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Friday December 13, 2013



Many Miles, Many Smiles Pg. 4

Volume 41, Issue 5


Crazy Holiday Christmas Traditions Crazy Traditions Pg. 77 Pg.

Filling the Stands Pg. 14


Bouncing Into the Season Pg. 10

14555 Fern Drive, Houston TX 77079


Photo by Katherine Kennedy

Story on pg. 9 Photo by Kali Venable



Friday December 13, 2013


The Oracle


University Interscholastic League realigns divisions Students stress over the shortened break period Justin Todes

As a result of University Interscholastic League’s biennial reclassification and realignment, Stratford will reclaim 5A status in 2014. School conferences always have depended on school population size, and always will. The difference is that, this year, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) is adding a 6A conference. Currently, for football, UIL classifies schools into Six-Man, 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A. Each of these conferences consist of two divisions. The changes for 2014 do not alter the sport very much. Six-man football is becoming 1A, and each other conference is essentially just being increased by one number, thus creating a 6A. Contrary to what many believed, 6A will not be a conference for the socalled “super schools.� Effective 2014, the new football conferences will be 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A. 1A through 4A will each have two divisions. The UIL takes censuses of school populations biennially, and uses the numbers to maintain fair, even conferences and divisions when reclassifying and realigning. When the UIL released the new conferences, it also released new

cutoffs for each conference based on school population. The newly released cutoffs are: 6A: 2100 and above 5A: 1060 – 2099 4A: 465 – 1059 3A: 220 – 464 2A: 105 – 219 1A: 104.9 and below Under these cutoffs, Stratford will become 5A. Spring Woods also will join Stratford as 5A. Other schools, such as Memorial and Northbrook, will move up to 6A. Other teams that Stratford has played this year, including Friendswood and Dawson, will also move up to 6A. With some schools moving out of Stratford’s conference, redistricting will occur, and the Spartans will not have all of its same opponents next year. Information regarding districts will be released in early 2014. Yes, competition may change, but these changes ultimately alter very little. Stratford did not grow to become 5A. In fact, this fall the enrollment was only 2,012 students; 4A is merely becoming 5A (and 5A becoming 6A), and this is only because, 76 years after its creation in 1938, six-man football is becoming 1A.


Emily Fishman

As high school students, it often feels like we live for school breaks. We cherish the blessed relief from homework, quizzes, tests, finals, and all the other things that consume our lives during the school week. With Thanksgiving and winter breaks so close to one another, the few weeks between seem to drag on and on. This year, however, the two holidays are closer than ever before. President Abraham Lincoln established the first national day of Thanksgiving on the final Thursday of Nov. 1863. His successors continued this tradition by declaring the final (usually fourth) Thursday of the month a nationally recognized day of giving thanks. In 1939, this tradition was faced with a dilemma when there were five Thursdays in the month, rather than the more common four. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in that year, declared Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday, a week earlier than most expected. Finally, in 1941, the celebration of Thanksgiving was made a matter of federal law when President Roosevelt signed a law that officially declared Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November, regardless of whether it

was the last Thursday of the month. This change angered many who felt that Thanksgiving should always fall on the last Thursday of the month. History lesson aside, the government mandate that Thanksgiving occur when it does meant that this year, Turkey Day fell on one of the very last days of the month. Students had the Wednesday before the holiday off, as well as the Friday after it, which created a nice five-day holiday that was perfect for vacationing and plenty of eating. This year, there are only two full weeks of school before the start of finals. In contrast, last school year there were five Thursdays in November, giving students three full weeks before finals. Many students are feeling extra stress and pressure to start preparing for their first semester finals so soon after a nice long vacation. Next year, students will be faced with same situation, as there will again be only two weeks after Thanksgiving break before finals begin. The last day of finals is Friday, Dec. 20. Students will then have time off of school until Tuesday, Jan. 7. For those feeling the pressure of the shortened preparation time for finals, this break can not come soon enough.

L i l ’ L e e sy

an opinions column


Elyse’ Stieber We walked into that gym tall and strong, with high expectations for ourselves. We knew we were good enough to go far in the playoffs, especially with having nine returning varsity players. Looking onto our opponents, we became determined and motivated to win. However, DIWHUÀJKWLQJWRWKHHQGZH lost to Friendswood in 3. After the tough loss, we ÀYHVHQLRUVEXUVWLQWRWHDUV with the realization that after two years of hard work, it all just vanished into the thin air. I ran into my parents arms and we all cried at the fact this was the end of an era. I had played volleyball for nine long years, playing club for four of those, and this night marked the end to all that. It substantiated that my life was moving on, I was growing up. Upon returning home, I slowly took off my volleyball gear for the last time, remembering all the memories I had experienced on the court with my teams over the years. And then I just cried some more. It was all over in one night. Though these years have been a trip, I couldn’t have done it without my team. Jennifer, Meredith, Shawn, Caroline B., Charlotte, Jamison, Grace, Ashley F., Emily W. , Olivia, Autumn, Dakota, Emily H., Ashley B., Caroline H., Jaclyn, and last but certainly not least, BPal: Thank you guys for making this season one of the best ever. I love each and every one of y’all. I will carry with me all the memories we have shared this year for the rest of my life. Once a Stratford student, but always a Spartan.



Friday December 13, 2013

The Oracle



-9,:/3@>9(77,+79,:,5;:‹ Freshmen Girls club works hard after school, wrapping presents for their adopted family.

The donations will go to families in the Stratford community who are in need of a little help to make the holidays happen. A few days before Christmas, the presents will be delivered to the families during the school day. Freshmen Girls is one of the many organizations participating in the annual Project Spartan Share initiative. Photo by Kinsey Meek

Spartans Share the Holidays

Numerous organizations contribute to buying families desired goods for the holidays Justin Todes

Streets are lined with lights, red and green and white consuming nearly every home. Christmas trees consume living rooms. Stores are busy with people frantically shopping for Christmas presents. Many would agree with the song and say that “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” But not everyone. While children play, and write wish lists to Santa, there are those who don’t have the luxury of waking up to presents under the tree Christmas morning. There are families struggling to put food on the table, working hard to barely make ends meet. These families aren’t even thinking about presents. That is where Stratford comes in. Former school nurse Mary Spiller started Project Spartan Share several years ago to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate families in the local community, and the project has remained a tradition. Kim Lusk, the current school nurse, now runs Spartan Share. Each year, Lusk works with

:79,(+05. ;/, */,,9 ‹

Seniors Christian Osso, Jay Harper, David Bartell and Terrance Peters work with festive wrapping paper as they take part in a wrapping party for the team’s Spartan Share family. Photo by Kelly Hewitt

school nurses at schools that feed into Stratford, and gathers the names of families in need of help. Clubs, Spartan Time homerooms, sports and classes can all volunteer to participate in Project Spartan Share by “adopting” a family.

Participating organizations are each given a family, and members are asked to contribute around $10 to $20 toward the purchase of toys, clothing and food. All families remain anonymous. Since the project’s start, Student Council has helped out. This year, eight Executive Board members and over 30 members contributed to the effort. Within the organization, groups of 2 Executive Board members and about 8 to 10 members went shopping for the items together last week. Other organizations, such as football and Freshmen Girls have recently held wrapping parties. A few days before Christmas, a few members of each organization will bring large, red sacks of presents to each home and deliver the presents while the kids are still at school so that on Christmas, there will be surprises waiting for them. Spartan Share is a meaningful, heartwarming initiative, and it is rewarding for Spartans to see the joy it brings to those who benefit from the project.




NEWS Many Smiles, Many Miles 4

Friday December 13, 2013

The Oracle

Senior raises funds to send medical supplies to Nicaragua Kali Venable

Your dreams can carry you a long way, just ask senior Makayla Lara, who walked more than 100 miles from Sealy to Austin over Thanksgiving break. Having traveled to Nicaragua with the non-profit organization Amigos for Christ for the past two summers, Lara decided to make her senior Academy of Science and Engineering (ASE) project into a medical supplies fund raiser. Amigos for Christ is a nonprofit organization that operates out of Buford, Ga. and has a base in Chinandega, Nicaragua. This nonprofit focuses on strengthening families without resources through programs in community development, health, education, water and sanitation, small business, and spirituality programs in rural communities. “I chose to combine my two loves — the medi-

cal field and the people of Nicaragua — into a fund raiser that can make a difference in the lives of others. The Amigos for Christ medical staff will be using the money raised to purchase important medical equipment such as ultrasound machines for local Nicaraguan hospitals,” said Lara. Lara’s parents switched off walking 13-17 miles a day with her for a total of eight days. She reached the University of Texas tower in downtown Austin on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 30. Academy of Science and Engineering sponsor and science teacher Davy Barrett is proud of everything Lara has already accomplished through her senior project. “I think it is awesome that Makayla chose this project and I’m happy that she’s able to apply her passion for people in such a positive way,” Barrett said.

Lara’s 114-mile journey may have officially started on Saturday, Nov. 24, but the planning began almost a year in advance. For safety, Lara mapped out a route from Sealy to Austin made up of mostly country back roads and received permission to take two days off from school to walk. Using, a website specifically created for people to give back through donations, Lara set up an official fund for her project called “Many Miles, Many Smiles: Medical Messengers.” The online profile opened up for donations on Oct. 11 and will remain open until Lara completes her project at the end of the school year in May. “My family, friends and I have shared the website with anyone and everyone. I personally want people to donate because I have seen how badly these people need our help with my own eyes; hospitals in Nicara-

gua are nothing like hospitals here — resources are scarce and procedures are undeveloped,” said Lara. In addition to the completed walk to Austin, Lara will also be selling specially designed fund raiser Tshirts, bracelets and an array of jewelry made by Nicaraguan women through the Amigos for Christ small business outreach. .0=05./67,‹Senior Makayla Lara holds a young Nicaraguan in the village The merchandise will be of La Chuscada last summer. Photo by Kali Venable sold in the cafeteria prior :(=,;/,*/03+9,5‹ to winter break. Many Nicaraguan children such as the 3-year-old girl below suffer Having already raised from stomach worms caused by more than $5,000 in donaunsanitary latrines. Without proper tions for her cause, Lara is medication, this condition can be hoping to reach her goal fatal. Photo by Kali Venable of $25,000 when she completes her fund raiser at the end of the school year. To help Makayla,visit w w w. c r o w d r i s e . c o m / many mi lesmanysmi les where donations can be made. According to the nonprofit organization, 100 percent of proceeds go di- 26+(2 )9,(2 ‹  Senior Makayla Lara rectly to Amigos for Christ poses with her mother, father and step-dad during a break from walking. Photo by Katherine for medical equipment. Kennedy

News In 90 Seconds By Justin Todes FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE Tuesday, Dec. 17

7:50-9:50 Period 1 Exam 9:56-11:11 Period 3 Class 11:11-11:41 A Lunch 11:46-12:54 Period 5 Class 11:17-12:24 Period 5 Class 12:24-12:54 B Lunch 1:00-3:00 Period 7 Exam

Wednesday, Dec. 18

7:50-9:45 Period 6 Exam 9:55-11:50 Period 8 Exam 11:50-12:05 Lunch 12:05 Buses Leave

Thursday, Dec. 19

7:50-9:45 Period 3 Exam 9:55-11:50 Period 5 Exam 11:50-12:05 Lunch 12:05 Buses Leave


Shattered Dreams is a drinking and driving awareness campaign. Stratford will be participating in the campaign this spring. Juniors and seniors can pick up applications to participate in simulations from the clinic or in Counselors Corner. Applications need to be returned by Dec. 19. Applications are also available on-


Student Council showed their appreciation for the cafeteria workers Monday, Dec. 9. A banner was painted and hung, reading “We love our Spartan chefs.” The cafeteria workers were also given Spartan tumblers and treated to plenty of cookies.

line at


7:50-9:45 am Period 2 Exam 9:55-11:50 am Period 4 Exam 11:50-12:05 Lunch 12:05 Buses Leave

After crushing Dawson 38-7 Saturday, football will play in the State semifinals tonight against San Antonio Brennan at 7:30 p.m. in Reliant Stadium. Directions are on the Stratford website home page. The Spartans have not made it this far in playoffs since 1987.

Photo by Cassidy Menard



Character Without Question award nomination forms are available in the offices, at Counselors Corner and on the Stratford website home page. If you know a student who “demonstrates an enduring commitment to any or all of the character traits defined by SBISD and is someone who does the right thing, even when it would be easier to do something else,” consider picking up a form to nominate the student. Nominations are due Dec. 20.

Photo by Katherine Kennedy

Tomorrow, Dec. 14, Power Reviews will be held to help students prepare for their final exams. Students signed up online for up to three 90-minute sessions during the first week of December. For students attending the first session, at 8 a.m., Chick-Fil-A and bottled water will be provided. Students attending Power Reviews should park in the south (senior) parking lot off of Dairy Ashford. Check in will be in the snack bar area.


ADS Dr. Everett Renger Friday December 13, 2013

The Oracle


Changing smiles. Changing faces. Changing lives. 9099 Katy Freeway, Suite 175 Houston, Texas 77024 713.461.5910 Contact our office to schedule your FREE consultation.

Lamay Designs



Friday December 13, 2013

The Oracle


Snowman Cupcakes

An easy recipe for a holiday treat that everyone can enjoy Ingredients: -Red and Green decorating sugar -24 mini vanilla wafers -1 can of vanilla frosting -Small tube of black decorating gel -4 orange fruit slices -1 cup of white decorating sugar -12 red/green licorice twists (or sour punch straws) -24 pink large sprinkles -24 mini brown M&M’s -36 toothpicks -Betty Crocker cake mix Recipe for 12 cupcakes

Directions: 1. Make the cupcakes as directed on the box of the cake mix. 2. While the cupcakes are baking, place the red and green sugars in separate bowls. Spread a thin layer of vanilla frosting on top of the mini vanilla wafers. Press the top of the wafers into the sugar. Set aside. 3. Cut the orange slices into shapes like noses. 4. Put the white decorating sugar in a bowl. Spread the frosting onto the top of the cupcakes. Roll the tops of the frosted cupcakes into the white sugar to cover completely.

5. Use the toothpicks to insert the sour punch straws into either ends of the cupcake. Put frosting on the bottom half of the wafers and put on the sides of the cupcake. 6. Use the M&M’s, orange slices, pink sprinkles and black gel frosting to decorate the rest of the cupcake as shown in picture. Enjoy!

Photo by Ashley Karolys

./00")"*!"1"2,'/( 1 3 I was certain I would get in.


It is okay to cry.

Whether it was your dream school or a back up, rejection hurts, so it is perfectly normal to be a train wreck at first. Sometimes grieving comes in the form of bowls of ice cream, Netflix binges, Galleria shopping sprees or even angry letters to the admissions office that you’ll never mail. Regardless of how you choose to release your emotions, letting them out is far healthier than keeping them bottled up inside. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should fall into long-term grief, because that can lead to variations of depression. Instead, acknowledge it as a natural part of the healing process.

I wasn’t accepted so their must be something wrong with me.

When you obsess over the application you submitted, the interview you, might’ve had, and the impression you made, you often feel like none of it was good enough — you weren’t good enough. Every grammar mistake in the essay you submitted suddenly stands out more than the words themselves and you cannot help but think that if I would have done this or that, then I would have been accepted. When we get rejected from a school we don’t think about the fact that the school knows themselves better than we do, and that means they know what kinds of kids would be a good fit for the campus. Rejection is nothing personal, it is just a sign that maybe the school you dreamed of going to isn’t the best place for you.


Life goes on.

As cliche as it sounds, everything happens for a reason. The most challenging part of reviving yourself after rejection is to accept that you were denied and acknowledge that there is a different plan in place for you. Accepting that you were not admitted to your preferred school is the most important step in moving on.

Hopefully you applied to more than one college, because you are going to need a back up now that you have been rejected. Most colleges have deadlines in December or January, so you might still have time to fill out an application at a back up school if you haven’t already. Choosing which backup to attend can be painful since it makes the idea that you won’t be going to your dream school a reality. In the same sense, it is important to let this “reality” sink in and it is better to plan for the future sooner rather than later.


Be open-minded.

When fall rolls around and you leave for college be optimistic about everything. It is proven that the more negative you are about things, the more unhappy you’ll be in life. Many students who attend backups spend their freshman year comparing things to the school they were rejected from. This unhealthy form of pity makes people absolutely miserable during a time that is supposed to be the best in your life. You never know, you may end up really liking your new school.



Sometimes the hardest college rejections are the ones that we don’t expect. Whether they be schools with high acceptance rates or applications you spent hours perfecting, that “we regret to inform you,” is often followed by total shock. For these reasons it is beneficial to not be too certain of yourself--low expectations make rejection easier to handle. The truth is that no test score, gpa, legacy status or special talent will guarantee you acceptance, so don’t pretend like it does.


Picking a 2nd choice.



Graphic by Molly Richter

Transferring is always an option.

So maybe the optimism didn’t work and you don’t feel like the school you’re at is a good fit. Transferring to a different school seems like a nuisance, but when you are considering your future, a few essays and some paperwork might not be that big of a deal. Perhaps you’ll even end up with a degree from the school that originally said “no”.

By Kali Venable

By Ashley Karolys

MUSE Tweets of the YEAR


Friday December 13, 2013

Meg Mathias @stanky_megg_

Who actually jams out during the 1D movie... Guilty

Gary Casatelli @gvc24

That’s the last loss y’all will see from us


Shawn Taylor @shawnyt123 People are asking to sweet 16 and I don’t even have a date to tri theta??????? #SimmerDown

Peyton Bertram @peyy_wei

If you see a man running around the neighborhood, 9 out of 10 times it’s most likely Mr. Poetzel

Brittany Gray-Fitzgerald @brittnicole70

The spirit of the star spangled eagle does wheelies in my soul

The Oracle

Dreaming of a Wacky Christmas

Students Share Their Out-of-the-box Holiday Traditions Emily Fishman

The holidays are a time to be with your family and reflect on the joy and happiness of the season. For most families, they are also a time for wacky traditions to shine. Like all good things in life, many holiday traditions revolve around food. Some students have specific dishes that always make an appearance at holiday meals, whether that be something typical of the season like turkey or something a little more outrageous. “My family always gets together with another family and has fried shrimp for dinner on Christmas Eve. We just kind of started it one year and it’s still going” said junior Hannah Stuart. Many families have specific cultural food during the holiday season. “We always have Mexican food on Christmas Eve. It’s my favorite” said senior Mary Kate Goss. Other traditions revolve around the festive

decorations. From the them when they were small. tree to the lights to the “We still do Elf on stockings on the firethe Shelf in my family” place, every family does said senior Cody Finger. it a little bit differently. “Even though my fam“We wait to decorate ily is all older and knows our Christmas tree unabout it, it’s still fun. We til Christmas Eve. move it around and hide It started with my it for each other when dad’s family and we leave the house.” it’s still going” said Gift-giving is an imporjunior Jenny Fox. tant part of the holiday Some students season, and many stueven include dents’ families put their their furry own spin on the tradicompanions in tional present exchange. the holiday “My family exfestivities. changes unusual “We put presents the week up Christmas before Christmas. stockings for We’ve done it for as long as our cats. Is that I can remember. w e i r d ? Graphic by Rachel Torres One year, one of We buy my boy cousins treats and got a dollhouse” stuff for them as well said junior Ryan Mikula. to get on Christmas morning” No matter what your family said junior Julia Matteucci. celebrates this holiday seaThe holidays provide stu- son, it is perhaps the weird dents with the chance to be and crazy traditions that trulittle kids again, and keep ly make the festivities special. up traditions that delighted


Lexi Villarreal @LEX_be_friends

I pretty much spend everyday, just looking forward to go back to sleep

Erin Higgins @erinhiggins47 Michael Milstead @michaelmilly7 “Erin, I’ve noticed you , and I like what I see.” Glad to call a Stratford Thank you,myself creepy college emails, Spartan!! I will not be attending 6HPLÀQDOV)ULGD\DWUHOLDQWURXQG6WDWH%RXQG your college ever.

Alexis Frederick @fred_flinstone_

Haven’t even taken the test yet and I’m already studying for the retake #ska

Kylie Schaper @SCHAPaholic I just want to go to Atlantis like Mary Kate and Ashley #HolidayintheSun

Tweet selection by Kali Venable and graphic by Victoria Shin

Created by Ashley Karolys For answers, visit


Friday December 13, 2013

The Oracle

!"#$!%&'()$"* 1. What are the Odds?

2. Snapchat

This popular game of chance has made the rounds at Stratford during 2013. The hilarity of watching someone lose almost makes up for the humiliation of losing yourself.

Oh, Snapchat. The only platform where it’s acceptable to take as many selfies as possible, each more embarrassing than the last.


4. #RoadtoState

The varsity football team went from being the perpetual underdogs to the unmistakable crowd favorite.


3. Comfort Colors

Every year, it seems as though we are inundated each year with opportunity after opportunity to purchase t-shirts from everything from clubs to dances to just plain old school spirit. Though the amount of shirts we order may be excessive, we always justify it by thinking of the ridiculous comfort provided by this brand.

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5. @ChristopherJunt



Our lives have been a little bit more cohesive since building principal Christopher Juntti stepped onto the Twitter scene. With his 140 characters of informative updates and encouraging words of wisdom, Juntti has might be the most tech-savvy principal around.

6. Old Towne Kolaches

We all feel the pangs of both hunger and nostalgia as we drive by the dark storefront of what used to be Olde Towne Kolache. Losing our beloved breakfast joint is a pain we still bear.

Apple enthusiasts went crazy when the tech company released the most recent version of their operating systems. The school’s WiFi seemed to be lagging as hundreds of students scrambled to update their iPhones.



There seems to a sort of enigma surrounding the talented guys of the drumline. Perhaps it’s admiration for their skill.

8. iOS7


7. Drumline


9. Enos

Many students consider their enos as a deserted island staple. At $60, they’re definitely an investment, but you just can’t put a price on comfort. Graphics by Victoria Shin and Kali Venable


SPORTS Teams to Remember Play in December The Oracle

Friday December 13, 2013

An explosive defense and running game make history Elaine Parizot


Co a c h Co o p e r Q: What do you coach? A: I’m the assistant cheer coach, and I coach mostly JV.

Q: How did you end up coaching cheer?

A: I cheered in high school and all throughout my life, and when I applied to teach here I decided to put down that I wanted to be the cheer coach, and I got it.

Q: What has been your experience with coaching so far this year? A: I’ve liked it a lot, I’ve met a lot of new people, and I like being involved with the school and the students, and I’ve also become really good friends with the other coaches.

Q: What has been your favorite part of coaching so far?

A: Seeing how much the students grow, because they were always very talented, but from the beginning of the year until now they’ve gotten so much better, and it’s cool to see how much the coaching can help them.

Q: What do you most look forward to as a coach?

A: I look forward to going to Disney World next year, that should be a lot of fun. And we’ve done a lot of cheering for football and volleyball, so it’ll be fun to start a new season with basketball.

Q: What are your goals for yourself?

A: I hope to be even more involved next year, because this year was almost like a trial run, so I hope that I can be involved everyday in cheerleading, and be a big part of the school. Story by Scott Kennedy

Six weeks separate the end of the regular season and the 4A state championship game in Dallas. After clinching the title of undefeated district champions, the Spartans began on their long haul into the playoffs. The season may have started off with a loss to Memorial, but the Spartans proved themselves after pummeling both district competitors Marshall and Ridgepoint to solidify the number one seed. Playoffs kicked off at Delmar Stadium on Friday Nov. 15 against Waltrip, and it took less than 30 seconds for the Spartans to get on the board. Senior quarterback Freddy Price found senior wide receiver Will Bredthauer up the field for a 31 yard completion, and followed up with a 34 yard run by senior tailback Terrance Peters for the touchdown. The first series set the tone for the rest of the game, and the Spartans were leading 42-0 by halftime. In the second half, sophomore quarterback Bryce Hooper got a few snaps and the Spartans wrapped up the game 59-7. The first seed had set the Spartans up for an easy route to the second =0*;69@‹ :VWOVTVYL 9HRLLT )V`K OP[Z[OLNHWZHUKTHRLZP[PU[V [OL .LVYNL[V^U LUKaVUL ZJVYPUN [OL VUS` [V\JOKV^U VM[OLNHTLVU:H[\YKH`5V] 7OV[VI`2HSP=LUHISL

round, but now Friendswood loomed ahead in the following week’s game. The Spartanaires were absent from Mercer Stadium on Saturday November 23, but even the miserable weather couldn’t keep the rest of the fans away. The Spartans may have been the underdogs, but they were ready to break the “second round curse” for the first time since Andrew Luck had donned a Stratford jersey. A 51 yard Peters run into the end zone gave the Spartans the early lead, but gusty winds pushed senior kicker Tyler Frost’s kick wide, leaving the score 6-0. The Friendswood offense was able to rally and take the lead away briefly with a long run to make it 7-6, but the Spartan defense put the kibosh on any future scoring for the Mustangs. Price and the offense came back out and promptly took back the lead with a 75 yard run by sophomore tailback Rakeem Boyd to make it 137. Things started to fall apart for the Mustangs as they struggled to retain possession. The defense put major pressure on Friendswood’s quarterback, with senior de-

fensive end Jay Harper getting a big sack for a loss of seven yards just before senior linebacker Jajuan West picked off a desperate pass to end the Friendswood drive. The Spartan defense ended the game having picked up four interceptions and one fumble. The offense was able to capitalize on the defensive effort and put another three touchdowns on the board, with passes to Bredthauer and senior tight end Jack Brice, and another run by Boyd. The 34-7 win at Mercer looked like a walk in the park for the Spartans, but the following week’s win would not come with any room for error. Just like Friendswood, the Georgetown Eagles were predicted by many to end the Spartans’ playoff stint. The Spartans had other plans though, and arrived in Bryan ready to play on Saturday, Nov. 30. The crowd made the drive, too, and senior David Bartell kept them rowdy from the sideline. The first half was composed of long drives up and down the field by both teams, but neither defenses were giving in. West and senior defensive back Zach Miller both made

major contributions by ending Eagle drives when they were deep in Spartan territory. The defensive spectacle continued through the third quarter, and the Spartan defense continued to prove that they could hold off a quick spread offense when they needed to. With less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Boyd finally was able to break free and get the Spartans the 7-0 lead. The Eagles offense scrambled the ball back down the field, but the Spartan defense kept them out of the end zone and Georgetown kicked a field goal with a little over six minutes left in the game. The Spartans regained possession but were unable to convert. The ball went back to the Eagles with enough time left to pose a threat, but Miller again put the Spartan crowd at ease by picking off a pass to solidify the win and send the Spartans into the fourth round against Pearland Dawson. There had been bitterness towards Dawson after they knocked the Spartans out of the playoffs last season, and it was clear that the Spartans had no intentions of losing to

the Eagles again. The Spartans came out swinging and had made their first touchdown late in the first quarter. A 35 yard pass to Bredthauer looked like it had gotten the job done, but officials placed the ball at the one yard line. However, it only took one more play for Boyd to run the ball into the end zone. Dawson responded with a solid drive back down the field to tie it up, but then the Spartans regained the lead with a field goal to make it 10-7 at the half. The Spartans then came out and dominated the second half, scoring 28 unanswered points. The defense didn’t let up either, stopping a Dawson drive when the Eagles went for it on fourth-andtwo at the Spartan 20. Miller stepped up again to make another interception, but the Spartans were forced to start on their own one yard line. The game ended with a score of 38-7, and the Spartans received the title of Region III champions and moved into the fifth round for the first time since 1987. The Spartans will take on the Brennan Bears tonight at 7:30 at Reliant Stadium.



Friday December 13, 2013

Bouncing into the New Season

Basketball’s winning record earns recognition Layla Shahhosseini

Nico, Jodie, Micah, and me,” Willowridge. “We’ll make playoffs for sure, The buzzer echoes through- Senior center Cory June said. June is confident that the we were tied for fourth last out the coliseum, signalling the end of the first half of the team will make it to playoffs year until we beat the fourth team and made game. it to the playoffs,” Memorial said June. High School The season has their usual originally started crowd of sailors with only two jupumping them niors on varsity up, while the and two more Spartan boys’ were added afbasketball team ter the Memohad an entire rial game. Resection filled ese Davis, Jodie with their spirStubblefield, ited students. Matt Adair, and “To see the Demetri Christi fans come out are the only juand support us 9,(+@;673(@‹ The boys watch the intense game against niors on varsity. helped a lot,” the favorite rival team, Memorial. Photo by Layla Shahhosseini “They were dosenior forward ing really well Matt Englund on JV, and said. when Cory got Englund is hurt, we only one of six sehad seven guys. niors on varThey were defisity, and when nitely varsity football season level players and ends, they will Photo by that’s why they be getting more got moved up,” players on the Englund said. team. “A bunch of “We’re probguys were hurt ably going get and they needed Jajuan West, a guy that could Terrance Peplay power forters, Romello ward and could McCardell, shoot a little bit, Jordan Work, so they moved Torin Justice and probably 4(205.(73(@‹ Senior Cory June and Senior Nico Colorado set me up,” junior power forward a couple more up a play. Photo by Layla Shahhosseini Matt Adair people,” Ensaid. glund said. The boys’ However, for have only just the time being, started their the varsity team season, and so is few in numfar have proved bers. “We are as a fierce compretty small, we petitor within only have nine district. people right Their secret? now,” junior “We’re not very point guard Retall, but we’re ese Davis said. all pretty fast,” The varsity seDavis said. niors consist of: The boys Nico Colorado, 9<5505»9<5505»‹ Seniors Phillip Hewitt and Matt Englund Cory June, Matt run down the court defending the ball. Photo by Layla Shahhosseini continue their season with Englund, Migames throughcah Stubblefield, Donathon Daniels, and Phil- this year, but they will still out Christmas break and will have some tough competi- start playing their district this lip Hewitt. “Our starters are Phillip, tion, especially Marshall and January.

The Oracle



Friday December 13, 2013

“LAX”ing It Up

9<5 >0;/ ;/, >05+‹

Boys and girls begin pre-season play Elyse’ Stieber

Many may not know it, but lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in America. Though it is not considered as a school sport at Stratford, it is one of the most popular clubs. Since beginning in 2009 with only a JV team, Spartan lacrosse has expanded to have a varsity and junior varsity team for both the boys and girls. Lacrosse is considered a division II sport, and 26 high schools in the Houston area have teams, including Stratford and Memorial. Coaches are not necessarily school-affiliated, but some of them are parents of some of the players. The boys’ coaches are Coach Cavanaugh, Jones, LaGrange and Brasher, and the girls’ coaches are Coach Gregory, Holloway, Elmore, Singleton, and Frazelle. Each team must have a Stratford teacher as a sponsor since it is a club, like Coach Elmore.

The Oracle

With tournaments beginning in October and regular play spanning from February to April, the lacrosse teams experience a wide variety of weather, varying from a cold, windy winter to a warm, rainy spring. “It’s definitely a challenge with it being outdoors and the extremes in weather Houston experiences,” says senior Ryan Balke. “You get used to it, though, and running around keeps your blood flowing.” Both the boys and girls hope to continue their success this year with post-season play because of their success last season. “We went to state last year, and we hope to go again and take home a win,” junior Christi Gregory said. Though it’s too early to know how the season will pan out, the Spartan lacrosse teams look like good prospects for the upcoming year.


(1) Varsity player junior William Robinson races to the goal with the ball in a game against Clear Lake. :;(5+05.(365,‹(2) Junior Logan Green runs down the ÄLSK^P[O[OLIHSSHZ[OYLLVWWVnents try to steal.

SHE SHOOTS, SHE :*69,:‹(3) Senior Wendy

Holloway shoots the ball past the goalie into the goal for a point at a tournament. 73(@05.05:;@3,‹(4) The boys designed their uniforms with Spartan green and white harlequin on both the sleeves and the side of the pants, as well as helmets with the Spartan logo on them. ),(..9,::0=,‹ (5) Junior Captain Christi Gregory runs with [OL IHSS KV^U [OL ÄLSK K\YPUN their October tournament in Dallas. ;,(4>692‹(6) Three of the varsity boys get ready for a passing play to each other in hopes of scoring a goal against the Friendswood Mustangs. 9,(+@-69;/,7(::‹(7) Junior Nate Howard tries to get open for a pass despite intense coverage in a game against Friendswood. Photos courtesy of Sissy Gregogry and Randall LaGrange.




4 6


Graphics and Story by Scott Kennedy

Position: Guard Favorite Song: “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver Best Game: Scoring 30 points against Spring Branch in 7th grade Lucky Number: 9 Biggest Rival: Willowridge Favorite Place: Colorado/Austin Favorite Quote: “The most important thing is to enjoy your life-to be happy-it’s all that matters.” -Audrey Hepburn

Nico Colorado

Story by Elyse’ Stieber

Emily Tekell

Position: Point Guard Favorite Restaraunt: Nori Toughest Competition: Tomball Memorial and Tomball Dream Job : Being my own boss one day Future College: Ole Miss or Baylor Lucky Number: 10 Favorite Quote: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

Photos by Gil Sanchez and Rebecca Williamson

Graphic by Scott Kennedy



Best: The football team is ranked 412th in the nation by, and is ranked 55th in Texas

Years: Coach Hoss believes that dying hair for playoffs has been a tradition for the swim team for at least this long



Years: The last time football went to the fifth round playoffs was 1987


Free Throws: Average number of penalties that result in free throws during a basketball game


Friday December 13, 2013

Rock Climbing

Q: How long have you been climbing?

A: I started climbing about four and a half years ago. I really got into it after going to a summer camp at the rock gym I go to, and I just stuck with it. It’s been my favorite sport by far.

Q: What does the sport consist of?

A: There are two main types of climbing; bouldering and sport climbing. Sport climbs are much longer and use a rope as protection from falling. Bouldering is climbing on shorter routes without a rope. I mainly prefer bouldering.

The Oracle




Photo by Liz Mercier

Q: What’s the hardest boulder problem you’ve faced?

A: I had the most trouble on a completely horizontal wall called a “roof.” It’s basically like climbing a route that’s on a ceiling.

Q: What’s the hardest part of climbing?

A: Lack of progression. Sometimes you can improve and improve and then just flatline.

Q: What has been your greatest accomplishment in the sport so far?

Q: When did you start doing cheer?

A: I started towards the end of last year, when Grant Haralson got me into it, by A: Learning how to flip without bringing me to one of his practices, and I hesitation. just wanted to try something new. A: Learning how to do higher level flips without hesitation. Story by

Scott Kennedy

throwing someone and catching them, in our routines. The competitions require plenty of patience, though. You might show up at one but cheer at four.

Q: What is the hardest part of the sport for you?

A: Well, one of the challenges is also a benefit: my stamina. Having cheer immediately after football, I’m physically exhausted, but in the long run it’ll be a good thing. Also, it’s hard and annoying to explain the difference between cheering competitively and cheering for a school.

A: I’m on a climbing team at Texas Rock Gym, and we practice three times a week, and train on our own time, too. We work on difficult routes and boulder problems, and we work out to keep our upper bodies strong. A huge benefit of it being a non-school sport is that I can go to the gym and train whenever I like.

Q: What’s your favorite part of cheer?

A: I guess learning new skills and meeting a new set of people.

Q: How long have you been involved in Tae Kwon Do??

Q: When did you start riding?

A: I started riding horses when I was five years old. I started professional show jumping when I was 11 years old.

A: Eight years. Since I was about seven years old.

Q: What do you do in practice?

Q: How is it difficult to practice outside of school?

Graphics by Molly Richter and Scott Kennedy

A: Where I ride is 45 minutes away, and I practice on average three days a week, which is a challenge. It can interfere with my CC and Track, too.

Q: How does your competition work?

A: I compete for the fastest time on a course without knocking any jumps down. I learn a course and am expected to jump the jumps in the order I learned them as fast as I can. If I am able to make it through that round then I get moved to the “jump off,” which is the final stage, and if I can make those jumps in the fastest time then I win.

Q: How long is a competition?

A: It lasts from three to six days, all day.

A: 10 minutes each of stretching, running, blocking, form/technique, kicking, and sparring.

Q: What is sparring, exactly?

A: Sparring is what happens in competitions. The average spar is when two people fight each other. It can go on as long as it has to, but most last about five to 10 minutes. You win by hitting the other person and scoring points.

A closer look at athletes who have broken the mold of traditional sports

Q: What have been some of your greatest accomplishments?

Q: What belt are you? How did you get that belt?

Q: What’s it like working with your horse?

it’s not a school sport, and sparring older Q: What do you hope to accomplish as you continue? and stronger opponents is hard, too. But

A: Being the circuit champion in 2011, and being able to switch horses and still perform well.


A: The bond with my horse is very strong. It can be hard though, because sometimes you and your horse just don’t get along.

Photo by Emma Mathiasmeier


A FOMO Kind of Lifestyle Elaine Parizot

FOMO stands for “fear of

Q: What else do you hope to Q: What do you do in a competition? missing out.” This acronym accomplish? A: I mainly do stunts, which would be like has become extremely rel-

Q: What’s your practice like?



Photo by Maggie Vickers

A: I am a third-degree black belt. To get it, I had to break a brick in three tries.

Q: What are the most challenging parts of your sport? The most rewarding? A: Time management is a challenge, since

it’s rewarding to see yourself become more A: I hope to get my fourthdegree black belt and become a disciplined, and it’s great just to compete. master.

Photo by Scott Thomas



Tae Kwon Do

evant now that I’m a senior and I’m scrambling to check everything off my high school to-do list. And it’s not just me, FOMO has infected most of the senior student body. Now that I’m attending as many Stratford activities that can fit in my calendar, my love for Stratford is growing, and making me appreciate everythig more.   Whether it’s going to a Texans game with my dad or helping paint a Tri Theta sign on a Tuesday night, I’ve refused to hang back this year because I’m scared of regretting things once I’m gone. Even if I have a diorama and  a paper due the next day, I’m going to be at whatever is going on.     Has FOMO taken a negative toll on my grades? Yeah, probably. But I still think that spending school nights out at school events is worth the last minute cramming for a test. High school is an incredibly unique experience that provides a multitude of opportunities that are only available to you over the course of those four years, so why would I want to skip stuff and stay home?     So I’ve gone to all the pep rallies, the football games, the the plays and everything in between, and I haven’t regretted any of it. I’ve come to realize that those four years go by in the blink of an eye, and it’s not worth stressing over things and missing out on memories with my friends. And P.S. Go Spartans!!! :)


Friday December 13, 2013

Editors-in-Chief Kali Venable Elaine Parizot Associate Editors Layla Shahhosseini Elyse Stieber News Editor Justin Todes Muse Editor Ashley Karolys Ashleigh Garrett Sports Editors Scott Kennedy Kelly Hewitt Opinions Editors Claire Galbraith Maxine Tran Photo Editors Gil Sanchez Rebecca Williamson Katherine Kennedy

Managing Editor Aldo Martinez Emily Copeland Photographers Allison Rice Rebecca Meek Sarah Sturgis Will Klussmann Ads Staff Cassidy Menard Harper Jones Michael Martin Emily Brown Philip Chen Lindsey Jenkins Maggie Vickers Meredith Burch Alex Milstead Erin Higginbotham Graphics Editor Paige Barber Victoria Shin Kendall Marbach Reporters Jacob Pennington Courtney James Phoebe Lamay Emily Adams Copy Editors Emily Fishman Amanda Sturm Natalie Raley Natasha Eades Staff Artists Philip Chen Claire Pena Building Principal Molly Richter Christopher Juntti Ads Editors Advisor Katherine Mavergeorge Janice Cummons The Oracle newspaper is the official, school-sponsored student media of Stratford High School. The Oracle is published every three weeks by the Journalism Department of Stratford High School, 14555 Fern, Houston, Texas 77079, 713-251-3454. The Oracle is also available online at The newspaper is a member of Columbia Scholastic Journalism Association, National Scholastic Journalism Educators, and International League Press Conference. The Oracle serves as a public forum of student expression, and is open to contributions submitted by the readers. Readers may submit material by email to, to Room 120, or to Janice Cummons’ mailbox. All letters to the editor must be signed by the author. The staff is responsible for the content of the publication, and strives to produce media based upon professional standards of accuracy, objectivity, and fairness. The editors reserve the right to determine whether submissions will be published, subject to space availability and content. All submitted material must be typed and include the author’s full name and grade. The opinions expressed are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors, the staff, the administration, or the school district. The Oracle staff strives to produce a newspaper that covers the entire Stratford community. The staff welcomes freelance submissions and is eager to hear from readers regarding story and photo opportunities.

Where are you, Christmas?

The holidays are not feeling as merry this year Maxine Tran It’s December. You know what that means. The semester is ending, seven-page study guides, power reviews, and final exams. But wait aren’t we forgetting something? It seems like every year when the holiday season rolls around it begins to means less and less. No longer do we get in a flurry of excitement over the changing weather, when we know we’re just going to spend it inside studying. When we were younger we all anticipated December and the holiday season all year when it used to mean cutting snowflakes, Santa Clause and making wish lists. Now that we’re in high school and December just means finals and worrying about semester grades, the whole season seems to be overshadowed

and some of the things that used to make us happy when we were younger won’t anymore. Although the winter season doesn’t bring the same excitement as when we were younger, you just have to look at it from a different perspective. Consider the finals like a last minute savior to save your grades and at the end you’re rewarded for all of your hard-work with a highly anticipated 2 Graphic by Rachel Torres week vacation from it all. talk of the future. Our prioriSo this week, keep your eye ties are different now and get- on the prize but don’t forget ting an A on a final is bigger to take a break from all the priority than what’s going to worrying and studying, make be on our wish list this year. yourself a cup of hot chocoIt’s sad but we have to realize late and just take a second to that we’re no longer children enjoy the season.

The Oracle

My Brand is Better than Yours

How far would you go to protect your brand Gil Sanchez

Whether it’s Xbox versus Playstation or PCs versus Macs; someone is always willing to go to the extremes in order to prove the validity of their brand. Whose side are you on,Windows, Apple, or Android? Today for TV entertainment Apple and Android have released a smart TV like object. Apple has the Apple T V and android h a s the Chromecast Dongle both of which allow you to mirror your devices, and both of which allow you to stream your purchased movies and music from your computer. Aside from the minor features that differentiate the entrainment streamers, there is major key difference one is $35 and the other $99, and although many would be saving $64 if they get the

Chromecast; Many people will get the Apple TV just because they already have apple products. Once a brand establishes a customers loyalty, the companies know that most costumers will have no problem handing an extra $64 for their product. Same thing with Windows, although tablets have been around for a while now, some people were

holding off until Microsoft released their own tablets. I once check out a customer who spent $999 on a windows slate tablet, and told me that he had been putting off purchasing a tablet until one came with windows on it. I’ve only worked in retail for about a month and a half now and I’ve noticed a few things. People are willing to go to extremes when it comes to branded products. There was a customer who was a extremely loyal to the Google branded Nexus phone line, so loyal, that when I informed

him that we only had the new Nexus 5 for sprint at that moment he paid to have his Verizon contracts canceled, started a Sprint account, covered a deposit for Sprint, and on top of that, paid for the phone itself — $1000 just for a phone? We have all heard arguments between people when it comes to name brands. For example, there are a lot of people that argue that Beats by Dr. Dre headphones are the best while others say Motorolas Sol headphone line is better. The credibility of each person’s ar g u m e nt s revolves on wether the product they are for meets their desires or needs. Let’s just admit it, a brand is a brand. Each brand offers us different features to meet our specific needs. If you like one brand and the person next to you likes its competitor, there is no need to get into a fight over whose brand is better then the other, because you and your neighbor are both right.

Graphic by Rachel Torres


Spartan Chat

and completely eclipsed with academic stress. Now that we’re older and no longer carefree, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress and

“My favorite holiday memory was last New Year’s Eve when the power in my house went out and my family and I were playing card games in the candlelight” -Savannah Kuhn, Junior

“I have to say my favorite holiday memory was when I got an unexpected gift one Christmas. I was sitting at home and out of nowhere this UPS man knocked on my door and told me to sign for a pair of shoes that delivered to me sent anonymously” -Marcus Hernandez, Senior

“My favorite holiday memory would definitely be going to Taos, New Mexico every year. I’ve been going up there and skiing with my family every single year for awhile now” -Grant Nunnely, Physics Teacher Story by Maxine Tran Photos by Kinsey Meek



Friday December 13, 2013

The Oracle

Asking to Dances too Early

There has been a recent trend with girls asking guys to dances too early Katherine Mavergeorge

Like any other economics class, I was expecting a load of worksheets and lectures. Instead, girls were bombarding me with questions concerning who I was going to ask to Tri-Theta Formal. My initial thoughts consisted of what the heck were all these crazy girls doing? Two days earlier, we had figured out the official date of the dance in January, and now girls were freaking out about reserving their preferred dates in November. At this moment, panic hit me because I had the realization that I did not have a date and everyone else did. But why was I even having to worry about this when the dance was still more than two months away? If you think about it, so much can change in a matter of one month, let alone

two months. Friendships and relationships can alter to the point where it’s uncomfortable to go with the originally chosen date. On the flip side, boys have the opposite problem and refuse to ask until the very last minute, making it quite difficult for girls to plan ahead. There have been recent plans for the past couple years for all the boys to go hunting or fishing the weekend of homecoming in an effort to skip out on the event. Although this seems like a great way to spend the weekend from the boys’ point of view, the girls are not nearly as thrilled.

But year after year, surprising

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e Wyli

the girls again and again, the

boys have bailed on their “guys weekend out” at the very last second, and asked the girls a couple days in advance. At this rate, it has almost become a habit that the girls are expecting. Although this solution of asking last minute seems to fix the problem at face value, girls do not appreciate their lack of promptness. On the other hand, there is an intense, underlying competition for girls to get their preferred date, whether they voice this or not, so that they might have the perfect evening with

everything just the way they want it. Time after time, there is a group of girls who force every one else to worry about this issue way too early, and when that happens, that is all everyone is talking about. Girls asking too early to dances is an unfortunate issue due to the fact that it should not even be a problem in the first place. What ever happened to boys being the ones to always ask to dances? In earlier generations, boys were the only ones who asked to dances, which kept everything less dramatic. Girls have always had a reputation of being competitive, which is luckily avoided when boys are the ones who ask. It is unfortunate that so much prestige is placed on the idea of a dance, because at the end of the day, it is just a dance.

A Need for School Spirit is Obvious

The amount of excitement for football games needs to increase Layla Shahhosseini

The drums echo through the halls at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, pumping students and faculty up for the preceding pep rally. Tri-Theta even contributes to the spirit of pep rallies by making signs for the varsity players every game. Recently, football has made it to the fifth round of the playoffs, something that hasn’t been accomplished since 1987. The last time football won a state championship was more than thirty years ago, and here they are on the road to state without the student body cheering them on. There were no pep rallies to celebrate the next round of the playoffs or commemorate the success of football. Recently send-offs have been on Saturday mornings, but there has been very little student attendance. Spartanaires, cheer, and

band have mandatory attendance at all the pep rallies and football games, but it would mean so much more to the players if students who weren’t required to attend these events were actually there. There has been talk lately that football is prioritized over academic organizations, but considering that the only people who have attended their send-offs are required to, then that is not much of a priority to most people. It is sad that the students don’t even care enough to complain about this. What has happened to the school spirit that was so prominent at the beginning of the season? Just because the semester is about to end, and everyone is fed up with school, doesn’t mean there should be an abandonment of excitement for the many victories of the football team.

This doesn’t apply to everyone though, because at the third round playoff game senior David Bartell got the entire student section and most of the stands cheering and pumping up the football players. “I saw that at all our home games this year, the opposite crowd was always loud and that bothered me,” Bartell said. Georgetown’s stands were filled entirely with parents, grandparents, and students ringing their cowbells every chance they could get. The football moms have been making an effort to rally up more spirit after seeing the last opponent’s crowd. Car flags and cowbells are being advertised and encouraged to be sold to the students. “Will Bredthauer told me ‘Bartell really get them going,’ and by then I got the students going, parents going, and even grandparents going,”

Bartell said. There has been a bit more of an increase in support because superintendant Duncan Klussmann even admitted that he cancelled plans to go to the UT v. Baylor game this weekend to come to the playoff game. “I had tickets to the UT/ Baylor game, and I decided it would look bad if I was at that game when Stratford was doing so good in the playoffs. So, I cancelled going to the game to go to the fourth round,” Klussmann said. Usually, the home game crowds would thin out during the season and then students would start coming back when they would hear that the playoff games were a huge deal. It’s not really right that those who have attended all the games throughout the season are just grouped into the group of people who only come to the games when the

team is making history. Students should get pumped up to come to the games because they want to watch our team, not just to share in the success when they haven’t even been a part of the journey on the way there. A student section shouldn’t just want to come to the games because the team is winning, but to support them regardless if they win or lose. Recently more and more students have been attending the games which is nice to see our side having more students than the opponents’. Football would greatly appreciate the students sharing their success and they want the students cheer them on. So, now here we are in the state semi finals and we have a pep rally later this afternoon. Let’s see if we can rock the house at 2:30. Everyone needs to go to the pep rally, and then be at Reliant at 7:30. Be Loud. Be Green. Be Proud.


I got accepted to my dream what?

Kali Venable

Getting into your dream school feels a lot like getting your braces off. After years of struggling to eat apples without making your gums bleed or trying to take semi-decent pictures when your mouth is full of metal dental devices, you can’t help but feel new. When I got my acceptance letter from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University on Dec. 6, I felt like I was walking on clouds. All of the hours I spent studying and wondering if the work I was doing would be good enough finally felt like they are not in vain. I woke up in the morning with 34 new text messages, each one from a different friend/family member/ teacher congratulating me on my acceptance. The outreach hasn’t stopped and in many ways I still feel as if no one can shatter my moment or make my triumph feel like anything less than it is in my eyes. But at the same time, I know this feeling won’t last. I know the magic will eventually fade like the slimy feeling on your teeth that comes with getting your braces come off. Within a week or so I will no longer feel any different than I did prior to my acceptance, the comments will simmer, and life will return to it’s bleak ways. Regardless of where I go from here I want to remember this instance and hold on to it as reminder than hard work pays off and with it you can accomplish the most outlandish of dreams. Cheers to the S.I. Newhouse class of 2018 and go ‘Cuse!



Friday December 13, 2013

The Oracle

The Console Wars: Xbox One vs. PS4 An insight on which game system is better and why Claire Galbraith

only be downloaded to one person’s console. If someone want to play a used game they are forced to pay nine dollars to download it off online. Another design fault intense gamers are upset about, is that the Xbox One, un-

Also, the quality of the images produced on the PS4 is much higher because its Peak GPU Shader Throughput is 0.53 teraflops per second faster than

from being up loaded. Even though both games are having problems, it was found that PS4 comments are three times as positive and almost half the comments about the

like the PS4, does not have a removable hard drive, which means people can’t take their game information and put into another system to continue playing at a friend’s or relative’s house. If one is choosing which console to get merely based on the design, the information points to the PS4 as the better choice. Factoring in the quality of the two systems also helps people which one to buy. In side by side tests, the PS4 was found to download games faster than the Xbox One, even though the Xbox’s central processing unit was supposed to process information quicker.

their competitor’s. So far, there have been some reports on system failures for both the PS4 and the Xbox one. Since the PS4 came out on November 15, 0.4% of the PS4 consoles that have been released have had hard drive failures. This means that every 1/250 consoles sold will have this failure. However, when the Xbox released on November 22, there’ve been just as many reports of hardware failures in a shorter amount of time. The major error in the game system is the disc drive which makes a horrible grinding noise when ever a disc is inserted and prevents the game

Xbox One were about faulty hardware or TV connections. Clearly the PS4 takes the lead when it comes to quality. Lastly, the largest contributing factor in deciding is looking at what the gamers want. Price can influence a lot of people’s decision and when comparing prices the PS4-priced at $400--is $100 less than the Xbox One. And after paying the $500 for the Xbox One, customers will have to deal with some absurd features gamers hate. A large gamer flaws in the Xbox One’s set up are that it always has to be online and its camera is constantly running. In addition to this, be-


ap Gr

Everyone seems to have their own opinion when it comes to buying the next generation of consoles. Gamers pack into stores and back up phone lines in order to reserve their purchase for the world’s most coveted game system. This is exactly what happened when the dates for both Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4 were released. Now, conflicting feedback is being tossed around about the two consoles. This on going argument is disorienting gaming fans, and hasn’t given a clear answer to which system is better. To clear-up some of the confusion in deciding which is best, one must narrow the choice down to three simple things: design, quality, and what the gamers want. When it comes to the design of a console people generally look at aesthetics. However, to truly see which system offers more, one has to take a look beneath the skin. Just looking at the devices, the PS4 has an edgier feel to it with it’s slanted design, while the Xbox One is nothing more than a big black box. Although, it is the design of the Xbox One that provides a more efficient cooling system. The Xbox One has a single large fan inside the console that hovers over the core chipset, blowing the heat directly though the vent. This doesn’t discredit the PS4, whose cooling system is really efficient as well. There are some things that both consoles come neck and neck with, like they both have Blu-ray and DVD optical drives, both can record a rolling buffer of video content,

and both can post videos on to social networks. However, the biggest design controversy surrounding the systems, is that neither the Xbox One nor the PS4 are backwards compatible. Previous generations of the

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g ame systems allowed older games to be played but now both corporations want for the players to pay for the new games. When this information was released to the public, it came as a huge blow to the gaming community. No longer can one use his or her old copy of Halo 2 or Resident Evil 4 to play, instead this person has to purchase it again! In spite of the fact that the PS4 is not backwards compatible, it has a more diverse online market than the Xbox One. The Xbox One makes gamers purchase there own copy of a game and will not play used games or games borrowed from friend. This is because of a code on every Xbox One game disc that can

cause the Xbox One can be directed by voice commands, and the camera pick ups everything said in the room, it makes it possible for a person to redirect to the menu and take control over the game while someone else is playing. One can see how this would be a problem later when trying to a play game. The Netflix membership requirements are another bothersome setting on the Xbox One. The requirement is set in place so that not just the console owner, but everyone in the room must have a membership to Netflix in order to watch. Some believe Microsoft is changing the gaming community by not allowing people to share games with their friends. The Xbox One’s exclusive nature has earned it its title, not for being “all in one”, by being “only for one”. On the other side of the game board, game critics rave about the PS4s avant-garde console design, impressive controller and improved user interface. Sony’s PS4 shows their in depth knowledge of gamers and provides people with the perfect gaming experience. Its almost flawless design, its superior image and game quality, and how it is better suited to the desires of gamers is what makes the PS4 the victor in this on going war between consoles. However, it is still up to the gamers and fans to decide which new game system is the right fit for them.



Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday December 13, 2013

Oracle TheThe Oracle

Dec 16, 2014  
Dec 16, 2014  

Volume 41, Issue 5