September 26, 2013
W W W. V S U S P e C TAT O R . C O M
VOLUMe 85 iSSUe 6
On the Web
Inside This Issue
w w w. v s u s p e c ta t o r. c o m
- OPiNiONS: “leave your guns off campus” - FeATUReS: “Free your blazing spirit”
Learn more about Josh Sparks, page 5
- SPORTS: “Josh Sparks takes talent overseas”
Today at VSU Who am i? - a seminar meant to help you define “who you are” and create your own identity through selfawareness. the event will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. in the counseling center conference room, second floor of Powell Hall.
Blazers win 41-0 Blazers defeat Shorter Hawks Saturday
science and history faculty roundatble presents the history, impact and fallout of the Supreme court’s ruling on the Voting rights act in Shelby county v. Holder. the event takes place from 7-9:30 p.m. in the Uc theatre. refreshments are available.
Joe Adgie Social Media editor email@example.com
habitat for humanity those interested in joining Habitat for Humanity may attend the meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Nevins Hall room 1061. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo contributed by Dowling payne and Blazer pride
Cameron Olds defends Andrekay Askew-Wyatt during VSU’s 41-0 win.
Check out page 5 for more on Saturday’s game.
Partly Cloudy 84 H 61 L Mostly Sunny 84 H 60 L
Mostly Sunny 83 H 58 L
Today in History First Kennedy-Nixon debate September 26, 1960
The first debate between major party presidential candidates was aired on TV. Source: History.com
Find Us Online Follow The Spectator online for more!
U.S. Rep: ‘We can’t police the whole world’ VSU College Republicans hosts meet and greet with Austin Scott
supreme Court and VotinG riGhts - a political
KaraoKe - Natural High is hosting another Karaoke Night at 8 p.m. in the odum library auditorium. the event is free and snacks are provided. For more information, call 259-5111 or email email@example.com.
Check out Anthony Pope’s story on National Hazing Prevention Week!
SGA pulls funding, speaker discusses guns on campus Joe Adgie Social Media editor firstname.lastname@example.org
a speaker came to Monday’s SGa meeting to speak about upcoming legislation that would legalize concealed carry on college campuses, while an organization had its funding removed due to internal issues. the organization is the Film and Video Society, who had asked for $450 during the previous week’s meeting for a screening of the movie “land of Higher Peace” and a visit from the maker of the film, Mark ezra Stokes. on Monday, SGa president Will Jimerson reported that the funding was in dispute. “it seems to be that the presentation was done without permission of the department, so funding may or may
not be granted,” Jimerson said. on tuesday, the screening and the appearance by Stokes was cancelled. in an email sent to mass media students on tuesday, Jason Brown, assistant professor of communication arts, cited “recent events” for the reason of the cancellation but noted that the event “may be rescheduled.” Kathryn Grant, a representative of the campaign to Keep Guns off campus, gave an update on Senate Bill 101, a bill that would legalize concealed carry of firearms on college campuses. Grant remarked that the bill will be on the agenda for when the Georgia general assembly returns to session in January. “it will pass unless you raise opposition and exercise your right as a participant in our democracy and say ‘no,’” Grant said.
“There is no data
that supports the idea that guns in a school or on college campuses are a good idea. ” - Kathryn Grant
Grant explained that her organization is looking for people to voice their opinions and remarked that the University System of Georgia, law enforcement agencies and many educators are opposed to the idea. “there is no data that supports the idea that guns in a school or on college campuses are a good idea,” Grant said. “i know that might not be necessarily what you hear. there are a lot of people that talk about the Virginia tech incident that say ‘if i were See SGA, page 2
congressman austin Scott, who represents Georgia’s 8th district, which includes Valdosta, came to VSU to speak to the community at a meet and greet. Scott spoke to a packed Ballroom a about what was going on in Washington, the differences between congress and the Georgia general assembly and his stance on key issues such as intervention in Syria. “this country cannot afford to inject itself into every civil war that happens throughout (the world),” Scott said. “We can’t police the whole world.” Scott explained that a presidential administration should follow two guidelines for going to war, one being “broadbased international support for any action that you carry out,” and “broad-based support from the american public.” “i’ll tell you, i’ve been around long enough to know we didn’t have international support,” Scott said. “and we didn’t have support from the american citizens.” Scott also spoke about the controversy regarding student loan interest rates. “that’s something, quite honestly, that (students) should never have been caught in the crosshairs,” Scott said. “the resolution that we got, that was passed by a republican house, signed by the President, and passed by a democratic senate; i think it will work well.”
cannot afford to inject itself into every civil war that happens throughout (the world). ” - ConGressman austin sCott
that resolution involved connecting interest rates of student loans to financial markets—where rates would increase with an economy improvement, with a set maximum cap. “if i had my way, the private sector would be brought back into the student loan system as well,” Scott said. Scott, however, expressed concern with what he viewed as “the federal government getting into the management of our university institutions.” “i think they run much better without the federal government telling them what to do, from the standpoint of the federal government and what our role can and should be in that,” Scott said. this was part of what was a very busy day for the congressman, who spent the entire day in and around Valdosta. Nick Buford, a member of the college republicans, helped to put the appearance together. “We started setting this up for today about two weeks ago with his tifton staff,” Buford said. “that’s where his closest district office is.” the meet and greet was the fifth event of the day for Scott around the Valdosta area, starting off with a visit to the local YMca in Moultrie and then a luncheon and Q-and-a at the Holiday inn in Valdosta. that was followed by a tour of South Georgia Medical center and then a dinner with state senaSee SCOTT, page 2
South Georgia Pride undeterred by rain
Homecoming 2013 Monday Until noon: Sidewalk chalk contest – palms Quad Until noon: Student organization Spirit Sheet Sign contest – Main campus 7:30 p.m.: residence hall Video competition – Langdale/Georgia courtyard
Tuesday Noon – T-Shirt exchange – Behind West hall
FACeBOOK: The Spectator
Wednesday ritsuki Miyazaki / The SpecTaTor
6-11 p.m.: VSU Students Night at Wild adventures
Thursday 6-7 p.m. – president’s cookout – reames Field (Next to pe complex) 7-8 p.m. – “Blacklight with the Blazers” pep rally– pe complex 8 p.m. – Battle of the Bands – pe complex
Check out Cole Edward’s story on page 4 for more info! Infographic by Sarah Turner / The SpecTaTor
Raquel Payne, female illusionist, was one of many attendees at South Georgia Pride, hosted in John W. Saunders Memorial Park Saturday. The event had activists, allies and LGBTQ community members from across Georgia. The event lasted from noon to 7 p.m. Despite the rain, the festivities continued through the evening with food, vendors and live entertainment.
PaGE 2 | vSUSPEcTaToR.coM SGA Continued from Page 1 there, and if I had a gun, I would have been able to stop that shooter.â€™â€? Grant told the story of Colin Goddard, who was shot multiple times in the Virginia Tech massacre and was one of the 17 people that were wounded but survived the shooting. â€œNow, heâ€™s been there,â€? Grant said. â€œHeâ€™s been on the other end of a gun. He has dedicated his life to making sure that guns stay out of college campuses, except in the hands of trained law enforcement officers. Thatâ€™s the most compelling reason I think there is if you listen to someone who has survived what is still the deadliest shooting in U.S. history by a single gunman, and the 17 students say, â€˜Guns on campus isnâ€™t a good
idea.â€™â€? According to Grant, legislators were not listening to their constituents. â€œItâ€™s frustrating to me and sad that you all havenâ€™t been asked how you feel about it,â€? Grant said. â€œSomehow the lawmakers are drawing lots of conclusions here without asking the very people who this policy is going to affect most.â€? NOTES: The SGA budget stands at $19,578.31.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2013
â€œHeâ€™s been on the other end
of a gun. He has dedicated his life to making sure that guns stay out of college campuses, except in the hands of trained law enforcement officers. ds of trained law enforcement officers. Thatâ€™s the most compelling reason I think there is if you listen to someone who has survived what is still the deadliest shooting in U.S. history by a single gunman, â€? -Kathryn Grant
Upcoming Events Sep. 28 The Mainstream Madness Benefit Fashion Show will be held at 6 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. Bring canned food or a childâ€™s toy for admission. Media Arts Geniuses is throwing a Dodgeball Tourney on the Front Lawn at 4 p.m. Sep. 29 The VSU Sociology Club will host an event at Buffalo
HAPPY â€˜TATOR DAY!
Continued from Page 1 tor and VSU alumnus Tim Golden and VSU President William McKinney. Scott has represented Valdosta in Washington since the start of 2013 but has held his seat since 2010. Valdosta was moved into the 8th district as a result of the 2010 census at the start of the year, coming from the 1st district and Representative Jack Kingston.
Police Briefs Sep. 19 A OneCard was reported stolen to the University Police Department. Sep.20 A text book was reported stolen from Odum Library. Kameron Myers, 18, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of Marijuana and Underage Possession of Alcohol. Three other citations were given out in the arrest. Sep.22 A theft was reported at Centennial Hall. Sep.23 A bicycle was reported stolen from outside Hopper Dining Hall Sep.24 Christopher Barton, 18, was arrested for Theft by Receiving Stolen Property. A report from North Campus alleged that wiring was being stolen from the campus. Sep.25 University Police responded to a report of car break-in at the University Center.
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Wild Wings from 11 a.m.midnight. Proceeds will be used to repair a playground. Sep. 30 Space Jam will be shown at 6 p.m. at the Student Union Theater. Snacks will be provided! Oct. 2 Gwen Williams will host â€œAssertiveness basicsâ€? at 4 p.m. in the Counseling Center Conference Room in Powell Hall, floor 2.
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septemBer 26, 2013
vsuspectator.com | page 3
Our point of view...
Leave your guns off campus L
et’s not kid ourselves. We live in a very high-stress environment here at college. Between the pursuit of grades that serve as the official yardstick for whether or not we’re worth people’s time or not and the various obligations that all of us must serve to on top of that, it’s a lot to handle and maybe too much for some. On more than one occasion, we—and we’re not just speaking as editors of the Spectator here, but rather VSU students—have seen students completely snap. They collapse under the pressure of the college life and sometimes in very explosive, dramatic and violent
ways. And incredibly, some lawmakers in Atlanta want to make it legal for students to conceal firearms on their person on college campuses. Here at the Spectator, that scares us. A few of us can recall a time just before class one morning where a student suffered a full-blown nervous breakdown. That student, who shall remain nameless, started to throw chairs, scream at everybody, drop the class while in class and storm off in tears. Now, what if that normally sane person was armed? What would have happened then? A good number of us probably wouldn’t be here
right now, and the front page of the Spectator would have
If individuals trained to use a firearm only hit their shots, on average, one third of the time, what does that say for us? told the tragic tale of the students going into class just like any other day when someone completely lost it, and nowhere near in his right mind, he took the lives of
several innocent college kids—kids with tremendously bright futures. But he would have been fully within his right to carry. There are those that will contend that “of course others would be armed, they would have stopped him before he could have taken anybody out.” This, of course, assumes that everyone will remain calm and in their right mind when one of their classmates is shooting at them and could possibly end their lives. This also assumes that we’ll actually hit our target that we’re trying so hard to aim at. Considering that the
New York Times pegged the New York Police Department’s accuracy rate at 34 percent in 2008, that doesn’t really bode well for the general population trying to defend ourselves. If individuals trained to use a firearm only hit their shots, on average, one third of the time, what does that say for us? This isn’t Call of Duty. This isn’t Half-Life. This isn’t Grand Theft Auto. This is real life. There’s a good reason that every school president in the University System has stood up against this. There’s a good reason you see people like Katheryn Grant standing up against this. There’s a good reason
it’s being discussed in the SGA meetings, and there’s a good reason we’re against this. Put guns in the hands of students and you’ve got a terrible atmosphere of fear. Could that person walking by me have a gun? Is he on the verge of a nervous breakdown? That’s no atmosphere suitable for a learning environment, and we here at the Spectator surely don’t want to report about an avoidable tragedy that occurred because someone who absolutely should not have had a firearm had one and exercised their second amendment rights on several innocent human beings.
This editorial was written by Joe Adgie (firstname.lastname@example.org) and it expresses the general opinion of the editorial staff.
What is a terrorist? Congressman’s Letter to the Editor
S TA f f W r I T e r email@example.com
The other day in my Islam class, I was asked an interesting question. What does it actually mean to be a terrorist? The term is usually used when referring to a group of extremist Muslims from the Middle east who use violence to get their way politically or because they believe this is how to spread Islam, but there is more to it than that. for starters, terrorism is not exclusive to the Middle east. In a recent Huffington Post article, writer Matt Sledge discusses a man who was sent to prison for conspiracy and arson. Daniel McGowan was living out his eight-year sentence in a low-security prison when one day he was transferred to a higher-security one. McGowan asked, why am I
here? He began to think about his reputation as an environmental activist who was “Unrepentant in his political identity.” “I think what they ‘re trying to do is say, Ok you want to be a little political prisoner type, you want to write and
be all active and say stuff, and get a ton of mail and everyone thinks you’re peachy keen?” McGowan said. “You’re gonna get crushed.” So basically, if you don’t line up with what the government wants you to be and fall in line, you may find yourself in jail. Now Daniel still holds his political beliefs, but he is repentant about the violent acts that he committed. Here’s the thing, though: He did not hurt anyone. Is he still a terrorist? I say yes. He
committed violent acts to try and scare people into thinking like him. Whether he hurt anyone or not is irrelevant. The tactics he used caused fear and were clearly violent. So here’s the thing: If you have to use violence to scare people into believing what you believe, what’s the point? You’re not allowing people to think for themselves. It’s hard to say that anyone who goes out and scares people with violence is considered a terrorist. What is certain, and hopefully this is something most people can agree on, regardless of religious affiliation, is that violence to progress any ideology, be it political or religious, is not right. What’s the point of forcing your beliefs on someone, when that belief will only come from fear of persecution for not sharing the same beliefs? Perhaps the definition of “terrorism” is too broad.
message rebuked Congressman Austin Scott came to visit VSU on Monday and I was in the audience. He told the audience to be wary if the information that you absorb from the media because it may be a distortion of the truth. Congressman Scott informed us that it costs $10 billion per day to run the US government and that the corporate tax increase that Obama proposed would generate $200 billion in revenue. At an additional 20 days of funding, that was not enough to justify passing his proposal. I saw many people in the audience nod in
agreement. Congressman Scott is a member of the Agriculture Committee and voted last week to pass a farm bill that will impose time limits for food stamp benefits. When he mentioned this, people in the audience applauded. Why, yes, thank you for saving us from those deadbeats that are eating away our tax dollars. He did not mention the saving generated by this bill, so I looked it up. Would you believe that this bill will save the US government a whopping $10 billion over the next
10 years? This according to Congressman Scott’s calculations is .4 days per year of additional funding. So let me get this straight, it is not okay to gain 20 days of revenue at the expense of corporations? But perfectly fine to gain .4 days at the expense of families that need to eat. Where have our values gone! Congressman Scott, I think we also need to be wary of the messages that we are getting from our representatives. Teresa Lawrence VSU Student
Should students be asked their sexual orientation on admissions applications? Check out the Video People Poll online at: youtube.comValdostaSpectator
Obama reveals new plan for students Isaiah Smart S TA f f W r I T e r firstname.lastname@example.org
College is always one of the bigger concerns for voters when it comes to presidential elections. Loan rates remain a constant worry for voters age 18 to 25. President Barack Obama even went on a college tour to spread the word about a new plan to make college more affordable. The administration is proposing a plan that will rate colleges on a scale of access, affordability and student outcomes. As a result, the higher rated colleges will receive larger Pell Grants and betterrated loans. Here is the issue: Although this idea sounds good on a grand scale, it could negatively impact a number of institutions. Obama plans to stop providing as much funding for schools that aren’t producing “good results.” What could happen is that af-
ter being rated, colleges and universities may turn away students. Institutions graded on the negative end of debt levels, graduation and transfer rates and graduate earnings won’t be able to thrive the way a school such as UGA would. Who hurts the most in this scenario is, once again, the student. Students that can’t afford to go to a higher-rated school lose out on beneficial funding. Along with the changes in subsidizing, this proposed plan also looks to make loan debt a little more reasonable by expanding Obama’s income-based repayment plan. This plan could still work. With schools being rated on their output, it would make it even easier to weed out what is the best choice for higher education. Along with that, students can retrieve an increased amount in Pell Grants
and/or loans with better rates. Of course it takes away from other colleges, but at the same time it pressures those schools into improvement. We all want quality education, and this regulation pushes institutions to step it up and provide refined results. Although it creates problems for struggling institutions in the short-term, the long-term results aim for an overall bet-
ter quality of American education. Do you feel strongly about the Obama administration’s new financial aid plan for college students? Will the plan benefit or infring on college students? express your opinions by sending the Spectator staff a tweet at @vsuspectator.
Taylor Stone S TA f f W r I T e r email@example.com
Since when has success and hard work in America ever yielded praise from President Obama? By now, it’s laughable to expect consistency from the President, but a recent speech promoting his Student Aid
Plan exists in direct contrast to everything he has stood for thus far. This is the first time President Obama hasn’t bashed the concept of hard work and exceptional performance without simultaneously blaming it on greedy businesses. Basically, the core objective of the program is to rate
Sports Editor: eric Jackson Photo Editor: ritsuki Miyazaki Multimedia Editor: rebecka McAleer Web Designer: John Preer Copy Editor: Olivia McLean Social Media Editor: Joe Adgie Faculty Advisers: Dr. Pat Miller, Dr. Ted Geltner, Keith Warburg
hind” was that many school districts were “dumbing down” the requirements of the curriculum and the performance of their students to avoid scrutiny. As college students, do you want to see your degree devalued as your university succumbs to reducing intellectual requirements? Do you want to graduate knowing little more than you knew your freshmen year, in turn, diminishing the prominence of a college education? With President Obama’s Student Aid plan, it won’t matter that you answered “No” to these questions because they will become reality. Ultimately, Congress has “control of the purse,” so this would have to be passed through legislation, but that’s according to law, which President Obama doesn’t really like to follow. Share your thoughts with us by sending a tweet to @vsuspectator.
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colleges based on student performance, allocating student aid based on those results. In theory, the plan sounds decent, aside from one glaring piece of solid, constitutional fact: The federal government should not, now or ever, have any place in education! To simply accept this “nudge” of power will prove to be toxic for our education system. Additionally, every college and university is unique, so imposing a widespread government-mandated program would without a doubt negatively affect these institutions. President Obama’s proposal is eerily similar to George W. Bush’s, “No Child Left Behind” legislation, which proposed a comparable idea that all teachers should be judged based on the performance of their students. One of the several negative results of “No Child Left Be-
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PagE 4 | vSuSPEcTaToR.coM
SEPTEMBER 26, 2013
Free your blazing spirit
First half of Homecoming Week to host creativity, competition and a free trip to Wild Adventures Cole Edwards s ta f f w r i t e r
Get your face paint, blow horns and school spirit ready, VsU students. Homecoming 2013 is upon us. events will begin Monday and will continue until saturday’s game against the florida tech Panthers. in a letter posted on the VsU website, President william McKinney wrote that this year’s Homecoming is especially important because it comes at a time that the
school is celebrating its 20th year of achieving university status and the 50th year of integration in the school. Monday morning will kick off with a sidewalk Chalk Contest on the Palms Quad until noon. student organizations will create art displays on the sidewalk that incorporate the Homecoming theme. first, second and third place winners will be chosen, and prizes will be awarded at the Homecoming pep rally later in the week. there will also be a spirit sheet-sign Contest on main campus at the same time.
Former student’s T.V. series returns Isaiah Smart s ta f f w r i t e r
the former VsU student who created some silly, senseless park rangers and gained the attention of over a million viewers, will be returning his creation for another season. waco O’Guin, 38, will premiere the second season of his show “Brickleberry” on Comedy Central this fall. the upcoming season will have a total of 13 episodes. O’Guin received a degree in digital media from UGa; however, he was a student at VsU from 1993 to 1994. He was also a contributor for the spectator, where he did a comic strip called “inebriated the Koala.” according to O’Guin, succeeding in media is not easy, but persistence is key.
“Get used to rejection,” O’Guin said. “i have a stack of rejection letters from every cable network. Produce your own stuff and stick it on Youtube. the more you produce the better you'll get.” “Brickleberry” is a 30minute, light-hearted comedy that features executive producer Daniel tosh from “tosh.0.” O’Guin and his friend, roger Black, created “Brickleberry.” O’Guin’s father-inlaw, woody, was a park ranger who took his job very seriously. Black often patronized woody and called him a “tree cop.” a few years later, at O’Guin’s wedding reception, woody put Black’s thumb in a “park ranger hold,” and they then decided to do a show about crazy park rangers. the show will air every tuesday at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central.
Like the sidewalk Chalk Contest, winners will be announced during the pep rally. the residence Hall Video Competition will take place that evening in the Langdale/ Georgia Courtyard. each residence hall’s staff will create a video representing their hall, and the videos will be screened for students and alumni to vote on their favorite. On tuesday there will be a t-shirt exchange behind west Hall at noon. students are encouraged to bring gently worn t-shirts from other universities or colleges in ex-
change for a VsU 2013 Homecoming shirt. VsU student Night at wild adventures takes place wednesday evening. students must present their VsU student iD for admittance into the “terror in the wild” Halloween activities. Buses will run between the park and campus starting at 5:30 p.m. with last pick-up at 9 p.m. Pick-up will be at the Oak street lot on the sustella end. thursday evening brings the President’s Cookout on reames field. this is open to both students and alumni, who are invited to join the
president and first lady. the cookout is free of charge, but registration is required. this event will be followed by the “Blacklight with the Blazers” pep rally at the Pe Complex with appearances from the VsU football players, Blazin’ Brigade, cheerleaders and red Hots dance team. admission to this is also free and requires no registration, but attendees are encouraged to wear white clothing to help cheer the Blazers on to victory against the florida tech Panthers on Oct. 5. the pep rally will be fol-
lowed by the Battle of the Bands in which students, faculty, staff and alumni will fight to win the title of best band on campus with some impressive prizes. Bands interested in registering should contact the Office of student Life at 229-333-5674. You can log on to the Homecoming website now to register for any specific events you or your organization is interested in. Be sure to grab a spectator next week to see what the second half of Homecoming week has to offer, as well as photos from the first half.
Futurstic meets classical in new video game soundtrack
elcome back to additive Noise, your No. 1source for music you probably haven’t heard before. this weekend i went to the store and traded in some old video games for credit to buy new ones. One of the two that i picked up is trion worlds’ recent release, “Defiance.” the game is set in a futuristic earth inhabited by a combination of humans and various alien races known collectively as “Votans.” the game is based on a tie-in television series (which i highly recommend) that airs on the syfy channel. in celebration of my new game, i decided to spend part of my week exploring the “Defiance” series soundtrack. One track in particular jumped out at me, but i admit it’s a little odd. “terraform my Heart” is a
song created specifically for Composers of all time, and “Defiance” by the series murecently wireD Magazine sic composer, Bear Mcdeclared him one of only five Creary, who ‘secret incidentally weapons’ of is also the the televicomposer sion indusfor “Battry.” tlestar Having lisGalactica,” tened to his with Becka McAleer work, i “the walking Dead,” and the brand new have to say i agree. “terseries “Marvel’s agents” of raform my Heart” is one of s.H.i.e.L.D.” the few songs i’ve heard that according to his website, manages to sound both futurwww.bearmccreary.com, Mc- istic and classic at the same Creary was “launched into time, which is perfect for pop culture with his ground“Defiance.” it features the breaking score to the hit sevocal styling of McCreary’s ries “Battlestar Galactica,” brother, Brendan McCreary. that was lauded by Variety as Brendan’s band, Young Beau‘the most innovative music tiful in a Hurry, provides sevon tV today.’ it ‘fits the aceral of the other tracks on the tion so perfectly, it’s almost “Defiance” soundtrack. devastating: a sci-fi score like Bear’s wife, raya Yarbrough, no other’ (NPr). io9.com also sings for many of the ranked McCreary one of the tracks. ten Best science fiction with a swift and striking
guitar riff and mid-pitch male vocals, it really sounds like what would happen if meteor men decided to do Led Zeppelin or twisted sister covers. the only major difference would be the whole half-the-song-is-in-anotherlanguage thing. Oh, did i mention that? while the chorus and a few sporadic phrases are in english, the majority of “terraform my Heart” is performed in the made-up language of irathient, named for and spoken by one of the alien races in the game. However, the song is so seamlessly put together than the change in language could go mostly unnoticed. whether or not you speak irathient or plan to play or watch “Defiance,” “terraform My Heart” should definitely make its way to your next playlist.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2013
PagE 5 | vSuSPEcTaToR.coM Former Blazers’ playing professionally overseas Drew Maynard - Trikalla (Greece) Tyrone Curnell - Palmeiras (Brazil) Sidney Harris - Atlanta A (USA) Billy McShepard - Speyer (Germany) Mike Holloway - Manitoba (Canada)
A N S W E R Josh Sparks takes talent overseas S Josh Sparks slams the ball on a fast break with his new team, U-ST Mobitelco.
Shane Thomas s p o rt s w r i t e r
More than six months since his last game in a Blazers uniform, Valdosta state’s all-time leading shot-blocker, Josh sparks, is ready to test himself professionally. sparks, a native of savannah, Ga., signed with C.s. U-Mobitelco Cluj-Napoca in romania’s first division, Liga Nationala on July 16. “the process has been going well,” sparks said. “it’s a different world out here. i’m thousands of miles away from anyone i know, but it’s definitely a move that i needed to make. Getting paid to play basketball is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” sparks became a VsU favorite with his energetic, above-the-rim play, which is quickly catching on with romanian fans. “Man, the fans here are awesome!” sparks said. “they are passionate about their city and their team. they have welcomed me with open arms as though i’ve been here forever.” “You can really see how much the kids love the game and it feels good to be able to go out
and put on a show for the all the fans.” At 6’9” with a 34.5-inch vertical leap, sparks has the size and athleticism to be a game-changer for U-Mobitelco, but he insists there is more to his game than meets the eye. “i still rely on my shot-blocking and athleticism,” sparks said. “But, i want to be able to show off my ball-handling and passing ability.” “over here, if i could become a good small forward, hopefully i could make a lot of money,” sparks added. “i’ve been taking and hitting my jumper more consistently, which comes from putting work in all summer.” in his senior season, sparks helped guide the Blazers to a 1910 record and an appearance in the Gulf south Conference championship game, averaging a career-best 13.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks. sparks admits getting acclimated to the european game has been a learning experience. “the game here is a little slower,” sparks said. “there is better spacing on offense. the defensive rotations are a little different. Also, the rules for traveling are completely different, which is something i’ve had to adjust to.”
For most players going overseas, living in a new country can be a bit overwhelming. But, according to sparks, the transition is getting easier by the day. “At first i kind of kept to myself,” sparks said. “i wasn’t sure how well everyone spoke english. But, it turns out everyone actually speaks and understands english pretty well so things have been going very good.” Very good, indeed as sparks has been a difference-maker off the bench for U-Mobitelco as the team finished 8-2 in the preseason and captured the City Cup. “overall, we felt it was a good preseason,” sparks said. “we’re excited to start our season up here soon and see how we can do in the romanian Championship!” in his first season as a pro, sparks wants to continue the success he experienced with the Blazers with his focus solely on the team. “My goal this year is to try and put up good numbers in whatever minutes i get,” sparks added. “i want to do whatever i can to help Cluj advance as far as we can in the romanian Championship.”
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VSU ready for Tampa regional Victoria Johnson s p o rt s w r i t e r email@example.com
Julia Armistead s p o rt s w r i t e r firstname.lastname@example.org
Valdosta state Cross Country both men and women teams are prepared for their upcoming preregionals tournament, hosted by the University of tampa on Friday. they will do their best to work together and figure out ways to oust their next opponents. Juliana Boehm, a senior from Kirschberg, Germany, believes the team has great potential to win in the upcoming tournaments throughout the rest of the season. “i think we are all in pretty
and renowned head coach for the cross country team. only have been here for two shorts months, he is giving all efforts in guiding his team to the top. “i know that i have not been here too long, but what sets me aside from coach smoot is that Photo by Sean Jarnigan from what i know, my structures The womens cross country runs in unisen during an event in Oxford, Miss. of practices are different. Coach Bell does shorter intervals, i good shape,” Boehm said. “we gionals tournament at Ut. make sure to incorporate longer just have to stay healthy, do what Boehm is very positive about intervals with a faster pace. we coach says, and try to get more the rest of the season and hopes have a longer tempo and change offensive at the beginning of the this positive attitude pays off at the pace up,” Bell said. races.” the girls have been startpre-regions and desires to make Having practice six days a ing off behind in races, with the it past this year to regionals, and week, with only one day in bestrategy of picking up the pace at even nationals. tween for breaks, coach Bell the end to beat opponents. with with most of the girls being knows what needs to be done to a change in pace at the beginextremely excited about the tour- provide the helpful push for the ning of the races, instead of the nament on Friday, each of them cross country team. end, the girls should finish victo- are going to try their best to get the Blazers head south for riously, as Boehm hopes. “we awesome personal times, hopetampa on Friday morning. have to stick together. we can do fully leading the team into the it” Boehm said, as last year’s number one spot. number one runner in the pre-re Coach Clinton Bell is the new
Blazers to host Rams Chris Kessler s p o rt s w r i t e r
No.1 Valdosta state football team (2-0) will have a tough time following up their 41-0 rout over shorter last saturday. Coming off the program's first shut-out since 2011, the defense looks to keep up their hard-hitting and physical play when Angelo state (1-2) comes to town, but Head Coach David Dean is still looking for improvement. “the one thing i'd like to see us do better is defending the pass, i don't think we defended the pass very well. we're going to face a lot teams that throw the ball, so we're going to have to get much better at that,” Dean said. AsU brings in a high powered offense that is 12th in the nation averaging 523 yards per game. the rams offense is led by duel threat quarterback Kyle washington, who has 859 combined rushing and passing yards on the season. “Just about everyone has (a mobile quarterback), you always have that plan in your mind of
how are you going to defend a mobile quarterback,” said Dean. “this is nothing really new for us, the whole deal is we contain him and keep him in the pocket.” Along with washington, the rams feature a pair of talented running-backs, Jermie Calhoun and Blake smith, that both rushed for over 100 yards last saturday. As good as AsUs offense has been, its offense has stalled inside the 20 yard-line, scoring only 52 percent when in the redzone. inside the red-zone, the Blazers' defense has been at their best, as evident from the last performance that saw VsU force two consecutive turnovers as shorter was on the verge of scoring. “that's kind of been the way we've been the last couple of years, we've been a team that breaks but we get into that 25 yard area we've been pretty good and don't break. we know teams are going to get yardage on us,” said Dean. “we force teams to be either methodical or patient in what they do, and a lot of teams aren't like that, they want that
big home-run, they don't want to take the four, five yard plays and when you get down in the redzone that's what you have to do”
the rams' defense has had their issues this year, surrendering 36 points per game and 480 total yards per game. VsU's offense should see plenty of chances to continue hitting big plays against Angelo state's defense,who gave up four plays that went for over 50 yards last saturday. “A lot of our scores have been big plays that are a concern. i would like to see us eat up some more clock up and keep our defense off the field, but you're never going to turn down a big play. As long as we keep doing that and winning, i'm fine without sustaining drives,” said Dean. this saturday’s game has been selected as the Gulf south Conference's “Game of the week”, and can be seen on espN3. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 pm at Bazemore-Hyder stadium.
september 26, 2013
Golf team torches first event Chris Webb s p o rt s w r i t e r
Valdosta state University golf team wrapped up its first tournament of the season finishing 9th at the fourth annual Jay Jennison Memorial at the palencia Club. the Blazers shot a collective 26-over par 890 for the three round event hosted by Flagler College in st. Augustine, Fla. the host saints won the team championship shooting a 1-over par 865. Queens University (N.C.) finished second shooting a 12-over par 876, then closely following behind in third was Georgia College who finished with a 23-over par 877 for the event. Alex weare of Queens (N.C.) finished with the individual title for the event after carding a 4under par 212. VsU showed a very promising debut with four of the five golfers finishing in the top 42. Austin McNiell lead the way
with a second round 71, finishing with a 3-over 219 good enough to finish tied for 15th. Freshman Florian schmiedel shot a 72 in the second round while shooting a 5-over par 221 finishing tied for 22nd. top qualifier John Fordham finished the event tied for 31st with an 8-over par 224, Alex Jones shot a second round 73 finishing tied for 42nd with an eleven-over 227. wheaton Hall rounds out the Blazers this week shooting a respectful 13-over 229 finishing him tied for 56th. the Blazers posted solid scores the whole tournament with single round scores ranging from 71 to 78. Valdosta state looks to build upon their early season top 10 next week teeing off next Monday, september 30 at the Aflac/Cougar invitational. the event will be held at the Country Club of Columbus in Columbus, Ga.