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Providing Jefferson West readers a range of newsworthy information and entertainment

Volume 4 • Issue 1


what's inside?

Fine

2 Four earn 3 recognition 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 sarah grose 11 12 13 14 15 FINE ARTS

Art for art's sake Recognized for their diverse artistic

• art day @ Washburn • band student earns first chair

FINE ARTS

• thespians devote time, energy

FEATURES

• NHS induction • Co*Motion

FEATURES

• state debate • domestic violence walk

FEATURES

• FFA • Christmas poll

FEATURES

• tutoring • new assistant principal Giltner

SPORTS

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• state volleyball state

SPORTS

Showing their awards, art students Tazz Eastman, Darian Housworth, Tyler Flint and Morgan Boldridge represent wins for JW from Washburn University’s Art Day. Twelve JW students attended the event.

talents, four JW students who entered work into Washburn University’s Art Day in November received special acknowledgment. Entering art that finished in the top three out of 150 works from 15 area high schools, senior Tazz Eastman earned first in sculpture, junior Morgan Boldridge earned first in digital photography, junior Darian Housworth earned second in painting, and senior Tyler Flint earned third in mixed materials. One of the main features of Art Day was the workshops taught by Washburn University professors. Twelve students participated in the workshops. Art teacher Mark Ralston had been looking forward to the event because of all the great opportunities it provides yearly. “Washburn Art Day offers great exposure to our students to what other high school students are doing and insight into classes at a university,” Ralston said. “I was very proud of how our students represented Jeff West.” Story by: Grady Middendorf and Anthony Sanchez Photo by: Mark Ralston

• fall sports wrap-up

Senior makes first chair in district band

SPORTS

• winter sports preview

SPORTS

SPORTS

• Weststepper profile • hunting

• junior competes in cheer • a thousand miles • cheerleader profile

OPINION

• Thanksgiving

OPINION

• students go to Boston

OPINION

• Rachel’s Challenge

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Q: What made you interested in music? A: “Music has been a huge part of my family’s life, and I have grown up with music.” Q: Describe a memorable experience you’ve had in band. A: “Making first chair in the district band. It was amazing to be rewarded with such an amazing opportunity through my hard work.” Q: How much time do you put into your instrument and band itself? A: “I usually spend around 30 minutes a day practicing.” Story and photo by: Emily Anderson

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Arts

A Senior Kailee Gibson, freshman Chelsey Davis and junior Kayla Erickson prepare for Little Women at rehearsal. Held Nov. 22 and 23, the play was directed by teacher Shawn Beuchat. “I love being able to play different characters and put on a show for others to enjoy,” Gibson said. Photo by: Anthony Sanchez

Love for theater drives student performers to commit countless hours A love for theater is what drives teen thespians to commit countless hours to a stage production every semester. Students invested in the thespian troupe also accrue points through participation in community events. Some participate in the state conference. “I work so hard to memorize lines to have that feeling of adrenaline when I step on stage,” said junior Kayla Erickson. Future thespians are introduced to theater in middle school where they have the option to take drama with thespian troupe sponsor Shawn Beuchat. “I was in theater class in middle school,” said sophomore Lizzie Huffman, who acted in the fall Little Women production. Not all thespians are involved in acting. Other options include stage crew

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and set builders. “I’m the guy running the show no one gets to see,” said senior Jose Garza.

It was a lot of work, but the friendships you make are worth it.

Most thespians are able to be placed in any position and produce a great show. Others are productive in specific areas. “I’m happy wherever they put me,” said junior Katie Farrant. After performances, the cast appears

together on stage. Farrant described the experience as fantastic. “Most days it’s kind of a sense of accomplishment,” Huffman said. After the play thespians are not active until state conferences. “I love state conference,” Huffman said. “(It’s) like a family.” At the end of the school year thespians say they have made friends and memories along the way. Training their minds is the hardest part of the year, according to Erickson. “It was a lot of work, but the friendships you make are worth it,” Erickson said. Beuchat welcomes thespians and future thespians every summer in theater camp. Many thespians find their start there. Story by: Hannah Howey

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22 inducted into NHS The JW National Honor Society chapter accepted 22 new members during the Nov. 12 induction. The ceremony began with vocals from Lakeside. The whole ceremony was a serious affair, according to senior Bethany Harvey. “I felt very happy, like all my hard work had paid off,” Harvey said. The speaker was JW graduate Dr. Susan Scholtz. “I was glad that I was inducted into such a prestigious group,” said junior Allie Deiter. “It will look good when applying to colleges.” NHS requires students to have community service for membership. “It was very exciting,” said junior Karli Fleischer. Others inducted were Olivia Brees, Macy Bruton, Kayla Davis, Janelle Debus, Jacob Dickey, Jody Emery, Kayla Erickson, Matthew Hamon, Bethany Harvey, Austin Irvine, Jacob Kahler, Jacob Lawhorn, Kayla Lawson, Samantha Montgomery, Jonah Mooradian, Boyd Roenne, Cassidy Sands, Danielle Slimmer, Bailee Steffey and Wynne Taylor. Story by: Hannah Howey

Senior Dalton Hahn addresses the audience Nov. 12 at the induction ceremony for National Honor Society. As president of the organization, Hahn delivered remarks during the formal ceremony. Also pictured: Senior Aaron Brooks. Photo by: Anthony Sanchez

Youth collaborate in faith, showcase talents While most kids are focused on the Monday ahead of them, some kids from grades six through 12 meet up at the Jefferson Assembly of God every Sunday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for an activity called Co*Motion that helps kids grow with their faith in God and leadership. Several JW students are involved including freshman Marissa Dowding, senior Josiah Dowding, junior Tess Watson, sophomore Kiersten Forbes and senior Jesse Best. “Co*Motion is a separate group within the youth group that kids have to sign up for. It’s a commitment and

FEATURES 4

involves weekly meetings, which some of our meetings are extra prayer and development of kid’s gifts and talents,” said group leader Blaine Moore. “What

Co*Motion we do is travel to other churches or statewide meetings and take part in state and national Fine Arts competitions.” Fine Arts is an event where church groups from all over Kansas meet in Wichita and qualify to go to nationals

with the talents they have in fine arts. Marissa Dowding said that one of the fun things she enjoys doing is puppets, which incorporates black light. Co*Motion’s slogan is Moving Forward Together in Faith. Watson said Co*Motion is about five years old, and the purpose is to minister to their church and do activities with the church. Any high schooler can participate. Student members “really need to be involved in the church and be serious about Co*Motion,” Dowding said. Story by: Emily Anderson

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Debate

Junior organizes October event to benefit victims of domestic violence

Three prepare for state Three students have the opportunity to compete at state debate. Sophomore Katy Chase, junior Zac Surritt and sophomore Elizabeth Huffman have qualified and are on their way to Fort Scott where the event will be held in January. “Josh McTHIS YEAR’S Garity and I got TOPIC four and one and received second place at Manhattan,” Economic Surritt said. engagement of The debaters are spend- either Mexico, ing time pre- Cuba, or paring for the Venezuela event by making sure their cases are fool-proof and preparing for anything. They must have enough information to present strong negative arguments when needed. “You just have to work on keeping your case,” Huffman said. “You always run into more experienced people.” The competitors have been prepar ing their cases with sponsor Mary Naumann. “This is my second year going to state,” Suritt said. “The competition is a lot harder because it’s all over the state.” Any debater who wants to go on to state needs a four and one record to continue on. The team has continued on to state for the past seven years. “Everyone puts in their efforts, and it’s a lot of fun,” Chase said. In debate it is important to use words

Sophomores Elizabeth Huffman and Katy Chase and junior Zac Surritt represent JW’s state-bound debate team. The three qualified earlier this semester. Photo by: Sydnee Heiden

to convey points and avoid abusive behavior. “We even had a judge from the Seaman tournament seek out Mrs. Frakes to give kudos to Katie Chase and Liz Huffman for their politeness in round,” Naumann said. “We are excited to continue the year and do our best,” Surritt said.

Partially organized by junior Bailee Steffey, the Oct. 19 Make the Break from Domestic Violence 5K Run/Walk in Ozawkie featured 35 runners. The event began at the Ozawkie United Methodist Church. Steffey committed to the event because she heard about it at the United Methodist Women District Meeting. Domestic violence is a form of abuse that can be mental or physical. “It’s a bad thing that happens, and it shouldn’t happen,” Steffey said. Among the runners were two teachers: science teacher Rod Smith and social science teacher Blanche Wulfekoetter. “Domestic violence is a cycle that starts in homes and is difficult to break,” Wulfekoetter said. A few students volunteered to help set up the run and earned extra credit. “I enjoyed seeing some of the football players there in the morning after they played in a game the night before,” Smith said. Proceeds from the event benefited DOVE Inc., The Willow Domestic Violence Center and YWCA. Story by: Sarah Allison

Story by: Hannah Howey

Money matters Representing FBLA, sophomore Bailey Day collects money during lunch for the March of Dimes. FBLA members stationed in the commons collected during lunches. “It’s for a good cause,” Day said. Photo by: Lisa Sage

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FEATURES 5


FFA

Organization offers leadership, ag opportunities Many people would be surprised to know that FFA is a leadership organization with interest in agriculture, instead of the other way around. Agriculture is everything from growing the crop or animal to the science that produces the food that is on our plates every day. FFA sells fruit and meat as its main fundraiser, and members also do concessions at varsity football games with FCCLA and pop and popcorn at home basketball games. “I grew up around FFA and have always been interested in animals and animal judging,” said freshman Nathan Buss. “I like to be involved in anything that I can interact with animals.” To be able to be in FFA, students pay a $15 fee and must be academically eligible to go to activities outside of school. FFA is an intra-curricular class, participating both inside and outside the classroom. Meetings and conventions are held throughout the year with state convention and officer retreats happening during the summer months, as well as many other evening and weekend activities. “I think people would be surprised to know that you actually learn a lot of stuff, and it’s really fun and if you know the things you’ve learned then you can help other people,” said freshman Shanie Adams. A recent memorable experience for sponsor Steve Buss was when the ag sales team won at nationals. “Many FFA advisors will never have a team go to nationals, let alone win it,” he said. “You get out of life what you put into it. Be active and get involved in activities that will make you a better person. Make your own decisions on what you want to do and pursue these with all you’ve got.” According to the sponsor, students’ success fuels him to put more effort into helping them be successful. “I want students to see the possibilities available to them by being involved in FFA,” he said.

Observing Thanksgiving early, principal Rhonda Frakes hands out dessert to freshman Marissa Dowding. The special lunch was held the Thursday before Thanksgiving break. Photo by: Lisa Sage

What are your winter break plans?

Madison Kueny, 11 “I’m going to spend time with family.”

Kayla Erickson, 11 “I will open presents.”

Alex Miller, 12 “Practice basketball.”

Story by: Emily Anderson

FEATURES 6

•the gamut


Students, teachers stay late to offer homework help Tutoring aids students in their everyday learning by giving them the opportunity to learn not only from teachers but from peers. Most students who sign–in for tutoring are working on a math or science class, and tutors must be capable of answering questions from any level of science or math. “I get to help the kids,” said junior tutor Austin Irvine. Irvine has the most hours this semester as a tutor, spending anywhere from 20 to 30 hours in the library a month. On average the daily attendance in tutoring is 25. “I really enjoy getting to help people, so (tutoring) was a bit of a no brainer,” said junior tutor Kayla Lawson. There are 10 tutors. On average each student spends one to two hours in tutoring. Therefore each tutor needs more than two hours to assist any student who may want their help. Tutoring isn’t just a walk in the park.

Before considering becoming a tutor, know that it will get busy. “Lots of people come in especially during test times,” Irvine said. “It gets a little crazy.” Dedication not only comes from the students but also from the teachers who spend the time to hand out tests and monitor the sessions. “I like that I get to know students I might not encounter,” said teacher Peris Wanjiku. By the time tutoring closes not many people are still in the library; most people leave before 6 p.m. “It’s pretty quiet and normally after 30 minutes of tutoring it’s just me and sometimes another tutor,” said junior tutor Connor Mickens. Students who participate in tutoring earn community service hours but do not receive payment. The teachers who tutor receive compensation for their extra time. Story by: Hannah Howey

A Junior Kayla Lawson takes advantage of free time in tutoring to work on her own homework. Lawson tutored students first semester, along with nine other student tutors. “I really enjoy getting to help people,” she said. Photo by: Hannah Howey

STAY CALM AND GO TO TUTORING

Athletic-minded new administrator at home Representing StuCo, senior Kailee Gibson interviews assistant principal Brandan Giltner at the August StuCo-sponsored assembly. Club representatives spoke, and a motivational speaker were also part of the day’s activities. “StuCo put the questions together that they thought students would want to know about Mr. Giltner,” Gibson said. Photo by: Blaine Hawley

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A semester has passed, and assistant principal and athletic director Brandan Giltner has been busy since day one. As the athletic director, Giltner schedules the activities for the high and middle schools, fills the open coaching positions, orders supplies and uniforms for activities, and schedules transportation, referees and supervision for activities. As a high school student Giltner wanted to major in physical education and become a coach. “I wanted to get paid to play,” Giltner said. The Broncos lover also enjoys riding motorcycles and watching his kids participate in activities, watching professional sports, playing video games, golfing and fishing. “My role (is) to develop a positive relationship with every student and assist them in being a productive citizen,” he said. “Go Broncos and go Tigers.” Story by: Anna Mooradian

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Fall sports

Determination pays off; volleyball players get state opportunity

A Head coach Sara Becker gave a pep talk to the varsity team at state. While the three games were losses for the Tigers, the third game went into three sets. “It was a really great experience,” said junior Danielle Slimmer. “State makes you feel like you’re at the Olympics.” Photo by: Allie Deiter

The Tigers strutted their way to state volleyball this year after winning the regional championship. West recovered easily from their loss of seven seniors on last year’s team. Coach Sara Becker is very proud of the Lady Tigers who finished the season with a record of 24-17. “The record doesn’t show how good of a team we really were,” Becker said. Eleven of the team’s 24 losses were to teams that made the state tournament. “It has always been a goal of mine to take a team to state,” Becker said. “It was a great experience for younger kids to get used to the atmosphere.” Becker believes it was an overwhelming but positive experience for players. “It was frustrating that we should have done better,” Becker said. One of the challenges Becker said they faced during the season was “making sure we (kept) our heads up.” Volleyball is a “momentum sport,” Becker said. Some of the surprises the team experienced at state included how big it was and the pressure it put on the players. Junior setter Emily Brown played a key role in the team’s successful season. “We started off rocky, but we went a long way,” Brown said. She believes people would be surprised to know a lot of things about the state experience. “The noise in the gym is loud, and it’s hard for your eyes to adjust to the light,” Brown said. Junior Cassidy Sands also served as an asset to the Tigers in their playoff run. “I enjoyed playing with all of the girls,” Sands said. According to Sands, the team experienced some early season difficulties that they overcame. “By the end of the season we were playing together,” Sands said. Story by: Connor Mickens

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review Football Senior Ian Mullins eludes a Nemaha Valley defender. Mullins played quarterback and safety. “We knew we had a great group of guys,” he said. “We just let some games get away from us.” Photo by: Anna Mooradian

Senior wide receiver Aaron Brooks lines up for play. Brooks had many key catches throughout the season. “I thought our team had great chemistry,” Brooks said. “We all got along and played as a team.” Photo by: McKena Metzger

A

GIRLS’ GOLF State qualifier

Junior Allie Deiter practices at Village Greens. Deiter represented the Tigers at the state tournament. “It was a great experience,” she said. Photo by: Anthony Sanchez

Cross country runners stretch and prepare to run in their Sept. 5 meet. The Shawnee North contest was the first of the season. Pictured: Nathaniel Schmidt, David Sayles, Madison Keuny, Nick Yeske, Christian Fast. For many runners, including junior Jacob Lawhorn, preparation was both mental and physical. “I just try to get stretched out and get mentally prepared,” Lawhorn said. “I think about the other runners from other schools that are better than me, and I try to beat them.” Jacob Photos by: Kailee Gibson

Cross Country

Lawhorn, 11

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SPORTS 9


Boys’ team looks for winning season Second-year coach Mitch Loomis plans to hit the ground running when he leads the young boys’ basketball team into the 2013-14 season. A handful of upperclassmen will push the younger team members toward a common goal with Loomis at the helm. “As with any new year, new players will have the opportunity to fill roles that will help us win,” Loomis said. “There is a real possibility of younger guys getting an opportunity to participate and contribute at the varsity level, and if they

show they are capable of that, they will have big time roles for us.” Last year Loomis got off to a great start in his head coaching career by leading the Tigers to their first winning season in seven years. “I believe that we laid a solid foundation to build on and set our goals higher now as we know what we are capable of achieving,” Loomis said. Junior Jacob Dickey had a successful sophomore season, starting in almost every game, and looks forward to a fresh

season of basketball. “I will try to take the role as the big leader on the team,” Dickey said. “I expect a very good and successful season.” Senior Alex Miller has played a strong role as the team’s big man in the past and plans to keep it that way. The senior class only has three or four players but Miller is confident in the older players’ initiative. Story by: Connor Mickens

New-to-JW coach leads Lady Tigers with experience, goals

WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW • WRESTLING • GIRLS’ BASKETBALL • BOYS’ BASKETBALL A

The Lady Tigers basketball season kicked off with a new head coach. Head coach John Malloy has coached basketball for 14 years. “My philosophy is pretty simple,” Malloy said. “It’s basketball, play hard on defense and put the ball in the hoop.” Malloy said he’s looking forward to getting to know the girls and the coaching staff as well as the challenge of putting a quality team on the floor every Tuesday and Friday night. “I’m hoping for a winning season,” Malloy said. With a new basketball season comes new challenges. “One challenge is probably beating our biggest rival Holton,” said freshman

Carsen Schreiner. Senior Madison Greene looks forward to having a winning season. Malloy said he teaches, inspires and encourages. “When players learn something new, have success with what they’ve learned, and are encouraged to keep being aggressive, they tend to become motivated,” Malloy said. Also with a new basketball season comes new goals. “My goal is to improve on things that need to be worked on, make some new friends and hopefully score a few baskets,” said sophomore Justise Mongold. Story by: Anna Mooradian

Wrestlers state expectations for season Wrestlers look to continue tending their fruitful program. After their strong season last year, they will try to build on that success. Among returner wrestlers is junior Sam Shenk, who has high expectations for the season. “My goal is to make it to state,” Shenk said. “I want to improve my skill level of the sport.” Shenk and sophomore Nick Reeb both contributed last year. Some of the highlights were finishing first as a team at Atchison and taking second at Piper. Reeb battled injuries last year and looks to stay healthy throughout the season.

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“My expectations are to do a full season, stay healthy and go to state,” Reeb said. “I also want to win regionals and go to state.” Shenk and Reeb both enjoy spending time with teammates. “I enjoy it. Wrestling keeps me in shape, and I get to be with my friends,” Shenk said. “I encourage others to try this sport. It might seem different from other sports because there is no ball, and you just use your hands and body for offense and defense.” Reeb also believes more people should give wrestling a chance. “I would encourage people to do wres-

tling because it keeps you in shape, and it’s fun and you get to get out of school,” Reeb said. Even after their competitive year last year, Shenk knows that there are still things each wrestler can improve. He believes that even if he did well last year, he should be that much better after another year of experience. “I expect to do better than last year and improve on my skills,” Shenk said. Fellow junior Tucker Schreiner looks to make a mark this season. “If everyone puts in the work, it will be a great season,” Schreiner said. Story by: Grady Middendorf

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Students make sacrifices for hobby Hunting has become a popular sport for many students across America. All week students look forward to Saturday morning when they wake early. Local hunting enthusiast Sam Shenk sacrifices a lot of his time and money for his hobby. His passion for hunting started as a young child. “When I was a kid I had a BB gun,” Shenk said. He shot small animals with the BB gun and started to move his way up to killing large deer. “I hunt to deer mostly because it’s fun, and I like waking up early in the morning,” Shenk said. Also a hunter, junior Jacob Kahler believes that hunting should be more popular among students. “People should give hunting a try,” Kahler said. Kahler also started hunting at an early age. Jack Roenne, 9

“I started hunting when I was young with my dad,” Kahler said. He believes it is a good way to socialize and build solid relationships. “I hunt because it’s a lot of fun, and it’s a good way to spend time with people,” Kahler said. Both students entertain the fact that it is a positive way to spend a weekend in high school instead of attending parties. “It’s a good way to pass time, and it keeps me out of trouble,” Kahler said. Shenk and Kahler both think that hunting is worth the cost and time necessary for a positive hunt. “I have sacrificed a lot of time and money,” Shenk said. They have made many entertaining memories in the sport. Kahler’s favorite childhood memory was “when I shot my first deer in the butt,” Kahler said. Shenk also has good memories of hunting.

Chase Montgomery, 9

Art courtesy MCT campus

“I shot two turkeys with one shot before,” Shenk said. “I think it’s time consuming, but I love it.” Story by: Connor Mickens

Makayla Greene, 10

What do you hunt, and why? Poll by: Sydnee Heiden

A

“I hunt deer because they

“I hunt deer, turkey, quail and

“I hunt deer and turkey and

have a lot of meat, and they

pheasants because I enjoy

trap because it’s hard and

are fun to hunt.”

spending time in the wilder-

it’s fun.”

Weststepper commits to each performance Participating since she was a freshman, junior Emily Brown is an awardwinning part of the Weststepper squad. Brown, who has gotten All-American recognition two summers in a row, has many reasons why she enjoys Weststeppers. “I just love to dance,” Brown said.

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Brown adds that there is a lot that goes into each performance. “The hardest thing is getting everyone to agree on moves,” Brown said. “We learn our routine and go over each count and perfect it.” Story by: Grady Middendorf

Participating in Homecoming activities, junior Emily Brown engages the audience. “My favorite part is the night of performance,” Brown said. Photo by: Hannah Howey

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Junior pursues Seniors pass a thousand competitive opportunities

A Seniors Nick Yeske and Taylor Bahm represent the cross country team and a commitment to running. Both were recognized in October for running 1,000 miles. “I have a lot of good memories, but what happens on a course stays on the course,” Bahm said. Photo by: Sydnee Heiden

“It requires a lot more effort than you think,” Smith said. “People who are successful don’t give up easily.” One memory of Yeske’s is falling at the McClouth cross country meet six times with former head coach John Riley at the finish. “I was feeling pretty sad,” Yeske said. “He told me everything would be all right, and I would be better.” Story by: Sydnee Heiden

cheerleading •••

Commitment requires leadership Participating in Homecoming pep rally activities, junior Cassidy Sands serves the student body as one of two junior captains. Cheerleaders organized the pep rally at Tiger stadium.

Junior Cassidy Sands is the cheer captain along with junior Courtney Bradley. They both enjoy being captains and cheering at games. “It’s fun to be with the squad and watch the game close to the action,” Sands said. The squad experiences many challenges throughout the year. According to Sands, some of the challenges include “finding time to CHEERLEADING Continued on page 13

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One of many talented students, junior Darian Housworth participates in competitive cheerleading and dance. She explains it is not an easy activity but can be fun. “I took tumbling classes when I was little, and my instructor was a cheer coach and told me to try out for a team,” Housworth said. “It’s challenging. It’s something that I enjoy doing, and I like tumbling and the traveling we do for each competition.” According to Housworth, competitive cheer takes a lot of time to master. Each competition is something new. Housworth does about one or two competitions each month. “We have 15 people on our team; each one has to do their job,” Housworth said. “We practice a lot. Each practice is five hours.” She said e a c h competition is exciting and that she and her teammates do not have much free time when they travel to events because they are always getting ready for the events. “We go to the warm-up mats and then get loose and ready for the stunts and tumbling and then wait for our turn to go,” Housworth said. Being with her teammates is one of Housworth’s favorite parts about competitive cheerleading. She says that being able to hang out with her friends makes it worthwhile. “When you put in all that time, it’s nice to have some cool people to hang out with,” Housworth said. “It helps get you through some of the tough times.”

Darian Housworth, 11

Having logged 1,000 running miles each, seniors Taylor Bahm and Nick Yeske were recognized in mid-October with a t-shirt and handshake from assistant coach Rod Smith. Bahm began running cross country in seventh grade, whereas Yeske began freshman year. The two started logging their miles the summer before their freshmen year. The hours occurred during the summer, practice and meets. “I had never considered it or even thought about (running 1,000 miles) until two years in, and I had to go for the gold,” Bahm said. Both envision running in their futures. Yeske’s goal is to run a 5K in under 18 minutes. Bahm’s goal is to someday run a marathon. Some of Bahm’s and Yeske’s techniques are to take long strides, avoid clinching fists and use quick feet going up a hill. “Normally I run with Yeske,” Bahm said. “When I run, normally I have to run on the left side of Yeske.” Yeske said running makes everything less complicated. “In seventh grade I joined because I ‘accidently’ went to the cross country meeting, and Mr. Kimberline convinced me to join,” Bahm said. Smith said major change doesn’t happen overnight.

Story by: Grady Middendorf

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Whatever happened to Thanksgiving? I love winter, glistening snow and ice that causes the older generation who are too stubborn to let the neighbor boy shovel their driveway get a new hip replacement with one quick slip. Needless to say, Life Alert gets called a lot because people of every age have fallen and can’t get up. Most of these accidents happen as you run to your poor frozen car. It becomes a trap that you run to hoping it will be warmer inside than it is outside. But as you climb in you realize you were dreadfully wrong; even your heater refuses to cooperate. It laughs at you when it sputters to life after you reach your destination, causing you to be late to work because you sat in the parking lot for 15 minutes trying to defrost your hands off of the steering wheel. On your morning or evening commute you witness the worst crime any American can commit; this crime includes the chronologically holiday challenged people in the world. The crime you ask? Christmas decorating right after Halloween. Right after Halloween, if I remember correctly, there is another holiday before Christmas. I believe it’s called… oh yeah, Thanksgiving. That glorious holiday where you stuff your belly full of delicious food, watch football and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and of course that wonderful nap you’ve been looking forward to for months. It’s the time of year when insurance companies are the busiest because they have to help those men who believe they can deep fat fry their Thanksgiving turkey and then end up blowing up their garage. And yet they wonder why women traditionally cook this famous dinner…it’s because we know the difference between a good dinner and a dinner

disaster. But there are those in our society who create a disaster even worse; they spend their time decorating every inch of their house and yard with Christmas decorations. Their yards will blind you with their new and improved LED lights that make you grimace. And Rudolph’s nose is so big you wonder if his nose is a stop light that was put in their yard to control the heavy traffic that drives up their driveway because their yard gets mistaken for Winter Wonderland. If you get the chance to go in their house you will see a collection of ugly sweaters in every closet just asking to be worn in public as they shop for the perfect gift. The Christmas tree is the next thing to be shown off. There are three types of trees that can be seen. One is the classic childhood Hallmark tree that has every keepsake ornament; next is the extravagant tree you would see in a billionaire’s home, and the last is the sad Charlie Brown tree that threatens to limp over if you even dare put one ornament on it. The television can be seen next along with the undeniably limited movie selection available. All of them are Christmas classics that have been overplayed or are older than the owner itself. This means it is…yes…for those of you who remember - a video tape. As you start to feel like Ebenezer Scrooge you leave the house and step outside and see that there is no snow on the ground, but golden leaves. It is fall, people, not Christmas. We should be focused on the thanks that should be given during this time of year, not how to beat our neighbors in the best Christmas decorations. Kids don’t even have room in these

over Christmas-ized yards to run and jump in leaves. Instead they are too worried that they will trip over a light strand and God forbid take one of those billions of light strands out of your holiday masterpiece. Now if you’re a redneck please feel free to not take this article to heart; your Christmas lights that stay up all year long give a nice touch of class to our rural country neighborhood. However, Thanksgiving is the holiday all of us cherish, not just for the food or football. It’s because everyone across the country at one time forgets about differences, hate and everything that could possibly go wrong in the span of a year and gives thanks for everything that went right. The rooms in the hosting home reflect this with beautiful leaves, pumpkins, gourds, peanut butter pinecone bird feeders, and of course a whole coffee table dedicated to Black Friday layouts, maps, ads, markers and checklists. There are no other decorations that should be necessary before Thanksgiving. There is no room for Rudolph or even the Elf on the Shelf. For those who are reading this and are one of the Americans who participate in this dastardly crime of Christmas decorating before Thanksgiving, I want to ask you one question. Whatever happened to Thanksgiving? I know this article has no chance to help you realize you must go to preChristmas decorating rehab for your special disorder. However, I hope you will at least see the light to my argument. So keep the sweaters, lights and VHSs stored away until after you revive from Black Friday shopping, then you can decorate as much as your sugar plum heart desires. Commentary by: Sarah Allison

CHEERLEADING Continued from page 12 practice (and) make posters with everyone’s schedule.” Being co-captain has many responsibilities starting with making positive decisions on and off the field/court. Sands said “making sure the squad is prepared” is important. According to Sands, team unity is important to all teams. “Having a co-captain really helps,”

•the gamut

Sands said. Sands also says that cheerleading requires her to make a lot of time sacrifices, which is hard for a high school student. “Time spent practicing,” Sands says, is a large sacrifice for her. Another sacrifice for is “not watching games from the student section,” Sands said. Cheerleaders have a lot of different

routines and stunts to work on in practice. “We have more material to learn than most people think,” Sands said. Sands also participates in other high school sports. Along with cheer, Sands plays volleyball and track. Story by: Connor Mickens

OPINION 13


Tiger journalists travel to Boston Imagine flying on a three hour flight to Boston, Mass. where our nation’s history began and the tea has no tax. You become entranced as you begin your final decent through the clouds; as the clouds dissipate you see the Atlantic Ocean and the islands that make up the famous hook of Massachusetts welcoming you to Boston. After the plane landed we embarked on an adventure by having a shuttle van to our hotel. Drivers in Boston were not careful on the road; it seemed that road rage is normal for drivers, as well as drifting around a corner. We flew left and right around the van like ping pong balls until coming to an abrupt stop at the hotel. Feeling like a sea sick sailor, I stumbled out of the van to stable ground. Our day…well night because the sun sets at roughly 4 p.m.…started with registration. Students were in clusters everywhere moving as a flock as they tried to squeeze into the halls without losing anyone. But that never seemed to work because one always broke free, leaving the whole group to stand like a stranded herd of cattle looking for the lost calf and blocking the whole walkway. At classes the next day we separated to learn how to get better quotes, stories, design ideas for yearbook, video classes, Aurasma tutorials, sports writing, humor writing and photo journalism. Classes usually ran about 45 minutes long, giving 15 minutes to walk to the next class through a sea of other youth journalists. Finding a chair was often difficult so most would either stand or sit on the floor in the main aisle. On our nightly excursion with the group one of the things we came across was the scene of the Boston bombing. On Boylston Street we found the finish line to the Boston marathon… you can still smell the gun powder and shrapnel as you walk past, creating a pathos feeling for those who were there that day. The buildings that were affected by the bomb are surrounded by scaffolding as they to try to rebuild what was lost. Our tourist trips included going to Salem to visit the Witch Museum, Revere Beach, Boston Common, Paul Revere’s House, Old North Church, Fenway Park and the set of the classic TV show Cheers. At our mall we could only afford the sec-

OPINION 14

Standing in front of a house built in 1750 by a West Indies trader, junior Connor Mickens participates in site seeing in Salem, Mass. Whille there, the group visited the Salem Witch Museum and Salem Harbor. Other students who participated in the national convention trip were Grady Middendorf, Sarah Allison, Allie Deiter and McKena Metzger. Photo by: Sarah Allison

ond floor that consisted of the Gap; Bath and Body Works; and American Eagle. Getting lost on the “T” became a regular habit. However, the locals helped us every time, from a man who sounded like Christopher Walkin to the people of Salem reassuring us that the train would come and taught Mrs. Sage how to read the Commuter Train Schedule. Our trip to Boston was an experi-

ence that none of us will probably forget. It was filled with laughter and awesome experiences. From meeting new people, visiting new places, trying new things and learning new techniques for journalism, we gained skills for life. Boston was an excellent place for us to visit, and I don’t think any of us would have traded the experience for the world. Commentary by: Sarah Allison

•the gamut


Students sign pledge following presentation “These hands will touch millions of hearts,” Rachel Scott said in one of her journal entries. Rachel’s Challenge is based on the writings and life of Rachel Scott, who was the first victim in the Columbine shooting and has been told to over 19 million people. Personally I enjoyed the presentation because of the reactions by the student body. I liked to look around and see people in self-reflection of themselves in response to the presentation. The presentation was presented by Colleen Kirk, who put forth five challenges.Draw out the best in others was the first, and I think this is very hard to do for most people. Dream big, which really is something we have been told repeatedly for almost all our lives. Choose positive influences caught my attention the most out of the five because I’ve tried to surround myself with positive influences to improve my life. Speak with kindness was another one that has been drilled into our heads from the beginning and wasn’t new. The main part of the presentation and most important among the five was to start a chain reaction of kindness. I don’t know how many of my fellow students felt touched by the presentation but I for one did and have signed the banner to do all of these things and start a chain reaction of kindness. Commentary by: Anthony Sanchez

A Following the Nov. 13 presentation, students sign a pledge banner. Students were challenged with five goals. Photo by: Anthony Sanchez

The Gamut

• a Jefferson West student publication • Week ending Dec. 3, 2013

#1 Album Christmas Michael Buble

Art courtesy MCT Campus

Top tracks

1

Timber • Pitbull

2

Change Me • Justin Bieber

3

Counting Stars • OneRepublic

4

Royals • Lorde

5

Say Something • A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera

Source: iTunes

•the gamut

Editorial Policy: The Gamut does not necessarily represent the views of the entire staff, student body, administration or school board. The material is the research and responsibility of the individual writer. Staff Members: Editor: Sarah Allison Sports: Grady Middendorf, Connor Mickens Features: Anna Mooradian, Emily Anderson, Hannah Howey, Anthony Sanchez Alternative Copy: Sydnee Heiden Adviser: Lisa Sage Mission Statement: Every story, every interview, will be done for the people by the people in order to relay the newsworthy events of today’s past, present, and future. Content Credit: Some content courtesy MCT Campus, to which The Gamut subscribes.

© 2013 MCT

OPINION 15


a jefferson west student publication A

Fall 2013 gamut magazine  
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