Inside the issue October 2012
Sports Managers P. 18
The Secret FCA garden P. 19 P. 2 Westminster Christian Academy
800 Maryville Centre Drive, Town and Country, MO 63017
Uncovering Mr. Unbound
Michael Becker, senior, creates and shares inspirational art pieces with a message under the alias “Mr. Unbound.”
Michael Becker, senior, creates one of his brilliant paintings with a spray can. Photo courtesy of: Michael Becker
Unbound, the very nature of the word usually turns people off. It represents a dark, chaotic feel without order or restoration. Michael Becker, senior, aims to change that with his alias Mr. Unbound.
“Mr. Unbound is an ideal, a character, and a persona that I have crafted my artistic message around,” said Becker. Mr.Unbound means a lot to the talented artist and has a deeper meaning to him. “To live ‘unbound’ is to triumph over social conformity and personal struggle. One that lives ‘unbound’ is one who lives and acts as an agent of change and redemption, and who takes part in a mission of restoration,” said Becker. On Becker’s website Mr.Unbound.com, he explains
Is Cheerleading a Sport? P. 13
how his creative vision unfolded. “When a musician is on a stage at a concert, there is a two way exchange happening. The musician is giving something to the crowd. They give an energy and vibration that the crowd is taking in, feeding off of and giving their own energy and vibrations right back. It is this type of cyclical atmosphere that gives music its unmatched accessibility. I’m trying to make this accessibility available through art,” said Becker. Becker hopes the chances that come with Mr.Unbound will help him shine a light into a broken world and share his thoughts with others. With the idea of Mr. Unbound, Becker also hopes to communicate a message of importance to the Westminster community. “A lot of times I feel like I am the only individual that understands what happens inside my brain. I want the Westminster community to be a place where new ideas, even edgy ideas, are welcomed and challenged,” said Becker. Andre Cataldo, class of 2011 and
member of the band Dear Genre, is someone Becker considers to be his “mentor into the creative world.” Becker began his collaborative work with Cataldo when he first approached Becker about designing the album artwork for one his singles, “Scorpion Girl”. “Working with Westminster graduate, Andre Cataldo, has been a major blessing,” said Becker. He recently performed a live visual art demonstration at the latest Dear Genre concert and believes the experience was extremely encouraging. “Creating a piece of art from scratch that will incorporate the audience’s help and artistic vision,” said Becker. Now Becker is currently trying to get his work out to the public and has recently begun to host art galleries, the most recent show was on September 27 at Subterranean Books in The Delmar Loop. “The skateboards were the coolest thing he had on display. I think he was trying to spread the message that his art was out there as well as display things that he’s
proud of,” said Ellie Bettlach, senior. In a couple of years, Becker sees himself at a university, studying art and design, and continuing to develop his artistic vision. He hopes this will allow him to meet contacts and give him more opportunities to exhibit his work
wherever he can. “My hope is that by the time my life is ended, I will be able to say that I lived deliberately and passionately and left a positive mark on this planet. Mr. Unbound is the vehicle by which I hope to accomplish these things,” said Becker.”
Michael Becker, senior, holds his “Mr. Unbound” sign. Photo courtesy of: Michael Becker
Behind the Curtain Westminster Christian Academy
A behind-the-scenes view of the fall musical, The Secret Garden. Westminster’s production of The Secret Garden debuts on October 18, 19, and 20 at 7 p.m. in the Theatre, and many hands have gone into making this production
an unforgettable experience. “My favorite part about the show is definitely the music itself. It all has a very haunting tone and the harmonies are so rich,” said Hannah Geisz, sophomore. A lot of work goes into keeping the style and songs pitch-perfect for audiences. Orchestra members, choir members, as well as those on the dance team helped the musical to reach its full potential. Allen Schwamb, director of Concert Choir and Mixed Chorus, is in charge of blocking and directing the music in this production, while Hugh Jones, band director, conducts the orchestra and assists soloists. “This musical is more serious than the last one and requires more acting. With that it is a more challenging and rewarding show I think and will be just as good or even better then last year’s,” said Brenden Solomon, senior. Last year’s musical Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat
was more lighthearted in this production—while Joseph had a colorful coat, an Elvis-pharaoh, and upbeat songs, The Secret Garden features a two-story set, ghosts, and a somber score. The show, which won the 1991 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, includes a new talent, a large cast of sophomores, and Mark Geisz, a sixth grader. “Mr. Schwamb needed a young voice for the role of Colin, so he held auditions for a bunch of sixth graders, and it ended up that my brother would be playing the role of my cousin,” said Geisz. Many cast members have worked together in Westminster productions in the past, which leads to a cooperative and friendly environment for performers. The Set Club has also been working behind the scenes, meeting every day after school to
build trees, picture frames, and even a house to create the right mood for this musical. In addition, the actors, too, have to set the tone by playing characters from a different time and place, and with that comes a few challenges. “People love to laugh at me because [my Yorkshire accent] always ends up sounding Indian or Jamaican, so hopefully I get it down before the show premieres,” said Solomon. The cast has been working through tough accents, complicated sets, and new music, but cast members say that the experience is worth the effort. “All of us in the production love to be on stage and bring joy to other people… it’s what we like to do,” said Mary Heyl, sophomore. Tickets for The Secret Garden will be available for purchase in the Book Store.
The Secret Garden Cast List
Mary Lennox……. Hannah Geisz Archibald Craven…Hunter Hughes Dickon ………Brenden Solomon Lily………….Sydney Thomas Dr. Craven………Nathan Theus Martha……Mary Heyl Ben Weatherstaff……Drew Straub Colin Craven…Mark Geisz Mrs. Medlock...... Sarah Yousef Mrs. Winthrop.... Chrissy Talent
Albert Lennox....Joe Isaacs Rose Lennox....Jessa Stone Alice......Claire Kopsky Lt. Wright...Harrison Farmer Lt. Shaw.....Brennan Almus Major Shelley....Ryan He Mrs. Shelley....Melanie Dix Major Holmes....TJ Noa Claire Holmes....Jenni Jurgenson
Claire Kopsky, Jenni Jurgenson, juniors, Ryan He, senior, and Madison Massott, sophomore, rehearse for the musical, The Secret Garden. The musical will take place at October 18-20 at 7 p.m. in the Theatre. Photo by: Catherine Bakewell
Chrissy Talent and Hannah Geisz, sophomores, and Sarah Yousef and Nathan Theus, seniors, are in the middle of a heated scene. Rehearsals after school lasted from 3:15-7:15 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Photo by: Elise Hearne
Cinemaniacs Start a Club of Their Own A sophomore strides into a teacher’s classroom one afternoon. “I’ve got an idea,” he says, “What do you think?” One year later, they are feeling in control, they are ready to go, and nothing is holding them back now. Westminster’s movie club is born. There are numerous clubs and organizations at WCA that are open to anyone in the community.
Groups such the Spanish club have been meeting regularly for years. The movie club is brand new and quickly gaining momentum. Jonny Kinney, junior, is the founder and president working alongside Jeremy Scott, eighth grade teacher, to make this a fun and rewarding experience for everyone. The group was actually formed last year during the second semester, so they are fairly new to the world of club organizing. “Last year it was just an idea, and we didn’t know what that would look like. Now it has grown into something much bigger, and we know what we want,” said Scott. The movie-lovers meet about every two weeks on Mondays in Scott’s room. One meeting will consist of planning what they want to watch, and another will be held to discuss it after the screening. Movie nights or screenings are a separate event that usually take place at someone’s house. The whole point of this club is not to simply watch movies, but to learn about filmmakers, to watch and critique films, and to discuss them as a group. “Anyone can watch a movie, but it takes more to watch, understand, and communicate the idea behind it using a biblical worldview,” said Scott.
Everyone is encouraged to join from seventh grade up through the seniors because it creates a nice variety of viewpoints among the students. “We have a little bit of everyone in movie club. That’s what makes it so fun!” said Annie Hartwig, senior. Students are enjoying the engaging time they spend together during club meetings. “It’s something fun to do after school, and it’s a good time to relax,” said Nathan Jackson, sophomore. This year, Kinney hopes to have different movie nights for each month dedicated to a specific movie genre. Some examples include sci-fi, western, and eighties. In October, they are planning to focus on western films. “Everyone should come to movie club. It’s going to be really interesting,” said Kinney. They also have some new ideas for this year such as creating a YouTube channel to post movie clips and talk about them online. Another big idea is the possibility of having screenings somewhere on campus, with the first one being Movie Night on the Plaza on Sat. October 27 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. “I went to drive-in’s a lot as a kid but haven’t been to one recently, so I am excited that WCA is making their own!” said Katie Boesch, senior. Last year, the movie club watched only one movie together: Catch Me if You Can. They also discussed the famous filmmaker Steven Spielberg, his unique style, and themes that appear in his movies. “Film impacts our culture more than any other artistic medium. It’s been like that for about a hundred years now. It’s worth coming to,” said Scott.
The Golden Ticket
Marsh Madness Westminster Christian Academy
All it takes is a golden ticket and students have Jim Marsh, Head of School, moved from Florida to St. Louis to take on access to the many beneﬁts of college visits. the WCA Head of School position and played a major role in starting traditions like the leadership retreat and Carnival. Imagine moving your wife and three kids to a new state. Having to leave behind friends and the familiarity of home to completely start over and the whirlwind of emotions that comes with that experience. After growing up in New Jersey,
Audrey Dodds and Aly Nichols, juniors, enjoy having the privilege of college visits thanks to their “golden tickets.” Photo by: Scott Rupprecht
With the future comes freedom and decisions. Upperclassmen are starting to take control of their lives and figure out what direction they will go. Choosing
which college to attend is a big step into the unknown abyss. During the school day, juniors and seniors have the ability to go to the Guidance Office office during one of their class periods and listen to a college representative tell them everything that they should know about the college. The dates and periods in which the college visits are available vary but can be found in the morning announcements. “Our policy on college visits is that students must get a gold college visit pass from the Guidance Office by the day before the visit at the latest. The reason we do this is that when we give you your pass, you have to get it signed by the teacher whose class you are going to miss, to make sure it is alright with them. The teachers always have the right to keep you in their class, whether you have a college visit pass or not,” said Kate Kindbom, College and Career Counselor. College visits are not a new nor original idea; many colleges have people whose jobs are dedicated to traveling throughout the country to many high schools for visits. “College representatives spend a great deal of their time on the road visiting high schools and staffing college fairs in the fall, so we like to take advantage of the representatives who are in our area when they are here,” said Kindbom. Colleges contact Westminster before the start of the school year to schedule visits. “They cannot wait to meet our students and are very impressed with our facilities as well. When the colleges call, I offer them times and dates that we have available when they are going to be in the St. Louis area, and they choose the time that suits their schedule the best,” said Kindbom. Students enjoy the advantages
that college visits provide them with. “It has been very eye-opening to see different colleges that I’m interested in because I’m not sure which one I want to go to. It’s very exciting to figure it out,” said Lance Richards, junior. College visits benefit students greatly. The representative goes over the admissions process, quality of specific majors, dorms, food, campus settings, sports, clubs, activities, fraternities and sororities, financial aid, scholarships, and the process students can go about to visit the campus. College visits are also a good place for students to ask specific questions they may have. Not only do they learn a lot about the college in a short amount of time—normally less than fifty minutes—students get to know the admissions counselor for their area from the college. “The representatives who visit our school are generally the people who read the applications from our school, so it would really benefit you to meet that person, so they have a face to put to the name when your application comes through their office,” said Kindbom. Attending a college visit to show interest to the representative can raise a student’s chances of getting accepted to their college of choice. “Honestly, having worked on the admissions side of the desk for twelve years, I can tell you that there were several times when that ‘demonstrated interest’ in the college (going to college visits at the school, attending college fairs or receptions in the area for that college) helped a student with admission to the college because we knew that he or she really wanted to be at our college,” said Kindbom. Westminster expects to host over fifty college visits this year. There are a select few, though, who noticeably attract more students. “Mizzou always has a lot of students attend the college visit, and we have traditionally had a lot for Vanderbilt, Belmont, TCU, University of Tulsa, Baylor, Ole Miss, SLU, Missouri S & T, Truman State University and so forth,” said Kindbom.
later teaching in Michigan, and ending up in Florida for nine years, Jim Marsh, Head of School, was called to St. Louis to join a new community and the Westminster family. Rich Van Gilst, upper school math teacher, and Marsh had been friends in Florida. Van Gilst taught and coached baseball at Ft. Lauderdale Christian School and Marsh was the Head of School there. In 1984, Van Gilst moved to St. Louis to teach at Westminster and notified Marsh of the Head of School position that would be opening up for the next school year. Marsh asked him to give WCA his name and number. “I was so taken by the community and how committed the parents and the families were to Christian education. I was caught up in the school’s vision and big faith,” said Marsh. After what seemed like an adventure, a challenge, and a leap of faith, Marsh moved his family to St. Louis. During his first year, as his family was getting settled in, Marsh proposed the idea of having a leadership retreat. The rest of the administration ran with his idea and started it his second year at WCA. “The first leadership retreat was held at Trout Lodge in old,
dilapidated cabins. It was a small group around twenty students and it started a tradition that we still have today,” said Marsh. Marsh has been on all twentyseven leadership retreats and has helped to turn students into influential leaders. Jack Oliver, former student, went on the first leadership retreat and he went on to be the Chief Fundraiser for President Bush and was passionately involved in the Republican Party. Though the leadership retreat was a new tradition, Marsh fondly remembers another tradition that was started. One day the junior class officers approached Marsh with an idea to have a school carnival. Specifically, Stephanie Mackris, former student and president of her junior class, did not want a small get together with games. Instead, she wanted a huge carnival with rides and a ferris wheel like some of the other schools’ carnivals. The students were so excited and did all of the research for what they wanted. They even promoted the event around the community to draw more people in. “I’ll never forget driving up to school that day. The sky was lit up with rides and the juniors could not be any more excited that they had pulled it off,” said Marsh. At the end of the night, the officers gathered in Marsh’s office to count all of the money that had been made from the carnival and laid it all out on his desk. They finished counting it around one in the morning and found that they had made over three thousand dollars. “My job during the first few years of my career was working more with the teachers and the students. It was neat to see a tradition established that was completely student generated that
is still happening today, twentyseven years later,” said Marsh. M a r s h was able to keep up with h i s
former leaders and see how they have impacted the world today. “Stephanie Mackris went on to be a leader for Campus Crusade at Miami of Ohio. Later, she married and now runs a Christian camp in Texas,” said Marsh. Marsh’s ideas, leadership, and love for Westminster has had a key role in cultivating students, building a firm foundation for the school, and starting lasting programs that have become unforgettable memories for students, teachers, families and administrators.
4 Community October 2012
Westminster Christian Academy
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X Marks the Spot
Prospective students visit WCA and interact with middle school teachers through a scavenger hunt to ﬁnd out more about the school.
Westminster Christian Academy
Bigger and Better; a Good Challenge
Westminster has worked very hard to build a sense of community through many events at Westminster, but that doesn’t mean its easy. Building up a healthy community is not an easy task. Westminster has been trying to do just this for many years. While WCA has definitely created a sense of community,
team, and reconnect with other families”, said Johnson. Other ways that Westminster has been able to create a parent-student, parent-parent, and parent-faculty community is through volunteer opportunities at WCA. “Volunteering opportunities are another great way for parents to build community while supporting the school. The bookstore, welcome desk, concessions and testing center are just a few places where parents volunteer and serve one another,” said Johnson. Many people are happy that emphasis on parents, faculty, and students forging a strong community has been made at Westminster. “Building a community is very important for a Christian school. I think it is good for everyone in the school to get to know everyone better and Westminster has been able to do this well,” said Grant
through events that take place both inside Westminster’s walls and outside of Westminster, one might ask: Is there the possibility of too much community? PAW (Parents Advancing Westminster) is a group of volunteer Dan Barklund, middle school science teacher, tells a group of ﬁfth and sixth graders a fun and interesting fact about himself. Photo by: parents that try to promote a greater Nina Thampy sense community at Westminster. “PAW hosts a number of Rubber soles of bulky boots Afterwards, she challenged them station, finished the activity, and community building events for stomped down clumsily on the to a couple of relay races. At the answered the questions, they went parents throughout the school damp grass. Shouts of victory rose soccer station, they had to wear back to the table where they started year. Each class has a parent from the soccer field, as a few fifth oversized boots and then had to and got a voucher for lunch from or parents serving as the class and sixth graders accomplished dribble a soccer ball around some the concession stand. As they ate, activities leader(s). We are cones. the football team was preparing hoping to build parent-to-parent After playing these games, for their game, which the fifth and the students had to ask a list of sixth graders were encouraged to questions and had to match each stay for. fun fact with the correct teacher. “The fact that they now know The team would then record the most of their future middle school answer on the questionnaire and go teachers is really helpful for them to the next station. so that they aren’t as nervous “The questionnaire provided coming to a brand new school with a platform for a conversation all new teachers. I recommend that their assigned task. While the varsity football team with the middle school teachers Westminster does it again next year was preparing for their game and visiting fifth and sixth grade and in the future because it was fun on Saturday, September 22, a students,” said Peggy Johnson, for me and the kids. Even though scavenger hunt for prospective fifth Director of Admissons. it may not seem like it to some of For more than an hour, them, it really is a big help for them and sixth graders was underway. students participated when they start middle school at Free for all who all signed up, this the event had thirty students from ten enthusiastically as they were Westminster,” said Hoskins. elementary schools around the challenged to work together with Many student ambassadors their teammates and new friends. area. recommended that WCA conduct They also had a great opportunity this scavenger hunt next year due At the scavenger hunt, these students were placed in small to meet middle school teachers and to the enthusiasm and interaction Photo of parents that volunteer at the bookstore. Photo by: Reed Montgomery. groups, assigned a student ask them questions. the kids showed. As the students followed their ambassador to serve as their host, “It was a success!” said Margo relationships as well as parent-to- Kitchens, junior. and given a questionnaire about ambassador around, the small Koby, sophomore. faculty relationships,” said Peggy While all these community the middle school teachers. These group had a lot of time to interact Resulting in new made friends, Johnson, director of admissions. events can have a great impact teachers and other athletic coaches and get to know each other. the scavenger hunt also helped Westminster leaders are trying to on our school there are some that “It was really fun running around kids to become familiar with the create a good, Christian community believe that to much community were stationed on the tennis courts, football stadium, and the soccer, and getting to know the kids that athletic facilities, middle school through many different programs within the Westminster walls could lacrosse, baseball, and softball were in my group and everyone teachers, and other students and events that take place outside be a bad thing. else’s group too. Seeing them talk currently enrolled in the academy. of the school building. fields. “While I think building a The goal of the small groups was to each other and become friends “The purpose of this activity “The freshmen class [parent community can be a good thing, to visit each station and complete was cool too because they’re all was for the prospective students leaders] are hosting many events I would prefer not having my the activity the middle school going to be attending Westminster to get to know the teachers better such as the Book club, which meets mom or dad watching over me in the next few years. The and interact. We were hoping on the second Monday of every at Westminster,” said Andrew teachers had planned. For example, Allison Pautler, scavenger hunt gave them a head the scavenger hunt would be a month at McAlister’s Deli, where Cannon, junior. seventh grade math teacher, was start of meeting new people,” said success in exposing new kids to parents discuss a book. The Jog Westminster’s community has stationed on the lacrosse field Cole Hoskins, junior. Westminster, specifically to our and Java meeting grown greatly Once they had gone to each athletic facilities,” said Pautler. and taught the kids how to cradle. over the years. encourages Parents are now parents to take a large part of the time to catch community. Some up with friends students might and make some enjoy having new ones,” said their parents at Johnson. The purpose of WestminWestminster There are also ster’s Wildcat Weekend is during the school many community to help WCA families get day, but others events that to know each other better. would rather have take place on their school lives Westminster’s to themselves. campus. Westminster is always trying to “The coffee bar is a new program launched by PAW to focus on do what is best for the school, but growing community among challenges always exist. Family members know that parents and faculty. The Freshman Parent Social is hosted at homes sometimes it is just nice to get out where freshman parents get to of the house for a while. The same know other freshman parents. The could be said about WCA. Every tailgate party on the plaza brings community has challenges, not together freshman families in order necessarily ones to shy away from, Allison Pautler, seventh grade math teacher, and Ashley Woodall, seventh grade geography teacher, teach a group of students how to to support the freshman football but challenges nonetheless. cradle a ball in lacrosse. Photo by: Nina Thampy
6 Life October 2012
Westminster Christian Academy
All For One or One For All
Many students at WCA attend youth group once a week. One has always come out on top as the most attended, but the times may be changing as more kids go more places. Lots of kids have one thing in common when it comes to their weekend plans: many attend some kind of youth group. Multiple different youth groups have become popular with the WCA community.
Many students enjoy going to youth group for multiple different reasons. Annie Hartwig, senior, attends Krew at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church and finds it as a stress reliever and a place to have fun. “I love spending time with all the leaders and kids there. It’s fun to be crazy and forget about all the stress in my life. I enjoy the message we hear as well,” said Hartwig. Chesterfield Presbyterian seems to be popular among WCA kids, but also involves students from many different schools. “I’m not sure where I would be without my youth group. Some of my best friends have been formed through youth group. Krew has really strengthened my relationship with Christ, and the leaders have given me great role models to emulate,” said Hartwig. In recent years, many students have gone to the same youth group, such as First Evangical Free Youth Group, and it has always been
considered one of the most attended by WCA students. However, that is starting to change, and not all students think it is good that everyone goes to the same youth group. Rather than large numbers of WCA students converging at one church, kids are starting to spread out a bit more. “Different youth groups are good because all Christians need
a place that works for them as an individual, not just because it’s popular,” said Christian Thompson, senior, who attends Revolution Youth Movement at Church on the Rock. Students have found that it is good to find one solid youth group where they can be themselves and grow closer to God. “I enjoy going to youth group
because it is like home. It’s the place I feel accepted and loved. It’s the only setting where I have a safe place to grow in Christ with my peers,” said Thompson. Other students feel that it is beneficial to have one major youth group where everyone goes. “I think it’s good to have one popular youth group because that way you can form relationships
Emily Broyles, sophomore, Anna Kuiper, junior, and Zak Kessel, senior all sing together in worship at Kirk of the Hills youth group. Photo by: Elise Hearne
with the people there and grow with each other,” said Mary Snapp, senior, who attends First Evangelical Free Youth Group. Each student has their reasons for believing how beneficial it is to attend at the same place. “I’ve been going to the church since I was a kid, so I know all the people really well. It’s fun to get to spend time worshiping with them. The youth group has brought me a lot closer with God and given me practical ways to live for him,” said Snapp. Some youth groups have WCA students flocking to them while others are smaller and more unknown. Some students feel that it is a good thing to branch out from the Westminster environment. “I enjoy going to my youth group because not many WCA kids go, so that helps me get away from all the WCA influences and focus on the Lord. It’s also a time where I can forget about everything at school and focus on the Lord,” said Emily Orf, senior, who attends ZOE youth group at West County Community Church. All of the youth groups have had a big impact on changes students lives in the WCA community. “Personally ZOE has changed me because every summer, we go on a trip somewhere and this year while I was on the trip, I dedicated my life to Christ fully. I’ve been changed through ZOE,” said Orf.
Westminster student and faculty give a wide range of answers when asked the question; “How would you spend $500?” Some said that they would spend it on the latest video games and greatest technology. Others said that they would buy a golf cart. Some people said they would spend it on a friend or family memeber that is going through some rough times possibly using it to help out someone who was affected by the recent hurricane.
“If I had $500, I would spend it all on skullcandy aviators and a new dog, probably a German Shepherd.” -Luke Doiron, eighth grade
“If somebody gave me that much money I would buy 500 McDoubles.” -Steven Greene, after school superviser
“If I had $500, I would invest in the stock market and maybe start my own bank.” -Scott Goldfarb, freshman “If someone gave me $500 to spend I would go down to New Orleans and help my uncle recover from hurricane Isaac.” -Julian Adams, sophomore
“If I had $500 to spend, I would donate some to Living Water, go on a shopping spree, and save the rest for an iPhone 5.” -Whitney Williams, freshman
“If I had $500 I would charter a private plane to go see my favorite singer Lady Gaga.” -Khiley Williams, junior
“If someone gave me $500 I would buy a golf cart and take my friends for a joy ride around my neighborhood, and if I had any money left I would probably get an airsoft riﬂe.” -Josh Creighton, seventh grade
“If I had $500 I would take a vacation to North Carolina to see my family.” -Amber Draper, senior
Life October 2012
Westminster Christian Academy
What is the strangest dream you’ve ever y had? see ever s o t m o y ro I wa
. nd m my room th. I ed arou d k n o u o l o r d a ating bed an my mou ut of o l f y o t m w n i o n t i h oo s ot o raigh ying cooby D e witch flew st scared that I g “I was l S e h t rom ards my as so w hen th w o w t e d villain f r e o k wal I got even m bed and om, but when terrified ro ea parents door looked lik on e es there, th oor with torch the nd dungeo . I looked down s es wa both sid bba the Hutt a J en I hall and ward me. Wh to becrawling got in bed in ,I atched woke up parents and w s for y tle tween m utant ninja tur m teenage it.” r a little b Mitchell, senio Ben
“I had a dr eam that I could free ze time and go arou nd to mess with p eople whlie they were frozen. When I decided to unfreeze them, they would all be confused an d in different place s.” Sam Hunsic ker, freshman
ed “I dream ut of ew o that I fl a camel n school o eing chased b and was rsh, Ms. Ma by Mr. nd Ms. a , f f i r g Vander woke up as .I t.” Pautler g caugh n i t t e g I was r, eighth e n e i t S Josh grade
“I had a dream t space a hat m lien tha t was ta y grandma was She had king ov lots of e er the w a vil spac green li orld. e ttle men , and sh aliens that wer ture eve e e was tr ry ying to past ma one and take t caphe rs. My s iblings a m to her plan and we et nd fou got suck ght off her mi I tried to stop he ni ed up in to her s ons, but then w r convinc pac eh e a Christ er that she’s w eship and tried ian ro to left alon . My siblings g ng because she ei ot shot and I w is grandm n the spaceshi as pc ai and the s about to mur rying because n I wok m der all m e up.” y relativ y es, Drawings by: Catherine Bakewell
All Hail iPhone 5
After two years, Apple releases the iPhone 5 to rave reviews and record sales.
The new iPhone 5 that was released by Apple Inc. on September 21. Photo by: Eichel Davis
On September 12th, the world held its breath. Apple, now the world’s most valuable company, was about to announce the next version of their trademark product. The iPhone 5, a phone with one delay and two years of tweaking, was unveiled with rave reviews from critics and fans alike.
The taller 4-inch screen provides a better web-browsing experience, while the phone itself becomes the thinnest iPhone ever created. The already great camera gets an upgrade and is now 8 mega pixels. It puts another apple shaped hole in the photo industries coffin. But some of best features on the phone might be some of the smallest. The new Lightning Connector charges with great speed. The new iPhone will also stay charged longer and now, with 4G LTE capability, it has lightning fast data service, more than doubling the transfer speed up to 100 mbps (megabytes per second). Still, no iPhone would be complete without its technology companion, Siri, who gets full integration into the new phone, as does the Facebook account. Siri can now launch apps, write texts, and even check the Cardinal’s game score. Facebook now allows you to post those pictures you wanted to but didn’t because of the slow upload times and the hassle it took. While the phone came out on Friday September 21st, students have been awaiting it for months. “I have been waiting for more space on my phone, and the iPhone 5 delivers,” said Hunter Hughes, senior. Hughes is just one of many who have been waiting for up to two and a half years to toss the old models for this rumor fueled version of Apple’s top selling mobile device. In fact, Apple reported on September 18th that, in the first four days, 3 million iPhones had been pre-ordered, shattering the record sales of 1 million brought on by the iPhone 4S. As of October 8th, 5.8 million iPhone 5s had been sold in just three weeks. In a world where phones become last year’s news faster than you can learn how to use them, some people think that this model of the phone is a good place to jump on the iPhone bandwagon.
“I don’t have one and it would be nice to experience what everyone else. The iPhone 5 seems like a great time to get in on phone,” said Robert Loaney, junior. The word around town has been that this will be the reason the phone will become a record seller. One of the most controversial changes in the phone is the screen size that had been present since the first iPhone launch in 2007. The screen got a little taller, and went from 3.5 inches to 4 inches. The change might sound small in size, but in a market where screen size can make or break a launch, it was key for Apple. The bigger screen also allows Apple to make watching movies and television shows a perfect experience because of the screen’s 16:9 ratio. “I love the bigger screen,” said Cole Hoskins, junior. But others have called the screen too much of a good thing. While most Android phones have 4+ inch screens, loyal users liked the small sleekness of the old iPhone models. While the reviews of the new phone have been overwhelmingly positive, the maps app has been smashed repeatedly for having missing streets and misplaced markers for some extremely popluar attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge. But some students at WCA will not be getting in on the iPhone phenomenon for other reasons. “I don’t like how connected it make you feel. Sometimes it feels good not to be,” said Brooke Yeager, senior. While she thinks that being so overly connected is a turn off, she did say that she would enjoy the Talk to Text feature which allows you to defer calls with a text. “I really don’t think that the new one is enough of a departure stylewise to get a new one right now,” said Charlie Maurer, junior. Apple was initially criticized for not departing as much from the iPhone 4, but Apple seems to completely redesign the phone every 4 years, as we saw with the iPhone and the iPhone 3G, which were almost identical in look. While the iPhone 5 might not be the great departure that some newcomers craved, the phone has done what Apple consistently does best. While some phones are better at one thing, they made a phone that is brilliant across the entire board. They also continue to fulfill Steve Jobs’ vision for apple, which was to know what we wanted before even we did. He seemed to know exactly what to say and what to squeeze in to make us go even crazier over what Time Magazine called the Invention Of The Decade. While Apple still is a Steve Jobs company, it will be interesting to see what Apple will look like in a few years, when all of Jobs’ plans have run out and we see the real post-Steve Jobs iPhone. But for now, in the AppleAndroid War, a war that should be called the iPhone-Galaxy War, it would seem that the best just keeps getting better and gap between Apple and the rest of the market might have just got a little bit bigger.
Westminster Christian Academy
Congo Mission Network The Congo Mission Network works to aid in providing food, healthcare and education to the people in a country that is in great need. As the average Westminster Christian Academy student begrudgingly shuffles to class inside a campus worth millions, countless children deep in the capital city of the Republic of the Congo roam the streets, unable to afford to attend the neighborhood school. In Kinshasa, Congo the youth are no stranger to the horrific disparities in their nation. Nothing is hidden from their eyes or swept
under the blanket. Every day when they walk outside their homes, if they are privileged enough to have one, they are faced with the overwhelming need of their people. For over fifteen years, the city has been in and out of war and conflict. It has shaken the very infrastructure of the country and resulted in the death of millions of innocent citizens. The government has been of no help and has in fact, done more harm than good. They have totally disregarded the cry of the people. A number of tyrannical dictators have risen to power, only to strip the country of its natural resources and send the Congo back into the seemingly never-ending cycle of poverty and violence. Currently, about 90 percent of Congolese adults are unemployed, according to the Congolese Mission Network. The people are out of work and with a corrupt government in place, it does not seem as though this percentage is on its way down. But even with unemployment at a jaw-dropping high and poverty sweeping through the nation, the overwhelming plea of the people is still for the education of the young
people. Education will keep the children of the Congo out of the streets, away from drugs and stop the growing human trafficking population from growing anymore. Education will allow the children to create a new generation that will be able to stop the wars, restore the country and bring jobs back into the nation. Education could be the saving grace of the Congo but right now, education is out of reach for most children. There is no public schooling in the Congo. Each family is responsible for getting their children into a school but for many this is an unachievable goal. The average monthly cost of schooling ranges from $5-10 dollars per student. This may seem like a miniscule sum to those in America but by African standards, this is a hefty fee when the average household makes only about $80100 dollars per month. Though many parents might want to send their children to school, they may not be able to fit the cost into their small budgets. If the parents and the government of the Congo cannot get the children into the classrooms, there are only a few logical sources left. New City Fellowship, a local Christian church, believes that one of the most logical sources to seek aid from is a body of Christian believers. This church community has taken it upon themselves to form the Congo Mission Network, a Christian organization that is “committed to advancing the work of the kingdom of God” in the Congo.” They partner with other churches who work to bring medical care, food and education to the Congo. As a church, they currently send around $30,000 dollars to the Congo and are looking to continue to open the doors for other churches and groups to get involved and help, as well.
The church currently supports and has been helpful in creating three schools in the Congo. The best part about these educational centers is that they are Christ-based and church affiliated so not only are the students educated in math, science, and English but also, in the word of God. Westminster has started conversations with New City Fellowship and pastors from the Congo about beginning relationships with these schools. Jim Marsh, Head of School, invited the pastor of New City Fellowship, Barry Henning and three Congolese pastors into the school to hear their stories and inquire about how WCA can be of assistance in their projects. The comittee in charge of ITSOG are also in talks about making the Congo Mission Network a charity that will be supported this year. If Westminster were to partner with New City and the Congo Mission Network, the students in the Congo would most certainly be blessed but the students at WCA would most certainly be blessed in return. The school is not connected to any one organization or charity. The student body would have a chance to come together on the common ground that all children deserve the same opportunity to be educated and cared for as they are in America. The children in the Congo are in great need and in a school where there is so much, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to help others. Westminster has always been a community that recognizes that there are others outside of their walls that are in need of the word of God and support from their brother’s and sister’s in Christ. As the school’s faculty and staff continue to talk, it will hopefully ignite the student body to join in and give, as well.
Things to do around Missouri in October... Ottertoberfest Location: St.Louis Zoo Dates: October 13-14
Apple Butter Festival Location: Kimmswick, Missouri Dates: October 27-28
Columbus Day Parade and Festival Location:Berra Park on The Hill Date: October 14
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
LIFE October 2012
Korean Artist Adds Flare to Art Club As people walk past the gallery at the top of the stairs from the welcome desk in the grand entry, conversations quickly change to discussions about the vibrant paintings hanging outside of the Black Box theatre. They say the pieces are so good that they look professionally done. The Art Club
and art teachers are ecstatic to welcome the artist behind these creations, Minjoo Kim, freshman, to the art family. She is from Seoul, South Korea and is new to Westminster this year. Kim has been interested in art for almost seven years. She started to draw at ten years old in an after school club at her elementary school. She has won prizes for her artwork at her old high school. However, at high schools in South Korea, there are not many opportunities for artists to pursue their passion. “In Korea, studying art is not viewed as important. At school, I did not have many chances to create art at all,” said Kim. Here at Westminster, Kim has many more opportunities to create her artwork and receive critique and help from art teachers. She takes art classes and has joined the Art Club that meets after school. Many students are excited to learn from her, while she hopes to also learn from them. “Minjoo’s style in her paintings and artwork is very new and exciting at Westminster. Her brilliance is so astounding to me. I’ve heard many people assure her of a bright future in big cities like L.A. or New York. I am very excited to learn from her about the techniques she learned while in Korea,” said Andy Thomas, junior. Kim’s talent and skill, well beyond her years, amazes many students and faculty members. She is delighted to share her love and passion for art with the student
Westminster Christian Academy
TWITT MINSTER A
I T N E ID PRES ION EDIT
AT B E D L
Sarah Levenhagen I would much rather watch a presidential boxing match.
Della Woodward For real no judgement on Obama’s little stutters cause I can barely give a two minute speech without saying “like” about 20 times...
Minjoo Kim, freshman, works on a new piece of art after school at the Art Club meeting. The meetings give her extra time to work on her artwork outside of art classes during the day. Photo by: Scott Rupprecht
body. Many students, especially those participating in the Art Club, are excited to learn from her about her technique and skills. “After I finish drawing, I feel so happy because it looks like a real picture”, said Kim. Art is the activity that makes Kim feel truly happy. She loves the feeling she gets when she is done with a piece of artwork because she feels happy about the finished product. It is a great feeling for someone to be proud about what they have made and become excited to continue on and make more of it. No one in Kim’s family is an
More pictures of Kim’s art on p. 20 Kim uses bright colors to attract viewers towards her paintings, like in the painting. She uses this technique in all of her paintings, hanging up near the Black Box Theatre. Photo by: Mary Wynn
artist but Kim has been inspired by many other people to pursue art throughout her life like her art teacher from the school she went to in Korea. “My Korean art teacher is the one who inspires me the most. She taught me the last seven years,” said Kim. Hopefully, Kim will be able to inspire other students to pursue studying art, like her teacher inspired her. All artists enjoy certain styles of art more than other styles. Kim’s favorite style of artwork to make is drawing. She can create anything she wants with just a piece of paper and a pencil. However, Kim enjoys every other kind of artwork as well. “Her artwork is so unique, like nothing I’ve ever seen before, even at professional galleries that I’ve been to,” said Mackenzie Yeager, junior. Many students have similar opinions as Yeager about Kim’s artwork. Her paintings, hanging near the Black Box Theatre, look like they could be painted by a professional artist, rather than a young high school student. “I do not know what my future in art will be, but I know that I want to be making art for the rest of my life,” said Kim. Kim hopes to be a professional artist in the future. One day, Kim could have artwork on the walls of a famous gallery somewhere. Westminster students and faculty will have the privilege of being able to say that they knew her and were able to see some of her work.
Chad Younger Mr. President, you’re entitled to your own house, your own plane but not your own facts.
Brett Bond I feel like everyone’s thoughts on the debate or who should be president are just based off what their parents say.
Brendan Terbrock Romney is staring Obama down and Obama looks scared to death of him. He won’t even look at him in the eyes or talk straight to him.
10 C e n t e r S p r e a d
Westminster Christian Academy
Students at Westminster, like all other teenagers, struggle with the effects of not getting enough sleep. Sandy Winchester, our own upper school biology teacher, gives us an insight on the boundary between falling asleep and staying awake.
g n i y a St Awake
Stage One : When the brain releases theta waves. The are the slowest brain waves, inducing a deeper sleep.
Stage Two: The brain continues to release theta wave
Stage Three: The brain releases delta and theta waves People who have narcolepsy will not experience these stages of deeper sleep.
Stage Four: The brain releases delta waves. One of th deepest stages of sleep
REM cycle: The brain releases alpha and beta waves. Beta waves are the normal waves released throughout the day when one is conscious. Because of the high fr quency of these waves, the body is closeest to a wakin sleep. As the night continues, these cycles continue t increase in time. However, the sleep cycle is interrupt before these cycles are complete.
You may be sleep-deprived ifyou . . . Have difficulty of staying focused or concentrated learning ability is impaired Crave a caffeine-rich diet Fall asleep during class
REM Cycle Also known as rapid eye movement, this is usually a cycle in which dreams take place. Although no one is certain why dreams occur, it is thought that this cycle helps with memory retention as it recalls events throughout the day. It helps with information processing, mentally ‘filing” away information to be used at a later time.
Westminster Christian Academy
ZZ Z ...
c e n t e r s p r e a d 11
Teens Only Because of puberty and any hormonal changes teenagers experience, their bodies do not begin to prepare themselves for bed until 11PM. Even if they were to go bed at an earlier time, their body isn’t prepared to go sleep. While a teenager requires nine to ten hours of sleep, their sleep cycle is interrupted before they reach that amount of time because they they must wake up for school. However, a teenager will not be fully awake until nine in the morning, two hours after school has started, and they will not reach their peak alertness level until between three and five in the afternoon.
t reng to ted
Especially on nights after you pull an all-nighter, you may experience a few microseconds where you have “checked out.” Those few moments of nodding off can occur often to a sleepdeprived driver. Though they may only occur for a few seconds, it is enough time for an accent. For this reason, people believe that driving drowsy could be potentially more dangerous than driving drunk.
Sources Dr. Winchester National Geographic May 2010 issue Psychology Today
12 O p i n i o n s October 2012
Westminster Christian Academy
You’re Welcome, Governor Romney
How many of you all have seen the President’s new slogan? Forward. The President wants to take us forward. It sounds like a good idea. Who wouldn’t want to go forward, right? Well, the
President is driving us forward. The only problem is that we’re headed towards a brick wall. And when you’re headed for disaster, the country needs someone with the sense not to just yell “Foward,” but to tap on the brakes. Adjust our direction. Once we’re pointed the
right way, we’ll go forward. So it’s a nice chant, Mr. President, but you’d better check the direction you’ve turned us before you punch the gas. Now, if we assume that our opponent is in fact an above average campaigner, regardless of his performance as President, it’s safe to say that there’s a strategy behind this slogan. I’ve got a guess. The President wants to talk “forward”, because he wants to forget the past four years. He doesn’t want you to think about the fact that unemployment is still hovering around eight percent. He doesn’t want you to talk about the 47 million Americans now on food stamps. He’d rather you just forget the fact that 2012 is shaping
up to be the most expensive year on record at the pump. Youth unemployment is at 17.1% and our debt just recently passed the 16 trillion mark, but to him that’s the past which should all be left alone. Mr. President, you had an opportunity to take us forward. You failed. So, where do we go from here? How do we start to turn America back in the right direction? The
first and foremost issue in this election is jobs. Before we can start to address the other complex issues that are facing us, we must fix this simple one. Unemployment over 8% for an practically entire presidential term is just plain unacceptable. The first way to approach this problem is to adjust our tax system and regulatory climate to encourage hiring again. Businesses are running scared, because they have no idea what new regulations and taxes will pull the rug out from under them in the near future. That’s not the way to encourage growth, and our small businesses deserve more. Next, we’ve got to work towards energy independence. It’s an achievable goal, if the government would let our companies pursue it. The President has put a
stranglehold on innovation in this industry. He says he wants an all of the above approach to energy. What he means is less drilling here in America and more taxpayer money for failed solar and wind companies that we’ve been waiting on for years. Look, I want to see new and exciting strides made in energy, but I also want to see the price at the pump go down for the everyday Americans. We can accomplish this by drilling right here on American soil. If we do that you’ll see a lower number on the sign at your gas station and higher numbers on the next jobs report. We can do this. I’m not talking about the election. I’m not even
talking about jobs, now. We can make our country the best it has ever been. The principles in the Constitution, the values of our founders that worked in 1776 will work in 2012. I’m optimistic, and I hope you all are too.
Here There Be Dragons Imagine Dragons’ album, Night Visions, scores three out of four paws.
Each song on Night Visions tells a story, something that doesn’t typically happen with pop. There is something notable about a song with moral values. Songs such as Imagines Dragons’ hit “It’s Time” talks about not conforming, and
giving up to the world. Moral values increase the richness of the lyrics. The song “Bleeding Out” talks about counting sins and taking it in as the person dies. The beauty of death is so often neglected in music. If all songs could tell a story, and get a message across that doesn’t involve partying and getting drunk for fun, music would be more interesting and heartfelt, and this album does exactly that. The music in this album has a great sound without being auto tuned and predictable. Each song on is unique in sound and lyrics. No two are the same. All typical pop albums have the same overproduced beat and meaningless lyrics, such as Carly Rae Jepsen’s album Kiss that was released on September 18. After listening to that, I found it mediocre and hardly worth listening to. Imagine Dragons has a sound that can not be categorized and has hints of several genres of music. The songs are meaningful yet catchy without being annoying. It is the type of music that affects the soul and creates emotions. Alternative music has become increasingly popular on the radio. You would never expect to hear
bands such as Fun. or songs like “Somebody That I Used to Know” on stations such as Y98 or Z107.7. Now, this is the new norm. Songs that would typically only be heard by people who are “in the know” with the music scene are now being heard by people who only know songs on the radio. Imagine Dragons fit that bill. They have been on the radio already and were featured on the season four premiere of Glee. They are able to reach the ears of more people who may not have heard of them otherwise. Imagine Dragons has added fuel to the fire of alternative rock. Since their start in 2009 and the release of their EP not long ago, they have begun to work their way onto the iPods of people everywhere. Their new album, Night Visions, was released on September 4 and has held it own in the iTunes top album list. The EP made its way to the top forty of the Billboard 200 chart after its first week, and the new album debuted at number two. Its unique sound and powerful lyrics captures the souls of musicloving teenagers.
Music is finally beginning to make a change. Alternative is taking over radio more and more as the year goes on. People are finally realizing that “Call Me Maybe” is not what music should sound like. Imagine Dragons keeps with the new trend, but it also creates timeless music that won’t go out of style. They have managed to mix notes of classic rock into their modern sound that appeals to a larger age range as well. The songs are about humanity and the nature of people. They aren’t the typical cookie cutter music group. All bands should find inspiration from Imagine Dragons if they want to take their music to the next level.
Scan with a smart phone to see the “It’s Time” music video
Maddie Mercer, eighth grade, listens to Imagine Dragons’ album in the eighth grade commons. Photo by: Maggi Eachus
o p i n i o n s 13
Westminster Christian Academy
As the nation enters another election year, Westminster must be a school that honors and respects others opinions and is not swept into the frenzy of the media.
Every four years, it seems as though the people take charge of their futures again. They get to look at each official and truly ponder what they have done or imagine what the nominees have the potential to do. The voice of the people once again matters. Regardless of race, class or sex, there is always someone dying to win over every United States citizen’s vote. They promise that if the American people entrust them with one of the most valuable, precious things a citizen of this country has to offer, they will grant their every government wish. In many countries, this luxury has and perhaps never will be a reality. Many governments make it a religious practice to silence the voices of their citizens and promote anything but democracy. Living in a country that celebrates freedom of speech and considers voting a civil right is a privilege. It is the exception. Not the rule. So during presidential election years, Americans should take the time and reflect on all this country has to offer, which is not only the right to vote. America is a country where two divergent ideas such as unity and diversity have found a way to come together as one. In a country like this, where every state on the map offers a different culture and people, one cannot help but admit our differences are truly our strengths. They are also something, as a nation, America has chosen to celebrate. Liberty, diversity and unity are things that are embraced. Citizens are allowed and encouraged to think, believe and say whatever they please. This seemed to be the practice of previous election years. Americans enjoyed the liberty to vote for whom they pleased but eventually came together in unity to work towards the common good regardless of who won. This seems to be a thing of the past in today’s election year. The country seems almost split in half over the two divergent political parties. Lines seem to be drawn and now, it is not only political, but also personal. The ads, articles and news channels seem to be full of spite instead of facts, attacking not only the economic intentions of each candidate, but also their character, past and families. No longer is it a debate between two respected parties where the loser bows out graciously and the winner humbly accepts their new position. It is now treated as a battle between good and evil. No one seems to be looking for compromising, medium solutions, and with a mindset of good versus evil, why would they? If nominees believe the other candidates views are fundamentally, ethically and socially wrong and unacceptable, there would be, of course, no room for appeasement on either end. The idea of one nation of many goes right out the window. It becomes an individualistic society that only looks out for the conservative or the liberal or the poor or the rich or the majority or the minority. The government, regardless of who is elected, suddenly has tunnel vision. Republicans only support republicans, democrats only support democrats. It is no longer about what the bill or amendment trying to get passed but whose signature is at the bottom. It seems as though the
American people are just sitting at home, watching this fight ensue, not really feeling a part of either team. Christians cannot just remain silent in this time. They should not sit by and watch political hate become the norm in a community like WCA that is centered on values that promote love and compassion. Westminster has the unique privilege of being able to talk politics and religion in the classrooms of our school. With this privilege, there comes a responsibility to respect the views of others. We must listen with the intent to learn from one another and be open to the idea that at some point in time, our views may clash. This does not have to be a hostile, angry because regardless of who becomes president, we can all still agree that Christ is Lord and His will always triumph. Politics may run our nation and government but it does not have to rule over our hearts. We must do our best to keep division from coming into the body of Christ over non-eternal issues. It is undoubtedly important to vote and stand up for what we feel is right, but it is more important to love each other. Presidential election years are important but not more important than it is to understand that God’s people must stand firm together and not let earthly dissension cause separation.
“America is a country where two divergent ideas such as unity and diversity have found a way to come together as one.”
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It’s Not Just Pep and Pom Poms
Recent debates between athletes and cheerleaders argue on the terms that cheerleading is not a sport.
Lucy Sell, sophomore, pulls a cheer position called a “needle.” Photo by: Andrea Reed
It’s half time. The sharp, clear voices of high school cheerleaders ring through the air as the bodies of energetic flyers are flipped across
the sky. As the crowd goes wild, the girls chant repeating cheers that accompany the stunning performance. Most athletes would argue that cheerleading is in fact not a sport. Even though cheerleading requires immense strength and technique, others who play sports such as football, soccer, baseball, and hockey beg to differ. In an article recently written by the Associated Press from Fox News, U.S. District’s Judge Stefan Underhill commented on the dispute at hand regarding cheerleading being within the ranking of Title IX, which is where professional sports are categorized: “Cheerleading may, some time in the future, qualify as a sport under Title IX. Today, however, the activity is still too underdeveloped and disorganized to be treated as offering genuine Varsity athletic participation opportunities for students.” Because of the heated debate on this topic, at times it is taken lightly. People who do not participate in cheerleading always assume and draw the conclusion that this sport is a joke in itself. Due to injuries involved in cheerleading, it should earn the right to be classified as a sport. Any girl or boy who participates in cheer is aware of the level of dedication that ties together with the sport as a whole. According to recent statistics published by MSHAA (Missouri State High School Activities Association), cheerleaders are 60% more likely to receive head or spinal injuries than football and basketball players due to the physical actions performed. According to a recent article written by Valorie Delp, writter for the Los Angeles Times, elaborates on the high injury risk
of cheerleaders: “While cheerleaders can easily suffer injuries like sprains and strains, widely published studies show that cheerleaders suffer more injures resulting in death and paralysis than any other sport including football.” It is extremely difficult, requires the athlete to pay close attention, and has one of the highest risks of injury. As opposed to people’s common misconception of cheerleading being “bouncy, peppy girls whose IQs are only as high as the ponytail on their heads,” people rarely acknowledge these brave adolescents as anything more than that sports’ “number one fan.” Cheerleading stereotypes usually apply to girls more than boys. Such rumors and myths consist of things such as: cheerleaders are required to be thin or skinny, not doing well in school, and that they have reputations as bad people. Not many people realize what kind of sport cheerleading truly is. Oftentimes, people don’t give cheerleaders enough credit, deeming them as just a large group of ditzy girls, flipping around on the floor yelling for their teams’ victory. I believe it is a sport and has the requirements to be ranked with other sports that this world praises. After adding up all of
Emily Mitchell, senior, practices varsity Cheer’s home pom routine. Photo by: Andrea Reed
the strenuous workouts, high risk factors for injury, and persistent determination, cheerleading proves itself to be more than just pep and pom-poms.
14 F o c u s o n October 2012
Westminster Christian Academy
: n O s u c Fo
y a L P l o o h c S e l d d i M ition ed Chad Briden, seve nth grade, acts as Gandalf du rehearsal for the mring the dress play, The Hobbit. iddle school
s venth grade, warm Valerie Winkler, se e by doing a routine up for play practic members. with the other cast
Abby Cockerham, seventh grade, a participates in to group exercise prepare for theAll play practice. t photos by: Scot Rupprecht
J.J. Noa, seventh grade, draws a sword to protect himself from his enemy.
B i g P i c t u r e 15 Westminster Christian Academy
For Students, This Election is About the Debt They’ll Own When They are Parents When it comes to elections, most high schoolers don’t pay much attention. With Chemistry labs to finish, English papers to write, and History tests to study for, their lives are far too busy to care about things like the Presidential election— that’s for the adults to worry about.
It’s not like high schoolers are truly affected by the results. But this Presidential election affects high schoolers more than they might imagine. All high schoolers hope to have a job one day--that’s why they go to school. If someone works, then there is no doubt they will have to pay taxes. And, if things don’t change very soon, a large amount of the money they will be paying in taxes will be for the national debt today’s politicians are racking up. The US government borrows money when the revenues they receive from taxes and other fees is less than the amount of money it needs to fund all of its programs. In order to pay for everything, the US government borrows money, and therefore goes into debt. The national debt is the total amount of money the US has borrowed, plus the interest rate it has to pay on the borrowed money. Four years ago, the US national debt was about $10.6 trillion. On September 4th of this year, it officially reached $16 trillion. This debt must be paid by the American public. According to the national debt clock, each person currently owes a bit more than $50,000. To put that into perspective, $50,000 is a little more than the cost of two base model Toyota Camrys. That’s the amount of money every US citizen owes; man, woman and child. Without things changing, in 20 years it will be much higher. The Heritage Foundation, predicts that if the debt continues to increase at the current rate every citizen will owe $135,547 in 2036. By the time the current 7th graders are 37, everyone will own the equivalent of a little more than 5 1/2 Camrys of national debt. Slowing down or stopping the growth of the national debt is a high priority for both candidates. To stop the increasing debt, or at least slow its growth, the US needs to borrow less money. In order for the government to stop borrowing money, its revenues must increase or its spending must decrease . Both candidates agree that improving the economy is key to decreasing the national debt. Though they agree that the economy needs to be improved, the two candidates disagree on how to actually accomplish that task. Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, says the key lies in cutting taxes, pointing out the burden Obama’s taxes have put on the people. “In the richest country in the history of the world, this Obama economy has crushed the middle class. Family income has fallen by $4,000, but health insurance
premiums are higher. Food prices are higher. Utility bills are higher, and gasoline prices, they’ve doubled. Nearly one out of six Americans are living in poverty,” said Romney at the Republican National Convention. “[The President’s] plan to put taxes on small businesses won’t add jobs. It will eliminate them.” Increased business taxes mean that businesses are less likely to invest and grow their companies. That’s why Governor Romney believes cutting taxes will improve the economy. President Obama proposes raising taxes on the wealthy. “Now, I’ve cut taxes for those who need it, middle-class families, small businesses. But I don’t believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores, or pay down our deficit. I don’t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy, or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China,” he said during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. The President believes that raising taxes on higher-income families will create more jobs. “I want to reform the tax code so that it’s simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher
taxes on incomes over $250,000, the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president; the same rate we had when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, and a whole lot of millionaires to boot,” he said at the Democratic Convention. The reason President Obama believes raising taxes on the wealthy will work is because he believes that will increase government revenues. This will decrease the amount of money they need to borrow to cover all the programs the government sponsors without placing a burden on the middle-class and poor families. There’s another way to reduce the deficit: it’s for the government to spend less money. Governor Romney wants to cut 500 billion dollars from what the government would otherwise spend over the next five years. President Obama has no plan to spend less. In effect, the government is spending the next generation’s money now; it is borrowing money to support spending today and handing the bill to young people. The outcome of this election, though, could change that; or, it could make things worse. But make no mistake: this election affects high schoolers as much, if not more, than current adults.
Lecrae’s new album Gravity becomes number one of not only Christian and Gospel charts, but also hip-hop and rap charts.
Lecrae’s Gravity rises to the top of the charts. Photo credit: iTunes
In many cases of today’s music culture, putting Christian lyrics into a song may very well limit an artist’s audience to specifically Christians, which typically will not contribute to great success.
The task that arises is that Christian artists avoid being categorized as Christian, in order that they can attain greater success and influence but still have a biblical message behind their lyrics. Although this is demanding,
small variety of traditional and contemporary music,” said Josh Behm, sophomore. Lecrae has conquered this disadvantage with his newest album Gravity. “Gravity topped number one on the Christian and Gospel charts, the Hip-hop and Rap charts, and even hit number one over all genres,” said Behm. Lecrae’s strategy started with eliminating Christian from his name as an artist. He strived to be known as rapper, not distinctly a Christian rapper in order that he could have a more effective voice; he wanted to be a rapper so that he could appeal to a greater audience than just Christians so that the
Other examples of successful Christian albums include TobyMac’s Eye on it. Photo credit: iTunes
Lecrae, Christian rap and hip-hop artist, seems to have figured it out as his latest album rises to the top of Christian, hip-hop, and rap music. Christianity is a handicap to achieving success in the music world. Throwing a “Jesus” or “Heaven” into songs here and there can prove to be lethal to an album’s potential, because it puts it into a very certain category that only a specific audience listens to. But Lecrae has learned how to be an influential Christian rapper and rise above the small audience of only Christians. “It is difficult for a Christian album to rise to the top of music because of today’s radio stations. All you hear on the radio now is pop, rock, and jazz. And when you turn to Joy FM, you get a very
messages in his lyrics would effect a greater amount of people. “In one of Lecrae’s interviews with hip hop magazine XXL, he said he doesn’t want to be known explicitly as a Christian rapper, in the hopes that more people will then listen to his music so they could hear the gospel,” said Behm. But Lecrae went even further to attract the greater audience. In his song “Mayday”, Lecrae collaborated with Big K.R.I.T. “Another step Lecrae took was to collaborate with the secular and very explicit rapper Big K.R.I.T in his song Mayday in Gravity,” said Behm. The result was an incredibly successful album that joined the few other Christian albums that have topped hip-hop and rap charts, including TobyMac’s Eyes On It.
16 B i g p i c t u r e
Westminster Christian Academy
What’s the Next Kony 2012?
Sam and Eli Parham cover some iconic and inﬂuential inventions Last spring, thousands of teens learned about Kony 2012 through social media. New issues includmade in America that ing human trafﬁcking and children’s rights are becoming more well-known with teens. have transformed our world. help,” said Jal in an article in Time
Clash of the Currents: Tesla Vs. Edison
Magazine. Jal also wrote a book called War Child, telling stories from his heartbreaking childhood as a soldier. The freshmen Expository Writing classes at WCA have the option to read Jal’s book. “I liked reading War Child in Expository Writing because it was written from a previous child soldier’s point of view, and it made me realize there a lot of problems that are happening around the world to teens that we don’t know about,” said Ali Montgomery, sophomore. It is mainly teens who use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and now, that is how human rights issues are becoming more wellknown. If an organization creates a video similar to Kony 2012 explaining what is happening to kids around the world, teens, like Lee, who are eager to help, would get involved. “Without social media, I don’t know if I would have ever heard about Kony 2012,” said Meegan Williams, freshman. Like many other teens, Meegan first heard of Kony through social media. “Kids care about other kids, but don’t know what is happening. Once they find out about it, they get involved,” said Heyse. Kids do want to help, and what made Kony 2012 so popular was that kids found out what happened with Invisible Children. The Invisible Children organization gave teens a feasible way to get involved. If an organization, particularly helping people who are being trafficked, or kids who are being treated poorly, thinks of a way for teens to help either human trafficking or children’s rights, these issues can become as big as Kony 2012 and as many kids will become involved.
With his invention the Tesla coil, Nikola Tesla emerged into one of the most inﬂuential innovation battles of all time: the current war. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” said Thomas Edison, legendary inventor, about his difficulties with inventing the light bulb. In his day, Edison was one of the greatest inventors of all time, inventing things through hard work and determination. But compared to
one of his less-renowned scholars, Nikola Tesla, Edison might have been out matched in courage and ingenuity. Tesla invented technology that ended the need of a coal plant for every square mile. Imagine a world where ugly, fumy, coal generators reside in nearly every
competition, his main rival was none other than Edison himself who was both his employer and had an incredible reputation. Thus began one of the greatest scientific battles of all time; the war of currents. During this great debate between two incredible inventors, much was put at stake, especially for Tesla. He had quit his job and was up against the biggest name in the industry, Edison, who did anything and everything to trample over the alternating current idea. Edison even went as far as promoting the electric chair to show the danger of Tesla’s idea! Tesla took many blows during these wars, but persevered and continued to publicize it. In the end,
Information from www.powerplantjobs.com and www.staff.fcps.net/rroyster/war.htm. Infographic by:Sam Parham
neighborhood. Without Tesla, this not only had he beat king and bully would be the current situation. But of the industry, but also had nearly through inventing the Tesla coil, he made Edison go bankrupt, and made possible a new way of taking soon nearly all of Edison’s plants electricity from plant to building. had been replaced by Tesla’s. This was the alternating current, After inventing the alternating which benefitted the people and current, Tesla continued to the planet on a huge scale. Through innovate, making around 300 this innovation, Tesla escalated patents. But unlike any of his other the efficiency of electricity by a inventions, Tesla would always be massive margin. One of the main known for his alternating current advantages was that this form of idea that not only succeeded, but electricity could be carried for helped him to beat the odds in winning the battle against Edison. miles without losing much power. Tesla had a brilliant invention that had the potential to totally change the world. But just because something is incredible, it does not mean that it will be accepted or acknowledged by others. And so began possibly the hardest part of Tesla’s road to success: selling his idea. Like most real-world situations, Tesla had competition in his field. The fascinating electricity that a Tesla Coil makes. But unlike the averagePhoto by: Airarcs
Alyssa Dosmann, sophomore, researches human rights issues on the internet. Photo by: Megan Galvin During the night of April 20, are in forced labor at any given time 2012, thousands of teens across as a result of human trafficking America raised awareness of the and 161 countries are affected by Invisible Children by covering human trafficking. “Human trafficking is becoming cities with posters of Joseph Kony. Kony 2012 gained attention a bigger problem as more people through social media, such as are getting trafficked, especially Facebook, Twitter, and mainly women,” said Ann Heyse, upper school English teacher. Another rising human rights issue is the treatment of children. Some of the issues are physical and sexual abuse, lack of education, through their video Kony 2012 on physical labor, child soldiers and YouTube. The video gained over trafficking. The issue of children’s treatment will become especially 70 million views in 5 days. Millions of people, mainly teens, popular among teens because watched the video and learned they can easily relate them. Being about the tragedy happening in around the same age, they have a Africa. After understanding what general idea of what kids emotions was happening, teens were eager are and how they are feeling. Emmanuel Jal was once a child to get involved to help their peers. Kony 2012 effectively used social soldier in Africa who loved war networking to gain awareness and fighting. Now, he is a rapper of the Invisible Children and the who promotes peace. Jal uses his disparities happening in that region music to tell the tragic story of his of the world. past, while promoting peace. “Maybe I can make a difference Dongjae Lee, senior, and several other students from WCA because when they hear the voice participated in Kony 2012. They of someone who has suffered, went to KSDK, Starbucks, and people will be more willing to a few other locations to hang up posters. “I decided to help because after watching the video, it seemed like tweets about Kony 2012 one the least I could do to help the cause week after it was posted so I figured why not do something for once?” said Lee. There are several human rights issues that are using social the average number of networking to gain awareness and might become the “next Kony Twitter statements per 2012”. One of them is human day in the three days aftrafficking. This is an issue with ter Kony 2012 was ﬁrst a long history but is just recently posted being widely recognized, mainly due to videos on YouTube, recently written books, and websites created by people who have been trafficked. Somaly Mam is a woman who was born in Cambodia and was sold views in six days for into human trafficking at a young age. She has used social media Kony 2012 to educate people about human trafficking by writing a book called The Road of Lost Innocence and has created a website to raise awareness. “I don’t want to go without pledges to Kony leaving a trace,” said Mam on her 2012 website. An estimated 2.5 million people
5 Million 1,380,900
of young adults/ teens have heard about Kony 2012 through social media
s p o r t s 17
Westminster Christian Academy
Athletes Hit the Offseason in Full Swing
Westminster’s most dedicated athletes utilize club teams to enhance their talent. Fans watch as Westminster’s best competitors sweat it out on the field, the court, or the track. What supporters don’t see is the extensive preparation that is
injected into everything they do. All competitive athletes must keep themselves in peak condition even when they are not playing for WCA. Logan McCall will be a freshman baseball player for Westminster this spring. He has a variety of skills, including the ability to play multiple positions and hit for contact. He helped the eighth grade team to a 7-1 record last year. The team dominated the competition, with the one loss in a tight game against rival Priory. But after that season ended was where the real story began. During the summer, McCall played for the Missouri Longhorns. Playing and traveling every weekend is the norm for this very successful team. “The team last year won lots of tournaments, and that’s always fun,” said McCall. By the end of the year, they had compiled an astonishing 47-151 record and were ranked 3rd in state. But Logan has higher goals in mind than meager tournament championships. “I would like to be a college athlete or professional athlete,” said McCall. Still, McCall has the dedication necessary to one day reach those goals. He participates in strength and conditioning courses, and
during the season will practice about twice a week. As a young freshman with plenty of growth and development ahead of him, he has a chance to one day achieve his lofty goals. Dedicated athletes are not only found in the upper school. Graham Pruett, seventh grade, will be playing soccer for WCA during the spring season. He
forward despite the challenges he faces. That is the key to a high level athlete. One who, amidst the difficulties he faces, continues to persevere and evolve with the competition. Then there are those who are experienced in their sport. Annie Schlafly, junior, has been a varsity tennis player since freshman year. During the season, she practices
Jake Kehr, senior, ﬁnishes a lap of butterﬂy during practice. Photo by: John Pottebaum
plays for club team Saint Jenn in preparation for his first season. They win tournaments on a regular basis, including the Tim O’Toole Championships last year. Pruett has a remarkable amount of dedication for such a young person. He will practice four times a week in addition to multiple games. He does admit it’s difficult sometimes. “Its hard to keep up with all the new moves and everything,” said Pruett. Yet he continues to press
Logan McCall, freshman, sets himself for a pitch during an at bat for his club team, the Missouri Longhorns. Photo courtesy of: Logan McCall
as many as six times a week, plus her matches. Tournaments occupy most of her weekends. Many wonder if Schlafly wears out from the constant practice and matches. “Its mostly for fun, but the competition adds a fun aspect,” said Schlafly. Dedication like this shines a positive light on Westminster and sports in general. Schlafly’s hard work has led her to be the number one player on the team and the captain. As captain, she has guided the team to a third place finish in the recent Metro League Tournaments. A good example of pure dedication to a sport is swimmer Jake Kehr, senior. His intense club team practice schedule has six, two-hour practices a week. Kehr has steadily gained this passion for the sport over the years. After beginning at age eight, he has spent huge chunks of time in the pool. His motivation is simple. “My main goal with swimming has always been to drop time,” said Kehr. Kehr swims regularly with Clayton Shaw Park, a competitive, local swim club. This sharpens his competitive spirit and physical condition. Swimmers like him are those who will one day compete in nationals. Successful athletes cannot succeed by halting training during the offseason. True competitors continue to train while not playing at Westminster. A select few go on to higher levels of play, such as Jacob Turner, class of 2009, and Tate Matheny, class of 2012. Turner has already appeared in the professional spotlight, and Matheny was given a full ride to MSU. Some of these younger athletes appear to be following that path.
18 S P O R T S October 2012
Westminster Christian Academy
The Secret Weapon
The managers of various sports teams act as players, coaches, and secret powerhouses as they work to better their teams. After a long, tough game, the football team walks off the field hot and sweaty. Their breaths are hard and labored but come with an undertone of triumph. Down the line, the team comes, all in order.
S T E V E N D A V I S
s p o r ts
edit o r
That’s What You Get for Selfishness The downfall of former NFL superstars Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson leaves lessons for us all. Remember the time when Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens were two of the best players in the NFL? They caught touchdowns at will and capped off their great plays with memorable touchdown celebrations that were loved by fans across the country. Fast-forward a few years. Both former stars have fallen from glory, moving from team to team in an attempt to return to their old form. It appears that the careers of both these players have ended for good during training camps this summer. Owens, or “T.O.” was cut by Seattle rather more quietly than I expected, while Johnson, Cincinnati’s former allpro wide receiver, was cut on camera by Miami following his arrest for head-butting his wife. While we can laugh, cry, or sigh about where these players are now, there are also lessons that everyone, especially athletes, can learn from them. WCA athletes don’t exactly play sports for millions of dollars (if we did that would be extremely illegal). However, we can still learn from their mistakes. Turning against teammates or purposely drawing attention to yourself over your teammates will never make your team better or help drive it to a championship. On the contrary, it will cause teammates to turn against each other and make them focus on fighting each other instead of focusing on winning. Teamwork is paramount in team sports, especially in football. Any teammate who causes infighting within a team, and thus hinders the team’s chances of winning, must be dealt with harshly. Both of these players fell victim to their own selfishness. One obvious example of this is Owens’ problems with his quarterbacks. When T.O. was with San Francisco, he insinuated that his quarterback, Jeff Garcia, is a homosexual. During his stint with Philadelphia a few years later, he implied in an interview that Brett Favre, Green Bay’s star quarterback, was better than Donovan McNabb, who was Philadelphia’s quarterback at the time. This incident pretty much spelled the end of T.O.’s career in Philadelphia. And no matter what team that he was on, T.O.’s would always complain if he wasn’t getting the ball. As T.O.’s playing skills declined, teams understandably became unwilling to take on the baggage that came with signing him. T.O. placed more importance on himself and
his performance then that of his team. While his talent and even his work ethic are second to none, his selfishness derailed his career and the Super Bowl hopes of his teammates. Remember, the only Super Bowl that either T.O. or Chad Johnson participated in was in Super Bowl XXXIX (39), when T.O.’s Philadelphia Eagles lost 24-21 to the Patriots. Chad Johnson fell victim to a different kind of selfishness. He did not really have the tendency to rip his teammates the way that T.O. did. Instead, he shamelessly promoted himself through attention-getting touchdown celebrations and other shenanigans. Don’t get me wrong, I loved some of those celebrations. However, he took it over the top when he began celebrations that he knew would result in large fines and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that would hurt his team. Other over-the-top shenanigans included his name change to “Chad Ochocinco,” which in Spanish translates to “eightfive.” This over-the-top attention seeking is another thing that hurts teams. As I mentioned before, team sports, by definition, require each player to put the interests of his team before his own interests. This means not drawing more attention to himself than to his teammates. Johnson definitely drew more attention to himself than to his teammates and did so in a very selfish manner. Johnson’s selfishness was definitely one of the factors in Cincinnati’s year-to-year inconsistency throughout the 2000’s. While T.O. and Johnson/Ochocino reap the rewards of their selfishness, there is hopefully a new standard of unselfishness at the wide receiver position in today’s NFL. Detroit’s Calvin Johnson is arguably one of the best players in football, and not a peep is heard from him in the same way as T.O. and Chad Johnson. He cannot help but draw attention to himself on the football field because of what a great football player he is. However, he does not celebrate touchdowns selfishly and never acts up off the field, but instead works hard in season and out. He is a model of what an athlete should be. If more athletes could be like Calvin Johnson, more teams could benefit from having great athletes play without the extra baggage. This would turn the focus of coaches and players from trying to control their teammate to trying to win games, which is where the focus should be.
“While T.O.’s talent and even his work ethic are second to none, his selfishness derailed his career and the Super Bowl hopes of his teammates.”
The players walk in first. Then the coaches, and then the newest and most evolving part of the football team: the managers. They too have sweat on their foreheads. Their arms are tired, but they are elated with another victory. A victory for the team, the whole team, including them. The Football Managers Program is a vision that is still in its starting stages here at WCA, but every year it becomes more advanced, and
to come to football practice day in and day out with a bunch of smelly guys. I definitely do not take for granted the time that they give to us. And as a part of our program, since I hope that they consider themselves as part of the program as much as any player, managers are invited to attend pregame chapels, pregame meals, and anything else that we do as a program. In fact, Julia Alpert won an award at the banquet last year,” said Snyder. Snyder also says that he sometimes forgets how efficiently everything works when they are with the team. Though football is the biggest of the sports programs, the manager program as a whole has expanded past the sideline of the football field. Last year marked the first year that the girls’ varsity volleyball team extensively used managers. Daniel Prada, senior, joined the manager program because of his dream to become a sports coach in the future. Through his work last year, Prada was able to be named the official assistant coach for the team for the 2011 season. “My duties are simply to just be there for extra help, but more importantly to encourage the team as a whole to do their best. Its a fun experience for all of us and one that gives me a lot of memories,” said Prada. The athletic department as a
Julia Alpert, junior, watches the Lutheran South football game with Cory Snyder, head coach of the varsity football team. Photo by: Eichel Davis
runs better than the year before. “When I became the head coach, developing the manager program was one of the first things that we did. We wanted to identify candidates and flesh out the responsibilities. We would also be able to involve the student body that would generally not be able to participate in the football programs,” said Cory Snyder, head coach of the varsity football team. The first day that the managers were at work was just last summer. The work began that day with just one manager, but soon the program grew to now having approximately ten. From the countless days of working in the heat of the brutal St. Louis summer, to the cold days standing drench in October rains, the managers are going through it all with their team. They have been through the tough season that the team endured last year and felt every loss as their own, and also celebrated every win as their’s as well. The managers are more or less student coaches. They run the plays and help to better their team in any way they possibly can. Even though they already consider themselves part of the team, the players and coaches still make it their priority to make sure that they are treated as such. “The managers are part of the team and are great friends to me personally and to the team,” said Bret Bond, junior. “It’s a good opportunity to get to know poeple who I normally wouldn’t have the chance to,” said Julia Alpert, junior, and manager. “You have to have a great heart
Daniel Prada, senior, helps the volleyball team during practice. Photo by: Eichel Davis
whole is starting to catch on to the helpfulness of the manager program. Todd Zell, Athletic Director, thinks that the manager program is a great investment for the school sports and it is great that students are willing to give up their time. “I think it is a wonderful addition to any athletic program and it creates a first class look and feel,” said Zell. The football managers might be getting into the swing of things, but as a whole, the manager program is as new as ever and will hopefully expand to spring sports. Once it was just a dream of the coaches, but soon the dream was realized through the unwavering dedication of many of WCA’s finest students. They don’t complain over the work done on a daily basis. They do it with pride and with hope. Hope that what they do in those long practices or in those games that have them biting at their nails will pay off with victory for their players and for their school. Because for them, it’s not about the dinner at the end of the season, or the “thank yous” they get from the team. It’s about winning and losing together as a team, because in a team there are players, coaches, and sometimes, managers.
S P O R T S 19
Westminster Christian Academy
A Platform And A Forum
Westminster’s FCA gathers most Tuesday nights to use athletics as a platform and a forum to discuss the more important things in their lives. A group of athletes gathers to focus on a single specific purpose. Normally, these young men and women are intensely focused on their sport. However, despite the fact that they are all athletes, they
are not gathered specifically for sports. FCA, or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, is a national organization that organizes small groups, or huddles, of athletes that meet as a school club to come together in community and discuss their faith. “The purpose of FCA is to use athletics as both a platform and a forum to discuss and grow in our
faith in Jesus Christ,” said Chris Pederson, faculty advisor for Westminster’s FCA. Westminster’s FCA meets at the home of Shelby Kehr, senior, who is the student leader of FCA. About 20 to 30 students attend each meeting to enjoy fellowship with one another. “We begin each meeting with a game like World Cup or Kickball. Then we sit down, eat, and have a discussion. Discussions are just our student leaders talking about topics that relate athletics to Christianity,” said Kehr. While leadership is a challenge, Kehr enjoys her role as a student leader. “I love being able to get to know so many people through FCA. I love people coming to my house, and, even if it’s their first time, getting to know something personal about
them in discussions,” said Kehr. Westminster’s FCA has grown since last year. While there were normally only ten to 15 people in attendance a year ago, the first meeting of the new school year drew about 30 people. This increase of attendance is due in part to exciting events planned by FCA leadership such as the dodgeball tournament that kicked off the school year for FCA. More events are planned, such as a night called “Fields of Faith” that takes place at Brentwood High School on Wednesday, October 10. Students from both WCA and Brentwood will give testimonies and a special speaker will give a sermon during this event. Events like these have helped increase FCA’s attendance in the past and probably continue to increase the attendance in the future.
Cross Country: Beyond Running Cheering crowds. Beating heart. Racing feet. Beads of sweat poured down Laura’s face as she sprinted to the finish line. Laura Tarantino, senior, has been an exceedingly competitive and passionate runner for the past four years. She is one of the 30 members on the WCA Cross Country Team. A sport of endurance and stamina, cross-
country requires a lot of hard work to run for long distances. Every day after school, 18 boys and 12 girls meet in the room of Dan Burke, upper school English teacher and head cross-country coach, to discuss the schedule for that day. Afterwards, depending on the day, these runners go to Queeny Park, Conway Park, or run behind school. Conducting practices from 3:15 to 5:15pm, Burke, Ken Boesch, and Jennifer Meyer, assistant coaches, commit their time and effort to prepare both the boys’ and girls’ teams for meets. “We have a developmental team. There are many new runners from all grades in the upper school,” said Meyer. This is an exciting fact that the coaches are proud of, because in years past, the teams have not been as big or varied. “It’s fun to have a bigger group. There’s more interest and people developing,” said Meyer. In all, there are eight freshmen, eight sophomores, seven juniors, and seven seniors. This year the teams possess many wild
cards. The new runners that have promising finish times include a few freshmen such as Kayla Brown, McKaylah Meredith, and David Hotard. These are some of the many runners who display extraordinary talent. For example, in the first meet which was a 5k, Brown finished with a time of 22:45 and Meredith with 21:58two incredible times for freshmen. For many runners, reasons why they commit to such a taxing sport vary. For Anna Lindstrom, junior, she believes that it challenges her athletically and it helps her relieve stress. Taylor Freiner, senior, and a first-time runner on the WCA team, wanted to try something new. Misconceptions about the sport exist. While many think that cross-country is an activity which primarily helps one stay in shape and is just an individual sport, runners disagree. Unlike any other sport, cross-country is one where its team members bond in a very compelling way. They encourage each other while experiencing the pain and love for the sport. The relationships that sprout reach beyond the tendrils of high school. “I still keep in touch with people on the team that graduated several years ago. It’s a different sort of friendship. You have seen each other at your worst, like in a hard workout or a disappointing race, and you have experienced joy together also, like when you finally meet a goal,” said Tarantino. The WCA cross-country team extends beyond running. While challenging each runner athletically, it instills compelling relationships with one another and builds perseverance and character.
FCA enjoys fellowship after dinner at one of their Tuesday night meetings at the home of Shelby Kehr, senior. Photo by: Steven Davis
Kayla Brown, freshman, runs at the Forest Park meet. Photo by: Owen Tarantino
20 B A C K P A G E More Art by “Don’t waste t he espre sso, ple ase.” Minjoo Kim October 2012
Westminster Christian Academy
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(cont. from page 9)