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A 2013 IHSPA Hoosier Star Finalist

Pow Wow

Portage High School

6450 U.S. Hwy 6 Portage, Ind. 46368

Issue 13

May 3, 2013

‘This will definitely

not stop me from

running’ For Portage resident Monica Hall, the 2013 Boston Marathon would have been one more race on a long list. When two bombs went off, her experience was altered. However, she will not let this stop her from running.

In the days since the Boston Marathon bombing, the city is attempting to return to normal; the Red Sox are playing, and the crowd is singing “Sweet Caroline.” Even Portage resident and Boston Marathon participant Monica Hall is planning to run in the Indianapolis MiniMarathon tomorrow, despite her experience on April 15. Hall graduated from PHS in 1994, and is an avid runner. She ran the Boston Marathon last week, finishing with a time of four hours and 20 minutes. Hall said that approximately six and half minutes after she finished the race, she was receiving her medal when she heard the first explosion. “We all just sort of turned around and looked at each other, like ‘what was that?’ And at first we thought it was fireworks or something, but then the second one went off, and that’s when we knew,” Hall said.

Nick Blue

News Writer

The explosions created a surreal feeling for Hall. “I had never even been in a major car accident, so at first I was just in shock. I stood there for a while, and then people started screaming ‘go, it’s a terrorist, it’s a bomb.’ All of a sudden 9/11 struck my mind. I didn’t know if buildings were going to start blowing up, or what. That’s when I knew that I had to get out of there,” Hall said. Hall’s next concern was finding her parents, who traveled to Boston with her to watch her run the marathon. “They had gotten my finishing time, so they knew that I had finished safely. I used someone’s cell phone to try to get ahold of them, but I couldn’t go anywhere because everyone was just running in one direction and it was complete panic. Then I knew that it was really bad,” Hall said. A police officer assisted Hall to the family meeting area for runners who finished, where she was reunited with her parents.

“I saw them and I busted out crying. We made people around us cry. It was all very emotional and overwhelming,” Hall said. Hall and her parents then got on a train to travel back to their hotel. “I didn’t really know what was going on until I got on the train. I heard from a lady that a lot of people were injured very badly, and that people didn’t know if it was foreign or domestic,” Hall said. Through the chaos of the day, Hall said she witnessed acts of kindness in a variety of ways. “The officers trying to man the streets during the event were great; people on the subway let us follow them because we were going the same way. The person whose phone I used was at seven percent battery. They didn’t have to let me use their phone, but they did. After I got off the train, a young girl helped us to our hotel,” Hall said. As soon as she could, Hall texted her children to let them know that she was safe.

See MARATHON, page 3

Portage resident Monica Hall displays her jacket and medal from the 2013 Boston Marathon. Hall said the bombs went off as she was receiving her medal, just six and a half mintues after she finished the race. Photo by Olivia Forrester

Next class of DYW takes stage StuCo elects Joshua Lewis class officers Features Editor

Rather than claw their way to the top, junior girls have taken a new way of approaching the Distinguished Young Woman competition. A competition, in nature, involves rivalries and conflicts in order for the competitor to claim victory, but class of 2013 Distinguished Young Woman and senior Rachel Stewart said the competition has a more relaxed atmosphere this year. “The DYW program is

unique every year,” Stewart said. “This year the girls seem very laid back and ready to work hard to make this a good show. My year, I noticed a lot of girls focusing on the competition aspect but I don’t notice that so much with this group. This is also a very large group, [with] about 37 girls so far.” Junior Lauren Tomaszewski shares Stewart’s opinion on the atmosphere of the competition. “The atmosphere is really laid back, but serious [at the same time],” Tomaszewski said. “We’re serious as we

learn the routines, but in between, we mess around and joke around with each other. Rachel makes the atmosphere so much more relaxed [and] I don’t really feel the competitive side of it.” Diversity is present in this year’s competitors as well. According to DYW coordinator Carrie Martin, the current group of junior girls is the most diverse group the competition has had. As the class of 2013 Distinguished Young Woman, Stewart is in charge of choreographing the physical segment for

the competitors. Changes have been made this year to reflect the intensity of the state competition’s physical segment. “The routine itself is a challenge,” Stewart said. “Being a dancer, I am often tempted to make the routine more dance-like and less fitness. When I went to Indiana Distinguished Young Woman, the routine was based directly on physical fitness so I am choreographing a very high endurance fitness routine. The routine will be about eight minutes long.”

See DYW, page 2

Ideas are running rampant

Brandon Vickrey and plans are being hashed


out as the newly elected class presidents for the 2013-2014 school year begin their preparations for next fall. Senior Class President Niko Dixon, Junior Class President Maxwell Harsha and Sophomore Class President Maverick Edwards were elected to lead their respective classes. For Dixon, this will mark the origin of his career in student government. “I’ve been really interested in politics lately, so I just wanted to see how far school politics would go along with that and see what I could do to help better our community,” Dixon said. The day of the election, Dixon doubted himself and his chances of winning. However, his worries were put to rest when the results were announced over the intercom and he found himself engulfed in well-wishes from encouraging classmates.

See ELECTION, page 2

News 2

Issue 13

Continuing Passion

Two seniors to join ex-teammates in the college ranks Brandon Vickrey Editor-in-Chief

Top: Senior Greg Prohl signs his National Letter of Intent with Calumet College of St. Joseph to play soccer as a member of the Crimson Wave. He plans to major in criminal justice. Photo provided Bottom: Senior Nicki Monahan inks her National Letter of Intent to play college basketball at Indiana University Northwest. Monahan finished as Portage’s all-time leading

For two Portage High School senior athletes, competing at the collegiate level will mark a reunion of sorts with ex-teammates. The two share another similarity as the chance to stay in the area attracted them to their respective colleges. Girls basketball player Nicki Monahan, who scored 1,157 points in her high school career to set the school record, will play for head coach Ryan Shelton at Indiana University Northwest in Gary. “I wanted to stay close to home, so I could be close with my family and that way my family and friends could still watch me play,” Monahan said. “They have a good academic program and they have a smaller class and that’s really what I wanted.” She will be reunited with 2010 graduate Bri Wischman, who played with Monahan during Monahan’s freshman season. “I’m really excited about playing with Bri again,” Monahan said. “I didn’t get to play with her my whole freshman season because of my injury, but I really enjoyed playing with Bri, so I’m excited to reunite with her.” Wischman attended several Indians’ games this past season and had multiple conversations with Monahan about IUN. Monahan will be majoring in pre-physical therapy and said IUN will provide her with a good start as she tackles graduate school prerequisites. Although a demanding major will make it difficult to manage her time while playing Division-II women’s basketball, Monahan said her love of the game provides her with motivation to continue to play. Boys soccer defender Greg Prohl will attend Calumet College of St. Joseph in

Whiting to major in criminal justice. When he takes the field for the Crimson Wave, he will be back alongside 2012 PHS graduate Donovan Cole. Prohl’s fondest memory of his high school soccer career came in 2010, when he was a sophomore on the team that reached the semistate. He played with Cole in both 2010 and 2011. At the end of his senior season, Prohl was unsure whether or not his soccer career would continue. “I always wanted to play, but I didn’t think I was going to get to,” Prohl said. “Even at the end of the season, I didn’t know if I was going to get to, so now it’s a reality.” Girls track and field athlete Shakiea Boyd will also continue her athletic career without leaving the Hoosier State. Boyd will attend Vincennes University, a two-year school, to start working toward a degree in criminal investigation. Boyd made her selection partly because she has already earned college credit for Vincennes through Portage’s vocational program. “It felt great,” she said. “I was very happy and excited for it. It was a good relief that when I leave high school, I could still do track again and still do what I like to do, which is run. It was a great, happy moment for me.” Boyd, who competes in the 100 and 300 hurdles, has reached a goal that she has had her sights set on for much of her life. “I started when I was in elementary, so ever since then, I’ve loved it and I just wanted to keep going,” she said. Boyd lists her freshman year as her favorite season of high school track and field. “It was fun, funny and exciting,” she said. “The girls kept me going. I’ll always remember that love that I had when I was a freshman.”

Seniors stay home for college to DYW finalize majors, continue jobs

Sign DOTTED LINE on the

See where these PHS senior athletes will play next school year

JAMES BRYANT Robert Morris College RASHAAN Austin Peay StateCOLEMAN University NICKI MONAHAN Indiana University Northwest STEPHANIE PurdueUPTON North Central JENA ALANIZ Taylor University HALEY HODGES University of Southern Indiana HEATHER ZENGLER St. Francis College ALLISON BACHMAN South Suburban College JADE MCKNIGHT Western Michigan University SHAKIEAVincennes BOYD University PROHL CalumetGREG College of St. Joseph DANNY ROACH

Harper College

DIONDRE GRIFFIN St. Joseph’s College

Continued from page 1

Katie Peksenak News Editor It may not be Kansas, but many seniors will be staying “home sweet home” and attending college locally next fall. Staying home for college is common for seniors at PHS and seems to be a popular option. “I plan on staying home for college so I can save money in outside costs and take advantage of a full tuition scholarship that I would not have been offered had I gone away for my studies,” senior Chrissy Miller said. Miller plans on attending Indiana University Northwest in the fall to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Finance. The benefits of staying home for Miller include saving money and being able to continue her job at Culver’s. “The biggest advantage of going to college here at home will be saving money in housing and small costs,” Miller said. “I can also continue my job so I’ll be able to save while I’m in my studies.” Senior Taylor Felinski plans on becoming an attorney and will be attending Purdue North Central next fall. Adjusting to college, being able to see his family and

maintaining his current job are aspects of staying home Felinski looks forward to. “I stayed home because I wasn’t completely sure on what I wanted to major in and wanted to get used to how college is before I go away,” Felinski said. Saving money is a huge perk of staying at home, however living on campus is an experience guidance counselor Shirley Bustos believes is beneficial for students. “Not having to pay for room and board along with a campus meal plan really helps in the cost saving aspect of going to college,” Bustos said. “I can say from personal experience that living on campus is a lot of fun and something most students would enjoy.” Staying home for college can make it more difficult for students to get involved with campus activities, however an assertive student, according to Bustos, will thrive regardless of their housing status. “Sometimes living off campus can make students feel a little more isolated, but it depends on the student,” Bustos said. “If a student lives off campus, they need to be assertive and say ‘I’m going to get involved. I will drive back and go to evening activities.’”

“Not having to pay for room and board along with a campus meal plan really helps in the cost saving aspect of going to college.”

-Guidance counselor Shirley Bustos

During the physical segment, a requirement for the junior girls will be to perform a solo in front of the crowd. “I’m hoping to take away new friendships [and] I hope to become friends with every girl in the program,” Tomaszewski said. “I also hope to gain a new sense of confidence as I have to perform a solo in one of our dances, which is really going to take a lot of confidence on my part. I think it will completely change how I think of others.” Despite the competitors only having had a couple practices, the experience has left a lasting mark on Tomaszewski.

Election Continued from page 1

Dixon’s goals include planning a successful class reunion and raising his class’s attendance. The senior class president receives the distinction of speaking on behalf of the student body during the graduation ceremony. “I’m kind of scared,” Dixon said. “I’ve never really talked in front of that many people. I’m trying to be on the debate team next year; I’m kind of interested in speaking and I’m trying to better myself by doing that. I’m pretty scared to give the speech, I don’t want to mess it up, but I think it’ll be alright.” On the opposite side of the experience spectrum, Harsha and Edwards are no strangers to holding offices, as they each return as their class’s President. Harsha listed the biggest success of his year as sophomore class president as the Powder Puff game. His goal is to increase the number of class meetings, after just one took place this school year. The junior class is in charge of planning Prom and the Homecoming Parade, so Harsha will lead the way for each of those events. Edwards turned to student council as a way to become more involved in extra-curricular

“I just want to tell all the current sophomore girls to definitely take part in this experience next year,” Tomaszewski said. “I already love everything about it and I cannot wait [until] showtime. This is easily one of the best decisions I’ve made and I’m so glad I decided to join the program. Also, like Rachel said to us at rehearsal one day, all of us are winners, and one will simply represent us; the title is the least of my concerns.” The DYW finals night will be Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. and the ticket price will be $10.

activities. “I just figured that I don’t really do much anyway, so I might as well try to make a difference in the school for everybody, because not that many people really enjoy going to school,” he said. Edwards said he would like to see his class’s attitude change next year. “Everybody’s just sort of coasting along, but if we want to make it fun, we really need to step it up a little,” he said. One commonality among the three presidents is the inclination that fundraising should be a high priority next year. “I really want to raise a ton of money during football season, because that’s when all the people come out and everybody is out there going to the games and having a good time,” Edwards said. “If we get all of our fundraisers done during football season, then we won’t have to do any big ones for the rest of the year.” Dixon said he and Student Body President elect Matt Bliss have discussed several fundraising ideas, including a raffle for couchseating on the football field and making popcorn and selling it around the school.

News 3

May 3, 2013

Driving for Cash Test drives held to raise money for school activities Mary Clancy

News Writer

The Drive 4 UR School event was held on Saturday, April 27. The school raised $3,000 for the Tribe Pride Incentive Drawings. Photo by Taylor Mlynski

Paul Heuring Ford Dealership brought cars to the school on April 27 for people to test drive as part of a fundraiser known as Drive 4 Ur School, sponsored by National Honor Society. For every test drive completed, the school will receive $20, not to exceed $6,000. This year, the event raised $3,000 for the Tribe Pride Incentive Drawings. Anyone over the age of 18 was eligible to test drive a

A New Regime

Young members step up to take on leadership positions in NHS Ashley conrad

News Writer

As National Honor Society elects a new set of officers this week, the graduating seniors are not just passing along their titles, but a set of responsibilities that go with them. NHS’s elections for next year were this week with nominees suggested in April by NHS member’s nominations. Each position is listed off and any member is allowed to nominate whoever they feel is right for the position. The positions in NHS consist of President, Vice President, Secretary,

Treasure, Historian and Parliamentarian. NHS President Tiffany Woloszyn said that being President has taught her a variety of skills. “As President, I have learned to be more organized and responsible. I have also been able to enhance my public speaking and communication skills,” Woloszyn said. This year’s juniors are the only ones to have a say in the elections since they will be seniors next year and running NHS. “I hope that the future officers can make next year as, if not more, successful as this year was,” Woloszyn said.

Each officer has learned new qualities and traits from his or her time in NHS, just like senior Jeff McElfresh. “I’ve been humbled by NHS, you learn a lot of good values and gain valuable life experiences as well as lessons in responsibility,” McElfresh said. From valuable life experiences to communication skills, NHS officers have learned a lot of traits they can take on to their future lives. Not everything is fun and games when it comes to NHS; there are stress and time consuming meetings to attend. “The hardest part about NHS is the fundraising.

Make sure to chair events early in the year because senioritis is a strong force to fight,” McElfresh said. Current officers have some advice for future incoming officers. “I would advise incoming officers to take pride in their role in NHS, and if they become stressed throughout the year, just to always remember the impact they are making on those lives that we touch through our organization,” senior Jennifer Andersen said. NHS has six officers and around 90 other members. This year’s G.P.A. requirement to get in was 3.3 and will be rising in the years to come.

Flocking fundraiser to benefit Relay Mary Clancy

Portage residents might be surprised to find plastic pink flamingos littering their yard when they wake up in a few weeks. However, this is not a cause for alarm. The National Honor Society is conducting a fundraiser known as “Flocking.” May 6-18, members of NHS will be sticking plastic flamingos in people’s yard during the night. In order to have the flamingos removed, the residents of the house must make a donation. For every group of 10 flamingos in the yard, they will need to donate $20.

News Writer

NHS members will choose the first set of houses to be flocked. After the residents of the houses donate money to have the birds removed, they get to choose the next houses to get flocked. The money raised from this fundraiser will go toward the $1,000 needed for the school’s “Relay for Life” event later this year. “I just like fundraising,” event chair, senior Emily Evans said. “It’s a fun opportunity and you get to go and put flamingos in people’s front yards. It’s fun, and you don’t get in trouble for it, so it’s exciting.”

Safety vs. Privacy

How do you feel about Portage’s decision to use K-9s to check for drugs?

“I do think that there are individuals in this school that sincerely need help. In this spirit, I believe it is necessary to surprise the individuals supplying those in need of help and rid our school of drugs.”

Elizabeth Wysocki, PHS Social Studies

“[Drug searches are important because] the greater the possibility of being caught, the less likely people will bring it to school.”

Joe Mokol, Portage Police Officer

“I do believe that there is drug activity within the school and that the students that do abuse these substances were very lucky that day.”

Zac Goolsby, Senior

“I think PHS should do drug searches randomly without informing teachers so that they cannot have an opportunity to tell students. Students then cannot plan ahead and the results will be more accurate.”

Mackenzie Barcelli, Senior

car. According to NHS President, senior Tiffany Woloszyn, there were 8-10 different cars available to choose from. Each car was a different model. There was not a salesperson at the event trying to convince anyone to purchase a car. There was no time limit set on how long a person could test drive the car. Members of NHS offered to ride in the car while it was being test driven to make the driver more comfortable. “Last year, you were only

allowed to go around the school, but this year, they’re letting you go pretty much anywhere around Portage,” Woloszyn said. According to Portage High School Principal Caren Swickard, all the money raised during the event will go toward incentives like prizes for Attendance and Tribe Pride drawings, including the three or four Kindles available as prizes in next month’s drawing. “All of it [the money] goes right back to the kids,” Swickard said.

ROTC raises money for new police K-9 unit

The ROTC raised money for a new dog to donate to the Portage Police Department. Photo by Taylor Mlynski

Mallory Lopez

News Writer

A new four legged officer is in town as the ROTC raised money for the Portage Police Department to receive a new officer dog. ROTC raised $3,000 for the police department to receive a new dog. They did this by selling entertainment books. “We like to do things to help the community in the long term way,” ROTC instructor John Johnston said. At first, ROTC wanted to

name the dog after ROTC. The dog was already nine months old and was already named. The dog is a german shepherd. According to Johnston, it was a great public service to help the police department. “We are always looking for ways to help out the community and I think helping the PD pay for a police dog is a great one. This dog will help the police find things they couldn’t on their own, and also take down running suspects,” ROTC sophomore Skyler Kelley said.


Continued from page 1 “I just told them something bad had happened and that I was okay. I didn’t want them to find out on the news, or from their friends or anything. The next day, their friends were very concerned about what happened, and whether or not I was okay,” Hall said. Hall said she feels it is events like these that make people think about their lives, and the event has definitely impacted her deeply. “It definitely made me appreciate things more. You live every day and you don’t think of how fast your life can be taken from you in an instant. There was a moment where I thought ‘Will I ever see my kids again?’ You really learn to appreciate the little things that you take for granted every day, even just getting home safely,” Hall said. When she arrived home,

Hall checked her text messages and found many people expressing their concern for her. “People who I hadn’t talked to in two years had asked me if I was okay, which was very overwhelming,” Hall said. Although Hall has been an active runner for six years, this was her first time participating in the Boston Marathon. “I’ll still run. This will definitely not stop me from running or going to sporting events, because if we all stop going, they win,” Hall said. This event, while tragic, does bring people closer together, according to Hall. “You have to look at life in the positive; you can’t always look at the negative,” she said. “Unfortunately there is danger out there, but you have to keep living every day like it’s your last.”

Sports 4

Issue 13

Back at the Helm Hall leads softball team with Hayes on maternity leave

When head Content Editor softball coach Lisa Hayes took an eight-game maternity leave at the start of the season, assistant coach John Hall stepped up to the plate with the goal of maintaining Hayes’s standards for the team. Hall, who led the South Central softball team to a sectional championship a season ago, was 5-3 as the acting head coach, facing state-ranked competition in Crown Point and Chesterton. He said this year’s squad is one that stands out to him. “This is a very tight-knit group; ‘family,’ as their motto is,” Hall said. “I have only experienced once before of coaching a group that is this close and this goal-oriented. That group achieved about everything they wanted, which I know this group can do the same.” John Hall poses on the softball field after caoching the Along with coaching softball, Hall has team to a 15-5 victory over Michigan City on April 2. The Indians went 5-3 with Hall subbing for head coach coached boys and girls track and field and Lisa Hayes. Photo by Brandon Vickrey |PortageLife freshman and junior varsity baseball at PHS. He said his return to Portage was

Eric Mesarch

prompted by getting to coach the athletes he teaches while also cutting down on the drive time from his home in Kouts. “It is a wonderful privilege to be back at Portage coaching,” Hall said. “I missed coaching the athletes I teach. Portage has always been great to me as a coach, so when I stepped down at South Central, Coach Hayes and Coach Hodges both approached me about coaching again at Portage. This is truly a great place to teach and coach.” With having more experience as a baseball coach, Hall said the only differences between softball and baseball are minor. “Softball is definitely a faster-paced game,” Hall said. “Little things as far as running bases to hitting is a little bit different style from softball to baseball. I enjoy coaching athletes that love to learn and have the desire to compete.” Sophomore Kiley Jones said Hall was able to fill several different roles while taking over as the acting head coach. “Coach Hall has been incredible,” Jones said. “When Coach Hayes was gone, he

seemed to fill both his role and her role at the same time. He always brought an excitement to the field that also got the rest of the team pumped up.” Senior Stephanie Upton said Hall has already made her final high school softball season memorable. “He is always trying to help us out when he sees us not doing something right,” Upton said. “I was surprised when they said he was coaching, but I was very excited. I had him for a teacher and knew he was a nice person.” Overall, Jones said Hall has already made huge contributions to the team and helped keep the program successful. “Coach Hall has really done a lot for the team,” Jones said. “Even during open gyms, he didn’t talk or do much coaching; he just took time to understand our strengths and weaknesses. But when the end of the offseason rolled around, he really stepped up his excitement and truly showed us how much he knows and can teach about softball.”

Senior gets Father-Son duo shares unique first taste coach to player relationship of Baseball Collin Czilli Brandon Weis Sports Writer

This season, senior Tyler Retherford has been a key component of the varsity baseball team. Retherford, a pitcher for the team, works in the post and pre seasons to better ready himself for the hard season. “Getting ready for a season, it all starts mentally. I have to mentally prepare myself for the entire season, and then comes all of the physical stuff,” Retherford said. According to Retherford and Pirowski, Retherford’s strengths are be his ability to keep his composure and not get too worked up over mistakes,

which applies both on and off the field. This season, Retherford pitched in a combined no-hitter Gavit. He has been a welcomed addition to the Portage pitching staff. According to Pirowski, although this is Retherford’s first season on a high school baseball team, Retherford continues to be a powerhouse for the entire team, and not only adds skill, but also moral support for all of his teammates. “I appreciate all of my teammates just as they appreciate me, and will continue to support them in and out of the season,” Retherford said.

Baseball Quick Hits Week in Review: After entering last week ranked fifth in the state, the Portage baseball team dropped four straight conferences games, three by 10 runs or more. The Indians played on four consecutive days because of makeup games that were initially postponed by rain. Next Up: The Indians visit Valparaiso on Monday, attempting to avenge last week’s 13-2 loss.

Father and son Opinion Editor day at the golf course takes place every day for the Portage boys golf team as varsity golfer, sophomore Noah Kunstek and assistant coach Tim Kunstek step up to the tee. For the past two seasons, the duo has been together on the golf course at practices, meets and invitations. The duo works together year-round as player and coach to better Noah’s golf game. “I am there more for support and to help the team,” Tim Kunstek said. “But as a dad, it is great because I get to spend as much time with my son as possible, because in a couple of years he will be off to college and won’t want to be around me.” Noah has been on the golf team since his freshman year, moving up to the varsity squad this season, all while his father has been by his side as the assistant coach to the team, along with head coach Dick Kretz. “Mr. Kretz and I talked about this at the beginning of the season on how we would handle having my son on the team,” Tim said. “Basically, he handles the varsity and I handle JV and the younger kids.” With Tim handling JV coaching duties, he is more able to allow Kretz to focus on Noah all the while watching his son golf on the team. “It is difficult at times because I feel he is harder on me, but then again we don’t have as much coaching-player contact because he is coaching JV and I am playing varsity,” Noah Kunstek said. “There is not as much coaching as there is motivation and helping me do better.” Even though Tim works with the JV players on the team, he ensures that he is there to see his son practice and play as much as he can since he is always with the team. “It is wonderful to be there all of the time and see him,” Tim said. “You know I played sports and my dad worked a lot and didn’t get to spend a lot of time seeing me practice and seeing my games. You only get to be a parent once and spend this critical time with them. Besides, I love the game of golf and I get to share it with my son.” As with many athletic teams, coaches get close to their players but none more than the Kunstek duo. Being a father and son pairing on the golf course has its challenges.

Sophomore Noah Kunstek (left) stands back-to-back with his father Tim Kunstek. Tim is an assistant on the boys golf coaching staff, while Noah is the team’s No. 3 golfer. Photo by Taylor Mlynski “In any type of coaching, it is the relationship that you build with your players, the trust and communication,” Tim said. “Being my son, we have a great relationship. He knows that I can yell at him in the weight room when he is not working as hard as he can and it is coming from a spot that I am not disappointed or mad at him.” Noah feels more comfortable on the course with his father looking on by his side. “You get more nervous during play but I keep a level head,” Noah said. “I play with him more than others get to, so I am used to it.” Golf is not everything in the Kunstek household and according to both Noah and Tim, it does not come up much, other than during the rides before and after meets.

“We talk after the matches on the car ride home, then once we get home, we leave golf alone,” Tim said. Both of them have found that the father-son, coach-player relationship is very gratifying. “It is fantastic for a dad,” Tim said. “Noah has found his passion and loves it and there is nothing better than trying to help and support your son reach those goals.” The relationship with his dad has made Noah focus more and work harder. “It makes me want to play harder, makes me more focused and makes me want to do better,” Noah said. “It makes me feel like I have to contribute more and make myself the best I can be, not only to impress him, but to impress the coaches.”


May 3, 2013

‘a great kid’ Henson nabs No. 2 slot in lineup Inspired by his father for Sports Writer his support throughout his golf career, junior Jordan Henson continues to average a 38 at practice and is one of the top golfers on the team. “Jordan is a great kid to be around because he has such a likeable personality. He always has a smile on his face. He is also very hardworking, whether we are on the course or working out, he is always trying to make himself better,” head boys golf coach Richard Kretz said. Kretz said that Henson’s break out performance was last year during the Uebelle Invite when he tied for third with a 76. Kretz said that this is a very competitive invite, and his performance proved his ability to compete with more advanced golfers. “Jordan is off to a very strong start this year. He has been one or two in our matches thus far,” Kretz said. Henson started golfing when he was just four years old. “My favorite part about golfing is just being out on the course and being with my friends,” Henson said.

Lauren Winicky

Kretz said that Henson’s ability to remain levelheaded while golfing is what makes him so strong. Henson said that one of his weaknesses is hitting bad shots, but he has learned to shake them off and focus on the next hit, which he said is one of his strengths. “I have put in a ton of hours in on the range and on the putting green to help me improve my overall game,” Henson said. Kretz said he is confident that Henson will continue to be one of the team’s leading scorers and that he would like to see him take a more vocal leadership on the team. “Jordan is someone that everyone on the team looks up to. Not only because he is a great golfer, but because he has the personality of a leader,” sophomore Noah Kunstek said. Kretz said that he has the potential to be one of the top players in the DAC if he continues to perform well in Portage’s meets. “My personal goal is to make all-conference and have the best nine hole average on the team,” Henson said. Henson said he plans on playing golf in college, but he does not know where he will be attending yet.

Junior Jordan Henson competes at a competition earlier this season. Henson has averaged a 38 at practices this season. Photo by Taylor Mylnski

Record breaker

Bliss breaks shot put record at LSU Peyton Hulse

Portage High School 2011 graduate Tori Bliss took her hobby of breaking records with her to Lousiana State University, where she broke the shot put record by throwing 55 feet, 11 inches. Assistant girls track and field coach John Arredondo said Bliss’s throw was a “monster” of a throw. “Her coaches at LSU have changed her approach, as she used to be a ‘glide’ thrower, but now she is ‘rotational/spin,’ so we knew it was just a matter of time before she had a throw like this,” Arredondo said. “I honestly think this is just the beginning. She’s someone everyone in Portage can be proud of. We should all be becoming LSU fans.” Junior Ashley Sosbe is on the track and field team and has previously thrown with Bliss. She said she was very happy when she heard that Bliss broke the record. “I was really excited for her. It was awesome to hear that she was still breaking records at the collegiate level,” Sosbe said. Senior Crysta Crews, who is on the track and field team and has previously thrown with Bliss, said Bliss is a very driven athlete that knows what she wants. “Tori is a motivator. She works really hard and doesn’t give up,” Crews said. Crews said Bliss would work extremely hard during

Sports Editor

Tori Bliss is a sophomore at Louisiana State University. Bliss broke the current shot put record at LSU. Photo provided

Wizards return Alexis Coffman

LaMarvon Jackson of the Harlem Wizards dunks against the Portage P.EA.K. team. The wizards played at PHS on Dec. 8 to raise money for the football team. Photo by Taylor Mylnski

practice and would keep going after practice if she did not accomplish her daily goals. Arredondo said there are many qualities that set Bliss apart from athletes and make her as successful as she is. He said one major advantage Bliss gives herself is her work ethic. “In my years of coaching, she is the hardest working athlete I’ve been around. She never took a day off.,” Arredondo said. “She was always out there, giving everything she had, whether in drills, the weight room, anywhere, you weren’t going to outwork Tori. That’s what truly separates her.” Arredondo said another asset that sets Bliss apart is her drive to compete. “The thing that separates Tori is her competitiveness. Those that really know Tori, know she is a nice person who is very polite. That said, Tori has an edge to her,” Arredondo said. “That persona would come out when she was competing. Even as a coach, I knew when not to say anything to Tori as she became a completely different person when she was throwing. She is a ferocious competitor.” Although Bliss has graduated and is competing at a collegiate level, she has left a lasting impression of those that competed with her at the high school level. “Tori was my inspiration and still is,” Sosbe said. “ I miss how she used to push me before meets to give it my all and throw the best that I could as a freshman.”

Cancer is one word no one wants to Sports Writer hear. Sophomore Michael Spears has organized an event for the Harlem Wizards to return for a fundraiser for Stacy Kennon, who is a family friend. “Stacy Kennon has been a dear friend to us. I have not known her well, but my mother has known her since high school,” Spears said. Kennon has been battling cervical cancer for three years.  The stress of financial issues paying off cancer treatment and other medical bills has caused Spears to help. “It was hard to get the event going. I raised money myself in order to get [the Harlem Wizards] to participate,” Spears said. Spears contacted the Wizards as soon as he thought that them fundraising would be a fun, entertaining way to get Kennon’s mind off the cancer

Spears aims to raise money for cancer patient

and have money to finally put the weight off her shoulders. “Contacting the Wizards was a great idea to me,” Spears said. “Seeing them back in December, I wanted to fundraise someone as well and automatically thought of Kennon.” Spears hopes to raise $1,000 to $3,000 for Kennon. Kennon is to arrive at the game and have the money given to her for the medical bills. According to Spears, he has eight sponsors from the community in Portage.  One sponsor is from Colorado. “I am getting police officers, teachers and firefighters to go against the Wizards for the surprise event.  The more people who attend, the better,” Spears said. The event will take place in the main gymnasium on May 6 at 6:30 p.m.  Admission and advanced tickets are $10. Tickets are being sold by the baseball team.

Opinion 6 Close to Home

Issue 13

Editor-in-Chief Brandon Vickrey Content Editor Eric Mesarch Design Editor Emily Evans Opinion Editor Collin Czilli News Editor Katie Peksenak

Features Editor Joshua Lewis Sports Editor Peyton Hulse Photo Editor Olivia Forrester Sports Writers Alexis Coffman Lauren Winicky Brandon Weis News Writers Ashley Conrad Mallory Lopez Nick Blue Mary Clancy Features Writers Tyra Allen Amber Nelson Angela Dornbos Caleb Ingersoll Alexis Sosa Photographers Taylor Mlynski Emily Hensley Adviser Melissa Deavers-Lowie Pow Wow Editorial Policy The Pow Wow is a student-produced newspaper. As an open-forum publication, we do accept letters-to-the-editor. All letters must be grammatically correct, free from errors and 200 words or fewer. Letters must include your name. E-mail submissions can be sent to Letters will be run in the next available issue of the newspaper.

‘The College Experience’ is different for everyone Eric Mesarch Content Editor

Twitter: @EMessy822 “Oh, you’re staying home for college? But, you won’t be getting the ‘college experience.’” I am literally sick of hearing this phrase. Next fall, I have decided I will be attending Valparaiso University to study electrical engineering. I know a lot of people say that staying home for college is not the best choice due to not being able to live independently, but I feel this is a ridiculous statement. I am not going to be a person that lives with his parents the rest of his life. While at Valpo, I will be juggling my homework and

my extra-curricular activities independently. I know how to take care of myself, so it will not be a big deal that I am commuting rather than living on campus. My sister is also living at home while going to college. She has two jobs and will be getting married in a couple of years after finishing up college. She turned out just fine not having gone through the perfect “college experience.” The idea of having the “college experience” varies from person to person. Some people think this means living on your own, doing your own laundry, blah blah blah, without being told what to do by your parents. It is not like I cannot do all of these things while still living at home.

I realize a lot of seniors want to get out of the house to feel what it is like to live by themselves in a dorm. However, I am content with living in my own house and doing everything that I would also be able to do by myself in a dorm if I went away to college. People who go away for college and stay in dorms are not going to have better lives later on because of this reason. I will not have trouble living on my own after I graduate from college. I just want my college decision to be respected, rather than trying to tell me what I am supposedly going to miss out on. Valpo met all of my criteria for a great college where I will get a quality education and have a perfect chance of getting a good job right after I graduate. I made my decision, I am sticking to it and I am definitely excited to start my next four years as a Valparaiso Crusader in August.

Getting involved Portage offers plenty of opportunities to get involved; students must find or create them Collin Czilli Opinion Editor

Twitter: @CollinCZ Soon the end of the school year will be here and the freshmen, sophomores and juniors of Portage High School will return for another school year. One fact I have learned in the past four years is that there are opportunities for every student to get involved; he or she just has to search to find them. Too often I hear how terrible Portage is because there is absolutely nothing to do. Well, I have been attending school here for the past four years and I have never found myself with nothing to do. I have never been bored while attending school at PHS. I do not understand students that say they cannot find any activity to participate in or a club to join. It baffles me that there are still people in our school that say they are not involved. As I sit here as the Opinion Editor of this newspaper, I think to myself, just four years ago I had no desire to be involved with the journalism program. I never thought that I wanted to be on the newspaper staff and cover many events around the school. But one conversation with the great Tom Sanidas changed that. Since starting on “Pow Wow” my freshman year, I have co-founded the student radio station, Pow Wow Radio and co-founded INN-TV, all of this because I got involved with something I never wanted to in the first place.

Through these programs, and others at the school, I have met people that I never would have met. I basically live at this school because I am involved in so many different activities, and I am not alone. There are countless students that do whatever they possibly can during and after school. Whether it is being part of an academic team or getting a part in the musical, each and every activity is a fulfilling use of time. So, it is time for the students who constantly say that Portage has nothing to offer them, look around. What you are looking for is right in front of you. Just take one look at the “Legend,” the school yearbook, and tell me there is absolutely nothing for you to get involved with. And, if by some miracle, there is not something for you, start a new club. Find what you are interested in and find others that are interested too. It is very simple to get together after school and do something productive together. I could not possibly list all of the activities because there is not enough room on this page to list them all. There are so many things to do, you cannot possibly do them all. I would love to be a part of some groups, but my other school commitments do not allow it. I have a challenge for all of the students in this building. If you honestly believe that there is absolutely nothing for you to get involved with, come to room 153 after school and look through a yearbook and then say there is

nothing for you to get involved with. Even if you think you may not like it, show up to a meeting and see what it is about; you may be surprised. Look at me, here I am four years later as the Opinion Editor of the “Pow Wow,” Station Director and Executive Producer for INN-TV and a lead host on “Pow Wow Radio.” Now, I have won awards and honors because of them. I am part of an award winning newspaper and was named a Student Journalist of the Year finalist. My columns have won multiple awards at competitions. Just think: I never wanted to get involved with any of the activities above. Do not mistake this as an avenue to point out my accomplishments and to say that I am better than everyone else because I won a few awards. That is not my intention. I tell you this to underline the point that getting involved is not a bad thing. Portage is not a bad place. If you think Portage is bad, try to go somewhere else and not be involved, I bet you it will be just as bad, if not, worse. To underclassmen, get involved now, do not wait. To next year’s seniors and juniors, it is not too late to get moving and do something. Join Student Council or act in the next theatre production. Come after school and help with recycling or maybe you could go to a chess club meeting; the announcements always say that everyone is welcome regardless of playing ability. Maybe academic teams or quiz bowl are something for you. Who knows, take journalism and you may love the “Pow Wow” and find your passion. I know I did, and I am hooked for life.

Letter to the Editor: Alternative cause for 9/11 Collin Czilli: In your article about budget cuts, you believe a compromise is the problem? That is budget issues that we have are only because the politicians can’t agree? That defense needs cuts because of its cost rising due to 9/11? The problem is way more than that, not to mention the flaws in your own argument. First off, 9/11 occurred from budget cuts to defense. Had the Department of Defense had the budget it has today, 9/11 wouldn’t have occurred because they would have had the necessary equipment to do so. Security was cut way down because of the lack of money the department had. You cut its spending even a little too much and you’ll leave America open to another attack. Then there will be yet another retaliation to the attack, and that one would probably sink America into a hole that it would never crawl out of. Second, the country’s leaders, politicians mind you, make the biggest salaries in the country. The President

himself makes about $400,000 a year plus another $50,000 for expenses. Supreme Court members and senators make upwards of $200,000 at least in addition to the citizens paying for their healthcare! They want to make the country better? Then they need to stop protecting their own bank accounts and be true leaders by stepping up to the plate and making the sacrifices that are needed, namely their own paychecks. Why is it they can increase the taxes, decrease spending, raise the costs of all goods, and yet make more money to compensate to remain on top in money? They want to fix it? Then cut down their paychecks. The President doesn’t need that much money a year; you hardly hear anything about Congress doing it’s job, and when they do they don’t even make the proper decisions. We have congressmen who have been in there for 57 years! 57! Thirdly, the current situation is being caused by politicians who refuse to leave power. They keep going and

going just because they can. It needs to end now, they also need term limits. I mean, seriously, 57 years in congress? He’s been in there since 1956! It’s ridiculous! We have people leading who are so very outdated that their out-of-date views are preventing correction and adjustment. Those are the issues! Not this lack of agreement; it is the smallest problem of the iceberg of issues. You can’t look at the top of it and say, “This here, this issue right on top is causing it all.” It’s an obvious thing that if you want to fix a budget problem, you put more into the funding, and spend less. That’s pretty much the most basic lesson in budgeting. What’s taking so long is also the fact that they want to find a budget that doesn’t make them look like bigger fools by only benefitting themselves yet again. Matt Bolin, senior


May 3, 2013

Meet the student body officers: Students elect new officers to run Student Council Joshua Lewis

Features Editor

As the school year nears the end, students elected a new regime to lead the Student Council. The elections occurred on Tuesday, April 16, when junior Matt Bliss became the new president, junior Tep Junyanid became the new vice president, junior Autumn Stevenson became the new secretary, junior Savannah Yuhasz became the new treasurer and junior Stephanie Vance became the new historian. Although each junior ran uncontested, each of them was pleased to become an officer that leads the student body and serve as an example of how students should act. “I was extremely honored when I found out I had won,” Stevenson said. “Although running unopposed should have shattered any worries I had, there’s always a tiny sliver of doubt and a freak out moment or two to keep you humble.” For Yuhasz, becoming the treasurer was the result of accumulated efforts. “It is a great honor to be a student body officer because I have been in student council since sixth grade working to get where I am now,” Yuhasz said. Now with the power to invoke change, Bliss already has plans for his vision for

the future. Bliss said he plans to make new fundraisers to help the Student Council fund, allowing them to have more service-based projects, increase student participation, and as the voice of the people, he would like to reform some of the educational policies in place in the state of Indiana by petitioning and working with the Board of Education and giving them student feedback. To surmise his intentions, Bliss plans to decrease the amount of homework and have class time used more efficiently. Inspiring more student involvement is a common goal for each new student body officer. Junyanid said he plans to create events sponsored by the Student Council that will draw in an unprecedented number of students to participate, and thus make the Student Council more attractive to the student body. Being a student body officer has a different meaning for each junior. “Being a student body officer is beyond an honor; it means your peers trust you with their school’s extracurriculars and they also are choosing you to represent their spirits as a whole,” Stevenson said. Vances shares Stevenson’s view on the meaning of being a student body officer.

Vance said that it is a great honor to the historian because she is able to represent the school and lead the Student Council, which determines what events will take place during the school year. Running the Student Council as an officer is not an easy task by any means, however. “After seeing how hard [senior] Emily Evans worked this year as the student body president, and seeing all of the goals we accomplished, I hold a student body office in very high esteem,” Bliss said. “It takes creativity, management and courage to do any of the student body officers’ jobs” Each officer encourages students to join the organization. “More students should join student council because not only is it a blast, it also dictates what events are to take place throughout the year,” Stevenson said. “It gives the students a say in what goes on. It gives a voice to us as students.” Above all else, each student body officer aims at creating a successful Student Council whose impact on the student body has been unprecedented. “What we have in Student Council is something special and I’m striving to leave a legacy for future members,” Junyanid said.

Join Student Council

Come to three consecutive meetings and sign honorary member sheet

Chair three Student Council Events

Remain a Student Council member through the entire year

Continue to regularly attend Student Council meetings

Have a GPA above 2.5

Complete election petition

50 classmate signatures, 3 teacher recommendations

Attend Leadership workshop

Get elected by Student Body

Not including current seniors

Prom dress trends for 2013 New dresses are made easy dance in High-Low Dress with a Belt -Easy to move in -Looks formal -Feels light

Mermaid Dresses with Sweetheart Neckline -acentuates your body -makes you look taller - formal

The Back Page 8

Issue 13 | May 3, 2013

Testing to take place following prom Caleb Ingersoll

Features Writer

Prom is a long-awaited event that is all fun and games until right after the weekend when the Scholastic Aptitude Tests and Advanced Placement tests begin. So upper-classmen will enter test week right after the Prom filled weekend has ended. Students will need to cope with the stress of after-Prom testing while they try

to entertain themselves for their afterprom weekend plans with their partner or friends. Senior Aleena Mileski plans to attend Prom while dealing with the anxiety of the big testing the Monday subsequent to Prom. “I’m truly not worried too much about the testing. Believe it or not, I am more focused on the fun aspects after Prom, not the testing afterward, because I already feel I am going to do well,” Mileski said.

A day in the life of: Sandy Cherry

Tyra Allen

Features Writer

If you have taken a photography class, signed up for summer school, received a tribe pride card or simply needed to purchase school supplies, then you have visited the bookstore. Sandy Cherry is the Bookstore Secretary. Cherry has been working at PHS for five years. She arrives at the school at 7:00 a.m., and get off work at 3:30 p.m. Although, she does not go home right away, she stays after to volunteer with the sporting events. Cherry said that the beginning and end of the school year are her busiest times. Cherry’s main responsibilities are removing debts from student accounts, returning lost

books, taking care of drawn students debts, restocking the bookstore and selling school supplies to the students. She also helps out in the Guidance Department, coordinating the college representatives visits to the school. “I enjoy working at PHS, and working in the office with Mrs. Linda Wyatt, and also all the staff in the Guidance Department,” Cherry said. During the lunch periods, Cherry has a few students who help sell supplies, run passes and answer various questions from the students. “Our student helpers are the best, they are willing to help Mrs. Linda Wyatt, and myself

Mileski said she has already prepared for her SAT by using the pre-test study booklet and practicing online earlier in the year. Prom is definitely a time for celebration for the close end of students› high school careers, but college is also close and needs as much attention from the student body as Prom does. “I wasn’t even aware there was testing after Prom until now. A forewarning

would have been nice,” Hailee Hicks said. “But honestly, I have not prepared much because I was not informed. Well, that’s a bigger buzz kill than buzzkillington.” There are plenty of study packets, booklets and more information that can be picked up to assist your studying capabilities just by visiting the guidance office. Try to fit some studying in with the busy weekend schedule so you may prepare for what lies ahead for you on Monday, May 6.

Going the distance



Students travel across U.S. for college ASU

Angela Dornbos

Features Writer

Cherry works on various tasks at the bookstore. Cherry has worked at PHS for five years. Photo by Taylor Mlynski out with whatever we need them to,” Cherry said. Cherry is not directly involved with any school activities; although, last year she was assistant cheerleading coach.

Her job can be stressful at times when the book store is really busy. “I am here to help students, parents and staff as needed and to help make PHS a great place to go to school,” Cherry said.

As the year concludes, certain seniors are taking the expression “going the distance” literally, attending college far away from home. To pursue a nursing degree, senior Raina Bellow will be attending Arizona State University. “It’s sad that I’m going, but I’m excited to make more experiences,” Bellow said. Leaving home to travel far away to college has its pros and cons. Bellow said going away

to college will allow her to have more experiences, but is discontent with not being able to see her friends or family. Going into his freshman year undecided, senior Brandon Kellum was accepted into Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Proclaimed by Kellum to be costly with a six hour drive from Portage, he finds the negatives worthwhile. “The school is located in a rural area, so if you’re looking to get away

from the city, SIU is the perfect place for that,” Kellum said. “The school is awesome, and I can’t wait to start in the fall.” Senior Josh Kane will be attending New York University next fall. Kane believes an urban setting and change in scenery will be refreshing, but is disappointed about the inconvenience of distance. “I’m excited to be able to be broaden my horizons and enjoy the next four years in the city that never sleeps,” he said.

Softball team visits Michigan City, blanks wolves 13-0

2 1

1. Senior Lauren Murray rounds third base in a game against Michigan City on April 27. Murray scored a run for Portage, contributing to the win. 2. Senior Stephanie Upton slides into home plate. Upton scored was safe, accounting for one of Portage’s 13 runs in the shutout victory. Photos provided by Lynda Hodges

Pow Wow Issue 13  

Issue 13 of the Portage High School Pow Wow.