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AVES THEATRE CONTINUES to be commended for excellence. Cappie nominations totaled to 19 and two were won on May 19. See page 26 for more.

WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008 | Volume LV Issue IX |7400 Cornell Road | Cincinnati, OH 45242 | (513) 686-1770 ext. 3089 |

newsbriefs Science Bowl at national’s

ONCE, GIRLS LACROSSE dominated the region. Now, they must recover from a blow to their undefeated record, and rebuild the success and pride that filled the team and school. See page 17 for more.

The team competed on the national level at Washington D.C. with 67 other teams. “Science Bowl National’s is ridiculously insane,” said Lizzy Wei, 12.

Regional Envirothon

In a national competition held on May 6, nine students competed to prove their environmental awareness: Becca Muskat, 11, Tom Seiple, 11, Rohan Chaudhary, 12, Gracia Ng, 10, Sukhada Kulkarni, 10, Meg Simon, 11, Evan Lind, 11, Jing Xing, 10, Jackie Miranda-Klein, 10. Choudhary, Lind, Ng, and Seiple placed first in Hamilton County.

Dara Lind, ‘05 on Jeopardy

Who is Victor Hugo? Who is Voltaire? On Wednesday, May 7, Lind competed as a junior at Yale on the prime time trivia game show.

Parking passes

To find the forms for junior and senior parking passes for next year, visit the front office. The applications are not to be turned in before Friday, May 29 and the spots will not be distributed on a first come, first serve basis.

Graduation, Senior awards

This year’s graduation will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 1 at the Cintas Center of Xavier University. Graduation follows Senior Recognition Night, the awards ceremony for seniors on May 29 in the auditorium.

Summer school

Students can register and pay online at Parent Portal, under Parent Links. The deadline for taking original classes is June 5, for repeat classes, begin registering June 13. Final assignments are based on a first come, first serve basis. If not enough students register for a class, it may be cancelled altogether.

Softball commitments

Three seniors have signed: Kelly Cassidy at Northern Kentucky University, Lauren Lynn at Denison University, and Aly Mazzei at Muskingum College.

Final exam schedule

Visit for the final exam schedule.


2-3 4-5 opinion fun&games 6 7-11 feature 13-14 a&e 15-21 sports 23 calendar spotlight 24 news

ASSEMBLING CARE PACKAGES for UNIFATstudents, Denis Okema, Meghan Marth, 10, and Mrs. Mary Palmer gather school supplies, books, pictures, and letters to be brought back to the school with Okema. The club is currently organizing another drive, given the recent surge in sponsorships throughout the school community. The club now provides support for the education of 47 children, and still hopes to add to that number.



photo courtesy of megan taylor

Community raises more support for ‘invisible children’ of Ugandan school

associate editor

rs. Jennifer Ulland and Mr. Greg Ulland’s Calculus classes squared off in a competition to sell the most baked goods. Mrs. Christine Allen shaved her head to the delight (and horror) of many. But for what purpose? These students and teachers, along with countless others, have helped this school’s chapter of Unified for UNIFAT to increase the number of Ugandan children it sponsors to 47 students. Before the Cincinnati-based organization’s overnight and UNIFAT’s ambassador Denis Okema’s February assembly, the SHS chapter sponsored 30 kids to go to the UNIFAT school in Uganda with the funds raised during the 2006-2007 school year. But with the support of students and teachers (Allen kept her promise to go bald after her five English classes raised enough money to sponsor one child

each), individuals, and local families, the club has been able to sponsor 17 more students. “Both [of the Ullands’ Calculus] classes got really competitive (and even borderline ruthless), but in the end we all just wanted to help sponsor a child,” said Abby Evans, 11.

Inside this organization, movement

UNIFAT, or the Upper Nile Institute for Appropriate Technology, is a primary school in Gulu, Uganda. It was founded by Abitimo Odongkara, who initially taught five students in the shade of a tree. UNIFAT has since grown to include 1,500 students who attend school in two temporary buildings. UNIFAT is, in part, supported by Unified for UNIFAT, an organization of


“There will be some form of the help center available… whether it is for one bell or seven...”

Help Center teacher’s retirement raises questions, concern RASHMIBORAH

business manager

Math can be difficult. But students struggling with a topic -any topiccould always visit Mrs. Ann Kuess or another math teacher in the IMC’s Help Center. “Without the help center, I would really be [struggling] in math, especially for calculus next year,” said Deepthi Nalluri, 11. But with Kuess retiring, what will happen? Recently, it was announced that she would not be replaced. For students, this poses certain concerns and questions in terms of

how the help center will run next year, if at all. Given the complexity of topics covered in high school math, many students would be lost without somewhere to turn to for help. “I’ve met with the administration to make sure we are providing math help next year for students who need it,” said Dr. Keith Brackenridge. “Teachers will have to take more responsibility for their students. There will be some form of the help center available… whether it is for one bell or seven, we don’t know,”

said Mr. Chris Davis. As for the English Help Center, there have been concerns about how it would be affected if the math Help Center’s activity or availability declined. As of now, there has been no extensive discussion about its future. “We’re trying to utilize other options, such as something similar to the Global Language Lunch-andLearn, or help after school. But we won’t be affected as much as the math department,” said Ms. Melissa Wolfe.

“I THINK IT’S going to be detrimental to the students [when Mrs. Kuess is not replaced],” said Valerie Hill, 10. Hill visits the Help Center often in order to excel in math class. photo by mary ann jiang

Technology damaged, missing; cost to school rising eachers report vandalism spree

WILLJOHNSTON associate editor

Computers, white boards, and projectors; each is a tool used to enhance the learning process, and each is among the items that have been found to be damaged within the school recently. Over the course of the last month, a growing number of technological objects have been discovered vandalized in the absence of faculty. As opposed to outright theft, these items appear to have been the victims of minor physical damage. For example, a number of computers have been found with the rubber bands within the hard drive severed, making features like the disk drive void. “It is unfortunate that a few students are taking

it upon themselves to impact the whole student body,” said Mr. Chris Davis. “This is a situation where one individual’s actions can negatively affect a large number of students.” The issue was first raised when a number of teachers approached the administration with concerns regarding damaged or missing technology. In response, the administration immediately made all teachers aware of the situation. Altogether, these incidents have cost the school approximately $2000 dollars in the last month. “I was surprised. I think that sometimes teenagers tend to think more in the short term as op-

posed to the long term, in this situation meaning that the damage ends up costing the community more money for repairs and new computers. I also expected more of Sycamore students than that,” said Mr. Greg Cole. Teachers have been advised to lock their doors when leaving their rooms, as times when they are typically gone, like lunch and after school, are suspected to be the common hours of vandalism. “To anyone who knows who is doing this, I would certainly appreciate an anonymous tip,” said Davis. “I would also be happy to reward anyone who does so.”



10 local school chapters started by students from Moeller High School. For every $300 each chapter raises, one child is able to attend UNIFAT for a school year. The money pays for a uniform, shoes, a meal a day, textbooks, and medical attention. “What the sponsorship program does is help pay for the tuition of children who otherwise could not [afford it]. Abitimo’s heart is so big that she never wants to turn away a student. However, when she lets a child in that cannot pay, it makes it harder for the school to cooperate,” said president and founder of the SHS chapter, Meghan Marth, 10. “So, with Cincinnati Unified for UNIFAT helping out, it takes away about $40,000 a year of money they otherwise wouldn’t get.” In addition to the valuable support of individual students, classes, and families, Unified for UNIFAT also raises money through bake sales, the annual overnight event designed to educate attendees about the situation in Uganda, and the admissionfree benefit concert. What makes Unified for UNIFAT unique is the fact that the organization has direct contact with the school. And due to its volunteer organization nature, every penny raised goes to the school. Because of this, the group is able develop relationships with the sponsored students. Throughout the school year, members have been writing letters to the children. In February, the group put together care packages of school supplies and books, and more packages are being created for the most recent sponsorships. “We feel really connected to UNIFAT – whether through writing letters to students or by singing to raise awareness. I feel like I’m making a difference because we have such a close relationship with the school,” said Josh Goldman, 10.

Preparation pays off: Dana Reinhart, 11, aces ACT ELIZABETH HOOPES

staff writer


REINHART, 11, PRACTICES spinning her rifle for color guard. This extracurricular activity is just one of her many other interests. Just as she practices for color guard, Reinhart rigorously prepared for her ACT.

photo by daphne hsu

ana Reinhart, 11, has pulled off a remarkable feat: getting a perfect score on the ACT. “When I first looked at my score report online, I thought that I was just looking at a standard scoring rubric,” said Reinhart. “I was pretty shocked when I realized that I had actually gotten a 36.” Two months before the ACT exam, she bought a review book and began reviewing everyday. Two days before the test, she took full practice tests and placed herself in a testing atmosphere to make sure there were no interruptions. She reviewed missed problems on these practice tests in order to minimize mistakes the following Saturday morning. Reinhart also participates in numerous extracurricular activities, including Color Guard, Scrabble Club, Environmental Club, and Spanish Club. She plans to study environmental science and engineering in college. Her dream school is the University of California Santa Barbara “More realistically, my future probably entails me attending college somewhere in the Midwest and then making my way to California for grad school,” said Reinhart.

‘We are creating Unity for UNIFAT’

Students fulfill promise to teacher, teacher fulfills promise to students

Solidifying ties

Marth, her father Tom Marth, the moderator of Unified for UNIFAT Connie Ring, Friends of UNIFAT founder Michael Zimmer, junior at Moeller Eric Werner and his mother, senior at Moeller Billy Yates, freshman at Miami University Will Tardio and his father, and teacher at Moeller Paul Kindt will visit UNIFAT over the summer. “With all of the excitement and support, Michael Zimmer, Jill Zimmer (Michael’s wife), Abitimo, and I decided that it was time for some of our most committed students to visit the school and really see what their hard work and dedication is doing for the kids at UNIFAT,” said Ring. Leaving on Wednesday, June 18 and returning on Monday, June 30, the group will stay at a hotel within walking distance of the school. During UNIFAT’s school day, Marth and her companions will meet all the kids Unified for UNIFAT sponsors and help teach classes. Marth will bring over more care packages, with materials collected in a box at the front office, and letters as well as pre-treated mosquito nets to protect the students from malaria. The group also plans to install windows and doors in the currently window- and door-less buildings. “We are hoping to interview a lot of the kids that we are sponsoring and videotape a lot, too, so when we come back we can show everyone what it is like there,” said Marth. For more information on how to sponsor a child and to meet the students of UNIFAT, visit the group’s web site at or contact Marth at

news WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008



This day

in history

Ships are resurrected, monkeys are saved, British go swimming LEAHBURGIN feature chief

1742 The first indoor swimming pool opens in Goodman’s Fields, London. Swimming would become more popular when swimming races were included in the Olympic Games. 1934 The Dionne Quintuplets (Annette, Cecile, Emelie, Marie, and Yvonne) were born today. They were the first documented case of surviving quintuplets. 1959 After several “space monkeys” were sacrificed for science during early space travel experiments, two monkeys, Able and Baker, were the first monkeys to be successfully retrieved from their space excursion.

photo by michela tindera

AS OF 3:15 PM, Wednesday May 5, Mrs. Christine Allen had about ½ inches of hair left on her head. This was in response to a promise she made to her five classes that if they raised the $300 per class to sponsor a child in Uganda for the Unified- for UNIFAT program she would shave her head. About 60 students gathered to see this event occur in the commons. Allen got the idea to shave her head from the various sports teams that dye their hair or shave their heads. “It builds spirit and excitement for helping others,” said Allen. Currently she is sporting a dirty blonde wig similar to the hairstyle she had pre-buzz. As for the question of soap or shampoo“Soap, I’m going to save lots of money on shampoo and conditioner now,” said Allen.

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1987 The USS Monitor was the first ironclad ship commissioned by the US government for use against the Confederacy during the Civil War. In an infamous battle against the Confederate ironclad ship, the Monitor was lost to the sea. On this day in history, 125 years later, a diving team discovered the sunken vessel.

friends of the Leaf

The Leaf would like to thank its benefactors for their continued support of the voice of Sycamore. Each month your contribution helps bring perspective and expression to the school and local community:

Ed and Carol Rubeo



WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

‘an original approach to solve a pervasive problem’

Environmental Club beautifies courtyard LEAHBURGIN


feature chief

EVERY YEAR, HUNDREDS of students, parents, cancer survivors and volunteers from the Montgomery community come together to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. This overnight event is meant to raise awareness and money for cancer research, and to bring together the community in the fight against cancer. Schools from all over the community, including Moeller, Ursuline, and Indian Hill, came to the SHS track on Friday, May 9 to take part in Relay 2008. During the event, team members took shifts walking around the track throughout the night, for cancer never sleeps. They also participated in activities, and expressed support for victims during the survivors’ lap and the luminaria ceremony. Over $125,000 were raised towards funding for the American Cancer Society.

supplies, and their valuable time to the creation of the garden. “We are really thankful to everyone that donated something,” said Thatikunta. The final planting of the garden occurred last Wednesday, May 21. It was pleasant for club members to see some non-club faces. “We really appreciate anyone who helped out,” said Negin Fallahi, 11. “You’ll find it’s really easy to get involved – just check out Environmental Club’s Facebook group or talk to Meena Thatikunta.” Missed the planting session? Environmental Club has another upcoming project open to volunteers and green-conscious individuals – the Message in a Bottle initiative. This project aims to reduce the number of wasted plastic water bottles by offering more durable, reusable ones that are more environmentally friendly. “The program is an original approach to solve a pervasive problem,” said Meg Simon, 11, Vice President of Environmental Club. “The Club is all about solving problems and making the environment better for the future. Go green!”

image by jake newton

This digitally crafted diagram shows the unique planning of the new courtyard garden. The meandering middle part is a dry river bed that will channel rain-water to make it look like a stream.

beat bytes

photos courtesy of emily boutilier

fter organizing a successful Environmental Awareness Week and running the electronic and paper recycling programs, Environmental Club has begun a new program – planting a garden in the courtyard by the front office. According to Meena Thatikunta, President of Environmental Club, and junior, this garden has both environmental and beautification purposes. “The garden will help carbon sequestration, air purification, and heat island effect reduction,” said Thatikunta. “Plus, the courtyard will be pretty now.” Mrs. Debra Muskat designed the new garden, which will include ferns, hostas, daffodils, and other plants along with a dry riverbed that will channel rainfall to look like a stream. “I think the space will look great because we have had an amazing amount of support for it,” said Becca Muskat, 11. Businesses such as Marvin’s Organic Gardens, Natorp’s, and Ohio Mulch, in addition to individuals such as Kathy Fugate have donated

Beats are weekly updates written for the web site about clubs, sports, arts, and more.

Students learn to express creativity BRYNNSHARP staff writer

From Sharpie markers to charcoal, drawing establishes a gateway to creativity. Students have explained that they signed up for drawing because it is something that everyone can excel in...

Artist spotlight: photo courtesy of matt slovin

Honoring fallen serviceman, family member

After serving in Iraq for five weeks, Branden Haunert, ‘05, was the victim of a bomb explosion on Sunday, May 18. He leaves five brothers behind, including Andrew, 11, and Sean, 9. In spite of the difficult times, Andrew continued to play third base for varsity baseball like his brother, as a tribute.

Nawid Piracha DAPHNEHSU

associate editor

On Friday, May 9, senior art students displayed their best artwork during the senior art show. Photographs, paintings, and other mediums of art were featured on the walls of the front office. Music and refreshments were also provided. Nawid Piracha, 12, was one of the students who participated in this art show and shares his experiences as a photography student...

Varsity volleyball’s win streak snapped JEREMYSPIEGEL opinion chief




After winning five consecutive matches over the course of three weeks, the varsity boys’ volleyball team finally lost at Centerville on May 7. Even with the loss, the team still stands in great position to go far in the state tournament...

To continue these stories and other school news, visit




ace the acts

WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

Democrats need to unite


opinion chief

After the most recent primaries in North Carolina and Indiana, the Democratic race appeared to be almost over. Barack Obama won a landslide victory in North Carolina and narrowly lost Indiana, narrowing Hillary Clinton’s lead in super delegates in the process. The key date that both candidates had been circling for months should mean that the outlook is much clearer on the Democratic side. However, just a few short months until the Democratic nomination is chosen, the picture is still blurred. While Obama and Clinton continue to duke it out, John McCain waits, already preparing for the general election, having won the Republican nomination months ago. What appeared to be an election that the Democratic Party could not lose has instead become a very close race, thanks in large part to the constant negativity surrounding both campaigns. In large numbers Democrats, who in January were celebrating the likely return to the White House are turning away from both candidates, disgusted by the political fighting and bickering. As the primary drags on, with each candidate spending more and more money, loyal party members are sickened by the continuation of a hard fought war of words between two members of the same party. I am not saying that Clinton needs to drop out. However, I am suggesting that both candidates tone down their personal attacks on the other. If either candidate wishes to win the November election, they need to stop the in-party criticism and focus on what made them appear to be initially successful: an attack on the Republican presidency of the last eight years. Early in the race, both Obama and Clinton were both popular by large numbers of party members. The key to this was that the majority of Democrats, as well as a wide portion of undecided voters, were sick of the Bush presidency, and feared a continuation of Republican policy. However, the more that Obama and Clinton continue to fight, the further divided the party becomes. The negative attacks, as well as the money spent by each candiate, will only hurt in the long run. With both senators actively campaigning at the same time to different members of the Democratic party, voters are forced to compare the two to each other, rather than to McCain. What will happen when one of the two is finally named the Democratic candidate? Will they settle their dispute, with the loser supporting the victor, or will the bitterness continue. Chances are that both Obama and Clinton would like to see the other elected should they face McCain. However, the extreme lengths they will go to ensure their own nomination is harming the party more than helping their cause. Somewhere, John McCain is smiling.



image by michela tindera



ot many students would invite the entire student body to an open assembly in order to watch a video about life in a third world country. Nor would many students take a club as far as Meghan Marth, Unified for UNIFAT club president and sophomore, has in the past two years. From the corn hole tournaments to the benefit concerts, to the visitors from the Invisible Children road crew and even from the UNIFAT school itself, Marth has helped organize some impressive and moving initiatives. Bringing hope to the future of a country and giving children an education which they cherish has been the combined goal and achievement of people all around the world, and all throughout this very school with much thanks to its student leader. Each student who finds a meaningful cause to work for learns what it means to be active and compassionate in this global society. This may range from raising money for Relay for Life or volunteering at Operation Giveback each week to tutor younger kids. No one should be limited by not having the opportunity to fly long distance or donate superfluous wealth to a charity. The only limitations to making a change in the world are those that falsify or belittle the need and shroud the efforts to meet those needs. Leave the computer for a few hours, how many Facebook messages appear pertaining to a cause on this campus? Take a look at Mrs. Christine Allen, English teacher, and do not gape, consider her sacrifice, meaningful to her, meaningful to a lot of people, but also, profound in a deeply personal way. Offer to be helpful to an older neighbor, join an organization that urges determined action by political leaders for a conflict domestic or international, or help decorate Odd Couples or After Prom next year. Take action for something compelling and make a difference without care to the title received. Find something that touches you and something that allows you a way to contribute, be cooperative and concentrated on what really matters at the end of the whole endeavor, get involved without concern to how big the project is or how many people may be aware. Do not emulate the quick-tongued boys at Model UN who garner votes by cracking disrespectful jokes, entirely ignorant of the unifying purpose at the convention. This editorial is about you. But the heart of this editorial, is in all probability, not about you. Someone somewhere needs help or friendship, the opportunity to make a difference is so much more accessible than one may think, but choose your niche with thought to the true goal, and really make it your niche.

Sycamore High School 7400 Cornell Road Cincinnati, OH 45242

Mission Statement: The Sycamore Leaf, the official newspaper of Sycamore High School, serves as an educational tool in the training of student journalists to provide information and editorial leadership concerning school, national, and world issues, to provide a public forum for the exchange of ideas and viewpoints, and to give coverage to newsworthy events directly related to the diverse school population. Editorial Policy: Although students work under the guidance of a professional faculty member, the content is ultimately determined by the student staff and should reflect all areas of student interest, including topics about which there may be dissent and controversy. Students cannot publish material that is obscene, libelous, or will cause “a substantial disruption of the educational process.” Content that may stimulate heated debate or discussion

is not included in this definition. The Sycamore Leaf operates as an open forum for the healthy, robust exchange of ideas. Opinions expressed in the editorials are those of the Sycamore Leaf staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged. All letters must be signed. The letters, not to exceed 300 words, may be edited for clarity, spelling, and grammar. Letters may be placed in Mrs. Jardine’s mailbox, dropped off in Room 115, or e-mailed to: The Sycamore Leaf reserves the right to decide not to cover a death based on relevance, timeliness, and circumstances decided on by the editorial board. In cases that the editorial board decides not to cover a death, letters to the editor in regard to that death will be printed. The Sycamore Leaf’s complete editorial policies can be found at

leafing through the masses


““ ““ “

I can volunteer and have a “gogetter” helpful attitude.

Gus Klofta, 11

I can be better to the environment by picking up trash that I see and by recycling when I have the chance. Brent Perlman, 10

One action I can take is to plant a tree where one is needed. Aly Mazzei, 12

I donate my time to help people who need it like at soup kitchens or through the Invisible Children Club. Mallory Condron, 9

An action that I have taken has been to help out at Relay for Life. Mr. Mike Gutekunst, teacher

Editor-in-chief: Mary Ann Jiang Associate editor: Will Johnston Associate editor: Daphne Hsu News Noa Belillti Ellean Zhang Opinion Matthew Mendelsohn Jeremy Spiegel Fun & Games Brittanny Argyriou Feature Leah Burgin Rashmi Borah Libby Henning A&E Gabirose Keeton Michela Tindera Sports Ben Estes Jared Kamrass Calendar Jake Newton Kavya Reddy Spotlight Maria Marballi

What is one action that you can do to make a difference in the community?

Managing editor: Libby Henning Managing editor: Gabirose Keeton Business Manager: Michela Tindera Business Manager: Rashmi Borah

Emily Mondro Staff Writers Tyler Albl Karen Buenavides Nathan Deemer Catherine Farist Samantha Grubbs Elizabeth Hoopes Molly Johnson Jacob Katz Mandi Kipner Ashleigh Louderback J.D. Macejko Liz Naugher Frank Pan David Pyles Vanessa Roland Evan Romansky Mark Rubeo Brynn Sharp Matthew Slovin Brandon Sosna Garrett Steinbuch

Mini-Mag Editors Ben Dhiman Sam Cleary Photographer Jeremy McDaniel Adviser Cheralyn Jardine About us Professional memberships: • Columbia Scholastic Press Association • Great Lakes Interscholastic Press Association • Journalism Association of Ohio Schools • Journalism Education Association • National Scholastic High School Press Association • Ohio Professional Writers (National Federation of Women Writers) • Quill & Scroll International Journalism Honorary



WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

Political dispute overshadows Olympic games Protesters mar world harmony, unity on eve of cherished tradition BENDHIMAN

minimag editor


t seems a disgrace to human kind to attempt an act so belligerent as to put out the Olympic Torch. Not only is the torch a symbol of the Olympic Games themselves, but is one of the few instruments that demonstrates and promotes global unity. Yes, specific issues in the world need attention, especially the rights of the Tibetan’s. But it is unjust to advocate this cause through protests against the torch. Why smear dirt onto something so flawlessly innocent that serves the purpose of bringing the world together. “The people that tried to put out the Olympic Torch really are ruining a great thing,” said Meghan Marth, 10. Rarely is the world able to cooperate in unison, but as it does, it

becomes evident that the Olympic Games are a tool of peace and should be treated as such. Protests in England and other countries take away from this peace as they stab at it with the serrated edge of destruction. By protesting along the route of the torch, these issues are more clearly recognized by the public. Therefore the protesters had a potentially good idea, but made the mistake of believing that people would see the issue not the fact that they were protesting the torch. Humanity lacks peace, lacks unity, and lacks cooperation. Why try to take away from one of the few events which brings these aspects together? The torch represents more than the games, it represents the people of the Earth coming together under the shelter of one stadium.


staff writer

photo courtesy of ap photo

Protesters line the parade route of the Olympic torch. These mobs were protesting the fact that China was hosting the Olympics, despite China’s poor human rights record and occupation of Tibet. The Olympic games have not even started yet, but are already surrounded by controversy.

yrus stuns fans with photos, induces mixed reactions

NOABELLILTI news chief

“As a pop star who says she is aware of the fact that she is watched by young children, I am appalled by the photos. I hope this instigates her decline as a pop star,” said Hannah D’Souza, 10. Hollywood is risqué. It always has been. Modesty and conservatism does not sell, it never has. Society pays extra special attention to those in the spotlight, condemning them when they make a mistake, prying into intimate relationships, criticizing their every move. No, not true you say? Ask the person sitting next

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Indy race changes nothing Clinton, just end it MARKRUBEO

hild star starts controversy with images

Miley Cyrus, also known as Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel, is idolized by little girls around the world. With her career exploding, this new teen “it girl” is getting a taste of exploitation in the press. Recently, this child star posed for racy photographs in the magazine Vanity Fair, sporting tousled hair and a white bed sheet. While the recent spread got consumers turning pages and teenage boys turning heads, it also received less than satisfactory ratings from mothers and peers.

Public Disservice

to you any of the following questions: Who is Brittany Spears’ ex husband? Which Olsen twin had an eating disorder? Anyone exposed to any form of media in the past year could have answered the above questions; they are no-brainers. People are free to do what they choose, including young starlets interested in boosting their careers. Whether fans support or disapprove of this behavior- the fact is - everyone has to grow up, others are “lucky” enough to have an audience.


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A little over five months ago, Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama began their battle for the Democratic Party nomination. A few weeks ago, on May 6, it finally ended. To still pull a win after her defeat in North Carolina and sub-par performance in Indiana, Clinton would need something just shy of a miracle. Clinton, of course, believes she still can win, but how realistic is her argument? While a victory for Clinton is still possible, it is extremely unlikely. As supporters are quick to point out, she was gaining momentum after her victories in Ohio and the Texas Primary, and she recently won West Virginia. She also has the support of important party leaders and much of the media, two big players in deciding the nomination. All the same, when one looks at the numbers, it is extremely unlikely that Clinton will be able to catch Obama in delegates. There are 217 pledged delegates still up for grabs, and both sides need nearly all of that to win without superdelegates—party officials who receive an independent vote at the convention. She is 169 pledged delegates behind Obama, meaning she would need roughly 78% of the remaining pledged delegates just to catch up. To put this figure into perspective, Senator John McCain, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, only received 74% of the popular vote in North Carolina. The numbers paint a clear picture: Clinton will not surpass Obama in pledged delegates. Now, recall President George W. Bush’s “victory” in 2000, when he lost the popular vote but won the presidency. If the same situation happened within a political party, it could very well split that party in two. Worse, if it happened because of superdelegates it would be seen as party bosses superseding voters, especially in light of Obama’s recent victories. Clinton would have to reconcile this with the voters if she wants to have any chance in the general election, a difficult task to accomplish in three months Superdelegates know that a divided party is likely to fail in November. They also know that bitterness about a presidential nomination could spill over into their plans for reelection, since most superdelegates are elected officials. Clinton would have to come up with an extremely convincing argument to have superdelegates flock to her in the numbers she will need. That argument would need to be even stronger if she wanted to reunite the party and have any chance of winning in the general election. Losing North Carolina by 14 points does not help that argument. It is time to throw in the towel. Clinton has fought hard, but for the good of her party she should drop out of the race. By staying in, she is only continuing to instill false hope of a comeback in her supporters. The writing is on the wall; it is up to Senator Clinton to accept it.

Strange encounters at theme park


Some behavior juvenile, unattractive, ultimately regrettable BRYNNSHARP


staff writer

veryone has experienced the multiple personalities found waiting in line at an amusement park. There is the couple that cannot stop making out, and there are the little kids who put on fronts And then there are the junior high kids who try to impress their friends by flirting with you. Unfortunately, sometimes a junior high student’s plans may work a little too well. It is pouring down rain at Kings Island so everyone heads to the indoor roller coaster, Flight of Fear. There, my friend and I wait in line and unfortunately get stuck in front of three seventh graders who claim to be from Florida, Tennessee, and Mexico but have Kings Island gold passes and say “Kroger’s” instead of “Kroger.” Drew, the loudest of the three, continued to question my friend and I about different activities and “agreed” with everything we said except for his anti-football feelings. Also, every other word that came out was louder than the normal inside voice. We were not buying into this kid’s lies and tried our hardest to gently let him know that by ignoring him. Eventually he caught on and shifted to the girls behind him. Still talking loud, he was making progress with this fourteen year-old named Julie. All the while, his other friends could obviously care less about his new girlfriend, considering the silence their cold shoulder towards him. Obnoxious laughter and loud screaming still filled our ears for the next half hour as we impatiently waited in line. When the line split to pick our lanes, we noticed that Julie and Drew separated from their former groups to ride with each other.

WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

Photo puzzle:

find differences in similar pictures


Can you find the mistakes in this picture? This game is a challenge to see if you are capable of finding the differences between the original picture, and the one that has been changed. The original picture is on the left. Find the five mistakes: objects can be missing, altered or added. Check your answers on the right to see if you found them all! Good luck!

Answers: 1. 1 protractor 2. 1 brush 3. 1 book 4. crumpled paper 5. 1 magazine added


Just say ‘no!’

I remember watching his face as he was beginning to become annoyed with the girl he tried so hard to win for the glory of being known as a player by his friends. A few hours later, we saw the “happy” couple again walking in the Action Zone. Julie was hanging onto Drew’s arms in complete joy while the look on Drew’s face could be sarcastically interpreted as, “Woo Hoo! This one’s a keeper.” The moral of the story is stick with the people you came with and do not fall for those junior high kids who use all their effort on trying to get a date with you.

photos courtesy of brittanny argyriou




6 9

8 4 9










4 2 7 2

3 2 9




5 9


8 1 6

Fill in each box so that every row, column, and box has the numbers 1-9. Make sure that there are no repeats!

“In 1960, Mr. Aviator and friends were flying over Ohio and suddenly crashed into a building. Where were the survivors buried?...”

Have a funny cartoon, writing, joke or riddle? Submit your humorous piece of writing and it could be published in the next issue! Contact Mrs. Cheralyn Jardine or Brittanny Argyriou in room 115.


feature WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

with Mr. Chris Davis, principal

Retiring teachers say goodbye Page 10


this month in feature

NYC beckons those seeking opportunities, excitement Page11

limit stress, score well

What have you enjoyed most about being principal at SHS? I loved getting to know the people and personalities in the building. I am also amazed at all the accomplishments that the staff and students have to be proud of. Do you feel that SHS has had a successful year? I think that the building has had a successful year academically, with National Merit Scholars and other student achievements and athletically with students winning playoffs and alumni winning Super Bowls. The Sycamore community has definitely had a good year. What is your proudest accomplishment from this year? One thing that I thought was a really great development was the creation of Personal Learning Committees. I feel that the PLCs improved inter-department relationships and created more unity while also offering professional development opportunities.



spotlight editor

AT WORK IN his office, Davis, reflects on his first year at SHS. Davis is proud of his accomplishments as principal and his students’ accomplishments in academics and athletics. He looks forward to returning as principal for the 2008-2009 school year. photo by daphne hsu

Any other remarks? Coming to Sycamore was the best thing for me. It’s been a fun year. I go home tired every day, but I love what I do here. I don’t know why anyone would want to leave.

Featuring most epic facial hair SHS beards, mustaches, sideburns rated best LEAHBURGIN & DAPHNEHSU feature chief

associate editor

Charles Mueller, 12 “I haven’t shaved my sideburns in three years because I have really bad tan lines.”

Justin Hanks, 12 “Now that I have a beard, a lot more girls give me hugs.”

Ashvin Srivatsa, 10 “It was a challenge to grow to such perfection, but worth it.”

Nir Wiener, 12 “I grew the beard during sophomore year, but decided to shave part of it off to leave a soul patch because I had a bass teacher who also had a soul patch. He was my inspiration.”

Mr. Bill Ignatz, chemistry teacher “I grew [my mustache] to look older. I’ve had it for 34 years.”

Local ice cream parlors put to test Hometown favorites compared CATHERINEFARIST


staff writer

s summer nears and the temperature rises, cravings for cold, delicious ice cream return. When making an assessment on how to best satiate this craving, consider some of the best ice cream parlors that Cincinnati has to offer.


The United Dairy Farmers in Blue Ash and Montgomery is practically faultless. These facilities have great service, great ice cream, and great prices. While not as speedy as Dairy Queen, the service is still perky and helpful, so one does not mind waiting in line five extra minutes for an ice cream cone. After sampling their two for one

How to: prepare for finals

What impressed you most about SHS when you first arrived? My first impression was of how committed the student body was in any endeavor they pursued.

Experience prom, After prom in pictures Page 8


deal, (one extra scoop for only $1.99) most can happily say they have gotten the better part of the bargain. Especially when they take their first lick of UDF’s premium homemade ice cream. UDF transformed a quick stop for gas at the local convenience store into a pleasant little detour during these hot summer days.


This locally originated ice cream parlor has quite the reputation. With a rich assortment of ice cream flavors, sorbets, and milk shakes, there are many options for all sorts of dessert lovers. This small chain of ice cream stores offers high-quality, unique products, that, once tasted, make it difficult

to return to the boring days of ice cream in a box.


The Country’s Best Yogurt is the healthiest option of the three ice cream stores. TCBY offers items such as low-fat frozen yogurt that taste exactly like regular ice cream. TCBY offers the ordinary toppings with a nice atmosphere of pressurefree patience and it is hard to come across a rude server. One feels that they have entered paradise. While TCBY is a little on the expensive side, it is well worth that extra dollar for lower cholesterol rating. Plus, TCBY’s ice cream fulfills cravings with less saturated fats than the usual ice cream.

The word “finals” may arouse some negative feelings that we constantly try avoiding. As much as we do not want to accept the fact that final exams are on their way, they are quickly approaching. They seem completely distant to us now, but they will be here before you can say “study,” therefore it is probably a good idea to start studying. How can you start studying? Here are some old fashioned strategies combined with new unique tips to help you be in perfect shape for finals. First, prepare well. Try to study and cover as much material as possible, and if there is time, review some of the details. Also, it is a lot better to know the major points along with minor details rather than just major facts. Minor details make great test questions. Second, make sure to find a quiet study area. Loud music and other distractions severely hinder your ability to retain information. “Sometimes I go to Barnes and Nobles to study. It is quiet and there are not a lot of distractions. Plus, I get to use the study books without paying for them,” said Michaela Mondro, 12. Third, after you review the course material, teach it to someone else. It has been proven that people learn information better when they are able to teach it to someone else. So now after learning a fascinating new equation in Algebra, try teaching it to someone else. You will not be disappointed with the results. By teaching the material to another classmate, you could also help them study while simultaneously helping yourself understand the course material. Fourth, when taking the exam, use your time wisely. It is never a beneficial situation if you take ten hours to answer one difficult question and then ruin your chances at finishing the exam. It also is a bad idea to whip through an exam and leave answers incomplete. “Before a test or exam I always figure out how much time I will have to do each problem so I do not lose track of time,” said Akshay RoyChoudhury, 10. Also make sure to map out your work. When the teacher explains what will be on the exam, plan ahead how long it will take to do each part. For example, say the provided time for the exam is two hours and the test has an essay and multiple choice. Give yourself an hour to plan, write, and review your essay. Then use the rest of the time for the short answer or multiple choice questions. Lastly, do not panic. When test-takers panic they are likely to misread questions, skip key directions, or have mind blocks. It helps to (before the test) picture yourself taking the exam and doing well. And then picture yourself getting that A plus you know you deserve. With these tips and some studying, this dream will certainly become a reality.



feature hanghai knights, jungle fever

tudents have blast on prom night


WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

High school


Overbooked, overtired:

managing editor

Help stop this teen epidemic CATHERINEFARIST

N photos courtesy of

photos courtesy of jeremy mcdaniel

IN A NIGHT of innumerable activities, students had no time to think of sleep. Prom was held at Paul Brown Stadium, decorated with a “Shanghai knights” theme. After the dance, many students went to After Prom, where the high school was transformed, more or less, into a carnival. Certain highlights included: a hypnotist, a rat race, black-light ping-pong, several poker tables, and various inflatable items.

staff writer

owadays, any good parent handbook tells its readers to keep their children busy. So, today, by choice or not, teenagers are involved in multiple activities, whether it be a multitude of clubs or sports, and we, as a result, are completely exhausted with no energy to achieve our best. We seem to be overbooking ourselves and many fall into the trend of playing more than one sport at once and then being actively involved in Spanish club and UNIFAT. Or we try to juggle two part time jobs and a full course load with a handful of AP classes, as well. As teenagers, we feel that nothing can touch us, that we are invincible. In a high pressure world where we are told we must be the best and nothing less than perfect is acceptable, teens feel trapped. They feel that the lack of sleep on our overworked bodies and minds is a sign of weakness, yet we constantly push ourselves to the point of breakdown. Time management is not the problem here. But, balance is something many do need to learn. Perhaps this could be the driving force behind underage drinking, substance abuse, and out of hand partying. The need to escape can often overwhelm even the strongest willed individuals, pushing them over the edge towards unfavorable actions. Other times one will just cut themselves off completely from their family and friends and turn to bad influences to help solve their issues. Sure, providing a source of creative outlet or energy is always a great motivator for parents to push, but there is always a limit and often parents do not see it, sometimes not by their own fault. We see burned out teens in every aspect of our lives, whether it be work, sports, or school. The passion we once had was unfortunately suppressed by stress and more than likely were unaware until it was too late. Everyone needs fun, but reasonable fun, the kind that does not involve harm to yourself, the environment or others. It is incredibly disheartening watching kids get their innocence and childhood take away by that innate pressure to be perfect, and get into that ‘prestigious college,’ or to achieve that dream career within four years of college. Yes, ambition is always welcome, but we all need to know where to draw the line and say ‘enough is enough’. Now, go out and get some ice cream with some friends. Hold off on working on that project due three weeks from now and learn to relax. Learn to say “no” once in a while. Life is no fun if you are not actually going to live it.

feature WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008


raversing seas, shores, cultures, coasts ravels give students chance to volunteer, learn



news chief

image by mary ann jiang

unteering, or new experiences, students from this very school will be setting out for destinations all around the world. Their plans will take them to places ranging from European countries such as Finland and Greece, to the Asian countries like Japan, Thailand, and India. Here is a look at what five will be doing:

o more seven classes a day, no more daily homework, no more sleep deprivation. After ditching loads of school-related burdens for summer, some students will continue to seek opportunities to learn and serve. In pursuit of knowledge, or dedication to vol-


Dallas Burris, 10 image by ellean zhang

Scandinavia is not a part of the world most teens in America are familiar with; but, one student, Dallas Burris, 10, had taken it upon herself to apply for a summer program to spend six weeks amidst the breath-taking scenery of Finland. Before stumbling upon a page on the Youth For Understanding (YFU) website, Burris had never even given the slightest thought towards Finland. It was not until her eyes beheld Finland’s beautiful natural landscape. “When I saw the photographs and read about how the Finns enjoy the nature around them, it just sounded so... well... me! I love the outdoors,” said Burris. Because school in Finland will be out for summer, too Burris’ experience will not be for foreign schooling, but more to live the life of a “typical Finnish teen” for six weeks. These six weeks were not simply handed to her. There was a long application process including five essays, a research paper, recommendations, an interview, and loads of paperwork, was attached to the package. “It was definitely worth it, though,” said Burris, who was one of 14 in the nation who earned this all-expense paid summer trip to Finland. Burris hopes to learn to speak Finnish from this trip Besides that, she looks forward to a “Finnish thing”: saunas. For a population of about 5 million, there are actually about 2 million saunas in Finland. It has long been a tradition of Finnish inhabitants to relax in a sauna at the end of a typical day. They then follow this steam session up with a dip into a freezing lake or a roll in the snow.


Lisa Wu and Sydnee Hosler, 11 image by ellean zhang

Immersion in a completely different culture than one’s own can be an amazing experience. This is exactly what juniors Sydnee Hosler and Lisa Wu are intending to do on their two-week long summer trip to Japan. Hosler and Wu are two of about 60 applicants around Ohio who desired to become a part of the People to People organization. The two feel extremely fortunate to be granted this opportunity, since only 20 applicants from Ohio were finally selected. This chance to gain understanding of a different culture by living in does not present itself often, so these two girls intend to make the best of their much-anticipated experience. Gaining insight on while living in other cultures is always a valuable experience. It opens one’s eyes to an entirely different world that was previously unfamiliar. This can change one’s perspective on certain aspects of life and even change the way one lives. “We both hope to gain new understandings and new respect for all of our surroundings whether it be in world issues or appreciating our current lives,” said Wu.


Shivani Parikh, 9

We both hope to gain new understandings and new respect for all of our surroundings, whether it be in world issues or appreciating our current lives Lisa Wu, 11


Shivani Parikh, 9 It is a good way to spend the summer because I can be academically challenged while not actually in school. I will also be able to experience the many pleasures of Evanston.

Not forgetting that this trip is during summer vacation, Hosler said, “We are going to show Japan that we’re gonna have a good time.”

image by kavya reddy

While some will travel overseas, Shivani Parikh, 9, will be traveling approximately 5 hours to Northwestern University. Here she will participate in the program called the Center For Talent Development (CTD), taking a class devoted to fostering creative writing skills. The session will run for three weeks. This learning center and research facility provides leadership programs such as Civic Education Program and academic programs such as Spectrum and Equinox. These programs offer enrich-

ment classes, academic high school credit courses, as well as AP courses. All completed courses can be added to a student’s high school transcript as credits. “Though it is not a country abroad, I know it will be an amazing experience,” said Parikh. “My friend did it last year and she had a lot of fun. It is a good way to spend the summer because I can be academically challenged while not actually in school. I will also be able to experience the many pleasures of Evanston.”

Hannah D’Souza, 10 As if volunteering in Bethesda North Hospital or Cincinnati Children’s was not enough, Hannah D’Souza, 10, will be traveling to India this summer to volunteer in a hospital. D’Souza will be spending one month at A.J. Shetty Hospital in Manglore, India. Located in the southwestern corner of Karnataka, Manglore is the one of the chief port cities in the entire country. A.J. Shetty Hopital, one of the few hospitals within a 50 mile radius, has a free 24 hour clinic that always welcomes those who are needing medical care. “It was one of the best experiences of my life!” said Jordan D’Souza, 12. “Putting smiles on

image by kavya reddy

the sick and poor little kids faces was the best thing in the world. Regrettably, I will not be going back this summer.” Hannah will be working in the hospital, shadowing doctors who work in the pediatric ward. She will be able to administer shots to newborns, care for children in the pediatric ward (and play with them too), as well as experience the outpatient lab. “I decided to do this because it is an amazing opportunity. I would be able to do more for patients legally than if I was shadowing a doctor in America,” said Hannah.


feature WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

‘Each year is so unique that I have enjoyed them all’

Teachers speak of memories, last thoughts Mrs. Pat Clark guidance counselor Total years teaching: 33 Total years at Sycamore: 19

Why Sycamore? There was an opening, it is a good school district, and there was a desire to move from junior high school teaching to a full-fledged high school. After Teaching: Private college counseling, start a business – a training company Interests: Golf, boating, biking, traveling Miss Most: Students, and the people that I work with. Favorite Year: They have all been good.

Mr. Bart Inwood art teacher all photos by nate deemer

THE CONTRIBUTIONS MADE to the school by Inwood, Clark, Kuess and Koehler have impacted students across all grades and academic pathways. As their last year at the high school comes to a close, they continue to put forth the effort that has earned them respect for the many years that they had been here. Upon their retirement, students and staff members alike will miss their assistance and guidance in their respective fields.

Last words from retiring teachers Reflections over time at high school, with students expressed NATEDEEMER

staff writer

Spotlight on retirees

For guidance counselor Ms. Pat Clark, it was the looking ahead. She feels happiness for the years that she has been an educator and anticipation as the school year draws to a close. She has had a sense of realization that this chapter in her life is ending and a new one is beginning, that business and work does not need to end as she bids adiéu as an educator. She will miss both the students and the family of educators at SHS. For Mr. Bart Inwood, art teacher, there is a great sense of satisfaction for his years SHS. Talking to him for any length of time reveals his great passion for the arts – and for the well being of his students. Many have befriended him, and have continued longtime friendships. To his students, he is a mentor, a guide, and a friend. He has trodden the paths that they now set upon. His great investments into education seem to be almost entirely student-centered. He has been dedicated to his work and will be missed at the high school. He shared his passions, his past exploits, his interests, his memories – all within a brief amount of time. Within that time,

PHONE: 891-7400 ext. 315 FAX: 891-3843 E-MAIL:

Why Sycamore? Intended to come after having substitute taught here 2 years. Fell in love with the school, and knew that two teachers would retire soon. After teaching: Return to old interests; own paintings were neglected for the past three years. Favorite Memories: Long-standing student relations, the great amount of given and received influence from students. Plus, still has extended contact with many of them. “I intend to move, perhaps to an art community in the Northeast or Southwest,” he says. Miss Most: The students and their friendship and love. Favorite Year: All the years have been wonderful, even this last one.

Mrs. Ann Kuess help center tutor

Total years teaching: 15 Total years at Sycamore: 15

Why Sycamore? Her children went here, and she met the former job holder; the nature of it grew on her, and she knew it was what she wanted to do. After Teaching: Moving with husband to South Carolina, making new friends, travel Miss Most: Students, and the people that I work with. Favorite Years: When math lab had its own room, near the math teachers. There was more talking with the kids.



(513) 931-5520


he showed that he had solely students’ – all students’ – best interests in mind with his drive to educate. “Mr. Inwood is one of the most caring people I know. He has been not only an amazing art teacher, but also a dedicated best friend to so many students,” said Meg Simon, 11. “I’ll really miss him.” For Mrs. Ann Kuess, her SHS career has been shorter than the other retirees, yet no less meaningful. She wanted to work at the high school after meeting the former teacher who ran the help center and was inspired by the students who had been in attendance here. The building became personalized for her. She remembers the past years fondly, when her and her students had time for one-on-one communication and enrichment. “I always go to the help center,” said Deepthi Nalluri, 11. “Sometimes, I would go to just talk, [but] I always got help when I needed it.” Sadly, Mrs. Susan Koehler, the student’s assistance counselor, was not available for interviewing due to her illness. Even though her contributions are not documented in this newspaper, they are not to go without acknowledgement. Many remember her for her gracious assistance, despite additional hardships marked the end of her time at the high school. The imprints she has made and the lasting memories she have formed have guided the lives of those students who have sought her out for help. As these educators prepare for their last few days at the high school, we laud them each for their contributions and assistance to the students and faculty.


s this year draws to a close, the careers of many Sycamore staff members also will end. Four retirees each had unique careers and have experiences to share. The singularity of each is known only when one hears their recollections. Years of their lives invested into education. Years invested into the pursuit of developing minds by facilitating their students’ searches for the answers. Years of affecting lives.

Total years teaching: 27 Total years at Sycamore: 15

(513) 791-7887 10999 Reed Hartman Hwy #207 Cincinnati, OH 45242 Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm


Summer approaches WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008


Vacationing in New York City LIBBYHENNING


feature chief

right lights and bustling people are just a few characteristics of big cities. Summer is fast approaching and many families will soon be off on vacation. What better place to visit than “the city that never sleeps,” the famous New York City. Sure, students can go to the beach or some other tropical place, but the city provides a cultural experience for students and their families. “I had an awesome time in New York City. It was so much fun visiting a city that always has activity and something exciting going on,” said Sarah Schneider, 11. There are so many things to see and do that a family could spend the entire summer there.

Things to do, places to see

Everyone knows NYC can be expensive, but it does not have to be. There are several less expensive or even free activities for families. A few of these are Central Park and taking a walk by the Empire State building. “I think New York would be a really fun place to go for vacation. There’s so much to do there,” said Emily Dirr, 12. Families can go see major Broadway musicals or plays, and if they know where to get them, they can get tickets for up to 50% off. “I love New York. I saw Hairspray there last summer and absolutely loved it. I want to move there one day,” said Kerry Verdier, 11. TKTS, located on Duffy Square and the South Street Seaport, sells discount tickets at 25%, 35%, and 50% off, a great deal when traveling to this expensive city. “I really want to go because of the amazing theater, both on and off Broadway.

Also because of the great food, and really awesome people. New York is just where it’s at and therefore it’s where I want to be,” said Ryan Church, 10. The Statue of Liberty may be the first thing that visitors will want to see. This national monument is a breathtaking sight, especially from the deck of the ferry on the ride over. From this boat, travelers can also admire the coastal view of Manhattan. Included in the trip to see the statue is a second boat ride to see Ellis Island. The top of the rock is also an experience. To see what New York City looks like from the top of the building in Rockefeller Plaza is awesome. People can see where uptown and downtown are just by looking over the ledge. Visitors should also make it a priority to take a walk through Central Park. Beautiful tress line the walkway, and benches give visitors a place to rest their feet after an afternoon of touring the city. “My favorite part of when I went to New York was Central Park, it is so pretty,” said Rose Kaplan, 11.

Student attractions

For students, especially juniors and seniors, college is a large obstacle looming in the future. Luckily these students’ trips to New York can be used to visit two very different colleges. New York University is located at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. The purple NYU flags mark the campus. Students can schedule a visit online. The second college is Columbia University. The main entrance is located on 116th Street and Broadway in Morningside heights.

Campus tours are held weekdays at 1:00 PM and provide useful information for prospective students. Both college campuses are just a subway ride away, so it is a great way to check out options and see what college life would be like in the city.

Where to stay, eat

Staying in New York can be expensive, but staying in a hotel on Times Square is a neat thing to do. The square comes alive at night and just outside the window is city life. If families are looking for a less expensive option, they could stay in lower Manhattan in the financial district. It is quieter and less expensive. There are so many great restaurants in the city that one will never be able to experience them all, but visitors must try true New York pizza. Luzzo’s is home to Martha Stewart’s favorite pizza, “the Martha” and is located on 1st Avenue between 12th and 13th Street. The slightly more expensive Sette Mezzo is an Italian restaurant located at 969 Lexington New York, NY, 10021. Both restaurants are places to get great pizza. New York is a great place to visit. With so much to do students could be occupied all summer long.

THE STATUE OF Liberty is perhaps the most recognizable American monument. Standing at 305’ 6” off the Manhattan coast, this statue can be see for miles. Tickets are sold on the mainland. Adult tickets cost $12 or $18 with the audio tour. For more information visit www.statuecruises. com or

New experiences:

Visits provide informational, cultural opportunities

IN NEW YORK City the myriad of activities provide endless enjoyment for those who seek them.Visitors will find entertainment in the Museum of Natural History (the inspiration for Night at the Museum). In the Dinosaur exhibit figures are on display. The museum is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:45 PM. If families go for the last hour, the museum is opened they get in for free. The museum provides a more peaceful, quite place than the streets outside it. The city people (and tourists) hustle and bustle to get to work. At night the city is full of people going to late night shows or admiring the city.

all photos by libby henning

12 advertisement WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

occupational therapy: helping people regain or develop skills that are meaningful to their lives Maria Oliver SHS graduate, 2004

One of the top 31 professions in 2008, based on job availability and satisfaction U.S. News and World Report

“I recommend occupational therapy as a career choice if you are a caring, creative individual who likes to be challenged.” Allyson Harmon SHS graduate, 2004

For more information, contact: American Occupational Therapy Association Website: Xavier University’s Occupational Therapy Program Website:



WEDNESDAY May 21, 2008

‘a fun and fanciful reminder of...the power of imagination’

Seussical nominated for 19 Cappie awards LEAHBURGIN feature chief


fter swiping 10 Cappies for last year’s production of The Secret Garden, Aves Theatre was recently nominated for 19 Cappies for their production of Seussical. Nominations came from representatives of other schools who participate in the Cappie program. Student critics rate the shows and vote for which shows should be nominated. Critics raved about Seussical. “With an energetic and talented cast, excellent visual effects, and vibrant costumes, Sycamore’s Seussical was a fun and fanciful reminder of the meaning of a promise and the power of imagination,” said Natalie Adler, critic for Ursuline Academy. “Sycamore High School’s production of Seussical was not only fresh and youthful, but touching and sensationally performed as well,” said

Annie Hobson, critic for Anderson High School. The Cappie Gala took place on May 18, 2008 at the Aranoff Theater. Throughout the evening, the shows nominated for the Best Musical or Best Play performed an excerpt from their show and the winners of the 2008 Cappie Awards were announced. “I really liked the Gala because you got a chance to see other schools’ accomplishments which is motivation to try that much harder for next year,” said Jessica Walling, 11, costume head. The cast and crew of Seussical are proud of their show but were a little disappointed to have brought only two Cappies home. “I am still really proud of our cast because just having the nominations is good enough for us,” said Alison Templeman, 12, who played Jojo.

Orchestra Song Cameo Actor Choreography Comic Actress Creativity Featured Actor Featured Actress Female Vocalist Lead Actor Lead Actress* Costumes Lighting Make-up Props & Effects* Stage Crew Male Critic


Aves Theater Pit Orchestra “Oh, The Thinks you can think!” Will Kiley Anna Stone Lindsay Hill Josh Goldman Nate Fischer Alison Templeman Laura Wacksman Justin Hanks Aimee Morton Noel Ripberger, Jessica Walling, crew Lizzy LeBlond, Bear Wilfong Laura Friedmann, Jessica Walling, crew Erinn Sonntag Blake Dewey, Ana Maria Martinez, crew Justin Hanks

*Bolded names are individuals who received Cappie awards

9361 Montgomery Road Montgomery, OH 45242 513.984.9269

Wendi Abbott Rhizor Tom Abbott

Lester J. Burgin

Attorney at Law

Tower of Blue Ash 9545 Kenwood Road Suite 301 Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 Tele: (513) 891-3270 Fax: (513) 891-3266

a&e chief

Designs among top ten in Seventeen Magazine DAPHNEHSU

associate editor

Rabin has been among the top three of the ten designs left since voting began. “I’m proud of her. She entered the contest on her own and went above and beyond,” said Ms. Debbie Klemt, Rabin’s Fashion II teacher. The grand prize winner will receive $17,000 in scholarship money, and Steve & Barry’s, the sponsor for the contest, will also produce and sell the winning outfit. In addition to the Scholastics and Seventeen honors, Rabin is also one of seven finalists in a Vans Girls Shoe Design Contest. Like the Seventeen competition, the winner is chosen by the public. Unlike the Seventeen competition, only members of the web site can access and vote. Vans will produce and sell the winning design for a limited time. Fittingly, Rabin hopes to continue working in fashion illustration in the future. “I plan to pursue fashion illustration in college and hopefully make it my career,” said Rabin.

Harris & Burgin a legal professional association

Ed Rubeo Loan Officer

8534 E. Kemper Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45249

(513) 703-4211

Madonna’s Hard Candy: MICHELATINDERA

Fashion student chosen as finalist in competition

It has been a big year for Sara Rabin, 10. In January, her submission to the Scholastic Art Awards received the Gold Award in the Plans and Models category on the regional level. More recently, she was selected as one of Seventeen Magazine’s Design Contest top ten finalists. “I was flipping through [the March issue of] Seventeen Magazine while at a friend’s house when I saw the ad for the contest,” said Rabin. “I immediately started brainstorming and coming up with ideas because I was so excited.” In April, Rabin received a phone call from Seventeen telling her that, out of thousands of entries, she had been chosen to compete in the contest as a top ten finalist. Rabin’s design, along with the other nine finalists who hail from all over the country and whose ages range between 15 and 18, is online at www. The public can chose and vote for their top three favorites, which will ultimately decide the winner.

ichela’s musings

Even sweeter than previous albums

photo by jeremy mcdaniel



LAURA WACKSMAN, 12, PERFORMS in Seussical. Though nominated for an outstanding 19 Cappies, the show won only two, disappointing many who were involved with the show.


SARA RABIN, 10 hopes that her clothing designs will inspire others to do something creative with what they are passionate about. Rabin’s designs were selected to be in the top ten in a Seventeen Magazine competition. Visit the web site to vote for her and to view the other top-ten designs.

image courtesy of sara rabin

Reinvention. To remake or make over, as in a different form. Also, an act that Madonna, self-proclaimed queen of pop has achieved again and again, each time with even greater success. Her most recent success being with her chart-topping album, Hard Candy. Dancing her way through the decades, who else but Madonna could make a hit single about saving the world four minutes or less with Justin Timberlake? For this reason I want to commend Madonna for all of the work she has done in her career, and for maintaining the ability to dance around in a leotard and pumps at an age where most women are watching their kids go off to college in a mini-van and sweats. When one is told to think of Madonna, many images come to mind depending on who you might be asking. Perhaps the spandex, leg warmers, and brightly colored unitards of the 80’s pops into one’s brain, or rather, the infamous make out with Britney Spears during the American Music Awards in 2004, or maybe even one of those little red bracelets representing the new “in” religion of Hollywood, Kabbalah. Whatever the image, Madonna is forever emblazoned in pop culture. Her music has the power to influence whatever is going on at the time in culture. Think her 80s hit, “Material Girl.” This song became the definition of an 80s teenager. Which brings us to her latest hit album, Hard Candy, and the current single, “4 Minutes”; the choice to collaborate with Timberlake and Timbaland helps to keep her music sounding young and fresh. Her newest “reinvention” could possibly be labeled as “hot mama saves the world.” Though many reviews have been less than amazing; one critic even went so far as to say, “Hard Candy is a rare thing: a lifeless Madonna album,” yet it has still proven to be a complete success ranking in the top ten albums sold on iTunes. The only real issue with the album could be that many of the songs average at about five to six minutes long, much of it filled with unnecessary music and no vocals. Some other potential hits that one could soon be jamming to on Kiss 107 other than “4 Minutes” are “Incredible” which hails a thumping beat and a hint of synth’s reminiscent of her “Like a Prayer” days. In contrast, the slower, “Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You” contains a smooth flowing beat which helps to carry Madonna’s slightly weak voice. Another potential chart topper is the “Give it 2 Me” remix set to be released in July. The album also contains scores of other Grammy-winning artists lending their production expertise, including: Kanye West, Timbaland, The Neptunes, Nate “Danja” Hills and Timberlake. Since Madonna’s career set off in the early 80’s, she has changed her hair, wardrobe, and style of music too many times to count, but I know that whatever move she makes next will be equally as successful.


‘...It comes from more than just sheer brilliance...’


WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

Discovering Icelandic indie music LEAHBURGIN



feature chief

ndie music disciples crave the creative, unique, and slightly bizarre music that is rarely performed in Cincinnati. To satiate their addiction, many indie music fans resort to reading counter-culture magazines, searching the internet for hours, downloading illegally, and listening to music constantly (and at top volume). “Very few indie bands come to Cinci,” said Evan Lind, 11. “And if they do come, they usually play at over-18 only venues. So, I have to convince my parents to let me go to shows in nearby cities – which usually proves difficult.” Despite these obstacles, many indie disciples have familiarized themselves with the popular Icelandic musicians Sigur Rós and Björk. However, these world-renowned artists are only the tip of the Icelandic indie scene “iceberg.” For those who are die-hard indie music fans sleuthing around to find new music, followers of Icelandic music, or simply looking for something different to listen to, consider these four Icelandic groups: the aforementioned Sigur Rós and Björk and the lesser known, but equally talented, Múm and Amiina. “I don’t know how to describe it,” said Negin Fallahi, 11. “You can just tell when you’re listening to Icelandic music that it comes from more than just sheer brilliance – it almost seems like they’re connecting all the beauty and all the experiences they’ve ever seen or had or felt and creating something so unique with it.”


Múm’s music is known for its electronic glitch beats combined with traditional and unusual instruments and light, uncanny vocals that create a unique sound. “My favorite Icelandic artist is Múm,” said Caitlin Rettenmaier, 12. “Everyone should listen to it, it is very uplifting.” The original members of Múm began creating music together in 1997. However, in 2006 their main singer, Gyða Valtýsdóttir, left the band. Despite losing their main singer, Múm produced a new album without Valtýsdóttir, Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy, in 2007.

Sigur Rós

Originally formed in 1994, Sigur Rós has contributed four internationally-recognized albums to the indie music world. Their music is categorized as post-rock, a genre that uses classical rock instruments for non-rock sounds – for example, lead singer Jón (Jónsi) þor Birgisson plays his electric guitar with a violin bow. Sigur Rós’ music also has elements of “shoegazing,” which is characterized by extensive guitar use and indiscriminate vocals. “Shoegazing” gets its name from performers who play while standing motionless on stage and stare down at their instruments (or so it appears, at their shoes). Most listeners feel that Sigur Rós’ combination of post-rock, “shoegazing,” and other musical elements is soothing, ambient, and enjoyable. “Sigur Rós is very chill music,” said Andrew Goldfarb, 9. “It can take me out of a bad mood and make me feel good. They’re amazing.”


Amiina, an experimental string quartet, has collaborated with Sigur Rós. While they have started to branch out as an independent group, (so far producing an album, two singles, and an EP), their music is still closely tied to Sigur Rós. Amiina uses a diverse blend of instruments when creating music, which results in a unique spin on the typical string quartet. When members of Amiina sing, their harmonies blend with their instruments, and enhance the overall sound quality. Some of the unusual instruments Amiina frequently records with are musical saws, kalimbas, melodicas, Celtic harps, and harmoniums. “Icelandic music, like Amiina, is very lush and ambient, and is very different from American music,” said AJ Hayden, 11.


Björk is probably the most well-known of Icelandic indie artists for her unique musical and vocal styles. Her music has been know to include elements of Baroque pop, alternative rock, jazz, and dance music. Björk also frequently incorporates accentuated shrieks and other vocal tricks into her songs. Her music career began when she was 11 years old with the study of classical piano in elementary school. Her piano teacher recorded Björk singing Tina Charles’ “I Love to Love” and sent the recording to the only radio station in Iceland. She was broadcasted nationally and soon after this breakthrough she landed her first record deal. In 1977, Björk’s first album, entitled Björk, was released. For a short time after her debut, Björk was part of the indierock group The Sugarcubes. After this brief band experience, Björk ventured into what would be a very successful solo career. “All I can say about Icelandic music – Björk, Sigur Rós, etc. – is that it is beautiful and mesmerizing,” said Mr. Peiter Griga, photography teacher. “I recommend it to everyone.”

Fun fact

According to the band, the name “Múm” was never intended to mean anything.

For the novice

Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy was a musical shift from Múm’s previous work, as the album was recorded after their lead singer left. Most fans say it is Múm’s best work.

Next appearance A PYRAMID OF talent, Múm’s pose reveals an intimate band relationship that is expressed through their music. Múm has recently joined the Icelandic indie music scene and are most noted for their music’s eerie quality.

Sigur Rós

On the Castle Stage at The Big Chill music festival in Ledbury, England on August 3, 2008. This gig is perfect for Múm, as the festival features music that fits their style - upbeat, ambient, and unique. For tickets, check out

Where heard before

Sigur Rós’ music was featured in the films Vanilla Sky and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Fun fact

Bassist Georg Holm is nicknamed “white fang” due to his ability to catch fish with his teeth.

For the fan

A new album is rumored to be released in 2008.

For the novice

Try listening to Sigur Rós’ 2002 album ( ). All of the tracks are in Hopelandic (a made-up language) that THE MEMBERS OF Sigur Rós chose to name their band after lead singer Jónsi þor Birgisson’s younger sister erases any language barrier.

Next appearance

At Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee on June 14, 2008.

Sigurrós Birgisson (in English, her name means “victory rose”). She was born on the same day the band was formed. “I listen to Sigur Rós because they’re creative and unique,” said Ms. Julie Haverkos, physics teacher.

Amiina Where heard before

Amiina recorded with Sigur Rós on albums ( ) and Takk….

Fun facts

Kurr, Amiina’s debut album, is comparative to the the sound “tweet” in English. During shows, members of Amiina walk around the stage and switch instruments mid-song. AMIINA’S MEMBER ARE Hildur Ársælsdóttir, Edda Rún Ólafsdóttir, Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, and Sólrún Sumarliðadóttir. Amiina came to Cincinnati last year and performed in the MusicNow Festival. They usually accompany Sigur Rós, but have started to perform solo.


For the novice

Listen to Amiina’s single Seoul. The three tracks are musically diverse and present Amiina’s fluidity and talent for song writing.

Where heard before Björk acted in several films including Dancer in the Dark and Juniper Tree.

Fun fact

Director Michel Gondry asked Björk to star in his most recent film The Science of Sleep, but she declined.

For the fan

Check out Radiohead’s cover of Björk’s “Unravel” on YouTube. Radiohead’s lead singer Thom Yorke has said that “Unravel” is his favorite song. Björk has announced that a live session album will be released soon.

For the novice

“I would recommend albums based on mood,” said Mr. Peiter Griga, photography teacher. “If you’re feeling bizarre, you should listen to Vespertine. But if you’re feeling groovy or funky, Post or Debut is best.”

all images by leah burgin

PICTURED HERE PREFORMING at the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival in 2007, Björk has been recognized as one of the most unique female singers. She has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and two Golden Globes. She is known for her crazy costumes and vocal techniques.


sports WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

Full Court PETA takes advantage of tragedy JAREDKAMRASS sports chief

images by jeremy mcdaniel

SPRING ATHLETES IN action: tennis player Jake Maxwell, 10, softball star Aly Mazzei, 12, and volleyballer Alex Gennett, 12. The spring GMC teams have had varying levels of success. The tennis team appears to have the best shot at state competition.

Spring sports teams approach seasons’ end

Mixed bag of results for spring GMC squads JEREMYSPIEGEL opinion chief


s summer break approaches, the warm weather and thoughts of vacation also mean the end of the spring sports season. The six GMC-sanctioned teams near the end of their seasons with a sense of optimism and pride. With only a limited amount of games left in the regular season, the majority of the teams are still in contention for high league finishes and state recognition.

Looking long term

The boys tennis team may have the strongest chance. The team clinched a first place finish in the GMC with an undefeated conference record and a 15-2 overall record. The tennis team, which has not failed to win the GMC since 2003, now looks to follow up on their regular season successes and go far in the state tournament. The team has been led by outstanding play from Rohan Patel, 12, who plays first singles and has a 6-3 record against GMC foes. Scott

Dennis, 12, and Adam Reinhart, 9, have also played very well in second and third singles, respectively. The boys volleyball team is also having a fantastic season, with a 12-5 overall record and a fourth place GMC finish. The team looks to improve upon their tournament run from last season. “We need to continue our hot streak in the postseason,” said Daniel Boger, 11. Boger has anchored the team. His 132 kills ranked sixth in the GMC, while his 208 digs ranked third.

Track optimistic

Both the boys and girls track teams enter the postseason with high expectations, which have been created by good finishes throughout the season. On May 1, the boys track squad’s hard work paid off with a first place finish in the Anderson Invitational. The win came just two weeks before the GMC Championships, giving the team a reason to be optimistic. “We’ve been steadily improv-



ing throughout the season, and we should do really well next week in the GMCs, and further on down the road towards state,” said John Stucker, 11. The girls track team has also improved in recent weeks, placing first and third in their last two meets. Ali Shewmon’s, 12, time of 58.5 seconds in the 400 meters ranks second in the GMC. In addition, Deena Schwen set the school record with a time of 45.50 in the 300 meter hurdles, good for third in the conference. The girls relay team of Alanah Sonntag, 11, Alison Kirgis, 12, Allison Setser, 12, and Schwen also set the school and GMC record for the 4 X 800 meter event. With the GMC championships approaching, the team has chosen the right time to peak.

Diamond resurgence The baseball and softball teams have both struggled so far this year. However, both teams have the talent necessary to turn their season

around once the “second season” begins. The baseball team started the season with a 6-2 record, including a first place finish in the Mason Tournament. Since that triumph, however, varsity has struggled to a 10-16 record, including a 4-13 GMC record. “We have not been playing as well as we should be, but the beginning of the season showed that we have the ability to win games,” said Brien Gearin, 11. The softball team has also struggled. Coming off a 12-14 season a year ago, the team had goals of their first GMC championship since 2000. Unfortunately, it enters postseason play with a 4-16 record. Anything can happen in the playoffs, though, and the softball team can still claim that long-awaited conference title. With the GMC and state championships approaching for all six spring sports teams, each has a chance to represent the school well in the local level and beyond.

Boys volleyball program finds some in regular season, prepares for more in tournament

staff writer

Right from the start of the volleyball season, some returning varsity players had been waiting all off-season just to get the in-game action that they had last year. Justin Butler, 12, Daniel Boger, 11, Jason Kastrup, 12, Junix Alcayaga, 12, and Mike Grannen, 10, looked to take the places of last year’s seniors. “I have not played volleyball before, but I did make the JV team. It should still be fun and I was hoping to learn a lot from my coaches and also from watching the varsity team,” said, A.J. Goldhoff, 9. The season started off with a bang at the St. Charles Tournament in Columbus. The varsity

this month in sports

on deck

Big Brown had just crossed the finish line and won the 134th Kentucky Derby when NBC cameras cut to a view a quarter of a mile from the finish; Eight Belles laid crumpled on the ground after finishing second in the Derby. Nothing could prepare any of us for what would happen next: the filly was euthanized on the track after suffering two shattered front ankles. Trainer Larry Jones openly wept and jockey Gabriel Saez was crestfallen. Nothing could have made it worse than finding out that an animal rights organization was calling for Saez’s suspension. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment) sent a press release saying that Saez should have known of the horse’s injury during the race and should be suspended. Let me first say that I think that PETA works for a good cause and animal abuse is disgusting however, the organization often works in ways that are contrary to gaining sympathy for the cause. Never has this been better demonstrated than by their latest act of stupidity. How are any of us supposed to take the claims of this organization seriously if they are calling for a suspension of a jockey who had absolutely nothing to do with the freak and unpredictable injury? Instead of making ethical treatment of animals a serious and legitimate discussion, PETA has become synonymous with idiocy. By becoming a laughingstock, they have managed to set back the cause for which they so passionately believe. In all honesty, Michael Vick did more for animal rights than PETA has. Before I get attacked for that, let me explain. With his morally atrocious actions, he initiated the onslaught of public support for proper animal treatment. Following the incident, animal shelters across the nation reported an increase in animal adoptions and unpaid volunteers. By injecting themselves into the issue, they have devalued the significance of Eight Belles’ historic race and worsened the lives of those who were already grieving the passing of the horse. It’s egregious that they dare accuse the jockey, who knew the horse best and genuinely cared for her, of intentionally hurting her. Don’t buy the argument from PETA that incidents such as these are on the rise. The rate of 1.5 deaths per every 1000 horses that race has remained steady in the past decades. These PETA ‘experts’ have merely tuned into this years Derby and 2005’s Preakness in which Barbaro was fatally injured. The terrible fate of Eight Belles is tragic and heart-wrenching, but PETA’s shameful attempt to gain exposure in its wake is disgusting and embarrassing and should not be met with seriousness.

team had two wins and one loss. “I am not 100% satisfied with our first few games, but hopefully everyone, including myself, will play much better the rest of the season. It may be that we were all a little rusty. I believe that we will be able to improve ourselves a lot over the course of the season,” said Grannen. After the tournament, the varsity and JV teams came home to their own courts. The varsity team was unable to get the win against Milford. Overall in the season the team went on a couple of long, and great win streaks. The varsity team has not lost two games in a row since the first two games after the tournament.

PTI How has the girls lacrosse team been doing?

page 17

Monthly debate on controversial sports topics

page 20

“We definitely struggled in some aspects, but we’re getting better every day. It was frustrating, but I definitely see hope for this team. We now know what it takes to win together,” said Boger. Meanwhile, the JV team defeated Milford. For the young squad, the win showed hope for a promising future in everyone on the JV team this season. It also showed that there may be future varsity starters in years to come. Since that first win of the season, the JV team has been alternating between winning and losing every game except for one two game losses. “It was a great team effort out there. Our team has great potential,” said Jake Dowdle, 11.

Preview of 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics

page 21



WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

View from the Stands MVP incorrectly awarded BENESTES sports chief

I knew it was coming, but it was still a disappointment. The L.A. Times first leaked the news on the night of May 2: Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was to receive his first NBA MVP Award in what unfortunately was of little surprise. The Lakers rebounded (no pun intended) this year from a string of disappointing seasons, going 57-26 and earning the top seed in the ultracompetitive Western Conference. A huge reason behind the resurgence has been the contributions of Pau Gasol, acquired in February from the Memphis Grizzlies, and teenager Andrew Bynum, who was providing a steady post presence earlier this season before getting injured. Naturally, however, Bryant, being the lauded individual that he is, was provided the most praise for righting the Los Angeles ship and returning the Lakers to title contention. Bryant, the player who was the focus of rampant trade rumors throughout the entire summer preceding the season, because he wanted out of L.A. Bryant, the player who threw his teammate Bynum under the bus last year by expressing disappointment that the latter was not being dangled in a trade for point guard Jason Kidd and then proceeded to act as if nothing was wrong when the young center stepped up his play in 2007-2008. Is Kobe Bryant truly deserving of an award that deems its receiver the “most valuable” to his team? I say no. The media feels it has to reward the guard for his outstanding yet MVP-less career and is emboldened this season simply because his team is doing well again. The Lakers had Bryant performing at a similar level when they were losing more, so how can he be considered the difference-maker in instigating the franchise’s improvement? Compare him to Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets. Paul was drafted by an 18-64 New Orleans team back in 2005. Only a few months later, the city was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, devastating the community and team. Paul easily could’ve moped, but instead he dedicated himself to improving his game and behaving with the utmost amount of character and dignity. He succeeded, managing to lead the Hornets to the second-best record in the West this season after failing to even make the playoffs in 2006-2007. He has revitalized basketball in the Emerald City, and by extension, the entire community. But he did not win the award; Kobe Bryant did. Bryant, who essentially forced Shaquille O’Neal out of L.A. for egotistical reasons and then did nothing but sulk when the Lakers’ play dipped in the last few seasons. Ladies and gentlemen, your 20072008 NBA MVP.

all photos by jeremy mcdaniel

THE TENNIS TEAMS have been playing a great season so far. David Jungerwirth, 10

(top left), goes for a hit during a match. He has a great deal of concentration to be able to hit the ball well. Adam Reinhart, 9 (top right), is making a solid hit here, and has played a great season

as a freshman on the varsity gold team. Seniors Aaron Slovin (bottom left) and Scott Dennis (bottom right) have had great seasons as two of the nine seniors on the mens tennis teams. They have shown great leadership throughout the entire season.

Seniors hold strong

Boys varsity tennis team crowned Greater Miami Conference champs



staff writer

fter posting a successful (17-2) season with losses only to two out-of-city teams, Lexington and Columbus Academy, and being the number two team in the state, the varsity men’s varsity gold tennis team looks to continue their dominance in the postseason. Highlights of the regular season include key wins over GMC rivals Princeton and Lakota West both at 3-2 and a win against Division II powerhouse Indian Hill 5-0. The team is also riding a 14 game win streak into the postseason. On Thursday, May 1, the team captured an undefeated GMC regular season by beating rising nemesis Mason, 4-1. The victory put varsity alone at the top of the GMC stand-

ings, and ranking them as the undisputed number two team in the city. “I’m really happy that the team did so well against all the tough teams in our conference,” said Adam Reinhart, 9. After beating Mason, the team took on GMC foe Lakota West in the state tennis tournament and won 3-2, advancing to the fourth round of the team tournament which will continue throughout May. Continuing their GMC dominance, the team then won four out of the five courts at the GMC tournament making them tournament champs. At second singles, Scott Dennis, 12, defeated the #2 seed from Middletown, the #4 seed from Mason, and then the #1 seed at second singles from Lakota West to claim

the title. He did so with a broken toe. Reinhart, at third singles, put on a clinic, winning at his position with a 6-0, 6-0 semifinal win, and then a 6-3, 6-1 win in the finals. Eric Stoltz and Kalyaan Rao, both 12, won a hard fought three set match over Princeton en route to the championship at first doubles. Finally, sophomores Jake Maxwell and David Jungerwirth also needed three sets to defeat GMC rival Mason in the championship math at second doubles. Senior captain Rohan Patel, 12, had a good run in the tournament, finishing fourth at the first singles position after battling it out with some of the cities finest players. “I’m really happy I have been on such a great team this year,” said

Jungerwirth. After sectionals, the team will have one more home match on Monday, May 19th against the top team in the city and state, St. Xavier. If varsity is still in the postseason, the rest of the month of May highlights districts from May 22-24th and then the state tournament at The Ohio State University on May 3031st. The state team tournament will also be held at OSU on June 1st. No matter how far the tennis team goes, this year has been a successful one to say the least. “The Aves have had an unbelievable season in sweeping the GMC dual matches and then dominating the tournament,” said Mr. Mike Teets, coach.

Triumphant JV tennis team rolls to finish MATTSLOVIN staff writer

The 2008 campaign has been a bright one for the men’s JV tennis squad. The team has achieved quality wins over teams such as Turpin, Centerville and St. Xavier. Much of the success can be attributed to superb coaching as well as tremendous effort by the players all season. The scrappy team never stops fighting even when the score was is

not necessarily in its favor. “It has been a great season so far and I am looking forward to the rest, including the tournament,” said Dan Frecka, 10. Frecka has most often played second singles, along with sometimes playing first doubles. At the first doubles position, he has been teamed with Andrew Katz, 9. The duo has been experiencing significant suc-

cess. “Playing doubles with Dan is great. We have fun out there and often bring home the win,” said Katz. At the time the paper went to press, the team’s record stands at a remarkable 11-3. The losses have come at the hands of the Loveland Tigers, Lakota West Firebirds and Mason Comets. Although the season has been one

to remember thus far, the final outcome remains to be seen. There are still several difficult matches remaining on the schedule, such as CHCA, Moeller and Indian Hill. After the regular season, the city tournament will commence. “Everybody on the team is hoping to finish strong at the tournament,” said Jordan Evans, 9.



WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

Ultimate frisbee club excels at YUC tourney GARRETTSTEINBUCH staff writer

JUNIOR LILY RICCI runs through a tunnel of teammates during pregame ceremonies. The girls team fell 9-14 for the first time in two seasons on May 3 at Thomas Worthington. They went 15-1 this season.

photo by jeremy mcdaniel

Unstoppable team meets their match Girls varsity lacrosse loses for first time in two years, moves on NOABELLILTI & MARIAMARBALLI


news chief

spotlight editor

he invincible stars of Aviator athletics have met their match. The varsity girls lacrosse team was undefeated, 14-0, prior to May 3, as they took on Upper Arlington. The Varsity faltered 9-14 as they felt the strain of their first loss. Everyone felt the tension as the ball was tipped off and the first whistle blew. “We got outplayed – plain and simple. They wanted it more, it’s not really an upset – they were number one in the state,” said Coach Eddie Clark. “It was a really tough game but we’re looking forward to seeing them again in the state tournament,” said Katelyn Hutson, 11. The state tournament begins in two weeks with the final round scheduled for May 31st. If the Varsity advances to the final round, they will face their arch-rival Upper Arlington for the title of state champions. Upper Arlington, with a record of 14-2, had a great support system at their home field for the big game. “They had a lot of fans there, including their entire varsity boys lacrosse team. We’re hoping to get more Sycamore support at our up-

coming games,” said Jenna Kelly, 11. And they are gradually receiving it. On senior night, May 6, at 7:30 p.m., a crowd started to collect to honor seniors, Jackie Pittman, Rebecca McClouth, Anne Hersman, and Brett Yenger, as the Varsity squad took on Mariemont. The game, the final score, 16-2, hardly served as a challenge for the girls, but rather a bittersweet moment as the team said good-bye to their seniors. “Rebekah and I walked Jackie out onto the field to be announced and it was kind of sad to know she will not be there next year. Our goal for this year and next is to win state and we are going to do our best to make it happen,” said Rachel Pittman, 11. “Senior night was so much fun. We decorated the seniors’ cars and gave them lots of goodies during the day. We also put together a scrap book for each one of the girls with a page from all the players. It was sad because it was our last regular season home game with the seniors,” said Rebekah Pittman, 11. “Senior night was awesome. All the juniors did an amazing job and everything was perfect. The best part was that we played well and hustled the entire time, it couldn’t have been

better,” said Yenger, 12. However, the seniors are not yet gone. They still have a state championship to win and took the first step in their recent 20-3 beat down of Mount Notre Dame. “This year state seems like a definite possibility. As long as we work hard and stay consistent, we will have nothing to worry about. As for Upper Arlington, we are more ready now that we’ve already played them, and now have more heart in it to win it,” said Yenger. The Varsity team has been setting an example for what playing lacrosse is all about. The coaches and players have high hopes for next year’s team to be just as successful as this year’s and last year’s teams.

JV lacrosse

The JV team has had seven games with a record of 5-2. They had a big 18-1 win over Indian Hill, a 9-5 win over Mt. Notre Dame, a 7-4 win over Kings, and a 10-4 win over St. Ursula. They had one 7-8 loss to Ursuline and a 4-9 loss to Mason. These records do not include their tournament from Saturday, April 26.

They played Indian Hill, Loveland, St. Ursula, and Madeira and went undefeated. JV’s last game was on Tuesday, May 6, a win against Mariemont that gave them their fifth victory of their successful season.

Freshmen lacrosse

The freshman team finished their season undefeated after eight games including the four at the tournament. ““I am really proud of our team, we completely dominated. Seeing how hard we worked at practices and having it pay off made the season really worth our while. Whenever I hear other teams saying how they are so nervous to play sycamore, I get a huge sense of pride for our team and it is great,” said Aamna Dosani, 9.” They had a 9-7 win against Milford, an 11-4 win over St. Ursuline, an 8-2 triumph over Colerain, an 8-7 victory against St. Ursula, a great 16-1 victory over Wyoming, a 14-0 triumph over Centerville, a 9-2 win over Little Miami, and another 6-4 victory over St. Ursula. “The freshman team definitely improved a lot from the beginning of the season to the end,” said Grace Hullett, 9.

The Ultimate Frisbee teams were recently in the YUC (Youth Ultimate Cincinnati) tournament. To get to the tournament play, each team participating had to be first, second, or third best out of four teams in each pool. Both the A and B teams were able to qualify for tournament play. The B team lost to Clark High School and to Purcell Marian, who eventually went on to win the B tournament. But the B team was able to salvage a good win over St. Xavier during pool play. When the B team went to the actual tournament, they had to face a great Moeller/MND B team. A controversial call in the end zone not in favor of the B team eventually caused them to fall. “The whole B team consists of brand new players to ultimate frisbee. It was a little disappointing that we lost in the first round of the tournament, but we all played a great day and it was very exciting when we beat St. Xavier,” said Tom Seiple, 11. The A team, however, had far more success in the tournament, but unfortunately, fell short of winning the finals. The A team had every single player step up to the challenge, and “ate” up the competition until it came time for the finals. Jessie Tufts, 12, and Ellen Farr, 12, the only girls on the A team, were forced to play most of the game because of the 5-2 rule, five guys and two girls playing at all times. The members who led the way were captains Phil Broderick, 12, and Alex Rock, 12. The A team was looking to seek revenge after last years early loss in the tournament to Moeller. This year, they were able to get their revenge against Moeller en route to an undefeated pool play round. “We have played extremely well this season,” said Scott Stubblebine, 11. In the tournament itself, the A team defeated St. Xavier in the first round and was able to get by Lebanon to make it to the finals against Homeschool Revolution. Homeschool Revolution is notorious for being a tough team to beat. They have won countless YUC tournaments and have even won a few state championships. They have always been an outstanding team. Despite a good effort by the A team, they were unable to overcome the tough Homeschool Revolution squad. Homeschool was crowned once again as the YUC tournament champions of 2008.

Seniors steal show once again Powderpuff: Juniors’ bid for upset goes by boards with late interception KIMBERNIE

staff writer

photo by jeremy mcdaniel

SENIOR MELANIE MCLAUGHLIN eludes junior defender Jenna Tameris. The senior team won the game 12-7. McLaughlin scored both senior touchdowns.

On May 9th, the class of ‘08 clinched a close win in the annual juniors vs. seniors powderpuff showdown. The seniors ended up having a mere five point advantage, with the final score of 12-7. “I was bummed that we lost, but in the end I think that we all had a great time playing. I will definitely be a part of it again next year…and hopefully we will win,” said Katherine Farnham, 11. Rain was not an issue for the faceoff of the upperclassmen. Although it was wet, the girls did not show any

fear in getting down and dirty. The weather had little to no affect on how the girls performed on the field. Despite the seniors’ victory, the juniors still played an impressive and well thought out game. Abby Cooper, 11, showed her skills by putting all of the points on the board for her team. While Melanie McLaughlin, 12, managed to score for the seniors. The junior team was on their way towards achieving a major upset. With less than a minute left in the game, they were headed towards another touchdown. Luckily for the

seniors, Shannon McLoughlin, 12, came to the rescue. She intercepted the ball, securing the seniors lead. The class of ’08 came and conquered. Their persistence, dedication, and sheer love for the game undoubtedly help them shine on the field. They went home triumphant, and continued the tradition of the senior victory. “It was really no surprise that the seniors won because they win every year. I was confident that our girls had what it took to beat the juniors,” said Sarah Mcmillen, 12.

With an entire year to prepare, the junior class will surely put up a good fight for their upcoming competition. With as many tremendous athletes as the juniors have, they will look to compete for a win in their senior season powderpuff game. “Practices were a lot of fun, and it was definitely worth the time,” said Kari Hellman, 11. But for now the juniors will just have live with playing second fiddle to the victorious seniors. That is, until they can take the field next year as the powderpuff veterans.


sports WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

Dream comes to end Men’s Lacrosse loses first game BENESTES


sports chief

espite suffering its first losses of the season, the men’s varsity lacrosse team has maintained its torrid pace. The squad defeated two powerful teams, Indian Hill and Dublin Jerome, before experiencing their initial defeat in heartbreaking fashion to a tough St. Xavier team. On April 10, the aforementioned Braves came into Sycamore Stadium and hung tough with the home team, holding leads at both halftime and late in the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, varsity pulled through with a hard-earned 10-9 victory. Two days later, Head Coach Mr. Tom Nugent and co. had to travel to Columbus for a meeting with Dublin Jerome, who routinely fields a competitive group. The Celtics were the fourth-ranked team in the state and several team members have already signed with top-notch college programs. The team were not intimidated, however, and emerged with the 12-8 win. “[Indian Hill and Dublin Jerome] were two great wins for the team. We really fought hard and our effort helped allow us to win,” said defenseman Michael Guthrie, 11. The hard-hitting match-up with St. X followed, which resulted in an 11-12 defeat. “It was tough to lose like that, especially since it was our first loss of the year,” said Timmy Andrews, 10.


The players did not sulk, however, rebounding to win their next five games, over Cincinnati Country Day, Turpin, Pickerington, Mason, and Lakota West (the last was a 20-8 destruction of the hated Firebirds). Next, Mr. Darren Millman’s visiting Pioneers of Ann Arbor, Michigan, proved to be an extremely tough opponent, extinguishing the team’s hot streak with a 4-9 loss. The squad once again rebounded over Lakota East to the tune of a 16-3 triumph, setting up much-anticipated meeting with despised rival Moeller. Varsity, playing in front of a fired up home crowd, fed off their supporters’ energy in getting off to a very quick 2-0 lead. The Crusaders battled back, however, eventually prevailing 14-11. “It was a really tough game, since we dislike each other so much. Hopefully we’ll learn from it,” said Hans Rhenisch, 11. Showing their resiliency, the “band of brothers” came back the next day to throttle Milford 16-6, and at press time was continuing to prepare for the state tournament, which began on May 24. Gannon Kast, 12, leading the state with 62 goals, Benny Krienik, 12, seventh with 41 goals and fifth with 27 assists, and the rest of the talented senior class press on in leading the team, with a state championship possibly in sight.

MIKE CALIGARIS, 12, PASSES the ball down field. Teamwork such as this helps the squad win many games and are the reason for their success so far this season.

arsity baseball makes late run

ictories extend season, careers of seniors WILLJOHNSTON associate editor

NATE KROELL, 12 PITCHES the ball for the varsity team. Their final record for the season was 10-18 (4-14 GMC), pending the results of the match-up with Moeller.

After several long months, the varsity baseball team’s season is drawing to a close. The team entered postseason play on May 12, traveling to and defeating Amelia 7-0. Moving on to the second round, varsity took on Anderson on Friday, May 16, winning 10-2. The victory propelled varsity into the third round of the tournament to face Moeller on May 19. This was coming off of what had been a long, disappointing year for varsity baseball. The team finished the year with a 10-18 (4-14 GMC) record, prior to the Moeller game that is. Varsity got off to a good start early on in the season, opening up with a 3-1 record. It was during this stretch that the team would crescendo, winning the Mason tourney. However, after this point everything started going downhill. Over the course of the next several weeks, varsity would suffer a number of multiple game losing streaks, dropping the team from contention for the GMC crown and obliterating early hopes of varsity having its first winning season in years. At the lowest of these lows, varsity lost 11 of 13 games, including two four game losing streaks. The team finished second to last in the GMC standings. Despite the struggles of the team as a whole, several individual members of the team performed exceptionally well. Trevor Lothrop, 12, led the GMC in batting average, hitting .547, led the team with 30 RBI (good for 7th place in GMC hitting standings), and finished second in the GMC with seven home runs. Finishing slightly behind Lothrop in the home run standings was Scott Anders, 12, who went yard four times in the season, tying him for seventh place. Nate Kroell, 12, finished fifth in the GMC in total strikeouts, punching out 40. “I’m happy for the guys who were able to do well this season,” said Lothrop. Regardless of the varsity’s struggles throughout the regular season, the team has still been able to make a run in the postseason tournament. Be sure to check for the results of all games the team eventually plays in the postseason.

‘It will be tough, but also a fun challenge...’

Freshman baseball enters tournament play


staff writer

There is one crucial element that every team needs when reaching the pinnacle of each season: momentum. And as the freshmen baseball team enters the tournament, momentum is something they do not have. Losers of five straight games to end the season, the freshmen team will need to rebound, and quickly, in order to make any sort of run in the Greater Miami Conference Tournament. It appears as if the team has received a great draw for the tournament, lessening the difficulty of making it to the finals. But do not interpret a lessening of difficulty as easy, because winning three games in two days

against the stiffest of GMC competition will be anything but the simplest task. “It will be tough, but also a fun challenge to try and win [the tournament,]” said Ben Rader, 9. The tournament starts on Saturday, May 10, as the squad will look to defeat Oak Hills for the third time in as many tries this season. The team opened up their season with a sweep of the Highlanders. They hope to continue that same success. “First, beating Oak Hills is a must. After that, we have to play hard, so that we can beat some of the best teams in our conference,” said Michael Streicher, 9. Despite their failure to win key games, in what coach Mr. Gary Schearing called the most im-

portant part of the season, their one win in their last seven games to close out the season may leave them low on momentum. But, nothing can weaken what the team has had all along: high levels of confidence. “I expect to win and only win. We will sweep the tournament like the New England Patriots [did in the regular season last year,]” said Brandon Baum, 9. They may want to win games as emphatically as the New England Patriots did throughout most of the season a year ago. But in the end, even more than that, they want to be their own version of the New York Giants: GMC Champions.

all photos by jeremy mcdaniel

JV lacrosse on top Team continues winning ways

BENESTES sports chief

Back in April, the JV Gold and Green boys’ lacrosse teams sat at a combined 4-0, working hard towards getting as many wins as possible through the course of the year. One month and nine wins later, it appears their efforts have paid off. The two squads have gone 9-5 in recent action, a run which includes wins in eight of the past nine games, perhaps a sign that the players are starting to hit their stride. “We’ve gotten better and better, and the results on the field show that,” said Dan Garfield, 11. The Gold team, led by Head Coach Mr. Matt Reiss, dropped two games to Dublin Jerome and St. Xavier on April 12 and 16, respectively, before turning up its play immensely. Over the next three weeks, the group won all five of their games with an average margin of victory of nearly six goals. The only real nailbiter was a 3-2 contest against a very solid Mason team. “Mason was pretty good but so are we and we were able to pull it out,” said Garfield. The team then dropped a game to Moeller on May 8 but came back two days later to blow out Milford. Meanwhile, Head Coach Mr. Greg Cole and the Green team have added to the collective success. In a limited sample size (as the season does not have many games), the “Greens” went 3-2. Two of those wins were against the powerful St. X program, as the squad defeated the Bombers’ White team in both match-ups by a single goal on each occasion. The losses were close, as the Green squad dropped a 3-4 decision to Fairfield and fell at the hands of Turpin 3-6. Both teams were busy prepping for the end-of-the-year JV City Tournament, held from May 17-19, hoping to cap off their successful seasons with an equally victorious tourney run. “We have had a lot of success this season,” said Jonathon Coddington, 10. “There’s no doubt we’d all like to finish strong and win the city championship.”



WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

Disappointing softball season nears end JACYCAGLE

staff writer

AMY GORDON, 10, RUNS a relay for the track team. The team found considerable success this season, as several members of the team broke both personal and otherwise established records.

photo by jeremy mcdaniel

Girls’ track and field team takes grand strides

School, GMC records broken after arduous season MARYANNJIANG



he girls’ track and field team has much to celebrate this season, placing third in the GMCs as a team. Additionally, Deena Schwen, 12, now has the honor of holding a school record- by breaking her own coach’s record in the 300m hurdles. “My goal was to break the school record and it was the probably the greatest relief-feeling in the world when I achieved it,” said Schwen. Schwen finally broke the school record at the Anderson Invitational. This past year when Mrs. Emily Sweeny resigned to be with her new daughter, her own high school coach Liz Gonda, returned to see a repetition of history. Then, both the school and the entire GMC conference had to mark a new 4x800m relay record set by Alison Kirgis, 12, Schwen, Allison Setser, 10, and Alanah Sonntag, 11.


Notable achievements have come from Ali Shewmon, 12, third overall in the open 400m. She hopes to pass on her success and enthusiasm for the 400m to Alix Davis, 9, who runs in the 200m

and 100m dashes and sprint relays. The 4x400m relay teams scored big points: Roxanne Demarest, 11, Kelsey Pauly, 10, Schwen, and Shewmon came in third in a heated race with Mason and Middletown. Davis, Demarest, Devon Feagans, 12, and Sarah Furtwengler, 11, won the seventh spot for the 4x200m relay. Davis also ran with Leah Goldfarb, 11, Mary Ann Jiang, 11, and Ahna Reese, 10, in the 4x100m relay where they finished sixth. "Running track can be super intense at times! It has taught me that if you work hard the results will pay off," said Furtwengler. Schwen ultimately placed third in the 300m hurdles. Emily Elsbrock, 10, is sixth in the 100m hurdles, and sixth for the 300m hurdles while Jiang is eighth in the 100m hurdles.


Sonntag and Kirgis finished third and fourth respectively in the open 800m. Sonntag is also second in the mile and two miles and Melissa French, 10, is close behind at seventh place in the mile and fifth in the two mile.


Schwen won second place and Reese placed fifth in the long jump. Feagans came in fourth in the high jump, and Madison Keyes, 9, seventh. Hillary Moore, 12, scored for her team by placing eighth in the discus throw. Annie Roessler, 11, holds fourth place in pole vaulting. "Sometimes it can be pretty hard when you see girls that are really good but to place with them is a great achievement," said Moore. Successful finishes and showings provide excitement for athletes, but equally defining is team bonding. Dull moments cease and morale is lifted with the company of friends. "Track is fun. The people are my favorite part about the season other than doing well but it's a great time,” said Goldfarb. Varsity runners will now compete in district’s, with the hope of advancing to regional’s and ultimately, state. The meet took place on Wednesday and Friday, May 21 and 23 at Mason High School. "We have had a great year and (for the seniors) a great four years," said Farr.

Share the music Do you play an instrument? Do you need volunteer hours? Share the Music is a non-profit organization that allows music students to perform at retirement communities and hospitals as a way to better their performance skills as well as provide a service to those who need it most. for more information, contact Saswati Datta at (513) 247-0335 or e-mail at

The girl’s varsity softball team has a great deal to be proud of this season. Though enduring 14 rough losses, the team made a startling come back and has now won a total of 6 games. Leading the team to victory are seniors Alyssa Mazzei, catcher; Sarah McCormick, third baseman; Kelly Cassidy, outfielder; Hannah Myers, outfielder; and Lauren Lynn, shortstop. Though Cassidy has been unable to play for the past two weeks due to a torn ACL, which occurred during the team’s match against Princeton High School, she continues to cheer on and support her team at. The girl’s biggest game was played against rival Lakota West High School, which ended in a 3-1 victory. Another big game for the varsity team was played against Anderson High School, which also ended in a victory. Though Anderson was winning 1-0 for the majority of the game, varsity fought back to eventually score 4 runs during the 4th inning, winning the game 4-1. “We wouldn’t win if we weren’t as close of a team as we are,” said Mazzei. However, though the seniors are a big part of this comeback team, the underclassmen have definitely gotten their job done as well. Freshmen Carry Tveita, Kat Pember, and Michelle McDonald have all played exceptionally well, being the youngest members of the team. Shelly Pohl, 10, who is new to the varsity team this season, has made many valuable contributions to the team as well. “We are all really proud of the underclassmen, they have improved so much since the beginning of the season and they’re all really cool people,” said McCormick.



MON - FRI 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. SAT 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.




Question of the Month

sports WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008


Pardon the Interruption




Jared and Ben debate some of sports’ most controversial topics in May in this month’s segment of PTI

Jared Kamrass

Who will win the NBA finals?

I’ll go with the popular pick: the Los Angeles Lakers. Phil Jackson has a couple fistfuls of rings and knows how to win in the playoffs. Kobe Bryant has transformed into a viable leader and with Pau Gasol dominating in the front court, I see this team taking down the whole conference and then the East champions, who I predict will be the Boston Celtics

NBA Coaches Horse Racing Ken Griffey Jr. JK: Mike D’Antoni left Phoenix to go to the train wreck known as the New York Knicks for 6 years worth $24 million.

BE: Great move for him. Who doesn’t want incredible pressure of a media and fan base with way too high expectations? JK: Yeah, I agree. In overall value, the offer from the Bulls offered more for success. The money was less, but the talent was remarkably better.

Ben Estes

BE: It’s no secret that the Knicks (stink). If he wants to coach a team with me-first personalities with sub-par talent, more power to him.

Matt Mendelsohn

Boston is my selection. I know that the Celtics have struggled mightily on the road, but their home-court advantage throughout the playoffs negates that. In the East, the Pistons haven’t really impressed me, though I do see a dramatic NBA championship series with the Lakers eventually falling in seven.

Evan Romansky

I’m taking the Boston Celtics. Despite their struggles to win outside of Boston, I still think the leadership Kevin Garnett provides is enough to carry the Celtics into the finals. The Boston Three Party made up of Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, surrounded with a strong supporting cast, will be NBA champions.

JK: The players in Chicago fit his system better, too. Just a bad decision on all fronts from D’Antoni.

Girl’s Lacrosse Though the girls saw their record 34 game winning streak come to an end at the hands of Upper Arlington on May 3, they bounced back to finish out the regular season with a 15-1 record. At press time, the varsity team, led by coach Mr. Ed Clark, was in the midst of defending their state championship as it managed to win its first two games of the postseason tournament. The state final four is held from May 30-31 in Medina.

Kavya Reddy

JK: Ben, you know this is something I feel strongly about. What happened to Eight Belles was tragic but not maliciously incited. BE: I agree. The last report was that PETA was planning a protest of the Preakness which is truly abysmal. They’re bringing down a sport for their own good.

JK: Our beloved Junior Griffey is at it again. Do you think it would be in the Reds’ interest to trade him this year? BE: Yes. This team is clearly not going to win this year and if they do it can be with Jay Bruce, not Ken Griffey, Jr. JK: I agree to an extent. It needs to be after 600 though. The PR and revenue benefits are too much to pass up.

JK: I think it’s more excessively stupid than anything. No one has explained to me how the jockey or trainer screwed up with the filly.

BE: Absolutely, the Reds should use him for the publicity and then ditch him immediately. That’s how baseball works.

BE: Plus, PETA fails to mention the incredible love and affection these horses receive from their trainers and owners.

JK: I agree. People shouldn’t expect a big return though. The gesture would be mostly symbolic for Griffey.

Thumbs up, Thumbs down Cincinnati Reds


The tailspin has come early this year as the team has been buoyed by terrible pitching, no clutch hitting, and weak ticket sales. Talks of firesales have energized the airwaves. Meanwhile, wunderkind Jay Bruce is tearing it up in Louisville (for those of you keeping score at home, that’s NOT Cincinnati). It’s only May, we still have four months of losing to put up with. Unless Paul Janish is the real deal.

The New Orleans Hornets. Their offense is firing on all cylinders with Chris Paul and David West leading the charge. West dominated Tim Duncan down low in the Spurs series while Paul is making opposing coaches pull their hair out. I’ll take the Hornets in six over the Detroit Pistons, who will win the Eastern Conference over the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics are going to be my pick. After they survived another game 7 against the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers, they seemed to be strong. Paul Pierce being there for ten years now came out strong with 41 points in the seventh Cleveland game. The combined talent with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen should take this team back to the Finals.

BE: A fire storm of controversy overshadowed Big Brown’s win at Churchill Downs.

If you would like to send an opinion to ‘Take a Letter’ about anything you have read or heard about at Sycamore or in the world sports community, please e-mail Jared Kamrass and Ben Estes at

It’s getting hot in the southwestern cities but the basketball teams have gone cold... again. The exits of two of the NBA’s best coaches has left the identities of the Mavericks and Suns in question. It will be an important offseason for the teams for them to rediscover themselves. Water shortages and record temperatures also are keeping some locals on edge. At least Phoenicians have the Diamondbacks.

Dear Sports Opinion Czars, With the baseball season underway, the seemingly unanswerable question of why the baseball divisions are aligned like they are has begun to bother me. There are four teams in the AL West (SEA, LAA, TEX, OAK) and six teams in the NL Central (CIN, HOU, PIT, STL, CHI, MIL) leaving two more teams in the NL than the AL. My question is how can you have 16 teams in one league and 14 in the other? Why can’t it be like the NFL where the divisions are geographically based with teams in the same state being able to play each other regularly? I know that you two, Jared and Ben, will surely know the answer to this conundrum. Thank you for your profound reply, and go Reds! Sincerely, Kyle Dolan, 12

Boy’s Tennis For the 17th time in the past 19 years, the boys tennis team has won the GMC Championship. The squad finished a perfect 9-0 in conference play. Mr. Mike Teets was awarded GMC Coach of the Year. Scott Dennis, 12, was GMC Champion at second singles and Adam Reinhart, 9, was first at third singles, with both doubles teams winning as well. Eric Stoltz, 12, and Kalyaan Rao, 12, led the conference in doubles.

Dearest Kyle, That’s an interesting question. In 1998 when the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays were added to the to the National League West and the American League East respectively, that left both leagues with fifteen teams. At that time, the Milwaukee Brewers played in the American League Central and Commissioner Bud Selig needed a team to move to the National League so that there would be an even number of teams in each league (16 and 14) so as to make interleague play feasible. Kansas City was offered the first chance to switch leagues but declined and Milwaukee, the second team offered, chose to switch over to the NL. If they had declined, the Minnesota Twins would have been offered. The reason the Reds, for instance, aren’t in the same division as the Cleveland Indians, the other Ohio team, is because TV coverage is local. The Reds play on FSN Ohio but the Bengals games are on CBS, a national network. Thus, when the Bengals and Browns play, it is national or semi-national television, but Reds games are only available locally because they play 162 times as opposed to a mere 16 times that the Bengals play. Hence, you will never find two baseball teams in the same state in the same division (with the exception of California). With Love, The Sports Opinion Editors



Summer Olympics in China WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008


staff writer


fter winning the bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics back in 2001, the entire nation of China has been preparing for the grand stage to showcase its emergence in the world. Being selected as the host city for the Olympics was and is really special for the people of China. The tone has been set by the government for a very special Olympic Games. The elite athletes of China in various sports have that extra itch to do whatever is possible to help China win gold in the Olympics. After NBA player Yao Ming suffered a stress fracture in his foot in February, forcing him to be out at least four months, he promised Chinese fans that he would be ready to play in the Olympics and missing “it would be the biggest loss in my career to right now.” Similarly, NBA player Yi Jianlian suffered a recent knee strain and his immediate words were to “not let the people of China worry” about his status for the Olympic Games.

facilities. Many factories and work places will shut down a couple of months before the Games to stop more pollution in the air. “I would love to work in China right now because that means I could get a couple of months off,” said Matt Weber, 11.

Protesting the games

Lately, the news surrounding the Olympics is not about the sports. Instead, it is the growing concern of controversy with the actions of the Chinese government and the possible protests by certain nations and athletes. The earliest protests, notably by NBA player Ira Newble and actress Mia Farrow were on China’s involvement with the genocide in Darfur in which the government was financially supporting the leader of Darfur. Other protests have been made on how China has treated Tibet. There have been many protests for Tibetan independence from the Chinese government which has put pressure on China to make Tibet independent for fear of countries boycotting the Games. The most recent news has been even The Chinese government has invested a lot of money into the reno- more distracting for China and the vation and construction of six venues Games. As a tradition, the opening in Beijing. The centerpiece of the ceremonies’ torch is passed through construction is the Beijing National six continents of the world starting Stadium which has a retractable roof from Greece. The torch relay has been disrupted in and will hold the opening and closGreece, Istanbul, London and Paris by ing ceremonies. “I might go to the Olympics protesters who oppose China’s policies in Tibet and overall human rights this summer... it will be crowded record. though,,” said Bill Pan, 12. The chaos along the relay route has In addition to the construction not only forced IOC officials to conof venues, the Chinese government has influenced the transportation of template on cancelling the rest of the Beijing. The Beijing subway system is torch relays but also tarnished China’s undergoing major changes to be able image and spoiled an event which was supposed to symbolize Olympic values to transport the millions of tourists of unity and harmony. moving throughout Beijing during the games. Besides these changes, the way of Since 2000 and until 2012, NBC life for most people in Beijing has has the broadcasting rights for the changed drastically. Olympics in the U.S. Because NBC The IOC, International Olympic has paid over $5.7 billion for all rights, Committee, has commented on behalf of the athletes that one major they have requested that the “popular” sports be held during the “prime” concern is the pollution in China. times in the U.S. which is between To limit pollution, smoking is 8:00-11:00 PM EDT for maximum banned in 66,000 cabs and public

Impact on China

Time difference

all images courtesy of google images

THE OPENING CEREMONIES will be held in Beijing on August 8, 2008 at 8:08 local time. The ceremonies mark a time of joyous celebration and a huge accomplishment for the country of China. The ceremonies also mark the beginning of the Games where many of the world’s countries will compete for the gold.

revenue. The problem is that the Games are held in China which is half a world away. Which means that, at 8:00-11:00 PM EDT, it is 8:00-11:00 AM in China. The IOC will not allow many of the competitions to be played that early in the morning. It has granted gymnastics and swimming for the “prime” time slot but it has denied basketball and track and field. This means that to watch most other sports, America and the world will have to either stay up late or tune in in the afternoon. “I love watching the Olympics on T.V. but this year it might be hard to because of the time difference,” said Shivani Parikh, 9.

Will 2008 be great?

After being selected as the host city in 2001, former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch said that the Beijing games would be “the best in Olympic history.” “I think the Olympics are one of the best sporting events ever made because every sport is shown, like weightlifting.,” said Jose Cerda, 9. With the growing concerns of protest and the people of the host nation not pleased, the road to China’s first

Countdown to the Games

72 Days 23 Hours 48 Minutes 08 Seconds

August 8-24, 2008, Beijing, China The Olympics Games will begin at 8:08:08 on August 8, 2008 local time. There is a 12 hour time difference so the Games will begin at 8:08:08 AM EST in the United States. NBC holds all broadcasting rights and will be the only channel broadcasting the Olympics in the United States. TV:

‘Quake rocks China

On Monday, May 12, 2008 at 2:28 PM local time, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake rocked central China in the Sichuan province, where the earthquake originated, and the Xinhua province. Over 12,000 people are reported dead and 18,000 are trapped under the rubble of the quake. 950 miles away, in Beijing, the host

U.S. prediction for the Games Men’s Basketball The U.S. and Coach K look to claim the Olympic gold after fail-

ing to do so in ‘00 and ‘04 Kobe Bryant will be on the team this year to join LeBron James… Dwayne Wade is injured and is not expected to play. USA Basketball welcomes in new comers Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams, and rookies Kevin Durant and Greg Oden. Outlook: Any thing less than gold will be a huge letdown

Women’s Basketball

The women are looking to win the Olympic gold for the 4 straight time since 1996. The will be looking at long time veterans Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, and Tina Thompson to lead them as well as the young stars in Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker. Outlook: Look for the 4-peat this summer.

Men’s Soccer The men’s soccer will look to try and play their best at the 2008 Olympics after failing to qualify in 2004. They are looking for veterans Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey to provide the leadership and take young stars DeMarcus Beasley, Freddy Adu, and Eddie Johnson under their wing. Outlook: The men will have a chance at getting out of their group, but it will be tough. Don’t expect a medal showing in men’s soccer this year.

Women’s Soccer Veteran Kristine Lilly is still playing. That is a very good thing

for the U.S. because of the loss of two important veterans: Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy. Outlook:This young women’s squad will look to qualify for the Olympics and hopefully make an encore presentation of the 2004 Olympics where the team won gold.

of the 2008 Olympics, the quake was felt for one minute. The torch relay, which opened up in China on Wednesday, May 14, will be simplified and at each city, a moment of silence will be given to those who were killed by the quake. Beijing was not damaged nor the Olympic structures, but this quake reminds a busy China and the world that one moment can change everything.

Men’s Swimming

The star of U.S. swimming is Michael Phelps who won six gold medals at the Athens games in 2004. He is a rising star who will continue to dominate swimming. The other U.S. swimming star is Aaron Piersol who looks to dominate backstroke. Outlook: Look for Phelps to dominate and perhaps win more medals that ‘04. Aaron Piersol will place in backstroke.

Women’s Swimming

On the women’s side, Natalie Coughlin is the rising star and looks to dominate in backstroke as well. The U.S. has a good relay team that will look to take the gold. Outlook: Look for Coughlin to dominate backstroke. No other U.S. women’s swimmer will make much noise but together, they can win gold in the relays.

Men’s Tennis Tennis at the Olympics for the U.S. has lost the flare for what

it was during the 1990s when Agassi won gold. This summer, Andy Roddick, America’s top player, will not play in order to focus on the U.S. Open. The U.S. hopefuls are James Blake, and Mardy Fish. Outlook: Blake has a fair chance of winning a medal. If Fish catches on fire like he did in 2004, look for him to make the medal rounds.

Women’s Tennis

The women’s side is at an all time low for tennis. The only hopefuls are the Williams sisters and the USTA is only hoping that they even want to play. Lindsay Davenport is the only other true competitor that could place, but with a new born, she may not play either. Outlook: Don’t expect much from the U.S. women this summer, as the USTA struggles to get younger talent involved in the mix.

USA Outlook

The United States is known for it’s athletic prowess in sports. The country boasts some of the most athletic and talented athletes in the world. Not being the medal leader after the closing ceremonies will be a shocker and something that has not happened since 1992 where the U.S. came in second only to the Unified Nations of the Soviet Republics. Look for the U.S. to dominate in basketball, swimming, track and field, and the newly added BMX biking which will showcase some of the X Games athletes. Other key sports that the U.S. will win at are beach volleyball, softball, and wrestling. The U.S. should definitely be the medal leading country even if the host country China, Australia, or Russia presents a tough challenge.

Total Medal Predictions 1. USA- 103 2. Russia- 67 3. China- 65

22 advertisement WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008




AUGUST 2008 WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008

JACOBNEWTON & KAVYAREDDY calendar editor calendar editor



Tuesday Wednesday Thursday


23 Saturday




















16 Girls Varsity Gold Tennis vs. Oak Hills @ 4 PM

Girls Varsity Golf: Lakota nvitational @ Four Bridges 8 AM





21 First Day of School for Students


25 Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Milford @ 7 PM



26 Boys Varsity Soccer vs. LaSalle @ 7 PM





Boys Varsity Golf Middletown Invitational at Weatherwax 8 AM



Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Andersonat@7PM

photos by jake newton



Kickin’ it with Kubilay Freshman gets candid, personal, philosophical WEDNESDAY May 28, 2008


Q& A spotlight editor

spotlight editor

with Kubilay Inanli, 9

How long have you been going to Sycamore? My whole life. Do you have any brothers and sisters? I have one little sister in seventh grade and one older brother who is a sophomore in college. What do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies? I like listening to music, just hanging out with friends, I have just gotten back into reading, and I like walking. For the school I run cross country and track... track and field by the way. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be famous so that people will see me on TV and wish that they were my friend. Who are your favorite people? My favorite people are Malcolm X, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Bootsy Collins, Will Smith, Scotty Pippen, and Sydney Poitier. Who is your best friend? Erik Gunnarsson, 9. He is my brother, we have been friends ever since third grade. What are your spiritual beliefs? Well, I am Muslim. Also, I am all about love and acceptance. If you could have any super power, what would it be and why? X-Ray vision for obvious reasons. A lot of people think you are really funny, do you think you are? Yes, hilarious. But, I do not want to seem one dimensional. I want people to recognize me as an all-around great guy. The name Kubilay is not your average “Joe” or “Kathy.” How did you get this name? Ok, well, my dad originates from Turkey so my name was switched from Bilkan to Kubilay last minute. What is your most embarrassing moment? I am never embarrassed. Any last words? I feel like this question is limitless, like life is limitless, and free like life should be, and I cannot explain life in one sentence so I cannot answer this question. LEFT: INANLI AND his cross country team try to pump up the Jr. High team that is competing after them at the meet. “Unfortunately a race official yelled at us,” said Inanli. Bottom left: Kubilay loves hanging out with his friends and having a good time. Inanli shows his unique side with one of his comical facial expressions. “Kubilay is so funny. All he has to say is one word and I will crack up,” said Ashley Locke, 9. Inanli is known for always having an exuberant attitude and candid comments. Bottom right: Inanli poses for Winter Formal pictures with Erik Gunnarsson, 9, and Jeff Wolkoff, 9.

INANLI DINED AT Bravo’s before Winter Formal, also the night of his birthday. His friends surprised him with ice cream and an enthusiastic ballad from the servers. “I went to the bathroom and when I got back they surprised me with ice cream and a candle. I nearly peed my pants. Fortunately, I had just done my business,” said Inanli.

Favorites Movie

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Childhood activity Exploring


I do not live life by quotes, I just live.


I like a nice blend

Vacation Spot Africa... even though I have never been there


The Kite Runner


Friday’s. They have an all-around great atmosphere, a large variety on their menu, and their waiters are courteous and prompt.

all images by maria marballi

May 2008 issue  

>> UNIFIED FOR UNIFAT: PAGE 2 RASHMIBORAH DAPHNEHSU Summer school WILLJOHNSTON Softball commitments Graduation, Senior awards Final ex...

May 2008 issue  

>> UNIFIED FOR UNIFAT: PAGE 2 RASHMIBORAH DAPHNEHSU Summer school WILLJOHNSTON Softball commitments Graduation, Senior awards Final ex...