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What’s inside: Harassment
pages 6 & 7
Newbury Park High School | Friday Nov. 5, 2010 | issue three | 456 N. Reino RD. Newbury Park, CA 91320
Lockwood recognized for teaching accomplishments
Student Congress holds first meeting Melissa Han
Prowler Editor in Chief
Sam Morgan / Prowler
Biology teacher Jennifer Lockwood helps Kyle Rose, senior, understand a lab on transpiration, a process that transports water in plants.
Prowler Copy Editor
Jennifer Lockwood, International Baccalaureate and Honors Biology teacher, received the Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD)’s Teacher of the Month Award last week from the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce. “I was just shocked. I didn’t know what to say. It’s probably the first time I’ve ever been speechless,” Lockwood said about earning the recognition. An annual initiative of the Conejo Valley District Office, the Teacher of the Month program honors outstanding local educators through rewards and recognition. In addition to these rewards, honored teachers also receive plaques marking their achievements. Since the program began in 1991, about 190 CVUSD teachers have been publicly acknowledged for their dedication and quality efforts to serve their community. “There’s a special committee of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce that meets monthly and helps provide the teachers gifts
and recognition,” Nick Colangelo, School to Career Coordinator, said of the program. The selection process started in April with faculty nominations, which consisted of forms and letters justifying the choices. Following these recommendations, various district officials including the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent and Directors of Elementary and Secondary Education had to review the teachers’ qualifications prior to making their final selections. Faculty members believe that the district came to the correct decision in choosing to reward Lockwood, who is also the science department chair. “I think she is very deserving,” Claire Izakowitz, chemistry Honors and International Baccalaureate teacher said. “She has the ability to multitask, and is always there for the community and is really involved with helping the school, which I think is great.” Many students seem to be in agreement with this assessment. “I feel she truly deserves [the honor] ... she takes great care of her students, answering their questions, even if it means explaining photosynthesis over and over again,” Daniel Dipsia, senior, said.
IB students visit Mummies exhibit, think critically Dennis Gahm
Prowler Technical Consultant
Seniors and juniors in the International Baccalaureate program went on a field trip to the “Mummies of the World” exhibit at the California Science Center on Oct. 29. The exhibition displayed mummies from Egypt, Peru, Germany, Chile, and many other countries. The exhibition displayed many artifacts students had never been exposed to before. “You don’t know until you go” Janet Conner, IB English teacher, said. Yvon Brousseau, senior, said that what he remembered most was that “the mummies came from all different cultures. They weren’t just Egyptian like I thought they would be.” Todd Shelley, senior, said he was in awe of the fetus mummies. “They were like these weird creature-like things that were mummified.
I didn’t know that they mummified fetuses back then. It was interesting. I wrote a poem about it, actually.” In addition to mummified humans, the exhibit also contained mummified animals. “[There were] a lot of animals - a hyena, a dog, and I think there was also a monkey,” Rose said. “[I liked] the fish because it looked very real and looked like it would normally look. All the others looked like piles of skin,” said Lily Ben-Avi, junior. The exhibition created controversy among the students of whether it was ethical to put mummies on display as they too were once real human beings. “We’ve been talking about this in class all week,” Brousseau said. “I’d say yes and no. The people who were mummified never consented to being displayed, but at the same time, it’s all very scientific. Plus, they never said no.”
However, not all students were in agreement. “Personally, I don’t think it’s appropriate. I think it’s good scientifically speaking, but I don’t think they should be put on display like that as artwork or any kind of exhibition,” Josh Swanson, senior, said. Mummies of the World provided students a glimpse into the past. It educated them about past cultures around the world and stimulated philosophical and ethical thought. Several teachers also attended the exhibit. “I really enjoyed taking the students to something that I thought was quite extraordinary. Afterwards, it was even more extraordinary because the kids had different reactions,” Conner said. “I didn’t know how they would react and the variety of responses – sobering; others kind of exciting; others more scientific. It was just really delightful, which is our purpose in IB – to give our students a variety of experience.”
Student Congress has been revamped for the new school year to allow for more representation of all the students. “We wanted to get the students’ voices heard and have them feel more involved, even if they are not school leaders already,” Jennifer Halpert, Associated Student Government adviser, said. In contrast with past years, the meetings this year will place more emphasis on “[showing] different perspectives other than ASG’s and [sharing] issues that are on the forefront of students’ minds,” Claudia Caudill, ASG co-adviser, said. Students interested in representing their classes either volunteered or were elected. “For my class, I asked who was interested,” Halpert said. “The volunteers gave a speech, and then the class voted.” Participants must also maintain a 2.0 grade point average. Meetings will be held the first Wednesday of every month, rotating for A and B day classes. “The student body vice president runs it, like a business meeting,” Athol Wong, principal said. “There is an agenda, and representatives will be asked to take information back to [their] classes to gather input. They also have the ability to bring up ideas for the next meeting as new business.” The primary goal is to give students greater investment in campus events and leadership opportunities. Another goal of the program is for students to feel connected. “I hope [Student Congress] empowers students who are not in ASG or honors classes,” Caudill said. Briane Seligman, ASG vice president, presided over the first meeting, held Nov. 3 in the band room. “ASG is limited,” Seligman said. “Hopefully more people would want to get more involved and share new ideas [through Student Congress].” The representatives left class during third period to participate. Wong, Halpert, Caudill and Karla Villavicencio, Dean of Students, also shared their input. Participants shared their ideas about random drug testing, a toy drive, and a potential winter formal. The agenda also included plans for the Spring Fling in March and how students can help their peers deal with stress. At the end of the meeting, students were told to take their notes and share the discussion with their class. The representatives were also treated with a pizza lunch. “I think [Student Congress] is a good idea for communication and can be effective if done right,” Kevin Macy, junior, said.
News 2 The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
News in Brief • Noticias en Breve Students earn money working In-n-Out distributed for advanced at the gubernatorial election or improved STAR testing scores Norma Hutchinson
Prowler Sports Editor
The National Honor Society (NHS) gave away free In-n-Out hamburgers, cheeseburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches on Nov. 2 to students who either received advanced scores on the mathematics and English subject tests or were in the top 100 for the most improved scores on the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) examinations taken in May.
Sam Morgan/ Prowler
Paul Kasum, senior, takes a straw for his soft drink as a part of the In-n-Out reward lunch while other students wait in line to recieve their meals.
La Sociedad Nacional de Honor (SNH) regaló hamburguesas, hamburguesas con queso y sándwiches de queso de In-nOut atrás de la cafetería el 2 de noviembre a los estudiantes que recibieron puntaciones avanzadas en los exámenes en las materias de matemáticas e inglés en los Exámenes y Reportes Estandarizados (ERP) que fueron tomados el año pasado en mayo.
The nationwide elections for state propositions and government officials took place on Nov. 2. Several high school students worked at the different election polls, spread throughout the community, from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Depending on the number of training classes they had taken beforehand, the students received payment varying from $90 upward. Las elecciones a nivel nacional para proposiciones estatales y oficiales de gobierno se llevaron a cabo el 2 de noviembre. Varios estudiantes de secundaria se ofrecieron para ayudar en las encuestas electorales distribuidas a través de la comunidad desde las 6 a.m. hasta las 9 p.m. Después de esto, los estudiantes recibieron un pago de $ 90_ o mas, dependiendo en la cantidad de cursos de capacitación que habían tomado de antemano.
Money and Me workshop informs students about managing money
The Money and Me field trip took place Oct. 22 at Moorpark College from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students, especially seniors, attended the workshop and learned about managing their economic credit, investments and savings for the future. Throughout the event guest speakers provided the students with information and small group activities were organized. La excursión escolar de “el dinero y yo” fue llevada a cabo el 22 de octubre en el colegio de Moorpark desde las 7 a.m. hasta las 12:30 p.m. Los estudiantes de tercer año participaron en el taller y aprendieron sobre el manejo de su crédito económico, las inversiones y acerca de los ahorros para el futuro. Los invitados proporcionaron la información a los estudiantes y actividades con grupos pequeños fueron organizadas a lo largo del evento.
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Opinion 3 The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
Why Nov. 1 should never be on a Monday...
The benefits of going on field trips Teachers arrange field trips for students to gain valuable knowledge outside the classrooom setting.
Instead of spending every day of every school week in a classroom, some students are fortunate enough to take a field trip and expand their knowledge through a truly unique event. Field trips are a great way for students to engage their minds and apply the material they are studying in class to the real world. If all class periods were taught within school walls, students would complain “When am I ever going to use this?” much more often than they already do. Field trips connect education to real-life experiences to help create a more aware and well-rounded student body. In order to excel, students must broaden their scope of the world beyond what is written in a textbook. Students and teachers take back information from field trips that can be utilized in the classroom and may enhance the learning experience through valuable discussion and newly found knowledge. Field trips offer students current and up-to-date examples of the subjects they are studying in school. The students at NPHS should consider themselves lucky for these opportunities, and appreciate the fact that field trips are not a thing of the past. At many schools in less wealthy areas, it is very difficult to arrange field trips, let alone pay for them. For this reason, those students are stuck at school. At NPHS, students are fortunate enough to have field trips organized so they can engage in memorable experiences and enjoy a day outside of the classroom. Of course, downsides to field trips do exist. Students may have make-up work to complete for other classes and may have to pay participation fees in order to go on some excursions. However, teacher cooperation and understanding can help eliminate some of the hassle of make-up work. Likewise, the staff at NPHS is aware of financial difficulties and is willing to conscientiously assist students with such struggles. Going on a field trip is a valuable novelty that we here at NPHS are able to take and advantage of and enjoy, so students and teachers alike should be grateful for such opportunites.
Melissa Han / Prowler
Students today confront a significant challenge Dennis Gahm
Prowler Technical Consultant
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I love to think freely, have a nice long conversation with someone, and just lay out on the grass gazing up at the sky, pensive in thought. I was able to do this last summer, but once school started, I had to gear up, and “get myself together,” as Mrs. Lockwood put it. What a rude awakening. School is like a military camp. We wake up early in the morning at 6:00am, quickly eat breakfast, get dressed, and drive to school, where we sit in classes absorbing the content of four different subjects over the span of seven hours. Then, we change into our athletics clothes and practice several hours for upcoming matches that usually end at around 6 p.m. We go home, incredibly tired, and begin the most dreaded and time-consuming task of all – homework. Many of us would like to procrastinate; however, that is just out of the question. We must squeeze out every single second of our so-called lives to finish our homework so that we can get some sleep, which hopefully isn’t filled with dreams of geometric proofs, finding tangent lines, and biological cells. Then, there is waking up. Ohh, what a difficult task. It isn’t as romantic as the saying “Waking up and smelling the coffee.” No. It is more like “Waking up to an alarm clock blasting your ears, dragging your dead tired body out of bed, and barely eating some breakfast.” The smell of coffee, the beautiful sky, the dew on the grass? What is that? I’m sorry. I never got to notice it. I was too busy splashing cold water on my face to keep myself awake.
But don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying I dislike school. I aspire to be a computer scientist or a mathematician and attend a great university. I love math. I love logic, problem-solving, truly understanding nature, reading up on the biographies of mathematicians, and learning concepts that seem interesting to me. But I don’t exactly like the math classes at school. Why? They, too, are run in almost a military style. David Foster Wallace, author of Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity, explains it perfectly: “The trouble with college math classes [is that they] consist almost entirely in the rhythmic ingestion and regurgitation of abstract information. Their sheer surface-level difficulty can fool us into thinking we really know something. Rarely do math classes ever tell us whether a certain formula is truly significant. There’s clearly a difference between being able to use a formula correctly and really knowing how to solve a problem [and] knowing why a problem is an actual mathematical problem and not just an exercise.” In the midst of all this busyness, I still do manage to appreciate the small things in life, which I find very important. Whenever I can, I eat dinner at the table and have a discussion with my parents about any random topic – like how my day was, a current event, or something interesting I learned that day. I also like to write in my journal any thoughts in my head. I like to write down any philosophical thoughts I may have, any life-lessons I’ve learned, any questions I have, and what my day was like. I’m even thinking about starting a blog. These days, I’m learning how to balance the small things in life that I find very important and the fastpaced lifestyle of a modern student.
Newbury Park H igh S chool
P a n t h e r P r o w l e r J o u r n a l i s m S ta f f Editors in Chief
Shannon Alavi-Moghaddam Melissa Han
Chief Photographer Sam Morgan
Sophie Li Sneha Paranandi
Technical Consultant Dennis Gahm
News Editors Sophie Li Nadia Lynn
Opinion Editors Cooper Ellison George Nasr
Features Editors Bethany Ellis Emily Jones
Entertainment Editors Sneha Paranandi Kavya Singampalli
The Prowler is the official publication of Newbury Park High School, created and produced by Advanced Journalism students. The Prowler is published every three weeks throughout the school year. Guest editorials and letters to the editor are welcomed, but must be signed and are subject to editing for length, libel, obscenity, and taste.
Newbury Park High School. 456 North Reino Road. Newbury Park, California 91320. (805) 498-3676 x 1103
Norma Hutchinson Maia Laabs Rachel Cross John Dichirico Justine Sizemore
Mrs. Michelle Saremi
The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
Homecoming security shouldn’t resemble Homeland Security Sophie Li
Prowler Copy Editor
Blood rushed to his cheeks as he stood there with his arms straight out as if he were a toddler mimicking an airplane. Even in the misty dark, with only the dim street lamps offering their faint orange-yellow glow in front of the gymnasium, I could see a poor guy blushing as a man in a black security shirt ran his hands all along his arms, torso, legs, and groin area. He wasn’t the only one; half of the guys who attended homecoming this year didn’t even need to step through the gym doors because the most action they got that night was being frisked by security before entering the dance. But in all seriousness, the surveillance at this year’s homecoming dance seemed much stricter than in past years. I know I wasn’t the only girl who was surprised at the big blue plastic tub filled with confiscated deodorant, perfume, gum, makeup, and other purse necessities. Several
girls stuffed lipstick and mints down the front of their dresses, and I don’t blame them. The security guards even took away pencils from one of my friends, who had accidentally left them in her purse after taking the Preliminary SAT that morning. Honestly, what harm is a stick of deodorant or a tube of concealer going to do? I’ll tell you what harm it did. Because of this hold-up at the door, the girls’ line wound all the way down past the service road. Shivering in the cold night, half of the girls looked like they were going to get hypothermia. Confusion struck their faces as they saw the ominous blue bin. In essence, confiscating items did more damage than it prevented. Not to say that homecoming wasn’t fun; once inside, everything seemed normal again. The wall of humidity went up almost immediately, and make-out sessions ensued everywhere. The packed gym was more of a gyrating orgy than a dance, but hey,
what’s new? Well, one thing was different. Outside, at the end of the “red carpet” area by the Girls’ Activity Room, was a tall man with a walkie-talkie and another one of those shirts with “security” in block letters on the back. At one point in the night, I suppose I most have gotten to close to the neonorange fencing near the GAR, because he gave me a menacing glare. Needless to say, I retreated back indoors and went on with my night, away from his rude stares. I decided to step out half an hour early, and right as I put my foot out the door this women, in a gray security shirt, grabbed my arm and asked if I was leaving. In my head, I was thinking, “Lady, what does it look like I’m doing?” She reiterated to me, very slowly as if I wasn’t capable of understanding her, that I wouldn’t be allowed to return. The security measures implemented at homecoming were unnecessary and should be toned down in the future.
in recent months, we’ve faced just about every type of weather available – everything but snow. Right now, it feels like we’re getting a different season every day, and we’re very confused. Typical mornings are greeted with either blindingly bright sunrises or impenetrable fog and drizzle, both of which are just killer to drive in. Then by the afternoon, it is either absolutely sweltering or relentlessly pouring. And that’s it, there’s no middle ground. Apart from the two extremes, bad timing is another of our gripes. Why, we ask, did you send us those perfect beach days in the middle of September when we were stuck slaving away in school? That was simply cruel. Then in the midst of October, we were all just innocently sitting in class when BAM! A blinding flash of lightning illuminated the room, followed by a deep rolling grumble of thunder that made our hearts pound faster. Here in good ol’ So Cal, we don’t get these things often, so when we do, it feels like the ground beneath
our feet is opening up and sending us down into the abyss. The clock said “Bell,” but Mother, it felt like hell. Most recently, we’ve had heat, humidity, and rain all packed into one tropical day, while the next is hot, dry, and ungodly windy. If this is just you and your pal Santa Ana playing tugof-war over Newbury Park, please just get that treaty signed and move on. Enough is enough. Day after day, we have no idea what to expect. We arrive in shorts, only to be drenched in rain and on the verge of hypothermia by lunch. The weathermen are no help at all – not even satellites can read your mind. We’d greatly appreciate a little consistency, that’s all. Preferably some cool days with sunshine, though we wouldn’t mind a little drizzle once in a while. It is autumn after all. Mother, there’s no need for you to take out your wrath on Southern California. I hope you understand that I only want to help. So please, seek a professional. There’s no shame in therapy. We’d greatly appreciate it. Sincerely, Maia
feature the combination of mini dresses and lots of cleavage. I don’t know about you, but when I think of a bee costume, I think of a cute little baby dressed in black and yellow with some antennas, not a 17 year-old in an outfit that looks like it’s the same size as the baby’s costume. Since when are bees supposed to be attractive anyway? I mean, when most girls see a bee, they generally run in the other direction screaming. If anything, the costume should be made to be scary. And it doesn’t stop there. People today manage to make any costume revealing, not just bees. There are scantily clad maids, baseball players,
super heroes, and fairies - the list goes on and on. Also, there are always several different versions of the same costume. I didn’t even know there were eight ways to make a pirate outfit revealing. Now, I’m sure that most guys don’t mind these factors in girls’ costumes, and I have even seen a few girls who don’t seem to mind having their chests bursting out of their tops. But hey, who am I to say what other people should and shouldn’t wear, “whatever floats your boat”, right? All I’m saying, though, is that it wouldn’t kill anyone to make a costume that the average girl could wear without freezing her butt off on Halloween night.
Don’t take your untimely rage out on all of us, Mother Nature Maia Laabs
Prowler Sports Editor
Dear Mother Nature, Sorry to disturb you. I know you’re too busy right now to pay attention to some letter from a random mortal, but frankly, I’m concerned. Your behavior lately has revealed that you’re in need of some serious help. At first, I thought what you were dealing with was just normal PMS, but you’re like this 24/7, 365 days per year. No amount of Midol can fix that. I’m no psychiatrist, but I think you may be dealing with a borderline bipolar disorder. I know things have been pretty rough for you lately with the whole world climate change and everything, and you’re just dealing with it as best as you can, but life here in southern California isn’t looking too bright at the moment. I don’t mean to blame you, but you’re the only one who can make the change. Normally in California, we have just two seasons – summer, and not summer, characterized by either sun and heat or a lack thereof. But
Halloween costumes undergo a frightening transformation Rachel Cross
Prowler Staff Writer
Fashion for our generation is clearly not conservative, with trendy V neck T-shirts and extremely short shorts owned by the majority of the teen population and beyond. I, too, am guilty of possessing such clothing, but when it comes to some Halloween costumes, that’s when I think it goes a bit too far. Nowadays you can’t even go into Party City without finding skimpy outfits labeled “girls’ costumes”, and I can say from firsthand experience that going to bigger Halloween stores down in LA is even worse. Girls can’t find a “cute” costume that doesn’t
Get a room and spare us the public display of “affection” Beth Ellis
Prowler Features Editor The setting is nutrition. Now here is a puzzle: your objective is to complete the following sequence. Stand. Talk. Turn. Glance. (Fill in the blank). Any guesses? Time’s up, the correct answer is ‘puke.’ Here is where you slipped up, kids; in your glance you just saw one of “those” couples. You know the kind. They believe they are all alone and end up doing some hardcore PDA (personal display of affection, to enlighten some of you). I will spare you the dirty details because I do not want you to become humiliated by having to splatter your lunch all over this lovely newspaper. Let me just begin by saying this: there is a sweet way to be affectionate and then there is a way that will have me invest all my money in a machine that erases parts of my memory. The two measly breaks given at school (i.e. nutrition and lunch) are purely meant for you to unwind after the treacherous class you just had, not to be totally revolted by the people around you. Granted, there are certain couples who are, for lack of a better word, “cute.” The only affection they show would make you feel so girlishly happy that you would go out, buy a new puppy, and name it Cupid, no matter what your gender is. The other ones, however, make you feel completely awkward and become really interested in the gum on the quad ground. I mean, do we have to have this kind of physical contact right when I’m trying to enjoy my Special K strawberry cereal bar? I think not! The worst part is, everything is done by the complete element of surprise. I could be trying so desperately to enjoy the fact I must be at school for nine hours a day and right when I fool myself into believing it’s not so bad, BAM! My retinas are bombarded with the act of interchanging saliva. Trust me friends, this was no peck. If we were playing a Sims computer game the option wouldn’t even be available to us because it is not rated T for teen. I mean I expect this kind of “hot lovin” at homecoming but at 10:15a.m. in the morning with tons of people staring at you? It almost seems comical. Maybe I shouldn’t be sincerely grossed out, but instead start laughing hysterically. But then ignorant beings might perceive me as “not the saltiest fry in the box,” to say the least. And with my luck the R rated couple wouldn’t have even noticed I was laughing at their unruly behavior. The only logical way to solve these incidents is to just keep the PDA on the sweet level. That’s not so difficult, is it? And hey, don’t they say that it will only be sweeter tomorrow rather than today? So here’s my plea, either give me fair warning to look the other way or just save it for the darkness at homecoming, or else I might snap one day and duct tape each of you to a chair in separate buildings. Yahoo! answers says duct tape is only seven bucks at Home Depot and I got 10 bucks on me right now. How do you like them apples…
For The Record... In the October 15th issue of The Prowler, on page four the “then” in the title “The English novels we read shouldn’t be older then we are” should have been spelled “than.” On page eight, the correct answer for Student vs. Teacher, question eight, was actually King George meaning that Jen Halpert was correct and the final score should have been seven to four points, in favor of Halpert.
The Prowler apologizes for and deeply regrets these errors. We strive to get it right, but when we do get it wrong, please contact The Prowler at email@example.com with corrections.
The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
i in 5 m
CREATES THE 6
Nadia Lynn and Sneha Paranandi
Prowler News and Entertainment Editors
As the majority of students head indoors following the bell that signals the end of lunch, a small group of juniors and seniors leaves campus. However, these students are not breaking any rules – in fact, they are fulfilling their duties as members of the Regional Occupation/Work Experience Program (ROP). This program, which consists of 103 junior and senior student participants, aims to assist students in their quest to gain experience in the working world. Lesley Drossin, counselor and ROP advisor, said, “It provides students with the hands on experience and technical skills needed to succeed in a specific career.” On campus, students may choose between classes in the culinary arts and cabinet making, both of which contain approximately 22 students. However, multiple alternatives are offered in offcampus courses held at the Camarillo Airport. After attending preparatory courses either in Newbury Park or in Camarillo, participants also work as interns in the outside environment for the second half of the year. The locations for these outside work experiences vary depending on the ROP class. For example, those in fashion retail typically go to Sears, while a medical assistant would most likely go to a hospital or other medical building.
Sam Morgan / Prowler
Kevin Noriega, senior, focuses during ROP to finish his project
Among the many smells emanating from the C-building, the most mouthwatering aromas come from the Panther Café, situated in a minuscule space between rooms C-1 and 2. This tiny room is filled to the brim with delicious foods prepared by the third period ROP Culinary Arts class. The adviser, Leigh Ann Diffenderfer, said, “this is a capstone class for Foods and Nutrition, and for food service itself.” She explains that the class is a higher level class compared to Foods and Nutrition, resulting in more work, but also more credits. The students in the ROP Culinary Arts class earn 15 credits, which is 5 more than the basic Foods and Nutrition class receive. In addition to the heavier workload, the Culinary ROP students are responsible for managing and running Panther Café at lunchtime. The café is a place where teachers and school staff members can come for a meal and it is the students’ job to serve and cook for them. The students from the ROP class begin the school year in the classroom, but about halfway through the year, they are given an internship at a different location for outside work experience. In the past, some of the locations have included Magoo’s, Denny’s, and Claim Jumper. Jager Shook, senior, has been in Diffenderfer’s culinary classes since sophomore year, and is wrapping up his high school education in the ROP class. In the three years, he has gone to both the state and national competitions, where he won first and fourth places, respectively. “The [ROP] class really prepared me for it and got me on the right path,” he said. “The competition itself was hectic, [but] I had already learned techniques, so that helped a lot.”
Left to Right: Patrick Barbee, senior, handles the chop saw with great concentration as Jonae Walker, junior, and Sarah Sporich, senior, prepare delicious treats in Culinary Class. Matthew Jackson, senior, uses the nail gun in cabinet making while Jansen Shook, senior, and Brandon Kurowski, senior, add garlic to their new recipe.
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Harassment 7 The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
6 Harassment The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
when bullying takes its toll Emily Jones and Kavya Singampalli
Prowler Features Editor and Prowler Entertainment Editor
“Yes [I have been harassed], called names in and out of class, had food thrown at me, made fun of for being in GSA,” John*, who has been harassed for his sexual orientation, said. John has handled the harassment by reporting it to the administration and talking about it with his friends. “I can’t say all my friends would be there for me, but I know some that I can always count on.” Matthew* has also been harassed due to his homosexual orientation. Matthew says that he has been harassed by students who go off-campus for lunch. “Mostly it bugged me that their insults weren’t really creative. I told them this and gave a creative insult of my own. They applauded, probably sarcastically, but I didn’t really care.” Athol Wong, principal, believes that harassment is “making one individual the subject of a joke over and over.” However, an action is not considered harassment unless “[you] clearly communicate that you want the behavior to stop [and it continues].” This year, the number of disciplinary referrals has decreased in every area except for harassment. Between the first two months of the 2008-2009 school year and the 2009-2010 school year, the number of harassment cases increased by 100 percent. In the first two months of this year, the number of cases has increased another 50 percent from last year. According to the C.V.U.S.D. Discipline Handbook, harassment is characterized as “unwanted and unwelcome behavior from other students or staff members which interferes with another individual’s life.” Larry Berlin, assistant principal in charge of athletics, believes that many of the myths about harassment began with the hysteria involved in the Columbine shooting. “The school [has become] a weapon in choice,” Berlin said, claiming that many students do not understand what constitutes harassment. In order to prevent harassment, the administration conducts discipline talks each year in the Performing Arts Center for freshmen and in classrooms for other grade levels. Wong urges students to understand that they should “treat
Jennie Sun / Prowler
everybody like [they] want to be treated and [they should realize that] someone else is impacted by [their] decisions.” The Peer Counselors have addressed the issue of harassment with small groups of students and hope to expand their efforts in the future. “We function as a means for students who are being harassed to confide in a fellow student whose purpose is to listen and give advice if requested,” Ryan Wonders, president, said. However, in more serious situations, the peer counselors are required to anonymously report the incident to the administration. If they are being harassed, “students need to come to us,” Berlin said. “Sometimes we don’t hear about it for weeks on end. Just because it’s happening at school doesn’t mean we see it.” John compares NPHS with other high schools he attended. “The students here are worse than [those of ] some schools, at least with the verbal harassment, but luckily not physical violence. The school works to help, though, and faculty and staff are supportive.” Stephen Svoboda, geoscience teacher, sees “kids that are [harassing each other] and don’t know they are harassing the other kid.” Most of the subtle and directed occurrences are prevalent amongst the seniors. “[They understand] that the words you use and how you use them are important.” One example of harassment Svoboda sees is when students “denigrate people of their own culture” because they feel that they are not being critical of another person’s culture. Once the administration gets involved, they talk to both parties involved in the action. If the incident is considered harassment, the bully will be placed on a contract, or a “documented warning,” and potential disciplinary actions include Saturday school, suspension, and placement at an alternate site. Wong said that harassment “generally stops, but takes a lot of cooperation from the students. Everyone has the right to feel comfortable in their own skin.” In reaction to the harassment Matthew experiences, he says, “Honestly, it makes me feel annoyed. I don’t harass you for smoking pot or drinking or wearing flannel. Why should you harass me for something I can’t control?
* names changed upon request
Features 8 The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
Prowler Staff Writer
1. Are zebras black with white stripes or white with black stripes? Veazey: They are white with black stripes. Bradley: I’m gonna say black with white stripes. If zebras were shaved they would be all black, so yes, zebras are black with white stripes. First point goes to Bradley. 2. How many classrooms are in the B-building? V: Um I’m going to guess 25. B: 33. Counting every single room in the B-building, there are 33 rooms. Another point for Bradley. Score is 0-2.
Alex Veazey, senior, and Rich Bradley, social science teacher, test who has the real trivia knowledge.
3. When was the toothbrush invented? V: I have no idea the 30’s maybe. B: I don’t know. When the first cave woman told the first cave man he had bad breath? The toothbrush is not that old, but not that young either. It was actually invented in 1498. Score is still 0-2.
6. During which war was chemical warfare first used? V: World War II B: Vietnam War So close again Veazey! The first use of chemical warfare was in World War I. Score is still 1-2. 7. What do bulletproof vests, windshield wipers, and fire escapes all have in common? V: They all have to do with metal. B: I don’t know. Nope, they do not all have something to do with metal. Instead, women invented all three of them. Score is 1-2. 8. What state has only one syllable in its name? V: Oregon. B: Maine. Out of 50 states only one is a syllable long, so good job Bradley. Maine is the correct answer. Score is 1-3. 9. How many ways can you make change for a dollar? V: Like 6, I think. B: 15. Just because it is one dollar does not make the possibilities for change small. There are 293 possible ways to make change for one dollar. The score is 1-3.
4. How many pieces are on a Rubik’s cube? V: I guess 36. B: 54. So close, Veazey, only ten pieces too many. There are actually 26 pieces on a Rubik’s cube. Score is 0-2.
10. What is the only mammal that cannot jump? V: Fish. B: Elephant. A fish may be an animal, but they can still flop around out of water. Elephant is the correct answer. Looks like Bradley has won!
5. What does “vigesimation” mean? V: It means that every twentieth person is killed. B: No idea. That is correct... unfortunately. Score is 1-2.
Final Score: 1-4 Sam Morgan/ Prowler
Following her passion for film Lauren Rewers
Prowler Ad Manager
Sam Morgan/ Prowler
Elizabeth Barraza, senior, knew she wanted to be a part of the film industry in first grade when she starred in a class production of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Since then, her passion evolved into making videos independently and via the Film International Baccalaureate (IB) class. Barraza takes the class because she enjoys the subject and to fulfill the art requirement for a full IB diploma. She is one of only two students enrolled, the other being Brandon Tisor, senior. “Film is a way to connect with people because you are able to experience someone else’s story that you wouldn’t have otherwise,” she said. “You get to paint someone else’s perspective on something.” The course, according to her, resembles a cross between English and art. “We have to produce work and turn in all the production notes on that, the script, and storyboard,” Barraza said. “We also have to do a film analysis of a piece of a film and justify the passage in the entire
context.” She is currently working on two short pieces, which will be used for class and college applications. “Seven No Trump” tells the story of a geeky boy trying to impress a girl during a particularly tumultuous game of bridge, while the other is a modern rendition of “Little Red Riding Hood”. “You kind of have to be cruel to your characters to make it interesting. I love ironic endings,” Barraza said. “I feel like life is like that.” “It’s a long and tiring process, but it’s really fun,” she said. According to Barraza, one complication with creating a piece is making sure it is realistic. “Film is one of those mediums where you have to have knowledge about a lot of things, because your stories come from the world in general and your experiences,” she said. “My inspiration comes from anything and everywhere.” Another problem for Barraza is watching the finished product. “It’s really difficult because you’re your own worst critic,” she said. “I always watch and think ‘I could have
changed that’ or ‘I could have made this a little bit better.’” In addition to directing and writing screenplays, Barraza also goes to acting lessons. She plans on pursuing a double major in acting and filmmaking in college. Future goals for Barraza include winning Academy and Oscar awards for acting or writing screenplays, in addition to showing something at the annual Sundance Film Festival. She would also like to work with actors and actresses such as Edward Norton, Rob Low, Carey Mulligan, or Dakota Fanning. “And everyone wants to work with Johnny Depp. Who doesn’t want to work with Johnny Depp?” she said. But even the most avid film student cannot enter the industry unaware of its harsh realities. “I’m not going in blind. To legitimately be successful you have to be tough. If you miss an audition you miss an opportunity,” Barraza said. “There’s a quote ‘decisions are made by those who show up’, and that really is true. I am focusedalmost like tunnel vision-to get there.”
Entertainment 9 The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
Concert takes Newbury Park by storm Justine Sizemore
Prowler Staff Writer
Music producers and disc-jockeys from within the school district prepare to bring the Thousand Oaks Teen Center to life on Nov. 5 from 9 to 12 p.m. with the bright lights and loud music of their Electro Show. Nick Gough, senior, has been planning this show for seven months. He first came up with the idea after the Rock4Change concert last March. This was a rock concert held by NPHS Invisible Children and Amnesty International at the Thousand Oaks Teen Center, where money was raised to support situations in Darfur and Uganda. Gough wanted to set up a similar event featuring electronic music, or music produced using electronic technology, rather than rock. “I approached the teen center about it earlier this year, and they seemed very interested,” Gough said. There are various genres of
electronic music, with multiple different types included in each genre. The common element connecting these different categories is the way they are produced, using electronic devises rather than actual instruments. “There’s a lot of bass,” Jake Newstadt, sophomore and four year DJ, said. “It sounds kind of robotic.” Nevertheless, Tommy Miner, junior and three year music producer, feels that electronic music can be personalized. “I make my own songs. I use synthesizers to make sounds which I put together using this [other] program,” Miner said. “There’s not any real instruments [involved,] but it still has a human feel, because it’s being produced by a person, which gives it that emotional element.” At the Electro Show, a line-up of Newbury Park and Westlake High School music producers, followed by DJ’s, will demonstrate their own takes on this musical style. The producers will play back songs they created themselves while the DJ’s will present the music remixes they have created. “We’re pretty much going to play all the different genres of electronic music,” Miner said. Visual effects are going to be as much a part of the show as the musical aspect. “There are going to be a lot of light shows, fog, and black lights,”
Neustadt said. Although the show will be open to students outside the district, Miner explained that “it is strictly [for] high school.” It is expected that some form of identification will need to be checked to obtain entrance. Tickets will be sold for $8 presale and $10 at the door. This fee covers the cost of entertainment as well as that of food provided at the show. Due to expenses, no proceeds will be made available to donate to a charity. Nonetheless, Newstadt feels the show will still be able to accomplish its main goal. “Its [purpose is] mostly to get the genre out there because most people don’t know about this kind of music,” he said. Miner feels it is important for high school students to be further exposed to electronic music because it has already influenced what they listen to. “A lot of people don’t understand that rap and Kesha style music get their roots from dance music,” he said. “They don’t even know they like it.” Gough hopes the show will bring in both people who listen to electronic music, and those who do not. “It’s not so edgy that it’s going to scare away people who are just there to have a good time, but it’s edgy enough for people who like that kind
of thing,” he said. Because it is aimed toward a wider audience, Gogh expects a large turn out. “The teen center wants [a turn out of ] at least 500,” he said. “[However,] I could see us hitting up to 700.” Miner hopes the success of this show will mark a beginning for others like it. “If it is popular the first time we do it, we might do it again,” Miner said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to get even more people to come.”
Photo courtesy of Nick Gogh
Nick Gough, senior and organizer of the electronic concert, adjusts the controls which determine the sound of his music.
Latinos Unidos organizes large-scale dance Norma Hutchinson
Prowler Sports Editor
english “For me, being a Latina represents being proud of coming from Hispanic roots and being able to speak another language,” Claudia Zuniga, senior and president of the Latinos Unidos club, said. One of the main purposes of the club is to help Hispanics learn about opportunities available especially for them, due to their ethnicity. “The club helps Latinos specifically to know about the events we organize in relation to our culture and traditions… it helps make them more united,” Zuniga said. College visits are often organized for members who wish to attend, in addition to field trips which offer information about what it represents to be Hispanic, and those which are solely for entertainment purposes, such as field trips to Six Flags. In addition, regular Farm House meetings are scheduled so that members of the club can learn more about their rights as Latinos. “We motivate members to attend the
Farm House meetings in order to get more informed about their right as Latinos,” Zuniga said. The club meets every Wednesday in room B-30 with Eduardo Flores, Claudia Moreno, Sandra Martinez-Galvan and Leilani Alamillo, Spanish and Mathematics teachers, as the advisors. The “Día de los Muertos” or Day of the Dead dance this year will take place Nov. 12 at the Thousand Oaks Teen Center from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with students from Thousand Oaks High School and Westlake High School invited as guests, compared to previous years when the dance has been organized at the school cafeteria from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. “This year we decided to do the Day of the Dead dance at the Teen Center because the years before we have had it at the cafeteria…and many students think that the dance is not as cool. Every year the number of students who attend the dance decreases,” Zuniga said.
“Para mi, ser Latina representa orgullo de venir de raíces Hispanas y poder hablar otro idioma,” dijo Claudia Zúñiga, estudiante de tercer año y presidenta del club, dijo. Uno de los principales objetivos del club es ayudar a los hispanos a aprender sobre las oportunidades disponibles especialmente para ellos gracias a su étnicidad. “El club ayuda a Los Latinos específicamente en saber más de los eventos que organizamos relacionados con nuestra cultura y tradiciones…ayuda a hacerlos mas unidos,” Zuniga dijo.Visitas a diferentes universidades son organizadas para los miembros que deseen asistir, además de las excursiones que ofrecen información acerca de lo que representa ser hispano y paseos que solamente tienen con fin divertirse, tales como
visitas a Six Flags. Además, las reuniones regulares en Farm House están organizadas para que los miembros del club pueden aprender más acerca de sus derechos como latinos. “Motivamos a los Latinos que atiendan los sesiones en [el] Farm House para que se informen mas [acerca] de sus derechos como Latinos,” Zuniga said. El club se reúne todos los miércoles en el salón B-30 con Eduardo Flores, Claudia Moreno, Sandra Martínez Galván y Leilani Alamillo, maestros de español y matemáticas, como los asesores. Este año, el baile del Día de los Muertos tendrá lugar el 12 de noviembre en el Centro de Adolescentes de Thousand Oaks desde las 7:30 p.m. hasta las 10:30 p.m. con los estudiantes de las preparatorias de Thousand Oaks y Westlake como invitados. En años anteriores, este baile se ha organizado en la cafetería de la escuela de las 3 p.m. hasta las 6 p.m. “Este ano decidimos hacer el baile del Día de Los Muertos en el Teen Center porque los años anteriores lo hemos tenido en la cafetería… y muchos estudiantes piensan que no es un baile tan chido. Cada ano la cantidad de estudiantes que atienden el baile va bajando,” Zuniga dijo.
10 Entertainment The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
Prowler Staff Writer
“It’s a traditional thing,” Nicholas Chunn, senior, said. For the past two years the band has been putting on a haunted house before Halloween, and this year it also sold various treats and cookies. The band raised over $800. Chunn said that the funds they obtained from their haunted house will pay for clinics and various musicians to teach the band new ways to play their instruments. This year the haunted house was called “The Vigesimation Plan,” which means the death of every twentieth person. It was hosted in the band room on Oct. 29 and 30 from 6:3010:30 p.m. and was open to the community. David Zandt, sophomore, said the haunted house was only $5 and that it was a low price that anyone could afford. The band advertised the event on Panther TV by showing previews of the haunted house. They also sent files that contained the band’s flyers to Sequoia, Redwood, and Sycamore Canyon middle schools as well as Thousand Oaks, El Camino, Moorpark, Westlake, and Camarillo high schools. Chunn said that during the haunted house, he stood at the edge of a street corner wearing a mask and holding a sign to advertise for the haunted house. “I would go a thousand times,” Kallie Stewart, seventh grader from Sequoia, said. Stewart and Kendall Walk, seventh grader from Sequoia, said that the haunted house was scariest when band members were frozen inside. Talia Desanto, sixth grader from Sequoia, says the scariest part for her was a girl who was just standing in the corner of a room. “My favorite part [in the haunted house] was the torture room where people were getting beaten with belts and screw drivers and stuff,” Jonae Walker, junior, said. “My favorite reaction was this group of girls, there was four of them, and they got so scared that they took forever to go through it [and we] had to make one of the actors take off his mask just to get them to stop being scared.” According to Walker, “I think it all went great, we scared a lot of people and got a lot done.”
S V : tudent
Prowler Opinion Editor
Do violent video games need more federal regulation?
“I think video games should be approved by our parents.” Shanee Gat, freshman
“ ” “ ”
“Well I’m not a fan of video games, but I’m for the first ammendment so they shouldn’t censor them.” Morgan Ebbert, junior “No because I like playing video games and I don’t want regulations on them.” Colton Waltner, sophomore
“No they shouldn’t regulate them because that falls under censorship.” Mitch Maciorski, senior
Cooper Ellison / Prowler
The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
Concussions pose risks for athletes Justine Sizemore
Prowler Staff Writer
One tenth of athletes participating in contact sports sustain a concussion each season according to data collected by the Sports Concussion Institute. “Concussions occur every year in high school athletics. They are most common in football, which is a collision sport. They are less common in other sports, but they do occur,” Jason Klein, Athletic Coordinator, said. “Concussions and head injuries are issues that require care, attention, and diligence no matter where or when they occur.” Don Ohmer, sophomore, feels concussions have become common because of an athlete’s mentality to continue pushing on in a game even after being injured. “A lot is expected of [athletes,] especially today, with parents and coaches telling them to shake it off,” Ohmer said. “I’ve seen plenty of people just shrug it off [when they get a concussion] and get back on the field, including myself. People underestimate the dangers.” During a concussion, the brain literally crashes into the skull as a result of a sudden, hard blow to the head. This causes nerve impulses to become jumbled and, in serious cases, brings on loss of consciousness, which can lead to nausea, disorientation, and slurred speech. Ohmer played football for six years, and
received a total of five concussions before he decided to drop the sport at the end of last year’s season. “After my last concussion, it was very serious. I had to stay in a hospital overnight,” he said. “That led to meeting neurologists. They tested me for brain damage. It was a very scary experience, realizing I could have permanently damaged my brain.” Up to this point, Ohmer had not been as concerned about concussions. “When I first started playing, I didn’t really know about [concussions,] they don’t really get talked about,” he said. Football is not the only sport that puts students at risk. Osmar Marroquin, sophomore, suffered a minor concussion playing soccer earlier this year. “I got it about a month ago at soccer practice. We were taking shots at a goal and I got hit in the head by a ball,” he said. “I remember the hit. I was surprised by it.” Ohmer also received a concussion as a result of being caught off guard. “It was during a game. I was going to make a tackle and I got blind sided,” he said. “I just remember opening my eyes and everyone was 30 yards ahead of where they had been. Everything looked like it was in slowmotion.” While Ohmer felt it would be wisest for him to give up football as a health precaution, Marroquin plans to continue playing soccer. “There’s danger involved in any sport,”
Marroquin said. “But there are benefits as well. the best way to prevent future concussions It keeps you healthy and well conditioned.” is to address the issue directly by educating Marroquin feels that a large part of playing athletes who do not fully understand the soccer safely includes knowing the limitations severity of such a situation. of the game. “[Coaches should] address certain injuries “If you play clean, you’re good. If you at the beginning of the season so players can play dirty, there is danger for you and other better understand them,” Ohmer said. people,” he said. Once a concussion occurs, little can be done to treat it aside from taking time to rest and allow healing to take place naturally. “[With] the more mild ones, there’s not much you [ken kush’n] can do. You just have to take it easy and try not to -noun strain,” Ohmer said. “[For more severe cases] you take serious time off and use pain medication.” According to Klein, there are measures the school can take in order to decrease the risk of concussions for student athletes. “Improvements in equipment and increased training for coaches and From www.dictionary.com players can help the process of reducing concussions,” he said. Similarly, Ohmer feels that
An injury to the soft structure, especially the brain, produced by a violent blow or impact and followed by a temporary, sometimes prolonged, loss of function
Fishing begins to catch new interest George Nasr
Prowler Opinion Editor
“To me, every step taken while fishing is exciting or satisfying in its own way,” Jeremy Rodda, sophomore, said. For this reason and more, several other students share this common passion of fishing. While Rodda finds all aspects of fishing exciting, other people find enjoyment in more specific areas of this pastime. “The most exciting thing about fishing for me is that you never know what you’re going to catch when it gets on the line and it is just the fun of fighting the fish,” Bryce Milnes, junior, said. Students find that at times, fishing can even be thrilling. “Getting a hook up to a fish is the most exciting thing in fishing. You get an adrenaline rush,” Drew Ziraldo, sophomore, said. As Rodda mentioned, personal achievements can contribute to a sense of satisfaction. “The most fish I’ve ever caught in a day was right around 34, and I accomplished this when I spent the whole day of this year’s summer solstice in a raft on a pond,” Rodda said. Along with helping with goal-setting, fishing provides students with a way to relax. “Fishing gets me to let go of my school work and just helps me enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the great area that we live in,” Ziraldo said. However, fishing for Milnes is different. “For me, fishing is very relaxing when you’re waiting
for the bite and get to experience nature and think about things,” he said. “But when you get the bite, the rush is very exciting and is a good way to relieve stress and leave you feeling happy and accomplished afterwards. While he does enjoy fishing, Milnes acknowledges that everything does not always go according to plan. Sometimes there are certain events that occur while people are out fishing that may possibly jeopardise students’ lives. “The worst thing that has ever happened to me while fishing was when we were kayaking out of a beach and the tides got us and capsized our kayaks with all our gear over and over again,” he said. “Then the hook from my pole got stuck in my hand and I had to rip it out so I wouldn’t drown.” Ziraldo also recalls a troubling experience. “I had a massive nine pound large mouth bass on, and I almost had it in, and the line snapped,” he said. “I was pretty mad for a while.” Ziraldo and Rodda both agree that people should realize that fishing is not as boring as they think. According to Rodda, catching fish does not always mean keeping and eating them for dinner. “Catch, Picture, Release (CPR) is a common practice by many and should be taken into consideration. The oceans don’t contain as many fish as you think,” Rodda said. “There are 80 percent less tuna in the oceans than there were a hundred years ago. Keep the fish population stable and release your catch safely when you can.”
Sophomores Jeremy Rodda and Drew Ziraldo fish on weekends and show off their catches.
The Prowler • Nov. 5, 2010
New coach brings fresh perspective Lauren Rewers
Prowler Ad Manager
The improved girls’ tennis season may be attributed in part to recently acquired talent. But they are not talking about a new student; John Abney, English teacher, is the up-and-coming assistant coach. Unlike last year when the team did not win any matches, this year the team won two. The assistant junior varsity coach could have been a part of the accomplishment, despite being new to the sport. “He has a great positive attitude, which is just what a team needs,” Fiona Bush, varsity player, said. However, there were several other changes that could contribute to the new victories. One of them was new a method of conducting tryouts. From March through August, hopefuls were forced to face one another based on a challenge ladder in order to make the top 24, which would determine the future team. “It was a lot harder and more competitive to make the team[this season],” Holly King, varsity player, said. Head coach Harvey Mardyks had a share in the victories as well. “[Mardyks] has really been emphasizing positive visualization,” King said. “He believes that if we
can visualize ourselves playing our best, then we can accomplish anything.” The annual shift in the makeup of the team has also affected the results. “Even though six seniors have graduated this past year, we have new faces on the team that contribute a large share and many are on varsity,” Bush said. Two of those members are freshmen Celestine Sun and Ashley Reddy. Moreover, they are the first and second on the team overall. “I have just been working on a little bit of everything and trying to work on my weaknesses,” Sun said. “Being on the team helps improve your game because you have everyone else to encourage you.” According to the players, team dynamic is especially important in tennis. “A lot of the girls on the team have become really close and learned to work well together as doubles partners,” King said. “I think this really helps build up our confidence and improves the outcomes of our matches.” The changes in relationships seem to have changed the team as a whole. “This season, as opposed to last year, we are more spirited and unified as a team,” Bush said. “You can tell we are on the tennis team if you can see our bright yellow jackets from across campus.”
” Boys’ water polo shoots for CIF Sam Morgan / Prowler
Keila Kistler, junior, hits a forehand during practice before a match. The team has been improving with the addition of coach John Abney.
Prowler Chief Photographer
Fall brings a variety of sports including football, girls’ volleyball, cross country, and the water-based sport of boys’ polo. Polo meets each day after school at the pool-deck for a two-hour long practice during its season. The team played its first game on Sept. 7 and ends with its last game against Westlake today. The boys’ water polo head coach, Dave Smith, has coached the water polo team for the past five years. He has led the whole team to place in the California Interscholastic Federation and focuses on coaching the varsity team. Other coaches include Kyle
Ripley who trains junior varsity and Kyle Sobieski who coaches frosh-soph. “Our coaches have all let us grow as players, but our personal coach Kyle Sobieski has helped us grow as individuals, knowing us not only as a player, but as a friend,” Spencer Esparza, frosh-soph player, said. The coaches have devised a system that allows each of the players an opportunity to participate. “There are only so many people that can fit onto one bus. The frosh-soph group splits into two groups – the travel team goes to the away games with the other teams, and the practice team stays and plays at home games and goes to practice,” Donovan Rush, junior varsity
Varsity player Alexander Kahng blocks a pass between his Agora opponents.
member, said. For Esparza, this system works. “I get a fair amount of playing time, and our coach does his best to get everyone in,” he said. The teams are made up of 19 varsity, 18 junior varsity, and 24 frosh-soph players. “We always talk about taking care of business and what that means is not just looking ahead and comparing past games,” Smith said. “It means winning the games we need to win, and so far, we’ve done that.” Varsity attended a tournament in San Luis Obispo against teams from different schools across California and placed sixth out of the 18 teams. The lower-level teams have attended tournaments in Ventura County; JV
and frosh-soph have played in a tournament in Santa Barbara. “Our frosh-soph team is doing great this year, only losing to Thousand Oaks and Agoura in league,” Esparza said. Since varsity did not beat Westlake in its away game on Tuesday, it is going to have to win against them today. In the event that the team loses, it is going to be knocked out of CIF for the first time in three years. “We’re just a bunch of guys playing water polo,” Phillip Hay, varsity co-captain, said. “We try to keep out of each other’s way as much as we can and get done what we need to get done.” Sam Morgan / Prowler