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Troy High School, 4777 Northfield Parkway Troy, MI 48098


theTROYINDEPENDENT Learning a foreign language is hard. It’s even harder when you’re learning the language to survive. Fortunately, most kids in Troy don’t struggle to communicate. There’s hope for the few that do, however, in the form of a translation service, Troy Newcomer Supporters (TNS), started by senior Lawrence Kim and junior In Chan Lee. Last year, the duo tried to start TNS as an individual project, but couldn’t get a sponsor because of lack of funding. Undeterred, they asked their counselor for ideas, and were directed to counselor Jessie Allgeier, adviser of the Troy Diversity Project (TDP). Though neither Kim nor Lee was heavily involved in TDP, TNS turned into a subgroup of TDP. The two were inspired by their own experiences in elementary school. Kim was born in California, but spoke Korean from birth. Lee moved to Troy from Korea in 2002. “I cried for the first three

Deer Head: a history of the enigma BY JAKE LOURIM AND ERIN WRUBEL A piece of Troy High lore started in summer 2003, on a routine moving day. Just before a Troy family moved to Chicago, Alex Mazzenga—a 2004 Troy graduate—saw a deer head lying around at their house. He decided to take it, but when he got home, his mom told him he couldn’t bring it in the house. Mazzenga put it in the trunk of his Jeep Wrangler so everyone could see it. At halftime of a football game

Say yes to Homecoming

THS students found creative ways to ask dates


Junior Jay Darish always wanted to do something big for his homecoming date. And that’s exactly what he


early that season, someone in the student section thought the stadium needed a little pep. People told Mazzenga, a member of the TC Line, to go get the deer head out of his car. “I ran back in and people started chanting, ‘Deer Head!’” Mazzenga said. “It became a fixture.” “We’ve never had school spirit,” longtime Troy wrestling coach Don Hill said, “like we’ve had with that deer head.” Nine years later, Deer Head, as it’s now called, is still at Troy High. The students pass it around at football games as a tradition. Thousands of students have come to and left Troy High. Deer Head has been here the whole time. Well, that’s not entirely did. He made a huge poster saying “Danielle, Homecoming? #4.” The student section held it up during the Pontiac football game while junior Danielle Mukomel was cheering. Junior Kyle Leonard asked senior Jennifer Stencel to Homecoming by putting sticky notes all over her car. He got the idea when he and his cross country teammates 6 2 8

Alaina Kozak


months,” Lee said. However, a Korean ESL teacher came to his school and translated a conversation between Lee and his peers. “It was the first time I could understand anything,” he said. “We started talking about soccer, and that inspired me to play. I wanted to help kids like me, because Troy is a wonderful community. We want to make the transition easier.” “Even though I was born in America, Korean is my first language, so I was put in the ESL program,” Kim said about his inspiration for starting TNS. “I just really wanted to help others who were in a similar situation.” TNS primarily targets elementary schoolers. However, it is not to be mistaken for a language tutoring program. It’s more akin to a Big Brother, Big Sister program, since the main goal is to help kids develop relationships with their peers. Only four people volunteered regularly last year, most of them Asian. There are many new volunteers this year who speak new languages, such as French and Spanish. Lee and Kim have high hopes for TNS and expect it to last many years.

Explaining the TSD ‘sexting’ policy

THS crowns homecoming queen and...kings? For the first time ever, there was a tie in votes for homecoming king: seniors Mike Barto, left, and James Heichel were crowned kings, along with Jennifer Stencel as queen. See page 2

Dr. Mykee Fowlin visits THS Picture a man standing alone on a stage, with nothing but four chairs and a couple of shirts. This isn’t the start of an average ‘stop bullying because it’s bad’ presentation.

Dr. Mykee Fowlin gave a presentation on Wednesday, September 26 that targeted the prejudices and masks people, especially teenagers, carry around with them through portraying different characters: a child with ADHD, a homosexual football captain, an angst-filled teen and a biracial girl. Through them, Fowlin discussed sen-

true. Three years ago, Athens stole Deer Head. Like other aspects of Deer Head, various stories float around about how it happened. It was taken at a hockey game. It was left behind at an event. Somebody left it in someone’s car. Someone took someone’s keys and took it from the trunk. Someone left it at someone’s house. The someones and somebodies are unclear. No one can really trace back the history of this enigma. Deer Head was missing from winter of the 2009-10 school year until graduation. That day, principal Mark Dziatczak had a special surprise for the 2010 graduates. “You should know that the loss of Deer Head has

bothered me deeply since it occurred,” Dziatczak told graduates. “I could not help but wonder what happened to this stuffed head immediately after I learned of its loss in February. “So it was in FebruDeer Head at the Oct. 5 football game ary 2010, graduates, Head out from a chest, and that I began my top-secret the graduation crowd eruptmission: the mission to find ed. Deer Head. ‘Why would he The principal had contacts do this?’ you may ask. The at Athens from his tenure simple answer, Class of there. He said he could not 2010: You.” See Deer Head, page 5 Dziatczak soon took Deer


covered the girls’ cars in sticky notes as a prank when they were at a sleepover. He got together almost 20 people to help him distract her. After sixth hour he ran out to her car with about ten of his friends and put all of the sticky notes on her car. He stood on top of it holding six roses. It’s not every day that you get asked to Homecoming in sign language, but that’s how

sitive issues, including suicide, depression, bullying, isolation, eating disorders and personal stress. The personas are a result of Fowlin’s personal pain and experience like his depression. By being open with the audience, he encouraged many to take off their masks,

See Fowlin, page 3

Jake Lourim

Translation program helps break language barriers Programs targets elementary school students new to America

October 12, 2012

Vol. 2 Issue 2

senior Syed Murtaza asked junior Abby Green. He knew she wanted to be asked in a very special way but he didn’t know what, so he asked her best friend, junior Rachel Loken. Murtaza learned that she wanted to be asked in sign language. He then looked online to figure out how to say “Will you go to the dance with me?” to which she signed back, “yes.” Senior Blake Dagenais re-

cruited the help of his mom to figure out the perfect way to ask Britney Freisen to Homecoming. They decided to put a note next to a stuffed bear. The note read “I’d be beary glad if you went to Homecoming with me.” Senior Christian Przeslawski asked senior Ellen Donabedian to Homecoming the traditional cross

See Dates, page 3

New district policy states that with reasonable suspicion, administration can search student phones: but do they want to? BY TOMMY ROWBAL AND ALEX ROETTENBERGER

A new policy was added to the Troy School District this year which states that under reasonable suspicion, administration can detain and search a cell phone for illegal data. The fear of getting a phone taken away has started to rise recently, and the “sexting” trend is not helping. Students are worried that their teachers will search their phones and report what they find to parents or police. Some districts have implemented policies allowing them to search their students’ cell phones for anything as long as they have probable cause. An important thing to remember is unless a person is at least 18 years old and is paying for their phone themselves, it is not their property but their parents’ or guardians’. They may seize the phone whenever they wish. If a student is on school grounds, then school authorities also gain the right to search with reasonable suspicion. A student can deny the search, but the phone will then be handed to the police, no questions asked. Troy High School has implemented this policy for years. The only change is that now it’s on the district books. “With the number of cell phones that teachers bring to the office every day, we [administration] don’t have time to search them all, nor do we want to,” Mark Dziatczak, principal, said. “Any student that has some fear about this, the bottom line is that the policy endorses what we’ve always done,” he said. “We’ve never just grabbed people’s phones or bags and searched them. We don’t want to cultivate that kind of relationship with students.”

Got a news tip? Want to share your thoughts on our stories or issues affecting troy high students and staff? Shoot us an email to


The Troy Independent -

Alaina Kozak

October 12, 2012 - page 2

Members of the senior Homecoming Court and their parents look on as Heichel, left, and Barto fist pump after being named Kings. “I was happy because James and I are really good friends,” said Barto.

Crowning the Kings On a beautiful Friday night two weeks ago, the Troy Colts football team played its Homecoming game against West Bloomfield. During halftime, members of the Homecoming Court walked across the field in dresses and suits, arm in arm with their parents. Soon, it was time to announce the 2012 Homecoming King and Queen. BY CAROLYN GEARIG

“We have a tie,” the announcer said. “Congratulations to this year’s Homecoming Kings, James Heichel and Mike Barto.” The stands erupted with applause as Barto and Heichel each received a silver football and scepter. “I was shocked,” Barto said. “I didn’t think it was possible to have two Kings.” Heichel agreed. “I was really surprised…not only that I was King but that there were two of us,” he said.

Recounting, recounting and recounting

Student government adviser Ryan Werenka has advised at Troy High School for nine years; as part of his duties, he has counted Homecoming Court ballots every year. During this time, there

was never a tie, although in some cases, the King or Queen won by a single vote. “We always kind of joke about having a tie,” said Werenka. “It’s happened to other schools. And this year it happened to us.” After final Homecoming Court nominations are made in mid-September, Werenka and the Student Government executive board count ballots over two days. To keep Homecoming King and Queen a secret, no one is allowed to count the same grade both days, and Werenka recounts everything to ensure accuracy. “As soon as we realized there was a tie, we recounted three times,” said Werenka. To further complicate things, the third place senior boy was one vote behind Barto and Heichel and fourth place, three votes behind. (Girls were not as close—Jennifer Stencel won Queen by “a large margin.”)

Although Werenka briefly considered doing a runoff between the two, he felt that the votes overall were so close that it would be unfair not to do a runoff with all

Putting it all together

In a normal year, the only two who know the King and Queen before they are announced are Werenka and

“Would it have been easy to just pick one? Absolutely. But that’s not the way we do things.” Ryan Werenka, student government adviser

five nominees. “It’s a pretty rare occurrence,” said Werenka. “That was the will of the voters. If that’s who won, that’s who won. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Remo Roncone, vice principal. However, because of complications regarding two Kings, juniors Jessica Moore, student government president, and Lexi Adamski, public relations officer, knew

that there were two kings, but did not know who. Werenka and Moore said the hardest part about the kings was figuring out logistics. “We had to order another scepter,” said Moore. “It ended up being another $25 plus $20 for rush shipping.” Usually, the past year’s Homecoming King awards the silver football and scepter to the new king. This created problems as Werenka did not want Jesse DuBay, 2011 King, to give away the secret by walking out with two footballs and scepters. So, Moore brought out the second set in a box. She snuck behind the parents and as soon as they announced it, she ran out with the second scepter and football. “It should have looked fairly seamless,” said Werenka. “But it was pretty hectic trying to pull it off.” Werenka said it was exciting, but stressful.

“I know there’s a rumor that we rigged things, but why would we rig it that way?” said Werenka. “It just caused problems for us. That should be the ultimate proof to knock that down.”

A happy ending

Heichel and Barto are “really great friends,” as described by Barto. “I love Barto,” said Heichel. “In a way it was almost better that we tied.” Although Barto said he felt a “little bit less” of a King then those in year past, he said he was happy with the outcome. “Since we’re friends, it’s cool that we get to share that,” said Barto. “I don’t think it’s necessary to have a tiebreaker. If we both won, we both won.” “Would it have been easy to just pick one? Absolutely,” said Werenka. “But that’s not the way we do things.”

sentation. “There’s a duality of things,” senior Won-Bae Seo said. “Sometimes people lie to protect other peo-

ple, not just themselves. So I agree with the fact that a lot of people like hide what their true feelings are, but sometimes there’s a need

for that.” Despite how the presentation left people feeling, many students felt impacted in some way. Fowlin’s

performances showed that students can make a difference by doing things as simple as saying you’re beautiful or smiling at someone.

Courtesy of Kyle Leonard

funny (and) it was entertaining, but most of his stories... they connected with people,” sophomore, Karen Cao said. A story of a man who killed himself because no one smiled at him inspired junior Alex Marshall. “We went to Home Depot after [Homecoming] float building,” he said. “I said ‘hi’ to pretty much everyone there, and smiled at them. Most of them said ‘hi’ back. One asked how I was doing, and that’s pretty much it. Some were a little creeped out.” However, not everyone got the impact of the pre-

Syed Murtaza

Above: Fowlin speaks under the persona of a bullied victim. Right: The four chairs on the stage represent four viewpoints Fowlin took for his presentation.

Above: Junior Kyle Leonard sits on top of senior Jen Stencel’s car, holding flowers. He asked her to Homecoming by covering her car with sticky notes. Left: Stencel said yes. The two pose before the Homecoming Dance Sept. 29.

Courtesy of Jen Stencel

FROM FOWLIN, PAGE 1 even just for a moment. Fowlin said that the show has come a long way since he started years ago when he first performed for a summer camp upon the request of his college professor. “In the beginning it was just doing these characters,” Fowlin said. “I’ve made the show more personal where I’ll talk more about my own depression and stuff that I went through.” Over time, his show continued to develop and gain popularity. He now does over 300 shows per year, some of them overseas. Senior and Troy Diversity Project (TDP) executive board member Wayne Shu attended one of his shows in 2010. “He’s just a great actor and [he] makes you think,” Shu said. “Because one second you’ll be like laughing like, ‘oh ha ha ha like this person’s like that’ but then you’ll be like, ‘but wait I’m laughing at this person and they’re dealing with these issues that are making them suffer as human beings.’” TDP advisor, Jesse Allgeier, also saw Fowlin before he came to Troy High. “It’s funny, it makes you cry, and all of those things,” Allgeier said, “It’s very good.” The best responses, though, came from the Troy High student body. Almost everybody found some way to connect themselves with the presentation. “It really was an eyeopener that some people are going through some stuff that you don’t know about,” sophomore Caitlin Ferber said. “It makes you stop and think.” Different parts of his performance spoke to different people. “I think, he was really

October 12, 2012 - page 3

Syed Murtaza

The Troy Independent -

FROM DATES, PAGE 1 country way. After the Holly Invitational meet he and his friends wrote “Homecoming?” on their stomachs. They were waiting at the finish line. Junior Lauren Miller is an amazing puzzle maker and that’s how Zack Hall asked

her to Homecoming. He made a personalized a puzzle for her that said “Lauren HC?” “She started making the question mark first so she figured out what it said,” said Zack. Junior Martin Frey asked junior Carlie Wirebaugh to

Homecoming by making a huge sign. While she was waiting in line, he and his friends unrolled it and he stood in front of it and asked her. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a very special announcement to make towards the lucky lady, Megan Sacco. Our captain, #14 Brandon Riddle, would like to accompany her to this year’s Homecoming. Please come to the press box and reveal your answer to the crowd,” announced the soccer team manager at a game. Riddle’s brother was waiting for Sacco, a senior, at the press box with flowers. Junior Jj Podsiadlik asked Kaila Wiktor, of Ann Arbor, as they were coming down the Ferris wheel at Troy Daze. As they finished the ride Jj’s friends held up a sign. Sophomore Casey O’Brien asked sophomore Melissa Rowley over the announcements. His friend, sophomore Harrison Lourim, suggested that he use the picture he took of them and ask her over the announcements. And she said yes.


The Troy Independent -

Courtesy of Sean Babas

October 12, 2012 - page 4

Above: Babas is interviewed in April 2010 at a rooftop party in Orlando. He won first place at a Florida film festival, jumpstarting his career. Left: Babas shoots in California. He has shot short films, commercials and music videos for a variety of companies and artists. Below: Christina Grimmie is pictured in the music video for her song “Advice.” The video, directed by Babas, was released in 2011. Grimmie was also featured in a Doritos commercial directed by Babas.

Sean Babas:

at 20 years old, already a star director Working with Christina Grimmie, Baron Davis, Big Sean, Monster Energy, Doritos, Chevrolet Camero and others, 2010 Troy High graduate Sean Babas has earned an incredible reputation as a film and commercial director, especially for someone only 20 years old. BY ERIN TEPATTI

His reason for the quick transition from student to star director? “I just lucked out, like insanely,” he said.

The early years

Babas found his first job scrolling through Craigslist during a computer technology class his senior year— directing and filming a music video for Frequency Fifty Four, who had just finished touring. The day after the video was released, Frequency Fifty Four was signed to a major record company—Warner Records. Still in his senior year, Babas shot a few rock and hip-hop videos. Right before graduation, a film festival in Florida screened one of his short films, landing him first place. He was the youngest one at a rooftop party for the film, surrounded by successful people and paparazzi. The name Sean Babas started becoming well known, both at Troy High and in the

film industry. By graduation time, Babas had proved himself to his peers, winning the “Most Likely To Be Famous” Gimmee Award—and famous he would be.

A semester Chicago


He began college at Columbia College Chicago, studying film with a substantial scholarship. Classes were Monday through Wednesday, and Babas’s weekends were spent out of state filming. It was difficult to travel between Los Angeles and Chicago every week, and his trips used up the last of his allotted absences. If he missed any more classes, he would fail, regardless of his grades. One night at LAX while waiting for a flight back to Chicago, he was talking to a 50-year-old woman. She told him that before, she had wanted to be a singer, and now—halfway through her

life—she regretted that she hadn’t taken a risk and gone for it. He sat on the floor of LAX, holding back tears, thinking about his choices. So he dropped out of college,

showing up. “I’m not really sure if I failed out or what. But it was the best decision I’ve ever made,” said Babas. Soon enough, he had vid-

“When you grow older, you won’t regret the things you did, but the things you didn’t do.” Sean Babas

even though his father told him that he would be financially on his own, but would still “support [him] in spirit.” Technically, he didn’t drop out—he just stopped

eos on BET and E! and was living in a luxury apartment in Chicago. One night, he went to buy cereal and used his debit card. It was declined.

“I thought to myself, Oh my God, is this really it? I was voted most likely to be famous in high school, and I’m about to be homeless instead,” Babas said. “But I decided to keep at it. Slightly over a year later, I moved to California, and the Hollywood sign that was on the plaque I was given in high school [now is] off my balcony in the distance… A fair amount of people that are going to read this are ¼, maybe 1/5 through their life. You’ve got time to mess up. Really. When you grow older, you won’t regret the things you did, but the things you didn’t do.”

“Make your own work”

Babas’s biggest words of advice? “Don’t work for someone,” he said. “Make your own work. “Here’s a great example: You just graduated from Columbia University. You’ve

got a great degree and a plethora of possibilities ahead of you… There’s this super nice building downtown and you know you can easily walk through the doors [and] whip out your degree which in turn will land you a job. Great, you’ve got a job paying 80-120 thousand dollars a year, that’s pretty secure. You start right away. “Or, as you walk up to that building, you notice a vacant lot. Nothing’s been done with it, the building was considering putting a garden there. But you buy that plot of land. For an extended amount of time, you start digging, you’re getting your hands dirty. It’s no fun; but what you’re doing is building a foundation, because we all know the tallest skyscraper requires the deepest foundation. It’ll be laborious, take longer, but soon, you’ll start building, and after that you’ll have a building far taller, and who’ll have the entire top floor? You.”

The Troy Independent -

Students take part in scientific research Research done at MIT, hospitals


Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s. Cures for these diseases and other major diseases were researched this summer by THS students. $100,000 scholarships, learning about the world around you, and making a contribution to human understanding are components of research, a popular summer activity. Students do research at places like Henry Ford Hospital, Wayne State and MIT. “We get to work around 9 in the morning, have an hour lunch break, and leave around 3,” senior Ally Liang said. Liang researched at Henry Ford Hospital along with senior Jason Qin. “You basically follow your mentor and help finish the [procedures] he needs done,” Qin said. “Every day is different.” These activities include several types of purification, extraction, and staining. David Wu, freshman, did research at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. He spent his summer trying to stop pancreatic cancer

cells using curcumin from the Indian spice turmeric. He specifically used CDF, a curcumin analog, to overexpress of microRNA 194 and underexpress microRNA 21 to inhibit the growth, migration, and survival of pancreatic cancer cells. Many research projects are similarly discovering possible methods to cure diseases. After spending a summer at research, students can submit to prestigious competitions such as the Siemens competition and the Intel Science Fair. At these events, students compete nation-wide for scholarships and unique opportunities. “After doing so much work, these competitions were a fantastic experience,” said senior Lawrence Kim, a successful researcher. “However, they were very nervewracking as I had to present to several very accomplished judges in the field. Everything from the plane trip to the hotels was complimentary and I would love to do it again.” Kim had a chance to participate in the Research Science Institute at MIT where he would go to the Massachusetts’s general hospital, a part of the Harvard Medical School System, every morning to do research. He said this was one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. These students believe that research, although sometimes challenging, is a rewarding experience.

October 12, 2012 - page 5 FROM DEER HEAD, PAGE 1 reveal the sources. “It’s part of the spirit and fabric of Troy High School,” he said. “That’s why I thought it would be such an amazing feat if I could get it back for graduation.” One condition of Dziatczak repossessing Deer Head was that he had to return it right after graduation. The students, however, quickly regained Deer Head, as Dziatczak knew they would. Deer Head took off from its inception in 2003, but it caused massive controversy in the first month of school. The administration took it away because it had pointed antlers that could have hurt someone. Tension exploded. “It made it more significant that [the administration] didn’t like it,” Mazzenga said. “Maybe that was why it became so cool.” Mazzenga, a soccer player on the 2003 state championship team, talked to The Oakland Press picks forecaster Kosmo about the incident. Kosmo wrote in the next week’s paper demanding that the administration return Deer Head. Social studies teacher Dave Aldinger remembers that event as the one that drew attention to Deer Head. “Deer Head was not a big deal until it was gone,” Aldinger said. “Then everybody was behind it.”




The students got involved also, turning their shirts inside-out and writing “Free Deer Head” on them. One Friday—Mazzenga thought it was the day of the Clarkston game Sept. 26—200 students organized a massive rally in front of the main office to get the icon back. That day, the administration returned Deer Head, antlers clipped off, in time for the Clarkston game that night. There’s one more story that only Mazzenga remembers. That night, there was a dance after the football game. Mazzenga dropped off Deer Head in his car and tried to get a Clarkston student into the dance. Without identification, the student wasn’t allowed, and when Mazzenga returned to his car, Deer Head was gone. Mazzenga heard all kinds of rumors about what Clarkston’s plans were for Deer Head that night. The main one was that the students were going to burn it. But Mazzenga called an ex-girlfriend living in Clarkston, who stole it back and returned it to him. Since then, Deer Head has been passed down every year. Mazzenga came back from college for the first football game in 2004 and passed it down. The back of Deer Head lists every senior who has had it

since Mazzenga: Stu Givens (Class of 2005), John Lurie (2006), Steve B (2007), David McGrail (2008), Lyle Parks (2009), Bobby Karam (2010), Ray Campise (2011) and Joe Pritchard (2012). Senior Anthony Wilson has it this year, and it’s been at every game. As Deer Head goes around the student section for the tenth straight year, no one really remembers how it started, how it’s been passed down, or most notably, why it’s here. “Deer Head is almost inherently an enigma,” Dziatczak said. “It has nothing to do with the mascot, nothing to do with the high school. It’s an arbitrary rallying item. “If it causes students to be enthusiastic about their high school, then I love it. There’s another side of me that doesn’t get it. I do get somewhat bothered by the fact that it has no relation to the school.” The principal said he would prefer cheers that support the athletes and performers on the field, but he’s not against Deer Head because of the school spirit. Sometimes nobody knows why something happens. Things just happen. “I don’t really know,” Mazzenga said, “why it became so popular.” It just started on a routine moving day in 2003, and the TC Line did the rest.


WITH US information available at


This Halloween, avoid nerds, vampires BY ERIN WRUBEL AND SARAH CHMIELEWSKI If you are thinking of donning one of these ‘classic’ costumes this Halloween, think twice! The Troy Independent surveyed random students during Homecoming week asking, “What is the most over worn Halloween costume of all time?” Out of 275 responses, below are the top five overused Halloween costumes. 1) ‘Cute’ Animals (101 votes): Animals such as cats, bumblebees, and bunnies aren’t so cute anymore. 2) Nerd (75 votes): We can conclude that the big glasses, high-waisted pants, and suspenders are not socially acceptable during Halloween this year. The “Urkel” look is a cliché trend people are sick of seeing! 3) Vampire (45 votes): With 45 votes it is safe to say a bloodsucking, paleskinned demon does not win the hearts of Troy’s students. 4) 80’s Girl (30 votes): Neon-colored leggings and crop tops, along with the infamous scrunchies are a thing of the past that Troy High has voted should stay there. 5) Pirate (24 votes): We reccomend leaving the peg leg and eye patch at home. Students agree that Captain Hook is the evil villain that should walk the plank, not the halls. This year on Halloween, break away from the mainstream costumes everyone loathes. Be original: flaunt a new style. Try something different, but as a majority of students have requested: keep it classy. Make sure you aren’t another average trickor-treater.

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October 12, 2012 - page 6

The Troy Independent -

Erich Hagen: 2 sports, 1 season

Photos by Jake Lourim

to manage both sports and the athlete has to be disciplined,” soccer coach Brian Zawislak said. “Erich does a great job of The football team had just planning ahead and really takpolished off a 24-14 home ing the time to prepare for his win over Pontiac. Besides a schedule. He tells us when he practice the next morning, has a conflict and we deal with most players’ game week it from there.” was over. “I think it’s great Erich can Not Erich Hagen. He was put in the time to play both back out the next day for a sports,” football coach Gary soccer game. Griffith said. Hagen, “We realize a junior, football is his faces the second sport pressure of and he goes out participatof his way to put ing in two in the best effort high school for each team. sports withOf course some in the same conflicting season. He schedules come goes to both in to play but teams’ pracErich is good Erich Hagen, football tice every about coming player day in adto me first and dition to letting me know school work. beforehand his schedule.” In the Pontiac game, Ha- Hagen has no complaints gen kicked a 51-yard field about his busy schedule. goal before it was called back His daily routine consists for a penalty. The football of school and then football team plays Athens tonight around 3 p.m. Straight from before an football Hagen OAA Crossgoes to soccer over game practice at 6 next week, until 7:30. while the S o c c e r soccer team games are 1-2 begins the days during the state tourweek, and the nament next football games week. are on Fridays. Hagen He has football loves each practice Satursport, but Erich Hagen, soccer player day mornings if he had to and sometimes choose one, soccer games he said it would be soccer. Saturday afternoons. “Soccer is my life,” he With no practice on Sunsaid. “I’ve been playing for days, Hagen officiates soccer about 10 years now and I games in the area. can’t imagine life without it. Hagen has even thought Hagen also said soccer about playing football in colwas his religion. lege, hopefully at Michigan. His coaches had nothing “I would definitely play in but good to say about this college,” Hagen said. “I believe hard-working athlete. that if I focus on it and work “We know it is really hard hard that I can get there.”

Troy senior Terrance Cherry runs the ball against Clarkston. Cherry has been the Colts’ leading rusher this year.

Football playoff update BY JAKE LOURIM The math is simple for the Troy varsity football team: Four wins, six needed, two games left. The Colts enter this week at 4-3 (3-3 OAA), needing a record of 6-3 to make the playoffs. They host Athens

(1-6, 1-5 OAA) this week. Troy coach Gary Griffith said his team will have one thing on its mind this week: Revenge. Athens finished off a 7-2 regular season last year with a 31-13 win over Troy, its first since 2006. That the Colts need a win to stay in playoff contention should only add intensity to the ri-

Courtesy of Brett Forman


Forman, center, is mobbed by teammates after winning the state title in 2010. After two years of injuries, he will compete for the title again this year.

The Comeback Kid:

Brett Forman’s long road to recovery BY JAKE LOURIM Brett Forman spent almost two years without hammering forehand shots past his opponents, polishing off easy wins. Two years without pounding an opponent with his timing and movement. It’s been two years since his teammates mobbed him in Midland after a state championship as only a sophomore. The plan was set for Forman after that day. His legacy was born: he’d win another state championship or two, win Mr. Tennis and play at a big-time college. “Everything was going right,” Forman said. “I was mentally in the right place. I was physically in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I was just playing great tennis, and I was on a roll.” Forman wasn’t three months off his state championship when he learned he had a stress fracture on both sides of his back. The recovery was six tedious months. When he was finally cleared to play, he didn’t get very far. He suffered more back pain and rehabbed it for another month. Just two weeks after that return, doctors told him he would need arthroscopic hip surgery. “It was definitely the worst experience I’ve ever had,” Forman said, “not having any control over my tennis.” He missed his entire junior season and the entire winter and spring. The

valry. It’s in Week 9 that things get murky. Troy plays an OAA Crossover game against the team in the OAA White (second-highest) Division with the same rank in the league as the Colts. Right now, Troy is fourth in the OAA Red, just behind Rochester at 4-2 in the league and tied with Rochester Hills Stoney Creek at 3-3. The Colts win the tiebreaker

major colleges that had been looking at him—Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State— had shied away. These injuries were supposed to ruin his career. But nobody told Brett Forman. The stress fracture took him until July before his junior year. He rehabbed his back for seven total months—very tedious for a player once ranked No. 18 in the country—then needed hip surgery and six more months of physical therapy. “What else could go wrong?” Forman recalled thinking. “Everything that could go against me was going against me. There were times when I couldn’t have been more upset. It’s definitely up there as being one of the most frustrating things.” It was two more months before he had the surgery in January. He didn’t recover until July. The surgery was a success, but seven months of physical therapy are what they sound like, a grueling period of tedious workouts. “I think the middle to end was what was hardest,” Forman said. “At the beginning, you feel like you’re making a huge improvement. After that, you’re like, ‘I’m still not running well, I’m still not moving well.’ It just takes a lot longer to improve then than at the beginning.” Forman ended 2010 on top. Now, he’s trying to get back there. It’s taken a few losses in the process, over Stoney Creek because of their win Sept. 7. Rochester plays Stoney Creek this week, and if Rochester wins and Troy beats Athens, Troy would end up in fourth. If Stoney Creek beats Rochester and Troy beats Athens, the three teams tie for third. The opponent won’t be announced until Sunday. But all Troy needs to focus on now: Two games, two wins.

though, which didn’t go over very well for the former state champion. In the next two weeks, he gets another chance for glory. The regional tournament is this weekend, then the state tournament next weekend in Midland, back where his journey started two years ago. He won the league tournament last week. Just three months into his return this year, he and coach Brian Miska are optimistic Forman will make a full recovery. “He works his butt off,” Miska said. “If he works as hard as he has, which he will, absolutely.” Some of the college attention has returned since Forman returned. He’s considering only Michigan and Michigan State for now. This season, Forman and Miska have taken Forman’s playing schedule day-to-day. Forman knows how easy it is to reinjure himself, so he stretches and ices religiously. Miska is a first-year head coach but assisted Eric Sturgis for two of Forman’s first three years, so he gives Forman a day off when he needs it. “When he thinks he needs the day off, he can have the day off,” Miska said. “He’s not going to be the kind of kid who says, ‘I don’t want to play tennis today, I’m hurt, I’m sore.’” Last month, Forman played Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood. He ended up winning, 6-4, 6-2,

but waved his racket in frustration after some points. It’s points like that, Forman said, that are the toughest. The ones he would have made two years ago, before this nightmare happened. “I’m just frustrated I wasn’t playing anywhere near my best,” Forman said after that match. His profile on Tennis Recruiting Network lists only one tournament this year— Labor Day weekend, when he won the tournament without dropping a set. But the profile illustrates his bad luck. In 2010, his recruiting ranking reached No. 18 in the country with a Ratings Percentage Index of No. 1 because of his strong schedule. In 2011, he was still at No. 19, with an RPI of 1. Now, he is No. 78. After that day in Midland, Forman sat at No. 18. Two years later, his goals are still intact. “I don’t have any dreams—not yet, at least— of becoming a top-ten tennis player in the nation,” Forman said. Not yet, at least. “I just feel like it’d be foolish of me to think about that at such a young age,” he said. “I’m not concerned with the wins and losses right now.” Not yet, at least. “I just hate losing, to be honest with you. Especially to kids that I know I’m better than.” He may not be losing much longer.

Lake Orion


Oak Park






OAA Red Standings

Clarkston Troy

Stoney Creek Athens


6-0 3-3 3-3 1-5 1-5

West Bloomfield 0-6

OAA White Standings

Farmington Southfield Harrison Adams

5-1 3-3 3-3 2-4

North Farmington 1-5 Lathrup


The Troy Independent -


October 12, 2012 - page 7

Boys’ soccer prepares for tough district

The boys’ soccer team heads into the district tournament Monday, where it will run into some familiar foes


Four OAA Red powerhouses. Four teams once ranked in the state. That’s what the Troy boys’ soccer team will run into next week when it starts the district tournament. But the Colts are also a top OAA Red team and were also once ranked in the state, making for some tough competition. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect. The semifinals and finals are at Rochester, while the opening round games are at the designated sites.

Rochester Adams - 7:30 p.m. Monday, Rochester

vs. Troy: Win, 2-1, Sept. 18 vs. Other teams: Tied Stoney Creek, 1-1; Def. Rochester, 2-0; Lost to Athens, 3-2 (1-1-1) Note: Lost to Troy, 3-1, in last year’s district opening round. “They just have a good overall team,” senior captain Brandon Riddle said. “It’s definitely going to be a tough challenge.”

Christian Przeslawski: cross country

Lexie Pullen: volleyball

Angela Krokos

vs. Troy: Win, 1-0, Sept. 11 vs. Other teams: Lost to Athens, 2-1; Def. Stoney Creek, 2-1; Lost to Adams, 2-0 (1-2) Highest Ranking: Honorable Mention (Sept. 3, Sept. 10) Note: Scored while down a man against Troy. “They just have a really hard-working team,” senior captain Ian Fox said. “They’re a very determined team.”

Alaina Kozak


Utica Eisenhower

Troy - 7 p.m. Tuesday, Swinehart Field

The Colts come into their best time of the year at 13-4-2 through last weekend. Senior captain Zac Doepke has been their top goal-scorer. They should also be at full strength, with junior forward Jake Meissner returning from a knee injury and perhaps even senior right back Danny Pikulas from an ankle injury. They have had tremendous success in the postseason lately, reaching the state semifinals last season before losing to Grand Haven, 1-0.

Troy Athens

vs. Troy: Win, 2-0, Sept. 25 vs. Other teams: Def. Rochester, 2-1; Tied Stoney Creek, 1-1; Def. Adams, 3-2 (2-0-1) Note: Clinched OAA Red with tie vs. Stoney Creek last week. “We weren’t playing our game,” Riddle said, “which is keeping the ball on the ground, moving around, getting it to our playmakers, [including] Zac Doepke in the middle.”

Utica - 7 p.m. Monday, Swinehart Field

Rochester Hills Stoney Creek vs. Troy: Tuesday (inc.) vs. Other teams: Lost to Rochester, 2-1; Tied Athens, 1-1; Tied Adams, 1-1 (0-1-2) Note: Only team in OAA Red who did not lose to Athens. “They have pretty good team chemistry back,” Fox said. “Their players have been playing together.”


Alex Farrar: water polo

Bri Smiley

vs. Troy: Win, 2-1, Sept. 21 Highest Ranking: No. 9 (Sept. 24, Oct. 1, Oct. 8) Note: Started season 13-0. Won Macomb Area Conference title. “I think it was us more than them,” Fox said of the loss. “We weren’t doing too well. We didn’t have our heads in the game.”

Spotlight: senior athletes A few weeks: that’s all fall season senior athletes have left in the athletic careers. Here are three to watch out for. BY ERIN WRUBEL AND SARAH REGAN

Alex Farrar: Water Polo Farrar has been playing Troy water polo for three years. He chose to play water because of his past swimming experience. “It’s pretty much soccer in water but more aggressive,” Farrar said. The senior recalled his favorite memory: Junior season, rival Athens game. Troy triumphed with a buzzer beater that the water polo players will never forget.

Lexie Pullen: Volleyball Pullen has been playing

volleyball since sixth grade. She pursued volleyball because her mom was a coach and her sister played. “It’s a family thing,” Pullen said. This year’s team has seven seniors and Pullen acknowledged that next year will be a big change. She loves how her team is always working hard and that there’s never a dull moment. Pullen’s favorite memory is how they beat Athens this year. “It was just great to know that my last year of vol-

leyball we just kicked their butts,” Pullen said.

Christian Przeslawski: Cross Country Cross Country captain Przeslawski has been running since his freshman year. Stepping into a leadership role makes this year different from those prior. “I have more of a say in what we do,” Przeslawski said. His favorite memory of all three years is the annual team sleepover because the team stays up all night and does crazy stuff.

THS alumni further running success to college BY SARAH CHMIELEWSKI

Every day people run, whether it be to catch a bus, talk to a friend or ask a teacher a last-minute question. If you are at Troy High after school, you will notice a different type of running: cross country running. This sport has had much success at Troy High as many athletes are able to further their career into college. One Troy High alumni who has been able to further his running career is University of Michigan student, James Yau.

“At the collegiate level, Representing the girls running for Northwestern tion is why I am where I am we’re not training to be satis- running alumni is Michelle University. today,” said Moriset. fied with being complacent,” Moriset. This runner gradu“Coach Matthew RichardMoriset stresses that Yau said. “We’re training to ated in 2010 and is currently son’s dedication and devo- when managing academics win championships and and athletics there are to be the absolute best more freedoms and in the country in our chances for failure. sport.” “There are so many Graduating from resources for anyone Troy High School in to utilize to help priori2010, Yau says he has tize their time and get a ‘shout out’ for Troy’s ahead,” she said. Cross Country Coach Moriset hopes to be Eric Prowse. a recreational runner “Prowse was able to for her whole life. instill in me a sense of “As for goals, I take responsibility, dedicathings day to day,” she tion, pride and ambisaid. “I am just grateful tion to chase after my that I have been given goals of becoming a colthis amazing opportulegiate athlete,” he said. nity to do something I Aside from running, love in college.” Yau is also currently en Another male reprolled in the Air Force James Yau, left, and Mike Atchoo lead the way in a five-kilometer resenting successful ROTC military program race at the OAA Red cross country jamboree in Sept. 2009. Yau Troy High Alumni is Miat the University of now runs for the University of Michigan and Atchoo, for Stanford chael Atchoo. Atchoo, a Michigan. student at Stanford UniUniversity. Marvin Goodwin of The Oakland Press

2010 graduates run for Stanford, Northwestern, Michigan

versity, says there are similarities between high school and college running. “I still have to put one foot in front of the other and run around a 400 meter oval, but beyond that, not so much,” he said. Future goals for Atchoo include being in the top seven runners on his team, as well as achieving success in races; like Moriset and Yau, Atchoo graduated from Troy in 2010. “My teammates have always been my best friends and always will be,” said Atchoo. He said the bond between teammates is a special one. Without them many people wouldn’t be where they are today. “[They] make the hard days easy,” Atchoo said, “and sometimes the easy days hard.”

The Troy Independent -



October 12, 2012 - page 8

Movie Review

Carolyn Gearig, editor-in-chief Jake Lourim, editor-in-chief Peter Mansky, cartoonist Sarah Regan, advertising manager Erin Wrubel, advertising manager Anna Larson, social director Amanda McCafferty, social director Marcey Shehata, social director Brendan Battle, staff writer Liza Burakova, staff writer Marissa Ceccato, staff writer Annie Chen, staff writer Sarah Chmielewski, staff writer Peter Hao, staff writer AuJenee Hirsch, staff writer In Chan Lee, staff writer Katherine Maher, staff writer Annie Pappageorge, staff writer Alex Roettenberger, staff writer Tommy Rowbal, staff writer Katie Schlafhauser, staff writer Erin Tepatti, staff writer Jennifer Doptis, adviser

The Troy Independent is the official student newspaper of Troy High School, produced by students in the third hour Writing for Publication: Newspaper class. The Troy Independent is an open forum and thus encourages members of the school community to submit letters to the editor and guest columns. Interested in joining our staff? Sign up when you complete your 2013-2014 scheduling cards.


Ask Miranda Dear Miranda, Hey I need help! My friends are talking about another friend behind her back and I don’t know what to do! I don’t want to be mean to

her, but I think something must be said about it. Please help! Thanks! -Anti Gossip Girl Dear Anti Gossip, Do you remember our assembly a few days ago? Instead of doing what you are suppose to do, do what you NEED to do! Follow your heart. Have your two friends talk it out. Tell them you don’t like being in the middle of their disputes and

Summit Entertainment

The official student newspaper of Troy High School

“Perks” stars, from left, Logan Lerman as Charlie, Ezra Miller as Patrick and Emma Watson as Sam.

“Perks” is authentic, touching BY CAROLYN GEARIG beautiful, fearless and funny. birthday, shows up in flash- letters written to an unnamed Patrick (Ezra Miller) is quick“The Perks of Being a witted, happy go lucky and Wallflower” is the story of gay. Together they transform Charlie, a freshman in high Charlie. school. Charlie The movie The Perks of (Logan Lerman) is based on is a loner: on Being a the bestselling his first day of Wallflower young adult school, his only Now playing at novel of the friend is an Engsame name. Main Art Theatre, lish teacher. He Directed and Royal Oak is still reeling written by aufrom the suicide thor Stephen of his best friend, Chbosky, it Michael. But his life soon retains the charming and changes when he meets slightly retro feel of the novel step-siblings Sam and Pat- (set in 1991) but also takes on rick. a different edge. Aunt Helen, Sam (Emma Watson) is who died on Charlie’s seventh

true friends don’t gossip behind each other’s back. -Miranda Dear Miranda, My friend is being impersonated on Facebook and has been dragging his name through the mud and getting a lot of us in trouble. What should we do? -Facebook Friend Dear Facebook Friend, This type of imperson-

ation can be classified as cyber bullying. Remember that once something is on the internet, anyone can see it. First off, print off the comments from this anonymous impersonator. Next, report the bully. If you give the print off account of this imposter to an adult you trust, they can help track down this bully. Best of luck to you and your friends! -Miranda

PETER’S PALETTE by Peter Mansky

backs throughout the movie, creating a dark undertone. The truth comes out at the end of the movie when Charlie falls apart and Lerman proves he can truly act. “Perks” follows actions of Charlie, Sam, Patrick and their friends throughout a typical year at a suburban Pittsburgh high school. There are drugs, drinking and partying but they are portrayed honestly as Charlie learns through trial and error. He gets a girlfriend and falls in love, though not with the girlfriend. The novel is told through

Dear Miranda, There is so much PDA at this school! I get depressed because I don’t have a boyfriend. What do I do? -Concerned PDA Observer Dear PDA observer, I understand where you are coming from; nobody enjoys PDA. Since you cannot change other people’s actions, ignore them or attempt to take a different route. Also, you can talk to

recipient; the film features voiceovers of the letters that reveal the nature of Charlie. He is quiet, but there is a lot beneath the surface as he constantly analyzes the world around him. Patrick calls him a “wallflower” because he “sees things, keeps quiet about them, and understands.” “Perks” is realistic and heartfelt but it is not perfect. In some scenes the acting seems forced, and the story is far from revolutionary. But it is thoughtful and well done, well worth a twenty minute drive to Royal Oak and a $7 student ticket. an administrator or teacher and ask them to enforce a rule against PDA. Ask to put up posters around the school to keep people aware of their unwanted affection. -Miranda

Have a question for Miranda? E-mail queries to askmiranda.newspaper@ All submissions will be kept anonymous.

Vol. 2 Issue 2