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Student Prints Mehlville High School - St. Louis, Missouri - vol. 67, issue 1

Miller Finds Her New Home at Arkansas State

Pages 21-22

Photo by Raena Hunter Doty


Contents NEWS Trump Impeachment: An Overview

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FCCLA / Cookies, Cocoa, and Cramming

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High School Relationships

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Features Consoles Explorations in History

Photo courtesy of Drew Angerer

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NFR! / Librarians Embrace New Challenges 9 Staff Spotlight: Roy Clemens

10 Photo courtesy of Carrie Paul

Photo courtesy of HypeBeast

Opinion Womens Soccer Lawsuit

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Going Strawless Isn’t Enough

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Open Campus Lunch

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Sports

Picture courtesy of Times of Oman

NHL Playoff Predictions

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Fall Sports Recap

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College Commitments

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NFL Predictions

23-24 Junior Jenna Benson batting at the plate. Photo by Natalie Brooks


Student Prints Staff Editors Gabe Keller | Editor-in-Chief Samra Selimovic | Opinions Editor Raena Hunter Doty | Features Editor Kyle Becherer | News Editor Chase Davis | Sports Editor Reporters Natalie Brooks | Reporter Joey Gagne | Reporter Veronica Mckelvie | Reporter Cameron Siebum | Reporter Mary Smolenski | Reporter

Letter from the Editor I would like to open up this letter saying that I am very proud of our small staff coming together and making a great magazine. With only 10 people on the staff, some had to take on multiple stories and other challenges but everyone accepted them and helped make this issue fantastic. There is everything from sports predictions to college commits to Trump’s impeachment hearing. There is a little something for everyone in this issue and we hope to continue making great content for all of Mehlville for as long as we can. Stay up to date on our website as we post new stories all the time, and of course enjoy this issue. Gabe Keller

If you like art, design, writing, business or even just learning about people, you should join staff! Contact Erin Moeckel, adviser, (emoeckel@msdr9.org) or Gabe Keller, Editor-in-Chief (464kellerg@msdr9.org) for more information.

Friends of Mehlville Media Editorial Policy Student Prints is a mostly self-funded forum whose goal is to inform, entertain and represent the diverse population of Mehlville. Student Prints is a division of Mehlville Media and is published several times throughout the year.The website Mehlvillemedia.com is updated consistently. Please contact the staff for publication, subscriptions or advertising information. Student Prints represents the opinions of the staff and not necessarily those of the Mehlville School District Board of Education or administration. Letters to the editor may be submitted, but the staff reserves the right to edit any and all letters, including personal attacks. Please limit the letter to 300 words or less. Anonymous letters will not be accepted. All submitted story comments will be reviewed by an authoritative member of the staff prior to publication.

The following have expressed their support for Mehlville Media. Thank you for your continued sponsorship of student journalism! Tim Mees The Moeckel Family Mehlville Athletics Shelly Herman Pam Wagner Sherri Cox


Photo courtesy of Drew Angerer

Trump Impeachment: An Overview The Walls May Be Closing in on Trump By: Joey Gagne, Reporter A whistleblower, an election challenger and a phone call: this is all it could take to bring down the President of the United States. Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is being accused of seeking help from Ukraine in order to boost his chances of re-election in the 2020 general election. But how did all of this start? In order to get an accurate view of the Trump impeachment saga, one must look back to 2014, the year in which Russia annexed Crimea (a peninsula in southern Ukraine). Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was a republic of the Soviet Union and directly under the control of Moscow. Following the tumultuous disbandment of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became its own independent nation, and Russia experienced years of economic turmoil. When Vladimir Putin rose to power in Russia in 2000, he vowed to restore his country to its former glory. Putin rose through the political ranks in Russia until he eventually became president of the nation. Following the Ukrainian Revolution of 2014, President Putin saw a perfect opportunity: strike while they were vulnerable and recapture one of Russia’s former subjects. Putin did exactly that. Following a struggle that lasted a month and six days, Crimea was suddenly a federal subject of Russia. This offensive invasion was condemned worldwide, and many nations have refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia. Following this, the United States placed economic sanctions on Russia and pledged military aid to Ukraine to help them defend themselves. This is where the Trump Administration comes into play.

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In August, an anonymous whistleblower came forward and claimed that Trump -- who is up for re-election in the 2020 general election -- held a private phone call in July with Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine. The whistleblower alleged that the purpose of this phone call was for Trump to pressure Zelensky into investigating the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of Trump’s main Democratic challenger at the time, Joe Biden. President Trump used the military aid pledged to Ukraine as a bribe to persuade Zelensky into investigating Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, from 2014-2019. While Joe Biden was serving as vice president, Burisma was under investigation by Ukraine’s most senior prosecutor due to allegations of corruption. When the prosecutor was dismissed from the investigation, many eyebrows were raised and it was suggested that Joe Biden urged the prosecutor to be fired in order to protect his son. When Trump spoke with Zelensky in July, he allegedly threatened to withhold military aid unless the investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden was resumed. This is a clear violation of the president’s power, and it kick-started an impeachment inquiry into Trump over suspicions that he solicited interference from a foreign government in the 2020 election. Although the impeachment inquiry may pass the House of Representatives, it is unlikely that it will go any further due to the fact that Republicans hold a majority in the Senate. However, if more damning evidence is revealed to the public, Democrats may still benefit from the impeachment inquiry when the general election rolls around in 2020. Only time will tell.


Mehlville Raises Money for District Boys By Raena Hunter Doty, Features Editor

The Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a club that help and supports the the community here at Mehlville and St. Louis. The club is devoted to helping people, and this year, they’ve adopted two boys to help support. Most recently, they hosted a fundraiser to do this. The Adopt-a-Family program helps people who struggle financially. Mehlville’s FCCLA has used this program to support two young boys and their parents. The boys, who are brothers, are six and 12 years old. Their identities were not disclosed, but Mackenzie Williams, who runs Mehlville’s FCCLA, assures everyone that the money is being put to good use. The FCCLA recently hosted a fundraiser to raise money for these boys by selling candy apples to the students and teachers of Mehlville.

All in all, about $250 was raised and about 90 apples were sold. It may not seem like a lot of money to some people, but with the upcoming holiday season, this money can go a long way for supporting this family in need. The FCCLA is a nationally recognized club with branches all across the United States and its territories. It builds leadership skills for students who participate in it, and can look great on college and job resumes. For anyone interested in the two boys that Mehlville has adopted, the best way to get involved is to participate in fundraisers like this and to join the club. It is great for the school, the district, the community, and, perhaps most important, for yourself. This season of giving is a great time to get involved with the club to help people like these underprivileged Mehlville boys.

Cookies, Cocoa and Cramming: A Mehlville Tradition By Raena Hunter Doty, Features Editor

Cookies, cocoa and cramming is a long-running Mehlville tradition that happens every December and helps students with last minute studying. This annual event, true to its name, has cocoa, cookies and cramming. It is hosted by Mehlville’s student council and provides an opportunity for last minute help and studying for finals in an environment concentrated on nothing else. Friends can show up to work in groups, or people can show up alone to ask for help from teachers and tutors. Speaking of tutors, it’s a great opportunity for A+ tutors to get some hours in. Spanning over two days and seven hours, there is plenty of time to both help people and get some help for yourself. There will probably be people who need help in every subject, so there’s plenty of opportunity for everyone to help someone else.

It’s on Dec. 16 and Dec. 18, from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first day and 5 to 8 p.m. on the second. As the dates approach, many teachers will start to say what days and times they plan on being there so that you can coordinate your schedule with them, but at any rate, there will always be someone who can help you. For students, though, what could be better than free cookies and hot cocoa to help you with the studying that you already need to do? As finals approach and grades become more dire, this is exactly what some students need. Final exam schedule is as follows: Wed 12/18: 1st, 3rd, 4th Block Finals Thurs 12/19: 7th, 8th Block Finals Fri 12/20: 2nd, 5th Block Finals (Half Day)

Photos courtesy of Kristin Wheatley

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High School Students Experiment with New Relationships By Samra Selimovic, Opinion Editor and Veronica Mckelvie, Reporter Hand-holding,Valentine’s Day and date nights; all of these are associated with relationships and high school students are surrounded by them. Some high school students feel the pressure of needing to be in a relationship because of their peers around them being in one. Mehlville is no exception to teen dating. In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 35% of teens ages 13 to 17 reported having some kind of romantic experience. The percent of teens who have never been in a romantic relationship of any kind was 64%. This generation is dating less than previous generations. The percentage of seniors who haven’t dated went from 14% in 1991 to 38% in 2013. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, high school students who have had sex decreased from 54% in 1992 to 40% in 2017. Being in a healthy relationship is a desire for every teen, whether you’re in your teen years or not. Knowing how to treat your partner is key to a healthy relationship. Honesty and trust strengthen relationships, especially ones still in their infancies. Being honest with your partner and their boundaries builds trust. It is important to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Communicating is the foundation of connections with others. Talking to your partner about what makes you comfortable or if you have doubts about anything strengthens your bond and makes it feel like you are able to talk to your partner about anything. Compromise and problem-solving is

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“Every day, I wake up and I’m really happy.” said Sadie Steiger, junior. Photo courtesy of Michal Rzepecki

key when your partner and you are having a disagreement. Identifying solutions and talking through situations helps resolve arguments and prevents a breakup by building the bond and trust. Teens need to value respect and boundaries in order to have a healthy connection. The most obvious sign of a toxic relationship is physical or sexual abuse. Hitting, slapping or shoving to get one’s way is a sign of abuse. Forcing one into sexual activity without consent is also abuse. There are also subtle signs that some fail to recognize. Control is one of them. If a partner is controlling what you wear, who your friends are or even isolates you from your family and friends, this is toxic and unhealthy. A partner that lies to you about where they’ve been or in general is dishonest shows the lack of trust in the relationship. If your partner makes fun of you for your opinions or interests, they don’t have respect for you. Partners shouldn’t be dependent on one another. If one feels like they “can’t live without” the other, they might do something drastic when the relationship ends. Another aspect of control is intimidation. For example, your partner threatens violence or a break-up if you want to go out of town or be with your family. The presence of couples is not lacking

at Mehlville. Many say that young relationships won’t last longer than two weeks. One example of a couple that broke that misconception is Micheal Robinson, junior and Sadie Steiger, junior, who just recently celebrated their one year anniversary. Despite the odds, they tell me how they made it to this milestone together. “You definitely take it day to day, [be] cause you can’t really predict what’s going to happen tomorrow... you just make the best of it,” said Micheal Robinson. While these two seemed to luck out, not all feel the same way. There are many mixed feelings surrounding high school relationships.Young people are just starting to get ahold of all new sorts of feelings, making their actions and judgment quite questionable, thus making young relationships worrisome. Even so, everyone is different. What one wants and is ready for will always vary from one person to the next. For some, a young relationship could be a goal. This can invoke a positive change; a self-discovery about what relationships mean to them and how to maintain a healthy one. Whether it’s worth it or not, that is completely up to an individual. Only you can decide if a relationship is the right thing for you, but keep in mind, maintaining a healthy one is important. If you have questions, concerns or need support with a relationship, the counseling center is available to help.


Microsoft and Sony Set to Release New Consoles By Cameron Siebum, Reporter December of 2020 will be a very exciting month for anybody interested in next-generation consoles. Both Sony and Microsoft are introducing new systems for the holidays, with Sony’s Playstation 5 and Microsoft’s Project Scarlett. Both of these new consoles seem promising, but how much of an upgrade from the previous consoles are they actually? The Playstation 5 will be the newest addition to the series of consoles that started in 1994 with the initial release of the Playstation. The Playstation 5 looks to improve on almost anything they can, from the graphics they support to even the controller vibration. The PS5 will come with 3D audio, which will make the games sound incredibly realistic. Another feature many are excited about is the upgrade to 8k graphics, which refers to the number of pixels on the screen. The PS4 was only 4k, so the new console will look to double the number they already have. Arguably the most anticipated feature, however, is the introduction of ray tracing, a feature mostly used on PCs. Ray tracing affects the lighting most games have, which usually makes games look and feel more realistic. This will be the first console to include it, which can only add to its value. These additions have many fans counting down the days until release, including senior Blake Koelz. “I’m excited to see how much better games on the new consoles look,” he said. “Even though I know it’s possible, it’s hard to imagine games looking better than they already do.” While Sony has been quick to release details about their console, Microsoft has been nearly silent about their release. Using the name Project Scarlett for the new console, details have been very limited for now. However, Microsoft stated that the new console will be four times as powerful as their previous console, the Xbox One X.

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Fans of the consoles have always argued each other about which is the better product, calling their feud the “console war.” Photo Courtesy of Clipart Library

Project Scarlett will most likely come with a lot of the same features as the PS5; however, performance may be different between the two. Sony has strived to reduce loading times for the new console, and most players are curious to see which console will have better performance. Sony has claimed the the PS5 is more powerful than the Project Scarlett, but it’s impossible to know until more details are released on Microsoft’s newest console. One feature that both consoles will be looking to include will be backwards compatibility. With backwards compatibility, users will be able to play all of their previous games from the PS4 and Xbox One on the new consoles. The inclusion of backwards compatibility should help the transition from one console to the other, as long as you stick with the same brand you had previously. Backwards compatibility has already been one of the major selling points of each of the consoles, mainly because of the lack of games announced for the next-gen consoles. So far, there are only about seven games announced to be released on the PS5, so there isn’t a lot of games that can persuade a consumer to buy either console over the other. The number of games will most likely increase by the time the console is closer to release; however, it is still pretty early for games to be announced for the console. Most games that will release for the PS5 will also release for the PS4 a little bit earlier, such as Death Stranding and Ghost of Tsushima. So how much will this new technology cost? With the new technology being added to the console, there’s no question it’s going to cost more than previous consoles. Most sources are predicting the price to be around $500, which seems likely when you look at the cost of the PS4 and Xbox One.

When the Playstation 5 was announced, images released of a ‘dev kit’ that companies can use to create games for the new console. Photo Courtesy of metro.co.uk

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modern politics, the world and the economy. Social studies teacher Carrie Paul is teaching a class about St. Louis history, talking about historical and modern issues and people in our city and state. She says that this is important because understanding the roots which you come from is important to everyone. Students in this class are able to get out into the real world so that they can learn by experience. This semester, students took a field trip to the Gateway Arch and the courthouse. Toward the end of the semester, the class has put an emphasis on working toward positive change. But Paul says that her number one reason to take the class is “because it’s fun.” These classes are all about finding personal passions in history. As opposed to other classes, these do not have a set curriculum: students are always the driving force in the class when it comes to choosing what to study. This means that students not only learn about the specific depth of these subjects, but also press even further into learning about their own interests. For students

who find themselves needing a change from the usual curriculum-driven classes, these may be the best alternative. For anyone interested in taking one of these classes next year, it’s important to know that they are not limited to the classes taught this year. Last year, there were propositions for classes on women’s studies and modern issues that did not pass due to a lack of students signing up for them. The other major benefit of these classes is that because teachers choose the classes, they are able to choose the topics they want to teach.This personalization leads to many being passionate about these classes. These new classes mark a change in the way that students are able to learn and teachers are able to teach.This class model will hopefully extend into other departments, and eventually maybe even the core curriculum. These classes, which most everyone will agree are a great opportunity for students, are dependent on students signing up for them. So, if these sound at all interesting, consider supporting teachers and students alike by adding one to your schedule. For a complete listing of social studies offering, consult the 2020-2021 course guide. Photo by Carrie Paul

The St. Louis History class goes on field trips like this one, which was to the Old Courthouse.

African American Studies: An Opportunity for All Dan Lamping teaches the African American Studies class, which goes over not only the history of African Americans but also the modern issues that these people are faced with today. Though this isn’t technically an exploration in history, it does share the same semester-long history class format, and like all of these classes, it is new in the 2019-20 school year.

“I am hopeful to see issues to do with race to not perpetuate in our country’s future.” Student Rachel Moredock says that it’s a good environment for white students to learn about racial issues. "The class is written for all students to get something out of it,” Lamping said. The class focuses on the African American experience, both historical and modern, both global and local. Because St. Louis is no stranger to racial issues, this class would be highly beneficial to most Mehlville students. Lamping hopes that educating students on racial issues in society will create a better world for the future. “I am hopeful to see issues to do with race to not perpetuate in our country’s future,” Lamping said. This class does have a fixed curriculum, as opposed to the explorations in history,, but due to the niche nature of the class, it goes into a lot of the content that just does not get mentioned in mainstream history classes. This class is a great opportunity for anyone wishing to learn about racial issues in the world, regardless of your own place in it.

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Matt Phoenix shows his students historical movies to help them learn about World War II. Photo by Raena Hunter Doty

Explorations in History:

Changing the Way We Learn By Raena Hunter Doty, Features Editor Mehlville High School has a diverse student and teacher population, which allows us to have an equally diverse range of classes. Among these classes are the Explorations in History, a set of student-driven classes looking into specific periods of history. These classes might be described as a pet project for history teachers, and they cover a wide range of subjects. There are only four of these classes this year, but there is the possibility for more in the future. “We’re just trying to get more kids to take social studies classes and have a passion for history,” said Matt Phoenix, social studies teacher. These classes were described as a “choose your own adventure” by social studies teacher Tim Ode, where students

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can choose what they pursue further and ultimately lead their own curriculum. One class, taught this year by Ode, covers the American Civil War. The course covers not only the historical significance of the war, but also modern significance. "This is my dream class. This is the class that I wanted to teach when I thought about being a teacher twenty years ago," said Ode. Ode has been travelling around the US with his grandparents visiting Civil War battlefields since he was little, which started a passion for it. Now, he believes that teaching this class will help student better understand themselves. According to him, "It's a study of leadership. It's a study in conflict, conflict resolution.” Phoenix is teaching two of these classes: one on the Vietnam War and another on World War II. Both subjects are controver-

sial, but Phoenix says he’s teaching "headlong right into it. There's no reason to talk about those subjects if you're not going to talk about the controversy." He says that the Vietnam War is important to learn about because it sets the context for much of the world we live in today, particularly the way that the Baby Boomers perceive the world. World War II is a subject that is always important to learn about because it is so important to understanding the context of

“We’re just trying to get more kids to take social studies classes and have a passion for history.”


Photo by Raena Hunter Doty

Staff Spotlight: Roy Clemens Ashton Swindle, Reporter High school can be a stressful time for everyone. It is always uplifting to interact with upbeat people. Roy Clemens just so happens to be one of those people. So who is Roy? As many of us know, Roy is the Cafeteria Manager. He also officiates football and stays involved with athletics at Mehlville. He lives along the Big River and enjoys fishing as well as the outdoors. Previously, he worked at Lindbergh High School for 15 years. He was in the food business for a while and owned a restaurant at one point. Roy noted that he had worked with women most of his life starting when he was a delivery boy for a women's clothing store. The man's

been everywhere. One of Roy's most remarkable traits is his uncanny ability to stay positive. "Seeing all the students is the best part of the job as well as being here with the people I work with," Said Roy Roy also talked about how it feels to ease the stress of high school life. "I take pride in knowing that I make a difference," said Roy. This seems to be the driving force behind what keeps Roy so enthusiastic. Many students also see Roy as an essential part of their day. "I think Roy has a very sparkling personality, his interaction with students is superb," Dalajid Dizdarevic, senior, said. He also remembers a time that Roy

played ball with some students. "Roy is a great guy, he is very upbeat, and I rarely see him in a bad mood," Shawn Kurtz, Junior, stated. This seems to be what many students think and even the people he works with. We may not know Roy's entire life story, but what we do know is that he loves Mehlville "I'm proud to be a Panther," said Roy He enjoys coming to his job and interacting with students, and that is what makes most of us here at Mehlville so fond of him. People like him make the rough days just a little easier.

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Photo by HypeBeast

NFR! Rises up the Charts Grace Moore, Reporter

Lana Del Rey released her sixth studio album on August 30 of this year, but many teens might not have heard the name before the release of “Don’t Call Me Angel,” which features Rey, Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus -- a seemingly unlikely trio. However, the indie/pop/rock/trip-hop star has spent the past decade or so making a name for herself. Some might have caught a glimpse of the singer-songwriter when her single, “Young and Beautiful” was featured on The Great Gatsby soundtrack in 2013. Now, NFR! and one of the songs featured on it are up for Grammy Awards. While this album has been one of the more mainstream releases by Lana, it hasn’t lost the retro, movie-like feel that all of her albums have. “Doin’ Time,” which was the first track of the album to be released, as well as the one that is up for a Grammy, is actually a cover of a song by Sublime that was released in 1997. This is also one of the more upbeat songs on the album, which is what makes it so playable on alternative radio stations. One constant characteristic throughout Lana Del Rey’s albums is the unique tone and theme that each of them has. For example, songs her second album, Born to Die, have quite a few ideas relating to mid-twentieth-century America and the American Dream. Lana made it clear in the trailer for NFR! that the album would revolve around traditional West Coast themes, featuring scenes in Venice Beach and song titles like “California.” But, the album doesn’t lose the traditional retro feel for those of us who don’t live within walking distance from the beach. While the shortest track of the album is 3:22 and the longest is just under ten minutes, each tells a story that feels almost cinematic. Most of the fourteen songs featured on NFR! don’t stray from the usual topic of relationships, with titles like “Love song,” but Rey does a good job of balancing these with tracks that express her views on society, like “The Next Best American Record.” NFR! was definitely not a disappointment, as many fans were excited just to hear the singer on the radio two years after her last album release.

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Photo by Raena Hunter Doty

Librarians Embrace New Challenges Daily Amna Nukic, Reporter Unpredictability. This applies to librarians Daniel Wright and Sandra Henthorn, as each day brings something new. “Every day is a little different than the last,” said Wright. When dealing with a high school full of students and staff needing the library for its many resources, the idea of unpredictability isn’t that unreasonable. “Depending on the day,” Wright said, “we may see students nonstop.” They can see students who need to check out books, students who need to use the greenscreens for different projects and students who need help with resources. Teachers may need Sandra Henthorn, library media specialist, to teach lessons to classes about databases, research and about anything and everything to do with products on the Chromebook. Lessons can also include help with ACT prep, a useful tool for juniors. “We may also go a day without seeing too many people at all outside of lunch or TAP,” Wright said. This isn’t just leisure time though, there’s still a lot of work to do. “We have been reorganizing our collection,” Wright said This could mean hours to days to weeks of looking through information on the library’s system.

“... To see what students are and are not reading, checking the physical condition of books, seeing what teachers are having classes work on to know what fits their needs, and making sure books are located in the right genre and are easy for students to find,” Wright said “We are also dealing with making purchases for new books, supplies for the books, furniture, and anything else that might exist in the library.” said Wright. All other administrative work is also completed during the absence of people in the library. This job is worthwhile for Wright, as he was an English teacher for 13 years at Rockwood Summit High School before coming to Mehlville. “I love it. It got to the point where, if I wanted to, I could have walked through certain texts or lessons with my eyes closed,” said Wright. Wright enjoys still being able to work with students and teachers on a daily basis. “Now, everything is different from day to day, and I get to work with a wide swath of students and teachers in the building,” Wright said. Unpredictability dictates the tasks of a librarian each day. For Wright, the unpredictability of the job makes it more rewarding.


The women’s team earns as little as 38% of a star men’s player makes with a gap of $164,320. Graphic courtesy of Montclarion Sports

tenance jobs, women earn 67 cents to a man’s dollar. In sales and office jobs, women earn 87 cents. I reached out to Ryan Dell, Mehlville alumni and Head Equipment Manager for the USWNT, for any additional information on the lawsuit, but due to pending litigation, he was unable to comment. The USWNT has been thriving with their recent World Cup win and is training for the CONCACAF Women’s Olympics Qualifying Tournament coming up in January. When looking at the fact that the women’s team plays on artificial turf which could potentially cause injuries and still managed to win four World Cup titles, it makes it almost embarrassing for them to be paid less in comparison to a men’s team that hasn’t even made it further than third place in the World Cup. The women are even bringing in more revenue. According to the Wall Street Journal, between 2016 and 2018, the USWNT brought in $50.8 million dollars, while the men brought in $49.9 million.

While there might be a difference between the two, because the women’s team is playing against other women and not men, they are still doing considerably better than the men.The gap in wages is degrading and the fact that it is almost 2020 and a women’s team is doing better than a men’s team and is not getting paid enough to reflect that is problematic. The government has passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act, but there is a clear gap in wages of people doing the same job at the same skill level. We haven’t done enough to get rid of the ingrained sexism in sports and other careers and the USWNT is fighting back.They are showing the US Soccer Federation and other big corporations that women have noticed the inequality and they are willing to step up to get the pay they deserve. The trial will begin on May 5, 2020 in hopes that this team of strong female players receive what they have rightfully earned: equal pay.

A fourth star has been added to the USWNT’s logo, signifying another World Cup win. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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A USA fan holding a sign reading,“Equal pay for equal play.” Picture courtesy of Times of Oman

US Women’s Soccer Team Files Lawsuit Against US Soccer Federation The US Women’s Soccer team has begun their fight for equal pay; and it’s about time. By Samra Selimovic, Opinion Editor

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Twenty-eight players, four World Cup titles, a 13-0 win and a $100,000+ gap per game in comparison to male players.The US Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) is being paid less than their male counterparts and it doesn’t make sense why. After Title IX was passed in 1972, which outlawed gender discrimination in education programs, women’s soccer teams were popping up at colleges all around the country. The US Soccer Federation (USSF) hired a coach to select a few college players to participate in the 1985 Mundialito tournament in Italy.This was the beginning of the women’s national team. The USWNT recently won their fourth World Cup title in July of this year.The women earned $260,869 each for winning the World Cup, in comparison to the men’s team that would earn $1.1 million.The women have won four World Cups.The men have only ever reached the semi-finals, being awarded third place.

The USWNT recognized this gap and on March 8, 2019, they filed a class-action lawsuit against the USSF under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.The team believes they are performing at a similar level as (and at certain times doing better than) the men’s team and still being paid less. In addition to not having equal pay, women aren’t given the same playing, training and travel conditions, as well as unequal promotion of games. For example, the women played 21% of their games on artificial turf, compared to 2% for the men. The USSF agreed to mediation, or having a neutral third party help out in the dispute.The Federation puts some of the blame on FIFA, saying that they give different prizes for male and female teams, the Federation just spreads that money around to the players. The wage gap doesn’t just exist in soccer and other sports. According to the United States Women’s Bureau, in construction and main-


from reusable, nicer plastic, chemicals radiate from all plastic products. Stephen Klobe, Enviornmental Sustainability Club sponsor, tells how chemicals can still leach out of plastic no matter what, and it makes him wonder what we are putting into our bodies. Not only is our use of plastic having a negative effect on our bodies, but ourselves as well. That all being said, the straw ban is not bad, but the solution to our pollution quandary will not be solved by ridding our lives of plastic tubes. In fact, there are cases where plastic straws are needed medically. Steve Russell, Vice President of Plastics for the American Chemistry Council said, “in many cases these plastics provide sanitary conditions for food, beverages and personal care.” A widespread ban of straws could hinder the needs of the handicapped, such as with someone who is paralyzed from the neck down. They would need a straw to eat or to drink, plus not all reusable straws make hydration and nutrition fully possible. While there might be controversy around straws, there are other ways to help reduce the amount of plastic you use. It is evident that cleaning the environment is not a priority to the people in power. As of now, they have made little to no effort. It is up to us, the people, to evoke change. “First things first, we need to [stop] living a lavish lifestyle,” said Biology teacher Becca Bock. Just because we have the means to fill our lives with plastic products, doesn’t mean we have to. There’s nothing wrong with reusing items; this can even lower production and save you money. Klobe works to keep his house waste-free. “Try to make little changes in your life, so whether you start with a straw, you start telling yourself ‘I’m going to bring my own straw’...some of it takes retraining your habits.” He told me how he will bring his own containers to put his leftovers in when going out to eat, or tries to bring his own cups wherever him and his family go to avoid using wasteful products. Making a change in our environment is not entirely out of our hands. Small actions add up, eventually making a difference. The no straw movement is just a start, but it can not stop there. Think about all the plastic products you use on a daily basis. Are they necessary? Can you live without them? Probably. Let’s make the act of cutting out plastic products spread just like the straw ban, and let’s start it right here at Mehlville High School.

What Can We Do? Rinse your recyclables of any food residue. Ask yourself, “Is this recyclable?”before recycling. Don’t throw away unwanted products that can be given away. Instead give them away. Go to thrift stores. They have a wide varity of products, and they might just surprise you. Bring in your own cups when going out to eat. Places like Bread Co., Smoothie King, Quik Trip and McDonald’s all let you bring in your own cups. Say no to cheap giveaways. Most of it is just needless plastic that you probably won’t use. Ask questions. If a company is super wasteful, do you really need to go there? Opinion

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Going Strawless Isn’t Enough Saying no to a straw isn’t going to save our enviornment, we need to open our eyes and do more. By Veronica McKelvie, Reporter The ban against straws is spreading like wildfire. Everywhere you will see reusable and paper straws. It seems the reusable straws are more of a trend than an effort to help keep our environment clean. Straws are only a small piece of a much bigger issue. Compared to all of the plastic floating around in bodies of water around the world, the number of discarded straws seems tiny. Jenna Jambeck, an assistant professor of environmental engineering from the University of Georgia, identifies a major problem. “Straws added up to only about 2,000 tons of the

nearly nine million tons of plastic waste that yearly hits the water, “ said Jambeck in Science. According to Jambeck, the weight difference is drastic. Even if we were able to manage to strip all water sources of straws, where would still be 8,998,000 tons of plastic left. The harsh reality is our home planet is undergoing a pollution crisis and if we don’t start to make a change, Earth’s future could be on the line. Go outside, look around. Plastic is scattered all over our natural surroundings, and it’s not just straws. Plastic bags, cups, forks, knives and old packaging are filling crevices, emitting dangerous toxins into the air we breathe. Even

Art by Kaylie Lutsky

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Opinion


Overcrowded lunches are just one reason school administration should consider offering an open campus option for lunch. Photo by Raena Doty

Open Campus Lunch Should be on the Table By Mary Smolenski, Reporter

For years students have debated whether Mehlville should offer open campus lunch. Open campus lunch would entail students to go out and get lunch from outside of school rather than having school lunch every day. There are some pros and cons to open campus lunch, and the pros seem to outweigh the cons for many students. Assistant principal Andy Ross isn’t so sure though. “The negatives outweigh the positives for me when we have people moving in and out of campus and on and off campus for something like that,” Ross said. To have off campus lunch it would take more time given than what we have and would not be open to all students. That would create chaos and would rule out the idea of open campus lunch completely. But Ross is willing to have a conversation about a possible lunch change. “I’m not opposed to it,” Ross said. Does this mean that in the future we may have open campus lunch? Overall, the decision is not up to Ross, however, it is up to Head Principal Jason Landherr, Superintendent Dr. Chris Gaines and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bresler. “You would need a formal proposal and district will decide from there, and if the district approves, then it goes down to the building level,” Landherr said. This meaning if one were to make a proposal and did a superb job on it Mehlville could have open campus lunch in the future. Students should have the option of open campus lunch. It would give students a little sense of freedom and set them

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Opinion

up with the responsibility to help prepare them for future post-secondary plans. Students will have increased dining options both in college and when working. Many students think this is a solid idea. “I feel that open campus lunch should be allowed because not every student really likes the food at Mehlville,” said Athena Allen, senior. There are many places that aren’t too far from Mehlville that students can easily travel to and from in a timely manner. Why not give them that time? While it may take some planning, in the end, an open campus lunch option will benefit the school and the students.

Matthew Caraway, Senior: “I think it should be offered to students that drive and meet certain requirements.” Alli Mahfood, Sophmore: “I think we should have open campus lunch because when you’re a junior or senior you should be able to go out and get lunch as a privalige .“

Mitchell Walters, Senior: “It’d be tough!”


Fall Sports Recap By Kyle Becherer, News Editor

Football

Coming off a second straight winning season under Head Coach Kent Heinemann, the Panthers continue to improve and strive for success. “It’s nice to see your hard work and the kids’ hard work turn into actual success,” said Heinemann. After going down to a 1-3 record early in the season, the team bounced back with a five game win streak including a memorable 51-0 blowout win against Oakville High School. Despite a 23-10 loss to Vianney in their District game, the Panthers came away with one positive. Senior kicker Charlie Galentine broke the school field goal record with a successful 51-yard attempt against Vianney to tie the game. Senior running back Steven Haverstick led the team with nine touchdowns, followed closely by senior Will McCaine’s eight touchdowns. Haverstick also led the team with 808 all-purpose yards along with senior Jacobi Shelton’s 575 all-purpose yards.

Boys Soccer Softball Two years removed from their last district title, the boys soccer team finished 7-10-3, recording five straight shutouts at the beginning of the season before losing on the road to Lafayette. Senior Ricky Sparks led the team with 16 goals and nine assists, while senior goalie Ian Brouk kept six shutouts and four solo shutouts. Head Coach Thomas Harper also led the team to it’s fifth district final appearance in six years after a 6-0 thumping over Fox High School in the district semifinals. Unfortunately the team fell to Lindbergh, losing in heartbreaking fashion to in overtime. Senior captain John Bullari was voted to the suburban yellow all-conference second team, with Sparks voted to the Class 4 All-Region team for Districts 1 through 4. Despite losing an impressive 15 seniors, the team still retains an experienced core group of players, made up mostly of sophomores and juniors ready for next season.

Cross Country Girls Volleyball This past season, the cross country team came away with many positives. Despite a dissapointing run in districts, many of the runners broke personal records and medaled in multiple competitions along the way. The cross country team will also lose 10 seniors, some of whom who were a part of the team for all four years of high school. For next season, the team will look to both improve and medal in districts with a young, experienced group of players.

Girls Tennis

This past season, the Mehlville girls tennis team finished with a 3-11 record. Unfortunately, they were unable to defend their district title from a year ago, losing to Farmington in the opening round. Despite the setback, the girls tennis team looks to bounce back. Fortunately, the girls tennis team will only lose four seniors, keeping a young core of players for the next few seasons.

The Mehlville girls volleyball team finished the season with an 8-18-6 record, losing to Lindbergh in the district tournament. Junior Jordan Iliff, voted to the suburban red all-conference first team, finished in the top 15 among high school kills leaders, averaging 4.22 kills a game. Freshman Lana Hong led the team with 38 aces, and senior Allison Kramer led the team in assists. The team will look to get back on track back next season, keeping a young, experienced group of players and only losing four seniors.

Boys Swimming

This season, the Mehlville boys swim team went 0-5, according to the Missouri State High School Activities Association. Despite these losses, the team will still have a majority of their players return next year. Coached by Tony Valentino, the swimming had seven new faces this past year, along with a handful of returning players. For next season, the team will look to improve and attract new players to join.

While the girls softball team finished with a 3-17 record, it’s an improvement from last year’s winless season. Those three wins came in the form of an 8-5 victory against Parkway Central, a 17-16 shootout against Pattonville and a 16-1 hammering of Nerinx Hall. Freshman Emily Vassolo led the team in batting average with an impressive .473 along with 14 RBIs. Not far behind were junior Jenna Benson and sophomore Emilee Goebel, both just under a .400 batting average respectively. The teams’ only two home runs came from senior Hope Haller, who also had a .300 plus batting average. Despite having a small team, they will keep the majority of their players for next season, losing only four seniors.

Girls Golf

While the girls golf team finished with a 1-8 record overall, interim head coach Tom Brannan believed the girls improved from last year and accomplish the team goals they set for themselves. “We saw score averages go down from last year, and we had some new freshmen that came in this year that definitely helped the team and hopefully will carry on the legacy for the next couple years,” explained Brannan. Coach Brannan took over the head coaching job this past season while Alyssa Stock was on leave, and had no trouble transitioning. “After working with all the girls from last, obviously we wanted to reduce scores because that’s the number one goal,” Brannan said. Junior Melissa Hagemann averaged a team best of 58.2 strokes, while sophomore Alyce Rose earned 44 conference points for the team. “They were probably pretty average as far as all the golfers across the district and the conference,” said Brannan. “Putting is the one thing that has improved from last year to this year and I think that saved the girls a lot in strokes and helped their averages go down.” As for next year, Brannan hopes to see more girls involved in district and conference play.

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Central

St. Louis Blues- 60-10-12

The blues are coming off a Stanley Cup championship and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, but there is one thing that is a concern, they have lost Vladimir Taresenko for a good while and they are also without Alexander Steen and Sammy Blais. I expect them to be fully healthy again by Febuary, but it could hurt them in the standings. I say that the blues come in first still but just a little bit ahead of the Winnipeg Jets.

Winnipeg Jets- 53-25-4

The Jets argubably have the best young team in the league being led by Patrik Lane who is a pure scorer and playmaker. He has shown his talent over the last few years. The Jets have started off patchy because they have endured a lot of injuries just in a short time, but if they can get back to a healthy full team I can see them in the playoffs ready to make a run. They have the talent it is just if they can stay healthy or not.

Colorado Avalanche- 50-27-5

The Avalanche have been very good over the last three years, competing in the playoffs. The Avalanche did lose a lot this past offseason with their goalie going to the New York Islanders and trading away a very good defensive man. The Avalanche if they make a push to playoffs will most likely be eliminated in the first round just due to depth.

Nashville Predators- 47-26-9

Pacific 1. Edmonton Oilers- 55-20-7 The Oilers had a flop this year, but are looking as if they have something on their shoulder, this year coming out of the gate hot and leading the division and being led by Connor Mcdavid. The team added James Neal who has been a big addition so far to add the season scoring 13 goals so far. Which really helps with the scoring for Oilers who struggled last year.

The Predators have a decent team, If they play as a team and use there main goalie.then I expect them to compete for a wildcard spot because they still have the talent to do so. Even after losing star defenseman P.K. Subban.

2. Calgary Flames- 50-25-7

The Flames have created a core that has grit and determination which every team needs, right now they are struggling, but this is due to lack of scoring and goaltending, this will be one of the teams that struggles the first half and plays amazing the second half.

3. Arizona Cyotes- 48-23-11

The Arizona Cyotes have a very young team who is looking to finally come together starting out with a hot start sitting in second place in the division at this time. The Cyotes have veterans who are showing the young players how to play at this level. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cyotes stayed in the second spot all year.

4.Vegas Knights- 44-28-10

The Vegas Knights have a lot to prove with a younger team making it to the playoffs every year since they became the expansion team. The Knights have been playing well to start off the season. I would watch for Cody Glass to have a breakout season this year at the age of 20 years old. St. Louis Blues Photo Courtesy of Buffalo News

Edmonton Oilers Photo Courtesy of The Athletic

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NHL Playoffs Predictions By Chase Davis, Sports Editor

Atlantic 1. Boston Bruins- 58-10-14

The Boston Bruins are coming off a great season where they came up just one win short of holding up the Stanley Cup. They lost to the Blues in game seven of the stanley cup, so you could look at this season as redemption and they will play great hockey this year with a stacked team. They have added all the pieces they need to get back to the playoffs and they will be one of the favorites to hold up the Stanley Cup at the end of the year.

2.Toronto Maple Leafs- 49-25-8

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made great strides each of the last few seasons adding all the pieces they need. They have a young core that will compete for years to come and this year might be a year where they come together and play at a championship level with Auston Matthews and John Tavares and Mitch Marner. They will lead this team to the playoffs where they might upset some of the other stacked teams in the league.

3.Tampa Bay Lightning- 48-25-9

Coming off of one of the most disappointing seasons where the Lightning were favorited to win the Stanley Cup finals. The Lightning were eliminated in the first round by a wildcard team. The Lightning are looking to bounce back from that and improve as a team and make it farther into the playoffs this season with about the same team they had last year plus they have an enforcer in Pat Maroon now.

Metropolitian 1.Washington Capitals- 61-11-10

4.Montreal Canadiens- 46-24-12

With Montreal you could go both ways, they could be a contender or they could be a bust. It really just depends on how the The Capitals have one of the best top lines in the NHL and veterans play with the young players and how much they help them have a lot of depth in the rest of the lineup and bench. develop and how quickly these players develop. At the moment the The best goal scorer is on the Capitals by the name of Canadiens are stuck in the middle of being a contender and just Alexander Ovechkin. The Capitals have a Stanley Cup in the last missing the playoffs. few years and are looking to add another Stanley Cup to the collection this year. The Capitals have the first line with left wing being Alexander Ovechkin, Center being Nicklas Backstrom, and right wing being T.J Oshie.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins- 57-18-7

The Penguins seem to be a very well rounded team, they could use better defense to help the goalie out by blocking shots, but other than that they have one of the best captains in the league, Sidney Crosby, who has three Stanley Cups.

3. Columbus Blue Jackets- 49-23-10

The Columbus Blue Jackets are still up in the air, they haven’t shown a lot, there offense needs some work with efficiency, but their defense has been very good against teams. They just need to take away the middle at times that they leave open.

4. Carolina Hurricanes- 47-28-7

The Hurricanes have shown lots of goal scoring to start off the season and they have played well on offense with precise passing, but the defense has not been found causing the goal scoring to disappear with the other teams outscoring them.

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Toronto Maple Leafs Photo Courtesy of Mr Mouse Washington Capitals Photo Courtesy of Sideline Swap


Madison Ledbetter

Ledbetter will be continuing her athletic career at Quincy University for soccer. “I chose to commit to Quincy because I really like how the campus is small and a majority of the students are student-athletes, and I really like the girls on the team,” said Madison Ledbetter. Madison Ledbetter has many people she’d like to thank that helped get her to where she is today. “I would like to thank my parents for pushing me throughout my life, my two club coaches that helped me build my confidence, and Coach Merritt and Coach Casey for making the last four years of high school so much fun and for teaching me new things,” said Madison Ledbetter. Madison’s goal for her first year is to get a starting position.

Grace Ledbetter

Ledbetter will also be continuing her athletic career at Quincy University for soccer with her sister. Grace chose Quincy because she knew that after high school, she wouldn’t be able to give up on the sport. Also, after meeting with the coaches and girls on the team, the bond with them immediately clicked. Grace has many goals for her first year at Quincy University. “My goals for the first year are to keep up my grades and hopefully work my way up to becoming a starter, as well as staying in shape and keeping my old friendships while making new ones,” said Grace Ledbetter. Good luck to Grace Ledbetter as she continues her athletic career at Quincy.

Emma Hubbell Hubbell has committed to Lindenwood University to further her running career. “I decided on Lindenwood because they had the best opportunity for me with school and a great exercise science program and their team is on

the smaller side so everyone becomes like a family. They also are very successful and almost all of their runners PR their first year there,” said Emma Hubbell. Hubbell seems to have many personal goals for herself in her first year at Lindenwood. “My goal is to PR in the 5k which is 19:48. I also want to complete a whole year without being injured because I tend to get injured every track season, so being healthy is my number one goal,” said Hubbell. Emma Hubbell deserves nothing but the best as she continues her running career at Lindenwood.

Christian Harvey Harvey has committed to Meramec Community College to continue his baseball career. “I chose to commit to Meramec because when I went on a visit there, the campus seemed like the best fit for me and I knew their baseball program was something I wanted to be a part of,” said Harvey. Harvey is really looking forward to playing college ball next year and is hoping to raise his GPA, so that he can eventually get to a university. Good luck to Harvey as her furthers his athletic career at Meramec.

Cameron Fuller Fuller will be continuing his baseball career at Harris-Howe State University. Fuller decided on HSSU because of their education and he really enjoyed the team as well as the campus. “HSSU constantly has games, so I’ll be playing all throughout college,” said Fuller. Fuller is ready for college ball and all the new and exciting things it comes with. “The one thing I truly am looking forward to the most is seeing all kinds of new competition, and doing it all with my new family,” Fuller said. Fuller has a bright future ahead of him.

Emily Pesselato Pesselato has chosen to further her athletic and academic career at Missouri S&T. “I chose to commit to Missouri S&T because I really felt at home when I was on the campus and the team was very welcoming,” said Pesselato. Pesselato is very excited to attend Missouri S&T so that she can run at a higher level. She also has a strong goal set for herself as she attends her first year. “My goal for the rest of year is to do my best and continue pushing myself to be the best runner and student that I can be,” Pesselato said. Good luck to Emily Pesselato as she furthers her running career at Missouri S&T.

Colton Torrence Torrence has committed to Maryville University to continue his volleyball career. He will continue at the highest collegiate level, Division 1. “I’m most excited about it being a brand new program and getting to help found a new legacy,” said Torrence. He will not be playing his freshman year because it will still be a club sport so Torrence plans on practicing and working out with his team. “My sophomore year it will be an NCAA sport,” said Torrence. Torrence will have plenty of time to get ready for the best competition he has ever faced.

Abigail Miller

Miller decided to continue her athletic career at Arkansas State University to play D1 soccer. When she asked why she chose Arkansas State, she didn’t hesitate to answer. “I committed to Arkansas state because everyone would always say that I would just know when I’m at the right college because it’ll feel like home and I never really thought I would have that feeling because I’ve visited so many colleges before and I’ve never had that feeling. When I walked on the campus and was talking to the coaches, it just felt like home and I felt like my future was going to mean more than just soccer there,” said Abigail Miller. Miller is really looking forward to college and especially getting out of Missouri to experience something new. “I am honestly so excited for college,” said Miller. “I was nervous at first, but the more and more information that I get and I’m getting closer to my other teammates that are in my class. It all is becoming so much more exciting,” Miller said. Good luck to Abigail Miller as she furthers her athletic career at Arkansas State University.

Editor’s Note: For more information, visit our website at mehvlillemedia.com to check out photos from the first signing day and stay tuned in for future signing days on Dec. 18, Feb. 5 and April 15. We will continue to provide coverage on college commitments. Photos Courtesy of: Kansas State Athletic Department and University of Missorui Athletic Department

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By Natalie Brooks, Photo Editor

College Commitments

Davion Bradford

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Davion Bradford

Bradford will be continuing his athletic career in Divison l basketball at Kansas State University. Bradford’s commitment was one that had everyone waiting. After getting 22 division one offers, Bradford had to narrow it down to just one. “I chose Kansas State because they have been recruiting me the hardest out of all the schools,” Bradford said. “I loved it when I went to my official visit there and I’ve built a close relationship with the coaches, especially since they showed a lot of interest and loyalty in me,” said Bradford when asked why he chose Kansas State. Bradford is really looking forward to seeing himself progress every day and becoming opponents with his St. Louis friends on the court while playing for Kansas State. Davion Bradford has a bright future ahead of him at Kansas State.

Mitchell Walters

Mitchell Walters

Walters will be furthering his athletic career for Divison l football at the University of Missouri. Walters chose Mizzou because as soon as he stepped foot on campus, he knew that he wanted to be there and be able to play for his home state team. When Walters was asked what he was looking forward to most, he didn’t hesitate to answer. “I’m really looking forward to all the opportunities I will have to compete in the sport I love while getting a great education and forming a brotherhood like no other,” said Walters. Walters has a few great goals set for himself during his freshman year. “My goals for my freshman year are to use my four games (to keep my red shirt eligbility) and to travel a lot with the team,” Walters said. Walters definietly has a bright future ahead of himself playing at the University of Missouri.


Photo illustrations by Gabe Keller Photos Courtesy of NFL.com

5

Tom Brady with his eyes downfield Photo Courtesy of Washington Post

1

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots. I’m tired of writing about this team but they never leave the top of the NFL. The defense is the second best only to the 49ers and those two teams go back and forth for the number one spot each week. The offense plays second fiddle to the defense, Brady and the rest of the offensive side of the ball don’t have to do too much as long as their defense locks up the opponent.

2

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens will be the second seed in the AFC. The Ravens last loss came in week four and they have been tearing up their opponents ever since then. Lamar Jackson has been playing outstanding and with a better supporting cast than Wilson, this team is built to win playoff games. The defense is ranked at number 9 in the league. They have the number one rushing offense in the league averaging over 200 rushing yards per game thanks to Mark Ingram and Jackson. The Ravens have speedy receivers in rookie Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Willie Snead. This Ravens team knocked off the undefeated Patriots and don’t be surprised if those two teams see each other again in the AFC championship.

3

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs will be the third seed in the AFC. Injuries have plagued this team’s offense this year. Former MVP Patrick Mahomes has not been playing to his level, though his level is pretty high. Their offense is still high powered with receivers like Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and the second best tight end in the league in Travis Kelce. They do not run the ball too much and their defense, well they suck. They are 26th in the league and they don’t really stop much of anything. So if the offense doesn’t get rolling against a top defense then it might be over for these Chiefs.

4

Houston Texans

The Houston Texans will take home the fourth seed in the AFC. The Texans are in a similar situation to another team in these predictions. Their team isn’t great but they have a quarterback who is playing out of his mind, and his name is Deshaun Watson. Watson has been single handedly keeping his team afloat along with DeAndre Hopkins while their defense is 27th in the league.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills will be the fifth seed in the AFC. Their defense is very good but their offense is pretty trash. The Bills defense is the third ranked defense behind the 49ers and Patriots. The problem is that they do not have many weapons on offense at all. Josh Allen is not a great quarterback. He is more of a scrambler than a thrower but they have a top 5 rushing attack. If they can ride their running game and defense, they can get in as the fifth seed.

6

Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts will be the number six seed in the AFC. They have a great offensive line with a balanced offense. Their receivers aren’t the greatest but they are capable enough to get the job done. The defense is good and they make plays when they need to. Jacoby Brissett is good enough to do well behind the best offensive line in football and their run game is number four in the league. The defense is number 13 in the league yet they are 6-6 through 13 weeks. If they can win out or at least only lose one more game, they can easily get in the playoffs as the sixth seed of a weak AFC conference.

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NFL Playoff Predictions: The NFC Dominates the League Gabe Keller, Editor-in-Chief

1

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers are the best team in the NFC. They have the number one defense in the NFL and the second best rushing attack. The 49ers had an easy schedule through the first half of the season and then one of the hardest through the second half. Many called them pretenders until they beat the (at the time) 4-2 Carolina Panthers 51-13. The one question mark after that victory was, is Jimmy Garoppolo good enough to help them win games, and he proved he is. The next game, Garoppolo saved the team when the defense and running game wasn’t cutting it. If the 49ers can stay healthy, no team will be able to stop them.

2

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints are too pesky to not get the second seed in the playoffs. The Saints don’t die. If they have an injury, the next guy in line fills in and does a great job. Drew Brees went out with a thumb injury early in the year so Teddy Bridgewater stepped in and went 5-0. Alvin Kamara, the Saints star running back, got hurt so backup Latavius Murray stepped in with back-to-back 100 yard games. Their defense is no joke either, being in the top 10 for total defense.

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3

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers will be the number three seed in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers yet again leads his team but this time he has some major help. Rodger’s defense isn’t complete garbage and another Aaron, Aaron Jones, is his running back is playing great with 14 all purpose touchdowns and 645 rushing yards through week 13. The defense has stepped up from years past with help from Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith.

4

Philidelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles will be the number four seed, even though they might have the worst record for all NFC playoff teams. Their division is pretty weak, but the Eagles or the Cowboys will be in this position come the end of the season. The Eagles have an easier schedule for the remainder of the season, which will probably squeeze them into winning their division. I don't really have much else to say about them because I don’t think they're good. The Eagles will probably be a first round exit.

5

Jimmy Garroppolo ready to throw a dart Photo Courtesy of BayNews9.com

Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks can secure a wildcard spot with the number five seed. The Seahawks aren’t a fantastic football team, but a 10-2 record says otherwise. Their defense is 24th in total defense but can step up in big moments. The reason they keep winning is one man: Russell Wilson. He is having the best season of his career and is the front runner for MVP with Lamar Jackson close behind. Wilson leads the league with a 26-4 touchdown-interception ratio.

6

Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings can get the other NFC wildcard spot. The Vikings are a good team but they are inconsistent. Their offense revolves around Dalvin Cook, who is top three in all purpose yards not including quarterbacks. Their defense is middle of the pack at 16th, yet they aren’t one of the best teams in the NFC. The Vikings quarterback is Kirk Cousins and he can be lights out or flat out garbage and he needs to step it up to make it far in the playoffs.


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