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IN FOCUS P.8 & P.9


the P r o w l e r FEATURES P.10






Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most irresistible of them all? Drake Krueger sweeps judges off their feet, crowned 2010’s Mr. Irresistible As the audience was waiting for it to play, Goldschmidt heroically improvised and kept the audience entertained. “At first I had no idea what to do, then I just started saying jokes. The crowd was really good and worked with me,” said Goldschmidt. “I liked playing off the moment.  I ended up throwing a beach ball into the audience!”

BY KATY MANESS Laughs and smiles was the theme of the 2010 Mr. Irresistible Pageant, with audience members entertained by the top ten candidates’ jokes and fun moments over and over again. The candidates included Joseph Young, First Runner Up: Jose Drake Krueger, Jose Mendez Mendez, Michael Sullivan, Nate Wilson, Brandon Churchill, Sean Blumberg, Josh Greene, Cal Steirwalt and Daniel McGinthy. The show was a great success, thanks to the many people that helped contribute.   The OTHS Student Council played a big part in doing odd jobs backstage and on stage. “My job was to make sure people didn't interrupt the show.   I feel heartless not letting them in the door, but whatever makes the show better!  Plus, I got in free, so it was awesome,” freshman Chayne Wolfe said.  The whole night was filled with laughter and special highlights, both on and offstage. “My favorite part was when [stage manager] Elliott Koehl ran across the stage when he wasn't supposed to.   It made it Mr. Charming: Michael Sullivan so much funnier.  Overall, it was a great experience, and a lot of laughs,” senior Kristen Rolla said.   One technical difficulty caught Emma Goldschmidt like a deer in headlights.  While trying to play the previously recorded interview on the big screen, the technical crew had problems they were trying to fix.

Ò I was honestly surprised when my name was called... every single guy out there deserved it.Ó -Drake Krueger, senior As part of a long standing tradition, Goldschmidt was chosen to be the emcee, since she is the Student Council vice president. The interviews were moved to later in the show, while in the meantime the boys showed off soccer skills, dancing, singing and other musical skills.  Perhaps the most memorable talent was Joseph Young's impersonation of Pokemon's Ash Ketchum.  He frolicked about the stage and sang the Pokemon theme song, “Gotta Catch 'Em All.”  During intermission, three acts entertained the audience.  The first was a dance performed by the Golden Girls.  Next was a skit written and performed by

seniors Kenny Maness, Taylor McKinstry, and Chelsea Cariker. Finally, senior Tori Wisely represented this year's February Frolics by singing “Stand Where I Stood” by Missy Higgins.  Throughout the night, the judges evaluated the boys until they chose the Mr. Macho: Nate Wilson top five contestants that would go on to compete for the title of Mr. Irresistible.  The judges selected McGinthy, Krueger, Sullivan, Mendez and Churchill.  Each was then given the chance to answer a random question to show their true personality.  The night concluded, and all sashes and crowns were placed on the selected contestants.  The Mr. Macho award was given to Nate Wilson, Mr. Charming was given to Michael Sullivan, second runner up was Brandon Churchill, and first runner up was Jose Mendez.   Finally, the title of Mr. Irresistible was awarded to Drake Krueger.  “I was honestly surprised when my name was called... every single Second Runner Up: guy out there deserved Brandon Churchill it.  I had such a good time with them,” said Krueger.   Krueger won $500 worth of Go to educational scholarship OTHSProwler. money, and $500 com to see the for the Broadcast Mr. Irresistible Club, whom he represented in the slideshow! competition.

Q&A with Mr. Irresistible 2010

Q: Who supported you the most during this competition? A: I’d have to say my mom and my brother.  They both continuously told me to be myself and have fun. Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to fellow students? A: I just hope younger guys know that it’s important to treat girls with respect. Always be yourself, too... don’t be fake toward people. Q: Where do you plan on going to college, and what do you plan on majoring in? A: I am still in the decision making process, but I am leaning towards attending Arizona State University to major in dramatic arts/ theatre. PHOTOS BY ADAM HARREL AND KATY MANESS

Corey Walsh wins 2010-2011 Student Body President election BY JAKE FUSSELL

“He, or she, coordinates numerous Student Council activities throughout the year and serves as a liaison between the student body and the council. He also gives a speech and leads monthly student council meetings,” Walsh said. Walsh plans to go further than that by reaching out and helping others. “I feel like Student Council does not do very much to directly benefit the O'Fallon community, so I think we could take part in various community events or service projects,” Walsh said. He believes Student Council can easily do more for the community under Walsh than we have seen in the past. The new leader of the student body plans to “create a revolution in student activity. [Class of] 2011, the last year of students before the end of the world, let's go out with a bang,” Walsh said.

After a well-fought battle between juniors Kaitlin Wolf and Corey Walsh for student body president, the election, held Thursday, Jan. 28, announced the results of their campaigns. Next year, the Student Council will be headed by Corey Walsh. “We were so lucky to have two such worthy candidates; both put up an amazing race,” STUCO sponsor Mrs. Tiffany Niedringhaus said. “I feel Corey Walsh will really represent the student body efficiently based of his previous experience holding office in Student Council,” STUCO sponsor Mrs. Dawn Bauer said. Some may wonder what the Student Body President actually does.

Ò [Class of] 2011, the last year before the end of the world, letÕ s go out with a bang.Ó Corey Walsh, junior

JAKE HAMILTON At the Winter Pep Rally on Jan. 15, junior Corey Walsh announces the junior class team for the tug-of-war event. Currently the junior class president,Walsh was elected Student Body President for the 2010-2011 school year.

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FEBRUARY 5, 2010

STUCO, what’s it good for? BY JENNIFER BAILEY Many, including myself, believe Student Council is little more than a popularity contest that students join just to have it on their college resumes.   Sure they plan Homecoming Week and set up for the dance, which is a lot of work and very time consuming, but that seems to be it. One problem I have with Student Council is that during elections, candidates’ names are simply announced; candidates do not give any speeches.   So, when it comes time to vote, students either vote for who they know or who their friends are voting for.  Now, I realize some students will do this anyway, but would it be too much trouble to have each candidate give a two-minute speech during advisory the day before elections?   At least then students will know the face of who they are electing and their reasons for running.   Though this is just a school election, it is important.

After all, Student Council represents us and is supposed to be our voice in the school. They are supposed to be our liaison to the administration. “We have tried to have speeches in the past, but the school is just too big and there’s the problem of having multiple lunches.  We can’t pull candidates and students out of class for speeches,” STUCO sponsor Mrs. Dawn Bauer said.   “We do air the student body president interviews on the Panther Beat, but we are open to other suggestions on this issue.” Student body president senior Elliott Koehl and vice-president senior Emma Goldschmidt agreed that the student body is too big for speeches, but said that the people who run for positions are the ones that are willing to put the extra effort and time into their campaigns. Public Relations Officer senior Alex White said, “[It’s] usually the experienced people that run, but anyone is welcome to.  Just remember to be outspoken and outgoing.” Goldschmidt said that being involved in the school is helpful because people are likely to recognize a student’s name on the voting ballot.   “We have talked about having teacher recommendations being added to the officer applications.   Anyone is welcome to run for student council, but we do check the applicant’s GPA and attendance, and send the list of applicants out to the faculty for feedback on the

Prowler Staff Row 1: Tessa Dockins, Natalie Buch, Ellie Kanaskie, Katy Maness, Jennifer Bailey. Row 2: Jacob Fussell, Caitlyn Coon, Ashleigh Jackson, Janelle Pfeifer, David Colbus. Row 3: Alexis Hardy, Jake Hamilton, John Davis, Chad Bartholomew, Bryce Radick, Kira Worthington

THE PROWLER STAFF & POLICIES Jennifer Bailey Editor-in-Chief

Jake Hamilton Web Editor/Reporter

John Davis Sports Editor/Reporter

Bryce Radick News Editor/Reporter

Alexis Hardy Features Editor/Reporter

Chad Bartholomew Reporter

Tessa Dockins Reporter

Natalie Buch Reporter

Kira Worthington Reporter

Katy Maness Reporter

David Colbus Reporter

Jacob Fussell Reporter

Ashleigh Jackson Reporter

Ellie Kanaskie Reporter

Janelle Pfeifer Reporter

Caitlyn Coon Reporter

Ms. Mary Dempsey Adviser

Contributors: Carolyn Joseph, Adam Harrel, Elliott Koehl, Mark Raeber/OÕ Fallon Progress, Anthony Bailey, Jordan Tanner, Paul Munoz-Cook, Mason Lampe The OÕ Fallon Township High School newspaper, The Prowler, is part of the educational curriculum of OÕ Fallon District 203.

to the editor. All letters must be signed. All signatures will be verified through a phone call or personal interview.

Although the paper is a class activity, OTHS students may submit materials, such as stories, photography, graphics, or art, for publication consideration. Students should bring any submissions to Room 608 Smiley Campus Submissions may be edited for content, length and grammar.

Letters may be submitted to Room 608, mailed to OTHS Publications, 600 S. Smiley St., OÕ Fallon, IL 62269, or emailed to Letters should be fewer than 400 words in length. If excessive editing is needed, the letter will be returned to the author for approval. The Prowler reserves the right to edit any letter for grammatical errors, libelous content, or space limitations.

If written, staff editorials will not signed and will reflect the opinion of majority of the staff members. Commentaries columns, on the other hand, will be signed reflect the individual writer’s views.

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students,” Ms. Bauer said. According to the Student Council page on the OTHS web site, “The Student Council plays a very important role at OTHS. We are the voice of our fellow classmates, we reach out to others through service projects, and we represent OTHS while promoting positive conduct throughout our community.” This description says that STUCO is an active group within the school, and it is.  STUCO members spend many hours planning, organizing and setting up events such as Homecoming and Mr. Irresistible.   “We start planning Homecoming in May of the previous year, and spend well over forty hours preparing for it,” Ms. Bauer said.  “The students have to decide the theme, dress-up days, decorations, sell tickets, decorate for the dance, and make sure there is enough food and drinks for the students attending.” In addition, STUCO members say the morning pledge, work the open house nights, work the eighth grade fair, and run the new student orientation. They also perform two service projects a semester, one of which is their Senior Citizen Tea.  The tea is held for local senior citizens.  At the tea, Madrigals and the Orchestra performs and the high schoolers share refreshments and spend time with the seniors. In addition to setting up the above mentioned events, the officers of STUCO have additional responsibilities. “Each class has a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer,” Ms. Bauer said.  “The president is the 'go-to' guy and oversees events.  The vice-president assists the president; the secretary takes attendance at events; and the treasurer makes sure that everyone is making their contributions to the events.” There is also the executive board that

AÊ commonÊ questionÊ askedÊ isÊ whatÊ doesÊ StudentÊ CouncilÊ reallyÊ do?Ê Ê WhyÊ areÊ theyÊ here?Ê consists of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and public relations officer. They are in charge of the monthly meetings, and have one event that each oversees. These people, respectively, are seniors Elliott Koehl, Emma Goldschmidt, Elaine Quitos, Nicole Lambert and Alex White. In fact, if any students have suggestions or problems within the school or community, feel free to contact any of the above mentioned students, Ms. Bauer, Mrs. Kasey Basler, or Mrs. Tiffany Niedringhaus about it.   Whether it deals with STUCO elections, school events, or school issues Student Council is here to be our voice. “If enough students come to us with an issue, we will discuss it and vote on it in one of our meetings,” Ms. Bauer said.  Personally, I feel that if the student body took advantage of this, then Student Council would have a better idea of what is going on throughout the entire student body.  There are about 56 Student Council members and more than 2500 students in OTHS.  It is impossible for Student Council to know everyone or everything in this school. However, if both sides make the effort to work together, then there will be stronger student relations in the school and those of us not in Student Council will not feel like it is just a popularity contest where the winners plan school events and perform community service. “Half the work is STUCO reaching out to the student body, and the other half is the student body wanting to participate,” senior Nicole Lambert said. I want the Student Council to be more involved with the student body and what affects it, not just planning events for us.  I want them to be our voice and our leaders. To do this, the student body needs to work with STUCO and tell them our problems, so they can lead us and be our voice.

Ò If enough students come to us with an issue, we will discuss it and vote on it in one of our meetings,Ó -Ms. Dawn Bauer, STUCO sponsor

Cell Phones can be hazardous to social life BY JAKE HAMILTON Cell Phones? Dangerous? No way! Have you ever stopped to think about what a cell phone is doing to your social life? It may seem that it keeps you more connected and in “the loop” with your friends, but think about how you interact now.  There is no need to see, or even talk to someone in person. Texting, facebooking, emailing, and tweeting is slowly detaching everyone from the real world. “I  spend more time talking to people on the phone because I think it helps with the whole awkwardness than talking to people in person,” sophomore Aly Turner said. The lack of physical interaction with a person increases the more you use a cell phone. It used to be, “Why text someone when calling is so much faster?” Now it is, “Why hang out with someone when I can just chat with them over facebook?”  That is actually a bit drastic, but you get my point.   Sharing your feelings in person can be difficult. “I find it easier to text someone my feelings

because, unlike being on the phone, you can double check and make sure you're saying exactly what you want to instead of saying something you didn't really mean in the heat of the moment,” sophomore Alyssa Wood said. Junior Brett McFadden has a different opinion on texting your feelings to someone. “If you text someone your feelings, the person getting the text wouldn't get the full picture. Yeah you read it and all, but there is no feeling that goes with it. It's just words,” he said. There will always be an issue on texting versus being in person, but we all know the truth. It is getting worse every day and there is not much we can do. If you have a phone, you are more likely to pick it up and text someone to talk rather than hang out. I'm guilty of being on my phone too much. I spend 57 hours a week on average on my phone and I have not one new friend to account for during that time. There is an easy solution to this disastrous problem: Photo illustration get up and get out of the house! I bet you will make more friends by spending 10 minutes around town than 10 hours socializing on your phone. While cell phones prove to be an efficient way to communicate with your friends, it can be a dangerous way to disconnect with the real world.


FEBRUARY 5, 2010


‘Best friends forever’ Significant others offer more than a phrase more than friendship What it means to have, be a true friend BY ALEXIS HARDY Rob and Big, Spongebob and Patrick, Ash and Pikachu. When we hear the names of these classic duos, we cannot help but to think of their inspirational friendships. Unfortunately, I think friendships nowadays have taken a turn for the worst. I look around and see shallow bonds between teenagers being created and destroyed in just a matter of months.   The term “best friend” is thrown around so loosely that it has lost all value in this generation. It bothers me to watch people call someone their best friend and a few days later completely turn on them. This makes me wonder, “Why even bother if you will only be friends for a few weeks?” Sounds like a waste of time to me. To me, the phrase “best friend” has a lot more meaning and depth to it. I have had my best friend for almost three years now and I have learned a tremendous amount about friendship from him. A best friend consists of three prominent qualities above all else. This person is someone who will have your back in any circumstance, will tell you the absolute truth, and will encourage you to be the best you can be. First, when it comes to having your back, I think a best friend will do everything in their

power to help you out, even when it may be a burden to them. I find this is one of the toughest things to do these days because we live in such a selfish society. This includes putting that person before yourself. That may seem impossible to most people or even ineffective, but I know from experience that selflessness is vital. Second, a friend should always be 100 percent honest. Obviously, this is not easy either for our “white lies are okay” generation. Telling a friend the truth will always be better in the long run. A lot of times I do not want to hear the truth my best friend tells me, but I have to remember he is looking out for my best interests. Sometimes I do not want to tell the entire truth, but I have to remind myself that he will still have my back in the end. Third, I think encouragement is essential to the success of a friendship. Everyone needs to hear that they are valued and can do something with their life. A lot of times I’m down and just need someone to lift my spirits and my best friend always does that for me. We all get blue, and having someone there to give encouraging words is priceless. I was blessed with a great best friend, but there is no doubt that it takes a lot of work. However, it completely pays off. I would suggest never taking your best friend for granted, or else you will lose someone truly important. To put it short and sweet, the biggest thing I wish our generation would realize is that to have a good friend, you have to be a good friend.

Meaning of Love: Greeks got it right Valentine’s Day leaves out three-fourths of love BY NATALIE BUCH Love is all around us. We read about it in books and magazines. We hear about it in music, and we see it every day in the movies, on television and in the hallways. Many of us spend much of our time thinking about it, and I am no different. Ever since preschool, my mind has rarely strayed from dreams of the perfect significant other, and I have both given and received more than my fair share of broken hearts. In the words of my freshman Honors Oral C om mu n i c at i ons teacher, Ms. Kassa, many of us are, “in love with love.” But over the years, I have come to realize that my obsession, and that of society, only covers one side of love. The language of the ancient Greeks contained four separate words for love: eros, agape, storge and philia. Each of these describes a different kind of love.  According to the New World Encyclopedia's web site, eros means romantic love that applies

to both married and dating couples. Agape is defined as unconditional or selfsacrificing love, like what many Christians believe to be the love from God to His people. The type of love from a parent to a child is storge, and philia is brotherly love, such as love between friends. Our society is only focused on eros. Valentine's Day is a holiday to celebrate love, yet we ignore three fourths of its definition. Storge and agape are easy to ignore in our society because people come from different backgrounds and belief systems. In America, and other societies based on the needs of the individual, f a m i l y structure a n d religious beliefs vary. But friendship is common to all. Philia is u n ive rs a l. And, it is oftentimes m o r e enduring than eros in high school. We need to recognize the love of friends together with all the other forms of love. Whether the love is given to a spouse, a child, a family member, or a friend, it deserves to be celebrated.

Whether the love is given to a spouse, a child, a family member, or a friend, it deserves to be celebrated.

BY JANELLE PFEIFER You see them at school and most likely yell at them for blocking the hallway with their excessive hand holding. You see them arrive together for every party, game or event they attend.  Who are these people?  High school

couples. I think we can all admit that some of these couples can be overly obnoxious.  Such as the ones that cannot be apart for an hour long class, the ones that love to hold hands in the halls and then walk ungodly slow and the ones that start planning their wedding after one month of dating.  These are the people that give high school relationships a bad name.  However, there are many people who are in relationships that know how to be mature about things.  Perhaps they hold hands, but walk at a normal hallway pace, or the couples that one cannot help but smile at because they just look so happy. In high school, we, as students, have a lot on

our plates between homework, extracurriculars, stress from parents and friend drama. Even though you may have a best friend to vent to, I found that talking to a significant other is an even bigger help. “I like the fact that she is more than my girlfriend, she is my friend who I can talk to about anything that is on my mind,” senior Nate Wilson said. Although, it is still good to have friends to talk to, if you find someone you can have a relaxing relationship with, it seems like a huge weight can be lifted off your shoulder.  I found it a lot easier to open up to my boyfriend about all the drama of school than to the people who were actually involved. “ [ H e ] definitely helps me deal with school, especially girls and gossip.  He is such a nice guy and always knows what to say to brighten my day and make me smile,” junior Erica Cain said about her boyfriend, junior Casey Truitt.  So you may have a best friend to go to, but for me and many others, the significant other is the one that we can always go to without fear of judgment or distrust.

Ò I like the fact that she is more than my girlfriend, she is my friend who I can talk to about anything that is on my mind.Ó -Nate Wilson, senior

Dangerous dating pitfalls: Teens try too hard to follow media standards, develop low self-esteem, bad dating habits BY KATY MANESS Since most of us were in kindergarten, we have had either a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” Maybe even numerous amounts of significant others. “You’re such a cute couple!” your best friend said in seventh grade.  And throughout junior high, he always signed his notes with the word “love.” To this day, both your facebook statuses read “in a relationship,” and to prove it, you display your anniversary date with a “<3” in your “about me” section. There is nothing wrong with that though.  We are teens, and all we truly want is to be happy.  Sometimes we can interpret happiness as the equivalent of someone else adoring us.  The truth is, that is not always right. Frankly, not a whole lot of good can come out of a high school relationship.  Sure, there are the special situations where people grow up to marry their high school sweetheart. However, when you are breaking up with your significant other every few weeks, or finding a new love interest every six months, are you truly finding happiness? After evaluating the issue at hand, we find two main reasons why teenagers should not date until they are truly mature enough to handle the responsibility. When you start a relationship prematurely, “love” will most likely translate into teenage sex, which is dangerous not only for our physical health, but our emotional and mental health as well.  “Dating is a progression.  Once you start holding hands, you’re going to want to kiss, and eventually you get further and further until [kissing] turns into something inappropriate for our young age, and something like that should

not be shared unless you’re fully committed... you just can’t fully commit in high school,” senior Joseph Young said. Furthermore, dating may potentially reduce one’s self-esteem. Inner confidence is the most important key to happiness. A lot of young relationships, however, start with various personal insecurities.  For example, when a girl is told that she is not pretty, or if thinks negatively of herself, she will most likely try to find ways to boost her inner self-confidence. In this instance, receiving validation from others instead of validating herself, develops the bad habit of needing other people’s approval in order to feel accepted or worthy. Many young girls are becoming victims of a lie which infers that they need to change themselves, physically and mentally, in order to be truly accepted. This, in turn, makes them forget about the importance of their own selfapproval. The same goes for young boys.  Guys may put up a face in front of their friends, and a totally different one in front of a girl.  He might try to impress his friends by saying that all he wants from his girlfriend is sex, but later that night, takes her on a date and appears as a sensitive, loving gentleman. This is the outcome of insecurity and low self confidence. “If you wait until you are more mature and have developed a sense of who you are, say around 16 for most, you’re going to have a healthier love life than if you started when you were 12 or 13,” Young said. Whether it be control, sex, acceptance, or something else, immature relationships hurt us one way or another.  It is extremely important that when we get into a relationship, we ask ourselves how we will benefit from it.  Therefore, we should all take a step back and ask ourselves, “Is a relationship built on the wrong foundation worth loosing myself over?” Dating and getting into serious relationships at our young age, with undeveloped characters can lead to heartbreak, insecurity, and unhappiness.



FEBRUARY 5, 2010

New decade brings new Frolics acts BY CAITLYN COON

KATY MANESS 2009’s graduated seniors Pat Mello, Chelsey Ray, David Bradfield, Carrie Dougherty and Kirsten Stowe emcee at last yearÕ s Frolics.They were rapping about the next song while the next group set up to perform.

After a month of preparing and anticipating, February Frolics is finally here. This year, many new and returning faces will make up the near three hour long variety show where fellow students will show off their special abilities. “I think that [the show] showcases a variety of talent, from tap to rap, from country to rock,” sponsor Dr. Beth Shackelford said. The acts range from an a capella group to the ever secretive Teacher’s Band, and for an added surprise, there are new members to the band. Shackelford refuses to name names though. This year, there are 17 acts, and around 60 students are participating in the show. Among those students is junior Melanie Carroll.  “I feel pretty awesome. I love performing, and I've wanted to do Frolics for the past two years. I wasn't able to before, but now that I am, I'm glad I was chosen,” Carroll said. 

Few students have admitted to stress, but most agree that, by the night of the show, it will be there. In addition to the students making up the show this year, seven talented seniors make up the group of emcees. “This has been a dream in the making since freshmen year,” senior Brian Ham said in response to being selected. Other seniors acting as emcees this year are Molly Barton, Emma Chapman, Lexi Dunnells, Drake Krueger, Tori Wisely and Taylor Zimmerman. “All of us love attention. We are going to bring you a great variety show with lots of giggles and a very fun night,” senior Molly Barton said. Frolics is tomorrow night, Feb. 6, in the south gym at the Smiley campus. If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, you can still buy it at lunch today or at the door tomorrow night for $5.

Robotics gets pumped BY CAITLYN COON Jan. 9 kicked off the FIRST Robotics Competition, and as always, the school’s Robotics team was pumped and ready to step up to the challenge of designing and building a robot. FIRST Robotics Competition is a nationwide competition where teams of students ages seven to 18, build a robot to compete at a specific task. Each year that task is different. “Basically [it’s] like a soccer game divided into three parts. Either end of the field has goals that robots try to shoot balls into. There are offensive and defensive players, like you would [have] on a soccer team,” senior Dylan White said. Currently, the team is trying to build a robot able to maneuver the obstacles on the playing field, including a one-foot-tall hill, separating each of the three sections, and a seven-foot-tall platform the robot needs to be able to climb, for

extra points, in the last 15 seconds of the round. Though the members confirm building the robot is fun, there is more to the team than just that. When asked their favorite part of Robotics, senior Benjamin Baldwin, and juniors David Nowak and Jessie Ehlers, all agreed, hanging out with friends is the best part. “Robotics is great for anyone,” Ehlers said. While a group of students works on building the robot, others will be working on the programming or electrical parts of the robot. There are even some jobs that don’t even directly involve the robot. Junior Corey Walsh, for example, is currently in the process of making a calendar for the team. The the team has many expectations for this year. “I expect people to get along without killing each other during the non-stressful time, but that's pushing it. But seriously, I expect people to have fun,” Chief of Construction, senior Aneesh Joseph, said.

CAITLYN COON Robotics members set up the robot for a few practice runs. Mr. Curry observed the students during this practice.

CLUB NEWS IN BRIEF: Lifesavers, Speech, WYSE, NHS • The Lifesaver’s retreat is on • The AFJROTC Color Guard will the weekend of Feb. 27-29. present the colors at the St. • Science Olympiad is Louis Blues game on Feb. 9. competing in their Regional • Mock Trial will compete in Tournament on Saturday, their Regional Tournament on Feb. 27. Feb. 12 in Bloomington. • The Math Team will • French classes are organizing participate in three competia fundraiser for Haiti. They tions this month: Feb. 9, 16, are taking donations in the and 20. cafeteria during lunch hours.

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• The Speech Team travels • The National Honor to Champaign Central High Society will induct their new School to participate in their members on Feb. 25 in the Regional Tournament on Feb. Milburn Auditorium. 6. • The WYSE team is competing • The History Club will be in their Regional competition hosting a school wide “History at SWIC today. Day” in February. They will also be holding a Presidential CLUB UPDATES BY JOHN DAVIS trivia contest Feb. 9-11.

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FEBRUARY 5, 2010


Budget cuts could equal class cuts Financial restraints may lead to many discontinued classes for 2010-2011 school year BY JENNIFER BAILEY AND DAVID COLBUS The housing and job markets in the U.S. are not the only areas hurt by the current economic crisis; schools are in just as much trouble. OTHS is facing another budget cut for next school year. According to the Belleville News Democrat, this budget cut could be up to $1 million.  The question becomes where to cut that $1 million from.  The answer: classes. “Interest really drives a lot of the classes, or a lot of the elective classes,” Superintendent Dr. Darcy Benway said.  “When we look at course offerings, we look at what does the state mandate that we teach, what courses do we need to ensure adequate student achievement, and then what courses, or elective courses, that our students are interested in taking in order to prepare themselves for life after OTHS.” As of now, 17 classes will not be offered for next year, Dr. Laura Jacobi said.  These classes include Geology II, Media Literature, Foods and Nutrition II, along with several business classes and electives.

“I don't like it,” junior Amanda Schaeffer said about the cutting of industrial technology classes. “Some of these classes I wanted to take will give me skills for my future career.  Now, I can't get that knowledge in high school, and I will have to pay for it in college.” Dr. Benway said that the return of these classes depends not only on the economic situation and student interest, but also on, in a few years, if there are more advanced technological classes that would benefit students more than those that are currently offered or those that no longer offered. Another thing the school board is dealing with is what to do with the teachers of the classes that will no longer be offered. Their jobs could be at risk. Other problems include how to provide adequate classes for the students and protection for the school’s employees, while dealing with the loss of state Photo illustration funding. “Most of the educational opportunities that are available this year, we're trying diligently to preserve for next year,” Dr. Benway said.   Another financial adjustment students will

Ò Most of the educational opportunities that are available this year, weÕ re trying diligently to preserve for next year,Ó

-Dr. Darcy Benway, Superintendent

face is a likely increase in book fees, parking passes and lunch prices. Currently,  how much of an increase is unknown, Dr. Benway said. Right now, there is no talk of cutting any of the club or sport programs, as the school only pays for the sponsors. Most clubs and sports raise their own money for their activities. “It is the intent of the Board of Education to put together a community committee, who will probably be starting their work over the summer, and we're going to, hopefully, receive some community input on what the community values as part of education,” Dr. Benway said.   “It's our hopes, next year,  that you're really not going to see much of a change or an impact.” There is still a lot of uncertainty and unanswered questions regarding budget cuts for next year, but one thing is certain:  there will be many changes to OTHS.

2010-2011 SCHOOL YEAR POSSIBLE CLASS CUTS BUSINESS DEPARTMENT • Information Technology-DTP • Web Page Design FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT • Foods & Nutrition I and II • Housing/Interior Design INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT • Introduction to Trade & Industry I • Principles of Science & Technology • Fundamentals of Digital Technology Principles • Applications of Digital Technology •Advanced and Honors Digital Technology • Drafting III and IV • Construction III and IV • Welding III and IV

Think teachers spend all their time in the classroom? Think again BY JENNIFER BAILEY It can be a mind-blowing and life-altering realization, but at one time or another every student has it. This realization is that teachers do not live in the classroom. They have lives outside their home-awayfrom home where they socialize, win awards and have self-improvement contests with another.

Biggest Loser: O’Fallon Edition From Jan. 11 through May 24, 32 OTHS staff members will be competing in a OTHS-styled “Biggest Loser” competition. Every Monday through May, the participants will weigh-in. The participant with the greatest weight loss percentage will be declared the winner and will receive an award for their hard work. In the mean time, several staff members are offering help with weight training, cardio classes and nutrition tips. Director of Special Services Mrs. Martha Blackburn started this event as a motivator for herself and “anyone who wanted to improve their own wellness too.” “My goal in all of this is that those involved learn to take time for themselves and realize that their lives will be much happier if they are happy with themselves,” Blackburn said.

Chili Cook-Off Competition The fourth annual OTHS staff Chili CookOff was held on Friday, Jan. 15, in the Smiley Campus cafeteria. Out of 14 entries, the first place prize went to Mrs. Erika Pierce, from the Guidance, Social

Workers and Nurse Departments, for her “Get the ‘L’ out of my Chili.” “My secret ingredient is sugar. I love sweet chili, and that is what most people said during the chili cook off is that it was sweet!” Mrs. Pierce said. “I was actually shocked that I won first place because I tried many of the chili recipes and thought they were all really good.” The runner-up chili was “Thanks for your Support” from the Support staff, made by Mrs. Kristy Schulte, Mrs. Linda Williams, Mrs. Ann Hankins, Mrs. Becky Patton and Mrs. Linda Gass. “[It] was quite an honor,” Mrs. Patton said. “[We] we very surprised. We dumped many recipes together, and it turned out to be delicious. I’m not sure we could recreate it. It was unique.” In the past, the Cook-Off has just been a fun event for teachers, but this year it allowed some student-free time for teachers from Smiley and Milburn to associate with each other. “I think it was fun to have a social activity that included both campuses. It was better than the last time because it was set up in the cafeteria, and we were all together and lunches were not broken up as in a regular school day,” French teacher Mrs. Ann Pilackas said.

FourÊ teachersÊ honoredÊ withÊ greenÊ award In December, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn recognized four OTHS teachers, art teacher Mrs. Debbie Raboin, math teacher Mrs. Kelly Wamser-Remijan, industrial technology teacher Mr. Ken Cissell and environmental science teacher Mrs. Traci Isom, with the 2009 Environmental Hero Award. According to the Belleville News Democrat, these teachers “partnered with O’Fallon’s Planning and Zoning Office and some area developers and builders last spring to complete a project titled Designing Energyefficient Shelters Together In Neighborhoods Everywhere (DESTIN-E).” Using a grant from the Illinois Innovation

MARK RAEBER/OÕ FALLON PROGRESS OTHS teachers Debbie Raboin,Traci Isom, Kelly Wamser-Remijan and Ken Cissell are recipients of the 2009 Environmental Hero Award. Last spring, these teachers partnered with O’Fallon’s Planning and Zoning Office and area developers to complete the project DESTIN-E, which promotes and creates Ò greenÓ subdivisions.

Talent program, the teachers worked together and ‘combined’ their classes to create a green housing development. The teachers agree that one of the most awarding things from the project was that the students saw how the different subjects relate and work with one another. “One of the neatest things was when you had a kid who was in more than one of our classes who saw the overlap, saw how what they were learning in science class connected to their geometry class or how geometry connects to the trades,” Ms. Isom said. This year, Mrs. Wamser-Remijan and Ms. Raboin are putting a project together that would have their students working with Collinsville’s Habitat for Humanity.

According to Mrs. Wamser-Remijan, in the Habitat for Humanity project, students will work in groups and research eco-friendly lifestyles and energy efficient building practices. The students from geometry will design an energy efficient home and build a scale model. Art students will create marketing materials, and Appreciation of Language students will produce a public service announcement. They will also work with professionals in their project such as Tammy Nelson, Susan Fletcher, Joy Wofford from Habitat for Humanity. Tim Launhardt will be their contractor consultant, and Brian Gebhardt will be their builder consultant.




Haiti quakes kill thousands BY ASHLEIGH JACKSON


Devastation and chaos quickly plagued the already poverty-stricken nation of Haiti on Jan. 2, when a powerful earthquake severely damaged numerous hospitals, schools and buildings. Well over an estimated 100,000 Haitians are expected dead, three million victims may need emergency aid and several thousands of Americans visiting the region are reported missing. Unfortunately, the region is encountering continuous aftershocks, while food, water and medical aid are in limited supply. Despite the tremendous devastation, many organizations, celebrities and world citizens are donating large sums of money to Haiti. George Clooney, for example, held a celebrity dominated telethon which raised over $60 million for the damaged region. With Haiti already being the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, many question if the region will ever recover from this natural disaster. ( and An O'Fallon man remains in critical condition after rescuing his 1-year-old son from an apartment complex that caught on fire Friday, Jan. 22. Larry Ishum is suffering from third degree burns covering 30 percent of his body and is expected to undergo skin-graft surgery at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Couer. His son, Zayden, remains in satisfactory condition and was released after a short stay at the hospital. After retrieving Zayden from the hazardous fire, Ishum returned to the apartment in order to rescue his eldest son. Realizing that Dylan, 6, had already been saved by neighbors, Ishum jumped off the balcony in order to escape the flames.  Although both boys are in stable condition they will need breathing treatments. Marie Schaefer School is collecting donations for the family. (    



On Jan. 7, an assembly line worker at ABB Electrical Power Plant in St. Louis killed three people, injured five, and shortly thereafter committed suicide. Three of the five wounded were in critical condition. Although his motive is unclear, Tim Hendron had a pending retirement lawsuit against the company. ( Former St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire recently admitted to using steroids when he broke the single-season home run record in 1998. McGwire confirmed that he used an illegal performance enhancer occasionally throughout the '90s, along with a human growth hormone. McGwire argues, however, that the mentioned drugs were not used to enhance his ability on the field, but rather to overcome health problems. Moreover, he is returning to the St. Louis Cardinals as a hitting coach this upcoming baseball season. (



On Dec. 25, 2009, a Nigerian man attempted to blow up a plane with a device sewn into his underwear. Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab is linked with an al Queda regime, who claims the attack was retalliation for U.S. troops allegedly intruding Yemen. The FBI’s analysis found that the amount of explosive located within the device could have blown a large hole through the airplane. U.S. investigators are determining whether

al Queda's confession to the attack is certain. The terrorist organization threatened more attacks with men who are willing to die. President Obama claims national defenses are strong against those who are proposing threats against the United States. (


PGA golfer Tiger Woods is being treated for sex addiction at a rehab facility in Mississippi. Much controversy involving the pro-golfer arose due to claims of infidelity last year. Woods is reportedly linked to at least 10 mistresses. Certain brand endorsements have placed restrictions on advertisements featuring Woods, such as changing time periods at which specific ads are aired on television. The scandal has ultimately resulted in rumors of marital divorce and a hiatus from professional golf. (


Late night TV host Conan O'Brien received $33 million from television network NBC to leave the "Tonight Show" due to poor ratings. Last fall, NBC moved the now returning host of the "Tonight Show,” Jay Leno, to an earlier time slot in attempt to boost ratings. O'Brien then moved to Leno's original position at the late night show. After the network's plan flopped, the situation at NBC became messy and O'Brien's newly-held position was threatened. NBC finalized their decision to cut O'Brien mid-January, and Leno will return to the "Tonight Show" on March 1. Other networks such as Comedy Central and Fox are reportedly interested in O'Brien holding a position for a talk show at their studios. According to the new deal with NBC, however, O'Brien cannot sign on with another network until Sept. 1. (

BRIAN VANDER BRUG/LOS ANGELES/MCT A man carries a bag of donated rice in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday, January 21, 2010.


A mass shooting struck the community of Appomattox, Va. leaving eight dead. Christopher Bryan Speight allegedly shot four family members and four guests in a house where he also resided. Virginia police conducted a 18-hour manhunt in search of Speight, who is now jailed on one count of murder. He is expected to be charged for more. Among the dead are three teenagers and a 4-year-old child. A motive as to why Speight supposedly lashed out at the family is unknown. (cbsnews. com) Artists of all genres walked the red carpet in Los Angeles on Jan. 31 for the 41st year of the Grammy Awards. Among the most decorated stars were Beyonce, who walked away with six trophies, and Taylor Swift, who nabbed album of the year for her record “Fearless.”   Other popular winners included Lady Gaga, The Kings of Leon, The Zac Brown Band, The Black Eyed Peas and Jay-Z.   Winning artists also graced the stage live performances, with Lady Gaga sharing the stage with Elton John being a major highlight. A 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson served as another highlight during the show. (

BRIAN VANDER BRUG/LOS ANGELES/MCT Michel Chedler, 28, is held by a mob after he was beaten in an argument over stolen property in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday, January 21, 2010.



Jamie Lowe, a 21-year-old marine from Johnsonville, Ill. was killed in action on Jan. 11 during a firefight with insurgents in Afghanistan. He, along with two other Marines, was located in the Helmand Province during the attack. The region recently underwent heavy missile attacks and ground operations. The others killed in the ambush were Matthew N. Ingham, 25, and Nicolas K. Uzenski, 21. (

BRIAN VANDER BRUG/LOS ANGELES/MCT A young man carries brooms for sale on a downtown street in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday, January 21, 2010.

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FEBRUARY 5, 2010

Students take ACTion, hope to increase scores BY CHAD BARTHOLOMEW When the new semester started, as some of the juniors made their way to their respective advisory classes, many made their way to what is known as ACTion Advisory. This class replaces normal advisory for those students who were picked to participate, and is designed to help improve ACT scores. ACTion Advisory helps students become better test takers. In the class, students practice math and English.  “The class is not as bad as I thought [it would be],” junior Mike Steed said. In ACTion Advisory, students also help the school get the best scores possible, which earns benefits for the school and gives OTHS a good reputation.

While students are in the program, they are given the chance to go to pizza parties, where they receive a break from test-taking. Free soda, chips, and pizza are provided. In addition, the parties are held in the Panther Dome, where students can relax by seeing the outside world. Toward the end of the class, students are given three choices for a reward for their hard work. Junior John Zuber was “amazed that dedication has a huge reward.” The rewards include a half-price prom ticket, free parking pass for the next year, or free season's pass to the next sports season. With choices that reward students, pizza parties instead of the same old pasta bar during lunch, and methods of increasing test scores, ACTion advisory might be appreciated by students as well as OTHS staff.


BRYCE RADICK Students in 5A ACTion Advisory take a math practice test.The students alternate between math and English tests and go over the answers with retired teachers who come to proctor the class.

Community AFJROTC students, dates enjoy Military Ball BY CHAD BARTHOLOMEW

look like a hero. Around 246 cadets and guests managed to bring in over 370 non-perishable food items for While many have dread the beginning of a M.A.N.N.A. (Metro Area Necessary Nutrition new semester, ROTC students got a break at the Assistance) Program held at the Church of the Living God. The items were received by Mrs. Jan. 30 Military Ball. Sister JROTC units Mascoutah and Dupo Augusta Dean, the program coordinator. Overall, the plan to make the Military Ball were also invited. Approximately 100 students came from the two schools, making up a little more than just another high school dance was a success, as far as the food drive was concerned. over one-third of the overall attendance. While the words “You've lost that lovin' With a non-perishable canned food donation as part of the entrance fee, the cadets were seen feeling,” should bring up images of Tom Cruise walking into the dance in uniforms and dresses and Anthony Edwards singing in the 1986 movie “Top Gun,” they hold an entirely different ,with corsages and food in hand. The point of bringing in a food drive item memory for anyone who has ever attended the with one's date is intended to make each cadet last three year's Military Ball.

As a newly formed tradition, seniors Craig Miles and Matt Robbins arranged the guys and the DJ. They were going to serenade the ladies that had been seated on the floor in a group. The AFJROTC Booster Clubs assisted in providing a snack-bar/pot-luck atmosphere consisting of punch, water, cake, chicken tenders, fruit and veggie trays, chips, and other tasty morsels to keep the dancers energized throughout the ball. This was the first year the ball was held at Milburn instead of the Smiley campus. “The cafeteria there is bigger; we are inviting over 100 kids from other JROTC Units. The biggest reason is to make the freshmen feel more welcome, so that they have the home

PAUL MUNOZ-COOK Juniors Ellen Gattin and Angelica Barlow entered the dance in formal wear. While girls and civilians wear formal wear to the ball, male ROTC students wear their uniforms.

PAUL MUNOZ-COOK Senior Patrick Gagne gives junior Cathy Casey her corsage as sophomore Cody Ray waves in the background. Boys at the dance do not wear boutinerres, but the girls stick to formal dance tradition and wear flower corsages.

advantage,” Colonel Chris Moulton said. This years’s NCOIC, or event coordinator, for the Military Ball was senior Kira Worthington. Her NCO, or assistant, was junior Maddie Cunningham. In addition, Worthington had a decoration team that consisted of senior Samantha Collins and freshman Danny Fort. Between the new campus, food drive and having Mascoutah for the first time, this year's Military Ball distinguished itself from years past. As 2010 is a year that ushers in a whole new decade, it is only appropriate that OTHS's AFJROTC hosted a whole new version of Military Ball.

Ô OUR ENDEAVOURSÕ Students express themselves by submitting creative writing, art to annual literary magazine BY DAVID COLBUS

JORDAN TANNER Endeavors, which is published annually, selects its cover from art submitted with all other artwork. Following tradition, the editors of this yearÕ s edition are keeping the cover a secret until just before the publishing date.

According to the Endeavours web site, the publication uses “the British spelling of endeavors [endeavours] because it makes the work ours.” This seems to be true, because the entire magazine, from the front page design to the font size, is decided by the students. “Endeavours allows students with interests in the arts to express themselves,” Endeavours editor sophomore Sloane Walters said. She believes that it “allows students to relate to other students in a personal way.” “If people want to know more about me, then they read my poetry because that's how I let my soul be known,” sophomore Anna Smith Bradley said. “I was really proud I took a picture that's worth seeing, and I wanted people to see it.” Throughout late fall and winter of last year,

students submitted poetry, short stories, essays, artistic photography, visual artworks, and cover pages to the magazine. The student editors pick which submissions to accept, review the accepted for errors and edit along with the submitters. Roughly 30 art and 39 written pieces were accepted this year. Once the pieces have been edited, the editors must decide which works deserve the special notice of an award. The editors give the “Golden Endeavour” award to the one art and one writing piece they believe are the most outstanding. The submitters of the “Golden Endeavour” pieces usually receive some sort of reward. Also, three writing and three art pieces are usually given an “Award of Excellence.” The editors format the pages, and the publication is produced and sold to OTHS. Ms. Kathy Ashby, one of the Endeavours sponsors, said that the publication will likely be for sale at the end of March or early April. They will be available in the IMC for $2 each.



Teen drivers can save money on insurance with special programs

the basics: what the new law says

• A person may not drive a car while composing, sending or reading an electronic message.

BY KIRA WORTHINGTON Do auto insurance rates feel unreasonably high? Many insurance companies have provided a few solutions for saving a penny or two for legal driving. According to Adept Driver’s web site, they are teaming up with Allstate, USAA, American Commerce, AAA, Liberty Mutual and other insurance agencies. Adept Driver has a TEENSMART driving program that provides a relief on auto insurance prices if a student completes it.  Adept Driver’s TEENSMART program is a computer   program consisting of workbooks, a parent-student DVD and six CDs with simulated driving scenarios to enhance driver awareness. All for the sole purpose of helping to reduce the possibility of teen crashes and distracted driving. Depending on the insurance company, a student can be alleviated by up to 10-20 percent off of the standing rates. Typically, if an insurance company participates with Adept

•An electronic communication

device includes everything from laptops to cell phones, but excludes navigation systems and systems integrated into the car. •This law does not pertain to police or medical officers. •These laws are not valid during emergency situations. That is, if you need to call 911, do it. •You may, however, use electronic communication devices if the car is in park or neutral, or is on the shoulder of the road.

Driver’s TEENSMART program, they will also provide a discount off of the initial purchase of the program itself, saving up to $30. Another perk for the parents of a student driver is if they purchase TeenSmart for one student and have siblings that will follow in driving, they can then purchase the additional certificates for $20 off of what they paid for the initial program. In order to get the discount from the insurance agency, the student driver must complete the program and receive the certificate with a coupon code as proof of completion. The bottom line is that the TeenSmart pays for itself in the first year with the discount and stays with the student driver until their 21st birthday. Other opportunities for a relief in those skyhigh insurance rates involve what kind of car is driven and what kind of extra features are found on the car. For example, according to the Farmers Insurance Group, if a person drives a hybrid or any other form of alternative fuel vehicle, then he or she qualifies for a discount.

The same goes for having any form of Anti-Theft or safety features that are standard discounts offered at many other insurance agencies. Another option provided by almost every insurance agency is the Good Student Discount. According to State Farm’s Auto Insurance web site, this discount is offered to “all male and unmarried female drivers under 25 who are full-time students in high school or at a college or university, and the scholastic records for the immediately preceding school semester show that this student meets at least one of the following: Ranked scholastically in the upper 20% of his or her class, had a grade average of B or higher, had a grade point average of 3.0 (out of 4.0) or higher, and/or included in the Dean’s List or Honor Roll.” To find out more ways to be able to drive legally without paying an outrageous amount of money, go to an auto insurance agent and ask about all of the options that are available in order to get all of the discounts possible.

•Any person, regardless of age, may not use electronic communication devices while driving through a construction, maintenance, or school zone.

The Consequences   •Each violation is a $75 fine, the

same as a normal traffic violation ticket.

•While these laws are difficult to enforce at the moment, you will be pulled over and fined if someone sees or reports you. •The typical discovery of texting while driving occurs during investigations after a crash has taken place. If texting is found to be the culprit of the wreck, you will be fined.

Question of the Month:

Who is more dangerous behind the wheel: boys or girls? drive better because we “Men don’t text as much, but women

drive slower, which makes them safer. -Senior Michael Bellina

Girls have a lot of road “Girls! rage, and text more while driving [because] they are always gossiping. -Junior Acacia Lee


“Guys drive worse than girls Ê because [boys] tend to take Ê more risks. ” -Senior Danielle Woolridge [are better drivers] Ê “Girls because they mature faster Ê and are less reckless.” -Senior Nicholas McDaniel

FEBRUARY 5, 2010

New driving law: No more texting BY ELLIE KANASKIE AND DAVID COLBUS

Thanks to two new traffic laws, you may want to keep your phones off when you drive. Two traffic laws that were recently set in motion that make it illegal to use cell phones in a school or construction zone, or to text while driving in Illinois. Passed on Jan. 1, these two new laws serve to amend the Illinois Vehicle Code and to increase the restrictions on cell phone usage while driving. While the “electronic communication” law prohibits texting while driving (this includes times when the vehicle is not moving but still has a running engine, such as at stoplights),

the second law forbids drivers from using wireless phones while passing through a school, construction or maintenance speed zone. The most notable exception to these laws is the use of a phone for emergency purposes, or the use by a medical or police officer on duty. The new laws are a response to the 1.6 million teens who drive while reading or writing text messages, according to Ke e pt he dr ive. com. Because a teen’s reaction time can become “as slow as the reaction time of some senior citizens,” this habit has the potential to end in many accidents and fatalities.

Ò TheyÕ re a good idea in concept, but I donÕ t think many people will take them seriously.Ó -Kevin Flaiz, senior

While they may have a driver’s best interest at the core, the new laws are receiving a mixed response from the public. “They’re a good idea in concept, but I don’t think many people will take them seriously,” senior Kevin Flaiz said. With the laws so hard to enforce, this may very well be the case. “They will be hard to enforce...they will come into play more when people get into accidents,” School Resource Officer Jeff Meyer said. If someone is caught, the result is a traffic ticket of $75, the fine for most driving violations. Others, however, think that the new laws will be effective. “I can’t even successfully change the radio station while driving,” junior Rachel Freese said.  “Taking even part of the multi-tasking out of driving is a wonderful idea.” Whether the new laws will be effective or not remains to be seen.  In the meantime, remember to keep your phone off and out of sight while you are on the road, or risk getting a ticket.


DID YOU KNOW? QUICK DRIVING STATS • In the U.S., 4,000 teens die every year in car crashes. That’s an average of 11 a day. Don’t let your friends be one of the 11. • Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens in the U.S., even more than alcohol and drug abuse, violence and suicide. Can you believe that? •Nearly 40% of all fatal teen crashes are caused by speeding. News flash: Life is a better rush than death. •Almost 25 percent of teen guys say they speed because it’s “fun.” Their injured friends probably disagree. •Twice as many teen guys die in car wrecks than teen girls. Just bad luck or is there something else going on here? •44 percent of teens say they drive safer without friends in the car. Next time you drive with friends, invite your conscience to ride shot gun. •A lot of teens drive recklessly to impress their date. You won’t get a second date if you’re six feet under. •56 percent of teens talk on their cell phones while driving, and 13 percent read or write text messages. Are these distractions worth an ambulance ride to the ER? Source:

SADD Mock DUI will warn teens of driving dangers BY ROBERT HAMILTON The bi-annual SADD sponsored Mock DUI is around the corner, but this year the event is more anticipated than ever before. Members of SADD, especially the officers, planned this event for months in advance to make it even better than the previous one. This year’s event involves more than the staged car crash. SADD has requested the help of St. Elizabeth’s hospital and O’Fallon Police to create the most realistic simulation. The hospital emergency helicopter will be making an appearance, as well. Not only is the mock DUI a big part of the campaign, but the advertising and publicity is kicked up a notch, too. “Something new we are doing this year is a Strive to Safe Drive Campaign,” Mrs. Lewis said. “We were given a $500 grant from SWIC to create our own program for the DUI. When

I’ve been in a car accident BY BRYCE RADICK While the collective O’Fallon student body has done its deal of vehicular damage, the Prowler talked to some students who have experienced car crashes.


Junior Cortney Reagan was driving with OTHS alumni Brian Keller while at the intersection of Lincoln and State Street in O’Fallon last February. Heading toward Dance Station for her class, Reagan’s car started through the stop at around 10 mph. Unfortunately, the car to their right, a white Ford Lincoln, decided to accelerate out of turn and quickly approached the passenger side of Keller’s car, where Reagan was sitting. “I remember screaming, ‘Brian! A car!’ and then it hit,” Reagan said. The collision made Brian’s car turn a full 90 degrees.    Luckily, no one was hurt, but Reagan said that everyone was shaken up.

“I bursted into tears for like two hours,” Reagan said. “I thought it was my fault because I had him take me there.” Having been cleared on fault, the driver of the Lincoln had to buy Keller a 2008 Hyundai Sonata.

Sun-blinded Early in the morning, on Frontage Road in O’Fallon last November, junior Jeremy Middendorf was blinded by the sun and rearended a stopped car. “I saw them an instant before I hit them, but I don’t remember the actual impact,” Middendorf said. No one was seriously injured, but Middendorf remembers having “back pains and a headache for a while afterward.” Middendorf was driving an admittedly “cheap truck,” so it was totaled in the accident. He had to pay the deductible, but his insurance covered most of the damage to the other car. In addition, he had to pay for a ticket, attend traffic school, and attend court.

we did it two years ago we just had the accident scene, where as this year we are doing stuff leading up to that, such as PSA's and warning about dangerous driving.” The Panther Beat has been featuring special videos tailored to the week's motto, such as distracted or drunk driving. Because of the extra activities that lead up to the big finale, SADD officers, including President Jenny Stroot, are tasked with projects to complete outside of school, sometimes leaving them with little time to spare. “Well, since the beginning of our campaign, I would have to say I have spent at least five hours a week working on Safe Driving stuff, and that only includes out of school.  I have always felt that all the work my SADD team and I have put in was always worth it because I would like to think that we may have saved someone’s life with this campaign,” Stroot said. The mock DUI will be held on April 9 after school, behind the Panther Dome. Everyone is highly encouraged to attend and invite friends and family.


On a snow day last February, junior Chandler Schaltenbrand was driving with junior Melissa Carroll and her sister when she drove over a patch of ice. “I went into a big ditch then came up onto a driveway (like on back roads), and then down into another ditch,” Shaltenbrand said. Everyone screamed, and when she started going off road, Schaltenbrand tried to turn into the swerve, but her tires had already lost traction and she crashed into the second ditch.     Schaltenbrand then was able to drive out of the ditch, but said her “under carriage, suspension, front end, and front end alignment was damaged.” The suspension was so unaligned that even driving in a straight line was difficult. She made it home and her dad was able to drive it to a repair shop. With so many distractions and undesirable driving situations, teen drivers should strive to be more aware of the world around them and drive safely.






FEBRUARY 5, 2010

Walk for OTHS rapper shoots for the stars charity with TOMS shoes


Most people have seen Tony Walker announce the news on the Panther Beat or shooting free throws on the basketball court. No matter where you have spotted him, you have probably noticed that this 6’4 junior has a facial expression and swagger that tells onlookers he means business. Sure, Walker can crack jokes and have a good time, but when it comes to his rapping career, he gets things done. At the ripe age of 10, Walker picked up rapping as a hobby. Years later, he has his own studio, a productions team, and an alternate ego: S.D. or ‘Scoobie Du’. His first album, “Icon”, came out in 2009 and took over a year and a half to make. To create his masterpiece, he first picked out beats provided by producers. Once the beats were selected, Walker wrote lyrics for each track, then recorded. Over 25 tracks were recorded, but after some reviewing, only 16 made the final cut to be debuted on “Icon”. Walker credits a lot of his help to his group, “B4E,” or “Brothers 4 Eternity.” He explains it as, “...close friends, more like a brotherhood and we [are] all striving for success and pushing each other to it.” The group has an accumulated more than 40 members from all around the area. Members at OTHS include juniors Charles Joy, Ronnie Roustio, Sam Poole, Alex Mayfield, Roosevelt Jones, Andre Smith and seniors Rashad Richardson and Darius Scott. Several members are featured on Walker’s songs. B4E members helped Walker decide which songs should be cut and which ones should hit the album. After that, two singles were chosen, “So Legit” and “Mojo.” “So Legit” got major publicity, courtesy of DJ Bishop V Luv from the former radio station, 100.3 “The Beat.” “I love the rush of people appreciating what you do and [when] they tell you how they love your song,” Walker said.


JAKE HAMILTON A few of the Ô Brothers 4 EternityÕ crack smiles and goof around. Bottom row, left to right: juniors Ronnie Roustio,Tony Walker, Charles Joy, and Roosevelt Jones. Top row, left to right: seniors Rashad Richardson and Darius Scott, and junior Sam Poole.

Following the release of “Icon”, Walker went through his self-proclaimed “Lil Wayne” phase and produced a handful of impressive mixtapes. In September, he created “Hold The Applause,” in November “You Are Welcome” came out, and “To Be Continued” was released in December. His latest mixtape, “On Top Of My Game,” came out just last month. On top of all of the mixtapes, Walker plans to drop his second album, “Class Orientation,” in March. “I just love making music and writing. It gives me a way to express my talent and emotion,” Walker said. Walker often showcases his talent to live audiences in the area. He and several other rappers in B4E have

Ò I love the rush of people appreciating what you do and [when] they tell you how they love your song.Ó -Tony Walker, junior

performed at the Creepy Crawl, Fubar, The Loft, Club Casino and the Red Fox. They also have opened up for an East St. Louis dance group, Phantastik, at Northern Illinois University. Just recently, “Mojo” hit iTunes the second week of January and more than 2,000 songs sold in just three days. Walker is inspired by rappers like Jay-Z, Drake, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa and other B4E rappers. One day he hopes to feature with his idols Keri Hilson, Trey Songz and Travis Barker. As of now, he plans on switching up his game and experimenting with the mixture of rock and rap. To accomplish this, he wants to team up with local talent to create something new to bring to the table. Looking to the future, Walker says, “[expect] more good music, Rose taking the basketball team to state, more shows, more photo shoots, hopefully signing a deal by the summer and B4E putting O-Town on the map.” Walker and Poole will be performing “Mojo” at the February Frolics this Saturday. If you can’t make Frolics, you can catch Walker hosting a show at the Katy Cavins Center during Spring Break.

O’Fallon Junior Miss contestants compete with inner, outer beauty BY JANELLE PFEIFER On Sunday, Jan. 10, OTHS hosted the third annual Junior Miss Scholarship Program. Girls from St. Clair County participated, including four seniors from O'Fallon: Allison Awerkamp, Tessa Dockins, Anaya Duncan, and Chelsea Switts. 

Ò ...we were all bonding at all the rehearsals. It was so much fun.Ó -Chelsea Switts, senior Chelsea Switts was awarded with the title of St. Clair County Jr. Miss and the Overall Fitness Winner. Anaya Duncan was awarded O'Fallon's Jr. Miss and this made her the second overall winner. The American Junior Miss Program is held to provide scholarship money for graduating seniors.  The program, often mistaken for a pageant, is strictly a Scholarship Program, seeing as none of the contestants are judged on beauty, but rather academic achievement and fitness.

The program consists of five categories: scholastic, interview, physical fitness, talent and self-expression. There is also an essay contest in which the contestants write a “Be Your Best Self ” essay, but this portion does not go toward the overall score. The girls practiced twice over the winter break, and there were two rehearsals the weekend before the show.  During this time, the girls were able to practice their talent, rehearse for their interview, finish their essays, and get to know the other girls. “The people we meet were so amazing, [and] we were all bonding at all the rehearsals. It was so much fun,” Switts said. The top four competitors, which include Switts and Duncan, will be traveling to

Currently, 2009 O'Fallon graduate Betsy Kuckuck holds the title of Illinois’ Junior Miss 2009.

Shoes are America’s foot protection of choice, and many cannot imagine life without them. So, what happens when someone lacks something as simple as a pair of shoes? In reality, children and adults in countries all around the world do not own this necessity.  Without shoes, the uniforms kids need for school are unattainable, diseases from the soil are contractible and medicines and foods located miles away are unreachable. Amid this problem, however, one man and his company strive to make life better for these people by giving them the one thing we take for granted: a pair of shoes. TOMS Shoes, short for Tomorrow’s Shoes, was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie.  An entrepreneur and avid traveler, Mycoskie’s goal for the endeavor was simple: for every pair of shoes someone bought, TOMS would give a new pair to a child in need.

Ò When I wear my TOMS, it reminds me to be appreciative of what I have...Ó -Sloane Wolter, sophomore Four years and more than 400,000 donated pairs of shoes later, TOMS is still running strong with its One for One campaign. Along with the thousands of other customers and volunteers, OTHS sophomores Sloane Wolter and Morgen Culler have found getting involved to be an easy task. Wolter, who said the organization is “about global unity,” got involved when she found out that she could make a positive difference just by wearing a pair of “aesthetically awesome” shoes.  “It’s easy to forget, in the bustle of daily life, that there are people in this world whose lives are full of suffering. When I wear my TOMS, it reminds me to be appreciative of what I have, and to be mindful of all I can offer to those less fortunate than I,” said Wolter. Culler also got involved when she found a link to the TOMS movement via her favorite band Hanson’s web page in 2007, latching on and becoming a huge supporter of the organization.   “A lot of people think young people can’t do much, but it’s easy to make a change just by buying a pair of shoes.  It doesn’t have to be the big things or the hard things; the simplest stuff can make a difference,” she said.    Whether it be by volunteering on a Shoe Drop Tour or just by buying a pair of shoes, TOMS makes it easy for everyday people to help make a difference in the world.  For more information on how to get involved or how to donate a pair of shoes to a child, visit

Ò IÕ m so stoked for State, just to meet more people...Ó -Anaya Duncan, senior Bolingbrook, Ill. to compete in the Illinois Junior Miss Scholarship Program. “I am so stoked for State, just to meet more people. Plus, State is where the big bucks are at,” Duncan said.

ADAM HARREL 2009 OTHS graduate Gabby Kissinger hugs senior Chelsea Switts as she is crowned St. Clair County Junior Miss on Jan. 10 at OTHS. Switts was also awarded as the Overall Fitness Winner of the competition.


FEBRUARY 5, 2010


Janelle Schwarz named Leaders Burton, Stroot YMCA’s Youth of the Year named January SOTM BY KATY MANESS

This January, OTHS has  two new accomplished students to look up to as shining examples. “I am grateful for the recognition and the opportunity to represent some of the many high striving students in our school,” senior Kyle Burton said. Over Burton's high school career, he has participated in many extracurriculars, including varsity basketball, varsity football, FCA, LifeSavers, PWP, Interact Club, Spanish Club, Science Olympiad, Honor Roll, and the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. He said “My warrior mentality and my charisma [are my best qualities]. However, I could do without my perfectionist attitude.  I wait until the last minutes to complete tasks because I want to be sure that I used every second given.” Planning to be a part of the Doctors Without Borders Program before starting his practice as an Orthopedic Rehabilitation Surgeon, he hopes to attend Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies with an International Health major. Burton believes that there should be a recess in everyone's schedule because students need an outdoor outlet to school pressure, and P.E. may not always be enough fun and games. 

“There are a lot of opportunities presented in life. I encourage students to take advantage of them so that further opportunities become available,” he said. OTHS' second Student of the Month is Jennifer Stroot. Stroot plans on being a first grade or kindergarten teacher when she starts her career.  She will accomplish this by earning a major in Elementary Education. Stroot's best quality is how she is accepting of others.  “Girl Scouts has taught me over the years to understand and appreciate that everyone is different and acceptance is key in life,” Stroot said. She is involved not just in the Girl Scout program, but in volleyball, her church youth group, Luke 18, Relay for Life, varsity softball, and is also SADD President, Spanish Club Officer, and much more. Stroot said the best thing is “getting an award that my brother hasn't.  Sounds horrible, buy my brother is a total smarty pants, and it feels good!” “I have had a ton of influential teachers here at OTHS, there are way too many to mention.  My teachers, my club sponsors and my coaches have each affected my life enormously on an individual bases, and I will always remember each and everyone of them for that,” she said Stroot would like to thank “all the teachers who nominated me. And, congrats to Kyle Burton on receiving January student of the month. Thank you, and stay safe.” 

Ò My warrior mentality and my charisma [are my best quality].Ó -Kyle Burton, senior

NATALIE BUCH Junior Janelle Schwarz is involved with the Hope for Haiti collection at OTHS. She also received the YMCAÕ s award of Youth of the Year.

BY NATALIE BUCH After being serenaded by the OTHS Chamber Choir and enjoying a scrumptious dinner, junior Janelle Schwarz was presented with the Ray Sonnenberg, Sr. Youth of the Year award for 2009 by Bill Gavin, an Associate Member of the Lamplighter Society, the organization sponsoring the award. “No one knew I had won the award, not even my family. So it was a great surprise hearing [him] say my name,” Schwarz said. “The feeling I had when I won [it] is unexplainable. It was definitely the best feeling in the world.” This award recognizes one high school student per year who is an employee of the YMCA and displays extraordinary dedication to his or her achievements. The selection was based on affiliation with the YMCA, leadership skills, community service, and GPA maintenance. The Lamplighter Society is a charity organization that provides opportunities for children and adults to succeed and become future leaders. The Ray Sonnenberg, Sr. Youth of the Year award is one of the many donations the organization makes each year.

She first heard about the opportunity only a month before her application was due, and is very pleased that she decided to apply. One of the benefits she receives as the Youth of the Year is $5,000 in scholarship money to McKendree University each semester or $1,000 to any other university of her choosing. Undoubtedly, Schwarz has given countless hours of service to others, and she displays an incomparable passion for helping those in need. She began her service in fourth grade by coordinating a fund-raiser to aid the children in the thirdworld country of Haiti.     “It was just a little fund-raiser to collect toiletries and toys for children. I collaborated with a family friend who travels down there every year to help with medical care,” Schwarz said. Today, she keeps her passion alive as she serves as a swim instructor at the local YMCA and volunteers at hospitals in the area. She is also teaming with her French class to begin another fundraiser to help the Haitian people suffering from the recent earthquake.     “The one in fourth grade was my idea, but this one is a joint effort,” Schwarz said. She wants those who look up to her as a role model to know the impact working hard at something they enjoy can have on their lives and the lives of others.

Ò It was definitely the best feeling in the world.Ó

-Janelle Schwarz, junior

JAKE HAMILTON Seniors Jennifer Stroot and Kyle Burton receive the honor, title, and respect the of Students of the Month deserves.

Musicians Young, Cariker earn December SOTM honors BY JACOB FUSSELL

JAKE HAMILTON Seniors Chelsea Chariker and Joseph Young enjoyed the easy walking from the parking lot during DecemberÕ s cold weather.These teens won OTHSÕ Student of the Month award for December.

When you walk in the school and you see those glorious parking spaces in the front, have you ever wondered, “Why can’t I use them?” Well, if you are Student of the Month, you can. Seniors Joseph Young and Chelsea Cariker are the lucky students who did not have to take the long trek from the parking lot to the school this December. These two prominent student’s paths have intersected before with their many activities. “Knowing all my hard work has been noticed and appreciated is great,” Young said, who has participated in the Fall Play, Spring Musical, and Madrigals. However, that seems to have no premise on his future goals. Brigham Young University is the prime destination for this promising premedical student. He wishes to become a “radial oncologist,” who is a doctor who helps treat cancer. “Joseph has great humor and is robotics’ Mr. Irresistible top 10 candidate,” physics teacher

Mr. Eric Curry, his favorite teacher, said. However, his female student of the month counter part Chelsea Cariker seems to have a different future planned out. “I always set really high goals for myself and work really hard to attain them,”said Cariker, which seems to be one of many bridges connecting these two. This Madrigals queen wants to go to the Northwestern University for journalism or the University of Chicago for English. As a member of the Thespian Society and a Show Choir captain, she seems to have more of an interest in the fine arts.      Her dream career plan is “to be a part of a positive, informative media.” “Chelsea is a top notch student of English, incredibly analytical, and a leader in class discussion,” English teacher Mrs. Melissa Wilkerson said. Through the chills of December, Young and Cariker did not experience the cold as much as the rest of us because of their dedication and persistence to be the best they can be.




Lady Gaga rocks St. Louis at the Fabulous Fox

Fans come worship music’s newest superstar BY CAROLYN JOSEPH

ELLIOTT KOEHL Lady Gaga sings Ò SpeechlessÓ from her new CD Ò The Fame MonsterÓ . Gaga performed at the Fabulous Fox Theatre on Jan. 7, in front of a sold out audience.


Avatar: Just all hype?

The one and only Lady Gaga performed at the Fox Theatre on Jan. 7, and fans from all over came to rock out at her “Famed Monster Ball Tour.” Lady Gaga was eagerly anticipated by the crowd. After Jason Derulo, we waited restlessly for an hour for her arrival to the grand stage.  Larger than life multimedia screens lined the stage, creating an almost vortex-like focus for the audience.  When the lights went out, a booming voice from none-other than Lady Gaga herself sent a shock wave through the crowd.  Neon lights appeared, and the show began.  Starting off with “Dance in the Dark,” the concert moved through the set list with  both piano and pop versions of the always crowd

pleasing “Poker Face,” moving on to “Just Dance” and even an encore performance of “Bad Romance” left the crowd wanting more.  Just in her fantasy-like music videos, Lady Gaga danced and dressed like no other.  Her sequined leotards, high heels, and, crazy cool masks drew much attention.  Donned in platinum blonde wigs and tight leotards, one thing can be said: her followers are one of a kind.  Her fans’ outfits were also outrageously elaborate, but not only from the women, even the men got into the craziness. Some wore sparkly tights. I think that this concert proved that even if you do not like Lady Gaga as a person, no one can deny her complete and utter talent for the out of the ordinary.  I compare her to Michael Jackson and Madonna.  Get used to it people, Lady Gaga is here to stay.



in exception to the humanoid Na’vi. Covered mainly by tropical rain forests, Pandora is the source of the unique mineral “Oh boy, a tree hugging, nine-foot smurf known as unobtaneum. With large amounts of with bows and arrows fighting against the big this unobtaneum and magnetic force fields, the Hallelujah Mountains float majestically like a bad human militia.” That was my first thought when I watched Greek painting. Everything on Pandora has bioluminescence the trailer for James Cameron’s “Avatar”, which qualities that set the night aglow in strange and came out Dec. 18, 2009. beautiful patterns, For the and everything most part, I Pandoran has was not wrong, a network that but there was connects it all a lot more to together to the the movie than tree of souls. that. The tree of In a behind souls is said to be the scenes the connection feature for where the souls the making of the past hear of “Avatar,” the wishes and Producer Jon prayers of those Landau said of the present. [about James The movie Cameron], itself, between “Jim, about 13some seriously 14 years ago, corny acting and had a dream MCT cheesier where Pandora Neytiri (Zo’ Saldana) and Jake (Sam Worthington) make final preparations even lines, had an okay came to him.” for an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world. plot line. Cameron For the most himself said, “I wrote the dream out in ‘95, and it had all the part viewers were left with an idea that the movie characters in it and creatures and settings, but at was a cross between Kevin Costner’s “Dances the time it turned out that it wasn’t possible to with Wolves” and Disney’s “Pocahontas”. Add do what I wanted to do. So I literally just put the some tree hugging scientists, some overly stereotyped marine grunts and a dash of project in a drawer and forgot about it.” With all of the technology that was involved betrayal, and “Avatar” is almost completely and necessary to create an entire world of summed up. If you are going to criticize the plot, the Pandora, James Cameron had to wait until 2005 names, the details, and the nit-noids of the to begin creating his dream world. The movie “Avatar” took place on Pandora, entire movie, you’ll be happier than a pig in which is a moon of the planet Polyphemus, a slop. The movie was not made for that, it was a large, gas planet the size of Saturn, 4.4 light- world that James Cameron wanted to bring to life on a movie screen. years from earth. For those that go to a sci-fi movie to enjoy On Pandora are many awe striking qualities a new world among the stars, “Avatar” is the in itself. From the fierce and gentle Viper wolves next best thing since “Aliens,” directed by James to the top land predator Thanator, to the air Cameron as well.  Personally, I think “Avatar” was one of the hunters called Banshee, only prey to the great most creative films that has come out yet, and Leonoptrix, each creature is unique. Awe-inspiring and dangerous, most deserves the Golden Globes for “Best Drama” creatures are hexapods, which means six limbs, and “Best Director.”

WARNER BROS. PICTURES/MCT Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. John Watson in Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures action-adventure mystery Ò Sherlock Holmes,Ó distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

The man with the pipe Hundred-year-old book series becomes star-studded film BY ALEXIS HARDY Although the Sherlock Holmes book series has stuck to print since it was first published in the late 1880s, recently, director Guy Ritchie took a shot at putting it on the big screen. To my complete surprise, the film far exceeded my expectations. The actors each maintained sarcastic, yet entertaining roles to keep the viewer smirking to him or herself. Its plot kept my short attention span hooked through all of the twists and turns the movie took, even through the whopping two hours. Golden Globe award winner Robert Downey Jr. played Sherlock Holmes to a “T”. His accent was anything but fake, and his wit and charm

made the role all too realistic. His loyal sidekick, Dr. Watson, was played by Jude Law. Law’s seriousness, yet dry humor played up Downey Jr.’s persistent quips. The plot caught me completely off-guard because I did not expect as much action from a Sherlock Holmes movie. The twists in the movie were well-thought out and kept the audience guessing. Throughout the film, pieces of the plot puzzle were revealed and each viewer became a ‘Sherlock Holmes’. This intriguing movie is anything but average and even dazzled the ‘mystery’ genre. After seeing it, I’m crossing my fingers for more of Sherlock Holmes and his pipe in the theatres.

top 4 BOX OFFICE grossing movies of all time Avatar $2.1 billion


The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

$1.85 billion

$1.13 billion

$1.06 billion Statistics from IMDB.COM


FEBRUARY 5, 2010

Panthers third in state, among elite programs in Ill. BY JOHN DAVIS After suffering through the program's first losing season since the 2001-2002 season, the boys' basketball team has evolved into one of the elite programs in Illinois. According the ESPN RISE Magazine, the Panthers (19-1, 8-0 in SWC) are ranked third in the state and 55th in the country. They also trail only Webster Groves in the St. Louis PostDispatch’s Large School Poll. On Dec. 28-30, the boys competed in the Centralia Tournament. In their first two games, the boys flew by Houston and Champaign Central. In the next round, however, the Panthers encountered stiffer resistance. Their semifinal game against Belleville West was a nail-biter, but the team prevailed with a 58-55 victory. In the championship game against Cahokia, the boys were not as lucky. After getting off to a slow start, the Panthers had a lot of ground to make up in the second half. The team mounted a late rally, but it was not enough. The Comanches' clutch free throws gave them the 62-60 win and the tournament crown. Even after the loss, Coach Rick Gibson remained confident. “Sometimes it is good to have to face some adversity because it brings you together, points out your weaknesses, and forces you to make a few adjustments,” Gibson said. Junior Josh Buie agrees. “We learned a lot about ourselves,” Buie said. “We always need to come out [strong] from the tip-off, and we can't underestimate our opponents.” The humbling loss to the Comanches seems to have refocused the team. A week after the

semifinal matchup, O'Fallon faced Belleville West again. The Panthers tallied a 76-67 win, but the Maroons will have another shot at the Panthers on Feb. 19. On Jan. 8, O'Fallon went up against Edwardsville in a game between traditional Southwestern Conference powers. The locally televised game was a blowout from the start, as the Panthers outscored the Tigers 25-4 in the second quarter en route to a 77-53 win. After the big conference win, the whole team was ecstatic. “Just beating Edwardsville would have been good, but beating them the way we did made it so much better,” senior Shane Watson said. In their game against East St. Louis on Jan. 15, the Panthers beat the Flyers 6968 to take control of the SWC. The team, trying to win its first SWC title, now owns a three game lead in the conference standings. On Jan. 22-23, the team played in the Belleville East Tournament. In their opener, the Panthers beat Champaign Central for the second time this season, 77-49. On Jan. 23, the team beat the Metro-East’s fourth ranked team, McCluer North, 74-61. In the championship game, the Panthers edged Althoff 58-56. Once again, junior Roosevelt Jones earned the tournament MVP. On Jan. 29, the team continued their dominance in the SWC, downing the Alton Redbirds 48-41. The Panthers also have high hopes for the postseason. “I think we could make it far into the playoffs,” Buie said. “All we have to do is come out with intensity and be ready to play. If we do that, we will be a hard team to beat.”

Ò All we have to do is come out with intensity and be ready to play.Ó -Josh Buie, junior


ANTHONY BAILEY On Jan. 15, junior Roosevelt Jones prepares to shoot.The Panthers beat East St. Louis 69-68 and now own a three game lead in the Southwestern Conference. Ò Everybody was happy that we won because it was a tough game,Ó Jones said.

Bowling regular season over; postseason begins BY JOHN DAVIS

The boys’ and girls’ bowling teams have rolled by their recent competition. The boys finished their regular season with a 7-7 record. However, they think they can be better than .500. “We have done fairly well [this season]. We just lost a few games we shouldn’t have because of a loss of focus,” senior Kenan Lowry said. Their best tournament finish of the year came in the Abe Lincoln Tournament held on Dec. 5 in Springfield, Ill. The boys took the tournament crown by outlasting many quality opponents. The team's best win of the season came against conference-rival Edwardsville. After being down 17-3 after two games, the team bowled a 1220 series to unbelievably win the match 21-19. After their inconsistent regular season, the Panthers stepped up their games at Sectionals. The boys were on the brink of elimination, and a tough shot awaited senior Mike Nolan. However, he knocked down the split to keep the team in the competition. After the long day of matches, the Panthers earned the opportunity to go to State by finishing in second place. Lowry, who bowled a perfect

game earlier this year, had a team-high series of 1318. Another consistent performer, freshman Tommy Frost, rolled a 279 game. Nolan and sophomore Ryan Greynolds also contributed with games of 278 and 277 respectively. On Jan. 29-30, the team competed at State Tournament. Lowry and Frost moved on to the second day, taking 29th and 44th respectively. After dropping their first three matches, the girls' bowling team rebounded to finish with a 7-4-1 regular season record. This year, the squad is really focusing on the mental aspect of the game. “Picking up our spares and encouraging each other are key components we work on to achieve our one main goal, making it to State,” junior Natalie Goodman said. The team's biggest success was a tie against Collinsville, the top team in the conference. The team's highest score was a 3007 against Belleville East. Another big win came on Jan. 12, when the girls took on Belleville West. The Maroons were coming off a big victory over Collinsville, but the Lady Panthers took them down. “We're working better as a team as the season winds down. We really pulled together,” senior Melissa Mecagni said. Tomorrow, the team will travel to Collinsville to compete at the Sectional Tournament.

Golden Girls take home trophies BY NATALIE BUCH Once again, the varsity and junior varsity Golden Girls are at the core of their competition season. The varsity squad has competed in three competitions so far, and the girls have taken home winning titles in all of them. Their most recent competition was the Civic Memorial Competition. The Girls won first places for their pom and dance routines and second place for their hip hop routine.   They compete again this Sunday, Feb. 7, at Stevenson High School at the Team Dance Illinois (TDI) Stevenson Competition. Their competition routine consists of three categories: pom, dance, and hip hop. The first part features the jazzy song “Alone” by Celine Dion, and it allows the girls to show off their elegance and strength. Dancing their way to the top in the second category, the girls perform a routine with an Olympic theme, complete with a medal ceremony. To finish it off with some fun, they let loose with their jungle-themed hip hop piece. “Hip hop is my favorite! It’s always been my comfort zone because there is no wrong way of doing hip hop. You don’t need techniques to be able to do it,” senior Stephanie Jozwiak said. Also utilizing the strong rhythms in jazz, the JV team performs their rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana.”    This routine, along with their icy pom piece,

has qualified them for the Illinois Drill Team Association (IDTA) JV Finals as they won first place in the O’Fallon Competition. The JV team will travel to Bloomington, Ill. on March 6 to take part in their final competition. The girls are enjoying their season very much, and the competitions keep them energized. Both seniors Stefanie Hughes and Hayley Motowski agree that the adrenaline rush they experience while competing is the best part about the competitions. “My favorite part in general is...the feeling of putting our hearts and souls into the routine,” Hughes said. Motowski said she feels bonded to her teammates when she dances. Dancing for most of their childhoods, the Golden Girls feel at home on the dance floor. Jozwiak said she enjoys dance because of its expressive nature.   “I can express myself with my emotions and passion through the movements,” she said. Through their routines, they get the opportunity to showcase all the hard work and long practice hours they have put into the team. However, the Golden Girls get much more back from competitions than trophies and pride, for many of them have made strong friendships with each other and have learned how to work hard despite all the stress in their lives. “I have been blessed with having found some of my best friends on the team and having a very successful squad over the years,” Hughes said. “It's definitely something I’ll never forget.”



FEBRUARY 5, 2010

OTHS swimmers take to the lanes BY BRYCE RADICK With an exceptional 4-2 record, this winter’s swimmers have been breaking personal and school records. In the beginning of the season, Head Coach Kimberly Kurtz, who has been coaching at O’Fallon for two years, was impressed by the “tremendous amount of talent.” The team credits its success to five-day-aweek, two hour practices. During practices, they attempt to better their times and do a variety of exercises to strengthen their swim times. “[Since the beginning], we’ve been cutting down times by a lot,” senior Brandon Grammar said. In their first triangular meet on Dec. 12, the team defeated Chatham Glenwood and Quincy. This success carried on to the team’s first invitational on Jan. 2, when the boys took first in a 12-team field. This marked the first invitational that the team has won in the history of the program.

“[Before the meet], we had really high hopes,” Assistant Coach Christina Buehler said. “They came out really well against good competition.” Although Coach Kurtz admitted that the team, like any, has its weaknesses, she paid much more attention to its successes. “Every meet we have had a swimmer race a new personal best time, which is a major accomplishment,” Kurtz said. This showed at the Jan. 12 and Jan. 16 meets. The Jan. 16 meet against Marion saw Panthers take first place finishes in all but one event. Seniors Stephen Dean and Rich Laney, and juniors Scott Kennedy, Carl Thrasher, Justin Grimmer and Geoff Marion all placed first in their respective events at the meet. The Jan. 23 meet also boasted good results for the team, who placed second. These successes were matched on Jan. 30, when the team defeated Quincy and Jacksonville in a triangular meet. The team will have a triangular meet at home tomorrow at the O’Fallon YMCA. This is the team’s only home meet, and they hope to have a large crowd of support.

BRYCE RADICK The boys’ swim team finishes up their warm-up laps. On Jan. 2, the team won their first invitational in the history of the program.

Winter Athlete Profiles

Stephanie Copelin, Basketball

Ryan Hesse, Wrestling

Steven Dean, Swimming

Kenan Lowry, Bowling

Stephanie Copelin has been a varsity starter for the past four years. She started playing basketball when she was 7 years old. “I enjoy playing with all the girls on the team because they make it fun. But of course I enjoy the sport itself,” she said. With her on the team, the Lady Panthers have won a tournament two years in a row. She has also been named Athlete of the Week in the O’Fallon Progress newspaper twice. As for college, she is keeping her options open for where she would like to go. She has been offered scholarships from several colleges, including McKendree. Her older brother, ‘07 graduate Brad Copelin, starts for the McKendree basketball team. Her family has been a major help to all of their different sports they have both been involved with.

Ryan Hesse has been wrestling better than ever. He started wrestling at the young age of 5. Originally, Hesse started wrestling to stay in shape for the football season. However, it has really started to grow on him. “I really enjoy wrestling because it is a sport where the only one you can blame for losing is yourself. It’s just you and the other guy on the mat, and one walks off a winner,” he said. Weighing in at 215 lbs, he is an All-State honorable mention. Currently, he is split between going to school at either Illinois Wesleyan University or Depauw University to play football, even though he has not had any scholarship offers yet. Even if he is not a scholarship player, he will try out for the team as a walk-on for his school.

Steven Dean is swimming his way to victory this season. Because he has been swimming for 10 years, his younger brothers and sisters look up to him for tips. “I enjoy it most because it feels good to excel, and it helps me stay in shape,” he said. Recently, he was named Athlete of the Week in the O’Fallon Progress, and he placed fourth in the State tournament last March. He believes his swimming skills will help him into colleges and with his future. He has not been offered any scholarships because the schools are waiting for the end of the season to see how he does overall. Eastern Missouri, Western Missouri, Carbondale, and Kentucky schools are all talking to him.

Kenan Lowry is one of the top boy bowlers for this year. When he was 5, his mom and dad started him in a bowling league. He was on his first team when he was 10. He has had a three game series scoring 700, four games scoring 299 each, and his best score he has received is 300. He plans on attending SWIC and then Eastern Missouri. “The thing I enjoy most about bowling is how much fun the sport is and how much thought it takes to excel,” he said. His favorite bowler is Walter Ray Williams, Jr. “I would like to thank my coach, Mike Imes, and my dad because without them I feel I wouldn’t have gotten this far,” he said. Lowry finished 29th at State this season.

Winter Sport Schedules Girls’ Basketball Date Fri. Feb. 5 Sat. Feb. 6 Mon. Feb. 8 Tue . Feb. 9 Thu. Feb. 11

Opponent Webster Winter Challenge Webster Winter Challenge Belleville West Edwardsville East St. Louis

Time TBA TBA 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m.

Home/Away Away Away Home Home Home


Girls’ Bowling Date Sat. Feb. 6 Fri. Feb. 12 Sat. Feb. 13

Opponent Sectionals State Tournament State Tournament

Time 9 a.m. TBA TBA

Home/Away Away Away Away

Wrestling Date Sat. Feb. 6 Fri. Feb. 12

Opponent Regionals Sectionals

Time 9 a.m. 4 p.m.

Home/Away Away Away

Golden Girls

Boys’ Basketball Date




Fri. Feb. 5 Sat. Feb. 6 Fri. Feb. 12 Tue. Feb. 16 Fri. Feb. 19 Tue. Feb. 23 Fri. Feb. 26

Collinsville Normal Commmunity HS Belleville East Granite City Belleville West Edwardsville East St. Louis

6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m.

Home Away Away Away Home Away Away

Date Sun. Feb. 7 Sat. Feb. 13

Opponent Time TDI Stevenson Competition 9 a.m. IDTA Triad Competition 9 a.m.

Home/Away Away Away

Boys’ Swimming Date Sat. Feb. 6 Sat. Feb. 13

Opponent Marion Macomb/Springfield

Time 2 p.m. 1 p.m.

Home/Away Home Away


FEBRUARY 5, 2010


Lady Panthers fading after strong start After 12-2 start to season, girls have dropped six of last eight BY JOHN DAVIS After a strong start to the season, the girls’ basketball team has fallen off in recent weeks. After a loss to Mascoutah to open the season, the girls won the Taylorville Thanksgiving Tournament with wins over five quality opponents. The Lady Panthers carried that momentum to their conference schedule. On Dec. 3, the girls defeated the Granite City Warriors 49-44. They followed that win up with another one, this time against Alton on Dec. 8. Sophomore Taylor Klingelhoefer and freshman Katie Roustio both scored in double figures to secure the 53-33 win. On Dec. 10, the girls edged Collinsville 4039. Senior guard Ally Fore led the team with 13 points. In their next game, the Lady Panthers took on Belleville East at home. Klingelhoefer led the girls to the 53-34 win with a season-high of 24 points. Seniors Stephanie Copelin and Camiyah Tally also contributed, adding eight and nine rebounds respectively. On Dec. 28, the team took a break from their conference schedule to participate in the Mascoutah Tournament. After a back and forth game, the girls lost to Highland 51-49. The Lady Panthers' free throw shooting proved to be their downfall, hitting only 10 of 22 foul shots.

After the tough loss, the team rebounded to win their remaining three games, winning the consolation bracket in the process. On Jan. 7, the team's troubles began. They started their skid by losing to the thenundefeated Edwardsville Tigers. The Lady Panthers only trailed by two at halftime, but the Tigers pulled away after the break. On Jan. 9, the girls beat the Alton Redbirds 46-42. Klingelhoefer had 12 points and five rebounds in the first half, but did not play in the second half after suffering a concussion. The girls’ next games came against Granite City, East St. Louis, Nerinx Hall, and Belleville East. The girls dropped all four of those games to fall to 13-8 overall and 5-5 in the SWC play. On Jan. 28, the Lady Panthers regained their focus by beating Collinsville 45-36 win. “I think we’re in a funk right now, but we’re going to come out of it. Every team goes through it,” Copelin said. Despite their tough regular season schedule, the girls feel that it will help them try to make a deep postseason run. “[Playing a tough schedule] will help us tremendously because we've played some topnotch teams and have stayed in the game till the end,” Klingelhoefer said. Coach Ryan Massey agrees that the team could be dangerous in the play-offs. “I think we will be a team that is capable of beating anyone on any given night if we play hard and play together,” Coach Massey said.

JOHN DAVIS On Jan. 12, Coach Ryan Massey gathers the girls during a time out.The Lady Panthers lost the game to the Warriors 55-46.

New organization formed to support hockey team BY TESSA DOCKINS Most students do not really know about the O’Fallon hockey team because it is an unofficial OTHS club sport, but there is a new fan group trying to get students more involved with the team. The goal of the club is to promote and support the O’Fallon Panthers hockey team by attending their games. Whether someone is a hockey player or a fan of hockey, anyone can contribute to the promotion of hockey or just hang out with others who are extremely enthusiastic. The club needs as many members as they can get. Anyone can be an OTHS Hockey Fan Club “Fanatic.” There are many ways to be involved in the club.

The club is looking for DJs and announcers who can play music before and after the games, and during time outs throughout the games. Other ways to show your spirit include joining the Ice Kittens, which are girls who sit together and act as a cheering section for the team. The club is also looking for photographers and statisticians. As for the hockey team this year, they have been doing very well. “I am proud of our team year to year, but this year especially because everyone can see the hard work the boys have put in,” Coach Jason Power said. On Jan. 14, the Panthers hosted their annual Senior Night. The team beat the visiting Belleville West Maroons 7-4. The team is headed in the right direction with the coach and their captain, junior Austin Bossart. “I think our team is really good this year, and has a chance to go all the way,” Bossart said.

Ò [Our team] has a chance to go all the way.Ó -Austin Bossart, junior

MASON LAMPE Senior Andy McDonald (17) takes the face-off with freshman Henry Hunsaker (7) looking on. At Senior Night, held on Jan. 14, the Panthers defeated the Belleville West Maroons.

Fall ‘09 All-State Wrestling trying to live up to last year BY KIRA WORTHINGTON Selections • De’Ron Flood (senior), football • Ben Benton (senior), football • Emma Goldschmidt (senior), volleyball • Katie Roustio (freshman), volleyball • Sean Blumberg (senior), soccer • Connor Knox (senior), soccer • Michael Scolarici (junior), cross country

Working hard to achieve last year’s glory, the wrestling team prides their top four and the wins they have brought to the team. While most of the valuable points are earned by the starring seniors, the rest of the varsity first years have endured a harsh rebuilding season. The team as a whole placed third at the Mascoutah tournament, fourth at Hazelwood Central tournament and 13th at the Granite City Tournament. The top four wrestlers this season are seniors Keith Surber (130), Marty Ercoline (171), Courtland Rautio (112) and Ryan Hesse (215). Surber, a three time regional champ, took first at the Mascoutah tournament and Hazelwood Central tournament and second at the Granite City tournament. Currently, Surber is ranked among the top ten wrestlers in the country and second in the state with a record of 32-1.

Ercoline, who took first at the Mascoutah and Granite City Tournaments and third in the Hazelwood Central Tournament, carries a record of 31-4. He is also the reigning regional champion in his weight class. Hesse currently carries a record of 23-11 after taking second at the Mascoutah and Hazelwood Central Tournaments, and sixth at the Granite City Tournament. Rautio, a two time regional champ, is currently 24-7 with a first in the Hazelwood Central tournament, second in the Mascoutah tournament and fifth in the Granite City tournament. Coach Glenn Exton believes that both this year and next will be rebuilding years. “We are headed toward a more balanced team in the future. We were fortunate to have some stars, but as they graduate we will lose the extreme quality for a more balanced team,” Exton said. Prior to the Geneseo tournament for the weekend of Jan. 15, Coach Exton said “Geneseo's

the toughest, and is going to be tough for our first year varsity, but the top four will have the best chance at placing.” He also said, “Last year was the first year at Geneseo and we finished fifth, but with a weaker lineup over all, we don’t expect to do better, the top four will earn the bulk of the points.” Confirming Coach Exton's prediction as true, Surber said “a lot of the kids wrestled really well.” As a whole, the team earned a record of 10-7, placing 10th out of 16 at the Geneseo Tournament. Surber took first place, Ercoline took second, Hesse took fourth, Rautio took fifth and sophomore Jacob Villigram took sixth at the Geneseo tournament. The Regional match is Feb. 6, at Granite City. The team’s final seasonal record is 14-8. This year’s team is having a fair year, but most of the effort is being focused on building commitment and work ethic; from there, everything should fall into place.



FEBRUARY 5, 2010

ADAM HARREL After everyone was crowned, all the competitors lined up for pictures.The candidates were seniors Joseph Young, Mr. Macho Nate Wilson, Mr. Charming Michael Sullivan, Cal Steirwalt, first runner up Jose Mendez, Mr. Irresistible Drake Krueger, second runner up Brandon Churchill, Josh Greene, Sean Blumberg, and Daniel McGinthy.

ANTHONY BAILEY Senior Elliott Koehl leads the way in the traditional spelling of the word Ô seniorsÕ . To be a sign holder, any senior can see Mrs. Merrill in room 1001 before a pep rally.

JAKE HAMILTON OTHS’s Mr. Irresistible Drake Krueger uses all of his strength to pull the seniors’ side of the tug-of-war for the win. First it was freshmen against the juniors, then sophomores against seniors. The juniors won their match, and the seniors won theirs. In the third and final match, the seniors rose to triumph with their spirited endurance.

JAKE HAMILTON Senior Kenny Maness, senior Maggie Young, junior Lucas Bennet, senior Nicole Lambert and junior Austin Stumpf make their way to the winter pep rally. Ò It being my last winter pep rally made me think about how far IÕ ve come from freshman year and remember all my past pep rallies,Ó Maness said.

KATY MANESS Senior Jose Mendez spices up the competition during the swim wear portion of the Mr. Irresistible competition. Mendez was later named first runner up.

JAKE HAMILTON Sophomore Taylor Arndt leaps through the dome while performing with the junior varsity Golden Girls. Ò It was pretty nerve racking, but once you hear the cheers you get all excited and do your best,Ó she said.

ANTHONY BAILEY Senior Amy Alhardt spins around the dome in her last winter pep rally as a part of the Golden Girls. Ò Golden Girls, my senior year was an amazing experience. Performing in the pep rally was really upbeat and fun for everyone,Ó Alhardt said.

February 5, 2010 Prowler  

February 5, 2010 Prowler

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