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Prince George H.S. - 7801 Laurel Spring Rd. Prince George, VA 23875 - February 17, 2017 - @RoyalsMediaNow


Senior Zahria Young decorates and designs a window in F-wing. Young has been participating in art classes since she was seven years old. Photo by Breanna Rackley.

45% Alone



Significant Other Family




Groundhog Day Tradition Continues




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 A2, 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. Thank you for the support this year. Please continue to communicate on Publication theft. A person commits the offense of publication theft when he or she willfully or knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over more than three copies of an edition of a publication distributed on campus or in the surrounding community [with the intent to prevent other individuals from reading that edition of the publication]. A “publication” includes any periodical that is distributed on a complimentary or compensatory basis. In addition to the imposition of other campus disciplinary penalties, a person who violates this provision is responsible for compensating the publication for all reasonable costs incurred, including, where appropriate, the refund of advertising fees.

Section Editors Front page: Paul Dennis Jr. , Op/Ed: Matteo Reed, Features: Kattie Iwanski, Doubletruck: Aaliyah Capers, A&E: Chance Thweatt, Sports: Wayne Coleman, Photo Editor: Matteo Reed Online Editor-in-Chief: Carlee Lively

Writers Kylie Cargill- Breanna Rackley-Tyler Brock-Shanice Davis-Tiara Whirley-Tiffany Whittington-Tatyanna Thaxton-Anna Mitchell-Miracle Conaway

Editor-in-Chief Chance Thweatt


Chris Waugaman

Managing Editor Paul Dennis Jr.

Professional affiliations & awards Columbia Scholastic Press Associations Gold Medalist 2008-2013 CSPA Gold Crown Winner 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 Virginia High School Association Trophy Class 2006-2016 Col. Charles Savedge Award for Sustained Excellence 2010 NSPA Online Pacemaker Winner 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 SIPA All Southern 2008-2015

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

Illustration by Anna Mitchell

Sadie Hawkins Dance Cancelled Due To Low Ticket Sales


he Student Government Association planned a Sadie Hawkins Dance, which would have been the first time this has taken place at the high school. This is an event where the females ask the males to attend the dance. The dance was intended to be a fun and social event for students. The Sadie Hawkins Dance was supposed to take place on February 11th, but was cancelled due to low ticket sales. Ticket sales were only five dollars, but the sales were not high enough to host a dance at the high school. Due to cancellation, students who had already purchased their tickets had to be reimbursed. Many students were looking forward to this dance, and were upset by the news. Some students had already invited their dates, purchased nice clothes, and more. On the other hand, some students had no clue what Sadie Hawkins meant. Some students were confused and

unaware of the dance details. Hopefully next year this dance will be a huge success. It is important that the event planners advertise it more, so that students can be aware of what is going on. It is important to have posters all over the school, including bathrooms, in order to get the word out. Use all social networking sites to spread the word. Selling tickets earlier could also help increase the chances of having this dance. Maybe students would be interested in having a spirit week leading up to the dance. A spirit week could help boost school spirit and encourage students to participate. Just like homecoming, students could also conduct games in the commons to create a feeling of excitement. It is also vital to make known the meaning of Sadie Hawkins to prevent confusion from happening as it did this year. With these small changes, the dance will succeed.

ight at the start of February came the first national holiday of the month. On Thurs., Feb. 2, a United States tradition, that has been going on for several decades, took place. Groundhog Day. In the late 19th century, BREANNA RACKLEY the very first Groundhog Day celebration took place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The succession of groundhogs used over the years has been dubbed Punxsutawney Phil. This annual tradition involves “Phil” coming out of his burrow after a long hibernation. According to, if the groundhog sees his shadow, it is said to mean that there will be six more weeks of winter, and he will return to his hole. However, if he does not see his shadow, it is said to mean that spring will arrive early, and he will stay above ground. The origins of the holiday are unclear, however, according to, most people believe that the idea came from an ancient Christian tradition known as Candlemas Day. On this day, candles were distributed to people and said to represent how long the winter would last, similar to how the groundhog predicts what weather is to come. The traditional holiday has grown in popularity nationwide over the years. In 1993, a movie, “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray, was released with a plot centered around the tradition. In addition to being broadcasted by weatherman nationwide, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club hosts an annual threeday celebration with entertainment, activities, and more to keep the tradition alive. This Groundhog day, it was declared that Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, indeed did see his shadow, thus indicating that there will be six more long weeks of winter. This could mean that there is more snow to coming Prince George. Though the groundhog has been wrong several times before, many still invest in, enjoy, and celebrate the legend of Groundhog Day.



Is The Direction Of Public Education Changing? Betsy Devos was confirmed as the eleventh secretary of education under the Trump administration. Many Americans worry that due to Devos lack of experience with public education she might get rid of it with privatization.


here are many positive points to privatizing education. In a private school, typically the same type of people attend. There are private schools based on religion, gender, financial class, and ancestry. This eliminates discriminatory behaviors and allows people to freely express their culture and values without fear of persecution from others who may not be on the same path. Private schools are not bound by the same lesson standards that public schools are. Because of this, private schools can offer a wide variety of classes, such as many different languages, theology classes, literature classes, fine arts classes, and many others that a public school may not be able to offer. Some private schools also offer on-campus boarding. Living in a place away from home can give students the experience of being on their own, forcing them to learn and take on more responsibility. Private schools also enforce uniforms to eliminate bullying based on appearance. This helps with ridding unnecessary distractions from the learning environment so students are more focused on their studies. Private schools can also focus on one specific career field or goal. Military schools, college preparatory schools, arts focused schools, and sports focused schools help get students on track for a specific career field they may be interested in. Special needs private schools group students that require special care together so they are easier to care for. This also helps them make friends with similar limitations and avoid bullying from people who are not understanding of their particular situation. Placing these children in special care schools also lowers the risk of them being mistreated. Private schools are typically small in number which allows for individual attention of the students. Each student who requires help with a certain subject gets the attention they require, as opposed to a larger public school where voices may be covered up or students may be intimidated by the larger number of other students in their classroom.



“Private schools are not bound by the same lesson standards that public schools are. Because of this, private schools can offer a wide variety of classes.” “Not only would it further broaden the gap between privileged and non-privileged children, but it would lower the learning standards for the lower class of Americans.”

“Each student who requires help with a certain subject gets the attention they require, as opposed to a larger public school where voices may be covered up or students may be intimidated by the larger number of other students in their classroom.”


ver the last few weeks there has been more and more speculation and disagreement over the sensitive topic of privatizing education, and the positive and negative effects it would have on the community. It has become very clear that the negatives to privatizing the education system far outweigh the positives. Not only would it further broaden the gap between privileged and non-privileged children, but it would lower the learning standards for the lower class of Americans. The fact is, privatizing all of education might bring in more money due to the fact that everyone will be paying different private organizations and companies, which would technically help a lot financially in a sense. But when everyone has to pay, the population who simply cannot afford it will get the short end of the stick in a category they simply shouldn’t be left behind in. Public schools bring education to both wealthy and financiallystruggling families, and by privatizing all education we are putting everyone with a low income at even more of a disadvantage. In all actuality, the most important factor that the government wants to see is high test scores. The means about getting high test scores is not a set process. So although what a lot of public schools are forced to teach may not all be on the end-of-year standardized test, private and charter schools have more freedom in what they can teach and don’t have to follow the same rules. They teach to the test to raise the average test scores, and although it is true that some private schools are better learning facilities, that is not necessarily the fact with every school. Some private and charter schools (after testing) have even proven to be worse than the public is led to believe. Many people have a problem supporting private schools also because of the effects that some might have on the group of people attending. Though some may consider a select population like all boys/girls or all one religion as a good thing about private schools, it is not necessarily a positive aspect. Our country and world is quite the opposite; it is very broad and diverse in its ethnicities, beliefs, and gender. By only exposing children to a select group of people, only to grow into adults and not know how to react to them or socialize with them, we are, in a way, limiting them.


THE WEEK AHEAD Herff Jones Introduces Class Rings Feb. 21


n Tues., Feb. 21st, Herff Jones will be at the high school to speak to the sophomore class about class rings. Students will report to the auditorium right after attendance is taken. There will be an “all call� about this and also when they are heading back to class, if there are no SOL tests being taken. The presentation will last approximately 45 minutes.

Spring Sports Start - Feb. 20th


orget about the snow, it is time to begin thinking about spring sports. As the winter sports season winds down, baseball, softball, tennis, soccer, and track get started. On Monday, February 20th the sports teams will hold tryouts. For each sport the tryout period varies. Some will last a few days and some a week. Anyone who wishes to tryout must have a current VHSL physical

filled out and with them before they can participate. This is a strict rule that is followed by all teams. If you have any questions about what to bring or what to wear, see one of the corresponding coaches in the boys PE office for baseball or boys soccer. See Mr. Chandler in the library for softball. See Ms. Holc in A-wing for girls soccer. See Mr. Weston in F-wing about tennis. And see Mr. Griffin in B-wing about track.

Scholastic Journalism Week Feb. 20-24


elebrate Scholastic Journalism Week with the Royals Media staff. This week is sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and highlights the journalism being taught and practiced at schools across the country.

4-H Talent Show Tryouts Feb. 20th


uditions for the 4-H Talent Show will take place on Mon., Feb. 20th in the auditorium at 2:45 PM. The Annual 4-H Talent Show is scheduled to take place on Friday, March 17, 2017, at 7:00 PM, in PGHS auditorium. They are in need of

dance groups or individual dancers. If interested in performing in the talent show, please contact Mr. Maclin at 804-712-0620. If you are unable to reach him, see either Mrs. Mason in D16 or Mrs. Farley in A16. Additional information, as far as rehearsal date and time will be announced, later.

Black History Show Feb. 24th


lack History Month is celebrated annually by several organizations at the high school. Each year the Cultural Awareness Club puts on an assembly at the end of February to highlight the outstanding achievements of African Americans throughout time.

This year the program plans to honor several members of the school staff and community. More information to come about time and how students can attend.




Immigration Ban Affects Students NUMBERS Immigrants Search For Better Life In The United States


Shanice Davis TRN Writer


he lingering light was obliterated by the rapidly falling night and the world seemed peaceful for once. Through the night, shadows of a small family danced amongst the land as their owners quickly paced themselves towards a nearby waterway. Silently, the family made their way to a liferaft filled with many other families just like them; they pushed the raft away from the land into the open waters, leaving their war-torn country behind. This scene is all too familiar to the Pham family. They left all they’ve ever known, taking a chance on strangers, hoping such people could be kind enough to welcome the refugees into their countries. As they made the journey, they knew their chances for survival were slim but the thought of making a better life for their family overcame all. Whilst some of the refugees headed towards European countries, the Pham family as well as many others looked at the United States for an escape. That is until President Donald Trump issued a ban on January 27th which prohibited immigrants from seven primarily Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) from entering the US. This ban, despite being put on only seven countries, has affected immigrants from all areas, causing them to unite despite their backgrounds. Sophomore Nina Pham is one of the many people in the United States who is a child to immigrants. “My dad traveled by a small boat [from Vietnam] at the age of 17 with some of my aunts and uncles up to Hong Kong,” Pham said. “[They were] starving because they didn’t have lots of food and on the edge of death, suffering from pneumonia. They stayed in Hong Kong for a while before taking another trip by a fishing boat to San Francisco, travelling almost all over America.” Pham’s family came to the country seeking a better life for Vietnam was

people are granted lawful permanent residence in the United States in 2015.

730,259 people became naturalized US citizens in 2015.

333,341 unauthorized immigrants were removed from the United States in 2015. war-torn at the time, just like many of the countries that were put on the ban list. Seniors Bre-Anna Johnson and Jessi Bailey, both children of immigrants, disagree with the ban. “I feel like it was wrong especially because [Donald Trump] is banning a religion. Yes, there are bad people in the world but there’s also good people and for one to just block out everyone when this country is built on diversity and people coming over to get away from religious persecution is simply wrong,” Johnson said. “I think it’s kinda racist and I don’t think one should have the right to ban people considering the fact that our country was founded on immigrants and people coming here for asylum,” Bailey said. Johnson, Bailey, and junior Alysia Rice believe that the ban will bring more harm than good. “People are gonna be upset and mad. You already see people having protests. I just feel like it’s going to take a really bad turn,” Johnson said. “One of the countries on the ban, I

Nina Pham’s dad poses with his car in his neighborhood. Below is a photo of Pham’s immigration papers. The family first settled in San Francisco, California after arriving in the United States. Contributed photo. think it’s Iraq or Iran, said [they didn’t] want to let Americans in because [Americans] aren’t letting them in. It’s just causing a lot of hostility,” Bailey said. “I feel like there’s going to be a lot of violence,” Rice said. In Virginia, one ninth of the population are immigrants. According to the American Immigration Council, 928,888 immigrants live in our state alone. Students have their own ideas on what should occur next to spare the country from anymore hostility. “I think we should all just come together and work as a team,” Rice said. Pham concludes her thoughts on the ban with a few simple words, hoping those who hear her will take action. “We have a chance to use our voice to make a change, and we should take the chance,” Pham said.

15.6% of green cards are given to immigrants from Mexico in 2015.

19.9% of legal immigrants lived in California making it the top states of legal permanent in 2015 residents.

Information collected from immigration-statistics-fast-facts/



Top 5

Teacher Returns To Fill English Vacancy Rick Burfoot Arrives For Second Semester

Favorite Book

Kylie Cargill TRN Writer


familiar face is returning to the high school’s teaching staff for the second semester of the 2016-2017 school year. Rick Burfoot is bringing his teaching back to the high school. Students from his first block welcome him back to the school. “I hope Mr. Burfoot brings a strong education, a good personality and good discipline,” sophomore Tyler Spence said. The class is adjusting to the change with open minds. Change can be different but it can work out for the best. Especially with new teachers. “I’m excited for the new change. Change can be good for us as a class,” Spence said. Burfoot is coming back to where he first began teaching. The students have warmed up to him as he begins all over again at the school he use to know. With his own expectations the students adjust to the requirements. “He seems very reasonable with what he wants,” sophomore Evan Monger said. The class makes the transition from former teacher David Moody to Burfoot with new hopes. Students work to prepare for the challenging switch. They even have their own hopes they wish for their new teacher to uphold on his end. “I hope he keeps consistency and explains the material in depth. That’s important for understanding what he’s teaching,” Monger said. The students even want a switch-up with teaching methods. To increase their understanding they feel the need for the different approach in how they learn. “I hope he changes the style of teaching we’ve grown accustomed to and helps us learn in a way that is relatable to our lives,” Spence said. The school brings back a sense of remembrance as Burfoot comes back to teaching Prince George students. The place where it all began comes back to Burfoot. “This is where I started and I enjoyed teaching here,” Burfoot said.


East Of Eden, a novel by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck

Favorite Author William Shakespeare

Favorite Play Hamlet, a tragedy by William Shakespeare

To Burfoot the school hasn’t changed much since he was here last. Nevertheless, he enjoys coming back and teaching. “[Coming back is] great. Things haven’t changed much since I left,” Burfoot said. Burfoot taught in Chesterfield and Henrico before circling back into Prince George. Bringing in his own style of teaching, Burfoot also has his own expectations for the students coming into his class. “[I have] high expectations for them to uphold,” Burfoot said. Burfoot wants his students to think and come to conclusions on their own with little guidance. The students in the class await with high hopes to prove to him that they can handle the challenge. “I want to challenge them, I want them to be creative and I want them to

English 10 teacher Rick Burfoot distributes handouts to his students for an upcoming assessment. Burfoot recently came back to Prince George High School as a full-time teacher. Photo by Kylie Cargill. put forth their best effort,” Burfoot said. With hard work the class expects to keep up with it all without trouble. Many are switching their routine learning to adapt to his teaching. “I’m paying attention to what he says to adjust to him,” Spence said. Burfoot brings in change and challenge to his students for the course of their learning. Students bring in fresh minds and are open to the new approach to teaching.

Favorite Student Memory The Class of 2015 presented him with a framed class photo

Favorite Grammar Rule “Always indent when starting paragraphs.”




Animal Shelter Reaches Full Capacity Prince George Shelter Animals Look For Homes Tatyanna Thaxton TRN Writer


he Prince George County Animal Shelter is at full capacity. “Some people label animal shelters as a pound, mostly because of movies and TV shows. Some think it’s a place for bad people and bad animals,” recent volunteer Allison Gray said. Unlike the Disney movie The Lady and the Tramp, the shelter is not a terrifying place for dogs and cats. The PG Animal Shelter greets people with a smiling face. and is in top condition. Even when full, the shelter is still clean and very wellcared for. Despite the new facility and warm environment some would rather seek ownership of a pet either from the classifieds or Craigslist. Most of the time that can be unsafe. “[I would rather adopt] from a shelter,” Gray said. It may be a safer way to get a pet. Most of the time, the owners from Craigslist are just trying to get rid of the animal without a second thought. From shelters, the pets would most likely be “fixed” and vaccinated. And the shelter staff will make sure that the pets find their forever home. Animal shelters aren’t just full of ugly, mean dogs and cats. Shelters have a mass variety of breeds. Even some purebreds can be found. Not all shelters have a time limit on their pets. Many keep animals indefinitely while looking for their forever homes. “Our longest dog has been here since last year in March,” said Job Greene, Animal Services Supervisor. “We even have a few dogs out with a foster family, same with some cats.” Not all animals who are in the shelter were strays. Such as King, an American Staffordshire Terrier & Pit Bull Terrier Mix. He had a home before the shelter. Except his owner or owners were very neglectful and abandoned him when he was a puppy with a collar around his neck no doubt. He quickly grew into it but


8-12 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year and approximately 5-9 million are euthanized.

60% of all households in the United States have a pet.

25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.

15-20% of dogs are returned to their owners. the collar began to become embed into King’s neck and cut deep into his neck. Despite this, he is still as sweet as a puppy since the officers found him. Also, some people surrender their pets when they are not able to care for their pet any longer. Some people are in the military and some housing areas do not allow a certain type of pet; in most cases, a certain breed of dog is not allowed. Most of the time, it’s Pit-bulls or Rottweilers. Some animals are lucky enough, some must be put down sadly. “It [really] depends on the animal. Like, if the animal has rabies then it’s guaranteed that the animal will be put down,” said senior Anna Simmons, former PG Animal Shelter volunteer. “If a stray is found with an ID, such as a microchip, it will be held for ten days. Without an ID, it will be held for five days before it will be made available for adop-

A tabby cat recovers in her crate at the Prince George Animal Shelter. She has been in the shelter awaiting adoption for four months. Photo by Tatyanna Thaxton. tion,” Greene said. But if you’re looking for a loving companion. The animal shelter offers reduced animal adoption fees throughout the year. Recently fees were only $14 from February 2nd through Valentine’s day. In addition, the Prince George Animal Shelter will be transferring some pets to Colonial Subaru on Feb. 25. for an adoption event in their new mobile adoption trailer. It will allow the shelter staff to transport more animals to/from adoption events held throughout the PG area.

75 million cats are owned in the United States.

Information collected from for-shelters/facts-about-animalsheltering/

12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.17

Starting Positions available in:

General Laborer With Advancement in:

Heavy Equipment Operation Pipefitting Welding

A&E Spring Fling Finds New Home

FRIDAY 2.17.17 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 13



The first year the Spring Fling will be held at the high school.

2,000 The number of people that attend the Spring Fling.

Tiffany Whittington TRN Writer


hildren pull their parents through the halls, faces painted in multicolored images. Choirs sing songs filled with the joy of the new season. Carefully painted artwork lines the walls, each stroke perfected with hopes of being featured. All these sights and sounds can be found at Prince George County Schools’ Annual Spring Fling. Art teachers Elizabeth Rothera and Rebecca Stroop have participated in the event for years. Rothera runs the face painting station while Stroop was the lead coordinator at last year’s event. “In the past I have always been in charge of the face painting booth. I professionally face-paint on the weekends at festivals, birthday parties and corporate events, so that’s an area of expertise for me,” Rothera said. “[I worked with] concessions, signs, raffle baskets, awards, public relations, art activity tables, and lead coordinator from 2005-2009 & 2012 -2016,” Stroop said. Rothera trains her students to present their best work at the festival. Students devote time after school to perfect the difficult craft. “In order to prepare my students to face paint I have them stay after school a couple times a week for about a month leading up to Spring Fling. I start off by painting a few of their faces so everyone can see my technique and it gets them excited about doing it. Then I give

them a run down of the important ways to run an efficient face painting booth. For example, we don’t take requests because then they would have to paint something they’ve never done before and probably wouldn’t represent their best work,” Rothera said. Rothera utilizes her face-painting clients as a way to encourage others to visit the booth. “In my own business, the way I see it is that the final look is a walking advertisement for more people to come to my booth and get their face painted. If I paint something I’ve never done before, it may turn out looking really bad, if I do that and then that kid is walking around the event with this horrible face paint, I may end up losing potential customers. Most importantly, my students are still pretty young and they’re growing as artists, I want them to feel confident in what they are painting, so it’s best to paint only what we’ve spent time learning and practicing,” Rothera said. Stroop handled the details of the events for the past four years. “As lead coordinator, I handled the details & logistics of planning a festival to accommodate a few thousand people over the course of four hours. Recruiting volunteers, guest artists, collaboration with custodial staff, scholarship program, recertification points for teacher volunteers, collaborating with the PG police dept. for security and parking, and so on,” Stroop said. “If there was a problem prior, during, or after festival, I did my best to solve or fix it to ensure that the event would run smoothly for our guests and volunteers.” This year, the event is experiencing a change in location, which also means a change in leadership. “This year the event will be organized

Ninth grader Madison Cleveland paints an attendee’s face at the 2015 Spring Fling. This year the Spring Fling will be held on March 11th, 2017. Photo by Ronnie Dayvault. by both art teachers at Prince George High School, with every transition there are always bumps in the road or things that are changed during the hand off. There’s also the major differences in the layout of the two schools which will automatically change things,” Rothera said. “Ms. Eliades was a big part of organizing the Spring Fling during the first years it was held in the county, so I have confidence that we’re in good hands with this year’s event.” Both Stroop and Rothera shared the hope that the change in leadership also offers more opportunities for students to get involved with the event. “Since the event is organized by the high school which houses so many different clubs and organizations, I would hope that there would be more student involvement by the high school students,” Rothera said. “For example, Teachers for Tomorrow could sponsor the face painting booth and have students take shifts there to help supervise and work alongside the middle school students. Each club could sponsor a different booth and make it even more about the students in the county. With my experience assistant coaching varsity field hockey at the high school, I know there are plenty of students at the high school that are strong leaders, it seems like the perfect opportunity to have more student involvement and let the students shine.”

3 The number of songs that the Symphonic band will perform.

1 The number of songs that the Acapella choir will perform.

2001 The year the Spring Fling was introduced to the county.

Information collected from Christy Eliades, band students, and choir students.

FRIDAY 2.17.17 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 13


Seniors Design Tiles In Art Class

Art Students Showcase Artistic Abilities By Designing Tiles



The number of seniors painting tiles this year.

Breanna Rackley TRN Writer


eing a senior in high school comes with many perks and advantages from being able to leave for lunch three minutes early to having the option of early dismissal every day. However, since the 1976-77 school year, there is one senior privilege that is reserved solely for the art students - painting and personalizing a window or ceiling tile. Since the very same year that the high school opened, art class seniors have been given the opportunity to paint their own window or ceiling tile. Their assignment is to create something that speaks either to their experiences as students throughout their high school journey or something that has to do with their future. Senior Erin Fogg is currently personalizing a window right outside of F-Wing. “My window is kind of like a metaphor,” Fogg said. “It is a painting of a spaceship going out into the galaxy. It depicts our Class of 2017 going out into the world, innovating, and making a creative difference.” Many of the painted windows and ceiling tiles remain in the art room or line the halls of F-Wing to be admired by students around the school. However, art seniors are also given the option to give their tile to a teacher of their choice to place in their classroom ceilings. “My favorite teacher is Ms. Corrigan, and so I personalized my tile for her. She loves the beach so I based the color scheme around the beach sunset,” senior Christian Martin said. This year, sixteen seniors will be completing windows and ceiling tiles to be displayed throughout the school. According to art teacher Christy Eliades, these sixteen pieces will be added to the collection of over two hundred windows and ceiling tiles that have been painted over the past forty years.


40 The number of years in a row that students have been painting tiles.

200 The number of tiles that were previously decorated over the years.

“Seniors have been allowed to paint windows and tiles since 1977. It is an annual tradition and the seniors love doing it,” Eliades said. Many of the originals are still up in classrooms around the school. Though a few have been damaged due to water leaks and time erosion, the majority of the tiles are still in place. According to Eliades, former art students often come back to see the tiles they created many years ago. “When people return to see theirs and it is missing due to acts of time, it is pretty sad. But, some get to see what they did a long time ago and I’m sure it brings back a lot of good memories,” Eliades said. For many of the art class seniors, art is a way of self-expression that has been a significant part of their lives for as long as they can remember. It is something that has carried them throughout their high school years, thus making the window and ceiling tile project a seemingly perfect way to mark the end of their high school journeys. Each painted window and ceiling tile is an original mark on the school left by a talented art student.

Senior Zahria Young decorates and designs her designated window. Young has been taking art classes since she was seven years old. Photo by Breanna Rackley. “I started art when I was seven years old, so I have been doing it for about 11 years. I love how it allows you to express yourself in so many ways; art means a lot of different things to different people. It is a great way of expressing how you feel,” senior Zahria Young said. She personalized and painted a window in F-Wing. Each student with each window and ceiling tile leaves a special, personal, and original mark on the school that will be viewed by the many generations of students to come. Each piece symbolizes not only a journey, but a milestone that was reached by a student. The art seniors are currently working to complete their pieces. The Class of 2017 art students will put the total amount of painted windows and ceiling tiles well over the 200 mark as they continue the four-decade-old high school art tradition.

1977 The first year students were allowed to paint the tiles.

34 The number of tiles that are currently painted.

Information collected from Christy Eliades.


FRIDAY 2.17.17 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 15

Winter Track Team Competes At Conference Tournament

TOP: Seniors Aman Bivens, Keith Brown, Joseph Kemp, and Tarik Samuel line up to race in the 4X200 meter relay. This group of seniors broke the school record for the fastest time with 1:28.92. Photo by Emily Whitehead. BELOW: Sophomore Jaylyn Knight competes in the 300 meter dash . This is Knight’s first year competing with the track team in the post season events. Photo by Emily Whitehead.

For more photos of track go to

TOP: Senior Trae Maldonado sprints down the track on his way to the finish line. Maldonado’s time in the 1000 meter dash was 2:47.86 and earned him 3rd place in Conference 12. Photo by Emily Whitehead. BOTTOM RIGHT: Seniors Keith Brown and Jetho Clerveaux compete in the 300 meter dash. Brown won 4th place and Clerveaux took 10th place. Photo by Emily Whitehead.

16 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 2.17.17


THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS BOUGHT THEIR BOOK! Aaron Abernethy Albright Allen Allin, Jr. Allison Almarode Almond Anderson Ashley Atchison Bailey Barnard Bartruff Bauschatz Beasley Beasley Beasley Bedner Bell Bendall Bennett Bivens Blount Bowie Bowles

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FRIDAY 2.17.17 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 17

A&E Gamer’s Corner Nintendo Releases Hybrid System Called Switch


intendo is most known for producing gaming consoles like the Gameboy, Gamecube, Wii, and the Nintendo DS among other consoles that helped change the world of gaming. Nintendo hasn’t released an independent console since 2006 when they released the Wii. The iconic gaming company is set to release the Nintendo Switch on March 3, 2017 for $299.99. The Nintendo switch can be considered a hybrid console due to its ability to go from a stationary console to a handheld console. The system has a battery designed to last six hours depending on usage. For instance, if the gamer were to play Mario Karts without stopping the battery would last roughly three hours. The system also comes with 32 Gigabytes of memory and a 6.2 inch touch screen display. When consumers purchase the standard pack-

Matt Reed


Chipotle Night

age for $299.99 it will include: the Switch tablet, which is the console in its portable form, the Joy-Con controllers, the dock for connecting the Switch to the television, wrist straps for the motion games where you might only need one Joy-Con, and HDMI and power cords. Nintendo could possibly revolutionize the gaming Promotional photo courtesy of industry with the release of the Switch and possibly give Sony and Microsoft $499, consumers should be less reluctant to buy more competition in the video game industry. The their children this console or even purchase one switch could gain popularity at a moderate rate for themselves. Although Christmas season is ten due to its low price. months away everyone should expect to see more Compared to the PS4 and its release price of of these consoles off the shelves of stores like $399 and the Xbox One with its release price of Walmart, GameStop, and Best Buy.



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18 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 2.17.17


Roache Signs To Stevenson University


Tyler Brock TRN Writer

enior football player Deven Roache has been getting attention as one of the few students in school to receive attention from college scouts. Getting accepted into college is tough, but the chances of being awarded a scholarship are slim. Roache is excited about his latest achievement and is eager to tackle his next obstacle in life: college. Roache received an offer to play football at Stevenson University in Baltimore, Maryland, after his junior season at Prince George. The scholarship comes with $14,000 in academic scholarship money. Roache immediately shared the news with his family once he heard the good news. “I felt good about knowing that all my hard work and dedication finally paid off,” Roache said. The football player decided to be-

come a member of the football team because he had a strong passion for the sport. “I joined the football team because football has always been my first love. It’s just the vibe of playing in front of your home crowd and hearing everyone cheer for you when you make a big play for your team,” Roache said. With his sights set on Stevenson University, there’s one thing Roache is going to miss the most when he graduates from high school - the football team he has bonded with the last four years of his life. “My whole team and I were close like family. Winning or losing we were all together from the start until the end,” Roache said. He cherishes the team because the Royals Football team was dependable and was there for him at any given time. Senior Keith Brown II, who is Roache’s teammate and one of his closest friends, likes spending time with him because his friend always puts a smile

on his face and is very dependable. “Playing football with Deven is fun. We are always goofing off but work harder together, pushing each other to get better day in and day out,” Brown said. Roache tries to look out for his team mates and does the best he can to make them better. He keeps his team in check and helps guides them towards a common goal. “Deven is younger than me and is basically like my little brother. He keeps me in check on the field. Honestly, there are times when I might get lazy or slack off, and he always would call me out on it and make sure I get the work in. He keeps my drive going that makes me a better player. During the off-season he would always call me up asking if I wanted to get some drills in at the field,” Brown said. The football team enables its members to have a sense of freedom and engage in vigorous activities. The sports team may seem challenging, but Deven

Senior Deven Roache approaches the sidelines after a successful offensive series against Hopewell High School. Roache is a four year varsity player who plans to continue football at Stevenson. Photo by Breanna Rackley.

has some advice for novice football players. “My advice to people just starting football is just to do what you know you can do. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do or where you can go in life because the sky’s the limit,” Roache said. Roache has big plans for college and wishes to continue playing football at Stevenson University. His goal is to major in computer information systems. His main intentions are to work himself up the depth chart and obtain a higher level of education to help him pursue his future career.


Recovering From Sports Injuries

Carlee Lively Online Editor-in-Chief


s he tries to dodge the tag sliding into second base, he twists his body and rolls onto his right shoulder. That is when senior outfielder Tucker Majetic knew there was something wrong. Majetic suffered a posterior labral tear in his right shoulder at the beginning of the school year. While contact sports are more likely to have injuries during play, any sport can cause injuries. According to the Southwest Athletic Trainer Association, high school athletes suffer 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits, and 30,000 hospitalization each year. Many youth organizations work on preventing injuries and educating players. Increasing the amount of school accessed professionals to care and advise the injured can prevent minor injuries from turning into major ones. Only 42% of high schools have access to athletic training services. With

that national statistic, many students do not receive the accurate care they need. Major injuries can require physical therapy, loss of playing time, or surgery. Surgery can change a player’s mindset and drive for their sport. An injury can hinder any student, but for athletes it can be especially difficult. The mindset during recovery is crucial to getting back on the field,court or track. “I became depressed a few days after my surgery with the feeling that I would never play again,” Majetic said. Even though the recovery rate for his injury was low, players can question their injury. Many players often feel left out with an injury. During their season, sitting on the sidelines or even off season conditioning can result in being behind or excluded. This fear can lead to players rushing their recovery. Being patient for an injury to heal is difficult, athletes want to be back in action as soon as possible. “I knew it was going to take some time to recover. I let time do its job,” Majetic said. “It was hard but I tried to do everything the doctor told me to do so I would be ready for a comeback season.” Getting injured for an athlete can also be very humbling, as it can happen

Senior Tucker Majetic poses showing his fading scars from a baseball injury. Majetic was injured while playing for his travel team the Virginia Swampthings. Photo by Carlee Lively. to anyone. Players hope to come back stronger than when they left. Junior Brooke Loving tore her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), MCL (medial collateral ligament), and meniscus in the 2016 spring sports season. She knew her recovery would be difficult but strived to become better even during the injury. “I was very determined to come back as a stronger softball player,” Loving said. While injured athletes have trouble accepting their injury, many take a step back and try to re-evaluate themselves as a player. The time spent off the field leaves time to focus on the basics of the sport. The athlete can fall back in love with their sport, leaving a yearning to play better than before. The player does not take their sport and playing time for granted. Injuries can strengthen a player mentally and prepare them for a great comeback. Both Majetic and Loving plan on continuing their athletics at a collegiate level.

FRIDAY 2.17.17 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 19

Senior Spotlight Suwayne Turner

Boys Basketball

When did you first start playing basketball? “I started playing basketball when I was eleven years old.” What do you love most about the sport? “The non-stop action. Basketball doesn’t have any huddles or pauses in the game. It is really fast paced, and it forces you to focus at key moments.” What is your favorite memory of the season so far? “It would have to be throwing an alley to Tynan in the Brunswick game. It made the game that a lot more exciting.” What are your plans for the future? “I want to go to college, major in sports medicine, and hopefully get a chance to go and play overseas.” What are your goals for the season? “My goal is to not get knocked out of the playoffs as quickly as last year.”

The girls soccer Softball will for boys baseball team >> >> >> The Spring >> Tryouts team will scrimmage and girls soccer, will scrimmage Lee scrimmage Lee Collegiate High softball, baseball, Davis on Sat., Feb. Sports Davis at home on School away on and boys & girls 25th, at 11 AM at Thurs., Mar. 2nd, Thurs., Mar. 2nd,


tennis will begin on Mon., Feb. 20th.

at 4:45 PM.


at 7 PM.

Players Develop Skills With Travel Season Wayne Coleman Sports Editor


Junior Dylan Sykes attempts to score a goal in a game against Dinwiddie. Sykes credits his work on travel for aiding his play on varsity. Photo by Daniel Puryear. For more sports photos of the upcoming sports season scan this QR code.

tudent athletes aspire to make it to the next level of their sport. They make this step by perfecting their craft through experience. A step some students are taking to do this is to play on travel teams, which most of the athletes have been doing since before they were eligible to play for the school. Junior Dylan Sykes has been playing for both the school and his travel soccer team since 8th grade. He says that doing both not only gives him a break, but gives him the chance to build his character. “Doing both gives you confidence,” Sykes said. “It [also] gives me a break from school.” Senior Justin Nase has been playing for the Royals and his travel baseball team since sixth grade. He says his schedule is filled with practices and games. “My weekends were consumed with baseball,” Nase said. “I had to plan my weekends off of it.” Although the same sport, practices and games are different in what is the primary focus of the team. “Travel is less on fitness and more on skill, and school is more on fitness than travel is,” Sykes said. Sophomore Justin Starke says there are some things that make playing on both squads challenging. He’s also been playing with his travel squad and the Royals since sixth grade. “[I had] no time to do extra hobbies,” Starke said. “It also had an effect on my body, like my arm.” Starke also describes practices and games to have a major intensity difference between both levels. “School is intense, it’s preparing us for the game,” Starke said. “Travel is more laid back, you get out about what you put in.” Junior Austin Aaron has played for the school and his travel soccer team since

8th grade, and says that travel is the more intense level. “Practice for my travel team is more advanced because we have to do more challenging tasks,” Aaron said. Travel also gives the players more experience for the next level they wish to reach. “School practices were more serious, as were the games, than travel,” Nase said. “At travel you got more experience with college coaches at the tournaments.” Athletes have seen the improvement in their play thanks to their opportunities on both teams. “[Playing both] has gotten me so much better,” Nase said. “I was constantly playing the game.” Sykes says he would like to see more people from the school team do both. “I would encourage them [the students] to do both,” Sykes said. “Even though it may take you away from school, it’ll help you become a better soccer player.” The extra practice is something all the athletes agree that has helped them to improve their game. “It makes me more ready for the game,” Aaron said. “Practice allows me to perform better for my team.” Nase also believes more should play travel league and school league to reach their goal of having success on every level of their respective sport. “Definitely [more kids should do both],” Nase said. “Our ultimate goal is to play college ball, so the more you play the game, the more you progress towards the goal.” Starke says the results of playing both levels will benefit athletes in the long run. “For sure, if they’re passionate about it [playing the game],” Starke said. “If it’s what they want to do in the future, the amount of reps will help you improve more.” Aaron looks at doing both as benefitting the athletes coming up to the junior varsity or varsity level. “Yeah I encourage it [playing both travel and for school] because it helps develop younger kids into better players,” Aaron said.

February 2017  

This the February 2017 edition of the Royal News, the student newspaper of Prince George High School (VA).

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