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Online dangers cause students to think twice about posting information, p. C4-C5

Section C

James Hubert Blake High School

December 16, 2011

Blake 2010 alumna overcomes teen pregnancy obstacles

Barnett feels motivated to raise her toddler while attending college xby David Hylton & Rachel Jaffe Health classes all over the nation show statistics that stress how teen pregnancy can be a difficult and overall detrimental situation for those who are affected by it. Class of 2010 alumna Natalie Barnett, however, has been able to find light with her junior year pregnancy and how it has changed her life. When Barnett found out that she was pregnant in October of her junior year, her life took a turn that she believes was for the better. She says, “I feel like such a better person…the joys of having my daughter outweighs any of the chaotic moments [I] have had.” Surprisingly and proudly, Barnett does not get offended when people say that teenage pregnancies are mistakes. She agrees that the pregnancy itself may be a mistake, but the baby should be viewed separately. “Babies are a blessing no matter the circumstance,” she says. “They are innocent and have no idea about the situation, so it’s unfair to say anything bad about them.” While Barnett has dealt incredibly well in balancing her college education and motherhood, there were many difficulties that she faced because of her pregnancy in high school. “It was hard telling my family,” she recalls. “The worst feeling in the world is feeling like you disappointed the people you love.” Despite her family’s initial reaction, they ended up being very supportive and encouraged Barnett to keep her baby.

Babies are a blessing no matter the circumstance. They are innocent and have no idea about the situation. Natalie Barnett With the support of her friends and teachers, Barnett says that the Blake community was very supportive of her pregnancy. She did find it necessary, however, to be homeschooled for the second half of her junior year due to the physical discomfort her pregnancy brought. Currently, Barnett commutes to college classes in order to pursue her dreams while living at home with her mom and her daughter, Keira. “I will never forget the day I was told that I wouldn’t do anything with my life and that I was just going to become another statistic,” says Barnett. “Keira is my motivation to keep all things possible in my reach. I don’t doubt myself or my abilities to have a good job and [to] be able to support myself and Keira because I know I can do it.”

Non-exclusive Bengals cannot commit, would rather ‘hit and quit’ by Larisha Winley x & Leisha Winley

Forget candlelit dinners and late nights snuggling on the couch. Nowadays, Bengals ‘hit it and quit it’ without as much as a hello. Non-exclusive dating. Past the point of ‘talking‘, but still no titles. The new-age way of having a relationship. “Some people like being in a committed relationship, and maybe that works for them,” says junior Monica Webb*. “But high school relationships don’t last. I don’t see the point of putting myself out there and being exclusive with someone if we’re most likely not going to last.” Many students have found that having a non-exclusive relationship lessens the stress that is usually present in committed relationships. “I’m a senior in high school and

New epidemic hits Blake, curious students choose to swim their way through dating pool, remain single there’s no point in starting a relationship when I’m leaving for college in a couple months,” says senior Walter Jacobs*. Other reasons students have chosen to be in non-exclusive relationships are, avoiding the break up and any emotional damage an exclusive relationship may cause, not being tied down but still being able to do the “relationship stuff.” Dating has simply become getting to know someone without a commitment. “Not all people can be in a nonexclusive relationship,” warns Jacobs who

names jealousy as the biggest problem with non-exclusive dating. Senior Josh Chang believes nonexclusive relationships go against the very nature of relationships, which Chang defines as a commitment between two people. “Non-exclusive dating kills love that is so integral to relationships,” says Chang. “[It] breaks trust bonds and [increases] jealousy issues.” Senior Amanie Musa views nonexclusive dating as “unstable,” adding, “it allows for an uncommitted relationship and

doesn’t teach people about the responsibilities of being in a true relationship.” While some students see many benefits in having a non-exclusive relationship, others see it as beneficial for only one partner. “Non-exclusive dating is basically friends with benefits,” says junior Debbie Corn*. “It’s just a way for guys to use girls.” However, these relationships can take a turn for the worse when one of the participants wants to make things official. Webb is currently dealing with the downside of her non-exclusive relationship. “I wish I could say we were on the same page but he wants something more serious; and maybe we’re working towards that by just dating, but for now I hope [he‘s okay with] being relaxed.” *Names have been changed


The Blake Beat

December 16, 2011

Hydrating tutorial promises results, uses organic products by Priya Dadlani x & Jane Hwang ‘Tis the season to be jolly, but not to have dry, cracked lips. With the first winter snow fall and cold winter days come dehydrated, chapped skin. There are all different types of lip balms you can invest in, but nothing compares to the occasional exfoliating of lips. Instead of buying a pricey brand name exfoliant that contains unnatural ingredients, making your own organic exfoliant is easy

and fun to do. All you need to create your exfoliant is honey, sugar and Vaseline. First pour a tablespoon of honey into a small bowl, and then add two teaspoons of sugar. Afterward add a dime sized amount of Vaseline into your mixture. Mix the ingredients together so it looks like a grainy paste. For the best results, dab your lips with a wet, hot towel for around 5-10 minutes as this will help to strip away dead skin cells during exfoliation. Using your fingers, apply the paste on

to your lips, gently scrub, reaching all parts of your lips. Gently rub for about one minute, and then just wash off the excess scrub. This will leave your lips feeling healthier and smoother. Sophomore Gabby Jones says, “I would love to try this method because the ingredients can be found around the house and it is 100% natural.” If you don’t own these ingredients they can be easily purchased at the grocery store. If you’re allergic to any of these products, you can substitute them with any product

with a similar texture. Chapped lips are unattractive on everyone, not just girls. Guys should take care of their skin just as much. “I hate having dry lips; it’s so annoying and unpleasant to look at,” says junior Ryan Choe. The typical methods of lip moisturizing are chapsticks and lip balms, but sometimes those products just don’t cut it and do not remove the dead skin cells Junior Estefania Velez adds, “In the winter, the dryness of the air causes not just my lips to dry out, but my skin too.”

Bengals bring style behind hot wheels

Juniors, seniors ride without restrictions, experience freedom x by Dorian Purse & Michelle Ung Remember dreaming of the car you would ride when you got older? Our fantasy cars were our tickets to freedom and adventure. Some Bengals ride their dream cars as their everyday transportation, making others envious. “I don’t miss riding the bus because I hated waiting for [it] and it was crowded,” says senior Kevin Wang. “I get more privacy [with my car].” Wang has been driving a 2012 Ford Mustang since September, but he started driving to school since last year. Wang drives to work, friend’s houses, the mall and anywhere else he needs to. “I feel like with my own car I can go anywhere without any restrictions. I don’t feel confined to my neighborhood,” adds Wang. Senior Paris Broadus has been driving her BMW X5 since the summer of 2011. Broadus has not ridden the bus since 6th grade because her mother would give her rides to school. “I have a lot of freedom with having my own car. I can be out and not have to worry about being home

I feel like with my own car I can go anywhere without any restrictions. Kevin Wang

so someone else can use it,” says Broadus. “Getting my car wasn’t really a reward but more of a convenience for my mom,” says junior Emily Tempchin, who drives both her brothers to their practices and herself to dance practices which are about the only places that she drives. Tempchin drives an Acura RDX that she has had for almost three months. Tempchin has been able to drive legally with her license for five months. Her biggest fear about parking in the student parking lot is her car getting scratched up. Broadus has a hard time saying “no” to friends who ask for rides. “A lot of people do ask for rides, mostly because they know I have a car,” says Broadus. Similar to Broadus, Wang is generous with the rides that he gives out. He drives friends who do not have cars or people who have an emergency. Adds Wang, “ I don’t charge gas money unless it’s really far because I feel its rude because friends are suppose to help each other out, not be stubborn over a small favor [like driving somewhere].”

From top to bottom: senior Kevin Wang proudly exhibits his Mustang, junior Emily Tempchin poses next to her Acura and seniors (from left to right) Valentina

Garcia, Julian Carr, and Edwin Rodriguez pose on Paris Broadus’ (not pictured) BMW X5. -- photos by Tram Truong

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

by Molly Cohen x & Samara Tu

Words with Friends uses words from the Enhanced North American Benchmark Lexicon (ENABLE), a list used by many word games. Even though students use words that they know for the game, they often find themselves making up words to see if it’s acceptable or not. At times the game can get competitive. Some players go as far as cheating by taking a screenshot of their board to look up words that fit the existing letters and spaces. “This is how you know the game is serious: when people get this defensive,” says senior Gloria Henriquez. Even though it may be a good game for some students, players have recommended some improvements to Words with Friends. Senior Nick Tatnall would like a check button so the player will know if their answer is correct before it is submitted. As for others, Ramsey suggests the addition of a hint button to recommend words to the player. Although some students play the game for fun, it has its benefits as well. It allows players to connect with friends wherever they are and gives students a place to use their newfound SAT words. Senior Erica Ragland adds, “It helps you learn some new words and it makes learning fun.”

BREAKING NEWS: the Scrabble game that your parents once bugged you to play on family game night just became a new online trend. Words with Friends allows students to battle it out with their vocabulary to score as many points as possible. Players are given more than 24 hours in between turns to make a move and, just like Scrabble, they take turns forming words horizontally and vertically. “I grew up playing Scrabble so I like these word games,” says senior Tai Ramsey. “It’s fun to play [against] your friends and to beat them.” It’s a new mobile twist to the traditional family game. Available to play on Android, Facebook, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Words with Friends connects friends at any time of day. As a result, students find themselves checking their phone often to see who’s made a move on the board. Adds Ramsey, “It’s really cool how [the game] is connected to Facebook. It makes it a lot easier to find people to play.” While the game is slightly different from Scrabble, students have found the game addicting. Adds senior Doug Steinman, “I find [the game to be] very distracting especially when you’re in the middle of a texting conversation and find yourself more focused on a game of scrabble.”

Sparknotes, Schmoop keep students from acquiring passion for reading by Emily Caulfied x & Hannah Kenney With family dinners, afterschool activities and AP classes, Sparknotes and a newer reading resource site, Schmoop, take some of the strain of everyday stresses off of students. A popular subject that varies from student to student is which internet sites have the most accurate and helpful information on chapter summaries, as well as book analyses, meaningful quotes and theme statements. Senior Marsha

Mathers* says, “The themes and significant quotes are really helpful in comparing my thoughts to those of others, and help me form stronger opinions and understandings of the book.” Schmoop seems to be unfamiliar to most students compared to the more popular resource sites such as Sparknotes and Pink Monkey. The book summaries have been found to have very accurate and precise detail as far as book summaries go. Says sophomore Tiffany Smith*, “Even though Schmoop doesn’t have an analy-

sis, the summaries are ten times better and easier to understand, allowing you to develop your own analysis.” However, sophomore Marty Millsboro* disagrees about Schmoop’s efficiency. “The only reason I use a summary resource sites is to get a quick understanding and analysis,” says Millsboro. “Schmoop has a good summary but no analysis therefore making me do more work than I want.” Also a fan of Sparknotes, junior Brian Ketchum* says, “Being in AP Language, I have a lot

of trouble analyzing Shakespeare’s text because the language is confusing, but Sparknote’s No Fear Shakespeare section helps me out a lot.” No Fear Shakespeare has back-to-back Shakespearian literature from the Elizabethan era translated into modern context. Like Sparknotes, Schmoop also offers unique educational features like photos for visual learners and practice quizzes. Senior Perry Huffington* is team Sparknotes but still believes that Schmoop has more variety in the resources it offers. “After I read the analysis off of

Sparknotes, I take a few practices quizzes on Shmoop just to test what I learned,” says Huffington. Schmoop also offers more features not relating to book summaries like SAT and ACT preparation, college 101, AP exams, flashcards and several different sections dedicated to subjects like music, economics, biology and algebra. Senior Murphey Buddsworth* says, “When combining Schmoop and Sparknotes, it is a great way to know the book without reading it, but the best option is to read the [book].”

[These sites] are a great way to know the book without reading it, but the best option is to read the book. Murphey Buddsworth*

Digital Graphic Artists Wanted If you are a freshman, sophomore or junior and have talent in the digital arts, the Blake Beat wants to talk to YOU! Send five examples from your digital portfolio to adviser Kevin Keegan at


The Blake Beat

December 16, 2011

Attention all witch, wizard, goblin and ghoul lovers...

Fantasy book club welcomes readers of the magical sort to share their literary experiences Blake Reads Fantasy Book Club displays some of their favorite imaginative books. Top row: media specialist Susie Treat, sophomore Kirsten Hines, seniors Emily Dollemore and Kealea Foy and junior Ryan Reynolds; middle row: juniors Catherine

by Emily Eaglin x & Johnelle Revelle

Intimate discussions about the latest books and authors, a get-together with friends, a catered and delicious lunch and, best of all, media specialist Susie Treat; if this sounds like some good times, then check out one of the Blake Reads book clubs. Blake has two different book clubs: Blake Reads and Blake Reads Fantasy Book Club. Because of the high demand for fantasy book discussion from Bengal bookworms, our school has added a new fantasy branch. All fairy, witch, warlock, vampire and troll lovers are welcome to join. Many students see the library’s club

as a relaxing break in their school day. “It’s the best way to unwind during school,” says sophomore Kirsten Hines. In a time where books and stories have been replaced by a virtual world of entertainment, many believe that joining a book club is just what some students need to not only improve their learning experience, but also to enhance their knowledge. “It’s better to cuddle up with a book than to be cuddled with a game controller and blow up zombies,” says junior Yadira Aguilar. Some students feel limited by their English class where they are assigned books so they join book clubs that allow them to choose their next read. Mrs. Treat created these book clubs to unite Bengal readers three years ago. “We

Wingate and Cecilia Kwakye and sophomore Riley Cruickshank; bottom row: sophomore Catherine Wingate and junior Michael Cheang. -- photos by media assistant Janet Smith. enjoy reading a variety of books in different genres,” says Mrs. Treat, “… rather than discussing one particular book in depth… we read thematically.” Mrs. Treat explains that the book club reads books by themes to focus on what students liked or disliked about the book as well as to compare how the book goes under the genre that it is placed in. Even though the book club is organized in this way, “there is lots of room within those parameters for students to select something they will enjoy.” If a student does not want to read the same book as the book club, he or she is free to choose their own and suggest it to the rest of the club. “Reading is the portal that opens up new worlds,” says sophomore Riley Cruickshank. Recently, the book club

has read best sellers such as Wicked Lovely in 2009, The Hunger Games series in 2010 and the Heir trilogy this year. Students of all ages are united through the book club and find it a great way to make new friends. What is one thing, aside from books, that all the book club members enjoy? “The good food,” as junior member Ryan Reynolds puts it. Make no mistake, though - all of the members are there for the books. “Everything here is a joy to be a part of,” says senior Emily Dollemore. The members of the book club encourage all readers to come into the library’s office every other Tuesday, grab some sweets, brace themselves for some fun conversation, open a book and READ.

The Blake Beat


Students gather around Mangels as he practices surprising poi skills during lunch x by Robert Krakaur & Andrew Markowitz We’ve all seen it while walking down G hallway: a glimpse of the light from the swinging nunchucks of junior Kyle Mangels. You can’t help but wonder what that kid’s up to. What Mangles does is called poi, and he became hooked to the hobby by his friends. “They came into my house with a poi and I was immediately interested,” says Mangels. He doesn’t do it for competition or performance. “I just like to do it when I’m walking home or to class,” adds Mangels, “I actually spin just about anywhere, all the time.” Poi is the performance art of swinging tethered weights through a variety of rhythmical and geometric patterns. It originated in New Zealand with the Maori

people and has expanded to other countries. Junior Richard Miller is a close friend of Mangels. He, among a few other friends, has tried swinging once or twice. “I picked it up a few weeks ago with one of Kyle’s practice ones,” adds Miller, “It was fun; I might like to get into it. But I’m nowhere as good as Kyle.” Miller is especially attracted to the bright lights and the fast swinging. Says Miller, “I [can’t help but] stare at the poi when Kyle swings. It’s really cool.” Mangels is not done adding to his poi collection yet. He has one set, and plans to get another, and maybe another in the future. “I’d like to buy one that lights up a different color,” says Mangels. “Most of the guys I know have multiple poi, and I don’t want to fall behind.” On the website, the range of prices can be from 15 dollars to 45 dollars.

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Junior attracts crowds, lights up hallways with swinging nunchucks

oto by Al lie M a

December 16, 2011

Actual poi is not the only product offered on the website. There are free online lessons, as well as lessons where the pupil goes to a local poi gym, which is very popular in New Zealand. There is a list of 92 poi products and accessories including wands, spinning plates, nylon ropes, and clubs. Next time you see Mangels swinging in the hallways, don’t resist going up to him and asking about the art of poi. Says Mangels, “I like it when people go up to me and ask me what I’m doing. [It’s fun when] they give it a try.”

Animal lovers dress pets in holiday spirit x by Samara Tu & Melissa Whitaker You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, and Donner and Blitzen, but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? Of course, your dog Max dressed as one of Santa’s reindeer. For the holidays, students and their families have made sure to include their pets in their family traditions by giving them presents and dressing them up as one of Santa’s little elves. Along with Christmas gifts every year, senior Francesca Salazar dresses up her two cats, Heidi and Anastasia. “I think as long as your pet doesn’t feel bothered by [dressing up]…then I think it’s fine,” says Salazar. “I would never force them if they refused to put on something. I take their feelings into consideration.” She plans to buy them elf hats and antlers for the Christmas season. While many students enjoy dressing up their pets, others oppose the idea. Senior Claudia Gomes owns a cat, but does not dress it up for the holidays. Gomes says, “I think [people who dress up their pets] are weird. Most animals have fur for a reason so we don’t really need to put anything else on them.” Senior Kathryn Evans believes that those who spend money to dress up their pets can do what they want as long as it’s not abuse. However, for her, spending a substantial amount of money on her cat is unnecessary. Evans says, “The way I see it some children don’t get clothes and Christmas presents, so I’d rather spend my money on charity than a sweater for my cat.” Although there are students who would not spend money on pet clothes, there are some who would spend money on gifts for their pet. Senior Emily Minter has a stocking for her Pomeranian Cassie that she fills with doggy treats and new toys. “We think of Cassie as family,” says Minter. “She is so close to us in every way. We treat her like family by feeding her people food, and letting her sit on our laps and sleep in our beds and on our couches.” Adds Salazar, “My pets need as much care as you would give anyone else. I just believe that [my cats’] life is worth as much as ours. People might say that they’re just animals but they have personalities and emotions just like you and me.”

Senior Emily Minter shows off her holiday spirit along with her Pomeranian Cassie and her

stocking in front of the Christmas tree. -- photo by Cecilia Girolami

Fashion over finances, looking good comes first for a lot of students Trendy teens seeking aesthetic allure tend to ignore steep pricetags By Grace Plihal x & Sarah Mansaray Polo brand shirt for $35. Air Jordan Concord sneakers for $200. Levis for $50, a snapback hat for $55 and a $140 Northface jacket to top it all off. An outfit for $480 sounds a little ridiculous, but believe it or not, many students today will pay this much or more just to look good and fit in. In a world where everyone has to have the newest, coolest, sleekest new item, it’s only fitting that clothes are no exception. “I buy more expensive clothes because I want

people to know that I can afford better, nice things,” says senior Jean-Claude Tzeuton. “Some of it is peer pressure.” Tzeuton began splurging on shoes in middle school. It has become increas-

cash on name brand clothes, shoes and accessories. “My outfit totals to about $350,” says senior Edwin Callendar, who is wearing sweatpants, a T-shirt and some sneakers on this particular day.

senior Janet Jackson. The newest Underarmour brand clothes can sell for hundreds of dollars just because of how highly anticipated they are. Victoria’s Secret bras can sell for up to $150.

I buy more expensive clothes because I want people to know that I can afford better, nice things. Jean-Claude Tzeuton ingly common for teenagers in America to place extreme importance on the way they look. For some people, this means spending a plethora of

Girls also splurge on certain items, especially expensive shoes. “Even though [Uggs are] expensive, I am willing to pay for a nice, warm pair,” says

And it’s not rare at all to see a mile-long line of adolescent boys in front of a shoe store at strange hours of the night, waiting for the newest

Nikes to be released. But for some teenagers, it’s not all about the brand name. Senior Malachi Broadus, who can be seen proudly representing brands like Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch, says, “I shop at expensive stores because their [clothing is] usually better quality.” Whether it is to impress someone, to go along with the crowd or to just want to look good, spending a good portion of a paycheck on clothes has become a ritual for teenagers today. “I think it’s [out of control] to spend hundreds of dollars on an outfit,” says senior Sara Asomaning.

C8 Joey E = You’re an awesome boyfriend and You Rock!! -----------------------------Join Sign Language Club! -----------------------------Janine Taira is the biggest, baddest, meanest, cooliest mama taco in the galaxy -----------------------------Michelle Ung sucks <3 -----------------------------Kelly <3 Taylor Swift -----------------------------Hello sweetie -----------------------------You are reading this -----------------------------Call me…sexy <3 -----------------------------I <3 you. Do you love me? -----------------------------Happy Early B-Day Kelly Stock!!! -----------------------------Happy birthday Michael Joiner <3 -----------------------------What time is it?? #TebowTime -----------------------------Do you have hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia? -----------------------------In Chicago, you can’t fish while on a giraffe’s neck -----------------------------In Marshalltown, Iowa, horses can’t eat fire hydrants. In Galveston, Texas, you can’t throw trash from an airplane -----------------------------In Florida, it is illegal to sell your children -----------------------------In New York, the punishment for jumping off a building is death -----------------------------If only the Redskins had a quarterback like Michael Bolt -----------------------------How can you tell someone’s a compulsive liar? I mean, assuming that their pants aren’t on fire! -----------------------------Don’t be exactly ½ of an 11 lb black forest ham! -----------------------------Where’s Perry? -----------------------------Pumpkin spice latte= perfection -----------------------------I don’t like frost on my windows -----------------------------Hey what’s up I don’t like Lucas he’s annoying -----------------------------InDesign does not cooperate

December 16, 2011

UnClassifieds See any BEAT staffer to buy your Unclassified in our next issue. 70¢ for the first ten words, 5¢ for each additional word -----------------------------Trying not to be frustrated -----------------------------9 days until Christmas! -----------------------------GITL LOVE <3 Nationals bound! -----------------------------Marry me Ms. Powell -----------------------------I want to be Dr. P when I grow up -----------------------------Your feet are gross -----------------------------We sweat 4 gallons a day -----------------------------If you were a booger, I’d pick you first -----------------------------There are no stupid questions-just stupid people. -----------------------------Poms! -----------------------------An apple a day, keeps the doctor away… -----------------------------But if the doctor is cute - screw fruit -----------------------------12+83=6 -----------------------------Matt Lipshultz is the worst math tutor -Jessica -----------------------------Happy Christhanukwanzaa -----------------------------“So you’re just gonna let it hang there?” -----------------------------Erica likes to get freakayy with her piano -----------------------------Thank you Carolina Camacho, Lillian Hudroge, Becca Schwartz, and the beautiful Cassandra who I just met and gave me 50 cents. Also Leah Patterson, you guys saved me from the “corner”. -----------------------------Becca Schwartz is an amazing girl who gave me $2 for unclassified ads in the last 10 minutes before school started. That’s how awesome she is.

-----------------------------Hello boys and girls -----------------------------The Blake Beat staff is actually amazing and we are all so proud of you guys for working so hard. You’re all the best! -----------------------------I was born in a ditch, sir! Josiah Bounderby -----------------------------It’s all a terrible muddle. Stephen Blackpool -----------------------------Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts! Thomas Gradgrind -----------------------------‘Father, father! Pray don’t hurt the creature who is so fond of you!’ -----------------------------The Thquire thtood by you, Thethilia, and I’ll thtand by the Thquire. -----------------------------I will hold thy hand, and keep beside thee, Stephen, all the way. -----------------------------YOU DRANK MY JUICE! ------------------------------I can’t wait until Lauren gets her wisdom teeth removed ------------------------------My name is Booie and you know what I got! ------------------------------What do you got!? ------------------------------I got some paws that are hotter than hot! ------------------------------How hot is hot? ------------------------------My F.H. is perfect <3 ------------------------------Walking annnnnnnddd running too! ------------------------------Uh huh uh huh? ------------------------------If your English teacher didn’t take you laser tagging you’d be mad

The Blake Beat ------------------------------I bet you can’t do what my owner can do! ------------------------------My name is Booie’s owner and you know what I got? ------------------------------What do you got!? ------------------------------You’re the one Boo, one Boo, something about them paws that you walk on. Got the body of a Great Dane! ------------------------------I hate Joal Chen! Janine is the best. Love gingy. ------------------------------I love Emily and Emily and wittle cheeseburger and G. ------------------------------Jourdan Lewanda Is friends with the bus driver. His name is Carlos. ------------------------------Dear Sandra, I love you! Bye ------------------------------Tim Tebow is Jesus Christ #TebowTime #TebowNation #Tebowing -------------------------------FREE MATT BIRD! -------------------------------FREE MATT BIRD! -------------------------------FREE MATT BIRD! -------------------------------Come to the Blake Basketball home games! Be loud, be proud, be the 6th man! ------------------------------Dr. Phillips has a greater social life than I do! ------------------------------Good luck to everyone in #GTL in their Mock Congressional hearing today! #Winning ----------------------------------Slothing through the day keeps the doctor away ----------------------------------Shout out all those kids freezing their butts off on Indoor Track. #DEDICATION ----------------------------------Why did Matt Bird get kicked out? ----------------------------------Yo Fairy, you ever heard of second chances? ----------------------------------The reign of Mr. DuBoyce has begun. Dark times are upon us! ----------------------------------The Unclassifieds page is difficult ----------------------------------Why don’t you focus your life on some-

Controversial BCS full of matchups of electric players in legendary programs, p. D6

Fasdmen;rit uhnbroiutbnsrtnrtnsrtjsrtj rysrjrstjsfsr Section D

James Hubert Blake High School


December 16, 2011

Defense gets Lady Bengals off to impressive 2-1 start

Girls’ basketball rebounds from loss with blowout win by young team

x by John Beers & Lucas Irvin

Girls’ varsity basketball has started the season strong, winning two games by an average of 31 points and holding a record of 2-1. Monday night, the Lady Bengals won in their second shutout of the season, crushing the Wheaton Lady Knights 57-21. Says junior guard Caroline Wannen, “It was a solid win for us and we were able to work on important things like finishing on offense.” All eligible players scored, with both Wannen and senior forward Alexis Earley finishing with 10 points. Junior forward Fran Inman also added 11 rebounds and junior center Danielle Snowden got eight assists. Says Earley, “Once we step out on the court we need to come out with full intensity each and every game.” The Lady Bengal’s tenacious full court press and persistence at the rim were not enough December 9 against the Walter Johnson Lady Wildcats, as they lost 48-37. “All of our individual talents gel well together,” adds Earley. “We are starting to become good at pressing the other team on defense and getting steals.” However, they played a bit too aggressively,

Senior guard Alexis Earley passes a defender on a fast break en route to a 62-36 win against the Einstein Lady Titans December 6 in which Earley scored 14 points.--photo by Dennis Chan

landing them in foul trouble throughout the game. Wannen led the team in scoring with 14 points, with Earley and Snowden both finishing with nine points. The team realizes that, even with their strong start, they need to work on their fundamentals to better themselves. Says Snowden, “We all work really hard and we’re always correcting our mistakes to get better.” The Lady Bengals began their season with a resounding 62-36 win over the Einstein Lady Titans. The team rebounded after falling behind 7-0 early on in the game, and never trailed after taking a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. “We’re good at being aggressive and fast breaking, but we need to work on our set offenses,” says Wannen. The aggressive defense was also the key in this game as the Lady Bengals forced 22 turnovers. Snowden and Inman each posted doubledoubles while Earley threw down points. The Lady Bengals have a very young squad, with Earley being the only senior on the team. “I’m the captain and I love being the leader of the squad,” says Earley. “It will be better for them next year because…they will all already have played together for a full year.” The girls face the Quince Orchard Lady Cougars tonight at 7 at Blake. Says Inman, “We have good defensive strategy and our offense has been coming together nicely, so I think we’re going to win.”

Richards pours in 18 points in win over Wheaton Knights

Upcoming opponents include Quince Orchard, Wootton, Springbrook

by Matt Present x & Michael Errigo

Three games into the regular season and the boys’ varsity basketball team is undefeated after a 71-46 win over the Wheaton Knights Monday. Blake led start to finish as they dominated the inside game, feeding big men, senior forward Avery Ugba, with 12 points, and senior forward Magnus Richards, with 18 points, against the Knights two-three zone. Blake’s size, which has been a weaker point in past seasons, also held their own on the defensive end, blocking shots and intercepting passes into the paint, allowing the Bengals to get out in transition. “It’s a great start, it’s all you could ask for right now,” says coach Marcus Wiggins. “We’re tall and we’re athletic so we should be in every game, but when that pressure time comes and division games start, we’ll really

see what we’re made of.” The boys traveled to take on the Walter Johnson Wildcats December 9. It was a nail-biter, as the Bengals struggled to hit their outside shots, but hung tough on the defensive end. Blake was able to hang on to win 58-54, led by the efforts of Ugba who had a game high of 22 points, most of them coming in the second half. “My teammates fed me the ball when we weren’t shooting well,” says Ugba. “I was all about me getting the 50/50 ball and getting rebounds and put backs.” However, the team shot just 14-23 from the foul line, something they will need to improve on in a hurry if they are going to pull out close games down the stretch. The Bengals opened the season on the road against the Einstein Titans. Senior forward Magnus Richards got the team energized early with two slam dunks. “I try to take advantage of every opportunity I get

to show off my athleticism,” says Richards. “I like to get my teammates excited during the games.” Blake continued to dominate, outscoring the Einstein 45-6 in the middle two quarters. Everyone on the team played and scored, led by Ugba and senior guard Ricky Barnes with 13 and 11 respectively, as they routed the Titans 82-29. Today the team will go on the road to face the Quince Orchard Cougars at 7pm. The Cougars have a reputation for playing a high pressure, full court defense which should play into Blake’s hands. “We need to work harder in executing our plays properly,” says Barnes. “But that comes in time. For now we’re a transition team and we execute that well.” The squad will conclude the 2011 portion of their schedule with back-to-back home games, first against the Wootton Patriots Monday, followed by a showdown with consortium rival, the Springbrook Blue Devils Wednesday.

Blake 71, Wheaton 46 Blake




Magnus Richards Avery Ugba Ricardo Barnes Akindele Jones Ryan Deane Edward Bonsu Stefan Sigwalt Sakoo Lebrew Deshante Brown Jamil Gordon Breon Herbert Lloyd Ferguson Shakir Metellus Jalen Hawkins Yonas Million Langston Payne Ayinde Warren Ibrahim Kallou Travaris Rogers Javaunne Walters

18 12 8 7 6 5 5 4 2 2 2 10 9 6 6 4 4 3 2 2

When that pressure time comes and division games start, we’ll really see what we’re made of. MARCUS WIGGINS

Varsity wrestling hopes for undefeated season under new coach, p. D3


The Blake Beat

December 16, 2011

Swim and dive makes splash with strong start to season

New coach brings toughness, hopes to drive team to farther depths x by John Beers & Brandon Weber With new coach Ryan Burnsky, the Blake swim and dive team opened up the season strong with great efforts by both new and veteran members of the team. The Bengals’ second meet of the season had them matched up against the Northwest Jaguars December 10. Senior Shawn Glisson and freshman Nikos Koufos led the team with impressive efforts throughout the competition. The younger members of the team also stepped up including freshman Frankie Hedgepeth who won his race while fellow freshman Thomas Plihal put forth a great showing in the 500 freestyle. Says senior captain David Altobelli, “Everyone on the team has a job to do: go as fast as they can.” The defending division champs tested their ability against the Paint Branch Panthers December 3, winning the scrimmage 148-33. The boys were led by standout performances from Altobelli and junior captain Cory Camp, while the girls featured strong performances from senior captains Rachel Jaffe and Amanda Freeman. Camp took first in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke, while Altobelli won the 50 and 100 freestyle. Jaffe and Freeman dominated all of their events, including 100

freestyle and 100 breaststroke. “We have a great team this year [that] can compete with any other team in the division,” says Camp. Heading into the season, the Bengals were faced with the challenge of replacing longtime coach Jared Fribush, who became Blake’s Athletic Director. “Mr.Fribush was a great coach,” adds Altobelli. “A lot of us were wondering who he would place us with.” Their new coaching staff consists of coach Burnsky and assistant coach Kevin Heyden. “Burnsky is a very good coach,” says senior Mark Cirincione. “He makes all practices tough, and I admire him for that because it makes the team better.” Even with the loss of Mr.Fribush and 1st-Team All-Met swimmer Spencer Sterling, the Bengals still believe they have what it takes to win another division championship. Adds Camp, “We lost some great seniors last year, [but] we have a great upperclassmen group that can hopefully lead us to repeat as champs and possibly even regional champs.” “Our team always goes in and comes out with a strong spirit,” says junior Laura Smethurst. The Bengals look to show that resilient spirit as they take on the Poolesville Falcons tomorrow at Germantown Indoor Swim Center.

David Altobelli

Indoor track and field strides towards goals, hurdles over inexperience Bengals hope to continue record setting pace, replace lost seniors by Jake Gordon x & Rachel Jaffe

Despite the loss of many senior runners, the boys’ and girls’ indoor track and field teams are off to promising starts, capturing an invitational track record and achieving respectable times early on. December 10, the running Bengals traveled to the Community College of Baltimore County and proved that even with their significant losses--

they are still a force to be reckoned with this year. Juniors Marc Assoua, Justin Ingram, Graylyn Broadnax, and senior Leroy Radway set a CCBC track record of 1:19.26 in the 4 x 160 meter event. “This year we lost a lot of seniors… but we’re putting people in the right places to make big things happen,” says Radway. “Our team goals are to have everyone get to states.” The Bengals had their first scrimmage December 3. Seniors such as Amina Irving took the

opportunity to set an example for new members. “Being a captain this year takes patience because it’s hard to teach people things that you’re already so familiar with,” says Irving. “At the scrimmage it was good to see all of the new people working their hardest against their competition and seeing how they react… to the new atmosphere.” Many athletes are proving that they potentially have what it takes to qualify for the upcoming state meet. One of these athletes,

junior Darius Oxley, had an impressive performance at the scrimmage in the 500m, finishing second in his heat with one of the top three times of the day. Irving finished 7th out of 35 runners in the 55m hurdles with a 9.95 at CBCC, already a fraction of a second away from a future state qualifying time. Head coach Charlie Simms is encouraged by both the teams’ veteran and novice performances thus far. “This year’s girls and boys teams are young, but

everyone shows a lot of promise,” says Simms. “Our season goals are to improve from the scrimmage and get as many kids to the state meet and get people around the county talking about Blake track.” Seniors such as Cameron Constantine plan to fight to the finish this year. Says Constantine, “We need to stay motivated, put in effort and encourage others to do the same. I’m excited because this is my last time to shine.”

The James Hubert Blake Administration, Faculty and Staff congratulate these members of the 2011-2012 National Honor Society: Angela Bair Jenna Beers John Beers Thais Calderon Michael Chheang Ryan Choe Lindsey Comer

Derick Ansah Anthony Bui* Danielle Blocker Joal Chen Charles Cheng Savannah DoaneMalotte Christian Domaas Kathryn Evans Mary Fernandes* Lane Flynn* Linus Francis Kristen Frese


Lydia Curdts Alison Dionne Aryn Frazier Eric Gottlieb Rachel Hewitt Hamza Khan-Tareen Michael Kister

Westin Lee Jourdan Lewanda Michelle Nguyen Pradip Ramamurti Anna Steinfeld Julia Stewart Kelly Stock


Kathryn Fuchs Neva Gakavian Hayley Glantz* Jake Gordon Ramanda Graham David Hylton Lucas Irvin* Rachel Jaffe Christian Jeong Robert Korycinski* Kevin Lam Adele Leishman Zoey Lee

Irene Lemberos Sarah Lipkowitz Matthew Lipshultz Eugene Litman Monika Looney Julie Lopatka* Stephanie Luk Melissa McNabb Mihir Nakrani Lauren Paniati Seonghwan Park Leah Patterson Grace Plihal

Janine Taira Denise Venero Natasha Virjee Russell Wanke Caroline Wannen Rachel Woo Ellen Wood

Andrea Ramirez* Jahmila Roberts Ghulam Sallman Nick Tatnall Samara Tu Erica Wang Kevin Wang Brandon Weber Jenna Williams Larisha Winley Leisha Winley Rhea Wyse *Asterisks indicate Spring Inductees.

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

The Bengals traveled to Blair High School December 7 to face off against the Blazers. Junior Brandon Deane (171) acheived the first win of his varsiry career

with a pin early in the first period. The squad went on to defeat their opponents 45-36 on the road in a tough late match victory. -- photo by Niki Byrd

Head coach Jeter looks to continue wrestling’s success by Sammi Levitt x& Savannah Tryens After an impressive undefeated season last year, the varsity wrestling squad hopes to pin down another victorious season; however, the loss of the head coach and four seniors who all were in the state tournament will prove to be difficult obstacles to overcome. Last weekend, the wrestlers competed in the annual Mad Mats tournament at Magruder High School. Overall, the squad finished fifth out of 11. However,

many of the wrestlers placed in the top five in their weight classes. Senior William Sewell finished first in the 220 weight class, senior Edwin Callendar finished second in the 182 weight class, senior Brian Battaglia finished fourth in the 160 weight class, and senior Jack Hawvermale and junior Folarin Orimolade each finished fifth in the 132 and 195 weight classes, respectively. Adds Callendar, “I’m impressed with the team so far; we have a lot of wrestlers that will win us matches.”

December 7, the squad traveled to Blair for their first match of the season. The first seven weight class matches were all determined by pins. At the halfway point, the Bengals were down 30-12, with all but two of their wrestlers being pinned. But the Bengals bounced back and won their next five weight class matches, bringing the score to 45-30. The boys won the match 45-36. “We weren’t sure how we were going to do against Blair,” says Battaglia. “Fortunately we were able to overcome our inex-

perience and get the win in the last half of the match.” With the loss of several star wrestlers last season, many of the new varsity members now have a chance to step up and prove themselves, many of whom were JV champions last year. Says Coach Dustin Jeter, “We have a great team that has the potential to be just as good as last year.” The young team fortunately has four returning wrestlers, including Callendar, who was a force at states last year and is currently ranked number one in the county

in his weight class. Though the team lost former head coach Rob Pinsky, who now coaches for the Clarksburg Coyotes, he left the Blake wrestling program in great shape. Coach Jeter believes one of the team’s biggest strengths is its success last year because the wrestlers understand the work they need to put in to achieve success once again. He looks forward to going against Clarksburg next Thursday. Adds coach Jeter, “Hopefully we can pack the gym and get a big win.”

Bengals overcome patch of thin ice, skate towards improvement by Kristen Frese

x & Michael Joiner Three games into the season, the Blake Community Ice Hockey team is having a rough time getting started, but the players continue to improve their skills as they gain experience. The Bengals began their game strong against the Damascus Hornets December 9, jumping out to a 1-0 lead after an offensive attack in the first three minutes of the game. The Bengals scored on a three-sequenced pass to junior center Pradip Ramamurti who sent the puck to the back of the net. “The team this year is a lot better compared to the previous years,” says Ramamurti. “We work a lot harder than we have in the past.” Blake, however, was unable to hold its lead and maintain its intensity against the Hornets. “I think that right now our team is

Despite winless start, Community Ice Hockey remains strong, resilient under performing,” says sophomore Aidan Bittenger-Esser, a center on the Blake club team even though he attends Sandy Spring Friends School. “Everyone is working hard and improving though.” The game ended in a 9-1 loss for Blake. December 2 the Bengals took on the Poolesville Falcons in a hard fought 7-0 loss.

Though the loss was a letdown, the team is focusing on improving for upcoming games. Says Bittinger-Esser, “We’re still a pretty young team, but the players seem dedicated to winning and the upperclassmen have stepped up as leaders.” Starting off the season, the Bengals played the DC Stars November 18, but lost

We work a lot harder than we have in the past.

Pradip Ramamurti

6-0 as they struggled to keep up both offensively and defensively. Says Ramamurti, “[I think] we have a strong offense when we skate hard, yet we tend to not finish.” The team hopes to improve their skills in order to pull out a win later in the season. Last season, the Bengals had a disappointing record, losing the majority of their games and tying only against the Richard Montgomery Rockets. This year, the coaches have intensified practices in hopes of surpassing their previous records. Says junior right wing Tanner Giles-Tucker, “The coaches are very helpful and knowledgeable and have personally helped me develop my skills.” Tonight, the Bengals take on the Richard Montgomery Rockets at 4:40pm at Rockville Ice Arena. The team also looks forward to its rematch against Damascus January 27.


Strong defense sparks Bengal pride in undefeated start

The Blake Beat

December 16, 2011

Young boys’ hoop squad hopes to hone skill, looks ahead to winning record x by Matt Present & Michael Errigo If defense wins championships, then the JV boys’ basketball team is on the fast track to a flawless year, having shown relentless opposition in the first three games of the season. The Bengals’ defensive prowess and offensive electricity were in full effect Monday as they defeated the Wheaton Knights 73-42. The game got off to a quick start as the team showed an airtight, full court man-to-man defense from the opening tip. This defensive pressure led to many Wheaton turnovers, which turned into points as Blake grabbed a 22-9 lead by the end of the first quarter. “We did all the little things that are necessary for a great performance,” says sophomore forward Matt Russell. After seizing the early lead, the Bengals kept up the defense and never let up their scrappiness. The second half was just like the first as the team crashed the boards, grabbing numerous offensive rebounds that led to second chance points. The third quarter was an offensive display, including a dunk by sophomore forward Demonte Ojinnaka that ignited the crowd. The Bengals came into the game against Wheaton on a high note after defeating the Walter Johnson Wildcats 59-51 December 9. Building on tactics that worked in the season opener, the team focused on working as a team in order to get the victory. “We have to hustle and keep our energy up if we want to win games and we did that today,” says freshman forward Emerson Sirk. “We are definitely looking to build on this early success.” The Bengals started the season December 6 with a strong win over the Einstein Titans 57-40. Strong defense and team play got the team started early and they never looked back. The season-opening provided confidence for the young team. “We simply had more talent than the other team and we showed it,” says coach Ernie Williams. Coach Williams leads a very young, inexperienced team this year that features eight freshmen. Despite their youth, the team remains confidence that they can make up for their inexperience with a dedicated work ethic. Adds coach Williams, “We as a team have to understand that in order to be successful, we will have to work harder than every other team.”

Sophomore guard Tavon Ngangum pushes offensive efforts against the Einstein Titans. The boys went

on to defeat the Titans by a 17 point margin on the road December 6. -- photo by Rebecca Kalinich

Bengals still going through growing pains as they begin season

After opening win, JV girls’ basketball comes up short in second game by Jamil Gordon x & Michelle Ung Three games into their season, girls’ JV basketball has shown great effort in their victories and a lot of resiliency in defeat looking forward to what they hope will be a successful season. Leading this year’s girls’ JV basketball team is head coach Ashley Marshall. This is Coach Marshall’s first year coaching the team. She wants her first year as coach to go well and hopes that her presence will help the team do well. “I expect a growth of knowledge and understanding of basketball while having fun at the same time,” says coach

Marshall. The team suffered a 50-21 loss at home against the Walter Johnson Wildcats. The Lady Bengals played a tough game, but were unable to hold up on the defensive end and couldn’t quite get shots to fall. “As a team, we need to work on being more aggressive on the defensive end and on rebounding. The ladies have an opportunity to have an all-around great game against Wheaton,” says Coach Marshall. The first game for the girls’ finished with a score of 29-16, beating the Einstein Lady Titans. At half time, the girls’ were only up 12-11 but came back and put in 17 more points. Leading the

win against the Lady Titans was sophomore guard/forward Kimia Gaines, who finished seven points, five steals, and four rebounds. Says sophomore captain forward/center Brigit Ngalea, “I think the game went well. We worked hard as a team.” Ngaleu played an outstanding game, grabbing eight rebounds. Another one of the team’s captains, sophomore point guard Melinda Tchokogoue, believes that she and her teammates will have a very promising season. “I think we have the potential to win most of our games if we just keep working hard,” says Tchokogoue. Coach Marshall looking toward the future of the girls’ season optimisti-

cally. “I believe that the ladies have the potential to finish the rest of the season with only one loss on the record completely.” coach Marshall says. “It will be up to the ladies to determine their focus and willpower to achieve this. I believe there is potential for players to move up to varsity - leadership on and off the court and skill development will determine who will move up.” Come support the Lady Bengals at home as they take on the Quince Orchard Lady Cougars this afternoon. Upcoming matchups include the Wooton Lady Wolverines Monday and then consortium rival Springbrook Wednesday.

JV wrestling starts year with impressive victory against Blazers Team continues winning example set by varsity, pushes toward glory

x by Robert Krakaur & Andrew Markowitz

Traveling to Blair for their first match of the season, the Blake Bengals’ JV wrestling team began their season with a big win. They faced the Blair Blazers December 7, picking up an impressive 48-33 win with victories by pin from 126 pound sophomore Jason Fleischer, 138 pound sophomore Larsen Schilling, 160 pound junior Daniel Gonzalez, and 170 pound senior Ken Redd. “It felt great to get on the mat for the first time,” says Redd. “The excitement to watch my teammates and win my first match made it a memorable experience for me.”

“We’ve been training really hard and it paid off when we won our first match against Blair,” adds 106 pound junior Becca Schwartz, “It felt really good to win.” Schwartz is the only girl on the team, and she feels it affects her a bit on the mat. “It’s harder for me since I’m not built the same way, but I feel I can wrestle with them.” The team is pleased to see success early in the season. “At the Blair match, we had a couple of dominant victories,” adds coach Lawrence Steel. “But they did not surprise me at all because ours were essentially varsity wrestlers that did not win a spot in the varsity line-up.” Coach Steel appreciates the way that the team executes the fundamentals. “I loved the way Redd executed a basic move exceptionally well and pinned

his opponent,” adds coach Steel, “It is very satisfying to see a kid do something that you know you taught them.” Although the JV and varsity compete in separate matches, coach Steel does not consider them two separate teams. “We are really just one team and everyone works together to improve as individuals.” Coach Steel admires his team’s resiliency in fighting through injuries. “All wrestlers have some nagging aches and pains at some point during the season, but they usually fight through,” says coach Steel. He is glad to have many athletes on the team. Adds coach Steel, “The advantage of having [a lot of athletes] is that they push one another and demonstrate good moves to one another.”

We are really just one team and everyone works together to improve as individuals Lawrence Steel

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

Two girls grapple their way onto male-dominated team

Schwartz, George defy gender roles, look to get stronger with wrestling by Sammi Levitt x & Savannah Tryens “Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you.” Junior Becca Schwartz and sophomore Emily George are out to prove to the Blake community that they can be a part of a traditionally all boys’ wrestling team. Schwartz and George didn’t conspire to try out together; it was completely coincidental. On the first day of try-outs, they met

and decided that they would stick out the season together. “Having another girl on the team makes me feel a lot more comfortable,” says George. The two are in the same weight class and wrestle against each other in practice. George, who is a swimmer, was ready to take on a new challenge. Says George, “I swim outside of school and I wanted to try something different.” She also had to take on a battle against her parents, who prevented her from going to practice at the

beginning of the season because they thought she would get hurt competing against a lot of boys. However, George was able to convince her parents otherwise and she is now working her way back on the mats. Schwartz, who is a member of the Varsity field hockey team, had similar reasons for joining the squad. “Field hockey season ended and I wanted to continue competing in a sport,” says Schwartz. “So far, I’m loving it.” As for the remainder of

the season, Schwartz has many aspirations. Adds Schwartz, “I hope to get stronger physically and mentally, and broaden my horizons.” JV wrestling Coach Lawrence Steel has a lot of experience coaching girls. He states that although they do not have the upper body strength of boys, their quickness, leverage and flexibility gives them an advantage. Once practice starts, gender is not an issue, “We do not run practice any differently

when girls are on the mat,” says Coach Steel. Although some may be intimidated by the boys on the team, the girls are very comfortable with them. “The boys on the team have been more than I could have hoped for,” says Schwartz. “Everyone is super welcoming and supportive and I’m so thankful for that.” Come out to see the girls wrestle, and support the team, Tuesday at Walter Johnson High School.

Everyone is super welcoming and supportive and I’m so thankful for that.

Becca Schwartz

Cooper becomes first boy Bengal to commit for Division I college soccer

All-Gazette team member uses athletic abilities to pursue dreams by Michael Joiner x & Brandon Weber Senior defender Trey Cooper’s outstanding Blake soccer career has ended, but a new chapter begins as he verbally commits to play for Towson University, becoming the first male Bengal to play Division I soccer. Cooper feels content with the decision he made November 21, after heavily weighing the other offers he was given from the University of Mary Washington, Eastern University, Mount Saint Mary’s University, and Wake Forest University. “I picked Towson because it’s close to my family and friends,” says Cooper. “It’s also a big school with a great team and coaching staff.” Cooper is the first athlete of Towson’s freshman class of 2016 to commit to the university. The Bengals started this past season with a new coach, David Edlow, who put the Blake soccer program on the map. Coach Edlow has had countless players

from previous schools that have gone to the college level. “Trey has a lot of potential,” says coach Edlow. “His strength and physical style of play will help him to be successful at the Division I level, along with his drive and work ethic.” Seeing room for development, coach

center defender and was the backbone to the team’s incredible defense (having one of the fewest number of goals-against in the county). Says Gill, “He has the sheer skill and athleticism and has more than enough heart to succeed [at D-I].” In the offseason, Cooper plays

[Cooper’s] strength and physical style of play will help him to be successful at the Division I level. David Edlow Edlow adds, “He needs to improve his technical abilities, speed of play, and overall speed.” “[Cooper] is in charge of everything on the field,” says senior goalie Jacob Gill, who played with Cooper for two years on the varsity team. The Bengals finished their season with the best record in school history, 10-4-2. Cooper played

with his club team, The Pachuca Dragons, which is currently ranked as 18th in the nation and 3rd in the state. “It’s a privilege to play with [Cooper],” says junior midfielder Patrick Richard, who has played soccer with Cooper for both the Bengals and the Dragons for several years. “He’s a great leader and knows a lot about the game.”

At the fall sports program, Cooper was presented with the Male Athlete Award. “Trey’s impact on the soccer program has been tremendous,” says athletic director Jared Fribush. “Having an athlete be recruited by, and signing with, a D-I program shows the rest of the team what is possible.” Both Cooper and senior striker Moussa Traore have been named All-Gazette (Cooper as first team and Traore as second team). However, unlike Cooper, Traore’s decision hasn’t been finalized. He is looking at potentially committing to Loyola University of Maryland, as well as several other colleges for soccer, as he also looks to play Division I. Many athletes end their careers in sports after high school, but Cooper has hopes to continue this path even beyond the college level. “My dream will forever be [to play] professional soccer,” adds Cooper. “I either hope to be in the 2016 MLS Draft or playing somewhere in Europe.”


The Blake Beat

December 16, 2011

Thrilling season sets stage for five entertaining matchups As Redskins’ fans turn to college football as an antidepressant, so will we, with this preview of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games leading up to the Louisiana State Tigers-Alabama Crimson Tide rematch in the January 9 National Championship. Rose Bowl (January 2) The Rose Bowl features two of the nation’s top running backs in Montee Ball of the Wisconsin Badgers and LaMichael James of the Oregon Ducks. Both rushed for over 1,600 yards on the season, and Ball had an astounding 32 touchdowns. Both teams also have the luxury of a quarterback who can make plays on their feet with Oregon’s Darron Thomas and Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson. Although the statistics would indicate that the teams are very similar, Wisconsin tends to sustain long drives, while Oregon’s run n’ gun mentality gives them a more big-play oriented offense. Oregon frequently goes for two-point conversions, putting additional pressure on the Wisconsin defense. Our Prediction: Oregon 34, Wisconsin 27 Fiesta Bowl (January 2) The day’s action will continue as offensive powerhouses Stanford Cardinal and Oklahoma State Cowboys air it out in Glendale, Arizona. Both teams average over 40 points-per-game and boast a 3,000

yard passer. Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden has passed for 4,328 yards and 34 touchdowns on the year. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who has 1,336 yards and 15 touchdowns receiving, will be a focal point in the Cowboys’ offense. Stanford,

son. He leads the Wolverines in passing and rushing and has totaled 34 touchdowns on the season. Virginia Tech will look to the running game, led by 1,600-yard-rusher David Wilson, ACC player of the year. Our Prediction: Michigan 27, VT 21.

led by Heisman finalist Andrew Luck, will use more tight ends and running backs in their pro-style passing attack. Our Prediction: OSU 42, Stanford 38 Sugar Bowl (January 3) The Michigan Wolverines and Virginia Tech Hokies will battle at the Superdome in New Orleans. Both teams allow fewer than 20 points-per-game, but the Hokies have the difficult task of containing one of the biggest dual threats in the country: Michigan quarterback Denard Robin-

Orange Bowl (January 4) Clemson Tigers fans will try to fill Sun Life Stadium with orange as their Tigers square off against the West Virginia Mountaineers. Look for freshman sensation Sammy Watkins to receive plenty of targets from Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd. Clemson will hope to balance the attack with 1,000-yard-rusher Andre Ellington. West Virginia needs to contain the great speed in Clemson’s offense if they are going to have a chance. Mountaineers

quarterback Geno Smith should surpass the 4,000-yard passing mark in this game, utilizing two receivers who each have put together 1,000-yard campaigns. Our Prediction: Clemson 35, WVU 19. BCS National Championship (January 9) The title game will feature an SEC rematch between Alabama and LSU. The Crimson Tide’s only loss of the season came at the hands of the undefeated Tigers November 5, in a 9-6 overtime thriller. In that game, the time of possession was split within the minute, and Alabama out-gained LSU by just 56 more yards. However, what killed the Crimson Tide was their four missed field goals, allowing LSU to hang around and eventually pull out the victory. The past two weeks LSU has put up over 40 points, defeating third ranked Arkansas and 14th ranked Georgia. Two of the nation’s best defenses will be on display as Alabama leads the nation in allowing just 8.8 points-per-game, and LSU is second, allowing 10.5 points-per-game anchored by the big play ability of Heisman finalist Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu. Alabama counters with a Heisman finalist of its own in running back Trent Richardson who put up over 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns on the year. Our Prediction: LSU 16, Alabama 13

Capitals endure rough month, turn to new management for success

Boudreau out, Hunter in as local NHL squad hopes to reach full potential x by Andrew Markowitz Sooner rather than later, the Washington Capitals are going to have to figure out whether their recent rough patch is the fault of the players or coaches as their struggle to win continues. November proved to be devastating for the Caps, winning only five of 14 games, which led to the firing of head coach Bruce Boudreau. Management decided that the players were no longer responding to Boudreau and brought in Capitals legend Dale Hunter to take the reins. However, since Hunter’s come onboard, Washing-

ton continues to struggle, winning only three of Hunter’s first seven games as coach. The biggest battle that the Caps continue to lose is on special teams, possessing the 12th ranked power play in the NHL, a major improvement from past weeks. The Caps went five games without scoring a power play goal until they managed to tally one against the Ottawa Senators December 7. This team has way too much talent to not have scored a power play goal in five games but chooses to spend its time passing instead of shooting. At this point, the Caps should worry less about making a highlight reel

play and more about actually putting the puck in the net. Penalty killing is usually a challenging task but the Caps make it look too easy for teams to score. Washington currently possesses the NHL’s 24th ranked penalty kill and showed it by allowing three PPG’s to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a dreadful 7-1 loss November 19 and the Florida Panthers December 5 in a 4-3 defeat. In addition to the power play goals allowed, the Caps have also given up four shorthanded tallies, including two to the Phoenix Coyotes November 21 in a 4-3 Capitals victory. On many teams, there is one

scapegoat, and for the Capitals, that player is left wing Alexander Semin. Despite being one of the most talented players on the team, Semin has a reputation for taking foolish and costly penalties. Semin is currently the highest penalized player on the Caps and in the entire league with 18 minor penalties, which is uncharacteristic of a player of Semin’s caliber. Also, Semin makes a habit of turning the puck over while trying to make an additional stick-handling move and frequently misses the net while shooting, which may explain why he only has five goals this season. Washington’s best Novem-

ber performance came in an impressive 5-1 outing against the Carolina Hurricanes November 4. Rookie center Cody Eakin scored his first career NHL goal and added an assist to finish with two points and was named first star of the game. Three other Capitals put up two-point nights and goaltender Michal Neuvirth made 24 saves for his second win. Washington heads up to Colorado for a match-up against sophomore sensation Matt Duchene and the struggling Avalanche at 9 tomorrow night. Duchene is the Ave’s second-leading scorer with 11 goals and 21 points.

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

Blake alum, senior affected after UMCP cuts eight sports by Sammi Levitt x & Savannah Tryens For many Blake athletes, the chance to compete at a college level is a dream come true; unfortunately for one former wet Bengal, that dream became difficult after the swim team was cut at his college, University of Maryland at College Park. University of Maryland officials announced November 20 that they are cutting men’s and women’s swim and dive, along with six other varsity teams. However, to combat the cuts, the swim team started Save Maryland Swimming and Diving, which is a fundraising non-profit organization. The president of the

university gave the non-profit until July 2012 to raise enough money to keep the program for eight years. Many community members and famous swimmers, including Michael Phelps, have supported the efforts. Blake alumnus Spencer Sterling is a freshman at Maryland and is currently a member of the swim team. Sterling, who is on scholarship, will be able to keep his money as long as he stays at the university. Although Sterling hopes to stay at Maryland, he will be looking at other schools. Says Sterling, “I am planning on going on recruiting trips in the spring because I don’t want to miss out on any potential fits for me.”

Adds Sterling, “[Maryland] was the perfect situation for me, and I am still hoping that we will find a way to keep the team.” As one of their fundraising efforts, Save Maryland Swimming and Diving held a pro-dual swim meet, which hosted both Maryland swimmers and Olympians. Closer to home, Blake swimmers who were interested in Maryland have had to look elsewhere to fulfill their Division I swimming dreams. Junior Cory Camp who was considering swimming at Maryland is now looking west for schools. “I think it is ridiculous that they had to cut the swimming program due to the mismanagement of money in other programs,” says Camp.

Camp, who is hoping for scholarship money, is no longer considering swimming at Maryland. Despite the cut, senior diver Rebecca Kalinich is strongly considering the university due to its proximity to home but she still isn’t completely ruling out other schools. “I am hoping they will somehow find a way to keep the program,” says Kalinich, “But if they can’t I will probably go to another D-I school.” Although this is a devastating blow to the University of Maryland and high school swimmers, the Maryland community is trying to remain positive, hoping they will be able to raise enough money by the summer.

I am still hoping that we will find a way to keep the team. Spencer Sterling

PSA to ESPN: Stop talking and let us watch the game xby Lucas Irvin “It looks like they didn’t have enough defenders to defend defensively.”-Tony Siragusa. Such depth of insight is not uncommon all across the world of sports commentators, and commentaries like this has led me to believe that announcers are verbose, obnoxious and unnecessary. For the numerous people who know enough about football to be able to understand what’s going on, the play-by-play adds nothing. I don’t need Chris Berman to tell me that the ball was kicked through the goalposts to add three points to the score. As a person with eyes, I can tell that. There are also the Jon Grudens who make up terms that make no sense and mean nothing. All of the players are always “in space.” The so-called “uphill” and “downhill” runners are always playing on a level surface. If a player did not “come to play,” they would not be on the field playing. I understand what the terms mean, but they are illogical and are just added to fill space with words. It is easy to tell when the game is not a marquis matchup because the commentators always come to the same point, saying nothing new, but continuing to talk. After hearing repeatedly about Tavaris Jackson playing through his pectoral injury, I can only seem to pay attention to how terrible the announcers are. The worst has to be when the commentators comment on something unrelated to the game at hand, particularly themselves. I turned on the TV to watch a football game, not to hear about the glory days of a commentator past his prime who was not even noteworthy as a player. The personal commentary is irrelevant to and distracts from the game-a history textbook tells you what happened and why it was significant; the writer does not add how an event affected them personally because, frankly, no one cares. Commentators get paid to talk, so they don’t stop talking, even when they don’t have anything to talk about. When it comes to the Super Bowl, when there are weeks to talk about what will happen in one hour, they still have to talk, so they attempt to predict the outcome based on random stats like third down conversion percentage. Commentators also like to provide fake insight by saying something like “the offensive line needs to protect the quarterback,” which sounds intelligent if you are not paying attention, but is actually glaringly obvious. There are a few good announcers, like Al Michaels and Troy Aikman, but almost all of the legendary commentators like John Madden are long gone, replaced by lackluster talkers. And I don’t think they should be done away with entirely. For example, during the World Cup, the announcers didn’t talk much, because they let the game happen and they added commentary only when necessary. The NFL announcers need to follow this example and stop distracting from the game.

From Cinderellas to March Madness, 10 things to watch this season

Errigo enumerates endless upcoming excitements of college basketball x by Michael Errigo College basketball has gotten off to a wild start with powerhouses crumbling and several new teams entering the limelight. All this action has fans eager for the excitement that is sure to be in store this season. Here are ten things to watch for this year: 10. The recruitment of Shabazz Muhammad: Muhammad is the diamond in the rough in a generally weak recruiting class. This guard from Las Vegas has almost every program in the country yearning for his commitment. 9. The development of Austin Rivers: This year’s top freshman headlines a young Duke team that has something to prove. Can Coach K reach his 12th Final Four or will the Camden Crazies be silenced yet again? 8. The Ohio State Buckeyes: Player of the Year candidate Jared Sullinger leads a strong Ohio State team that has their sights set on a championship. So far this season Sullinger has appeared like a man

amongst boys, putting his hunger for a title on display. 7. The Big Matchups: Every year, there are games that every college basketball fan circles on their calendar. Some of these big games include Baylor vs. Kansas (January 16), Connecticut vs. Syracuse (February 25), and North Carolina vs. Duke (March 3). 6. The Local Teams: Both Maryland and Georgetown are in the midst of a rebuild. How will the Terps respond to the retirement of their coach of 22 years, Gary Williams? Can the Hoyas start a new chapter after the loss of key players Austin Freeman and Chris Wright? 5. The Cinderella Stories: Every year there is a breakout team or two that turns some heads. This year, Xavier and Baylor are two teams that have enough firepower to make a postseason run. Don’t be surprised if the glass slipper fits for one of these two squads come March. 4. The UConn Huskies: The defending champions took a big hit when Kemba Walker, the heart and soul of their championship squad, graduated this past spring.

But the return of guard Jeremy Lamb and the emergence of freshman Andre Drummond have the Huskies talking repeat already. 3. The North Carolina Tar Heels: Roy Williams and company easily have the most talent in college basketball this season. Freshman phenom Harrison Barnes decided to return for a sophomore year, leading to thoughts that the Tar Heels had the championship in the bag. Despite early stumbles, those assumptions might not be that far off. 2. The Kentucky Wildcats: Coach John Calipari has another stellar freshman class, including forward Anthony Davis who has NBA scouts drooling already. These diaper dandies along with sophomore forward Terrence Jones should keep the Wildcats towards the top of the polls for a while. 1. March Madness: Every college basketball fan’s favorite time of the year is sure to be even crazier this season. Buzzers will be beat, hearts will be broken, and a champion will be crowned.

Buzzers will be beat, hearts will be broken, and a champion will be crowned.


December 16, 2011

The Blake Beat

The James Hubert Blake Booster Club congratulates these Minds in Motion student athletes for maintaining a 3.25 GPA during First Quarter while playing a Fall sport. Mohammed Abbas (Coed Track & Field) Tara Adhatamsoontra (Poms) Oritsetsolaye Akuya (JV Cheerleading) Claudia Alarco (JV Girls Volleyball) Nicole Alexander (Varsity Football) Isaac Appel (Cross Country) Mary Aronne (Cross Country) Kwame Asante (Varsity Football) Mamadou Bah (Varsity Football) Nicole Barriga (Girls Tennis) Gregory Bell (Cross Country) Sage Bennett (JV Girls Soccer) Danielle Blocker (Girls Tennis) Grayson Boone (Cross Country) Taylor Boone (Varsity Cheerleading) Cole Bradshaw (Varsity Boys Soccer) Graylyn Broadnax (Varsity Football) Torie Broer (Varsity Girls Soccer) Niara Brown (JV Girls Soccer) Madison Bruffy (Poms) Christina Buckley (Varsity Girls Volleyball) Megan Cameron (Varsity Girls Soccer) Tayahd Campbell (JV Football) Kate Campbell (JV Girls Soccer) Elana Carr (JV Girls Soccer) Joal Chen (Girls Tennis) Bryan Citrenbaum (Cross County) Samantha Comer (Varsity Girls Soccer) Lindsey Comer (Varsity Girls Soccer) Nero Cooper III (Varsity Boys Soccer) Alexis Crispin (Varsity Cheerleading) Courtney Cristaldi (Varsity Field Hockey) Priya Dadlani (Varsity Cheerleading) Brandon David (Coed Track & Field) Julia Dennis (Varsity Football) Kaylie Deshler (Girls Varsity Soccer) Alison Dionne (Girls Varsity Soccer) Christian Domaas (Golf) Natalie Domaas (Poms) Buffee Dorsey (Girls JV Soccer) Miles Douglas (Cross Country) McKenzie Dreher (Poms) Darien Ellis (Poms) Monica Eng (Varsity Cheerleading) Lane Flynn (Varsity Field Hockey) Xavier Fox (Boys JV Soccer) Emma Friedman (JV Field Hockey) Reina Fuentes (Girls Varsity Soccer) Maia Gadsden (Girls JV Volleyball) Connor Gaffney (Cross Country) Anna Galeano (Varsity Field Hockey) Brooke Gil (Poms) Malcolm Gilbert (Boys JV Soccer) Jacob Gill (Boys Varsity Soccer) Hayley Glantz (Varsity Field Hockey) Derek Glocker (Golf) Leah Goldberg (Girls Tennis) Chante Goodger (Varsity Cheerleading) Jake ‘Sloth’ Gordon (Cross Country) Candace Grant (JV Field Hockey) Bridget Gratton (Girls Varsity Volleyball)

Alyssia Graves (Varsity Cheerleading) Sandra Guevara (JV Field Hockey) Sarah Hagan (Varsity Field Hockey) Benjamin Haley (Cross Country) Lillian Hallmark (Girls Varsity Volleyball) Lucy Harrelson (Varsity Field Hockey) Elana Harris (Girls JV Soccer) Marvin Hart IV (Coed Track & Field) Zoe Hatzes (JV Field Hockey) Breon Herbet (Varsity Football) Azalia Hernandez (JV Cheerleading) Rachel Hewitt (Girls Varsity Volleyball) Cathleen Ho (Girls JV Volleyball) Thao Hoang (Girls JV Volleyball Olivia Hubbard (Varsity Field Hockey) Jane Hwang (Girls Tennis) Justin Ingram (Varsity Football) Dorienne Jackson (Poms) Orlando James (JV Football) Christian Jeong (Golf) Devon Johnson (Poms) Grace Johnson (Girls JV Soccer) Michael Joiner (Boys Varsity Soccer) Kendred Jones (Varsity Football) Gabrielle Jones (Varsity Cheerleading) Cameron Jones (Boys Varsity Soccer) Kaela Jones (Girls JV Soccer) Colleen Kalkofen (Girls JV Volleyball) Melania Karmazyn (Varsity Field Hockey) Yoseph Kinfu (Boys JV Soccer) Mina Konaka (Girls JV Volleyball) Emily Kong (Girls JV Volleyball) Franchesca Kuhney (Girls Varsity Volleyball) Clauton Kum (Boys JV Soccer) Zachary Kushner (Boys JV Soccer) Melina Latona (Varsity Field Hockey) Irene Lemberos (Girls Tennis) Theodora Lemberos (JV Field Hockey) Francisco Lendo (Varsity Football) Nicole Lertora (Varsity Field Hockey) Samantha Levitt (Girls Varsity Soccer) Julie Lopatka (Varsity Field Hockey) Brianna Lopez (Poms) Samantha Lowenthal (Varsity Cheerleading) Dunchadhn Lyons (Boys Varsity Soccer) Meredith Mathis (Varsity Field Hockey) Wyatt McInturff (JV Football) Courtney McKenna (Varsity Field Hockey) Kristina McKenna (JV Field Hockey) Summer Meile (Girls Varsity Volleyball) Terah Minor-Jones (Poms) Tara Mitchell (Girls Varsity Volleyball) Nyah Muhammad (Cross Country) Diego Muñoz (JV Football) Kate Murphy (Girls JV Volleyball) Amanie Musa (Varsity Cheerleading) Brigit Ngaleu (Girls JV Soccer) Tyler Nine (JV Footall) Madeleine Noonan-Shueh (JV Field Hockey) Brenna Noone (Girls Varsity Soccer) Emmanuel Oppong (Boys JV Soccer)

Adefolarin Orimolade (Varsity Soccer) Andrea Ortiz (Girls Varsity Soccer) Lauren Paniati (Girls Varsity Volleyball) Cameron Payton (JV Football) Camila Penaloza (Girls JV Soccer) Kevin Pharaon (Varsity Football) Michael Phelan (Golf) Adassa Phillips (Girls JV Volleyball) Avery Potts (Poms) Matthew Present (Golf) Erica Ragland (Girls Varsity Volleyball) Jenna Ramirez (JV Field Hockey) Tai Ramsey (Girls Varsity Volleyball) Lenasia Ransom (Varsity Cheerleading) Bryson Reyes (Coed Track & Field) Christopher Richard (Boys Varsity Soccer) Samuel Rivera (Varsity Football) Ezra Roschu (Boys JV Soccer) Anika Rumph (Poms) Francesca Sabelhaus (JV Field Hockey) Kara Savercool (Poms) Kyla Schweber (Girls JV Soccer) Stefan Sigwalt (Varsity Football) Colleen Simmons (JV Field Hockey) Sandra Simmons (Girls Tennis) Emerson Sirk (JV Football) Rebecca Smith (Poms) Thomas Stanton (JV Football) Samantha Steel (Girls JV Soccer) Sydney Steel (Girls JV Soccer) David Steele (Boys JV Soccer) Sarah Sterling (Girls Varsity Soccer) Kelly Stock (Girls Varsity Soccer) Kenneth Stone (JV Football) Taneigha Swingler (Varsity Cheerleading) Maika Taguchi (Cross Country) Janine Taira (Girls Tennis) Caroline Tatnall (JV Field Hockey) Melinda Tchokogoue (Girls JV Soccer) Dianne Techwei (Girls JV Soccer) Emily Tempchin (Poms) Renee Treacy (Poms) Stephanie Van Albert (Varsity Cheerleading) Tracy Velazquez (Girls Varsity Soccer) Heather Veli (Girls Varsity Soccer) Denise Venero (Girls Varsity Soccer) Lynne Virgil (Poms) Natasha Virjee (Girls Tennis) Robert Walker (Boys JV Soccer) Keri Walker (JV Field Hockey) Erica Wang (Cross Country) Caroline Wannen (Varsity Field Hockey) Darien Waters (Boys Varsity Soccer) Lillian Watkins (Girls Varsity Soccer) Tanner Williams (Boys Varsity Soccer) Sydney Wolk (Girls Tennis) Rachel Woo (Girls Tennis) Ellen Wood (Varsity Field Hockey) Joan Wood (JV Field Jockey) Rebecca Yim (Coed Track & Field) Kevin Zelaya (Boys Varsity Soccer)

Chen gives mixed review to modern-day version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado p. E3

Section E

James Hubert Blake High School

December 16, 2011

Chorus, band prepare for next week’s Winter Concerts Music department plans to dazzle, amaze audience with bold new pieces

by Alex Reeves x & Yasmin Wamala

Coming soon to Blake are the performances of the season – the winter choral and band concerts, which will take place at 7:30 pm on December 20 and December 22 respectively. The choral department’s performance will showcase all three choral classes: Vocal Ensemble, A Cappella and Honors Concert Choir. Each choir has individual pieces as well as a combined

piece. “Vocal Ensemble is doing very well,” says vocal ensemble teacher Sarah Goldsmith. “I think we’re in a good spot right now.” Sandra Zinkievich, A Cappella and Honors Concert Choir teacher, is also very confident in how well her classes are preparing despite singing in French, the possibility of adding choreography, and the difficulty of some pieces. “A Cappella is certainly performing a difficult number, the theme song to Hawaii Five-O,” says Mrs. Zinkievich. “It has

nine different voice parts plus some vocal percussion.” The Instrumental concert is going to be a big hit as Brian Damron, music chair, and Jonathan Eising, music teacher, have chosen a video game theme. Junior Cassandra Wolsh says, “A lot of people play video games and find the music enjoyable to listen to; I think people would find this concert really entertaining.” The instrumental classes are performing many pieces including Aeris’ Theme from Final Fantasy VII and Suite

from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Their big number, however, is Video Games Live; it was the inspiration for the entire concert. Wolsh adds, “It has parts from three different video games and is a really beautiful piece to listen to.” Friends, family and music lovers alike are all encouraged to come out, see both concerts, and support all the hard work and effort put in by the students. Says Ms. Goldsmith, “It’s a nice show to come see right before the holidays.”

Bengal’s creativity flourishes through digital arts in, out of school x by Adele Leishman & Samara Tu

Senior Jenny Lon uses her digital arts skills to create this piece called Beauty, which shows how society

affects teenage girls’ self -esteem through the use of images and typography--image provided by Lon.

Every day people look at the cover art and the logos of their favorite artists, but they rarely question who the artist behind it is. If you have the band XclusiveGoGo on your iPod, then you might be interested to know that the artist who created their logo is senior Jenny Lon. Lon designs for go-go bands XclusiveGoGo and the Popular Demand Band (PDB). Combining her love for go-go music with her passion for digital arts, these jobs were perfect for her. With about 10,790 subscribers on Youtube, XclusiveGoGo has broadcasted her artwork on their channel to a wide audience to the point where the band references Lon to their friends. “She always reaches out for any opportunity to use her skills in digital arts,” says senior Emily Touch, a friend of Lon. “The go-go work was great for her and the site as well.” In seventh grade, Lon started experimenting with Adobe Photoshop. Once she became enthralled with what Photoshop could do, she decided to come to Blake to participate in the signature arts program and pursue the digital arts. “I’ve always been into art ever since I was a little child,” says Lon. “When I drew by hand, it was hard; I was not improving. But with Photoshop, it [has been] easier for me to manipulate.” Lon has taken the digital arts class for three years and is now in the AP Studio Art class creating graphics for projects both inside and outside of school. “I’m excited for her,” says digital arts teacher John Overman. “She has a passion for the arts, for graphics. She’s the type of student who’s diligent, hardworking.” Lon considers her two best works to be Fenced In and Beauty. In Beauty, she depicts her perception of beauty and society’s impact on it. She was inspired by plastic surgery and explains how the girl in the image tries to conform to society’s expectation of beauty. In Fenced In, Lon describes the loss of identity through the use of dark typography. Adds Lon, “A face is what identifies an individual, but the girl in this piece does not have a face and therefore she has lost herself as a person.” In the future, Lon hopes to pursue arts education in college and hopes to return to Blake and teach future students. “She has found herself through digital arts,” adds Touch. “She enjoys it, and I know that she can use these skills in the future.”

Senior pianist learns firsthand that keys to success start on big stage x by Molly Cohen & Leah Patterson Senior Erica Wang has crescendoed her way through life with music and is now gaining the opportunity to have professional experience playing the piano. Wang has performed in various school-related and out-of-school events and has even received professional compensation. “[Music] seems like one of the only things in my life that will remain stable,” says Wang. “It’s a comforting presence, having music to turn to.” She has played piano at school in plays and in band performances. She’s also attended and played at Summer programs like the Summer Piano Institute and the International Institute for Young Musicians and competitions like those at the Washington Music Teacher’s Association. As a winner of a contest for the International Association for Musically Gifted Children she will perform at the Embassy of Austria in January to commemorate Sigismund Thalberg’s bicentennial. She and the other winners will also play at Johns Hopkins Hospital in January, The National Institute of Health in March, McGill University in June and the National Centre of Arts in Canada in July. Other Blake students have had the opportunity to work with Wang as well. For a small fee, she has accom-

panied students and alumni in various performances why she is going to go very far in the music world.” and auditions, including senior Marciana Esteves Wang has taken advantage of Blake’s music last year. “Erica did a great job; [she’s] better programs. She has been in clarinet choir and than any accompanist I’ve had before,” says woodwind quartet. Currently, she participates in Esteves. wind ensemble, marching band, jazz band and Because she plays at a professional pit orchestra. level, Wang’s schedule is busy with rehearsAlthough Wang began her career in music als and performances. Says Wang, “Someat the request of her parents, she now plays times it sucks that I can’t hang out with my for herself. A piano player of 11 years, Wang friends or relax as much I’d like, but in knows what works and what does not. She the end it’s for the [best].” She often understands that music is a big commitpractices from an hour and a half to ment, but she is ready for the challenge. three hours every day. When asked what she has learned from Though Wang dreams of the experience so far, Wang says, “I becoming a professional musihave to make time for myself to cian, for now she must get practice.” through college auditions For now, Wang plans to conin January and February tinue her musical endeavors, both for schools like Oberlin professionally and personally. Conservatory and Boston As for the future, she hopes we University. “She has lots will see her in some of the best of natural talent and an ear orchestras around one day. Adds for music,” adds Esteves. Esteves, laughing, “I just hope “But she also works exshe doesn’t forget me when tremely hard and that’s she’s famous.” Erica Wang

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

Celebrities thrive even after passings

Record companies make money from artists’ deaths by Joal Chen x & David Hylton

Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse have all come out with albums after their untimely deaths.

Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur…all these artist have one thing in common: even though their lives have ended, their careers, apparently, have seemed to keep pushing. All three of the artists listed above are music legends, and although the idea of hearing work that they were never able to release sounds appealing, we need to ask if it is really the right thing to do. The biggest problem with releasing CD’s after an artist’s death is that the artist may not have wanted to release them in the first place. Michael Jackson was well known to be a perfectionist; if he didn’t want to release the album Michael before his death he probably would not have wanted it released afterward. Michael, which received mixed reviews from critics, may have damaged Jackson’s musical reputation. Another point we would like to add is that if the artist did not release it while they were alive, the track itself probably is not going to be a big hit. I mean think about it, unless the artist was working on an album at the time of their death, any unreleased material was pushed to the side for a reason. Michael Jackson always had favorable reviews for his albums. Do you really think

if he was proud of those tracks that Michael would have had mixed reviews? Probably not. But we have noticed that with record labels releasing posthumous works, the respect of that artist as a whole rises. When Michael Jackson was alive, people harped on his alleged child molestation cases (that he was never actually charged with) and people made fun of Amy Winehouse’s addictions and joked that she was going to drop dead any minute. But as soon as these artists died, everyone who criticized them before became their biggest fans. Unfortunately, death brings artists the respect they deserved when their talent was overshadowed by personal struggles. One has to question, however, the intentions of these record label companies. Do they really mean to give fans the chance to hear unreleased works? Or are they just cashing in? Tupac’s record label has released eight albums since his death. We have to wonder if the record label is being overly generous or tremendously greedy. We want to believe that the record companies are giving fans a chance to honor the late artist, but with the money made from these CD’s being sent directly to the record company all we see is people cashing in on the new-found fan base of these talented stars, and that just is not cool.

Mainstream addicts overlook upcoming talented underground artists x by Grace Plihal Radio stations like 99.5 and 93.9 seem to think that Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Wale and Lil Wayne are the greatest - and only - rappers in the world. But there is a whole underground movement of extremely talented artists slowly making its way to the top. Arguably, underground rap has been around since mainstream rap first appeared in the late 1980s. But the modern movement all started with the winner of the VMA’s best new artist award, Tyler, The Creator. His homemade instrumentals and offbeat lyrics that first turned most die-hard Young Money and Taylor Gang fans off are now beginning

Radio stations overplay certain rappers, cement them in spotlight to spark a revolution. Artists are realizing that rap does not have to be all about fornicating women and acquiring currency to get people to listen. Silver grillz and gold chains don’t make someone a good rapper anymore; with underground rap, it is the lyricism and individualism that really matters. The up and coming formerly underground rapper, and my personal favorite artist, Kendrick Lamar, was deemed “mainstream” when he collaborated with Drake on his most recent album Take Care. Which brings

up the very controversial point: what makes music underground and what makes it mainstream? According to the American public today, the most basic way to tell if music is “mainstream” is if it is played on the radio. I believe that another way music is dubbed “mainstream” if the artist raps about subject matter that is shallow and does not give much insight into deeper subjects. If you turn on the radio for an hour, most of the song lyrics you will hear flooding out of the mouths of Big Sean and Soulja Boy will have

something to do with money, a girl who got away, a few references to alcohol and marijuana and a key line that goes a little something like “I am the best rapper alive, everyone bow down to me.” It is ephemeral; unlike the rap artists of the early 1990s, much of these fluffy lyrics will fail to make an impact on the future of music. So look up Shabazz Palaces’ new album Black Up. Listen to Wale’s mixtapes from years ago, before he became a product of the mainstream. Take in the lyrics of Kendrick Lamar on his life in Compton and how Reaganomics still affect America today. Do not overlook Danny Brown just because he looks a bit like a cross between a homeless man and a preteen skater. Look underground.

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

REVIEWS FOR YOU Much Ado could improve, remains enjoyable x by Joal Chen Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Much Ado About Nothing is an interesting take on the comedic classic that, with minor changes, has the ability to be excellent. Much Ado tells the story of a group of lovers, who through misunderstandings and plots, find true love. Set in 1930’s Cuba, the director wisely used the brewing Cuban civil war as a backdrop for the events taking place. We are presented with a tranquil Cuban sugar plantation and a gorgeous set which truly portrays the beauty and sensuality of Cuba. The bright set and lighting creates a steamy setting that mixes perfectly with the play. Not only did the director take advantage of the Cuban scenery, Spanish music

and dance is also incorporated in the play. The play is populated with salsa beats and tangos and cha-chas galore. Only once does the dancing seem unnecessary (a confusing scene that only those familiar with the play would understand); otherwise the dancing seamlessly blended into the play. As a whole, the cast was remarkable, but there were definitely several standouts. Benedict, the male lead portrayed by Derek Smith, stole every scene he was in, bringing humor and wit to all his interactions. Mr. Smith was willing to break the fourth wall, and directly speak to the audience, engaging the audience and forcing them to invest in his character. Claudio, a second male lead played by Ryan Garbayo, channeled the right mix of naïveté and anger in his interpretation of the wronged lover. Unfortunately, I did

not feel any attachment or connection to any of the female characters. Though the play had a strong cast, there were barely any Spanish cast members. I felt that an opportunity was lost by the lack of diversity in the cast, especially since the play was located in Cuba. There was also the annoying inconsistency of some actors attempting an accent (and failing miserably) and others not even trying. Much Ado has many great aspects, and if you can ignore minor infractions, hop the red line, arrive early (you may be able to score $15 tickets) and enjoy an entertaining and funny performance. The play will run till January 1 at the Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, DC.

Joal Chen

Veronica Roth debuts first of trilogy with Divergent

Student claims novel to be fun, creative page-turner

x by Alex Reeves

Alex Reeves

With the threat of 2012 so near, another dystopian novel was just what the youth of America needed. The innovative page-turner, Divergent, by first time author Veronica Roth, is the first book of a trilogy that I could just not put down. The novel follows the journey of Beatrice (Tris), a girl who is forced to make the decision between faction (a group of people with common goals) and family- her values over blood. Once she is chosen, Tris ends up in a faction where death is a common occurrence and pain equals pleasure. The book is not all battles though; there is also a steamy

forbidden romance. The story and theme bares a close resemblance to the popular Hunger Games books. Having read them both, I would be lying if I said there were not some distinct similarities. The biggest similarity is that both main characters, Tris and Katniss, are strong willed sixteen year old girls. Like Katniss, Tris has a whole set of inner battles to overcome, though there is a different message to teach the reader. Divergent seeks to prove that it takes a variety of different people and viewpoints to make a world work, that too much of the same thing is futile and maybe even dangerous.

There are so many positives aspects of Divergent, but my favorite is that it is not your run of the mill, fluffy teen novel. Tris was easy to relate to, both in the choices she made and problems she had to overcome. Divergent is a good enough book that it would appeal to girls, guys and a wide variety of personalities. Divergent was such a captivating book that I found myself reading it at every free moment. The second book in the trilogy is set to come out in May 2012 and I can hardly wait. This book will make you laugh, cry and maybe stop breathing during the particularly thrilling scenes; it is definitely the book to read.

Original yet predictable romance takes big screen Ensemble movie New Years’ Eve lets down viewers x by Melissa Whitaker New Year’s Eve was cute, but not amazing - not by a long shot. The cast was filled with big names from all over Hollywood, and while humorous, it was painfully predictable. Before I say anything else, let me say that it was a good movie, just not for me. I hate romance movies; I find that they all tend to be the same thing: two people meet, they have several heartwarming scenes together before someone or something comes and tries to ruin their relationship, and in the end they always wind up together. I do have to say that the movie,

thankfully, was not the exact same plot as sister film Valentine’s Day, a movie consisting of characters living rough love lives. It actually had a lot of heart, and I found it rather touching. That being said, a fair portion of the dialogue was useless and I found myself losing interest more than once. New Year’s Eve is an ensemble movie, meaning it follows multiple people through the film. However, certain stories were just better than others. I loved every scene with Halle Berry’s character and I loved every single second Jon Bon Jovi was on screen, as well as Josh Duhamel and Hillary Swank. Their stories were the only ones I had a real

interest in. Even though I love Zac Efron, Michelle Pfiffer, Lea Michele and Ashton Kutcher, I felt like most of their scenes were there for comic relief and that they did nothing for the rest of the film. New Year’s Eve was a good film great for a date night or just to see with a close friend - but I won’t be buying it on DVD. It was enjoyable, definitely, and I do recommend seeing it because some of the parts in the movie were fantastic. New Year’s really is just a time to think about the year you have had and what you will change for next year; which is exactly what Hillary Swank says in the movie.

Melissa Whitaker

Fresh twist on Shakespeare impresses student

Book offers new point of view from Hamlet’s lover x by Priya Dadlani

Priya Dadlani

Most have read, or at least heard of, the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. We are familiar with the unforgettable Hamlet, Claudius and the loyal Horatio. But do you remember Ophelia? Hamlet’s secret lover and bride, who climbed the social ladder in a world ruled by men? Ophelia may not have been the most talked about or popular character from Hamlet. This may be because Shakespeare killed her off, but if she did not die, if she took Hamlet’s recommendations and went to live in a nunnery, how would her life turn out? Lisa Klein has written many books taking place in the past, but her novel Ophelia might have been her biggest accomplishment. Taking place in Denmark in the 1600’s

when King Hamlet was in rule; this novel focuses on the life of Ophelia and the trials and tribulations of her life. A love affair between Ophelia and Hamlet is the backbone of the story. The necessity to keep their love a secret causes a lot of the drama in Ophelia’s life. In this time period, men were always on top and always in charge. Women were looked at as ornaments, to be pretty, quiet, quaint and lady like. They were never given any power and were never expected to step out of line and act spontaneously. Ophelia’s life however, was tumultuous, with ups and downs of great lengths even before she reached the age of 18. A secret love affair, a father’s death, a pregnancy, a fake death and joining a nunnery and the love of her life dying were all things that Ophelia experienced at a tender age. She did

not have anyone to divulge her feelings to and she had no one to give her advice. Many teens can relate to Ophelia, maybe not because they’ve had secret love affairs or faked a death, but because they feel like they cannot tell anyone their problems. They might feel like no one understands and that is exactly how Ophelia felt while dealing with Hamlet, her family and their secret. I have read this book four times and every time I read it I connect with it on a different level, according to the way my life is going. You do not have to have read Hamlet to appreciate this book. You do not even have to be a girl to read this book. This book is perfect for any person who can identify with feeling judged, unaccepted, pressured and heavy hearted.


December 16, 2011

The Blake Beat

The December 16 Issue Part Two  
The December 16 Issue Part Two  

The December 16 Issue Part Two of The Blake Beat