ee eagle eye
THE HEALTH ISSUE Profiles of six students and one teacher who overcame health challenges. Page 4
Mountain Vista High School • 10585 Mountain Vista Ridge, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126 • December 17, 2012 • Vol. 12 Issue 3
Eagle Eye 2
Things You Didn’t Know About...
Your Heart Your Body Before you’re born, your heart begins like a
goldfish’s, then becomes like a
T’was the day before finals and all felt amiss but Santa’s not worried, you’ll be on the Nice List! Happy Holidays from Student Leadership
too hard, you could
then it looks more like a
and after that it finally grows into a human heart.
Your heart pumps
and has more than
100neurons. billion The belief that you
could increase the bacteria in your ear by
of your brain is a
an hour only use 10%
times over the course of the average lifetime.
to circle the earth
60 times 700 times. a minute
100,000 times a day and 3 billion
Your brain has enough blood vessels
sneeze four times,
fall asleep in 7 minutes. Source: kids.niehs.nih.gov
Drinking caffeine daily reduces your chances of developing Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s. Caffeine also reduces your risk of having a stroke and can help treat ADHD. Source: au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/mens-health/
myth. It’s true that women are more emotional than men; women have a larger limbic system which regulates emotion. Men have a larger inferior-parietal lobule that controls mathematic ability.
Two Legs up: Playing with prosthesis
Adjusting to Allergies photo by Anna Theis
photo by Kyle Waters
Junior Bailey Roby competes on the Golden Eagle junior varsity basketball team with incredible support, a positive outlook —and two prosthetic legs Roby stands tall on his prosthetics in the Mountain Vista gym, the place he feels most at home. His positive attitude is what makes him such a great asset to Vista. “Life is just good stuff,” he said.
FACTS & STATS 1,800,000
people living with limb loss in the United States
Transfemoral prosthethis is an artificial limb replacing a leg missing above the knee A transfemoral amputee must use approximately 80% more energy to walk than a person with two legs. Source: fidelityorthopedic.com
ailey Roby receives the basketball, rises off the ground behind the arc, and drains the jumper. The Pepsi Center crowd
is roaring. Roby plays for the unified basketball team at Vista. He was born with three toes on each foot which caused him to have both legs amputated as a baby. Bailey has had to use prosthetic legs since he was three. This makes it really difficult to play sports. But that doesn’t prevent him from playing. He led last year’s unified basketball team to a 10-2 record. They also got to play at halftime for one of the Denver Nugget’s games. This year, while he is still playing unified basketball, he also is playing for Mountain Vista’s junior varsity squad. After he successfully made it through tryouts, Roby said about playing for both teams, “It’s going to be a lot of games.” All this achievement isn’t from just talent alone. “I work really hard, and do drills and play games as practice,” Roby said. Both teams use his talents. Bailey said, “They need me to shoot those baskets.” Besides playing basketball himself, Bailey also watches a lot of college and professional basketball. He said he enjoys watching the players shoot. The next time Roby slips on his Golden Eagle jersey and puts on his Mountain Vista prosthetic legs, he will be ready to represent the letters across his chest. “I love Vista.” Roby succeeds off the court
SCOTT GRIMM too, where he has built some great relationships with other students as well as players from his team. “I have so many friends right now,” he said. He was also voted the Homecoming Prince by the junior class. Roby walks through the halls at Mountain Vista trying to get to his next period. He gives a high five to one friend, a few seconds later gives a fist pump to another. As he put it, “Life is just good stuff.” Roby has rebounded from life’s obstacles and scored on life’s opportunities. But nothing will keep Bailey from what he loves. Dec. 11, 2012, Mountain Vista junior varsity basketball had their first game against Rocky Mountain. As the game is nearing its end, Roby motions to Coach Brian Wood to see if he can go in. Coach Wood agrees and sends him to the scorer’s table. All the soreness and pain Roby has experienced throughout his life has gotten him to this point. The buzzer sounds, and he steps onto the hardwood for the first time as a member of the junior varsity team, the white blur of Mountain Vista students are screaming, not because their team is winning, but because Roby has stepped onto the court. Roby plays defense until the buzzer sounds, the game is over, but his experiences on the junior varsity team have just started. Roby has rebounded from life’s obstacles and taken advantage of the opportunities he has been given. But nothing has kept Roby from playing the game he loves most.
ALLERGY FACTS & STATS
One in Five
Americans have allergies Source: webmd.com
Carrin Honeycutt’s Four R’s to Preventing Allergic Reactions
* * * * Carrin Honeycutt adjusts
Research-Knowing everything about the environment you’re going to. Review-What did you eat that day? What did you touch and who did you see? Response-Always have a safety plan. React-Know what to do in emergencies
her life due to allergies and tries to raise awareness
ou’ve probably walked by a door in the upper 500s and seen signs saying, “Severe allergies!” You could’ve rolled your eyes and said, “Yeah, whatever.” You most likely haven’t thought about why the sign is taped to the door. Those signs are precautions because Carrin Honeycutt, special education teacher, was diagnosed with chronic urticaria and idiopathic anaphylactic syndrome at age 34. “When I first found out, I cried,” Honeycutt said. “And that first year, I was in the emergency room eight times and lost 55 pounds in six months.” Chronic Urticaria, as Honeycutt put it, is, “cells directing information by processing things in the air. Allergies overwhelm the cell and soon the cell can’t make sense of all the things coming at it. It begins to see anything in the environment as ‘bad’ and treats them all the same way.” Idiopathic Anaphylactic Syndrome is the outcome of the cells being overwhelmed. They don’t know how to respond to the body categorizing things all the same way and the nerves begin to change. This makes Honeycutt’s body reject things around her. Honeycutt said, “Just being alive, I am constantly having a reaction to things around me, no matter where I go.” What’s unique for Honeycutt’s case is that it’s not a true allergy to the foods and products or the environment, but rather a blood reaction, ruling out any shots or pills. She is however, given multiple EpiPens to keep with her at all times. “I have eight total,” Honeycutt said, “but I’m too
Carrin Honeycutt stands next to her classroom door with multiple warnings for her allergies where she wears a mask to protect herself from things that can produce allergic reactions. much of a wimp to ever stab myself with one.” Honeycutt said controlling her environment is essential. “When you might die, you just adapt,” she said. “I simply don’t go anywhere uncontrollable, so no public places unless I have to. Social life? I have none, unless at my house.” Daily life consists of living off mainly the same five foods — puffed rice, Macrobars, Udi’s Au Naturel Granola, broccoli and asparagus — that she can eat, keeping her house and products clean using Free and Clear products and living with $1,000 worth of home purifiers because she lives with three dogs. She takes specific precautions like doing research and always having an emergency plan. “When I go anywhere, I have to think, ‘Where is the nearest hospital and pharmacist? Where do I buy groceries?’” she said. Living with these conditions has made dealing with other people hard. “Certain people don’t respect my space,” she said. She not only creates a controlled place, putting signs on her door to tell others certain precautions are in place, for herself but for any kids with similar conditions so they know they are safe. “This hasn’t made me really
stronger, but (rather) healthier,” she said. Living with these conditions, has changed her view of the world, she said, adding that she wants others to think about the environment they are living in and constantly be aware of others around them, like her room and its specific rules. “Since I have to read labels and tags to everything, I’m aware of how many chemicals we put in (and) on our body,” she said. “I look at kids and think, ‘Why do you eat that food or put that perfume on your body?’” Honeycutt said. In the future, Honeycutt said she hopes to become more involved with people who have similar cases to hers. She hopes that others can start to see allergies differently. “The biggest thing I want to do is raise awareness about allergies as a whole,” she said. “There is no cure to allergies, so the best weapon that we have against allergies is awareness and knowledge.”
Isolated by Illnesses
Rising Above Anorexia
photo by Riley McCloskey
Katie studies at the Tattered Cover, one of her favorite spots. Throughout high school she’s taken five AP and six Honors classes, and averages about an hour of homework per night.
Katie endured pneumonia, mono, a concussion, a sinus infection and the swine flu
hen most students get sick, they are at least glad that they get to miss a day or two of school. This was not true for Katie Birmingham, senior, who has been sick for most of her high school career. “In eighth grade I had a really severe case of pneumonia,” Birmingham said. “Then the first semester of freshman year I had a sinus infection, swine flu and then I got a concussion. Second semester, they didn’t know what I had at
FromSicknesstoHealth HEALTH November 2008
EIGHTH GRADE: Severe case of pneumonia
FRESHMAN: Swine flu, sinus infection and a concussion
first so they just gave me a bunch of antibiotics. Then, they found out that I had mono, one of the worst cases my doctor has ever seen, so I missed a month-and-a-half of school. It’s a virus so you can’t really do anything about it.” Even when she thought she was getting better, she would get again. “I started to get better after that and then later that year my nervous, digestive, and immune systems collapsed because of all the antibiotics,” Birmingham said. “I was pretty sick from freshmen year to junior year.” Birmingham’s doctor wanted her to go to a specialist for chronic fatigue syndrome. She instead decided to go to an alternative medicine doctor and find a more natural way to recover. “The first thing I had to do was a cleanse where I ate no sugar, dairy, wheat or gluten for about three months. I was taking over 50 vitamins and drank 100 ounces of water every day,” Birmingham said. “I also had to go see the doctor every week.” This situation became harder to deal with since to no one could relate to what Birmingham was going through. Birmingham said her mom was “pretty much the only person that knew what I was going through because she was with me through every step. The rest of my family didn’t really see me because I was in my room.” That didn’t mean her friends and family didn’t try to help her during the tough times. “They tried to help, but they didn’t really know what to do. My friends were actually really supportive and would send me messages on my phone when I would miss a week of SOPHOMORESOPHOMORE: JUNIOR: Converts to Sees an alternative alternative medicine doctor weekly February 2010 November 2010
FRESHMAN: Mononucleosis, misses over a month of school
SOPHOMORE: Digestive, nervous and immune systems collapse
school,” Birmingham said. “Overall, for the first half of high school I was completely anti-social.” While Birmingham was sick she didn’t just give up on doing the best she could in school. She pushed through to accomplish her goals of having a high GPA and going to a good college. “My teachers would give me schoolwork to do at home and since I had nothing else to do I would just do it,” she said. “It was a lot harder to do the work at home. I needed to maintain my GPA. I’ve always wanted to go out of state and go to a good college and I couldn’t let being sick get in the way of that. I’m applying to NYU, CU Boulder and Stanford.” Keeping up in school wasn’t the only challenge Katie faced. She also had to find a way to play sports. Birmingham played basketball her freshmen year but her season was cut short when she got sick. This hasn’t stopped Birmingham from doing what she wants this year. “This year I did cross country in the fall and I’m going to play basketball,” she said. “My illnesses definitely had an impact on if I could play sports. I was really weak and sick for a long time so I couldn’t do the things I wanted to.” Living a healthy lifestyle has become important to Birmingham. Today she focuses on eating healthy and working out so she can keep up her strength. “Surprisingly, I do not regret being sick,” Birmingham said. “Not only am I a stronger, more independent person, but I will live a prosperous life because of the wisdom I attained.”
JUNIOR: End of threemonth cleanse February 2011
JUNIOR: Fully recovered May 2012
photo by Gabi Capocelli
36% of adolescent girls believe they are overweight
of adolescent girls are trying to lose weight
Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder
* * *
Exercising excessively Wearing loose, bulky clothes to hide weight loss Avoiding eating in front of others Source: WebMD
Senior Monica McGinty reflects on her journey to overcome an eating disorder
he hated standing in front of the mirror. It pointed out everything she didn’t want to see. Not skinny enough. Not pretty enough. Not good enough. She was never enough. For Monica McGinty, her weight meant control. With her dad’s job loss and a new start at Mountain Vista as a freshman, it was the only thing in her life she had the power to change. Now, three years later, she has overcome anorexia nervosa. At the end of eighth grade, she began losing weight, exercising and eating healthier. “I wasn’t super skinny, but I wasn’t fat by any means. I was just self-conscious.” McGinty said. “It wasn’t unhealthy at first, but it just got worse.” At the height of her eating disorder, she ate about 500 calories a day, a miniscule amount compared to the 1,800- or 2,000-calorie diet recommended for the average 14-year-old girl. She remembers not wanting to sit down after watching a commercial about obesity that said “standing is better than sitting and walking is better than standing.” “I would do my homework at the bar standing up and I would read in my room standing up,” she said. “I just had a really hard time sitting because I thought standing would help me lose weight.” Over time, she became better at keeping her eating disorder a secret. She did ab exercises in her room and ran on the treadmill when her mom left the house. What kept her going was the attention and false hope from others. “At first it was easy to hide, a lot of
McGinty looks at herself in the mirror three years after overcoming anorexia. “I’ve learned that I was made perfectly,” she said. “This is exactly how I was intended to be so I don’t need to change mysel. I need to be confident.” people were just like ‘Oh, Monica you’re thinning out, you look great!’” McGinty said. But her eating disorder started to take over, and at its worst, caused her to be a mere 90 pounds. She began to isolate herself from the people she loved the most in fear that they would notice her change in weight. “I would just never hang out with my friends so I didn’t have to work to hide it from them,” she said. Her mom gradually began to notice she was losing weight and took her to a series of doctors. “I was so mad at my mom when she found out,” McGinty said. “I felt really alone and I thought everyone was against me.” Eventually, McGinty started outpatient treatment at the Children’s Hospital Eating Disorder Ward in Denver, which consisted of a prescribed diet and a therapist. But her road to recovery wasn’t easy, and at first, she wasn’t on board. “I was just resentful and felt helpless all the time,” she said. When she started treatment, her stomach had shrunk from not eating for such a long time. “After eating a
small amount, I felt full and I hated that feeling,” McGinty said. “I just liked the feeling of having an empty stomach.” Her mom monitored her, making sure she ate, didn’t exercise and drank a 1,000-calorie malt each night. Over time, McGinty and her mom became closer and closer. Gradually, she began to recover and gain back the weight she had lost. “Over time, I started to accept that I had a problem.” she said. Now McGinty is happy to say she is 20 pounds healthier. “I’ve learned that I was made perfectly. This is exactly how I was intended to be so I don’t need to change myself, and I need to be confident.” she said. “I am beautiful.”
GABI CAPOCELLI TAYLOR BLATCHFORD
Eagle Eye 8
OPINION 9 Eagle Eye
free money for College?!
Co-Editors In Chief
Seniors! Apply early for scholarships! Applications will be accepted starting December 1! Scholarship recipients will be awarded as applications are received.
PresiDent’s scholarshiP: • Graduate high school with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 • $1,800 per year based on full time enrollment
Bridget Cooper Joanie Lyons
1st generation scholarshiP: college launch scholarshiP: • Neither parent has a bachelor’s degree, • Graduate high school with a cumulative you have at least a 2.25 GPA, and you GPA of at least a 2.0 and you are are testing at 090 level courses with the testing into 060 level courses with ACCUPLACER or ACT scores the ACCUPLACER or ACT scores • $1,600 per year based on • $1,000 per year based on full time full-time enrollment enrollment
Taylor Blatchford Gabi Capocelli
Photo Editors Bridget Cooper Jessi Wood
Don’t forget! Enroll NOW for Spring Classes – classes start January 22!
Hannah Addison Wes Edwards
Social Media Editor
For more information on scholarships, campus tours or to get an information sessions, contact Student Recruitment and Outreach at 303.797.5637 or visit www.arapahoe.edu/studentrecruitment
303.797.4222 | arapahoe.edu
Hey, ConCurrent enrollment StudentS! If you are signed up for a Spring ACC Concurrent Enrollment college course, you MUST return your registration form by the end of January. Check with your counselor for more details.
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Pill Perfection? With psychological challenges affecting more people everyday, many turn to medication—but at what cost?
e put pills on a pedestal of perfection. Today, there are hundreds of pills for every single ailment that could possibly befall you. We believe that since some man in a white lab coat prescribed it, obesity, depression, ADD, even acne can all be cured just by swallowing a tiny colored capsule. There are many cases where pills and other treatments are not only positive, but are actually required to save lives and improve the quality of life for whoever is suffering. Yet, how many times a day do you hear a legal settlement advertisement dealing with pharmaceuticals? “If you have taken this antidepressant and developed a heart defect, suffered from a stroke, or even a loved one has died after taking this drug, you may be eligible for legal compensation.” Every single day you can hear these advertisements with countless drugs that had been prescribed to countless people just a few years ago or even months. Now we know that it can kill you in 15 different ways. I am talking mainly about drugs that are prescribed to cure psychological disorders, not treat a physical or life threatening ailment. I can say from personal experience that these psychotic drugs, those focused on dealing with
your mental state, are not to be taken lightly, especially prescribed as a longterm cure. We live in an age where you can be handed a cure and you take it because you know that it will cure everything that is wrong with you. This is creating a culture where easy solutions are presented to cure complex problems. We wonder why drug addiction is so rampant in this country. We fail to realize that we are creating a habit to take the quick and easy way out of a problem without fully recognizing the potential consequences. Instead of being reactive to depression and other mental issues, we need to solve the problem by attacking the root of it rather than dealing with the consequences after the damage has been done. More often than not, the circumstances of one’s life are what lead to serious mental problems, and for teenagers, these circumstances are almost never within their realm of control. If there is nothing you can possibly do to improve your life to a point where you are happier, yes, take a drug or do something to help you get through the dark and troubled times of your past. But, don’t forget that these dark times are always temporary and so should your so called cure.
Erin Kim Joanie Lyons
Mark Newton, MJE
Addison Ambrose Taylor Atlas Amani Brown Madeline Carlson Hannah Chatwin Caitlin Cobb Emma Cooper Gretchen Cope Cameron Cox Shelby Crumley Kenna Dougherty Amanda Ellingson Delaney Fitzsimmons Antonia Fornaro Dylan Freeman Libby Galligan Bailey Gambrell Scott Grimm Kenzie Haberkorn Alec Hewlett Dylan Ingram Jason Keller Tyler Kraft Taylor Krason Ana Krasuski Sammy Linares
Peter Cleverdon Nicholas Lawrence
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Brad & Rachel Johnson
Combatting Dad’s Cancer
Defeating Depression photo by Wes Edwards
photo courtesy of the Johnson family
Juniors Brad and Rachel Johnson reflect on their father’s long battle with cancer KYLE WATERS
Juniors Rachel and Brad Johnson smile and celebrate remembering the times they spent with their father who passed away from cancer.
A life well lived Their father lived for
years with cancer
5 things Brad and Rachel loved to do with their dad
* * * * *
Attend Denver Broncos games Go camping Watch the Colorado Rockies To go to any type of baseball game Watch the Colorado Avalanche
ith three different softball teams, the Vista basketball team and the entire baseball team there to support them, juniors Rachel and Brad Johnson said their final goodbye to their father as his 16-year long battle with cancer finally ended. Rachel and Brad’s dad passed away this past April 1 from a stage four brain tumor. This cancer wasn’t something new, as Rachel explained her dad has had cancer ever since a few months before she and Brad were born. “(The cancer) spread to his lungs. It ate up his brain basically,” Rachel said. “He went through chemo, radiation and he had a lot of surgeries.” The hardest parts of this journey for the siblings was watching their dad in his final days. “The biggest challenge was seeing him struggle to communicate with us and how frustrated he got when he couldn’t do something,” Brad said. “He couldn’t walk. He couldn’t talk at all,” Rachel said. “Then you could tell he was losing his personality.” Rachel and Brad witnessed these aspects of an extreme situation at an age where tough things are just that much harder. “He had a lot of seizures on a daily basis. That was scary to go through,” Brad said. When thinking about this whole situation, it’s hard to imagine how these regular teenagers could be forced to go through a tough situation and wonder how they did get
through it. Rachel and Brad said their source of strengths throughout this whole experience came from their family, friends, God, and sports teams. “My friends may not know it but they’ve helped me out a lot by putting a smile on my face everyday,” Brad said. “My family definitely helped me through it, and there were definitely those hard days sometimes it would be like you broke down and didn’t know what to do anymore,” Rachel said. Brad said that whenever he needed somebody to talk to, there was always friends or family that he could count on. Rachel and Brad also said God played a huge role in this experience. “The role He played was taking (my dad) out of pain, you could see it in my dad’s face that he just didn’t want to go through it anymore. He was tired of it all,” Rachel said. “I think God helped my dad battle it for as long as he did, and let me get to know my dad more for those 16 years,” Brad said. Brad and Rachel say the hardest part now is the absence of their father as part of their normal daily lives. “He went to my games and he was always there for me,” Rachel said. “Now he’s not there and I can’t just go home and talk to him.” Throughout this Brad and Rachel have learned important lessons about life and ways they want to live their lives. “This experience has taught me to work hard at everything I do even if I don’t think I can,” Brad said, “and that if you’re struggling, there will always be friends and family there to help you through it.”
1 in 10 American adults are depressed 20% of teenagers will experience depression before adulthood
* * *
Resources for Depression
Talk to a counselor or mentor Talk to your doctor Call the Depression Hotline at 1-800-784-2433
Source: American Health Institute
Freshman Alina Nohr faces her battle with depression head on
any teens wake up in the morning with no motivation to go to school whatsoever. Most students want to hit the snooze button ten times before finally dragging themselves out of bed or play sick and not get up at all. But freshman Alina Nohr knows what it’s like to wake up every morning with the weight of depression on her shoulders. “I kept everything inside. I didn’t trust anyone,” said Nohr. “It was throughout my whole life, but really bad for [the past] 3 years.”Now, however, she’s finding a more positive outlook on life. “I recently got really good antidepressants,” Nohr said. Though there are many ways to deal with teen depression, an antidepressant is one that works for Nohr. Nohr said she also explored other paths on the road to recovery. “I’ve tried [therapy] about three times,” she said. “The first time went on for a couple of months and then I’d stop.” When talking to a therapist didn’t help, Nohr said, she turned to her friends for support. “I just talked to them and we told each other about our bad situations,” she said. “We talked for like four hours straight and it just helped that I knew someone
“Ruin and recovery are both from within. With depression you feel completely ruined, but when you recover a lot of it is from the inside,” Nohr said. else was going through what I was going through.” The feeling of a community helped Nohr make it through her hard times. “I had a few friends to really help me,” she said. Nohr knows, like many other teens, that a few friends or even strangers can make a big difference. “I called the suicide prevention hotline a couple times and it helped,” Nohr said. The suicide hotline provides an ear for struggling teens to talk to and gives them a place to go when they feel sad, threatened or angry. “I have really bad anxiety so I don’t trust many people,” Nohr explained, but she found recovery and safety talking with professionals on the hotline. Students often become depressed due to bullying and teasing from other students. This can make teens feel unsafe and insecure around other kids their age, especially at school.
For Nohr, the depression and bullying has been ongoing. “When I was young, people were mean to me,” she said. Nohr wants other students to know that overcoming depression isn’t a small feat. It’s a real journey that real people go through. It takes time and effort, but people do make it to the other side. “People don’t realize how bad it really is,” Nohr said. “When you come out on the other side, you feel so much stronger than you were before.”
How to prepare the Protein Power
A Healthy Smoothie Option
Gabi’s Workout Plan START BY STRETCHING
With only 250 calories, this Protein Power smoothie is the perfect post-workout snack or even a kick start to your morning as an add on to any breakfast meal.
Ingredients 1/4 cup 1% low-fat chocolate milk 1/2 medium ripe banana 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries 1/2 cup crushed ice
Start is a “criss cross applesauce” position, making sure to push your knees gradually down to the floor to get a good stretch.
HEALTH TIP: Stretching is a great way to warm up your muscles before strenuous activities. It can help prevent muscle sprains and tears.
THE PULSE Lay flat on your back and raise both legs straight into the air. Stretch arms out straight on both sides of your legs. Raise your head and neck off the ground and pulse your arms up and down 50 times.
Lay flat on your back, feet on the floor with knees raised. Put your hands behind your head and pull up towards the ceiling with your abdomen as you raise your head.
Peanut Butter A high protein source that is not only filling but delicious, Peanut Butter is key to making this smoothie. Peanut butter naturally contains no cholesterol, and one ounce (that’s a small spoonful) contains 2 grams of fiber.
PLANK RUSSIAN TWIST
Smoothie Comparison A similar smoothie at Jamba Juice, Peanut Butter Moo’d®, contains 480 calories in just a sixteen ounce and 10 grams of fat. In comparison to the Protein Power, Proteicn Power ends up being better in not only calorie content but in fat content as well.
Stay in crunch position and grab your weight. Raise your feet off of the ground and pull them toward your stomach. Twist from side to side.
Start in a push-up position with the tips of your toes touching the mat. Transfer the weight in your hands to your forearms and hold for 30 seconds.
Bowl Championship Series Predictions There’s nothing healthier than top-notch college football players working hard to beat their opponents in this year’s Bowl Championship Series games. Strong, the former defensive coordinator of Florida who is now the head coach at Louisville. Strong recruited many of Florida’s best defensive had a total of 2,490 yards players, and is now going to and a 66.2% completion have to work to beat what rate. Oregon running back he produced with what he’s Kenjon Barner will leave developed this season. the Ducks having rushed The player to watch from 1,624 yards. However, when Louisville is quarterback looking at the larger aspects Teddy Bridgewater, who has of the game, Oregon is far received ample praise from ahead of Kansas State. The analysts all season. He has Wildcats are ranked fiftycompleted 25 touchdown fifth in total offense while passes this season for 3,452 Oregon is ranked fourth yards. The Gators are ranked with an average of 550.08 higher than Louisville in yards per game. Oregon’s almost every defensive rankdefense, led by defensive ing (rushing defense, pass end Dion Jordan, will most defense, total defense and likely be putting a whole scoring defense). However, lot more pressure on ColLouisville ranks higher than lin Klein than he’s seen all Florida in passing offense, season. The key for K-State total offense and scoring will absolutely be to slow offense. In the long run, down Oregon’s offense. Louisville’s offense is more There are simply too many powerful than the Gators’. weapons on the Ducks’ side The Gators’ defense, nonefor the Wildcats to take for theless, is making their mark granted. If Oregon’s defense this season. In week 12, the is unable to put pressure on Gators stunned the tenth Collin Klein, he will do amazranked Florida State Semiing things in the pocket, and Alabama running back Eddie Lacy breaks away from Georgia defenders noles by forcing five turnultimately bring home the Sanders Commings, Shawn Williams and Javis Jones in the Southeastern overs. For this game, I am win. I’m predicting a quack picking the Gators’ defense. Conference championship game Dec. 1. Alabama won the game, 32-38, to attack; I think Oregon’s ofAlthough I think the Cardifense and running game is clinch the SEC championship. nals’ offense is stronger than just too powerful for Kansas Florida’s, I think the Gators State to stop. will be able to put enough pressure on the pocket to make Teddy Bridgewater nervous, putting him in the perfect position to make Allstate Sugar Bowl costly mistakes that will boost Florida’s win.
Coming from a football background, with both sides of my family being avid football fans, it’s always been very important to me. I spend most of my free time watching “College Gameday” and “NFL Sundays.” Football is my passion and something I love to immerse myself.
Discover BCS National Championship
January 7 on CBS at 6:30 p.m. *When: Teams: Notre Dame vs. Alabama *Ana’s Pick: Alabama * bviously the most speculated matchup out of all the
games in the 2012-2013 bowl season, the Discover BCS National Championship game being played in South Florida will star number one ranked Notre Dame and number two Alabama. Some people would agree that Notre Dame is a bit out of place, considering their opponents are the defending SEC champions and have won two BCS titles in the last three years, not to mention Alabama has the most talented offensive line in the country. You could say that Notre Dame is basically ‘playing for themselves,’ because of their lack of a spot in any division or any kind of title to defend. Alabama, on the other hand, has the reputation of the SEC on their shoulders. The key for Notre Dame will most definitely be to establish the run early on. Alabama has one of the best defenses in the nation, but if Notre Dame can get running backs Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood running early, it will open doors for quarterback Everett Golson. However, Alabama is known for their incredible running game, led by Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon, who have rushed for 1,000 yards this season. Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron is also one of Alabama’s key components, with a 66.8% completion rate, 2,669 yards and only three interceptions. Notre Dame definitely has a leg up in this game because of their perfect record, compared to Alabama’s 12-1 record, losing to Texas A&M in week nine. My prediction for the game is Alabama, not only because of their outstanding offense and solid defense, but also because Notre Dame has pretty much been completely irrelevant in college football until this year. The Irish are coming into this game with high hopes and big egos, but I think the Tide will roll over those hopes and egos in the end.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
January 3 on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. *When: Teams: Kansas State vs. Oregon *Ana’s Pick: Oregon *
his game is certainly an interesting one, considering that these two teams were chosen to be in the BCS game before K-State’s untimely loss to Baylor and Oregon’s loss to Stanford. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein was not only a finalist for the 2012 Heisman Trophy, but
Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT
January 2 on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. *When: Florida vs. Louisville *Teams: Ana’s Pick: Florida *
nlike the other evenly matched games, the Sugar Bowl is between the number four ranked Florida Gators and the number 21 Louisville Cardinals. Florida ended their season 11-1 and third in the SEC. Louisville is predicted to be a 14-point underdog. With Florida’s strong defense, ranked number five in total defense in the nation, allowing only 12.9 points per game, it’s going to be an arduous task on the part of Louisville to slow the Gators on defense. Perhaps the most speculation surrounding this game is around Charlie
Discover Orange Bowl
January 1 on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. *When: Teams: Florida State vs. Northern Illinois *Ana’s Pick: Florida State *
lorida State has had quite an interesting season this year. Pre-season rankings predicted them to be a serious contender for the BCS title game, but those hopes were shattered in week six and week 12. Losing 17-16 in the last seconds to NC State in week six and 37-26 to Florida in week 12, the Seminoles are lucky to be in the Orange
Bowl. The number 12 ranked ACC Champion Seminoles are hoping to win their eighth appearance in the Orange Bowl, while the Huskies are making their first appearance in a BCS bowl game. Northern Illinois went 12-1 this season, beating Kent State in overtime in the MAC Championship Game. The problem with the Seminoles is they go into big games with the wrong mindset. The Noles go into games thinking it’s just like any other game, don’t play to their full potential, and end up getting stung for it. Despite the two losses to NC State and Florida, the Seminoles have had a great season. Quarterback EJ Manuel passed for 3,101 yards, rushed for 1,771 yards and threw 19 touchdowns. However, Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch has not only made it into the first BCS bowl game in Northern Illinois history, but has broken Denard Robinson’s record of single season rushing yards with 1,771 yards. Be on the lookout for Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner, who is leading the nation in sacks (13). The key for Northern Illinois will be to stop the Seminoles’ fine defensive line from getting in the backfield and shaking up Jordan Lynch. My prediction for this game is Florida State, not only because of their defensive strength, but because if they are able to hold on to the ball and not give up turnovers, EJ Manuel can do some serious magic in the pocket.
January 1 on ESPN at 3:10 p.m. *When: Teams: Stanford vs. Wisconsin *Ana’s Pick: Stanford *
n Pasadena, Calif., Stanford will take on Wisconsin in the 2013 Rose Bowl, this being Wisconsin’s third straight appearance. This game is a rematch of the 2000 Rose Bowl, which ended in a 17-9 win by Wisconsin. Keep an eye out for Wisconsin running back Stepfan Taylor, who rushed for 1,442 yards this season for 12 touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan will be in charge of leading the Cardinal’s offense, and if he does, Stanford’s offense can do great things. Running will be the main focus during this game, not only because of Stepfan Taylor but also because of Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. This freshman running back was the leading rusher in the Big 10 title game, with 216 yards on nine carries. The key for Wisconsin will be to play a clean game and stay steady offensively. Badgers quarterback Curt Phillips is going to be shaky against a solid defense like Stanford’s, but if the Badgers stay on top of the rush attack, they could pull out a win. Although I love to see the underdog win, I have to pick Stanford on this game because of their 11-2 schedule (they deafeated top-five ranked Oregon) but also because their defense leads the Pac-12 in every major defensive category except passing. They’re also first in the nation for stopping the run. I think with the Cardinal’s wild running game and stable defense, Wisconsin just won’t be able to keep up.
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