Page 1

passage NORTHWEST VOL. 42


NOV. 12, 2010




contents 





Features Editors

Copy Editor

Entertainment Editor

Design Editor

Sports Editors

Assistant Copy Editors

Ads Editor



Photo Editors


Graphics Editor TYLER ABSHER

News Editor






Staff Writers


20 / fall sports wrap-up Senior James Gregory jumps over the Leavenworth High defense on Oct. 15 at Leavenworth High Stadium. / PHOTO BY DAVID FREYERMUTH



 NEWS 04 news briefs

Updates on happenings at Northwest.

06 news schmix  ENTERTAINMENT 09 reviews



The perfect pumpkin pie: Finding the right pumpkin pie is crucial to a successful Thanksgiving. Over the Top: This cupcake and yogurt shop is worth the drive.

10 reviews

Sid Meier’s Civilization V: This computer game is addicting. Fallout: New Vegas: The new video game is very similar to the original.

 OPINIONS 08 more than juice and cookies: Donating

 FEATURES 12 three phone calls

A family changed forever because of three phone calls.

16 keeping tradition

A junior goes hunting every fall.

 SPORTS 19 boss

The best sports photo and Q&A with senior Alex Smith.

20 fall sports wrap-up

The fall sports seasons have come to a close.

22 upcoming games 23 keeping a cool head

Avoiding concussions is crucial to athlete safety.

blood is a rewarding experience.

no home for Thanksgiving: Enjoy the time you have with your family.

(TOP) Seniors Daniel Fry and Claire Martin show their

characters’ love for each other. Fry played Sir Harry and Martin as Lady Larken in the fall musical Once Upon A Mattress on Nov. 3. / PHOTO BY DAVID FREYERMUTH (BOTTOM) Over the Top sells delicious frozen yogurt as well as cupcakes. / PHOTO BY SARAH DEAN

The purpose of the Northwest Passage is to relay important and interesting information to the community, administration and students of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School. As a newsmagazine, the Northwest Passage will cater to the interests and concerns of the student body. Outside concerns and activities will only be covered if they somehow affect the school or students. the Northwest Passage is a 24-page newsmagazine. The paper will be distributed every two weeks during fourth hour. Subscriptions will be available to the community for $35. The Northwest Passage firmly supports the First Amendment and opposes censorship. The content of the newspaper will be determined and created by the entire staff. When questions concerning word choice, legal problems or ethics arise the editorial board and adviser will discuss the problem to find a solution. In these cases, the co-editors-in-chief will the have final say in all decisions. Letters to the editor will be accepted and encouraged, but will only be published if signed. The staff reserves the right to edit for grammatical mistakes, length and good taste. Letters may attack policy but not people. In no way will ideas or viewpoints be changed. The co-editors-in-chief reserve the right to refuse any letter.


Theater students perform fall musical Students performed the first school play of the year, Once Upon a Mattress, last week. From Nov. 4-7, audiences gathered to watch Northwest’s adaptation of a the classic tale of the Princess and the Pea. In the play, Prince Dauntless the Drab, played by Brett Cooper, has failed time and time again to find a suitable princess to wed. The main problem is finding one that his mother, Queen Aggravain, played by senior Gwen Devonshire, approves of. Finally, the loud, outgoing Princess Winnifred the Woebegone, played by senior Hailey Esch, arrives in the kingdom, but faces the difficult test put on by the Queen to determine whether she is a suitable wife for her son. “It was a big responsibility, but I enjoyed having the challenge,” Devonshire said. “It was a fun character, and there was a lot of room for me to create the overdramatic, evil queen that I played.” Apart from it being the first play of the year, it is also the first high school play for some students. “I was really nervous,” freshman Ben Huddleston said. “It took a lot of energy just to audition and to go through the rehearsal process. But being on stage made it all worth it.” Theater director Keli Rodgers has noticed a decline in participation in school theater, but it hasn’t influenced the quality of the production. “What has happened in the past 20 years,” Rodgers said, “is the numbers [of participating students] have gotten fewer and fewer, and the kids I get are very talented. I can’t complain about there being a lack of talent by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just that there’s fewer people, and it’s different to work with a smaller group than a larger group.” “There was a large crowd all three nights,” Rodgers said, “which was surprising because of [all the school events going on on Friday. But I was very pleased with the turn out.” “We were all very thankful for how supportive everyone was,” Devonshire said, “and how involved the audience was with what was happening on stage.” Overall, students responded positively to Once Upon a Mattress. “The play was hilarious,” sophomore Katt Cooper said. “I was there all three nights, and it just kept getting / ASHLEE CRANE better.”

Seniors Claire Martin is consoled by senior Hailey Esch while performing the fall musical Once Upon A Mattress which was shown on Nov. 4. / PHOTO BY SARAH DEAN Prince Dauntless, played by junior Brett Cooper, sings during the first act of the musical, Once Upon A Mattress during rehearsal on Nov. 1. / PHOTO BY MONIQUE WARE Seniors Claire Martin and Michael Allen practice for the musical at a dress rehearsal at Nov. 1. The musical showed Nov. 4–6 in the NW auditorium. / PHOTO BY MONIQUE WARE


/ NOV. 12, 2010

SM Board of education votes on boundary change proposals The Shawnee Mission board of education voted on five of the 11 proposals for boundary changes and school closings Nov. 8 at a board meeting at SM North. Superintendent Gene Johnson presented the original 11 proposals on Sept. 13. The proposals were then discussed at 12 community meetings prior to the Nov. 8 board meeting. The Sept. 13 proposals included closing Mission Valley and Antioch middle schools, along with Shawanoe, Bonjour and Dorothy Moody elementary schools. The proposals also would also create a single feeder school for each high school. If enacted, the changes would have saved the district an estimated $3 million annually. Prior to the board voting, several parents of students who would be affected by the changes spoke, expressing concerns and encouraging the board to vote for or against the proposals. Four of the 11 proposals were removed from the agenda of Nov. 8 meeting by Johnson and they were not voted on. The proposals to close Antioch and Mission Valley middle schools were removed, as well as proposals to change boundaries for Ray Marsh and Sunflower elementary schools. The proposal to reassign students who attend Brookwood elementary school from SM East to SM South was not voted on, as it didn’t receive a second motion. A public hearing for the proposal to close Bonjour elementary school has not been held yet, so that proposal was also not voted on. A committee will be appointed by Johnson to study what changes should be implemented in middle schools across the district, and they will present a report by Feb. 2. “Shawnee Mission is strong,” Johnson said, “and we will continue to be strong in the future, just like we always have.” / MARIA DAVISON

The vote went as follows: • The proposal to reassign students living in Prairie Lakes apartment complex from Mill Creek elementary to Benninghoven elementary was passed unanimously. • The proposal to reassign students attending Roesland Elementary from SM East to SM South was also passed unanimously. • The proposal to reassign students attending Bluejacket-Flint Elementary who live west of Quivira Road from Northwest to SM North was passed unanimously. • The proposal to close Dorothy Moody Elementary following the 2011-2012 was passed unanimously. • The proposal to reassign some students attending Trailwood Elementary from SM East to SM South was defeated, with a 4–3 vote.

more nw news NOV. 8: NHS INDUCTIONS/

122 juniors and seniors were inducted into National Honor Society. The short ceremony, which focused on the four pillars of NHS (character, scholarship, leadership and service), was followed by refreshments in the mall.

NOV. 8–12: 3RD ANNUAL CARD/LETTER DRIVE/ Students wrote letters to active-duty and injured U.S. Marines and soldiers through the organization Soldiers’ Angels.

NOV. 9: FALL BLOOD DRIVE/ Juniors and seniors gathered in the gym to donate blood to benefit the Community Blood Center.


Camerata orchestra students performed in groups of three to five in a black-box theater setting at the 3rd annual chamber music concert.


NW Volunteers clean Missouri River Walking along the banks of the Missouri river on Oct. 18, 70 NW student and parent volunteers picked up trash and debris. The clean up effort was a part of the Missouri River Relief (MRR) program. MRR started its work in 2001 and has cleaned more than 588 miles of river, collecting some 537 tons of trash. The NW volunteers went as a part of Environmental Education class. “They are required to have service hours for the class, and this program is great because it’s fun and educational,” Environmental Education teacher Mike Pisani said. The students spent the day scouring the river area for trash. “There was anything and everything. We found tons

of water bottles and Styrofoam. But there were larger things as well: refrigerators, 55-gallon drums, pipes, tires. You name it, we found it,” Pisani said. Junior Spencer Dawson was one of the students who took the opportunity to help. “I wasn’t surprised by what my group found, but I was surprised by the quantity. We found a propane tank, a tire and a 30 foot ladder,” Dawson said Dawson and his peers learned about the importance of nature conservation and pollution prevention. The things they saw opened their eyes to the sheer magnitude of pollution in the Kansas City area. “I felt horrified by the lack of caring that people have for the environment,” Dawson said. “ I was / DANIEL MAGWIRE disheartened.”

8-10 p.m./

SATURDAY Mother-son father-

daughter dance in cafeteria




7 p.m. /

TUESDAY (teacher workday)

WEDNESDAY Financial aid night in the



7 p.m. /

MONDAY Winter sports parent

meeting in the Auditorium



WED.–FRI. (No school)


/ 05

mid-term elections

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Republicans 239 seats




Republicans 47 seats

Democrats 53 seats

Democrats 196 seats

Brownback Republican

Holland Democrat

Moran Republican



Johnston Democrat




Nov. 7: Edison Pena, one of the recently rescued Chilean miners, competed in the New York Marathon on Nov. 7. Pena is a triathlete and was invited by the NYC Marathon after hearing stories of his daily runs while trapped in the mines.

Nov. 9: 18 Brazilian prisoners were killed in a prison riot at Pedrinhas Penitentiary. The riots broke out because the prisoners want a new water supply system.


website promoting new artists, which allows the listeners to give feedback. Find a new book to read based on your favorite author and/or book in this reader database.


/ NOV. 12, 2010

Nov. 7: The Iraqi parliament is voting to elect a speaker and two deputies for the country.


Nov. 3: Albinos in Tanzania see hope for laws protecting them after a representative with albinism was elected to the National Assembly. They are seeking protection against murderers who believe that albino blood can cure diseases.

All infomation on the map above found at



After a long fall sports season, gymnastics and boys’ cross country are both state champions, and football claimed both the district and regional titles.

A Cable TV provider.

Many customers are canceling their services with cable TV in favor of Internet services such as Hulu and Netflix.

Member of the Republican Party.

After the midterm elections Nov. 2, Republicans regained 60 seats in the House of Representatives, in addition to 23 state governorships.

Harley-Davidson. (in Kansas City)

The company threatened to shut down its factory after disagreements with employees over costs and production efficiency.

Preparing for Black Friday.

With one of the busiest shopping days of the year just two weeks away, now is the time to figure out a game plan.

West of Quivira.

At the school board meeting on Nov. 8, the board approved the proposal to move Bluejacket-Flint students who lived west of Quivira, and attended Northwest to be reassigned to attend SM North.

A NW sports fan. A social networking site based on user-created lists of TV shows, movies, music and books.

Oct. 30: More than 103 died and 150 others are missing after a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck near the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami.





Nov. 4: Twenty-three people were arrested on suspicion of spreading neo-Nazi ideology in a move against a radical radio station. The online station called Widerstand-Radio (Resistance Radio) played music about murders and aired racist comments.


MORE THAN COOKIES AND JUICE Donating blood can seem like a scary concept, but the pros of the experience far outweigh the cons.


ll it takes is one pint to save a life. A single carton of Ben & Jerry’s is a pint, a bottle of Snapple is a pint, and two cups of water are a pint. Think you can spare a pint of blood? Someone in the Kansas City area needs a blood transfusion every four minutes, and, by donating blood you can help contribute to saving their lives. It may seem like a single person’s donation doesn’t make a huge difference one way or the other, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Every blood donation can be split into three components, helping three different people. If someone begins donating blood at age 17 and donates every 56 days until they reach 76, they would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives. So maybe one person can do a bit more than nothing. Not to mention, it’s a pretty amazing experience. When I donated for my first time, I had to search for a blood drive, schedule my own appointment and convince my dad to drive me to there and back — and that was only the first step. But it was an awesome feeling, going out of my way (and comfort zone) to make a difference. A few days before my donation, I felt that I earned bragging rights. I wanted to have a tube shoved into my veins for a stranger’s benefit, and that made me super cool. Once I actually got to the drive, however, I felt less sure of how cool I was, and more sure that I was an



When one family member is not able to come home for Thanksgiving, enjoy the company of those who can be together.

idiot. Walking through the doors, I saw other “idiots” lying on beach chairs, which was slightly reassuring, but my stomach was still stuck in my throat. While I was trying to pull myself together, I noticed a nurse decked out in pastel scrubs making her way toward me. I was the opposite of ready, and seeing her walking my way wasn’t comforting. Once she actually reached my chair, however, her complete ease helped to relax my nerves. All of the workers were like this, actually: funny, kind, understanding and willing to do whatever it took to make me comfortable. They didn’t think I was stupid for refusing to look at the needle, even before it was in my arm; they understood and made sure to tell me when a needle was going to be in my line of vision. Instead of getting mad that I was the last person donating, literally, they were happy that I was donating at all. I won’t get to see how my donation helps, but you can if you start donating at the NW blood drives through the Community Blood Center. “One year there was a really bad bus accident up in North Kansas City, and there were about 33 kids on the bus. Something went wrong, and there were a bunch of injuries. We found out that blood donated at [Northwest’s] blood drive had gone up there to help save those 33 kids lives,” Student Council sponsor Sarah Dent said. Still, there are a few requirements that all donors must meet, more so at Northwest than elsewhere:

weigh more than 110 pounds, be in relatively good health (allergies are OK, diseases are not), have a high enough hemoglobin level (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen), and be at least 17 years old. But, if you are 16, with parent’s permission, you are allowed to donate — just not at Northwest. “Our administration has told StuCo that, at this time, they’re not wanting 16-year-olds to participate. However, [StuCo] is highly encouraged by Community Blood Center to get 16-year-olds to donate. I think the earlier you start to donate, the easier it is to become a habit,” Dent said. If you’re 16, it’s a little more work to find a blood drive and get there, but it’s honestly an extremely fulfilling experience, and I can almost guarantee that you won’t regret it. The actual concept of letting someone stick a needle inside your arm so blood can be pumped into a plastic bag isn’t very appealing. But, once you get over the initial revulsion, you realize that blood donation is much less about the needle and much more about the event as a whole. So, if you are 17, maybe you could sign up for the blood drive when it rolls around; I promise donating blood isn’t as awful as it sounds. And if you’re 16, do a little research. You might figure out that donating is something you want to try. Sure, there’s no T-shirt, but there is a really amazing feeling knowing that you helped save a life.


he was stationed in Clovis. At first, it didn’t seem too bad, but when our family didn’t know when he would be able to come home, that changed. We found out he would be deployed in the spring, and wouldn’t be home for Thanksgiving. My grandmother and aunt were torn to pieces at the thought of him being overseas. For my brother and I (and Mason’s siblings as well), losing our older brother was unthinkable. After we found out he would be gone, he sent me a text message telling me to “keep everyone in line” and to remind them that he wouldn’t be on the front lines with a gun in his hand. There was comfort in knowing there was little to no chance of him being hurt, but it was still tough to handle. The fact that he was leaving was hard, but knowing I would rarely see him was the worst part. His visits home are probably some of the best days, but they’re also bittersweet. I’ve learned to value the time we have together with Mason. This year at Thanksgiving, as I think of Mason, I am reminded to cherish the time I have with the rest of my family.

o ddlers run around the kitchen and living room

as the aroma of the turkey baking in the oven fills the air and the adults gather around to watch the football game and catch up with the family. This is the Thanksgiving that I am welcomed to every year at my aunt’s house. After everyone arrives and the finishing touches are added to the food, we all gather in the kitchen for a prayer. Typically, I would stand by my brother and my cousin, Mason, for prayer, but this year, Mason won’t be there to celebrate the holiday with us. Mason is in the Air Force, currently stationed in Clovis, N.M. We have one of the closest relationships in the family, even with our five-year age difference. He’s the older brother I never had. As kids we spent a lot of time together, whether it was at our grandmother’s house for the weekend or wiling our time away while our mothers gossiped. For a while, our relationship wasn’t as close as it had been. We had grown up and grown apart. After he enlisted in the Air Force, we knew that our time together would be limited and our relationship came together again. Once he completed boot camp,


/ 07

smnw com {dot}

Go to and click the Discussions tab to get involved in our Facebook discussion about ways to improve Northwest.



One staff member shares why he likes spending time with his family at Thanksgiving.

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE. These artists have similar musical qualities to those on the Billboard Hot 100.


With family tragedies always occurring around Thanksgiving, the holiday becomes less enjoyable.






























































We would love to hear your opinion about anything we published or other things going on around Northwest or in the outside community. Letters can be sent to or be brought to Room 151. Only signed letters will be published.

6 1

2 7


/ NOV. 12, 2010



3 8




9 Stuck? Solution can be found at



mcdonald’s pumpkin pie

Fall is not complete without two things; chocolate and pumpkin pie. And starting in the late summer, places start offering the Thanksgiving dessert in abundance. With so many choices, its hard to find a good slice photos by bailey kopp for a better price. / DANIEL MAGWIRE


Fast-food pumpkin pie sounds as awful as it tastes. Its hard to describe the mushy orange-brown slop that lies inside the stale, half-burnt shell. First off, they simply took the cinnamon shell used for apple pie and used it for the pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie should not have a cinnamon crust: The flavors do not work well together. Secondly, did the FDA approve the filling? I don’t see how they could

have. McDonald’s must have found some radioactive 50-year-old canned yams sitting in their warehouses and decided to sell the stuff as pumpkin pie. As I chewed the orange substance, I would swear I felt the radiation seeping into my taste buds. It was barely warm and the consistency was unpleasant in every way possible. I took two bites, gave up and threw the rest away.

tippin’s pie π/5

the pie lady 5/5

The atmosphere, the coffee, the pie — everything about the Pie Lady is warm and delicious. The hole-in-the-wall pie shop dishes out fantastic fruit, meat and creme pies. The pumpkin pie here was perfect. The crust was thick and buttery, the filling was rich and smooth. It tasted natural and homemade. Pie Lady left me satisfied. Locating the shop is difficult because of its location on dead-end street. I felt like I was in a smalltown world, while in the shop. The woman who served me was nice and actually started a conversation. The only issues was the price. I guess you have to pay for a good slice and a hometown feeling, but it’s worth it.

When Tippin’s Restaurant and Pie Pantry closed in 2004, my first thought was, “Where will I get pie now?’” Then I saw the Tippin’s Pie at my local Hen House. Happy and surprised that the Tippin’s pie lived on, I kept dishing out money for the sweet stuff. But over the past six years, the quality has diminished. The reason for this tragedy is that Hen House bought the rights to the name and recipes when the restaurants closed. Now the corporate grocery store has taken a small-town favorite and ruined it. With shift in intentions from quality to quantity, limited selections and ridiculous prices, Tippin’s Pie has few features worth the money. The pie is mediocre at best, and the crust is lame and flavorless. The filing is better than the crust, but it still tasted like pumpkin with artificial sweetener.


Over the Top Cupcake and Yogurt Shoppe was opened last spring in Town Center Plaza by Angie Anderson and Samuel Smith. Anderson and Smith came from California with the intention of opening a frozen yogurt shop. But in order to have a more year-round approach, especially with Kansas winters, Anderson and Smith decided to include cupcakes in their shop as well as frozen yogurt. With flavors like original tart, chocolate, vanilla and peanut butter, the /david freyermuth frozen yogurt is good, but it’s no different


or better than Peachwave. However, the one difference was the apple-flavored frozen yogurt. It was like biting into a real apple, straight off the tree in the orchard. Then, when Smith recommended putting caramel sauce on top, it was like a caramel apple, without the mess — perfect for October. And the custom cupcakes, made from scratch everyday, alone are worth the drive to 119th Street. Cupcake flavors range from cheesecake to red velvet and pumpkin to chocolate, which you have

the option to decorate yourself or have frosted by the workers. For a dollar more, Over the Top’s custom cupcakes are creative and delicious. The hot-fudge filled cupcake, topped with a mountain of whipped cream, chocolate syrup and chocolate chips was decadent, delicious and way more than enough for two. Over the Top was worth the drive to Town Center Plaza, if only for the apple frozen yogurt and the hot fudge-filled cupcake. / MARIA DAVISON ENTERTAINMENT

/ 09



sid meier’s civilization v Five hours after I took the helm of the Japanese empire, I advanced my musketeers into Egyptian territory. I had only planned to spend an hour in front of my computer screen, but Civilization is a game that is so detailed and complex it is nearly impossible to not spend at least a few hours playing at a time. Civilization V is a strategy game which makes the player the commander of one of 18 civilizations. The player starts from 4,000 B.C. and, as time progresses, so does technology and the opportunity to overtake other developing civilizations, which is the main goal. However, players can also win by more peaceful means, such as being nominated supreme ruler by the United Nations. The player is free to do whatever he likes with his civilization, including expanding territory, having a large military, building successful cities and more. The game play of Civilization V is hardly different from the other games in the series except that this one has many more advanced graphics, and the game play is slightly more detailed in battle style and the city setup. These games can take hours to complete, and this one is no different. Despite this, Civilization V is extremely addicting and actually quite fun. Although the game has not changed drastically from Civilization IV, the majority of the changes were positive. One of the new features is social polices. This allows the player to select a certain ideological system and shape the development of the civilization. Multiple polices can be adopted, but they increase the policy expenses. Some policies cannot coexist. Many national landmarks were added along with new civilizations and leaders. Even the maps have been taken to an entirely new level of realism. Instead of the world being divided into squares, it is divided by hexagons. This makes expanding territory more frequent and realistic. A drawback with the changes is that units cannot be stacked onto one hexagon. In Civilization IV, you could put however many units you wanted on a square, which made warfare fun and intense. Now, mass warfare is more difficult with only one unit per hexagon. Overall, Civilization V is an impressive new edition to the Civilization series. This game has come a long way and has changed dramatically from Civilization I. If time and effort is put into playing this game, then Civilization V is one of the most enjoyable games around. / BRADY KLEIN


fallout: new vegas

Fallout: New Vegas is a return to form, which isn’t to say its predecessor was bad. The Obsidian-developed pseudo-sequel to 2008’s Fallout 3 changes the setting from a nuke-ravaged Washington, D.C., to a slightly less nuke-ravaged Las Vegas. It’s a similar desert setting and more of the tongue-in-cheek, pop-culturereferencing wit that made Fallout and Fallout 2 cult hits. This change in attitude is likely because Bethesda, developers of The Elder Scrolls and the original Fallout 3, handed New Vegas’ reins over to Obsidian, a studio made up mostly of employees from the now-defunct Black Isle Studios, creators of the original two Fallout games. Got it straight? So how does it play? Unsurprisingly for a game running on the same engine, with the same textures and the same graphics, it’s a lot like Fallout 3. Sure, it’s a new story and setting, and that helps keep things fresh, but there’s a point a few hours in where you realize that you are in fact playing a re-skin of Fallout 3. You still freeze the action with V.A.T.S. to target enemies, and you still scavenge supplies from the ruined remains of


/ NOV. 12, 2010



an idyllic 1950s version of the future. Oddly enough, despite the desolate setting, New Vegas’ Mojave Wasteland packs more personality and diversity than Fallout 3’s comparatively empty Capital Wasteland. Obsidian seems to be less focused on realism and more on fun with this game, which is strange, since one of New Vegas’ much-advertised additions is “Hardcore Mode,” in which the player character has to eat, drink and sleep or die of exposure. Ultimately, the thing that determines whether you like New Vegas is how much you liked Fallout 3. It’s as simple as that. Fallout: New Vegas is a fine game, even a great game, despite some occasional issues with bugs. It just suffers from the problem that plagues many sequels: not enough improvement for the price. New Vegas costs $60 new, the same price as Fallout 3 when it was released two years ago. It’s a better game, just barely, but you can pick up its predecessor for a third of the price. New Vegas is too big to be an expansion pack or DLC, but not different enough warrant full sequel price. / WYATT ANDERSON

Black Label Society (heavy metal) Uptown Theatre, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. LeAnn Rimes (country) The Carlsen Center, Nov. 14, 7 p.m. Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show (comedy) The Midland by AMC, Nov. 15, 8 p.m. Bret Michaels (hard rock, country) Uptown Theatre, Nov. 18, 8 p.m. George Lopez (comedy) The Midland by AMC, Nov. 18, 8 p.m. Atreyu (metal) Beaumont Club, Nov. 20, 7 p.m. Lady Antebellum (country) The Midland by AMC, Nov. 20, 8 p.m. Usher (hip hop) Sprint Center, Nov. 27, 8 p.m.


Logan, Austin, Kaylee and junior Connor Mitts play on the swingset in their backyard.


Kaylee and Austin Mitts watch clouds in the sky. Kaylee and Austin were both adopted by the Mitts family when they were young.

top left: Logan Mitts reads with books only inches from his face because he is legally blind. Mitts only sees shapes, shadows, light and dark.

bottom left:

A sign on the Mitts street warns drivers that there is a deaf child living in the area.


/ NOV. 12, 2010


three phone calls. photos by andy wickoren

As soon as the doorbell rings, two barking dogs come rushing to the door. The shrieks of a little girl can be heard through the walls of the house itself. After a few moments, the door opens with a groan. “Hello — down, Tybo! Ophilia!” says a tall, darkhaired boy. “Hi,” says the little girl, suddenly shy, peering around her brother’s leg. Something inside grabs her attention, and she runs screaming down the hall. “Kaylee!” calls the boy. “Please stop yelling,” but his voice is drowned out in the blare of iCarly, Kaylee’s shrieking and yelping dogs. Stepping carefully through the shoes and backpacks lying in the front hallway, the booming TV comes into view. A couple of neighborhood children sit raptly watching Nickelodeon, along with one African-American boy sitting on a dining room chair only a foot away from the TV set. Outside a large picture window, a red-haired boy rides his scooter up and down the neighborhood street. Bicycles, waveboards, baseball bats, balls and other outdoor toys clutter the front driveway. Welcome to the Mitts’ home. Doug and Susan Mitts are former foster parents and, over the course of their service, they have opened their hearts and home to three adopted children: Austin, 14, Logan, 11, and Kaylee, 7, along with their biological son, junior Connor Mitts, 16. Each adopted child has a unique handicap he or she lives with every day, adding to the slightly chaotic, fully functioning family dynamic. Austin, Logan and Kaylee’s stories all began with a phone call. “They just call you out of the blue. They know you’re licensed. As long as you keep your license up to foster, they’ll call you,” Susan said.

Doug and Susan Doug and Susan Mitts first met as coaches at the Special Olympics. “He was a volunteer for a Shawnee Mission school, and I worked for a facility that coached adults. So I worked with adults and he coached kids, but we were always at the same events together,” Susan said. “That was the first time I met him or, I guess, noticed him.” She laughed. After dating for three months, they began talking about marriage. “[I proposed] in a hot air balloon,” Doug said, “with a bottle of champagne. It was a package deal.” They decided to become a foster family after only

a year of marriage. “There was a lady who came to our church who worked particularly with lodging for children,” Susan said. “We were trying to have kids, and we thought, we have these empty bedrooms; somebody might as well use them.” The refrigerator is covered with photos and drawings of the family. Nestled among the numerous magnets are the school portraits of two grinning elementary school girls. Sisters Paula, 4, and Angeline, 6, were the Mitts’ first set of foster children and stayed with the Mitts family while Connor was a baby. While the girls switched between foster homes, they stayed with Doug and Susan off and on for nine months. “Paula and Angeline were hard [to let go], but it was our decision for them to go. We wanted to start our own family, and their needs were getting more difficult,” Susan said. “But it was still hard. Telling them especially was hard. I’ll never forget sitting down at that deck and telling them they were going to have to leave.” Doug’s red-rimmed eyes filled with moisture. “I can still see Angeline walking down the neighborhood in that little Cinderella outfit with the shoes that were just way too small,” he said. “She had brought these shoes with her and was just determined to wear them Halloween night.” Another couple adopted the sisters, but because of martial issues, they gave the girls back to the state. “I think it was more than they could handle with their family and their kids too,” Susan said. “So, it just wasn’t right ... They’ve been in foster care for their entire childhood.” Doug and Susan agreed that it was difficult when the foster children had to leave. “They’re all difficult to let go,” Susan said. “So many people have said, ‘Oh, I could never do what you do because I couldn’t let them go; I couldn’t let them go.’ Sometimes that frustrates me, because the time that you have them is going to be so much better than the time they would have any place else. And even if you do have to let them go, just to think that you had that influence in their life for whatever period of time you had them is a positive thing. Sure, it’s hard to let go. They’re all hard [to let go].” Susan and Doug are now inactive as foster parents. “We don’t have any more room, really,” Susan

said. “I think we’re pretty tapped out, space and — ” “ — emotionally,” Doug said.

Austin When looking for Austin, it’s best to check the Seven Hills neighborhood “lake.” This freckled-faced, wiry, ginger-haired boy fishes for anything that swims: catfish, minnow or snapping turtle. When this energetic eighth-grader zips down the streets on his scooter, he looks like any other neighborhood boy. Only on closer inspection does it become clear that Austin is a little different than the other children around him. Two grey cochlear implants are embedded behind his ears. In order for a cochlear implant to work, electrodes are implanted in a person’s head, along with a magnet. A processor, which sits directly below the ear, has a microphone built in to pick up sounds. The processor then transfers the sounds to the magnet, which connects to the electrodes. The electrodes bypass the cochlea (the inner cavity of the ear) to send signals to the brain. “A lot of people are like, ‘What’s that?’ But I just keep walking because it takes 10 minutes to explain it. Some people try to touch them and stuff. It’s really annoying,” Austin said. Austin did not always have the cochlear implants. He wore hearing aids before his hearing degraded to the point that they were no longer effective. “The scary part with the implant is that he can never ever go back to wearing hearing aids,” Susan said. “If the implant hadn’t worked, he couldn’t have gone back to using a hearing aid on that side. That’s why they never do two at a time. We did it with one side and that worked really well, and that’s when we decided to try and have the second side done.” Austin has learned to cope with the implants so they don’t affect his school work. Teachers sometimes use a microphone that transmits directly to his processor. He does not have a para, but he sits in the front row of all of his classes to hear more easily. He is practically a straight-“A” student and plays trumpet in the school band. “I just want to be like the other people,” Austin said.


Logan loves watching TV and movies. His media interests range from iCarly to The Simpsons and from Rocky to Jaws. When he watches these shows, Susan won’t ever tell him to scoot back from the TV because it’s bad for his eyesight. Logan watches FEATURES

/ 13

every show about only a foot away from the TV because he’s legally blind. “Basically, out of his right eye, he sees light and dark,” Susan said. “Out of his left eye, he sees shapes, shadows, light and dark.” “The only way I can see out of the right one, somewhat,” Logan said, “is doing this.” He crossed his eyes and point to where his different family members were sitting.

“I felt it,” Logan said. “It was nasty. I don’t like touching it.” Kaylee was brought as an infant to the Mitts family directly from Children’s Mercy after major brain surgery. “Her whole brain was thrown over to one side of her head,” Susan said. While the official story was that she fell off a couch, her surgeon and the Mitts family think someone slammed her head into a wall to make her stop crying. “When we picked her up, she still had the bandage on her head from the operation,” Doug said. “Her surgeon said it was the most damage that he’d ever seen.” After the surgery, Kaylee had the same motor skills as a stroke patient. The entire right side of her body didn’t function well. Over time, she learned how to control her movements again, but she will always have some learning difficulties. “Her long-term memory is OK,” Susan said. “It’s her short-term memory that suffers.” Despite this, Kaylee has almost completely overcome the injury. “You would never know now, would you?” Doug said. Kaylee wriggled in his arms and whined loudly. “ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] is one of the byproducts of the brain trauma.” “I still have a hole in my head,” Kaylee said, making the entire family laugh.

“[Living with my siblings has] made me get angrier quicker, but it’s also helped me to let everything go a lot easier. Some days everything is going so crazy [that] they’ve worn my patience thin ... but you live with them. It’s worn down my ability to hold a grudge.” —junior Connor Mitts Because his vision is fragile, Logan wears glasses just to protect his eyes, not to help him see better. He has also learned how to use equipment like a cane in case he becomes completely blind. “I just keep [a cane] in my backpack because I’m supposed to,” Logan said. “I don’t know why.” Logan uses a telescope at school to help him read the board. “It zooms in so much,” Logan said. “It zooms in so if I’m in the back of the classroom and the board’s up here (Logan gestures to a board out in front of him), if I put it on my eye I can see the board like it’s here (Logan holds up his hand about a foot away from his eyes). I sit next to a girl who likes to borrow it.” Logan is supposed to read Braille every night, but sometimes it slips through the cracks. “It’s boring,” he said. “It feels weird. I’m just reading dots. I like [reading] lines better than dots, lines are just better.”

Kaylee A quick way to learn about Kaylee’s personality is to ask about her favorite thing to do at recess. “Scream,” the small, brown-eyed girl said, perched on her mother’s lap. Kaylee is the main reason why the Mitts household is never quiet. She seems to enjoy screaming just as much at home, and shrieks with giggles whenever one of her older brother starts tickling her. She never sits still, constantly flitting between projects and games, the poster child of an overactive 7 year old. If she stays motionless for long enough, you can feel something beneath her head of curly brown hair: a large scar.


/ NOV.12, 2010

Connor It’s easy to tell that Connor is the biological son. His brown hair perfectly matches his mother’s, and he has his father’s pointed chin. Connor is the only child in the family without a significant disability. He said that living in his household taught him the value of patience. “[Living with my siblings has] made me get angrier quicker, but it’s also helped me to let everything go a lot easier. Some days everything is going so crazy [that] they’ve worn my patience thin ... but you live with them. It’s worn down my ability to hold a grudge,” he said. Doug sympathized with Connor. “Most younger siblings are obnoxious to begin with, but when you factor in all the other issues, I think it’s probably been pretty tough for him at times. But I think he’s a better person for it,” Doug said. As a junior at Northwest looking toward the future, Connor is considering studying geology in college. “It’s not necessarily the choice of geology,” he said. “It’s more the opportunity to work outside and be out in the mountains for a job.” Connor has been eyeing Colorado State since he was in seventh grade. “Colorado has a significantly better geology program than Kansas, and I would rather study rocks where there’s mountains than where there isn’t as many rocks,” he said. “Nature just seems more pure. I want to get away from everything.”

Connor has been a fan of NASCAR since he was 3 and attended every Kansas Big Four race from 2001 to 2007. “I love NASCAR. I guess it’s just one of those things you grow into and grow to love. I started kind of watching it when I was 3, and I started following the sport when I was 6 or 7,” he said. “A lot of people think people just watch it for the wrecks, but things can change so quickly. It actually can keep my attention better than baseball or basketball because it’s just constant, constant action. That’s why it’s appealing to me.” The dynamics of the Mitts family have taught Connor some life lessons. “Don’t let [your problems] get you down, because in the end, all that matters is that you’re alive,” he said. “Having any of the problems they have, it would be difficult to do anything, but nothing’s as big of a deal as you think it is.” ***

Outside, the only light shines from the few visible stars and the orange glow of the street lamps. Inside the Mitts home, all the lights blaze merrily as the family prepares to wind down for the day. Kaylee is still running around screaming, stopping to hug everyone and say goodnight. Susan is yelling at Logan for the seventh time to stop watching TV and to feed the dogs. Doug, until now working quietly on his computer, stops what he’s doing to scoop up a squirming Kaylee and carry her up the stairs. Austin is already asleep in his basement bedroom, having quietly put himself to bed. Connor slouches in front of the TV, idly watching Castle and finishing homework as Susan yells at Logan, yet again, to go brush his teeth. Doug is reading to Kaylee. When he finishes, he kisses her forehead and shuts off the light to her room. Inside Logan’s room, Susan is finishing up his bedtime story. Doug comes in to give him his nightly shot. Only with Mom reading the story and Dad giving the shot does Logan allow himself to be put to bed. After turning out Logan’s bedroom light, Doug and Susan both venture back downstairs. Doug goes back to his computer while Susan and Connor finish watching the TV episode. Soon, Susan turns to Connor and tells him she’s going to bed. After completing his homework, Connor drifts up the stairs as well, reading from a book before finally calling it a night. When Doug finishes the last of his work, he flicks out all the lights and follows his family up the stairs. The house is still now, nothing breaking the silence but the whirring of the refrigerator. Tomorrow will be another chaotic day. Six lives branch off in different directions, yet these busy people always connect in the end. These people, brought together by fate, remain forever changed by those three phone calls from so many years ago. / LAUREN KOMER

Junior Connor Mitts runs around his backyard with his sister, Kaylee, 7, on his shoulders. / PHOTO BY ANDY WICKOREN


/ 15

license to kill  hunting license

 american indian hunting license

This license must be held by those 16 to 64 that are residents of Kansas (one is considered a resident if he or she has lived here longer than 60 days). Everyone must get a hunter education certification before receiving the license, and anyone under 27 has to carry the education cards with them while hunting.

These free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses are issued to any resident of Kansas who is at least 1/16 Indian by blood, and is enrolled as an American Indian on a federally recognized tribal membership roll.

 furharvester license This license required to hunt and trap furry animals; hunters under the age of 15 can purchase a junior furharvester license.


/ NOV. 12, 2010

 assistance permits This license is issued to disabled people who are unable to hunt safely by themselves. They must always be accompanied by an assisting licensed hunter.

keeping traditions photos by bailey kopp.


he table is laden with food, practically groaning as dish after dish of stuffing, raw vegetables, green beans, pumpkin pie, yams and jellied cranberries are placed upon it. And then comes the crowning pièce de résistance that mom, grandma and other female [or possibly male] relatives have slaved over for hours: the turkey. It’s beautiful — an average 10 to 30 pound culinary masterpiece that takes three to six hours in the oven, let alone the hours beforehand thawing, preparing and putting the stuffing in it. Most students can’t even say they helped their mom make it, let alone get it (and not in the buying-it-in-its-Butterball-wrapper way of getting it). But junior Hayden Stimach is a hunter—and that means that Thanksgiving is the perfect time to show off his skills. He plans to go hunting for deer and turkey for the dinner, and, as he says, the best thing about hunting is knowing that he helped provide for his family, especially when looking at the food on the table. “It’s probably one of the coolest things you could experience, because you get to say, ‘Hey, I didn’t just go to the store and buy that, I shot that. I spent my Saturday out in the woods, and I shot that.’ Just the fact that you can provide for yourself, that you don’t have to rely on other people to feed you, is good,” Stimach said. “You also get to take in nature, and you experience things that a lot of people around here don’t get to experience.” Stimach was 7 years old when he shot his first gun and killed his first animal. “I had a small 22, and I took it out in the woods on our property up in Axeville for squirrel hunting,” Stimach said. “We ended up getting about five or six squirrels. I wasn’t real accurate with it yet because I’d never shot with it before.” That first trip was a foreshadowing of the hunter that Stimach is today. Now he hunts several times a month for bigger game, with bigger weapons. “Well, you’ve got your bow, your shotgun, your rifle and your camo [when you hunt],” Stimach said. “The bow is the best to hunt with because whenever you hunt with a bow, you


have to get a lot closer to your animal, or it has to get a lot closer to you.” Besides the basic tools, hunting requires a massive amount of patience. On a trip, Stimach usually gets out in the woods at 3 a.m. and stays there until 11 a.m. He then takes a break from 12-2 to eat and rest, a period that is also considered “dead time,” because animals are not generally out. He then goes back from 3:30 until evening. “You have to be still—you’ll be sitting up in a tree, or be on the ground, and you can’t move, can’t eat, can’t drink; you just have to sit there and be patient,” Stimach said. Hunting also requires training, especially when handling dangerous equipment. For bow and arrow training, Stimach recommends that one starts off with a close target—stand about 10 yards away, then move farther and farther back. For gun training, it is recommended to take a hunter’s safety course. In fact, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, hunters over the age of 16 must have a hunter education certification before getting a license (those under that age can hunt provided that they are with an adult 18 or older). Hunters have very specific rules regarding when and where to hunt, what to use and what they can kill. “Right now we are in deer season for archery; Area 19 in Tonganoxie is rifle season right now. It’s also turkey season, and you’ve got squirrel season and rabbit season,” Stimach said. “Dove season just ended. Fur harvester season will come in a couple months—with fur harvesting you’ve got bears, skunks, coyotes, bobcats, things you trap.” (For a complete listing, visit http://kdwp. Every hunter’s opinion is different on what animal is best to track and kill. Some like big game; others, small. Some prefer animals that are out in the open, and others like sitting in a tree, on the ground or in a cramped space to get a larger feeling of accomplishment when they do kill something. “I like deer hunting and squirrel hunting — those are two of my favorites. Just because, with deer hunting, you have to be still, and you get to see everything around you. You get to see wildlife, you get to see nature, but also you get a

big adrenaline rush when you shoot something. Squirrel hunting’s just fun because typically you’ll always end up taking something home and it’s just something I started out with,” Stimach said. But just like any other pastime out there, hunting has its downsides. It can be dangerous, especially when someone doesn’t know what they are doing.


“If you’re not safe with your weapons, not knowledgeable about what you’re using and where you’re at, people could get hurt,” Stimach said. “I know people who’ve gotten shot by accident.” But the worst consequence might not even be physical. “The worst thing that you can experience at hunting is emotional. If you don’t pick a good spot to shoot an animal and it runs off wounded, it’s going to suffer, and you don’t want that. You want a good clean shot that’s going to kill something immediately, so they don’t have to go through any pain. That’s probably one of the worst things,” Stimach said. But for Stimach, hunting is a positive experience. In fact, it’s a lifestyle. “I think it’s shaped me as person because it takes me back to my roots. It’s a way for me to express myself, and to get away from stress from schoolwork and everything like that,” Stimach said. “It just gives you a broader perspective. It’s more of a way of life than anything; it’s how people used to get their food back in the day, and we’re just trying to keep it a tradition.” / BRIANNA LEYDEN


/ 17


boss/BEST OF SPORTS SHOT // brady klein


Q: Why did you choose to become a yell leader? A: I started with some friends sophomore year and I just stuck with it. Q: What do you enjoy about it? A: You can never really stop learning, you always progress and there is always something new to learn. It is an endless challenge.

On Oct. 30, senior Harry Schroeder runs in the state championship. The team came in first, winning the state tournament while Schroeder came in 28th overall and sixth on the team. “It was such a great feeling to win State. We have been working so hard for so long and this is something that I personally have strived towards to for four years.” said Schroeder. / PHOTO BY MICHELLE STUESSI

Q: What is the hardest part of yell leading? A: Dealing with all the girls and the drama. Girls are… girls. That sounds terrible, and physically partner stunting is the hardest because it is just a guy and a girl. It is hard on the body.

Q: Are you offended if people call you a cheerleader? A: It bothered me for a long time, but honestly if you are going to poke fun at it then that is showing immaturity about yourself. It is a brush off your shoulder kind of thing.

Q: Trust issues? A: Trust is huge. Trust is probably about 75% of it, if they don’t trust you then they won’t do what they are supposed to do because they will freak out. Gaining trust during partner is huge. Very important

Q: Have you ever dropped anyone? A: Me personally? No. But there have been a lot of drops and we just try to keep it to a minimum.

Q: How much of your time does it take up? A: I’ve been doing it for two years now, and I’m not even near where you could be. There is way more I could learn. I practice 15 hours a week, higher than the rest of the guys on the squad, because I practice outside of school.

UPCOMING VARSITY GAMES Football Nov.12 at State sectionals vs. Olathe East Boys’ cross country Nov. 14 at Nike Cross Regional Championship (TBA)


/ 19

fall sports wrap-up cross country

After placing second in 2008 and third in 2009, the boys’ cross country team finished first in the Oct. 30 6A state meet at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence; the girls’ team placed third. “It’s nice to be back to that level of excellence,” coach Van Rose said. “You prepare and you hope your preparation is good enough to do those kinds of things, but you don’t know. You just do what you can do. It reaffirms what we’re doing.” Leading for the boys was senior Aaron Thornburg, who placed second individually with a time of 15:59. Thornburg was followed by sophomore Kirk Bado, who placed fourth; senior Sterling Spencer in sixth place; sophomore Clayton Henderson in 13th place; junior Anthony Yates in 21st place; senior Harry Schroeder in 28th place, and senior Zach Palmer in 29th place.


/ NOV. 12, 2010

“[Winning] really meant a lot to everyone. We felt like we had disappointed a lot of people [the previous two years],” Thornburg said. “It was an accomplishment knowing that we could carry on the tradition and bring it back to its former glory.” The top finisher for the girls’ team was junior Sarah Crawford in 16th place with a time of 16:15. Following Crawford was senior Shannon Thomas in 19th place; junior Jessica Johnson in 20th place; junior Sarah Barnes in 27th place; sophomore Katie Nelson in 40th place; sophomore McKenzie Iverson in 50th place, and junior Rachel Londeen in 61st place. “We were just really excited [to place third] because we improved so much from the beginning of the season,” Crawford said. The boys’ team also placed third at the Roy Griak

Invitational in St. Paul, Minn. Following Griak, the boys’ team won the Sunflower League Championship on Oct. 16, which was also held at Rim Rock, and the regional championships held at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence Oct. 23. On Nov. 14, the boys’ team will also compete in the Nike Cross Regional Championships in Sioux Falls, S.D. The top two teams in Sioux Falls then move on to the Nike Cross national championships held in Portland, Ore., on Dec. 4. The girls’ team also placed second in the Sunflower League Championships and Class 6A Regional Championships. “They’re on the right track to get better,” Rose said. “Not that we’re trying to go for another streak; we just want to be the best we can be.” / MARIA DAVISON

Toward the beginning of the race, Senior Sterling Spencer and Sophomore Kurt Bado run in Senior Shannon Thomas and Sophomore Katie Nelson a pack on Oct. 30 at Rim Rock Farms in Lawrence, KS. / PHOTO BY DAVID FREYERMUTH run at the Regional Championships on Oct. 23 at Haskell Indian Nations University. The girls' varsity team qualified to run in the State championship on Oct. 30 at Rim Rock Farms in Lawrence, KS. / PHOTO BY PAIGE WALTMAN

boys’ soccer The boys’ varsity soccer team finished 10–7–1, ending the season in a state quarter-final match against Blue Valley West, the 2010 state champions. “The season was pretty good overall after starting 0–3,” coach Todd Boren said. “We worked our way to be regional champions for the third year in a row and got in the top eight in state.” Two big losses to SM South and SM East put Northwest behind both teams for a second-place finish in league. (SM East and SM South had the same record and they tied when they played in Senior John Sestak prepares to launch a free kick downfield at the regular season, so there was no tie-breaker.) the soccer game against Washburn at SMAC on Oct. 2. Despite None of that mattered in the end, however, the two overtimes, the game ended in a 0-0 tie. because Northwest beat both teams in the regional / PHOTO BY BAILEY KOPP tournament. A first-round win against SM East, 1–0,


Senior Alexandra Alonzo poses after hitting the ball during practice. "At practice we always helped out each other and that helped us go to state," Alonzo said. The team placed 11th at state. / PHOTO BY BAILEY KOPP

The girls golf team had a strong season, and finished fifth in the Sunflower League. They also finished 11th at state out of 32 6A teams. Last year, they placed 12th. “The best part was going to state and finishing one better than last year. I was also happy with being in the top five at sunflower league,” coach John Reiff said. The Lawrence High School placed fourth, beating Northwest by four strokes. “We didn’t have any true low points, but not beating Lawrence was kind of disappointing. We could have gotten in the top four, and realistically we couldn’t have done better than that,” Reiff said. / BRADY KLEIN

girls’ tennis

The varsity girls’ tennis season ended with a perfect record in their duel matches and a second-place win in regional, district and league competitions, losing to SM East in each tournament. Sophomore Claire Gordon and junior Mary Slattery both qualified for the state tournament in singles, with Slattery finishing in ninth place. “I had a pretty good season,” Slattery said. “I just need to work on hitting the ball harder.” Gordon also noticed her game had improved. “I feel like I attacked more. I was more offensive

and a championship win against SM South, 5–2, took the team to the state tournament. “I would have liked to finish the season with a better record, and get farther in the state tournament, but I was still pleased with the way that we finished,” junior defender Aaron Terrill said. Already, Boren is thinking about next year, and has high hopes, despite losing defenders Jon Sestak, and Kyle Moore as well as midfielder Adam Zoellner. “We are losing two strong defenders as well as a big middle presence in Adam [Zoellner], which will be hard to fill, but I think that we can still do well next year with the talent that we have in next years seniors,” Boren said.


volleyball The varsity volleyball team finished 10–24 this season, and failed to advance past the first round at sub-state. They were defeated in the last regular-season game by SM North and again by SM East in the first round of sub-state. “I feel like we were really competitive throughout league play, and we had some key wins. Overall I think the girls were disappointed in the finish,” coach Holly Davidson said. Three freshmen, Gabby Riggs, Kate Helfrich and Madison Frazier all made varsity. In previous NW history only two freshmen have played varsity volleyball. “We were all really skeptical about having three freshmen, but they brought a lot to our team,” senior Chandler Durkee said. The girls stayed consistent, and kept

than defensive, and that helped me,” Gordon said. Coach Ken Clow said the team went back and forth on wins between doubles and singles. “Some of the people needed to work on putting balls away,” he said, “and some need to be more consistent.” With seven tennis players graduating, four of the top six players will not be returning. “Everyone as a whole will just have to step it up,” Slattery said. / LAUREN KOMER

the scores close even in their losses. They also won against Lawrence Free State. “We beat Lawrence Free State, which was an amazing win. It was the most memorable win for a lot of the girls,” Durkee said. Injuries plagued many girls, which set the team back. Senior Mikala Jaderborg tore her ACL, ending her season. Many other players were hit with injuries as well. “We had to regroup and ask other players to step up and fill roles and play big,” Davidson said. Even with disappointments, the team still enjoyed their season “Not making state was a huge disappointment, but there are things we do as a team that other teams just don’t do.” / BRADY KLEIN Durkee said.

Senior Katie Hansen runs forward to hit a ball at regionals on Oct. 9 at SM East. Hansen has been on the tennis team throughout her high school career. “It’s not just a sport to me, it’s an output for me; a stress reliever.” Hansen said / PHOTO BY ARA CHO SPORTS

/ 21

Quarterback Stephen Mangelsdorf prepares to throw the ball in the Oct. 1 game against SM South. / PHOTO BY JOHNNY TONG


In the regional quarter-finals of the playoffs, the NW football team faced off against SM West. The Vikings had already beaten Northwest in the second game of the season, but this was a new team that SM West was playing. The Vikings offense was able to put up 37 points on the NW defense in their first meeting. That was not the case in the game in the quarter-finals. Northwest held SM West to 10 points in the entire game. Also Northwest was down 10–0, before they came back and scored 14 unanswered points on the Vikings. Neither team was able to score again, and Northwest walked away victorious. Two months earlier was the first football game of the year. The final score was 27–0 SM East over Northwest. That first game made many players and coaches concerned for the rest of the season. In fact, the team lost their first three games of the regular season. “I still thought we were a good football team. We ran into some good teams at the beginning of the year. We just had to improve on many things,” head coach Aaron Barnett said. After the rough start, the football team bounced back. They wound up winning their next five of six games in the regular season. The only lost the team


/ NOV. 12, 2010

gymnastics With a new coach and a young team, the gymnasts had to work hard for their victory at state. “Our first meet was shaky; it didn’t go as well as we expected,” senior Shannon Martin said. They continued to have a strong season, however, finishing second at the North Invitational and winning all of their meets, including the league meet. “We didn’t go into the state competition stressing out about it,” senior Jessica Tingle said of the state meet, held Nov. 6. With a season full of victories, the girls also had their low points. Almost every girl was benched for injuries, but no one was put out for the season. Most of the injuries stemmed from previous conditions, and it was just another thing that the girls had to work through. “Winning state felt really good,” sophomore Scottie Shelby said. “All of the teams were pretty even and everyone had a good chance of winning, so winning state was great for us.” / TESSA MILLER

suffered in that stretch was against the defending state champion Olathe North. Even against Olathe North, the team played well and nearly came out with the upset. “We had to work on offense, work on throwing the ball down the field,” Barnett said. The varsity football team also dominated district play winning all three of their district games definitively. Their three district victories sent them into the post season, and a chance at the state title. The team play Olathe East in the regional semi-final on Fri. Nov. 12. Olathe East defeated Lawrence Free State after they were trailing in the game. Free State nearly defeated Olathe East, but that does not mean that the game will be easy. “Olathe East is a good football team. They are 9-1 for a reason, and we have to put up more than seven points of offense against them,” Barnett said. “They have great running backs, so we have to be able to stop the run.” “Every season is different, and this is a much different group of guys, for the most part,” Barnett said. “We did advance through the playoffs this year, which is always nice.” / BRADY KLEIN

Senior Mackenzie Rex jumps on the balance beam during a performance on Oct. 7. The gymnastics team won first at state. / PHOTO BY ASMA HUSSANI

UPCOMING VARSITY GAMES Football Oct. 15 at SM North 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at Leavenworth 7 p.m. Oct. 28 vs. Wyandotte 7 p.m. Girl’s Golf Oct. 18 at State 8 a.m. Gymnastics Oct. 21 at Lawrence Free State 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at SM East 6 p.m. Volleyball Oct. 16 at Emporia Tournament 9 a.m. Oct. 18 at Mill Valley 5 p.m. Oct. 20 vs. SM North 5 p.m. Oct. 23 at Sub State (TBA) Girls’ Tennis

Oct. 16 at StateVARSITY (TBA) UPCOMING GAMES Boys’ Soccer

Boys’ Soccer

Oct. 19 at Olathe North 7 p.m.

Nov. 2 at State Quarterfinals (TBA)

Oct. 25-30 at Regionals (TBA)

Nov. 5 at State Semifinals (TBA) Nov. 6 at State Finals (TBA) Cross Country

Oct. 16 at Sunflower League 9 a.m.

Gymnastics Oct. 23 at 6A Varsity Regionals (TBA) Nov. 6 at State Gymnastics (TBA)

 For a calendar of other NW sporting events, visit  For a calendar of other NW

sporting events, visit



The were the last undefeated NFL, and fa HILLChiefs FOOTBALL PLAYER. NOW, MORE THANteam EVER,in IT the IS VITAL support is SCHOOL athat hugeNorthwest contributor toshows theirTHEMSELVES success. THATtime HIGH ATHLETES RESTRAIN It’s off

FROM HARD HITS TO THE HEAD. a dedicated space. athletes’ successes The crowd at the Monday night open Thank you, Jamaal Charles. Thanks in to you, I Spring Hill senior Nathan Stiles died the morning of Oct. 29 after col-excited, an electric. They were beyond never felt closer to 80,000 people in my life. A hall of fame would do this and more. lapsing on the sidelines during a Spring Hill football game the night bewhile It happened just after the Chiefs’ running down the entire Chargers’ offense,

fore. ran A cause of death has the yet to be officially announced, it is aknown City’s but defense huge lift. back 60 yards down field for a Kansas that two games before, Stiles suffered aathletes concussion. Even Stiles Ever wonder what happens to former after they graduate college? On Sep. 26,though Kansas City beat th touchdown. When Charles crossed the NW pylon, said he felt great and was cleared to play even by his doctor, he still In most cases, reality happens. After college, they realize that their competitive The defense the crowd went berserk. The drunk guy in front Francisco 49ers, 31–10. was being by the concussion. career inaffected the up sport love ishis over. has even happened the best of that ca stronger in this to game, so I think of me jumped andthey slammed feetThis on the In football, concussions are incredibly common. Pittsburgh Steeler athletes who have played for Northwest. In fact, the only former NW athletes that ground as he pumped both of his arms and mean that the crowd was still a huge fac linebacker James Harrison Cleveland top wide receiver are professionals today are NFLsidelined athletes Ryan TorrainBrowns (‘04)isand Ryan Lilja (‘00). This why we need to continue to s screamed. Mohamed Massaquoi with aofconcussion. Massaquoi was notabout seriously So, what happens to the rest these athletes? Do we just forget them enough suppo It was pouring down cold rain, and lightning this team. If the Chiefs get hurt, but notoriety the injury prevented him from playing against the Saints on and all the they brought to our school? It seems unfair that we should was everywhere. Annoying but entertaining might get the opportunity to support them week seven. Harrison then wasoffined $75,000 because he hit Massaquoi dismiss them so easily. Because this, I suggest Northwest create a sports fans cursed and drank all around me. I still the regular season — which, even at thi illegally with his helmet. Harrison is notorious championships for clobbering and, his oppohall of fame, which includes school records, most stage last season, nobody believed they had a great time. Every individual wearing state nents, but mentions the way he does it is controversial and dangerous. importantly, the outstanding athletes and coaches who have walked red seemed to be best friends with every other chance of getting. players with their helmets can cause serious injuries, so every theseFootball halls. Chiefs pulled off three big person wearing red. People were hugging, official, no matter whatcases levelthat of football, shouldThe penalize the player who We may have the glass portray Northwest’s sporting but, they were achievements to trump the m high-fiving, swearing at Chargers fans together made the tackle. Football is a rough sport, but the players areunable not allowed over the years, but the For superior athletes more than that. Clearing out Colts. The final score was 1 — and itagainst was awesome. the first time indeserve five Indianapolis to go the rules. Making helmet-to-helmet contact has never been a closet or offi ce near the locker rooms could provide thosegave greatPeyton athletes the and the the Chiefs Manning years, I felt proud to be a Kansas City Chiefs legal in any level of football — no matter what. The only problem isfuture that recognition they deserve as well as acting as a motivator current andAnd a run forfor their money. that the gam fan. players still do it. NWThe athletes. in Indianapolis. If the game Chiefs won purely because of the Concussions are a serious matter and football is the leading sport thathad been Starting adefense hall of fame would not be too cult. I understand that money Arrowhead, theto Chiefs probably woul crowd. andespecially special teams werediffi causesThe concussions, for boys fromatthe ages of 15 24. Most is tight right now, and will be for awhile,boost but booster clubs could pitch in and won. And, overall, they still played a incredible because of the adrenaline concussions result in a loss of consciousness, but some go unnoticed, possibly get one started fairly quickly. Also, a pricegame. cannot be placed on the pride the fans gave them. And then the Chargers’ leading to a potentially dangerous situation for the player if he were to it will foster inPhilip the student-athletes. a hall of In fame willlast makethree all athletes the seasons, the quarterback, Rivers, threw Having a temper be hit again. feel good about Northwest, not just the ones who are elected in the hall. combined forNFL’s 10 wins total. 10 teams last s tantrum onisthe fieldhigh because of the penalties heto follow That why school officials need in the footsteps. Once installed, The a hall of fame at noise Northwest will not tough to ll, considering hadbe atfor least 10fivictories, but those team kept on school receiving. of the High footballincredible players must be penalized illegal hits so they our history athletic success. In just the last two NW athletes have The only whatyears, the be Chiefs did in three. crowd contributed toofforthe those penalties knowlikely the of seriousness head injuries that can caused. Deaths broken records legacies. would be star such that comes to performers my mind pathetic. and frustration. in Rivers’ football areand notupheld common, but First one ballots just happened recently, andisclose astoWeek thrower Erica Brand, wrestler Chaz Hill and football player Mike Rivera, as to forget Luckily, we have three, the Chiefs were the at home again, Northwest. Even though cause of Nate Stiles’ death has the not chance been well as gymnastics coach Janice Baker and cross country coach Van Rose. Other the past few depressing years, and they won again,be3-0. At the time they released, it would dangerously naive to think that his recent concus- and get b hall ofthe fame highlights could beit.some great to individual performances orthe historic Arrowhead tothat watch Chiefs stun th sion had nothing to do with For Stiles received concussion were, only undefeated team in football. I have milestones such as the 14 straight Boys State Championships for cross country in the first place, it most the of aNo hard to his head; world. onehit expected the pitiful Chief knew their schedule had beenlikely easy was so far, butresult orwhether the two we perfect games thrown byyear Adam Giaclone last season. theknew player who hit him used his helmet isa unknown. such consistent team. the Chiefs and hated last would The only reason I see to not have a hall of fame is because theteam money A legal hit should be aimed at the chest or sternum, andofthis despite the It’s time that gets those ol have definitely slipped up against the Chargers issue. so, money could be49ers scrounged pay forThose one. this school increasing occurrence oforhelmet-to-helmet moreGiving should be done back. vicious, loud, red fans th and in Even one of the Browns gamesup at tocontact, a to hall of fame be worthApparently, it. All four of the Shawnee Mission prevent from happening, as well as theother possibility of concussions. made opponents cringeschools with fear. And, if least. But notitwould these Chiefs. they have at least some formand of Iathink hall of fame. All Northwest are small glass Also the fact that players like are cleared to has play and feel fine, lucky, the Chiefs may give back to us, are actually a contender, theStiles Chiefs’ cases refl ecting on one or two high points in the recent years of a sport. That is could also be a problem. No one was expecting the concussion to have form of a playoff bid. faithful deserve some credit. defi nitely noton recognition enough. any affect Stiles at all. The question is, how are doctors or the recipiWhen I pass by the able lockertoroom and ifglance at all the offi and closets that ents of concussions find out the concussion isces incredibly serious are there in theifnew locker room it astounds me that a hall of fame has or down not. Especially the player is leftarea conscious during a concussion. Then not been installed yet. Ittoseems like thosethey rooms are just up space.or I want it becomes difficult tell whether even hadtaking a concussion not. doctors make sure theinto recipient a concussion will toUntil leaveathletic the school after practice andthat glance a shrineofglorifying our school be all 100% to play in a game, then avoid hitting and it’s accomplishments. After all, Iplayers want tomust feel that cougar pride.with their helmets. The tackle that sent Stiles out of the game, was considered a “perfectly clean and innocent tackle.” Despite that, using the helmet as a weapon still increases the chance of getting a concussion. SPORTS 15



/ 23

IN focus

“My favorite part of the light show was when everyone was cheering for us. It felt really good, and I thought we would represent Northwest really well as a band.” — freshman Sara Martin


Northwest Passage Vol. 42 Issue 5  

Northwest Passage Vol. 42 Issue 5

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you