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The Marquee

Vol. 36 Issue 2 • Nov. 17, 2021 • Edward S. Marcus High School • 5707 Morriss Road Flower Mound, TX 75028

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Black History Club holds drive for hygiene products

Affordable options for fall themed dates

No rest for the weary p.11

editor in chief Sophia Craig managing and online editor Shriya Mukkavilli design editor Alex Thornfelt sports editor Hyunsung Na business manager Aishani Raju reporters Garrison Acree Muna Nnamani Marley Roberson Vanessa Cardoso Alanna Reed Harrison Hamre photographers Avery Jerina Salma Ali designers Jayla Landou Jennifer Banh Marie Dacunos Saloni Mistry adviser LaJuana Hale principal William Skelton

The Marquee newsmagazine is a student-generated publication of Marcus High School. It is produced, edited and maintained through the efforts of the school’s advanced journalism class. The Marquee is designed to serve the school and community as a forum for open discussion and student expression. The Marquee encourages letters to the editor as part of its mission to educate, inform and provide an open forum for debate. All submissions must be signed. The staff reserves the right to edit all material. Editorials reflect the opinion of the staff, not necessarily that of the administration. Signed columns or reviews represent only the opinion of the author. Advertising rates are $70 per 1/8 of a page, with discounts available. Patron ads are available for $100. Online advertisements are also available. For more information call 469-7135196. The Marquee is a standing member of ILPC, TAJE, ATPI, CSPA NSPA, JEA and Quill and Scroll.

cover Saloni Mistry

SophomoreThomas Faulkner brought an assortment of treats for school staff to celebrate Halloween. Photo Avery Jerina

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Lacking resources

Supply shortages affect local businesses and schools

Breaking records

Senior wide receiver has most yards in school history

Reaching new distances Discus thrower places in European Championships

Scan the QR code for more stories and photos on our website! contents

Black History Club hosts fall hygiene drive story Harrison Hamre

Black History Club held their annual drive in October to donate to a local charity. This year, they collected hygiene products to go to Denton County Friends of the Family, a local women’s domestic violence shelter. The shelter provides a safe place for women who have been victims of domestic and sexual violence in the community. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month so the Black History Club did research on local organizations in the area and found the Denton County Friends of the Family. Black History Club sponsor Sherri Sistrunk believes this cause was important. “I just need the students to understand that we have to give back,” Sistrunk said. “So that’s why it’s important that we do this.” Many of the items needed by the DCFoF are essential hygiene products Black History Club has been collecting Dove Bodywash, Colgate Toothpaste and Secret Solid Antiperspirant Deodorant. “Those three things, they run out very often,” Sistrunk said. “And that’s concerning, because that means they’re having a lot of people there. So I know it’s going to have a great impact.” The DCFoF and the Black History Club alike wish to spread more awareness about domestic and sexual abuse. Black History Club member and senior Myles Robinson hopes the drive will help create a positive impact. “I’m participating in this drive because I understand how real of an issue domestic violence is, and how unfortunately it could happen to anyone and I’m willing to do my part to help create positive change,” Robinson said. The DCFoF is looking to expand their current programs further and create new initiatives designed to help end the cycle of relationship violence and abuse in our community.

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“We always try to affect the community,” Sistrunk said. The DCFoF has helped victims in the community of Denton county but they are always looking to create a greater impact. We hope that this drive will have a positive impact, and will be able to aid in the healing process for women who have gone through traumatic experiences, and Black History Club accepted donations of hygiene will open the communities products in October. Photo Salma Ali eyes to the seriousness of this issue,” Robinson said.

design Jayla Landou


Supply chain issues cause local product shortages story Alanna Reed Supply chain problems are causing shortages in the local area. The pandemic decreased consumer buying habits, so supply decreased. Now that more people are back to work, demand has increased while supply struggles to catch up. Not to mention with many Americans leaving service industries like truck drivers, there are fewer people to move products around the country. AP Economics teacher Matthew Stoeberl said that goods are sitting at the ports due to the worker shortage. “A lot of it comes back to COVID,” Stoeberl said. “A lot of people stayed home from work or didn’t, or shifted their work from one industry to another.” The shortages have affected the school as well. Whether you’re craving nachos at lunch, or your project needs colored photos, you may be out of luck. Certain products are scarce. In the cafeteria, grocery, paper and chemical supplies are low in stock. Cafeteria Manager Kelly Gray said as they prepare student meals, every week they don’t have enough meat, paper goods and condiments. Often they have to turn to other campuses and borrow their leftover food. “It’s a daily hustle basically where we go out and we look for the product to make sure you guys have it,” Gray said. Gray contacts all 68 schools in the district whenever the cafeteria is low in

supply. When she’s found a product they need, from spoons to chips, she drives to each school to pick it up. Gray also said that for the next month, hamburgers will likely be unavailable. “A lot of students were like, ‘What? Why?’ And I was like, well because of the shortages in the world,” Gray said. The library staff are also facing issues in regard to the supply shortages. Printer

Cafeteria manager Kelly Gray searches the cafeteria’s inventory daily for any shortages. Photo Salma Ali

cartridge ink and toner that once cost $100 is now $700. Finding affordable options is proving difficult for the staff. “I have not really been able to locate it in my normal places,” library aide Debbie

Virant said. “The few places that I have, it’s very expensive.” This affects students who often use color photos for projects. Due to the shortage, more students have opted to print in black and white. Virant said that some elementary schools in the district have run completely out of ink. If the library faced the same dilemma, students would need to adapt. Submitting to teachers through Canvas is an option, according to Virant. “I’m optimistic that we won’t run into that, that we won’t completely run out,” Virant said. The custodial department is also facing employment shortages. Custodian Kim Tran said that the janitor staff is short three people. Currently there are 10 custodians to clean the whole school. There used to be 13 to 15 total custodians. Junior Scotlin Myers said the shortages have affected purchasing things from stores. Those products include furniture and food. “You can’t get stuff anymore, or at least it’s hard to get those things,” Myers said. Another problem is the huge decrease in semiconductor chips. These are used in the production of cars, computers and even electric toothbrushes. This will be detrimental to the manufacturing industry, according to Stoeberl. “When you have a shortage of a key component, that’s going to lead to a shortage in everything made from those computer chips,” Stoeberl said. “It’s like a big web.”


design Alex Thornfelt


Local corporations have had similar problems. Flower Mound Best Buy Supervisor Jason Brumley reported being low in TVs, computers and other electronics. Brumley also said they are low in gaming consoles, so if students want a PS5 for Christmas this year, they may want to wish for something else. Target Executive Team Lead Lauren Casey said the store is low in paper products like toilet paper as well as certain foods. Like Best Buy, Target’s vendor supply chain is struggling to bring gaming consoles to the store. “Since a lot of people are sitting at home and finding ways to be entertained, we’ve noticed a huge shortage in electronics,” Casey said. With the holiday season coming up, many shoppers fear the shortages. They may want to buy products early before everything runs out. Stoeberl said this behavior is normal and that he’ll probably do the same. But this is another surge in demand, which could hurt the supply chain more. “Everybody’s going to the retailer stores, because they want to beat the shortage,” Stoeberl said. “But that could speed up the shortage. And it could even increase prices even more.” Casey said that Target will lack certain products until the last week in November. This holiday season, businesses are advising that consumers remain patient and plan ahead. “Everyone’s trying to get the product and have it in the timeframe that they want but who knows if it’s going to be super accessible?” Casey said. According to Stoeberl, correcting a shortage is not too complex. Raising prices of products motivates manufacturers to produce more. Increasing the wages of truck drivers and other workers would likely bring products from the ports to stores quicker. However, Stoeberl said

Maria Mestas restocks the beverage corner. The cafeteria has been short on drinks, among other items. Photo Salma Ali

this still has its conflicts. “The misunderstanding is people believe when you fix the shortage, it means everyone gets it,” Stoeberl said. “No, it just means the amount of people that are willing and able to pay a price for an item equals the amount of items you have available.” Industries that focus on the semiconductors want to increase production. However, Stoeberl believes it won’t be so simple. Buying proper facilities, training workers and obtaining the technology could take more time than retailers can afford. “It’s gonna be six months to a year before we can crank up production ourselves,” Stoeberl said. “This is probably going to be an issue for a year, I think.”

-There’s a 30% increase of goods coming through the largest US ports with 28% fewer workers to distribute them. (via Business Insider) -The warehouse industry lacks about 500,000 workers. The trucking industry lacks 80,000 drivers. (via US Labor Department) -Consumer prices for used cars have increased by over 24 percent over the past year. New car prices are up 9 percent. (via the Washington Post)

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design Alex Thornfelt



Receiver sets new record for most career yards story Hyunsung Na This season, senior wide receiver Dallas Dudley has made his name known. With 1,153 yards from this season, Dallas has been instrumental to the team’s success. At the last game of the season at Plano East, Dallas had 138 yards which gave him enough to break the school record for most career receiving yards with 2,452. The team still has the postseason to play, so he can keep adding to his new record. Dallas says that having the record is an honor but at the end of the day just loves playing. “It’s a big accomplishment for me, especially seeing the guys that have come through here,” Dallas said. “That’s one of the biggest things I love to do here. I love to break records, I love to make some memorable moments and in high school you got to have fun with the game and that’s what I like to go out and do.” Just in his senior season, Dallas has made multiple highlight plays, including his 4th quarter catch against Flower Mound, when the team was down by 3. Senior quarterback Jaxxon Warren threw it towards the middle of the field with one Jaguar defender in front of him. Dallas jumped high and caught the ball right over the defenders’ fingertips, turned and ran for more yards. He’s made multiple catches against Plano West where he snatched the ball away from defenders like it was nothing. He

plays like he was born to do this. Football is in Dallas’ blood. His uncles played college football, and his dad Rickey Dudley was a former NFL tight end, who played on the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rickey said he felt pressure to put Dallas into football almost immediately, but he didn’t want to force the sport onto him. He wanted him to find his own way. Dallas played only basketball until seventh grade when he told his dad he wanted to play football too. With all the knowledge from his playing career, Rickey was ready to offer Dallas all the information he could. “It was one of those things where when you see the kid wants something and you have the knowledge to give to him, you just do it,” Rickey said. From then on Dallas played both sports, his father helping him improve mentally then physically by watching film of other players. But Rickey says Dallas is the one who put in the work at the end of the day. “I can only take credit for just showing him the direction,” Rickey said. “I can’t take credit for the drive and all the extra work.”

Sophomore Year Dallas made the varsity as a sophomore. That season he was ready to show everyone what he could do. However, his life changed when his aunt passed away that year. “She didn’t get to witness any of my years on varsity here,” Dallas said. “But I knew that she would always be looking down on me and that this sport is what my family would want me to do, what my family would want me to work hard in, so I just did.” Rickey says he’s proud of Dallas

Senior Dallas Dudley runs with the ball in the Mound Showdown game. Photo Avery Jerina


design Marie Dacunos


turning to football as his way to work through the loss of his aunt. “You have to use something as a distraction,” Dudley said. “A motivation to keep her memory alive and at the same time continue with your life.” That season Dallas recorded 46 catches for 665 yards and 4 touchdowns. His first ever touchdown on varsity was in the 2019 Battle of the Axe. That matchup lived up to the intense rivalry as points were scored left and right. Dallas stood on the sidelines as the game was tied up by a Lewisville field goal, making the score 42-42. On the next drive, Dallas saw quarterback Garrett Nussmeier start running to his right. He jumped up to catch the ball and immediately saw one defender whizz right past him. Another defender dove at his legs, but Dallas stayed in bounds and ran into that endzone. He saw the entire sideline full of players and coaches rushed onto the field to celebrate with him: the young sophomore who helped win the game. Dallas says that moment was something he’ll remember forever. “I knew that’s a once in a lifetime thing, maybe a couple times for some people,” Dallas said. “But it was real good to get a team win overall, just seeing my teammates happy and the fans happy is a feeling like no other.” That wasn’t the only big play from Dallas that season. As in the first

team’s first playoff game against Lake Highlands, Dallas caught a ball right above a defender’s helmet while running down the sideline, setting the team up for their 36-27 win. That play won the DFW Inside High School Sports “Play of the Year.” Thousands of people voted for Dallas’ helmet catch including former NFL players such as Tim Brown, Simeon Rice, Desmond Howard and Eddie George, who all voiced their support on Twitter. Rickey said it was a remarkable play. “I still don’t understand how he caught that,” Rickey said. “He’s got a couple of catches that [made me go] ‘that was impressive.’”

Junior Year Dallas’ recorded similar numbers with 41 catches for 627 yards and 7 touchdowns, but the team was at a whole different level. In 2020 the Marauders had their first undefeated season since 1995. Dallas said that having that type of talent around him made him better. “I think that’s what made me a better person over the years,” Dallas said. “Just having them around, having great chemistry with the team made me a better player overall.”

Senior Year In the offseason, Rickey and Dallas set goals for his senior season such as creating a spark for the team and setting the tempo. By his fourth game of the

Dudley, wearing #11, on the sidelines with his teammates at the Oct. Coppell game. The team won 39-37 overtime. Photo Avery Jerina

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Dudley blocks a Plano West defender; the score was 37-14. Photo Avery Jerina

season he had 600 yards and was the yards leader in all 6A schools. In his first game against Jesuit, each of his catches built momentum. By the end of the game, he had recorded 9 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown. “Once I get my groove going, I think there’s no one that can stop me, Dallas said. “When you keep coming to me I think that’s one of the main things that help out the team.” Senior teammate Zach Morris grew up with Dallas and says he had high expectations for his performance. “I expected it because I’ve seen it the past two years,” Morris said. “When he was just the slot receiver but now he’s the main guy, so I expected him to do that.” Dallas’ 100 yards a game streak continued even through the team’s lowest scoring game of the season in the Mound Showdown. The wide receiver recorded a career high 13 catches for 118 yards. “It’s always fun playing those guys across the street,” Dallas said. “But it’s a tough loss in your senior year, but I knew that our focus was on winning our next games and then district.” Dallas continued his senior season racking up yards and after 8 games, he had 55 catches for 938 yards. Morris says it’s been incredible to watch. “It’s pretty great, he just makes some unbelievable plays out there,” Morris said. “It’s just fun to watch.”

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Junior Emma Sralla prepares to throw the discus. Emma has competed in track meets since she was 9. Photo Avery Jerina

THROWING to the TOP Discus thrower competes in European Championships story Aishani Raju

Junior Emma Sralla stood in the stadium in Tallinn, Estonia. Her eyes darted to the athletes pacing around waiting for their event to start and the coaches instructing on the sidelines. She took a deep breath as she stepped towards the discus ring where her placement in the U20 European championships would be determined. Although Emma was in the country she’d spent her childhood summers, this visit to Sweden felt completely different. It would be the biggest competition of her high school discus career.


design Marie Dacunos

••• In third grade, Emma’s father dragged her to compete in a local high school track meet. Standing at 5 feet 3 inches, she was the same height as a lot of the high schoolers competing, despite being only 9. When she went to the track meet, she quickly realized she stood out. Although the meet was open to competitors ages 8 and over, she was the youngest to show up. She didn’t want to come, but her dad promised her ice cream. She swung herself effortlessly and launched the discus into the sky. The crowd watched as it landed farther than most of the high schoolers’. She

placed third against people twice her age. Afterwards, Emma’s dad took her to get what she really wanted – strawberry ice cream. ••• Emma has a long history of track competitors in her family. Her great grandfather threw discus in high school, and her older brother holds the men’s record for longest discus throw at Marcus. Despite her natural throwing talent and family legacy, Emma’s love was basketball. She dreamt of playing in the WNBA.


Because of her height, Emma was a natural fit for the sport. She played basketball in her driveway every chance she got, whether there was sun, rain or snow. During Christmas break in 7th grade, she practiced in 36 degree, rainy weather. She constantly shot baskets until she had made 800 shots. “If you ask me how I felt after I shot those 800 shots, I would have told you, it was like heaven,” Emma said. “That was the best thing I could have been doing right at that point.” Emma had changed from a girl who only went to meets for the ice cream to a teenager craving victory. Her freshman year Emma continued playing basketball but that wasn’t enough to satisfy her need for success, so she joined track. She competed in several events, but like her family, she excelled in discus the most. She constantly trained after school and lifted weights. But the hardest weight for Emma to carry was the physical and mental demands of both sports. ••• Doing tough cardio in the morning and strength training in the afternoon tired Emma out constantly. Her sophomore year, she had a wake up call. As Emma was throwing after a long morning basketball practice, she felt off. She was usually upbeat, energetic, and ready to tackle both sports.

Sralla in the stadium at the U20 European championships in Tallin, Estonia. Photo submitted by Emma Sralla

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“I remember throwing and just feeling dead,” Emma said. “Obviously, my distances weren’t very good. My legs were sore because we had just done bleachers that day … I felt sick.” The pressure that she put on herself outweighed her love for basketball. She realized that if she wanted to be her best in discus, she had to quit basketball. As Emma looked back on her sophomore season, she knew that this needed to happen. “This was definitely the biggest turning point in my entire career,” Emma said. ••• Since she quit basketball, she has focused her energy on discus training and has been competing in meets. Win after win, Emma owned her competition. Junior and track manager June Kim has watched Emma compete since they met in eighth grade. She recently saw Emma pace nervously before her turn to throw at the Prosper meet. Kim said that, even being a strong competitor, Emma struggles internally before big meets. “Nobody here is equal competition to her and she definitely does get nervous,” Kim said. “I think that shows how much she cares, and it shows how much she really wants to do well.” Emma tapped her foot counting as she stared at the ground waiting for her turn to throw. She was trying to empty her head of thoughts and hone in on her goal – a new personal record. “My mind is just like, no thoughts, no thoughts, no thoughts,” Emma said. “I have to force that into my mind or else I’ll be thinking of all different crazy stuff.” Emma paced before the Prosper meet trying to calm her mind. “She puts a lot of those pressures on herself,” Kim said. I think she’s done a really good job with making sure that she’s still looking out for herself. And I think I’ve tried to remind her to do that... each setback isn’t ultimately a setback.” As Emma watched the disc fly, she just knew that this meet had been her best one yet. Emma’s discus coach, Andrew Reinberg, watched on the sidelines. “When she released it, you could tell. I was like this is going to be a big one,” Reinberg said.

It’s just very special whenever you can compete for a country, and especially a country that is so prolific in throwing. - Emma Sralla ••• Her distance was announced. She had thrown an outstanding 165”2’ and beaten her personal record. On June 14 as the family was getting ready to eat dinner, Emma’s brother, Karl Sralla, received an unexpected call from a Swedish thrower. Emma has dual citizenship in Sweden since her mother was born and raised there. Because of her exceptional throws at track meets, she was well known in the high school discus arena. The caller had invited her to join the Swedish National Team. The next step was qualifying for the U20 European championships in Tallinn, Estonia. This is the European discus equivalent of the World Series. “It’s just very special whenever you can compete for a country, and especially a country that is so prolific in throwing,” Emma said.

design Marie Dacunos


In February, Emma was invited to compete in the U20 age group for the European championship in Estonia. She was going to live out her dreams of making it to the national European championships. She was the only member of the Swedish team who qualified for the prestigious championship. As July 15 got closer, Emma had to stay mentally and physically prepared for her championship. She was going to be the youngest female competing. “I kind of just wanted to soak it all in and realize that, hey this is really cool … and I can have as much fun as I can,” Emma said. ••• At the U20 competition, her scores put her through the first round, and she advanced to the second. She was ten people away from winning the championship. Her phone was flooded with support from family, friends and teammates. But as Emma walked towards the ring focusing her mind was only on one goal – winning. On her final throw, Emma spun herself around as she saw the discus launch into the sky. Her friends and family held their breath as they waited for the distance

to be measured. Her throw of 158’2” gave her 11th place out of the top 24 in the U20 division. “It made me realize that everything I’ve done, and all the moments by myself all led to something bigger than just myself,” Emma said. “And that was like a really cool realization.” Emma plans on competing again at the European championships in Jerusalem this upcoming summer. This time, she has her eye on making it to the world championships. Setting these overarching goals allow Emma to reach further than she thought possible. “I think it’s made me so much more ambitious than I would be otherwise,” Emma said. “I think it kind of gives me a reason to wake up sometimes.”

Despite Sralla’s busy schedule, she practices her discus throws every day. Photo Avery Jerina

RECEIVINGTHELEGACY Continued from pg 7

Rickey knows how hard his son has worked for this and couldn’t be more happy for his success. “I’m proud, man. Very proud,” Rickey said. “My biggest motivation has been to continue what he started,” Dallas said. “He’s my biggest inspiration.” At every game, Dallas’ father has his own pregame routine. He brings his own camera to record so that the two have lots to study later together. Rickey has committed to be here for Dallas through


design Marie Dacunos

it all. Now at the end, Rickey says it feels great to see where Dallas is now. “It’s satisfying, gratifying, all the above,” Rickey said. “I don’t think [my sons] will appreciate it until they’re my age and they’ll be able to go back and look back on these tapes.” This routine has become so normal for Dallas’ father who’s done it for years at this point. “Now if I don’t have my recorder I don’t feel like I’m game ready,” Rickey said.

Fans will remember the excitement they felt watching every big play. History will remember Dallas in the record books. But Dallas will remember his family. “My parents are definitely my ‘why,’” Dallas said. “Every single day I want to make them proud, my family is what inspires me, it’s what makes me want to go out there and do my best so I can one day give everything back to them because of the work they’ve put in for me.”


you lose? You snooze,

photo Avery Jerina

Losing Hours Teens struggle with sleep story Shriya Mukkavilli & Hyunsung Na As the school day starts, students shuffle into their first period classes. Many bring coffee or sugary energy drinks to help treat their lack of sleep the night before. This issue isn’t unique to this school.

A CDC analysis of a poll found that 72.7 percent of high schoolers said they get fewer than the recommended 8 hours of sleep. AP Psychology teacher Amanda Vara said she often notices her sleep deprived students falling asleep in class. When she taught middle school, she was stricter about students falling asleep. “I would always have to wake students up, and be like, “you need to stay awake,” Vara said. “But now that I’m [teaching] in high school, I understand more where they’re coming from.”


design Saloni Mistry

Why teens can’t sleep

Several issues keep students up at night, from assignments to jobs to extracurriculars. Senior Suhani Gajera says that when she started ninth grade, it was difficult to adjust because of how demanding high school classes were. “In middle school, I remember it wasn’t anything compared to high school,” Gajera said. Senior Nicole Shokry said her sleep schedule worsened her junior year because of the demanding workload of her dual credit classes. “I felt like I had to stay up to finish my work, and if I couldn’t finish my work, I’d just be tired the next day,” Shokry said.

In 2014, The American Academy of Pediatrics declared teen sleep deprivation a national epidemic. Sophomore Ava Cherry said she can feel when she doesn’t get enough rest. “I always have dark circles under my eyes, but they get even more intense

when I don’t sleep and I can’t really focus,” Cherry said.

Effects of technology

Technology is also a proven cause of sleeplessness. According to The National Sleep Foundation, 57 percent of teens who use technology in their bedrooms suffer from insomnia. The foundation’s poll also found that almost 30 percent of high schoolers leave their phones on while sleeping and report being awakened at night by texts, calls, or emails. Senior Colin MacFarland said that he thinks because teens have such busy schedules, night is the only time they have to themselves. “Definitely there’s homework, but I think also there’s the fact that people need to unwind after working all day so they might be on their phone for a while,” MacFarland said. Vara said phones cause the biggest impact on how students sleep. “With any kind of notification that we get for a text message or something on Snapchat, when we see that we get a message, we want to press it to see what’s going on,” Vara said. “And in a way, pressing it is a reward. That could go on all night.”


During the day

Vara says that sleep has a relationship to performance in school. “I know that in sleep, the REM stage, which is our dreaming stage, is so important for our mental well being, for memory, for learning, for concentration, all of those things,” Vara said. Some don’t sleep to stay up studying or quickly cramming for a quiz or test but one study found that after 17 to 19 hours without sleep, participants performed worse than someone with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent.

to fully recover from an hour of lost sleep. While it may be difficult for most students to have a consistent sleep schedule, Vara said they can make small changes to their routine for better rest. “I would just encourage young people to challenge themselves to make a goal of an earlier bedtime, or waking up earlier on weekends,” Vara said.

Then after even more hours without sleep, their performance was similar to people with a blood alcohol level of .1 percent (.02 percent higher than the drunk driving limit in the U.S.). Sophomore Violet Snyder said she has trouble paying attention and focusing in class when she doesn’t sleep enough. “II hear what the teacher’s saying, but I can’t connect it,” Snyder said. Senior Colin MacFarland said when he doesn’t have enough rest he is “very quick to anger, tired obviously, and I just can’t really think about anything.” Because of inadequate sleep, many teens turn to caffeine, sometimes in excess, to keep them awake during the school day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents don’t consume energy drinks, but 30 to 50 percent reported drinking them. Vara said the effects of caffeine products can cause students to develop unhealthy dependencies. “When you keep putting caffeine in your body, it goes to your brain. Your brain’s like, “Oh wow, I need to do something with this. I need to create more receptors for this chemical and so it does,” Vara said. “And then you need more of that caffeine to make up for that, to feel the way you felt even before.”

How to get better sleep Even if students try sleeping the

recommended 8-9 hours, it isn’t an immediate fix for prior sleep issues. A 2016 study found that it takes four days

in-depth Nov. 17, 2021

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Restless nights disrupt life story Garrison Acree

Alyssa Mercano, 12

Senior Alyssa Mercano struggles with her sleeping habits due to her full-time job. Photo Avery Jerina

5:30 a.m. Senior Alyssa Mercano rolls over and turns off her alarm. Since she studied late and only got two hours of sleep, she’s tempted to hit the snooze button. But it’s an hour drive to school. Reluctantly, starts her day. After coffee, she climbs into her car. The caffeine is the only thing that keeps her awake as she heads down the freeway. While driving, she mentally goes over the notes from the previous night for her Dual Credit Physiology test. “I think the dual credit class gives me the most homework. I have maybe six hours of sleep if I don’t have any homework,” Alyssa said. “But the more homework I do have...I have no choice but to lose sleep to catch up on school.” Alyssa also has homework from most of her classes most days. “I have something to do every single


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day, no matter what,” Alyssa said. Alyssa’s obstacles from sleep are not just schoolwork. To provide for her family which includes a new baby, Alyssa works full-time at Dickey’s, which means she’s there most days after school. “And there’s a lot of people, especially some I know, who are their main source of income in the household,” Alyssa said. Between paying off her car, helping her family and saving for college tuition, not much is left over from Alyssa’s paycheck. “That’s how it is for me. My mom doesn’t work,” Alyssa said. “So it’s up to me, and I put in like 35 to 45 hours a week of work.” To keep from falling asleep in class or at work, Alyssa drinks caffeine daily. Usually it’s coffee, but not always. “I’ve occasionally had [5-Hour Energy] before.” Alyssa said. “They’re actually really nasty. It almost tastes like cough medicine. But I sometimes put some in a Red Bull slush from the gas station. I don’t think it’s very healthy.” Through the exhaustion, she keeps her goal of graduating in mind. “I’m just trying to push myself because I want to just get my high school diploma,” Alyssa said. “I want so much for myself, I really do.”

story Vanessa Cardoso

Scout Lee, 12 6:30 a.m. The alarm clock rings once, possibly twice. The loud alarm makes senior Scout Lee’s migraine even more unbearable. She staggers to the bathroom to brush her teeth and shower. She can’t let her migraine control her day. After she’s ready, she drives to Quik Trip to get her usual: a strong black coffee with vanilla to get through the long day. She arrives at school at 7:45 a.m., just enough time to hang out with her friends. For Scout, it’s difficult to talk with friends while her head continues to hurt. The lights in the room appear more harsh than usual. She tries to concentrate on the words coming out of her friend’s mouth but she’s unable. Scout is taking AP Chemistry, Photography and AP Art. In each class she has the same problem. She tries to focus on what the teacher is explaining on the board, but her

Senior Scout Lee often gets too little sleep due to her chronic migraines and heavy workload. Photo Avery Jerina


mind wanders. The board in front of her disappears and all she can do is think about the pain. “Sitting up is difficult enough so to be able to complete a task is really difficult,” Scout said. Since Scout has senior out, she leaves after AP art for home. She eats lunch quickly because she needs to drive her sister to the gym and get to work before 3:40. Scout teaches preschool gymnastics and coaches competitive gymnastics. Classes go on from 3:40-8:30 p.m. Scout eats dinner and doesn’t begin homework until 10:30. “I get ready for bed, but I actually don’t go to bed until a lot later because I have to do homework,” Scout said. Scout tries to remain awake to finish everything but it’s hard while

her migraine persists. Going to bed is tempting, but she continues so she won’t have to catch up on loads of work the next day. She manages to complete all her homework, but she’s missed hours of sleep. Scout’s migraines will sometimes last for days or weeks on end. During that time, she sometimes misses school for multiple days. “The longest migraine I’ve had was 23 days in a row,” Scout said. Scout takes different prescription medications to help diminish the pain, but she said that they don’t always work. It’s difficult to go to school with a migraine, but it is even worse without enough sleep. But Scout continues to push through regardless. With or without sleep, she still makes it through the day.

story Hyunsung Na

Madison Wilson, teacher 3 a.m. Math teacher Madison Wilson can finally feel her legs begin to rest. Her breathing starts to slow. She can finally rest. Only two hours later, Wilson jolts awake to her alarm. She reads the time: 5:30. It’s time to start her day. Wilson suffers from restless leg syndrome, an incurable nerve disorder that causes massive discomfort in her legs. She compares the feeling to when your legs are about to sleep which creates an uncontrollable urge to try to shake out that pins and needles feeling. “When I do [have it] I just want to almost get a hammer and hit my leg, which seems crazy, but if you have restless leg you know how it feels,” Wilson said Wilson also has insomnia. Around six months ago, she was prescribed a medicine that has helped, but she still has about two days a week where she only gets two to three hours of sleep. She gets dressed for work and heads down to the kitchen for coffee, desperate for energy. Restless leg syndrome runs in her

in-depth Nov. 17, 2021

Math teacher Madison Wilson suffers from restless leg syndrome and insomnia. Photo Avery Jerina

family with her mom and aunt having it as well. But for Wilson it really bad when she became pregnant with her first child. Now with two preschool daughters and a football coach husband who’s already left for the day, she has to take care of getting them ready too. She puts their clothes on, brushes their teeth, does their hair, gets their backpacks ready and makes breakfast. Some days it’s after only two hours of sleep. Wilson says her biggest challenge is remembering everything in the morning. “I went to the store, and bought a box

that looked exactly like [saline solution], it wasn’t, it was hydrogen peroxide,” Wilson said. “I was so tired, I wasn’t paying attention, I put that in my eyes, so that was rough. Stuff like that happens every day, every morning.” She takes her kids to daycare, and finally makes it to school. There she teaches her classes but the lack of sleep doesn’t severely affect her teaching. “Maybe if it was my first year, it would be, but since I’ve been doing this for a while, I feel like it’s almost something I can do in my sleep,” Wilson said. She tries not to drink any caffeine because it lessens the effect of her medication. After teaching all day, she picks up her daughters and takes them home. “You feel like sometimes you’ve used all your energy and then you go home and your kids need you,” Wilson said. “So sometimes you have to save energy throughout the day so you can do stuff at home.” She gets back in bed and hopes this time she can sleep. That tomorrow isn’t one of those bad days and she can get enough sleep. But if she doesn’t, at least she knows who she’s doing it all for. “The kids. My kids, these kids, they’re just so good. They want to learn, most of them, there’s exceptions of course,” Wilson said. “But when they appreciate the help you’re giving it makes you feel like it’s all worth it.”

design Saloni Mistry


Jeff Christenson spent his career as a radio host, but found Marcus band a great place to volunteer. Photo submitted by Jeff Christenson


Retired radio host shares love for band story Harrison Hamre Jeff Christenson is a lifelong music fanatic. On hot Texas afternoons, you can often find him watching the drumline rehearse in the lot on the corner of Dixon and Morriss. This 66-year-old is always smiling as he stands with his cane moving gently to the synchronized, pounding beats of the battery percussion, and the beautiful melodic mallet playing of the pit. Christenson didn’t know what his son was signing up for when he joined percussion, but the magic that came from those kids was astounding to him. “I’m not a drummer; I wish I was,” Christenson said. “But I’m such a


design Jennifer Banh

percussion fan and freak.” Christenson has been in radio for over five decades and has had an accomplished career full of number one radio shows, a trophy wall decorated with gifted golden records and countless pictures of him with celebrities. But he always came back to his love of the drumline. ••• Christenson was never in band, but it was an unexpected love he found through his kids. He moved to Lewisville for work with his wife Regina and kids, Jason and Melissa, in the 90’s. His children went through the Marcus feeder schools where they joined band. His son went into the percussion program under the direction of the longtime percussion

instructor Kennan Wylie. “We got into the elementary schools and came up the chain up to Marcus, not knowing anything about the drumline, not knowing the reputation that the drumline had,” said Christenson. “But my son was really good.” His wife and he became involved as members in the Booster Club because of the passion he felt for the program. In his son’s second year, Christenson was elected as the president of the Booster Club. “We put emotion and heart and feeling into what was going on,” Christenson said. “And I would explain to all the freshmen parents every year what Mr. Wylie’s technique was on how he was going to mold your kids to be champions.”


Christenson was thrilled to take a photo with actress and singer Olivia Newton John. He has interviewed various celebrities over the years, but she left him starstruck. Photo sumbitted by Jeff Christenson

Christenson appreciated the culture of the organization and Wylie’s teaching style was remarkable to him, something he didn’t expect when his kids signed up to be in a small town marching band. “Basically, by the time you’re out as a senior, you’re a different person and you’re so strong,” Christenson said. “He is a great teacher. Probably one of the best I think I’ve ever seen in all the years I’ve been alive.” One year when the Lone Star Drumline Competition rolled around, Wylie needed an announcer so he turned to Christenson. With a reputable radio career like his, he was the man for the job. “Wylie says, ‘I want you on that microphone.’ So I’ll give it a shot,” Christenson said. “I’m not a sportscaster, but…ever since then, I’ve been doing as many as I could.” Wylie said Christenson’s selflessness is one of his best parts. “Mr. Christenson is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet,” Wylie said. “He would give his coat for anybody who was out in the cold. He was one of those people that was always more concerned about others than himself.” ••• With his love for music, Christenson wanted to be on the radio ever since he was a child. He’d search on the radio until he found Elvis Presley playing and he’d pretend to announce the singers,

feature Nov. 17, 2021

just like the DJs he listened to. “From that point on my mom and my dad knew that I was going to be in radio,” Christenson said. He listened to radio as if it were

I’ve always been a firm believer that music is the one thing that attracts everybody. - Jeff Christenson

religion and couldn’t wait to do it himself. “I didn’t care about what kind of radio station I was on,” Christenson said, “I just wanted to be in radio.” After a few smaller gigs at local radio stations, Christenson eventually ended up broadcasting for ABC Broadcast Network with cohost Maria Danza. People all over the world tuned in as they cracked jokes and died of laughter, and as they brought comfort to the people who needed it. “I spoke to our troops in Afghanistan every day,” Christenson said. “I have a stack of American flags where it says ‘this flag was flown over Afghanistan in honor of…’ and I’ve got all these things that were thanking me because I was a

piece of home while these young people were all overseas.” On top of broadcasting worldwide, he’s met, interviewed and befriended various celebrities over the years. He was absolutely starstruck when he met actress Olivia Newton John, the star of “Grease.” He remembers confessing his love to her like a schoolboy. “And so during the interview with her I said ‘I always, I just always had a crush on you,’” Christenson said. “I said, ‘Tell me I was in your dreams too,’ and she said ‘I’m sorry, Paul McCartney was in my head.’ That was the very first thing we even talked about.” ••• Even though he’s still buddies with some celebrities, Christenson keeps in touch with many of the former students and staff from his time volunteering with the school’s band. “We still talk, and I’ll see them at the store and they’ll say ‘Mr. C!’ and I say ‘Just remind me your name, I’m sorry. I’m an old man now,’” Christenson said. By supporting the band, Christenson said he can spread his love for music. “Music is universal. It touches every heart, every soul,” Christenson said. It’s his love for music that keeps him coming back to the school over 15 years after his son graduated. He comes to the parking lot as an audience of one to watch a performance from a group he loves unlike any other. “It’s gold records. You can’t buy those,” Christenson said.

Christenson has been a longtime fan of the school band ever since his kids were part of it 15 years ago. Photo sumbitted by Jeff Christenson

design Jennifer Banh


Can’t buy me love Romantic getaways for fall dates story Alanna Reed Oh, autumn. The season that poets romanticize endlessly. And who can blame them? No other season compares to fall’s air of romance. Cozying up with your sweetheart, listening to

a scratchy record, or going out to appreciate the turning of the leaves. Here are some ideas for all the lovebirds looking for local, affordable and adorable dates.

The Denton Square

Location: This is, of course, in Denton. It’s approximately a 20 minute drive from the school if you take 35E. But if you and your partner are looking for a more scenic route, take 407. It’s surrounded by trees and sprawling land which are delightful this time of year. Cost: Denton Square shops like the Recycled Book Store and Downtown Mini Mall are secondhand stores that offer affordable gifts. Your date can buy you a worn copy of “Pride and Prejudice,” or a vintage poster of your favorite band. Romance: In the center of the square lies the courthouse. It’s an ornate and beautiful building that’s been there since the late 1800s. Take a blanket, sprawl on the lawn and get lost in each other’s presence. Grab a bite to eat at LSA Burger, then mosey on over to Beth Marie’s, a nostalgic ice cream parlor. You’ll feel like you’ve walked into the 1950s. The Chestnut Tree, a small teahouse and bistro, is the cutest place to have brunch with your significant other.


design Alex Thornfelt


Heritage Park

Location: This local park is located at 600 Spinks Rd. With sidewalk trails and spacious fields, Heritage is a safe and comfortable place to take your partner. Cost: This is actually one of the more affordable dates. Roam about the park with your love for no charge. It’s a great place to bond and have fun without hurting your wallet. Romance: A park during autumn is lovely. Breezes that filter through the trees. Leaves painted over with warm brown and red. Sharing a bench, shielding one another from the cold. Strolling along the trails, hand in hand, while laughter rings about. It will surely feel magical. Heritage Park is next to a neighborhood, but you would never guess that. Its pastoral landscape is reminiscent of the English countryside. The park is secluded yet open-spaced, and with your loved one beside you, you’ll feel like the only ones there.

A Humble Abode

Location: Your own home can be perfect for date night.

Cost: Baking a festive treat would be a relaxed and intimate activity for a pair. Pumpkin bread with chocolate chips would fit the theme well and be delicious. If you don’t already have the ingredients, going out and buying them should not be too much. The cheaper, the better. Romance: Staying in can be just as romantic as going out. Tasty fall goodies made from scratch add a touch of spice to the evening. Once the pumpkin bread is finished, snatch a glass of milk and snuggle up on the couch. Play a card game for two. A match of gin rummy will add to the cute old couple vibe. Watching a charming romance movie perfects the date. “When Harry Met Sally” fits the seasonal air like a glove. The classic film “It Happened One Night” is an iconic rom com that can be found at the library. Cozying up with your partner in the warmth of your home is a splendid fall date.

entertainment Nov. 17, 2021

d eli ci o u s


Pumpk in Pie

design Alex Thornfelt


things we like

Kind bus drivers Lots of high schoolers are grumpy in the mornings, with many balancing work, school, and other responsibilities. Our bus drivers seem to keep this in mind, and go out of their way to greet students. A simple, “Good morning,” can mean so much to a stressed high school student, and instantly make their day brighter.

Passionate teachers

New turn lane

A hard day can be made better for students when they walk into a class with a teacher who is enthusiastic about teaching. We all enjoy sitting in a class taught by a teacher who brings their subject to life. Even if the student does not share that passion, the effort of teachers to share their knowledge does not go unnoticed.

With tons of cars leaving at the same time every day in the parking lot, the cars are often stuck at a standstill. A new turn lane has been added and traffic flows quicker, especially after school. The lines are shorter to get out, so students can get home earlier. This change is a great turn of events.

Split down the middle column Alanna Reed Their arguing was unavoidable. Word after horrible word punctured my skull like a stake. From the sidelines I could see my parents’ relationship deteriorate. But I was so small. I didn’t have the mental capacity to understand what would happen soon. When I was 8, my backyard was my safe haven. I played in the dirt with the rolly pollies. I gobbled up book after book about penguins. One day, I turned to show my dad a picture of an Emperor chick. But he was gone. “Mom, where’s dad?” She looked away. I could tell her eyes were wet. “He’s no longer living with us, sweetie,” my mom whispered. I couldn’t possibly understand. ••• My parents divorced when I was in second grade. That’s what I tell people when they get to know me. It doesn’t hurt to say. It’s not “too soon.” But I’d be lying if I said the divorce doesn’t affect me today. I visited my dad every other weekend. In the beginning, it was confusing. Why did I have to leave Mom to be with Dad? Denton felt too far from Flower Mound. I threw tantrums, begging my dad to “take me home.” Looking back, I’m sure that shattered him.


design Jayla Landou

Eventually, the visits became easier. I looked forward to seeing my dad. Where he lives, in the more rural area of Denton, the autumns and springs are gorgeous. I remember long walks in the chilly fall evenings where he would quiz

me over Beatles trivia. My dad is the reason I am obsessed with that band. Those memories are very close to me. But like all children, my teenage years were right around the corner. My social life became more important to me, and going to Denton often got in the way of seeing friends. Not to mention,

as a high schooler, my homework load felt backbreaking. Commuting from one house to another and attempting to balance everything in my schedule was exhausting. My parents’ split never stopped plaguing me. ••• To this day, I envy unbroken families. Their home life seems so simple, so healthy. They appear unscathed by the brutality that is divorce. The trauma engulfs everyone, most of all the children. Sometimes I feel like a piece of meat that two feral dogs fight over, torn to shreds. It’s almost as if I have two personalities, one I wear for Mom, and one for Dad. There are still moments of grief, moments where I want to scream into the night sky, release all of my anguish to the stars. But then I remember my mom’s protective hugs. I remember my dad grinning and his I-found-buriedtreasure eyes when he listens to the Beatles’ “Nowhere Man” for the millionth time. I hear my mother’s strength and I hear my father’s spirit. And it keeps me going. ••• Life hurls challenges at you wherever you are, however old you are. My parent’s divorce will always be a part of me. But I do not have to let it define me.


things we don’t like

“Free” snacks With lunches being free this year, many students don’t bring their own lunch to school. In the cafeteria, there is a sign labeling some snacks as free, but after several accidental snack heists attempted by students, they’ve realized how misleading this sign is. We’d really appreciate it if the sign was replaced with accurate information.

Speeding in parking lot

Wasted ink

The packed parking lot full of newly licensed drivers is bound to see mistakes, but the amount of speeding in the parking lot can not be justified. We understand the fear of being late, but having someone get hurt in an accident isn’t worth a few seconds of saved time. Save your speeding for the race track.

Students wasting ink is a common issue in schools, but with supply chain shortages, some schools are having to limit their ink usage, or not print things altogether. We are very lucky to still have ink on hand, so now more than ever we should be using it sparingly, and not wasting it for long documents that could be created and used online.

Let’s talk turkey column Marley Roberson Whether you’re hosting the Thanksgiving feast, or heading to someone else’s house, your aunts and uncles will reminisce on the good old days, and the stories of their childhood Thanksgivings. They will come to the conclusion that the way you “do” Thanksgiving now is wrong, and their old tradition preferences are superior. Everyone will disagree on the proper way to spend this day. The main course, and perhaps the most controversial at the dinner table is turkey. Should you deep fry or roast your turkey? For the high-risk, high-reward cookers, deep-frying is the way to go. This method seals the juices and flavor in the bird and creates a crispy outside. There is no risk of your turkey drying out, like when you oven roast it. It’s also more convenient. Depending on the turkey size, this cooking process can take less than an hour. The downfall of frying is the danger that comes with it, because it does carry a higher risk of burns and fires than the more traditional method. It can also be less convenient due to the weather. This cooking process takes place outside, so if you can’t withstand the cold or the rain, go with the safe oven roasted method. If stuffing and gravy are your thing,

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this technique may not be for you. The stuffing will have to be cooked separate from the turkey, and you won’t have the juices to make gravy. The traditional oven roasted method

also has its perks and its downfalls. It allows you to put your stuffing inside the turkey to cook to add flavor, and you can use the juices to make your gravy. If you prefer not to go to the hospital for severe burns, or call the fire department for a rogue fried turkey, stick with the oven roasted method. Cooking upwards of 3 hours, and

defrosting for days, this turkey will keep you stuck at home watching the temperature rise and making sure it doesn’t dry out. The oven roasted turkey is the safe route, a guaranteed win and proof to your extended family that you are a talented cook. Now that you’ve got your food prepared, let’s talk about entertainment. You’ve got two main options –the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade or one of the three NFL games played on the holiday. Football fans insist on rooting for their favorite team in competition with their rival, and the Thanksgiving enthusiasts talk endlessly on the importance of seeing the floats, balloons, performers and music. If it’s family bonding you’re after, keep your pigskin on hand and move to the back yard to start a family football match when halftime starts. The parade only comes around once a year, and is considered a staple of Thanksgiving festivities. I know seeing the Snoopy float is the highlight of my year. No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, these lighthearted family debates tend to lead to the creation of new traditions and memories to reminisce on the next year. Even if you have to concede on how to spend the holiday, every activity and food has its perks.

design Jayla Landou


The girl on the box story Muna Nnamani The Girl on the Cra-Z-Loom bracelet box had cerulean eyes. Her smile shone from the box, marked with confidence. Her thin, glossed lips framed pearly teeth. From the time my mom brought the box home, the smile of the girl on its cover took up permanent residence in my brain. Everything about her did. The glossy black hair that framed her ivory skin. The denim vest that hung on her thin shoulders. The popular bracelets that adorned her wrists. But most of all, the perfect smile. My smile would never look like that. Eight year old me stared hard into the bathroom mirror. I wanted to be pretty too.

flowed down their backs, and they could toss any product at Claire’s into their cart without wondering if it was for them. They didn’t know anything about how I cried in pain while combing my tangled coils. They didn’t know that the spots on my sunbutter legs were scrapes and mosquito bites from my time in Nigeria. And I guess they just assumed that anything could work on any hair. When I was 4, I moved to America permanently. At 8, I still hadn’t fully adjusted to the country and was entering a new elementary school. Insecure and desperate to do school the “right” way, I was hyper aware of the differences between me and my classmates. I

••• The box contained rubber bands to make bracelets with. They were all over my third grade class, so I’d harassed my mom until she bought me my own box. I wanted to have something in common with everyone, to fit neatly in tetherball circles, to have something so interesting to talk about that people wouldn’t notice the faint remains of my Nigerian accent. The box carried more weight than the actual bracelets. I lost the bracelets when the trend died, but I remembered the box for a long time. Because the girl on its cover was the embodiment of White beauty, and I wasn’t. I spotted more Girls like her. They were the main characters on Nickelodeon and Disney. The heroines in the books I read late at night. The classmates who chewed pizza at my lunch table at school, talking unafraid of what people would think of their voice. The Girls shared the same skinny lips and shimmery-white top teeth. Their skin glowed alabaster, cream or various shades of tan. Effortless waves of hair


design Jayla Landou

believed that Whiteness was the pinnacle of everything that was right. And I wasn’t White. ••• So I felt ashamed on the first day of school, telling my new teacher, “I go by Muna” when she paused at my lengthy name, floundering during roll call. I quietly hated my name because it wasn’t Sue or Emily.

I felt ashamed at birthday parties, when my friends and I did makeovers and I was the only one whose hair wouldn’t cooperate with the curling iron. I felt ashamed every time one of my classmates tapped my shoulder and asked me if my braids were real. And I felt ashamed during fifth grade lunch, when two girls at the table next to mine watched me eat, whispering behind cupped hands. The nicer one gave me an apologetic smile. “Your mouth is really big. No offense or anything. I just couldn’t help noticing.” ••• At 8 I felt the familiar sting of shame as I held the box of bracelets next to my face, comparing the Girl’s lips with my own mouth. Now I look back and wish that I had the courage to be honest with myself about my shame. About the feeling that I was ugly because I wasn’t the Girl on the box. Instead, I did something I would regret years later. I told myself that my lips were fat. They clipped, stumbled over the American accent. They didn’t come up with words on time, and people noticed them. When I smiled, they did not delicately frame pearly whites. They showed the entirety of my top and bottom teeth, and stretched so wide that my eyes almost closed. I wanted to be more like the Girl and less like me, so I started with my smile – slowly, I brought my bottom lip up to meet the bottoms of my top teeth, and decided that I liked it better there. I resolved to practice in the mirror, until it happened naturally every time I smiled. I wish I’d realized that I only felt ugly because I could never be her. And I wish I’d remembered that I was beautiful — because I was me.


What do you think keeps students up at night? compiled Garrison Acree photos Avery Jerina Anxiety about school stuff, about their test scores. Restlessness about all the things I didn’t get to do that day and have to do the next day.

-Charley David, 11

Stress about homework, like family stuff, just like a lot of things. I just can’t sleep, I don’t know. I don’t really have a reason, I just can’t sleep.

-Kate Kazmaier, 12

I think a lot of stress about school stuff. Not just like homework, just the stress of knowing like ‘hey, that’s gonna be due here pretty soon.’ Just the stress overall, just kind of piles up over time.

-Dylan Blake, 11

You got video games, TV, you got social media, you got homework, stress about homework, parental issues, home issues. There’s just a range of things.

-David Pike, Teacher

Trans students should be included in sports staff editorial On Oct. 25, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 25 into effect which states that student athletes in grades K-12 must compete based on the sex they were assigned at birth. UIL currently allows athletes to compete with the gender they identify with if it’s changed on their birth certificate, but HB25 would ban it. This bill is discriminatory and targets trans student athletes. From a young age, many trans women aren’t given the opportunity to compete in sports. Although trans women do have a physical advantage in some ways, they are largely outnumbered in women’s sports. In the most recent Olympic Games, there were four trans athletes out of all 11,656 competing. The opportunity to play sports is shown to improve students’ confidence, leadership, focus and grades as well as have positive effects on mental health. According to a study done by Stonewall, a British-based LGBTQ+

opinion Nov. 17, 2021

rights organization, 83 percent of trans youth have experienced verbal abuse, 27 percent have attempted suicide and 41 percent of trans people have experienced physical attacks. Socialization is critical for development and trans students will miss out on monumental childhood experiences, making them feel further alienated and emotionally distant from their peers. Arguing that a genetic advantage should eliminate trans athletes from competing is hypocritical. If a genetic advantage was the issue, all sports would be sorted into weight classes, or by height. Although women are shorter on average than men and men are stronger on average than women, there are exceptions to this rule, even in cisgender athletes. Also, student athletes are far from Olympians. School sports teams are meant to bring students together and teach teamwork, cooperation and school spirit -- not to win medals. Trans students face discrimination, dysphoria and a number of other struggles. To even pretend that this performance is a valid

argument is disingenuous. These laws are not to protect cis students, but to target trans students. Another misconception is the predator myth – the idea that cisgender sexual predators will dress up as the opposite sex to commit sexual assault. This myth has made some people uncomfortable with trans people in locker rooms. There have been bans against sexual discrimination, which allow trans people access to the bathroom or locker room for the gender which they identify. The rates of sexual assault on cis people do not go up. Studies have shown again and again that trans women are at a much higher risk of assault than cisgender women. In a study by the UCLA Williams Institute, nearly 10 percent of trans people said they had faced physical assault and nearly 70 percent said they experienced verbal harassment in a gender-separated bathroom or locker room. This argument is merely a scare tactic and is based on no real evidence. To perpetuate this myth is deadly.

design Jayla Landou


Kicking some axe design Alex Thornfelt

At this year’s Battle of the Axe game, the Marauders were up against the undefeated Lewisville Farmers. The team had an upset win with the help of the team’s tough defense creating three turnovers and an efficient offense that scored five touchdowns, The Marauders gained enough momentum to come out with the 40-27 win.

Players prepare to make their entrance onto the field before the start of the game. Photo Avery Jerina

The team celebrates after the Battle of the Axe game on Oct. 29th. The Marauders beat their rivals, the Lewisville Fighting Farmers, 21-15. Photo submitted by Tracey Bergeson

Varsity cheer performs a routine before the start of the first quarter. Photo Avery Jerina

Senior wide receiver Dallas Dudley carries the ball to the end zone as a Lewisville player lunges at him. Photo Avery Jerina