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Pitch Walter Johnson High School


G n i R E W S n A : L L A C E H T d e t i ru

c e R s t n y e r d a u it St l i e4 M g a y P b See

the tact f o on are c w t a re den ers a t u i t s u s e ecr mili ease of r a y f ar l t e i Few r l i s ol’ om o t h n c o S ti a m r info

In this Issue Feature Pg 10-11


Eat, Sleep, and be Healthy

FDA Regulation on Four Loko

Volume 55 Issue 3

December 17, 2010

Pg 9


Pg 18-19

Winter Watch

6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD 20814

Arts and Entertainment Pg 14 Hot Clicks and Joy Sticks

301 803 7302





DECEMBER 17, 2010






3 Senior Projects: A Class of Its Own 4 Military Recruiting: The OptOut Form 5 On the Line and in the Lane




6 7 7 7 8 8 8 9 9 9

Up at Bat: Teacher Edition Foul Ball: Size Matters The American Icon The Present Problem Point/Counterpoint: School Start Times Curveball: Facebook is Forever YouTube Converter Pitch Opinion: Lying on College Applications Four Loko Ban Slugger: Twin Troubles



4 9

10 Eat, Sleep and Be Healthy 12 Harry Potter Mania 13 Commercial Christmas

Arts and Entertainment 14 14 15 16

Out of Left Field: Thrift Stores Hot Clicks and Joy Sticks Just Released: Music Reviews Men’s Fashion at WJ

Sports 17 17 18 20


Fielder’s Choice: A Wish list Profile of Vinnie Peratrovich Winter Watch: Sports Previews Alumni Athletes





Editors-in-Chief Alexandra Sanfuentes Sasha Tycko Katie Levingston* Abby Singley*

Arts & Entertainment Editors Sophie Meade Ian Green*

News Editors Devon Murtha Ali Jawetz*

Assistant Arts & Ent. Editor Eleanor Janhunen Feature Editors Rosie Hammack Lily Sieradzki Sari Amiel* Taliah Dommerholt*

Video documentary about The GSA: A Welcoming Part of WJ

Video of the Week: a Literal Twilight: Eclipse

Video previews of all winter sport seasons

Sports Editors Parker Smith Daniel Fanaroff* Jeremy Smith*

-Alexandra Sanfuentes and Sasha Tycko Print Editors-in-Chief

PITCH ONLINE Weekly updates of world news

Assistant News Editor Julia Cinquegrani

hen we first decided to include a story on military recruitment, we weren’t sure what we would focus on, nor did we know what angle we would approach the article with. When researching the story, Assistant News Editor Julia Cinquegrani stumbled upon a surprising item of information - an “opt-out” form is mailed home to students during the summer. By signing this form, students can choose to withhold their personal information (their name, address and phone number) from listings such as the student directory and honor roll. What the form fails to disclose (but was added by the WJ administration) is that it prevents student information from being released to military recruiters. The implications of this form are big: by not signing it, student information is made available to military recruiters, yet the form is poorly publicized. The coverage of this story is hardly an attack on the military or its recruitment policies, but a discussion of students’ ability to assert their rights. The problem with this situation is the county’s irresponsibility in making students more aware of the fact that a) their information is made available to the military and that b) there is a formal way to prevent it. We feel compelled to share this information with our readers, as students should be aware of the diffusion of their information.



The Pitch is published eight times a year by the students of Walter Johnson High School, 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, Md. 20814. Advertising and subscription rates are available by calling 301-803-7302. Editorial opinions represent those of The Pitch staff and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff, faculty, or student body. We welcome letters, articles, photographs and artwork, to be submitted to room 211 or e-mailed to thepitch@walterjohnson. com. The Pitch is an award-winning paper that works towards providing the student body with accurate, as well as credible, information.

Editorial Editors Liz Wasden Assistant Sports Editors Jessica Evans* Hannah Flesch Assistant Editorial Editor Phillip Resnick Ryan Lynch Daniel Gorelik*

Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Medalist 2009

*Online Editors

Maryland HS Journalism Award Best Newspaper Overall Third Place 2009-2010 American Scholastic Press Association First Place Special Merit 2008-2009

Staff Writers Brendan Benge Cameron Keyani Josh Benjamin Alex Spinard Jemile Sarafaliyeva Jenny Deutsch Danielle Markowitz Girard Bucello Copy Chief Photo Editor Abby Singley Stefany Carty Copy Editors Videographer Sari Amiel Emil Hafeez Ali Jawetz Photographers Jemile Sarafaliyeva Alex Spinard Danielle Markowitz PR Manager Alex Spinard Sasha Tycko Taliah Dommerholt Business/ Advisor Ad Manager Hilary Gates Phillip Resnick



DECEMBER 17, 2010

By Jemile Safaraliyeva



A Class All in its Own

enior projects were initiated into the WJ school curriculum in 2005, giving WJ seniors an opportunity to challenge themselves by pursuing a year-long or semesterlong course working on a project of their choice. Senior projects are unique outlets which allow students with strong passions towards particular top-

ics the ability to spend 45 minutes a day, five days a week, researching and completing work on a topic of their choice. In years past, students have chosen projects based on personal connections which have worked as motivational factors. They create the idea for their project, develop strong skills and make inspirational trips which have altered their lives and become the


main root of inspiration behind their projects. Students’ project proposals involve setting a goal, finding a staff mentor, setting up an outline for the project’s plan and finding an appropriate work location. Students are able to experience an out-of-classroom experience, filled with new outlooks on life and a chance to experience and be the boss of one’s own lesson.

Adventures in Business

Sean Geier combined his love of longboards with entrepreneurship With skill and experience in woodworking and a passion for business, senior Sean Geier got the idea of creating a longboard a few years ago. He saw the senior project course as the ultimate opportunity to turn his dream of creating and selling longboards into a reality. While Geier works on most of his project at home, where he presses the Photo by Stefany Carty boards, paints and assembles them, he spends a majority of his class time cutting out the boards, sanding them and creating designs on the AutoCAD program. As a result of the senior project course, Geier has gained fresh insight into what a career in business would be like. “I have gotten a chance to mesh engineering and business, which is what I hope to do in the future. This seems to be a very introductory example into that field,” said Geier. If you are interested in purchasing one of Geier’s longboards they are now being sold for $165.You can contact him for more information at Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Fix

Working for K.I.D.S.

Art of Italian Cooking

After a summer in Kenya, Jonathan Fix was inspired to make a difference

During the summer of his sophomore year, senior Jonathan Fix decided that he wanted to take a trip to Africa and work towards raising public awareness for HIV/AIDS. In his junior year, Fix travelled to Kenya and was inspired to found the Kericho Initiative for Education and Stability (K.I.D.S.) club in his senior year. Fix’s project is aimed towards raising awareness and raising enough money to cover the school tuition of three Kenyan children. Fix chose three kids on his trip in Kenya last summer as the face of his project, and now his mission is to raise $1700 to fund a year’s worth of education for three children. Thus his senior project formed around the idea of combating poverty. “I realized that one of the biggest contributors to the spread of HIV/AIDS is poverty, because it causes people to participate in activities that raise their risk of exposure,” said Fix. By providing these poverty-stricken children with a sufficient education, Fix realized that it would be the stepping stone towards getting them to college, finding jobs, supporting their families and becoming the generation that bettered the lives of their people. If you are interested in donating to the foundation, bring a check made out to “K.I.D.S” with your name and first period, or cash to Mike William’s room, 147.

Bromance and the Beat

Photo by Devon Murtha

Olivia Earenfight came back from a year in Italy with a craving for culinary creations Photo courtesy of Olivia Earenfight

Last year, senior Olivia Earenfight lived and studied abroad in Palermo, Italy. Upon returning home, Earenfight, inspired by her cultural experience, decided to spend a semester of her senior year creating an Italian cookbook filled with all the foods that she had seen and tasted on her trip. Earenfight spends her planning period researching Italian cuisine and testing out the recipes at home for her cookbook. “You have deadlines and outlines, and your success is achieved through your own ideas and efforts,” said Earenfight about the class. “You’re in charge of the outcome.” The senior project experience has provided her with an opportunity to gain practice and skills outside of a typical academic setting. As Earenfight explained, being able to learn the process of putting together a cookbook was a new experience, not one she could have found in a traditional classroom. “The most important thing I’ve learned from the project is how vital culture is,” said Earenfight. “Culture is what makes life different and interesting.”

Brian Mejia, MYST3RY, and Ardy Djourabtchi, R.D., combine forces to create their musical alter egos

Today’s generation is very much impacted by images and sounds of pop culture. It is therefore no surprise that seniors Ardy Djourabtchi and Brian Mejia were drawn towards composing music as their senior project. The two seniors, though working together, chose two different genres to explore. Djourabtchi chose to pursue composing hip-hop music, while Mejia decided to focus on creating house music. Using the computer Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) program for the majority of their project, as well as

the piano, both Djourabtchi and Mejia are planning to release separate albums. “Making an album is everything we’re leading up to,” said Djourabtchi. “This is our dream. We’re not just doing this for our project.” The idea of creating music has always been a passion and a thought for both seniors. “We’ve always wanted to do this,” said Mejia. The musicians plan to complete Light Life and The Kid with the Dream at the end of the school year.





DECEMBER 17, 2010

Answering the Call

Students Recruited by Military By Julia Cinquegrani

Marine Corps Recruiting Sergeant Reynaldo Gonzales coaches a recruit through the enlistment process.

A map of all the marine recruits in the Bethesda-Rockille area.

It was just another normal day as a WJ student. First period, I attended Spanish class. Second period was science class. During third period, I talked with a United States Marine Corps recruiter. Wait, what?


ew WJ students are aware that the military is collecting personal data on high school students. Little-known provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002 require that all public and private high schools receiving federal funding provide military recruiters with access to students’ names, addresses and phone numbers. Enrolling in school gives implied consent for contact information to be distributed to military recruiters. Parents and

1 8 - ye a r old students may prohibit MCPS from releasing their names to military recruiters by completing the Student Privacy Notice form (opt out form). The opt out form, however, does not mention military recruiters

or the release of information about students to the military. Instead, the form, which is mailed to WJ students by the school each summer, explains only that completing it will prevent a student’s name from appearing in the school directory or on Honor Roll announcements. However, Principal Christopher Garran mails a more complete explanation of the form along side it, that mentions military recruiters. “No one knows about the opt out form, so it’s not helpful at all,” said junior Natalia Peredo. “I think it’s an invasion of privacy for the school to distribute information about us to military recruiters without our consent.” Garran said that only about 20 parents return completed opt out forms each summer. When a reporter recently attempted to locate the opt out form, main office secretaries, counselors, counseling office secretaries and employees in the College and Career Center were unable to locate the form. While the form is available on WJ’s website, it seems to be rarely used. Further access to high school students aged 16 to 18 and all college students was granted to military recruiters in 2005 when the Defense Department began working with a private marketing firm to compile information about students. In this new database, students’ birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, dates of attendance in school and ethnicities are recorded.

Photos by Devon Murtha and Maggie Locker

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Michael Abragan, the head officer at Rockville’s Marine recruiting station.

The creation of this database, which came after the military failed to meet its recruiting quota for many successive years, sparked controversy about whether this compilation of data violates the Privacy Act by holding extensive information about citizens. The information that military recruiters gather about students is used by recruiters to contact many students individually. “I generally try to contact every student that I have information about on my list,” said Marine Corps recruiter Sergeant Reynaldo Gonzales, who visited WJ on Nov. 22 to talk to students. “But we don’t want to change anybody’s mind about joining the military; we just want to push out information about what we have to offer. We’re not trying to bully or trick anyone into enlisting.” The NCLB Act also mandates that high schools allow military recruiters the same access to their campuses that is granted to college admissions counselors and employers. If schools do not comply with these regulations, their federal funding could be cut. However, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Michael Abragan, the head officer at Rockville’s Marine recruiting station, said that the threat of loss of federal funding for a school is not a motivator in school administrators allowing military recruiters access to their campuses. Even though legally, military recruiters are required to have access to schools, Abragan thinks that the punishment for violating this law is impractical.

“No one’s going to cut funding to a school and shut it down,” said Abragan. “So we have a lack of access to many schools. Our access is normally permission based, based on how much access the school’s administration will allow us to have.” This fall, recruiters from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army and Marine Corps talked to WJ students in presentations similar to those given by college admissions counselors. “There are military recruiters assigned to cover basically every public high school in the country,” said Gonzales. “My goal is to meet different students, and find out their plans for the future.” Garran said that he welcomes military recruiters at WJ, even though every year only a small number of graduating seniors chose to attend military academies or enlist in the military. “I have absolutely no problem with the military visits,” said Garran. “The military provides a vital purpose in our nation; I would never imagine closing our doors to them.” Some students also see the validity of having military recruiters visit high schools. “We need people to fight in our wars,” said senior Steven Magenheim. “The military can help people grow and mature . . . not everybody is ready for college straight out of high school. If college admissions counselors are allowed to visit WJ, than the military should be allowed to visit also.”



DECEMBER 17, 2010

On the Line and in the Lane Maryland’s new law comes under fire


Graphic by Jake Reynolds

By Devon Murtha Maryland has followed the lead of eight other states and adopted a law, effective since Oct. 10, banning all drivers from talking or texting while operating a vehicle, except during emergency situations.

The law’s intention of preventing drivers from using cell phones is part of several national campaigns to end cell phone-related accidents, notably the National Safety Council’s call to end talking and driving and the Obama administration’s push for drivers to use

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hands-free devices. The issue stems from the fact that automobile accidents are the number one cause of death for young people in the United States, and studies show that the likelihood of getting in an accident dramatically increases with cell phone use. However, the law is receiving some criticism for it’s lack of effectiveness. “The law doesn’t really change anything about phones, especially since its a secondary offense,” said Senior Xan Avendaño. “The majority of people are still [going to] talk to people and text because they need to.” The law’s secondary status means that the law does not allow law enforcement to pull someone over simply for using their phone; the driver must also be committing another violation simultaneously, and then the officer can issue a $40 ticket. The offender, however, does not receive any point on their driver’s license. Obama’s Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood offered a solution. “There’s a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we’re looking at that,” said LaHood in an interview on MSNBC. Based on a January 2010 study, the National Safety Council estimates that 28 percent of accidents result from cell phone use while driving; new drivers in particular were found to divide their attention between the road and their phone. Over half of the adolescent population that can drive has admitted to talking on their cell phone while driv-



ing, and over a third to texting while driving. “It seems like most teenagers use their phone pretty much anytime they drive over about 10 minutes,” said Avendaño. “The teenage attention span is only so large.”


Fast Facts:

------------Distracted driving led to 448,000 accidents and 5,474 highway deaths last year

------------At any given moment, 11% of drivers are using their phones

------------53% of drivers said they talk on their phone while driving

------------Data from The Washington Post and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.





DECEMBER 17, 2010


BAT “To keep life in perspective and to take better care of myself.”

What is your New Year’s resolution for 2011?

Kevin Daney tech ed

“[To] meditate.”

For Up At Bat video responses, visit

Lee Ann Russell math

“Exercise more, eat healthier, stop wasting time watching TV... They’re very lofty goals.”

Joe Thompson counseling

By LizWasden Print Editorial Editor To usher in the New Year, many of us celebrate by setting a few goals and resolutions for ourselves. With the past year behind us and a clean slate to look forward to, we are usually filled with a hope for change. Unfortunately, this feeling doesn’t usually last very long. Looking forward to summer, I committed myself to following the workout routine of a video my mother had stuck in my Christmas stocking: Dance and Be Fit: Hip Hop Cardio. However, after only about three days of doing the cabbagepatch and shimmying and attempting to touch my toes and of course being mercilessly picked on by my brothers, I gave up. I would have felt better about the situation if this had been the first time I had quit on my New Year’s resolution, but, unfortunately, it was not. Having been told by my younger brother that he simply could not stand commercial jingles anymore, I decided to quit singing, a difficult goal for a first grader. Thankfully,Christmas songs were no longer cycling through the radio station playlists or I wouldn’t have

been able remain true to my word as long as I did. The next day at school, however, I could no longer contain myself. During the science portion of our day, in a moment of weakness, I burst out with “ONE MACA, TWO MACA, THREE MACARENA!” and everyone laughed at me. It was much like the scene in About a Boy, when Marcus accidentally begins to sing the Carpenters’ song Rainy Days and Mondays, to the unfortunate mocking of his class and the subsequent trip to the principal’s office. Students, however, are not the only ones who slip up on their New Year’s resolutions. When we were younger, we all just assumed that teachers lived at school, like the professors in Harry Potter. The idea that all they ever did was grade papers, eat all meals in the teachers’ lounge and sleep at their desks is still the image that comes most readily to us when we think about our teachers. This image is always interrupted, however, by the teacher who’s engaged, the teacher who’s expecting and especially the teacher who’s retiring, because, in all honesty, where are they going to go? So, what better way to be reminded that teachers have lives too than by reading a few of their goals for 2011?

Liz Stafford art

“Really make use of my time and use it more effectively.” “It’s the same every year. I don’t have one.”

Bill Morris science

Fred Delello social studies

“I stopped doing New Year’s resolutions because I never follow through with them. So my resolution is to not do a resolution.”

Kathleen Carey health

“Stay healthy and enjoy life.” Photos by Liz Wasden and Stefany Carty




DECEMBER 17, 2010



Changing for the Better? By Danielle Markowitz

Mr. Peanut, the classy logo of Planters Peanuts, has a whole new image and a voice surprisingly like Ironman. Mr. Peanut has been a perpetual mascot and brand name in American homes for 94 years: with his monocle, top hat and crisp white gloves, Mr. Peanut is recognized as a celebrity among peanuts. But our media-obsessed society has once again infested American homes; the urge to appeal to a new generation has destroyed the iconic face of this classic brand name. Not once in the past century has Mr. Peanut talked; in the commercial, he now talks, sports a gray flannel suit, has the voice of Robert Downey, Jr. and moves with animation similar to The Night Before Christmas. The importance of growing and changing in tandem with society is essential to companies’ successes. But revamping the images that have dominated American kitchens, televisions and homes since the 1900s is merely a small attempt to create publicity. Planters’ new “Naturally Remarkable” campaign was released this month via Facebook. As small as this may seem in the daily life of a teenager, it provides an opportunity to examine the movement to modernize advertisements in accordance with new generations. The classics are the classics. There is a reason that the 1961 film West Side Story


2010 society can morph, but some things should never change. Remodeling aspects of our nation’s history has an adverse effect on advertising; well-known hallmarks lose their personalities that made them so famous in the first place. So Mr. Peanut, you look spiffy in your coattails and cool with your entrancing voice, but your sharp monocle, white gloves and exposed peanut shell is the true personality behind Planters Peanuts and the American nut business.

In the relationship of a grandchild and grandparent, often as grandchildren, we tend to rely on our parents to get the higher end gifts. Even though we aren’t five years old anymore and can’t give grandma our finger-painted master piece from art class, a gift could come easier if siblings pool their money to get her a manicure or to get grandpa a book on a subject that you know he’s interested in. If you know your grandparents are into becoming more technologically savvy, enlist the help of your parents into getting them a Nook or iPad. This might take a little research beforehand if you don’t know what interests they have, but once you have a better idea, the gift ideas will come more easily. However, you shouldn’t feel obligated to give a present to just anyone over the holidays. Just because these holidays have been turned into commercial machines doesn’t mean you need to conform and give gifts at all. If you feel like you want to give a gift, then go ahead. But don’t let a holiday pressure you into giving. The present shouldn’t be forced. If you’re pulling your teeth out trying to think of what to get, then maybe you shouldn’t be giving it at all. It should

only be if you know that it’s something that they would appreciate and find special. If it’s just a watch or a bracelet that was given just for the sake of a winter holiday, then it’s value becomes lost amongst all of the holiday hullabaloo.


By Alexandra Sanfuentes

With the holiday season always comes the inevitable dilemma of figuring out who to get gifts for and what to get them. This problem amplifies for anyone in a relationship who doesn’t know when it’s appropriate to start gift-giving, or what the right gift is. It’s the little nuances about the person you’re with, the things that you share in common that would make any gift special. A gift, therefore, should be something related to either a place you visited together or an inside joke that you have. So look back on what you’ve done together. That gift should be that little reminder of the fun that will keep you on their mind just a little bit longer. This could be as simple as a small compilation of the first few e-mails you sent each other, or as funny as a book entitled “Dirty Russian: Everyday Slang from ‘What’s Up?’ to “F*** Off!” that you both came across while perusing the shelves of Barnes and Noble. If music is what you have in common, then a mix CD could be one way to go. Just remember that something that has meaning is better than just a tie or a bracelet.

Images courtesy of

has never been remade, that Coca-Cola regresses to its red, iconic Santa Claus can every holiday season and that Volkswagen’s “punch-buggy” has remained its bubbly shape for 73 years. To modernize such recognizable parts of American history is an insult to our culture cultivated within the last century. Yes, it is important for companies to merge into the fast-paced highway of American commercial business; companies evolve and the development of

Cartoon by Jake Reynolds



Foul Ball Size Matters

By Abby Singley Online Editor-in-Chief

With senior year underway and all of my college apps complete and in the hands of “The Deciders,” mail time is now serious business. As letters from colleges have started coming in, I find myself running to the door at the sign of the mailman and vigorously searching through the mail, hoping to find that big, thick envelope. Because in the world of applying to colleges, we all know that big envelopes mean nothing more than “Congratulations, you’re in!” However, I now know that the whole “don’t judge a book by its cover” saying can apply to mail from colleges. A few weeks ago, I received a small, thin envelope from a school I had applied to, and I was absolutely terrified. Small envelope? Small, horrible, news. Was I really about to open my first “Unfortunately...” letter? After a little pep talk from my dad, I pulled myself together and slowly unfolded the paper. It read: “Abigail, we received your early action application and are currently reviewing your file. Thank you for applying!” Well, you’re welcome for applying! And thank you for scaring the living daylights out of me! Now how ‘bout that thick “Congratulations!” envelope? And if you have any more non-admissions decision news for me, why not just put it on an innocent little postcard? On the same day, I also received a debatable piece of mail. Although the envelope sure was big, it was troublingly thin. After receiving that “just letting you know” letter, I had a feeling this would be the same darn thing. So, I tore that sucker open, and what do you know? My first acceptance! Lesson learned: acceptances come in all shapes and sizes. The following mail day, I was tricked once again. Sure, the envelope said “Congratulations! Admissions Confirmation Enclosed,” but my mom mistook the word “Admissions” for “Application” and held up the overly-stuffed envelope, saying “Here’s just one of those confirmation things; I’ll put it here if you want to look at it.” I completely ignored the envelope, which was screaming “acceptance,” and instead went through every other piece of mail. Finally, I opened up the “confirmation” envelope and quickly realized that the item titled “Official Letter of Acceptance to the Class of 2015” was an actual, official letter of acceptance.Yeah…thanks, Mom. Now the lamest acceptance letter in my mail slot was tucked in a rather thin, business-sized envelope. Considering this school is just about the safest of all safeties, I knew that there had to be some form of acceptance enclosed. Along with an offer of admission was a nice scholarship, all delivered in the most disappointing way possible. So underclassmen, appreciate those big envelopes colleges are sending you right now. Come senior year, you’ll be asking for an envelope bath of success.






Friendships are Fleeting, but Facebook is Forever By Sasha Tycko Print Editor-in-Chief

Ah, senior year - the year when we stop seeing classmates and start seeing candidates for “Best Body,” “Most Spirited” and “Best Personality.” By the time this issue is published, the seniors will have chosen their picks for the soughtafter Senior Superlative titles, and the way we will be remembered years after high school will be cemented forever. At least, that’s how it used to be. In the days before the communication boom, upon graduation, people closed the door on high school and lost touch with most of their classmates. Close friends stayed in touch because they actually wanted to make the effort to do so. High school yearbooks served as a source of nostalgia and preserved the memories of former classmates. Today’s advances in the World Wide Web have changed the entire nature of our interactions. Not only are we more connected to our current peers and friends, but through Facebook we are aware of all the intimately superficial details of the lives of past friends, former neighbors, and even teachers. Though this has its many benefits – I can keep track of friends that have moved or gone to college – I often feel too connected to too many people. As I approach the end of my high school duration, I wonder about the future of Facebook and the way we will remember high school. Will I trim my list of “friends” to the select few I actually want to keep in touch with? Will I delete my Facebook account? Or will we go through the years accumulating more and more “friends” until we’re still getting status updates from that guy who sat behind us in math class? The presence of Facebook implements a shift in the way we think about our past. When photo albums or yearbooks were our main connection to our past, high school was simply a memory. But if we’re flipping through the virtual photo albums of our high school crush in our 20s and 30s, high school will still be a reality. We might just find that “Best Looking” has a beer belly and “Best Personality” is the CEO of a company known for employee abuse. Yes, it’s nice to stay in touch, but eventually we have to move on with our lives. Facebook eliminates any closure we get from graduating, so that we’re still competing to put up the most photos that show we’re having fun in college. High school reunions will become unnecessary, if not obsolete, because Facebook will eventually yield baby pictures and wedding announcements (Jane Smith: “Just got married!!!!! :D). If this continues, we will reach a point that we’re so plugged in we forget to live.

DECEMBER 17, 2010

POINT COUNTERPOINT Should High School Start Later than Elementary School?

By Ryan Lynch

As some schools in the country have made changes to their daily school schedules, people are debating whether or not high schools should start after elementary schools. The implementation of this proposal would simply mean that elementary school students would be waking up first instead of teenagers. With the long and jam-packed days of high school students, this extra sleep would allow them to come to school rested and more prepared, even for first period. After all, teachers and administrators want us to be as successful as possible, right? Students at WJ need to be in their first

period class by 7:25 a.m. This means a wake-up time of around 6:00 for early-birds and, at the very latest, 6:30 for students who need to be yanked out of bed. What about if you take a school bus in the morning? Buses arrive around 6:45, which could either create an even earlier wake up time or worse, eliminate the chance of eating the most important meal of the day, breakfast. All of this has already happened, and the school day hasn’t even begun. While it is nice to be out of school at 2:10, any feelings of happiness or satisfaction are quickly replaced with the demand of an after-school activity, exhaustion or the grumbling of that thing


that needs replenishment to continue functioning: your stomach. Luckily, this entire process will start over again the following day after roughly five to seven hours of sleep. On the flipside, there are also those innocent little balls of energy, known as elementary school kids, who get up without even being asked to. Remember those days, when we were still ripe and “excited” about school? Many older siblings recall first-hand accounts of these kids popping out of bed at 6 like it was 10 in the morning to go watch their favorite cartoon. If they can do this, they can surely start school at 7:25 rather than 9.

The Way Things Should Be?

Cartoon by Claire Popovich

By Jenny Deutsch

High school students often criticize the early-rise schedule forced upon them because they feel entitled to more sleep due to their excessive amounts of homework, after school activities and stress. However, the argument as to why they deserve a later rise school schedule is one of the reasons why it is illogical. The early rise schedule enables students to participate in after school activities. If high school students got out of school at 3:30 as elementary school students currently do, they would have very little time to spend engaging in various activities before dark. For decades, high school students have searched for statistics and scientific research to prove that the early-rise

schedule is harmful to their bodies and minds. Although scientific research verifies that sleep is imperative for their overall well-being, the earlyrise schedule should not be to blame for the students’ woes. With the invention of Facebook and texting, student procrastination levels have risen drastically and if students were to eliminate their use of these vices during homework time, they would be more likely to finish their work and get to sleep by a reasonable hour. The sun’s movement also contributes to why it is imperative for high school students to stick to this schedule. It’s neither safe nor practical for young children to be walking to school in the dark of the early morning. While there are still risks involved in teenagers

walking to school before the sun rises, at least these teens are able to defend themselves against unwelcome predators. Children’s safety is more important than high school students’ desire for extra half hour of sleep. Additionally, if elementary school students were to be dismissed earlier in the day, then parents would have to spend a lot of extra money on babysitters and supervision. Then, children whose parents are unable to pay for expensive babysitters will spend more time alone and unsupervised. High school students have to wake up early so that the well-oiled Montgomery County machine works without fail. Changing the system would lead to not only unhappiness, but ample risk and possible damage.

YouTube Converter: Not One of Today’s Useless Gadgets By Ryan Lynch

Facebook. iPods. Smart phones. Twitter. Automatic toothpaste dispensers. Our current generation of young people is known for their obsession with the newest and coolest technological advances. Whether this means taking a picture of the whiteboard that has our homework written on it with our camera phones or making an inappropriate post on Facebook, students are especially willing to use technology for anything. Nowadays, it would be tough to find a young adult whose life isn’t moderately influenced by music. My God, kids nowadays are practically born with a USB cord attached to their bellies. As a result, everyone flocks to “free peer-to-peer file sharing” websites like LimeWire for free music. iTunes did not help the cause when it decided to raise the Phtoto courtesy of John Engler price of many new singles to $1.29,

further deterring people from actually buying music. After the shutdown of LimeWire, music lovers were forced to rely on obscure websites like Bearshare or FrostWire in order to get free music. Then Youtube to MP3 converters came along and changed everything. With the advent of this program, users can simply copy and paste the URL of any Youtube video and paste it into a converter. After converting it into a MP3 file, all users have to do is open iTunes and add the file to their library. Although some frown upon the fact that people are technically “stealing” music, people shouldn’t feel guilty when selectively using the program. For one, music aficionados are now able to download all of their favorite artists’ exclusive remixes, freestyles, mixtapes and unreleased tracks onto their iPod. In fact, the majority of these songs are not even for sale on iTunes. While it is acceptable to rely on Youtube to MP3 converter to download hard-to-find songs like these, users should not use the program to download current songs that could be easily purchased. Making music is the profession of these artists and they deserve to get paid for their work. So people, be sure to buy music every now and then, at least some of it.



DECEMBER 17, 2010

Pitch Opinion: A little white lie does not apply If you want to avoid upsetting people who have control over your future, you might not want to lie on your college application form. Anyone who has been looking into colleges probably has noticed a part of the form concerning one’s “disciplinary history.” The Common Application form has just such a section on the 2011 version of the form. It’s tempting to leave this section blank, or answer untruthfully, especially if you have something to hide. No one is perfect, but most people want to look as good as possible in the eyes of the admissions office. Felony convictions or expulsions, of course, don’t make the list of what to put in a college essay, and if it’s possible to get by without the college knowing any better, who could pass that up? The risk, however, lies in the signa-

ture that all applicants place on their form, certifying that the application is “factually true and honestly presented,” as the Common Application form requires. If, for any reason, the information isn’t true, the college can subject the applicant to “admission revocation, expulsion, or revocation of course credit, grades and degree.” Even if the information is uncovered long after acceptance, the college still has the right to expel you from their program and erase years of hard work. Not all colleges look for the same information. Hood College, for example, looks for much of the same information that the Common Application form asks for. Marymount College in Virginia only asks if the applicant has been convicted of a felony. David Adams, Director of Admissions for Hood College, said that “if it was a serious or a recurring

offense, then that raises concern. If it was a one-time or minor offense, then it may not have any influence [on the acceptance process].” Adams said that “we do find out about a number of things through counselors or letters of recommendation.” He added that, though they we don’t find out everything, “in the end, most things do come out.” So, if colleges can find out about an applicant’s record before they accept them, what’s the point of asking? They’re asking because they want to gauge the student’s honesty, their ability to be truthful about their past and their willingness to move beyond it. Applicants have to realize that honesty and good character are as much a part of going to college as good grades or lots of after school activities.

proval process of consumables, especially medicine. Despite recalls of foods for E. coli in spinach and salmonella in peanut butter in recent years, their role as corollary to the cost-cutting tactics of food companies is monumental. Common sense concedes that if a 21-year-old can fight in the Helmand By Cameron Keyani province in Afghanistan or smoke as many cigarettes as they want, they should be able to drink a mixed drink of two legal substances without governour Loko is not one of the to function normally. better ideas that alcohol That said, how much more influence ment interference. Any adult can go buy a Red Bull and distributors have come up should the American consumer allow mix it with vodka, or spike cola with with. Anyone who has taken the FDA to have on our food and drinks? rum, and these alcohols have contents a Driver’s Ed or a health They’ve waged their war on trans fats around 40 percent and above, much class knows that cross mix- for the past decade and yet human inhigher contents than Four Loko’s 12 ing drug types, in this case a stimulant terest pieces about increasing obesity (caffeine) and a depressant (alcohol) not continue to appear on the nightly news. percent for its strongest drink (although only amplifies the effects of both, but The FDA was established to combat Four Loko’s undisclosed caffeine content might be a red flag). can also cause heart And then comes failure due to the the second arreaction of the pogument against lar opposites in the Four Loko and body. its cousins, Tilt In the case of Four and Joose. The Loko, it not only problem, critics gets users drunk, but Photo courtesy of say, is not about the energy from the sugar, guarana and extreme negligence in food produc21-year-old adults; it is the problem of caffeine also gives them a false feeling tion. And in this respect, they have cerFour Loko’s increasing popularity with of sobriety, prompting them to believe tainly been a positive force in society, that they are not yet drunk and are fit known for their notoriously long ap- young people. Some allege that Phusion, the company that distributes Four Loko, hired underage employees to introduce the drink to their friend groups. In addition, some find fault with Four Loko’s marketing as an ostensible energy drink, citing its sale at convenience stores alongside other 16-ounce drinks like Arizona Iced Tea. But if consumers know that cigarettes cause cancer, and choose to ignore the bolded surgeon general’s warning, Four Loko should be put back on the market as long as it is sold as an alcoholic beverage at a liquor store, rather than as Monster Energy with a kick. The FDA can’t curtail the demand for sweet tasting drinks that lay waste to the judgment of drinkers, so, as argued for every prohibition in history, they should allow the dangerous behavior, Four Loko contains alcohol, guarana, caffeine and sugar, and but regulate it so the production of this is popular among college-age drinkers. Photo courtesy of m. treatzone Loko craze doesn’t go underground. The

Boardroom Empire: FDA Can’t Fathom the Drunken Toes They’ve Stepped On




Slugger Twin Troubles

By Alexandra Sanfuentes Print Editor-in-Chief “Are you guys twins?” “No, we just look exactly the same, share similar clothing, sometimes talk at the exact same time (about 380 wpm (words per minute)), walk at the same rate, sound the same over the phone, look the same from behind…” “So are you twins?” Sounds ridiculous, right? This is actually a conversation I have on a pretty regular basis. Many of you reading this who know me will probably think that this is a personal jab. What you have to understand is that you are one among the hundreds of people that have asked my sister and I the exact same thing. “Are you guys twins?” But it’s not just this question that I and every other twin in WJ have had to deal with since we were babies. It all started with being carted around by our mothers in those double-seated strollers at an age where no one knew if we were boys or girls. That’s a typical baby question your parents are faced with if they chose to dress you in unisex clothing, not knowing the post-traumatic stress that would result. But following this typical baby question comes another specifically for twins or triplets. One question my own mother remembers is, “Do they eat and sleep at the same time?” Really? We aren’t aliens or clones of one another. We can do things on our own, even as babies. Now that we’re older, questions have morphed to match our age. Do you like the same things? Are you applying to the same colleges? Do you want to go to the same state? Will you miss each other? We get asked these same questions time and time again and we even now have started dreading them, to be honest. We just find ourselves repeating the same answers over and over. The answers to these questions differ for every set of twins or triplets. As far as my sister and I are concerned, we like some of the same things but we also have different interests. We’re our own unique people. We also have names. We aren’t “The Twins.” We are two individual people who would like to be treated as such. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a twin. I get to double my wardrobe. But I’ve reached a point where I would like to be my own person and not be superglued to someone else. “Are you identical?” “No, we’re fraternal.” “Really, because you look exactly the same.” “No, I was just kidding before. We’re actually identical.” “Really?” “NO.”

DECEMBER 17, 2010

Food Attitude

DECEMBER 17, 2010

Healthy, Quick Breakfast Options

By Lily Sieradzki

Chattering students fill the WJ student commons. They munch on a variety of foods, everything from a huge tuna salad sandwich to a bag of chips to a serving of greasy cafeteria fries. Amidst this is senior Brady Gradowski, who reveals his eating habits: no breakfast or lunch, a huge dinner and constant refills of soda throughout the day. While Gradowski readily admits that his food choices are somewhat out of the ordinary, it cannot be denied that teenagers’ eating habits are unique, sometimes in a good way and sometimes not. The bodies of teenagers, because of their rapid growth, have special needs that must be addressed. School rules when and what teens eat, both in terms of what kinds of food are available and when they are eaten. Particularly at WJ, the open lunch policy has a huge effect on student diets.

acts and f igures

Eating Out but Eating Right According to both Gradowski and Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Connie Pokress, the open lunch policy allows for a healthy degree of independence in making good food decisions. Many options are available on both ends of the nutrition scale. The problem is that many teens don’t know how to make the right choice or that they choose not to. Georgetown Square restaurants mostly allow for enough choices to satisfy both cravings and nutrition in one swoop. Pokress consistently notices students bringing back food on the healthier side from G-Square. In contrast, sophomore Marguerite Bandeian sees students making unhealthy choices at open lunch. “I see people carrying around baguettes, I see people carrying around bags of chips [and] I see people carrying around huge bottles of soda,” she said. It isn’t hard to eat out and eat healthily at the same time. According to the Nemours TeensHealth website, there are three simple ways: look for a balance of proteins, fruits and vegetables and whole-grains (a chicken sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato versus a hamburger on a white bun), keep portion sizes in check, and drink water or milk to cut out soda or juices’ empty calories. Price is also a huge factor when it comes to food. Students end up finding it easier and cheaper to buy food that is less healthy. How can students eat well from what’s available and what’s affordable? Another healthy option apart from those offered in Georgetown Square lies in bringing food from home, or simply eating at home instead of eating out, giving more control to guarantee healthful eating. Erratic Eating Patterns Eating schedules also matter. According to local nutritionist Faye Berger Mitchell, teenagers tend to eat erratically because of ove r - loaded schedules. The combined time restraints of extracurricular activities, homework and of course, an active social life, lead to increased snacking and more eating away from home. Teens often choose the faster, but less healthy option. Teens often skip breakfast, which can have a powerful effect on the body throughout the entire day. A 2008 study in Pediatrics Magazine showed that the more often teens eat breakfast, the less likely they are to be overweight. According to a 2005 study by the American Dietetic Association, breakfast consumption is linked to improvement in school attendance, memory and test scores. It can also make you feel full in the morning, preventing snacking on junk food or eating overly large meals later in the day. “When kids skip breakfast, they really have a hard time focusing in their morning classes,” said Berger Mitchell. “Eating breakfast helps [ensure that] grades are better, thinking is clearer [and] judgment is better.”

How To Eat Right!

6 oz. per day

Food For Thought: Stress and Balance Stress from school can also make an impact on what or how teens eat. Stress can cause a decrease in eating and loss of appetite, or inversely, an increase in eating, both unhealthy. A deprivation of sleep, which causes and is a result of stress, also has been shown to prompt people to eat more high-carb, high calorie foods, according to Medscape. “I generally don’t eat when I’m stressed out,” said Bandeian. “I get tired and hungry and eat a lot [when I’m sleep-deprived].” Eating a balanced diet can include a small quantity of treats, as long as they are infrequent. Teens can and eat what they want once in a while without terrible consequences. The teenage years are the time when the body needs the most nutrition to grow and change. We establish and solidify our eating habits for the rest of our lives. Making healthy decisions is not only beneficial now, but continuing these habits will improve the quality of life for years to come. By valuing what goes into our bodies, we invest in our future.

Fruits Vegetables

2.5 cups per day

6 00 a2 in ack d e her mm gat Ha as osie w R on y ati ic b orm ph inf fogra In

2 cups per day

Meat + Beans Milk

3 cups per day

5.5 oz. per day

Photos taken by Stefany Carty, Rosie Hammack and Lily Sieradzki

S nal

ou pF


o ati





48% of adolescents take ten to 30 minutes to fall asleep on school nights


of teens watch television before doing homework every night

of teens who get between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of sleep every night report getting As and Bs on their report cards


of adolescents get less than eight hours of sleep on school nights

According to Emsellem, though adolescents should ideally get between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of sleep every night, the average American high school senior actually clocks in around 6.7 hours. And the effects of this statistic do not go undetected throughout the school day. Acquard finds that sleep deprivation often translates into students’ schoolwork, especially during certain times throughout the marking period when students have many more academic demands placed on them. “They are not focusing, they are making silly mistakes in class and they are not able to perform at their best in the classroom,” she said. Health teacher Kathleen Carey has also noticed the correlation; obviously sleepy students just don’t tend to perform well in school. And not only does sleep deprivation negatively affect productivity levels, but junior Alexine Buchanan has found that pressure placed from the school negatively affects her own ability to fall asleep. She describes MCPS’s bus and school schedule as “rigid,” “tiring” and “stressful,” and adds that the issue of sleep deprivation does not get enough attention from the school system. Carey disagrees with Buchanan’s implication that MCPS places unrealistic demands upon its students. “There are many, many students that do extremely well,” she said. “Most of those students are very good at organizing their time. Sometimes [students] just need to reevaluate and plan things out a bit more.” Though she admits that there are many pressures placed on students by the school system, Acquard feels that students are also presented with enough academic support to be able to juggle the various demands. The jury is still out on whether students’ sleep habits are more affected by outward or inward pressures. Whatever the cause, the fact remains that, on average, students aren’t getting enough sleep to function properly throughout the day. In many cases, this lack of sleep is compounded by America’s number one sleep disorder: insomnia. To combat insomnia, Acquard suggests that students eat well during the day and talk to parents or teachers when they begin to feel overwhelmed. Both Acquard and Emsellem also stress the importance of establishing a sleep routine and trying not to why teens need to catch their z’s deviate from that routine over weekends and breaks. “Be sure not to watch [television] to fall asleep,” said EmBy Rosie Hammack sellem. “[Television] programming is designed to keep you engaged [and] light is a drug that promotes wakefulness - avoid it in the evePicture this:You’re up at six.You trudge through all seven hours of school, running.” ning on low fuel.You fritter away the five hours immediately following the school Buchanan recommends drinking non-caffeinated tea and admits to having day with socializing, television and Facebook. You sneak in a nap before six. Dinoccasionally resorted to taking non-prescription antihistamines. ner passes before you’re even ready to think about schoolwork, and by the time “I’ve taken Benadryl, because I don’t want to get hooked on sleeping meds,” you’ve finished your homework, it’s well after 12 a.m. Sound familiar? For most she said. teenagers, this is no foreign routine. It’s a daily struggle. Emsellem also suggests that students who have issues falling or staying Sophomore Ted Borenstein finds this routine troublingly familiar. Describing his asleep should direct themselves first to their primary care provider difficulty falling asleep as “agonizing” and “frustrating,” and admitting to chroniand next to a sleep specialist. cally falling asleep in class, Borenstein paints a picture of a phenomenon In a highly stimulated world dominated by electronics common amongst American teens today: sleep deprivation. and academic pressures, the fact is that it is not difficult Insufficient sleep is both physically and mentally draining, acto let sleep health fall to the wayside. cording to psychology teacher Geri Acquard and Dr. Helene Em“There’s so much going on, you want to do so sellem, medical director at the Center for Sleep and Wake Disormuch, and there are only so many hours in a day,” ders located in Chevy Chase, Md. Along with the close link between said Carey. “The world is so open to you, and with sleep deprivation and increased appetite and weight gain, Emsellem all the other demands, it’s wonderful – but at the lists a higher risk of mood disorders and chronic infections among same time it takes away from people taking care of the negative side effects of insufficient sleep. Other symptoms include themselves.” depression, dulled creativity, poor relationship skills and an inability to communicate clearly.

Eat, Sleep and Be Healthy

Gradowski skips breakfast for time’s sake –school starts early and he wants to get in as much sleep as possible. Eating in the morning is absolutely essential. “It’s been eight or 10 hours since you’ve last eaten a meal, so your body is going into a fasting mode, which means that your blood sugar is down,” Pokress said. “Your brain needs blood sugar in order to function well.” Bandeian recognizes the importance of breakfast for her body. “I can’t go without eating breakfast, or else I can’t function,” she said.


at nd

An apple is the perfect quick grab to stick in your backpack before heading out the door. It’s high in dietary fiber and carbs to maintain your energy.

Low fat yogurt packs a protein punch that will keep you focused till lunch. Mix it with granola or fresh berries for a delicious and healthy parfait.

the amounts suggested are for a 2,000-calorie diet


Stash a box of granola bars in your locker so you’ll have constant and easy access to breakfast or snacks whenever you need to refuel.

Fill plastic baggies with whole grain and fiber-rich cereal that’s easy to grab and eat between and during class. Make some trail mix by adding peanuts and raisins.


counting s heep: f


Infographic by Lily Sieradzki


infographic by Lily Sieradzki

When and how teens eat

Photo and information courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture.








The Deal with Sleep





r r a y


DECEMBER 17, 2010


Ot t e r

Ma n i a

From the Quidditch club to the midnight showing, WJ can’t get enough of this scarred fella with frames By Emil Hafeez A chorus of “1! 2! 3! Gryffindor!” rises from the newly constructed Quidditch pitch on WJ’s football field. While neither Harry Potter nor any other of his witch and wizard peers are anywhere to be found, the area often mistaken for a football field is densely populated with WJ students whizzing around on brooms. Despite their soaring spir-

A keeper blocks the Quaffle in the SGA-sponsored tournament.

its, their feet remain on the ground. Playing Quidditch with one hand clutching a broom that must remain between their legs, the Muggles, or non-magic folk, live out the fantasy that many of them have had since they began reading the Harry Potter series. In magical Quidditch, each team has seven players: three Chasers, two Beaters, a Keeper and a Seeker. There are three kinds of balls: the Quaffle, two Bludgers and the small golden Snitch. The Chasers handle the Quaffle and try to put it through one of three hoops, while the Keeper defends the hoops. Bewitched Bludgers attack players on brooms while the Beaters defend their own side, and the Snitch evades the Seekers. It works similarly in the Muggle world, with players quarreling for the Quaffle, being pelted by thrown Bludgers, and sprinting after the speedy


Snitch (usually played by a cross-country runner wearing yellow). The point, though, isn’t necessarily winning. “My favorite part of the game is actually watching it, though playing is a lot of fun too,” said Quidditch Club co-founder junior Jocelyn Wu. “It’s just nice to see people enjoying something from Harry Potter.” The real point here is nostalgia. It’s practically palpable. With the recent release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, love for Harry Potter seems to have been rekindled at WJ. Many of our generation grew up reading about The Boy Who Lived, progressing through elementary, middle and high school while the wondrous wizard graduated from cupboard-under-the-stairs to cousin Dudley’s second bedroom. Many students’ eleventh birthdays were marred tragically when they didn’t receive a letter from Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Harry faced the horrors of Lord Voldemort time and time again, this generation read along and rooted for him. The series progressed from the relatively modest novel written by a living-on-government-benefits author, J.K. Rowling, to eight movies that have grossed more than $5 billion, and seven books that have sold more than 400 million copies. Now, after her seventh book sold more than 15 million copies in the first 24 hours and the most recent film made $330.1 million during the debut weekend, Forbes Magazine has placed Rowling’s net worth at about $1 billion. Support from the younger generation is undoubtedly the largest, with droves of teenagers attending the midnight premiere of the new Harry Potter and seemingly endless numbers the next day. At the Regal Bethesda on Wisconsin Avenue, far more people between the ages of 13-20 were dressed up as characters than any other demographic. A parent in the theater who spoke during the introduction was reprimanded, not by other parents, but a chorus of offended teenage Harry Potter fans. “I’ve grown up reading the series,” said senior Jackson Barr. “I can’t really help but glorify the

books and the movies a little bit. They’re a part of my childhood.” True witches and wizards could be seen in school the day after The Deathly Hallows premiere, murmuring incantations and trying to apparate their way out of class despite their complete lack of energy. Perhaps this generation’s love of the series is strongest because they grew up with Potter and are now dedicated fans; perhaps it’s the strongest just because the series strikes them well. Either way, the outpouring of support for the ending of the series is downright torrential, and as the release of the next and last movie draws closer, hype will only increase. The very last installment will undoubtedly stir up the support of even more fans, as those who have gotten into the series will want to see it off. “J.K. Rowling has got to be an amazingly talented writer for someone to be able to feel so many emotions when reading the books, and it’s sad they’re basically over,” said senior Alicia Dodrill.

Photos by Stefany Carty

Muggles fulfill their wizard dreams, playing Quidditch on the side field, riding brooms and scoring goals.

...and the insanity continues online at WJ p i t c


Check out the Video of the Week: the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 trailer

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers



Answer The Pitch Online poll: What’s your favorite Harry Potter book?

For more on the Quidditch Club: Check out the feature section


Movie Review: Dr. Harold Potter, PhD in Box Office Magic By Eleanor Janhunen

Courtesy of rocketboomnyc


By Sari Amiel



DECEMBER 17, 2010


‘Tis The Season to Be Shopping

As your car skims down the street on a brisk November afternoon, fiery leaves still hugging the trees, you spy a sign of things to come. Twinkling lights lace your neighbors’ bushes, an inflated snowman rests on someone’s lawn and richly colored wreaths dot the doors you pass. What’s more, the sweet, crisp notes of winter songs filter out of your car radio. Thanksgiving may have ended yesterday, but the winter holidays are here. For many, Thanksgiving offers a chance to look forward to spending time with their families without the worry of buying them the right gifts. But the calm of Thanksgiving is often infiltrated by stress over the next batch of holidays. “The advertisements drive me crazy,” said instrumental music teacher Meghan Davis. “I think they start them too early. I want to enjoy Thanksgiving, and then start [hearing] Christmas music.” Some radio stations start broadcasting Christmas songs as early as Nov. 1. According to WTSP Tampa Bay News, a family began camping out in front of a Best Buy store in St. Petersburg, Fla. nine days before Black Friday, a day recognized as the start of the Christmas shopping season. Early on the morning of Black Friday in 2008, an employee at a Wal-Mart in Long Island was trampled to death by a crowd of shoppers. Close to home, Black Friday is just as hectic. “There were cars parked all over the grass … near the mall,” said sophomore Maya Fuchs. On Black Friday, she started shopping in a Virginia mall at 1:00 a.m. and didn’t get to bed until 7:30 a.m. According to the Wall Street Journal, this year’s total Black Friday sales added up to $10.7 billion. The amount of traffic in stores increased by 2.2 percent.


always justify this expense. On the other hand, the shopping season may be a much-needed boost to the country’s economy. “The commercialism of all of the winter holidays…takes away [their] true meaning,” said sophomore Aylat Lifshitz. “They are about religion and...the past, but because of commercialism and Black Friday, [they are] all about the present and getting presents.” This commercialism is not only expressed in connection with the holiday of Christmas. As with Thanksgiving traditions, this new tradition spans across different religions. “I think that Jews in America have incorporated a lot of aspects of Christmas, like present-giving, which isn’t a part of the Jewish culture, [into Hanukah],” said sophomore Grace Leslau. Although some say the commercialism of holidays may be destroying their intended significance, others

The growing trend of commercialism a month before Christmas is becoming hard to ignore. Being unprepared for the holidays year after year can prove stressful. For some, the need to buy sufficient gifts in time for these festivals may even overpower the joy of giving. Christmas giving is very profitable for some. In the month leading up to Christmas, toymakers make up to 50 percent of their yearly revenue. This year FedEx willship an average of 86 packages per second from Thanksgiving to Christmas this year. For many Americans, the winter holidays are synonymous with spending money. Maybe the prospect of making religious holidays more magical does not Cartoon by Danielle Markowitz

FedEx will ship an average of

86 packages per second from Thanksgiving to Christmas

think the inability to escape music and decorations for the upcoming holidays might make them more exciting. Perhaps commercialism isn’t all bad. Perhaps it shines some non-religious optimism into the background of a season which is, on the surface, caught up in more noticeable celebrations. After all, imagine a cold, windy autumn afternoon with nothing warm and bright to look out upon as your car skims down a darkening street.


14 Out of Left Field:



By Ian Green and Cameron Keyani

Photo courtesy of raneko

Photo courtesy of,

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of




This online gem, which semi-accurately touts that “Everyone Can Create Music,” is an excellent but conspicuous time killer. This site is an interactive music maker, that features eight grids, some unique synthesizers and others drum and bass mixers, with 256 tiles each. By methodical or random selection of tiles, users can create catchy music in the style of Passion Pit or MSTRKRFT. This site, which is now a Smartphone app, is dangerously addictive and time consuming, but all the more endearing for A) being an outlet for the musician in everyone and B) not being Facebook.

Vulture is the definitive website when it comes to entertainment consumption. A blog stemming from New York Magazine, this site has a number of running features that are humorous and enjoyable to read, such as the parody of a celebrity as a stock which you can buy, sell or hold based on their future success. They recap the best TV shows, review new movies, write thoughtful editorials, interview celebrities, post funny videos and release exclusive photos. Vulture is basically Entertainment Weekly for English majors. It’s my entertainment oasis, and it should be yours too.

For those who like their web comics with a dose of classic literature, it doesn’t get better than Hark, a Vagrant. The sharp wit presented in their comics is laugh-out-loud funny, despite mainly being parodies of Shakespeare works and societal/artistic conventions. Their comics range from criticism of modern society to historical events dissected with a modern lens. The sketched art style and caricatured expressions are surprisingly endearing and add another layer of humor if the reader is familiar with whomever they are parodying. This web comic is the true destination for nerdy humor.



By Sophie Meade Arts and Entertainment Editor Walking through a thrift store last week, I veered into the shirt section and was blinded by the excessive amount of flannel taking up about 80 percent of the aisle. Of course, I had always noticed the flannel on previous trips, but I had never realized the strange correlation between the popularity of flannel and its abundance in secondhand stores. Despite the random piles of donated junk these stores aquire, there are certainly noticeable trends in the types of garments flung onto the racks. The dress section houses a million shoulder pad inserts, the jacket section is filled with neon and pastel windbreakers, and the sweater section favors chunky bigpattered crewnecks. Understandably, all of these cast-offs are from the ’80s and ’90s, and were probably dug out of the closets of now 30-40 year-olds. The parallels between modern trends and the thrift store selections are so striking that I wonder: Did thrift stores themselves direct current trends? It seems a bit of a stretch to believe that a retro return to late 20th century style was caused a bunch of hand-me-downs. But in respect to thrift store shopping, it makes some sense. The past few years have been strongly defined by the economic crisis, so an increase in thrift store business is understandable. Simultaneously, much of popular culture has begun to revert back to styles that were popular only 20-30 years ago: grunge military boots, plaid and flannel, acid wash and faded jeans, goofy crewnecks and cardigans, tops and dresses made of lace and velvet. Obviously, a significant portion of fashion-conscious individuals does not shop at thrift stores. So, for this crowd, the retail empire has created their own version of “retro” style, refining -and repricing- the leftovers of the ’80s and ’90s. Popular clothing stores like Heritage 1981, 80’s Purple and American Apparel have all followed suit, but the most obvious and successful is Urban Outfitters. The parallels between the garments in Urban Outfitters stores and those on thrift store racks seem too strong to be unconnected. Faux-vintage T-shirts, denim button-downs, big-patterned “Cosby” crewnecks and cardigans and of course those coveted flannels are among the many secondhand styles recreated by the clothing chain. And although shoes like Doc Martens and classic white Keds have been considered passé since the ’90s, Urban Outfitters insists on carrying them, and has made good money from shoppers who don’t think to buy the kicks at any Goodwill for an eighth of the price. Unlike big chains, helpless thrift stores have no means to advertise. So I must act as their valiant (and cheesy) spokesperson. Even if you’re a sucker for the untouched freshness of chainstore threads, don’t let yourself be fooled by their vintage imitation. If you want the real deal -at a fraction of the price- you’ll need to reach the roots of retro at your local thrift shop.



Secondhand Revolution

DECEMBER 17, 2010

By Daniel Fanaroff

>>Call of Duty: Black Ops

>>Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit

>>FIFA 11

The seventh installment in the famed “shoot-‘em-up” series should be at the top of your list of must-have games this winter. The graphics provide a realistic experience that makes the trip from your couch to the power-off button more undesirable than visiting your folks in Nebraska for the holidays. The campaign mode presents a story developed around the Cuban Missile Crisis. The multiplayer mode provides smooth game-play and a few new additions, such as “Contracts,” which provides reward points, new “Killstreaks,” including “Gunships,” which allows you to pilot an attack chopper and “Blackbird,” a carpet bombing airstrike throughout the map. Consoles: Xbox 360 and PS3

From a long line of racing games comes “Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.” The newest modification adds a twist to the preceding games. In this edition, gamers will have the ability to take two different career paths: a racer who escapes the boys in blue or a policeman tracking down gear heads and grease monkeys. The game features over 60 cars to choose from, including the new Lamborghini Reventon, the McLaren F1 and the Bugatti Veyron. “Hot Pursuit” also brings in power-ups that weren’t present in previous games, including spike strips to deflate policemen’s tires, roadblocks and helicopter skycams (police mode only). Consoles: Xbox 360, PS3 and iPhone

I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no, Qatar does not have a team in this game. But new adjustments in game-play and career features provide a realistic simulation of professional soccer around the world (not including the dramatic “flopping” of Cristiano Ronaldo). New additions include the “Career Mode,” merging previous features “Manager Mode” and “Be a Pro Mode” into one. This allows players to go through the ranks as a player, coach and playercoach. For the jerks who like to run up the score in friendly competition, the game provides new and improved celebrations beyond the amateur acrobatics seen in previous versions. Consoles: Xbox 360, PS3, iPhone, PC and Wii

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of



DECEMBER 17, 2010



RELEASED By Sophie Meade

>>Kanye West

Photos courtesy of flattop341 Photos courtesy of,, and


My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


Body Talk

Although the Swedish crooner has been around since the ’90s, Robyn’s most If you thought you knew Kanye West, you were wrong. Despite the fact that on his fifth album West surrounds himself with lofty instrumentals and music recent release is clearly at the apex of her career. “Body Talk,” released in two parts, industry gurus, this latest release is the most honest, raw and self-revealing. “My is probably the highest quality female power-pop American listeners have heard this year. The flawless production offers a feast of Beautiful Dark Twisted Fanstasy” is extravagantly unpredictable beats and candy-sweet synth (see executed, complete with a contrast of heavy “Fembot” and “In My Eyes”), while the acoustic piano ballads and minimalist bass-and-percussion tracks (“Hang With Me,” “Indestructible” pieces. Even more significant than the album’s and “Jag Vet En Dejlig Rosa”) are charmingly substantial instrumentation, however, is West’s simple, without any awkward polishing. But apparent internal growth. His more steady flow production and instrumentation aside, Robyn’s and frank lyrics go above and beyond the typical thick baby-like voice is undeniably the foremost arrogance of boastful rap and give a brave insight element, even when heavily surrounded by into his own insecurities. As a result, West has thick beats. Overall, Robyn accomplishes a made the artistic accomplishment of expressing rare feat: her listeners are both enthralled both vanity and self-doubt simultaneously. by her voice, yet unable to stop dancing.

>>Justin Bieber

>>Nicki Minaj

My Worlds Acoustic

With his side-swept hair and pre-pubescent vocal range, Justin Bieber has been milked dry by his producers for every ounce of teenness he has. And to prep the star for the real world, his label apparently feels the need to prove Bieber’s actual talent. “My Worlds Acoustic” follows the model of an “unplugged” album, gathering many of Bieber’s previous hits and re-releasing them minus the excesssive synth and pounding beats. But that sneaky production team clearly had the over-polished guitar and Bieber’s ever-so-subtly autotuned voice recorded on separate tracks and dubbed them together. The result: corny-sounding Backstreet Boys-esque remakes of his most blush-worthy hits. The only new single on the album,1:25 “Pray” is decidedly neither “unplugged” or SU_HS_AD_Centennial_10_Layout 1 11/1/10 PM Page 1 “acoustic” which is a little awkward on an album meant to display raw musicality.

Pink Friday

After hearing Nicki Minaj’s impressive guest verses and mixtapes, listeners have eagerly awaited the release of “Pink Friday,” mainly out of pure curiosity. But the album has only left us more confused as to where Minaj places herself on the map of female MCs. There is no doubt toward Minaj’s rap capabilities and impressive flow, as she outdoes herself on tracks like “I’m the Best” and “Blazin.” But it’s the sweet and sugary moments of the album, seen on “Save Me” and “Dear Old Nicki,” that question Minaj’s devotion to rap rather than mainstream hiphop or R&B. Regardless of genre-identity, Minaj gracefully displays her array of talents and makes her girl-power message clear: “I’m fighting for the girls/ That never thought they could win…I am here to reverse/ The curse that they live in.”



offers more than 50 distinct academic programs—at a great value. Students come to SU from across the U.S. and around the world.


I found SU to be a perfect fit

■ Outstanding

faculty are mentors for undergraduate research. Students gain real world knowledge through internships and global experiences including SU’s Salisbury Abroad programs in Ecuador, Estonia and China.


growing collection of state-of-the-art facilities includes SU’s new business school building and residence-retail complex. This “green” campus is located on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore.


I applied to SU for two main reasons: its size and the professors. The class sizes are ideal for me because they’re similar to the sizes of my classes in high school. The campus is perfect for seeing a familiar face and meeting new people every day.


Early Action: December 1

Regular Admission: January 15

Apply online at


To find out about campus visits, SU’s test-optional policy and the application process, visit

News & World Report’s Best Colleges

■ The

Princeton Review’s Best 373 Colleges and Best Northeastern Colleges

■ Kiplinger’s

Personal Finance “100 Best Values in Public Colleges”

■ The

Princeton Review/USA Today “50 Best Value Public Colleges”

A Maryland University of National Distinction





DECEMBER 17, 2010

Men’s Fashion

A Photo Essay on Winter Wear

By Eleanor Janhunen, Sophie Meade and Sasha Tycko

Photos by Sophie Meade and Sasha Tycko


alk through the halls of any high school and you’ll see flowing skirts, tight jeans, even the occasional high heel. However, once you get past this flurry of girlish attire, you’ll see just as many colorful sneakers, expensive denim and tailored coats from the men of Walter Johnson. In the search for a teenage identity, males are no different than their female counterparts – they turn to style as a way to express themselves.



round WJ, we noticed several men’s fashion trends that were undeniably popular. Along with extensively utilized plaid, preppy knits, cool backpacks and tailored jackets, fly kicks were the standout accessory through which the male population showed their style status. While many guys are shy when it comes to declaring their fashion identity, a few winter wardrobe essentials always make a statement.



4 3

5 1.WeSC Oboe Golden Headphones; 2. UO Desert Boot; 3. Charcoal Military Jacket; topman. com 4. Black Leather Look Jacket; 5. Nanny State Flannel Trainer; 6. Brown Mini Cable Beanie Hat; 7. Up Gentleman Glove; 8. Green Tartan Gloves;





DECEMBER 17, 2010


things you didn’t know about...

Vinnie Peratrovich The tiny but mightyVinnie Peratrovich has played hockey his entire life.While playing center for varsity over the past four years, he has amassed over 80 combined goals and assists. Peratrovich scored the game-winning goal with 49 seconds left in Monday’s game against Sherwood.We sat down withWJ’s favorite Alaskan, and heres what we learned. Photo by Parker Smith

By Phillip Resnick as told byVinnie Peratrovich






OFF THE ICE IT’S ALL FUN AND GAMES…: My favorite locker room memory


…BUT THE GAME IS SERIOUS BUSINESS: I’ve heard some pretty terrible stuff


THE GAME HAS TAKEN ME PLACES I WOULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED…: I made Team Alaska and got to play in the Arctic Winter Games. Even though

Being from Alaska, I’ve played hockey my whole life. My dad taught me to skate when I was four and a half, and I’ve been playing hockey for as long as I can remember. Hockey in Alaska is so much better than it is here because everyone plays there. On the other hand, my other sport, lacrosse, is much better here, because here kids have spent their whole lives playing it. is locker-boxing with Daniel Cohen. That’s where you put on your helmet and gloves and just wail on each other while everyone else is watching and yelling at you.

on the ice that I can’t repeat here, but trust me, it’s bad. I’ve also been in a bunch of fights. Once I even started a bench-clearing brawl while I was playing a team in Canada.

we got our butts kicked, I got to play against future NHLers from Canada, Russia, Sweden, and other hockey powerhouse countries. I was also on a team that qualified for Silver Sticks Nationals where I got to play against the best teams in the country.





Girls are always like ‘Ohmygod, you play hockey?!’ I guess not as many people play around here so it’s more of a big deal. The scars help, too… I think that if everyone practices on their own and sticks to their assignments during the games, we should be able to make it to counties.We missed the playoffs by one game last year, but I think our talent level has improved, so we should have a good season.



Fielder’s Choice

My Holiday Wishlist By Parker Smith Print Sports Editor The late, great Donald Yetter Gardner once sang, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.” While this may be what Alex Ovechkin wants for Christmas, my personal wish list is, I think, a little more meaningful. D.C. sports have been starved of good teams for a while now. The best baseball player in the area, Stephen Strasburg, is out for the next season and a half, the best basketball player over the past year has been Andray Blatche, and the Redskins found that money can buy Albert Haynesworth, but not his motivation. Anyway, I think D.C. fans deserve more than mediocre sports teams. Here’s my holiday wish list of things that can cheer them up. 1. A Winter Classic hockey game on the reflecting pool: We all know that the Capitals will be playing the Penguins in the NHL’s annual outdoor Winter Classic game (or do we?).The rink will be set up on historic Heinz field in Pittsburgh, but how cool would it be if D.C. was able to host the game? And I’m not talking at FedEx or RFK. I want this game on the mall. Tell me there wouldn’t be a record turnout to watch a game played on the sacred space between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. In fact, it could be the first in a long line of historic hockey games. Forget football stadiums and ballparks, I want games in Central Park, under the Gateway Arch, and along the frozen St. Lawrence River. 2. A BCS implosion/explosion: That’s right. I don’t care whether it collapses onto itself or shatters into a billion pieces. I want it gone. The entire world is begging for some kind of playoff. The U.S. loves upsets, Cinderellas and lots of football, and a playoff would allow for all three to happen simultaneously. Plus, as soon as the word “bracket” is used to describe the playoff format, bracketologists will be all over it, creating a national phenomenon called January madness. It’s a win, win, win, situation. 3. A McNabb trade do-over: It’s just a shame that the Redskins traded for the wrong Eagles QB. At this point, Eagles quarterback and ex-con Michael Vick is the front-runner for NFL MVP, and if he is able to maintain his success he will wrap up a season full of sweet redemption. Somehow, someway, during his time away from the spotlight of being a NFL starting quarterback, Vick learned to pass from the pocket, a skill that, when combined with his incredible elusiveness, makes him the most dynamic player in the league. He’s admitted his mistake, done his time, and is getting a second chance to do what he loves to do. What a delight it would be to have him in Washington.




Winter Watch SPORTS

DECEMBER 17, 2010

The Pitch previews WJ’s winter sports teams

*All events after Dec. 14 took place too late to be covered

Boys Basketball By Josh Benjamin

After last year’s disappointing one-win season, the boys basketball team hopes to hone their playing abilities and improve their record by winning a fair number of games. The Wildcats return the majority of last year’s team, and the team has spent the offseason getting used to playing with each other and establishing team chemistry. “Everyone’s a year older,” said coach Bill Morris. “We have almost the entire team back so I hope we make some strides and improve.” The team has tried to learn from last year’s mistakes and play off of their size and athleticism. “We have a lot of height; we have a lot of strength,” said senior guard Bert Yaffe. “And we’re pretty athletic, and that’ll be a strength this year that we didn’t really have last year.” Strategically, Morris looks to be able to utiSenior captain Sarah Howie looks to lead a young team to victory.

lize the team’s athleticism. In order to do so, WJ looks to create turnovers in order to get out on the fast-break, where the team can take advantage of its athletic ability. When WJ isn’t able to force a turnover, they are still looking to push the ball down the court in hopes of a quick, high percentage shot. Such an offense is designed to control the tempo of the game, and therefore prevent opponents from gaining sustained momentum. While the Wildcats are set out to force turnovers, they will need to take care of the ball and prevent turnovers if they are to have success this season. “[Our weaknesses this year are] taking care of the ball, and really valuing each possession,” said Yaffe. The team has started the season 0-3, with turnovers playing a major role in the losses. If WJ can address this problem, they will be able to compete with any team in the county.

Girls Basketball

Senior captain Bert Yaffe looks to help the boys basketball team rebound from a one-win ‘09-’10 season.

Photo by Sasha Tycko

By Phillip Resnick

Photo by Sasha Tycko

After going winless two seasons ago, last year girls basketball finished with a much improved 8-13 record. But with underclassmen making up over half the roster and only one senior on the team this year, the girls will need to mature fast if they want to stay on the upswing. “I think at times we will struggle in pressure situations,due

to our overall lack of experience, but I think we should do better than last year,” said coach Tori Moten. Due to the number of girls who have never played varsity basketball, including two freshman, the team will need to learn how to elevate their level of play. “The girls have to learn to play at an elite level. They are all very talented, but they need to raise their game to that next level,” said Moten. Senior Captain Sarah Howie be-

lieves that good teamwork will make up for a lack of veteran leadership. “While we lost three seniors last year we have new players and returners who can step up and help out. I honestly don’t think having only one senior will affect us at all,” she said. So far, the team has started 2-1, and look to be serious contenders come playoff time.

Indoor Track By Brendan Benge

Senior captain Denneto Smith highlights a team that had tremendous success in outdoor track, winning the state title and finishing third in the southeast region. Other standouts on the team include senior Nick Regan, who finished second in the Maryland state championships, and sophomore Ben Crites, who finished 38th in the county as an underclassman. The team has finished fifth and seventh in states in 2008 and 2009, respectively, lead by last year’s Gazette runner of the year Sean O’Leary. They hope to build on their success without him this year. “In 4x200 and 4x400, we definitely want to win states,” said Smith. “But more importantly we want to have a good time winning it.” Key meets that the team is looking forward to include MCPS championships on Jan. 24 where WJ will face ri-

val Churchill, who finished second in outdoor track to WJ in a close decision. Indoor track is looking to surpass expectations and take home more trophies. “This season will be yet another victorious one, fully exhibiting our many and varied talents,” said junior John Stein. Girls indoor track looks to build on their success from outdoor track where they finished eighth in states. The team is lead by the duo of seniors Anna Bosse and Camille Bouvet who finished second and fourth respectively in the 4/A state finals. The team has set the bar very high this year, feeling that they have the capacity to go far this season. “I have very high expectations for our indoor track team this year,” said Bouvet. “I expect us to qualify our 4x800 for Penn Relays once again, and run

even faster than we did last year. We have a lot of talented girls running indoors this year who are thirsty for some gold medals.” In the past two seasons, the girls have finished ninth and 16th in the 2009 and 2008 seasons but are hoping to run better this season due to a strong talent base. “A lot of the distance runners from cross country are returning for indoor so we should have a strong squad. Also, a lot of new runners have come out this season for both distance and sprint so that should really help contribute to the team’s overall strength,” said Bosse.

Senior captains Denneto Smith and Camille Bouvet look to run past the field to victory.

Photos by Sasha Tycko



DECEMBER 17, 2010

Wrestling By Josh Benjamin

With a returning wrestler like junior co-captain Elad Covaliu, the WJ wrestling team is looking to repeat the success of last year’s team which saw the Wildcats qualify for the county, regional and state championships. Last season, Covaliu, alongside graduated senior Pat Teixeira, represented WJ in the Maryland State Championships. “As a team, it is our goal to accomplish a winning season. Individually, I am currently ranked third in the state for 3A/4A and it is my goal to beat out the two guys ahead of me and win states,” said Covaliu. Coach Tom Wheeler wants to win with his varsity lineup and expects his wrestlers to qualify for three different levels of competitions: “12 out of 14 of the varsity lineup going to counties, seven going to regions, and three to state tournaments,” he said. Wheeler has been coaching wrestling at WJ for 19 years and served as an assistant coach at Elkins High School in West Virginia for 21 years prior to coming to WJ. Wheeler’s coaching experience has helped him understand the necessary qualities for a great wrestler. “Dedication, learning counter moves, and speed, along with hand eye coordination as well as strong strength to weight ratio are important,” said Wheeler. This year, the team has a lot of young talent, but in the sport of wrestling,

Swim & Dive By Daniel Gorelik

Senior captains Elizabeth Pepper and Jordan Ray look to conquer the competition.

Photos by Sasha Tycko

Despite graduating key seniors last year such as Kevin Spak and Katie Jacobson, the swim team is looking to continue their historic success. “We have a good freshman class coming in, so we still hope to be in the top three of the county this year,” said coach Jamie Grimes. Most people on the team swim for

Senior captain Jonathan Wolman expects to fare well against the county’s competition.

Photo by Sasha Tycko

where there is a wide variety of skill levels and experience, everyone has unique and individualized goals. “I’ve anticipated this season for a while and I feel really confident about the counties competition,” said senior cocaptain Jonathan Wolman. Ultimately, Wheeler wants each wrestler to have fun and be the best that they can be, especially considering the diverse range of skill. He hopes for each wrestler to reach their goals, whether they are to qualify for a championship or to further extend their knowledge of the sport. The wrestling team has started the season 2-1, with easy wins coming against Wheaton and Kennedy and a loss against Magruder on Tuesday, Dec. 14.


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other club teams outside of school, a factor that Grimes thinks will help WJ when post-season competition arrives. “Our girls’ side should be really good, and our girl divers are possibly best in the county,” said girls Walter Johnson All School Booster Club senior captain Elizabeth Pepper. “We should be We are here to support YOU! able to hold our own.” Girls swimming placed sixth last year in TEAMS AND CLUBS CAN EARN MONEY FROM BOOSTERS the Metropolitan Swim and IN THESE WAYS: Dive Championships, but is looking to improve this season. 1) Sign up to work the concession stand at any of the events The boys team, which finished posted. All groups who work will receive $100. tenth last season, is also trying to improve despite losing key 2) Sponsor, create and run a fundraising event that is co-sponswimmers, and current college freshmen, Greg Karel and Ansored with Booster. Take advantage of the events we already use drew Tollefson. to raise funds, or ask us to help you with your own fundraiser. Senior captain Jordan Ray has confidence that this year’s team 3) Direct request for assistance. Request assistance through our will succeed due to experience Funding Request Form. TO JOIN THE BOOSTER CLUB – and depth. “The team is looking really strong Look for our flier ONLINE at this year,” he said. “We have a lot of young talent and solid senior GOT BOOSTER? leadership. We should be one of the top teams in the division this year with especially great depth in freestyle events. I’ve really been looking forward to this season and expect to finish really well.” Swim and Dive recently lost a highly anticipated meet against Churchill, but they look to focus on becoming stronger over the course of the season and are in serious contention for the championship meets.

Sports 20


Winter Watch: Preview of all winter sports


For breaking scores, stats and stories, visit The Pitch Online @

DECEMBER 17, 2010

Alumni: Taking Their Talents to New Heights

By Hannah Flesch

Chris Moen: Appalachian State

Daniel Cohen: Berkeley


Cohen played both ice hockey and lacrosse for WJ, earning All-American Lacrosse honors and first team all-Gazette for both lacrosse and hockey on top of an all-state hockey honor. He is now playing for the California Bears at UC Berkeley and was named “Rookie of the Year” for Cal Lacrosse.


Stats at App State:

Stats at Berkeley:





Winning mile time in the Indoor Conference Championships




* Team high

Season best time in the 8k race, run at the Southern Conference Championship

Photo courtesy of Daniel Cohen

Work ethic is probably the biggest thing I took away from playing sports at WJ. I had coaches that would push me to always get better, to earn everything I sought. This has helped both on and off the field in my college experience.

” Elena Spak: Pittsburgh


Named second team all-Met for his efforts in 2006, Mocorunning. com’s cross country second team all-decade, Moen also finished in the top ten for three consecutive years in the state championships.

At WJ, Spak dominated the lanes, earning All-American honors. She also helped the Wildcats to a third place state finish her senior year and was a team member of the 2008 NCSA Junior National Championship Team.

Photo courtesy of Chris Moen

All in all, adjusting to college was difficult, but through my experiences as a Wildcat, I was able to approach these obstacles with an excited and positive attitude.

” Alex Chili: Muhlenberg


Stats at Muhlenberg: Fastest player to

At the Big East Championships: 2008-2009: Time of


was fastest ever for a Pitt freshman in the 100m free 2009-2010: Placed

1000 points in Muhlenberg history Averaging

21 PPG this season


as a member of the 200m free relay

It definitely helped coming from a community such as WJ’s because you always know that you have people who care about you at home and who are rooting for your success.

Photo courtesy of Elena Spak

In addition to being voted “Best of the Best” and Homecoming queen her senior year, Chili set the all-time scoring record for WJ with over 2,000 career points.

My experiences at WJ gave me the confidence to step in immediately and make a strong contribution to the team.

Photo courtesy of

Dec. 17, 2010 The Pitch  
Dec. 17, 2010 The Pitch  

Dec. 17, 2010 The Pitch