PINK AND PURPLE The junior girls dominated the seniors 24-13 on March 14 at the 75th annual Powderpuff game. See pages 3, 8, and 9 for additional coverage.
Academic Decathlon competes in state contest in Sacramento By Jordan Xiao Staff Writer South Pasadena High School’s Academic Decathlon team left for Sacramento on Thursday, March 20 to attend the California Academic Decathlon competition. The nine decathletes will compete in seven multiple choice and three open-ended tests themed around the First World War to determine their qualification for the national round. The SPHS team made a strong showing at the Los Angeles County competition in late January, taking second place overall behind Mark Keppel High School. The team is currently ranked tenth in the state. Despite being only a second-year team with one senior, decathlon coach Mr. Oliver Valcorza has high hopes for the state-level competition. “We’ll be facing the giants of LAUSD again at state, so I expect us to perform similarly as we did in county,” Valcorza said. “My goal for the team is to remain as one of the top 20 programs in California.” The team has worked hard for the last few weeks. Ex-
Testing the SAT: Will changes to the SAT make it fairer, or will it remain a test of privilege?
tra focus was placed on the essay event, in addition to Language and Literature, Science, and Social Science. The team practiced until 7 p.m. on weeknights and attended weekend practice sessions from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. “The team did really well at county last year, but we’re still young and not at the level of the top schools,” honors competitor junior Elise Matsusaka said. “The good thing is that we’ve grown really quickly and we’ve been getting better even in the last few weeks.” Results from the state competition will be announced Sunday, March 23 and AcaDeca will return from Sacramento the next day. Regardless of their scores, the decathletes are confident they will gain valuable experience by competing at a higher level. “We may not go as far as we hope to in state, but we’re still going to learn a lot from the experience and we’ll do exponentially better next year,” junior Oscar Garcia said. Although the theme of next year’s competition will not be announced until May, Academic Decathlon has already started preparing for its next successful season.
5 PAG E
Three seniors selected as Presidential Scholar candidates By Alexander Nakagawa Staff Writer Seniors Alison Farrar, Rhian Moore, and Michael Ruan were announced in early March as candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars program. The three were chosen to represent South Pasadena High School as a part of the 3,000 students selected by the program nationwide. 500 semifinalists will be selected by a board of educators, and Farrar, Moore, and Ruan will be no-
tified in late March. If they advance as semifinalists, they will then wait until April, when 121 finalists will be selected. The application process requires several components and applications can only be acquired through invitation to the program. In order to be further considered, program applicants must also submit multiple essays, transcripts, secondary school reports and self-assessments. “It definitely demanded a lot of work and time. I needed to write six essays, to be precise,” Ruan said.
“But besides tons of writing, it was an opportunity to look back and reflect on the experiences that were essential to our last four years.” No SPHS student has qualified as a semifinalist in the history of the program, but having three seniors as candidates is a record for South Pas. “I feel so lucky to have been nominated,” Farrar said. “I don’t think it would have been possible without the support I have had all along from my teachers and friends.”
15 Rachael Garner
Seniors Rhian Moore, Michael Ruan, and Alison Farrar are Presidential Scholar candidates for 2014.
The Spotlight Awards: Juniors and seniors are recognized for visual arts and photography in the Music Center’s competition.
Trying for the repeat: Volleyball seeks to repeat as league champs as they enter Rio Hondo play in stellar form.
Tiger - Friday, MARCH 21, 2014
New superintendent strives to make a difference By Jenna Giulioni Staff Writer When Superintendent Joel Shapiro announced his retirement in September due to health conditions, many were concerned about finding his replacement. The South Pasadena Unified School Board quickly hired The Cosca Group, to find possible candidates to fill Shapiro’s position. Dr. Geoff Yantz, superintendent at the El Segundo Unified School District, had just started his search for a new position when the group found him.
Dr. Geoff Yantz of El Segundo Unified School District will replace Mr. Joel Shapiro as superintendent beginning March 24.
The PTSA will hold a special informational meeting to address the new Common Core standards and curriculum changes for next year. The meeting will be held on March 24 in the SPHS library at 6:30 p.m. for parents and students to attend. /Jenna Giulioni
Dr. Geoff Yantz provides a fresh perspective on how to lead South Pasadena Unified into a new, technological age. Yantz has a doctorate in technology and a focus on communication and collaboration. He will formally
begin his tenure as SPUSD’s new superintendent on March 24. Yantz made the hard decision to leave El Segundo after serving there for 17 years, seven of which he spent as the youngest superintendent in California. Although El Segundo had become his second family, Yantz felt that he had completed his job there and that it was time to make a difference somewhere new. According to Yantz, “the stars aligned,” the position became available, and he saw his opportunity to make a change. “My main priority is to visit as many schools and classrooms as possible,” Yantz said. “I want to hear what inspires people, what they like, and what they don’t like. I really need to find my role.” Yantz was taught the im-
portance of education by his mother, a teacher herself, at a very young age. Despite originally claiming that he would never pursue a career in the field himself, he realized as a young adult that education was his calling. According to Yantz, the internal reward of changing the next generation and making a difference spoke to him. “Before I retired, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to make a positive contribution to another community… I had to put my name in the hat [for the SPUSD superintendent position], and here I am.” Yantz is very proud of the relationships he cultivated in El Segundo and looks forward to doing the same in South Pasadena.
Virtual wins big at Bay Area Trade Show By Rhian Moore Print Managing Editor Virtual Enterprise students left for their final competition in Oakland on March 16 at midnight, and returned on Monday evening with a total of 15 awards. Varsity company Oasis and Junior Varsity companies Level 2 and ZenPow represented South Pasadena High School at the 10th Annual Bay Area Trade Show. The three teams placed in seven out of twelve competitions. Oasis placed in many of the mail-in categories, taking home gold in the 1-Page Advertisement
and Business Card competitions and bronze in Logo Design. Level 2 also won third place in Business Card. These new competitions were part of this year’s many changes to the trade fair, which additionally included student voting for the three Fan Favorites categories at the trade show and breakout sessions for both students and teachers. While SPHS did not have as much luck in the oral competitions, juniors Ryan Chase and Jenny Luo placed second and third, respectively, in the Elevator Pitch Challenge, while Oasis’s Marketing Plan team placed third.
Lena Gavenas recognized as national medalist for “Alien Nation” By Stanley Wu Assoc. News Editor Junior Lena Gavenas received a national gold medal award from Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her persuasive writing piece on immigration reform, “Alien Nation.” Students from all fifty states participated in the competition, submitting works in categories including poetry, novel writing, persuasive writing, photography, and journalism. “This really came as a surprise to me,” Gavenas said. “I’m extremely honored to be recognized alongside great writers, artists, and photographers.” National Medalists of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards must first be selected as Gold Key winners in the regional competition before moving on to nationals. Twenty-six other students from South Pasadena were recognized as regional winners, with six receiving the Gold Key award. Gavenas’s essay, “Alien Nation,” addressed reform to the detention process for illegal immigrants
who have yet to go through the legal system. Gavenas is planning to attend the awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall with other National Medalists later this year to accept her medal, assuming that the event does not conflict with her schedule. Her work will be displayed in ongoing exhibitions hosted by the U.S. Department of Education and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities at colleges affiliated with the competition.
“[Elevator Pitch] was my first solo competition. I didn’t expect to win third place but I was extremely happy with placing third,” Luo said. “I thought SPHS did well overall because we put a lot of effort into our preparations. Virtual Enterprise’s trip to the Bay Area traditionally marks the end of the competition season for most of the program’s students. However, Oasis has one more stop left; the company’s business plan team will travel to New York City this spring break for the 2014 Youth Business Summit and National Business Plan Competition.
Senior Rachel Newhall and junior Kelly Xing review their product catalog at the Bay Area Trade Show on March 17.
Feminists Unite promotes gender equality through bake sale By Jenna Giulioni Staff Writer In an attempt to bring awareness to gender payment discrimination in the workplace, the Feminists Unite club held an ‘equal pay’ bake sale on May 13 and 14 after school. Club members sold brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and muffins outside the main gym for $1 for male students and 75¢ for female students, raising over $150 overall. “We understand that it’s unfair, but women are paid 77¢ to the $1 of their male coworkers and we are trying to show the flip side of that in a way,” club president junior
Suki Sekula said. Proceeds exceeded the club’s expectations. After the first day alone, members had raised around $100. The club donated the proceeds to the National Organization of Women Foundation, a group dedicated to supporting and bringing attention to women’s issues. “It was good to see everyone showing up to support the effort,” club member junior Mia Forman said. The idea for the sale originally came from a picture on Tumblr, a microblogging social media platform, which was found and brought
to the attention of the club by senior Jeremy Reynoso According to Sekula, the sale went through with few problems. “[There were some] guys confused as to why they had to pay more, but then we explained it to them and most understood,” Sekula said. Only two male students, refused to pay the extra quarter for the baked goods.. “I think [the idea] was an excellent way to raise awareness of the issue of the gender wage gap, and I believe that the operation was obviously extremely successful,” Reynoso said.
Average National Salary Distribution by Gender* SPHS Feminists Unite club raises awareness of wage discrepancy among genders
Junior Lena Gavenas won a national gold medal for writing.
*According to the 2012 US Census Bureau
FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 - Tiger
GQ & POWDERPUFF 2014 Additional coverage on pg. 8 and 9
GQ assembly introduces 2014 princes By Madison Amido Staff Writer The 2014 Gentlemen’s Quarterly princes took the stage at the GQ assembly, entertaining the audience with their humorous personalities in the annual reverse Homecoming assembly. Commissioner of Assemblies Marcy Kuo kicked off the assembly on March 14 with a rendition of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie,” to warm up the crowd. Associated Student Body members introduced the GQ nominees with a unique Hunger Games themed video, depicting the nominees fighting for the coveted title of GQ King.
The introduction of the court began with freshman Hayden Campbell’s entrance, followed by sophomore David Espinoza, and junior Adam Espinoza. Senior GQ nominees Elliot Davis, Brandon Huff, and William MacTavish, were also escorted to the stage. Kuo and Commissioner of Spirit Natalie Crespo conducted an interview session. Crespo asked the court members what their ideal date would be and if they had any hidden talents. Davis jokingly chose April 20th as his ideal date, saying that, “it’s not too hot, not too cold, and perfect for a light sweater,” while Huff surprised the crowd and showed off his hidden
talent of opening a bottle of coke with a dollar bill. Various pep performances also occurred at the assembly and representatives from the junior and senior Powderpuff game spoke on behalf of their respective teams. The assembly also featured the prom reveal video, which unveiled the location at the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion on May 10. Themed “Across the Universe,” the junior class officers will be responsible for planning the event. Tickets will go on sale on April 14 in the student bank.
Juniors trump seniors 24-13 By Julian Prime Staff Writer The annual Powderpuff game between the school’s junior and senior girls took place last Friday night, ending with the juniors upsetting the seniors, 24-13. The juniors were carried to victory by star running back Julia Primuth, who ran well over 100 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Junior running back Alyssa Carlos had a great opening drive, highlighted by a stupendous 25yard run. Primuth made her debut with a splash, taking one of
her first carries for a 70-yard gain. Primuth would eventually carry it in for a touchdown. The seniors answered back as running back Chelsea Hong took the ball to the end zone almost effortlessly. The seniors converted the extra point and went up 7-6. The second quarter began with a senior turnover on the goal line. Primuth took advantage of this with another 30yard run. Carlos had a wonderful run, speeding past defenders on her way to a touchdown. “It feels like an accomplishment,” junior captain Kelly Lake said. “We went out there and
showed them up.” Despite throwing an early interception, the seniors played lights out defense in the third, giving them momentum to drive down the field and score. Now down 13-12, the juniors answered right back as Carlos took the ball and scored another touchdown early in the fourth. Hong ran an astounding 75-yard touchdown run in retaliation only to be called back on a holding penalty. After this pivotal play, the seniors’ spirits were crushed. The junior team ran out the rest of the game, ending on top with a score of 24-13.
MacTavish crowned GQ The halftime show began with a stunning performance by the manleaders, who danced to a series of songs including “Timber” by Pitbull, “Talk Dirty” by Jason Derulo, and “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen. Following a cover of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” performed by senior Justin Park,
the 2014 Gentleman’s Quarterly Court was introduced. The princes from each grade, escorted by a parent, were given the spotlight as the game announcers read their brief biographies. At the end of halftime, senior Will MacTavish was crowned as the GQ King. /Jason Wang
Tiger - Friday, March 21, 2014
The COllege Files 2014
The College Files 2014
Pierce Deamer GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
RUBY MULLER Lehigh UNIVERSITY Major: Undecided Type: Early Decision Muller will be participating in a fiveyear master’s program in elementary education at Lehigh. “I liked the feeling of the campus and the people, and it’s a really good school. I’m looking forward to the whole college experience and not being in South Pasadena!”
Major: Economics Type: Athletic Signing Deamer plans to study international affairs, and chose George Washington for its programs and internships. “I’ve always wanted to go east, but water polo is mainly a West Coast sport. It’s nice to be able to go with what I’ve wanted from the start.”
SONNY AN UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
DANIELLE KRIEGER WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY Major: Undecided Type: Early Decision Though Krieger is undecided in her major, she is considering neuroscience or psychology and plans to double major in another language. “Wesleyan is beautiful. There are sleeping pods in the library for you to take a nap - I thought that was very cool! I’m looking forward to discovering more about myself there.”
Major: Advertising Type: Early Action Business, communications, and photography find a common ground in UIUC’s advertising program. “I was looking into the Midwest because my dad was called into Illinois and we didn’t want to be far apart. UIUC fit what I was looking for.”
JENNIFER ORR BRYN MAWR COLLEGE
PATRICIA SAN PEDRO UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Major: Biology Type: Early Decision Orr is most excited about getting to know the people at Bryn Mawr, which is a member of the Seven Sisters and three other consortiums: Bi-Co, TriCo, and the Quaker Consortium. “What I love about Bryn Mawr is that it’s so big on traditions: Hell Week, Lantern Nights, things that make you feel wanted and part of the school.”
Major: Gerontology Type: Merit Scholarship San Pedro may be going to a large school, but the gerontology program is close-knit - only forty students large. “Other than pursuing my education, I’d love to join USC’s dance. They have a competitive hip-hop team that I met at a competition last week.”
HELENA VAN LOAN BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
MATT CHAN CAL POLY SAN LUIS OBISPO
Major: Psychology Type: Athletic Signing Van Loan received a partial scholarship to Baylor and committed to the university, where she will be doing crosscountry and track, on Signing Day. “I chose Baylor because it was a great opportunity for me. The people I met were really nice - even in the first hour I could sense that the community was very open and embracing.”
Major: Mechanical Engineering Type: Regular Decision Chan just signed to Cal Poly SLO this Tuesday. In addition to joining the marching band and drumline, he hopes to take advantage of this new location by going hiking and surfing. “The campus is amazing - like OSS, with mountains and a beach, but a college with a 24-hour Subway.”
With college notification season in full swing, meet a small selection of SPHS seniors who have already finalized their future plans. Page by Rachael Garner and Rhian Moore, Photos by Matt Winkel, Text by Rhian Moore
IF I COULD DO COLLEGE APPLICATIONS OVER AGAIN.. “I would have asked more people to read my essays and give me feedback on them.” “You can’t put all of yourself down on a couple of pieces of paper. I would have taken more time to be introspective and identify how my high school experience reflected who I was.” “I would have done more research from the beginning and been more selective about my college list. It would have saved more time and resulted in higher quality essays.” “I would have done my applications so much earlier instead of procrastinating! The most useful thing you can do is start early.”
3/21 UCLA Claremont McKenna Bowdoin Santa Clara University
3/22 Mount Holyoke Boston University Occidental Middlebury
3/28 Johns Hopkins Carnegie Mellon Emory Washington and Lee Swarthmore Rice Boston College Amherst
COMMITTED 3/27 UC Berkeley Princeton Columbia Yale 4/1 Stanford NYU Vanderbilt Tulane
3/25 Scripps Fordham Olin Wellesley 3/26 USC Barnard Whitman Vassar Mount Holyoke Pepperdine Wesleyan Tufts
Friday, March 21, 2014 - Tiger
ravo to Mrs. Deedler’s pregnancy! Although we’re not sure how math is going to explain how one plus one equals three.
ravo to the women who played in Pow-
derpuff. It was great to finally see a real football team playing on the Roosevelt Field.
to March. With a potential war in Europe, a 4.4 magnitude earthquake, and Elliot in Saturday School, talk about March Madness. ravo
By Heather Vaughan Senior Staff Writer
to having prom under the Endeavor. We were hoping for prom on the Malaysian jet, but this is a close second. ravo
to the selfie at the GQ assembly. Let’s not pretend that you’re Lupita Nyong’o’s brother. oo
The Tiger Established 1913
CSPA Gold Medalist 2005 CSPA Gold Medalist 2006 CSPA Gold Medalist 2009 CSPA Gold Medalist 2010 CSPA Gold Medalist 2011 CSPA Gold Medalist 2013 Editor-in-Chief Rachael Garner Managing Editors Rhian Moore, Print Remeny White, Online News Shine Cho, Editor Stanley Wu, Associate Editor Opinion David Yang, Editor Petra Barbu, Associate Editor Feature Sarah Stukan, Editor Somi Jun, Associate Editor Sports Clem Witherall, Editor Andrew Shults, Associate Editor Copy Editors Leo Parker IV Jenny Wang Photography Matthew Winkel, Editor Siria Medina, Associate Editor Photographers Sophia Arriola, Raj Jain, Stephanie Kim Senior Staff Writer Heather Vaughan Staff Writers Madison Amido, Kira Gabriel, Jenna Giulioni, Madeline Hellwig, Karen Hsueh, Kea Hudson, Brandon Kim, Ross Lelieur, Alexander Nakagawa, Julian Prime, Joey Shapiro, Asa Silverman, Jason Wang, Jordan Xiao Staff Illustrators Dylan Anselmo, Spenser Atlas, Annie Lu Managers Marcy Kuo, Ads Emily Markese, Business Webmaster Michael Xu Faculty Advisor Mike Hogan
Vol. C. No. VI distributed on March 21, 2014. Distribution: 1519 students; 70 community. 1700 copies printed. Distributed by Tiger staff free of charge.
Test of privilege, not merit Staff Editorial Elite, Kaplan, Princeton Review, Revolutionary Prep. Chances are, you’ve used one of these services to study for the SAT. The recently announced changes to this test are part of CollegeBoard’s efforts to level the playing field and lessen the effectiveness of test prep. The foundation of the exam, however, continues to reward students from high-income families who can afford expensive coaching. To say that the SAT does not reflect natural intelligence at all is not entirely true. No matter how much money a student’s parents spends on test prep, a student cannot boost his or her SAT score from a 1100 to a 2000 without the necessary intellectual capacity. Yet it is equally unlikely that one’s ability to memorize bizarre words is a predictor of academic achievement in college. The correlation between a student’s score and his or her family income is too strong to ignore, and the problem is too deeply rooted in the structure of the SAT for a few changes to make a significant difference. The exam is disconnected from high school curriculum, making test prep and its unclear tips and tricks necessary for a decent score. The Princeton Review summarizes the SAT in a single sentence at the beginning of each of its prep books: “The SAT measures one thing, and one thing only: how good you are
Low GQ voter turnout is troubling
Tiger is produced by the advanced journalism newspaper class at South Pasadena High School, 1401 FremontAve, South Pasadena, CA 91030. Layout and photo imaging are completed on-site. Printed by American/Foothill Publishing Co., Inc., Tujunga, CA.
By Kira Gabriel Staff Writer
Signed articles appearing in Tiger represent the writer’s opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, student body, faculty or administration of SPHS.
GQ voting was nothing short of an embarrassment for the general student population this year. Granted, the online voting was “inconvenient” because students were forced to actively seek out the polling site rather than have someone shove ballots around during fourth period, but neither the small nuisance of voting nor the negligible consequences justify the paltry number of ballots cast. People have literally died for the right
Contact the publications office at (626) 441-5820 ext. 2615 between 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. for advertising rates and subscriptions. Tiger welcomes articles, letters or rebuttals for publication in the print and online editions. All letters must be signed and verifiable, but names will be withheld upon request. Tiger Newspaper’s mission is to provide a reliable news outlet for SPHS and the local community. Through a variety of coverage, Tiger empowers/enables students to think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, solve problems, set and reach goals, and work cooperatively and independently as responsible citizens. Tiger is a forum for student free speech, in accordance with California Ed Code 48907.
at taking the SAT.” The average score for 2013 collegebound seniors from families earning $20,000 or less was 1326, whereas students whose families earn upwards of $200,000 every year scored almost 400 points higher on average. The imbalance can be attributed to one factor: whether you are wealthy enough to afford test prep. These services cannot be utilized by the people who do not have the money or time— primarily students from lower-class families. If a standardized test is necessary to determine proficiency and predict success, it needs to prove itself beneficial to the student. Drilling arcane words and memorizing the formula for a 25-minute essay are useless. The test needs to reinforce potential over privilege through a structure that assesses what students have already learned and connects it to fundamental skills needed for college success, making it less susceptible to the test prep industry. Colleges say their applicants are more than just a number to them, but this particular number is a tempting shortcut to evaluate one as a student. It perpetuates a situation that further bars poorer students from these schools. Education should be a right, not a privilege, and future success should be determined by academic progress, not a onetime standardized test.
All successful corporations actively seek the input of their customers in order to improve their services. However, at South Pasadena High School, it is not common for teachers to ask students for feedback on their teaching. Businesses recognize the benefits of this discourse, and SPHS should do the same. SPHS must establish a standardized system so that students can actively contribute positive and constructive comments to their teachers. California Senate Bill 1422 gives a governing body at a school the right to develop a studentteacher feedback system, and SPHS students should take advantage of this right. Not all SPHS teachers actively seek out student feedback for self-improvement, which makes it difficult for students to find a platform to express their concerns. Under SB 1422, student feedback belongs to teachers and is private from administration, and comments given to teachers cannot legally be used in teacher evaluation. Therefore, teachers can be open to receiving students’ reactions without worrying about negative criticisms affecting their job security. Teachers can disregard unreasonable comments,and use positive and constructive observations to improve and share effective practices with other teachers. These assessments will promote growth and help teachers gain new perspective, functioning as a resource rather than as a punishment. However, the feedback situation still remains stagnant. Because no established system for feedback currently exists, teachers must create their own guidelines, which can be time-consuming and difficult. Additionally, since seeking student opinions is not the norm, teachers may be hesitant to engage in the unknown. In order to combat this issue, a governing body at SPHS must utilize its right to develop feedback criteria that becomes available to teachers. Once guidelines exist, teachers will be more inclined to seek student commentary on a regular basis, and students will willingly participate as well because they will have a safe and anonymous way to voice their opinions. Helping students take ownership of their education will make SPHS an environment more conducive to student engagement and empowerment. Teachers will refine their teaching methods and teacher-student communication will become more fluid, helping student success and satisfaction to rise and reestablishing students as the primary stakeholders in their education.
to vote. Wars have been fought, and are being fought, over suffrage; less than 100 years ago women gained voting rights in this country. To disregard the history and power behind suffrage simply because of the bothersome voting forum is nothing other than unqualified disrespect and unadulterated laziness. It is easy to belittle the individual voter in elections, as one vote rarely determines an election, but the entire voting system requires a majority of eligible voters to vote. If the majority of voters remains apathetic, the minority of active voters has a disproportionate
control. Initially, nine percent of the freshmen class voted for GQ nominees. That nine percent had complete control over the nominees, and there is no way that tiny percentage could accurately represent the freshman class. Voting habits need to improve, especially for the upcoming commissioner elections. Commissioners have actual influence over school life next year, and it’s vital that each student vote for the candidates who would do the best job for their respective positions. It’s not too much to ask to vote for the people who will represent the student population.
Tiger - Friday March 21, 2014
A welcome change to the SAT By Petra Barbu Assoc. Opinion Editor Tiger has printed countless articles about the SAT, and few, if any, have been kind. It’s not a true measure of a student’s ability, discriminates against those who can’t afford, and causes unnecessary stress. But, for once, we’re impressed (well, except for the article to the right). College Board has listened, and has created a test that’s bridged the gap between what students learn in high school and what they’re expected to know, what they’re prepared for and what they’re presented with. For once, it’s a test that’s not about tricks or strategies, but rather has embarked on a shocking, revolutionary ideal—actually testing students on what they should know. That means cutting out ridiculous vocabulary words that most college courses don’t involve, putting a more narrow focus on mathematic sections rather than an unrelated mishmash of trick questions and scattered topics, and basing the newly optional essay on analyzing a text, not on inventing historical events to support an extremely polarized opinion on an arbitrary existential question. Eliminating the dreaded guessing penalty allows students to try their hand at questions they may not completely understand, rather than opting not to try or answer questions out of fear that it’ll count against them. The elimination of elements that made it almost purely a strategy based test makes a competitive score one that doesn’t depend on exorbitant spending to “crack
the SAT”. It’s decidedly a fairer test, but doesn’t water down the material. Instead, it trades absurd testing information that most students will only learn and use on the SAT for a broader, more conceptual type of question that mirrors the Common Core standards. The logical linking of high school based knowledge with an exam that tests high school students will theoretically fill in the cracks that only s t u d e n t s p r iv i leged with certain resources were privy to. This reduces both a significant amount of financial pressure as well as the augmented stress that comes with the pressure to perform at a certain level if you’ve shelled out hundreds of dollars on preparation. The new SAT clearly isn’t a miraculous solution that’ll make the college application process suddenly flawless, but it’s without a doubt a step in the right direction. There’s no perfect algorithm or sorting hat to measure and grade exactly what kind of a student someone is, but with substantial changes that address discrepancies in the testing material and even the playing field, the new SAT is just about as close as it can get.
Don’t fix what is not broken practicality as admissions tests, as an easy test does not serve as a measure of any useful attribute in a student. As mentioned, the loss of the difficult and obscure vocabulary on the SAT is detrimental to colleges vetting potential students. Though knowing the widely-used vocabulary that the SAT will now stress is important, colleges should be interested in knowing whether or not candidates are capable of producing words more complex than “empirical.” Additionally, as the SAT will now assume that a student is capable of producing all of the words on the test (for those who cannot afford to study), it is setting low standards that do not promote striving for greater achievement. Removing the guessing penalty will also put into doubt students’ real scores, as colleges now have little way of knowing whether scores reflect true knowledge or lucky guesses. The only way to work around this would be to give a certain amount of space on either side of a student’s score to account for possible guesses, which would leave students where they were before, since a score improved by guessing would be cast into doubt. This would also hurt students who genuinely received excellent scores, as their results would be no less suspect. The principle of the redesigned SAT – a close relationship with curricula, equal opportunity for wealthy and disadvantaged students, content significant in college life – is something none can argue against. The changes coming in 2016, however, will not deliver on these promises, but rather cause more efficacy issues for an already beleaguered test.
By Ross Lelieur Staff Writer Though the sweeping changes coming to the SAT in 2016 have generated much excitement, not much attention has been paid to the detrimental effects it will have on colleges and students. T h e changes will include revamping the essay as well as making it optional, replacing the infamous SAT vocab words with easier, more useful ones and removing some advanced conDylan Anselmo cepts on the math sections. The exam will also return to a 1600 point scale, and remove the guessing penalty. Soon after the ACT surpassed the SAT as the most-taken test in the United States in 2012, College Board announced that changes would be coming to the SAT to compensate for the shortcomings that students perceived in its difficulty. Essentially, College Board made its test easier to compete with the ACT. The danger in this is that both tests will continue to make themselves more attractive by cutting sections and becoming less complicated. This would diminish their
Tiger Newspaper Asks:
The SAT is changing. The extensive vocabulary list will be whittled down, the writing section will be made optional, and the guessing penalty will be eliminated. How do you feel about the changes being made to the SAT? Anonymous, Grade 12 I think students are too quick to disregard the validity and necessity of standardized tests such as the SATs (which, for the record, is administered by a not-for-profit organization). Instead of acknowledging that the College Board is revamping its test to better assess critical skills and offering free prep courses, the consensus is “No matter how many changes are made, it’s still going to be a pointless test.” Instead of complaining, recognize that the SAT, just like the ACT and AP tests, is the most reasonable way of testing the critical thinking abilities of millions of students every year. Kristen Kafkaloff, Grade 10 I think that these changes are an improvement to the previous SAT because this will be a better test of knowledge rather than the current test which is primarily a test measuring one’s test taking skills. The SAT should primarily test a students knowledge and should not require the students to prepare for and strategize how to take the test. The current form of the SAT includes ridiculous words that no one would ever use in daily life and anyone can do well on the test as long as they
do some extensive form of preparation on how to take the test, when the test really should just measure a students current knowledge which can likely be solved with the new changes to the test. Alex Kim, Grade 11 Though many people complain that the SAT will now be too easy, it is still the same test in a different skin. Prestigious colleges will still “strongly recommend” the essay, the multiple choice problems will be still hard, and the scores will still be the same scale, no matter if it’s 2400 or 1600. The changes made to the SAT didn’t really make it a more accurate model of college curriculum; it made it a more similar test to the ACT. In terms of eliminating “learning the tricks,” these changes don’t really do the job. There will always be a way to figure out the tricks for any standardized test. Joanna Wan, Grade 11 Changing the SAT doesn’t necessarily solve the problems in our nation. The SAT is “designed to assess your academic readiness for college.” But this test has failed to meet its goal because it does not predict students’ ability and performance in
colleges. Now, by making it easier, it steps further away from its goal. Moreover, the optional essay would not work out since competitive colleges still want to see the essay, just like how they require the essay for students who are taking the ACT. By the way, letting students to take the test on computers does not sound like a good idea since 1) people can open applications within and cheat; and 2) power outages and other incidents can impact the test scores. Elliot Davis, Grade 12 In recent years the ACT has become a more appealing option to students than the SAT. This is because the ACT offers an optional writing test and has no guessing penalty. College Board (a privately run association that makes the SAT) has responded to this by simplifying the SAT, making it more appealing to take instead of the ACT. This is a clever move by College Board because when more people take the SAT, College Board Dylan Anselmo makes a larger profit. Henry Sue, Grade 12 The SAT will always be the SAT no matter how the format changes. To colleges, it’s just a measure of how
well you can prepare and take a test. Granted, with the more forgiving format, there isn’t much strategy left but to just take the test. However, though the test may be easier, it’s easier for everyone else, so how you would have scored on the test is still similar to how you are going to score with the new format, in relation to others. Oh, and the optional essay? They might as well have left that mandatory, as any competitive college applicant is sure to take it. Angelica Navarro, Grade 9 As someone who hates taking tests, the changes being made to the SAT sound pretty nice. There’s already enough pressure as it is to do well on these tests, and for them to make it slightly easier makes it less unnerving—for instance, making the writing portion optional. Short essays are a pain and are very time consuming. But, now that that standard is no longer necessary I won’t have to stress too much about the SAT (writing is a weakness of mine). So, with that said, I’m glad they decided to alter the SAT a bit. On a side note, I don’t think this decision is going to create any negative effects on students. I don’t see how it could.
Friday, March 21, 2014 - Tiger
A return to fact-driven feminism By David Yang Opinion Editor The evolution of popular feminist discussion has shifted away from arguments that explicitly denounce the inequality that exists between men and women. This expansion away from the central premise of inequality and into the realm of theory comes prematurely at a time when the public has not yet internalized the realities of inequality that exist. If anything, the “legitimate rape” that recently made a foray into the realm of “legitimate” politics is powerful evidence that the basic notion of women’s rights has not yet taken root in American society and that an emphasis on the fundamental facts and statistics surrounding inequality must be continually revived and eventually cemented at the heart of the feminist discussion. The increasingly esoteric discussions surrounding rape culture, slut shaming, and the objectification of women are all useful in the quest to better define sexual equality in all aspects of life. However, these arguments
often assume that their audience accepts the existence of inequality. Consequently, rather than explicitly and meticulously detailing the legal, social, and psychological nature of rape culture, the term and other terms equally as abstract are often used without reference. While it is tempting to assume that society has moved past the point of having to outline and explicate the existence of sexual inequality, failing to do so makes feminism harder to understand for the skeptical and the uninitiated. This complexity, so vast that it has spurred the creation of women’s studies majors and the authorship of thousands of articles and books, has made feminism nearly impenetrable to the layman initiate with no preexisting condition of interest. The transition of feminist arguments away from the central ideas of equality has once again opened up the debate to those who choose to attack the core principle of feminism: men and women deserve social, economic, and policical equality. Cultural fluency in the facts and figures concerning feminist ideas must be the foundation of feminism. After
A novel idea By Ross Lelieur Staff Writer A common trend of high school libraries, including that of South Pasadena High School is buying books that feature simple and one-dimensional plots and characters. These books are purchased in hopes that they will encourage students to pick up a book and read for pleasure outside of the required English class literature, even if what they read is not of great quality. However, replacing higher quality reading deprives students of the materials that are necessary to advance in reading skill. The purpose of getting students to read is challenging them with new vocabulary, presenting characters and plots that must be more deeply analyzed, and exposing them to unfamiliar situations and views. A glance at the list of the library’s recently purchased books reveals several works that are void of challenging and even vaguely unfamiliar vocabulary. Though the library does make calculated decisions regarding which books it buys, the result is a mix of high and low quality literature. This helps nothing, as students still have the option to read low level books. In purchasing items like these, and placing them front-and-center upon
entrance, the library does no service to the student body. The National High School Center states that 70% of high school students need “some form of remediation” regarding reading proficiency. This number demonstrates what little low quality reading has done for students and will do for students. Instead, the library should focus on stocking the shelves with works that exceed each grade’s reading level. These levels should be goals to be surpassed, not stopping points that are painfully reached just for the purpose of reaching them. The general lack of experience when it comes to actually challenging literature means that some students often struggle with books in English class, as well. An inclusion of books that mirror class reading in difficulty would help shore up the reading skills of students by challenging them to learn, thereby decreasing their English class difficulties. Challenging books will encourage students to grapple with knowledge they otherwise would have missed. The minimal difficulty and blatantly transparent novels featured in libraries make them a haven for the simple minded. Libraries are important centers of reading and learning, and should be stocked in a way that facilitates these purposes.
all, feminism is not an intuition or an instinctive feeling that just “seems right.” Rather, it is the logical conclusion and the ethical path to take in light of the vast body of research that shows the massive inequality that exists between the sexes. Communicating the bare bone facts of sexual inequality to those who doubt its existence is also easier to do with basic statistics instead of a debate about the theories that have arisen from those facts. Refocusing on the rudimentary facts will shift the debate from an emotionally charged argument to a logical discussion of inherently true ideas. The feminist movement is not an endeavor that exhibits great cohesion. Testament to this is the fact that even the term “feminism” itself has come under scrutiny and debate by those who question the word’s ability to accurately convey the complex objectives of the movement. However, the underlying theory must be prominently embossed on the surface of every feminist argument as a touchstone, reminder, and justification of the ultimate goal: equality.
Core classes aren’t essential By Somi Jun Assoc. Feature Editor The arbitrary separation of “core” and “non-core” classes favors those who choose to pursue careers in math and science and stifles the growth of those who choose to pursue the arts. It is common to hear of students dropping out from high school or college to “pursue their dream” in a stereotypically art-related field. Those students don’t receive the artistic preparation and fulfillment they need in high school and put their futures at risk to find it. Electives are supposed to fill these creative gaps, but cannot do so when students and administrators treat them as second-tier courses. Much of the issue is circular: electives aren’t taken seriously because they tend to be less challenging, and they tend to be less challenging because they aren’t taken seriously. For electives to do their job, students need to change their perception of value. An elective’s freedom to specify can be more valuable than the current core learning that centers around math, science, and English language skills. In theory, administrators require core classes because they teach productive skills. These requirements ignore the fact that students have different ideas of productivity. Depending on the person, a
painting can be either the pinnacle of creation or a waste of resources. Imposing requirements on a select few subjects marginalizes the people interested in other fields. Electives, on the other hand, allow students to specialize in fields they find valuable, varying forms of productivity. Electives are to high school what majors are to college: valuable specialization. That said, students need certain foundations in all subjects. However, elite colleges expect academic levels far above these foundations. For students who want jobs in the humanities field, AP math courses are valuable but not foundational. The same goes for students geared towards math: they should have the right to specialize without losing college competitiveness. Colleges determine the nature of SPHS’s education, but that influence should belong to students. Colleges are at the top of Spenser Atlas the thought pyramid, and their opinions trickle down to high schools. Colleges value rigorous academics, so high schools devalue electives. Students need to realize that this is backwards: their definitions of productivity are more important than any high school’s or college’s. No matter the topic, an elective-esque freedom to specialize is valuable, because students determine
Senioritis cured By Remeny White Online Managing Editor
Graduation is in three months. The light at the end of the proverbial high school tunnel looms a measly twelve weeks away, yet seniors continue to claim cases of second semester “senioritis,” which entails skipping school, blowing off homework assignments, and embracing blasé attitudes. Senioritis, however, is illogical. This phenomenon is a perceived lack of responsibilities or motivation among second semester seniors. A common misconception is that stress will cease to exist after college applications and first semester grades have been submitted, but the cruel reality is that nothing changes. Classes retain their levels of difficulty, extracurricular activities require the same dedication, and the nightmare known as applying to college is swiftly replaced by the pressure of financial aid and scholarship applications. Advanced Placement courses even begin to pick up the pace in preparation for testing in May. At a minimum, students need to continue to attend and
pass their classes if they wish to graduate. However, for many students, simply scraping by is not an option. It is illogical to start slacking off after seven semesters of hard work, especially when the end is so tangible. Seniors may no longer possess the drive to fulfill all of their obligations, but ultimately they will accomplish what needs to be accomplished. Standards have not diminished. The myth of senioritis leaves each new batch of seniors vastly unprepared for this demanding environment. The prospect of a blissful, carefree end of high school – which senioritis implies – serves as an incentive for juniors to burn themselves out by the end of the year. This fabricated reward leaves students disillusioned when they realize that second semester of senior year is nothing special. Staying on top of schoolwork and other responsibilities is difficult enough without adding crushed false hope. Although second semester seniors often lose motivation, this fatigue occurs with all students during second semester of every year of high school. It is not a phenomenon specific to second semester senior year. Branding this trend as senioritis is a cruel and flimsy excuse because, ultimately, seniors cannot afford to let their responsibilities slip through the cracks.
Tiger - Friday, March 21, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014 - Tiger
SPHS gentlemen shine on the...
Senior William MacTavish crowned GQ king during halftime
Hayden Campbell (9)
David Espinoza (10)
Brandon Huff (12)
Elliot Davis (12)
Adam Espinoza (11)
POWDERPUFF William MacTavish (12)
“It was all about the game, the adrenaline, and the bonds we made with our teammates. It was an unforgetable time” — Senior Captain Alyssa Mohamadzadeh.
In its annual tradition, SPHS again turned the tables on gender roles and celebrated GQ and Powderpuff last Friday. Six gentlemen strutted down the aisles in classy tuxedos, engaged in an entertaining Q&A session, and competed for the coveted honor of becoming GQ King. That night the juniors and seniors squared off in the Powderpuff football game. The scantily-clad lumberjack manleaders entertained the crowd with well-choreographed routines while the girls carried the football up and down the field. Senior William MacTavish was crowned the 2014 GQ King, and in an unusual turn of events, the juniors beat the seniors 24-13. Page by Rachael Garner Text by Jenna Giulioni Photos by Sophia Arriola, Rachael Garner, Raj Jain, Stephanie Kim, Siria Medina, & Matt Winkel
Feature TIGER - FRIDAY, march 21, 2014
Out and About Quench your thirst with boba tea in front of the main gym today. Both Thai tea and milk tea flavors will be available for only $3, so beat the heat and endorse the school’s Endeavor to create a night to remember. /Somi Jun
Audiences gravitate towards Veronica Mars By Brandon Kim Staff Writer 4/5
Yumai Sone, Sophia Arriola, Hanna Crowley, and Leonardo LeGaspe placed in the 26th annual Spotlight Awards. All four qualified as semifinalists in the visual arts category, while Arriola progressed further to the grand finalist stage.
Spotlight Awards recognizes SPHS artists By Ross Lelieur Staff Writer Out of more than 2500 submissions to the Spotlight Awards, only thirty students received the prestige of placing in the visual arts category. Four of these artists were from SPHS. Senior Yumai Sone, junior Leonardo LeGaspe, and junior Hanna Crowley advanced to semifinals, while senior Sophia Arriola progressed further and currently contends as a grand prize finalist in photography. The Spotlight Awards is a high school arts program hosted by The Music Center in L.A. Its eight categories include fields in music, dance, and visual arts, with $5000 as the grand prize and $4000 for runner-ups. Arriola currently
qualifies as a grand prize finalist, and will walk away from the Spotlight Awards as either first or second place. Her winning photograph, titled “Hanne’s Wall,” shows a small painting of yellow flowers juxtaposed against a gray wall. Despite its position as a winning entry, Arriola called the photo “a spur of the moment shot,” taken during a family vacation in Denmark. Crowley, like Arriola, placed in photography with a tender shot of a newborn in a hospital room. Sone and LeGaspe placed in 2-D Art with a mixedmedia collage of eyes in the form of a person and a line drawing of a complex, semi-mechanical being, respectively. The grand prize winner will be announced on April 26 at the Spotlight
Awards Gala Performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Semifinalists and honorable mentions have already been recognized with smaller scholarships ranging from $100 to $250. To determine the grand prize finalists, a panel of judges interviewed semifinalists to gauge qualities such as artistic voice and originality. The Music Center holds the Spotlight Awards to support young artists. The competition provides feedback for all contestants, whether or not they win. In addition to hosting a competition, the Spotlight Awards offers free workshops for all of its applicants, across all eight fields. “The competition was very encouraging, and helped me make a name for myself,” Arriola said.
Hyped for its record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, the film Veronica Mars provides engaging substance that thoroughly legitimizes the buildup. Through its witty dialogue and suspenseful plotline, the film draws in both fans of the original television show and newcomers alike. Kristen Bell stars as Veronica Mars, a former teenage private eye who returns to her hometown of Neptune, California to help acquit her ex-boyfriend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) of his girlfriend’s murder. Veronica initially plans to leave after choosing a lawyer for Logan, but stays longer to help prove his innocence. Meanwhile, as the story behind the case unfolds, Veronica’s visit plunges from friendly to perilous as she is placed in life-endangering situations. Instead of relying on jokes targeted at experienced fans, the film’s writing stands on its own and appeals to a wider audience. Mars weaves original and creative banter into the storyline, breaking tension from the more serious scenes. At times, the film’s dialogue stretches its PG-13 rating, but this pinch of adult humor keeps audiences interested. Bell masterfully transforms from her innocent princess role as Anna in Frozen to an experienced sleuth, unafraid to show willpower and determination. She and Dohring successfully convey the strain between two ex-lovers reunited after almost a decade of estrangement. In his own right, Dohring expresses Echolls’ conflicted emotions and complements Bell in their tense relationship. In addition to the outstanding cast and writing, the film also features a down-to-earth mystery setting. In an age that popularizes high-tech forensics shows, Mars departs from the norm by showcasing traditional detective tools such as radio bugs, cameras, and fake identifications. Perfect for mystery connoisseurs and laymen alike, Veronica Mars is a thrilling mystery with a clever and classic twist. The merits of the film do not lie in the massive crowdfunding that financed it, but rather its striking combination of cast and script.
Personality Profile: Cesco O’Brien By Kea Hudson Staff Writer Senior Cesco O’Brien is aware that people may be quick to judge his appearance; he’s an avid skateboarder, and, until recently, sported inch-wide ear plugs. “I definitely think people have misconceptions about me,” O’Brien said. “People think that maybe that I’m lacking in motivation, or that I have no plans for my future.” But anyone familiar with O’Brien’s worldly upbringing and drive knows that he does not fit such an archetype. Whether it is through conversation or open discussions in AP Spanish, O’Brien’s big-picture perspective enlivens all who listen. O’Brien grew up thousands of miles from South Pasadena. He was born in Italy, where he lived for five years before moving Siria Medina to the States. Despite residing in Senior Cesco O’Brien has migration down to an art. He grew up California for thirteen years now, in both Italy and California, and plans to attend NYU in the fall. he visits Italy every summer and
still speaks Italian more naturally than English. Similar to his unique sampling of languages, O’Brien has experience in varied fields. His father is a sculptor and a professor at the Art Center in Pasadena, and his mother is a piano teacher and opera singer. O’Brien dabbled in the arts in his earlier years; in middle school, he played guitar for a classic rock band called Wild Youth. However, he has discovered that his niche lies in the more social field of marketing. Last summer, he interned with a marketing company called PromoJam in Venice, Italy. There, he worked to publicize Rihanna’s reality fashion show, Styled to Rock, through tactics such as Twitter campaigns. This once in a lifetime experience helped him realize that he wants to pursue a career in the business side of the music industry. After graduating from SPHS, O’Brien will attend the Gallitan School of Individualized
Study at New York University, where he plans to build his own degree to satisfy his interdisciplinary curiosities. Despite minor trepidation at his first “real” winter and snowfall, O’Brien feels confident that he will enjoy his time at NYU. “I’m really excited about New York,” O’Brien said. “There’s so much I want to learn. In marketing, for example, I want to learn about the psychological aspects of consumer decisions. I’m also very interested in immigration reform, mostly because my mom just got her citizenship and it was a really hard process for her.” While O’Brien has a relaxed demeanor, he is a highly driven individual with ambitious plans for his future. “Cesco has strong linguistic awareness and a curious mind,” AP Spanish teacher Joshua Whitney said. “Cesco is one of the most active participants in my class. He doesn’t hesitate to speak; he just jumps in. He keeps it real.”
Musical cast readies for performances
FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 - Tiger
Personality Profile: Megan Mellon
By Clem Witherall Sports Editor
By Kira Gabriel Staff Writer
Preparations for this year’s spring musical Beauty and the Beast are in full swing as the cast prepares for opening night a little more than a month away. Rehearsals are being held every day from 3 to 5 p.m. as the performers ready for their first-ever Disney musical. The drama department hopes to follow up the highly successful fall play Yellow and expects the family-friendly musical to promote ticket sales. “I expect more sales because it is so familyoriented,” director Mr. Daniel Enright said. “I’m just praying ticket sales will be solid.” Such emphasis on sales has resulted from Beauty and the Beast’s expenses, which have been increased due to the musical’s elaborate costumes and set design. “We have tons of backdrops but still need to search for more stuff to see what I’ll mix in,” Enright said. “It definitely is one of the most expensive musicals I’ve ever put on, as the costumes have to be rented out.” The school’s most experienced theater veterans will head this year’s cast. Senior David Yang is back for his fourth and final South Pasadena musical as he stars as Beast. Yang’s love interest, Belle, will be played by fellow senior Sophie Negrini. All the main male leads will be filled by upperclassmen. Enright had earlier expressed concern about Beauty and the Beast’s complicated dance routines and the large 27-person chorus. However, he is pleased with the professionalism demonstrated by the cast so far. “We have a really good cast, but with such a big chorus there are people still working in terms of vocals,” Enright said. “Our musical choreographer Ms Toth has been a tremendous help and I like what she is doing.” Beauty and the Beast opens on May 2, with two additional shows on May 3 and May 4.
Junior Megan Mellon initially blends in with the rest of the South Pasadena High School student population. However, subtle details distinguish her from her peers: crimped waves may run through her hair, a slight Irish accent may poke out in a word or two, or she may pick up a phone call from her mom and begin chatting fluidly in Bulgarian. Mellon picked up the accent from her Irish father, and her Bulgarian mother speaks to her almost exclusively in Bulgarian. When her parents met in a factory in then-communist Bulgaria, both learned enough of each other’s language to communicate before getting married and moving away. Mellon herself has had a far from pedestrian life. After she was born in Bulgaria, she and her family moved to Virginia, Canada, and Texas before finally settling in California. This constant movement and change of scenery has made Mellon rely heavily on her family. “Friends come and go, but family is always there. My father travels a lot for his job and only comes home every two months for three days,” Mellon said. “It’s a hard life but my mom is strong and has made a good life for [my sister and me]. I owe it all to her when I look at the life I have.” The unpredictability of her living situations and surroundings has not
Junior Megan Mellon grew up in various parts of the United States before moving to California, and plans to attend a university in a foreign country. curtailed Mellon’s ambitious nature. She is the president and founder of the SPHS National Honors Society chapter, a student recognition organization, and already has big plans for her future. Mellon attended the National Student Leadership Conference at the University of California, Berkeley this past summer for an introduction to the medical field, and volunteers regularly at the Huntington Hospital maternity ward. Her strong family foundation has manifested itself into a driving aspiration to one day become an OB/GYN, a medical doctor who specializes in birth and female health.
“It’s honestly the best part of my week. I’m always smiling while wearing my little candy-striped uniform,” Mellon said. Combining her life of travel, love for family, and lofty ambitions, Mellon plans to attend a university in the United Kingdom, and is presently studying for the British equivalent to the SAT. “One time, we were in Buca di Beppo and she just started singing along to a random song playing in there. She told me that she loved it, and it was on her iPod,” junior Olivia Brown said. “I don’t think there’s anyone else quite like Megan at our school.”
Cast List for Spring Musical Le Fou - Lucas Cerejido Cogsworth - Ian Geiberger Monsieur D’Argue - Julius Lam Gaston - Jake Levy Lumiere - Abraham Szilagyi Beast - David Yang Maurice - Andrew Zableckis Chip - Courtney Chu Old Woman/Beautiful Enchantress - Melody Gray Belle - Sophie Negrini Wardrobe - Tru Pierone Babette - Ruby Muller Mrs. Potts - Julia Primuth
Illustrations by Annie Lu
Sophomore Katerina Levandis and freshman Anissa Santos rehearse their chorus roles for the drama department’s spring production.
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TIGER - FRIDAY, mARCH 21, 2014
If you like A Great Big World... Left: American Authors Below: The Icarus Account
A Great Big World’s debut album is unvaried By Karen Hsueh Staff Writer 3/5
...check out these artists!
The indie pop band A Great Big World recently skyrocketed to fame with its romantic ballad “Say Something.” However, the duo’s debut album, Is There Anybody Out There?, strays from the somber atmosphere of its well-known hit in favor of more cheerful and upbeat tunes. Although this liveliness is pleasant in small doses, the overt repetition that dominates the album renders it mildly enjoyable at best and tolerable at worst. As foreshadowed by the immense popularity of “Say Something,” some songs on the album are potential hits. The jazzy, almost whimsical rhythm of “Land of Opportunity” complements the track’s message about starting over, while
“Everyone Is Gay” preaches LGBTQ equality through its catchy chorus. This broad range of themes makes it apparent that A Great Big World creates music not only to establish a fan base, but also to weave stories that inspire its fans. On their own, the tracks on Is There Anybody Out There? stand out amongst the monotony of mainstream pop music. As an album, however, the bubbly melodies simply blur together. The instrumental introductions to “Rockstar” and “I Really Want It” sound like the same notes played with different instruments; these blatant similarities seriously detract from the uniqueness of each individual song. The artists, Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino, each boast distinctive singing styles that differentiate them from other pop singers and juxtapose the album’s repetition. The two embrace the naturally raw qualities
to their voices, opting to forgo the common pop practice of artificially smoothing pitch. This unrefined tone adds a sincere, emotional edge to their songs that shines through the monotony. Paired with the song’s inspirational messages, the album stresses the importance of hope and happiness, which adds meaning to its repetitiveness. Many songs on Is There Anybody Out There? display a surprising amount of skill for relatively new artists, although on a whole, it lacks originality. Heavily featuring piano riffs, driving background music, and strong vocals, Is There Anybody Out There? demonstrates the band’s musical aptitude and serves as a launching off point for future albums, while the repetitive nature of the album ironically encourages listeners to shy away from uniformity and embrace their true selves, whoever they may be.
By Andrew Shults Assoc. Sports Editor The clubs on South Pasadena High School’s campus require various levels of commitment from their attendees. Few organizations have members whose dedication can match that of the Ultimate Frisbee Club’s affiliates. With practices twice a week and participation in the occasional tournament, the Ultimate Frisbee Club acts more like a sports team than a school club. While its philosophy may be simple, club members take the game very seriously. “The Ultimate Frisbee Club is mainly about practicing, playing, and competing in the sport of Ultimate, all while attempting to improve and learn the sport,” co-president sophomore Ian Geiberger said. The Ultimate Frisbee Club participated in the 2014 Southern California Youth Champions Tournament last Saturday, ending the day undefeated with a record of 3-0. They beat University High School, Serrano High School, and Marshall Fundamental with scores of 10-2, 11-1, and 10-5, respectively. The club took gold at the end of the day, asserting its dominance over the rest of the teams. The fusion of a club and a sport has allowed attendees to learn more about each other and meet new students in a unique way; most clubs reside solely in a classroom. This has formed a special bond between the teammates, who are able to interact with each other often during practices on Tuesdays and Fridays. “This club is unique because of the camaraderie created between the members. It is unlike any sport or club at our school,” senior Elliot Davis said. Next year, the Ultimate Frisbee Club hopes to expand in size and strengthen the competitiveness of its team while continuing to gain popularity at school. After two undefeated tournaments this year, the club is also planning on going to state next season. “I think [Ultimate Frisbee] will [become a school sponsored sport], but not for a long time,” Davis said. “Ultimate still has a lot of room to grow as a sport. We probably won’t be seeing it as a high school sport for another decade or so.”
The Ultimate Frisbee Club has experienced compeitive success this season in various tournaments, and even captured a gold medal on March 15.
The Grand Budapest is a candy-colored delight By Joey Shapiro Staff Writer 4.5/5
Wes Anderson is perhaps the most distinctive director working today. His films can be instantly recognized by their carefully chosen color palette, intricate handmade aesthetic, and quirky deadpan humor. Anderson’s most recent film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, embodies all of these familiar traits, and it also features a stronger emotional backbone and more developed characters, marking it as one of his most mature and impressive films. Ralph Fiennes leads an extraordinary ensemble cast as M. Gustave, a legendary concierge at The Grand Budapest Hotel in the late 1930s. Zero Moustafa, played by Tony Revolori, is a hard-working lobby boy at the hotel, and accompanies Gustave as they become embroiled in an art theft, murder investigation, and cat-and-mouse chase during an impending war. Fiennes, a fresh face in Anderson’s recurring troupe of actors, is the perfect fit for the role of M. Gustave. He captures the perfect blend of dry humor and sincerity to complement Anderson’s playful yet earnest style. Revolori, a seventeen year-old actor, is a scene-stealing revelation in a breakout role that will undoubtedly lead him to a successful acting career. The rest of the cast is peppered with familiar faces from past
Anderson films, including Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, and Bill Murray. Dafoe and Brody in particular give two of their most menacing performances as the villains of the story, viciously hunting down Gustave and Zero and killing everyone who gets in their way. The film’s visuals are exceptionally beautiful. Aside from the lovely shades of pink, white, and blue that fill each frame, the sets are extremely intricate. Many of the building exteriors are miniature models; in fact, the eponymous hotel was built to stand at nine feet tall. The laughs are as clever and charming as diehard Anderson fans can expect, with some
slapstick thrown in for good measure. The colorful storybook visuals seem to suggest a more family-friendly tone, which makes it surprising that the film features a fair amount of coarse humor. Brody’s character, Dmitri, is especially foul-mouthed and prone to angry bursts of profanity that make for some of the funniest and most quotable lines of the film. Wes Anderson has honed his idiosyncratic filmmaking technique over the course of eight wonderfully offbeat films, and with The Grand Budapest Hotel he has once again achieved just the right mix of style and substance to make for a thrilling, hilarious, and wildly inventive comedy.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is director Wes Anderson’s eighth stylistically innovative film, and features a dynamic ensemble cast.
FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 - Tiger
How to get to Hsi Lai Temple:
1. Take CA-60 E/Pomona Freeway. 2. Exit onto Three Palms Street, Hacienda Heights. 3. Go south down Hacienda Blvd to Castle Bar Drive. By Madeline Hellwig Staff Writer We hurried out of school as the clock struck three on a Monday afternoon, but where we headed was an unlikely teenage coven: an otherworldly monastery clad in gold, orange, and red. Our destination was the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, one of the largest traditional Chinese Buddhist monasteries found in North America, and a former starting location for the Emmy-winning television show The Amazing Race. Though we were equipped with a GPS, Google Maps, and printed directions, the monastery was hard to miss. Even from half a mile away, the bright orange tops of the building peeked above the trees. A towering entrance with three golden hippedgable roofs welcomed us when we arrived, and the wind ruffled our hair as
we ascended the steps to a miniature Forbidden City located on a sloping hill. A cleansing silence settled in and I let my mind drift with the monks’ rhythmic chanting. Words cannot fully describe the mystical serenity that Hsi Lai Temple offers. Zen gardens sat beside the edifice, and statues of Buddha rested near wishing wells filled with shining coins. We walked down the temple’s redcarpeted floor and saw Buddhist deities lining the hallways. Nuns dressed in flowing yellow robes silently passed by, absorbed in their tasks. We also encountered some visitors who bought incense and plugged it into a tall black altar, praying with their heads bowed. At one point, we spent a while silently absorbing the details around us as we propped ourselves against the white enclosure that overlooked the rest of the monastery. The transcendental experience allowed for moments
this month in
Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller (Mar. 21) This action-thriller is set in a futuristic world where citizens are divided into factions based on human virtues and personalities. When Tris Prior (Woodley) is told she is divergent and unable to fit into one group, she quickly discovers a conspiracy to destroy those like her .
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie (Apr. 4)
of serious self-reflection. The interior of the main temple was even more inspiring. Hundreds of cupboard spaces filled every wall from floor to ceiling, and a mini-Buddha sat within each one of these places. A giant crystal chandelier hung right above our heads, and rows of soft seats were directly below. Over the span of one week the monastery offers art galleries, guided tours, food stands, yoga sessions, chanting sessions, and Chinese lessons. Although we couldn’t experience everything the temple had to offer, the building’s design alone was enough to keep us occupied for over an hour. We left feeling sufficiently energized to again face our normal lifestyle.
Steve Rogers (Evans) resides peacefully in Washington D.C., struggling to adapt to normal civilian life after his heroic actions as Captain America. When a S.H.I.E.L.D. compatriot is attacked, Rogers becomes involved in a mystery that threatens to endanger the globe.
Pulses (Mar. 25) Genre: Pop
Head or Heart (Apr. 1) Genre: Alternative
London Grammar at the El Rey Theatre (Mar. 25) Baths at The Glass House (Mar. 29) Neil Young at the Dolby Theatre (until Apr. 2)
Tiger - Friday, March 21, 2014
Xiomara De La O
De La O’s compassionate nature garners respect and admiration from her teammates. By Jordan Xiao Staff Writer Senior Xiomara De La O’s cheery demeanor and phenomenal singing voice are several of the qualities that make the senior stand out amongst members of the Class of 2014. Most prominent among her achievements is her longtime commitment to the school softball team, to which she has been dedicated for the last four years. De La O’s career in softball began
when she moved to South Pasadena in the sixth grade. “I first joined a city team just to try something athletic,” De La O said. “I liked softball after playing it for a while, so I decided to try the high school team as a freshman.” The senior took a brief hiatus during her junior year, choosing instead to serve as team manager and focus on a more rigorous academic course load. She rejoined as a player for her final year of high school. De La O plays numerous positions on the field, predominantly in the outfield. She is currently the team’s starting left-fielder and one of two seniors on the team. De La O appreciates softball most for its team spirit. “The best part of playing softball is that it has let me meet lots of new people and make new friends,” De La O said. “I don’t strive to do better than everyone else. It’s more about cheering on my teammates, and encouraging them to do well when they’re not at their best.” T h e s e n i o r ’s f e e l i n g s f o r h e r teammates are readily reciprocated as many on the squad admire her compassinate nature. “Xiomara’s an excellent leader. She’s always pushing us to try harder, never lets anyone stay down, and brings out the best in everyone,” teammate junior Genesis Gonzalez said. “The team wouldn’t be the same without her.”
Noah Anselmo longboarding, and he enjoys driving down By Madeline Hellwig to the Arroyo Seco to shoot at the archery Staff Writer range. He is also a member of the school Senior captain Noah Anselmo’s yearbook staff, Copa de Oro, where his contributions and dedication to the South endearing amicability continues to shine. “Noah’s all-around likeable attitude Pasadena boys’ baseball team have made him a role model for many players on the both on and off the field really brings the squad. His positive attitude comforts team team together,” sophomore teammate Sebastien Whetsel said. “He has really members and inspires them to excel. Since joining the junior varsity team helped lead the [baseball] team this year.” as a freshman, he has come to appreciate the challenges baseball has to offer. This season, Anselmo boasts a batting average of 0.333, an earned run average of 1.56, and a position as the Tigers’ number one pitcher in their rotation. His involvement with baseball has been his inspiration ever since he first held a bat at the age of six. While he has no plans of continuing the sport at a collegiate level, the memories, discipline, and lessons that baseball embodies will continue to guide his future. Anselmo cites his willingness to share his knowledge and insight as the secret ingredient to team camaraderie, and he recognizes the importance of unity. “Baseball isn’t a game where one star player can carry the team. It requires every teammate to be part of the process and respect one another as well as the game,” Anselmo said. “I would do almost anything for them whether it is on or off the field. We’re Matt Winkel like brothers.” Anselmo’s outdoorsy nature has led Anselmo has established himself him to develop a love for rollerblading and as the Tigers’ top pitcher for 2014.
Tiger - Friday, March 21, 2014
Swimming trounces Moors in non-league meet By Andrew Shults Assoc. Sports Editor The South Pasadena High School swimming program, under the new direction of coach Ms Elinor Charlton, has started the season with some promising results. Junior Garrett Tse has already broken two school records in the 100-yard breaststroke and 100yard butterfly, and has qualified for CIF in both races. At the end of the Tuesday, March 18 meet against Alhambra, the
Tiger boys and girls walked away with 129-37 and 141-23 wins, respectively. The South Pasadena boys team was propelled by Tse, who dominated the competition. He broke the previous 100-yard butterfly record, 51.57 seconds, by seven one-hundredths of a second, with a time of 51.50. He also shattered the 100-yard breaststroke by a whopping one second, swimming the race in 1:00.16. “I am excited for what
the team will do in the future,” Tse said. “We have already set some records in our first meet, and it is only up from here.” The SPHS girls team also took away a dominant victory, with several relays and individuals performing exceptionally. The 200 yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays both made the cut for CIF. Sophomore Jocelyn Jo also qualified in the 100 meter breaststroke. “The kids are excited about the season, and it is a
privilege to watch them compete,” said Charlton South Pasadena will compete in its first league meet next Wednesday against Monrovia High School. The Tigers have excelled early on, and hope to continue their streak of success for the rest of the season. “We are looking forward to the rest of the season,” said assistant coach Scott Watanabe. “We started well, but still have a lot of things to work on.”
Volleyball smashes past El Rancho By Julian Prime Staff Writer The South Pasadena High School boys’ varsity volleyball team looks strong heading into league play after sweeping past two opponents, 3-0 this past week. On Thursday, the Tigers traveled to Pico Rivera to take on the El Rancho and played effortlessly as they thrashed the Dons. The Tigers had a great first set, holding the Dons to only 10 points. Great teamwork and smart play led the Tigers to an easy first set, taking a 25-10 win. The Tigers’ offense was incredibly consistent in the second set, as they set up scoring opportunities every chance they got. Star junior Richard Yu had constant kills, widening the margain between the Dons. Great defense by sophomore libero Alex Nakagawa foiled El Rancho’s offensive attacks, keeping them at bay for most of the night. The second set was remarkabley similar to the first and the Tigers took the game, 25-11. “It gives us confidence [that we
won],” senior captain Andrew Rudchenko said. “We’ve had some stiff competition recently, but it prepares us for league.” The third and final set of the game started off evenly. The Dons played with much more heart and showcased their talent on the court. Amazing offensive plays by El Rancho kept them in the game. However, the Dons’ constant fouls slowed their offensive momentum, giving the Tigers a chance to take break away. Sloppy play by the Tigers allowed El Rancho to regarner a foothold in the game, but South Pas eventually pulled away and clinched the third set, 21-25. “The boys played well,” Coach Ben Diaz said after the win, “We’ve been playing pretty well lately. We’ve been coming from some big tournaments.” On Tuesday, the Tigers took on the La Salle Lancers. Stellar play on the road by sophomore Greg Luck and Rudchenko led the Tigers to a quick three set sweep. “It feels good to beat these two teams,” Rudchenko said. “But they just haven’t really been that competitive.” The Tigers next take the court when
they open league play against Temple City on Monday. South Pas will look to set the tone for the 2014 season as they prepare to defend last year’s Rio Hondo crown. “We’ve been playing pretty consistently,” Diaz said. “We’re ready to go.”
Sophomore Greg Luck spikes the ball over the net to clinch the final set point.
Track exhibits talent in meet versus Alhambra By Kealia Hudson Staff Writer The South Pasadena varsity track and field team sprinted off the starting blocks and raced to victory against Alhambra High School in both the boys and girls divisions last Thursday, March 13. The Tigers dominated and beat the Moors with respective scores of 83-41 and 87-38. The track and field program has seen enormous growth in recent years, and this season is already matching expectations set by previous success. “We are looking very strong this year, both on the girls and boys teams,” co-captain junior hurdler Nina Acebo
said. “We have a lot of new faces out on the track this year, but we’ve all been putting in work throughout the pre-season in preparation for league and CIF.” Both divisions dominated in the sprints. Junior William Brady took first in the boys 100-meter dash with an impressive time of 12.14 seconds. Senior Claire Kieffer-Wright and junior Sam Anuakpado defeated the competition in the 400-meter run with times of 59.55 seconds and 53.40, respectively. The Tigers also exhibited exceptional teamwork in the relays, securing clear victories in the 4x100 and 4x400 races in both divisions. Tiger athletes also displayed im-
mense talent in the field events, especially in pole vault. Sophomore Esteban Suarez cleared a height of 12’6’’ to win in the boys division, and junior Rowan Leddy jumped 8’8” to take first in the girls division. The track and field coaches are optimistic that the impressive results earned in the preseason meet against Alhambra are indicative of future success “Our expectation is to win the Rio Hondo League track title on all four levels,” coach C.B. Richards said. “Both boys and girls teams have a shot at doing very well in CIF, and there are a few individuals who have the potential to make it to state.”
Senior Brennan Yu draws a breath during the breastroke leg of his 200 yard individual medley against the Alhambra Moors.
Golf off to rough start in pre-season By Alexander Nakagawa Staff Writer The South Pasadena boys’ golf team dropped its first two matches of the season against Pasadena Polytechnic and Glendale High School by substantial margins. The game against Glendale was held at Harding Municipal Golf Course, whose narrow fairways presented a looming challenge for the Tigers. Senior captain Henry Sue led the charge for South Pasadena against Glendale, shooting a 40, just 3 over par. The senior was followed by junior Robert Lee with a 54, sophomore Eddy Moon with a 57, and freshmen Andrew Son and Elliott Lee with a 63 and a 67, respectively. Glendale found the green consistently and ended on top 211-280. “We didn’t play to the best of our ability and our team is still new,” Sue said. “We’re looking forward to playing better in the future.” The Tigers faced a strong Polytechnic team earlier in March. Sue impressively shot a 44 while Lee repeated as the Tigers second best shooter with a 56. Son finished with a 58 and Elliott Lee shot a 58. A collarbone injury impeded Moon from playing midway through the match. Despite the 0-2 record, the Tigers are still optimistic for the rest of the season. “We have three new members this year with a lot of talent and ambition,” Moon said. “With more practice and training I feel we can make this season a great one.” The Tigers played yesterday at Brookside after press time. Check tigernewspaper.com for a full game report.
Boys’ tennis concludes even preseason By Karen Hseuh Staff Writer
Senior Ted Kim rallies against a Minuteman in Tuesday’s game.
The South Pasadena boys’ tennis team bounced back from a disappointing loss to Polytechnic High School on March 14 by clinching a 11-7 victory against the Maranatha High School Minutemen this past Tuesday. The victory evened the Tigers’ record to 4-4 as South Pas embarks on league play. Sophomore Sagar Raju led the way by sweeping his opponent with scores of 6-2, 6-2, and 6-3. Senior Ja-
son Wang won two out of his three sets with scores of 6-1 and 6-0, and freshman Jesse Chen was able to snatch another win for the Tigers by edging a Minuteman, 6-3. “For the last two matches I could’ve been more aggressive on the court,” Chen said. “I know I could have done much better.” While the singles lineup is set, the team is still experimenting with doubles combinations and positions. Seniors Ted Kim and Owen Emerson claimed two close victories for the Tigers with 7-5 and 7-6 victories.
Sophomore Casey Corvino and junior Lenn Kushigemachi managed to win two out of their three sets with scores 6-4 and 6-2 against the number one and number three doubles teams. March 25 marks the team’s first league match against La Cañada High School at La Cañada with a follow-up game two days later versus the Monrovia Wildcats at home. “We have a really fun team this year with lots of cool people,” senior Samuel Chen said. “But even so, we’re all working together for the common goal of aiming for victory.”
Tiger - Friday, March 21, 2014
Upcoming Spring Sports Games:
Monday 3/24: Volleyball vs. Temple City Tuesday 3/25: Baseball @ La Cañada Tuesday 3/25: Softball @ La Cañada
Clem’s Corner A shadow of a doubt
Junior Hermes Ip connects with the ball in the Tigers’ league opener versus last year’s Rio Hondo champs Temple City.
Baseball struggles defensively against TC the first inning by putting up three runs to take the early lead. Anselmo struggled as the Rams were able to score two more runs to extend their lead to 5-0. In the bottom of the third, South Pasadena got on the board as junior Nic Ha found himself on third base for the Tigers. Fortunately for Ha, the Rams pitcher balked allowing him to walk home. “They had hits that somehow fell right in between our fielders,” junior Hermes Ip said. “We couldn’t control some things but we were not even able to play catch this game.” In the top of the fourth, the Tigers’
By Asa Silverman Staff Writer The South Pasadena boys’ baseball team got off to a rough start in league as the Tigers were on the losing end of their 8-2 home game on Tuesday afternoon. Although they had just come from an impressive 3-1 record in the Arcadia Elks Tournament, the Tigers struggled and could not match the Rams’ offensive efficiency. Senior Noah Anselmo started on the mound for the Tigers but received little help from his team. Temple City was able to take advantage of the Tigers’ sloppy defense in
unnecessary errors cost them any chance to get back in the game. South Pasadena lacked energy and basic defensive fundamentals as the Rams were able to drive in three additional runs. As the game came to a close in the top of the seventh inning, senior Alex Chu hit a hard single driving in Ha. “This game was a good wake up call,” junior Chris Logue said. “It is better off that we realize what were doing wrong now then late in the season.” South Pasadena has a week break before the squad’s next matchup against La Cañada Tuesday, March 25.
Girls’ basketball ends record-breaking season By Andrew Shults & Alex Nakagawa Tiger Staff The curtains were drawn on the South Pasadena girls’ basketball’s historic season two weeks ago as the Tigers bowed out of CIF state playoffs in the second round. Despite the team’s defeat, its year was filled with accomplishments. The girls successfully defended their Rio Hondo title crown in late January. The Tigers continued to find success in CIF playoffs and set another school record by making it to the semifinals where they narrowly lost to the number one seeded Inglewood High School.
“I can honestly say that I have no regrets after this season,” senior Michelle Gin said. “I am so proud of this team and what we have accomplished together.” However, the journey did not end there. The girls claimed a large berth for the CIF state playoffs and seized a first round victory over Sierra to book their place in the second round. The game was the first time any SPHS basketball team had earned a spot in state CIF. The Tigers couldn’t hold off a Lakeside comeback in the second round matchup and officially concluded their season. South Pas will lose only three seniors
to graduation and next season appears promising as the Tigers return the core of their championship squad. “We stayed in the gym past midnight on some days just to shoot around,” junior Elise Takahama said. “We did everything wholeheartedly, and we did it together. I love this team so much and I’m so proud to have been a part of it.”
3/01 3/12 3/15 SPHS v. SPHS v. SPHS v. Inglewood Sierra Lakeside 50-43 L 74-69 W 64-56 L
Softball drops home opener against Rams By Jordan Xiao Staff Writer
Senior Genesis Gonzalez singles in the game against Temple City.
The South Pasadena High School softball team was its own enemy in its league opening loss to Temple City on Tuesday, March 18. The home game was even for most of its duration, but a chain of errors late in the game cost the Tigers, as they were defeated 7-1. Communication problems compounded the
Tigers’ inability to recover. The Rams made six runs in the fifth inning, topped off by one more in the sixth. The home team was only able to take back one. “Our biggest weakness right now is letting one error bring the whole team down,” junior pitcher Cassie Baca said. “Instead of going down with a teammate, we need to learn how to pick them up.” SPHS is currently 0-1
in league and 1-4 for the entire season. The team’s next game is at La Cañada on Tuesday, March 25. “We’re still improving and trying [to] reach up to the best that our young team is capable of,” junior Alexis Shettleroe said. “I was expecting a better result [against Temple City], but we’re just going to move on and learn from this game to help us win the rest of the games this season.”
A long shadow is trailing the South Pasadena High School boys’ volleyball squad and it has nothing to do with the sun. Like it or not, the team will carry the weight of “defending CIF champs” in every match this season. After clinching the Rio Hondo title in 2013, the Tigers went on a historic run that culminated with a CIF championship. The Tigers continued their dominance in CIF state playoffs and eventually were knocked out in a five-set thriller in the semi-finals. The 2013 season was the most successful in the program’s history. To say the bar has been set high, is an understatement. Every team the boys face wants to dethrone the volleyball kings. “Every year is a different year,” head coach Ben Diaz said. “I already told the boys whatever happened last year is awesome, but this is a new year. It’s your time to make it happen and we’ll just go from there.” The goals for this year are less certain. South Pas lost five Tigers to graduation from last year’s championship squad with four of the five former seniors earning first-team all-league honors in 2013. There are holes to fill, causing some to term this year a “rebuilding” one. Although Diaz understands the uncertainty that is attached to his young squad, he is confident that he has the players to step up and silence the doubters. “We’re not rebuilding, we’re young and more athletic than last year,” Diaz said. “The only thing that we lack is maturity. We’ve got a lot of young kids, but I do have some good leadership with my seniors.” The players acknowledge that a repeat of 2013 will be difficult. Yet, a trio of key members return to the squad. The Tigers will look to junior Richard Yu to provide the offensive firepower. Yu transferred to South Pas last season from China and made an instant impact as South Pas rallied behind his trademark venomous kills. The Tigers will need some Luck on their side and sophomore twins Max and Greg hope to provide it. The pair played substantial minutes in last year’s CIF run and will look to grow from the experience. “If we play well, we will repeat as league champs,” Greg Luck said. “We have the skill level and we’re a different team.” The 2013 success has proved a doubleedged sword. It has instilled confidence in the squad but has also set the expectations for the South Pasadena program extremely high. Although the prospects of the squad earning the title of CIF champs appear improbable for 2014, there is hope that history will repeat itself.
[inside] Read about boys’ volleyball’s dominant sweep of El Rancho. Matt Winkel