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Giving truth to Memphis youth

THE TEEN APPEAL Published by The Scripps Howard Foundation, The University of Memphis Journalism Department and The Commercial Appeal

Raising Awareness with ‘Powderpuff’ By Jamesia Terry White Station High School

Inside Young Adult Authors Descend on Memphis p. 7 All of Your Questions About Hollis F. Price Answered p. 8 Trezevant Football Moves On p. 11

Members of the White Station Senior Class put on a Powder Puff game to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The sophomore team ultimately won the game. (Pbotos by Jamesia Terry.)

“Powderpuff’ was a term originally meant to describe pieces of soft cloth that were used to apply powder to the face. As time progressed, the meaning of powderpuff changed. Today, powder puff also refers to a sport played like football, except there is no contact and is played by a field full of girls or women. This year the White Station senior class decided to put a new twist on

their football homecoming week. The plan was to host a series of powderpuff games against the underclassmen. The game was also an initiative to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. “What better way to fight for Breast Cancer Awareness than to play some girl football?”

asked White Station senior KeAsia Norman. Powder Puff is a sport for the girls who do not mind getting down and dirty! “I’m so glad the girls finally get a chance to have a little fun!” Cierra

see GAME, page 6

Mitchell Football Players Get the Grade p. 12 November 1, 2011 Volume 15, Issue 3 www.teenappeal.com


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The Teen Appeal Giving truth to Memphis youth November 2011 Issue Contributing Reporters and Photographers Sudeshna Barman, White Staton High School Rachel Busby, Hollis F. Price High School

Marica Bryson, Central High School Pardise Hart, Mitchell High School

Brionna Hayes, Carver High School

Areon McCraven, Hollis F. Price High School Kima McGaughy Jr., Melrose High School

Morgan Moore, Hollis F. Price High School Shantel Pettigrew, Trezevant High School

Jamesia Terry, White Station High School

Content Editor Hayley Huchton, The University of Memphis

Coordinator Marcus Matthews, The University of Memphis

Assistant Coordinator Elle Perry, The University of Memphis Project Director Dr. Carrie Brown, The University of Memphis The Teen Appeal The University of Memphis 300 Meeman Journalism Bldg. Memphis, Tenn. 38152 (901) 678-4710 fax (901) 678-4287 The Teen Appeal is the Scripps Howard Citywide High School Newspaper. It is published monthly and distributed to all Memphis City High Schools free of charge through The University of Memphis Department of Journalism, The Commercial Appeal, The Scripps Howard Foundation and Memphis City Schools.

The Teen Appeal

OPINION


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The Teen Appeal

Teen Appeal Led to Bigger Opportunities By Marcus Matthews

Teen Appeal Coordinator

My brother was murdered when I was in the 11th grade. He was 23 years old and I was 16. Many of the children I went to school with had joined gangs before we were juniors in high school. Some of my high school peers sold drugs. Many abused them. Others skipped school on a regular basis. I was no angel myself. I made a few trips to the principal’s office back in my day, but I was not considered a trouble-maker. I turned in my assignments and respected my teachers. My parents made sure of that. Still, I was unsure about my future career plans. My dad was a fireman and my mom was a homemaker while I was in high school. I had considered being a fireman. I knew I loved to write, though. My teachers and classmates use to read things I had written and give me positive feedback. And although I didn’t make straight A’s, I knew I was a smart kid. I just didn’t know what my future would be. I had no idea I would become a nationally recognized author, film maker and journalist. I knew I didn’t plan to be a career criminal. I knew there was more out there for me than what I saw in my neighborhood. The Teen Appeal changed my life. Westside High School’s senior English teacher, Mrs. Betty Russell, suggested that I apply to be a part of the program. Once accepted, I worked hard as a Teen Appeal staff member and earned a scholarship to major in journalism in 1998.

I got more first-hand experience as a reporter and editor for The Daily Helmsman while majoring in journalism at The University of Memphis. I received The University of Memphis Outstanding Newspaper/Magazine Student award and an Excellence Award for sports reporting from The University of Memphis chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists before I graduated with a B.A. in journalism in 2003. The journalism training I got in college helped develop the skills I used to pen my first book, “I Am Not the Father: Narratives of Men Falsely Accused of Paternity,” which received national attention when it was selected for the 2011 National Association of Black Journalists Authors Showcase. “I Am Not the Father” has been featured on FOX Good Morning Memphis three times, twice on NBC Action News 5, ABC24 Midday, the CBS News Channel 3 Live at 9 Morning Show and the evening broadcast at 5, The Tri-State Defender and Commercial Appeal newspapers (Memphis) and numerous radio programs. My story has inspired fellow writers to publish their own books and serves as a testimony that a Memphis City Schools student can use the resources at his disposal to help himself and society. A key to my success though was taking advantage of the opportunities I was given. One of my first breaks was the opportunity to be a Teen Appeal reporter. Although everyone reading this article will not go on to work as journalists, many of you will have opportunities to pursue your passion in some way. Take advantage of your opportunities.


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The Teen Appeal

MEMPHIS HAPPENINGS By Brionna Hayes

Carver High School

Memphis Tigers vs. Christian Brothers Buccaneers at the FedexForum. Nov. 11

The National Civil Rights Museum’s 20th Anniversary Freedom Award at the Cannon Center Nov. 12

Spoken Word and Poetry at The Edge Coffee House Nov. 15

Fall Campfire Party at the Memphis Botanic Garden Nov. 18

Annie the Musical at Playhouse on the Square Nov. 19

Jewelry and Bead Show at the Agricenter International Nov. 19-20

Memphis Kidz Hip-Hop Fashion Show at the DoubleTree Hotel Nov. 20

Jazz-A-Fire at the Firehouse Community Arts Center Nov. 27

Memphis Tigers vs. Jackson State Tigers at the FedExForum Nov. 28

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Page 5 • November 1, 2011

The Teen Appeal

Music Review: House of Balloons by The Weeknd By Areon McCraven

Hollis F. Price High School

Have you ever wondered what an artist with production like Drake, emotional lyrics like Frank Ocean and the ability to paint a picture through music would sound like? This is what upcoming R&B artist The Weeknd’s debut mixtape House of Balloons sounds like. The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) is a singer/songwriter from Toronto, Canada. House of Balloons has been getting much attention since its release mid-summer of 2011. This is partly because Drake, another Toronto native, has been heavily supporting the artist by tweeting lines from some of his songs.

all the songs. It’s a tale of the morning after a crazy party. The track is the only one with an upbeat tempo. Abel matches the great production with good lyrics for a song that will have you dancing all the way through. “What You Need” and “The Party & The After Party” are some of the best songs of the mixtape. Both are slow, sensual tunes with deep R&B. “What You Need” even samples a line from singer Aaliyah’s smash hit “Rock the Boat.”

From beginning to end, House of Balloons rolls like a movie through your mind. The mixtape, only nine tracks, is filled with tales of deep emotion on top of smooth, mellow beats. All songs seem to link together by continuing whatever story was told on the track before. On “The Knowing,” The Weeknd sings passionately of how he has been aware of his girlfriend’s cheating and how he plans to get revenge. “The Morning” stands out the most of

Still shot from “The Birds (Pt. 1) music video. The single is on The Weeknd’s mixtape, House of Balloons.


The Teen Appeal

Page 6 • November 1, 2011

Three MCS Schools Compete in GLEE Competition Staff report Memphis, Tenn. - Three Memphis City Schools have joined forces to compete for their share of $1 million in the GLEE Give-A-Note video competition. The Ridgeway Middle School Choir, Cordova High School Orchestra, and Trezevant High School Dancers created a collaborative video and entered it into the national competition for a chance to win up to $50,000 to be shared between their respective arts programs. The greater Memphis community can help these schools win their share of the prize money by voting for their video when visiting the following link:http://www. gleegiveanote.com/vote_details.php?id=282 or by visiting the MCS homepage and clicking on the GLEE Give-ANote icon. The video with the most votes will receive $50,000 to invest in their school’s arts program. Voting ends on Monday, Nov.7, 2011 at 10:59 central time.

from GAME, page 1 Burnett said before the game. “I’ll be cheering my senior chicks on loudly!”. Participants were pumped and sporting their pink gear. “Seeing the seniors come together as a family to execute this idea was amazing to watch, it made me feel proud being a senior of the White Station class,” said senior Forrest Sable. Girls this, girls that, where do the guys fit? Great question! The guys had a line as long as the Great Wall of China to sign-up for the cheer teams. And they seemed just as enthusiastic about the game as the girls were. Other guys who felt that they were a little too manly opted to assist coaching the girls. “Seeing the guys cheering brightened my day,” said sophomore Tracie Robinson. After the series of brutal battles being played that day, the sophomores were named powderpuff champions. They received a trophy to add to the White Station trophy case and they were recognized at the school pep rally. Sophomore Arayvia Curry said “I think the seniors were a little salty about losing to underclassmen, but we are the champs.”

The voting system accepts only one vote per day per IP address. Therefore, voting from an MCS computer will likely prevent you from voting, as MCS computers share the same IP address. Supporters are encouraged to vote from home or a smart phone once per day. FOX Broadcasting, Ryan Murphy (the creator of GLEE), and the National Association for Music Education have joined together through GLEE Give-A-Note to support art and music programs in public schools across the country. For more information and a complete list of rules visit http://www.gleegiveanote.com/home.html.

White Station Senior Girls participated in Breast Cancer Awareness month with a Powderpuff football game. (Photo by Jamesia Terry.)


Page 7 • November 1, 2011

The Teen Appeal

Smart Chicks “Kick It” at Book Tour By Marica Bryson Central High School On Sept. 27, 2011, the doors opened up and six female authors appeared as the crowd began clapping. Hutchison School in Memphis, Tenn. held the Launch event of the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour, which featured authors Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Rachel Caine, Simone Elkeles, and Kami Garcia. Armstrong is a bestselling author who started the tour. She is the author of otherworldly novels such as Stolen, Bitten and Personal Demon. Marr’s stories center around fairies, ghosts, and dark, romantic, dangerous fantasies. Her books include the Wicked Lovely series and Graveminder. Barnes, a graduate student, started writing when she was in high school. She is the author of 19 books, including Tattoo and Fate, The Squad, Raised by Wolves and Every Other Day. Caine is an international bestselling author of more than 30 novels, including the Morganville Vampires series, the Weather Warden series, and the Outcast Season series. She is a recipient of the Paranormal Pearl Award, the RT Booklovers Award, and the Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times. Elkeles is a bestselling author of over 17 romance novels, including bestsellers Rules of Attractions and Return to Paradise. Named Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English, she also received the RITA award from the Romance Writers of America for her book Perfect Chemistry. Garcia is the international bestselling author of Unbreakable, which is the first book in her Legion series. In addition, she is a co-author of many of Margaret Stohl books including Beautiful Creatures, which has been published in over 39 countries and translated in 28 languages.

The tour began with a press conference. The authors gave the inside scoop on how the work of an author is carried out. Writer’s block was the first topic, showingthe audience that all the authors had different ways of dealing with their obstacles when it comes to writing. Garcia responded by saying, “[When dealing with writer’s block] force yourself to keep going and it will eventually keep going.” However, Marr instead recommended getting a snorkel. “When I get writer’s block, I get a snorkel, go to the bathtub and put my head underwater with the snorkel until I think of something to write. It is very fun and you will always think of something,” she said. While some writers have creative ways to deal with writers block like Elkeles’s mental technique of saying “write or die” when she is stuck, others actually use a physical tool named exactly that, “Write or Die.” “I use “Write or Die,” an application where you plug in how many words you are targeting to write in a certain amount of time, and if you don’t have enough words at certain times, it starts deleting words or turns your screen different colors and plays annoying music,” Armstrong said. As the press conference progressed, the novelists continued on, talking about the process of how they decided to write their books for their target audience. Though Barnes shared that she knew she was writing for teens because she knew nothing about grown women, others like Caine described how publishers pointed out their target to them. “At first I was writing for adults, but one publisher read my work and asked did I ever consider writing for a younger

audience, and I said I don’t think I would know how. But to my surprise, they replied by saying ‘but sweetie, you already do’,” Caine said, snickering. In addition, the authors got down to the harder parts of their jobs. They all described how they thought being a writer meant they were going to live in an utopian world where they would be writing in their beach house and have workers to serve them, but soon reality hit them when it came to paperwork, writing and trying to get published. “There is a lot of paperwork; I had to buy a whole file cabinet for my paperwork because there is a lot.” Caine said. “To a writer, their work is never done. If they never take the book from my hand, I am never finished, and if I never had a publisher’s schedule, I would always say, wait, give me that back,” mentioned Kelley Armstrong. The six authors experienced lots of “nos” as they sent out query letters and copies of their work to editors. In addition, many did not know what to do when it came to selling their stories. Caine mentioned that she sent out letters trying to sell her story before even finishing it, so when someone wanted to buy it, she had to rush to finish the story. “[Getting books published is a] long process that takes over a year. They give back your work for you to review errors, and then you send it back and it is printed so you can see how it will look, and you go through two gallery periods,” Marr said. The authors also shared some helpful advice about constructive criticism. “You want people to tell you, oh honey this is bad,” Marr said. “You can always do better, but we don’t have the time to do better. I’d rather try for something hard and have an editor say, that’s not very good,” Barnes said.


The Teen Appeal

Page 8 • November 1, 2011

Higher Learning at Hollis F. Price By Rachel Busby

Hollis F. Price Middle College High School Usually when some someone says they of rigor. It’s a lot less stressful than working go to Hollis F. Price Middle College High at other schools. We have a very supportive School on the Lemoyne Owen College teaching and administrative staff. This is the Campus they get reactions like “What!?” best school environment that I have taught at in “Huh!?” or “Could you repeat that?” Not a lot of people have heard of the school because there are only 152 students enrolled and it was just established in 2004. Hollis Price is on the Lemoyne Owen College Campus and it is named after Hollis F. Price, the first black president of Lemoyne Owen College. It is a small school. Its first graduating class was only about 30-40 students and its largest graduating class was only 46 students. Having such a small population gives students have the chance to get to know each other here. “I feel at home here,” Larshay Watson, a senior at Hollis Price, said. Other students agree. “Hollis Price is family oriented and a close-knit environment,” Keeron Willis, another Hollis Price senior, said. Hollis Price includes grades 9-12. It Brandi Shipp (center) looks through papers at a Senior Meeting at Hollis F. Price School. Also pictured are Rachel Busby, Larshay Watson and Erin Beasly. (Photo by Morgan Moore) started with “The First Five.” The First Five were the original five 10 years of teaching. I enjoy being on a college faculty members Aleta Maclin, Sandra Barnes, Gaynell Talley, Mary Lambert, and campus.” The school’s history teacher, Keith Harris, the principle Daphne Beasley. said he appreciates when he can see his students Shon Malone-Johnson, the 10th and 11th grade English teacher, discussed what it was succeed. “It is a great privilege to work for a school like to teach at Hollis Price. that exhibits such high standards and has “This is one of the finest schools I have demonstrated continuous academic success taught at in my 12 year career, so far,” despite the negativity that surrounds Memphis Malone-Johnson said. Amber Speight, the City Schools. This school provides an algebra I, pre-calculus, and calculus teacher, opportunity to watch students develop into said, “I am able to teach with higher levels

successful college students.” Harris continued, “Compared to previous experiences, students here demonstrate a stronger desire to be successful, not only in high school, but also in college and in life.” Malone-Johnson agreed. “Students really rise to the occasion because of the rigorous academic curriculum and structure. An average student can become a student who excels,” she said. There is an application process to gain acceptance into Hollis Price. This process includes: letters of recommendation, student and parent interviews with the faculty, summation of transcripts, and the applicant must write an essay about a book they have read. If accepted, students can to take college classes with college students and professors in addition to their high school courses. Students have the opportunity to gain 60 college credit hours and get two years of credit towards their bachelor’s degree. Brittany Harper, a senior that has been at Hollis Price since 9th grade, said she loves her school. “I chose to come here because of all the advantages I have over the other traditional high school students,” Brittany said. “Some students have a childish mentality, especially the freshmen. They are very immature. But by their junior year they usually mature and understand that they are on a college

see PRICE, page 10


The Teen Appeal

Page 9 • November 1, 2011

White Station Sets Scholar Record By Sudeshna Barman

White Station High School White Station High School has a record 22 National Merit have something to back it up,” she said. Semifinalists this year, more than any other school in Tennessee. You also have to take the SAT to become a National Merit Leslie Fleming, a counselor at WSHS, explained why this group is Finalist. larger than it has been in the past: “We have very strong teachers… “In a way it’s like a money-making scheme,” she said.” You have and very bright students. A lot of times the students [who won] have to pay to take the SAT unless you get a waiver. You can only get chosen to be here through the Optional Program…We have teachers a waiver if you’re on free or reduced lunch. Emily, one of White that push them…and [we have] a very strong curriculum.” Station’s finalists this year, went to a summer SAT prep session, Fleming said that “we [at WSHS] start early, in ninth grade, where she received two big prep books. Though she did practice in sophomore year” to prepare students for important tests such as the problems, she said she didn’t really need to practice that much SAT and the ACT. “Sophomores should take the PSAT as a learning because she got a high score when she took the PSAT in the 10th experience,” she said. “Juniors take it as the real thing.” grade. The top one percent of all students who take the test in each “I wasn’t really surprised,” she said. Sai, on the other hand, did state are honored as National Merit not do any preparatory work at all Semifinalists and the top two percent but still scored 221 out of 240. “I are National Commended Students. This was really excited because they means that each state’s cutoff score is summoned us from class for a different. “Tennessee’s cutoff is 214. huge secret conference where they In Texas it’s something like 216,” said told us we were semi-finalists. Fleming. “This year’s [cutoff] is the I had a hunch last year because highest it’s ever been – last year it was my guidance counselor kind of 213.” dropped a hint, but I wasn’t sure until they gave us the envelopes.” Nagasai Adusumilli, Abigail Barker, Owen Bell, Emily Billet, Sai Boyella, Being a semifinalist has given Brian Chin, Tejasvi Dasai, Sharvari her some reassurance about Desai, William Drake, Keshane Gan, college applications. “Hopefully, Adam Greenberg, Ally Godinez, it’ll give me an advantage in the Lawrence Hoang, Gavin Kao, Kathryn admissions process,” she said. Sai Knapp, Lucy Morell, Roshan Rao, said she also intends to apply for Shiven Samant, Ruthie Schaffer, the next step. Anneliese Sloves, Caleb Wilson, and Ally, another semifinalist, took Bottom row from left to right: Anneliese Sloves, Sai Boyella, Ruthie Schaffer Middle row from left to right: Lucy Morell, Keshane Gan, Kathryn Knapp , Emily Billet, Julian Zhang all scored a 214 out of 240 the middle road. Her English Ally Godinez, Sharvari Dasai, Caleb Wilson, Brian Chin, Nagasai Adusumilli, and Mr. or higher on the Preliminary SAT last teacher supplied two practice tests David Mansfield (principal) Top row from left to right: Adam Greenberg, Julian Zhang, Shiven Samant, William Drake, and a list of vocabulary words, year. Owen Bell, Tejasvi Dasai, Roshan Rao, Gavin Kao, Lawrence Hoang Eighty percent of those who are which Ally studied the day of the Not pictured: Abby Barker (Photo by Molly R Oster). selected as semifinalists receive test. scholarships, according to Fleming. To be “I heard it [the news] on the morning announcements. I had selected as a finalist, students must write an essay, get a counselor’s a suspicion this January, when I got my scores back…I’d been recommendation, and have a “competitive” transcript. “They want a great transcript because they want to know that…you see SCHOLARS, page 10 really deserve to be a finalist. The score doesn’t matter if you don’t


The Teen Appeal

Page 10 • November 1, 2011

from PRICE, page 8 campus.” “I love the teachers,” she added. “They take the time to help you one on one, with any and everything. I love the staff, especially Officer Howard. She is cooler than the other side of the pillow.” Larshay, who transferred from another Memphis City School, said she likes the challenges she faces now. “(Hollis Price) is a lot more academically challenging. I transferred for a better opportunity. It’s way, way more organized!” he said.“It is more helpful with opportunities and options, where as there weren’t as many at (my former school). I feel as though I have to mature faster because of the college environment.”

from SCHOLARS, page 9 hoping for all these months, but I’d never been 100 percent sure.” “It’s given me a lot of relief when it comes to college,” Ally said. “It has secured my college plans. I’ve been planning to go to the University of Alabama, and they give a full ride to semifinalists.” Ally was near the fringe, with a 217 out of 240, but two others, Julian Zhang and Adam Greenberg, were on the edge (both had a 214). Lucy Morell was close, but made the cut as well. “I was surprised, because I was on the borderline,” she said. Though her English teacher also went over possible material, she said she did not study for the PSAT on her own. Lucy said her future plans have not been affected by her achievement. Anneliese took the PSAT seriously. “I took a PSAT workshop…when I was in 10th grade, but in 11th grade I mostly self-studied by getting familiar

Larshay said his main problem with his new school is that extracurricular sports are not offered. Keeron attended Hollis F. Price 9th and 10th grade, transferred away for his 11th grade year, and then came back his senior year. He said the school he attended his junior year had its advantages, but the advantages are much greater at Hollis Price. “(My former school) had more activities and school spirit. Hollis Price is more organized and more challenging and strict. The curriculum is better here. The strict rules and constant supervision makes everyone more reserved. At (my former school) sports were glorified, whereas at Hollis Price, it’s strictly academic.” For more information about Hollis F. Price, you can go to mcsk12.net or loc. edu/hollis-f-price. with common types of questions and reading the Princeton Review. By doing a few timed practice tests in the weeks before the actual test, I raised my score by almost 30 points,” she said. Anneliese said she was fairly confident that she was going to be a semifinalist, but when her English teacher confirmed it in mid-December, she “pretty much burst into tears of joy.” “It makes me more confident about getting into some of my reach schools, and it makes tuition seem more manageable if I get the actual scholarship,” she said. “Schools began contacting me with letters that said things like ‘We heard about your high PSAT score and wanted to contact you’ and my inbox started filling up with emails from the Ivy Leagues and other prestigious schools. For some schools, I am also now eligible for certain scholarships. USC, for example, will take 50 percent off your tuition if you are a finalist and make them your first-choice school.” Emily summed it up by saying, ““It’s an honor to be in a group of people that makes White Station look good.”

Two Hollis Price seniors talk to other students during a Senior Meeting at the school. (Photo by Morgan Moore.)


Page 11 • November 1, 2011

The Teen Appeal

SPORTS

Trezevant Football Moves Forward By Shantel Pettigrew Trezevant High School

During the week of November 29, 2010, the Trezevant High School campus was full of excitement: pep rallies, television news crews and confidence heading towards the BlueCross Bowl Class 4A championship game. On Dec. 3, the school lifted the team’s spirits and sent them on their way to Cookeville, Tenn. The drive to Cookeville takes four hours—four long hours to prepare for the game of the year. Kick-off time for the game at Tennessee Tech University’s Tucker Stadium was 5 p.m. the next day. There, the Trezevant Bears would take on the Greenville Devils. It would be Trezevant’s first time playing in a state championship game; their season record was 13-1. Ultimately Trezevant lost the game, 60-12. During that game, Trezevant players received a total of seven fouls. All were personal fouls. Seven football players were suspended as a result. One player, wide receiver Lemarcus Stewart, was actually ejected from the

game. Later, Stewart said, “My actions and everything we do, we have to face our actions.” After the game, Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Executive Director Bernard Childress sent a letter to Trezevant principal Dr. Joe Canada stating that the Trezevant team “had showed unsportsmanlike behavior.” After the game, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic association put Trezevant’s athletic department on probation for two years and fined it $2,000. The football team was fined $1,000 dollars and placed on probation for one year, meaning that the school would not be eligible to compete in the playoffs. TSSAA director Bernard Childress said via e-mail, “Trezevant was placed on restrictive probation due to unsportsmanlike behavior during the football state championships.” Childress was asked what the probation process involves. Childress replied “The TSSAA Board of Control grants the

director the authority to deal with all issues and set sanctions when unsportsmanlike incidents occur.” “The restrictions weren’t called for,” said cornerback Otis Lewis. “They didn’t call the right calls, and we were playing football, and it just wasn’t fair,” added his teammate John Booker. “The TSSAA blew stuff and took stuff out of context,” said left tackle Joshua Jones. After the sanctions, juniors Cameron Mayfield and Luqman Beavers-Muhammad left the team. Other juniors Otis, John, Arthur McFerren (right guard) and Suterryick Montgomery (running back) all came back for their senior year at Trezevant. Coming into the new football season Coach Teli White said “he and his staff will not be dealing with attitudes.” The probation has affected the school and surrounding community. Now, the effects are bearing down on a new group of players. Trezevant football player Kesean Thomas said, “It hurt me, because it’s my senior year.”


Page 12 • November 1, 2011

The Teen Appeal

Mitchell Football Has Brain and Brawn By Paradise Hart Mitchell High School

Many people seem to believe that a majority of athletes are incapable of excelling academically, but Nathan Cole Jr. and Gregory Buckhanon of Mitchell’s football team have proven otherwise. Nathan Cole Jr. is Mitchell’s wide receiver and is also a defensive back, while Gregory Buckhanon plays multiple positions such as center, defensive tackle, defensive end, long snapper on special teams. Their talents didn’t develop overnight; they’ve been playing football since middle school. These two athletes not only shine on the field but in class as well: Cole and Gregory both possess 3.5 GPAs. Both young men have received academic and athletic scholarships from several colleges. Having a tough decision on their hands, these two made a decision to commit to the college of their choice at a ceremony in Mitchell’s library. Nathan, better known as Lil Nate, committed to The University of Cincinnati while Gregory, better known as Buck, committed to Arkansas State University. And what was behind their selections? “I loved the atmosphere of the coaching staff,” Nathan said. “It’s close to home, has a down to earth atmosphere and I liked the coaching staff at A. State,” Gregory said. In college, aside from excelling in sports, Buckhanon wants to study criminal justice while Cole wants to major in business. These two students have set an example for their teammates and other athletes. Nathan joked about how he

accomplishes his good grades, “I make my grades by studying hard and paying attention. I be in my own lil’ world.” Coach Nathan Cole Sr. shared his emotions at the commitment ceremony for two of his star athletes. “Proud, it’s a good feeling, too. We have more seniors with high GPAs, and we plan on having them all verbally commit, they know what it’s going to take,” Cole said. Others involved with the team applauded the players’ efforts as well. “Too often it’s said that athletes are not able to perform academically, but with the discipline that athletics teaches, this myth is easily broken”, said Justin Pearson, Mitchell High School’s football manager. A teammate shared his excitement for the two players: “It’s a lot of athletes that have talent but don’t use it, they’re all about grades first. Knowing I’m a part of helping these talented guys become successful and attend great colleges makes me feel good,” Meldric “Stigg” Stigler said Gregory Buckhanon (left) and Nathan Cole Jr. indicate which colleges they will attend at a signing ceremony at the Mitchell High School library. Gregory chose Arkansas State University, while Nahan chose the University of Cincinnati. (photo by Michael Williamson)

November 2011 Issue  

The Novemer 2011 issue of the Teen Appeal

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