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Volume 50, Issue no. 4 • Rio Americano • Sacramento, CA • December 16, 2011

Online at: •

@RioMirada •

see pg. 15







When senior Michael Wang’s cellphone rang in midNovember, he was hardly expecting the Grammy Foundation to be on the other end. Moreover, he was astonished to hear that he had not only qualified to participate in the 2012 Grammy’s High School Jazz Ensemble, but he had been selected as lead trombone. “It was perhaps the greatest moment of triumph in my life,” Wang said. Students from all over the country applied in August by recorded video to participate in this highly competitive band, which is comprised of the best high school instrumentalists from across the nation. It performs at the Grammy Awards ceremony every year. Wang will travel to Los Angeles with the rest of the ensemble in February for ten days, and will rehearse and perform with Grammy-nominated artists and record a CD. In previous years, this prestigious ensemble has performed with artists such as Esperanza Spalding, Maroon 5, and Keith Urban, along with many others. Wang began playing trombone in sixth grade, and began playing jazz music his freshman year. He is a member now of Rio’s AM Jazz Ensemble. “I picked up the trombone because I had always been curious about the mechanisms of the instrument,” Wang said. “I was interested in how it had the ability to play such a wide range of notes with a short slide.”

Teachers slated to vote on later start time see pg 2


Student proposal to fix budget cuts see pg 6



He first heard about the Grammy Jazz Band his sophomore year at the Essentially Ellington festival in New York, where some Rio students had been discussing someone they knew who had been selected to participate. He sent an audition video in August, and received the news of his acceptance just last month. “Even if I hadn’t made it, I would still understand where I was in terms of my playing ability,” he said. Wang has had many inspirations throughout his time in band; however, his biggest is Rio alumnus and guitarist Victor San Pedro, who graduated last year. “He possesses a deep passion for music, the motivation to gain recognition through endurance and hard work, and still remains a really chill guy,” Wang said. “In the two years I sat next to him in AM Jazz Band, I learned to become a better musician, a better worker, and a better person.” Wang, in turn, is bound to be a role model for the upcoming musicians here who have aspirations for great things. “The first time I heard him play, I was just blown away,” said freshman band member Michael Nguyen. “He’s an amazing musician, it’s indescribable how talented he is.” After Wang graduates this June, he plans to pursue music as a jazz studies major at either Berklee College of Music, USC, or Manhattan School of Music. During this time he wants to perform and compose music as much as is possible. He eventually hopes to find success as a full-time musician in the future.


Hottest places to get your brew see pg 8

The right to walk at graduation is something every student can get to experience. It’s a day where students are recognized for their hard work in class, and clean nose on campus. But when personal health prevents one from attending school, what then? Melody Cook, a would-be senior at Rio has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and has been battling between school and health for her

entire time as a high schooler. Cystic fibrosis is a chronic illness and it should not be taken lightly. It takes a toll on the lungs and pancreas, and those living with cystic fibrosis experience pneumonia and fatal bacteria that lead to week long hospitalizations. In the long term, C.F. will cause the lungs to wither away therefore necessitating a double lung transplant. “C.F. has completely changed my life. It makes you grow up quick and appreciate life and not take things for granted. But on the

photo courtesy of melody cook Cook is visited by Senior Jenna Scoggins.

other hand, it’s ruined and shortened it,” said Cook, “My lungs

operate at 59% capacity when I’m healthy and 32% when I’m sick.” Due to the stress of cystic fibrosis, the average mortality rate is only 30 years. When she was a student at Rio, Melody performed quite well when she was healthy. “Freshman year I was in honors classes. I always had really good grades and was kind of an overachiever,” said Melody. •


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Divisive new start time to be voted on by faculty members in January for the 2012-2013 school year JARETT HARTMAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF After nearly a year of discussion and campaigning, teachers will take an official vote on whether to start and end school 30 minutes later. The campaign for a later start time has been pushed forward by an action group from a Rio community parent association called STEPS. “Teen sleep is an important health issue, and should be prioritized like nutrition and exercise,” a pamphlet released by STEPS reads. “Most American high school students aren’t getting enough sleep. Over a decade of respected scientific research...has concluded that shifting a high school’s start time from 30 to 60 minutes later yields measurable benefits to students’ psychological and physical health, safety, and academic achievement.” Since last February, the group has presented research to faculty, hosted informational forums, and worked with District and union representatives to come up with a new start time. Research has shown that shifts in school start times later in the day have decreased depression and exhaustion caused by sleep deprivation, decreased tardiness and improved overall school attendance, and even had positive effects on students’ academic performances. After finding out that all busing except for Special Education busing was being cut, STEPS organized a meeting with principal Brian Ginter last winter. They then went to San Juan Unified School District to find out what the process would be in

order change the start time district wide. However, after meetings with SJUSD, district representatives recommended that the movement focus itself as a pilot program specific to Rio. “We started much broader, a whole district change, but they said it would be easier to start at a singular school site,” Wake said. “They seem to like bottom-up movements better at the district.” With a clearer mission in mind, STEPS began to focus on garnering support for a pilot program central to Rio. Since the beginning of the school year, they have worked on gathering data from the Rio community, putting on two informational forums for people to voice their opinions, present research, and ask any questions they may have concerning the later start time. Using survey data from the Mirada last March and input from students, parents, and teachers, STEPS has worked on organizing a start time which would be beneficial to the entire community. STEPS presented research at faculty meetings in early November, and they have created a Frequently Asked Questions pamphlet and a questionnaire for students and parents. “The teachers that I have been in touch with seem to generally support the movement,” STEPS member Sue Gylling said. “They’ve been very welcoming of any additional information that we present.” According to a strawpoll conducted earlier this month, a most teachers were in favor of moving

Should school start at 8:20 and end at 3:20? The Mirada polled 170 students asking whether school should start later, understanding that school would also end later. Students opinions were split.




No No opinion


infograph by john sockolov/news editor

the school start time later. “Research shows that it would be beneficial to students,” AVID and English teacher Jolynn Mason said. However, students have not been as receptive as other members of the Rio community. According to a Mirada survey of 170 students conducted Monday, 53 percent of students were opposed to starting the start time later. The survey sampled two classes each of freshmen,

sophomores and juniors. “I would prefer the schedule just to stay the same as it is now,” junior Derek Popple said. “We’re in school for the same amount of time, and I would have less time to do my work after school with the new later start time.” Another concern of most parents and students is how the new time will affect athletics. Many athletes have commented on the issue, saying that the later end time

for school would push practices too far back, negatively affecting the performance of teams with sports starting after school. It may also cause athletes to miss more afternoon classes to attend games, critics say. Despite the survey results, STEPS says that data has been “extremely helpful,” and that it’s “been in line with most of the national surveys” conducted with schools before changing start times. “We’ve been talking about this for almost an entire calendar year. And it’s all over except for the voting. Teachers have received the research, and they’ll take a vote on the issue in mid-January.” Any change in the school day start or end time greater than five minutes must be negotiated by the district and the San Juan Teachers Association. The union has said it would negotiate the issue for Rio teachers if a “super majority” supported the change and that it expects the district to agree to the change. Provided the new start time is passed next month, the 30 minute shift in the school day would be implemented next year.

VISIT US ONLINE Read more information regarding start times, including previous reports from The Mirada at

Rio Voice: Should school begin and end 30 minutes later in the day? Damon Pgtree, 9

My opinion is that school should start later because some people have trouble waking up or getting to school. So we should have a later start time, and people should also get more sleep so they don’t fall asleep in class.

Matt Sanford, 9

My opinion on the school time starting later is a definite yes. I ride my bike to school every morning and I’m always late. I think most people would like waking up later.

SEXTING LESS COMMON BRIGITTE NOVAK MIRADA STAFF Sexting isn’t actually widespread, according to a study released by the journal Pediatrics on Dec 5. The authors, researchers from the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, report that 1% of minors report creating or appearing in explicit images and only 5.9% report receiving such images. The study was based on 1,560 telephone interviews with children and has a margin of error of 2.5%. The numbers for what can be considered sexually suggestive aren’t high either at 9.6%. It was previously reported that upwards of 20% of teens were sexting. The researchers blame “widely cited, but flawed, studies claiming to show as many as 1 in 5 youth ‘involved in sexting’” for these misconceptions. They acknowledged not everyone who sexts would have reported

it. The study also only included English-speaking regular Internet users and did not consider written content through text messages. Even so, the most recent studies are more precise. Previous studies questioned youth about materials that would be “no more revealing than what someone might see at a beach,” according to the researchers. The authors still believe that despite only a few minors participating, sexting is still an issue and could result in criminal charges against minors. According to a different study made on Dec 5 by the University of New Hampshire, U.S. law enforcement agencies were involved in 3,477 cases of sexual images produced by minors in 2008 and 2009. However, one third of these cases involved experimental conduct such as minors in romantic relationships. Another 31% involved sharing images without consent, blackmail, or sexual abusing a young minor.

Shiloh Yonker, 11

School starting later? I don’t really care either way. I’m sure most people would like to catch a few more Z’s in the morning.

Jessica Jorqez 10

I think that the start time should stay the same. The reason why is because it affects people’s schedule and sports time. Other people have things to do later in the day and have siblings that start at 8:30, so it wouldn’t really work out.

Darren Miller, teacher

I don’t oppose it in principle but this school would be acting alone. Parents have kids at other schools and it would interfere with their ability to transfer their kids between schools.


photo courtesy of heather peterson

Senior Tony Sison feeds a Christmas tree cookie to a child during the Hand In Hand gift presentation. The Hand In Hand program was started 11 years ago by a group of elementary school boys from the Sacramento area. Working with local organization Neighborworks, the program has grown into a close association between Rio Americano and Jesuit students who raise money to buy gifts for families who cannot afford presents during the Christmas season. Over two months, a group of 30 students helped raise almost eight thousand dollars and buy gifts for 215 children, a record for the program.


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Cultural Capitalism in today’s world America was founded after a revolution against the oppressive British government. This defining act of rebellion did not stop in 1776. It has stayed with us up to the 21st century. From Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, we have always valued individualism. The presence of a frontier has always allowed for Americans to work hard and earn their own slice of the pie. Acres of land and our capitalist system ensured equal opportunity for all (discounting the thousands of Native Americans of course), and our culture of individualism thrived. Then came the industrialization of our nation. Railroads spiderwebbed across the Land of the Free, and smokestacks belched out black smoke into the clear blue sky. The capitalist system allowed for the making of the first millionaire in the 1860s, and the onset of what Mark Twain called The Gilded Age in the 1890s. The Gilded Age was a time before income tax, labor unions, and stock exchange regulations, a time of true, unregulated, unadulterated capitalism. It was also a time of child labor, mass poverty and the close of the frontier. This time yielded a gap between an elite rich subset and the majority of Americans. To appease the majority of Americans who suffered from the poor economic conditions, reforms were made to the system to prevent business practices which stifled competition. Before these reforms were passed, the elite exploited the free market and obtained enormous wealth. The Rockefellers, the Carnegies, the JP Morgans - these people were the rugged pioneers, the ingenious Yankees, and they were simply living the American dream. They worked hard, caught the right breaks, and reaped the benefits. Despite the unfairness that the capitalistic system created, the majority of Americans clung to the American dream. They hoped for the wealth that the Rockefellers had obtained, believing that their own progeny could catch a break in the Land of Opportunity. These hopes inspired Americans to endorse the benefactors of the capitalist system, and to believe in the value of a free market system. These hopes forced Americans to cling to their individualism. Americans grow up with sayings like “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” and “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” Although we lack a frontier, impose a modest income tax on our citizens, and support a welfare program, Americans are still far from giving up our rugged pioneers, our individualism. The Occupy Movement addresses the adverse effect of this individualistic culture: a super rich elite subset. Americans understand that there is a “one percent” that has more wealth than anyone ethically should have. However, our culture prevents us from condemning greedy cash mongers, as the American dream tells us that their wealth is justified. Our culture of individualism prevents us from examining ourselves as members of a society, of a nationality. We have stopped embracing the socialistic values that would bring us together into a “one hundred percent” of economically equal Americans.

Rio alum and senior at Brown University, Brianna Doherty, was named a Rhodes Scholar this November. The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious graduate scholarships in academia. She is one of 32 recipients in the United States and one of four at her school. The award was established by Cecil Rhodes, famous for founding the country of Rhodesia and controlling much of Africa’s diamond trade, in 1902 and is funded by his estate. After narrowing down a pool of 830 candidates from prestigious Universities around the United States, including Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, Doherty was selected in the regional finals. “I couldn’t believe that I had really won. There were so many other amazing candidates, I didn’t

photo courtesy of sjusd Doherty’s senior portrait in the 2008 Tesoro. She was named one of 32 Rhodes Scholars for 2011 last month.

think I stood a chance. I feel very blessed,” said Doherty. The Rhodes Scholarship is awarded to “young women and men of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service.” The Scholarship guarantees the recipient a chance to study any

photo courtesy of tesoro

postgraduate course at the University of Oxford, where they can research and receive a degree in their area of interest. “I don’t have to keep running over plans B, C, and D in my head, like I had been doing the whole beginning of the semester!” said Doherty.

Doherty will graduate from Brown with a B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience. Her work focuses mainly on Autism Spectrum Disorder and its affects on a child’s ability to feel empathy. “Because of the Rhodes Scholarship, I’m hoping to make connections with future leaders around the world so that I may one day work publicly to make a difference in the lives of individuals affected by autism spectrum disorder and their families,” said Doherty. Doherty, who graduated in 2008, holds “fond memories” and can give credit to the teachers and staff for her current success. “I definitely think I would not have made it this far if it weren’t for the incredible teachers and guidance counselors at Rio,” said Doherty, “I feel like they really made an effort to reach out to students and inspire them, and I can think of multiple conversations I had with faculty that I have carried with me throughout college.”

NEW BILLS COULD CHANGE INTERNET FOREVER Proposed laws aims to rid online world of piracy and copyright infringement BRIGITTE NOVAK MIRADA STAFF Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a 78 page bill proposed by republican Lamar Smith, is currently going through the House of Representatives. It is joined by a similar bill called the Protect IP Act (PIPA) which is going through the Senate. If one or both bills pass it “would mean the end of the Internet as we know it,” as Representative Zoe Lofgren said. SOPA aims to completely stop copyright infringement. Its purpose is to stop rogue websites operated outside of the US from infringing on entertainment content and from selling prescription drugs illegally. The definition of rogue is broad. As a result, licensed international pharmacies are being grouped with the actual rogues that sell counterfeit medicine. Legitimate pharma-

cies such as the Canadian International Pharmacy Association and Pharmacy Checker, who sell real brand-name medication, would be shut down. All websites that have any copyrighted material would be shut down. The Justice Department would be able to close domains. The label of “copyrighted material” would even extend to something out of a website’s control, such as an advertisement created by a third party. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization set out to defend people’s rights in the digital world, fears SOPA will target important projects such as Tor, an anonymity network that has protected activists from government surveillance in Tunisia and Egypt. Even though Tor promotes free expression it can also be used to mask one’s IP when downloading copyrighted content such as music or movies which means SOPA can

Analysis attack it. Vagueness is a problem in SOPA. In addition to shutting down sites that have copyrighted material, SOPA allows the government to penalize a site owner who “facilitates” any copyright infringement. The bill does not clarify what facilitate means in-context. Thus, enforcers could create outrageous qualifiers for what “facilitates” entails. Linking to another site that has copyrighted material could result in the same penalties as having copyrighted material. In this case, the owner of the web site that provided the link would be charged. SOPA also adds a penalty for any unauthorized public performance of a copyrighted material worth more than $1000. The majority of YouTube falls under this category. Any partners of YouTube

that rely on footage from copyrighted material would be forced to shut down. This provision would even affect people who host live streams using copyrighted footage. However, the Internet is fighting back. Several popular websites like Reddit censored parts of their content and linked to for “American Censorship Day” to give a taste of what could happen if SOPA or PIPA passed. The website is currently in Round 2 and allows anyone to call their senator from the homepage. They offer to “call you with talking points about the bill, connect you to your senators and Senator Reid,” after you submit your phone number, zip code, and email. Despite the consequences many senators and companies are supporting these bills. However, the internet also allows anyone to take action against this.

COOK: Given option to have teacher visit her at home FROM Page 1 Her schooling took a turn though when she was hospitalized three times in that year for 3-4 week periods. Her education suffered, and it continued to get tougher, but “sophomore year was better because I informed my teachers of my condition before they had me, and most all of they really worked with me to get work to me in the hospital and help keep my grades up,” said Cook. Melody fought to keep her education strong at Rio but due to her work load and deteriorating health junior year she resorted to independent studies for her second semester. “I only go to school once a week so I can focus the rest of the time on my health,” said Cook, who is working hard to attend Rio next semester so she can walk. She has encountered obstacles though, because she has already been hospitalized three times in the last four months, so coming back to Rio would just lead to failing classes due to lack of attendance. However, she has been given the option to apply for a program called Home in Hospital, “This way a teacher can come to me to

photo courtesy of melody cook Melody Cook, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, no longer attends Rio due to her illness. However, she wants to be able to walk at graduation with the friends she once went to school with. The administration is deciding whether to allow her to or not.

do work and come help when I’m in the hospital too and I can still walk with Rio and go to Rio events, so in January I will apply for that,” said Cook. If she gets accepted Melody will be able to become a student at Rio but take whatever time she needs for her cystic fibrosis. The program serves as an independent study but specifically geared to those with

illness. Teachers will actually come to work with student even if the student is hospitalized, making the program truly unique. This method insures that willing students will still be able to progress academically when their bodies say otherwise. In order to qualify a doctor needs to sign off, but once that happens it will put Melody Cook that much closer to

walking at Rio’s graduation. Regardless of your health, if you’re a good student, the school recognizes that you should be allowed to walk. If everything goes according to plan, and her health stays strong, Melody will be able to walk at graduation with her friends and finish her second semester as a Rio student.

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CLUB PHOTO SCHEDULE 8:00 Newspaper Cookies and Cocoa 8:10 CIVITAS Seniors CIVITAS Juniors 8:20 CIVITAS Sophomores CIVITAS Freshmen 8:30 Environmental Club Scott Jones Club 8:40 Fuse (Christian) Club World Awareness Club 9:00 Genocide Prevention Club Yearbook 9:10 Jewish-American Culture Shakespeare Club 9:20 Last Line of Defense Club Lumberjack Club 9:30 Link Leader Sophomores Link Leader Juniors Link Leader Seniors 9:40 Kayaking Club GSA 10:10 Laser Tag Club Model Rocketry Club 10:20 Model UN Rio Rugby 10:30 Ski and Snowboard Club Speech and Debate 10:40 Ultimate Frisbee Club Young Democrats 10:50 Outdoor Adventure Club Visions Club 11:15 Key Club Interact Club 11:25 International Cooking Club French Club 11:35 Young Republicans Chess Club 11:45 Mock Trial Science Olympiad 11:55 Moot Court To attend a club photo, you must have a designated pass. Contact your club officers to receive a club photo day pass.

photo by john sockolov/news editor

Senior Ella Isaguire and junior Wally Harmon practise Model UN rules and regulations in the library. Ella takes notes so that they can stay on top of points made by other teams. Wally raises the placard for his nation, Sudan. He must announce a point of inquiry before he asks a question, on the many rules in a Model UN conference.

MODEL U.N. UNITES STUDENTS New club attracts civic-minded and competition oriented students JOHN SOCKOLOV MIRADA STAFF The Model UN club brings new opportunity for civic-minded students who are looking for a competitive environment and a bonding experience. Senior Loveleen Brar founded the MUN as a way of raising awareness of international issues and to compensate for the lack of a school sponsored program. Many high schools and universities have MUN classes or extracurricular opportunities much like Mock Trail and Speech and Debate. “After taking international relations my sophomore year, I realized I knew virtually nothing about international issues,” said Brar, “as the year progressed, International Relations became my favorite class. As a result, I started the Model UN

club as a way for people to stay up to date with global issues.” Although MUN doesn’t require any former knowledge of current events or how the United Nations works, it does require commitment to studying the issues and mastering parliamentary procedure. Schools from around the country represent different nations in a mock United Nations conference. Teams of various sizes draft resolutions, debate issues, and vote on important current issues. “Model UN is a simulated United Nations conference. Different high schools are assigned countries and participate in a conference. During the conference, it’s your job to understand the view points and policies of your assigned country. The point of a conference is to discuss international issues and come up with resolutions to resolve an

issue that effects several nations.” said Brar. Not only must the members be aware of their own nations problems, they must balance that with the interests of their ally and enemy nations represented by other schools. The MUN competes in local and national competitions, hosted by organizations like the Berkeley Model UN and the United Nations Association of San Francisco. “This upcoming March there’s a conference at UC Berkeley from the 9th to the 12th,” said Brar, “Rio’s chapter has been assigned Pakistan! Throughout the year, MUN will be meeting and discussing current issues within Pakistan. It’ll be a lot of work seeing as how Pakistan can be a tad controversial when it comes to global issues.” Teams can choose which na-

tions they would prefer but ultimately are assigned a nation. The topics are always pertinent and provocative. “Nothing is more exciting than representing an unpopular nation like the Peoples Republic of North Korea,” said junior Wally Harmon. The Model UN is a self funded club so any and all expenses are paid for by the members. Anyone in the club is welcome to join in the upcoming conferences and informational seminars but must be able to par entrance fees, school application fees, and any housing and food they may need. The members of MUN all profess to have a passion for learning things above and beyond what is taught in school, because of their shared curiosity they feel Model UN is one of the most bonding experiences in high school.





The Scott Jones Club of Scott Jones is a strange but interesting development on campus that has many student puzzled at the sight of students wearing the club shirts. “I saw the shirts, and immediately thought, ‘That is weird!’,” said junior Jordan Perkins. Senior Scott Jones has created the club in honor of himself. The club has accumulated 42 members, in Jones. “I got members at rush week, like every other club,” Jones said. Scott Jones is a senior who is interested in video games, television, and books. The club enjoys doing what Scott Jones thinks is fun, like watching movies, eating snacks, playing ping-pong and video games. “We will have fun based on the choice of Scott Jones. I will post fun activities and it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to attend,” Jones said. “The Scott Jones Club is a

photo courtesy of the tesoro

bunch of awesome people congregating around the king of awesome. We have parties and t shirts and higher self-esteem. To understand the essence of the Scott jones club you need to know Scott jones himself,” said senior Isabelle LaSalle. They have had two parties so far. Members can keep in touch with club activities on the Scott Jones club’s Facebook group. Scott Jones says that the point of his club is to express his egotistical nature. “He is so popular that he had to make a club named after himself. When he walks by everyone turns their heads to catch a glimpse,” Jones said. “He is the strangest man in the world. I don’t always act crazy, but when I do, I prefer doing it like Scott Jones” If you would like to join, contact Scott Jones.

As the snowfall level increases daily, the members of the ski and snowboard club’s anxiety and excitement to be in the snow is rocketing. Although snow rarely ever falls in the Sacramento Valley, ski and snowboarding enthusiasts seem to be in high population, willing to travel to great lengths to get the freshest powder and the most beautiful mountain slopes. The club meets every Friday at lunch in room B3 to share their common interest in the winter sports. They plan to begin planning club trips to Squaw, Alpine, Northstar, Kirkwood, Boreal, and many others. “I’m not sure when our next trip is going to be but as soon as there is some good snow, we’ll be up there. I assure you,” club president Kyle Jacobson said. Meanwhile, the club anxiously awaits fresh powder, good for skiers and snowboarders alike. “Our goal is to introduce peo-

ple to the sport who have never tried it,” Mitschenko said. Senior and vice president of the ski and snowboard club, Trevor Dimino said, “I look forward to getting over 35 days of skiing in this year and also trying to get as many from the club to come up with us.” The club will try to coordinate as many trips as possible this winter. Dimino has been skiing since he was two years old and spent nine years on a competitive racing team that travelling to France and Switzerland to work on their extensive skiing abilities. “I love to teach any new members how to ski,” Dimino said. This year, according to Dimino, “it seems to be more skiers, whereas usually it’s more snowboarders.” Anyone can join by going to the club meetings or contacting any of the club officers including seniors Kyle Jacobson, Trevor Dimino , Nolan Mistchenko, and Patrick O’Neill.

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The Mirada Christina Sieving

Teens and parents share social networking space

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Senior Iris Shanks had to make a tough decision when she decided to purge her friends list on Facebook. First person to go was her mom. Then her friend’s parents went. “My mom has had a Facebook for a couple years and at first I was friends with her,” Shanks said. “But I realized that I was limiting what I was saying, so I deleted my mom and all of my friends’ parents and parents’ friends.” Many teens would like to follow Shank’s lead but their parent/friend won’t let them. About 80 percent of teens national use social network sites according the Pew Research Center, and the Mirada found in a recent survey that 56 percent of student who use these sites are on-line friends with their parents. But most of those--56 percent--wish they weren’t. Having adults as Facebook friends can make teens feel caught between how they act with their friends and how they act in front of adults, students say. “Once me and my sister were joking on Facebook when I was still friends with [my mom], and I called her a bitch or something, and my mom commented on it and was like, ‘Don’t say that to your sister!’” Shanks said. Junior Molly DuPont had a similar experience. “There was an instance where I posted something really opinionated, and my parents saw that and decided to have some family discussion with me about what I posted on Facebook,” she said. Teens are sometimes forced to limit their comments, posts, and pictures when their parents can see it. But they don’t all mind. “I actually don’t mind being friends with my parents,” senior Ellie Lewis said. “I don’t post anything inappropriate or anything I would be worried about my dad seeing. We comment on each others pictures and statuses every so often. I don’t see why you wouldn’t be a friend with your parent.” When it comes to parents and Facebook, teens have different opinions on whether or not to add them. In most cases, it depends on the parent’s online personality. “My dad just made a Facebook and I’m curious to see how he is on there,” Shanks said. But, if her father is like many parents who use Facebook, she may not get to find out. According to a recent survey by The Parenting Group, publishers of “,” “Parenting” and “BabyTalk” magazines, 46 percent of parents hide their own Facebook profile from their children. They may want to check up on their kids, but these parents feel that their own social lives should be off-limits to their children. The study reveals that 20 percent of parents require their children to log onto Facebook or other social media sites only in their presence, while around half of parents on Facebook spend more than an hour a day on the website. While some parents would say that hiding their online accounts from their children is fine, others would say that it is unfair since most of these children are forced to keep their accounts open to their parents. In the end, the online relationship between a teen and her parents differs from family to family, and it is up to them to decide whether they want to be “friends.”

Happy Holidays from the staff of the Mirada! Have a great Winter Break Rio! Jarett Hartman Shauna Milesi Tomek Buras John Sockolov Taylor Cottingim Robin Hwang Eleanor Newcomb Logan Cone Patrick O’Neill Austin Hicks Brad Conidaris Christina Sieving Daniel Gribanovskiy Aaron Boulger Theadore Buffington April Downes John Ferrannini

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The Mirada asked: Are you friends with your parents on social networking websites? 56.3% of surveyed students answered Yes

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43.7% of surveyed students answered No 55% of surveyed students who answered Yes said they would prefer not to be

Max Feng Todd Hawley Brooke Key Lauren Kirschke Greg Lopez Johnny Neumann

The Tesoro uploaded 3 new photos to the album “Buy a yearbook today for $68!”

Brigitte Novak Sydney Steele Valana Stiles Arthur Willis Michael Mahoney

• Mirada Staff



THE RIO AMERICANO MIRADA HOLIDAY BREAK It’s that time of year! Celebrating the holidays means cozying up with sweaters, scarves and that amazing cup of hot chocolate. It means more time with family and telling stories inolving those crazy relatives with the egg nog. Now we can relax!


Having finals after break bares some pros and cons. Perhaps it’s better to get the semester over and done with so we can truly enjoy our break without projects or homework. But there is that one week in between for procrastinated study time.


It’s awkward. Facebook is our time to socialize, and it feels weird having your family comment on your posts. It’s not that we want to keep secrets, but its our space away from home, our way of catching up with people and the latest hilarious status posts.

Opinion LATE TO BED, EARLY TO RISE The Mirada Rio Americano High School

Rio Americano Mirada 4540 American River Dr. Sacramento, CA 95864 (916)971-8921 ext. 80 Editors-in-Chief Jarett Hartman Shauna Milesi News Editors Tomek Buras John Sockolov Opinion Editor/ Graphic Artist Taylor Cottingim Features Editor Robin Hwang Eleanor Newcomb Sports Editors Logan Cone Patrick O’Neill Photo Editor Austin Hicks

Five more minutes. Just five more minutes. When you’re comfortable in your bed every morning, all you want is five more minutes of precious sleep. Well a movement by STEPS, a Rio community organization, is working to get 30 more minutes for Rio students to sleep. The movement has been spurred by an increase in sleep deprived teens in America. In fact, most experts on sleep studies call sleep deprivation among teens an epidemic. Teens should be getting between eight-and-a-half to nineand-a-quarter hours of sleep per night. However, between 40 to 80 percent of teens fail to get the necessary amount of sleep for normal, healthy growth. And the effects of sleep deprivation can be dramatic. Depression, exhaustion, unintended sleeping in class - all can be traced to not getting enough sleep at night.

illustration by taylor cottingim/mirada staff

Yet the issue goes widely uncovered, and for many years, Rio never had the opportunity to act to benefit its students through a later start time. But without mandatory buses, Rio has the perfect opportunity to improve the success and wellbeing of its students. Schools that switched to later

start times have been shown to have higher academic scores than before the switch, and records showed that tardiness decreased, overall school attendance increased, and in-class attentiveness also increased. Schools that changed their start time to 30 minutes later in the day

also reported that the number of students who got over eight hours of sleep per night after the switch went up dramatically - by 30 percent. But what seems to be one of the biggest concerns - by both Rio and national standards - is the effect the time shift would have on athletics. While some conflicts may arise due to the later start time, talks are in place to create an “athletic PE class” during sixth period: a class which athletes can take to avoid missing an academic class in the afternoon. Other schools, such as El Camino have already had success with it in their programs. With a shift of 30 minutes, you can get upwards of three to five hours of extra sleep a week. And while it may not seem like much, just remember how nice it is to get just five more minutes.

This editorial represents the views of the editorial board of the Mirada.

Web Editor Brad Conidaris Business Manager Christina Sieving Staff Photographers Daniel Gribanovskiy Staff Writers Aaron Boulger Theadore Buffington April Downes John Ferrannini Max Feng Todd Hawley Robin Hwang Brooke Key Lauren Kirschke Greg Lopez Johnny Neumann Brigitte Novak Sydney Steele Valana Stiles Arthur Wills Advisor Mr. Michael Mahoney

Published monthly during the school year by students in Rio Americano’s newspaper class, the Mirada is the independent voice of the students and the campus. The mirada welcomes story ideas, comics, letters to the editor and opinion pieces from all members of the school community. Submit articles to the box in A3 or the main office. Contact the business manager (by visiting room A3, writing to the above address or calling the adviser’s voice mail) for information on advertising. We welcome advertising, but reserve the right to refuse any ad.

illustration by taylor cottingim/mirada staff


For the last few years, we have all been forced to repave the roads in our social and financial lives. Cuts in all forms have constricted us this year. Schools have cut school days, cut teachers, and cut buses. But nobody seems willing to take on the biggest expense for schools: students. Why not make cuts to the student population? Here is the answer and solution to all our problems: we construct a large gladiator stadium on top of the quad. In order to regulate the overflowing student body, we should send those who do not belong to fight to his or her death in this state-of-the-art gladiatorial arena. In order to make profits, these events will be the two biggest fundraisers for our school. It’s real life learning. Last year’s geometry classes had to calculate the height

of the flag pole. How much more interesting to calculate the projectory of a spear. The construction of this viciously entertaining death pit will improve academic success rates, skyrocket school spirit, save money and allow for a less competitive environment. No more struggling to get the classes of your choice. No more problematic students or senioritis. No more ignorance. Every semester, perhaps every month if need be, there will be a school wide gathering in the pit to witness the battle between the list of selected students. No more rallies with disinterested teens and poorly functioning speaker systems. There is nothing more interesting than watching an intense studentversus-student fight. But there can only be one surviving winner. The reward is the obtainment of one’s life, eight complimentary postcombat therapy sessions, and a free Chipotle burrito (We are currently in the process of making them our

sponsors for this event but are experiencing minor contract agreement difficulties). Students will be given a sword and a shield for offensive and defensive purposes. All the students to be sacrificed must have at least one of these following qualifications: Those who do not score high enough on STAR testing; those who receive disciplinary action higher than detention; those that wear bro tanks revealing his warrior potential; or those who wear Uggs with shorts. It’s like Social Darwinism; it’s a simple matter of survival of the fittest. Those who cannot graduate high school with flying colors will be seen as unworthy and must prove themselves and make up for their intellectual inferiority through physical prowess. Enacting this new gladiatorstyle arena will dramatically improve the overall student success rates. The mere threat of the looming death pit located in the heart of campus will motivate students

through pure fear alone. It will even lead to a decrease in the cost of restroom toiletries; the production of school lunches, electricity, and the need for new textbooks. With a smaller campus you are more than just a number. It will add a more intimate, family-like bond with those allowed to keep their little lives. The creation of the gladiator pit will dramatically decrease the desperate need for funding. It will inspire students to prove their worth to the school. It will make our school look better if we have only well-behaved children on campus. It will boost the attendance and participation in school events. The arena will bring everyone of all ages together. It’s the best unifying force to ever exist. The gladiator stadium is character building we all need it. Why settle for less? Senior Taylor Cottingim is opinions editor of the Mirada.

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illustration by logan spoto/mirada staff

OCCUPY: BABBLE OR RALLYING CRY? PERMANENT OCCUPATION? The Occupy movement, which began as a testament to the freedoms of democracy, has devolved into a babble of quibbling, arrogant protesters who have no idea what they are fighting for. This local offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement began stirring up conflicts a few months ago and has become a big enough thorn in the side of bureaucracy to motivate actions like those of the Mayor of Los Angeles, who offered local occupiers transitional housing, office space, and even an urban garden. Originally intended as a voice of the “99 percent” to protest government policies and other abuses against the populous, this cause continues to lose purpose, legitimacy, and the respect of our city. While many sympathize with the mission of the group, petitioning the government for a redress of grievances, or to make a formal complaint demanding assistance, many more are losing patience with the movement, as well as the sheer idiocy that results from this massive soapbox. Like all ideals, this embodiment of first amendment rights has failed when put into practice. One of the most prominent problems with the situation is the location. Many occupiers camp out in parks, which leads to run-ins with the homeless (part of the 99 percent one would think) that continue to escalate towards violence. The occupiers even have their own security force, according to a

homeless woman who wants her park back. Some protesters have been arrested for occupying the parks past closing time. This stupidity of protesters refusing to exit parks only boosted the movement’s popularity. An even greater feat of ignorance was recently exposed by an interview on National Public Radio. A woman involved in a protest against the 10% cost increase of CSU’s stated that she participated in the Occupy protest because she heard a student complain that he had been forced to watch the United States turn into a third world country right before his eyes. The kind of misguided assertions demonstrated by a student’s belief is surpassed in ridiculousness only by the brilliant minds that get fired from their jobs because instead of showing up to work, they join the Occupy Sacramento movement in protesting the lack of jobs. While the idea of a massive movement acting upon the right to petition the government inspires a sense of patriotism, the practical functionality of this group has met a swift end. When protesting the government’s inability to provide jobs for everyone becomes a permanent occupation, one may only hope that the movement fails as quickly as its legitimacy has. Senior Geoffrey Hurner is a guest writer for the Mirada.

‘OCCUPY’ OUR LIBERTY NOW Let’s be honest, the Occupy Wall Street movement has a point. There is something seriously wrong with our economy. It is not just the fact that we are in recession anymore, where everyone would take a proportional share of the economic hurt. There are far more intrinsic problems that need to be fixed. Practically everyone knows this. According to a recent poll by Gallup (the source for my statistics), 94% of Americans are angry with the economic system. If that number sounds awfully close to 99% there is a reason: there is a small minority of the populace that is doing fine in this economy, better than fine actually, they are the richest in the entire world. The problem is not having money, it is the power money so often buys, and the greed and corruption that comes with the money. This richest class somehow has more tax loopholes and write-offs than the middle class but DC politicians continue pushing for lower taxes and regulations. What we lose when this top 1% goes unchecked and unregulated is what the financial crash of 2007 was all about. They profited from banks approving faulty loans, rising gas prices, and increasing health insurance premiums. In the past few decades, the top 1% has continued to control more and more wealth (10% of wealth in 1980 to 42% in 2010), while median income for everyone else dropped more than 30%. They gain from our losses. The Occupy movement is an ideol-

ogy, neither liberal nor conservative, of restructuring our financial institutions. The movement is a call for the rights of the working class and the poor. While it is a very divisive movement (22% approve and 15% disapprove), most people simply do not know what Occupy means. The movement has no leader or demands for a purpose, adding to confusion. However it the lack of hierarchy follows the ideology, and forces those at fault, the politicians and financiers, to fix it themselves. The opposition’s reaction, police crackdowns especially, prove only that those in power are willing to compromise the inalienable rights of the masses to keep power. Whatever excuses the police use, we always retain the right to assemble and protest, and compromising that right is compromising the entirety of our liberty. Police have beaten, pepper-sprayed, and tear gassed. Occupy protestors, in a ruthless way, reminiscent of the civil rights movement. Realize that we are being oppressed, in our economics and in our petition to the government for grievances. We must continue to peacefully protest with the Occupy movement for our social and financial justice. This is the social movement of our generation, protect our liberty-occupy. Senior Or Taylor is a Mirada columnist and regular op-ed contributor.

REALITY TELEVISION JUST A GUILTY PLEASURE JOHN FERRANNINI MIRADA STAFF After a $10 Million wedding extravaganza broadcast on national television, Kim Kardashian and New Jersey Net Kris Humphries are getting a divorce after little more than two months of marriage. Despite all of the talk of how they had hoped to live as husband and wife forever, it turns out anonymous sources close to Kardashian are claiming that the wedding was a “hoax and a publicity stunt.” This surely came as a surprise to many people, but it didn’t come as a surprise to me. It seems like it’s America’s favorite pastime to watch reality television and gossip about the drama it provides us. But what we all should understand before we watch the next episode of “Jersey Shore” and open our next new copy of “People” is that the Kardashian wedding hoax wasn’t the exception, it’s the rule. All reality television celebrity culture is fake. Let’s take a look at reality television. From making participants change clothes because they didn’t look good on camera (as on “Survi-

vor”), to re-editing footage to create new chronologies of events and scenes that never happened (as on “Joe Millionaire”), to even acting out scripted plots (as has been alleged as occurring on “The Hills”), reality T.V. is, like any good product, meant to cater to its consumer. It’s not so much reality as it is staged to give us those dramatic story lines we look forward too each week. And we willingly fall for it hook, line, and sinker. Sometimes there are victims to this deception. For example, during the filming of the show “A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila”, a bisexual version of “The Bachelor”, insiders at MTV leaked to the press that Miss Tequila is not bisexual and is in a committed relationship with her boyfriend, excluding the possibility of having a new significant other - especially a female one. When interviewed by Extra, the shows winner claimed that Miss Tequila “never called me after the last show and no one would give me her number.” Other examples are less severe. During season two of “Hell’s Kitchen,” actors portrayed ‘paying customers’ who the show tacitly

portrays as just being average people. Reality T.V. isn’t inherently bad. I used to watch “Survivor” and the short-lived but controversial “Kid Nation” every week (kudos if you remember that show). However, the line between reality and acting on television is becoming increasingly blurred and that the cure is for us all to get it into our heads that reality T.V. is less of a reality and more of a fiction. We can still enjoy reality T.V., but let’s enjoy it for what it actually is and not for what we want it to be. That way, if we miss the next Kardashian wedding T.V. extravaganza we can always say to ourselves “there’s always next time.” Junior John Ferrannini is a staff writer for the Mirada.

illustration by taylor cottingim/mirada staff



Features Broadacre Coffee, located at 1014 10th Street, is an extremely modern coffee house. The stark white walls with the black furniture, bizarre planters in the corners, and iPad register give the place a contemporary feel. Unlike Old Soul and Boulevard, the prominent customers are the businessmen and women grabbing a quick cup of coffee before heading off to work. Broadacre employees are very urban and give a new look to the typical barista.

Boulevard Coffee Roasting Company is located at 7901 Fair Oaks Boulevard, and is a delightfully petite coffee house decorated with antique coffee cans and mugs. Walking through the doors, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee beans takes over all your senses. As you walk to the counter to order, the friendly staff is pleased to take your order and help you make a decision on which delectable drink to purchase. The prices at Boulevard are reasonably low for the delicious coffee and pastries they offer. The overall ambiance of the shop is warm and comforting with customers ranging from old retired men to young high school students. Boulevard is definitely a place to try instead of sticking to the everyday Starbucks.

Old Soul at Weatherstone is based at 812 21st Street and is the classic boutique coffee brewery. From the moment you enter to the moment you leave, the overwhelming smell of coffee engulfs your senses. You are greeted at the counter with a smiling face and they are pleased to answer any questions about the history of the cafe and any drink or pastry you are unsure of. Old Soul is a classic and welcoming coffee shop filled with various people from business men all the way to college students taking advantage of the Wi-Fi to get homework done. Naked Lounge, in contrast to Boulevard Coffee Roasting Company and Old Soul at Weatherstone, is a more modern coffee house. Naked is located at 1500 Q Street. Their special, “Bowl of Soul,” is a unique blend of honey, soy milk, and chamomile which please all the senses. The urban atmosphere is more geared towards the younger generation and offers a warm place to relax and listen to the live music in the lounge.

Cafe Le Monde is a relatively new coffee house located at 5504 Dudley Blvd, in the business region of the old McClellan Air Force Base. Cafe Le Monde’s ambiance is warm and welcoming with old backgammon boards and authentic blankets and decorations. The friendly staff and owners who do their best to make every visit one to remember. The restaurant offers anything from sandwiches and chips to coffee and muffins. Cafe Le Monde is a delicious alternative to Peet’s or Starbucks.

finding warmth this season One of the most common and delicious ways to beat the icy cold weather of the winter months is to stop at Starbucks or Peet’s and grab a hot cup of coffee as you make your way to school, but are the chain coffee houses really the best places to go, or are small cafes and bakeries tastier and friendlier to the wallet? After tasting numerous coffee houses around the Sacramento area, here is a list of the top five based on taste, price, and the general atmosphere.

illustration by taylor cottingim/mirada staff


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hile everybody is excited to celebrate Christmas with Santa Claus, presents, and family, the AVID class focused their attention on the less fortunate children of Howe Avenue Elementary School. AVID was asking students to donate toys for both boys and girls between the ages of six to 11 by putting a toy drive box in every classroom. The toys should have cost between $10 to $15 in order to guarantee a fair experience for all the children. Also, any stuffed animals and toy weapons such as NERF guns, baseball bats were excluded from toy list because of safety issues such as being shot and hurt by a foam dart or getting severely injured by someone swinging a baseball bat. Seniors in the class collected toys through third period classes. However, some students dropped off their belated toys in the main office or A-13. Each AVID student from all grades had to choose a child from the list and buy a toy for the child. Seniors had more jobs such as asking around each classroom to advertise the toy drive, asking for donations, and wrapping the gifts. However, some AVID juniors volunteered to give extra help with jobs such as wrapping toys because seniors were short on time to do all the work. The goal was to collect 500 gifts so they would have some extra gifts for other classes. They gave out doughnuts to Mr. Blenner’s class, who donated the most toys, and Mr. Montbriand’s class, who came in second place. However, there were times when they struggled, but it was quickly turned around afterwards. By sending AVID seniors to ask students to give them $10 to $15 they managed to raise enough money so AVID seniors could buy some toys to make up the empty slots for people who don’t have enough time to go buy toys. With their hard effort, they gained broke their goal and got extra toys. These extra toys will be donated to Dyer-Kelly Elementary School. While AVID students were busy collecting toys for elementary kids, CIVITAS was also helping to spread holiday cheer by running the toy drive and buying toys for kindergartners. “I’m happy that CIVITAS is helping out with the toy drive,” said freshmen Sun Ho Hwang. “Together, they will have a great amount of

positive impact on the community.” CIVITAS delivered toys and helped make children merrier on the same day as AVID. Senior Jenni Chavez,, a CIVITAS student, helped run the kindergarten section of the toy drive for her senior project. “Its amazing to work with avid and the whole Rio community to better the lives of the children during the holiday season. This project means a lot to me because I went to Howe Avenue, it’s just great to continue the giving tradition in this holiday season” said Jenni Chavez The AVID students were happy to buy and prepare the Christmas gifts for the young children. “I think the toy drive is very nice, I love the idea of giving kids the chance to get toys and gifts when

It makes the kids really happy and

that’s all that matters. Jisla Garcia

they usually wouldn’t be able to,” said junior Jisela Garcia. “It makes the kids really happy and that’s all that matters.” On Dec 13, senior AVID students delivered the gifts to Howe Avenue Elementary School but seniors gave toys to children on Dec 14. The junior AVID students worked just as hard as the seniors for this toy drive. Mrs. Mason’s class served food and decorated the luncheon as a Mexican fiesta for the Howe Avenue Elementary teachers. “Every teacher thanked us for preparing such a niice Christmas luncheon.” said Ms. Mason. “We definitely made Christmas merrier for everybody.” The toy drive has been an annual charity project for AVID seniors. They have been doing this project for 10 years. “It’s always stressful for AVID senior teachers because you have lots of responsibilities and preparations.” said Gina Costello, who is AVID senior teacher who is responsible for the entire toy drive this year. “But when you see kids opening presents, I feel it was all worth it to spend time to prepare gifts for them.” -Robin Hwang

photos by shauna milesi/editor-in-chief Top to bottom: Senior Jenya Green gives a Christmas gift to a Howe Avenue kindergartner as the student gives her a thank you card in return. Behind Green is Darcy Nishi in the santa hat, Amanda Vick, Blythe Nishi and Audry Nishi. Excited Howe Avenue students open their Christmas gifts. Howe Avenue student hugs her new stuffed animal.

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After six weeks of collecting cell phones from students, parents, and staff, the cheer squad has won the first annual 102.5’s Cell Phones For Students contest. Over the duration of the contest, the cheer team collected over 370 cell phones, earning 2500 dollars for their program and a free dance DJ’d by radio station host Sugabear. The prizes were sponsored by Metro PCS and KSFM 102.5. The free tickets will be handed out during finals week at the Betty Miller Theatre Box Office for a limited time. The dance will be held on Jan. 13 from 8 to 11 p.m. You will need a ticket and your student I.D. to be admitted to the dance. No guest passes will be allowed. During the first week of October, Rio was contacted by KSFM 102.5 and was entered into the contest against nine other schools. After the first couple weeks of the contest, Rio took a large lead over the other schools, with an over 100 cell phone lead. “A lot of people were able to make it successful,” said senior cheerleader Lauren Dupuis. For the remainder of the competition, Rio maintained a strong

photo by daniel gribanovskiy/mirada staff The Rio Varsity Cheer Squad is awarded a two-thousand five-hundred dollar check from Sugabear from KSFM 102.5. They won the first annual KSFM and Metro PCS cell phone drive. They collected over 300 cell phones from friends, family, students and staff.

lead, and finished the contest with 379 cell phones collected, more than 130 cell phones more than the closest competition, Highland High School. “Winning the cell phone contest was one of the most exciting things that I’ve accomplished at Rio,” se-


nior varsity cheer captain Andrea Cracchiolo. “The feeling of winning a dance back for our school was very rewarding.” From the beginning of the year, cheer has focused specifically on raising school spirit and morale. They have made it a goal to be more


photo by jarett hartman/editor-in-chief Seniors Annie Chernich and Or Taylor enjoy swing dancing with the rest of Rio Band at Midtown Stomp downtown on Dec 9. The band hosted a fun “friends of band” night at the ballroom, where swing dancing classes and lessons occur every Friday night.

present at Rio and in the Rio community. The cheer squads can be seen supporting Rio at most athletic events. They have also committed to being present at more sporting events than before, adding sports like softball to their schedules.

Cheer also devotes time to the community, especially for major community events like the Relay For Life Fundraiser, for which Rio cheer has earned over eighty-thousand dollars over the past 12 years. They also dedicate time to Big SisLittle Sis Summer Programs and put on a camp to teach younger girls how to cheer. However, with increasing efforts to be involved in the Rio community, additional costs present themselves to the team. With more and more money being cut from athletic programs, cheer has had increase its to fundraising efforts to make up for the money that they are no longer being provided. Cheer regularly holds car washes, babysitting nights, and sells coffee, blankets, tshirts, and cookbooks in order raise money each year in order to help offset their yearly expenses. With the 2500 dollar prize earned from the contest, the team plans to pay its freshman and junior varsity coaches. “Every club and athletic program has to fundraise,” cheer coach Demeris Athey said. “The administration won’t just hand money to you.”

Since December is the time for giving, here’s a simple holiday guide to help you choose presents easily this season. If you’re looking for a gift for someone and you don't really know exactly what they like, try buying them a gift card. A gift card worth $20 or more gives them enough to buy something they wanted this year. Looking for gifts can be hard, so why waste time looking for a few small gifts when you can get them one large gift that might last longer? Now, this isn’t necessarily saying that you have to spend a lot of money on one large gift. However, get something that will last them a while, maybe a video game they’ve been looking for. Or what about that season of their favorite show they’ve been dying to watch? If you have siblings and are look-

ing to get something for your parents, find their common interest, and put your money together to get something meaningful. Handmade items such as holiday cards, knitted or crocheted scarves, sweaters, hats, blankets, scrapbooks, drawings, and paintings are all great. It doesn’t always have to be something bought; you just have to be creative. Often, creatively handmade gifts can be more personal than any purchased present. For your best friend, think of what you have in common. Why not make something involving your best moments? Or get them the gift they’ve wanted this year, like those new shoes or that hat they wanted while at the mall last. Another great gift for a best friend is making a CD of all the songs you love to listen to. You could also try making friendship bracelets - they’re cute, creative, and last a long time. If you’re looking to get something

for that special someone, take them out on a date to their favorite place. You could also buy a perfume set with different scents and products - Bath and Body Works is always a good store. Make a list of all the songs you two listen to as a couple and burn them all to a CD. If you’re creative, you could also make a scrapbook of your time together with your favorite pictures. An easy thing to do would be to find a new phone or iPod cover. It may seem like a classic choice, but it seems in these times everyone had a smart phone or MP3 device. There are even websites, such as, where you can create your own personalized iPod or phone case for a little extra money. For a while, it may seem hard to find the right gift for everyone. But you always have to look and see what you find! Think in a more creative way, and you may be surprised at what you come up with.


Above: Senior Gavi Rubin sings at the holiday Small Ensemble night on Dec 14. Right: Junior Emma Simpson strums the bass while performing for the large crowd.

photo by taylor cottingim/mirada staff

photo by taylor cottingim/mirada staff Sophomore Jeric Rocamora plays the marimba during Wednesday’s Small Ensemble performance. Band and audience members alike enjoyed the fun atmosphere and many alumni returned to watch.



Cesar Olivares, 12

SAY WHAT? How long have you been dating? Brooke/Cesar: Two weeks this Wednesday.

What is your favorite thing about Brooke? Cesar: She understands that game day is game day. It’s number one priority.

How did you meet? Brooke: He posted a status on Facebook about the Navy and I told him I could help him out, and we started talking.

What drives you craziest about each other? Brooke: He thinks he’s going to marry Taylor Swift. He invited me to their wedding... awkward. Cesar: She bites me every time I talk about Taylor Swift.

What do you guys like to do together? Brooke: Hang out with Ellie and Will and go drifting in Will’s truck.

Brooke Rutschmann, 12

What is your favorite thing about Cesar? Brooke: He is always surprising me with sweet things and he’ll watch Spongebob with me.

photo by johnny neumann/mirada staff

What terms of endearment do you use? Brooke: None, I snap my fingers and he knows what’s up. -Johnny Neumann



Matt Cunningham, 12

Shannon Kent, 12

Andrea Cracchiolo, 12 photo by logan cone/mirada staff

What’s your biggest turnoff? When they’re not a gentleman. Why are you single? I’m secretly taken... ;) How can a guy impress you? If his name is Matthew Cunningham. What do you look for in a guy? Someone who would be my best friend and would never break my heart. What’s your dream date? Going up to the snow, building a snowman, sledding, and a snowball fight! Then cuddling up by the fire drinking hot cocoa. What is the nicest thing a guy has done for you? So far... waited three years to date me! What’s your best pickup line? “Let’s make like fabric softener and snuggle!”

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What is the first thing you notice about a girl? Her eyes, her smile, her hair, and her personality. What’s your biggest turnoff? A girl who doesn’t like Chipotle. What’s your best pickup line? “Hey, how are you?” Why are you single? I happen to like the one girl who wants me to wait until college for her. How do you get a girl’s attention? You treat a girl like a goddess, then a princess, then a human, then a princess again. What do you look for in a girl? She has to have a fun, nice, honest, outgoing, down to earth, cute personality, and care about others.

photo by lauren kirschke/mirada staff

What kind of car do you have? 2008 Volkswagon Beetle When did you get your car? Friday before Thanksgiving break. Where’s the most exciting place you’ve been in your car? The car wash. Why did you choose this car? It was affordable and super cute! What is your favorite part about your car? The seat warmers How much does it cost to fill up your tank? $45 How many cars have you had before this one? Three, if you include the Pontiac G6 I shared with my sister.

-Logan Cone

What is the fastest you’ve gone in your car? 100 mph in sport mode. What adventures have you been on so far? I almost ran out of gas on the freeway the first day I got it on the way to El Dorado Hills. Have you been close to or gotten in an accident since you’ve got your car? I was looking down at my music and when I looked up I had to swerve back on the road.... it was scary! How many times have you filled up your tank since you’ve had your car? Just once, I was in Arizona all of Thanksgiving break without my car.

-Lauren Kirschke

Two brothers in Wis consin were charged for disorderly conduct after police found a YouTube video and photos of their “planking spree.” They posed atop a memorial monument, an ATM machine, and a police car, among other things. The brothers originally claimed the photos were Photoshopped, but eventually confessed and were charged $303 in fines. A custodian at the Passau state library in Germany recently stumbled upon an incredible discovery. Tanja Höls found an old box full of coins while working. After showing her bosses at the library, they believe that the coins likely belonged to local princebishops, who hid the treasure in the library in the early 19th century. The collection could be worth millions. The mayor of San Juan has shocked the public with his f a m i l y ’s awkward holiday card. Mayor Jorge Santini’s Christmas picture depicts his family standing and smiling around a taxidermy leopard fighting an antelope. Even more baffling is the caption, which reads in Spanish, “That you may illuminate your dream this Christmas.” A Memphis tattoo artist has an interesting way of helping out his preferred charity during the holiday season. Jay Guzman offers tattoos in exchange for donated toys at his shop, House of Ink. The event, called “Toys for Tattoos,” has been going on for four years now, and they collect more than $5,000 worth of toys every year. Stories compiled by Eleanor Newcomb from news reports.


“House of Balloons” The Weeknd “House of Balloons” is an awesome song from the contemporary R&B artist The Weeknd. It samples the song “Happy House” by Siouxsie and the Banshees with great success. It’s got a fantastic beat that’s sure to please a wide variety of musical tastes. “Title Theme/Saria’s Song/ Song of Storm” BADBADNOTGOOD BBNG is a jazz trio for a new generation. Their recent self-titled album won a lot of praise upon release. While they do some original tracks, they are probably best known for their covers of Tyler, the Creator tracks. This song is a three piece Zelda medley, and it’s truly fantastic.

SONGS TO SKI BY “Bhima’s theme” OM OM is a two-piece doom metal band formed by former members of the band sleep. The track “Bhima’s Theme” is slow and heavy with a great droning vocal accompaniment. The song almost reminds you of Tibetan chanting.

“Ride” Gayngs I stumbled across this song by total accident. It was the first song of a playlist on and I immediately loved it. It has a great ambiance and ethereal sound to it, and it is extremely relaxing.

“Approaching Rainbow” Lone Lone is an electronic musician out off England who definitely deserves more attention than he’s getting. His unique sound and extremely catchy mixes make him one of my favorite electronic musicians right now. The track “Approaching Rainbow” is a really great example of his work. “What U Gonna Do Baby?” Funk Legacy

This is a really great song from the French house music duo Funk Legacy. As the name implies, their songs use a lot of funk elements and samples. This is definitely a song that will get stuck in your head over winter break.

favorite. It begins with a great sense of movement. The track builds until midway when the vocal “hook” comes in. The vocals are reminiscent of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

“Something Goes Right” SBTRKT SBTRKT is maybe my favorite artist right now; I’m constantly re-listening to his recent self-titled album. SBTRKT is part of the postdubstep scene in England that includes such artists as James Blake and Burial. His songs are a great mix of really soulful vocals and excellent instrumentation. “Race: IN” Battles This is the first track off their premier album and it’s perhaps my

The songs for this month’s playlist were chosen by news editor John Sockolov.

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THE ROOTS SEEM ‘UNDUN’ WITH NEW ALBUM THOMAS SNIDER GUEST WRITER The legendary Roots crew has seen their success grow in the past three years because of their late night gig with Jimmy Fallon. They have continued to have an enormous influence on hip-hop music by taking away the stereotypes that exist within the genre. They make it more approachable to the general listener by infusing rock and soul aspects to their music. The Roots’ last solo album “How I Got Over” didn’t get the respect it deserved among music critics but the album featured some of the most diverse and deep tracks the Roots have ever produced. After two collaboration albums, one with John Legend and one with Betty Wright, the Roots have returned with their first concept album entitled “undun”. Questlove, drummer and band leader, describes the album as a story that one must approach as an audio book, listening to it in its entirety. The album is intended to describe the life, death, and rebirth of a drug dealer known as Redford who is struggling to make a living on the streets. Although The Roots proclaim this as their first concept album, every LP they released since “Things Fall Apart” have had a profound theme. It’s more like a label they have given it trying to draw attention to the album as a whole. Which has been lost because of services

like iTunes where buying just the hit songs is made possible and the importance of the entire album is lost. Also, labeling the album a “concept album” draws people’s attention to the lyrics and arrangement of songs, making the listener think and interact with the music more. One of the problems with undun is its downbeat depressing tone and it doesn’t draw the listener in until about track four. The album opens with a high pitched buzzing noise in “dun” as the intro then melds into “Sleep” with a faucet dripping sound and an electronic pulse with lyrics touching on fallen dreams. “Make My”, the first single off the album, raises the depressing mood that “Sleep” left lingering and slowly gets faster, and by the end of the song there is a long instrumental with a string quartet flowing alongside Questlove’s drum beat. The album finally gets the pace up with a solid piano and drum beat throughout in “One Time” including Phonte, Greg Porn and Black Thought dropping moving rhymes that fit right in with the piano and drums. The next track “Kool On” brings a soulful guitar and vocals which is one of the best songs on the album with a fresh feel really separating itself from the beginning tracks. After track five, “The Otherside,” starts with a solo drum beat and which opens the door into Black Thought’s determined toned raps and an out spoken chorus by neo-

soul singer Bilal Oliver. The album reaches its climax at “Stomp” and the track draws attention with a man yelling on a loud speaker putting chills down ones spine with driving vocals by Greg Porn on top. “Lighthouse” gets off to an unusual start but rebounds once it gets to its catchy chorus, which makes the track, paralleling being face down in the ocean with no lifeguard to being all alone when facing life’s struggles. Track nine, “I Remember”, and track ten, “Tip the Scale”, both bring the story of Redford to a close with confessing rhymes and sad choruses. To end it all, there are four instrumental songs that consist of piano, a string quartet, and drums. It doesn’t quite make sense that they broke these last four songs up into four different movements being that they are roughly a minute each. Popular indie folk artist Sufjan Stevens provides the piano melody and it’s almost as if this is the theme song to the story. The four part instrumental conclusion simply relives the last 35 minutes of the album but through the instruments themselves. The album ends in complete chaos breaking out between drums and piano with no organization on “Will to Power,” and then it all comes together in a soothing string quartet again on “Finality,” and a single violent strike of a piano ends the album. Undun is simply How I Got


Over: Part 2; both albums are too short at about forty minutes and both albums touch on the same topics, with Black Thought in the same state of mind. Though undun isn’t as moving as How I Got Over, it still has a few bright spots. First, the mixing and production on undun is phenomenal. Questlove made each track flow right into the next and it is one of the main contributors of the audiobook-type feel he was trying to put forth. Secondly, the Roots bring

many unexpected, not-so-wellknown artists on the album, as they did on “How I Got Over”, which opens the door for music fans and the artists. With “undun”, if you don’t know the background behind the album and the story they are trying to tell, then this will be just another hiphop record and the story of Redford will not make sense. With the Roots failing to improve upon the mistakes they made on their last record, undun gets a 3 out of 5.

BLACK KEYS ADOPT NEW SOUND ELEANOR NEWCOMB MIRADA STAFF After almost a decade of quietly evolving – through nonstop touring and some critical commendation– the Ohio-based duo The Black Keys had finally broken through into the “promised land” of rock and roll this time last year. Their sixth studio album, “Brothers,” won them three Grammy awards and the single “Tighten Up” was No. 1 for 10 straight weeks on Billboard’s alternative music charts. How e v e r, their new album “El Camino,” released Dec 6, is a departure from anything they have produced before. All 11 songs are urgent and fast, loaded with instrumental riffs, hooks, hand claps, and pure rock and roll musicality. All of this combined makes the album truly irresistible and addicting. The first single from the album, “Lonely Boy,” is incredibly catchy, even dangerously so. It will be stuck in your head after hearing it for the first time and you will catch yourself singing “Oh, oh oh, I got a love that keeps me waiting” about a hundred times throughout the day. It’s therefore no surprise that the song immediately shot up to the Top Five of the rock and alternative charts. “Dead and Gone” is a catchy, dance-y song that begins with 60s-style vibrations in Auerbach’s vocals that lead up to a punchy chorus accentuated with Patrick Carney’s strong drumbeats. It’s another one from the album that will get stuck in your head almost immediately. Another highlight from the album is the third track, “Gold on the Ceiling,” with ridiculous riffs from guitarist Dan Auerbach.

It has a definite Rolling Stones, old-school rock vibe, and the background hand claps are bound to be a hit at any concerts they perform. Auerbach’s vocals are strong and confident, and he keeps that tone throughout the album. “Little Black Submarines” opens with Auerbach showing an extreme amount of vocal restraint compared to what fans of The Black Keys are used to. He is usually belting out his vocals just to be heard over the screaming guitar. This soft restraint would work on its own, but it becomes even better in this track when providing room for the breakdown that ends the song. With the track “Sister,” Auerbach and Carney show they can make a chill, groove-induced song that is still cohesive with the rest of the album. My personal favorite on the album, “Nova Baby,” is the most pure song of them all in terms of its sound. Its hip-shaking beats and a great buildup to the chorus are punctuated with sharp drumbeats and infused with keyboard. The track is one of those that you would blast while driving down the highway, windows down, on a summer evening. The album as a whole is close to being a dance record, but in a fantastic way. Fans expecting the bluesy, R&B, soulful attitude that was prevalent in their previous release may originally be disappointed, but it’s hard to see how any Black Keys fan could truly dislike this album – it’s too catchy and addicting and highlights the duo’s skills incredibly well. The Black Keys have demonstrated with El Camino their ability to transcend genres while somehow coming up with something completely original.


photo courtesy of new line cinema Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele are two of the stars in ‘New Year’s Eve,’ which unfortunately was a flop. The star-studded film tells different New Year’s Eve stories of people searching for love on the holiday.

‘NEW YEAR’S’ NOT A GOOD RESOLUTION CHRISTINA SIEVING MIRADA STAFF If you’re looking for a fun movie to get you in the holiday spirit, don’t count on “New Year’s Eve” to do the trick. After watching its predecessor “Valentine’s Day,” my expectations were low, and this movie didn’t even come close to meeting them. Its painfully unfunny jokes, scattered plot lines, and weak script are only the beginning of things wrong with this movie. It’s star-studded cast - including Halle Berry, Michelle Pfeiffer, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Robert De Niro, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Bon Jovi, and Zac Efron, to name a few - may draw people in, but it will not keep them coming back for more. The basic idea is good - several different New Year’s Eve stories, most of which are intertwined, combined together to create a movie that encompasses the craziness and excitement that occurs in New York on New Year’s Eve. On December 31, craziness breaks out in New York City. A bike messenger (Efron) helps a woman (Pfeiffer) achieve her New Year’s resolutions before midnight for tickets to an exclusive party, the overseer of the New Years Eve celebration in Times Square (Hil-

ary Swank) is stressed beyond her means, a famous rock star (Bon Jovi) tries to win back his woman (Heigl), and a couple (Jessica Biel and Seth Meyers) try to give birth to the first baby of the new year. And that’s not even half of it. However, the script is weak. Lines that were supposed to be funny or dramatic made me feel nothing except an urge to leave the theater. Yet again, director Gary Marshall feels that hiring A-list actors to play in his movies will make them successful, but, again, this proves to be false. This movie’s actors obviously have a lot of potential, but none of it is reached in this movie. The only redeeming qualities are the singing performances by Bon Jovi, who plays a more down-to-earth version of himself, and Lea Michele, one of his backup singers. Their performances add some holiday spirit to an otherwise uninspiring script. Although the movie is less than entertaining, it is put together well, with good music selection, costumes, and camera angles. However, this does not make it any more easy to watch. This movie was a total waste of an hour and 57 minutes, so save your money or you’ll regret it.


13 Sports

BOYS BASKETBALL OFF TO ROUGH START Varsity Basketball works to dominate the court for the rest of the season GREG LOPEZ MIRADA STAFF With a 2-3-0 record, the Varsity basketball team intends to get the ball rolling after a tough start to their season. The Jack Scott tournament began with a loss to Roseville 65-56, but Rio came back with a victory against El Camino 55-51. “Yeah the El Camino game was completely nuts! The energy was booming inside of the gym and everyone was sweaty, but it was defi-

nitely chill and worth it,” spectator Garrett Wills said. After winning against El Camino, their last game of the tournament was a tough loss to Kennedy. The first two games of the official season were a win at River Valley and a loss against McClatchy on Rio’s own court. “All the guys were working really hard the whole game against McClatchy, we just weren’t able to get in those couple extra shots to



Wrestling season has arrived and the team is ready to deliver. With a smaller team than in previous years, they make up for in quality what they lack in quantity. The majority of the team wrestles JV, but due to their many wins at the last scrimmages and tournaments, some of the boys may reach Varsity level before the season comes to a close. Vasyl Potov conveys his ambition as he says “It’s senior year and I intend to make the most of it.” At the last two tournaments at Woodland HS and Inderkum, brothers Vasyl and Petya Potov medaled. Sophomore Petya took first at Woodland and second at Inderkum, while Vasyl took second at Woodland but suffered an injured elbow at Inderkum. Also, sophomore Robert “Robbie” Crandall


Should college athletes get paid?

photo by patrick o’neill Senior Patrick O’Neill holds his opponent in a cradle long enough for the referee to call a pin and end the match. O’Neill has been on the wrestling team for three years.


win the game,” said senior center Jude Aka. This years team will be lead by senior tri-captains Harrsion Ashen, Basil Okoroike, and Jake Jensen. “Being a young team, us three are returning players so we can mentor most of the kids,” said Ashen. The teams strengths are that they are very quick and pressure the

took second at both tournaments. Inderkum was actually a Varsity tournament, so the fact that the team did so well foreshadows a promising future for Rio’s JV Wrestling. The Encina and Sac High scrimmages held similar results, with both teams being nearly shut out by Rio’s JV. The Varsity team did just as well. For the tournament at Vista del Lago, nearly every wrestler medaled. Senior Gabe Fuentes took second, senior Patrick O’Neill took fourth, junior Peter Cardinale took fifth, and sophomore Brandon Young also took fifth. Young unfortunately was forced to drop out of the tournament due to spraining his ankle during his third match, but held his focus to win the match first and address his injury later. For the Curt Mettler Tournament at Elk Grove High School, the Varsity team faced much tougher opponents. Due to injuries and

complications only four wrestlers competed, but Fuentes was able to take fifth. There was another injury at this tournament, but instead of an ankle being damaged it was O’Neill’s shoulder. Junior Cody Wilson faced a tough day at the tournament. He was placed in an out-bracket, “which is a sudden-death match, where they pair the best ranked wrestler with those who are unranked.” Cody was unranked, so he got paired with a state qualifier and unfortunately lost. “However, I intend to redeem myself at the American River Classic Tournament next week at Rio,” said Wilson. After the tournament at Rio, varsity seniors will head off to Reno to compete in the Sierra Nevada Classic. Among those competing is Gabe Fuentes who says “The tournament has 64-man brackets that incorporate wrestlers from three

UP NEXT American River Classic: Varsity & JV Wrestling Tournament When: Dec. 19 (Varsity), Dec. 20 (JV) Starts: 9 a.m. At: Rio Americano or four states.” At this level, the competition will be high. “I expect to place, so I just got to do my best and wrestle smart,” Fuentes said. The season has just started and the team is already full of morale. Vasyl is wrestling for the first time, and says “It’s awesome, I love it, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.” With the rest of the team sharing this same mentality, Rio Wrestling’s 2011-12 season will produce nothing short of greatness.

In a modern world filled with profe ss i on a l athletes pulling in major bank, some LOGAN people have CONE begun to question whether or not college athletes who are good enough to go pro should receive a salary in college. While some make a valid point that these kids will play professional sports in the upcoming years, so why not pay them now, the reality is that these athletes are in college where they not only are getting the opportunity to play sports, but they also have the opportunity to earn a quality education from some of the top notch schools our country has to offer. And to top it all off, they get these benefits for free. And its not like athletes who will soon move on to the pros have to pay for college tuition. They are given full ride scholarships, that cover everything from their tuition, meals, room and board, and even include some spending money. These top level athletes have nothing to worry about money wise, as they are pampered to the max. And if they are seriously concerned about not making enough money to support their families once they have left college, well then they should think about sticking around in college for the full four years so they can have a future income outside of sports. I mean after all they are getting the best possible education absolutely free. Take for example recent Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. He has already stated that even though he has won the most prestigious award in college sports, and will likely go on to do big things in the NFL, he is going to attend Law School and take advantage of the opportunities that free college tuition has given to him. Other critics have complained that athletes should be paid because they are forced to attend at least one year of school before they can go pro in sports such as football and basketball. However, pro sports have implanted these rules because they believe athletes who attend college will mature and develop many important characteristics that will help them have a better future. There is absolutely no need to pay college athletes as they are already given many opportunities which some people in our world can only dream of having. If they are good enough they will go on to earn millions in professional sports, and if they are worried about not being able to make it in the bigs, then they can attend college for the full four years and receive a quality education for free.

Page 14




Paige Watson

Sutter McLoughlin

Lauren Elledge

photo courtesy of sutter mcloughlin

photo courtesy of jarett hartman/editor-in-chief

Paige Watson is headed to Palo Alto next fall to attend Stanford University and to row for their crew team. “The first time I stepped foot on campus, I knew it was where I wanted to be,” said Watson. Watson came into contact with the coach over summer at Nationals, then later she took an official visit to the campus. “I absolutely loved the university!” she said. She was also considering Harvard, Princeton, and University of Wisconsin, but eventually decided on Stanford. Stanford is ranked fourth in Division 1 of NCAA Women’s Rowing. With this in mind, Watson will get the opportunity to become one of the best rowers in the nation. Since there is no high school crew team, she practices six days a week for the Upper Natomas Rowing Club. During practice they run, do strength building exercises and erg. Erging is a machine which replicates the same motion as rowing a boat and effectively exercises all muscles required to row out on the water. “Definitely my least favorite aspect of crew is erging. The erg machine is known as torture for all rowers,” she said. Watson also gets to travel around the country for prestigious crew competitions, including Oakridge, Tennessee for Junior Nationals. “Crew is truly the perfect sport for me.”

At 6’5”, 220 pounds, tree trunk size legs, and size 17 shoes, senior Sutter McLoughlin has proved to be a dominant athlete in the pool and on the field. But where he truly shines is on the mound, “pitching the cheesiest cheddar and trying to strike out every single player that steps up to the plate,” McLoughlin said. He started playing at age five and since then has built enough skills to pitch at CSUS next year. “I decided on Sac State because of the coaching staff,” said McLoughlin. “I know all three coaches really well and a lot of the guys on the team, so it was a really easy choice for me.” During the spring semester of his junior year the head coach came in contact with McLoughlin expressing an interest in recruiting him to play baseball his freshman year of college. Unlike most freshman who play college sports, McLoughlin will receive considerable playing time in his first year. Along with playing for Rio, he plays for his travel team, the El Dorado Hills Vipers. “My least favorite aspect of baseball is having to sit around and wait for your turn to pitch,” said McLoughlin. “But getting the job done when called upon as a pitcher is rewarding because you made it happen for your team.”

Varsity girls’ soccer standout Lauren Elledge has been playing soccer since before she knew how to read. “I’ve been playing since pre-school, when I did an indoor Daddy and me class at La Sierra Community Center,” Elledge said. Since then she has trained enough to catch the attention of various college coaches. Elledge plans on attending either Scripps College in Claremont, California, or Linfield College in Portland, Oregon. Late in her junior year Elledge emailed the coaches making them aware of her interest in their school. Both schools are NCAA Division 3 schools, so they don’t give scholarship money, but she is guaranteed admittance into the schools. Elledge plays for Rio as well as for Cap FC United ‘94 girls’ competitive team, where she travels frequently for out of town tournaments, including one in Las Vegas. “The worst part about girls’ soccer is that being with 17 other teenage girls can sometimes be extremely frustrating,” Elledge said. “But there are some days when all your passes find feet, and you and everyone else on the team are on the same page and are working for each other.”

Lexie Franz

Kendall Kulper

photo courtesy of kendall kulper

photo by austin hicks/photo editor

With her brother at Texas Christian University, senior Lexie Franz plans to continue her family’s long line of excellence in the pool. “My favorite part of swimming is racing and being part of a team,” Franz said. “Racing is such a thrill and I wouldn’t trade anything for my team; they motivate me and make even the terrible practices seem fun.” Franz has been competitively swimming since she was 11 years old. She has grown to love swimming, especially for Arden Hills, and has decided to swim for University of San Diego next year. “I wanted to stay in California so I could be close to my family,” said Franz. “Plus they have the best food ever!” She was also being looked at by Loyola Marymount University, Texas Christian University, and University of Nevada Las Vegas. The first time that Lexie met the USD coach was “at long course sectionals; we talked and he offered me an official visit,” Franz said. Not only does Franz swim for Arden Hills, but she is also a star swimmer for Rio. “My least favorite part of swimming is waking up at 5 a.m. for morning practice,” Franz said. The discipline, along with the excitement of the races, is what has kept Franz active in her passion and she says, “I love the competitive aspect.”

Senior Kendall Kulper’s hard work doesn’t just pay off in the classroom, but in the pool as well. Her devotion to water polo has really paid off by gaining athletic and academic scholarships to Wagner College in New York City. Kulper decided to commit to Wagner because it is one of the only colleges that will allow her to study nursing while playing a sport, and studying to become a nurse was Kulper’s first priority. “Getting hurt during prime recruiting season and having to take almost a year off made it harder to get looked at by coaches, but I am very happy with my decision,” said Kulper. Kulper’s two good friends attend Wagner as freshman and suggested it to her. After she visited Wagner in September and talked to UC San Diego, Loyola Marymount University, University of Santa Clara, Occidental, San Diego State, and UC Irvine, she decided that Wagner was the best choice for her. For the last nine seasons, Wagner College’s Women’s Water Polo has placed in the top three of the MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) Tournament. The school also competes in the NCAA Division I-AA, therefore Kulper will be competing against the toughest teams in NCAA sports. She’ll be playing water polo and studying nursing for an esteemed school; she has a bright future ahead of her.

You’ve seen him at rallies, dancing and droppin’ it like it’s hot, or maybe in the classroom, studying hard and getting good grades. But where he really stands out is on the football field. Basil Okoroike is a three sport athlete, excelling in basketball, track, and of course football. He’s been playing football all four years, and made varsity sophomore year, playing running back, corner back and free safety. Last spring Basil went to a national high school combine in southern California where he ran a 4.4 second 40 yard dash, which caught the attention of some very prominent college teams. Although he has not officially committed to any school, he’s considering Stanford, University of Washington, Harvard, West Virginia University, UCLA, and a few others. Most of these colleges are offering him a significant amount of scholarship money to play college ball. Although football is only during the fall, Okoroike stays in shape in the off season by training intensely on the weekends. “Like most sports the worst part is conditioning, our coach makes us run up and down the football field until we puke!” says Okoroike. Regardless where he goes next year, we know he’ll make his fellow Rio Raiders proud.

photo courtesy of paige watson

photo courtesy of lexie franz

Basil Okoroike


Page 15


GIRLS ON REBOUND IN PRESEASON SCHEDULE STRONG PLAY LEADS TO WIN OVER RIVER VALLEY PATRICK O’NEILL MIRADA STAFF Varsity Girls Basketball gets the ball rolling this season with high expectations and strong team relations. The team is lead by junior Elizabeth Moulton and senior Jaime Dixon, who were named co-captains. With two team captains, the team is under a strong sense of leadership, a foundation that will no doubt take them far in the realm of competition. The team is currently 4-3, but they aspire to increase the win to loss ratio. Senior team co-captain Jaime Dixon speaks for the team when she admits “We are very competitive and we like to win, so we don’t really like our record.” However with the game they played on Dec. 13 the tides are starting to turn in their favor. As for the players themselves, the team is operating with a healthy

dose of positive energy. “Everybody responds really well, being captain you have to know when to be tough on a teammate, but they all respond and take it in really positively,” Dixon says. In order for their record to improve and for the team to maximize their potential, the team needs to keep their current chemistry so the skill building can follow with the most ease possible. Over winter break, the team plays at River valley on Dec. 13, and they play a three day tournament at Placer from the 15-17. The tournament is definitely of high priority, so the team is preparing to be the best they can be for gameday. Junior Team Co-Captain Elizabeth Moult has big plans for the tournament, saying that she “Hopes to do pretty well; despite the good competition they will play hard and they will be able to take the victory.” Their biggest game of the year is against long time rival El Camino. Last year the Lady Raiders suffered

a loss, but that only serves as fuel to the fire for the game in January. Both captains are tenacious in winning the game. “Our major rival is definitely EC, they beat us pretty bad last year so we are inspired to dominate them this year,” Moulton says. Dixon adds the same type of input stating “I know their strengths and weaknesses because I’ve played alongside a lot of their players.” Though off to a slow start, the team is focused on performing with a consistency of wins. “We are going to win league, and we are going to the playoffs,” says Dixon. With this level of determination, there isn’t anything that can stop this team.

UP NEXT at Wood High School When: Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Where: Vacaville

photo by mike mahoney/mirada staff Senior captain Jaime Dixon get past her defender to score against River Valley.


ball very well. They hope they can use their speed and endurance to outrun, outlast, and outplay every team. Returning starter, junior Darrin Nishi, will also be a leader on the team due to the experience he has from playing varsity basketball his sophomore year. Senior Mason Pigman is now playing for the Rio basketball team after his transfer from Jesuit just weeks ago. He is able to play for the team because he chose to not play at Jesuit last year. “I wanted to take some time off last year to get bigger and work on getting a scholarship for football,” said Pigman. Pigman is extremely athletic and his size will help the team to fill their absence of height. Senior Jude Aka is also now back on the team, after missing the first few weeks of the season. Jude is the biggest man on the team, and

is a much needed presence down low. “Hopefully we can start to pick up our game and get more wins. Now with Mason Pigman coming and Aka back on the court, we are playing a lot more like a team,” said senior center Peter Margaris. The attribution of Aka and Pigman has already started to be beneficial, as they helped Rio beat Rocklin on Tuesday by 24 points. With the big game against Jesuit today, the 16th, Rio hopes to carry their momentum over from the big win against Rocklin, and defeat their cross street rivals. “Going into Jesuit, we are expecting a crazy and tiring game, in which we will be pressured the whole time,” said Ashen. “But we are well prepared and ready to give it to them.” The Jesuit gym is expected to be fully packed. Tickets went on sale at Rio on Monday and sold out by Tuesday.

“It seemed like everyone at Rio wanted tickets. Hopefully everyone will get rowdy at the game and we can beat the Marauders this year,” said self proclaimed rowdiest raider, senior Zac Burns. The Marauders, with a record of 6-1-0, are undeniably the most skilled team Rio has yet to face this year. “There is a lot of talent on that team, and we are really going to have to play smart to win this one. Regardless of the outcome, everyone should come out and get as rowdy as possible,” said the President of the Rowdy Raiders, Matt Saria. Wear green and gold, paint your face, and join the Rowdy Raiders at seven o’clock in the Jesuit gym to cheer on your Raiders basketball in hope for a victory to reconcile themselves from their devastating loss last year.

photo by aaron boulger/mirada staff Senior Basil Okoroike burns his defender and dribbles the ball towards the basket.


Clockwise from top left. SOCCER: Seniors Logan Cone and Jonny Lanthier were named co-MVPs . They led the team in both scoring and assists and took the team all the way to the semi-finals of section playoffs. They were also both named to the CAL All League First Team. VOLLEYBALL: Junior Maddie Cannon led the volleyball team in kills and was KCRA-3 Player of the Week. She led a team that was hampered by injuries to the Sections semi-final round. FOOTBALL: Heavily recruited senior Basil Okoroike was named Offensive Player of the year, and sophomore John Miller was named Defensive Player of the Year. Okoroike led the team rushing yards, and Miller led the team in tackles. CROSS COUNTRY: Junior George Halvorsen was the men’s team MVP. Junior Macaulay Porter was chosen as the women’s team MVP. They were the fastest runners on the team, and Porter made it all the way to state competition. MEN’S WATER POLO: National team player senior Johnny Neumann was the leading scorer for the varsity team and led them to a section championship. WOMEN’S WATER POLO: Junior Avery Dotterer played goalie for the women’s varsity water polo team, and earned team MVP after posting 7 shutouts in league. She also earned an All League Award. WOMEN’S GOLF: Junior Haley Aires won the CAL All League award, and was also one of the few to qualify as an individual for Divisionals.

December Issue  

The Rio Mirada's December Issue

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