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Saints Flag Flies Over Grover Jones Field

“Hot Rod” Flies

The Pine Needle

Volume XCII

Richmond, Virginia

November 2010

New Schedule

Her Story

Still in Flux

By Jabriel Hasan Senior Editor, Features

By Alex Beale

Her biggest concern was that she wouldn’t be able to raise her kids. Mrs. Woodaman has cold agglutinin disease (CAD), as well as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), an illness which she has termed the “Cadillac” of blood cancers, because it affects mainly 72-year old-men. She is a 43-year-old woman. Not only is it uncommon for leukemia patients to develop cold agglutinin disease, but it is a disease that is arguably more uncomfortable on a daily basis than leukemia. Ever noticed how Mrs. Woodaman is constantly wrapped up in heavy winter hats and scarves when the coldest weather has yet to arrive? This is one of the side effects of cold

Sophomore Contributor

In a recent newsletter to parents, Upper School head Tony Szymendera expressed his concern of six months ago – or even six weeks ago – about how the new schedule, as well as a new calendar and new courses, would be received. “The worry was how much would go wrong, how would we fix it mid-stream, and how would I communicate all of that in way that would reassure you that we really do know what we’re doing most of the time,” he wrote in the newsletter. “A good, strong six to seven weeks into the school year, however, I am feeling much, much better.” We are quickly approaching the end of the semester. It is apparent that students and teachers alike are enjoying the new schedule.

See Woodaman, Page A2

See Schedule, Page A2

INSIDE: Photo Essays

Number 3

Senior Tailgate 2010, A4 Saints Sport Pink, A5

Spirit Week INSIDE, A5

McVey, Parrish Return for Final Farewell to Dining Hall By Ben Resnik Senior Editor, Online

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, an era officially came to an end, as legendary former Headmaster George McVey and retired Lower School teacher Sally Parrish returned to the Williams cafeteria to enjoy a final meal before its demolition. The former headmaster arrived, colorful bow-tie perfectly arranged, to a warm greeting from faculty and

cafeteria staff alike. Heads turned as he collected his lunch, which was, in typical McVey fashion, small, and composed largely of vegetables. Mr. McVey and Mrs. Parrish were joined by Chaplain Melissa Hollerith, Mr. Rich Hudepohl, Mr. Tony Szymendera, Mr. Jack Bolling and current Headmaster Charley Stillwell. At Mr. McVey’s request, the cafeteria menu for that day included pizza bagels,

an old favorite. The group dined on a white tablecloth and reminisced about the school’s past. The table itself was covered with reminiscences. Among other relics was a dusty trophy, with “Trike Race 1991” emblazoned on it. Mr. McVey had won a faculty race at Fall Festival that year, though, as the man confessed for the first time, he had cheated – he See McVey, Page A2

Meet Boo Boo INSIDE, A5

a miracle “ Itshewaswalked away...

Do you text and drive? INSIDE, A7



Schedule Continued from A1

Currently, administration is exercising a modification to the schedule. The weekly rotation as opposed to the daily rotation should minimize confusion and create more consistency. At first it seemed as if no one welcomed the idea of the blocks and rotating periods; people don’t like change. “The response so far has been very positive about the changes,” said Mr. Szymendera. “I think the students enjoy the change of pace in the school days, and I think that the teachers are able to have some neat experiences during the block periods.” Although there are many changes for the better, senior Ben Thompson pointed out a detrimental revision exclusively for the seniors. “There is no longer an extended lunch period,” he said. “From now on, seniors won’t have the privilege to eat off campus.” But students not affected by this change are excited about block periods. “I think the block is great,” said freshman Alec Ball. “Now we have time to do stuff that we didn’t have time to do before.” Recently, a random sum

of 25 students took a survey and nearly all were in favor of the new schedule. “The block schedule makes the week go by so much faster,” said sophomore Andrew Fernandez. On the other hand, changes have forced teachers and students to adjust their usual routines. Mr. Jay Wood offered a good insight to the pros and cons of the new schedule from the point of view of a coach and teacher, two roles that require an enormous time commitment. “This fall I have been overwhelmed by how many classes I have missed,” said Mr. Wood. “In the past Mr. Johns did an incredible job scheduling so that teachers who coach would have classes at the beginning and middle of the day.” For more than 20 years Mr. Wood went without having a sixth or seventh period class. Now, he has had to miss an absurd number of classes compared to previous years. “After being here for 23 years, it’s as if it’s my first year teaching,” he said. However, Mr. Wood shares a common opinion with the majority of the Upper School populace. “I’ve especially enjoyed some of the block periods,” he said.

The Pine Needle Staff Kurt Jensen Editor-in-Chief

Senior Editors

Wells Baylor, News Jack Borkey, Sports Jabriel Hasan, Features Ben Resnik, Online Senior Contributors Scott Anonick Jamie Ball Stephen Wood

Junior Contributors

Cameron Barlow Harrison Houlihan Will Turner Ned Valentine

Sophomore Contributors Alex Beale Andrew Gilmore

Freshman Contributor Alec Ball

For up to date news, opinions and humor, as well as old print editions,

The Pine Needle: Online CONTACT US:

Phone: (804) 282 - 3185 ext. 4426 Email:

Faculty Advisor

Mrs. Kathleen Thomas Publications Consultant Mr. Greg Weatherford


McVey Continued from A1

took the trike home the night before and greased the gears. Time heals all wounds, though, and the other faculty seemed unbothered at the almost twodecade old game-rigging. From the start of the meal, Mr. McVey’s famously cantankerous personality asserted itself. The former headmaster, who once expelled a student for fakesneezing during a hymn, called out Mr. Hudepohl for not wearing his suit jacket and rolling up his sleeves. “Things are getting lax,” said Mr. McVey, remarking that teachers were dressed informally, and that he had seen students walking on the grass, both of which were deadly offenses during his time as headmaster. The times have indeed changed since Mr. McVey

November 2010


retired in 1997. When he left, the cafeteria was still old, but the Coca Cola-labeled drink machines that flank the Main Ingredient actually dispensed soda. The absence of the soda seemed to perplex Mr. McVey. “What is that blue drink there?” asked Mr. McVey to Mr. Stillwell, motioning towards the cup of Powerade in the current headmaster’s hand. The cafeteria staff had made special arrangements to provide McVey with a can of Coke at the lunch. The conversation around the table largely revolved around St. Chris football. Mr. McVey, who was present at the very first St. Chris – Collegiate game back in 1962, and whose grandson, Harrison is a long snapper, has a close connection to the school’s athletics. Eventually though, the discussion changed to the building that would soon replace the cafeteria. As Mr. Szymendera described the

new building, Mr. McVey’s face was inscrutable. When the description was finished, the man replied only, “One of the reasons this place works so well is there’s no place to hide.” Finally, the meal drew to a close, and the group of old friends prepared to disperse. Their departure marked the end of an era for St. Christopher’s – the pantheon had met one final time to celebrate the history of a building that had once sat on a swamp, and whose continued existence had depended on the love and care of the community as it grew and changed over the years. Mr. McVey put his empty plate in the dirty dishes tray as thousands of students and faculty had done for decades past. Though the Williams Dining Hall will soon be gone, the stories and memories of those who lived and ate in it will live on long after the building has been replaced.

Moustaches for Kids?

Keep an eye on your favorite teacher or coach’s upper lip. Maybe it’s just the latest fashion statement, or maybe it’s for charity! Stay tuned for more.

Woodaman Continued from A1

agglutinin. The cold is almost like poison, so to speak, to people who have this disease. It can so rapidly kill red blood cells that it could cause the host to fall into a coma. Any cold exposure to the extremities -- toes, fingers, even the nose -- and they turn blue. Temperatures from 65 to 70 degrees, weather that isn’t necessarily considered cold in Richmond, is Mrs. Woodaman’s danger zone. She figured out that she had CAD after continuously turning blue in the spring, but learning about her leukemia diagnosis was decidedly more difficult. “It was over the phone,” she said. “I was shocked…of course you’re disappointed. You’re hurt.” Thankfully, the worst part of the type of leukemia that she is stricken with is also the best part. Chronic is the key term. The cancer moves slowly, which means that she has at least another 25 years to live, 10 years more than the average life expectancy of the adult males affected. There is no cure for this type of leukemia, so she will battle this for another two-and-a-half

decades at least. But there’s hope. “I don’t stress about it for two basic reasons,” she said. “If I can’t control something, I don’t stress out about it, and two: I trust science. I have an immense amount of optimism. The bottom line is that I get to raise my kids.” Mrs. Woodaman has learned that are two types of illness, one of which is being sick. The other type is simply harboring an illness. “I see myself as a healthy person who has to harbor an illness that I have to contend with at some point, but I don’t see myself as a sick person,” she said. “In keeping with Elsa’s approach to most things in her life, she has met this challenge with dignity and humor,” said Mrs. Karen Wray. “With such a positive attitude and with lots of support from friends and family, I know that Elsa will win the battle set before her.” She has yet to go through chemotherapy. “There is no advantage to early treatment,” she said. After three to five chemotherapy procedures, the cancerous cells become immune to the treatment , and thankfully there is no rush for her to get it. While she waits, St. Chris-

topher’s has been here to comfort her. She received a gift bag in chapel containing all of the essentials: a St. Chris hat, blanket and glove set. Numerous students, faculty and staff also participated in the recent Light the Night Walk in honor of victims and survivors of leukemia. “Just to see all the faces—that people care enough for any cause, whether I’m involved or not… It’s just very impressive that young people will give up their time to do such things for others,” she said. The woman with two chronic diseases, a husband who has also battled cancer twice and heaters in her bathroom and desk to stay warm is still happy. “There’s no greater gift than facing your own mortality,” she said. “It really makes you appreciate everything. It just goes to show you what idiots we humans are. We should be able to appreciate life without something hanging over our heads.” She concluded our interview by telling me about her gray, cone shaped nose warmer. She might just put whiskers on it.


November 2010



Track Looks to Win Again By Cameron Barlow Junior Contributor

Saints Defeat Cougars On Their Turf

Can’t Convert in Playoffs By Jack Borkey Senior Editor, Sports

The longer you wait for something, the sweeter it is. Marshall Hollerith dove his way into the end-zone to give the Saints a 35-28 wins over the Collegiate Cougars. The win was the Varsity players’ first against the Cougars, breaking a sixyear drought. Up by 21 late in the third quarter, the Saints survived a furious comeback. The Saints defense came up huge at the start of the second half, creating two turnovers in under three minutes. A fumble recovery by junior Landrum Tyson and an interception by senior Patrick Martin led to two quick touchdowns for the Saints. A run by senior Rob Vozenilik and a 52yard catch by Senior Brody Hingst put the Saints up, 14-0. Another short touchdown run by Vozenelik launched the already excited crowd into a wild frenzy. “It was the most exciting game I’ve ever been to,” senior Kurt Jensen said. “The [team] really had the crowd going,” The Saints were cheered on by a rowdy crowd full of students and alumni. With the help of Student Council, the passion for Saints football was born again. Towards the end of the third quarter, Collegiate rallied, and following a series of questionable calls and Saint miscues, the Cougars tied the game at 21-21. The Saints, however, never lost hope, and were determined to end the six-year losing streak. After touchdowns by each team, the fourth quarter ended in a deadlock, and the game headed to overtime.

Due to the anticipation and the tense rivalry of the two teams, overtime seemed appropriate. Collegiate won the coin toss and elected to defend first, thus giving the Saints the ball first. The Saints made the Cougars regret their decision with Hollerith’s 2-yard touchdown run. After Williamson’s successful extra point, the ball was handed over to Collegiate. On their possession, the Cougars looked rattled and struggled under the deafening noise of the visiting crowd. Costly penalties forced them into a crucial fourth and goal situation. Heavy pressure caused Collegiate quarterback Wilton Speight to force up a pass into the end zone, which was picked off by Martin. The interception set off celebration that was six years coming. Just like the Saints six years back, students rushed the field to be with their victorious Saints. The Saints offense was led by Vozenelik’s four touchdowns (one passing), as well as junior Miles Jackson’s 71 yards on 12 carries. Hingst led the Saint receivers with 52 yards on one catch, followed by Julius Moore, who had 46 yards on two catches. Senior Thompson Brown led the Saint defense with eight tackles, including three sacks. The solid defense was also helped by Tyson, who had seven tackles and a fumble recovery, and Patrick Martin, who added two interceptions. The Saints went on to play the Cougars again in the State semi finals, however they fell 28-16. Despite the loss, the defeat of Collegiate at their field, will be a fond memory of Saints for


The Indoor Track team is looking to win its second Prep and State Championships in three years. To do this it will need to use its experience, depth and potential for breakout seasons by several members of the team. Captains Ben Constable and Jamie Ball lead a middistance and long-distance group ready to be great. “The mid-distance group will be as good as anyone this year,” said Coach Marshall Ware. “We have a lot of depth there.” Along with junior Aoky Sarhan and sophomore Will Bruner, the mid-distance and long-distance groups look to score big points this season. “We lost guaranteed sprint points last year with the loss of Hiter and Kurt,” said Coach Ware. This year the sprinters are led by juniors Keaton Hillman, who ran in the record- breaking 4x200 race last year, Miles

Jackson, Julius Moore and Douglass James, who look to improve upon their personal bests last year and score important points in all of the meets. There is plenty of experience and depth in field events this year. “I think Douglass James is poised for a breakout season in the jumping events,” said Coach Ware. James, an all-Prep triple jumper last year, will look to improve upon his mark last year in the triple and high jumps. Juniors Moore and Hillman also will provide big points in the high and long jumps this year, especially with the help of the new coach, Mr. Nunley. Senior Andre Aganbi and junior Jim Partee lead the shotputters this season. Pole vault is still a strong suit of the team, even with the loss of junior Jack McDowell, to a broken arm. Juniors Chip Wigginton and Jesse White will pick up the slack. With depth and experience, the Indoor Track team looks to have a great season.

Photos | Kurt Jensen, Editor-in-Chief years to come. To Vozenelik, beating the Cougars was the pinnacle of his time playing as a Saint. “[It was] the greatest win I’ve had in my career,” Vozenelik said, “and it wouldn’t have been possible without the entire team’s effort and focus on the field,” The Saints Varsity football team finished their season 6-5, while going 2-3 in the Prep League. With low expectations at the beginning of the year, the Saints fought hard and would eventually have one of their best seasons in recent years. Captiain Vozenelik was most proud of his team’s perseverance and drive thoughout the year. “Going in to the season, no one expected us to, [but] we believed in ourselves and executed when it mattered,” he said. “We believed if we worked and prepared well, then it would translate to success on the field, and it did.”

Cross Country’s Strong Finish

By Wells Baylor Senior Editor, News

Varsity Cross Country’s season boiled down, not to the meets but to the team itself. As in previous years, the team was oriented more socially than competitively. “As a team, we are more of a cohesive unit, both during and after workout,” said Henley Hopkinson ’11. More than ever before, the team worked together, not against each other. And the spirit continued on and

off the paths. “There is no difference in and out of athletics,” said Jamie Ball ’11. James Busch ’11 agreed saying, “We are all friends.” Although camaraderie played a central role this year, the cross country team also managed to pull off an impressive 7-4 season under the leadership of senior captains Jamie Ball, James Busch and Stephen Wood. The team had strong showings at the Maymont Cross Country Festival and Preps, going on to place fourth in States.

Williams ’13 Soars at “Excite Night” By Jack Borkey Senior Editor, Sports

The first annual “Excite Night” lived up to its name. Taking a page from his Duke Blue Devils, Head Coach Hamill Jones wanted a night in which to introduce his team to its fans, all in the name of fun. The night contained a plethora of activity, including an inter-squad scrimmage, a dunk contest and a half court shootout. The main event, however, was the one-on-one match between senior Peter Dorsey and sophomore Rodney Williams. Dorsey, with almost no experience playing organized basketball, looked lost and Williams took off from the foul line but fell short.

See Basketball, Page A4



November 2010

Senior Tailgate 2010

Photos | Kurt Jensen, Editor-in-Chief

Casey Fox and Peter Dorsey are serious about their tailgating.

Honorary Senior for the day, Marshall Mayhew had the grill on lock down. Trey Tarr’s perfect form couldn’t quite clinch the win for blue.

War paint needs that feminine touch.

Basketball Continued from A3

confused against the taller Williams, who actually plays basketball. After a thunderous dunk by Williams that ended the match 3-0, Dorsey walked off the court dazed, but he held his head high. The effort was valiant, but the result was deciding. The inter-squad scrimmage involved both the St. Christopher’s Varsity team and the St. Catherine’s team. Highlights included a nifty basket by junior Jermaine Johnson, a barrage of threes by the Lady Saints and a monstrous alley-oop by Rodney Williams, assisted by senior Corey Dalton. Rust was evident, but the Saints show a ton of potential and are sure to have a great year. The dunk contest was, not surprisingly, won by Williams; however, Jack English put a scare into his fellow sophomore with a gutsy performance. Williams’s dunks included a leap over his own cousin and then throwing it down. By Andrew Gilmore Sophomore Contributor

Kernodle also managed to get air.

A true David and Goliath story... but Goliath won. Peter Dorsey fell to Williams 3 - 0.

After a several high scoring dunks by English, Williams clinched the contest when he dunked two balls at once. The half-court contest was held for junior and senior fans only, and Mr. Jones made it interesting when he made the prize a crisp $50 bill. After several rounds of misses, some not

even close, others inches short, senior David Wesley finally sank the $50 shot. The first annual Excite Night was attended by a wide spectrum of fans, from fifth graders to seniors, and gave a glimpse of the team to be. Williams proved to be the breakout star, but other

players like Robert Kernoldle and Rob Vozenelik, who won the three point contest, are poised to have great seasons. Photos | Kurt Jensen, Editor-in-Chief Williams’s final dunk slammed two balls at once.

Wrestling Under New Management

With the addition of new coach John Gordon and a young, athletic wrestling squad, expectations for Prepatory States run high for the Varsity wrestling team. At the conclusion of last year’s seventh place finish at Prep Nationals and our ninth consecutive Prep States win, the wrestling team focused its attention on next year. The graduation of seven seniors left 2010 with a relatively young and mildly inexperienced squad. Mr. Frank Kiefer, head Varsity wrestling coach, had to step down due to health problems. Almost immediately after, the nationwide search for a new head wrestling coach began. The school ultimately decided upon John Gordon, the head coach of Wyoming Seminary, a school ranked No. 2 in the country last season. Co-captain David Wesley said that Mr. Gordon is an “awesome and great guy” who will bring a “good private school wrestling program to one of the best in the country.” Coach Gordon plans to run the program more structurally than previous years. While he said the transition will be difficult, it will be worth it in the long run. Mr. Gordon aspires to keep the tradition going and believes that a tenth state title is possible even with the young talent of the squad. His goals for each wrestler are to “show up with a good attitude, and be ready to work hard with a mentality for getting better every day.” He believes that the results will follow through hard work.

“Gordon is a great coach with good credentials; he makes you want to [practice] for yourself,” Co-Captain Trey Tarr ’11 said. Mr. Gordon believes that the young team will be beneficial to the wrestling program’s future. Meanwhile, captains Tarr and Wesley ’11 will be expected to lead the team to victory, Coach Gordon believes that “On any given day, anyone is capable of getting a few good wins to help the outcome of the tournament.” William Kelly ’14, who transferred from The Collegiate School, is a highly prospected young talent. “He is a student of the sport, has good technique, and has an opportunity to be a major contributor to this year’s squad,” said Mr. Gordon. Robert Janis ’13, who placed third at States last winter, is expected to be one of the best rising talents of this year’s team. Marshall Hollerith ’13, another young wrestler, stands out as one of the best upper weight wrestlers after the loss of senior talents Mark Burlee, Ted Gottwald, Chris Gill and Edward Custer. With the addition of Coach Gordon the team also suffered the loss of two great wrestling coaches who helped the team win its ninth consecutive title last year. Mr. Ray Baldwin left his position as assistant head coach to assume a head wres-

tling coach at another school. Adam Canady, who worked predominantly with the lightweights, moved to Canada for another job. Three coaches from last season’s team are returning and are looking to make an even greater impact on the wrestling program this year. Rob Prebish, who also works with the lightweights, is seen as more than just a coach to the team. Mr. Prebish is of vital importance to the wrestling team’s success, Tarr said. “Prebish is more than just a coach; he is a part of the St. Christopher’s community,” said Tarr. Returning Coach Matt Irwin, a VMI wrestling graduate, will return for another season to work with the heavyweights. Irwin’s brother, David Irwin, will make his debut for the St. Chris wrestling staff. Upper School Dean of Students Billy Abbott will make the switch as a JV wrestling coach after working with the Middle School wrestling squad for the past few years. Mr. Charlie Hudson, part-time assistant varsity wrestling coach, will now be the head coach of the Middle School team. Steve Sica, a knowledgeable wrestler and a first timer with St. Chris, will be the assistant coach of the Middle School program and stick around to help out with Varsity practices.


November 2010




Spirit Week

The New, Old Face of Student Council By Kurt Jensen Editor-in-Chief

The throaty rasp of Student Council President Farrar Pace’s spirited voice filled the chapel each morning during announcements. From Tuesday to Saturday, students dressed up, dressed down, amped up, broke down, and got psyched for the second annual Spirit Week. Casino Night, Dress Like a Cougar Day, Qdoba Night and Red and Gray Day all returned for another year. But the star of the show was a nighttime cookout and pep rally around a bonfire on Siegel Field, the brainchild of strong student leadership. The event had the makings of a tradition—creativity and strong student turnout. Spirit Week was far more than a string of wear-anything days and pep rallies. It injected school spirit back into an apathetic age. “It’s

in the name—spirit,” said Pace. “We’re trying to amp that up.” There were some mistakes made along the way— even the president would admit it wasn’t perfect. Some events weren’t properly advertised. “Nobody made an announcement,” said Senior Class President Peter Dorsey. “Casino Night and Dress Like a Cougar Day were underrepresented.” But overall, it was spirited, and it was a lot of fun. “It was almost as if, when I wasn’t at school, I wanted to be there,” said Pace. Most importantly, it worked. Tons of students showed up to the Nov 6 game against Collegiate. The Saints represented with a bigger and much louder student section than the Cougars—at their field. “It wasn’t just seniors,” said Pace. “It was everyone coming together. Spirit Week definitely served its purpose.”

The Crew’s Boo Boo

By Scott Anonick ’11 and Jack Borkey ’11

Since 1993, Boo Boo the cat has been making its home in the “Shed,” the home base of the St. Christopher’s maintenance crew. Her name perfectly describes her personality. “Everything she does is a boo-boo,” said veteran maintenance staffer Casey Jones. As the crew cleaned up the Monday following the 1993 Fall Festival, they came across an exhausted Boo Boo. The kitten, only weeks old, had been left behind from Betty Baugh’s petting zoo. The warmth and abundance of food convinced Boo Boo to become the cutest member of the St. Christopher’s community. The transition from the petting zoo to the “Shed” did not bode well for poor Boo Boo. Within the first few months, Boo Boo “burnt eight lives,” said Jones. Young Boo Boo was twice stuck in a tree. The first incident ended safely, but the next time proved disastrous. “She was hanging on by her front paws,” said Jones. Luckily, ol’ Boo Boo survived

the fall, losing only one of her nine lives. Some of Boo Boo’s other lives were lost after she was spun into a ditch by a speeding car, lost in a snowstorm and stuck in a pipe for a couple of days. Despite her constant wanderings, the maintenance crew trusts that Boo Boo can handle herself. They place a bowl of cat food every day and the security guards keep an eye out for her, but everyone respects her independence. “We don’t worry about her,” said Jones. “She’s definitely not a house cat.” Boo Boo hasn’t been the most fortunate cat in her 17 years. But due to the love and dedication of the maintenance crew, Boo Boo has become a staple of the community. Wanna-be maintenance member Rich Hudepohl praised Boo Boo, saying, “[she] has given back to the maintenance crew by bringing a touch of civility to the shop.” While the crew doesn’t always know what Boo Boo does while she is roaming around campus, one thing is for sure. “As soon as we pull in, she comes running from somewhere,” said Jones.

Varsity football won 3528 in overtime. The Saints rushed the field. Behind the festivities, Student Council excitedly orchestrated the first events of their turn-around year— President Pace holding the baton. Only recently has Student Council emerged as a productive force in the student body. Since the Perpetual Groove concert in 2008, the council has been known for occasional events—setting up and taking down dances, trying to bring a band—but Pace wanted this to change. Firstly, the council wanted to reintroduce some important ideals of student government. “One of our goals was to reestablish the idea that we’re a liaison—a connection between the students and the faculty,” said Pace. “We didn’t just want to

be the activity planners.” Expanding its role, Student Council got involved in talks about the disciplinary council, a relevant student issue that isn’t clearly defined. “It’s shrouded in mystery,” said Pace. “We’ve been hammering that out and talking to faculty.” Looking forward, the council hopes to build upon their early success. “We don’t want spirit to die off with the fall season,” said Pace. Monday night meetings will begin to focus on getting students excited for basketball games. From the budget skeleton presented to administration during summer talks, the council still has plenty of room for surprises under its collective sleeve. In the short term, the council hopes to advance talks about establishing a new senior lounge, now that the old one is being torn down with Herrington Hall. Early talks have raised the

idea of renovating the old storage room adjacent to the chapel. For the end of the year, the council hopes to host another big event, reminiscent of the senior class’s freshman year. “Something that just wows people, that really drives the stake—that’s our legacy,” said Pace. “Something big to show the students we love ’em.” From establishing traditions and inciting school spirit to introducing a new senior lounge, this year’s Student Council and senior leadership will definitively leave a mark on the school for years to come. “I want people to be able to point to stuff we did,” said Pace. But beyond the material, the council’s legacy will be its continued reputation. “The past couple of years we’ve been approaching that point where we really do change the perception,” said Pace.

Photos and Story by Alec Ball ’14 Silence fell as Jack Nester’s video on the effects of breast cancer in the St. Christopher’s community played. That video kicked off St. Christopher’s pink day, which was held in honor of Mrs. Varner and the St. Christophers Community’s battle with breast cancer. Then students donned their pink for the rest of the day. Outfits ranged from mildly tame to the insane (Houlihan). “I thought it was a beautiful representation of school spirit and people’s willingness to rally behind a cause,” said Ms. Varner. The pink day was popular, and I hope that the support against this horrible disease doesn’t end now, but carries on all year, and in years to come until a cure is found.

Saints Sport Their Pinks




November 2010


Artist Spotlight By Jabriel Hasan Senior Editor, Features

Jamie Ball: Shock Art

Jamie Ball may be an exception…to everything. Everything that he does, stands for, and wears is different from the rest, and everybody knows it. He doesn’t pay attention to politics and he could care less about what people think. “Jamie Ball is a living example of shock art,” his brother, freshman Alec Ball, says. It seems that he’s going to continue to shock us. The unconventional Jamie Ball was given the conventional name of James Churchill Ball Jr. on May 20, 1993. His father graduated from St. Christopher’s in 1982 and went on to work as a stock and investment advisor and his mother, Mrs. Jennifer Ball, is the interim head of the daycare center at Grace Covenant Church. Many would think that his seemingly conservative background would foster a boy very typical of St. Christopher’s. Not this time. “I don’t know. It’s not strange to me,” he says. “I just kind of do whatever I want.” Ball’s favorite style of music is glam metal, a genre created around 1980 almost exclusively by the band Mötley Crüe, and it seems that his entire life is influenced by it. In the past month, he’s had a bleach blonde Billy Idol cut, a Mohawk and a buzz cut. The trend of his school clothing tends to be a flannel shirt over a T-shirt paired with somber colored khakis that taper around black leather cowboy boots. However, according to the man himself, he is most comfortable in denim, leather and short shorts. “I generally avoid wearing shirts,” he says. For footwear, he enjoys wearing combat boots and red Converse high tops. “His clothes have gone from slightly rebellious to a blatant ignorance of the dress code,” says his brother, and they continue to be experimental. His family claims that he’s an exhibitionist, but Ball

doesn’t quite subscribe to this. “If I had my way, I’d be wearing denim and leather all the time,” he said. “But I can’t, so I just wear what I can find.” His plans for the near future are just as indecisive. He wishes to attend Flagler College in Florida. His backup plan is to volunteer for a year and then walk to San Francisco with junior Harrison Houlihan. “We decided that we didn’t care about possessions,” he said. “We decided that we just wanted to do what we wanted, so we decided to walk to San Francisco and pretty much live there for a couple of years and continue to Japan.” So what do his parents think of his decision? “They pretty much accept what I’m going to do,” he says. “I’m sure it made them happy that I was actually applying to a college.” Ball also has not-so-typical expectations for the distant future as well. “I know I don’t want children,” he says. “If I had children, they’d be adopted. As far as marriage goes, that’s nice, but it’s really not something I’m worried about. I’ll get to it when I get to it.” Ball didn’t want to be exactly like his parents. The idea of living in a new house, driving a new car or fitting in the mainstream doesn’t appeal to him, and though it may seem in the gente of Jack Kerouac, Ball declares that he is not a hippie. His favorite decade is actually the 1980s. He subscribes to the ideas of anarchy and anti-censorship, and he is anti-anti bad influences. But there’s another side to Ball also, the side that loves his school, his friends, and the cross country team that he captains. Not to be cliché, but he’s quite a dude. “There’s no place to start about Jamie Ball,” Alec says. “It’s impossible to describe him because everything about him, his character, his style…everything about him is original. It’s something that no one’s ever seen.”

Self Portrait

“I generally avoid wearing shirts.”

Ampersand’s “Little Shop” Breaks Records By Kurt Jensen Editor-in-Chief

Student Council President Farrar Pace asked students to violate fire codes at McVey Theater to rev up attendance at the first Ampersand musical in a decade. The show, “Little Shop of Horrors,” sold out two nights, and the other two showings filled the auditorium with friends, family and fellow students. The first night sell out of 500 people was a first in Ampersand’s history. The biggest audience of recent memory coupled with the biggest cast might nearly

have exceeded the fire code limit. Senior Ampersand member and male lead Ben Resnik couldn’t think of a better way to kick off his final year. “Everybody likes a musical because singing is awesome,” he said. The musical had been in the works since the second half of the previous school year. In the recent past, Ampersand has had too small a group and not enough singing talent to pull off such a big show. Resnik also commented on the uncertainty of whether the community would respond well to a musical performance.

But the response, like the singing, was awesome. “It was a jolt,” said Resnik. More than 1,800 people filed into the theater and up to the balcony to watch and hear a historic show—completely gorgeous from set and costume design to the voices of the company. Not only did the Ampersand regulars excel with the new style, but they also drew several new faces into the theater program. “I’m incredibly happy with the cast we had,” said Resnik. “I think the musical is going to help a lot in attracting new people.” Ampersand is already

planning another musical for next fall on the heels of such success. It’s rumored that this will be the recently popularized “Hairspray.” Ampersand’s next play, “Spoon River Anthology,” arranged and directed by Mr. Rusty Wilson, hopes to build on this gathering momentum. Music will again play a role. Already, there has been an influx of interest into the program. A greater number of students made their way to McVey to try out in the days following the performances. Even members of the tech crew decided to try their hand at acting.

ecause of failing to any dumber




1. A really expensive ticket 2. Higher insurance rates November 2010 3. Losing your driving privileges RS? 4. Losing your license een girls. Just bad 5. Seriously hurting a friend Kurt Jensen 6. SeriouslyBy hurting yourself Do you text and drive? Editor-in-Chief It takes momentto of negligence is a teen-led movement to raise aware7. Being sued and agoing court to change lives. It Foundation, takes a miracle to change minds. ness of the facts—when teens text and drive, reacIn October, my girlfriend turned her attention tion times become as slow as some senior citizens, 8. Damaging and for having to She paydrove for that it yourself fromproperty the road to school a moment. according to the University of Utah. The Virginia narrow road hundreds of times—she knew the turns Tech Transportation Institute and NHTSA found that would dart and care jut to keep you on your toes, the that texting and driving can increase the risk of 9. Killing somebody you about s the risk of a crash. overgrowth and deep ruts that wait for your wheel to crashing by 23 times. a few inches off the road. But statistics have little power to dissuade. The 10. Killing aslip stranger On a typical morning, her attention left the road sheer volume of texts we send as an age group—an along with the wheels on the right side. The shock of average of 2,272 text messages per month in 2008, a new balance her arms toas steer She saw a according to the Nielsen Company—contributes to a 11. Being arrested andtoldcharged a left. felon tree next—steer right. culture of texting at all times, no matter the situthe risk of a wreck. Upside-down, the hood of the car hit the ground ation. When mixed with driving, texting promotes 12. Serving and time in jail windows shattered. Then she flipped upright, dangerous, constant distractedness. Nonetheless, stopped. Bleeding, she grabbed at glass to climb teens often choose to incur the risks involved rather 13. Not being able to get into college because of a felony record upwards, outwards. than give up valuable social time. Remember me? I was in the 2007 yearbook with a friendly reShe stumbled across the ground, quickly but In my own experience, I’ve found myself making minder to buckle up! Whose car was I? limping, for a thejob phone that was thrown from potentially 14. Not being ablelooking to get because of a felony record dangerous mistakes while driving simthe car. She had been distracted, and those three ply because my mind is elsewhere. As young adults, in the car. Next time seconds could have been mortal. we generally understand the added risks of texting 15. Loss of one’s dreams, and reputation There’s a thin line one’s between future, life and death. Itone’s was while driving—our hands leaving the wheel and de up front a miracle she walked away on her feet, let alone our minds leaving the road—but we make a subpractically unscathed. More than 4,000 teens per conscious decision not to factor those risks into the with friends year aren’t so lucky. short-term. According to the Insurance Institute In the long term, the increased probability of a nd was driving for Highway Safety in a study from crash is economically and logically insane com-



Keep the Drive, Keep Teens Alive

A: Matthew Thompson ’07 ’s

2008, those fatal accidents make car crashes the leading cause of death for teenagers. That’s an average of 11 per day. And that’s not the whole story. In addition, 450,000 teens are injured in car crashes per year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Cars have gotten safer, but teen drivers haven’t gotten any better at avoiding accidents. Teens crash four times more often than any other age group, according to the insurance institute. So why are we teenagers more prone to car crashes? As an age group, you’d think we have the best reflex capacity of any group of drivers, but it doesn’t seem to translate into road safety. Relative inexperience could be a factor, but more significantly, our age group is more prone to distracted driving. This often translates directly into texting while driving., sponsored by the Allstate

pared with the relative benefits of texting. But we choose to ignore this obvious truth when we decide to avoid the minor inconvenience of putting down our cell phones. When we weigh the marginal benefits against the potential costs, there’s no fair comparison—staying in touch for an extra few minutes versus death, serious injury or significant monetary cost. Or in my case, telling my girlfriend I love her as she drives to school versus never being able to tell her ever again. As teenagers, changing our collective statistics begins with our everyday choices. It takes me seven minutes to drive to school on an average day. I don’t need to reach for my phone in that time. There’s no great need to incur such great risk. But it’s the simple, small moments of negligence that can impact our lives in powerful, terrible ways. After my girlfriend found her phone by the road, she called me. She told me she needed me, but she was alright. I could’ve lost her. Sometimes it takes a miracle.


e. Smart drivers

Alumni Spotlight Lisk ’10 Shares His Story By Matthew Lisk Class of 2010

First of all, taking AP Music Theory my senior year at St. Christopher’s was the best thing I could have done. Because of my AP test scores, I placed out of my entire freshman year of core music class requirements. I’m currently in music theory and ear training classes with sophomores. A total of 10 credits transferred from those test scores, which was really nice. My advice is to take advantage of certain classes that St. Christopher’s offers. If you know what you want to do in college, and the school offers a class in that subject, take that class. It will help a lot. St. Christopher’s taught me to do more than just what is required of you. Here at St. Rose, I’m a member of the Music Industry Club, MEISA. The club puts on shows and hosts open mic nights on campus. Since joining at the beginning of the year, I’ve worked at almost every show and open mic night, while also performing at every open mic. As I’ve been told by upperclassmen in the group, I’m the freshman that they know the most. I’ve put myself out there and done everything I can to be part of the club. Although you should strive to do your best in everything, it’s certainly easier when it’s something you’re passionate about. Overall, St. Christopher’s prepared me well for life after it, academically, socially and emotionally. I feel I know more and have a better handle on everything because of the school. I can manage my time, I can handle the workload, as difficult as it may be, and I can appreciate what I’m doing all at the same time. This article originally appeared as a blog on

This poor, neglected poll needs your input!

Senior Privileges Still in Question By Wells Baylor Senior Editor, News

I have gone here for 14 years. I have gone through the St. Christopher’s experience from start to finish. Only one thing is missing: senior privileges. Although it seems like a small point, the inability to drive off campus for long lunch is something that I have been looking forward to and feel like I have earned. From what I have heard, I

am not alone in that. Switching from trimesters to semesters is a logistical nightmare, but the schedule has been running smoothly since the year began. The entire schedule was revamped, and hiccups and changes are to be expected. Some things had to change with the schedule changes, but senior privileges do not need to be one of those things. Any senior can easily list off their own ideas of what privileges they should get, and their requests are not ridiculous. No senior should be automatically placed in block

period study halls. In freshman year, we were put in study hall in order to learn how to manage our time. After three years, for the most part, we have learned how to utilize a free period. The fear is that an hour and half may pose too great a temptation to not do what we are supposed to. Last year I had 4th and 5th free, which was over two hours free every day. Some may not be able to handle the freedom, but we should not all be put in study hall just in case some kids may misbehave. People should be placed in study hall as a punishment, not as a general rule. Long lunch should not be a huge problem. After X-term is over, 20 minutes could be taken from X period and put into lunch. This would allow seniors to drive off campus. Students may be removed from a class for an extra 20 minutes, but the shift should not be too jarring for the students to settle back into class. It is up to the student body and the class leaders to facilitate this discussion. I hope they incorporate some of these ideas into the conversation, and that the school does not need to close the door on senior privileges and the traditional St. Christopher’s experience. This article originally appeared as a blog on If you’d like to add your own ideas, send the editors an email at


The Back Page

Page from “30 Rock” (Jack McBrayer)

Mr. President (Farrar Pace)

The Happy Return of Look-alikes

[ The Pine Needle ] November 2010

Who Is It? By Stephen Wood Senior Contributor

Ringo Starr

Baylis Brown



Bill Cosby

Jabari Knight

For the week leading up to the regular season CollegiateSt. Chris football game, our school was a community searching for answers. Could we really beat the Cougs? Would the bonfire result in any injuries? Will they ever tear down the dining hall? But out of all these questions, this one was asked most of all: Who dat say dey gon’ beat dem Saints? Everyone was asking it. Peter Dorsey and Ward Wood screamed it repeatedly in Chapel. “Who is it who says that they will beat the Saints?” asked Mr. Smith, ever-mindful of the proper rules of English. “¿Quiénes son?” Mrs. Varner asked her class, “¿Que dicen que van a dominar a los Santos?” No one was sure. “I heard it was Trinity,” said one student. “That sounds like the kind of thing they would say.” We thought about asking Trinity if this was true, but we didn’t want to give them the impression that their rivalry with us was two-sided. “I heard it was Kevin [Whitehead] who said he would beat dem Saints,” said Aoky Sarhan. “Don’t let his goal against Collegiate fool you, he’s a traitor.” Whitehead refused to comment on the accusation, but he did comment on Aoky’s weight. The question was still unanswered on the morning of the big game. As the Saints took the field at Cougar Tech, our student section asked, once again, “Who dat say dey gon’ beat dem Saints?” Finally, our question was answered. In a twist that no one saw coming, the Cougs were revealed to be the ones saying they would beat them Saints. “In hindsight, we probably could have guessed it was them,” said one Saint. “I mean, it was the week before the Collegiate game, and they do talk about beating us a lot. I’m not sure it was necessary for us to ask who it was as often as we did.” The question was still posed long after it had been answered. In fact, even after the Saints embarrassed the Cougs, 35-28 in overtime, they continued to ask who it was who had claimed they would beat them. “It wasn’t really about finding out who said it,” said Dorsey, one of the first to ask the question. “It was about coming together as a community and proving that they should not have said they were going to beat dem Saints.” After the game, which will go down as one of the greatest in our football team’s history, we asked the Cougars to comment on their loss. None of them wanted to talk to us, but we did track one down by following his trail of tears. We caught up to him and asked him, “Who dat say dey gon’ beat dem Saints?” “Okay, bro, it was us,” he said. “Will you stop asking that now?” He returned to shredding, and we returned to celebrating our victory.

The November Pine Needle’s Dot-Dots

Gingers Do Have Souls

Scott Waterland

Jabriel?Jabriel!Jabriel...3 weeks later...How to Train Your Dragon...look how much paper is on the walls...375...ditdots...hardhitting journalism on the cat beat...we don’t have news...“I wish I didn’t do that”...just give me this one...the bank is open...bring your ballin’ shoes...How to Generate Traffic with Mr. Weatherford...I’ve already sold all my journalistic integrity...who is JB8?... we have an arts page?’re an editor... “They are so ugly and barnacled and old, and that’s how I feel right now--like a snapping turtle.” - Mrs. Thomas Though I know that evenin’s empire has returned into sand/ Vanished from my hand/ Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping/ My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet/ I have no one to meet/ And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming...

Cecil Turtle

Saul P(t)rader

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free/ Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands/With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves/ Let me forget about today until tomorrow. - Bob Dylan

November 2010 Pine Needle  

Pine Needle released November of 2010

November 2010 Pine Needle  

Pine Needle released November of 2010