Friday, February 19,
Theatre department initiates “A Few Good Men” for spring production.” p. 4-5
Oak Park High School
Issue 7, Volume 45
FCCLA sisters compete while helping others in shop by Gina Drapela editor-in-chief Upstairs next to the health room sits the HOP Shop filled with clothes, school supplies and personal hygiene items for underprivileged students in need. Supplied with donations and fund raised goods, students have access to free updated clothing and miscellaneous items such as dresses for formal events. Founded by SCRS Kathy Poehlman, sponsored by family and consumer sciences teacher Ginny Stone, and built from the ground up by sisters, senior Drew Blanton and freshman Marissa Blanton, the HOP Shop is now a functioning center.
“Kathy Poehlman sort of brought this to our attention that there was a need for clothing and personal hygiene items because there were students coming up to her all the time, needing this, needing that,” Stone said. The need was brought to Blanton’s attention, and she decided to take action by building the HOP Shop and promoting the cause to other students. “Me and my little sister kind of promoted it some more, and we’re making posters to tell everybody around the school about it,” Drew Blanton said. Along with promoting and getting the student body involved, their efforts were recognized at the
FCCLA chapter competition Tuesday, Feb. 2, in Chillicothe, Mo., where the sisters presented their project to a panel of judges. “[Our speech] was about how we help the students, what we did and the steps to doing it, and we also talked about how we got the donations to the HOP Shop,” Marissa Blanton said. The team competed in the STAR events category for community service; they were graded, receiving a gold, silver or bronze rating. “They grade you on how it relates to FCCLA and how it helps people. There are different categories you can compete in,” Marissa Blanton said. “There’s a cooking
one, teaching one, and ours was a Chapter Display case, which is helping other people, and finding ways to help others.” The team received gold for their presentation, resulting in acceptance to the state competition later this year. But while preparing for the competition later on, there is still work to be done here at home. Lending a hand to the student body not only helps the community, but makes our school a better place. “We’re just hoping students notice the HOP shop, and hoping that they’ll support us in helping other students at Oak Park that need help too,” said Marissa Blanton.
Haiti survivors receive help
Senior Drew Blanton organizes the formal clothes section in the HOP shop Friday, Feb. 5. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-inchief
with principal of the year, Fred Skretta, Ed.D. by Jessica Nichols feature editor
Organizing personal hygiene products Wednesday, Jan. 27, freshman Javier Saldana helps senior Anthony Fields send goods to Haiti relief. photo by Chelsea Troutner, special to The Log.
by Gabrielle Young editorial editor Following the Haiti earthquake on Tuesday, Jan. 12, many people around the world stepped up to help the Haitian people by sending money or providing them with basic necessities, including student’s and teachers from our school. Math teacher Tracy Andrews headed up the personal hygiene kit drive by helping with the organization Heart to Heart International. This organization helps people around the world that have faced a crisis. They send ready relief boxes as one of the ways they help people in crisis. To assemble these kits students brought; washcloths, wide tooth combs, shampoo, toothpaste, band-aids and other personal items. “I personally wanted to do something to help,” Andrews said. “It’s a personal thing but it then turned into more of coming up with a way that students can help and learn to be consciences of people in need.” Students in some of the advisory classes also wanted to help. “We all had the idea to get it going and
sending the kits,” said senior Ashley Falzone. When the Haiti earthquake hit, one student in general had emotions much different then most, he had the fear of the unknown. “I was kind of scared about my family,” said freshman Pierre Francois. His family is okay and his dad recently left for Haiti to help out in any way he could. Hearing about the kit drive made him feel happy that students were helping out. “It doesn’t matter who you’re helping as long as you’re helping someone,” Andrews said. Other advisory classes partnered together Wednesday, Jan. 27 to help assemble kits. Students from the following classes participated: Carrie Marcantonio, Sara Albright, Julie Coffey and Andrews. “I brought some of the stuff,” said senior Jacob Barnette. In order to send the kits they have to be complete by having all the items on the list present. Boxes were short some items leaving supplies for another 200 boxes, the final count of boxes sent came out to 120.
Math teacher Tracy Andrews, founder of the project, and junior Alexandria Caravella distribute toothpaste and other hygiene products to send to the people of Haiti, Wednesday, Jan. 27. Students banded together to support those in need. photo by Chelsea Troutner, special to The Log
Q: How does it feel to be KC’s principal of the year for 2009? A: “It’s pretty cool but also really humbling because I know as a principal it’s not all about me but about the school and those around me. There are a lot of other great principals so it’s a great honor.” Q: What requirements did you have to meet in order to receive the nomination? A: “The minimum is to be at a school for four years. It’s all part of a national award process through NASSP.” Q: What do you think is your greatest accomplishment since your first year as Oak Park’s principal? A: “Hiring the people I’ve been able to hire. I’ve had a really good fortune to add to the really good teachers, principals, and support staff that we already have.” Q: What changes do you see in Oak Park’s future? A: “I think that we’ll get more stuff up on the walls, make things more inviting. Keep focus on the whole person. Making the school a positive place.” Q: Do you feel pressured by your title of KC’s principal of the year to strive for greater things for this year? A: “I hadn’t even thought about that. At mid-year it is important that people start thinking about the end of the year. Keeping your eyes on the prize.” Q: What is your best experience as Oak Park principal? A: “Graduation every year. I think that graduation is just so cool. It’s a real thing, symbolic too. Students are crossing a threshold. When you finish and get your diploma no one can take it away.” Q: What has been your worst experience as Oak Park principal? A: “There was one day when I got sick here in the office and threw up in my trash can. Other than that, fights. I don’t like the idea of physical violence.”
Theater combines love with laughter by Kayla Smith writer
Senior Dylan Comstock answers the phone in a skit he performed on Thursday, Feb 11 during the Valentine’s show. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief
Post-its can be a way of communicating with a loved one, or at least that’s what seniors Taylor Weatherly and Michael Rieger did on Thursday, Feb. 11 in the many skits for the Valentine’s show, a small production put on by Theater III and IV students and Breakfast Club, called “Love, the good, the bad, and the ugly.” In one skit, Weatherly and Rieger played a couple who throughout their lives together,
from beginning to end, wrote postit notes to each other and stuck them on a fridge. It followed their entire life, including the good, the bad and the sad. “It was an interesting way to show the time line of a relationship, through theatre,” Rieger said. This wasn’t the only skit however. The entire first part of the show was full of skits much like that one. Including, one with seniors Ryan Drapela and Brook Worlledge playing two strangers who meet at a coffee shop.
Worlledge portrayed a woman at a table with a book, a cup of coffee and a bell -- key to scene. When Drapela and Worlledge met, every time one of them said something wrong or anything the other person didn’t like, they rang the bell and they corrected what they said or did that was wrong. “It went really nicely,” Worlledge said. “Our timing was good and the audience’s reaction was really positive.” The skits weren’t the only entertaining thing in the show. The second half, after a 10-minute in-
termission, featured improv. The Breakfast Club, a group of students who take part in improv performances, played various games like the dating game and party quirks, designed to impress audiences with their quick wit and acting on their feet. “The games are not very easy,” said sophomore Ty White, “but when we put together all the great minds that participated, we had great success and the audience’s reaction made it worthwhile.”
Northmen compete for seventh title by Alex Mallin sports editor
For the wrestling team, preparation for the three-day state competition has always been a year-long process. For the past six years the team has brought home a state title; each title building the weight of pressure for the following year’s team. Despite the team placing third in districts, coach Timothy Rupp feels the next step for the team will be taking home its seventh straight title. “I think we are going to win and that’s how we prepare from this point on,” Rupp said. “That’s how we train. I think they all know what is in front of them. ” At the Class III District IV tournament on Thursday, Feb. 11, Oak Park ended with four first place finishes, one second place, one third place, and two fourth place. With the results, the Northmen sent eight wrestlers to the state tournament which began Thursday, Feb. 18. As a team, the Northmen ended almost 100 points under Neosho, last year’s second place finishing team at state. According to Rupp, Neosho looks to be the team’s greatest challenge this year having lost not a single wrestler from last year. Junior Gage Harrison said he feels confident in the team despite Neosho’s performance at districts. “We look at it more of quality not quantity,” Harrison said. “Last year Neosho took 12 and we only had nine and we beat them. We look at it as we are better wrestlers.” For much of the team, state preparation continues to be a constant and year-round process despite results at state. Junior Cody Brewer, the only underclassman to bring home a state title last year, started practicing for this season the day after accepting his first-place medal. “We are all ready for this week,” Brewer said. “I think last weekend [districts] was good for the team. This week the preparation is just getting a lot of sleep and pushing hard during practice.” Harrison, who suffered an injury in the fall from football which strained his wrestling practice time, won a district title and will enter state competition seeking his first state title after experiencing losses his freshman and sophomore years.
“I’ve watched film from all my state tournaments for the last two years. I go through all the stuff I’ve made mistakes on and find ways how to change that and how to fix that,” Harrison said. In the few practices between districts and state, senior Rob Ballard said he felt the team already has most of their work behind them. “Physically we are already ready,” Ballard said. “We have been through the toughest part of the year. State is easy compared to what we have been through.” This preparedness derives from the practices after school, on weekends, and the before-school practices consisting of conditioning and weight lifting. While most students are still sleeping, the team may be seen at 6:30 a.m. hopping on one foot up the 22-step main stairs. “We are training hard,” Rupp said. “We have to trust in our training in order to win state. We outtrain other people and we have to trust in that to win.” Brewer, the only returning state champion, said his tactic for state preparation consists of not letting the pressure get the best of him. “I don’t really take it as a state championship anymore,” Brewer said. “I just take it like another tournament now. I don’t want to put too much weight on myself.” At the beginning of its six consecutive state-title winning streak, the Northmen sent only seven wrestlers to state. The primary competition that year, Raymore-Peculiar, sent 11. Facing all-too-familiar statistics this year, the Northmen entered state competition ranked fourth in the state by missouriwrestling.com. According to Rupp, the tradition of the team will always be its greatest strength. Rather than just fighting for the past six years, Oak Park will be fighting for continuing this tradition and building on the dynasty it already has created. “We approach it as the only thing we can control is what happens inside the circle when we are in it,” Rupp said. “We are going to take care of business when we are inside of the circle and we can’t worry about what is happening outside it. This is Oak Park. When you wrestle for Oak Park there is just a different standard.”
Sports Briefs Team holds high expectations
Junior Gage Harrison wrestles with his fellow teammate junior Brian Haynes at practice on Monday, Feb. 16. Both wrestlers placed first in their weight class at the district tournament on Thursday, Feb. 11. “The team is prepared for the most part physically,” Haynes said. photo by Alex Mallin, sports editor
Class III District IV Tournament Place
1 2 3
248.5 190.5 153.0
Neosho Kearney Oak Park
District Placers* Place Weight
1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 4th
103 125 130 140 171 145 119 285
Brad Perkins Cody Brewer Gage Harrison Brian Haynes Hashem Omari Rob Ballard Dom Cervantes John Cervantes
*District placers will compete at state in Columbia, Mo., from Thursday Feb. 18 - Saturday, Feb. 20
While not the typical high school sport, bowling has attracted students during the past two years. Midway through the season, which starts in November and ends with state in May, bowlers hope to strike out their opponents at state as returning champions, hoping for another successful year. The team practices every Thursday preparing for their first match in a few weeks. Senior Michael Rieger shows his dedication by practicing everyday for two hours during late night at Gladstone Bowl. Not only do the athlete’s practice at Gladstone Bowl, but the alley also holds home tournaments for the team. “I have high expectations for the team to win state for another consecutive year,” Rieger said. The team consists of seven student athletes: seniors Rieger, Miles Calhoun and Chris Colvin, juniors Austin Stephenson and Matt Carson, and sophomore Tuner Hendricks and freshman Will Mahnken. “This is my first year bowling, and I have high hopes to continue and work hard this year and come out as state champs,” said Stephenson. The bowlers all contribute to the same expectation to have a successful season and come out as state champs. Knocking all the pins down did not show a challenge last season beating St. Louis for the title. Being only two years old with newcomers the team has shown its improvement through its victories.
Winter Guard takes first, readies for spring competitions by Gabrielle Young editorial editor
Junior Shelby Braselton concentrates on twirling her flag for the girls basketball game on Monday, Feb. 8. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief
With several months of practice behind them, the Winter Guard girls said they feel ready for competition as the spring season arrives. “I think the best things have been working with the other captains and getting to be even closer as a guard,” said senior Brittney Wells. “Also when I teach someone who is just learning to spin, and they get it. It makes me feel so great. It is just an awesome feeling.” Winter Guard has several competitions next month including Smithville on Saturday, March 6, Truman on Saturday, March 13, and regionals in Springfield on Saturday, March 27. In their first competition
Saturday, Jan. 30 at Lee’s Summit West, they placed first;, then at Blue Springs South on Saturday, Feb. 13 they placed third. The Winter Guard in the Regional B division competes with North Kansas City, Center, Lee’s Summit West, Shawnee Mission South, Grain Valley and De Soto. The routine for Winter Guard includes flags along with rifles and sabers, as well as the incorporation of a Spanish dance called Sevillanas. Coach Stacey Stowers learned this dance while she spent some time in Spain. “It’s a really fun experience incorporating a Spanish dance,” said coach Ann Elder. “The captains wrote the routine and they’ve done a beautiful job with it.” The completion of the
routine took the captain’s long months of processing before finalization. “Trying to come up with different types of moves and making it fit with the music was hard,” said senior Moriah Leeds. According to Leeds, many of the other schools do some type of a ballet dance, and she said she believes they’ll have an edge on the competition with their incorporation of a Spanish dance. The team wants the satisfaction of first place, but experiences with the team will be remembered by everyone. “Getting to know all the girls and working with them has been the highlight of the season so far,” said senior Anna Bradley. Sophomore Kira McKiddy and senior Moriah Leeds
perform their routine at the Tonka game on Monday, Feb. 8 for the audience. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief
Girls basketball turns season around by Kim Shields writer
Running laps, making free throw shots, and learning new techniques. Skills learned during practice, helped the girls basketball team ready for every game. This season started out with losses, but those losses have transitioned to wins. With after school practices until 4 p.m. or at the latest 5:30 p.m., the girls have had time to hone their skills on the court. As the season goes on, the practices, depending on how many games played in a week, get shorter, but the work put in does not falter. “We are improving,” said junior Amber Dreher For these athletes, practice is held at least two or three times a week including the games they might play. During the practices the team shoots at the beginning, and then does dribble drills, but depending on the
day some offensive plays with a little defense tactic training are also included. These practices push the girls towards focusing on winning, and each practice strengthens their weaknesses. “Our record is finally showing all the hard work we put in at practice,” said junior Dani Wilkerson. With each practice, head coach Anthony Abbott teaches them new ways to shoot or block a shot, but he also has the senior captains helping along his side. Abbott uses his past years as JV coach to help him during his first year as a varsity coach, but since he knows all the girls from JV, this helped in his coaching ability. The strong trust between the team and coach from years before has made the practices easier. The girls listen and learn from him. “It was kind of rough early on but we are definitely getting better,” Abbott said.
Junior Kelly Meek attempts to block the Winnetonka player on Monday, Feb. 8. This game ended in a win. “I think we are doing better than we thought we would do,” Meek said. photo by Kim Shields, photographer Junior Amber Dreher readies herself for a free throw shot on Monday, Feb. 8. Districts for the team start Tuesday, Feb. 23. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief
page 3 opinion
People should embrace others’ differences
by Gabrielle Young editorial editor While growing up and learning about immigration, teachers taught students that the United States became a melting pot, but one teacher in particular instead described the changes in our country best by calling the country a tossed salad.
When an object becomes melted then the state of that object changes; for instance a solid changing to a liquid. When immigrants arrived to the U.S. each of them brought multiple differences along with them. With a salad all the different parts that make up the salad show visibility from the carrots to the lettuce all tossed into one dish, similar to our country a variety of different people scattered across one country. Living in a country so full of differences people tend to clash with each other, and sometimes don’t always understand one another. For years, different races have believed that they have
What is the “coolest” thing you’ve ever done for Valentine’s Day? “Back in elementary school when we had to buy everyone valentines and I taped little pieces of candy to them, I thought I was pretty cool.” - sophomore Kim Foskett
“I cut off my ear and gave it to her.” -social studies teacher Bryan Edinger
“I’ve never really had a relationship during Valentine’s Day.” -senior Jared Malone
superiority over another race. February marks the time of Black History Month. Civil rights reformer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong believer in equality for all people, that when we take a step out of our comfort zone then we realize that all people despite their differences can come together and learn about each other. Like this excerpt from King’s “I Have a Dream,” speech: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal.” Other civil rights re-
“Once my freshmen year, me and my best friend dressed up in big red boxes with painted words and asked him to Sadie on Valentine’s Day, and gave them the presents right when they walked out of school.” -junior Ramsie Verhulst
As many agree, today’s economic climate leaves people adjusting. Families cut back on trips to the movies and eating out while also looking out for overspending in other aspects of their lives. All around one can see the effects of our country’s financial troubles. Despite these trials, citizens of our community still manage to spread their diminishing wealth to those suffering in greater ways in Haiti. Instead of worrying about health insurance bills, Haitians affected by the recent earthquake think about getting a hold of food, water and shelter. They don’t have the luxury to let their thoughts wander toward next week’s potentially smaller paycheck.
Thankfully, our community realizes this and has banded together in these tough times, starting projects and funds to take chunks out of the relief effort agenda. The rapid organization of these projects especially showcases an eagerness present in many people to help others. The tragedy of lives in Haiti makes us take a step back from our self-absorbed ponderings to get some perspective. We see glimpses of how our lives would commence without a front door, much less a better washer and dryer. While we don’t get the instant gratification from these efforts that we might when handing out food in a nearby soup kitchen, this makes them all the more admirable. The grateful smile
by Kayla Smith writer The rising cost of a higher education has many questioning the value of continuing on past high school. With the high cost of tuition and the accumulating debt the follows, getting a college
degree may not be worth the investment in the long run. Today, while a college education can put you in the position to earn a higher living, openings in the fields that require a higher education are limited. According to MissouriConnections. org, for every 40 projected openings in Missouri’s most popular jobs, 11 require a bachelor’s degree and three require a master’s degree or higher, versus 20 that only require a high school diploma. More and more people today are choosing to either
Credit. A simple word that can affect a person’s future in two different ways. One way leads to bad credit and debt. The other leads to good credit and for some, self-reliance. Some teenagers begin trying to build up their credit during high school. Some may co-sign on a car payment plan with their parents
and some get store credit cards. Others set up a credit card through companies like Chase and Discover. Whichever option a student chooses, building credit now can have a major affect on one’s future. Paying loans and bills on time as well as paying more than the minimum balance on a credit card helps establish good credit. Having good credit makes it easier for one to get a car loan or
jump right into the job market when they graduate high school, or head to a technical college for training in a specific field. Either way, fewer and fewer people are going for the four-year college degree. With the cost of tuition rising because of the economy, if there isn’t a scholarship available to you, the average student may not have a great chance of heading to college after high school. According to CollegeBoard.com, the average cost of a four-year public college increased 6.5 percent, to
$7,020 per year. Compare this to the cost of a public two year averaging at $2,544 per year. The college education, while often important, sometimes just isn’t needed to succeed in life. Many careers can make you a substantial living amount, and don’t require a college degree. In fact, when looking at the debt accumulated because the high cost of college, going right into the work field may help you more in today’s world.
AP classes help students advance by Kim Shields writer Advanced Placement classes have been on a rise for students lately, with more in-depth work, this course challenges students toward a brighter future. Students take on the advanced work to get distinction points toward their GPA, while others take the classes for the challenge. The course load to helps strengthen the workers intellect in their selected field of study, and bring them further in their learning ability. Students see these class-
es as a stepping stone to higher education, a way to get ready for the work they will be doing in college. The students take on this course load for a brighter future. With more work, harder subject and an end of the year national exam, the students spend their class times readying themselves. Each class has an depth study session of the curriculum set up before the year starts, everything they will need to know for the Advanced Placement Test in May. The students enrolled in the classes have the option to take the test or pass the
As we give aid to countries needing it, we transcend cultural and territorial borders which may have appeared rigid in the past.
of a local homeless man with a bowl of chili in his hands has more of a chance to spread “warm fuzzies” than does a broadcast of Haiti relief effort statistics. Those sending out packages of supplies to Haiti
don’t expect or require these assurances that what they’re doing means something. This sort of compassion for the fellow person, regardless of their location reminds us of the connection people of the world have with one another which might not always show itself as we go about our daily lives. As we give aid to countries needing it, we transcend cultural and territorial borders which may have appeared rigid in the past. Not only do these actions of caring provide relief to those directly affected by it they take the world one step closer to getting along. Regardless of the reason, one should look upon these helpers with admiration and a desire to mimic their acts. These everyday heroes give hope for a better, more caring world.
Take care when building credit
College degree may lack in importance Costs now are not necessarily outweighed by later profits
cartoon by Johnna Hensley, cartoonist
Log’s View: Compassion drives deeds
by Jessica Nichols feature editor
“Make reservations at a fine restaurant.” -freshman Josh Hills
formers had this same goal to breakdown stereotypes, and present a dream of equality. Unfortunately generalizing people because of their race or the color of their skin still exist today. The generalizing of others can come from the media, or lack of knowledge about others. People cannot base the way they might view others by the influence of the media, or sometimes what others might tell them. The generation of young adults should make a choice in recognizing equality in all people. When recognizing someone different from ourselves we should embrace the differences and leave all our narrow-minded stereotypes in the past.
test up; most decide to take the test. If a student receives a high enough score some of their college credit hours can be skipped. “If they do well on the exam, potential for huge pay off, but whether they do well on the exam or not, the class, if they participate in the process, will make them better students,” said AP literature teacher Timothy Rupp. The educational endeavor for each person differentiates; they look for something different when they enroll in these upper level classes. Students may not want the challenge, but instead they
just want the distinction point awarded for taking these classes. They scrape by, but some of these students decide the work challenges them too much and drop out. The advanced course work to them is not needed or not worth the time and/or effort put in by the other students in their classes. Their future may be furthered by taking the class, or they can look good to a college they apply to in the future.
a mortgage loan later on in life. Banks find people with good credit easier to trust when it comes to paying money back in the allotted time period. If one finds themselves with bad credit the opposite happens. Banks find it harder to lend money to people who have paid their bills late or not at all. Some people who do not pay their credit card bills overspend and show little knowledge on
how to budget their money. Establishing good credit shows responsibility and ability to budget money. However, bad credit can put a damper on someone’s future when it comes to buying a car or owning a home. So, though credit is an important thing for a person to have, one must be careful of which type of credit they are building.
The Northmen’s Log Staff & Policies Editor-in-Chief & Photo Editor Gina Drapela Editorial Editor Gabrielle Young Sports Editor Alex Mallin Entertainment Editor Mandy Nichols Lifestyles Editor Courtney Kelley Feature Editor Jessica Nichols Copy Editor Samantha Colhour Cartoonist Johnna Hensley Writers Tah’keeyah Gordon Kim Shields Kayla Smith Photographer Ally Sansone Adviser Christina Geabhart
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‘I don’t know what I’ve been told,
Preparing for the military life of the play, senior Justin McAfee runs a fire team drill. During the drill, two people ran and shot the gun, followed Sophomore Tymon White listens to senior Chris Garner call cadence during the boot camp, Sat- Playing Lt. j.g. Daniel Kaffee, senior Nick Tittone questions his client during by two others who ran to a position and shot. urday, Dec. 12. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in- the courtroom scene at the end of the play, “A Few Good Men.” photo by Gina The drill taught them to cover for others in their squad. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief chief Drapela, editor-in-chief
Senior Tara Baumgartner argues with junior Zach Wheeler during a scene in which her character tries to convince him she’s qualified to represent the defense. photo by Kim Shields, photographer
From boys to ‘Marines’ to men Cast participates in boot camp to prepare for performance by Gina Drapela editor-in-chief To help the actors of “A Few Good Men” get into character and portray Marines correctly, director Stephanie Siers and husband Staff Sgt. Doug Siers, along with assistance from military officials Sgt. Brian Miller and Staff Sgt. Josh Williams and Nathan Magers, developed a simulated boot camp for the cast conducted on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13, included obstacle courses, and a taste of what military personnel experience each day. “I was intimidated. [I thought] some guys were going to come and yell at us, which they did, and that was pretty scary,” said junior Josh Sprang. Sprang portrayed a ca-
dence member in the play, shouting chants and using many military techniques; areas where the training from boot camp became essential. During the weekend of boot camp, Siers gave the cast a wake up call, running into the green room, barking orders and starting the actors off with teaching them how to stand and how to address a superior officer. “[I knew] that we were going to do a lot of push-ups and a lot of conditioning, ‘cause I knew we were going to mess up a lot, which we did,” said junior Zach Wheeler. Wheeler portrayed a naval officer, Capt. Issac Whitaker. Training became more rigorous as each lesson was mastered. To the utmost of their ability, the cast completed extensive drills, and a simulated version of an actual Marine fitness obstacle course in the main theater. For some, the task was difficult. “It was called the Combat Fitness Test, and it was
Standing in formation, seniors Ryan Drapela, Michael Rieger and Alex Mallin participate in the boot camp on a cold winter day. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief
this giant obstacle course we set up in the main theater, and we had to run down one of the aisles, crawl down the aisles in different crawling positions, then get on the stage, run a zig zag, then go back down, pick up a person and drag them, pick them up again and throw them over your shoulder, run back up the aisle, then pick up a box that was about 10 to 20 pounds, run back down the aisle, do a zig zag with it, drop it, do three push-ups, pick [the box] up [again] and then run back out of the theater,” said senior Kylor Greene, who played Lt. j.g. Sam Weinberg, a naval attorney. “And that was tough. I mean I was struggling with a lot of it just because I haven’t ran in a while, and then picking up people and doing that type of thing, it wasn’t easy.” The training endured by the cast paid off, showing on stage and off. The cast worked as a unit, determined to make the show as successful as it could be. “I think it did a lot because if you think about it,
Reciting cadences, junior Josh Sprang practices shouting and receiving orders Saturday, Dec. 12. photo by Gina Drapela, editorin-chief
the military is a unit that has to work together, or things fall apart. And this show is the same way,” Greene said. “I mean if one person is lacking, then everyone is lacking and that’s one of the first things you learn in boot camp is you got to work together, and you’re all there, and you all got to suffer through, even if someone is weak you got to help push them through ad so it helped people learn along with getting into character.” During the experience, working together was essential, and the cast grew as a team. “We got “A Few God Men” out of it,” Wheeler said.
Running a drill during boot camp, Saturday, Dec. 12, senior Chris Garner tries his best at completing an obstacle with heavy gear and mock weapons. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief
Senior Alex Mallin tries his hand at calling cadences as Lt. Colonel Nathan R. Jessep during boot camp Saturday, Dec. 12. photo by Gina Drapela, editorin-chief
Cast, crew enlist to the craft, technical day Students help put finishing touches on spring play by Kayla Smith writer Many people do not realize how much work goes into putting together a play, even at the high school level. Students who get involved dedicate their time and focus to making the production something people remember. This dedication reflects the cast and crews commitment of two of their Saturdays, on top of their work after school, to do crucial work
“It was one of the most productive tech days. I was really impressed by the work the cast did. senior Kylor Greene
for the play. “The people that show up are usually pretty involved,” said senior Tara Baumgartner. The cast, crew, and directors call these Saturdays
tech days. Tech days are used to work on many things that are important to the production. “We do everything from building and painting the set, to hanging and focusing lights,” said senior Kylor Green. The first of the two tech days for this play took place on Saturday, Jan. 23. The crews did publicity work like putting up posters around town and in the school. “It (the play) won’t get done if we don’t have that six hours of time.” Baumgartner said. The cast put in some work of their own on tech day. The majority of the cast, for the most part, helped build set pieces. The play in-
volves a few large pieces that need to be built from scratch. With the cast consisting of 21 guys, it was easy to get the man power to get it done. “We get a lot accomplished,” said sophomore Alex Stompoly. “We needed all of the crew to help.” The first tech day was very successful, with the completion of some of the many set pieces and of the many tasks of the publicity and house crews. “It was one of the most productive tech days,” Greene said, “I was really impressed by the work the cast did.” The second tech day was on Saturday, Jan. 30 and consisted of finishing paint jobs, costume alterations and
Seniors Ryan Drapela and Kylor Greene help build the “A Few Good Men” set during the Saturday, Jan. 23 tech day. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief
of course rehearsing. Both tech days were critical to the production of the play as well as productive.
The dedicated students have put in much time and effort to make this play memorable.
page 5 features
all Marines are mighty bold!’ ‘A Few Good Men’ plays to large crowds
Lt. Cmdr. JoAnne Gallway, played by senior Tara Baumgartner, speaks with Lt. Cpl. Harold Dawson and Pfc. Louden Downey, played by sophomores Rowdy Andrews and Garrison Harms, at a performance of the spring play. photo by Kim Shields, photographer
Pfc. William Santiago, played by sophomore Jake Stump, performs one of his monologues at a teaser of “A Few Good Men” on Thursday Feb. 4. photo by Kim Shields, photographer
Lt. j.g. Nathaniel Kaffee, played by senior Nick Tittone, argues with Capt. Jack Ross, played by sophomore Tymon White, about a plea bargain for his client. photo by Kim Shields, photographer
Lt. Jonathan Kendrick, played by Chris Garner, holds a meeting with platoon members, played by senior Chris Calvin and sophomore Rowdy Andrews. photo by Kim Shields, photographer
Amateur debuts with maturity Senior takes on role in preparation of future career by Gina Drapela editor-in-chief Nerves high, hands trembling slightly, senior Chris Garner steps onto the wooden Little Theater floor, with audition material in hand. Standing in front of director Stephanie Siers, and acting/technical coach Russell Langton, Garner prepares to read for the first time, the passage that will determine and change the next two months of his high school experience. “We were sitting in AP Psych and [senior] Alex [Mallin] told me to come down and audition. He said if I wanted to join in the Marines, this might be a good opportunity for me, and to go do it. I was a little apprehensive, but I went down there anyway,” Garner said.
He began, reciting from the script where Siers had assigned him. He read as Lt. Jonathan James Kendrick, and his performance was received by Siers, smiling behind her note book. “He had a very striking stage presence in his audition. And I could tell he would be able to have good baring on stage and have the intensity I was looking for, specifically for the role of Kendrick which is who I casted him as, so I immediately, after hearing him read for that part, knew that that’s who I wanted for that role. I knew right when he auditioned that’s where I wanted to put him.” When Garner received his first time role for a main stage production, he realized that now was the time to step it up and perform to the best of his abilities. Starting from scratch, Garner had to harness skills that have been instilled in aged theatre students for years, in a matter of weeks. “I think at first he was probably a little bit overwhelmed because it’s a lot
Trying to remember his lines, senior Chris Garner prepares to shout them in boot camp. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief
One woman keeps them in line Senior shows talent as only female in cast
theater, Baumgartner has worked with many of the same people, including senior Kylor Greene. “I think Tara has really stepped into her own as an actress,” Greene said. “Last year, in ‘Rumors,’ she was fun, but she has become better as characterizing as an actor.” Having a background in theater provided Baumgartner with an ability to help actors in the play whom hadn’t performed before, including sophomores Rowdy Andrews and Garrison Harms. “She really helped us out a lot,” Harms said. “I don’t know what me, Rowdy and [sophomore Jacob] Stump would have done without her.” “A Few Good Men” provided Baumgartner with new perspectives. The experience on the set had her gaining a greater passion for acting along with a new perspective of guys’ behavior. “Being the only girl in the cast was actually really exciting,” Baumgartner said. “They really are very funny and they don’t take anything too seriously. They were just really fun to work with.”
by Samantha Colhour copy editor
Senior Chris Garner listens as a superior officer addresses him on Thursday Feb. 4 at the 4th block teaser. photo by Kim Shields, photographer
to take on, and it’s a large role to go into, especially for someone who has never had any sort of theatrical experience at all. He was always the one who would ask questions like, “What does that mean? What is blocking?,” but it’s great that he asked those questions, because I was able to teach him along with direct him, and it was really neat to watch him grow as a performer,” Siers said. “He always wants a positive outcome, result, so he’s willing to put in the hard work, and good effort.” Enduring rigorous training, and rapid speed lessons, Garner took every bit as he could from the experience, in turn finding a whole new respect for the department. “I mean I wouldn’t say I was shy, but I wasn’t outgoing enough to do anything near this so, somebody pushing me always makes me go that much farther. It was a big push, but I think if I hadn’t have done it then I wouldn’t have. I’m glad that I did it. [I] wouldn’t know nothing about it. I haven’t been involved in any other plays, but I think this play’s a lot different than any other because three-fourths of time it is first time actors, they’re not typical theater kids to me because I think it’s a good opportunity, cause I don’t think for a regular theater play, that there’s been this much buzz. Like ‘Rumors,’ yeah I heard about it but everybody’s talking about ‘A Few Good Men.’”
On the night of the first dress rehearsal of “A Few Good Men,” senior Tara Baumgartner walks through the green room, trying to connect with her character Lt. Cmdr. JoAnne Galloway while “Electric Avenue,” performed by Eddy Grant, blasts through the speakers. Her fellow cast members also prepare to perform. As Baumgartner looks into the mirror and puts on her make-up, she assures herself of her readiness for the part. “Learning about someone else by portraying them is really an amazing experience,” Baumgartner said. “Basically you get to meet imaginary people who become a part of you.” ‘A Few Good Men’ marked Baumgartner’s second theater performance as a lead. She debuted on stage in last year’s ‘Rumors.’ Through involvement in
Senior Tara Baumgartner concentrates on her emotions to get in character. She played Lt. Comdr. JoAnne Galloway in the spring play. photo by Gina Drapela, editorin-chief
The guys in the cast felt equally grateful to have Baumgartner as their lead girl. “It was a really unique experience to work with her as the only girl,” Harms said. “We all pretty much acted like idiots, and she would call us out on it.”
The man behind the curtain Wills lends helping hand on stage crew by Kayla Smith writer As a stage crew member with headphones in place and cues to follow, senior Zach Wills knows exactly which desk and chair to put where and when to do it. For the school’s production of “A Few Good Men,” Wills joined stage crew, and continued in the footsteps of his sister, Kate Wills, who participated in theater throughout high school as a stage crew member. While he was not in charge, he helped stage manager sophomore Johnna Hensley, who was new to the job. “I moved set and
helped the actors,” Wills said. “And pretty much everything they needed.” Wills describes stage crew as being what makes a show work. “With as many costume changes and as many things people had to do, it wouldn’t have been possible to do it without us,” Hensley said. Wills has done theater for two years and might volunteer in college but isn’t going to make a career out of it. “It seems to be the part that no matter what background you have, you can be a part of it,” Wills said. He sees the importance of stage crew how it makes everything go as close to perfect as it can get. “We’re important because we do things nobody really sees. The audience doesn’t see what we do,” Hensley said. “Without senior stage crew the whole play would Zach Wills fall apart.”
“...no matter what background you have, you can be a part of it.”
6lifestyles Technology club adjusts mission page
by Mandy Nichols entertainment editor The Technology Student Association has assimilated the robotics club. It operates in different ways, but keeps some themes similar to its predecessor. According to sponsor Mark Sharp, TSA serves as more of a year-round club than robotics. “Robotics was a sixweek option for students,” Sharp said. “We were given $20,000 to spend on robotics supplied for one big competition.” Without the funding previously provided for robotics, Sharp opted to concentrate on TSA as an alternate opportunity for students to interact with technology. Previous members of robotics approve of these changes to the club. “TSA kind of jumped in place [of robotics] for some of us originals to have a club,” said senior Roman Sikon. “What we didn’t know is that the new club would actually be a lot bigger than robotics and bring a lot of new talent
to the table.” As of now, while the club doesn’t have a major project or competition piece they’re working on, they manage to do things with their time at meetings. “What we do is kind of unorganized right now,” Sikon said. “We are setting up projects to see how engineering can be a useful skill to know and how to apply it in life.” Their efforts have produced one such example of engineering with real-life connections. With the snow that accumulated in the senior courtyard after the snow days at the start of the semester, the group built an igloo. After its completion, the group threw a small party for themselves. Students use club meetings for other purposes as well. “Everyone’s getting used to handling money,” Sharp said. This money they hope to gain through possible scholarships and competitions. “We’re looking for some more competitive scholarships,” said senior Lauren
During college introduction to engineering design class, sophomore Joshua Martin starts the construction of a boat for a current project on Thursday, Feb. 4. Many students working on perfection of the boats to make sure the boats do not sink during their test run. Photo by Ally Sansone, photographer
Carlson. Members see the club as more than a venue to show off their skills in engineering and electronics. “We’re just a big group of friends, having fun,” Carlson said.
Deadlines pass seniors by by Alex Mallin sports editor A recent survey conducted on 100 Oak Park seniors indicates 28 percent have not applied for college as of Wednesday, Feb. 3. With application and scholarship deadlines passing each day, statistics such as these are the kind which make gifted resource specialist Lori Dameron’s eyes to widen. “Do it right now,” Dameron said. “Make it their business to get it done right now. They need to take it seriously, get their feet on the ground and get it done.” According to collegeboard.com, almost 3,500 colleges are still accepting applications for admission. Dameron feels information such as this should push discouraged students to not give up and push themselves. “You can still get in to college,” Dameron said. “It’s not too late; there is hope.” Senior Shelbie Williams blames her procrastination on her current arrangement of priorities. “Right now I have been
working a lot,” Williams said. “I’ve been trying to save up money for college before I apply to Penn Valley and I just haven’t had the time to apply.” Others feel senioritis has set in for them, and their evasion of college applications is merely because they are apathetic towards the process entirely. “I guess its just because I’m lazy,” said senior Paul Barba. According to the survey conducted by the Log, 52 percent of seniors feel they have procrastinated in applying for college. According to Dameron, college takes responsibility, and so does the application process. “We provide every opportunity for students to take initiative,” Dameron said. “We put in senior TV, we use e-mail on a weekly basis, we have a Web site that’s very active, we have advisors that are being sent information all the time to share with seniors. At some point you have to say ‘Can you take a little initiative?’ and at least ask some questions. As soon as you ask those questions we are ready to help you and do
whatever we can.” According to Dameron, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid deadline on Thursday, April 1, remains as one college-bound students cannot afford to miss. FAFSA is a form sent to the U.S. Department for Education to determine a “need analysis” for families. Depending on financial information, a federal processor examines the information and then sends the results to the financial aid offices of a student’s chosen college. According to Dameron, if students continue to procrastinate in the process, they will inevitably miss out on opportunities such as FAFSA and the many other opportunities offered to students. “I had a student do all of his A-plus in three weeks last year. I had a student that applied not a single place and is now at a terrific school with scholarship money because he was a strong candidate,” Dameron said. “Quit putting it off and face where you are at in the process. Doors are closing.”
Organization fights world hunger with animals Student proposes idea by Gabrielle Young editorial editor Sixty years ago an organization called Heifer International started. In October, Heifer was introduced to the
school as a non-profit organization works to help people to obtain enough food and income. People in need receive an animal, are taught how to take care of it; and any offspring then is passed on to another family. Freshman Brenna Viles learned about this organization through a trip with her
youth group to the “Festival of Sharing.” Beatrice Birra, a Ugandan woman shared her story about how the gift from Heifer changed her life. After hearing the story about how Birra’s life changed from this one gift, Viles presented the idea to Key Club sponsor Lori Dameron and
the key club. According to Dameron, she decided to request approval of the idea because the whole school could get involved and make a difference. Unlike food drives and fund raisers, this project can be done throughout the year. Administration has not yet made a final decision.
“Anytime you do community service you give a part of yourself and it makes you a better person,” Dameron said. Students may have a part in helping many people’s lives. “There are so many problems in the world right now and if we do our part we
can make a difference,” said junior Cara Donnici. With the animal that Heifer sends families their lives can change. “I think it teaches how so little can affect someone’s life,” Viles said. “Because we have shoes and can go to school and don’t have to walk to get water.”
page 7 entertainment
‘LOST’ leaves confusing legacy Fans look back on show’s dynamic by Mandy Nichols entertainment editor Some television fans will have to cope with the impending loss of their favorite show next year as “Lost” plans a curtain call. “Lost,” ending with its sixth season this year, tells the stories of a group of castaways along with the secret-filled island they find themselves on after their plane crashes for reasons unknown. “The storyline is crazy enough to be watchable, yet realistic enough to be scary,” said junior Devon Whitton. “The events in the show could almost happen. If I was in a plane crash I can almost see those sorts of things happening to me.”
Throughout its running, the show has utilized elements like flashbacks to get into the minds and pasts of key characters while driving the story forward as those characters work toward their escape from their often deadly landscape. These elements combined have attracted many viewers, including some at Oak Park. “I started watching it with my mom when the first season started,” said junior Devon Whitton. “I was really into it for the first three seasons. We had all the dvd sets, so we watched the episodes more than once.” With its boasting of multiple plot twists and unexpected developments, “Lost” has developed a reputation for keeping fans guessing. “The cliffhangers the show leaves you with at the end of some episodes, especially seasons’ endings are kind of frustrating,” said senior Ryan Gibbs.
“It’s an infuriating show that never really tells you what’s going on, but it still manages to be entertaining,” said communication arts teacher Sara Hantzis. Since the show’s start in 2004, fans have combated these cliffhangers with discussion and speculation on the inner-workings and philosophies of the drama through various media outlets. Bookshelves at local libraries and bookstores hold volumes such as “The Gospel According to Lost,” “Lost’s Buried Treasures,” “Lost Ate My Life” and “Finding Lost” which analyze the mythology and supposed themes involved in “Lost.” Self-proclaimed experts on the show write these titles, following the fandom as it goes along, some updating as seasons pass. Before one can find such theories in the pages of a book, they may find them
Those watching “Valentine’s Day” will likely have a sweet, but uninspiring experience. The film boasts a large celebrity count. No characters really take center stage, so matching each star with their corresponding part would prove tedious and without a point. What “Valentine’s Day” lacks in character, it tries to make up in star-studded roles. Unfortunately, most roles still come across as one-dimensional. Couples in the story can almost represent different stages in an everyday relationship. It has everything from the happily married husband and wife with minimal drama hiding in the background to the couple undergoing the awkward stage where they get to know each other better, finding out things they might not really want to know.
Though somewhat of a clever concept, these cluttered tales hold no weight of their own, yet they fill time slots with something like hot air, making the whole package seem like an overpumped tire. In coincidental developments possible only within the romantic comedy filmverse, each character has some sort of connection to the others. In this way, romantic comedy veteran director Garry Marshall (director of “Princess Diaries” and “Pretty Woman”) tries to bind everything together, creating a cohesive picture about love both prosperous and disastrous. While one can look back to see the finished cinematic puzzle, this idea sets off some clunky storytelling. Viewers might find themselves asking “who’s who,” shifting focus from admittedly energetic performances. Beneath the filmy resi-
a scarcity of answers “Lost” has provided over the years, the show has managed to keep many of its viewers hooked. “The mysterious nature of the island always manages to bring up more questions,” Gibbs said. “They started with polar bears, then a smoke monster--these ridiculous things keep building, so now they seem almost normal.” The end of this chapter of television brings questions to some about what they’ll do with their time when new episodes of “Lost” no longer grace their television sets. Whitton plans to recognize the drama’s running through a tributary celebration. “I’m going to have a lost party,” Whitton said. “We’ll watch the show from the beginning, build a model airplane and then blow it up.”
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Independent films gain popularity among students
Cluttered love proves amusing by Mandy Nichols entertainment editor
mentioned throughout the internet. Websites such as lost-media.com and lost-tv. com have presented havens for “Lost” junkies to discuss their theories and reactions to show elements through online forums and discussion groups. Podcasts provide a third way for fans to broadcast their own or listen to other views for further speculation. Content found within these can range from speculation of character relationships to debates on an overarching theme of an episode. Along with discussions of the show’s mythology and secrets, the web hosts “spoilers,” of the series for those itching to know what the next episode might bring. “Between the third and fourth seasons I went through a period where I went looking for [spoilers],” Gibbs said. Despite fans’ frustrations with abundant questions and
by Samantha Colhour copy editor
due of date movie clichés some heartwarming moments do shine through. Along with these moments girls can appreciate, the film also manages to fit in some jokes more appropriate for those with high amounts of testosterone. Even with love a central theme, comedy takes center stage. “Valentine’s Day” remains a sweet, forgettable cliché-filled story that proves enjoyable the first time around, where the viewer will likely have a few laughs or beaming smiles, but as the world of romantic comedy has already seen this production before, it doesn’t serve as one for the shelves of a DVD collection.
Independent movies have entered into their time of growth. Teens seeking out ways to connect to the story on the big screen turn to the smaller independent film business. On an increasing basis, mainstream theaters have started showing the smaller independent films fans want to see. “I like independent films because they allow me to watch things that delve more into what people are really like,” said senior Brook Worlledge. “Sometimes they show the darker side of things that some more mainstream movies wouldn’t show. They aren’t all about explosions, sex and guys like Ashton Kutcher.” Others agreed with Worlledge. “I liked ‘500 Days of Summer’ because it was really a love story,” said sophomore Savannah Evans. “It felt more real to me than most romantic comedies do. I guess because it’s something that happens all the time or
seems like it could.” Many felt as though they could relate more to the stories and characters in the independent films. “I think that because they are smaller scale films they are able to really show what the character is like, unlike in more Hollywood type films that have so much going on that you don’t feel like you know the characters,” said senior Kayla Bainbridge. “You can just tell that with independent movies, a lot more of the screen writer’s heart went into it.” Festivals celebrate the growth in independent film popularity over the last 10 years. Missouri participates in this activity through the KC Jubilee festival. Surrounding states such as Iowa also have festivals. The public can find venues of many kind to view these films after their growth in popularity. Students can find “Coco Before Chanel” among the recent independent releases, along with new titles to come such as “Stolen” and “The Good Guy.”
Clubs lack participation, new form in place by Alex Mallin sports editor From Art Club to Planeteers to Oakies With Rhythm, regardless of the 28 active clubs, student participation in clubs such as Elevate and others has decreased in the 2009-2010 school year. According to sophomore Jamal Coleman, he still feels no activities match his interests. “None really fit the things I like and I really don’t know what activities there are to do,” Coleman said. According to activities director Keith Ross, the school encourages students who don’t find what they want in the active clubs to create one that peaks their interest. “Every student should try to be involved in a club,” Ross said. “Still, we know that some students won’t find
what they want in after school clubs. For those who can’t find what they want, all they need to do is find a group of people who enjoy what they do, and a sponsor, and they will find a club.” In creating a club, once a student finds a sponsor they must fill out a club request form from Ross. This one-page form asks the student to give the details of the club such as the name, the purpose of the club, the venue, membership requirements, activities of the club, outside affiliation and frequency of meeting. Once the students fills out the sheet, they send it back to Ross for approval or denial. If approved, Ross then asks the student to write up a club constitution in the form of a list of rules surrounding the club. Senior Trey Hansen, founder of the Anime-Gamers Club, started his
club in order to give those around the school with his common interests an outlet for expression. “Over at Tonka we had one and when I came here we didn’t have one,” Hansen said. “I figured it would be cool if we could start one up. I went and talked to [art teacher] Ms. [Jaime] Curtis. It took two weeks to get it ready and started.” Though several clubs lack in participation this year, Ross encourages students to always try and find a channel for their interests. “I think the only time we have ever actually turned down a club would be if it matched another club’s interests,” Ross said. “We can’t force a student to join a club but we try to make the resources as open as possible so students who don’t feel they have a way to express their interests can.”
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Senior Trey Hansen started the Anime-Gamers Club in order to satiate an interest already established clubs of Oak Park could not. The club meets Fridays after school to share their interest in Japanese media. photo by Brittany Parker, special to The Log
page photo essay
Pommies strut to state On Wednesday, Feb. 10, junior Melanie Holmgren poses for a beat. The Pommies use Ibsen Dance Theater as their place to rehearse. “I feel like all our work has paid off from how much we’ve grown since summer,” Holmgren said. photo by Ally Sansone, photographer
Performing the first dance on Saturday, Jan. 30, dancing to “A Wild Wild Party” from the off Broadway musical “The Wild Party.” Pommies competed in regionals at Lee’s Summit North High School. Junior Elizabeth Garnos and senior Brooke Keever dressed as nerds. “Our struggles as a squad is remembering all corrections and tips that we give each other and applying them during a dance,” Garnos said were the largest challenges this season. photo by Courtney Kelley, writer
During the final practice of their mixed routine, seniors Hilary Holmes, Lauren Phillips and Tara Baumgartner move in sync to the beat. The mixed routine placed third at regional at Lee’s Summit North and the Pommies plan to take it to state. “I feel my senior year season is successful, because I got to know some absolutely amazing girls and share a sport that I truly love with them,” Holmes said. photo by Ally Sansone, photographer
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Sophomore Chelsie Yokum and senior Tara Baumgartner practice their performance for state, with high hopes of a successful outcome. Their state competition will be Saturday, Feb. 27. “Overall it has been really difficult because we have such a young squad this year,” Yokum said. photo by Ally Sansone, photographer
Shaking it at regionals, senior Lauren Phillips shows the judges her dance skills. The team placed fifth in the division 3A. “The girls have put a lot of hard work and time, even though we didn’t do as well as we hope at regional, we’re really stepping up and preparing for state,” Phillips said. “Overall we got really close and it’s been a successful season.” photo by Courtney Kelley, writer