The Lion's Tale - Volume 63 - Edition 1 - Oviedo High School

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OVIEDO HIGH SCHOOL • 601 KING STREET • OVIEDO, FL • 32765 EDITION 1 • OCTOBER 2022 • VOLUME 63 • OVIEDOJOURNALISM.COM OPINION The disastrous effect of queer oppression PAGE 7 NEWS OHS celebrates its hundredth year PAGE 8 PAGE 9 Football star Brady Manning is ready to shine SPORTS 100 ROARING YEARS LION’S TALE

The Lion’s Tale staff


Kaden Bryant

Managing Editor

Lauren King

Copy Editor

Audrey Choate

Sports Editor

Riley Sanderson

Head Photographer

Audrey Strembicki


Malikia Hamlet

Logan Hayes

Reese Sanderson

Briana Schierenback

Danielle Stein

Digital Artist

Jesreel Cruz


James Bryant

Joemi Cordonero

Ava Des Marais

Merrick DiCarolis

Hunter Fuehrer

Cooper Garvey

Nelson Kanistras

Clare McCoy

Dominique Moise

Snow Pastermack

Madelyn Reno

Joshua Sabbia

Nicolas Spallone

Luke Thompson

Sanjoli Umrao

Brady Vaiarella

Faculty Adviser

Ben Langevin

Admin Adviser

Nancy Diaz


Dr. Trent Daniel

Oviedo High School

601 King Street

Oviedo, FL 32765

P: 407-320-4199

F: 407-320-4213

Mission Statement

The Lion’s Tale is the student newspaper of Oviedo High School, located in Oviedo, Florida. Our mission is to provide news, feature stories, editorials and opinions relevant to our readers while upholding the highest professional and ethical standards. The Lion’s Tale follows copy standards outlined in the Associated Press Stylebook, 42nd Edition, published in 2007 by the Associated Press, and is a member of the CSPA, NSPA and FSPA.


800 copies of The Lion’s Tale are distributed free to all students and staff at Oviedo High School. Subscriber information is available on

Reader Contributions

Letters to the Editor are accepted and may be sent by post, e-mail or dropped off in Room 5-020. The Lion’s Tale does not accept guest columns and reserves the right to edit Letters to the Editor. Full policy is available on

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OHS celebrates its centennial year

due to the athletic program, STEM academics, and available college prep.

Aside from OHS’ impressive history, The Lion’s Tale staff has been hard at work with our 38 students. Since August, we’ve been packing together 16 pages of spectacular content. We have a vast collection of fantastic stories that share news, voices on campus, and more prepared for this first edition.

First established in 1922, Oviedo High School has prospered since its early beginnings. The school began on a much smaller scale and originally taught from kindergarten to grade 12. Our newspaper started in 1960, making this 63 years of elevating voices upon campus.

In 1948, Oviedo only had 16 seniors compared to the current 562. We’ve grown not only in size, but also success. OHS is considered among the best schools in Seminole County

Take a look at the opinion section on page four to learn more about the new dress code policy and its positive impact upon the community, or queer opression on page seven to see how LGBTQ+ identities are being harmed by legislators.

Our news section on page eight pays tribute to OHS’ centennial year and showcases school board members Amy Pennock, Tina Calderone, Kristine Kraus, Karen Almond, and Superintendent Dr. Serita Beamon as they rang in the school year with the old bell.

Check out sports on pages 9-11 to read about Brady Manning’s passion

for the football team, Marin Rose and Luca Olivia committing to the United States Naval Academy, and Kylie O’Brien’s volleyball success.

In features on pages 12-13, Kimberly Finnegan shares her passion for teaching as she ventured into adulthood, along with the Black Student Union’s positive influence upon the community.

The entertainment section includes a look at Joji’s upcoming album and why the outrageously popular Marvel movie known as Spiderman: No Way Home was suddenly rereleased on pages 14-15.

On the final page, we’ve included a sneak peak of a short story written by Lauren King, our Entertainment Page Director on staff. Her story tells a story of a post-apocalyptic world in which a girl travels on a journey in hopes of helping her family while also learning from her experiences along the way. To read the full story, visit our constantly updated website packed with high quality content:

Meet our Roaring staff

Kaden Bryant

Kaden is a senior and the 2022-2023 Editor-in-Chief. His main passionate is creative writing. At 17, he’s written five books and currently works for the Wattpad Creators Program as an author. Aside from writing, he enjoys cats and owns a tuxedo cat named Pickles. After graduation, he wants to go to college for creative writing and business. In his free time, he enjoys writing and sleeping.

Audrey is a junior and the 2022-2023 Head Photographer/Photo Editor. This is her third year on staff. After graduation, she aspires to become a professional sports photographer. She’s a hard worker and is always out capturing her next greatest photo. Outside of school, she plays volleyball, enjoys hanging out with her friends, listening to music, and going shopping .whenever she can.

Lauren is a junior and the 2022-2023 Managing Editor. She’s been playing volleyball for seven years and is an assistant coach for kids. She’s been actively writing ever since the fourth grade. She enjoys. psychology and true crime. She wants to go to Seminole State College and write as either her main or side job. A fun fact about Lauren is that she wants to run a cat cafe in the future.

FRONT PAGE BY KADEN BRYANT AND JOEY MAZUR COPY EDITOR PHOTOGRAPHER MANAGING EDITOR Audrey Strembicki DOWN FOR DONATING: Aiden Iverson, 11, volunteers to donate blood to those in need on Aug. 8 for the blood drive. ROARING 20’s: Students show school spirit by dressing up for the hundred year anniversary celebration of Oviedo High School. PEPPED UP: Junior Izzy Prescott, chosen to play for the class of 2024 at the first pep rally of the new school year, captures a balloon on Aug. 26. GET HYPED: Senior football players, Omari Muhammad-Wyatt, Noel Keller, and Owen Aycock talk up Oviedo High School on Fox 35 News in preparation for game day. GRINNING FOR 100 YEARS: The Mane Attraction dance team shows their excitement while performing for the hundred year anniversary of Oviedo High School on Aug. 10.
O IS FOR OVIEDO: Administrative manager, John Rondone, takes charge in the pep rally as he hypes up the roaring crowd.


New dress code policy benefits all

In previous years, students have been pulled from their class over a sliver of their thigh, an exposed shoulder, or even a mere tank top beneath the unforgiving Florida sun. Instances of unnecessary restrictions like these among SCPS students have sparked a controversy over the dress code policy for decades, but thanks to a recent change in policy, that no longer has to be an issue.

After considerable pushback from unhappy students, the Seminole County School Board approved a change on July 26, 2022. With the improved adaptation, the goal was to form a “safe, orderly, professional atmosphere for all students.” The new guidelines allow students to wear what makes them comfortable while still having the ability to express themselves as they wish.

These new requirements include: tops have straps and cover from armpit to armpit, down to the thigh is covered, and pants completely cover the buttocks with no undergarments exposed. As a result of this, individuals can now wear weather appropriate clothing - including the addition of hats.

This progressive change is an

incredible victory for several reasons. Not only does it benefit students, but staff as well. There were too many flaws within the old system and the new one is much more accommodating for everyone.

In the past, the strict guidelines were unfair and often seemed targeted toward traditionally feminine clothing. It also did not take into consideration the different body types of students and how the same piece of clothing could be considered acceptable on one person, but not another.

To put it simply, dress codes in general have a history of being sexist. Many women felt singled out by the former policy and would be forced to miss vital class time when their outfits weren’t deemed appropriate by it. This was a major source of discomfort, causing them to feel sexualized for their fashion choices.

Additionally, the new code is much easier for staff to enforce. Teachers often felt uncomfortable dress coding students because it could then create conflict between them in the classroom, but that no longer has to be a concern for any faculty members. Now, teachers can feel relieved that they won’t have to endure these tricky situations with students anymore that was once a considerable burden on them..

By broadening what the policy permits, everyone is able to live more comfortably, people no longer have to feel targeted by unfair regulations, and students are able to express themselves better. High school years are often spent experimenting with selfidentity and fashion choices are only one inevitable stop along that journey.

It’s evident that the new dress code is a tremendous victory for all SCPS students who have been eagerly hoping and working toward achieving this positive change. Hopefully, progressive change that benefits everyone will become more common within society as changes like these continue impacting people.

“Strict dress codes enforce the idea that people should be ashamed of their body.”
-Kaden Bryant, 12


Fashion impacts mentality

Oftentimes, watching movies or shows that take place in the 1800s makes me feel envious of the girls that got to wear corsets and ball gowns all day. The poised and refined etiquette of that era has enamored and inspired me to present myself in a dignified way. Admittedly, those times were deeply flawed, but I sometimes wish that I could observe what it was like to see everyone dressed up nicely - to see people play to their strengths instead of trends.

People may say that they are just expressing themselves in their own way, and while self-expression is important, there’s a difference between wearing what you want and dressing sloppily. This issue has seemingly lingered over the years; since it is more socially acceptable to wear pajamas, people will.

Whatever your level of fashion knowledge is, it’s not impossible to tell what looks like effort and what doesn’t. However, going up to someone and dissing them is absolutely not the solution to lazy fashion, and although some care about it deeply, it is by no means our most pressing issue of today. But it’s important that people put more thought into themselves and how they’re dressed; to look presentable and to express their personalities.

It’s ironic that so many people believe that it’s valuable to dress nice, yet don’t view pajamas as inappropriate. It’s understandable to have a loss of morale right before a school break or an exam, but otherwise people should be putting more effort into dressing nicely.

A lot of people don’t care about fashion, but that isn’t the problem. When you wear pajamas every day to school, you’re never going to be treated like an adult. And especially as we get older, wearing these kinds of clothes feels weird. It’s imperative that you

grow your personal and professional wardrobe while you’re young so as you enter the workforce, you will have the tools to make the perfect impression and to communicate your seriousness.

Sloppy apparel seems to be a generally American approach, considering that many other cultures frown upon such casual outfits. All around the world, most societies believe that you must go out looking your best. If you dress like you don’t care, people are going to treat you with less respect because they’ll assume you don’t care. To get respect, you have to give it, and the way to gain universal respect is to dress like you want it.

Dressing in a certain manner shows everyone around you that you care to be there. Not everyone has to be passionate about what they wear at school, but you have to at least pretend to be interested.

First impressions are key as we enter adulthood, and they might be the difference between getting your dream job or getting rejected. Dressing nice isn’t about wearing expensive designer clothing either - it’s about looking clean and put together. But the fun part about clothing is that there are so many ways to be comfortable and look nice at the same time.

Everyone says that you can either be fashionable or be cozy, but wearing a simple pair of stretchy jeans, linen shorts, or a flowy skirt with a clean or well fitting shirt can totally elevate your look. Even with a basic outfit, there are ways to accessorize to make yourself look and feel nice; a necklace or watch, for example, can refine even the simplest of outfits. Presentation is important, and as much as we believe the world is moving away from appearance, humans will always judge others. Even if fashion isn’t an interest of yours, you should build a wardrobe that reflects you and makes you feel good.

DRESSING UP: Lupè Ayala and Crow Holland dress in their favorite attire that makes them feel like their authentic selves.


Making sense of the larger trend of anti-intellectualism

complex characters may take a bit of analysis and brain-power that is above your average children’s fantasy novel. Thus, one is only met with superficial criticism about how someone didn’t like the narrator’s word choice or how the protagonist should have gotten therapy. Young-adult, or, YA literature, has its place. The argument is not a pretentious and elitist dismissal of the genre as a whole. However, not all literature needs to have the characteristics of YA, and the rhetoric that it does has had exceedingly depressing consequences. On popular social media platforms, books are advertised through an endless stream of digestible, marketable, massappealing, fanfiction-esque tropes, and critical analysis is no longer fashionable. Oftentimes, a classic novel is dismissed on the sole grounds that it is a classic, and that they might have been forced to read it by their rude ninth-grade English teacher that might have made them write a five-sentence ‘essay’ a few times. The fact that literature and analysis of it is more than what they were taught in school is lost on most.

If one had not previously read (or, if they “read”) J.D. Salinger’s 1951 novel

The Catcher in the Rye, and their only exposure to it was opinions within popular discourse, they may begin to develop some erroneous assumptions. Truly, they may think that the novel is a filthy, American Psycho-esque collection of word vomit about a mass-murdering, puppy-killing, and unapologetically sexist slacker with absolutely nothing to offer to the world. The objective plot of the novel, which is about a traumatized and disillusioned victim of sexual abuse’s manic episode, is often not discussed. For many, it is less taxing intellectually to moan about how annoying they found a character than to examine why they may act the way that they do.

The true irony of this predicament is that many of these individuals acted (or, act) exactly like clones of Holden Caulfield. The protagonist of Catcher is not irritating for any other reason other than the fact that he is a sixteenyear-old boy; he does not possess any inherent, ontological evil that is unlike the average adolescent’s angst. Of course, his monologues and rants are a bit uncomfortable and morally questionable at times, but this is a feature, not a bug. Catcher, at its core, is a novel about innocence and disillusionment in the face of adulthood from the perspective of a traumatized young man.

From an intellectually lazy perspective, honest literary criticism is always about how moral the protagonist is. Wellwritten books, from this perspective, are feel-good and easily digestible stories about triumphant characters and ideals. Poorly-written books, however, are about people much more like ourselves than any archetype. These protagonists are complicated, grey, and may do or say things that seem illogical to the reader. Of course, these

The argument is also not an uncritical endorsement of books that feature immoral things. Of course, if a book’s themes are supportive of some sort of evil, then that is a fundamental issue with the work itself, and the book should not be endorsed. However, the portrayal of something (with a thematic condemnation of it) is not akin to an endorsement. Crime and Punishment, American Psycho, and The Tell-Tale Heart are not political pamphlets for the legalization of murder. The themes of these stories are obvious condemnations of the behaviors of their protagonists. The Catcher in the Rye does not endorse underage drinking, rudeness, or delinquency; thematically, it shows that these are consequences for how one is treated.

From the perspective of the intellectual slacker, the above novels fall short of the literary ideal solely because of their portrayal of unsavory actions or questionable protagonists.

Truly, Raskolnikov, Patrick Bateman, and Poe’s neurotic protagonist should have just all gone to therapy. After all, isn’t the goal of every literary work to achieve a morally good and triumphant ending?

From the perspective of the intellectual slacker, the above novels fall short of the literary ideal solely because of their portrayal of unsavory actions or questionable protagonists. Truly,

Raskolnikov, Patrick Bateman, and Poe’s neurotic protagonist should have just all gone to therapy. After all, isn’t the goal of every literary work to achieve a morally good and triumphant ending? Obviously, to the rational person, such a position is nonsense. The goal of literature is to explore the human condition and the themes of our society. It cannot do this with the expectation of the complete morality of all protagonists. Sometimes, protagonists need to be more like us than the average YA fantasy protagonist. Sometimes, protagonists need to be downright evil.

LITERATURE ANALYSIS: Junior Ella Ferrell enjoys a copy of The Catcher in the Rye during lunch. AUDREY CHOATE | COPY EDITOR
“From the perspective of the intellectual slacker, the above novels fall short of the literary ideal solely because of their portrayal of unsavory actions or questionable protagonists.”
-Audrey Choate, 10
“The goal of literature is to explore the human condition and the themes of our society. It cannot do this with the expectation of the complete mortality of all protagonists.”
-Audrey Choate, 10

The disastrous effects of queer oppression

A rainbow flag hung upon a teacher’s wall could be enough to show a student struggling with their identity that there is hope after all. That one, small sign of support can mean the world to someone in need - but this life saving opportunity has been torn away from countless students due to recent injudicious laws.

With the amount of these new policies being passed, it’s abundantly clear that legislators are aiming to repress queer identities. Surprisingly enough, not talking about gay people doesn’t actually stop anyone from being gay. It only enables them to struggle with their mental health before inevitably coming to the same result.

According to the LGBTQ+ Institute, mental health issues in transgender and non-binary individuals have surged

since the 2020 year. With the COVID-19 pandemic, political state in disarray, constant discrimination of marginalized groups, and all the other disorderly phenomenons that have recently taken place… this outcome is no surprise.

But these laws take a horrible situation and make it even worse. Queer people are already struggling, already fighting a constant internal war, already carrying an unimaginable amount of pain. They don’t need this added burden of also having to battle for their right to exist.

If we continue down the same path, it will cause children to grow up in a society where they feel ashamed to be who they are. This is devastating for the queer community. Not only will it destroy the self-esteem of all individuals questioning their identity, but it additionally puts teachers in an uncomfortable position where they have to choose between

their career and supporting a student.

A common thoughtless argument that many people in support of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill use is that children are being groomed by their teachers. This accusation is entirely false. Grooming is deliberate, intentional, and manipulative. The science teacher talking about how her and her wife own 11 cats is none of those things.

While minors shouldn’t be exposed to inappropriate content for their age, hearing about their favorite teacher’s vacation with his husband is a completely normal conversation topic. If a heterosexual and cisgender teacher can talk about their own spouse, queer people should be allowed to do the same, because it’s no different. Legislators are not going to see the desired outcome of their homophobia eliminating LGBTQ+ identities. Instead, they’ll be faced with skyrocketing mental health issues and suicide attempts. And they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.


Andrew Tate’s internet reign of misogyny dehumanizes women

tirades, repeatedly objectifying women and acting as if they are property.

Internet famous for his abhorrent and demeaning opinions on the role of women in society, Andrew Tate, a social media influencer and podcaster, has recently come into popularity online. It’s been widely known that he was ultimately banned off of social media after being called out for the dangerous ideologies he spread.

Prior to his ban, Tate amassed millions of social media followers, spreading misogynistic ideals and making women’s lives even more unsafe. Far too many men now feel justified to openly express their own misogynistic views, not only verbally, but in acts of retaliation towards women when men do not receive what they want from us. Tate was recently a guest on an episode of the podcast BFFs. During this episode, he went on a multitude of misogynistic

During one of these tirades, Tate stated that he has ‘responsibility’ over the women he’s in relationships with. That his role in the relationship is to protect and provide for her, insinuating he should therefore also have authority over her. He then proceeded to compare women to children and dogs, stating, “You can’t be responsible for a dog if it doesn’t obey you, or a child if it doesn’t obey you, or a woman if it doesn’t obey you”.

Treating women as if we are merely men’s responsibilities, rather than whole human beings fully capable of taking care of ourselves, is dehumanizing and dangerous to women’s safety. In fact, this idea can easily be used to promote domestic violence and other crimes against women. If women are merely objects, only there to serve a purpose to men, why wouldn’t it be okay to treat us

poorly if we are not fulfilling that purpose?

In fact, a video recently surfaced of Andrew Tate beating a woman and threatening her for ‘not behaving’. And while there have been conflicting claims as to whether or not the video was staged, it is irrelevant to the negative influence it has had on the lives of women. It normalizes an atrocious act of abuse and encourages his then-

millions of male followers to act similarly towards their girlfriends and wives. This normalization will worsen an already massive domestic violence problem within the United States. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This equates to 10 million people per year, a large portion of which are women.

And this is only one of the many crimes committed against women each year. As stated by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in five women have been raped in their lifetime, and 19.3 million women have been stalked at some point. Whether women have been raped or stalked, they all have one thing in common: men who feel entitled to them in some way. From their bodies to their attention or lovethe entitlement of men is the problem. These horrifying crimes against women do not occur in a vacuum. They are not separate from the influences of the rest of the world, but rather occur because of them. They occur because men feel entitled to abuse women. They occur because of men like Andrew Tate, who actively encourage the dehumanization of women and provide men with a safe space to do the same.

“These laws take a horrible situation and make it even worse.”
-Kaden Bryant, 12
“We’re always told to express ourselves, but now we’re being silenced for doing just that.”
-Courtney Burns, 12


Oviedo High School celebrates its hundredth year

At 7 a.m. on Aug. 10, Oviedo High School gathered to celebrate an entire century of education. Students, teachers, faculty, school board members, the mayor and many others showed up to recognize the day. Everyone’s spirit permitted the event to go down in OHS history.

Black, orange, and white decorations were located all around campus, along with several “cheers to 100 years” banners. In addition to the decor was a pep rally to kick things off. Cheerleaders, color guard, band, the drumline and dance team all participated in this celebration. They performed, danced, and celebrated in unison. Everyone joined together to look back on Oviedo and how far the school has come with the continuous hard work from students and staff.

“We really wanted to showcase all of our students,” said Dr. Rachel Menta, Assistant Principal. “And we want to allow our students to enjoy our centennial year and dig into what makes Oviedo High School the home of champions and scholars.”

School board members Amy Pennock, Tina Calderone, Kristine Kraus, Karen Almond and Superintendent Dr. Serita Beamon rang in the school year with the old Seminole County school bell. They all stood side by side to ring the bell and commemorate the school’s history.

This event left students thrilled to begin the new year. It brought excitement

to all attendees who are passionate about OHS and how far its come. Board members were similarly happy to see everyone’s spirit as they cheered together in support of the celebration.

“I was very excited to celebrate,” said Pennock. “The energy that the students and staff showed set the tone for a great year ahead.”

With a spectacular start to kick things off, students are sure to thrive in school another year – which is just one of many, many more to come for Oviedo.

CELEBRATE WITH US: School board members ring the old bell to celebrate Oviedo High School’s centennial celebration of scholars.
“We really wanted to showcase all of our students.”
-Dr. Rachel Menta



tee time; golf is officially underway

The 2022 Fall Oviedo Highschool Golf Season is currently underway. After their Fall 2021 season, which saw the team with an even record of 5-5, they’re looking to improve their performance for this year.

The 2022 Fall team is led by senior Hayden Kinder. Over his three games, Kinder has averaged 38 strokes. Kinder plans to use his final year at Oviedo to improve his game and prepare for his life after highschool.

“My expectations for this upcoming season is to play to the best of my ability and try to be one of the better players in the district,” said Kinder. “I just want to enjoy the game as much as I can.”

Another one of the team’s leaders is senior Andrew Letterman, who’s averaged 42 strokes over his three games. Letterman has been a member of the Oviedo Lions Golf team for all

four years of his highschool career.

Letterman is particularly excited about this upcoming season due to the amount of incoming talent for the team. With several new freshmen entering the team, the Lions Boys Golf Team should have a star studded lineup for the next few years.

“We have a couple of new freshmen that I think are gonna be great assets,” said Letterman. “Our team overall is very young and I think the future is going to be bright for us.”

John Howell, coach of the Oviedo Lions Boys Golf team, is also excited for what’s next and has high expectations for the future of the team.

“I think we’re going to continue to improve from our current level,” said Howell. “I believe in our team, I believe this current group can do great things, and I’m happy to help them achieve that.”

In total, there are four underclassmen


Football star Brady Manning is ready to shine

Sophomore Brady Manning always knew that he was meant to play football. Even as a young child, he had dreams of playing for the Oviedo Lions. He never knew it would all arrive so soon.

Manning has been an Oviedo Lion for as long as he can remember, playing throughout the Oviedo Pop Warner system and winning multiple state championships since he was six years old.

Last season, he led the Oviedo Lions freshman squad to a 9-1 record, the second best season in Oviedo’s hundredth year history. Once the freshman season ended, Manning earned the call up to varsity and played in the varsity squads the last few games, earning good experience while capping off an excellent season.

“I loved being with my boys on freshmen,” he said. “They helped me grow as a player, but varsity is what it’s always been about.”

After a tough spring and a long summer, Manning became one of three sophomores starting and leading one of the elite defenses in not only Seminole county, but all of Florida.

Now that he has earned his stripes, he has one goal on his mind: a state championship. Oviedo has never won a state championship before, so it’s been a long term mission of his.

“I want to lead Oviedo to the top,” Manning said,

”It’s all I think about”

Not only is Manning working on becoming an incredible football star, but he also captained and started every

players on the golf team, who will hopefully lead the golf team into the future, learning from the upperclassmen who don’t have much time left at Oviedo.

“I know our older players are going to help with the process of getting our younger players up to

speed,” said Howell. “I believe the future of this program is bright.” As the season moves forward, there’s a lot for fans of the Oviedo Boys Golf team to look forward to this season and in the next few upcoming years that are near in sight.

game for the Lions freshman basketball team. He led them to an 8-8 record, averaging a team high 4.2 steals a game.

Being a two sport athlete can be tough on a kid having to balance school, sports, and a social life.

“I just keep my head down and push through you know, I’ve got

that dog in me” said Manning when asked on how he balances his life.

Manning has always been known to be a great athlete, but he’s ready to take the next step this season. With the school and the program behind him, he’s ready for whatever comes next in his athletic career.


SWING: Caleb Anderson began the match against Hagerty with the first swing of the game. PAUSE: Mid match, Andew Letterman strolls to the next golf hole, preparing to tee off the ball. CELEBRATE: Brady Manning walks off the field, celebrating a third stop on third down against the Lake Mary Rams. OVER HERE: Brady Manning advances onto the field as the ball is passed.

Marin Rose and Luca Oliva commit to the US Naval Academy

Starting off from a very young age, Marin Rose and Luca Oliva are now two of the most experienced swimmers on the Oviedo High School swim team. Throughout their careers, both of them have earned themselves a vast array of awards that reflect all the hard work and dedication they have put into the sport.

Rose and Oliva both committed to the United States Naval Academy last year to further their academic and swimming careers. The pair even made it to the Division I collegiate level as a result of the swimmers’ hard work.

“My swim career has been about 13 years long of year-round swimming,” said Oliva. “I have devoted my time and dedicated myself to the sport to become the best swimmer I can be.”

After a variety of offers from many different schools, both swimmers ended up choosing the USNA. After meeting the current team, they felt a strong connection with their fellow midshipmen. “I knew it was where I wanted to be most,” said Rose. “And hopefully where I would be [the] happiest and most successful.”

The pair both competed at the most coveted event in high school swim - the state championship. Last year, Oliva’s relay won the 4x100 freestyle event where he received his championship medal.

Helping them along in their careers, coaches Charlie Rose and Eric Christensen played a huge part in getting them to where they are today. Christensen is the assistant coach of the OHS swim team and Head Coach of the Blue Dolphins.

“Starting off young, they both joined me when they were nine,” said Christensen. ”That early development has enabled them to have good practice habits and technique that has continued all the way to high school.”

Now in the back end of their careers, Rose and Oliva plan to finish off strong. Both are sad that they have to leave all of their teammates they have made special bonds with over their career.

Both of these swimmers have great, fruitful careers ahead of them. They hope to bring the Navy Swim and Dive all of the success they have provided Oviedo with these past four years.


Kylie O’Brien pushes through the season

As the ref blows the whistle and signals for the serve, junior Kylie O’Brien transitions to her base along the net waiting for the other teams’ reply. This signals the start of her beginning on the Girls Varsity Volleyball Team, though she is no stranger to the program.

O’Brien joined the program her freshman year, making junior varsity.

O’Brien would help the team to a 10-2 record her freshman season along with a 11-3 record her sophomore season.

“I heard good things about it and everyone says how you improve so much, especially with coaching,” O’Brien said.

“The Oviedo program is full of people who want to encourage each other and come into the gym every day and work hard.”

O’Brien’s first start was against Doctor Phillips in the Lions preseason match. The match ended in a three set sweep of the Panthers. She was experiencing many emotions after the game.

“Thatwas reallyscary,” she said. “Everyone said that I’d be fine and just to breathe.”

The Lions attended the Nike Southeast Tournament of Champions. However, she was limited in playing time on the second day, and didn’t play in the Lions final game of the tournament. The Lions would go 4-2 in the tournament ranking seventh in their division.

“I was disappointed in how I finished in the tournament and hope to improve in the coming weeks,” said O’Brien. The Lions’ latest contest was against Oviedo’s hometown rivals, the Hagerty Huskies. This would present a great challenge for O’Brien and the Lions as the Huskies are entering the match 8-3 after losing their last game to Trinity Prep in four sets.

Stepping onto the court after the senior ceremony, O’Brien was ready for arguably the biggest game of their season. After winning the first two sets, the girls would lose the third and fourth set. However, the Lion’s were not about to give up without a fight. In the fifth and final set, the Girls would pull off the upset, defeating their hometown rivals with a score of 15-11.

CONGRATS: Senior Marin Rose walks down the line with her family as her accomplishments on the swim team are celebrated.
SCORE: Kylie O’Brien, 11, hits the ball at the game against Lake Mary High School and scores.
TIME TO CHEER: Senior Luca Oliva is celebrated during senior night by friends, fans, and family.
“I knew it was where I wanted to be most.”
-Marin Rose, 12


Athletic training supports OHS sports

It is well known that Oviedo High School Athletics is widely successful across its various sports programs. What most people don’t know is that OHS Athletics is upheld by an athletic training and sports medicine program, led by trainers who work to support student athletes.

Students, faculty, and fans usually see athletic trainers on the sidelines of OHS sporting events, making sure athletes are hydrated and physically fit to play. This is what causes people to assume that the only role of the trainers is to help out on the sidelines.

“We overheard some of our athletes [saying], ‘Oh, those are the water people’. We don’t just do water,” said assistant athletic trainer Loudenve Marc. “We’re medical professionals, and our student athletic trainers are helping us with that medical activity.”

Since the adult athletic trainers are licensed medical professionals in the state of Florida, they can also aid athletes in getting cleared to play or compete. Adult trainers complete paperwork and communicate with doctors, medical insurance companies, and parents of athletes. This allows them to document, treat, and work on preventing future athletic injuries. The only people who can allow injured athletes to return to play are athletic trainers, physicians, and physician assistants, so having trainers nearby can save a game for a team.

“If a referee sends an athlete

out to be checked, and there’s no one to check them, that athlete cannot return,” said Joel Chisholm, an assistant athletic trainer. “If that’s your star player, that’s it for the team.”

The OHS athletic training program also works to help student athletes financially. Instead of having to pay to get treated by a doctor, student athletes can choose to get treated for free on campus by the athletic training and sports medicine program.

“Some kids don’t have insurance and they will end up having to pay out of pocket if they go to a rehab center,” said Marc. “Instead, we can take them through their rehab and they can get ready to play.”

OHS athletic training also guides students participating in the program to their future careers or passions. Students can go on to become a professional athletic trainer or pursue a career in a related field. “We’ve had so many student athletic trainers that have gone on to be doctors and physical therapists and athletic trainers” said athletic trainer Erica Zimolzak-Coe.

Another component of high school athletic training programs is the relationships that student athletes form with the trainers. Being treated by someone who knows you personally and your goals can outweigh treatment from a doctor who you don’t have that relationship with.

“After you get an initial injury, they’re the ones who calm you down, they’re the ones who walk you through it,” Marc said.


Color guard loses graduates

Everybody knows about the football team, but doesn’t realize what goes on during halftime. Color guard, along with the band, always puts on a display.

“If the marching band itself is like the soundtrack… color guard is the paint,” said Alexander Garcia, Assistant Band Director. “It’s the thing that catches your eye and draws your attention to a certain direction.”

There are many different aspects to color guard that most don’t take into consideration. They have to be able to dance and coordinate in a way to be visually appealing to an audience. It isn’t just waving flags around.

“They use wooden rifles, they’ll use sabers or closer to swords, and they have their own technique and they have their own visual advantages right? For catching eyes,” said Garcia. Color guard doesn’t just perform at football games. In October, color

guard will officially begin competing against other schools in the area. They have been practicing for months to prepare for their next big show: “I Am”.

“‘I Am’ is based around the seven chakras of meditation,” said Garcia. “You start at the bottom and kind of work your way up and then the top of your head up here is the last one or like self enlightenment.”

While color guard has been having a great year so far, they have had one big issue. Unfortunately, they are down to only 14 members. This year is supposed to be a rebuild for them.

“2022 was a really big class; a lot of people graduated,” said senior leader on the team, Kiarra Howard. “We’re looking for incoming freshmen and anyone who would be interested, you don’t have to have experience.”

Despite these challenges students are looking forward to seeing them this year. Color guard puts in a lot of hard work and is a valued part of what everyone knows to be Oviedo High School.



The Oviedo Lions varsity football team has gotten off to a hot start this season going 4-1 beating strong squads in Lake Brantley and Timber Creek. The Lions only defeat came at the hands of a Top 50 Lake Mary squad who’s only loss was to rival Lake Brantley. The Lions next game is at Lake Howell on October 15.



The swim team has competed a total of four meets so far this season. Both the girls and boys teams have extended their winning streaks in dominant fashion. On September 21st, the Lions had their senior night which was wrapped up by another enormous victory over Winter Springs, Lyman, and The Masters Academy. The Lions now head into their final regular season meet on wednesday the 28th before competing in the conference finals.



The Oviedo Girls Varsity Volleyball Team is currently 9-7 following a close fifth set loss to the Winter Springs, Bears, in an at home District match. The Lions are next traveling to California for the Southern California Invitational Tournament. This will see the girls face some of the best teams in the nation in a best of three tournament style face-off.



The wrestling team is finishing up their third week of preseason practice, and have had a great turn out. With plenty of new wrestlers joining the team and old ones returning. This preseason so far has been returning wrestlers getting into wrestling again and new ones learning how to wrestle. For practice they had stations so returners could teach groups of new wrestlers different moves such as different takedowns, pins and escapes.

PHOTOS BY AUDREY STREMBICKI AND ALANA SCHUESSLER Jackson LaTour, 11, gets ready to pass the ball at the game against Timber Creek High School. Luke Yost, 12, competes in the Lake Brantley High School Patriot Invitational swim meet. Rylee Yarborough, 10, hits the ball into Lake Mary High School’s side of the court. Camryn Harber, 11, gets ready to dominate her competition.


Kimberly Finnegan has superpower of teaching

As a struggling and miserable college student, Kimberly Finnegan was still trying to search for what career she wanted to pursue. When she had a little downtime over one summer, she found herself as a waterfront director at a camp. By teaching kids swimming, she felt impacted by the way they worked on improving the skills that she taught them. That’s what inspired Finnegan to go into teaching. She loved the idea of motivating others.

She originally started with an English degree and a minor in communications, but had no idea what to do with her degree. She began with some odd jobs such as working for a housing agency as a communication assistant. After meeting her husband, she decided to follow her dream of teaching by getting a master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction.

Finnegan originally started teaching in an elementary school, but it wasn’t her passion. As much as she loved working with them, she found much more enjoyment in being able to use her sarcasm and humor a lot more with high schoolers.

Which is why, 13 years ago, Finnegan started her career at Oviedo High School. She’s currently the AP literature teacher, also teaching a

few standard English 4 classes at the end of the day. She loves teaching for several reasons, but her biggest motivation to keep teaching: students.

“I just enjoy making connections with the kids,” Finnegan said. “I wish I could come to school and just sit and listen and talk to them.”

As much as Finnegan wishes to befriend all of her students, she also enjoys seeing them come back to visit her. From seeing them all suited up for work or to having families, she loves seeing how much they’ve grown.

Finnegan stands out because of her ability to welcome or make everyone in the student body feel important, according to senior Kate Campbell. Campbell is a current student in her AP literature class.

“She’s very personal with [her] students,” Campbell said. “I feel like you can tell she cares about you.”

Finnegan has been the teacher for the junior class for around nine years, which means she’s in charge of the prom and powderpuff. She continues to love working with students even out of the school day.

“I think the reason I wanted to start it is we don’t have a huge population of students of color,” Finnegan said. “But it doesn’t matter if we have five or 250,000 of them. They need to have a voice.”

I yell out to the ocean and a sailboat

Her supportive nature to make sure everyone is represented is another thing that makes her stand out from the rest of the teachers at OHS. As current president of the Black Student Union, senior Riyan Tuck has also seen this firsthand.

“She makes everyone around her feel appreciated and loved, no matter what,” said Tuck. “She encourages everyone to be their very best and provides us with opportunities and resources that allow us to do just that.”

Being a teacher can be exhausting and challenging, but to Finnegan, it’s all about

how to be a better teacher to her students. As an inspiration to many, she teaches her students with intent to help them grow a deeper knowledge, while also maintaining a close bond with everyone. And even though she’s been teaching for a few decades, she still finds it just as fun as she did in her beginning years. “I kind of love talking about literature,” she said. “It keeps bringing me back because I can still find ways to connect with the students. I still find so much joy and entertainment coming in and listening to the kids talk.”

Life is not going to stay like this forever

There on the sailboat is my childhood
It sails out into the glimmering light into the sunset with all its youth and valuable bookmarks
All around me I can see the end of an admirable chapter
It is hard to flourish when you do not want things to change
We are all the same: growing as our childhood slowly starts to diminish
HARD AT WORK: Kimberly Finnegan assists a student in revising their college essay.


Gay-Straight Alliance spreads positivity

GSA, the Gay-Straight Alliance, is one of Oviedo High School’s many clubs.

It is centered around the LGBTQIA+ community, and provides an inclusive environment for students, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.

“GSA is…a club that is honestly for everyone to have a comfortable space to go to,” GSA vice president and senior, Ayalis Wakim said.

Within this inclusive environment, students are given a safe space to discuss topics and partake in events relating to the LGBTQIA+ community. They are also able to learn about different resources, like therapy, to deal with their struggles.

“We go over a bunch of topics about different things about sexuality, like

coming out, therapy…if you’re having troubles with a bunch of stuff,” GSA copresident and sophomore Ellie Burns said. Even though the club is centered around the LGBTQIA+ community, GSAis accepting of and provides a safe space for all OHS students, no matter how they identify.

“We are obviously based on pride,...but we accept allies completely, we accept anyone of any background,” Wakim said.

This encouragement of the acceptance of others, regardless of their identity, not only serves to provide a safe space for students within the club, but also contributes to the spread of inclusivity throughout campus.

“GSA spreads knowledge and tolerance for the LGBTQ community,” GSA co-president and senior Max Broennle said. “Allowing people to talk about different things, and to…have a

Black Student Union unites students

with each other,” said sophomore Aliya Permaul, the BSU social media manager.

A lone student stands silently in the hallway, sighing in despair as a sea of people brush past him. He feels different. He feels as if he doesn’t belong. With a mind full of darkness, he desperately tries to escape this relentless feeling of loneliness.

The Black Student Union is a club that invites people of the African American race to discuss racial topics. The club often goes over matters like Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Black history, Black music, and anything related to Black culture. Because of this, the club welcomes everyone and creates a familial bond among its members.

“I would consider them my family, just because we come from the same backgrounds, and have a lot of similarities

The members have clearly created a connection and with it they share many similar experiences. According to World Population Review, only 6.97% of people in Oviedo are Black. Because of this, people can feel left out or discriminated against.

“During Black History month, people started to bring up a lot of dirty things and made a lot of racist comments,” said senior Talia Harrison.

The founding sponsor of The Black student Union club, Kimberly Finnegan, wanted to create a safe place for the students and give them an escape. People of color are often able to connect well with each other because of shared experiences, and the club provides them a fun, safe space to be themselves.

“I wanted to contribute because we do have a relatively small population

of people of color at the school, and they’re very underrepresented in most of the activities that we do,” said Finnegan.

Finnegan’s contribution to the club has put a significant impact on the members of the BSU. She sponsors a student-led club that allows the members to talk about any topic of their likings. The members love her, and she ensures all the meetings run as planned.

The president of the club, senior Riyan Tuck, enjoys her time with the club each meeting. She understands her role as the president and wants to create a family-like bond for all the members - including new ones.

“We definitely formed a tight-knit family feeling last year and I see that forming now with the new members,” she said. “Even with the new people we had today, they felt that family type closeness, and that’s what we want to achieve at this school.”

community where you just feel safe.”

This message of inclusivity helps to make campus a more tolerant and safe place. It encourages students to see past their differences and become more accepting of one another.

“GSA’s goal is to just help everyone be able to work together and socialize with each other without having a problem, and understand that like, we’re not different people,” Burns said.

GSA betters its community. It not only encourages acceptance of one another, but self-acceptance as well. It offers students a space where they do not have to apologize for being themselves, instead educating them about different identities and allowing them to figure out who they are without judgment from anyone around them.

The BSU has only been around for a year, but has already grown wildly in popularity. Their bond is special, and is one of the few clubs where everyone can relate to each other on a certain level. Being in high school can make you feel a sense of fear and loneliness. In this club, no one is left on the sidelines and all feel welcome the moment they step into Finnegan’s room.

ON TASK: Students listen to GSA club sponsor, Chris Capp, during a weekly meeting. WEEKLY MEETING: Students discuss potential shirt designs for their club to utilize.
“GSA spreads knowledge and tolerance for the LGBTQ community.”
-Max Broennle, 12

A glimpse into Joji’s upcoming album: ‘SMITHEREENS’

Following the hit R&B/Soul artist, Joji (George Miller), is a third studio album called “SMITHEREENS”. Millions of fans are anticipating the drop on Nov. 4, 2022. The winter month might be frigid and dreary, and you can expect Joji’s next album to fit the mood. Seeing his track record of releases “Slow Dancing in the Dark (2018)” and “Glimpse of Us (2022)”, the Japanese singer has a pattern for fervent, heartbreaking songs with melodic piano chords and sorrowful verses. The name itself, “SMITHEREENS”, implies the existence of something that was once full and vibrant, but is now just fragments of the past. Another important date for all watchful fans to keep an eye on is Sept. 1, 2022, which is the start of Joji’s tour. His

Miami, Florida location will be at Mana Wynwood Convention Center on Oct. 21 and 22. The set list includes favorites such as “Sanctuary”, “Gimme Love”, and the two previously mentioned hit songs. In promotion of this upcoming album, an already adored song called “YUKON (INTERLUDE)”, was released on Aug. 26, 2022. It was written by himself and produced with Isaac Sleator, a composer that worked on the “Nectar” album. The infamous Filthy Frank took a new direction for this song. The genre is indie/alternative, my personal favorite of all music genres. I only knew Joji from his hit songs, but I sought out this release on my own. This song is far more upbeat than others on his discography. What strikes me as interesting is that the word “see” in the verse “I can barely see” glitches out. It’s

at the beginning of the song and catches me off guard, respectively garnering my attention. As I theorized before, this song is about broken pieces, “In a time so slow I was thinking about us rearrangin’ pieces”. It’s a short and sweet song. At face value, the lyrics don’t appear to have much meaning. The story tells its narrative through driving, “Circles around the Chevron’’ and “Hit the gas like you wouldn’t believe it”. Some who analyzed the lyrics say there is a deeper meaning because of the line, “My voice will be their voice until I’m free/My hands will be their hands until I’m free”.

I don’t think the song is that metaphorical. To me, it seems like a romantic relationship that went sour. The driving in circles might be that it felt like his head was spinning and the relationship had no direction. Putting

pressure on the pedal could mean just following his heart, and lastly singing to free himself of any distraught. The structure of the song isn’t complex and it is easy to sing along to. It sounds similar to his older music, so the tracks in this new album should be more of his own element. Productions of similarities come from “Ballads 1 (2018)”, his debut album, and some features of “Nectar (2020)”. Whilst this song is not one of my favorites from the artist, I still have confidence in the album. I feel that Joji will continue to be raw, soulful, and contemplative in this upcoming album. Instead of slowerpaced songs, there might be more of a bouncy, jovial melody for an indie genre. It’s a coin toss on if the lyrics will match or follow the artist’s talent in creating solemn, inward-looking emotions.

Was the ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ re-release more fun or overdone?

When Spider-Man: No Way Home was re-released on Labor Day weekend, there were a lot of questions surrounding it. Why release a great film again when it just came out last year? Is there really much more to tell? How much more is Marvel even adding? Does any part of the plot change?

However, the answers are a bit more complicated than you may think. Yes, the original film is an absolute

masterpiece, but a new version wasn’t exactly asked for. The Marvel Cinematic Universes’ latest Disney Plus shows are already providing enough new content to keep fans satisfied. On top of that, Marvel films are rarely re-released of this stature with more content. Besides, can that much more be shown in just 11 minutes? Some critics would say no. That leaves us with the biggest question of all: Was a re-release necessary?

Let’s first look at what changed and what didn’t. The new version’s biggest difference is seen early in the film. After Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) identity is exposed to the world, the Department of Damage Control confronts him along with his girlfriend, MJ (Zendaya), best friend Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). While this scene was somewhat brief in the original, more context is added by making the interrogator seem even more snide and contentious. The Daily Bugle news reports (by the slanderous J.Jonah Jameson) get extra footage as well. Soon after, Parker and his friends come back to school where his life feels even more nightmarish. From being peer pressured

into wall-crawling during P.E. to having his powers questioned when he stops a thief, Parker feels more stress than ever.

Spider-Man and Doctor Strange’s interaction and the disastrous spell that incites chaos remains the same: find the interdimensional foes and put them back where they belong. Spidey still rejects Strange’s blunt method of sending them back and attempts to rehabilitate the criminals. Tragedy occurs with Aunt May’s death. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield come into the fold and the ramp-up to the final battle begins.

The second-to-last extra is an extended version of the three Spideys’ pre-battle discussion. Their conversation goes into even more detail about Maguire’s natural web-shooting ability. In the best way possible, it felt like a normal conversation between the boys rather than scripted dialogue.

However, the most useful part of the new version was the post-credits scene. It features Betty Brant (Angourie Rice) giving her final school news segment. Due to Doctor Strange’s memory-erasing spell, all photos and videos showing the senior class’s memories are either missing Parker

entirely or have him blocked out. It truly demonstrates how drastically the spell has erased his existence. It also puts to rest the uncertainty fans had about what changed for Peter in the original showing.

But back to the original question: Was this re-release necessary? If you love Spider-Man or just want the extra bits, then yes. It’s a must-see and should excite you once again. But if the original cut was satisfying enough, then that’s all you need. Some scenes would have been better off in the original cut, while others were justifiably excluded. Overall, Spider-Man: No Way Home is still one of the best movies of all time.


‘House of the Dragon’; can it reign with ‘Game of Thrones’?

After three years of anticipation, fans of the award-winning Game of Thrones adventure once more into the fantastical world of Westeros. Taking our own world by storm, the premiere of House of the Dragon on Aug. 21, 2022 hit an overwhelming 10 million views. Thrilled fans hang on the edge of their seats, TV remote in hand and a crazed smile upon their faces. After a powerful narration of the Targaryen’s history is given by a mature Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alock and Emma D’Arcy), the original Game of Thrones theme song starts. Most felt relieved to hear the nostalgic anthem once more, yet on the flipside of the coin, others were disappointed whilst thinking to themselves “again?”

Instead of creating a pedestal to be proudly displayed upon, it has

already set itself a direction to be the little sibling of Game of Thrones. The title song is interlinked with the characters and events of the eight season long show. This fatal flaw dug a grave for the long-awaited prequel.

The first season will host 10 episodes with an episode airing every Sunday at 9 p.m. It is set 173 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen, the “Mother of Dragons”. As the author of A Song of Fire & Ice and Fire & Blood, George R. R. Martin, put it, “we have a 28-year run just in the first season here. And you see the various characters introduced and the conflict begin to grow, the seeds of what will eventually be a war”.

This war is known as the “Dance of Dragons”, a civil war that was brewing into a lethal concoction for the Targaryen house - one that will end in doom.

Looking into episode one, “The Heirs

of Dragons,” themes of jealousy, rivalry, power conquest, lust, and egos already begin presenting themselves. The famous line, “the only thing that could tear down the House of the Dragon was itself”, is proven evident as the characters quarrel and political movements are made. Game of Thrones focuses on revenge as a response to anger, whereas in this show, the characters bite their lip and put up with what comes at them. The conflict of Rhaenyra is intriguing to watch unfold, as the distinction of her wanting freedom yet wanting recognition of her power combats against one another.

The characters live in a setting of toxicity, royal pettiness, and destruction. But because of the multiple timeskips to follow the timeline, some characters did not get the development they deserved. Despite being the main character, Rhaenyra is one of these examples. They could have truly made her character come alive and prominent, such as furthering her reactions to the harsh world she lives in. Instead, it feels as if she’s submissive to what revolves around her. Rather than this being a creative direction of her trying to find her own footing, it just came across as a poor portrayal. If the intention was a coming-of-age story for her, it fell flat. Game of Thrones peaked with the in-depth exploration of characters’ moral ambiguities, political beliefs, and their deepest desires. This show is coming across as a more bleak, shallow take on these topics.

I understand this show has just taken

its first steps. Game of Thrones was a reigning show for eight years, giving it an adamant amount of time to properly develop characters, events, and the story. But if this show wants to use the same title song, they have to expect to be compared equally to the original series. A confirmation for a second season has been made, purportedly releasing in 2024. Miguel Sapochnik, a co-creator of the prequel alongside George R. R. Martin and Ryan Condal, left the team due to fatigue and stress. The talent directed multiple episodes for Game of Thrones, even winning an Emmy award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, in particular for “Battle of the Bastards” in season six. Half of the reason Game of Thrones performed so well is because of this show-runner, so seeing him leave the franchise would be worrisome. Except the empty role will be filled in by Alan Taylor, a wellknown Thrones partner. He, too, directed a plethora of astonishing episodes for the original such as “Beyond the Wall” and “The North Remembers”. It has potential to be exceptional, as the story writing is up to standard and the production quality is brilliant. But the execution has to be extraordinary so it can make a name for itself. Although having directors from the previous project means for a precise story, it is showing signs of lacking originality. Thus far, House of the Dragon is not able to compete with its predecessor. Will it ever sit on the Iron Throne? Only time will tell whar’s to come next.


DJ Khaled releases new album ‘God Did’

DJ Khaled released his new album titled “God Did” on Aug. 26, 2022. It’s the thirteenth studio album produced by We the Best/Epic Records and includes a total of 18 tracks with plenty of new features. The album is a follow up from his previous album, “Khaled Khaled”, which racked up over 107 million streams in the first month. This raises a question: can his new album compete?

The most interesting thing about this album is its features: Drake, Jay Z, Rick Ross, Eminem, Lil Wayne, and more. These artists have been seen in previous albums by Khaled, so it’s nothing unexpected, but the more surprising features are SZA, City Girls, Juice Wrld, Roddy Rich, and Lil Durk. They are not his usual style of music, but it makes a good contrast. Khaled blends old school with new school. This can be hard to pull off but for someone as experienced as him, he pulls it off well.

The best song on the album would be “Use This Gospel” featuring Kanye West and Eminem, a remix of West’s original

song produced by Dr. Dre. It has an incredible beat and fits well with Khaled’s style of music. The lyrics have deep meaning and a positive message as we can see here, “Time to say a prayer, they didn’t think we would make it this far, they didn’t believe in us but I know god did”. These lyrics can be really personal for some people and it’s relatable. God is something that Khaled values in his life, showing it through the song’s lyrics.

Khaled was excited to be able to produce such a great song with some of the best in the game as we can see in an Instagram caption: “PRODUCED BY DR DRE MY IDOL,” KANYE AND EMINEM This is a BIG blessing for me, but also a BIG blessing for the world. GOD DID!! THIS A GIFT. DRE DID!! YE DID! EMINEM DID!!”

The album “Khaled Khaled” was released last year on April 30. It was good, but not nearly as good as his new album. “God Did” has higher quality production, more interesting features, deeper lyrics, and is vocally better. Overall, the album is a success and is projected to sell 115,000 copies the first week in comparison to his previous album which only sold 93,000.


gargantuan gate closes with a booming thud, a bellowing cloud of sandy dust kicking up into the air from the impact. The clicking of hooves patter the ground as creaking wooden wheels pave the way into the red sand. I gulp at the sight, instinctively hugging my sides in a silent cry for comfort. These days always pained me. How can it not?

“Sissy,” Rosaline whined with a tug at my tunic, “why is Mr. Peterson hurt?”

My hand gently goes to her own, caressing her small little knuckles in my calloused nubs. “He got hurt ‘cause he ‘nd all those others went outside them walls, Rosie. Don’t follow their same broken dreams. It ain’t worth nothin’, ‘ight?” I repeated what the Clergy and Mama ingrained into me. With one more rub on her stubby little hand, I look back to the sad march of dead dreams. The group of scavengers makes their trek to the shanty market. Hollers and wails coming from the bystanders.

I didn’t blame them, not much at all. These people keep proposing a dream that will never come. We fund them with what little resources we have here and they come back empty-handed and with corpses on saddles. Some never even make it back home. “Soon ‘nough they’ll be dead as the Sun.”

“Ainsley!” Mama nipped in a hushed tone. I shoot her a look. “Quit yer yappin’ ‘bout the Sun before one of ‘em Clergy hear ya!” I look up to the smoky sky, with only unfortunate dribbles of light peaking through the heavy smog.

“Sorry, Mama. I’ll be more careful next time.” The elderly couple in front had glared over their shoulder at me once they heard the word ‘Sun.’ That star above was shunned. Apparently, it is used to source plants. A process called photosynthesis. I had never seen a plant before. No one here has. I would like to see one someday, but that is but another broken dream in this broken place. Mama is always telling me to quit it when I talk about history, but I can’t help myself. Hearing how there use to be things powered with what’cha-ma-call-


it-technology. That’s real fascinating if you asked me. Far more fascinating than chopping down the terri-deer.

I had made my way to a workstation, slicing up the meat of this animal. Apparently, this thing was called a deer some hundred years ago. The suffix sure makes sense. Why those men up top called it terri-deer is beyond me. “Maybe ‘cause them green boils make it terrible?” When my jagged knife hooked past one of the infectious mountains it popped, outbursting swamp green pus.

“Quit talkin’ to yerself, Ainsley, and get yer knife workin’!” Ms. Jennings spat at me. The spit bubbles on my arm. I couldn’t help myself but make a face. It’s wet and sticky and the phlegm is opaque. Although this old hag is nasty, I couldn’t help but feel some sympathy. She’s on her dying days, as it appears with the saliva. Dark means she has been contaminated. The Clergy must’ve been notified, seeing as how everyone else avoids the woman.

I remember reading about swamps. Ecosystems were lush and vibrant, and animals were pleasant to look at. There were enormous trees. Some were a type called oak. I wanted so desperately to continue learning of the world before ours, but Aunt Ruth told me that if one of the Clergy saw it, I’d be sent outside.

It was dimming now. The faint peaks of light we see have left. Quiet flickers of lantern light cast the burdened town in orange hues. Like the orange sand below. I was eating with my friend, Nolan. He was saying something to me. What it could be, I wouldn’t know. I was too busy listening to Mr. Peterson and the scavengers talk about their adventures.

“I know I saw it, Marcos! It was a real ocean.”

“Shut up, Peterson. If the Clergy or any one of these no-brains hear ya, we’re done for.”

This conversation followed me from the darkest of the night to the morning. An ocean, Mr. Peterson said. I had only ever heard of such legends.

I sit at my window, staring up at the stone walls that keep me and my town safe. Then, I look at the towering borders that reach as high as the smoggy sky. If you squint, you could still see the rock climb. My heart ached for a longing I’ve felt since I was young. Freedom. Knowing the unknown. I wish to experience all of it. From the plants to the oak trees to the blissed ocean. They are outside these walls.

It was a few weeks later. My impulsive plan was set into action. I hid in a crate on a creaky carriage, tucked away. The thundering of my heart made my throat grow dry. The clap of the gate closing made the ride rocky and my head thumped hard.

“Same route as last?” Mr. Peterson’s voice was gruff. I only recognized it because of the rough sound.

“Yes. Keep hard East and keep on

goin’. We go till the horizon stops.”

I crack the lid of the barrel quietly, peeking out. My eyes must deceive me. Where are the trees? The grass? The singing birds? The beaming Sun nestled in silk clouds?

“Where are they?” My heart plummeted. I felt myself fall back into the barrel, the lid slamming shut. Dread made my brain go foggy. The scene kept repeating in my mind. It was so bleak. So dreary. It was smoggier than smog out here. Deader than dead.

I must’ve fallen asleep. The rocking of the carriage swayed me. But now, my eyes split open as the cage I set myself in flies and crashes about. I scream. On impact, the barrel breaks, and I lay coiled in pain. I look around, blood oozing from a head wound. The ride is in disrepair and bodies lay on the dirt floor. A familiar figure croaks in agony. “Mr. Peterson!”

I stand to race over to him but collapse. My head smacks into the ground before I could catch myself. My ankle pulsed in sheer misery and a shuddering cry escaped. “Mr. Peterson.”

“Ainsley, that you?” His harsh voice carried out like the sand winds that would blow back at home. Home. Oh, my sweet Rosie, poor Mama, and frivolous Nolan. “What in the name of the Sun.. why are you here?”

“I wanted to see the ocean. How can we do that with a broken carriage?” I had made my way to him.

“The ocean ain’t near here. We’re never gonna make it in our state, Ainsley. You should’ve stayed home. It was safe for a kid like you!”

My hand coils into the ground below me out of anger. “I couldn’t breathe another stuffy minute in those stone walls!”

“That doesn’t matter anymore,

kid. None of this matters. Our oxygen protection gear has been destroyed. All our men are dead. We’re gonna be dead, too.”


Mr. Peterson then explained to me how the air out here is contaminated. The two of us sat leaning against a broken wheel. Between long breaths, he would hack out a wheezing cough. He told me about nations that existed before our own. There was a North America, a Europe, a Japan, a Russia, a North and South Korea. He told me there was a final World War. It was a new word. War. He told me how cruel, inhumane, and dastardly it was. He told me that out of greed for power, each world power used up all natural resources they had. Oil, fossil fuels, iron, wood– you name it. They used it til it was rock bottom. They used nuclear bombs.


“Nuclear bombs. The reason why we had to stay in the stone walls ya hate so much, Ainsley. As we speak, the remains of those bombs are filling our lungs. We gonna either die as we breathe or turn into a terri-beast.”

I felt my eyes widen in shock. “The Clergy never told us ‘bout this, Mr. Peterson! They said ‘em terri-beasts were the result of the Sun, and that the smog above protected us from the sins of that star. And if we were to ever be bestowed upon its light, we’d have been sinned to green boils. Oh, why, oh why, Mr. Peterson?”

“The Clergy were blind to truth, reason, and the sin of humanity’s past. We killed our home through want for more. Our two hands,” he opens his palms up to the sky, “never were made to hold such power.”

His coughing worsened. He lowers...

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