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December 2017 | Volume 2 Issue 3 | San Joaquin Memorial High School

It's Been a Long 14 Years SJM triumphs over Tulare Western 45-31 in a tough game to win the CIF Division III section title for the first time in 14 years. - Sports, Page 12


- News, Page 3


- Out of Uniform, Page 10

The football team poses with their Central Section Division III Championship plaque

Photo: Lokesh Bhardwaj



The Red and Blue December 2017

Seniors Get Kai-High

Tony Fagundes Head of Design

Staff Box: Editors-in-Chief: Elliott Nerenberg Patrick Monreal

Fall Kairos was another success as students come back changed and inspired to make their lives and those of others better. Fall Kairos has come and gone just like the season, but its effect on those who attended will not fade away. Fall Kairos is an exclusive retreat for seniors and is known as the most memorable, too. It is a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of God, others, and yourself. “I wanted to grow closer with my peers and strengthen relationships with my friends and with God,” Ryan Golden, first time attendee and leader, said. Kairos is four days long, but leaves people wishing for more. It

Head of Design: Tony Fagundes

News Editor: Ryan Golden

Opinion Editor: Matthew Magill

Out of Uniform and Sports Editor: Ricardo Garcia Ben Camarena, Davis Pogue, Tony Fagundes, Parker Nassar, and Corey Collier (left to right) take a picture with each of their mothers after Kairos. Photo: Anne Sampson

is a fun-filled retreat that packs so much into so little time. “It's something that I haven't experienced before and I thought it was really nice to have a connection with a group of people that I haven't connected with before,” senior retreatant Elyssa Protacio said. The details of what exactly happens at Kairos are strictly confidential to preserve the full experience for those who have not attended. However, everyone asked says it is worth the wait.

“I’d recommend it because it's a great experience and you get closer to peers. Personally my favorite part was all the surprises they throw at you. Some things are just completely unexpected,” senior Parker Nassar said. The next Kairos retreat will be in spring and is open to juniors and seniors. It is truly a wonderful experience and a once-in-alifetime opportunity, so get out there and sign up. It will be four days that you won't forget!

Feature Editor: Lokesh Bhardwaj

Web Editor: Camilo Daza


Braeden Bailey

Photographer: Presley Allen

Business Manager: Andrew O’Rourke

Social Media Manager: Evie Der Manouel

Cartoonist: Reilly Hendrix


Ms. Maria Lorenzo

Electric Cars Charge Into The Future of Automobiles

Braeden Bailey Designer

Tesla is pushing the current boundaries of the gasolinepowered car industry with new electric cars.

Electric cars have been talked about for a while, but have yet to take off and become used on a larger scale. Tesla is looking to change that. On Nov. 16, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled two new vehicles at a conference in Hawthorne, California, that completely shocked spectators with their ground-breaking abilities. For the uninitiated, Tesla is the newest car company to enter the market and exclusively makes high-quality electric cars. It cur-

rently offer a sedan, the Model S, and an SUV, the Model X. At the beginning of the conference, Musk rolled onto the stage in a sleek looking semitruck, officially announcing the Tesla Semi. Musk claims that this is the beginning of the future for the trucking industry. The Tesla Semi is able to drive 500 miles without stopping for a recharge and offers a larger and safer cabin space for the driver. The numbers have already enticed trucking companies; DHL, Fortigo Freight Services, and Titanium Transportation have already announced that they made pre-orders for multiple vehicles. The Tesla Semi is planned to hit the roads in 2020, beginning the revolution of environmentally-friendly trucking. The semi-truck was not the only thing Musk announced that day. Near the end of the conference, a new Tesla Roadster was also revealed, reviving Tesla’s first model that was never commer-

cially released. The Tesla Roadster boasts a dizzying 0-60 of 1.9 seconds and a range of 620 miles on a full charge. These speeds make it the fastest production car ever made, beating out expensive luxury vehicles such as Bugatti and Corvette. The Roadster is due for a 2020 release and starts at $200,000, which is “cheap” compared to the aforementioned. “The point of doing this is to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” Musk confidently said. While Musk seems to be making an attempt at ending the reign of gasoline-powered cars, the time before electric cars become a major influence on the consumer market is unknown. Currently, the price is the main issue that plagues the industry from completely taking over, even if electric cars permanently erase the cost of gas from bills. Even the Tesla’s older Model S starts at $68,000, which is still a steep cost to pay

for many Americans. “Electric cars are an answer to a problem we face, but are not the full solution, until we have better and more sustainable energy, both in its storage and production,” senior Matthew Ricci remarked.

Musk seemed hopeful for his vision of the future, where self-driving Teslas dominate the roads and people are spending less money to drive safely.

Mission Statement

The Red and Blue is an award-winning, student produced publication that is executed in a professional manner by delivering quality stories that are up to date and accurate. All staff members understand and abide by the standards of ethics and professionalism set forth by California State Law and the proposed Diocesan Publications Policy. The school community anticipates and appreciates the publication and plays an active rolein providing feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of San Joaquin Memorial High School and/or the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno.

The Tesla Roadster will be the fastest production car ever made. Photo: Tesla

The Red and Blue



December 2017

RIP LIL PEEP: Rapper Overdoses Lokesh Bhardwaj Feature Editor

Rapper Lil Peep was found dead on Nov. 15, 2017, days after turning 21. Gustav Åhr, better known as Lil Peep, was born Nov. 1, 1996, in Pennsylvania but spent a majority of his life in Long Island, New York. With the increasing popularity of online music sources, such as Soundcloud, Lil Peep was able to accumulate a small following. His versatility and new take on hip-hop in the “cloud rap” movement gained him a small cult following. Throughout his career, Peep released two mixtapes: “Crybaby” and “Hellboy." In August, Peep released his debut album “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt.1” and began a tour across the United States. As his album was gaining more and more popularity, Peep died before a show on tour in Tucson, Arizona, at the age of

21, as a result of taking fentanyl-laced xanax. Fentanyl is as an opioid pain medication that is 100 times more potent than morphine. While it is not certain whether or not his xanax was intentionally laced with fentanyl, it is known that Peep had issues with depression throughout his life and, unfortunately, turned to drugs as a method to cope. After his death, a large amount of people within the rap community began to use his death as an example—a way to condemn the use of drugs. At the same time, his fans mourn the death of their beloved rapper and idol, whose death they could have never seen coming. “In the short time that I knew you, you were a great friend to me and a great person. Your music changed the world and it’ll never be the same,” rapper Post Malone tweeted the day of Lil Peep’s death. Peep’s music touched the hearts of many, as they were able to relate with his experiences of depression and drug abuse, yet he actively advised his audience to not go down the same path as

Famous SoundCloud rapper Lil Peep died of a laced overdose at the age of 21.

Photo: HipHopDX

“I feel incredibly saddened

songs were geared towards drug

Senior Michael Hamp, a rap

by this whole event really,” said

addiction in a way that didn't glo-

enthusiast, has immense respect

Hamp. “I think somewhere in his

rify them but he let the listener

for Lil Peep’s music.

music was a cry for help. Most

know this is how Peep copes.”

he did.

Forging a New Timeline: History Club Elliott Nerenberg Editor-in-Chief

Club intends to make history more exciting for all.

Those who ignore history are said to repeat it, but those who make history often have lasting effects on the world. History’s greatest figures invent new ways to go about life, and can cause revolutionary changes, whether they be local or distant. The formation of the History Club at SJM is no exception.

“I always enjoyed AP Euro with Mr Borges, and I wanted to keep that experience going,” said junior Kayvon Sadeghi, one of the founders of the club. “I thought I could share that experience with friends and other people.” As the first local history club at SJM, Sadeghi believes it will become a great legacy. Not only that,

but as an academic honors club, it will become a chapter of the national NHHS, or National History Honors Society. It would be the first chapter in Fresno, and the second in the Central Valley. Such an addition to campus would have momentous implications. While Sadeghi acknowledges this, he emphasizes that the true goal

of the club is to unite people in their interest of history, and most importantly, to have fun. “AP classes can stress people out, and they just want to learn without having the stress of a letter grade over their head,” he said. “Why can't people just learn, have fun, and not be graded on it?”

FBI Files Reveal Kennedy's Killer is Patrick Monreal Editor-in-Chief

JFK files include strippers and Hitler, but no new information relating to the assassination. On Nov. 22nd, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, by Lee Harvey Oswald, sparking a wide range of conspiracy theories involving the likes of Fidel Castro and Lyndon B. Johnson. While several of those theories have faded in the 54 years since that fateful day in Dallas, a newly released horde of files has renewed interest in the murder. “Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked

and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” President Trump tweeted in late October. Many truly believed that the documents, which were to be released in compliance with the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, would bring closure to the debate on who orchestrated the assassination. However on Oct. 26, after pushback from intelligence agencies, the U.S. government only released 2,800 files, withholding over 30,000 others. After receiving negative feedback from the general public, Trump then tweeted, “After strict consultation with General Kelly, the CIA and other Agencies, I will be releasing ALL #JFKFiles other than the names and addresses of any mentioned person who is still living. I am doing this for reasons of full disclosure, transparency and in order to put any and all conspiracy theories to rest.”

Since then, less than 1,000 additional files have been released, and some are still heavily redacted. That said, the White House suggested in a statement that the remaining documents would be released on a rolling basis with “redactions only in the rarest of circumstances” by April 26, 2018. While the redactions have prevented any decisive findings, some of the documents have provided the public with humor and new speculations. For example, one file details the FBI’s attempts to contact strippers named “Kitty” and “Candy Cane”, who had been associates of Jack Ruby, Oswald’s killer. Another document describes a Pentagon-proposed scheme that offered Cuban nationals a bounty of two cents to murder Fidel Castro. One file even suggests that Adolf Hitler could have been hiding in Colombia in the 1950s and 1960s. “It seems a little ridiculous

to say that Hitler escaped when he was surrounded by half of the USSR, but hey, I've escaped from worse," said senior Liam Cornell. "As for JFK, I bet it was the CIA." One of the most controversial documents involves a deposition given by Richard Helms, former CIA Director. It is what’s excluded from the document that makes it

controversial. The file reports that Helms was asked about the possibility of Oswald working with the CIA, and then, immediately after, the file ends suddenly, failing to include any sort of answer from Helms. This incomplete document is representative of all the newly released files as a whole.

Files relating to JFK's assasination were released on Oct. 26, 2017. Photo: Time



The Red and Blue December 2017

Is Trump Presidential on Twitter? Ryan Golden News Editor With the change of president last year, I believe it is clear that there has also been a change in the style of the American presidency as well. In fact, President Donald Trump has single-handedly discovered a way to change the perception of what it means to be “presidential” with his nonconventional public addresses to our nation that appear on his Twitter. Trump has utilized his social media presence to say exactly what is on his mind. While it may be beneficial to have a brutally honest president, the explicit and blunt opinions he shares with the

world are not particularly characteristic any presidency in American history. For instance, Trump has no qualms about expressing his extremely positive opinion of himself, even if it means ridiculing anyone that tarnishes that image.

He also tends to have seemingly asinine responses to other

political figures, domestic and abroad. Some of these responses can incite quite a bit of anxiety among Americans as Trump's diplomacy is nowhere to be seen.

Lastly, Trump frequently gets into unnecessary disputes with people that he has no business fighting with as president. Whether he wants to be praised or not, blatant insults to politicians, let

alone civilians, seem outlandish coming from a president.

Trump, nonetheless, is a unique case. He is a businessman with little political experience. Unlike many previous presidents he lacks extensive experience of the political world. Due to this, many of the things that President

Trump says and does simply do not follow tradition. Policy aside, moreover, Trump is simply not the well-mannered president that we are used to. For many, this can be viewed as negative, but for others, it can be viewed as refreshingly common. Maybe the time has come for a presidential flair like the one displayed by President Trump. Maybe it is, indeed, time for that clearer connection to be forged between the President and his people. Maybe a president that speaks his mind is a good thing, as it allows Trump's base to feel in tune with him. Regardless, there is no doubt that presidential precedents are being changed with President Trump.

Apple's Big Risk Let Them Eat Cake! France Bans Underweight Models

Ricardo Garcia Out of Uniform and Sports Editor

Evie Der Manouel Social Media Manager

Is it worth spending your paycheck on a new phone?

Another year, another iPhone. Apple released two new models of its signature phone earlier this fall. The iPhone 8 is similar to its predecessor in the fact that it includes no headphone jack and comes in two sizes. The iPhone 8 is similar to iPhone 7 in terms of design, and comes in four finishes. However, there are some changes between the two. iPhone 8 is not made of aluminum, but glass, making it heavier than the iPhone 7. It also makes it easier to shatter when dropped. The iPhone 8 has a starting price of $699 for the smaller model and a starting price of $799 for the Plus model. If you think that will break your wallet, think again. Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone X starts at a whopping $999, and the technology included is part of the reason why. The home button that has been a tradition of many iPhones has been removed, which, consequently, removes Touch ID, a key feature of iPhone security. To replace this, Apple introduced Face ID to iPhone X, in which the camera scans facial patterns to unlock the phone. This poses plenty of security risks. Sure, it’s easier to unlock a phone with wet fingers, but privacy becomes an issue. Apple said Face ID does get confused by identical twins, and several critics

Apple's latest iteration of the iPhone, the iPhone X Photo: Apple

have noted that it becomes harder to use Face ID when dealing with sunlight, because of the harsh infrared light. It also tends to work better holding the phone closer to your face than normal, making holding the phone a bit more unusual . Passcodes are a much better alternative. Let’s also talk design flaws. One drop, one hefty bill to fix the phone. This applies to both new phones. It’s great that glass allows for wireless charging, but being habitually clumsy with your phones now could cost you up to $280 in screen repairs, especially with the iPhone X. So is it worth spending so much money on an new phone?About 78.3 percent of Memorial says it’s unreasonable to spend so much money. Maybe buy an iPhone 7. It’s pretty much an iPhone 8, but has a better chance at surviving a fall. It’s also simpler to use than an iPhone X and more flexible with your wallet.

When you think of a women’s magazine, what image pops up in your head? Generally, the media as a whole portrays women as extremely fit, thin, and tall. We all know that people of any gender come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. So why is the misrepresentation of women so prevalent, and what steps can we take as a society to abandon these alarming “iconic” stereotypes that can harm self-esteem and encourage terrible conditions like eating disorders and depression? As pop culture evolves every day, the push for self-acceptance and celebration of physical differences is becoming more prevalent in society. Naturally, many American fashion magazines and clothing lines are following suit. Many rising models such as Ashley Graham have broken the walls of the “average” look of a model.

Her work and self-confidence in front of the camera exemplifies that beauty isn’t defined by your shape. Overseas, France has taken a huge step in discouraging the spread of unrealistic body images for girls and helping prevent eating disorders by banning underweight models from the mainstream fashion industry. The new law requires models to have a health evaluation and proof that their Body Mass Index, or BMI, is within a healthy range. France’s decision to pass this law had to do with the negative effects that unrealistic body images had on readers. Self-deprecating thoughts and actions that stem from these photos concerned leaders not only about readers but also the models themselves. This 2016 law allows uncompliant modeling agents to be penalized with up to six months in prison or a fine of 64,000 euros. It is also rumored that a follow-up law will be put into place

requiring special labels for photos that are retouched. These measure s are being taken to protect the French youth, in particular young women. As of right now, 40,000 people in France are affected by anorexia, 90% being women. Hats off to France for shielding its youth from unrealistic societal expectations and for trying to prevent health conditions in the modeling industry. Although the chances of America following in France's footsteps seem bleak, hopefully awareness has risen about this issue. Both the mental and physical health of future generations is very important in a day and age where more is expected of women in terms of beauty than in the workplace. Newsflash everyone, no average girl walks around looking like the celebrity on the cover of Cosmo or on the runway at New York Fashion Week. Embrace your beauty, brains, kindness, and love your body!

The Red and Blue



December 2017

Pineapple on Pizza “Pizza’s here!” your mom shouts as she carries in four boxes of delectable, cheesy pizza. Your stomach begins to rumble as the savory smell wafts throughout the house. You open up each box, only to find pineapple pizza. Is this acceptable? Patrick Monreal Editor-in-Chief Think of all the possible combinations of pizza toppings. There is pepperoni, sausage, bacon, linguiça—and these are just the meats. For veggies, you can choose from onions, mushrooms, spinach, jalapeños, and roasted garlic. Now tell me, after hearing all this deliciousness, why on Earth would you ruin pizza with pineapples. “It’s like Hawaii is striking back on the Western World for imperialism,” senior Matthew Ricci said. “It’s an abomination. It’s just bad. Pineapple is fine alone, but just not on pizza. It’s a butchery of my Italian culture.” Ricci is right, but to find out why, we must go back to the invention of Hawaiian pizza. The combination was created by Sam Panopoulos, a Greek immigrant to Canada, in 1962. Panopoulos wanted to attract customers to his Ontario-based restaurant, so he decided to try something new. He was then inspired by a pineapple sitting on the counter in one of his restaurants. “It was a steep learning curve at first,” Panopoulos said. “We'd never seen a pizza. We didn't know what we were doing.” There you have it. The man who invented pineapples on pizza had never seen a pizza before. If you still are not convinced, there are other reasons for why pineapples do not belong on pizza. The pineapple plant bears

what is known as multiple fruit. This means that each pineapple is formed from a cluster of flowers. Each flower produces a berry, and the berries coalesce to form the pineapple. Essentially, pineapples can be classified as a berry. Now would you put blueberries on your pizza? The Oxford English Dictionary defines pizza as “a dish of Italian origin, consisting of a flat round base of dough baked with a topping of tomatoes and cheese, typically with added meat, fish, or vegetables." Since a pineapple is neither a meat, fish, nor vegetable, it seems that it has no rightful place on a pizza. World figures have weighed in on the issue. The President of Iceland was quoted with saying that if he could, he would pass a ban on pineapple pizza. While ordering pizza on a late-night television show, famous chef Gordon Ramsay snapped, “You don’t put [expletive] pineapple on pizza.” A pizza is meant to be shared. When you order a controversial topping like pineapple, you ruin the communal aspect of pizza that makes it so special. The students of Memorial seem to agree with my sentiment, with 58.2% of students responding “nay” to the great pizza debate. Perhaps senior Evenia DiCicco put it best: “Every time someone orders pineapple on their pizza, another Caesar is stabbed.”

Camilo Daza Web Editor

What are your thoughts on pineapples on pizza?

New York pizza, Chicago deep dish pizza, grilled Argentine pizza, and kebab pizza. The pizza is an everchanging dish that is very different from its creation hundreds of years ago. Pineapple is just another one of these differences. As Olivia Baldwin, senior, puts it, “I’d choose pineapple pizza over pepperoni pizza any day.” Sweet often goes with savory. Chocolate and pretzels, chicken and waffles, sweet and sour chicken; the combinations are endless, and pineapple on pizza is just an extension of one of these combinations. The thing that sets pineapple apart, however, is the level of depth and complexity that it adds to a traditional pizza. Pineapple, especially when it is grilled, brings a natural counterpoint to the salty flavors in preserved meats, like Canadian bacon and ham, and the salty pizzas commonplace within today's fast food industry. Furthermore, the pineapple’s sweetness actually helps bolster and identify the tomato in the pizza, bringing out numerous flavors that one might not have been able to experience without the pineapple. Thus, pineapple added to pizza creates an entire experience involving unique textures and flavors that can offer a different perspective on this traditional dish. Furthermore, Ricardo Garcia, senior, says “pineapple on pizza is unique. I’m not sure why peo-

ple don’t like it so much. It gives a fruity taste and adds a healthy element to junk food.” The beauty of pizza is that you can put anything that you want on it. Any pizza topping is valid, and these diversify such a classic dish. It is with the idea of “traditional pizza” that many people argue that the pineapple violates. The belief that pineapple is somehow “heresy” is, as a matter of fact, incorrect. In Italy, where the pizza originates from, it is extremely common to pair melon with prosciutto, as the salty meat complements the sweet fruit. In much the same way, the “Hawaiian” pizza takes this idea one step further, but with another more commonly available ingredient: pineapple. Now, if the argument is merely being made based on pineapple not being “traditional,” then what about Chicago deep dish pizza, which does not follow the “flat round base of dough” rule? In reality, who knows if Raffaele Esposito, inventor of the margherita pizza in 1890, would have looked down on utilizing the pineapple in a similar way to how melon was used with prosciutto on pizza. I am sure that the original creator of the waffle would not have imagined his dish would be paired with chicken. In much the same way, pineapples on pizza provide an interesting twist on the classic dish, and the flavors can blend well. At the end of the day, pizza is pizza, and if you don't like pineapple on pizza, then don't eat it, but people should eat what they like, and for that reason, pineapple pizza, regardless of your thoughts on it, should be appreciated for its vast dimensions and not be put down for its origins.

Editorial: The Dark Truth of Black Friday The Red and Blue staff stand firm in our objection to the unreasonable uproar amid the chaos of Black Friday.

It was Thomas Hobbes who originally stated that people, when exposed to circumstances that uproot their most primitive instincts, will amount to nothing more than primal violence and a

bitter struggle for survival. Such a statement could not be more true than with circumstances that accompany the idea of Black Friday, a day on which hoards of people rush to their favorite stores, fighting tooth and nail for the best deals on their most desired products. It is not uncommon for injuries to occur during the subsequent chaos, as when great deals are available, human beings are reduced to their most primitive devices: one Walmart employee was trampled to death in 2008, and a shootout broke out between

two men in a Toys-R Us store, resulting in both of their deaths. The Red and Blue staff recognizes the absurdity of these events, questioning the very motives behind Black Friday itself. Those who profit the most from Black Friday must be aware of such instances, yet nothing is done about it, and the cash continues to roll in while people across the nation stab each other over TV sets. Year after year, people continue to be injured in shopping frenzies. As such, we believe that greater safety measures need to be taken during the nationwide

sales, perhaps improved crowd control, and strongly disapprove of the large corporations’ unscrupulous methods of making a profit as well as their apathy toward those unnecessarily harmed. Naturally, however, there are two sides to any problem. The outrageous behavior of many shoppers should not be ignored; they contribute to the insanity just as much. They often take Black Friday shopping too seriously, and their immature behavior is reflected in their questionable actions that often put others at risk. Furthemore, oftentimes the drive

to lower these prices creates a variety of other issues.There is reason in pursuing quality goods at reduced prices, but not so much reason in fighting others for it. It simply makes no sense. Henceforth, we as a publication discourage such unreasonable behavior when Black Friday shopping, and remind retailers that their lack of attention to the issue may result in ill-gotten gains. The holidays can already be hectic enough as it is, and a reexamination of the Black Friday institution is in order.



The Red and Blue December 2017

Easy-Peasy Where Are They Now? Makayla Bailey Dessert Recipes Andrew O'Rourke Business Manager

Makayla Bailey has always been a dancer. Ever since she was three years-old Bailey has dedicated her entire life to dance training. She is now at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at USC. She will be getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance while enhancing her learning of dance genres such as Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Hip Hop. Makayla is also working toward a minor in Business. “I dance 20 or more hours a week,” Bailey said. “I dedicate most of my time to it.” Bailey hopes to dance professionally with dance companies and tour after college. She is looking at three different companies called Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, and Ballet BC. “After I am done dancing, I hope to be either a choreographer,

Makayla Bailey teacher, or a studio owner,” Bailey said. Bailey first wanted to be a professional dancer when she was 12 years old. She attended a summer camp in New York and there found her passion for dance. “It was at that camp when I [discovered I] wanted to be a professional dancer,” Bailey said. Bailey was appreciative for her coaches Gretchel Raypon, Dana Budd, and Sue Sampson Dalena

for their support of her for over the last 13 years. She got to know these coaches at the Dance Studio of Fresno, where she danced through her childhood until college. She worked extensively over this past summer to prepare for USC. “Those three have always inspired be to be the dancer I am,” Bailey said. “I would not be where I am without the support of those coaches.” All three of these coaches played key roles in the development of Bailey as a dancer. Although she may be at USC, she sees many similarities to Memorial. “The dance school is like Memorial because we are our own unique community,” Bailey said. “It also helped me be independent to explore the big school that USC is.” She is very fortunate to be at school that is as loving as Memorial. “Being at a large university and having a close knit family in the dance program gives me the best of both worlds,” Bailey said.

AASU Creates a New Atmosphere Evie DerManouel Social Media Manager This year, San Joaquin Memorial has introduced a new club on Campus, the African- American Student Union. Founded by senior Ari Wafer, the club provides a place for all to gather and exchange ideas as a community. Within the African-American Student Union, students of all races are welcome. In an interview with Lunden Taylor, an active member, the goals of the club and atmosphere surrounding it were discussed. “I think the AASU is a great way to become exposed to a different culture,” said Taylor. ‘Currently, the social stigma on cam-

pus may be that this club is closed off to people who do not have the same skin pigmentation. In a perfect world, I would hope that all people would be interested in this club because as people, I believe that it’s important to stand together.’ Supporting African-Americans in a time of inequality and making an effort to try and understand other viewpoints is crucial to becoming not only well rounded, but to appreciate other cultures. The creation of the AASU gives all students an opportunity to expose themselves to the culture of an ethnic minority on campus. The club will be attending an expo at Fresno State this February, one of the main events the club will have. All of

the current members encourage students of all races to join and look forward to not only this year but the future of the AASU here at Memorial.

Ari Wafer addresses the AASU Photo: Presley Allen


Presley Allen and Evie Der Manouel Photographer and Social Media Manager

Try our delicious, easy-to-follow Peppermint Bark and M&M Bar recipes this Christmas Season.

It is Christmas Eve. You are meeting with all of your family tomorrow to catch up with each

other, hand out presents, and have a Christmas feast. Just thinking about the wonderful meal your family shares together every year fills you with delight. The Christmas ham and turkey, eggnog, and desserts sound absolutely delectable. Then suddenly, you remember that you are in charge of desserts this year! It is the day before Christmas and you have no idea what to make! In sticky situations like these, we are here to help! Abandon those last minute boxed Pillsbury Christmas cookies and give one of our recipes a go. Your family and friends will absolutely love to try homemade peppermint bark and M&M bars this Christmas season.

This homemade peppermint bark is the perfect holiday treat for your family and friends! The easy-to-follow recipe will be perfect for any Christmas occasion. Ingredients: 12 ounces of chocolate (semi-sweet or bittersweet) 1 pound of white chocolate ½ teaspoon of peppermint oil or extract ½ crushed peppermint candies 13x9 pan Aluminium foil Baking spray Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit 2. Line 13x9 pan with foil and spray with baking spray. 3. Place chocolate in an even layer on the foil. Place in oven for five minutes or until almost melted. 4. Remove from oven and smooth chocolate with a spatula or knife. 5. Place chocolate in refrigerator until cold and firm. Will take around 20 minutes. 6. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or in a metal bowl over simmering water (do not let water touch the bottom of bowl) 7. Remove white chocolate from heat once melted and stir in peppermint oil/extract. Let white chocolate cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before pouring on top of refrigerated chocolate. 8. While waiting for the white chocolate to cool, crush peppermint candies. 9. Take out refrigerated chocolate and pour white chocolate over 10. Quickly spread white chocolate evenly then sprinkle peppermint candies over the top. 11. Chill until both layers are firm. 12. Break into pieces or cut into bars. 13. Chill in a covered container. These M&M bars will be a sure crowd pleaser at any holiday event. Follow this easy-to-read recipe to put a sweet smile on anyone’s face! Ingredients 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix ½ cup butter, softened 1 egg 1 cup M&M’s™ chocolate candies 1 cup white vanilla baking chips Directions: 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray bottom only of 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray. 2. In a large bowl, mix cookie mix, butter, and egg with spoon until soft dough forms. Stir in 1/2 cup of the candies and the white vanilla baking chips. Press dough in bottom of pan. Sprinkle remaining candies over top. 3. Bake 22 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour. Cut into six by four rows. Store in airtight container.

The Red and Blue


December 2017

Wong's Song Reilly hendrix Cartoonist Joanne Wong is a music teacher who works in MB1 teaching Jazz and Choir. She strives to do her best when it comes to educating her students about the strength and beauty of music. She went to college at the University of the Pacific for her undergraduate education and wanted to work at SJM to help her students gain a greater appreciation for music. “I wanted to be in an environment where I know the school will give me free choice of what to teach and also has high expecta-

tions for students,” said Wong. Wong is still trying to figure out some new things when she is working, but lucky for her, the staff is always there. “The staff is very friendly and supportive. They are some of the friendliest people I’ve met,” Wong said. No matter how wonky things might sometimes be, she makes tough decisions to still keep moving along, like any good song. This happens to be the song of Mrs. Wong. “I believe that everyone wants to keep moving forward and strive to do their best, so it makes me want to do my best, too, because everyone inspires me,” Wong said.


The Low Down on Lorenzo

Ryan Golden News Editor

Previously a Memorial student, Maria Lorenzo returns to teach Journalism and English classes.

One of San Joaquin Memorial’s newest teachers is as good as they come. She jumped into a new teaching environment with grace and even stepped up to instruct a class she did not expect to teach. Her experience at SJM as a student makes her teaching style and connection to her students and the community that much more genuine. Maria Lorenzo, newest addition to Memorial’s English Department, has been a valuable new member to the SJM teaching team. The school had an open position for an English teacher. Lorenzo was offered the opportunity and agreed to take on the job as well as teach Journalism. “I knew it would be a challenge to lead a paper with so much history during my first year,” Lorenzo said, “But of course I said, ‘Yeah, I would try.'" And try she did. She took an

Maria Lorenzo enjoys an exhilarating issue of the Red and Blue. Photo: Matthew Magill

almost completely new journalism team and helped them produce three successful newspapers with more to come. Lorenzo and her class turned into more of a family and she quickly lost the status of new teacher. “I’m glad I did because it has been an interesting experience," Lorenzo said. "And [my students] - they're alright people,” She laughed. Being a former student of SJM, Lorenzo reminisces about her times there with friends, performing in plays, and going to dances. She reminds her students they are lucky to attend Memorial. “I appreciated the family feel of SJM and how the teachers cared... It isn't until you leave here that you really realize how good

you had it,” Lorenzo states. Lorenzo attended UC Santa Cruz for her Bachelors in Politics and Fresno State for her Masters in History. She has also taught in many different environments over the past 15 years, including public schools and a college preparatory charter, turning her into a wise teacher with many lessons to share. Although she is new to the students, her teaching abilities are definitely tried and true. “The most important lesson to learn is [that] when you fail, view it as a good thing, be like ‘that’s okay.' You pick yourself up, you dust yourself off, and you move on,” Lorenzo shared. Lorenzo has brought a whole new personality and environment to the twenties arcade. SJM is lucky to have her.

meal on death row? “Potatoes - in any form. You can never go wrong with potatoes.” What is your spirit animal? “It would probably be a cross between a puppy and a dragon.”

already loves the environment at Memorial. “I don’t feel like I could ever share information like this at any other school,” she said. “There’s a huge support system here and a lot of love that you don’t realize is there until you leave this place. I have not felt that at any other place I have worked.”

Elena Navarrette Enters the English Department Patrick monreal Editor-in-Chief

Memorial alumna, Elena Navarrette returns to her old stomping grounds as a 9th and 10th grade English teacher. Among the English Department’s newest additions this year is 9th and 10th grade English teacher Elena Navarrette. Navarrette, a 2003 Memorial graduate, majored in theater at Fresno State and then went on to receive her master’s degree in education from Concordia University. Navarrette’s interest in theater started at Memorial but really flourished at Fresno State. Her most memorable role involved playing a fascist rhinoceros in the play “Rhinoceros," a critique on the sudden upsurge of Nazism during the events preceding World War II. “When you’re a theater major in college, it’s all about existentialism. You know, like pretending to

be a desk is really deep in college, for whatever reason,” Navarrette said. “Our director at the time was like, ‘Oh, we’re going take this new take on it. We’re going to make it our own.’ So, he decided to set it in prewar Germany.” At Memorial, Navarrette is seeking to apply her Masters of Education in Curriculum Instruction and Design to the classroom. She hopes to build confidence in her students and be as effective as an educator as the teachers she had when she attended Memorial. With that said, I sat down with Navarrette and gave her rapid-fire questions to really get to know her: What is your favorite food currently in your fridge? “Pie, without a doubt. All pie. I refuse to narrow it down anymore.” What is your favorite music artist and/or album? “Right now, it’s Carole King, specifically the album Tapestry. That album was always playing in my house as a kid. King reminds me of home.” What is your favorite movie? “If I were held at gunpoint to watch a movie, I would say Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It’s one of those movies where you laugh/cry the entire time.” Describe your teaching

method. “I would probably say assertive but intriguing, and humble yet assuring.” Who were your favorite teachers at Memorial? “Danks-Ferguson, fo sho, and I would say my drama teacher my junior year, Bianca Ankrum.” What would be your last

As the first semester comes to an end, Navarrette says she

Navarrette helps freshman Trinity Scott with her English essays. Navarrette, an alumna of Memorial, is seeking to emulate the teachers she had when she was in high school. Photo: Braeden Bailey



The Red and Blue December 2017

All Wrapped Up in Christmas

The holidays are approaching soon, so get into the spirit with our very merry articles by reading up on everything from Hannukkah to the life of a mall Santa.

Happy Hannukah Mall Santas: the Good, the Bad, and the Naughty

Elliott Nerenberg Editor-in-Chief

Jewish Panthers bring their holiday cultures to SJM by sharing stories and traditions.

Whoosh! The entire family sits on the edge of their seats, staring intently at the spinning dreidel and listening to its gentle rumble on the table. The spinning begins to slow and the dreidel finally falls to one side. Gimel! Someone just won a handful of chocolate coins, or gelt. The excitement surrounding such a game of dreidel is a common activity for families during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. “Hanukkah is a time to see my whole family and celebrate the miracle that saved us,” junior Isabelle Lehman said. “It is a time of love and happiness for each other.” The eight day celebration,

also referred to as the “Festival of Lights”, commemorates a time of miracles in the second century B.C.E. During the rededication of the Second Temple, the menorah remained lit for eight nights despite the limited oil supply allowing for just one. The holiday is a time of laughter and celebration for both Jewish and non-Jewish families across the world. As such, Lehman values the time she is able to spend with family and friends. “Sometimes we celebrate the holiday by going to friends’ houses, and other times we just stay home, light the candles, say prayers, and open presents together,” she said. Hanukkah is always a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family that one may not see very often, and many families develop their own, unique traditions that they can look forward to every year. “Instead of playing dreidel with gold coins, we have points, and whoever wins gets to choose dinner,” Daniel Gugig, junior, said. Regardless of distance or occupation, the holiday spirit of Hanukkah transcends all. It brings people together for a joyous celebration, tying them to their ancient Judaic roots. “It essentially is like a deepening of my faith with my family,” Gugig said. “Usually my family comes to visit, and it’s great to have them all together.”

Matthew Magill Opinion Editor

Happy Holidays! The season of fraud is now upon us. As you take your family, or go solo, to the mall to take a picture with a poor imitation of Saint Nick, ask yourself: Why am I doing this? “Because, you know, that’s what kids do, you take pictures with Santa,” said junior, Elliott Nerenberg when asked why he took pictures with Santa as a child. No one seems to really know why so many are willing to wait in an hour long line with squirming children and screaming babies just to take an overpriced picture with a fake children’s character. However, the malls and the Santas they employ sure aren’t asking any questions. During the Christmas season, malls can bring in more than one million dollars on Santa pictures alone. Furthermore, the fakes that impersonate THE Santa Claus can make up to 80 thousand dollars. That said, most make 8 to 10 thousand in a season. “I think being a mall Santa would be a lot of fun, especially since it seems like an easy way to

A crying baby poses with a joyous "Mall Santa" Photo: Business Insider

make some money,” said seniorTony Fagundes. While you might be thinking that becoming a myth beloved by kids worldwide is the way to go, you’d be surprised by the difficulty of such a job. First, most professional Santas attend schools such as the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School to learn and develop the skills necessary for becoming “Santa.” Next, any aspiring Santa needs to buy their own costume which can cost thousands of dollars. Finally, every fat dude in an

overpriced red suit needs to know how to comfort inconsolable children, keep a smile and jolly attitude for hours at a time, how to answer impossible questions children ask, and, most importantly, how to keep one’s hands visible at all times to avoid any compromising situations. Next time you or your family goes to the mall, think about why you are shelling out all that cash to take a picture on a strange man’s lap and how much he is getting paid to let you.

Holiday Bag ($) If you’re looking for a gift that will keep giving all year, sign your friend up for an ULTA or Sephora membership. All it costs is an email address! If you’re a member, you can receive free gifts in the future and build up points to purchase other items. Other Options: Anastasia PRISM eyeshadow palette ($$$); Fenty Beauty lip stain ($$)

these days. They’re extremely low maintenance and add personality to living space. Gift these to your friend to add some life to their room! Other Options: Brandy Melville ($-$$); “Sun and Her Flowers” by Rupi Kapur ($)

Christmas Gift Guide Evie Der Manouel Social Media Manager Whether you’re drawing a blank this holiday season or just need some inspiration to get out of that Scrooge mentality, this is your Christmas Gift Guide for all the lovelies in your life. For: The person who is collected, never late, and ready for anything, this friend always has it together. Try: Planner ($-$$) Almost every organized person keeps their affairs on their phone these days, but all of us know sometimes writing things down makes remembering easier. Sometimes abandoning the trend and going for practical and fashionable can be the best choice. Other Options: S’well Bottle ($$); Pouch for pencils or a calculator, maybe even for their car ($)

For: The person who is overbooked and always stressed. Try: Bath bombs ($-$$) Everyone can benefit from bath bombs. If you are looking for seasonal bath bombs, check out Lush’s gift sets online or at their Fresno location at Fashion Fair. Other Options: Candles ($$$); Face masks ($$) For: The total bookworm. She might juggle AP classes but manages to find time to read. Try: Aromatherapy ($$) It takes a lot to just center yourself and read. If you’re like me, it’s hard to read when you know how much you have to get done at the end of the day. Using a calming scent can help put you in the mood to sit down with a good book and get yourself in the mindset to retain information. Other Options: trendy books ($); journal ($)

For: Your personal geek squad, the tech wiz that always knows exactly what angle to take photos and takes the BEST care of her electronics. Try: iPhone projector ($$$$$) Talk about the best gift ever! This projector is super fun for anyone who likes that big screen effect without wanting to have to go to the movies! Other Options: Popsocket ($-$$); cleansing wipes for screens ($) For: The beauty guru, who’s always showing up to the hangout with perfect makeup and hair to die for. Try: Membership

For: The hipster who probably lives at Urban Outfitters. This gal always knows what’s trending and has an artsy side to her. Try: Set of succulents ($$) These cute little cacti seem to be all the rage

For: The athletic friend who you literally never see during sports seasons. She’s competitive in every way and basically lives in her athletic shorts. Try: Hydroflask ($$) This insulated bottle is marketed toward athletes, with great caps that make it easy to drink any liquid of choice. It keeps your water cool for hours! They come in many shapes and sizes, and can be personalized with stickers! Other Option: Mission Towel ($$)

The Red and Blue


December 2017


"Going to my grandparent's house on Christmas Eve"


"Making cookies for Santa Claus with my family"


"Going down Christmas Tree Lane with my friends"


"Going to my grandma's house and drinking hot chocolate"




Dreaming of a Bright Light Christmas Presley Allen Photographer

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It’s time to walk down Christmas Lane! Everybody knows it. Everybody goes to it. It is the time of year again where people get together with friends and drink some hot cocoa while walking down Christmas Tree Lane. The popular lit up street often seems to outweigh Clovis’ Cindy Lane, commonly known as Candy Cane Lane. “I feel like people hype up Christmas Tree Lane way more than Candy Cane Lane,” says junior Savannah Blagen. Although both seem to get everyone into the Christmas spirit, it is clear that Christmas Tree Lane seems to be the more favored of the two. “I’ve gone many years

and they always do a good job,” sophomore Grace Baker said. Regarding the decorations, Christmas Tree Lane seems to have a wider variety. “I like the murals, paintings, and lights in the middle of the street hung in the trees,” said Blagen. Christmas Tree Lane also has the iconic grand finale at the end. Although Blagen claims it can be “a little too much”, Baker and junior Riley McCann say they enjoy the extravagant ending. McCann and junior Seth Freitas claim that the decorations have pretty much stayed the same each year. “It’s pretty static. Nothing really changes. It’s just the same thing. But, it’s still nice to walk down,” Freitas said. Blagen agrees that Christmas Tree Lane’s decorations are for the most part, consistent. Although she stands by the idea that Christmas Tree Lane is better in terms of decorations, she believes that Candy Cane Lane’s decorations “get better every year”. Even though she has never been, Baker says that she has

heard that Candy Cane Lane is much shorter than Christmas Tree Lane. Blagen confirms this. “I like that Candy Cane Lane is a little bit shorter than Christmas Tree Lane because it [makes it] easier to walk,” she said. The weather can make or break whether or not one enjoys Christmas Tree Lane or Candy Cane Lane. If one does not dress warm enough, they will more likely have a bad experience. Since it is cold during the Christmas season, it makes sense that people think it is better to have a shorter walk. “Driving-wise, I would rather be on Christmas Tree Lane,” claims Blagen. Candy Cane Lane may seem a little too short for a drive, but it is the perfect walk. Despite it being more crowded that Candy Cane Lane, overall, people lean more towards Christmas Tree Lane. “It is more popular,” said junior Noah Menezes. “It’s been around longer. It’s more developed.” The longer walk, better decorations, and family friendly atmosphere of Christmas Tree Lane just seem to draw people in.


Out of Uniform

The Red and Blue December 2017

Rice Burger Delight

fries. Of course, the KoJa burgers are the standout choice on their menu and I would recommend you try them first. If you’re still hungry after that, they also have a colorful selection of macarons for dessert. The customer service at KoJa Kitchen is also top notch. Among the many times I have been there, my food has never taken longer than 10 minutes to be finished afI originalter ordering. ly found KoJa “I drove like Kitchen when I 25 minutes every was looking for couple of days a place to eat afduring summer ter school earlier just so I could this year. I drove get a short rib around the placKoJa,” senior es near my house Michael Hamp and was about to said when asked eat at Deli Deliif KoJa Kitchen cious, when its was worth it. neighbor, KoJa The effort Kitchen, caught put into the my eye. My curestaurant to riosity got the make something best of me, and that is different I decided to eat KoJa Kitchen's signature dish, a short rib KoJa. Photo: Braeden Bailey and delicious there, easily becoming one of the best decisions all of them, they each offer diverse is highly appreciated. If you are flavors you will not find anywhere looking for a new place to eat, I have ever made. Upon walking into the restau- else. Customers can choose be- KoJa Kitchen is perfect for satisrant, you are immediately greeted tween a short rib, chicken, beef, fying those sudden hunger pangs throughout the day or for just a by a modern and fresh-looking or portobello mushroom patties. The menu also offers varia- lunch out with friends. establishment. It opened earlier this year and has been booming tions of tacos, salads, and waffle Braeden Bailey Designer

KoJa Kitchen serves up some of the most unique dishes in town.

with business ever since. KoJa Kitchen aims to “reinvent” Korean and Japanese flavors through special gourmet sandwiches called KoJa. A KoJa is described by their menu as a “burger, but better.” What makes them so unique is that the inside of the burger is pressed together by a bun made out of fried garlic rice. I would highly recommend trying

Reilly's Remarks DEAR REILLYI wanna be a good dancer. How are you so good at dancing and how can I make my moves as clean as yours? -AWKWARD MONKEY

DEAR AWKWARDThere is a lot of dances out there that are widely popular. But for me, I just go with the flow of the music. It’s good to know the popular dances because they improve your dancing skills. So, in a nutshell, just go out there and do your stuff! -REILLY

DEAR REILLYWhat do you think is the best ice cream flavor? -ICE CREAM CHOOSER DEAR CHOOSERThat’s easy. Neapolitan. Think about it. Neapolitan has three different flavors rolled into one: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. (Did you know that Neapolitan originated in Italy and it’s supposed to resemble their flag? It’s true!) -REILLY

Justice is Served Taylor Swift Returns with a New Reputation Andrew O’Rourke Business Manager

After years of anticipation, Justice League finally comes to theaters

The years of waiting are over: “Justice League” is finally here. After the releases of “Batman v. Superman”, “Suicide Squad”, and “Wonder Woman”, DC Comics has made the “Justice League” a reality. Directed by Zack Snyder, director of “Batman v. Superman”, this movie brought together six of the main DC Universe heroes: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg. The heroes are forced to come together when Steppenwolf threatens to destroy the world. Because the characters of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have already been thoroughly developed in the first three DC movies, the other three heroes are given their own time in the spotlight in “Justice League”. This movie includes all of the qualities that makes every superhero great but also highlights each hero individually. Every character has a scene in the movie that

shows off their unique powers. “It was such a fun and exciting film!” senior Ally Martin said. “I loved seeing all my favorite superheroes come to life.” This is only the beginning of the DC movies. With more planned movies ahead, including “Green Lantern” and “Shazam!”, more new and exciting characters are about to enter the world of DC comics.

Theatrical Release Poster Photo: Collider

“Justice League is ultimately a preview for what’s to come in the DC Extended Universe,” junior Josh DeMera said. “I hope the future films will build off of the new addition of characters and cooperation with one another.”

Ricardo Garcia Out of Uniform and Sports Editor

Superstar singer’s first release in three years has quickly become a massive hit.

She had not released a new album since “1989” was released in 2014. When #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty trended in the summer of 2016 and fall came and went without a new album, it seemed like the end. But over the summer, Taylor Swift began her revenge tour. “1989” marked Swift’s departure from country to pop music. When she announced “Reputation” in August, Swift began a transition from synth-pop music into electronic pop. “Reputation” at first glance is unlike any Taylor Swift album we have seen before. Like always, she tries something new. She dives into lust and revenge while attacking her critics, when she

could have kept quiet. “Taylor Swift has come into her own as a pop artist and reputation proves it,” senior Gianna Provenzano said. Fans now get an inside look at a darker side of her personality, and they got that initial impression when she released “Look What you Made Me Do” after a prolonged absence from the music scene. Swift’s promotion of the album was different than in years past, too. “This time around she focused more on the fans when promoting her album, but she didn't do as much promotion for the general public,” Provenzano said. Among the promotions, Swift asked fans to take pictures with special UPS trucks that graced the album’s cover for a better opportunity at buying future concert tickets. She also said fans who preordered the album also have an increased chance at tickets. All of the songs on the album are great, but Provenzano recommended one song that stood out from the others. “‘New Year’s Day’ stands out due to how stripped down the

Swift's Reputation album cover. Photo: Rolling Stone

production is compared to the rest of the album, and it really gives the lyrics a chance to shine,” Provenzano said. The hiatus was well worth the wait. As she states, in “Look What You Made Me Do,” the old Taylor is indeed dead. The new Taylor talks much more about procreation, which is especially prevalent in “I Did Something Bad.” It’s not just this song, but most of the album dives right into gofor-it adult melodies, a challenge from someone who has written so many songs about romance in general. She turns away from the “romance-high” style and starts letting life unfold in front of her.

Album Grade: A

The Red and Blue December 2017


Fresno City Soccer Wins State Patrick Monreal Editor-in-Chief We have state champions in Fresno! Not only is this team from Fresno, but their home turf is right down the street from Memorial. On Dec. 3, both of Fresno City’s soccer programs won the California Community College Athletic Association Championship. The men defeated Taft College from Sacramento 2-0, and the women defeated Santa Barbara City College 2-1. “There was no doubt in my mind that we would win. It's truly an amazing feeling. We believed in each other and worked so hard day in and day out. We 100 percent deserved it,” said sophomore Sophia Zertuche, graduate of

Madera South High School. “This was for the people back home, our school, and our community. We represent and take pride in where we come from.” A state title capped off an already stellar season for the Lady Rams, who finished 26-0-1. In those 27 games, the team, made up completely of girls from the Central Valley, scored 148 goals on opponents and only gave up 7. Fresno City also had 21 shutouts this season and are ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to the National Soccer Coaches of America Association. “In the past 13 years, we’ve always been in the top 25 in the nation and have won our conference 12 times,” said assistant coach Christina Monreal, member of Memorial’s Class of 2007. “We have also battled four-year universities and been successful.

Fresno City sophomore Raina Wristen, alumna of Liberty High School in Madera Ranchos dribbles past a defender. Photo: Fresno City

We’ve beaten Cal Poly and Cal State East Bay, who are in Division I and II of the NCAA.” Perhaps Fresno City’s biggest bragging point, however, is their success with preparing athletes

for the future. In the last five years, every one of team’s graduating sophomores has received an offer to play at the next level. “We prepare them holistically as student-athletes as well,” Mon-


real said. “We provide tutors that teach study skills not just subject matter, and we have a leadership camp that helps their confidence and problem-solving skills.” This investment has paid off. Last year, Fresno City women’s soccer had over 18 girls with a 3.0 or above GPA. By the time they are ready to graduate, many of the girls receive both athletic and academic scholarships from fouryear schools. “Fresno City soccer has always encouraged us to get out of our comfort zone and put in 100% effort into anything we do,” said sophomore Gabby Watson, graduate of Clovis High School. “With the high intensity of the practices and emphasis on effort, it shows me how much I can really accomplish in life.”

XC Team Makes History by Going to State Meet Matthew Magill Opinion Editor For as long as the Cross Country CIF State Championships have been held, the honor of earning a place among the 23 teams has long been coveted by the SJM boys cross country team. This year the boys cross country team, accompanied by Marianne Gleason, made history by being the first SJM boys team to ever qualify for state. "I am very proud to have had the opportunity to coach the first San Joaquin Memorial Boys Cross Country team to qualify for the prestigious California State Championship. It was a goal for us since this group of seniors showed a lot of promise and talent four years ago as freshmen," said a

grinning Coach Danks-Ferguson in response to being asked how he felt about his first State Championship appearance with a boys team. The team was comprised of seniors Matt Taksa, Diego Carrasco, and Matt Magill along with juniors Noah Menez, Carlos Garcia, Ryan Freitas and sophomore Matt Garza. Since 2015, the boys cross country team had been State Championship hopefuls, and going into the 2017 season ranked No. 1, they began the realization of the school's decades-long dream. Although the team finished second behind a surprisingly quick Avenal team, the season was hard fought, and the team said they were incredibly proud to be the first SJM boys team to make it to State. "When we realized we had made it to state I was ecstatic and

I'm really honored to have been able to help lead this team of guys," said co-captain Matthew Taksa. However, the boys team wasn't alone at state. On Nov. 25th at Woodward Park, Marianne Gleason joined the boys team The Cross Country team recieves their Valley runner up plaque. to make her Photo: Zach Magill third appearance in three years at "I'm fortunate to have been Due to the shared success of the State meet. Although Glea- able to experience [the State meet] both the boys and girl, the 2017 son's season was marked with in- with my teammates. Next year I'm jury, she pulled through to quali- looking forward to another great SJM cross country season is not fy, yet again, to the State meet as season with the team," said Glea- one that will soon be forgotten. son, also a co-captain. an individual.

Boys Soccer Begins to Kick it into Action Camilo Daza Web Editor

The boys soccer team gets to work as the season heats up.

Boys soccer has begun to kick it into action after training for just over a month. Their lack of subs has caused them to start a bit slowly, tieing against Clovis East and losing a tough match to Mission Oak in Tulare. Regardless, “the team is quickly forming to what we need to make an impact this season.

Recent practices and games have shown us the surprise we wanted to see,” said third-year varsity forward and senior Corey Collier. Within the next month they have several high-profile games, but the team is most looking forward to the annual Garces tournament. The team seems confident as they begin to start this next season, and with many firstyear players they will definitely want to impress. Every player will be wanting to show their skills on the field. Collier further explained this point by giving his thoughts on this upcoming season. “We have a great team. We had more

than enough talent to make it to Valleys last season, and I think we're right behind that this year. I expect to see us do impressive things this time around,” he said. Last year, the team went 17-9 overall and 6-4 in league, according to MaxPreps. Despite this, they suffered an early exit in playoffs to Wasco. This year, however, the team thinks they have a strong chance at going deep in playoffs. Through this last month of practice, the players, new and returning alike, have been building bonds and a general feeling of chemistry that will definitely reflect on their play on the field. For them, as Collier implied, a

solid foundation is absolutely necessary to be competitive. For this season, boys soccer looks more than ready to face its challenges head-on. Their dedication that they have put it over this past

month will drive them forward. Their last home game of 2017 is on Monday, Dec. 11th at 5 p.m. against Mendota. Be there and support your Panthers!



The Red and Blue December 2017

The Wait is Over Tony Fagundes Head of Design

The San Joaquin Memorial Panthers are valley champions in football for the first time in 14 years in the win against Tulare Western. For the first time since 2003 the San Joaquin Memorial football team is valley champions. On Friday, Dec. 1, the Panthers beat the Tulare Western Mustangs with a score of 45-31 to win the Division 3 Valley Championship. “It was a great win. We came together as a team and played great, but we aren't done yet,” senior Chase Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald is the starting safety

The football team groups together to take a picture with the Valley Championship plaque in celebration of their big victory. Photo: Lokesh Bhardwaj

but suffered a game-ending ankle injury on the first drive. He said it isn't over because now the pan-

thers are in the semifinals of the State Championship, looking to win another championship.

“We are hoping to keep going on and win states, too,” senior Pierce Jackson said.

Even though the game was in Tulare, which is over a 40 minute drive from SJM, the bleachers were full with students who came to support the team. “The student section was packed. It was electric. Everyone was cheering on and standing the whole game. It made my job as Spirit Commissioner really easy,” senior Andrew O’Rourke said. This win would not have been possible without the incredible performance from sophomore wide receiver Jalen McMillan, with a line of 9 receptions for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns. “He’s a freak. It’s unbelievable some of the plays he makes. I am just happy he’s on our side so I don’t have to guard him,” Fitzgerald said. Now the panthers will face Southwest El Centro in the Division 4 State Semifinals. This is an away game in El Centro on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. Make sure to go to the game and support your panthers in their quest for State!

Basketball Soars To New Heights Lokesh Bhardwaj Feature Editor

This year's basketball team shows potential to reaching state.

Sophomore guard Jalen Green is gaining attention. Photo: Fresno Bee

Throughout the years, the Memorial basketball team has garnered attention across the valley, but this 2017-2018 team has the potential to make a name for themselves at the state level. San Joaquin Memorial has a history of exceptional basketball teams, and this year is no different. Memorial has produced NBA

players such as Quincy Pondexter, Robin Lopez and Brook Lopez. With current students already committing to play in the NCAA, that list might become even longer. On Nov. 25th, Memorial won their opener against Moreau Catholic School 78-67, starting their season on a strong note. As of right now, the team is ranked No. 19 in California. Sophomore Jalen Green plays among the elite, being ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2020 nationwide. Green recognizes himself as an all-around player and hopes to bring his team success. “Last year we had a good season and all, but it didn't feel good

on the court,” said Green. “This year there is a different vibe, everything just feels a lot better as a team.”





team’s chemistry, Green stated, “Dameane adds a lot, Lunden passes more, and Huelskamp is playing now, making us better as a team.” “We have a good team, we have a good chance of winning. All we need now is people to come out and show their support at the games,” Green concluded.

Rugby's Boys Are Back for Another Season Matthew Magill Opinion Editor Two years ago, SJM welcomed its first ever rugby team. Due to an effective coaching staff and a young, hungry team, the boys rugby team made its first State Championship appearance in their second season and are hopeful to return this coming season. "I am excited to welcome all our new players to the fold and with the right attitudes I believe

our team of experienced and inexperienced players as the potential to go back to the State Championship and win this time," said coach Rudy Negrete. After losing several skilled seniors last year, the rugby team will be looking to new players and several experienced ones to step up in place of those who have gone. The large number of freshman to join the team is an encouraging sign. Due to the fact that several of the freshmen have experience with youth rugby, their addition to the team will surely add much

needed depth to the roster. Furthermore, a young team like this one has a lot of potential to grow and succeed as a unit. "This season has the potential to be great. We have a lot of returners so we hope to make it to state again and win. I hope all freshmen we have out currently learn the game and continue to play after our upperclassmen leave," said junior and captain Jake Negrete. As rugby grows more popular in the U.S. and the world, especially due to its recent induction

into the Olympics, SJM can expect its young but quickly developing rugby program to continue

to grow. The future of SJM rugby will be surely be one to watch.

December 2017  

The Red and Blue |San Joaquin Memorial HS Archived Publication: December 2017

December 2017  

The Red and Blue |San Joaquin Memorial HS Archived Publication: December 2017