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The Aftermath The Lark family learns to cope after their loss and finds support in the community
Starkville High School • 603 Yellow Jacket Dr. Starkville, MS 39759 • shsjacketbuzz.com Volume XXI, No. 4 • 02-14-14
Omis Avant dies, leaves impact on Starkville High School SHS administration mourns the loss and learns from Avant’s example Page 2
Starkville High Couples open up SHS couples from all grade levels talk about their experiences Pages 8-9
Starkville High Coaches and their children discuss rewards and challenges SHS teacherparents discuss how it feels to be Coach and Mom/Dad Page 12
The ruins of the Lark house still home, according to Andrew Lark II. Rebuilidng of the house is still up in the air. Photo by Kelley Mazzola. By Kelley Mazzola Editor-in-Chief
Andrew Lark, Junior, Starkville High School art teacher, knew that, in the moments after his family and he escaped the blaze that engulfed their home, he was lucky to be alive. “I just thank God that we could get out of that house,” Lark said. “We don’t really know what happened, but God protected us that night.” On Jan. 25, the Lark home blazed with a ferocity that engulfed all of their most precious possessions, including many pieces of art produced by Lark and his family of artists. In addition, the fire consumed the Lark family fleet of four cars, leaving the Lark’s without transportation. Lark found himself relying on his religious convictions more than ever in the aftermath of this catastrophic event. “God is healing us and continuing to hold us in his hands,” Lark said. “We just ask Him to continue to help us.” Lark says that the family lost not only their possessions, but their home as well. “[The hardest thing for me to accept is] losing our home,” Lark said. “It wasn’t just a house. It was a home. One
aid, several students in Lark’s art program at SHS found a way to show their appreciation to their teacher in form of emailing Ellen DeGeneres, pleading on Lark’s behalf for a “Random Act of Kindness.” This program gives financial aid to selfless people in financial dire straits who show the people around them kindness. Emily Turner is one of those students. “Mr. Lark has done so much to help the art program; we need to pay it forward,” Turner said. Lark, in turn, feels like his stuThe fire annihilated the family fleet of cars, and this has been particularly hard for the Lark family to cope with. Photo by Kelley dents could learn from the tragedy as they support him through Mazzola. day I found myself driving to- raised more than $6,435 by Jan. this dark time. wards home, but I realized that it 29. All of that money has been “Trusting in God, and truly bewas gone. We don’t have a home going into paying for the expense lieving in Him, is what I’d teach anymore.” of lodgings for the family, who them,” Lark said. “He is able to According to Lark, God did have been living out of hotels and do all things, exceedingly, abunsend help, in the form of people friends’ homes. dantly, in all things. He blesses in the community, old friends “The community donated ap- His covenant abundantly, and reand strangers alike. “The commu- proximately $7,000 in cash dona- stores all things.” nity and godly people are helping tions and gift card donations that In the end, Lark feels like the us through this time,” Lark said. we presented at a faculty meet- family is moving on and learning “One of my old friends, John ing,” Elizabeth Nicholson said. to cope with the tragedy, and a Campbell, donated a 2004 Kia “When you wake up in the new era is dawning in the history van. John is a blessing, and God morning in a hotel room and get of their family. used him to be a blessing. I just ready for school, you can’t cook “We’re trusting in God, and ask Him to continue touching breakfast or anything like that, we’re healing,” Lark said. “We’re people’s hearts.” because you aren’t home,” Lark walking with God’s favor, our According to the Starkville Dai- said. “You’re in a hotel room.” faith stronger than ever. Thank ly News, Starkville High School In addition to all the monetary God the children are okay.”
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Omis Avant leaves legacy, lasting impact on SHS By Daniel Ruff Writer
Mr. Omis Hugh Avant was inspiring, generous, and an influential person, and made a difference in people’s lives. Omis Hugh Avant graduated from Starkville High School in 1960. He got polio at a very young age, and was in a brace for most of his young life. When he was sixteen he had surgery so that he could walk for the first time without a brace. He taught in Key West, Florida, for a while, before coming back to Starkville, and he was a teacher of math and physics at Starkville High School, while also coaching basketball. He died at age of 70. His siblings played a multitude of sports, and this naturally made him jealous, since he was restricted
from playing any sports. One would think he would be bitter about his situation, but it was quite the contrary. He used his other talents to help and participate as much as he could. Instead of playing the sport he would help by managing, training, or coaching, so this was a big influence on his adult life when he later became a teacher and coach. He always had a fiery passion for sports, especially Starkville High School sports, so he reached out and touched the lives of many athletes and people involved with them through his kindness and generosity. He attended most Starkville High School events and was always trying to help in any way he could or meet new people and connect them with other
people. Dr. Stan Miller, SHS Athletic Director, said, “Even when he went blind he would still come to the games with his brothers and have headphones on listening to the radio, so that he could be there and still know how the game was going.” He selflessly would go out of his way to introduce himself to people and then try to help them using his connections. Dr. Miller said,” When I first came to back to Starkville the superintendent, Mr. Box, said, “that if I needed any connections or help getting started, there’s a man who ‘bleeds black and gold.’” Dr. Miller also said, “Omis was very helpful, he would get food for every Friday night, and his connections were limitless and saved us thou-
ing for a medical congress program held in Washington D.C that coincides with the Cadet Ball on Feb. 15. Treanna cannot stress enough how much she is excited to attend. “It was a thousand dollars that went into [the medical congress],” Treanna said. “We’ve been working on it since November [of 2013]; at the time, we didn’t know the date for the Military Ball yet. Now we know I can’t go to both.” Strife ensued in the Jefferson household once the Military Ball date was set, but the strife wasn’t for Treanna’s decision. In fact, Teanna felt heat for choosing to attend the Ball instead of accompanying her twin sister and the twin’s mother in Washington D.C. “There was no envy [on my part]; in fact, I was one of the first to hop up and clap for Tre,” Teanna said. “However, our mom had bigger issues [with the situation] than Col-
onel Webb.” According to Webb and Teanna, Treanna and Teanna discussed the issues over with Webb, and Webb encouraged Treanna to go to Washington instead of staying in Starkville. “I’m very happy and proud of her,” Webb said. “She wants to be with the battalion, but there’s a reason why there’s a staff organized. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I don’t want her to miss it.” According to Teanna, she will miss her sister, but it is for the best that Teanna is staying in Starkville and Treanna is going to Washington D.C. “It’s a thing of independence for both of us,” Teanna said. “I have other friends at the Cadet Ball, but she’s going to be gone like a week. I’ll be a little bored [without her].”
The late Omis Avant. Courtesy photo.
sands.” Dr. Miller remembers when he didn’t have anyone to announce the football scrimmage, so he called Omis and asked him if he would. Omis said, “No problem.” Miller said Omis did a great job, but one day he got a call and Omis said, “Dr. Miller, we got a problem, I’ve gone blind.” But that didn’t
stop Omis one bit from doing as much as he could. “He would still hop in the car with me (Miller), and I would take him to go meet with someone he was trying to connect me to and further help Starkville High School sports program.” He offered two $1,000 scholarships that the students of Starkville High School could apply for. Tassie Avant Rosamond, his daughter, said,” When he found out about the new owner of all the Mcdonalds in this area, he went out of his way to introduce himself and he helped the owner meet people through him and solicit his Mcdonalds at the press box, and he always went above and beyond on helping people and supporting SHS. ” Though Avant faced many ob-
stacles he never stopped smiling. It wasn’t fair that he had polio and it wasn’t fair that he went blind, but Omis Hugh Avant didn’t see it like that. He knew he loved sports and that he loved SHS, and he stopped at nothing to help fund, grow, and support Starkville High School athletics. His non-stop inspiring attitude is the foundation of SHS, and when people think of him they think of how he changed lives and how he was abnormally selfless. The people of Starkville will forever treasure this man, the legacy he leaves behind, the connections he had, the relationships he had, and the example he has set for all of us to follow. Omis Hugh Avant’s memory will forever be with us and he will always be in our hearts.
Jefferson leaves for Medical Holds stop students from Congress,misses Cadet Ball dance attendance, beauty By Kelley Mazzola Editor-in-Chief
Treanna Jefferson, the battalion commander of the Starkville High School Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corp, has never missed a Cadet Military Ball in her first three years at Starkville High. This year’s JROTC Cadet Ball, “One Fiery Night,” will be the first time and final time for Treanna not to attend. “We’ve always gone to the Cadet Ball,” Teanna Jefferson, Treanna’s twin sister and second-in-command, said. “This year’s going to be very different.” In fact, this situation is more than just that issue, according to Lt. Colonel Charlese Webb. “This will be the first time ever in our history a battalion commander has not attended the Military Ball since I’ve been here,” Webb said. “It’s really bittersweet.” Specifically, Treanna is leav-
revue, graduation walk By Kristen Lacy Writer
School fees bring with them a sense of anxiety. They have the potential to pile up and become extremely large, and with the old policy, could send a student to ISS for a day if he/she could not pay. However, there has been a change in that policy. Instead of going to ISS, students’ fees are just tallied and added to their names. However, this does have a catch. In order to stress the importance of paying fees and reimbursing the school, students with fees under their names will not be given the privilege to attend special school events like the military ball, prom, or even graduation. The events are not required to be provided for students, so it is perfectly acceptable for the school to use them as an incentive for students who have no
fees due. This decision was made by the high school’s administration to effectively stress the importance of paying fees. As Principal Keith Fennell said, “To avoid loss of instruction and time out of class, we are trying to put more emphasis on records and holds.” Of course now with the online access to schedules and grades available to students’ holds by themselves were not as effective. In need of a way to gain
the money that the school has put out in activities, supplies, and even temporary ID’s, not allowing students to attend extra school events is just the extra push necessary to do so. Fennell also said that a priority of this system is to inform students now so they can start “whittling away and taking care of their daily balances.” This way no one will be blindsided near events like prom and will have notice before hand of the fees.
The ACT versus the SAT: students, counselors discuss, learn the facts
By Ben Mackin Writer
The ACT and the SAT are the two most popular tests for high school students, both geared towards pushing students into coleges. When it comes to choosng which test to take, many students will only choose one and focus their studies and preparation towards that test. Both tests serve the same purpose, so the best decision is the one that will give a student his or her best opportunity to score highly. For each test, students can prepare properly by taking practice tests. In the 10th grade, the opportunity is available for students to take the PLAN test, a shortened version of the ACT test. Mrs. Roberson, the 10th grade counselor, said, “Students who took the PLAN got a good dea of what the test was like, how the questions are set up,
and how they might score if they took it right then.” Similarly, a shortened SAT test known as the PSAT, helps students get a taste of what the full test is like. The PSAT, unlike the PLAN test, also qualifies students for NMSC programs. Besides taking these shortened tests, each test has a multitude of practice questions and full-length tests available in test booklets and online. To help choose which test to take, a student should understand the content and context of each test. Ceci Heard is a junior student at Starkville High School has taken both the ACT and SAT. Heard said, “The ACT is more geared towards reading, while the SAT is for those with good logic and reasoning skills. The SAT will require you to know more vocabulary than the ACT.” Both tests allow students to use calculators, but some aspects
of the math section differ. “The SAT is for those mathematically minded and will provide you with the formulas you need,” Heard said, “but the ACT expects you to know more coming in.” There are three categories for the SAT, divided into three more subcategories for each, totaling a time of three hours, forty-five minutes. The ACT is shorter, only two hours, fiftyfive minutes, and is divided into three categories. Another deciding factor when choosing to take the ACT or the SAT is the college a student is going to. The ACT is preferred by schools in the Southeast and Midwest, and is increasingly offered in public schools. Online registration is the fastest method, and signup is found at www. actstudent.org. The ACT with no writing portion and ACT with writing are both offered
at Starkville High School and Mississippi State University. The SAT is dominantly preferred by those schools on the east and west coasts and by private schools. Online registration for the SAT is found at www.collegeboard.sat.com, and the closest location the test is being offered is in Columbus at the Mississippi School of Math and Sciences (MSMS), on the campus of Mississippi University for Women (MUW). However, both tests are accepted at all 4-year schools across the country. While some students do choose to take both, deciding which test is a hard decision most high school students must make. Defining one’s knowledge in one 2-3 hour test is daunting, but making the right decision will result in the best outcome for a student.
Key Club sponsors new fundraiser, raises awareness of human trafficking By Kristen Lacy Writer
Living in America, freedom is often taken for granted. At one point in our nation’s history, slaves could be bought and sold for around the equivalent of $40,000. Currently for an insignificant amount of $72 a child’s life can be devastated and he/she can be sold to a brothel, or a house that contains prostitutes. What many people do not know is that there are currently an estimated 4.5 million people being sexually exploited in the world and many more children each year become victims of sex trafficking according to a preventative organization, Love146. This can happen in numerous ways. In some cases it is through
kidnapping or even through the child’s own parents who are desperate for money. In some situations a child could be begging for money, and a pimp finds him or her and offers him or her a decent job, only for the child to be forced into prostitution. In one case a victim’s parents were convinced that their daughter was working at a department store to help bring in money and found out months later from a desperate phone call from their child that she was being held at a brothel. However when the family rushed to their child’s rescue, they were told that their child was not there. Victims include girls as well as boys, and can be as young as six years old. Of course the aftermath of these terrible crimes are horrendous as well. Many
victims are found to have issues with alcoholism, hypersexualization, HIV and others STDs, depression, suicidal tendencies, self-blame and guilt, as well as trauma bonds and Stockholm syndrome, or feelings of affection towards one’s kidnapper or captor. These horrific details of a modern day crime have fueled organizations like Love146 to raise awareness and try and put a stop to human trafficking. In an act to help Love146, The Starkville High School Key Club has decided to do a fundraiser to donate to the cause. Like the UNICEF fundraiser that Key Club did in October, this fundraiser will include members of Key Club walking around and asking for spare change donations and placing a general donations jar
in Mrs. Brenda Jackson’s room. With the successful fundraiser in October raising over $200, the Key Club is optimistic about the results of this new fundraiser. Ceci Heard, president of the Key Club, said “I am hoping to raise even more money for this cause,” because it is one of her passions and went on to say that trafficking “not only hurts a person physically, but scars him or her for life emotionally.” Having personally known a victim of trafficking and the effects of trafficking on the victim’s life, Heard is very driven to help put a stop to these crimes and raise awareness of them even in our own country. “It needs to stop, but it’s not going to unless we, as a nation, decide it needs to,” Heard said.
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Students survive, learn in AP classes By Michelle Li Writer
If the letters AP are added in front of a subject, it changes everything. Advanced Placement. Ugh…. just hearing those words gives most students the shivers. It’s basically synonymous with way too much work, long nights studying, no social life, and tears. Is it all worth it? Senior, Stuart Woomer, has taken three AP classes. “Yes! In the end it was all worth it. I learned a lot in all my AP classes, especially good study habits,” Woomer said. “AP Euro was so much work but I’m really glad I took it! It taught me a lot about time management!” Junior, Matt Myles, said. Should students take AP classes? A report on http://collegeapps.about.com states that students planning to go to college should take AP classes if their schools offer them. Why not take advantage of the opportunity? AP classes help students get ready for college-level courses and look great on a resume. AP classes require a higher level of commitment and critical thinking that is needed in college. If students can master these skills now, they will have a much easier time later. Mrs. Jackson, AP Biology teacher said, “Definitely! Students should challenge themselves. A little hard work never killed anybody!” But students must be willing to work hard
too. They must be responsible and willing to challenge themselves. “AP is not for everyone, it’s only for those who are in the top ten to fifteen percent of their class that have the self-discipline, the background, and the drive to spend all the time necessary on AP classes, and learn what they can out of them.” If students want to take AP classes, SHS offers a variety to choose from: AP U.S. History, AP Calculus, AP Biology, AP Government, AP Language and Composition, AP European History, and AP Chemistry. A report on http://www.nsf.gov said that in the United States on average, 28.3 percent of all high school students take AP classes. That number is steadily increasing every year as colleges are becoming more and more selective. http://www.apstudent. collegeboard.org also reported that currently more than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the country offer college credit for qualifying AP exam scorers. AP classes do require a lot more work than what most students are accustomed to, but students who are looking for a challenge and know how valuable a good education is should definitely take them. They will help students prepare for college, develop good study techniques, and look great on a resume. AP classes provide students with benefits that will pay off in the long run.
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Teachers prepare for, learn about Common Core By Hemanth Nannapaneni Writer
Starting the 2014-2015 school year, Starkville School District will be implementing the new Common Core State Standards Initiative. Mississippi adopted Common Core in 2010 because it provides a consistent and clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, establishing a set of national standards for students in English and mathematics, and it will give students an equal education regardless of where they live. “I think that having standards that are consistent from state to state is a positive move,” said Ms. Talisha Cheeks, mathematics instructor at Starkville High School. The standards are interna-
tionally benchmarked and emphasize the importance of critical thinking, teamwork, and problem solving skills. Based on 2011 ACT scores, only 11% of students in Mississippi were academically prepared for college courses in math, English, reading, and science. Compared to the national average of 25%, Mississippi is worst in the nation. According to other test scores, Mississippi is furthest behind the nation in science. Only 14% of Mississippi seniors meet standards while nationally 31% do.After these benchmarks are fully implemented fewer topics will be covered in class, but these topics will be taught in greater depth. The CCSS will show teachers exactly what to teach and show students exactly what they are expected to learn, the standards reflect the
skills and knowledge students will need for the real world.” Common Core will make students use more non-fiction texts and will teach them different strategies to answer questions, for example using text to persuade audiences,” said Dr. Lenora Hogan, who is the Cur-
riculum Technology Specialist at SHS. Teachers have attended training classes at MSU, and there are also Common Core minibite classes where teachers learn different techniques to teach students. “This program will provide
Junior Destiny Peterson works on classwork. Photo by Alicia Carter.
me with the opportunity to teach fewer topics in greater detail. I will happily adjust the level and degree in which I teach certain mathematical concepts to meet the required depth,” Cheeks said. This program was started in the lower grades this year to see how it would impact student performance. At the end of the school year, state mandated tests could be replaced with the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers) assessments, which is a computer generated test that students might have to take. In the first few years test scores will most likely be significantly lower due to students not being accustomed to taking this type of test. Common Core may also
challenge the school district financially. Ms. Cheeks said, “A challenge for many districts is cost. Computer software and hardware must be up-to-date. School districts also have to ensure that access to enough bandwidth is available and that there are enough computers in place.” It’s proven that every time Mississippi raised state standards students’ performance levels rose as well. Dr. Hogan said, “The previous standards had gaps as far as achievement goals, specifically in ACT scores. Common Core prepares students for life after high school. It will have more rigorous content and will make students use higher thinking skills. It should benefit everyone.”
Sophomore Martez Rush relaxes while donating blood at the Annual Starkville High School Blood Drive on Jan. 15. Photo by Alicia Carter.
The Coaches’ Coach
By Shelby Adair Yearbook Editor
His rendition of “We are the Champions” will live forever in the hearts of those in attendance of the celebration of the 2012-2013 Starkville High School Football team’s state championship. His post-game speeches are legendary. It’s kind of hard to believe he’s old enough to be an Athletic Director. Dr. Stan Miller was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. He went to Snyder High School and played football, basketball, baseball, and ran a little cross-country. “The biggest thing I see different from my high school to Starkville High School is that my high school was too big,” Miller said. “Snyder High had about 3500 students and you can’t do the things that we do here. We didn’t have pep rallies, we didn’t have a lot of the activities we have here, and we didn’t even have our own facilities.” Miller said that having to practice at city parks gave him an appreciation for high school athletic facilities being maintained and updated. After graduating high school Miller got a scholarship to play baseball at Miami Dade Junior College and then transferred to Mississippi State. “For me, being in Miami was exactly the same as being up north with the big city. When I transferred to State it was a culture shock. But I really enjoyed it; this is where I met my wife, Judy.” Miller got his degree from MSU in production management and spent several years working for UPS. However, his true passions were sports and working with children. “Judy and I moved back to New Jersey but my wife was a farm girl. The big city did not agree with her and we moved back to Mississippi. I went back to school and got my Master’s degree in education. My wife got her degree in mathematics and started teaching that.” Miller said that sports made him want to work with kids. “The closest thing to me playing was coaching. I started by coaching football, baseball, and track at a junior high school in Charleston Mississippi.” Miller had an opportunity to go into administration and went to Delta State University to get his degree. After three years as vice principal of Charleston High School, Miller became principal/superintendant of a kindergarten-eighth grade school in Clarksdale Mississippi. “That was the first time I got my feet wet
as far as running a budget goes. My wife and I decided to move back to Starkville.” Miller became assistant principal at Starkville High School, serving six years, then, eight as head principal. “Here’s a bit of trivia: next to Coach Nix, I was the longest tenured head principal at this school.” Miller went back to MSU to get his doctorate. He interviewed and received the superintendant job at the Pearl School District. He was superintendant of the Pearl School District for six years and cherished his time working with elementary education curriculums. “If little people don’t get their math and language arts, they aren’t going to be successful.”
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“Half time turned into sixty hours a week. I just firmly believe in life that anything you do, you do a hundred percent or you don’t do at all.” In 2009 Miller returned to Starkville as Athletic Director and was faced with the task of hiring a football coach. He interviewed Coach Jamie Mitchell, thought he showed potential, and hired him. “I was fortunate to get a fantastic coach, and we see what he has done with our football program.” Miller’s was determined to fix Starkville’s deteriorating athletic facilities due to his own high school experience. “I had good coaches but I had to motivate, which is the job of an athletic director. So I had to motivate, improve facilities, and work on getting corporate money.” Under Miller’s direction, the Starkville Athletic Department has gained thirty corporate sponsors, built a new athletic complex, and is planning on turfing the football field.
Miller presents award at halftime. Photo by Alicia Carter
Miller said though he still enjoyed sports, he had thirty-four years of work experience and felt it was time to retire from the Mississippi schools. Miller spent some time as a superintendant in Arkansas and teaching college courses. However, when he received a call from the then superintendant of the Starkville School District, who was looking to fill the position of Athletic Director, he felt that serious consideration was in order. “We were talking on the phone, discussing whether or not I should come back. The problem was that I was in the Mississippi retirement system. If I wanted to come back full time, I would have to get out of the system, which I didn’t want to do. So we came to the agreement that I would come back as a half time AD.” Faculty members who had worked under Miller warned the superintendant that the concept of ‘half time’ was foreign to him.
Miller shows off the ‘Little Egg Bowl’ trophy. Photo by Alicia Carter
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Find the Fennell
How’d you like to open a box of chocolate and see THIS looking up at you?
Your Life. Your Style.
This Teacher... -First had a classroom by the library -Graduated from South Pike High -Used to be skinny The December GuessWho teacher (OCD and celebrity crush on Bradley Cooper) was Ms. KristieWilliams.
On February 11-12, the Starkville School District cancelled schools due to inclement weather.
Starkville High School students spent their Tuesday off in some very creative ways. Thanks for the challenge, Mr. Fennell.
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Worst Valentine’s Day Ever
I wanted a valentine, so I went out with this guy but all I got was a snoopy, so I broke up with him on Valentine’s Day- Ms. Masterson Generously flour a work area and rolling pin. Re- I ate my girlfriend’s Valenetine’s candy before I gave it to hermove one section of dough from the refrigerator, Connor Dunne unwrap, and place on your work area. Roll I bought my boyfriend a present. He bought baseball cardsGeorgia Tucker I went out with this girl and all night I thought her name was dough out until 1/4 inch thick. Dough will be Hannah. It was Helen- Mr. Fyke very sticky. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cut- I broke my leg- Brannon Godwin ter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. I didn’t get to see my boyfriend cause he was working. He’s Bake for 7-8 minutes, until pale golden (bottom Harry Styles- Noa Hardin of cookies should be a light brown). Immediately Somebody gave me a pillow pet and I got hives- Anon. transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Repeat I bought my girlfriend a Gucci purse. It fell apart the next daywith remaining dough, storing any extra dough in Mr. McDonnell the fridge while not in use. My mom made me send Valentine cards to every boy in classMrs. Goodman Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream together the I gave a girl a gift. She gave me a card- Jared Ousley butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered I was single.-Ryan Jackson sugar. Once smooth and creamy, add in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. Frosting should be easy to spread, but not runny. Add in the food coloring, if desired. Once cookies have cooled, frost. Allow frosting to set, store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving. Makes: 4 1/2 dozen cookies
Dr. Paul L. Ruff Adolescent Medicine, Sports Physicals (662) 323-0399
Will you be my Valentine?
Starkville students and citizens discuss their relationships in time for Valentine’s Day
Freshman Couple: Wesley Albritton and Natalie King
Jacket Buzz: How long have you been together? Both: We’ve been together for 2 months and 7 days. JB: Where did you first meet? Both: We first met at soccer practice. JB: Where was your 1st kiss? Both: We kissed at the movies. JB: What’s your favorite thing about each other? W: She’s funny and cute. N: He’s really nice. JB: What’s each other’s favorite food? W: Nutella is her favorite color. N: Pasta is his favorite food. JB: What’s your favorite sport? Both: Soccer is our favorite sport. JB: What attracted you to each other? W: She’s very pretty. N: His personality attracted me. JB: What’s each other’s favorite color? W: Neon yellow is her favorite color. Wesley Albritton and Natalie King pose at a hockey N: Blue is his favorite color. game; this was their first date. Contributed Photo.
Sophomore Couple: J.D Taylor and Callie Wells Jacket Buzz: How long have you been together? Callie: We’ve been together almost five months. JB: Do you know each other’s favorite color? C: His favorite color is like camoflage or something. J.D.: Callie’s is red, I think. C: Oh, so tragic! It is blue. JB: Where was your first date? C: Lost Pizza Company was the resturant where we had our first date. JB: Have you met each other’s families? Both: Yes we have met each other’s families. JB: What do you like best about being a couple? C: Just being together is the best. JB: What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? C: We will probably go to La Terraza. JB: Do you have any advice for couples at Starkville High School? C: I would tell them not to lie or cheat.
Valentine’s Day: YES!
AMAZING GRACE GRACE LINDLEY
Some people love Valentine’s Day; other people hate it. However, no matter what, I must admit there are some good things about the holiday. For starters, free candy is given out, especially chocolate. Boyfriends and husbands give chocolate, or other candies, to their girlfriends, wives, or even children. Then there are the flowers. Guys who give flowers to their girlfriends, wives, or children get bonus points. What girl does not like chocolate or flowers? Some other pros to Valentine’s Day are the great gifts. The jewelry, gift cards, dinners, and other miscellaneous gifts make one’s Valentine’s Day a memorable holiday. According to a CNN poll, an estimated 18.6 billion dollars was spent on Valentine’s Day in 2013. Many women expect a marriage proposal on Valentine’s Day, adding to the pros. In 2013, six million people were either planning or expecting a proposal. Spending time with loved ones is another pro. Whether it is with a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, children, or even another single friend to just hang out with, it is always nice to have somebody to talk to and spend time with. In some people’s eyes, the cheesy movies are pros also. The Hallmark and Lifetime romantic movies can put anyone in a good mood. The last pro to Valentine’s Day is the crazy attire people wear. Anything from crazy cupid outfits to the heart patterned leggings or sweaters are socially acceptable on Valentine’s Day.
J.D Taylor and Callie Wells pose in the hall for a quick photo-op. Photo by Alicia Carter.
m e... L
Couples discuss Senior Couple: Zack Williams marriage, dating and Shaukassia McMullen Valentine’s Day: NO!
REESE’S PIECES APRIL REESE
Jacket Buzz: How long have you two been together? Both: We’ve been together since May 5, 2013. JB: Did you both celebrate Valentine’s Day last year? Zack: Yes. I took her out to eat and then to a movie. I got her a promise ring. Shaukassia: I didn’t get him anything because he’s the guy and I’m the girl! JB:What is a crazy story you two share? S:We were in the hallway and I thought he called me a bad word, the B word, and so I went to our locker, got my things out, ripped everything in sight, and threw all kinds of lotion Shaukassia Mcmullen and boyfriend Zack Williams engage in PDA in the SHS and water in the locker. breezeway. Photo by Alicia Carter. Z: I just punched the locker and ignored her for three or five hours, but we came to the conclusion that it was just a misunderstanding and we moved on. The bad thing was that she had ripped up my senior research. JB:What do you two plan to do this Valentine’s Day? Z: She made me a list. I’m getting her some candy and couple of stuffed animals. I’m also giving her $200 dollars; yes I have a job. S: I’m sticking with the “girl’s don’t get guys anything for Valentine’s Day” tradition. JB:What has kept you two together for so long? S: We are so opposite, like really opposite, so we really balance each other out.
the day of red flowers which have already started wilting and boxes of chocolate with disgusting middles. It’s the day of realizing how lonely life can be and watching horrible romantic comedies with your cat. It’s the day of spending hundreds of dollars, just to prove how much you love someone. It’s Valentine’s Day. Let’s be realistic for just one second. Not everyone has a love for Valentine’s Day.To some, it’s nothing more than another commercialized holiday, created to wreck our wallets. For some, it’s just Single Awareness Day.Why is there just one day to show how much we care about someone? Love should be shown 365 days a year.Yet, everyone is out and running around, trying to find the perfect gift for someone.The rest of us are finding comfort with that extra large pepperoni pizza in the delivery guy’s hand. According to www.listverse.com, one out of every ten young adults feels depressed, unwanted, or just plain lonely on Valentine’s Day.With this being said, let’s see what people dislike about the day of love. “All the couples showing off,” said Landen Heineck and Hunter Wiley, which seemed to be the major annoyance among the majority of students. “Spending it alone,” said Noel Teaster and Amber Burns, which is always a bummer. Even the teachers had their opinions about the lovey-dovey holiday. “I dislike the amount of money I spend,” said Mr. Fyke, while recently Jacket Buzz: How long have you been together? married Mr.Williams said, “I don’t like the A.J:We’ve been together10 months as of January 19th. unrealistic expectations of it being the JB: What is your favorite thing about each other? greatest day ever.”These are just a few Lindsey: He’s really nice and sweet. He’s not like others; we relate of the cons of Valentine’s Day. So obvito each other and we’re mostly on the same page. ously, not everyone is in love with A.J: Her smile Valentine’s Day. Like it or not, it’ll JB: What is your height difference? be here year after year, so we L: I’m 5’1”. have to get used to it. For the A: I’m 6’2”. couples out there, they should JB:What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? be mindful of the single and A: She makes the plans; I just pay. lonely and shouldn’t spend JB:What kind of dates do you guys go on? too much money to show A & L: We go to the movies, we go on dinner dates, and we chill off. For the singles in at the house. there, we will just JB:What is your favorite date/thing to do with each A.J Smith and Lindsey Gillispie cuddle with our pose in the hall for a quick couple other? pets and enjoy that picture. Photo by Iyunna Clark. L: I like dinner dates. chocolate that A: I like movie dates. will be on sale JB: Do you know each other’s family? And do you tomorrow. get along with each other’s family? A & L:Yes, we know them and we do get along. JB: How have you managed to stay together for this long? A & L:We know how to work through our differences, and we are just alike.
Junior couple: A.J Smith and Lindsey Gillespie
dating before agreeing they were ready to start a relationIt’s hard to imagine a guy ship. “You know how relationquitting the football team he loves to be in the choir with ships are.They just get togeththe girl he likes. Mr. and Mrs. er because they both know they like Jones have been married e a c h for 44 years; in fact, they other, but are proud to say they were we were high school sweethearts. differMr. Jones said, “Someent,” Wolf times when she’s taking a said. The nap, I’ll tickle her ear with couple tissue or paper to watch spent their her jump.” w a r m The couple faced many challenges after Mr. Mr. and Mrs. Jones pose s u m m e r Jones agreed to be in together for an official the Army after gradu- portrait. Contributed photo. a f t e r noons ating high school. For gather20 years they relied on airline tickets, adventures ing with friends and getting to spend time together, and to know one another, seeing writing each other letters if this was what they wanted. Once agreeing they were to help ease the lack of seeing one another. “It was very ready, the romance had awakchallenging and hard,” Mr. ened between the two. “He will never know how Jones said. With three kids, much I gush six grandover the children, little things pastoring at a he does,” church, and Wolf said watching the It never just world grow dawned on they discovHenderson ered that it took more Meghan Wolf and Charlie Hender- how amazthan just ro-son share quality time in the SHS ing Meghan could be. mance to holdhalls. Photo by Alicia Carter. “She’s reonto their ally happy and goes with the marriage. “Getting to know that per- flow. She isn’t always the censon, communicating, and fi- ter of attention. I like it when nances I think are three things she randomly pops up and that balance a relationship. says Charlieee or Charles,” You can find an escape in any Henderson said. Like 44 years of marriage relationship, but you have to find ways to make it work, if almost 4 months of being you really love that person. together can still be a little I think that’s what love is all challenging. “We talk about about. Accepting that person everything; it’s not always for who that person is,” Mr. gushy stuff,”Wolf said. Forty-four years, almost Jones said. Every couple has its own opinions and ideas on four months, or even twelve how to maintain their very days, takes more than just a ‘Good morning’ text to keep own relationship. Remember high school a relationship going. Couples romance? Finding it cute to must be willing to put in efbuy one another Christmas fort, trust, honesty, and comgifts and walking the halls munication in order to maintogether? Meghan Wolf and tain and practice a healthy Charlie Henderson spent two and balanced relationship months responding, “We’re with the significant other. just FRIENDS!” whenever they were asked if they were By Khris Carr Writer
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Student First, Athlete Second CONNECTING WITH KHRIS KHRIS CARR
Student athletes have no idea the time commitment and determination it takes in wanting to go to the next level. The idea of wanting to sign autographs or being called on the intercom is all great until finding out the results of the state test were too low to pass. How about when the college recruiter calls the high school athlete with great news about him/her becoming a Bulldog (or mascot from the college of choice) and his/her ACT score came back with a 14 on it. That worried expression finally appears as he/she realizes all that time spent trying to find a relationship with that perfect girl, because a homeboy’s relationship is good, instead of practicing basketball; time spent posting pictures on Instagram, instead of going to the gym and pulling some weights; or maybe family insisted he/she go to the party instead of studying, even with the knowledge that tests are difficult. Paranormal Activity 5 may be scary, but seeing all of one’s hard work and dedication go down the drain, wasted, after spending four years playing
around and not taking care of business is the real deal. According to www.shmoop. com, “Three to four percent of high school football players get the opportunity to play college football.” So while we, the fans, sit in the stands yelling the names of the high school phenomenon, we hope we’re helping to motivate and inspire these athletes to stay focused on the academics and desire to work hard during the off season because just the Friday Night Lights won’t get them into college. Football isn’t the only sport where this applies. According to www.livestrong.com , “about 3 out of 10,000 male high school basketball players will be drafted to the NBA (0.3%) and for girls, it’s quite similar. One out of 5,000 players (0.2%) will be drafted in the WNBA.” We have these awesome goals of going far and beyond with sports, but none of us are taking these opportunities seriously enough. Everyone’s playing this game. Athletes ask, “What game are we playing?” Yet, surely everyone didn’t think scholarships
were given out freely? There is someone out there working double time to be known, someone staying after school to understand his/her school work, someone who’s staying after practice late at night to work on his/her weaknesses, someone out there out doing everything extra because he/ she is hoping to get the better scholarship… It’s called competition. Heard of it before? We’re all competing for a scholarship, and whether we like it or not, everyone won’t be receiving one. Athletes want to know, “How do I get noticed?” Some may say, “Put in the work.” Others may say to get to know people who are willing to help with college ideas, and then there are some who just fill athlete’s heads with rubbish because of jealousy, not wanting to see someone else succeed more than they did. Athletes need to be able to point out the helpers and non-helpers in their lives. As athletes, we should all stop worrying about what other individuals think when we are at the house finishing up homework instead of par-
Kelley Mazzola Editor-in-Chief
Yearbook Editor Lifestyles Editor
Photography Editor Opinions Editor
tying… It’s called dedication, hard work. Nothing in life comes easy. In fact, some of us are taught that if we really want something, we have to go acquire it ourselves. Athletes can’t wait on someone else to create our success; athletes, themselves, have to want it, push through those boring times in class, forget about that bratty girl who upsets everyone, don’t get upset at that teacher who pushes them to become better, and look past that loud step mom who yells constantly... It’s called “How bad do you want it?” So, I’m confused about all those who say they want it, but show little interest in doing what it takes to make it happen.
Khris Carr Iyuna Clark Kristen Lacy Mary Grace Linley Ben Mackin Hemanth Nannapaneni April Reese Daniel Ruff Alexyia Turner Emily Woomer
Statement of Policy
The Jacket Buzz is published three times each semester by the Journalism Department at Starkville High School. The Jacket Buzz is a student-run publication committed to providing SHS with objective information. The Jacket Buzz serves SHS as a forum for student expression. Opinions expressed are those of students and don’t reflect the views of others in the Starkville School Distict. Content decisions are made by student editors, and factual errors will be corrected by a retraction in the next issue. Letters to the Editor are accepted and published, excluding those that are deemed libelous or disruptive. Unsigned letters will not be published, and all are subject to editing. Please email all letters and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LESSONS BY LEXI ALEXYIA TURNER
Jon. Loo. Washroom. Powder Room. Oval Office. Lavatory. There are many ways to say restroom, and we all use it sometime during the day. Since we all use it, we would all love for it to be AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE! Many would agree when I say that the Starkville High School bathrooms are not the cleanest around, but also not the dirtiest. For me, using a public toilet can be a little scary at times. We never know who or what has been there before we have. I’m sure many times we have all cowered at the thought of creepy, crawly, lurking germs that occupy those toilet seats and we do any and everything that we can in order to stay away from them. Everyone knows that many germs can be found in a public restroom, but what kind? Streptococcus, an infection that can cause scarlet fever and pneumonia, can be found in a restroom. I am sure that it is rare that an individual acquires pneumonia or scarlet fever from a public restroom, but that does not stop the germ from being present. The common cold is another that can be found, as well as sexually transmitted organisms. This is why keeping our bodies and immune systems healthy
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Chivalry isn’t dead WOOMER BOOMER EMILY WOOMER
and washing our hands is a huge factor to our hygiene. A bathroom toilet is not the only place bacteria can be spread. The sink and faucets are also a common place for germs to settle. They may colonize on faucet handles. The sink may actually be the most germ-filled surface of a public restroom. The common use of a paper towel to touch the faucet, as well as automatic faucets helps to rid of this problem. Overall, the public restroom is obviously not a place of comfort for many people. We know that our custodial workers do their best to help make the environment a cleaner and safer place for us all, but they cannot get rid of every existing germ in the bathroom and they cannot clean it after every single use. We must think about how we treat our commonplace and work to make sure we all stay healthy and clean. Starkville High School bathrooms, as I said, are not the worst around, but we certainly could use a little bit more discipline in keeping them as clean as possible. As stated by the famous Charmin Bears, “We all go, why not enjoy the go?”
Chivalry, by definition, means the qualities of a knight such as bravery, honor, and gallantry toward women. I ask, “Has this quality died as a whole?” Heidi Muller, a well know blogger, cleverly stated “Chivalry is alive but on life support.” As this generation moves on, more and more people do not see the need for chivalry. Guys have become too lazy to show acts of kindness. The simple acts of chivalry such as opening doors, pulling out chairs, and paying for women’s meals just do not matter. Chivalry is just not expressed as much anymore, and when
it is, some guys get negative or unnoticeable results. Females are not totally innocent in this slow decline of chivalry either. Many females proudly embrace the idea of being totally independent (I fall a victim to struggling with this sometimes). They often feel as if chivalrous acts from men belittle women, and these women would rather be considered rude, rather than weak. Despite the previously mentioned information, research by Martha De Lacey, another well know blogger, showed that just one in twenty-five women feel embarrassed
when a man demonstrates chivalrous acts towards her. Although there are several contradictory feelings about chivalry, I would say, on behalf of most women, help take chivalry off of life support and give it another chance to live. I wouldn’t mind having a guy open a door for me or carry my books to class for me from time to time.
Instagram controlling lives ASIAN ADVICE
MICHELLE LI Hours of scrolling and double taps, hours of stalking other people’s profiles, hours of hashtags and checking how many followers I have even though I just checked a second ago, hours wasted. There really is something wrong when my hardest decision of the day is which filter looks the best with my skin tone and when I catch myself saying, “Hashtag; awkward,” or “Hashtag; selfie Sunday,” during normal conversation. Most teenagers know what I’m talking about. We’ve all been there: Instagram addic-
tion. I have to say, the app really is genius. It allows me to show all my friends what I’m wearing, where I am, who is with me, and what I’m doing at any time. All it takes is a tap of my finger. It’s basically magic. But I’ve never thought about how much time I actually spend on Instagram. Alive.com says that the average American teenager spends from two to three hours a day on social media sites and that number has been steadily increasing since 2010. So that means I could be spending
almost three hours a day on Instagram! That’s a lot. With that lost time, I could finish all my homework and study for all my classes. I could actually be doing something useful. Sophomore, Emily Woomer, admitted to me that she spent 2 hours or more a day on Instagram before she bravely forced herself to delete the app. Now she says she has so much more time to read and focus on her school work. She also strongly recommends others to do the same. I think I’m gonna take her advice! #TheEnd
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Parents find Rewards, Challenges coaching their Children By Khris Carr Writer SeniorTen seconds remaining in the basketball game, Jackets up 72-70 and the Green Waves call a time out. All the Jackets need to do is execute the plan, play good defense and don’t foul. The referee gives the ball to the Green Wave player to throw in bounds and Tyson Carter steals the inbounds pass and throws the ball to Zeb Rice. Game over with the final score being 75-70! As the crowd goes wild, Tyson runs to celebrate with his father. Good game right, how about when the team is down in the last ten seconds and the coach is counting on a specific player to finish the game with a win? Blair Schaefer, Tyson Carter, Emily Woomer, Jace Hobart, and Wesley Albritton, are all held to a certain standard because their parents are coaches. “If anything she just expects more of me and she treats me as a player like the rest of the athletes, but she knows what
I’m capable of doing and she won’t accept anything less than my best,” Schaefer said. The parents aren’t expecting anything less than effort, leadership and dedication when around members of the team during practices. “As far as golf goes, Jace is the captain of the Golf Team so I expect him to be a leader, especially for the middle school kids,” Angela Hobart said. And if things don’t go as planned between coaches and their children, there will always be consequences. ” I’ve gone so far as to kicking him out of practice before,” Carter said. There will not be a second that goes by that these athletes aren’t held to a higher standard than the rest of the members on the team, they are forced to feel like they have to train harder than any, bleed more than any, sweat more than any, run harder than any, and want it more than anybody on the team, because if not, they are then allowing themselves to
just be ‘okay’ with their performance during practices. “And this goes to every child, 100% effort during practice and in the game. Anything less than that is unacceptable,” Albritton said. But parents aren’t the only ones expecting things. Athletes aren’t just expecting their parents to push them, but to support and motivate them through every practice, game, or meet. Emily Woomer said, “I expect my mom to yell and encourage me to go faster, and to make sure my form is correct,” and then, “afterwards, go up to her and ask if there was any way I could improve or if it was just right.” Don’t think for one second these coaches don’t love their children. The love and support is sometimes hidden underneath the yelling and hard practices, only because they are aware of what it takes to excel to the next level. “Swimming is one of those sports that does not usually
offer scholarships to freshman unless they are extremely good like Michael Phelps,” Angela. Hobart said. The expectations are never lowered, there are always new challenges or goals needed to be met, in order to improve performances. “I expect her (Blair) to lead this basketball team and always welcome a challenge,” Holly Shaefer said. Each athlete will never realize how much they are greatly appreciated during the games, leading teammates during practices, and so on. “I am so proud of Emily for pushing during practice and improving her performance. Even though she has to refuel afterwards and may need to cool down because of the exhausting drills, her work ethic is outstanding and for that I am very proud of her,” Caroline Woomer said. Parents coaching their own children are sometimes very challenging, but is very reward- Coach Greg Carter gives his son, Tyson, some pointers ing at the end. at basketball practice. Photo by Alicia Carter.
Tennis has High Hopes By Daniel Ruff Writer
Junior, Richard Hill, practices for this upcoming season. Contributed Photo.
The ingredients are a court, a net, a racket, a ball, and a group of athletes willing to train everyday and push each other for the goal of 6A champions. These ingredients make up a recipe for the Starkville High School tennis team. Tennis is life for most of the athletes on the team, and this morale and pre-season training are what will decide the winner in the end. Hannah Laird said, “We all play summer tennis, so we have extra months of playing together, and being coached by Coach Fyke. I
drove by the courts several times in the past months and saw my teammates hitting with each other. That kind of thing gets everyone excited about playing, which is a very good thing.” The team is a little different this year than last year. Richard Hill said, “We only have three seniors on the whole team, so the Juniors like me, Will Irvin, and Hannah Laird really have step up and help lead the team to a state title.” Even with the shortage of seniors, the try-outs seemed very promising for this season. “We had more people try out for the team
than I have seen for the past few years. All of the new players have solid games to work with which gives us, as a team, a lot of potential.” What a team does with its potential during practice is what’s going to really define if the team is a number one team or not. Laird said, “Coach Fyke really knows what he’s doing, so he makes a plan and we then execute is at practice. I think this year we will have more fundamental drills instead of playing matches everyday, which I like.” The competition is always fierce, but the Yellow
Jackets plan to train hard and come out swinging, which makes the thoughts of this year’s outcome very optimistic. Laird said, “Our district is the number one district in the state. If we win the district, we can we state. Emily Turner and I have a very good chance of winning a state title along with Richard Hill and Will Irvin.” SHS is made up of athletes filled with passion for what they do and love, and this is displayed perfectly in the Yellow Jacket tennis team. Their first match will be February 28th at SHS against Hillcrest, Alabama.
Basketball moves to the Next Level By April Reese Writer
Not everyone believed that Starkville High School could make it happen in the new 6A division. But Starkville High School’s basketball teams have proven that they deserve to be in 6A. The boys’ team boasts a winning record of 22-3 and 5-1 in the district. The girls’ record is 17-5 overall and 5-1 district. With successful seasons thus far, both teams are focused on the big picture: state championship. “Since it’s my last year on the team, I don’t want to leave without a state championship,” Senior Dontavius Self said. “We’re taking it step by step, and beating Madison Central was a big
step.” The girls’ team has also been diligent on the hardwood. “We’re doing well,” Senior Yvonna Macon said. “We hit a couple of rough spots, but we picked it back up.” Throughout this season, both teams have gotten better individually and each person has found their niche. “We’ve come together as a team,” Zeb Rice said. “We’re much better than last year. We’ve grown and as the new guys moved up, we’ve learned how each other plays and have good chemistry.” The girls’ team is no different. “Everyone contributes something,” MSU signee, Blair Schaefer said. “Some people need to shoot, some need to pass, and others
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need to play defense. When we understand and do that, nobody can stop us.” For all the seniors,Yvonna Macon summed up the feeling. “It’s now or never,” Macon said. Both teams will play in the District 3 Basketball tournament Tuesday, February 18. The girls will play Columbus at 4:00 pm, and the boys will play Northwest Rankin at 5:30 pm. The Jackets, Lady Jackets, and coaches look to do well in the District tournament and compete for the district championship February 21. Teams who win the district championship will play Tuesday, February 25 in round one of the North State Tournament. Richard Evans prepares to shoot a freethrow. Photo by Alicia Carter.
Golf looks to make Par
By Michelle Li Writer Golf is swinging back into season. The SHS Jacket golfers are getting ready for a tough season this year. With tryouts out of the way, practice has started and the golfers are hard at work. Boys’ captain, Jace Hobart, said, “I’m really excited for the season to start, but not for the weather. My fingers were frozen at tryouts! Stupid groundhog!” Hopefully, the weather warms up soon! Hobart played a bit of summer golf to get ready for this season and hopes to do better at state this year than last year. Last year the team made it to state, but didn’t win anything after that. Moving to 6A this year is going to be a challenge with the competition a bit tougher and Last year’s five starters return for this year’s golf season. with more teams in the conferPhoto by Alicia Carter. ence to beat in order to make
it to state. “A lot of our games will be played on the MSU golf course, so at least we’ll have a home advantage,” Hobart said. Coach Angela Hobart said that one of the new teams they will have to play this season is Tupelo. “Tupelo is definitely going to be tough. They know what it takes to win at state. There are five or six strong teams in the boys’ division. The top four go to state, so it’s going to be down to the last minute before we know who goes.” Girls golf captain, Kristen Lacy, said, “I’m excited for golf to start because I enjoy golfing and it’s nice to play in the spring. I haven’t really played much since last season, but I’m hoping to get better as this season goes on.” “There is the whole ‘moving up to 6A’ ordeal that changes things a bit and makes it harder,
but we’ve got some new players that are going to be good. I think the girls definitely have a good chance of going to state this year. Last year we were really close and only missed it by one stroke! That’s not going to happen again!” Lacy said. As far as practice goes, if students ever pass by the MSU golf course after school, they’ll most likely see the Jacket golfers out there improving their skills. J. Hobart said, “We usually start off with stretching, then we work on our full shots so we can practice hitting the ball straighter and better.” The team will practice every day after school for about an hour-and-a-half. “A lot can happen in that time span,” said Lacy, “Good technique is really important in golf so that’s one of our main focuses throughout the season. We actually have a few MSU golfers who come
out and help us at practice sometimes and that helps a lot.” As the season progresses, the Jackets and Lady Jackets start playing matches and tournaments on their home course. “One of the great things about golf is that you can always go out and play nine holes on your own. We always have that option available to us whenever we want,” Lacy said. The golf teams need warmer weather because practice is more productive. “I [Coach Hobart] hope it warms up soon. The kids get so much more out of practice when they aren’t miserable, fighting wind and cold. I agree with Jace about the groundhog!” With warmer weather and moving into springtime, these SHS golfers look to complete a successful season in the hope of making it to the state tournament.
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Power-lifting picks up
Senior, Harper Day, takes the mound at the season opening scrimage. Photo by Alicia Carter.
SHS Baseball swings into Season to compete at the 6A level the best we can. Most importantly, we want to get the kids better and come together as a team.” Senior, Harper Day,
... We are in a really good situation, set up to be successful, and we will be successful. -Travis Garner
agreed, “We’re a young team but I think we’re going to come together and we’ll be successful. Practices are more detailed and intense. We have a new coach, a stronger coach in my opinion.” Now, Day is one of four seniors but he said, “This season is like any other
but, me being a senior, a bunch of leadership is needed from me and the rest of the graduating class.” Garner said, “We have four seniors and three juniors, so we are very young. We lost a great player last year, from my understanding, but we have kids who have played a lot but we’re going to rely on younger players, sophomores, to play big roles and in 6A, that’s tough.” Garner offered his opinion of Starkville. He said, “I’ve only been one other place, but the way this school is set up to support athletics is tremendous. We’ll get the program right and back where it needs to be before it’s all said and done. That just takes work, but we are in a really good situation, set up to be successful, and we will be successful.” Garner demands and expects nothing but the best from each individual player and the student body expects nothing but success from Coach Garner and his Jacket baseball team. To all Starkville High School baseball fans, “A state championship is the goal. A state championship is always the goal,” said Day.
The Starkville High School power-lifting team has begun its season successful. In its first events of the year, the boy’s team placed 2nd in Amory, and the girl’s team placed 3rd in Middleton. These two events don’t show the full potential of the team, as Coach Christopher Walters explains. “It is really hard to see how strong we actually are because those (events) were seven lift meets, but, I’m happy with where we are.” Seven lift meets, as opposed to nine lift meets, are usually shorter with less lifts. Walters said Audreanna McClain and Jocita Buchannan are girls to watch for success this season. Matt Fuller is probably the one to watch
on the boys’ team; they will all push for first. Fuller shares the positive outlook on the season. As a leader on the
We want to prove that we are the strongest school in the state. -Matt Fuller
By Ben Mackin Writer
By Laken Vickers Sports Editor Spring means baseball to several Starkville High School students, and as the weather heats up so does the season. This season, however, is a totally different ballgame from last year. After the departure of former baseball head coach, Brian Jones, the Yellow Jackets were desperate to find a coach to better the players and the team as a whole. This situation called for Coach Travis Garner to step up to the plate and take on the team as the new Starkville High School head baseball coach. Garner said, “I wasn’t here last season but I wanted to come in and run the baseball program the way I want to run it, and the kids are doing a good job of buying into that. It’s hard to say if we’re better or worse than we were last year. To compare this season against last year isn’t fair because I wasn’t really around.” Coach Garner, however, expects improvement, “We want to get better. We want to put the best team on the field that we can put on the field. We want
team, Fuller said, “The season has been great for us.” “I [Fuller] feel responsible for being a leader because if they see me as someone who doesn’t care about power-lifting,
then my teammates wouldn’t care also.” The team’s goal is the same as last year, Fuller said. “Our goal is to make it to Jackson while getting stronger for next year’s football season. We want to prove that we are the strongest school in the state and for each power-lifter to win his or her weight class.” “I am hoping both teams can finish second overall and get seven or eight lifters through the first round. We are looking to compete with Madison Central with the boys, and Oxford with the girls,” Walters said.
Coach Travis Garner readies the team for the 2014 season. Photo by Alicia Carter.
Zeb Rice Shines like a Star By Laken Vickers Sports Editor
What, or who, is a star athlete? To get a full understanding of this term, one must be able to grasp the meaning of these two words. The first definition of a star that comes up on Google reads, “A fixed luminous point in the night sky that is a large, remote, incandescent body like the sun.” According to Google, “athlete” means “a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.” So obviously a star athlete isn’t going to just be a proficient person who exercises. A star athlete is going to, in fact, be somewhat of an epitome of a star. This athlete is fighting to shine the brightest. This athlete is fighting to be observed in awe. This athlete is Zeb Rice.
Rice, an essential player to Starkville basketball since his Armstrong days, is looking forward to finishing his final season of High School Basketball with a bang. That bang, being a state championship. Rice talked about Starkville High School winning the district championship. “It’s a big accomplishment. Last year we got put out early in the tournament. We’ve grown a lot. We’ve learned to feed off of one another and our team chemistry has really come together. I really expect for us to win not only a district championship, but also a state championship.” So what makes Rice shine so brightly? Rice expects a lot, not only from his teammates, but also from himself. “I work hard and try to do my best. I do what I can. I was always taught to work hard and
basketball has always been a big part of my life.” Coach Greg Carter said, “He [Zeb] works hard at what he does and shoots from the three really well but he also works hard at the things he needs to improve like defense and compensating for lack of height.” One may say that a key characteristic of being a successful athlete is ambition, something Rice doesn’t lack. Though his high school career is coming to an end, Rice hopes to continue playing ball at, despite his Starkville roots, The University of Mississippi. “I believe Zeb will do well in the future. He’s a smart kid and he makes good decisions,” Carter said. The students of Starkville High School not Semior Zeb Rice shooting a 3 pointer. Photo by Alicia Carter.
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only strive to “Shine bright like a diamond,” as Rihanna sings, but they also strive to shine bright like Zeb Rice, a true star athlete.
I was always taught to work hard... -Zeb Rice
SHS Plans for New Turf and Track By Emily Woomer Writer Many students and faculty are excited for Starkville High School’s newest renovation – a turf field along with a track. The turf field will be located at SHS’s football stadium, and the track will be surrounding the turf. The specifics of the turf are currently unknown, but the track will be a Beynon surface, strong, long-lasting material. The project, which is not yet finalized, is in the process of becoming passed by the school board. Before construction can start, the project must be approved by the school board on February 11. Dr. Miller,
Starkville High School’s athletic director, predicts that if the project is approved, construction will begin later this month. The question is: why is the school board willing to spend $1.3 million on a turf field and Beynon track surface? Dr. Miller said, “For years and years the football field has just been tremendous. The problem we get into is that the field is used for more than just football.” After the wear and tear of the football season, the field can barely handle much more distress. The school has spent $20,000 to $30,000 each year just to get the field back into good condition for the follow-
ing season. With a turf field, there is little maintenance involved, and it will last for about 10 to 12 years. Also, it gives soccer the chance to have a home game on a wellconditioned field. Coach Mitchell, the head football coach, said, “We will be the first school in our area to have a turf field. On top of that it will open up a lot of possibilities to have band concerts, competitions, and track meets here. I certainly think there will be a lot of schools who will want to take advantage of it.” Derion Ford, starter on the football team, agreed with Coach Mitchell, “I think the turf is going to be
good for all sports like track, football, and soccer. Who doesn’t want turf?” Daniel Luck, boy’s soccer player, shared that he liked how the turf would provide more professional potential for our sports. As for Hannah Laird, girl’s soccer player, she liked that she would be one step ahead of the other teams. “The ball moves a lot faster on turf so you have an advantage over teams that don’t have turf.” The plans for Starkville High School’s new track will be the first of its kind. Never before has our school had a professional track surface. For years the board promised
a better track but circumstances never allowed the plans to become reality. If the board passes the renovations, Starkville High School will have a proper track. Not only will it meet track standards, but the track will be a top of the line Beynon surface - one of the best in the nation. Coach Woomer, who has been girls’ track coach for seven years now, said, “Starkville has a long line of great track athletes: Tavaris Tate, Santana Lowery, and Julia Cathcart, just to name a few. We’ve been desperate for a good track. It will be an honor to coach here when we get the new track. The community needs
to see their track athletes in competition.” Dr. Miller also said,” Getting a new track will also benefit our community. “You can host about 15 to 16 schools at a track meet. With the teams, you’re going to get their friends and family who will be eating in our town,” said Dr. Miller. In addition, there will be more athletic projects coming to Starkville High School. These include batting cages and black windscreens for baseball and softball and a shot put and discus ring for track. In the words of Dr. Miller, “We are always doing something. It just goes on, and on, and on. That’s what makes it exciting.”
By Alicia Carter Photo & Opinions Editor
Q: How long have you two been together? A: Since October 1, 2011 Q: What did you do for your first anniversary? A: Akash: For our first anniversary I made her think I didn’t get her anything. I had written 365 things I loved about her in a note, and posted it on her 1st block teacher’s white board that morning.
Q: What did you do for your first Valentine’s Day? A: Akash: For our first Valentine’s Day I went and got her a huge stuffed MSU bulldog, (she is a die-hard State fan), and I dropped it off at her house for her dad to put in her room. She was so surprised when she got home and went to her room; she couldn’t miss it.
Q: What is some advice for other couples to make their relationships work? A: Allison: Don’t dwell on things, don’t hold grudges--look at the bigger picture. Akash: Take it day by day.
Q: What makes your relationship work? A: Akash: It’s never a boring moment when we are together; we learn so much about each other every day. Allison: We don’t take the easy way out, if we have a problem we talk it through and make it better.
Q: How did you get together? A: Akash: This is going to sound very cliché, but it was the first day of sophomore year. She had just gotten to SHS from the academy and was alone. I was all hype in front of the carpool lane waiting for the bell to ring to start my first day of sophomore year with a bang, and I was messing around and knocked into her, knocking all of her books and things down. I, of course, helped her and was apologizing a million times, and that was really the end of that. Time passed by and Allison got my number from Facebook and we became texting buddies. We began to really like each other. I invited her to go to the movies and I was going to ask her to be my girl, but everything went wrong that night. I ended up asking her over text message, and here we are now, loving each other and stuff.