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Maize High School. 11600 W. 45. St. N, Maize, KS. 67101

October 2013

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1719 S. Hillside Wichita, KS 67211 Mon - Sat: 10-9 Sunday: 1-6 Table of contents Volume 7, Issue 1 | October, 2013

Photo submitted by Casey Ratzlaff

Against all odds

Freshman Casey Ratzlaff was born with a spinal defect. That hasn’t stopped him from becoming an exceptional athlete, page 21. COVER: Photo illustration by Béle Benard

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Maize considering using ACT to asses students; foreign-exhange students study at Maize; blended class added.


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High school might not prepare students for life after graduation; teen shares experience of pregnancy.







Photo Focus




Students share love, talent for art; teens help developing communities on missions trips.

Students should show spirit, support for more school teams, clubs.

Tennis player with disability breaks boundaries.

Play’s Cheyenne Esser has grown from family-like relationship with 2-year-old neighbor.

Football team off to its best start in years.


Students share objects they hold close to their hearts.

Editor-in-chief Jordan Watkins Visual media editor Béle Benard Sports editor Maite Menendez News editor Hannah Henricks Features & lifestyles editor Cheyenne Esser Advertisements manager Dagny Castelli Reporters & photographers Kalee Betzen Cody Campbell Lauren Debes Gabby Hermes Devan Horning Brooke Johanson Alexis Loudermilk Katie McLachlan Justin Noble Delanie Pierce Mikaela Stevenson Jet Warren Adviser Dan Loving Play is the official newsmagazine for and by Maize High School students. Play is published six times throughout the year. Play is a student publication and a forum for public opinion. Letters to the editor should be signed and around 300 words. The editorials and columns are the sole opinion of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the USD 266 Board of Education, the administration, the faculty or the adviser. Raise your voice by using your words Submit a letter to the editor for the November issue to D18 or to Printed by City Print. © Copyright 2013 Play newsmagazine | OctoberPlay

4 news

Maize looks at implementing ACT


or many years schools have followed the No Child Left Behind curriculum, but Kansas and many other states in the nation are in the middle of moving to the Common Core curriculum. With the new curriculum will come a new way to assess students. The Maize school district is researching moving to ACT tests to assess student progress from third grade through high school. “We are currently researching the pros and cons of moving away from the assessments developed by the [Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium] and discussing the benefits of the ACT,” high school curriculum director Dr. Shelia Rathbun said. “We

Hannah Wagner wins scholarship from Mel Hambelton Ford Senior Hannah Wagner won the Mel Hambelton scholarship of $1,500 at halftime of the Sept. 13 football game. To win, Wagner wrote a three-page essay on why she loved Maize High. She was competing for the scholarship with many other students and said she was not confident of being chosen as the winner. “It’s really exhilarating, I didn’t expect to win at all,” Wagner said. Wagner also said she didn’t know it was an essay until midnight the night before it was due, and sacrificed most of her sleep that night in favor of writing her winning essay. n — Nick Mathias

Red Rage club membership soars

“I believe that we will win.” These are the words heard from across the stadium at every home football game, chanted from a sea of red in the student section. In just three years, Red Rage membership expanded from 100 to 600 students—half the school. Free admission into all home games plays a major role in building the club. “The football team can’t do it alone. They need us,” Red Rage board member Elizabeth Herrington, senior, said. “It gives them more confidence if they have

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By Delanie Pierce have not made a decision whether to move forward with the ACT or use assessments developed by the SBAC. The Kansas State Department of Education is also researching other options for possible assessments for school district to use to measure student growth.” Typically, what is on the standardized state test isn’t what is on the ACT test, therefore some students aren’t ready for the ACT. “I feel like the school curriculum kind of got me ready for the test in some classes,” senior Aaron Shaw said. Others don’t feel the same way. “I do not feel like what we learn got me prepared for the ACT at all. English and science are totally different on the

test from what I learned in class,” senior Olivia Baalman said. “The teachers never gave us practice tests so we didn’t really know what to be ready for. I think if teachers gear lessons more toward what’s on the test, students will succeed more.” Taking the ACT helps students choose where they want to go to school based on the score they get. If they receive a lower score than they thought, they might reconsider where they were planning on. ACT requirements can vary from school to school. More selective schools often require higher scores. “I definitely want to go to a bigger school and with my ACT scores I will be able to do that,” Baalman said. n

a huge group supporting them.” Every game day, various promotions are announced encouraging students to participate in the game’s theme. “Be loud. Don’t be afraid to participate. Yell, get excited, and get crazy. We even want the back row of the student section involved,” Red Rage board member Molly Green, senior, said. “I’m excited about the size of the student section, but I want to see more underclassmen involved.” n —Alexis Loudermilk

is actually deciding to prepare for it.” Yde plans to major in International Relations and attend a Liberal Arts public university. “It’s a great opportunity and it’s not covered enough. Not enough students know how important the PSAT can be if you do well so you should take it.” n —Alexis Loudermilk School spirit parade added to homecoming festivities This year StuCo is adding a parade to the list of homecoming activities. The purpose for the parade is to get students more involved and excited during homecoming week. The parade will be during school on Oct. 11. “Our main goal is to get the community involved and excited, not only for football but for our entire school,” StuCo president senior Kyle Baldwin said. “We want to make homecoming more of a big deal.” Students have the opportunity to design a float for a school club, class or even just a group of friends. The floats will be traveling to Maize Middle, Maize Central, Vermillion, Maize Elementary and Pray-Woodman, throwing candy and t-shirts donated by businesses to the bystanders. “We hope starting this event creates a lot of school spirit and gives students something exciting to look forward during homecoming week,” Baldwin said. “We just hope everyone is as excited as we are.” n —Delanie Pierce

Senior Kellor Yde wins National Merit Scholar competition Kellor Yde scored in the top one-half of 1 percent in the state for the PSAT/ NMSQT test, winning a $2,500 scholarship. The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is an optional test offered to sophomores and juniors. Juniors scoring in the top onehalf percent are entered in a scholarship competition for an opportunity to achieve finalist status based on academic skills, extracurricular accomplishments and an essay. Yde encourages all students to prepare and take the PSAT. He spent 16 days prepping for reading, math and writing portions. “If you do well on the test, it helps you so much your senior year when you’re applying to colleges,” Yde said. “I was really lucky to have [Leigh] Johnson help me prepare for it. The biggest step

news 5

A whole new world

A look at students from around the globe currently attending Maize By Kalee Betzen

Elena Man Senior Elena Man, from Moldova (a country in eastern Europe), is brand new to the United States. Although new to the country, Man says she has felt very welcome by kind students and her host family. Already early in the year, Man started to like Maize and even prefers it over her school at home. “It’s so much bigger than my old school and I have a lot more opportunities,” Man said. One of her favorite experiences at Maize was the fall sports extravaganza. will never forget the fun Sandra Hjelmseth of“Ithat night.” Senior Seventeen-year-old Of all of the classes she Sandra Hjelmseth of Sweden is taking, Man finds U.S. isn’t new to the United States. History the most difficult beShe has visited Kansas City, cause it is rather unfamiliar to Camilla Lindblad New York and Orlando. Some her. While Man is enjoying Senior Camilla Lindblad of of Hjelmseth’s favorite things her time in America, she still Sweden is new to Kansas but about America are the shopmisses her home, family and not the United States. Lindblad ping, cheaper prices of goods the Moldavian people. She has visited New York, Nebraska, and the variety and kindness of will return home in June. Washington and Philadelphia. American people. Her favorite visit was her fam“I have definitely felt welily’s trip to New York. come, Americans like to talk Traveling the globe to study is and they don’t judge peosomething the Lindblad family ple.” isn’t entirely unfamiliar with. Hjelmseth’s school at home Lindblad’s mother and older is quite different than Maize. sister were also foreign exchange Students in Sweden attend high students. The most difficult school for three years and use a thing for Lindblad to adjust to 1-6 grading system. during this ten month visit is Hjelmseth says she has always the school system. It is larger had a dream to study in the than her school at home and ofUnited States and that the cute fers a larger variety of classes. boys were a big plus in making Although she is an ocean her decision to become a foreign away from her home, Lindblad exchange student. doesn’t feel homesick. However, she does miss Swedish food.

Akane Fujimoto Senior Akane Fujimoto’s mother was a foreign exchange student at Maize in the 1990s. Akane is following in her footsteps. This is her second visit to Kansas, and Fujimoto said she has enjoyed Maize so far. Unlike Maize, Fujimoto says Japanese students primarily travel by public buses or trains and wear uniforms. The friendly nature of American people is what Fujimoto said she likes most. She hasn’t found anything that she dislikes about America yet. Six-thousand miles from home, Fujimoto misses her friends. She says she misses the food at home the most, although she has come to like chicken nuggets. | OctoberPlay

6 news

Ups and downs part of routine for cheerleaders


By Jordan Watkins

ophomore Brooklyn Wood smiled as she danced with the cheer squad at the pep assembly Sept. 6. A few minutes later, she walked off the field and quit. In her eyes, the cheer squad had become less about jumps, stunts and chants and more about fights, drama and discipline. “I don’t want to be on this team anymore,” she said before the assembly. For some on the team, things have been downhill since last year. Girls say they feel picked on and uncomfortable at practices because they are often called out and denounced in front of teammates. And when problems aren’t resolved during practices, they are often brought to the administration. “I can’t focus in class because I’m always getting called down to the office,” Wood said. “I’m too stressed.” Coach Deedee Vermillion, who took over the team last year, sees things differently. She said that while there was drama at the beginning of this year, she’s proud of how her girls have resolved it. “They’ve done a better job,” she said. Her policy for resolving issues: be open and honest. “Social media is really hard [because] things can be perceived differently,” she said. Vermillion has

been encouraging her cheerleaders to watch their actions on social media. “That’s where drama gets started.” She said it is important to her that teammates “go directly to the source [or] come to an adult” to resolve issues with others on the squad. Vermillion said problems that existed since before she became coach have made her job difficult. “There’s stuff I've had to deal with and pick up the pieces that in the past weren’t dealt with.” Still, the team has lost four members this year, sophomore Teagan LeJuerrne said. She said the girls left for various reasons like parents making them and wanting to avoid sitting out. While some of the girls leaving weren’t related to things happening on the team, losing four girls left the squad in a tough spot. Vermillion said the team did a great job of making changes and relearning routines at the last minute, and things are going well now. “The whole team is fine; we all get along really well,” junior Kayla Crockett said. “We all respect their decisions to leave, and we aren’t going to stop them.” n Play’s Devan Horning and Hannah Henricks contributed to this story.

“The whole team is fine; we all get along really well. We all respect their decisions to leave, and we aren’t going to stop them.” kayla crockett

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news 7

Maize graduates among new teachers By Jet Warren


achel Keith, who graduated from Maize in 2008, said her high school teachers inspired her to become an English teacher. “When I decided to become an English teacher, I thought about [Christine] Borrego because I really enjoyed her class and she inspired me to teach English too,” Keith said. Keith wrote for Play in high school and became an opinion writer for The University Daily Kansan while at the University of Kansas. Now she is working alongside her former teachers who inspired her. “It’s a little strange just because all my teachers that I had in high school are still here, like [Jeremy] Bernard and Mrs. Borrego. But it’s really awesome to be colleagues with them, even though it’s a little bizarre,” Keith said. Adam McCarthy, who graduated from Maize in 2009, studied physics at Wichita State University. “I really like physics just because the

Rachel Keith

concepts are so interesting,” McCarthy said. “It does use a lot of math.” After McCarthy graduated he saw Maize’s job opening for a math teacher. “I felt like, ‘Hey, why not teach math?’ They had a math opening here, and I wanted to come back to Maize,” McCarthy said. “With my physics background I felt like I’d make a pretty good math teacher.” McCarthy was a 13-year Maize student, and he’s glad to be back. “It’s better than I can ever describe. I think the best part about working back here is working with the teachers I had as a student,” he said. McCarthy would rather be at Maize over anywhere else and plans to stay here for as long as he teaches. The two other teachers new to Maize are Marlene Meckenstock, and Casey Tarrant. This is Meckenstock’s first year as a librarian. In the past, she has taught science and FACS classes at Campus

Adam McCarthy

High School and Derby Middle School. Meckenstock became a librarian because it requires a lot of background information about all the different classes in school. She also has a passion for reading, so Meckenstock applied both her academic background and love for reading to become a librarian. Working at a high school is new to Casey Tarrant. This year is her fifth year teaching physical education. Tarrant used to teach at Gordon Parks Academy. She really enjoys coming to school and having the opportunity to get to know her students. And while Tarrant didn’t graduate from Maize, she was familiar with the school before she started working here. Her mom is counselor Geri Hickerson. “It’s fun to be excited to come to work every day,” Tarrant said. n

Marlene Meckenstock

Casey Tarrant

Blended class prepares seniors for college By Alexis Loudermilk


aize added a government blended class this year to prepare students for online college courses and time management. Students maintaining at least an 80 percent do not have to attend the first block class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students take notes, complete assignments, quizzes and listen to lectures, completing online material outside of class each week. Many students in the class say they prefer blended classes over regular because of the convenience to sleep later two days a week, completing the work

on their own time. “If something goes wrong, you can come in and [Diane] Moser will help you out,” senior Zachary Edwards said. Senior Andrea Rodriguez recommends the class. “If the teacher isn’t there, it can be hard for some. You work at your own pace,” she said. Moser said it is important for students to pace themselves with online classes. “Everything you do in high school counts for points, that’s not so in college,” she said. “I’m trying to prepare

them and wean them off of the high school stuff.” Moser said government blended requires more flexibility as a teacher compared to regular classes. So far most students have been on the ball when completing their work, she said. “There’s some kids, at 17 and 18 years old, who are done with school. They don’t want to be in that social facility. So doing this outside [of class] and having the incentive [to sleep in] is a bone to throw at them as they work toward adulthood,” Moser said. n | OctoberPlay

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Photo illustration by Béle Benard

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tudents are told that the purpose of coming to school is to prepare them to live successful lives as adults. But are schools really teaching kids all they need to know? When in high school, do students actually learn how to pay taxes, how to balance a checkbook, how to handle a professional interview or how credit works? If a student wants to be an art major, they may not need to know the laws of physics. If they want to be a therapist, they probably won’t need to know how to draw a portrait of themselves. What about students who don’t plan to go to college? What are they going to need these courses for? “When it comes to real life, I don't know that high school necessarily does a great job of preparing us with life skills,” chemistry teacher Jessica Shurts said. “A lot of our classes in high school prepare you for the next level of class. So whether that be an upper level class in our building or at the college level, that’s what they're doing.” Maize offers classes like Personal Finance and Business Economics to teach students some of these things, but they are not required by Maize or the state of Kansas. Some things can’t be taught in high school, like how to have a successful marriage or how to be a great parent. Some things kids must learn on their own in the real world. “A lot of those skills are things that you have to learn from your parents or your family,” Shurts said. “Also some of the clubs and activities we do help teach kids about some of these abilities.” It’s important for teens to know how interest works and how to track their bank accounts online. For doctor’s appointments or emergency room visits, schools should explain any health insurance payments or other billing procedures to make sure students know what kind of ID they’ll need to provide. With fender benders, teens need to know the right way handle the accident. Do they call their insurance? The other persons? What information do they need from them? Churches play some role in helping prepare students for adulthood. "My church is starting workshops to help high schoolers prepare for economic life after college," junior Brittani Casement said. In an attempt to boost the performance of all public schools, the federal government passed the No Child Left Behind act.


This act, established more than a decade ago, increased student testing in order to check the effectiveness of each public school's progress and teachings. While this act had good intentions, many have realized that this merely distracted students from learning, while putting a new focus on testing and getting higher grades. Certain facts that are hammered into students' brains only give them the score required to pass school, which does not represent their readiness for independence. "I would say high school curriculums do not develop life skills economically or even socially," history teacher Ben Harlow said. Schools have been delivering education in much the same way since public education began in the mid-1800s. Students come to school and learn to read, to write, to add, to subtract and to become good citizens. High schools should be teaching more life skills financially. According to Tom Bodett, voice actor and radio host, "The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.�n

Does high school prepare students for adulthood?

This survey was taken by 100 Maize students.


98% say

Pay taxes

Pay bills

Know how Do not know

Balance checkbook | OctoberPlay

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No easy way out Teenage pregnancy leads to tough choices By Gabby Hermes


lmost every student has sat through “the talk” with their parents. You know the one: birds and bees and all that. S. E. X. But Maize isn’t the high school from “Mean Girls.” You’re not going to be told you’ll die if you get pregnant. Pregnancy, however, will change your life, and it can happen to anyone who’s having sex. “If you’re having sex, don’t think pregnancy can’t happen to you,” senior Rachel Henderson said. Approximately one million teenagers become pregnant every year, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Eighty-nine percent are unplanned. Of pregnant teenagers, about 59 percent give birth, 26 percent have an abortion and 14 percent miscarry. Fewer than 1 percent will choose adoption. Rachel Henderson is of that 1 percent. She is seven month’s pregnant with a girl, Iris Grace. She has decided that adoption is the best choice for her unborn child. “I’m doing an open adoption, which means I’ll see my baby a few times every year and receive pictures and updates from the adoptive family,” Henderson said. “I chose an open adoption so the baby will never wonder why I gave her up. She’ll know how much I love her.” Henderson chose adoption because she felt like keeping her baby would be selfish. “When you’re pregnant, you have an emotional attachment to your child. More than anything I want to keep my baby and take care of her, but I know I can’t give her the life she deserves,” Henderson said. “When you become pregnant, you instantly become responsible for this helpless little human being and you have to make major decisions for them. I think as a parent, it’s your responsibility to give that child the best life possible.” Even though it is hard for Henderson, she has come to terms with knowing she cannot provide the best life possible for her baby. “I’m 17; I’m still a kid myself. I depend on my parents. I haven’t graduated high school, and I had to quit my job,” she said. “I have no means to support a child.” Going through the adoption process, Henderson has met with couples who want a baby more than anything. These couples have gone through a lot to get a child. “It breaks my heart to see these great people that desperately want

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to have a baby but, for whatever reason, can’t have kids on their own. I would feel really selfish keeping the baby when there are people out there who are ready to parent and can actually provide for the child,” Henderson said. “I get really emotional talking about this because it is really hard to give up your baby. I don’t want people to think adoption is the easy way out. It’s not. You just have to do what’s right for your child.” Kansas law says birth parents can sign away parental rights to adoptive parents 12 hours after birth. “Typically, both birth parents relinquish their rights to the baby in the hospital and the baby goes home with the adoptive couple. Until the relinquishment papers are signed, the birth parents have the right to back out of the adoption. However, once the birth parents sign the papers, the adoption is finalized and they can’t change their mind.” Henderson said. “I’m waiting 24 hours to sign the papers.” She is waiting 24 hours because she wants time to spend with her baby in the hospital before the adoptive couple take Iris Grace home. “I love my daughter. I want to do what’s best for her. I’ve met the couple who will adopt my baby, and I know they will be much better parents than I am capable of being at this time,” she said. “When you get pregnant, you have three options: abortion, parenting, and adoption. All three are difficult and all three will change your life forever. You have to grow up and make a mature, selfless decision.” Adoptive parents are responsible for paying all baby-related costs. These can include rent, food, transportation, medical costs and maternity clothes. “Pregnant teens need to consider the burden they’re placing on their own parents by choosing to keep the baby,” Henderson said. “Babies are expensive. In most cases, the girl’s parents end up taking care of the baby and paying the bills.” Ultimately, this is why Henderson chose adoption. Maria Albert went down a different path. She kept her daughter. Albert is a 2006 Maize graduate. Her senior year was filled with morning sickness, homework, baby appointments and making important life decisions, not only for herself but also for her daughter, Hope, who now is in second grade.

“I got pregnant around the beginning of September,” Albert said. “I was pregnant for my entire senior year.” Albert was living with her dad at the time she became pregnant. She recalls being very surprised at the way her dad reacted when he found out. “I remember being so nervous to tell my dad because I was the only girl,” Albert said. “I was trying so hard to hide it, and at the time I thought I was, but my dad found out, I think his girlfriend at the time told him because I had been talking to her about it.” Maria’s brothers came up to her one Sunday after church and told her that her dad wanted to talk. Her heart began to beat and she knew then that he knew. “We drove around and he pulled over and we began to talk. He said I know what’s going on, so would you like to tell me,” Albert said. “We talked, and he wasn’t mad, he was more disappointed.” To prepare for baby Hope, Maria did a variety of different things. “I remember reading all sorts of books about pregnancy, and I nested like crazy,” Albert said. “As soon as I found out I was having a girl, I went to Target and bought her first baby outfit.” Maria’s friends in high school threw her a baby shower. She also babysat to get money for baby items. She did not take any extra classes about pregnancy, but she remembers being in Child Development 2 at the time she was pregnant. “I don’t know if I would have done anything differently because I wouldn’t have Hope if I did,” she said. “If I could have done something differently, I wouldn’t have been so stubborn and listened to what my dad told me.” Henderson and Albert both agree that the upperclassmen and teachers are the ones understanding such a situation. Younger students on the other hand are the ones who give the dirty looks. “The only reason it has had any impact on me is because I don’t want anyone to make me feel ashamed for being pregnant,” Henderson said. Albert looked at it differently. “I wasn’t doing anything that half the school hadn’t done,” Albert said. “I had sex, and I got caught up with it in a way others didn’t.” n

Photo illustration by Béle Benard and Devan Horning

11 | OctoberPlay


12 lifestyles

Students express creativity through art By Devan Horning


unior football and basketball player Alex Lee is not only talented on the field but has been drawing almost his whole life. He could spend hours drawing and loves the rewarding feeling of just getting lost in his work. “In grade school, I was just naturally better at art than other kids,” Lee said. “I doodled all the time.” He is one of many art students who spend countless hours of dedication on their work to improve every day. Some go into the art department during En-Cor and after school to finish their work. For some, it never stops. Each person has a personal quality, talent or accomplishment that is important to them. Numerous students at Maize have a great artistic ability. Lee personally thinks his best piece is his abstract drawing done in colored pencil. It was a morphing project in which they were assigned separate panels to demonstrate different movement within the drawings. Since his freshman year, Lee has completed Art 1, Drawing 1 and 2, Painting 1, and will take special projects next semester. He plans to pursue a career in art. Senior Haley Smith takes thrill in ceramics as well as painting, but prefers acrylic painting because it is more realistic. Her passion for art began in middle school when she was introduced to the art department. She draws every day and loves painting every summer. Smith has won two honorary mentions at Wichita Center for the Arts’ Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which identifies teenagers with exceptional creative talent and brings their work to a national audience, and is working on a gold key this year. She is also working toward the senior key, which is an award given at the graduation ceremony. “I’m pretty awesome if you haven’t heard.” Smith said jokingly. Even though Smith enjoys her art, she prefers to go to college for her occupational therapist license and become a therapist, while selling her pottery and paint for businesses. Junior Dani Gerety’s said art has been an asset to her

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life. To her, art means expressing yourself and is something that is defined by each person individually. With art, she can express her creativity, independence, and aspirations. She said it affects her in that it makes her more aware of the beauty in the world, and lets her see the hidden beauty within other people. Gerety has entered many of her pieces into Scholastics, but has not received any award yet. She also submitted pieces to the Kansas State Fair, and has earned a first place blue ribbon for one of her colored pencil drawings. A future in college may not include art, because she wishes to pursue in music and medicine; however, she will still try to draw and do as much as she can with art as a great hobby of hers. Even if she’s actually in the art department or sketching on her math notes, art is all junior Chloe Cloud wants to do. She started with watercolors at 2 years old and has expanded her talent to her favorite medium, pencil. “Charcoal is too dirty, paint is unpredictable, and anyone can learn art on a computer,” Cloud said. In middle school, Cloud received an honorable mention at Scholastics and while in high school, she sent in two of her pieces. One was accepted and she received a gold key. She also designed the cover of Maize’s Red Feather Literary Arts Magazine and judges expressed “it was an attractive cover.” Everything Cloud does relates to furthering her skills. She won an art grant to visit the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, a prestigious school, where she plans to attend for college to get her bachelors. To receive her masters, she plans to attend Parsons school for design and then on to her doctorate. She wants to become either a professor or an art director. In the meantime, she plans to maintain her income by art shows and selling her work. “Art is amazing to me,” Cloud said. “ It can be anything that someone puts time, effort and emotion into. I think that’s why it’s such a beautiful thing to me. Anyone can make art, and it’s just a nice way to see how a person expresses themselves.” n

Alex Lee


Dani Gerety

Chloe Cloud

Alex Lee

Dani Gerety

Chloe Cloud | OctoberPlay

14 lifestyles

On a mission to change lives by Maite Menendez and Mikaela Stevenson

Bethany Rich Bethany Rich

Photo submitted by Bethany Rich

Sophomore Bethany Rich went on a mission trip to Oklahoma City with her church’s youth group. For the three days she was there, she helped clean the community. “Seeing how homeless people live and travel around and don’t have a lot of things had a big impact on my life,” she said. Her most memorable moment was seeing the big change after the community was clean. “I’ve learned lots of things like that you need to make to see people’s reactions and make them want to make a difference too,” Rich said.

Becca Andrus Photo submitted by Becca Andrus

Senior Becca Andrus attended a mission trip to Jamaica with her church group over the summer. She and her group spent 10 days in Jamaica teaching a vacation bible school and getting to know the children by playing games and doing crafts. “They had so little resources,” Andrus said. “They were hungry for God.” She also stated that not only did she learn to appreciate her life but she also saw the difference it made in her life. “It was really cool to see us all grow together and seeing different people step up and serve kids,” she said. OctoberPlay |



eens in America have opportunities to become or do something extraordinary. Students can study to become doctors, serve in the military and help others in need. Seniors Becca Andrus and Rachel Corr, junior Shayla Jordan and sophomore Bethany Rich have worked to change lives on mission trips.

Rachel Corr Photo submitted by Rachel Corr

Senior Rachel Corr and her youth group recently traveled to Memphis to participate in a mission trip. While there, Corr worked with kids at a day camp. Although the experience itself had an impact on her, she also created a bigger impact on the children she was working with. “One of the days when all the kids were playing basketball, one of the girls came up to me and asked me about the Bible and what it is all about,” she said. Corr’s youth group hoped for the children to ask about God and the Bible. “That opened my eyes to what’s out there and how easy we have it.” Corr said.

Shayla Jordan Photo submitted by Shayla Jordan

Over the summer, junior Shayla Jordan traveled to Nebraska, Illinois and Missouri with two methodist churches. She helped renovate churches in Cairo, Illinois with the kids from the city. “When we were renovating churches, it opened my eyes to see how fortunate I am,” Jordan said. Although children she met there are neglected and have a poor home life, she described them as caring and optomistic. “The kids are faithful even though they have nothing,” Jordan said. Not only did she volunteer to attend mission trips, she was one of the five selected from eight states to attend a national conference in the Philippines. “I was the only one from Kansas chosen to go,” she said. | OctoberPlay

16 column

My little ray of sunshine

By Cheyenne Esser


n July 15, 2011, this sweet adorable baby boy came “Come on.” And that just turns me into a puddle of emotion. into my life. His name is Camden. A few weeks ago, his first cousin was born. His name is Cam is my next door neighbors’ grandson and Brody. I don’t get to see him very often, but I know once he my little buddy. Our gets a little older, he will capture my families have always had a close heart. And in December, Camden will relationship so we were some of the have a sister. I can’t wait to see how first to know that their daughter was he reacts and goes into that protective expecting. When Cam was born, I was older brother mode. One thing I am so excited to finally meet him, and the sure of, though, is if she is as cute as he moment I did he won me over. is, then I won’t be a puddle but more Two years later he still has my heart like a river of emotion. within his grasp. One of Camden’s special characterIf I had to describe Cam in one istics is he’s always 100 percent happy. word, I would choose the word ball. So if I’m having an unbelievably terrible Ball is his favorite word and most valday and I see his big, wide smile, my ued possession. He has them in every heart just melts. And for a few mosize and color. If I had to count how ments, my troubles are gone. many he has between his house and About two years ago my home life his grandparents’, the number would was turned upside down; however, near 50 or possibly exceed. Camden was now a part of my life. He And the best part is he thinks anybecame my escape from the craziness thing round is a ball, such as balloons. and my source of happiness. Although Ball also fits his personality. He is such he doesn’t know it, my little buddy is a bouncy baby. The minute he started also my little angel. walking he was all over the place, and I am realizing now that in two years I half the time he is walking on the balls will graduate and move across the counTwo year old Camden plays on his try, and will be leaving him behind. He is of his feet. At times it seems I spend more time at tricyle at his grandparents' house. one of the most important people in my my neighbors’ house with him than I do life and it will be one of the hardest things at my own. He has me in such a trance. The moment we lock I will ever have to do. I know it won’t be a real goodbye, but eyes we both smile and I never want to leave. He’s so used to it’ll hurt just the same because I have fallen so in love with the having me play with him that he now grabs my hand and says little boy next door. He is my little ray of sunshine. n

OctoberPlay |

opinion 17

Spread the tide of T

Red Rage

By Lauren Debes for the Play editorial board

ension spreads across the crowd as the teams gather themselves for the final play. Eager eyes focus on the star player, following each articulate movement. The coach thinks back to each hour in practice, all the sweat and tears leading to this moment. Suddenly, silence strikes and the room freezes over. “Dwight D. Eisenhower.” The spectators hold their breath. “Correct.” The crowd completely erupts and swarms the tables, lifting the team members high into the air. Tears ring out, and chants fill the entire school. Scholars bowl wins again. This kind of spirit seems unrealistic, but activities other than varsity sports deserve more support. Maize students have proven time and time again over the past year their capability of amazing school spirit. This year alone, nearly 600 students have joined Red Rage and help fill The Nest for every football game. Pride follows Maize like it hasn’t in years. Splatters of red cover the hallways on game days, creating a culture of spirit recognizable to all who see it. This begs the question: Where is the support for other activities?

If we are a school claiming to prioritize pride, it needs to be spread across the board. Attendance at band and orchestra concerts rides on a sharp decline. The number of fans who attend sporting events other than football and basketball is paltry at best. Our theatre and choir departments blindly grasp toward any audience they can get. This is an issue easily remedied. Attending just one or two events a month outside student’s usual routine would benefit the culture of spirit at Maize even more. The entire student body will gain a deeper understanding of their peers and a stronger sense of community through further involvement. Students who participate in less recognized activities would feel better appreciated for their hard work and more inclined to reciprocate the efforts. In addition, all students should take advantage of the eyeopening and fun experiences emerging from the participation. The student body should pay attention to announcements, talk to their peers and schedule some time to attend new events. Breaking outside the shell can make our school become closer than ever. n

Kalee Betzen | OctoberPlay

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18 photo focus

OctoberPlay |

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Friday nights have been fantastic at Maize this fall. The Eagles are undefeated in their three games at home, playing in front of large crowds and a rowdy student section. The Eagles are off to one of their best starts in years with a 3-1 record before last night’s game at Salina Central. | OctoberPlay

20 sports

No Boundaries

Freshman Casey Ratlzaff dominates the tennis court while living with Spina Bifida By Justin Noble


e goes down the hall with crutches or a wheelchair because he can’t use his legs. He never has been able to use them. But freshman Casey Ratzlaff has accomplished a lot. Ratzlaff was born with Spina Bifida, meaning his spinal column didn’t close when he was in the womb. This hasn’t stopped him from becoming an exceptional athlete. Ratzlaff recently went to Turkey and played on the U.S. junior tennis team that attended the World Team Cup, where the best wheelchair tennis players compete. Though Ratzlaff played only one doubles match in Turkey, he and his teammate swept their opponents in two sets 6-0, 6-1. Although Ratzlaff has only been playing tennis for two years, he won the U.S. Open in his division, making him the No. 2 junior tennis player in the U.S. “It was a really big tournament. A lot more people than there usually is at tournaments,” Ratzlaff said. “All of the best players in the world were there too.” Ratzlaff will be going out for the tennis team this spring. Since Ratzlaff plays in a wheelchair he will play by modi-

fied rules. For instance, he will get two bounces instead of just one. Also the wheelchair is considered a part of the body, so all rules that apply to the body will apply to the wheelchair. Ratzlaff has learned to live with Spina Bifida and doesn’t focus on the negative side of things. “I don’t overcome it,” Ratzlaff said. “There’s no way of fixing it. Forget about the cons and focus on the pros.” Ratzlaff never wants to make excuses for having his disability. “He wants us to treat him like everybody else,” Tammy Ratzlaff, Casey’s mom, said. “He just wants to be looked at as a normal kid. He just happens to use crutches.” Though he has beaten the odds and has done a lot in his two years of playing tennis, he doesn’t believe that it’s anything big to be talking about. “I’m just a kid who worked hard at his game,” he said. Physical Education teacher Mike Darrah, who has known Ratzlaff all of his life, thinks that he has always done his best with a positive attitude. He hopes that Ratzlaff will continue to be great in the future, even though he has no prediction about what will happen. “God knows his plan,” Darrah said.n

Béle Benard

Photo Submitted By Tammy Ratzlaff

Top: Freshman Casey Ratzlaff poses with his two medals from the U.S. open and his trophy from an Atlanta Open win. Middle: Ratzlaff, left, and his teammate shake hands after winning their match in straight sets 6-0, 6-1. Left: Ratzlaff (far right, first row) with the rest of the U.S. team at the World Team Cup in Turkey. Photo Submitted By Tammy Ratzlaff

OctoberPlay |

sports 21

scores For up-to-date scores, photos and recaps from your favorite sports, visit

By Cody Campbell

Volleyball Jet Warren


Football Cody Campbell

The Eagles come out of the tunnel to play against Salina South Sept. 13.

Date Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 3 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1

Opponent Newton Salina S. Derby Goddard Salina C. Campus Garden City Dodge City Hutchinson

Score W 42-22 W 40-28 L 62-13 W 54-12

Cody Campbell

Sophomore Ben Garrison defends off attacker from Andover Central Sept.16.

Date Sept. 2 Sept. 4 Sept. 7 Sept. 10 Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Sept. 24 Sept. 26 Oct. 1 Oct. 3 Oct. 8 Oct. 10 Oct. 15 Oct. 17 Oct. 22 Oct. 24

Opponent Score Garden City L: 6-3 Great Bend W: 2-1 East W: 4-1 Valley Center W: 9-0 Andover C. W: 7-1 Salina S. D: 3-3 Salina C. L: 1-0 Andover D: 0-0 Hutchinson Derby Newton Goddard Southeast Northwest Campus Eisenhower

Junior Sarah Slack returns the ball at the Maize Tourament.

Cody Campbell

Senior Ashley Reiswig pratices at Reflection Ridge Golf Course.

Meet Nickerson Andover Dodge City Winfield Eisenhower Augusta Salina Wichtia N. Hutch Derby

Result 6th 2nd 1st 5th 7th 5th 1st

Date Opponent(s) Result Sept. 3 Great Bend W Sept. 3 Salina. S W Sept. 10 Campus W Sept. 10 Hutch W Sept. 12 Rose Hill L Sept. 12 Andover C. W Sept. 17 Derby W Sept. 17 Hutch W Sept. 21 Maize Tourney 6th Sept. 24 Salina S. W Sept. 24 Newton W Sept. 26 Kapaun L Oct. 1 Salina C. Oct. 1 Campus Oct. 5 Lawernce Tourney Oct. 8 Derby Oct. 8 Newton Oct. 19 Emporia Tourney Oct. 22 Salina Central


Golf Date Sept. 3 Sept. 4 Sept. 12 Sept. 12 Sept. 19 Sept. 23 Sept.24 Oct. 2 Oct. 3 Oct. 7

Senior Madi Cumpston returns the ball against Rose Hill.

Cross Country Delanie Pierce

The girls cross country team is highly ranked and looks to take state this year. Boys/Girls Date Meet Sept. 7 Bishop Carrol 3rd/1st Sept. 14 Emporia 6th/2nd Sept. 21 Heartland(Iowa) 27th/6th Sept. 28 Rim Rock 26th/9th Oct. 5 Junction City

Date Aug. 24 Sept. 5 Sept. 10 Sept. 14 Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Sept. 17 Sept. 21 Sept. 24 Sept. 26 Sept. 28 Sept. 28

Meet Collegiate Maize Valley Center Salina C. Collegiate Goddard Maize Valley Center St Thomas Salina S. Collegiate Emporia

Maite Menedez

Result 8th 2nd 1st 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd 1st 6th 3rd | OctoberPlay

22 entertainment

my favorite

KEEPSAKE By Katie McLachlan


hildhood keepsakes are not just toys. They can be anything, like a quilt, a paint brush or even a certain pair of shoes. Maybe it’s a baseball glove. A blanket. A picture of someone special. Keepsakes are something sentimental that one may hold close to their heart. It can be for a number of reasons that one may cherish that item. Think of it this way: If your house was on fire, what would be that one thing that you couldn’t leave behind? We posed a similar question to four students. Try to match the students with their childhood keepsake.

A. “My grandma wrote it and B. “My brother gave it to me it has a bunch of family stories before he died.” in it.”

C. “My favorite memory was D. “My mom took me to Kanplaying with the band The sas City when I was two weeks Wise Choice. It was pretty old and it’s just one of those awesome. GAP bears.” 1. C, 2. D, 3. A, 4. B

OctoberPlay |

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The choir presented their fall performance of “Exotic Vacation� Sept. 19 and 21.

Lauren Debes

October 2013  

This is the October 2013 issue of Play newsmagazine from Maize High in Maize, Kansas. Topics in this issue include a look at tough decisions...

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