Legislation Could Affect School Year p. 5 A proposed bill in the Assembly would require that all schools in the state open before Labor Day. Multiple counties hold waivers from the Board of Education allowing them to start early.
The Student Vote Do you think Midterm exams are necessary to the learning process?
Source: 100 students surveyed Infographic by Jessica Marshall
Overcoming Hearing Disability p. 9 Sophomore Daniel Blevins copes with impairment with the help of his aid, Shirley Musik. In order to help himself, Blevins uses hearing aids on a daily basis.
Talent Show Gives Students Opportunity To Shine p. 18
Junior Japriece Jackson is one of the acts that will perform at the show. Last yearâ€™s winner, senior Gerald Jackson, practices with his dance group on a daily basis, hoping to defend his title.
Vol. X Issue 5
Prince George H.S. - 7801 Laurel Spring Rd Prince George, VA 23875 - www.trnwired.org - February 17, 2012
Profanity, Vulgarity Censored In CENSORED
Society p. 14-15
Senior Jessica McQuhae expresses feelings freely often using profane or vulgar language. Censorship has evolved over the years in response to changes in cultural norms. Photo by Jessica Marshall.
After Prom Comes Home p. 7 Go to www.trnwired.org to see the latest photo galleries
2 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
Valentine’s Day Brings Joy For Yet Another Year
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 email@example.com 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. Thank you for the support this year. Please continue to communicate on trnwired.org.
Kristen Schwalm-Chloe Alexander-Courtney TaylorChandler Shirer-Leah Holliday- Casey OvertonKorrina Smith- Kierra Lanier- Faven Butler- Carolina Bae- William Bonnell-Whitney Clements- Christina Buckles-Anthony Fennick- Deborah Gardner- Nathan Britt- Danielle Marshall- Conner Stevenson- Adam Blakemore-Aaron Raines- Tiana Kelly
Editor-in-Chief Malikah Williams
Business Manager Jake McQuiggan
Managing Editor Jessica Marshall
Professional affiliations & awards Columbia Scholastic Press Associations Gold Medalist 2008-2011 Columbia Scholastic Press Associations Silver Crown Winner 2011 Virginia High School Association Trophy Class 2006-2011 Col. Charles Savedge Award for Sustained Excellence 2010 SIPA All Southern 2008-2011
The Royal News, PGHS TRNWIRED.ORG & TRNSPORTS.ORG 7801 Laurel Spring Road Prince George, Virginia 23875 804-733-2720 The Royal News is printed at The Progress-Index in Petersburg, Virginia
Journalism Gives Voice to Students
cholastic journalism is extremely important for any functioning school. The main purpose of high school newspapers, yearbooks, and other media is to keep students, parents, teachers, and the community informed about what is going on around them. Thus, it is the responsibility of these outlets to always present accurate and informational material, a task which can be difficult at times. These scholastic journalists must be careful to always be ethical and to think about the ramifications of their actions. These daunting tasks can intimidate adults, so for students to uphold this responsibility it says much about their character. Not having these outlets for the student body to voice their concern, or even for them to learn about the things going on around them, can be extremely detrimental. Scholastic media connects the student to the school and the community. It displays the positives of the
Front page: Jessica Marshall-Op/Ed: Unique Larry-News: Amanda Majewski-Features: Kim Carneal-Double Truck: Rachel Waymack-A&E : Tasia Faulcon-Sports:Wayne Epps Jr. /Kevin HarrisAmpersand: Ciara Ward-Photo Editor: Emily Gray-Video & Photography: Kimberly Edmonds -Best Distribution & Events: Ridhi Patel-Business & Ad Editor: Jake McQuiggan-Online Editor & chief: Olivia Tritschler
community and also the negatives, while still being ethical. Students strive to become a part of these scholastic media and in turn improve in other subject areas. Scholastic media provides information that unless otherwise reported, would not be known. Scholastic media expresses First Amendment rights, which sometimes can be oppressed in a school context. Attempting to say that scholastic media holds no value is a claim that can undoubtedly be refuted. It is the voice of the student body while it also tries to present information that would benefit the student body. Scholastic journalists have to be ethical, determined, and dedicated in order to fulfill these requirements and they have to be able to remove themselves, so that they may present an unbiased voice of the student body. Scholastic media is just as important, or even more important, than any other type of media, because of its connection to the students.
n Feb. 14, I walked into the commons filled with red and pink hearts, fluffy stuffed animals, chocolates, exquisite flowers, cards, and couples everywhere. Only Valentine’s Day can bring out so many emotions of affection. As teenagers, some question whether or not high school relationships can be taken seriously. It seems as if even those couples Faven Butler who claim they have been dating for years break up eventually. We hear teens talking about their plans after high school, which may include going to college, marriage, children, and the basic clichés for ‘lasting forever’. According to www.canyoure18.com (a web site funded by the U.S. Dept. of Heath and Human Services), only 3% of high school couples get married, only to end up filing for divorce. There is also the question, “Is it possible for teens to fall in love?” We listen to boyfriends and girlfriends claim they are in love with each other, and sometimes we might find ourselves saying the same thing when relationships come our way. There is no true answer to this question, and nobody is in a position to judge someone’s love for someone else. With that being said, I realize a lot of times couples do care deeply for one another, but how much can one possibly care if they end up breaking up and never speaking to each other again? I feel like the only way for us to find our own individual solutions to these questions about love is to let experience throughout time answer all. We’re still young, and there will most likely be more relationships to come for all of us. As for now, another Valentine’s Day has passed, giving us another year to enjoy the relationships we have, embrace the new ones that approach us, and learn from our mistakes throughout it all.
FRIDAY 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 3
Are SOPA and PIPA Necessary To Stop Media Piracy?
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Acts (PIPA) attempt to increase government control and have been postponed indefinitely. The issue being debated is whether or not the piracy protection is beneficial.
hile I cannot say I completely agree with all of the aspects of SOPA and PIPA, there are some great advantages to these acts. So many companies, industries and individuals have been casey overton bashing the acts that we often lose sight of why these acts were originally proposed. The acts were introduced to stop piracy, which is a major issue for media web sites. I highly doubt that the average person would care whether piracy is stopped or not because of the incredible amount of media that is being downloaded illegally by Americans every day. The problem is that piracy is very unfair to the companies that are providing their services legally and if piracy continues to progress, the companies that are abiding by the laws will suffer. The protection does not stop at just piracy either, SOPA and PIPA will also help battle other copyright violations and the selling of counterfeit goods. This aids even more of the industries and companies that are being cheated out of the money they should be getting from consumers who choose not to obey the law. The short-term rewards of getting counterfeit goods or pirated media can be enticing, however the long-term effects of a growth in piracy could be unpleasant. If we continue to neglect the regulations put in place, the government will eventually have to crack down on the problem even more than these acts ever could to save the media industry. When piracy increases, the prices of the legitimate products have to increase. As the prices increase for the legal products, more will turn to the illegal products. The government will not let the media industry go down in flames. Our freedom is at stake here. Piracy needs to be stopped and these acts may be the best way to make it happen.
OPA and PIPA were created to stop foreign sites from infringing copyrighted material and piracy. However, under these acts the Internet will be crippled. With SOPA, web site owners are responsible for what a member posts or uploads. Both can go to prison for inChristina buckles fringement for up to five years. Many web sites such as Google, Tumblr, Wikipedia, and Reddit protested against these acts on Jan. 18. “So many companies, industries SOPA and PIPA have made the Internet and individuals have been bashing community question what their rights really the acts, that we often lose sight are. These acts are too generalized and are not of why these acts were originally particular, which makes the problem worse. proposed.” Rooting up piracy and infringement is fine and it helps artists, but these bills are too extreme. The SOPA and PIPA bills can be compared “The SOPA and PIPA bills can to them burning down a haystack to find the be compared to them burning needle. It is unnecessary and few to no people down a haystack to find the will benefit from this. It seems as if the people needle.” constructing these bills do not even understand the Internet or they simply do not care. As of now, Congress has postponed these acts indefinitely, but that is not to say that “If we continue to neglect the another bill similar to these will not come up. regulations put in place, the President Obama has also come out and angovernment will eventually have to nounced that he does not support the bills. The crack down even more than these bills would limit our freedom of expression and acts ever could to save the media attempt to unnecessarily change the structure of industry.” the Internet. I think that Congress should leave this issue alone and let the laws that are already there take care of the situation of piracy. You ”Laws can go after specific cannot control the Internet no matter what laws people or parts of sites but are passed. Laws can go after specific people or shutting down major sites is parts of sites but shutting down major sites is going to upset many people. “ going to upset many people. The voices of the people will be heard, and this is proven by the massive number of petitions and blackouts of many major sites. SOPA and PIPA would censor material on the Internet and restrict the freedom of expression and that is just wrong.
4 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
To everyone who applied to be on the Peerage Staff for 2012-2013, we thank you.
FRIDAY 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 5
Proposed Changes Ignite Debate Next school year could possibly start two weeks earlier
Nathan Britt trn writer
raditionally, school has started the Monday after Labor Day, but could soon change. Governor Bob McDonnell has recently pushed legislation that would kill the so-called “King’s Dominion Law”. This law states that no school in the state of Virginia is allowed to begin their operations until after Labor Day unless they obtain a permit from the state. This aptly named law is so titled because the amusement park was one of the initial proponents of the law when it was passed in the 1980s. The majority of counties already hold waivers that negate this law, but those in the greater Richmond area still adhere to the policy. On Feb. 2, the Virginia House of Delegates passed House Bill 1063, which provides for the repeal of the King’s Dominion Law, by a bipartisan vote of 78 to 23. This bill will be sent to the State Senate where a similar bill has already been killed. This opposition may put the bill in jeopardy. The removal of the King’s Dominion Law could cause schools in the area to start two weeks earlier. “I am not concerned at all about the loss
of summer vacation,” computer teacher Janet Carr said. “I support the law because each locality should make their own decision about when school should start.” Though those such as Carr feel that the change in the law is appropriate, there are still others who oppose the proposed change. “I do not think it [the King’s Dominion Law] should be repealed because it would screw up my summer,” junior Drew Kennedy said. Kennedy’s opposition to the proposed bill is shared by other students who do not wish to see a change in the summer schedule they have grown up with and become accustomed to. There has also been talk of eliminating mid-term exams from the schedule. Many large school districts have already made this change. The Miami Herald reports that Miami-Dade County public schools eliminated exams this year because of negative effects to the students’ GPA, increased stress levels, loss of instructional time, and budget issues. Teachers there will still be able to give midterms and finals, but they will not be mandatory. The proposal of eliminating exams has garnered quite a bit of support. “They should be eliminated because they
Resource officer Larry Tyler demonstrates a possible affect of the proposed repeal of the King’s Dominion Law. The law required schools to obtain a waiver in order to go into session before Labor Day Photo by Emily Gray.
are a bane to academic excellence,” junior Marshall Dunn said. Exams’ affects on grades are not the only reason why some students feel they are unnecessary. “They are a waste of valuable educational time,” sophomore Josh Shank said. Other students see value in mandatory exams and hence do not believe they should be removed. “They should not be eliminated because they force me to study and help prepare me for college,” junior Rachel Pugh said. There is no guarantee that either of these ideas will come to fruition. The repeal of the King’s Dominion Law may or may not have an effect on the school system since the county still has the most jurisdiction over the issue and may choose to not change anything. The possibility of eliminating exams is still in its early stages, but could be implemented at any time.
Are exams necessary to the learning process?
Sophomore Aj Brown “I would feel better [without exams] because I would not get as much stress from studying.”
Junior Gloria Grimes “I would be happy [without exams] because it would keep my grades up and I would not have to come to school for that half day.”
Teacher Susan Brafford “We need them because many of our students are college bound and it would be horrible if they got to college without the experience of taking exams.”
There will be a blood drive held on Feb. 22 from 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Permission forms are available from Mrs. Paulson in the clinic.
Tryouts for Spring sports starts next week. Mon. starts the tryouts for boys and girls soccer, and Tues. starts the tryouts for softball, baseball, and tennis. El Caporal night is Tues. Feb. 21. 10% of proceeds will be donated to the After Prom. Mandatory senior meetings will be held on Apr. 2, 18, or, 24. All seniors and at least one parent or guardian must attend one meeting. Fri. Feb. 24 will be a day of solidarity for Jerrel Blackwell. Students are asked to wear grey. Scan code to see more breaking news on www.trnwired.org
6 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
Team sign-up starts next week for the 3rd Annual Dodgeball Tournament!
Coach: Jamie Greenwood
Email: Jamie.Greenwood79@gmail.com Phone: 804-937-5571
Serving the Tri-Cities! Competing with the best!
$40 for an 8 man team!
All proceeds go to the senior class.
30 Pickwick Ave, Colonial Heights 23834 804-504-0000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Locations: Henrico, Innsbrook, St. Francis, Midlothian, St. Mary's, Colonial Heights, Prince George
To schedule an appointment at any of our offices, please call
(804) 897-2100 or (800) 421-3368.
FRIDAY 2.17.11 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 7
PTA Brings Back Old Tradition Being held off-campus for two years, After Prom will be returning to Commons
Korrina Smith trn writer
n 2010, the After Prom Committee decided to break tradition and bring the After Prom party to an offcampus location. After holding the After Prom at Swaders Sports Park for two years, the committee has decided to return to the tradition of holding the event at the high school. “I think it will be fun,” senior Emily Kidd said. “It will be interesting to see how it works and the different ideas the PTA has.” The After Prom Committee has planned six hours of fun including games, inflatables, a performance, and food. “I am more excited about After Prom being at the school than at Swaders,” junior Caleb Johnson said. “Having it at the school allows us to be more creative and use more equipment than what Swaders has.” On the night of After Prom, the Commons will be split into two different sections. One half will be set up with Mega
Games and the other half will be set up for Casino Night. On the Mega Games side, there will be carnival style games such as ring toss, football throw, and minute to win it games. The Casino Night side will have games such as Craps, Roulette, Let It Ride and Black Jack. The inflatables in the gym will include an extreme obstacle course, quad jousting, a three lane bungee run, sumo wrestling suits, air bungee and a rock climbing wall. This year the committee has something new planned: the use of monopoly money. There will be a store with about 3,000 items in it such as desk chairs, comforter sets, wall clocks, watches, and flip flops. There will be baseball caps, gift cards to local restaurants, school supplies for students going off to college, free passes to local gyms and many other items for sale. As students play games, they will earn the monopoly money that they will then take to the store to purchase whichever items they wish. “The more games the students play the more cash they can earn and the more
prizes they can buy or bid on,” After Prom Committee member Leslie Allin said. There will also be a silent auction where students can use the monopoly money to bid on items at the auction. There will be six televisions, a few computers, corn hole games, refrigerators, beach chairs, beach towels, boogie boards, coolers, and other similar items. Throughout the evening there will be a variety of food available. There will be pizza, chicken wings from Buffalo Wild Wings, barbecue and desserts. At 3:00 am, all of these events will shut down and everybody will move into the auditorium where there will be a hypnotist performance. Another new feature this year is a pancake breakfast that will be served from 4:00 am until 5:00 am. In order to attend After Prom, students must purchase a ticket for $15, which gives the student access to all of the games, food, and inflatables in the gym. Tickets must be bought in advance during lunch blocks on Mar. 14, 15, and 16. “Since the theme for it is Candyland, there will be candy everywhere,” Allin said. All students will receive a gift bag that
Former student participates in After Prom activities held at the high school in 2006. After Prom will be returning to the Commons and the gym this year. File photo from Prom 2006. contains candy, water, soda, gift cards to restaurants and other items. Students will also get a free t-shirt that will be designed by one of their classmates. There are mixed reviews about whether or not the school is an appropriate location for the After Prom. “Hopefully it will be fun, but it would be cool to go somewhere else instead of school,” junior Hailey Heylinger said. The After Prom Committee has spent many hours working to ensure that the transition back to the tradition of After Prom being held at the school will be fun for all of the students attending. “It takes hours of work and about $20,000 to pull off this event,” Allin said. “We would love the help of students and other parents.”
8 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
Bland's Florist 7 W. Wythe St. Petersburg, VA 23803
2833 S. Crater Rd Petersburg, VA 23803 (888) 348-3143 Open Monday Thru Friday 8 AM - 7 PM Sat. 10 AM - 4 PM
439 Jennick Drive Colonial Heights, VA 23834
FRIDAY 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 9
Sophomore Faces Communication
Loss of hearing creates every day struggles while attending school Amanda Majewski news editor
eing a success both academically and socially is a challenge for every student. Dealing with the classes, tests, teachers, and friends is all part of the high school experience. Add to that the challenge of having a disability, the extra effort needed to be successful in this tough environment, and that is what sophomore David Blevins has to face every day. Blevins cannot hear. He has to negotiate a hearing environment in silence. There are many obstacles he has to overcome by being a deaf student. “I have always gone to public school,” Blevins said. “There are so many challenges it is hard to say them all. Some of the hardest ones are communication and socialization.” Blevins does not have to face these challenges alone. It is to his advantage that the school system provides support for him so that he can be successful in a hearing environment.
“The most valuable accommodation that the school gives me is an interpreter,” Blevins said. Blevins’ interpreter is Shirley Musik. She was assigned to him when he first started attending school here this past Sept. Musik attends all Blevins’ classes with him, and uses sign language to interpret for him what the teacher and students are saying. Blevins does wear a hearing aid, but even with this aid he cannot hear well enough to understand the words people are saying. Although he is almost completely deaf, he has acquired skills to overcome his hearing disability. “I understand sign language, and when people talk I am able to read their lips,” Blevins said. Many students in the school do not know sign language. “Some kids know signs, but not really,” Blevins said. “They tell me that they want to learn though.” Blevins is not the only one who has obstacles to overcome. For a teacher who does not know sign language there are obstacles to effectively teaching a hearing impaired student. “He cannot hear what I am saying, and it is still a challenge to communicate with him even with the interpreter,” biology teacher Christy Franchok said. “I always check to make sure he gets all the notes and make sure he
has everything he needs.” Blevins is a positive influence in the classroom and a great example for other students. “David is a harder worker, polite, and is always a good communicator even with his disability,” Franchok said. “He is dedicated to doing his best.” Being hearing impaired does not stop Blevins with his school or with group activities. “He works well in the lab with his partner and helps to do his part in the lab,” Franchok said. Blevins has been adjusting to the school atmosphere by joining activities and clubs that he enjoys. “I am in the Technical Students (TSA) and sign language club,” Blevins said. The school environment provides the biggest challenge for Blevins, but outside of school i n a less structured environment, h e is a
normal teenage boy. “I like to go hunting and fishing as well as playing sports, especially baseball,” Blevins said. “I also enjoy working on computers.” After Blevins graduates, he wants to move on and do bigger and better things in college and a career doing something that he loves, working with computers. “I plan to go to college after high school,” Blevins said. “I want to be a computer engineer.” Blevins’ positive attitude and willingness to work makes success both academically and socially possible for him.
Sophomore David Blevins communicates with his interpreter, Shirley Musik, using sign language. Blevins has used a hearing aid to enhance sounds because he is almost completely deaf. Photo by Emily Gray.
10 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
In Her Shoes: Cinderella Dreams Project Organization relieves the expenses of fairy tale night Carolina Bae trn writer
he expense of Prom is The Cinderella Dreams 2012 Project is the ‘Fairy Godmother’ for girls who need help with the expense of Prom. Since 2006, the Midlothian Junior Women’s Club has helped countless girls find the perfect dress for Prom. This organization teams up with local businesses and hosts a shopping ‘spree’ free of charge. Patrons who have left-over Prom attire donate the dresses and accessories. The Cinderella Dreams Project is part of the nationwide Donate My Dress organization and has other branches. This project is not only bound to the Richmond area. There are locations to donate and receive dresses in almost every state in the United States and some places in Canada. The Cinderella Dreams Project benefit girls who are not fortunate enough to afford all the expenses of attending Prom. “Last year we helped over 300 hundred girls. I worked the door for last year and there were only two girls who we were not able to be helped,” Crystal Oley-Graybill, coordinator for the Cinderella Dreams Project said. Junior Shannon Vandevander at-
tended this event with her sister and friends last year. “It was pretty nice. The people were really helpful. They helped me find my dress size because I did not know it. They complimented me a lot. Even if a dress did not l o o k flattering they still let me try it for the experience,” Vandevander said. This event is held every year close to the end of winter, near the beginning of spring. This year dresses can be selected on Fri. Mar. 23, Sat. Mar. 23, and Sat. Mar. 31 of 2012. It is held in the Village Marketplace Shopping Center in Midlothian. “When the girls come in to shop and we pair them with a fairy godmother and they pick five dresses and try them on to see if one is their perfect dress and if not then they can go out and pick f i v e more. After they are done every girl can select one pair of shoes and one makeup item,” Oley-Gray-
bill said. The organization wants everyone to have an equal experience, so by distributing vouchers with a specific time for the shopper to return, it keeps the waiting time down. Vouchers can be picked up one hour before the opening of the store. “They let you take your time. There were a lot of people and there was a line that was really long, but the women wanted to make sure you had the right e x p e r i e n c e ,” Va n d e v a n d e r said. All the dresses that are donated are required to be from
2007 or later. The sizes consist from zero to twenty-eight. This can ensure that girls can have a modern selection and wide variety. “There were a ton of different dresses. They organize it by sizes and colors. They collect dresses throughout the year, not only for Prom,” Vandevander said. Shoppers have some limitations when looking for the perfect dress. They must return ten minutes prior to their scheduled time with the voucher. In order to avoid big crowds, shoppers are also only allowed to have one female guest over the age of 12 with them. “We have a voucher that sets time so you do not have to wait in line,” OleyGraybill said. People can help by donating dresses, accessories, or new cosmetics. They can also help by donating their time. Volunteers are also greatly appreciated and can do tasks like getting the shopping center ready or if they cannot be at the event, people can set up dress collection drives and spread the word. “We shop three days and ask for a donation of $5 with proceeds going back to the shops,” Oley-Graybill said. This project would not be possible without the support of Richmond organizations like the YMCA of Greater Richmond, K95, and 103.7 The River. “We are very, very fortunate that there are so many local partners. The project is done with the consent of many helpers and volunteers,” OleyGraybill said.
FRIDAY 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 11
CLUB BEYOND FORT LEE
Sunshine Florists 4902 Prince George Drive Prince George, VA 23875
Good job to all athletes who competed this Winter! Best of luck to everyone tring out for Spring sports!
FAX: (804) 452-1255 Website: www.princegeorgesunshineflorist.com
Nannyâ€™s Restaurant and Catering
11900 S. Crater Road-Petersburg, VA 23805
Find us on the web at: nannysbbq.com Open Tues, Wed, Thurs- 11AM-2:30PM Fri-11 AM-9 PM Saturday 4PM-9PM Sunday & Monday - Closed Come visit us and try our famous BBQ! You will love everything on the menu!
12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
7905 Laurel Spring Rd. Prince George, VA 23875 804-862-9820 804-731-7840 Cell 804-862-9823 Fax
BRING THIS COUPON TO EL CAPORAL
EL CAPORAL 50% OFF ENTREE with the purchase of entree at regular price Offer Expires 02/28/12
Call Keith Hedgepeth for all of your insurance needs!
804-732-1123 Go ROYALS!
SHORTEST MONTH OF THE YEAR
FRIDAY 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 13
ft. tall is the height of, Jyotu Amge, the shortest teenager in the world.
sec. is the amount of time in a Planck, the smallest unit of time known.
is the name of the shortest title of a film nominated for an Oscar in the United States.
Man On The Street
What is your favorite short thing?
mm is the size of the smallest MP3 player, the iPod shuffle.
38.1 cm (15 in) is the size of Cathie Jung’s corseted waist, without the corsets the size of her waist is an astonishing 53 cm (21 in).
min. is the shortest jury deliberation ever. When Nicholas Clive McAllister was acquitted of cultivating cannabis plants in New Zealand.
“My favorite short thing is a Jolly Rancher because it’s small and it doesn’t last long.”
"My favorite short thing is a golden dollar because it is small but worth a lot."
-Sophomore Donte Jones
-Junior Jhada Powers
”My favorite short thing is my hair because it’s low maintenance." -Senior
Information gathered from www.guinnessworldrecords.com. A. Shortest boy on the basketball team, senior Jhaleel Monroe.
B. Shortest male teacher, Hezekiah Butler.
C. Shortest female teacher, Karen Webb.
SHORTER TO S
D. Shortest cafeteria personnel, Lumyai Prescott.
st e t r o h s ol’slineup o h sc
14 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
Profanity Raises Question
T School officials, students discuss whether censorship of vulgar language in public is in violation of First Amendment rights.
Do you believe profane language should be protected by the First Amendment?
Illustration by Anthony Sudol
vulga toda was whet infrin “ conte is ne ing o on o Beth the l Cons ercis was i Th miss mun satel Cour sense nudi “ cause youn their said. W
Junior Dylan Reiner Sophomore Kevin Hopkins Senior Brandi Pollett “Yes, because we as Americans have “You can say what you want but that “Ye the right to say what we want when “I do not think so, it is very does not necessarily mean you have sho rude and disrespectful.” to offend everyone you see.” we want.”
FRIDAY 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 15
ns on Free Speech Malikah Williams editor-in-chief
he First Amendment guarantees the freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition. However, as society and culture evolves so does language. Profanity and arity have become more prevalent in ay’s society than when the Constitution written, which poses the question of ther censorship of this kind of language nges upon First Amendment rights. “When you are dealing with public exts like school, businesses, the mall, it ecessary to have a suspension or limitof these rights in order to not infringe other people’s rights,” English teacher h Andersen said. “Too often we take liberties we have been afforded by the stitution and we demand unlimited exses of these rights, when that is not what intended by them.” The Federal Communications Comsion, FCC, regulates and censors comnications by radio, television, wire, lite, and cable. Recently, the Supreme rt has been debating whether it makes e for the FCC to police profanity and ity on television. “I would not censor it [television] bee the only reason that they do it is for nger kids and parents should just not let r kids watch it,” senior Jessica McQuhae . While profane words have always ex-
isted, some believe their use has increased over the years due in part to the growth of technology. “I think that it is not necessarily an increase in the number of people using profanity, I think it is a failure or a refusal to filter that profanity based on time and place,” Andersen said. “It is a result partially of social media and other communication that create a false sense of detachment from our words.” Under current school policy, if a student is caught using profanity, there are certain actions that can be taken against the student. “We consider profanity as being disrespectful and we do not tolerate it,” Vice Principal Chris Romig said. “At the same time, it matters how it was said, to whom it was said, and when it was said.” The consequences for being profane differ depending upon the context in which the language was being used. “Typically, the student receives a stern warning but if a student is upset and cursing at a teacher or student the consequences are more stern than a warning such as Saturday school, out of school suspension, and the student can even be charged with cursing abuse for being profane, vulgar, or lewd,” Romig said. Although a difference exists between vulgarity and profanity, they are often treated in the same manner. “Vulgarity and profanity are synonyms but there is a difference of degrees,” Andersen said. “Profane words are those that have been deemed taboo or curse words, while vulgarity gets more into language with sexual connotation and things that are not appropriate in ‘polite’ conversation.”
Some students agree with the current policies on profanity as well as with having to be censored in certain situations. “I do not think that it takes away from First Amendment rights because if you are in school then everyone in school is a captive audience,” senior Rachel Coleman said. “They [the school] is not saying you cannot express yourself but they are saying you cannot do it in a way to offend those around you.” Other students feel that profane words are needed for self-expression. “The reason I curse is because I do not put the negative thoughts into the words,” McQuhae said. “I do not see it as bad but I use it to express myself.” Even some of those who do use profanity in their everyday conversations believe there are certain times were it is not permissible to use such language. “I think that in school or in a classroom it is inappropriate to curse but in a hallway, as long as you are not screaming it, it is okay,” McQuhae said. While censorship of profanity may conflict with some students’ beliefs, school officials view it not as an attack on First Amendment rights but rather as an attempt to maintain an educational environment. “I do think there is a greater sense of entitlement of the youth today including doing and saying whatever they want than earning the right to speak to people in a certain way, a lot of youth feel they have the right to say what they want, when they want, to whom they want,” Andersen said. “There is a time and a place for certain language, certain behaviors, and certain conversations.”
Sophomore Sunny Kim Senior Hannah Wickline Junior Hailey Beu es, because speech is speech, why “Yes, because not being able to use “Yes, because it is a way of portraying your emotions.” ould certain words be protected profanity takes away our freedom of and others should not?” speech.”
Numbers 78% of students curse at least once a day
14% of students rarely or never curse
66% of students do not
think it is appropriate to use profanity in public
93% of students believe profanity has become more socially accepted
77% of students do not believe students should be punished for using profanity in school
67% of students believe the current use of profanity in pop culture is appropriate
Information based on a survey of 125 students
16 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
Custard Kitchen Sebra’s
Wood-Dale Swim Team For Ages 18 and under serving the tri-cities! Web: www.wdswimteam.com Military and early registration discounts
Breakfast before school Dinner after school Anytime for ice cream
Go Royals! Call 732-0990 6335 Courthouse Road Prince George, VA 23875
Friday 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 17
Gospel Choir Expresses Spirituality Members prepare for competition in Virginia Beach Tiana Kelly trn writer
a l k ing into church on a Sunday morning seeing the pews filled, grabbing a fan because it is hot, praising the Lord or singing along with the gospel choir is something senior Kayla Towns experiences when she goes to church. Towns has been singing with the gospel choir at church since she was five years old. “I like singing in the gospel choir at school. It reminds me of singing with the gospel choir at church because I like singing and praising the Lord in front of people because it is something that I have done since I was little” Towns said. Gospel music has been implemented in school since 1998. When previous choir teacher Monique Woodard started the gospel choir, she was just trying to see if her stu-
dents were interested in the program and to see where they would fit in vocally. “I joined the gospel choir when I was in the ninth grade because I had already known Woodard at Clements and because I loved music and I loved to sing,” 2001 graduate Crystal Patterson said. “Growing up I was always singing in the church so when Woodard said that we would be performing gospel music I was very excited. We were a competition choir and we had been a few places like New York, Georgia and Baltimore. A gospel choir is more than a religious organization that some people may do on Sunday. “It is an inspiration, it gives a boarder outlook on what life is about and is a powerful genre of music,” senior Marquis Murray said. Murray who has been singing since he was little often looks to gospel as a reminder to keep his head up. There are different varieties of gospel music depending on social context and culture. It is often played and preformed for many reasons. However, the mission of gospel music is to give thanks to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.
“The gospel choir has always been student driven. It is something that the students have always wanted to do,” current choir teacher Toni Luckett said. There are different gospel music genres such as contemporary gospel, urban contemporary gospel, urban gospel, southern gospel and modern gospel. “I like to listen to modern gospel music because I feel like it has a big effect on my life because when singing or listening to it I feel like it’s a stress reliever and I have nothing to worry about,” junior A’marah Hawkins said. Each of these genres can contain bass, baritone, tenor, for males and countertrallo and soprano for females. “I sing tenor because my voice is higher than the two male vocalists and it is something I have been passionate about since I was seven because I worked so hard on making sure it sounded good,” Murray said. When joining the gospel choir there are many reasons to join. You could join because you love to perform and sing, you could join because you get to go places to compete or you can join because you get to go to Festival. This year gospel choir plans to go to the choir Festival in Virginia Beach on May18.
The Gospel Choir members clap along in rhythm as they sing and prepare for their competition. The group began practicing the beginning of this year in hopes of winning first place again. Contributed Photo from the Gospel Choir. The gospel choir won first place last year in the choral contest and plan to do so this year as well. According to Festival.com, Festival is a music company specialized in Festivals for middle and high school instrumental and choral groups. “Winning Festival is very important to us because it notices and recognizes our singing abilities and we plan to win again this year,” Towns said. To prepare for Festival they have been practicing after school 3:00 to 4:30 every Monday since September. At practice they go over their songs that they will perform at Festival. Festival wraps the year up with what they will do. “The gospel choir has a bright future ahead of them,” Luckett said. “I am really proud of them.”
18 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
Talent Show Sparks Creativity
Students prepare for their performances Courtney Taylor trn writer
illed with butterflies, but ready to show off the one talent that may become a career. This is the way several students will feel at the talent show. Students aspire to make their talent their career. “Many children dream of being in the entertainment business, but have no idea how to make that dream a reality,” 4-H director Herman Maclin said. This year’s talent show sponsored by the 4-H is all about displaying talents for the school to see. “The talent show gives me an opportunity to share my entertainment expertise with a lot of kids in an actual live performance setting,” Maclin said. On Feb. 24, there will be a talent show auditorium at seven p.m. This is a tradition that has been going on since 2004. With over 20 acts signed up, the show is expected to sell out. In order for the show to be successful, students had to try out, as well as be present for the practices. The winner at last years
talent show was Senior Gerald Jackson. He performed a dance number and plans to do so again this year. His goal is to perform again and bring home another win. Jackson will be performing with a group called Full Effect. Sophomore Dominique Gray is going to watch the show to see Full effect. “They are good dancers and have been practicing since the beginning of the school year,” Gray said. The prize each year is a cash award, but is not determined until the sponsors are able to find out how much proceeds have been made. Winning is not the only reason Jackson participates each year. Dancing is his passion and what he wants to do the rest of his life. “Dancing in the talent show gets me ready to perform for big audiences,” Jackson said. “I am excited for the show.” The award also is an incentive for more students to participate in the talent show. “The big prize is in the experience kids get by being part of this awesome event,” Maclin said. Winning again this year will not be easy for Jackson, as he has some competition. Junior Ashley Wilkes is also competing for the title of the 2012 Talent Show Winner. Wilkes is going to be singing “Break Even” and has been working to put on a good
Junior Japriece Jackson warms up in preparation for the upcoming talent show. The talent show is scheduled to take place on Feb. 24. Photo by Emily Gray. show.
“I have been practicing every day. I am not nervous, but I am excited,” Wilkes said. Much preparation is required for the talent show to be great. Maclin says contestants usually begin working on their acts in Oct. or Nov. Security guards, people to control lights and sound, and hosts for the show all have to be found early as well to start preparing. This years host will be Seniors Andrew Pettaway and Dax Ellison. They hosted last year and are expecting an even better show for this year. “I decided to [host] because I like to reach my student body in a creative way,” Ellison said. Pettaway and Ellison have been making plans to make the show even funnier. Ellison said to expect crazy outfits, and Pettaway has instrumentals planned for in between acts. “It is going to be a fun filled Friday night,” Ellison said.
Music Legend Whitney Houston Dies at 48
n Sat., Feb. 11, the R&B music genre lost the amazing musician, Whitney Houston, otherwise known as ‘The Voice’ lately. On the eve of the Grammy’s award show, Houston was found dead in her hotel room in Los Angeles, Ca. The cause of death is still unknown. Houston was a Tasia Faulcon role model to many in the early part of her career. Songs such as, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” “I’m Every Woman” and “Step by Step,” are all songs that encourage people to be strong and happy in their own skin, which is what most of Houston’s music was all about even love songs such as “I Will Always Love You,” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” and “Greatest Love of All,” inspires people to take chances and go after what they truly love and believe in. Although Whitney Houston made great music that inspired many people throughout her career, towards the end of it she did not have quite as much support. Just like any other person, Houston had her own demons and she worked to better herself through rehabilitation. It is a shame that things seemed to be looking brighter for Houston and were ended abruptly by her untimely death. And it is an even bigger shame that now that she is dead, everyone loves her again and is jumping on the Whitney train. But while she was alive and was making some poor life choices and needed the most support, a significant amount of her “socalled fans” abandoned her. I loved Houston’s music, and I remember times when I was younger listening to her music on long car rides with my mom, but I have not thought about her in so long and I just do not think it is right to love her now because of her death. However, dead or alive, Whitney Houston’s music affected the lives of millions of people in the world for nearly 20 years. She truly was a musical legend with the voice of an angel and she will be remembered as one of the greatest voices of all time.
Friday 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 19
20 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
FRIDAY 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS |21
Mass Effect 3 Features Open-Ended Game Play
ver 50,000 years ago a race of sentient machines, known only as the Reapers, effaced the galaxy of all organic life forms. In 2148, man discovers space faring technology buried on Mars, allowing man to venture further beyond the stars. The year is now 2186 and humanity has colonized far beyond the reaches of earth and has become a part of a greater galactic community of various alien races. You are Commander Shepard, the only person who Patrick West knows the truth behind the Reapers and must race against time to save humanity and the galaxy from total annihilation. Mass Effect 3 starts out immediately following the events of Mass Effect 2 with a surprising twist, Commander Shepard is brought back to Earth for questioning due to the events of Arrival, a Mass Effect 2 add-on. Shepard is found guilty and stripped of his/her title and immediately there after the Reapers begin the invasion of Earth. With Earth being completely defense-
Royal Battalion Command & Staff School Year 2011-2012
Battalion Commander: Battalion Executive Officer: Battalion Command Sgt. Major:
Stephanie Clairmont Xanthea Keith-Midgette Malik Vaughn
Coordinating Staff Officers: Personnel Officer: Special Projects Officer: Operations Officer: Logistics Officer: Public Affairs Officer:
Garry Coleman Kenneth Stith Jarrett Acfalle Alexander Beverly Zhane Umpierre
Company Commanders: Alpha Company: Bravo Company: Charlie Company: Delta Company: Echo Company:
less, Shepard must escape in order to be able to save the galaxy and fight another day. This is when the true role-playing game that is Mass Effect begins. Mass effect 3 is the final installment of the series and is the conclusion to every single decision made prior. It will again feature, open-ended game play where every decision counts towards the outcome of the game,
Crystal Reynolds Sawyer Love Valencia Hamilton Jalisha Canet Jenteara Green
full character customization regardless if the player has played the previous titles, and a personal favorite, unique only to the Mass Effect titles save import, in which the choices made by the player from the previous titles effect the game play. A new edition to the series is a set of three different ways in which to experience the game, Standard Role playing, Action, or Story. These game modes are personalized to the players. In Standard Role playing the player can control the story and combat just as in the previous titles, Action mode turns auto dialog on making the game more of a shooter as opposed to a rpg, Story mode focuses more on the narrative aspect and less on the combat. With the various game mode options available to the player, it is sure to increase the overall replay value of the game. Mass Effect 3 is the conclusion to a revolutionary style of narrative game play, but the ending however is up to you. Be sure to bring the fight to the Reapers and save the galaxy, the battle begins Mar. 6,2012. Promotional Image from www.cheatmasters.com PLEASE NOTE THIS GAME HAS NOT BEEN RATED
22 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
Sligh Plumbing & Heating Address: 208 S 15th Ave Hopewell, Va 23860
Phone: 804-458-3663 Email: email@example.com
PGHS Administration reminds everyone that it is YOUR second semester so do not get caught short. Make it count!
FRIDAY 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 23
SENIOR SPOTLIGHT Zhane Umpierre
Senior Turns Down Offer Spates had chance to play with Richmond Kickers Adam Blakemore trn writer
ny soccer player who wants to make it in the major leagues dreams of playing on a professional team. However, these teams only take a handful of players, just enough to fill out their rosters. To have a contract offer from one of these teams was a reality for one senior, Chris Spates. Spates has been on the varsity team since his freshman year, where he became the team’s starter right off. He has been a starter on the team ever since, which makes him a fourth-year starter, something that very seldom happens in high school. According to boys varsity head soccer coach Thomas Harrison, Spates is an amazing player who puts his heart into the game. “He is just a top-level player, and he does not dog it out on the field,” Harrison said. “He could run at only three-quarters
of his speed and you would not be able to tell, he is just that good.” Besides his skill, Spates also has a higher level of experience then some of his teammates. This gives him a good sense of how the game should be played, and the coaching staff consequently treats him as the leader on the field. “We may be able to see what is going on from the sidelines, but he is the one barking out commands like a coach while he is down on the field,” Harrison said. Off the field, Spates also manages to keep his grades up, being one of the few players that are eligible for academic AllDistrict. He also acts as an aide in the guidance office with guidance counselor William Havard and the rest of the staff. “He is very personable and an extrovert,” Havard said. “He is easy to get along with, and he is cheerful in the accomplishment of a task. He is always so positive and upbeat.” Spates received his offer from the Richmond Kickers, the professional soccer team that he had taken classes from in the past. He has been a part of their youth training program for years and the head coach recently approached him with the contract.
Senior Chris Spates competes with the Kickers Development Academy team. Spates had a chance to sign a pro contract with the Kickers but declined. Photo contributed by Shelly Spates. Spates was not interested however, choosing instead to stay and play another season with the Royals. Due to scheduling conflicts and his upcoming years at West Virginia University, Spates found his choice easier then one might expect. “I did not sign with the Kickers, because they have practice at three in the afternoon, so I would have had to leave school early, and I would not have much time,” Spates said. “I just want to enjoy my last year of high school.” This contract would have assured him a spot on the team, even after he returned from college, but Spates sees his choices as wide open. “The guys at WVU all have connections in the MLS [major league soccer], and I have played all over the country, so a lot of teams have seen me play,” Spates said. “And the Kickers head coach is a good friend of mine, so I am sure I could come back to the team if I wanted to.”
How long have you played basketball? “Since I was about 6 or 7 years old, but I have been playing for Prince George since seventh grade.” Who or what inspired you to start playing basketball? “Something when I was little, I played all the sports to see which one I liked the most. My mom put me in it and I just loved it from the start.” What do you do before a game to prepare yourself? “Listen to music or watch JV warm-up and watch JV play. It helps me notice what they do wrong and make sure I do not do those mistakes.” Do you plan on continuing to play basketball in college? “I am not sure , I know I have a JUCO college looking at me. I do not want to choose my school around basketball. I think wherever I go I might just try out for it and you never know I could probably make it. I know that if I do not make the school team I will definitely play club or intermural.” What has been your best experience on the team so far? “I love my team, we have a strong bond from ninth graders all the way up to seniors, we are all just like family.”
24 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
Dianne Overstreet Chris Romig Louise Thornton Marcia Skiffington Mitch and Willene Simmons Lennie and Nancy Elder Kris Tritschler Jeff and Denise Aleska Stream Team FCA Spanish Club Johnny and Michele Harris Pam Alley Lynette Epps The Britt Family Will Bonnell Trinity United Methodist Youth Group Treon Simon
William Havard Janie Williams Pat Raines Stephanie Bishop The Marshall Family Theodore Greer Jade Overton Tammy Stevenson Charity Korean American Baptists Church
Thank You Patrons
Donald Newbold Tracey Smallwood Bryan Griffin Cynthia Hasley Joe McDaniels Roy York Chrystal Barnwell Rose Scott Mr. T Cathie Hamlin Janet Carr Kevin Moore Kim Bailey Renee Topian Paola Jones Kevin Moore Nick Tritschler Georgina & Wilson Whited Whitney Clements JoAnn Hampton Barbara Clements Dwight & Vickie Cosgrove Tara Bauman Jessie Carmichael Mary Ann Hallman
Terry Walker Army Junior ROTC Thomas Carwile Prince George Baseball The Blumenschine’s Tim and Janet Schwalm The Dunn”s Lindsey Comer Cameron Schwalm Haley Ramsey Interact Club Mark Dailey Ayana Washington Betty M. Easter Mandi Cummings Coach B. Ben Poe Mr. & Mrs. Charles Connie Buckles Thomas Fowler Christina Buckles Emanuel Guadalupe Bruce Waymack Brenda Smith Willis Ricks Thomas Giusto Antonio Belmar Casey Abernathy
Vehicle Removal Operator Rapidray Hughes, Owner Operator
Congratulations PG Players for winning the VHSL District Theatre Festival for the 4th time in 6 years! Break a leg at the Regional Festival on February 18th!
FRIDAY 2.17.12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 25
Harris Predicts Spring Sports
pring sports are about to start, and in just a few weeks the athletes will be back on the fields and courts competing for the Royals. In the boxes below, I have given my predictions of how the RoyKevin Harris als will fair in the Central District when the spring is over and the season is all said sports editor and done.
Baseball Dinwiddie will be the preseason Central
The boys are always expected to com-
District favorites, but the Royals have the
pete and make some noise in the Central
personnel and talent to hang with Din-
District. They lost three of their top six to
widdie. They return a pitching staff led
graduation, but coach Paul Cash runs a very
by Jaydee Johnson and a returning Bryce
good program and they will regroup fast.
Hayes. Add in Matoaca, and it will be a
Seniors Joo Lee and Chris Bae will lead the
three-horse race for the Central District
team. This year they are going to be chasing
Thomas Dale, but you can never count them out and they can possibly bring home a
Central District title.
Championships seem to come naturally to the Lady Royals. The team returns all of last
Thomas Dale lost 2011 Central District
yearâ€™s members. They will be led by seniors
Pitcher of the Year and selection for the
Madison Guidry and Kaylyn Chandler and juniors Jordan Thompson and Melissa Tomlin. They have won every Central District title except for two since 1990. That will not change this year as they continue their
Junior Matt Schneck will be a part of the boys soccer team this season. Harris expects the Royals to possibly contend for a spot in the top four of the Central District. Photo by Wayne Epps, Jr.
dominance and win another title.
Boys Soccer The Central District will be ruled by Thomas Dale. However, after that, it is a wide-open race for a coveted spot in the top four. Matoaca, Meadowbrook, Colonial Heights, and the Royals are all teams that can make noise. The final three spots will be determined by which teams play the best and win when they need to.
2011 all-state team, Lacey Waldrop. The Royals will be led by junior pitcher Jennifer Woodlief. This, combined with a weaker district, will allow the Lady Royals to retake their spot atop the Central District and make a run at regionals.
Girls Soccer The team loses five seniors from a team that finished fourth in the Central District last season, but a weak district, and leadership from juniors Dallas Smith and Valerie Belcher, means they will still compete and have a shot at districts. The Royals will fight with Matoaca and Colonial Heights for spots two through four all while they try to catch Thomas Dale.
Track This year, track will not be much different than past years: the team will compete. With the veteran leadership of runners such as Brian Palomo and Kayla Hubert mixed with young talent of runners such as Alex Smith and Brooke Ward, both the boys and girls teams will possibly make a run at a district title.
26 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.12
PhotoGallery RIGHT: Junior Rochelle Rawls competes in the girls 4X800 relay at the Central District indoor track meet on Thurs., Feb. 9. The team placed second in the event.
BELOW: Senior Gerald Jackson competes in the pole vaulting competition at the Central District indoor track meet on Thurs., Feb. 9. Jackson placed first in the event.
ABOVE: Track coach Joseph Widdicombe, right, adjusts the pole vault bar at the Central District indoor track meet on Thurs., Feb. 9. LEFT: Junior Bailey Williams competes in the boys 4X800 relay at the Central District indoor track meet on Thurs., Feb. 9. The team placed third in the event. All photos by Elizabeth Nerdig.
FRIDAY 2.17.11 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 27
Athletes Choose Future Plans Three seniors describe their experiences with recruitment Connor Stevenson trn writer
ational Signing Day for college athletics was on Wed, Feb. 1. The day is the first that an athlete can sign their letter of intent to play for a college. Even though the actual signing is an important event, the recruiting process leading up to the signing can be more important. Recruiting is the process through which an athlete is sought after and in some cases even has to promote themself to a college. These events lead up to the final decision that will dictate how the athlete spends their next four years after graduation. Senior Chris Spates signed to play soc-
cer at West Virginia University as a centerback and has plans to be a starter as soon as possible. Although WVU was his final decision, Spates was interested in other colleges such as High Point University, Radford, Virginia Military Institute, as well as a few others. He wanted to pick somewhere that made him feel welcome and at home and West Virginia was that place for him. “The hardest part of the recruiting process is keeping up with contacting all of the coaches,” Spates said in a phone interview. Spates felt pressure to stay on the coaches and staff during the process to keep them interested throughout it all. Keeping contact with the coaches can present a challenge, but Spates has a different view on the best part of it all. “The best part of it all is being able to choose which school you like the best and knowing that your talents are wanted,” Spates said. Senior Jaydee Johnson recently committed to Norfolk State University for baseball. He is not going to receive a scholarship
his first year so that he may still continue to contact other colleges that have chosen to pursue him. “The hardest part of the process is just marketing yourself and trying to get yourself out there,” Johnson said. With the weight of recruitment lifted, Johnson can now focus on the upcoming baseball season and bettering himself for his senior season, as well as leaving something behind for the rising players to build on. Senior Joseph Pervall has played football for most of his life and it has been a part of his extracurricular activities up until this point in his school career. He had the opportunity play college football but decided to pursue a different dream. “I decided that attending a top-choice school such as West Point, Virginia Tech, or UVA would be better for my future than playing ball at a smaller college, considering there was no way I was going Division I or even Division II,” Pervall said in a phone interview.
Senior Chris Spates signs his letter of intent to play soccer at West Virginia University on Wed., Feb. 1. Spates chose WVU after considering several schools. Photo by Wayne Epps, Jr. Pervall decided to seek acceptance at West Point. After the process of applying and getting letters of recommendation, Pervall recently received acceptance to West Point. “It’s the ultimate package - I get an Ivy League education basically for free at one of the top ranked universities in the world, then once I graduate I get to serve my country as an officer in the Army,” Pervall said. “It’s a deal I couldn’t refuse.” Out of all of the athletes that participate in high school athletics, only a select few get the opportunity to continue their careers in college. After all of the work, dedication, time, and money put into their dreams, Spates, Johnson, and Pervall are among the few who are able to live them.
The girls team finished third and the boys team finished fourth in the Central District indoor track meet on Thurs., Feb. 9.
Thomas Dale defeated boys varsity basketball 88-86 in the Central District tournament on Tues., Feb. 14.
Girls varsity basketball defeated Matoaca 73-45 in the Central District tournament on Tues., Feb. 14.
briefs Relford Takes Third at Regionals
Junior Zack Relford takes down a Colonial Heights wrestler during the Central District match on Sat., Feb. 4. Relford took third place in the 195-pound division at the Central Region match on Sat., Feb. 11. Photo by Wayne Epps, Jr.
Like the Royal News Facebook Page for score updates
Scan this code with your smartphone to check out the trnsports.org website .