Page 1

Vol. VIII Issue 2 - Prince George High School - 7801 Laurel Spring Rd - Prince George, VA 23875 - 804-733-2720

Miss PGHS Pageant takes place Saturday, Nov. 7th at 7 PM p. 15

Friday 11.6.2009


. d e r i trnwom c

Junior Ashby Loving texts while behind the wheel Photo by Colby Eliades.

Texting while driving decreases concentration p. 6 & 7 A home that really CARES p. 11

A healthy lifestyle at school p. 31

Find it only on

The CARES program takes care of homeless in need of food, clothing and shelter while providing them creative ways to express themselves all within a friendly environment.

Paul Cash’s Nutrition and Exercise class gives students a more healthy and active lifestyle, while educating them about how to stay healthy for the rest of their lives.

Drummer for the band This Kingdom Falls, Jacob Greenwood, practices with bandmates. To hear their story and see more pictures, go to


Page 2 -The Royal News - November 6, 2009



Will school be out for summer?


he discussion of year round school has come up in recent news. According to the Washington Post, President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the traditional school day and school year outdated and inadequate for the demands of the 21st century life. The system is a 45/15 schedule, which means students attend school for 45 days and then have 15 days off. One often-misunderstood fact about year round school systems is that it does not increase the number of school days, because the year is extended due to the holidays, breaks, and other days off. Since 1980 95% of schools that tried the year round school returned to the traditional calendar ( Many families who are opposed to year round school disagree with it because they fear it will interrupt their availability for summer vacation. Also, it is often difficult to find childcare during the multiple breaks between school terms. Students who participate in activities and sports might have to meet, practice, or have a game during their break. Maintenance for the buildings is more difficult because class is in session during more of the year. Despite the negative reviews, year round schools also have many benefits. In the system there are several tracks in which groups of students alter from the classroom to break. Helping with overcrowding, there is always at least one group on break. The size of classes often reduces creating a more personal relationship from student to teacher. This idea usually helps students to learn better because they are able to have extra attention. Many believe that standardized test scores are increased because of the smaller gap between summer vacation and school time of the traditional year. During summer vacation many students forget past learned material and teachers have to spend more time reviewing than getting ahead. Both sides have strong and weak points. The debates on year round or traditional schools will always exist.



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 cwaugaman@pgs.k12. We reserve the right to edit for clarity, brevity, accuracy, legality, spelling and grammar. Please include your name, address and phone number. Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication. 500 word maximum. Please submit letters to the editors by Dec. 1 for the Dec. issue. Section Editors Editor-in-Chief Kayla Carneal

Adviser Chris Waugaman

Jami Davis-News; Mia Norman-Op/Ed; Delbria Walton-Features; Katie AdamsAmpersand; Kelsie McDaniels-A&E; Amir Vera-Sports; Devyn Pachmayr-Double Truck; Colby Eliades-Photo; Janai Cunningham-Ads Manager; Jessica Lee-Circulation

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

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

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

Sticks and stones may break my bones...


ver run into that situation where someone says something to you, whether it is a positive or negative remark, and your reply is simply, “I don’t care what you think.”? The truth is, everyone cares in some shape or form what other people think, whether it be our peers, teachers, friends, family, and even strangers. How people view us can make or break our position, in and out of school. Girls pick out their clothes the night before, plan out the accessories and in the morning, put it all on, and make sure to spend time on Jessica Stainback the make-up and the hairstyle. Those things can make or break an outfit. I definitely didn’t forget all the tomboys out there. Of course, it’s the roll out of bed, put on jeans and a tee, pull the hair back into a ponytail (or maybe just go for the “just out of bed” look), and then walk out the door. However, I’m pretty sure matching patterns and colors was on their mind. Boys are no exception. High school offers the perfect chance for a guy to impress a girl, and what better way than to wear the “freshest” shoes, the nicest shirts, and smell incredible. Guys like to show off what they got, and usually are not very shy about doing so. Other people within the school also care about looking professional. They are none other than our teachers and

educators. Dressing professionally is part of the job description, but many teachers put a lot of thought into what to wear for school. Teachers have the worries of keeping up with what students are wearing and fashion. I’m pretty sure hearing students say something negative about how they dress could hurt them in the long run. I am not trying to stereotype, but rather explain that people take pride in their outward appearance and looks. This is not a bad thing. It just means that if we honestly did not care what others thought, why would we take the time (that could be used to get more sleep) to make ourselves look more appealing to those around us. Trying to please others is such a routine part of our society; it is becoming harder to realize we are doing it. For those who have the “I don’t care” philosophy on life, I am sorry to say that you do care. You may not care who is saying something about you, but you do care who hears that information and who is willing to believe it. So the next time someone makes a negative comment, saying, “I don’t care” will not make the situation any better. Everyone has their faults, but it takes the weaker person to point them out in front of others to make themselves fell better. By embracing the negative and applying it to choices, people will no longer have the need to declare, “I don’t care.”


November 6, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 3

Letters to the Editor

Making the Grade

Changing with the times Dear Editor,


he problem with the Prince George County Schools is that we start too early. School starts at 7:50 and getting up early seems to be a problem for some students. The ones who do get up early tend to sleep during the first and second blocks. This causes less attention paid in class and students’ grades to go down. If the students are sleeping in class, they may not get valuable information needed for that class they are sleeping in. Another issue with starting at 7:50 is that the buses come even earlier than school starts. Students may miss the bus and need to find an alternate way to school. Missing the bus may

cause students to be late to school. If this continues over time, the students will get an excessive amount of tardies. The excessive amount of tardies leads to other disciplinary problems, such as suspension. The solution to this problem is to start school later, instead of 7:50 to 8:20. To keep the school day the same length, we would end the school day at 3:00. Signed, Christina Hamilton Danielle Kearney


October Retractions

In the Dress Code article. Amber Williamson is a varsity cheerleading, not junior varsity, and the cheerleaders are still allowed to wear their skirts in school.

Fall Break

begins on Wednesday, November 25th, as an early release day for all, which will be followed by Thanksgiving and a four day weekend, giving everyone a little time to relax.

College Applications, although the future can be exciting to think about, making it happen is stressful and takes a lot of work.

Missing Clocks are the

result of having had the majority of them not work around the school, which is making it hard for students to keep track of the time. But, never fear, the company that supplied the clocks are working on repairing them and getting them back on the walls as soon as possible.

Pro/Con: Healthy Choices Because of serious health risks such as diabetes and high blood pressure being linked to obesity, it is important that we make healthy choices related to our diets, and with at least one meal a day being eaten at school, is it also important that the school helps us to make the right decision. Do students have access to the right information to help them make good choices, and does the school make those choices available to them?


believe students have the right access to nutrition. Sophomores are required to take a health education class and are taught the right health choices they should make. When you become a junior or senior you have the opportunity of taking a nutrition class. It is not the school’s job to watch our every move and see what types of food we put in our mouths. Teachers are here to give us the knowledge and if we do not use it, that is our fault. Now that we are in high Responsibility school and becoming our own person, we have to start “It’s not the making our own choices. You cannot blame the school for the not-so-healthy lunches. If it bothers you that school’s job to much, tell your parents to buy food that you want from watch our every the grocery store and bring it for lunch. Our parents are move and see there to teach us the right things to eat, also. They buy what types the food for us, so talk to them if they are not buying of foods we what you want. put into our The media does play a big role in our lives, but mouths.” as high school students we should know not to buy Kimberly Carneal into everything. Most of the media is extremely exaggerated. If you saw a model eating a Big Mac, he or she is mostly likely not eating that all the time. Healthy Help Do you think you could eat McDonald’s every day and “If students are be healthy? We see many things on television and the looking for additional Internet that are not true. information, Coach We have all the information we need to stay healthy. Cash, who teaches a Health teachers are always available to you; you just have class on nutrition and to make time to go see them. It seems that we do not health. may offer the have all the access we should to staying healthy, but when assistance.” we look at all our choices available to us, we have plenty of information.


tudents are given many opportunities in school to make decisions about nutrition, and the school gives them the knowledge they need in order to make the right ones. Along with the choices of fried foods such as fries, chicken, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and pizza, students also have the opportunity to put aside their craving for the grease and choose the healthier choices of salad and fruit. In previous years, students were offered sodas and other sugar loaded beverages. Recently, sodas machines have been replaced by water machines and the choice of having milk, chocolate, strawberry, or white, juice and Gatorade have been offered at lunch. Due to these alternatives being accessible, students are permitted the chance to choose what he or she would want to eat, whether it be a healthy option or Jake Mcquiggan damaging choice. The school has already taken out the soda machines; only the snack machines and snack line are left which are optional. Even buying lunch isn’t mandatory because students can bring a lunch from home. If students are looking for additional information, Coach Cash, who teaches a class on nutrition and health, may offer the assistance. He is able to provide information that may help students make better choices to provide for a better future. The school offers students the availability to eat healthier and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, it is ultimately up to the students to make the choice and decide to be healthy and give their bodies the proper nutrition it needs in order to function properly.


Page 4 - The Royal News - November 6, 2009

Junior right of passage News briefs

The college fair at Richard Bland college will be on November 9th beginning at 9:30 a.m. and a similar event will occur at John Tyler Community College at 7:00 p.m. Senior group photo will be taken on November 10th at 8:00 a.m.

Ring ceremony, dance marks memorable time Mariah Blystone staff writer


he ring ceremony and ring dance will be held this year on Nov. 14th from 7:30 PM to midnight. The ceremony beings at 7:30 PM in the auditorium and the dance follows in the commons, ending at midnight. During the ceremony, the juniors come up on the stage to receive their high school class rings. Preparations are needed for this dance, like any other. The ring dance committee is formed to help with the dance. Their first meeting to start the planning was on October 14th. The head

of this committee is Carol Bolyard, the junior class sponsor. The dance is held for the juniors to attend after the ring ceremony has come to a close. “The difference between ring dance and other dances is that it is meant for juniors. I think it is important to come because getting our class rings means that we are almost done with our high school,” junior ring dance committee member Ashley McCabe said. Juniors who ordered their rings through the school attend the ceremony in order to receive their rings. Others who did not order their rings this way are still able to attend. “I did not order my ring through the school, but I am probably going to the dance. It is a rite of passage,” junior Alyissa Gambill said. Others can take a different approach to getting their ring. “Getting my ring means representing my class. It also means getting to cover my bare finger,” junior Josh Togger said. Seniors who attended the dance


last year may carry insight on what the juniors are feeling right now. They have the same motives of going to the dance. “I went because I wanted to take part in the full experience,” senior Rebecca Marshall said. “The best part of the dance was that two of my friends were sitting next to me during the ceremony because of our last names. We got called up right after another. The experience was fun.” Not only has it had impressions on people that have gone before, but sophomores are also looking forward to this event. “I am interested in going to ring dance next year because I am really excited about getting my class ring. Sophomores can look forward to that,” sophomore Courtney Lewis said. The juniors who attend can come with a date. The dance will have a theme, but it will not be known until the tickets for the dance go on sale. “I would like all juniors to come to the ring dance, you only get one,” McCabe said.

The grading period for the 1st nine weeks ends on November 11th; report cards will be distributed on November 20th, report to homeroom before 2nd block class. Students will get out on November 26th and 27th for Fall Break.


November 6 2009 - The Royal News - Page 5


Crosspoint facility provides job opportunities Rolls-Royce manufacturing plant brings employment chances Sarah Habermehl trn writer


new Rolls-Royce facility, called Crosspointe, is expected to open at the end of 2010 in Prince George County. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Rolls-Royce plant occurred on October 19th, 2009. It included a special presentation by the United State Marine Corps, five speakers, the raising of flags, and lunch. The event was attended by Governor Tim Kaine, Congressman Bobby Scott, Dr. Charles W. Steger, the President of Virginia Tech, as well as many other representatives of what is to come in Prince George County. “We are investing in America, we are investing in Virginia, and we are investing in Prince George County,” President and Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce North America Inc., James Guyette said during his celebration speech. Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has officially broken ground in building what will be the largest Rolls-Royce site, by area, in North America. “This is the most ambitious investment of all. Although this company has been in the United States for over 100 years, this project is the largest,” Guyette said. The facilities will be so extensive that the company has made room for two major research centers for the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing and the Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems. “The project is not only about production, but about research. We

James M. Guyette, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce North America Inc., gives a speech during the groundbreaking ceremony on October 19th, 2009. Photo by Sarah Habermehl believe that moving forward is the most important thing,” Guyertte said. They will be in partnership with the engineering departments of Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and community colleges in the area to develop skilled workers for the plant. The company has already employed 60 full-time workers in the area. “There are more [jobs] to come. Investing in America is all about the future,” Guyette said. It is predicted that in the next ten years, the Crosspointe project will generate roughly 500 new jobs, many of them feeding straight from colleges in Virginia. “This is an example of a public-

private partnership that is unique and a model to others in the nation,” Executive Vice President of the University of Virginia, Leonard Sandridge said during his speech. “It provides significant employment opportunities for students in our Commonwealth.” Students interested in aerospace and propulsion engineering will now have more opportunities in this area. “We are hoping that this keeps us at the forefront of technological advances,” Chairman of Prince George County Board of Supervisors Henry Parker said during his speech. “It will add to the county’s economic base and expand opportunities.” Rolls-Royce remains in a position

to invest in the United States because the British company has no debt. “Good news is especially good news when times are hard,” Governor Tim Kaine said in his closing speech. “Virginia is a strong place for business if you have a strong business.” Rolls-Royce is a company that will help Prince George manufacturing thrive. All of the speakers assured the audience that the new facility was not only about production, but about research. “Rolls-Royce understands that today’s most precious asset is not oil and it is not water. It is brainpower,” Kaine said.

Page 6 - The Royal News - November 6, 2009

Texting while driving decrea

Communicating with cell phones dangerous Jami Davis trn news editor


he General Assembly of Virginia has passed a law that deems texting while driving dangerous and illegal, eliciting a fine. This new law was enacted on June 1st, 2009. Texting while driving is a secondary offense, meaning drivers must be pulled over for a different reason, but can be fined for texting thereafter. The fine for the first offense is $20 and $50 for a second offense. Teen drivers have a higher rate of accidents compared to adults, and with the additional distraction of texting, the rates rise even more. “We have 16 and 17 year old drivers, and if they are texting it totally takes away their concentration on driving a 3,000 pound vehicle,” security guard Larry Tyler said. Concentration is decreased and reaction times are slowed because attention is taken away from the road to focus on texting. “You can easily run into the back of another person while you are texting and not paying attention,” security guard Rose Scott said. The amount of texting has increased in teenagers, allowing this form of communication to be carried over into driving. “Texting became the thing to do out of the blue. One day someone picked up a cell phone while bored in the car and didn’t think it was a big deal, their friends probably saw it, so then more people started doing it over time. A lot of people started doing it just because they thought they could handle it without thinking about the consequences,” junior Rachel Hudson said. Sophomore Denisha Black supports the new law she will have to follow when she obtains her learner’s permit and later, her license. “I think it is a good thing. People run

off the road a lot when they are texting [while driving]. “ Black said. “It’s the perfect law.” Another law, enacted to protect drivers for the dangers of communicating with a cell phone, prohibits anyone less than 18 years of age from talking on the telephone while driving. “I’d rather be allowed to talk on the phone while I drive compared to texting, but both are illegal now. At least you don’t have to take your eyes off of the road to look at your phone to talk to someone,” Hudson said. Tyler often sees students communicating with their cell phones as he directs traffic in the mornings before school and the afternoons after school has let out. “I see people on their cell phones a lot but often they start texting once they are off of the school premises,” Tyler said. Teens however, are not the only culprits of this newly illegal act. “I tried it once at night time. I was driving and texting and before I know it a poor little baby deer was in the middle of the road and I drove my wife’s car into the ditch to avoid hitting it; I had to get a tow truck,” Tyler said. The law is in effect to protect all drivers, those who text and those who do not. Victims of accidents caused by texting do not only include people who are texting behind the wheel. “For the safety of themselves and their other passengers they just shouldn’t text,” Tyler said. People who text while driving risk being in an accident, thus opening up the their driving record to consequences. “Compare your driving record now to what it could be like if you were [caught] texting while driving. Just do not do it.” Tyle said. “If you have time to flip the phone open you have the time to pull over and send a text.”

d. e r i w n tr om c See the multimedia story on getting your license at

Junior Ashby Loving shows the ease of possible dangers arising behind the wheel as she sends a text message. Photo by Colby Eliades.

ecreases concentration

November 6, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 7

By the Numbers

66% of students have texted while they were driving.

17% percent of students who

have texted behind the wheel have lost control.

67% of students have talked on the phone while operating a vehicle.

84% of students have

ridden with a driver who was texting on the road. The results of this By The Numbers comes from a survey conducted with 75 PGHS students.

Page 8 - The Royal News - November 6, 2009



November 6, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 9

SAT, ACT tests aid colleges in decisions Standardized tests slightly differ but have same purpose Tasa Hattori trn writer


AT and ACT tests are used to predict how students will do in their freshman year in college. These tests function as an addition to grades and extracurricular activities to help college admissions officers decide on accepting a student. SAT’s are the more dominant standardized test all around the eastern seaboard and west coast, whereas ACT’s are more known in the Midwest and Southern alignment. Both tests are made up of English, Math, Reading and Science with a multiple-choice design. The key

difference is the essay portion. The tests differ on their essay portions; the SAT’s essay is mandatory while the ACT’s essay is optional. Test preferences differ from college to college. On a college web site, the office of admissions section will often state the school’s test preference if one exists. For the Math section, the SAT’s cover through basic Geometry and Algebra II; versus the ACT’s which go as far as Trigonometry. The ACT’s unlike the SAT’s have a science section. This part is based on reading comprehension skill. The time frame of the SAT’s and ACT’s are different. The SAT’s allow three hours and forty-five minutes to take the test, where the ACT’s allow two hours and fifty-five minutes to complete the test with an optional 30 minutes for the writing portion. The SAT’s have approximately one hundred and forty questions and the ACT’s have an estimate of around two hundred and fifteen questions. The ACT’s determine the score after all incorrect answers are disposed of

because only correct answers count. The four sections are then averaged together to produce the overall score on a scoring system of one through thirty-six. The SAT’s score each section between two hundred and eight hundred and then add those numbers together to compose your score. For the SAT’s a perfect score would be twentyfour hundred. “I took the test already in the summer and in October and it was not so hard,” senior Ventrell Terry said. “I plan on taking them again sometime in December and the ACT’s sometime soon.” Although students may take the tests more than once, students may also decide to take the tests once. “I took the SAT’s in October at Thomas Dale and it was hard. My brain was throbbing when I had finished, not my head, my brain,” senior Victoria Mendez said. “I do not plan on taking them again because I want to go to a community college and I do not think they will look at my SAT scores. I do not plan on taking the ACT test.” For upcoming seniors, options like

SAT, ACT practice booklets help students prepare for the tests. Photo by Colby Eliades the PSAT are being offered and students can take advantage of that by taking the test. “I studied the practice booklet so the PSAT’s were not that hard. It prepares you for the real test and gives you an idea of what the SAT’s are really like,” sophomore Rachel Williams said. “I want to take my SAT’s my junior and senior year; same with my ACT’s because I want to go to college in the west.” Aside from the PSAT’s, other options like the SAT Reasoning Test are offered. “I took the SAT Reasoning Test in the eighth grade and it was pretty much like the PSAT’s, not hard at all,” sophomore Danielle Hannuksela said. “I work at a fast pace in class and these are fast pace tests so I am able to work faster and quicker because I have been prepared throughout junior and high school.”

Page 10- The Royal News - November 6, 2009



Families connect through education Relatives in school system, interesting work place Jessica Marshall trn writer


magine walking down the hallway, in between classes, and there stands your brother, watching your every move. This is also the scene for teachers who have relatives that work for the county. From the Darby family to the York family, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers are all working in the same school to achieve one common goal, education. Barbara Gilliam is currently a teacher at the Ed Center. Even though she works at a different school from the rest of her family, she still feels informed and connected. “Jamie, my daughter, works at Clements. Buddy Darby, my brother-inlaw, works at the high school, my nephew, Jeff Darby, works at Clements and my other nephew, Mike Darby, works at Moore,” Gilliam said. “Jamie and I do several projects a year together. We are

always keeping each other informed of what’s going on.” Most students wonder why these teachers choose here. For Jeff and Mike Darby there was no other choice. “I graduated from Prince George, and I knew that Prince George was a great school system,” math teacher Jeff Darby said. “I went to Prince George and I wanted to come and hopefully give back to the community,” said seventh grade social studies teacher, Mike Darby. Sophomore, Cara Lucy, has had both Jeff and Mike Darby as teachers. In seventh grade, she was on the Tornadoes team, and at Clements, she was in IB Geometry. “Mr. Darby in seventh grade was very different. He made the class more fun and we were constantly laughing. Not that Mr. Darby in ninth grade was a bad teacher,” Lucy said. “But he was more serious and down to business. I enjoyed Mr. Darby in 7th grade more though, but both of them taught really well.” Freshman, Taylor Harris also had Mike Darby as a teacher. She shared the same opinion of him as Lucy did. “I had Mike Darby in seventh grade for social studies. He is an amazing teacher. He made the class fun and we did projects that made the class really interesting,” Harris said. “He is a strict

teacher and expected everyone to be responsible and have good work ethics. I really liked him as a teacher.” Harris is also currently in Jeff Darby’s IB Geometry class. ”I have his brother Jeff Darby this year for geometry. He is a good teacher too. He is very thorough and explains the content really well,” Harris said. “Math is not my favorite subject, but I am really glad that I have a good teacher this year. ” But Harris can relate to more than just having the two brothers for teachers. In a sense, her family is related to them. “My mom is their mother’s first cousin. There are a lot of teachers in my family. My mom is a teacher at Moore, her cousin (Mrs. Gilliam) is their aunt and is a teacher at the Ed. Center, and her daughter (Ms. Gilliam) is a teacher at Clements,” said Harris. “There is another aunt who is a teacher at South Elementary. They all love teaching.” But Harris hopes that the tradition of having a Darby will continue. “I hope Mr. Darby is still teaching when I get to the high school - then I will have had all 3 of them as a teacher. Mr. Darby at the high school was my dad’s math teacher when he was a student at PGHS,” Harris said. Teaching is not the only job that these teachers have. Mike said that he

Levi Owens, Sarah Owens and Roy York Photo by Alisha Holmes. was a former coach of the junior varsity softball team and a seventh grade and social studies representative. English teacher, Sarah Owens, had different reasons for teaching. “Having a family full of teachers was part of my inspiration; with my father, two brothers, my sister-in-law, and my husband all teaching,” Owens said. “The other part of solidifying my aspiration to teach was the number of wonderful and caring teachers I had throughout my elementary, secondary, and college experiences.” In a town where everyone knows everyone, it is no surprise that one of your teachers might have a relative in another county school. Having families in education creates a sense of homeliness, much like our own parents do at our own homes. The teachers care about the school and the students much like they would their own family. Whether it is teaching seventh grade American history, geometry, or English, all these teachers thoroughly enjoy the decisions they have made. “Fate was holding up a sign that read “BE A TEACHER!,” Owens says.


November 6, 2009 - The Royal News-Page 11

Home that really CARES Shelter prepares for winter; warms hearts of Petersburg residents Laura Young & Alison Brown trn writers


s winter approaches, our houses become warmer and our food increases. As for the homeless in Virginia, the need for help

increases. According to the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness between 40,000 and 50,000 Virginians experience homelessness over the course of a year. The Crisis Assistance Response Emergency Shelter (CARES) located in Petersburg, on Halifax Street, does as much as they can to help. They assist the homeless, domestic violence victims, and even needy travelers. CARES aides people without resources to get back on their feet. Not only do they provide the basics, such as food and shelter, they keep valuable resources on hand. These resources include travel vouchers, housing, finances, and jobs. Almost daily, CARES receives food from Central Virginia Food Bank; where they receive mainly bakery items and meat packages from Food Lion. Canned donations contribute to the shelters stock of vegetables, but rarely do they ever receive fruits or dairy products. With the upcoming Christmas sea-

CARES shelter on Halifax street in Petersburg. Photo by Allison Brown

son, it is nice to donate toys and goodies to the homeless. But also thinking about primary needs such as warm clothes, fruits, vegetables, or educational supplies is important. “Homeless children fall behind on every important scale: educationally, socially… in all ways,” says Diana Brown. “Things that help them back up could be things as simple as reading, one-one-one time, and artistic materials”.

. d e r i w trn m co Find it only on the web. See the multimedia story of the Petersburg CARES homeless shelter.

Are winter seasons more challenging than the summer seasons?

I think that the winter is just as challenging as the hot summers. We have a trend that in the winter months when it’s really cold out and when it snows were going to have an influx. And the same applies as to when it’s really very hot out there. - Jean Grim- Social Worker

How long can the clients stay?

Our rules are that they are here for 30 days. But that depends. But every case is different. I work with the families individually. - Jean Grim

What are some reasons that people come to CARES?

I’ve had people come in because they’ve lost their jobs and as a result of that they were evicted or their homes were foreclosed. Mandy Stephenson- Shift Supervisor Sometimes moms come in for various reasons; domestic violence or they are thrown out, or locked out. - Jean Grim

Are there many success stories?

We have great success stories. And our success story to me, they come in different forms and shapes. In speaking in terms of one family in particular, there was a mom came in here with six children, from scratch, got a job, two jobs, and now she’s giving back to the community. - Jean Grim

Do you ever hear from clients after they leave the shelter?

I get so much feedback. I meet people in the street who say thank you or I see the joy in their faces when they leave. - Mandy Stephenson-shift supervisor


Page 12 - The Royal News - November 6, 2009

photos and information by Mia Norman


Going Through The Yearbook Room Yearbookies have created a “hottie wall”- a wall displaying their favorite celebrity crushes...along with English teacher, John Pelter. Graduating staff members leave messages for future students on the walls and ceilings of the room and closet.

New colorful chairs solve the staff ’s dilemma of having too many members, and not enough seats.

The yearbook room is always filled with snacks brought by the students, and even has a microwave and fridge that the staff uses often.

Ms. Heath provides the staff with many electronic privileges. They have speakers that they all share to play their music, and a telephone to handle all yearbook related phone calls.

Page 13 - The Royal News - November 6, 2009


Momm ya you v ery m nd daddy uc lo not in love w h, but we ve ar ith ea ch oth e er.

Students talk divorce Separation among parents brings about problems for teens in school years Delbria Walton trn features editor


n high school there are a lot of worries that a teen has to go through: grades, college, boyfriends/girlfriends, friends and more, but there is an added factor that most seem to bypass, divorce. While divorce is an adult issue, the outcome affects everyone; especially children. Some may be very young or in their teen years when they discover “mommy and daddy just do not love each other anymore.” Senior Gerald Wade remembers when his parents divorced and how it made him feel.

“I was about ten and my mom wrote us a note and my dad sat my siblings and I down to tell us that they were splitting up,” Wade said. Forty to fifty percent of marriages each year end in divorce; the number one reason stemming from lack of communication. Couples with children have a 40 percent divorce rate and for those without there is a 26 percent increase. As young children the idea is not fully comprehended and could lead to problems down the road, but as teens understand the initial action, the reasoning becomes skewed. “I did cry a lot in the beginning; I felt that it was my fault that they did not want to be together anymore,” Wade said. Junior Reggie Love could tell that something was not right with his parents. “They were arguing a lot more and then one day my dad just was not there and that is when my mom sat me down and told me that he was not coming back and they were getting a divorce. Eventually my dad came and talked to me and I understood,” Love said. Growing up with two parents

is often considered trivial, but to place all the responsibilities of two parental figures on one is extremely difficult; often leading to mixed signals among teens and parents. “ In a way it is not easier living with one parent because now instead of two incomes it is one,” Wade said. Guidance Counselor Evelina Davis puts divorce into retrospect as she has evaluated students with divorced parents. She believes that divorce can be either helpful or harmful to a students psyche during this crucial time n high school. “Sometimes divorce can be an in between situation. At home there could be a lot of turmoil, arguing, and other distractions. Divorce would relieve that strain on the child and create a better environment,” Davis said. “ It could be bad because everyone wants to see there parents together ‘one big happy family’, but it may be better to have one parent or the other in order for you to have some piece of mind.” Sophomore Jessica Hubbard realized that her parents were not happy and she understands why they cannot reconcile and perhaps being apart is better for all of them. “I would like it if my parents

Drawn by: Junior Shakil Mason

were still together but if they were just going to argue all the time I would not want them to still be suffering,” Hubbard said. “I am happier because my parents are happier.” When your role models for marriage are divorced and that is possibly your only example, your view of marriage could become negative or give motivation to be sure you have found “the one.” “I will definitely try and make it work,” Love said “I think if the relationship is meant to be then it would all work out and there would not be a divorce,” Hubbard said. We have all heard the fairytales and the stories or myths about the happy families consisting of mom, dad, Sally, Timmy and we can not forget Fido. But, in this time period those ideals are becoming farther from the truth. Although the divorce rate is down from the past years, it is still a very prevalent issue. “Divorce is not an ideal situation for parents or the children, but sometimes it is a necessary,” Davis said.

Page 14 - The Royal News - November 6, 2009



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Pageant excites senior class Features

November 6, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 15

New fund raising idea generates a fun way to contribute to end of the year bash Alisha Holmes trn writer


he contestants hold their breath as the winner’s name is announced. As the tiara is placed on her head she can hear her family and friends clapping and screaming her name. As she waves to the crowd and accepts her bouquet of flowers she takes time to appreciate all the support she had received these last couple of months. She walks off the stage as the first ever Miss PGHS.

For the first time in history there will be a Miss PGHS pageant. Senior girls will be able to experience what it really takes to be a pageant queen. This program is a new refreshing way to raise money for this year’s senior bash. “ This is the first year we are doing the pageant but we have hopes that it will inspire the junior class as well as the sophomore class to participate in the following years to come,” Pelter said. Honors English Teacher Karen Rhodes, who helped with the Hopewell pageant for 13 years, suggested that it would be a good idea to do this to raise money. Being that she had so much experience prior to Miss PGHS they gave her a position as an advisor and coordinator for the pageant. “ When Mr. Pelter needed ideas, to raise money for the senior bash I brought up the idea that was suggested 6 years ago about having a Miss PGHS pageant,” Rhodes said. Senior class sponsor Sonya Lee plays a major role in the production of the pageant. Even though the pageant is still in its developmental stage they have a basic plan of how they would like things to work.

“ We are hoping that since it is for the senior bash then the seniors will help in the areas we still need people for,” Lee said. “ We are looking for businesses who would be able to donate us things that we need for the stage background and props,” Pelter said. Pelter and Lee have been successful in finding sponsors, getting donated flowers for each contestant and asking the theater department for help with lighting that night. Hoping to have a lot of help from the other seniors and a lot of other sources for the build- up, break- down process. “ We are trying to keep the cost down so we can use as much as we can for senior bash,” Lee said. Senior Amber Hatcher is enthused about participating in the pageant. Hatcher expressed that her friends were a little hesitant to join at first, but the extended deadline for sponsorship really helped them decide on participating. “ I had to try and talk some of them into it, but some were easier to convince than others,” Hatcher said. Senior Sherwine Davis has already expressed interest in attending the pageant. He is eager about showing his

support to his peers in addition to raising money for the senior bash. “ I cannot wait to go and support our senior ladies. I am sure they are going to look beautiful,” Davis said Recruiting escorts was not hard at all. Lee approached Senior Jeffery Branson, about being an escort. He was very interested and more than willing to help his senior class. “ Mrs. Lee just came up to me and asked would I like to be an escort and being that I was in her 5th block last year I was happy to help her,” Branson said. The winner of Miss PGHS will have responsibilities and expectations after she is crowned. Participating in the Christmas parade and coming back to crown future queens will only be a few of her duties. Sponsors are also looking into her doing a photo session with little kids during walk against drugs and making sure she stays active in the community. “ We want to make it known that Miss PGHS is here to make a difference in the school and the community,” Pelter said.

Miss PGHS trophy and crown as well as first runner up paque. Photo by: Alisha Holmes


Page 16 - The Royal News - November 6, 2009

Returned Veteran: Dan Pulskamp Q: Where were you deployed and for how long? A: I was deployed to Afghanistan from October 2006 to October 2007.

Q: What was the hardest part of being deployed? A: Being separated from my family was hard, I couldn’t just pick up the phone and call them to let them know I was still alive. We had internet, but a lot of the time it was blocked.

Q: Was it difficult returning to U.S. society? A: It had its ups and downs. You come back trying to pick up the pieces, and you realize everyone else has moved on. I didn’t teach for almost two years.

Q: How do you feel about it now? A:There’s a lot of misunderstanding, everyone has a bias. I am more than happy to talk about my experience. I find it to be therapeutic.

Q: How did you feel when you found out you were being deployed? A: I didn’t have time to feel anything. I had just walked out of class and I got a phone call. “You have to get to Texas by tomorrow”. I had a to do list that was a million things longs, had to get someone to watch my pets, etc. Then I got on the plane and realized that I might not be coming home.

Q: How did the experience effect you? A: It gave me a perspective on what the values of America are, and why they are the best. I learned an appreciation for our value of life.

Student with Deployed Parent: Amber Robinson Q:Is life harder with your parent being deployed? How so? A: It is harder, he misses a lot of special holidays.

Q: Would you prefer it if your father weren’t in the military? A: Yes. Its always better when Christmas and birthdays come around if he’s home.

Q: Are you used to him being gone? A: The first two times he left I cried, I was 8 years old and it was just so different. I thought to myself, “My dads not going to be here anymore”. But, now I understand what he is leaving for.

Q: How does it effect the rest of your family? A: Its hard on my mom, she can’t just ask for help the kids when things get overwhelming.

Q: How do you feel about his career? A: I’m happy to have someone like him in my family. I am very proud of him, he is courageous to be able to leave and come back like he does. He makes sure he calls everyday, that makes it easier. My dad is like my best friend.

Designed b


by Devyn Pachmayr

November 6, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 17

Wife of Veteran: Janie Williams Q: How long was your husband in the military? How long has he been retired? A: He has been in the military for 22 years and has been retired for 16 years.

Q: What is his title? A: Command Sergeant Major

Q: How long have you been married? A: 38 years

Q: How many years have you spent apart from your husband? A: 10-12 years apart

Q: What is the hardest part of being married to a man with a military career? A: The hardest part is definitely being apart from one another. But I know the commitment he has to the military, and I admire it.

Q: Was it hard to raise your son alone? A: I didn’t have issues, of course he missed his father, but he assumed the male role.

Q: Any advice you would give to young women dating men with military careers? A: You must understand the commitment. His duty to serve always comes first, and the Army takes care of the family. Absence is hard to deal with.

Q: What made it easier for you to cope with the absence? A: If there is communication, a support system, and if you understand his duty, it wont be as hard as you think. I always think to myself “If we didn’t have the military, we wouldn’t have the freedom”. They put their lives on the line for all of us, they made the choice to suffer for us.

Enlisting Student: Terryll Brunson Q:Why do you want to join the Military? A: I want to join the Navy because my father was a “Seabee”, which is a welding engineer. I am going to train to be a Navy Seal.

Q: Did you enjoy growing up in a military household? Yeah, you move a lot. But I liked it.

Q: Did your family encourage you to join? A: They support me in whatever I choose to do, but joining was my decision.

Q: How do you think your decision will affect your future? A: I want a family, and I’m nervous about the well-being of my family. But, I really enjoy the military lifestyle and I’m positive I want to do this. The sense of pride I’ll have for serving the United States will make all of this worth it.

Page 18- The Royal News -November 6. 2009

& Ampersand

Information and Layout by: Katie Adams

And the winners are...

Homecoming 2009

Homecoming Queen, Laura Aguilar

Homecoming King, Van Powroznik

“I was surprised I won because I had heard that it would have been hard to win,” Aguilar said.

“I was surprised that I won. I was just happy to be in the Top 5 and able to walk,” Powroznik said. Junior Homecoming Prince, Albert Williams

Junior Homecoming Princess, Hope Song

Sophomore Homecoming Prince, Connor Stevenson

Sophomore Homecoming Princess, Carrie Young

“I knew a lot of people knew me, I just never thought that they would vote for me,” Williams said.

“I never thought that I would have won,” Song said.

“Winning made everything better since we were losing the game,” Stevenson said.

“I had a lot of good competiton to go up against so I did not think I would win,” Young said.

Photo by: Alisha Holmes and Kaie Adams

Important Dates for November November 11- Early Release, Veteran’s Day

November 20- Report Cards Distributed November 25- Early Release, Thanksgiving Break November 26- Thanksgiving Day

Senior Countdown...

134 Days Left!


November 6, 2009 - The Royal News-Page 19

County officials react to year round school proposal and only 11th place for science. While most of the countries whose students consistently do better than American students are in school more days, American students actually spend more hours in school than the students who score higher than them. Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Renee Williams believes that the school calendar is outdated and does not prepare students enough for the future challenges they may face. “The reasons that justified the length of the current school year (more than 100 years ago), 180 days, are no longer valid. The skills that our students need today in order to compete globally are drastically different from the skills needed when the 180 day calendar first became the norm,” Williams said. School Board Chairman Bobby Cox Jr. opposes this argument saying that lengthening the school year and day shouldn’t be the first course of action. Cox believes that rather than lengthening the school year or school day, the United States should improve test scores by improving the teaching techniques educators use. “I would look for ways to strengthen test scores through the methods we use to

Rachel Waymack trn writer


he future summer vacations students are already dreaming about may not be as long as students are used to. President Barack Obama has announced that he wishes to lengthen not only the school year, but also the school day in order to make American students’ test scores more competitive with those of students in foreign countries. In a speech earlier this year Obama said, “Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas, not with Malia and Sasha, not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.” According to the 2007 math and science tests of students in 48 countries, President Obama is right in at least that American Students need to improve; American 8th graders were in 6th place for math scores

teach,” Cox said. “I believe in allowing teachers flexibility and creativity in the classroom.” People seem to be in agreement that something needs to be done about the United States’ comparatively low test scores, but what exactly should be done is a point of disagreement. Those who agree with President Obama may point out charter schools, which are in session an extra three hours longer than most public schools, and their overall success. Eighth graders in the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) Charter Schools typically do better than their state averages on standardized tests. Supporters may point out that some experts claim students in the U.S. already are too stressed and that extra school would make that worse. They say that students already, with the current amount of school, don’t have enough time for non-school activities such as sports and family time. Senior Marlee Dance is against the idea of longer school days because she believes that with increased school hours in the school day students wouldn’t have enough time in the day for extracurricular events. “Kids have after school activities and have to work after school so if they had extra hours [in school] it would mean they

wouldn’t have enough time for homework and extra activities” Dance said. Dance also explained that she would feel sorry for any students this plan may affect in the future because they won’t have the same opportunities for after school activities. Longer hours spent in school reduce the number of hours available after school. Sophomore Nick Taylor agrees that the plan would be bad news if it becomes reality because of how it would interfere with students’ time arrangements outside of school. “Some people have extra activities [after school] and it [longer school days] would ruin that,” Taylor said. This issue is likely to go unsolved for some time and during that time period disagreements between people over this subject is almost guaranteed. Though both sides have the students’ best interests at heart, not everyone from both sides will ever be completely satisfied with the final verdict. No matter which side ends up getting their way, Williams believes in change. “In order to meet the challenges of educating the 21st century learner a multifaceted approach is needed,” Williams said.

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November 6, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 21

NewMoon sparks fan excitement

Jake McQuiggan trn writer


he Cullen Vampires are back and on their way to the big screen for the second movie in the Twilight Series, “New Moon.” It is scheduled to be released in theatres nationwide on November 20th. According to Summits Entertainment press release, Twilight will be in select theaters on Nov. 19 at a reduced price at fans request. Filmmaker Chris Weitz will be the new director for New Moon. “The trailers were pretty awesome and the characters had more depth and they knew what they were doing,” said junior Emily Marshall. The New Moon plot consists of the Cullen family leaving Forks, Washington to protect Bella from the dangers of being a human surrounded by vampires. In losing Edward, Bella loses half of herself. Jacob Black of the Quileute Tribe re-enters her life and slowly fills the hole in her that was created when Edward left. She later discovers a secret of Jacobs, which changes everything. “I hope that there will be more action and heartbreak,” senior Caron Charlottle said. The early screening of the movie will be on November 16th, at the Village Theatre and Bruin Theatre in Los Angeles, California. “I thought the book was amazing. I want to see how the movie turns out,” sophomore Carlina Tavarez said. New Moon, rated PG-13, has already started

selling tickets. The LA Times reported sixty-three theaters that are running the movie have already sold out on September 18th. According to the Times the movie is selling out so fast that Summit Entertainment can claim that its movie is “selling out screenings earlier than any other movie to date.” “I plan on going to the midnight showing with my friend who is obsessed with the series,” junior Megan Greenwell said. Though the Twilight saga has grabbed many readers attention, not everyone is as excited for the upcoming movie. “I am not looking forward to the New Moon movie because the commercials do not make it look as good as the book,” senior Tiffany Powers said. “Something about the animation looks really bad to me.” Though the movies have not caught everyone’s attention, fans continue to stay true to the books. “I have read the books all four times. It keeps your attention and I love the suspense. It is a good place to escape to,” Hughes said. The author Stephanie Meyer has her own website in which she sells Twilight merchandise along with all of the books on the site. Here fans can talk about the series and the upcoming movies and events. She also does book signings for fans and gives them a chance to win free prizes and tickets to the movies. “Stephanie Meyer can write a story that will pull you into the plot. You will love the characters for better or worse.” Senior Kimberly Schofield said. “ I am looking forward to seeing the results of the movie.”

Page 22 - The Royal News - November 6, 2009



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Paranormal Activity is low budget but big scare for some

Band competition brings hopeful emotions for members

finally got up enough courage to go see the move Paranormal Activity. When I went to go see it there were not many people in Kelsie McDaniels the theatre given that I went to see it the Friday after it came out. Being the “scaredy cat” that I am, I hid behind my hand because for some reason that made everything better. For the first I say about 20 minutes of the movie was really slow and I started to come out from behind my hands. Then that is when the real action started to come into play. It was basically the black shadows and demonic possession that really got to me. I am a junkie for all of the ghost and actual paranormal activity that is shown on television at 11 o’clock at night. I will watch the marathon all day and be scared out of my mind but I can still manage to go to sleep once I come back to reality so I really had to go see this movie. I am glad that I did because this was one of the best non-scary movies that I have seen. I had heard from people that it was not scary and that it was really bad and a waste of money. From others, I heard that it was the scariest movie out there and they left crying. The movie is a mocumentary ,which I absolutely loved because made it seem like the people in the movie were the actual people that it happened to. Turns out that the movie was based off of events that happened to the director in his own house. Although the movie only cost $11,000 to make it made twice as much. I thought that this movie was for those who have an open perspective on the typical scary movie. I suggest this movie for people who like scary but do not like to be overly scared. It made me think twice about the monsters in the closet.

head authority on the field. They help to keep time, express a variety of Jessica Stainback different conducting forms, and keep equal patterns on the field. Before trn writer competitions their focus is primarily on trying to get the band members to do right, and rushing to get everything n Saturday, done by competition. October 24, Not only do the Drum Majors have the Prince to keep the band looking great for the George judges, but they also have to concern Marching themselves with being judged separately Royals during a competition. marched in “We do not really think about being the Parade of judged,” said senior Givonie Johnson, a Champions hosted by James Madison Drum Major. “We just go out, conduct, University at Bridgeforth Stadium. and do our thing.” The JMU For the other competition Drum Major, is not the only senior Courtney competition Wall, along with the band has Johnson, JMU is participated in. their last major Since the start of competition and the school year the they look forward band has played at to passing on their multiple football positions. games and “I hope they competed in two different competitions. “Performing in competitions is harder give it their all,” said Johnson. “I hope the underclassmen continue the legacy than people think. Students must and have fun with it because they want memorize a lot of music, all the steps, to.” formations, and a hundred different The Drum Line has often been things all at one time. They must called the “heart of the band” by many then perform all of this in front of an audience and judges,” said band sponsor, of its members for keeping the tempo and beat for the rest of the band. When Michael Warnock. preparing for competition, they usually During competition, the Drum gather in a circle, have a talk, and then Majors are the conductors and the



“We do not really think about being judged. We just go out, conduct, and do our thing.”

Find it only on

See a full length multimedia feature on This Kingdom Falls. Produced and recorded by Brittany Thacker and Gabrielle Whittington.

practice everything that is necessary. When it comes to nerves and pressure, the members can also feel the heat. “We are sometimes nervous because we have to make sure we stay clean, together, and start and end at the same time,” said sophomore J’mani Townsend. Not only does the Drum Line have to worry about keeping the beat, but also judging in competitions can literally “beat” them back. While performing, there are judges that follow the members around. They are responsible for mediating what each individual is doing wrong, whether it is someone’s sticks being carried too high or too low, or if someone is off count on the beat. However, they can get back at these judges if they fail to move out of the way when a formation changes. “The fun part of the judges following you is, if they get in your way, you can hit them,” said Townsend. The judges cannot take points if they are hit, but drummers are expected to make subtle hints to what their next move will be. This permits formations to flow evenly without too many collisions. As the band prepares for competition, nerves tighten and pressure formulates. The fourteen minutes of performance time is crucial for success. “They care about how they perform and they want to do well,” said Warnock.


November 6, 2009- The Royal News- Page 24


November 6, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 25

Commitment Is Not Easy Four senior athletes consider other factors in college application process Amir Vera trn sports editor


lthough its is clear that athletes and regular admission students apply differently, many believe competitors get preferential treatment because they think athletes are chosen over regular admittance students. Nevertheless student athletes, such as senior Andy Runion, believe this to be false. “Its really not that different. Everyone thinks athletes will get special treatment,” Runion said. “But we, as athletes, have to apply, send transcripts, and apply for financial aid. The only difference is that there is an added

athletic scholarship.” While other students have to pursue the college of their choice, student athletes are being pursued by colleges and receiving letters of interest (interests letters that inform athletes of what schools they could attend). Student athletes are usually deciding which college they should commit to during this phase of their senior year. Being sought after by these institutions makes it demanding on the athletes. “It is real stressful, especially if people know you are talented, they want you to go to certain schools. Everyone is pulling you in a different direction,” senior Tyrell Allen said. Athletes also have to remember that academics will always come first. With this in mind, some may want to concentrate on their major. “I want to major in Physical Education or Sports medicine. But, my dilemma is if I want to go to college for sports or just concentrate on my major,” senior Jorden Lykes said. Before their college decision is even made, a student athlete must apply to Clearinghouse. This is the process by which athletes can get “cleared”, or checked for their eligibility by the NCAA. Eligibility is determined by reviewing SAT/ACT scores, the academic record, and high school athletic record. However,

if one does not apply, they will not be able to play sports at the college level. After applying to Clearinghouse, athletes can then review their top choices. Their number one choice may depend on a number of factors. The atmosphere of an institution is often taken into consideration. Senior Lauren Vinson enjoys her school’s environment. “I like Roanoke College because the girls on the team are all really nice, it’s a Division III school so sports are not your entire life, but they have a really good program and I love the school,” Vinson said. Students must also send footage of their performances. Some athletes, may have there own personal website created for recruiting purposes. “I do not send tapes; I have videos on my website, It has my biography, statistics, and film of my athletic feats,” Vinson said. As commitment time approaches, these student-athletes may contemplate how they are going to balance their athletics and academics at an institution of higher learning. They may look to alumni who have already gone through the process, graduates such as Meredith Powroznik, who is a soccer player at Radford University was able to offer her advice.

( L-R) Seniors Andy Runion, Jorden Lykes, Lauren Vinson, and Tyrell Allen are in the commitment process. Photos by Amir Vera. “Soccer is a huge commitment at the college level, you must be willing to sacrifice your social life until the off season,” Powroznik said. “As for keeping up with soccer and school, it requires a lot of time management.” At Radford, Powroznik’s “normal schedule” includes: class from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., then weight lifting at 2:50 p.m. followed by practice at 3:45 p.m. As practice ends around 6:00 p.m., she must then go to study hall until about 9:00 p.m. According to the coach’s rules, Powroznik must attend study hall for at least eight hours a week or the consequences will be taken out in practice. With this in mind, student athletes know that college and athletics will take a lot of their time and effort. Others are already used to the stressful life that comes with being a student athlete. “I have been balancing sports with academics my whole life, so I do not feel it will be much of a problem. I know it will be more intense, but I will make it happen,” Allen said.

Page 26 - The Royal News - November 6, 2009

Coach Paul Cash teaches junior Larry Harrington how to properly lift dung bells. Photo by Amir Vera

Physical Education class teaches new view of health

Nutrition and Health informs students how to stay healthy for life Autrey Jackson trn writer


he newest P.E. class in which students can whip themselves into shape is Nutrition and Exercise, taught by Coach Paul Cash. Cash started the new Physical Education class last year to inform students about the latest and best ways to eat and exercise in order to become fit while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “Both nutrition and exercise are stressed, but exercise is the main focus; and learning the many different ways to exercise and burn calories is also stressed,” Cash said.” It is very important for each individual to try different things to find what is best for them and what meets their needs and interests.” The new class was started because many teenagers across the country are out of shape. Obesity has become a problem throughout the United States due to unhealthy food choices and an

apathetic view of exercise. Not all unfit teenagers feel this way, however; some have the will and desire to lose weight and become physically fit. Cash decided to start the new class when students began asking him about what they should eat and how they should exercise to lose weight and get in shape. “Over 32 years of teaching, I’ve had at least 10,000 questions [from students] about nutrition and exercise,” Cash said. This led to him designing a class for anyone that wanted to learn how to become or stay healthy. Some students that took the class to lose weight, while others signed up for the class so that they could condition for specific sports. Students may even take the class in order to rehabilitate different parts of their bodies due to injury from sports. Cash teaches students who play sports about particular workouts that can help them get into better condition for their games or matches. “It helped me get into shape,” said junior Larry Harrington, who plays for the varsity football team.” We lift weights, and we run a lot, too.” Students in the class last year took it to lose weight. He has had a girl who worked hard for ten months in the class, and ended up losing 83 pounds. The methods they were taught helped them to be successful with attaining these goals as the year progressed, and even over the summer break. “It teaches you how to get healthy the right way. I worked really hard over the summer and I’ve lost 61 pounds,”

senior Sara Pezzuli said. Cash believes that the lessons taught in class may change the lives of many students. “Two male students came to me in May and said that they gave up alcohol and drugs because of the harm that it can do to their bodies,” Cash said. The class is designed for the physically fit just as much as it is for the unfit. The main difference between Nutrition and Exercise and Fitness for Life, another P.E. class for juniors and seniors, is that Nutrition and Exercise is for students of all fitness levels who can work at their own pace. Fitness for Life, however, is structured so that students can work at the same pace, no matter the fitness level. “Generally about half of the exercise/workout time is teacher/group led, and [the other] half is individualized,” Cash said. The original plan for the new class was to have just one block, but students were so eager to take it that it was expanded to two blocks. “The two periods are so jammed this year that at least three or four periods may be needed if more students sign up next year,” Cash said. The class is for both juniors and seniors, but students can only take it for one year. Cash hopes that someday the class will be broken down into Nutrition and Exercise I and II, so students can take it for two years if they would like in order to keep that healthy lifestyle.

What is a sport?


s sports editor, I am responsible for the coveted Senior Spotlight. An incident occurred that forced me to rethink

what is considered a sport. It began with a simple conversation about a “great idea”. I’m always up for new ideas so I it gave my full Amir Vera attention. The great idea was to have a member of the high school band as the spotlight. While I’m open to new ideas, I believed this to be a bit bizarre. I had already made my decision not to go through with the idea for the simple fact that I believe band is not a sport. The theory of sports did not only baffle me on the high school level, but on the also national entertainment level. It recently came to my attention that ESPN, the channel that is supposed to be ALL about sports , covered the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 28, 2009. The winner of this competition was 13 year-old Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas. I do applaud the young Shivashankar for her amazing victory with her amazing spelling of the final word, ‘Laodicean’, but I really think that “SportsCenter” could have been shown while her spectacular victory was aired on ABC, or some other non-sports related channel. After my recent ESPN discovery I began to observe other instances of sports-related activities being confused, or combined, with club-like activities. For example, the stereotypical letterman jacket, which was originally worn by the “jocks” and top athletes, can now be worn by anyone who has achieved anything whether athletic or academic. Although I am not saying people should not be praised for their outstanding achievements, I do believe the dichotomy of athletics and academics should stay the same. In short, when one thinks of the definition of a sport, they will probably find something that reads: organized ATHLETIC activities played individually or in teams. Notice the capitalization of the word athletic, which means having the quality of an athlete, or one who participates in sports not clubs or other extracurricular activities. I agree with this definition, adding to it that sports are activities that require endurance, strength, and perseverance. So the next time a student decides to confront me about a story idea to be put in my section, I will ask this simple question: “is it a sport?”

November 6, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 27


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Captain serves disability Junior Victor Bullock plays volleyball, tennis despite birth defect Wayne Epps, Jr. trn writer


hen junior Victor Bullock gets ready for his varsity volleyball games, he prepares himself to give more than the other players, due to the fact that he has a disability. He has limited mobility in his right arm because of a missing tendon. The missing tendon in his arm was a birth defect caused by the doctor pulling on his arm. However, he does not let this stop him from playing sports. Bullock copes well with the disability. “A lot of it is that I do not set the ball at all and I have to move a lot faster to bump,” Bullock said. He started playing volleyball his sophomore year as a result of inspiration from his older brother, Jimmie Bullock, who as also a volleyball player. “My brother said they needed a junior varsity team,” Bullock said He plays an interesting position on the team known as the libero, or defensive specialist. This is an interesting position because each team only has one libero and they can come into the game and replace any player already on the team’s back row to give the team a boost. Although Bullock plays this unique

position, he is not sure about continuing his volleyball career after graduating in 2011. “I might just try to play club volleyball,” Bullock said. Bullock’s fellow players and coaches have responded to his disability with praise, replying that he “has good passing form and his serve is different”. Head varsity volleyball coach, John Pelter, enjoys having him on the team. “He always puts forth a lot of effort; and he has a great attitude,” Pelter said. Pelter also appreciates Bullock’s leadership. “He is a captain and he plays libero, which is a specialty position,” Pelter said. “I really enjoy having him on the team because he has a good sense of humor and he knows when to joke around and when to be serious.” Besides volleyball, Bullock also plays varsity tennis. His tennis coach Paul Cash has high praises for his pupil as well, but does not think that the mild defect in his arm slows him down. “Victor never complains, never makes excuses, and is always trying new things to adjust to it”, Cash said. “Victor is the perfect type of athlete to have on your team, he always tries his best, he is always trying to learn how to be a better tennis player, he never gives up, and he puts the team before himself.” Bullock’s teammates have a lot of respect him for as well. “I have always admired him, between tennis and volleyball, most people do not even notice that there is anything wrong with him,” said junior Nick Beaudet. Bullock copes with the birth defect in his arm by not letting it stop him from playing sports. He goes out and plays with the best of his ability while at the same time garnering great respect and admiration from peers and coaches alike.

Junior Victor Bullock prepares to serve the ball in a game against L.C. Bird. Photo taken by: Wayne Epps, Jr.

November 6, 2009 - The Royal News - Page 29


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November 6,2009 - The Royal News - Page 31

Winter Sports Schedule Boys Varsity Basketball Girls Varsity Basketball 11/21 John Marshall Away 11/28 Huguenot Home 12/03-05 Midlo Invitational Tournament Away 12/08 Sussex Central Away 12/09 ARGS Home 12/11 Matoaca Home 12/15 Colonial Heights Home 12/18 Meadowbrook Away 12/26,28,29 Ft. Lee Christmas Basketball Tourny Home 01/05 Thomas Dale Home 01/08 Petersburg Away 01/12 Hopewell Away 01/15 Dinwiddie Home 01/19 Matoaca Away 01/20 Sussex Central Home 01/22 Colonial Heights Away 01/29 Meadowbrook Home 02/02 Thomas Dale Away 02/05 Petersburg Home 02/09 Hopewell Home 02/12 Dinwiddie Away 02/16,18,19Central District Tournament Home

11/24 Huguenot Away 11/30 Bruton Away 12/03-05 Ft. Lee Tip-Off Tournament Home 12/08 Meadowbrook Home 12/10 Matoaca Away 12/15 Colonial Heights Away 12/18-19,21RTD Tournament Away 12/29,30 Prince George Xmas Classic Home 01/05 Thomas Dale Away 01/07 Petersburg Home 01/12 Hopewell Home 01/14 Dinwiddie Away 01/19 Matoaca Home 01/21 Colonial Heights Home 01/29 Meadowbrook Away 02/02 Thomas Dale Home 02/04 Petersburg Away 02/09 Hopewell Away 02/11 Dinwiddie Home 02/16-17 Central District Tournament Away 02/19 Central District Tournament Finals Home

Coed Varsity Indoor Track 12/09 Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell 01/06 Thomas Dale, Meadowbrook Colonial Heights 02/03 Matoaca, Dinwiddie, Petersburg 02/11 Central District Meet 02/19-20 Central Region Meet

Away Away Home Away Away

Brianca Washington Girls Basketball 1. How long have you been playing basketball? “Since I was about 5 or 6” 2. What inspired you to start playing? “My parents because they both played. Being an active military child, I tried to be active a lot, so they put me in basketball and it started out from there.” 3. How do you train for basketball outside of school? “I go to the gym and run. Then, I lift weights, and shoot around and try to run games.” 4. What position do you play? “Between point guard and shooting guard.” 5. What are your pregame rituals? “I try to get into the gym and try to shoot around, then I listen to music.”

Varsity Wrestling 12/02 12/05 12/09 12/12 12/16 01/08 01/13 01/20 01/29 02/06

Monacan Home Colonial Heights Invitational Away Colonial Heights, Petersburg Away Manchester Tournament Away Dinwiddie Home Quad w/ Woodberry Forrest Home Hopewell, Thomas Dale Away Meadowbrook, Matoaca Away Midlothian Away Central District Tournament Home

6. Do you eat anything specific before a game? “Not really, I drink a shake.” 7. What do you enjoy most about basketball? “The bonding with the teammates, it’s a different bond with a sport. Also, the high intensity during the game.” 8. What has been your best play/game? “Making the winning shot against Matoaca last year.” 9. Do you plan on playing basketball after high school? “Yes, somewhere in the Big 10 or Big12.” 10. Coach’s Corner (Coach Billy Gray): “Brianca is an asset to the team, she’s an all around excellent basketball player. She gets along with the team and is a pleasure to coach. If she keeps on playing the way she does, there’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll play Division I basketball.”



Girls varsity field hockey lost a hard fought battle against Matoaca , 1-2, Oct. 27. Thus ending the season.

Girls varsity volleyball defeated Petersburg, 3-0, Oct. 22.

Boys varsity volleyball was defeated by Trinity Episcopal, 0-3, Oct. 27.

Come check out the cheerleading competition on!!!

. d e r i w trn m co Find it only on the web. See the multimedia story of the cheerleading preparation and competition.

Seniors Shana Little , Taylor Fletcher practice for their routine at the cheerleading competition on Oct. 29. Photo by Colby Eliades



Varsity football travels Hopewell today! Come support the Royals at 7:30.

The annual Powder Puff game between the seniors and juniors will take place Tuesday Nov. 24.

Boys and girls varsity basketball tryouts will take place Nov. 1618.

November 09  

November Issue of The Royal News