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1200 SE Adams Dairy Parkway, Blue Springs, MO 64014

Volume XXVI Issue V

January 26, 2018

South takes part in local charity event Patterson Fallis Managing Editor Bowls for Souls is an annual event that takes place when the Blue Springs Wildcat basketball team travels across town to take on the Jaguars on February 23.  Bowls for Souls is put on by a number of organizations. The event is a chili dinner in which people buy a ticket for $10 and receive a meal as well as a clay bowl that was hand made by South students. The money from the event goes towards various Kansas City area charities.  Art teacher Carlee Martin, who heads the production of clay bowls for the event, talked about everything that goes into the process of putting on the event  “There are so many people that help with Bowls for Souls. We have groups that make the bowls and groups that help paint the bowls. The Mudthrowers club heads the making of the bowls along with my

Official poster to promote “Bowls for Souls.” Taking place at Blue Springs South High School on February 23 from 5 to 7 PM. Ceramics I and II classes. Sophomore Reps and Senate are a big part of the painting process as well as the Jaguar Baseball team which brings the whole event together. We definitely couldn’t do this by ourselves

and every year, Bowls for Souls turns out great,” Martin said. As Martin alluded to, the Jaguar baseball team plays a big role in the making of these bowls that are used for the event. Se-

nior outfielder Derek Mammen discussed the reason the team chooses to help and why he enjoys doing so. “We participate in Bowls for Souls as a part of our ‘9 Ways’ projects. ‘9 Ways’ is a series of nine service projects the baseball team does over the series of the school year and Bowls for Souls is a great event included in the nine. I’ve helped with Bowls for Souls for two years now and I really enjoy being able to help out for a good cause,” Mammen said.  Senior Sam Siron, who has participated in the making of the bowls in the past two years, talked about why he enjoys Bowls for Souls. “I really like making bowls for Bowls for Souls because I get to do something that I’m extremely passionate about and help out my community at the same time. I’ve made somewhere around 30 bowls this year and it has been a lot of fun. I just want to say thank you to Mrs. Martin for helping me out with my bowls as well as all the work she does with organizing this whole event,” Siron said.

New club attempting to South takes us back to portray a positive message the 80’s in new musical Emma Anderson

Caeden Smithpeter

Features Editor

Web Editor

The Renaissance Club here at South does many things throughout the school to help make the environment happy and welcoming. When students exit the building members of the Renaissance Club are there to give high fives and candy. They do many things around the school that should be appreciated and the fact that these members take the time to make school a place worth being is something that should be recognized. The club took part in brightening up school bathrooms. They painted encouraging phrases on the walls and made them far more colorful. Some of the phrases include “It is never too late to be what you wanted.” and “Beautiful girl, you can do hard things.” Senior member Casey Main has enjoyed Renaissance Club and the activities they take part in. “Recently, over Christmas break, we all got together and painted the bathrooms here at South. We painted motivational quotes on the walls with fun colors that could hopefully help brighten peoples day.” Main said. The main goal of the club is to make people smile and brighten up the school atmosphere. Main is glad she joined and got the opportunity to help the school. “I love doing things that make people happy, and if this club was created sooner I would have joined as soon as I could. Helping people smile makes me smile and I think Renaissance Club is such a good thing for our school and I’m so glad I’m getting to see it in action before I graduate from South this year,” Main said.

This year, Blue Springs South is going back to one of the most popular era’s with the school musical. ‘Back to the 80’s’ features popular songs from the 80’s that people know and love, like ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’, ‘Walking On Sunshine’, ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’, etc. The show follows Corey Sr., played by Spencer Azimi-Tabrizzi, who is looking back on his senior year of high school and all of the craziness that happened during that specific year of his life. Theatre President Lauren Manade is very excited for this musical. “I play Mel and she is a part of the cool girl clique. I perform ‘Kids in America’ and it’s a really fun number to perform. This show is just so fun and so energetic,” Manade said. Senior Morgan Wallace has never participated in a musical until now. “My role is so much fun to play because I am very outspoken and rude. It is so much fun to play somebody polar opposite than yourself. My character, Cyndi rules the school and rules the boys. She gets around. I am very nervous because I have never done something like this before,” Wallace said. Senior Nick Landon has never participated in a musical either. “This is my very first musical and I play the cool guy that all of the girls fall head over heels for. It’s a love triangle between my character, Tiffany Houston, and Corey Jr. and you’ll have to come and find out who she chooses,” Landon said. Sophomore Reese Betts plays Tiffany Houston, the girl next door.

Two Renaissance Club members paint the phrase “You Be You” on a girls bathroom wall. Photo submitted.

Three members of Renaissance Club paint in the boys’ bathroom. Photo submitted.

Senior Nick Landon and sophomore Reese Betts rehearse a scene. Photo by Caeden Smithpeter. “This show is a totally different style than other show that South has done. I think the older generations will love this show especially and the nostalgia of this era,” Betts said. Senior Noah Sweeney plays Corey Jr., the younger version of Corey Sr. that is living in the 80’s. Musical Director Susan Cooper is very excited for this show. “We performed this show back in 2009 and we had a blast with it. Our audience keeps asking us, “When are you guys going to do that one again?” and finally, we decided to go with this one again because we thought we had the perfect group for it,” Cooper said. ‘Back to the 80’s’ will be on February 8th and 9th at 7pm, and February 10th at 1pm and 7pm. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. The student matinee showing is on February 9th and tickets are $6.

Page 3 Features

Page 4 Entertainment

Pages 6-7

Page 11 Editorials

Page 12 Sports

Touch of Silver succeeds in competition

New music to expect in the new year

Performers of South

Russia banned from the Winter Olympics

Basketball battles through adversity




English teacher inspires students Delaney Jackson Assistant Editor-in-Chief There are many talented teachers here at Blue Springs South, and all of them deserve recognition. Shawn Schmelzle teaches English IIII and English Comp 110. “I have taught here my entire career. I feel very fortunate to have worked with so many excellent people in that time- students and staff. In addition to teaching, I have coached football, wrestling, and track & field at South,” Schmelzle said. Coaching has been something that he enjoys doing very much. “I was able to see student-athletes grow over four years. Coaches get to teach skills, like character and work ethic, that might be harder to learn in a classroom. It is also a completely different set of learning styles because sports are so much more tactile. I believe coaching accelerated my learning curve as a teacher. Both require the same core skill: caring about a person and helping the person maximize his or her potential with knowledge or expertise they don’t yet have. Some of the best teachers

I had were coaches, and vice-versa: I don’t think that was a coincidence,” Schmelzle said. He is always there to help his students in any way possible. Making the decision to become a teacher is one that many don’t make until later on. For Schmelzle, he knew in high school. “Like a lot of teachers, I suspect, I was inspired by a Shawn teacher. His name was Mr. Bascom; he was my English teacher my sophomore and junior year at Rockhurst High School. I had never known an adult who enjoyed his or her work as much as Mr. Bascom seemed to. He asked the most interesting questions about the books we were reading, or the essays we were writing, and he was willing to pursue answers to those questions with us. He didn’t act like he had all the an-

swers; he was willing to admit what he wondered about or was struggling with, philosophically. His humility, curiosity and intellect made him someone I admired and wanted to emulate,” Schmelzle said. He says his favorite part about teaching is working with the students. “That is what I enjoy most about teaching: working with Schmezle students to pursue answers to important questions. English is a wonderful subject to teach because of the reading, writing, speaking and listening we all do together. It allows for conversations that are, hopefully, meaningful and relevant,” Schmelzle said. He says that he is grateful for having the opportunity to teach here at Blue Springs South. “I have a lot of friends who teach in oth-

er schools around the city. I’ve had the opportunity to visit those schools, and some of them are very good, but I do believe that Blue Springs South is the best public high school in the Kansas City area. I am grateful to teach here because the students and staff take so much pride in what we do here, in the classroom and beyond. We have excellent support from community. South is a special place,” Schmelzle said. Mr. Schmelzle is one of many talented teachers here in at South, and is talked highly upon by many students. All of the positive talk is very much so deserved. Schmelzle has a word of advice for anyone that wants to follow in his footsteps of being a teacher. “The best advice I can give a future teacher is to strive to become the teacher you most admire. Never lose sight of that north star. It also helps to have high-quality colleagues and mentors, which is something that the Blue Springs School District has plenty of. Finally, don’t get discouraged. There will be bad days, but they can’t undermine the mission, which is to provide the best education possible to all students. That’s something worth doing, which is why I’m happy to be a teacher,” Schmelzle said.

sics side. This year was a step down from last year’s championship, but the results were still generally positive for the team. In debate, two Conference champion teams walk the halls. Seniors Adam Ryan and Tavarus Pennington took first in Public Forum debate on a 5-0 record and Senior Alex VanDyke and Junior Ian Cuthbert placed first in Policy debate also on a 5-0 record. Additionally, Sophomores Tate McCrary and Zeke Butler placed seventh in Policy debate and Juniors Drake Wood and Brendan Spicer placed second in Public Forum. To round out the placements from South in debate we have Juniors Bren Herman and Johnny Blocker took eight in Public Forum.

Senior Adam Ryan described the strategy and preparation that went into their conference victory. “Tavarus and I had already debated two tournaments on this topic before (topics change monthly) and had done fairly well. But we did not run our more creative arguments that we prepared specifically for this tournament,” Ryan said. “SO when it came time to debate at Conference we surprised a lot of teams with some unique arguments that weren’t prepared for. It ended up paying off really well.” All of the teams spent many hours poring over evidence and researching their respective topics. This year’s topics across all forms of debate range from moral

arguments in Lincoln-Douglas style to federal education funding and regulation in policy to the independence of Catalonia, a province of Spain. Much work paid off at Conference with all of the placements. Teacher Kelli Morrill explained what these results mean for the rest of the season. “The results mean we will celebrate the success and then go back to working hard, so we can be successful at NSDA and MSHSAA districts (these are the remaining major tournaments this season),” Morrill said. “Also, it should build confidence in these students to show them they can win tournaments.”

“I feel very fortunate to have worked with so many excellent people in that time-students and staff.”

Debate team home to two Conference champions Colin Brown Copy Editor Last weekend, the Debate team travelled across town to Blue Springs High School to compete in the Conference tournament. The Jags’ conference consists of seven schools. Ray Pec, Blue Springs, Park Hill, Lee’s Summit North, Lee’s Summit West, Lee’s Summit High School, and Blue Springs South all competed for the title of conference champion. The team ended up taking a second place finish, taking third on the debate side and third on the foren-

USA Gymnastics responsible for abuse USA Gymnastics, better known as USAG, has been in the media a lot lately, and rightfully so. Over 140 women of all different ages and backgrounds have recently come forward, saying they were sexually abused by Larry Nassar, former national medical director for USAG, as well as one of the most renown sports physicians at Michigan State University. Among those accusing Nassar are some of gymnastics all time greats McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Maggie Nichols, Simone Biles, and Aly Raisman. Nassar, now 54, already plead guilty to having one of the biggest collections of child pornography to date, and has received 60 years for that. Unfortunately, Nassar is not the only issue in USA gymnastics. The gymnasts are also speaking out against their club gymnastics coaches for mental and emotional abuse. This case hits home for me not only because of my 14 years of gymnastics experience, but because I have attended the infamous Karolyi Ranch where many of these abuses took place. For those of you that don’t know, the Karolyi Ranch is the National Training Center for USA Gymnastics, and athletes on the National Team are required to attend monthly camps at the ranch. When I was 13, I made the Olympic Developmental Team for gymnastics along with my friend, and we both attended camps down at the ranch. I can see how so many of the abuses happened at The Ranch. It consists of over 2,000 acres of land, and there are cabins built for the gymnasts to stay in. Four gymnasts can stay in one cabin, and the coaches stay in a separate coaches cabin, about a mile away from where all of the gymnasts cabins are. There is

Dive in with Delaney

Assisstant Editor-in-Chief Delaney Jackson

a dining hall where you eat, and a gym where you train. All of the equipment is state of the art, but with coaches a mile away from the gymnasts, it wouldn’t have been hard for no one to notice what was going on in the gymnasts cabins. In light of the events, USAG has terminated their contract with The Ranch and is currently looking for a new National Team Training Center. Not only is Nassar being called out, but so are multiple coaches from many gyms all over the nation for mentally and emotionally abusing their athletes. Yelling, throwing things, getting kicked

out, and saying insults are common in the gymnastics world for coaches to do to their athletes. This is because those are the tactics that U.S National Head Coach Martha Karolyi used, and it produced multiple Olympic and World medals. In an article written by UCLA coach Valorie Kondos Field, she said “For decades they established a culture of abuse that was widely accepted and mimicked by other club coaches because “we won medals.” Unfortunately, I am all too familiar with the mental and emotional abuse done by gymnastics coaches. Growing up in the gym and training there for 35 hours a week, I was victim to it. I will never forget the words they said to me when they told me I was worthless and didn’t matter, that I was a stupid little girl with no talent. The things they threw at me, ranging from pens to cups to mats, or the times I was kicked out of practice for something as small as scratching my nose while in the line up. I still have nightmares from what I went through, and I know many of my teammates do as well. They ruined not only how I thought about myself, but the love I had for the sport. USAG is responsible for allowing emotional and mental abuse to become normalized at club gyms across the nation. The culture of abuse that has become normalized in the gymnastics community HAS to be changed, so no little girl has to go through what my teammates and I went through. Along with just being called out for the abuse that took place for over 20 years, USAG is being criticized for how they are handling everything that has happened. Steve Penny, the president of USAG at the time of the abuses, resigned shortly

after girls started speaking up about what Nassar had done to them. Aly Raisman, two time Olympic team captain and multiple Olympic and World Champion, has been very vocal about how she feels USAG is responding. On her Twitter, she has said “STOP VICTIM SHAMING. Your statements are hurtful. If you did not believe that I and others were abused then why pressure and manipulate us? WE WERE MOLESTED BY A MONSTER YOU ENABLED TO THRIVE FOR DECADEs. You are 100% responsible. It was mandatory to get “treatment” by Nassar.” In another tweet, she said “We must investigate to figure out the many flaws in @USAG system. We must understand how this happened, to make sure it never occurs again. This problem is bigger than Penny and Nassar. The system has to change so that athletes are safe. Enablers need to be held accountable.” Raisman has postponed her 2020 Tokyo comeback as she is now taking on a much more important role- an advocate for sexual abuse survivors. The entire situation with USAG cannot be traced back to one problem; many problems in multiple systems allowed over 20 years of sexual, physical, mental, and emotional abuse of girls ranging in ages 6 to 22. In her hearing, one of the survivors, Kyle Stephens, said “Little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.” Any kind of abuse is NEVER okay, and USAG, along with club gyms across the nation, must address their issues and make sure the next generation never has to endure what these girls went through.




Sophomore thrives in gymnastics Joanne Lee Entertainment Editor Sophomore Sophia Studdard is a level 10 gymnast at Fuzion Gymnastics and Youth Fitness Center. Studdard has been a gymnast since the age of two and plans on continuing through college. She started out in a mother-and-daughter class at GAGE and continued to go there for 12 years. She transferred to Fuzion three years ago.  Studdard has a passion for gymnastics, and her favorite event is floor. She loves being able to perform and express her dances.  “I love being able to show off my dance routines on the floor,” Studdard said.  A memorable moment throughout her years in gymnastics was when she qualified for a major competition.  “Something that was memorable would

have to be when I made Western my first year,” Studdard said. Gymnastics has been a part of Studdard’s life for thirteen years and she has stayed committed the whole way. She practices Monday through Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day and goes for practice Sophia Studdard competes at a gymnastics competiton. Photo on Saturday courtesy of Sophia Studdard mornings from 8:00 nastics in college and is hoping to rea.m. to 1:00 p.m.  ceive scholarships.  Studdard plans on continuing gym“I am hoping to get a scholarship and

Searching for scholarships: A guide for success in making college cheaper -Visit com for opportunities at scholarships. -Go to the counseling office where you can find a newsletter full of scholarships. -Do research on your college choices’ websites. They should have scholarships applications available. -Apply for local scholarships; you have a smaller pool of people and are more likely to win.

-When applying, don’t be afraid to get personal. Many scholarships are based on need; make your need clear. -Apply for numerous smaller scholarships, rather than a few large ones. -Apply for all that apply to you. -Speak to the financial aid office at colleges of your choice. -Apply for state grants.

currently I have a couple of colleges looking at me,” Studdard said. Competition season has started up for the year, and Studdard has her second meet coming up this weekend in Indianapolis. During the season things can get hectic because of all of the traveling done throughout the season. One of the coolest places Studdard has traveled to for competition was Hawaii. She will be preparing for not only her meets, but for the biggest competition in the season, which is Nationals.  Studdard has been doing gymnastics for most of her life and one of her favorite parts about it is being able to continue to learn and perform.  “My favorite part about gymnastics is that there are so many different skills you can do and learn. Once you get to a higher level you can basically meet the requirements and then do whatever skills you like. This also allows you to always have a backup plan,” Studdard said. 

Louder than a Bomb nears start of competition season Delaney Jackson Assistant Editor-in-Chief The Louder than a Bomb poetry team looks to continue on last year’s success. Mrs. Bunch brought the club to South with her last year, and South veteran teacher English teacher Janis Schuberth took interest in the club and is sponsor for the group this year. Junior Hailee Lara says that she is grateful that they brought the club to South. “I really enjoy Louder than a Bomb because it gives me a chance to express myself. I love writing poetry, so this is a really good place for me to be in,” Lara said. The idea of the club is that students write poetry and other forms of writing, and they perform them verbally. There are solos, duets, and many

different types of performances. Students can write about personal things that are going on in their life, and anything else that they want to write about. The team doesn’t just perform poetry in front of each other, they also perform it at competitions against other slam poetry teams. The season has not yet started for Louder than a Bomb, but it is fast approaching. Many edits have to be done before a piece can be performed at a competition. They must practice reading their pieces to perfect them, and also work with teachers to make revisions on their writings. Louder than a Bomb hopes to have another successful competiton season.

Touch of Silver enjoys recent success Caeden Smithpeter Web Editor This past Saturday, the Touch of Silver Dance Team competed at Lee’s Summit North High School. The team competed in three categories: Mix, Hip-Hop, and Precision Dance. The team placed first in Mix and second in Mix and Hip-Hop. The captains are Cameron Krska and Michaelyn Horsch. Krska was very happy with the results. “I am very proud of all of us and excited to make our dances even better. I am also excited to have Sofia dance with us at State,” Krska said. The team is led by six seniors: Emma Anderson, Sofia Bennett, Michaelyn Horsch, Cameron Krska, Brianna Parker, and Allie Widick. The team had many freshmen, sophomores, and juniors compete the night before with their own solos and duos. Freshman Ella Phillips and Sophomore

Emma Mayer placed fourth overall in the duo division. Phillips’ solo also placed second and Freshman Addi Woodward placed third. Sophomores Whitney Woods, Emma Mayer, and Maddy Brickhouse all placed in their solo division. Mayer placed second, Woods placed fourth, and Brickhouse placed fifth. Touch of Silver lifts junior Josie Woodward in Senior Michaelyn Horsh and freshman EmmoJunior Claire Tinthe air at a competition. Photo by Caeden Smith- ry Michael perform at a competition. Photo by dall competed her solo peter Caeden Smithpeter and placed fourteenth. The Touch of Silver Dance Team will was very eye opening for us all because it Sophomore Whitbe traveling to Springfield, Missouri next truly showed us that our hard work does ney Woods had a lot of uplifting things to month to compete but their main goal is pay off. Getting that first place in Mix and say about the team. to perfect their dances for State ,which is the two second places in Precision Dance “What makes this team so enjoyable is next month. and Hip-Hop helps us realize that we are that we are like a family. We all care about capable of anything we set our mind to,” each other and we all are willing to help Woods said. each other in any way. This past weekend

“Why don’t we rewrite the stars? Changing the world to be ours.”

4 Entertainment


Fortnite popularity rising

Patterson Fallis

Managing Editor The video game that is sweeping the nation has made its way through Blue Springs. “Fortnite: Battle Royale” is a cartoon-like first person shooter game that has taken over the video game industry and the lives of many high school students.  Fortnite: Battle Royale is a game mode where 100 players enter the map as they jump from the “Battle Bus.” Players skydive and float down to the ground where they scavenge for various weapons and building materials through 17 different cities. There are five different tiers of weapons that players can collect to protect themselves and eliminate opponents. Players fight against one another as well as “The Storm.” The Storm gets smaller and smaller over the course of the game, which forces players into a specific area of the map that changes each and every time. Players that get caught in The Storm slowly lose health and are eliminated if they don’t reach the safe zone in time. The en-

“I’ve been tire objective of on Fortnite since the game is to the day it came be the last one out and at first standing when my strategy it’s all said and was to just go done.   around and kill Senior Joseph everyone but George talked that didn’t really about why he work. I had to thinks the game learn, adapt, is so popular and and overcome why many find it adversity. To beso addicting.  come better, you “The game need to land in is so addicting popular cities so because you can you can become play with up Illustration by Colton Robertson. better at killing to four of your opponents and friends and it alyou need to learn how to quickly build. lows you to play with two different styles: My favorite place to land is Fatal Fields just for fun or super tactical,” George said. because I like to get in and get out,” Moore “There are plenty of ways in the game to have fun other than winning. For example, said.  George also discussed why he personaltrying to kill people in weird ways or just ly finds the game to be so much fun.  by trolling them.”  “The part of the game that I love is how Strategy is a large part of the game and tactical it allows you to be. It sometimes Senior Trenton Moore shared his tactics can feel like you’re really in battle because when playing Fortnite. 

you are constantly calling out where people are hiding and what the best plan for attack is. Epic Games, the company behind the game, is also releasing content week after week which keeps the game new and refreshing. It’s extremely satisfying taking out the last opposing team after 15-20 minutes of gameplay and yelling at your television with all of your friends,” George said. New content is also something that keeps Fortnite relevant. Last week, Epic Games released a whopping six new cities to add on to their twelve cities already in the map. Junior Caleb Israelite talked about the new update. “The new map update is amazing. They’ve added five new cities and I would have to say that my favorite city would be Titled Towers because of how big it is and how many people are landing there right now,” Israelite said. Extreme loyalty to the game is common and Moore discussed that attitude.  “Fortnite is more than a game, it’s a brotherhood. It brings people together and it’s just an amazing game,” Moore said. 

The story hurts from its lack of levity, but there’s at least plenty of Icelandic scenery included. “Hang the DJ” is a frisky and risqué journey following two lovers who seek merry monogamy in a world filled with hightech speed-dating. There is a very apparent influence from how sex was portrayed in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, including that intimate relationships with total strangers are normalized. This season is not without some digressions. In “Metalhead,” there is a disturbing message that humans are only made weaker through emotions and passion. In it, a woman discovers just how hard it is to get a teddy bear for a child in a post-apocalyptic world filled with killer robot dogs. It’s not necessarily a bad story, but it is very out of place when considering the usual nature of Black Mirror. To finish the season is “Black Museum,” which is a collection of several stories that manages to weave itself into the overarching narrative about a young lady visiting a quirky museum. There are many themes at play in such a large story, and the variety involved makes sure there is something to be taken away by whoever is watching. This newer season marks bold move to have more variety in storytelling. Whether or not that change is appreciated is up to each viewer, as some episodes make a clear deviation from the tried and tested formula that the earlier seasons consistently reflect.

3. Deadpool Sequel: This unnamed sequel to the immensely popular original Deadpool movie should not disappoint. We don’t have a ton of details as to what the movie will be like, but if the movie stays true to the simultaneous intense action and just funny nature of the first movie, I anticipate it to be one of the most watched movies of the year. 4. Ant Man and the Wasp: This sequel to the Marvel series Ant Man looks to be a fun movie to watch and different from your typical superhero movie. I enjoy the character Ant Man and the quirky nature that he brings to the collection of Marvel movies. It should be a great movie to watch that should hopefully add some depth and new information to the story of Ant Man. 5. Oceans 8: The popular heist movie Oceans 11 is to be followed up, but this time with a new set of characters. Oceans 8 will feature criminal genius Debbie Ocean and seven others as they attempt another massive heist in New York City. If this movie lives up to the legacy of its predecessors it should be a great movie to catch in June. I hope it is as clever and mind blowing as the original and the fact that it is composed of an all female main cast should bring a different level of interest to the story.

Sci-Fi TV series displays modern List of blockbuster movies day relationship with technology to go see in the new year Matthew Willis News Editor “Black Mirror” is a British Netflix show that eloquently tells how the sinister side of human nature can be empowered by technology; and it’s now in its fourth season. Ahead are short, spoiler-free reviews on each of the six new standalone episodes. To start off the season, “USS Callister” follows an expert game developer that indulges in a twisted Star Trek-style fantasy in his spare time. Many themes were borrowed from the wonderful “White Christmas” episode from the second season, but adding a goofy and nostalgic air to it makes for a pleasant reimagining. “Arkangel” is a cautionary tale about the dangers of parents disregarding the privacy of their children. The technology examined is not particularly far-off, as phone trackers and monitors are already commonplace among high schoolers. Though it’s not a particularly fresh criticism of helicopter parenting, it is still a very relevant story for many students. In “Crocodile,” the right not to self-incriminate is explored in a scenario where one’s memories are incorruptible and the testimony of all witnesses is legally mandated. If someone was then committed to keeping a secret, the lengths that are required to do so would be extreme.

Colin Brown Copy Editor

This year has a lot of blockbuster movies coming out and in this article, I’ll be previewing five movies that I’m excited to see. These are in no particular order. 1. Han Solo: This is the spin off year for Star Wars following the release of “The Last Jedi.” This year, the series will focus in on the history of Han Solo, one of my favorite characters from the series. The movie will star Alden Ehrenriech as Han Solo and Donald Glover, otherwise known as Childish Gambino, will play Lando Calrissian. I look forward to getting a glimpse into the history of the character made famous by Harrison Ford as he ventures in space with Chewbacca and encounters Lando. 2. Avengers: Infinity War: This title is going to be one of my most anticipated movies of the year. The finale to the Avengers series will feature all of our favorite Marvel characters, from Black Panther to Guardians of the Galaxy, in an epic battle against Thanos, their most powerful enemy to date, as he works to collect all six infinity stones. I can’t wait to see how the story plots out as every Marvel series we’ve had coalesces into one hopefully amazing movie.

Albums to look forward to this year Colton Robertson Editor-in-Chief

In the coming year, there is much music to look forward to. My personal favorite genre in hip-hop is expecting so many great artists to make 2018 a great year for music. Travis Scott and Post Malone are a couple of the biggest names that are expected in the first quarter of this year. Scott hasn’t released an album since September of 2016 when he put out “Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight.” His upcoming album is titled “Astroworld” and Scott’s fans are looking forward to the project, which is expected to bring the perfect blend of chill and hype songs. Malone has been teasing the release of his next project for months now, and is the follow up to his now platinum album “Stoney.” Malone, often referred to as Posty, has a wonderful artistic range. He can rap, and he can switch up and sing country music. I look forward to the release of his next project. Other hip-hop artists expected to release projects this year include A$AP Rocky, Rae Sremmurd, P. Diddy, Kanye West, and more.

Illustration by Joanne Lee. On the alternative scene, there are a few bands looking to make a splash in 2018. Franz Ferdinand is expected to release “Always Ascending” in February. The title is slightly optimistic considering the bands peak seemed to be a decade ago now, but with the release of the title track as an early single, it shows hope for a beautiful project. The 1975 is set to release “Music for Cars.” The 1975

continuously puts out wonderful music, and I expect this album to be no different. They are one of my favorite bands and I look forward to this year for them. One of the biggest names in alternative music, Twenty One Pilots, is ready to drop an album at some point in 2018. Pop music looks forward to an enormous amount of releases, as usual. Next month, Justin Timberlake is slated to release “Man of the Woods.” This album is rumored to be a sort of country-pop and is not expected to be very good, surprisingly enough. I look forward to the release anyway, and have high hopes for Timberlake’s new music. Other artists ready to drop in 2018 are Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen, Liam Payne, Troye Sivan, and more. In country music, it is not common that a Nashville singer-songwriter will get a lot of attention. Kacey Musgraves is ready to release “Golden Hour.” If you are unfamiliar with her work, I suggest listening to her song “Follow Your Arrow.” One of her many wonderful old-fashioned country confessionals. More mainstream country artists rumored to have music on the way this year are Jason Aldean, Florida-Georgia Line, and Scotty McCreery.

Entertainment 5


New film, ‘Lady Bird’ is fly Joanne Lee

Entertainment Editor Actress, writer, and now rising director Greta Gerwig recently directed an award-winning movie called “Lady Bird.”   Gerwig’s first solo directed project “Lady Bird” was a success and won many awards including the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.  “Lady Bird” is a coming-of-age movie about a teenage girl named Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), who refers to herself as “Lady Bird.” Lady Bird is a strongwilled, independent, ambitious high school senior who attends a Catholic school in Sacramento, California. Despite her bold personality characteristics, she often felt stuck and out of place living in Sacramento. As many teenagers do, Lady Bird struggled to find herself and find a sense of belonging, at school and at home. When a chance to befriend a few of the popular kids in school arose, her interests and after-school activities changed, affecting her friendship with her long-time best friend. At home, there always seemed to be tension between Lady Bird and her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf). The tension between them seemed to be because of their similar personalities. Both strongwilled women were strongly opinionated and stubborn. After Lady Bird’s father lost his job, her mother worked endlessly as a nurse just barely keeping their family afloat while Lady Bird continued to dream of receiving an acceptance letter from an out-of-state college as she was determined to leave Sacramento.  “Lady Bird” is a perfect mixture of comedy, drama, and a hint of romance that focuses on the various relationships and experiences in life that shape us.  At first you might think of the film as just another coming-of-age storyline, but I felt that it had a much deeper meaning. “Lady Bird” showed more than the pro-

Movie cover for ‘Lady Bird.’ cess of getting through high school. It showed a teenage girl transitioning into a young woman and her journey of maturing. Lady Bird always feels miserable and stuck in Sacramento, so she is constantly trying to get away, but finds herself learning a lot more about her home and the meaning of “home” through the process. The film showed the value of relationships and the relationships you experience as a teenager including those between your teachers, friends, significant others, and family. The relationships in the movie were beautifully portrayed and were accurately represented on how some are in real life. I felt as if they weren’t sugarcoated and were very relatable. With that I think the audience, no matter what age they are, could relate to the movie in some sort of way.   William Bibbiani from IGN reviewed “Lady Bird” as, “Heartfelt and a very funny story about a young woman

trapped in that seemingly never-ending moment between immaturity and maturity,” which I couldn’t have said better myself. I completely agree with this statement and the fact that the protagonist gives off the vibe of being wise for her age while also being oblivious and constantly learning from her mistakes.  I think what really sets “Lady Bird” apart from being just another coming-of-age movie is the underlying deeper meanings in the film, such as the value of relationships and the meaning of “home.” Besides some of the cliché moments that are in every coming-of-age movie I didn’t have many other issues about the movie and personally thought that it definitely deserved the hype it was getting.  A major part of what made the movie was definitely the acting. Ronan was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for her role in “Lady Bird.” I thought Ronan did an amazing job of playing her role as an angsty teen. She portrayed her character very well and made it relatable to many young teenage girls. Metcalf who plays Ronan’s mother in the movie also had an astounding performance of a sometimes overwhelming but loving mother who can sometimes be misinterpreted. This could be very relatable to the mothers in the audience. Both actresses really made the movie for me because I thought the growth of their relationship was my favorite throughout the movie.   Overall, I really enjoyed the movie and liked it even more the second time I saw it. I thought the direction of the movie was more unique than just another comingof-age movie. The underlying message of the importance of platonic and non-platonic relationships you experience through life, the search in finding the meaning of “home”, and just the way your experiences shape you was an amazing storyline. I recommend seeing the movie and I think people of all ages can find something in the movie that is relatable.     

‘The Greatest Showman’ was a great show Colton Robertson Editor-in-Chief One of the biggest movies in theaters now is the biopic on P.K. Barnum: “The Greatest Showman.” The musical is based around the life of the creator of the circus: P.K. Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman. It tells the story of Barnum’s coming from nothing and going on to thrive in the entertainment industry. My favorite thing about this movie was quite easily the music. Seeing as it is a musical, that’s not much of a surprise. Ev-

erything about the music in this film was astounding. There were times throughout the film that I was nearly brought to tears by the music and choreography alone. It was beautiful. The two stand out songs for me were “The Greatest Show” and “This Is Me.” “The Greatest Show” is a song performed predominantly by Jackman, and the choreography and visuals to go with the song were amazing. The thing that blew me away the most was Hugh Jackman’s overall performance. I’ve never seen him in much besides the Wolverine and X-Men movies. To see him put on a performance as powerful and as artistic, as the one he played here was refreshing. His voice is great, his dancing

is great. I didn’t see it coming whatsoever. Another performance that should not go unnoticed is that of Keala Settle. In the movie she plays Lettie Lutz, the bearded lady. Settle has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. I sincerely mean that. Her singing on the song “This is Me” is what nearly brought me to tears. Her acting felt real. And her performance was amazing. One of the things I looked forward to most going in to this movie was the dynamic of Zac Efron and Zendaya. I was not disappointed, their ability to perform together on songs like “Rewrite the Stars” will hit you right in the feels. Also, they are one of the more attractive pairs of people

I’ve seen on screen in a long time. They had great chemistry and I enjoyed them together. Efron and Jackman’s relationship is one of teacher and apprentice, and their performance together in “The Other Side” is a standout in the film The movie overall is a great one. It will make you happy, and get you sad as well. The movie is a feel-good style, and is all about doing what you can to make others happy. It’s about making yourself happy. It’s about being yourself, no matter what people may think. “The Greatest Showman” was in fact the greatest show, man.

is the food that is served during the movie. You can order a meal just like you would at a restaurant and have it served to you during the film. This makes for an experience while viewing this movie quite unlike any other. AMC movie theaters do offer a setting similar that include a dine and watch option, but the Alamo makes the entire thing an experience rather than simply another movie. When I attended AMC’s dine and watch Movie Theater, I felt like I was watching a movie at a movie theater that happened to have readily available food for everyone to eat. While that isn’t a particularly negative outlook, I felt as if dining at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was an experience due to the themed menu’s provided and also the overall mood inside the theater. While AMC felt like a typical theater that served food, the Alamo really embraced the historical aspect of film and focused heavily on capturing and conveying that feel to everyone who attends the theater. If you are looking for a unique place to catch a movie, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema should be on the top of the list. Whether it be for a date or just a fun night on the town with the homies, this is a venue that should be considered.

Caeden Smithpeter

miss them. The movie was action-packed and filled with comedy. Rebel Wilson, who plays Fat Amy, was the standout of this film. Her storyline for this film is that her father finds her at the USO tour after not seeing Fat Amy in almost ten years. Her storyline involves a lot of twists and turns. Fat Amy kicks butt in this film because it is very action packed. One of my favorite parts about the ‘Pitch Perfect’ movies is the music. They always cover music and makes it awesome. In this third film, they covered ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears, ‘Cheap Thrills’ by Sia, ‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’ by Flo Rida, and ‘Cake by the Ocean’ by DNCE. There are tons of songs by other bands from the movie too. There was also a very famous Riff Off scene, just like the first and second film. This scene was hilarious because instead of competing against other a cappella groups, they were competing against bands that had no clue what they were doing. The Bellas were getting frustrated because the bands were using instruments and just singing whatever song came to their mind, instead of sticking to the category. Overall, this third film really surprised me with all of the action in it. I really enjoyed the movie. They say that this is the last film of the franchise, but I don’t believe that for one second.

Best movie theater in Third ‘Pitch Perfect’ the Kansas City area movie is aca-awesome Tavarus Pennington Editorials Editor An undisputable American pastime is taking a trip to the cinema to see the new blockbuster hit that piques your interest the most. In order to get the best experience when you are going to view that blockbuster, you have to make sure that you are going to the best possible movie theater. In Kansas City, just like any other city, you will have the AMC movie theaters and the other local theaters to go see your flicks at. But placed sporadically, you will find a diamond in the rough in the pool of movie theaters that are typically dull and usual. You can go to any town in America and should not be surprised if you happen to find a movie theatre that serves burnt popcorn, overpriced candy, and offers dirty seats to chill in for the two hours you are watching your movie. In Kansas City, a diamond in the rough that you may find is the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in downtown Kansas City. Not only is the lore within the wall of this theater exceptionally interesting but also the main appeal of this movie theater

Online Editor ‘Pitch Perfect’ is the biggest comedy-musical franchise in the world, having a very successful box office openings for all three of their films. In 2012, the sleeper hit was released and was a cult phenomenon with little promotion. From there on out, ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ was released in 2015 and now the third film ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ is out in theatres now. Usually when a franchise keeps releasing more and more sequels, they start to lose the charisma that the first film had and the humor is dry, but ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ is different. ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ is set three years after the second film, the now graduated Bellas find themselves split apart and struggling with their real-life jobs. However, after a brief reunion, Aubrey comes up with an idea to perform for the USO tour, which will reunite them for one last show. The Bellas went overseas for the USO where they find out that they are actually competing with other bands on tour to be the opening act for DJ Khaled.  The cast stayed the same from the first two films, but The Treblemakers were not in this film. To be honest, I didn’t really


Senior displays diverse talents Colton Robertson Editor-In-Chief Along with being a member of Jaguar Pride, senior Jeremiah Hill is involved in far more. Hill participates in various platforms of musical performance. He plays organ and piano at his church, he plays bass trombone in the Wind Symphony, and plays tuba for Jaguar Pride. He also plays the drums and sings. Hill has been playing the drums for as long as he can remember. “I started playing the drums when I was two years old. My grandfather told me to get on the drums at a recording for Andrea Crouch. I beat a somewhat decent groove and the rest was history,” Hill said. Beating a “a somewhat decent groove” is what Hill enjoys most about drumming. He loves the rush he gets from playing good music. “My favorite part about drumming is the feeling I get when I’m playing a beat or a song. It happens so effortlessly there are sometimes I shock myself with the things that I play,” Hill said. He compared him playing to an out-of-

Jeremiah Hill plays the drums for the pep band during a home basketball game. Photo by Kathy Wilbers. body experience. “It feels like there’s an angel controlling me cause a lot of the times I can’t even explain what I’m doing it just happens,”

Senior boy creates hip hop instrumentals Colton Robertson Editor-In-Chief

“I’ve been drumming for so long. It’s safe to say that I’ve fallen in love with it. There are very few things, if any, that I like more than drumline,” Miller said. Drumline can be seen at pep rallies, football games, assemblies, and more at South. Miller has had his fair share of performing for others. “There’s no feeling like performing for a crowd. When you get to the end of a song and the people erupt for you, it’s really special,” Miller said. Miller’s beats are available for purchase on and if anyone would be interested in working with him you can contact him at

There are few music producers at South that are more known than senior, Colin Miller. Miller has been into crafting and mixing music for three years now. His beats have come a long way and he is very proud of where he is today. “It’s crazy looking back on how my stuff used to sound, I’ve improved a lot, and I’m very happy with where I’m at,” Miller said. Although he is happy with where he is at, he wants to continue to make leaps and bounds with his music. “I just want to continue improving, get my name out there. I’m starting to work with better artists and I’m very excited that Milla Beats is starting to become more well known,” Miller said. Milla Beats is the name of Miller’s SoundCloud, and his “stage name” of sorts. At the beginning and end of any of his beats you will hear “Milla Beats” recited. His beats are predominantly trap beats. They are heavy in bass and several of his beats include numerous soundbites. “I love the look on someone’s face, like ‘Okay Colin, I see you.’ Whenever I show them my stuff for the first time,” Miller said, “I like seeing how much they enjoy something I’ve created, like, I did that.” Production is not the only The official profile picture of talent of Miller’s. He is also on Miller’s SoundCloud profile, South’s drumline. Before pro- MillaBeats. Graphic by Colton ducing music, drumming was Robertson. Miller’s first love.

Hill said. Hill’s family has had a huge impact on his musical life. They’ve been with him since the beginning, proven by the fact that

his grandpa first introduced him to the drums at two years old. “My pops played bass and lead guitar, my grandmother was a singer, my dad plays piano, my mom plays drums, and I feel like I’m just a culmination of all of their talents coming together,” Hill said. He is also the great grandson of Alex Hill who was a professional jazz musician and well known in his time. “So, I guess you could say music is in my blood,” Hill said. For Hill what’s been greater about being about a part of Jaguar Pride than simply the music, are the relationships he’s created as a result of it. “The band has given me the opportunity to form friendships who I have a lot in common with. My best friends are there with me. People I consider family are in that band. Without band I wouldn’t have ever found that family,” Hill said. Not only has Hill formed relationships with fellow band members, but also band directors. “I’ve found mentors such as Mr. Padget. These men have really showed me a lot and taught me a lot. I am grateful for what they have done for me,” Hill said.

Reese Betts is a triple threat Caeden Smithpeter Web Editor Sophomore Reese Betts is a triple threat and her love for the arts keep growing. Betts has been performing in the arts since sixth grade. Since then, she has done multiple shows outside of school and inside. Betts talks about the difference between school shows and professional shows. “Productions outside of school go way faster and we don’t have as much downtime as we do during a school production. It’s also more fun to hang out with your friends from school during the production because you already have a bond and a connection,” Betts said. Betts’ has played many roles but her most current role is Tiffany Houston in this year’s school musical, ‘Back to the 80’s’. “Tiffany is a sweet girl and she’s very obvious to the mean and bad characters in the show. She thinks the best of everybody in the beginning but towards the end her thoughts change and realize that everybody isn’t really like that,” Betts said. Betts’ favorite role she has ever played was Truly Scrumptious in the musical, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. “It was a fun role for me to play because she was very sweet and dainty. It showed the characteristics of a person who changed from being selfish to kind and caring,” Betts said. Betts’ is in the Concert Choir at South and is very involved in the arts. This year she had a lead role in the play and now has a

lead role in the musical. “It has been really fun getting to embody these characters this year. I am very grateful for all of the opportunities that I have been given and am looking forward to playing Tiffany Houston,” Betts said.

Betts’ most current role as Tiffany Houston in ‘Back to the 80’s’ will be next month: February 8th and 9th at 7pm, and February 10th at 1pm and 7pm.

Betts rehearsing for “Take it Back to the 80’s.” Photo by Caeden Smithperer.

“The noblest art is that of making others happy.”

rs of South Dancer does more than dance team Emma Anderson Features Editor Senior Touch of Silver member Allie Widick has been on TOSDT for four years. In addition to her dancing on the team she has also been dancing at Heart Of America for most of her life. Her favorite type of dance is Ballet and she has done many shows outside of school. The shows she has performed in are Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and the Wizards of Oz. Every year she is in the Nutcracker ballet that is put on by her dance studio and she has now been in it 4 different time. She has played the roles of Snow Queen, Arabian dancer, Candy Cane, Dew Drop, Snowflake, Dancing mouse, Harlequin Doll, and a Leaping Deer. This past December was her last performance in the Nutcracker and she got to play the lead as the snow queen. Widick loves performing especially when she gets to show her talents as a Ballet dancer. “Being snow queen was probably the

look up to the dancer playing the snow queen and aspire to be just like her. I’m so happy that during my senior year I finally got the chance.” Widick said. Widick has also performed in several other ballets like the little mermaid. “I got to perform in the little mermaid during my sophomore year and it was so much fun, I loved the music and the cute mermaid costumes we got to wear. I really just love performing and I’m glad I’ve gotten to show that through the art of Ballet” Widick said. Widick is a senior and this was her last year performing. “I’m going to miss being on stage the most. It’s a special feeling to be on the stage with the lights on you. I love to perform and show the audience Widick dances at halftime of the Blue Springs vs Blue Springs South football game at the dances that I have spent months Blue Springs. Photo by Isabella Callaghan. working on.” Widick said. best experience I have ever had the honor of doing. I have always been a part of

the nutcracker and when I was little and doing the smaller roles I would always

Holder holds the theater up Caeden Smithpeter Web Editor Lexi Holder is a senior at Blue Springs South but she is much more than just a normal senior. Holder has been performing for most of her life now. She is a triple threat with the talents of singing, acting and dancing but her true passion is singing. “I enjoy doing all three and am very lucky to get to do all three but I always find myself coming back to singing. Whether it’s choir or in my car, singing never fails to make me happy,” Holder said. Holder is in the A Capella Choir, Chamber Choir and Women’s Choir at South. She is very committed to all three choirs and puts a lot of hard work in all three. Holder’s upcoming lead role is in the school musical this year. She plays Eileen in ‘Back to the 80’s’. “Eileen is very nerdy and cute. She doesn’t care what a lot of people think about her and her biggest goal in life is just to be happy. It’s been very fun to embody this role,” Holder said. Holder’s character is in all kind of musical numbers in this musical, including ‘Morning Train’, ‘Lost In Your Eyes’, and ‘Walking On Sunshine’. “I get to sing and dance in a lot of numbers but my favorite song I get to perform is ‘Lost In Your Eyes’ because I get to be very dramatic with it,” Holder said. Holder is attending Stephen’s College in the fall to continue her love for the arts. “I have such an appreciation for the arts that goes beyond performing. From visuals arts to movies to music, I am so incredibly grateful to have something so beautiful and accessible in my life. While performing arts is my personal favorite, I love each and every form of art and believe it’s what makes human and I cannot express how deeply it’s affected my life,” Holder said.

Reese Betts rehearses a scene from “Take it Back to the 80’s.” Photo by Caeden Smithpeter.

Jeremiah Hill plays the drums during a rehearsal for “Take it Back to the 80’s.” Photo by Caeden Smithpeter.

Holder rehearsing for “Take it Back to the 80’s.” Photo by Caeden Smithpeter.

Allie Widick dances at the center of the football field. Photo by Delaney Jackson.

“Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they seem.”




Local company, Xceligent, is no longer in business Mahquiya Davis Reporter Xceligent was a company that worked in collecting commercial real estate data for businesses across multiple cities within the United States. In a recent court decision, they were found guilty of corporate espionage against a competitor. Having owned a building here in Blue Springs and employed over 500 people nationwide,

it came as a complete surprise when Xceligent suddenly died. Employees received an email at 4:30 pm on a Thursday, 11 days before Christmas notifying them that they had only 30 minutes to pack their personal belongings, and exit the building. The company had filed for a chapter 7 liquidation and all of the employees were no longer employed with the company. A chapter 7 liquidation is where a company files for complete bankruptcy through the courts. “I was shopping with my son

when I got the email,” Connie Davis, former employee at the Blue Springs headquarters, said. “The first thing I felt was anger. But after it had started to sink in, I felt shocked, panicked. I was in disbelief. How was I going to support my family? How could someone be so bold, so heartless, to fire over 500 people with one, brief email telling them to pack their things within the allotted 30 minutes and go.” Many other employees felt the same way. At 4:30 pm most had already left to go home for the

day and had to go back to gather their belongings. It was very emotional situation. All of the employees soon realized that they would not be receiving severance, nor would they be getting whatever personal time off they had earned. They also lost all of their insurance. The layoff affected many families in the Blue Springs community, myself included since my mother was one of the employees. Although it was a devastating situation, some ex-employees have found comfort in each other.

The friendships that may have been made at Xceligent are now strengthened because of their shared hardships. The people have continued to be supportive of each other; going out of their way the day after the layoff to have a small gathering at a local restaurant to see how everyone was doing. They even started a group on social media for former employees who want to connect with people who they might have seen around the building but never became acqainted to one another.

Flu hits South hard Trump’s divisive first year Colin Brown Managing Editor This year, the flu has come to the national spotlight, affecting many at South and across the nation. Influenza, the scientific name of the common flu, is a virus. Viral illnesses tend to spread very quickly as they are caused by living, tiny organisms in the body that can spread in the air, by touch, and by the sharing of bodily fluids (eating and/or drinking after another). This is what makes the flu so common. Nationwide, the flu affects around 3 million people. This year, it is estimated that the number is much higher. What’s uncommon about this season is that we’ve now had 30 children die of the illness. It’s considered normal for the flu to kill the elderly, infants, and those on certain forms of medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, that severely weaken one’s immune system. But to see this amount of deaths in young, healthy people is considered out of the ordinary in the medical field. Though this year may be out of the ordinary, doctors have made sure to make clear that death from the flu is no serious threat to most healthy people, but it’s still important to take steps to stop the spread of the virus. South’s nurse, Debbie Button, explained that there are many very simple steps that can

be taken to help stop the spread of the flu. “The flu is a viral illness so it’s important that we do as much as we can to stop the spreading of the germs. We can do this by simply washing our hands, covering up when we sneeze, and refraining from eating and drinking after each other,” Button said. She also found it important to note that even if one doesn’t have the flu, they can still transmit the virus to others. “Germs can exist on your hands and still be transferred to others without necessarily infecting you,” Button said. If you exhibit any symptoms of the flu, chills, sniffles, sneezing, coughing, nausea, headaches, and a high fever, it is important that you stay home from school or work to both recover and keep the infection from spreading. Visiting a doctor can also be of great assistance because they will be able to prescribe you medication that can help to get you up and on your feet faster than through a normal recovery. Blue Springs South policy is that it is safe to return to school once you have been fever free without medication for 24 hours or more. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding the flu, how to stop it, how to identify it, and how to treat it, the nurse’s office is next to the main office.

Uber in legal hot water Matthew Willis News Editor The subject of corporate espionage has made the local news with the recent closing of Xceligent, a Blue Springs company that was caught stealing commercial real estate data from the competing CoStar Group. A larger legal battle is underway between Google’s self-driving car company, Waymo, and the near ubiquitous Uber. Waymo is suing Uber for illegal human intelligence gathering, hacking Google servers for self-driving car data, completely plagiarizing Waymo’s ridesharing coordination algorithm, stealing Waymo’s lidar research, unlawful wiretapping, retaliation against employees who questioned the ethics of their operations, and obstruction of the court’s discovery process by destroying and concealing internal communications relevant to the ongoing Waymo v Uber case. These allegations are affirmed

by a recently released letter detailing the experiences of a former Uber cybersecurity worker named Richard Jacobs. Jacobs is instrumental to Waymo’s case because of his extensive documentation of internal communications that have allegedly been deleted by Uber. Jacobs claimed to have had his pay docked after challenging the ethics of superiors, and is working for compensation in a separate case. The case is almost one year old, beginning in last February. There have been delays in court proceedings due to a contentious discovery process. Waymo offered a settlement of one billion dollars and a public apology for Uber, as well as a cessation of using Waymo trade secrets. Uber denies all wrongdoing. This case is just one struggle of a company that has never been profitable and relies on a driver base that will frequently work for less than the minimum wage. If the claims by Waymo are true, than Uber is very likely on the tail end.

Colin Brown Managing Editor It’s been over a year now since Donald Trump was inaugurated in January of 2017. The Trump administration has pushed forth a number of new policies in the past year both foreign and domestic, bringing with them no shortage of controversy. Here are some of the most consequential moves Trump has made in his eventful first year, for better or for worse.

Tax Reform

Perhaps the biggest move Trump made was signing Congressional Republicans’ new tax plan into law. The plan cuts taxes across nearly all income brackets, cutting middle income earners’ taxes by as much as 4%. The only brackets excluded in the cut are the lowest bracket (which remains at 10%) and the $400,000-$600,000 bracket (which remains at 35%). These cuts are to remain until 2025 when they expire (should Congress choose to reform again). The plan also cuts corporate taxes a whopping 14% from 35% to 21%. This cut will remain indefinitely. In light of these new cuts, many companies are raising wages and offering employees bonuses. Most notably, Southwest Airlines gave every employee a $1,000 bonus and Walmart is raising its minimum wage by about $2 to $11 an hour as a starting wage. Opponents of the plan argue that the cuts will result in a massive increase in upper class wealth while proponents argue that the newly created wealth will trickle down to employees. It’s also worth noting that this plan eliminates a number of deductions and the ObamaCare mandate (which

required all Americans to purchase health insurance) and will increase the federal deficit by $1 trillion next year.

Federal Deregulation

Trump has significantly deregulated the economy, eliminating 22 regulations for every new one added. This is in an attempt to assist small businesses, squandered by the thousands and thousands of regulations they currently adhere to. Trump hopes to grow the economy and assist small businesses. Opponents of this deregulation argue that the environmental and consumer risks that deregulation may cause is not worth the potential economic benefits.

Addition of Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court

The most lasting domestic motion of the Trump administration’s first year, and most likely his entire presidency, is the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is known as a Constitutional originalist which means that he interprets the Constitution as it was meant when the document was written, holding a rigid interpretation that allows little room for drawing conclusions likely not explicitly stated. This appointment is a huge deal because Gorsuch will be on the court for a very long time (Supreme Court Justices serve a lifelong term.), having influence over issues such as gun rights, freedom of speech, press, and religion, and rights of the accused, all of which are hot topics in the current political climate.

Pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement

Trump has also pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord which was a set of global regulations on the use of fossil fuels. The act was meant

to combat climate change. Proponents of this move believe the accord put too heavy a burden on US energy companies, driving up the cost of electricity, etc. Opponents believe the accord must be maintained in order to protect the Earth from a warming climate.

Travel Ban

Trump has also enacted a travel ban on migrants from a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa. The action was meant to protect the US from possible terror threats from areas deemed unsafe during the Obama administration. Opponents believe the act is unnecessary and doesn’t make us more safe, rather exacerbating the refugee crisis. Some argue that it is Islamophobic, meant to bar Muslims from entering the country, although the order does not explicitly show any religious preferences.

Moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Another very controversial move by the Trump administration is the movement of the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing it as the capital of Israel. This act is openly pro Israel, upsetting many on the Palestinian side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trump has made many policy moves in his first year that will significantly affect American politics for a long time. Both foreign and domestic changes have been made that have brought about much controversy and heated debate across the country. This list is only a few of the many policies and actions put forth. Readers are encouraged to do their own research on such potentially divisive topics.

Locally respected Mormon president and prophet has died Matthew Willis News Editor

Earlier this January, the Mormon president Thomas Monson died at the age of 90. His legacy is felt by many in the area, as Mormonism has a long history within the county. Monson was very passionate about advancing charity, and worked to grow the Mormon church by increasing missionary work. He made several popular sermons surrounding the importance of generosity. Monson was pivotal in allowing women to

evangelize abroad, which helped lead to a greater number of missionaries within the church. Monson was not without his dissenters. He was criticized in his lifetime for rebuking homosexuality and continuing the tradition of keeping women out of the priesthood. Monson’s actions, for better or worse, reflected a desire to stay true to the scriptures of Mormonism. Junior Jonathon Leckbee admired the life led by Monson. “He was a good person. He was a really kind guy and tried to help when he could,” Leckbee said. Monson marked a turning

point made by the Mormon church in being more open about their doctrine and organization. The increased transparency was warmly welcomed, as it was instrumental in addressing some popular concerns. This, combined with numerous charitable acts, has cemented Monson as a godsend in the hearts of many. Monson’s emphasis on charity is reflected by his efforts to form one of the largest private welfare programs in the United States, based in Salt Lake City, Utah. “He was the kind of person who tried to be nice to everyone,” Leckbee said.




California legalizes the sale of marijuana Colton Robertson Editor-in-Chief As of January 1, 2018, the sale of recreational marijuana was legalized in the state of California. California became the sixth state to legalize the recreational sale of the drug. Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington were the five to legalize it prior to California. Maine and Massachusetts are on track to follow suit later this year. Like any law, there are regulations that go along with this one. For one, like alcohol, you must be 21 to purchase or make use of the marijuana. And that is not all. Some other regulations are as follows: You cannot smoke in public, you cannot smoke within 1,000 feet of any school, and you

cannot smoke and drive. There are limits on the amount an individual can have at once. A person of 21 years or older can purchase no more than one ounce per day, and an individual can cultivate up to six plants, barring they Illustration by Colton Robertson. are out of public view. To The sale of marijuana is also purchase an eighth of an ounce of illegal between the hours of 10 marijuana in California it would p.m. and 6 in the morning. cost one anywhere from $55 to Laws regarding the use of $65 in an average dispensary. marijuana are something of a

cluster. Federally, marijuana is illegal, but in certain states it is legal. Then to add to the cluster, local governments in California can create laws regarding usage and sale of cannabis. Larger cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco was not ready for weeks due to red tape credited to local governments. With the state’s population of 39.5 million

citizens, more than one-in-five Americans live in a state where the purchase of marijuana is legal. In Missouri, the laws on marijuana are not so lenient. Possession of one gram can result in prison time. Missouri also enforces minimum sentences, which means that if in the possession of 35 grams of weed, one would have to serve a mandatory one year prison sentence. Selling less than five grams of cannabis is likely to result in a seven year prison sentence. Missouri has also not legalized the use of medical marijuana, either. To contrast, California legalized medical marijuana in 1996. Missouri does not appear to be close to any marijuana legislation in the near future.

Winter Olympics are fast approaching Patterson Fallis Managing Editor

Syria has been embroiled in war since early 2011. Illustration by Matthew Willis

Turkey engages against Kurds in Syria Matthew Willis News Editor The Syrian Civil War has a recent dramatic development involving Turkey’s aggression against Kurdish forces in northwestern Syria. The Turkish offensive in the Afrin region started last Saturday, January 20. Turkey has justified the operation by labeling Kurdish forces such as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) as terror organizations for allegedly supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). There are clearly conflicting interests between the United States and Turkey concerning the YPG. The YPG in east Syria has played a crucial role in the military defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The United States has heavily supported the YPG in the siege in the former ISIL capital Raqqah and the ongoing fight against ISIL in several small towns on the banks of the Euphrates. The fighting in Afrin may be too taxing for the YPG to effectively eradicate ISIL at the same time, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has condemned Turkey for doing nothing but prolong the life of ISIL. Turkey’s disregard for US interests in the Syrian Civil War is old news. Turkey has rarely en-

gaged with ISIL on the battlefield, with the last significant confrontation being in April of 2016. Turkey has instead used the Syrian Civil War as a means of curbing the rise of Kurdish nationalism and, more recently, land acquisition. Concerns only align when it comes to the attitudes towards the Assad regime. Known terror organizations such as al-Nusra (also known as al-Qaida in Syria) and Ahrar al-Sham have received Turkish and Saudi Arabian support through the years. These groups are intent on building an Islamic republic after the war if they are victorious. The only Syrian rebels that sought to create a democratic and secular state were the Free Syrian Army, which has been nearly annihilated in Aleppo and is now a Turkish proxy with Islamist leanings. The US has shifted from its old focus of upending the Assad regime because of the failure of the FSA. Currently the focus has been the defeat of ISIL, which has been nearly accomplished thanks to Kurdish allies. It is unknown if the US will continue to support Kurdish forces after the near inevitable victory over ISIL, as doing so would not be welcomed by the NATO ally Turkey even if it prevents another vacuum of power from being filled by another terror organization.

The Winter Olympics are nearly upon us which means many people of different nations worldwide will be tuning in to watch. The games begin with the opening ceremony on February 9 and will end on February 25. Last week, the struggle between North and South Korea was set aside for the event as they announced that both countries will walk in the opening ceremony under a unification flag. The Korean Unification Flag features a blue silhouette of the peninsula and outlying islands amongst a white backdrop. However, this is not the first time that they have marched under the flag. They last used the flag during the 2006 games in Turin, Italy. Tensions have been high between the two countries as of the last decade or so but the show of unity seems positive.  These Olympic Games will feature a different look on camera this year as Bob Costas will no longer host on NBC. Mike Tir-

ico and Katie Couric will cohost the events this year. The opening ceremony will also be livestreamed for the first time in history. With the global political landscape the way that it is, Couric commented on Illustration by Colton Robertson her preparation for these Olympic games The NHL has restricted its in specific.  players from playing for their “I’m really excited to dive in own country in these Olympics and start really educating myself which has put a damper on the about this particular Olymview of Olympic hockey. Inpics. For this one I think the stead, players competing will be geopolitical backdrop is so much either former NHL players or up more intense than previous and coming stars that haven’t games,” Couric told CNN. cracked the ranks of the highest The U.S. is well-represented level of hockey in the NHL. once again at these games. They will send around 240 athletes most notably 14 figure skaters, 48 ice hockey players between the men’s and women’s teams, and 18 speedskaters.

Cabinet remains a revolving door In the year since Donald Trump was sworn in as the president of the United States, the American citizens have been adjusting to what is an interesting administration to say the least. One of the most notable aspects of this unique presidency is the number of firings or resignations within the administration. Since January 2017, there have been 15 casualties within the ranks of President Trump’s staff. Notable name include former FBI director James Comey, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, and former press secretary Sean Spicer. While the reasons for the various departures from the Trump administration are embroiled in political motivations that would not be done justice by any explanation, the current whereabouts of these political refugees is the more interesting question. Former FBI director Comey took a few months off after his firing from the Trump administration in May 2017. Following his hiatus, he returned as the

A Laugh with Tav

Tavarus Pennington Editorials Editor

Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University for the 2017-2018 academic year. As part of his deal to become a professor at Howard University, Comey agreed to lead five lectures at

the school. He also served as the Opening Convocation keynote speaker, welcoming the incoming freshman class on September 22, 2017. Former chief strategist Bannon went back to what he was doing before he got involved with Trump after he was ousted in 2017. Before Bannon became a member of the government he was just another talking head. He returned to that position on his radio show that he still hosts. He is an employee of Breitbart News as he was before he was President Trump’s chief strategist. Former press secretary Spicer is the one that is most obviously doing nothing after his firing from the Trump staff. While other exiled folks from the administration have new jobs and such, Spicer lost many connections with his departure from the White House. He is reportedly still searching for his new path following his short political career.

10 1.26.18


Is rap now being mainstream a good thing? Mainstream rap is good Mainstream rap is bad Tavarus Pennington Editorials Editor In 2017, for the first time ever, rap became the most popular genre of all of the music genres. In the past, rock has led the charts in terms of Nielsen’s year-end report on genre popularity. That spot was overtaken by rap in 2017. The headline rap acts that made this happen include Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Post Malone with hits like “Humble,” “Fake Love,” and “Rockstar,” respectively. The reason rap was able to hit an alltime high in 2017 is largely due to the hype that surrounds the music that is created in that sector of the music industry. The fans were not silent and that showed. The quality of rap itself may still not be the reason so many people listened. The easily digestible nature of rap, the musicians that make rap, and the actual music that artists were making in 2017 is a large reason why it was so popular. In addition to that, the rise of streaming attributed heavily to the popularity of

“Rappers like Lil Pump make this one song that just gets into everyones head and its super catchy and super easy to remember. Other rappers like Kendrick Lamar have beautiful flow that everyone appreciates. Then you have the lit rappers like Travis Scott. There’s just so many different types of rap” - Senior Joseph George “How rock became the biggest genre when our parents were growing up, rap is our genre, so it’s gonna be our rock music” - Junior Johnny Blocker

rap. With significantly increased accessibility to music coupled with the easy digestibility of the music made a recipe for success in the rap industry. Rap achieving such a milestone in 2017 not only sets the bar high for 2018 but it also says a lot about the movements of culture in the status quo. People are becoming more receptive to the art of storytelling that is much of rap music. This storytelling was once dismissed as ignorant and corrupted but people are more readily understanding that the stories that are being told are simply the reality that many rappers have dealt with. If it be a story about drugs, women, or illegal activities, that is simply a reflection of the environment rappers have to cope with. It should not be perceived as an indictment of a person’s character simply because your personal sense of morality doesn’t justify another person’s actions. Rap being mainstream is a very valuable thing for the music industry because it offers insight into a community that has been alienated by the majority of pop culture for far too long.

Jacob Dec Sports Editor Although I am opposed to the movement, since the late 80’s rap has slowly become mainstream piggybacking on the success of old-school rappers like MC Hammer, Tupac, Dr. Dre and LL Cool J. I’m not a fan of rap because the messages that are sent and the vibes you get from most songs are very explicit and are not appropriate for the mainstream listener which is ironic since rap has now become mainstream. Some of the messages sent through rap music are that drugs, sex, violence and crime are all socially acceptable now. Granted, classic rock bands such as Aerosmith, AC/DC, Van Halen and Def Leppard have been singing about drugs and sex since they got their start but they were giving very hidden innuendos that even some teenagers wouldn’t be able to recognize, rap on the other hand blatantly talks about drugs, sex, violence and crime in songs.

Why is rap mainstream?

“Rap is very reminiscent of the current times. The wild mannered and simultaneously real content of rap is very appealing” - Senior Ross Greco

In terms of listening to music, there’s nothing better than driving down the road and having the music flow with the road or sitting at home or at school and you find yourself tapping your foot on the floor in unison with the drums of the song. Only music that focuses on the actual music rather than the secular ideas presented within the music can get a person to do that. For me personally, when music does not conform to a certain moral standard, it is hard to like it. I have to be able to not only understand the singer, or in this case, rapper but I also have to be able to like what is being said. No matter how talented the musical background of the song is, that does not dispute how explicit the song is. Rap being mainstream is bad because it exposes even more people to the explicit nature of the music when that should not be what society is striving to be idealized as. Society should appear good and appear as if it does not promote negative things. That cannot be the reality when it comes to rap music, which is why it is bad.

“I think the content of rap is more appealing for this generation” - Mrs. Darin Wisner, Business Teacher

“Most of rappers are becoming rock stars, so that’s bridging the gap between two genres so they spread more” - Senior Khanti Miller

Dual credit classes are better than AP classes Delaney Jackson Assistant Editor-in-Chief With enrollment coming up, the question has been posed numerous times: Which is better, AP classes or dual credit? I personally have taken numerous AP classes, as well as dual credit. In my experience, I have benefitted far more from dual credit classes. In dual credit classes, you are for sure getting the credit for the class. It does not all depend on a score you get on a test. As long as you get above a C in the class overall, the credit will most likely transfer to the school you are planning to attend. The one thing to worry

about while taking dual credit classes is to make sure that the school you are planning to attend will accept the credit once it has been completed. On the flip side of things, AP classes are far cheaper than dual credit. The AP test costs $93, whereas dual credit classes costs around $273.10. If you are tight on money, and a good test taker then AP might be the route for you. AP classes are more work from my experience, and a lot riskier. All of your hard work depends on one test taken in April, and you do not know if you got the credit until July. I think it is more logical to pay the extra money and get for sure credit, and not risking a year of hard work on one single test. However, I under-

stand if you are tight on money and AP is the better option for you. As well as the cost, the workload is very different between AP and dual credit. Dual credit is more like a college class, where the teacher will lecture and then you are expected to get everything for the class done on your own time. You will have more homework in dual credit classes than you do in AP, because AP classes are structured more like a high school class where you have time to work on what you need to get done in class. I think that dual credit classes prepare you more for the future than AP classes do because it is set up exactly how it will be in college. You get a syllabus on the first day of class that

maps out the entire semester, and you will follow that schedule no matter what. You know exactly when things are due, and you just have to get everything down by the day they are do. Your grades will mostly be just tests, quizzes, and projects. In AP classes, you have more homework points that will boost up your grade. Your grade may be higher in AP classes because of this, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t get the score you want on the AP exam. Overall, both AP and dual credit classes are beneficial and a great opportunity for students, but dual credit classes are the smarter and safer option.


Russia should learn from ban Jasmin Jenkins Reporter Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics games due to a large number of athletes failing their drug test. The athletes were using steroids, which are prohibited. The Russians feel that they have been treated unfairly and the punishment is too extreme.   If you are bold enough to break the rules, you should be able to pay the price. Steroids are a big deal and seen as a way of cheating. Teams come from all over to compete, and if your team is taking steroids there’s going to be an unfair advantage. Not only is taking steroids is insensitive and selfish, it’s also very dangerous.  This has not been the first time Russia has been banned from the Olympics. Sixty-seven Russian athletes were not permitted to compete in the 2016 Brazil Olympics

miss this year’s games. Although they have broken so many rules, they’re getting away with a slap on the wrist again, basically, and that isn’t fair at all. They complain about their punishment being too extreme, but it is not extreme enough. After all of the years they have failed drug tests and broken rules, they should take their medals and give them to the runners-up.  Illustration by Colton Robertson  Next, the Olympics should ban Russia from the next three or four due to failing drug tests. The urine tests games so they can understand how serious had been manipulated, but the craziest part of an offense has been committed.   is it’s been going on from the 2014 Winter Russia has lost the trust of so many Olympics to the 2016 Summer Olympics.  officials in the Olympics. They need to not Russia got what it deserved. They have be able to compete for a many years due to been cheating and being dishonest for a the offenses they have commited all those good four years. Now they want to play the years. This is not just as a punishment, but victim,but really they are a self-absorbed something for all teams to learn from. Doing team.  this will show that the Olympics will no  Russia has been caught so many times longer tolerate foul play.  they should be happy that they only have to

President Trump needs better control Jasmin Jenkins Reporter Many people use social media to express how they feel, stay up to date, and to simply snoop out the next scope. That could be a bad thing because not everything should be taken to or announced to the public. President Trump, however, finds Twitter to be his way of life. Trump has 46.8 million followers, and has posted 36,800 tweets since joining Twitter in March of 2009. Now how many of those tweets are actually useful to Americans?  On November 29, 2017, Trump targeted the British Prime Minister Theresa May with a response to the reprimand from her spokesman about how the Trump administration was wrong for letting him post three anti-Muslim videos.   Trump tweeted out “Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”   This type of act is completely and utterly

uncalled for. The situation could have been handled more maturely then clapping back with less than a thought. Simply, he could have arranged for a phone call or meeting to talk about differences of opinions each other had rather than acting like an uncivilized adult.  Another incident with President Trump’s tweeting causing people to raise an eyebrow was January 5, 2018.   Trump tweeted, “Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad!”   Since when is it okay to bash someone’s name and call them sloppy and say they were dumped like a dog. Name calling is belittling to the presidency. After all he promised all his fellow Americans that he would display himself with a presidential demeanor but it doesn’t seem like he is too keen to hold up his end of the bargain.   Lastly on January 2, 2018 Trump tweeted

“Democrats are doing nothing for DACA just interested in politics. DACA activists and Hispanics will go hard against Dems, will start ‘falling in love’ with Republicans and their President! We are about RESULTS.”   This tweet caused a series of problems to flood his twitter. Many of the citizens found Trump was outright crazy for even posting this being that he already cancelled it and was still trying to flip it and put the blame on the Democrats. A lot of Americans felt he had simply ripped children away from their families and didn’t care one bit. Others just felt sad and disappointed.   If a person is going to make a commitment to the entire country to serve and protect, they need to uphold the right morality to go with that title. Self control should play a huge role in making a dedication to be a leader. As a person, you should want your country to follow and lead by example for other countries. Thinking and reviewing something to be sent out should also be taken into consideration to make sure the environment is safe for everyone. 

Harry Potter and Star Wars are the best sagas Colton’s Commentary

After causing a bit of controversy with my last column, I decided to go with a less touchy subject: The greatest movie sagas of all time. There is only one qualification for me to consider a movie series a saga:ssssss it must be longer than three movies. Now, moving on. For me there are only two real options. “Star Wars” should rank high among most lists, and “Harry Potter” will rank high on most of my fellow millennial lists. The way George Lucas and those after that were apart of the creation of “Star Wars” have captured a story like this one spanning over several years is cool to see. Also, the original trilogy was far ahead of its time in terms of special effects. That tends to go underappreciated in the discussion of what “Star Wars” movie was best. Everything about these movies just feels right. The soundtrack is fitting, the characters, the casting, the conflict, all signs point to a good film. More importantly, a good film saga. Now, “Harry Potter” is quite possibly the greatest film saga of all time. What sets it over the top is the way they show progression of time. In the first movies, Harry and his fellow wizards and witches are so young and innocent. That is portrayed through the creation of the films. Everything is

Colton Robertson Editor-in-Chief lighter, the villain wasn’t as big and bad, and the children weren’t as skilled as they are in the later films. In the later films, things

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The Jag Staff Editor-in-Chief Colton Robertson Assistant Editor-in-Chief Delaney Jackson Managing Editor Patterson Fallis Copy Editor Colin Brown News Editor Matthew Willis Features Editor Emma Anderson Editorials Editor Tavarus Pennington Entertainment Editor Joanne Lee Sports Editor Jacob Dec Online Editor Caeden Smithpeter Reporters Mahquiya Davis Jasmin Jenkins Mason Rhodes

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journalism students in the Newspaper II class under auspices of the Blue Springs School District and the direction of the principal. Newspaper I students supplement the staff as reporters. All unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the majority of The Jag editorial board. The Jag also intends to provide an open forum of ideas for students, parents, faculty, and patrons of the school district. Letters to the editor may be submitted to Room 913 care of the Editor-in-Chief. We reserve the right to edit all letters for length and content.

take a turn for the dark. They have grown, they have seen things, and they have gotten through them, and that is portrayed in the creation of these films. Honorable mentions include “Fast and Furious,” “Rocky,” and “Twilight.” First off, I always enjoy “Fast and Furious” movies. I do. But what doesn’t make them one of the top is that all the movies feel the exact same. It’s a whole lot of action, and a whole lot of Our Mission: talk about their “family.” The mission of The Jag student Next, “Rocky” was good, but wasn’t good newspaper is to provide the student enough. The reason it makes honorable body with newsworthy, accurate, mention is because of how iconic the franand entertaining information in a chise itself is. Very few people will not know professional manner on various what you’re talking about if you refer to the activities and events affecting South name Rocky Balboa. I do enjoy the way the and the Blue Springs Community. franchise encapsulates overcoming obstacles and perseverance through adversity. Reader Feedback: Last, “Twilight” was very enjoyable. It Letters to the editor are encourwas very entertaining. I enjoyed the story, aged and should be submitted to but it just felt very cheesy. Now I know, I put room 913. Letters must be signed “Star Wars” in the top two, and those movies by the author to be considered for are incredibly cheesy. But what I failed to publication, and they should be no mention earlier is that nostalgia plays a large more than 500 words. role in why those movies are so high up there The staff of the Jag reserves the for me. right to edit letters for content and Ultimately, from a personal standpoint, length. “Star Wars” is my favorite saga of all time. If I was going to be perfectly objective, I’d say that “Harry Potter” definitely takes the cake

“I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Boys basketball team handles adversity Patterson Fallis Managing Editor The Jaguar boys basketball team is in the thick of the season and is striving to get better every day in preparation for the playoffs.  Despite starting out the season 3-1, including a second-place finish in the Blue Springs School District Tournament, the boys basketball team dropped seven of their next eight games to bring their record to 4-8 after a 66-61 loss to conference foe Park Hill at home. The Jaguars bounced

back to win two games against Shawnee Mission Northwest and Shawnee Mission West in the Viking Classic and took third place in the tournament. Their current record is 7-9. Head Coach Jimmy Cain talked about how the season has gone up to this point and what strengths this year’s team possess.  “Overall, the season is going well. We have played an extremely tough schedule, as we do every year. We have had a lot of good moments so far, but we’ve also had to deal with a bit of adversity as a team. I definitely like the direction this team is headed. This year’s senior class is a huge

Jared Ravencamp brings the ball into the frontcourt in a game against Park Hill. Photo by Austin Poynter.

strength for our team this year. They are always ready to go in practice and they are never afraid of any opponent we face,” Cain said. Senior guard Jack Gillig talked about where improvements can be made as a team as well as in his game personally.  “I think that as a team our biggest weakness would have to be rebounding. When we don’t rebound in any given game, we struggle to control the game. We go hard every day in practice with rebounding, so it will come. When it does, we will be a tough team to beat. Personally, I can best help the team by working on turning our weaknesses into

strengths,” Gillig said. Senior guard DJ Hyde discussed the progression of this season so far.  “We’ve improved a lot over the season. We aren’t quite where we want to be yet but when we get there, it’s going to be great for us. We have a lot of great players who are also great teammates so we have a great group,” Hyde said.  The Jags played at Lee’s Summit North on Tuesday of this week and won 77-67. They head across town to take on rival Blue Springs tonight with JV starting at 5:30 and varsity following at 7 pm.    

Two divers and First-year coach helps girls four swimmers basketball grow as a team make State cuts Colton Robertson Editor-in-Chief

Colton Robertson Editor-in-Chief

Swim and dive is on a tear in dual meets, and state is fast approaching. Sitting at 18-2 in dual meets has set the swim and dive team in a confident position heading into the last three meets. Junior Gabby Fournier is happy with how the season has progressed, but knows there have been downs. “This has season has been really great, but it has also had its challenges. Being a junior is tough, but luckily I haven’t had the ‘junior slump’ that many junior swimmers go through,” Fournier said. Head swim coach Errich Oberlander has also been satisfied with the season thus far, but knows there is still work to do to get where the team wants to be. “I’m pleased with how the season is going, but we have to compete for the Conference title and hopefully challenge for a top 15 spot at State again,” Oberlander said.

Despite suffering the loss of All-State relay members Kadie Clark and Taylor Branson to graduation, Oberlander is comfortable with where the team is at. “We might actually be even stronger this year in both sprint freestyle relays, and I’m happy that’s been the case,” Oberlander said. In the coming weeks State cuts will be made, and some already have been. Fournier looks forward to the last few meets of the season. “I’m excited for getting some State cuts and spending as much time as I possibly can with my friends,” Fournier said, “I love the end of the season because Conference and State are so hype and fun and full of fast times.” So far, six members of the swim and dive team have made State cuts are senior McKenzie MacLean, senior Kirsten Markley, senior Delaney Jackson, senior Bailey Carter, sophomore Anna Zweernik, and sophomore Raegan Hecker. The next meet is at 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 1 at Lee’s Summit High School.

Wrestling prepares for tough matches Mason Rhodes Reporter The boys wrestling team has been working hard all year. Junior Nate Walker said he’s excited and prepared for the task ahead. “ I worked really hard and I’m just ready to wrestle and take on the task ahead,“  Senior Noah Leonard said he is prepared for a challenge in the upcoming tournament   “ I’m ready for a challenge and the coaches have prepared us really well for this, so hopefully things go as planned and we are able to leave with a win, “ Leonard said.  “ Coach has really been making sure we’re doing our job

and getting done what needs to be done,”  Walker said.   Walker says this will be one of the more difficult matches he has had all year.   “ I like going against people who  are really good because it makes me better regardless if I win or lose and I like it even more than other fights because I like rising to the occasion and proving some people wrong but more than anything I just like when we work hard and it pays off.” Says Nate Walker   “I want to win but and have fun but no matter what happens we have learn from our mistakes every match we have to get better so we can chase our goals .”   The next match is tonight at Blue Springs South High School.

The Lady Jags are sitting at almost .500 on the season, and have some ground to make up to get where they want to be. The main thing that has brought the Lady Jags down has been their lack of size. Senior Kaylee Connors believes they have done a good job of counteracting their lack of size with a good work ethic. “We probably need to improve our defense and rebounding because we are smaller than everyone we play, but we’re the hardest working team on the court every game,” Connors said. Senior Eden Tolliver agrees that they have been hard work-

ing, and thinks that they need to keep it up. “We need to out work all of our opponents to finish the season as well as possible,” Tolliver said. As the season continues to wind down, the Jags’ favorite parts of the season has been being around each other. Senior Derrian Ford likes the vibe that the team provides. “We have such a positive energy this season, in every aspect of the game. If you do a good job you’re cheered on, and if you make a mistake you are picked up. There is never a dull moment,” Ford said. Ford knows that as the season keeps going the team just needs to continue that same energy. “As the season starts to end I feel like we just need to keep up our energy and play to the best

of our ability. Having confidence and focus is key,” Ford said. The team is a tight-knit group and it is evident in what they have to say about each other. Tolliver has enjoyed being a part of such a good group. “My favorite part of the season has definitely been improving and growing as a team,” Tolliver said. Connors agreed with Tolliver, and loves playing for the Lady Jags. “The best part of being on this team is just getting to compete with and for the girls and coaches you spend every day with, and the family atmosphere that comes with it,” Connors said. The next game for the girls is Monday, Jan. 29, at North Kansas City High School.

South alumni at the next level Delaney Jackson Assistant Editor-in-Chief Over the years, South has been home to many gymnasts. Currently two South alumni are competing in the NCAA for gymnastics. Sophia Carter, who graduated in 2017, and Catelyn Orel, who graduated in 2015, both decided to take their gymnastics career to the next level. Orel is a junior at the University of Nebraska, and Carter is a freshman at the University of Arkansas. Both did their club training at Great American Gymnastics Center, also known as GAGE, here in Blue Springs. Orel says club gymnastics and college gymnastics are very different. “College gymnastics is almost a completely different sport. In club you pretty much compete for yourself, and it is not very high energy, and it is pretty intense. In college, it is completely team based which puts more pressure on each routine because you don’t want to let your team down, but it makes the victories that much greater because you are competing for something so much greater than yourself,” Orel said. As well as not only competing for yourself but for your team,

the atmosphere is very different in college gymnastics than it is in club. “The environment of college gymnastics is so enjoyable because all of my teammates and coaches encourage and motivate me to improve each and every day. Together, we work and strive for perfection or the perfect 10,” Carter said. Each had different reasons for choosing their school. For Orel, it was that she knew it was something special from the moment she stepped foot on campus. “I originally just thought I wanted to go here because it was consistently a top 10 school in the nation, but it is much more than that. Nebraska is such a tight-knit community that it feels like a huge family for me. I will see people I don’t even know and they will congratulate me on a great meet, which is so cool for me because in club no one ever knew about my success because it wasn’t a school sport. They treat their athletes like royalty here and have some of the best medicine and training facilities in the country. Not only could I not turn that down, but it was only three hours away from home, so for me it has been the perfect distance,” Orel said. For Carter, it was multiple reasons combined. “I made my decision to

attend Arkansas because of how welcomed I felt here on campus. The coaches and team had such a positive impact on me and they immediately welcomed me into the Razorback family. The student-athlete support staff made a huge impression on me, as well, as they reiterated the importance of your performance in the classroom. The city of Fayetteville is beautiful and I love the campus,” Carter said. Orel saw big success last year when Nebraska took home the Big Ten regular season championship. “We had faced so much adversity in the beginning of the season and to see the way that we all came together and accomplished our goal was something very special. Getting a Big Ten ring wasn’t half bad either,” Orel said. Both agree that college athletics is a very enjoyable thing, and they are both glad with their decision to take their athletics to the next level. “Being a student athlete is an incredible experience. Being able to represent your university is an amazing opportunity. As a student athlete, the staff cares so much about you as a person, in the classroom, and as an athlete. They will do anything to make sure you succeed in all areas,” Carter said.

January 2017  

The January 2017 edition of the Blue Springs South High School student newspaper

January 2017  

The January 2017 edition of the Blue Springs South High School student newspaper