Seven outstanding students demonstrate superior talents in various areas, p. C 4-5
James Hubert Blake High School
March 16, 2012
Loss of parent serves as guiding force for three students Late role models continue to shape the lives of their children, others
been changed by his mother in ways that cannot be explained. “I’m much more thankful for the things I have rather than sobbing over what I don’t have anymore,” he adds. “I know the truth now; we all don’t know what we have until it’s gone.” An continues to stay strong for his younger brother who will be entering kindergarten next
by Savannah Doane-Malotte x & Kristen Frese Growing up is hard enough, but growing up without a parent is even more challenging. Junior Ji An and seniors David Hylton and Yasmin Wamala all dealt with this loss during their early teenage years but have come to learn to appreciate what they have in their lives. Hylton lost his father due to health problems towards the end of 8th grade. While at first in denial of the situation, he grew to accept the sudden changes to his life. Says Hylton, “I feel like I have become more like him now that he’s gone- I am much more social with people and always go after my dreams – just like he would have wanted [me] to.” Hylton remarks that one of his biggest regrets is not having a close relationship with his father. There is now a plaque in his father’s memory at the snack booth next to the football field. His father was very involved in the Blake community, supporting Hylton’s two older sisters, especially at football games where they performed as part of the Poms squad.
I have to be strong not just for me, but for my whole family. Yasmin Wamala
I truly found my faith in God, just as my mother had before she passed. Ji An
Says Hylton, “It’s nice hearing his name at football games because I still feel like his presence is at Blake and he can see what I’ve been doing even though he’s gone.” After losing his mom to stomach cancer when he was 13, junior Ji An worked alongside his father to keep the household running smoothly. He has turned his attention to other aspects of his life rather than dwelling on the past. “As I’ve matured a little more I truly found my faith in God, just as my mother had before Senior Yasmin Wamala holds a picture she passed,” he says. He feels that he has of her late father, who passed away from
year. He hopes to be a second role model for his brother. Following her father’s lead, senior Yasmin Wamala tries to reflect his character in everything she does, learning many lessons along the way. Wamala lost her father to health complications in 8th grade, leaving her and her family devastated. She has come to terms with the loss, saying, “I’ve learned to not let it take over my life because that’s not what he would have wanted.” Wamala feels as though her father is ever-present in her life and realizes that her father would not have been happy if was still alive and battling health problems. Though she misses him, she says, “I had to think of him, not of me. I have to be strong, not just for me, but for my whole family.” She continues to try to make her father proud. All three Bengals agree that losing a parent was the hardest thing they’ve gone through, but it has also empowered them to be better people. They strive to embody the positive characteristics their parents possessed and achieve accomplishments that would make their parents proud. “[My dad is] still with me and watching everything I do,” says Wamala. “I’m just trying to live up to the amazhealth complications. She is committed to ing example he set up for me before he staying positive. --photo by Sami Wright left.”
Alumna uses hardship to help others, educate public on amputees Westley goes from victim to victor by overcoming ordeal, obstacles
x by Joal Chen & Janine Taira Alumna Margaret Westley was just a normal college student living life in New York City. Like many young adults, she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. But one day while walking the busy streets of New York, her life changed. After just six months at Marymount University, Westley was hit by a speeding bus turning the corner. Though critically injured, Westley remained conscious while her body was pinned to the ground as she waited for the ambulance to arrive. The ride to the hospital was a blur as she faded in and out of consciousness, but was comforted by caring EMTs. “One of the EMTs kneeled down and grabbed my hand and said, ‘Stay with us sweetheart, the entire city of New York is behind you,” says Westley. “I’ll always remember that woman as an angel.” She had to have her foot amputated, but due to infection Westley lost the rest of her leg below her knee shortly thereafter. Now, Westley, a 2002 Blake graduate, educates the public on the struggles amputees face in America, and how it is so much harder for amputees in the Third World with less access to prosthetics and health care. She volunteers for the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation
(POF), which works in areas worldwide with a high concentration of amputees or people in need of orthotics to fix deformities such as clubfoot. Says Westley, “I was so touched by [POF’s] work, I thought, ‘I’m going to do whatever I can do to help and was inspired to work for them.” Currently, Westley is a fundraiser for POF and
Live your life, because you never know [what can happen]. Margaret Westley other nonprofit organizations, while also writing a memoir on how the accident helped her figure out what to do with her life. Although Westley did not return to college for a Bachelor’s degree, she has gone back to school for holistic health counseling. Since her recovery, Westley has taken a new perspective on life. “I definitely feel that my accident
was a positive impact on my life. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” says Westley, “but I believe that it happened to me so I can be one catalyst or one light or one voice for people in a variety of areas to learn what they want to be passionate about.” Throughout her ordeal and subsequent activism, Westley has remained optimistic. She sees the accident as the push she needed to get control of her life and discovered her passion for helping others. Says Westley, “Live your life, because you never know [what can happen]. You could…get in a really bad accident tomorrow, and when you look back and think about your life [you ask yourself], ‘did I fulfill something?’’ The answer for Westley is yes.
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
Phones prove to be privileges, not rights
Students without mobiles find other ways to connect by Aliya Dean x& Hannah Kenney
Most people in today’s society compare life without a cell phone to life without water: nearly impossible to survive. However, for others, cell phones are seen as a luxury rather than a necessity. “I survived without a cell phone for 16 years,” says junior Anna Galeano. “While I want a cell phone for mere communication, I respect my parent’s choice to not give me one until I’m older.” Like other families, the Galeano’s parents avoid giving their children cell phones until they are grown and able to pay for their own cell phone plan. Similarly, junior Jay Mgaza believes that the absence of a cell phone is not as bad as it seems. “Of course I’d rather
have a cell phone,” says Mgaza. “But that doesn’t mean that I can’t function through my daily routines without one.” Sophomore Gabby Jones highlights a pro to not having a cell phone: without a cell phone, she is more focused on completing homework after school than she would be if she was texting or playing games. On the other hand, not owning a cell phone has proven to have its difficulties for Jones and Mgaza alike. “I’m never fully informed about things with my cheer team because [cell phones are] basically how we communicate about upcoming events,” says Jones. Adds Mgaza, “Sometimes I do wish that I had a cell phone, just to be able to keep in touch with friends and to know when everything is happening.”
Most teenagers imagine that not owning a cell phone is like being wiped off the face of the social community. However, for Galeano, not having a cell phone does not hold her back from all the activities she does with her friends. “I guess you can say I’ve gotten used to hopping on Facebook to check for upcoming events,” says Galeano, “especially when the weekend rolls around.” Cell phones are a primary communication resource in our generation, alongside social media networks. Some teenagers are able to manage, though, by using other means of communication and focusing on the positive aspects of going phoneless. “I will have a phone someday,” says Galeano. “I’ve decided to stop counting down the days and to just do the best with the resources I have.”
With click of mouse, all have ability to access new world of culture
Photo-sharing site Pinterest becomes latest craze among teenagers by Larisha Winley
x & Leisha Winley
Pinterest [pin-terest] noun: a popular site where the world of fashion, art, photography and food is at the click of a mouse. Pinterest is a web site where users are able to pin things they find interesting. Users are able to create different boards for different categories of interest, like travel, do-it-yourself suggestions, photography and more. Says sophomore Jocelyn Ko, “I’ve always liked to collect my favorite things to refer to for inspiration. Pinterest is just a more fun way to do just that.” Ko learned about Pinterest through English teacher Amy Branson.
Adds senior Hayley Glantz, “I like that you can set up different categories and put photos in categories that you see fit.” Glantz started using Pinterest after a friend
it’s fun and you can find some really interesting pictures of all sorts of things; new hair styles, prom blogs, how to make your own clothes: endless possibilities,” says
“I mainly pin quotes that I like or sweets that look good and clothes that I wish I had,” Glantz says. Glantz favorite part of the site is that you have to be invited to the
You can find some really interesting pictures of all sorts of things; new hair styles, prom blogs, how to make your own clothes: endless possibilities.Laura Savary invited her to the site in January. Junior Laura Savary started using Pinterest in September. “[I think] it’s become popular because
Savary. Users are able to follow other people or specific boards that they find interesting and share images.
site or request an invite and that no one’s pages are blocked so you can pin any photos you like into your categories.
Pinterest can be compared to other social networking sites; you can follow people, like their posts and share images. While Pinterest has many similarities to Tumblr, Pinterest users are adamant that it’s completely different. Says Savary, “You just post pictures and I like it because not many people know about it yet, I probably spend more time on it then I do on Facebook.” Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing social networking sites, having 4 million users to date. Says Ko, “I think it’s become popular mainly because people are curious about the name and what it does. It’s also an easy way to express yourself.”
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
Prom Wars: juniors, seniors commence fight for fashion Journey to perfect dress becomes latest craze amongst Bengalettes by Danielle Moore
x & Yasmin Wamala
Ready…set…shop! The long awaited hunt for prom dresses begins. Juniors and seniors are tightening their running shoes, putting on their best war paint and brass knuckles getting ready to fight for their perfect princess gown. Not many girls wait until the last minute in this exciting process. Senior Paula Edoja says, “Because this is my senior year, I actually started planning for prom dress shopping a long time ago, it’s important.” “I’m usually a last minute
person but I’m going to do things in advance this time so it won’t be too stressful,” adds senior Amy Hoang. Whether short or long, plain or sparkled, prom dress styles are purely a matter of preference. Trending styles Bengals have noticed for this year’s prom season include dresses with one-shoulder, gems and rhinestones, strapless and sweetheart necklines, mid-thigh slits and bold color. “I want something shorter since I’m a junior,” says junior Amara Britt. There will not be much business for big name department stores like JCPenney and Macy’s this
spring when it comes to dress shopping. Most students prefer smaller name boutiques and online stores, mainly to ensure that they will be the only ones wearing their unique dress. Like many, senior Lace Jennings says, “I am looking at places and websites no one has ever heard of.” Jennings would also consider shopping at a bridal store. Some students go even further to be sure that there is no chance of their moment to shine being compromised. “When I think of my prom dress, I want to get it made,” says senior Jordan Brooks. But for Bengal ladies who are looking to be more cost efficient, creativity is key.
Whether that means updating an old dress to be unrecognizable or copping one from EBay, being budget savvy is no hard task. Where there is a will for a one-of-a-kind dress, there is a way. One thing was made absolutely clear: no one wants to look over in the midst of breaking it down on the dance floor to see another girl wearing the same dress. “I’d feel so dumb. It’s my senior year and this is a very special event,” adds Edoja. What to do next if caught in this crisis situation? “I would just show off and try to outshine the other person,” says Jennings.
It’s my senior year and this is a very special event. Paula Edoja
Teenagers experience energy drink binges, encounter side effects Students keeping awake, alert with Red Bull, Monster
x by David Hylton & Sarah Mansaray Monster. Red Bull. These popular energy drinks have become the new caffeine “go-to’s” for our generation- but unlike our lovely, everlasting coffee, these energy drinks seem to have some side effects that some students just cannot deal with. Senior Devon Dey, one of many students at Blake who’s a fan of energy drinks, admits that he used to be hooked to these drinks, stating that he used to drink them daily. “I used to drink [them] every day,” he says, “but then I got scared of some of the side effects.” Dey says he used to have trouble sleeping at night when he constantly drank Monster, so now he tries to limit himself to drinking one a month or so. Other students share Dey’s story. Senior Courtney Cristaldi relies heavily on caffeine to keep her going, having at least one drink a day, but has geared away from relying on her “right hand man” Red Bull and tries to drink coffee more instead. “People always talk about health risks [that] energy drinks may bring, whether they are all accurate I don’t know, but I’ve shifted to coffee to avoid all of that.” Some, however, do not even bother toying with these drinks because they do not see the point in them. “It’s all psychological in my opinion,” says senior Steven Alvarado, “I’m sure you feel a sugar rush when you drink them but for people to get ‘addicted’ to them seems pointless.” Although Monster and Red Bull do not pose any serious health risks with the drinking of one can, individuals may experience dehydration, at the least, if they consume multiple amounts of these drinks. If these energy drinks are mixed with alcohol they can cause detrimental side effects. When it comes down to it though, Monster and Red Bull supply energy for individuals trying to stay up to complete homework or getting through a long day. “Put the side effects aside, and energy drinks can be very helpful,” says senior Irene Lemberos, “If you’re ever too tired to finish that homework, just take a few sips of Red Bull and it will give you the Senior Devon Dey gulps down one of his favorite energy drinks, Monster. Students find that similar wings you need to fly through it.”
drinks with high caffeine contents help them to stay alert and focused. --- photo by Cecilia Girolami
“Stuff” People Say YouTube videos target groups in humorous way Offensive, stereotypical aspects of viral sensations are overlooked
by Rachel Jaffe x & Savannah Tryens “Stuff” People Say: the newest YouTube rage that pokes fun at stereotypes of a certain group of people. While these jokes are commonly seen as offensive and often judgmental, students find them more entertaining than rude across the board. The videos started out targeting various races, interests, clubs, etc., and were almost instantly viral. Despite the common stereotypes addressed in these videos, most students agree that they are better to laugh off as nothing but a joke than to take
to heart. Says junior Lara Richli, “I think they give humor to things that people tend to take too seriously.” Even though many students consider the videos to be more entertaining than insulting, there are others that understand why some may be offended. Says senior Paula Edoja, “I think others may find it offensive seeing how other races are portrayed, but when it comes to your own race you kind of laugh and say- hey we do say that.” A large majority of the stars in the videos are people of that respective race, culture, or interest. This definitely helps
ease some of the controversy with the videos because it encourages being able to laugh at yourself every once in a while instead of being too proud. In a society where tension and controversy is caused by simply chewing your food too loud, the reactions to these videos prove to be a sigh of relief. “When I first saw these videos I went on Twitter expecting everyone to be complaining about how offended they were,” says senior Emily Lindsay. “I was really surprised to see that people were laughing at them and were able to make fun of themselves.” While the videos started off being
hilarious, the have become progressively more specific, becoming “Stuff DC Girls Say” and “Stuff People Say in LA,” which decreases the humor for anyone outside of that metropolitan area. “They become progressively more stupid as they get more popular,” says senior Meredith Mathis, “people are making them too specific and random.” At the end of the day it is hard to hate something that entertains you. Stereotypical or not, the videos make many laugh and have become addicting to YouTube lovers everywhere. Adds Edoja, “All in all, I love the videos: so keep ‘em coming!”
March 16, 2012
The Blake Beat
Bengals work it out, get into shape in creative, new ways
Yoga, Zumba fads make their way to students, influence new lifestyle doing yoga, I feel overall less stressed, more positive, and I sleep better at night.” In addition to receiving physical benefits, Mathis has reached a new state of mind. “This relaxation paired with concentration yields efficiency outside of the classroom and is very revealing,” adds Mathis. Bikram Yoga forces participants to release a lot of energy and work hard to achieve new goals with a calm state of mind. And you don’t have to be a guru to participate in yoga. “I
by Niki Byrd x & Nicole Sterling When winter rolls around, it is easier to curl up on the couch and watch a movie than go and exercise; however, the latest fad amongst teens is being more active. Bikram Yoga and Zumba have become especially popular among students. Seniors Meredith Mathis, Melina Latona and Melissa McNabb have benefitted from participating in such on a regular basis. “It keeps me from getting too lazy,” says Mathis. “Having activities like that are more fulfilling than spending hours on the internet.” Bikram Yoga, commonly known as hot yoga, takes place in a 105 degree studio causing its participants to sweat heavily thus shedding more calories and toxins. “The activity itself builds strength and improves flexibility, but also forces you to drink much more water than you usually would,” adds Mathis.
I have been working out to build strength... Anthony Bui
The benefits can be noticed from day one... Melina Latona Bikram Yoga increases circulation, flexibility, and reduces stress. Yoga is a slower alternative for those who prefer low-impact workouts. Latona started doing Bikram Yoga to obtain physical and mental health benefits. “On my off seasons…I would find myself sitting on the couch for way too long, eating fist-fulls of food my body did not need,” says Latona. “Now that I am
Seniors Meredith Mathis and Melina Latona practice the meditative art of yoga. Yoga has
recently become popular due to its emotional, as well as physical, benefits. --- photo by Niki Byrd
would recommend Bikram yoga to everyone, whether you’re flexible or not,” says Latona. “The benefits can be noticed from day one. I guarantee you will feel so good afterwards.” However, yoga is not the only option to getting fit. Senior Anthony Bui likes to hit the gym three times a week. “I feel like I’m more satisfied with myself and my accomplishments,” says Bui. “I have been working out to build strength and have definitely seen improvements, which boosts my self-esteem.” Overall teens have noticed that making the change to replace TV and computer time with exercise is more fulfilling. “Investing your time in something that benefits your body and mental focus rather than squandering away time improves a person’s well being,” says Mathis.
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
Technological discrimination increases as many left iPhone-less
the news feed of iPhone and non-iPhone users alike. If not having those features was bad enough, non-iPhone users are directly affected by the discrimination when they are sent
a group text from a group of iPhone users. Each non-iPhone handles these differently; some have the texts come in individually from each person out of order while others have to waste their time trying to download
the group text. Either way – the non-iPhone user cannot participate in the conversation like the Apple conformers can. Says senior Brooke Rehman, “My friends without iPhones tell me to stop sending them group texts, but it’s not my fault that they aren’t hip to the times.” Some of you have seen those symbols before:… the dreadful “emoticon.” Where ever you go, iPhone discrimination is lurking. Since when does having a better phone imply that you get to have secret smiley faces for iPhone users only? Emoticons can often add meaning to a phrase, which would be lost to those without iPhones. For example, a non-iPhone user logs on to Twitter and someone tweets a neutral phrase such as “oh Joanne,” but the only way to see how the tweeter feels about Joanne is by the expression of the Emoticon they placed at the end of the tweet. Well too bad, so sad to those of you without an iPhone because you have no idea what that box symbol is of. No matter your opinion on iPhones versus non-iPhones, we all can agree that iPhone exclusiveness is getting out of hand and needs to be stopped. “Honestly, I just can’t take it anymore,” says senior Julie Lopatka, who hasn’t yet caught on to the iPhone fad. “I like my phone, but I’m tired of being discriminated against.”
School, which makes commuting there every day, for the 25 students that attend, worth it. “[The program] made my life more structured and it’s given me a better sense of what the real world is like,” says senior and second-year Edison attendee Bruce Jackman. Students like Jackman, who attends for automotive engineering, catch the bus to Edison in the morning or afternoon and travel twenty minutes to the school every day.
Guidance counselor Jeannette Hayes has been promoting Thomas Edison for the past 13 years. She encourages students to sign up because of the experience it gives and the great opportunity it provides of being able to have hands-on training. Says Mrs. Hayes, “[The experience] can...inspire confidence.” Courses at Edison are not usual class courses that students sign up for at school, which makes it appealing. The experience also shortens the time needed to prepare for a career. Says senior Wendy Cordon, “[Edison] is a great program if you want a sense of what you are going to do after high school.” The school creates a chance
for students to test out some careers they are interested in before having to commit fully to it. Edison also provides students with the chance to build relationships while learning. “I love going to Edison because you get to work with students from various high schools and every day you learn something new,” adds Cordon. Thomas Edison High School provides a new and totally different approach to a school day for students with a main focus in a field of interest that is both very enjoyable and informative. Says resource counselor Jean Smith, “For those who have a specific career goal that Edison addresses, Edison gets great reviews.”
by Rachel Jaffe x & Sammi Levitt Throughout history, all races, religions, genders and ethnicities have been victims of prejudice. However, in our day and age, there is a new form of discrimination — technological discrimination. People without iPhones have been ignored and neglected since the summer of 2007. iPhones have over half a million apps, access to the Mac OS X user interface, and the intelligent personal assistant, Siri, while other smart phones, like Androids and BlackBerry phones, are denied all of these privileges. Says senior Melina Latona, “People with iPhones are exclusive in the way that their phones leave the rest of us out.” Non-iPhone users are disgusted and pained when they see app after app coming out for iPhones — none of which are available to them. Says senior Brian Battaglia, “I love my Droid, but sometimes I’m just itching to play an iPhone game and I can’t.” Games like Temple Run and social networks like Instagram are iPhone exclusives, leaving Androids in the dust. We know that the discrimination is getting really bad when major social networks are promoting the unfairness. Twitter allows iPhone users to not only brag about their Temple Run scores, but also to directly post their Instagram photos. Facebook permits the same sort of broadcasting – Instagram photos flood
Edison attracts Bengals with its special programs
Opportunities prove to be great training for future jobs
by Tara Adhatamsoontra x & Yvette Mingia
Restaurant management, auto technology, cosmetology, interior design or medical career studies. These are just a few of the endless possibilities at Thomas Edison High
C8 Happy Belated Birthday Becca! ---------------------------------------Dripping with swagger! ---------------------------------------I gotta go change my feet? ---------------------------------------Do you like cheese? ---------------------------------------FB Cubed ---------------------------------------I’ve got 3 player phones ---------------------------------------GTL is #1 ---------------------------------------Thanks to everyone who donated to The Beat ---------------------------------------We’ll miss you Keegs ---------------------------------------Tonight, we are young ---------------------------------------We’ll set the world on fire ---------------------------------------We can burn brighter ---------------------------------------Than the Sun ---------------------------------------NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN ---------------------------------------Who wants to bid on me? I feel left out ---------------------------------------Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop & supergroovalisticprosifunkstication- they exist ---------------------------------------Vas Happeninnn’ potatoes ---------------------------------------DJ Malik is the Best
March 16, 2012
UnClassifieds See any BEAT staffer to buy your Unclassified in our next issue. 70¢ for the first ten words, 5¢ for each additional word ---------------------------------------School is almost done seniors! ---------------------------------------Nandos is God’s Gift ---------------------------------------Swagmasta from Doncasta ---------------------------------------Electricity is really just organized lightning ---------------------------------------1D + BTR Conert = AMAZING Birthday Present ---------------------------------------The Hunger Games are the best! Read the book! ---------------------------------------I AM A MOCKINGBIRD. ---------------------------------------W H O AT E A L L M Y M U M B O SAUCE?!? ---------------------------------------Oh, that’s what the shift key is for… ---------------------------------------THANKS FOR ALL THE DONATIONS! ---------------------------------------Dear Spring Break, please hurry up ---------------------------------------Sincerely, an anxious senior ---------------------------------------Only 76 days until graduation!!!!! ---------------------------------------Joal, will you go to prom with me?- your secret admirer. ----------------------------------------
I need a prom dress!!!! ---------------------------------------Makeup troll making you beautiful with magic ---------------------------------------Aiman loves Cole; Aiman steals food; Aiman loves Lindsey ---------------------------------------You’re my FH, my SM and my PC <3 ---------------------------------------Lindsey, this is Cole – I love you :) ---------------------------------------Heeyjahhh- 4 U Aliya –Aiman ---------------------------------------I love Abbie Spencer! She’s the Massie to my Kuh-laire! ---------------------------------------Turn on the eights, I can’t see Toure’ ---------------------------------------I love Reb ---------------------------------------Reb is the best ---------------------------------------Reb is beautiful ---------------------------------------Seniors 2012 ---------------------------------------ooh bruva you flat out ---------------------------------------Mr. Ritzenburg is my love ---------------------------------------P.D., J.H., T.A., B.H., C.G. ----------------------------------------
The Blake Beat I love Ellen Wood ---------------------------------------Tner is a boss ---------------------------------------Coed or Boys Volleyball ---------------------------------------Savannah or Savannah? Savannah. ---------------------------------------I need to graduate from this school ---------------------------------------Time to buy some Krispy Kreme Donuts ---------------------------------------Who wears short shorts? ... We short shorts! ---------------------------------------“Want to do me a favor?” ---------------------------------------Larisha, will you go to prom with me? ---------------------------------------If you say no I’ll just ask Leisha? ---------------------------------------Dear student, Farts smell worse in the shower because it’s an enclosed space and there’s nowehre for the gas to escape. -Ms. Saikh ---------------------------------------2nd and 3rd period AP Bio rocks. And 6th and 7th period. Love Ms. Saikh ---------------------------------------Attention freshmen and sophomores: It’s still not too late to sign up for Journalism 1 for 2012-2013. Ask your friends: Journalism 1 is one of the best electives in this school and improves your critical thinking, your teamwork, your writing, and your looks (well, 3 out o4 is still pretty good). See your counselor ASAP to sign up for this intellectual elective. ---------------------------------------Robert Griffin III is coming to DC!!!! Look out NFC East! ---------------------------------------But I really think we should trade the pick to the Browns... ---------------------------------------I hope the Colts draft RGIII doe.
Usual suspects poised for long runs, Hoyas set up for first round upset in Big Dance, p. D7 asdfkljasdfklasdjfasdlkfjasdlk;fja;lkfjas;ldkfjas;ldkfjas;lkdfja;sldkfjasd;lkfjsad;lkfjfkljj
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James Hubert High School Blake Blake Beat Sports
March 16, 2012
D? December 17, 2010
Tight-knit group falls together at hands of Westminster
For seniors, coach Wiggins, bonds made will persevere through loss
tled back, forcing turnovers with their lengthy 3-2 zone. Neither With about five minutes remaining in the regional team seemed to get into a rhythm quarterfinal against the Westminster Owls, Blake trailing in the first half as it was tied at just by nearly ten, senior captain Ryan Deane picked up his 22 going into the break. fifth personal foul. He walked to the bench for the last In the second half, though, time, taking a seat at the end and placing his head in the Owls began to force the ishis hands. Coach Marcus Wiggins immediately came sue, scoring in transition and down to Deane and forced his head up: this time was getting good looks in and around different. the paint; the Bengals trailed by “I personally get so much strength from Ryan ten for much of the second half. Deane. He’s one of the toughest captains, one of the Although Blake had glimpses of toughest kids I’ve ever coached,” says coach Wiggins. inside scoring with seniors Avery “I really, really love this team more than any other team Ugba and Magnus Richards, the I’ve coached at Blake.” Bengals continued to miss crucial Blake took on Westminster February 28 and outside shots and fell 65-57. “We jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. However, the Owls bat- accomplished a lot this year,” says Deane. “We fell just short of a goal that no one imagined us even getting to. We had so many people doubt us this year…and we proved a lot of people wrong.” February 25, the Bengals hosted the Baltimore Polytechnical Institute Engineers in round one. The game began as a polar opposite to the Westminster game as the Engineers jumped out 6-0 to start the game. Blake battled back as Deane and senior guard Ricky Mancia, who led the team with 18 points, knocked down some big three pointers, leading Blake to a 36-30 edge at halftime. “Whenever our defense picked it up I was at my best,” says Mancia. “All the adrenaline from the good defense we play is what helped me get going.” The Bengals retained the six point margin for the majority of the second half as Ugba held down the Senior guard Ricky Mancia drains his team-high 18 points --photo by defensive paint with a num- a floater in the lane to score two of Dennis Chan ber of big-time rejections. Blake pulled away at the end Next year the Bengals return an experienced backto win 66-57. court with junior guards Breon Herbert and A.J. Butts. Entering the playoffs, the Bengals were on The duo will have to step it up next year as the team a three game win streak, beating the Damascus will lack the tremendous post presence from this year’s Swarmin’ Hornets 67-61 February 15, demolishteam. “My squad and I do not want to lose again,” says ing the Whitman Vikings 68-27 February 17, and Junior A.J. Butts drives defender in a 66-57 victory defeating the Gaithersburg Trojans 59-49 Febru- Herbert. “We felt the pain and we’re going to work hard to the basket past a Poly --photo by Dennis Chan all off-season and come back strong next year.” ary 21.
x by Michael Errigo & Matt Present
We felt the pain and we’re going to work hard all off-season and come back strong next year.
Sewell, Callender lead Bengals as wrestling team ends on high note
Three athletes take talent to state tournament, finish careers strong
by Sammi Levitt x & Savannah Tryens
After a season of ups and downs due to an inexperienced team, senior stars finally began to compete on their own and shine on the road to the State Championships at Cole Field House. March 2 and 3 the Bengals competed for a state title. Senior Jack Hawvermale put in his best effort but received a tough draw and wrestled against two highly seeded opponents, which led to his elimination. Seniors Will Sewell and Edwin Callender both placed third in the tournament, winning the last match of their high school career, Callender
beating his opponent 6-3 and Sewell winning 7-4. “[I started] wrestling as a junior, so it feels good to achieve what I have,” says Sewell. “ I never thought wrestling would be a sport for me.” February 24 and 25, regionals took place at Sherwood High School where Hawvermale once again placed fourth as did Sewell. Callender placed second. By placing high in regionals, they all were able to qualify for states. Says senior Brian Battaglia, “Even though I didn’t place at regionals or qualify for states it was still awesome to see three of my teammates advance to the state tournament.” Once the team’s season concluded
February 4, the wrestlers were able to compete independently. The tournament began with the county championship, held at Blair High School February 17 and 18. The whole team competed but only Callender, Sewell, Hawvermale, and Battaglia advanced to the regional championship, based on the places they earned at the meet and the points they accumulated throughout the season. Callender and Sewell both placed first place in counties and Hawvermale placed fourth, while Battaglia struggled to place. Callendar was seeded second in the 182 weigh class but managed to pull off an impressive 11-4 win against the first seed senior Elad Covaliu from Walter Johnson High
School whom he had lost to twice earlier in the season. Says Callender, “It felt amazing when I finally beat him; it was a double win; I became a county champ that day and I also defeated the only person that had beaten me at that point.” Though the season is now completely over, the seniors feel mixed emotions now that their high school wrestling careers are ending. “It’s bitter sweet,” says Hawvermale. “Bitter in that we’re not going to be together as a team, we won’t be having fun together or have a serious match together ever again, but it’s also sweet because of how not just time consuming but how life consuming the sport is.”
jjjywryohwrthnsrsrnsbiuiyulfyuttfcufyufysrjoinbusrjnlisurtnislrutnjsrtnrtnrsttrdrtdn Future appears bright in nation’s capital, Nationals ready to compete now, p. D6
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
Varsity girls’ lacrosse gears up for race to regionals
Season begins with passion as they hope to avenge 2011 Spring losses x by Michelle Ung
Sophomore Victoria Wolsh tries to get past sophomore Kristina McKenna in a preseason practice. They start
their season Wednesday against the Rockville Lady Rams. -- photo by Becca Schwartz
This year’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team looks to make it to the regional semifinals again, working harder as a team and improving skills each game. The Lady Bengals hope to beat consortium rivals the Paint Branch Lady Panthers and the Springbrook Lady Blue Devils. Having returning and new players on the team is giving the ladies more courage and spirit for the season. “The players know that the effort they put into practice each day will be the biggest factor in how successful the team is this year,” says Coach Janis Maloney. With new talent and skills, they want to work as a team and give everything they have on the field together. “To work to their full potential not all as lacrosse players, but as strong team members, who respect the game, their opponents, fans and officials,” adds Coach Maloney. Players to look out for during the season include: junior midfielder Caroline Wannen, who has already committed to play lacrosse at the University of Maryland, junior defender Lillian Watkins, and senior midfielders Julie Lopatka and Ellen Wood, and goalie Courtney Cristaldi. Returning junior midfielder Anna Galeano is planning on using her expertise to help out the team’s new players. “Our team has unique players and skills that will help us in the long run against our opponents,” says Galeano. She is looking forward to the upcoming games against school rivals. “I want to show them that our school and team are good and that we can beat them too,” adds Galeano. Watkins, also a returning player, will be looking for revenge against the Sherwood Lady Warriors, the Damascus Lady Swarmin’ Hornets, and the Poolesville Lady Falcons. “We’re going to win the games we were so close to winning last year,” says Watkins. Watkins plays defense and has been working out during the off-season on club teams and is improving her defensive skills. “It’s good that many of the players play a sport during the fall or winter season so it helps the whole team stay fit,” says Watkins. She adds, “It’s the players that make the game interesting to sit and watch.”
Persistent Lady Bengals fall to Springbrook in first round x by John Beers & Lucas Irvin
After a disappointing season filled with ups and downs, the girls’ varsity basketball team gave the Springbrook Lady Blue Devils all they could give in their first round playoff game, losing 48-44 February 24. The Lady Bengals were underdogs coming into the game against the 16-7 Lady Blue Devils. Says junior guard Caroline Wannen, “We knew Springbrook would be a tough game but we wanted to come out and not let them run all over us.” The game was a defensive battle
throughout as Springbrook held a 22-17 lead at halftime. The Lady Blue Devils set the stage for Blake’s dramatic comeback attempt, and they ended the third quarter on a 10-0 run and led 44-36 with two and a half minutes left to play. The Lady Bengals then went on an 8-2 run over the next 2:20 to bring the game to 46-44. After being down by 12, says senior forward Alexis Earley, “We started coming back, and I was like we can actually win this game.” The Lady Bengals had the ball with 10 seconds left and a chance to tie, but were unable to convert and were forced to foul
Springbrook, sealing the victory for the Lady Blue Devils. “I felt like we won,” says junior guard Kenise Carroll. “Even though the score didn’t prove it, we played hard from the moment we stepped on the court to the final seconds of the game.” Carroll led Blake with 12 points, while Wannen and junior forward Francesca Inman contributed 11 points and 9 rebounds respectively. Even with a loss in the first round of the playoffs, the Lady Bengals ended their season positively. The Bengals ended their 14-game losing streak with a 54-49 win at home against the Magruder Lady Colonels February 10.
Wannen tied a season-high with 18 points in the game, while Carroll and junior center Danielle Snowden each contributed 13 points. “If we were the team we are now at the beginning of the season, we could have pulled out a lot more wins,” adds Earley. Blake will look to continue to improve and grow as a team next year. The good news for the Lady Bengals is that they will return all but one of their players, as Earley is the only graduating player. Says Earley, “I am hoping the team next year does a lot better. They already know what they have to work on and I wish them the best of luck.”
Coed volleyball hopes to rebound from last year’s disappointments Coach Gandy wants to win with returning athletes, renewed squad x by Jake Gordon Coed volleyball players hope to set themselves up for a winning season this year by bumping up their game play and attempting to dig up some wins after last year’s 1-11 overall record. One notable change for the better is the arrival of experienced female players, such as junior Franchesca Kuhney and seniors Tara Mitchell and Erica Ragland— all major talents on last fall’s girls’ varsity volleyball team. Ragland believes that this edition of the team can bounce back with renewed vigor. “This year’s team wants to improve on last year’s performance,” says
Ragland. “We’re coming into the season with a new attitude: to play every ball.” The team feels that it needs to develop its communication skills in order to advance its play to a more ruthless level. Guys and girls who have never played with each other before must effectively function on the court. Senior Victor Chau returns for his second year, and stresses such points. “I’m hoping that this year our teamwork will be a lot better,” says Chau. “We need to improve this year, we need to move to the ball, give 110% effort on the court, and communication is definitely a key factor to be worked on.” Head coach Kim Gandy wants to get her players
to work together, but most of all she wants to see some ‘W’s on her score card. “I’m looking forward to a lot of wins,” says coach Gandy. “I’m looking forward to being competitive in the county.” While winning is the ultimate goal, some seniors admit they also just want to enjoy playing with each other one last time. “It’s my senior year, so I want to have fun playing volleyball,” says Mitchell. “It’s my last chance to be part of a high school team with my friends.” The Bengals hope to serve up a good start to the year in their first match at the Kennedy Cavaliers Wednesday at 7pm.
Blake looks to convert spike in confidence into superior court play by Andrew Markowitz
x & Robert Krakaur
After several disappointing but slowly improving seasons, the boys’ volleyball team is confident that this combination of skill and experience will produce a deep playoff run. Senior Matt Lipshultz has high, yet achievable expectations for the upcoming season. “For me specifically, I want to have fun and improve my skills,” adds
Lipshultz. “For the team I want to finish the season with more wins than losses.” Senior Jack Hawvermale has similar aspirations for the season. “I want to be a close team and go into every game feeling confident,” says Hawvermale. This is his fourth year on the team, and he says he’s ready to win. “This is my senior year. It’s time to bring it all together this year,” adds Hawvermale. “I want to be a leader this year. I feel like I know what I am doing and I
want to help the new players.” Says junior Tanner GilesTucker, “I think our game against Northwood will be an easy win, but it’s important not to take anything for granted.” One of the more interesting matches will be against consortium rival Paint Branch Panthers April 20 in Bengal Field House. The team has three fouryear veterans that hope to mold the young team into a playoff contender through their leadership
and veteran experience. As for the new players, they have high hopes. “I think Tanner is one of the best new guys,” says Hawvermale. “He learns very quickly and he is a good athlete.” “I think it helps [having a lot of seniors] because we’ve played together for a long time and built chemistry,” says Hawvermale, “Danny Anduray and [senior] Tai Ramsey are the best returning players. They can pass, hit, and set very well.”
I want to be a close team and go into every game feeling confident. Jack Hawvermale
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
Strong showing caps hard fought year for Swim and Dive
by John Beers x & Brandon Weber
After a challenging regular season, the Swim and Dive team headed into the Maryland 4A-3A State Championship Swim Meet February 25 with high hopes for the final contest of the season. The Bengals were led by junior Cory Camp, who placed fifth in both the boys’ 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, with times of 1:48.53 and 4:45.73, respectively. Camp, along with
senior David Altobelli and juniors Sam Jaffe and Andrew Latona, was also on the 200 medley relay team that finished 12th with a time of 1:46.71. “The team really had a steady progress level across the board,” says Latona. “Most swimmers walked away with personal records this season.” For the Lady Bengals, senior Amanda Freeman finished 15th in the girls’ 100 freestyle, while sophomore Bethany Hamson also had a strong showing,
placing 21st in the girls’100 breaststroke. Freeman posted a time of 57.59 while Hamson came in at 1:15.01 in her event. In the Maryland State Diving Championship, the Bengals were represented by senior Victor Bennett and junior Cassandra Wolsh. Bennett placed eighth in the boys’ competition with a cumulative score of 257.45, while Wolsh finished ninth with a score of 253.85. Prior to the state championship meet, the team competed
in the Maryland 4A-3A North Region Championship and Dive Competition. Camp and Latona once again led the Bengals, becoming the first ever Blake Regional Swimming champs, as Camp finished first in the boys’ 200 freestyle, posting a time of 1:48.53 in the event, while Latona finished first in boys’ 100 backstroke with a time of 58.46. Other notable swims were Jaffe’s 100 breaststroke and Altobelli’s 100 freestyle, which both placed third in their respective events.
Varsity baseball’s senior-laden roster looks to continue winning tradition x by Lucas Irvin & John Beers Varsity baseball’s lineup centers around the vast experience of its ten seniors, who look to lead the team to a powerful performance and continue their success from the past two seasons as they move up to 4A. Much of the talent is returning from last year, including All-Met first baseman and pitcher Cody Acker and All-County third baseman Andy McWilliams. The team is confident that, even while trying to replace some key players from last season, they will still be able to succeed. “While we need to fill some key positions on defense,” says head coach Steve Murfin, “I expect that the competition for positions will make us a better defensive team by the time the season starts.” Adds Acker, “Our team will be solid hitting but if our defense can come through and make the routine plays, we
will come out on top of every game.” The biggest question mark for the team is their pitching. Says coach Murfin, “We graduated a lot of experience last year, but we have a lot of challengers for pitching roles this season.” Acker has been clocked at throwing in the low 90s, but the team is still deciding whether to use him as a starter or as a closer. Adds coach Murfin, “If we can score early and build on leads, bringing in Acker in the final two innings should secure a lot of wins.” The Bengals expect to make a run for the state tournament and will bring their own measurable goals into each game as they try to accomplish their ultimate goal. Coach Murfin calls his acronymic philosophy BASE2. His goal every game is to have a Big inning (3 runs or more in an inning), to Answer when the other team scores, to Score first, to Extend leads, and to score with 2 outs at least twice a game.
The team expects the success from years past to carry over into this year. They are coming off of two straight division titles in 3A and throughout Blake history, the Bengals have an overall winning percentage of .622. This squad is expected to put up a lot of runs this season as it had nine players bat over .300 last season. But there are also the immeasurable benefits of an experienced team. Says senior outfielder Christian Domaas, “The chemistry that comes from having 10 seniors will definitely help us this year.” The team will face a tougher schedule than they had before, as they moved up from division 3A to 4A, but this does not make them nervous. “The coaching staff has a lot of experience at winning and knows how to teach a team to play winning baseball,” says coach Murfin. “If the players follow what we tell them, it won’t matter who we play or at what level we are playing. We will win.”
Boys’ tennis hits the courts, works hard toward successful spring Experienced squad has high hopes for year x by John Kos & Zach Kushner
Boys’ tennis looks to their seniors for experience and leadership as they embark on a promising season. Last year’s team went 5-7 in Division II under coach Brian Damron. “We have a motivated team that works well together,” says coach Damron. “We will see how they develop. The goal [is] to grow in the win column.” Fortunately, this year the team returns a strong handful of seniors, and did not lose a lot of talent. Four year veterans and singles players such as Christian Jeong, Anthony Bui and Jake Gordon will be great assets to the team. The trio played first, second and third singles last year respectively. Juniors Corey Glocker and Michael Errigo work well with each other and are expected to be a strong doubles one team. The pair are friends off the court and push each other outside of practice and on the off-season to get better. Both played during the winter at local clubs to keep their skills sharp. After finishing in the middle of the Division II standings last year, the team wants to edge its way to the top, and take down rivals such as the Poolesville Falcons and the Sherwood Warriors. “Last season’s record has thrown fuel upon my
Sophomore Victor Phimphachanh refines his backhand at an early practice. Phimphachanh already has promising skill and internal fire, and my desire to win and better our team has grown stronger,” adds Bui. “[Since tryouts] my hopes have surged and I believe this season we can truly make known our presence in the county.” The team has a difficult schedule this
hopes to continue to hone skills this season in tough matches against Division I teams --photo by Rebecca Kalinich
year and will have to do their best to keep up with the tough competition. The boys are poised to play against the Churchill Bulldogs – a Division I opponent – in their first match Wednesday. On the road they will have to face off against other D-I
squads such as the Bethesda Chevy Chase Barons and the Quince Orchard Cougars. Sophomore standout Ryan Chang adds, “We want to win as many matches as possible so we can compete with the [Division I] schools.”
Track team carried by experienced athletes found both on, off roster
Players hope new coach, fresh attitude get season started on right path
x by Jake Gordon With a huge pool of talented and eager athletes and a new coaching staff, the outdoor track and field team is about to embark on a highly anticipated season as many runners hope to excel in something new and continue a strong tradition. At the helm of the operation stands head coach Rebekah Dietz, who is a Springbrook High School alumna and former Montgomery County champion in the pole vault. She continued her career at the University of
North Carolina-Wilmington. As a certified pole vault coach, she plans to introduce the event to the team and hopes many athletes will take advantage of her expertise. “I’m looking forward to the upcoming season, and training hard in the upcoming weeks,” says Dietz. “We have a lot of good athletes; I’m excited to see their potential develop.” Alongside her are assistant coaches Neil Serafenas and Abner Wyatt. Serafenas is a former shot put and discus thrower for the University of Florida and Wyatt has a wideranging background in running. Says senior
Cameron Constantine, “I think the coaches will give us a fresh start, a new way of doing things. We’re also returning a lot of good runners that will help us down the line.” Just a few of those returning are seniors Leroy Radway and Justin Ingram, and junior Graylyn Broadnax, who all qualified for the 3A state championship meet last year. “Watch out for us,” says Radway. “We’re going to be on the attack all season. My teammates and I want to beat the record in the 4 x 200 and re-break the 4 x 100 record.” Notable athletes on the girls’ team
include returning senior sprinter and hurdler Amina Irving, sophomore jumper Brie Cudjoe and freshman mid-distance runner Martha Sam - who displays early potential. Irving hopes to overcome her injury during the indoor track season. “The new coaches are making us try harder, all the seniors want go out with a bang,” adds Irving. “We want to get as many personal records as we can and try to leave a legacy on the field.” The team faces off against the Richard Montgomery running Rockets in their first meet at home Wednesday, 3:30pm.
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
Boys’ lacrosse looks to begin ‘new era’ in 2012 season Immense talent, fresh faces look to lead team to victory by Kristen Frese x & Michael Joiner Stacked with experienced seniors and underclassmen eager to learn, the varsity boys’ lacrosse team is excited and prepared for the upcoming season. Although the lacrosse team lost more than half its players last year after graduation, the current Bengal players aren’t showing any signs of giving up. “This year it’s about showing up with a great attitude,” says coach Patrick Howley, who believes this year’s group of boys has a particular
talent in playing relentlessly. “They’re proud to play for Blake and be athletes on the lacrosse field.” This year’s schedule for the boys contains a very diverse group of competition— from extremely experienced teams such as Sherwood and Churchill to teams that have not performed as well such as Einstein and Kennedy. However, the boys feel that their practices are most important to a successful season. “I’m not really worried about the other teams,” says freshman attack and starter Frankie Hedgepeth. “I’m more focused with the making our team the best
it can be.” This season is being called the “new era of Blake lacrosse,” due to the immense talent and dedication from all of the players. “Everyone seems to work well together and nobody tries to do it all on their own,” says Hedgepeth. “I think what I like best about the team is the positivity everyone has.” The boys work well together and hope to continually improve their communication and passing. Says senior middie Nick Tatnall, “I hope we win more games this year and really improve our team dynamic— that’s what is important.” The team hopes to
use these strengths to establish themselves and build a reputation of excellence. Mr. Howley is most looking forward to building the lacrosse program and transforming it into a powerhouse in Montgomery County. “I think this team has the chance to set the tone for what this program will be for years to come,” adds Mr. Howley. “They have the chance to start something new at Blake—a new breed of lacrosse players.” The team will begin demonstrating their skill 7pm Wednesday at Rockville High School in the first game of the season.
Lady Bengals to lead off with strong start
Softball’s returning players key to success
x by Matt Present & Brandon Weber With just three seniors on the roster, the girls’ varsity softball team will need the underclassmen to step up big this season if it wants to return to the regional final for the third year in a row. It will all start on the rubber with senior pitcher Meredith Mathis, a four year starter who has set strikeout records at Blake, dominating opposing hitters. Last season Mathis was an Honorable Mention to the All-Met team by the Washington Post and was named to the Second Team All-County by The Gazette. “I think we have a really good team,” says Mathis. “I have a lot of trust in the players behind me.” Mathis, however, was not the only returning player to be named Second Team All-County. Junior outfielder Colleen Burkhardt also received the honor, and provides the Lady Bengals with a lefty pitching option to spell Mathis. The two other seniors on the team are both four year varsity players in first basemen Bridget Gratton and second basemen Sarah Hagan. Hagan will look to get on base often this year to set the table for the power hitting Gratton, who tallied a couple of round-trippers last season. “Our main priority this year is to improve at the plate,’ says coach Jessica Garlick. ‘We’re focusing a lot on hitting and bunting.” Tomorrow the Lady Bengals will play their final scrimmage of the pre-season in a double header against the Damascus Lady Swarmin’ Hornets and the Poolesville Lady Falcons. They’ll face off with Damascus again Wednesday to open up the regular season. The Lady Bengals will then host the Einstein Lady Titans on Friday and the Northwest Lady Jaguars March 26. “We’re a young team,” says coach Garlick. “We need the returing players to step up as leaders and make the younger players feel comfortable.” Many of the players are confident in their abilities to make a run in the playoffs. “We have a lot of natural talent and chemistry,” Juniors Francesca Inman (left) and Aliya Dean have says Hagan. “Hopefully we can return to states again.” their game faces on as they prepare to make solid
contact in an early scrimmage against the Good Counsel Falcons -- photos by Sami Wright
Gymnasts hope to spring back from 3-5 record to soar over rivals Squad must rely on new talent to replace lost seniors in upcoming year by Peter Angeh x & Danny Gonzalez As they chalk up their hands, the Lady Bengals gymnastics team prepares to take on the upcoming season with one goal in mind: stick it. Trying to improve on last year’s 3-5 record, the team faces the vaults, bars, and balance beams once again. The Bengals approach another season with determination,
optimism, and confidence that will lead them to triumph. Says co-head coach Victoria White, “The key to success this season is the girls having [the] determination to beat another school or do something they’ve never done before.” In previous years the team has come together to triumph over their challenges. Former Blake gymnast senior Rebecca Kalinich says, “[What] stood out last year was the amount of teamwork that
everyone put in right away even during the tryouts.” Though the Lady Bengals perform individually, they encourage and support each other to achieve a team victory. On their schedule this season, the gymnasts face off against major rivals Bethesda-Chevy Chase Lady Barons, Sherwood Lady Warriors, and Springbrook Lady Blue Devils. Co-head coach Danielle D’Anna says, “I am very optimistic [we] will be successful this season.”
After suffering defeats two years in a row, the Bengals hope to come back with a vengeance for their most anticipated meet against B-CC. With great experience, junior captain Brittany Atkins plans to lead Blake. Says Atkins, “[The] key to success is practice…only perfect practice makes perfection.” Last year Atkins placed first at the Maryland Bi-County Gymnastics Championships and was named 1st
Team All met by the Washington Post. Atkins prepares by practicing outside of school at Fairland Gymnastics. The team must cope with the loss of seniors and focus on developing new talent. Says Ms. D’Anna, “The seniors we lost last year were great but since we have new talent, [we] can do [more] than what we did and had last year.” Ms. D’Anna believes that the team will exceed last year’s accomplishments.
Sophomore astounds with ambidextrous skills in badminton, tennis by Jake Gordon x & Michael Errigo Sophomore Victor Phimphachanh has a problem—and it’s not just that nobody can seem to pronounce his last name correctly. His problem is that he can only play tennis this season with his non-dominant right hand, making a sport that is hard enough for able-handed athletes even more difficult. The problem he faces could be seen
as a blessing and a curse. He has to switch to his right hand for tennis in order to protect his left. Not many people know that Phimphachanh is a badminton wizard and that the precious left hand is his wand. The necessary strain on the wrist that comes with both sports prevents him from using his left hand in tennis. “Badminton and tennis are pretty similar; it’s just that you can’t play both with the same arm. You’re bound to hurt your wrist if you do,” says Phimphachanh. Phimphachanh started playing bad-
minton six years ago and has come a long way since then. He is now sponsored by K2 badminton club in Virginia and is considered one of the top five players on the east coast in his age group. Despite his superstar status in the badminton world, he remains modest. “I don’t really tell many people that I am some great badminton player, just my close friends,” says Phimphachanh. Badminton is much more than a backyard game played at cookouts and crab feasts. Like tennis, it requires acute hand
eye coordination and quick feet. Games are played at a high level and can get pretty competitive. The sport provides Phimphachanh with a source of exercise and fun. “Badminton is surprisingly fast paced and I like that,” says Phimphachanh. “It’s a fun high calorie burner.” Despite badminton’s underground popularity, most Americans don’t even know what a shuttlecock is. “Badminton is definitely a big time sport, just not in America,” says Phimphachanh. “Not yet anyway.”
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
Callender, Freeman take home titles of Top Winter Athletes
Senior Edwin Callender places third in state for 182 weight class after taking down his opponent, winning 18-1, pinning title of Top Male Winter Athlete. The runner-ups for
this honor are seniors William Sewell and Avery Ugba and junior Cory Camp --photo by Becca Schwartz
x by Sammi Levitt & Savannah Tryens
A time comes for every athlete to step and do their part- some perform well while others excel and elevate to a level that is hard for most to reach. This winter season, eight athletes became crucial to the success of their teams and brought promise to Blake athletics. Our male athlete of the season is senior wrestler Edwin Callender. Callender (182 lbs) was 37-4 on the season, losing only two matches in the regular season and two matches in the state tournament, which includes counties, regionals and state championships. Says Callender, “There weren’t many lows in the season [though] I wish I would have won states.” Callender managed to place first in counties beating foe Elad Covaliu, from Walter Johnson High School, to whom he had previously lost in the regular season. Callender then went on to place second in regionals, losing to Covaliu in the regional championship. Callender placed third in the state championship meet losing by decision in a tough 9-6 match. In his consolation match for either third in states, Callender beat his opponent 6-3. Covaliu went on to win states. Senior swimmer Amanda Freeman is our female athlete of the season. February 25 Freeman placed 15th out of 23 at the Maryland Championship Swim Meet in 100 freestyle with a time of 57.89 seconds. In the Metropolitan swim meet, February 10-11, Freeman placed 17th out of 45 and went 5:28.80 in the 500 freestyle at the preliminary session, moving her into the finals where she placed 17th out of 43. Despite having an outstanding individual season, the wet Bengals struggled overall. “To me winning or losing really isn’t a big deal,” says Freeman. “A lot of my teammates went their best times and we did well at regionals so I’m happy about that.” Our runner-ups for male winter athlete are seniors William Sewell and Avery Ugba and junior Cory Camp. Like Callender, Sewell (195 lbs) placed third in the state wrestling tournament. Sewell went 33-5 in the season and placed first in counties and fourth in regionals after a match with many controversial calls by the referees. Says wrestling coach Dustin Jeter, “[Sewell] has put together one of his best individual seasons… I am very proud of him.” Ugba was one of two big men on the basketball team. The center/forward had a very impressive 345 points this season and had the most rebounds on the team. This season, Ugba put up his season-high 31 points against the Kennedy Cavaliers. Many Division III universities including Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park have shown interest in Ugba. Camp has had a very successful high school swimming career and still has one more year to grow. Camp placed fifth in states for both 200 and 500 freestyle. His 200 medley relay placed 12th in states. In the Metropolitan swim meet, Camp placed 10th in 200 IM and 12th in 500 free. During the regular season, Camp broke his own 500 freestyle record for the third year in a row. Says Camp, “Swimming has had a major impact on my life and it has helped me develop into a leader.” The female runner-ups are seniors Amina Irving and Devon Johnson and junior Kenise Carroll. Carroll was a force on a struggling Lady Bengals basketball team. Carroll had 142 points and 28 rebounds this season. She put up a season high of 18 points and five rebounds December 27 against Liberty high school. Irving has been one of the leading track stars at Blake since her freshman year but suffered an injury in her senior year. Despite the injury, Irving placed 12th in the 55m hurdles with a time of 10.80 seconds at the 3A West Regional meet. Says Irving, “The team contributed to my success by supporting me when I was injured throughout most the season.” The highlight of Irving’s season was breaking ten seconds and coming in seventh at Community College of Baltimore County Essex Invite with a time of 9.95 seconds. Irving hopes to run track at Pennsylvania State University next year. Johnson has been on Poms since her freshman year and became captain this year alongside fellow senior Brianna Lopez. Johnson’s solo talents got a chance to shine throughout the county-wide competitions, January 23 and January 28. At both the Liberty Belle and Jaguar invitationals, Johnson earned the award of first place captain while the team placed 2nd and 1st respectively. Says Johnson, “I feel successful because the team was successful… it only made me push harder to do better for them.” Johnson hopes to dance in college and is considering minoring in dance.
Senior Amanda Freeman, top Female Winter Athlete, shows off her backstroke while practicing for the Metropolitan swim meet, in
which she placed 17th. The runner-ups are seniors Kenise Carroll, Amina Irving and Devon Johnson -- photo by Rebecca Kalinich
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
Young players, off-season moves give Nats positive outlook
As Opening Day nears, fans can’t contain excitement, high expectations
When pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the first overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft, stepped on the mound at Nationals Park last September for the first time since undergoing the dreaded Tommy John surgery in 2010, he gave Washington Nationals fans a glimpse of a very promising future. The team that hasn’t seen a winning season since moving to the capital in 2005 has many reasons to hope. Last year’s surprising 80-81 mark was good for third in the National League East after three straight last place finishes from 2008 through 2010. In 2008 and 2009, the Nationals finished as the worst team in baseball, allowing them to draft back-to-back wunderkinds in Strasburg and outfielder Bryce Harper in 2010, who was only 17 at the time. A big question mark for the team is whether Harper will make the club as the opening day right fielder. Financially, it makes sense for Washington to keep Harper in the minors until at least April 25. This time actually allows the club to delay Harper’s eventual free agency by one year. In essence, they’ll sacrifice 20 games without Harper for 162
(or more) with him in the future. If ownership wants the most out of the former Golden Spikes Award winner (top amateur baseball player), Harper will spend a little more time away from the big leagues. This year’s team is getting much more coverage on major sports networks,
year, $100 million extension February 26, which will keep him in DC until 2019. There are many returning players who experienced breakout seasons in 2011 and will look to improve on that success. One, pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, was especially welcome to Nationals fans, as he
such as ESPN and MLB Network, in part due to these phenoms. In addition, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman’s contract extension has garnered plenty of attention. Long considered the face of the franchise, Zimmerman has gone through losing season after losing season and is ready to help turn everything around. He signed a six-
has also endured Tommy John surgery. His 3.18 earned run average in 161.1 innings pitched in 2011 serve as benchmarks for Strasburg’s 2012 campaign. Pitching was a theme in the offseason for the Nationals, and their revamped rotation gives them promise on the hill. Last December, the team surprised the
baseball world by trading four young prospects for Oakland Athletics southpaw Gio Gonzalez, widely regarded as one of the best lefty pitchers in baseball. Edwin Jackson also inked a deal with the team and will become the team’s fourth starter. Along with Zimmermann and Strasburg, these two additions give the Nationals the deepest rotation they’ve had in a long time, as last year’s wins leader John Lannan will be competing for the fifth spot. “Beast Mode” was unveiled last year, in the form of first baseman Michael Morse, who will make the move to left field this year to make room for Adam LaRoche, who was placed on the disabled list for the majority of last season. Morse was the only National League player besides MVP Ryan Braun to bat over .300 with 35 doubles, 30 home runs, and a .550 slugging percentage last season. Another welcome addition for the club occurred when the owners agreed to add one more playoff team in each league, increasing the Nats’ chances of making it to their first postseason. For once, the future is bright in the nation’s capital, and it all starts April 4 in Chicago.
As year comes to end, Capitals hope to strengthen playoff position x by Andrew Markowitz Time is running out on this NHL season and the Washington Capitals are looking to put a stranglehold on the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. In early February, the Capitals had a chance to take over the Southeast Division when the leading Florida Panthers hit a rough patch of losses. However, Washington failed to take advantage by losing ten of their next 15 contests, further crippling its chance to regain control of the weakest division in the league and a concrete playoff position. With forward Nicklas Backstrom placed on long-term injured reserve, general manager George McPhee surprised Caps fans by making no moves at all to fill the scoring void at the trade deadline. What a shame to think that Washington could have picked up 30-goal scorer Jeff Carter or all-star
center Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets by shipping away forwards Alexander Semin and Mike Knuble or veteran defenseman Roman Hamrlik. Standing pat at the deadline came back to haunt the Caps when they were shutout in back to back games by the New Jersey Devils March 2 and Philadelphia Flyers March 4 by scores of 5-0 and 1-0. Special teams are a key component to surviving in the playoffs, and the Capitals have no special teams to brag about. They sit at 20th place in the league on the power play and 22nd when it comes to killing penalties. Statistics like these won’t carry the Caps through a playoff series. Their last power play goal was scored by forward Brooks Laich in a 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins March 10 and they have gone 1-20 in their last ten games. What this Capitals team needs is a wake-up call, which they will surely get if they finish eighth. The idea of playing
the number one seed New York Rangers isn’t particularly settling. New York has only lost nine games at Madison Square Garden this season and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is having a Vezina-trophy-caliber season with a league-leading eight shutouts. If they do end up facing each other, expect Washington to put up a fight, but come up short in six games. The Caps are battling to hold the eighth Eastern Conference seed from their division rival Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Buffalo Sabres. Sniper Steven Stamkos has been on a tear for the Bolts with 50 goals and 84 points under his belt, while goaltender Ryan Miller has impressed for the Sabres with nine wins in his last 12 games. Washington has a fourpoint cushion over Buffalo with 78 points. Washington will head out to Winnipeg for a matchup with the Jets tonight at 8:30pm. Winnipeg has won two of four games against D.C. this season.
March Madness Word Search
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
All loyalty is lost as fans move from one winner to another
So-called supporters jump ship often, commit cardinal sin of sports x by Michael Errigo Dear Bandwagon Fans, You know who you are. I am addressing any and every sports fan that jumps from successful team to successful team seeking to bask in the glory of backing a winner. I have one message for you fickle fans: I hate you. Anytime you support a team that is not your own just because they are successful, you are committing sports sin number one. It’s fine to enjoy watching a team that wins, especially when your hometown team is good at losing (direct reference to DC sports fans), but there is a difference between being an observer and being a fan. Sometimes, the most oblivious of bandwagon fans doesn’t even realize his or
her vice. In order to straighten that out, here are some indicators that can clear up the confusion: •If you support the Lakers, Celtics, Heat, Yankees, Red Sox, Cowboys, Patriots, or Packers for no reason whatsoever, you are a bandwagon fan. •If you fake intimacy with a team by doing ridiculous things like referring to a player by their first name (“See that Thunder game last night? I did. Kevin played great.”),
you are a bandwagon fan. •If you have already bought a Jeremy Lin jersey and you are neither Asian nor a Knicks supporter, you are a bandwagon fan. (Side note: Just in case Lin has fallen from popularity by the time this comes out and this reference makes no sense to you bandwagon fans, he is an Asian point guard for the Knicks.) There are certain rules that every true sports fan lives by and every bandwagon fan
I have one message for you fickle fans: I hate you.
ignores that set forth the guidelines of being a fan. These rules clearly state that the only way you can root for a team is if you live in that state, you have lived in that state at one time in your life, or if your hometown or state does not have a team in that sport. If the latter option is the case then you are a fan free agent. You are free to choose any team you would like to support. But I would suggest you avoid choosing a frontrunner so nobody mistakes for a bandwagon fan. Wouldn’t want that. I hope this letter teaches you a lesson. Maybe it’s time to take off that Bryant jersey you bought in 2009. Maybe it’s time to burn that 2012 New York Giants Super Bowl champions shirt. Maybe it’s time to become a real sports fan. Sincerely, Michael Errigo
Acker accepts offer to play D-I baseball at Virginia Commonwealth State-recognized athlete reaches upper deck of scholastic competition
by Michael Errigo x & Matt Present For most college-bound athletes, mastering their craft is hard enough. But for senior Cody Acker, baseball prowess on the field must be balanced with being a dedicated student off the field and enjoying his senior year of high school. Acker enters this spring season as a leader on a very strong varsity baseball team. A four-year starter, Acker accepted a scholarship offer to play Division I baseball at Virginia Commonwealth University next year. The decision marked the end of a long recruiting process and Acker is happy with his choice. “Overall VCU was a great fit,” says Acker. “I can’t wait for baseball at the collegiate level.” Recently, Acker was named to the Pre-season AllState team by the Maryland Association of Baseball coaches for the second year in a row. “Being named to the pre-season AllState team is always an honor. It’s all about what other coaches think and say about you,” says Acker. “Luckily I was able to have two consecutive years that I achieved my goals and got that recognition.” Acker led the Bengals last year with a .510 batting average and 26 hits on the season. His stellar performance earned him second team honors on the Washington Post All-Met and All-Gazette teams. He started every game at first base and has
Cody Acker, senior pitcher and first baseman, shows off his fielding skills in preparation for the Bengals
a career .985 career fielding percentage, and as a pitcher, posted a 2.33 ERA last season including a nine-strikeout performance against Sherwood. “Cody is the consummate baseball player and one of the best in Blake’s short history,” says head coach Steve Murfin. “He is a joy to coach. He is a joy just to watch play.” Acker first started playing the game when he was only three years old. Although he writes righthanded, Cody took his stance as a lefty. “It’s still a mystery to this day of how exactly I became lefty in throwing and batting but I guess it’s what you feel is comfortable when you’re young.” Being a lefty is an advantage in baseball since the majority of pitchers are right-handed. In addition to playing for Blake, Acker plays for the MidAtlantic Red Sox, a showcase team which plays tournaments up and down the east coast. The Red Sox have a very good reputation and a lot of college scouts attend their games because of the high talent level. “What I like most about baseball is that there is no time. No matter what the score, it’s still possible to win the game. Never giving up is huge in baseball,” says Acker. A quest that began with a three year old tossing a ball in his grandfather’s front yard will finally come to a head. Says Acker, “At first it’s a dream to play college ball but then in a flash it basically becomes reality.” No matter what first matchup against the Damascus Swarmin’ the future holds, Acker is willing to step up to the plate. Hornets Wednesday--photo by Becca Schwartz
Beat’s bracketologists attempt to break down madness that is March by Matt Present x & Brandon Weber
Arguably the most exciting tournament in sports is underway with the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Here we will analyze each region, predicting which teams will reach the Final Four in New Orleans, Louisiana. South: This region is definitely “made for television.” It contains powerhouses Kentucky Wildcats and Duke Blue Devils along with the 2011 champion Connecticut Huskies and “Cinderella” Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. Kentucky (32-2) will make it tough for the Huskies to repeat if they meet in the round of 32. The Wildcats are driven by freshman sensation Anthony Davis, who averages 14.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks per game. Their toughest test could come in the Sweet 16 against the Indiana Hoosiers, which provided one of the Wildcats’ only two losses. The trio of Austin Rivers, Seth Curry, and
Mason Plumlee will lead the second-seeded Blue Devils in an attempt to give Mike Krzyzewski his fifth career title. Our Pick: (1)Kentucky over (2)Duke. Upset Alert: (10)Xavier Musketeers over (7)Notre Dame Fighting Irish. West: The West will showcase a number of intriguing teams and some local talent. The one-seed Michigan State Spartans always seem to turn it up come tournament time as they went to the Final Four as a four-seed just two years ago. They’re anchored by Draymond Green, who averages a double-double. They will face off with the 16-seed, the LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds, which feature two Springbrook High School alums–guard C.J. Garner and forward Jamal Olasewere. Elsewhere, the Murray State Racers and their surprising 30-1 record will likely face off with the Marquette Golden Eagles. Marquette is an explosive team on offense; seniors Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom have combined for nearly half the team’s points this year, scoring 17.4
and 18.5 points-per-game, respectively. Our Pick: (3)Marquette Golden Eagles over (1)Michigan State Spartans. Upset Alert: (10)Virginia Cavaliers over (7)Florida Gators. Midwest: The North Carolina Tar Heels look to rebound from a loss in the ACC tournament final as the Midwest’s number one seed. John Henson, ACC defensive player of the year, will return for the Heels after missing the conference tournament. They’ll need him if they meet the Creighton Bluejays and Doug McDermott, who averages 23.2 points-per-game, most in the field. The North Carolina State Wolfpack are the 11-seed and will square off against the six-seed San Diego State Aztecs today at 12:40pm. The Aztecs will have to contain three-point specialist Scott Wood and 6’8” forward C.J. Leslie to avoid an upset. A recent postseason disappoint, the Georgetown Hoyas are seeded third and will play the 14-seed Belmont Bruins, which are led by points and assists leader Kerron
Johnson, today at 3:10pm. Even if the Hoyas get past Belmont, we expect them to lose to the winner of NC State-SD State. Our Pick: (1)North Carolina over (2)Kansas Jayhawks. Upset Alert: (14) Belmont over (3)Georgetown. East: This region features the top seeded Syracuse Orange and Jim Boeheim’s flawless 2-3 zone. The long wingspans of many of the Syracuse players make the zone nearly impenetrable and allow them to get out in transition. The second-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes and postman Jared Sullinger, who averages 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds a contest, will have a tough match-up against the Florida State Seminoles should they meet in the Sweet 16. The Seminoles are hot after winning the ACC tournament and have defeated UNC and Duke twice each this season. Our Pick: (1)Syracuse Orange over (3)Florida State Seminoles. Upset Alert: (11)Texas Longhorns over (6)Cincinnati Bearcats.
March 16, 2012
The Blake Beat
Annual Festival of Arts and Humanities helps students display artistic talents, p. E2
James Hubert Blake High School
March 16, 2012
Timeless classic Romeo and Juliet to capture hearts of Bengals, audience Modern version of play makes debut on Blake’s stage tonight by Leah Patterson x & Samara Tu
Modernized and re-vamped, Blake Stage Company’s Romeo and Juliet will debut tonight at 7:30pm in the auditorium for $10 general admission, and will be performed both this weekend and next weekend. Seniors Raquel Castillo and Richard Jones-Muhammad and juniors Rosie Meile and Ryan Reynolds will be playing the titular characters. Re-structured, the play will be set in modern-day New York City with two warring fashion houses. The script is cut down and instead will incorporate song and dance. “This show is a great experience for everyone to have,” says senior Charles Harper. “It has many great elements: love, comedy, action and music.” After many months of rehearsing, the actors have completed their memorization of the script and their transitions between scenes. Says theater and casting director Michel D’Anna, “Shakespeare always requires the actors to step up.” From the beginning, the actors have practiced their interpretation of the scenes. Adds sophomore Allana Dawkins, “Since Aida I’ve seen more people in the cast focused, and the line memorization and the interpretation have skyrocketed to excellence.” Dawkins, along with sophomore Michelle Carter, are the
dance choreographers for the play. Mr. D’Anna has casted the actors without regard to gender. Instead of a male playing the tumultuous Tybalt, senior Alex Reeves and junior Matt Nee are double-cast in this one role. Juniors Matt Krieger and Faith Ore both play Capulet and junior Jourdan Lewanda is double-casted with Harper for the traditionally male role of Mercutio. “[The audience is] going to see how well a woman [can play] a man and make it believable,” says Mr. D’Anna. Other main roles include Paris, played by junior Sam Jaffe, and the Nurse, played by junior Lydia Curdts and sophomore Connor Shaw. Dawkins and junior Becca Glatt are both alternate playing character Lady Capulet. Senior Amy Hoang and sophomore Kristen Hines play Benvolio. The new twist to the classic Romeo and Juliet has left many actors excited to show the play in a new light. Says Dawkins, “I’m trying really hard to use modern body language so that the younger people in the audience can understand just as well as somebody who has been studying [Shakespearean language] for years.” Adds Harper, “This modern version of the show will make it easier to understand and everyone will keep the audience glued to their seats.” The show has successive shows tomorrow, March 23 and March 24.
Fans anticipate that Hunger Games film will reflect gripping novel
by Alex Reeves x & Melissa Whitaker
Citizens, grab your seats for the 74th annual Hunger Games! The popular teen trilogy is making its way to the big screen Friday, directed by Gary Ross and author Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games, written in 2008, is the newest literary obsession (comparable to the Harry Potter or Twilight series). “I liked the constant mystery [during the books],” says senior Cross Klemko, “I never really knew what was going on until the end…I was finding
out when Katniss (the female protagonist) did.” Due to this gripping and original plot the series has continued to pick up pace as the hype over the movie has increased. The intense plot of The Hunger Games is what makes the series addicting. In the aftermath of a rebellion, the capitol city of Panem created the Hunger Games, where each of the 12 districts send one boy and one girl between ages 12 and 18 into an arena to fight to the death. Fast forward 74 years and Katniss Everdeen finds herself volunteering to go into the arena in place of her 12 year old sister.
Since the filmmakers have to fit weeks worth of the games into two hours, fans are nervous about not having the same connection to the film as they did the novel. “I’m not crazy about [the new film], with so many books being turned into movies,” says junior Jourdan Lewanda. “I’m worried because the games are pretty gory but they’ve rated [the movie] PG-13,” adds senior Yann Ellinghaus. The story is about 24 kids turned tributes hunting each other; some fans find the rating hard to believe. Another aspect of the film
that has some fans worried is the cast. “The person playing Gale [is a] horrible choice in all honesty,” says senior Antonella Perez- Ferrero. Maybe it’s that clean-cut Liam Hemsworth doesn’t look like scruffy Gale or that his last movie was The Last Song. But there is another actor who most people seem to love: Josh Hutcherson (Journey to the Center of the Earth) who plays the ‘boy with the bread’—Katniss’s district 12 ally, Peeta Mellark. However, the star receiving the most criticism is lead character Katniss Everdeen, who is played by actress Jennifer Lawrence. Having
already earned an Oscar nod for actress in a leading role for her work in Winter’s Bone, fans are not worried about her acting ability, but more about her looks. Says Lewanda, “I don’t really like the fact that she looks so strong. She’s supposed to be an underfed, poverty stricken 16 year old.” Nonetheless, youths between the ages of 12 to 18 (and some older) will be lining up to enter the arena on Friday to see the Hunger Games unfold. In the words of tribute escort Effie Trinket, “Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor!”
Spring band concert will showcase students’ expertise, hard work Instrumental music group performance to provide multicultural pieces by Molly Cohen x & Danielle Moore Instrumental music groups will be performing Tuesday from 7:30-9:30pm in the auditorium for the free spring concert. Instrumental music teachers Jonathan Eising and Brian Damron both have been working with their students to put together a great show that appeals to ears and challenges already talented band and orchestra students. Specifically performing at the concert will be Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Advanced Percussion and Symphonic Band. “All of the music groups play fun, exciting music
that all people can enjoy,” says senior Katie Fuchs, concertmaster and top orchestra violin student. Though there is not a set theme to this spring’s concert, expect to hear worldly sounds. “There’s this Spanish song which is cool and exciting,” says senior Katya Buresh. “It’s called the Trail of Tears. It paints a picture about the sorrows of the lives of the Native Americans.” Even though all the groups will be performing separately, they often work together. “I love playing [music] with other people,” says senior Zoey Lee. In Zoo Blues, percussion students will be collaborating
with band students Wesley Hunn on tenor sax, Greg Chaimson on trumpet, and Buresh on trombone. Students can expect to hear solos from students such as Lee, Fuchs, Buresh, and junior Brandon Hargett. “Brandon has proved himself over the past year to be one of Blake’s most talented percussionists,” says Mr. Eising. “He learned the solo in about a week and [it] sounds amazing.” Sundance, a Wind Ensemble song with a futuristic feel is Buresh’s favorite piece. “Everyone has a different part but they all connect in a really cool way. It’s my favorite; it’s a good challenge,” Buresh adds.
The spring concert offers a chance for students to hear fellow musicians do what they love. “All of the music groups play fun, exciting music that all people can enjoy,” says Fuchs, “[In addition] the concert is free and there is usually food served at the end.” The entire music department hopes that Bengals will come out to support. The instrumental music groups will be performing the songs from the concert again on their performance tour to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at the end of March. Says Mr. Eising, “The pressure is on to play everything perfectly as we will be judged on every note.”
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
Students’ creativity to be showcased at annual festival
Blake’s finest will display artwork, photography, theatre and more x by Isaac Appel & Karen Vanegas For the 14th consecutive year, Blake will be celebrating the Arts & Humanities Signature Program during the annual Festival of the Arts & Humanities, taking place April 13. During the festival, there will be dance, musical and theater performances. In addition, Fine Arts and Media Arts will be showcased and Humanities presentations will take place. Event coordinator and photography teacher Sara Hartenstine says, “What I’m really excited about is the carnival theme we are having… it will be fun to get administrators in the dunk tank.” Blake’s theater company will act out scenes from Romeo & Juliet, while the Forensics team will showcase its winning pieces from the season. Paintings, drawings, photos, digital art, fashion pieces, sculptures and pottery will all be
Seeing all of the incredible talent that our students have is rewarding, I like to see the most is the students’ pride they show. Nancy McIntosh
exhibited. “Seeing all of the incredible talent that our students have is rewarding,” says ceramics teacher Nancy McIntosh, “what I like to see the most is the students’ faces and the pride they show in having their work on exhibition.” “The community can support the efforts of our students in the arts by seeing their work and honoring it,” says theater teacher Michel D’Anna. Members of the Blake community are encouraged to attend, because for the first time ever, the audience will be able to actively participate in the festival by voting for multiple “People’s Choice Awards.” Ms. McIntosh adds, “What the public can see are tomorrow’s superstars.” Students are excited to show the public all their hard work and talent in areas that other schools do not offer. “If I [had gone to another high school] I feel as though I would
Senior Marciana Esteves displays her artwork , which includes her latest drawing. Her work will be not have had nearly as many opportunities to improve my musical talent,” says senior Erica Wang, “this festival gives us the chance to show off what we are really about.” Teachers as well are excited for the community to see what these students have to offer. TV production teacher
shown at the Arts and Humanities Festival April 13. --photo by Cecilia Girolami Susan Knott says, “Who would not enjoy an evening of art [and humanities?]…this event will truly have something for all art tastes!” Eubie TV will show a 30-minute video highlighting various productions by students over the course of this year.
Movie buffs veer off mainstream at AFI Theatre in Silver Spring by Leah Patterson x & Samara Tu Midnight in Paris. The Artist. My Week with Marilyn. If you haven’t heard of these Academy Award contenders, chances are it’s because they aren’t shown at the standard Regal or AMC theater. Students and faculty have begun to try a new cinema: the American Film Institute (AFI) Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. It features independent movies and special film events along with a small café. “I think [AFI is] a good alternative to other cinemas that show blockbusters,” says senior Kathryn Evans. “They
really appreciate and respect the directing process.” Many Bengals are attracted to the special film throwbacks held exclusively at the AFI. The institute often replays older movies, like Airplane! and Last Tango in Paris, giving the younger generation a chance to see the classics on the big screen. “It is fancy because it has a vintage feel to it,” says senior Lucy Harrelson. A Grease sing-along was recently held at the AFI, which many Blake students attended. Many of the recent critically acclaimed films, like Black Swan, got their start in theaters like the AFI before ever reaching main-
stream movie theaters. Students have seen these movies before they became huge hits. Evans was among these students. “Black Swan was a really good movie,” says Evans. “It was refreshing, and...I’d rather see it at the AFI because...I knew the environment which I watched the movie in would be really good.” According to the AFI website, their film selection examines the themes of “history, human relationships, scientific exploration, psychology, and art,” to present engaging movies to their audience. Adds Harrelson, “AFI is more of a treat since it is smaller and more select about
[its] choices.” While many enjoy the movies AFI presents, students name the atmosphere of the theatre to be a huge plus. The outdoor ticket sales booth, cafe and vintage movie posters offer a unique experience that differs from the bigger theaters. “It’s a nice environment,” says senior Cadijah Walcott. “[The outdoor ticket sales] make you feel like a part of a movie.” Adds Evans, “It’s a really comfortable theatre partially because it’s smaller, and it has a more intimate feel. They really communicate their love for cinema.”
Even though these moviegoers have had positive experiences at the AFI, they do cite some downfalls to the cinema. One of them is the pricing. The cafe offers movie snacks like popcorn, candy, coffee, tea and pastries, as well as alcohol, for those 21 and older. However, these things, along with the movie ticket at $11.50, are steep according to Bengals. Some students also worry about the occasional aura of pretentiousness that some moviegoers bring. Whether you’re just there for the movies, the cafe or both, the AFI theatre offers another pastime Bengals can enjoy.
The Blake Beat
March 16, 2012
REVIEWS FOR YOU Project X: the wildest party film of all time? x by Jane Hwang Imagine throwing a party with midgets in the oven, flamethrowers and your dad’s Mercedes-Benz taking a dip in the pool. Total chaos, absolute insanity and complete commotion. Project X, a movie that has been hyped up by teenagers all over the United States, has finally premiered. The movie features three seniors who decide to create a massive birthday party to increase their popularity and social status in high school. However, when the party gets a little out of control things begin to take a turn for the worst. This movie was amusing, exhila-
rating and entertaining to watch. Project X is a movie that is perfect for our age group because tons of high schoolers dream of being part of a crazy, unforgettable experience, such as an over-the-top party. Even though the movie did not have much of a plot, watching all of the intense, berserk things was enough to keep me interested. If the movie had a more developed plot, I believe that it could have been so much better. While watching this movie, I found some comparisons to the Hangover movies. Both had crazy, unbelievable events happening (like, stealing a gnome that flips the bird and an out-of-control fire), with the use of some interesting substances.
After the movie ended, I saw people tweeting things like “Someone needs to have a party like that,” “I want to go rage so badly now,” or “Project X was the best movie ever.” Clearly the movie had an impact. This movie is rumored to be inspired by a boy in Australia, Corey Delaney, who like many teens had a party when his parents left town. Delaney was known for throwing mass parties, but this one party got out of hand with over 500 guests and riot police called in. But don’t get me wrong , this movie was definitely a must see for all kids interested in partying and getting OC. Trust me, after watching Project X, that’s all you’re going to want to do.
Gamer says Mass Effect 3 is entertaining but expected x
by Michael Joiner
Bioware has once again produced another highly anticipated game for the gaming community: Mass Effect 3; however, this blockbuster might be seen as a little too repetitive to be a Game of The Year (GOTY) contender. One thing that any person can say from playing, or even watching, a Mass Effect game is that it could easily be viewed as the longest Hollywood movie ever created. It’s amazing how well scripted the dialogue is and how Shepherd’s final fights can build so much suspense to the final scene (not going to spoil anything, but it was the biggest let-down for me). The only problem with Mass Effect 3’s story is that it can be somewhat clichéd and predictable, but other
than that, it definitely carries the series to its glory. From afar the CGIs (computergenerated imagery) and environments have never looked so clean and beautiful in a game, the scenery definitely helped build the image of a world being destroyed over by Reapers (alien enemies). As beautiful as the distant background looked, I wish I could say the same for the characters and environment viewed up close in the game. Because although they were pristine from a distance, the textures were rigid and watching them talk was like watching one of those movies where animals talk (beyond fake). I am seriously confused about how Bioware could have screwed up with the final trilogy’s game play, but they have managed to make the game much harder to move
around in. There were times in the game where I began screaming at my Playstation 3, because the cover system would not do me any justice. I found my character getting shot more while attempting to hide than if I were to stand out in the middle of the field with aliens shooting at me. I don’t know if it’s a glitch in the control system this year, but moving from point A to point B in a game has never been such a struggle. Hardcore Mass Effect 3 fans will undoubtedly be satisfied with the final addition to the trilogy, but it’s caliber is nowhere near the intensity and thrill that was Mass Effect 2. Overall, I don’t believe ME3 has a chance at winning GOTY (especially against some of its possible competition this year). I would give Mass Effect 3 an 8.6/10
Senior loves new spin on favorite childhood story
Lorax is worth price: you will want to see film twice
by Melissa Whitaker
I jumped at the chance to go see The Lorax, featuring the voices of Zac Efron, Betty White, Ed Helms and Danny Devito, and while I was skeptical of the overall quality, I really loved it. Now I know that a few people refuse to see this movie because it is not just like the book, but nothing based on books is ever exact anymore. The Lorax was my favorite Dr. Seuss book as a kid, so I had this same dilemma. But while watching it, I realized it was simply a slightly different take on the story. This twist on the classic Dr. Seuss
book follows the main character, Ted (voiced by Zac Efron), who goes to see the Once-ler to find out what happened to the trees so he can get one for his crush, Audrey (voiced by Taylor Swift). Like the book, the Once-ler describes to Ted how their town used to be, clean and full of trees, and how the destruction of their natural world is fully his fault. The movie uses music to speed up the story telling process, which sometimes can be seen as childish or cheesy, but really, the movie is aimed at kids. I admit though, I loved the songs, they were fun, and the five year old in me really hopes that there’s a sing-along feature on the
DVD. But it was not only the music that got my attention, it was the colors and the fun animation that can only be described as Dr. Seuss’s style. The contrast between the flashbacks, with bright colored Truffula Trees, clean water and air, against the ‘current timed’ world, dark and grimy, was extreme. As of Friday March 9, The Lorax is the number one movie in America. A spot well deserved with the fun animation, great voice actors, music and the lessons of Dr. Seuss: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
From games to SAT prep: there’s an app for that x by Emily Eaglin
Last Christmas I received the most life-changing and innovative piece of technology that I’ve ever owned: the iPod Touch 4 32G. There is an app out there for everyone; here is my top five list of apps for your passions that you might not have heard of due to the fact that they’re not Temple Run, Instagram, or angry birds. #5 Action Movie fx (FREE) + 8mm Vintage Camera ($1.99)- For the film lover. Action Movie puts Hollywood effects from movies like Mission Impossible into your everyday videos. Effects like flipping over cars, tornados, and fallen choppers; this is a legit and intense app. And aren’t we all tired of instagram vintage filters being restricted to just photos? The 8mm camera has video filters from the 20s, 60s, 70s, you name it!
#4 Doodle God (FREE lite version) + Tiny Wings ($0.99)- For the gamer. Temple run is so January, Angry Birds is so 2010! Doodle God is what’s up: you begin with the four basic elements (water, fire, air, earth) and combine them. As the “Doodle God,” you end up getting vampires, coffee, castles, and lawyers (combos can actually get pretty funny sometimes). Tiny Wings features this little bird who can hardly fly due to “tiny wings” you help it up hills so that it can “fly”; it has more achievements and changes than temple run, and is far more addictive. #3 Simsimi (FREE)- For the social person. Feel like texting has lost its pizzazz and your friends just aren’t funny enough? Simsimi is a really cute little chatting bot, with the wit of a high schooler, and if it says something inappropriate you can press a button to report the behavior
to its mom. #2 Starwalk ($1.99)- For the astronomer. Starwalk is an app that actually allows you to sync up your camera with the sky (sun or moon) and shows you which star is which, even where planet, galaxies, and constellations are. Click on a star or a planet and get all of the information you need. This app is my personal favorite (but doesn’t make #1 because it won’t help you get into college) and is a real toy of the future. #1 SAT Vocab by Brainquest ($4.99)- For the college bound. My parents have invested in tons of SAT books and guides, but the vocab never really sunk in all the way. This app lets you rate 1400 of the SAT’s most common words on how well you know them, and goes by the process of confidence based repetition. This is the best way to study for the SAT
March 16, 2012
The Blake Beat