watchdog westfield high school, chantilly va. 20151 volume 12, issue 6; February 17, 2012
inside: Stress arises during the process of choosing classes for the following year, students worry about their futures; see 5 opinion, 8
arts and entertainment, 15
Primary Elections Ignite Interest
Republican Primary elections for Virginia near with Mitt Romney and Ron Paul as the only two candidates on the March 6 ballot. Any registered voter of the age of 17, who will be 18 and eligible to vote in the next general election is able to vote in the upcoming primary. “Since it’s my first time voting, I want to be able to choose the right candidate that would benefit our age group in the long run. That way, when we get older, we will have the right policies to help us live a better life,” Nikita Patel, 12 said. Government teachers encouraged civil participation through voter registration drives in class. “The students can make their own choices, but we do think it’s important for them to vote. [Voting in the primaries is] a very critical process, it is very reflective of voting apathy,” Charles Gibbs, government teacher said. Though seniors are encouraged to vote, some do not care about the election or are not informed enough. “I don’t really know much about who is running and I don’t know
who I would vote for because I don’t really know what is going on,” Cory Stalnaker, 12, said. Others do not feel comfortable voting in the Republican Primary. “I feel like I consider myself more liberal, and I don’t want to vote in the Republican Primary just to sabotage it,” Rupali Vohra, 12, said. On the contrary, Molly Burns, 12, believes that being involved the primaries is a crucial process in citizenship. “I think voting is important and allows my voice to be heard as well as allowing me to make a difference. It is a new opportunity and is a responsibility that I now have,” Burns said. Students that are aware of what’s going on in the election have formed their own conclusions in preparation for voting. “I’m voting for Ron Paul because I watched some of the debates and out of all the other candidates I liked Paul’s platform the best and he’s a Libertarian,” Burns said. - Natalie Sharpe, Christina Beiene
I Consider Myself a... 108 Democrats
Republican Primary March 6th Mitt Romney 23.6% Ron Paul 23.2% Undecided 53.2%
Club Intensity Electrifies Cafeteria Third annual Club Intensity dance proved to be a favorite among students; see 3 Students Struggle to Find Passion in Required Courses Students find school does not provide real life experiences; see 9
If the presidential election were today, who would you vote for? President Obama 160 students Republican Candidate 78 students Independent Candidate 12 students 0
Based on a poll of 250 seniors Graphics by Michaela Reardon 200
The Crucible Preps for Opening Night After anticipation and struggle, cast and crew of the Crucible prepare for shows; see 17
Wrestling Wins Regional Championship Bulldogs win Regional championship after much preparation; see 19
Black History Month Celebrated, Importance Recognized
Westfield High School 4700 Stonecroft Blvd. Chantilly, VA 20151
Return Service Requested
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. Postage Paid Centreville, VA Permit No. 6278
or the past 86 years, Americans have been celebrating African American history. Before Black History Month, there was Negro History Week, an idea of noted African American historian, Carter G. Woodson. In 1976, the 200th birthday of the nation,
Past: Who is your favorite African American figure or hero? “Malcolm X, what he has done is inspiring and set the path for African Americans.”
the week-long celebration was extended in order to, as Gerald Ford put it, “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans.” Every month is Black History Month and this issue The Watchdog features a look at the past, present and future. Photos by Anne Culbertson
Present: What do you think is the most pressing civil rights issue today?
“Equality in America.”
Connor Burns, 9 “Martin Luther King Jr. because he was a part of Civil Rights Movement; I think it’s really important.”
Jason Choi, 12 “Freedom of speech.”
Karis Cha, 10 “Madame C.J. Walker because she was the first self made black billionaire, shows you can fight the odds.”
Wendy Garcia, 10 “Gay rights, all people deserve the chance to make it official if they love each other and want to get married.” Gregg Greentree, faculty
Nathalia JeanJoseph, 11
Future: How have the struggles and achievements of African Americans impacted your future?
“Really plan on going to a great college because Obama went to college, Harvard.”
Marcus Benn, 11 “Already doing it, teaching in an integrated school, live in an integrated community. I am a by-product of many integrated schools.” Shawn English, faculty “We live in a country with a lot of different people of different races.”
Ben Fairbanks, 12
2 volume 12, issue 6 Scholarship Announcement
Kendell Anderson, 12 William & Mary, Football “I’m looking forward to college football and playing against my brother because he plays for JMU.”
Zach Elcano, 12 American University, Basketball “I felt like it was where I would fit best. I’m looking forward to playing basketball in college.”
BITS Tutoring Experiences Low Turnout Bulldog Instructional Tutoring for Students, BITS, has proven to be helpful for students of all ages, although a relatively low turnout has occurred due to the lack of high school students. Johnathan Simmons, 11, has gone to BITS several times. “It’s really beneficial because when you’re at home you don’t want to study but when you have people to help you, it can make learning fun and really help,” Simmons said. BITS is a Saturday morning program held from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. in the library where students are able to get help from other students in school subjects. “I think BITS is a great opportunity for students to get extra help even though lately it hasn’t been utilized as much,” Aazeen Meraj, 11, said. Students have taken time out of their weekend to come to the school and help tutor kids. Tutors have been having trouble getting students to come. “We haven’t been advertising as much, word of mouth is what it really comes down to,” Amanda Kwieraga, 12, said.
Photo by Kelsey Stanton
Larissa Lopez, 9, receives tutoring from Lauren Correia, 11, during the Saturday BITS tutoring sessions. Even with a low turnout of students like Correria have continued to help out at the program. There are many reasons why students choose not to go to BITS tutoring on Saturdays. “Some people just don’t want to or don’t have the time, but it really benefits you. It also saves you time later,” Simmons said.
However, Kwieraga finds it helpful that a smaller group of students attend BITS. “One-on-one time with students is very beneficial, but it would be helpful if more students made an effort,” said Kwieraga.
BITS not only benefits students who need help but also student tutors. “Tutoring students is really rewarding. I use material that I’ve already learned throughout high school and help others that are struggling,” Meraj said.
Tutors are also able to receive credit for honor societies for partaking in BITS. “Its also really nice for me because I am able to credit for honor societies,” Meraj said. - Angela Pathammavong, Christina Beiene
Science Fair Contestants Find Perspective The first place science fair winner for the physics Meghan Dipippa, 11 category, Rohit Madhu, St. Joe’s, Soccer 11, enjoyed seeing the experiments of contestants. “I visited St. Joe’s and For Lakshay Akula, 11, had an overnight trip who was a second place there. I knew it was winner for physics, his perfect for me. I’m experience was more of a looking forward to social one. making new friends “[I liked the science fair there.” because] I got to see other top picks, their work, and ideas of the other students,” Madhu said. To Madhu, the science fair was not only a chance to view others work but a stepping stone on his way to regionals science fair competition. “[The school science fair] is nothing compared to regionals; regionals are Carolyn Seltzer, 11 a string above what we University of Delaware, face in school,” Madhu Soccer said. Akula enjoyed being “I felt really comfortwith his friends more than able at Delaware and the other contestants and they have a great the competition. physical therapy “[The best part was] program. I’m really talking to other people excited to be a blue and hanging out,” Akula hen.” said. Though Akula showed positive feedback toward the social aspect of the Photos by Anne Culbscience fair, his views on ertson and Molly Burns the academic portion
were on the negative side due to mandatory science fair project. “It was really long; we had to wait for the judges for a long time. I had to do the project for a class, going [to science fair] was a choice,” Akula said. However, other science fair contestants such as, Mariam Azim, 12, had opposite feelings about the fair. “Yeah [I had a good time], it was a nice learning experience and went faster than I thought it would. The judges asked few questions and [the fair was] organized,” Azim said. The best part of the fair for Azim was showing her experiment to the judges. “Presenting was the best part, because I put a lot of effort in to making the back board, and I liked how it turned out,” Azim said. Madhu is no newcomer to the science fair after two past science fair experiences unlike Sarah Worthington, 9, who experienced her first science fair this year in her biology class.
Photo by Cortney Mecimore
Catherine Meyer, 9, and Sarah Worthington, 9, present their science fair experiment to judges in the cafeteria. Worthington worked on her project with classmate Catherine Meyer, 9. Madhu thought the science fair was easy, while Worthington thought of the science fair project as a stressful situation for herself and her partner. “It was a little stress-
ful when the judges came by right before the science fair and before the awards,” said Worthington. Even though this being her first time participating in the science fair, Worthington learned from her experience and has given her advice to
future science fair contestants. “My advice would be to prepare for the project, and speaking in front of people and don’t procrastinate. The hardest part is answering all the judges questions.” - Ashleigh Bielen, Maddie Gray
february 17, 2012
Picard Continues School Despite Illness Throughout Abby Picard’s, 11, high school career she has been battling a chronic illness known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, which effects the immune system and causes pain and other symptoms in the joints. “My illness basically means my immune system thinks my joints are a threat. It will attack and also cause pain in my joints which makes me eligible to catch the flu or other diseases more often,” Picard said. To Picard, this is the furthest from a sappy sad story; it’s a lifestyle, something that is part of her life now. “I wish I could tell you there are positive aspects of this whole thing, but there aren’t; it just sucks. I missed half my freshman year; spent the last few months on home bound and missed about half this second quarter. I never wanted this to happen the first time, and I didn’t want it to happen again but it did. It has affected me but I’ve come to ac-
cept the fact,” Picard said. With the repercussions of JRA constantly affecting the daily life of Picard, with friends by her side she manages to get through every obstacle put in her way. “Seeing Abby going through this is heartbreaking, she’s my best friend and seeing her go through this is really hard. She’s the strongest person I know, she really is incredible,” Katelyn Reimer, 11, said. Living with this chronic illness can be tough at times. There are day to day struggles regarding Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, being a high school student and missing large amounts of school at a time are some of the struggles that Picard is fighting through. “The hardest part about this whole thing in general has been having to worry about all the makeup work. When you miss copious amounts of school it gets harder and harder to make up,” Picard said.
Westfield Student Media BULLDOG PATRONS Sarah Hall Norton, Mass.
John and Wanda Heim Centreville, Va. Dick and Mary Jo O’Brien Springfield, Va. John and Patricia O’Rourke Buffton, S.C. Linda Sue & Doug Wever Centreville, Va.
Mr. & Mrs. John Dempsey Daufuskic Island, S.C. John S. Ehreth, D.D.S. Manassas, Va. Kristine Schmidt & Vincent Puleo Brooklyn, N.Y.
SILVER PATRONS Ron and Jeanne Garant Arlington, Va.
Chuck and Carol Gibson Centreville, Va. Peggy Sander Ashburn, Va.
BRONZE PATRONS Cynthia Chin Houston, Texas
Onalee J. Dalaba Franklin, Pa. Patrick & Janet Day Centreville, Va. Celia DeBiase Holly Springs, N.C.
Westfield Literary Society The first Westfield Literary Society meeting is Feb. 21 after school in D106. All students are welcome to join the club. Photo by Anne Culbertson
Abby Picard, 11, calculates her math problem in class. She is currently overcoming Junior Rheumatoid Arthritis. Picard has managed to independent person. I has impacted my life in obtain a positive outlook have enough self confi- a few significant ways. going about her illness, dence, and I’ve always It’s not something I can but she continues to keep been pretty comfortable change, and I’ve accepted a positive outlook on ev- with who I am. The ill- that, but it’s something eryday life. ness hasn’t changed me as I have to work to deal “I’ve always regarded a person, it’s just a part of with,” Picard said. myself as a pretty strong, who I am. It’s definitely - Kelly McCormick
Barbara Dempsey Yucca Valley, Calif.
Mary Kay & Bill Laux Centreville, Va.
Diane Dumas Centreville, Va.
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Laux Forestport, N.Y.
The Garant Family Chantilly, Va.
Susan Nye Centreville, Va.
Geraldine McGlinchey Brooklyn, N.Y.
Jenny O’Brien Herndon, Va.
The UPS Store San Angelo, Texas
Abigail Orme Oviedo, Fla.
Edward W. Morris Springfield, Va.
Darlene Porter Rockville, Md.
Joseph A. Pierson Sterling, Va.
Gerald R. Porter Ormond Beach, Fla.
Marcia Pryor Flat Rock, N.C.
Debra M. Best Herndon, Va. Jacqueline Bloxam Alexandria, Va.
Jody Record Portsmouth, N.H.
D.R. Roessler Stone Ridge, Va.
Richard & Bernadette Cornell Auburn, N.Y.
Penny J. Sander & Rufus B. Seder Arlington, Mass.
Paul A. Harris, CLU, ChFC Ft. Myers, Fla.
Judy Sturm Herndon, Va.
Jim and Peg Farrington Auburn, N.Y.
FRIENDS OF WSM
Barbara Fay Herndon, Va. Bob & Kate Johnson Burke, Va. In Honor of Korean War Veterans State College, Pa. Mrs. Ruth Kubs Rutherford, N.J.
newsbriefs Parent Coffee House Student Services will host the Parent Coffee House on Feb. 24 in the lecture hall from 8:30-9:30 a.m. The topic is “An Academic Overview of High School.”
Would like to thank its generous patrons
Beth Bachism York, Pa.
David, Tammy, Taylre & Grace Perkins Auburn, N.Y. Abigail and Enna Roney Chantilly, Va. Cheryl Laux Trimbach Clifton Park, N.Y. Ken and Sue Utterback Centreville, Va.
Bulldog, Gold and Silver patrons receive a copy of the Watchdog each month. If you would like to support our journalism program please contact the Business Office at 703.488.6476 or e-mail email@example.com
3 on 3 tournament The 3 on 3 tournament will be held on March 12. Deadline to sign up is March 1. Forms are available outside of room C119.
Club Intensity Meets Students’ Expectations, Creativity Ensues SGA’s Club Intensity dance had a large turnout as participants danced in a pitch black cafeteria. “This year it was definitely a fun and great time but last year the music was better and much more expensive in general,” Selena Clyne-Galindo, 10, said. In comparison to many other events, Club Intensity gave students a chance to experience an upbeat and energetic atmosphere. “Since homecoming wasn’t that great, this dance was different because everyone wanted to make it fun,” Patrick Lawless, 9, said. Many students said that they prefer Club Intensity over other school functions. “I love how there isn’t a Club Intensity at other schools because I think that it gives Westfield an edge over other school dances and makes us unique,” Carson Huling, 11, said. Even students who thought homecoming was better still had a great time. “I wouldn’t say that it was better than homecoming because my
Photo by Kelsey Stanton
Maura Aschenbrenner, 9, colors with yellow highlighter on Carolin Steinert’s, 11, tank top at the third annual Club Intensity dance. friends were there but it actually was a lot of fun,” Maura Aschenbrenner, 9, said. Overall, this dance was very popular amongst students.
“I definitely think this dance was my favorite yet. It had a good turnout and a lot of people were there which made the dance better,” Huling said. - Parul Sanjiv
4 volume 12, issue 6
advertisement Top 5 reasons to take a journalism class at Westfield 5. College admissions people say they like to see students who have a journalism/publication background because it’s a strong indication that they can write. They say the biggest problem with incoming freshmen is a lack of writing skills, which can keep students from being admitted or doing well. 4. Members of Westfield Student Media have opportunities to travel to workshops and conferences where they meet journalism students from other schools and compare their work. 3. Learning occurs in a fun, exciting and innovative environment; it’s unlike any other class you’ve ever had. Ask the people who are in journalism now. While the work is hard, it doesn’t seem like it because journalism is fun and self-fulfilling. 2. See your name in print. The excitement of seeing your byline on a newspaper article, page layout, or photograph, and having people congratulate you is indescribable. 1. BEST OF ALL, when you take a journalism course, you are involved in a learning process that affects the entire school. Whether it be writing articles, taking pictures, designing the print or website publication, contacting businesses and selling advertisements, or editing graphics and videos, producing an award-winning school publication, participating in a journalism class makes you feel good about yourself and more connected to the school environment.
For more information about Yearbook and Newspaper contact Mr. Whitten, firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by room C109
february 17, 2012
Choosing Classes Stresses Out Students As the first semester ended, students began to think about what classes they would like to take next year. Schedules can consist of Advanced Placement classes, honors classes, regular core classes and electives. “There is not a shortage of electives or classes to choose from here. We have a wide variety of options for students and they’re a great way for students to explore their interests,” Bobbi Snyder, Subschool 5 counselor, said. With so many different options to choose from for students, choosing classes can become stressful and overwhelming. “The most stressful part for students about choosing which classes they want to take is deciding whether they are challenging themselves enough and whether or not they will truly like the electives they are signing up for,” Snyder said. Students individually meet with their counselors to sign up for classes for the following year. The counselors try to
help them make the right decisions that will benefit them academically and in the future. “I encourage them to take the strongest course load they can while still balancing their time with extracurricular activities. I also want them to keep in mind their long term goals and take classes that will help them reach those goals,” Snyder said. Irina Gavrila, 10, is considering taking up to five AP classes in her junior year which have the possibility to include AP
AP Study Hall Offers Review, Study Options Prevalent in previous years, AP study hall is making a comeback with next years’ curriculum options. The class is limited to juniors and seniors who either need extra help with their first AP class or students who are taking multiple AP courses that are in need of extra time with their classes. Though the class is called AP it does not offer course credit. “This class is to ease the overwhelming challenge of AP courses on students,” Harry Wolin, director of Student Services said. Some students have come to the agreement that this course will be able to help them in their classes as it provides extra time for them to study or finish homework. “The class will free up time for students like me who have a lot of APs if you don’t have time to do much else. If it’s your first AP you can get
a lot of help,” Tahirah Newkirk, 11, said. This class will not offer credit but could serve as an alternative to teacher assisting. “With teaching assisting, the teacher will assign you work, but in study hall its your own work and time,” Devaansch Bava, 11, said. Newkirk was one of the students who decided it would be more beneficial to take AP study hall. There are several benefits of taking AP study compared to other classes that are offered. “It will help me manage my time that I will be getting in my classes,” Bava said. Unsure of who will be the teacher of the class, Thomas Sakole, AP coordinator and AP World History teacher may be contacted with any questions regarding the subject. - Christina Beiene, Melinda Heim
United States History, AP Language and Composition, AP Calculus AB, AP Spanish Language and AP Photos by Molly Burns Biology. Stress can often over- (left) Lon Pringle and Amanda Blizzard, history teachers, sign AP United whelm Gavrila when States history forms after school during AP sessions. (right) Caylor Feely, 12, making the decision on and Priya Khanna, 12, encourage Jasmine Bowen, 11, to take AP Lit. what classes to take next hard because if I need to when I think about choos- said. year. stay after for an AP class it ing classes because I’m During the stress“Choosing classes is might interfere with track a very indecisive person ful time, students, with stressful because some- practice,” Gavrila said. and I realize seven peri- the help of the school times the counselors Jenny Park, 10, also ods [aren’t enough to be counselors, try to make don’t let you sign up for plans to take multiple AP able to take all the classes the right decisions about multiple AP classes be- courses next year and feels I want so I have to make a which classes to take to cause they think you can’t stressed over whether or decision. The good part is ensure a successful future handle it even if you think not she will be able to take that my parents don’t care including beyond high you can. I don’t like being the classes she wants. what classes I take as long school. in regular classes. It’s also “I start to get stressed as I attend school,” Park - Brigid Hamilton
Bark it Up What is the biggest factor in deciding which classes to take?
“The most important factors are what looks good for college and what interests you.” Annemarie Galati, 10
“Trying to decide what to do after high school and taking classes that relate to it.” Staycha Harris, 10
“Choosing what you want to do when you grow up but also choosing something that’s fun.” Haley Koeninger, 11
“How hard they are going to be.”
Samantha Wilkinson, 9
“When people I know have talked to me about the class.”
Donteiro Moore, 9
“I guess trying to see what works best for me and my future and for college.”
Tauhysha Bailey, 10
Photos by Kelsey Stanton and Jennifer Steinhilber
6 volume 12, issue 6
Students Compare School Work Load
To take AP or not to take AP, that is the question on all students minds as they are preparing for the upcoming school year and enrolling in their classes. The difference between a regular class and an AP class is compared by Nick Roberts, 11, and Byron Harvey, 11. - Samantha Drew
Nick Roberts, 11 The Watchdog: How many AP classes are you enrolled in this year? Nick Roberts, 11: Zero. Watchdog: Why did you decide to take this number of APs? Roberts: So I can get better grades in regular; I’d rather not fail an AP. I thought about trying one, but its not really worth it. Watchdog: How much homework do you have a night? Roberts: Not that much homework, normally like a worksheet or two. Wa t c h d o g : What do you have time for outside of school?
Roberts: I play rugby and basketball. Watchdog: Do you like your classes? Roberts: Most of them are fun, but I don’t really like reading books or writing.
Byron Harvey, 11
Watchdog: Do you think you’re prepared for college? Roberts: I am not afraid of college. I think I will do well in college because I can get my mind set for the work. Watchdog: Do you recommend this amount of courses to other students? Roberts: Yeah, its fun and easy.
The Watchdog: How many AP classes are you enrolled in this year? Byron Harvey, 11: I am in six AP classes. Watchdog: Why did you decide to take this number of APs? Harvey: Because it is the natural progression of my courses. Watchdog: How much homework do you have a night? Harvey: Probably a little less then an hour. I don’t really study either. Watchdog: What do you have time for outside of school? Harvey: I founded the ski club, the dead poets’ society and I play var-
sity tennis and compete in speech and debate. Watchdog: Do you like your classes? Harvey: I prefer this to taking normal classes because normal classes are work and homework intensive and an AP class is concept oriented. I like them better this way. Watchdog: Do you think you’re prep a r e d for col-
lege? Harvey: Yes. Watchdog: Do you recommend this amount of courses to other students? Harvey: I do not recommend it if their not able to think logically and understand things quickly.
Photos by Cortney Mecimore
School Board Approves Additional Honors Classes to Course Curriculum Beginning next fall, the Fairfax County School Board voted to offer honors courses in English 11, English 12, World History 12, USVA government and USVA history in all high schools. “It comes a little bit late because we will have to develop curriculum now. The creation of the curriculum at this time of the year is the challenge,” Lon Pringle, Social Studies teacher, said. Rumors have spread that honors class will be the exact same as an AP, only there would be no AP exam and only a .5
weight added to the honors class.. “The rumors that the new honors courses will be like an AP class with AP curriculum are false. The honors classes will contain honors material,” Harry Wolin, Student Services director said. With the rumors disputed, students have different opinions on how the honors and AP classes should be taught. “I think AP and honors classes should be taught [similarly], however each should have their own style. Honors classes should ease the students
in, and prepare them to, take AP. The grading should be easier but still challenge them,” Ghazal Azizzada, 11, said. Gretchen Shook, physics teacher, believes that there are many reasons why a student would want to take an honors class over an AP class. “[Having honors classes] creates a challenge for students who want more than ‘normal’ level because honors classes will require more detail,” Shook said. Educational purposes alone are not the only reason why a student would
prefer to take an honors course. “If you take honors instead of AP, it can lighten the course load which would benefit you if you play a lot sports or are in a lot of clubs,” Chris Yang, 10, said. Amanda Nelson, 10, has put forth her opinion on why students should take an honors course over AP classes. “Some students aren’t ready for an AP class and they will do poorly. Honors classes would help them,” Nelson said. - Christina Beiene, Melinda Heim
Student Poll Do you think that it is useful to have the option of taking an honors class instead of an AP or regular class?
16% say it does not make a difference
65% say yes 19% say no
Based on a poll of 300 students
Film Studies Revamps Course, Follows AP Lit
Photo by Kelsey Stanton
Matt Winesett, 11, attends the Film Studies session during the bulldog block electives fair. As course registration approaches, film studies, taught by Stephen Paugh, English and film studies teacher, is one of the electives to be considered for curriculum change to relate to AP Literature. “You don’t have to be a film buff to be able to appreciate the class because Mr. Paugh teaches the class really well,” Daniel Rosales, 12, said. With a raised maturity level, seniors have been able to enjoy and interpret this class at a higher level than other students would. “You have to go into the class with an open mind because of the diversity of the movies watched throughout the year,” Rosales said. Most students have found that this class to be less demanding and offers
more time in their schedule outside of school. “After Mr. Paugh came to pitch film studies to my AP Lang class it convinced me to take film studies next year instead of another elective especially because it will benefit me in AP Lit which I plan on taking next school year,” Carson Huling, 11, said. Each quarter a unit will be thematically related to AP Literature. Film Studies will introduce critical approaches which will be useful in students’ AP Literature study. The only homework expected will be a video project once a quarter and digital photography. Unlike AP Literature, film studies also includes imaginative writing. - Anita Pathammavong, Christina Beiene
february 17, 2012
Trends Insult Die Hard Fans, Nonsensical Feelings Arise
rends are a funny thing. They come and go as quickly as the seasons. Generations and time periods are defined by the trends that were most popular during that era. This is why it surprises me when “die hard” fans of bands or sports teams get upset with people jumping on the bandwagon and enjoying whatever trends are the most popular in our culture. If people did not support and enjoy trends there would not be
Illustration by Romeo Sarmiento
enough hullabaloo to make the trend memorable for future generations. Let’s start with bands and singers. Groupies and fan girls who claim to have been in love with the artists before they became famous feel the need to tell the world that they are the ‘true fans’. Just because you have listened to a group’s music before they signed a large record deal does not give you special fan entitlement claims. When bands or singers become famous, they
expect to gain a large fan base because without that new group of listeners they would be hopeless to move up in the music business and start touring or producing more albums. Being a fan of someone’s music should not require the entrance into an exclusive “true fans” only group. It’s exciting to start listening to new music by a popular artist, and fans need to realize that no matter how long someone has known about a singer,
everyone should have the right to enjoy their music freely without being given dirty and judgemental looks. Sports are also another part of our American culture of which people take great pride. Many sports fans have been accused of “jumping onto the bandwagon” when it comes to cheering for the winning sports team. After the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, many die-hard Giants fans on Twitter were angry that those who did
not support the Giants during their regular season were celebrating their victory. This type of arrogance should be completely done away with. Anyone is free to root for a team or join in jubilee when victory is won. I don’t suspect that any Giants player would look in scorn at sports fans that tuned in just for the Super Bowl and make the decision to root for them half way through the game. Sports bring people with common interests together and people who
are ecstatic for one victory should not be accused of jumping on the bandwagon. People who enjoy music by unknown bands and who support sports teams that have a steady losing streak should embrace new fans that might come with unexpected stardom and publicity. Trends should be embraced by all, and not made to seem exclusive by those who claim to be true supporters of whatever has become popular. -Becca Pryor
or, in a larger sense, with the common good, or, as the founders phrased it, the “general welfare.” James Madison took it further when he began the preamble to the Constitution by writing “We the people,” revealing the intent of the founders that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. I am not meaning to say that humans beings should not act based on their own self-interests. What other interests are there? But I contend that, for much of our history, we seemed to have a higher purpose that played into our decision making process. Selfishness has always and will always exist, but from an historical vantage point, Americans, while acting in their own self interests, have always seemed to have a sense of the bigger picture; of the “we” in “we the people.” Were any serious study to be made of the disease of self-absorption, I believe that one of the causes would be the reliance on, nay the addiction to, the various electronics and social media so prevalent in modern life. Although my daily realm is that of Westfield High School, I recognize this symptom wherever I go and it is certainly not exclusive to the young people I see everyday.
Adults too have become the victims of self-absorption, which leads me to believe that the insidious nature of the disease is really caused by the highly addictive nature of the technology. I suspect that Mark Zuckerberg knew all along that his creation, if it was indeed his, was based, in some way, on its highly addictive nature. Once people started using Facebook, they found it very difficult to stop. Jack Dorsey and the creative team at Twitter worked off that concept to develop a global phenomenon based on….what? But can the technology itself really be the root cause? No. Phones and tablets are merely the delivery devices that play on some deep seeded void within humans. Is it a need to be noticed, to be liked, to feel a sense of self-worth? Is it to feel more connected in an ever shrinking world? From my vantage point, it is no longer about “what’s good for us,” but “what’s good for me?” My phone, my iPod, my tunes, my status updates, my tweets, who’s following who, who’s trending now. Don’t text during class? Why not? Don’t use your personal electronic device during the day, in accor-
dance with school policy? Who’s going to stop me? Don’t text while driving? They’d have to catch me first. Be rude and disrespectful because you’re consumed with a Narcissistic self-love fest based on the 18 inches of kinetic energy that emanates from your own body, thereby causing you to disregard the rights of others? Now that is where I draw the line. I ask: is this the price we must pay for freedom? Sadly, perhaps naively, I have always believed that a civilization survives based on, and I know that this is a novel concept: civility. The cure? Stop. Pause. Breath deep. Turn off your phone and your computer. Disconnect. Look. Listen. Think: what is it all about? Is it all about “me, or it is about “we?” Does the good of the many outweigh the good of the few, or the one? The first step towards sobriety, in this case greater civility, is admitting that there is a problem. I would suggest that, if left unchecked, the plague of self-absorption, fueled by the addiction to electronics and social media, endangers the very essence of our civilization. - Submitted by Lon Pringle, Faculty
A Letter to the Editor “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” -Abraham Lincoln, 1838
ike all great quotations, this one is timeless. Lincoln was referring to the institution of slavery and the specter of civil war lurking on the national horizon. He believed that, if left untreated, slavery was the disease that could lead the nation down a path of self-destruction. Thankfully, the “peculiar institution” was, through the blood and suffering of the Civil War, washed away from the national edifice. I believe that The Great Emancipator would be content in knowing that slavery had not destroyed the experiment in federated selfgovernment for which he gave “the last full measure of devotion.” While we have continued to struggle as a nation with the issue of race since 1865, I believe that we
have made some very positive strides and continue towards a more pluralistic, more accepting society. However, Lincoln would be appalled to know that our nation now faces a new disease that is poisoning American society and, once again, threatening the great experiment. Am I referring to the dangers of nuclear warfare, illegal immigration, the debt crisis, or radical religious terrorism? No. These threats, while frightening, do not in themselves possess the ability to terminate the experiment. The threat I speak of is much more insidious and more dangerous: the virus of self-absorption. Self-absorption is like a cancer; a disease lurking virtually undetected and is day by day consuming the souls of our citizenry, particularly our youth.
While it is not new to the human species, we live in a time and place in history where it has become endemic and it now threatens to destroy one of the core principles of a civil society: that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. We have strayed from this cherished proverb over the last decade and are fast becoming a society focused exclusively on the desires of the individual, at the great expense of the many. Thomas Jefferson wrote that all men were endowed with certain rights by the Creator, including “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the implication being that an individual is free to pursue happiness as long that pursuit does not interfere with another person’s pursuit,
8 volume 12, issue 6
Crude Comments, from Classrooms to Computers
t was just another typical Monday morning racing the clock to make it to first period on time. Shortly after plopping down in my seat red in the face and exhausted, the morning announcements began. Being an excellent multi-tasker I watched the announcements while simultaneously checking my timeline on Twitter. It was as I lethargically scrolled through my timeline that I noticed two things. One, all the students in my class were begging my teacher to turn off the announcements and; two, my timeline had blown up with hurtful tweets bashing the morning news hosts. As a young journalist myself, I am the first to support our first amendment rights to free speech. However when that speech becomes pointedly and blatantly directed toward another individual in a hurtful manor via social networking sites, I draw the line of sympathy.
It is for this reason I am astounded and extremely disappointed that so many fellow Westfield students would have the gall to directly make fun and say not only vulgar and hurtful, but potentially threatening things about the morning announcement hosts online. I can understand that at seven in the morning the majority of us are not looking for someone to put some pep in our step, however I have to hand it to the girls who do the Monday morning show. After a long relaxing weekend the last thing I want is to be dragged out of bed tooth and nail in the morning for prison, I mean school. These optimistic bright-eyed and bushytailed individuals consistently try to brighten the whole school’s mood and what do they get in return? A plethora of insults, snide remarks and even potential threats. No one has the right to criticize these girls, es-
pecially if they have not been in the same situation. I applaud these tenacious individuals who continue to get up there every Monday morning, knowing they will face strong opposition in the form of hurtful words everytime they do. To all those people who know they tweeted or used social media as a medium to express contempt and dislike for two courageous individuals willing to continue to stand up and face bullies like you everyday; you should be downright ashamed of yourself. The weight of a pen is stronger than that of a sword and an alarmingly increasing number of students are using language as a weapon against their peers. We have all heard of the dangers of cyberbullying. Personally I hate the term because I feel it belittles the torture some kids undergo on a daily basis, and we have heard the moral
argument of how wrong it is. We have seen in our own school and community the permanent damage hurtful words and innocently truculent remarks can cause. You would think after tragic events we have all been witness to in the past
year or so that we would, as proud bulldogs and heartfelt individuals, be the first to challenge cyber bullying, not feed the flames of it. As I now step down from my soapbox, I hope those of you who complained, threatened, or
used vulgarity to express discontent for fellow peers will have the sense to feel guilt and remorse, as well as the good taste to not only refrain from future cyber infractions, but stop them when you see them occurring. - Jessica Starkey
Illustration by Romeo Sarmiento
Bark It It’s All Legal, Until You Get to the Window Up O How do social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter contribute to cyber bullying?
Laura Jaldin, 12 “Some people feel more powerful behind a computer screen."
Joey Ghebremichael, 10 “People gossip and post it online so it spreads faster.”
Annemarie Galati, 10 “They encourage people to do so by giving them something to hide behind." Photos by Cortney Mecimore
ne day I was driving through a neighborhood at 41 mph in a 35 mph zone. Suddenly and with little warning, a motorcycle officer flagged me down for doing 41 in a 25 zone. I requested that the judge reduce my $158 ticket to $62 to cover court costs because it’s not a school zone and it is four lanes wide, yet it drops from 35 to 25 in a matter of feet. No one would expect it to be 25 because it’s not a school zone. It should be 35 which I thought it was and I felt I should have only be cited for going 40 in a 35 mile zone. It was my first offense, but the judge didn’t care and fined me $4 more than if I had paid the ticket. I had my mind made up that I would not back down without a fight. As a result of my frustration I decided that I was going to pay the ticket entirely in pennies to make a statement. On Friday, Feb. 3 I gathered my parents and my pennies and drove to the Fairfax Courthouse. I wheeled the suitcase of pennies to the window and opened it up and started placing the rolls of pennies on the counter. When I got to $10, the lady asked me what I was doing. I told her I intended to pay my bill in pen-
nies. She got that look of surprise on her face that you see when something totally unexpected is happening, however her smile quickly faded as I continued to count. She then told me, “We can’t accept that.” I replied with a simple and respectful, “Why not? It is legal tender after all.” She continued with her refusal and said, “You can’t pay your bill in pennies, you need to take them to a bank.” I said, “Yes I can, it is legal tender, and moreover it is 100% legal tender pursuant to the Coinage Act of 1965, Title 31 of the United States Code Section 5103 governing ‘Legal Tender’ and that it was valid payment for all debts public and private.” By the time I got done counting the 324 rolls of pennies a man showed up. I thought he was the office manager until one of the staff told us he was a judge. He was a very large man and the stance
in which he was standing made me immediately realize that he was trying to intimidate me into backing down. Initially he just asked me what I was doing and I was very respectful to him, however after he realized I was trying to make a point his attitude changed. He then offered to pay my fee so that everyone else wouldn’t be inconvenienced. I accepted his offer. I could tell by his face that he was startled with my answer and he tried to backtrack. He said, “Don’t you feel guilty about me paying your fine? Why do you want to aggravate these nice people anyway?” I answered, “To make a statement.” Gradually he got angrier then demanded that we must count the individual pennies to affirm that the rolls were not stuffed with filler. I told him that it was not my job to count the change. This upset him and he
withdrew his offer. I reminded him that in accordance with the Coinage Act of 1965 he must accept my payment or else the debt would be voided. Realizing that we were not getting anywhere the Judge then said, “Better yet, I’ll count the pennies myself, even if it may take all weekend.” When we volunteered to oversee the counting he backtracked again. The judge accused me of offending his staff and asked to see my parents. My parents told him that they were proud of me and there to support me. I didn’t think I had offended anyone but apologized anyway to calm the judge down. The deputy sheriff then showed up. The sheriff was a lot nicer and more sympathetic than the stressed out judge. Unlike the judge he was surprisingly calm and listened to me. I told him what I told the judge about the court being dis-
missive and uncaring and that I expected resistance but not as much as I got. I was sure to mention that I even left them in the rolls so it would be easier for them to count them. I could have just given them 16, 200 pennies instead of 324 penny rolls. He said the appeal was free and if I won I wouldn’t have to pay the fine. He said that I would get a new judge and more time to prepare. I could bring in pictures of the neighborhood and streets as well. He even said that we could bring the pennies back in the event we lost the appeal. What they really wanted was for me to take my pennies home but he made sense and I wanted to reward his kindness. My parents thought it was a good idea, so I agreed to appeal. But I didn’t solely do it as a result of his kindness; I did it knowing that they would remember who I was. - Jay Adams
Illustration by Luke O’Roark
february 17, 2012
Celebrating Being Single, More Perks Than Otherwise
’ll be honest, I’ve never exactly understood Valentine’s Day. Sure, romance is in the air and that’s all very lovely, but for someone who’s always been single February 14, it’s never seemed captivating. Now, I’m not looking for a pity party. Quite the opposite actually; I love being single. As teenagers I feel it’s our duty to be emotionally immature and I’d rather wait that stage out before I get wrapped up in feelings for someone that my limbic system can’t cope with. But whether I like it or not, it seems the rest of the world is not quite as progressive as I am, and is determined to debunk my carefully constructed argument. All over I see people holding hands, prettyboys walking their girls to class and a general sense of lovey-doveyness permeating the hallways of school. And I don’t resent people for having that. If a relationship helps you work through the stresses of everyday life, then by
all means, go forth with open arms and an open heart. I’m just saying it isn’t for me. I find I cope with things better when I don’t have to help carry the burden of another’s whacked out schedule too. However, I refuse to become one of those bitter, cynical single women who doesn’t want to date so nobody else should either. I’m neutral territory at the moment, like Switzerland. At this point in my life I’m trying to discover who I am, as a person and as a writer. I’m going to grow intellectually as well as ethically and trying to conform to society’s definition of a relationship can only serve to hold me back. It’s not as if I’ve never dated before, either. I’ve loved and lost and just like that old saying goes, I’m better for it. I understand the basic mechanics of what people want out of a relationship at my age, but find myself lacking in relation. I enter relationships thinking differ-
Illustration by Emily Sharpe
ently than most people. I don’t need the constant reassurances that I’m still wanted, or for everybody to see that we hold hands as we walk to our shared classes to prove that we spend time together. I enjoy the simple company of another person, which lends itself to a friendship, rather than a relationship. And then Valentine’s
School Interferes With Reality
eachers expect us to come to class prepared because their time is valuable. But it seems to me that consideration is rarely mutual. Their lesson time is not to be disrupted, but the few hours we have outside of class are viewed as extra time to devote to school. All time outside of school is filled with schoolwork. While I understand that doing homework is necessary for success in school, school should not be the all-consuming point of existence. I don’t mind school and even enjoy learning. What I don’t enjoy is having to do a lot of time consuming busy work. There is a point where repetition simply becomes tedious. It is difficult to focus on the material we are supposed to be understanding when we are worrying about getting everything done. One of my teachers told me that the students they enjoy working with the most are the ones who explore the material beyond the course requirements. But if that is true, then shouldn’t teachers be encouraging us to learn on our own, instead of shoving worksheets down our throats? We spend so much
Day enters the picture. It’s the apex of amour, the summit of sentiment, the pinnacle of passion and it confuses me. People get all worked up about a date on the calendar simply because it has a little red heart next to it. We suddenly get the courage to share our feelings with the one who brought them forth and,
as if by international consent, every florist suddenly seems to decide roses are in prime condition to be picked. But it all seems fake, forced. Somebody told you it would be a good idea to shower a person in gifts; you weren’t the one who decided to create this public display of affection. When I find someone
to share my life with, I don’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I want to celebrate the ordinary days, because those are the ones that matter. The holiday means nothing without the feelings behind it, but when the holiday spurs on those feelings, can they really be trusted? - Meghan Garant
Art of the Issue Kelly Roddy, 11, submitted her artwork to the Watchdog editorial staff.
Illustration by Emily Sharpe
time focused on our schoolwork that we miss out on experiences that prepare us for the future. High school is supposed to be as much about discovering ourselves as it is about academics. However, with an increase of expectations, the balance between schoolwork and self-discovery is disrupted. So many students lack passion, simply because they haven’t had time to explore their interests. I was lucky enough to discover my own passion in the first grade and I have managed to hold on to it. If you were to take that away, you would take away a large part of who I am,
which leaves me wondering how students focused solely on school have any idea who they really are. In 10 years, it won’t matter what grades you got on your report card. What’s going to matter is what kind of person you were and what you’ve chosen to do with your life. It would be great if there was a “Life 101” class, but there are some things that can’t be learned in a classroom. Some of the most important lessons you ever learn are the ones that you can only learn by going out and living. -Submitted by Olivia Ryder, 11
“I made this for a project in my Computer Graphics class. I took two pictures then layered them onto of each other to create the double figure effect. I like to leave my photos and artwork up to other people’s interpretation.”
10 volume 12, issue 6 the
watchdog Westfield High School 4700 Stonecroft Blvd. Chantilly, VA 20120
Principal: Mr. Tim Thomas Journalism Business Office: (703) 488-6476 School Main Office: (703) 488-6300 Fax Number: (703) 488-6428
Editors-in-Chief Ashley Hamilton Kerry Quinn Managing Editor Michaela Reardon Copy Editors Christina Beiene Samantha Drew Jessica Starkey News Editor Melinda Heim Opinion Editor Becca Pryor Doubletruck Editor Jennifer Steinhilber Arts & Entertainment Editors Kayleen Bell Emily Sharpe Sports Editors Dylan Brown Luke O’Roark Tatum Roessler Photo Editor Anne Culbertson Photo Staff Cortney Mecimore Kelsey Stanton
Staff Writers Julianne Abruzzo Heather Berry Ashleigh Bielen Madeleine Bloxam Kevin Chung Jenny Cox Patrick Deegan Emily Dzubak Meghan Garant Mary Anna Garifo Maddie Gray Jared Gruber Brigid Hamilton Kiki Laux Kelly McCormick Matt O’Brien Angela Pathammavong Anita Pathammavong Mike Sander Parul Sanjiv Romeo Sarmiento Sherrie Shanks Natalie Sharpe Nick Thayer Reagan Warrington
Business Manager Jennifer Byrne
Senioritis Hits, Students Stop Worki... Staff Editorial
ur senioritis is so bad, we almost didn’t write this editorial. It’s second semester. And for the lucky seniors, it’s our last semester at Westfield. Most of us have been planning with our counselors and parents for over a year now what we are going to do after we graduate. It’s all anybody ever asks or talks about. It’s on everybody’s mind. With the future so close, it’s hard to focus on the present, yet we’re expected to have the same motivation as we did when we were underclassmen. But, the future was the source of that motivation. We wanted good grades to get into college. We took AP courses to get into college. We tried to do well on AP exams to get college credit. It’s all geared towards college. Teachers themselves, particularly for AP courses always stress how the classes we are taking will prepare us for the future. Well, for us, that future is but four short months away. We don’t need any other extra curricular activities, honor societies or stellar grades to put on applications. We’re now preparing
for the future by filling out roommate assignment forms and joining accepted students Facebook groups or by waiting for the acceptance letters to come to our doorstep. It’s hard to see how what we are learning now or the homework we are assigned is going to affect our life after high school anymore. Honestly, I feel bad for senior year teachers. They devote so much time to our classes and a majority of the time, they don’t exactly receive the same effort in return. Several of our teachers have begun to be fed up with it all. In a perfect world, we would still go home and spend hours on homework rather than work on homework during school or not at all. Unfortunately, is that what happens? No. It is unfair to the teachers. They don’t deserve to do so much work with so little in return. Not only do some students fail to complete the homework due for that class, they also complete homework for the next period while their teacher is standing at the front of the class, making an effort to keep us engaged. But most students who
Illustration by Jack Elliott
don’t care enough to do their homework, don’t realize or don’t care about how much extra work teachers do. Most students aren’t intentionally being rude or disrespectful to teachers. We won’t be here long enough that we are
intimidated by what our teachers can do to harm our future. The important thing to remember is, even though we only have one semester left, we still have that one semester left. We still need to graduate in order to begin our
futures. We still have to finish these last few assignments. Senioritis is running rampant and it’s extremely contagious, but we can’t give in completely yet until we walk across that stage and receive our diploma.
Cartoonists Jack Elliott
As you go through high school, does your motivation... Adviser: Mr. Anthony Whitten Printer: Silver Communications
Editorial Policy The Watchdog is published monthly and is an open forum for student and faculty expression at Westfield High School. It is established to disseminate news, ideas, and opinions on matters of interest, importance, and concern to the community. The Watchdog will publish no material that is libelous, obscene, or has a clear potential for disruption of the school routine, as has generally been determined by law. The Watchdog staff makes every effort to avoid conflicts of interest, to be fair and balanced in reporting, and to reflect the diverse population. The Watchdog solicits letters to the editor. Letters must be signed. The Watchdog reserves the right to edit such letters for grammar, usage, clarity, punctuation, and length. The Watchdog reserves the right to refuse advertising for reasons of appropriateness, as determined by the editorial board. The content of the Watchdog is determined by the editorial board. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the faculty adviser, administration of Westfield High School, or Fairfax County Public Schools.
Does Not Change 20% Watchdog Poll of 300 Westfield Students
february 17, 2012
12 volume 12, issue 6
february 17, 2012
Graphics and Design by Jennifer Steinhilber Photos by Kelsey Stanton
Contestant #2 : Work Relationships
Contestant #1 : High School Relationships
alentines Day has passed and left some single and some taken. With school work, honor societies, clubs, sports, work and other after school activities, balancing a relationship can be a struggle in high school.
All Grown Up; Puppy Love for Adults
Students Reveal Benefits and Struggles Balancing Relationship with High School Relationships in high school are inescapable. Whether one is in a relationship or not, couples are always visible. “I’ve always been in a relationship in high school, I’m not really dependant on people but it does change experiences. I think it can be a good and bad thing because some people can be obsessed with their boyfriends but I even out time so it’s a learning experience,” Katie Manning, 11, said. Some underclassmen have been struggling in their relationships due to the influx of new students. “The relationship was hard in the beginning because we met a bunch of new people” Vinny Martinez, 9, said. In addition to freshmen meeting new
people, a lot of relationships have started through mutual friends. “He was too shy to talk to me so one of his friend’s introduced me to him and we started talking a lot and then he asked me out” Amy Ehinger, 10, said. Though finding time to spend with their partner seems harder with the stresses of high school, most students are able to make it work. “We make time for each other when we can and he comes to a lot of my games so that makes it easier,” Manning said. In addition to managing time with extracurricular activities, students find that being in a relationship actually positively encourages them with their course work. “Katie encourages me to get better grades and I feel like I have to impress her so it helps,” Reid Koutstaal, 11, said. Students like Ehinger feel that being a in a relationship and having someone
Deborah and Harry Van Trees met while teaching at Mclean high school in 1985. Flash forward to now; they have been married for 25 years and have three kids. Fate? They’re not so sure. “Not fate. I met him the first week of school. I didn’t even like him at first. I tried to avoid him,” D. Van Trees said. But H. Van Trees was persistent, staying after school to help the cheerleading coach D. Van Trees work the snack bar. “First impression; I thought she was real pretty. I kept bugging her until she went out with me, so I don’t know about fate,” H. Van Trees said. After teaching at Oakton, the Van Trees’ found themselves working at Westfield together, with H. Van Trees coming to Westfield before his wife. “It’s convenient and an easy commute. We don’t see each other that much; we don’t even eat lunch together. We always end up talking about work, but it’s nice to cheer for the same team,” H. Van Trees said.
to rely on is a major benefit in having a relationship throughout high school. “Just that you have someone to talk to whenever you want and someone that supports you all the time is nice,” Ehinger said. Though having a significant other has its benefits, some students think that high school is supposed to have a more fun aspect to it rather than getting serious in a relationship “Don’t get too caught up in your relationship than with your friend’s, high schools supposed to be all about having fun,” Manning said. -Christina Beiene
As for high school relationships, do not fret teenage lovebirds, the Van Trees’ have years of love experience to attribute to their quality relationship advice. “I’ve seen some sweet relationships and some toxic ones. Girls give sex to get love, guys give love to get sex. The longer either party holds true to their values, the stronger the relationship. Decide on your values and stay true. When you’re respected for who you are your intellect and values, not what you look like, you will have a greater relationship,” D. Van Trees said. High school relationships, no matter the length, are a great way to have somebody there for you during the tough teenage years. Companionship on any level is a wonderful thing to have while learning and growing in high school. “I’ve worked in schools for over 30 years, I’ve seen it all. It’s kind of cute, but they never seem to last, but that’s normal,” H. Van Trees said. -Samantha Drew
Bark It Up What is your opinion on high school relationships?
Date Lab, Westfield Edition
Cameron Schultz, 12
Michelle Emerson, 11
“I think they are really fun, but some people can take them too seriously at times.”
“Most are kind of silly. Let’s be honest, they don’t last so I do not take them seriously.”
Daniel Jebessa, 9 “Some people take relationships seriously and it’s good if they like each other, but it sometimes ends up in disappointment.”
Thursday Feb. 15, SGA set up a handful of students on a blind date with their top “perfect match” from their iFlurtz during A lunch to test their chemistry and measure the accuracy of iFlurtz matches.
Meaghan Heinecke, 11 and Ahmed Mohamed, 11 Carolyn Seltzer, 11 and Mo Katz, 12 Watchdog: Do you think the iFlurtz matched people with someone with the same personality? Katz: “Opposites, Carolyn and I believe opposites attract. What I don’t have, she does.” Watchdog: Overall, how would you describe this experience? Katz: “I was so glad to participate in this. I think it was magical.”
Watchdog: Have you two met before? Heinecke: “Yes, we are in the same weight training class.” Watchdog: Do you think this helped the experience? Heinecke: ”Yes, because we were a little familiar with each other, which made it less awkward.” Watchdog: What did you like about the experience? Mohamed: “The free food. It was an overall good experience for trying something new.”
Amber Swensen, 12 “[High school relationships] are fine. It’s a good way to meet people because you have something in common; you live in the same place and go to the same school so it’s great.”
The couples were provided with a Chikfil-a lunch with soda and brownies. The other couples set up on this date included: Annie Perkins, 12, and Ben Kendrick, 12 (top picture, nearest couple), Drew Nagnusson, 10, and Rachael Ulsh, 10 (top picture, couple on the far end), Paulina Morales, 12, and Duncan Somers, 12 (bottom picture, left couple)
14 volume 12, issue 6
2012 Guardian Yearbook Preview
You don’t want to miss out on these memories...
The following students have reserved their copy of the 2012 yearbook as of 2/16/12: Tyler Abrahams Julianne Abruzzo Anand Adhikari Emma Afferton Nazir Ahmadi Omar Ahmed Hannah Ake Lakshay Akula Sophia Alam Andrew Alberter Mikias Alemu Brianna Aleshire Jason Alger Michael Alger Salman Ali Taylor Allen Alexandra Ambrose Sean Amico David Amin Jocelyne Amos Patrick Anderson James Anderson Hayley Anderson Megan Anderson Alan Anderson Jared Andre Jenna Angilletta Laura Anhalt Myles Anhalt Vanessa Aragon Wade Arduini Leidy Arias Derek Arnold Paige Arnold Annabelle Arthur Henry Arzaz Noura Arzaz Sergio Arzubiaga Zara Asif Hamid Ausat John Aversa Rebecca Ayoub Mariam Azim Morsel Azimi Narges Azimi Celeste Azubuike Stefan Bachmann John Badger Eun Ji Baek Alexander Bailey Callie Bailey Teresa Bailey Natalie Balderston Corey Banks Aviana Barnes Bethany Baron Megan Baron Melanie Baron Frances Barron Kenneth Barry Sean Barry Quentin Basil Francis Baylock Emily Baynes William Beal Brian Beal Sara Beck Desirae Beckman Hannah Beckner Joseph Beddoes Alison Beddoes Christina Beiene Kayleen Bell David Benalcazar Jasmine Benbei Joshua Benbow Jeremy Benbow Nicholas Benedetto Bianca Beres Alec Berklite Autumn Berry Patina Betchar Jason Beylor Arusha Bhatia Aveen Bhatia Aziz Bhatti Joseph Biagini Thomas Biagini Jonathan Bidinger Emily Bielen Ashleigh Bielen Malik Billings Janay Bingham Katie Blondin Maggie Blondin Jason Blondin Madeleine Bloxam Christopher Bonner Ian Booe Lauren Borst Avishek Bose Kelly Botten
Justin Bourgeois Peter Bouveron Conor Bouveron Jasmine Bowen Jarid Bowen Jake Bowen Jordan Boyce Michael Boyles Heather Bradel Amelia Bradshaw Meagan Branch Atat Branch Stewart Marissa Brewer Andrew Brockmeyer Joseph Brooke Lacey Brooks Ryan Brooks Patrick Brooks Morgan Brooks James Brown Dylan Brown Jonathan Brown Courtney Brown Jocelyn Brown Emily Brubaker Nicolette Bruley Katlyn Brummett Olivia Buckley Katherine Bukovsky Daniel Bulas Mary Burke Donald Burklew Molly Burns Hayden Burns Austin Burns Amethyst Burrage Caroline Burroughs Nicholas Burroughs Sydney Bush Victoria Bustle Kira Butler Michael Byrd Jennifer Byrne Corey Calhoun Joseph Callas Michael Camarata Peter Cameron Amanda Cameron Rachel Cameron Kyle Campbell Brett Campbell Nicholas Cardozo Justin Carpenter Dennon Carranza-Kee Juan Mateo Carrasco Carvajal Stephanie Carrion Brianna Carruthers Kayla Carter Cierra Carter Shannon Casey Maria Castano Moreno Joseph Castro Kathryn Castro Michael Centra Jasmine Cha Katherine Chaparro Brian Chapman Nadja Chaves Camilla Chegai Jarred Chen Kevin Cheng Nicole Chillemi Ryan Cho Jason Choi Taylor Christie Pil Ju Chun Cory Ciocco Brandon Ciocco Andrada Ciurescu Samuel Clark Neil Clark Courtney Cleveland Caitlin Cloutier Drea Cobham Chaz Coffin Andrew Colantoni Tiffany Colberg Rachel Cole Alexander Cole Gregory Colella Grace Coleman Alexandra Collier Darryl Collins Nicholas Collins Michael Colonna Chandler Comer Elizabeth Coo Daniel Coo Natalie Cook
Katelyn Cooke Jenna Coots Christopher Corradino Lauren Correia Kyle Corwin Emily Cottrell Devon Couillard Chanasi Couster Dylan Covert Grant Covert Perry Cowdery Kathryn Coyner Matthew Craft Amanda Cruley Wilber Cruz Anne Culbertson Rohan Cutlip Zachary Czekalski Ryan D’Ercole Callan Darner Isabel Davila Jordan Davis Haley Davoren Siena Dawe Helen Dawson Gregory De Peri Mitchell DeArmond Katherine DeBell Grace DeBell Suzanne Decker Patrick-Henry Deegan Brigid Deely Matthew Delaney Matthew Dempsey Erin Dempsey Samantha Dempsey Troy Dennis Michael DeVito Colby Dezelick Sarah Dickenson Nicholas Dickerson Tyler Dill Dominic Dintino Casey DiPietro Meghan DiPippa Adriana DiVecchia Megan Dobbins Priyanka Dochibhotla Tori Donahue Casey Donahue Taylor Dorgan Joshua Doroski Alyssa Dotson Nicholas Dougherty Sean Douglass Cara Drager Bryan Drager Megan Drechsler Delaney Dreyer Danielle Dumas Michael Duncan Kelly Duncan Katharine Dunigan Callie Dunn Minh Duong Conor Dupont Keagan Dwyer Danielle Early Jordan Early Manoochehr Ebrahimi Theresa Edmonds Mitchell Edmonds Jeffrey Edmondson Rebecca Edwards Heather Edwards Clinton Edwards Caitlin Egan Melissa Eging Jessica Ehinger Hannah Ehreth Caleb Ehreth Jacob Ehrlich Steven Eisenhardt Zachary Elcano Kelly Elias Amanda Eliasoph Wade Eller Megan McKenzie Elliott Serena Emanuel Alisha Engelbrecht Catherine English Tekla Ercolano Joseph Esposito Michaela Estes Nicole Evertson Rachel Ewalt Dana Eyer Taylor Fadden Benjamin Fairbanks Abigail Fallon
Melissa Fangio Jennifer Fangio Brittany Fary Faraz Farzad Caylor Feeley Mary Feeley Blake Feichtl Carley Ferington Brandon Fiala Thomas Fick Austin Figueroa Kayla Filipour Nicole Fischer Cosio Victoria Fisher Jacquelyn Fisher Christopher Fisne Lauren Fitzpatrick Sean Fix Bradley Flather Spencer Flynn Emma Foley Lloyd Ford Laura Ford Abtin Foroutan Haider Fradj Zachary Franchi Karina Frank Amanda Free Taylor Fremeau Kimberley Fritts Morgan Fuentes AnneMarie Galati Brian Galeano Grant Gallas Leah Ganssle Meghan Garant Michael Garcia Margaret Gardner Mary Garifo Alexandra Geary Madeline Gehle Nicolas Geisinger Tatyana German Nina Ghafori Neda Ghodsi Mark Gibson Andrew Gidzinski Ryan Gilbeau Laura Gilbert Christina Gillespie Matthew Gilroy Andrew Glass Natalie Goffredo Jessica Gold Bryan Golnek Kristen Goodman Haley Gore Jacob Gorgone Evan Gray Marisa Grayson Jacob Greeno Tyler Gregory Taylor Grenn Jordan Griffith Cody Grimes Jared Gruber Joseph Gruber John Gullette Eun Ji Ha Kevin Hagan Matthew Hagan Jennifer Haigler Elizabeth Hall Ashley Hamilton Meagan Hamilton Avery Hand Ryan Hanson Amber Hare Jacqueline Harpe Ryan Harpe Austin Harrington Andrew Harrington John Harrington Brittany Harrison Allison Harsanyi Katherine Hartley Robert Hartman Nathaniel Harvey John Harvey Nour Hassan Zachary Haubach Sarah Haug Zoe Hawryluk Lauren Hayden Joshua Height Melinda Heim Dylan Herbert Trace Hernandez Brian Hersey Taiybah Hessami
Nathan Heyde Alec Heye Megan Hickey Lauren Hicks Timothy Higgs Sierra Higinbotham James Hilaris Bradley Hilker Emily Hoang Breana Hobbs Daniel Hohman Corinne Holland Haley Hollen Samuel Hollen Rebecca Holley Anthony Holliday Courtney Holmberg Jessica Honig Elise Hoover Grace Horgan Matthew Horn Taylor Horner Zackary Howard Alyssa Howard Amy Howell Tyler Hrabe Emili Hu Rachel Hughes Alison Hughes Carson Huling Emily Hunt Jonnie Jean Hurst Timothy Hutzenbiler Logan Hyer Danielle Ilari Brooke Iritz Ryan Ivey Allison Jackie Matthew Jackman Andrew Jackman Juliette Jacobson Shalisa James Haley Jarrett Nathalia Jean-Joseph Carley Jenkins Tyler Jepson Justine Johnson Daniel Johnson Thomas Johnson Katherine Johnson Isaiah Johnson Cameron Joiner Taylor Jones Jennifer Jones Olivia Joseph Dylan Joyner Samuel Jugus Sophie Jurgensen Allison Kagle Viswaja Kaja Ambica Kalburgi Ethan Kalcheff Senthil Kannan Brianna Kapfer Alison Kapinos Mounika Kari Jacob Katchmark Timothy Katz Daniel Kazmi Hongquan Ke Timothy Kearney Elizabeth Kearns Sarah Kearsley Rachel Keller Corrina Kelliher Veronica Kelliher Jacob Kellogg Benjamin Kendrick Zainreza Kerawala Mariam Khan Priya Khanna Lindsay Kidwell Hannah Kidwell Rachel Kieler Ja Hyun Kim Samuel Kim Grace Kim Vivian Kim Andrew Kim Daniel Kim Justin Kimble William Kimbrell Bryan King Taylor King John King Connor Kirkham Mackenzie Kirkham Kennan Kitcho-Lucero Marshall Klimmek Delaney Knollman
Rachel Knotts Sydney Knotts Christopher Knowlan Erin Koch Edward Kochis Mason Kochis Haley Koeninger Alexandra Kokulis Harminder Kooner Joshua Koons Sara Kormeluk Robert Kormeluk Cathryn Kost John Kost Reid Koutstaal Alexander Krall Dylan Krause Kelley Krzynefski Christopher Kuge Amanda Kwieraga Noelle Kwieraga Andrew Kwon Charlotte Lackey William Lackman McCreagh Lackman Caitlin Lacre Luisa Lacsamana Constantine Lagura Briana Lanigan Jaclyn Lasky Jordan Latham Caitlyn Laux Patrick Lawless Trent Lawlor Kerri Lawlor Rebecca Lawson Amy Layne Thomas Lazor Christopher Leary Cordel Lebans Sung Hoon Lee Soo Jeong Lee Matthew Lee Irene Lee Jae Hong Lee Yunseo Lee Nicholas Lehman Daniel Lehmer Nicholas Lenker Mia Lenotti Bethany Lesser Joshua Lesser Caitlyn Lewis Mika Lin Samuel Lin Ma Joelle Lingat John Lingenfelter Ashley Little Justin Little Alison Litvin Alicia Loebl Theresa Lonstein Quinton Lord Jacob Loso Hailey Lott Alyson Lowry Amanda Lowry Dale Luther Heather Lynn Lauren Mabaquiao Donald Macpherson Pareesa Madjd Roaksana Madjd Katara Mahdi Sarah Mahmud Robert Malick Kevin Mannikko Amanda Manry Harlan Mantelli Nathan Manzo Alicia Marchione Nathan Marcoe Hannah Marker James Marsh Abigail Martin Grace Martin Jacob Martinez Madeline Mason Estella Massey Mary Masterson Chester Matthews Caleb McClain Kelly McCormick Mitchell McDonald Devlin McDonnell Joshua McDow Marissa McGill Kyle McGill William McGuire Maggie McInturff
Lukas McKennedy Matthew McKenzie Chad McKeown Matthew McKinney Emily McNamara Joshua Meade David Meade Marie Meador Cortney Mecimore Shannon Melick Andrew Meredith Ryan Merry Christina Meyer Catherine Meyer Niara Michael Marissa Midgley Asbel Milla Gonzalez Erin Miller Cody Miller Carianne Miller Lucas Miller Alexander Miller Alexa Millman Jenna Millman Sung Kyeung Min Kayla Mincey Maggie Mitchell Steven Mitchell Kento Miyamae Carli Molano Allison Molen Alexandra Monnin Kevin Monnin Hanish Moola Jiu Moon Anna Moon Esther Moon Byung Il Moon Taylor Moore Justice Morgan Christa Morrone Tyler Morson Kirsten Moser Rachel Moser Zachary Moskowitz Brady Mossor Leah Mulholland Kylie Mullins Mitchell Mumma Jacob Mumma Kendall Munizza Erin Murdoch Conner Murphy Reid Murphy Bethany Murray Tyler Murray Tsitsi Musiyiwa Dylan Mychalus Aaron Neely Kristen Neitz Kaitlyn Neitz Benjamin Nelms Darby Nelson Amanda Nelson Daniel Nelson Jacob Neuse Tahirah Newkirk Dominique Ngo Phuong Nguyen Christopher Nicoll Kathryn Noble Kelly North Acen Nunley Khari Nunley Emily Nuttall Carrie Nye Eric O’Brien Katie O’Brien Matthew O’Brien Andrew O’Neill Luke O’Roark Kayla O’Sullivan Jonathan Ohanian Sarah Olijar Emily Oliver Rachael OrillePenaranda Anthony Ortiz Michael Osterwalder Michael Ostlund Caroline Otroba Michael Overby Clifton Overby Patrick Owens Megan Owens John Pace Chao Pan Connor Pangman Bryce Pangman Nadia Pardo
Alberto Pardo Saem Park Felix Park Rohan Parkash Connor Parsons Brijal Patel Nikita Patel Keenan Peck Alejandra Pena Sanchez Brenda Pena Trujillo Matthew Penaranda Sushanth Penta Likhith Penumala Jose Perdomo Carolyn Perkins Anne Perkins Mary Perkins Kristofer Perry Joshua Peters Kyle Petrillo Suong Pham Amanda Phung Arthur Pickett Timothy Pierce Henry Pike Matthew Pisarcik Brian Pisarcik Bryan Pitt Marshall Pittman Caitlin Plymyer Cody Plymyer Alice Polonsky Nicholas Potock Benjamin Potts Aleksandra Pozor Robert Pratt Jessica Preston Jennifer Preville Michael Price Rebecca Pryor Andrew Pullar Brandon Pullen Mary Catherine Pyla Kerry Quinn Beau Rabung Somitya Rana Linda Rapp James Rathjen Nathaniel Rathjen Lakshmi Ravipati Michaela Reardon Ryan Redman Meghan Reilly Katelyn Reimer Nicholas Render Carleigh Rethman Paul Revesman Laura Ricciardi Carolyn Rice Jonathan Rich Megan Rich Stephen Richards Amber Richardson Hannah Richmond Lucas Rifenberg Antonio Rivera Brooke Roberson Logan Roberts Whitney Roberts Katarina Roberts Mohamed RobertsonMohamed Kelsey Robillia Kiela Robinson Melanie Robison Nathan Robl Erin Robson Kelly Roddy-Burns Tatum Roessler Kirk Rogers Abigail Roney Julia Rooney Alexandra Root Julius Rosa-Distefano Jessica Royal Matthew Ruckert Caitlin Rudy Connor Ryan Melissa Ryan Garrett Ryan Graham Ryder Olivia Ryder Brandon Ryman Jacqueline Ryman Elana Sacher Sara Sacher Allison Saenz Hallie Sampson Kelly Sanborn
Julian Sanchez Brandon Sanchez Catalina Sanchez Mike Sander Matthew Sander Shouvik Sarkar Colleen Saunders Evan Sawyer Nolan Saylor Andrew Schantz Theodore Schantz Daniel Schimoler Matthew Schlink Erica Schmidt Reece Schnippel Katharina Schoeneck Alexandra Schrock Erin Schulte Cameron Schultz Callie Schwartz Sarah Schweit Taylor Schwenke Kaitlyn Schwenke Lexi Scoville Mason Scoville Hayley Seal Samuel Seldowitz Rachel Seldowitz Eric Serbu Tyler Sevener Christian Shadkhoo Emma Shankle Kai Shapard Alexander Sharbaf Emily Sharpe Natalie Sharpe James Shaver Rebecca Shearer Jessica Sheftel Dondre Sheridan Brent Sherwood Jonathan Shiei Yuriko Shimoda Rachel Shirley Benjamin Shirley Emma Sieber Valeria Sierralta Clara Sigmon Jonathan Simmons Eric Simmons Henna Singh Erik Skahn Cody Sleeper Lindsay Slover Brittany Smith Ian Smith John Smith Samuel Smith Marika Smith Brian Smith Corey Smith Drew Smith Adam Smith Jeremiah Snow Sarah Solomon Anastasia Solovyeva Duncan Somers Joseph Sorrells Sandra Sparace Laurel Spiegelthal Emma Spinnenweber Jaryd Spivak Paetr Stach Dieter Stach Hannah Staggs Cory Stalnaker Ian Staton Rachel Staton Carolin Steinert Jennifer Steinhilber Thomas Stevenson Alyssa Stewart Cody Stiles Joseph Stine Nicole Stone Thomas Strosser Victoria Stulii Joshua Sturm Nicholas Suk Molly Sullivan Lia Sumner Cullen Sunday Karan Suryakant Jessica Swanson Mitchell Sweat Madison Sweezy Kathryn Swensen Alexander Szymanski Lily Takahashi Tyler Talbot
Kyle Tarro Wesley Tarro Beste Tekcan Nicholas Thayer Brian Thillet-Ballantine Gregory Thomas Khyra Thomas Ferris Charise Thomas Ian Thompson Kelsey Thompson Ryan Titzer Jennifer To Emily Tobin Kaila Torpey Nathaniel Tran Audrey Trebelhorn Iordan Trenkov Monique Trevett Ryan Trexler Dylan Trujillo Kristen Tucker Caitlin Tumulty Nicholas Turner Jessica Turner Morgan Tweddle Jack Tyskowski Rachael Ulsh Diane Underwood Andrea Urcuyo Ville Vaisanen Antti Vaisanen Jorge Vallejos Ian Van Pelt Cosmin Velea Chase Vernon Andrew Vetsch Jennifer Victor Anthony Vinsavich Seth Viveiros Rupali Vohra David Von Rinteln Alexandra Von Rinteln Ryan Vosburgh Sarah Wagner Patrick Walker Shannon Walker Jackson Wall Kelsey Walter-Johnson Erik Walters Benjamin Wang Scott Wardinski Andrew Warrick Douglas Watkins Cathleen Watkins Kaylynne Wattelet Ellen Waymire Jared Weissman Jenna Welch Thomas Weston Lindsey Wheeler Jamie Whitaker Samuel White Nicole White Richard White Rachel Wildey Winston Willard Emily Willett Jonathon Willey Kaleb Williams Ariana Willis Jessica Wilson Samuel Wilson Matthew Wilson Meghan Winesett Katie Winesett Matthew Winesett Olivia Witt Ryan Wittman Sarah Wolfe Heather Wolfe John Woodward Sarah Worthington Phoebe Wright James Wruk Richard Xue Jungmo Yang Alissa Yoder Jin Yoon Eu Hyun Yoon Austin Yu Young Hun Yun Suh Hyun Yun Matthew Zackschewski Gina Zahory Sophia Zahory Ariana Zenelis Xiru Zhu Faddy Zumot
Purchase your yearbook today! www.yearboookordercenter.com, 5577
arts&entertainment food new sub shop adds compe-
tition to local dining establishments; see 16
volume 12, issue 6
internet Knight creates
movies Radcliffe breaks
online musical sensation; see 17
out from Harry Potter mold; see 18
The Crucible Overcomes Adversity The cast of The Crucible encountered many obstacles while doing play production, making the process stressful. However, they worked hard to get everything perfected. The Crucible follows the story of a group of girls in a small Massachusetts town who accuse people in the town of practicing witchcraft. The antagonist of the accusations is Abigail Williams, portrayed by Maggie Mitchell, 11. The Theatre III and IV classes put on the play, allowing them to utilize block scheduling for extra rehearsal time during school. “It gives us a good use of time to polish things. We would have needed to stay longer during rehearsals if we didn’t have the class time,” Ben Nelms, 12, said. Even with the extra class time for rehearsals, the theatre department still had a lot to get done from building elaborate sets to working with a small group of professional actors. “There was still a lot of work to get done. Costumes, set, smooth transitions and get acting on point are all part of what
needs to get perfected,” Joey Biagini, 12, said. Coordinating and balancing everyone’s hectic schedules was one issue that needed to be overcome. “It has been difficult, almost like a balancing act,” Susan Pike, theatre teacher, said. Staying on book longer than usual and sticking to table readings also took away from rehearsal time but ultimately helped students get more in touch with their characters. “It seems more beneficial now because we were able to really develop our
characters and figure out how we wanted to play them,” Nelms said. The process was also lengthened to deepen the effectiveness of each character. “Ms. Pike has been working with individual actors to bring characters forward and develop. It has been beneficial for them but it has just slowed the process,” Nelms said. Getting The Crucible ready for opening night was an extensive process, requiring patience and determination in order to become another theatre department success.
Photos by Anne Culberston
“It is like a giant puzzle that just needs to come together. It is going to be a lot of work but we can do it,” Biagini said. - Mary Anna Garifo
(top left) Reverend Parris, Ben Nelms, 12, accuses Tituba, Sophia Alam, 12, of bewitching girls within their small pious town. (above) John Proctor, Joey Biagini, 12, reassures Elizabeth Proctor, Madeline Bloxam,11, that he did not have an affair with Abigal Williams. (left) Mary Warren, Erica Schmidt, 12, is put on trial for the crime of witchery and harming other with her spirit. She must defend herself to prove she is not a witch.
Casual Clothing Ties Together Smart Apparel
Few students dress for success because it is easier to throw on a pair of sweat pants and T-shirt “I consider this look a dressed-up kind of casual look. Most go for the sweats but I thought this had more character,” Andrew Alberter, 12, said.
“The green in the button -down matched the yellowish in the khaki colored pants. I wanted something different from the normal blue, white or gray.”
“It’s not overly dressy but it still gives character to my look.”
Photos by Molly Burns and Anne Culberston
“The green shirt accents the plaid as a secondary color. It’s not too much, it compliments the button-down.”
“I normally wear a brown belt with this outfit so I would match it with my brown boating shoes. They look nicer than a pair of basketball shoes.”
A green, blue and white plaid button -down shirt
Simple blue colored short sleeve shirt
Brown leather belt
Brown leather boating shoes
16 volume 12, issue 6
Valentine’s Day; Students Express Love Valentine’s Day arrives on the same day every year and every year people across the world stress over making it perfect. Valentine’s Day, originating from the feast day of St. Valentine, has become a commercial holiday, for celebrating love and promise. “It is a nice way to spend time together,” Annie Halterman, 12, said. Students with significant others at different schools or in college found it difficult to celebrate the day to its full extent but still managed to find time to share their love. “I’m in a long-distance relationship so I made a video and a photo album for my boyfriend. I also went down to visit him the weekend before [Valentine’s Day],” Celeste Azubuike, 11, said. Many students decided to spend the rose covered holiday with close friends.
Photos by Anne Culberston and Molly Burns
(left) Lucia Rodriguez, 12, places her pink stuffed-animal from friend, Ashley Johnson, 12, into her locker. (above) Annie Halterman, 12, and Mitchell Polizzi, 12, walk down the hall as Polizzi hands her a bouquet of flowers. “It’s better to spend it with friends because it’s drama free. It’s a tradition for us,” Lucia Rodriguez, 12, said. With so many adver-
tisements and products marketed around Valentine’s Day, students can easily get carried away. Students walked through the halls this Val-
entine’s Day with heart shaped balloons and bouquets of flowers. “I think people like to think they go overboard, but they really don’t,”
Halterman said. Students agreed that the most important and special part of Valentine’s Day is celebrating those you care about
The Vow Rekindles Undeniable Love The Vow, a heartwrenching romance based on a true events, features the star pairing of Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum. Theatres were packed taking in $47.1 million in the opening weekend. A passionate and young married couple, Paige, played by McAdams, and Leo, played by Tatum, live in the city, both fulfilling the struggling artist stereotype. Their passionate relationship is stripped away in a dramatic car crash that leaves Paige in a coma. When she wakes up, Paige does not remember her husband due to the impact of the crash, causing her to lose all of her memories about Leo. The old Paige, before she knew Leo, is the polar opposite to the adventurous artist he knew her as.
Paige, under the protective rule of her wealthy parents, had been a vain sorority girl on the path to law school. Distraught, Leo decides that he will make Paige fall back in love with him all over again. The Vow, which could have simply been another predictable chick flick, has a surprisingly fresh feel to it. The basic plot is predictable but intriguing twists add depth and originality to the movie. Though classified by some as a disappointment, the execution of the movie provides a realistic aspect to the story, separating it from the unbelievable fairy-tale like stories. The use of flashbacks in the movie is a highly effective technique, they brilliantly capture the passion and quirkiness of the young couple’s love.
McAdams and Tatum deliver standout performances in The Vow. Their performances in The Notebook and Dear John are held in comparison since both were romantic films. The struggle to overcome unimaginable obstacles in The Vow compares closely with the fight to defy class differ-
ences that are prevalent in The Notebook. McAdams plays a more complex character in The Vow, not able to completely love her husband in contrast to the uninhibited McAdams in The Notebook. Tatum assumes the identity of a tortured lover who loses his true love in both movies.
Even though The Vow does not deliver the mindless romantic story many expected, the pragmatic problems encountered by the couple makes for a fresh story that is feasibly realistic. This tragic romance is worth watching over and over because of its adorable factor. - Julianne Abruzzo
Jersey Mike’s Subs Brings Competition; Far From Sub-Par The small sub shop looks like any ordinary restaurant but when the lights come on and the doors open, Jersey Mike’s is filled with hungry customers awaiting freshly prepared subs. Jersey Mike’s recently opened its doors in the Westone Plaza shopping center. Jersey Mike’s Subs first opened in Point Pleasant, New Jersey in 1956. It was
originally called Mike’s Subs. The top quality subs created such a buzz that owner Peter Cranco decided to expand his business. The pint-sized sub shop guarantees fresh subs, hot or cold, with a signature flair. The iconic “Mike’s Way” sub includes lettuce, tomato, onion, oil, vinegar, and spices.
All the ingredients are freshly prepared such as the bread, which is baked every morning. The meats and cheeses are sliced to order, never sitting out. Each sub is soft with its own taste due to the wide variety of subs. Some subs are classic while others are unique combinations of meats, cheese and other various toppings. Amazingly, Jersey
Mike’s subs can be kept for a day without getting soggy, despite the amount of oil in the subs. For those who want a healthier meal, Jersey Mike’s also offers wraps. Considering the amount of meat and toppings in each sub, the pricing, $4 to $7, is reasonable when compared Subway’s $5 foot long. The restaurant is small in size with limited seat-
ing, however the staff makes up for the small space with their quick and helpful service. Without the staff, customers may be confused by the layout of the restaurant. The different types of subs are organized by a confusing number system. Compared to other sub shops such as Subway or Quiznos, Jersey Mike’s is no plain-jane sub shop. -Kayleen Bell
the most. “Valentine’s Day is about spending time with the people you love,” Azubuike said. - Madeline Bloxam
Oleana Receives High Honors At Regionals Theatre’s One Act performance of Oleana received second place at both districts and regionals. Other than the play winning second place Mitchell Buckley, 11, won best actor and Madeline Bloxam, 11, won best actress. “I was surprised at how well we did because the other acts were really good,” Buckley said. Oleana is about a college professor who has to deal with sexual harassment charges. “It’s a lot heavier than the other acts and more mature,” Joey Biagini, 12, said. The actors will perform Oleana at states without knowing who most of their competition is. “The only group we know going in is Chantilly but we know it will be fun no matter what,” Buckley said. To prepare for states the actors plan to do more character work to increase the depth of their play. - Kayleen Bell
a&e You Tube
youtube.com/1nathanael1 118 likes, 0 dislikes
Nate Knight, 11, strums his guitar and sings to his cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine” on his YouTube channel, 1nathanael1, dedicated to his friend, Becca Pryor, 11.
Lana Del Ray Proves Talent Despite SNL Performance Surprising critics, Lana Del Rey’s album Born To Die debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Born to Die pleased fans by selling over 75,000 copies in its first week, becoming the highest entry for a female’s full length major label debut since July of 2011. Del Rey describes herself as a ‘gangster Nancy Sinatra’ with retro pop beats prevalent throughout the album. Del Rey’s song, “Video Games,” credited to the start of her fame, was leaked and spread virally through blogs on the Internet before its release on iTunes. The song is very similar to the style of popular indie band Florence + the Machine with its slower tempo and strong instrumentals. “Born To Die,” another fan favorite, also has a slower tempo that shows off the vintage feel that Del Rey frequently mentions. The song displays Del Rey’s unique voice as well as
february 17, 2012
her diverse vocal range. “Blue Jeans” has a sultry feel with its slow beginning. “Diet Mountain Dew,” one of the faster songs, has a catchy chorus with Del Rey embodying the ‘gangster Nancy Sinatra’ persona she describes her music as having. “Kinda Outta Luck” is a song where Del Rey breaks out of the mold set by “Born To Die” and “Video Games.” With an edgier vibe “Kinda Outta Luck” is one of the more upbeat songs on the album. Her infamous television debut on Saturday Night Live brought much criticism to Del Rey due to her two vocally shaky performances. Critics bashed Del Rey on the Internet after her performance, bringing negative public attention toward Del Rey and her album release. Though backlash ensued, the rising pop star has moved forward by announcing she will begin touring starting in late 2012. - Christina Beiene
Nate Knight, 11, has been seen on social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube singing original songs and covers by popular bands. “My inspiration came from a video on YouTube of a girl doing something similar to what I do now. I thought to myself I could do something like that,” Knight said. Knight originally made a video for his close friend Jack Elliott’s, 11, birthday and posted it on Facebook. Knight’s songs have received a lot recognition among peers. People have also started requesting birthday videos. “I wasn’t expecting it to be so popular. When it blew up I was pleasantly surprised,” Knight said. Some of his most popular songs are “Hallelujah,”
which he sang for Elliot’s birthday, and “Kaylee’s Birthday Song,” which he sang for Kaylee Hohein, 11. “I was initially a little bit nervous putting it up for everyone to see, but it wasn’t that big of a deal,” Knight said. Knight has been playing the guitar for about two years and writing songs since he learned how to play. “My friend had a guitar and I tried playing it and loved it, so I got one of my own,” Knight said. For some musicians, writing their own songs can be challenging, but writing comes easily to Knight. “Usually I write about something that inspires me. It’s a feeling inside that I can’t explain without a song,” Knight said. - Emily Dzubak
This Means War; True Love Triumphs All Reese Witherspoon breaks into a new role in her latest movie, the highly anticipated action, comedy and romance movie, This Means War. Witherspoon plays Lauren, a seemingly shy girl-next-door who finds herself dating two incredibly attractive guys at the same time. Little does Lauren know that the two men she’s dating are CIA operatives as well as best friends. Lauren decides to date both men at once, coming in touch with her sexy side by seducing both men in order to get closer to choosing between them. Once Tom Hardy’s character, Tuck, and Chris Pine’s character, FDR, find out they are dating the same woman they decided to leave her in the dark and let her decide which man she likes better. Lauren consults best friend Trish, played by comedian Chelsea Handler, to help make her decision easier. The crude comedian held up to her funny standards as a supporting actress. Despite a truce made between FDR and Tuck to not get in the way of
each other’s relationships with Lauren, the two set up 24 hour surveillance on her, disguised as part of an investigation of a man seeking revenge on the dynamic duo for killing his brother in an earlier CIA mission. Witherspoon is known for being the sweet girl in her movies such as Sweet Home Alabama where she plays a southern bell or Legally Blonde where she plays a ditzy blonde who changes her ways and becomes a top law student. This completely different character for Witherspoon showcases her many talents and ability to adapt to any role. The biggest question
in this movie is not which guy Lauren will choose, but what role Handler will play in this movie. Handler, famous for her late night show on the E! Network, tries to provide a comedic side to Lauren’s situation but instead her crude humor is somewhat out of place. Along with her crude humor most of Handler’s scenes were cut out to fit the PG-13 criteria. Alone, Handler’s character holds no purpose for the movie but paired with Witherspoon’s charming personality, the two are able to provide hilarious transitions in between Lauren’s many dates. The performances of
Hardy and Pine are nothing special but a good performance wasn’t essential for the movie to succeed. Their only purpose was to look good and make convincing CIA operatives. Although critics rated This Means War poorly, the movie was a hit among the audience. The overall star power and the incredible chemistry between Witherspoon, Hardy and Pine enabled this movie to be a success and by combining humor, romance and a little bit of action. This Means War is capable of pleasing a wide variety audiences. - Maddie Gray
18 volume 12, issue 6
HD Remake Brings Nostalgia The Jak and Daxter HD collection is something that cannot be missed by any gamer. Jak and Daxter returns in an all new high definition overhaul of the series’ first three games. The three games still deliver just as they did nine years ago when Jak and Daxter: Precussor Legacy came out in 2002. The collection should not be mistaken for a new game, as developers Naughty Dog recreate the fantastic fantasy world the game brings to players on the Playstation 3 system. The game follows a young, mute hero by the name of Jak and his best friend Daxter, who was turned into an osstel, as they attempt to save their unknown world from the evils of Dark Eco. Sure, the story line is a little on the goofy side for the first game, but that does not take away from the nostalgia that the game brings to fans of the classic series. Players really do get addicted to the fun, fast
paced game play, as they will find themselves in exotic worlds fending off wild creatures. The gameplay changes in the second one as players will control the duo as they adventure on dune buggies, zoomers and flying cars in Jak 2. On the downside, the game does not feel nearly as innovated as when I first played it a few years ago and by the third title
the games starts to feel a little repetitive. The third game, Jak 3, follows Jak as he is thrown and abandoned in the desert after his actions in the second game. The game does a 90 degree turn as Jak becomes this overly emotional crybaby and humorous sidekick Daxter takes a step down, as the humor from the first two games falls flat in the third game.
Radcliffe Breaks Into New Role Everyone’s favorite Harry Potter star is back in theaters, this time in a much darker film – The Woman in Black. Radcliffe plays the young widowed lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who is sent to an isolated village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased woman. While there, he encounters strange deaths and a vengeful spirit that terrorizes the town. Kipps tries to figure out why the Woman in Black is out for blood despite the villagers’ attempts to make him leave. It was strange to see Radcliffe in another character’s role. To see him on the big screen and not think of Harry Potter is downright impossible. As Daniel Radcliffe’s first film since hanging up his cloak and broomstick, The Woman in Black is a drastic change. This film is definitely not as family friendly as his previous franchise. It was also hard not to compare his acting in the new film with his acting in the seven Harry Potter films he is known best for. Radcliffe dealt with the supernatural parts of the film well. His reactions and responses were convincing but not award winning. Radcliffe turned out to
be a quality actor outside his role as Harry Potter. His role as a young father gave him a chance to portray deeper emotions. He was believable and eventually it was possible to ignore, if not forget, the character he was previously known for. Ciarán Hinds plays Sam Daily, a wealthy man in the town who lost his son to the malevolent spirit. Hinds worked well with Radcliffe and kept the movie from being too individually focused. The Woman in Black, Liz White, was eerie and sinister. White portrayed a psychopathic murdering ghost without being too over the top. The film was based off of a 1983 novel, The
Woman in Black, by Susan Hill. The plot moved a little too quickly in some scenes but the ending was perfect for the film. While the film lacked the blood and gore aspect present in many horror movies, expected by audience members, it didn’t detract from the movie. If anything, the lack of gore made it better. The movie has more shock and suspense than scare. The dark setting and supernatural aspects were not overdone and only added to the overall quality. It will not be considered one of the best horror films of all time but it was certainly creepy and worth watching. - Reagan Warrington
No matter what game you like or dislike of the series, the collection is a great deal as it gives you the three titles for the price of only $40. The collection is a great the way to reminisce on how great the action adventure genre in video games used to be as Naughty Dog does a great job revamping the old, classic series . - Luke O’Roark
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty Appeases Fans A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, written by Joshilyn Jackson, is a compelling novel about one family who deals with the pain and drama of the choices they make. Joshilyn Jackson is a New York Times bestselling novelist. She is the author of several books such as Gods of Alabama and Between Georgia. The novel jumps from the three generations of women in the family and how they deal with their intertwined secrets. The youngest of the Slocumb family, Mosey, just turned 15. She deals with the pain and stress her family causes by getting into dangerous adventures in order to prove to others that she is not like her mother. This technique of writing about childhood angst has been used in several books throughout the years, making it a typical cliche. Mosey’s mother, Liza,
deals with her past decisions while trying to protect her daughter. The oldest of the three generations of Slocumb women, Ginny, Mosey’s grandmother, tries to rebuild her life and learn to trust and love again. The novel portrays interesting aspects of each of their lives while dealing with the pain they go through. A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty keeps readers interested from cover to cover. Suspense and humor are effectively included and infused throughout the novel. Jackson portrays these female characters as women readers will fall in love and be able to connect with immediately. The plot line is riveting and captivating, making readers want to unfold another chapter in their lives. -Sherrie Shanks, Emily Sharpe
volume 12, issue 6
coaches prepare spring sports boys basketball domi- girls basketball falls flat with new offensive schemes; see 20
nates in final regular season games; in the Concorde District; see 22 see 23
Wrestling Wins Regionals, Districts
Brett Campbell Weight Class: 120 Record: 48-6 Pins: 26 Points: 252.5
Beau Donahue Weight Class: 152 Record: 40-7 Pins: 18 Points: 232.5
Frank Aiello With the regular season over, the Mat Dogs won first place out of 30 teams, with eight wrestlers and two alternatives advancing to the state tournament. “It feels good to win regionals again and get the crown back from Robinson after losing it last season,” Brett Campbell, 12, said. Before the regional tournament, the team placed first out of six teams to win their eighth district title, with Campbell, Beau Donahue, 11, David Aiello, 10, Mitch Polizzi, 12, Derek Arnold, 11, and Gabe Ryan, 10, winning first in their weight classes. “We are really proud of our accomplishment and really proud that our hard work over this season led to the winning of the district,” Donahue said. Donahue advanced to the third regional tournament of his career and looks to capture his second state championship in his 152 weight class.
Weight Class: 160 Record: 30-9 Pins: 14 Points: 149.0
Tyler Morson Weight Class: 170 Record: 31-12 Pins: 20 Points: 184.5
Photos courtesy of Rob Currie
(top left) Derek Arnold, 11, grapples an opponent from behind, as he and the Mat Dogs place first out of 30 teams. (top right) Beau Donahue, 11, pins an opponent to the mat. (bottom right) Nick Lehmen, 12, slams a regional opponent to the ground. (bottom left) Brett Campbell, 12, lays his head down in exhaustion after a loss in his finals match. He holds the team record for overall winning percentage with 88.79 for his career. “I’m not looking past it, but I just wanted to get it over with and try to win states again,” Donahue said. The Mat Dogs are riding the momentum from their previous title wins
into the state tournament. “We’re peaking at the right time because we do really hard tournaments in the beginning of the season and struggle early, so we gradually get better by the time we get to regionals and states,” Donahue said. This season, the Mat Dogs achieved an over-
all record of 16-3 in dual matches and went 5-0 inside the Concorde District. “It was cool to win and go undefeated even without two weight classes. It shows even though we don’t have a full team we can still win,” Arnold said. Campbell led the team in winning percentage
this season with 89% and went 48-6 inside the 120 weight class. “We have a really strong team this year, but we also have a lot of youth, so you need someone to propel and to step up in tournaments,” Campbell said. -more wrestling on Page 20
Weight Class: 220 Record: 27-10 Pins: 12 Points: 127.0
Stephen Aiello Weight Class: 145 Record: 43-12 Pins: 15 Points: 227.0
Gabe Ryan Weight Class: 106 Record: 29-19 Pins: 12 Points: 132.0
Swim and Dive Teams Close Season With Strong Performances The Swim and Dive season came to a positive close with the boy’s team finishing with a record of 4-3 and the girl’s team finishing 5-2. “The record for this season I feel we earned more with our hard work than with our talent. I feel we put out a lot of effort this year,” Bradley Hilker, 12, said. With the regular season complete, the team prepared for districts. The swim team sent 38
swimmers, 19 boys and 19 girls, and the dive team sent six divers, five boys and one girl. “It was fun, but really nerve-racking. It was a big meet with lots of good teams and good divers,” Erika Turflinger, 9, said. On the dive team, Blake Feichtl, 10, placed seventh overall, missing regional qualifying by one place. Aaron Tucker, 10, placed ninth, Hilker placed 11th, Christopher Leonard, 11, placed 17th
and Turflinger placed 12th overall. Both teams earned third place in the district and advanced to the region championship. “I don’t think it was our best performance, but we performed well overall,” Turflinger said. Tucker was the sole representative of the dive team at regionals due to a high-scoring dive from earlier in the season. “It felt odd being the only one at regionals. I felt like the other div-
ers work really hard and should’ve been there instead of me, but I still tried my best,” Tucker said. The boys’ swim team placed eighth and the girls’ swim team placed 10th in the region championship. “Overall, we did better as a team than we expected, since we struggled earlier this year,” Brandon Fiala, 11, said. Head coach Bruce Andersen was pleased with the results of the meet, as
the 24 team championship was especially competitive. “It was a very fast meet. Typically the top six swimmers advance to states, but some events were so fast that 14 of the top 16 swam fast enough to advance,” Andersen said. Thirteen members of the swim team qualified for the state championship. “Everyone did great in the meet, and lots of peo-
ple got their best times,” Sierra Higinbotham, 12, said. The state championship takes place at George Mason University, and provides the qualified seniors with a final opportunity to swim for Westfield. “I’m going to go all out at states, because this is my last chance to swim for Westfield and I want to have a good meet,” Higinbotham said. -Jared Gruber, Mike Sander
20 volume 12, issue 6
Ryan Becomes First Light Weight District Champion
Photos by Blanton Studios
(top) Gabe Ryan, 10, grapples an Oakton wrestler, winning the match 6-5. Ryan’s win helped him become the first Bulldog 106 Weight District Champion. (right) Ryan points to the bench and celebrates his district championship. Ryan’s win helped clinch the bulldogs seventh district team championship. With his 6-5 win in the Concorde District tournament, Gabe Ryan, 10, became the first 106 pound district winner in Bulldog history. “It feels really cool, we had another kid. David Aiello almost won it too, but he just had a tougher opponent. I’m glad I won because it completes coach’s [Hoskins] set, as we had a winner in all of our weight classes in the district,” Ryan said.
The win shows Ryan’s hard work over his career, as he has been wrestling for eight years and has been in the varsity program for two years prior to taking a two year break from the sport. “Gabe did an awesome job at districts. His hard work at practice directly correlates to wins on the mat,” Nate Knight, 11, said. Ryan and the Bulldogs faced off against Oakton,
ranked third behind the Bulldogs and Robinson. “Up until this season, the weight classes were a little different. In the past the weight class was 103 for 11 years, and we never had a district champion. It’s unique because knowing what Gabe has gone through, with his dad, it was a special moment,” head coach Chuck Hoskins said. This season, Ryan holds a 59 winning per-
centage with a record of 26-18. His wins account for 18.5 percent of the teams 2042 total points this season. “Gabe’s our lightest weight class wrestler on our team, so he starts off our dual matches because tournaments and matches go lightest to heaviest. He provides a good spark early on in our meets. Everyone likes him a lot and he is a good guy, so he’s pretty important part of
the team,” Stephen Aiello, 11, said. In 2007 Ryan’s father passed away, with his dad being a wrestling coach for the Mat Dogs. His father’s passing has fueled Ryan’s ambition and desire to win on the mat. “I put the whole match in his honor, I always pray before my matches or ask for words of wisdom and to have won the title, I knew he would have been proud.” Ryan said. “After
I won I was relieved because I knew he would be proud and happy for me.” Ryan went on to place second at the Northern Region Tournament in helping the Bulldogs place first out of 30 other teams. “His placement was huge, he had a tough opponent in the semi finals, but his second place definitely helped a lot,” S. Aiello said. -Luke O’Roark
JV Basketball Players Prepare for Varsity Transition for Next Season As the JV boy’s basketball season came to a close, the team finished with a 6-9 record, and placed last in the Concorde District. A few of the team members are taking the next step and preparing for next season. “We had a slow start, but we finally came together in the end and reached our peak,” Brian Garland, 10, said. Sophomore players Garland, Tim Curry, 10, and Chris Gepford, 10, are preparing for varsity next year by focusing on their skills “We did not get the success we wanted this season but every player learned to work very hard, which will help them in learning to be varsity players,” head coach, Jamie Shepherd, said. Part of the boy’s preparation will include working on their weaknesses, such as fundamental skills, and focusing on their personal strengths. “I was best at shooting this year, so I will continue this off-season, but I also need to work on my dribbling skills,” Gepford said. In addition to working on basic skills, the sopho-
Photos by Molly Burns
(left) Brandon Williams, 11, drives towards the hoop against two defenders. (above)The team gathers after a 55-54 win against the Centreville Wildcats mores will also train for the fitness aspect of basketball. “I plan on lifting and conditioning in the spring, summer, and fall to keep up my strength and fitness,” Garland said. Post player, Curry, looks forward to next season and will take various steps during his off-season training to improve his skills. “I’m definitely going to get stronger, since next year I’ll be facing kids who are faster and bigger than
me. I also play football in the fall and that will help me to be more physical and not shy away from contact,” Curry said. Each of the three boys contributed hard work and a variety of skill according to coach Shepherd, which could help the varsity program. “Tim has great post play, he is hard working, and will improve. Brian is a good defender and in our last few games he scored more points. Chris is very hard working, he
tried very hard to find out how he could help out the team after coming of a serious leg injury last year, which he had an impressive recovery,” Shepherd said. With the transition to varsity, comes a new style of play contrast to the playing style of JV. “At each level you are going to have to be more athletic, have more speed, and more knowledge of the game. Varsity will be challenging, players most improve their skills, and
be prepared for the high expectations,” Shepherd said. Although the majority of their preparation for varsity will be done in the off-season, their season on JV has also aided in the process. “The practices were intense and a lot of the drills were very challenging, which will prepare for the intensity of varsity next year,” Garland said. The boys also look up to the varsity team, as they set an example for many
of the younger players. “I am good friends with Chris Mullins, so when we play together he challenges me and helps me,” Gepford said. Coach Shepherd believes the varsity team provided the underclassmen with a good example to follow. “The seniors did a good job demonstrating the hard work they put in, which gives the younger players a good example to follow,” Shepherd said. -Tatum Roessler
sports Hockey Earns Little Recognition As a Sport When you think of winter sports, what is the first sport that comes to your mind? For many it would be professional basketball, or possibly march madness. However, for fans that look for contact and fast paced game play, it could be the National Hockey League. Hockey throughout the U.S. has always been over shadowed by basketball and will never be as big. At Westfield, the Ice Dogs aren’t considered a team, and can in no way be affiliated with Westfield sports. With the lack of support for the Ice Dogs, it will remain a “club” and can not be associated with Westfield. The recognition of hockey has been completely over shadowed by other sports. Whether it be the lack of media coverage for sports such as hockey, or the overall popularity of other sports, hockey has not been nearly as recognized. Despite the lack of support for hockey, the athletes for sports such as basketball are regarded as studs. In my opinion, hockey players go through more abuse and rigorous contact in the rink. However, they are still less recognized and overall completely under rated. Although some sports fans may oppose hockey because of the amount of violence, they do not realize that violence is only a small part of the game. The precision and skill needed to be a hockey athlete, is much more important than how hard a player can hit an opponent. Hitting is not the only concept of hockey, and the toughnesss, skill, and strength that is needed to play this rigorous sport overshadows the violence every time. Above all, toughness is a much bigger component of hockey as opposed to the toughness needed to play basketball. Because of the violence and lack of media coverage, hockey has been undermined when compared to basketball. -Dylan Brown
february 17, 2012
New Coaches Prepare Spring Sports
Photos by Courtney Mecimore
(above) JV boys’ baseball coach, Lou Munoz, looks on, as his team does off season conditioning on the turf field. (right) Katie Ruch instructs the Girls Lacrosse team during its Conditioning.
s the spring season draws near, three head coaches join the athletic program: Katie Ruch, who will taking over girls’ lacrosse; Neil Rae will take over the boys’ varsity soccer team; and Westfield’s current Student Resource Officer Lou Munoz who will take over JV baseball. “I first heard last spring after coach Dwyer stepped down and knowing the reputation and how competitive the sport is here at Westfield is, I was immediately intrigued,” Ruch said. Ruch spent the last three seasons at Oakton as an assistant coach for girl’s lacrosse and served as head coach for the Cougars field hockey team. “We faced Westfield a lot during my tenure there, they gave us a lot of trouble. It’s great to be a part of this program now,” Ruch said. Ruch already set the bar high for her players, both on and off the field. “I expect them to
highlights jan. 27 dive took third place overall in the Concorde District Tournament and sent six divers to the Northern Region Tournament.
strive to become better players and have an overall better team. I also expect them to perform well in the classroom and concentrate on their school work,” Ruch said Ruch has set goals for her team from a lacrosse stand point and from a team perspective, on the field and in the locker room. “I’m hoping to go further into the playoffs and get into the district finals and regional’s this season. With that being said, I still want to create that whole team atmosphere,” Ruch said. Ruchs’ presence this offseason has already been felt by her players. “I think Ms. Ruch will do well. She seems like she knows what she’s doing with the team,” Katie Manning, 11, said. Neil Rae has stepped up as well, becoming the coach for boys soccer. “I heard through the grapevine that Westfield was looking for a coach. I had no knowledge of the school, as I just moved to
the area a few weeks earlier,” Rae said. He came to the area from his home state of Rhode Island and was quickly impressed with the program. “Every one in the student activities office knew what they were looking for and were very organized, luckily coach Welch liked my interview and they got back to me very quickly,” Rae said. Rae has 11 years of coaching experience under his belt, serving as an assistant coach at the Community College of Rhode Island and as the head coach for a club team in his hometown of Cumberland. “I learned a lot back home and I can only hope to use my experiences as a player and coach to improve this program,” Rae said. He has set high expectations for his team, looking to improve upon last years finish. “I want the team to
jan. 28 boys swim placed third in the district and sent 38 swimmers to districts
feb. 2 boys indoor track placed first in the Concorde District Tournament
work together to be the best that we can. I look for us to be competitive in all our games and hopefully make some serious noise this season. I want other schools to see Westfield on their schedule and get nervous,” Rae said. He sets these expectations in hope that they will all set and reach a common goal. “Obviously, I would love for us to get a poster in the Student Activities Office like the other champions of Westfield, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Rae said. JV boys baseball had a vacancy to fill as well, as coach Munoz looks to improve his new team through offseason conditioning and by teaching, with his amount of experience. “It is a little nervewracking for sure, as a first year coach I don’t have to much to go off of. I want to get into a routine, set expectations for my team
and give them the best opportunity to win,” Munoz said. Munoz is no stranger to the diamond and has plenty experience as a player himself, spending three seasons in the Boston Red Sox farm system. “I’ve been around the game for a long time and I can only hope to use my experiences to better my players,” Munoz said Munoz has been around the baseball team a lot in his six years here and has been working with varsity baseball coach Chuck Welch. “I talked to coach Welch a lot, especially during the season. I was always interested in how the team was doing. This is a great opportunity and I’m glad I can now be a part of it,” Munoz said. When the head JV job opened up this summer, Munoz was the first person Welch went to. “Lou really is a baseball guy and has a great background with the game. He is more than qualified for the job and I am confident he will do very well,” Welch said. Munoz looks to create his own system inside the baseball team and prepare his team early in the offseason. “I want to see the same effort I’ve been seeing at conditioning. I’m going to push my guys especially hard in practice so we can be more relaxed in the game situations,” Munoz said. Munoz’s biggest worry was not how his team will perform throughout the season, but how his current job would affect his coaching ability. “I was definitely a little worried at first how I would balance my work. Once we get into a routine, I am confident I can lead this team to success,” Munoz said. - Matt O’Brien
wrestling placed first in the Concorde District out of six other teams
boys basketball beat Oakton 73-42 to finish the season district 15-1
Swim placed eighth for boys, and 10th for girls in the regional tournament
wrestling placed first in the region and sent a total of 10 wrestlers to states
22 volume 12, issue 6
Boys Basketball Sweeps Concorde District basketball
statistics Zach Elcano 12 ppg (Points per game) 263 points overall 71.9% free-throws (69/96) Quentin Basil 10.1 ppg 201 points overall 62.1% free-throws (41/66) Photo by Molly Burns
Julius Rosa 9.6 ppg
(left) Zach Elcano, 12, and Christian Grey, 11, shoulder bump in the pregame tradition in order to hype up the team. (right) Chauncey Beckett, 11, drives towards the basket in a 64-49 victory against the Herndon Hornets.
182 points overall 69.4% free-throws (43/66) Mark Gibson 5.1 ppg 112 points overall 75% free-throws (33/44) CJ Hill 7.3 ppg 153 points overall 64% free-throws (32/50)
At the end of the 2012 regular season for the boys basketball team, the playoffs are on the minds of the players and coaches alike. “We just want to keep working at getting better and we want to show the region that we are the best,” guard Mark Gibson,12, said The 11-0 run that the team achieved at the end of the season has cleared a path and has shown the Bulldogs what is necessary in order to achieve the state championship goal.
However, the team realizes that, the way it competed in the regular season does not reflect the way that the team will compete throughout the playoffs. With so many factors that could affect the game play of the team as a whole, the coaches have made it clear that the season is not close to over. “The coaches are tough on us, constantly pushing us and never let us take a practice off, but we know it is so we can get better as a team,” Gibson said. Other factors that
contribute to the teams success is the leadership and the experience of several players on the team. During practices and throughout games, captains, Quentin Basil, 12, and Zach Elcano, 12, have motivated and pushed the team during practices to ensure a win against its opponents. “The captains bring energy to practice by working hard every day to get better, because we need to get better than the game before,” Samuel Clark, 10, said.
Along with overall team success, Basil has experienced personal success, with his accomplishments on the court. With a 10.1 points per game average, and a 62.1 percent free throw attempt average, Basil has achieved the Concorde District Player of the Year award. “I was really excited that I won this award and I have to thank my entire team for helping me win it. I was honestly shocked, because I thought Will Ferguson [from Herndon] was going to get it,”
Quentin Basil, 12, said. Despite the personal success the team has experienced, the main goal for the players is to compete as a team rather than worry about individual performances and accolades. “We always try to get the ball in to Zach. Our guards Julius and CJ are a threat from the perimeter as well, and we make our opponents respect our outside game. We are a threat with the ball anywhere on the court,” Gibson said. -Dylan Brown
Richardson Dominates Shot Put Competition, Advances to Regionals
Photo courtesy of Ed Lull
Anthony Richardson, 11, throwing at the Concorde District Tournament, winning first place.
After ending the season with a 44-02 feet personal record, Anthony Ricahrdson, 11, dominated the shot put competition at the district tournament. “It was a great feeling, [to win] I was so exhausted by the end of it. I was losing at first but I tried my hardest to come back and it was great to comeback and win,” Richardson said. Richardson started throwing when he was a freshman and has helped the boys track and field team advance to the regional tournament. “I started my freshman year thanks to one of my friends. At first I couldn’t compete because of my grades, but I pushed myself to get my grades up,” Richardson said. “Since I’m so big, I can really throw the shot put far.” Richardson has taken a lot of time to master and perfect his throwing skill. “I’m always trying to
get better, by getting my technique down right and just to keep motivated on it],” Richardson said. The boys track and field team placed first at districts with the help of Richardson’s first place in the shot put competition. “It was pretty fun to be a part of it and see him win that category, especially since we haven’t been very good for the past few years. It is nice to see all of our hard work pay off from previous seasons,” Justin Little, 12, said. Richardson’s hard work and competitiveness has caught the eye of many of his peers. “Tony’s put in a lot of hard work over the past couple of years, especially in the weight room as he hasn’t taken a practice off this season. He has really impressed us this season,” Little said. Along with Richardson, Little helped the field
aspect of the track team as he placed second in the high jump and triple jump. “It felt really good, and
it was a great feeling to help the team in two of the field events,” Little said. -Luke O’Roark
statistics Pole Vault: Alex Krall, District Finalist 12-00 High Jump: Justin Little, District Finalist 6-01 Triple Jump: Justin Little, District Finalist 44-01.5 Shot Put: Tony Richardson, District Champion 44-02 Lia Sumner, Season Best 31-04.5 Long Jump: Marquice Garvey, Season Best 18-06 Caleb McOain, Season Best 17-02.25
february 17, 2012
Girls Basketball Finishes Season In Disappointment Following a tough trip through regular season Concorde district play, the Bulldogs finished the season in disappointing fashion, losing in the first round of the district tournament. “It’s been better than last year but we’re still not satisfied,” Lauren Hayden, 12, said. The team made changes on both sides of the ball in an effort to be more successful. The team began to play more 1-3-1 zone in an effort to slow down the game and create more turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. On the offensive end, the team started to become much more methodical and only shot on the perfect shot. “The changes we’ve made have been starting to work better,” Maggie McInturff, 12, said. In the first round of the district tournament, the Bulldogs took on rival Centreville for the third time this season. The team kept the game close the entire first half, trailing by only one point at the end of the second quarter.
But in the second half they were outscored 16-8 leading to the 36-27 loss. This loss prevented the team from advancing to the regional tournament for the first time since the 2007-2008 season. “We lost to a good team; it’s always tough to beat a team three times in one season. I thought we played well defensively, but we struggled to fin-
ish on offense. Overall, I thought we had a pretty good season,” head coach, Pat Deegan, said. Despite the changes in the lineup and in the game plan the team fell to rival Oakton Cougars on senior night to drop their overall record to 12-10. Senior captains Hayden and McInturff were honored before their final home game of the
regular season. Unfortunately the team could not sustain the rally and lost 51-34 to the Cougars. “We’ve definitely improved defensively and rebounding-wise. By forcing them to call two timeouts in the fourth quarter I felt we ended the game on a positive note,” Deegan, said. The Bulldogs strug-
gled to contain Oakton’s offense, while the offense outside of Julianne Abruzzo, 11, who had 10 points, struggled to convert from the field. With the Bulldogs play beginning to trend downward the team rolled into Centreville and stole an emotional overtime win 36-34 over Centreville. This marked the first time in two years that the Bull-
Photos by Courtney Mecimore
(left) Meghan DiPippa, 11, guards an Oakton defender at the perimeter. (right) Missy Ziegler, 11, dribbles around a defender.
dogs have swept the season series with the Wildcats and secured the 11th straight winning season for the program. “We played pretty well throughout the game, then we finished strong down the stretch” Meghan DiPippa, 11, said. Implementing the new changes on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor led to a bit of an adjustment period in a 45-36 loss to district rival Robinson. The Bulldogs had a difficult time finding open players from the floor on offense and could not contain the Robinson attack on the defensive side of the ball side of the ball. The team struggled to stop penetration into the lane, a leading factor to 18 free throw attempts for the Rams leading to the 9 point loss. “Coach [Deegan] said we needed to blow them up earlier on and we brought a lot of energy but we just couldn’t finish” Ashley Little, 10, said. -Patrick Deegan
Jeremy Lin Brings Hope To Struggling High School Athletes ing his high school team, Palo Alto, to a 32-1 record and now leading the struggling 15-15 Knicks to a seven game winning streak with 26 points and 8 assists per game. Lin has showed the world an old, valuable lesson about sports and life in general: hard work pays off in the end. Even if you’re a bench player on a varsity sport or a superstar for a travel team, your efforts and the overcoming of adversity will help you in the end.
Many athletes, including myself, gave up on sports because of the lack of appreciation and evaluation for all players on a sports team, just like how scouts in the NCAA and NBA treated Lin. That is the fascinating thing about Lin. In an age when everything, from sports to school, are closely observed with a microscope, there are still people out there that do great things and are overlooked. The only thing that
kept Lin going was his work ethic and determination. No one gave him a chance when 120 other players where chosen in front of him in the NBA draft, but he still strived to be in the sport he loved. Similar to All-Pro quarterback Tom Brady, Lin was too “average” to play with the Lebron’s and Dwayne Wade’s of today, but still never gave up on his dream. This is a mind set that athletes in high school should carry with them
when the going gets tough. Sometimes athletes at the lower level need someone like Lin or even last year’s NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, to look up to and to remind them that they are better than they think they are. To many student-athletes these days look up to the wrong people and by the time they get to the professional level, if they even get there, act like knuckleheads. Many athletes, specifi-
cally professional, these days want to act like they are the greatest thing since slice bread and mock fantastic games that were made many years ago and finally a correct role model for athletes has come along. Lin’s story of early struggles should be listened to by every player at Westfield because it goes beyond just about basketball, it gives people a reason to keep their head up. -Luke O’Roark
boys lacrosse starts its season against Woodgrove high school in a scrimmage
girls tennis plays South Lakes for its first scrimmage of the season at home
softball plays the Madison high Warkhawks in its final scrimmage before regular play
girls lacrosse plays the Langley Saxons in the girl’s home opener
girls soccer kicks off the season taking on Loudoun County high with a home scrimmage
girls lacrosse begins its season with a scrimmage taking on the Bruins of Lake Braddock
baseball scrimmages against the Stone Bridge Bulldogs, the first home event of the season
boys soccer takes on Freedom High School in its regular seasonopener at home
girls soccer takes on the Woodson Cavaliers for its first home game of the regular season
boys lacrosse hosts the annual Bulldog Face-Off Classic playing Battlefield in the first game
With the rise of New York Knick’s point guard Jeremy Lin, or “Linsanity”, players all across the nation now have something to keep their spirits up and continue to strive in his or her sport. Lin, a graduate from Harvard University and an undrafted free agent, was an unknown Asian basketball player who was never given the chance to play in a Division I college program in the NCAA or for a playoff team in the NBA, despite lead-
events feb. 20 all spring sports begin
baseball plays its home-opener against Woodbridge High
24 volume 12, issue 6
hey juniors– time to get started!
Top Six Questions about the SAT and ACT 1.
How do I know which test is best for me? Compare your percentile score from each. (In other words, you have to take BOTH to know.)
Do all colleges accept the ACT? BREAKING NEWS! More colleges now accept the ACT than the SAT.
Should I take the ACT? YES! About 33% of students score BETTER on the ACT!
Does this mean I DON’T have to take the SAT? NO! About 33% of students DON’T score better on the ACT. (The other third score about the same.)
What’s the difference between the tests? Top score? Penalty for wrong answers? How long does the test take? Number and length of sections? Contains Reading, Writing, Math, and Essay?
36 NO ALL morning (about 200 minutes) 5 sections: each 30 minutes or more YES
2400 YES ALL morning (about 200 minutes) 10 sections: each 25 minutes or less YES
6. Can Mindworks help me do my best? YES!
DON’T WAIT to register! Classes fill quickly!!! Class Schedule for the May 2012 SAT (Registration form online now) Test Class Day: Class Time: Start Date: End Date: Date: (Choose one) May 5 Sunday April 29 9AM-12PM March 25 5 Sunday 25 FULL April 29 12PM-3PM May CLASS FULL CLASS FULL March CLASS May 5 Sunday April 29 3PM-6PM March 25 May 5 Tuesday 3PM-6PM March 27 May 1
No need for another class! Take our one-day ACT Seminar and use everything you learned in SAT class (plus a few additional strategies and concepts) to ROCK the ACT! ACT Test Class Day: Course Time: Date (Choose One)
Saturday, May 19
Saturday, May 19
No class Tuesday, April 3 or Sunday, April 8 due to Spring Break
703-250-6882 Call or go online to register!