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Rider High School

4611 Cypress, Wichita Falls, Texas, 76310


Students unprepared for high school

Volume 49 Issue 3


Illegal Electronics 1) Vice principal Synthia Kirby browses the WFISD website on her iPad. Each administrator was provided with an iPad at the beginning of the year. Photo by Shaylyn Lee 2) iPads are miniature computers, they can take notes, record voice and hold books. They, among all other forms of electronics, are illegal during the school day. Photo by Meghan Myracle

pg 4

Evolutionary entertainment

As technology changes, current electronic device policy stays the same


pg 6

Mixed views on


Concussion alert pgs 8 & 9

Did you know? The S.H. in S.H. Rider High School comes from Stephen Hendrix, a former Old High principal.

by Kayla Holcomb “And all of this leads into my final point. The rhetorical devices in this novel...” Just as the teacher reaches the climax of her lecture, the song “Just A Dream” by Nelly begins to rise in volume over her speech, and a wide-eyed student frantically digs into his pocket to switch off the noise. In that second, he’s lost $15. Similar cases of electronics causing distractions to students appear everyday in schools across the United States. Texting in class. Checking Facebook in the bathroom. iPod headphones hidden in a hoodie. The use of electronics in school is a widely debated topic that causes frustration in students and annoyances for teachers. “I believe that we must have laws to govern whatever entities we have to prevent chaos,” assistant principal Peter Braveboy said. “It maintains the order and keeps kids focused on lessons.” Despite the efforts to prevent distractions to students by putting this law into affect, some go around the policy by continuing to use their electronics throughout the school day behind the teacher’s backs. “Human beings always like to see if they can get away with things,” Braveboy said. “Some people just get a good feeling from being able to say, ‘I used my phone 200 times and they never caught me.’” As a result, students are upset and think that the money they’re giving in exchange for the return of their electronics is just going to the teachers’ personal funds or is being wasted on useless things, but in reality they’re paying for a better school. “Last year we used [the money we collected from confiscated electronics] to buy about a hundred new desks for the school,” Braveboy said. “All the money, each and every cent of it, goes back to buy things for the students. Some days we get about seven to 10 phones turned in, others one or none at all. In a year we get about $1500 total.” The students’ irritation with not being allowed to do as they please rallies some to call for a change, but it’s not as simple a task as it sounds. “A group meeting with the school board, writing their proposition, and making a good case could change the law,” Braveboy said. “But they

would have to show that they were really doing good and not using [their electronics] in the classroom when they’re not supposed to if they want any little change, but they have to make a good case.” If this ever took place, the use of electronics in school could provide positive possibilities for students both in aiding the learning process through specific apps available for each subject and relieving the students stress through easy access to technology. “There’s definitely a use for them,” teacher Ethan Shaw said. “I even thought of, in years past, the issue of textbooks could be solved if everyone just had a Kindle. In the long run, they would be cheaper than buying a set of textbooks for every kid. However, you do have to deal with how much it would cost to replace it and if the students would have the ability to download other things on it, but if we just had the textbooks downloaded on a tablet, there would be no need for the kids to walk around with books all the time.” Not only would this provide an enormous uplifting change, but also a controversy between students and teachers. “It’s going to be a bigger problem with distractions,” Braveboy said. “As it is kids these days have shorter attention spans and distracted by a lot of things. To have cameras phones and iPods at school it makes a temptation to want to use them more and they take you away from learning, which is the major reason why we’re here.” These problems reflect the reason for the policy in the first place. “As long as they’re being used for something constructive, they’re OK, but the problem you run into is the certain group of people that will take advantage of it and ruin it for everyone else,” Shaw said. “They’ll start doing malicious things they’re not supposed to.” When it comes down to it, administrators say the primary intention of the confiscation policy is for the benefit of the students. “I want kids to be responsible,” Braveboy said. “I want them to understand there are laws in place to govern society, and if you break a law you have to be ready to pay the consequences.”

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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010

Dangerous right of passage Inexperienced drivers easily getting licenses



cartoon by Erica Klenk


A publication of Rider High School

The Chronicle is a student-run publication. The content and views are produced solely by the staff and do not represent Rider High School or the WFISD faculty or administration.


A driver’s license has become a right of passage for every 16 year old in America, but as the years progress, the capability of drivers seems to continue to diminish. Parent-taught Drivers Ed is the biggest reason teenager drivers are unprepared. With parent-taught it is easy to fake driving times because there isn’t someone monitoring students, so when the six month period is up parents send their kids to get their license with little driving experience at all. It isn’t fair for some parents to pay almost $300 for someone else to teach their kid, deal with getting to every class and fitting in driving times while others can pay less than that, do nothing and the end result is the same. Driving is a serious responsibility that, put in the wrong hands can end in serious injury or death and every driver should be required to do the same amount of work. No one would want a pilot who has only flown once or twice to be


Entertainment Editor Erica Klenk Feature Editor Kayla Holcomb Principal Judy McDonald Adviser Mary Beth Lee

We serve as the voice of the student body and encourage letters to the editor. Deliver letters to room 243 or email to or

Newsroom phone number

(940)235-1077 ext 31061

Dani Adams & Jordan Campagna

responsible to fly them across the country, so why would anyone want a driver who has only driven once or twice on the same road as them, putting lives at risk? This isn’t smart and parents and other drivers alike should be a lot more concerned about the training of fellow drivers. The ability to do parent-taught Drivers Ed is very helpful to many people who may live far from a driving school or those who have a busy schedule that is too hard to work around. Though that is true, it isn’t fair to expect different things from drivers when the same end result is expected. The government and DPS need to step up and make one rule for across the board. If parents want to continue to teach their children Drivers Ed then maybe the solution is that all student drivers complete a certain number of driving times with a certified instructor. No matter what solution is decided upon, the field should be leveled for all student drivers.

Alex Adams Chandler Alejandro Emily Burlison Paullyca Chhe Byron Dowling Belle Frye Cici Gossett Erin Hagy Erin Harman Jon Lanford Shaylyn Lee Meghan Myracle Kyler Norman Zane Pollock Heather Schweiss Emma White Alexander Yeu



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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010


Should electronics be allowed in school? Heather Schweiss and Jon Lanford debate

by Heather Schweiss Okay, so cell phones.Yeah, you can text the answers.Yeah, you can get distracted in class.Yeah, you can put the answers in your phone. But beside all of that, it’s important for a parent or guardian to reach you in an emergency. What if something comes up? What if you have to stay after or need to inform them of something at school? Does the office really want 1,699 students coming to the office to use the phone? Not really. Students talk between classes anyway, whether they text the answers or verbally tell them to another student’s face. Distractions are everywhere no matter what, so a cell phone would just add to the already undecreaseable list. (Yes, I made this word.) Cell phones are helping kids study, learn, and understand things at a much faster and easier rate. It’s faster typing in a word on the Dictionary. com app on my cell phone than search through the dictionary, which can take a while when your trying to write a 40 minute AP English essay and that’s not what I want to spend my time doing. It’s not 1867. Its 2010 and, its just how it is. Technology is today. Cheating. It happens everyday at Rider, and there are much easier ways to cheat than looking at your “electronic device.” People look off

their neighbor, they write the answers on the tiniest piece of paper and they write the answers on their desk. Do you know how many people I’ve seen plug formulas into their graphing calculator? You can just imagine. Now, I’m not condoning cheating but it’s a fact that it happens. Electronic devices don’t have anything to do with it. End of discussion. iPods and MP3s “banned” from school property during the school day is probably the most ridiculous part of the entire rule. How is Lil Wayne or August Burns Red going to give me the answer to “y=3x+12”? “Weezy Baby aka bring the money home” is obviously not the answer. Plus, doing art my entire life and being in Art 3, I know for a fact music helps me focus better on what I’m doing and I can produce actual Art 3 work. Not only does listening to music help me in art but in all my classes. Paying attention to only my work and my music helps me not pay attention to the gossip or “desk drumming” going on next to me. 1,699 students in this school and how many actually obey the “No Electronics on School Property”? I know one. One student. So can you please tell me the point in having this rule?

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by Jon Lanford Allow me to rebut your points individually one by one. You say the office doesn’t want 1,699 students in the office to use the phone. How many kids need to use the phone in the office in a day? Like ten, max, on a terribly bad day. The office phone is functioning perfectly, and will continue to do so, to keep the phones in the pockets. Ok, phones can tell you stuff. Cool beans. Problem. Only expensive internet carrying phones can get on This writer happens to still be functioning smoothly on an AT&T Karma (a phone so ‘out of date,’ that it’s not in production anymore). When I’m bored, I don’t get on my Facebook app and entertain myself, I play the demo version of “Super Jewel Quest.” But that’s besides the point, the point is, not every phone has the world in its circuits like your HTC EVO. And does it really take that long to look up things in a tangible paper dictionary? Even if you’re one of those people, like myself, who still has to sing the song to remember if J comes before or after K, a dictionary is still a speedy resource; maybe even faster than your 3gs and 4gs and WiFis and all of your do-hickeys, especially with our school

being a ‘dead-zone.’ Really? Technology doesn’t have anything to do with cheating? Beg to differ. Are you really going to say that cheating with the internet is not way more effective than smuggling a stamp sized piece of paper into a test? If phones were allowed for tests, we might all become a generation of mindless zombies who’s entire intellect will be based on the ability to type in questions on fancy touch screens. If phones were allowed, we might never learn anything. Alright, iPods obviously aren’t for telling us answers to our math questions. They are entertainment devices. The reason they are banned is quite simple. Allow me to explain. Good job on being able to paint while listening to music. I am envious of your abilities. But, when all of your fellow artists are drumming on their desks, air guitaring, and goodness forbid, singing, your pretty little bowl of fruit might look like a man riding a zebra (I know that’s ridiculous, but it’s called hyperbole (; ). It is very easy to see why iPods are illegal. All in all, iPods and cell phones will bring an end to our educational life if they are allowed in school.

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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010

Middle school courses no longer preparing teens for difficult high school classes

by Kyler Norman Students coming out of junior high are unprepared for high school classes according to some teachers and counselors. “The difference between pre-AP in junior high and pre-AP in high school is so great,” Rider counselor Jennifer Spurgers said. “There is a huge difference between what’s expected homework wise, reading wise and discipline wise.” Freshman Jacey Harmon is involved in numerous activities both curricular and extracurricular “I have practices until 5 or 6 o’clock and then thee hours of homework not to mention church on Wednesday nights,” Harmon said. “My main problem is learning how to manage my time wisely. It’s really hard but unfortunately that’s the price you pay for being in extracurricular activities and being a student athlete. It’s very stressful, but I know it will pay off in the long run.” Some students get discouraged with being in high school classes. “[Comparing high school students] is like comparing babies at six months. Some of them crawl, some are sitting up, some are even beginning to walk and that doesn’t make any of those babies bad or behind, it’s just a time in their life when they’re all different,” pre-AP English teacher Deborah Linton said. “In junior high there’s another one

of those big discrepancies in ability. The brain has higher level thinking skills that start activating around 12 or 13 years old, so somebody who’s 14 may not have those cells activating as much as a 13 year old does. It’s really hard especially in high school because it gets competitive and noticeable and kids feel defeated if they’re not doing as well as somebody else. They feel dumb and think they don’t belong in the class, and that’s not true. I just have to realize where you are and you have to realize that I have to get you to a certain point, so I need to work with you, and you need to work with me.” Spurgers says it’s okay not to be the best in everything. “Sometimes kids are too hard on themselves,” Spurgers said. “Everybody thinks ‘I’ve got to make all A’s in this, I’ve got to be the best in this, and I’ve got to get picked for that.’” Harmon says one thing junior high schools could have done to better prepare students for high school is stricter discipline. “I think for the last several years, students are unprepared. There is a shock. [They’re] almost overwhelmed at the expectations of high school,” Linton said. Students who don’t take classes seriously cause others to feel like they are trying hard for no reason.

“Everyone needs to do their best. When I see people slacking off it discourages me because I’m trying my best and I’m trying my hardest,” Harmon said. “Everybody should give their all because you’ve got one life to live and you can’t take anything back.” Linton says students have become impatient and show a lack of respect to teachers. “Society wants everything done quickly and in the shortest route possible,” Linton said. “I think that’s become dangerous.You can’t skip steps. There is value in sitting and thinking through what you have to do.” Students aren’t the only ones who are stressed. Teachers also feel tense. “We’re the only ones accountable for [students] passing the TAKS, PSAT and SAT,” Linton said. “Everything falls on high school teachers shoulders. We really have to get students ready.” Harmon says many people regret slacking off in high school and wish they could go back and do it correctly. “You have to really prepare yourself for everything,” Harmon said, “not just grades you have to prepare yourself for jobs, social problems and financially. It’s a big world.” Harmon says hard classes have made her feel ready for the SAT and PSAT. “Some classes favor each other,” Harmon said, “for example in Spanish

we learn SAT vocabulary words.” Teachers say that teaching to a standardized test can cause students to not learn everything they need to. “TAKS has become negative because so much of the money and recognition school districts get is tied up in it,” Spurgers said. “Teachers are pressured to make sure their kids do good, so they spend a lot of time teaching the test.” In the end teachers wish they could see one thing. “I’d like to see everyone do their best,” said Linton.

Freshman Preparation

35% 65%

• •

Freshmen that were prepared for high school

Freshmen that were not prepared for high school

*Survey of 64 freshmen

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Taking on the weight

Undisciplined students unprepared for strict college classes by Dani Adams Teachers tell their students that everything they’re doing in class is preparing them for college, but more and more college students are saying this isn’t a true statement. “Based on my experiences in high school compared to college, high school is too structured for me,” 2010 graduate Darrin Miller said. “I think that if teachers stopped caring about whether we turned in our work or not and let us make decisions more, I would have done better.” Though high school students may find the four years they spend in high school difficult, they pale in comparison to the numerous years they spend in college, and students should be prepared. Miller said there’s one key skill students are missing when they go to college. “Proper time management,” Miller said. “It’s very important in college.” College professors see a different need when it comes to success in college. “The discrepancies that I have seen, for the most

Did you know?

*There are 4,140 colleges in the U.S. to choose from. part, are not that students are unprepared academically for the courses that I teach (Freshman Composition *The average cost for a I and II),” Vernon English adjunct instructor Sandra college education is Scheller said. “Students who are hard-working and $15,434. focused in high school and those who carry those *The largest college qualities to their college studies do very well. The enrollment is at the problem is with the undisciplined student. There are no re-tests and often no second chances or extra credit University of Phoenix, an opportunities in college. If you bombed a test, you’ll Online Campus totalling have to study harder for the next test and hope that 71,052 students. the new grade improves your average. Many students *The total amount of are unprepared for this.” students attending colleges Ultimately students go from being told what is expected to everything being completely on their in the U.S. is 16,900,471. shoulders. *The average SAT test “Attendance is a huge problem at the college level, scores are 502 for Reading, but the consequences are more severe than at high 515 for Math, and 494 for school,” Scheller said. “The attitude is--you selected Writing. this class and paid for it, so if you do not attend, you are only hurting yourself.”

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Students have different views on what behavior crosses the line by Chandler Alejandro

He sits in front of the class, a belligerent look on his face as he stares at the teacher. “I don’t want you to care about me.” “Well, I do. Because with the way you’re acting and the way you treat me, your life is going nowhere.What are you going to do with school and the rest of your life?” “I don’t need school and my life doesn’t concern you, so don’t worry about it.” The student stands up and begins to leave. “You better come back here and sit back down or you’re going to get a referral and a ticket,” the teacher calls. “Get back here now.” “Man, write me a ticket. I don’t even care anymore.” This scene and others just like it play out across campus on a regular basis. “ When I was in class one time, this girl got told to go sit in the hall because she was being loud, she told the teacher, ‘whatever I ain’t goin’ to sit out in the hall.’ The teacher told her to sit or they were calling Braveboy. ‘Call Braveboy, I don’t care!’ She got up and tried to walk out, but the teacher stepped in front of her, and she moved past him and walked out. It was really crazy when all this was happening because the whole class just got quiet and we just sat there watching with our eyes huge.You get used to it when you see it all the time,” sophomore Mason Bata said. In a Chronicle survey, over 99 percent of students said they have seen disrespect or talking back to a teacher in this school year. Although some don’t mind the disrespect, others are speaking out against it. “I think disrespect to teachers is absolutely wrong, “ freshman Hannah Bisping said. “The teachers are here to teach us and help us learn. When a student is yelling or being rude with a teacher, it just disgusts me.”

The stories go on and on about situations with disrespect towards a teacher or administrator. Some don’t mind disrespecting a teacher in certain situations, but they mind if a student disrespects a teacher they like. “ When I’m in a class and someone starts being rude with the teacher, it makes me mad because all that does is make the teacher angry and looking for anyone to do anything wrong so they can send them to the office,” sophomore Chance Shoop said. “It really makes me mad when it’s a teacher I like and they say something rude.” Some teachers say that you can’t undo the damage that’s already been done. If a kid has been raised in a disrespectful and negative environment since he was born and no one has ever taken a stand, told them that what there doing isn’t right, or showed them the right way that leads to a respectful, positive environment, how can you all of the sudden try to change them when there 15 or 16 years old and expect them to change? “I honestly feel bad for kids that have grown up in bad situations,” freshman Ben Shelton said. “They’ve always had little compassion and no room for love in there lives. And I don’t think you can change that after they’re in high school and becoming independent.” One recurring theme from the survey responses was that people want to fix the disrespect problem. “I think we should fix disrespect by just doing an old rule, if a teacher respects me, then I’ll respect them back,” sophomore Tanner McMillin said. “If we do that, I think we will all get along.” Some teachers agree. “ If the teacher is respectful most of the time…most of the time the student will be respectful back,” Spanish

Do you consider talking back to a teacher disrespect?

58% said yes. 22% said no. 20% said maybe. Have you ever talked back to a teacher?

78% said yes. 22% said no. Have you seen anyone talk back to a teacher?

99% said yes. 1% said no. Does a teacher earn respect by showing respect or are they owed respect because they’re your teacher?

74% said earned. 18% said owed. 8% said both.

Out of 100 surveyed.

TEACHER SURVEY Have you been shown disrespect in your classroom this year?

95% said yes. 5% said no.

Out of 19 surveyed.

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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010

New test in town

New license policy gets mixed feelings TAKS testing nears the end of its rope by Jordan Campagna

by Paullycha Chhe “Congratulations! You now have your license!” For many sophomores, the new license policy seems unfair. For students who do not go to driving school, they must now wait a full year after they receive their permits to obtain their license. “It makes me mad,” sophomore Abby Anderson said. “Some people had the chance to get their licenses when they expected to while others had to wait. Unlike many sophomores she gets her license six months after she got her permit because she received her permit before Sept. 1st. Others, like senior Brittany

Elliot see a different side to it. “I think its more of a positive than a negative,” Elliot said. “The new policy prevents more wrecks from happening and the driver becomes more cautious.” There are many mixed feelings with this policy. “As an adult, I can understand why they want student drivers to have more experience behind the wheel,” track coach Lounette Decker said. “As a parent and a teacher, it’s not a bad idea, more experience will hopefully make the students a better and safer driver.”

TAKS testing, a phrase any Texan student over the third grade is familiar with, is slowly fading away, bringing a new form of testing, End of Course exams. There are 12 different End of Course, or EOC exams. One for every major core class. “Whatever core classes they are in as a freshman are the EOC’s they will take as a freshman,” Geography teacher Charlotte Dockery said. “Next year’s freshmen will have to pass to graduate.” Dockery is on the Geography EOC board. “I went down [to Austin] twice,” Dockery said. “I reviewed questions, we were about to make changes to questions or delete them. The second time I went back, I studied field test results.” According to Dockery, EOC and TAKS are like “night and day.” “The questions don’t have clues in them,” Dockery said. “There is a lot of reading

passages. Sometimes, they’ll give you a map but not label what it is. Some questions take two or three steps to answer.” A main difference between the tests is the material covered.

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“EOC is specific for each class, for example, Algebra 1,” Vice Principal Synthia Kirby said. “TAKS is more of a general subject test, like math.” As Dockery said, “TAKS didn’t test what I teach.” According to Dockery, the EOC exams will be reported by teacher, not school. “This will make the teachers teach the curriculum,” Dockery said. Kirby believes a positive of EOC exams is that “the tests are subject specific to material taught during each course that school year.” These tests are designed “to raise the bar,” Dockery said. “They’re trying to get the kids ready for post-high school education.” Dockery said that if students pass this test, “they should feel good.” “If they pass, they have learned,” Dockery said. “It’s higher level thinking.” A large obstacle still stands in the way of the End of Course exams. No one knows the grading scale or minimum passing rate. “We are having to prepare for the unknown,” Kirby said.

Keep your head in the game

Increase in concussions causes more emphasis placed on symptoms

by Emily Burlison One word is prompting NFL executives to issue massive fines. One word caused a 12-page spread in Sports Illustrated. One word is causing football coaches to teach a new way of hitting. That one word is concussion. "We try to educate the boys on how to hit with their heads up because a lot of times they hit with their heads down and that's what does it," coach Ray Winkles said. "[Players need] to let us know when they experience the symptoms cause the sooner we know about it the sooner that we can take action to help them out." A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump or blow to the head. It is the most common injury in sports. "It can last from a few seconds to days and days," Winkles said. Concussions change the way the brain works. With symptoms like memory problems, confusion and double or blurry vision and kids can be out for long periods of time. "It depends on the severity, there's a scale that we grade them on," Winkles said. "They can go back in the game if the symptoms disappear within 15 minutes. If it's anything after 15 minutes then it's at least a week." "I can't work out. I'm out for eight weeks total cause of my spinal cord," freshman football player Will Coleman said. Concussions can also keep kids from playing other sports. "I can play basketball and baseball, still don't know about football," freshman football player Lane Waller said. "I'm probably done with football." Waller and Coleman both had season ending concussions this season in a game against The Colony on Oct. 21. "We do a memory test, we make them count backwards from 100 by 5s, we give them three words and 5 minutes later we ask them to repeat the words, we check their pupils, we check their balance, just different things," Winkles said. If a concussion is extremely severe, an EEG, CT Scan or MRI may need to be done.

Both Coleman and Waller had CAT Scans. One of the biggest symptoms of a concussion is memory problems or confusion. Repeated concussions can result in permanent memory loss. "I remember everyone around me and I remember some parts of the game, but yeah that's pretty much it," said Waller. "I remember before the play," Coleman said. "Josh lined up in the wrong spot to kick the ball and then the next thing I remember was I was lying on the ground. Coach Garfield was looking at me and then I was in the ambulance." One of the worst things for each boy was missing the biggest game of the year: Rider vs. Old High. "It sucked," Waller said. "I really wanted to play but it was kind of sad I wasn't allowed to." "I was mad at first, but I got over it," Coleman said. "As long as we won I was going to be OK and we did." Concussions can cause injuries that take some time to heal. "I just had extremely bad headaches for about a week and a half and I couldn't move my neck for two weeks," Coleman said. "The stiffness was about two and a half weeks, and I'm still in physical therapy." "I was sick for those few days because I had pretty bad migraines," Waller said. "I called my mom and she came and picked me up and then the next day we went to the doctor so I stayed home that day too. My headaches lasted about two weeks. I'm still trying to get over those." There's speculation that certain positions are more likely to go down with a concussion and both agree. Coleman played linebacker and wide receiver. Waller wide receiver and safety. "With wide receiver, you have to run towards the big ol' lineman," Waller said. "You're probably going to get hit a lot then."

Rider Statistics Sports that responded Football Basketball Track Cheerleading Powerlifting Gymnastics Soccer Dance Baseball Tennis Volleyball Swimming

Sport with the most concussions


Total number of concussions

(7 concussions)

20 Total number responded 64

Did you know?

ER’s treat an estimated 135,000 sports and recreational related concussions and traumati brain injuries among children ages 5 to 18.

Athletes who have had concussions are at increased risk for more.

Children and teens are more likely to get concussions and take longer to recover than adults.

Concussion Syndrome

I got hit in the head with a softball and got a concussion. I [also] had a hematoma. I got really dizzy and sick. I had to wear a neck brace for a while. I was out of softball for two weeks, I think. -Taylor Beeman ‘12


Symptoms of


* Headache * Loss of consciousness * Memory loss of events surrounding the injury * Altered level of consciousness * Convulsions * Muscle weakness on one or both sides * Persistent confusion * Persistent unconsciousness * Repeated vomiting * Unequal pupils * Unusual eye movements * Walking problems






Hitting hard 1) Seniors Tyler Kotulek and Aaron Jantz bring down Lake Dallas offensive player. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, any player who shows signs, symptoms or behavio sociated with a concussion must be removed from the game and shall not return until cleared by a health-care professional. Photo by Shaylyn Lee. 2) Senior Ronna Pohlod in the middle of a cheer stunt. Poh fered from a cheer related concussion earlier this year, In September, a Washington Post article said that U.S. Representatives are considering setting minimum guidelines for how school districts handle st recovering from concussions. Photo by Meghan Myracle.

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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010

Students embrace ‘One Family, One Team’ when senior is in car wreck on Thanksgiving

by Emily Burlison and Kyler Norman On Thanksgiving, when Rider students Chase and Connor Curry and their younger sister got in a car wreck, students and teachers were shocked and are now eager to help. “I was devastated. Absolutely devastated,” Rider tennis coach Ryan Gillen said. “I drove up to the Wichita Falls hospital and saw his brother and sister get released. As soon as they were out, my immediate thought was ‘how’s Chase, I gotta go see Chase.’ So I loaded up with the Texas Tech women’s coach that knows Chase well and we went and saw him.” Junior Megan Lamberth says she was surprised how concerned people were for Chase. “People were asking if they could put on a fundraiser themselves, which was really neat because they need anything they can get right now,” Lamberth said. “Looking on Facebook people everywhere have been praying for him and they’ve really banded together. People that he hadn’t talked to in a really long time still want to know [how the Curry’s are doing]. If I was in that situation, I’d be really grateful for that.” Gillen says students have really come together and made the motto ‘One Family, One Team’ come true. “I think [the accident] gives a new perspective about [one family, one team],” Lamberth said. “At first it was just the slogan of this year but now we really do have to band together, the [tennis] team and the school, to really help out the Curry’s and Chase as he makes this big journey to his old health and his old tennis ways.” Teachers and coaches have also been affected by the accident. “It’s hard,” said Gillen. “But as a coach with a team

that’s close to someone who’s been in an accident like this, I’ve got to keep it together. I’m doing the best that I can. I think time will help out how he progresses, [but] right now it’s really hard.” Since the accident there have been many chances for students to contribute to the Curry’s. “You know it’s not all about money; money is money,” Gillen said. “Whenever you got a kid that’s in a horrific accident like this, it’s way more than that. I think if everybody comes together and keeps him in their thoughts and prayers that’ll go a long way. All the contributions [and] donations, they’ve been great. Now it’s time to pray and think about him. I think that’s going to help more than anything.” Fundraising efforts began when the tennis team went around during first period on the week after the accident. “I was surprised at the generosity because people were putting in 10 and 20 dollar bills into the bag,” Lamberth said. “It was the way the ‘One Family, One Team’ [should work.] It really stood out. A lot of people donated; we got a lot of money and that was really good.” Information of the accident quickly spread via Facebook on Thanksgiving. “I was just completely shocked,” Lamberth said. “At first I wasn’t sure if it was true or not because only one person had posted something about it [on Facebook]. I texted Malorie [Miller], on the tennis team, to see if she’d heard anything. She called me and then the rest of the night I was really on edge. It was really scary because we didn’t know much about what happened to him. We didn’t know if he was OK. All we had heard was that he was flown to Ft Worth.

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All Lamberth really wanted to know was if he was alright. “I was in Fort Worth on Saturday so I got to go see him,” Lamberth said. “It eased my worries a little bit. Just getting to see him was good. [When] we got there the family wasn’t there at first so we walked in and it was kind of a mixed blessing because I got to see him and it still looked like Chase, you could see it was still Chase, he was just really banged up and it was really scary. I got to see his mom and dad and that was really nice. We got to hear first hand what had happened and they were really optimistic.” In the end, everyone wants Chase to be back to how he was before. “I want people to know that everybody knows that Chase is a phenomenal athlete and a phenomenal tennis player, but a lot of people that weren’t close to him don’t realize what a great kid he is,” Gillen said. “He did the right things and would help out anybody. His character as a person goes way beyond his ability to play tennis and when people read this I hope they get that impression. Chase is a great kid and we’re fighting with him and we want him to come back being the same old Chase. Hopefully with God’s help that’s what will happen.”

“Chase is a great kid. We want him to come back being the same old Chase. Hopefully with God’s help that’s what will happen.” Color - Size 9 - 1-23456: Rider High Scho -Tennis coach Ryan Gillen

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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010

One Team. One Family. One Goal...


The semester comes to a close and while freshmen make Rider their new home, seniors are preparing themselves fot their final semester of high school. As a new semester approaches our standards of ourselves, our school and our classmates only rise. We are Rider Raiders..and we are geared only for success. (Clockwise from the top) Freshman Harlee Trammell stands at halftime of the Rider/ Old High game mentally preparing herself for her performance. Sophomore Taylor Caswell goes past post defense in the Fantasy of Lights championship game against Old High while Senior Lauren Haley sets up for the three point kick. Sophomore Jesse Sheppard works on her “mole of chalk” for Mrs. Martin’s Mole day. Photos and design by Meghan Myracle

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12 Darkness of the mind

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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010


Senior recalls time when he felt alone during the time he needed someone the most by Alexander Yeu


feeling of being alone the feeling of being neglected, the feeling of ending it all. These thoughts consumed me on a daily basis never wavering only sadness hate and sorrow, and every other feeling was numb to me. Happiness did not exist. "What does it matter no one cares about me." That's how I would think, awful thoughts that lingered in my mind all day. Awake. Asleep. Always there. Were my friends really my friends? Did my parents really care? Going to school was just hell. Every day it was like putting on a mask to hide my true feelings of hate and depression. It was so exhausting for me both mentally and physically, pretending to be happy conflicted with the depression I was facing. When people asked what was wrong my simple response stayed the same, "nothing, I'm fine." I wanted help but I didn't know where to turn. If I tried talking to to anyone, they would think I was being "emo," tell me to get over it. I was ready to end it all when my grandmother passed. The 22-hour drive to get to family made me think about everything. It also saved

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my life. The day before my grandmother's funeral, I finally found someone to talk to. My brother. He was the only one I could talk to, he was the closest person to me. When he said, "yeah sure tell me anything," I told him everything. His response might not work for everyone, but it did for me. When I was done talking, he stood up grabbed me by the collar and hit me with the hardest right hook I felt in my life, literally knocking sense into me. "Why have you been thinking like that? Don't be dumb. Everyone loves you. It's just everyone is busy and sometimes don't pay attention." Then he said the words that really made a difference. "You're my only brother and if you disappeared, I wouldn't know what I would do with myself." That's all I needed, just to simply be acknowledged. One person was enough to make me finally feel at ease. At the funeral I was able to finally say good bye to my grandma without a bad thought in my mind. Coming back to Texas, I had a different head on my shoulders. When I went back to school everyone told my how I looked different but couldn't put their finger on it. They were right.

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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010

Movie proves to be great fun

by Emma White “I want to be an owl when I grow up,” was the first thing I said when returning home from seeing this movie. Directed by Zack Snyder, it is a truly inspiring masterpiece. The music was awesome and epic, composed by David Hirschfelder with a few additional songs by synthpop sensation Owl City. This story is about two brothers, owls, who find themselves in a tricky situation among enemies. But because of his faith in the stories his father told him as a child, Soren and his new friend Gylfie escape without Kludd, Soren’s brother, to find the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a legion of guardian owls. While some themes seem borrowed from other movies, they were a great fit in this one. It is a great movie to see, appropriate for all audiences. Its a ride of action, suspense, a little bit of cheese, and humor. I thought this movie was awesome, and recommend it to all animal and movie lovers. *This movie is based on Kathryn Lasky’s series of novels, “The Guardians of Ga’Hoole.”

Summer of My German Soldier still resonates

by Emma White The truly heart-wrenching stories in this world are the ones that make you cry. The ones that cause the reader to have rage for some characters and sympathy for others. The ones that rip you out of the grips of everyday life and slam you into the despair of someone else’s story. Bette Greene, author of Summer of My German Soldier, wrote this book following the story of a Jewish girl watching her life from the sidelines as though a spectator rather than a partaker. This girl, Patty, is does not believe that she is worth anything because that is the message she receives from her parents’ actions are words toward her. She believes them until she meets the German Soldier, Anton. This story is a wonderful fictional account of life in America during World War II. It’s amazing how the courage of one girl to accept all differences in a time of extreme intolerance caused such a stir in people’s

hearts and communities. The truly special part of this book though is it’s compelling draw; it’s ability to vacuum the reader into each character’s lives and thoughts. It wasn’t this newspaper deadline that bade me read on but my true interest Bette Greene’s in the molded words. The shaped and crafted “Summer of My German Soldier” has paragraphs, pages, and been banned several chapters express the times since its release unmaskable talent of in 1973. the author to write. There is no mistaking that this book is excellent. If a person has any emotional depth they will enjoy it. Test yourself. Read it.

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14 The beginning of the end

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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010


Students remember favorite moments of Harry Potter as seventh movie releases

by Jordan Campagna 13 years ago, new friends were made. 13 years ago, new heroes were discovered. 13 years ago, the boy living under the staircase found a home. On November 19, 2010, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 came out. The final installment is due July 15, 2011. This will mark the end of the series, written by JK Rowling, that today’s teenagers have grown up with. A midnight premiere was held at Cinemark the morning of the 19th. When the theatre employees arrived for the day, they found people waiting to get in for the first showing. “I got to the theatre at about 5:15 p.m.,” freshman Connie Bennett said. “The friends I was going with got there about 1:40PM. [While waiting] I played with Harry Potter legos for the first time.” The final showing ended at 3 a.m. “I went to the 12:45 a.m. showing,” senior Brianna Russell said. “The next day, I didn’t even wake up until 2:00 p.m. I missed school. It was worth it.” While Russell enjoyed the first movie the most, she also liked the seventh. “I liked the tender moments between Harry, Ron and Hermione,” Russell said. Bennett believes that the seventh movie “was worth the wait and lived up to her expectations.” “I loved the movie,” Bennett said. “But since the book was so long, they had to leave out a lot of details.” The first movie came out in 2001. The first book, 1997. “I began [to get interested in Harry Potter] around third grade,” Russell said. “My sister read me the first one out loud.” Bennett waited until later in life to read the series for the first time. “I started last summer,” Bennett said. “I saw [the sixth movie] and decided ‘I have to read these books.’” If she attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the school Harry and his friends attend, Russell said she would be in the brave and noble house of Godric Gryffindor. “From the movies and books, [Gryffindor] seems very family centered and close,” Russell said. While Bennett says she is most like Hermione, a Gryffindor, she says she would consider herself to belong in the house of Helga Hufflepuff. “They value hard work, tolerance, fair play and loyalty,” Bennett said. “I feel that

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is most like me.” Bennett’s favorite character though, Ron Weasley, is in Gryffindor. “He doesn’t seem like much because he’s not the best at spells,” Bennett said. “But he has the biggest heart and realizes when he makes a mistake. He always sticks by Harry.” Russell says that Harry Potter makes up a large portion of her childhood. “It’s what I grew up with,” Russell said. “Harry Potter has always been in my life.”

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30% 12% 12% 14% 32% *113 students polled


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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010

The real thing

Which do you prefer?

Guitar preferred over games

by Kyler Norman With over 25 million copies sold, the Guitar Hero series has made a huge impact on the musical world. It has made some people take up the challenge of learning to play an actual guitar. Others, however, stick behind and continue playing an overpriced slab of plastic called the “Guitar Hero Guitar.” Guitar Hero players spend weeks on end trying to master through the fire and the flames on expert when, instead, they could be discovering their talent at real guitar. Many musicians still play guitar after serious injuries. For example, Django Reinhardt suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns on over half of his body including his 3rd and 4th fingers on his fretting hand. He was told he would never be able to play guitar again, but because of his love for music and guitar he tried anyway. Later on he became arguably the best jazz musician of all time. That’s what playing guitar really is about. It’s the love and passion for music.





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* 110 Rider students surveyed. Playing the chords Freshman Kyler Norman plays blues music on his Fender Sratocaster at his home. “I like playing because it is real guitar and you can make the music yours and express yourself with it, unlike with guitar hero,” Norman said. “And it’s really fun!”




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The Rider Chronicle. December 2010


Raiders prolific playoff run derailed by rematch with Denton Ryan in State Quarterfinals

by Byron Dowling “I just don’t see Wichita Falls Rider making a playoff run this year with their lack of depth and the coaching switch so late in the year.” –Travis Stewart Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. The Raiders came in to the by-district match-up as a slight favorite against Amarillo Caprock but still were underrated as they were only a 4-point favorite. “We gotta be 1-0 at the end of the week,” Coach James Garfield said. “We gotta be goin, business as usual.” The Raiders ran over Caprock with a convincing 35-14 victory over the Longhorns to cap off an emotional week with the loss of one of their family members, Coach Mercer’s son and former Raider, Matt. With the win over Caprock the Raiders were set to play against the previously unbeaten El Paso Andress Eagles in the area round of the playoffs.

“I think Rider will pull out a slim victory against Andress, but I don’t think they’ll be able to match Birdville’s high powered offense in the Regional semi-finals.” –Travis Stewart Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. The Raiders did more than pull out a “Slim” victory, the Raiders exploded for 40 points in the first half and put the game on cruise control coasting to a 47-22 victory over the now once-beaten Andress Eagles. In a game where Rider scored 10 points before Andress ever had an offensive snap, the defense forced four first half turnovers with three picks and one fumble recovery all while holding the Eagles more than 200 yards below their average total yards of offense. The Rider offense in this game saw four different Raiders score. Deron Royster had two scores, J.T. Barrett scored on a 27 yard run while the Raider’s passing game came alive with Graham McGregor hauling two touchdown catches with Clarke Daugherty adding a 17-yard touchdown grab. The win set up a decisive matchup with the Birdville Hawks with the Raider’s stellar defense pitted against Birdville’s explosive offense. “If the Raider defense can shut down Birdville’s offense then, yeah, it could be a high scoring blowout for WF Rider.”-– Travis Stewart Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. He was half right. The Raider defense rose to the

challenge and held the Hawks to their lowest offensive outing of the season, a feat that not even the defending state champion Aledo Bearcats could do. The Raider defense silenced Birdville’s offensive Tyler duo of quarterback Tyler Skaggs and running back Tyler Klutz. Klutz who had over 1,800 yards on the season was held to a mere 45 yards on 17 carries while Skaggs completed the majority of his passes and produced a touchdown. It was his three completions to the Raider secondary that proved costly. The Raider offense behind Deron Royter’s career high 231 yards and three touchdowns paced the Raiders to the 24-10 victory over the Hawks and set up a rematch with the other Raiders of Denton Ryan. “No gimmicks, gotta be straight forward,” “I look at it as a Rocky Balboa thing,” Garfield said of the rematch with Denton Ryan. “We’re a lot better football team than we were. “Yeah, Ryan and Rider favors Ryan, no doubt. But I agree with history that Rider can beat you. But the coaches are different now, so it’s tough to put too much stock in it. Think Ryan’s Rivalry Time defense should keep this game in Clint High (center), Ben Scribner (right), and Aaron Jantz (left) lead the Raiders its favor.” –Travis Stewart Dave onto the field during the Old High Rider game on November 5th. Rider won the Campbell’s Texas Football. game 42-7. Photo by Meghan Myracle. Unlike the teams that Rider had run over in the playoffs using the Single Wing offense, the Ryan Raiders had seen it in their previous matchup with Rider. They not only had seen it but they knew how to defend against and it showed as the Raider’s playoff run was finally derailed. The Ryan defense stopped the Raider run game again and again all while building up a 40-0 lead that eventually became a 46-15 victory setting up a state semifinals matchup with the Wylie Pirates. With the Cedar Park Timberwolves eliminated, Denton Ryan becomes the favorite to win the state championship. Rider finishes their prolific season at (9-5).

“At the end of the week we gotta be 1-0,”

-Coach Garfield

December 2010 Rider Chronicle  
December 2010 Rider Chronicle  

December 2010 Chronicle, created by students, edited by juniors Jordan Campagna and Dani Adams.