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Sudden domino effect in administration sends Assistant Principal Kuffel to Boulder Creek High By HEAJIN YU

Looking for a new musical comedy to ease the damage done by High School Musical? Turn to to Page 12 to read about Glee.


Where’d you go, Kuffel? This simple question seems to be popping up in the student body. Matt Kuffel, an assistant principal in charge of conduct, safety and security, became part of an unexpected personnel domino effect that occurred in the district last month. The principal at Deer Valley Crossroads High School took a position outside of the DVUSD. That opened a position there and

an assistant principal at Boulder Creek High School transferred to become the principal at Crossroads. Therefore, Kuffel was asked to move to fill the open assistant principal position at Boulder Creek. Kuffel’s absence at OHS led to the hiring a new assistant principal, Patty Resetar, who currently is an administrative teacher on assignment from Mountain Ridge High School. All these changes occurred within a week. “Obviously, there’s a shock that comes across,” Kuffel said. “Parents can relate to [the sudden change,] it’s not only a disruption in your professional career but

in your personal life as well.” Kuffel’s move was not publicly broadcasted to the students and many students shared in the shock when they heard he was leaving. “I just found out today [during the soccer meeting],” said Cori Jacks, a junior. “I was like, ‘What! I don’t want Kuffel to leave!’ He’s a cool guy.” Last year was Kuffel’s first year at OHS and he admits to the difficulty of leaving OHS. See Kuffel, Page 4

Fender Benders:

Student scrapes in the parking lot

Old rivalry returns: OHS vs. MRHS

As OHS re-enters the 5A division, the competition heats up between the schools. The showdown takes place on Oct. 16 at home. Turn to Page 14 to read.

INDEX NEWS............................2,3,4 FEATURES.......................5,6 FINE ARTS..........................7 STEREOTYPES................8,9 OPINIONS....................10,11 ENTERTAINMENT.....12,13 SPORTS....................14,15,16

PHOTO BY SHAMARAH SHOUP Student and parent drivers cram the parking lots after school on Sept. 29 as they are caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic and trying to leave campus for the day. This type of hurried chaos in the parking lots has caused four accidents this semester as of Sept. 11, according to school officials. Drivers, not the school, assume all responsibility for accidents.


Sitting in the driver’s side seat, the blistering hot sun beats down on you, causing a trickle of sweat to drizzle from your forehead. You put both hands on the wheel, glance over your shoulder, shift the gear into reverse and ever so slowly pull out of the school parking lot. Suddenly, the car in front of you abruptly stops. You hit the brake as fast as you can and hope it’s enough, but then bam!—the impact hits with a startling blow. Student accidents in the school parking lot are frequent, with four accidents this semester as of Sept. 11. Students report that the most common accident seems to be people getting rear-ended. This may be due to lack of focus. “I park on Hackamore, there are a lot of crappy drivers in the school parking lot so I don’t trust them,” said Nick Lewis, a junior. Compared to previous years, the parking lot traffic has seemed to increase. Secu-

rity monitors said that there are kids bumper-on-bumper and it has never been like this before. “The student population has increased and the number of accidents is still a very small percentage based on the sheer quantities and numbers of students we have going through this parking lot,” said Rosa Leptich, a secretary of conduct. Last year, Amber King, a senior, was rear-ended in the parking lot while her mom was driving. “The person behind us wasn’t paying attention; they kept rolling along and then stopped when they hit our car. All the administrators came out and it was a huge thing,” King said. “I think it’s just kind of confusing with all of the intersections in the parking lot, it causes a lot of congestion. I think [the school] could expand the parking lot a little bit and make it less inconvenient. Jordyn Harrris, a junior, was also rearended on the first day of school this year. “Seriously, how hard is it to pay attention to the car in front of you?” Harris said. “The little red lights mean that the

car ahead of you is stopping, therefore you have to also.” Despite the occurrence of student accidents, the school claims no responsibility for any accidents that happen on school grounds because it is private property, according to state law. “Whether it’s at the school, the grocery store, or on a street by the school, it’s between the two drivers,” said Joy Turner, lead monitor. “The school doesn’t have liability on private property.” However, the school does practice some precautions to try and prevent accidents. “We keep the gates closed and we set cones out to try and redirect the flow of traffic,” said Carrie Young, a monitor. The school is not only the one responsible for taking precautions in the school parking lot. Students should also be alert and aware of their surroundings while driving. “Student drivers are impatient and need to know how to be considerate,” said Timberly Rae, a monitor.

2 News

Oct. 9, 2009

EP changes to accomodate freshman mentors By AMANDA BOWERS Sports Editor

In order to keep students from traveling at random around campus, Extended Period will no longer be used as a study hall or a as chance to make up tests, according to Brian Jacobs, assistant principal. This year during EP, students will participate in activities designed specifically for their grade and age group. The purpose of the activities is to help students better prepare themselves for their remaining high school years, college and the real world. Two years ago, OHS applied to be an A+ school but was unable to obtain the title due to the lack of established events that pertain to all students, according to Colleen Weeks, social studies department chair and a history teacher. “We had no programs for people who fall between the cracks,” Weeks said. In an effort to include all students, it was decided that the freshman mentor program would be introduced to OHS with the goal “to make people feel welcome and [like] they belong,” Weeks said. The new program is also being introduced to also improve OHS and to help unite students. “We are a very good school, [but] we want to be a great school,” Jacobs said. “One way we can improve is to help kids transition from eighth grade to freshman

[year].” All freshmen have been assigned a mentor, with whom they will meet during every EP. During this time they will work on team building and leadership activities that will help them with their transition to high school. Jacobs said that he hopes introducing the freshman mentor program will help students feel and become more connected to OHS. “I really like the freshman mentor program; it gives me someone to go to if I need any help or have questions about the school,” said Caitlyn Sassen, freshman. Sophomores, juniors and seniors who are not involved as mentors in the freshman mentor program have assigned activities to participate in. Sophomores will focus on a curriculum based on social issues among teenagers such as texting, driving, peer pressure and cyber bullying. “After looking at other programs, we found that activities based on social issues among teenagers would be the best use as sophomores are not yet preparing for college, and are no longer new to high school,” said Darrell Hudson, a world history teacher who is charge of the sophomore EP curriculum. Juniors will focus not only on teenage issues, but also on getting jobs, filling out applications and writing resumes. They will also learn about college admission and tests such as the PSAT.

PHOTO BY CHRISTINE KWEON Freshman mentors and their freshmen link arms in an ice breaker game to help students find common interests. “I like the change in EP because it can help people who may want to get a job, but it doesn’t affect me, so I find it boring,” said Azra Ariff, a junior. Seniors will be taking part in activities based on college and their lives after college. “Although I don’t think that the new activities we are doing during EP will have much of an impact, I think that some seniors may be able to learn some useful

information,” said Hayley Fagiolo, a senior. Kent Younger, a ceramics teacher who is in charge of the senior curriculum during EP, hopes to better prepare students for life after high school. “As the seniors leave our school, we are helping to prepare them for the rest of their lives, covering material we don’t have time to cover in the classroom,” Younger said.

New policies offer more freedom Growing population, rather than budget cuts, causes shortages By LEAH STAPLETON Copy Chief

PHOTO BY ANNA FREYDENZON Ellis Kim, a sophomore, exploits the new policies, which allows cell phone use during lunch, and between classes.

By KODY D’AMOURS Asst. Design Chief

The days of hiding cell phones in the bathroom and under the lunch table may finally be over. The rules for phone and gum during school hours have been changed in order to prepare students for life after high school and to allow students to adjust to the new technologies, according to Bryce Anderson, principal. “Texting was a significant issue in the classroom,” Anderson said. “Allowing students the opportunity to use [cell phones] between classes and during lunch [helps] to eliminate the need to use [them] during instruction time.” Cell phones may be used during class passing time, and gum is permitted if teachers allow it. Text messaging remains a seemingly addictive habit that enables countless students with the urge to take out their cell phone and text their friends and family. The distractions interrupt teachers and Anderson said that he hopes the new policies will help eliminate that desire. Previously, students weren’t allowed to chew gum, and some hid it under desks and tables. John Simmons, ROTC teacher, said he has hope that in allowing this new rule, the students will be more responsible. “[This new gum rule] would cut down on [the number of wrappers and] gum

found on the ground,” Simmons said. At the end of spring 2009, it took eight days for Simmons and his ROTC students to scrape all the gum off the ground around campus. It was Simmons’s suggestion to allow gum on campus because he said he hopes it will eliminate the need to rebel. Students also agree with Simmons that the students rebelled with the gum rule. “When there’s more rules, [there’s] more rebellion,” said Maddie McBroom, a sophomore. Teens have always been expected to throw away gum wrappers, but officials hope that with one less rule to follow, more students will be appreciative and spit their gum out in a trash can. According to Simmons, it is not fair for the students to be told that they aren’t allowed to chew gum when their teachers chew gum. Many teachers and staff have noticed fewer confiscations of cell phones and less gum on the ground. They suspect that students are now showing respect for the school and accordance with the new policy. “I would [confiscate] the most cell phones [out of all the other teachers],” said Scott Lannen, a chemistry teacher. “Now I see less usage in the class so I think it’s a good thing.” Most teachers, like Lannen, still don’t allow gum in their class as it is the teachers’ choice whether or not to permit it.

As your math teacher finishes teaching the day’s lesson, you glance up at the clock and notice you still have 20 minutes left of class. You decide to spend your time wisely and get a head start on the night’s homework. But unless you lugged your book to school, this may not be an option. Many classes do not have class sets of books this year. Though some may think this is due to budget cuts, Bryce Anderson, principal, said this situation is caused by the number of students we have at OHS this year. “As [OHS] grows, we need more textbooks,” Anderson said. “[The district] purchases books for each student, and then leaves it to the school to purchase books beyond that.” With the freshman class increasing by about 60 students this year, it is not possible for every student to have a book to take home and for every class to have a set, according to Anderson. Students may also feel the effects of the increased student body—about 150 more than last year overall—as they walk through the hallways. “There are crowds between the stairs,” said Chris Stover, a junior. Due to the economic hardships the nation continues to face, DVUSD has fewer funds to work with than it has in previous years. “Since the state’s budget is largely based on tax revenue, and a weakened economy generates less tax revenue, then there are less funds at the state level to provide funding for things like public education,” stated Jim Migliorino, executive director of fiscal services at, DVUSD in an e-mail interview. This lack of funds has affected many areas of OHS in some way. “We’re working on very bare bones as far as what’s necessary for [students] to have,” said Susan Hubbs, librarian.

With no capital funding for the library this year, no new books were able to be ordered. The library was, however, able to renew its database subscriptions. “Our administrators are working really hard and we really appreciate the support we’ve gotten,” Hubbs said. In some ways, OHS has fared better than other schools in the district, according to Anderson. Though the school did reduce some secretarial staff members, the total number of staff members at the school has risen this year. More staff members were hired to accommodate the growing student body. “We have had staffing reductions across the district,” Migliorino stated. “The two major reasons are for changes to student enrollment and/or staffing modifications as part of developing our balanced budget.” The reduction in available funds has not affected the cafeteria. Students may assume that the new “no fries on Fridays” rule is due to budget cuts. This is not the case. According to Anderson, it is simply an initiative to improve health. The school actually loses money by not selling french fries. Though problems receiving funding for education stem from the poor economy, there are still things our community can do to help. Students may generate revenue for OHS by helping with fundraisers and attending school dances. Parents can make tax donations of up to $400 to OHS every year. There are even ways to contact the government about the problem. People can contact their local representative and senator to voice their opinion and find out what is going on in legislature by visiting “People need to get politically involved. [The problems aren’t] even at a district level anymore,” Hubbs said. “If everyone did that, it would make a difference.”

Oct. 9, 2009

News 3

Guitar class is rockin’ and rollin’ once again By JOSEPH NELSON Staff Writer

Chairs are in rows in a maze filled with students and guitars as the blasting sound of a thousand notes being strummed and plucked at once pierce the ear. Guitar class is back after its cancellation three years ago. There were two main reasons the guitar class was cancelled in 2006: budget and staffing cuts, according to Melanie Britton, the new and former guitar teacher. She has been teaching guitar for 14 years and is a professional saxophone player. Britton handles both of the two guitar classes. Her third hour has 48 students and her seventh hour has 30 students. “The reason I took the class is because I played before and it seemed cool to do it at school,” said Kurt Gayheart, a senior who had taken the class as a freshman. “It’s very awesome now that it’s back at school.” The popularity of the guitar class shows that many students still have an ambition for fine arts. “We want to support fine arts education here and it is something that the students enjoy,” Britton said. “There was just a big desire for the class.” The goal of the year is to help students learn to read notes so they can play guitar

and other instruments as well. “I like that I am learning different ways to play music because I usually just use tabs, but I use notes now,” said Kaitlin Dutoit, a senior. In order to free room in her schedule for guitar, Britton gave the choir position up to Cherese Casper, who Britton says is a wonderful teacher. “I made the choice to take on the guitar class because the students deserve to learn it but I do miss my choir kids,” Britton said. New members to the guitar class find it very informative and influential. The experienced players learn to grow through their obstacles such as distractions and concentration. “The only obstacle I have had is being around the inexperienced and immature,” Gayheart said. Britton said she has the advanced players and the beginning players in the same class. She teaches some students rhythm while others may be learning things at a higher skill level. “It’s like preparing for 10 classes in one because there are so many different levels the students are playing at, plus I try to give them all individual attention,” Britton said. With notes and chords ringing throughout the classroom, one might think that the environment itself is distracting.

PHOTO BY JOSESPH NELSON Students in guitar class learn the guitar at various paces since each student has a different level of experience. While some are very advanced and have their own bands, others are just beginning to learn the different chords. “I am a very talkative person so I learn things from my friends [in class], then I practice at home by myself,” said Ashlee Britting, a sophomore. According to Britting, being around advanced people makes her jealous because she wants to learn faster. Some advanced players feel that they have an hour to just “jam out.” “I zone them out and since they are

all beginners they don’t play [as loudly as I do] so it’s easier to concentrate and just do my own thing,” said Jesse Strayer, a senior. Dutoit has no problem ignoring the restless noise. “You really have to focus on what you are doing, and if all else fails go in a corner and just focus on what you are playing at the moment,” Dutoit said.

District prepares for swine flu New forensics class: not like CSI with precautions, hand sanitizer By CHRISTINE KWEON Staff Writer

By HEAJIN YU Editor-in-Chief

Sharing is caring. This lesson of thoughtfulness has been taught since kindergarten. But in the case of the swine flu pandemic, sharing drinks, utensils or food might give you a higher chance of being dropped into a hospital before you can say, “Oink!” The second wave of the swine flu pandemic, officially identified as H1N1, swept through the nation beginning in the spring. For the majority, the cases have been mild. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, there are 1,684 confirmed cases of the swine flu as of Sept. 28. Nurse Bridget Reynolds said in order to avoid catching the swine flu, people should wash their hands frequently and avoid sharing utensils, drinks and food. She said that these are “basic hygiene practices to avoid any type of illness.” OHS has taken precautions to avoid a nasty outbreak. Officials placed hand sanitizer in every classroom and Principal Bryce Anderson said they are currently working on obtaining a hand sanitizer dispenser to place by every classroom door as well. All teachers were provided with a disinfectant to spray on desks and the door handles at the end of the day. Currently, the Maricopa County Health Department is making the provisions to provide the regular flu shot for all the regions, said Debra Webb, director of instruction at DVUSD. A H1N1 vaccine is going through trial testing and is said to be ready by early to mid-October. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the H1N1 vaccine is “not intended to replace the seasonal flu vaccine.” CDC

officials stated that both flu shots are needed this year. Many students are preparing themselves for the flu season. “I [recently] got the regular flu vaccine a week ago,” said Ember Carlson, a junior. “I am definitely going to be in line for the swine flu vaccine.” Chelsea Lenhart, a senior, said that her mother insisted on her getting the swine flu vaccine also. Preparations and precautions are taken in case a big outbreak occurs at OHS. If a big outbreak does occur, Webb said that the district plan is to “safely monitor the schools and if [that is not possible,] there is an Incident Command team [who is specifically trained for these situations] that will make decisions about it.” “We are prepared for what could be the worst scenario,” Webb said. “[But I’m] hoping it doesn’t happen.” The symptoms of the swine flu are similar to the regular flu and if a student has the symptoms, he or she will be sent to the nurse. However, the nurse cannot make the confirmation; there is a special test that only a physician can administer. “We each have a personal responsibility to make sure we are not infecting others,” Anderson said. In other words, Webb said to not come to school or work if there are any symptoms present. Despite precautions, many students feel that the swine flu hype needs to be over. Priya Chaudhury, a sophomore, said that the swine flu “is like every other flu.” She said that “it’s being blown out of proportions.”

As a white corpse is lying limp under powerful lights, scientists gather around it, tools in hand and minds engaged in investigation. The injuries found are complex, the time of death unclear, the body generally robbed of its identity and it’s their job to figure it out. Though it may not be as tense or as dark as a scene like this one from the TV series CSI , the new forensic science class still piques the interest of many students. Forensic science was originally accepted into the school’s curriculum to provide the incoming freshmen a new option for a third year of science, which is now a graduation requirement. This class first began because of its success in other districts. Forensics teacher Mark Chatigny had suggested of bringing in the class in a few years ago. According to Chatigny, the new class seemed to grab the “curiosity of the district” as well as the students when it became available. Mainly because of shows like CSI and Law and Order , the popularity of the course spiked since it was first offered. Six classes of students applied for this class, their reasons varying. Students like Jennifer Yi, a senior, “wanted to take a third year of science,” and like most others, didn’t want a typical science class. Others like Brittanie Jaynes, a senior, joined because she thought it might be similar to “CSI” or “Law and Order.” “I am a fan of ‘CSI’ and I wanted to be cool like Danny from the show,” Jaynes said. But according to Chatigny, forensic science takes a good deal of time to solve crimes (and sometimes cases

aren’t always solved), unlike the show. For Chatigny, schooling students on forensic science is a way to show that science can be fun and a way to give them a chance to use what they learned in previous years. For example: knowing the life cycles of a fly and the components of blood helps determine the time and cause of death as well as demonstrate both the use of biology and chemistry in forensics. “The definition of forensics is how science assists in solving crimes,” Chatigny said. “The class will learn and perform everything that a scientist would in a real forensics lab.” To demonstrate forensics, students will bring in roadkill to analyze the carcass after leaving it to decompose in the desert. When they were asked to bring dead animals to school, students were initially surprised. “I thought it was definitely not going to be me that brought [in the roadkill], but [performing the experiment will] be cool,” said Alexa Perkins, a senior. Classmate Rinnah Larrauri, a senior, thought that it was “weird from the first place, this just took it to the next level.” The class experiences hands on learning like piecing together shredded documents, analyzing fingerprints, or profiling DNA. They will even study how to match the canine indentions of bite marks that serial killers often leave on the victim’s body, a trend found among such cases, through a process called bite-mark analysis. According to Chatigny, solving crimes through forensic science may not always be a speedy process, nor does it always solve a crime, but the students learn that the essentials are the same—crack the case, catch the bad guy.

4 News

Oct. 9, 2009

Kuffel adjusts to new job at Boulder Creek

PHOTOS BY HEAJIN YU Top Left: Boulder Creek students and staff show their school support at a football game against Mountain Ridge. Bottom Left: The school marquee now represents Kuffel’s new home, but he still considers OHS a special place. Above: Kuffel smiles while working during his first football gam at Boulder Creek High School on Sept. 25. Kuffel, continued from Page 1 “It’s amazing; I have been more attached to this school in one year than in all the other schools I’ve been to combined,” Kuffel said. “That says the power of OHS; it’s very strong.” Kuffel said that OHS has something those other schools that he’d been to don’t have. He said that the relationships here between the students, staff and community are “powerful and tangible.” Many students and staff can agree that there is no doubt that he had strong relationships within the student body and staff. “He tried to be everyone’s friend and tried to know everyone’s name,” said Shenae Rey, a junior. “He knew exactly who [everyone was on the girls’ soccer team]. [To him,] we weren’t just a student at OHS.” Kuffel coached women’s soccer at a university. He brought that experience to the girls’ soccer team as he practiced with them from time to time. One of his many

unforgettable memories here is when he coached the OHS girls’ soccer team at the state tournament. “I respect them for what they do and they respect me for my coaching background,” Kuffel said. “For one night we got to see eye to eye and we almost pulled a big upset.” For whatever reason it may be, Rosa Leptich, secretary said that she thinks that “he will truly be missed.” “I’m going to miss his always smiling face and I’m sure I speak for the whole security team when I say we’ll miss his meeting over M&Ms,” Leptich said, referring to an inside joke. The ardent change gave no opportunities for many students to say goodbye to him. If they could, many students said they simply want to say “thank you for everything.” Not only is he part of the soccer team, but many

students believe that he is part of the family of OHS. If Jacks sees Kuffel, she said simple: she’ll run and give him a hug to say “What’s up, Kuffel?” She said that she considers him “part of the team.” Kuffel also shares his ‘thank you’ to the staff, monitors and parents. But overall, he said that he is thankful to the students. “[OHS] is a special place [to me],” Kuffel said. “We have to appreciate where [we] are at the moment.” Gratitude appears widespread throughout the campus on both sides. “The words I would say [to Kuffel] are ‘thank you,’” said Principal Bryce Anderson. “Thank you for giving yourself to support our community and to enhance the opportunities [here] for our students.” Kuffel said his last words of advice to OHS students and staff members are “if you believe, you can do anything.”

Pennies for Pearl Harbor will raise money for memorial By PAIGE LAPOUR

Staff Writer

The Pearl Harbor Memorial in Hawaii is sinking due to structural damage and design issues, but OHS is planning to raise money to help rebuild it. This fundraiser will keep the history of the memorial alive. The memorial is located in the Pacific Ocean and built on rocks and dirt over the USS Arizona battleship.  “This is a school-wide fundraiser called ‘Pennies for Pearl Harbor,’” said Colleen Weeks, a history teacher. This memorial is important to this state and OHS because it is built over the USS Arizona, and for those of you who don’t already know: OHS is in Arizona. “I think they should fix it or rebuild it immediately and made it more stable,” said Emily Higginbotham, a senior. This memorial holds valuable memories for many people. Al Baker, an economics teacher, says that the museum, which is part of the memorial, has many artifacts. Many may know that this is the memorial honoring the 1,177 crewmen who lost their lives on Dec. 7 1941, the day the Japanese attacked and the USS Arizona sank.

The day of the attack is known as “a day that will live in infamy.” This memorial is a 184-foot long structure, spanning the mid-portion of the sunken battleship. It consists of three main sections: the entry and assembly rooms, the central area designed for ceremonies and general observations and the shrine room, where names of those killed on the Arizona are engraved on a marble wall. In 1950, Admiral Arthur Radford, commander-in-chief, ordered that an American flag be raised over the sunken battleship. There have been many American flags that have flown over the USS Arizona. These flags are 17-by-11foot garrison flags, which are tattered from winds after six weeks of 24-hour duty. Routinely, the tattered flags were given to a local Boy Scout troop for a proper disposal by burning. People began to realize that these flags have emotional value, so they stopped burning then and firefighters received them. Then, word got out, and people began requesting the flags by filling

Pearl Harbor

PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONALATLAS.GOV OHS plans to raise money to keep the Pearl Harbor Memorial afloat in Harwaii. Colleen Weeks encourages all students to bring in money for the cause to help keep history alive so it will be remembered forever. out forms; some request them online at Anyone can get a flag, and OHS has requested one. When OHS receives the flag in December, it will be hung in the front of the school on the parking lot flag pole. Rebuilding this memorial will also help OHS gain appreciation, since it will help rebuild the Pearl Harbor

memorial. A brand new flag will cost $100. When OHS donates the money, the school name, Sandra Day O’Connor High School, will be listed in the Honor Roll of Donors at the Museum and Visitor Center, and on their Web site. “Anyone can donate to the fundraiser,” Weeks said.

Oct. 9, 2009

Features 5

Fresh faces on campus: meet and greet new faculty Toni Fioramonti, theatre teacher “I’m looking to bring the fun and passion back to the performing arts, since they’re kind of a dying art,” Fioramonti said. Outside of school, she performs and likes to read, espcially history books. When she was a high schooler, she was one of the “drama nerds.” She also admits she was a little wild and didn’t follow all the rules.

Cherese Kasper, choir director Kasper said that she is “looking forward to building the choir program here at [OHS].” She hopes to develop at least five or six choirs by next year. As a high school student she was the artsy type. “The arts [were] my saving grace during those years.”

Danielle Arnold, a math teacher Math teachers have a reputation of being boring, but Arnold breaks the status quo. She loves tap dancing and has more than 5,000 songs, including “pop to country to 80’s to rock to oldies” on her iPod. She also loves Friends, Glee, and So You Think You Can Dance. Also, big surprise: “I LOVE math.”

Colleen Fitzpatrick, a history teacher Fitzpatrick said her goal is to bring history to life in the classroom. “We don’t memorize historical events in my classroom,” Fitzpatrick said. “Instead we relive the events, dissect them and we analyze the lasting effects of these events and apply them to our own lives.” Currently, she is training for the PF Chang’s marathon.

Holly Silvestri, a Spanish Teacher Silvestri uses humor to make Spanish class enjoyable. “I really hope that students spread the word about Spanish, that it is important to learn.” She competes in 40’s style dance competitions which includes moves like the “Jitterbug.” Silvestri has experienced Spanish through travel and has lived in Paraguay, Spain and Peru.

Tonya Robison, a Spanish teacher Robison likes to make Spanish class as interactive as possible. “We do a lot of songs and dancing, which sounds crazy for high school but it gets them learning and excited about class.” She’s also a U of A alumni, hence a big fan. She just moved back from Tucson and is a part of a kickball league.

Allie Corse-Scott, a biology teacher Corse-Scott is from Nova Scotia and is a diver. When she lived in Canada she was in the top 12 for diving. “[My] teaching style would probably be very hands on inquiry based driven, which will mean the students go,” said Corse-Scott. “[My class] is very active in the sense that they don’t just take notes, but create things.”

Jenese Cropper, a biology teacher Cropper is a Brigham Young University alumni. She has traveled to places such as Turkey, Tahiti, Scotland, London and Hawaii several times. “I like the kids to ask a lot of questions, I like to put interesting facts [on the board],” Cropper said. “Then they ask questions and we can talk about it so biology doesn’t seem so boring.”

Lenny Doerfler, a math and special education teacher

Doerfler describes OHS as being everything he was expecting and more. “I am a student-centered teacher,” Doerfler said. “I try and get all of my students engaged and having fun while learning.” He not only teaches but coaches three sports: football, basketball and track. He graduated high school in 1993. He says it makes him feel old, “but not as old as Mr. Evans.”

Kathy Mauser, a math teacher Mauser is returning to OHS after she left to teach at a middle school. “I try to relate math to real life,” Mauser said. “I try to make a lot of interactions with students and have everyone involved in a lesson that way I know that everyone understands.” When she’s not teaching she enjoys playing poker and computer games such as “farkle.” She also participates in karaoke on occasion.

Janet Yonally, a language arts teacher Yonally is a book-aholic with a wide range of interests. Among those are mysteries, traveling, volunteering and acting. She has lived in Spain and traveled Europe. She also has taken four years of Latin. “I’m very impressed by how forward-thinking [students] are and how they are planning their future,” Yonally said.

Bethany Holtorf, a language arts teacher Holtorf has come from MRHS to OHS. She is the new sponsor for speech and debate. She enjoys camping and cliff-jumping and is very outdoorsy. Her teaching style is very structured and organized. “Great Students. Great staff. Great administration,” Holtorf said. “I love it here and I can’t complain.”

John Rodriguez, a language arts and physical education teacher Rodriguez enjoys eating hot green chile burritos. “Green chile is my favorite because my mom used to make great green chile when I was growing up.” As a high school student, Rodriguez and his friends were “always up to something” but assures that it was “good clean fun.”

Betsy Moeschler, a language arts and special education teacher Moeschler moved here from Colorado in June and looks forward to the cooler seasons. In Colorado, she enjoyed gardening but still has yet to find a way to keep herself busy in the Arizona climate. “[OHS is a] beautiful campus and I have met some wonderful teachers,” Moeschler said.

6 Features

Oct. 9, 2009

Interact hopes to ‘can’ rivals, help feed community Mountain Ridge challenges OHS to bring on competition, wishes good luck

PHOTO BY ANGELA YUNG Interact Club members Cindy Garcia, Nicole Shabaz, Kami Shabaz and Thuy An Bui study the John van Hengel Memorial Cup. It already has Mountain Ridge’s name engraved on it, but OHS hopes to add their name to the cup too.


Rivalry ignited between Interact Club and Mountain Ridge Stugo at the canned food drive kickoff party, held at St. Mary’s Food Bank on Sept. 8. With each club donning their club T-shirts, they were two teams ready to face off. They smack-talked each other, said that the other school didn’t stand a chance and claimed that their own

was sure to win. All of the hype made one thing clear: the competition is on. Last year, OHS had its biggest food drive ever. Students collected 8,797 meals worth of food, placed second and earned free burritos for the whole school from Chipotle. But Mountain Ridge still beat OHS by a landslide, winning first place in the citywide canned food drive with 103,250 meals. Some may ask, what’s the secret to Mountain Ridge’s success?

“None of your business,” said Bradley Dawson, student body president at Mountain Ridge. “We’re Mountain Ridge. That’s all you need to know.” As the reigning food drive champ, Mountain Ridge deserves to be a bit cocky. ut Doug Evans, Mountain Ridge Stugo adviser, offered a bit more insight on their foundations for success. “I think part of it is that we’ve been doing it for some time,” Evans said. “The school competition started, what, two years ago? I’ve been here 13 years, and we’ve done it every year and [OHS is] just getting started.” But the “getting started” period is about to end, as Interact Club has plans to make this year’s food drive bigger and better, by making the community more aware, rather than just the students, according to Melissa Mara, an Interact Club adviser. The drive began on Sept. 21 and will end Oct. 21. Interact Club is excited to show Mountain Ridge what OHS is made of, but also to show why the food drive cause is so important. “This year we’re definitely going to hype up the school and actually show them that it’s about giving food to people that are hungry, and not just to look better than Mountain Ridge, even though that would be great,” said Amrit Khela, a senior and Interact Club member. Evans said that the students, parents

and teachers at Mountain Ridge are generally a very motivated bunch and that the whole school really gets into the spirit of the food drive. “We’ve always done very well,” Evans said. “I think it’s just a matter of wanting to match what we had the year before; that’s just part of it. The other part is helping the community.” Another big motivation factor is competition, according to Dawson. There are teacher rivalries, class competitions and of course, the competition between schools. Competition is a great incentive, according to Mara. She said that competition is fun, free, and great way to motivate students “as long as you don’t lose sight of why you’re competing.” If OHS can gain the motivation to attempt the feat of catching up with Mountain Ridge for the food drive this year, it is sure to be a challenge, as well as a help to the community, members say. “Hopefully we’ll beat Mountain Ridge and there’ll be no sight of them,” Khela said. “Our school really needs to step it up and I think we’re going to do a really good job this year.” Mountain Ridge Stugo offered OHS some last words before parting “Good luck,” Dawson said. “We like competition, but we need good competition.”

Whinnie goes to Germany, wears a dirndl, dances polka By JESSIE DITOMASSO Features Editor

“Du schaffst das schon!” is a phrase which in German means, “you can do it!” Briana Whinnie, a senior, repeated this to herself multiple times, because it wasn’t exactly a simple task to leave Germany, the country that had become her second home over the past nine months. Whinnie left Arizona at the beginning of her junior year in September to embark on a new adventure, becoming an exchange student in Germany. She returned to the states in July. In order to become an exchange student, she completed lengthy applications and an interview through AFS Intercultural Program. Her main motive was to experience and learn about a different culture. During her stay she resided in a small village called Nörten-Hardenberg with a host family. Her host dad bought her a “crazy German dress” called a dirndl. She had many opportunities to show it off. Last May when she attended a festival that celebrated her village’s 90th anniversary, people sat around drinking beer and listened to a live band play polka music. “It was a really nice atmosphere, but it got kind of boring after a while and then my friend, Sara, and I just got up and danced to the music in front of everybody by ourselves,” Whinnie said. “I actually wasn’t embarrassed at all and at that moment I realized how much I had changed by going on exchange. I became a lot more open and more willing to do funny stuff like that.” Whinnie traveled with her host family to multiple places in Europe. Among those places were Switzerland, Berlin and Munich. She went sightseeing and saw the Brandenburg Gate, remains of the Berlin Wall and the Hofbraeuhaus, a famous bar in Munich. It was “typical German” with waitresses in dirndls carrying beer steins. Another day they went to a beer garden, which she said had a “pleasant atmosphere.” Dachau, a concentration camp from World War II, was a sightseeing destination. “[Visiting Dachau] was a really emotional experience for me,” Whinnie said. “It was eerie there.” She saw the Holocaust victims’ actual beds, gas chambers and ovens. When Whinnie wasn’t at festivals, hiking or visiting historic monuments, she was out at discos and clubs with friends. “Germany has a huge nightlife, unlike Arizona,” Whinnie said. “It’s really cool because on the weekend there is always something to do.” Whinnie would often go out dancing until 3 a.m. That is certainly something most OHS students are not able to do. But Whinnie’s exchange trip wasn’t all just fun and

Briana Whinnie, a senior, poses with her host sister dressed in dirndls, traditional German dresses, which her hot father bought for them for fun.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRIANA WHINNIE Whinnie greets her host family at a train station for the first time in Nörten-Hardenberg, Germany. She stayed with them for a whole year.

games. There were some challenges she had to overcome and things she had to adjust to. Her host family spoke little English, but she eventually became fluent in German. Nevertheless, she said it was frustrating to learn German. School also proved to be a challenge. The school Whinnie attended put an emphasis on responsibility, had little school spirit and had no lunch hour. The school work was more difficult for her and she missed out on having school dances. Her first friends consisted only of other exchange students, “because [they] were in the same boat.” Once her German improved, things became easier and she made new friends. Her classes in Germany do not count toward her graduation requirements so she is currently taking online classes to catch up, but Whinnie said “[being behind] is worth it in the end.” As for food, it wasn’t as hard to adjust. “I’m a really picky eater and I knew I’d have to eat everything because it’s an insult not to finish,” Whinnie said. Her favorite German meal was a “hash brown covered in apple sauce.” Whinnie not only learned a lot about the German culture, but she also learned a lot about herself and what she is capable of. Before going on exchange, Whinnie considered herself to be judgmental of people. “When I first arrived in Germany I had absolutely no

friends and the last time that I had to be the ‘new kid’ at school was in the fourth grade,” Whinnie said. “In order to make friends I knew I wouldn’t be able to judge anybody, so I just accepted everyone who wanted to be my friend and because I just threw away all [the] stereotypes that I thought people had I was able to make a lot of new friends and meet a lot of new people.” In addition to her new accepting attitude, she also gained independence. She said she couldn’t have learned that in a classroom. Jarred Gainey, a French teacher who wrote a letter of recommendation for Whinnie, thinks becoming immersed in other cultures is very important. “We’re not the only country in the world and we’re made up of many cultures and ethnicities,” Gainey said. “Not only is [being immersed] a good idea but you learn a lot more about your own culture. You get a better understanding of the world around you.” During her stay in Germany she made friends with people around the world and her host family became her second family. They became very close through sharing one of Whinnie’s greatest life experiences. “I remember that right on Christmas Eve, when we were having a big family dinner, is when I began to realize I was no longer a stranger in the house and I became a member of the family somehow,” Whinnie said.

Oct. 9, 2009

Fine Arts 7

Poison. Suicides. Gunshots. And Then There Were None Fall play an adaptation of classic mystery novel; sure to enthrall audiences By ANGELA YUNG Features Editor

Ten people are on an island. Some of them are there to visit. Others are there to work. And someone is there with another agenda—to murder. This Halloween season on Oct. 28, 29, 30 and 31, the theatre department will present And Then There Were None, based on the mystery novel by Agatha Christie. Many members of the cast warn that it’s going to be pretty scary. “All the people die according to the poem [called Ten Little Indians],” said Alex Acosta, a senior who is playing Philip Lombard. “People get axed and people get poisoned. There’s a lot of killing and it’s kind of scary because you don’t know who the killer is.” Toni Fioramonti, the new theatre teacher, said that she looks forward to working with a smaller cast, which consists of only 11 people, enabling each member to receive more individualized attention. Others hope that having a smaller cast will allow them to bond better. “Smaller casts are a lot more fun because you can become closer to them and more of a family as opposed to 50, 60 people,” said Matthew Bedsole, a junior who is playing Anthony Marston.

The audience can expect to see some new faces in the play including freshmen and people acting for the first time. “[Fioramonti] is more focused on bringing in newer people to our theatre, not so much picking the same people who have been in so many plays,” said Ember Carlson, a junior and stage manager. “She wants to give everybody a chance. We want it to be a good show but we also want to bring new people out and to give them their chance to act on stage to see what it feels like.” The play also promises special effects including sound, lighting and stage blood . “I’m actually most excited about dying,” said Mary Leone, a senior who plays Emily Brent. “I think that should be every actor’s dream—to die.” While the play is very serious and dark, the cast has been having some good laughs during rehearsal. For example, the character of Dr. Armstrong was originally a man but was changed to a female role played by Lauren Gilkey, a senior. This was because there weren’t many male actors available. Then during one of the first readings, the cast came across a part in the script that read that Dr. Armstrong was “unclean and unshaven.” Carlson said that everyone couldn’t

PHOTO BY ANGELA YUNG Lauren Gilkey (Armstrong) and Alex Acosta (Lombard), seniors, rehearse lines for the anticipated play, And Then Were None . The show is set to premiere on October 28. stop laughing, especially Fioramonti who started crying [from laughter]. The cast encourages people to see the show, assuring that it will be as frightening as a horror movie, if not more so. “[When] you’re watching a movie, it’s on a screen,” said Acosta. “But here, it’s live and people are getting killed right in front of you. This might be a little scarier

and a little more real than a movie.” As people on the island are murdered one by one, the remaining survivors will be asking themselves the same question: Who will be next? Though Carlson could not give away any spoilers or the ending, she did have this to say: “There’s going to be a lot of screaming.”

Trick or Flick: Halloween Movies For Every Age By JESSIE DITOMASSO


Features Editor

Copy Chief Sugary confections fill your plastic, orange pumpkin-shaped candy bucket. People in crazy costumes line the streets. What’s not to love about Halloween? But before you head out for the night to trick-or-treat, make sure to head over to the video rental store and grab a few festive seasonal movies. Some people love the terror and gore present in horror films, while others prefer lighthearted fun movies reminiscent of childhood. Whether you are in for a trick or a treat, there is a Halloween movie for everyone to enjoy.

For Extreme Scare:

For Mild Scare:

The Strangers (2008) (R): Supposedly based on

The Strangers (2008) (R): Supposedly based on actual events, this movie is about a couple who is terrorized through the night by three strangers in freaky vintage masks. This film is impressive, considering how many modern horror films bring shame to the horror genre because of their repetitive killing scenes and typical characters who have no common sense. Psycho (1960) (R): A woman on the run decides

this clever, dark comedy Halloweentown (1998) (PG): This is a great Disney holiday film. Three children discover that they have magical talents and are whisked away to “Halloweentown,” a mythical land

begins with Meyers in his signature white mask, worn when he enters a killing spree, out to kill his sister, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s the first of the series and the best. Curtis in a closet armed with nothing but a wire hanger? Classic! The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (R): A serial killer, to stop at a hotel where the owner is—well—a psycho, with “dissociative identity disorder.” He takes on his murdered mother’s personality without truly realizing it. This is a classic blackand-white horror film by Alfred Hitchcock that will leave you wanting more. Halloween (1978) (R): The Michael Meyers saga a transvestite and an obnoxious little dog make The Silence of the Lambs a creepy thriller where an FBI agent teams up with a sociopath to track down another criminal. This film is an original film and a must-see for mystery fans. Gremlins (1984) (PG): This may seem like a light-hearted

child’s Halloween movie with furby-like monsters, but I’m sure the “hatching” scene would make even Hannibal Lecter feel woozy. This is a fun-filled, yet creepy film for anyone who doesn’t mind a little demon-birthing. Casper (1995) (PG): Who doesn’t love a friendly ghost?

Images courtesy of

After learning that a secret treasure is hidden somewhere within the confines of her home in Maine, a woman hires a man to rid the house of the ghosts who live there. He and his daughter then move into the house and befriend the ghost, Casper, and his crazy uncles Stinky, Stretch and Fatso—not-so-friendly ghosts. This fun film will leave you reminiscing about childhood. The Birds (1963) (PG-13): The outdated special BeetleJuice (1988) (PG): After being killed in an auto accident, a young couple discovers that they will not be granted entrance to heaven until they spend 50 years in their house as ghosts. But when they return to their home, they find that it has been taken over by people with whom they do not get along. Unable to scare them away, the couple looks to a ghost named Beetlejuice—who is known for being very scary—for help. Johnny Depp is in effects in this film are somewhat comical when compared to the modern technology used in movies today. The story is about a woman who buys a pair of lovebirds and plans to use them for a prank on her friend. When she arrives in the quiet town where he lives, she is attacked by a crazed seagull. This is only the beginning of a series of attacks that occur when more and more birds ambush the town. This classic film is a must-see for any horror buffs who want to see how much movie technology has evolved. full of strange creatures and secrets. Scary Movie (2000) (R): This not-so-scary movie parodies classic horror films such as: Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Matrix, and The Blair Witch Project. Followed by three sequels, the series gives a fun, comedic twist to traditional scary movies.

Redefining stereotypes: Oh, high school. Four years of temporary bliss are either near the end for seniors or just merely beginning for freshmen. Each class year seems to have a distinct personality that is set in stone in the minds of the student body. While it is not fair to classify students based on their grade level, it is true that we tend to identify ourselves by our graduating class. High school is often depicted and caricatured in the media, for example, in John Hughes movies or teen soap operas on the CW: the upperclassmen shove the little freshman into lockers and the nerdy guy always winds up with the homecoming queen in the end. This may not be the case at OHS. We defy stereotypes here. In fact, we redefine them. —Heajin Yu

Editor’s note: The Talon staff members randomly asked students and staff about their ideas of class stereotypes. The description presented is not condoned by and does not solely represent the viewpoints of The Talon.

Caroline Cotton

Freshmen: They get lost easily, yet they pretend to know it all. Often intimidated by upperclassmen, staff members and administrators, but mainly by seniors.

Joe Morrison

Annoying, short, immature and constantly staring at the ground. Where did they come from? Nobody knows... perhaps an alternate universe. Why so confused? I don’t know why, and they don’t know why. Thus the confusion. Anyone want to help them? Yeah—me neither.

Sophomores: Think you’re legit? I don’t think so. Daryn Bartlett

They have reason to be mellow and relaxed. Congratulations, you survived freshman year. No longer a freshman. Finally time to take chances and more risks. The “FORGOTTEN” group.

Katie Kostovski

Freshmen get unwanted attention while sophomores go unnoticed.

Do you match up to your class’s description? We think that you might. Juniors:

Alyssa Poland

Cool—on the verge of being cooler. Why so bossy? They think they are on the same level as seniors, but they’re NOT. Don’t you forget it. Hey I’ll give you some props. You’re almost there, troopers. Doesn’t it feel great to finally be upperclassmen?

Haili Drake

Busy, busy, busy. Don’t freak out. It’s only the beginning. Good luck with your SATs and AP classes. (Muahahaha!) Don’t throw out your back from carrying around that big backpack full of homework and textbooks.


You think you know-it-all? Yeah, you do. You think you’re all that? Yeah, you are.

The only ones with the right to be obnoxious. Yes, you rule the school. It’s your last year. Enjoy it! Lucky duckies. Gloria Tello

Have Senioritis from day one? There is no cure. Carly Elms

Procrastinators... I’ll finish this sentence later. Smart ones… yeah I guess. Intimidating. Hey remember, we were freshmen once too. Independent and almost free. Contributors: Shamarah Shoup, Heajin Yu, Leah Stapleton and Savannah Thomas.

Kailey Rumbo

10 Opinion

Oct. 9, 2009

All unite to recognize needs for healthcare reform ­­Forty-five million is a big number. That’s about 12 percent of the entire population of the U.S. One in every eight people does not have health care, and it’s clear that this is too large a number for our leaders to ignore any longer. For those of us fortunate enough to have it, health insurance is not something we usually think about--especially not when we’ve got so much else on our minds. So when the media explodes with news of the health-care reform debate, like it did this past summer, we’re not sure where to turn for the correct and least biased information, and most don’t have the time—or the inclination—to be fully informed. President Obama revealed his plan to overhaul the U.S. health care industry in July. The opponents immediately rejected the proposal, throwing around words like “single-payer,” “universal health care” and “socialism,” striking fear into the hearts of us mere mortals and igniting the vicious town-hall debates that Today Show co-host Russ Mitchell called a “nasty national shouting match.” It’s predictable that misinformation would be accepted as fact, and boorish namecalling the main mode of communication

between factions. In the left corner, we’ve got the liberals who want to force you into an insurance plan with shoddy care, higher taxes and so-called “death panels.” In the right corner, we’ve got the conservatives with their “I’ve got mine” health care plans and their reluctance to give the government any more control that it already has. If this hostility surrounding the healthcare debate continues, we’ll have an outand-out brawl on our hands—and only those with health insurance will be able to treat their wounds; if their plan covers mental health care, that is. First things first: the misinformation has got to stop and democracy has to run its course. Contrary to popular belief, the president’s original health-care reform bill—which is no longer relevant, as both houses of Congress are circulating several new proposals, which all seek to reduce costs and extend coverage to those who are still without insurance—doesn’t endorse a single-payer system, as many people feared. Instead, the Obama-Biden plan proposed the creation of a National Health Insurance Exchange, which would “build on and [improve] our current insurance systems” in addition to “[leaving] Medicare

intact for older and disabled Americans.” This National Health Insurance Exchange would have “[helped] individuals purchase new affordable health care options if they are uninsured or want new health insurance.” The Exchange would have allowed any American to use a public insurance plan provided by the government, or an approved private plan, and would have provided income-based tax credits for “people and families who need it.” The Exchange also would have placed regulations on private insurance companies that ensured “fair and stable premiums that will not depend upon health status,” a requirement that all children had health insurance and would have expanded Medicaid and SCHIP, which are both programs that provide for Americans with disabilities. A file of the original Obama-Biden plan can be found at The hysteria surrounding the healthcare debate and the “socialist” agenda are laughable when we look at the information—education, after all, is the key to a successful democracy. Whatever the end result for the health care industry, it will take rational debate to get to a solution that everyone can get behind.

about three out of the four listed choices.   As new technology becomes increasingly available to the world, we continue to accept and adapt ourselves to it. Technology is amazing; please don’t misinterpret my column. However, what happens when we become too dependent on technology? So dependent that some of us base our lives and the way we communicate on it? Cell phones are among a student’s most important communication devices. They’re so vital to our lives because it basically they have everything we need: text messaging, MP3s, internet and e-mail. If I couldn’t use my cell phone for a day I’d probably go through withdrawal and become extremely irritable. This is why some people throw fits when their phones get taken away. “[When my phone is taken away,] it pisses me off, I don’t like it at all,” said Tia Murphy, a senior. Some would say that the importance of a cell phone is equivalent to that of a vehicle.  

“Taking away [somebody’s] cell at a teenager’s age [today] is like taking away their car key in my generation,” said Matt Kuffel, former assistant principal at OHS. Seeing a student’s phone taken away is always an interesting sight to witness. Some people make such an ordeal that you would think someone is taking away oxygen from the world or something. These days I’ve noticed that texting and Face-Booking have become more popular than having an actual conversation with someone. With Facebook or Twitter, people just post their status, and then their friends comment about it. There is no actual faceto-face communication (and face-to-face webcams do not count). This also applies to cell phones. “I rarely talk on the phone to anybody; if I [do call someone,] its family,” Murphy said. Even though communicating with your friends via the Internet is convenient, sometimes it completely replaces other

Editorial Board Shamarah Shoup editor-in-chief

Heajin Yu editor-in-chief

Savannah Thomas photo editor

Andrew Snider news editor

Anna Freydenzon opinion editor

Don’t get caught up in online communication; talk in person


What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in order to use a cellphone? A. Stood on a chair or a high object in an attempt to receive service send or receive text messages.  B. Have your friends distract the teacher by making weird noises or gestures.  C.  Use up all your bathroom passes to go and call your friend who is two classrooms away.  D. Line up all your friend’s cell phones along with yours to try to receive service.  E. All of the above  Speaking only for myself, I’ve done

forms of communication. “[Speaking to one another] is a lost skill, [but it’s] an important one,” said Susan Hubbs, librarian. Without traditional communication skills, people will eventually start to say “LOL” instead of just laughing out loud. The truth is: technology enhances our lives so much that to some, life seems impossible without it. “Some people rely too much on [technology], some people become dependent or addictive,” Hubbs said. “It’s very upsetting. They don’t seem to realize life can go on with [without technology.]” Instead of texting, e-mailing, or Face Booking your friends, try calling them or make the extra effort to go see them in person. People don’t realize the importance of learning how to fully exist without technology. People have been living without computers and cell phones for centuries. I’m sure it won’t kill you to have a real conversation with someone.


The Talon• The Talon is published as a forum for student opinion at Sandra Day O’Connor High School: part of the Deer Valley Unified School District. Letters to the editor must be signed and dropped off in room in Room 425, e-mailed or mailed. Letters may be edited for content and/or space consideration. Obscene or libelous statements will not be printed. Opinions reflected here are of those of The Talon staff and do not reflect the Deer Valley Unified School District. Some material courtesy of MCT Campus News Service.

editors-in-chief copy chief design chief asst. design chief photo editor news editors features editors opinion editors

Shamarah Shoup Heajin Yu Leah Stapleton Sirigul Gosuwin Kody D’Amours Savannah Thomas Andrew Snider Michelle Yung Jessie DiTomasso Angela Yung Brittany Dierken Anna Freydenzon

sports editors

Amanda Bowers Cletus Milan entertainment editor Tarah Wells staff writers Cassie Glaser Rachel Gress Christine Kweon Paige LaPour Joseph Nelson adviser

Erin Howard

Oct. 9, 2009



Welcome to the new world, freshmen; bow down By SAVANNAH THOMAS

Photo Editor Oh, fresh-faced freshmen: welcome to the new and exciting world of secondary education. Let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat. Upperclassmen have a duty to dislike you on principle. You are now a small fish in a big pond. In general, it will be the sophomore class who picks on you poor ickle freshmen the most. Juniors are too busy with AP work and seniors get out too early to care what you do. But sophomores are only a tiny step up from freshmen and they know it. Please act accordingly. 1. The saying goes, “just be yourself,” right? When you’re a freshman, this does not apply anymore. Have your own personality, but know when freshman behavior is appropriate (rarely ever) and when it is not. 2. If a senior sells you an elevator pass, do not even think of asking for a discount. You pay full price. 3. You won’t gain access to the pool

on the roof until you’re a senior. Sneaking up there will result in unfathomable consequences. 4. Make friends with your counselor. It will prove very helpful in the long run. 5. Don’t fail your classes on purpose. It’s stupid, idiotic and a whole plethora of negative adjectives— and don’t be afraid to use a dictionary to look up “plethora.” Dictionaries don’t bite but I can’t make any promises about thesauruses. 6. Please, please, please: know your parts of speech. In other words, DO NOT ask what a noun is. 7. It is in your best interest to speak only when asked a

9. Don’t mouth off to upperclassmen. 10. Watch where you’re going in the halls. Upperclassmen are not required to allow you to pass unscathed. 11. DO NOT congregate in huge groups outside of your classroom. It’s a fire

You won’t gain access to the pool on the roof until you’re a senior. Sneaking up there will result in unfathomable consequences.

direct question, at least in the presence of upperclassmen. 8. Be nice to your teachers. Don’t mouth off. Ever. It does not make you cool. In fact, if you think it makes you cool, that makes you even less so. Don’t do it. Teachers are people, too, but you are a freshman. And don’t you forget it.

hazard, and we upperclassmen do not like it. We will have no hesitation about yelling “excuse me” or the less polite “move!” and shoving past you. 12. Upperclassmen always have the right-of-way.

13. DO NOT run to lunch. You will be mocked, no doubt about it—even if you’re not a freshman. Keep that in mind, sophomores. You know who you are. Seniors—feel free. 14. You are allowed to be assertive. It makes upperclassmen respect you a little more, as long as you know where to draw

the line. Just know your limits and pick your battles wisely. 15. Unless you have read up on a subject, keep your uneducated opinions to yourself (or at least to other freshmen). 16. You must earn the right to voice your opinions to upperclassmen. 17. Explore the wonderfully mutual— mooch-ual—relationship between a senior and his or her freshman flunky. This may involve bringing your senior patron’s lunch. I’m still accepting applications. 18. Don’t wear shirts with political statements on them—this is an extension of the ban on expressing your opinions unless invited. How much does a freshman know about socialism or health care reform anyway? 19. When walking in a large crowd, do not push. Find gaps, don’t create your own. 20. Please: do not wear your socks pulled up to mid-calf with your sensiblebut-hideous shoes. It’s an eyesore. Don’t wear sandals with socks, either. 21. If you can define “respect,” then you’re miles ahead of the rest of the freshies. Grin and bear it. 22. Follow these rules and I guarantee your high school career will be much more fruitful. And you won’t be stuffed in a trash can. Everyone wins.

Point: Revenge is totally sweet Counterpoint: Revenge is foul By TARAH WELLS

Entertainment Editor “Life is too short to not get even,” said Revenge Guy of There’s no greater feeling than getting harmless revenge on a friend or sibling. A quick innocent prank will do no harm; it will just bring joy—to you at least. Revenge should be fun and carried out lightheartedly, not maliciously or hurtfully. Revenge is awesome as long as nothing is permanently damaged. Exes, flings who blew you off and the so called “players” need revenge to learn their lesson. Cell phones and text messages are a breeding ground for some fun revenge, like prank calls. Some people in this world are just not moral. They need revenge to screw their head on correctly. For slackers who want to “borrow” your homework, just give them the wrong assignment. At work, your partner who steals all the tips needs some major revenge like putting fake money in the jar. Getting even doesn’t always mean harmful gestures; there are some pretty great harmless pranks out there you could use to get your rival back. For example: tin-foiling a friend’s whole room. Every pillow, night stand and TV individually wrapped to perfection. Let your nemesis walk into a silver dungeon. Get creative with color! If your friend’s favorite color is blue, put some blue kool-aid packets in the showerhead, so when they turn on the water, it’s a blue and sticky mess. Just know that your fun, laughable side is coming out while pulling a little prank. It’s all fun and games. Want a shiny and sparkling display? Sprinkle glitter on top of a fan. It will get the room really messy when turned on. Do you like classic revenge? T.P.-ing and forking the yard might make parents mad, but neighbors will have a good laugh. Forking is putting plastic forks upside down so the prongs are sticking up in the front lawn. Just be prepared to help clean

up if the parents get upset. If you need to get revenge on a friend, and have their vehicle in mind, here are some ways to retaliate the love:   1. Colorful post-it notes that cover every square inch of the car.    2. Saran wrap around and around. (But don’t let it melt in the heat!)    3. Write on the windows with soap or window markers.     4. Shaving cream. End of story. The little girl, Matilda, from the 1996 movie Matilda, in a very sneaky way, put her mom’s blonde hair dye in her dad’s hair gel. Her next stunt was putting super glue in her dad’s hat and watching him humiliate himself at a restaurant when he tried to take his hat off. Lastly, Matilda scared her nasty principal by using her powers. These are three—well, two—logical ways that this little girl plotted revenge and succeeded. With the idea of Matilda getting revenge on her family in mind, siblings are great candidates for revenge. Sneak into the bathroom while they are showering and pour a pitcher of ice water on them. I am warning you now that the after-effects will not be good, so put your running shoes on. Halloween is coming soon and it is the ultimate holiday for revenge. No, smashing pumpkins is not included in this category, because that’s just downright mean. Got stuck trick-or-treating this year? Leave your group and hurry down a couple houses ahead. Ring the doorbell and tell the person that your sibling or friend is coming dressed as a “………” and that they are diabetic and not allowed to have candy. Say: “Do not give them candy, I repeat do not!” Your friend will be very confused as to why he or she didn’t receive any goodies. Any time of the year, with any type of rowdy friends, there needs to be a little punishment, some revenge on their plate. An anonymous quote from reads: “Today I was thinking about the expression ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’ then I discovered ‘revenge is sweet.’ I’ve come to the conclusion that revenge is ice cream.”


“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Well said, Mahatma Gandhi. Seeking revenge only causes pain. Perhaps not in the literal sense—though it is quite possible considering the crazy pranks some people pull—but mental harassment can be just as harmful. When you find yourself in a situation where you have been wronged, it is a natural instinct to want to fight back. Someone hurt you. You may feel the need to avenge the injustice, or to make the person who harmed you experience the same pain. Getting revenge may seem appealing in the heat of the moment, but it’s not worth it. Refraining from retaliation will make you the bigger person and wiser in the end. There is no benefit to impulsively acting on your spitefulness. For one, a person who seeks revenge is often viewed as immature. Sure, appearances shouldn’t matter, but no one wants to display infantile behavior. Rational people brush off annoyances and

COMIC BY ANGELA YUNG move on with their lives. Choose to be wise, not someone who indulges themselves in child-like activities. Plotting ways to bring down other people is also a huge waste of time and energy. Really, you must have something more important to do than to spend your day thinking of ways to hurt someone else. If the silent warfare goes too far, it will soon begin to consume all your thoughts. You will waste a lot of valuable time—time that you could be using to better yourself as a person. If you seek revenge against someone, you’re just fueling the fire. Most likely, they will strike back, creating a vicious cycle that is very difficult to break. The problem may escalate, and soon, you could become so wrapped up in your trivial war that you forget what had initially angered you. Perhaps the most important effect of revenge is its ability to make you a bitter person. You cannot be truly happy if you are constantly fighting a battle with another person. Whether playful or not, the relentless attacks will grow old quickly. I’m most certainly not saying that you should let people walk all over you. You should always stand your ground and express your beliefs. But next time you find yourself in an unfortunate situation, just be the bigger person and turn the other cheek. Let it go. It’s not worth it.

12 Entertainment

Oct. 9, 2009

Glee — a musical comedy that will send viewers on a joy ride


The first season of Glee is on Wednesday nights at 9/8c; Every television viewer is welcome.



With the arrival of the new fall television lineup, you be might wondering what could possibly satiate your need for musical, awkward, hilarious and geeky

high school hijinks. The answer: Glee, a show detailing a teacher’s quest to bring fame to his ragged team of teenaged singers. Yes, the show is new. However, a pilot of it was released after “American Idol” back in May, which gave the show publicity and plenty of great reviews. Its premiere was

seen by an average of 10 million viewers, and the director’s cut was viewed by 4 million. This show managed to get through the recent wave of FOX cancellation, though it was one of the nominees. The show just premiered on Sept. 9, getting 7.14 million views. It featured performances of “Golddigger,” originally performed by Kanye West, “Le Freak,” originally performed by Chic and “Push It,” originally performed by Salt N Pepa. The focus of the show is Will Schuester, a Spanish teacher who is inspired by his past singing career and the success of the last Glee Club at the school, which was cut short by the death of the woman who organized it. His failing marriage is a large focus of the show. The kids who join the club are equally as interesting. Two students, Rachel and Finn, are part of the focus of the show, having an odd, developing relationship. Rachel fits the typical musical stereotype of a girl who is both pretty and talented, yet she can’t seem to find acceptance from her peers. Finn, however, is the stereotypical soft-hearted quarterback who was falsely blackmailed by Will to join the Glee club. While Finn was dating Quinn—the head of the cheerleading squad and the celibacy club—Rachel points out that she “thinks

that the rest of the [glee] team expects them to become an item.” The other members of the Glee club are also fun and quirky. There’s Artie, a paraplegic who joined the club to escape the bullying he constantly goes though during high school. Mercedes, both a fashionista and a diva, protested singing backup for even one song. Kurt, a rare male soprano, finds himself constantly bullied because of his sexuality, and attempts to discover his identity. Finally, Tina, an Asian-American with a stutter introduces herself by singing “I Kissed a Girl,” complete with an animated pelvic thrust. The show is a perky, enjoyable ride— while there is tension, there isn’t any major drama to bog down the sweet tone and structure of the storyline. All of the characters mimic Broadway stereotypes, but don’t directly target or even satirize the groups involved. All of the main characters show potential depth, and manage to be likeable even in their darker or weaklywritten moments. If there is any show that the student body should follow semireligiously, this one might be it. Glee airs Wednesdays at 8 pm on Fox.

Reality shows are amusing to some, embarrassing to others Commentary

By CLETUS MILAN Sports Editor

American Idol, Survivor, The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars. What do these shows have in common? Reality supposedly equals high ratings. Many Americans have been captivated by the lives of reality stars. The reality is that at the end of the day still know nothing about who these people really are. We only know them by the “characters” they portray for an hour one night a week. Sometimes the things these reality stars go through to get money or to find love is appalling, even downright embarrassing. These awkward moments are some of the reasons that we watch reality shows. These moments of stupidity are what keep us entertained. America somehow identifies with the characters portrayed and their mortifying moments. We laugh at them; we laugh with them and cry when they cry. We feel very much a part of the show when we are asked to cast a vote for our favorite reality star. Not all Americans feel this way, however, some people dislike the reality stars. “The people on these shows are making themselves look like jokes, and I like making fun of them,” said Jake Young, a sophomore. Reality shows reel in quite the sum of money from millions of viewers on a daily basis. For example, Fear Factor a former NBC reality show, grossed more than $600 million in just just six seasons, according to This reality show dared contestants to do stunts such as eating cockroaches, leaping off of skyscrapers and holding their breath underwater for as long as they could. The winning contestant received a cash prize of $50,000. “The shows make you forget about your life, and the stupid things that people do make you laugh,” said Ronda Cunningham, a language arts teacher. “I love to watch I Love New York,

Flavor of Love andReal Chance at Love, because the shows entertain me when I’m having a bad day,” said Justin Bejar a sophomore. According to the latest Nielsen ratings: American Idol’s season eight finales had over 29 million viewers. Survivor China had over 15 million. Dancing with the Stars’ sixth season, 90 - minute premier broadcast had more than 20 million viewers total. The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman’s two-hour finale on ABC was the most watched telecast of a dating series in three years. Reality shows reach a vast audience and should be aware of their responsibility to the public to present real-life issues in a manner that would maintain the dignity of the reality stars and respect its viewers. With that amount of viewers watching on a daily basis, reality shows can send a positive message to their viewers. Instead of the profusive use of profanity and the shouting and arguing that happens in those shows they can depict the good things that go on in the world like Extreme Make Over: Home Edition does. This show shows you how people can come together for a good cause. Workers from the whole community get together to build homes for the less fortunate. This act of kindness changes peoples lives in a good way. Instead of just trying to find fame in reality shows you try to find fame in different aspects of life. If that is becoming a doctor or a lawyer or even an actor or a singer you don’t need “American Idol” to make you famous. So hopefully reality shows can be a positive look toward their viewers than a negative one.


American Idol will return in January of 2010 on Tuesday nights at 7/6c and Wednesday nights at 8/7c


The ninth season of Dancing With the Stars airs Monday nights at 8/7c and Tuesday nights at 9/8c

Oct. 9, 2009

Entertainment 13

Calendar of events for the months October, November October 2009 Sunday




Thursday 1 BRAD PAISLEY concert












12 NO SCHOOL Fall Break




The AP Tour* concert 5:30 p.m. Marquee Theater







99.9 KEZ RADIO STATION COMING TO OHS for food drive 7:00 a.m.


29 ROB ZOMBIE concert 8:00 p.m. Dodge Theater



Disney Live 12:30 p.m. & 3:30 p.m





HALF DAY! Parent-Teacher Conferences AMELIA Opening Night

HALF DAY! Parent-Teacher Conferences









WHIP IT Opening Night






ALL MONTH LONG: 98.7 The Peak radio station will be donating $9 per boxer in the BOXERS FOR BREAST CANCER PROGRAM to the Phoenix Affiliate Susan G. Komen for the cure. *The AP Tour is featuring: The Acadamy is, Mayday Parade, Set Your Goals, The Secret Handshake and You and Me at Six.

November 2009 Sunday 1

Monday 2

Tuesday 3

Wednesday 4

Thursday 5 ALL TIME LOW * concert 6 p.m. Marquee Theater

Friday 6



Saturday 7




11 NO SCHOOL Veterans Day

















THE USED concert 6:00 p.m. Marquee Theater

FAME KILLS: Kanye West & Lady Gaga concert 7:30 p.m.



*All Time Low is featuring: We the Kings and Friday Night Lights. State Capital Downtown 17th Avenue & Adams Street Phoenix

Marquee Theatre 730 N. Mill Ave. Tempe

Dodge Theater 400 W. Washington St. Phoenix

U.S. Airways Center 201 E. Jefferson St. Phoenix

14 Sports

Oct. 9, 2009

S p i r i t l i n e Rivals: Mountain Ridge vs. O’Connor splits in 2 BY BRITTANY DIERKEN Opinion Editor

For the first time in three years, the spiritline has been split into pom and cheer. Pom is led by Kristin Lucero, dance teacher. Pom is made up of girls who specialize in dance and their skills include competition level moves (more advanced turns, jumps, and routine difficulty), no stunts or tumbling. Cheer is led by Lauren Fetkenhier, interior design teacher, who has put together a team of 25 students. Cheer does not use pom poms or dance as much as the pom squad does, but instead focuses on tumbling, stunts, and chants in their routines. Switching from 4A to 5A gives pom and cheer the opportunity to compete against some of their biggest rivals: Mountain Ridge, Deer Valley and Boulder Creek high schools. Since OHS is in the largest division, it will be competing against “the best of the best,” who have larger squads and do more advanced stunting and tumbling, said Fetkenheir. To prepare for the upcoming season, the spiritline participated in camps held in Flagstaff throughout the summer. Learning new cheers, dances and stunts and bonding with the team were all skills they carried back with them to use this year. “I believe [our bond] is better than last year because I feel the smaller team helped us come closer together,” said Heather Ratliff, a junior on cheer. “The fact that we went to cheer camp and happily spent five days with each other [helped with team bonding].” The girl’s goals for the season are: more school involvement, good grades, success in state and regionals and lastly, being a united team. With new coaches and two new team divisions come new traditions, such as cheering at JV home football games making tags and decorating good luck cards for the football players, as well as hanging posters for the basketball players, when their season comes around. The choreography for cheer has already been created, but pom is still waiting for theirs. Competing together is also something members say they’re looking forward to. Cheer and Pom compete at the same competitions, but in different groups. “I think we will do well this year and I think we have a lot of talent on this [cheer] squad,” Fetkenheir said. “If we put our minds to it we will succeed.”

There is one date marked on many people’s calendars: Oct. 16, 2009. Why? Because it is the day that OHS play their rivals Mountain Ridge High School for the first time in years. Blood and paint will be shared in this rivalry game. “I’m annoyed with people asking me if we are going to win this year … we are going to [do well]. Everyone thinks since we did bad last year that we are going to do bad this year,” said Tom DeVito, center. As the game draws near, both OHS and MRHS teams have the record of 1 win and 3 loses as of Sept. 25. As far as Coach Rodriguez is concerned, there is not one player whom the team is dependent on. OHS team’s main goal in this game is to earn respect from the community and the student body. “Our main focus going into this game is to treat it like a normal game and to prove ourselves,” Rodriguez said.

Girls golf takes 4th at Yuma Invitational By CASSIE GLASER Staff Writer

For the two-day Yuma Invitational on Sept. 5 and 6, the Lady Eagles golf team prepared themselves for a three and a half hour drive to Yuma and a full two days of golfing against their competitors. Highland Lakes High School came in first, Kofa High School came in second and Lake Havasu High School placed third. The girls’ golf team finished in fourth place, behind third place by six points. The finishing score was 354. To mentally prepare themselves for a round of golf, the Lady Eagles visualize the golf course in their minds, build up their confidence, and tell themselves that they are the best. They also must review their swing in their heads to make sure they extend every advantage from their backstrokes to their follow-throughs according to some of the OHS golf team players.         “I can’t get nervous, I need to keep my nerves steady when I teeoff,” said Niki Ortega, a sophomore. ”I just visualize the driving range open and clearly, and try to swing freely.”          However, the Yuma trip not only had the Lady Eagles in deep thought and concentration, but also their parents as well. Parents have had to donate more money this year because of budget cuts. Although the school pays for balls, a tournament, state and play-offs, parents still have to pay for shirts, tournaments, gear, uniforms, and golf towels.             “It’s not as bad as I thought it would

PHOTO BY CASSIE GLASER As she approaches the green, Madi Newman, a senior swings her wedge chipping the ball into the fairground. [be] with the season [and] with the budget cuts, but the district is trying to keep sports going,” said Greg Rice, the girls’ golf coach. Budget cuts have another affect on fundraising, which, like school materials, has become more difficult to obtain. The girls’ team had to explore other ways to find the money to support their losses in fundraising in order to provide equipment and transportation.        Although all golfers are feeling financial pressure they are not worrying about team injuries. They have never had a problem with hitting players with their clubs, though some have been hit with balls. Nothing so far has caused a player to sit out.

“Paying attention is something I don’t do 24/7, but it would sure help,” Ortega said. Last year, the girls’ golf team finished in third place at the 2008 Eagle Invitational, just behind Boulder Creek High School. This year’s Eagle Invitational will be held at the 500 Club. Golf news and other information including their scores and placings are posted on the Lady Eagles golf website,, and are displayed on the morning announcements. People normally don’t look up the final scores. “The kids understand it is not a high-profile sport, but they enjoy it anyway,” Rice said.

took part in a volleyball camp at OHS in the gym every Tuesday and Thursday for three hours. Team bonding was a big piece of the puzzle when it came to working together. “There are times we will [play] some silly games, maybe a dance, races, or just sit and chat,” said Bill Bellis, coach of the varsity team. Usually after every play, the team exchanges high fives and all of their positive attitudes rub off on each other. This keeps the players’ momentum up during games. Most of the varsity players are returning from last year, but there is a small number of newcomers. JV has accepted some new players as well. “We bond with them very well; they adapted very close, very fast,” said Miaje Hubbard, a senior and

outside hitter for varsity. “We’re all fun people so it’s easy to fit in.” All of the players on the volleyball teams keep up with their athleticism by joining a club team outside the walls of OHS. The two most popular club volleyball teams are AZ Sky and AZ Fear. Bellis also coaches AZ Fear. “[Playing on a club team] gives you a lot of experience and more time to play in the off season,” Hubbard said. They are looking forward to playing the 5A teams and building a good foundation for the season to come. “We are a much more experienced team this year with 10 returning players,” Bellis said. “There is more refining of the game as opposed to lots of teaching.”

Lady Eagles off to strong start in this year’s volleyball season BY BRITTANY DIERKEN Opinion Editor

PHOTO BY KODY D’AMOURS Davia Lee, a junior and outside hitter, hits the ball over the net during the game on Sept. 16 against Willow Canyon.

Last year, the varsity girls’ volleyball team placed third; this year they are shooting for first place in state by advancing their individual skills and performing as a team. The increase of students has moved OHS up to the 5A division and this gives Varsity and JV girls’ volleyball a challenge this season: to improve and compete against bigger schools with a wide range of athletes. “Since we went to 5A, we have been working harder at practices, because we know we have to play more competitive teams,” said Taylor Miller, a sophomore and outside hitter for JV. Over the summer, the team

Oct. 9, 2009

Sports 15

Record number of students join the swim, dive teams By TARAH WELLS Entertainment Editor

It’s 4:30 p.m. and two yellow school buses pull up in front of the gym. A record breaking 80 students pile into the buses for their Monday through Thursday practice. The swimmers take a half hour trip all the way to a pool at Ironwood High School. In the pool, it is so crowded that eight to nine people are piled up into eight lanes and accidentally touch each other’s feet while swimming. One of those swimmers Nina Abu, a senior and team captain who has been swimming for eight years. “[Having so many people on the team] is exciting because [in the past years the team has] been small and you know that there will be people on the team next year.” Abu said. “It’s doubled since my freshman year.” Having a large team has its benefits. There are many opportunities for more experienced swimmers to help out. Because of the overwhelming size of the team, swimmers must push themselves to be the best in order to earn a spot on competition day. 32 girls compete for two

The swim and dive team crowd onto the bus to leave for their swim meet. spots and 18 boys fight for two spots. The swimmers who do not get to swim at the meets might be discouraged simply because they don’t get to swim. That just gives them more of a reason to work harder and try to swim at the next meet, said Chris Harmonson, head coach. Even if they don’t get the chance to swim in competitions, there are exhibition races that record their times and give them


a heightened practice. A new addition to the swim team this year is the dive team. There are more than 100 possible dives, but at the high school level students are only required to do about six of them. “In the past, we used another team’s coach,” Harmonson said. Dive has been idle for two years now and finally has a certified dive coach, Allie

Corse-Scott. Steven Meyers, a senior, is the dive captain and said it’s “pretty cool” to have a dive team again. “We work on our form at practice,” Meyers said. “[Coach Corse-Scott] runs iron mans, so she thinks that we can do them too. An iron man is like a triathlon, but harder.” Last year, with no dive team, there were 55 swimmers. In 2007, there were 45. Including the dive team in 2006, the total was 38 members. “The media and Olympic coverage around swim, Michael Phelps and Dara Torres got people interested in swimming.” Harmonson said. “People saw it and wanted to try.” Swim is a no-cut sport, meaning there are no tryouts, but dive is a little different. 20 swimmers tried out for dive, but only 12 made the cuts. Seven of the divers also swim at the meets.   “Swim is a great way to meet people, get in shape and have fun.” Harmonson said. “It’s a nice way to be an individual [because you compete alone] but belong to a team as well.”

Boys golf team prepares to tee their way to victory this season In order to train a golfer, the coach can’t make them run laps or make them do push-ups, they have to work on relaxation and patience instead. “[In] golf, spirited pep talks don’t work,” said Al Baker, the boys golf coach. “In golf, you try to avoid tension.”

PHOTO BY KODY D’AMOURS Patrick Jackson, a senior swings his club at the first Deer Valley Cup game.

BY ANDREW SNIDER & KODY D’AMOURS News Editor & Asst. Design Chief

Everyone stands still as Patrick Jackson, a senior and OHS golfer, approaches the first tee. The sounds of birds chirping and grass blowing in the wind are the only things he can hear as he prepares to swing. Then a swift sound of metal drives through the air as

his driver connects with the golf ball. “Teeing off on the first hole is the hardest shot of the day,” Jackson said. The players’ focus is on that first shot, because it determines how they will play the rest of the hole. But do these players train for these golf games?

Unlike football where they focus more on strength, golfers train by directing their precision of their swing. That way they can pick the right club for their shot. “I concentrate on my practice and [do everything] with a purpose,” Jackson said. When the player focuses on the task at hand, they cannot simply swing and not pay attention to what they are doing. When the golfers play, they focus on playing the course and not their competition. This is partly because they don’t know the other teams score until the end of their round. “We don’t focus on the [teams], we play the course,” Baker said, “If we play the course to our best [of our abilities], we will beat the teams.” This year the team will be playing against a new set of teams that include Mountain Ridge, Deer Valley and

others. This year, OHS is hosting the Deer Valley Cup, which is when every team in district competes. This cup has four rounds. OHS has played two of them so far. The next two rounds will be played on Oct. 6 and 8. There are eight returning golfers on this year’s team. Three of them are seniors. In the Deer Valley Cup, they will compete in four different formats of play. They have previously played “alternate shot” where the players on the same team take turns hitting every other shot, which is considered the hardest round because players cannot get into a steady rhythm. “Returning kids have worked harder in the off season but we are younger[team, in general] this year,” Baker said. Even though the team has more new members this year than in past years, the Future Course is helping the team make strides toward being one of the teams to beat in their division. “We are starting to see the impact with the Future Course,” Baker said. “kids who have gone through it are better prepared.”

Advanced sports medicine is new class, new club BY SHAMARAH SHOUP Editor-in-Chief

Among several new classes and clubs this year, OHS welcomes yet another class: Advanced Sports Medicine. This marks the start of yet another club: Sports Medicine. The two coincide not only because of their similar interests, but also because of the fact that the officers for the sports medicine club will be coming directly from the advanced class. The class was started this year due to an increase in popularity in sports medicine according to Bryce Anderson, principal. Students in the class will be required to do community service which

involves attending sports teams’ practices in order to learn how to handle and identify injuries. They also hope to inspire a rise in membership by allowing more people to join. “Since this is the first year, we want to open the club to anyone who is interested in medicine,” said Kami Shabaz, a senior and president. “But in the future years, it will only be open to students in sports med.” The idea for a club was first breached when Chandler Evans, a sports medicine teacher, suggested it.

“I said it, [then] students took off with it,” Evans said. The club received its approval from HOSA (Health Occupations Students’ Association) on Aug. 31. They will be holding nationals in June. They handle everything that could fall under the health care profession. Students plan on entering these competitions. “I could do the injury taping contest because that’s my best ability,” said Lora Sweeney, a senior in Advanced Sports Medicine For students who aren’t as practiced at this skill, there will also be competitions using medical

terminology. The members will also be kept busy by the walks they plan on entering, said Shabaz. These walks are intended to promote health. “We are very aware of things like Cancer and Alzheimers,” Shabaz said. During club rush, their booth was certainly one of the more popular ones. Aside from the crowd that stood around it, about 90 students signed up to join. Club meetings will be held after school on Wednesdays, according to Lindsay Williams, treasurer.

PHOTO BY SHAMARAH SHOUP Lindsay Williams, a senior encourages students to sign up for the new sports medicine club. At this year’s club rush, 90 new members joined.

16 Sports

Oct. 9, 2009

Unique activities bring cross country team together By RACHEL GRESS

the team. To help remind them of the teamwork needed, the cross country team’s mascot, George, is a plastic goose. It’s said that the family that eats Unlike other fall sports, the cross together stays together, but in the case country team begins their workouts when of the OHS cross country team, a more it is still dark out. Their morning runs are accurate saying would be that the family not only early, but also spirited. that eats, runs, laughs, and everything else “We almost always sing on the run and you can think of stays together. the boys’ team will yell things out to each The cross country team has had ample other,” said David Cook, a junior. time to become a family this season. Waking Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ and Chris up at 4 a.m. for practice and spending time Brown’s Forever are popular songs that the team sings, but the songs with one another outside “Since the team is change throughout the of school has allowed for smaller we all know season. plenty of bonding over each other pretty well “We sing random songs team traditions and shared activities. Coach Brian and we have a lot of fun occasionally but no specific Dempsey cites the team at our pasta dinners.” song,” said McKenzie Brist, itself as well as the large —David Cook, junior a junior. “Last run we sang Whatever You Like by T.I. but amount of time spent together by the runners for the bond they we changed [the tempo] so you can run as fast as you like.” share. Along with morning practices, the “I think it starts with a team being a family and I know it might be cliché, but cross country team spends quite a bit of that’s just how I coach,” Dempsey said. time eating together. Two of the team’s traditions that involve “We have the story about the Canadian geese with how they fly back and circle food are pasta dinners and the unofficial with a fallen goose and stand by him. [The cross country lunch table. The night before runners] just become friends and friends meets, the team gets together at someone’s house and eats pasta for dinner to stock up like to hang out together.” With their team bond, the cross on carbohydrates. Cross country members country runners have enjoyed a successful also eat at the same table during lunch start to their season, placing third overall at at school to strengthen the team’s bond. their first meet. At their second meet, the Another benefit of sharing a table is the George Young Invitational, Kailey Rumbo feedback members give each other. “Last year [when] I was a freshman, and Gloria Tello, seniors, placed in the top I was just told that [eating lunch together 30. The story of the Canadian geese is is] what they’ve always done and being well known within the cross country team. with the team made it easier to make better The flight patterns and the joint effort of choices [involving what I’m] eating,” said the geese are often used to illustrate the Jordyn Bentley, a sophomore. The traditions of the cross country team direction and cooperation needed within Staff Writer

COURTESY OF SAM MARTINEZ Calvin Ritter, junior and Arie Jones, sophomore run their way to victory at the George Young Invitational on Sept. 19. have a twofold effect. They are a jumping off point for the team to become a family, which encourages teammates to commit to the little things, like eating healthy, which has a large impact on their performance. “Since the team is smaller we all know each other pretty well and we have a lot of fun at our pasta dinners,” Cook said. “We can just tell each other anything.” This family atmosphere not only resonates well with the team, it resonates in the achievements reached by the cross country runners. Last season, both the boys

and girls won the region championships. Additionally, the girls’ team have been state champions for the past three years in a row. “I think they just know they’re not going to that meet alone,” Dempsey said. “By that time of the year they are so dialed in from being together and knowing that they have to do it all together and it’s not just our number one girl. [Even] if she wins it doesn’t mean we’re going to win the meet.”

Volume 8, issue 1  

Issue 1 of the 2009-2010 Talon newspaper at Sandra Day O'Connor High School.

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