December 2014

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The Stinger December 2014

Volume 40 @stingerehs @stingerehs

Issue 3


Family friends such as Heidi Unterberg (left), Joan Romig (middle), and Tara Yons (right) embrace Jeanette “Mama” Grim after releasing balloons into the air with Holly’s information Photos by Lindsay Harner Photo illustration by Justine Coleman

One year later, mom not found

Colleen Grablick Associate Editor On the morning of Nov. 22, while most Emmaus students still lay in bed, excited for the upcoming Thanksgiving week and the return of family members, one high school junior joined his relatives outside the Trexlertown Grange amongst a sea of purple and yellow balloons. With the chill of late fall in the air, friends, family, and neighbors milled around the building in the 27-degree weather, dry leaves crunching beneath their feet, all sporting purple shirts and yellow ribbons. For the Grim family, this Thanksgiving was spent with one empty place setting. For the second consecutive year, they missed a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, a best friend, a mother. Exactly one year earlier on Nov. 22, 2013, Wescosville resident Holly Ann Grim disappeared some time in the morning after dropping her son, Zach, off at the bus stop before he headed to what seemed another day in 10th grade at Emmaus. But it wasn’t. According to police investigators, Grim, 42, disappeared sometime after 6:33 a.m., after dropping Zach off at the bus stop. Her car and car keys were found left at her home in Red Maples Mobile Home


Park, which sits along Grange Road, just north of Hamilton Boulevard in Lower Macungie Township. Friends and family commemorated the one-year anniversary at the Wescosville site, only yards away from the bus stop where Zach, now an EHS junior, last saw his mom. As “The Purple Shirts,” a nickname given to the group of Holly’s friends and family dedicated to spreading awareness for her case, mingled around the grange, a group of more than 30 carried handfuls of purple and yellow balloons, Holly’s two favorite colors. Attached onto each balloon was a card including Holly’s information. With the release of the balloons came a flood of emotion for all members attending, as little purple and yellow dots floated above Holly’s neighborhood. Trooper Robert Devers of the Pennsylvania State Police at Fogelsville attended the balloon release to support the family. “[Events like these] are very important,” said Devers, lead investigator of the case. “We appreciate the public’s help to find her.” In a case such as Holly’s, Devers believes that strong communication between the family and the investigators is crucial to bringing her home safely and quickly. “[The family] is vital,” Devers said.

Volleyball player fights leukemia


“It’s a good resource of information for her daily activities.” After a year of investigation, state police continue to monitor Holly’s case weekly for any new leads. As an open investigation with little clues, the case does not provide investigators with much to build their investigation off of, according to Devers. “It’s been frustrating,” Devers said. “We’re still asking for the public’s help to bring her home.”

the balloon release raised awareness for Holly’s case, while giving her loved ones a chance to congregate and pray for her. “It gives us a chance to come together,” said Kropf. “It keeps her name out there.” As she spoke, tears welled in Kropf’s eyes, and her voiced cracked as she reflected on her longtime friend. “I miss her more every day,” said Kropf. “I just want her to come home.” A Channel 69 News reporter covered the balloon release, and Jeanette, or

Holly Grim’s friend Terri Kropf With her small frame, weighing only 100 pounds, Holly’s disappearance left a heavy toll on the lives of her family and friends. As the Grim family mourns the sudden disappearance, they gather at events such as the balloon release to remember the brown-eyed brunette who left her coffee mug and keys untouched that late fall morning. Friends of Holly such as Wescosville resident Terri Kropf believe

The beauty of the ugly sweater


“Mama Grim,” Holly’s mother spoke to the reporter. “God’s going to bring her home,” Grim told 69 News. The family declined to speak to The Stinger during the event. Please continue on page 4.

McGinnis leads All-American soccer team

The Stinger This Just-In

Always Ticking Away Everyone seems to constantly go. They never stop and never rest. Everyone’s busy and focused on their needs, their destination, and their life. Before I start, I have two things to say. I want to make sure this remains clear: I am responsible for my jam-packed schedule. I do this to myself, but not just for me. Also, I am totally going to contradict my last column (which happened to be about complaining). I’m a hypocrite; I know. Sometimes, I have to let it out though. In this day and age, it has become difficult to be a people-pleaser. Keeping my parents, my siblings, my teachers, potential colleges, and my friends happy has become my full-time job. I immediately know what comes to your mind. Stop worrying about what other people think, but ask any high schooler. It is not as easy as it seems. Think about it: when did you last do something for yourself? I work two jobs to have money to drive in order to make gas money, just so I can work some more. For one job, I choose my hours, but I feel the need to go in once or twice a week. I take four A.P. classes for my college transcript. I work on college applications to get into college for my benefit, but also to impress others, as egotistical as that sounds. I do homework to please my teachers and my parents. I watch my sister, so my stepmom can have a well-deserved break. I go to sleep early without doing my homework, so I do not get sick, have to stay home, and make my friends and family upset. I hardly have time to eat anymore. I, like everyone else on this earth, juggle every aspect of my life, forever trying to not let any ball hit the ground. But unfortunately, I have dropped the ball lately. I do not want to be a martyr, although that is what it sounds like I admit. I am one of too many teenagers experiencing a large amont of stress and pressure from the world. I discussed writing this column with a few friends, and they immediately agreed: high school stress is a real problem for each of us. I assure you; you are not the only one. I don’t think there is a solution for it though. It is what it is. The thing is that time management will forever be a part of life. Adults experience similar stress. I think half the reason I struggle so much is I think this is what the rest of my life will be like, constantly struggling to meet the next deadline (as a journalist, this will be a definite). If someone knows how to master it, let me know. One simple solution is to stop caring. Hah. I’ve been trying that for years. Maybe people should become content with what they can do. Because I’m sorry to everyone I have disappointed, but I do the best I can, just like most people. I promise you I am way more disappointed with myself than you are with me. We teenagers are not the slackers that most people make us out to be. Some of us work our butts off to get everything done. The thing is, if you’re me, you don’t get everything done, and that’s okay. In the end, no one can please everyone. It’s impossible. What matters in life? Happiness. I have to learn to become a better person by accepting who I am more than what others want me to be. Just wondering, but do you think that you are happy? You have every right to live your life to the happiest you can be. Do not let other people stop you. However, don’t slack off all the hours you have free. And as for the high schoolers out there, schedule yourself wisely. The point of this rant of complaining that I really should not be writing is that society seems to think all teenagers do is party and hang out with friends. I want to tell you the majority of teens I know do not have time for that. A lot of hard workers exist in this generation. Please do not put all teenagers in the world down with words of criticism. The few that I know are doing the best they can. If you are not happy with your life, don’t just grumble. Change your schedule. Set your priorities straight. If you can, talk to those who make you feel worthless because honesty helps so much more than holding it in. No one deserves to feel crushed by pressure. If life has become too much, talk to someone that can play a role in fixing it. Life can be stressful. Heck, everyone knows that. Do not let it get to you. Everything will turn out perfectly in the end because everything will be worth it. Now as I wrap up this draft a week after it is due, I apologize again for complaining, but the shame is slowly drifting away. I can do it, as can you.

Associate Editor Colleen Grablick @collllsss

Editor-in-chief Justine Coleman @JustineColeman8 Business Manager News Editor Maura Benner @bennedryl Assistant News Editor Cathryn Seibert @ryncat98

Assisant Online News Editor Ellie Lewis @ellie_lewis14

Assistant Opinion Editor Will Newbegin @free_willy98

Opinion Editor Angie Stein @shmangieangie

Assisant Feature Editor Tori Delhagen @tori_delhagen

Features Editor Christine Carlson

Assisant Feature Editor Rania Draklellis @ou_rania

Assistant Culture Editor Kayla McGovern

Culture Editor Olivia Riccio @Liv120497

Assistant Online Culture Editor Rachel McQuiston @rachelmcqq

Assistant Sports Editor Katie Mest @katiemest

Sports Editor John Lang @JohnLang05

Online Sports Editor Jason Kashuba

Web Administrator Darsh Patel

Adviser Denise Reaman

Web Administrator Zooey He

Photographer Rachel Reed

Photo Editor Lindsay Harner @lindsayharner

Photographer Jared O’Neill

Copy Editor Ava Johnson

Cartoonist Max Krug

Copy Editor Holy Diehl

2014 NSPA Third Place News Story of the Year Superior Ratings in Newswriting Superior Ratings in Cartooning 2014 Keystone Press Awards Second Place Ongoing News Coverage Honorable Mention News Story First, Second, Honorable Mention Public Service Package First Place Feature Story First, Second Place Personality Profile Honorable Mention Column Writing Second Place Review Writing First Place Photo Story Honorable Mention Website 2014 Pennsylvania School Press Association Awards First, Second Place Feature Story, Second Place in Nation First Place Review, Honorable Mention in Nation First, Second Place Column First Place Photo Story Second Place Editorial

Opinion Columnist Jacob Puleo @JacobPuleo

Colleen’s Corner

Netflix Nightmare About one year ago, I wrote a column detailing my newfound addiction to the hit teen soap opera, Gossip Girl. From January until June, when the tear-jerker series finale broke my heart, the show consumed my life. Every Friday and Saturday night I was sure to be found hiding up in my room, laptop perched on my lap, fuzzy pink blanket draped over my legs, dignity and self-esteem dropping rapidly with each new episode started. Over the duration of the sixth months in which I religiously watched the show, I fell in love with the twisted love triangles, the urban setting of New York City, and the captivating character of Chuck Bass. I invested myself in the show and frequently talked about the characters as if they were real people that I had actually interacted with in real life. In retrospect, I now realize how unhealthy this addiction truly was. Like an alcoholic at an intervention, I constantly denied the problem, innocently defending my six hour long binge sessions. After the final scene of the series faded to black on my laptop screen, I felt a giant, Chuck Bass-shaped hole opening in my heart. I have to find another show, I thought frantically as I scrolled through the “Recommended for Colleen” bar on my Netflix account. Initially, I began a series called One Tree Hill. A soap opera from the early 2000s, the show never really stuck with me. Set in a small town, it lacked the vivacious energy of Manhattan, which Gossip Girl so perfectly emanated. I made it through two seasons before realizing that my attempt at replacing Gossip Girl had been a complete failure. By this point it was late July, and now I had no show to look forward to watching while I was at work, schlepping hot dogs and french fries in a health-code-violating pool snack bar. Just when I thought I had reached rock bottom, (I resorted to watching hours and hours of pointless YouTube videos a day) something came along and saved me from the Netflix rut that I was enduring. It was almost like God moved my hand, not me, as my finger moved the cursor over to the play button when I decided to start watching NBC’s comedy, The Office. Now, I had seen episodes before. I watched the last few episodes of the final season while it still aired on regular television, and I often watched reruns of the show on TBS. However, I wanted to get the full experience by watching the episodes in order. For those unfamiliar with the series, first of all, I’m sorry. That’s really unfortunate. But I feel as though I should provide a brief synopsis of the show in order to validate my obsession. The show profiles a small branch of a paper company named Dunder Mifflin, located in Scranton, PA. The workers in the office are aware that they are being filmed, and often at points throughout an episode sit down for an interview. Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, runs the office, holding the title of Regional Manager. His right-hand man, Dwight K. Schrute, owner of Schrute Beet Farm, holds the title of Assistant To the Regional Manager, not to be confused with Assistant Regional Manager. Together, the two provide the basis of the humor throughout the series, as each is a complete idiot. With each new episode is a new problem, a new screw-up, a new person Michael hit with his car (yes he hit an employee with his car). As for the rest of the employees, they possess individual quirks and humorous attributes, such as the sexually confused Cornell graduate Andy Bernard or Meredith Palmer, the provocative alcoholic. And I can’t forget to mention the office-romance between the only normal people to work at Dunder Mifflin, Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly. Soon, I began filling my late night summer nights with marathons of Michael and Dwight instead ofChuck and Blair. With each episode only lasting only 21 minutes, I could crank out at least six episodes a night. I was flying through the series, and as time went on, I found myself forgetting about the twisted love triangles of Gossip Girl. It turns Michael Scott was really all I needed to fill that Chuck Bass shaped hole in heart (although Chuck still looks better in a suit). I didn’t need another show full of drama and pettiness set in the hustle and bustle of New York. I traded the Big Apple for the Electric City, and could not be happier with my decision.

The Cookie Quarrel


IN-DEPTH REPORTING ON TOPICS THAT MATTER TO YOU 3 NEWS EDITOR MAURA BENNER KEEPS ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR CATHRYN SEIBERT GETTING BENNER Ever since the tender age of five, I have been a Girl Scout. For the last 13 years, I have been singing those campfire songs, earning badges, and showing up on your doorstep, in the hopes that my wide eyes and winning smile will somehow convince you to buy something. I find that many people are surprised when I tell them that as a senior, I’m still in scouting. Maybe because when they picture a Girl Scout, they think of a thirdgrade girl in knee high socks with a cute gap in her teeth and a box of cookies in her hand. For the most part, that image isn’t exactly wrong; but there’s one detail in that I’d like to touch on. Let’s rewind to October. My fellow troop friends and I are at Boscov’s one Tuesday night, all of us wearing our uniforms and selling coupons to fundraise for a trip we want to take in the spring. We aren’t sitting at our station for 10 minutes when someone spots us, comes over and asks us the question we hear far too often: “Are you selling cookies?” I don’t really blame people when Caramel DeLites or Thin Mints are the first things that pop into their heads. Selling cookies is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and it’s without a doubt the event that gets the most publicity. But if I had a quarter for every time someone asked if I was selling cookies, when I’m clearly doing something else, I would have enough money to pay for whatever I was fundraising for in the first place. In our area, cookie season begins in January, and while I’d like to remind everyone to support their local troops this selling season, I’d also like to mention that, believe it or not, selling cookies isn’t the only thing Girl Scouts do. Like a fine wine or cheese, scouting gets better with age, and infinitely more interesting. In the past two years alone, I’ve had many incredible opportunities through scouting. My troop and I helped to plan a leadership conference at Cedar Crest College last summer, which had about 250 girls and leaders in attendance. I serve as a delegate for the Girl Scouts of Eastern PA to help with decision making in our councils. I recently completed my Gold Award, the highest award a scout can earn, and the equivalent of a Boy Scout Eagle Project. For my project, I repurposed a retired church into a community center. All these opportunities and countless other events are just some of the reasons I’ve been in scouting for so long, which is why it bugs me a bit how a cookie can shadow some of the amazing things Girl Scouts do throughout a year. With all things Girl Scouts, we put hard work into our selling season. Cookie season means a lot of leg work for scouts, leaders, and parents, work that we will willingly do to reach our goals. So what to you may be a delicious annual treat or a sabotage to your New Year’s resolution, to me symbolizes another season of standing outside in the late winter months as I lose feeling in my fingers and toes. Though with good purpose, might I add. Don’t get me wrong, the cookies are great; they’re an excellent seller that helps fund troops across the country to travel, earn badges, and do other activities that make scouting so memorable. Just this past summer my troop and I took a 10-day adventure to Paris, London, and Dublin, and without cookie season, we wouldn’t have been able to meet our fundraising goals and travel to so many awesome places. And I too will succumb to binging on a few rows of Shortbread every season. So when you’re buying those cookies, please remember what the real purpose of cookie season is every year; supporting our girls. Peace out, Girl Scout.


Report suggests enrollment decline over 10 years

Maura Benner News Editor The East Penn School District expects to experience a decline in enrollment over the next decade, according to a report conducted by the Pennsylvania Economy League. The district hired the PEL, which presented its findings at the Oct. 27 school board meeting, to prepare an analysis of the district’s demographics in order to project district-wide enrollment over the next 10 years. Senior Research Associate Charlie Watters presented the report to the community and the school board to help with future planning. Within the next five years, the district should expect to see the overall enrollment drop by more than 260 students, Watters said. In the following five years, East Penn could see another decrease of another 420some students, he said. “The product of this effort is designed to serve as a base for informed decision-making by the board, the administration, and the general public, with respect to building, staffing, and program needs of the district,” Watters said at the meeting. In an interview with The Stinger, superintendent of schools Dr. Michael Schilder said the district hired the PEL based on speculation of the Lehigh Valley, including the East Penn School District, becoming an “exploding area.” “The Lehigh Valley, being so popular for

people to live in... [is] placed perfectly for growth,” Schilder said. “So, is that going to happen in East Penn? We want to be ready for it, if it’s going to happen.” Schilder cited the valley’s proximity to major cities such as New York City and Philadelphia and access to Interstate 78 as reasons for the area’s popularity. However, the findings of the PEL’s report for the next decade predict the opposite. Watters said the majority of the growth in population of the district occurred in the first six to seven years of the 2000s, but afterwards, in more recent years, experienced a “drop-off.” Likewise, while school enrollments have increased by 10 percent over the past decade, enrollments in recent years have become “flat.” “Based on our analysis, we believe that the flat and stable, recent figures will become a sustained annual loss in enrollments over the next five years,” Watters told the board. Watters then said that the PEL predicts an “accelerated rate of decline” in overall enrollments during the second five-year period. In order to predict future enrollment projections, Schilder said the PEL looks at factors such as birth trends, historical enrollment trends, plans for future development in the district, and housing trends, and then using a “very complex formula” are able to project future enrollments. Watters said that births are the most

powerful factor that affects enrollment projections, and that economic conditions are affecting housing and family. With more families having fewer children, the pupil per housing unit numbers are decreasing. The district was also using the report as a means of judging if more schools needed to be built to accommodate more students, but the results show that such plans will not be needed at this time. Schilder said that the decreasing number of children expected over the 10-year period, while possible, most likely won’t affect the number of teaching jobs. “If you have a decrease of 200 kids, but that’s spread across K-12, 10 buildings, your chances of actually decreasing the teachers, teaching staff, are very slim,” Schilder said. “Just because one year it looks like you may be able to reduce a teacher, you also have to look beyond that.” Schilder also said that while these reports are a good starting point, school districts must remain vigilant for events that could change enrollment numbers. “That’s something a school district, in terms of a demographics report, has to pay attention to every single year,” Schilder said. “You really have to watch that, keep your ears and eyes on the lookout for changes in zoning, for new plans that the township might come up with for putting in a housing development. “And that,” he said, “could change everything.”

What economic factors can affect enrollment? “Anytime the economy is growing... you have people move in. It’s kind of a double-edged sword for a district like ours... we have a lot of white-collar jobs. White-collar families have a tendency to be smaller...” “Primarily, having kids is expensive. So unless [families] have the income generated that can make having a child comfortable, they may decide to forgo that for a few years until the economy picks up a little bit and folks see their income go up.” Tom Warnke, Department Chair, Social Studies

John Gallagher, Social Studies teacher

Guido takes third in nation; Grablick, Stein “superior”

Rachel McQuiston Assistant Online Editor Former Emmaus student Katrina Guido received third in the nation for National School Press Association News Story of the Year. In October of 2013, Guido wrote an article on Julian Stolz, a former board member for the East Penn School District. Recently, the article was nominated for National Scholastic Press Association News Story of the Year, and last month it was named third in the country. This experience overwhelmed Guido. “It’s very unreal just because I was writing an article for a high school newspaper just to get the facts out to the school population, parents, teachers, etc,” said Guido. Guido did not expect to obtain such a prestigious award for her article, “Stolz to Resign Amid Controversy.” According to Guido, this was a very last minute story. “I honestly don’t even know why we chose this piece to enter into the competition,” said Guido. “But we did, and it got the award, and again it was a very unreal experience when I found out.” Principal David Piperato believes that this recognition is an honor to Emmaus

High School. “It sets us apart from many traditional high schools in that you have so few of those awards be presented, and three of them going to students from the same high school, it clearly indicates that we are a notch above other high schools,” said Piperato. Along with Guido, junior Colleen Grablick and sophomore Angeline Stein received Superior ratings at the NSPA writeff competition. Grablick earned Superior in Newswriting and Stein in Editorial Cartooning. Grablick takes pride in the outcome of the competition. “I think it is an honor because it was a national competition,” said Grablick. “[We] competed with people all around the nation and with our coming in the top less than 1 percent, it really shows what kind of journalism is coming out of Emmaus.”

Stein is glad to have made her newspaper proud. “The fact that I was able to push through and make my teacher proud and my newspaper proud is really cool,” said Stein. Piperato also takes pleasure in the results of the competition. “...they are a true presentation of the kind of student who comes to Emmaus High School, who learns while at Emmaus High School, and who leaves Emmaus High School,” said Piperato.

Above: Guido holds her national award from the NSPA. Left: Stein and Grablick pose with their medals and certificates

Photos by Rachel Reed and Lindsay Harner



December 2014


Computer fair showcases coding expertise entist and prominent representative in the Computer Science community. Computer Science Week begins Dec. 9, Hopper’s birthday. Mathematics and computer science teacher Carlen Blackstone organized the showcase, which began six years prior and has since given students the opportunity to manifest their programming skills. Blackstone believes coding is the new literacy of the 21st century. “Students that know how to develop that software are in better shape than those who don’t,” said Blackstone. The many benefits of computer science include basic computer communication and understanding media. Even people who are not familiar with coding use some form of computer communication every day in their jobs, college writing classes, emailing, and the occasional tweet. “It’s cool that in today’s world you can now program just about anything,” said Blackstone. Many EHS students’ attendance was due to not only the showcase, but also

to the large cake available to everyone. Emmaus junior Matt Grispo enjoyed the showcase, as well as the cake. “I like talking to everyone about their profession,” said Grispo. “It also helps that my teacher is giving me extra credit.” EHS mathematics teacher Christopher Ritter also enjoys Cory Ross, Nick Quinn, and Sally Baer speak to professionals. talking to the computer science professionals about need to know how to code and that Emmaus has high quality computer science their work. “It’s a growing field,” said Ritter. programs that are available to students. “You don’t have to be advanced at “There are so many different things you math, but you have to be comfortable,” can do.” Blackstone believes that students said Blackstone.

Photo by Ellie Lewis

Ellie Lewis Assistant Online News Editor On Dec. 4, Emmaus High School students exhibited their coding expertise in a computer science showcase to prepare for the celebration of National Computer Science Education Week. There was an overwhelming crowd of students, parents, and faculty that attended the Computer Science Showcase to witness students demonstrate their coding knowledge. Students hosted multiple showcase events in the EHS math hallway such as demonstrations from the Robotics Team of programmable robots, demonstrations from middle school and high school students of their best computer science projects, and meeting computer science professionals. National Computer Science Education Week annually promotes students’ fascination in computer science and urges them to learn more. The event is held in recognition of late computing innovator Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. Hopper was a computer sci-

Students hack their way into competition

Cathryn Seibert Assistant News Editor Pranksters, fame seekers, criminals. These are hackers -- people who lurk behind screens in faraway places as they try to gain unauthorized access to your computer and steal your identity, access your bank account. Despite the negative connotation with the term “hacking,” Emmaus High School computer science students recently competed in picoCTF, an online, challengebased computer security event. Students must try to try to do whatever they can to decrypt, solve, or decode --whatever it takes-- into computer systems to solve challenges, giving them legal ways to obtain hands-on hacker experience. Around 20 computer science students in teams of three to five signed up for the competition, which began near the end of October and continued into early November, lasting for two weeks. The competition, sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, focused on utilizing computer skills related to hacking in order to complete various challenges. Carlen Blackstone, a mathematics and computer science teacher, oversaw the students in their efforts. Students from Blackstone’s Advanced Computer Science Topics class could work on the challenges as much or as little as they wanted, and although they were given class time to complete the challenges, many students chose to con-

tinue their work outside of school. “They still learned something no matter what they chose to do,” Blackstone said. “I felt like the advertisement for the competition said that you would learn a lot about computer security just by participating in the contest. That was part of the reason I did it. It wasn’t just to do well, but it was a learning experience for them to get exposure to [different skills].” Despite the negative connotation associated with the term “hacking,” Blackstone believed that the competition benefitted students, and did not at all encourage misuse of skills learned. “I always teach my students computer ethics because I believe strongly that you cannot possibly completely make something, a computer system foolproof, that there needs to be a certain amount of ethical controlled behavior by users,” Blackstone said. “The best choice is to not try to prevent [students] from doing something, but to teach them why they should do the right thing.” Although Blackstone’s high value of ethics presents itself in class, murmurs of illicit activity, including students hacking into grades, exist among her computer science students -- such as rumors that someone allegedly hacked into e-school to change his scores, but was never caught. Blackstone understands that people view hacking in a negative manner for various reasons.

“The concept of hacking has a negative connotation simply because people use it in the wrong way,” Blackstone said. “The definition of hacking is that you have ways to access information that is not easily accessible by others. So from that standpoint, if you use that basic definition, there’s nothing negative about it… If you compromise the integrity of the process, then it becomes a negative thing.” Jacob Gilbert, a junior who took part in the competition, agreed with Blackstone. “Hacking is not necessarily what you think it is,” he said. He thought it could be used in a lot of ways that are not controversial, and believes that picoCTF taught him many useful skills. “[Other students and I] got to look at a bunch of different [computer] languages,” Gilbert said. “...It’s really good to try to see if you can change a program without necessarily being told how to.” Sophomore John Hadfield, another picoCTF participant, disagreed with Gilbert. He felt he didn’t learn much from the competition. “[Hacking is] an interesting concept,” he said. “If [picoCTF] taught us how to actually do things, then I think it would have been a lot better. Maybe if they had put tutorials instead of giving really bad hints, or telling you to ‘Google it.’” Hadfield, who reached only the base levels of picoCTF, thought that the skills the competition taught didn’t fall under

Search continues for missing mom Members from a non-profit group, the Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons, came to Wescosville to spread The balloon release allowed Holly’s the word about Holly’s disapperance. Her closest friends to come together, and recase was part of the group’s “Road to mind everyone that Holly is not be forgotRemember” tour, which highlighted 110 ten. For her longtime childhood friend, reports of missing people. The tour lasted Tara Yons of Upper Milford Township, eight days, travelled 4,011 miles, and feaevery day has been a tured 22 struggle. stops. “I miss her because Monica I miss my friend,” said Caison, Yons, as she teared up founder as she thought about her of CUE, friend, “the person you spoke at could go to talk about the Oct. anything and every12 vigil, thing.” reminding Heidi Unterberg, a the family fellow “Purple Shirt,” that Holagreed. ly’s case “Everyone in this will not group would say the be forgotsame thing,” said Unter- Jeanette Grim opens up to 69 News Reporter ten. After burg. “She’s everyone’s Keleigh Gibbs at the balloon release, regarding s t a r t i n g best friend.” the orgaher daughter’s disappearance Earlier in the fall, the nization grange hosted another in 1994, vigil to raise awareness for Holly’s case. Caison dedicated her life to to bringing

Continued from Page One

the typical notion of “hacking.” “A lot of the hacking stuff that we learned isn’t even ‘hacking,’” he said. “It’s just like going into a webpage and taking off like a blacked out bar, or figuring out patterns, and stuff like that. So it wasn’t really hacking ‘hacking,’ it was more… pretend. Well, it seemed that way, at least in the beginning stages.” Blackstone said she has never had serious problems with hacking, except for one incident many years ago. “Years ago we had one student who was expelled,” she said. “He deliberately tried to hack into the [school] computer systems. I have not had any students recently that have ever done that. There have been students that have misused the computer system, like they put games on there or whatever, but I haven’t had anybody actually try to hack into the system.” Blackstone believes that actions such as this come from a student’s desire to challenge oneself. “Most students do that because they want to challenge themselves to see if they can,” she said. “And that’s an admirable desire, to want to try to do as much as you possibly can, but you have to do it in an ethical way.” Blackstone believes that picoCTF provides an outlet for students to challenge themselves “in a positive way,” and she plans on having students compete again next year.

lost loved ones back to their families. She home from a typical school day at Emcouldn’t imagine her life without her job. maus to an empty home. “I don’t know what I can do anything “Just why, what happened,” Grim reelse anymore,” said Caison. called of his reaction upon hearing the CUE only news. “There’s no way accepts 100 to describe it.” cases out of Events such as the 800,000 missvigil and balloon reing cases every lease spread awareyear, which ness for Holly’s case, can be overand support from the whelming for community and orgaCaison. While nizations such as CUE the families brings Holly’s family need individone step closer to seeing ual attention, her. The family cannot Caison must Hundreds of balloons were kept in The express its gratitude for remind herself Grange; to each was attached a card with the ongoing outreach Holly Grim’s information. to look at the from the community. bigger pic“[I’m] more thankture. ful than I can say,” Zach said. “[The family’s] primary focus is HolAuthorities urge anyone with tips to ly,” said Caison. “My primary focus is call the Fogelsville barracks’ criminal the world.” investigation unit at 610-395-1438. PennThe vigil stirred somber emotions sylvania Crime Stoppers is also offering a for the Grim family, as they prayed and reward, according to police. wished for her safe return. Her son, Zach, could not understand what happened that day, as he returned Photos by Lindsay Harner



December 2014

Marsteller’s story encourages students

Cathryn Seibert Assistant News Editor Mike Marsteller, a 2001 graduate of Emmaus High School, motivated EHS students during four sessions of his presentation “Be You and Breakthrough” in November. Marsteller, who attended Slippery Rock University following his time at EHS, grew up in Emmaus, and returned to his alma mater to tell students about how he overcame obstacles in his life. Marsteller conquered the emot i o n a l struggles following his father’s death from cancer and later founded the HCM Foundation, which focuses on providing financial aid to families affected by cancer. Apart from pursuing his motivational speaking career and working with the Foundation, Marsteller runs, cycles, and participates in Ironman triathlons, something he has pursued since college. Marsteller hopes to help students apply his motivations in their personal lives in order to be successful. One of his points assisted students in understanding their worth and individuality. “Finding who you really are” proved to be an overarching theme of the presentation. “You have the ability to do things in this world that no one else is even capable of doing because no one else is just like you,” Marsteller said. He also placed value on perspective,

and his idea that if students change their outlook “obstacles [can become] opportunity.” “We decide how to perceive our obstacles,” he said. Marsteller elaborated on how he applied this in his life, as his father died of cancer when he was only a young child. He and his brother were then raised by their mother, and endured the struggles that came from living with one parent. He said his mother often faced troubles getting her family what they needed. Cancer’s effect on his life and family inspired Marsteller to turn his obstacles into opportunity, like he said, and he created the HCM Foundation. “You don’t have to let [your trials] hold you back,” Marsteller said. Marsteller feels that in order to achieve success in life, one should surround him or herself with positive, encouraging people. He told a story about how someone he knew in college did not support his dreams, and if he had listened to her negativity, his future would have been altered irreversibly. “I would have lost out on becoming the person I was meant to be,” he said. Since then, Marsteller has tried to keep only upbeat, inspirational people by his side to urge him forward through life’s

“You have the ability to do things in this world that no one else is even capable of doing because no one else is just like you.”

journey. “You need some strong, solid people by your side,” he said. “Together, we make each other better. Together we make each other great.”

Top: Mike Marsteller addresses students. Photo by Lindsay Harner Bottom: Marsteller graduated from Emmaus High School. Photo courtesy of






December 2014

I N O N E B I T E - S I Z E PA C K A G E


Write and wrong: why the writing section of the SAT matters

In an attempt to “strained relationship.” Allow me to spin a way out. It beckoned to them like Taco needing it. Making the essay an option Jacob Puleo amputate what it you a tale of woe, a story I like to call “The Bell’s latest taco thing: the ACT. She was runs the risk of colleges ignoring that score Editorial Writer views as a gangrenous limb, the College Board has decided to make the oncemandatory and almost universally hated essay portion of the SAT exam optional starting in 2016. Although the decision (announced in March of this year) is old news by now, the SAT is currently on the minds of many a student, with sophomores experiencing it for the first time next year and juniors having already taken it this past November. The changes, which were no-doubt intended to elicit a resounding “This is really good and totally not bad!” from said sophomores, are not a perfect solution to the test’s problems. In its current form, the SAT consists of reading, mathematics, and writing sections, for a total score value of 2,400. In 2016, the base test, which will include only reading and math, will be worth 1,600 points, with the essay graded separately. One might assume that college-bound students would rejoice at this and turn down the essay option without a second thought. However, removing the essay from the rest of the test neglects the other changes arriving in 2016. In addition to becoming optional, the essay itself will also be altered. In the past, critics of the SAT berated the test for its nonsensical writing prompts and even more nonsensical scoring guidelines (or lack thereof). With the coming changes, the SAT will present test-takers with more meaningful prompts and have graders focus more on content than writing style, something not bestowed upon everyone. While these changes are indeed improvements, they beg one question: If the essay has been improved, why make it optional? Because that’s exactly what people want to hear. The SAT and the SAT testee have what a couples’ therapist would call a

Ballad of the Inferior SAT and the ACT which was Obviously Better.” Once upon a time, in 2005, the same year Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” left everyone crying “Why?,”

beautiful. She had it all. Straightforward questions, less emphasis on vocabulary, and a science section, because science was rad. And for the first time, in 2013, more people took the ACT than the SAT. And

another questionable decision invoked the same reaction: the most current version of the SAT was introduced. This test, among other things, now included a mandatory writing section. Stereotypical high schoolers, still riding high on the fumes of several-years-old “What’s New Scooby-Doo?” episodes, didn’t care for it. “Writing is lame,” they said. They grew weary of getting paper cuts from flashcards. After years of hardship, the testees realized there was

the SAT would have none of it. Thus concludes the story. And here we are. While one can understand the need of competing companies to outdo each other, the College Board is approaching the situation in the wrong way. Every student has their own strengths and weaknesses in regards to the the SAT’s three sections. For those who would prefer to write the essay, it’s not a matter of wanting a writing section, it’s a matter of

Ask and you Jacob Puleo shall receive. Out of Editorial Writer

brave hero sat a group of degenerates who felt the need to prey on people like Eugene because their parents never loved them either. They proceeded to whip out their phones and take glamour shots that depicted Eugene with a pizza slice halfwaycrammed into his mouth, licking cheese powder off of his fingers, and squirting milk out his nose. Everyone thought that last one only happened in cartoons from the ‘90s, but it happens in real life, too. Anyway, the photographs found their way onto the Internet for thousands to see. Eugene, with his stereotypical “woe is me” attitude, then spiraled into a deep depression that eventually culminated in a career as a greeter at Walmart, where he completely covered his nametag in Walmart-brand smiley face stickers, so no

one would ever know his name was Eugene. The end. Is the cautionary tale of Eugene a worst-case scenario? Perhaps, but privacy is still an issue. In tacky elementary-level feel-good videos, we learned that the school environment is meant to be a safe one. Although most would refrain from saying “the school environment is meant to be a safe one” in public for fear of being branded a doofus for life, it should still hold true to this day. Students should be able to eat in peace without being surrounded by a crowd of people practically playing the part of paparazzi. For anyone who believes only “losers” need to worry about matters such as this, you’re exactly right. The lowest segments of the totem pole always get chopped first, and that is not a good thing. When students

Of The Stinger staff:


still think the essay should be a member of the SAT club

Celling out: phones at lunch not necessarily a reward

the kindness of his heart, Mr. Piperato has bestowed upon us the ability to use cellular devices during lunchtime, so long as we don’t botch it up during the pilot stage. While this decision was undoubtedly made with the purest of intentions, it will ultimately usher in some unwanted side effects. “But how could this possibly be a bad thing?” you may well wonder. “Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to tweet and eat a sandwich at the same time? A Satanist? Satan himself?” The freedom of the idea is indeed enticing, but much like the movie “Con Air,” the cons outweigh the pros. One of the policy’s major flaws is the invasion of student privacy. Knowing that the shallowest among us already snap pictures of accidentally exposed buttcracks during study hall, one can only imagine the shenanigans that could ensue in the lunchroom. Gather round, boys and girls. It’s story time. Once upon a time, there was a young man. We’ll call him Eugene, because it’s quite easy to imagine what someone named Eugene might look like. Eugene, who received such a name because his parents never loved him, walked into the cafeteria on another fine day at Emmaus High School. It was a day like any other day, except cell phone usage was now permitted in the sacred dining halls. After purchasing his ever-appetizing meal (we have to say that for legal reasons), Eugene sat down at a table all by himself because his name was Eugene. At the table across from our

completely, as some already do with the ACT’s optional essay. Someone such as a Stinger staff member may seem biased towards anything having to do with writing, but think of it this way: if reading and writing are not your strong suits, you rely on the math section to raise your score. In the same way, many see the writing section as a lifesaver. However, making any one section of the SAT optional deprioritizes it in the eyes of whomever reads your resume. Some may counter this with “Reading and mathematics are far more important than writing,” but in the grand scheme of things, the ability to express coherent thoughts in written word is a valuable life skill, and most certainly not worthy of becoming an afterthought.


wouldn’t mind if the essay left in the middle of the night and never called

are placed in a situation where they are easily susceptible to being photographed without their consent, something needs to change, and that change should not cater to those fortunate enough to master all mediums of social media. While lack of privacy poses a problem, the cell phone policy presents another issue. If you ask someone what the most noticeable change since the decree is, they’ll say something to the effect of “um, like, no one, like, talks to each other anymore.” Diminished social interaction may be a shot from the deep end of the pool, particularly the elderly section of the pool where all the jazz exercises go down, but it’s still worth noting nonetheless. Despite its challenges, this policy isn’t worth fussing over. Knowing typical Emmaus students, the privilege is in danger of being revoked as threatened in the event of a Eugene-esque fiasco. If it does come to that, at least you can go back to healthy social interactions like speaking or whatever it was people did in the neolithic age. Or you can continue to text under the table while frantically (or not so frantically) avoiding the all-seeing gaze of the lunch aides. Some days it seems that unnecessity is the mother of invention here at EHS. Editorial Policy The Stinger is a student-run newspaper published six times per year. Its content, which is the responsibility of the student staff, is not subject to direct administrative approval. The newspaper, which is designed as an open forum, serves to inform and entertain its readers as well as enrich students interested in print media studies.



Attention, please

Are you forgetting something? Your English homework. Your uncle’s birthday. Your gym clothes, maybe. I’m sure everyone around you is forgetting stuff like that, too. Angie Stein But when you were asked that question, Opinion Editor did you bother to think a little deeper? It’s easy to not mind things that don’t directly affect you. It’s easy to glance at Twitter or a news channel, see something, and then forget about it as soon as the screen goes black. In this day and age, it’s go, go, go, especially for teenagers. We all have limited time and attention to pay, and most of us prefer to use it on things that require our immediate attention. Gossip. Friends. Homework. Anything bigger and heavier than that can simply be tuned out, if we so choose. But what if it wasn’t so simple? What if you couldn’t choose to forget? What if, for instance, you lived in Ferguson, Missouri? I’m sure you’ve heard about Michael Brown, the unarmed black boy shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson, two days before he was supposed to start college. I’m also sure that most of you reading this are rolling your eyes. That’s the type of reaction that’s become all too common. As stated before, our lives are go, go, go - who has time to listen to news, express condolences, and form an educated opinion about something that happened on August 9th? If you’re thinking “no one,” that’s where you’re wrong. Regardless of what information you believe, the solid truth is that an unarmed 18-year-old boy - an age where he could have attended our school - was executed in the street by a police

officer, who is not only walking free today, but received upwards of $500,000 in donations for his crime. And those in Ferguson who chose to stand up for Michael Brown - and against Wilson’s recent non-indictment - have been met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and brutality from the police. All of this for no viable reason, except Wilson, and all the other white cops in a town that’s 60 percent black, is a racist who believes a black boy deserved to die for shoplifting, or “charging” at him, or looking like a “thug,” or whatever other B.S. excuse he’ll come up with next. This is what is happening in our country in 2014. And the fact that most of us can brush this off, and choose to do so, is frankly sickening. None of us realize how lucky we are to be able to ignore, to forget, to carry on, while our fellow citizens die in the streets. None of us realize what a privilege it is to see protesters march with their hands raised, to see parents weep over their son’s death, and the injustice he still faces after, and be able to say “I don’t care” or “Whatever” or even “Are they seriously still talking about that?” I’m trying my best not to sound like your mother, pulling out the “be grateful, others have it worse” card, but at this point, I have to. Just imagine, for a moment, that you’re waking up in the morning. And your first thoughts are not about the school day ahead, or what you’ll wear today, or any texts you received during the night. Imagine waking up in the morning and wondering if you’ll be next. If your name will become a hashtag. If petty crimes will be pinned on you to justify your death. If your murderer will be paid so much he can resign from the police force. If people will forget about you. Can you imagine at all? Either way, it doesn’t matter. No matter how hard you try to imagine, it will never compare to actually living in that fear, the fear of every single person clad in a blue uniform. The fear of the sytem that

December 2014

is supposed to protect you. The fact that most of us will never know that fear is one part of our privilege. The fact that most of us learned about the rampant racism in our country through the news, rather than first-hand experience with it, is another. The part that completes it is that we see the potential for change to happen, we see people not so privileged as us fighting just to prove their lives are worth something, and we don’t find that as important as our own day-to-day lives. It’s literally become the norm to dismiss it with a wave of the hand and get back to drinking Starbucks and obsessing over random Target employees. It’s not like I’m asking people to put their lives on hold for causes like Ferguson. Any action, from spreading awareness on social media to participating in a local protest, would be miles better than sitting there and shrugging our shoulders. Anyone who thinks it’s not worth the effort has never considered the people who have no choice. And is that not what being a decent person is all about - considering other people? All these weeks - from the date of Michael Brown’s death, to today - have you been a decent person? Or have you shown complete disregard to Darren Wilson’s unpunished crime, to the people in Ferguson suffering and mourning, and to black lives in general? Another sad truth is that racism is not just conscious hate. It’s stereotyping, it’s privilege, it’s ignorance, and it’s apathy the category a lot of us fall into. Recently, Ferguson made another splash in the media, and more recently, it’s faded away, even though it’s still happening. Tuesday, Nov. 28, I saw the trending topics on Twitter and Tumblr go from #ferguson, #handsup, and #blacklivesmatter to completely different things the next day. Apparently, that’s how quick and easy it is for people to move on from the loss of a life, because Black Friday and football are more important.

Feminism: The second F-word nobody wants to hear Ah, yes, feminism. What a riot this word causes. Last November, a fellow EHS classmate tweeted something about extreme feminists and how they could not be friends with one, and a bomb went off. Arguments left and right popped up on my timeline and judging by Alana Margolis everything I was reading, I came Opinion Contributor to the realization that only a certain amount of people know what feminism actually is. Feminism is the belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. Not every “extreme” feminist is a girl with short hair who does not shave her legs or arms because they do not want to “conform to societal norms” and screams “Yes All Women” all the time. A feminist could be anyone you see on a daily basis. And believe it or not, guys can be feminists too. Wow. Shocking, I know. But why do we live in a world where we think only females should be feminists? Do not assume that because the root word for female is in it means only women can be feminists. A meninist is a male feminist, contrary to what the recently popular twitter account says. The meninist account tweets about the equality of men and I have to admit, some of them are pretty funny but that is not what meninism is. Whoever created that account did not get their facts straight and probably should brush up on how they are labeling themselves. Feminism is not all about unequal pay, being able to “wear whatever girls want,” or any of the popular things. Although those things are very important (like how women only get paid 83 cents for every dollar a man makes, but that’s another story altogether), feminism is about being able to be on the same level as men and not feel inferior. I should be able to watch sports without a man trying to explain to me everything that is happening. I should be able to talk about cars without getting funny looks from boys who think I don’t know what I’m talking about. I should be able to have my hand resting down my pants like the some of the teenage boys in this


high school. Many famous feminists, including Emma Watson, have made a powerful impact on the equality movement. People like Watson speak up about the topics many people like to brush off and pretend aren’t there. Newsflash: ignoring things will only make it worse. Another newsflash: trying to argue with a feminist will get you nowhere. And I really mean nowhere. If you’re a guy and not a feminist, you’re a misogynist, it’s that simple. If you’re a girl and not a feminist, I’ll find you a time machine so you can go back to the 1950’s and live in your own little fantasy world. That’s what boggles my mind the most, that there are women out there who believe feminism is a joke. So being equal to men is a joke? Wow. So hilarious I almost forgot to laugh. Also, why are certain toys labeled as girl toys and others as boy toys? At work the other day, I had to go and find a stuffed animal for a woman because the one she had did not have a tag on it. The animal I was looking for was a blue monkey but the only one I found was a pink bunny but it was the same company so it was the same price. When I brought it up to the register the woman proceeded to freak out and tell me that the she could not buy the pink bunny because the gift was for a boy. Oh. I did not know that certain colors and certain animals are for certain people. If a boy wants to play with Barbies, he should be able to. If a girl wants to play with monster trucks, she should be able to. Any little kid should be able to play with whatever toy they want to, not the one that is socially assigned to their gender. Feminism is equality. Feminism is about standing side by side with your sister, your mother, a neighbor, a friend. Standing up for what is right. Let a girl play on the football team, let a boy play on the field hockey team. Let people do what they want to do despite what is the “norm” for their gender. So instead of being part of the He-Man Woman-Hater club, realize that women make up 51 percent of the current population. So who runs the world? Yes, boys, it’s girls.

Maybe the reason we move on so quickly is because we want it to blow over. You may take a look at what’s happening, think “man, that sucks,” then look away and hope it will solve itself, that it will be over soon. But even when Ferguson is “over,” even when some kind of resolution comes to the situation, what started it will never be over - not until we take a stand to end it. Yes, it sucks. “It sucks” is an understatement. But turning our backs never solved anything. Women did not earn the right to vote by just ignoring sexism, and segregation did not end because blacks decided to stop minding racism. The only way anything ever got done was by starting a movement, and if you show apathy to what’s happening right at this very moment, you are part of the problem. You think you’re too stressed out, anxious, or scared by the whole thing? Imagine how Michael Brown’s family, the Ferguson community, and black people all over America are feeling. You think it’s exhausting hearing about Ferguson, and all the racism hiding right under our “land of the free” facade? Imagine how exhausting it is living it. So go ahead. Turn a blind eye, carry on with your life, your gossip, your homework, your friends. Dismiss any mention of Ferguson with a roll of your eyes. Pretend not to hear when people discuss the racism in our country, when they make you feel like your perfect American life isn’t all that perfect. Leave yourself out of the stand people are taking, that might be in history textbooks someday. Forget how lucky you are that you can do any of these things at all. All you’re doing is ensuring this will happen again - that there will be more Michael Browns, more Darren Wilsons, and more Fergusons for you to brush off. Carry on. Let me ask you again: are you forgetting something? It seems to me like everyone is.

Ebeneezer Newbegin

I dread the cold. I don’t just mean the lack of molecular activity in the air, either; I merely loathe the concept of the cold. Cold weather is not a standalone occurrence: with it comes an overwhelming yearning for the “Christmas Spirit” - The same Christmas spirit that strikes a full two months before the holiday itself. Inevitable is the event that I will log on to Twitter sometime in early or midWill Newbegin November and stumble upon someone who retweets one of those damn “OMGFacts” or “JustGirlyThings” pages. These retweets contain some sort of message like “ ‘x’ amount of days ‘till Christmas! *insert stereotypical christmas emojis here*.” Now, God forbid I voice my opinion on this, because I will undoubtedly be met with some sort of response pegging me as a Christmas-hating, fun-despising, puppybeating Scrooge. Bah Humbug. I don’t want to think about Christmas before Thanksgiving? I must be a horrible human being. Is it too much to ask to take holidays one at a time? I want to celebrate the American tradition of eating until I hate myself and watching muscular men tackle each other for a ball before I even think about Christmas. Now don’t misconstrue me; I love Christmas. It marks my brother’s return from college and time when I can just truly relax. But as sad as it is for me to say it, Christmas, for many, is really just another opportunity for business to exploit our material desires. Hell, I can’t sit down to watch TV without a blaring sale advertisement promoting their holiday prices as “unbeatable” coming across my screen every five seconds. And why? Is our obligation to gift others with the newest and best technology that extreme? I prefer to think of Christmas as a time of simplicity. Nothing beats a snowy December 24th day decorating a tree and spending time with the family. I choose not to stress the weeks prior over what gifts to get my family, but how can I create some sort of meaningful experience with them over the break. I’m so sorry - this is overflowing with cliche. But I digress, I really don’t subscribe to the “material Christmas” system of beliefs. It’s way too complicated for a mind such has mind that has trouble remembering to turn the oven off after baking. Or the whole “let’s get excited about Christmas in October” thing. But what does my opinion matter? I’m just a modern-day Scrooge. Bah-humbug, everyone.



December 2014


The Last Laugh

Jacob Puleo Opinion Columnist

The Good-Looking, the Bad-Looking, and the Ugly Part II: The Revenge of the Sequel The backlash hath floweth forth. “What’s wrong with being skinny?” Nothing. “What’s wrong with wearing makeup?” Nothing. “What’s wrong with yoga pants?” That’s a loaded question. “Isn’t it a bit early for a sequel?” What’s next? Are you going to tell me the book was better? The time has come. There are still things left to be said. It’s not over until the fully-figured independent woman sings. This sequel is necessary because I have been unfair. In the previous installment of The Last Laugh, I critiqued the blind and superficial nature of females in modern society. Now, I have decided to focus on males to avoid having paint thrown at me, or whatever frustrated social activists do these days. Truth be told, I could spend all of eternity ranting on about knee-high Nike socks and the unending quest to obtain maximum swag. And so I shall beat this dead horse until PETA comes knocking at my door. You asked for it. What makes a man attractive? Don’t ask me; I’ll just tell you “being Kevin Bacon.” But if you conduct a survey of the women described in the previous column, chances are you’ll notice a trend.

Abs. Whenever I say the words “What’s so great about abs?”, before I can take another breath I hear “You’re just jealous, Jacob. You’re so jealous, people should call you Jealous Jacob. Or abless Jacob. But Jealous Jacob has a better ring to it.” Perhaps I don’t hear those exact words, but I know they’re thinking it. However, my disdain has nothing to do with envy. Countless occasions of Internet usage have ended with me scrolling to the bottom of a page and seeing those advertisements. You know them well, the ones that read “12 Celebs who have Plaque Psoriasis” or “One Weird Trick to Lose Belly Fat in Seconds” or “Top 10 Jewish Women You’d Give Up Bacon For.” But the ones that always grinds my gears are “Why Abs Matter to Women” or “If You Don’t Obtain a Six-Pack Right this Second You’ll Die Alone Surrounded by Cats with an Issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine Stuck to Your Hand and Tears in Your Eyes.” I may or may not be exaggerating, but it still brings me sorrow to know we’re hollow enough to so easily become hung up on physical qualities. “I don’t get it,”

you may or may not be thinking. Allow me to explain it mathematically. It’s all quite simple. We live in a world where attractiveness can be found using the formula s = a + g, where s = satisfaction, a = number of abs, and g = skillfulness in playing the guitar. And if that doesn’t do anything for you,

allow me to explain it like a disgruntled shrink who’s losing touch with his own profession because he himself is having a midlife crisis: “It’s all about conformity, just like that song by Huey Lewis and the News. You know the one. I don’t remember the name. Look it up on your own time. It also probably has something to do with Communism, but mostly conformity. Look around you. What do you see? Nike shirts.

Nike shorts. Nike socks. Nike shoes. Hair gelled into a vertical spike, I don’t even know what the hell that is. Sideburns groomed into a spike. Seriously, why spikes? All the same. Never different. Just like my wife. Damn Commies. Our session is over. That’ll be $300.” I could easily be jealous of them. Jealous of the sentinels of swag who know how to operate sports and get all the ladies. But then I remember. These are the type of people who pledge allegiance to American football. The type of people who feel the need to constantly remind you of their heterosexuallity, yet treat women like garbage. The type of people who use the word “gay” as a synonym for the word “bad.” I remember that if I should try to be something, it shouldn’t be good-looking, it should be anything better than them. And then I smile. Actually, it’s more of a smirk, but I think I’ve made myself clear enough. Also, Merry Christmas.




D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 4


Chris Cross


Snapshot in Time

By Christine Carlson “The year’s top ten searches.” “2014 best and worst dressed celebrities of the year.” “This year’s most liked Instagram photos.” “5 fast-food trends on tap for 2015.” When Christmas and New Year’s finally come around, these are just some of the articles that are splashed across home pages of news sources such as Bing, MSN, Yahoo, and more. News sources chart everything that has been popular or an epic fail in 2014, to what they think will be the next big thing of 2015. It’s that time of year again, when everyone begins looking back at the year that they’ve had, smiling at the good memories, laughing at the embarrassing or humorous ones, and maybe crying when reminiscing about the bad ones. They also begin looking forward to the next year, maybe coming up with some resolutions and goals that they are setting for themselves. According to, only 8 percent of people actually stick with their resolutions. I personally am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I’m a proud part of that 92 percent who never achieves their New Year’s Resolutions. For me, I prefer to reminisce and look at photos that I’ve taken from the past year, as sentimental and boring as that may sound. And it’s definitely been a crazy year, at least for my family and me. In the beginning of the year, we were kept busy planning my sister’s wedding on May 17. The summer became filled with working and babysitting. On July 26, my next door neighbor, who I called my Uncle Dom, lost his long, hard fight to cancer. Then on Aug. 1, my dad received a diagnosis of cancer, Woldenstrom’s lymphoma, a rare type of lymphoma that affects less than 1,000 people a year in the U.S. This year, my family and I went through a lot, as I’m sure many people did. But even with that, I love looking back on the year that I’ve had. Even though the bad times seemed numerous, there were also those perfect days and amazing memories. I think that’s my favorite thing about looking at photographs. It’s like a snapshot of a moment of time that meant a lot to you. With that one photo, you will always remember what happened on that particular day. Where you were, who you were with, what you were doing, and what you stood for. Everything about that day, all captured in one photo. I have hundreds of pictures from my sister’s wedding on May 17, ranging from selfies with the wedding party to professionally posed photographs. I have the last picture that my parents took of Uncle Dom, with him and his wife holding hands for one of the final times. On Aug. 25, the first day of school, my mom took pictures of my niece, nephew, and me, as per tradition for the first day of pre-k2, kindergarten, and senior year. Pictures from Thanksgiving, all of us smiling and laughing around the table. It’s from these photographs, moments from the past, that help me look forward. To the next year, the future. As I’ve said, I’m not a fan of New Years resolutions, but I do set goals, or at least have some idea of where I want to be next year. To me, resolutions are more of a decision to do or not do something. It’s waking up on New Year’s Eve, and just picking one random thing to do or not to do. A goal is something completely different. It’s where you want to eventually end up. It revolves around what you believe in and what you are passionate about. A goal is more of a reflection of you. But however you celebrate your New Year, whether with resolutions, goals, or getting all mushy and nostalgic while looking at photographs, I hope you have a great New Year’s and that you will make 2015 your best year yet.

Seniors take on Thanksgiving Day Parade By Tori Delhagen Assistant Features Editor


n Nov. 27, millions came to New York City to watch the 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and seniors Brooke Cichocki and Lexi Frantz performed to show off their talents. The Macy’s Parade attracts many who watch in the comfort of their homes and those who show their support in the streets of Manhattan. This year’s parade included many large balloons, floats, dancers, cheerleaders, marching bands, and diverse talent. Band member Cichocki and dance team member Frantz both had their hard work pay off when they performed in front of millions. Cichocki, who has been playing the clarinet for the past eight years, has an active role in band and made district and regional band. She prepared an audition piece and in February sent in a video audition along with many other musicians from over 14,000 high schools across the country. The process is highly competitive, and only 200 students are selected to perform in the parade. Cichocki’s talent and dedication showed when she received a letter of acceptance into the parade in April. Cichocki feels humbled to have been chosen to play in the parade. “It’s an honor,” Cichocki said. “For the past four years, EHS has always sent a person to the parade and it’s exciting that I was the next.” Frantz, who’s been dancing for 13 years, has been involved in the dance team her entire high school career and takes classes at That’s Dancin.” She has made the All-American Dance Team. Unlike Cichocki, Frantz tried out in-person and was accepted into the parade over the summer. Frantz dances around the clock, all week after school, day and night, and continues to balance dance team and dance outside of school. Frantz plans to try out for dance teams this spring at the University of Kentucky and the University of Delaware. Frantz went through rigorous preparation for the parade. “We were sent a choreography video that we had to memorize and learn,” Frantz said. “Then when we got there, we had four-hour rehearsals day and night.”

Dance team coach Jillian Becker admires Frantz’s accomplishment. “Having one of our girls represent our team in such a big event is awesome,” Becker said. “It shows that our team is capable of accomplishing great things.” Senior and dance team member Katie Croy feels that Frantz deserved this opportunity. “She is experienced and enthusiastic,” Croy said. “She really knows how to perform well while engaging the audience.” For Cichocki, preparing for the parade was also a lengthy process. First, the parade coordinators sent her the music she needed to memorize. Then, the Saturday before the parade, she went to New York City, practicing every day with other musicians from around the country. The choreography to the music was done there. The day of the parade they woke up at 2 a.m. for a final rehearsal. They performed “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift for television and “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars for the parade. Band director Ryan Harrington places a high value in Cichocki. “She is a hard worker and is always on top of things with music. She is one of the top musicians at the school,” Harrington said. On top of performing in the parade, all participants attended a guest leadership seminar, meals, and sightseeing. Frantz enjoyed the whole experience. “Besides performing, we got to walk the whole parade and we were next to famous people,” Frantz said. “I got to meet new people, and throughout the week, we got to see Broadway shows.” Croy admires Frantz’s perserverance. “Her love and passion for dance is definitely shown through her dedication considering she takes classes nearly every day,” Croy said. Becker enjoys having Frantz as a part of the team.

In top photo, Cichocki (second from right) poses with other musicians. Bottom, Frantz (middle) smiles with dancers. Contributed photos.

“Lexi is always very confident when she dances,” Croy said. “You can tell she is passionate about dancing and enjoys being a part of the dance team.” Cichocki practices the clarinet whenever she can find time. She plans to attend college and major in music education. She enjoyed the opportunity because she was able to meet new people and have a great experience. Frantz feels glad that she was given this opportunity. “I feel honored,” Frantz said. “It was a really cool experience to perform.” Becker takes pride in Frantz’s leadership. “Lexi is always a team player and takes a leadership role if needed,” Becker said. Cichocki felt honored to be part of this experience. “I’ve been watching the parade on T.V., and it always seems like it’s so distant,” Cichocki said. “But I can be a part of it, and it is great especially to be in a higher level band.”

Downtown Emmaus jingles with holiday spirit

By Tori Delhagen Assistant Features Editor


Photo by Lindsay Harner

he holidays are approaching and on Dec. 6 many slipped on their raincoats to endure the stormy weather by taking part in Emmaus’ annual “Old Fashioned Christmas.” Festivities occurred from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. around the Emmaus Triangle. Activities included storybook readings, a best-dressed elf contest, decorating the children’s Christmas

tree, showing of “Elf” in the Emmaus Theatre, face paintings, and musical performances. Later in the night, local band, New Constitution performed, and the tree lighting took place, followed by a community sing-along with the appearance of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Board director of Emmaus Shane Pepe feels that the festivities are great for the community. “This has been an annual tradition in the community for many years. It is our way to kick off the holiday season,” Pepe said. “It is also an opportunity for families to come together with other members of the community and enjoy a night out together.” Sophomore Elizabeth Bennett enjoyed visiting the Triangle for the tree lighting. She feels that “it is a tradition” and “liked when the chorus groups sang.”

According to Pepe, in previous years about 2,000 to 4,000 people attended the festivities. Although the weather was not in the community’s favor, those who came celebrated a day full of Christmas cheer. The EHS select choirs, Acca Bella and Fermata Nowhere, performed in the Triangle singing songs such as “Alleluia,” “Carol of the Bells,” and “Ding Dong Merrily on High.” Junior and choir member Nick Quinn felt excited to perform. “I enjoyed being in the festivities because it really makes the arts feel appreciated by the community,” Quinn said. Senior Katie Gigler who works at the Creamery on Main got a view of the festivities while scooping ice cream. “I like the tradition of it,” Gigler said. “I’ve lived in Emmaus my whole life and the tree lighting brings Emmaus together and gets everyone in the Christmas spirit.” According to Gigler, the Creamery had a lot of busi-

ness with many ordering hot chocolate to stay warm. Pepe appreciates what the “Old Fashioned Christmas” has to offer. “The tree lighting ceremony is a symbol of hope and pride in the community,” Pepe said. “Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, another religious holiday, or just enjoy the holiday season, we encourage everyone to spend it celebrating the true meaning of the season.” This year Kathy Haney of Haney Associates, Key Club, and the Emmaus Main Street Partners coordinated the collection of boxes and the wrapping of gifts placed around the tree. Pepe feels that the holidays are for spending time with others. “It is a [moment] to take time out of our busy lives and enjoy the company of each other,” Pepe said. “It is a time for us to simply slow down, appreciate what we have, and celebrate our hope for the future.”

Molly ST

One Emmaus girl’s que

Christine Carlson Features Editor Rania Draklellis Assistant Features Editor


n one moment, a diagnosis of leukemia changed everything for one volleyball player at Emmaus High School and her family. On Feb. 18, 2014, doctors told sophomore Molly Kuchta that she had Hypodiploid Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia. Throughout a volleyball tournament that Molly and her mom, Jeanne Kuchta, hugging their dog, Mally. Photo by Lindsay Harner previous weekend, Molly experienced exhaustion, as well as terrible pain in her back, neck, and knees on the way back from the tournament. The next day she had blood work taken, and later, the doctor called and wanted Molly to go to the emergency room. What initially started as feeling tired over a volleyball tournament that weekend, ended with a group of doctors telling Molly and her mom, Jeanne Kuchta, that she is being admitted and would be hospitalized for one month. Kuchta was shocked because it all happened so fast. “I was ready to pass out. I had never felt like that in my whole life,” Kuchta said. “I couldn’t even speak.” Volleyball coach Audra Kahr remembers the moment when Molly’s father called her. “I do not think I will ever forget that moment,” Kahr said. “I stopped what I was doing and prayed for her, and her family, for strength and healing.” Senior Sydney Pickering was “team sisters” with Molly this year, paired by the coaches to be a support system for each other. “I went through a series of emotions including fear for my friend, anger, and confusion,” Pickering said. “In the end, I realized how strong Molly was mentally and physically, and I knew she would be able to fight.” Freshman and teammate Kaitlyn McGinley was heartbroken at Molly’s diagnosis. “I knew prior to her being diagnosed what it was like to have someone close to you undergo treatment for cancer, and it’s something nobody should have to go through,” McGinley said. “But I just wanted to let Molly know that I would be there for her whenever she needed me.” After her diagnosis, Molly missed the rest of school in February but returned for a few days in March. She was also exempt from taking her finals in June. “A lot of my teachers just came to my house and caught me up there,” Molly said. “If I did go to school I felt behind, so I just didn’t.” English teacher Shannon Petrunak, one of Molly’s favorite teachers, currently teaches Molly for English 10 CP. She describes Molly as a bright and focused student. Petrunak occasionally visits Molly at her house to catch her up on lessons and her class work. “I really enjoy going,” Petrunak said. “They’re a lovely family.” American Studies teacher David Brown had Molly in his American Studies I class last year and also instructed her at her house. He described Molly as “very funny, very positive… always laughing, participating, and asking questions.” “I was very concerned and saddened to hear about her diagnosis,” Brown said. “Within a day or two the whole class came together and made her a card, which was delivered by a few of her friends while she was in the hospital.”

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia ( ALL) progresses rapidly and creates immature blood cells. It affects the lymphocytes in the blood and bone marrowthe tissue inside bones where blood cells are made.

This is the most common type of cancer in children. If a patient has less than 45 chromosomes in the leukemic cells, they are diagnosed with Hypodiploid ALL. The lower the chromosome level, the lower the survival rate.

information above courtesy of and ribbon courtesy of

“While I believe she is Molly Kuchta sitting with the volley disappointed she cannot play the sport she loves to play, she is an integral part of our team and supports us as much as we in turn support her,” Kahr said. “Molly always has a smile on her face and gives us all a strong, warm hug. That means a lot to our team.” Volleyball coach Gwen Millits knows that Molly has supported the team by coming to as many matches as she could. “Even when she couldn’t be with us, we knew she was behind our team 100 percent,” Millits said. “And we certainly support her 100 percent.” Pickering believes that Molly has always been a great teammate. “On the court Molly is encouraging to her teammates and energetic. During her freshman year when I got to watch her play, she was a very well-rounded athlete who always worked her hardest,” Pickering said. “She was always one of our biggest fans. Even though Molly was not able to play this season, she was one of the most important parts of our team’s support.” McGinley agrees, saying that Molly still comes to most of the practices to cheer on the team. “Her positive spirits while cheering us on were always something I counted on, and something that made me more enthusiastic to play,” McGinley said. “Molly is somebody who I know all my fellow freshman look up to not only as a player but as a person, and she showed us that a positive attitude on and off the court is something we should all have.” Kahr thinks that Molly seems like a “natural team leader.” “I am not sure she recognizes it, but people gravitate to her,” Kahr said. “She has an innate ability to make people feel better and to help them move past their own challenge.” Millits describes Molly as “a hardworking and dedicated player.” “Molly always listened to what we [her coaches] had to say and was able to apply our advice to her play on the court,” Millits said. “Every coach wants a player like Molly… she is easy to coach, she is funny, likes to laugh, communicates well, and is a great teammate.”

Since Molly’s diagnosis, a few fundraisers have been M olly has played volleyball since fifth grade and played done in her honor to raise money for different organizaon the junior varsity team her freshman year as an outside hit- tions. The volleyball team sponsored a Spike Out Cancer ter. However, she hasn’t been able to play since her diagnosis. “My coaches were really understanding about it, and they included me as much as they could in what they were doing, and I tried to get to as many practices as I could,” Molly said. “I wish I could play, but I understand that I can’t.” Kahr, realizes that Molly is still an extremely important part of the team, even when she can’t play.

night. Previously called Dig Pink, the fundraiser specifically raised money for breast cancer, but the team changed it this year to include all types of cancer. The team made posters about different types of cancer, sold T-shirts, raffled off baskets that people donated, and had an Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Overall, the Spike Out Cancer night raised $2,230, the most ever raised for the volleyball team’s cancer nights


est to conquer leukemia

“She was just overwhelmed with kind things that people have done,” Kuchta said. “Her coaches have been really supportive too. They came to see her in the hospital and brought her things back from Disney when they went with their kids.” Pickering believes that Molly’s cancer has not changed anything about the team’s relationship with her. “Although we are all there for her when she needs a visit at the hospital or just a good laugh, we all love Molly as the same great friend and teammate she has always been,” Pickering said. McGinley agrees, and just focuses on being there for Molly whenever she needs someone to talk to. “I think we all do our best to help her forget about what she’s going through,” McGinley said. Junior and teammate Megan Forstburg, says the team always tries to go visit Molly in the hospital when she undergoes treatments and include her in other activities. “Whenever we have a team get-together or sleepover, we always try to include her as much as we can,” Forstburg said.

Molly and her sister, Maddy. Photo by Lindsay Harner

Tuesday night at nine, and eventually her dad and Molly’s dad started to watch the show. Even when Molly is at home, they come to watch “Dance Moms” every week. Kuchta described it as “a party on Tuesday nights.” Molly has had the opportunity to meet the “Dance Moms” cast, through her dad who befriended an employee at the studio in Pittsburgh. “Whenever they come to competitions that are close to us, we try and go, and then he brings us back into the dressing room, and we get to hang out with them,” Molly said.

in the past, which will be donated to the Lehigh Valley Muhlenberg clinic where Molly receives treatment. Kahr thought that the Spike Out Cancer night seemed successful, and the girls have rallied behind Molly. “This year, our seniors asked if we could design a warm-up shirt with the Molly STRONG logo in the color of orange, this way Molly was with us at each game and time we wore the shirt,” Kahr said. Pickering agrees, believing that the Spike Out Cancer game had one of the best turnouts all year. “Being the first year we have held the Spike Out Cancer game since Molly has been diagnosed, the event was very emotional for many of our players,” Pickering said. “I was extremely proud of the team unity we felt that night as you could tell the whole team was standing there with Molly read to support her in her fight.” For McGinley, it was her first time being a part of a fundraiser that the volleyball team held. “The most important part for me was to play hard in honor of Molly no matter if we were to win or lose,” McGinley said. “I feel it became very close to home for a lot of the girls on the team and that made us play harder.” Millits agreed saying that “it was a wonderful night.” “I couldn’t be prouder of our team, the Spike Our Cancer committee, and all who supported this event,” Millits said. Another fundraiser was done through Molly’s father’s work. They organized a golf tournament called Molly Strong, which took place in the beginning of October. Some of Molly’s teammates’ parents participated in the golf tournament, and many of her teammates went to the reception dinner that followed the tournament. All the money proceeds were donated to the National Bone Marrow Registry. Molly’s first diagnosis was Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia, which has 95 percent cure rate. However, after more testing was done, it was discovered that she had a more extensive type of leukemia, known as Hypodiploid Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia, which has a 40 percent cure rate. The doctors recommended having a bone marrow transplant done right away, but this procedure is not guaranteed to work. Molly and her family decided to continue with the chemotherapy. There is a chance that Molly could need a bone marrow transplant down the road. Usually for a bone marrow match, a sibling has a 20 percent chance of being a match. Unfortunately, Molly’s sister, was tested and was not a match. “We just felt that that [the National Bone Marrow Registry] was a good place for the money to go because it could help anybodynot just kids but adults, too,” Kuchta said.

yball team. Photo by Rachel Reed


Photos courtesy of Molly Kuchta.

hroughout Molly’s time in the hospital and at home, she has often felt comforted by the TV show “Dance Moms,” which she watches every week with her friend, Melissa Bosco. Bosco’s dad would drive her to the hospital every

Ever has

since her diagnosis, Molgone through ups and downs. “My routine has changed a lot in what I do everyday,” Molly said. “I realize what a true friend really means, and it makes me appreciate things more.” Molly couldn’t imagine going through this without her family’s love and support. “My family has definitely been more supportive than I would’ve ever imagined. From taking me to appointments to getting me whatever food I may be craving, I could never thank them enough,” Molly said. “Even though I’m sometimes mean to them, mostly because I don’t feel well, they understand and have been with me through this whole journey.” Kuchta thinks that their family has been in their “own little world for a long time.” “It’s been pretty much like a parent’s worst nightmare,” Kuchta said. “It’s something that you would think that would never ever happen to you.” Kuchta also knows that parents always worry; but she just worries even more. “You can control certain things that your kids do, but I don’t have any control, and you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future,” Kuchta said. “I don’t want her to deal with the things she’s dealing with. It’s painful. I wish I could do it instead of her. I would do anything to have it taken away right now.” Through all that has happened to Molly and her family, Molly remains extremely thankful. “I’m really grateful for everyone that has supported me in any way,” Molly said. Kahr believes that Molly helped invigorate the volleyball team and “holds a very special place in all of our hearts.” “She is a constant example to all of us what it takes to be strong, Molly STRONG,” Kahr said. ly


hroughout Molly’s whole experience since her diagnosis, she knows that the volleyball team supported her and will continue to do so. “They’ve all been there for me and understanding that I can’t be there all the time,” Molly said. Kuchta added that the team keeps her updated on school events that are happening and that they still try to include her.

Molly posing with some of the cast from “Dance Moms.” Photos courtesy of Molly Kuchta.

12 T H E S T I N G E R D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 4


AGAINST Writer shares journey as rock promoter, THE ODDS NASCAR analyst, and cancer survivor Denise Reaman Stinger Advisor


ob Margolis once led a life of stories he cannot fully share – tales of his days as a rock musician and then as an awardwinning producer who hung out with the likes of U2, Aerosmith, and Guns N’ Roses. And so he sat before a room full of budding journalists and spoke some of his truths. Still, he didn’t talk so much about his years as a musician, who plays every instrument (save for the drums). In fact, he spoke very little of his time working as a music producer. He was, after all, inside Emmaus High School and could not divulge these details – for not all of them were appropriate – to the teenagers before him. He spoke a bit more of his career as a NASCAR analyst, telling the stories of professional drivers whose sport he covered for more than a decade, most recently for Bleacher Report. Rather, he discussed—in a frank and detailed manner—about how he endured a hard-fought battle with cancer not once, but three times at that. For some students, his words hit home in a rather earnest fashion. Margolis, a nationally recognized motor sports writer and editor who has worked as a radio and talk show host, covered a dynamic range of topics to a group of journalism writers and editors during a recent visit. His daughter, senior Alana Margolis, sat among the group. Margolis hadn’t set out to be a journalist. In fact, he planned to be a musician. He grew up in the Allentown area before moving to Miami as a teenager where he later graduated from high school. He spent the next 30 or so years in the music industry – first as a rocker and later as a producer working for entertainment

“Cancer is not a death sentence. I am living proof.”

mogul David Geffen. It was during his work as a producer when he ended up taking heavy metal band Metallica to watch the Indy 500 where he was approached about working for the race car giant. His response? He wasn’t a writer. He didn’t study journalism, but yes, he could tell stories. He decided to give it a go.

that it’s important to respect one’s sources. For one breaking story, he received a tip from confidential sources that a big-name driver was planning to leave a team – with his sponsorship – and head to another. Margolis checked his sources and verified the information with another. The story ran – but after it did, the driver ended up staying with his team because it would have financially ruined the team. The upshot? No one in the garage would speak to him for a long time, he said. It took months to regain the trust of the drivers and the owners. “When I first became a writer, I thought the key was telling stories,” he said. “But what’s really important, I realized, is to tell how you know it. It’s not what you know; it’s how you know it. Attribute your sources.” He encouraged the Margolis speaking to students. Photo by Lindsay Harner writers to hone their craft, And so eventually his career literally get a blog, and diversify their skills. “Everybody with a phone is a journalshifted gears, and he opened a marketing and promotions company and began writ- ist now,” he said. “Everybody with a coming. He said he met people who wrote for the puter is a journalist now. It’s really imAssociated Press, Reuters, and other major portant as a journalist to brand yourself.” The one title he now brands himwire services and newspapers. He learned to write while working in the field, becom- self is three-time cancer survivor. In 2006 while covering NASCAR, he ing one of the first online journalists while everyone else remained rooted in print. woke up in a hotel and discovered a golf His resume would expand to writ- ball-sized lump on his leg. The next day ing for various mediums along the way. the lump grew to the size of a tennis ball. While covering NASCAR for Yahoo When he returned home, his family doctor sports, he learned one of the greatest lessons: in Emmaus told him to get to the hospi-

tal. The diagnosis? Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. But despite the rounds of chemotherapy, he kept working non-stop, flying across the country, covering races, returning home for treatment that lasted for five months. By the time his final chemo approached, he had lingering concerns about a lump in his neck that remained active. A cancer surgeon in Philadelphia confirmed his worries. He had a different type of cancer: squamous cell carcinoma in the neck and throat. “I had two different types of cancer in one year,” he said. “Here I was finishing treatment for one and suddenly I’m being told I have another. I stood up to get a tissue because I was crying and my doctor just gets up and hugs me.” His physician assured him they would do their best to beat it. A robot surgically dissected his neck and removed a majority of lymph nodes. They inserted tubes into his neck to drain fluid. After that, he endured a long bout of radiation treatments, which required him to wear a mesh mask that was strapped to his face and body for 20-minute periods, during which he could only blink and lick his lips. He survived that second hurdle and went back to life without cancer – until 2013. That’s when his non-Hodgkin lymphoma returned. Part of his treatment included a stemcell transplant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He said that getting past the one-year anniversary without recurrence was critical to the success of the transplant. He just marked his 14th month. Margolis told students that if they know someone who has cancer, they should be supportive and not give up hope. “Cancer is not a death sentence,” he said. “I am living proof. Look at me. I’ve had it three times, and I sit here before you. Do not ever give up on someone.”


Some Emmaus students won’t be celebrating National Chocolate Day on Dec. 28

Austin Hart and Lauren Newhard Contributing Writers


ttention all chocolate lovers. National Chocolate Day is Dec. 28, a few days after Santa stuffs childrens’ stockings with miniature cocoa versions of himself. According to the National Day Calendar, National Chocolate Day has more than one day to celebrate. Not only can you celebrate on Dec. 28, you can also celebrate on Oct. 28 and July 7. Most people enjoy this special little treat even on non-chocolate related holidays, but there are those who absolutely despise its cocoa-y existence. Despite the widespread love of chocolate, several Emmaus High School students are not specifically fond of the dark sweet. “[Chocolate] just tastes gross” says freshman Kym O’Gara. “I’ve always hated it, ever since I was little. I don’t like it at all.” Senior Abbi Hoffman isn’t too fond of chocolate either. “I hate brownies, cake, ice cream, anything chocolate I don’t like,” Hoffman says. “I just don’t like the taste.” Senior Gwyn Pacheco has never cared for the super sweet treat. “I love sour patch kids and sour skittles” says Pacheco, “I never really liked [chocolate], it’s too sweet.” Is it the texture? Or possibly the taste? What about the smell? It is understandable if a person does not like chocolate because they never received a

golden ticket in its fine packaging. Who wouldn’t want to see a giant chocolate waterfall and dancing oompa-loompas? O’Gara prefers only one type of chocolate candy: Reeses. “I like Reeses, but only because there’s peanut butter,” O’Gara says. Pacheco also had a bit of a small sweet tooth for the finely crafted chocolate and peanut butter cup. “There was a small period when I ate Reeses, then I stopped,” says Pacheco. Fun fact: more chocolate is consumed in Europe than in the United States by approximately 30 percent. The most consumed version of solid chocolate is in a bar form, similar to the beloved Hershey bars. So how could anyone not like this beautiful creation? In a 2004 social experiment, more than 70 percent of people agreed to reveal their computer password in exchange for a chocolate bar. Yeah, people really are that cuckoo for cocoa. Two chocolate companies that dominate the market are Hershey and Mars Inc. - sorry to any Willy Wonka lovers out there. On a yearly average, Hershey racks up close to $3 billion and Mars Inc. sells approximately $600 million in chocolate. The U.S. on average makes $20.1 billion dollars a year producing and selling chocolate. The production of chocolate has been around for three thousand years. Chocolate was originally cultivated from the seed of

the tropical Theobroma cacao tree in South America. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution when the production of chocolate was completely changed. Mechanical mills now squeeze out cocoa butter to create a more durable form of chocolate. Although cocoa beans were discovered in Mexico and South America, most cocoa is now produced in West Africa. Nearly 90 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold in the last week of October for Halloween. Halloween is the holiday for the most amount of chocolate purchased and consumed all year. Surprisingly Easter beats Valentines day by over 30 million pounds of chocolate. Guess Cupid can’t live up to the massive amounts of chocolate hidden in plastic eggs like the Easter Bunny. With the upcoming holiday of Christmas, Santa will be sure to leave mounds and mounds of chocolate in stockings all around the globe. So enjoy this upcoming National Chocolate Lovers Day - and eat tons and tons of deliciously loved bars of savory goodness. Freshman Kym O’Gara looking disgustedly at some Hershey Kisses. Photo by Lindsay Harner.

THE STINGER l December 2014


THE STINGER | December 2014





Life with Liv

By Olivia Riccio

A Lesson Learned from Loss

Photos courtesy of Olivia Riccio

From genuine, to ironic, to ironically genuine

Photo by Lindsay Harner

‘Home Alone’ one,” said Thomas, a seTo create your very own gen-u-ine nior. “The movie reference is fabulous, sweater, go out to your nearest Hobby and it’s so comfortable. Lobby and buy tiny ornaments, garland, Thomas thinks holiday sweaters adhesive felt, and hot glue or sewing should be worn year-round. supplies if you do not already have one. “It doesn’t matter if it’s mid-JuYou can also go out and buy a new ly,” Thomas said. “If you’re feeling sweater, but an old one works just as that Christmas spirit, go for it. Nov. well. 1 through Jan. 1 is my prime time, Arrange the garland in the shape of though.” a tree then hot glue it to the adhesive Junior Kayla Dries owns between 15 and 20 Christmas sweaters. “I have so many Christmas sweaters,” Dries said. “My grandmother has a lot of those sweaters.” Dries, 16, doesn’t consider the holiday sweaters to be ugly. “I feel like you can make them look cute,” Dries said. “Any time after Thanksgiving is a good time to wear them.” Senior Emily Thomas models her “Home Alone” Christmas sweater. Junior Alicia Cooperman, 16, agrees with Dries. felt. Cut the felt into a triangle shape. “Wearing sweaters puts me in a win- After it’s secure, hot glue the felt onto ter mood,” Cooperman said. “Especial- the sweater. ly seasonally-themed ones.” If you’re looking to commit to this Cooperman thinks wearing ugly sweater for the rest of your life, sew it Christmas sweaters is far from ugly. on. If this is a one-time thing, hot glue “[Christmas sweaters] look like works. your grandmother made them herself,” Next, hot glue the tiny ornaments Cooperman said. “I think it’s sweet.” onto the tree. Boom. That’s it. ConEven though these sweaters are gratulations, you have a one-of-a-kind deemed as “ugly,” they are going for holiday sweater. pretty expensive prices. If there is any confusion, head to YouBecause not everyone wants to spend Tuber LaurDIY’s channel to learn more an excessive amount of money on a ways to personalize your very own ugly sweater that can only be worn about Christmas sweater, ready to go for your three times annually, a person can now (not so) ironic ugly Christmas sweater create their own tacky sweater for less party. than $20.

Teachers Jillian Zarnas and Christopher Ritter show their holiday spirit on National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.

Photo by Lindsay Harner

Rania Draklellis Assistant Features Editor As the Christmas season comes to an end, people young and old across the land cannot help but feel sad over the loss of holiday sweaters they are forbidden to wear after the new year. It is difficult to say who created the ugly Christmas sweater, since sweaters and Christmas have both been around for some time. However, some people credit these gaudy sweaters to SNL alum Chevy Chase’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” in 1989. The trend faded in the ‘90s, but resurfaced again in 2001. Ugly Christmas sweaters have become the latest trend amongst highstreet and designer brands. But how has something we identify as “ugly” become the latest must-have? It’s most likely due to nostalgia, and the recent obsession with aesthetics. The vintage look is coming back, and stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are benefiting from it. Meanwhile, has one sweater going for $75, which sounds a bit much considering these sweaters reside in closets and dressers 11 months of the year unless you are me and wear poinsettia sweaters in August. (I’m getting my money’s worth, dammit.) Veteran Christmas sweater wearer Emily Thomas started buying the ugly sweaters out of irony. “It started out with me wanting to be ironic and ‘hipster,’” Thomas said, “but my fashion sense has changed into me being an actual mom from 1994 who genuinely thinks large misshapen sweaters with goofy snowmen on them are cute.” Thomas, 17, admits to having at least eight Christmas sweaters. “I think my favorite sweater is my

Photo by Lindsay Harner

Sometimes it takes a great loss in life to make you realize how much you’ve gained. And that’s exactly what I’m going through right now. In October, I lost my best friend, my dog Shelby. She was old, in fact really old for a dog. Shelby was 19, and was doing well for her age for awhile. She had a few near death experiences, such as eating a whole loaf of bread and a bowl of chocolate Easter eggs. All of my memories of her are of her being energetic and limber. But as she aged, I definitely noticed that she slowed down a lot, as most people and animals do with time. I didn’t want to think about her dying, so I pushed it farther back into my mind and tried to ignore it. But then the time came when I realized she was in fact dying, and it was actually time to say goodbye. And that realization hit me hard. I have dealt with death in my family, but the death of a pet has been much different for me. Shelby was my companion, she’d been there since I was born, the only pet I had owned since my first years of life. As soon as she died, I felt like a part of my heart had been broken. She’d been through so much with me, from every high to every low point of my life. She was something consistent in my life. I knew if I had a bad day, I’d come home and she’d be curled up on the couch with a wagging tail, waiting to comfort me. It was always reassuring to have someone that would always be happy to see me. It’s been sad coming home to an empty house in the afternoon, and especially since the holidays are approaching, I know it’s going to be tougher. My family always sends out a Christmas card to my other family members and friends each year, featuring Shelby and me posing in front of our Christmas tree. Shelby wasn’t that great at holding still, especially with reindeer ears on, but we still managed to always get the perfect picture. It’s been hard on my family and me to think that this tradition isn’t going to happen this year. But traditions will eventually have to change, just like everything else in the world experiences change at some point. You just have to adapt, but not completely forget the traditions and memories. I’ll never truly move on from this loss, but I know I have to be positive. I have to think of all the fun times we shared, from me dressing Shelby up in my clothes to her stealing food out of my hands (that happened even when I was older too!). She acted like a cat sometimes, sitting on the back of the arm chair, and she used to sit by our french doors and look outside and bark at anything that moved. Those are the times I know I’ll cherish forever. Dealing with her death has made me realize that I do have people around me who will support me during the rough times. Her loss has made me look at this year as a whole and realize that I’ve gained a lot. I’ve gained new friends, confidence, knowledge, and most of all, some new life experiences. Experiencing pain and sadness is just going to shape me as a person, and loss will always be part of life. I’ll take these feelings and remember them when I find myself in times of loss again. I’ve learned that you just have to keep going, busy yourself, throw yourself completely into something you’re passionate about. And that’s what I’m going to do. I’m doing it right now, while writing this. I’m coping. Every day is a new page in the chapters of the book of life, and I’m just going to keep on turning.

Photo by Rania Draklellis Courtesy of (left to right),,, the,


THE STINGER December 2014


Baby Got Back -- Again Butts are the hottest trend of 2014, and they’re bigger than ever in,” Zarnas says. “However, I think some Kayla McGovern people have crossed the line and become a Assistant Culture Editor little perverse or crude with their celebraNina Rowan tion.” Contributing Writer Senior Teresa Carotenuto acknowledgWhat do anacondas, hot dogs, and ballerinas have in common? They all love es the lewdness that has come of this notbuns. Throughout history, generation after so-newfound obsession. “I do think the focus on butts today is generation has celebrated the beloved buttocks in the various shapes and sizes it’s very objectifying,” Carotenuto says. “I feel as if a booty, or any other body part held over the years. This year was all about booty lov- for that matter, should not be the main foing, but the adoration is nothing new. cus of people’s attention. People should With forces in pop culture including Kim admire others for who they are on the inKardashian’s risqué photographs in Pa- side, not the backside.” Senior Katie Gigler also believes the per Magazine and Nicki Minaj’s ever so booty-full “Anaconda” music video, the emphasis on backsides is a bit objectifying age of the Internet has simply cultivated and feels as though they are more sexualand nurtured the butt, developing it from a ized than breasts in society. “There’s not a taboo on butts for some passing trend to the gluteus max-imus that reason and they are definitely over-sexuis the heart of culture today. Derriere appreciation, while revived alized,” Gigler says. “People always stare amid the late-80’s, dates all the way back and make comments and I’m known to to the 19th century with perhaps the start some as ‘the girl with the big butt.’ Like of it all -- the invention of the bustle. no, my name is Katie Gigler, okay?” Recognition of all shapes and sizes is Through women’s rights movements and Barbie’s idea of “perfection,” the quintes- integral to a healthy modern society, but sential shape has been modified and debat- it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement ed, yet the big booty is what society seems of a progressing culture and overlook the objectification that could be taking place. to return to time after time. In today’s tech-obsessed world, Inter- In any situation regarding body image, net fads grace the halls of Emmaus High taking something positive and twisting it School with the touch of a cracked iPhone into something vulgar happens all too ofscreen. This time is no different, and the ten and leads to problems for both women and men. student body is split on the issue. For sophomore Kyle Carraher, his phoSenior Taylor Schubert feels that the recent revival of recognition is a positive to on the sidelines of a football game feachange in our society, and that a woman’s tured on the cover of the September issue body should be celebrated in a respectful of The Stinger led to awkward encounters among his peers, although the shot garway. “There’s a fine line between objectify- nered an impressive 13 retweets and 23 ing and insulting, and just straight up rec- favorites. “I started getting some weird comognition,” Schubert says. ments, like from some random people who Senior Wilhelmina Sampson agrees. “I think focus on butts overall is a very I didn’t even know, at times,” says Carrapositive thing that allows thicker women her, whose butt was the focal point of the to have more ownership of their bodies and photo. “A bunch of people like jokingly asked me to confidence,” says sign, like, Sampson. “Howevthe copy er, it’s important to of [The not step over the line Amy Astley, Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Stinger]. between appreciatThat was a ing women’s curves little bit strange... I mean I was just playand seeing them as just that.” English teacher Jillian Zarnas recalls ing football. I didn’t even know when that the trend starting in the late ‘90s to the picture was taken. I’m not really offended, early 2000s with the popularity of Jennifer but it’s just very interesting. I wasn’t exLopez. She sees both the good and the bad pecting that reaction at all.” Carraher believes that if a girl were in in it. “I think it is a good thing for people his situation, his classmates would have to celebrate all shapes and sizes. And the reacted differently. “I don’t think people would like go up waif thin ‘Kate Moss’ look is no longer

“Big butts rule!”

and say things like that to a girl,” says Car- book along with “Big butts rule!”) raher. No one really knows how long this inDespite the lack of face-to-face com- fatuation will last, but if you’re betting ments, objectification has no boundaries on the butt, Emmaus physical education when it is behind a Twitpic, as evidenced teacher Natalie Deacon gives tips on how by Twitter discussions amongst Emmaus to build the booty. High School students which coined the “A lot of squats and a lot of lunges-- difphrase, “#butthebutt,” regarding one stu- ferent angled squats and different angled dent’s public statement of attraction to lunges. Weighted, too,” says Deacon. another student’s aforementioned “butt” “[For a beginner]: Like a hundred squats a in question. day in increments. 25 in the morning and The media’s fo25 when you have a mincus on behinds is ute, while you’re like blow undeniable, as in drying your hair or someDecember alone thing like that, little bits at websites such as a time. VH1 and Cosmo“Sometimes it’s genetpolitan (no longer ics, but it’s muscle so you branding curves as can always build,” says “fat,” as lyricized Deacon. “You might be by Sir Mix-A-Lot) like, ‘Oh, my mom doesn’t have published arhave a nice butt, like, I ticles highlighting can’t get one,’ but if you the “best butt” mowork really, really hard, ments and songs of you know, it happens. It’s 2014. not always genetics. You Senior Maria wanna eat protein and a Ramos believes balanced diet, and workout part of the reason with that as well.” for the trend is that If genetics isn’t on media has a large your side and you’re not a influence over how 100-squats-a-day kind of people see each girl, don’t worry-- big butts other, but more aren’t all they’re cracked significantly, how up to be; there are defipeople, especialnite downsides to having a ly women, view backside. themselves. Sampson highlights one “Since celebrifairly pressing issue of beties talk or sing ing expected to “twerk” about having a simply because she fits nice butt, we have The booty is all the rage amongst Emmaus the physical mold of a been convinced High School Students on social media. twerker, when she does that our butts are our greatest asset,” Ra- not actually possess the skills to do so. mos says. (She did not clarify if a pun was For Gigler: “Finding pants is the hardest intended.) thing ever because I have a smaller waist.” For the most part, big butt acceptance Carotenuto, Samson, and Schubert conis appreciated, not only on the high school firmed this experience as a universal Big level but also in the media. The fashion in- Booty Struggle. dustry has often idolized thin bodies, but And Schubert says hers is sometimes the shift in culture is welcomed with open even a safety hazard. arms. Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Amy “I always run into people with how freaAstley embraces the trend so long as it is kin’ how big it is,” Schubert says. “People done tastefully. get knocked around quite frequently.” “I really love that there is more accepMuch like Shakira’s hips and Sir Mixtance of the female body,” Astley says. A-Lot, we cannot lie-- the booty was big “Why should everybody be skinny? in culture in 2014, and with powerhouses “Objectification and vulgarity, I don’t like Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Iggy Azalove it. But, I am happy people see that lea dominating pop culture, there is no inall women are beautiful.” (Astley then dication of caboose reductions ensuing in signed a copy of the Teen Vogue Hand- the foreseeable 2015. Courtesy of - Photo by Rania Draklellis

GUESS THAT BOOTY(Stinger Staff Edition) Here are your choices:




Photos courtesy of Lindsay Harner


Answers: 1. Jared O’Neill 2. John Lang 3. Austin Hart 4. Will Newbegin

THE STINGER | December 2014



Zoella captures the essence of a modern teen in“Girl Online”

Olivia Riccio Culture Editor From being a sensational beauty YouTuber with a channel growing larger by the minute, to becoming the author of the overnight best-seller “Girl Online,” Zoella can pretty much do it all. Zoe Sugg, or more popularly known by the username Zoella, released her first book “Girl Online,” on Nov. 24. “Girl Online” follows the story of 15-year-old Penny, who lives in the UK with her mother, a wedding planner, her father, and her brother Tom. Penny is awkward and shy, due to suffering from panic attacks as a result from getting in a car accident with her parents a few years prior. But with the help of her best and most fashionable friend Elliot, Penny learns to control her anxiety and takes pictures in her spare time. Penny also starts a blog, taking on the pen name Girl Online, and writes about her anxiety and other topics that people could relate to. A quote that Penny writes in her blog that I could most relate to was “But surely I can’t be the only teenage girl who feels like this? I have this dream that secretly all teenage girls feel exactly like me.” I honestly put the book down and thought “Wow, I can relate to the things Penny goes through.”

I knew that the book was going to be good even from the first few pages. So I kept on reading, and after an unfortunate and extremely embarrassing incident happens to Penny at school, she feels as if has no control over her life. Luckily for her, an opportunity Courtesy of arises to go to New York for her mother’s business with clients to plan a Downton Abbey themed wedding. Penny takes this as a sign to get away from the people at school, especially Megan, her former best friend who posted the embarrassing video of Penny on Facebook. She also wants to escape from Ollie, whom Elliot refers to as “The Walking Selfie”, because he’s well-dressed and popular. Ollie wants Penny to take profile pictures of him, but she always gets nervous around him and makes a fool of herself. Zoella perfectly describes Penny’s interactions with Ollie as a normal teenage girl would with their crush. Her use of humor makes Penny seem like a lovable character. The story continues with the family and Elliot heading to New York, which was described as being very “American” according to Penny, who finds some of America’s way of doing things to be quite strange, like driving on the right side of the road for example. Penny takes on the job of shooting ‘behind the scenes’ photos for the wedding, and wanders into an unknown room at the hotel while looking for the dining room. She heard someone playing music and found Noah, a very edgy, rocker type of guy. She discovers that he is the caterer’s grandson, and their initial interaction is one that

makes people who love romance swoon. Noah and Penny go on an afternoon adventure to a vintage store, an underground cafe for artists, and he even helps her when she has a panic attack. Noah and Penny find they share a lot in common, and their teenager-esque conversations made me eat up every word. Although their relationship moves fast in the book. But then I found their romance to be a bit like Hazel and Augustus’s in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, it was witty, fast -paced, but it just worked. Noah and Penny’s family end up spending Christmas together after Penny’s mother gets another job in New York that would extend their trip. The couple enjoy the rest of their week, and Noah takes Penny to secret places, and they even admit that they love each other on New Year’s Eve. But all good times must come to an end, and Penny heads back home, promising Noah that they would see each other again. By this point of the story I felt sad for both of them, being a hopeless romantic. But then the plot was majorly twisted. Once Penny returns home, Ollie pays her a visit and notices that she has a picture of Noah hanging on her mirror, and reveals to her a big secret about Noah and who he really is. Shocked by this news, Penny later finds out that someone leaked that she was dating Noah, and they revealed that she was the person behind Girl Online. People flood her blog with hateful comments, and meanwhile, Penny feels like her world is crashing down again. I did not expect this to happen in the story, I thought it was going to be a sappy plot where they try long distance relationship and end up working it out. And I also began to hate Noah with a passion, because he lied to her. But my opinion was changed as I read on. So Noah eventually shows up in Brighton, meeting Penny on the beach and explains himself. Noah apologizes in a way that makes Penny and I forgive him, and the end of the book ends in a sappy, but sweet way. This book was modern and mentioned topics and people I know, and even modern jargon that is very accurate for today. It gave me some laughs, a tear here and there, and made me relate to the characters. I recommend this book to people who like to curl up with a heartwarming, romantic read. In “Girl Online,” Sugg perfectly captures what it’s like to be a teenager in this age.

Will Newbegin Assistant Opinion Editor This past October, Jacksonville-native pop-punk group Yellowcard released their ninth studio album Lift a Sail under their new record label Razor & Tie (Finch, The Ready Set, Kevin Devine). Yellowcard, who had released their past two albums, If You’re Through Thinking Say Yes and Southern Air, with Hopeless Records, experienced significant change in the year prior to the album. In March, longtime drummer Longineu W. “LP” Parsons III left the band to pursue other musical interests, and was replaced by former Anberlin drummer Nate Young. The album represents adequately the changes in lineup and producer as well: Lift a Sail brings with it a whole new sound and style from the band. Gone is their youthful punk edge which resounded through their earlier albums such as 2002’s Ocean Avenue. Replacing it is a softer-edged, safer pop-rock sound which overall results in a resounding disappointment. In the early 2000’s, Yellowcard helped pioneer the breakthrough of pop-punk into the mainstream, but also maintained a level of edge and standoffishness to separate themselves sellout groups that pockmarked the genre. However, the band no longer toes that line. The music is formulaic and goes through the motions. The lyrics are cookie-cutter. At one time Yellowcard was driven by the hyped-up drumming of Longineu Parsons, with crazy fills interspersed left and right throughout their songs. They mixed a potpourri of slow heartfelt ballads with their up-tempo thrashers. 2006’s Lights and Sounds provides an able example of this: “City of Devils “ and “Two Weeks from Twenty” respectively preclude “Rough Landing Holly” and “Waiting Game.” Lift a Sail, conversely, contains little variety, resulting in an overall stodgy listening experience. Yellowcard continues to disappoint due to the removal of their individuality. Any avid fan of the band knows of their frequent use of violin melodies thanks to violinist/

backing vocalist Sean Mackin, which helped Yellowcard make a name for themselves. In Lift a Sail, the aforementioned violin parts are dulled down and yawn-inducing, leaving a sense of longing for their past distinctiveness. Furthermore, Yellowcard abandons their usage of two guitar parts which were so common throughout their discography until now and added an element of complexity to an otherwise simple genre. The album’s first track, “Convocation” opens with a brief instrumental violin melody that I feel might prove to be more fitting as the tuning note at an orchestra concert. The song transitions seamlessly to the album’s first lyrical song, “Transmission Home.” The track is laced with unvaried structure, boring instrumentation and forgettable lyrics. I could not even find a way to describe in detail the next few songs on the album, as the tracks were so forgettable and blasé that my review would almost be as monotonous as the album itself. Thankfully, some songs do stick out. Track ten, the album’s namesake “Lift a Sail” provides a better-than-average sense of musicality thanks to its varying structure through use of slightly distorted rhythm guitar in the beginning, transitioning to a balladlike sound at the end. “California,” a piano ballad performed entirely by vocalist/rhythm guitarist/pianist Ryan Key, serves as an admirable attempt to save the album by ending on a high note. Though the song is pleasing, nothing can quite salvage the wreck that is Lift a Sail. On the other hand, I have to award “most disappointing song” to “The Deepest Well.” The song features vocalist Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire, who is predominantly known for his talented metalcore abilities. Mullins was presumably featured to add an edge to the most up-tempo song on the album, but the experiment fails miserably. I myself was excited to listen to the crossover between the two contrasting artists, and anticipated a strong mix of the

Courtesy of

Yellowcard Earns a “Yellow card” with Lift a Sail

best of both worlds from Mullins and Yellowcard. Yet the song consists of Dr. Seuss-like rhyming patterns, a simple guitar part, monotonous drums, and a (in my opinion) weak vocal performance by Mullins. Overall, one can try and peg Lift a Sail as a valiant venture in a new direction, but ultimately this disguise falls away. The album comes nowhere even close to the musical quality of 2012’s Southern Air, which contained variety, complexity, and high-quality orchestration. Lift a Sail is an over-edited disgrace, and a conformist, failed experiment. I award Lift a Sail one-and-a-half stars out of five.



John Lang


Money Team Johnny Football. Money Manziel. Johnny Cleveland. Whatever you may call him, all football fans know Johnny Manziel. Now, I have only been following this celebrity quarterback since his outbreak in college in 2012, all through his current role as a QB for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. When Johnny Football was a redshirt freshman at Texas A&M, he made his name known across the NCAA. He broke numerous records throughout his season there. He became the first freshman, only the fifth player in history, to pass for over 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season. He also became the first ever freshman to win the coveted Heisman Memorial Trophy Award. The 19-yearold kid was a star. He was popular. And for quite a while, he was the center of attention in all of college football. And I must admit, he caught my attention. Throughout the course of his season, I started watching Manziel play. I watched him work his magic and make perfect throws. I watched him throw for over 500 yards against Arkansas and Louisiana, becoming the only player in the SEC conference history to throw for two 500-plus yard games. I marveled as he beat the previously “unbeatable” number one ranked Alabama. I was a Manziel fan. However, Manziel has had a roller coaster publicity ride ever since his rise to fame. He has definitely had his fair share of off-the-field problems, including a wide variety of incidents ranging from getting kicked out of football camps to being arrested for bar fights to illegally taking money for autographs. Yes, Manziel has had countless brushes with the law. But, I believe there is still hope for this young man. And this is exactly my point. He’s just a kid. He found fame way too early, and it went straight to his head. It happens all the time. Just look at Justin Bieber -- and yet people still buy his music and flock to his concerts. When Manziel matures, he’ll clean up his act and be known solely for his skills on the field. If he gets the chance. Manziel has been battling all season for a starting spot as the Brown’s quarterback. His competitor being Brian Hoyer. At the dawn of the season, Hoyer was named the number one QB in Cleveland. Expert analysts claim Manziel’s off-the-field issues are the main reason that he didn’t get off the bench throughout the season. But even with Johnny Football running around like a moronic media whore, that doesn’t take away from his talent on the gridiron. Yet, every game day Brian Hoyer takes the field with the rest of the Browns offense. And why? When you look at Hoyer’s stats through the season, the logic just doesn’t make sense. Hoyer has a completion percentage of 55.3 percent. That’s 33rd in the entire league...there are only 32 teams, meaning he is worse than some back-ups. He’s 31st in the league in quarterback passer rating at 76.3 percent. He currently has a subpar 11 touchdowns on the season. Those accompany his 12 interceptions thus far. Yes, 12. You read it right, he has more interceptions than touchdowns this season. His stats are atrocious. Yet, Manziel has been warming the bench all season. Then, on Nov 30, Cleveland traveled to Buffalo to face the Bills. After playing almost four full quarters and throwing two interceptions with no touchdowns, the Browns finally benched Brian Hoyer. In Manziel’s first drive of the game he went 5-8 and took the Browns 63 yards down the field for a touchdown. Manziel proved he could play in the big leagues, despite his reputation in the media. And even still, the Browns went with Hoyer again the following week against the Colts. And after going three straight games with no touchdowns and SIX interceptions, the Browns publically announced that Johnny Manziel will be the starting quarterback in week 14 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Took them long enough. Now I must admit that Manziel didn’t exactly live up to expectations in his first NFL start, throwing only 1018 with two interceptions and a big goose egg for touchdowns. But I still have faith in Johnny Football. In retrospect, this one game does not foreshadow Manziel’s complete future or mean the end for his football career. I reference Andrew Luck, who is currently leading the league in both passing yards and touchdowns this season. Luck had three interceptions in his rookie debut. You all know Peyton Manning, correct? He is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Yeah, well he led the league in interceptions his entire rookie season. Now, I’m not saying Manziel will be as good as Luck or Peyton, but I am telling everyone to keep faith in Manziel. Give Money Manziel the chance to be the player I know he can be.


Shannon McGinnis captains All-American team By Alana Margolis “This is the biggest opportunity Sports Contributor in my playing career so far.” Senior Shannon McGinnis was one McGinnis’s younger sister of 11 defenders selected out of 300 and teammate Reilly said that players around the country to play in her older sister doubted that the High School Soccer All-American she would make it on the team Game this month. because of how many girls McGinnis, one of the three captains were on the list. Reilly said that on the Emmaus girls soccer team, was when Shannon found out that one of 40 seniors from across the na- she was selected, she screamed tion to play on this postseason team. and ran upstairs to tell her mom Players were selected based off of and dad that she made it. their high school and club soccer caReilly McGinnis is just as reers. Month after month the commit- excited for her older sister to be tee carefully cut down players until picked for such a high team. they chose the right girls for the team. “Just knowing where we McGinnis’ coach for both Emmaus started, from a little St. Thomas and her club team, Vincent United, More club, and now she’s repRobert Rooney, believes that she was resenting the USA; it’s insane,” on watch because of how great she said Reilly. “It’s amazing she plays both on the high school club got picked.” level. She was also a target due to her McGinnis and Coach NCAA Division One commitment to Rooney both pointed out the entire country and the team is really St. Francis University. fact that being picked as a deA member of the organizing com- fender is a big deal because they are proud of her.” Coach Rooney does not know mittee of the game contacted Coach not the ones who get the headlines Rooney on Oct. 20 to check in on and attention. To be picked as one of what’s in store for McGinnis in her McGinnis’ season and to say that they the 11 defenders to play is honorable future but he knows it will be bright. “She’s a tremendously hard workwere looking at her as a possible can- in itself. didate for the team. Coach Rooney Coach Rooney is proud to have er, an incredible athlete and a fantastic soccer player,” said was pretty positive that McGinnis made “On the field, Shannon is the best defender I’ve Rooney. “She won’t let any of the accolades go the team, but he did coached in 10 years at Emmaus High School to her head. Rather, I benot want to inform lieve she realizes that now her until it was of- and definitely one of the best I’ve coached at people will expect more ficial. of her and I know as well McGinnis found any level in my 20-year coaching career.” out via email on Oct. Coach Rob Rooney as anyone that she’s up to the task. She’s that kind of 22 that she made the person.” team and was overMcGinnis is more than whelmed by the results. coached McGinnis and watch her thankful for everyone who helped her “I am really excited and really hon- grow as an athlete. “On the field, Shan- succeed in her career. “I couldn’t have done any of this non is the best defender I’ve coached in 10 years without all of my friends and family at Emmaus High School supporting me every step of the way,” and definitely one of said McGinnis. “So thank you to evthe best I’ve coached eryone who has done so over the past at any level in my 20- few years.” The game was played on Dec. 13, year coaching career,” said Rooney. “She’s the and although they lost, Shannon said first girls soccer player she had the experience of a lifetime. “It was a great experience to be in 10 years to start every varsity game played able to play with some of the girls that in her career. Shannon are the best in the country,” McGinnis deserves the postseason said. “It was an awesome experience honors and recognition that will preapre me for college.” But it was a challenge to adapt that is coming her way.” Senior captain Liz to playing with girls you’ve never Waring spoke on behalf played with before. “It took a while to get comfortof the entire team about McGinnis’s accom- able,” she said. “But once you got used to everyone, we were able to fit plishments. “Shannon has in and it was a lot of fun. The game meant a lot to McGinnis worked so hard over the past four years and she and the rest of the girls. “It was a great last hoorah for all of deserves it so much beus seniors to play in that game.” ored for the opportunity to be able to cause of her experience,” said Warplay with these girls,” said McGinnis. ing. “She’s one of 40 picked from the

Girls basketball starting fresh with new coach

By Jason Kashuba Assistant Online Sports Editor Jeff Williams recently took over as the Emmaus High School girls basketball head coach. Williams was named the official head coach in April after former coach Billy Dunn resigned in March. Dunn, having coached three years, had an overall record of 37-33 after three seasons. But as Williams was an assistant coach last year, he knows his team well and is confident in the Hornets. “We’ve got a lot of potential,” Williams said. “The girls have a lot of talent this year.”

Senior Jenna Reid was happy with her team last year, but expects a stronger season with their new coach. “We did really well,” Reid said. “Our seniors were good leaders. But this year, we’re going to do better.” However, this season will require more adjustment than just a new head coach; there is also a new conference. But Williams is not backing down from the new challenge brought upon by the EPC. In fact, he welcomes it. “I’m excited to get started, to see the new talent,” Williams said. “We’ll get to play all sorts of teams, and I think we can really surprise them. As the season goes on we can build more

and more confidence, and I think that’ll be great for these girls.” Junior Vanessa Huber thinks Williams will flourish in his new position. “I really liked him last year,” Huber said. “He made sure we knew what we were doing, and really pushed us.” Junior Jenna Lessel agrees. “We knew him last year, and he definitely was a good assistant coach,” Lessel said. “Now he gets to really be in control of the team, and we’re thankful for the change.”



“Tyler always gives 100 percent in everything, and he just loves the game; he’s passionate about it.”-David Kachelries on Tyler Prescott

Tyler Prescott


Height: 5’9” Color: Red Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough NBA Player: Allen Iverson

Senior basketball player Tyler Prescott has been playing basketball since the second grade and became a leader for the varsity team. Prescott has shown great improvement through his years in the Emmaus basketball program, and he has grown to become a great role model. His coaches and teammates rely on him to bring support and show leadership to everybody on the court. As the only senior this season, he has an important role on the team. “It doesn’t feel any different being the only senior,” Prescott said. “A lot of the juniors are older than me, so it’s not like I have to baby anyone.” Many of Prescott’s teammates look up to him and depend on his positive attitude and great sportsmanship. Junior Joey Polczynski values just that about Prescott. “He’s very talented and is able to forget about a mistake and move on to the next play,” Polczynski said. “He’s a great teammate, and we all love being around him. He’s a natural leader who’s very energetic and enthusiastic at practice and makes everyone want to do their best.”

“He brings many qualities to the team such as positive reinforcement, athleticism, and encouragement,” Polczynski said. Head coach Steve Yoder watched Prescott grow mentally and physically as a player. “Tyler has developed into a leader during his time in the program, and kids look up to him because he does things the right way,” Yoder said. “As his coach, the neatest thing I’ve seen was seeing his development for being coachable.” “He recognizes that as coaches we are simply trying to make him the best player that he can be and now listens to everything we have to say.” Prescott’s representation of hard work and determination reflect greatly on the underclassmen on the team. “He motivates the whole team, and he never gives up on the court,” said sophomore David Kachelries. “Tyler always gives 100 percent in everything, and he just loves the game; he’s passionate about it.” Prescott started basketball when he first practiced with his brother’s team. He realized how much he liked it and

Thomas Alcaro


Height: 5’10” Food: Mac and Cheese Movie: Step Brothers Memory: His first win when he was four

Senior Thomas Alcaro has performed very well in his previous years on Emmaus’ wrestling team and has high hopes for his last season as a Hornet. Alcaro began his wrestling career at only four years old, and still remembers his first win at that age. The feeling of that win stuck with him to the point that 14 years later, he still loves to wrestle and holds an overall record of 94-14. “My dad got me into wrestling when I was younger,” Alcaro said. “My old wrestling coach also impacted me to stick with the sport for this long.” Alcaro’s current coach Jeff Arbushites relies heavily on him to step up to as a leader and help his team pull out a win. “Thomas is a huge asset to the team,” Arbushites said. “He is the most talented and decorated wrestler in the program. “He shows his leadership through every on-the-mat performance. He comes through in the clutch.” Alcaro’s teammate, junior Lucas Schaf, recognzied his impact on the team.

decided to devote himself to it. Prescott recognizes that this is his last year, and looks forward to the challenges the team faces in the next few months. “We’re hoping to get back to the District Championship and hopefully win it this year,” Prescott said. “There is pressure before a game, but it happens, and I just try to pretend like it’s not as serious as it is.” Yoder is impressed with Prescott’s development and holds high expectations for him. “His attitude is so much better,” Yoder said. “I think he’s more humble, and he has become completely committed to the team rather than his own personal accomplishments.” Prescott remains unsure

Photo credit Lindsay Harner

about playing basketball in college. “I want to go to Temple University to be an accountant, but I am still undecided if I want to play basketball or not,” said Prescott. Yoder believes in Prescott and wants him to succeed. “I definitely think he should continue playing in college,” Yoder said. “He would be an asset to any program, so I sure hope he does.”

By Maggie Lavelle and Abby Moore

“Thomas is very strong and powerful,” Arbushites said. “I can’t even hold him down anymore.” Alcaro describes the feeling he gets before a match as “craziness.” “There are so many different emotions coming from the crowd,” Alcaro said, “but there’s no better feeling.” Photo credit Thomas Alcaro Alcaro has had many accomplishments so far in his wrestling career. His awards on the mat, he only has himself to rely on. “When I’m out there, I can only count include placing fourth in a huge tournaon myself,” Alcaro said. “The outcome of ment and placing fifth in a tournament at my match depends solely on me.” Reno, where he had to beat seven different state-placing winners to earn the title. Arbushites has taken notice to the improvement and hard work that Alcaro puts into his wrestling. “Thomas welcomes every challenge p r e sented “He is the most talented and decorated to him, By Maggie Lavelle wrestler in the program.” a n d and Abby Moore -Arbushites on Alcaro p u t s in the “We can always rely on him to score amount of effort it takes to be able to big points,” Schaf said. “He continuously wrestle the best competition out there,” brings our team closer to victory. We all Arbushites said. “Each year he has exlook to him as a leader.” panded on his technical diversity.” Junior Matt Hamati also points out the Alcaro has many expectations for his strength that Alcaro has, both physically wrestling years to come. He hopes to and mentally. place in the top three at states this coming “He’s mentally tough and strong,” Ha- season, and after this season he plans to mati said. “He always goes out with the continue wrestling at Pittsburgh Univerwin in mind.” sity. Arbushites acknowledges Alcaro’s Alcaro noted that wrestling is a diffi- Senior portraits courtesy of R.J. Harwick and pure strength. cult sport due to the fact that while he’s Wesley Works



“All she really wants is to do her best, and she is willing to do what it takes to do that.” -Tim O’Connor on Claire Frank

Claire Frank

Senior Claire Frank swam for most of her her life, and loves it. Frank has been swimming since she was in second grade. She excels the most in 100 meter fly, 100 meter breaststroke, 200 IM (individual medley), and 50 meter free, however, her favorite events to participate in are 100 meter fly and 200 IM. She plans to attend Kutztown University and major in communication design, and will swim at the collegiate level. Frank has gone to states every year she swam for the high school and her relay team placed first at districts in 2012. She said her swim practices

are tough, but help her focus on what she needs to fix. The swim team swims a little over 50,000 yards a week. Coach Timothy O’Connor coached Frank for four years and says Frank is an extremely hard worker. He described Frank as determined, diverse, and happy. “She never misses [a] workout,” O’Connor said. “I need to tell her when not to come and a key part to swimming fast is sometimes understanding that less is more.” O’Connor said he saw Frank improve a lot, especially in the last six months. “Claire has really started focusing on what she is doing in the water during practice from a technical standpoint,” O’Connor said. “She has had some flaws that she had needed to address and she is really focusing on those now and her improvement is evident. When she started four years ago, she loved butterfly; now she can swim IM, breast, sprint, and long sprint He also says Frank never lost her drive to do well throughout

her entire high school career. “Claire is a fighter, and I am proud that here she is her senior year and she is fighting just as hard as her freshman year to succeed and be the best she can,” O’Connor said. “Too often kids who are successful young forget how hard they trained to get there and train a bit less each year thinking that they did not train hard to get that far. But not Claire. She is training just as hard or harder than she was the first day I coached her, and she is training smarter.” Frank’s friends and family influence her a lot. “My brother always swam with me throughout my life,” Frank said. “Now he swims in college.” Sophomore Connor DeJohn, who has been swimming with Frank for a year, describes her as dedicated and encouraging. “She goes to nine practices a week,” DeJohn said. “She gives you advice on what to do in your race. She puts her best effort forth, so she encourages us too.” Frank says all of her favorite memories were made with her teammates at all of the swim meets and team get-togethers. O’Connor said she is a very important leader to the younger swimmers. “She is also very friendly and helpful with other swim-

mers in helping them work through the highs and lows of the sport.” O’Connor said. “Claire has persevered through the challenges of the sport and some younger ones on the team are just facing some of those highs and lows and Claire is really good about helping athletes enjoy when it is there, and fight through it when it is not there.” Frank’s teammates are very inspired and encouraged by her personality. Sean Kujas, a sophomore, is also very motivated by Frank. He has also been swimming with Frank for a year. He says she is outgoing and determined. “She’s always cheering for people,” Kujas said. “She really likes to swim and shes always trying to get better. She’s always trying to inspire people to swim better. She really likes to swim and people take off of that.” O’Connor says Frank is always happy and ready to work. “All she really wants is to do her best, and she is willing to do what it takes to do that,” O’Connor said. “She is always smiling right now. She wants to do her best, but she understands this is a sport and should be fun.”

Photo credit Dan Frank

FAST FACTS Height: 5’5” Food: Mac and Cheese Movie: Forrest Gump Subject: Art

By Kassidy Lazco

Jenna Reid

Jenna Reid started playing basketball at a young age and is now a key player for Emmaus High School’s girls basketball team this year. Reid has been playing basketball for 14 years now. Now in her second year playing varsity for the Hornets, Reid stands out as one of two returning seniors and is an important asset for the girl’s team. Head Coach Jeff Williams praises Reid’s hard work and leadership.

play a key role nightly basis for the team because of her leadership position and her hard work on defense.” Reid embraces her role as the starting point guard. “I enjoy the leadership that comes with the position of point guard” Reid said. “There can be pressure, but I love it. I like being in control of the team.” Junior teammate Jenna Lessel appreciates Reid as a leader of the team. “She always makes sure everyone is in the right spot and doing the right thing,” Lessel said. “If anything is not how it should be, she identifies that.” Additionally, Reid enjoys the girls that she gets to play with as a part of the Emmaus team. One of her fondest memories was of the team enjoying a tournament together in Ocean City Maryland where they took third place. Junior captain Kiyae White values how Reid helps the team. “She pushes you to be your best,” White said. “She is motivating and a great leader.” Lessel agrees.

“Reid’s defense will play a key role on a nightly basis for the team because of her leadership position and her hard work on defense” -Coach Williams on Reid “She brings intensity on defense,” Williams said. “Reid’s defense will

“She always talks on the court and the bench in a positive way,” Lessel

said. “And if you make a bad play, she always picks you up.” When asked what 3 words best describe Reid, White chose “Fun, crazy, and hard working.” Williams admires that hard-working mentality in Reid. “She is always intense and so strong,” Williams said. “She is a real go-getter.” Lessel, who has been playing with Reid for three years now, has watched her grow as a player. “She’s become a lot more confident with the ball,” Lessel said. “She is willing to take charge on the court and is not afraid to make mistakes.” This season, Coach Williams wants the team to play great defense every night. He expects the defensive tempo to be set by Reid. Williams said, “Her defense will lead by example, she sets the pace for the rest of the team.” Next year, Reid will not play collegiate basketball, but plans on attending University of Pittsburgh to major in psychology.

By Collin Dunkle and Joe Eckstein

Photo credit Jenna Reid


Height: 5’3” Class: Sociology Food: Ice Cream

Senior portraits courtesy of R.J. Harwick and Wesley Works

Role Model: Coach Lisa


Rifle team looks to repeat undefeated season By Abbi Hoffman Sports Contributor The Emmaus High School rifle team returned 12 players who are looking to repeat last year’s undefeated season. The team has a total of 17 guys and seven girls. Last year the Hornets finished third at states, out-shooting 36 other schools. They went undefeated in the regular season and the finals. However, that undefeated record adds a lot of pressure to the upcoming season. In order to maintain the perfect record, the team must win all nine matches of this regular season. Then, if they qualify, the team has five tournament matches lined up for them. Junior Joe Albro feels that the team will to have to live up to what they have done in the past. “We have a reputation to defend; if we don’t go undefeated then it will be the first time we have lost a game in my whole high school career,” Albro said. Head coach Peter Chromiak, in his

Emmaus rifle team members aim and get ready to shoot.

second year at Emmaus, knows his team has the means to have another great season. “We have the support of the athletic department, three volunteer assistant coaches who devote their personal time, we have a new home range, and the resources to develop the skills necessary to win,” Chromiak said. Senior Richie Bucco, a member of the team for four years, believes they are in good hands this season. “Our coach is a very patient person and is very committed to the team,” Bucco said. “He always makes sure we are comfortable and examines our targets to find out where we went wrong. We are very fortunate to have him.” There are many challenges of being on the rifle team. To be able to consistently shoot well is one of the biggest challenges the team members have to face. You can shoot well once or twice, but to consistently shoot 99’s and 100’s takes discipline. Albro knows how mental the sport is. “It’s a competition against yourself, you go up there and don’t know how you’re going to do,” Albro said. “It’s all mental. If you do badly you can’t blame anyone else, there’s only you to blame.” Senior Seth Freeman is in his fourth season with Emmaus Rifle team and agrees with Albro.

Emmaus ice hockey bounces back after losing 12 seniors

By John Lang Sports Editor Emmaus High School ice hockey team aims to make the playoffs this year after getting new coach. The Hornets have a record of 3-4 with big wins over opponents like Freedom (10-2) and Liberty (4-0). As the team recovers from the loss of key players and adapts to a new coach, the players must work extra hard to reach their goals. But the versitile Hornets are ready to overcome all challenges that come their way. Head coach James Rieder, in his first seaason, comments on the strengths of his team. “It’s overall the kids’ willing to work,” Rieder said. “We only practice every other week, but the kids with more experience are willing to help those others kids without that experience and teach them.” Even with just one practice every 14 days, that doesn’t hinder the team chemistry. Senior Captain Chad Lawrence notices how well his team works together. “Our communication and teamwork is really good,” Lawrence said. “We have good team chemistry, and that makes things easier.” The ice hockey club is a mixture of kids from both the Emmaus and Pleasant Valley areas. The boys must learn to play with each other, even though they come

from different walks of life. Another captain, senior Tyler Miller, acknowledges the challenge. “We have a lot of new kids, we are like a whole new team,” Miller said. “It takes some time to get to know who you play well with.” Rieder agrees. “We do have a wide array of talent, and trying to blend that together is a hard part,” he said. “We want to get everyone on board with the same game plan.” But things are coming together. “We do really well with team effort,” Rieder said. “It’s really fun to watch them learn to play together. I was pleasantly surprised.” The Hornets are overcoming these challenges, and have their eyes on the prize. Lawrence is focused on the team’s success. “We want to win,” Lawrence said. “We want to make it to playoffs. We want to get better. There is always stuff to improve on.” Rieder feels the same way. “Ultimately, it’s about the team,” Rieder said. “We win as a team, and we lose as a team. But, we definitely want to get better. We want to be successful.” And seven games into the season, they’ve got the opportunity to be successful. Rieder said, “We’ve just got to take it one step at a time, one game at a time. We’ll get there.”

Photo by Jared O’Neill

“The pressure we have is more internal,” Freeman said. “We put pressure on ourselves to do better than the last time we shot. It’s all a mental game.” Shooting requires extreme concentration and a direct focus on the target. Bucco has a certain routine he goes through before every match. “We have a five minute prep period where no one shoots, it is just dry firing,” said Bucco. “You just close your eyes, take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this. You do it every day.” Even though the rifle team is comprised mostly of men there are a few women. Senior Dylana Labenberg is competing for her fourth season this year. “Even though it is mostly guys I enjoy being on the team,” said Labenberg. “It is more of a sport against yourself, because you just have to shoot the best you can each time and try to improve.” Labenberg really appreciates her team members and the five other girls on the team this year. “It is nice being on a small team because you get to know everyone and even though it is a strict sport we still get to have fun,” said Labenberg. According to Freeman, rifle team builds life skills and helps shape someone as a person.

Joe Albro lines up his shot.

Freeman appreciates what he’s learned from his time being on the team. “Being on the Rifle Team builds a lot of mental and physical discipline, and responsibility,” said Freeman. “You have to do the exact same thing every single time right, which takes a lot of discipline.” Joe Albro prepares to shoot.

Photos by Seth Freeman

Swim team looks to continue impressive play after a strong start By Katie Mest Assistant Sports Editor The Emmaus swimming and diving team started off the season with a broken record and hopes for another successful season, even after losing 13 swimmers from the previous year. In the meet against Freedom and Wyoming Valley West on Dec. 5, freshman Jess Hurlburt broke the girls’ team diving record with a score of 262.4. Coach Tim O’Connor congratulated Hurlburt on the accomplishment and hopes for the broken record to reflect on the rest of the team. “But to have someone of Jess’s caliber come into our program as a freshman, I hope the others around her understand the commitment that is needed if someone wants to achieve a record in any sport,” he said. “Jess works very hard at her craft and has been doing it for years. I guess I just didn’t expect it to happen right away.” Junior Tom Schlechter feels that the team has been progressing well so far in their training and should adjust quickly to the loss of the seniors. “This year we’re going to have a harder time because we lost some key swimmers, but so far we’ve been doing a good job of stepping up,” Schlechter said. Senior Claire Frank, who was a District finalist in the 100 meter butterfly and the 100 meter breast stroke, believes that the loss won’t hurt the girls’ team as much.

“We have really brought in a lot of talented people from all grades that have filled in all of the spots we have lost, so I feel our team will perform just as well,” Frank said. O’Connor, who was named to the Pennsylvania Swimming Hall of Fame in November, begins his 12th year as head coach at Emmaus. He, along with his swimmers, anticipates another successful year. Last year the boys went 10-0 in the conference and 16-1 overall. The girls went 8-2 in the conference and 11-6 overall. “Our teams have been challenged more locally the past few years, both because we have not had the depth we once had, and because of so many programs developing more and better swimmers and divers,” O’Connor said. Junior Casey Young, who participates in the freestyle events and was a District finalist in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle last year, feels that the team consists of a large number of talented individuals. “We have a lot of new underclassmen, as well as upperclassmen, that will add the depth to our team that we lacked last year,” Young said. “We hope to improve our record from last year and go undefeated.” The team strives to improve and have more swimmers compete at at districts and states, according to O’Connor. Sophomore Kaitlin Hur hopes to see this season go as well as the last, or even better. “We won every district meet except Parkland and Liberty, and Liberty was a close meet,”

Hur said. “So I’m hoping we can excel past our two losses last year.” Parkland proves to be the team to beat and Young looks forward to the big meet against Parkland. “It really comes down to who is willing to push themselves the hardest, and it makes for a crazy and exciting meet,” Young said. O’Connor agrees. “The Emmaus versus Parkland rivalry is huge in all of our sports, and swimming and diving is no different,” O’Connor said. “The competition is in February, so there is so much that the kids can work on daily and weekly to prepare for that meet, which will set up their season ending championship meets a few weeks later. “We need to be focused on daily improvement and the desire to race,” O’Connor said. “If so, I feel that our girls could be as good as last year’s team, and the boys as well.” The team undergoes intense training to try to meet these expectations. Not only do they have practice every day for two-and-a-half hours, but they also have practice three times a week in the morning before school, beginning at 5:30. On top of that, they train Saturday mornings and go to the gym three times a week. But it takes more than practice to be the best. O’Connor said, “The kids need to become swimmers and divers who fear no event or dive in order to be at their best.”