Page 1

What items to restaurants offer, but not advertise? See FEATURES, page 2

Is high school a money making scam? See OPINIONS, page 4

What traditions did Placer have for homecoming in the past? See PERSPECTIVES, page 6


Volume XXXVII, Issue 3

October 9, 2009

OxyCodone addiction increasing with teens By Britny Christine Features Editor

Drugs and alcohol has been a major issue on high school campuses for decades. Unfortunately, the use of pain medications has seen a steady increase the past few years and is slowly begining to infiltrate schools, including . Whether it is apparent or not, there has recently been a problem on Placer’s campus with the popular pain medication, OxyCodone. OxyCodone is a highly addictive drug, which is often prescribed in the treatment of severe and chronic pain disorders such as osteoarthritis and after major abdominal surgeries. The drug is also commonly used as a mood stabilizer and as a tool for mental relaxation as well as something to lower anxiety. However, due to the drug’s mood altering effects, it is often used as a recreational drug and is becoming increasingly popular among teenagers. On the other hand, along with the reported ‘warm, fuzzy feeling’ that OxyCodone gives its users, side effects often include dizziness, fatigue, and severe headaches. In more extreme cases it has been said to cause circulatory collapse, shallow breathing, and, at times, death. But even in the mildest of cases, the chance of addiction is always prevalent. The risk of an overdose is higher than most recreational drugs due to the

fact that you never know how much you’re taking. “OxyCodone is prescribed based on how much pain you are in and your weight. When you take someone else’s medication that is made for them, you’re always putting yourself at risk,” said one local pharmacist. When bought for a prescription, OxyCodone doesn’t cost more than any other drug for a cold, however, when sold on the street, a single pill can be sold for upwards of $80. Many people who develop an addiction resort to stealing money from friends and other loved ones in order to feed their need for the drug. Many students or people who abuse this drug often steal it from family members or those who have been prescribed OxyCodone. “I had to watch for three rough years as my son battled an addiction that I didn’t know how to help him with. Throughout these years, money and possessions were stolen from me, but worse still, my son was stolen from me. I don’t even recognize him anymore,” commented a source who requested to stay anonymous, but felt it necessary to share her story. Social side effects seem to be the most severe when dealing with OxyCodone. Many people who abuse it, mainly teens, experience a disassociation from friends, as their life only exists around the drug for them.

During a study that took place in 2005, 1 in 20 high school students admitted to either knowing or having tried the drug. The study was done again in 2009 and 1 in 10 knew someone involved with the drug. This shows the drug use i s on the rise a n d doesn’t show much sign of slowing down, seeing as this problem is beginning to hurt students here at Placer. Gary Panta-

leo n i , Placer’s assistant principle, stated that

there had been a few incidences on campus, but was unable to comment any further. “Our school

is a reflection of our community, and these things need to be addressed,” Pantaleoni went on to say. Due to the fact that the school is responsible for you when you get to campus, no one is taking these worries

lightly. If a student is

caught, they could get suspended for anything from possession of drug paraphernalia to more severe cases where they could get in trouble for being under the influence or dealing the drug. And because of the school safety act, for anyone caught doing or selling drugs within 1,500 feet of our campus, the fines instantly double. “OxyCodone can easily ruin someone’s future. If anyone comes in contact with it, go the other way; it’s not worth the struggle that comes with it,” commented the mother of an OxyCodone addict.

Homecoming expected to be a huge hit By McKenzie McGowen Messenger Staff Editor

junior, Aubree Claydon. Rally days are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. “There’s never a dull moment, and it gets everyone pumped up,” commented Claydon.

Wednesday’s rally theme is Powder Puff and class color day; Thursday’s is Disney Day and the homecoming nominees will be announced. Friday’s is green and gold day and the winners of the homecoming court

Homecoming Week is looking to be a huge hit this year at Placer High school, as usual. The week will start off with a series of Spirit Days and end with the football game and dance. Monday, October 12th, will be “twin day”, so be sure to find your look alike or someone to just wear a matching outfit with. Tuesday, October 13th, will be “denim and leather day”. This spirit day you might want to borrow your parent’s old leather jacket. On Wednesday, the 14th, it is “class color day”. Freshmen will be wearing green, sophomores wear pink, juniors wear orange, and seniors are wearing their powder puff colors, which are based on the Jetsons and Flintstones. Thursday, October 15th, is “class Disney day”. Freshmen’s theme is the Little Mermaid, sophomore’s is the Lion King, junior’s are Aladdin, and seniors are Peter Pan. Finally Friday, October 16th, is “green and gold day”, giving students a chance to show their Hillmen pride. “I am so excited, I already have all of my outfits picked out,” said Last years’ junior class show their spirit on color day.

will be announced. “They’re going to be the best homecoming rallies this school has ever seen,” said senior Michael Jenson, rally commissioner. Placer’s football teams will be giv-

ing their best efforts to defeat Capital Christian in the Homecoming games. Freshman play Thursday, October 15th at 5:30 p.m. JV team plays Friday the 16th at 5:30 p.m. and Varsity Football plays at 7:30 p.m... “It’s going to be fun to play in front of the best fans in the section,” said Varsity QB, Collin Burnett. Before the varsity game, all of the class floats will be out. The class floats are decorated based on their Disney themes. During half time, Placer’s band, cheer squad, and dance team will perform. Also during half time, the Queen and King will be announced, and the prince and princesses of the lowerclassmen will be brought out. Make sure everyone shows their football team support, and goes out and cheers for our dedicated football players. “[The game] is a great finale to a fun week,” said Burnett. The homecoming dance this year is Saturday, October 17th from 8-11 p.m. The dance will be in the lower gym this year. “Funky Formal” is the theme.

Photo credit: Yearbook



Volume XXXVII Issue 3 October 9, 2009

Hidden menu’s of popular places to eat revealed Many places like In-N-out to Subway offer more to eat than whats on the menu By Laura Molnar Messenger Staff Editor

When walking into a favorite restaurant or ordering in a drivethrough, everyone is faced with the question of what to order. People tend to skim through the menu and pick something that sounds delicious, but simply reading a menu won’t tell you everything there is to offer. It pays off to know the secrets of the establishment and the items which the average costumer wouldn’t know to order. Almost any restaurant will make exceptions to their menu, but what requests should you make? “I know there are secret menus at restaurants, but I usually just order off the menu because I don’t know what else there is to order,” explained Sophomore Kevin Harcus. Fast food restaurants tend to have milkshakes, and the average Joe would order chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. Why not go crazy and order all three? Establishments such as In-N-Out and McDonalds will be happy to create a Neapolitan treat for those daring enough to

ask. The most well-known secret menu is probably at In-N-Out. Animal-style burgers are popular, but what are you getting when you order animal-style? The patty is cooked in mustard and is topped with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and extra sauce and pickles. You can also combine ingredients at most restaurants to create the item of your dreams. Starbucks will be happy to combine any and all syrups, and Taco Bell will be happy to put anything and everything you want in a burrito or taco. “We have lots of people come in and mix-and-match menu items,” commented the owner of Joe Caribe in downtown Auburn. He recommended adding curry sauce to any of the fish items on their menu. Local eateries also have secret menu items which cannot be discovered online. At Mr. Pickles Deli, order the Ranch-A-Q. It comes with chicken, ranch, BBQ sauce, avocado, bacon, and two cheeses. Next time you go to Taco Tree for lunch, order your super na-

chos swamp-style or with chips on the side, and say goodbye to

Starbuck’s offer’s another size that most don’t know about. soggy chips. Or when you drive to La Bou, try the bread and dill dip, one of my personal favorites. Lots of restaurants have specials only listed temporarily, but they will often make them any day as long as they still have the ingredients. At A-Town Deli, the Chick-

Names of Powerpuff teams cause senior uproar By Laura Nash Messenger Staff Writer

Powder Puff football is known as a Placer High tradition. However this year, limitations on team names and sweatshirt names have become much stricter. Administration has asked many seniors to reconsider their names they have chosen for their sweatshirt. Some of the rejected ideas were understandable for some of the ideas behind the names, but students feel most of the limitations have gone too far and are unhappy with the controversy. Realistically, seniors don’t agree

with the strictness because they don’t understand how these names could cause such a big problem. Seniors voted upon many ideas and neither of the two chosen were approved. Indians vs. Cowboys and James Bond vs. Indiana Jones were rejected because of weapon use in the theme. The school doesn’t want weapons to be encouraged, even if they are only fake. The theme Nerds vs. Jocks was also turned down because of problems administration had in the past with a dress up day, “Nerd Day.” Some also felt that people dressing up as Indians would be demeaning or racist.

en Cordon Bleu Sandwich is a Wednesday special available all

Seniors, especially the girls who have been looking forward to their Powder Puff all throughout high school, are unhappy on these new limitations because the team names they voted on were turned down. They feel that the restrictions have gone too far and the reasoning is unnecessary. Senior Stephanie Bonitata was upset when her sweatshirt name got rejected. “Bonalatta is what my little cousin calls me, and they wouldn’t accept it. The administration needs to loosen up a bit,” she expressed. Some names, such as Brooke Bendorf ’s, were even accepted the first time they checked them, but then when gone through again, were rejected and she was asked to think of a new name. Even though the leadership teacher accepted, it was not passed by administration. The sweatshirt names were thought to be inappropriate in different ways, and students feel limited on what they can put on them because the administration is being so picky. To prevent further recall of team names, the ideas will have to be passed by administration prior to the voting of the students. As for sweatshirt names, seniors just have to be more careful about what they decide on and accept the refusal of names that are not perfectly clean cut. Do not expect the rules to get any more lenient either, because the controversies will of course, be back next year.

the time. It includes chicken, ham, cheese, and honey or Dijon mustard and is toasted to perfection. Some fast food restaurants have items not listed on menus

because they go against the restaurant’s claims to be healthy. For example, Jamba Juice boasts healthy smoothies, so those that are not healthy-sounding are not shown on the menu. They are able to create flavors such as white gummy bear, strawberry shortcake, peanut butter and jelly, Skittles, and apple pie. And at Subway, you can order the pizza sub which is toasted and piled with cheese, pepperoni, salami, and marinara sauce. Restaurants supply customers with a menu to provide suggestions on what to eat, but the possibilities of what to order extend far beyond. You just have to know what to order.

Senior instuctors: Helpful or hurting? By Shauna Kean Messenger Staff Writer

Senior Instructors at Placer High School are being questioned as to whether they are a positive or negative addition to classes. Being a Senior Instructor is a great opportunity for collegebound students. It gives them experience teaching a class and provides them with further knowledge in the subject. But are these inexperienced “teachers” actually helping or hurting their students? Foreign Language classes have the most Senior Instructors of any subject. The seniors are often about to pursue a career in the field of language so the program is a great learning experience for them. Cait Cullen, Senior Instructor for a Spanish 1 class, stated, “I can see myself majoring in [Spanish] and maybe going to Spain.” It also provides the Senior Instructor with more knowledge of the fundamental skills learned in earlier years, and experience as a teacher. Plus, it looks great on college applications. But on the other hand, teachers are paid to teach their students. They are taught the necessary teaching styles by college professors in order to inform their students as best they can. They also have the experience needed in order to correctly and efficiently teach their students. By stepping aside and allowing inexperienced students to take their place, the class does not re-

ceive the professional help which they often need. Also, quite often in foreign language classes, students struggle to grasp the information. One student in a foreign language class with a Senior Instructor stated, “They assume we already know things we don’t.” The Senior Instructors don’t have the experience to know what works and what doesn’t work. Do we really want our young students struggling even more because of a lack of professional help? Especially if this professional help is easily available. Cullen responded by saying, “I took this class. I can relate to them more.” One advantage of having Senior Instructors is being able to hear about their troubles with the class and how they were able to overcome them. There is more of a bond between a Senior Instructor and his or her students than there is between a teacher and a student because the Senior Instructor has been through the class too. Something new being done this year to better these Senior Instructors is having them sit in on other classes and watching the teacher. It doesn’t necessarily have to be from the same subject either so all the student’s time is spent specifically learning how to teach. This will hopefully better the education and teaching skills of the Senior Instructors which will in turn benefit their students.

Volume XXXVII Issue 3 October 9, 2009



Powderpuff causes problems in friendships

The long lasting tradition also has a tradition of temporarily ruining relationships By Kathryn Reale Messenger Staff Writer

Homecoming and Powderpuff is a time meant for fun and excitement, but is turning into a time of drama for this year’s leadership class and fellow students. Frequent class arguments over dress up days, a loud boisterous classroom, and the few tears that are shed, are what makes up the point leading up to Powderpuff and the Homecoming week in general. Although the class does work hard to ensure it is an overall amazing week, is the process costing things more precious then what is in store for Homecoming week? In the years past, incidents have occurred where best friends who you never see without each other go through the most enthralling week of their life full of unwanted despise for their very good

friends. Homecoming Week and Powderpuff entail a lot of work, meaning a lot of stress for the leadership students. Decorating the gym, organizing floats for their classes, making signs, coordinating every rally of the week, and so much more is what is in the hands of these students. Incidentally, there is major stress put on them. So much stress, it causes emotions to go hay wire and friends once attached at the hip snap at each other for the littlest thing, such as spelling freshman wrong on a sign. Senior ASB President Natalie Collins feels that this week can potentially ruin friendships during the stressful events of Homecoming and Powderpuff. “It’s funny how such a trivial thing that’s meant to be fun can temporarily ruin friendships,” said Collins. With the bliss of everything

going on, it’s no surprise that everyone can’t keep their cool at all times. With so many heads butting with clashing personalities and clashing theme ideas, there is bound to be controversy. Senior leadership student Jenna Harlacher believes that there is a lot of tension when it comes to Powderpuff and Homecoming. “Of course (there is drama). There’s rivalry and people think they know everything and they don’t,” Harlacher stated. With everything going on, the littlest things can set anyone off. Junior Class President Hannah Peterson has a lot on her plate with preparing for the upcoming week. “This year there was some drama. The color theme was the only issue we had,” said Peterson. There were some issues concerning the color for the

junior class and the senior Powderpuff Team, the Flinstones, this year. Some issues arose, but when it came to it, the students came to an agreement. “I think during the time it gets rough, but afterward it goes back to normal,” said Peterson.  It seems that towards the end of all of the craziness, friends or groups of people who were previously fighting go back to how they were. Senior Brigitte Creencia strongly believes that this always occurs.   “I feel like people will get in big fights, yet the second Homecoming is over, everyone forgets about it. It’s hilarious,” said Creencia.  So what about the all mighty Powderpuff Game where girls get to play football against fellow classmates that they have wanted to tackle their entire 4 years here at Placer High?  

Senior ASB Vice President Bridget Stangland thinks that there isn’t too much drama out on the field. “I feel were all extremely competitive but were excited to play the game. Were competitive at the right level,” Stangland stated, “There hasn’t been a lot of drama it’s actually been pretty relaxed.” There is healthy competition as well as students whose fierceness at times cannot be controlled by the excitement for the game. Senior Jenna Harlacher went on to say, “Everyone is saying oh, my team is better than yours.” Although there is a lot of turmoil and stress before, during, and sometimes after the all-famous Homecoming week and the Powderpuff Game, most friends will go back to the way they were after the calm of the Homecoming storm has settled.

said Havener. While many might think that knitting is only for grandmothers, Havener has found that it’s a fun way to pass time while watching TV and doing other things. Plus, it’s not bad that she is making cool things to wear. “In one of the knitting books there were leg warmers and I thought that was cool,” commented Havener.

Though Kellen Walker, a junior at Placer, doesn’t exactly create physical art, he does ride a unicycle and knows multiple tricks. For Walker, riding bikes just wasn’t thrilling enough. “It’s pretty amazing,” stated Walker. “I can do more things than

rounds. Cullen Brown, Chris Swart and Andrew Gill are only a few of the people who

a month.” While dirt biking isn’t something you can do on a daily

Hidden talents and hobbies of Placer students By Tierra Schroeder Messenger Staff Writer

We know that Placer High School is loaded with talented athletes that play for our sports teams, but what we sometimes forget is that we are also brimming with kids who have more unique hobbies and skills. From unicyclists to avid knitters, Placer has it all. Archie Warren is a junior at Placer who is not only into skateboarding, but he loves stencil design and making Tshirts out of the stencils, too. “I really like working with spray paint. It’s more contemporary than regular paint,” stated Warren. “I’ve got a pretty good supply of spray paint at my house, like 50 cans.” Warren spends a good amount of his time pursuing his hobby of designing stencils. “Whenever I’m bored I’ll come up with something.” Artists enjoy the creativity and work that is put into their art and Warren is no different. “I like the detailed stencils and the intricacies you put into it,” added Warren. Celeste Havener, is also an artist, but her art is made with two sticks and some yarn. Havener is also a junior at Placer and plays on the soccer team. Last season, Havener knit all of her team members an animal-themed beanie. “My mom tried to teach me how to knit when I was little and I thought it was the most boring thing in the world, but a couple of years ago I found a knitting book and I kind of taught myself how to knit,”

Archie Warren creates steneils in his free time bikes can. I [ride] everyday. I go jump stairs, do stalls, d r o p s , ride.” Walker isn’t the only person at Placer who rides unicycles, Kathi Glenwinkel and Blayne Steinle are also devotKellen Walker rides his unicycle after school in his free ed riders. time Photo Credit: Blayne Steinle Another So far she has made quite a unique “sport” at Placer is few different kinds of animal ping-pong. Certain days of beanies, including a pig, cat, the week, anyone who is interoctopus, frog, duck, elephant, ested in ping-pong can meet at monkey and penguin. the Maidu Center to play some

meet there to play some ball. “Ping-pong is awesome. It’s relaxing and intense at the same time,” said Brown. “I like to break a sweat.” Though many people at Placer play ping-pong recreationally, the people who attend these sessions are pretty serious about the game. “When I play ping-pong, I get in the zone, and it’s just me and the ball. That’s when the magic happens,” added Brown. “Of course, I always wear spandex to minimize friction and chaffing.” Though ping-pong sounds pretty intense it can’t compare to what Kaitlyn Kelly does. Kelly, a junior at Placer, rides dirt bikes. “[I love] the freedom and the challenge,” commented Kelly. “I try to go at least once

Photo Credit: Archie Warren

basis, the thrill that Kelly gets can hold her over for quite a while. But when she first tried it, she wasn’t so sure she loved the thrill. “Well, at first I hated it because I was frustrated that I wasn’t good, but as I got better I loved it.” Sometimes when you first try something it’s not your favorite thing, but these kids persisted and found that these unique hobbies were things that they loved to do. And though we may not realize, Placer is swarming with people who have unique hobbies similar to these.



Volume XXXVII Issue 3 October 9, 2009

Divorce must be banned to protect marriage If gay marriage is banned to preserve traditional marriage, divorce should follow suit By Alicia Sandoval Messenger Staff Writer

As many know, last year Proposition 8, the marriage protection act, banned homosexual marriage in California, claiming that it “…undermines the value of marriage altogether at a time when we should be restoring marriage, not undermining it.” However, recently someone has decided to take this a little deeper. John Marcotte, inspired by last year’s ban on gay marriage, has decided, in a most sarcastic sense,

that it would only be logical to ban divorce as well, due to the fact that divorce is the ending of marriage. After all, if homosexuality is defacing marriage, then isn’t divorce also doing so by ending marriage? Not to mention Proposition 8 is the marriage protection act and banning divorce would completely protect marriage. But I suppose ending marriage altogether doesn’t undermine it at all. The banner for John Marcotte’s website states “You said ‘’Til death do us part’. You’re not dead yet.” As a study done by the University of Maryland shows, divorce rates now, as compared to the 1960s when divorce was practically nonexistent, have dramatically increased. There was a time in which divorce was considered a sin, now it’s as common as a

simple break up. I understand that these religious fanatics believe that marriage is a sacred bond between two people, oops, I mean a man and a woman, who ‘love’ each other. But don’t they also say that it is an eternal bond? Then again, I suppose one could say it’s ok that Britney Spears was married for two minutes because of the fact that she has female genitalia and her ex-husband the opposite. That doesn’t disgrace the holy bond that is marriage in any way. The Proposition 8 website explains “Public schools are already required to teach the role of marriage in society as part of the curriculum, schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergarteners.” Under this logic I would as-

sume that they are also required to teach that marrige isn’t really all that important, that vows mean nothing and that marriage is completely invalid because you can end it whenever you want. Maybe its just me, but I would rather someone say that marriage symbolizes a deep bond for any two people who love each other, seeing as it would at least open the door for more true love and less publicity stunts. However, I have been told its not nearly that simple. According to Cebastian Tekin, it isn’t. “I think divorce is bad, but it can be very good because sometimes people get drunk and go crazy and beat their wives, but gay is different than divorce.” Apparently, marriage has many technicalities and vows that are in the fine print. Per-

haps we should sue the creator of vows for leaving out the asterisk guiding you to the legal copy underneath the “Til death do us part” that says “or until I get bored with you.” Maybe there should be a whole paragraph of legal copy on the bottom saying things such as “These vows are subject to change if you get fat, you become grossly disfigured, you start to lose hair, I find someone better and all things related.” In essence I would say that we should redefine prop 8 altogether, ban divorce and allow homosexual marriage. Then again others seem to believe the two issues are completely unrelated, and they believe homosexuals ruin the beautiful connection that is marriage and divorce doesn’t.

survival. Just like the Golden Gate Bridge, another attraction for suicides, safety nets have been built 20 feet below the bridge’s deck. This safety net is designed to partially collapse around the people who jump into it, enabling the authorities to bring them out and save them. These nets have saved many jumpers from their attempts and these people have gone on living and changing their lives for the better. Some of those who jump and survive go to places like rehab or see a psychologist to get mental help to prevent further thoughts of suicide. I believe that putting up the nets on the Foresthill Bridge will allow those who jump to think about what they are doing once they have been rescued. It may turn a wheel in their head and make them reflect on their lives or their decisions of suicide, which in turn, could change them altogether. But then there are those who really just want to die to get away from everyday life or even just the people in it. A net will save them once if they jump from that bridge, but all that person will do is find another place to jump or commit suicide. For example, if one bridge has a net, there are others without safety nets underneath them. That person could even overdose or hang themselves. In the long run, however, a safety net will save a life only if that person decides that suicide isn’t the way out of their lives, making that person get help to sort things out.

By Britny Christine Features Editor

quickly. Not to mention the added costs of transportation, food, etc. As the year goes on, pressure builds on students to buy yearbooks. Nonetheless, that fact still remains that at $80 dollars, you really have to look at your priorities and consider whether or not this is a big priority in your life. One Placer student, who requested anonymity, commented, “I honestly believe that the price of yearbooks is terribly insane, but I know there’s no way that I wouldn’t end up getting one. Yearbooks are things people want to look

parents are forking over each year on top of all the money that their kids are spending as well. Handing over a $20 bill to your student every few weeks many not seem like much at the time, but, like I said before, it adds up. Some people, I being one of them, are shocked at the number of students who still don’t have jobs, and are still relying on their parents for all of their money needs. The school year is only just starting, but so far, money for yearbooks has been spent, senior portraits, powder

back on in 20 years and laugh about how things used to be so different.” So where exactly is all of this money coming from? A recent study done on teenagers showed that 43% of students, within the age range of 15 to 18, had jobs. Just over half of those who had jobs worked over twenty hours a week. This is a huge leap from the 20% of teenagers who had jobs back in the year 2000. Not to mention the hundreds that

puff...when does it end? Our student council has made an effort to try and make things ‘less expensive’ for us by selling ASB cards at the beginning of the year. The cards cost twenty dollars, and are supposed to save us much more throughout the year, but couldn’t we get more attendance at things like dances and football games if we were always given the ‘ASB discount?’

Net under bridge High school activities a could save lives burden to the wallet By Santa Hart Messenger Staff Writer

Suicide, the lead cause of death on the Foresthill Bridge, which is the tallest bridge in California and the third highest in the U.S., is a painful loss for family and friends. This bridge is a towering height of 730 feet and crosses the American River where many sightings and deaths have happened since it has been built. It was built March 23, 1912. So naturally, tourists come from all over to see it. This attraction doesn’t just bring the average tourist, but it also brings those who have other intentions in mind, such as suicide. There have been call boxes installed onto the bridge, with a suicide hotline number inside, to help prevent some of the suicides. But that’s really not enough if people keep killing themselves. There should be a safety net installed as well, to save the suicidal people from actually killing themselves. Sure, the net will cost a lot of money but it will do its part to prevent people from committing suicide. A lot of suicide jumpers may actually find other places to jump, but in the long run, some of them will not kill themselves. The reason why they come to this attraction is because the bridge is so high up and there is no chance of

Field trips, dances, SAT testing, yearbooks, sports, class rings, senior portraits, and even school pictures in general. All parts of the ‘high school experience,’ right? Well, another factor that all of these things share is the fact that all of them are ridiculously expensive. But with this known, most high school students will still partake in these activities, despite the outrageous cost. Even in a failing economy, parents and teens are still forking over hundreds of thousands of dollars each and every year for high school related activities. Many students are feeling the pressure from parents to save money, which coincides with the pressure to fit in with their friends. I feel that high school is truly a time to find yourself and who you really are, and I will admit that school activities are a great way to meet new people and potential lifelong friends. However, I find it rather impractical to spend three dollars every week to get to football games, all because that money adds up rather

Volume XXXVII Issue 3 October 9, 2009




Volume XXXVII Issue 3 October 9, 2009

Homecoming traditions of Placer High School Take a look at the past and present traditions of our own school By Alex Brigham Messenger Staff Writer

decades. Some of the newer things, like color day, where different classes dress in different colors…”

Placer High School has a rich Homecoming history full of fun activities for all, many of which still take place today. Placer High’s homecoming week is looked forward to by many students for its fun activities and entertaining rallies. “The rallies are a tradition here. They’re big and very involved with lots of decorations,” said Mike Robinson, a former Leadership teacher. The homecoming rally is one of the most prestigious rallies seen at Placer High School, including fun activities with the Powder Puff teams; the senior girls’ one game football teams appear in the rally during homecoming week. Robinson commented, “The powder puff game is one of the oldest…in the Larry shows off the past Past Homecoming dress up state; we’re going on probably days were nerd day, crazy hair 40 years… The class competiday, garbage bag day, and cation…has been going on for

reer day. This year’s dress up days include Disney day, and the classic class color day. A more recent activity, lawn decorating, has fast become a tradition. E a c h class, a s signed with a l a w n around c a m p u s , decor a t e s t h e i r l a w n according to t h e i r c l a s s colors and crea t i v i t y. Seniors often decor a t e t h e i r l a w n Photo by Alex Brigham w i t h Powder Puff themes. “…The decoration of the lawns…it’s become a tradition as well,”

over again…and we’d wave at stated Robinson. An old tradition, that this people… We had the art deyear’s Leadership is trying to partment Queen… And people bring back, is the Homecoming would line the streets… Those parade. Different departments were the days.” Hill Mania was a festival that and classes would make their used to be held floats and rallies are in Homecoming p a r a d e “The througha tradition here. week. There were bounce houses, town usually on They’re big and very clubs attended and the day of involved with lots of advertised, there were food venthe Pow- decorations.” dors, and a battle der Puff -Mike Robinson of the bands. Hill game. Mania has since “ W e used to have the homecoming become Placer Palooza, held parade through town…what- during a different time of the ever day we had the parade we year, but they are almost exhad hill mania and the parade actly the same. Placer High School’s much would drive through Hill MaHomecoming nia…The art department in its anticipated entirety [would]… pile in the week is coming up from Occar and put signs on. One year tober 12 th to the 17 th , ending we road bikes…” Art teacher with the Homecoming dance Larry Alberts vehemently stat- on Saturday night. Hope that ed, “One year we did that song everyone can show some Hill[what is love]…and played and men Pride! we just kept playing it over and

Leadership prepares for the Homecoming of 2009

nior class President Michael Dean stated. What Leadership is doing to fundAt Placer High School the class raise for money for Homecoming is committees take Homecoming really a lot of hard work. Freshmen had a seriously, as well as teachers. They get Chevy’s dinner, “Which went well, and ready to prepare for a week’s worth are getting extra money from ASB to of school events. Everyone tries their get started,” freshman class President hardest to make the best HomecomEmily Rodgers explains. ing week for everyone to enjoy, and The sophomore class had make it better eva car wash at Maidu Market, ery year. which lent them the parking “What’s excitlot. ing is seeing all the “It went pretty good”, CJ and fundraise a good amount of monnew ideas people Stadmiller commented. come up with, ey to have a fantastic Homecoming Also the juniors had a this year at Placer High! Students, and how it turns out, fundraiser at Round Table even teachers, should help get ideas and especially the Pizza and raised about $185 out there so they can maybe get used way people get and are dressed up and “We’re planning and have having ansupportive for something be other at Mr. all the new events different, so football games,” Pickles on now, Cody Barger said. so when it HomecomOctober Homecoming ing would be 8th. They comes down to it, more of a week is the most are also nothing is last min- memorable exciting week. selling class Every day has a year. ute hopefully.” T-shirts to different theme, “Trying to -Michael Dean, get a small and all are fun get people profit. ideas to come involved is senior “ T back together as hard and we Shirts make back some cost need their ideas expressed, it would a school. Not evto front back the money, really help”, Mandy Matthews said. eryone gets into and return it back”, Hannah The more students that help out and it, but that’s usuPeterson also states. ally just the freshlet leadership know ideas or your Chevy’s, Maidu Market, thoughts, even if they’re small little Photo credit Karah Barger man because they Leadership students working hard don’t know what is expected to come. now, so when it comes down to it, Round Table Pizza, and Mr. Pickles comments, can help tremendously. “Juniors have class meetings every nothing is last minute hopefully,” se- sandwich shop have helped prepare “Being the junior class president is By Karah Barger Messenger Staff Writer

week to get ideas out there,” Class President Hannah Peterson said. Every Wednesday, students go to Mr. Hilton’s room at lunch to share ideas, to prepare early, to talk about rally skits, and a lot more, in order to prepare and get ready so nothing will come unprepared. “We’re planning all the new events

very stressful; being in charge, and to get things running,” Hannah Peterson stated.    Preparing for Homecoming ahead of time is really good so things run more smoothly and most likely nothing will go wrong with preparing for the rally skits, building the class floats, and announcing the prom King and Queen, and Prince and Princess for each grade level. Since preparing isn’t easy, that’s why there are class meetings every Wednesday at lunch; to keep information more organized, and to have a calendar on what is going to happen on what day.    Buy your class T-Shirt and help fundraise money for a better Homecoming! Don’t forget to dress up Homecoming week, go to the football game, and cheer your Hillmen on in the Gold Mine!

Volume XXXVII Issue 3 October 9, 2009



Students excited for Homecoming rallies By Alyssa Harben Messenger Staff Writer

school in the area’s homecoming week. This year there are going to be three homecoming rallies; one on Wednesday, Thursday,

Homecoming rallies are one of the most looked forward to parts of homecoming week at Placer H i g h School. Rallies m e a n shorter days, and homecoming rallies are almost always the best rallies of the year. The rallies during homecoming w e e k Hannah Petterson busily prepares for homecoming week. are just some of the events that make and Friday of homecoming Placer’s homecoming so fun week. This year, the rally days and different from any other during homecoming week are

going to follow the tradition of Wednesday’s theme being color day/ Powder-puff, and Friday’s theme being Green and Gold day. Thursday’s theme is going to be Disney day, so the rally will m o s t likely go a l o n g with the Disney theme, w h i ch could be anything f r o m princes and princesses to Disney v i l l a i n s, heroes, Photo by Alyssa Harben and other characters. “The rallies this year will be full of love won and love lost. They will be technologically

advanced. Placer has never freshmen, sophomore, and juseen homecoming rallies like nior prince and princess will these.” Michael Jenson, the be announced on Friday. The rally coordinator stated. senior king and queen will Other than that bit of in- be announced at the football for mation, the rest of the ral- game Friday night. ly plans were Also, “We’re keeping a lot kept secret. the powder So students of the tradition of the puff teams and will have to old rallies, but we are their cheerleadattend to will play adding a lot of new fla- ers find out if a big part in there will be vors.” the Wednesday games, or rally in order -Michael Jenson videos, or to get students other activipumped up for ties planned. Most likely there the game that night. In the will be a mixture of all of the past, the powder puff teams rally elements that have been were already unofficially comused in rallies throughout this peting at the rally for the best school year. cheer routine, or for the best Homecoming rallies differ entry. from all the other rallies of the “We’re keeping a lot of the year because of the traditions tradition of the old rallies, but that revolve around home- we are adding a lot of new flacoming, such as homecoming vors,” Michael Jenson said. court, and powder puff and Homecoming rallies at Placall that goes with them. If we er High School are unique and keep the traditions, homecom- this year’s rallies should be ing court will be announced unique too, with even more early in the week, and then the new elements added.

Homecoming dance to be improved from former years By Melissa Smith Messenger Staff

Homecoming dance, it’s one of the most important dances in the school year. Years past have had great decorations and themes, so this year the Leadership class has a lot to live up to. Past dances have included decorations, lights and awesome music. But according to the Leadership class, this year is going to be better. This year Leadership is planning to have better DJ’s, better decorations, and since it’s in our new lower gym, it’s going to be better than

the rest. This year the Leadership eager to the challenge, but is always has planned different musical en- open for suggestions. “I’m not really sure what has tertainment to come as well. “We’re going to get a new guy been done in the past, but if people could and he’s going to have “Funky Formal is ba- bring me ideas would be an entire sically nice formal that great” Stated light show and to Adams with him so dress-wear, the whole have a funky pattern Coming up with intergym is goesting new ing to get on it.” themes every involved. -Nina Tahti, time is one of It’s not just senior the many chalgoing to be lenges, like this a couple strobe lights in the front.” stated year is going to be funky formal. Themes always seem to the hot Leadership advisor Mr. Adams. Watching the leadership room, topic of discussion, this year there one wonders how they can do it were many different ideas for all, but they manage to put on a themes but Funky Formal stuck good homecoming dance every out the most. “Funky Formal is basically nice year. Another thing that is always a difficulty is the always changing formal dress-wear, and to have a Leadership advisor. Adams seems funky pattern on it...” explained

leadership member and Senior Nina Tahti. Homecoming was always the one dance that kicked off the fun and the Placer High School spirit for the rest of the year, and this year is no different. “We want people to come, it’s going to be fun and we hope to get a lot of people to come.” commented Tahti. Having personally never wanted to go to a dance before, I am actually thinking about going this year. Homecoming is always the most important time and the dance is the best way to end the celebration. The dance is the when the beloved homecoming King and Queen get to show off their crowns and the football player get to have fun celebrating their victory or trying to forget their loss. All around the all important Saturday night is the best night ever.

FFA homecoming feast a 42 year tradition By Savannah Young Messenger Staff Writer

42 nd Annual FFA Homecoming dinner! Slow cooked soft meaty tri tip, crunchy salads, and warm side dishes, all the fixing’s with the most unbelievably good homemade deserts. Sound good? It is on October 16 th 2009, Homecoming Game night at the Placer High Cafeteria, from four thirty to six thirty. The FFA is offering To Go tickets which are ten dollars, the adult pre-sale is fifteen dollars, and the Adult door is twenty dollars. Kids tickets (under twelve) pre sales and at the door are

ten dollars. So this is how it works, the FFA is selling tickets for the whole homecoming week. What does it take to put on the FFA homecoming Dinner? The Ag Leadership class has been working everyday in their fourth period class to make the dinner advertised over the radio and through the community, painting banners for school. Folding Napkins, calling for

the meat, managing the budget, getting other FFA members involved, and of course knowledge from past years. C h l o e R o m e r o graduated last year and was in the FFA all four years, “They were a good kick off to the year. Like, it got everyone ready for the Photo by Savannah Young FFA year. It always brought us together and made us a clos-

er and better chapter.” Chloe the meeting. The Community said as she reflected back on comes out and supports us evthe Homecoming dinners she ery year.” The FFA students was a part of. make all the deserts and help “It is organize the one of the “It is one of the dinner. g r e a t e s t greatest Tradi- “It takes sixTraditions hours to tions of Placer High teen of Placcook the tri tip er High School. We sold out to the perfecSchool. We last year.” tion we serve sold out it at.” How last year.” would someone Said Shannon Spears. Shannon get a ticket to this amazing Spears has been the Advisor event? The tickets will be sold of the Placer FFA for going through FFA members and in on seven years and built it up fourth period and after school from the ground. in room 614. If you have any “There were eight people at questions call Shannon Spears our first FFA meeting includ- at her extension 5769. ing the six officers running


Volume XXXVII Issue 3 October 9, 2009


Volume XXXVII Issue 3 October 9, 2009


Responsibility of Pit bulls dangerous regardless of owner, training pets’ behavior lies with owners By Cait Cullen Opinions Editor

Do you value your health and the health of others less than the joy you may reap from owning a pet? If you answered yes to this, I truly hope you don’t own a pit bull. It is evident that pit bulls can be cruel animals that attack without provocation. If you haven’t heard about the attack that took place in downtown Auburn on September 16 th, maybe you’ve heard of another attack. After all, 15 fatal pit bull assaults occurred in 2008 alone. That is one death every 25 days! That statistic isn’t even taking into consideration injuries from dogs. Pit bulls often fall in as the number one or number two canine killers of humans. Going to to learn more chilling facts about what pit bulls are doing to humans. What is most sad about the attack in Auburn is that it was wholly unprovoked. It’s not as though the victim was a burglar who was trespassing on the owner’s property, only to be attacked by protective pets. Unfortunately, this poor fellow was minding his own business in a public parking lot on Lincoln Way when he was assaulted by four dogs who had escaped from their yard. One eyebrowraising factor in the situation is how the four particular pit bulls in this case have been described by the owner’s lawyer as good listeners who are sweet, kind, and have played with children. Honestly, I believe them! That is the disheartening part. These animals may demon-

strate all of the behaviors of mild-mannered and calm creatures throughout their lives, but have repeatedly turned and become wild, dangerous, and at times, murderous. When the dogs’ owner went on to say that the dogs weren’t bred to fight, I also believe this. Too bad that doesn’t mean squat! Pit bulls should have a disclaimer which warns that no matter how they are treated, their behavior is unpredictable. Being nice to a pit bull won’t guarantee a reciprocated sentiment, and unfortunately, an apathetic attitude won’t be matched either, as shown in the downtown incident.  Pit bulls are violent by na-

in “baiting,” like their ancestors before them. No amount of training on behalf of a pet owner can reverse their pets’ instincts. Pit bulls were bred to attack and haven’t stopped attacking.  The facts are all there, and it is time to ban pit bulls in the United States . Housing projects in New York City banned them in spring 2009, Denver , Colorado has prohibited pit bulls since 1989, and many other communities in Colorado have banned pit bulls. The United Kingdom implemented a no-pit bull policy nearly two decades ago.  One alternative has been mandated in Fort Lupton , Colorado , which “Fifteen fatal pit bull as- requires owners of bulls to pay a saults occurred in 2008 pit $50 annual licensalone. That is one death ing fee, and they must purchase every 25 days!” $100,000 worth of liability insurance. ture. According to, Pit bulls must also wear a leash ancestors of the pit bull are and muzzle in public. These refrom the United Kingdom and quirements were voted on and were bred to participate in instated in the wake of public “baiting.” The website tells, “In outcry after a 7 year old boy this ‘sport,’ a dog was trained was brutalized by a pit bull, losto attack a bull, bear or other ing part of his ear. Thank goodlarge animal around the face ness the people of Fort Lupton and head, and had to hang on stood up and decided that not without releasing his grip until one more resident will be inthe animal became exhausted jured or killed because of a vifrom fighting and from loss of cious pit bull. Requiring fees to blood.” Of course, it wasn’t long own pit bulls is a brilliant idea before this activity was banned; and certainly deters the pit bull spurring pit bull owners to have population. dogs fight against each other.   It’s time for Auburn , or Terriers were bred with pit bulls California , or maybe even the to produce a lighter, yet more whole nation to put a ban on athletic canine. The English ownership of pit bulls. We as brought this new breed of pit humans must be selfish when bulls to North America over it comes to our own safety and time, and the rest is history. well-being. Although it would    It seems to me that the four- be unfortunate for owners of legged descendants we know pit bulls who are “sweet,” “lovtoday still have outbursts and ing,” and “harmless,” maybe it’s act aggressively toward humans a matter of time before those as though they’re participating animals become violent too.

Hillmen Messenger Editor-in-Chief: JD Avila Features Editor: Britny Christine News Editor: Amy Van Groningen Opinions Editor: Cait Cullen Perspectives Editor: TaNee Edwards Sports Editor: Kathryn Reale Online Editor: Claire McCoy Design Editor: Clarise Bankus Ads Manager: Melissa Smith Copy Editor: Tierra Schroeder, Shauna Kean

Reporters: Karrah Barger, Ian Bechler, Alex Brigham, Colin Brown, Rachel Church, Alyssa Harben, Shannon Harcus, Santa Hart, Zac Hersh, Shauna Kean, Claire McCoy, Mackenzie McGown, Laura Molnar, Laura Nash, Nicole Parrish, Alicia Sandoval, Tierra Schroeder, Melissa Smith, Savannah Young Adviser: Dan Wilson

Mission Statement: The Hillmen Messenger is dedicated to providing an open forum of expression and producing a newspaper of quality based upon professional standards of accuracy, objectivity, and fair play so that students, faculty, administration and the public can gain insight into student thinking and concerns. All students and staff are welcome to send letters to the Hillmen Messenger. Letters can be brought to room 306 or e-mailed to All letters must include name and first period class. The Hillmen Messenger reserves the

right to edit letters for content, size, or spelling.

play. You would have never guessed that he was abused. I fully admit that in some cases that if the dog is so violent and still aggressive after the rehabilitation that they have no other choice but to be euthanized, but the dogs should be given a chance to be rehabilitated. Not just put to “sleep.” Training a dog is something everyone does. You don’t want them to pee A car is a car, a person is a person, in the house, chew on things, beg at and a dog is a dog. But some people the dinner table, or bite. So, I bet if would like to believe that some dogs you are a dog owner, you look and are worse than others, which in my notice that you did take time to teach opinion is extremely wrong. For in- him or her not to do something. And stance, pit bulls are perfect guard dogs that is what the poor pit bull owners and so are any dogs that are trained to do the opposite of. Instead of training be. them to do something good or right, Pit bulls were bred in England, Scot- they train them to fight and become land and Ireland. with other “If you train aggressive The dogs were dogs and humans so brought to the Unit- any dog or ani- the dogs learn to fight ed States through mal in a certain each other for food immigrants and and territory. But the way or you were used as herddog is not born with ing dogs and family treat it a cer- the sense to kill or decompanions. HerdNothing is born tain way you stroy. ing dogs... hmm. So so evil. under that catego- will get a mean  When you look at ry is Border Collies, a dog, do you look cruel dog or Queensland Healer at it as a threat or as animal.” Australian Cattle a creature that only Dogs, Catahoulas, wants and needs love English and German Shepherds. and attention? In a way, humans are Hold on; do we say any of them or the same. You mistreat them and they vicious? No. Why? Because more will lose trust for someone or somepit bull problems are shown in the thing. The person becomes mean and paper and in the news. If you train rude and untrusting, just as the dogs any dog or animal in a certain way or do in the fighting world. It is sad, you treat it a certain way you will get but people do want to have the dogs a mean cruel dog or animal. Obvi- fight. Before the fight they will shake ously the man that owned the dogs the cage, yell and poke things at the that attacked that poor man didn’t poor dog, causing the dog to become treat them right. That is wrong, too territorial and mad. Then they release because now the dogs will die just be- the dogs into a cage for a face off. cause the owner was stupid.  “I’ve seen pit bulls used as bait dogs When someone gets in your face, with over 50 puncture wounds on you feel threatened, correct? Yes. Be- their face alone, become dog friendly, cause that is your personal space and and a great cuddle dog. Gracie, a black when someone is threatening your pit bull, was one of these dogs. She space, you want them out. Well, dogs came to the shelter completely torn can’t talk like in the Disney movies, to shreds. She is currently in a home so their defense is to bite. You know with a young man, who runs her daily, how to solve this? Don’t get into any plays cuddles, and just loves her. Bedog’s face, no matter how nice they fore this home, she was housed with are or how well you know them. You other pit bulls, labs, and terriers, all of won’t get bit. which got along fine,” stated Gracie. Another thing is that my friend Gracie works for the Pit Bull rescue saved a pit bull puppy from someone and owns four pit bulls herself. Some who was mistreating him. They were other Famous people that own Pit feeding him only whole jalapeno pep- Bulls are Mark Twain, Jessica Beil and pers and giving him no water, making Rachel Ray. the dog mean and angry. He saved “The only problems my dogs have him and now his name is Kelso. The are against cats.” says Erin LaPera. puppy rehabilitated quickly and now Erin has three children, all young, and you can’t see a single rib on the cute hasn’t been bitten once. Trustworthy little tummy; he loves people and to dogs? Yes. By Savannah Young Messenger Staff Writer



Volume XXXVII Issue 3 October 9, 2009

Club sports take toll on student athletes

Students participation requires student sacrifices of time and money

By Kathryn Reale Messenger Staff Writer

a big sacrifice. Senior Volleyball player Colleen Staffor d has played year round volleyball since middle school. She plays for the Nor ther n California Volleyball Club (NCVC) which plays at competitive tour naments vir tually ev er y weekend in the spring. She knows all too well the

to kee p up with my school work at times,” said Staf ford. Man y student athletes “School work is also a rear en’t only balancing a high sult of constant play. Being school spor t, but a club at tour naments ever y week spor t as well. It is a chal end, sometimes in places leng e enough to play a high out of state such as Spo school spor t ever yday with kane, Washington and Las practices and g ames, but Veg as, Nevada. Students with club added into the ar e g reatly affected when it mix it poses as a whole comes to g etting home new area of time man “I didn’t get to go to Prom work done or hanging ag ement for athletes. out with friends. Constantly playing last year and I don’t get Senior Carolina a spor t year around Liemola is a competi is becoming a trend to go to Ashland this year tive dancer for Pamelot among many at Placer because I have competiDance Company. She High School. Most club tions. I miss out on football also experiences the spor ts alter nate be tween high school sea - games and hanging out with busy life dancing takes on her life sons and club seasons, friends.” “I dance Mondays but some may overlap. from 4:30 to 8:30, W hether it is through -Carolina Liemola, Senior Tuesdays from 3:30 to tr youts or playoff 9, Wednesday I have g ames, some students re percussions that club has free, T hursdays from 3:30 may be playing club and on her. to 9 and sometimes I have school spor ts at the same “It really affects my social rehearsals on Saturdays and time. Club spor ts also ef life because I lose a lot of Sundays,” Liemola said. fect an athlete’s time and is my weekends and it’s hard With her g r ueling sched -

Fantasy Football popular among students and teachers By Zac Hersh Messenger Staff Writer

Fantasy football is taking off in the United States and at Placer High School fantasy football is not only used by students but it is gaining popularity with the teachers as well. Colin Cowherd of ESPN said “more than 27 million players play fantasy football. They spend an average of nine hours a week (during football season... playing fantasy football).”So what is fantasy football and why it is gaining so much popularity? First off what is Fantasy football, fantasy football is an online game that allows fans “owners” to take part in professional football by creating their own team and competing with teams built by other “owners”. Fantasy football allows fans to create their own roster of players by drafting them from real NFL teams they then compete based on those players’ real-life performances in NFL games. The way to win is based on a point system based on the players you drafted performances. So why would you play fantasy football? Fantasy football allows anyone to experience what its like to be a real NFL owner. Fantasy football can be a free experience that everyone can enjoy epically

if you win unlike Larry Albert’s “I always come in last”. So how does this work?. The way Fantasy football works is it tracks the stats that your players accumulated in their game and compares them to the other owners point total. Fantasy football tracks the statistics for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, kickers and entire defenses and special teams. Each of the statistics is given a point value, and the way you can win is based on the total number of points for your team exceeds the total for the team or teams you’re competing against. The results are then posted in league standings throughout the course of a 17-week NFL season. However a big downfall for fantasy football is time “Its fun to play when you have time and not a lot of people have time”. Said Tanner Jay Sophomore. Although now time is not as big as a factor as it used to be because you can now check you fantasy football team on your phone were ever you are “I play four hours a week because I can check it on my phone.” Said Jordan Ralls sophomore. So if you looking for a great way to participate in pro sports then fantasy football is for you.

ule, Carolina experiences the loss of weekend plans and big school events on a daily basis. “I didn’t g et to g o to Prom last year and I don’t g et to g o to Ashland this year because I have competitions. I miss

Senior Brooke Bendorf plays club Soccer for Au bur n Soccer Academy (ASA) is one of the players striv ing for the higher level of play at colleg e level. “I’m thinking of playing at Sier ra for a year then trans fer ring and maybe playing “It really affects my social at San Dieg o,” life because I lose a lot of my Bendorf ex weekends and it’s hard to keep plained. Club is an imup with my school work at por tant aspect for future play times.” of any spor t - Colleen Stafford, Senior you are par tic ipating in. Al though playing a year ar ound out on football g ames and spor t is a sacrifice, the re hanging out with friends.” Sur prisingly, a lot of stu - sults of constant activity dents miss their proms and improve your g ame and pre dances to club spor ts. Un - pare you for each season to for tunately, memories made come. In the long r un, club at prom are sacrificed for spor ts and school spor ts doing a spor t that they love push you towards a brighter and hope to play at a higher future in your spor t. level someday.


Volume XXXV1 Issue 3 October 9, 2009


Athlete of the Issue: Michaela Leonard By Nicole Parish Messenger Staff Writer

Being an underclassman in high school is tough, however for sophomore Michaela Leonard who plays on the Varsity Girls Volleyball team, the transition has been an easy one. Michaela stepped on the court in the beginning of 5 th grade tr ying out for the St. Josephs volleyball team. She was a natural at the sport and continued playing year after year. Today Michaela has frequently been starting on the Varsity volleyball team as a sophomore and has been working hard and stepping up her game this season. “Playing on Varsity is definitely a different experience. The play is quicker, the girls hit harder and faster. You have to step up your game to keep up them,” Leonard exclaimed. Michaela had told the Hillmen Messenger that she was exceedingly surprised on making Varsity because she had heard that they were not

bringing anybody up. Michaela’s skills had impressed Varsity coach Jen Wright and even though lots of girls had tried out, Michaela had a definite spot on the team. “Michaela deser ves to be on Varsity. She’s a star athlete and is only going to get better from here. I’m excited to see her play her senior year,” teammate Julia Dorsey said. She is treated like a part of the team and is always being encouraged. Michaela’s situation is a good example on proving that hard work and following your dreams can make you a winner. A winner is a dreamer who never quits,

and Michaela definitely has not quit or let up at any point of time. She has been playing

6 years of school and 4 years of club. The clubs she has played for were Norcal Select and NCVC.

“I’m hoping to get a college scholarship for volleyball since I’ve worked so hard

making new friends and a new experiences with the playesr on Varsity. One of the things Michaela misses from years past is the girls she played with last year on the freshmen team. The girls on JV this year are Michaela’s core group of friends at school. “I’m going to miss the bonding experiences with them,” she exclaimed. It’s an honor to be in the position Michaela is in and actually be able to play in the game. Volleyball is an intense sport; it takes a lot of hard work and dedication just like any other sport. Especially for volleyball, you don’t have to be tall or as fast, you just have to have the skills. And Michaela Leonard is definately one of the volleyball players who excells in ever ything that she does. Her future for volleyball is Photo Credit: Nicole Parish a promising one to look for and spent in the years to come. a lot of money already,” said Michaela. She’s looking forward to

Cheerleading: the most dangerous sport? By TaNee Edwards Messenger Staff Writer

You’ve all seen them. Those crazy girls in short skirts that sport the schools colors and yell “Go, fight, win!” That’s right, they are your cheerleaders. You see them, watch them, maybe even loathe them, but did you know that cheerleading is responsible for 65.1% of female injuries in schools across America? It’s true. After all, cheerleaders stunt, which means girls are being thrown into the air by other girls. It’s no wonder they’re always hurt. And then there is the whole concept of tumbling. Back tucks and flip flops and round offs; they all entail jumping with your feet above your head. Sometimes, though, girls under or over rotate and it results in an injury. Take our squad here at Placer. In the last few months alone we have had broken wrists, sprained wrists and ankles, backs that have been tweaked and faces that have been smacked, smashed, punched; you name it, they hurt it. Concussions are a common injury in this unofficial sport. According to an article on sports

injuries, cheerleading has the fastest growing injury record of all female sports. This article did a run down on the injuries that most commonly occur in cheer. In order from greatest to least, strains and sprains take over with a huge 52.4% of cheer injuries. Next, an injury to soft tissue is about 18.4%. Factures take about 16.4%. The list goes on. Freshman cheerleader Ashley Massa says that cheerleading is one of the most dangerous sports out there. “It’s not just one of those frilly little sports people seem to think it is. We don’t just jump around in short skirts and pompoms. We actually work hard and don’t just sit around. And sometimes people get hurt; it’s just part of cheer.” She continued to say, “The reason we get hurt so much in cheer is because we are not seen as a sport. We don’t get the mats or facilities needed to ensure we aren’t hurt. It’s not like Bring it On; this is real.” Most of the stunts done in the Bring it On movies are illegal and highly dangerous. In the movies, they use professional cheerleaders. It is unrealistic to have high

school students pulling off the stunts they do, especially when they encourage those kinds of stunts to be done. Cheerleaders risk their lives when they pull the stunts and tricks that they do, but some have stated that they do it because it is what the crowd wants. Senior cheerleader, Bailey Potts said, “We want to please the crowd with what we do and we do what it takes. We want to give the crowd what they want to see, which is cooler, more exciting stunts. Sure, it takes a lot, but it’s worth it.” There are, however, ‘illegal’ stunts in c h e e r l e a d i n g. Some on the list include back flip basket tosses, the helicopter toss, three high pyramids and anything

where the head drops below the waist while not ‘attached’ in some way to your base or spots. Megan Peak , a senior this year on the squad does, not only Placer cheer but Power cheer as well, which is an elite competition squad. “We were working a stunt and my flier came down wrong. I ended up breaking my wrist from that stunt, which affected

my performance not only at Power, but at school, too.” Cheerleading is an athletic sport that competes, practices and even has to get sports physicals at the beginning of the season. Because cheerleading is not considered a sport, these cheerleaders are not given the materials they need to be safe and protected.



Volume XXXVII Issue 3 October 9, 2009

Rock paper scissors tournament this Monday By Amy Van Groningen News Editor

Last year, the yearbook staff put on a rock paper scissors tournament to raise money. Charging only one dollar, the fundraiser was a raging success with around 250 students entering. The winning student won a free yearbook. However, this year, students can enter the tournament with no charge. Yearbook editor, Heather Johnston, explained, “We charged people last year, but no one really paid.” Despite this, the student body really enjoyed the tournament, especially with the final face off at a rally. Students cheered for their representing class member, and got really into it. “We just decided to make it free and fun. We want to get the yearbook more involved with homecoming this year in order to promote it.” Johnston continued. Last years winner, junior Brendan Chang shows examples of rock, paper, and scissors. Brendan Chang, was excited fame,” he commented. Monday, October 12 th in the by his victory. “Everybody The tournament begins on Lower Gym. Students will deserves their 15 minutes of

one senior, one junior, one sophomore, and one freshman will duke it out during a homecoming rally. First, the senior and junior will play each other, and the freshman and sophomore will battle. The two remaining winners will then finish it out. Competition is high, and students at Placer get really pumped about winning. So what tips do last year’s champion offer? “Observe your opponents and see if they have any patterns. If they have any patterns, try to counter the pattern,” Chang advised. Patterns are hard to avoid, and in the end, everyone has a favorite play. “I like scissors,” Chang claimed. “I’m Chinese, so I like the Chinese cut!” So, on Monday, bring your game face and prepare to battle it out in an epic tournament of rock Photo credit: Amy Van Groningen paper scissors. battle only other students in their own grade. In the end,

Hillmen Messenger online Studies reveal facts about offers extra content working mothers By Claire McCoy Messenger Staff Writer

The newspaper has been a part of society for many years and seems irreplaceable. The Hillmen Messenger produces appealing stories every two weeks and provides entertainment to students who take the time to read them. However, online websites that contain current news stories have become more popular. Many students are unaware of the website, thats contains all of the stories that are featured in the newspaper, and more. The website allows readers to comment and post their opinion. Students can express their opinions to their friends but that is different than posting their opinion online. By posting it online, the writers can receive constructive criticism on the stories that they wrote. Alyssa Morford, a junior, visited the website last year after seeing the advertisement in the newspaper. “I forgot to get a paper one day, so I just went online and read the stories,” she said. Alyssa describes the website as a great use to students and she is sure that she will go onto it several times this year. Many students don’t know about the website, but Alyssa stated that, “If they knew about it, then it would be more convenient and it would save paper.” Mai Vu, a junior, had never heard about the website and said, “I sometimes read the paper depending on whether or not I’m interested in the title of the story.” There are students at Placer High School who don’t have access to internet outside of school.

“Some people don’t have internet, so if they wanted to read it online, they couldn’t,” she commented. Vu prefers getting the paper at school, but she now knows about the website that includes the same content. doesn’t just contain the stories and photos that were featured in the most recent paper; the site contains polls and several photo albums, as well. Viewing photos online as opposed to just seeing them in the newspaper is a better option because they are in color online, rather than black and white. Picture albums from last year events are currently still present on the website and can be viewed. Recent photo albums from this current year include photos taken by Ian Bechler from the 49er fire. More recent photos include some from the 49er fire fundraiser. Online photo albums also give the other schools the opportunity to view our campus and recent activities. Besides stories and photos, the website includes a weekly updated poll.

These polls give students the choice to answer a question and see how other students responded. There are polls about current activities or issues on campus that give the messenger staff an idea of what the student body believes. Polls are also a good opportunity to bring issues or events that are unknown to students. On the website, there are numerous links that can show viewers the weather, offer an email subscription to the newspaper and provide a direct link to, which is a news based website designed for students. Overall, students and parents can view stories and photos, comment stories, respond to polls and follow links. The Hillmen Messenger will always supply well-written content about current issues and events and have high-quality photos but the online website is available with the same information and more. Students that have never visited the website should look it up and see what is new and upcoming on Placer High School’s campus.

By Shannon Harcus Messenger Staff Writer

The results of a study done by the Institute of Child Health show that those children with working mothers tend to be more unhealthy. The study shows that this is because the children are more likely to watch more television, consume more junk food and soda, and exercise less. The study also found that children with working mothers had a greater likelihood of becoming overweight or obese by the time they turn three. This is probably because the children in the study with working mothers were more likely to consume chips and sugary foods instead of healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables. They also averaged more time in front of the computer or television than children whose mothers didn’t work. Professor Catherine Law who led the study, told BBC Health News that the most likely reason for this trend is that “time constraints may limit parents’ capacity to provide their children with healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.” However, every individual family is different, and these trends were shown in the study that included only 12,500 families with children under the age of five. The outcome of this study has many factors influencing it, so there is no way for it to be completely accurate. Many Placer students feel that this study is neither relevant nor truthful. Kelsey Johnson, whose mother worked throughout her childhood,

feels that “my mother working didn’t affect my health negatively…I didn’t eat healthy meals as a child, but it wasn’t because of my mom; it was because I was a bratty little kid!” Amanda Shattuck, whose mother also worked stated “I don’t think my mother working had anything to do with whether I ate unhealthy food or not, but I understand where they’re coming from.” Even students, whose mothers didn’t work, like Phillip Ballew, feel that this study isn’t exactly true. The blanket statements that the study is making about children whose mother’s don’t work don’t necessarily apply to ever child. For example, many young children are extremely picky about eating healthy food, and whether their mothers work or not will not change that. Also as far as exercise goes, Ballew explained that “I was not concerned about exercising when I was three,” and all in all he feels that his mother staying home with him didn’t have a positive or negative effect on his health. “I think people should focus studies on things that actually matter.” In this day and age, it is extremely common and financially necessary for mothers to work, and the study is not trying to discourage mothers from being employed. This study is supposedly the first in many steps to provide working mothers with simple yet effective ways to improve their children’s diets and increase their activity levels, hopefully making for healthier kids.

Hillmen Messenger Issue 3  

The Hillmen Messenger is the official newspaper of Placer High School

Hillmen Messenger Issue 3  

The Hillmen Messenger is the official newspaper of Placer High School