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Ralston Valley Xpress

FEBRUARY 14, 2011 | VOLUME 11, ISSUE 4

Over Coming Obstacles with Ollier Disease Looking through the eyes of junior, Meghan Hargrove as she tells the story of living with Ollier Disease Abby O’Connor

News Reporter

Is there a difference between being an overprotective mother and a mother who knows something is wrong with their baby? Many of the doctors that Megan Hargrove’s mother visited about her daughter’s limping turned her away and said she was being overbearing and all babies walk like that. This didn’t stop Hargrove’s mother; she was determined to find out what was wrong with her baby. After many trips to different physicians, she finally found one, who noticed something was wrong but could not fix it. Still not stopping, she looked everywhere she went to find an answer to her baby’s limping. When Hargrove was around two and a half years old, her family was walking through the parking lot and noticed the number for Shiners Hospitals for Children on the back of someone’s car; they had found their answer. By the time Hargrove turned three she was in Salt Lake City, Utah, preparing for her first surgery at Shiners Hospitals for Children. Hargrove was the youngest patient the doctors had ever preformed that surgery on. Hargrove was diagnosed with Ollier Disease. It is a disease that is nonhereditary, and affects one in 100,000 children. Children diagnosed with Ollier Disease are prone to breaking bones and have swollen limbs, making it difficult to walk. This disease is normally diagnosed during toddler years because it’s not very visible when children are infants. “When I was three I had a halo device put on my femur.,” Hargrove said. “Basically what that is, is a device that has two round ends, with pins and needles drilled into my bone. Each day, my parents would have to twist the rods that pulled my bone apart.” Since then, Hargrove has had three other devices placed in her legs, one being staples and the other being a rod in the tibia of her left leg and one in the femur of her right leg.

MEGHAN HARGROVE: Hargrove suffers from a rare bone disorder, Ollier Disease. Despite this she still manages to have a bright outlook on life.

Throughout her childhood, Hargrove has had over 20 surgeries. “I really enjoy going to the hospital.” Hargrove said, “The doctors and nurses and everybody else have made it such an enjoyable experience.” Some of the surgeries took many weeks out of school, leaving her to struggle to get caught up on her school work.

“My most recent major surgery was last February and it has been quite the adventure,” she said. “What happened was they had taken about two inches out of my right leg (the one that was bigger). They put a rod in it to help keep it in place while it heals. When the doctors [were] putting the rod into my bone, they badly fractured it, and it was awful trying to get caught up after that.” Due to Hargrove’s right leg being longer than her left leg, she has been limping since she was a child, which has limited her options of extracurricular activities. In elementary school, she couldn’t participate in physical education activities or after school sports like many kids. “I have been in a wheel chair three times, and on crutches many more times than that.” Hargrove said, “I have also had [a] cane that I use when my leg feels so bad that I don’t even think I can walk “I have been told that I shouldn’t do sports, and that was disappointing when I was younger, but now I find things to do such as crew for theatre, which is super awesome.” With everything weighing down on Hargrove such as her surgeries, missing school, curious gazes towards her leg, and more she considers herself lucky to have an amazing family to support her through everything. “My family hasn’t been affected all that much,” she said. “We have all become a little [stronger], and definitely a lot closer. We know that when I have a surgery, we all have to do what we can to make it as pleasant as possible for everybody. “I do feel bad for my mom though,” she said. “No mother should have to see her child go through so much.” Between surgeries and making up missing school work, Hargrove doesn’t have a day where she is not sore or tired. “As for the future, only time will tell,” Hargrove said, “However, I hope it gets better.” With that outlook, how could it not?

Living The Pages of National Geographic Madame Leslie’s travels around the world. Sami Roberts

News Reporter

There was a loud slap on the side of the boat, stirring its captains. It was dark, and the only thing for miles and miles in every direction was more of the same deep blue. It was the middle of the night, and Ralston Valley French teacher Mme. Andrea Leslie and her husband were just changing watches on the boat, looking around anxiously to find where the noise had come from. After feeling a gentle yet significant push from the back, they realized that something unusual was going on in the water. This would’ve been scary enough on its own, let alone being in a part of the world where boats and sailors had been known to go missing. At least 100, 15-20-foo-long whales circled around in the waters beneath their boat. They must have thought the boat was another whale harassing the territory. “We took the third hit, which was so loud,” explains Leslie, “It was so loud I was sure it cracked the helm. And that’s when I said, ‘Oh, my God. They’re attacking us.’” The next move was to make a 90-degree turn to the south in an effort to move out of the angry whales’ way. They turned on the engine, letting the pilot whales know that they were not another creature. Leslie feared the worst. “You go down and see where there’s water coming in,” Leslie said to her husband, “because nothing sounds that loud when the hull isn’t damaged.” Fortunately, there was no water and no damage. Being a ‘quick thinker’, Leslie’s husband told her to put on Mozart, and blast it as loud as possible; classical music was known to calm down whales. Soon thereafter, they were being escorted out of the territory by two whales following closely behind, making sure the Leslies’ sailboat was not going to return. “We speculated,” she said, “that we could have separated a mother and a calf, and they got fussed with us.” This was Leslie’s most terrifying experience during her family’s four-year expedition around the world....on a

sailboat. But even this barely scratched the surface of her adventures. Leslie and her husband lived on a sailboat for 18 years. She says that the biggest challenge, which was both good and bad, was the lack of space. However, it has changed her view on our society. “I see a lot of things as unnecessary, superfluous,” Leslie said, “A lot of materialism, and people just wanting more and more stuff, and having lots of clothes and things around the house...I see that as unimportant.” The Leslies’ came up with the idea to sail around the world when they both realized how much their sailboat could actually do. From that point on, almost every single day they worked to prepare their boat and themselves for “The Big Trip”. So it was no shock when one day they woke up and realized they were ready to embark on their journey. Having left San Diego, California, in 1998, Leslie and her family sailed down the west coast of the US, to the islands in Central America, to South America, all the way over to Australia, Asia, Europe, and finally back to California in 2002. In four years, the Leslies sailed to 42 different countries. Students here at Ralston Valley sit in their history, geography, or government classrooms and focus only on the teacher, the board in front of them, and occasionally the students sitting around them. For Leslie’s children, Ellen and Scott, the circumstances were quite different. They could have a history lesson about the Egyptian pyramids, and then step off the boat to be standing only a few miles away from the very focus of their lesson. Whether it was spending time with orangutans, learning how to tie on a turban, being submersed in the wildlife of Australia, or even doing the day-to-day duties like grocery shopping or homeschooling, life never lost its excitement. “There was never boredom, never,” said Leslie. “There was always something that needed doing on the boat. It was some maintenance, or repair. We’d be working, doing something on the boat, school work. Then we’d have places to go see. And sometimes we’d explore

FROM THE WORLD TO ARVADA: Madame Leslie stands in front of the map of her travels in her French classroom. She traveled to 42 countries around the world in 4 years on a sailboat with her family.

from where we were.” Leslie’s kids didn’t spend extra time wandering through the lobby or sitting with friends in the cafeteria. “If there was a nice beach,” Leslie reminisced, “we’d just relax and the kids would play on the beach and that was recess from school.” Aside from exploring the cultures and learning some of the languages, Leslie and her family had their chance to contribute to a good cause. Mikey was the name of the Gibbon monkey the Leslies came across while spending time with orangutans in Borneo. Gibbons are very intelligent creatures, and Mikey became close friends with the family. Continued on Page 3

Ralston Valley Xpress



Friday, February 11, 2011 Email



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Staff Editorial Valentine’s day is coming up, as basically everyone knows. Even if you don’t keep close tabs on the calendar, there are announcements every morning about the French Club selling candy to give your sweetheart and whatever. I think it’s great that people celebrate love and appreciate the heck out of their boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, fiancée, fiancé, and any other variation on a significant other. And beyond that, one’s family and friends are hardly omitted from the equation. On the other hand, it seems kind of forced, doesn’t it? Almost as if you can only show appreciation for your loved ones one day out of 365 (366 on Leap Years!) and then back to a cold, if cordial, acquaintanceship. Alright, that’s not accurate, but it does put an awful lot of pressure on people. Especially boys; I would hate to be some girl’s boyfriend

on February 14th, especially if that girl happened to be into romantic movies and books like The Notebook and Titanic and whatnot. Just watching a suave actor putting the moves on a beautiful actress seems to turn up the heat, and I’m not even a dude. Of course, none of this is exactly new. A lot of people have protested the commercialization of what used to be a saint’s feast day. And quite honestly, it’s not a big deal; after all, some would say you’re supposed to make a big deal out of birthdays and anniversaries too, and those demi-holidays are completely self-inflicted. It’s like a minor Christmas in February; some people love it, some gain six pounds and an ulcer, and some people look up and say “Gosh there’s a lot of pink going on today. What gives?” rvhsnews. com rvhsnews. com rvhsnews. com rvhsnews. com rvhsnews. com Cartoon courtesy of Ashley Haramaki


Random ‘whinnies’ heard within the Ralston Valley community “Say no to girl scouts and they’ll burn down your house.” “See, it could be Guitar Hero, but what if it was BEAR hero?” “It makes a mushy sound, but there’s no mush!” “At least she didn’t have a beard like the other one.” “I will stroke this cat until it is furless.” “It’s editing time!” These randomly selected quotes from other members of the Ralston Valley community were heard by newspaper staffers. They are not endorsed by, nor do they reflect the views of Ralston Valley High School, Jefferson County School Districet, the XPRESS, its editors, adviser or staff, nor do they reflect the views of the Ralston Valley community as a whole.

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Texting and Driving

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Cultural differences in holidays New Years Resolution Bands

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Spring Musical Dinner and a Movie

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Ralston Valley High School 13355 W. 80th Avenue Arvada, CO 80005 (303) 982-5560 Editor-in-Chief: Emily Kribs Managing Editor: Rachel Brown Aesthetics Editor: Ashley


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does not express the views or opinions of Ralston Valley High School nor those of the Jefferson County School District. All views expressed within the Xpress are the opinions of their listed writers, except unsigned editorials, which are the official opinion of the Xpress Editorial Board. All content from other sources, named or anonymous, is solely the view of the original speaker. Said content is not the opinion of the writers, Editorial Board or adviser of the Xpress. The first two copies of the Xpress are free and available throughout Ralston Valley High School. Additional copies may be purchased for 50 cents where available. Taking or purchasing one or more copies of this publication with the intent of preventing other individuals from readily accessing

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Wiki Leaks Madame Leslie (Cont.)

Zombies 2012 Military Path

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American education vs. world Book Ban Debate Team

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Sports Briefs Stock Show

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Boys’ Basketball Kyle Column Danny G. Column

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Amnesia: The dark decent Homefront Game Review

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Editorial Board (left to right): Rachel Trujillo, Jeff Fleischman, Ashley Haramaki, Kyle Piersky, Rachel Brown, Marshall McStraw, Emily Kribs


Ralston Valley Xpress NEWS EDITOR Marshall McStraw

Friday, February 11, 2011

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Founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Sparks International Controversy after Publicly Releasing Classified U.S. Documents Marshall McStraw

News Editor

WikiLeaks is an independent website that publishes sensitive documents retrieved from external sources that has drawn heavy criticism from the United States and some of its European allies after publishing substantial government documents. In October of 2010, they exposed approximately 400,000 US military logs related to the Iraq War. Subsequently, in November, WikiLeaks, as well as influential newspapers including the New York Times, began publishing a series of 251,287 confidential diplomatic cables. While the documents aren’t top secret, this is the largest release of confidential documents in American history. WikiLeaks has stated their intention to release them all over a period of several months. The loudest criticisms have come primarily from U.S. government officials, insisting that WikiLeak’s lack of consideration for the consequences of its actions has endangered numerous American lives. Harold Koh, a legal advisor of the U.S. State department, addressed WikiLeaks, stating that it has acted “without regard to the security and the sanctity of the lives your actions endanger;” Such as the diplomatic cables severely harming the international relationships between America and prominent countries of the global community. The statements exemplify the lies evident in international politics, especially in U.S. diplomacy; one being a joke about a senior U.S. official lying to parliament after covering up a series of U.S. attacks; or another by Israeli officials admitting to intentionally blockading the Gaza Strip in order to collapse the economy of the Gaza Strip, despite Israel vehemently denying the allegations in public. The number of diplomatic cables is immense, and the long term effects on the international community have yet to be determined. A rather significant leak was a video, recorded in July 2007 and published separately in April of 2010, in which a U.S. Army Apache helicopter opens fire on an estimated dozen innocent, and relatively unarmed, Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. One of them was holding a gun, yet this a fairly common occurrence in Baghdad, and he posed no apparent threat. After nearly a dozen bodies are left scattered through the street, a van stops to assist the wounded, at which point the gunman begs for permission to open fire. He then proceeds to kill the man driving the van and seriously injuring his two children. After a series of gunshots are fired a crew member states “Oh ya, look at those dead (expletive)” in celebration. An anonymous Ralston Valley senior stated his opinion that, “It isn’t right to kill citizens under any circumstances, and it only gives terrorists more anti-American propaganda.” Surely American men in uniform deserve an immense amount of respect for risking their lives on a daily basis, but the slaughtering of innocent civilians only fuels the creation of more terrorists and accomplishes nothing. This video humiliated the United States and its allies, and has caused much discussion as to whether or not the American soldiers were justified. Another particularly controversial leak is a list of militarily relevant sites the United States considers important places of infrastructure. Interestingly enough, the list is

JULIAN ASSANGE ANNOUNCING HIS MEMOIR. Will be written because of financial woes. Photo courtesy of

not one of military facilities, but rather locations the U.S. considers vital to international communication and the global economy. Such as a previously unheard of network of cables lying across the ocean bed of the Pacific, linking the United States to Australia, and many of its allies in Asia. American officials claim that the information serves no beneficial purpose to the public, and can be harmful to the international community in the hands of terrorists. Conversely, WikiLeaks supporters believe it leads to greater accountability in governments claiming to be run democratically. In a statement by Daniel Ellsberg, the man who released the Pentagon Papers, he defended Assange saying, “Actually, lives are at stake as a result of the silences and lies which a lot of those leaks reveal.” At present, there remains a substantial lack of evidence supporting America’s insistences that WikiLeaks released information that endangers the lives of those involved. There is no proof that any terrorist attacks have occurred as a result of the information, nor that any will happen in the future. Perhaps the greatest damage has been done to America’s reputation. Ellsberg’s release of the Pentagon Paper’s marked a significant turning point in President Nixon’s presidency, as well as the Vietnam War. And the condemnation, similarly, came most intensely from the White House. Upon hearing this, an anonymous Ralston Valley junior said, “it’s suspicious that the White House would respond in such a way. But it’s Assange that is out of line for needlessly endangering American lives, not the government.” It will be particularly difficult for the United States to extradite a European citizen on espionage charges, due to a large amount of treaties protecting against the extradition of “political criminals” between western nations. The circumstances are further complicated by the fact that no one has ever been convicted of espionage for the publishing of leaked government documents, and the circumstances were relatively unheard of until now. Being an independent publisher will likely be Assange’s greatest defense, in conjunction with the First Amendment, specifically the freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Assuming that Assange will even be tried in American courts, it’s likely to be a precedential case that will define the limitations, or lack thereof, of the first amendment and its protection of foreign publishers of classified government documents. WikiLeaks states on their website that “WikiLeaks relies upon its supporters in order to stay strong.” Indeed, its American and French service providers, including and MasterCard, withdrew their services of hosting the site; and it was WikiLeak’s proponents that created mirror domains to preserve the information, as well as the funding required to maintain it. All of the corporate domain name providers suffered a succession of distributed-denial-of service (DDoS) attacks, and stated their primary responsibility to be protecting the interests of other website domains. DDoS attacks send large amounts of information requests, which make the website difficult to access. Amazon additionally cited

Living The Pages of National Geographic (Continued from Page 1) Madame Leslie’s travels around the world Sami Roberts

News Reporter

“We got to this one area, and he came to Scott and kind of was picking at his pants and Scott was playing with him,” explained Leslie. “They had this little dance going.” The Gibbon connected with everyone. “Mikey got kind of tired, so he came over and just sat very quietly next to Ellen. And then he took his hand and reached over and just took her hand,” said Leslie. Even when they were walking, Mikey would follow them through the trees above, and then hitch a ride on her husband’s shoulders when there were no trees. Leslie said that he was even smart enough to play a prank on her kids....and steal a die from a game of Monopoly. “They’re so smart and clever like that,” she said. “In Thailand, people would steal them out of the jungle and dress them up and get them drunk to entertain people in the bars.” Knowing Mikey and seeing how wrong this was, Leslie and her family went to visit the rescue center and made donations to the cause. “They [the rescued Gibbons] were angry. They were screaming and some of them were just sitting there banging their heads,” she says, “It was like an insane asylum for these Gibbons. Hopefully, there are enough sophisticated tourists out there who would say, ‘Ok, this is not right.’” There is something about being able to explore the culture and traditions of another part of the world that



just blows the mind. “We call those ‘pinch me’ days,” Leslie said. “I mean, that’s the kind of thing you read about. And we we’re there. “You wake up and think, ‘I can’t believe this, I’m living the pages of National Geographic,’” Leslie says with a laugh, “Africa really spoke to me. Which is why I was very interested to go back to Malawi with the W.H.O.A. [club]. I’d like to see more of Africa. I keep thinking that it’s calling me.” Even for someone who you could say has ‘done it all’, there are still places Leslie would like to see more, including the indigenous ‘Berbers’ of Morocco, for example, or the houses carved in the rocks in Turkey. The people in almost every place they traveled welcomed them to their country, including the dolphins. “We were in this cool anchorage, in Mexico, on our way back up the coast,” she said. “And as we came in there were dolphins greeting us. The dolphins were almost a good luck sign. If it got really dicey, dolphins would show up and show us the way.” Finally, after four years of journeying and exploring almost every place imaginable, Leslie and her family cruised back up the west coast of America. “We got to San Diego and I felt this huge relief. It’s like, ‘I speak the language, I know what the money’s worth; I know the rules,’” Leslie recalled. “And, of course, those are the things I love about travel, because it’s different. But after a while, after four years of being on the move and not belonging some place, I was ready to feel like I belonged.”

a violation of its terms of service by the publishing of “material it didn’t own and that could cause harm to other people.” MasterCard stopped allowing donations to WikiLeaks to be made through their company; a major problem has since arisen in funding that’s becoming increasingly scarce. After the series of attacks launched against the website server providers of Wikileaks, speculation has arisen that the U.S. government was behind the attacks, in an attempt to suppress the flow of information. Currently WikiLeaks is being supported by a Swedish domain provider, under the domain name, no longer Finding many supporters on Twitter, WikiLeaks was funded by anonymous philanthropic organizations, as well as concerned supporters prior to the removal of MasterCard’s indirect support. Twitter was issued a subpoena by the U.S. government to hand over information on Julian Assange and his supporters, and notified its users of the situation, despite the government telling them to avoid the publicizing of the subpoena. This enraged many and continues to fuel speculation of the government’s wrong-doing, in addition to the possibility that they’ve subpoenaed information from other sources unbeknownst to the public. This environment of individual lead action has lead to the creation of a vigilante group known as “Anonymous.” They have launched several counter-attacks on websites they deemed opposed to the information being released by WikiLeaks, such as Amazon and MasterCard, similar in nature to the ones exacted upon WikiLeak’s service providers. Though less sophisticated in nature, it uses a botnet of volunteers’ computers to flood websites with information and make them difficult to retrieve information from. The U.S. government obscurely warned against people becoming involved in the botnet. Anonymous claims to have decided to avoid further attacks that may indirectly affect innocent people, and has resorted to spreading positive publicity of WikiLeaks through posters. An often misrepresented aspect of Assange’s intentions is that he has no consideration for the effects of his actions. In reality he claims to be against the secret exchange of information between governments, and to create more progressive governments through the weakening of authoritarian states. If his statements are true, the backlash of the governments involved was only to be expected; democratic or not, the government is not infallible and its reaction to the documents is grounds for suspicion, at the very least. Assange is currently being held in London on charges of allegedly having coercive sex with two Swedish women. He insists that he’s the target of false and politically motivated allegations, and is having his case reviewed in London to determine if extradition is the appropriate action. There’s significant media speculation that he will not be extradited to Sweden after the testimony of a key defense witness acknowledging that the Swedish law enforcement had apparent irregularities in the investigation. Key defense evidence also includes a large number of text messages in which the two women admitted to wanting “revenge” and to hurt his reputation and prevent him from receiving a fair trial. Assange and his lawyer maintain that the media spotlight, will lead to him being imprisoned unjustly, as well as possible extradition from Sweden to the United States, where he could potentially face the death penalty. For the moment, he remains in London until a decision is made concerning the authenticity of the charges he faces. The controversy of Assange’s actions is immense, and the effects of WikiLeaks on the international community remain to be seen. Regardless of opinion, the documents already, and those yet to be, released will continue to plague global politics for years to come.

This surprised her, considering the envy she had always felt toward anyone else who had traveled prior to her own journey, and her desire for adventure. There’s an emerald speck in the distance, and everyone’s eyes light up, their stomachs fluttering with excitement. After days and days on end of seeing nothing but light blue in every direction, the first sight of land is like the first rainfall to a desert blistering in the heat. “You get used to what it’s like out on the big open ocean,” Leslie said. “It changes and whether you smell it or feel it, it’s a wonderful sense of anticipation as you approach and make landfall.” Fortunately, for students at RV, landfall has taken her here.


A Teenaged Military

Ralston Valley Xpress NEWS

Why do kids join the armed forces? Zach Hambright News Reporter

SALUTE THE FLAG: A current Ralston Valley student whose career path will make him a soldier in one year’s time. He is one of approximately 180,000 new recruits the military receives each year. Photo courtesy of Emily Kribs

Joining the military is a big decision for anyone, whether a person is thinking of joining the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy or National Reserves. It’s a commitment to the country that demands self discipline. No matter what the branch of choice happens to be, each person has to go through eight to nine weeks of raw challenges, otherwise known as boot camp. Each day is filled with sweat and blood, and it isn’t rare to find tears in your eyes at night. Each week consists of new and varied training exercises to help the recruitee adapt to the life of a soldier.

Joining the military doesn’t sound very fun, but by doing so one is entitled to multiple benefits such as money for college, cheap life insurance, housing, and a lot more. They also get the satisfaction of accomplishing something great, and will learn that the words “I can’t” do not exist, at least not in the military. A recruitee will also travel and discover new cultures and foods at no out-of-pocket expense. By joining the military, a person will create life-long friendships and financial security. There are a lot of pros and cons of the military, but it takes the right person to hear the call. So what makes people join, and how does an individual decide that this is what is desired. Well senior Francisco Perez shared why he is planning to joining the Marines after high school. He replied with “I feel as if it’s my duty.” Not only does he feel this way about joining, but he’s also joining because of all of the benefits the Armed Forces offers to every trainee and soldier. Why he chose the Marines is for multiple different reasons, not just for the benefits, however, (if he were to join for the benefits, the Air Force would have been his choice.) The Marines are the most widely known and respected branch of the Armed Forces, their slogan says it all, “They’re the best.” Perez believes that everyone should join for at least the minimum term allowed by each military branch, and not only because people morally should, but instead because it teaches core values to whoever becomes involved in the service. Teens join the military for too many reasons to list, whether it is because of a family background or something closer to Perez’s case, that they believe it is their duty. Joining is nerve wracking decision, but teens join because they’re given a choice.

Center for Urban Education

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Teaching elementary, special education or early childhood students? Having a job in a classroom each morning as a teacher’s apprentice? Attending college classes from 1:00 – 4:00 in the afternoon? Doing it all RIGHT HERE IN DENVER? If your answers are “yes,” you can be on your way to a Bachelor’s Degree and a Colorado teaching license at UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN COLORADO’s Center for Urban Education Denver Center Call 303-637-4334 or 303-637-4336

THE WALKING DEAD: Residents of Fort Collins put on their undead faces for the camera. Colorado zombie fans have a unique opportunity to play their favorite movie monster in an upcoming independent film, Zombies 2012: Genesis. Photo courtesy of

The World Won’t End in Flames . . . . . . It’ll end in zombies instead Rachel Brown Managing Editor

As of late, a lot of speculation surrounds the year 2012. Supposedly, on December 21st, the world is going to end. How that end comes about is anyone’s guess, regardless of whether or not the date is true. Now, pretty much everyone’s heard about the 2009 movie 2012, in which the destruction of the Earth is brought about by a chain reaction of natural disasters. That’s old news. But this isn’t. A new, independent film has arisen under the name of Zombies 2012: Genesis. Oh, and it’s going to be shot here, in northern Colorado. As if that in itself wasn’t cool enough, director Michael McCarthy is also looking for local actors to portray his flesh-eating monsters. That’s pretty sick (no pun intended). McCarthy’s vision, as it were, focuses on six would-be survivors in a pre-apocalyptic world. It is implied via the film’s Web site,, that a major plot theme lies in human betrayal. Hence, the zombies aren’t the only things moviegoers will have to be wary of. Likened by the director to films such as 28 Days Later, Night of the Living Dead, and Deliverance, it’s safe to say that Genesis will be nothing like the not-so-horror movie Zombieland. In fact, it should be just the opposite. As declared by its Web site, “This is a film that will put true horror back into zombie films.” So, as opposed to the silly nonsense that zombies are now associated with, Colorado is looking to be creating a real psychothriller, something that ought to truly terrify audiences. Isn’t it exciting? “It is dark, disturbing and uncomfortable,” says McCarthy. “Just like the collapse of society and the end of the world will probably be.” Sounds like a great movie. And it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if there are people out there willing to don gory makeup and tattered clothing in order to contribute to its creation. Actually, it would be more surprising if there weren’t any anxious would-be contributors. So, if one such person who is not insane is reading this article, then it would be a wise decision to continue doing so. Any would-be actors need to submit a headshot of themselves, their résumé, a demo reel of their work, and anything else they feel would help their cause to . . . Zombies 2012 Production Office Attention: Colorado Casting 1635 Foxtail Drive, #320 Loveland, Colorado 80538. It is specifically stated that no phone calls or online submissions will be accepted. The cutoff date for receiving résumés is March 1st. Scheduled auditions will be held starting on March 8th, with callbacks on March 10th and 11th. This is an independent film, and as such will probably remain relatively obscure. However, it will give participating actors the exposure that could make all the difference in the world should their résumé be accepted. Also, as an added bonus, those who are chosen will be compensated with meals, small cash per diem, production stills, promotional materials, and a copy of the finished product. That doesn’t sound too bad. Then again, neither does helping the cause of what McCarthy hopes to be “a work of art that is as beautiful as it is disturbing.” Wannabe zombies of Colorado, rejoice.

Ralston Valley Xpress


Monday, February 14, 2011


Holidays Around the World Similar holidays produce different types of celebrations Louisa Kennedy

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The resolution to make a resolution Richard Corso Spotlight Reporter News Reporter

ST. PATRICKS DAY IN IRELAND: St. Patrick’s Day is a largly celebrated holiday in Ireland.

Holidays are a way to bring people together, celebrate a historic event, and to be grateful for all the things people cherish in their lives. Yet, some holidays that are important to people in other countries may not be so influential here at Ralston Valley, or in the United States Worldwide in the month of May, there are around nine holidays including May Day, Santa Cruzen Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, Mother's Day, Shavuot, Vesak, Citizenship Day - Canada, and Victoria Day. Most students at Ralston Valley would be able to name about three of the May holidays, but what about the other six? If you research Vesak, you would find that it is described as the most sacred day of Theravada Buddhism. It is also called Wesak, it is an observation parinirvana of the historical Buddha. Now how many people at Ralston Valley celebrate that holiday? Not too many. And there is also Christmas, which is much more commonly known throughout the US. Even people from other countries know about Santa Claus, and the presents and the beautiful lights that glow on the outside tress just for December 25 every year. And once the holiday has past, you just can’t wait for it to come again next year. There are people who have the small Christmas, and there are people who go all out. Brett Humphrey, a sophomore says that at his house, “Christmas is a big deal. All of us get together with all of my family members and we have a turkey feast with green

beans, mashed potatoes, and biscuits.” And that seems to be the quintessential idea of Christmas among most kids at RV. Humphrey also is a bit unconventional. “On Christmas Eve we always go skiing and that is a blast.” For upcoming holidays like Valentine’s Day or Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone in the Unites States seems to celebrate it relatively the same! But how do other countries celebrate these approaching holidays? India, for example, has really jumped onto the idea of how Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day, despite the complaints from religious groups around the

country. With the chocolates, presents, and love going around, why not pass it onto Italy? In Italy Valentine’s Day is more of a declaration for engaged couples rather than passing out candy to all your friends. Yet, we share the general topic of love in all three countries on the same day, while other nations who don’t celebrate Christian beliefs may not. And Saint Patrick’s Day, where green is the common theme, is of course widely celebrated in Ireland and America because there are many people in the US with an Irish heritage that spread their green color to friends and anyone around them who are looking to just have a fun holiday! The strong presence of green during this holiday is mainly for Ireland’s lush green landscape and the color has stayed with the holiday around the world ever since! Although there are several other holidays that people at Ralston Valley have never heard of, there are also some that we didn’t even know we shared with different countries. We can always expand on how much we know about the world around us by looking at what holidays others celebrate and realizing that we may not be so different, or that we may want to celebrate it ourselves.


Bands You Ought to Know

The Skyline Surrender Kyle Piersky Sports Editor

The Skyline Surrender, a band comprised of Jinji Tompson (Bass), Justin Williams (Guitar/Vocals), Anthony Archuleta (Vocals), Ryan Simms (Guitar/ Vocals), and Stefan Lopez (Drums) has fought hard for exposure. Their hard work has paid off as they have played with bands such as Haste the Day, Mychildren Mybride, and Let Live. “We basically started this band and it was just kinda something to do after high school,” said Williams, prior to the band’s Jan. 23 concert at Denver’s Marquis Theater. “Then we started getting more serious and picked up Jinji. Then our old vocalist and drummer left and we picked up Anthony, Ryan, and Stefan.” After their second album This Is Character, their original drummer decided it was time to call it quits. Stephan, from local band The Red Dawn Rises, came very well qualified, and was a great fit for the band. “It‘s not easy,” said Archuleta. “We ran a lot try outs and it’s really hard trying to find someone to fit our style, especially as people, especially when going on tour when we have to be able to play music with, as well as live on a bus with for weeks at a time. I think we’ve done pretty well so we’re pretty happy with where we’re at.” You don’t have to listen to metal to be a


fan of The Skyline Surrender. “It doesn’t really fit into one genre,” Williams stated. Not at all, agrees Archuleta. “We’re not just a metal band, or we’re not just a hardcore band,” said Archuleta. In fact, the band is, if nothing else, eclectic. “We have elements of hardcore, we got indie rock, epic stuff, technical stuff, and a lot of progressive,” said Tompson. The Skyline Surrender will head to the recording studio in March to record their new full length album. “We’re really excited about the new album,” Williams said. “It’s gonna be big. While we were recording we really wanted that when you listen to it, you want to jump off a cliff and grab a pterodactyl and just punch it in the face.” Skyline will be traveling to California to record in a studio owned by As I Lay Dying singer Tim Lambesis. Other bands who have recorded with Lambesis include Destroy the Runner and No Bragging Rights. So look for their album in May. The Skyline Surrender has a lot of heart and passion for what they do. The music that they produce has the best of all rock sub genres. And that is why they are a band you ought to know.

People seem to always be in a fuss when the New Year starts. There are overweight people trying to run a few feet at least once a day, and skinny, bone-like individuals trying to “fatten” themselves up. Either way, the start of a new year brings a “new me” to many different people. But for teenagers, there are many who don’t really seem that into the whole idea of creating a new, improved version of themselves. A 2.0 version, if you will. When it comes down to it, the traditional and easyFriday, – answer Ralston Valley–Xpress February,high 4 2011 school have for the resolution ONLINE EXCLUSIVE SPORTSstudents EDITOR We want to know your opinions on these Kyle Piersky predicament is to shake it off, and offer issues. Visit to make a comment, vote in aknow… poll or write to us. the obligatory, “Uhh, I don’t Maybe get good grades or something.” Personally, the “or somethings”, while vague and lackadaisical, present an entire cache of genuine possibilities. The “good graders”, on the other hand, seem to be setting themselves up for another semester of visits to the FAST room. Despite repetitive redundant responses

to an obviously easy resolution question, a few students actually have taken the turn of the calendar to focus clearly on improvements for 2011. “I want to become closer with my brother,” said sophomore Ashton Wolf. Good answer, and it falls outside the box of the usual resolution. But it was nice to hear somebody focusing on more than the superficial reflection in the mirror. A similar goal for the New Year that was discussed was the necessity and desire to make new friends. Again, good goal, and one that stretches everybody to expand their comfort zone and not shrink their waist line. Sophomore Hannah Berzina wants to expand her possibilities on the athletic field. “I would like to make the varsity (lacrosse team),” she said. Specific, measureable, action-oriented, realistic and time bound. Smart choice. Whatever your goal, take the turning of the calendar as a challenge. Challenge yourself to become better then you saw your reflection in 2010.


Ralston Valley Xpress


Friday, February 14, 2011



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Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat

Tayler Bunge

Spotlight Reporter cal debate? At a taping of Glee?

Palms sweating. Conversations overlapping. Vocal exercises echoing throughout the room. Feet shuffling in perfect rhythm. Monologues being rehearsed and rerehearsed. Is this during a choir class? Before a politi-

No—but close. It’s after school on January 13, before auditions for Ralston Valley High School’s spring musical, Guys and Dolls. At least 60 students mill about the choir room, audition forms in hand, butterflies in their stomachs, and iPods plugged into their ears for one last chance to study their song of choice. They are soon corralled into the audito-


“I wanted to go out with a bang.” This is essentially the philosophy of how Noah Weldon is getting through his senior year at Ralston Valley. After three auditions for school musicals

(Guys and Dolls will be his 4th) and one audition for a fall play (he got a major role in RVHS’ Thunder on Sycamore Street), Weldon saw this as his last chance to perform onstage and took it head-on with little expectations and a lot of passion. “Performing is just a hobby,” Weldon explained. “I think it’d be less fun if I did it professionally. I just love it… I like making people happy and letting them have a good time [at a show].” Weldon took that light-hearted spirit into the auditorium, choosing an upbeat Michael Bublé pop song (“Haven’t Met You Yet”) and a satirical monologue from the comic Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Although he took an optimistic and cheerful tone to his approach, Weldon had picked out his monologue during his freshman year of high school. “I picked it out four years ago and decided to save it, until now, because I wanted my last chance to be that good,” he said. And his philosophy toward the auditioning process? “Go in, do what you’ve got to do, and hope for the best,” he said.


Kayla Mally, junior and a high soprano, has been there and back again. She’s trekked through the audition jungle many times before, for RVHS school musicals and fall plays, a Heritage Square musical, among several

other professional events. The stress of it has mellowed over the years but performing is never without anxiety. “I’m used to auditioning at Ralston Valley, but it really depends,” Mally said. “I did an independent event at [Thespian Conference] and I was just shaking; I was so nervous.” As experienced as she is, parts of it still give her jitters and wrack her nerves—but make her more anxious for the big day. “The anticipation is the worst; building it up for days before-hand,” she admitted. “But for me, once I’m on stage, I’m way more comfortable and more in my element. The feeling [I’ve] built up for days and weeks just goes away.” Mally, who (like Weldon) also had a lead role in RV’s production of Thunder on Sycamore Street, begins preparing for play auditions at the end of summer, and preparing for musical auditions at the end of the play. The high-stress environment is taken seriously by everyone, including all the judges, and after walking through the hallway on an audition day, you feel as if you’ve stepped backstage at a dark Broadway

Dinner and a Movie

Rachel Trujillo

Spotlight Editor

For a night out whether with the family or with friends, dinner and a movie is never the wrong place to turn. Luckily in Old Town Arvada there are many options to have a good time. The dinner selection varies in all types of food, especially down the strip of Grandview. One place in particular to enjoy before a movie is located on the corner of Grandview Ave. Udi’s includes a pizza and café bar along with sit down tables for your eating preference. “I went to Udi’s for the first time for

rium and talked to by choir director Mr. Jeff Talley and theater director Mr. T.J. Thomas. Anxious and excited, the performers squirm uneasily in their seats, ready to get going. You can almost hear the sound of engines revving. Thirty minutes later, they take off—to the instrumental music room, where all 67 performers will be taught a dance to perform (by memory) a few hours later.

my friend’s birthday,” said Stephanie Pyne. “There was a lot to choose from and the food was delicious.” For a birthday dinner they provided cake, singing, and great entertainment for the guests. Their menu includes deli style sandwiches, soups, and salads, and pizza and is open for all each meal of the day. With the moderate price range a dinner meal following a movie down the street at Old Town Theater would make for a perfect night. In a historical drama in relation to a king’s struggle to overcome his debilitating stutter, Colin Firth takes on the role of

During this time, five students are picked at random to leave the room and are brought, one by one, back into the auditorium. CDs in hand with an instrumental version of their accompanying song, the performers enter, greet the judges, step onstage into the spotlight (occasionally missing the big, white X on the floor), and wait for the “OK” signal. After that, it’s all up to luck, talent, and grace under pressure.

compensated with fervor. “When you watch live theater, it’s an experience like no other. It’s like a time capsule,” Koch explained. “Seeing something on such a large scale—like a Broadway show— it’s amazing. There’s nothing like it. What I’ve realized [from seeing shows], is that you need to have raw passion to make it great.” Koch took her own passion into her A lot of students walk into a school audition with years of practice and training music selection—“Superboy and the under their belts. They’ve been singing op- Invisible Girl”, from Next to Normal. “I connect to the song,” she said, erettas since age six, tap-dancing since age which is what she explains a person seven, starring in theater company producneeds in order to give an audition soul. tions since age eight. And after seeing such an incredible But there is something more to the industry than a ten-foot long resume: know- battery of professional productions, she has learned that a performance without ing the business and its trivia, inside and out, backwards and forwards. What junior soul is not a performance, at all. Samantha Koch lacked in experience, she

The Aficionado

theater. Yet, high school show auditions are extraordinarily different from the real, professional world. In reality, a performer would carry around at least five songs and monologues in their head, being able to hand an accompanying pianist the sheet music and belt it out. In Ralston Valley’s case, students prepare a song and a monologue (of their choosing) beforehand. Mally’s choice was “Honey Bun”, from the musical South Pacific. But, straying from the usual pattern, she picked her monologue from a novel, “The Princess Bride”. Of the chancy maneuver, Mally describes that you have to take risks in order to get the best experience out of an audition. “You’ve got to take chances and do something you’ve never done before,” she explained.

After strenuous auditions, callbacks, and hours of the judges’ time, the cast list went up the weekend of January 15. Weldon was given a major role in the cast—Harry the Horse. The senior, who was only hoping for “a part with at least a [speaking] line” and figured he “wouldn’t get a role in the ensemble”, ended up scoring a spot on the coveted list of central characters. Mally, a trained performer for ten years, scored a part as a “Hot Box Dancer”, a featured female dancer. Koch was cast in the ensemble, which is a group of background singers and dancers. All are happy (and some surprised) with the casting, and the truth of the matter is—no one would have gotten that far without total dedication to practicing and their passion. Show business is among the toughest industries to break into, let alone build a substantial career. It takes guts, opportunity, effort, sheer luck, and a huge amount of talent. It takes a long time to become the next Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane, or Kristin Chenoweth. The road is long and hard. It’s pricy and a little scary, and involves headstrong dedication from the very first time you step onstage. Every name up in lights on Broadway got there through years of vocal lessons, sending out headshots, and waiting tables to pay the bills. Years later, a name that has been mixed in with a “backup dancers” list has made it to the cover of a show’s Playbill. Great reviews, future jobs, networking, and finally—eventual success within the “show biz” world. But one thing every performer can assure you of—it all started with an audition.

King George VI. Not always holding the position of the King of England, King George VI was earlier referred to as Prince Albert, Duke of York. After many attempts and fails to defeat his speech impediment, Prince Albert refrained from changing his ways again. When the job of the King is thrust upon him he must use the help form his speech therapist, Lionel Logue, to eventually push aside his fears and strongly represent his country. This movie, set during the time of WW2, portrays the struggle and pressures in ruling a country, but the glory in overcoming your own battles, while helping the country you live for, overcome theirs.

This is a remarkable story about a remarkable friendship and the glory in perseverance during that time.


SPOTLIGHT Ralston Valley Xpress

Amnesia: the Dark Descent Turning men into babies one “BWEAGH” at a time Ashley Haramaki Aesthetics Editor

CREEPING IN THE SHADOWS: One of the monsters of Amnesia doing it’s thing. The monsters of the game like to appear in the most inconvenient and darkest of places, forcing you to hide. Photo courtesy of

Horror has always been a category that is difficult for everybody to appreciate, whether it’s just poorly made or we just want to sleep that night. But one game has managed to break these barriers, and that is Amnesia: The Dark Descent for the PC. The game is made by Frictional Games, whose only previous title is the cult favorite Penumbra series. Mechanically, it is a point-and-click physics based game. Almost anything that isn’t nailed down (or just too heavy) can be picked up and thrown about. The firstperson feel and the lack of memories on even the main character’s part really makes the player feel as though they’re in the game. The basic story for Amnesia is within the title; you play a man named Daniel who has lost his memory after he’d wiped it. He’s left only with a note to himself saying to kill the baron of castle Brennenburg, Alexander of Prussia, and to be wary of the mysterious shadow that’s following him. Amnesia has done its darndest to make sure its players stay scared, and it starts with this by abusing darkness. When left in darkness too long, Daniel goes mad and often begins hallucinating; if left unchecked for too long, all he’s capable of doing is dragging his face on the floor. To remedy this, one must light torches and candles for quick and small sources of light, but nothing fixes insanity faster than lighting your oil lantern. But be warned;

the lantern can run out of oil (often at the most inconvenient of times), and not only that, but light attracts the elusive locals. The locals (the fan-given name for monsters) are where Amnesia hit the jackpot. They are the twisted former servants of the baron Alexander, and not only that, you can’t kill them. That’s right; you can’t kill them. Amnesia has no weapons, and thus no way to defend oneself. Instead, the player must crouch in a corner in the darkness. However, looking at locals (as well as being in darkness, of course) can cause sanity level to drop drastically, which will make locals not only appear more often, but be more aggressive as well. The best thing to really do is to let Daniel’s brain drip out his ear and live to go insane another day; running or trying to fight will only get you killed. Amnesia: the Dark Descent has pushed the boundaries of horror games and is ranked as one of the all-time favorites among gamers. Fans always come away with a good scare. One of these gamers, Ralston Valley alumni Patrick Hazlett,, took it upon himself to pick up the game. He says he found Amnesia by, “Watching reaction videos [of the] game [on youtube] and I really wanted to try it myself.” The reaction videos for Amnesia have a fan base all


A game that takes a look at the possible future of America Tyler Salen Photographer

“In our time no foreign army has ever occupied American Soil. Until now.” This was the slogan for the 1984 film Red Dawn, which portrayed the U.S.S.R.’s invasion of the U.S. During this time however, Americans took it as a warning of the future and to be ready for anything. In today’s society however; we wouldn’t even think about an army invading the United States. But what of the things to come? From writer John Milius, who brought the Cold War

era films “Red Dawn” and “Apocalypse Now”, comes the upcoming multi-console game Homefront. The game portrays not a Soviet, but a Korean occupation in the United States. In Homefront, the entire introduction is a tremendous and beautifully flowing interactive narrative that introduces you to the future-America and it’s not pretty. For those not versed, it’s a brutal and oppressive society ruled by North Korea – and you’re about to become a pawn in the uprising.

their own, eliciting fits of extreme laughter as the viewer watches as a tormented player screeches about their oil running low, or squealing when a local pops up on screen. But what happens when you become one of those players? Hilarity. When people watch things such as this, they don’t expect it to be one of the scariest run-throughs of their lives, and Hazlett felt just the same. “How scary could this game really be?” he asked himself, “[I’d] heard some really good reviews on it saying that it was absolutely horrifying, but I figured since I played a lot of survival horror games it couldn’t be that hard.” A foolish assumption to make, you could say. Within minutes, Hazlett found himself changing his opinion. Amensia’s crowning jewel is the overall atmosphere it generates. Most of it is created by the many pitch dark areas, Daniel’s fluctuating sanity, and the random scream or two that can set anybody off. “The game does a fantastic job of putting you in that dark scary room where that one shadow might be a monster. It’s very nerve wracking and unsettling rather than a [sudden] scare,” says Hazlett. It’s said that you don’t even encounter a monster until about the middle of the game, after your nerves are completely shot and even the slightest sound can have you falling out of your chair. Now that is horror of the most genuine kind. One of the most feared parts of Amnesia is the castle sewers, where it’s almost impossible to hear the troves of locals walking as you slosh through the muck of the underground. Hazlett quickly learned this to be one of his least favorite places. “There’s a part where you have to move around a monster without dying; after you do so the monster immediately notices you and charges after you,” he says, “ I thought he was behind the door in front of me, so I turned around [only] to see an abomination hack my face off. It was scariest for me just because I didn’t know what to do and the sudden attack just freaked me out.” Freaked out means pausing the game, running over to your bed, shoving a pillow in your face and then screaming, just by the way. Yeah, that bad. Now, Amnesia is almost nothing without its sound; most of the tension is created through this, after all. Hazlett’s suggestion for maximizing the overall experience of the game is to, “Play at night, in the dark, with headphones.” And there you have it. Creeps and shrieks, a renewed fear of the dark, and a game that you’ll not soon forget. Amnesia: the Dark Descent is for anybody who is looking for something different in a game, whether it’s horror or not. Horror fans should get this game; gamers should get this game; PC owners in general should get this game. Amnesia is on experience you won’t soon forget. Oh, and, pro tip: stay out of the water. The story begins in the year 2011, where North Korea’s weapons have stockpiled beyond one thousand missiles. A year later in 2012, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has been declared dead and his son Kim Jong-un takes power. Within a year of his reign, he unites North and South Korea to form the Greater Korean Republic. By 2015, the American gas prices are estimated to be $20.00 a gallon. In 2017, civil unrest intensifies across the U.S. after the demise of the U.S. dollar. 2022 hits and the U.S. president orders a freeze on bank withdrawals thus symbolizing the fall of the United States economy while Korean annexation continues along Southeast Asia. Finally in 2025, Korean forces seize Hawaii, have taken San Francisco, and by 2027 Korean forces reach the Midwest. The game itself starts in 2027 and players are in Denver, Colorado where the North Koreans control most of the West coast. As you’ll first discover, players will not be an advanced cyborg or special operative of the U.S. Army; instead you’re a citizen turned freedom fighter. You’ll join a fellow band of fighters that will move along to free as many Americans from Korean occupation, and you’ll begin in Colorado. The game is said to play as a combination of Bad Company 2, Call of Duty, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. A fun shooter with some classic and future weaponry from Modern Warfare 2 and the more team based strategy of territory capture in Bad Company 2. All these together can make a more enjoyable game unlike the other first person shooters were the main objective is kill kill kill! But that still remains a concern to experts that Homefront will be one of those games where it’s constant shooting and stabbing other then team based strategy. Now, even if it is a fictional game depicting a hypothetical future (like most popular first person shooters) a story such as Homefront’s can be chill, the warning of what’s to come. Recent events may actually change this from fiction to reality. Tension on the northern and southern Korean borders has escalated in recent events and, an outbreak of war may be imminent. Not to mention how $20 a gallon of gas can cause an economic struggle for a severely overly populated planet in the near future. Today’s economy is described as “Bad and getting worse” by experts and there’s no complaints either; Unemployment, rising in retail prices, and not to mention gas consumption. Although communism hasn’t made a big impact since the Cold War, it is still a concern amongst the world, especially the United States and those they’re allied with.

Ralston Valley Xpress


Monday, February 14, 2011



Emily Kribs

Rachel Brown


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The Newfound Danger of the 21st Century Texting and driving, and the grim consequences thereof Alexa Tomasello Spotlight Reporter

Up A COSTLY MISTAKE: Even experienced drivers need to maintain focus while driving. At about 400,000 injuries and 5,000 fatalities, teens still only make up 12% of car crashes in the United States. Photo courtesy of The Land Ugly Forgot Left EYES ON THE ROAD: Texting while driving causes one to keep their eyes on their phone and not on the road. Given sight is the most essential sense for safe driving, the consequences can be fatal.

Another day, another drive. Looking up at the road to make sure you’re all good. Looking back down to respond to your friend’s text message, “Yeah I am almost home, what are you up to?” But before you know it it’s too late. Screech, slide, smash. If you’re lucky, everyone survives. Many aren’t so lucky. Most crashes happen close to home when your guard is down. Did you know that 81 percent of the United States’ population admits to texting while driving? Although teenagers are seen as the icons of texting while driving, statistics from 2010 done by Pew Research Center revealed that 47 percent of adults resort to texting compared to 34 percent of teenagers. It makes you wonder, are parents setting a bad example for their children? How many parents are texting while their kids are in the car? It’s up to the youth to make the right decision even if their parents are potentially setting a bad example. is a website that promotes safe driving for teenagers. They believe the time is now to fix this problem-and who better to promote this than fellow students? The website provides statistics about teen driving, parent tips, teen driving laws, and more. Unfortunately, most teens are not aware of this site; there are not enough commercials and radio announcements to get their attention. In a world full of television and radio, more needs to be done. A Ralston Valley security officer stated, “Watch where you drive, not what you’re texting.” Most people would agree. Texting while driving is a huge problem in today’s society. What else do people have to say? Students who were asked about this topic gave varied answers. Ebony Cole, junior, believes, “I think it is a dangerous habit that is hard to break. People shouldn’t be advertising it to others. I myself have a problem with texting while driving like everyone else.” Lorenzo Politano, sophomore, commented, “I think it’s bad and very distracting. I tried it once and didn’t like it; it’s too hard to see.” According to a study done by Virginia Tech Driving Institute, people who resort to texting while driving are 23 times more likely to have an accident. Ralston Valley High School’s campus officer Engdahl advised, “Just don’t do it. I stopped a guy once in a big working truck at a light. He was texting; the light turned green and he didn’t move. I was in a marked car and everything. I honked and he started going down the street at 15 miles per hour. It’s careless driving.” It may seem like “not a big deal” but every day more people are faced with the expensive consequences of

their actions. Today’s technology has consumed the minds of the adolescent population. Collin Roselius, senior, said, “I think texting while driving is good. I’m able to do it just fine. What would Harley Davidson do?” His comedic answer is like most who don’t realize the seriousness of the activity. Unfortunately, it does not cross most peoples minds what could happen while they text when driving. It has become an impulse and second nature for many. Sophomore Rachel Roush stated, “It’s really easy to do it, so I do-but not while my mom is in the car.” studies have shown that texting while driving is more dangerous then drunk driving-so why is there the need to do it? Most students admit there is no valid reason, they just want to reply to their friends. But at a cost so high it is mind-blowing that many would take the risk in the first place. The temptation of the cell phone is very strong. Though many people have texted while driving almost everyone at some point texts. Some are smart enough to realize the cost is too high. Car accidents are the numberone killer of teenagers taking on average 11 lives per day. In a single year, approximately 4,000 teenagers die and 450,000 are injured [Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Fatality Facts 2008 and Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, ‘The Teen Driver’, PEDIATRICS Vol. 118 No. 6 December 2006, pp. 25702581 (doi:10.1542/peds.2006-2830)]. These frightening statistics just the tip of the iceberg. Junior Aimee Sims agrees, “It’s getting really bad. I can’t text and drive; it isn’t worth it.” Her friend, junior Holly Hoffman added, “I say just don’t do it, because most people don’t have the coordination to pay attention to both their phone and the road.” The scariest part is that drivers all around you could be engaginging in this dangerous behavior. Living in the state of Colorado poses an even higher risk because of the winter’s snow. History teacher Jeff Gomer stated, “I think it is stupid to text and drive. I don’t want to kill anyone. I don’t text whether driving or not.” During the day the snow melts, but at night the water freezes, creating black ice. Black ice is the cause of many car accidents and makes a driver’s chances of sliding around much greater. Junior Caleb Allen believes, “It’s very bad, you can cause accidents, slide on ice, and lose control of your car-which could end fatally. It’s so dangerous.” Talking on a cell phone while driving can make a driver’s reaction time as slow as that of a 70-year-old.

With that information, imagine the probability of death in a circumstance with black ice and texting while driving. The odds would be against the driver. One Ralston Valley student knows better than anyone the dangers of texting while driving. Junior Brittany Jackson was driving while texting, and ended up running a red light and causing a four-car accident. After that experience her advice is, “A text message can wait. It really is not worth it when your car gets destroyed-as well as other peoples’. The bill is especially discouraging for all the fees and damages that you cause.” What most students don’t think about is the possibility of taking another’s life, as well as the effect that car accidents have on families-especially accidents that have resulted in a loss of life. Car accidents kill many people on a daily basis, changing families forever. Grudges are held and worst of all, love ones are lost. Although the damages can be pricey, nothing is worse than having someone’s child, mother, or father being taken away abruptly. Drunk drivers are not the only ones that take lives. Texting while driving or even simply not paying enough attention, can result in this kind of tragedy. The effects of people’s behavior while driving spans much farther then just a ruined car and a large debt. Another driving distraction can be friends in the car. Imagine having friends in the car while texting and driving; the risk can easily be doubled. If you factor in music with all the other distractions in texting while driving is almost asking for an accident or death. Phone companies now are working to help make phones safer for the car. Inovations such as the Blue tooth and Genius on the phone make life much easier. Now you can speak to your phone to find things that are needed. Even car companies are getting on top of the game. Hands-free devices are assisting people worldwide. In a world full of progress, it is questionable why people would take a step back from safety. Texting while driving is a serious problem that has an unclear solution. The effects of people’s behaviors while they drive cause a ripple effect and can change lives forever, whether it be through a large debt, a life loss, brain damage, injury, disability, and more. Every time you sit down behind the wheel, think about the decisions you make, whether it’s remembering to use a turn signal or to ignore a text. When you are driving, every second matters.



Ralston Valley Xpress

The US Eats Europe’ and Asia’s Dust America’s schools and technology falling severely behind competition Warren Tay

News Reporter

With education becoming the prime skill needed for competing, U.S. students are finding the transition rather difficult from high school to college. Though America has some of the best Ivy League schools, they still fall far behind in terms of math and science as compared to Asian and European countries. Michelle Rhee, a former chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington D.C., said that a valedictorian who graduated from high school in the United States ended up struggling in mediocre classes in college. A new survey of standardized test scores have shown that in terms of reading, science, and math, the U.S. was the 14th, 17th ,and 25th ranked country in the entire world. Shanghai, China, has ranked first in all three prominent categories, while other Asian and European countries ranked in the top four. In recent studies, it has been found that U.S students spend less time in school and studying than that of other international students. The United States has been falling behind in the process of technological advancements as well. For example, 4G, a fourth generation cellular wireless standard was recently released for America in 2010 for a faster, more updated processing speed for the phone. However, 4G has been out in Asia since 2006. “We don’t have any technological advancements,”

says senior Griffin Wahl. “I don’t think there’s anything here that’s not already out there.” The United States has always strived to be at the top of technological advancements however, with science and math standards falling behind, U.S no longer leads the world in terms of technology. If the U.S. plans to advance further into technology, medicine and higher quality jobs, it would have to increase its educational standards starting at high school. “Education standards seem to be higher in places like China,” said senior Michael Sounart. In terms of technology, “U.S. has been ahead for a while but Asia is now doing better with tech.” There are no graduating standards for the U.S in which math and science are accurately judged. Though some would say that the SAT and ACT scales the understanding of mathematics and science, places like Japan have averages of 51 points above U.S in math and 57 points above, in science. However, Japan requires entrance and exit examinations for all high school students, through which their level of understanding is accurately judged from start to finish. A couple years ago, California began a program where high school students needed to take a pre-graduation examination. They had to pass this exam to graduate high school before moving on to college. When they first initiated this idea, the result caused the examination

officials to retract in fear because the results were horrendous. Far too many students had failed this exam and arguments began that if students weren’t able to pass such a “simple” exam, they shouldn’t be graduating in the first place. Nonetheless, such comments were ignored and the examinations were disposed of. Though we may have low standards for education, “I think it’s organized but kids aren’t getting the highest education,” says senior Mitch Thunell. We do attempt to formulate solutions to increase the development of America’s education but we’re too far behind and the race for advancement has caused us to take shortcuts in which America is unprepared for. American schools have the shortest school days in the world with an average of six and a half hours. Other countries like Sweden have forty to fifty hours of school per week. With the advent of summer vacation, all the material that was learned during the school year is mostly forgotten by the time the next school year comes around. On the other hand, the rising percentages of schools failing their adequate yearly progress have even pushed some states into manipulating their adequacy percentages. This only further illustrates how much America has fallen behind, and that not enough is being done about it.

Whitewashing History An exploration of banned and censored books Greg Ferbrache News Reporter

Did you know that the controversial “N-word” is used over 200 times in Mark Twain’s classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? The book itself is not all that controversial, but that specific word is what makes it such a taboo topic of schools nationwide. Now, it’s fine if a book is not approved by absolutely everyone, but it must be stated that even if you don’t agree with a certain novel, publication, internet site, that does not mean you go about attempting to ban or even censor whatever it is. Scheduled for release in February of this year is NewSouth’s “clean” version of Twain’s classic novel featuring Huckleberry Finn and a slave by the name of Jim. The man responsible for this absurd “clean” version, Alan Gribben, has gone about rewriting the classic, making sure to whitewash all the politically incorrect terms, such as “Injun”, and changing the “N-word” to “slave”. Gribben, himself being a Twain scholar, has stated that he intends to rewrite the story so as to better suit the needs of today’s growingly politically correct classrooms. As Gibben prepares for the book’s release, there is a continual parallel that keeps reappearing: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Captain Beatty best described this as “Colored people don't like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don't feel good about Uncle Tom's Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book” (Bradbury 59). He was not too far off seeing as how even the slightest politically incorrect statement or word, penned back when the usage of such things was common place, is being flung into the interrogation light and being labeled racist.

Another example is Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. The “N-word” makes another appearance, and so does the continual whistle blowing. The word is not used because Lee is a seething racist who loves to belittle a race of people, she uses it to further the reader’s hatred for the main antagonist, Bob Ewell. But is that a factor censorists take into consideration when challenging a classic? Nope, they make it very cut and dry if-it’s-there-it’s-racist-and-hence-bad. Yes, the word itself is bad, but not in the contexts the two authors used it in. Twain used it to lampoon how white folk spoke way back then by amplifying it to a ridiculous point, and Lee uses it to point out the horrors of racism. Think, for a moment, of the Mona Lisa. Now imagine an overbearing mother coming across the masterpiece and deciding that Da Vinci is showing too much cleavage and that it takes away from the beauty of the painting. So she paints a bright pink sweater over the blouse and calls it good. This, sadly, is not fiction, as things like this are happening for the same stupid reasons. Someone comes across something that is a masterpiece, but, finding fault in some of the words/way it is written, decide it is their duty to cleanse it for the upcoming generations who are taught to accept everyone and such. But that does not mean they should white out history and its products so a few kids can sleep better at night. The only way to rebel against this censoring and/or banning of classics is to read. Yes, that is a corny way of putting it, but they can’t take it away from you once it’s firmly implanted into your psyche.

Not Up For Debate

The Ralston Valley debate team exists as a virtual nonentity Emily Kribs News Reporter

A debate team is seen as a high school standard; it exists as one of those “groups” that one mentions when describing a high school atmosphere alongside “the cheerleaders,” “the football team” and “the marching band.” However, Sean Woodworth, vice president of the debate team, claims, “According to the school, we don’t exist.” It sounds melodramatic, but in a way it’s true. The debate team has no teacher sponsor and perhaps a total of ten regular attending members, including Woodworth and the team captain, Kurt Luce. (They are aware their titles do not correspond, and enjoy it as one of the advantages of their unofficial status.) They must organize their own yearbook photos and absences for when they need to skip school for a debate. Part of their nonexistent status stems ironically from the invisibility itself. The lack of people on the debate team means few have heard of it, or know where and when to find it, or even who to contact to rectify this should they choose. When asked, Kurt Luce produced a list of approximately ten members spanning the board from freshmen to seniors, two of those ten being himself and his vice president. The fact they’re unofficial doesn’t mean they’re incompetent; in the first varsity debate of the season in, the team won three of three debates in regular tournament and took second in finals. Debate topics tend to be morally oriented; the idea is to discuss issues pertinent to the world today with subjective stances. “[Debate] keeps me informed on recent topics,” explains Luce in regards to what he likes about being on the debate team, “and lets me formulate an opinion that isn’t biased and gets both sides of the issue.” Woodworth was a tad less eloquent. “I like beating up smaller nerds,” he grins. Debate teams meets in room C2235.

RESOLVED: A whiteboard in Barbara Schrader’s C2234, the usual haunt of the debate team. Written upon it are a number of topics, examples of the sort of issues routinely debated. Photo courtesy of Emily Kribs


Ralston Valley Xpress SPORTS EDITOR Kyle Piersky

Monday, February 14, 2011 ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

We want to know your opinions on these issues. Visit to make a comment, vote in a poll or write to us.

Rope ‘Em Up


Students miss three weeks of school for the National Western Stock Show Paige Robinson Spotlight Reporter

Come January, in Colorado, it’s stock show time. Everyone, whether they are the skater boy or city girl, attempts to channel their inner cowgirl or cowboy by watching the National Western Stock Show. From the daring eight second rides of the bull riders to the innocent trots of the “mutton busters,” excitement booms throughout the Denver Coliseum. One act of the show belongs solely to Colorado, composed of high school girls and boys, the Westernaires’ very own Varsity Red Team. Two members of this team, a team that is, “the best precision mounted drill team, at speed,” reside in our very own Ralston Valley halls, Taylor Cooper and Haleigh Shipley. Along with riding in the stock show, comes responsibility and practice. The Red Team practices every Saturday, rain or shine, snow filled streets or smoldering heat, at nine a.m. sharp. The team is composed of about 30 riders, each with a different type of horse, but all sharing a combined passion of riding, and all having that one special connection with their horse. In preparation approaching the stock show Cooper said, “I try riding three times a week in the month leading up to stock show to get my horses in shape.” Shipley agreed. “Getting your horse physically ready is the most important part so that they have the stamina and ability to perform their best and so that they don’t get hurt,” she said. Getting to the position they are today didn’t come easy. Cooper has been in Westernaires for nine years, and this is her second stock show with Red Team, while Shipley has been riding in Westernaires for seven years, and this is her first stock show with Red Team. They started off as “Tenderfeet” where they learned the mechanics of the horse. After a year with this team came “Juniors” and “Single A,” where they are taught the beginnings of drill riding and being able to ride with a flag in their right hand. Of course, at this level they are only riding their drills at a trot, as opposed to their Red Team drill which is performed at full speed. Then is a year on “Double A,” where they become more acquainted with drill riding and performing as a team. Following Double A is “Triple A,” where the drills are now performed at a little bit faster pace. After Triple A is where the real fun begins. They have now made the leap into Red

Division. In the Red Division the teams are traveling teams, the lower teams traveling to Denver and the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, while the higher teams, like Red Team, go all around the country to states like Kansas and Wyoming. They have to prepare their horse for overnight trips, as well as themselves. The stock show occurs for about three weeks in January. The Red Team Riders ride in almost every show, and even if they are not riding a specific drill, are still expected to be there to exercise and take care of all of their horse’s needs. They are required to be at the coliseum for 15 days in which they will perform. However, being at stock show means missing school. Shipley stated that, “Depending on if you try to go to school or not you could miss up to between 10 and 12 days of school.” For most students, missing one day of school for the flu is almost too much to handle. Imagine 12 days. “I went in to all of my teachers before stock show began and told them about my participation in it and talked to them about what I would be missing and how I should make it up,” Shipley said. “In order to keep up in school, lots of us do homework on our down time at stock show.” Even with the few hours of downtime between shows, missing school is still difficult. “It’s really hard missing school,” Cooper said. “Most of the girls try to go in the mornings before a rodeo, but we need to be here to take care of our horses so it’s hard to drive back and forth.” For the most part, teachers are very understanding and supportive of the participations of these girls in the rodeo. After all, they are here to help, not to add to the ever growing pile of stress accompanied with being in high school, and for these girls, participating in an organization that takes them to where they’ve always wanted to be. Many horse riders only dream of being a part of the rodeo. For these two remarkable young ladies, it is a reality. Every day they are living their dream; a dream that took determination and hard work, but was also truly rewarding. Each time the crowd cheers it is a reminder of what they have worked so hard to achieve. With their stallions by their side, they storm in through the gate, announcer saying, “And now, the finest precision mounted drill in the world at speed, the Varsity Big Red!”

TURNING THE CORNER: Taylor Cooper (‘11) rides through the Denver Coliseum. The National Western Stock Show lasted from January 8-23.

SPORTS BRIEFS Girls’ Basketball

The Ralston Valley Girls’ basketball team is off to a very quick start. At 7-1 in league, the Mustangs are leading the Jeffco 5A league by a half game over Dakota Ridge, who the Mustangs defeated January 20th. If the team keeps up this pace, a deep run into the playoffs, led by scoring leaders Denali Murnan(’11) and Kendra Feldman(’12). The next home game for the Mustangs is Wednesday, February 9th, against Lakewood.

Ice Hockey

The Ralston Valley hockey team, the season has gotten off to a good start. Out of all the games they have played (as of January 28) they are 10-2, and in league they are 4-1. Their game against Aspen ended in a 10-0 victory for the Mustangs. Within the first thirteen seconds freshman Connor Schaff scored with an assist by junior Chris Lapinski, making it the fastest goal in Mustang history. The guys then went on to tie their new record at the start of the second period. Dillon Taylor, who is a physical force on the ice, had a hit in the third period that had the entire RV section on their feet. The Mustangs are looking forward to a rivalry game against Regis on Feb. 12th.

Boys’ Basketball

The Ralston Valley boys basketball team got off to a great start with five wins out of their first five games. They then headed to California over winter break for the San Diego Holiday Classic where they proceeded to dominate in the sixteen-team tournament and win the championship. As of the end of January, the RV team has an overall record of fifteen wins and three losses, and a league score of eight wins and three losses. Chase Duben has a high of 10.8 points per game and 195 points total in the season so far. The team plays against Stanley Lake on Friday and Lakewood on the eighth of February.



Ralston Valley Xpress

Take The Money and Run The choice of college athletes to stay in school or go pro Danny Gibbs Sports Reporter

For nearly all athletes, the hopes of someday becoming a professional in their respective sports are a long lost dream. The chances of turning professional are, at best, astronomical. It takes an amazing skill set, as well as a bit of luck along the way to reach the top. There is, however, a very select group of supremely gifted athletes who are able to make a living through their sport, both male and female. For some main sports, such as basketball, football, and baseball, this can mean very lucrative contracts worth millions. While this sounds like a very fortunate situation, it also creates some very difficult decisions. College is a once in a lifetime experience, but after the sophomore or junior year of college, it is not uncommon for top athletes to opt out of their final university years, and turn professional. Forsaking a college degree for a pro contract results in a complete lifestyle change. Athletes go from playing for free, to making 10 or 15 million dollars a year, just from the switch from the NCAA to the NBA or NFL. Two college quarterbacks have recently been making the headlines from their decisions on the subject. Andrew Luck of Stanford, and Cam Newton of Auburn each had spectacular seasons that guaranteed them to be first-round draft choices of and NFL team. Neither, however, were seniors during this season. Although Luck was just a third year sophomore, his performance throughout the season put him at the very top of all potential draftees, meaning that he would receive a contract upwards of $100 million if he chose to forego his eligibility. Newton, a junior, won the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top player, but was projected below Luck in the draft, at

somewhere in the late first-round. While his pay day would be significantly smaller than Luck’s if he declared for the draft, he would still be a very wealthy young man. By mid-January, both players had decided which path they would take, one staying in college, the other moving on to become an NFL player. Their decisions might surprise you. It was generally assumed at the end of the college season that Luck would turn professional; scouts praised Luck’s size and ability, and felt that he was NFL ready. A rare talent, Luck was, to say the least, desired by most teams. Newton was known as raw talent, who still needed time to develop. His mechanics were poor, and most thought he needed to stay in school one more year to hone his abilities. When the final verdicts were announced, however, Luck was to stay at Stanford, and Newton would move on to the NFL. Luck said that he wished to receive his college degree in architecture before leaving school (as if he will ever need a real job after his football career). While this sounds crazy, passing up a lottery amount of money, many have since praised Luck for his level-headedness and maturity. These claims have not been so common for Newton in the past few years. After run-ins with the law and near expulsion for cheating, he was forced to leave the University of Florida in 2008 and attend junior college. His father made headlines this year after a report surfaced that he had requested money in return for his son signing with a university after his junior college season. With that bit of background knowledge, it may come as no real surprise that Newton could not resist the temptation of NFL money. Only time will tell which player made the right decision, though the odds certainly seem favorable for the Stanford Quarterback who will receive his degree in architecture next year.

GOING LONG: Andrew Luck drops back to pass during a game in the 2010 season. Luck will postpone his NFL career for a degree in architecture. Photo by

Evacuated and Undefeated Not even extreme weather can stop the the boys’ basketball team Danielle Davies Sports Reporter

For most teams hitting the road for a tournament, the biggest worry they have is whether or not they are prepared for what the other teams will throw at them. For Ralston Valley’s varsity basketball team, however, it wasn’t the competition they ended up needing to be most concerned about. The San Diego Holiday Classic took place over winter break in California, which at first makes them sound like they would be the lucky ones who got to hang out somewhere warm, or at least somewhere a lot warmer than our home state of Colorado. The team instead went to California when it was having some rather atypical, and dangerous, weather conditions. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in the Orange County area of California due to the unrelenting rain, which led to significant flooding and massive mudslides, and it was possible tornadoes would also join the fray. Thousands of people were in the process of evacuating their homes, some of whom even needed professional assistance. But the guys had more important things on their minds. They did their thing, pulled through, won all of their games, and were set to go to the championship. The morning of the championship game, however, the RV team woke up at 6 a.m. to discover that the area surrounding the hotel was flooding. Approximately three feet of water covered the ground.

“It was strange,” says senior Chase Duben. “When we woke up the power was out, and when we looked outside the streets were flooded and the other hotel had already been evacuated.” The team was requested to evacuate from their hotel not too long after they lost all power. They quickly packed up and went to their vans, only to find out that they were unable to get out of the hotel parking lot because of the height of the water. The vans had to spend a considerable amount of time navigating through another parking lot so as to get to higher ground, where they could then drive out. Ralston Valley’s team was directed to another hotel where they could hang out but realized their problems weren’t solved yet when the power then went out at their new hotel, and they were forced to leave for yet another. Despite the obvious chaos of the first part of the day of their championship game, the varsity team managed to pull through and concentrate on the task at hand. As a result, the Mustangs were victorious. They refused to use their long, frustrating morning and their adventure through the flooding area as excuses, and did what they had gone to California to do. That’s what champions are made of, and they have a lot to be proud of. “It was a 16-team tournament, and we took first place,” says coach Mitch Conrad. “We played probably the best ball of the year.”

Kyle Piersky American Columnist

We’re Better Than You... And We Know ItIt’s a fact. Ralston Valley is the best

at anything we do. Everybody knows that RV is a very demanding school academically, which allows us to excel in college. But more importantly, we’re better at sports. So far this season, we have destroyed the athletics of surrounding schools. Let’s start with football. First year in 5A? No problem. We stormed the new conference taking first place and going undefeated. This included victories over Arvada West and Pomona. The season ended with the football team reaching the quarterfinals in the playoffs. Senior Jeff Grenfell has now committed as a linebacker to Colorado School of Mines Kyle Griffin has committed to CSU as a defensive back Boys’ golf. We won league in the 5A division this year. `Nuff said. Boys’ hockey has been in the frozen four, four years in a row. In the inaugural season, our team took second. The season after, third. Then fourth. And after that second place in overtime. Alumni, Ryan Finnefrock is currently a forward at St. John’s College This season, we have already beat long time rivals Lewis Palmer and Monarch, with many more victories to come. In girls’ lacrosse last season, Chelsea Roberts and Sarah Zeuhlsdorff combined for 95 goals in 15 games. In their previous season, boys’ baseball went 20-6. This was their first season in 5A and like the football team, they took league. They were also second in state. Ben Yokley, a current senior, has been accepted to play at the Air Force Academy. A Pomona loss can always cheer anyone up. That’s what the girls basketball team did, embarrassing them 79-28. Other teams that have been annihilated by the girls’ basketball team are Columbine, Bear Creek, and Lakewood. The softball team finished second in state in both the 08-09 and 09-10 seasons. So other schools like A-West and Pomona can say whatever they please. I encourage it because chances are you have or will lose to us. Because when it comes to sports, we are better than you and we know it.

RV Letter of Intent Signees Sander Aplet-Denver UniversityLacrosse Megan Arguijo-Western Carolina UniversitySoccer Jordan Banich- North Dakota StateVolleyball Megan Eldredge-Benedictine CollegeSoftball Jeff Grenfell-Colorado School of MinesFootball Zach Griebling-McCook Community College- Baseball Kyle Griffin-University of Northern Colorado-Football Arianne Lukens-University of South Carolina- Soccer Denali Murnan-University of Las VegasSoccer Kelley Reeves-Oklahoma UniversitySoftball Tevun Sellers-Northern Michigan University-Soccer Rachel Snyder-Kansas University-Swimming Tanner Svejcar-Adams State CollegeFootball Nathaniel Wiemers-Colorado School of Mines-Football Ben Yokley-United States Air Force Academy-Baseball


Ralston Valley Xpress SPORTS

Nothing Lax About It

Local professional team helps showcase skills, intensity needed to achieve at highest level Tiffany Jones

“We have a very strong lacrosse team at RV,” Smiley as well as all the great guys on the team. said. “We are always supporting each other and helping Gary Gait had a very big impact on Shewchuk. Lacrosse is a wide spreading out. After a loss we all try and stay “He’s my idol, Shewchuk said. “He set the bars of sport, yet seemingly under the positive and encouraging towards greatness for lacrosse.” radar to most. each other. I think the team bondWith 23 players total on the team, Shewchuk always “It’s a mesh of basketball, socing we do helps us a lot and makes seems to be the smallest on the field. He always has to cer, and hockey,” RV counselor us a stronger team out on the make sure to stay determined, keep a strong work ethic, and coach Henry Pettit said. ”Kind field.” keep his physical condition great, and always keep his of like a hybrid, I call it basketball Pettit also states the lesson of feet moving. with a stick.” patience and its importance to the One of the perks, Shewchuk mentions is the traveling With practice five days a week, sport. “Patience is a virtue,” he that gets to be done. When Mammoth players play out as many games during a season as said. “We are patient and underof state games, they must travel to their opposing teams possible, off season work outs, and standing with each other.” “home.” They always stay busy with practice, and don’t fundraising, the Ralston Valley girls Lastly, Smiley recalls her best often get to go and tour. lacrosse team seems to never have memory. “It’s always a great experience to travel,” said Shewa dull moment. “It was the first game, of my chuk, who led the team in scores last season. “Not only is the season imporvery first year playing. I was out on Lacrosse, a seemingly ‘under the radar sport’, has tant, but the off season is a huge the field and it was a one on one, I many advantages to those who take a step out and try part of the game,” Pettit said. was so excited and nervous at the something new. Lacrosse not only keeps one fit and “Because of that, we have many same time, all I knew is, I had to healthy, but teaches life lessons along the way. summer opportunities for girls make the shot,” Smiley said. “And I who are interested.” did! I was amazed I made it, and it Special thanks to: Colorado Mammoth player, Jamie Shewchuk; Ralston Valley’s JV lacrosse made me so excited.” Director of Business Operations with Colorado Mammoth, Josh player of two years, Janae Smiley As RV lacrosse storms on Gross; Firefighter/paramedic, Todd Hobler, RV counselor Henry comments on the game, “Lacrosse with their hectic schedule, ColoPettit; RV lacrosse player Janae Smiley, and The Roome family. is not like other sports, I’ve made rado Mammoth lacrosse players Note: Upon completion of this story, Shewchuk was traded to the a lot of friends playing the game, begin their season with some hard Minnesota Swarm. and it keeps me motivated.” work. ON THE ATTACK: Former Colorado MamAlong with Smiley motivating “The moth forward Jamie Shewchuk is entering herself, her parents help to keep same sport his fifth season as a professional playing in her motivated. has so many the NLL. Photo by Tiffany Jones “I do like [that my parents differences,” motivate me] because I like pushing emphasizes myself to the limit and knowing that I am doing the best Pettit. “Girls do not have nearly I can,” Smiley said. the amount of protection, no RV’s team will be traveling to Arizona over spring helmets or shoulder pads and the break looking for a new learning experience and a way to high school players have much keep fit over the break. Through the trip, the team will shorter sticks than the professionhave practice twice a day and scrimmage other teams. als. High school games have little The trip is mostly aimed toward the higher level varsity to no contact, and play seven on players, but is open to all girls willing to participate. seven for offense while Mammoth Although Smiley is not able to attend Arizona, she players play six on six.” enjoys helping the team do fundraisers to support them. Former Colorado Mammoth She says she will get a group of friends who also cannot forward, Jamie Shewchuk, grew up make it to Arizona and hopefully get some good practice around lacrosse. He started as an in during the break. eighth grader in Canada. Grow“Lacrosse is a fun game, and it’s fairly easy to pick ing up around the game, he has up the rules of the game,” Smiley said. “Throwing and become very passionate. catching is mostly what the game is, it’s all about handHe states his best memory eye coordination. You don’t have to have played for years comes from 2005, playing for Burand years to succeed. Things can happen.” naday with the JR A Lakers. “Last year, a junior joined the lacrosse team for the In 2007, a fan favorite, #85, first time, made varsity, and got all conference playing Shewchuk was drafted to play for FACE OFF: While the game is essentially the same across levels, professionals defense!” Pettit agrees. the Colorado Mammoth. After like those who suit up for the Colorado Mammoth, compete indoors in a six on Lacrosse has helped the girls on the team to think of four years as a forward, he empha- six environment. Photo by Tiffany Jones others, not only themselves, and has given many girls a sizes how many friends he’s made sense of confidence. Spotlight Reporter

Sticks-4-Schools A new program emerges to increase lacrosse popularity and awareness in schools Tiffany Jones Sports Reporter

Sticks- 4- Schools is a program sponsored by Dicks Sporting Goods store, Health One, Reebok, and the Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team. Sticks -4 -Schools began in the 2008-2009 school year by Dan Carey, three time All Star in the NLL, as well as NLL Champions Cup winner with the Colorado Mammoth in 2006. Research was conducted asking two basic questions directed toward Colorado schools. The biggest being, why is lacrosse not taught in PE? After receiving many results, a majority of the schools answered with two basic answers. We don’t know how, and we don’t have the budget to fund it. The Sticks-4- Schools program is designed to help spread the game of lacrosse in Colorado by eliminating those two things; teaching the school the basics of the game, and leaving equipment free of charge to the school to continue to teach lacrosse. The program has a goal of increasing the interest level of lacrosse and promoting lacrosse, while also applying life lessons. Along with the curriculum containing not only basics of the game, but a history of lacrosse, equipment guidelines, warm-up activities, lesson plans, and drills, the Mammoth will also donate a lacrosse bag for the school, containing 30 lacrosse sticks

and 30 soft lacrosse sized balls. The intentions benefit a large part of our community starting with the students themselves. Colorado Mammoth lacrosse players spend between three and nine days at schools in Colorado with elementary aged students. “We try to leave behind a legacy by presenting the kids with positive role models,” said Josh Gross, Director of Business Operations for the Colorado Mammoth. Over 45 schools in Colorado have been affected by this program, including many in Jefferson County. Lincoln Academy, Columbine Hills, Deane, Fitzmorris, Lucas, Stein, and Wilmore-Davis, are among those 45. In order for a school to be chosen for the program, they must go through an application and interview process. Schools are chosen by who will get the maximum value from the program. Participants from the Colorado Mammoth visit two to four schools per month, between late October and April. “It is as continuous as possible,” Gross states, “but greatly depends on the players’ schedules.’” “Mammoth players enjoy the game of lacrosse so much, they chose to spread their knowledge and passion with local youth,” Gross praises. “It’s very nice that they volunteer their time for the betterment of Colorado youth,” Henry Pettit, RV counselor said. Gross explains a recent experience at Holstrum Elementary in Northglenn in December. Talking to a group of 396 people, he strongly emphasizes the question of

what the kids would do. Along with the free equipment, a group night is planned for the school to come and watch the Colorado Mammoth play at the Pepsi Center. “It’s great for the kids to see what they learned in school PE class implemented on the field with the pros,” Gross comments. Jamie Shewchuk, forward player for Mammoth of four years, and leading scorer on the team last season said, “The best part of helping with the Sticks- 4Schools is seeing all the kids at the game. They always remember my name!” After the hours of hard work, Gross is pleased with the response the team receives from the community. “We get so many thank you letters, cards and drawings from the schools, and sometimes even thank you letters from every student,” Gross said. “It’s so a great feeling to get overwhelmingly positive response.” Sticks-4-Schools is widely known and advertised much by word of mouth, is mentioned in the arena during games, and often spread by the Sports Enterprise Division. “It’s great to see a professional team reaching out to local youth in what little free time they have,” Said RV lacrosse player Janae Smiley.

Volume 11, Issue 3  
Volume 11, Issue 3  

Bombsauce oh my goodness!