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APRIL 2013








Shattered Dreams 2013

Buzz on prom


Soccer goes to state

Cherished CMS West principal to retire at year’s end NIKKI DABNEY


Staff Writer

oppell is known for its superior education system and the leaders who define the district and guide it into excellence. However, not many of the schools can say they have a servant for a leader. Coppell Middle School West Principal Vernon Edin has served his school, faculty and students for 27 years. He will retire at the end of this school year. Edin was the principal of the first Coppell Middle School before it split into West and East in 1992 and Coppell High School moved to its current location from the building that is now CMSW. Therefore, Edin is the first and only principal CMSW has ever had. “It will be very hard to fill Mr. Edin’s shoes because his spirit is so strong, his heart is so big and his passion is so great,” CMSW English teacher Carson Thompson said. “He has printed himself on this school in such an indelible way that people will always think of West and Vern Edin synonymously, and it will be very hard for someone to inherent that and to surpass that.” In 1996, the Texas Education Agency chose CMSW as one of only 43 middle schools in Texas to

Photo by Mia Ford

Coppell Middle School West principal Vern Edin stands in front of the Garden of Edin, a garden and outdoor sitting area that was founded in 2006 in honor of him for his 20 years as principal. Edin will retire at the end of this school year.

be named a Mentor School, and Edin was named a Mentor Principal. “To me, mentoring means helping others,” Edin said. “I be-

lieve in putting others first and serving them and finding out what is best for them, even if that means sometimes putting myself on the backburner. I’ve tried to provide

the most supportive environment for our staff and kids and I think we have.” To Edin, being principal of CMSW is more than a job. He is

Cyclists ride to raise awareness ELIZABETH SIMS

not a distant leader who simply

see Lead on pg. 2 To see more stories go to Photo courtesy Eric Park

Photo courtesy David Stonecipher

Staff Writer

When a passing school bus mirror struck and killed cyclist Larry Schwartz on May 4, 2003, long time friend and fellow cyclist Chris Phelan wanted to do something to honor his memory as well as those of other cyclists injured or killed in accidents. Just two weeks later, the first Ride of Silence was held. What Phelan thought would be a one-time event is now approaching its 10th anniversary. All are invited to participate in the Ride of Silence on May 15 at 7 p.m. to honor lost loved ones and spread awareness about this pressing issue. The ride begins in the Coppell High School parking lot. Each May, the ride draws thousands of cyclists to White Rock Lake in Dallas. In 2006, Coppell cyclist Greg Dean started participating in the event.

Seniors Josh Brunelli and Mason Adams film on the set of their short film for the EMAC film festival, The Mammoth Affray.

Cyclists around the metroplex participate in the Ride of Silence, an event in its 10th anniversary that honors deceased cyclist Larry Schwartz.

In the summer of 2007, Dean set out on a long distance ride on his road bike. What would have been a routine ride quickly took a turn for the worst when he reached the intersection of Freeport Parkway and State Highway 121. As he was crossing the road, a car driven by a 19-yearold woman ran a red light and struck him.

“He was one of those people who was hyper-careful. He was one of those parents who made me wear a helmet when I rode the little pony at the fair,” Dean’s daughter Betsy, who is now a senior at Coppell High School, said. “He was doing everything right that day and was just trying to cross the road.”

see Ride on pg. 4

EMAC hosts film fest Media students showcase talent NIKKI DABNEY Staff Writer

For the last couple of months, many students across Coppell have spent their weekends and free time filming all over town, writing scripts and producing and editing their

own short film for the upcoming CHS Film Festival. The Emerging Media and Communications Academy (EMAC) at Coppell High School gives students a taste of the field of media and prepares them for potential careers in film or journalism.

see Magic on pg. 17

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APRIL 2013

Lead Wrangler releases reigns of wild wild West continued from pg.1

delegates tasks. From greeting students in the morning and sending them off at the end of the day, Edin takes an active role in his school. He even makes a point to visit fifth grade students from the elementary schools that feed into CMSW to begin to form personal relationships before they even step onto campus. “I had the pleasure of being one of [Edin’s] assistant principals for six years,” Coppell ISD assistant superintendent Brad Hunt said. “Everything good I learned about being a principal I learned from Mr. Edin. He always put the needs of the students first and foremost in every decision he made. He was always the first person at the school and the last one to leave.” Edin has created a culture at CMSW for every student to be involved. He believes it is their school and promotes that idea by encouraging kids to be in all kinds of activities. Not only does he want kids involved in sports and athletics, but supports organizations like the science club and history club so that every student has a place they belong. “Mr. Edin was always there for me and kind of showed me right from wrong,” said former CMSW student Jeff Ridley, who entered sixth grade in 1999. “He was able to support me in a big way so I could achieve big.” As a mentor, Principal and leader, Edin leads by example.

He has high expectations for his staff because he has higher expectations for himself. His positive attitude and strong work ethic transcend the campus and define who he is. “He works hard so he makes me want to work hard and give my all and give my best,” CMSW science teacher Cathy Douglas said. “Gandhi once said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’ and Mr. Edin lives that every day. It’s infectious; it makes all of us want to work and be the change we want to see.” Edin can be assured that he has left his legacy at CMSW. He has ingrained his philosophies and passion into the faculty, and they will carry out his mission no matter who the new leader is. “Mr. Edin has really shown me and reminded me about why we’re here,” Thompson said. “One of the things that he always comes back to is doing what is best for kids. His love for what he does spills over into what I do and makes me a better teacher.” Edin has been a part of CISD for nearly half his life and been a part of many changes. The most noticeable change has been the size of the city and school district. CISD started at about 2,000 kids and now it is about to hit 11,000. Also, the diversity of CISD has increased rapidly. Many students have come from around the country and even around the globe. While many things have changed over the years, Edin has been a part of

many cherished traditions for the last 30 years. “As I’ve gone through this year and started thinking about if this is going to be the last year and if it is this would be the last pep rally or the last time I do some type of program or ceremony, so every one of those are going to be real special,” Edin said. Although Edin is retiring, it doesn’t mean he won’t be doing anything anymore. He will still be an active part of the community and education system in Coppell. “I’m in great health right now and my wife and I love to travel, this will give us the opportunity to do so,” Edin said. “I’d also like to continue working with kids and with teachers in some fashion, maybe new, first-year teachers. I’ll just be doing things at a little different pace. It’ll be a new phase in my life. It’s something I’m really looking forward to.” The new leadership at CMSW will have big shoes to fill. It will be a difficult transition, but the students and faculty are sure to welcome and support their new leader like Edin has taught them to do. Nevertheless, he will be greatly missed, but forever remembered. “What I’m going to miss most about Mr. Edin is his presence here at school because he is everywhere,” Thompson said. “I will miss his spirit, and his passion, and his love for this school and the kids and staff here. He is West.”

Photos by Mia Ford

Coppell Middle School West principal Vern Edin sits at his desk in his office. Edin has been the principal of Coppell Middle School West for 27 years now and will be retiring at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

A with Vern Edin & Q

What is your favorite city you have visited? Beijing, China

What is your favorite restaurant in Coppell? Hard Eight BBQ

What was your most memorable first day of school?

My second year as principal my twin boys were born on the first day of school and I had to go to the hospital to be with my wife.

APRIL 2013

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SHATTERED DREAMS Seniors portray real life consequences Seated around the Coppell High School parking lot on March 28, students, faculty and community members watched the mock accident scene unfold before their eyes. This year, the scene centered on a group of senior friends participating in their senior prom after party. Though the accident was not real, the performance of the students left a huge impact on students. “It was very dramatic since the actors were everyone’s classmates and friends,” junior Lilly Balsamo said. “The video was very powerful especially with [former CHS Principal and current Coppell ISD assistant superintendent Brad Hunt]. Everyone was in shock when we realized he would be a part of the crash. Going outside was very surreal seeing the aftermath and the actors’ reaction. I think going into prom and throughout the year, this will always be in the back of our minds and could hopefully stop everyone from making the decision that has consequences.” Shattered Dreams is a daylong dramatization of an alcohol related crash. The event takes place every two years before prom occurs. With the help of many other administrators in the high school, assistant principal Sean Bagley played a large role in planning the event. “This is my fourth time to help plan Shattered Dreams,” Bagley said. “Every time I watch it, it is still as difficult as the first time. It gets hard and you just have to step away and get composure to remember what purpose of program is.” Though the scene lasted less than an hour, months of extensive plan-

ning went into the planning of the crash. The Coppell Fire Department, Coppell Police Department, Rolling Oaks Funeral Home, CareFlight and the Students Against Destructive Decisions Club at CHS are a few of the groups assisting with the crash scene. Numerous actors played a part in the crash scene from students to police officers. Math teacher Kirk Richardson served as the role of Grim Reaper throughout the day. “The crash was hard,” Richardson said. “A lot of the actors are in my classes so you get choked up to see them hurting and having to endure this. It was almost like participating in a sports game. My legs felt weak, and throat got a big lump in it. It was hard to keep composure at some points.” With actors such as Richardson, the crash scene seemed very real with numerous components to the performance. “I had heard a lot of stories about Shattered Dreams and the accident from older students, but I still didn’t know what to expect,” senior Tiia Turkulainen said. “The actors did a great job and sometimes it seemed real. It has been a very interesting day so far with people being pulled out of class. The whole performance was very impactful.” With the powerful performance, many hope Shattered Dreams leaves a lasting impact on students. “Shattered Dreams just shows that no one is invincible and this could happen to anyone,” Hahn said. “It does not matter if you are the best athlete or a celebrity. A drunk driving accident can happen to anyone.”

Memory of Living Dead haunts halls Classes for juniors and seniors at Coppell High School were not like most days on March 28. With the Grim Reaper pulling students out of class every 15 minutes, students saw the large consequences of drunk driving. In order to represent how frequently deaths resulting from drunk driving occur, a CHS police officer and the Grim Reaper visited classes to pull students out that were victims of DWI accidents. Students started to be pulled out at the beginning of school and will be continued to be pulled until the end of the day. “When [junior] Mikki Hoffman was pulled out of band this morning with the Grim Reaper, it was very powerful for everyone in the room,” friend and junior Sydney Owens said. “Seeing someone that you are so close to was hard. I have known Mikki for a long time and have played drums with her since middle school. It became so real with her. The sudden realization that something like this could happen to anyone hit all of us.” Throughout the day, the Living Dead’s obituaries, which were written by the student’s parents, were posted in the hallways throughout the day for teachers and students to read. “As a parent and teacher, it is very difficult to read the obituaries,” Spanish teacher Janine Kay said. “It is hard seeing old and current students with their faces painted

white and watching them go through the day. It is a difficult day for everyone and very hard for teachers.” After the students are pulled out of class, the Grim Reaper and police officer escorts them to the “War Room” where their makeup is applied, and they are given a Shattered Dreams shirt to wear. The Living Dead have their phones taken up and must remain silent for the remainder of the day. “My job was to hang the obituaries in the hallway after the person was announced dead,” junior Students Against Destructive Decisions member Holly Swaldi said. “It is really sad to read some of the obituaries especially when you know the person. The crash scene was also powerful and touched everyone watching. There were some SADD members helping at the crash site as well. Other members have walked the Living Dead to and from their classrooms, and then there are a few who are hanging up wreathes outside the school.” For parents who are assisting in the day’s events, reading other children’s obituaries is especially hard. “Having a child die is something unimaginable for any parent,” Assistance League of Coppell member Jennifer McGraw said. “I am sure it was extremely hard for all of these parents to write the obituaries. Shattered Dreams is an emotional day for both the students and their parents.”

From top to bottom. Junior Mikki Hoffman stands with the Grim Reaper as her obituary is read before she joins the Living Dead. New Tech High @ Coppell senior Kaitlyn McClew kneels over senior Natalie Odén during the mock accident scene before Odén was transported by ambulance. As one of the people trapped inside the flipped SUV, senior Courtney Echerd is careflighted to the hospital. During the mock accident, senior Austin Gardner kneels in disbelief as senior Cassidy Pickrell is announced dead on arrival. Senior Lizzie Bell hugs senior Kacey Hutchins as they mourn the loss of their friends in the mock accident.



APRIL 2013

Cycling safety promoted through biking marathon continued from pg. 1 Soon after the accident, Dean’s friend and cycling coordinator for Dallas Athletes David Stonecipher approached the family about hosting a Ride of Silence in Coppell. Though it was still hard for Betsy and her mother Patti Dean to talk about what had happened, they were comforted by the gesture and agreed. “It is very heartwarming when you see everybody there because of course we miss him because he was my husband and Betsy’s dad, but to see that his friends miss him too is really comforting,” Patti Dean said. The Deans were also touched by the community’s willingness to honor him through his love of cycling. The event came to Coppell in 2008. “Cycling was just his passion and something that really meant a lot to him,” Betsy said. “And

to know that that community is still supporting him and people who rode with him for a ridiculous number of miles, I know he would be really touched to see that.” Though the Ride of Silence is not funded in any way, it has no problem drawing a wide variety of participants, all wishing to honor a loved one and raise awareness about sharing the roads with cyclists. “This event brings the importance of safety back to drivers and cyclists. Cycling is dangerous especially when not all drivers and cyclists know the laws set in place, and that is what leads to crashes,” former Coppell mayor and Ride of Silence participant Candy Sheehan said. “We are raising awareness that roads are made for cyclists and cars.” Even before the Ride of Silence began, the city was working on developments that would improve the safety of the riding conditions for

cyclists. When Sheehan served as mayor from 1997-2003, the city was able to complete trail systems and widen roadways for cyclists. “We tried to add bike lanes, but resolved to widening roads because cyclists think they are safe in a bike lane when a car could just as easily drive in that lane,” Sheehan said. “We began maintaining and fixing roads to maintain safety for bikes as well.” Despite these changes, cyclists and runners alike still face challenges on the roads, even with personal and city-produced safety measures. Those in Dallas Athletes, an athletics club for runner, cyclists and swimmers, must work around these challenges on a regular basis. “We always go in the direction of traffic and in groups and never in the middle of the street. [The city] still wants us to stay on sidewalks but they are dangerous because of cracks and mud caused by sprinklers and their narrowness,” avid cyclist and run coordinator for Dallas Athletes Kuay Sullivan said. “There is always a possibility of getting hit by a car even if precautions

10 Tips on Riding Safely #1 - Always wear a bike helmet #2 - Stop and check traffic before riding in the street #3 - Obey traffic signs and signals #4 - Ride on the right-hand side of the street #5 - Do not ride at night #6 - Give cars and pedestrians the right of way #7 - Check your brakes before riding #8 - Wear bright colors so you are visible to motorists #9 - Avoid surfaces such as cracks or gravel that could cause you to lose control #10 - Always pay attention!

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accidents still happen. Just recently a cyclist was hit and injured even though he was doing everything right.” Though more current action from the city is not apparent, officials are very aware of the issues faced by cy-


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clists and runners and are in the early stages of planning for improvements. “The city of Coppell is very aware that there are bike riders and runners, and we have been exploring the extension and expansion of the sidewalk systems,” Coppell city councilman Billy Faught said. “There is even talk of connections with our trail systems with already existing trails in Grapevine, Carrolton and even as far as Denton.” Faught, though not a hardcore road cyclist, also participates in the Ride of Silence on his mountain bike for the love of cycling and the message it shares. “It is just a good community experience and a very touching tribute for lost lives and spreading awareness for sharing the road,” Faught said. “You don’t have to be Lance Armstrong to ride.”

Photo courtesy David Stonecipher

opinions 5

APRIL 2013

Is the penny worth continuing production? ON THE FLIPPILF SIDE


It is a rainy, depressing day as you rush to school hoping not to be tardy for the second time this week. As you run through the gloomy weather, you look down and find something gleaming on the gray sidewalk. A rejected penny lays, face up, staring at you. It is your lucky day. While the penny may seem like the most useless coin due to its small value, the penny has sentimental and historical value tied to it. This coin has actually been around for centuries, dating far back as to 790 A.D. when the first British penny was minted. The penny, being one of the earliest coins used, has been the basis for all coinage we use today. The penny reminds American citizens of the struggle our nation went through only 150 years ago to preserve our freedom and to keep us a unified nation. With one of America’s most beloved presidents decorating the face of the coin, the penny displays our nation’s fight for unification. Historically, Americans are traditionalists - we are typically strongly against change. This thinking drives the argument against switching from the average paper dollar to the more cost effective coin currency. Americans dislike changes, even ones as small as abolishing the penny. Not only is the penny sentimentally and traditionally valuable, it is also critical for keeping prices low. If the penny were abolished, many American citizens worry that price increases would result. Without the penny around, everything will have to be rounded to the nearest nickel in order to compensate for the loss of the small coin. While this may not seem like much of an issue to us, this increase would hit the poor hard. The poor are more likely to make smaller purchases more frequently, and by rounding up the prices on these small purchases, the poor are forced to pay more than usual. Another issue with abolishing the penny is related to penny drives. Many charities around the nation depend on penny drives for donations since many people part with pennies easily. Asking people to donate more than pennies could be an issue with some and cause charities to lose a main source of income.

Bickham, Burke add their two cents to the discussion of ending production of the penny. In this fast-paced world, nobody One of the overlooked reasons why we should keep the penny is that the abolition of wants to be in line behind the guy paythe penny would force an increase in the pro- ing in exact change, especially while his duction of the nickel, as more nickels would counts out his pennies. President Barack Obama anbe necessary to make up for the pennounced in February that he nies that are not in was open to saying sayonara circulation. Many to our nation’s lowest valdetractors, tell me ued cent, the penny. what a detractor This controversial is, argue that the statement has created penny costs more uproar among asthan its face value tonished Americans to create (it takes who seem to think 1.26 cents to they cannot live make a penny). without the coin However, nickand its genuine els are even more historic nature, expensive, as they but honestly, cost 7.7 cents to there is not make, 2.7 cents point in keepover its face value. ing it around While abolishing any longer. the penny seems W h e n like it would save originally marsome cash, in reality, keted in the the cost it would take 1700s, pennies to create more nickels were made out of would offset those sav100 percent copper, ings. In fact, it costs which, over time has more to make one nickel reduced to five than it does to make five percent copper pennies. and 95 percent The penny is cheaper zinc. This has to make than other coins. allowed the The penny is a part of our culcost of making ture, our freedom and our history. each penny climb The penny is a symbol of luck. over its worth of You find a heads-up penny, it is one cent. It costs your lucky day. While this the government much bit of cultural fiction may more to keep producnot be true, it can still add ing pennies than is aca little positivity to your tually spent by citizens in day and bring a smile to Graphic by Lauren Ussery pennies themselves. your face. Despite the cost versus actual usEven though the penny may seem useless as you wait in line behind someone tak- age, pennies keep being produced and ing forever to dig pennies out to pay in delivered to paying customers who will exact change, the penny is valuable most likely never use them again. Name the last time you paid for in many other aspects. So while you clean pennies out of your wal- something in exact change. Can you? let, remember that pennies have a Digging around for pennies, if you even have any, only frustrates the value beyond what is monetary. person you are paying and the people who are waiting for you to pay. Jordan Bickham To avoid this, people pay in Page Designer bigger bills, producing more

“A lot of people just think pennies are annoying, so I do not see the point of them.” Taylor Honeycutt Senior

“It is not worth that much. You have to carry five pennies around when you could just use a nickel.”

Emily McCoy Spanish Teacher


change, but prices would be so much simpler if they could be rounded to a more convenient number. Due to their lack of use, pennies often pile up in jars over the years until they feel it necessary to cash them in. Unfortunately, the only efficient way to cash in pennies is to use a Coinstar machine, which charges you 10 percent of the money it takes in, causing the pennies to actually become less than their worth to the customer. There was a time when most everything was paid for in pennies. The world’s economy has long since developed into a more complex system that does not need its money divided into one hundred individual pieces. Many countries, including New Zealand, Australia and Finland have all nixed their versions of the U.S. penny, causing less frustration and complication with coin money by rounding everything to the nearest five cents. With the elimination of these onecent coins, these countries have not suffered any economic consequences, proving that the coins were already of no use. The U.S. has done away with other types of money in the past, such as the half dollar coin and two dollar bill that no one misses today because they have since moved on. If Obama were to declare the penny an invalid coin, it would just fade into U.S. history. The coin has most certainly done its country justice, but all things must come to an end, and the era of the penny has long since passed. Although parting with the penny would be a cultural change, it would not be that hard to forget since it is already forgotten.

Christina Burke Features Editor

a penny for your thoughts “The penny is great. Getting rid of it is like asking you to get rid of the dollar.”

“It has served its purpose. It is no longer useful. It costs more to make the penny than what is is worth.”

Rachel Malumba Senior

Kirk Richardson Math Teacher

“We should get rid of the penny because it costs more to make it than what it is actually worth.”

Kavi Shah Junior

“You use pennies to make the exact amount of cents, and if you find a penny it is lucky.”

Sarah Brennan Sophomore

6 opinions

APRIL 2013


Exercising safety important in upcoming celebrations With the end of the year quickly approaching, various celebrations take place. Whether it is prom or graduation, all of these parties are what encompasses the high school experience. However, though seniors may be close to the end of grade school, they must still be careful when celebrating their great achievements. Recently, Shattered Dreams reiterated the awareness of drinking and driving, which is a fairly common incident that occurs during prom season. Students need to take these risks to heart and think twice when

they are faced with the pressure to drink that one beer, all in the name of fun. Prom, however, is not the only night where bad decisions are made. Whether it is regarding drinking or sex, students’ decisions on any night can have a lifetime effect on them. In order to be safe, students should avoid drinking at all costs. Senior year is supposed to be memorable, but not for getting arrested for driving under the influence. Parties are known to be the places where the trouble seems to erupt. Whether it is involv-

ing sex or alcohol, parents need to be more aware of what is actually happening at that time of night. Though some parents may be OK with their children drinking on prom or graduation night, they need to be responsible that no other guests obtain alcohol as well. To avoid such negative outcomes, as The Sidekick staff, we believe that parents and schools should take initiative and prepare safe parties for students. Seniors have worked hard for the past 13 years, and though students should be celebrating, it is the parents’ responsibility

that their children act in a moral manner. For example, Gracepoint Church took this initiative and hosted its own after-party that welcomed all students. Students were admitted only if they had not taken any alcohol during the night. The party was chaperoned by parents and church volunteers to make sure that students are completely safe on prom night. More options like this should be available in which they ensure safety for all students. High school students will have a great time and the memo-

rable high school party experience would still be intact. Students need to remember that drinking or having sex are not the only things they can do to have fun as the year comes to an end. Parents and schools should provide more alternatives similar to Gracepoint’s after party where parents can be sure that their child is safe. Eliminating drinking and sex to the high school party reputation will surely not hinder the experience; students can still celebrate all that they have accomplished without such activities.

CHS CAMPUS NEWS TWITTER Graphic by Lauren Ussery

Effort not reflecting class level Everyone laughed as my teacher called out one of her senior IB students for being lazy, but she had a point when she jokingly suggested he save his parents a large sum of money by not attending college if he isn’t willing to put forth the effort. Too often I find myself looking for shortcuts, dividing up work with other students, skimming chapters with the intent to go back to read them but with full knowledge that I would never do so, and generally having a very deeplyrooted “can we not?” attitude when it comes to schoolwork. My classmates are no different. Many students are so skilled at skating by without ever actually acquiring any knowledge that you begin to wonder if their approach may actually be the right one. When your classmates manage to do next to nothing and still get high grades, you begin to focus your efforts on the system, not the content of the curriculum. I have repeatedly pointed out flaws and shortcomings in our public education system, placing responsibility with teachers, legislators and administrators – but here I must accept responsibility on behalf of all of my classmates.

My teacher asked the class, with genuine confusion, why we chose to take advanced courses if we weren’t willing to do the work. We stared back at her with blank expressions, just as confused by the concept of “doing work” as she was by our desire to just get by. The culture of Coppell High School is not a complicated one. If you take advanced classes and participate in extracurricular activities, you supposedly hold the key to happiness and a successful high school experience. Excelling in an AP or IB class isn’t praiseworthy; it’s simply expected. The same principle applies as upperclassmen begin the long and arduous journey that leads, eventually, to a university campus. Students believe that only the schools with name-recognition are worth applying to, only the ones with prestige. Few remember that once you get to college, you’ll have to start taking yourself seriously. Late grades and second chances do not exist in a college classroom, and many teachers will not hesitate to kick students out of their classes if they are brows-

ing Pinterest instead of doing their work. The job world does not reward those who take on massive projects and complete them with minimum effort just in time to meet a deadline. The people who excel in life are the ones who approach everything in life with a passion and a willingness to learn. Learning is about much more than simply going through the motions. Just as we expect our teachers to think about the big picture and add “real world” relevance to their lesson plans, we should remember that the purpose of our education is to turn us into culturally-aware adults. Our school demands excellence, but it doesn’t demand effort. It is the job of the students to remember the value of our education. I don’t want to get my degree in four years w it h nothing to show for it but an understanding of how to cheat the system.


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Michelle Pitcher Editor-in-Chief


The Sidekick is the official student newspaper for Coppell High School. Its purpose is to inform, entertain and provide an educational resource for its readers. This newspaper is a public forum for student expression and thus student editors make all content decisions. The Sidekick is a member of ILPC, NSPA and JEA. The Sidekick was named Best Newspaper by The Dallas Morning News in 2012 and 2011 and Best Website in 2011 and 2009. NSPA recognized Coppell Student Media as an Online Pacemaker finalist in 2012 and the ILPC recognized the website with a Gold Star Award in 2012, 2011 and 2010. ILPC also recognized the newspaper with Silver Star Award in 2012 and Bronze Star

Awards in 2011, 2010 and 2009. The editorials and columns presented in this paper reflect the views of their writers. Advertisements are sold as full, 1/2 page, 1/4 page and 1/8 page sizes in black and white or color. For more information you may reach the adviser in his classroom (D115) or by phone at (214) 496-6239. To read more stories by The Sidekick staff members, and also to find videos and photos, you can visit coppellstudentmedia. com. The Sidekick welcomes all letters to the editor, but letters must be signed before consideration for publication. Send letters to or bring them by D115.

opinions 7

APRIL 2013

Homosexual couples deserve right to marry Facebook users logged in unconstitutional to impose one on the first week of April to find religion’s views on an entire natheir news feed plastered with tion with different cultures and dozens and dozens of red equal beliefs. signs – people changing their If you oppose gay marriage, profile picture to support the that’s fine. But if your reason for push for legalization of same-sex doing so is based on your relimarriage. It is not “just a trend” gion, your argument is irrelevant or an “attack on religion.” It is a in the court of law. civil rights movement that has If the idea of gay couples been a long time coming, finally marrying simply makes you unreceiving the recognition and at- comfortable, that is also fine, but tention it deserves. that does not justify barring milThere is no legitimate rea- lions of people from the fundason why a loving mental right to couple should be marry who they banned from be- “If two people truly love love. ing happily mar- each other and want to T h e r e ried, regardless are numerous spend the rest of their faults with the of their sexual lives together, they orientation. Legarguments that islature barring deserve the right to seal claim gay marsame-sex couples their commitment with a riage would from marriage “spoil” the vow of marriage.” is just as unconsanctity of marstitutional as the riage. laws that banned interracial marIf two people truly love riage. each other and want to spend the The only thing that should rest of their lives together, they govern this nation is the Consti- deserve the right to seal their tution, with “no establishment of commitment with a vow marreligion” (Amendment I). Pass- riage. That’s what marriage is all ing legislature based solely on about. religion directly conflicts with I fail to see how a loving gay this principle – and that is exact- couple, taking the vow of marly what laws like the Defense of riage seriously, is more “damMarriage Act (DOMA) are do- aging to marriage” than many ing. of today’s shallow, adulterous I repeatedly find that the and divorce-prone heterosexual only arguments against gay mar- marriages. Can opponents of gay riage are religious in nature. marriage honestly say that a lovThese arguments are not valid ing gay couple getting married in the eyes of the Constitution, is more “immoral” than a reality which leaves me baffled as to why star manufacturing a marriage it has taken us this long to begin for publicity? to question laws like DOMA. Besides, over the years, Religion cannot man- societies evolve and religion is date law: it’s called separation forced to adapt time and time of church and state, and it’s the again. People today do not follow reason this nation was founded. dozens of Biblical rules because Even as a Christian, I know it is they are impractical, and even

immoral, in today’s society. As America continues to progress and advance, religions must continue to adapt as they have always done. Perhaps the concept of homosexuals getting married is something religions will just have to accept and adapt to. Furthermore, many opponents of legal same-sex marriage are under the impression that marriage is strictly a religious term. Though religions each have their own views on marriage, marriage predates all of the world’s major religions. It is firstly a civil contract (any public courthouse will marry a couple with no religious involvement) and a proclamation of love. By depriving gay couples from being officially married, we are depriving them of more than just a ceremony and certificate. Married couples receive 1,138 federal rights that civil unions do not encompass – including social security benefits, right to visit a sick or injured loved one in the hospital and various insurance and tax benefits. Depriving homosexual partners of the benefits that heterosexual partners receive is discrimination against a minority. Civil unions are just as “equal” as segregated facilities were a few decades ago - not equal at all. Allowing homosexual couples to receive these benefits and say the vow does not infringe upon the value of heterosexual marriages. It does not negatively affect your life in any way. So why do people stubbornly insist on standing between couples that simply want to be happily married? The answer is that history is repeating itself. The arguments used by the

opposition to gay marriage today are the same ones used by pro-slavery groups in the 1860s, opponents of women’s rights in the 1900s and opponents of interracial marriage in the 1960s. They cherry-pick verses from religious texts to justify discriminating against and suppressing a minority. For centuries – and still today – homosexuals have been tortured, exiled, beaten, bullied, persecuted, alienated and executed all because of an innate trait they have very little, if any, control over. Legalizing gay marriage will be an important step in reversing this trend and improving our society for all citizens. In future generations, children will sit in school and learn about the civil rights movements of the past. They will learn about women’s rights in the 1900s and interracial marriage being legalized in the 1960s. But on the same page they will also learn about the gay rights movement of the 2010s and frown upon those who opposed it, much like we frown upon segregationists and misogynists today. Don’t be on the wrong side of history. In the end, true love and dedication is what really matters, and homosexual couples that wish to take the vow of marriage by heart should have just as much of a right to do so as any couple.

Thomas Hair Opinions Editor


countries worldwide have legalized gay marriage

The United States has states that have legalized gay marriage



states ban gay marriage


gay couples exist in the U.S. according to the most recent census

Statistics courtesy Graphics by Haley Madigan

ESports challenge traditional physical sports When I was young I could be described as athletic. I was obsessed with soccer and basketball. I swam and practiced karate. However, as time went on, I realized that not everybody gets the same chances when it comes to athletics. When we glance at today’s society, sports have taken the main stage. They are lathered with attention and self-imposed importance. Days such as Superbowl Sunday become just as well-known as Christmas. Physical sports have their problems – problems that do not exist within the realm of technology. Electronic-sports, or commonly known as eSports, provide a safer and more modern path in this world of advancing technology, and ultimately, are a better choice. eSports, like regular sports, take many different forms and is a highly competitive arena that concerns both computer and video games; some examples include Call of Duty and Star Craft. Due to their technological ties, they’re harder to cheat and worm through. Humans cannot help but to judge or be bias, even when it is their job not to be. Referees and umpires can make mistakes or choose to look the other way. A computer, however, cannot.

Graphic by Sophie Nauyokas

As traditional sports threaten athletes with injuries, referees with ethical dilemmas and non-athletes with bullying, Nakamura ponders the alternative. Electronic sports (eSports) have seen increasing popularity in recent years and are beginning to challenge the popularity of traditional physical sports.

eSports are easier to regulate and its system is harder to fool. While referees and judges keep constant watch of the players in regular sports, their reaction time is limited. They make mistakes and they have limits. In eSports, there is a significantly smaller amount of such occurrences since there is a less emphasis on physical strength and more on concentration, and thus the playing field is more level.

Drugs and steroids are a rampant problem in athletic sports. The drive to become the best pushes even the least ambitious to build up all the muscular bulk they can. Even with drug tests, athletes still find a way around obstacles that might attempt to bar them from the use of steroids. Though there are sure to be professional gamers in the eSports world who take drugs to focus, those who have made

their way to the top are respected by their peers for their work ethic, not the use of steroids. The constant and obvious abuse within physical sports is disturbing. Some may argue that the physical exercise that accompanies sports such as football and hockey is priceless. Though muscle and health is gained, the health of players in such sports become at risk as they age. The National Football League,

for example, has an increasingly troubling problem with retired players who acquired head injuries throughout their career, resulting in memory loss, lack of focus, depression and even suicide. eSports does not carry this risk. You don’t get broken bones or bruised brains by sitting at a computer for an hour. Electronic sports are largely inclusive. Unlike regular sports, eSports doesn’t have physical requirements. It doesn’t matter how tall or short you are, how much you weigh or what your gender is. As time progresses, the coaches of athletic sports weed out the undesirables, the ones who don’t fit the physical picture of the perfect sportsman. As one such child whose hopes were crushed by this cruel truth, the flaws of modern physical sports are unforgivable. eSports is objective, inclusive and safe. It remains a better option than physical sports. Julie Nakamura Staff Writer

8 opinions

APRIL 2013

Quality of literature continues downward spiral

I am a reader. I always have been. I was one of “those kids” who would regularly stay up way past my bedtime reading books in bed. I was a self-proclaimed bookworm and I took pride in the fact. Such behavior has become a bit of an anomaly. Society as a whole has begun to show a decline in interest in reading. Even though I still consider myself a “reader”, I have found myself reading less and less. I was at the library studying recently and realized it had been months since I looked for a good book to read, so I decided to change that fact. As I walked through William T. Cozby library, I could not help but notice the contrast between the literature and the technology. People were constantly milling around the DVD section. There was always someone trying to find a video to watch. The computers were never vacant. People in every direction were on their laptops and phones. Yet the actual rows of bookshelves were deserted. Even the magazine shelves

seemed to have more activity than the bookshelves. People just do not appreciate printed books as much, especially with the more accessible eBooks, and movies. Books such as Little Women, Frankenstein, Romeo and Juliet and Robinson Crusoe were considered the popular books of their times. These same books are what we read in high school classes now. Many students cannot even comprehend these books - books that were best sellers when they were published. Reading is not

Now the popular books are Twilight, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. This is such a different level than Shakespeare and Jane Austen. I am not attacking contemporary writers - I do believe that many are very talented and amazing writers, but it seems that popular books now cannot even compare in quality to those written in earlier times. Something that exacerbates lack of reading is that the majority of popular books now are made into movies. Twilight, Harry Potter, The Help, The Time Traveler’s Wife, most of Nicholas Sparks’ books... the list goes on and on. Companies like SparkNotes and CliffNotes are even worse. They make it easy to avoid actually reading the book. Some people I know look to these notes from the start. Truly reading the Graphic by Haley Madigan

t h e only thing that is on decline - the reading level of students is also on decline.

book is never even on their mind. Short, quick and lazy seems to be a growing trend as generations pass. We are inclined to favor the simpler method. Innovations have made life a lot easier, but a lot lazier as well. Even mail and newspapers have been struck by this phenomenon and turn of events. There has been talk of abolishing Saturday mail because it may not be necessary. Last year, a prompt on my AP Language and Composition test was about the deterioration of mail and the postal system. It is true that I – and the majority of people in the US – do not write or receive letters very often anymore. As for news, I have an app on my iPhone called Summly. It uses an algorithm to process news articles to condense them into short, easily-read mini articles that I can skim. Sure, as busy as I am as a high school student, I very much enjoy being able to know what is going on without having to sit down for minutes at a time to read whole articles, but at the same time, it is not

the same as reading a whole news article. Many reasons can be seen as causes of this degeneration of literature and reading. Among them are time, technology and the progression of our culture as a whole. Perhaps, as much as our world is advancing technologically each day, we are heading the wrong way. I have found it increasingly more difficult to sit myself down to read a book for my personal enjoyment as I did when I was younger. But when I do read, I still enjoy it. The hard part is getting started. There are so many other distractions. In the end, perhaps it is technology that is taking over. As banal as this argument seems, there is a reason. It is most likely true. Hopefully, I will slow down to stop and smell the flowers. Or in this case, stop and read a great piece of literature. Tina Huang Staff Writer

April 6: Handwoven baskets made of environmentally friendly material were sold at Earthfest. Residents of Coppell came out to the event in Town Center all morning.

Graphic by Haley Madigan

Photo by Rinu Daniel Photo by Jessica Rivera

March 28: Behind the scenes, a makeup artist creates the dramatic effect of a head injury on senior Coleman Armes - to later be used in the portrayal of a car accident at Shattered Dreams. Photo by Rachel Bush

April 12: Seniors Austin Huens, Seth Slover and Alex Garcia sign out with Coppell volunteers to enjoy an off campus lunch during Renaissance on Friday. Photo by Rachel Bush.

PHOTOS of the


Golden age of music upon us

What gets in my hair? People who spout off about how modern music is trash or how nothing will ever compare to the “classics” or how the art of music has hit an all time low. I’m not a fan of modern music. I’m a fan of good music. It is for that reason that I believe that we are truly entering a golden age in the music industry. Yes, an era in which Nicki Minaj is playing on the radio instead of Led Zepellin and The Beatles can be considered a golden age. Music is infinite in the 21st century. There are hundreds of ways to share music, thousands of genres and millions of artists. Output of music grows exponentially larger with each year, as more people have the means to produce music and share it with the world. There has always been more bad music than good music. The 70s and 80s had plenty of junk as well. In retrospect, however, we only remember the highlights and gems of those eras, whereas we hear today’s crappy music every time we turn on a radio. With output of music at an all-time high, there is more bad music than before, yes, but there is also more good music. All you have to do is look beyond the Top 40 pop stations and find it. In this day and age, when there is infinite music instantly at your fingertips via the internet, there is little excuse to continue to listen to emotionless, corporately manufactured “music” like Ke$ha and Lil Wayne. There is also little excuse even to keep listening to the same exact artists and genres

over and over and over. As an enthusiastic fan of music of many kinds, I am constantly on the lookout for intriguing artists and am always exploring new genres. When I hear my friends remark “I’m bored of all my music” or “There’s no good music out right now” it completely astounds me. If you’re bored of all your music, perhaps try branching out of your comfort zone and delving into a genre you may not be familiar with. Even if you have a very picky taste in music, you’ll be surprised how many gems you can find if you search for them. But how, you ask? Where does one begin? There are well-known music resources such as YouTube, Last. fm and Spotify, where you can search for music until your ears bleed and stumble upon tons of music that will bring you joy for years to come. I personally love Spotify and its gargantuan (and free) music database, but there is also a vast array of music blogs and websites that are constantly recommending great music from today and from years past. There are popular music blogs and websites that cater to specific groups, such as (for metal fans), (for hip hop fans) or progarchives. com (for progressive music fans). However, no music blog has earned my respect and loyalty as The Needle Drop has. Headed by Anthony Spantano, “the world’s busiest music nerd”,

The Needle Drop is an excellent resource for anyone who is into music. The website’s staff really knows its music and provides plenty of reviews, vlogs. recommendations and more for every genre conceivable - from noise rock to electronic to doom metal and everything in between. I firmly believe that music is one of the most powerful tools of self-expression known to mankind. The emotional power of music is immense and there’s noting else like it. You are doing yourself a disservice if you limit yourself to one certain type or one certain era of music. With literally hundreds of genres and soundscapes to discover and explore in this day and age, I am baffled by people who foolishly insist that all modern music is trash. The mainstream pop music most people associate with modern music is just the ugly tip of a beautiful iceberg. Don’t be afraid to try something different. The 21st century is truly a golden age of music. Whether it is trip-hop or bebop, you’ll be surprised how rewarding it can be to expand your horizons – and taking advantage of 21st century resources like Spotify and The Needle Drop may be the first step in helping you begin your musical journey.

Read about New Music in Coppell on pg. 18 Thomas Hair Opinions Editor

features 9

APRIL 2013

Hayes, GracePoint team up to end modern slavery Photo by Jessica Rivera

JESSICA RIVERA Staff Photographer

NFL fanatic and New Tech High @ Coppell senior Sara Hayes had her sports marketing career all planned out until she read a devastating article in The Times-Picayune saying that the NFL Super Bowl is the largest sex trafficking event in the world per year. Every year New Tech seniors are required to complete the Capstone project where students reflect on what they’ve learned at New Tech, as well as through their junior and senior year internships. Seniors select and research a topic that they are passionate about and write a research paper, create a project (with checkpoints throughout the year), and turn in their final product due April 12 with presentations on May 3. Hayes interned for Youth Pastor Charley Hellmuth her junior year, the Coppell Chamber of Commerce for her first semester of senior year and is currently an intern for Tina Brown, GracePoint Local/Global Missions Director, and Charley Hellmuth where she is in charge of the anti-slavery awareness for youth New Tech senior Sara Hayes teamed up with GracePonint Church Coppell to support the End It Movement and spread the word on ending and adults at GracePoint Church modern day slavery. in Coppell. “My immediate thought was for a fire for God and constantly Movement efforts and Sara went where students could take a sur- slave would cost you $40,000. a little skeptical from the stand wanting to be in God’s word and into everything with a servant vey on slavery footprint and see Today, it only costs $90 to buy a point that we have students who doing something for Him for the heart. how many slave-created prod- human slave. tell us all the time that they want rest of my life,” Hayes said. “He Hayes’ relationship with her ucts they were using in their daily “Students need to underto do something,” Hellmuth said. answered that prayer by putting facilitator at New Tech, Lindsey routine, another station to give stand that [slavery] is bigger “But the Ayers, has also made the money and buy t-shirts and stick- now than it was then. It’s not just Photo courtesy Wes Ashworth twinexperience worthwhile for ers for proceeds to be donated to black children, or black women; kle in her. Ayers, intrigued by the rehabilitation of victims, a so- it’s every race, age, and both [Sara’s] Hayes’ project, has heard cial media station where students genders,” Hayes said. “There is eye was and experienced Sara’s could take a photo in front of an no discrimination; it could be differsermon and project. “#enditmovement” sign, and a me.” ent and “Seeing the End It stats wall station with facts about By entrusting everything to I could God, Sara feels that she can make Movement [at Passion] modern day slavery. tell that sparked an interest in me “Through these experienc- the difference and believes that it was to see what [the End It es I’ve gotten a clearer vision of you don’t have to be a doctor, or a heart Movement was] doing and something I may want to do and a even a hero to make a change, deal for find out more about the definitely stuff I don’t want to do,” you just have to be willing. her and “[God’s] really using the End It Movement”, Hayes Hayes said. “Through me working that she said. for [God], He’s really opening my fire that He put in me to do was passomething, not only in Coppell, As a team, Hayes, eyes.” sionate but in Dallas,” Hayes said. Hellmuth and Brown about Aside from Hayes’ efforts knew that they needed “Students need to under- in ending slavery, GracePoint it and Seniors Shannon Von Strohe (left) and Sara Hayes (right) hold up to start a fire in students’ w a nt e d the End It Movement hand sign in front of the social media booth hearts about the cause be- stand that [slavery] is bigger Church has devoted church to go at GracePoint. fore spreading the word to now than it was then. It is not funds to helping organizations after it. that are nationally contributing adults. With that in mind, We wanted to give her as much all of this on my heart and tasking the team collaborated to create just black children or black to the cause. The church is also platform as we could.” me with this.” an event on Wednesday, Feb. 20 women; it is every race and currently researching local projHayes’ desire to work with Hayes’ project idea was in- where Hayes gave a sermon to ects for rehabilitation of rescued both genders.” the anti-slavery movement came spired by her internship at Gra- her fellow youth group. Following slaves, as well some laws and from a trip that she took with the cePoint Church and her diligent the sermon, station guides were legislation for the marketing of seniors of her church to the annu- efforts toward bringing awareness handed out to help students trav- -Caroline Overman, junior billboards on highways that adal Passion Conference held in the to the church community. When el to each of the six stations that vertise adult establishments to be Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Geor- she began her internship with the were set up to learn and become Based on Hayes’ research, shut down. gia with 60,000 other high school church, Sara went in not know- part of the cause. according to the CNN Freedom “Our role as a church is that seniors and college students from ing what to expect. Charley HellStations included a prayer Project, if you took the price of we’re going to do something and all over the world. muth, GracePoint Youth Pastor station where students could pray a slave before the Civil War and be open to how the Holy Spirit “I went into Passion praying gave her the reigns on the End It for victims of slavery, a station inflated it to today’s prices, that moves us, “Hellmuth said.

About the Movement

Get involved

The End It Movement is an organization aimed to end modern day slavery. There are 27 million people living in slavery today. Nearly 48 people per day are trafficked in the United States.

Find your slavery footprint

10 features

APRIL 2013

Lariettes waltz with Walt on trip to Disney World NATALIE GILBERT Staff Writer

Bright and early on March 22, the Coppell High School Lariettes drill team lugged their bags filled with jazz shoes, costumes and performance make-up to American Airlines Airport as they embarked on their trip to Orlando, Fla. With preparation and fundraising since October, the dancers were more than ready for their four-day trip to the happiest place on Earth. Before lunch time, the 41 dancers, five chaperones, 12 parents and directors Julie Stralow and Hayley Hoffman trampled into Animal Kingdom for safari adventures, roller coasters and dinner in Downtown Disney. Although Walt Disney World is known as a place for vacation, it is also known as a place of production and showcase. Thousands of performance employees put on shows with characters throughout Disney daily, and the Lariettes had the opportunity to participate in a mock audition on Saturday. Making their way behind the scenes of Disney in Epcot, a choreographer in the Disney production business taught the Lariettes a new dance to audition with. As the process continued, a casting director was brought in to evaluate each dancer’s audition as well as assess versatile abilities taken into consideration when casting for Disney performances. “We went through the exact process a Disney employee would go through, which gave us a real perspective on what future careers in dance could hold,” sophomore Landry Walker said. “We also got advice on dancing resumes and audition presence in order to give our best impression when trying to get a job like the ones in Disney.” After the mock audition was over, the dancers presented their newly learned dances in a simulated production and were joined by Disney character Goofy. “The whole process was a great opportunity and incredibly realistic,” Walker said. “Even

Lariette junior Emily Orlich visits Leggo World during the Lariette yearly trip to Disney World

Lariette Juniors Allie Bond, Nicolette Pianelli, Makenzie Armstrong, and Kylie Mohler get an autograph from Mary Poppins during their trip to Disney World

when G o of y came out to dance with us we got a sense of how Disney performers feel since they are either in the costume or dancing next to one during their performances.” Lariettes learned multiple performance techniques at Disney World throughout their lessons, and the next day they got to show off their skills. Early Sunday morning, the girls put away their Mickey Mouse ears and broke out their performance attire for a recital in the entrance of Universal Studios. The recital entailed special senior and officer dances in addition to modified versions of dances performed at previous pep rallies and competitions throughout the year. “I was surprised at how many people gathered to watch the girls,” mother Tamra Walker said. “People would naturally come watch because immediately after

Lariette junior Emily Cox revisits her childhood with the Little Mermaid in Disney World.

walking in the park you heard fun music and saw the girls dancing. It was really fun as parents to see our girls draw a crowd.” With many hours of dancing complete, the group took Disney by storm. They attended Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, Epcot, Harry Potter World, Dr. Seuss World and

more a l l while it was pouring rain. “[The rain] stopped us from riding the larger roller coasters, but we did not let it ruin our time,” sophomore Madison Badura said. “We threw on our ponchos and had fun with it.” Ponchos and all, the Lariettes met their favorite Disney characters and saw artifacts from some of their favorite Disney classics.

Howe ver, the dancers were not the only ones having early childhood flashbacks. “The moms and I were more like children in paradise than some of the girls,” Mrs. Walker said. “Disney even had artifacts from my childhood, so it was nostalgic and appealed to all ages.” A trip to Disney World is not a regular occurrence through a school program, so the trip would not have been possible without the planning and booking by Stralow and Hoffman. “It would not have been possible without their perfect planning,” Mrs. Walker said. “Every detail went perfectly with the girls’ dance classes, performances, trips to parks, meals and hotels.” Lariettes themselves had to do more than practice their dances in order to attend. Girls who desired to go on the trip were required to be passing all classes, and according to Lariette treasurer Benita Weaver, had a fee of $1,200. From fan dances to fireworks at Cinderella’s Castle, the Lariettes had a wonderful dance opportunity combined with adventure to finish out the season on a good note. Photos courtesy Shannon Wilkinson

As a magical place of production and showcase, Disney World provided the perfect backdrop for the Lariette trip on March 22.

features 11

APRIL 2013

Taylor’s Gift ‘paints it forward’ for awareness loved the idea of what Taylor’s Gift was trying to do and willingly agreed to take part in the Features Editor campaign. Paint, share, go. In these “The response is unbelievthree simple steps, anyone can able; it has blown us away,” Tayhelp support the Taylor’s Gift lor’s Gift event director Linda Foundation in celebrating Na- Medina said. “We had asked for tional Donate Life Month. 1,000 bottles thinking it would April is National Donate hang around awhile, but we sold Life Month, a special time dedi- those 1000 bottles on March 22 cated to the awareness and cele- by about 2 a.m. We have already bration of organ donation. This ordered 2,000 more bottles. The year, the Taylor’s Gift Foundation reach that we have seen has been has taken this opportunity to cre- amazing. We have had many ate an easy, effective way to con- more people exposed to Taylor’s nect with its supporters. Gift from this campaign. We have “We wanted a way to con- got a wonderful support group in nect and have fun with organ Coppell, but we also have reached donation,” founder across the Todd Storch said. country.” “Seeing Taylor’s story “One of the things W i t h we are working on touch lives feels so good an incrediis changing the ble number of because it really is a love sales in such a conversation so story. We want that that people want short amount to talk about it. message to be all over of time and an Organ donation ncreasingly the world; there is so ihigh has been viewed as demand, much good that is out OPI is considnegative - something that happens ering turning there.” when you die. We - Todd Storch, founder of Taylor Blue have been workinto more than Taylor’s Gift ing hard to change just a limited that conversation, so the Paint it supply, by keeping it as a permaForward! campaign all came to- nent color. At” lorblue, there is a map available Taylor’s Gift, founded af- to view recent purchases of the ter the death of Coppell Middle polish around the globe. School East eighth grader Taylor “When we launched [the Storch following a skiing acci- nail polish], we knew it was a dent in 2010, has teamed up with good idea, but we were getting OPI Products to produce the online sales every minute or two nail polish color “Taylor Blue” all over the country,” Storch said. to both spread awareness about “We had two locations in Coptheir cause and help raise money pell selling Taylor Blue - Zenzero for people whose lives have been Bakery and J. Macklin’s Grill, who touched by organ donation. OPI were calling us saying they were


sold out in hours. It was exciting, overwhelming and fantastic.” Though the Paint It Forward! campaign proved successful from its launch, Storch and his wife, Tara, have not stopped there to promote their foundation, especially during the month of April. On April 1, the Storches released a book, Taylor’s Gift: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope, that was a long time in the making. The idea of writing a book over his family’s experiences was proposed to Storch by Father Alfonso of St. Ann Catholic Parish not long after Taylor’s accident when he began to realize all of the things that had happened after Taylor’s death. When Storch was contacted by the editor of a publishing house the same week, he knew that he needed to share his story with other people. For students who knew Taylor, the book provides a glimpse back into the world with her in it. The book especially touches the family and friends in the acknowledgments. “I just felt an overwhelming amount of honor and happiness when reading that I was credited as one of her closest friends,” junior Kate Dicken said. “Although I have always known in my heart that is true, it is amazing that people all over the world will be reading this and will know how much Taylor Storch meant to me and how close we were, and now it is in ink, and nothing will ever change my relationship with Taylor.” Since Taylor’s death, Dicken has remained in a close relationship with the Storch family, and

Photo by Jessica Rivera

The Taylor’s Gift Foundation released a new nail polish color with OPI called “Taylor Blue” to raise awareness for organ donation in honor of National Donate Life month.

has an overwhelming amount of respect for what they have accomplished and shared. “From the Storches, I have learned that no matter what, you can never give up,” Dicken said. “Although things may not go your way or may look bleak, never give up, because there is always something good to come out of it.” The Taylor’s Gift Foundation has come so far since March 2010. The Paint It Forward! campaign and book release are just

the next steps in their journey of touching lives. The Storches are determined to never stop spreading their message. “Seeing Taylor’s story touch lives feels so good because it really is a love story,” Storch said. “It is a horrible, horrible thing that happened, but the outpouring of it is beautiful, and people are attracted to that. We want that message to be all over the world; there is so much good that is out there.”

in-depth 13

12 in-depth

Statistics based on polls from Graphics by Haley Madigan


152 students polled

“I am more excited for the after party than prom itself. I have spent over $400 on prom, which included tickets, transportation and my tux. I have probably been preparing for this one night since February.”


“I got my dress at Group USA and it was about $160. I was at first really nervous about being the only junior in my prom group and I really hope that going this year does not take the fun out of going senior year.”

by Kristen Shepard






Perfectly poised red velvet cupcakes were se t up as snacks at the “F ire and Ice” themed prom on April 13 at the Dallas Trade Ma rket.

For Mohler, third prom is the charm By the end of her junior year, Kylie Mohler will have attended three proms - two CHS and one New Tech High@Coppell. Her senior year, she hopes to attend both CHS and New Tech proms for a grand total of five proms. Ever since she was little, Mohler has loved all things beauty and fashion. Prom, the most formal event in most high school girls’ lives, runs on girls’ pasSeniors Nathan Hernandez and Will sions for beauty and fashion. For Mohler, the opportunity to attend multiple Udeh played poker at one of the proms has given her the chance to show off her individual style. tables set up at prom Saturday night. “I feel like the style of dresses that I wear and the way I style my hair and makeup reflects my personality most,” Mohler said. “I love being able to get all dressed up and everything.” Mohler’s passion for beauty and style has been useful not only in getting ready for prom, but in various formal events such as homecoming, banquets and other parties. After each formal event, Mohler has had the chance to look back and find things to work on to make the next formal event less stressful. Senior Kavina Pandya , sophomore Jack Meyer and “For someone who hasn’t gone to prom before, I would say seniors Mira Shah and Josh Ab plan everything way ahead of time,” Mohler said. “Make your apaya got all dressed up for pointments for hair or nails or anything way in advance because the memorable prom nig ht. things fill up quickly and that adds to the stress of preparing for prom. The sooner you plan, the less you have to worry about when prom starts approaching.” For Mohler, three proms means three times the stress of preparing for prom. Three proms so far has meant three dates, three dresses, three hair and makeup styles to plan, three formal dinners and three sets of dance tickets. Mohler admits that the stress of prom would be difficult without the support of her parents. “The one person that helps me so much would be my mom,” Mohler said. “She helps with planning and ordering everything and is such a blessing. [Prom] would be ten times more stressful without her help.” Prom is more than the dress and the shoes though, and Mohler’s favorite thing about prom is spending time with her friends on such a special night; the style and appearance is just icing on the cake.

Seniors Katie Condon, Mallory Osigian and Nathan Leonard entered the colorful scene at the “Fire and Ice” themed senior prom.


Photo courtesy Kylie Mohler

The King and Queen


Photo by Mia Ford

$$$$$ 10.06% $$$$$$$12.58% $$$$$$$$$$$$$ 25.79% $$$$$$$$$$$$ 23.27% $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 28.3% 159 students polled


After party




Seniors Jen Olson and Coleman Armes were crowned prom queen and king at the end of the dance on April 13. They were voted by their fellow seniors for these titles.



GROUP OF 13-20







Shopping 148 students polled

16 3





Photos courtesy Alexis Natale




% 33


Organizing/ Planning


Asking/ Getting asked
















From a poll of 150 students...






Natal been e and Gom savi ez h ing to ng coins a ave m $200 for Pr ountom.





When senior Alexis Natale started putting her spare change in an empty glass jar last October, she had no idea that seven months later, she would have a large portion of her prom paid for. Natale and her boyfriend, University of North Texas freshman and 2012 Coppell Graduate Chris Gomez, know that prom can have a hefty price tag. At last year’s prom, Gomez and Natale met for the first time. Almost one year later, Gomez and Natale are counting down the days until their one-year anniversary. Junior Wesley Szalkowski “We started putting change in a jar at Alexis’ house a and senior Harry Holzer long time ago,” Gomez said. “We didn’t really know what arrive at the dance. we were saving for, but now it’s making prom a lot less expensive. It was really amazing to see how it all came together.” What started as a few pennies in a jar has amounted to over $200 in savings, which will contribute to the price of their prom tickets. Besides their savings, Natale has looked for other small ways to cut down on the expense of prom. Natale and Gomez will be driving themselves to prom, in hopes of saving money by avoiding an expensive limousine rental. Also, Natale and Gomez’s group will be swapping a five-star restaurant for a less-expensive but appealing alternative, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen. “I don’t think that prom is exaggerated,” Natale said. “Prom is what you make of it. When I was a sophomore, my group went all out in terms of a limo, dinner and pictures, but I’m ready to relax and have a great prom without all the extra expenses.” A prom veteran herself, Natale has avoided much of the prom planning stress by relaxing. Less than three weeks before prom, Natale had yet to purchase a dress. Instead of going crazy, Natale is sitting back and letting prom fall together, trusting that her friends and boyfriend will be all she needs to have the perfect senior prom experience.



Small change helps fund Natale’s prom



Lilly Balsamo, junior

Vignesh Krishnamoorthy, senior



“It is always better to go with a group for prom than just you and your date. It is fun to be with all of your friends one last time before graduation.”

Students danced to the top hits music from 9 pm to 1 am at prom on Saturday night.



Matt Smith, senior



someone from another school



romantic interest




boyfriend or girlfriend


no date

14 features

APRIL 2013

Triplets connect through music despite differences CAROLINE CARTER Staff Writer

When a home has a student in the marching band, there is a constant sound of their instruments playing. At the Zill home in Coppell, there can sometimes be three instruments at once. Juniors Madi, Allie and Ben Zill are a set of triplets who attend Coppell schools; Allie and Ben attend Coppell High School and Madi attends New Tech High @ Coppell. Though a house with three students can sometimes be crowded and busy, being a triplet is a unique experience for each of the Zills. “The best part about being a triplet is having someone who understands what you are going through at the moment because they are going through the exact same thing,” Allie said. “Madi, Ben and I are all in the same grade so we always have someone to talk to when we are struggling in something or we want to vent about things that have been bothering us. We can all relate to each others’ situations.” Not only do the Zills share the same birthday, but they also share the same hobby. All three of the triplets are members of the Coppell High School Marching Band; Madi plays the bass clarinet, Allie plays the flute and Ben plays the trombone. Though they play different instruments, being a part of the band together gives them an experience unlike most members of the CHS Marching Band. “Band with all of us is stressful,” Madi said. “It is real-

ly hard to leave on time because you have to leave with everyone almost always at once, unless someone drives the other car. But as anyone in band will tell you, band consumes most of your life. So our family dinners are just a never ending conversation about band, which is kind of great.” The Zills also help each other throughout the year so that each person improves. “When we practice, we usually listen to each other and make corrections,” Ben said. “We will give each other pointers too. During the summer, we practice marching in order to prepare for the marching season next year. We became a part of band because our cousins played the violin, and we all really like music.”

Mary Ellen Gherardi, the Zills’ mom, says that having the triplets in band is a great experience for the whole family, though it can sometimes be hectic. “Having three children in marching band is, first of all, noisy,” Gherardi said. “If I had any early illusions of a peaceful home life, they quickly disappeared with the first honk of a trombone. Add a flute and a bass clarinet and it’s like having a Salvation Army band right in your living room. Band is also expensive. Before one trip to San Antonio, we were writing checks so fast I think I saw sparks fly out of the checkbook.” Madi, Allie and Ben are not the only set of multiples

on band. Juniors Rosemary Brinegar and Chase Brinegar are twins and both perform with the CHS Marching Band and can relate to some of the same things that the Zills go through. “I know what it is like to have a sibling that is always here beside me,” Rosemary said. “I know it can get annoying, but at the same time they are also your best friend. Being a twin, or especially a triplet, you are known as just that and sometimes people focus on what you are together instead of who you are as an individual. However, the Zills are great and fun to be around.” Like most siblings, the Zills have their fair share of arguing and conflict. But with there being no age differ-

Photo by Jessica Rivera

(From Left to Right) Juniors Madi, Ben and Allie Zill are triplets who all are in the band program. While they have different interests, band has always connected them.

ence, they can always connect in ways that many cannot. “We fight as most siblings do, but we may even get under each others skin more since we are the same age,” Madi said. “I don't think we are that much closer than other siblings, but we do understand each other more. I talk to them about a lot of things that you couldn't tell a younger sibling.” With all three of the triplets performing in band and completing the same course work at school, each find that they constantly have to compete with each other whether it is in band, school or extracurricular activities. “We are all competing to get the best grades, SAT score or band placement,” Madi said. “We all try to one up each other. It can be hard to be your own person when you are constantly being compared to your brother and sister. Allie and I also have pretty much the same friend group. We each have a few friends that we're closer to, but for the most part we hang out with the same people.” Though the Zill triplets are frequently together, each has found a way to be unique and different from the others. “I go to New Tech which is one way that I am different, and I absolutely love it,” Madi said. “We all have distinctly different personalities and qualities. But for the rest of my life I will always be associated as a triplet, and I'm okay with that. Being a triplet is, very interesting, and there is honestly no way to perfectly describe it.”

features 15

APRIL 2013

Community commits to environment sustainability HALEY MADIGAN Design Editor

green can also save our school a significant amount of money,” Klein said. “For example, going paperless by utilizing the Internet to submit assignments saves the cost of paper, ink and trees. Installing light dimmers in classrooms also conserves electricity and, therefore, money. It is just important that this money saved goes directly back into implementing more sustainable measures.” Klein, originally from Germany, grew up with an emphasis on environmental consciousness. She attributes part of her commitment to the influence of her European lifestyle. “Across the pond, there is much more focus on a

Consider the contents of your lunch. They probably consist of disposable bags, bottles and miscellaneous wrappers. Now, multiply the trash you generate by over 10,000 students and discover the amount of waste Coppell ISD produces daily. This figure represents just one of our district’s current environmentally damaging habits. From superfluous waste to excessive electricity use to thousands of papers printed daily, every school in Coppell can afford to increase awareness and implement more sustainable measures. Coppell High School environmental science teacher Holly Anderson strives to execute this change. Since beginning her career with CISD at Coppell Middle School North in 2000, Anderson’s priority has been to inform every student about the benefits of going green. Gra ph ic “We started small, with the by So initial creation of an outdoor ph ie classroom at North,” Anderson Na uy said. “The next step was doing ok as the Sustainability Expo at Coppell High School and eventually joining with the Coppell Nature Park to promote environmental education.” sustainable culture which includes Anderson hopes educating extensive recycling programs, students about the importance public transportation, federal of sustainability will help them to support for these initiatives and develop an interest and eventually social awareness. There is almost pursue environmentally friendly a green peer pressure that exists endeavors on their own. She in society,” Klein said. “We need assigns homework called flex that here.” assignments, which encourage As a model environstudents to choose a couple mentalist, she exemplifies the events to attend that promote standards CISD hopes to achieve awareness of these issues. Such with this initiative. events include scoping out “I drive a smart car and the Coppell Farmer’s Market, bring a reusable water bottle to attending a lecture by nature school,” Klein said. “I also try to conversationalist Jeff Corwin create as little trash as possible and even visiting the Fort Worth and write on both sides of all of Botanical Gardens. my papers. You do not have to “I provide flex assignment start a charity organization to opportunities for students to make a difference. It is the little integrate sustainability into things that add up.” their own lives,” Anderson said. Some of her habits serve as “Although class discussions an example for the district’s goals hopefully motivate students to get for implementing sustainable out there, these assignments force measures. Involving students in them to apply green techniques school gardens is another way in the field to better understand it hopes to promote educational their value.” and health awareness. Teri Keith, One of Anderson’s IB Coppell community garden board Environmental Science students, member and Lakeside Elementary senior Klementine Klein, has kindergarten teacher, touches on taken full advantage of the the benefits of gardening. opportunities the class presents “The Coppell community and embodies a similar passion garden has been somewhat of a for sustainability. Klein has been hidden gem and an outstanding an integral part of presenting source of progress for this student-prescribed plans to community,” Keith said. “People district officials in hopes of come every weekend in all sorts of initiating this green movement. weather to harvest fresh, organic “I have participated food to donate to Metrocrest.” in a program through the Keith recognizes the environmental Science classes educational opportunities that was intended to monitor associated with bringing gardens the progress that schools in to each school in the district as CISD were making toward well as the benefits of cafeteria their sustainability goals,” Klein workers growing and selling the said. “As part of this, a group of food as lunch options. my peers and I met with [CHS “When you are in Principal Mike Jasso] to discuss kindergarten and can harvest sustainable measures at CHS.” your own sweet potatoes, you One of the chief concerns are better able to understand the with the CHS administration was value of sustainable gardening. the amount of money required to No matter the age, we should institute these changes. know where our food comes “Funding is always the top from,” Keith said. priority, of course, but going To incite progress in

gardening for both environmental and health reasons, in 2011, New Tech High@Coppell brought in Helen Duran, or “Chef Helen” as students affectionately call her, a Child Nutrition Culinary Trainer. Duran advocates gardening as a tool to reduce the carbon footprint of CISD campuses. “To process and ship food, you have to consider the watering, harvesting, trucking, cardboard packaging and energy involved. With the gardens, it is much lighter. We plant seeds and harvest directly to prepare in the kitchen,” Duran said. Because of the success of gardens at campuses like New Tech and Pinkerton Elementary, CISD plans to introduce gardening to the new Lee Elementary School under construction. Growing lettuces to fuel a fresh salad bar is a primary goal. To increase sustainable practices even further, proposals for compost projects are also in the works. “At Pinkerton, they already compost,” Duran said. “They have a bucket in the cafeteria with weighing devices, so kids can be directly involved and keep a record of the waste they are conserving. Then once processed, the compost is used as fertilizer in the garden. It is an extremely sustainable cycle.” Unfortunately, because of the sheer volume of food necessary to support all of CISD’s students, gardening will never substitute traditional shipping altogether. However, the importance of such a system reaches beyond environmental concerns. “The value is two-fold,” Duran said. “First, the food from gardens is fresher with more nutrients. Second, it gets kids interested in eating things they would not otherwise try.” For learning purposes, gardening can serve as an effective tool for biology and other science classes. Additionally, teachers in other subjects utilize the change in atmosphere to teach poetry and provide an outdoor reading area. “The garden can be about being outside and enjoying the beauty of the world. In education, it should be as integral as the library,” Duran said. With this month including such events as Earthfest on April 6 and Earth Day on April 22, now is the perfect time to appreciate the environment and be involved in implementing more sustainable measures throughout Coppell. Anderson and her students encourage students and staff to follow CISD’s lead and take the extra few steps to the recycling bin. Request your teachers to post and submit assignments online to save paper and money. Ditch your brown paper lunch bags in favor of a reusable one. Become involved in this latest movement toward increasing environmental awareness. After all, it is easy being green. “Whatever we do should be student-initiated so it is more meaningful and becomes a significant part of our lives,” Anderson said. “Changing our culture is the first step.”

Photos by Rinu Daniel

Handmade crafts, like these birdhouses, were sold Coppell’s Annual Earth Fest which was held on April 6.

Sophomore Shivani Burra and world history teacher Tim Dixon’s son Reignbrent show off their face paint at Coppell’s Earth Fest.

AP’s Apiaries Honey and other local food products from the Farmer’s Market were available.

Coppell ISD students gathered around dozens of booths set up at this year’s Earth Fest.

Natural style bracelets were sold at one booth. Many other useful or collectable items were also sold at Earth Fest.

16 entertainment

APRIL 2013

Dallas brings unique entertainment to teenagers JORDAN BICKHAM Page Designer

Have you ever wanted to walk into a rainforest under a waterfall? Have you ever wanted to dance to your favorite band while they perform live? While these exciting opportunities may seem across far-fetched and hours away, they are actually closer than you think. Although Coppell is a small residential community, the prominent, cultural city of Dallas is only a 30-minute drive away. And with numerous activities occurring throughout the year, it is not difficult to find something to do downtown. So before you find yourself going to Bahama Bucks yet again or going to a movie you do not care to see, check out all the activities going on downtown. Plan ahead for a fun night swing dancing at the Hermann Hall or see what musicals are being performed at the AT&T Center. While you may run out of ideas within Coppell, Dallas has activities that can keep you entertained year round.


Concert Venues

One of the most prominent aspects of Dallas for Coppell High School students is the multitude of concert venues throughout the Dallas area. Ranging from the House of Blues to the Palladium Ballroom, there are always wide variety of concert tours and bands coming through Dallas. Whether it is at Gilley’s for country music or the Gexa Energy Pavilion for just about anything, there is a good chance that your favorite artist will come to Dallas.

American Airlines Center

Whether you want to go to a great concert or a sporting event, the American Airlines Center holds it all. The center is very diverse and with a spacious area, so it can be used for a wide variety of events. The American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars, holds events year round and for a variety of prices depending on what the event is and where you sit. You can stay updated by becoming a member of their site, allowing you to see what events are coming soon.


Like concerts in Dallas, there are numerous locations that offer dancing and even dancing lessons. From the two-step to salsa, there is a wide variety of dances and taught in Dallas. Coppell students have even traveled down to Dallas for some lessons in swing dancing at Son of Hermann Hall, which also has live music, and country dancing at Gilley’s, which triples as a bar and concert venue.


Dallas has added yet another building to its skyline with the construction of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The Perot Museum takes you back in time with hands on activities and unique displays that teach you aspects of nature and science through our history. Not only can you go back learn about history in downtown Dallas, but you can also learn about art at the Dallas Museum of Art which has hundreds of pieces of art on display year round.


For those fine arts lovers, there are plenty of performing arts centers and museums to keep you interested. In the category of theater, the AT&T Performing Arts Center is incredibly popular for a variety of musicals and plays ranging from “Les Miserables” to “Chicago.” There are a number of smaller venues that also put on shows, but to see major hits, the AT&T center is the place to go.

Dallas World Aquarium & Zoo

The Dallas World Aquarium and the Dallas Zoo are other unique venues. Throughout the year, both the Dallas Zoo and Dallas World Aquarium are open for enjoyment. Both hold a variety of rare and common animals. The Dallas Zoo generally holds more common animals such as elephants, lions and tigers. The Dallas World Aquarium holds a wide variety ranging from monkeys and spiders to bats and sharks.

Performing Arts Center

Although there are numerous concert venues, there are also numerous venues for classical music lovers. Some of these venues include the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center; which is the center that the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs in frequently. There are numerous other centers, also including the Winspear Opera House, which puts on popular musicals throughout the year.

Graphics by Addy Buigas-Lopez

entertainment 17

APRIL 2013

Magic of cinema on display at EMAC film festival Festival. Students chose their own topics and were required to Every year EMAC prepares complete a plot chart, script and a showcase of the students’ work, storyboard before filming and where they can create an inwere provided feedback on those depth piece that sets them apart planning pieces. They were also as college applicants. given a rubric to show them the This year, EMAC will have story writing, filming, and video a film festival where groups are editing skills they were expected formed and given a topic a week to incorporate. in advance to brainstorm and “I felt it would be a great preplan. The day of the event, motivational tool for the stuApril 29, the students will prodents,” CMSW Multimedia/Vidduce and edit their film as well as eo Production teacher Monica publicize it through social media Champagne said. “Broadening within about five hours. their audience and introducing The festival will provide competition encourages students EMAC students with the reto produce their best work.” al-world challenge of working KCBY’s short film crew under a deadline. EMAC is also consisting of seniors Josh hosting a district-wide film fesBrunelli, Mason Adams, Joe tival open to all CISD students Han, Adam Borel and Eric Park grades six through 12. All films will debut “The Mammoth Afwere submitted by March 18 and fray”, a student produced short the winners, as well as the best film entered into numerous film films produced by EMAC stufestivals nationwide. dents that day, “It’s quite an will be viewed in interesting feeling the CHS auditoIt will be good to see to have our film rium. others react to our premiere after “ [ C opp e l l film rather than just working on it so ISD Superinseeing our friends’ long,” Adams said. tendent Dr. Jeff reactions. “It will be good to Turner] has alsee others react -Mason Adams, ways wanted to to our film rather senior see a film festival than just seeing happen for about our friends’ reacseven years now and after EMAC tions.” was created, it laid a perfect path While there are many film for a film festival to happen,” festivals in the Dallas area, the EMAC president, junior MeCHS Film Festival is unique began Menegay, said. “Everything cause it is more of an entry level just fell into place this year. We competition for students who decided to open it up to the six may not have much experience through 12 graders because we in film and editing. know that everyone has talent, “Middle school students whether they’ve discovered it or aren’t exposed to people who do not.” this all the time like in KCBY, so EMAC received a positive they can see what it’s like so if response with over 50 short film they enjoy it it’s something they submissions that they had to excan work toward,” EMAC sophotend the deadline. Some classes more representative Jamie Franare collaborating to create a film cis said. together; even media students Films will be judged by from middle schools are particlocal filmmakers and owners ipating as well. of Chazown Films Michael and The Multimedia/Video DeAnza Spangler. Production students at Coppell There are two divisions, Middle School West (CMSW) middle school and high school, were required to produce a short and the winner of each will refilm and were given the option ceive a $100 cash prize. Several to submit it to the CHS Film local businesses have chosen to

continued from pg. 1

sponsor the event. Sponsorships come in three packages. Silver is $50, gold is $100 to $200 and platinum is more than $200. One local company, YOUR Community Credit Union (YCCU), has pledged the platinum donation. YCCU regularly supports EMAC and the media program at CHS. “Anytime we are able to sponsor events that promote youth in our communities, the school benefits, our business benefits and the community benefits,” YCCU Vice President of Marketing Rick Stokes said. “It’s simply a win-win for everyone.” YCCU has also chosen the EMAC Academy to create a series of commercials for the company. The marketing team is working on reaching a different demographic- young, Generation Y, educated consumers. “We are utilizing the services of EMAC because they represent a large part of the demographic we are targeting,” Stokes said. “Who better to create the commercials than people who are most able to relate to the message we want to send?” Film Patterson, owned by CHS special education teacher Andrew Patterson, is donating the use of a high definition projector for the festival. “I chose to donate because I feel that it’s very important to encourage and promote interest in the visual arts for the up and coming generation,” Film Patterson Technical Director Tony Couzelis said. “Film offers a creative complexity level seldom seen in other mediums.” EMAC students look forward to this year’s film festival becoming the first of many more to come. “It is interesting to see how many students walk the halls every day and have so much talent that they don’t have an outlet for,” Francis said. “We want them to see that if they work hard toward something there will be an amazing outcome. As years progress, we hope to discover new talent through the festival.”

Coppell Middle School West eighth grade media students Gracie Webb and Lindsay Hopkins do Isy Martinez’s makeup for her role as “The Screech” in their short film.

Junior Maggie Crosby prints posters in preperation for the EMAC film festival on April 29.

18 entertainment

Photo by Rachel Bush

APRIL 2013

Local music scene providing creative outlet Hitz, Webster in daze Cappezuto finds musical identity SHIVANI BURRA

played at the talent show, most of the nerves were gone. Having the support of friends and family has encouraged Chris to write his own music and play for others. “For his cousin’s 16th birthday he learned a song and took his guitar to her house on her birthday and sang her some songs,” Chris’ mother Joan Capezzuto said. “We had a family sing a long and it was really fun.” Capezzuto continues to post songs to his channel and is currently working on some of his own original songs. Though nothing is planned to be released in the near future, he is hoping on releasing his own songs eventually. As for the songwriting, for now Capezzuto will be listening to othe r

Video Producer

R by oto Ph

Singing her first solo at age three at her church, junior Kenzie Hitz has been influenced by music from a young age. Her mother encouraged her daughter to start piano lessons with a formal teacher, but that did not last long. Instead, Hitz started learning by ear and took off with that. Hitz and 2012 Coppell High School graduate Jackson Webster started Atlantic Daze and currently perform at local venues; bigger goals in mind for the future. “We have not got the chance to gig in Austin yet, but it would pretty easy especially when you know who books certain venues, other bands and stuff like that,” Webster said. With We b s t e r studying at Junior Kenzie Hitz and CHS 2012 graduate Jackson the UniverWebster have overcome distance barriers to persity of Texas form at local venues, such as Biggby Coffee. at Austin, Atlantic Daze does not have ukuD as many opl e le, inu portunities t a m yR b to Pho to practice bourine, as they hope bass, guito, so they improvise. tar, bass drum or whatev“We give each er is necessary for the song. other songs that we think Despite Webster being in we should do, and we practice on Austin, they have had the opporour own,” Hitz said. “When Jacktunity to perform at local venues son flies back to Coppell we put such as Zenzero Bakery and Biggit together, which does not take by Coffee. It released its debut EP us very long, then we perform.” “Moving Backwards” on Feb. 5. an iel

“I have a really diverse musical interest and I take things from a lot of different genres and artists Social Media Director and apply it to my own music.” The audience claps along Though Capezzuto will as senior Chris Capezzuto sings not pursue music in college, “Pride and Joy” at this year’s talent it will be a hobby for him to show. Capezzuto sits alone on stage have throughout the years. At with only his acoustic guitar and this point his music could go his voice to win over the crowd. in any number of directions. Capezzuto has been a longCapezzuto has had suctime music enthusiast; it was not cess as a solo artist, but he would until three years ago he decided also become a part of a band if to take his love for music and the opportunity presented itlearn to play the guitar. He began self. For the time being fans can playing with his dad before he check his YouTube channel for moved on to a teacher and eventuhis weekly cover, something he ally learned all he could from him. does for fun to show off his talent “It was surprising to me to friends and YouTube viewers. to see how quick he could pick “He is very good, especially up with a little introduction,” for someone who has Chris’ father Jon Capezzuto said. only played for three “He is naturally talented, and it years,” Mr. Capemade it possible for him to get zzuto said. excited about playing guitar.” “I am a big After a year and a half of lesfan of musons, Capezzuto ventured out on sic and his own and began performing I think his own covers of popular songs Senior Chris Cappezuto has always felt a connecChris reand posting them onto his You- tion with music. Cappezuto frequently posts cover ally has Tube channel. He began singing songs to his YouTube channel: Chris Cappezuto. talent, a year ago, and even though he it’s just a has not had any voice lessons, he question shows a natural talent for singing. of him, “I think that his dedicalike any tion and commitment to his m u musician, guitar is clearly shown through s i c finding a his talents,” senior Nadir Khan for in- owan unique Kh said. “He has some sweet chops spiration s o u n d .” aze nda r mixed with phenomenal talent.” and work on Stage fright is not an issue more poetic lyrics. for Capezzuto; having played live “I listen to a lot of a couple of times by the time he different artists,” Capezzuto said.


Hitz’s mother, Lori Shaw, has been a great influence on her musical life, supporting her both financially and emotionally. “I give her advice about what songs she should and which ones are right for her,” Shaw said. “With experience in piano and singing for 15 years, I know how to help Kenzie when she stumbles upon a problem.” The split between band members is something that would have caused normal bands to break up, but Atlantic Daze is stronger than that. “Since we know each other so well and were good friends before we made the band, it has been easier to make our band work long distance,” Hitz said. Hitz sings, plays the

Photos courtesy Ryan Willams

Photos by Jessica Rivera

Photos by Jessica Rivera

Results May Vary for local band in search of own genre KIMBERY DEL ANGEL Entertainment Editor

About two years ago, senior Michael Darwin fell ill. When doctors declared that his lungs had collapsed, bittersweet truth accompanied the unfortunate news; the tall trumpet player would no longer be able to play the instrument. “After playing the trumpet for so long, I stopped liking it as much,” Darwin said. “[When] they told me I probably should play an instrument that does not require any lung work and suggested guitar, I did, and I’ve just rolled with it ever since.” After many hours of prac-

tice after school and during work breaks, Darwin has successfully taught himself to play the guitar. It has become his source for stress relief and a prominent part of his daily life. Last August, after attending a Def Leppard concert last August with a friend, the idea of creating a band arose but didn’t quite work out just then, a situation fit to the band’s name: Results May Vary. A band however, did eventually come together, bringing individuals from different backgrounds and instruments seamlessly together. Darwin, senior Kayla Boyer (singer/bassist), 2011 CHS graduate Matt Campbell (singer) and 2010 CHS graduate Steven Campbell (bassist/harmonica)

fused their tastes in 80s rock, classic metal, new age and contemporary grunge music to form a band. Results May Vary practices frequently, usually learning and taking their spin on covers of songs for the time being. This past month, the group had the opportunity to play publically for the first time at Biggby Coffee in Coppell. “Our first performance was terrifying yet exhilarating,” Matt said. “I was really proud of the way we sounded. It gave me perspective on where we are; I can now see the direction I want us to go. I would like us to become more direct with our music; see us writing songs and really putting ourselves into the music, not just covering the music we like,

but making the music we like.” The group is not entirely sure in what direction they plan to take their original music, but they are excited at the concept and hope to begin soon. “Performing is one of my favorite feelings; there is something about interacting with the audience, telling jokes to them, telling stories, explaining why we pick certain songs,” Steven said. “Because some of the songs that we do play are selected, knowing well that certain people would be in the audience.” Although all of the individuals enjoy producing music, none plan to pursue it as a career. “As weird as it is to do something you enjoy for liv-

ing, you can’t pay bills with happiness,” Steven said. The band has come together not for fame but pure satisfaction. “We are just trying to have fun and play music together,” Boyer said. “It would be really cool if we could do some big performances, but it has been fun to get to know each other.” So it seems for now, they will continue with covers, from the Goo Goo Dolls to Tom Petty - Results May Vary. “I just hope that I don’t lose my hands in a tragic accident, so I can play the guitar until I am dead. I’ll play with my feet if I have to,” Darwin said. “I just want to do it for fun; I don’t have any means of becoming famous.”

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Newest burger joint proves to be a smashing hit THOMAS HAIR Opinions Editor

There was a time, not long ago, when the golden arches of McDonald’s defined the American burger industry. Fast, cheap and greasy – that was the only option. Within the last few years, however, we have witnessed the rapid boom of trendy “better burger” establishments providing a higher quality, albeit more expensive, hamburger alternative. Coppell is a testament to this phenomenon – with In-NOut and Five Guys all opening stores nearby within the span of a couple years. Smashburger, which opened on Denton Tap in late March, is the latest “better burger” franchise to expand into Coppell territory. I have eaten at plenty of “gourmet burger” restaurants like Smashburger. I knew I was going to get a good hamburger. I was looking for was things that make Smashburger stand out from the growing crowd of competition. My high expectations were met. I hereby declare, burger buffs and food aficionados, that Smashburger is the new best burger joint in Coppell. Here is why.


Smashburger occupies a prime lot on Denton Tap in the heart of Coppell, unlike Five Guys in Lewisville and In-N-Out in the

outskirts of Coppell. It is very easy to find and does not occupy the back of another restaurant’s building (Mooyah). Smashburger is also 100% wheelchair and handicap accessible.

Design and Ambiance

The first thing I noticed when I opened the door was the impressive sleek and smooth interior design. There are plenty of seating options, with stools, tables, booths and outdoor tables available. All of the decor is very smooth and clean – to the eyes and to the touch. Whereas Five Guys has a rustic aesthetic, with wooden menu boards and sacks of peanuts lying around, Smashburger embraces the 21st century, utilizing massive video screens. One video screen rotates through mouth-watering photos of various menu items and special offers, while the two others display the extensive menu, which brings me to my next point.


In terms of the variety and mass appeal of their menu, Smashburger is way ahead of their “better burger” competitors. You can order one of their specialty burgers – like the Classic Smash or Jalapeno BBQ – or pick and choose your own infinite combinations of toppings. There are also four styles of buns and eleven side options, including Smashfries, fried pickles, chili and veggie fries. If you do nor even like burgers or French fries, there is still something for you at Smashburger. They offer multiple chicken items, such as the Spicy Baja Chicken Sandwich, salads, hot dogs and veggie burgers. This extremely diverse and localized menu is miles ahead of competitors like Five Guys who only

offer burgers and fries and nothing else.

Photos by Regan Sullivan


Yes, a night with the family at Smashburger might be a bit pricier than bringing home Burger King, but you get much more for your dollar. The burgers are thick and hearty, and the pile of French fries on the side of the tray is deep enough to hide golf balls in. I ordered a $4 specialty Haagen Dazs Oreo Shake and was pleasantly surprised when the waitress brought out a one-foottall glass filled to the brim – in addition to a chrome pitcher with even more milkshake because they made more than they could fit into my glass. Talk about awesome portion sizes!

A Smashburger was recently added in next to Floss on Denton Tap.


Smashburger restaurants use a unique “smashing” method to cook their patties and Smashfries. I am still not completely sure how slashing a patty makes it taste better, but it definitely seems to work! I could literally taste the delicate blend of spices and juicy flavors in the meat. The brown artisan buns are delightful as well, cut in a unique and memorable shape. The Smashfries are thin, crispy and lightly salted – irresistible to munch on by the handful! I was very pleased with my experience at Coppell’s new Smashburger. Everything was clean, the service was impeccable and the food was even better! Smashburger has stated that its goal is to be “every city’s favorite place for burgers”. With its prime location in the heart of Coppell on Denton Tap, flavorful food and large portions, Smashburger is poised to become Coppell’s go-to burger joint.

The restaurant’s friendly employees welcome Coppell customers.

Smashburger shines in Coppell as a popular new restaurant.

Downtown Dallas park becomes perfect attraction ELIZABETH SIMS Staff Writer

Kids sprinted back and forth on a large, open stretch of grass with footballs and Frisbees. Joggers zipped by on a gravel track that surrounded the grassy field. Families lounged around bright green tables and chairs, sampling the delicacies from the five food trucks parked on the left side of the park, completely unaware of the never-ending line of cars roaring just under their feet. During spring break, I took a day trip to a bridge over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway. This was not just an ordinary bridge, however; this was the Klyde

Warren Park. Officially open last October, Klyde Warren Park was the city of Dallas’ way of connecting the neighborhoods in Uptown with unique culture of the Dallas Arts Districts and downtown. Though the space is only five acres, it holds a wide variety of attractions. With anything from food trucks, an area for young children and pets to museums and concerts halls just across the street, there are boundless opportunities to make a day in this area. On my visit, I took the DART to the Pearl Street-Art District station and made the short walk to the park. As soon as I stepped onto the fresh-cut grass, I knew that I was going to have a good day.

Local musicians show their talent in the new Klyde Warren Park which is located in downtown Dallas.

I, along with my mother and younger brother, decided to walk around the park and take it all in. Despite a larger crowd of people, the walk was pleasant and the park did not seem crowded. When we reached the far end of the park, we stopped to check out the geometric and very modern children’s playground that looked more like a piece of public art than a jungle gym. Just beyond the playground was a shaded area dedicated to reading and board games. Local magazines and newspapers were stocked in multi-colored metal racks with board games and chess sets stacked below. Though we did not stop to play any of these games or flip through the papers, several people had gathered around to partake in these relaxing activities. After venturing around the perimeter of the park, we decided to get a snack from the food trucks. With anything from New York style subs to Vietnamese fusion, we certainly had a variety of options. Since we were only purchasing a snack, we decided upon the New York style sub truck called Gandolfo’s. There we purchased Black-and-White Cookies, which are soft shortbread cookies with half-chocolate, half-vanilla frosting, and settled onto a stone bench to enjoy our treats. The soft, sugary cookies were

Photos by Elizabeth Sims

Numerous food trucks line the streets surrounding the preimeter of the park, making Kylde Warren a great picnic spot.

gone in a matter of seconds, leaving our sweet tooth satisfied. Soon after, the melodious sounds of a quartet, made up of three cellos and a drum, warming up echoed across the park. This was one of the many local music groups that come to the park daily to showcase their craft and entertain visitors. We listened to them play before we saw a group of people with their dogs in tow heading for a fenced in area near the end of the park. Curious, we followed them and discovered that the park had an area for dogs to playas well. With rolling hills made out of turf and an in-ground fountain that streamed water every 15 seconds, the dogs were able to enjoy

themselves while their tired owners relaxed on concrete benches. After watching the dogs play for a solid 15 minutes, we ventured over to the Dallas Museum of Art, just across the street from the park. We toured the museum and decided that this was where we would end our day. The Klyde Warren Park’s proximity to both the Arts District and downtown provides a wide variety of activities outside the park, with the Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center just a short walk away. With all of these factors considered, this park is the perfect place to spend the day with friends and family.

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APRIL 2013

THE ULTIMATE GOAL Cowboys compete for first state championship since 2004 The Coppell Cowboys soccer team sealed the deal on the 2013 district championship after defeating Lewisville in their final district game on March 22. The Cowboys finished out district with a district record of 9-1-0 with their only loss coming at the hands of Flower Mound Marcus. The Cowboys had defeated Marcus once before losing to them again. Other big wins for the Cowboys include a 5-0 win over

Junior Chris Madden dribbles the ball down the field during the Cowboys second playoff games against Waco Midway on April 4.

After a rocky start in the Coppell Cowboys second playoff game against Waco Midway the Cowboys were able to win 3-1 sending them into the regional quarterfinals.
 From the beginning of the game it seemed to be a matchup of the Cowboy’s strong and fast offense against Midway’s forceful defense. Though the Cowboys were able to maintain possession of the ball for most of the game, and had the most attempts at the goal they struggle to put it in the net.
While the Cowboys struggled to put a point on the board, Midway scored the first goal of the game nearly 20 minutes into the first half after forcing themselves past the Cowboys defensive line. Now down 1-0, the Cowboys were forced to fight through what many expected to be an easy run to the regional tournament.
 “When you get down 1-0 that fast and early into the game it is important to stay composed,” coach Chad Rakestraw said. “We needed to settle the ball Fo l l ow i n g a close win last Thursday against Waco Midway, the Cowboys were forced to take on the Hebron Hawks in their closest game yet. Up until this playoff match up the Coppell Cowboys had beat Hebron twice, but for the last two years in a row it was Hebron that knocked the Cowboys out of their playoff run. This year it was the other way around. “Playing Hebron is a mental challenge for us because of last year,” Rakestraw said. “To win we just have to be confident in who we are this year.” The Cowboys were the first to score a goal nearly halfw a y

State Tournament April 19-20

Birkelbach Field-Georgetown

Flower Mound and their final 3-1 win over Lewisville. Junior Chris Madden is leading the teams offense with 12 goals and six assists. They needed this win to ensure that they took the district championship before going into the post-season playoffs. The Cowboys know first hand just how important it is to play every game like it could be the last. Last year after winning the district championship and being poised to go to state the Hebron Hawks knocked them out of playoffs in the first round. This year the Cowboys played the Hawks twice this district season winning 2-0 and 9-2 showing just how far they have come in the last year. and keep our composure.”
 Junior Chris Madden put the Cowboys back into the game with a header into the goal with an assist by senior Mitchell Parnell. At the end of the first half the game was tied 1-1.
 The Cowboys came out much stronger in the second half, but were still struggling to turn their shooting attempts into goals. Midway helped by essentially giving away two goals to the Cowboys after fouling them in the penalty box. The Cowboys final two goals were scored off of penalty kicks by senior captain Drake Lovelady.
 throug h the first half with a penalty kick by Drake Lovelady. This 1-0 lead held up through the first half. In the second half the Hawks came out scoring an off sides that was called back just to follow it with a regulation goal. The score remained tied 1-1 through the rest of the game. From here the game continued into two ten-minute overtimes as nerves on both sides ran high. The Cowboys had the remainder of the attempts at goal but struggled to put points on the board after the 20 minutes was up neither team had scored a goal, putting the game into a shootout. Madden was first to score for the Cowboys and was followed by a shot by senior captain Nick Hazelrigg and senior Mitchell Parnell. Senior goalie Dante Diciolli stopped three of the four penalty kicks sent his way, one going in after being deflected off his hand. This win sent the Cowboys into the regional tournament Friday night and Saturday morning in Birdville, TX. The Coppell Cowboys went into the regional tournament on April 12-13 nervous about the idea of facing some of their toughest competition yet, but they came out on top. On Friday, April 13, the Cowboys went up against the Keller Central Chargers in the regional semi-finals beating


Sa S p m my or t Ro s E bb dit en or

Photos by Rinu Daniel

Senior Drake Lovelady challenges Waco Midway midfielder before scoring twice off of penalty kicks.

them 4-0 with two goals by Lovelady, on goal by junior Nick Price and a final goal by sophomore Stephen Tower. This win sent the Cowboy into the regional finals in what would be their toughest game yet. The Cowboys played the Marcus Marauders on April 13, after having lost to them earlier this year in district. Looking for revenge the Cowboys were ready to fight, and came out with a 1-0 win after Lovelady score a goal in the second half. From here the Cowboys will compete in the state tournament or the first time since 2004. Their first game will be in Georgetown on Friday April 19 against Humble Kingwood.

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Kuechler makes a splash at Colorado State University believes swimming has been rewarding. News Editor “Seeing myself improve my times is always uplifting,” KuecSeeing the Olympic rings is hler said. “Swimming has taught just a dream for most swimmers. me so many more things than After her mother missed out on just how to race. Putting in the her Olympic dream when the extra work and hours and then United States boycotted the Mos- seeing my numbers improve recow games, senior Lauren Kuec- ally keeps me going.” Kuechler’s initial interest hler understands the dedication it takes to reach the next level. in swimmer developed from her After 11 years of early mornings, mom, Jennifer Kuechler. Mrs. year round seasons and chlorine Kuechler made the Olympic stained hair and teeth, swim trials for the Moscow Summer team captain Kuechler has com- Olympic Games of 1980, but it mitted to swim for the Colorado was boycotted and she didn’t adState University Rams and is one vance any further after that. “Her story just inspires me step closer to reaching her ultito never give up on my dreams mate goal. “I am looking forward to and to set high goals,” Lauren the new competition at the col- said. “Now, let’s be honest, the lege level,” Kuechler said. “Right Olympics is a very high goal, but now I know who my competi- being able to swim at a D1 coltion is and how the race typically lege was an incredible goal that I turns out. I can’t wait to see new was able to achieve.” Because of her experience competition and be able to race with a [Division I] program. at that level, Mrs. Kuechler knew Specifically at CSU I’m looking the work it would take to raise a forward to their dryland pro- potential collegiate swimmer. “Raising an athlete who has gram. Dryland is stuff like lifting weights, running, abdominal [Division I] aspirations is invigoworkouts. I know I will benefit rating,” Mrs. Kuechler said. “I am from that and it will make me a so proud of Lauren’s discipline and dedication to swimming. She better swimmer.” As an animal lover, Kuec- has worked hard – swimming hler’s interest in CSU was doubles [four hours of practice a sparked by its esteemed veteri- day] at least three times a week – for the past five nary program, and, she which ranks “Swimming has taught years, did so without third in the nation. After me so many more things us forcing it on than just how to race. ” her. She made a looking further lot of sacrifices to into the school achieve this disand its swim program, she -Lauren Kuechler, senior tinction and had approached the program as she the maturity and understandsaw her swimming times would ing at a young age about what it would take to perform at this fit in with the existing team. “Honestly, he never recruit- level. I admire her for that and ed me and made that initial con- for her tenacity and just like with tact,” Kuechler said. “I contacted any goal, you reach plateaus and him first, but when I met with it can be frustrating and discourhim last Monday, he said he was aging, but she had the courage to keeping his eye on me and sent keep fighting and training hard emails to me asking for updated through those tough times.” In addition to swimming times. So it worked in my favor I would say, there were not any for CHS, Lauren was a member huge problems in the recruit- of the Texas RiverSharks club team. ment process.” “Participating in both high As a Coppell swimmer, Kuechler swam the 100-meter school and club help prepared butterfly, 200 individual med- me extra for meets because I got ley and 400 individual medley. to see different competition,” This winter, Kuechler, along with Lauren said. “Some swimmers only do one or the other, and sophomore Shannon Wheeler, doing both allows me to be junior Gaby Rivera and freshbetter prepared in meets beman Savannah Henry, set the cause I have seen different school record for the 400 styles of swimmers and freestyle relay at 3:44.01. competitors. Being able to Though a major time swim twice a day really commitment, Kuechler


Photos courtesy Lauren Kuechler

Senior Lauren Kuechler poses for a picture next to the mascot for the school she will be attending in the fall, Colorado State University.

Kuechler swims in a meet at Coppell’s YMCA in addition to the Texas RiverSharks club team. helps get you in shape and get a lot of training in and also being in different atmospheres I have learned so much more than just swimming on one team.” While she is a talented athlete in the water, she also stands out in the classroom too. “We have taught both our children that you can achieve anything you set your mind to – but you have to truly want it and be willing to take the good with the bad,” Jennifer said. “Lauren has done just that all while taking a rigorous course load o f AP classes with over a 5.1 GPA. She knows my mantra has always been, ‘Go big or go home.’ I can proudly state that she

went big and realized her dream and goal of swimming [Division I]. I love my girl more than life itself.” Best friends since seventh grade, senior Sarah Agnew has been with Lauren through every step of her journey to collegiate swimming. “She is such a talented swimmer and such a great friend,” Agnew said. “She has worked hard so hard and it really shows. I go to all of Lauren’s major meets and recently went to one at Texas A&M and it was awesome to get to watch her swim in front of such a huge audience and do so well. She has wanted to swim at the next level for as long as I have known

her and its cool to see her years of dedication earn her a spot at CSU.” Kuechler says her friends and family are are one of the main reasons she is still in the sport. “Sarah specifically has come out to all my district and regional meets,” Lauren said. “My friends and family are always there to support me and cheer me on and I appreciate it so much. Without their support and love I don’t know where I would be.”

Graphic by Sophie Nauyokas

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APRIL 2013

Soccer challenges foreign opponents in Dallas Cup STEPHANIE GROSS Sports Writer

Photo Courtesy Robbie Coens

CHS Sophomore and Andromeda FC player Robbie Coens and Academia Venezolana de Futbol players Jose Andres Frontado and Gregory De Freitas pose for a photo before attending the Dallas Cup.

Imagine you not only get to travel to another country to do something that you truly love, but you also have the opportunity to fully experience the customs and culture of that country for an entire week. From March 24-31, hundreds of foreign soccer players participated in the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup. The Dallas Cup is the longest running youth tournament in the United States and has been around for 34 years. Players from a variety of teams traveled to the United States from countries such as Venezuela, Germany and England for the chance to play in the event. Many of the high school and club soccer players at Coppell High School played in the Dallas Cup and had the unique experience of housing players from different countries. “There were a lot of teams in our area that got chosen to house players,” sophomore Austin Jones said. “There was someone who was in charge of the housing program, and I was told that my team, Andromeda FC, was chosen to participate in it not too long before the tournament started.” Throughout the week, the CHS students and the players rooming with them were on dif-

ferent schedules. While the Cop- ternational teams who participell students were in school, the pated in the Dallas Cup were invisiting players were either with vited by the tournament director their coaches practicing for the to compete. tournament or playing in games. “The academy that I play “This year was my first on, Academia Venezolana de year ever hosting for the Dallas Fútbol, was asked Cup,” Jones to come play in said. “I host“[Foreign soccer 2004 so our coach ed two boys players] have definitely told us that he from Venhad been here ezuela named improved my Spanish and before,” Frontamade the Dallas Cup a do said. “Once Ivan and Carlos; they have really cool experience” we were told we definitely imwould be comproved my -Austin Jones, sophomore ing to the United Spanish and States, we were so made the Dallas Cup a really cool motivated to work hard and train and different experience for me a lot.” this year.” International players also It is an amazing experience get to experience what the culfor not only the CHS students ture is like by living with their who were hosting, but also for assigned American family. the players who traveled from “I got to experience a lot different continents as well. of new things when I came to For Venezuela’s Academia America like new food and going Venezolana de Fútbol players to an FC Dallas game,” De Freitas Jose Andres Frontado and Greg- said. “My English also improved ory De Freitas, the experience a lot since I got here.” was one they will not soon forget. The American and interFor one week, they housed with national players benefitted from sophomore Robbie Coens. the opportunity of meeting each “I really enjoyed playing other and bonding by living toin Dallas Cup, it was really neat gether for a week. coming to the United States to “I feel that I have really play soccer,” De Freitas said. “I bonded with the boys who stayed really liked visiting the United with me for the Dallas Cup,” States. It was really interesting sophomore Robbie Coens said. seeing what American customs “It has been a cool opportunity to and culture were like compared show them how I live and what to Venezuela. The best part was we do in America that might be the food and the girls.” different from other countries.” The United States and in-

Prom, playoff conflicts leave athletes in frenzy SAMMY ROBBEN Sports Editor

High school athletics is built up with students with big dreams, working hard every day to see their biggest dreams come true. These lofty dreams, such as winning a state championship, could keep some senior athletes from fulfilling another dream: the perfect prom night. While other seniors are getting ready and taking pictures on their way to the senior prom, the Coppell Cowboys soccer team were supposed be busy competing for the regional title in Midland but their tournament got moved to Birdville allowing them to do both. Despite the move the seniors were still rushed as their afternoon game left them crunched

Graphics by Rinu Daniel

for time, and even a little tired for prom. While the seniors were originally torn between the idea of missing their senior prom and winning the regional title, the thought of redemption keeps them looking towards a win. “Last year we lost in playoffs in the first round when we should have won,” senior captain Nick Hazelrigg said. “We will do everything in our power to make sure that we don’t lose this year because all we want is to make it to the state tournament. Even if that means we miss prom.” These soccer seniors are ready to make the most of their last chance at a state title. A dream they have been training for their whole lives. “When I figured out there was a chance that I could miss

prom for regionals, I was really bummed. I have been working for a state title since I started playing soccer and this is our year to do it,” senior defender Jacob Tucker said. “They are both really important times for me, but as much as I want to go to prom, I want to win state as well and we need to win regionals to do that.” And while the soccer player almost didn’t make it too prom, senior tennis and girls golf players will be leaving early to make it to their regional tournaments in Lubbock that begin on April 15. Both teams will be leaving Sunday morning, meaning these seniors must be back from prom early in the morning. “I am definitely torn between staying at prom and the after party, and then having to leave early for my tennis tournament,” senior tennis player Lizzie Bell said. “It could be my last tournament so I want to play well and be rested but then it is my senior prom. You look forward to that forever, and I won’t get the whole experience.” Most of the athletes were given a choice by their coaches of whether or not they wanted to stay late at prom and fly to their tournaments the next day, or whether they would want to drive with the rest of the team. The tennis players chose to drive early Sunday morning, forcing them to leave the night festivities early. The girls golf team elected to fly. Coppell athletes have a level of commitment to both their sports and social life that makes these decisions hard. “Obviously, the perfect answer would be all high schools to schedule their graduation

Graphic by Rinu Daniel

and social events after the end of the spring season sports,” tennis coach Jane Jackson said. “Unfortunately life is full of choices, and we all are forced to make difficult ones. You have to choose based on your own values and using your own judgments. A team player has committed to the team for all games. A playoff game, which means it’s for a state championship, is huge. “Ask any athlete and I’m sure they will tell you playing sports and reaching the finals is something they strive for all through high school and sometimes even before they reach high school. While going to prom might be a memorable occasion especially with all the expense, most students don’t dream about this event for 12 years. I

would hope my athletes realize that this is the first of many difficult decisions they will encounter throughout life.” The coaches understand the tough decisions facing their athletes and want to help them make the best decision for them. “In most cases, my players have been able to attend both,” Jackson said. “The state qualifiers that I have coached in the past never considered putting prom first. I definitely feel there is a relation to the skill and intensity level of the athletes and the choices they make. We have adjusted schedules, changed flights and helped our players as much as possible to be able to attend prom. Thankfully, I have never had a tennis player choose prom over our regional tournament.”

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Fans believe we that will win, support every sport ALEX NICOLL Sports Writer

“I believe…I believe that…I believe that we…I believe that we will win, I believe that we will win, I believe that we will win!” The cheers radiate down from the famous Coppell student section as the Cowboys take the court. The fans that made the cheers popular at the football games are not the ones leading them now though. It’s time that the football players returned the favor. The Cowboy football team has made it its goal to go out and support the other sports at Coppell with just as much spirit that was shown at their games this year. “Our coaches encouraged us to go since they came put to support us during our season,” sophomore lineman Glenn Williams said. Although basketball and baseball games have smaller followings, and not all of the football players go, the team’s leaders always seem to make an appearance. Senior quarterback Colby Mahon, junior linebacker Collins Okotcha and junior lineman Bill Weber are just a few that are in attendance. It is not just the players that attend the coaches go as well. “A lot of the coaches go to the Hebron games since some came from there,” Weber said. Besides the chants and rallies the players do, they also have some more creative ways to get into the heads of Coppell’s opponents. “If they do something weird we will call them out on it,” Weber said. “The best thing is when we get a reaction out of them.” Some schools are easier than others. Weber said Flower Mound did not respond at all to any of the student sections cries, but Lewisville on the other hand was the perfect team. According to Weber the team would always respond when they did something good and would exchange words.

Their presence although small compared to their football counterparts is felt throughout the programs. Weber said that on many occasions the dads of the baseball team come up to him and the other football players and express the appreciation of them coming out to support the team. “I think that the energy they provide, our players feed off of it,” head basketball coach Kit Pehl said. “When things are going well, they take it and make it 10 times the amount of what it actually is because when the guys are on the floor they can feed off the positive energy from the crowd.” Pehl recalled a time that he was at a baseball game and his son, Gabe, saw a couple of the guys and went over to them since he hung out with them in the stands of the basketball games. He saw that they brought that same intensity to the baseball game. “It is amazing. I think the unity here, the care that people have for their schoolmates and for their teammates is above and beyond,” Pehl said. “It is really neat that even outside of sports everything matters. It matters to you guys.” Players are also ecstatic about the support they receive because most of the time basketball or any other sport does not draw the same crowd as football. Every fan counts. “Junior point guard Landon Goesling said that I was his favorite student section guy,” Weber said. The football players also bring posters of player’s heads to the games and they make up special cheers for individual players on the opposite team. “One guy looked like an oompaloompa, so we started chanting the oompa-loompa song,” Weber said. One more reason besides going out to cheer on their schoolmates is to support their own. Coach Nate Blackwell, coach Clint Rushing, and coach Shawn Sparks, all football coaches, coach baseball for Coppell.

At games there is only one way to describe them. “We are loud and proud,” Williams said. After the tragedies that occurred at Coppell this year with the passing of seniors Jacob Logan and Jonah Blackwell, students have come together in times of need to strengthen

one another. The student section led by the Cowboys is just another example of how there’s strong but then there’s Coppell strong. “It is just something we do,” Weber said. “We love the support we get at our games and how big our student section for us is. I feel like we should return the favor.”

Photo by Rinu Daniel

Junior Clay Kemp and seniors Hayden Henry and Mark de la Chapelle bring horns and other loud instruments for the student section to show their support for the Cowboys during the Flower Mound football game on Oct. 19.

Arras keeps goals strong ALLISON ARNOLD Sports Writer

Successful athletes all over the world have a good career due to a lifetime of practice and dedication to the sport. However, some are lucky enough to have the capability to join a sport as a teenager and have a natural talent. Mckenna Arras, Coppell High School’s soccer team goalkeeper made an unexpected switch in sports when things didn’t work out her junior year. “I started playing soccer when I was 5 and my dad was the coach,” Arras said. “Even when I was little I was horrible with my feet, and I didn’t feel comfortable playing any other position but the goal keeper, so he stuck me in goal. That was where I fit best and I did pretty well.” However, as Arras grew older, she found herself becoming interested in volleyball and losing interest in soccer. Arras decided to give volleyball a try in middle school and ended up falling in love with it. From then on, Arras focused on volleyball to develop her skills”. “I did all of the usual things that a girl had to do to be a club volleyball player, and I was very dedicated to it,” Arras said. “I put a lot of time into the sport because I loved it, and I wanted to be really good and go far with it,” Arras said. After playing middle school and club volleyball, high school volleyball came along where she started off her freshman year playing outside hitter. Arras’s freshman year at Coppell High School, she made the freshman A team. It was not until her sophomore year that she was moved up to JV. However, the summer before her junior year, Arras did not get the results she wanted after the Coppell High School volleyball tryouts. “I made JV as a junior and I was hoping to make varsity,” Arras said. “At that point, I think I realized that I was just burned out, and I really didn’t want to play anymore. I couldn’t see myself going too far in the program after that.” Luckily, Arras still had soccer to fall back on, so she tried out again that fall for the Cowgirls soccer team, where she earned a spot as varsity goalkeeper. “I was obviously thrilled and slightly surprised when I found out I made varsity,” Arras said. “After volleyball ended for me, I found myself enjoying soccer and the whole program

so much more, and I really began to appreciate it.” Overall, Arras’s teammates have proven to be her biggest fans. Because of her easy-going personality as well as her amazing ability as a goal keeper, Arras is someone that the whole team thinks very highly of. “McKenna is hilarious and has become a really great friend of mine,” sophomore forward Sarah King said. “She is also a fantastic goal keeper, and a teammate that everyone can rely on. All of the younger girls respect her and look up to her so much as a leader, and she never disappoints.” Considering Arras’s transition from volleyball to soccer happened so fast, there is no doubt she’s highly coachable and has a natural talent for the sport. “To be successful in goal, you either have to be tall and built in stature or incredibly quick and responsive,” coach Chris Stricker said. “McKenna has all of those qualities, which is what makes her such an important part of our team and overall, in the top three of the best goalkeeper’s I’ve ever coached.” Although quitting volleyball was a very tough decision for Arras, she looks back now and does not regret a thing. “I’ve loved both my volleyball and soccer experiences,” Arras said. “And although it wasn’t at all what I expected, I’m so glad I finished high school playing soccer. I’ve developed so many great friendships after transitioning to soccer, but I got to keep the friends I made in volleyball as well. Looking back I realized that not making varsity volleyball my junior year was just the way it was supposed to be, and it was a way for me to Senior goalkeeper see what sport I McKenna Arras really needed to Photo by Rowan Khazendar be playing.”

24 the sidekick

APRIL 2013

The Sidekick newspaper  
The Sidekick newspaper  

Volume 24 Issue 5 Coppell High School