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Friday 12.11.2009


Vol. VIII Issue 3 - Prince George High School - 7801 Laurel Spring Rd - Prince George, VA 23875 - 804-733-2720

Senior LaCreshia Page stares down her junior opponents. Photo by Amir Vera.

. d e r i w trn om c

Powderpuff seniors take victory in playing for good cause p. 30 & 31

Networking sites affect face to face conversation p. 10

Senior Kia Parker connects to the popular networking site, Facebook. Photo by Devyn Pachmayr.

School safety dependent Cabaret back in full on restricted access p. 9 swing p. 23

Find it only on

Visitors have to check into the main office before doing their business within the school. The faculty feels that this policy is effective at keeping tresspassers out of the school, and away from the studens.

South Elementary students voice their opinions of Santa Claus and Christmas. To find out what they said and see more pictures, go to

The student-facu;ty cabaret returned to the stage after a two year hiatus on Satuday, Nov. 20. It included many different acts including singing, swing dancing, and a few monolouges.


Page 2 -The Royal News - December 11, 2009



Stronger DUI penalties needed


ecember is the National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention month. Information from USA Today states more than 1.5 million people were arrested in the United States last year because of drunk driving. The first offense of a DUI (driving under the influence) charge consists of fines, community service, driver’s license restrictions and possible jail time. Are these punishments strict enough considering the dangers drunk drivers put other peoples lives in? According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration alcohol related accidents kill someone every thirty-one minutes. Enforcing stronger laws and punishments can minimize the number of deaths because of drunk driving. Studies found that fatal crashes that involving alcohol dropped about 22% because of regular sobriety checkpoints. Raising the BAC (blood alcohol content) levels could also help reduce the amount of crashes. After the 0.08% BAC laws were passed, crashes declined about 7%. The best way to lower the destruction caused by drunk driving is by being aware. It takes about thirty minutes to an hour for BAC levels to reach their peak. Therefore people often assume that they are safe to drive. Drinking impairs judgment and coordination, slows reaction time and affects vision. Long term drinking can cause damage to your liver, nervous system, heart and brain. Zero tolerance laws state that no under aged person can possess, purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. Forty-four states have a lower BAC level of 0.00, 0.01, or 0.02 for under aged drivers. Driver licenses are often restricted or taken away when charged under the zero tolerance law. A study that compared 12 states with the zero tolerance law and twelve without has shown that the states with it have a 16 percent decrease in nighttime fatal crashes involving alcohol. Punishments given for drinking and driving should be revised to further lower the amount of death and injury that is currently caused by alcoholism behind the wheel. (



ur mission as the school newspaper for Prince George High School is to provide a form of media that represents all aspects of student life. The goal is to present factual accounts of newsworthy events in a timely manner. Our publication will be informative, entertaining and reflective of the student body’s opinions. It is the desire of the staff to reach every student and tell as many of their stories as possible. We invite your commentary: The Royal News Opinion page is a forum for public discussion and shall be open to all students. The Royal News will print as many letters as space will allow. The Royal News reserves the right not to print a letter. The Royal News publishes a wide variety of opinions. Send letters to: Letters to the Editor, The Royal News, PGHS, 7801 Laurel Spring Road, Prince George, Virginia 23875, or bring them to room A6, or e-mail them to We reserve the right to edit for clarity, brevity, accuracy, legality, spelling and grammar. Please include your name, address and phone number. Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication. 500 word maximum. Please submit letters to the editors by Jan. 12 for the Jan. issue.



Section Editors Jami Davis-News; Mia Norman-Op/Ed; Delbria Walton-Features; Katie AdamsAmpersand; Kelsie McDaniels-A&E; Amir Vera-Sports; Devyn Pachmayr-Double Truck; Colby Eliades-Photo; Janai Cunningham-Ads Manager; Jessica Lee-Circulation; Sarah Moats-Editorial Cartoonist; Laura Young-Web Editor/Copy Editor; Sarah HabermehlFacebook Editor

Kayla Carneal

Adviser Chris Waugaman

Writers Alisha Holmes-Laura Young-Sarah Habermehl-Christy Hardin-Jessica Stainback-Autrey Jackson-Tasa Hattori-Gabrielle Wittington-Brittany Thacker-Alison Brown-Kimberly CarnealJake McQuiggan-Jessica Marshall-Rachel Waymack-Olivia Tritschler-Mariah Blystone-Malikah Williams- Wayne Epps, Jr.- Rachel Youmans - Emanuel Guadalupe

The Royal News, PGHS 7801 Laurel Spring Road Prince George, Virginia 23875 804-733-2720 The Royal News is printed at The Progress-Index in Petersburg, Virginia

Professional affiliations & awards Columbia Scholastic Press Associations Gold Medalist 2009 National Scholastic Press Assoc. Pacemaker Finalist 2009 Virginia High School Association Trophy Class 2009 SIPA All Southern 2008


Making the Grade Winter Break is almost here, beginning with an early release day on December 18th, with students coming back to school on a new year, arriving to finish off the semester in January.

The School’s New Web site is being

created by Ms. Carr’s Dual Enrollment Multimedia students, and is almost complete. All that’s needed is to have all the completed pages linked to the home

Holiday Presents are great fun to

receive, but finding the perfect gift for that special someone can be harder than it looks, and extremely expensive.


December 11, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 3

Senior reflects on changing year


year of change. That is what describes 2009 as a whole. Events that took place in the last eleven

months have affected the United States and have made a defined mark in our history. Throughout Jessica Stainback his campaign, Barack Obama continued his usage of the slogan, “change.” To set the year off with this change, Obama, the first ever biracial male was sworn into presidency

on January 20, along with new VicePresident, Joe Biden. Obama promised change, and now the American people will be able to witness the changes in the making. As the world modernizes, so do the ideals of society. On May 6th, the state of Maine legalized same-sex marriages making it the fifth state to do so. This movement however, did not stick, because on November 3rd, it became the first time voters rejected a law enacted by legislature. Legalizing same-sex marriages is a relatively new form of controversy sweeping the nation. It since has become a focus that many governmental figures are including in their platforms during campaigns and elections. As the year went on the failing economy became significant news as GMC filed bankruptcy. This rather large company filed for court protection

Pro/Con: Social Networking


ver the past five years communication has changed drastically. The introductions of texting, Tweeting and IMing have made people more social and diverse. More importantly, social networking sites let users interact on a global scale. Making new friends and catching up with old pals has never seemed so effortless. This benefits many teens by letting them expand their social horizons, not only in their community, but also in the world. America has been flooded with growing addictions to these sites. According to, 35% of adults and 65% of teens Jessica Marshall who use the Internet have profiles. With this newly discovered trend, comes the chance to express yourself. This gives students who lack social skills the opportunity to communicate with others. Talking face-to-face is a second choice compared to communicating online. As a result, sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are becoming increasingly popular. From uploading pictures of themselves to chatting with newfound friends, these sites are an Internet sensation. Some can be considered dangerous while others are deemed user friendly. Users of these sites should abide by the guidelines set up to protect people. These include not giving out personal information and a minimum age requirement to join. There are those users though, who go above and beyond to ensure their safety on the web. For example, they will not talk to strangers, they don’t post pictures of themselves, and they don’t talk about their personal lives. Because of the availability of information found on these sites, companies are finding that hiring has become increasingly easy. Various companies have even started to accept résumés and job applications through these sites. Students are able to apply to more jobs and get a greater range of the types of work in the community. Nowadays, from applying to jobs to talking with friends, the Internet has opened new doors for today’s society, young and old. Even though certain people believe these sites come with consequences, the pros seem to out way the cons. The user at hand is in charge of their destiny concerning the Internet. They are fully aware of the responsibilities that go along with the World Wide Web.

with the government in order to create a company that was able to compete in world markets due to overproduction and drop in sales. A year of change also meant a change in the economy, unfortunately one for the worst. As some businesses faltered, many collaborated in order to promote business. On July 29th, Microsoft and Yahoo created a partnership incorporating Internet search and advertising to create a stronger rival to Google. Not only did this joint venture help promote business and bring changes for each company, but it permitted the companies to raise sales and stimulate the economy. On August 6th, Judge Sonia Sotomayor became the third female justice of the Supreme Court. The vote was 68-31 confirmation. Obama expressed his support for Sotomayor and despite criticism, she was confirmed a justice.

This change was one that made history yet again. Women are becoming more involved in government as they pursue roles that challenge the previously set ideas on gender roles. The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded on October 5th to three U.S. scientists. Not only did these Americans win for their research on the connections between chromosomes and cancer, but also two of the three were women. Only ten women have ever won the Nobel Prize in the medical field. Having women turn the tide of knowledge is a change the country continues to undergo. Events in December have yet to occur, but the year is bound to end with a bang. Change was an occurring theme this past year, and it can only change all the more as 2010 is just around the corner.

With technology becoming such an integral part of our society, communicating through social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace is replacing contact face-toface. Does the love we have for our facebook page outweigh the dangers that come along with it?


Contact Worldwide “This benefits many teens by letting them expand their horizons, not only in their community, but also in the world.”

unsafe Servers “Viruses can be obtained from sending and receiving messages as social networking sites do not scan them like email account’s do.”

Internet Distractions “The use of social networking sites can lead to poor grades in school.”


ocial networking sites are bad for our society. They can be dangerous and they are leading to less real face-to-face communication. A lot of young people do not think about the fact that the things they post on sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter can affect them in the future. Posting too much or inappropriate personal information can make someone prey for sexual and financial predators and can lead to lost higher learning and job opportunities. Ninety thousand sexual offenders were found to have profiles on MySpace in Wayne Epps February 2009 and Facebook would not reveal how many offenders that had profiles on their site. Personality and brain disorders can arise in children who use social networking sites. These disorders can include an inability to hold a real conversation, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and self-centered personalities. People think that they and their computers are safe on the sites. In reality, users are at risk of computer hacking and viruses. Viruses can be obtained from sending and receiving messages as social networking sites do not scan them like email account’s do. Ever wonder how the ads on sites like MySpace correspond with what you are looking at? Well, the social networking site concept was not even created for social interaction but to make money. Networks of online friends are used to obtain info for advertising. The sites place cookies on a user’s computer to gather information and use it to show personalized ads. This is an invasion of privacy. The use of social networking sites also can lead to poor grades in school. They are a distraction to students who should wander onto them instead of doing homework. There is even a Facebook group called “I was doing homework and then I ended up on Facebook.” Social networking has become negative in so many ways. The effect it has on young people can only grow if the sites continue to take advantage of their popularity.


Page 4 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009


ews briefs

Friday, Dec. 11th will be the first Hat Day of this school year. Students are able to purchase stickers for $1 during lunch blocks. Only students who have purchased stickers will be allowed to wear hats. The forensics team will meet on Dec. 17th in room A6. See Mr. Waugaman if you cannot attend. Be ready to perform your piece. Have rides here no later than 4:00 p.m. 4-H club needs members to purchase t-shirts by Dec. 18th in A-16. A Scholarship and College Admissions fair for high school students presented by the Richmond Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Infinite Scholar Program will take place on Friday, December 12th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Richmond City Police Training Academy.

Construction for the roundabout has been underway since Aug. 2009 and is expected to be completed in Aug. of 2011. Photo by Mariah Blystone.

New road construction project removes traffic light Mariah Blystone staff writer


ew construction at the intersection of Courthouse Road and Allin Road is underway. The Virginia Department of Transportation is turning the three way, sometimes unsafe, intersection into a roundabout expected to be completed by August 19, 2011. This new roundabout will create multiple benefits. “Safety is the primary benefit. They practically eliminate T-bone accidents, which are very deadly. They are also more efficient in that they move more cars through the intersection in the same amount of time. They reduce delay,” Residency Administrator Ray Varney said. These roundabouts are also more reliable then the ordinary traffic intersections. “They continue to operate when the electricity goes out. A typical signalized intersection uses traffic signals to manage traffic. When a storm knocks out the electricity, traditional signalized intersections cannot operate,” Varney said. In order to have this system in the community, a large amount of money has been set aside. “The construction cost of the roundabout is $1,512,000, of course there are other costs for any road project and they include design and right of way acquisition,” Varney said.

Along with money, this project has only progressed through a large amount of planning. “The project took about three years to go through all the stages,” Varney said. The first step to building the roundabout is taking measures to prevent silt and sediment from being transported off site, also known as erosion and sediment control or E&S. Next the existing utilities have to be relocated. These include overhead electric, overhead and underground telephone, and cable television. The sanitary sewer and the gas line will not be moved or slightly adjusted. After the moving or utilities, the earthwork begins. Earth is moved to provide proper grading for the roundabout. Grading is very important. After grading comes the surface construction. This includes curb and gutter, sidewalks, pavements, signs and site stabilization, or planting grass to prevent erosion. E&S takes place in the beginning and end of the project. As a part of VDOT, Varney is a big supporter of roundabouts. “They are limited to the amount of traffic they can handle but when they are placed in a location where the traffic volumes are appropriate for their use, they are my preferred option for traffic control,” Varney said. This constant and heavy construction is the cause of delay and hassle for students who have to commute through this area daily. “When I had to go through the con-

struction, I could not merge so I had to go all the way to the stop light and turn there instead. It also delays me from getting to school at times,” Senior Sarah Ham said. Since some new drivers have yet to encounter construction zones to this degree, they may be in for a difficult experience. New drivers are not the only ones who are affected by the road conditions of the constructions zones. “Construction zones not only pose problems for novice drivers, but experienced drivers as well. The safest procedure for all drivers would be to obey the advance warning construction signs and immediately reduce their speed,” Driver’s Education teacher Lisa McDaniels said. Drivers may or may not notice a change in their driving. “It has not affected me at all. I feel like they must be doing an improvement in the county, which is good. Change is good,” says teacher Crystal Barnwell. Although drivers understand they should slow down, not all do. “If there are cones blocking the intersection, people will still go fast,” Ham said. Patience is needed with this area while the production of a safer and more effective roadway system is underway. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some of its users will never fully accept it, but most will think it’s a tremendous improvement,” Varney said.


Media students journey to D.C. for national conference Jessica Lee trn writer

JEA/NSPA National Convention Fondest Moments “I really liked the conference. It was fun because there were a bunch of people, mainly high school kids were there. We were all interested in the same things.” -Olivia Tritschler


tudents from the newspaper, PGTV, and yearbook staffs attended the JEA conference in Washington D.C. from November 13th to 15th. Students who went attended a ceremony to learn if the publications put together in the past year would win a Pacemaker award for the newspaper staff. The award recognized the top student publications in the country. When the students first arrived at the conference Friday morning, they went straight to the classes that they chose prior to the conference. Most went to classes that pertained to the type of media class they were taking. “My favorite class was about satire, called “When to laugh, and when not to laugh’,” senior DiAra Lee said. “It was a really good speech and I learned a lot from it,” The bottom level of the conference was the exhibition level, where colleges and companies alike were representing the media. For the photojournalism students, this level was key. “We learned about the different ways that people did their yearbooks all around the country,” sophomore Stephanie Ramirez said. “You could tell the different kinds of schools and what kind of students were there depending on their yearbooks.” Friday night there was a dance for the students to have the opportunity to put aside all the competition and just have fun for the night. The students were given glow sticks to light up the room for dancing and mingling. “People were crowd surfing and they dropped one girl,” sophomore Mackenzie Topian said. The second day at the conference was a big day: the Pacemaker awards were awarded to the top student newspapers in the country. The students were given the choice to go to either the awards ceremony or the zoo after lunch. Junior Maggie Smith chose to go to the awards ceremony to represent the school. “We got a finalist award, we didn’t win but we still got a finalist award for the

December 11, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 5

“I liked the Newseum because it had a lot of interesting things to learn. I liked the Pulitzer photos because they had a lot of emotion.” -Rachel Youmans

Senior newspaper staff members Kayla Carneal and Katie Adams look at a display in the Newseum. Photo by Mia Norman newspaper,” Smith said. The third and final day was more relaxing than the first two days. Instead of having to go to more conference classes, the students went to the Newseum, a museum dedicated to the history of news. “The broadcasting area was the best part because they let you do it with whoever you wanted and we had so much fun that we did it a second time.” Topian said. “I felt like a superstar doing it because I love the camera.” The field trip was almost like preparing for college for Ramirez. The ability to walk around without parents and learning how to manage money made her feel like she

was “grown-up”. “I kind of felt like we were going to college since we were living with room mates and we had to deal with each other 24/7 and go everywhere together and having to deal with when they go to bed and when they wake up,” Ramirez said. Adviser Allison Heath came to the conference looking for students to learn new ways of doing things in the yearbook. “Being able to watch the students learn new things and respond to what was going on was the best past of the trip,” Heath said.

“I liked the photography class. I learned to take better shots. I learned a lot even though there weren’t many classes.” -Carrie Young

“I liked a lot of the classes they were fun. It gave me good insight and made me improve.” -Madison Guidry

Page 6 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009

Violent video games escape go

Software considered psychologically harmful for youth but remains popular Sarah Habermehl trn writer


uring this holiday season, many new toys will be brought out onto the shelves of retailers’ stores, which will open up the possibility of a recall on dangerous and harmful toys. Violent video games have yet to make the list, although there is research by psychologists such as Douglas Gentile, PhD, and Craig Anderson, PhD, which indicate it is likely that violent video games have an effect on children’s aggression. “I think this could have some truth in extreme circumstances, but unless coupled with an abusive home life and other detrimental factors, it is fairly irrelevant in most youth,” Senior Bobby Holden said. According to, there are three specific reasons for this: the games are highly engaging and interactive, the games reward violent behavior, and children repeat these behaviors over and over as they play. Each of these processes contributes to learning and developing violent behaviors. “Dr. Anderson and Gentile have found that playing a lot of violent video games is related to having more aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors,” the American Psychological Association said in a medical journal. Despite the scientific evidence, one recall consumers will not see this year is on what video game fans and analysts expect to perhaps be the best-selling game of all time, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.” Although there is controversy about it being offensive, this popular game, along

with many other violent video games, will not be taken off the shelves. This particular video game starts out with the player being an undercover agent who participates in a terrorist attack in a crowded airport. “You are just an undercover agent trying to get intel on the operation of the Russian terrorist, so at the beginning you kill innocent people at an airport,” Senior Jeremiah Taylor said. The goal of this level, which sets the stage for the rest of the story line, is to walk through the airport with a plethora of grenades, rocket launchers, and handguns and kill hundreds of innocent people. The violence continues throughout the levels. The game is so controversial that is has a setting that allows players to skip over the “offensive” levels. “If you take it as offensive then you shouldn’t be playing the game in the first place. People need to do their homework on games before they play them,” Taylor said. “It’s a game of the good fighting evil. Bad guys always fail.” Family Media Guide released a list of games in 2005 of some of the most violent video games ever created. Among them was “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” “Grand Theft Auto involves you dealing with shady characters to complete various missions in the world of organized crime,” Holden said. “You basically have free reign to hunt someone down or intimidate someone to get what you want in that mission, while eluding the police or just causing havoc if you please.” There were 9.4 million copies of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” sold in the first five days on the shelves, making over 600 million dollars. These sale trends predict that sale will continue to increase throughout the holiday season. “It’s not only children that play these games or even Americans. People all around the world play them. There is no it way this research has affected sales,” Taylor said.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a video game considered by some to be a controversial game due to its extreme violence. Photo from

government recall

December 11, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 7

By the Numbers 79% of students play video games.

70% who play

video games, play games that are rated M for mature.

51% of students believe that the violence in video games affects the behavior of children.

51% of students think that some video games are overly violent.

21% of students think that overly violent video games should be recalled. The results of this By The Numbers comes from a survey conducted with 164 PGHS students.

Page 8 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009



Cold weather brings sickness Tasa Hattori & Alisha Holmes writers




n the winter season, many sicknesses begin to arise. H1N1 has lately been the most prevalent virus, but there are other illnesses that can harm the body as well. According to Nurse Barbara Pollard, the flu, the common cold and mononucleosis start to peak at the beginning of November and last through April. “Close contact within the schools and the change of weather always cause a lot of sickness,” Pollard said. Seniors Kortez Dixon and Joseph Tritschler both had the cold and the flu. Their symptoms were alike and they both took the same precautions to take better care of themselves. “My body was weak and hot, I was throwing up all the time and I had a lot of headaches. The doctor told me to get a lot of bed rest and take cold medicine every so many hours,” Dixon said. Even though both students had similar illnesses, their recovery differed. “I had a pretty high fever and I was sick for about five days. I was coughing a lot and had a sore throat. I washed my hands and took showers a lot, I drank lots of water and orange juice, and I ate plenty of chicken noodle soup,” Tritschler said. According to Anatomy and Physiology teacher Roy York, aside from the typical cold and flu, some people contract other illnesses such as, strep throat, tonsillitis, bronchitis and pneumonia. “Strep throat is caused by an infection of tonsils and the esophagus. Tonsillitis can occur when tonsils are removed. Bronchitis usually deals with the respiratory system and causes a lot of headaches, fever, nasal discharge and difficulty breathing. [Bronchitis] is usually caused by bacteria or virus and fungal organisms. Pneumonia causes fever, coughing, shortness of breath, sweating and fatigue,” York said. English teacher Sonya Lee recently experienced her two children being sick. Her son Jake Lee, who is four years old, just got over strep throat. After showing early symptoms such as coughing, Lee insisted he go to the hospital. “I believe he got it from his pre-school because a lot of kids were sick before him. He is very asthmatic so he tends to get sick often,” Lee said. Juniors Demitria Myrick and Ashley Hamilton both contracted bronchitis and

December 11, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 9

Common Cold: a group of symptoms in the upper respiratory tract caused by a large number of different viruses. Although more than 200 viruses can cause the common cold the perpetrator is usually the rhinovirus. Influenza: otherwise known as the flu, a common but sometimes serious viral infection of the respiratory tract, causing congestion, fever, body ache, and other symptoms. Mononucleosis: also called “mono,” is a common viral illness caused by EpsteinBar virus. It can leave you feeling tired and weak for weeks or months.

pneumonia. “When I had bronchitis, I was sick for about two weeks. My throat was on fire, I had a fever and I was nauseous a lot. I had body aches all day and I got cold very easily. After being sick that badly, I just think people need to take more precautions about all the illnesses going on right now because I know I am,” Myrick says. Both students took steps to be more cautious. “I had pneumonia for about two weeks and I missed about 3 days of school. I was light headed, dizzy, stuffed up and irritable. I was also very malnourished. I do not want to be sick again so I eat healthier. You just have to be more aware of your surroundings now,” Hamilton said To prevent becoming sick and to

Senior Kortez Dixon protects others from becoming sick by blowing his nose into a tissue. Students have been encouraged this flu season to take precautions against spreading germs. Photo by Tasa Hattori. become healthier, small tasks can help, such as washing your hands on a regular basis, wiping objects before you touch them, covering your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze and keeping tissues handy. “The biggest concern is hand washing, which is very important. Coughing into your elbow is better than using your hands and keeping hand sanitizer and tissues available,” Pollard said.

Strep Throat: a bacterial infection in the throat and tonsils. The throat gets irritated and inflamed. Caused by streptococcal bacteria. Bronchitis: tubes that carry the air to the lungs are inflamed and irritated. It is usually caused by a virus and by breathing in things that irritate the bronchial tubes, such as smoke.

Page 10 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009


Technical advances limit face-to-face interaction

Personal relationships diminished; toxic addiction Jessica Marshall trn writer


rugs, cigarettes, alcohol. All common addictions. Pothead, smoker, alcoholic. All common labels. Texting could also be added to this list. It can cause restlessness and anxiety and the ever so popular sexting is considered a criminal offense, depending on who is involved. Many teenagers today are less social than ever. With all the new trends, such as texting, webcams and social networking sites, meeting face to face and even calling people has become a thing of the past. There must be a reason why texting has become so popular over the past five years. To many, it is considered the downfall of society. Teachers and students alike, agree that texting has become the newest and latest fad in technology. Surveys showed that fifty percent of students prefer texting, over calling or hanging out. Carlos Sanchez, a Spanish teacher, believes just that. “I think that students just think that the world is all about texting. They think it is so cool and they even have their own codes,” Sanchez said. Students who are addicted to texting consider their cell phones a necessity. Senior Beth Kendall, says she texts just about all day long. “I text just about from the minute I get up until I go to bed at night,” Kendall said. Nevertheless, all of the texting has to come with ups and downs. Texting all day, every day, separates teens from the real world, which they should be focusing on. Texting does open up many doors to meet new people, but there is not a point in texting when that is the only form of communication. Teachers and students reach disagreements concerning student’s texting habits. “Texting is taking things to an impersonal side and from a certain point of view; this could be considered a good thing. It is faster but using it all the time hurts you, which is not good,” Sanchez said. “People

can also go back and forth with different thoughts and can misunderstand a phrase because people cannot hear a person’s tone through a text.” Kendall, on the other hand, does not believe that there are negative outcomes of texting rather than talking. “If I’m texting someone then it is generally someone I would talk to in person,” Kendall said. “I believe that people who do text all the time do it out of habit and that they require that concept of communication.” Many teenagers are so caught up in texting that they feel the consequences of it in school. Since students are so wound up in texting, a handful of schools across the nation have started to incorporate such communication into their ways of teaching. “I think that it would be more of a distraction because students will make teachers think that they are doing their work, when in all reality, they are actually texting or IM-ing someone instead of doing work,” Sanchez said. “I believe that it would just be a waste to attempt it.” “I think that if there was not such a strict ban about texting in school, then it would not be as big as a problem,” Kendall said. “Teachers seem to spend more time trying to catch students in the act rather than focusing on teaching.” “I believe that texting and other such communications should be allowed in school because most students participate in it,” Sophomore McKenzie Pierce said. “We are teenagers and most of us spend more time texting rather than studying or doing homework, so if the schools and teachers incorporated it, we would most likely pay

more attention and learn more.” However, there are still teenagers who have not been affected by the texting sensation. Even though ninety-seven percent of the student body has cell phones and texting, the other three percent still manage to communicate on a daily basis with their friends. These students call their friends and hang out in person. Pierce is one of those students who has not let texting take over her social life. “”I agree that texting and technology like Facebook and MySpace are separating people from communicating face to face and in a way, it is ruining our lives,” Pierce said. “I only spend about an hour a day on the internet and I am usually on Facebook. I believe that people who text all the time simply have no social life.” Sophomore, David Mendoza, is a strong believer that it is unnecessary for people to text someone but then refuse to talk to them face to face. “It is annoying and stupid because they will talk to you in one place and then they do not communicate in person. What’s the point of even texting then,” Mendoza said. “I know that all the people I text I will and have talked to in person.” Whether it is texting or Facebooking, teens more than ever seem to be wired up, but tuned out. Communicating face to face develops a better relationship with the person than over texting. Texting is an easy, fun and quick way to communicate with friends, but too much is not a good thing. “Being addicted to texting is crazy,” Mendoza said. “But I guess that is just how some people are.”

Seniors Jeremiah Taylor, Victoria Mendez, Louis Brown, Adwina Webb and Kyerra Leonard take pictures, text, talk and check facebook status. They demonstrate how impersonal use of gadgets trumps face to face. Photo by Delbria Walton.

Communication survey results 85%

of students say they have texted in school : ]


of students say they have texted while their teachers have been teaching : /


of students say that their parents have texted them in school : (


of students have phone plans including unlimited text messaging 0 :)


of students say they either have a facebook, myspace, or both 100 students were surveyed in this poll.

December 11, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 11


Policies to enter school ensure safety Procedures alleviate security concerns; allow students to focus on work Jami Davis trn news editor


he safety of children and staff in school buildings helps to ensure the quality of education by keeping safety concerns from troubling students, teachers, and administrators during the school day. With recent events around the country, such as the shootings at Fort Hood, those involved in the school system may question the safety of school buildings. “I do not think our students are unsafe,” attendance clerk Monica Curtis said. Students generally gain their driving privileges in their junior year and retain them during their senior year. Students’ ability to drive changes the ways that parents can request early dismissal for their children. “The parent needs to come sign a student out, or if the student is a driver, the can call or send a note in. With notes, we do call and confirm with a parent to make sure they are the one who wrote the note,” Curtis said. Although Curtis finds this procedure to be effective in the school, she does support finding ways to improve the policy. “I would like to explore ways to decrease the number of students signing out. If we made it more difficult to sign out there may not be as many students leaving the school,” Curtis said. The process for non-students entering school buildings varies from school to school in the county but is based on the same principles.

“[Visitors] have to check into the main office and fill out a visitor’s pass with their name and information. Then they have to be escorted to their destination and wear their visitors badge,” office secretary Renee Topian said. Students who work in the office typically escort visitors to their destinations to handle their business in the school and then escort then back to the main office to sign out. “Sometimes I feel safe because Mr. T and Officer Pearson are around but other times I do not because I do not know anything about the person,” officer worker Adrianna Cook said. All non-students entering the building generally follow the policy and Topian credits that to the visibility of directions. “We have signs on the doors for visitors to sign in. We have a good system, it tells visitors how to fill out the visitor’s sign in and sign out forms,” Topian said. The process is mandatory and as long as procedure is followed, students remain safe. “I think students are safe as long as the office is serious about the system of people coming in and out of school. It has been really effective so far; we have not had any cases of people entering or intruding on school grounds,” Cook said. If an individual were to enter the school building without following procedure, the school would be prepared to handle the circumstances. “Depending on the situation the individual would be escorted to the office to sign in then escorted to their destination. The individual could be asked to leave or if the person was found to be in the building illegally and was believed to be a possible threat, they could be arrested and charged with trespassing and banned from coming back on school property forever,” Pearson said. The policy has proven to be effective thus far, but Pearson had run into problems of another form concerning individuals in the school building. “Sometimes it is hard to tell if students are actually students of this school because they do not wear their student ID badges. I believe they should be worn and visible. We have had incidents where students from other schools were found in our school illegally,” Pearson said.

N.B Clements Junior High teacher Jayne Crist signs in at the front office. All visitors, including other county teachers, must sign in when entering the building. Photo by Colby Eliades

Page 12 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009



photos and information by Mia Norman

A Trip to the Nurse’s office

The cabinet’s of Nurse Kim Smith’s office contain health care items such as face masks, contact solution, cotton applicators, and sterile pads and bandages.

The medicine books contain lists of all student’s medications and care plans.

Mrs. Smith uses the computer to document all visits and email teachers if their students have medical conditions, and also the phone to contact the parents and teachers of ill students.

The medicine cart contains diabetes kits, inhalers, stethoscopes, epi pens, and other equipment that is administered to students to resolve numerous health conditions.


December 11, 2009 - The Royal News-Page 13

Traditionally popular dances begin to face some apathy Olivia Tritschler trn writer


he lights dim, as music pulses through the floorboards and students start moving to the beat. School dances are part of t h e h i g h s ch o o l experience, but less people have been showing up. In the past, there use to be a dance after every home football game. Now there are three dances a year. The cost, type of music played, and the right to dance how they want, all affect students’ choices to attend. “First and foremost you must have planning way in advance for a dance,” SGA sponsor Michael Nelson said. “But the biggest thing for a school dance is you have to have students who will do the work and want to make it happen and we usually have that.” Ring Dance was held on Nov. 14. Only 135 students bought tickets and sales had to

be continued for two more days for the dance to occur. Junior Chelsea Hughes was one of the students to go and enjoyed it despite the initial small interest. “Ring Dance was great!” Hughes said. “Everything came together really nicely.” The cost of going to dances has increased over the years. The price for the Homecoming dance tickets were $7 while Ring Dance tickets sold at $15. Girls buy dresses and get their nails done while guys may buy a nice shirt or fancy shoes. This all costs money and in the bad economy parents don’t like spending as much. “I think the tickets, at most, should be $15. That’s reasonable. As far as the dress, it shouldn’t be more than $200, which is even pushing it,” said Hughes. “I definitely don’t plan on spending a ton on my dress.” A dance is not a dance unless there is good music. Students listen to many different types of music which makes it hard for the DJ to choose a song to play. “The DJ played great music and was really good about taking requests from the students.” Said Hughes. “We should definitely have him for other dances.”

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“Dirty dancing” is not allowed at dances, but students and faculty have different opinions on what is inappropriate. The administration cracks down on unsuitable dancing by ensuring there are chaperons at every dance. They have even left on lights or used flashlights to encourage students to not get to close. According to the Chesterfield Observer, there was an incident in 2008 at a school dance at Clover Hill High School. It was reported that the outfits and conduct of about seven couples would be shocking to the parents of the students. This occurrence has caused stricter rules on the school dances. Not all schools feel that there is a problem with the way students dance. According to senior Chip Watson, the teachers aren’t even in the same room as the dance at Maggie Walker High School and the faculty do not interfere with the dancing. Prom is the big dance students look forward to for their junior and senior years. According to Nelson, prom is always a big event. “Yes, I am planning on going to my

senior prom.” Hughes said. “I’m very excited!!! I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback about prom and after prom.” There are still people who jump at every chance to go to a dance. Senior Chip Watson, who goes to Maggie Walker High School, went to the Homecoming Dance held on Oct. 17th. “The reason I went to a dance at Prince George was because I wanted to see old friends who I had not seen in several years,” Watson said. There is a future for dances according to Nelson. There are students who enjoy going to the dances to hang out with friends and to have a good time. The problem occurs when there are people who don’t want to go. “You’re not going to go to a dance if your friends aren’t going. So the issue becomes how do we get people to come and their friends to come?” Nelson said. The decrease in participants in school dances could be because of many factors. Everything from money to who is going and what music is being played affects students choices to go. As long as there are people who attend, dances will continue.

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Page 14 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009


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SADD club encourages positive decisions

How do you keep yourself from making destructive decisions?

“I just walk away from the situation.” Chelsea Hall, 10th

Malikah Williams trn writer


tudents get a lot more freedom to make their own decisions socially and educationally once they get into high school. But with one wrong decision, the rest of a student’s life could be forever changed. And there is one club that is trying to bring awareness to the importance of making positive decisions now, and it is Students against destructive decisions commonly called S.A.D.D. “I joined S.A.D.D because of what the club represents,” President of S.A.D.D, senior Courtney Wall said. Even though there are so many destructive decisions people can make, S.A.D.D focuses on the ones that typically affect high school students. S.A.D.D’s main focus involves the use alcohol, use drugs, and participation in hazardous sexual activities. “We are telling the students that this is going to hurt you in the long run, not just now but later on in life,” Wall said. Students join this club to try and inform people that they do not have to be involved with these vices and that involvement in these sorts of activities result in harmful consequences. “I have seen students die as a result of alcohol and drugs in our county. Several

students have died as the result of drug overdoses; others have died in vehicle crashes. In some cases, students have made bad decisions that have resulted in other people being seriously injured or killed,” Officer Pearson said, “It is all about being responsible and making good choices.” Destructive decisions are not just the use of alcohol and drugs, but things such as: posting nude pictures on a profile page or cyber-bullying. Opportunities that the Internet provides also bring temptation and the availability of harmful alternatives. “It is better to make smart decisions now rather than make life threatening ones that hurt you later,” Wall said. It may be hard to make the best decisions in certain situations without being educated. That is why S.A.D.D tries to bring attention to drunk driving and teen pregnancy. They inform people about how to handle themselves in specific situations and environments. They hold fundraisers not only to bring money into the club for events akin to the Walk Against Drugs, but also to grab the attention of their peers. “They try and bring awareness to the student body by doing things. Such as Red

Ribbon Week in October, where you buy a ribbon and you pledge to be drug-free,” head sponsor, Assunta Ajmani said. Some students know what they want for themselves after high school and they do not want to mess up that up with careless decisions. “It is hard to stay away from drugs and alcohol considering there are a lot of people you associate with [whom] do them but when I look at my future that is not something I want to deal with,” sophomore Cara Lucy said. Though S.A.D.D is a cozy club, they are always open for more people to join. Though a student might have made a few irresponsible decisions in the past, they are still welcome in this club. S.A.D.D is not here to judge and they realize that sometimes the people who have made a few mistakes are the best advocates. But as long as they recognize that their past decisions where not the best that they could have, there is place for them. “It seems that a lot of people seem to think that it is too late for them but it is not too late. Join and you will get to learn things and have some fun doing it,” said Wall.

“I try not to put myself in those situations so I do not have to make bad decisions.” Tyler Tocchio, 11th

“ I consider whether it would hurt me or others.” English Teacher Pam Alley

“I try not to put myself in those situations so I do not have to make bad decisions.” Joe Dancy, 12th

Page 16 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009

The Gift of Giving 10 Tips for giving great gifts 1. Listen to find out what your receiver really wants. Chances are they are going to drop hints. 2. Do not wait until the last minute to find a gift. The more time you spend thinking about what to get, the more meaningful it is going to be. 3. Be creative. If you have an inside joke or share an unusual common interest, including it in your gift can make it more personal. 4. Do not overspend. Not everyone can afford expensive gifts and it could possibly embarrass the person receiving the gift. 5. Do not be afraid to give homemade gifts. People appreciate gifts because of the amount of effort that is put into them. 6. Take into account one characteristic you know for a fact that your receiver likes, such as a favorite color or preferred brand. 7. Baking or cooking food will make anyone smile, just make sure you know any allergies the person might have. 8. Always be humble when being thanked for a gift you have given, bragging about the gift takes away from their moment, let them enjoy it. 9. Check for pricetags. Revealing the price of a gift is embarrassing for both you and the person getting the gift. 10. Dont reveal what you have purchased to anyone before you have actually given the gift. If word is spread to the person, then the surprise factor is gone.

December 11, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 17

The best gift you’ve ever received is . . .

“ The best present I ever received was a car my husband surprised me with. It had a bow on top and he even wrote “Merry Christmas” in the snow on the windshield.” teacher Beth Anderson

“ The best gift I ever got was a heart-shaped necklace from my aunt. Even though she was going through a rough time she managed to give me a beautiful gift.” junior Chelsea Gifford.

“ My favorite gift was my first bike, I was about four years old. It taught me that whenever you fall, you just gotta get back up.” senior Vincent Robinson

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Page 18- The Royal News -December 11. 2009

&Ampersand Information and Layout by: Katie Adams

A Year In Review : A Christmas Carol

Top Five Christmas Movies 1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) 2. A Christmas Story (1983) 3. Miracle On 34th Street (1947)

Created by: Katie Adams, Mia Norman, and Delbria Walton

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, Kanye was not interrupting, not even to rouse. The ice was packed for Rihanna with care, in hopes that the police soon would be there. Bubbles the monkey was nestled all snug in his bed, as thoughts of Michael Jackson moonwalked through his head. And Kate with her eight, and Jon with remorse, both settled down to talk divorce. And out on the lawn, there arose a monsoon, as Jacob and Edward fought beneath the New Moon. Away to the window, the economy crashed, tore up the Dow Jones and threw up the gas. As the germs from the swine flu spread all around, the H1N1 vaccine came to town. I turn on the TV and was sad to have seen, the death of the promoter of Oxy-Clean. As the box office boomed with much intensity, the movie goers experienced Paranormal Activity. With presidential candidates breaking the mold, the high voter turnout was a sight to behold. The year brought a new president encouraging change and hope, Obama took office ‘cause we “Baracked” the vote. And as the year comes to its end we say goodnight to all, and to seniors...”Oh-10!”

4. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) 5. A Christmas Carol (1951)


Energy Consumption By Christmas Decorations To calculate electricity cost, multiply your kilowatts per hour (kwh) usage per string by the number of strings, then multiply by your rate. Ex: If someone has ten strings of lights, that uses 37.5 kwh a month, it would cost $37.50 to operate them for five hours a day. If kept on for 24 hours, the cost of having one inflatable yard display for three months would be between 30-40 dollars.

Important Dates for December

Senior Countdown...

December 14- School Board Meeting, 6 PM December 16 - Interims December 18- All Early Release; Begin Christmas Break December 25- Christmas Day

111 Days Left!

December 11, 2009- The Royal News - Page 19

Chris Brown returns in concert for Fan Appreciation Tour


had the great opportunity to see Chris Brown in concert on November 22nd. I was lucky enough to sit on Kelsie McDaniels the floor in the 5th row from the stage. The last time I saw him in concert was when he performed in Hampton two years ago. I have always enjoyed his music and not to mention his very good looks. So when the allegations that he beat up his pop star girlfriend, Rihanna, came out, I admit that I was a little shocked, but that did not take away from the fact that he has an amazing voice and that his music is really good. When we arrived I was shocked to see how small the venue was. It looked to me like a mini version of the Apollo theatre in New York. After about thirty minutes of waiting and unnecessary screaming the show started with the New Boys. They taught us how to “jerk” and they performed a few more songs. Then there was more waiting and yet again more unnecessary screaming at the mention of his name. When he came out, the place shook. Mind you the place was very small and sound bounced off of the wall. It took me a while to realize that he was actually on the stage. The intro, I have to admit, was pretty amazing. He performed songs from his first two albums and a few from his upcoming album “Graffiti.” When he sang “Crawl,” I almost cried. This song was so uplifting and it made me realize that he was actually in love. It was not like a normal concert with the costume changes and pyrotechnics, but it was far from boring. After all of Chris Brown’s incidents and the media going after him, his concert and ability to perform was not harmed. People think that if you support him you support violence, but I believe in forgiveness.

Cabaret returns in full swing Students, teachers exhibit talent in variety show to raise money Alison Brown trn writer


n the 20th of November at seven o’clock in the evening, an annual event was brought back to the stage despite a snow out the previous year. In 1881, the idea of a Cabaret began to form in France. After World War I, the Cabaret became a craze. The 1950s were a time of pure entertainment; therefore, Cabarets quickly became a part of the night life. “The Cabaret is really kind of like a variety show: a little bit of singing, a little bit of dancing, a little bit of acting,” theatre teacher, Daryl Phillips said. “It’s an evening of more polished, wellprepared acts of people who just like to get together and do those kinds of things.” The definition of a Cabaret, according to the dictionary, is “a form of theatrical entertainment, consisting mainly of political satire in the form of skits, songs, and improvisations.” The Cabaret is for students and faculty to show off their talents, while at the same time raising money. “We use it as a fundraiser for the theatre department and the vocal music department,” Phillips said, “to help pay for the some of the costs of some of our

different activities that we have.” The Cabaret this year was the first show in two years. The performance a year ago was cancelled for reasons beyond anyone’s control. “We got snowed out last year and we didn’t have another date available, but the year before last it went pretty well,” Phillips said. Along with students, the faculty was involved in this annual event. They made the same decisions in preparing for their performance as the students. Marcia Skiffington, a French instructor, performed two years ago, and wanted to perform again this year. “First thing you have to do is figure out what you’re doing, then figure out what you’re wearing, then figuring out the music and everything,” Skiffington said, “Try to get lots of rest, and drink lots of water”. The advertising design and photography teacher, Chuck Cimo, was Skiffington’s partner. “Since this is my first time dancing with Ms. Skiffington on stage, basically we just practiced our routine,” Cimo said. “Previously, we’ve danced together so we both knew each others various ‘swing’ moves”. Junior Christa McBride had a lot to memorize for her comical poetry reading. “The entire week I’ve been working on memorizing them and creating the

Teachers Marcia Skiffington and Chuck Cimo rehearse for their Caberet performance. They performed a swing dance routine. Photo by Alison Brown. character I wanted to use for it,” McBride said. Senior Meaghan O’Hare performed her own original dance routine. O’Hare has been in eight to ten performances in the Prince George area. “I watched about a million ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ YouTube videos trying to draw inspiration,” O’Hare said, “ I wanted to do a dance about high school because I’m a senior. I wanted to do a dance about the ending of high school and moving on to college so I chose a song that was about an ending or enjoying a moment of an ending.” The acts of the Cabaret varied from swing dancing to an original piece. Musical performances included songs such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, from “The Wizard of Oz”. Skits were also performed from famous comedians such as Ellen Degeneres and also from the children’s movie “The Little Mermaid.” A poem from Robert Frost was also recited. “I love any opportunity to get up there and entertain people. To do something that will make them smile and go ‘Oh! Cool!,’” McBride said.

Page 20 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009

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December 11, 2009- The Royal News - Page 21

Claymation delights Christmas movie viewers Clay animation in holiday films have taken a new turn


Francisco. The movie was released under Touchstone Pictures where it was viewed with great critical and financial success. “I think it is one of the greatest movies ever. Its just amazing,” junior Megan Greenwell said. Burton said his inspiration was “Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Rudolf is the longest running Christmas television special produced in stop-motion. It first aired December 6th, 1964 on the NBC television network in the USA. In 1972 the special was moved to CBS, which has made a high-definition, digitally restored version in 2005. Rudolf has been shown over thirty-one times on CBS and is one of the only four 1960s Christmas specials to still be telecasted.

Jake McQuiggan trn writer

ne of the first forms of three-dimensional animation is known as Clay animation or Claymation. Claymation is a form of stop-motion animation using clay instead of drawings. By using clay characters and a series of still pictures, the clay seems to come to life. Clay animation has been around since the invention of plasticine in 1897. It was invented by an art teacher in England named William Harbutt. Harbutt created plastilin, which is similar to the same modeling clay developed by Fanz Kolb in the 1800s. Plasticine’s distinct properties makes in very useful and unique. Unlike clay and wax, plasticine stays soft and workable. It doesn’t harden or dry like clay and comes in a wide variety of colors that can be blended together. Plasticine can be shaped and

worked with modeling tools used for shaping, sculpting, blending, texturizing, thinning, scraping, poking and cutting. It doesn’t stick to your hands but it can never be fired. When making a claymation the artist have to make characters out of clay and usually put wire molds underneath to help support the structure. To create the illusion of the characters actually moving, the position of the character is slightly moved in each still photo, or frame. Claymation usually requires a storyboard or background for the characters to set against and to develop what they will say.

This is done by a technique called stop-motion animation. Stop-motion is moving a special effects puppet or model a small amount a recording a single frame. The first movie to ever be made in stop motion was “King Kong” in 1933. Though the figures were not made of plasticine but of jointed dolls. Movies such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” were also made using jointed dolls. Tim Burton the producer and co-creator of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” started on the idea in 1980s. But it was not until 1990 that Burton and Disney made a development deal. Production started in 1991 in San

“I think it is one of the greatest movies ever. It is just amazing.”

Holiday Claymation Movies

The pictures below are frames from popular holiday claymation films. (left to right) The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sam the Snowman from Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer,Hermey the Elf and Rudolph, and the Iceman. The above photo is of the Abominable Snowman.

Pictures taken from

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Page 22 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009


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December 11, 2009- The Royal News - Page 23

“Choir feels like family...without the support of the other choir members then choir would be boring.”

Band, choir prepare for annual holiday school concert Gabby Whittington trn writer


ecember 18, 2009 marks a day of music, happiness, and holiday cheer at Prince George High School. On this day, the choir and band will be having their annual holiday concert in front of school and staff. They have also been preparing for the holiday concert after school in front of friends and family, which took place on Monday, December 9. While some songs being performed at the concert are the usual holiday classics, every year there are a few new ones that always get a special twist put on them. “This is my 12th year doing this concert and most of the songs I pick I really like and that would catch the students attention.” “Most of the songs chosen have a twist away from traditional formal

During the concert, senior Clarence Bell directs the Gospel Choir in a song. The band also performed a medley of songs. Photo by Kelsie McDaniels. interests of the students,” choir teacher Monique Woodard said. “I also chose the songs depending on the voices I had for this year.” The band director had a different thinking when choosing songs for the concert. “This is my 9th year doing this concert and a lot of the songs are melodies so they have a lot of different songs in them.” “We are also doing a Hanukkah song for the holiday concert.” Band director Michael Warnock said. “I have always been in choir. Music makes my heart beat so I always join choir,” said junior Mark Mayfield “Choir feels like a family and without the support of the other choir members, choir would be boring.” December 18th gives choir and band students a chance to perform and show the school how hard they worked. So when you have the chance to see the concert as it swings around in the next couple of days, don’t forget to bring your holiday cheer, excitement, and support for those on stage.

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Page 24 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009

Senior Spotlight

Cody Wells Wrestling

1. How long have you been wrestling? “I’ve been wrestling for four years, and I’ve been starting on the varsity team for three years.” 2. What inspired you to start wrestling? “I originally used it as a conditioning program for football.” 3. How do you train outside of school? “I run on my treadmill at home and spar with my twin Dylan Wells.” 4. What weight class are you in? “The 152 pound weight class.” 5. What are your prematch rituals? “I listen to Megadeth and practice moves on the mat to confuse my opponent.” 6. Do you eat anything specific before a match? “I usually eat Subway subs they are healthy and fill me up.” 7. What do you enjoy most about wrestling? “When I come from a team sport like football, its very refreshing to be able to compete in an individual sport such as wrestling. Its very fulfilling when you are able to win.” 8. What has been your best match? “My first year. I wrestled a Matoaca wrestler and only had 30 seconds left in the third round, but was able to pin the other wrestler and win the whole meet for Prince George.” 9. Do you plan on wrestling after high school? “I do not plan on wrestling after high school. I’m planning on becoming a nurse.” 10. Coach’s Corner (Coach David Emory): “He is a hard worker; he always puts himself in a good position to try to win matches. He doesn’t try to outthink or out-do himself, he stays within the things that he knows he can do.”

Winter Track


Running Frigid Varsity indoor track practices in harsh weather to remain number one Christy Hardin trn writer


hivering from the blistering wind, the rain pounding on their backs, the runners of the varsity indoor track team are dressed in sweats as they line up on the track to warm up. Breathing in the cold air causes their lungs to contract and their breaths come in short gasps. Their bodies are tight as they begin their workouts. By the end of warm-ups their bodies are loose. They are ready to shed the layers of clothes that have been holding them back; they are free, and able to slice through the air with fluid motion. Though it is known as indoor track, practice for the team is mainly held outside, challenging the runners physically and mentally. “The cold weather at times affects the way I practice,” senior Joanna Santiago said. “It is especially hard running against the wind and rain, because it is hard to see and it slows you down and adds seconds to your time.” However, the meets are held inside. Nonetheless track takes a tremendous amount of dedication as well as strict training. There is stress that comes along with making good times and setting records. Perseverance and endurance are key in order to stay motivated and do well in all aspects of the sport. “Indoor track is of course inside, therefore it is warmer and it is easier to train, because you can get more work done, because you do not have to worry about the weather holding you back,” senior Amanda Tomlin said. “You can really dig in and train hard.”

Senior Amanda Tomlin practices on the hurtles before practice in order to warm up her legs. Members of the track team warm up in order to prevent cramps and pulls. Photo by Alisha Holmes Along with its advantages, indoor track has its challenges. An indoor track is smaller by 200 meters; therefore it makes it harder to make the times that you could on an outdoor track, which is 400 meters. Also, some events cannot be done for safety reasons such as discus. “We have our meets in a facility in Richmond [known as the Arthur Ashe Center] where the tracks are smaller so times and records are harder to meet and do not turn out as good as outdoor track usually,” Santiago said. “Also the air is dry which makes it harder to breathe which is important while running.” Conditioning is very important to a runner. In doing so, the lungs are developed which makes it easier to breathe and helps runners cope with the harsh

weather, thus avoiding added stress to the lungs and body. “As a runner it is very important to begin conditioning as early as possible and condition your lungs while the weather is changing,” Coach Levi Owens said. “Because initially the cold can be harsh on the lungs and developing and conditioning your lungs can be very hard.” Being a runner requires dedication, time and the desire to excel. Nonetheless, every member on the varsity indoor track team strives to become the best that they can be, no matter what. “I run track because I want to become a better runner,” Santiago said. “I wanted a sport to give me a challenge both physically and mentally.”

December 11, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 25


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Page 26 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009


December 11, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 27


What’s in a name?


ondering through the halls of this high school, one may see signs depicting school pride. Most of these signs read: “GO ROYALS”, but one begins to wonder what our literal mascot really is. Looking in the high school agenda, I find that every other page has a different mascot Amir Vera representing our school. It is either a crown or a knight riding a horse, yet if one attends a sports event such as a cheerleading competition, they will see that we are represented by a lion. This adds confusion to our already stressful high school lives and people begin to ask: “what are we?” So, one might ask why I bring this up when last month all I discussed was what it means to be a sport. Because, school spirit is a part of sports and how can you expect our athletes to perform at highest quality if their fans don’t know what to cheer during a game. I personally do not think it matters what we are as long as we know what we are called. At least we have a (somewhat) cool name that will not be taken away from us, unlike the former Richmond Braves. Back in January of 2008, the Braves announced that they would be moving to Gwinnet County, Georgia for financial reasons. Since then, Richmond Minor League Baseball has been searching for a new name. It was not until October of 2009 that they would reveal their new name through a team-name contest. The team can now be known as the Richmond Flying

Squirrels. Why this name? Because it received the most votes in the name contest and the team managers thought it would be publicity and money to a much needed Richmond Stadium. The Flying Squirrels aren’t the only ridiculous team mascot I have found, though. If one were to attend the University of San Diego they would be known as a Torero, or a Spaniard bullfighter. Or if you go to Kent State University you would be a Golden Flash, but at least the mascot is a falcon. But, by far, the most confusing school name I have seen is the St. Mary’s College of California Gales, and who knows what their mascot is. Leaving the world of college sports, I noticed other world renowned mascots that are also confusing. For example, ask someone what a Laker, 76er, or a Steeler is and I am sure you will not get an answer right away. However, looking at these schools and national teams with out-of-the-ordinary mascots there is one thing in common in all of them; they all represent their team to the best of their ability. It should not matter if you are a Knight, or a Blue Devil, or a General you should still have pride in your team. Therefore, the next time someone asks you what your school mascot is, you should just tell them that you bleed the green and gold, you are a Royal for life.

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Page 28 - The Royal News - December 11, 2009

Bouts outside school Senior Jennifer Peterson competes in fencing at local Richmond club

Wayne Epps, Jr. trn writer


encing, a combat sport involving two heavily protected competitors battling it out in matches called bouts. It is scored by the amount of hits on an opponent’s body. The winner of a fencing bout is the first

Senior Jennifer Peterson has been fencing for only a year, but she still competes to the best of her ability . Peterson trains at the Richmond Fencing Club. Photo by Amir Vera

com p e t i tor to score. The amount of points that a competitor scores is based on the format of the bout. If the bout is direct elimination, a fencer must score 15 points to win. If a bout is just a preliminary pool match, the victor must score only 5 points. The winner may also be the combatant with the most points when time runs out. Some bouts are nine minutes. Senior Jennifer Peterson is a fencer; she has strayed away from the norm. She is relatively new to the sport. “I was trying to find an extracurricular activity that was interesting. I saw it in the Olympics and I researched it,” Peterson said. “ I was just trying to find a place around here that I could do it and I stumbled upon the a fencing club in Richmond.” Peterson practices at the Richmond Fencing Club. The club travels all throughout Virginia. Fencing is a yearround sport. “It is indoor. I go to classes once a week. You do different sessions; like foil 1, foil 2, and foil 3. At practice you do warmups; like agility ladders and some stretches. And then, your coach teaches you different maneuvers and review at the end. Then you have little practice bouts at the end of every class,” Peterson said. Peterson explains that she had some jitters at first. “I was really nervous because you compete [practice] against other people in your class. Everyone has their own style and technique, you do not know what to expect,” she said. Peterson has yet to compete in a real bout, as she is still honing her skills. “I will be able to compete when I complete my foil 2 class. I am hoping that I will be ready.

Spor ts

I am kind of nervous,” she said. However, that does not prevent her practices from getting intense. Like any sport, injuries occur. “It gets really intense. It does hurt; you can actually get injured. I have gotten blood bruises,” Peterson said. Fencing also offers physical exercise. “I kind of thought it was going to be a bit of a pretentious sport. I did not think it was very physically active; but once I got into it, I realized that it is a lot of work and a lot of fun too. Everything pays off. You definitely use a lot of your muscles.” The sport also offers, according to Peterson’s coach Tom Lucente, psychological benefits as well. “Fencing is the perfect outlet for physical, mental and emotional feelings. It is an amazing way to express and challenge oneself,” said Lucente. Peterson did not start fencing alone, however. Her father, Chris Peterson, fences with her. The father- daughter duo has actually fenced against each other. “It is fun, because whenever I am mad at him I can take it out on each other. Whenever we are not motivated my coach tells me to just pretend like it is my father,” Peterson said. “It gives me quality time to spend with my daughter in a hobby of her choosing,” Chris said.“It is a lot of fun doing something unusual and learning how to do a unique sport. Fencing is a great stress reliever too, with all of the exertion necessary to do well. The best part is doing an engaging activity with my daughter.” So what about the future? Peterson does not plan to become a professional fencer. “It is more for fun right now, but I am a pretty competitive person, so I am sure that it will lead to some sort of competition. In college, if it is a club sport, I think that it would be really cool to take part in,” Peterson said. Peterson has always had a special taste for extra -curricular activities. She never really had time to do school sports, so she picked up on different sports not offered in school. “I have never really had time to do anything else. You just kind of pick and choose what fits you and I fit better in unique sports outside of school; so that is what I do,” Peterson said.


December 11, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 29


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Page 30 - The Royal News -December 11, 2009

Emanuel Guadalupe trn writer


wenty-five to zero, that was the devastating score last year as the class of 2010 received a pounding from the class of 2009 in the powderpuff game. This year, however, they were back to deliver the blow to an unlikely victim: the class of 2011. For the game this year, students and teachers alike were excited for the game, ready to win. “ I think the seniors are going to win because we have a really strong offense and defense,” senior Caron Charlotte said She was right in the end. The seniors beat the juniors thirty six to six. Even in the end when the juniors and the coaches lost faith, they did the best they could and they brought some thing to the game. “Oh yeah, seniors are going to win. We are going to win, period,” senior Terryll Brunson said There were many students preparing for the game. The people who played in the game were not the only ones getting prepared. The cheerleaders also practiced to the best of their ability. Before the game they were pumped and ready to cheer their best for the class. Even if their class did not win, students were excited to just have fun and try their best. “I think we are totally prepared for this game and we’ll be better than anyone else out there. Our cheers are the best, they are perfect and we have them down pact,” junior cheerleader John Martin said. “It feels good because I am going to have fun participating in an unusual event,” Sherwine Davis said. All that matters is

in the end, when everyone has bonded and accepted the winners and losers, and just took it as something fun. “It’s fun because we got to create our own cheer!” Davis said. There is much more hope for juniors next year. “I think our girls played very hard, they did really well and I am proud of them,” Coach Daniel Hamlet said. “I think we did pretty well, we were not completely focused but we did very well. I want a rematch,” junior Nina Jeffress said. Most of the girls who played in the game agreed that they did the best they could and had fun. “It was fun while it lasted, it was only like a recreational thing so there’s nothing to really get upset about. So we did what we did and we did good,” junior Zanya Umpierre said. The powder-puff game is usually a time of having fun and bonding for those on teams and those sitting on the bleachers. But in the end it is a good thing for people who are in need of food resources. The powderpuff game every year usually saves up canned goods and other foods for the food bank. “We did a good thing out here today; many people came, we saved up a lot of canned foods. And the seniors won. Seniors all the way,” Brunson said.

. d e r i w n tr m co View a multimedia slideshow of all the pictures from the game at

Class of 2010 Rede

Celebrating after their win, the seniors of the class of 2010 celebrate by taking a group photo throwing up the class sign.(Above) Senior cheerleaders posing for the camera showing their enthusiasm for their upcoming win. (Left) The junior cheerleaders form a human pyramid showing support for the class of 2011.(Right)

eems themselves

December 11,2009 - The Royal News - Page 31

Senior Rachel Poreda kicks the ball during kick-off. (Right)

Junior Zanya Umpierre viciously tries to avoid Senior Jillian Baskett from grabbing her flag. (Above) Junior Angela Gerard attempts to get a first down by any means possible. (Left)



Boys varsity basketball won the Midlothian Invitational Tournament . Treon Claiborne was named MVP of the tournament.

The varsity wrestling team travels to compete in the Manchester tournament tomorrow, Dec. 12.

Coed indoor track travels to the Arthur Ashe Center for the Green Dragon Relays , Dec. 19th.

Girls basketball overcomes first game jitters Autrey Jackson trn writer


h e L a dy Roya l s Va r s i t y basketball team was victorious in its first battle against Amelia in the Fort Lee Tournament on December 3rd. The girls pushed ahead early in the game and won 69-26, similar to their win over the same team in the tournament last year. “I thought we played well from every position,” Coach Billy Gray said. ”I thought the kids played really well [tonight].” The Lady Royals win over Amelia reveals just how well the girls work together. They did not start practicing until November 16th, said Gray, and the two and a half short weeks that they had between then and the tournament were cut even shorter because of the break for Thanksgiving. Some of the girls played together in a fall league, which helped, and they still have the entire regular season to become closer and make their teamwork even better. The first game of the season is usually the most nerve-racking, but not for all of the team members. Nerves aside, most of the players were confident in the team’s ability to play well and get the job done. After the win over Amelia, sights were set on the possibility winning the entire tournament. “My expectations are that we will beat the team that we go against next, and that we’ll win the championship,” senior Shawnte Gholson said. Even with only two weeks of

practice, the girls believed that the team was coming together rather well. “Our offense is tight, and we have a strong defense,” said senior Brianca Washington, who led the team in points and assists. Some of the players were nervous before the first game of the year, but some were just ready to play. “I’m not really that nervous; [just] first game jitters,” senior Lauren Swope said. “I’ve been ready for a while.” For about 32 minutes, the Lady Royals sprinted up and down the court rallying against Amelia. They got on the floor for loose balls, took a charge in the lane for the team, and put point after point on the scoreboard. They put up three-point shots that found the bottom of the net, drove the lane to put up lay-ups, and made their free throws when Amelia fouled them. Eventually, through all the physical exertion, their lead grew to over 40 points. A nearly identical game was played at the beginning of the season last year: it was the first game of the Fort Lee Tournament against Amelia and the Lady Royals won by 40 points. In that tournament the girls ended up placing 3rd in all of the teams that competed. The team plans to keep the momentum going into the season and be able to defeat all of the teams they play so that they can rise to the top. The Lady Royals are hoping to do well in the near future, but their success depends on one simple ideal: “Teamwork,” senior Zackiya Saunders said

Seniors Lauren Swope tries to rip the ball away from an Amelia player in the season opener of the Fort Lee Tip-Off Tournament. The girls won third place in the tournament. Photo by Autrey Jackson.

December 09  

TRN Dec 09 Issue