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oxford high school


May 2, 2018 | Volume 37, Issue 8 | 101 Charger Loop, Oxford, MS 38655 |





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April/May 2018


students denied approval for national walkout day By Karina Patel staff writer

In light of recent school shootings and gunrelated incidents that have taken place around the country and left thousands grieving and in shock, students all over the United States planned walkouts on April 20, national walkout day and the anniversary of the Columbine massacre. Juniors Mercy Guzman and Lily Smith had originally planned a walkout at Oxford High School on April 20 in order to voice their opinions on the arguments that are being presented throughout the nation before being denied administrative approval to do a demonstration or a walkout for 17 minutes to honor the 17 victims of the Parkland school shooting. According to Principal Bradley Roberson, the “Stand Up, Link Up” event that took place on March 28 served as the school’s demonstration, and more class time couldn’t be missed in order to hold another one. “In my opinion, that [‘Stand Up, Link Up’] was the event to show, to serve as our walk-out or demonstration,” Roberson said. “I didn’t see the need to have another because we are at the end of April. It’s crunch time in school, and we need students to be in class as much as possible.” Instead of doing the traditional walkout,

the two have decided to instead post statistics on gun violence and have flyers printed with government officials’ names, numbers, and emails around the school. “Our main goal with this project was to spread awareness on gun violence and show people why we need gun control,” Smith said. “We believe by plastering this information everywhere, we’ll still be able to achieve that goal.” After the March for Our Lives, they wanted to continue the conversation in order to keep it from fading from people’s minds. “This conversation needs to keep going, so we’re just going to continue doing stuff throughout the year until something happens,” Guzman said. According to Guzman and Smith, they both realize that there are differing opinions, but they just want their message to be heard. “If the school isn’t safe, if we don’t get anything changed about gun safety in schools and all around the nation, then, you’re just not going to have students in school because we don’t feel safe in it, so why should we be here?” Guzman said. While their flyers and posts are bound to get negative attention from those with conflicting views, according to Guzman, many people may not agree with their views and methods because they may not understand their pur-

pose. “We shouldn’t be having this conversation between gun safety in schools and making stricter gun laws. I know people think that we want to take their guns away, “ Guzman said. “No, it’s your right. You should be able to own a gun. But, I’m saying you don’t need to own a whole machine gun out here because who needs a machine gun just to keep your household safe and things like that. Because all we want is more gun laws to make it stricter.” The situation means so much to Guzman because she knows that her kids will possibly have to deal with the same problems as they go to school. Smith wants people to acknowledge that gun violence is prominent in the US. “Gun violence is a major problem in America. This doesn’t happen in other countries, and there’s a reason for that,” Smith said. “Children are dying, and not just children, like Las Vegas, Liberty City. People’s lives are at stake. That’s not right. “ Smith and Guzman hope that their posters and work have a significant impact and get their message across. “The most that I could honestly want it to have is us being heard and just keeping the conversation going,” said Guzman. “It’s going to be a lot of work, but even if it gets the memo, like ‘hey, we’re not gonna stop,’ and people get that through their heads. “


Drunk driving numbers still high By Molly Archer editor-in-chief Around 29 people die every day due to drunk driving related incidents. Alcohol-impaired driving is an issue that affects everyone on the roads. There is one deathly alcoholimpaired driving accident every 50 minutes according to nhtsa. gov. In Oxford alone there will be several hundred DUI related wrecks this year, according to Corporal Jason Brown from the Oxford Police Department (OPD). “Drunk driving is one of the most selfish decisions you could make,” Sgt. Ben Hamilton of OPD said. “You’re putting everybody at risk when you decide to drive drunk.” The average Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in Mississippi for someone who has been drinking is .08 percent unless they are under the legal age of 21 where that percentage changes to .02 percent. “A lot of times when we make traffic stops, we don’t know if they’re intoxicated until we approach them,” Brown said. “A lot of times [we pull them over] for a traffic violation of some sort, and then we get up to the window, and we see their appearance, smell their breath, slurred speech, things like that—then we start putting two-and-two together.” In Mississippi, once someone signs their driver’s license, they have agreed to consent to any form of chemical testing whether it be blood, breath or urine. “A lot of people are usually very surprised to see how high their [BAC] really is. They’re like ‘wow, I had no idea I was that bad,’” Brown said. “A lot of people that we take to jail for DUI, their mantra is ‘but I’m not drunk.’ Until they blow, then they see that they’re like a .16 [BAC].” According to, the effects of alcohol progress into lowered concentration, lowered reflexes, poor response time,

and less coordination, and driving under these circumstances is very dangerous. After drinking alcohol, the body begins to go through multiple kinds of changes whether that be emotional or physical. “If you want to drive drunk it’s temporary fix to a problem that could become very permanent very fast. It’s not reversible,” OPD Officer Scott Hollowell said. “What’s worse is that a lot of these people are on medications too. Adderall and all of the stuff that all of the students are on, it has negative reactions with alcohol and impairs them so much “Drunk more.” Driving is According to iihs. one of the org, the risk of most selfbeing in a fatal ish decicrash risk due to sions you alcohol-impaired could make. driving increases You’re putsubstantially afting everyter 0.05 percent body at risk BAC—which is when you less that the ledecide to gal limit—and drive drunk. increases much more after a drivBen er’s BAC reaches Hamilton 0.08 percent. Sergeant at “DUI first is OPD fines, that’s 1,118 dollars, plus all of your classes and everything you have to go to. DUI second is $1,398, and I think mandatory of five days in jail if you’re convicted. DUI third is a felony which includes prison time,” Brown said. Once charged with a DUI, the driver must attend different classes included Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP), and the Victim’s Impact Panel. “The Victim Impact Panel is people who are victims or they’ve had family members that are victims of DUI related incidents,” Hollowell said. “They may have had a child or parent or somebody that has been killed and they come discuss the impacts of driv-

April/May 2018




ing drunk with somebody that has been convicted of it in hopes that maybe they won’t do it again.” Along with having to attend these classes, the state of Mississippi requires an ignition interlock system to be wired into the car of the convicted driver. These systems have stopped 2.3 million attempts to drive drunk since 2006 according to the Ignition Interlock Report 2017. “We had this woman going the wrong way up Highway 6. She was real drunk. She ended up hitting a guard rail,” Brown said. “She said she got run off the road, but what happened was traffic was going the direction they were supposed to be going, and she met them coming head on. She still didn’t gather that she was on the wrong side of Highway 6. It happens more than people probably realize.” According to Brown, situations like this can be stopped by using the services available to help get to their homes. “I know there’s a lot more safe alternatives for getting a ride home after a night of drinking now than there were when I first started being a police officer 10 years ago,” Brown said. “Back then you had the Rebel Ride buses, and Angel Taxi, I think, was the only taxi service in town. Things like Uber and Lyft didn’t even exist back then. So there’s a lot more safe alternatives than driving drunk now a days.”




report driving after drinking in Mississippi

SEt B.A.C. is 0.08 %

causes 1 death every 50 minutes

claims over 10,000 lives each year


theCharger April/May 2018



Double Decker Music Arts Festival finds success with race, hundreds of vendors, all-day lineup of live music By William Carrington staff writer

Oxford’s 23rd annual Double Decker Arts Festival took place over the weekend of April 28 and drew the biggest crowd it ever has. Saturday morning kicked off at 7:30 with the Double Decker Spring Run, and throughout the day 176 vendors and 147 artists gathered around the Courthouse to offer their products to attendees. Live music started at 10:15 Saturday, running until 8:30. The lineup included eight bands of varying genres from across the country, and the weekend concluded with indie rock band Cold War Kids.

Livvy Cohen • theCharger

Livvy Cohen • theCharger

Livvy Cohen • theCharger

Top: Alternative folk band Houndmouth plays Saturday night of Double Decker. Houndmouth drew a large crowd in before rock band Cold War Kids took the stage. Middle: Lead singer and guitarist Matt Myers of Houndmouth performs. Bottom: Cold War Kids lead singer and guitarist Nathan Willett performs at Double Decker on Saturday night. Cold War Kids was the final band to take the Main Stage at the festival.

theCharger April/May 2018

Dear MLK Jr...

50 years ago, Civil Rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. was tragically murdered outside the Lorraine Motel by James Earl Ray. Fast forward to the present as students of OHS thank him for his service and accomplishments.

I would like to thank you for the things A lot has changed since you passed on, but a lot is still the same. Sometimes I wonder you have done for America and the world if people even remember you or what you stood for. Racism is still alive, now more than as a whole. Your passive approach to the ever if you ask me. Our people are still afraid of cops. Nothing is being done about the thinning of the barrier between African assault and murders. Our people are being arrested for simple things like crossing the Americans and Caucasians has had a street. The world is different yet it is still the same. Would you say that your dream has tremendous impact and is continuing to become real? I don’t know. We have come far but not far enough. change. Amidst the 21st century, all ethWhen you look down to check on us, try not to cry. nic barriers have faded and in its place is Myeisha Madkins, 12 a multitude of new friendships and relationships formed. I just would like to thank you for all you did for not just this Thank you Martin Luther King for all that country but humanity. The courage and bravery it took to Thank you for the impact on this world. you had done. stand in the way of extreme and violent adversity is Without I wouldn’t haveweren't as many amazing and inspiring. It isyou, a shame that you William Smith, Thank11you for all you have done to make changes in amazing friends as I do today and able to see your dream realized or even barely my life our country. Your efforts have really paid off, are andcompletely it’s a down and school would be different. What is it that you haven't done? You come to fruition. I know that you looking shame you aren’t here to see it. Thank you for inspiring changed the nation. You inspired thouYou allowed me tothat meethas people that I may and seeing the progress sands. You set the stage for theallrest of us with your “I havebeen a dream” speech. You’ve been have notare been able to long ago. made and proud. of history. And yet, how much doremembered I not and taught about and studied in schools all Campbell McCready,11 Robert Rauschenberger, 11 know about you? Who were you, around really, the world. You’ve really made an impact. I can’t to your friends, family, loved ones. What what Thank you forand allcourage that you’ve sacrificed and your imagine bravery it must have taken was your favorite meal? Your favorite undying dedication to the movement which to stand up to your oppressors. Life in America has color? altered the world forever. Every ounce of changed for the better, because of you. Thank you.sweat, In fact, the one thing about the inner tears and blood you shed has not been in vain. Addie Thompson, 11 you that I may know is your dream. Your I can’t say you’d be proud of how our world is dream of a brighter future. A more free now, but your sole purpose of the movement nation. Honestly, maybe that's all I need was accomplished. There is still discrimination to know. You did and gave up so much in society, and I have no doubt that if you were to make sure what you cared about hapstill alive, you’d be fighting for everyone just pened. And that should be enough for the same. You have influenced many, and still me, us, to realize what kind of person continue to. Thank you for all that you’ve done, you were. A great one. and what you continue to do, even Thank you for your works. without having to be here. Brannan Kovachev, 11 Alyssah Condon, 11 I thank you for impacting my life the way you did, and what an example you were to the world of what peace on Earth should look like. You’re a great guy, and you allowed God to use you to preach, teach, and motivate people as he would! Without you I wouldn’t be able to freely do as I want in the world today, along with other activists of your time! Zharia Metcalf, 12

Staff Editorial: Discussion, change necessary in response to gun violence in United States By Molly Archer and Livvy Cohen editors-in-chief

In light of the Charger’s last issue released on March 28, we would like to address any concerns or conflicts regarding the issue over gun legislation. The Charger is not stating that the 2nd Amendment should be revoked, we are simply covering the direct correlation between the accessibility of automatic weapons, the amount of people using them and the unceasing gun violence that plagues our country.

Our staff firmly believes that as an American citizen, one should have the right to bear arms. The solution to gun violence is not to take away one’s Constitutional rights. There should, however, be more restrictions in order for a person to own firearms. We believe there should be more rigorous background and mental health checks before being able to purchase these weapons. There is a necessary change to be made in our country; we cannot sit back as more and more lives are being lost. The articles featured in last

month’s issue were not meant to anger. Our goal was to cover recent events in our country and the effects that they have made on others, in hopes of creating more dialogue around the issue of gun violence in the United States. As a newspaper, our first and foremost job is to cover recent events, even if these topics may sometimes be controversial or uncomfortable to talk about. Our staff thanks our readers for supporting the Charger. Please feel free to contact us in the future with any concerns or issues.



theCharger Oxford High School 101 Charger Loop Oxford, MS 38655 Phone: (662) 234-1562 Fax: (662) 236-7941 Editors-in-Chief: Molly Archer Livvy Cohen Associate Editor: Klaria Holmes News Editor: Molly Archer Features Editor: Eve Gershon Opinions Editor: Klaria Holmes Entertainment Editor: Livvy Cohen Sports Editor: Grant Daniels Business Editor/ Advertising Manager: Eve Gershon Online Editors: Molly Archer Livvy Cohen Staff Writers: Nadeen Al-Ostaz Abby Atchley Edward Brown Walker Bailey Anna Barrett Lauren Bial William Carrington Preston Hooker Grace Logan Karina Patel Emmie Stevens Charlie Zediker Adviser: Diala Chaney

The views and opinions expressed on this page are of an editorial nature and do not necessarily represent the views of The Charger staff, advisers, school faculty or administrators of Oxford High School or the Oxford School District. The editorial board consists of Editors-in-Chief Molly Archer and Livvy Cohen, Associate Editor / Opinions Editor Klaria Holmes, and Features Editor / Business Manager Eve Gershon. Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and guest columns and articles. Such stories should be submitted to the journalism suite. Visit for a complete editorial policy. The Charger is distributed free of charge to all students and is available for subscription for $30. 1500 copies of each issue are printed. The Charger is currently a member of the following scholastic press associations: JEA, NSPA, SIPA, and MSPA.

The Charger reserves the right to refuse to print any ad because of inappropriate content.



April/May 2018


Student directed show ends year By Emmie Stevens staff writer When theatre teacher John Davenport read an article about a theatre company in Kansas City that had done an all-female version of the musical “1776”, he thought it was an “ingenious” idea, so he decided to direct his own all-female version of the show in May. “In so much of the story, it’s clear that the men are able to do what they are doing because of the women at home,” Davenport said. “In this day and age, it just makes sense to try something, with everything that’s going on, with gender equality. The women had just as much a part of it as the men did.” “1776” is about the year 1776, the founding fathers’ discussion on independence and how that unfolded to create the country we live in today. “My favorite part about it is, even though the script is layered with historical inaccuracies–it has to be to make it interesting–there are a lot of subtle accuracies that are woven into the story that, unless you’ve really been studying it, you wouldn’t notice,” Davenport said. “I’ve enjoyed that aspect of it–the research I’ve had to do in order to do the show well. I think that’s been my favorite part of it.” Senior Virginia Smith plays Benjamin Franklin and thinks that the all-female version of the show carries an important message. “It says something to everyone who enters that theatre, whether they’re thinking about it or not,” Smith said. An all-female cast creates a sense of irony in certain parts of the show according to Smith. “I think it really puts light onto what the people are saying because when women are saying something that we’re not used to them saying and are in a position that we’re not used to them being in, I think people are going to focus more to what we’re saying and how the events actually unfolded,” Smith said. “There’s jokes made in the show and there’s things said about women that, because we’re women saying it, really makes it so much more important or makes us think more about what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. If a man makes a crude joke, it’s just ‘a man being a man’, but if a woman makes a crude joke, lots of people are going to have to stop and think, and I think that’s what’s so great about this show. It’s not, ‘Oh, women, feminism, blah blah blah,’ but it’s like women could have done the exact same thing. There’s two original female characters in this cast, and I think this show also shows how

important those two characters were and how much they supported their men while they were at home taking care of everything else that was going on.” Sophomore Sophie Quinn, who plays John Hancock, is excited to see the audience’s reaction to the show. “My favorite aspect of this show is the allfemale cast because it’s been really great to see how women would interpret these characters instead of men,” Quinn said. “I love the significance of that. Also, since the characters were all real people, we get to research them a lot and see how they behaved and dressed, and so the character development is different than a lot of

Emmie Stevens • theCharger

other shows with fictional characters.” Smith thinks that the all-female cast will make the show more meaningful. “It’s been the entire cast talking and working together on how we are going to make this show, more than any other show that people come to see, something that people truly stop and think about,” Smith said. The show will be on May 4-6 and will be the last show of the year. “This is the final production of the season, and it’s a very large production,” Davenport said. “We typically don’t have a show this size at the end of the year, so I’m excited to close the season with such a big production.”

Emmie Stevens • theCharger

Emmie Stevens • theCharger

Top Left: Freshman Jenna Rowland, sophomore Cady Pittman and other cast members practice the songs for the musical. Top Right: Senior Anne Elizabeth Pittman and OMS theatre director, Deborah Anderson rehearse a scene together. Bottom: Senior Sally Hardy is surrounded by other cast members during practice. The show will be held on May 4-6 in the Kayla Myze Auditorium at Oxford Middle School.

theCharger April/May 2018

By Lauren Bial staff writer Officer Mario Weekley, who has worked in Oxford since 2011, is leaving the Oxford School District. He plans to move to the Biloxi School District where he will be employed as the chief of police. Though Biloxi School District has its own police department, Weekley said his new job will not have many differences with the one he has now, just a few more responsibilities. “I guess it’s kind of weird to say I’m excited for the unknown,” Weekley said. “It’s the opportunity for me and my wife and my family to grow.” Weekley says that he will miss the community and the students greatly. He believes it’s going to be hard to leave, but he could not pass up the offer. “I’ll miss the people I work with at the police department,” Weekley said. “Oxford has been awesome to me and my wife.” Officer Zach Anderson, another of Oxford’s student resource officers, has known Weekley since last year. He thinks Weekley brings love and a good attitude to Oxford. “He loves on everybody, and I like it,” Anderson said. Anderson says he will miss his lunch breaks with Weekley when they talk “smack.” However, his favorite memories with Weekley come from when they watch basketball together. “I like watching him watch basketball

games because he starts yelling at the ref., and he gets a little too into it,” Anderson said. “It’s kind of embarrassing, but I go home and laugh about it.” Weekley’s favorite part of the day is going to school and seeing students. “That is my high point,” Weekley said. “Every day I get to come in here, and I mean I absolutely love it here.” Principal Bradley Roberson has known Weekley since returning to the Oxford School District in 2015. Roberson is appreciative of the effort Weekley puts into the community, like delivering meals to families during the snow days earlier this year. “Students both respect and trust Officer Weekly,” Roberson said. “Officer Weekley is a man with a servant’s heart.” Weekley focuses on his bonds with Oxford students to help them succeed. He says another high point of his job is giving students advice to help them be successful. However, his job is not without its struggles. “[The low points are] the [students] that you try to talk to so much and some people just don’t get it,” Weekley said. “Those are the ones you hate to see, the ones that drop out of high school.” The connection between Weekley and the Oxford schools has grown strong over the years through students and faculty. “We will greatly miss Officer Weekly,” Roberson said. “He has been a vital part of Charger Nation.”



Lauren Bial • theCharger

Officer Mario Weekley sits at his desk and smiles. Weekley will be moving to Biloxi to be the chief of police at the school’s police department.



April/May 2018


Courtesy of Esthefany Canales

Left: Junior Esthefany Canales is crowned queen of Kindergarten. Middle: Canales poses for a picture at the age of five. Right: Canales, 5, and her brother, 8, sit together on a car for a picture.

Students with foreign roots face culture shocks, new perspectives By Eve Gershon features editor

Moving to America from another country may seem like a foreign idea, but for some OHS students, that’s a reality they had to face. “I always thought it was more like an adventure because I was so little, but I thought it was fun just meeting new friends,” junior Esthefany Canales said. “I was so eager, and I caught on pretty fast and made new friends.” Canales moved to Galveston, Texas, from Honduras when she was eight-years-old and ended up in Oxford after following her dad’s work. Her family decided to make the trek to America after growing concerns over the state of government in Honduras. “It was the election year, and there was a lot of problems with the government and stuff, so my parents both just decided to move [to the United States] for a better living,” Canales said. According to Canales, the biggest culture shock for her and her family came from all of the different holidays in the U.S. “I feel like for Christmas, first of all, we celebrate it a day before and at night, and then we found out like [Americans] celebrate the 25th in the morning,” Canales said. “And there’s some holidays that y’all celebrate that we don’t, but now we’ve caught on to them too, so we kind of celebrate them.” Senior Heba Marzouk and sophomore Mohamed Marzouk had some similar culture

shocks after moving to Oxford from Cairo, Egypt. “I mean culture, traditional, religious wise, [Oxford is] completely different from Egypt,” Heba said. The two, in the midst of living in Cairo, lived in Hiroshima, Ja“It affected pan, for me a lot by about two years, changing the following their way I see the mom’s professorial world and research. the amount “My mom is of things that are possible in a professor at the university,” Heba this world.” said. “She did reMohamed search in Egypt Marzouk and then wanted sophomore to go to a foreign country where she can collaborate with other researchers and do more research to prepare for her PhD.” This same research is what brought them to Oxford. “We had the choice of going to either here or Germany, but we decided it’s much better for us as kids to learn English,” Heba said. “At least we went to school where we learned some vocabulary, so it’s much easier on us than German. Her mom chose America because there’s much more researchers in America. There’s more community for us.” Heba said that she had less difficulty

Courtesy of Heba Marzouk

Left: Senior Heba Marzouk, 5, and sophomore Mohamed Marzouk, 4, draw together in Egypt. Top right: Heba, 2, sits on a chair in Egypt with a smile at 2. Bottom right: Mohamed, 7, gets ready for his first day of school in Japan.

catching on to English after being forced to learn Japanese in such a short period of time, but she still struggled with some things at first. “I had huge trouble with accents, like the Southern accent was even harder than the actual language,” Heba said. And the language wasn’t the only challenge that came their way. The Marzouks were forced to make some adjustments moving from Egypt to America. “It was a big transformation because moving from a third world country to a first world country was a major change in my life,” Mohammed said. According to Mohamed, everything from the people to the way of life changed with the move, but he believes that having to process so much at such a young age helped him grow as a person. “It affected me a lot by changing the way I see the world and the amount of things that are possible in this world,” Mohamed said. Heba is also grateful for the opportunities that she got from moving so often. She believes that so much movement has allowed her to become stronger. “I think I’m a lucky person to be able to have a family that can make me travel all over the Earth,” Heba said. “It’s cool how living in different countries have taught me different things, and it makes you a more knowledgeable person and more suitable to be put in an environment and easily get adapted to it.”

Riley Merrell • OHS Yearbook

P R O M 2 0 1 8

theCharger April/May 2018



Emmie Stevens • theCharger

A group of girls dance the Cha Cha Slide together. The dance lasted from 9:00 p.m. to 12 a.m., with a lock in from 9-11.

Emmie Stevens • theCharger

Junior Kyle Gordon and senior Emma Farese smile for the camera.

Emmie Stevens • theCharger

Freshman Ky’wuan Phillips and junior Allysha Certion pose for a picture at prom.

Emmie Stevens • theCharger

Juniors Ashton Perkins and Jack Ligon dance with senior Josh Morgan and break it down on the dance floor.

Emmie Stevens • theCharger

Emmie Stevens • theCharger

A group dances the night away together at prom. English teacher Kimberly Austin crowns junior Albert Ball as prom prince.



April/May 2018




ORDER: Sloppy Joe



ORDER: Chipotle

Beef Tacos



ORDER: Pepperoni


theCharger April/May 2018



We hit the town to try three of Oxford’s most popular food trucks, trying to find the best quick eats. Here’s what we found.

WHERE TO FIND THEM: Community Mortgage building WHEN TO FIND THEM: Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. VEGETARIAN OPTIONS?: Sides only. WHAT WE ORDERED: Chicken-Bacon-Ranch. OUR REVIEW: The service was great, and the food was even better. The Chicken-Bacon-Ranch is one of the best sandwiches in town, for sure. LB’s is extremely quick and easy if you are looking for good food in a time crunch.

WHERE TO FIND THEM: Ole Miss baseball games, Jones at

Home WHEN TO FIND THEM: Late nights starting at 9 P.M. VEGETARIAN OPTIONS?: Only if requested when catering. WHAT WE ORDERED: Chipotle beef tacos. OUR REVIEW: Don’t expect your average taco here. Each taco has both a hard and soft shell taco—which stole the show—and is stuffed with fresh ingredients. The atmosphere rocks; very fun and friendly.

WHERE TO FIND THEM: Chaney’s Pharmacy, Castrol on

Thursdays. WHEN TO FIND THEM: Monday—Saturday until 6 P.M. (7 P.M. on Fridays). VEGETARIAN OPTIONS?: Yes! WHAT WE ORDERED: Cheese pizza and smores pizza. OUR REVIEW: The pizza here is great, just a little pricey. The service is friendly and outgoing, leaving customers with a perfect pizzaeating atmosphere. The S’mores pizza is outstanding—a must-try!

theCharger April/May 2018

The Weeknd’s new release “My Dear Melancholy,” shows no progression By William Carrington staff writer Since releasing three EP’s in 2011, Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, has become massively successful and transformed modern R&B forever. With every one of his commercial releases, he’s challenged himself and come out with a newer and more polished sound every time. After last year’s “Starboy,” Tesfaye’s most experimental album yet, it doesn’t make sense that he would stick to a sound he knew was safe, especially on a six-track EP. I had high hopes for this EP, but it seems like Tesfaye is missing a lot of the ambition seen in the jump from the sound of 2015’s “Beauty Behind the Madness” to the sound of 2017’s “Starboy.” Anyone can see that The Weeknd’s potential is huge. His sound has changed so much since 2011 and every album comes with more and more changes in his artistic formula. While artistic change is necessary for an artist to develop, it’s not always a good thing. While “Starboy” had massive hits like “Can’t Feel My Face,” its sudden change in sound left a few tracks out of place. As Tesfaye’s first EP since his “Trilogy” release in 2012, March’s “My Dear Melancholy,” was more of the same trademark Weeknd sound. With production coming from people like French producer Gesaffelstein, Tesfaye had plenty of room to surprise us all with an even slightly original sound. Unfortunately, all 21 minutes of “My Dear Melancholy”

sound like bits of “Starboy” and “Beauty Behind the Madness” that didn’t quite make the cut. Casual listeners and fans of his usual sound are happy with “My Dear Melancholy,” and all six of its songs debuted on the Billboard Top 100. The songs don’t sound bad at all; they just don’t sound different, which is surprising and even more so a little disappointing. Maybe it’s unfair to expect so much from a six song EP, but I don’t see why these tracks deserve their own project in order to be released. I have to say that “My Dear Melancholy,” shows an uncharacteristic lack of artistic ambition. That’s not to say that The Weeknd’s next album will be the same, but I was honestly left a little confused with the direction that “My Dear Melancholy,” took. I can only hope that Tesfaye is more adventerous with his next release.



theCharger April/May 2018




By Edward Brown sports writer

Coming into the 2018 season the OHS track team looked to continue its success from 5A into the highest division, 6A. Both the girls and boys teams won the 5A state championship last season. Track coach Chris Patton feels as though the team is ready and up to the task of competing for the 6A state championship. “I’ve noticed that 6A is tougher than 5A, but we knew that going into the season,” Patton said. “I do feel the team has stepped up to the challenge.” The team officially opened up the season with a meet at the Madison Track Classic. Following the meet in Madison the team competed

in the Ole Miss Invitational in Oxford and then the Division Meet in Tupelo where they had a strong meet. Finally the last stop before the state championship was the North State Meet where the team had another strong showing and finished with many runners qualifying for state. “The North State Meet was key,” Patton said. “The more people we have competing at the State Meet the greater chance we have of doing well.” Junior Tyrese Ivy has been running track for Oxford since 7th grade and stepped up as a leader and captain for the team this season. Ivy runs the 200, 400, 4x400, and the long jump for the team. Ivy

now is looking forward to competing in and possibly winning the 6A title. “Even with more competitive teams, our team is still proving that we’re one of the top teams in Mississippi,” Ivy said. “I think the team will go down to state and, if we execute all of the races like we’ve been doing throughout the season, we could come back with our first 6A state title.” This track season is also the first season in many years without new Assistant Principal Chris Bush. Bush stepped down as track coach and took up an open assistant principal spot at the school. While Bush is not the track coach anymore and will not be coaching, he still retains

relationships with many of his former runners. “I was, am, and will always be the kind of coach that strives to make sure that my athletes know that I genuinely care about them and am concerned about who they are as people first,” Bush said. “I’m always humbled to know that I was building relationships that didn’t just last a track season, but that can last a lifetime.” The state meet will take place on May 4 in Pearl. After having strong showings throughout all of their meets during March and April, the team and players feel as though they are ready to win 6A. “We have really competed well this whole season and I feel that we are peaking at just the right time,” Patton said.

O’ Connor commits to play for Ole Miss, reclassifies to 2019 sports writer

Lady Charger soccer standout Morgan O’Connor recently made the decision to stay in Oxford as she committed to playing soccer at Ole Miss and chose to reclassify into the class of 2019. O’Connor has totaled for 107 goals over her high school career and still has a season left to go. “I was never really planning on staying here,” O’Connor said. “My mom was really the biggest reason that I stayed, and being able to see her all the time.” O’Connor’s mom, Jennifer, is fighting an ongoing battle with brain cancer. She is undergoing chemotherapy, but her condition has remained constant. “Being around her and keeping a smile on her face with everything she’s going through is important,” O’Connor said. “It isn’t getting better and it isn’t going to get better but until it starts to get worse, I need to make sure that I enjoy every day that I have her.” Morgan was on pace to graduate by December of 2020, and she made the decision to graduate early based on her training for soccer. O’Connor will have to take one class over the summer to make sure that she has all of her credits to graduate early. “Just training-wise for soccer, I have not gotten

enough training,” O’Connor said. “It really would have just been a waste of a couple of months, so I made the decision to just go ahead and graduate early.” According to O’Connor, she needs to improve in every facet of her game as she prepares to play at the next level. She plans on training throughout this offseason in order to prepare for her final season as a Lady Charger. “High school we didn’t really have a good season, but my club team is a different level,” O’Connor said. “Club is where all of my recruitment came from, but I hope we can have a better season high school wise and finish the way we wanted to this year.” O’Connor had plenty of options in terms of where she could continue her soccer career. According to Morgan, she really only strongly considered four other schools. “Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama, and I thought Memphis would be one but it was not,” O’Connor said. “Really it was just Auburn and Tennessee that competed with Ole Miss at the end of my recruitment.” According to head coach Hunter Crane, this upcoming season will be treated as Morgan’s senior season. “We looked at her credits, and next year would have really been her senior year anyways,” Crane

said. “This is really what will be best for her development on the soccer field and I am looking forward to seeing her really try to attack 6A.” Crane is also excited about having the ability to watch O’Connor continue her soccer career here at Ole Miss. “To have a player play at the next level is special but to have one play at a SEC program in your hometown is really special,” Crane said. “I will always be one of her biggest fans and that would have been that way no matter where she decided to go.”

Courtesy of Morgan O’ Connor

By Walker Bailey

Sophomore Morgan O’Connor dribbles the ball. O’Connor is reclassifying to the class of 2019 and has committed to Ole Miss.



April/May 2018


Mother-Daughter Duo

Coach, player share special bond on, off field By Grace Logan sports writer

Many coaches and players develop special relationships during seasons. For OHS’ softball coach and pitcher, however, the bond does not end with the season. According to head softball coach and mother of pitcher Brittni Beard, Tabitha Beard loves coaching her daughter, as it gives them time to spend together. “As [Brittni’s] mom, I am so proud of everything she has done and to get to see the journey from beginning to end,” Tabitha said. Having her mom around at every game, Brittni says, is one of her favorite things about having her as a coach. The two have shared many memories together over the years including one that left the team laughing. “I think [my favorite is] probably when she was hitting defense, and she missed the ball completely and spun around and fell,” Brittni said. “We all got a good laugh out of that one.” Tabitha has been a softball coach for 16 years and has been Brittni’s coach throughout her high school career.

“I did have a rule that I did not coach her in summer ball and stuff like that. I didn’t actually start coaching her until she got to high school,” Tabitha said. “My sister, Coach Rachel, who helps me, took over that role with her over the summer because I just wanted a little time to be a mom.” After missing Brittni’s first home run due to coaching another team, Coach Beard realized she did not want coaching to get in the way of watching her daughter. “I remember I was coaching third when she hit that home run six hours away, so I had to miss that moment, and it made me feel awful. I said from that day on I never have to do that, and I haven’t,” Tabitha said. “I’ve seen the highs and lows and everything in between.” One challenge that both Brittni and Tabitha face is how similar the two of them are. “Brittni and I tend to be really alike and we wear our emotions on our sleeves and sometimes other people probably wouldn’t notice, but I notice things like when she’s got an attitude, when she is upset or when her situation changes,” Tabitha said.

According to Tabitha, in order to keep her roles as mother and coach. She refrains from getting on to Brittni during games. “I let Rachel handle her during the game because you don’t want your mom on you all the time, and it seems a little different because sometimes it is hard to say ‘that’s my coach and not my mom.’ So I let Rachel do that, and sometimes I slip things in there,” Tabitha said. Brittni, who is committed to play softball at Northwest Community College, is ready for the next step but will miss not having her mom as her coach. “I will miss her making fun of me every two seconds and just having her around, but I know she will be around for college,” Brittni said. Like Brittni, Tabitha will miss being around her daughter next year when Brittni leaves for college. “I think the biggest thing is not seeing her every day and not being there,” Tabitha said. “I’m sure I’ll talk to her everyday but just those little life things that you share with your kid every day, and I’ve gotten to do that not only at home but on the softball field.”

Grace Logan • theCharger

Grace Logan • theCharger

Top: Senior Brittni Beard signs to play softball at Northwest Community College with her family around her including her mother and coach Tabitha Beard. Brittni will be continuing her softball career next year. Left: Senior Brittni Beard runs to first base after hitting the ball during the game against Lafayette. The annual game was used to raise money for Breast Cancer and ended in a loss for the Chargers.



April/May 2018

By Grant Daniels sports editor After three straight state championship appearances with two state championship victories, the Oxford Charger baseball team is entering into the postseason in their first season in 6A completing the regular

Riley Merrell • OHS Yearbook

Senior Tyler Smith pitches the ball during a team practice. Smith has a perfect 8-0 record.


season with a 19-8 record overall. The Chargers clinched the 6A Region II district with a 7-2 in district play. Having won two out of three games against Tupelo, the Chargers won the tiebreaker over the Golden Wave as both teams had 7-2 record in district play. South Panola finished in third behind Oxford and Tupelo with a 4-5 record while Columbus finished last going winless, 0-9, in district play. With this being the first season in 6A for Oxford, they believe that they have exceeded many expectations. “Many people thought ‘Oxford is going to 6A, they are going to have trouble with 6A competition,’” senior Tyler Smith said. “I feel like we have already proven a lot of people wrong by going out and winning the division over defending division champion Tupelo.” Statistically, the Chargers have been one of the top teams in the state in the hitting department. As a team, the Chargers are hitting .322 with a .431 on base percentage.

They’ve collected 204 runs on 205 hits with 15 of those being home runs. Senior first basemen Jacob Melendez likes how the team has been hitting the ball all season. “Our bats were hot ever since the season started, and our offense has put up some pretty impressive numbers,” Melendez said. “So we are going to try to keep doing that going into playoffs.”

“We really need to relax and play our baseball. When we just play to have fun we hit and pitch wonderfully so if we just go out and play we should make a good run.”

Bo Gatlin junior

The Chargers pitching staff has combined for a 2.66 earned run average. Senior Tyler Smith has been

the ace of the staff with a 8-0 record, a 1.49 ERA, and a complete game no hitter. Senior Parker Stinnett has also been a big part of the staff with a 3-3 record in seven appearances. Junior Bo Gatlin has six starts under his belt for the year, compiling a 3-3 record with a 2.41 ERA. “As far as the pitching staff goes, everyone has done a great job this year,” Smith said. “Every guy that has thrown in big games this year has stepped up and done a really good job. I feel like any guy we put out there gives us a good shot to win.” The Chargers are set to face Southaven in a three game set in the first round of the 6A playoffs, aiming for another deep run in the playoffs. The Southaven Chargers enter into the series with a 22-5 record overall and 6-3 in their district. “We really need to just relax and play our baseball,” Gatlin said. “When we just play to have fun, we hit and pitch wonderfully, so if we just go out and play we should make a good run.”

The Charger Oxford High School April/May 2018  
The Charger Oxford High School April/May 2018