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Lake Braddock Secondary School 9200 Burke Lake Road, Burke, Virginia 22015



Keep your Bruin spirit alive and turn to pages 10 and 11 for a recap of “The Road to States.”

Volume XXXVII, Issue 4

Monday, December 21, 2009

A season to remember by Ryan Lowry Asst. Sports Editor Five years ago, LB football reached an all-time low: zero wins, 10 losses. Most of the current starting lineup were in the seventh grade at the time, and over the course of their time at LBSS, the team has transformed from Patriot District bottom feeders to state-title contenders. Loaded with talent and experience, the Bruins appeared in the state final this year for the first time in school history.

The Bruins were led by seven firstteam All-Region players, including the Northern Region Offensive Player of the Year, junior quarterback Michael Nebrich. His offensive assault was assisted by Penn State-bound senior offensive lineman Khamrone Kolb and senior wide receiver Brandon Johnson. The defense, which allowed around two yards per carry on the season, was anchored by four All-Region selections in senior linebacker Chris Lavery, senior lineman Wasim Abbasi, senior defensive back Thomas Stickford and junior defensive end

Emmanuel Adetunji. The offense averaged approximately 33 points per game, while the defense allowed an average of only about 15 points. The AAA Division 6 State Semifinal pitted the Bruins against the Battlefield Bobcats of Haymarket. Battlefield came into the game with a record of 12-0 and was ranked first overall in the state, according to Despite this purported advantage, the Bobcats were unable to stop the Bruins’ relentless spread offense, losing 27-24 in overtime on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Nebrich to junior receiver Chris

Williams. The game was a thrilling one, showcasing the strength of the Bruins newly implemented offensive strategy. LB runs the spread, which allows the quarterback to pass to a variety of receivers, while also allowing for an effective running game. This enabled Nebrich to rack up 4,276 total yards of offense and 43 total touchdowns on the season. His performance against Battlefield was one of his most productive of the season, passing for 314 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 108 yards and one score. See FOOTBALL page 16


photos courtesy of Kim Evans

Concerned about paying for college? Get all the details on financial aid and the Financial Aid Workshop on page 3.


Editorial Annoyed about how late we get out for winter break? See page 5 for a staff editorial about the break.


Turn to page 5 to see a preview and read about one of LB’s resident photographers, sophomore Josh Maley.


Sports Off-season sports conditioning got you down? Learn the trials and tribulations of other athletes on page 18.


21 December, 2009

SGA sponsors Toys for Tots drive for children in need by Faith Elseth Staff Writer This year, the SGA encouraged students to give back to the community by participating in the Toys for Tots Drive. The Toys for Tots organization delivers new toys to less fortunate children during the holiday season. “The goal is to encourage the student body to give back to the community, but to make it fun,” SGA sponsor Megan Purdy said. The goal of Toys for Tots is to help children experience the joy of Christmas, unite members of the community and contribute to better communities in the future, according to It started in 1947 when a group of Marine Reserves in Los Angeles distributed 5,000 toys they had collected to needy children. The idea was adopted by the Marine Corps in 1948 and expanded nationally. During the last 62 years, 400 million toys have been distributed to 188 million children. “There’s such a huge need,” Purdy said. “It’s neat to be able to give back to families that need it.” Students dropped off new, unwrapped and unopened toys ranging from $3 to $10 dollars between Dec. 1 and 15. “I think it’s a wonderful idea because it brightens the spirits of kids so they can have a happy holiday,” freshman Sydney Green said. As an extra incentive to give, the second period class that brought in the most toys won a breakfast party from SGA. Linda Mancini’s Spanish 4 class brought in the most. Signs advertising the drive were posted around the school with basic information. An advertisement about it also came on the Morning Bru. “It’s not going so well, except for teachers that give extra credit,” junior Diane Diamond said early in the collection process. “I wish

photo by Alison Neary

Piles of toys waited in the main office to be picked up by the Marine Corp.

College acceptances delivered just in time for holidays by Haley Von Canon Reporter

photos by Emaleigh Phelps

Name: Liana Epstein Acceptances: Yale Plans: Epstein plans to study marine biology and science legislation. She wants to become a marine biologist and plans to run cross country and mid-distance for her school, she said.

Name: Matt Hoogland Acceptances: Virginia Tech Plans: Hoogland plans on attending Tech to study human nutrition, food and exercise and plans on becoming a physical therapist. A record setting pole vaulter, he also plans to pursue sports.

Obama’s plans to increase troops in Afghanistan, withdraw in 18 months

by Blake Murphy News Editor Dec. 1, President Obama addressed the nation from West Point Military Academy. After weeks of discussion with his War Council, including General Stanley McChrystal, President Obama made the decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. During the past two years the Taliban has created strongholds in many regions of Afghanistan and nearby Pakistan, and the group has flourished under a weak and corrupt government led by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. President Obama also said he would pull out of Afghanistan in 18 months and plans to have all troops out of Iraq by 2011. Taliban militants have already stated an extra 30,000 troops will have no effect on their operations. The last step of Obama’s plan is to transfer responsibility for Afghanistan security to the Afghan forces. Additionally, in the President’s speech, President Obama said that the Bush Administration was asked repeatedly for

funds in fighting the war in Afghanistan, and that President Bush denied these requests. One day after the speech, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sent out a press release stating that there was not a single occasion where President Bush was asked for funds and denied the request. To date, the current Administration has not backed up its claim. Many LB students tuned into the speech and watched it either live or online. AP World History teacher Gary Holtzman “asked them to watch the speech either live on TV or later online and to write a onepage summary of the speech and what the President said, and also of their opinions,” Holtzman said. “There tended to be a lot of agreement among the students. In this case they tended to think the President was doing the right thing although a lot of them didn’t like the 18-month time frame. I actually heard a lot of the same thing.” Sophomore Sharon Wojcik was one of those students. “I don’t agree with the President’s time frame,” Wojcik said. “It’s like telling an opposing soccer team that you’re going to quit after the first half.” “The war is an issue that affects a lot of families at Lake Braddock,” Holtzman said. “Students will be voting in two years, and many students will perhaps go into the military so it will affect them directly.” Junior Tom Nawrozzada‘s father is currently serving in the military, and Nawrozzada is currently enrolled in the JROTC program at school. “Because of Obama’s plan, my dad has to stay longer,” Nawrozzada said, “but, he will have more protection. It’s good and bad.” Although Nawrozzada’s father will be gone longer, he is glad that the extra 30,000 troops will provide his dad with more protection, he said.

It’s the anticipation and anxiety over getting accepted to the college of choice, after all the blood sweat and tears that are poured into the application process, that most seniors are feeling right now. Some seniors have applied already and have been accepted, but many are still in the process of applying and a policy of sooner rather than later should be adopted by everyone, not just seniors, for maximum success. “If students haven’t started applying yet then they should probably start if they are seniors,” senior Kelsey Wilson said. “For underclassmen it’s a good idea to go college hunting earlier rather than later. Waiting until senior year to go on college tours makes it more of a time crunch when it comes to applying.” The process of applying to colleges is so involved that many students start to consider where they want to apply at the end of junior year. Many factors go into choosing a college and starting early keeps options open. Things to include consider location and campus size. On top of all that, the most deciding factor is what colleges are affordable for an applicant. “Its very important to understand due dates, programs, extracurricular and student life” senior Anika Mahmood said. Knowing the content of the actual application is also important. They usually reflect what a college is looking for and what requirements are necessary for success. With that information, students can plan out personal deadlines for essays and know how many teacher recommendations will be needed. Getting started on essays as soon as possible is important since the essay is a college’s first impression of a student.

WINTERDRIVING What to know about staying safe on the roads during break: TTry to stay off the roads between

the hours of midnight and 4 a.m. because 75 percent of drunk driving crashes happen at night.

T Be cautious when driving on

holidays because 38 percent of all Christmas-time car accident deaths and 54 percent of all New Year’s car accident deaths are alcohol-related.

TWear your seat belt at all times.

Seat belts reduce the risk of serious injuries by 50 percent so buckle up.

T Always drive with your headlights

on. Headlights allow a driver to see four times as far, even during the day.

T In snow and ice, allow three

times as much room between cars and reduce speed.

information from Edgar Snyder and Associates compiled by Blake Murphy

by Brittany Treible Reporter In 2008, 10,924 people died in car accidents in Virginia. 354 of those people were killed due to alcohol-related accidents, according to Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV.) In Fairfax County, 16 alcohol-related car accident deaths occurred in 2009, according to Virginia’s DMV. In each case, the drunk driver had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14. The legal limit in Virginia is .08. Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve of last year, a total of 21 car-related fatalities occurred in a period of five days in Virginia, and all of these were alcoholrelated, according to Virginia’s DMV. Even though drunk driving is an enormous national issue, it is hard to find a solution. “I honestly don’t think there’s a way a parent can prevent their kid from [drunk driving] because it’s the kid’s choice,” freshman Dakota Martz-Sigala said. “I guess the parents could move to a better environment, but if the kid is a bad decision maker, then the parent can’t change that.” Virginia’s ASAP and Ignition Interlock Program both strive to stop drunk and drugged driving. In ASAP, any person convicted of DUI is required to complete a 20-hour course focused on drunk driving and alcohol abuse. In the Ignition Interlock Program, the state puts a breathalyzer into the car of any person convicted of a second DUI charge. The driver is then required to take a breathalyzer test every five to 20 minutes. If the test comes back above the legal limit, the car shuts down. Drunk driving threatens the lives of many people, not just the impaired driver. “I feel horrible for [the victims] and would never want to go through the pain they’ve been through,” sophomore Brianna Hogan said. “It’s horrible.”

The Bear Facts 3

News 21 December, 2009

Financial aid makes college possible by Christine Yao Reporter College applications, SAT scores and a good GPA are all part of getting a student into the college of their dreams. It takes years of preparation. But despite all the hard work a student might put into preparing, without the money to pay for college, a dream can only stay a dream. Many families start saving for college as soon as their child is born. Nonetheless, even the years between birth and college might not be enough. This is why financial aid is offered to those who need it. “Families should educate about the financial aid process at an early age,” career center specialist Judith Edwards said. “Knowing the process can help them through preparing for college.” Qualification for financial aid depends on family income. But it doesn’t take into account where a family might live or the mortgage they pay. For example, a family that lives in D.C. might have the same income as a family living in a less urban part of the United States, but the housing prices are more expensive in D.C.. This affects the amount of money that a family saves up for college. Another factor not taken into account when qualifying for financial aid is family expenses. An example of this would be having an ill family member. All the money used to pay for medical fees would not be considered. Although, not everyone qualifies, everybody should still try to apply, Edwards said. Financial aid can come from private institutions, the state, private scholarships and federal student aid. Private institutions offer scholarships sometimes based on academic performance and leadership. These scholarships are called endowments. In Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia established a TAG program, or Tuition Assistance Grant. To be eligible for this program, a student has to be Virginia resident and a full-time student at a Virginia Private College, although sometimes there

photo by Emaleigh Phelps

Stephanie Johnson, director of financial aid and scholarship aid at University Maryland Baltimore County, spoke with parents and students at the Financial Aid workshop.

are exceptions. Sate universities don’t give as much money as private schools because their money is tied in with state legislature. Federal student aid are loans and funds that the federal government gives at a low interest rate. To be eligible for federal student aid, a student has to be a U.S citizen or an eligible noncitizen. They must have a valid social security number and be qualified for a post-secondary education. A post-secondary education is like college and graduate school. However, most important of all, a student has to demonstrate financial need. Financial need depends on the Cost of Attendance (COA) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC). COA is determined by individual schools but EFC is determined by the Federal government. COA are all costs that are associated with a student’s enrollment at a particular college or university. These include costs of tuition, books, supplies, room and board and transportation. EFC is determined by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). “It is important that you fill out the FAFSA form even if you aren’t eligible,” Edwards said. “If something happens, such as a family member loses a job, the Federal government can still help if they completed the FAFSA form..”

On January 1, 2010, coming college freshman can start submitting there forms. Information from the tax return in 2009 wages are used to fill out the form. However, if a student fills out the form on the exact day of January 1st, the estimated info of the 2008 tax return and 2009 wages can be used. If a student qualifies for federal student aid, then they can be offered to get grants, work-study and loans. For a list of federal student aid programs that offer these, go to Private scholarships and advertisements are advertised on Family Connections on Blackboard. “LB students have been offered over eight million dollars in scholarship every year,” Edwards said. However, only four to four and a half million is accepted.” Some private scholarships are very small and require extra work. Such as, completion of applications and essays. “There is money out there but it just takes work,” Edwards said. “Students who do the extra work, find it very awarding. Financially and emotionally.” Some colleges offer unique programs or offers. Senior Hannah Dubrow got pre-accepted into Carnegie College. On Carnegie’s Web site, an unofficial program is going on. If a student who gets accepted into Carnegie but also gets accepted into a competing school, is offered a scholarship from that school, then Carnegie will match the scholarship. “It’s an incentive, they are playing the game of college schools,” Dubrow said. There are other programs offered to students to inform more about financial aid and the college process. “I participated in the College Partnership Program,” senior Maria Espinoza said. “They organized field trips to visit colleges and to sign up financial aid.” To learn more about financial aid, the career center and financial aid offices are open for help. “The best resource that you can have is going to the financial aid office of the college you’re planning to go to. With financial aid, you never know until you ask,” Edwards said.


Bruin Early release Dec. 23

Winter break Dec. 24-Jan. 3

District Band Auditions Jan. 9

PTSA Board Meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall Jan. 12

Martin Luther King Day (no school) Jan. 18

Academy Electives Fair during Bruin Block Jan. 20

High school and middle school musical, “Guys and Dolls” Jan. 22-23

NHS Induction rehearsal Jan. 25

NHS Induction Jan. 26

End of second quarter Jan. 28

Teacher workday Jan. 29-Feb. 1

Books collected for children by Sarah Kraft Reporter

Junior Taylor Holden is now able to park his car in the school parking lot. Unsold spot were opened to all licensed drivers.

photo by Alison Neary

The permit (above) allows seniors and now juniors, park in the school parking lot.

Junior parking: Breaking senior traditions by Deryn Pappano Reporter Senior year is supposed to be special. The end of high school, being accepted to college, graduation and, of course, the many privileges that underclassmen don’t receive. One of those privileges includes being able to drive to school and having an on-campus parking permit. Unfortunately, parking on school grounds is not allowed without a parking permit that comes with a hefty price tag of $200. That’s a $50 increase from last year. “I don’t think the administration should have changed the prices,” senior Teaghan Grayson said. “The school doesn’t have the best spaces.” The school didn’t make the decision to increase prices, safety and security specialist Ralph Gardner said. It was a decision by the school system. “This year was the first year that we didn’t sell out of parking spots,” he said. After two rounds of selling to seniors, spots were opened to all student drivers for $150. “Originally, parking was available to both juniors and seniors [years ago],” Gardner said. “But then more and more seniors began driving to school, so the school made it seniors only.” The juniors were able to buy spots this year because the school could not get all of the spaces sold, and there was a large number of available spaces. “Spots were sold to juniors for $150 because a quarter of the year had gone by, so the juniors were given spots for a quarter of the price,” Gardner said. But this decision left some seniors upset. “It is okay for juniors to drive to school if they have their license, but they should get a separate parking area from the seniors,” senior Zahra Romanov said. Even though a parking spot offers a convenience, it comes with some annoyances. “It’s a huge hassle to just get through the lot,” Romanov said. “It can cause some kids to get late because of parking.” No accidents on campus have yet occurred, subschool 5 principal Teri Hampton

Through Dec. 18, the high school and middle school book clubs held a book drive to benefit the Reach Out and Read Organization. This organization promotes early literacy, provides young children with picture books and helps 3.8 million families annually. Just in Virginia, more than 108,000 kids are helped yearly, according to the organizations Web site, The middle and high school book clubs decided to collaborate for this project. “We wanted the members of the middle school book club to continue on to the high school book club and work together,” high school librarian Julie Tuesta said. Deciding who to donate to was the next step. “The biggest decision was deciding who we would donate the books to,” middle school librarian Sue Mayo said. The clubs looked at many worthy causes until they found Reach Out and Read. “No. 1 because it was a local place [where] we could donate to hospitals in our area,” Tuesta said, “and No. 2 because it helped young children who didn’t normally have access to books.” The importance of early childhood education is widely recognized. “Education is important to everybody because you need it to exceed no matter your wealth,” sophomore Aaron Liu said. The books that have been donated haven’t been counted yet, but high school librarian Bonnie Prouty said that a good amount came in. “There is quite a stack over there,” Prouty said. The books donated should be new or gently-used picture books aimed at the five and under age group. “An early start in reading helps you get ahead in school.” Tuesta said. To promote donations, junior Shaheen Howlader designed and senior Micaela Davidow voiced an ad that appeared regularly on the Morning Bru. “We think it’s great. It’s innovative and attention grabbing.” Tuesta said. The ad got students talking. “I think it’s creepy, but I still think it is effective because it catches our attention,” Liu said. The ad showed a young girl on a book cover, animated to appear to be talking and told students information about the book drive. “I kind of want to hide under my desk because that thing’s creepy,” freshman Sydney Green said. Another ad was later added to the rotation.

photo by Emaleigh Phelps

Junior Sarah Shapiro contributes to the Reach out and Read Book Drive.

4 The Bear Facts

21 December, 2009 News

Frugality is inevitable this holiday season by Natalia Arancibia Staff Writer With the holiday season on its way, people have been buying gifts and presents for friends, family members and relatives. Money is also being spent on holiday decorations and food for family gatherings. As the economy continues to be in a poor state though, people have had to cut back on their holiday shopping. Many were able to take advantage of the low prices and great bargains on clothes, electronics, kitchen supplies and children’s toys on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last minute shopping becomes an overwhelming task for those who did not buy when items were cheap. Wallets and credit cards are taking a major hit as holiday shopping comes to a close. This year, the average American consumer must take many things into consideration before buying holiday gifts. Some must worry about not being able to afford buying gifts and some may not even have jobs anymore to support their family, much less go Christmas shopping. According to, this November the unemployment rate was at 10 percent. This is the lowest it has been in two years. But how exactly is the bad economy affecting teens and their Christmas shopping this year? Is it possible for teens to still receive and give everything they want to their friends and family? “I think people won’t buy as many products because everything is so expensive and there’s less money to go around,” sophomore Caitlin Blankenship said. According to the New York Times, 35 percent of Americans say that they will be spending less money on Christmas gifts this year because of the economy. Only 9 percent of Americans, those who are considered to be economically wealthy, believe they will be spending more this year. With the bad economy, receiving expensive and luxurious gifts will probably be very scarce this year for teens. Parents must deal with the fact that perhaps they can’t get the latest cell phone or iPod for their son or daughter. “I think everyone’s parents are pretty much saying that they can’t get everything they want this year,” Blankenship said. Although teens may be affected this year, there are some ways to rise above the declining economy. “For me, I need to save money so I’ll just shop online,” junior Vicky Paredes said. Online shopping has become one way to save money this year because people find it much easier than going to a store and waiting in line.

Oops table comes to the rescue for students by Jessica Lin Reporter Forgotten homework assignments, various instruments and lunches missed when in a hurry litter the drop-off table in the main office. In previous years, forgotten items dropped off by parents were managed by the attendance office. However, due to budget cuts, the attendance office was eliminated The responsibility, since then as been passed to the main office. Subschool secretaries simply don’t have the time to deliver forgotten items, associate

Subschool secretaries simply don’t have the time to deliver forgotten items. Tom Garber

principal Tom Garber said. The new policy created a centralized location where forgotten items can be dropped off and picked up. Parents are asked

to drop off items at the appropriately named “oops table,” which is a small room near the back of the main office, and students can pick their items up there. Also, students are instructed to use the courtesy phone located in the main office to call for items instead of using cellular devices during school hours. “The most important thing is to come check on your item throughout the day,” Garber said. Twice forgotten items tend to pile up on the oops table. After a few weeks the item will be brought to the subschool and delivered to the student. “If you forget something, don’t forget to come by,” Garber said.

Staying current

around LB Coat Drive aims to keep community warm The Key Club in collaboration with the Coats for Kids Foundation sponsored a coat drive to make sure every student in the Lake Braddock community that needed a warm coat this winter season had one. Students donated new winter coats, hats and gloves. The competition ends on Dec. 18.

Help save a life by giving blood The Key Club is sponsoring a blood drive on Tuesday. Students ages 16 and up can give blood to someone in need. David Brothers, the sponsor of Key Club, is in charge of the overall production of the blood donation.

Reach out and Read Book Drive Through Dec. 18, the high school and middle school book clubs held a book drive to benefit the Reach Out and Read Organization. This organization helps 3.8 million families annually. Just in Virginia, more than 108,000 kids are helped yearly. For more information, visit www. compiled by Nistha Acharya

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21 December, 2009

behind the


With a click of the Shutter, a world is born

Sophomore Josh Maley manages being a photographer with school, theater Sophomore Summerlin Meredith poses for Maley’s picture (top). Maley captures a bird flying by (bottom left), and in a and friends. headshot for Lake Braddock Theatre, senior Rachel Newby posed for Maley (bottom right). photos courtesy of Josh Maley

“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter,” said famous author Oscar Wilde. This philosophy is something that sophomore Josh Maley takes to heart. Maley has been practicing his photography skills ever since he can remember, and has enjoyed it immensely. by Emilie Norris Staff Writer As every artist does, sophomore Josh Maley went through stages of trying to find his interests, he said. Maley likes taking photos that demonstrate aesthetic beauty in all shapes. “More recently, I’m focused a lot more on people and fashion photography rather than still life,” Maley said. “The early works of Francesco Scavullo, Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon and the color processing techniques employed by Madame Yevonde have inspired my photography with live models.” It’s important for a young artist to have the support of friends and family. “Anyone who has supported me or given me any opportunity whatsoever has

helped me along the way and will definitely continue to help me grow,” Maley said. “My family is incredibly supportive and without my mom, in particular, to really encourage me, I’m not sure where I’d be.” When he was presented with the opportunity to take headshots of the LBSS actors in Macbeth, Maley was eager to oblige. “Being able to do the headshots for the Lake Braddock Theatre’s production of The Tragedy of Macbeth was definitely a spectacular experience,” Maley said. “I’m incredibly appreciative of theater director R.L Mirabal’s patience and the opportunity presented to me. All the cast members were incredibly helpful throughout the process, and I was completely satisfied with the end result and hope to continue to help in any way I can.” Despite the success of the headshots for

Macbeth, and the positive feedback from friends and family on other photographs that Maley has taken, he insists that his true calling lies elsewhere. ”For now, I think [photography] still stands as a hobby and outlet to express what I find interesting or provocative in people or everyday situations,” Maley said. “I don’t see it going to a career-stage at this point, but I am willing to see where it takes me, especially if it means earning a few dollars here and there. For as far as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be an actor/performer. I guess photography, for me, also ties in with the creativity and vision required to perform.” Though he prefers performing to professional photography, Maley still enjoys his hobby, he said. But models are hard to come by, especially for little-known photographers. As with any profession (or even hobby) that involves making a name for oneself, Maley needed to make sure the general public could access his photos. “ Wo r d o f mouth, most i m p o r t a n t l y,

has helped get the word out,” Maley said. “Equally effective, the Internet has definitely been a great medium for people to take notice of something they may have otherwise been unaware of me doing.” Maley has a Facebook page labeled “Josh Maley Photography,” which features some of his photographs, ranging from photos he has taken of his friends (turned models) to photos of pets. It also includes information on how to reach him in case someone looking at the page wants to inquire about Maley’s services. Although Maley views photography only as a hobby, he still takes his work seriously. He treats each of his photographs as a treasured object and views his camera as almost an extension of his arm. Though there may be times when inspiration is sparse or resources are

For as far as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be an actor/ performer. I guess photography, for me, also ties in with the creativity and vision required to perform. Josh Maley

Feature 21 December, 2009

The Bear Facts 6

Money Bruins work hard for little pay, and they need to fuel their cars. Where is guzzling: the best place to fill up? Where to find the best gas in Burke by Elyse Endick, Latianna Harris and Katie Wagner Reporter and Feature Editors

The Sunoco: Burke Lake

The Sunoco on Burke Lake Road is a local favorite for its relatively cheap prices and convenient location. Less than a mile from school, the station is tucked neatly between the Chinatown, KFC/Taco Bell and Spartan’s Family Restaurant. The station also sports television consoles on every pump, allowing customers to be entertained the five minutes it takes them to get gas. These televisions make this local station the most decked out technology wise. “[The Sunoco] has cheaper gas, and the man behind the counter

inside is always nice,” senior Brendan Ahrens said. The station’s relative closeness to the school and other local havens makes it a place easy for Ahrens to fill up on the go, he said. Not everyone agrees. Senior Alec Jamshidi avoids the Sunoco gas station. “I don’t like to fill up at the Sunoco because the prices don’t fit my tiny teenage budget,” Jamshidi said. Still, many Bruins flock to the station for its neat appearance and close proximity to the school and These are the prices on Dec. 14 for the Sunoco is next to popular destinations like Spartan’s Family local hangouts. Sunoco’s gas station. Restaurant.

The Shell: Old Keene Mill Road

The Shell’s prices as of Dec. 15 are almost the The Shell has joyful decorations during the holiday season. same as Sunoco’s.

The Shell located on Old Keene Mill Road is arguably the most festive gas station around. Through the seasons, giant pumpkins, smiling turkeys, towering menorahs, fullylit Christmas trees and festive American flags litter the station’s front entrance. “During the winter [the Shell station has] Christmas decorations and lights that follow songs they play on their radio frequency,” junior Grace Lawton said. “My parents always go there anyway because they have good prices.” Although the station is located closer to

West Springfield High School, Bruins still flock there to take advantage of the low prices and to gawk at the decorations. The station is also conveniently located in the same shopping center as the Old Keene Mill road Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits and a Dollar Tree. It’s also across the street from the Whole Foods. Others go to the Shell for its cleanliness. “When I first started driving I tried out pretty much all the gas stations around and I think the cleanest one was the Shell,” junior Amritjot Kaur said.

The Exxon: Rolling/Braddock

The Exxon on Rolling Road is known for its slightly more expensive prices. As opposed to Sunoco’s and Shell’s $2.67 a gallon, Exxon’s regular unleaded was at $2.79 a gallon on Dec. 15. This does not stop yearbook adviser Ashley Yuckenberg from filling up there. This might be because she gets a 10 percent discount since her father has worked at Exxon for 27 years, Yuckenberg said. Senior Grayson Doucette doesn’t get a discount at Exxon and has to pay the high prices full on. However, he thinks the gas station has other pros. “[Exxon] is a great place for a band car wash,

but its prices are rather high,” Doucette said. Although gas stations aren’t known to be the cleanest places, some try hard to stay clean. Some believe that Exxon is a relatively clean place as opposed to other gas stations. “Well, I usually use the [Exxon] station in Kings Park, and they are pretty clean,” junior Esi Daniels said. Cleanliness doesn’t make up for expensive prices and poor service, senior Justin Yetton said. Its relatively proximity to the school also makes Exxon a popular destination to fill up. Even though, Exxon has expensive prices Exxon’s prices as of Dec. 14. Their prices Exxon makes use of its decorations during sometimes, many Bruins use Exxon to gas up. are more expensive than other stations’. winter. photos by Elyse Endick, Alison Neary and Katie Wagner

Holidays are not a joyful season for some students by Noura Bayoumi Staff Writer It’s that time of year again. For most, the holiday season means endless cups of hot chocolate, the exchange of presents, and lights shining from houses. While the majority of kids are merry and bright, some students don’t feel the same way. Instead of going out during the holidays and spending time with their family and friends, they’re at home wishing the season was over. It may be that some students don’t have family who come over for the holidays or they don’t believe in the holiday season, leaving them feeling left out and lonely. Freshman Hanan El Shazli admits to being depressed around this time of year. “I have no relatives that come during the holidays because they’re in another country,” El Shazli said. “And it’s sort of depressing how I’m at home and everyone else has their relatives with them. It makes me feel sad

because I miss them so much.” Some students get depressed because Fortunately, El Shazli finds it easy to of self-imposed stress, guidance counselor cope with her sadness with the help of her John Way said. friends. “If a family member, friend, or relative “All of my friends come to my house died last year and will not be with you during during the weekends, so I try not to think the holidays, it can cause stress because about my relatives not being here,” El Shazli there might be familial issues,” Way said. said. Stress can also be Statistics show that in caused by reasons that It’s important for students to know how are not aware of, the past years, there were we to cope and deal with Way said. their emotions. In severe 188,000 recorded suicides “Some students cases, depression can lead during holiday season in have depression all the to suicide. time and sometimes Seasonal affective the U.S. holidays exacerbate disorder (SAD) is a form depression, especially of depression that occurs in relation to the when they see people celebrating and seasons, most commonly beginning in partying,” Way said. “Also, having an extra winter. The specific cause of SAD remains burden of doing more at this time, having to unknown, according to go to parties, etc., that are not a top priority Some signs and symptoms of depression for you or for a lot of people.” include feelings of helplessness, loss of When a student is depressed or stressed interest in daily activities, and appetite or out, it is vital that their problems be weight changes, according to helpguide. addressed, before things turn serious. org

Dealing with depression and sadness over the holidays: 1. Take your friend’s actions seriously if they show any signs of depression: pessimism, hopelessness, desperation, anxiety, etc. 2. Encourage your friend to seek professional help, accompany them if they would like. Call Crisis Link (703) 527-4077 or Teenline (703) 368-8069. 3. Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t be alone in helping your friend. They need you. 4. Spend time with your friend during the winter break. Remember the good times you had with your friend and continue to make more good times.

Feature 21 December, 2009

The Bear Facts 7

Sheer Concentration. Brute Strength. Cool Confidence.

by Bob Sayed Staff Writer

: o D n o w e the Fight TaeBrK uins Tak ng Ah J h o D e h t To

Sophomore Steven opponent as Senior Tae Kwon Do originated in Korea and is now practiced and taught in almost every corner of the globe. Burke is no exception. Some students at LB have taken Tae Kwon Do class, but very few of them have reached the rank of black belt, the highest colored belt. Freshman Alicia Suchicital just received her first-degree black belt after practicing Tae Kwon Do for more than

“ I t te a c h e s you a lot about you rself.” Francine Cilke

said. “I leave the workouts feeling really healthy.” At higher levels, instructors quiz students on terminology, concepts and history in order to assess students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject. Senior Francine Cilke is even more experienced; she has been learning Tae Kwon Do for more than 10 years and has received her second-degree black belt. “It teaches you a lot about yourself -- about control and self-discipline,” Cilke said. “It isn’t easy, but it’s enjoyable. And I’ve made some great friends.” Lyle fights off a worthy Science teacher Mark Khosravi, a local veteran of Tae Kwon Do, Alec Emery Looks on. has been practicing and teaching Tae Kwon Do for 23 years and has three years. achieved the final and most prestigious “My mom forced me into Tae Kwon rank of mastery, the fourth degree black Do when I was younger,” Suchicital said. belt. “Looking back, even though it has been “Tae Kwon Do has become too really hard, joining was the best decision competitive,” Khosravi said. “They ever.” [students] should feel the need to practice Tae Kwon Do involves four different Tae Kwon Do for its spiritual and emotional curriculums: forms, self-defense, sparring value, as well as for competition.” and breaking, each of which works to tone Tae Kwon Do has been gaining different mental and physical strengths. momentum since its beginnings through “These techniques test reaction time, its modern period, which began with raw power, speed and control,” Suchicital the liberation of Korea in 1965. After

World War II, Korea wanted to eliminate Japanese influences in martial arts and began to unite the various martial arts schools and styles into a single style and national sport. The name Tae Kwon Do was chosen to represent this unified style of Korean martial arts. Although Tae Kwon Do is the national sport of Korea, it has ballooned into the American market in recent years, spurred on by the introduction of new organizations specializing in Tae Kwon Do, such as Topkick Martial Arts in Burke. It has become more popular in the United States than in Korea itself, according to Not only does Tae Kwon Do tone the body, but it also fine tunes the mind and strengthens the core. It contributes to concentration, focus and discipline and it can even help students retain more information.

Junior Agata Kowalska and her younger brother smile after receiving gold belts

Senior and M a s t e r C h i n H o Ko does a Roundhouse Kick at Top kick Martial Arts in Burke.

Master Chinho Ko does a Flying Sidekick over a group of instructors At Topkick. (LEFT) Flexibility is an important aspect of martial arts. It allows for more effective hits and helps prevent Muscle and joint injuries. (ABOVE)

Want to stay up-to-date: Go to

8Editorial/Opinion Editorial Policy Published nine times a year, this student-run paper is an open forum produced by the journalism department and is given free of charge to all Lake Braddock high school students.

Getting out the day before Christmas Eve Staff Editorial

The Bear Facts is an independent newspaper serving the L a s t y e a r, t h e F C P S students, the faculty and the Lake Braddock community calendar caused controversy as a forum for student expression. Editorials reflect the when Dec. 23 was deemed opinion of the editorial board and unless otherwise noted a school day. This year, winter vacation starts are written by a member of the staff.

on Christmas Eve once again. The editorial board solicits responsible commentaries The late start to the and letters to the editors but reserves the right to edit for holiday season does not style, grammar or lack of space. Letters and commentar- only drag out studies ies containing obscenity, racial slur or libelous comments for students aching to relax and enjoy time will not be published. o ff , i t c a u s e s a r e a l inconvenience for A letter to the editor must provide the name of the writer families that are traveling and include some sort of contact information of the to vacation spots or to writer. The letter should also specify the author’s title if visit family. Instead of ending that title is relevant to the topic discussed. the year on a weekend, classes go on for another A letter will not be excluded from the newspaper solely three days, ending on an because it conflicts with the views of the newspaper or awkward and basically pointless half-day on past or current editorials. Dec. 23. Many students are either out of town or All letters must be signed by the author, or they will not skip this day anyway. be published. They can be printed “name withheld upon Who wants to travel request” if deemed appropriate by staff. out of town to a family gathering to arrive The Bear Facts is located in room B144 and can be o n C h r i s t m a s E v e o r Christmas Day? reached by calling (703) 426-1220 for any questions, Although leaving problems and submissions. right after school is an option, it still leaves the inconvenience of hitting Responses may also be afternoon and evening traffic e-mailed to

jams, as well as late-night arrival times. Christmas Eve should be spent enjoying stress-free holiday bonding time, not on the road, in the air or jet-lagged from an allnight flight. In addition, students whose families opt to skip school

before the break have to deal with the hassle of making up work, turning in assignments



Making A Point The Bear Facts Macbeth coverage was

9200 Burke Lake Road Burke, VA 22015 (703) 426-1220 Fax # (703) 426-1093 Vol. XXXVII No. 4, December 21, 2009 Editors-in-Chief: Katie Kane and Chelsea Stanger Managing Editors: James Hong and Rebecca Lim News Editors: Nistha Acharya and Blake Murphy Feature Editors: Elyse Endick and Katie Wagner

Editorial/Opinion Editors: Alexandra Sudak and Mechelle Thomas Spread Editor: Carolina Nativi Entertainment Editors: Ilana Brener and Sourina Sandara Sports Editor: Brittany Hopkins Assistant Editor: Ryan Lowry Graphics Editors: Jess Groves and Emilie Norris Staff Photographers: Alison Neary Business Manager: Brittney Kaltenbaugh Web Editor: Blake Murphy Newspaper Adviser: Kathryn Helmke

21 December, 2009

essentially unsatisfactory Dear Editor, I did not like how there was practically no coverage about how great of a job Michael Ross’ performance was in the Macbeth spread. I also wish that there were actual Cappie reviews featured as opposed to the reviews written by The Bear Facts writers. Also, the articles about the performance were repetitive. However, the photos that were chosen for the spread were cool and showed the epic action scenes. Senior Alec Jamshidi Editor’s note: The Bear Facts ran three reviews of MacBeth, including the two Cappies reviews.

Readers decrease as quality increases Dear Editor, I have noticed now that since the Bear Facts stopped sending out the paper in the mail and has started distributing it through English classes, the number of readers has decreased. Some blame it on the quality of the paper, and I can agree. The newspaper wasn’t that good in the first few months. Though it was only the beginning of the year. Nonetheless, as the months go by the newspaper is improving. I enjoyed reading the last issue and everything looked well done. Also, the Trading Spices page was very well done. I look forward to reading the Bear Facts in the future.

late or early and falling behind on new class material. This is inconvenient for teachers as well, who often have to grade papers separately, make up new tests and re-teach information as a result. Most teachers choose not

next class and because, quite frankly, teachers can’t wait to get off for the holidays, either. By the time Dec. 23 rolls around, students are burned out, bummed out and anxious to sleep in and relax for the rest of the calendar year. The last weekend before the vacation is one hill that not everyone makes it over. Anticipation results in apathy, and the “I-couldcare-less-about-school” a t t i t u d e t a k e s o v e r, resulting in more latemorning arrivals, inclass hibernation and homework left undone. Neighboring counties don’t have this problem. For Loudoun, Prince William, Alexandria, C u l p e p e r, F a u q u i e r counties and the District of Columbia public schools, Dec. 23 is a full day off. So what is the point of having school on the day before Christmas Eve? If students wanted to wake up at the crack of dawn to come to school and watch movies and color pictures of Rudolph and graphic by Rebecca Lim Frosty in every class, they could just as well do to introduce new material it at home in the company of due to the short class period, loved ones and without the the long break in between the anxiety that comes with just



H e y, j u n i o r c l a s s : Why are we so poor? Dear Editor, I find it concurrently hilarious and disappointing that the junior class only has $500 in our bank account. It’s simply because we never have good fund-raisers. In fact, I barely know anything about our class; news doesn’t get passed around to the students from the SGA. Is John Long still our president? Did Ansa Wu move? Last year, when the junior class held a car wash, hardly anyone, even the juniors, knew about it. The only publicity was in the form of a single banner in the crowded junior hallway. The juniors, then sophomores, didn’t even have cars. If no one had cars to bring, were all 631 students supposed to be washing cars? At homecoming, the Chick-fil-A fund-raising stand never showed up. At one point, a student was even accepting cash donations. I believe she only gathered about 52 cents. We need $78,000. We are a long way away, and I want a Patriot Center graduation.

Senior Privileges no longer exclusive to 12 graders Dear Editor, In regards to the article, “Underclassmen wrongly disregard senior privileges.” I completely agree that our privileges have been slowly taken away from us. We have waited six years to acquire these privileges we get when we become seniors. The school courtyard has been a place for seniors to sit outside and eat lunch. However, I always see the underclassmen sitting there, like it’s their right. I get so furious because security just lets them sit there without doing anything. They just ask if you are a senior or not. And, due to all the underclassmen sitting in the courtyard in the past few months, many have lied, claiming that they are “seniors.” I think that a good solution to solve this problem would be to use our student I.D. cards as a way to root out the seniors from the underclassmen. It’s our last year, and we should enjoy it while it lasts.

The Bear Facts 9

Editorial/Opinion 21 December, 2009

Bruins Bite


What is your

New Year’s Resolution for 2010? Mark Derner,

“Definitely to get six-pack abs.”

Hannah Wilson,

Making and following a New Year’s Resolution by Mechelle Thomas Ed/Op Editor For every morning of the New Year, I pledge to be more positive. Looking back on the humid August days of band camp, short newspaper deadlines for September and October, avoiding turkey in November and now the surprisingly chilly December, I have realized that my negativity has taken a toll on my life, consequently leaving me exhausted, irritated and frazzled. The electric air of my intense pessimism doesn’t only affect me, it affects the people around me. The normally optimistic “me” has taken a backseat ride through the last few months. In this case, it is an “It’s me, not you” situation. Like an out-of-body experience, I see myself snapping at people who seem to tick the slightest nerve, and my overt sarcasm isn’t so sarcastic anymore. However, behind those “just kidding moments,” an ounce of truth exists. But, where is all this stress coming from? It could be the constant revision of essays for college, pending exams as we wrap-up the year before break and that annoying voice in the back of my mind that tells right from wrong. Saying it’s wrong to be annoyed at the little things and not to be so tense all the time. See the thing is, life has a funny way of throwing things out of perspective. Recently, everything I look at seems to have a flaw; nothing is good enough.

However, I know it is cliché to say, but a light bulb went off. One minute, the fog of unconstructiveness consumed me and then next I have a plan to “turn that frown, upside down.” My lack of enthusiasm has to change, so that is why I pledge to be more positive for the New Year. New Year’s is a day that we look through the past and move to the future. Also, it is a time to reflect on the changes we need to make and resolve. So during this time many individuals make New Year’s resolutions to help them throughout the year. There is a right way and a wrong way to make a New Year’s Resolution. You can say time and time again that you are going to do something but most of the time, there is no follow through. Making a resolution without a plan is wishful thinking. Resolutions can’t be accomplished the day they are made, but the success of the goal relies on the day-by-day steps to achieve it. Acknowledging the successes as they come will ease the process of truly meeting the end of the resolution. The satisfaction of working hard to meet the goals you set for yourself can have its own rewards. So, I end with this New Year’s quote: “We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.” Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman said.

Follow these steps to create your own New Year’s Resolution: Create a plan. The Merriam 1. Webster definition for resolution

is the act or process of resolving, as the word resolution entails. Make sure the goal is something you really want to achieve. Motivate yourself. Moti2. vation is the energizing of goaloriented behavior. By making your plan early, there is little room to not follow through. Write the goal down in a 3. journal in order to track your progress.

The goal should be year 4. round, not just New Year’s. You can’t accomplish something in one day. Set weekly, monthly or yearly deadlines.

“I want to do more community service.”

Facebook users remain addicted to Luke the escape of online virtual worlds Le Van, junior “I want to get on the cross country records board next

Erin Martin,

“My New Year’s Resolution is to get into college.”

Miriam Lynch,

It’s 5:30 p.m. It’s been a long day of school. Tired, weary, in need of a break, the lone farmer heads out into the fields where his pigs, sheep, chickens and even his chocolate cow await him. A pile of homework waits inside for him, but no matter. He has crops to attend to, animals to feed and fields to plow. His friends call, but he can’t stray from his duties. His strawberries are about to wilt and his friends aren’t as important. This is serious. This is FarmVille. It’s fair to say that almost any Facebook user has played or has heard of FarmVille, an application on the site where users can control their own virtual farm. “Farmers” can purchase livestock, decorate their farm and, above all, raise crops of many kinds, such as pumpkins or strawberries. However, the crops have the tendency to wither just when friends request to hang out or a family member just has to have their wedding. FarmVille has become one of the world’s foremost time wasters, a distraction from the harsh reality of homework and drama. But this comes at a price: users can become obsessed and addicted to tending their farms, shirking their responsibilities because they believe that taking care of virtual crops on the verge of death is more important than real issues. Plants must be tended to or harvested in specific windows of time, otherwise they will face an untimely death. This is the most unavoidably addictive aspect of the game. A farmer’s crop output is the ultimate determining factor in the race to become the ultimate crop cultivator. FarmVille and other games such as Sorority Life and Mafia Wars have become a major Facebook staple. People have started to use the site less as a social networking tool and more as a place to test their hand as a farmer or a mafia grunt. Yet while blue ribbons are won for the best looking crops and fake money is raked in by virtual mobsters, life in the real world goes on. Friends and homework are pushed to the back-burner while imaginary crops take precedence. The world is filled with enough distractions as it is. Text messages, IMs and Facebook chats monopolize the day of the average teenager. But these activities are at least for the purposes of communicating with others and forming bonds and relationships. FarmVille is purely a waste of time and a facilitator for procrastination. Moreover, no one wants to see millions of updates coating the Facebook live-feed proclaiming to the world that John Smith has found a chocolate cow wandering on his farmlands. No one wants to see how many mobsters you recruited into your mafia party or how many swashbucklers you’ve allowed into your pirate posse. The constant updates and needless paraphernalia from such games that coat Facebook’s walls are an annoying distraction from Facebook’s original intent as a social networking site. If you want to pet sheep and grow blue-ribbon crops, then you’re better off finding a local farm and helping out there instead. FarmVille is a waste of time that is annoying for all who by Elyse Endick Feature Editor

“My New Year’s Resolution is to travel more to places like the Caribbean.” compiled by Alison Neary

graphics by Jess Groves

10 The Bear Facts

21 December, 2009 Spread

Broke Records, Won T


T h e

B r u i n

b a n d

38-0 42-43 10-9 35-28 26-35 28-21 27-3 48

The team that made Bruin history Without the beating of drums, the blaring of horns and flags waving in the air, the atmosphere of a football game is incomplete. Though the band didn’t make it to every game due to frigid weather, they did take part in encouraging school spirit at the majority of the games. Band is a demanding co-curricular activity. Members practice as an ensemble and on their own in preparation for concerts, competitions and prestigious performances. This year the band is preparing for its spring trip to China. “China asks two bands in the entire country for their foreign music program,” senior Conner Nelson said. For the students, playing at football games is a relaxing aspect of band.

“It’s a lot of fun, we work hard,” senior Eddie Eby said, “but we have a good time by playing music and enjoying friends.” Home games were a bit more ceremonial in the sense that band members dressed in marching uniforms and performed the half-time show. A smaller group, referred to as the Pep Band, traveled to most away games. They were more laid back and did not dress in uniform or play at the half. Just as the players fought against the rival school, the band sometimes encountered some friendly competition. “Beating Robinson was fun,” senior Paul Foster said. “During the game our bands battled-off, playing songs like ‘Mortal Kombat.’ ”

With 18 returning starters and a new offense, everybody expected them to be great, no one expected them to make history. By posting a 12-3 record, Lake Braddock reached the state championship for the first time in school history. The Bruins ended the season ripping 9 consecutive victories on their way to states. Robinson and Woodson were the only regular season losses. The season ended when the Bruins fell short in a 35-21 game against the Thomas Dale Knights. The season was a success, as seven Bruins, seniors Khamrone Kolb, Brandon Johnson, Wasim Abassi, Chris Lavery and Thomas Stickford, and Juniors Michael Nebrich and Emmanuel Adetunji all made the Northern Region first team.

Seniors Ross Renzi and Martin Quan placed on the second team. Quarterback Michael Nebrich was further honored as the Northern Region Offensive Player of the Year. This historic season also saw the Bruins end a decade long losing streak to the rival Rams. An undeniable buzz around the school was evident as the band marched the hallways to commemorate the beginning of the playoffs, and an extra pep rally was held the Friday before the State championship. The Bruins’ legacy is left in the hands of the 19 juniors and eight sophomores. With little experience, nobody expects next years to team to reach states, but then again neither was this team. by David Kim, Staff Writer

“B-R-U-I-N-S, we are the Bruins, and Bruin Rumble! Bruin...rumble!” “Over-r ten!” “Touchdown BRUINS!” “We wa “You can’t do that!” “This is our hous

Patriot Distric Northern Regio VHSL State

The Bear Facts 11

Spread 21 December, 2009

Titles, left a mark as


8-3 27-3 49-6 42-13 19-14 38-7 27-20 27-24 21-35 LBVC: A force you can’t stop Go purple, go black! Come on Bruins, let’s attack! The catchy cheers and chants repeated week after week were a staple part of Friday night football games. Accompanying the team to each game, the varsity cheer team played a huge role in keeping both the football team and fans pepped up during games. Along with their game day obligations, LBVC had their own series of successful cheerleading competitions. The team preformed at district semi-finals and district finals where it placed second both

times and moved on to regional semi-finals, where the team placed in the top four of eight teams from around the Northern Region and landed a spot at the final where the team came in seventh place. Through the long season, the team became a close knit group. “We sing, tell crazy stories and play some pretty weird games,” freshman Erin Meredith said. After an extended season cheering for the football team and competing, the cheerleaders flew to new heights.

The fans that helped them do it “I feel the spirit [the fans] show brings the game to another level,” senior Nahom Petros said. “Not only does it get the players pumped, but also makes them play better.” Hot or cold, Bruin fans filed into the bleachers, creating a wonderful atmosphere of spirit on football game days. “I want the athletes to feel the support they have,” senior Miguel Solis said. “[So that they know] they aren’t alone and have the crowd behind them.” Throughout the games, the energy of the fans cheering grew and grew, giving the players the support they needed to keep the fight going. “We scream our heads off, sure they play well, but I think it still helps when you

have 2,000 fans screaming their lungs out for you,” senior Matt Day said. At times, the noise level would be too loud for the players, but they paid attention to what was going on and brought it down a bit. “Once [senior corner Peres Nubong] signaled for us to quiet down,” senior Megan Kelley said. “They couldn’t hear the snap count. It was awesome because usually our crowd doesn’t get that loud.” For fans, the reason for going to games was the sense of pride and hope for the team. “[I do it for] the love I have for Lake Braddock and for all my boys on the team,” Petros said. “Also, I like to see the emotion on the faces of the players. I would suit up myself and truck someone if I had to.”

we are the best!” “Everybody do the rated, over-rated!” “BRUINS, first and ant Woodson!” “Defense! Defense!” se!” “Lets go O-line!” “Bruins, Bruins!”

ct Champions on Champions e Finalists

by Carolina Nativi, Spread Editor photos courtesy of the Evans Family

12 The Bear Facts

21 December, 2009 Editorial/Opinion



What do holidays, religion and shopping have in common? Absolutely nothing, except during the winter season. On this page there will be a showdown like no other. You will experience the opinions of three different people on three different topics. The debates are: Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays, Religion vs. Secular Christmas and Online shopping vs. In-store shopping. This is the HOLIDAY SHOWDOWN!

Religion fades out of winter holidays

Although by Alexander Sudak holidays like Ed/Op Editor Christmas and Hanukkah are meant to be celebrated in a religious context, some celebrators do not view them in such a religious manner. Holidays, though literally “holy days,” have become exploited commercially, as well as focused on families getting together rather than the holiday’s traditional religious themes. For example, there are many people that are not avidlyengaged Christians, yet they have a Christmas tree and participate in decorating their house with lights. Similarly, some Hanukkah celebrators may not be intensely-involved Jews, but they take part in Hanukkah festivities. These days, you don’t need to be over-the-top religiouswise in order to celebrate a holiday. It would make sense for religiouslybased celebrations to continue to be focused on religion solely, or at least mostly. Obviously this is not always the case, which leads to a division among celebrators. Some look at holidays as just another opportunity to receive presents, while others look at them as a chance to reflect on past events in their religion’s history. Generally, people seen to be concerned with the receiving gifts part and not so much the reflecting aspect. It’s perfectly fine that the point of holidays have shifted to something less religious and more about family and friends connecting. This just happens to be the way they have evolved. Those that preserve the true meaning of these holidays have just as much of a right to do so as those that choose to embrace holidays in a different way. Anyone that visits a department store from midNovember to late December is bombarded with signs exclaiming, “The holidays have arrived!” Christmas music blasts to encourage shoppers to spend their money. Coupled with the previously mentioned tactics, television commercials during the holiday season can become overbearing. Noticeably, most marketing campaigns do not mention anything overly religious, if at all. Usually they refer to their sales as “holiday sales” or something similar, as opposed to specifically referencing a particular holiday. Don’t let advertisers use the holidays to capture all of your money. This is the time of year where everyone is most vulnerable to being persuaded to buy items due to the sales, the special deals and the desire to find something family and friends will enjoy. This holiday season, celebrate these special days in whatever manner you choose, whether it be embracing the gifts, the decorations or the time spent with your friends and family.

graphic by Jess Groves

graphic by Jess Groves

Christmas is not a dirty word by Gabby Lindemann Photographer Santa Claus would not be happy about the sad state of holiday cheer in present years. The fact that a common citizen cannot utter the simple phrase “Merry Christmas” to another in greeting without being attacked by advocates of “political correctness” is a disturbing thing. With our increasingly diverse culture in America, religious affiliations are also diverse. Not everyone celebrates Christmas. This does not mean that one shouldn’t wish someone who celebrates Hanukkah a “Happy Kwanzaa.” Now that I’ve had my say, let’s go back in time to 1789, when the Constitution of the United States was first amended. The First Amendment states that: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” “Congress” shall make no law. It says nothing about the laws of society prohibiting the free exercise of religion, which is why in today’s day and age a mere mention of the word “Christmas”

in polite society is frowned upon. Christmas trees are a common tradition in the celebration of Christmas, as much as lighting the menorah for eight days is tradition for those who observe Hanukkah. Yet, a lot of controversy has come up on whether we should start calling them “holiday trees” instead. In November, the city of Boston officially renamed its giant spruce tree in Boston Commons from “Christmas tree” to “holiday tree.” All I have to say about that is, WWSD? (What would Santa do?). Schools are not safe from this religious fervor. A Connecticut school instructed its teachers to change the wording of the famous poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to “Twas the Night Before A Holiday”. Schools across America now avert and abhor anything that hints at Christmas, such as Nativity scenes or even “holiday parties”. Even the colors green and red are avoided because they might be interpreted as representing Christmas. Even commercials on television and ads in magazines aren’t safe from this “War on Christmas,” as the press calls it. Recently, Gap aired a commercial

that featured all the holidays celebrated during the winter season in an attempt to reach a broader customer base without offending anyone. They did not succeed, as a Christian group announced they would boycott Gap Incorporated because they found it offensive, stating they were making fun of religion with their lighthearted ad. Personally, the ad didn’t spark any religious reproach from me. It was just typical commercialism: Gap wanted to make money. There are two sides to every action. Everything is going to offend somebody. Say too much about religion and risk offending agnostics and atheists of the world. Say nothing at all and risk offending people who celebrate the religions not represented. This is my opinion on the matter: Our government says that we are a country with freedom of religion; it does not say we are a country with freedom from religion. So here is a wish free from all controversy: You are under no obligation to accept these best wishes for a happy, safe, gender-neutral and non-secular winter holiday celebration that pertains to the religion, or non-religion, of your choice. In other words, Merry Christmas.

actually pick up the item, rather than just looking at a picture of it on the computer. And when buying clothing, a shopper can actually try the item on. An advantage to online shopping is the discounts to be found. has many items on sale and even offers free shipping when spending more than $25. When buying in an online store you have to be aware of scams or identity theft, but usually you can detect it by checking if the Web site is legitimate. A way to check if the Web site is legitimate is if it has paypal, which holds the payment of the product until it is proven that it is being sent to the customer. While shopping, the buyer usually has questions that need to be clarified. There are always doubts on how much a product costs or which one is better than the other one and why? Even though online stores have customer service numbers, it is much easier to find a sales clerk at the store when assistance is needed. The only downside is that finding

someone to help you at a store like Best Buy, where it is usually crowded, can be a pain. The pain of finding help multiplies during the holidays as people crowd stores like they were giving away stuff for free Another disadvantage to in-store shopping is location. Sometimes it is hard to get to the mall, but does that compare to the anxiety one gets when waiting for a package to arrive in the mail? The good thing about online shopping is that if you are really in a hurry to get a product, you can pay an extra couple of bucks so it can arrive the next day. In the end, shoppers can take advantage of both situations.

Online shopping a 24/7 convenience by Marcelo Garcia Staff Writer

With tremendous advances in technology, shopping for gifts has become easier and more convenient with online shopping, but the mall continues to be a busy place. Each shopping avenue, going to the store or online, has its benefits. Online shoppers have the convenience of making purchases 24/7. I personally shop online and take advantage of shopping anytime in stores like, which offers clothing and gear for flexible prices and fast shipping. One of the biggest advantages of instore shopping has to be the display of items. At a store, a shopper can

graphic by Jess Groves


21 December, 2009

Musical and theatrical performances at LBSS this month LBT Winter Holiday ‘Unplugged’ ‘ D u r a n g o n T e n n e s s e e ’ by Bob Sayed Staff Writer

LB kicked off its 29th edition of Unplugged on Friday Dec. 11. Unplugged had its humble beginnings in October 1995, when theater director R.L. Mirabal saw potential in MTV’s Unplugged and came up with an opportunity for kids at LB to showcase their talent in front of an audience without the use of backing vocals or amplifiers. Students are permitted to use any instrument, including their own voices, and can sample their own written songs or cover another performer’s work. The bravery of performers in previous years inspired junior

Sarah Waye to perform two songs this year,

“It was really nerve-racking, and the line-up was really talented this year,” Waye said. Mirabal has been at every Unplugged since its beginnings and still looks forward to each performance. “The best act of the night was Viki [Dimopolous], she sang it with a lot of soul,” junior Vicky Paredes said. “And she wrote the song as well.” Dimopolous is a newcomer to Unplugged and wrote the song she performed, ‘Bitter Coffee.’ “I started writing songs in January 2009 and decided to perform after my friend heard me sing and persuaded me

by Bob Sayed Staff Writer On Friday Dec. 4, Lake Braddock Theatre performed its successful duo of one-act parodies, which won a top-four place at the Virginia Theatre Secondary School competition in November. The night consisted of two one-act plays, involving two separate groups of actors. Both were satirical parodies of classic dramatic plays by Tennessee Williams. For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls parodied A Streetcar Named Desire, a play previously performed by LBT,

and Desire, Desire, Desire was based mainly on The Glass Menagerie. Christopher Durang rewrote the classic plays by Williams. Although he maintained many of the original characters and some aspects of the script, Durang rewrote most of the lines and created an entirely different theme for each play. Director R.L. Mirabal accredited the cast with the success of the plays. “We’ve done [the play] before,” Mirabal said. “It was this group of kids who knocked it out of the park.”

photo by Gabby Lindemann

Both plays were performed consecutively on Dec. 4, as

Junior Luke Esper put on a serious face during Durang on Tennessee. The show consisted of two one-act plays.

Students gamble and roll the dice on a classic hit this winter CAST LIST Nathan Detroit - Reid Bigman Sky Masterson - Scott Koven Adelade White - Andrea Harman Sarah Brown - Lizzie Cole Nicely-Nicely Johnson - Trent Hasty Benny Southstreet - Jacob Brant Rusty Charlie - Steward Holland Adelle Abernathy - Laurissa Dragan Agatha - Francine Cilke Harry the Horse - Jacob Gruber Lt. Brannigan - Telly Manos Angie the Ox - Sean Paraiso Josie Biltmore - Taylor Morgan Mimi - Emily Piraino General Matilda B. Cartwright Courtney Bradshaw Big Jule - Brent Gibbans Scranton Slim - JJ Vercouteren Brandy Bottle Bates - Chris Brumbaugh The Greek- Tristan Pham

The cast of Guys and Dolls rehearse a scene. This year’s musical debuts on Jan. 21.

by Lorine Margeson Reporter The acclaimed musical-turned-motion picture Guys and Dolls will be hitting the LBSS stage this season. The original film starred Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine and premiered in the 1950s. It is considered a theatrical classic by people around the world. It has been revived in countries across the

photo by Gabby Lindemann

globe, most recently making a debut on Broadway in New York City.

wins, then he will have $1,000 dollars to continue his underground crap game.

The main characters are Nathan Detroit the Gangster, Sky Masterson the Gambler and Sarah Brown the missionary.

Nathan’s fiancee of 14 years, Adelaide (senior Andrea Harmon), disapproves, but doesn’t really know about the game.

New York gambler Nathan Detroit (senior Reid Bigman) is desperately in need of money for a crap game. A crap game is when you bet money on what your dice are going to say and then you roll the dice.

Guys and Dolls premieres at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21. in the Little Theatre. It will also show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22 and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23.

Detroit bets Sky Masterson (sophomore Scott Koven) $1,000 that he cannot take Sarah Brown (senior Lizzie Cole) to Havana with him for dinner. If Nathan

“The cast recently began rehearsing with the orchestra,” sophomore Aaron Liu said. “First, pit practices separately, then they combine with the chorus,” he said.

14 The Bear Facts

21 December, 2009 Entertainment

Current artists put twists on classic holiday songs by Ellen Dando Reporter While strolling down the aisles of a department store, taking a glance at multiple holiday shopping lists, the familiar strain of cheery melodies streams through the store’s speakers. It’s that recognizable music heard for at least a month every year. Local radio stations blast tunes that get you into the holiday spirit starting the day after Thanksgiving. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is one such song. It was originally written by Hugh Martin and performed by Judy Garland in the 1944 musical Meet Me in St. Louis. The original lyrics were somewhat dour with lines like, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas/It may be your last....Faithful friends who were dear to us/will be near to us no more.’’ Martin was instructed to lighten up the lyrics a bit, and the song became “Have yourself a merry little Christmas/Let your heart be light…Faithful friends who are dear to us/Gather near to us once more,” according to The American Society of Composers, Artists, and Publishers. Remakes of the song have been recorded by Colbie Caillat, Aimee Mann, Coldplay, Sarah McLachlan and even Twisted Sister. “I like the one by Coldplay better than the original,” freshman Amy Shi said. “I listen to Coldplay all the time so it’s nice to hear them do a classic Christmas song.” Popular recording artists today usually remake holiday classics solely for money-making Christmas compilation albums.

“Personally, I like the original version better,” freshman Eunjee Kim said. “Judy Garland just has such a gorgeous voice. It’s kind of hard for me to hear someone else do a classic song like that.” Another holiday classic “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” actually created a lot of controversy when it first came out. The original version released in 1953 was recorded by 13 year-old Jimmy Boyd. Many radio stations initially banned it because they thought it “risqué” for suggesting a married woman would have an affair, according to the ARC Music Group. Boyd was asked to go to meet the archbishop to explain that in truth, Mommy was kissing Daddy, who was dressed like Santa Claus.

photo by

Although numerous artists have covered this classic, most people know the Jackson 5 version. “I like the Jackson 5 version a lot better than the original,” Shi said. “The edits they made for the remake just sound better than the original in my opinion. It sounds livelier, and I like the dialogue they put in it.” photo by

The Jackson 5 cover of the song is so popular that it is often mistaken for the original song. “Wait, this is a cover?” Kim said. “Whoa, I thought this was the original.” While some people enjoy the holiday remakes, others don’t want their favorites touched. “Sure, I like Christmas remakes, but I don’t know if I’d want someone to remake ‘Last Christmas,’” Shi said. “I guess it would really

photo by graphics by Jess Groves

Top 5 must-have gifts for the holiday season These items are some of the few on wish lists of LBSS students this 2009-10 year by Natalia Arancibia Staff Writer

1. Fifth generation iPod

Recently, Apple released the new fifth generation of iPod nanos. Why has this iPod become one of the most requested gifts for the holiday season? “I’ve heard that a lot of people want the new iPod nano because it takes videos,” senior Andrea Madrid said. Unlike the ones before it, the fifth generation iPod does have a built-in video camera and microphone. It comes in a variety of colors including red, blue, purple, green and black. However, with a new application comes a price increase. But even with this increase, it’s still on students’ Christmas lists. The new nano comes in two sizes, the 8GB and the 16GB. The 8GB holds 2,000

songs, eight hours of video and costs $146, while the 16GB holds 4,000 songs, 16 hours of video and costs $179. However, no matter how good a product seems, there are some faults. For example, many consumers who have bought this new iPod agree that its capacity is much too small compared to the older generations, which can hold more songs. They also find the position of the camera lens to be in an awkward position. But even with these faults, people and especially teens, still want this new product for the holiday season.

2. Gift cards

One way for teens to get exactly what they want this holiday season is to get gift cards. Gift cards are a popular gift idea not only for the holiday season, but for birthdays and for other celebrations. Because most stores tend to sell gift cards, it’s easy to get the perfect gift for someone. “I like getting Visa gift cards because you can spend it on whatever you want,” junior Vicky Paredes said.

3. The Droid Recently, Verizon released the new phone known as the Droid. Though it seems to be much like other phones, American consumers are expected to go crazy for it.

4. Plaid shirts and leggings One of the latest fashion trends for the fall season are plaid shirts and leggings. It’s easy to spot this outfit amongst students in the hallways because many girls are wearing it. Not only are they wearing the shirts, but they are wearing shirt dresses, both of which come in colors such as red, pink, yellow, white and black. “I’ve seen a lot of people using plaid shirts with leggings and flats. It’s like everyone is using those shirts,” Madrid said. As fall fashions hit stores in July, plaid shirts and leggings became an instant hit. Stores such as Target, JCPenny, Macy’s

Why is this on some teens’ Christmas lists? This phone allows a person to do multiple things at once. For

example, a person can take pictures, but they can also pause to view a text message. The Droid also has a highresolution screen and costs about $200. To make the experience of having a Droid complete, it has a robot voice that says “Droid” to alert the owner of a notification.

5. Uggs & Jackets One fashion trend that continues to be a major hit each year are jackets and the all-too-famous Uggs. These are not just your typical jackets though; they’re either Northface jackets or some other high quality brand for both guys and girls. Uggs are an extra accessory for girls. Even with these items being the most photos by Alison Neary, Emaleigh Phelps and Alexandra Sudak

Entertainment 21 December, 2009

The Bear Facts 15

That’s a wrap! LBSS students glance back at the year 2009 by Joanna Miner Reporter In the crazy Hollywood-driven entertainment business, things can change in a split second. From crushing controversies to devastating deaths and astonishing albums, this year did not disappoint. Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood and Britney Spears dominated the charts. However, one artist on the rise who had an incredible year was Taylor Swift. After being awarded the Entertainer of the Year at the 43rd annual Country Music Academy Awards, Swift also landed eight Grammy nominations. “I like her [music] because it’s very easy to relate to, and it has a really good beat to it,” freshman Taylor Livick said. She also made news when rapper Kanye West got on stage and interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech for Video of the Year at the 2009 VMAs. “I thought it was really rude of him to interrupt her during her speech,” sophomore Kathy Corena said. “I mean, it was an awards ceremony. There was no reason for that.” One influential artist that we lost this year was Michael Jackson. After more than 40 years of performing, the incredible showman lost his life in June. “I was at camp when it happened, and a bunch of kids told me that Michael Jackson had died,” freshman Mark Derner said. “At first I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe he was dead.” Some students weren’t as touched by the star’s tragic death. “Honestly, Billy Mays’ [former infomercial king who died at age 50] death was more meaningful to me than Michael Jackson’s death,” sophomore Adam DePolo said. The acclaimed infomercial star who promoted the popular cleaner ‘OxyClean’ passed away suddenly after a lethal arrhythmia of the heart. A l o n g w i t h t h i s y e a r ’s m u s i c

sensations, there were also some on-screen controversies. Jon and Kate Gosselin of the popular TV series Jon & Kate Plus 8 have had a year of ups and downs. With their public divorce unfolding on the pages of the tabloids, their eight children’s lives are in the spotlight even more than they were during their show’s run, which ended in November. “I think the whole thing is stupid,” sophomore Dan Stevenson said. “I mean, you shouldn’t really care about other people’s problems.” Some major movie releases this year were New Moon and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Both movie series, adapted from books, have been major hits in the movie industry since their debut: Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone in 2001, and Twilight in 2008. “I didn’t see New Moon, but I heard Taylor Lautner took his shirt off a lot, and a lot of girls really liked the movie,” Derner said. Some fans took sides and stayed loyal to only one franchise. “I would never go see a Twilight movie, but I saw Harry Potter and thought it was the best of the six,” Depolo said. “I just think the actors are getting a little too old to play the characters.” Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson who play Harry, Ron and Hermione, respectively, have been with the Harry Potter franchise since the very beginning. New Moon and the Twilight Saga as a whole have become nearly as big of a phenomenon as Harry Potter in about half the time. Team Edward and Team Jacob fans lined up for hours to see the midnight premiere of the second movie at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 20. 2009 was a year of ups and downs in the entertainment biz, but everyone can agree that there was no story too scandalous, no chart topper too well liked and no clear favorite on the big screen.

Winter movies drift into theaters this cold holiday season A preview of feature presentations making winter debuts by Marcelo Garcia Staff Writer There are only a few days before the holidays, and the shopping fever at its height. It is also an important time for the movie industry, which releases several highly-anticipated films this winter. One such film is Avatar, which came to theaters Dec. 18. Directed by Titanic’s James Cameron, Avatar is a 3-D movie with high expectations, as it claims to have the great graphic effects. The plot centers around former Marine Jake Sully, who is handicapped and believes that he has no opportunity to fight again, until he is requested for an expedition to land called Pandora, where Sully faces numerous altercations and epic fights that determine the fate of earth. Another highly-anticipated film is Sherlock Holmes, which debuts Dec. 25 and stars Robert Downey Jr. The movie tells the tales of famous

inspector Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson, based on the stories of Sherlock Holmes by SurArthur Conan Doyle. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is the sequel to the previous film and promises more laughter and many surprises. One of the biggest changes in the story is the introduction of the Chipettes, the female version of the Chipmunks, who are sure to bring double the fun to the movie. “The Chipmunks are really cute and cuddly,” senior Arthur Powell said. These holidays are packed with great titles that will amuse anyone’s taste. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which came out Dec. 14, is the perfect film to go watch together as a family for a good laugh. Sherlock Holmes will intrigue anyone who has read or heard about Sherlock Holmes, and with Robert Downey Jr. in the main role, it is hard to expect a disappointing movie. Sherlock Holmes might be the adventure you are looking for during the holidays. James Cameron’s Avatar is set to be a great action film that will blow the audience’s mind

photos by

LBSS chorus brings in the new year with Mozart’s Requiem by Noura Bayoumi Staff Writer The LB chorus and symphony orchestra sang and played their hearts out with Mozart’s “Requiem” series on Dec. 15. The concert began with a rendition of the classical piece. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his most famous piece of music, “The Requiem Mass,” in 1791. Mozart was in the process of writing the piece when he died prematurely. It was later finished by Franz Xaver Süssmayr. There has been much speculation about foul play over his death over the years, but most of it is just myth, choral director

Megan Cartwright said. “My favorite part of the concert was in the end, when we all received standing ovations. It makes me feel proud of myself,” junior Kyle Boltwood said. Boltwood sings in the men’s choir. This production required a lot of teamwork. “All five of the choir classes and symphony have been working on this music since September in class,” Cartwright said. In addition, all 200 students rehearsed after school every Monday since midOctober. “It’s vital that the students spend time rehearsing as a full ensemble,” Cartwright said. Junior Lauren Chubb said learning the

piece required a lot of work and many hours of after-school rehearsals. “This is supposed to be our most formal concert of the year, and it’s a pretty big deal in chorus. A lot of the parents and middle and high school students come out, and the girls wear black dresses with pearls and the boys wear black tuxedos with a little bow tie,” Chubb said. For every winter concert, the LB orchestra performs with the choir in order to make an unforgettable performance come to life. “We are even more unique because all of our choral students perform, regardless of their skill level, and we never use professional musicians instead of the student orchestra,” Cartwright said. For Cartwright, this is her favorite

concert of the year because she loves the collaboration with the orchestra and exposing the incredible music to her students, she said. “I know a lot of people prefer the concerts with pop music and choreography, but there is a reason why it’s still around after hundreds of years,” Cartwright said. “Most of my graduating seniors year after year point to these concerts as their best musical experience.” Junior Reanna Wallmow has been in chorus for three years. She is involved with the woman’s vocal ensemble group and said that her favorite part of the concert was learning about the musical history of “Requiem.” “It just seems so interesting and I’m so thankful that I get to learn about its history,”


21 December, 2009

Football soars after capturing the Northern Region title FOOTBALL continued from page 1 On defense, the Bruins were outstanding, despite giving up 24 points. Highly-touted Battlefield quarterback Bo Revell passed for only 67 yards and zero touchdowns. Even the Bobcats’ running game, which it relies on for most of its offensive production, was held to a mere 118 yards between five ball carriers. The win sent the team to the Division 6 AAA State Championship game, where it faced Central Region champion Thomas Dale High School. The game was held at Scott Stadium on the campus of the University of Virginia. Dale, which upset nationally-ranked Oscar Smith in the state semifinals, established themselves early, as running back Mike Edmunds scored a two-yard rushing touchdown in the first four minutes of the game. The Knights would maintain a lead for the remainder of the game, ultimately winning by a score of 35-21. “Losing in the state championship was a disappointment, but I’m proud that we made it as far as we did,” senior receiver Mike Resetar said. “We worked hard for four years and made a name for Lake Braddock football.” T h e Bruins’ defensive line was worn down over the course of the game by Dale’s relentless running g a m e , which averaged five yards per carry and allowed the Knights to stay on the field longer. B y limiting LB’s time of possession, the Knights suppressed the spread offense that accounted for much of the Bruins’ success throughout the season. Running back Demetrick Jackson rushed for 168 yards on 30 carries, by far the most of any ball carrier. He also scored the Knights’ second touchdown of the game. In some ways, the game was decided by mistakes on the part of both the Bruins and the officiating crew. One particularly controversial call came during the third quarter when LB senior Nate Fleming hit Jackson and forced what appeared to be a fumble, which was subsequently recovered by Stickford. However, the referees missed the call and ruled Jackson down at the one-yard line. On the following play, Edmund scored, and then struck again during the Bruins’ next drive, when he intercepted a pass from Nebrich and ran it back 32 yards for a touchdown. “That call definitely changed the game,” Stickford said. “They scored 14 points as a result, and that ended up being the difference in the game. Still, we could have played better on both sides of the ball.” T h e interception return put the Knights ahead 28-7, and though the Bruins were able to score two more touchdowns and hold Dale to just one,

When and why did you start being playing basketball? When I was 5 years old my dad got me into the sport because he played ball. What are your individual goals for the upcoming season? To lead the team in scoring, assists and charges. As a senior how do you deal with the increased responsibilities? Be a leader since I’ve been here before. I’m going to get my teammates through the season. What do you do to prepare for games? I go get something to eat at Quiznos and then go home with a friend or two and watch a movie in my basement. I listen to music too. What will be the biggest struggle of this season? Playing hard all 32 minutes because we have a tendency to let up and that hurts us in the long run. Do you plan on playing in colphoto courtesy of lege? Why not? No, because most Division I point guards are 6’3, 6’4, and obviously I’m not that type of guard. And I want to focus on my academics in college.

Patch McLucas—Boys’ varsity basketball

Athlete of the issue

compiled by David Kim

Boys’ varsity football 12-3 AT REGIONALS vs. Fairfax, W 19-14 @ Robinson, W 38-7 @ Woodson, W 27-20 AT STATES @ Battlefield, W 27-24 @ Thomas Dale, L 21-35

Boys’ varsity basketball 1-3 @ Centreville, L 41-54 @ Herndon, L 47-57 vs. Woodson, L 39-52 vs. Westfield, W 50-43 12/18 vs. Robinson 12/22 @ W. Potomac 12/28-12/30 @ LB

Tournament of Champions

By the numbers


The number of times that the boys’ varsity football team has advanced into the VHSL state finals in the history of the school. The Bruins finished the season with an impressive record of 11 wins and only three losses.


The number of football players that were selected to the All-Region first team. The offensive players include: Khamrone Kolb, Michael Nebrich and Brandon Johnson. The defensive players include: Thomas Stickford, Chris Lavery, Wasim Abbasi and Emmanuel Adetunji.


Girls’ varsity basketball 0-3 vs. Centreville, L 38-46 vs. Herndon, L 42-55 vs. Woodson, L 35-61 @ Westfield, L 12/18 @ Robinson 12/22 vs W. Potomac 12/28-12/30 @ Oakton

The Cougar Classic

compiled by Brittany Hopkins

The number of points that the Bruins football offense scored throughout the 2009 season, outscoring opponents by an astonishing 234 points. Defense gave up an average of 16.8 points per game.

The Bruin

CoEd swimming 1-0 @ Annandale vs. Lee vs. Woodson @ W. Potomac 1/8 vs. S. County

Boys’ varsity wrestling @ Forest Park @ Nova Classic Tri-Meet @ LB 12/29 @ Woodbridge


photos courtesy of Kim Evans

(Above left) No. 12, junior quarterback Michael Nebrich. (Above right) No. 7, senior wide receiver Brandon Johnson. (Bottom) The boys’ varsity football members celebrate a 27-20 defeat over the Woodson Cavaliers, capturing the Northern Region title and advancing to states. The Bruins’ continued on to the state semi-finals were the team faced the Battlefield Bobcats. After a thrilling overtime touchdown, the Bruins beat the Bobcats, 27-24. This gave the Bruins’ its first ever Virginal state final appearance.

compiled by Brittany Hopkins

Sports 21 December, 2009

The Bear Facts 17

Girls’ cross country captures ninth state championship by Kailey Leinz Reporter

Athlete of the issue

On Nov. 14, the girls’ varsity cross country team dominated the course at Great Meadows, taking home the state championship and winning the team’s third straight title of the decade. Freshman Sophie Chase is credited with leading the team to the win, according to “She took the chance to be great and was,” the Web site said. “As the early leader, she forced some other teams out of their game plans.” Chase was a great addition and kept improving throughout the season, coach Michael Mangan said. “[Chase] was a major part of our win,” senior Amanda Parker said. Other runners not only enjoyed benefitting from Chase’s abilities, but what she brought to the team as well. “Having [Chase] on the team was a blast,” photo courtesy of senior Liana Epstein said. “We love her.” The lady Bruin’s gather together after an astonishing first place finish in But getting to that point was not easy, the 2009 cross country state meet. The team (above) is accompanied by Chase said. coaches Mike Mangan, Steve Hoogland, Denver Davis and Ellen Hagan“It took a lot of hard work,” Chase said. Bowerman. This first place finish gave the cross country programs third “I had to be able to trust and be close with state championship title. my team. We all had to sacrifice.” Going to states as a freshman and just knowing that she was good enough was the best part, Chase said. Other runners thought that the support of their teammates was a BRUIN TOP FINISHES great part of states. “The closeness of our team contributed a lot to our success,” Sophie Chase-3rd overall and Bruins’ 1st Epstein said. finisher Other runners’ favorite parts were more goal-oriented. Liana Epstein-16th overall and Bruins’ “It was great having all the hard work pay off,” junior Casey Lardner said. 2nd finisher Lardner placed 23rd in the competition. Casey Lardner-Bruins’ 3rd place finisher photo courtesy of However, for two runners, running in states was bittersweet. Kelly Hagan- Bruins’ 4th place finisher Amanda Parker-Bruins’ 5th place finisher Despite finishing fourth place in the district, the lady Bruins’ placed “It was my fourth and last time [running],” Parker said. Tara Landy-Bruins’ 6th place finisher Fellow senior Epstein agreed with her. first in the region. After a great race led by freshman Sophie Chase, who Monic Kohler-Bruins’ 7thfact place finisher “It was one of those euphoric moments that will define my senior year,” Epstein said. “The that we won earned first team all-region and all-state honors, the Bruins’ top finisher meant a lot to me and the other seniors, especially.” prepared for states. The boys finished second. For both runners, winning their last meet was icing on the cake.

Sarah Dergham—Girls’ gymnastics When and why did you start doing gymnastics? I actually did it because I couldn’t do dance because of marching band, and gymnastics looked fun. What is one thing most people don’t realize about gymnastics? Even though we compete individually, it’s a team sport. What’s the hardest part about gymnastics? The skills are hard to grasp, and they’re dangerous, so some girls are afraid. Do you plan to continue gymnastics after high school? Yeah, I’m going to try out for my college team.

How do you train in the off-season? I dance all the time, and I condition a lot. And sometimes I go to Capital and do open gym. What’s your favorite aspect of gymnastics? Choreographing floor routines because I’m a dancer, even if I can’t do dance team. Any goals for the season? I want the team to win states. Do you have any premeet routines? I like to listen to music and eat Skittles.

Make sure you pencil in sports for January

21 December, 2009 Sports

18 The Bear Facts

Stunning cinderella stories: Captivating the best stories of the past decade Wow, what a decade it’s been for us all. We’ve seen three presidents in office, gone into a war, and seen many different sports surprises. So as 2009 comes to a close, I decided to list each year’s best sports story from 2000 to 2009. So here we go, starting from 2000.


The St. Louis Rams were 4-12 in 1998, but beat the Tennessee Titans, 24-17, in one of the closest Super Bowl games of all time with help from the man who famously stocked shelves at a Hy-Vee in Cedar Falls, Kurt Warner, who produced his first MVP season as the “Greatest Show on Turf.”


In a city with no major professional sports championship, the Arizona Diamondbacks upset the heavilyfavored New York Yankees in the World Series, four games to three. Arizona’s Luis Gonzalez delivered the series-clinching hit off of legendary Yankee closer Mariano Rivera. The D-Backs then became the fastest expanding team to win the Series, in just four seasons.


The Anaheim Angels were a laughingstock for much of their history, but thanks to World Series MVP Troy Glaus, the Rally Monkey and surprise rookie stardom from pitcher Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez, the Angels completed an unlikely playoff run, beating the San Francisco Giants, four games to three.


On the day after his father died of a heart attack, prolific Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre played the game of his life. He threw four touchdowns and 399 yards against the defending AFC champion Oakland Raiders, winning 41-7. The performance was even applauded by Raiders fans despite their team’s blowout loss.

2004- The Boston Red Sox, down

3-0 to the Yankees, won four straight games against their rivals and swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, breaking the “Curse of the Bambino,” which supposedly kept them from winning the series for 86 years. David Ortiz became a superstar, playing a key role in the playoff run along with teammate and series MVP Manny Ramirez.

Boys’ basketball prepares for a rebuilding season by Meagan Rydholm Staff Writer

graphic by Jess Groves

2005- The Chicago White Sox, who

were “cursed” from 1917 because of the gambling scandal in 1919, won the Series for the first time in 88 years, sweeping the Houston Astros. Outfielder Jermaine Dye was named MVP of the Series.


The George Mason Patriots were an 11-seed in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, but beat Michigan State, defending champion North Carolina, Wichita State, and the biggest upset of all, No. 1 seed Connecticut in the Regional Final. As a result, Mason received national attention and became US News & World Report’s “No. 1 University to Watch.”


This is more of a group award, as Boise State, Stanford, and Division-II Appalachian State all pulled off amazing upsets against heavy favorites. On New Year’s Day, Boise State won a classic Fiesta Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners, 43-42, going for a two-point conversion to win the game. Appalachian State beat No. 5-ranked Michigan on opening-weekend, becoming the first Division-II team to beat a ranked opponent in Division I. Stanford, who finished 1-11 in 2006, beat No. 2 USC despite being on the road, a 41-point underdog and using a backup quarterback, Tavita Pritchard.


Superstar swimmer Michael Phelps, already expected to perform well in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, won an unprecedented eight gold medals, breaking Mark Spitz’ record of seven. Though the host country, China, had the most gold medals, Phelps’ classic run was arguably the most important and greatest memory from the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.


Roger Federer beat Andy Roddick in a classic Wimbledon match-up, with Federer winning 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14. The two played the most games ever in a Grand Slam final with 77, and Federer outlasted Roddick’s strong serves to break a tie with Pete Sampras for the most Grand Slam titles ever. The win also gave Federer his No. 1 ranking back from Rafael Nadal.

This year’s basketball team is stepping up to the plate to make up for the graduation of former star point guard Dominic Morra. Unfortunately for the varsity team this year, many people aren’t expecting much from the team. “Last year we did really well, but now that Dom’s gone we need to be more team-based and not have it be one person’s game,” junior Alec Boyer said. All-state point guard Dominic Morra currently plays basketball at Augusta State. “I don’t think anyone expects us to be that good, but I think we are going to be better than people’s expectations,” sophomore Greg Jones said. Amidst the pressure of a demanding and tiring game, it’s important for the players to stay motivated. “When I hear the crowd when something good happens...I get more into the game,” senior Patch McLucas said. Even the locker rooms serve as a time for the boys to start getting pumped up before the game. “We bond as a team in the locker rooms before the game and we pump each other up and listen to music,” Jones said. The first game of the season was an away game, which surprisingly many players looked forward to.

photo by Emaleigh Phelps

The varsity boys’ basketball team huddles together for a cheer before the start of their first home game.

“I like that our first game is away, because if we lose its not as embarrassing as losing in front of people we know,” said Boyer. This year’s players are aware of the challenges facing them this season. “No team is easy to beat,” Boyer said. The team’s current record stands at one win and three losses, as of Dec. 17. But many more games are to come.

BCS system angers college football fans by Dani Klein Reporter The college football season continues with big match-ups in the bowl games. The five main bowl games start in the new year. Oregon will play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on Jan 1.The Allstate Sugar Bowl pits Cincinnati against Florida, also on Jan 1. TCU will play Boise State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan 4.The FedEx Orange Bowl will host Iowa and Georgia Tech on Jan 5. The Citi National Championship game will be Texas and Alabama on Jan 7. These games are part of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). The point of the BCS is to match the two top teams for the national championship. Human polls and computer rankings determine who ends up No. 1 and No. 2. The Bowl Championship Series system can be seen as corrupt because the computer

decides who will play. This season there are five undefeated teams: Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, TCU and Boise State, but only Alabama and Texas are in the championship game. “Yes, the BCS system is corrupt; it is done by a computer,” senior Bekka Kitila said. The computer system upset fans whose teams weren't ranked as highly as they thought they should be. “There should be a playoff system like basketball,” chemistry teacher Judy Barrile said. It is misleading because all of the other divisions have a playoff system. The BCS generates a big amount of money for the large schools, which would end if it became a playoff system. The way the bowl games are decided leaves fans wishing there would be a change. “The BCS is kind of biased towards big programs,” senior Conan Smeeth said. “Boise State and TCU don’t have a big chance to make it.”

The BCS system is corrupt, it is done by a computer Bekka Kilita

Off-season conditioning for spring sport athletes is made mandatory by Emaleigh Phelps Photographer Running, lunges, ab workouts and wall sits are all common workouts for the winter conditioning sessions that spring sports teams have been participating in. Is all this early preparation really worth it? Last year, the varsity girls’ lacrosse team’s stats included three wins and eight losses. As of the beginning of December they have yet to begin conditioning as a team. “We [the lacrosse team] don’t really have conditioning right now,” sophomore Shelley Mills said. “We have tournaments during the weekends and are trying to schedule South Run conditioning.” Boys’ varsity tennis on the other hand, had a perfect season until districts. The team doesn’t begin conditioning until right before team tryouts. “We don’t really have [winter] conditioning,” junior tennis player Tomek Partyka said. “We run the mile, run bleachers and around the courts twice. The amount of conditioning now is fine.” Softball also has not begun team conditioning. The team will start around the beginning of February. The crew team, which sent a boat to nationals in the previous year and had all of their novice boats place in states, began practices at the end of November. “We bond as a team through our painful workouts,” junior Viki Dimopoulos said. “That’s why I like it.” Baseball is another sport that begins conditioning early. The team lifts weights three days a week and will begin running workouts in February. photo by Emaleigh Phelps photo by Emaleigh Phelps Sophomore Jesse Mark was on the baseball team last year and has been participating in Senior crew captain Nick Lyle does cable row Junior Dylan Evans does push-ups as part of his the team’s conditioning. “I’m not a huge fan of conditioning for a sport when it’s not even your season,” Mark exercises to help him get ready and in shape for weight training routine in preparation for the said. “It probably helps the team, and it is a good bonding time for the team, so we have the soon-to-come spring season. 2010 spring lacrosse season.


December Issue


December Issue