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torch the

John F. Kennedy High School 4545 Wenig Rd. NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 Volume 44, Issue 1


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Caught on camera

An in-depth look at the new photo-enforced traffic laws and their impact on the community, page 9


JFK Torch


September 24, 2010

Page by darcey altschwager

O’Dell moves on, says farewell

Photo by Asmaa Elkeurti Sea of students. Students flood the foyer during passing time. Although there has not been an increase in students, classroom sizes are growing.

Class size on the rise Average class size increased due to decrease in staff As the years go on the hallways and classrooms seem to be getting smaller and smaller. Recent staff cuts have been the main contribution to class sizes increasing. However the students attending Kennedy is around that same amount as last year. For this school year, five or six teaching positions were eliminated and not replaced. This has created many problems for everyone involved at Kennedy. Over the summer students found out that it was extremely difficult to get into the classes they wanted. Lori Clore, counselor for students with last names L-R, has worked with her students to get their schedules fixed. “When you have about the same number of students attending, and you have five or six less teachers, mathematically it’s going to hit everybody” Clore said. Clore does not keep a waiting list for students wishing to get into a certain class. Unless it is a required core class that is needed. Clore said that it is not fair to the teachers for her to keep adding on students

Dalton Boyle, jr., has only about 15 kids in his first hour class. “Yeah it is a lot easier to talk to my teacher compared to my other classes that have more students,” Boyle said. Students struggling to get the individual attention has been a big problem with the increase in class size. This year there are 802 students attending to their already full classes. Kennedy. This number is about the same as last Many students are frustrated by this but year. But because of the teaching positions cut continue to return to the counselors office to and not replaced the class sizes do not mathsee if there are any openings for the class they ematically even are wishing to get into. out as last year. Clore said that she thinks “When you have about the same Clore’s advice it is nice to see students be- number of students attending, for students is ing persistent. Clore even to be patient. and you have five or six less encourages students to be Consider this: persistent when trying to teachers, mathematically it’s goIf teachers get their schedule fixed. ing to hit everybody.” have five classes “I would need to run a with 22 students Lori Clore, counselor report for sure. But I know in each class, that lots and lots of teachthat is 110 stuers have been asking for dents that they extra desks.” Clore said. Although there is no are responsible for. But when you increase that official report out for the average class size, it to 32 students per class for five classes a day, can be estimated that the average class size is that makes teachers responsible for 160 stuclose to 30 students. dents. That means that teachers are taking on However, this average does not refer to all almost two extra classes in a day. classes. Zero hour, sixth hour, and seventh darcey altschwager hour have the smallest class size. But first hour through fifth hour have the highest-class size.

World History and U.S. Government are not everyone’s favorite class, but by having James O’Dell as a teacher, students changed their minds. Not only did he want to teach students about history and the important of our constitution, he wanted to connect with his students and fellow teachers. After teaching at Kennedy for eight years, O’Dell didn’t really have a favorite class he taught. “My biggest passion became, due to the amount of preparation and learning it took to master, AP World History. History is not just dates and times, it is real people and their religions, culture, foods, celebrations, wars, disasters, triumphs, and so much more,” O’Dell said. Over the summer, O’Dell and his wife moved to Illinois. He is still working at a high school but is not teaching. “My current job is in administration as an assistant principal. The impact on students is from a larger picture and can be with all students, but not as close as teachers get due to the daily lessons and impact on their lives,” O’Dell said. The thing he misses most about Kennedy is the people who he made relationships with. He tries to e-mail and talk to his former students and colleagues, and his friends who he left behind. “This summer my wife and I had a baby girl, Mia Grace, and I can’t tell you how many text messages I sent while we were in the hospital to friends from Kennedy,” O’Dell said. The Quad Cities area is very different from the Cedar Rapids area. His family and his wife’s family are very close to them now, which is a good thing. “In Geneseo there are a lot more Illinois fans and a lot fewer Hawkeye fans, and honestly what can be better than that.” O’Dell said. Being busy with a new job, new home, and a new baby girl, O’Dell is hoping to be able to visit Kennedy sometime in the fall. He hopes to be able to introduce Mia to all his friends and former students and colleagues. jordan calef

Counselor finds a new home with Kennedy Tom Srp is the new counselor who helps my job,” Srp said. Along with learning many students with the last names A-E. Srp replaced of the things that had to do with the job, he Chris Cronbaugh who was the former counsel- wanted to learn many of the other things that go on at Kennedy. or of students A-E here at Kennedy. One thing that he wants to learn along the Srp had previously been a counselor at Fairfield High School for three years, and was way is the culture of the school and just how presented with the new opportunity of work- the school works. As of now, Srp still is ing at Kennedy. He was working on a few things, informed that he was getbut his biggest task is seting the new job during “I have an open door polilect college fair night. As the early summer around cy and anybody can come a counselor he has been June. in for any questions.” working to set things up So far Srp has had a Tom Srp, counselor with colleges and get the pleasant experience at night planned out. Along Kennedy from what he has seen so far. “I really like the students and with this, he is still trying to learn names of faculty here, it seems like a great place to be,” the students he works with along with meeting said Srp. He also looks forward to working the facilitators. “Students can feel free to stop by and inwith students and the faculty more as the year troduce themselves, I have an open door policy progresses. Srp was presented with many big responsi- and anybody can come in for any questions and bilities starting out this school year, with many concerns or just to introduce themselves” said of the schedule changes and also learning the Srp. mohammad Cheetany Powerschool system. “I was just learning the ropes, but also doing

Photo by Jessica Rowan Lending a helping hand. Counselor Tom Srp, provides scheduling advice to a student. Srp is new to Kennedy this year and is working hard to learn the ropes.


JFK Torch

Page by darcey altschwager

September 24, 2010


ITEDS moved to spring Decision made in hopes of improving scores on ITEDS ITEDS have officially been moved to spring. This year will be the first time the seemingly dreaded test will not be taking place in the Fall, allowing students to have less stress, and one less thing to worry about. The decision was very thought out and involved every school in the Cedar Rapids Community District. The school board didn’t vote on it but they were aware of the process. When asked how the decision was made, Dr. Wilcynski replied, “It was a decision made by the district with support of the school board.” The decision finally ended at the central office of administrators. All elementary, middle, and high school schools in the district will move both ITBS and ITEDS to the Spring. As for the thinking behind it, Wilcynski said, “My hope is that it will help increase

3 reasons why new ITEDS date is better: 1. Better reflection on learning for current year. 2. Allows time for teachers to assist struggling students before test. 3.Better way to tell if students have improved.

scores for kids who struggle because there will be more opportunity to really work with those kids on their skill development, prior to taking the test.” Students will have an opportunity to refresh their basic skills as well as learn new material for the test. Teachers will be given more accountability to help prepare their students. It will also be easier to see growth. By testing in the Spring, scores will be based on the current school years knowledge, in comparison to the Fall testing, which shows the results of the previous year. The school district is expecting a significant increase in scores that could ultimately change the normal score range. Shairaz Sidhu, jr., believes that it will give students more time to adjust to the school year after Summer break. When asked how he felt about the change Sidhu said, “I think my scores will improve because I will be learning new things throughout the school year.” As of right now, ITEDS are scheduled to be taken the week of April 4th to the 8th or the week of April 11th to the 15th. The tests will probably be about a week and a half after Spring break allowing students to feel refreshed. A decision has not been made whether they will be taken during home room or in subject area classes yet. grant sheeley

War in Middle East draws forth a hero Kennedy alumni earns the Medal of Honor Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta, Kennedy alumni, graduated in 2003. Throughout his high school career he was involved in wrestling, football, tennis, and was an actor in at least one play. After high school, Giunta went on and joined the military. Giunta is now being honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor after his heroic efforts during an ambush in 2007. In October 2007, Giunta was part of an eight-man ambush at night to take down Taliban members that were armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. During the attack Giunta rushed into the line of fire to rescue wounded comrades. He also helped kill and drive off the Taliban attackers. Giunta forced them to release a captive U.S soldier. Two of Giunta’s comrades were killed during the ambush. And everyone else involved was either wounded or had enemy rounds stopped by their protective equipment. Giunta’s vest stopped one round that was potentially fatal and a weapon that was slung on his back stopped another round. In all interviews that Giunta has done he has declined the act of being called a hero. He believes that anyone else would have done the same thing in his situation. One of the comrades that was killed in the ambush was Giunta’s friend, Sgt. Joshua Brennan. Giunta forced the Taliban to release Brennan that the Taliban had captive. Brennan had multiple

injuries and later died in a hospital Giunta is the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. He was a resident of Hiawatha and is currently stationed in Vicenza, Italy. There is no date yet as to when Giunta will receive the award. In other interviews Giunta said that he is not sure what the future holds for him. He plans on keeping his options opened and hoping that he picks the right one. darcey altschwager

Sal Giunta, Kennedy alumni of 2003, is the first living person to earn the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. Giunta ran back in line of fire, risking his life to save others.

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Photo by Asmaa Elkeurti Test in progress. A student confidently answers questions on the ITEDS. The ITEDS have been moved to spring in hopes of improving student’s scores.


JFK Torch


Homecoming Histeria September 24, 2010

Page by Allie sindlinger

photos by Jessie Rowan

Soft and natural vs simple, yet edgy Pleats then more angled pleats, all framed in a uniquely feminine style. The look is definitely soft and feminine. This strapless number will catch the attention of everyone. It’s great for dancing. Plus you can wear your hair up, back, down, or loose. It’s all good. commentary by Allie Sindlinger

This Little Black Dress is sleek and sophisticated, with just a bit of retro with peplum skirting at the waist. A fun trendy cut that hugs the body. A edgy look like this will definitely make the heads turn. commentary by Allie Sindlinger

Best restuarants to Homecoming week take your date to on Homecoming Monday, September 27

All Day: Lazy Day- Roll out of bed and let yourself go and wear your most comfortable clothes

PowderPuff Football: 2:00 pm- Come support your grades powderpuff football team Homecoming Parade: 5:30

Tuesday, September 28 All Day: Crayola Day- Wear your class color. Freshman: Green Sophomore: Yellow Juniors: Blue Seniors: Red

Wednesday, September 29

Friday, October 1 All Day: Tie-Dye Day- Wear your best tie dye job Sophomore Homecoming game against Jefferson: 5:00pm

Olive Garden


Create-a-sampler Italinano- $8.75

Zesty Ranch Chicken Sandwich- $8.99

Grilled Chicken Flatbread- $7.65

Fiesta Lime Chicken- $10.99

Unlimited salad, soup, and breadsticks- $7.99

Applebee’s Riblets- $11.99 Lasagna Fritta- $8.25 Mozzarella Sticks- $7.49

All Day: Neon Day- Wear all of your best neon clothing

Varsity Homecoming game against Jefferson: 7:00 pm

Eggplant Parmigana- $11.95

Thursday, September 30

Saturday, October 2

Bruschetta- 6.35

Homecoming dance: 7-11pm

Caprese Flatbread- $6.65

All Day: Spirit Day- Wear all of your green and gold to support your Kennedy Cougars.

Sizzling Skillet Fajitas- $12.99

Minestrone Soup- $4.95

Chicken Quesadilla Grande- $8.99 Boneless Buffalo Wings- $8.49 Cheeseburger Sliders- $8.49

Spaghetti with meat sauce- $10.75 Capellini Pomodoro- $10.50

Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger- $7.99

Red Lobster

Life Maine Lobster (1 ¼ lb, Steamed) 45 cal, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 350mg sodium, 0g carbs Fresh Salmon 270 cal, 9g fat, 2g saturated fat, 310mg sodium, 6g carbs Tilapia 210 cal, 3g fat, 1g saturated fat, 230 mg sodium, 9g carbs Rainbow trout 220 cal, 10g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 380 mg sodium, 6g carbs Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail 120 cal, .5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 580 mg sodium, 9g carbs.


JFK Torch

Page by AlliE Sindlinger

September 24, 2010


Concerts coming soon 9/28/10 Bone Thugs-NHarmony, Val Air Ballroom, Des Moines, IA (Rap/Hip-Hop) 9/29/10 Bleeding Through With After The Burial, For Today, The Word Alive, Dead and Divine Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City, IA US (Rock) 9/30/10 The Spill Canvas, The Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City, IA US (Rock/Acoustic) 10/1/10 Band of Horses, Val Air Ballroom, Des Moines, IA (Indie Rock/Alternative) 10/2/2010 FLYLEAF with Story Of The Year, Wheelhouse, Cedar Falls IA (Rock) 10/4/10 Passion Pit, Val Air Ballroom, Des Moines, IA (Electropop/Indie Rock) 10/4/10 Wiz Khalifa, with Yelawulf The Union Bar (All Ages, even though its at a bar), Iowa City, IA (Rap/HipHop) 10/8/10 Thousand Foot Krutch, Val Air Ballroom, Des Moines, IA (Christian Rock/Hard Rock) 10/13/10 The Almost, The Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City, IA US (Rock/Alternative) 10/16/10 Papa Roach/ Skillet, McElroy Auditorium, Waterloo, IA US (Rock) 10/18/10 Mike Posner, Val Air Ballroom, Des Moines, IA (Electropop/Hip-Hop) 10/28/10 Brother Ali, The Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City, IA US (Rap/Hip-Hop) 10/29/10 Bo Burnham, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, IA US (Various/Comedy/Parody) 10/30/10 All Time Low With A Rocket to the Moon, City(comma) State, The Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City, IA US (Rock/ Alternative) (SOLD OUT) 11/1/10 Black Label Society, 7 Flags Event Center, Clive, IA (Metal) 11/2/10 30 Seconds to Mars 7 Flags Event Center, Clive, IA (Rock) 11/3/10 Ghostface Killah, with Sheek Louch, Frank Dukes, The Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City, IA US (Rap/Hip-Hop) 11/7/10 CKy, The Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City, IA US (Rock/Alternative Metal) 11/17/10 The Hold Steady, The Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City, IA US (Alternative rock)

photo provided by Vonnegutt Musicians. The members of the hip hop/electronica band Vonnegutt pose together. Vonnegutt is a new up and coming band form Marietta, Georgia.

Brand New Artist: Vonnegutt Editor’s note: Brand New Artist: Vonnegutt is the first part in the new recurring series, Brand New Artist. Every issue, the Torch will highlight a new up and coming artist from the music scene.

Quick Facts

Vonnegutt, is an up and coming band to look out for. Vonnegutt’s music is a unique blend of hip-hop/electronica and rock. By the summer of 2008 they earned a coveted spot on the Vans Warped Tour in Atlanta and signed a record deal with Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon Entertainment record label. They have been invited to perform at big time music festivals such as Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. Next year, 2011, is when Vonnegutt’s long awaited debut with Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon Entertainment record label. The founder and vocalist of the band, Kyle Lucas, has been making a career and name of his own on the side. He has made several mixed tapes. His lates mixed tape is, It’s Always Sunny In Marietta. The band has a smooth melody, that cathes yorr attention. Vonnegutt’s lyrics are catchy and easy to relate to.

Vocals: Kyle Lucas Guitar/vocals: Neil Garrad Bass: Patrick Postlewait Drums: Taylor White

Band: Vonnegutt

Genre: Hip Hop/Electronica Hometown: Marietta, Georgia Record label: Purple Ribbon Records Hit Songs: Bright Eyes Ex Girlfriends Are Stupid Here We Go Again On My Side Follow Us Final Fantasy Hard To Say Consider Myself Highway Robbery V for Vonnegutt I’m A Mess and I Love It

Fall’s new and returning TV line up

Show: Gossip Girl Show date/time: September 13th, 9pm Channel The CW

Show: Dancing With The Stars            Show date/time: September 20th , Mondays at 8pm Channel: ABC Show: Detroit 1-8-7            Show date/time: September 21st , Tuesdays at 9pm Channel: ABC   Show: Running Wilde Show date/time: September 21st , 9:30pm  Channel: FOX   Show: Glee Show date/time: September 21st , Tuesdays at 8pm   Channel: FOX   Show: The Good Guys Show date/time: September 24th , Fridays at 9pm   Channel: FOX   Show: The Simpsons Show date/time: September 26th , Sundays at 8pmChannel: FOX

Channel: The CW

Show: Desperate Housewives Show date/time: September 26th , Sundays at 9pm   Channel: ABC              Show: Family Guy            Show date/time: September 26th , Sundays at 8pm Channel: FOX   Show: The Office Show date/time: September 26th , Thursdays at 8pm  Channel: NBC Show: Gossip Girl Show date/time: September 13th, 9pm Channel The CW Show: Gray’s Anatomy Show date/time: September 23rd, 9pm Channel: ABC Show: The Cleveland Show Show date/time: September 26th , 8:30pm Channel: FOX Show: Vampire Diaries Show date/time: September 9th , Thursdays at 8:00pm

Show: America’s Next Top Model Show date/time: September 8th , Wednesdays at 8:00pm Channel: The CW Show: Modern Family Show date/time: September 22nd , Wednesdays at 9:00pm Channel: ABC Show: Two and a Half Men Show date/time: September 20th , Mondays at 9:00pm Channel: CBS Show: The Middle Show date/time: September 22nd , Wednesdays at 8:00pm Show: Better With You Show date/time: September 22nd , Wednesdays at 8:30pm Information gathered by Allie Sindlinger and Mo Cheetany


JFK Torch


September 24, 2010

Page by Allie Sindlinger

Do’s and don’ts of dieting WENDY’S DON’T: Baconator- Single Stacked Calories: 610 Total Fat: 34g

DO: Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe Calories: 300 Total Fat: 14g

From school From home Whole grain Pop Tarts: New addition to the Kennedy vending machines and snack closet. Whole grain is an awesome way to satisfy hunger and will stick with you throughout the entire day. Baked chips: Baked chips contain less fat and calories than regular chips. They are the healthiest chip alternative. The Kennedy vending machines carry an assortment of flavors. Generation Max: Generation Max snack foods come in M&M cookies and 3 musketeers bars. They are designed to keep up your energy. They are low in calorie count and saturated fat. The 3 Musketeers chocolate brownie bar is a good break from the normal granola bar.


Cereal: Before heading out the door in the morning, pack yourself a small bag of cereal. Try to stay away from the cereals loaded up with sugar. Pick a cereal that is whole grain, such as Honey Nut Cheerios. The whole grain cereal will keep you satisfied longer. Protein Bars: Protein is a great way to satisfy hunger. Stick a box of protein bars in your locker so you can conveniently grab one during passing time. They are a quick solution that will tide you over until lunchtime. Snack Mix: Create your own snack mix instead of buying one from the vending machine. Mix together your favorite snacks such as pretzels, Goldfish, peanuts, raisins, Cheerios, Chex, Kix, dark chocolate chips or even M&M’s. DARCEY ALTSCHWAGER

Grab and go breakfasts

DON’T: Extra Crispy Chicken Breast Calories: 510 Total Fat: 33g

DO: Grilled Chicken Breast Calories: 160 Total Fat: 11g

McDonalds DON’T: Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Calories: 740 Total Fat: 42g

DO: Regular Cheeseburger Calories: 300 Total Fat: 12g

Andrea Traeger

-Whole grain breakfast cereal topped with skim milk and fresh blueberries -Six to eight ounces of plain low fat yogurt with granola cereal stirred into the yogurt -Small muffin topped with vanilla yogurt -Whole wheat toast with crunchy peanut butter -Toasted pumpernickel bread with a slice of melted cheese -Instant breakfast in skim milk -Lean ham on a half of sesame seed bagel

-Cottage cheese and fresh fruit - Toasted whole grain waffle topped with fresh strawberries - Six to eight ounces of plain low fat yogurt with granola cereal stirred into the yogurt - One banana with one tablespoon of peanut butter - One cup of Greek yogurt, with six almonds, handful of blueberries and a teaspoon of honey - Energy bars ( Odwalla, Kashi, GoLean, TruSoy) -Bowl of oatmeal with flaxseed, - One whole grapefruit ALLIE SINDLINGER

Ten minute breakfasts 1. Bagel Gone BananasCombine two tablespoons natural nut butter, one teaspoon honey and a pinch of salt; spread on a toasted whole wheat bagel and top with one sliced small banana. Makes: two servings, one half a bagel each. Per Serving: 284 calories What you get: Magnesium 2. Breakfast Mini PizzasSpread two tablespoons marinara sauce on a toasted whole wheat english muffin. Top with one scrambled large egg. Two tablespoons shredded Italian cheese blend and two slices pepperroni (optional). Broil until the cheese is melted, one to three minutes. Makes: One serving. Per Serving: 265 calories What you get: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium 3. Mexi- MeltSpread two tablespoons refried beans on one slice of whole wheat toast. Top with one tablespoon each salsa and shredded cheese, such as Mexican blend or Jack. Microwave on High until the cheese is melted and beans are hot, about 45 seconds. Makes: One serving Per Serving: 123 calories Allie Sindlinger


Page by Michael Hoefer

Sonic Drive-ins Support Kennedy Torch

JFK Torch September 24, 2010



JFK Torch


September 24, 2010

Page by Michael Hoefer

Meet the Torch staff The Torch is looking forward to another great year of bringing you top quality news. Meet the writers, photographers, and graphic artists on our staff.

Mo Cheetany Sports Editor Celebrity crush: Katy Perry Secret: “I secretly love Justin Bieber...NOT!”

Riley Galbraith Sports Editor Celebrity Crush: Serena Williams Nickname: Pickles Favorite word: Joshin

Darcey Altschwager News Editor Hobby: Running from the cops Talent: Getting abused

Michael Nordstrom Feature Editor Talent: “I’m a psychic.” Favorite Food: Mom’s lasagna

Jessica Rowan Profile Editor Most likely to get arrested for: Breaking tombstones Hobby: Winking

Allie Sindlinger Lifestyle Editor Nickname: Al-Pal Celebrity Crushes: David Beckham, Chris Brown, Kyle Lucas...

Allison Kindig Design Editor Hobby: Traveling Most likely to get arrested for: Hiccuping

Spencer Grekoff Writer Pets: A turtle named Slidy Celebrity Crush: Megan Fox

Austin Johnson Writer Nickname: AJ Talent: “I’m good at predicting sports games.”

Alex Busbee Editor in Chief Celebrity Crush: Michelle Obama Talent: “I write good.”

Sam Nordstrom Ad Manager/Writer Favorite Food: Buffalo Wings Celebrity Crush: Megan Fox

Jordan Calef Writer Most likely to get arrested for: Murder Most intimate secret: “I hate scary movies!”

Michael Hoefer Managing Editor Talent: Songwriting Most likely to get arrested for: Public Indecency

Shane Goodall Ad Manager/Writer Nickname: Slim Shaney Most intimate secret: “I’m deaf in one ear.”

Zach Goodall Writer Most intimate secret: “I don’t dance” Most likely to get arrested for: Loitering

Asmaa Elkeurti Photo Editor Hobby: Photography and eating Celebrity Crush: Hugh Dancey

Grant Sheeley Writer Favorite Food: Ice Cream Favorite Word: Parabola

Mr. Lindsay Advisor Nickname: Journalism Guy Talent: Problem solving

Rachael Gilman Profile Editor/Graphic Artist Talent: Speaking Parseltongue Crush: Seth Cohen

Andrea Trager Lifestyle Editor Hobby: Barrel Racing Most Intimate Secret: “I met Sean Kingston without a ticket.” All photos by Asmaa Elkurti


JFK Torch

Page by Michael Nordstrom

September 24, 2010


Opinionssplitovernewred lightandspeedcameras Statistics prove that speed cameras are making roads safer, but are they worth the annoyance?

Nine speed cameras now occupy the that has shoplifted, which is also a simple misstreets of Cedar Rapids and with more on demeanor, no one cares. They are both crimes the way, speeding is becoming a thing of the considered a simple misdemeanor, but shoplifting won’t kill anyone. But running a red light or past. Since February the Cedar Rapids Police speeding and causing a crash can and has killed Department has been installing speeding and people…” Hamblin said. The mobile speed camera, for those who red light cameras. To date there are eight staare unfamiliar, is a tionary cameras, one speeding camera inmobile speed camera “…I don’t understand why citistalled in a red jeep and three more on with the license plate the way. While the zens are so upset that we take a number 216 BSG. cameras are mak- picture of their vehicle speeding The red jeep is set up ing revenue for the or running a red light, which is along the side of varicity, they are also a simple misdemeanor, yet if we ous stretches of road making the streets and highways where safer.  “In June, our show a picture of someone that it takes pictures of crashes were re- has shoplifted, which is also a licenses plates of duced 14% from last simple misdemeanor, no one speeding cars. year and in July they In addition to were reduced 11%. cares. They are both crimes conticketing people who If you have driven sidered a simple misdemeanor, on I380, you can see but shoplifting won’t kill anyone. speed and run red lights, the cameras the difference in the could also be potenspeed.” Srgt. Cristy But running a red light or speedtially life saving in the Hamblin said. ing and causing a crash can and instances of a kidnapAs the streets are has killed people…” ping or bank robbery, become more safe, “They (the speed resentment towards - Sgt. Cristy Hamblin camersa)  can  also be the cameras is risset to locate one speing, “I think that the cameras are a distraction. because people just cific license plate should the need arise, as in a slow down for the cameras and then speed kidnapping or bank robbery.” Hamblin said. Although the cameras certainly do have adback up.” Kim Muench, sr., said. Since the installment of the first cameras people have vantages in regards to safety, one Kennedy stubeen finding their own ways to express their dent has received a ticket under circumstances anger and help each other avoid tickets. some would regard as unfair. Austin Lewis, Several groups have sprung up on Facebook sr., received a ticket in the mail after he let his opposing the red light cameras. There is even friend, Mark Sabotta, sr., borrow his car, “Mark a group called Cedar Rapids Mobile Speed needed to go to work, so I let him drive my car. Cam where people go to share the location of He ran a red light, and later I got a letter in the the infamous mobile speed camera unit and mail.” Lewis said, “My parents saw it first, and looked at it. Since my car was under my dad’s voice their own opinions. While some people are upset about the name, he got charged. I paid him, and then later cameras, Hamblin has her own opinion, “…I Mark paid me.” After the unfortunate situation, Lewis still don’t understand why citizens are so upset that we take a picture of their vehicle speeding or feels the red light cameras are beneficial for running a red light, which is a simple misde- Cedar Rapids. However speed cameras are a meanor, yet if we show a picture of someone different story, “I pass two speed cameras going

Cedar Rapids Speed Trap Locations 2 Ave and 10 St SE 1 Ave and 10 St SE 2 Ave and 6 St SW 2 Ave and 3 St SW Edgewood Rd and 42 St NE I380 NB Diagonal Dr SW Center Pt Rd and Collins Rd NE I380 NB H Ave NE

Graphic by Rachel Gilman to Kirkwood every day, and everyone slows down for the cameras, and then speeds back up. The only thing they are doing are temporarily slowing traffic.” When it all comes down to it, anyone can avoid getting a ticket. According to Sgt.

Hamblin, the solution is simple, “Don’t speed or run red lights. Any drivers ed teacher will tell you to follow the rules of the road.” For the time being, the speed cameras are here and citizens must obey traffic rules to avoid getting tickets. Michael Nordstrom

Do you approve of the new speed and red light cameras?

85% No

15% Yes

50 upperc l a ssm e n surve yed on 9-21-10

Streets under surveillance Not a speed camera Red light camera

Speed camera

Mobile speed unit

(red jeep) Drawing by Rachel Gilman, Photos by Asmaa Elkurti


JFK Torch


September 24, 2010

Page by Alex busbee

photo illustration by Asmaa Elkeurti True love. Mike Hoefer, sr., models one of his many ways to ask that special sombody to Homecoming. (Note: nobody’s car was damaged in real life, and the Torch do not encourage vandalism of any sort.)

Help for Homecoming Top ten ways to ask that special somebody It is that time of year again. The time of year when girls gossip and whisper quietly to themselves in the hall. The time of year when boys get nervous, girls get nervous, and even a few teachers get nervous. That time of year... is homecoming. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines homecoming as either a) a return home or b) the return of a group of people usually on a special occasion to a place formerly frequented or regarded as home. Neither of these definitions really apply to this situation.

“Yeah, you can always send your potential grinding buddy a text, but I would recommend otherwise. Most people want to be asked in a cute, funny, or original way, which puts tremendous pressure on the asker.” -Mike Hoefer, sr. As we have all heard many times, you do

NOT need a date to go to homecoming. It is quite possible to have an excellent time at a high school dance without being figuratively chained to another person. You do not need to pay for two dinners if you are a boy, and girls do not need to worry about their appearance. If you would like a date, however, you first need to ask them to the dance. Yeah, you can always send your potential grinding buddy a text, but I would recommend otherwise. Most people want to be asked in a cute, funny, or original way, which puts tremendous pressure on the asker. Lost? Confused? Out of ideas? Not to worry, I’m here to help. Assembled below is a list of the top ten alternative ways to ask your date to homecoming. 1) Fill your potential date’s locker with really stinky goat cheese. Include a note that says, “I know your locker probably stinks of goat cheese, but I do not care. Will you go to homecoming with me?” 2) Fill your potential date’s locker with armed rat traps. Include a note that says “I bet you have a bunch of bruises, but I still think

you’re quite the catch. Will you go to homecoming with me?” 3) Fill your potential date’s locker with 200 notes asking them to homecoming, all from different people. If it was truly meant to be, they will know which person is really asking them. 4) Follow around your potential date for 5 straight days. Follow them to and from school, watch them in between classes, and try to make them feel threatened. On the 6th day, promise them, “I’ll stop stalking you if you go to homecoming with me.” 5) Actually threaten them. 6) Sew a quilt that has the question “Homecoming?” stitched into one of the blocks. Have your potential date’s grandma give it to them, saying, “Love was sewn into every stitch.” 7) Write your potential date a minimum 1000 word essay on why they should go with you to homecoming. Include logical arguments like, “It is not likely that anyone else will ask you,” and, “With your looks, I’m about

as good as it is gonna get.” 8) Key the message, “Homecoming?” into the door of your potential date’s car. 9) Find a hidden corner in some closet and write the message, “Will you go to homecoming with me?” with a pencil, in really small font. Chances are they will never see it, but it is worth a shot. 10) Tell one of your favorite teachers to ask him/her for you. It would likely be a very awkward encounter. So there you have it, ten great ways to ask your date to homecoming. These methods have never failed*, but it is understandable if you want to come up with something on your own. Be creative, be funny, and have fun! That’s what homecoming is all about. *These methods have never succeeded either. NOTE: The majority of the items on this list will get you in some sort of trouble, especially number 5. I wouldn’t recommend it. Mike Hoefer

Staff Editorial: Traffic camera Reminiscent of something from a scifi horror flick, the Cedar Rapids Police Department can now keep an eye on us at all times through use of their new technology. The CRPD has been using speed cameras to issue traffic citations to people speeding and running red lights all over Cedar Rapids. As of August 18, the speed cameras have been going to town on drivers. At first hearing of this, most teens had the same thing to say. “This sucks.” But a closer look reveals that the advantages have the possibility to far outweigh the disadvantages. First off, the new speed cameras free up police officers, allowing them to spend more time searching for those who are committing serious crimes. The less police we have setting speed traps at either end of the I-380 S curves, the more we have patrolling the streets. People are looking at these new cameras

the wrong way. Think for a moment, “Why did the police and city council approve these speed cameras in the first place?” So they can catch us in the act of speeding, right? Wrong. They are simply trying to encourage us to slow down, which us an unbearable thought for those people who believe we do not have time to drive safely. But for those stubborn people who have decided that they will simply slam on their breaks whenever they’re under the cameras, here is some comforting news. Every time the CRPD installs a new camera, they have to make the information available to the public. So even though the cameras have been catching mostly Cedar Rapidians, overtime that will shift to the point where people from other states and cities are the ones receiving the majority of the citations. So the next time you see a car with a Wisconsin license plate going flying by a speed camera, thank them for the donation they just made to Cedar Rapids.

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Page by Alex busbee

September 24, 2010

Ground Zero controversy Opinion: let them build there Several weeks ago I turned on the news to the top story: US Public Opposes Ground Zero Mosque. Immediately I was appalled. I mean, Ground Zero is a national memorial and no religious party should be allowed to build on Ground Zero. Within minutes I was online searching for facts, after all FOX News is not a reliable source when it comes to news. The first thing I wanted to find out was if this accusation was actually legitimate. I was relieved to find that the accusation was entirely false. First of all what is being proposed is not even a mosque, it is an Islamic community center named Park51 that will contain a basketball court, swimming pool, and a culinary arts center. Secondly the Islamic Center will be located several blocks away from Ground Zero. So I figured that they had Constitutional rights to build their Islamic faith center. But apparently the ill informed public did not. Soon after it was discovered that the Islamic Center was not going to be built on Ground Zero, FOX News once again took on the responsibility of un-educating Americans by bringing in radical right wing conservatives to twist and contort the story. They established that the Islamic Center had a right to build, but they should not out of respect for those who had perished in the tragedy of 9/11. They even went as far as to claim that it would symbolize victory for the terrorists who destroyed the towers back in 2001. Well first off let me start by saying that the Ground Zero Mosque is not even visible from Ground Zero. However, there are two churches right across the streets that are completely visible from Ground Zero. Secondly, let us not forget that some of those Americans who lost their lives

grapic by Rachel Anne Gilman

Opinion: find new build location On September 11, 2001 our nation was shocked. Speechless. Devastated. It was as if the security of our nation had collapsed along with the Twin Towers. Fear flooded everyone’s eyes, but more than that, there were tears of frustration. Why and how could we let this happen? What kind of evil would sink this low? As we watched the smoke pile engulf the towers, we couldn’t help cry at the loss of children, mothers, fathers, and friends—people who were just going to another day of work. Little did they know it would be their last. The terrorists who committed these horrors did them in the name of Islam. It is natural for people to become fearful of all Muslims. Is this a valid assumption? Of course not! It was radical Muslims that organized 9/11 plans. However, I believe there are sensible reasons as to why the Mosque should not be built near Ground Zero. The most obvious but critical point is the insensitivity to the families hurt by 9/11. I was in 3rd grade when 9/11 occurred. I vividly remember my mom crying while watching the footage on the news over and over again. She was depressed. Imagine if she had lost her husband! Or if I had lost her? Life would’ve changed forever. It has been nine years, but I know there are still people hurting. I cannot imagine the tragedy of losing a loved one! If I had lost my mother in 3rd grade, and a mosque was built a couple blocks away from where my mother died, I would be very offended. Is there any sensitivity to the feelings of others? I understand that America has the freedom of religion, but they are free to build a mosque anywhere in all of the 9,161,966 square kilometers of land in the United States! They just happened to choose the worst place. For the sake

in the attack were of Islam faith. Just because the terrorists claimed to be Islamic does not mean that the Muslims building the community center are radicals too. In fact fewer then 2 percent of Muslims are extremists. There have also been radical groups who associate themselves with Christianity. An example could be Hitler and the Nazi Party. Associating all Muslims with terrorists is like associating all Christians with Nazis. I guess what makes me sad is how much hate and religious intolerance has been stirred up. I love America for many reasons, one of those being freedom of religion. We live in a country built on acceptance and tolerance. This controversy stirred up so many emotions on all sides, mainly due to prejudices and inaccurate reporting. On a global perspective, this controversy puts the lives and mission of our troops in the Middle East in jeopardy. How are we supposed to be supporting democracy and freedom in the Middle East if our own country has problems tolerating other religions? Let us not forget that the media also gave a voice to that crazy pastor from Florida who proposed that September 11th be Burn a Quran Day. This ridiculous, hate filled proposition increased al-Qaida recruitment and further put our troops in danger. I think the moral of the situation is that we all cannot jump to conclusions based one news network’s poor journalistic reporting. We need to do research for ourselves and get facts. The Islamic Center now, in my eyes, symbolizes tolerance. If the Islamic Center is not built, we are sending a message to the world that America does not tolerate other religions. Michael Nordstrom


of those truly affected by 9/11, it would be wise not to offend or hurt them. Did you know the Imam is skeptical about building the mosque? He said he fears it will, “inflame Muslim radicals overseas.” A Muslim whose mother died in 9/11, Neda Bolourchi, said, “I fear it would become a symbol of victory for militant Muslims around the world.” Some say that building a mosque will solve the tensions. The fact that there is even a controversy about the idea tells me that it will not result in peace. Most, if not all, of the victims of 9/11 are opposed to the idea. Statistics show that 63 percent of New Yorkers are opposed. Here is an idea. What if, instead of concentrating on building a ‘memorial’ to the religion of the people who annihilated the Twin Towers, let us build a memorial to honor the victims of 9/11? If you have not visited the Holocaust Museum, I strongly advise you to. There is just something about that place that really causes you to evaluate human hatred and show sympathy. Hardly anyone can go through that memorial center without crying. I think it is healthy for us, regardless of if we were involved or not, to reflect on history in this way. The only reason history is so important is it helps us not make the same mistakes again! History has been known to repeat itself. I am opposed to a mosque being built near Ground Zero. It is disrespectful to those affected by 9/11, has the potential to enflame radical Muslims (and is a symbol of victory to them), is opposed by most New Yorkers, and is not an appropriate memorial. Instead, let us honor those who were died and were hurt by 9/11. Christina Ling

Different people, different beliefs Students of different religious backgrounds share their views on religion in light of the Qur’an burning incident I recently had to fast for Yom Kippur, a Jewish holiday in which you fast to ask for forgiveness for sins you may have committed the prior year. On many occasions, I found that people I was around did not take it seriously and decided they were going to try to make me break my fast. I feel that our country as a whole needs to look at what we are doing to see what impact it will have on other religions. Whether they have large or small followings, every religion deserves the same treatment. It is up to us, as citizens, to follow the Constitution and the freedom of religion. Jonathan Chadick



As long as people are around, religion will play a role. People will have ideas about where we came from, why we are here, and how we should live. Nowadays, it is as if we have lost the art of constructive, thought-provoking debate. We seem to spend more time attacking people (and their books) than analyzing their ideas. As a follower of Jesus, it pains me to see how many people, including Christians, have turned to doing or saying offensive things to win an argument. In today’s world, stigma beats dogma. And that is a shame. Because dogma is where the ideas—the truths or falsehoods—really lie. Brenda Forstrom


Religion to me is not only something to have, or an answer for people when they ask me what I believe in. It is a way of life. Something that happens every day and affects almost everything I do. I do not think I am old or mature enough to truly accept my religion in its fullest or not see any flaws in it, but I think that takes a lifetime of knowledge and experience to get to that level of understanding. I respect all religions and people who do not believe in anything at all. We all have our own ways of thinking and going about life. Part of what makes this world so amazing is all the different perspectives, ideas, and cultures that can be found. Lina Hegazi


I think that at this time in the world, religion is causing more problems than it is fixing. That is why I am not religious. As far as the pastor from Florida threatening to burn the Qur’an, even though he has a right to burn them, it does not make it right. All you see on the news is the problems caused by separate religions and scandals inside of major religions. I think that the original reason religion was created was to explain how we became. We now know that evolution can explain part of it and I think that soon enough we will have a full explanation for how life came to be. Trey Milks

grapic by Rachel Anne Gilman


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September 24, 2010

Page by Jessica Rowan and Rachel Gilman

Motocross rider returns to race another day Corbin Fratzke continues to compete after recovering from second collarbone break

photo by Jessie Rowan Catching Air. Corbin Fratzke, sr., soars over a ramp at a local motocross track while riding.

People always say it’s easier the second time around. That was the case for Corbin Fratzke, sr. When dealing with a broken collarbone for the second time in his motocross career, nothing is stopping him from riding to future fame. “This is going to hurt,” was the thought shooting through Fratzke’s head as he saw his fate flash before his eyes. Riding down the muddy speed whoop section, Fratzke’s bike started to swipe out, motocross slang for losing control, and suddenly the bike had a mind of its own. After trying to pick his bike back up and continue riding, Fratzke knew something was off, and that is where his race ended. Being a B-class rider, soon to be an A-class rider, having to be forced to stop riding due to injury is no easy task. A broken collarbone makes everyday activities difficult compared to what the average person may be used to. Lifting the slightest item would cause shooting pains to pass through his body. “Breaking my collarbone for the second

time was not as bad as the first time, though, because I knew what to do to help with the pain,” Fratzke said. Still, the pain stole away from any fun that Fratzke could have until he let his body heal. Fratzke is no stranger when it comes to painful injuries from motocross. He broke his collarbone back in 2006 for the first time, his left arm later in 2008, and his collarbone once again at the beginning of the 2010 summer. Most would figure the safest route in Fratzke’s situation would be to quit, but he chooses to persue being a future A-class rider. After fourteen years of riding, he is determined to continue with his passion of riding. After just four weeks of, as Fratzke would describe it, ”chillaxin’ and relaxin’,” he was more anxious than anything to get back onto his bike. “Since I was three years old, motocross has been the only thing that I love that I happen to be good at. Why would getting hurt ever stop me?” Jessie Rowan

Suiting up for success • • • • • • • • • •

Helmet Goggles Jersey Chest protector aka torso pads Neck brace Gloves Tall socks Knee pads Pants Boots

Decoding the lingo

• • • •

Tail-whip: Throwing the bike sideways in midair Scrubbin: Tailwhip to save rider time Pinnin’ it: Pushing the pedal to the metal Railin’ it: Speeding up through the corner turn

If you could combine two animals, what would they be and why? What would you name it? “Probably an elephant and a lion, that way it can run fast and I can ride on it.”

“Lets go with a turtle and a bear. That way, it can walk slow and eat people.”

Name: “Elefrigus”

Name: “Burtle”

“Uhm a zebra and a horse. That would be one pretty horse!” Name: “Speedy Stripes”

Jenny McDonnell, fr.

Shingi Muskwe, jr.

Bill Herkleman, Teacher

“I would choose a zebra and a giraffe. They are my favorite animals and I think they would look cool together.”

“I would have to say a dolphin and a shark. It would have the appearance of a dolphin, but the meanness of a shark.”

“Easy, a horse and a man, so the man can run fast.”

Name: “Ziraffe”

Brianna Speed, so.

Name: “Dark”

Name: “Horse Man... duh” Terrell Sykes, sr.

Heather Zwanziger, Teacher


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Page by Jessica rowan and Rachel GIlman

September 24, 2010


Sharing cultural values from around the world Benjamin BachGermany For being big into sports, Benjamin Bach, jr., never got the chance to play for his school back in Germany. Coming to Kennedy, he is already involved in Cross Country and the Marching Band. Staying until June, he hopes to also play soccer in the spring. School in America is very different than Germany for Bach. Back at home, the school had only 700 students in grades five through 13. What Bach mostly wants to get out of this experience is getting to know the American culture and to learn new things along the way. Erle Kaasik- Estonia Ending school at the same time everyday is not what Erle Kaasik, jr., is used to doing. Back home in Estonia, school didn’t end at the same time everyday and the students were spilt into three classes : 11A, 11B, and 11C, no matter what grade you were in. Also, it is a lot warmer here than back home for Kaasik. Even though she doesn’t miss home that much, she finds the classes at Kennedy difficult because of

the language, which is what she wants to improve on while she is here. Her favorite class is U.S History and her favorite food foods are salads and sandwiches. While here in Iowa, Kaasik is participating in volleyball. Lumiao Zhang- China World History is the hardest class for Lumiao Zhang, jr., because of the language, but she hopes to understand the English language more by the time she leaves America. Zhang wants to go to college here; she just wants to get to know the culture and what the American life is like. Back in China, Zhang attended a class of 70 students, and 10,000 students in her school. The food here is one of her favorite things, but she doesn’t have a favorite. When Zhang leaves, she will miss Kennedy and all the people she gets to know. Pietro Bassani-Italy Not having school on Saturday is the one of the things that Pietro Bassani, jr., will miss most about America when he leaves. Coming over seas from Italy, what Bassani

wants to get most out of this experience is becoming less shy, and learning more English than he already knows. Staying until June, Bassani hopes to get involved in sports such as Cross Country, Basketball, and Soccer. His favorite things about Kennedy so far are the weather in the summer, his U.S History class, and hot dogs. He keeps in contact with his family back at home, and the food in Italy is what he misses the most. Sho Takaoka- Japan Hoping to improve his English, make friends, and play soccer are the things that Sho Takaoka, so., wants to get out of this experience. His favorite thing about Kennedy so far is that he actually gets to play soccer for school. His hardest classes are World History and Biology because of the language, but his favorite class is Japanese. Back home in Japan, Takaoka never moved classrooms for different subjects. He doesn’t really keep in contact with his family, and doesn’t really miss anything back home. When he goes back, Takaoka feels like he will miss the people he gets to know the most.

Over summer break Chandini Reddi, sr, went on a trip to India, volunteering and helping local children. She traveled and stayed throughout the central part of India. Reddi volunteered at a non-profit organization for mentally and physically disabled children. She also traveled to the slums of India and helped out the local children. Reddi travels to India about every two years. While visiting, Reddi got to see surgeries in local hospitals. Watching she

noticed the major differences in technology. “When I was watching a surgery the electricity went out, and their surgical equipment isn’t as good as America’s hospitals.” Reddi said. Reddi believes that we, in America, are very fortunate, and she can see a difference in the culture. “ It was interesting and gave me a perspective to see that, that kind of stuff happens there. It makes me feel fortunate to live here in America,” Reddi said. Sam Nordstrom

Takako Kanno- Japan After just only 2 weeks at Kennedy, Takako Kanno, jr., can tell it is way different than her school in Japan. Her favorite things about Kennedy so far are her teachers, the classes she is taking, and not having to wear uniforms. The school she went to in Japan was very strict, so she is happy that Kennedy lets you chew gum and drink water in class. She wants this experience to give her a chance to make

new friends and improve her English. Her host family is helping her adjust to being away from home and introducing her to new things. Thanh NguyenGermany The one thing Thanh Nguyen, jr., misses about his life back in Germany is his little brother, but he tries not to think about that while here in America. Living as an

American teenager, Nguyen wants to get to know the American culture, and wants Iowa to feel like a second home. Nguyen’s favorite things about Kennedy are how nice the teachers are, all the sports and clubs available, and how much school spirit there is. He wants to get involved in soccer and acting. The things he will miss about America include living the “American life”, the people he has met, and the school spirit. Jordan Calef

Super Fans take school spirit to a new level

Learning in a foreign country Student observes Indian medical practices

photo by Jessie Rowan International Flavor. Foreign exchange students gather together to strike a funny pose to show their true colors.

Students spend time cheering on the Cougars Chandini Reddi

“ It was interesting and gave me a perspective to see that, that kind of stuff happens there. It makes me feel fortunate to live here in America.” -Chandini Reddi, sr.

India Quick Stats Population: 1.2 billion Life Expectancy: 66 years of age

Fan support for Kennedy sports usually has a good turnout, but a group of students who call themselves the Super Fans are trying to make sporting events much more popular. The Super Fans are a group of students who go out and try to attend all sporting events that can possibly be attended. The Super Fans were started by three Kennedy students, Daniel Wasta, sr. Shane Goodall, sr. and Nathan Nosek, sr, at the state baseball championship during the summer. “We first noticed that we were having a lot of fun at the state baseball championship, watching our players, and knowing the joy it truly brought,” Wasta said. The Super Fans have started attending events already. They have attended a lot of golf, football, volleyball, and

cross country events. The group of fans have many people in support, and have no exact amount of people who can say they are Super Fans. "If you truly love to watch your fellow Kennadians play sports, then you are a Super Fan," Said Wasta. The group often attends multiple events in a day, consuming a lot of their time. With other things going on, they will usually have a lot to keep up with. Most of the fans balance classes, sports, and other activities. “Sleep comes last,” Wasta said about keeping up with everything. The Super Fans’ main goals and accomplishments this year are to attend all the events possible while having fun doing so. The group usually doesn’t go by a schedule of events of what they are going to attend. With the support

of Dr. Wilcynski, communication with the other Super Fans comes easy. Along with being a Super Fan is dressing like a Super Fan. A lot of the Super Fans dress up crazily, which distinguishes them from everybody else. The Super Fans wear clothes that are very school spirited with green and gold. “It gives something for people to look at, and also for the underclassmen, it gives them somebody to look up to,” said Wasta. With the crazy outfits comes a lot of attention from other fans as well as the opposing team. The Super Fans are always open to new people joining and attending the events. “Everybody can come out and support the cougars and become a fan, but Freshman, move back,” said Wasta. M o h a mm a d Cheetany

Major religion: Hindu Major Language: Hindi Literacy rate: 61% Unemployment: 10.7% Poverty rate: 25%

photo by Asmaa Elkeurti Super. Dan Wasta, sr., founder of the superfans pumps up the Kennedy student section.


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September 24, 2010

Page by Riley Galbraith

Graphic by Rachel Gilman Fall Fever. The fall sports teams take center stage as they start their quest for a state title. Swimming- Carmen McCoy, sr., finishes the race in a home swim meet. Volleyball- Allie Hutcheson, jr., hits a

Fall sports 4-1-1

spike. Football- the defense takes the field against Dubuque Senior.

Football: Season recovery off to a good start f

photo by Rachel Gilman Ready Position. Christian French, sr., looks to get a sack during the Kennedy vs. Debuque Senior. The Cougars won by a score of 46-0, giving the Cougars their first win of the season, making their over all record 1-3.

As fall starts and the leaves begin to fall, football takes center stage. With all eyes on the Kennedy High School football team, the pressure is kicking up to turn the slow start around. As the Cougars went into the start of week four, they were staring an 0-3 record straight in the face. Although a slump would be easy to slip into, the team was not panicking, after all, all of their losses were to top ten teams. The Cougars were also coming off an inspiring performance against talented crosstown rival Washington High School, that took the eighth ranked Warriors down to the last seconds. Going into the game against Dubuque Senior, there would be no stopping the Cougars who were in the zone. “We just came more ready to play. Everyone did their jobs, and we were playing for each other instead of just for ourselves,” Jed Haycraft, sr., said.

The game ended with a 46-0 pounding with the Cougars coming out victorious. “ We [the team] all got kind of low, but we just kept looking forward and really looking for that first win. Now that we

“ We [the team] all got kind of low, but we just kept looking forward and really looking for that first win. Now that we have it, [the win] we’re back on top and looking to make a run at the playoffs.” -Jed Haycraft, sr.

have it, [the win] we’re back on top and looking to make a run at the playoffs,” Haycraft said. With the new playoff

system, a 3-6 record would make the playoffs, so the chances of the Cougars to make the playoffs is looking good. That makes this week’s game against the Iowa City High defending state champions a monumental game, as the Little Hawks are ranked number one in the state. A good performance in this game could keep the momentum flowing for the Cougars going into a high profile inner city battle against Jefferson the following week, which will be the Cougar’s homecoming game. This could indeed be one of the biggest games in order for the Cougars to qualify for the state tournament, and keep the dream of a state title alive. Although a state football championship may seem long gone, the Kennedy team is still alive and swinging. Riley Galbraith

Golf: Cougars swing for a state championship Once again the boys golf team is off to a great start. With a record of 40-1, they are certain to have another successful year. Returning varsity members as well as newcomers should come together for a run at a state championship. Last year was very successful but this year’s top five ranked squad is hungry for more. The team finished last season with a 90-6-4 record and a fourth place finish at state. Past varsity

members Connor Steele and Isaac Brown graduated, but head coach Mark Wilden believes there are plenty of other people that can step in and contribute. “We have just as good a chance this year if not a better one than we have the last couple,”Wilden said. Wilden’s goals this year are to win the conference and ultimately bring home a state championship. When asked who their greatest competition is, Wilden said, “Our biggest worry is ourselves and

how well we play.” The team’s goals are very clear…win a state title. Cody Bell, jr., believes that there is more of a total team contribution. “This year I feel like we have a pretty good chance of winning a state title if everyone comes together at the right time,” Bell said. Their biggest competition other than themselves are the schools in the Des Moines area. Southeast Polk, West Des Moines Valley, Des Moines Dowling, and Ankeny will all

be the toughest teams to beat, however, Wilden believes that if they play well they’ll finish in the top four for sure. Everyone on the team has been trying to improve their game. “We’ve really been trying to work on our short game because when state comes, the weather might not be very good, so we won’t be able to get the ball up and down very well.”, Dane Worley, sr., said. Weather will certainly dictate the scores during the state tournament and will

affect who wins. Towards the end of the season cold temperatures, howling wind, and rain are always part of the late Fall weather. One thing they don’t lack is experience in difficult weather conditions. All of the returning varsity members have seen their fair share of bad weather come state tournament time. “Last year at state it was 35 degrees and snow flurries and that’s about as bad as it can get”, Worley said. Unselfish play has also

been a key factor in their success. “If one of my teammates beats me individually I am perfectly fine with that because that’s going to help us win as a team,” Worley said. With unselfish play, a ton of returning varsity talent, and newcomers, there seems to be only good things in store. Look for the Cougars to have another great season that will hopefully end with a state championship. Grant Sheeley

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Page by Riley Galbraith

September 24, 2010



Volleyball: Team bounces back Cross Country: from senior losses Close teams produce great results After the loss of key seniors from last year’s all star team, Kennedy volleyball is back and looking to reload and have another great year. The Cougars are coming off one of their most successful seasons, finishing third in state the last two years. However, with the graduation of seven starting varsity players last year, including elite all-state performers Haley Brightwell and Kristen Hahn, there will undoubtedly be some holes to fill. “My expectations going into this season were not clearly defined,” Coach Michelle Goodall said. Goodall has been the head coach of the Kennedy volleyball team for the past 12 years. “We have a lot of new faces on the varsity, so we are relying on our returning starters to take on new leadership roles.” In contrast to recent seasons, the Cougars have only a few returning starters from the previous year, including seniors Alexus Litts, Olivia Meier, and Katie Sickelka. Sickelka, who is a threeyear starter at middle hitter for the Cougars, is excited about the team this year. “I love playing with the younger players,” Sickelka said. “They’re really fun to watch, and I’m excited to see how we will continue to develop as a team as the season goes on.” “One of our toughest challenges will be merging our experience with our inexperience,” Goodall said, “We must quickly bond

together and play as a team.” Regardless of their inexperience, the Cougars still have high hopes for this season. Both the coaches and players have cited conference championships and success at the state tournament as team goals this year. “We are a much younger team now, but I still think we have a lot of talent,” Sickelka said. “If we just play with a high level of confidence, I expect you’ll be seeing a lot of good things from

our team.” But for the team to succeed they will have to put in the work in practice. “If we work really hard in practices, keep up our communication, and play hard for each other then we will have a really good shot at state this year,” Alexus Litts, sr., said. But the team will have to be at its best to go through some tough competition, with superb squads from Ankeny, and Iowa City High.

So far, the Cougars are off to a great start towards their season goals, starting the year with a 15-2 record, including winning the Southeast Polk invitational, taking home first place at that event for the seventh consecutive year. From the looks of it, the Cougar team is poised to reach their goals, and contend for the coveted state championship. Shane Goodall

photo by Rachel Gilman Slammin. Katie Sickelka, sr., spikes the ball in a game vs. Washingtion High School. The cougars won the match in 3 games and improved their record to an impressive15-2.

Boys’ cross country

The Kennedy boys’ Cross Country team are among one of the closest teams at Kennedy. The team has formed a special bond that has not only given them a great friendship outside of the team, but also a strong connection while running. They run together everyday at practice, which gets them ready for their meets, and during practice most of them develop great chemistry while running. This team has great fun running, joking and they can’t take stuff very seriously. Tomas described the team as “shenanigans” and Trevor went with “goofy”. The cross country team is off to a decent start, and have done pretty well in the five meets they have had so far. They’re hoping to improve from the start. They have goals of making improving their records this year and more importantly to make the state tournament this year. Besides being great friends they have two very good top runners in Thomas Singer and Trevor Oates, who both have been on the varsity team for the last two years. The season has started very well. “We might have a good team by the end of the season and are really hoping to improve,” Singer said. Spencer Grekoff

Girls’ cross country The Kennedy girl’s cross country team is off and running. The Cougars have started out with a solid 2719 record, but they are not satisfied, and are looking to get even better. “We have a better record than last year at this time, so we’re really happy that we are already showing improvement, but there is still a lot more we do to get even better,” Megan Terukina, jr., said. Although the team is already posting good results, one of their main focuses right now is to improve their first mile, which is one of the most crucial parts of the race. “We have been working really hard on getting out from the starting line faster to improve our first mile because that is a one of the most important parts of the race,” Emily O’Brien, jr., said. The team has also persevered through some key injuries. One of their top runners, Jenn Smith, sr., is out with an injury. “She [Smith] is one of our better runners, so it would have really helped to have her this year, and we would have done much better,” Terukina said. The ultimate goal for the Cougar girls is to make the state tournament and perform at their best. If they do that they know the results will take care of themselves. Riley Galbraith

Swimming and Diving: Quick Out of the blocks

photo by Asmaa Elkeurti Off the blocks. Carmen McCoy looks to get a quick start off the blocks.

After coming off a solid season last year, the girl’s swimming and diving team is looking forward to a much improved season. The girls’ swim season has officially started, and is off to a good start. The team has won three of their meets, and has lost only one of their meets so far. Their only loss to Linn Mar came in a close race, decided by only a few points. The team has some returning swimmers from last year, although the loss of graduates Ashley Harris and Molly Boomershine have affected the team immensely. The team has also added a few new freshman who have been a major help to the team and have looked promising so far. “We’re definitely looking to win the division and we have a good team to do so, we’ll definitely dominate,” Carmen McCoy, sr., said. The

team is looking to have a great season in hopes to win the division and along with that break many of the individual records as well. The team is having a strong season with their swimming but their team bonding has a lot to do with their success, as it helps their team chemistry for big situations. “We’re all really close and all pretty good friends, which helps us,” Valerie Ross, sr., said. The team attends Minnesota at the beginning of the season as a team, along with also having team dinners together. Outside of the team a lot of them spend time with each other having sleep overs, doing scavenger hunts, and hanging out together. “We’re all emotionally close and good friends and just like to spend time together,” McCoy said. With all the success that team comes across, there are

some things that could be improved. “One thing that we need to work on is staying positive if something happens, and also just trying not use bad attitudes towards each other,” Ross said. As the season progresses the team is looking forward to staying positive. “ O v e ra l l I think we “We’re all really close are going to do good this and all pretty good year, but we friends, which helps just have to us.” remain fo-Valerie Ross, sr. cused and work hard. One thing most people don’t understand is the hard work that really goes into it,” Ross said. M o h a mm a d Cheetany


JFK Torch September 24, 2010


Page by Mohammad Cheetany

Photo provided by Connie Caviness Victory: Kennedy baseball team celebrates after winning the state championship. The Cougar baseball team defeated Iowa City West in the final game to win their first state title in school history.

After 44 years, Cougars, vet coach clinch state title

After 44 years of Kennedy baseball, the 2010 Cougars became the first team to clinch the state title. Predicted to lose in the first round, this group of underdogs came together, and through their accomplishments, brought pride and joy to the entire Kennedy community, including one coach in particular who has been waiting a very long time. Good things come to those who wait—a saying exemplified by Coach Bill Herkelman, who has been involved with the Kennedy baseball program off and on since the school was founded. “[Winning state] was tremendous,” Herkelman said. “Coach Hoyer really deserved it. He knows baseball inside and out. We had a super bunch of young guys. There wasn’t a bad apple in the bunch.” Even when Herkelman took a break from coaching while his wife was sick with cancer, his heart and mind was never far from the team. Coach Bret Hoyer, the current varsity head coach, was the one who asked Herkelman Photo provided by Connie Caviness to rejoin the staff as a varsity assistant. Charging. The Cougar baseball team charges the field after defeating Iowa City West in the final game of the state baseball championship. “We’ve been close [to winning state] before,” Hoyer said. “There are no guarantees in that we could go all the way. Also, beating this profession that you’re ever going to win Xavier at Xavier, with their pitcher John Keller. state. I felt really happy for Coach Herkelman. After that, the kids thought they could beat any He’s been coaching baseball here since the pitcher in the state. They knew they could beat the Dowling pitcher when we were down.” doors opened.” Sykes remembers the Terrell Sykes, emotional reception the sr., was the starting “There are no guarantees in this team had shortly after second baseman winning state. for the Cougars profession that you’re ever going “(Herkelman’s last season. Sykes to win state. I felt really happy speech) was pretty attributes their for Coach Herkelman. He’s been touching,” Sykes said. underdog success coaching baseball here since the “He’s usually the joke to their attitudes. type of guy, but he startHe says that their doors opened.” ed crying and thanked team chemistry -Terrell Sykes, sr. the coaches. I just remade the differmember Hoyer saying ence; they did that the one person who stuff as a team, they did not fight, they did not he wanted to thank the most was Herkelman. argue, and they had faith in each other. “Once we got into sub-state we knew we Then Herkelman thanked Hoyer for letting him be on the coaching staff.” could win state,” Sykes said. Hoyer also fondly remembers the reception “[Winning state] is definitely the highlight of my high school career. It doesn’t happen and the profound impact it had on everyone often in four years. No one thought we would involved. “The reception was special,” Hoyer said. “I win, everyone thought we would lose first think everyone there will remember it forever. round to Dowling.” Two games in particular stand out to Hoyer It’s why you get into this profession, to create Photo provided by Connie Caviness lifelong memories. We as coaches got to share as pivotal benchmarks in the season. Leadership. Assistant coaches Jake Waddle and Jake Nauman, head coach Bret Hoyer, and as“Dowling was a big one,” Hoyer said. in something pretty special that week.” sistant coach Bill Herkelman. Alex Busbee “Beating them the way we did, sealed belief

Torch, 24 September 2010  
Torch, 24 September 2010  

Torch is the student newsmagazine of Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School.