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Concussions affect student athletes

PO’P Grace Summers

pages 22-23

February 3, 2017 | Volume 90 | Issue 5 H.B. Plant High School | 2415 S. Himes Ave. Tampa, FL 33629





@plantpop INSTAGRAM

News It’s Goin’ Down for Real, What You Missed

Features Reigning Above, Blogging for Female Empowerment, 10 Ways to Avoid Senioritis @humansofplanthigh SNAPCHAT

Opinion County Makes the Right Call, Face Off: Feeling Lovely v. Feeling Lonely

Arts & Entertainment And the Oscar Goes to..., Put Some Prep in Your Step @pepoplantnews WEBSITE 2 | Table of Contents

Sports New Lacrosse Coach, Concussion Discussion

4-7 8-12 14-15 16-19 21-23

MISSION STATEMENT: The Pep O’ Plant is the student-run publication serving the community of H.B. Plant High School. The mission of the Pep O’ Plant is to provide an open forum for the free exchange of ideas.





SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY: Members of the staff are expected to use personal and publication social media accounts in a mature, responsible and professional manner. Students who do not follow these guidelines will lose the privilege of posting on the Pep O’ Plant social media accounts and may face additional consequences. Unsigned posts on a publication account will be removed.

EDITORIAL POLICY: The editorial board will make all decisions for the publication. Editorial board members will discuss controversial issues and will consider the advice of the adviser before making decisions regarding coverage. Administration will be made aware of any sensitive topics in advance. Unsigned editorials reflect the opinions of the majority of the editorial board. Signed opinion columns and reviews do not reflect the views of the entire staff, advisor, faculty or administrators of H.B. Plant High School.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY: Letters to the editor can be emailed to The editorial board has the right to revise, edit, condense and reject any letters. Unsigned or anonymous letters will not be published.

OBITUARY POLICY: Any current student, staff, or faculty member who dies during the year will be recognized in the newspaper with a 300-word obituary and one mugshot photo. The editorial board may decide to cover the deaths of alumni or former staff/faculty members when appropriate.

ADVERTISING POLICY: The Pep O’ Plant has ad space available in print and online for members of the school and local community. To receive advertising information, email Advertisements that promote services or products that are illegal or harmful for anyone under 18 will not be considered. The editorial board has final approval over all advertisement content and design.

Editors-in-Chief Savannah Lowry Rachel Ferreri News Editor Zoie Ashmeade

Features Editor Darnell Henderson Centerspread Editor Zoe Antinori Opinions Editor Sam Werner Art & Entertainment Editor Maggie Fitzsimmons Sports Editor Jacob Robinson Business Manager Natalie Grant Public Relations Pershia Haj Emilia DiFabrizio Copy Editors Jake Criser Dean Criser Sports Writer Reed Frevola Staff Writers Isabella Ank Sydni Bates Thompson Draper Elizabeth Hancock Cole Maines Amanda Rodeiro Faculty Adviser Louisa Avery

Policies | 3

How Seniors Can Exempt Exams Seniors who have met all graduation requirements by the end of second semester and are spring graduates are exempt from taking their final exam the second semester if the senior meets all of the following requirements.


quality points earned in their final semester


or more quality points earned in second nine weeks


or less excused absences in the class for the semester

It’s goin’ down for real

County decreases exam load Savannah Lowry Editor-In-Chief


he end of second semester will no longer be met with semester exams for two semester AP, reading or IB courses. This change comes about after a district-wide initiative by the Hillsborough County school board, in hopes to reduce testing pressures on students. This rule follows a pattern of exam exception for classes that have an EOC such as Biology and United States History. This reduction in finals has been met with positive reactions by most students. “I like the new procedure because last year when I had AP Exams I didn’t want to take a final so I’m glad that this year they changed that,” senior Matt Page said. Echoing Page, “It’s like an award at the end of the year,” junior Riley Moore said. However, some students and teachers do not see a great amount of benefit with the new second semester schedule. “It’s nice because its one less exam to take, but it really isn’t that big of difference a because if you study for AP

exams you don’t have to study for the county exam,” sophomore Charlotte Holman said. Similarly, AP European History Teacher, Greg Maurin fears second semester exams were the only thing keeping students in class. “I’m sure the students are going to find that [no exams] good, I’m not sure what that’s going to do to their motivation to finish strong at the end of the year,” Maurin said. “I don’t know that they really worried about the semester exam anyway except for attendance, so [I] wonder if that will affect attendance.” Some courses that will no longer host a second semester exam include AP Human Geography, AP AB/BC Calculus, AP Literature, AP Biology and any other two semester AP course. Some AP courses that will still include a final exam include AP Comparative Government and AP Microeconomics, as they only include one semester of curriculum. Also brought about with this new change in exams is a change in scale for determining second semester grades. The grades for the affected classes will now be based on third and fourth quarter grades.

Is it only one semester long?


An AP course

Yes No

unexcused absences


What’s your class?

satisfactory conduct record

Source Plant High School

4 | News

Neither of these

A U.S. History (AP or Honors), Algebra, Geometry or Biology course

Is it a yearlong reading course?

EOC Exam


No Exam

No Compiled by Savannah Lowry

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What Y u Missed... In 140 characters or less

From the halls

Pep O’ Plant Retweeted Donald Trump @POTUS

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to build a wall at the Mexican border, despite Mexico’s claims they won’t pay. #MAGA Source:

Source CNN

“I think that it’s messed up for the Mexicans because I feel like they should be able to enter the United States.” Leonard Parker, sophomore

Pep O’ Plant Retweeted Superbowl LI @NFL

In Super Bowl LI the Atlanta Falcons will play against the New England Patriots on Feb. 5. #SB51 Photo Credit Zoie Ashmeade

Source ESPN

Christian Watson, senior

Pep O’ Plant Retweeted Gasparilla 2017 @TampaBay

Tampa Hosts month long festivities for the celebration of Gasparilla, including 3 parades, a distance classic and film and music festivals. Source: Wikimedia Commons


Oline Otterstad, junior

Pep O’ Plant Retweeted Celebrity Couples @RelationshipGoals



Rapper Drake and Singer JLO have confirmed a relationship. Singer The Weeknd and Singer Selena Gomez have also had dating rumors. #GOALS Source E! Online

Designed by Darnell Henderson Compiled by Zoie Ashmeade and Rachel Ferreri Mugshots by Samantha Werner

“I like the Falcons because they made a great run coming from a team that wasn’t even supposed to make the playoffs, and I dislike the Patriots because they beat my favorite team [The Steelers].”

“It’s my first Gasparilla so I’m looking forward to walking on Bayshore and seeing all the floats and the boats, especially the pirate ship.”

“I don’t really care that much about pop culture, there’s a lot of unnecessary drama that’s happening.” Payton Covelli, freshman

News | 7

Reigning Above Senior girls participate in pageants Pershia Haj & Public Relations Manager

Zoie Ashmeade News Editor

Among the students at Plant High is absolutely no School there are two queens who reign money behind above the rest. the Miss America Seniors Lauren Watson and Olivia Organization or Fiss have both held titles under Miss really in pageants America’s Outstanding Teen Program in general. The throughout high school. money comes in “When I was little I never really did scholarships, but the glitz and glamour pageants, I just you can’t go buy did little ones here and there,” Watson shoes with what said. “But when I got to when I was 14 you win.” I found out about the Miss America OrFiss and Watganization and that’s when I hit the age son agree that of eligibility to compete in it.” pageants have Fiss had similar misconceptions that shaped them into many have about pageants before she the people they began competing. are today and are Olivia Fiss, senior, performs her Tahitian Dance at Miss “When I was 13, my aunt asked me a key part of their Florida’s Outstanding Teen during the summer of 2016. Fiss professionaly trained for a year in preparation for this if I wanted to start competing in a pag- lives. eant and I was kind of like ‘I don’t know “I do think it pageant. Courtesy of Olivia Fiss it’s kind of dumb’ because obviously helps when you’re I was uneducated a young teen- I was about pageants, but 13 when I started- I then I started it and think it does help it has shaped me into I don’t have to wear my crown shape you into being becoming the per- and sash to hang out with the presentable, caring son that I am today. Best Buddies kids, I think its just about your image as I don’t have to wear who I am. far as having a clean my crown and sash reputation. I feel like -Olivia Fiss, senior. to hang out with the that’s what its helped Best Buddies kids, me the most [with],” I think its just who I Fiss said. am.” Fiss said. “You have to edThroughout their pageant careers ucate yourself, you have to watch the Watson and Fiss have dealt with peers news and current issues, you have to who do not understand the world of figure out what your opinions are on pageants and their misconceptions. things; I think its like a learning expe- Lauren Watson, senior, is crowned “I think there’s the stereotype behind rience for me, constantly improving Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen on it all,”Watson said “It’s definitely some- myself and constantly learning what my June 28, 2015. This was Watson’s thing that people get wrong like they opinions are—that helps a lot, but yeah first significant title. Courtesy of Lauren think that people are only in it for the you definitely have to be centered on Watson crown or for money, but in reality there who you are,” Watson said.

8 | Features


Can You Dig It?

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Work place of Plant grads Ed Farrior, Hall of Famer and Noel DiMisa, Best All Around

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Junior girls blog for female empowerment Elizabeth Hancock Staff Writer

they can do.” The blog embraces and advocates for the feminist movement and seeks to promote individuality and selfconfidence. “Female empowerment is all about girls finding themselves and high school is a time for doing exactly that,” Shapiro said. “Female empowerment is also about teaching tolerance and respect and I think that is a lesson that is beneficial to all high school students of both genders.” While the blog does promote a

interests. Touching on ideas relevant to the authors themselves, it allows for self-expression under many themes. The F-Word, standing for female, is a “I’d like my blog to cover a broad newly created collaborative blog formed span of topics, but with a focus on by Brooke Shapiro, junior, focusing on advocacy, current issues and personal female empowerment. Beginning as issues,” Shapiro said. “My mail goal for an individual endeavor, the blog was my blog is to just teach other females to initially titled “Girl Meets Complicated be aware of their surroundings and feel World” and provided a personal outlet comfortable discussing the issues and for Shapiro, until she decided to bring it topics that matter most to them.” to a more collective level. The F-Word combines stories “All I’ve ever wanted for my blog pertinent to high schoolers and female was for it to inspire others. I wanted it empowerment and seeks to reach out to be powerful and to many people with a influential,” Shapiro variety of interests and said. “I knew that the opinions. best way to do that “I hope that people was by incorporating will find a little bit of the voices and themselves in each perspectives of and every blog post,” other females. So I Shapiro said. “That’s asked some of my part of the reason friends who I knew I made my blog enjoyed writing and collaborative- I wanted had unique ways of my blog to be something seeing the world to that everyone could be a part of my ‘blog feel a part of. We try squad’ and thus The to write about topics F-Word was born.” that matter to not only P r o m o t i n g us but what we think equality and selfmatters to other people, expression, it now so hopefully readers features Jordan will feel that the things Buzzet, Kristina we write about are Biglete, Sara The F-Word website showcases a multitude of topics discussing a large relevant to their lives, Eisman, Leigh which I think is even variety of interests held by writers. Browsers can navigate the site looking Gabriely, Macie more probable with a Lavender, Maddie for articles categorized into school, beauty, how to, culture, expression, variety of voices and Robinson, Maggie music, and adventure. Image from the F-word homepage the broad span of topics Musco, Maren we cover.” Scharf, Margaret Proudfoot, Morgan female point of view, it is open to all who Tankersley and Savannah Lowry, all can relate to topics discussed, such as How to reach the F-word juniors, all as writers and collaborators. culture, school and music, to name a few. “I think this is an era of a very “I want to emphasize the humanistic specific social reform and I believe that approach,” Gabriely said. “As Brooke feminism is an important and pretty often says, this is not a blog that active movement,” Leigh Gabriely, one degrades men, we believe in equality. @fwordblog of the authors said. “It’s beginning to be I, personally, identify as a feminist but associated with radical beliefs and even a much more passionate humanist and toward inequality. At the same time, this is a perfect way for me to channel this is a movement that is necessary as and express that along with writing @blogthefword it has always been. Women need to be things I get excited about and feel that empowered and feel confident being will inspire/benefit others.” women, not in a sense of how one looksA range of subjects are to be covered even though that definitely plays a role- and written about and are meant to Features l 11 but more in a sense of what one feels showcase each individual writers

10 Ways To Avoid Senioritis

“Drink more coffee.” -Anthony Kaptzan, senior


Maggie Fitzsimmons Arts & Entertainment Editor

AP Art History guided reading questions AP Psychology reading study guide

“Stay involved in your extracurricular.” -Sami Jacobsen, senior

“Do all of your homework.” -Garrett Peterson, senior “Take time to study throughout the day.” -Meredith Seibold, senior

“Go to all of your classes.” -Stuart Lindquist, senior

“Just wake up each day and remember that it’s almost time for graduation.” -Sh’mira Cooper, senior

Time for Graduation


“Get more involved in your school.” -Lauren Watson, senior

No second semester exams

semester left

“Just remember there’s only one semester left.” -Willy Widoff, senior

12 l Features

“Set goals for yourself.” -Tyler Wolf, senior

5 absences

“Try to have less than 5 absences so you can exempt exams.” -Oriana Rosso, senior

Sally O’Neal’s would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to all the Plant High families who have supported us and the students from Plant High School that have worked for us over 31 years. You have played a big part in our continued success and we thank you!

Go Panthers!!

Pat and Judith O’Neal*

*Former Plant High graduate

$5.00 off any order of $25.00 or more any Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday Sally O’Neal’s. Phone: (813)251-0220 Not valid with other offers. Exp. 2/3/17

Now Hiring part time phone staff. Call (813)251-0220 1319 S. Howard Ave. Phone #: 813-251-0220

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From the halls

What do you think about the new exam policy?

14 | Opinions

It sounds good because my AP class is pretty hard. -Kwenci Snyder, freshman

It’s good because it means less time in school. -Michael Fitzsimmons, sophomore

From the PO’P Staff

modification only continues redundancy of a Collegeboard exam being followed by a county wide exam. But it is indisputable that Hillsborough has made great changes that have major benefits for their students. This means that classes like AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics and AP Government and Politics still require a second semester exam. Even though they still carry the heavy pressures of any regular AP courses, just in a streamlined time frame. Yet, these lenient examination schedules call in to question students' attendance. As the regulation of a five absence maximum in order to exempt a class's exams is a driving force as to keeping seniors in class during second semester, there is a strong chance without an exam in existence, missing school could be justified among some members of the senior class. It is more valid, however, to still remove the exams as a clear majority of the student body do not apply to senior exam exemption opportunities and should not have to endure the excessive testing AP and reading finals provide. The removal of affected final exams is extremely beneficial to the student body, especially the majority that have AP-focused schedules. Hillsborough County is doing their students a great favor by lessening their exam load.

With the new year, comes new semester exam revisions. However, different from the typical Hillsborough County exam updates, the elimination of second semester exams for AP courses and year-long reading courses is a welcomed and highly beneficial change. This change adds to the small group of courses that involve an end of course exam (EOC), which then removes the obligation of a final exam. Also, this alteration has no impact on the attendance policy for seniors to exempt exams that are regularly given to underclassmen. The lack of a second semester exam is long overdue, as in both cases of taking a final exam for an AP course and/or a year-long reading course is redundant. Collegeboard courses already provide an exam towards the end of the year, and similarly reading classes are given FSA examinations. Announcement of this modification qualifies as a shock when following the Hillsborough County classic standard of administering a multitude of standardized tests, starting at the young age of first grade. However, a decent amount of AP semester finals still stand for courses only spanning one semester. This lack of




Are you satisfied with the exam changes? Yes No In Different Survey on 39 students

It’s nice because I only have to take one exam instead of two. -Lauren Watson, senior

“ “

Overdue exam changes provide relief

It’s pretty cool.

-Devin Curry, junior

Should students celebrate Valentine’s Day? Feeling Lovely

PO’P Sam Werner

Thompson Draper Staff Writer For the people who do not have anybody to spend it with, seeing other people celebrate this only brings pity and demise. It hurts seeing people have such a great connection and relationship, especially when that person wants that as well, but is unable to get it. This feeling of sadness and isolation can affect these people negatively and possibly lead to depression in the future. Valentine’s Day, over time, has become more about getting gifts for the person to show love than actually making a creative way for showing your affection. People should focus more on doing things to make people happy than giving something to make someone happy. If someone loves someone else, they should not limit themselves to one day in the year for this, they should make

Sam Werner Opinions Editor The day of love. A holiday that each and every American should celebrate. We all have those people within our life that we love. Valentine’s Day is about celebrating this and showing those special people how much you care about them. Of course on birthdays, or holidays such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day your love can be displayed. But Valentine’s Day is completely devoted to doing this. Valentine’s Day allows you to celebrate all the people you love on one day, instead of multiple days throughout the year. Making it easier to plan activities and buy gifts. Valentine’s Day is even a holiday kids can participate in. We all remember making and exchanging candy-grams in elementary school and writing notes for friends and crushes. This day of love is a great excuse to them feel like everyday is Valentine’s Day. Having one day in the year designated to showing affection, and only showing this much affection on this one day, is not how relationships should be. Although it is only dedicated for one day of the year, this day is known to be pretty magical, as people are showing how much both mean to each other, but if this level of affection could be shown every day, relationships would be a lot stronger and more long-lasting. But, Valentine’s Day is a very good way for couples to grow stronger, so it is not all bad. Showing this much care for someone is good, but if it was done more often than one day in the year, relationships would be much stronger and people would be generally happier. Valentine’s Day has become too commercialized and based on gift giving, and if it can go back to being all about showing care for someone, that would be helpful for relationships.

slow down the fast pace of life and focus on those who truly matters in life. So although Valentine’s Day may be commercialized and artificial, it’s a great opportunity to tell someone “I love you.” Also, Valentine’s Day provides an excuse to enjoy lots of sweets. A major stereotype of this holiday is enjoying any kind of chocolate. Valentine’s Days also provides the opportunity to give and receive gifts. Similar to Christmas, people usually exchange presents with the people they love. So this holiday is a great excuse to get the gifts you’ve wished for. Although these gifts may be commercialized, they are still a great way to say “I love you.” If you want to show someone you love them celebrating Valentine’s Day is a must. Valentine’s Day is an American tradition, and should be celebrated as much as any other holiday.

Feeling Lonely

PO’P Thompson Draper

Opinions | 15

And the Oscar goes to... Movie lovers make predictions for the 89th Academy Awards Maggie Fitzsimmons Arts & Entertainment


Rachel Ferreri Editor Editor-in-Chief

I think the winner will be...

Best Actor

Best Actress

“Andrew Garfield because he really personifies the characters he is acting as,” -Will Neely, freshman

“Meryl Streep, because she’s always crazy and exciting in movies,” -Cedric Williams, sophomore

Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”

Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

“Ryan Gosling because he did well in La La Land... and can portray any character he wants,” -John Watson, junior

“Emma Stone because she makes the character believable,” -Sofia Valdes, freshman Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”

“Denzel Washington because he is really sentimental in his roles and takes his job seriously,” -Sam Toldeo, senior

“Natalie Portman because she was very dramatic in her past roles, and takes her job seriously,” -Pierce Smith, senior

Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

“Casey Affleck because he is able to make the audience feel like they are present,” -Campbell Collins, sophomore

“Isabelle Huppert because she’s down to earth and doesn’t over-do her roles,” -Victor Gonzalez, junior Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”

Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

16 | A&E

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Put Some Prep in Your Step

Meal planning saves time, money Sydni Bates Staff Writer Meal Prepping is a great time-saving way to eat healthy during the week. The concept of meal prepping is to plan, shop, and cook your food for the week in a day. There are several benefits to meal prepping. Meal prepping will allow healthy eating and saving time and money. It’s an easy grab-and-go process. “I meal prep because it makes it easier in the morning to get ready and I saved a lot of money since I started,” english teacher Christina Porcelli said. After cooking the planned meals, separate them into reasonable portions and place them in separate containers for certain days of the week. “I find cooking enjoyable and relaxing, plus I can spend more time doing homework on week nights because I don’t have to spend tons of time cooking.” senior Laura Jones said. A tip for this would to buy a generous amount of Tupperware to make it easier to access. Containers can be fairly inexpensive online on a website like Amazon. Meal prepping also allows someone who is busy and has limited time to remain healthy. “It allows me to stay organized throughout the week and feel confident that I’m eating a healthy meal even when I’m really busy.” senior Lindsay Baker, said. It’s important to have veggies, protein, and whole grains to get as much nutrition as possible out of each meal. “I include some protein, vegetables and a healthy grain. Since you can control exactly what your eating and your portion size it’s a lot healthier and keeps you fueled for the day,” senior Lauren Leoner said. Meal prepping is a great dynamic to add to your fitness routine. It will allow you to eat healthy, save money, and remain time conscious while juggling a busy work or school schedule. “If you don’t have the time to make food, it definitely seems like a good idea,” freshman Aidan Giamsante said.

A Quick Guide The first step of Meal prepping is planning. Plan your meals and recipes ahead of time. Websites like Pinterest have great recipe ideas that fit your personal dietary constraints and preferences. It will be easier to know exactly what to get from the grocery store.


The second step is to go to the grocery store. This can be the hardest step in the meal prepping process. Sometimes it can be difficult not to pick up the things that are not to pick up the things that are not necessary. Shopping the sales and looking out in the local supermarket ads will help save money.


The third step of meal prepping is to cook- the most fun part of the meal prepping process. It can be time consuming, but by preparing the food before hand, it will avoid cooking during the week. It can be fun to experiment with new health-conscious recipes.


The last step of prepping is to distribute the food. Its important to have purchased containers to hold each individual portion of food. If the meals are frozen rather than refrigerated, they will last longer. It also allows you to control your portion sizes.


A&E | 19

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New lacrosse coach signals fresh beginning Jacob Robinson Sports Editor

ideas with the specific talents that each player has. We will be learning a lot of new ideas and that will take time, I understand that, but I am confident that we will progress in a manner that will have us playing our best lacrosse when it matters the most.


How has this team filled the gap left by exiting seniors?

Todd Francis will be entering his first season as head coach of the Lacrosse team for the 2017 season. He played lacrosse at Cornell University, and in his senior year, he was voted All-Ivy, Division 1 All-American and was an NCAA Championship runner-up. Looking to build upon last year’s successes, where the Panthers were 18-2 (9-0), 11th in the state of Florida, and had an Elite Eight Finish.

I am not familiar with last year’s team, so I am not trying to fill holes. I team, will be looking at the players that we have on Jan. 16 and seeing how we can put the best team on the field with the particular talent that we have. We will also be following a very innovative curriculum throughout the season, so every player will have an opportunity to develop their skills and vie for playing time throughout the entire season.


How was the transition in becoming the new head coach? It has been a lot of work getting familiar with Plant and the entire lacrosse community here is Tampa. I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few of the players and the parents, and have had incredible support from everyone involved. I am really excited to be given this opportunity to work with the Student Athletes at Plant and am encouraged by the interest and support.


How can this team get back to the Elite 8 like they did a year ago? I think we have a lot of very good athletes and players with some good lacrosse lacrosse skills, but to make it further than we have in the past, we need to become smarter lacrosse players. That is the biggest difference between elite programs and those that are not quite up to that level. We will work hard on getting all of the basic concepts down and then learning how to employ those

need to become smarter and play together in our system.


What are you looking forward to throughout the year? I am really looking forward to seeing how each player, and the team as a ing whole, progresses and begins to grasp the new concepts that we will be learning. If we progress to my expectations, I think we might have a chance to do some special things.


What expectations are made with this year’s seniors? We have a large senior class this year. I am hoping that we get some year. good leadership from them. Hopefully some will do it vocally and others will do it purely on the field. But I also want to make sure that no matter what, every player, including those that come to tryouts and do not happen to make the roster, spring feel a part of the Plant Lacrosse Family and enjoy watching this already successful program make greater even strides.

Coach Francis directs his players during a practice on Jan. 25. Last season, this team got to the Elite 8 round. Photo by Zoie Ashmeade


What are the strengths and weaknesses on this team? I like the overall size, speed and athleticism that we have. The biggest issue leticism is our “Lacrosse IQ”. I feel they have is been successful in regional play because of their superior athleticism and lacrosse skill, but to go any further we


At the end of the season, what are you hoping to look back on?

I will be doing an evaluation of an each player and the team in general at the beginning of the season. I will then do the same at the end of the season so that I can see how I did as a coach. My top goal is to increase the skill and IQ of each player on the team. That can give us the best opportunity for us to play in April and advance farther into the postseason,

Sports I 21

Concussion Discussion

Brain injuries impact athletes Reed Frevola Sports Writer There is always a risk when a student plays a sport, whether it is a minor scratch or a major knee injury. Now, concussions are a huge issue for high school athletes. What is concerning regarding concussions is that they take up a good percentage of injuries in high school sports. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states, “Concussions represented a greater proportion of all injuries among high school athletes.” Most people associate a concussion mainly occurring while playing football. This is partly true, as according to, high school football has the highest concussion rate out of all sports. Along with that, Athlet-

ic Trainer Lynsey Dawson says most of the concussions are from football. “Football is the majority sport,” Dawson said. “That’s because that’s the sport that tends to get the most contact. You also see a lot of concussions in soccer and lacrosse.” According to Dawson, there has been roughly 10 concussions a year over the past two years during Dawson’s tenure. “This is my second year, and I actually tallied all the concussions,” Dawson said. “It averages to about 10 a year and that includes all sports.”

Bryce’s Concussion

One football player, Bryce Jenkins, senior, received a concussion during practice, but it was not until the day after that it was noticeable. “During spring football sophomore

year I had a helmet on helmet hit during Alabama drills,” Jenkins said. “At first I didn’t know I had one until the next day in first period where I was falling asleep without knowing it. Right after that I got signed out, got tested, and it was confirmed.” Jenkins also took certain steps to ensure that he would fully recover from the concussion. “I had to stay out of the light,” Jenkins said. “ I also wore sunglasses always. I minimized any electronic use and not do homework for a week and a half. I eventually had to do two half days of school before the weekend before being cleared for a full day on Monday. I was out a total of nine school days.” When it comes to Jenkins, the school was very helpful, for the most part. “Yes the school made it very easy for

Impact makes the brain swirl in the skull, causing contact at both the impact site and the opposite side of the brain.

Initial Impact Concussion recovery typically involves a mental rest of three to five days of no television, phone use, reading or other straining activities. After that, gradual incorporation of everyday activities is recommended.

22 | Sports

The points of impact result in two damaging bruises and the brain swells; in extreme cases the brain twists. source

me to pace myself and wait until I was ready,” Jenkins said. “However, there was one teacher who completely disregarded my doctors note and made me make up a test and two quizzes the day I got back, resulting in me finishing with my only C ever in high school.”

Lexie’s Concussion

Lexie Atlas, senior, is a volleyball player and has also sustained a concussion. “I was playing a volleyball game and collided with another player in mid-air as we were both going to hit the ball,” Atlas said. “As I fell to the ground, I hit the back of head on the court.” On her way back towards normal day-to-day activities, Atlas took many measures to make sure she was able to return safely. “It took me about a month to fully recover, as there are a lot of precautionary tests you have to pass in order to be cleared for physical activity,” Atlas said. “For the first week, I wasn’t able to go

Concussions per 100,000 Athletes Participating in a Sport Football

70 Boy’s Ice Hockey 54 Boy’s Lacrosse 43 Girl’s Lacrosse 33 Girl’s Soccer 33 Boy’s Soccer 19 Girl’s Volleyball 7 Source

in 201 2-2013.


t Ou

couple of years ago,” Athletic Director Lauren Otero said. “There is also a concussion in sports video, a webinar, that all the athletes are required to take prior to being able to participate, and we have our Athletic trainer [Dawson] who institutes proper protocol and handling con400 college concussions cussions. According 800 high school concussions to the document titled, Heads Up to School: Know Your Concussion ABC’s, of r 20 ye only when a a l ,00 p all student meets 0U otb nited o f l o o with a health States h c college and high s care professional and gets to school, read, watch TV, or be on my cleared by said professional can a stuphone. I mostly slept and played board dent return to the classroom while still games with my family.” receiving attention from the school. It Atlas was also helped by the school also mentions how school professionals when recovering from her concussion. have been given permission, they can “The athletic trainer, Lynsey, helped share their observations with the family me every step of the way,” Atlas said. of the person with the concussion. “She recommended me to a physical Dawson says that there is no specific therapist who specialized in head trau- was to prevent concussions, but there ma. She also monitored my day-to-day are steps athletes can take to do so. recovery and always checked on my “Wearing a proper mouth guard,” progress.” Dawson said. “Wearing properly fitted equipment, when it comes to football Steps to Healing and lacrosse make sure your helmets “There is knowledge that the coach- are properly fitted. Like with football, es have, which is more than they had a good technique.”

Overall, it is clear that concussions are a serious issue for high school athletes. Athletes should carefully recover from these head injuries, along with wearing a mouth guard.

A Year Includes:

1.6- recreation 3.8 based concussions million


contact sport athletes who get a concussion



of concussions occur during games

Some studies suggest that females are twice as likely to receive a concussion when compared to males athletes who don’t feel symptoms after concussion impact source


All graphics compiled by Savannah Lowry

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February 2017  
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