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ADMINISTRATORS BEGIN NEW PHASE IN CAREERS P.9 Assistant Principal Matthew Mcallister and Assistant Principal Donna Branch-Harris stand ready to communicate with their radios at any given moment. Mcallister and Branch-Harris joined the high school administrative staff over the summer of 2019. Photo by Shelby Hayes.

What’s Inside? p. 6 Sellout Homecoming Crowd Dances Night Away

p. 10 - 11 Vape Law Change Affects All p.15 Virginia Theatre Association Turns Students’ Dreams Into Reality p. 19 Travel Volleyball Impacts School Season

Do you bring headphones to school? - Yes 95% - No 5%

*Twitter poll of 41 votes

2 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 10.18.19

Frank Parker Managing Partner 404 Cavalier Sq Hopewell, VA 23860




FRIDAY 10.18.19 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 2

OP/ED theRoyalNews O

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 trnwired@gmail. com We reserve the right to edit for clarity, brevity, accuracy, legality, spelling and grammar. Please include your name, address and phone number. Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication. 500 word maximum. Thank you for the support this year. Please continue to communicate on 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. Professional affiliations & awards Columbia Scholastic Press Associations Gold Medalist 2008-2016 CSPA Gold Crown Winner 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 Virginia High School Association Trophy Class 2006-2017 Col. Charles Savedge Award for Sustained Excellence 2010, 2017 NSPA Online Pacemaker Winner 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 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

Section Editors Front page: Allison McCauley-Cook Op/Ed: Kaylaa White Features: Harmony Thomas Doubletruck: Allison McCauley-Cook A&E: Katie Zevgolis Sports: Masako Kaneko & Deana Nichols Photos: Shelby Hayes Reviews: Nic Brown

Writers Heidi Crane, Emily Hannuksela, Damion Perkinson, Maclay Cerny, Chris Newton, Skye Watkins, Jewel Harry

Editor-in-Chief Maddison Shawkey

Online Editor-In-Chief Carter Marks

Managing Editor Allison McCauley-Cook

Business Manager Sarah Schrum

Adviser Chris Waugaman

Is Loitering Really Dangerous?

L Illustration by Heidi Crane.

Headphone Policy Ignores Benefits of Music


usic has become a constant in modern times. It impacts our daily lives from background noise to concerts and festivals. As individuals we choose what music we listen to from jazz, to R&B, to hip-hop. It’s a matter of personal expression. With music being such a staple in today’s lifestyle, it is no surprise that we have found ways to keep music with us at all times. We have gone from boom boxes and CD players to headphones, a more convenient method of taking our music with us. Headphones allow listeners to maintain a sense of tranquility and focus. It has been studied and shown that music is beneficial in happiness, performance and stress relief. So why are we not allowed to use them? The goal is to prevent misuse of these devices by eliminating them completely. Headphones can lead to a student becoming disengaged in their learning environment and which

causes more stress on the educators. Ultimately the policy denies any exceptions and refuses interpretation of what the benefits and backlashes headphones may cause. This same issue was addressed with the cellphone policy. But that policy has been altered to suit what the students needs have become and students are now allowed more freedoms. The headphone policy is very similar in nature and could be established to allow some flexibility. Students are expected to be completely void of all calming musical interaction throughout the day when for some it may be extremely helpful. The headphone policy in place is harsh and prohibits even the respectful and polite use of headphones. This policy is meant to prevent bad behavior but it doesn’t address the benefits of controlled usage of headphones can have.

oitering in the parking area is prohibited. Students may not sit in their cars. Upon arrival, they should enter the building. In the afternoon, students should KAYLAA’ WHITE leave in their vehicles.” Since the beginning of the school year, we’ve heard administration on the morning announcements, telling student drivers not to loiter in the student parking lot. Law wise loitering is considered an “insignificant crime” punished by small fines and community service, but at Prince George High School students are threatened with having their parking passes revoked, ultimately taking away their privilege to drive to school. Loitering regulations, in general, are very vague and open to interpretation by the “lawmaking” body, in this case being our administration and the Prince George County School Board. These laws and regulations also have a racially charged history, dating back to Elizabethan and Medieval Europe in the 1300s. In our current climate, outside of PGHS, a similar theme, recent events being a case involving an African American male at a Starbucks in Philadelphia and two Native American males at Colorado University. Understandably, by enforcing no loitering rules, our school is trying to guarantee student safety and attendance. But as long as students are getting to class on time, and not causing academic interruption during the school day, why is socializing with your friends for a few minutes before and after school, in the student parking lot prohibited?

4 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 10.18.19


Should Students Have Access To Headphones? Starting the 2019-2020 school year, teachers and students have already been battling with the issue of headphone and earbud use. The use of earbuds is prohibited, and if students are wearing earbuds, teachers are instructed to ask the student to remove them. If the student is a repeat “offender” the student’s earbuds with be confiscated and will have to be picked up by a parent in the front office.


he policy for the 2019-2020 school year regarding the use of earbuds and headphones has been a stagnant policy at Prince George High School. Students are not allowed to use either accessories on school property. This is a positive regulation for the school and will have a result that changes the way students behave in school. In the past some students had the ability to bring their headphones to school and use them in the commons. However, other students abused this and used them outside of the commons without the teacher’s permission. This led to disobedience and dropping grades due to students paying more attention to what is playing on their phones than the teacher’s instructions. A reinforced headphone and earbud policy will hopefully eliminate this outlet of disrespect and have students paying more attention to the teacher rather than to what is playing on their phones. Another problem associated with students using headphones and earbuds is hearing loss. Some students listen to their music to drown out the other sounds in the room. This leads to the student turning up the volume on their headphones. If the volume reaches a certain level it could start to cause hearing loss. Also if the volume is really loud the students around the headphone user could become distracted due to hearing the music coming from the overly loud headphones. Some students argue that they need the headphones to concentrate and that they learn better with them on versus not. However, if a student uses their headphones while the teacher is talking, how does the student hear the teacher and their music at the same time? The answer is, they do not, and the use of headphones and earbuds becomes unnecessary. A student can use their listening devices at home while they do homework or other work that was sent home with them, but they should not be using them in the school building.




“ This is a positive turn for the school and will have a result that changes the way students behave in school,”

“Music had been proven to help with concentration and stress levels.”


e live in an age where music surrounds us, we use songs in the classroom and can have personalized app-generated playlists for all life’s scenarios. It doesn’t matter if you like classical, rock, pop, or R&B, you can listen to the tunes you love daily, and let your headphones engulf you in musical nirvana. Unfortunately, due to Prince George High School’s headphone policy, our students can’t enlighten themselves with musical pleasantries during times we are allowed to use our phones. The main arguments against the use of headphones are potential safety hazards, and conflict with the PG honor code, but I say the pros of using headphones in education environments, specifically listening to music in school, outweighs the cons. Music has been proven to help with concentration and stress levels by “activating sensory pathways that compete with pain pathways in the brain, stimulating emotional responses, and engaging cognitive attention.” This can also help reduce classroom levels because the mind is actively engaged in listening to music, and not focused on talking. Backing up this claim, a form of therapy used by many physicians today is Music Therapy. Almost 70% of students have some form of anxiety and with this form of therapy they can positively impact their daily routine. Music Therapy used to reduce muscle tension, which can be useful for student-athletes, increase verbalization, which is a goal students try to develop in high school to help with their careers, and help with self-image and anxiety which has a huge impact on teens. While the current “no headphones” rule still stand, within good reason, PGHS students hope the administration can create a “Buddha” policy in the future, that allows us to use our earbuds in designated times, on school grounds.

FRIDAY 10.18.19 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 5


Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser Supports Two Groups


n October 25th the advanced choirs will be hosting a spaghetti dinner event in order to help fund their spring trip. These choirs are going to Pennsylvania to compete and this fundraiser will help with offsetting the cost for each student.

The spaghetti dinner is also intended to promote the pink out football game. The choir students will be pre-selling tickets until October 21st. Tickets are $10 and the ticket pays for the spaghetti meal, a desert and for those intending to attend the football game a pink pompom.

Annual Czech & Slovak Folklife Festival Tradition Continues In October


he Annual Czech and Slovak Festival will be held on Saturday, October 19th from 11 AM - 4 PM. This event embraces Czech and Slovak heritage and consists of food, dancing, and face paintings. The festival will be hosted at the Prince George Regional Heritage Center.

Rifle Team Prepares For Upcoming Match


he Rifle team is preparing for a match that will be held at the Prince George High School Gymnasium on Saturday, October 26th. The match will last from 7 AM to 3 PM.

FAFSA Application Night Aids Students


AFSA application night will take place on Tuesday, October 22nd. FAFSA Application Night is hosted to help students in search of financial aid apply in an efficient manner. The event will take place between 6 PM and 8 PM on that night. Students will be able to work with

members of the guidance department to start applications and get an idea of what financial aid they may need. Those interested in more information for this event can stop by the guidance office.

6 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 10.18.19


Sellout Homecoming Crowd Dances Night Away

1. 1. Senior Kyleigh Naylor (far left), senior Madison Koren (left), senior Elissa Boro, and senior Harmony Thomas dance the night away to their favorite song. 2. Senior Stella Whelan poses towards the photographer to capture her moments at the dance with senior Jamie Meurer (left) and senior Kyleigh Naylor (right).


2. 3. Sophmore Robert Babb joins in on line dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle.” 4. Sophomore Brenden Spence stands in the middle of his dancing peers. 5. Junior Aykia Starke (left), junior Jaylen Jones (middle), and junior Emily Faison sing along and dance the night away.



For more photos from the Homecoming Dance by photographers Maclay Cerny and Renaldo Lynch scan the QR code.

FRIDAY 10.18. 19 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 7


Stutter Awareness Recognized In October


Kaylaa’ White

Op-Ed Editor

Americans stutter.


alms sweating, heart thumping against his rib cage, he can feel the words on the tip of his tongue. He knows what he wants to say, but his brilliant responses come out lapsed and choppy. Welcome to the life of senior Marquis Grisham. Ever since elementary school, Grisham has had issues with stuttering, a speech impairment that affects over 3 million Americans, and is “four times more likely to affect males than females.” And although stuttering can be a communication barrier that makes it “hard to speak with people, as time passes” Grisham “doesn’t think about it” and tries to “just be himself”. New teacher Leas Hamilton also has a close connection with stuttering. Her mom, brother, and uncle all having a fluency disorder. “As long as I can remember I’ve been my mom’s voice,” Hamilton said. “It used to be bad, to the point where she could not say anything, so I would have to just talk for her, she would write [what she wanted to say] down on a piece of paper, and I would say it for her. I don’t know what she did at work, but any time we were out, I would be her voice,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been working on different strategies in my meetings, and I like planning out what I’m going to say to [help me] with future jobs,” Grisham said, in reference to career planning. Having a Stutter Awareness Day is important because it gives us a way to bring awareness of the disability. It is a disorder and nothing to make fun of. An understanding of this disability reinforces the fact that “everybody is different in



of children recover from stuttering.



their own way, and it’s something that makes certain members of my family unique,” Hamilton said. In 1998, October 22 was established as International Stutter Awareness Day (ISAD), with this year’s slogan being “growth through speaking.” This day is intended to educate people about this complex disorder, work toward the prevention of stuttering in children, let people know that help is available, and promote research to find the causes of stuttering, according to ISAD. Although ISAD has only been around for sixteen years, organizations like The Stuttering Foundation have been committed to this cause since the 1940s. When dealing with peers with a speech impairment Hamilton says you should “treat them normally, and if they are having trouble communicating with someone, just wait for

New teacher Leas Hamilton helps senior Kyra Bolling with an assignment. Hamilton has a close connection with stuttering due to her mom, brother, and uncle all having a fluency disorder. Photo by Kaylaa’ White.

them, don’t try to rush them, just wait for them to get their words out, cause they know what they want to say, they just can’t say it as fast as you and me.” Grisham tells his peers that he and other individuals with a stutter still have a “voice, mind, arms, and legs. We just can’t speak like everybody else, we’re a little different.” The Stuttering Foundation asks that supporters of individuals with this disability wear a blue ribbon or the color blue on October 22st, 2019, to show support and solidarity.

continue to stutter. Stuttering can persist as a lifelong communication disorder.


are 2 to 3 times as likely to stutter as girls. Information provided by health/stuttering

8 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 10.18.19


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FRIDAY 10.18.19 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 9


Administrators Begin New Phase In Careers Mcallister, BranchHarris Join Team Over Summer Maddison Shawkey



looded with new faces and experiences new assistant principals Matthew McAllister and Branch-Harris Donna step into their new roles at the high school level. Both McAllister and Harris have worked within the county for many years and the high school was a logical step forward for their careers. “It was a big decision,” Branch-Harris said. “I’ve been doing elementary, for over 21 years. I’m in school also and I felt that in order for me to be a better student and be a better administrator, it’s time for me to extend more and get that secondary experience.” Branch-Harris is a challenger and has always pushed herself to be a better teacher and administrator. This is how she ended up in Prince George. “After being in Petersburg for four years, I was there with family, my sister was there, she was a great teacher so I was basically under my sister’s wing, it was time for me to get out from under her wing and get out on my own,” Branch-Harris said. This realization sent Branch-Harris to Richmond for four years until the commute became too much and brought Branch-Harris to South Elementary. McAllister has a little different experience on his journey to Prince George schools. After graduating from Virginia

Commonwealth University with both his masters and bachelors, he came back to his hometown and began teaching at Harrison Elementary. “I always wanted to come back home so that I could impact the community that raised me,” McAllister said. “I was actually hired by Dr. Bingham at Harrison elementary and I absolutely loved working there.” The new position has been quite a transition for McAllister going from student to administrator here that the high school. “It was a little weird my first couple of weeks but now it just feels completely normal and I absolutely love being back in a place I was in for four years and was such a large part of my formation as a

Assistant Principals Donna Branch-Harris and Matthew McAllister discuss PSAT locations for students in preparation for the school-wide event. Branch-Harris joined the high school from J.E.J. Moore Middle School’s administrative team and Mcallister came from the classroom at N.B. Clements Junior High School. Photo by Shelby Hayes.

teenager,” McAllister said. For both McAllister and BranchHarris, education was a second thought. Branch-Harris did not even get her first degree in education. “I graduated in ‘92 and I earned a business management degree with that,” Branch-Harris said. “Then I worked

in business just for a little bit but I always worked in schools as a volunteer.” McAllister also was also unsure of where he wanted to go in his career and decided to take a year off between his years at Richard Bland and Virginia Commonwealth University. “When I went to college the first time I actually was thinking about engineering because my grandfather was into engineering but that thought disappeared pretty quickly...,” McAllister said. “I didn’t want to be that person that was in college and switched majors 15 times.” Both discovered their passion for teaching through volunteer and substitute teaching in areas they felt comfortable. McAllister, while working two other jobs, realized teaching was his calling in a third grade classroom at Beazley Elementary. “It was a third grade class at Beazley and we were having a really good discussion about planets and it was right then and there that group of students and the excitement, the passion they had made me decide that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” McAllister said. Harris enjoys her time in Prince George but eventually sees herself at a university teaching future educators. McAllister wishes to impact the community by pushing himself to higher places in the county and to give words of wisdom to those students here at the high school. “Enjoy the time you have here,” McAllister said. “Seek out those who will be helpful to you, not just teachers but friends and classmates as well. Make it a most enjoyable high school experience through that.”

12 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 10.18.19

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FRIDAY 10.17.19 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 13

A&E Mario Kart Tour


arlier this month Nintendo put out a flash back to the past for kids born in the early 2000s. They released a new version of Mario Kart called Mario Kart: Tour. This version was released on IOS and Android. It is a free game with microtransactions embedded in it. But you can play through the game without purchasing anything. They currently have 20 characters and to name a few we have: Metal Mario, Dry Bones, Bowser, Koopa Troopa, shy guy, and of course there are the original characters that we all know and love like: Mario, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Toad, Bowser, and DK. They have 28 maps 16 going forward and 12 reversed to name a few of the tracks we have: Mario Circuit,

Nic Brown

Gamer's Corner

Koopa Troopa Beach, Shy Guy bazaar, DK pass, Dino Dino Jungle, and Toad Circuit They also have a handful of all the power ups we know and love, such as the blue, green, and red shells. They have the red shrooms, the squid, the bombs, and bullet bill. The gameplay is good but not the best, you have two driving modes: Drift and standard. In my opinion drift is way better and you get a lot more from the game. All the races are an 8 player race and are two laps. One of the biggest let downs of this game is that it can only be played vertical. Other than that this game is a solid game especially with it being an IOS and Android game. It’s a great game to just start playing when you have nothing to do and want to do something mindless. I would rate this game about a 7.5/10.

photo courtesy of


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14 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 10.18.19

A&E SGA Plans To Paint Girls Bathrooms Katie Zevgolis


A&E Editor he SGA has taken on the task to improve the ladies bathrooms throughout Prince George High School. The idea involves some paint and a little

elbow grease. “Emily Lawson came up with the idea a while ago and I thought it was a great idea because it would help brighten the school environment. We went through a lot as students last year when the unfortunate death of two fellow classmates and that hit the student body hard. Painting the wall would help students see the school as more of a welcoming environment,” junior Bella Friedoff said. The SGA believes they need to contribute more to their school. “Honestly, I feel that after Homecoming is done there is very little SGA really does and this gives us the opportunity to do more for the school,” Friedoff said. The SGA has many creative students with many different ideas of how to improve the school. “I was the one who brought up the idea to paint the bathroom, because over the summer I found out that schools who have non-bullying programs have painted their bathrooms and how positively it impacted the students,” junior Emily Lawson said. During open floor the idea was brought up and supported by the junior class representatives present. “It wasn’t particularly voted on. We still have to bring it up to the school board which we will do. We have a schedule for this because we genuinely want this to happen.” Friedoff said.

“We have yet to find out who’s sponsoring the project. We might do fundraisers to help raise money for this project,” Lawson said. This project has been in the works for a couple of months. SGA juniors have been attending and planning meetings in order to push this idea further. “The idea was brought to my ears at the end of last year and so we are now working on this along with Homecoming preparations as well,” Friedoff said. The main inspiration has been to inspire students, but no final decisions have been made yet. The ideas are meant to be simple and sweet for ease and creativity. “Emily has a few sketches that I personally haven’t seen yet, but we’re not looking at anything too detailed.” Friedoff said. With this arduous task the SGA is going to need assistance. “We do have paint in the school, plus when we bring this up to the school board we are hopeful that we will get their assistance considering we are students,” Friedoff said. SGA members are looking forward to this adventure and hope that other groups within the student body will be just as excited and willing to put in work to help. “I personally cannot speak for anyone, but the art clubs help would be appreciated and SGA help would be helpful, but we don’t want too much help,” Friedoff said. “Emily Lawson has taken it upon herself to carry out the task considering it was her idea.” Junior Bella Friedhof brushes the door of one of the stalls in the girls bathroom. The SGA is in the process of planning a renovation of the doors to brighten up the space. Photo by Masako Kaneko.

FRIDAY 10.18. 19 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 15


Virginia Theatre Association Turns Students’ Dreams Into Reality Harmony Thomas


Features Editor

young aspiring actor steps on stage as the yellow and white lights warm his skin. As he begins to speak his lines, he reminisces about his love for theatre and what kind of career he dreams to make of it. The crowd roars with cheers as he takes his final bow. The Virginia Theatre Association conventions are taking place through October 30th to November 3rd in Norfolk, Virginia. Students from all around the commonwealth of Virginia involved in theatre are invited to attend. Students who aspire to dance, act, sing, or even work behind the scenes are eligible to audition. “It’s a competition based convention but it always has acting classes, college auditions, different types of activities and such,” said senior Thaddeus Howerton, “If you’re a senior, you’ll have the opportunity to audition in front of Judges to get into college or receive scholarships.” Howerton shares how the audition process for VTA works. “To audition for VTA, Mr. Phillips made us write a monologue in five minutes pretty much about anything we wanted,” said Howerton. Being involved with theatre, Howerton aspires to make a career out of acting. “I wanted to get into theater because my dream is to become a successful actor. I wanted to get some form of experience so I can take it to the next level. Theater also allowed me an outlet to express myself and to be comfortable with any ideas I had,” said Howerton.“Nothing really inspired me exactly, I just always enjoyed putting on a show for people and being entertaining. It was always fun for me to see people’s reactions.” Theatre also acts as a safe space for Howerton. “It gave me something to be busy during the time of my life where things were rough,”



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said Howerton. “Being in theatre welcomed me into a family. It’s one of the greatest experiences of my life honestly. Some of the characters I portrayed allowed me to get some of my mental stress out and used to enhance my character and performance.” VTA is available to anyone associated with theatre. “Anyone can join, people should do VTA because it gives them a whole new experience. You meet people from different walks of life and skills you couldn’t imagine,” said Howerton. “Also you never know if you may have a chance to talk to your dream college representative about their drama program.” Theatre teacher, Daryl Phillips, is in charge of choosing the students who can go to the convention. “This year it was easy because it was students who are considering majoring in theatre in college and so since we were doing the auditions it was just them,” said Phillips. “But the competition auditions are open to the entire school so anyone can audition when we do participate in the competition.”

Senior Thaddeus Howerton performs as Charles the Dauphin in the 2018 winter play Joan of Arc. Photo by Anna Mitchell. Phillips explains how students can benefit from going to the VTA conventions. “There are a ton of workshops run by theatre professionals that the students can partake of when they go there,” said Phillips. “Every year seniors that are going to major in colleges and universities in theatre, get to audition for over 30 college and university programs. After the audition they have what they call, callbacks and the students get to meet with representatives from the schools that are interested in them.” The Virginia Theatre Association gives students in theatre a place to bond with other students with the same goals as them. “It also gives the students a chance to meet and make friends with like minded people from other schools across the state,” said Phillips. “Many of our students connect with people that they become friends with at the conference and it’s just a fun time.”

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16 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 10.18.19


Scan this QR code to follow the weekly podcast with interviews from coaches and players.

Caudle Brings New Goals To Cross Country

Sarah Schrum

W Ad Editor

ith the a r r i v a l of coach C a i t l i n Caudle, the cross country track team finally found what they were looking for. Having a new coach brings excitement to the team. The runners are going to have to adjust to Caudle’s training style. This year, the new coach plans to help the runners reach their personal goals as well as the goals she has set. “I think the reason our team has been successful this year is that I laid out my expectations at the beginning of the season, but I also asked the team where they wanted to be at the end of the season,” Caudle said. Self improvement is the goal Caudle

has for her team. Helping the runners set and achieve personal goals to improve during the season is what she values most. “We tackled each practice with the goal of improving from the last time. Each meet I stressed to my runners not to focus on winning, but really just beating themselves. If they continued to improve, they would beat their competition,” Caudle said. When the team is not having the best day, Caudle tries to get her team back in a good mindset with encouragement and a friendly reminder of what they hope to accomplish. “Each runner sets a goal and I often remind them of their goal when they seem off,” Caudle said. The runners noticed the new training style implemented right a way. While it is different from last year, they believe it will help in the long run. Junior Brandon Sheperd thinks the training will help the team be ready for anything they face. “She trains a little bit different,” Sheperd said. “She tries to get us a little more diverse in our training so we are pretty well versed at everything we face.”

New cross country coach, Caitlin Caudle, discusses with the runners before the meet. The Royals went up against the Matoaca Warriors . Photo by Chandler Coleman Another one of the new coach’s goals is to help the team reach states as well as beat their records. First, the team has to qualify for regionals. Junior Nathan Helwig likes the new coach’s motives. “I think she is really doing the best she can do,” Helwig said. Caudle hopes her training will bring a new appreciation to the team, and bring in new members. “As the new Cross Country coach my goal this year was to build belief” Caudle said. “Belief in the program, the runners, and our future. We would also like to see the team double in size.” Caudle’s view of track is one that every coach has of their sport. She hopes that students will use track as to exercise and stay healthy. “I think that running provides a great outlet to relieve stress as well as healthy exercise,” Caudle said.

Senior Spotlight



Who inspired you to start golfing? I have a family friend... Jimmy. I would go down to Nags Head for vacation and he works at the golf course. I started going to work with him everyday and learning what a golf course is really like. Then, I started going to the driving range using his clubs. A few years later I started going out by myself... Now I’m in love with the game. What is your favorite part about golfing? When you have a good swing or make a good drive and it goes further than you have ever made it feels really good and that’s what keeps you coming back to the course. What do you hope to accomplish this year? I hope to mature a little bit more because I’m a senior and it’s becoming time to move on and move out of the house and be out on my own. What is a hobby you do in your free time? I like to make cards for people, like birthday cards, Christmas cards, and Easter cards. I used to be really big in art, but then I kind of got out of it. People still expected cards, so I make at least fifteen every holiday.

FRIDAY 10.18.19 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 17


Young Siblings Dominate Field Hockey Skilled Players Still Believe In Room For Improvement Carter Marks


Online EIC

oing into the start of the season, siblings hit the field for the first time since the 2017-2018 season when the Grebas twins played. This time, it is not twins, it is triplets; two of which are girls and one that is a boy. With sophomore Rileyanne Collins and sophomore Hayley Collins in the starting lineup, experience is not something either of the two are lacking. “Being a sophomore on the varsity team comes with excitement and it’s something that you have to take seriously,” Rileyanne Collins said. “I started playing field hockey in 6th Grade and I continued to better my performance with travel and multiple camps I have attended.” It is appreciated by coaches when they have players who never take games off and give games their full effort. This is something the Collins’ sisters keep as their mindset no matter who is on the other side of the field. “The main thing that is helping me the most this year is my mindset, I don’t go into a game thinking that we are gonna lose or win,” Rileyanne Collins said. “I go in accepting the challenge and just wanting to come out the best. I was taught you [have to] beat the best to be the best.” In sports, the captains are usually the older players on the team, but for this team it is different. Head coach Julia Ellison picked out Hayley Collins to step up and become one of the key leaders in directing the team. Collins has been on the varsity team since her freshman year. “I feel that what is helping me

most this year is the amount of communication,” Hayley Collins said. “Being a captain comes with a lot of leadership and communication. There have been many incidences where I have been asked a question or I have been the one asking the questions. You can’t better yourself if you don’t communicate the mistakes that are happening.” Both Collins’ have found the back of the goal many times leading to the success of their team thus far. Combining for 16 goals between the two, both look to contribute many more and take their run into the playoffs. “I know that you can’t win the game if you don’t score so that is everyone’s mindset,” Hayley Collins said. “Some things that I do well to lead the ball into

the goal is high communication in the circle, looking up before I shoot, quick shot on goal and being able to pick up rebounds quickly.” With both sisters coming out of the gates fast this season with their plays, their mindset is still on getting better and doing what they need to do in order to win. “I need to capitalize on more opportunities given inside the circle, stay aggressive and just keep a positive mindset throughout the whole game,” Hayley Collins said. Even though they stress to focus on the current game before worrying about future matchups, the home matchup against Atlee (10-4) was definitely a test for the Royals. The team went on to

Left, sophomore Rileyanne Collins dribbles the ball down the field to make a goal and right, captain Hayley Collins goes in for an attack to retrieve the ball back. Sophomore Captain Hayley Collins goes for an attack to get the ball back. The sisters also have a brother apart of their triplet set. Photos by Shelby Hayes. beat Atlee 2-1. With a record of 8-2 as of October 14, the Royals still have room for improvement with five remaining games in the regular season. “I need to continue asking questions about my position or wherever I’m at on the field and play every game like it’s my last,” Rileyanne Collins said.

18 | THE ROYAL NEWS | FRIDAY 10.18 .19


Running Attack Leads To Homecoming Win

Royals Take Home Win Against Colonial Heights 49-0

1. 4. 2.

5. 3.

For more photos of football go to Photos taken by Shelby Hayes and Deana Nichols.

1. Senior Sydney Rose trucks the ball towards the Royal end of the field. 2. Football captains Senior Syndey Rose, Senior Shawn Olmeda, Junior Lee Peterson, and Senior Tavian Morris walk to center field to meet the opposing team captains. 3. Sophomore Tahir Johnson protects the ball by extending his arm against his Colonial opponent. 4. Sophomore Curtis Allen intercepts the ball from Colonial Heights and races down the field. 5. Senior Darius Quivers prepares to make the tackle.

FRIDAY 10.18.19 | THE ROYAL NEWS | 19


Travel Volleyball Impacts School Season Masako Kaneko


Sports Editor

ractice for the girls varsity volleyball team is coming to a close. The school season is drawing to an end but this is not the end for most of the players. Along with their school season, a majority of the girls on the team participate in playing with a travel team as well. The team has had a good season this year with a record of 13-2 as of October 17. A main contribution to this is the dedication and effort put forth to play the sport year round. Senior Erin Beaver is one of the captains of the girls volleyball team and the setter as well. She has played for the Richmond Volleyball Club but currently plays with the Old Dominion Volleyball Academy. With her experience from year round travel, she is able to harness her abilities that have strengthened from extra experience. “Travel improved my skills incredibly, I can play much faster and make smarter calls as the setter and control the game more,” Beaver said. Other dedicated players such as junior Ande Davis, knew the benefits of playing travel as well and has noticed the impact it has made for not only her, but for the team as a whole. “I have improved over the winter and spring and have been able to bring that back to my team, but club volleyball in general has had a huge impact on the team,” Davis said. “Ten girls on varsity played travel volleyball and the team, as a whole, has improved tremendously from last season to this season because of the amount of playing time and experience we have all gotten in the last year.” Playing time and experience throughout the offseason is not the only reason why Beaver and Davis find travel to



current players on the Lady Royals Varsity Volleyball team.


girls on the team that play travel volleyball including Erin Beaver and Ande Davis.

be a great way to increase their skills, but also because of the other players who do travel volleyball as well. “I wanted to play travel volleyball because I knew the difference just one season can make to my overall ability and I wanted to learn from other players I didn’t know and have the influence of a new coaching technique,” Beaver said. The atmosphere between travel and school volleyball can be very different. “I think you improve more playing travel because you are playing with peers of the same level,” Beaver said. “There is tougher competition and more challenges.” Playing the role of a setter is a key position on the court. They have to be consistent and deliver a good ball to hit. “As a setter, a connection with your hitters is very important and hard to build in a short time,” Beaver said. “The challenge is fun and demanding at the same time.” Having friendships off the court can

Senior Erin Beaver gets under the ball and prepares to set towards her teammate. The Royals defeated the Dinwiddie Generals 3-0 for the second time in a row. Photo by Shelby Hayes. often times help on the court. “My favorite thing is how close I get to my teammates when we go to tournaments because we get to spend several days together and we always have a great time,” Davis said. The right mind-set is important for the players to reach success. “This year our team has been very good at not giving up and working hard even when we’re behind so we can push ahead to have the lead in game,” Davis said. ”Our whole team is very good at not getting mad and frustrated when we are down so we can keep pushing and win our games.”


Lady Royals record as of October 17 with five regular season games remaining.


number of places girls on the team play travel including XZone Volleyball, Richmond Volleyball Club, and Old Dominion Volleyball Academy.



Boys >> Varsity Volleyball home

game against Mills E. Godwin on Monday, Oct. 21st at 6:00 PM.

>> Varsity Field Hockey >> Varsity Football >> plays away at Pink-Out home game Douglas Freeman on Tuesday, Oct. 22nd at 6:45 PM.

vs. Petersburg on Friday, October 25th at 7:00 PM.

Varsity Girls Volleyball plays home against Meadowbrook on October 29th at 5:45 PM.

Sophomore QB Works For Postseason Deana Nichols


Sports Editor

Sophomore Tahir Johnson makes a decision to scramble out of the pocket and take the ball downfield. The Royals went on to beat the J.R. Tucker Tigers 34-12. Photo taken by Madison Bailey. For more photos of the football game against J.R. Tucker follow this link.

he crowd is silent, sitting in anticipation, waiting for the game to start. Players from both teams are on the field in their ready positions. The referee blows the first whistle to kick off the game. The kicker boots the ball and the game has officially begun. Sophomore Tahir Johnson is returning to the varsity team for his second year. This season, he has become the official starting quarterback for the Royals. Last season, he played in a couple games under the former quarterback, graduate Saquan Harrison. Watching Harrison play helped Johnson going into this season. “[I learned] to stay focused and lead the team,” Johnson said. Playing with seniors as a sophomore may be intimidating, but not for Johnson. The seniors have helped and taught Johnson important lessons on and off the field. “Everyone is watching,” Johnson said. “They’re watching your every move on the field and off the field.” Just like being on any other team, there are hardships that come along with playing football. Living up to the expectations each game is the hardest part for the young quarterback. This season, the sophomore helped set a record. For the first time since 2005, the Royals beat the Dinwiddie Generals. Ending the streak was a big moment for the team. Johnson contributed to a big part of the victory. “He plays an extremely middle position,” head coach Richard Carroll said. “He needs to understand concepts beyond every player. The difference between him and other positions

on the field is he’s got to know his job which includes knowing everyone else’s job.” Similar to Johnson, senior Sidney Rose has been on the varsity team since he was in ninth grade as well. Knowing what it was like for him, Rose is able to help Johnson with the pressures. “I have taught him to be confident in himself, to tune out negative noise, and just play ball,” Rose said. “The things I want to teach him is more responsibility and leadership and knowing the inside and out of our program.” Each Friday, the team has one goal: win the game. The overall goal of the team is to not only make it to playoffs, but also to make it to states. “[We’re] trying to win one game at a time,” Carroll said. “You can’t look beyond tonight. Really, that means you need to approach every practice with a purpose and understand that everyday builds to that next Friday. It really just comes down to preparing for one game at a time.” How the players communicate and work together on the field reflects their relationships off the field. The tighter the friendship, the more communication and team work during the games. For Rose, he sees Johnson as a younger brother. “As a blocker, my job is to not let my little brother get hit,” Rose said. While Johnson hopes to improve with two seasons remaining, the coaching staff is behind him with full support. With each practice, Johnson works on building his skills. “He’s going to get better everyday,” Carroll said. “He gets better everyday now. As he continues to improve, he’s going to make us better and our ability to get the ball down the field. We’ve got receivers that can go get it. And our play action game: he’s going to get the ball down the field and that makes us a threat, really a complete package.”

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October 2019  

This is the October 2019 issue of the Royal News, the student produced newspaper of Prince George High School.

October 2019  

This is the October 2019 issue of the Royal News, the student produced newspaper of Prince George High School.

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