Northridge High School 2901 Northridge Road Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35406
the SEPTEMBER 18, 2015
north ri d ge
The student voice of Northridge High School
VOLUME 13 ISSUE 1
Photo by Camri Mason
go jags Students in the Mike’s Maniacs stadium section cheer prior to the County High game Aug. 28. Mike’s Maniacs has been renamed ‘McNabb Nation’ in honor of the late Coach Don McNabb for the remainder of the 2015 football season.
‘i loove football!’
Students, faculty remember life and legacy of Coach Don McNabb
REBECCA GRIESBACH and CAMRI MASON MANAGING and SPORTS EDITORS t’s the annual matchup against Tuscaloosa County High School, but the imminent chance of beating an age-old rival is not the only reason hundreds of fans are packed in the concrete stadium. As the band marches down the field, head coach Mike Smith and the family of Don McNabb stand for a moment of silence to honor a great father, teacher and coach. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,” the band begins to play as the football players crouch to one knee and the stands fall silent in remembrance of a school figurehead, a man who “lived his life right.” The offensive line coach and health teacher passed away just the night before school started - after five and a half months of battling kidney complications. “It was very out of the ordinary, and we knew it had to be serious,” April Allen, McNabb’s daughter, said. “We put our trust in the Lord and the doctors and staff of DCH and UAB. We knew he was in good hands.” Allen said her dad was “always healthy,” and throughout “a lot of ups and downs” of his condition, he managed to surprise his doctors with his improvements in the months before his passing. “He would say, ‘Come on guys, I’m okay,’” she said. “He was always a fighter and he never quit at anything he did.” Strong faith helped the family through this difficult time, assuring them McNabb’s spirit would live on. “My dad is okay, he is healed and no longer in pain,”
she said. “My dad loved the Lord, and there is no absolute doubt where he is going. He’s living in Heaven with Jesus. Allen, an only child, said she never left her father’s side. “I was a daddy’s girl, and he was my biggest fan,” she said. Allen said she grew up in a household where football and class discussions were the talk of the table. “We knew the love he had for his students,” she said. “The passion he showed at home, he showed at school.” The McNabb family played a part in every aspect of the coach’s career, establishing lifelong relationships with fellow coaches and teachers. “We were very, very close,” coach David Akins said. “Our families were close; his daughter babysat my kids growin’ up… we just spent an awful lot of time together.” A friend of the family for 35 years, Akins met McNabb, a new baseball coach for Tuscaloosa Academy, while umpiring their games in the early 80’s. The two went on to coach football at competing area schools - Central and Tuscaloosa County High School - maintaining fierce competition with each other until 1992, when McNabb came to Central as an offensive line coach. Akins, Central’s offensive coordinator at the time, said he was able to work closely with McNabb and witness some of his friend’s finest moments. Halftime of the 1995 state championship game stuck out in particular. “We’re down six to nothing, and we walk into the locker room. Our head coach comes in there and he tells both of us that if we can’t get the job done, then we would be looking for another job,” Akins said. “[McNabb] turned around and looked at our head coach and said, ‘Well
Coach, I can’t go out there and block for ‘em. This is all I can do. I can’t go block for em.’ Our head coach just looked at him and said, ‘You’re right.’” The head coach turned around and walked off. Central came back and won the game in the second half. “The way he said it, it was just one of those ‘wow’ moments,” Akins said, smiling. For a man who’s had a presence in Tuscaloosa nearly his whole life, McNabb has influenced a number of souls young and old. Art teacher Richard Nowell was one of them. “I basically grew up knowing him,” Nowell said. In 1983, the seventh grader had no idea he’d be teaching with his then-science teacher and JV football coach in 2002, but he was able to cling on to some early memories nonetheless. “I remember some boys played a prank on him when he was the head football coach at TA,” Nowell said, chuckling. “They took all his furniture out of his office and put it in the showers. They set it up like his office was in the boys’ showers. He came into the field house and threw a fit, but it was just hysterical.” While driving the basketball team back home from away games, McNabb would put tapes from the 70’s into the tape deck, blasting tunes from Journey and The Eagles. “Think about this,” Nowell said to his class of ceramics students. “It’s like midnight. You can’t see anybody’s head on the bus ‘cause everybody’s laying down they’re so tired. And then ‘Hotel California comes on.
Continued on PAGE 2
The Northridge Reporter Septmeber 18, 2015
Students, faculty remember life and legacy of Coach Don McNabb
“He was just so good with kids,” she Akins, offered to take home players who said. “They all knew he really cared about didn’t have rides, Ke’Darrion said. “Do the right thing,” “learn from your him and wanted to do well. He was that, ‘You can do it. You need to listen. You mistakes,” and “never give up,” McLaurin need to work harder. Life isn’t easy, but if said were words that still stick with him, you’re willing to work, you can accomplish words that came from a coach who cared. Former player Josh Ward, senior, said he anything’ kinda guy.” Shane Ashcraft, who came to the school sat down with McNabb one day and told him he was no five years longer going to ago, might play football; his have known eyes were set on McNabb the a career in the least of other military. faculty, but he “Before I left, said he was left he said, ‘You’re not with a lasting playing football impression. anymore, [but] I “He was want to see those probably the dog tags when nicest person you complete on the football basic training.’ staff, the most And when I came welcoming,” he back, he passed said. “ H e shane ashcraft, away and he never made coachin’ got to see them,” football (which english teacher Ward said. “That’s is a really busy, all he wanted for time consuming job) a lot easier… I could definitely tell me was for me was to be successful.” Current and former football players that he was gonna help me out whenever I made it to McNabb’s visitation, sporting needed it.” their jerseys in his honor. ‘DO THE RIGHT THING’ hile football was his forte, McNabb’s “I think that was as classy as anything for influence extended to every team them to do that,” Akins said. he coached. Last year, Ashcraft took the Akins said football players “he hadn’t place of the former head wrestling coach, seen in 25 years” showed up as well, along and he said he was left with a team that with coaches from all over the state, a didn’t let go of the work ethic previously crowd so big it was “humbling” to Ashcraft. instilled. “These people had enough respect for “There was a certain consistency in how this guy to come,” Akins said. “...you know, he treated everybody,” he said. “He always drive 150 miles to come to a visitation and expected a lot, and he was always kind of a to a funeral, to remember him.” Allen said that her dad’s funeral was a loud, gruff guy, but I think that everybody always knew that he really cared about the day of joy. “We knew this great man was our loss, players and he was gonna do all he could but Heaven’s gain, [and] he was expecting for them.” The impact McNabb had on his players something much greater. [He will] be showed through the wide grins on seniors definitely missed, but his presence is never Ronald McLaurin and Ke’Darrion Smith too far away,” Allen said. as they leaned against the facade of the Akins said the speech Allen gave at the field house, a place they said held countless service was something “he couldn’t have done.” memories of their beloved coach. “How she did it I don’t know, but she McLaurin, center, and Smith, right just talked to him,” he said. “She talked guard, said at the end of every winning game about some good times, talked about some McNabb would scream, “I LOOOOVE times that they had gone through… [the FOOTBALL!” in the locker room. whole funeral] showed what kind of classic “He was always energetic; he was never character the man had.” one of those coaches that was always mad Akins stifled back tears as he reflected on for no reason,” McLaurin said. the time he spent with McNabb the night McNabb, coined a “player’s coach” by before he passed away.
Everybody always knew that he really cared about the players and he was gonna do all he could for them.
And then - this is the chill bump part when they get to the chorus and everything, when everybody’s going ‘Welcome to the Hotel California,’ everybody on the bus starts singing. But you can’t see anybody. It’s just the voices, like ghosts. It was really cool.” Nowell said McNabb was one of the reasons he became a teacher. “He’s the one that, once you’ve met him and know him, you never forget what it was like,” he said. Head coach Mike Smith met McNabb at a football social in 1986. “Back in those days, all the coaches.. they’d go out and cook, and eat and talk football. That’s how I met Don,” he said. The two worked “off and on” together at University of Alabama football camps until they came to Northridge in 2003. “Don was one of those guys that was friends with every coaching staff,” Smith said. “He’d give you the shirt off his back. He was always there for you.” McNabb was there to see Smith’s team in its beginning stages as well as its triumphs; his play calls helped lead the team to victory in its earliest years. “With just me and McNabb and a couple of other coaches - that’s all we had on the staff - we went from 0-9 the very first year to the playoffs [the next year],” Smith said. Science teacher Beth Allaway met McNabb in high school, but didn’t realize it until the two taught together when the school was first built. “He was such a good coach,” she said. “He would scream and yell - but in a way that the kids would listen to him.” Throughout the past fifteen years, Allaway, the school’s trusty photographer, managed to capture some of McNabb’s Kodak moments. She acted out one of her favorite photos, bringing her old friend back into character by shaking her finger at a pretend player. “‘You got to do this, you gotta do that, is everybody clear?,” she mimicked. “And they would go ‘Yeah.’ ...They just glued to him.” Another photo, she said, showed a “kid following a running back” at last year’s County High game. “The kid almost looked like he had his hands on the pants of the guy that was blocking him. McNabb would say, ‘Follow the guy with the big butt!’” she said, laughing. “When I printed the picture, I went, ‘Oh my gosh, that is exactly McNabb.” Allaway said McNabb, a “grandfatherly” figure to his players, was a “heck of a guy.”
north ri d g e
continued from page 1
he color guard holds a sign that reads #McNabb Nation, as the football team drives the ball up the field, scoring the first touchdown of the game. The clock winds down to 0:00. Baby powder pollutes the air. Fans scream unintelligibly, storming onto the field. For the second time in school history, the team defeated Tuscaloosa County High School. “Our student body is what we’re here for, and that’s why I’ve been doing this for 35 years myself,” Akins said. “To see how they reacted to him, and for him, very classy.”
Journalist of the Year 2013 • Bailey Thomson Award for Editorial Writing 2013 • Rick Bragg Feature Writing Award 2009 • NSPA 6th Place Best of Show 2013 • NSPA 5th Place Best of Show 2012 • NSPA 1st Place Best of Show 2011 • NSPA 5th Place Best of Show 2008 • NSPA 8th Place Best of Show 2008 • NSPA 9th Place Best of Show 2006 • CSPA Gold Medalist 2005-2013 • SIPA All-Southern 2003, 2005–2012 • ASPA All-Alabama 2003–2013 • NSPA All-American 2004, 2008, 2011 • Best SIPA Newspaper in Alabama 2003–2007 • NSPA News Story of the Year 2005 • SIPA First Place News Story 2007• SIPA First Place Review 2009
The student voice of Northridge High School
Northridge High School • 2901 Northridge Road • Tuscaloosa, AL 35406 • (205) 759-3734 ext. 295 Editor-in-Chief *James Niiler Managing Editor *Rebecca Griesbach Feature Editor *Rebecca Griesbach News Editor Destiny Hodges
‘HE NEVER DOUBTED YOU’ wish I was nearly as good a man as he was. If I could better my life after what he did, there’s no doubt I would,” he said. “I miss him every day… I always said I wanted to finish my career coaching with him, but unfortunately I won’t be able to do that.” Daily talks with his fellow coach was something Smith said he grew accustomed to, something he now finds himself missing. “At times, in the normal place where we would sit and talk - I would catch myself doing this - I’d be ready to start a conversation, and he’s not there,” Smith said. McNabb taught his players to “treat every day as if it was their last,” Ke’Darrion said, and McLaurin and he took that to heart. “The sight of seeing someone you love so much,” McLaurin said, “can hurt you deeply when you see them before they go to the Man up above.” McLaurin said there’s not just one thing he will miss about his coach. “Everything about him is going to be missed, because from Coach, he really showed that he did care,” McLaurin said. “He believed in you and never doubted you. He would always know that you are somebody, and that you will be somebody.” Allen said that she and her family understand the sadness of her dad’s loss that everyone is feeling. “We knew the love he had for the students. He always had a smile on his face, and he always had words of encouragement,” she said. That Friday night, however, would have made the coach proud; Akins said it was a “great gesture” to remember the legacy McNabb left. “Our student body has really rallied around what he stood for,” he said.
Video Editors Seth Cunningham, Nate Hester Entertainment Editor *Sumona Gupta Opinion Editor Bert McLelland Sports Editor Camri Mason
The opinions in The Northridge Reporter are those of the students and not of the faculty or administration of Northridge High School or the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education. It is the policy of The Northridge Reporter to publish all non-obscene, non-libelous, signed letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion expressed in them. Submit letters to Rhonda Lane in room 109 or email to email@example.com.
Asst. Sports Editors Nate Hester, Jordan Hutchinson Copy Editor Thomas Mullins Infographics Editor Sumona Gupta Twitter Editor *James Niiler
Art Editor Rebecca Han Photographer *Camri Mason Webmaster *James Niiler
The Northridge Reporter reserves the right to edit letters and verify allegations. The newspaper is distributed monthly. It is the official policy of the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, disability, sex, religion, national origin, age or creed, be excluded for participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subject to discrimination under any program, activity or employment.
*Denotes state, regional and national award winners Adviser Rhonda Lane Visit us online at northridgereporter.wordpress.com Follow us on Twitter @NHSReporter Follow us on Instagram @northridgereporter Visit our Facebook page, ‘The Northridge Reporter 2015-16’ Subscribe to our YouTube channel, ‘The Northridge Reporter’ Advertising and subscriptions: Contact The Northridge Reporter at (205) 759-3734 ext. 295 or firstname.lastname@example.org. al.us to advertise in or subscribe to our paper.
The Northridge Reporter Septmeber 18, 2015
Art by Rebecca Han
Fear dominates lives of African-Americans
camri mason sports editor
ear. Such a small word, it but holds the most power over African American citizens. Fear is what drives us now, after the constant massacres of our brothers and sisters over the years. Since the years when we were brought over in 1619 against our wills to work for no pay. Working dusk to dawn, only to be tortured by our slave holders. Beaten. Raped. Humiliated. For many years, waiting for it all to end. Whether it be by the release of death, or being set free. Finally,1863 set the year we were free, but not really free at all. No one could work or
vote. Couldn’t even walk down the street to look upon a man of no color without being thrown in jail. We couldn’t even use the same water fountains or restrooms. Only to be chased by the police with dogs. The people of color have suffered under many false crimes, and today we still get the ugly stares because of our skin. Behind the word “African”, you would find the word “American.” In today’s society, we are still not treated as “American.” If we are free, why are we not treated as such? We were moved here by force, but still get treated as if we did something wrong. Although African Americans are free, we are not socially free. We are treated as if we are the gum on someone’s shoe that will not go away.
Constantly put down, because we have darker skin. Put down because our lips are slightly larger than others. We get questionable looks, because we have nappy hair because we refuse to put relaxers in our hair to mimic white women. One woman had to change her looks because she needed to “fit the part” and straighten her hair in order to work on a news station. No one should have to readjust their natural looks to please someone else. Black churches are being burned, and churchgoers are shot down, strangled to death, and are being thrown in jail for crimes that were not committed. No one can see why such hatred is upon us, but we can’t put all the blame on others if we are only making ourselves
Fear is what drives us now, after the constant massacres of our brothers and sisters.
subscribe to our new youtube channel! The Northridge Reporter Check out our new Facebook page! The Northridge Reporter 2015-16
look bad when we fight back in a manner that makes things grow worse than they are. When we fight our own race, we are killing each other faster than the ones who hate us. Always holding a gun to each other’s heads, ready to kill. When you take that shot, remember there is always a cop ready to do the same thing to you, but in the end, he will be labeled as a hero, and you’re being lowered six feet under. We cannot continue putting each other down with harsh words and name calling, and get offended when we’re treated the same. As African Americans, we have to set an image of how we should be treated. We shouldn’t make an image of us rioting when a young black boy was killed in the streets of Ferguson. That shows that we are weak. When we show signs of defeat we arm the people who hate us. But, as long as we act as people with no sense, Martin Luther King’s dream will remain a dream. People who marched from the streets of Selma to Montgomery and lost their lives would be meaningless. If we had half as much confidence and determination as those people did, maybe we would have a better country.
The Northridge Reporter Septmeber 18, 2014
teaches students networking skills
JOHN MARK MCCLELAND AND JORDAN HUTCHINSON DISTRIBUTION MANAGER AND ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR KATIE ANDOE
College coach adapts
to teaching history SETH CUNNINGHAM VIDEO EDITOR RYAN LOCKE
Photos by Seth Cunningham
Former intern begins
first year teaching SETH CUNNINGHAM VIDEO EDITOR
Mitchell McQueen is the new AP Biology and Anatomy teacher at the school this year. McQueen was a student teacher last year at the school and went to the University of Alabama alongside Ethan Lawler and Caleb Brown, also teachers at the school. Because of his internship last year, McQueen felt confident about his first year of teaching at the school. “I knew exactly what I was getting into when deciding on Northridge,” McQueen said. McQueen loves the students at Northridge after getting familiar with them from last year. He prefers the block schedule compared to the “chaotic and overwhelming” seven period schedule of last year, saying it gives the students more time to learn. McQueen’s decision to become a teacher was heavily influenced by his mother’s side of the family, who had been teachers for generations. His decision to be a science teacher was affected by his father and brother, who both have a profession in the field of science. McQueen’s grandfather gave him inspiration when he was younger. Though his grandfather was a farmer, “he could name all the types of cells and organisms involved with farming,” showing McQueen that “science was an all-encompassing field.”
Ryan Locke, eleven year college football coach, starts his first year at the school this year. Locke has coached at colleges including Troy, University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of West Georgia, and Cumberland University. Having played football at his high school, Locke made the decision to become a college coach in 11th grade. His admiration for his past coaches heavily influenced his decision to be a football coach. “I always respected and looked up to the
coaches, so they really helped me make that decision,” Locke said. The final driving force for the decision to become a coach though, was Locke’s father. “My father is the most influential person in my life,” Locke said. Having not taught in college, this year is Locke’s first year teaching US History. “I’ve always been involved with teaching, since my mother was a teacher.” Locke said. Locke has adapted quickly to the high school lifestyle. “I like high school life better than college, it’s definitely more stable,” Locke said. Locke is very excited to be coaching at Northridge this year and is impressed with the administrative branch. “Northridge seems to be a good school -
Andoe shifts gears, steps up from middle school
JABRIA COLEMAN STAFF WRITER
Katie Andoe, a collaborative history and science teacher, transferred to the school this year. Before she transferred, Andoe taught as a resource teacher at University Place Middle School. While at University Place, Andoe was involved with “Arts ‘n Autism,” an after school program that provides services to children and young adults with autism in Tuscaloosa county, as well as surrounding counties. When offered the opportunity to come to Northridge, Andoe resigned. “After eight years, it was time to move on,” Andoe said. Because of her past experience with high
Look for more new teacher stories in the next issue.
schoolers, transitioning from a middle school to a high school wasn’t a problem for Andoe. She taught at Paul W. Bryant High School years before teaching at University Place. “What inspired me to become a teacher, is my experience as a student,” Andoe said. “I had really good teachers in high school and I just wanted to give back to others.” Andoe enjoys teaching her kids, as well as building relationships with them. “I really love my kids, but I want them to know that I don’t play,” Andoe said. “Even though I’m tough on them, I just want them to learn and be successful students.” Andoe aspires to see her students achieve their dreams and wants them to enjoy high school while they can.
ine Northridge students participated in Boys and Girls State, held May 31June 12 at the University of Alabama. girls state Senior Ragan Ferguson ran for the positions of Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Representatives member, devotional leader, and governor’s council member. “We learned a lot about our state and locally-run governments and it made me proud to be from Alabama,” she said. Mary Claire Ray, senior, had fond memories of the camp. “My favorite experiences were meeting the girls from other counties in our state because they had stuff in common,” Ray said. During Girls State, Cathy Randall, chairwoman of the board of Tuscaloosabased Pettus Randall Holdings LLC, spoke to all of the participants. Ray said she remembered one quote from the speech that was important to her. “If you show me your friends, I will show you your future,” Randall said. BOYS STATE The Boys State representatives also enjoyed their time on campus. “I was glad to get to meet new people,” Pete Wilson, senior, said. He was voted into the House of Representatives, and he was in the Nationalist Party. “The camaraderie, getting to meet new people, and having the same set of goals was fun,” Xavier Jackson, senior, said. He ran for the house and was a member of the Nationalist Party. Senior Matthew Hankins used the engineering program offered. He was in the Federalist Party. “My favorite memory was hanging out with new friends and watching the NBA playoffs with my city,” he said. Other Boys and Girls State representatives from Northridge were seniors Anna McMillan, Jordan Hutchinson, John Mark McClelland and Mason Elsberry.
The Northridge Reporter Septmeber 18, 2014
TCTA students return
Women of the world break gender molds Mobile woman to
to occupied parking spots
DESTINY HODGES NEWS EDITOR
officiate NFL games REBECCA HAN ART EDITOR
On April 8, 2015, Sarah Thomas was officially announced as the first full-time female official in NFL history. She was admitted alongside eight other referees and made her debut on August 8, 2015, officiating the preseason match between the Arizona Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs. This isn’t the first time Thomas has made history; she became the first woman to officiate a major college football game in 2007 when she was hired by Conference USA. In 2009, she became the first woman to officiate a bowl game when she worked at the Little Caesar’s Bowl. She’s no newcomer to the officiating scene, either. Graduating in 1995 from the University of Mobile with a degree in communications, Thomas began to first work gradeschool games, moving on to high school, then NFL preseason games. Thomas has received praise for her ability to remain calm under pressure, make difficult calls, and interpret rules within the “spirit of the game,” as retired NFL official Joe Haynes said. She works full time as a pharmaceutical sales rep and has three children – two sons, Bridley and Brady and one daughter, Bailey. Nick Therrell, senior, supports the NFL’s decision to hire Thomas as an official. “Anybody should be able to be an official,” Therrell said.
Call Me Caitlyn Jenner voice for LGBTs
REBECCA HAN ART EDITOR
Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, the Olympic medal athlete and star of E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians, revealed herself to be a transgender woman on April 2015 during a 20/20 interview by Diane Sawyer. In June 2015, Caitlyn Jenner made her debut on the cover of Vanity Fair, shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz. She revealed the cover to the world on her Twitter account, gaining over 1 million followers in the span of four hours. Many have lauded Jenner as the most famous transgender person in the world, a fame she hopes to use to help in bringing attention to LGBT issues, including gender dysphoria and violence against transgender women. On July 15, 2015, she was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards. In the same month, E! premiered a TV documentary series detailing her life after transition titled I Am Cait. The show focuses on Jenner’s relations with family and her new role as a model for LGBT+ teens. Juniors Rachel Harper and Raegan Nunley have mixed feelings. “It’s a little against my values, but if you want to do it, do it,” Harper said. “Yeah, I wouldn’t agree with it, but you do you,” Nunley said.
Photo by Rebecca Griesbach
“Why is this person in MY spot?”
Since the first day of school, students have been complaining about other people parking in their parking spots. Principal Kyle Ferguson said he receives complaints two or three times a week. Jasmine Harris, senior, submitted one of those complaints. Harris said she returned from TCTA (Tuscaloosa Career and Technical Academy) to find someone else parked in her spot. “My first thought was, ‘Why is this person in MY spot?’” she said. Harris said she took her complaint to Mrs. Kizzire, the school’s secretary. “First I parked behind him, so he would have no way to get out. Then I went to the office and asked Mrs. Kizzire if she could track the old parking number from last year that he still had hanging in his mirror,” Harris said. “She tracked it, called him to the office and we walked to the parking lot and he nicely moved his car.” Harris said she was grateful that there was not any conflict and that no one got in trouble. Senior Delorian Little said that, like Harris, she has TCT and someone parked in her spot not once, but twice. “It’s aggravating because as a student there is only so much you can do,” Little said. “You have
to do the right thing and go to the office, but you want to just run your car into theirs.” Little said she took her complaint to Wenetta Stallworth, head of security. “Luckily Stallworth was patrolling the parking lot,” she said. “I pulled up beside her, told her [someone was in my parking spot] and she handled it.” Little said she thinks students are parking in other students’ parking spots because they are just getting their licenses. “Someone will probably park in my spot again because tenth graders that get their licenses in the middle of the year are too lazy to buy a parking decal,” she said. Ferguson said administration has started taking disciplinary action. “If a student [parks in someone’s spot repeatedly], their driving privileges are revoked, and they can have ISI,” Ferguson said. Ferguson said that it is always disappointing when you see someone disregard people. “They are rude. The thought of imposing like that on someone else would never even cross my mind,” he said. “Why they choose to be rude and disrespectful? I don’t know.” DELORIAN LITTLE
Photo by Destiny Hodges
Partnership with Shelton offers flexible college coursework RESHU CHANDRA ASSISTANT COPY EDITOR
he school teamed up with Shelton State for dual enrollment this year in order to provide students with an opportunity to simultaneously earn college and high school classes. Lauren Wolbach, junior counselor, said that dual enrollment gives students an opportunity to perform at their fullest potential and makes sure they are ready and organized for college.
However, Wolbach also said that dual enrollment is not meant for everyone. “Dual enrollment is recommended to hard working students needing and wanting more rigorous academic work,” she said. Mallie McCleland, junior, said that she is getting ahead of everyone else in her grade by doing dual enrollment. “Since I am taking college classes, which count as college credits,” McCleland said, “I am further ahead in my education [than those who are taking normal high school classes].” McCleland, who is taking a speech and
computer class, said dual enrollment is “much easier” [than regular classes]. “You have a lot of work due, but you have an extended amount of time to work on it and turn it in,” she said. Ken Smothers, freshman and sophomore counselor, said that handling dual enrollment well all depends on the maturity of the student. “I would definitely recommend dual enrollment to good students with good GPAs who manage their time wisely,” Smothers said.
Graphic by Rebecca Griesbach
The Northridge Reporter September 18, 2015
Photos by Seth Cunningham
KICK LIKE A SUMONA GUPTA ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
ats down 10-17 at half,” a Twitter user wrote, “but Northridge’s kicker is a girl, so we got this…” “Lol,” replied Savannah Reier, senior. The football team beat the Tuscaloosa County High Wildcats 24-14 an hour later.
tanding outside of the Northridge field house in her workout clothes, Reier gives the impression of someone who has given an interview a few times before. And in fact, she has. “R-E-I-E-R,” she spells out. Behind her, a teammate spells it out with her. A coach says, “It’s the same forwards as it is backwards!” Before she lists the myriad of sports she’s played throughout her career, she understandably pauses to think before she proceeds. “Soccer, I started in second grade. I actually met Coach [Carter] Hill at Shelton State soccer camps when I was really little. Basketball, I started playing church league in kindergarten, playing AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] in ninth.” “And I’ve lettered in, I think, hold on.” “I’ve lettered in five varsity sports. It means you’ve played that season. Like, I played varsity soccer my seventh grade year, varsity softball my eighth grade year, I’ve played varsity basketball my ninth grade year, tenth, eleventh, and I’ll play varsity basketball this year. So it’s basically like you were a part of the team and you affected the team.” While this may be overwhelming to most, Reier comes from a family of athletes. Travis Reier, her father, and her grandfather were both football kickers. “She’s kind of a third-generation kicker,” he said.
Reier first female to wear Ja
And from the beginning, her father said, Savannah was full of potential. “She was a very active little kid, even at a very young age. Like, as a toddler, she was always going. It was hard to get her to sit down for even a second. One of the first things we did was put her in a gymnastics class for toddlers and she loved it, she wanted to go all the time. And it sort of just went from there.” At this point, playing football seems almost like an afterthought to her. Reier’s start in the game did come much later than in the other sports she’s played, and she didn’t set out to play it either. “She grew up playing soccer, and every once in a while I would mention, ‘You would be kind of a good kicker in football,’ but she brushed it off because she knew it was a guys’ sport,” her father said. However, opportunity came in Savannah’s sophomore year, when her school, Hilton Head Island High School, didn’t have a kicker for their team. Her father suggested she try kicking, and her mother, Heather, posted a video of her practicing on Facebook. Word of the video spread, and about a week later, she was asked to try out. Reier played for her school’s team during her sophomore year and half of her junior year before moving back to Tuscaloosa and transferring to Northridge. She immediately began soccer again, but come football season, she began to raise some eyebrows. After seeing football interest sheets, she approached Coach Mike Smith, saying she had kicked for the past two years and wanted to try out. “She came up to me and said she wanted to try out,” Smith said, “I shooed her off, basically ignored her, but then the guys showed me a video and I took her out of class. She’s the best [kicker] we’ve had. Time will tell if [she’s the best] ever.” It doesn’t seem to matter to Smith that she is a girl. He says she does the same work the other players do, and
in turn, he treats her the same way he treats them. “I yell at her like I do at all the other guys,” he said, “She carries her own load, she helps out with the team, she runs with the team, she did everything the other players had to do over the summer, she’s just as a part of the team as anybody.” Her teammates agree. “She’s just like any other person on the team,” said Lavest Williams, 12, “There’s nothing wrong with having a girl on the team.” “She’s cool, friendly, sassy,” said Jeremy Wilson, sophomore. “Smart as crap,” added Drake Cross, freshman. “She’a a girl. She’s a good kicker. Out of all the guys I’ve seen kick, she’s one of the best,” said Fred Bates, 12. Reier does not try to hide it. She is, in fact, a girl. She makes a point to wear a braid with a bow on the end for every game she’s played. “It’s kind of superstition,” she said, “I wore it my first game, because I was a little, you know, intimidated. I didn’t want to be thought of as a boy. And now — I’m an athlete, I can compete out here and contribute to my team to help them win, so I don’t really care as much about if people think I’m a boy.” Rather than going easier on her because she is a girl, Reier says that opposing teams do the opposite. “It almost seems like they’re running harder because they don’t want a girl to score on them, and it makes sense to me. But I don’t take it as a bad thing. I kind of take it as motivation and, they’re obviously worried about you kicking, so you take it as motivation and keep going.” Some things are just different for girls, and Reier said that she noticed this when trying to put on her uniform for the first time. She had tried out for the team the day before picture day, and because her uniform was made for boys, it was uncomfortable and difficult to put on.
“I had no clue how to put it on. My dad played, so he could help me, but without my dad, oh gosh, I would’ve probably come out looking crazy,” she said. However, Reier takes advantage of the thing that launched her football career in the first place, social media. It’s there that she finds other girls across the country who play football, girls she can relate to. “The ones that I’ve met have been from Oklahoma, I think there’s one from Pennsylvania, one from like, Arizona, they’re all spread out,” she said. She doesn’t go looking for them, they usually find her. “Sometimes they just pop up on my [Facebook] Explore, like sometimes I’ll go on there and be bored and there’s like a girl kicking, and I’m like ‘Hey, I do that too!’” “It’s pretty cool. Because all the ones I’ve met have the same personality as me, you know, really competitive, they don’t think of themselves as like, a girl going out into football, they aren’t really intimidated,” she said. “Of course, at first, everyone was, but it’s pretty cool because you meet girls that are like you that understand exactly what you’re doing and so you can talk to them about whatever you need to. Because with boys,” she laughed, “you don’t...it’s a little bit different, they don’t really care about if your hair has a bump in it, or you know, where do the pads go. Yeah it’s kind of confusing sometimes, but I’ve gotten used to it.” Reier’s father said that it is her competitive spirit that helps her keep going. “She’s not always the fastest, not the biggest…but she has that n Ma ast oal fiery spirit L f g o ner eld ds that helps Win ding fi : 48 y n n a o t i t S her thrive, peti
’s v a
longest fi eld goal in a game: 38 yds
Graphic by Rebecca Griesbach
n Hilto Set o h Sc o High 8 ex f for 8 o
The Northridge Reporter September 18, 2015
7 CHEER LIKE A BOY Frazier becomes first male cheerleader Feature
the dancing,” he said with a laugh. “When I first tried practicing, I knew from the start that I enjoyed everything about it.” All that was left was to tackle tryouts. alance beams and foam pits stand For the boy who had not tumbled in years, idly by as a four year old boy blows a back handspring loomed in the back of out the candles on his animal-themed his mind. birthday cake at Tumbling Tides. Thir“Whenever Jacob and I were trying out teen years later, junior Jacob Frazier is the for cheer, we were both really nervous, so we went to ACE to tumble together,” school’s first male cheerleader. In elementary school, classmates Williams said. “I was there when he got his identified Frazier as an animal lover and, back handspring.” Frazier, who stands a head taller than the by the looks of it, a prospective “zookeeper,” rest of his female squad, can now land the his mother Pat Curry said. trick with ease. “At Verner, Originally Jacob was He taught us a feat to well-known that anyone can overcome, his for being able height is now to name every do anything. one of his animal alive,” lauren williams, greatest assets. Curry said. “ He teammate “He seems loved animals, to be able to so it’s kinda a handle it now,” Curry said. “He’s slingin’ surprise to see him steer away from that.” Little did she know that it was the talcum those long legs around!” Curry said her son “stepped up” physically, powder and the high bars that would make their way into his life again – and he would and his improvement did not go unnoticed by cheer coach Erin Darnell either. make school history because of it. “His tumbling looks probably 100% “For the life of me, I had no clue he had gotten into this cheer stuff,” Curry said. better than when he started. He’s just using “And when he started talking about being better technique, better form...” Darnell the first male cheerleader, I thought that said. “He’s worked on it day in and day out.” After just three months of practicing, was really awesome, cause I had no clue Curry said it “thrilled” her when her son about that either.” Frazier jumped into gymnastics around announced he made the team. “I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe it!” age three, and he continued going to Tumbling Tides until the third or fourth she said. “The one thing everybody thinks grade. Even outside of the gym, Frazier about Jacob is that he’s always got a smile made his home a personal playground; on his face, he has a great demeanor, and I Curry said she would find her son flipping think that helps. You need something like and cartwheeling away in the front yard, that when being a cheerleader.” A skilled dancer and back-spot, Frazier “just for no given reason!” “...but then he got kinda lanky,” Curry offers more than just strength and stature, said. “He’s always loved tumbling, but we Williams said. “Whenever we’re at practice, we’re tired, didn’t think that would play into anything that he did because he’s got such long legs.” and we don’t wanna be there sometimes, he’s Aside from his growing body, Curry always very peppy – like a cheerleader,” she said Frazier’s interest in cheering seemed said. “He brings a lot of laughter to the team.” Darnell said his “sense of camaraderie to dwindle after middle school; tough adolescent years were met with busy with the girls” shines through at practice. “He’s very spirited, very charismatic, he schedules, and tumbling was put on loves cheering, and so it’s always fun to standby. A renewed interest in the sport was watch him,” she said. Curry said her son thrives off the crowd, sparked in high school where Frazier mimicked cheers from the student section. exuding a “great confidence” that’s been “Y-E-L-LeverybodyyellgoNORTHRIDGE!” cultivated in the past “year and a half.” “It’s not as much confidence as it is being he screamed as he motioned and stomped brave and doing it,” Frazier said. “If you set from the crowd. Inspired by fellow teammate Lauren your mind to something, you can definitely Williams, sophomore, Frazier said the idea achieve and do better at it.” Frazier’s achievements may very well come of joining the squad was something that to fruition in the near future, Darnell said. “just clicked.” “As he grows with his knowledge of “Before, I had never thought about it, but I’d always been kind of drawn to it. ...and cheer, as he grows with his tumbling and you know, I’ve always liked the music and stunt skills, he’s gonna be a better overall REBECCA GRIESBACH MANAGING EDITOR
and sometimes you have to tone her down just around the house,” he laughed. “But it’s a big part of her — it makes her who she is.” It is notable that Reier frequently mentions “the team,” as a whole, rather than herself. This teammindedness is even more evident when she speaks about the girls who see her after games. She said along with their competitiveness and the desire to contribute to her team, they also keep her going. “I have had girls come up to me and say, ‘Hey, we think what you’re doing is awesome,’ and it’s a good feeling,” she said.
t’s not all about the sport and winning games,” Savannah said. “Of course, I love to win, I want to win every game I play, but football is a sport that can really impact peoples lives, whether they are playing it or have a role model in it. And to think that I could be a role model for girls is pretty cool.” “I don’t know how to explain it other than... it’s cool.”
Stats App All ointed -Sa ban t team o
cheerleader, and I think he’ll be a greater leader for the squad as a senior,” she said. Being the sole male on the team, however, can come with it’s challenges. “He’s not supposed to do the dances, like the hip shaking kinda stuff, cause he’s the male cheerleader,” Williams said, “but he’s a really good dancer. That’s what he likes to do, and that’s why he decided to cheer...” At cheer camp, Frazier was “separated” from the girls, captain Elizabeth Danner said, to work on “boy motions.” “They don’t do a lot of dances, but Jacob dances because he likes to dance,” Danner said. Compromise seemed necessary, but after consulting with school administrators, Frazier smiled as he said he’s now able to “do everything that the girls do.” “I think it’s just that we’re trying to incorporate [my role as a male] enough to where it’s not different at all, to where it’s just like everybody else,” Frazier said. Frazier cheered at his first game vs. Tuscaloosa County High School on Aug. 28. Before the game, the JV cheerleader said he was apprehensive about how the audience might perceive him. “I guess people will see it different,” he said. “It’s not a common thing, so it might not be accepted.” Nonetheless, Frazier said he found solace on the squad, who is “very supportive.” “It’s just like I’m the exact same,” he said. “Breaking ground” is not unfamiliar territory for Curry and her son, who she had on her 44th birthday. “To have your child on your birthday, and to be that age, we’ve been kinda ground breaking from the beginning,” she said, chuckling. “He’s had more positive than negative experiences. That’s all you can want when breaking ground like that.” Frazier said his “parents split” when he was eight years old, resulting in a tight-knit relationship with his mother, a relationship built on “a lot of love.” “I just want him to be happy at whatever it is that he does,” Curry said. “He’s always been pretty comfortable with who he was... He’s really come into his own. And, really, I, I’m behind him 100%.” Curry said she hopes her son can become an inspiration to others, perhaps ditching his zookeeper dreams for good and becoming a motivational speaker. “I do hope that whatever he does, he does something where he closely interacts with other people on an emotional basis,” she said. For the rest of the girls, Frazier teaches a valuable lesson. Her lips curling to form a soft smile, Williams said, “He taught us that anyone can do anything.”
ead n H rd o ol rec ts in o xtra p Infographic designed by Rebecca Griesbach Information from Joey Chandler, The Tuscaloosa News
Photo by Camri Mason
pop it Junior Jacob Frazier makes school history as he cheers alongside a formerly all-female squad. The JV cheerleader made his debut at the Tuscaloosa County High School game, where he helped with the squad’s kids’ camp.
8 ‘MISSON IMPOSSIBLE,’ entertainment
The Northridge Reporter SeptEmber 18, 2015
T R U LY I M P O S S I B L E
Han finds franchise’s lastest installment far-fetched, but fun
REBECCA HAN ART EDITOR
The Impossible Missions Force returns for another thrilling, edge-of-your-seat adventure in “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation,” directed by Christopher McQuarrie. It’s a fast-paced, action-filled ride that can be enjoyed by longtime series fans and newcomers alike. Tom Cruise returns as agent Ethan Hunt, joined by fellow agents Benji (Simon Pegg), William Brandt ( Jeremy Renner), and Luther (Ving Rhames). In the newest installment, our heroes seek to uncover the truth of the mysterious underground criminal organization – the Syndicate. Cruise’s traditional action-packed performance is ever-present as he is hurtled into one heart stopping situation after another; age hasn’t stopped the star one bit. The movie jumps into the action immediately. Hunt dangles from a plane in the sky in a recognizable scene that’s been plastered on movie posters and billboards across the world. On the other side of the world, the IMF itself faces dissolution at the urging of CIA Director
Hunley (played by a stony faced Alec Baldwin). Failing to comply with orders to return, Hunt finds himself a renegade agent on the run and the action ensues. The film plays out in the same dramatic manner as its predecessors, chock full of double agents, government conspiracies, and the like. Hunt & Crew’s adventure takes them all across the globe, from the jam-packed streets of Morocco to the bright lights of London and Washington, D.C. For the next two hours, the action rages on in traditional “Mission: Impossible” style. Opposing agents do battle as Puccini’s opera, “Turandot,” blares in the background and motorcycles race after each other in Casablanca (all while touting the horsepower of the brand new BMW 7 series). Adding to the chaos is double agent Ilsa Faust, portrayed by British newcomer Rebecca Ferguson. She is the traditional femme fatale, fighting off thugs in a ballroom dress and carrying a lipstick tube that doubles as a flash drive. Though she initially appears to be a carbon copy of every female character in an action movie, I felt her character is a worthy counterpart to Hunt. She is an extremely interesting character on her own.
Lipstick flash drives aren’t the only new inventions in this world; outlandish gadgetry populates every second of the screen, from 3-D mask-making machines, to bulletproof glass cages, to concert programs that transform into laptops. From where does a rogue agent on the run from the CIA pull a 3-D printer out of his pocket? It doesn’t matter, and for the rest of the movie, it will never matter. Such ridiculousness plagues the story at every turn, but it is good fun all the same; the plot itself is sharp and ever evolving, with twists and turns at every corner. It’s got all of the tired old action movie tropes reminiscent of a Bond film we see the high end technology, attractive female counterpart, vehicle chase through busy streets, etc. etc. – yet it manages to escape the staleness of many recent action films. The movie isn’t trying to be something it’s not, it doesn’t convey some sort of moral message or comment on social issues. It was mindless, bloated, movie theater fun, doing what the series does best: entertain. For a franchise that’s been running for 19 years now, its latest movie feels as fresh as ever.
Photo from MCT Campus
Show off: Tom Cruise returns for the fifth time as Ethan Hunt in the newest installment of the “Mission Impossible” film series.
K I L L I NG
T H E
M O C K I NG B I R D
Sequel to Lee’s classic reveals more harsh truths
G ecca Reb
REBECCA GRIESBACH MANAGING EDITOR An iconic bookshelf staple, “To Kill A Mockingbird” delivers on all fronts; revolutionary in an era stained by segregation, the novel disrupts the conventional, comfortable Southern way of life cemented by simple minds and ignorance. It addresses racism through the innocent, yet widening eyes of a child as she comes of age, and the reader cannot help but grow up along with her. It’s shaking. It’s artful. And for some, it’s all too familiar. So the fanfare surrounding the publishing of Harper Lee’s second book, which has been in hiding for
over fifty years, is perfectly understandable. Speculation of its plot and premise has finally ceased, and now one can ask if it’s really worth the hype. Now a twenty-six year old living in New York City, Scout makes her annual trip back to the place she used to call home. But it’s not exactly home. Cheerful childhood nostalgia, an element deeply rooted in “To Kill A Mockingbird,” appears only in sporadic flashbacks; Scout’s world has lost its charm amidst the ever-pressing Brown v. Board of Education decision. “Go Set A Watchman” paints a different picture of Maycomb County as its members assemble against integration and equal rights. It’s a picture of shame and guilt and anger, and of confusion. Especially of confusion. To many readers’ dismay, the characters introduced in the first book are redefined - particularly Atticus, the Godlike figure that used to stand for what was just and what was right. Now advocates of Southern pride and states’ rights; Scout’s childhood heroes aren’t exactly favorable. On an artistic level, Lee maps the complexity of Scout’s character in a way that is truly masterful. Her use of dialogue is raw and real, perfectly depicting that of a lost soul whose entire childhood has been uprooted by the one she loves the most. Through outbursts and rebellion, through snarky comments and sarcasm, and through the rare instances where she actually sits still and lets the grown-ups talk, Scout lets the reader in on her struggle to make sense of her own conscience. The adult Scout matures in a way much different than in her first coming of age; this time, she’s shown the harsh reality that there isn’t much justice after all. And yes, while many may view her father’s moral downfall as a lesson that “we’re all human,”“change happens,” and “family is still family,” those notions are not the underlying moral of the story. While racism in the first book is obvious, centered around an unfair verdict against a black man, this book unravels the layers of ingrained racism – rac-
ism that Atticus tries to justify, racism that’s up for debate. Lee’s sense of timelessness prevails, as this is, in many cases, the root of our modern day dilemma. Because Lee throws in these well-educated characters like Atticus and Uncle Finch to ‘enlighten’ Scout on ‘what’s really going on,’ the reader is introduced to a world where smart people stand on the wrong side of history. Never before has Scout had to make an intelligible counterargument to what she’s always known as blatant bigotry, but now she does. And she struggles in doing so, falling prey to the false logic and conservative principles preached by her condescending uncle. The book, however, could do a better job at making this more clear. By setting Scout up for failure, it’s easy to confuse readers into thinking Scout really is wrong; her boldness and stubborn attitude could be seen as follies rather than strengths. Where it expands on unnecessary love interests, the book lacks important details. While Hank, Scout’s lover, adds to the curious case of Scout’s femininity, he’s not integral to the story. Instead, Lee could further develop Calpurnia’s character and hone in on the court case’s influence on the black community, widening the readers’ perspective. And most importantly, it needs a new ending. A darker one, perhaps, that doesn’t trivialize the real problem at hand in the name of happy endings. Despite its flaws, “Go Set A Watchman” did not disappoint. Lee’s progressive thinking shined throughout the book as she explored white privilege and institutional racism. While it didn’t provide a solution or closure to these problems, the book is most certainly ahead its time. And aside from its deep-seated themes, Lee captivates the reader once again through humor and depth and the flair in which she writes. She pokes fun at religion, at small talk, at petty Southern customs without denigrating the good left in the South. Lee strikes again, adding another book to her undying legacy.
The Northridge Reporter SeptEmber 18, 2015
Photos from Defend the Galacy Productions
Taking names: (Clockwise from left) John Krieger (senior), Nate Hester (senior), and Will Henson (senior), add to the ensemble cast of Defend the Galaxy Prductions’ “Names.”
ReviEwer Doesn’t Fear for ‘Fear’ ‘Walking Dead’ spinoff brings promising premiere THOMAS MULLINS COPY EDITOR On Sunday, Aug. 23rd, 10.1 million brain-starved fans across the world tuned in to the premiere of “Fear the Walking Dead,” the highly anticipated spin-off of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” “Fear,” the second TV series based on Robert Kirkman’s famous apocalyptic graphic novel series, is focused on the plight of a blended family in Los Angeles as the zombie outbreak unfolds around them. Set immediately before the American public becomes aware of the outbreak, ‘walkers’, as the undead are known in the original show, aren’t necessarily the focus. Instead, the main priority of “Pilot” is to build for what the audience knows is coming—walkers. Coming out of five consecutive seasons of “The Walking Dead,”this episode caught me off-guard in many, many ways. The introduction seemed so normal; eerie music, dusty air, gore, and a guy running terrified down the halls of a church. I soon realized, though, that the normalcy of the intro only served to set up the next scene; a slow pan of a sprawling city, untouched, full of pedestrians and bikes and functioning society—something unheard of in the original series. Immediately, I knew that this show was going to be great, and in different ways than the original series. This presence of civilization was contrasted throughout the episode by the absence of
walkers. Straying far away from the typical “Walking Dead” formula, there were only two walkers in the episode. With all of this empty space (I mean, dealing with zombies is the central focus of the series), one might wonder what the show might use to fill it. In its place, “Fear” is packed full of tons of character development and all of the drama that comes with it. After all, the show is introducing a new set of original characters that the viewer needs to care about, and this episode hits that nail on the head. Two groups are introduced—the families of Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) and Madison Clark (Kim Dickens), two newlyweds, both with families from their past marriages. Throughout the episode the audience is shown the classic symptoms of divorce and remarriage; stress, angst, and issues of trust are common with these characters. All of the vague references to the main characters’ pasts both left me wanting to know more and promised further explanation later in the show. It was a great way to present characters in an hour-long window. All in all, I really enjoyed this premiere and I’m very excited for the future of the series. While I found myself constantly wishing that the episode would pick up the pace, matching the heart-racing content season five of “The Walking Dead” provided earlier this year, the episode’s promise of a walker-filled future kept me satisfied. I know that with time, “Fear” is going to give its fans what they want.
Photo from MCT Campus
Pilot Portrait: Madison Clark (Dickens) and Travis Manawa (Curtis) investigate an abandoned church in the series’ premiere.
Student-made series displays humanity’s darkness
JAMES NIILER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” goes the saying, and nowhere is this sentiment more obvious than in the latest film installment from student-run Defend the Galaxy Productions, “Names.” “Names” is the story of a family and community torn asunder by a mysterious book’s occult influence over life and death, and despite a few humorous moments, it conveys an intensely dark message about human nature and unbridled power. The brainchild of senior Seth Cunningham, now the film editor for The Northridge Reporter, “Names” was conceived as an adaptation of the popular Japanese animated film series, “Death Note.” This film project—written, directed and edited by Cunningham—is his largest to date. Filming occurred at various locations throughout Tuscaloosa, and production encompassed the better part of a year. The series was even mentioned in a feature in the May 2015 issue of the Reporter. Each of the episodes in the six-part series lasts five to six minutes, making a highly entertaining experience when viewed end-to-end. The final episode was released early this August. The series opens when a black book inscribed with the words ‘DEATH NOTE’ falls from the sky and arrives in the unsuspecting hands of Gestas Gallo (played by graduate Davis Byars). Warning: spoilers ahead. Tormented at school by Triton Taylor (LaDarius Robinson, senior), he vows revenge on his enemy after being thrown into a dumpster, where, incidentally, the book is discovered. Gallo finds his chance for vengeance when, upon opening the book, he reads that if he writes a person’s name under particular circumstances, that person will promptly die. Gallo follows the book’s instructions for Taylor, leading to Taylor’s untimely but bloodless demise in a classroom. The book unleashes a dark spell on Gallo, as he begins a homicidal rampage across the city. No one is safe from his sadism and bloodlust, and all attempts by the authorities to halt him are, naturally, thwarted. One police investigator, Arthur Yagami ( John Kreiger, senior) is still on the case, but is becoming increasingly frustrated at its dead ends. Enter Gallo’s younger brother, Cain (Nate Hester, senior). Highly idealistic but deeply cynical about human greed and wickedness, a flashback he has about his early childhood reveals his father was a wealthy
businessman who committed suicide. Cain thus has a desire to create utopia on Earth by eliminating his enemies, real or perceived. He sets about this by obtaining the Death Note, slaying Gestas, and picking up his brother’s rampage where it left off. Yagami, still on the case, is promoted to lead the effort to apprehend the newest serial killer. One night, still dismayed about the murderer at large, he receives an enigmatic message from an individual known only by the initial ‘Z.’ Revealed to be Zeus Zane, a mysterious private investigator (Will Henson, junior) he appears to have an innate knowledge of Cain’s mind, and leads Yagami to his whereabouts. This marks only the halfway point of the series: the narrative grows more dire, the acting gets better, and observations about human nature become darker. Perhaps the series is at its most profound when Zane remarks in Episode 6, “You’re either remembered for selfishness or forgotten for courage.” Sadly, in this work where there are only anti-heroes, Zeus is doomed to the latter category. “Names” is a mature work, and one in which violent death, bullying, suicide, arson and twisted idealism all are evident. These themes aren’t necessarily apparent at first—one can tell the actors were having a good deal of fun producing the series—but watch the episodes again, and the hard truth about the way humans really work begins to set in. Most of the characters are tormented and confused about the disturbing circumstances they find themselves in, and there is no easy way out for anyone. The easy power over death that the Hitler-like Cain possesses is deeply contrasted with the heroic but futile efforts of all too many good characters, for whom untimely and violent deaths are their reward for combating evil. For ages, humans have wondered if creating a utopia is possible, a place where greed, strife and cruelty are eliminated and harmony reigns supreme. Sadly, such thinking is at best delusional and at worst evil, as “Names” brilliantly reveals. In this twisted world there are only twisted solutions, and as the sad case of the Gallo brothers and the horrors they unleashed demonstrates, it is impossible for humans to harness their basest instincts, much less the better angels of their nature. To watch “Names,” visit the Defend the Galaxy Productions channel on YouTube. For more videos and other interesting things, subscribe to them or follow them on Instagram (@dtg_productions).
The Northridge Reporter Septmeber 18, 2015
Football team begins with winning season NATE HESTER ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
The school’s football team has begun the season with one of the best starts in school history. After 4 games, their record stands at (3-1) overall and (1-1) in the region. Gabe Smith, senior Safety, thinks the team has done well this season. “The team has obviously had its ups and downs through the first four games but we overcome adversity when we need to,” Smith said. The season began with a 13-6 win over Etowah, who was ranked in the Top 10 of the 5A Classification. They followed it up with a 24-14 win over their bitter rivals, Tuscaloosa County High, who was also ranked in the Top 10 of their 7A Classification. “That week of practice before the County High game was one of the best weeks of practice we’ve had in a long time,” Smith said. “It showed Friday night, and the student section really helped us out,” he said. The Jags couldn’t make it three in a row against McAdory in their third straight contest against ranked opposition, losing 35-10 to a very impressive offense. September 12, the team got back on the winning track with a 37-14 region win over Brookwood in awful weather conditions. Matthew Hankins, senior fan, was at the Brookwood game. “It was raining cats and dogs but our guys came and showed Brookwood how it was done,” he said. The team will take on Bryant at home September 18.
Photo By Camri Mason
JAGUAR NATION Tommy Bryant (1), looks for open receiver during County High game on Aug. 28. The football team beat County High for the first time since 2011 by a score of 24-14.
Volleyball teams undefeated in area matches NATE HESTER ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
The school’s volleyball teams have gotten off to great starts this season. As of September 17th, the JV team has an overall record of (5-1) and a (1-0) area record. Carol Johnson, sophomore libero, said that County High was the most exciting game of the team’s season thus far. “County high is one of our biggest competitors and also the school rivals,” Johnson said. “During that game our team really worked together for the win and each of us gave it our all!” The team also had to come from behind in the second set to beat McAdory on September 14. Allie Darden, sophomore setter, said that the McAdory game brought out the grit in the team. “It was pretty insane to come back from down 16-5 to win the set,” Darden said. “It showed our mental and physical ability to push ourselves and our teammates
to the highest level of determination,” she said. The Varsity team has a (7-5) record overall and is also (2-0) in the area as of September 17th. Mary Katherine Winfield, sophomore hitter, said the win over McAdory was really important to their season. “If we win our area games we get to move on past the area tournament,” Winfield said. “All area games are big games because they determine how far our season will go.” Landen Lake, senior libero, said she is impressed with the improvement of their young offense. “Overall, the more experience we get, the more we will improve,” Lake said. “I think we’re doing well this year because we have all worked super hard since spring workouts and all the way through the summer,” Winfield said. “We deserve to do well,” she said.
Photo By Beth Allaway
SERVES UP Madison Darden (1), junior, sets for Olivia Patridge (27), in their match against McAdory on Sept. 14
The Northridge Reporter Septmeber 18, 2015
Hutchinson justifies NCAA playoff picks Jordan Hutchinson Assistant Sports Editor
ollege football has ramped back up again, and the new playoff system opens the mind for predictions. My top four this year consist of, in this order, Alabama, Ohio State, TCU, and Michigan State. pick one Alabama has a solid team overall this year. However, there is a vacant space for the breakout star. Last year it was Amare Cooper, and a few years ago there was Mark Ingram and Julio Jones from the 2010 National Championship team. This year’s team is made of more quality players without that one breakout player. There are a few players I do have my eye on: Kenyon Drake and Derrick Henry, two halfbacks that are dynamic in their own ways. Drake is a player that can make people miss and run on the outside. Henry is more of a power back that can break through a hole in the middle and get some good power yards. Based on his performances against Wisconsin and Middle Tennessee, he could turn out to be the player that carries the Crimson Tide. With 147 yards and three touchdowns on just 13 carries. That’s over ten yards per carry. Even on the defensive side of the
ball, the Tide look menacing, that’s why they are my number one.
back Ezekiel Elliot. So far he’s got six touchdowns in two weeks. Granted they may not be against the best compick two petition in the country, it’s still a fanOhio State comes in tastic start for him, a close second. Even though I suspect he ...the Tide looks will fizzle out once he though they were national champions last menacing. That’s hits a good lineman year, I don’t see them head on. why they are my being number one. This On the defensive doesn’t mean they won’t side they have star number one. win it all this year, but Joey Bosa who had going into the playoffs, 13.5 sacks last season. they will be a number I’ll be surprised if he two. doesn’t get at least 8 sacks this season. The reason why is their constant The Buckeyes are definitely scary, I shuffling of quarter backs. Cardale suggest that everyone watch out in case Jones and J.T. Barret are both out- they prove me wrong and keep their standing quarterbacks, don’t get me number 1 ranking all year. wrong. However, the indecisiveness by the coaching staff on who will be the Pick three definite starter makes me uneasy. It Next, TCU. The Horned Frogs may not seem to be a big problem now, looked shaky in their first game against but I think that the longer this ques- the Minnesota Gophers. The Frogs tion goes unanswered of who is the only put up 23 points, with their supnumber one, the less effective each one posedly supercharged offense with becomes. young quarterback Trevon Boykin. If I were to choose one for my team However, week two silenced the critI would pick Jones. Also, in their favor, ics with a performance that can only be the new and improved Braxton Mill- described as pure domination against er is something special. A quarterback Stephen F. Austin with an end score of converted to a wide receiver seems far- 70-7. fetched, but in this situation, it worked Even with this huge win, I do have far better than expected. Then there is my doubts. They seemed too shaky the beast that was hidden inside half- and Boykin a little too inexperienced.
If they want to go anywhere and actually make the playoffs unlike last year, they will need to figure out their own strengths and weaknesses before everyone else does. TCU can be dangerous if they want to, but right now they need to move quickly and figure out what kind of team they want to be. Pick Four Last but certainly not least. Michigan State. It took me a while to choose a fourth team just because of how many teams could take the final spot: Oregon, USC, Notre Dame, and many more. I chose the Spartans because they are more solid all around than any of the latter teams. Quarterback Connor Cook took control of the Oregon game and made some really good throws and I can see some potential there. The offense can really put up some points. However, I think the real highlight of their team is the defense, specifically the defensive line. Shilique Calhoun is a monster at defensive end and I expect big things from him.
o the 2015-2016 season has come in full effect. I’m excited to see what upsets this year hold, and how long it will take for the top four to be cemented.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
munities on a scale not seen literally since the Holocaust. Think is silliness almost defies anger. You have to wonder if about it: 11 MILLION people. They would have to be found, Donald Trump knows what he’s doing when he blatantdragged from their homes (by soldiers) forced into camps (sound ly tars all Mexican immigrants with the brush of rape. Is familiar?), then you’d have to separate those with green cards from he really a racist? Or is he just a thoughtless overgrown those without, tearing undocumented husbands from wives with child with a microphone? papers, immigrant mothers from their citizen children… While Trump may seem amusing, it’s important to remember The climate of hate and dehumanization Trump seeks to create what he really is: a crazed billionaire who wants to buy the election would give rise to all manner of unspeakable acts of inhumanity, and do God knows what with the presidency. just as it did in Europe, less than a century ago. A This is a man who made his political debut by promderanged demagogue, funny looking and charismatic, ising to build a giant wall along the Mexican border. who is turning out huge crowds by claiming that the It’s not one of his ideas, it’s his MAIN idea. If you visit country’s woes are the fault of a vulnerable, unfamiliar his campaign website, you will see that the only item minority. Who am I describing: Donald Trump, or on his ‘Issues’ page is Immigration Reform that will Adolf Hitler? ‘Make America Great Again,’ a slogan he stole from Hitler comparisons should not be made lightly, but Ronald Reagan. the eerie similarities between the two are frightening. And that immigration plan consists of: building an The facts are these: The most conservative estimate impossibly giant, impossible wall between the U.S. and BERT McLELLAND (produced by a Republican think tank) for the cost Mexico (Which Mexico will pay for), and forcibly deOPINION EDITOR of deporting 11 million illegal immigrants is between porting over 11 million undocumented immigrants. $400-$600 billion; the drop in our GDP (from losse Democrat That’s 11,000,000; only one million less than the comin the dairy, poultry, and hotel industries) would be bined population of Alabama, Mississippi AND Lou$1.6 trillion. Immigrants commit crimes at one-third the rate of isiana. natural born Americans. How, I ask, does he propose to achieve this? Let me tell you: he Immigrants, legal and otherwise, aren’t criminals, they’re Pilcouldn’t. Not without sending the army into the streets of America grims. The contempt with which Trump treats them is shameful. to knock down doors, raid apartments, and round up whole com-
Trump candidacy dangerous for America
12 beat election 2016
The Northridge Reporter Septmeber 18, 2015
north ri d g e
pages 1 & 2
Photos by Camri Mason and Facebook
coach don mcnabb
Septmeber 18, 2015 volume 13 issue 1