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is now on
cover illustration by Samantha Edwards
STAFF editors in chief produc tion manager business manager circulation manager copy editor news editor enter tainment editor features editors opinions editor spor ts editor photography editor photographers adviser 01 02
jeannaCAMPBELL samanthaEDWARDS kaylaGROFF malloryMACGARGLE kristenPOLINSKI anniePARHAM jeannaCAMPBELL rileyMCCULLOUGH morganEDWARDS emmaMCWILLIAMS priyaPUROHIT margoGOODALE vanessaLINDOWER joshBUTLER britniSLONE shannonJAINDL
The purpose of the Stinger is to inform the student body of Irmo High School about events aﬀecting them, inﬂuence readers through responsible editorials, to entertain through features and to provide a medium for advertisers and consumers. These goals will be achieved through fair and accurate reporting. The Stinger is published eight times a year, including a prom supplement published in February and March and a senior supplement, to commemorate the graduating class, in May, by Journalism II-IV newspaper students at Irmo High School. Unbylined editorials reﬂect the view of a majority of the Stinger senior editorial board. All bylined editorials, cartoons, and personal columns reﬂect the opinion of the writer or artist. The Stinger encourages letters to the editor as they constitute a constructive avenue for opinion. Letters to the editor must be signed by the writer to be considered for publication. Letters may be brought to the Stinger room (room 149) or sent by e-mail.
Irmo High School 6671 St. Andrews Rd. Columbia, SC 29212 (803) 476-3071
T h e authenticity of the writer will be veriﬁed before publication and letters may be edited for poor taste, libel, grammar, space, and style. Special requests to withhold a name may be submitted if the topic is sensitive enough to warrant anonymity. For advertising information or to request a subscription, please call (803) 476-3071. School District 5 of Lexington and Richland Counties does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, or handicap in admission to, or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs or activities. Inquires should be directed to the Chief Oﬃcer of Human Resource Services (Title IX Coordinator) and the Director of Special Services (504/ ADACoordinator) at P.O. Box 938, Ballentine, SC 29002, (803) 476-8110 www.lex5.k12.sc.us
New reading program for Irmo students malloryMACGARGLE business manager For many years, summer reading was the only reading that some students really did besides the usual school textbooks. Starting in the 2009-2010 school year, a new reading program will be at Irmo High School. This program is known as D5 Reads 365, which is part of the High Schools That Work program. Instead of just two or three books for summer reading, students will have to read about 10 to 15 books during the 2009-2010 school year. Those 10 to 15 books can include the students’ summer reading, books read for their classes or books that students read for pleasure. Chapin and Dutch Fork High School will do this as well. Judith Head, leader of literacy cohort, says she believes that this new reading idea will improve students’ reading comprehension and is good positive reinforcement. “I hope that this new reading strategy will encourage students to read more,” Head said. Each time a student reads a book, he or she will record it in a reading log that all students will receive at the beginning of the year. There is no grade counted for those books, and it will not affect students’ grade if they are not able to read that amount of books. Incentives may be included for those who do complete that amount. “If all 10 to 15 books are read, it is possible that students could receive prizes or rewards for their achievement,” Head said. Alenda Jones, English department chair, says she agrees with the new program. “We want to give as much recognition to students who excel in reading as we do to students who excel in athletics.” Jones said. Shelby Cook, junior, believes that the
Popular Reading Books: • • • • • • • •
Twilight series My Sister’s Keeper Blueford series She Said Yes A Child Called ‘It’ Go Ask Alice Crank The First Part Last
new reading idea might be difficult for students due to extra curricular activities. “I think that reading should be on someone’s own time,” Cook said. “It should be optional when it comes to school, unless it is for a specific class.” Gene Williams, English teacher, supports the new reading program. “I think it is good,” Williams said “It will take time to implement; you just have to take it step by step.” Some teachers may designate specific reading time during their class or during channel one. Students are also expected to read on their own time. The books can be on anything and can
be any size. There will be more new books next year in the school library for students to check out. More information about the new school reading policy will be given out closer to the end of this school year. “Reading for pleasure is important,” Head said. “I think that people should read more and read about things that interest them.” Eddie Walker, principal, says he believes that reading is very important for everyday life. “The ability to read is a critical ingredient in success,” Walker said. “If you can read you can learn to do just about anything.”
Shortened summer school program kaylaGROFF production manager Summer school is offered to students who need to make up classes that they may have failed in the previous school year. For the past few years, summer school has been offered online for students through a program called Nova NET. This summer, District 5 is switching to the web-based program APEX, currently being used this school year for students taking online classes. Administrator William Olawsky was in charge of the program for the past three years. The new program will have a few changes from the previous years. “The program will be at Dutch Fork [High School], not Irmo this year,” Olawsky said. There will be six computer labs used, each with a different subject and a teacher who specializes in that subject area. Summer school will last throughout the summer from June 22 to Aug. 5 this year. Though the program will last until August, hours for summer school have been cut back due to the district wide budget cuts. “Because of the budget cuts, it will only be four days a week and last until 3 p.m.,” Olawsky said. The program will also consist of three sessions: 8 a.m.–10 a.m., 10:15 a.m.–
12:15 p.m. and 12:45 p.m.–2:45 p.m. Summer school used to be five days a week and ran from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This will give students less time to complete the work assigned to them in the APEX program, which is more interactive than Nova NET “They can actually do work at home but they can’t take their chapter tests at home,” Olawsky said. In previous years, students did not take work home with them to complete, but with less time, taking work home will be necessary to complete the courses. “Students who have taken both like APEX better,” Olawsky said. “Underclassmen that do not finish, they will be put in the computer lab to finish the course and once they finish they will be put in either another APEX course or a half-credit course.” All of the work students complete during summer school can be saved to transfer over to the fall semester for completion. Students who are planning to take courses over the summer will also pay less than in past summers. The APEX summer school program is $225 per class this year, whereas the Nova NET program was $300 per class. Each student is allowed to take up to two classes during summer school. Registration for summer school started on May 1 and will end on June 19.
New Student Council ofﬁcers elected anniePARHAM
Maggie Carson, president
After serving two years in Student Council, one in General Assembly and the most recent on Executive Board, Maggie Carson, junior, decided to run for president. “I thought it would be a good leadership role for me to learn how to become a better
leader and help me later in life,” Carson said. “[It will] help me learn about public speaking and how to take charge.” During her campaign, she says her family, her running mate, Jessica Irvin, and her close friends were really supportive of her.
courtesy of Facebook.com
IN CHARGE: Maggie Carson(left) and Jessica Irvin, juniors, were elected president and vice president. They will be oﬃcers for the duration of the 2009–2010 school year.
Jessica Irvin, vice president Junior Jessica Irvin will become next year’s vice president. She decided to run for this position around a month before the beginning of campaign week. “I didn’t want such a big role [like president],” Irvin said. “I wanted a small
Irvin is servin’.
–Irvin’s campaign slogan
role, but I still wanted to be involved.” Irvin promoted her campaign with Maggie Carson, junior, who won for president. She says her friends were really encouraging toward her campaign. She says she thinks her determination is what won her the position of vice president. Irvin says she felt accomplished after finding out from Eddie Walker, principal, that she won. Walker called all of the candidates to his conference room to announce who the winners were. Irvin says next year she hopes to continue the job Molly Sullivan, senior,
I n addition to the stickers handed out by other students, Carson also handed out Dum Dum Pops bearing the slogan “Don’t be a dum-dum, vote for Maggie” and pencils. “I wanted to make sure even people who didn’t know me would know who I was,” Carson said. After finding out she won, Carson says she was really excited. “I called my mom and my dad,” Carson said. “I sent a big email to my whole family. Everyone was making a big deal out of it.” She says one of her goals for goals for next year is she wants to make Student Council more organized. “Every year on Student Council everyone’s like, ‘we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that,’ and it never happens,” Carson said. “I really want to come through with the ideas that I have and not just talk about it.” Carson says she is really excited for next year. She says she will try to be the best president possible and continue the good job that past presidents have done. “I’ll probably open up doors [for myself ] that wouldn’t have been possible if I wouldn’t have run for this position,” Carson said.
this year’s vice president, did, and improve anything that needs to be changed. Irvin serves on student council’s fundraising committee right now. She says she thinks student council is not only useful to the school, but is also a lot of fun for the members. Currently she also is a member of the Junior Board and the Varsity Cheerleading squad. She says she thinks being vice president will help her with these because she “will know more about the school.” Irvin also says she believes holding this position will be beneficial to her in the long run. “I’ll learn a lot more leadership qualities, and it will give me more confidence,” Irvin said.
Chad Bowman, secretary
Chad Bowman, sophomore, assistant spirit chair, was elected secretary for the 2009–2010 school year. Despite the fact that he ran for this position, Bowman originally wanted to be either vice president or president. However, only rising seniors are allowed to run for these positions, and Bowman says he “thought the next best thing would be secretary.” Bowman’s strategy for campaigning was to be nice to everyone, give out candy and stickers and to have a clever video. “[For my video,] I have Devon [Gossett] come on dancing,” Bowman said. “I knew everyone would like that
because he’s funny. If people laugh, then they’ll vote for you.” Throughout campaign week, Bowman says his friends, especially Bradley Vaughn, Andrew Bodnar and Chris Slaughter, sophomores, supported him. Bowman has a few ideas for the next school year, including changing the Student Council’s constitution so that juniors can be vice president and having a garage sale of some of the things the Student Council has but doesn’t use. “We have a Leadership class, and we come up with ideas all of the time— random ideas, but no one writes them down, and they’re really good ideas,” Bowman said. “So, I’ll be the guy that writes all of the good ideas down next year.” Bowman says he wants to be a big part of Student Council but also hopes that this will help him get into college.
Who’s your daddy? Vote for Chaddy.
–Bowman’s campaign slogan
Chelsea Partain and Mary Kathryn McArthur, Public Relations oﬃcers Mary Kathryn McArthur and Chelsea Partain, sophomores, each made the decision to run for public relations (PR) officers separate from each other originally. Both wanted to be PR officers and work together, which led to their decision to team up in late February. Partain and McArthur agree that Student Council advisor Sibela Nye has been really encouraging throughout this process. They say she is what motivated them to run. “She just encouraged us all to do something for Student Council—run for an office position,” McArthur said. This year, McArthur was on executive board, and they were both on social committee. Partain and McArthur say they were excited to find out that they w o n
but were also relieved that the stress of election week was over. They say they applied for the PR position because they want to make sure people know the events that are going on. “This year we had a problem with people knowing the events going on and T-shirt sales and stuff,” McArthur said. Partain says she and McArthur will make sure this problem doesn’t continue next year. “We’ll make sure we are loud to tell everyone about stuff,” Partain said. McArthur says she thinks “out of all of the jobs, this is the best one to have” because there are different ways to publicize everything so it won’t get old. Despite the many other activities Partain takes part in, she feels participating in Student Council will be a good thing. “Social-wise, I think it will make [my life] better and more fun,” Partain said. McArthur says she believes that laziness is a big problem in Student Council. “We need people who really want to be in Student Council, they don’t just want the title,” McArthur said.
Catie Beth Bowman and Caroline Garris, spirit chairs
Catie Beth Bowman and Caroline Garris, freshmen, were elected spirit chairs for next year. “We were excited [to find out we won], and I was ready to start doing things,” Bowman said. Bowman and Garris’s strategy during their campaign was to talk to as many people as possible, get their friends to spread the word and be as loud as possible so that voters would remember them while casting their ballots. They also got staff members like William Olawsky, administrative assistant, and Sherrel Mars, clerical assistant, to support them. They say they received a lot of help from their good friends during election week, especially from McKenzie Lever and Katie McGarrigle, sophomores. “[Lever] helped us make a bunch of shirts and a bunch of signs, and we went to Katie’s house a lot,” Garris said. “We both got sick campaign week, so everything we needed Friday and Thursday, [Lever] was there.” Overall, their main goal for next year is to come up with ideas to make the pep rallies more fun so more people will attend them. “We’ve both been in Student Council for a long time, and we work well together so we’ll be able to come up with good ideas,” Bowman said. Bowman and Garris say they hope this opportunity will help them to meet new people and improve their planning, organization and leadership skills. “I think we’ll be more outgoing next year, and it’ll help us learn to take criticism,” Garris said.
ELECTION continues on page 6 April/May 2009
ELECTION continued from page 5
McLeod Best, treasurer
different people including his parents McLeod Best, sophomore, ran for and his friends, especially Taylor Kelley, treasurer after watching the job that sophomore, Jordan Kelley and Katie the current treasurer, Yousef Ibreak, Ashley, seniors, who helped him with his sophomore, has been doing throughout video. Best says Student Council was also the year. Best says the good job Ibreak very supportive of him. did is what motivated him to run for “Ever ybody treasurer himself. p r o m o t e s Best, who is e v e r y b o d y, on the fundraising like a win-win committee this attitude,” Best year, worked out said. “Even if a strategy for his you’re running campaign. against someone, “Anybody I kind of could get to, I –Best’s campaign slogan you’re wanting good would shake their for them, so it hand and tell helped me go out on a limb.” them a little about myself, give them a Best says he chose the position as sticker,” Best said. “I took a more personal treasurer because of his love for working route.” with people. He says that working with Best says he had a lot of support from
Vote for McLeod Best.
new people and leading others are big parts of fundraising. Before the winners were announced, Best says he was “feeling anticipation, anxiety and some nervousness.” He also says he waited until he left the conference room to get really excited and to celebrate. One of the things he thinks is an important quality for a person to have is the will to go find the solutions to problems. Something that he wants to find a solution for next year is the lack of communication that Student Council members experienced this year. To solve this problem, Best says he suggests the creation of an online newsletter to keep this organized, even though he admits he is not the most organized person himself. “Even if I’m not the best, most talented, the top, I can go out and I can work hard,” Best said.
All TV broadcasts go digital June 12 kristenPOLINSKI circulation manager Digital television (DTV) is the new broadcasting technology that’s about to power down all analog broadcasting. By June 12, all transmissions to TVs across the country will be digital. President Obama and Congress changed the original February 17 date to a later time, in hopes that the public would be more prepared for this major transition. However, broadcasting stations across the country, including one in Charleston, have already started all digital broadcasting. As the June date approaches, there is still important information to know to avoid getting deadair. Currently broadcasters use an analog signal, which is basically variations in the amplitude and frequency of a signal, to send out picture and sound on for their local channel viewers. DTV, however, is able to transmit many different formats defined by aspect ratio and size. The three categories of DTV used in the U.S. are high-definition television (HDTV), enhanced-definition television (EDTV) and standard-definition television (SDTV). 06
DTV will allow broadcasting stations to air several channels of digital programs simultaneously, a process the government is calling “multicasting.” For example, WISTV on channel 10, locally, can now offer different programming on channels 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, etc. Providing more programming choices is something analog television is not capable of. The switch to digital will not only give the public better picture and sound quality, but it will also allow the police and fire departments to communicate more effectively. There are several different methods to obtain DTV. One way to receive local channels is to simply get an antenna and a converter box for an analog TV. If you already have a digital TV (one that already has an internal digital tuner) then no additional equipment is required to receive local channels. Becoming a subscriber to digital cable or satellite TV is another way to be assured of receiving a signal by the June transition date. However, additional equipment may be required for cable and satellite users to receive the new higher definition pictures. The typical converter box costs between $40 and $80; however, there are government
coupons available that are worth $40 each. These are currently available, but they are only valid until July 31. Even though the coupons expire after three months if unused, it is still possible to renew them by contacting the government agency responsible for DTV at 1-888-388-2009. The United States is not the first country to make this big switch. Luxemburg, soon followed by several other European countries, was the first to switch to DTV in 2006. Japan, China and the UK are scheduled to switch within the next several years.
South Carolina hoots for Hootie Hootie & the Blowfish started with just four friends brought together with music to photographer form a brotherly bond. With a lot of talent When hearing about Hootie & the and hard work, they finally made it to the Blowfish, what most likely comes to mind big time. “We persevered, and we had a sound that is one of their hit songs featured on their debut album, “Cracked Rear View.” Many people could relate to,” Bryan said. “Sure, I wouldn’t think, be aware of, how much the thought we had a chance. Why not us? But I still feel like there was some luck involved four guys reach people beyond their music. Mark Bryan and Dean Felber were high as far as right place, right time. That is an school friends and came to the University intangible.” Bryan said the first time he heard their of South music on the Carolina in radio, it was a There are no rules. The best stuﬀ the fall of monumental 1985. Bryan’s comes when you aren’t trying. It moment for dorm room is important to keep your ear to him and his was on the career. the street, and be able to relate same floor “It was as Darius to people through your songs. a full-circle Rucker’s, who -Mark Bryan moment,” started school Bryan said. “It the year prior. was surreal. I had to check and make sure it Felber was on the floor above. “Mark would always piddle with his wasn’t a tape or CD.” Bryan had some advice for others who guitar and Darius was constantly singing. The two started playing acoustic covers at want to write their own songs and eventually the chicken wing/burger joint across the made it to the radio. “Play all the time,” Bryan said. “Play street,” Chris Carney, the band’s Minister of the Interior, said. “Dean was very reluctant anywhere you can—parties, etc. Start writing to join them, but he said if they found a your own music. There are no rules. The best drummer he would consider it. ‘Who would stuff comes when you aren’t trying. You can bring a drum kit to a dorm?’ he thought. start with melody and lyrics, or some sort of Well a kid named Brantley Smith had a musical riff. It is important to keep your ear drum kit in a neighboring dorm and Dean to the street, and be able to relate to people through your songs.” stayed true to his word. The band formed the Hootie & the After graduating, Brantley left the band to pursue a career in ministry; Soni, Blowfish Foundation years ago to support the drummer of another local band, sat in public education issues in S.C. They host with Hootie while they auditioned for a The Monday After the Masters Celebrity replacement drummer. All four realized Pro-Am Golf Tournament, an annual they shared the same desire for a career in fundraiser that is the main revenue stream for their foundation. This year, they have music, and Soni officially joined up.” It’s easy to notice that the band name raised $4 million through it. They also have Hootie & the Blowfish is very unique_, The Hootie at Bulls Bay, an intercollegiate leaving many people wondering about its golf tournament. The proceeds from this origin and meaning. As with the formation benefit the foundation. “They reach countless numbers of people of the group, it was all by chance. “There were two guys in Carolina Alive, through their foundation and charity a song and dance group at USC, with performances and appearances,” Carney Darius,” Carney said. “One had chubby said. The past three Hootie tours have been jowls and was known as ‘The Blowfish.’ The other [had] big buggy eyes and was known “Homegrown Tours,” and all the guests are as ‘Hootie.’ They were close friends and asked to bring school supplies to the show. walked into a party one day and Darius All the supplies donated are loaded onto exclaimed, ‘It’s Hootie & the Blowfish’ and a school bus and distributed to the local thought it would be a good name for a band, school district. “For the past two years, the band has and it stuck.”
• Established in 2000 • Private non-profit organization • In conjunction with Monday After the Masters Golf Tournament • Benefits children of South Carolina through education and supporting school music programs nationwide. •Donated over $1 million to educational needs in South Carolina www.hootie.com held a ‘back to school round-up.’” Carney said. “School children are outfitted with backpacks of school supplies and new shoes. They’re given dental exams, haircuts and participate in educational programs led by the Charleston Library and S.C. Aquarium.” Rucker, is working on promoting his latest solo country album, ‘Learn to Live,’ which was released in 2008. Currently the rest of the band has slowed down musically so they can have some well-deserved time off, spending time with their friends and families. April/May 2009
Keep Your Ears Open For...
Even though the Scottish alternative rock band, Travis, has been producing albums since 1997, they have been able to keep their sound evolving. Their debut album, “Good Feeling,” was upbeat, at least in the typical ’90s way. Their second album “The Man Who,” which brought them to the international stage, and every album thereafter has been softer and more lyrical. When the band went into the recording sessions last year for their sixth album, “Ode to J. Smith,” they headed in with a new direction in mind. Travis’s born-again album has expanded the band’s musical range with a more guitar-based and an edgier rock sound. Despite the freshness, the new album may remind dedicated band followers of an expanded-on sound from their debut album. “Tied to the ’90s,” which appeared on their first album, has the same upbeat feel as their new song “Get Up.” The album entered the UK Album Chart at #20, which was a shock to most fans who expected the album to open in the top 10. The album did rank at #28 on Q Magazine’s list of the Readers’ Best Albums of 2008 Compiled by Kristen Polinski 08
Books keep biting after Twilight margoGOODALE spor ts editor Many people attended the showing of the “Twilight” movie, and read the “Twilight” series. When it ended they were left searching for other books similar to the “Twilight” phenomenon. With the “Twilight” saga over, new books starring vampires are hitting the bookshelves. Vampire series such as the “House of Night” by PC and Kristin Cast, and “Blue Bloods” by Melissa de la Cruz appeared on bookshelves and readers like Erin Westerkam, junior, picked them up. The reason for the popularity of books about vampires was, for many, “Twilight.” “Me and Colleen went to the bookstore to look for vampire books, and I found another one called ‘Blue Bloods,’ so I’ve actually read two series because of ‘Twilight’” Westerkam said. Also, some students at Irmo went looking for similar books in the school library. “Before ‘Twilight’ the [vampire] books were popular, but when Twilight came out it broadened and became more popular,” Karen Tisdale, media specialist, said. People could be drawn to these popular books because of the intense fighting scenes in some, the love stories like in the “Twilight” series or just the magic that is written in the books. “I like all fantasy books like that, like with magic and stuff like Harry Potter, just because it’s interesting, but I don’t like the scary vampire books,” Westerkam said. In the school library there has been more interest in the vampire books according to Judith Head, media specialist, and Tisdale. After “Twilight,” the school library stocked up on other vampire books along with the books in the “Twilight” series for active vampire readers. “We did order a lot [of vampire books] after ‘Twilight’ and we also bought extra copies of the ‘Twilight’ series,” Tisdale said. The school library ordered more “Twilight” books than any other book. The vampire books not only reach the stereotypical girl, but, according to Head, they also reach boys. “The ‘Twilight’ series is still very popular,” Tisdale said. “We even have more guys checking them out now.” Head and Tisdale found that “New Moon” and “Breaking Dawn”, the second and fourth books in the Twilight
saga, are still in the top 10 books checked out in the school library. Among the other vampire books that are popular with students at Irmo are, “Got Fangs?” by Katie Maxwell, “Tantalize” by Cynthia Smith and “Thirsty” by MT Anderson. With the vampire books becoming increasingly popular since “Twilight,” it seems like readers may start to believe in vampires or werewolves or any mythical creature that makes up the books. Westerkam, however, disagrees and says she does not believe in them. As many vampire books are appearing due to the popularity of “Twilight,” another vampire series such as “Twilight” may come out and take over the reading world.
“Rogue” by Danielle Steel book “Land of the Lost” movie week 2 “He’s Just Not That Into You” dvd “The E.N.D” by Black Eyed Peas music week 3 “Imagine That” movie “Gran Torino” dvd
“My Sister’s Keeper” movie “Far” by Regina Spektor music week 5 “The Doomsday Key” by James Rollins book “Cradelsong” by Rob Thomas music
The Breakdown june The Breakdown is a week-by-week glance at the books, music and dvds that will be released in the upcoming month.
compiled by Kayla Groff April/May 2009
Irban Dictitonary is the slang dictionary IHS students wrote. Define your school. Beast: Something or someone that is good; awesome. A person that appears tough or intimidating. 1) That guy was beast at tennis. 2) He looks like he’d be a beast at rugby! Brah: Friend, aquaintance. Short for brother, or bro. 1) What’s up, brah?
Creeper: A person who acts in a weird manner, who tends to lurk, almost. One usually would not expect this person to be where they are, they follow quietly. 1) Why is that girl sitting by the trash can in that dark alley? What a creeper... Epic: Awesome, great, huge; could be used with failure or win. 1) That win was epic for the Jackets. 2) Person 1: Did you see that cheerleader fall during tryouts? Person 2: Yeah! That was an epic fail!
The girl standing on the road thinks to herself, “What is that creeper doing by himself by a trashcan? That’s sketch...”
I Feel Ya: Understanding or empathy. Agreeing 1) Person 1: I wish summer lasted longer! Person 2: I feel ya!
Real Talk: The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Not joking around. Keeping it real. 1) I know he and I are best friends, but he really gets annoying after a while. Real talk. Sketch: A situation that is not normal or out of the ordinary. A
place that is unusual or suspicious. 1) I wonder why that guy is dressed in all black and has a ski mask in the middle of the day... and is peering through my neighbor’s windows. Wow, that’s sketch.
Swag: Someone’s style, appearance. The way someone presents or carries themselves. 1) His swag isn’t like any one else’s!
The boy on the right is admiring his friend’s brand new skateboard. He points to it and exclaims, “That’s tight, brah!”
Stank: Appearing trashy. Having a bad attitude that isn’t approved by others. 1) Person 1: *walks by with a look on their face like they own the place* Person 2: Uhh, stank!
Tight: Stylish, cool. Can appear cool or awesome. 1) Person 1: Hey man, check out that kid’s new skateboard. Person 2: Dude, those are tight! Twerk: The way someone dances; dancing. 1) They were twerking it up at prom!
Word: Used the same way as saying “That’s true.” Generally said in an agreement. 1) Person 1: This assignment is so diﬃcult! Person 2: Word!
These two friends are discussing their plans for the summer. The one on the right says “I can’t wait for school to be over!” The girl on the left replies, “I feel ya!” Margo Goodale and Priya Purohit
Leaphart student challenges high Stepping out to help the community what the Future Greek Club really is school chess team and what they do, other than just being margoGOODALE spor ts editor Members of one of the newest clubs, the Future Greek Club, are stepping out and breaking the stereotypical reputation of fraternities and sororities in college. Such as the partying every night and making wrong decisions. The club has approximately 30 people participating and is open to everyone who wants to join. “The club is open to everyone. We are trying to diversify it. It’s not about going to just a historically black school,” Lisa Hall, club sponsor, and administrative assistant, said. Hall decided to sponsor the club when approached by students earlier in the year. She said that she admires them greatly for starting this club. Many people are unaware of what the Future Greeks club really is. In reality it’s just what the name of the club implies. Future college students who are planning on participating in either a fraternity or a sorority when they are in college. “The purpose [of the Future Greeks] is to gain exposure to campus life and to inform them about making good college decisions. The student organization is for college bound students dedicated to community service, competition, unity, and the golden rule. The club members are particularly interested in colleges or universities that have active fraternity’s or sororities,” Hall said. Like many other clubs in the school, the members of the Future Greek Club do community service and special projects. There is one unique difference about this club, and that is a step team. This team performed for the student body at February’s pep rally. It brought a change and gave everyone a feel at
another club at Irmo. The club also participates in many community service projects. “We visit the children’s hospital to deliver books, we help the homeless and the Oliver Gospel Mission,” MyAzia Johnson, junior, and captain of the step team, said. They have meetings on a regular basis and during those meetings they discuss what is going on in the community, and talk about upcoming events in the community and the school. “It’s like a forum to express concerns about the club and the school,” Hall said. To be in a club you have to maintain many qualities to make the club successful and you have to maintain qualities that are positive and will make the club stand out in a positive way. “To be in a club you have to participate in community service, you have to have leadership and you have to have good group work,” Johnson said. Some fraternities and sororities in college come off with having a bad reputation. The Future Greek members hope to break this bad reputation and replace it with a better one. According to Hall, before a person is let into a fraternity or a sorority they are judged on certain qualities and abilities. “I think it [the Future Greeks] will dispel myths about historic black sororities and fraternities. The Future Greeks is all about stepping, academics and community service. They judge you on that before letting you in,” Hall said. Members of Future Greeks hope to add on to the number of people that are already in the club, give it a little more diversity, dispel the myths of fraternities and sororities, help out with the community, step, and have a good time all together.
Everyone has a hobby. From piano to basketball, robotics to card collecting, there’s no denying everyone takes a special interest in a different activity. Many students wish the school day was over so they can return home to the lazy state they were in the morning of. But not everyone. Jordan Owen is a fifth grade student who is attending Leaphart Elementary. He has curly blonde hair and oval-shaped eye glasses. His mother, Nancy Owen, is an English teacher at Irmo. He starts his school day at 7:50 a.m. and goes through the everyday routine of attending the classes in his schedule. Jordan does not immediately return home after Leaphart Elementary lets out at 2:40 p.m. Instead, he goes to Irmo High School for a little while. It is here that he gets to play something he enjoys a lot: Chess. As for the game, it’s known that this is not a simple game at all. Chess requires concentration, thinking, and patience. Jordan joins Irmo High students on Mondays to participate in the Chess club. At only 11 years old, Jordan has played Chess for a little more than two years, since he was in the third grade. The interest did not rise from a crazy, out of the ordinary experience. Jordan sums up the reason he decided to try out Chess with one simple statement. “I just thought it was an interesting board game,” He said. Seniors and juniors challenge Jordan for games during Chess club, and there’s no telling who will come out on top. Jordan decided to stick with Chess because it is challenging and not always predictable. “It’s fun and entertaining and gets a mind to work so you have a good game,” Jordan stated. He typically plays one or two games in a sitting – sometimes even three. As for frequency, Jordan sits down to play Chess twice a week and sometimes even three times. At Leaphart, they also give students the opportunity to participate in a Chess club. Jordan is a member of that club as well and enjoys playing amongst his fellow peers. For his other hobbies, Jordan says, “I like collecting coins and I used to play soccer.” He also occasionally does origami, a task of making shapes and figures by folding paper in often complex ways originated in Japan. One can create cranes, flowers, and other animals out of paper if they learn a few steps. Jordan will probably continue to play chess and will hopefully really benefit the Irmo Chess Team by joining it when he gets to high school. April/May 2009
Jazz band receives “superior” rating emmaMcWILLIAMS features editor Jazz—the swing style, true American art form of music. For generations, jazz has been played in groups, or jazz bands. One jazz band in particular, the Irmo High School Jazz band, is having a successful year. Irmo’s jazz band consists of 24 students. In jazz band there is one instrument for each person and one director. This is one of the reasons it is very different from concert band, since several people play the same instrument in concert band. Concert band often plays classical literature, and jazz band plays Latin, rock, slow ballads and swing dance tunes. Brass instruments are used in both jazz and concert band, but jazz also gets to use instruments like the piano, guitar and drum set. Travis Coakley, jazz band director, has taught jazz band for seven years, but this is his first year at Irmo. The jazz band just recently recieved a “superior,” the highest rating at a festival in Newberry, S.C. Coakley said that this was a big deal because even though Irmo has had a jazz band in the past, there wasn’t one last year, and this year they basically started from scratch. “It had been so long since the kids had done anything like that here that they didn’t believe it when I told them [they received ‘superior’,]” Coakley said. “They were very excited. The parents were jumping up and down, and the kids were excited, so it was great, a really good feeling.” The jazz band has also received “outstanding muscianship” at a festival in Rock Hill, S.C. Senior, Alex Knowles, lead trumpet, has been in jazz band for three years. He says that jazz band is more fun than concert band because he gets to play lead and “you swing everything.” “Swinging” is when the player holds on longer to the eighth
Irmo Concert Saturday, May 16
JAMMIN’ OUT: Junior, Joseph Robbins, plays the keyboard for jazz band. Jazz band students practice for about five hours a day, the majority in their 8B class.
note. He says that the relationships within the jazz band are very good. “We’re pretty tight,” Knowles said. “We just lost one of our jazz members. We’ve gotten a lot tighter through that. We make fun of each other now and then.” Paul Sturgill, senior played guitar in jazz band until he was killed on March 7, 2009. This was the same day that the jazz band won their “superior” rating. The class meets 8B and practices Thursday afternoons. The festivals are usually on Saturdays. “We go and play tunes that we have been working on,” Coakley said. “They will have judges listen to the performance and rate us on that performance. Judges are usually t college professors that r e nc , are teaching jazz music. o y They judge the guys on g C da rin urs 21 p improvisation and when S Th ay they play solos.” M The judges rate
Chic-Fil-A on Harbison May 14
Graphic by Emma McWilliams 12
on whether the band is together or not, if they are in tune and if they sound good and have a good tone quality. “If you’re playing good music, you get a good score,” Knowles said. The jazz band students practice everyday, and they say that it takes dedication and hard work to be really good. Johnathon Moore, senior, alto saxophone, has been in jazz band for three years. He says that he thinks jazz band is very comfortable and relaxed. He said that you can have “a flair” in jazz. Moore said that he chose to be in jazz band mainly because he likes music. Moore said jazz band is currently recruiting Irmo Middle School students. He says that Coakley said there are at least 20 students signed up for the jazz band class next year. “[They] are looking forward to being in jazz band since they heard about how we’re doing so well,” Moore said. In the future, Coakley hopes to have two jazz bands to give people more opportunities to play, since jazz band is designed for one person per instrument. “It’s like a football team—only 11 people can go out and play on the field at a time and you have reserves on the side,” Coakley said. “So if you have two jazz bands, you have more people that can play at a time. It’s like having a JV football team.”
Alabama State University Raheema Hodges Anderson University MacKenzie Gurley Sena Nickles Appalachian State Nathan Dorton Art Institute of Charlotte Mollie Chitty Bucknell University James Carson
Charleston Southern Danielle Bridges Jordan Kelley Glenda Robinson The Citadel Brian Hill Chelsea Marsh Mitchell Smith Claflin University Vanessa Anderson Courtney McIlwain Erica Nash Brandon Thomas Clark Atlanta Daniel Huguenin
Clemson Kelsey Barham Kyle Bedenbaugh Kelsey Bullard Chelsey Burkett Phillips DeRidder Katherine Doerring Kandace Gallman Kaela Gardner Janelle Haley Gillian Harper Taylor Heath James Lemmon Michael Lever Jonathan Locklair William Locklair John Mattox Hunter Medlock Trent Morgan Cameron Newberry April/May 2009
Clemson (cont.) Richard Renner Keven Sleeper Brittni Slone Larry Sluder Kaley Smith Travis Teague Neil Trefzger Brianna Williams Katie Wilson Clemson Honors College John Helms Megan Watts Coastal Carolina Duane Barrett Javonta Bolton DeAndre Carson Devin Green Leo Mukofsky Cierra Shade Kathryn Shuford Rendell Stokes Forrest Sumter Addison Taylor Kiara Turner Taylor Varney Brandi Best 14
Coker College Amy Nelson
Davidson College Kenneth Westberry
College of Charleston Denmark Tech Kashif Akram Brittany Lide Hannah Aull Laura Billington Duke Adam Downie University Morgan Edwards Rett Jackson Kenneth Henderson Kyle Hubbard Francis Haley Hutchens Marion Melissa Juszkiewicz University Jessica Krust Jessica Saxon Kelsey Marsh Sydney Quinn Furman Shanell Ransom Anna Sheppard Lindsay Snooks Georgia College of Southern Charleston Freddie Durham Honors College Gupton Jones Thomas Burnette College of Funeral Columbia Services College Latoya Lindsay Brittany Adams Shanae BensonJohnson & Gibbs Wales Brittany Juarez Tiana Harmon Lydia Stancik Dylan Jones
Johnson & Wales (cont.) Kelsey Sease Lashanda Watlington Juniata College Kimberly Padula Kettering University Benjamin Rickman Kingâ€™s College John Whalen Lander University Sara Aiken Ana Blocker Miranda Gartman Sernetta Taylor Massachusetts Institute of Technology Frederick Moore Midlands Tech David Allen Blake Appling
Midlands Tech (cont.) William Balish Addison Bankhead Tyler Barnes Matthew Birnie Phillip Bradley Glenn Brown James Bullock Jamie Chaffin Rederick Chatman Ralpheal Coleman Lindsey Contini Amanda Cristaldi Vanessa DeJesus Adam deKraft Erin Dillon Ralph Estes Elijah Gregg Erin Jashinsky Quintin Knowles Jennifer Lawson Casey Lindler Camilla Matthews Brittany McMillian Quintin Morris Chelsea Moyers Zachary Nichols Amanda Niles Jerod Noble Brandon Parker Olivia Pender Kiara Pollard
Cassandra Raines John Ramsey Ashleigh Reeves Nichole Riley Courtney Scott Adam Skidmore London Smalls Timothy Smith William Suddeth Fatima Williams Marinda Williams Barrett Wilson Thomas Yeoman Krystal Aulet Joshua Best Lauren Billingsley David Bowers Alexis Ferrer Santana Goodwin Kayla Mishoe Faith Poole Military Keirstin Garrett Vanity Burton Amber Fleming Patrick Fortunat Treyon Goldsmith Elliott Green William Holbrook Naheema Inch Nolan Stukes April/May 2009
Nashville Auto Diesel College Jennifer Nix
Savannah College of Art & Design Anthony Andrews
Newberry College Alicia Baxter Kaitlin Borman Robbie Brunson Christian Carter Lindsay Cruz Thomas Gallman Bryan Riddick Stephen Rosier Tiffany Sullivan
Savannah State University Kayla Diggs Joshua Vaughns
Other Celena Cardenas Jessica Griffin Dylan Rice Penn State Alexis Bausinger Presbyterian Rachel Fogle Theresa Freeman Christian Simoneau Salem College Amelia Mau 16
SC State David Brailsford Chelsea Chong Nathaniel Hanson Tanesha Morris Mikel Powell Spartanburg Methodist Anthony Greer Taâ€™Rea Yates Tri-County Technical College Dalila Jazic Travis Reed Cooper Salter Jonathan Wenzell Andrew Wescott Christen Good
Trident Technical College Ashton Whiteley University of North Carolina (unc)Chapel Hill Chay Malvasio Janie Williams UNCCharlotte Troy Belton UNCGreeensboro Eduardo German Jordan Lower University of Georgia Margaret Sullivan University of Pittsburgh Chi Zuo
University of south Carolina (USC) Jared Addison Jenna Addison Nicholas Alfieri Aya Al-Shafei Mary Katherine Ashley Taylor Bates Allison Blair Alyssa Blocker Andrew Brand Christian Broom Joseph Corey Brian Eckstrom Samantha Edwards Justin Epperson Taylor Goodwin Eric Inman Mali Irving Connor Johnson Branavan Kalapathy Katherine Kea Matthew Laroche Paul Lindley Alexander Lott Raymond McElroy Kristen Polinski Hana Rac Faten Ragaban Andrew Rolfe John Rusnak
Naomi Sakakibara Katherine Sailer Lisa Shao James Sitter Stephanie Smith Nathaniel Stocker Corbin Sutton Jared David Thomas Lisa Towe Whitney Wright Brandon Govens Ricky Patel Victoria Rosinski USC Honors College Stuart Burnette Kelley Freeman Christine Hsieh David Prim David Redick USC-Aiken Tamicka McLeod Michael Johnson USC-Beaufort Travis Cashion Garrett Driscoll Emily Yaden
USC-Upstate Jaron Bennett Ashley Good Kevin Kennedy Chasiti ReidMcKnight Kejuania Harris Tyoni McCants
Winthrop University Jeanna Campbell Laura Conger Annie Floyd Kayla Groff Daven Johnson Jennifer Mains Jada Spain Ashley Sparks Kecia Washington Wofford Katherine Canning Devin Scurry James Sieverding Brittany Walker
USC-Sumter Caitlin Vaughn April/May 2009
Christian Broom April/May 2009
Katelyn Floyd April/May 2009
Matthew Meadows April/May 2009
Cooper Salter April/May 2009
Christina Van Wickler
Kecia Washington April/May 2009
Not Pictured: Carmioya Alewine David Allen Blake Appling Hannah Aull William Balish Addison Bankhead Duane Barrett Joshua Best Laura Billington Samantha Bodnar Javonta Bolton Daniel Bookman David Brailsford 30The Stinger
Senior Supplement compiled by Samantha Edwards
Vanity Burton Celena Cardenas DeAndre Carson Christian Carter Rederick Chatman Lindsay Cruz Dustin Ellis Alexis Ferrer Patrick Fortunat Treyon Goldsmith Christen Good Devin Gosnell Elliott Green
Anthony Greer Elijah Gre Alexander Gre Lunden Herron Kyle Hubbard Daniel Huguenin Naheema Inch Eric Inman Emily Inman Dalila Jazic Samantha Jensen Michael Johnson Abril Johnson
Kennith Johnson Dylan Jones Ashli Jones Quintin Knowles Latoya Lindsay Chelsea Lynch Rashad Mallette Kayla Mishoe Ana Mojon-Gonzales Jonathan Moore Blair Morris Zachary Nichols Jerod Noble
Kimberly Padula Ricky Patel Kiara Pollard Mikel Powell Carla Profit Faten Ragaban Dylan Rice Nichole Riley Vioria Rosinski Chris Scott Cierra Shade Alexsia Shelley Dalton Smith
Jacob Smith Jada Spain Lydia Stancik Rendell Stokes Nolan Stukes Forrest Sumter Taylor Varney Crystal Vickers Fatima Williams Emily Yaden Ta’Rea Yates Whitney Youmans Chi Zuo
PRAYER tommyCOLLIER guest columnist
Recently, Heather Hook and I decided to try and gather fellow staﬀ members together for a short prayer meeting time after school on selected Wednesday afternoons. We sent an e-mail to all staﬀ members at Irmo High, asking them to either join us or at least send prayer requests – burdens and concerns that we could lift up. We did not badger, we did not proselytize. We were concerned about the economic conditions that were threatening the loss of hundreds of positions in our district and also the many illnesses and deaths that many of our friends and colleagues were enduring, and all we wanted to do was let them know that we cared for them, that we loved them, that they would know they were not alone in their condition. We have been told we could no longer use the district e-mail system to send out this reminder/request. As a result, we can no longer use this format to ask fellow staﬀ members to share their burdens with us. We are not angry about this nor or we deterred from continuing in our quest. I just would like to use this opportunity to remind everyone that we will continue to meet, we will continue to accept unsolicited prayer requests and we also wanted you to know that we still care and want to share in your burdens and rejoicing. We are here if you need us. I hope all of you have a restful and blessed summer break!
It’s what you think about yourself that matters kaylaGROFF production manager
Starting a new school has always been nerve-racking. A new school for kindergarten, a new school for first grade, starting public school for second grade, a new school for my preteen years (aka middle school); then there was high school, Irmo High School. It was hard enough leaving everyone in my life in New York behind to move to South Carolina, so starting my freshman year in a completely new environment was not easy. Looking back to the beginning, freshman year really set the base of the person I am today. There are a few, I guess you could call “events,” that occurred which have become so vividly stuck to my brain, they’re hard to forget. I never really cared about the way I looked in middle school and that’s almost how I was my freshman year. Then one day in French class a girl made a comment that changed my uncaring attitude for, what I believe, the better. I was dressed in a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers with my hair pulled back in a ponytail, my daily wear. She told me if I cut off my head and chest I would look exactly like a guy. At the time, I blew it off but I began to think about what she had said. I was in high school, I didn’t want to look like a boy. I started paying more attention to what I wore, not in a big way but with little things like keeping my hair down and wearing
less baggy shirts. I was still being me, just looking more my age I guess you could say. During my freshman year, I also gained confidence in myself, which I had had just not as much as I would have liked. There are always those mean girls in school, but sometimes there are those girls who stand up to them and say something back. Apparently, being quiet and keeping to myself sent the wrong idea to some people. One day I was walking home from school when this girl stopped and said “You’re weird, just to let you know.” I don’t think she expected me to say anything, her being with some guy and all, but I looked at her and said “So are you, just to let you know” and kept walking. I heard her say she was kidding but I didn’t turn around to say the same. After that day I never cared what anyone said about me. I know gym class is not an event but it’s where I started to make a few friends, which wasn’t easy for me to do being shy and quiet. Volleyball helped me meet and encourage my now best friend to play the game and my “shiny necklace”was the center of the craziest comment I have ever heard, giving me a friend who has been through so much with me, especially this year. I made a few more friends throughout the rest of the years, some staying, some coming and going, but the ones I still have I hope I get to keep in college. Oh college, my next new school and my next big adventure. Every new school gave me another new experience to learn from and new friends. I have become the person I am and want to be during my years at Irmo, and I’m hoping that when I go to Winthrop in the fall, I will only become more confident in myself and what I do. Becoming my own person and staying true to my own values has helped me through a lot. I only hope that my “own person” continues to grow in the next chapter of my life, which has been so full that college will end up being my fourth and fifth novels. April/May 2009
Graduation is a bittersweet goodbye britniSLONE
Everyone always says time goes by faster once you get older. They all said my high school years were gonna fly by and before I knew it, I’d be graduated and ready to start college. When they would inform me of this, I’d just smile and nod, not believing a single word. However, as this year has progressed and is now nearing its closure, I’ve come to realize how fast time really has gone by. I honestly thought this day would never come. It felt like high school was going to last forever and I’d never be able
to leave the ‘Irmo bubble’ to be on my own and move on to bigger and greater things. After surviving our awkward stage that ended with freshman year, we were finally sophomores. Thankful to no longer be at the bottom of the food chain, things started to look up. We lost some friends, but made many new ones. Junior year came even more quickly. Filled with too many projects and sleepless nights, it was a relief once it was over and done with. With senior year, came a sense of accomplishment and relief. Although it was stressful at the beginning, taking the SAT or ACT that one last time, hoping for a little bit higher of a score, completing college applications and all the tedious things that went along with them. Right after the winter break, senioritis started to get the best of us. Caring less and less about school, keeping our grades up became quite a challenge that the majority of us just didn’t care about tackling anymore. Last year, one of my best friends and I were asked to be on newspaper staff for this school year. We were hesitant at first, but eventually we decided to go into and come out of this together. It has been my first and last year on staff and I wish I could say it has been all that I’d hoped it would be. I went into this thinking it was what I wanted to do with my life, but quickly I learned that I
just wasn’t right for it. On top of everything I have had to do for newspaper this year, I tired to divide the rest of my limited amount of time between school, family, friends, church, and work. And as I learned quickly, there are just some things I just can’t do. Through the literal tears, slammed doors and arguments, I’m glad that I can still say that it was worth while. I have formed close relationships with almost everyone on staff and I also learned a great deal about myself. With the gain of new friends this year, I also lost one of the greatest I’d ever had. Thankfully, it wasn’t because of a tragedy as in the previous years our school has experienced. Although it wasn’t a tragedy by definition, it surely felt like one to me. As I learned first-hand this year, sometimes people just grow apart and there’s little to nothing you can do about it. As cheesy as it sounds, even though we are no longer friends, she will always hold a special place in my heart. So I hope, that one day, we can go back and regain the loose strings. Graduation will be a bitter-sweet goodbye, but like all good things, it has to come to an end. Although I’ve been incredibly anxious to get out of high school for the past four years, I can honestly say that a little part of me will miss my many days spent at good ole IHS.
a happy yet slightly crazy person, if it weren’t for the people I deal with every second of the day. As graduation day nears I find myself looking back, I question whether we are the sum of our experiences or merely a sum of how we handle our experiences. Either way, it puts a spin on things. I realize now how much of a butterfly effect we all have on each other. We are so connected that we don’t even realize it. Look around you for a moment. Those are the people that make your high school experience what it is. There’s the girl across the room that is always a little rude to people, the guy down the hall that you’re thinking about dating, the shy person in the corner who people make fun of. All of them will effect you in some way, but how will you effect them? My high school experience has been a pretty typical one. Freshman year was for the drama, sophomore and junior year was for the work, and senior year was for the fun. I’ve gone to a fair share of parties, failed a few tests, had friends come and go, seen some pretty stupid
stuff, been with some pretty stupid guys, and overall I’ve had a decent time. I’d like to imagine I’ve had a positive effect on at least a few people, but I know I’ve stepped on some toes along the way.In the end, I just hope that I’ve helped make their high school experience as fun as mine has been. Although there were some good times and some bad times I don’t regret anything that has happened since I’ve come to Irmo High because regret is a wasted emotion. All I can do is give some advice to the next few graduating classes. Enjoy it. Stop taking life so seriously because no one gets out alive anyway. Stess less and have more fun because you’ll never have as much freedom as you do right now. Make as many friends as you can and live every day as if it were your last. Like one of my teachers says, “ob-la-di ob-la-da, life goes on.” High school seems so important when you’re in it but to be honest, it seems really stupid once you’re leaving it. Anyone who has suffered from senioritis can tell you as much. So take life one step at a time and enjoy the experience because you only get it once.
“Ob-la-di ob-la-da, life goes on” morganEDWARDS features editor
We learn a lot in our lives. From birth to death it’s an ongoing experience of trials, rewards, love, heartbreak, kindness, cruelty and more teachers than we can count. No, I’m not just talking about school teachers, although my “official teachers” have taught me all I could ever want to know from kindergarten to twelfth grade. But my real teachers have been my friends, enemies, strangers, and acquaintances. I wouldn’t be the same person I am today, 32
How the south changed my life jeannaCAMPBELL editor in chief
Coming to a new school my sophomore year was something I hope no one else has to ever do. It took me up until about April of that school year to actually feel like people knew my name, and not just that I was new. It was also difficult to get into a group of friends that I really got along with and felt comfortable with, to keep myself from being caught up in my life I left behind, and how much I hated my dad for it. As I got used to my four honors classes on a day and my extremely easy classes on b day with this block schedule that made my A days dreadful. I went through Mrs. Brock who gave me a completely new perspective on studying for a test, Mr. Orr who gave me a whole new meaning of the number 14; I came to realize that the south is not as slow as I had assumed. Sophomore year was the year for me to remember considering I made new friends and became part of the Irmo community. But now, as a senior, I have come to realize that moving to this Irmo community was actually one of the best things that ever happened to me. I have learned so much about southern hospitality, that South Carolina bands (The Movement!) could kill any mid-western band, that the beach could keep me occupied for the rest of my life, that Irmo weekend gatherings are always going to be something to always be remembered for giving me the time of my life. I will also always remember the Nebraska vs. Clemson game my senior year that kept me talking to these Tiger fans for days. Although my life was completely turned around, I have come to a whole new meaning of school work, southern belles, southern entertainment, southern accents, southern love, southern summers (FW!) southern principles, and I have come to love the south more than I ever thought I could. So I raise my glass to the Class of ’09 for giving me high school memories to last a life time!
It’s been a long time coming kristenPOLINSKI circulation manager
Up to this point, a part of my life has focused on high school and everything associated with it. When I graduated from kindergarten, my parents and grandparents were already planning 12 years into the future; they told me that before I knew it I was going to be graduating high school. From then on I was a high school student in the making. In elementary school, as I started to watch Disney shows and movies such as Lizzie McGuire, Cadet Kelly, Pixel Perfect, Even Stevens, and Brink!,my high school training began. In those early years, my friends and I would pass notes, gossip about crushes, go to the mall (via the parental unit), and have sleepovers. Like millions of others, I adopted a Hollywood version of high school. I had quite a reality check my first week of freshman year – high school was absolutely nothing like what I was led to believe. Of course, I didn’t expect students to break out in song and dance, but I at least thought I’d decorate my locker. All
four years, I’ve never bothered to find my locker and something tells me I’m not the only one. After the reality check, I moved on and adapted. But, despite all the differences, I have found a similarity between myself and the characters. I have found a trendy truth from the high school shows I once watched so devotedly. Just like all the characters that end the show with some sort of epiphany, I came out of high school learning about myself. I’ve known for a long time that life doesn’t realistically revolve around me or anybody in particular, but during high school I’ve become more consciously aware of the world around me. During my junior year, I registered to vote, and as a seventeen year old I voted in the January 2008 presidential primaries. After that, I became obsessed with the election process; by the time the November elections came along I became an Obama junkie – I stayed up way after the Electoral College vote was swept by our new president. Seeing how the world reacted to was an eye opener. I’ve also learned the true meaning of responsibility – four years in high school is definitely filled with many experiences such as getting a drivers license, staying out late, getting a job, and managing everything on top of school work. After taking the SAT and ACT, I realized that I’m not the best standardized test-taker and I didn’t let that bother me as I began searching for potential colleges. In high school I have gained the self-confidence that will be important as I enter college and then the job market. Now that I am moving on to college, whenever I watch a “high school” movie again, I will fondly look back at the highlights that only come in high school. April/May 2009
Golf builds player’s character rileyMCCULLOUGH enter tainment editor
Irmo High School’s golf program consists of 13 students who make up the Varsity and JV teams. Varsity contains the top six players and the rest of the students make up the JV team. They practice twice a week at Rawls Creek and also go to Weed Hill Driving Range twice a week. Coach Stephen King teaches Social Studies and has coached golf at Irmo for seven years. He says that this season has been the most promising in a while. “This year we have got the best depth [Irmo’s] ever had since my first year,” King said. King said that Irmo has had a tough season this year because of all the good competition in the region. “We have a really tough region, probably one of the toughest, if not the toughest in the state,” King said. “Dutch Fork is in it, and they are defending state champions. North Augusta, Lexington and Chapin are also really good.” Going into regional state qualifiers King was optimistic. “If we play well at the region I think we have a shot,” King said. “Three teams qualify from our region to go to state. Then after that they take the lowest score by a player whose team did not qualify, so you have a chance for an individual to go as well.” When the regionals were over King was satisfied with the way things turned out. He said that they came out fifth and that he wasn’t disappointed with the outcome. Travis Cashion, senior, is thought of as a major asset to the Irmo’s golf team by his coaches. King said that his work ethic and determination makes him a leader of the team. “I think [Travis Cashion] has definitely been our leader,” King said. “He’s been in the top six on the varsity since seventh grade. He has been around a long time and he leads by example, in the sense that he works hard all year. He works really hard on his game, he competes all year, and he’s out there every day practicing. He just works hard at it, and I think leading by example is a lot better than just words.” King says he doesn’t think that he could have done this season without his coaching staff to help him out. The Stinger
“We have one of the biggest golf staffs in the state,” King said. “Coach Zipp is the JV coach for me and helps me with varsity as well. Coach Orr, Coach Airasian and Coach Holmes also help out with JV. When you’ve got two teams and they are playing on the same day and you have one paid coach, which is me, without the assisstant coaches, we couldn’t do it. We have to get JV here and Varsity there, the same day, it would be impossible. So they volunteer their time, and I’m very appreciative of their time.” Zipp said he believes that golf helps a player build character by trying their honor. “Golf is a sport built completely on honor,” Zipp said. “You call penalties on yourself and there are no other sports that do that. You have to be an honest person, and you have to be able to think for
yourself. It is not a team sport. You have to work really hard.” King also said he thinks the game of golf can help an athlete in the real world by testing their character. “In golf, like no other sport, you are expected to police yourself and call [penalties] on yourself,” King said. “There is integrity in making yourself do that, because I know it’s tough if you are out there playing and you do something that really is not that big of a deal. You are standing there, for instance, and you address the ball and the ball moves an eighth of an inch, that’s a penalty. You have to call yourself, but no one else is probably going to see it. That is a test of character.”
TEAM ROSTER: Top row - Coach Zipp, Riley Chambers, Chris Doerring, Kenny Henderson, Travis Chasion, Hunter Medlock, Michael Day, and Coach King. Bottom row - Neal Price, Cole Baxley, Hunter Fields, Bryce Boulware and Robert King. Above Hunter Medlock walks to the green.
Athletes make commitments to colleges emmaMCWILLIAMS features editor Six seniors have been signed to different colleges for various athletic programs this year because they excelled in athletics while at Irmo.
Lindsay Cruz, Softball
Lindsay Cruz signed for softball at Newberry College. She has been playing shortstop for about five years. She says she really liked the school and believes the sport will be very different in that it will be much more hard work. “I’m really excited to be playing [softball] in college because it’s going to be a fun experience,” Cruz said. Softball is Cruz’s passion because she loves playing and will never get tired of softball.
Brian Hill, Football
Brian Hill has signed for football at the Citadel. He has been playing quarterback for four years. “I really liked the Citadel and wanted to play football there so it made sense,” Hill said. “I like the Charleston area and the campus and the military atmosphere there.” Hill said that he is very excited for the challenge and is ready. He has always loved football and the competition it offers. He thinks that the speed of the play, and the guys will be much bigger. He hopes he brings leadership to his team, and he expects harder practices as well as tougher college classes. “I will miss Coach Hanna, Coach Savitz and Coach Curlings and the school in general,” Hill said. “I will miss playing on Friday night.”
Alicia Baxter, Soccer Alicia Baxter has signed for soccer
at Newberry College. She says that she wanted to play soccer in college, and that she liked the small college environment at Newberry. She says that she will miss playing with the girls she has played with her whole high school career. She is willing to play whatever position her coach wants her to play. “[Soccer] is my passion because I grew up playing it and my dad and brothers played,” Baxter said. “It is also my escape from everything around me, when I play soccer I don’t think about grades or fights I had with friends and family. It helps me get my mind off of things.” Baxter says that she will bring energy, good sportsman ship, leadership and her heart for the game to her college team. She says that being away from home in a new environment will be very different. “I expect college to be completely different from high school,” Baxter said. “[College will require] more responsibility along with harder classes and much harder practices.”
Caitlin Vaughn, Softball Caitlin Vaughn has signed for softball at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She has been on varsity for four years and has been playing catcher since her sophomore year. “I wanted to go on to play college softball somewhere,” Vaughn said. “I got a couple of offers and after I went on my visits I liked the coach and the program the best at USC Sumter, so I signed up.” Vaughn says that she liked the school because it wasn’t a small town, and the fact that it had a mall was even better. Her USC Sumter coach, Age Cataldo, was a catcher in college and Vaughn says that she believes having a coach who once played her position would be a good way for her to become a better catcher. Vaughn says that she plans to go to USC Sumter to get better and then transfer after her first year to go somewhere else. “I felt that was best for me, and that way, academic-wise, my credits would transfer,” Vaughn said. Vaughn says she was nervous about playing in college at first, but after watching the college team she says that she feels she can handle it and that it won’t be as big as a step as she thought it would be. “I’ve always played sports since I was little— since I could walk—and I’ve been playing softball and basketball since I was five, so that’s the only life I ever knew,” Vaughn said. Vaughn says that she will miss her family, her best friend, Melissa Britt, who is a junior at Irmo and the Irmo faculty and staff. She says that she will miss playing basketball, since she won’t be playing in college. Basketball was another sport Vaughn played while at Irmo. “[In softball] I’ll miss my teammates because we’re really close as a team,” Vaughn said. “It will be different playing with a group of new people.”
Nathan Dorton, Football Nathan Dorton has signed for football at Appalachian State. He has been playing receiver for two and a half years. “Throughout the whole recruiting process, I never felt at home at any other place,” Dorton said. “Appalachian just has the atmosphere that once you get up there, you never want to leave. I wanted to go to Appalachian because their program is built off of blood, sweat and tears. No other place I visited was like this. At Appalachian, you’re going to work hard, and you’re going to win. That’s just the way it is. Some people think it’s arrogance, but [these people] didn’t win three national championships in a row either.” Dorton is confident about playing in college and believes that once he adjusts and continues doing what he has always done, he will turn out fine. “Sometimes, I honestly don’t know why I love football so much,” Dorton said. “God has instilled a passion in me that I just can’t put into words. He put me on this earth, to catch a ball and run around for his glory. I will have such a stage as a college athlete to serve Him.” Dorton doesn’t really know what to expect for
college, except that his team will win. He knows for certain everything will be much harder. Football in college is like your job, and I am completely fine with that,” Dorton said. “I like the idea of football being my job. I need to get used to it.” Dorton says that he will miss the simplicity of Irmo. He will be on his own which he believes will be nice but will miss being in high school a little bit. Dorton has one opinion on football and that is that “there ain’t nothin like high school football.”
Jimmy Carson, Football Jimmy Carson has signed for football at Bucknell College. He has been playing defensive line since his freshman year. “I wanted to play football at the next level,” Carson said. “I am interested in majoring in engineering, and this major was not possible at the closer schools that were recruiting me. Also, I visited the campus [at Bucknell College] and really liked it.” Carson says that he is excited to play at the college level and thinks it will be much harder. “I have played [football] since I was young and while it has not always been my best sport, it has been my favorite,” Carson said.
Haley Hutchens, Soccer College of Charleston signed Haley Hutchens for soccer. She plays center middle and has all her life. “I love the atmosphere at Charleston, and I fell in love with it when I went on my unofficial visit as a junior,” Hutchens said. “Plus I liked the size and the level of competition and I really liked the coaches and players as well.” Hutchens says that she is excited about playing college soccer even though the competition is much greater than it is in the club and high school levels. “I’m a little bit intimidated for college ball because I’ll have just come back from my recent knee injury,” Hutchens said. Hutchens can’t play soccer her senior year because of injuries she’s sustained, her first games back will be in college. She tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus and had surgery Dec 23. Hutchens says she has a huge passion for soccer. “I’ve always loved soccer,” Hutchens said. “I don’t exactly know why, I just love the intensity, and how you have to be in super good shape and really have to push yourself to the limit in order to be the best. Having to be aggressive is the fun part—being able to get your anger out and knock girls down. I also love the feeling of scoring and winning, and even when we do lose I always come out of the game having learned what I need to do better individually and what we can improve on as a team.” Hutchens said that she will miss her teammates and Coach Mauldin. She said that she will also miss being the “soccer star” and always being in the newspaper.
BOBBY HENDERSON varsity softball Favorite Quote Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do the right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunetly, so is losing. - Vince Lombardi
WHAT SPORT DO YOU COACH? • Varsity softball HOW LONG HAVE YOU COACHED? • 17 years MOST THRILLING MOMENT: • Beating the #1 ranked team and defending state champions. WHAT COLLEGE DID YOU ATTEND? • University of South Carolina
Running toward success morganEDWARDS features editor
I step on the track I’m achieving something whether I win or lose.” Lewis recognizes that being Their sport is your sport’s punishment. on the track team is not easy. “I’d say that in order to be on the track They spend hours a day laboring in sun, wind or rain. When other sports are cancelled, team you have to be willing to work hard,” Lewis said. they’re still “ M o s t out there people look practicing. at running as It’s a sport punishment, that goes all and that’s year long, and pretty much something what we that never do. If you’re goes out not willing of style. to work Jumping, and fight running, through the sprinting training, or polechances are vaulting—it’s you won’t all for the be the best glory of the you can be.” win and the Morgan Edwards T o strength that these WORKING TOGETHER: A combination of running skills H o d g e s , track has athletes earn. and hand-eye-coordination helps Hodges and Lewis multiple Raheema dominate the relay. Teamwork is key to this eent. appeals. Hodges, She enjoys senior, and Jack Lewis, junior, are two of the best spending her time with such a talented runners on the track team according to group of people and but still being able most standards. Both have numerous to escape the world for a few minutes. “I love to run so much because it sets achievements and talent.Their hard work and dedication is what has gotten them this far. me free from the world and everything Mike Moore, track coach, in it,” Hodges said. “Running lets me spoke admiringly of both runners. get away from all the stress in my life “Both of these athletes have a deep and the world. I also love to win and desire to win,” Moore said. “They both have see my name and picture in the paper.” Track is a team sport in general, but worked extremely hard to perfect technique and improve levels of conditioning.” individualistic at its core.It’s all about pushing Lewis says that track takes up a lot of your own limits, with the encouragement his time, but he has learned a lot and support of your teammates. “The thing about track is f rom it, including time as long as you’re willing to management and that work for it, you can make perseverance. yourself better and more Lewis has earned physically ready for numerous medals. the sport,” Lewis said. “So far, I’ve Hodges and Lewis managed to make first have been learning place in the region from Moore for a 4x800 relay twice and I while, but Moore made it to third in the claims they are state meet for the same teaching him as well. relay last year,” Lewis said. “They have taught Hodges doesn’t me a lot.” Moore said. measure her “Raheema has been achievements by her running since the seventh awards, though. grade and Jack since the “My achievements ninth. Each presented are great in track me with challenges that and field,” Hodges made me a better coach.” said. “Every time
There is more than one difference between baseball and softball jeannaCAMPBELL editor in chief There is numberous differences between baseball and softball other than one is a boys sport and the other is a girls. According to Matt Livingston, third base man and pitcher, varsity baseball, softball [at Irmo High School] is faster pace, and they play on a smaller field. “Baseball ranges around 329 in. down the lines [base to base] and 370 in. in the center [from home base to the pitcher’s mound],” Livingston said. “Softball is around 200 in. down the line. We have a round field, they have a flat circle.” Amanda Boyeson, outfield man, varsity softball said basically their bases and their pitchers mound are closer together. The equipment used for each sport is also different. “[A softball] is big and yellow, while baseball is smaller and white and red,” Boyeson said. “The barrels of baseball bats are also bigger.” Both teams have tournaments around the same time, condition before their seasons, and have pre season tournaments. Boyeson also said the girls have preseason conditioning. Both teams have preseason conditioning to prepare for their seasons. Baseball, although, has more seasons than softball. “We play in the fall and summer,” Livingston said. Softball, on the other hand, only plays in the fall. Both teams have about the same amount of games, and not too many home games, they usually have five to nine home games. To prepare the teams for their games each varsity team has three different coaches to assist them in different areas.
“[We have] coach Henderson, coach Johnson and Mr. Pete,” Boyeson said. The baseball’s coaches, according to Livingston, are teachers Ray Canady, Jack Curlings and Chris Stout. Both softball and baseball practice for around two to twoand-a-half hours. Both teams have different uniforms and warm ups. Livingston and Boyeson both said they like their warm-ups because they’re comfortable and make their team look sharp. Each team wears a different color for home and away games. “We have two [uniforms], for home games we have white,” Boyeson said. “And away we wear black.” The baseball team wears black jerseys and gray pants for away games. “For home games,” Livingston said. “We wear white on white and sometimes our black uniform. We also wear hats; they sometimes wear visors, or no hats.” Another difference between the two is that the varsity baseball team doesn’t have a captain. “But we know who the leaders are though,” Livingston said. On the other hand, varsity softball does have a captain, Chelsey Burkett, senior. “[Chelsey is the one] who keeps us together, but everyone plays their part as leaders,” Boyeson said. Both teams try to bond outside of practice and games. “We try and get out a lot,” Livingston said. “We hang out at each other’s houses.” The softball team often has sleepovers as well as rookie night to initiate the new players. Boyeson said they also like to eat together before or after games.
Amanda Evans, junior, girls varisty softball pitcher graphic by Jeanna Campbell
Tony Ford, junior, boys varsity baseball pitcher April/May 2009
Graduating Staff samanthaEDWARDS journalism IV
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