There are rules here and they are: “Twerk” or “get twerked on” and if you’re not doing either, then you’re a wall-hugger or a creeper, and at this function neither are allowed. My friends and I dance the night away. Some songs are club bangers, but others cause kids to sit down in disgust. Its 1:20 a.m. and we realize that we have to head home, but it’s okay because we had a night well spent.

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Dear Monique Need advice? Monique will help you through all your obstacles. All you have to do is write your thoughts down and place them in the HELP bin outside the journalism room (C100). Letters must be signed, but we will not use your name in the newspaper. Dear Monique, I have a girl that I like who smells so good and sweet but has a dude. Tell me what I should do: wait it out and hope something happens or try to get her to break up with him? - Freshman Boy Dear Freshman Boy, There is nothing worse than to try and pursue someone who is already taken. Just wait it out and allow time to run its course. But if you’re crushing from afar, try making yourself known. Comment on her smell or how she looks. If you make her feel good she’ll appreciate you. - Monique **** Dear Monique, I’m in love with an older guy. I love hanging out with him. I’m 18 and I want to be with him, but I don’t want to get him in trouble. What should I do? I love him, but I know if I put my heart out there I will probably get hurt or worse, hurt him. - The World

Religious jewelry: expressing faith or being trendy? By MALCOM ERVIN SNN Staff Writer

When sophomore Eyana Holmes’ grandmother saw her wearing rosary beads one day, she immediately told her to take them off. Holmes said her grandmother thought they were disrespectful to the Catholic religion. “Since I’m an obedient child, I took (them) off,” Holmes said. “‘Til this day it’s still on my (dresser).” Like Holmes, some Lakewood students are wearing religious jewelry just for style, not necessarily because it’s part of their religion, a fad that started last year. A lot of people are wearing rosary beads as well as what they refer to as a “Jesus piece” – a beaded necklace that has a medallion with Jesus’ face on it. Another popular item is wooden bracelets with pictures of the baby Jesus, the Blessed Mother and saints on it. Holmes said she bought the rosary beads from Tyrone Square Mall and she didn’t mean it to show disrespect. A lot of students buy these items at a beauty supply store or even a corner store. Some people see it as a fashion trend like sophomore Corey Johnson. He calls his chain the “Jesus piece,” which he purchased at Tyrone mall. “I was walking in the mall and I came up to a store called Italian Gold,” says Johnson. “I asked the store clerk what’s the cheapest piece of jewelry you have. That’s when she introduced me to the Jesus piece.” Johnson says he gets a lot of attention from the chain. “Soon as I walked through the hallway a lot of people looked at it,” he said. Johnson says his chain represents style and his love for Jesus Christ. “Mainly for Christ - the style is just a bonus,” says Johnson. BYRON BOYKINS | SNN

Dear World, Eighteen is young, meaning you have your whole life ahead of you, and a lot of fish in the sea (fish that are your age)! But it is okay just to be friends, which might actually be the best thing for you right now. Not every guy is supposed to be your boyfriend, and if you’re afraid of what might happen take that as a sign…. You might only be better as friends. - Monique **** Dear Monique, I’m on the “Creamy Crack.” In other words, I have relaxed hair. I’ve had this since I was 7 years old. I want to embrace my natural hair, but I’m hooked on getting perms and hair extensions. I’m also terrified of having a small afro! So my question is, how do I transition from relaxed to natural hair comfortably? - Anonymous Dear Anonymous, When you feel your hair getting crinkly instead of getting a perm, get your hair hotcombed or use a hot-oil treatment. Slowly your hair will get used to the hot combing or oil treatment, excluding the addiction to getting a perm. Embrace your natural! - Monique


Polo from head to toe By BYRON BOYKINS SNN Staff Writer


Senior Antez McLehan rocks a striped Ralph Lauren Polo dress shirt, Polo pants, socks, shoes and even undergarments and speaks for the true definition of exclusive. He doesn’t just wear the latest kicks and clothes; he buys the things that stand out the most within the latest attire. McLehan said he has dressed with his own swagger “since I stepped out the womb.” Since he was able to dress himself he’s been wearing Dickies, Ralph Lauren Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Rocawear, Blac Label, Nike and Jordan. He loves to stand out. “Other people do basic (things),” McLehan said, “but my swag is exclusive.” When asked why he feels his dress game is so exclusive, he points at himself and says, “It’s obvious, but everybody isn’t able.”

Religous jewelry such as bracelets and necklaces have become very popular over the last few years at Lakewood.



opinion W e d n e s d a y, A p r i l 2 7 , 2 0 11 Editorial

Making us proud to be Spartans Spartan News Network Staff Editor-in-Chief: Taylor LaPuma Design/Copy Chief: Spencer Blevins Multimedia Editors: Katie Atkisson, Madeline Glassman Opinions Editor: Sofia Damos Sports Editor: Julia Pohlmann Online Editors: Molinseai Elcius, Jessica Thornton Chief Photographer: Tyler Holcombe Video Editor: Morgan McCabe

Code of Ethics As journalists for the Spartan News Network, we work together as a community with respect, professionalism, accuracy and curiosity. We collect information and dig deep to get to the bottom of the most current events to produce and distribute hard-hitting and honest news to the Lakewood community in a timely manner. SNN is an open forum that strives to accurately report a balanced and truthful depiction of the news while remaining objective. Our main goal at SNN is to build and maintain trust with the people, to give a voice to the voiceless and to succeed at not just painting the picture, but telling the story behind the art. SNN is produced by the students of Lakewood High School. 1400 54th Ave. S St. Petersburg, FL (727) 893-2916, ext. 2163 SNN is printed by Lakewood’s business partner, the St. Petersburg Times.

For more news, go to the SNN web site:



New carpet, new tile – just the beginning? Principal Bob Vicari said he has made it his mission to improve the atmosphere at Lakewood High School. In light of all the financial confusion surrounding the state’s education system, it is surprising the number of good things that are floating our way. One drastic adjustment was the removal of the mucky classroom carpet that you were afraid to set your backpack on. In its place is a cleaner, more aestheticallypleasing successor. The introduction of tile in a number of rooms around campus is a step up. Another change is the county’s recent decision to institute a block schedule next year, requiring a lunch period in the middle of the day. This causes some worries among students who do not want to be in different lunch periods. The truth of the matter is that there will be only one lunch period between second and third block. And that leads us to the question: How will we fit roughly 1,400 students into a

cafeteria that seats only 400? As a solution, Vicari has proposed setting up outdoor/indoor seating areas for the students. He said he is working on getting a business to donate patio furniture to be set around campus. In exchange, Lakewood students would create a web page for the business. Anyone who walks the halls of Lakewood knows the pandemonium that manifests during break. With only 10 minutes to get what you want, it seems like students spend more time waiting in line than actually eating. Vicari said he would like to see more vending machines with healthier options around campus. Regardless of the origin of change, Lakewood is being “beautified,” as Vicari put it, to better the students’ time on campus and to make us proud of being a part of the school and to be Spartans. This editorial reflects the opinion of the SNN staff and was written by Sofia Damos, editor of editorials.

SNN criticism of Gov. Scott is unjust By RICKY NELSON SNN Staff Writer

In regards to the editorial in last month’s newspaper, I feel that Gov. Rick Scott is unfairly being targeted as the villain. From unpopular stances on highspeed rail and proposed budget cuts, Scott has taken heat from critics who feel he is doing the wrong things. Do people believe money just comes out of nowhere to fund everything? People are shocked when cuts force some change and take away things we are used to having. But if we continue with what we are doing, the government will run out of money. In order to get a hold of the out-ofcontrol spending, Scott plans to cut back on programs that hold little value in today’s society. A side effect of this plan includes cutting some of the education budget. It looks bad in the beginning, but Scott also plans to reduce taxes, including costs associated with pensions. With these tax cuts, school boards will save money. This will lead to a subsequent cut of about only $300 per pupil rather than the estimated $703. Our country’s economy boomed in the roaring ‘20s. This was a result of laissez faire economics, which means, “to leave alone.” This philosophy states that govern-

ment regulation and taxes scare away companies and consumers and leads to a stale economy. Without government intervention, businesses are more inclined to spend and create a successful economy. This is a part of Scott’s budget plans, to cut taxes on companies and corporations to promote more spending. People may construe this as giving more money to the rich, but it gives them incentives to spend more in the community, which creates a domino effect of spending. As a member of Lakewood’s wrestling team, not one of the more popular sports, I know all about the lack of money for schools. But the difference is that we, as a team, do not dwell on not getting enough money from the school. To be successful in this case, and in life for that matter, it takes initiative. Since we do not get enough money from the school to cover the costs of tournaments we go to, we do fundraisers as a team. The idea that you make your own fortune is what really matters, and that you should not leave it up to others to decide what happens to you. In no way, shape or form would I agree with every stance that Scott has taken. There are some areas we can improve upon, but in a time where what we are doing is not working, we need to think outside the box.

Share Your Opinions Letters to the editor should be sent to They should concern an opinion on a featured editorial or news story. They must be signed, accurate and at most 150 words. Letters may be edited for taste, length and grammar.

In your words Principal Bob Vicari has made many changes and improvements during his first year at Lakewood High School. SNN asked students and staff: What is one more thing you wish he had done? “I think we should get more privileges. Like if a class does good, we get a pizza party.” - Jacquell Phillips, 12th grade “I want to see everybody, boys and girls, dress appropriately. I don’t think the rules are strict enough. I want the hall monitors to nab everybody they see (violating the dress code).” - Viola Bates, guidance secretary “I wished he would have prepared us a little better for FCAT.” - Kiara Allen, 11th grade “Nothing really. He straightened out the school. He would have done a lot more if the state wasn’t breathing down his back.” - Vinvavone Phivilay, 12th grade “I wish he would have been more lenient with the homecoming events.” - Shamarri Hartzog, 12th grade “I wish he could have changed the exemption policy, if he had the power to.” - Marshall Lester, 12th grade “I’m just really happy with the job that he’s done ... (but we should) get rid of all the junk food in total at this school.” - Ivana McIntosh, reading teacher Quotes gathered by Tahrell Jones, Max Thuriere and Chris Deister, SNN Staff Writers

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Cut seniors some slack By SHERRISH GAINES SNN Staff Writer

With prom quickly approaching, students have been planning non-stop. Dresses, corsages, limos, hair appointments and dates. Now students have another thing to add to their list of worries: absences. First semester is over. The deadlines have passed and the college acceptance letters have come. Collectively, you can hear the senior class finally take a breath. The class of 2011 is able to step back and relax until graduation. No more stressing or impressing. Second semester is supposed to be a time to celebrate the fact that we made it. The new absence policy, however, is putting a dent in our happiness. With prom on a Friday night, many seniors would like to take the day off to get ready. Instead, they have to worry about racking up another absence. I think seniors should be exempt from the absence policy.

The current exemption policy states that only students who miss fewer than five days of school may exempt their semester exams. If a student maintains an A or B average in a class, how is it fair to force him or her to take an exam? By receiving a high grade in the class, a student has shown that academically, he or she is able to succeed, regardless of how many days of school the student may have missed. As seniors, we have been in the school system for 13 years. We’ve worked hard to earn our credits and get into college or move on from high school. This is our time to relax. Most likely students will do the same thing they have been doing all year: take a college day to get out of school the day of prom. But is this really honest? Last time I checked, Florida State Fair University isn’t a credible college. But it’s inevitable. Since the school decided to have prom fall on a Friday when we’re expected to be in class, students who bought prom tickets should be excused with a school related function.

Think twice or pay the price By SYMONE BROWN SNN Staff Writer

Ridiculous. This is the only word to describe the way I feel about the recent incidents of teenagers with weapons. These events were upsetting to read about - from the 16-year-old who is charged with killing a police officer, to the middle schooler charged with stabbing the school resource officer to the Lakewood High boy with a firearm who disrupted a track meet at St. Petersburg High. Teenagers are becoming so ignorant. A vast majority of the younger generation in America is not only ignorant but careless on top of that. They lack intelligence and morals: a lethal combination. Young people used to walk down a path

of hope and potential, but now the youth is headed down a dark alley of ignorance and violence. I should be surprised or shocked to read about the things that took place, but I’m not; that’s the sad part. Teens committing acts of violence have become so common that there’s no shock value anymore. The kids headlining the news have thrown their lives away. There is so much more to life than sitting in a cell. I don’t care what the cause was to make them resort to violence, or even threaten with violence, it is not worth your freedom. But for what they did, or attempted to do, they should receive the maximum punishment. We need to remove these types of people from society before they harm someone. Nip these threats in the bud, before they blossom into something really ugly.




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Sports briefs Flag football: As the varsity flag

football team got ready for the district semifinals on Tuesday (April 26), the junior varsity team ended its season April 8 with a 1-6 record. “We didn’t really do as well as we’ve done in the past,” coach Necole Tunsil said. But Tunsil predicted the varsity team would win the semifinals and go on to the championship game today (April 27). “We’re used to turning it on strong for districts,” Tunsil said. The junior varsity team didn’t do as well, she said, because fewer girls qualified to play because of poor grades. -BRIONNA ROCKQUEMORE


There is disappointment among the senior girls on the softball team who lost their annual “senior night” due to rain and the inability to reschedule. “I’ve grown up with all these girls and ... it’s sad that (at) the last home game, we lost,” said captain senior Sherrish Gaines. Assistant principal Deb Fabrizio said the seniors will still be recognized at a special banquet and receive flowers as a parting gift. However, the lady Spartans won the first round of districts, 7-0, against Palmetto but lost the second round, 10-0, against Braden River.


Tennis: The girls’ and boys’ tennis QUAN JONES | SNN

Lakewood High School girls basketball Coach Necole Tunsil is this year’s coach of the year.

awards later...

Coach Necole Tunsil wins coach of the year after the girls basketball team snags the state championship title.


Lakewood High School girls’ basketball coach Necole Tunsil has won not one award for coach of the year but three. First, Pinellas County coaches came together during Spring Break and elected Tunsil coach of the year for girls’ basketball. Then the St. Petersburg Times selected Tunsil as their coach of the year based on her successful season. A week after receiving the St. Petersburg Times award, Tunsil was honored by Class 4A FABC (Florida Association of Basketball Coaches) as its coach of the year – her third award. Tunsil said she feels “blessed with a team of hardworking girls.” She said she coaches because she loves the sport and the competition, not for the accolades - they’re just a plus. Senior Kayla Roberts said she is proud of her team and coach.




“It’s a good thing since she led us to the state championships,” Roberts said. “She’s a really good coach.” Sophomore Tianah Alvarado, who won the Class 4A FABC award for player of the year, said Tunsil is a good coach who is “really into what she does. “ “Once she has got her mind set she goes 100 percent,” Alvarado said. Tunsil said she wished the award was for coaching staff of the year, because she thinks her staff deserves the recognition. “The Coach of the Year award doesn’t reflect all of the other coaching staff put in. I appreciate the award, but I’m much, much happier with the state championship,” said Tunsil.

teams ranked third place in district tournaments. Each team played 14 matches and the girls had a winning record of 8-6. The boys ended with a record of 7-7. Coach Brian Taylor said each team did well though neither made it to the regional tournament. Next year they will be switching to a different division which will be easier, some players said. “We should have a lot of success next year,” said Taylor. -KAYLA GARCIA and CHRIS DEISTER

Football: The football team will face

Lakeland on May 7 at home at 7:30 p.m. Coach Cory Moore said the team has been preparing for this game since February. Moore said the up-and-comers for this year are quarterback Tracy Johnson, guard Logan McNeil, wide receiver Marquez Valdes and running back Martez Anderson. -DEANDRA EAST Baseball: The varsity baseball team finished its season with a 7-10 record. Head coach Cory Scott coached the Spartans for the first time this year. “I learned a lot of things and can’t wait to get out there next year,” said Scott. Although the team is losing five seniors, the roster has a lot of younger players who Scott hopes to develop through next season. The team was scheduled to play its first district game against the Palmetto Tigers on Tuesday (April 26). -SHERRISH GAINES

W e d n e s d a y, A p r i l 2 7 , 2 0 11


Where are they now? Louis Murphy Jr., Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver By JALON EDWARDS SNN Staff Writer


Lakewood alumnus Louis Murphy Jr. was “told to do better” and “never give up.” In an interview with SNN, Murphy said this advice resulted in him becoming a player in the NFL. After winning a state championship in basketball and graduating from Lakewood in 2005, Murphy, also known as “LJ,” committed to the University of Florida. Murphy majored in sports recreation and event management. Murphy played football for the Florida Gators and helped them win two national championships in 2006 and in 2008 under coach Urban Meyer. Graduating in 2008 from the University of Florida, it was NFL draft time. After the

first and second round of the draft, Murphy doubted he’d be chosen. But in the fourth round, he received a call from the Oakland Raiders. Murphy said his mom, Filomena Murphy, also known as “Mina,” is his “biggest support,” though she died of breast cancer in 2008 on Valentine’s Day. Murphy said that both of his parents always supported him, saying “never give up” and “you can make it.” He said his parents played sports, too. Pastor Louis Murphy Sr. played football and ran track while serving in the U.S. Marines. His mother played basketball, tennis and ran track. Murphy Jr. holds an annual summer

football camp at Lakewood High School. At the camp he brings NFL pros and college football players to teach the kids the sport. During the week of the football camp they have auctions. One day is for kids ages 8-13 years old and the other is for high school kids. When Murphy is finished playing football he said he hopes to be an athletic director of a high school or a college. For kids who want to go to college and play sports, here is some advice from Murphy: “Keep God first. … Don’t give up because it will be hard. … Do it for your family. More importantly do it for yourself.”

Lakewood finishes strong in track meet



Junior Jevaris Little, second from left, strives to win in the 100-meter dash during West Coast Invitational track meet at Lakewood High School on April 7.

The boys tracks team placed first in districts on April 20, while the girls placed second. Twenty-five students have qualified to go to regionals, Coach Anthony Snead said. This came a week after the girls placed first in the PCAC track meet on April 14, even though senior Kala Funderburk – one of the team’s top runners - had an anxiety attack and left the track meet after finishing only half of her events. “I’m good now,” she said later. In fact, she received first in the 400 and 800 events in districts. In the PCAC meet, she said she ran her fastest time in the 4x8 (2:14) and she thinks her body “went into shock.” An ambulance came and gave her an IV and then her dad took her home. Funderburk is the number one runner in the county and possibly the state, said Snead. Also in districts and PCAC, sophomore Sharell Keys took first in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. The boys placed second in the PCAC competition, with a huge surprise from senior Xavier Harrison. “(He had been) up and down all season and hadn’t won many events,” said Snead. “(He) seemed to explode on the scene.” At the district meet, he placed first in the 100 and 200-meter dash. Senior Dennis Pugh took first in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300 hurdles.



is a Spartan? A Spartan is many things:








traditional a





an a



student, the


the outlandish.

but no single definition defines a partan. We’ve grabbed several students and stitched every photo together.


is what a Spartan is to us. What is a partan to you?




SNN April 2011  

SNN April 2011

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