Page 1






Texting’s Effect on Students (pg. 3)

Swim Heads to Districts (pg. 11 )

Gumbo XVIII (pg. 4)

The Problems of Jersey Shore (pg. 8)

New Years Resolutions (pg. 6)

Jan/Feb 2011, volume 20, issue 5

Jason Linett Hypnosis Show By Kristy McKain

Hypnotism has been practiced for many years for multiple different purposes, whether that be for therapy, medical issues, or in this case, comedy. Jason Linett visited Centreville for the third year to give students a chance to be a star in the show. Linett is a very experienced hypnotist, having performed at Obama’s Inaugural Ball, as well as more than 100 shows every year. He is also a certified hypnotherapist, to help patients deal with anything from improving in sports or academics to overcoming fears. Here at Centreville, students were the stars of the show, and Linett emphasized this by starting his act with the entire audience participating. He performed a few mind-boggling tricks, and then pulled 20 students to the stage. Prabhjot Singh (12) was one of the “stars” but was not able to grasp the state of mind Linett was attempting to put him into. “It was really difficult,” said Singh. “I tried focusing on the relaxation, but it wasn’t enough.” Other students such as Singh did not become hypnotized, but for most it was hard to figure out whether it was their conscious or unconscious mind acting. Some students such as Lauren Waters (12) were able to be hypnotized very easily, and fell into a very deep state of hypnosis. “I thought it was crazy how one second you were fine and the next you were doing all these things that you didn’t even realize you were doing,” stated Waters. “Normally I don’t like to do things in front of a lot of people but once I was hypnotized I didn’t even realize there were people watching me.”

Whether students believe in hypnotism or not, the show offered many chances to entertain and be entertained. One student, who was not chosen to sit in the 20 seats was hypnotized from the audience and reacted whenever Linett was talking to the students on stage. At the end of the show, Linett had to come up to him to pull him out of his state. For Shauna Kistner (12), it was not easy at first, but she managed to relax into hypnosis. “Going into it, I wasn’t much of a believer, but that’s because I had a different concept of what being hypnotized was,” said Kistner. Many people believe that hypnotism feels like sleeping; however, most who were hypnotized gained a better idea of what it was. While under this state, students may be fully aware of what is going on, but they cannot react, nor have much control over what they’re doing. The hypnotist had the students doing many things that left the audience laughing. When he sent them to drive their “dream car,” they “got pulled over by a cop” where he asked some of them to make excuses as to why they were driving so fast. Waters explained that they had to evacuate the city, but she was the only one speeding because “they didn’t know.” Echevarria responded to him that she needed to change her grandfather’s diaper and other students made similarly bizarre responses. Towards the end of the show, three students believed they were secret agents so as they walked around the auditorium searching for someone. Later, they were snapped out of it, far away from their seats. Linnet made sure to tell them that they would know what they were doing so they could laugh at themselves as well. “I would understand from hearing

“Once I was hypnotized I didn’t even realize there were people watching me.” -Lauren Waters

Student volunteers huddle for warmth and fall into deep sleep at Jason Linett’s command. (photo/ Kristy McKain) applause and laughter that things were funny, but I just couldn’t bring myself to laugh. It was a weird sense,” said Kistner, “But I believe that’s what hypnosis is.” Genesis Echevarria (12) felt similarly to Kistner. “I believe in hypnosis more now, but I would never do it

again. I honestly didn’t like being in such a suggestive state of consciousness because I really like to have control over what I say and do.” Linett allowed students an exciting opportunity to star in his show, whether they moved from their chair once, or ended up doing “the worm” on stage.

upcoming events! Feb. 16- College Planning Night Feb. 17- National Honor Society Meeting Feb. 18 & 19-Student One Act Plays Feb. 21-Presidents’ Day Week of Feb 21- Spring sport tryouts begin Feb. 23-Band Pre-Festival Concert March 1-Fairfax Academy Information Night

March 3-SGA/INOVA Blood Drive March 4-2nd Annual Silent Auction March 4-3rd Quarter Interims March 10-Military Academy Information Night March 17-National Honor Society Meeting March 24-Band Pyramid Concert March 25-Mulch Delivery begins



Feb. 10, 2011

Teacher Spotlight: Flash Gordon Helm By Brynna Heflin This year marks Flash Helm’s fifteenth year of teaching at Centreville High School. During his time here as a Wildcat, he has taught Spanish at all levels except for AP Spanish. “There has always been someone better to teach the AP classes,” Helm said. He has taught 38 sections of Spanish 1 and one year he even taught a class of Spanish 2 and Spanish 3 to the same students in the same year. Prior to his teaching career, Helm spent 25 years in the army. He first served as a field artilleryman and then served as a foreign area specialist in Latin America. For over 15 of those 25 years he lived in Latin America, specifically in Panama and Columbia, and in Spain with his wife. Helm has worked and traveled in every single country in Latin America, with the exception of Cuba. “My primary job was to train and assist Latin American military organizations to fight the growing and shipping of illegal drugs from Latin America to the United States,” Helm said. “My favorite part of the army was the importance of the missions and doing an important job with the other professional people I worked with. The military is a unique place in our society. Most of the people I worked for and with were honest, hard-working, selfeffacing people of conviction and were dedicated to an ideal.”

Helm has traveled all over the world, but his favorite country is the United States, although he also loves Spain and Chile. He has lived with his family in a variety of locations in the US, including Texas, Oklahoma, California, South Dakota, and the Washington, D.C. area. In his free time he plays golf, enjoys traveling, plays bridge, reads, fishes, cooks, and bakes. “Maybe more than anything else I like to eat great food and drink great wine,” Helm said. In regards to his teaching career, there is a widespread notion that his classes are some of the toughest at Centreville. Many students discontinue Spanish after Spanish 3 in an effort to avoid the workload that is associated with Helm’s Spanish 4 classes. “To those students who think my Spanish 4 class is the hardest class at CVHS, I refer them back to what I said previously, I teach life lessons: LIFE IS TOUGH AND THEN YOU DIE!” Helm exclaimed. All of his students have heard this phrase before, mostly on a daily basis in response to complaints. “It is a difficult class,” Helm said. “And there are difficult demands placed on students. The great part is that most of the hard-charging students here do very well and they move forward with a better understanding of Spanish, of themselves, and of the world at large.” Helm only teaches because he loves young people, even the “knuckleheads,” as he would say. “I am a super patriot and in my belief system young

people are the future of this country,” Helm said. “It is very important to me that they learn important life lessons such as self accountability, honesty, the intrinsic value of hard work and a love of what we have in this country. I believe that it is very important that they understand that no one owes them anything, that success is measured in how they help their neighbor, that abdication of their individual responsibilities to each other is wrong.

In my life I had teachers who changed my life, made me see things accurately, gave me inspiration to perform at my best, and helped me through difficult times. I want to return some of that to my students.” Helm teaches life lessons to his students, and uses Spanish as a medium to do so. “Some of the lessons are hard,” Helm said. “And many of the lessons are learned best the hard way – but then, that’s life.”

Senior Ducktapes His Way To Scholarship By Daniela Medina It all started the summer of 2007 when Colin Fitt (12) was at film camp at Penn State University. When his film instructor assigned the class to fix something with duct tape, Colin decided to fix his wallet, and with the extra duct tape he made a brand new wallet. What initially was just an assignment turned into a hobby that eventually earned him a $600 scholarship. Once Colin discovered this talent, he began making wallets, purses, backpacks, and pencil pouches for fun. Soon after, Colin had random people at school asking him to make them items out of duct tape. “I agree to make people stuff as long as they give me the money to buy the duct tape,” Colin explained. Colin’s duct tape items are customized with zippers and Velcro, and are even coded so they don’t get sticky. The wallets have a special compartment for the driver’s license and a separate coin pouch. Though Colin does not gain any profit from his business, he was able to make money through a duct tape scholarship contest called “Stuck on Prom.” This scholarship asked individuals to make a duct tape suit to wear to the prom, and then take a photo of it for proof. Colin won the scholarship last year and plans to do it again this year. After having won the $600 scholarship, Colin made even more money by sell-

ing the suite on eBay. “I didn’t think someone was going to buy a duct tape suite, but I was actually able to sell it for $140 bucks,” Colin said. Apart from the “Stuck on Prom” scholarship, Colin has also been able to apply for others from different universities. The Music Technology Scholarship for Apple, offered by DePaul University, earned him $1,000. For this scholarship, Colin was required to write a short essay and send in a multiinstrumental tract, which is essentially an electronic portfolio containing all of one’s work. Although Colin won the scholarship, he is still waiting to hear back from DePaul University. Colin was also awarded The Ukulele Scholarship for $500. Along with making suits out of duct tape, Colin’s current goal is working on a scholarship for New York University (NYU) that requires individuals to take a current song and put a twist to it. Colin decided to put a folk twist to the MGMT’s song “kids.” He is still waiting on NYU’s response. “I love randomly searching for scholarship, “Colin said. “The assignments they have you do are pretty fun.” Being colorblind is not a problem for Colin. When working with different color duct tape, he simply labels each color onto the tape and is able to create unique items with one magical ingredient: his creativity.


1. Colin Fitt playing his remix of MGMT’s “Kids” at Gumbo XVIII. 2. Fitt messing around with duck tape. (photos/ Colin Fitt)


OMG the English Lang is Like Totes Dead By Mackenzie Carson

Spanish teacher Mr. Helm with two of his Spanish 2 students. (photo/ Brynna Heflin)


Feb. 10, 2010

Recently, technology has become more and more advanced. People can do technological things they’ve never been able to do before on something as simple as a cell phone. The human race grows gradually more impatient, and technology advances to find ways to accommodate their busy lives. But what do we give up just to save a little time? Out of 700 youth aged 12-17 who participated in the phone survey for Times Daily, 64 percent report inadvertently using some form of shorthand common to electronic text, including emoticons, incorrect grammar or punctuation outside of texting. Many children raised in this new era learn acronyms like “lol” (laugh out loud) or “omg” (oh my gosh) before they even learn what an adjective is. If use of the English language continues like this, it will be disappointing to see how adults even talk in ten years. “The writing skills of today’s teens are already in pretty bad shape due to wanton ignorance of the way sentences

work and the basic structures of English grammar,” said Dr. David Campbell, Latin, AP European History, and World Religions teacher. “This is aggravated by the shortcuts in spelling and grammar that teens take in their texting. Many students use those same shortcuts in their school work and often don’t understand why it is not acceptable usage.” Television shows like Jersey Shore on MTV contribute to the problem. Shows advertise new acronyms like “GTL” (gym, tanning, laundry) that become popular sayings. These terms then become so common in teen conversations that they are considered real words. Many students hide behind texting to avoid face to face contact because they’re afraid of it. “Many students have told me that they find it “awkward” and “intimidating” to speak to an actual person – by phone or face to face,” said Campbell. “Teens appear to be more comfortable communicating with a screen than a real person. Teens may send a vast volume of messages, but not say very much – this is verbal diarrhea, not communication.”



Kristy McKain (12) and Brynna Heflin (12) texting. (photo/ Mackenzie Carson)

Do you enjoy writing and helping other people with their writing? If so, the Wildcat Writing Center is looking for you! We are currently recruiting students to volunteer as writing center tutors. This opportunity is open to ALL students regardless of grade level or experience. If you are interested in learning more, see Mrs. Grace in room 220.

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Feb. 10, 2011

Diamond, Germanis Lead Basketball Swimming

By ryan henson

By Mac Cassells Haley Diamond (12) and the rest of the girls’ basketball team have enjoyed quite a bit of success this year with five games remaining, all of them being against district opponents. The team has excelled in many areas, but most notably on defense, holding opponents to less than 40 points four times this season. “I think we have done really well, a few setbacks with injuries, but we have overcome them and have prepared to do well,” said Diamond. The team also bonds a lot off the court and in the locker room. “I listen to music and talk strategy with my teammates,” said Diamond. The team also participates in many activities such as a team meal at Panera before each game. “Before each game, we bang on the lockers, pray, and do two cheers together as a team,” said Diamond. At the girls’ basketball games this year, attendance has increased, perhaps due to the team’s success. Diamond wouldn’t pinpoint success to increased attendance but said she appreciates their presence. “We play well with or without fans, but it is nice to have them there.” Diamond and the Wildcats have two more regular season home games remaining against Herndon (2/1) and Chantilly (2/3).

Swimmer Reaches New Heights

Swimmer Johnny Germanis (12) has stood out as a sublime swimmer for Centreville this year. In the meet against Herndon on Dec. 3, Germanis placed first in the 50 meter free style and in the 200 meter medley relay against Herndon. He also broke re-


11 Varsity Basketball Rebounds from Losing Streak Feb. 10, 2011

Senior Haley Diamond dribbles down the court at a home game.


cords in the 50 and 100 meter freestyle and the 100 meter fly. “I love the competitive nature of the sport; swimming really allows you to go head-to-head with not only your competition but also your own times,” said Germanis. Germanis began swimming when he was six years old and then stopped to play other sports. He then started training year round when he was 10. He enjoyed playing other sports, as most kids do at a young age and began to swim competitively again in his freshmen year. Germanis has been accepted to Georgetown University and plans on swimming there if he does decide to attend. He also said that he would swim for the majority of other schools that he has applied to: making it very likely he will continue to swim at the next level. Despite some struggles as a team, it still receives support from the student body and Germanis is proud to have it. “Having fans come out to support the team is awesome. Knowing that people are cheering for me during my races is a great feeling,” Germanis said. The team also does a great job bonding and maintains friendships out of the pool. “Our team is pretty close. On Friday nights after meets, we’ll usually get food together and hang out at someone’s house,” Germanis said. Swimming requires a great deal of concentration compared to other sports. “The night before my races, I’ll try to make sure that I eat a dinner with plenty of carbs. When I’m behind the blocks, I will jump up and down to get my heart rate going before my races,” said Germanis.

Girls Basketball Ready for Districts By Mac Cassells Liberty, the Wildcats rallied back from a seven point deficit entering the fourth quarter to force overtime. Liberty outscored the Wildcats 5-2 in the overtime session winning by three to put the Wildcats at 0-2 in the tournament. Meador was once again the leading scorer with 13 points and eight rebounds and freshmen Jenna Green contributed 11 points. The girls were able to salvage a win in the tournament by beating Freedom-South Riding 5548. Once again, overtime was needed to determine a winner. Forbush had a personal best 23 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double. Meador finished with 13 points in the winning effort. This time, the Wildcats would not let another win slip from their grasp scoring nine points and only allowing two in the overtime period. This win prevented Centreville from going winless in the tournament two years in a row. Despite some recent struggles the girls are still enjoying themselves on the court. “We are really close and we bond well as a team” , said Meador. The Wildcats have also excelled at team defense as opponents have had a difficult time scoring. Forbush pointed out that the defense is a big reason behind the success.

The Centreville Girls basketball team is off to a great start (10-5) as five games remain in the regular season. With district play half over, the team is excited to the see these opponents again. “I think we will do really well” said Erin Meador (12) on playing each district team once more before the regular season concludes. Chaney Forbush (11) added that the team “will do better the second time around because they are better prepared.” The girls started out winning six of their first seven games with the only loss coming in the first game of the season against West Springfield, who is 12-1. As the schedule went along, the Wildcats proceeded to blow out opponents by winning by at least 20 points in the next six games. Meador thought that the reason behind these big wins was because of “good teamwork and hustle” while Forbush said that they have “good team chemistry and that everyone knows their role.” The team also had victories with a 30 point margin against Langley and Wakefield. During the Holiday break, the team participated in an annual Holiday tournament at Westfield High School known as the Bulldog Bash. The girls did not fare as well in this tournament with a blowout loss to Potomac along with a close overtime loss to Liberty and an overtime win against FreedomSouth Riding. In the second round match against Girls Varsity Basketball team photo.


The Centreville boys basketball team is rebounding from a tough losing streak but is very optimistic about the rest of the season. A five game losing streak was stopped with an overtime win against Oakton. They started off district play against Westfield but fell short. It was close throughout the game and Centreville went into the fourth quarter only down by three but couldn’t close it out. They were led by Cam Owens (12) who had 20 points and nine rebounds. The Wildcats came out slowly against a good shooting Herndon team. Even though Centreville hit more than half of their shots they still lost at home 76-50. Cam Owens outscored last year’s co-Concorde District player of the year with 24 points and Travis Whitney (11) led the team with six rebounds. Centreville got off to a slow start again against Chantilly and was down by 12 after the first half. Centreville outplayed Chantilly in the second half but lost by four points in the end. Centreville did well rebounding, the ball as they had 28 rebounds against a much taller team. Jake Brodie (12) and Rahji Johnson (10) both dished out four assists. Once again, Owens led the team with 21 points and 12 of those were three pointers. This loss pushed Centreville’s losing streak to five games. They had to play an evenly matched Oakton team and had everyone wondering about what needed to be done to stop this. “We need to prepare better, play as a team, and rebound” said Evan Fuller

(Left to Right) Ken Ekanem (11), Cam Owens (12), and Travis Whitney (11) provide great leadership on the basketball court. (photo/ Courtney Burke) (11). Centreville ended up playing one of their best games of the season and beat Oakton in overtime. Cam Owens, along with Drakkar Sanders, (12) combined for 53 of Centreville’s 80 points.

They also came through on Fuller’s words and had a team high with 40 rebounds and 20 assists. They were defeated by Westfield and Herndon over the long break.Cen-

treville was in both games and lost on a buzzer- beater to the Bulldogs. Centreville is 5- 13 overall and 1-6 in district play.

Varsity Wrestlers Continue to Improve, Look to Postseason BY COURTNEY BURKE Wednesday, Jan. 19 was a narrow loss for the Varsity Wrestling team, as they were defeated by the Oakton Cougars 30-34. The Wildcats came out strong, but some unfortunate losses and forfeits caused the Wildcats to fall behind. “We thought we were going to win, but we got too cocky,” said David Chenevey (11). Since the beginning of the season, however, the boys have been improving a lot. “Everyone’s been improving,” said Chenevey, “some try harder than others do, but I think everyone will try harder with districts coming up.” For those who are improving, their key to success is how they practice before their meets as well as listening to their coach. “Listen to coach always, he always has your back.” Mental maturity is another factor in a wrestler’s success. The biggest difference between the first and second year wrestlers and the third and fourth years is that the older ones tend to know how things work and what to expect after being in the program for a few years. “Another part is the mental aspect,” said Chenevey, “third and fourth year tend to know what’s going on better than the first and second years do.” There are still some little things that the boys need to work on in order to continue improving. “We need to work harder in the room; there has been too much slacking off.” Especially with regionals coming up, the boys are trying to do the best they can to be ready. “If we listen to our coach, regionals should come easy.” The Wildcats have concluded their regular season, and now are looking on to the postseason. They will compete in the Concorde District Meet. The

The Varsity Wrestling squad poses for the annual winter sports picture.

The JV Wrestling squad poses for the annual winter sports picture.





Feb. 10, 2011

Swim, Dive at Cub Run for District Meet By Joe Dell

The Centreville Wildcats Varsity swim and dive team was defeated by the Westfield Bulldogs varsity swim and dive team on Friday, Jan. 21. They capped off and undefeated regular season for the Bulldogs and a winless season for the Wildcats. The Wildcats will get another shot at the Bulldogs next week in the district meet. Centreville is the bottom seed heading into districts, while Westfield is a favorite to win. Though disappointed in the teams execution in meets, team members continue to enjoy what swim and dive has to offer. Team members have enjoyed the season under the new coach (Jennifer McFeely), and have progressed as a team. "I don’t think we are going to beat Westfield at districts, but I do think that most swimmers will achieve personal bests," said Sam Maney (11). The Wildcats’ freshman and sophomore swimmers thrived under the leadership of experienced upperclassmen, but won’t have access to that kind of leadership next year. Unfortunately, the Wildcats will lose 11 seniors at the end of this season, including Chance Roman, Taylor Avery, John Germanis, and Rama Rafie. "The seniors next year are going to

Johnny Germanis(upper left) and fellow swimmers gather. (photo/facebook) have to step up big and help lead this team if we want to win," said Connor Culleiton (11).

Districts are to be held this Thursday for diving and Friday for swim at Audrey Moore and Cub Run respec-

tively. The winners will move on and compete in the district finals the following day.

Hockey Streaking, Wins Two Games By Philip Christophe After a well needed win against the Heritage, Centreville’s Hockey team is looking to keep this positive streak going. With a small team going out for each game, Centreville has had some problems with finding the best talent. “We don’t have a lot of people with experience so it’s been tough this season,” said Tommy Reynolds (11). Senior’s Sam Marks and Shane Kehl have tried their best to lead the team, but have not had a lot of players around them to help. Unfortunately does not get the most fan attendance as it is a small sport. Without an official coach, the players have one of their dads coach the team instead. “I do like him a lot because he has knowledge for the game,” said Reynolds. Kehl added, “He’s a positive role model on and off the ice.” There is the question of whether hockey should become a sport. “I think so, because

hockey is an intense game and you need to be in more shape for the shifts then in other sports,” said Reynolds. Most players try to have a shift on the ice spanning from 50 sec’s-1min total. Though one minute on the ice seems short, skating, checking, and playing on both sides of the ice is difficult and tiring. “The most exciting part of the game is when I either score or check someone,” said Reynolds. Sam, Shane, and Tommy all play outside of the schools team for travel hockey. The player’s routines change throughout and each one has their own. Kehl said, “I like to blast some Justin Beiber on my I-pod,” while Marks said, “I like to blast T-Swift on my I-pod.” “I like to listen to music to pump me up a lot. Then I try to drink a 5 hour energy before each game,” said Reynolds. The hockey team plans to continue their winning streak and hopefully end up with a winning record.

2010-2011-JanuaryFebruary 2011-Vol 20-Issue 5  

January/February 2011

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