Titan Lee’s Summit West High School 2600 SW Ward Road Lee’s Summit, MO 64082
Friday, November 4, 2011 Volume VIII, Edition 4
Is fast food the reason for teen obesity?
IPhone VS. Android
Volleyball Goes to State
Pet Adoptions Rise
On the Cover
Titan Scroll Staff
“Parents want a quick meal so they feed their children fast food which sets off a chain reaction of bad habits” -Nick Thorsen
Obesity Epedimic Wall Street Protests Invisible Children UFOs: real or fake? Holidays suck in cash Teacher Survey
Staff Editorial/ Katey’s Conundrum Well If You Ask Me
Coldplay vs. Kelly Clarkson iPhone vs. Android
Graphics Design Editor Jesse Eiskina
Assistant Graphics Kylie Lanning
Photography Editor Ariel Thompson
Assistant Photography Editors Judd Kirn and Joey Franke
Copy Editor Taylor Jensen
Photo by Justin Hunley
Future of NBA Andy’s Assertions
Swimmers focus on State Cross Country/Tennis V-Ball State Football Update Winter Sports Preview Soccer
Distribution Manager Aaron Brower
Nikki Andriano Meg BrittonMehlisch Annie Greenwell Claudia Guthrie Andy Evans Tiffany Jenkins Riley Manning Meg Peterson Anna Poudel
pg. 13 pg. 14
Maddy Arsenault Nathan Foster Kathryn Hilger Justin Hunley Morgan Johnson Ryan Miller Alex Palmer Steve Rhodes Bailey Romi Michelle Stout
Merrilee Boughan Nate Mitchell Tristan Owen Derec Owens Brooks Rast Carlie Nash
Photo by Bailey Romi PG. 26
“Inheritence” finally ends pg. 19
Paranormal Activity becomes real
Haley Roach and Katey Stoetzel
Lee’s Summit West Elephants? World Wide Haunts
Teacher or star?
Editor in Chief
pg. 16-17 pg. 3 pg. 4 pg. 5 pg. 6
Save a pet today!
Brocket the Rocket
Buisness Adviser Karrie Smythia
pg. 22 pg. 23
The Titan Scroll is a student publication of Lee’s
pg. 24 pg. 25 pg. 26-27 pg. 28 pg. 30-31 pg. 32
Photo by Ariel Thompson
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Photo by Kathryn Hilger
Summit West High School. It welcomes all letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit for libel and for space. No unsigned letters will be printed. Letters may be dropped off in Room 2048 or mailed to 2600 SW Ward Road, Lee’s Summit, MO 64082. Volume 8 of the Scroll is published 12 times during the 2011-2012 school year. The opinions contained do not in any way represent the Lee’s Summit West faculty, administration or the R-7 school district administration or school board.
November 4, 2011
Wall Street protesters won’t give up Meg Britton-Mehlisch “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street!” These words have been chanted thousands of times over the last month since the Occupy Wall Street protests made their debut. Thousands of people have been gathering in peaceful protest in New York’s financial district since Sept. 17. The Occupy Wall Street Movement began a bit disorderly, though within a few days decided on one leading issue to protest: the uneven distribution of wealth between the top one percent of Americans and the 99 others. Not a new theory, this idea has gained popularity across the country and the world. Though it began as a New York City trademark, it soon spread to Boston, Kansas City, and San Francisco. Similar movements have also sprung up in Paris, France; London, England; Athens, Greece; and Tel Aviv, Israel. While each movement has the same cause, each is unique in its own way. The Occupy Kansas City state on their flyers that “Occupy KC calls on Kansas City–one of the most segregated cities in the USA–to see the common thread tying out destinies together, reject the divisions sapping our power in numbers, and proclaim ‘WE ARE ONE!’” The Occupy Chicago Movement states that it “is here to fight corporate abuse of American democracy in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world.” While each city’s protest may be different in the reaction they receive or their demands, they remain united with many Americans in their belief that something’s got to give in the current economy.
November 4, 2011
Bret Hamilton, a 2011 West graduate and current protester with the Occupy Chicago Movement, said he noticed the gaining support. “...people started realizing we were protesting for them, protesting for a better world that would improve their lives. We started getting honks and people just generally supporting us really,” said Hamilton. In a recent Time Magazine survey, 79 percent of Americans agreed with the protesters’ point that the gap between the rich and poor is too big. “You’ve got to share,” said history teacher Cindy Denker. She said she agrees with the protesters. “There’s definitely an uneven distribution of wealth. …. I’m not saying you have to give your money away I’m just saying take some of that money and reinvest it in your company. Make a reasonable profit.” Though 79 percent is being very vocal with their opinions in the news and other areas, the other 21 percent isn’t silent either. Sophomore Lindsey Bingham is one example. “I don’t think that some people who work hard and make a great living should have to compensate for those who are not making a living,” said Bingham. “To tax the one percent who are already paying a great deal of money to the government while a much greater percentage does not pull their weight is unfair. Everyone needs to work together to make America strong again.” On the other side of things Hamilton said he feels that money has taken on too much importance in today’s world. He said the movement would only be successful “when people stop getting put below profit, when people stop caring about their profit over their employees
and the people the profit effects.” The back and forth of opinions is just another part of the growing discussion between those in the Occupy Movement and those outside. Whichever side of the line they stand on, most believe that the protests are First Amendment rights on display. “I think that the movement is a good thing. People in America should take the advantage of the First Amendment and stand up for what they believe in,” said Bingham. Just like every other memorable use of the First Amendment, the protests have a smell of change. “I’m excited; I haven’t seen anything like this since the ‘60s. I think America is definitely getting ready for some change,” said Denker. “Looking back on this I hope I’ll be able to say that I fought to make the world it is today because hopefully the change we want will happen,” said Hamilton. Whether that change is political or social, everyone involved has high hopes for the future. “I honestly think I will be able to tell my kids in the future that I was arrested at a sitin in the Occupy
Movement. And I will always be able to say that with pride because I stood up for something that I believed in, I stood up for something that was pure, that’s worth fighting for,” said Hamilton. “I hope that the movement will be resolved and the economy will improve, like anyone else. I hope that more jobs can open up and people can earn a living so they can afford the taxes the government issues. But I hope people can do this by working hard and earning what they have; all 100 percent,” said Bingham. Whether or not the protest simply disappears or goes on to bring about the change it wants, this will be one for the history books. One West students in the future could learn about. “I don’t think I’ll be able to teach it, but I can definitely see this one coming up,” said Denker.
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Support needed to help invisible children Tiffany Jenkins
“LSW aims to help the faceless of this world by raising money and awareness for Invisible Children, an organization dedicated to protecting the children of Uganda from Joseph Kony’s rebel army.” This mission statement is shared by the Invisible Children Organization, as well as the club here at West. Joseph Kony is an African terrorist who is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. He claims that God has sent spirits to communicate with him. Kony basically takes Ugandan children from their homes and families and puts a gun in their hands and forces them to fight in his army, according to English teacher and Invisible Children Sponsor, Nicole Cusick. While many students at West are wrapped up in sports, television, and celebrities, other students are dedicated to helping save the children in Uganda from the rebel leader Kony. Two years ago, a few senior students went to Cusick with the idea to start a club that would raise money and awareness for the safety of these children. Cusick agreed to help them out. Invisible Children is actually a foundation, and was the basis for 2010 graduates, Nikki Ducklow and Brianna VanDeusen, to start a club here at West. But, according to Senior John Gibson, the first year of the club did not go so well, and still in 2011 not much had been accomplished in the club. Gibson joined the club as a sophomore in 2010, and is now the president.
“Being a senior this year I decided to handouts for later on in the school year. take charge of the club and get things The club is hoping to set up donation accomplished,” said Gibson. jars around the school, in places like the The other main LMC, office, leaders of this and the lunch club are Seniors room. Abby Killion, and “We’re still Hannah Eckles. est ablishing Invisible a goal of how Children does a much we’d number of things like to earn,” throughout the Gibson said, school in order “but I wouldn’t to raise money be surprised and awareness. if we reached “We have $1,000 by the benefit concerts, end of the make bracelets year.” and fliers and “The money posters to raise the club earns awareness, and can be given this year we’re to specific also hoping to places within get T-shirts,” the actual said Gibson. Invisible “We’ve also had Children tables set up at program, such lunch accepting as directly to donations, too.” the children They have also or the media planned a movie President Jon Gibson leads the Invis- to help night for tonight, ible Children efforts at West, helping raise more in order to start to raise money and awareness for the a w a r e n e s s , raising more cause. Photo by Michelle Stout. both of which money for the we plan to do foundation. once we raise No plans have been officially made enough money,” said Gibson. yet, but their plans for this winter are He also said that, “the best thing already underway, according to Gibson, you can do as a supporter of Invisible including potential hot chocolate Children is attend the events, like the
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concerts, and just show your support.” The club wants to raise the public’s awareness of the, in order to protect child soldiers and potential child soldiers, Gibson explained. Monday club members traveled to Lee’s Summit North to hear a speaker from the Invisible Children Foundation. For more information on the Invisible Children, visit the official website at www.invisiblechildren.com.
Jars have been placed around school to hold the donations that are given to the foundation to assist in protecting children of Uganda.
November 4, 2011
s i g t fl d c h e y e t fi i j i i n t n b n g g e o s d i n U
Anna Poudel Lee’s Summit has become a hot spot for UFO sightings. Whether these crafts were bound from a faraway galaxy or not, they caught the attention of many West students and others in the area. The most recent sightings were in the first week of October, and again on Monday. During marching band rehearsal in early October, one such UFO made an appearance. “We were in band and I look to the sky and there were a line of lights and they weren’t blinking and they weren’t moving, well they kind of did but diagonally,”
said Junior Ella Leslie. “It wasn’t like an airplane, it had tons of lights on it and it wasn’t going in one direction. It would go East, then turn South,” said Junior Parker Sheridan. He said the lights on the flying object seemed strange as well. “You know how airplanes usually have a blinking light on them? This one didn’t have any blinking lights, there were just lights all over and they weren’t blinking,” said Sheridan. Both Sheridan and Leslie said that what they saw did not look like an airplane. However, Leslie said she heard from a friend that the UFO was an airplane doing a test flight for Whiteman Air Force Base.
Because of Lee’s Summit’s proximity to the air force base, aircraft testing explains a considerable amount of UFOs. But airplanes can’t hover, as John Ohrazda, the manager of the Lee’s Summit Airport, is quoted saying in a Lee’s Summit Journal article. Some students recall seeing UFOs come to a complete standstill in midair. Senior Mark Grimes was in Greenwood when he said he saw such an object floating in the air, approximately 90 minutes after Leslie and Sheridan. “Basically it looked like a triangle thing in the sky, it was kind of hovering. I didn’t know what it was at first and then when I saw it was a triangle thing and it wasn’t moving, I kind of freaked out,”
Several have been watching the night sky as reports of UFOs became common a few weeks ago. Maybe not so surprisingly to some, spectators were likely deceived by the flash of aircraft lights as they moved in and out of nearby airports. Photo by Nathan Foster
said Grimes. Senior Sarah Muir described a similar experience. “I saw lights in the shape of a triangle hover. I was in Greenwood and it looked like it was over the school and it started rotating. We started to walk away and we looked back and it disappeared,” said Muir. The Lee’s Summit Journal’s Oct. 11 paper said in the first week of October, there were over 60 reported UFO sightings. More than 40 of those couldn’t be explained. Right now, Earth is the only planet known to have life on it, according to NASA’s website. They are scheduled to launch Mars Rover Curiosity on Nov. 25, its mission being to determine if Mars has had conditions that could sustain life. Extraterrestrial life has long been a controversial topic, especially as humans wonder about their place in the universe. “I am terrified of aliens, I think they’re the scariest thing,” said Muir. “I’ve seen too many scary movies, let’s be honest, and usually in those movies the aliens have some crazy super powers and they come to Earth and we all end up dead.” Some take a skeptical approach, not denying the possibility of alien life but wanting solid proof. “I think the possibility of aliens is always out there but it wasn’t enough to convince me two weeks ago,” said Leslie. For some, the universe is too big for Earth to be the only place where life is. “The universe is constantly expanding and there are millions of galaxies…I think that there just has to be [life] and we just haven’t discovered it,” said Grimes.
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H LID YS WRESTLE EC Taylor Jensen
With the struggling economy and financial status’ in the United States, more families and individuals feel the effect now than ever before. The country’s current economical state has effected Junior Natalie Roe and West teacher Jennifer Coleman, especially with the holidays approaching. Coleman describes the situation as a recession. “I’m sad and surprised that it hasn’t improved. People are losing their jobs and those without are having a lot of difficulty finding new ones. People are spending less and able to provide less for their families.” Among those in tough job situations is Roe’s father, Howard Roe. With her dad not currently working, many things have changed around her house and been put on hold for the time being. “We’re really tight on money because we only have one paycheck. We get by, but we don’t have a lot of money to do a lot of extra stuff,” said Natalie Roe. That one paycheck used to be two. Ever
since her dad’s employer announced that wages and benefits may be changed, his role changed as well. “They redo the contract every three years and they keeping trying to get rid of some of the benefits every time. Now it’s time to redo the contract again. The employees always threaten to go on strike, but they never go through with it. This time they did,” said Natalie Roe. The reasoning behind the strike is the same as years before, but this time it seems to be more of a reality. Roe’s father said, “The company wants to make a two tier wage system. New hires will start at only 55 percent of what current employees make, and after 6 years, they will make up to 90 percent, although they do not get the same retirement or health insurance as current employees.” Her dad is part of a union, which he describes as an “organization of the hourly people that negotiates wages, benefits, and working conditions with the company,” that is carrying out the strike. His job is to “assemble and test miniature
With the holiday season coming up many families and individuals are starting to feel the effects of the hard economic situation more than ever. Photo by Maddy Arsenault
electromechanical assemblies used in nuclear weapons” at Honeywell in Kansas City. With the strike, the employees hope to “keep the same pay for the same job for all employees, both new and old,” said Roe’s father. Simply finding a new job isn’t ideal according to Natalie Roe. “You can’t look for a new job when you’re on strike because it would just look bad. He could go back to his old job but the benefits aren’t as good. He thinks the strike will last months, but we’re hoping it will end by Christmas,” said Natalie Roe. “I can understand why he’s doing it; he has good intentions. But I think it’s kind of dumb that he’s doing it when it’s so close to the holidays.” As her dad’s role within the company is now very limited, it’s closed the door on the financial flexibility they’d known before. Roe’s dad said they are now on a stricter budget, especially in anticipation of the upcoming holidays. “In order to help my parents out, I offered to buy my own personal needs. My parents used to buy the extras when he was working, but now that he’s not, I pitched in. I have to work more hours to pay for the things I wasn’t paying for in the beginning, like gas,” said Natalie Roe. “We have to try to save money a lot better than we used to. We’ll have to budget.” Budgeting is a concept not only for this local family, but for people across the nation. Inflation makes even buying the household essentials difficult at times. The unemployment rate in the United States at about 9.1 percent, that’s nearly 14 million people as of this past August. Coleman describes her and her husband as “cautious spenders.” “If there is something we really want, we save up and buy it. We have certainly become more aware of our spending. You never know when a company could downsize or lay off workers, so we make sure we have savings in case of emergency,” said Coleman. Natalie Roe said, “I have to spend more money of my own instead of them buying
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NOMY all my stuff. The money I make just goes to stuff I need, I don’t help pay for the bills or anything, but my sister and I have been talking about paying our own phone bills though. If my sister and I need anything extra, we have to buy it though.” This year, Christmas will be different for both Coleman and Roe’s families. Coleman said they’ve been lucky, that the economy hasn’t hit them nearly as hard as others. Although holidays haven’t drastically changed for her family, “we are more aware of how much we are spending and we try to keep it under control. We have started doing a draw gift instead of buying something for each person in the extended family.” “My parents used to go all out and spend like thousands of dollars on Christmas and now we’re cutting the budget in half, so it’s going to be different. They’re saving up their money for holidays earlier now,” said Natalie Roe. In order to save money, little and big changes have been made. “We usually get one expensive gift and a bunch of little tiny things. We’ll probably just get one expensive thing this year. But it depends what’s on our Christmas lists. My sister and I aren’t going to ask for much. I’m just going to ask for a new stereo system for my car and that’s it,” said Natalie Roe. Coleman said she thinks the Christmas season will be the most affected holiday this year. “People want to buy gifts for their loved ones and the economy is making it harder for families to afford the gifts they want to buy. I’m guessing spending won’t be as high as it has in the past, but people will probably still spend way more than they should.” The poor economy effects parents, kids, employees alike, oftentimes a combination of the three. It’s impossible to tell how long people across the country will be under these circumstances, but it’s clear even people right here in the suburbs are noticing. Natalie Roe said, “I feel like it hasn’t really hit Lee’s Summit until just the past year. I didn’t feel it about a year ago, but now I do because it’s hitting home.”
November 4, 2011
Teacher evaluations appeal to students Sydnee Owens
that’s what people do when they’re going to college,” said Junior Joelle Beusterien. Some students said they think it would be a good idea because it would give the teachers a chance to reflect on the job they’ve done. “They’ll know what areas they need to improve on. Maybe they could start to be better and more helpful for us. There could be a little bit of anger but they’d get over it,” said Beusterien. “It would be great to have this because it would be a way for us to express how we feel about each teacher. We are the ones that have to have them so we should be able to let other students, parents and other teachers know,” said Senior Hannah Eckles. Some said they feel as though rating
teachers would not benefit students or teachers that much because unlike It’s common for colleges to have college, students seldom get to choose students evaluate their teachers at the which teachers they have. end of each course, so some students “I don’t think that it is nessecary to wonder what it would be like if West did have for highschool because generally we the same. as students do not have much of a say in Some colleges require evaluations and what teacher we have. The counselors are there are some websites for students to the one to make the schedule and if we rate their teachers on their own terms for get a teacher that we do not want there perspective students to reference. is really nothing that we can do about it,” “I think that it would be a very good said Junior Jillian Lewis. idea for high school to have this,” said Senior Kaitlyn Pettet agreed. “I do not Senior Abby Doane. “I think it would think that it is a very good idea. I think help students get a feel of what each that a lot of kids would rate their teachers teacher is like and to see all the different in a joking way and it would not be taken view points on a teacher, not just one.” seriously. I think that is a good thing to “I think we should be able to rate our do for college because there are so many teachers at the end of the year because different classes and professors but I do not think that it would be that helpful for high school students.” Another disadvantage to students rating their teacher is if a student simply did not like a teacher or did B+ Communication Skills not get along with a teacher, they might exaggerate on the reviews for that teacher. C Entertaining Class “I think it could be a disadvantage and that kids might abuse that. ‘If I just don’t like you’, they’d give them A Homework a bad rating. You may be a very good teacher for 95 percent of the kids but if 5 percent say ‘I just don’t like you…’ CTests and Quizzes It would skew. It could if you had Comments: “They’ll know what areas they need to improve on. Maybe they could start someone who was very upset with the teacher,” said Counselor Susan to be better and more helpful for us. There could be a little bit of anger but they’d get Hayes. over it,” - Junior Joelle Beusterien However, some students said it would be beneficial to know For many colleges there are websites that you can visit where students what other students thought of can rate their teachers and where you can look at what ratings other their potential teachers.
Teacher Report Card
“I think that knowing if a teacher was bad would effect people. If you know a teacher is bad then you won’t sign up for that class,” said Junior Reagan Wagner. Hayes agreed to a certain extent. “If it was more of a teacher administered thing so they can get feedback about what they need to do different, or what was helpful and what was not kind of thing. And to me that kind of thing would probably be helpful,” she said. “I think everyone appreciates getting good feedback that’s helpful so you know ‘Whoa, this unit wasn’t good. Maybe if I do this different’ kind of thing I would see that definitely as a pro. A con would be you could get a lot of venting, people who are just mad.” Math teacher Jesse Griffin said he thought it would help the teachers. “I think having teacher ratings would be good feedback. You’re going to have to sift through some of the more inconsiderate stuff; I think it could be useful though.”
r: St ud en
teachers have received. Graphic by Brooks Rast
November 4, 2011
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Obesity: how do we stop it?
Everyone knows that obesity is a growing problem in this country blah, blah, blah. We’ve been hearing that forever. Health classes made us watch “Super Size Me” to try to make us stop eating McDonald’s. Okay, that worked for like a week. The truth is, as teenagers, many of us don’t really believe our eating habits are an issue. We might joke about it and say, “Oh yeah, all I eat is junk,” but we really have no intention whatsoever in changing those eating habits. Why should we? It’s easier to eat unhealthy than it is healthy. Surely if healthy choices were easily available, could be accessed at a drive–thru, and had a dollar menu, teens would gladly choose to eat healthier. But that’s not the case. Teens are constantly on the go and sadly, sitting down to eat dinner with the family just doesn’t happen that often. A part–time job, involved in sports or other after–school activities. Teens don’t always have time to go home and eat something nutritious’ it’s simply easier to go through the drive– thru at one of the countless fast food places along the way to. Is it right? Probably not. Is it going to
stop us? Not likely. We use these factors as excuses for our habits. “Well, I was hungry and that was the closest place with food.” “I only had two dollars so I got a McChicken. Hey, that’s better than a Big Mac, right?” Most are guilty of this, but how are we supposed to change? The excuses are pretty valid, it’s called reality. Teenagers are constantly getting bombarded with suggestions of how to eat healthier by their parents, teachers, coaches or whomever. Make your own meals, don’t buy them or have them pre-cooked. Eat lighter but more often. Don’t eat fried foods, stick with grilled. Don’t eat out so much. Stop drinking pop, drink water. But do these advisers actually practice what they preach? Teenagers are not the only ones who have busy schedules. Parents don’t necessarily always have all day to slave in the kitchen to have a home cooked meal waiting for their kids. And aside from their own agendas, it’s nearly impossible to try to plan meals with multiple teenagers living in the house. Mom and Dad may tell us what the best choices are when it comes to food,
but let’s face it, it’s easier said than done. Many teens don’t even remember the last time they had a home cooked meal. That whole idea seems just a myth. Parents too are guilty of taking the easy route and ordering a pizza or picking up take–out on their way home from work, slapping it on the table and calling it dinner. Obviously these bad eating habits
don’t just go away unless we go out of our way to change them. And the speedy metabolism of youth is not going to last forever. The issue is going to be relevant at some point, even if we don’t think it is now. There has to be a logical way to adjust our eating habits. The first step is acknowledging the problem and going out of our way to make changes.
Learning from Zombieland
Commentary by Katey Stoetzel
So I was thinking about the movie “Zombieland,” and if you have no idea what I’m talking about you should probably just go sit in a corner and figure out your future because clearly you are not on the right path. Anyway, I was thinking about the list that Jesse Eisenburg makes. The list with rules on how to survive in Zombieland. The last thing on the list is ‘enjoy the little things.’ And that’s what I was thinking about. Enjoy the little things. Because even though we don’t live in a world where 12 year old girls have guns and are shooting at shambling zombies as if there is no tomorrow, we can still enjoy the little things. Enjoying the
little things makes whatever it is you’re stressing about easier to deal with. Here’s my own list of said ‘little things’ that can be enjoyed: Christmas music in October, watching your favorite movie, grilled cheese and tomato soup, hot chocolate, reading a good book, the smell of chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven, the moment when Christmas decorations start appearing in malls, a clean bedroom, a sunny morning, a rainy day, etc. I believe this is important with our health as well. Too much stress and you might as well rip your hair right now. If you’ve ever read/seen “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” you’ll understand what I’m
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talking about. Craig Gilner realizes how much stress he is in and decides the best way to deal with it is kill himself. Clearly this is not the most healthy option for us. So after spending five days in the hospital, he realizes focusing on the good things in life, i.e. the little things, helps him get through all of the stress. There needs to be a healthy balance in order for us not to go insane. Just like how Eisenburg uses the little things to survive the Zombie Apocalypse and Gilner uses them to survive suicide, we can use them to survive every day life.
November 4, 2011
Well if you ask me...
Zombies are people too (kind of)
Commentary by Zach Carter
November 4, 2011
As a pretend attorney at law–and you can check my credentials with this fake diploma that I printed off the interwebz–I believe zombies deserve rights. I have been “current” (as the hipsters say) with up-to-date zombie news and I am furious. Those poor “living–impaired” humans, as the firm sees them as, have just as much rights as your serial killer uncle who thought the walls were talking to him. Yes, zombies may have perhaps eaten your dog and/or child, but let’s be serious for two minutes. When you look into those moldy, dead, lifeless eyes, it can���t help but bring tears to your eyes. These beautiful soulless creatures have a place in your heart. For the record, zombies are
better than vampires (I’m talking to you, Twilight. You and your sparkly selves will never survive a Zombie Apocalypse, what with your “vegetarian” diet that is not very vampire–like at all. Seriously, in the vampire world, you guys are considered the lamest vampires of all time, according to those who work at my zombie law office. You might want to reconsider your life, just saying). That is why I defend them with my life. I will jump in front of a loaded 12–gauge to defend the misjudged creatures with justice. I’m sure there are a few zombies out there reading this article so I will state what my law firm offers. My law firm offers head protection, body reconstruction and transportation to food drop–offs. Zombies will also receive a bonus if they join their
local horde. Want to know how many shots it takes to get to the center of a zombie? Let’s find out...I interviewed Mark Grimes about the impending Zombie Apocalypse. Mark, what’s your take on feminism? “I think it’s important, however, there’s a difference between romantic language and a complete disregard to socioeconomic trends.” Now, for all you humans out there we provide transportation to “safe zones.” We also have a Hope/ Courage package. It comes with suicide pills and shotguns if you and your friends give up on surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. We wish the best of luck to both sides. This is Zach Carter, Zombie Attorney at Law, signing off. Brains brains brains brains. Braiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnsssss.
• News • Opinion • Feature • Arts&Entertainment • Sports • 9
Winter hurts those left by the Wayside
Though pet abandonment rates don’t seem to animals’ behavior, besides a slight shyness. change in the winter, neither do pet adoption “Being from a shelter doesn’t really affect them, unless rates. they were like beaten or something. I think it depends “I don’t feel the adoption numbers change very more on the animal,” said Bajkowski. much…it’s just critical to choose to adopt over For Bajkowski, pet adoption is the way to go. purchasing any time of year,” said Alyssa Willett, “You get to help an animal and you get to get one, it’s adoptions supervisor at the Lee’s Summit animal like a double whammy,” said Bajkowski. shelter Wayside Waifs. It’s important, said Willett, to adopt in order to free up kennel space. Since shelters have a fixed capacity, once they’re full they can’t take in more animals until some are adopted. “When you adopt, you really At Wayside Waifs or the Lee’s Summit Municipal are saving a life,” said Willett. Animal Shelter an animal awaits adoption. Photo Sophomore Trevor Bajkowski’s by Bailey Romi family has adopted three cats and one dog from the Municipal Anna Poudel Animal Shelter, where animals picked up The issue of adopting a pet versus buying one by Lee’s Summit’s Animal Control go. is especially relevant in the winter, when pets are “We wanted animals, I mean we sometimes left in the cold weather. wanted to get pets and help out with Snow and chill can have a negative effect on animals’ needy animals,” said Bajkowski. health, especially when the animals are exposed to Having had some pets from a shelter 10 to 20 percent of cats and dogs are adopted from them for a prolonged time according to the website of and some not, Bajkowski said he didn’t shelters and rescues according to the ASPCA website. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to see much difference in the adopted Photo by Bailey Romi Animals.
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10 • News • Opinion • Feature • Arts&Entertainment • Sports •
November 4, 2011
Student is on the ride to success
Meg Britton-Mehlisch Many students at West are making a name for themselves. But not many are doing that with nothing but a pair of legs and two wheels.
Sophomore Karen Brocket has recently earned the title of Midwest Regional Champion for Category One Women’s Mountain Biking. “A lot of people don’t think that cycling is fun and don’t like riding their bikes. So I seem pretty weird to them, but cycling is my passion and I’d do anything for it,” said Brocket. Brocket has followed the love of biking since day one, and in just four years, has gone from an amateur to a virtual pro, placing fourth in her age division in the Mountain Bike Nationals this year. “I went to Mountain Bike Nationals this year and ended up getting fourth and last year I got fifth so that’s really good,” said Brocket. Fourth is pretty appealing with Brocket’s stats. In the Cross Country Mountain Bike Nationals in Idaho in August. Brocket finished the 10.8 mile course in an hour and 18 minutes. “I have had a chance to watch her perform and it’s quite impressive,” said Cross Country Coach Jesse Griffin. “It takes a lot of skill and hard work to get to the level she is and to be able to do the things she is able to do.” Biking titles aren’t the only ones Brocket collects. She also made Varsity Cross Country her Freshman year and was on the relay team that won West its fourth state title in a row last year. “On our varsity she has been any where from fifth, sixth or seventh this year and has kind of helped add the depth on our team,” said Griffin. Teammate and Sophomore Kennadee Williams said she agrees. “She’s a good attribution to the team and really helps the team out with her running.” Though Brocket has been a speed demon in almost every sport she does, at the start of her biking career she was unsure if she could go the distance. “When I did my first race the farthest I had ridden was four miles…so my dad took me out to Sophomore Karen Brocket is the Midwest ride in St. Joesph and it was a seven mile course of Regional Champion for Category One Women’s a whole bunch of hills. Before we started I was like Mountain Biking. Photo from the Brocket ‘I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this,’” said
Brocket. “I ended up winning it, and that’s what really got me into it.” Williams said, “It’s good that she’s doing good at it [biking] and it’s crazy that she’s really good at biking and then really good at cross country too.” The winning doesn’t come without a cost. Brocket trains full time with her new coach from Source Endurance, a training company for endurance athletes. Griffin pointed out, “She’s been kind of on her own training program this year. She has races every weekend and does a major cycling workout each week along with what we do in running” “Every weekend, it’s either that [a biking meet] or cross country. And then with cross country if I run a meet then the next day I’d do a biking race or I’d do one the same day.” And if training for two sports wasn’t a balancing act enough, Brocket is also going to be missing a lot of time from school to travel and compete in biking meets. “For Cycle Cross I’m missing at least one Friday every month for a US GP [United States Grand Prix] and I’m missing the first week after winter break for nationals.” Brocket doesn’t mind the time away. “Training’s fine. I mean training first, school work later,” adding to her dedication to the sport. And her dedication follows her farther than just her priorities. It follows her into her future. Brocket has already laid out a life full of biking ahead of her. She plans to race collegiate, shoot for the world championships, and then “hopefully I can get into the Olympics when I turn 20 or 21.” Whether its high hopes or natural skill Brocket is breaking both records and opinions. When asked if his opinion of cycling had changed for knowing Brocket, Griffin responded, “Yeah, I mean it makes me interested to see how the parallels between distance training and cycling.” In the end Brocket “would love to see more people biking.” She might be our champion yet.
LAUREN BALES DDS Your smile is important to us! 3741 SW Raintree Drive Lee’s Summit, Mo 64082
November 24, 2011
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What you didn’t know about
The Titan mascot w as almost similar to an elepha the Alaba nt, ma Crim stead of a s o n Tide, in warrior, a ccording Principal to Assista Frank Ho nt nn. “The was decid n a me Titan ed s and paren by a group made u p of stude ts and cen nts tr decided t hat we we al office, and they re g But as far as how th oing to be Titans. e mascot left up to looks, tha us, as the t was s c hool, to d Honn. ecide,” sai d
arrior w e h t f rsion o inistrators e v e l a e and m against. Adm look male l a m e f a t d Having ed but decide t design didn’ letic Diat co th was deb e chosen mas either, said A for t th though ; it could pass le or fema bbie Katzfey. e rector D Befo re West its openi n h acros aving a p g, rumor s s o both the catw ol and a circulated alk, s m false. aid H otorized about onn. w Thes alkway e wer e
It’s a common belief among students that the “curved” hallway s were designed in such a way that someo ne armed with a gun wouldn’t be able to shoot straight down them. This is al so false. nter, is e C g n i l Counse t and other e h t y b f West, waggar o S t g n e o r r e the f G r n o y i t b s s e s g r a n r i o r sp ut g ed t The unc irie planted last rt said he want ndscaping a bit. la ga ra a mini-p ounselors. Swag d spruce up the an ec guidanc ral prairie state tu land’s na Information gathered by Anna Poudel. Campus picture by Google Maps Photos by Steve Rhodes
12• News • Opinion • Feature • Arts&Entertainment • Sports •
November 4, 2011
Geocaching: treasure hunting goes digital Katey Stoetzel and Haley Roach Let’s face it: there’s not much to do in Lee’s Summit. So if you find yourself sitting at home, all alone, watching a rerun of the Young and the Restless for the third time that week, it’s time to get a new hobby. And as it just so happens, we have the solution. According to their website, Geocaching is a “real-world
he t or r e f t En es of er sic t a t n i s o a gi coord cache Re ree B hip t g s hin e geo h f r t PS e G a mb r c u o ca into y Me Geo . device the . e sit Visit the “Hide Use your GPS and Seek a device to assist Cache” page you in finding the Ent e hidden geocache. post r your a and l code c Sign Share your “sea lick rch.” logb the geocaching o retu ok and stories and rn t h g e eoca Choose any photos online. che i t t o s or geocache from i g i na loca the list and tion l . click on its The Titan Scroll experienced geocaching firsthand. We spent a few hours traipsname. ing through Longview Lake in search of three geocaches. Out of the three geo-
outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.” After obtaining a smart phone and downloading the Geocaching Application, follow these eight steps:
Photo by Kathryn Hilger
November 4, 2011
caches we looked for, one was found thanks to our iPhone. Geocaching is a fresh, clean way to have fun without just doing the same old, same old.
• News • Opinion • Feature • Arts&Entertainment • Sports • 13
Have you listened to Parrish’s Podcast? Claudia Guthrie
History teacher Nathan Parrish’s podcast, WEDway Radio, was officially nominated for a People’s Choice Award in October. “It’s pretty amazing,” said Parrish. “We’ve got like thousands of listeners all over the world. It’s just mind-blowing to me that people listen to my voice driving to work, or working out, or cleaning your house or something like that. It’s pretty cool.” WEDway Radio has aired for nearly three years, but its conception goes back a decade. “About 10 years ago I was going to write a book. I had done all this research to write a book, and then it got to be a huge pain. I had all this research and I spent all this time writing this book. And then my son was born and life happened. It just got put to the back,” said Parrish. The book was going to be about the influence of Disney on America. “Not characters or films or anything like that, just innovation on America,” said Parrish. “Disney innovation like audio animatronics, color movies, sound films, all these different things that they brought like the theme park. So about three years ago I discovered what a podcast was. My brother and I are huge fans of Disney. Our families will go to Walt Disney World, but what’s weird is we don’t even ride any rides. We just go because it’s just so super themed. It’s just amazing. It’s like the best place on earth. So detailed, lots of story behind everything. But a lot of people don’t know the story behind everything.” Parrish compiled the research he had done for the book about Disney and tied it into what people think of today, while making connections to the past and future.
podcast, he had no idea it would be on the level it is today. “Basically it was just for fun to see if we could do it,” said Parrish. “It was just fun to create. It was almost like having your own website. You update it as you want, you put the features you want in there, and then you find out that other people send you an e-mail talking about how they look forward to your podcast every week- that’s cool, that’s awesome to hear from someone. But at the same time, you just walk around as a regular person. I never have ever run into a single person who listens to it, but there’s like thousands of people out there that do. It’s pretty cool.” Junior Michael Holt and Seniors Darik Geha and Brooke Martin said they would definitely listen to WEDway Radio- if they could find it. “We tried to follow him on Twitter, but he found out and blocked us all as a class. So we weren’t able to access History teacher Nathan Parrish shows off his podcast WEDway Radio or find the links to his podcast,” said Geha. which he started three years ago. Photo from his website. There are 20 categories in the PeoWEDway Radio, which he co-hosts with It’s like everything is super themed. I just ple’s Choice Podcast awards. WEDway his brother, is about “the details, nuances, appreciate the artistic influences behind Radio is nominated for Best Travel Podand the history of the Walt Disney Com- it.” cast. Voting took place Oct. 12 through pany and how they have an effect on pop- WEDway Radio used to air monthly, Oct. 27. Winners are announced at the ular culture.” but now it airs weekly every Sunday BlogWorld Expo in Los Angeles Nov. “It’s something he really enjoys and he night. Parrish said when he began the 3-5. does a really nice job,” said “For him to have been history teacher Blake Little. nominated is a pretty big deal, Parrish and his brother’s they only select ten out of love for Disney began at a thousands of podcasts,” said young age. The two have Little. “But there are a couple been going to Disney World perennial winners, and I don’t regularly for decades. see them being beaten.” “It’s more than just a Geha, Holt, and Martin are theme park, it’s more than all rooting for Parrish to win. just movies, it’s actually like “He will win. He’s the best this whole history of innoof the best,” said Martin. vation and this whole his “If they see his hair, it’s tory of technological adover,” said Holt. vancements that you “I don’t like to ask people can see every day,” to vote for me because that’s said Parrish. “When not the kind of person I am, you go to a theme park so we’re not going to win,” it’s like stepping on to said Parrish. “There are peoa movie set. Every- Parrish surfs the web behind his homemade “apple” ple like that, but that’s just not thing’s there, but it’s computer. Photo by Merrilee Boughan us. It’s cool just to be recognot cheesy. It’s not like nized.” the Tilt-A-Whirl ride.
14 • News • Opinion • Feature • Arts&Entertainment • Sports •
November 4, 2011
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• News • Opinion • Feature • Arts&Entertainment • Sports • 15
Obesity epidemic sweeps nation, impacts youth Fast Food in Relation to Obesity
Katey Stoetzel and Haley Roach
The Obesity Epidemic
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16 • News • Opinion • Feature • Arts&Entertainment • Sports •
he said. Mitchell believes the cause of obesity is the fact that people don’t care about what they eat. “When you pick up a twinkie, you focus more on the creamy deliciousness rather than the nutrition label,” Mitchell said. Freshman Justin Fowler also used healthy eating and exercising as a way to lose weight. He got a personal trainer for a short time and started working out for an hour and a half three times a week; an hour of weights and 30 minutes of walking. He also started eating five small meals a day; things like egg whites, fish, and rice. “I was never hungry,” said Fowler. The reason Fowler decided to lose weight was, “to feel better about myself and to look more attractive.” He said he wanted to impress the females and he thinks it helps him step up his game. Losing weight has changed a lot of things for Fowler, “I have more confidence.” Last year at Summit Lakes, Fowler was an MC in the awards show, “When I lost the weight I felt like I fit in more. That’s why I tried out for the awards show, if I wouldn’t have lost the weight I would have been too embarrassed to stand on stage and dance.” To Fowler, food is the main problem when it comes to obesity. “Food taste so good, but you have to think the food is just in your mouth for a few seconds before you swallow it,” said Fowler, “it’s easier to put on weight than to lose it.”
Coday provides a simple answer to why fast food is the common choice of dinner to most teens. “Fast food is so cheap and teenagers are on a tight budget,” he said. There are ways to chose healthy options, and it is possible for teenagers to make these healthy decisions. One student at West knows how to put these healthy choices in action. Why? It’s simple: it makes you feel better. Thorsen enjoys the whole triathlon: he swims, he runs, he bikes. “I jog to friends’ houses when I have time and if I’m bored, I’ll go for a bike ride for a few hours,” he said. “Even on days I have swim practice in the afternoon, I get up at five in the morning to run.” Sometimes leading a healthier lifestyle is just about making small, everyday choices. “I haven’t drank soda in over a year,” said Thorsen. “It’s really hard sometimes because my friends go to McDonald’s almost every day. Most of the time I just sit there with nothing, hungry, watching them eat.”
oasted Oven Rn Salad Chicke cal. 140 .5 fat g. 3
For some kids at West, being overweight was a reality that existed just a few years ago. “I was at my worst in seventh grade,” said Senior Megan Holtz. But that summer, Holtz’s dad came back home from overseas and that made the difference. “I don’t think he was used to being around me because he kind of freaked out and told me I was overweight for my age,” she said. Soon after that conversation, Holtz found herself out in the hot July afternoon sun, running mile after mile, day after day. Most days she would run up to six miles. “Running became my punishment for anything. But it wasn’t just running, he would watch what I ate too,” said Holtz. In the summer of 2010, Sophomore Nate Mitchell dropped 40 pounds to enter the realm of average fitness for teenagers. Mitchell said he started eating only about 1500 calories a day, which according to www. howstuffworks.com, is 500 calories less than what the average person consumes daily. “I wanted a life because I was a fat loser. I drank only water and ate as much lean meat as possible,” he said. To maintain his weight, Mitchell said he works out five times a week, which includes lifting weights and playing football, and keeps a record of what he eats on an app on his phone. “It’s important to eat healthy so you can have friends. It’s a proven fact that fit people are preferred as friends over hefty people,”
elt M h nc Ra l. n ca . co 70 fat g 5 28
(Left) Some teens don’t seem to care about the effects of fast food on their body but studies show that in 2008 18 percent of teens were obese partially due to consuming unhealthy foods. Photos by Ariel Thompson
West Students Speak Out
There are many possible causes to this problem; so many, in fact that no one knows exactly what to “blame” for the problem. Fingers can be pointed at a few things; genetics, lethargy, unhealthy diets, and an assumption teens may come up with that they are immune to becoming overweight. Regardless of the cause of obesity, there are still some possible solutions. Britton-Mehlisch said exercising 45-60 minutes, five days a week is an important part of preventing obesity. “Watch portion sizes and make healthy choices when deciding what to eat,” said Britton-Mehlisch. If obesity is not taken care of, the long term effects can be detrimental. For example type 2 diabetes, which is usually seen in adults, is now becoming an issue for teenagers. People who are overweight are also more prone to high blood pressure, hypertension, arthritis, and infertility in women. The psychological effects can also be just as severe. Obesity is a cause of higher rates of depression because of the social isolation it can bring, according to Britton-Mehlisch.
Being aware of how many calories or grams or fat consumed can be an easy way to start watching what you eat. Senior Kyle Timmons is an employee at McDonald’s, where, according to him, about half of the people who come in to grab a bite to eat are teenagers. Timmons himself eats fast food four times a week and every time he works. Despite eating that much fast food in one week, he feels it doesn’t really affect him “because of my high metabolism.” However, he said he still believes the cause of obesity is from fast food. “It’s because of fast food being popular and kids being a lot less active,” he said. Junior Dylan Coday also works at a fast food restaurant, but said that working there makes him eat the food less. Senior Nick Thorsen agrees with Timmons. “Parents want a quick meal so they feed their children fast food which sets off a chain reaction of bad habits,” said Thorsen. “With teenagers it most likely started with something like that in their childhood. All these processed foods are addictive and people cannot stop.”
The word “epidemic,” meaning affecting many persons at once, is usually associated with things like the bubonic plague or the swine flu; but now, the big epidemic facing the nation is not a disease at all; it’s obesity. Obesity is a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body. Similarly, being overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. These two are the result of “caloric imbalance,” which means too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed, and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. (www.childtrendsdatabank.org) The obesity problem The United States faces, had not always been so dramatic. “We started to see things worsen in the mid 80’s,” said Dr. Michelle Britton-Mehlisch from Aborwalk Family Care. The timeline of obesity does not help the epidemic case. In 1980, the percentage of teens 12-19 years of age who were obese was 5%. In 2008, the numbers were reconfigured and it was found that the percentage jumped 13%, making the number of obese teens at 18%.
In high school, it’s hard to find free time between the massive amounts of homework and keeping up on social life, it’s easy to scarf down a double cheeseburger without considering the long term effects these unhealthy habits could have on the body. Fast food can seem almost inescapable. It’s the cheapest, easiest, and some believe, the tastiest food available. Fast food restaurants are also one of the most popular places to find a job as a high schooler. Even though in some cases, fast food may seem like the only choice, there are healthier fast food options. Take for example a Subway sandwich versus McDonald’s. In a BigMac, there is a total of 590 calories and a total fat of 34 grams. In a Subway 6’’ Big Philly Cheesesteak, there are 500 calories and 17 grams of fat, still a lot of calories but half the fat.
Eat nearly an entire stick of butter... or eat 1 Big Mac, a Large Fry and a Yogurt Parfait 62 fat grams
Cold Cut Combo Baked Potato Chips Yogurt Parfait 17 fat grams
Information from Subway and McDonalds nutritional guides.
Graphic designed by Justin Hunley
November 4, 2011
• News • Opinion • Feature • Arts&Entertainment • Sports • 17
Battle between iPhones and Androids continues Annie Greenwell Everyone has heard the big debate, which is the best, the android or the iPhone? There are negatives and positives about both of the phones; but which one is truly better or at least in the eyes of West students? Junior Danielle Gasca said, “I like my phone I have an android ATRIX. It’s very fast and has cool apps like finger print to unlock my phone. I have apps to help me with school work. I have had no problems yet.” The same enthusiasm is held by iPhone users. “I have the iPhone 4 and I love it. It is so easy to use and it’s literally a computer to have with you all the time. I use the GPS and maps apps all the time as well as Shazam and Facebook. It has an awesome camera and never freezes on me. Battery life would be my only complaint. I wouldn’t want any other phone,” said Senior Alex Mallot. These phones can all have their bad days, suddenly turning
off, running out of battery at the worst possible time, or having a touchy screen, but the user of these phones basically has any information needed in their finger tips. “I have the Android Epic. I like the touch screen and the keyboard but I don’t like that the battery dies after like 5 hours of use,” said Senior Connor Hartnett. “I do wish I had an iPhone so I wouldn’t have to worry about having
my phone and my iPod places. I use the weather app as well as twitter and other ones. Twitter is probably the one I use most” The apps on both of these phones range from just about any sort of games to resources to help with school work. A popular use is social networking. Sophomores Alexander Grantham and Helen Natera both agree that they use their Twitter app the most. Here are the facts, which is truly better? The iPhone has up to 300,000 apps while the android only has 200,000. The android has the
e4 n o h iP e h t so e s v i a t h t. I i “I e v t’s i lo I d n d an ea s u er t o t u p y om eas c a ll a y l l u a o liter e with y v to ha e.” m i t the r Senio allot M Alex
capability to plug in a keyboard and screen, so; the android has the same capabilities as a laptop, because it is 4G. The android, however, has a larger screen, and a longer lasting battery, but, the iPhone may out rule that with its iTunes store (Neilsten, 1) Many could go on for hours rambling on about which phone truly is the best buy. Most cannot be persuaded; opinions are strong. Disagreement will continually go back and forth, but either way, it’s agreed that the 21st century is beyond fortunate enough to have the world in its hands.
“I have a n Androi d ATRIX. It’ s very fas t and has cool app s like finge r print to unlock my phone.” Junior Danielle G asca
( Above) Both the iPhone and Android have a strong following that is continuing to grow with technology. Photos by Ryan Miller (Left) Even though both phones have their differences, they offer a multitude of apps including Twitter and messaging.
18 • News • Opinion • Feature • Arts&Entertainment • Sports •
November 4, 2011
Followers anticipate Paolini’s final “Inheritance” Claudia Guthrie The “Inheritance” cycle by Christopher Paolini comes to an end with the release of the final book of the same name Tuesday. The “Inheritance” cycle is the story of the mythical land Alagaesia, where a boy named Eragon finds a dragon egg and becomes one of the last Dragon Riders. Paolini wrote the book when he was 15 and selfpublished it when he was 19. “Eldest” and “Brisingr” followed. Now, fans are
eagerly anticipating the fourth book, “Inheritence.” “I’m disappointed [that it’s ending], but it’s not like the end of ‘Harry Potter’,” said Senior Laura Wiltshire. “I’m looking forward to see how everything ends up working out in Alagaesia.” “I’ve been waiting for it for a long time, so I’m very excited that it’s coming out. I think I’ll be kind of sad when it’s over, because it’s the last one. “Brisingr”, the third one, came out when I was a freshman and now the last one’s coming out when I’m a senior, so I’ve been waiting for it my entire high school career,” said Senior Chris Porter.
Wiltshire has read Paolini’s books four times. “I enjoy them because of the unique plot style and the way in which all the characters interact with one another and how the whole plot came together through the 3 books,” said Wiltshire. In 2006, “Eragon” was made into a film by 20th Century Fox. The movie was the 31st highest grossing film in the United States in 2006. It was also the 10th worst reviewed film of 2006 on Rottentomatoes.com. Porter said everything about the Eragon movie was terrible. “Bad directing, bad special effects, and they left out so much of the plot that it just kind of jumped from one scene to another and didn’t really explain anything.” Porter said the only thing he liked about the film was the cute baby dragon, Saphira. “It was the worst thing I’ve seen in my
entire life, next to the ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ movie. It was just awful,” said Wiltshire. Despite its disappointing reputation, Sophomore William Berthelot said he enjoyed the movie. “It’s very different from the book. I enjoyed it, it’s a movie- who wouldn’t enjoy a movie?” said Berthelot. “They could have done better on making it more like the book, but that’s Hollywood.” Both Porter and Wiltshire have high hopes for “Inheritance”. “My hopes are it’ll be at least as good as the first three, if not better. I’m expecting to have a lot more loose ends tied and to see a little bit more romance between Eragon and his wonderful love interest,” said Wiltshire. “[I hope] that it has a nice ending that’s enjoyable, but it needs to have some tragedy in it,” said Porter. “I like tragic moments in books so it has to have an ele“Eragon” is the first of four books ment of tragedy, but it also has to have a really good ending where everything by Christopher Paolini. “Inherifeels completed.”
tance” will be released Tuesday. Photo by Kathryn Hilger.
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West Student sees Review: “Paranormal Activity 3” ups the creepy more than just grades Katey Stoetzel There is a certain recipe for horror films and it goes like this: an aura of perfection surrounding what seems to be a normal house, likable characters, a mystery about ghosts, the stupidity of the likable characters, and the feeling of ‘how can anything go wrong?’ Oh, and little girls. Always the little girls. This is exactly the recipe for the third installment of “Paranormal Activity.”
the house by the girls’ stepdad Dennis, the main focus is on Katie and Christy’s bedroom, which they share. This is where Toby spends most of his time talking to Christy, threatening Christy, and torturing Katie by ways of yanking her by the hair, sending her flying across the room, and whipping her bed back and forth. The movie is full of the classic I’m-going-to-slowly-open-this-closet-door-because-there’s-no-way-there’s-somethingbehind-it moments that make the whole audience jump ten feet out of their chair. Unlike the last two movies, things happen throughout. Things like the game Bloody Mary that’s played in the bathroom, furniture disappearing then reappearing by way of thin air, and Toby stalking the parents and the baby sitter. And the last 15 minutes is something all on its own. But the best part of the movie is what it does to your head, and that should be the ultimate goal of every horror movie. After seeing the movie, you can’t help but think about it while you’re in your room, trying to go to sleep. You hear noises In Paranormal Activity 3 along with invisible ghosts, silhouettes of dark figures appear more from downstairs while everyone is supposed than once. Photo by Ryan Miller to be asleep. Every This movie is a prequel to the two pre- time you’re in the bathroom, even with vious Paranormal Activity movies and the lights on, the silhouette of a women in follows Katie, who appeared in the first a dress appearing in the mirror stays with movie, and her sister Christy from the you. Every time you open a closet door, second movie. “Paranormal Activity 3” you know old nun-looking women will follows how their story began and their be there, waiting for you, stalking you. first encounters with the paranormal. And no matter how fast you sprint down Set in 1988, Christy, the youngest sis- the stairs, up the stairs, in any direction ter, seems like a normal six year old, play- to run away from your paranoia, those ing tea party with her stuffed animals and images will never leave you. And it’s all claiming to have an imaginary friend. thanks to Paranormal Activity 3. Except she really does, and his name is Go ahead and thank it, because now Toby. you’re a sleep-deprived human being like Filmed through cameras set up around I am.
Lindsay Brady A tall foggy figure stood before Sophomore Alexander Grantham as he entered his room late one winter night in 2009. This is one of several times he has seen a ghost. “It was a tall man that I could sort of see through but it didn’t have defined facial features,” said Grantham. Sometimes when Grantham is the only person left in his house at night, he said he will hear noises. These noises are not the typical house creaks; they are sounds such as things suddenly falling and silverware clanking on table tops. Recently he experienced a time when the ghost moved a piece of paper that had been left unfolded on his floor. This phenomenon occurred w h i l e G r ant h am was out of the room. “I came back to find my p a p e r folded and placed on the edge of my bed,” Grantham said. Grantham has also seen things move by themselves. Doors and drawers closing. Books falling. When Grantham knows there is a ghost nearby he said he doesn’t
get scared because he can’t do anything about it. “I don’t know what to do except for sit there,” said Grantham. Although these ghost encounters don’t happen very often, they have been occurring in his life for awhile. Lately, they have become more frequent. Grantham said he may have inherited this unique ability from his mom because her whole side of the family can see ghosts. He said he believes that only certain people have this ability. “I guess you’re born with it or not,” said Grantham. He said he is pretty certain that his grandmother has seen the same ghost that he has. This leads Grantham to believe that the ghost is a family member that has passed away. “I will probably be haunted f o r e v e r ,” Grantham said.
Some may stereotype ghosts as this foggy figure, but Sophomore Alexander Grantham sees actual human figures. Photo by Ryan Miller
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November 4, 2011
High expectations for grammy winners’ new albums
Review by Katey Stoetzel It’s been four years since Coldplay’s last album, and with the releases of their new singles “Every Teardrop is A Waterfall” and “Paradise” on the radio, their newest album “Mylo Xyloto” has done it again. Even though this album has received some negative responses, I’m here to tell you “Mylo Xyloto” does not deserve these negative views. Yes, it’s true that this time around,
Review by Sydnee Owens Pop star Kelly Clarkson blew minds with her new album “Stronger” released October 24. No album name could be more appropriate, the theme of the album is undoubtedly strength, in which Clarkson demonstrates through her powerhouse of a voice and her pick-me-up lyrics. Clarkson seems to be addressing the negative impact of the media in several of her Coldplay strays away from solely being indie rock and changing their sound to more of a pop
Kelly Clarkson’s latest album Stronger released Oct. 24 with, for the most part, outstanding reviews from critics. Photo by Ariel Thompson tracks, like “Mr. Know feeling. It All” and “You Can’t It’s true. Win.” But she does Like with it in a way that the any songs average person of the ‘pop’ can relate to genre, they are easy to get stuck in your head for the rest of day/week/month. Other songs by Coldplay are not as easy to get stuck in your head, but here, it is. Songs like “Hurts Like Heaven,” “Paradise,” and “Charlie Brown,” I have found myself humming and singing them all weekend. Not that it’s a bad thing, just different when it comes to Coldplay. But here’s the thing: it works. And it works because it still sounds like Coldplay. The songs are more upbeat and have more of a colorful feel to it, but other than that, lead vocalist Chris Martin still sings beautiful lyrics. On their previous albums, the band portrayed more melancholy and slow tempos; however “Mylo Xyloto” comes off as happy and shows fans and non-
the constant judgments that the world so graciously gives. While many of her new songs are won’t-let-anyone-get-me-down kind of songs, they don’t scream “poor me, poor me” either. Better yet, they address how to deal with negative situations in a positive way, like in her song “I Forgive You.” This album may be a bit more “pop-ish” than her past albums have been, it’s the same Kelly. She encourages her listeners to stand up for themselves and backs it up with her astounding voice.
fans alike that Coldplay does have a different side to them. Though this album does not come anywhere close their Grammy Award Nominee album “Viva La Vida” from four years ago, “Mylo Xyloto” is still enjoyable to listen to and Coldplay’s latest album Mylo Xyloto, does not deserves the criticism released Oct. 21 with harsh reviews from critics. Photo by Ariel Thompson.
November 4, 2011
is has been getting.
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NBA disputes cause standstill Andy Evans With winter comes many things: falling temperatures, the holidays, and NBA basketball. But the likelihood of there being an NBA season this year at all has been called into question by extensive labor disputes between team owners and players, resulting in a lockout, similar to that of the NFL. The lockout began back in July, although players and owners have been in dispute since early 2010. While many issues have been brought to the table, the main issue has been the distribution of NBA revenue. As it sits today, players in the NBA receive 57% of the revenue generated by the league, with the owners being given the other 43%. The players have offered to lower their share to 52.5%, but the owners are standing strong on their desire of a 50-50 split of income. The lockout is putting the 2011-2012 season in jeopardy and has concerned and irritated NBA fans all around West. Junior and lifelong Chicago Bulls
fan Grant Hughes said, “I think it’s silly because people who already make millions of dollars are wanting more money. It’s all just silly.” Even with discussions going on for over 5 months, a vast majority of issues remain unresolved. So far the only topic that has been truly resolved are players’ contracts lengths have been shortened from six years to five years for players who have “Bird” rights, which means teams are allowed to go over the salary cap to resign their own free agents. Although there is widespread confusion about what each side is desiring, it all boils down to money. The players want more benefits, while the ownership wants more money. “With the way the economy is, [players] shouldn’t be asking for more money when they’re having no trouble paying the bills,” said math teacher and girls basketball coach Darin Hall. Even with progress being made, far more topics remain up in the air then are
coming to an end. Because of how long the negotiations are taking, the entire
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preseason and first month of the season has been cancelled, and there is no telling when or if the season will begin. “I think they will play a short season, and won’t start until January,” said Hall. Hughes disagreed and said, “I don’t think they’ll reach an agreement this season.” Junior Trevor Gregory believes the whole situation is sad for basketball. He said, “If the
players really loved the game, they would play for the game, not for the money.”
November 4, 2011
Unexpected wist in the NFL This year the NFL has been anything but predictable. Here’s just one example that should give you an idea of what I mean. Two weeks ago the 0-7 Indianapolis Colts were embarrassed by the Saints with an ending score of 62-7. Then the Dallas Cowboys defeated the 0-6 Rams 34-7. Come this week, the Rams apparently turned over a new leaf and beat the Saints 31-21. It just doesn’t add up. This is just one situation out of many so far this season where the league has been unpredictable. Who would’ve thought coming into the season the Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers would be at or near the top of their divisions? Who would’ve expected the Colts to be 0-8, with or without Peyton Manning? St. Louis was supposed to be a “dark horse” to win their division coming into the season, and now sits at 1-6. And, what happened to the Eagles being the “Dream Team.” After their victory over the Cowboys on Monday night, they’re 3-4. Not quite “Dream Team” quality. It’s impossible to keep track of who’s good, who’s not, who’s supposed to be good, who shouldn’t but is, etc. Honestly, it makes for a less enjoyable season. While
granted, upsets are always fun, unless they’re against your team, and underdog victories are always exciting, when nothing is as it should be other than maybe the Packers being 7-0, things get a little less fun. This season has been so all over the map, not even stats are as they should be. Rookie Cam Newton of the 2-6 Panthers has more passing yards so far this season than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Ben Rothlisberger, and Eli Manning. Cincinnati rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has more wins than Phillip Rivers, Michael Vick, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan, and KC’s own Josh Freeman. What? This has been one of the most untraditional seasons to date the NFL has experienced. Even amidst all the unrest and confusion that is the 2011 NFL season, some constants remain true. The Steelers will still be in the running for another Lombardi Trophy. Tim Tebow still won’t be good enough to keep the Broncos from looking at Landry Jones or Matt Barkley as a replacement.
“Upsets are always fun... and underdog victories are always exciting...”
Commentary by Andy Evans
November 4, 2011
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Titan boys swim team takes it to state Annie Greenwell Practice, practice, practice is all the boys swim team has been focusing on this past season in order to prepare for the upcoming state meet. Junior Collin Adams said, “We have all been focusing and working hard on race pace in our events. The more practice we can get at it, the faster we go when it all comes down to it.” He hopes the dedication and hard work will really pay off when they get to the big day. “The season has been brutal, as usual. What else do you expect from swimming? Each practice is very different in terms of what it consists of. It can be a distance day, sprinting day, or recovery day. For the most part we have stayed at around 5000 yards per practice and that will drop with taper,” said Senior Conner Bruns. These swimmers have had some awesome accomplishments under their belt and it might just take them really far. “Drew had two state cuts for the 500 free and 200 free and I also have two state cuts in the 50 free and 100 free. Conner Bruns is really close in both 50 and 100 and Collin might come as an alternate for state or might make a state time in 100 breaststroke,” said Junior Nate O’Conner. Although it’s been a super tough season for everyone, when it comes down to it, the team is very close and wants to do well not only for themselves but for the team as a whole. Senior Drew Adams said, “We have really come together when hard sets come up in practice and we push through them together. To get closer as a team we usually have pasta parties and socialize before and after practice.” Being upperclassmen, these guys are role models for the underclassmen who don’t know the ropes yet. Adams said, “As upperclassmen, we can all set an example for the younger guys and inspire them to make state. It will definitely show that our team has good leadership and will have it for years to come.”
Junior Collin Adams swims on varsity and does events like 200 individual medley and the 100 fly. Adams is going on to state along with many other boys. Photo by Morgan Johnson. Coaches are obviously a huge asset to the team, hand keep the going, and make them much strong individuals. “Both Coach Gibler and Coach Bliss somehow whip me back into shape every season and I could not have gotten this far without the motivation that they have given me. As a senior I mostly try to lead by example and trying to keep a positive attitude,” said Bruns. The swim team lost a lot of great seniors last year, which is always a problem for many teams. “This year, we were looking at getting new relays in since we lost a huge group of really fast guys. We got all three relays qualified so now our focus is on making it back to finals, the second day of the swim meet,” said Drew.
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“I think that overall we will be a pretty solid team. We’ve showed that we can keep up with other top state teams but we’ve just got to have the mindset to do it at state,” said Adams. Encouraging one another on is huge. Drew said, “We try and keep the attitude positive when practices get tough and people want to quit. You just have to focus on how fast you need to go at the end of the season and work your butt off to get there. State is Nov. 11th and 12 in St. Peter’s, MO. Support for cheering the swim team on is a huge help and encouragement to these very hard working juniors and seniors.
November 4, 2011
TE NNI S Cross
Meg Peterson As the fall sport season comes to a close, the Lees Summit West girls tennis team is finishing off strong. “We have had a great season together this year,” said Junior Brandi Vollmer. “We have all worked really hard and we had so much fun,” Vollmer said. Tennis takes a lot of practice to get the hang of but with supportive teammates and great coaches winning a lot of matches was made possible. “It was a growing
year for us as we had a lot of new people added to the team,” said Vollmer. This year was more of a building year. We lost a lot of seniors last year so we all had to be in the game 100 percent of the time,” said Vollmer. “I really liked the challenge of having to step up and play the number one position. It made me work really hard and practice a lot,” said Vollmer. “For our team it ended with a tough, close loss to Lees Summit but for me as an individual I advanced to Sectionals but was unable to play due to an injury,” said Vollmer. “It was sad to see the season coming to an end but everyone worked so hard so we have a lot to be proud of,” said Vollmer.
Laura Kelley finishes a strong serve in a match against Lee’s Summit. Photo by Ariel Thompson
As the Girls Cross Country season draws to a close, the varsity team and coaches look forward in hope towards the upcoming districts and the steps towards state. Although the junior varsity team has wrapped up their season, the varsity team, a team containing no seniors this year, is still running strong, and Head Coach Jessie Griffin said, “The team is really starting to come together,” making the varsity girls look onward in anticipation towards the long road to state. Senior Mandea Bermudez stated that, “there was a strong team unity even though we lost really good leaders without seniors from last year.” Although the loss of past seniors, and current seniors that chose to disband from the team this year, they are still running strong with the addition of new freshmen this year at West, as well as other sophomores and juniors that make up the rest of the Varsity team. According to Assistant Coach Matt Turner, “The team has been doing really well, and here recently we took first place at conference.” A key aspect to running
cross country is staying heathy and in good shape for races, and it seems that that’s exactly what the girls are doing in preparation for the upcoming districts. One Freshman on the Varsity team, Samantha Phillips, said that “the team has been staying right on track by hydrating, eating heathy, and staying heathy in general.” At districts, Sophomore Kiersten West placed 2nd, followed by Phillips in 3rd. The girls went on to win the meet. They also went on the win Sectionals the next week with Sophomore Kennedee Williams Lexi Salamone strides to reach placing third and West the finish line. Photo by Alex Palmer in fourth. “[The girls] are gearing up for the end Griffin said that they “hope of the season,” said Turner. “I that things will fall into place,” believe that they will do well; as the girls prepare for districts, they’re fast, and we have a lot and build momentum for of confidence in them.” state. In order for the team to “I wish the girls luck in move onward they must place districts, sectionals, state, and within the top four at their the next few years,” Bermudez district meet; from there they’ll concluded. continue on to sectionals
Preferred Pediatrics James K. McEntire, DO, FAAP Noel M. Graham, M.D. FAAP Sherri Quick CPNP Sara Cox MPAS, PA-C
241 NW McNary Court (816) 347-0064 Lee’s Summit, MO 64086 Fax (816) 347-0593
November 4, 2011
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Lady Titans serve, spike, dig their way : s ct
iThe volleyball team fought hard in Districts, and their r t is
hard work paid off. After blazing through the Raytown South game in only two games, the girls had to face Blue Springs. “I wish we could’ve done better in the first games, but I had a pretty good feeling we’d pull out on top,” said Junior Taylor Sandbothe. They lost the first game 21-25 but came back and won the second two 25-19 and 25-18. The girls were in the same boat playing Blue Springs South for the title. They lost the first game 25-27 and came back and won 25-19 and 25-10 in the second two games. “We played out of our minds. It was an awesome match, it was very evenly fought. We put everything out on the court,” said Senior Megan McGehee on winning Districts.
With so much adrenaline still from the close matches in Districts, the girls had no problems in Sectionals, beating both teams in the first two games. “We did really good. We really showed up, everyone was on,” said Senior Anna Hunter. They beat Oak Park first 25-14 and 25-7. Then they beat St. Teresa’s Academy 25-13 and 24-14. “We got on such a dominant roll through districts, sectionals felt like a breeze. There was never any question for who was going to win in the St. Teresa’s game,” said McGehee.
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ls: Senior Megan McGehee, Sophomore Bailey Katzfey, and Juniors Madi Mosier and Taylor Sandbothe scream in excitement after their sectionals win, which advanced the team to state. Photos by Alex Palmer
November 4, 2011
to State competition in Cape Girardeau “Befo re into th every gam e e we g “neve huddle an d I sc et r give rea u eryon e else p!” and th m, en y down! ” The ells, “neve evr back n we t the ta hank lents God fo he ha with b s b y l e p ssed u r raying -Junio .” s r Tayl or Sa
“Never give up, never back down!” : e t ta
Photos by Alex Palmer
November 4, 2011
Junior Taylor Sandbothe jumps up for a block against Oak Park. Photo by Ariel Thompson
The volleyball team is six hours away in Cape Girardeau, a small town in the boot hill of Missouri playing for the State title. They left Wednesday after school so they could practice on Thursday the court. T hey will be playing their first game in the State tournament today. The girls will not have to worry about the team that robbed their State title last year and in 2008 because “St. Joseph Academy got knocked out in Districts,” said McGehee. Their first opponent will be Francis Howell from St. Charles, MO. If they win that then they will play the winner of Lafayette and Ozark on Saturday at 3 p.m.
e the r ’ e w e k “I feel li eam in the state tt w stronges it’s time we sho nk and I thi hee them.” an McGe eg
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Titan football rolls through districts Andy Evans
For Titan football, consistency is the goal moving into Playoff play. “We call this short time because we only have 5 days between games so a lot of preparation has gone into this week,” said head coach Royce Boehm. “It’s one and done at this point, so we’ve got to stay the course.” Wednesday the Titans faced off against the Lebanon Yellowjackets, but preparation started long before hand. “There were the usual films and practices, but other than that the coaches have been telling us that from here on out, if we lose, we turn our stuff in. It’s simple as that,” said Junior Defensive Lineman Ryan
Richardson. Boehm said he believes the team being consistent in everything they do is the key to success. “We are preparing for these games the same way as every other one,” said Boehm. Richardson agreed. “I think it’s going to be a very good game. It’s going to be rainy, stormy, and cold so we just need to play consistently and stay on course and we’ll be fine.” But the road to the playoffs has been a long one, including a clean sweep of Districts with the Titans shutting out Lee’s Summit, Ruskin, and Belton. Their first District opponent was cross-town rival Lee’s Summit.
The much anticipated game turned out to be a blowout. The Titans rolled through the game posting a 56-0 shutout, propelled by a stellar performance from Senior quarterback Luke Knott, who threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns. The following week the Titans faced off against Ruskin, who entered the game at 1-6. The Titans ensured (Left) Senior Shaq Harrison runs the ball down the field avoiding many attempted tackles from Belton players. Photo by Justin Hunley
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(Above) Senior Luke Knott is expected to go to Iowa Sate after he graduates. Photo by Justin that the Eagles would never have a chance as they shut them out 45-0. The final District game consisted of the Titans defeating Belton 42-0. The Titans are now taking the post-season one game at a time. “You have to win this game before you can go onto the next ones. We just need to stay focused on the present,” said Richardson.
November 4, 2011
November 4, 2011
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or e om von
y r o eg
r G or
v e r or T
i n u J
Sophomore Grant Robbins
h Sop “We had quite a few try out, probably 60,” said Coach Michael Schieber. Football players won’t be eligible to try out until after football season is over. “It creates challenges. We’ll have to make a second set of cuts,” Schieber added.
Photos by Derec Owens
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Boys Basketball Hopefuls November 4, 2011
g n i l t s e r W oys
“I expect for everyone to have stepped up their game from last year and to have a few more people go to state this season,” said Elias Duckworth. “The coaches are the same so I like the way they coach and how they push us. And for the other wrestlers, we have a lot of new freshmen so I don’t know what to expect from them. Hopefully they get a feel for the sport and come up strong in the years to come.”
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of the season and to progress as a wrestler and hopefully to wrestle varsity,” said Sophomore Tray Wilson. “I like the coaches; they’re great. They help me learn new moves and help me with anything and how they coach is even better.”
Photos by Nicole Conniff
November 4, 2011
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Titan soccer makes history Carlie Nash Titan Soccer has been excelling rapidly since the beginning of the season but now it is down to the final stretch. The team has had great success in the past, beating most of the teams they have played. This is said to be due to how they’ve bonded. “We’re a good team. We play well as a team because we’ve really bonded together over the season and I’m happy with how we’ve been doing,” said Junior Drew Douglas. The Titans hold a 21-6 record as of Wednesday. They played Rockhurst last night in the Distrcit finals. For updates on the game check out lswestonline.com. “The season has been great, I think one of our best years ever. The win against North was the first time we ever beat them, so that has been the highlight of the season so far,” said Junior Alex Brown. The Titans had high hopes progressing into Districts. “We want to win Districts. I don’t think we have ever made the District finals, but we are looking to get revenge on Lee’s Summit. That would be the first time we ever beat Lee’s Summit and North in the same season. If we win that we get a chance to beat Rockhurst for the first time in school history. So, we want to win and we know there are some good opportunities for us, we’re excited,” said Brown. “I’m really excited to play Lee’s
(Left) Junior Drew Douglas steals the ball from the opposing team Tuesday night when the Titan boys won 1-0 over Lee’s Summit High School. Photo by Joey Franke
Summit again. I was nervous the first time we played them but I’m sure that the next time we do, we’ll do fine. We know what’s coming,” said Douglas. History was made. The Titans beat the Tigers 1-0. As the season comes to a close, the feelings are bittersweet. Brown said, “It’s sad because I’m going to miss our seniors, but there have some good memories from this year.”
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November 4, 2011