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table of contents

Letters to the editor can be on any topic or of any length. They may be edited for length or libelous content. Letters to the editor are accepted in room 220.


DHS Teacher of the Year 3 Iran Nuclear Tension 4 Syria 6 Five Most Important Events of 2011 7 Technology 8 Pinterest 9 Procrastination 10 Ben Breedlove 12 Chinese Food 13


Softball Bowl Season Wrap-Up Boys’ Soccer The Vow The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo The Help Beauty and the Beast The Hunger Games

14 15 17 18 19 21 22 23


Volume 44 Issue 4 Editors Lauren Brooks Maggie Feith Jackson Lay Sean Stapleton Chris Wagner Assistant Editor Katherine Keller Business Managers Corena Hasselle Maria Yousuf Photography Editor Jill Vondy Production Manager Chris Wagner Circulation Manager Aubrey Andrews Reporters Suzanne Schultz Alex Agee Elizabeth Butler Grant Semmel Mary Byars Jed Finley Sarah Hasselle Basmiah Homran Sydney McNeill Laurie Williams Lana Haight Advisors Suzanne Edwards Laura Wright

Trojan Torch Dyersburg High School 125 Hwy. 51 By-Pass Dyersburg, TN 38024


DHS names Arrington Teacher of the Year Jed Finley Reporter


ou’re doing an article on Mr. Arrington for that teacher of the year thing? He totally deserves it,” junior Bailey Austin said. Ruel DeVon Arrington, eleventh grade U.S. History teacher at Dyersburg High School is DHS’s nominee for the Tennessee Teacher of the Year award for 2012 - 2013. Arrington has been teaching at Dyersburg High School since he graduated from Union University, where he majored in Distributive Social Sciences 30 years ago. As a student, Arrington was generally quiet and shy, but by high school, he noticed a change. “Everything just seemed to click in high school. Credit that to Mrs. Grooms, my English and journalism teacher,” Arrington said. Mae Elizabeth Grooms, Arrington’s junior and senior year English and journalism teacher, served as Arrington’s inspiration to become an educator. Arrington describes his method of teaching as being “old school” and “dinosaur.” “No one method works best. Everyone can learn. (You must) focus on analytical and critical thinking skills,” Arrington said. “I’m surrounded by excellent teachers and learn from them. I’m honored to have the opportunity to represent my colleagues as DHS Teacher of the Year, for all that I am as a teacher is owed to them,” Arrington said, accrediting his strength as a teacher to the many teachers at DHS. “I enjoy helping others to learn and be successful. I take my job very seriously and give it my best,” said Arrington. Part of Arrington’s success at teaching is his that he manages to break through to his students, making the curriculum relevant to them. “(I) attempt to relate the material

or the process of the learning experience to their life and/or future goals,” Arrington said. Many teachers have a moment in their teaching careers that stands out--a moment that makes a teacher love his job and reinforces that he made the right decision in being an educator. Arrington describes this moment for him: “The first time a student told me thank you.” While being an effective and exceptional teacher, Arrington also takes an active role in the behind-the-scenes work, serving on such committees as the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee and being a part of such associations as the National Education Association. Arrington is also active in political party organizations and the Humane Society. With such extensive experience in teaching, Arrington is certainly qualified to give his testimony on the state of affairs in public education. “More emphasis (is) needed on reading skills, analytical and critical thinking skills, basic study skills, and more time to teach U.S. History. People often discuss the need to devote more time to improving analytical and critical thinking skills by focusing on student scores in math and science, but (they) do not seem to be concerned that large numbers of people have little to no understanding of U.S. government and U.S. history. Most students will not be rocket scientists or mathematicians. Every student (however) is a citizen of the United States, and will be a contributing citizen, for better or for worse, to the future success of the American nation,” Arrington said. Arrington is revered by students and teachers alike. He is, to many Dyersburg High School students, their favorite teacher. For this, Arrington has this to say: “Thank you.” Arrington’s fellow teachers also hold him in great respect. “Through the years I have heard over and over how much students appreciate the way he treats everyone equally--addresses them as Mr. or Miss--and how he treats them with respect. I’ve known him and taught with him for 28 years. I wish I could take his American history class!” English and journalism teacher Suzanne Edwards said. “Mr. Arrington is a deserving recipient of the Teacher of the Year award. He is a dedicated professional who works to help both students and fellow teachers. Mr. Arrington's attention to detail and professionalism have had a consistent, positive impact on the teaching and learning climate at Dyersburg High School. I look forward to him mentoring me as a social studies professional until I retire,” AP US Government teacher Mark Stenberg said.

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Members of the Iranian Navy patrol the Strait of Hormuz during a set of naval war games in preparation to close the important trade route.


Iranians protest the death of Nuclear Scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, who was killed when motorcyclists attached bombs to his van.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reassured the international community that Iran!s nuclear program is peaceful.

Tensions flare over Iranian nuclear program Jackson Lay Editor n recent years, Iran has begun expanding into the field of nuclear technology. This expansion has caused tensions to arise between Iran and much of the rest of the world. The U.S. in particular fears that Iran is developing their nuclear program so that they may develop nuclear weapons. In 2006, a major facility was built in Natanz, central Iran. This facility takes raw uranium, the major raw material needed, and enriches it so that it can be used for purposes such as nuclear reactors and medical radiation. Iran has been using this facility to enhance the uranium to around 5 percent for years; however, a new facility in a town called Fordo has sparked controversy. The Fordo facility was built underground, making U.S. officials think that it was designed to be impervious to a military attack. Furthermore, Iran has been enriching the uranium to a much higher percentage, around 35 percent. While this is not close to the percentage used for nuclear weapons, many are concerned that Iran has future plans for nuclear weapons. When asked to suspend their nuclear research, Iran refused, stating


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that it was for strictly peaceful purposes. In response, the United Nations has imposed four rounds of economic sanctions against Iran, and the U.S. has brought about its own sanctions. However, these sanctions have not yet gone into effect. Iran is one of the world’s largest oil-producing countries. Iran also controls the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow sea passage that is a shipping lane to 40 percent of the world’s oil supply. Iran has threatened to block this important sea lane if the sanctions were to be put into effect. The immediate result of the blockade would be the price of oil, and therefore gasoline, skyrocketing. This proposed blockade prompted the U.S. Navy to declare that any move to block the Strait of Hormuz would be an infringement of free shipping rights, and that they would respond with any action necessary to re-open the strait. Iran has already had a set of naval war games stage around the strait and is planning another set. In addition, during these naval war games, Iran also tested a new coast-to-sea missile, adding a new weapon to Iran’s navy.

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Syrian people struggling against violence with peaceful demonstration Basmiah Homran Reporter he Syrian uprisings against oppression, corruption and suppression of freedoms began on March 15, 2011. The protests have been launched against President Bashar al-Assad, the authoritarian ruler of the country since 1971, and are led by young Syrians who have demanded political, economic and social reform. Syrian security forces faced the young people’s peaceful demonstrations with live ammunition. On November 12, 2011, the League of Arab States decided that the Arab League would approve sanctions against Syria to pressure the government Wikipedia into ending its eight-month Hundreds of Syrian people demonstrating in the city of Hama demand to bring down the oppressive Syrian crackdown on pro-democregime. The Syrian uprising is the latest protest of the Arab Spring. racy protesters. These military group announcing its opposition. Armed attacks on sanctions would be effective immediately. Syria described the move as a betrayal of Arab solidarity. At security barriers and military began to emerge gradually prior a press conference in the Egyptian capital, Sheikh Hamad bin to the mass demonstrations. The demonstrations across Syria Jassim Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister, said 19 of the bloc's saw 13 deaths at the hands of the Assad regime. In its report, the committee stated that the dead were killed 22 nations approved the sanctions, including cutting off transin several cities and regions, including Hama, Damascus, Homs actions with the Syrian Central Bank and halting funding for and Idlib. The report said that people heard sounds of exploprojects in Syria. sions on the hill close to Damascus and in the neighborhoods "Today is a sad day for me, because we still hope our brothers of the capital. in Syria will sign the document of the protocol and stop the In Dara, the security forces surrounded most of the mosques, killings, release the detainees and withdraw its military from closed the Omari Mosque for the third week in a row and preSyrian districts," Hamad said. vented the men from the fiftieth performance of Friday prayers. The sanctions also include a stop to trade exchange with the In turn, the General Authority for Syrian Revolt reported that Syrian government and a travel ban on Syrian officials. many were killed by Syrian security in Damascus, Homs and "In these decisions we aim at avoiding any sufferings of the Hama. Activists on the Internet broadcast images of the demonSyrian people," Hamad said. stration. Kfar Sousse in Damascus chanted against the system The Arab League set a deadline for Syria either to allow civil and demanded the execution of President Bashar al-Assad. rights monitors into the country and withdraw tanks from the Syrian people in Homs said that observers could not walk anystreets, or to face sanctions. The ultimatum drew no commitwhere and that they were to be accompanied by Syrian authorment from Syrian officials. ities, who manipulated them and hid them as prisoners in November 16, 2011, saw the General Authority of the revomilitary facilities. Thirty-five people were shot and killed by Syrlution, formed by the Syrian dissidents of the Syrian armed ian security forces in the interventions against the demonstraforces, launch a military offensive on the Syrian Air Intelligence tions. headquarters near Damascus. This was the first armed attack on a military installation by a


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Prince William and bride Catherine Middleton greet the enthusiastic crowd outside Westminister Abbey following their wedding ceremony.

Looking back at 2011: Events that changed the world Lana Haight Reporter rom the royal wedding to bin Laden’s death, many events occurred in 2011 that will forever be remembered by the world. The first memorable event of 2011 was when Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, was killed in a military operation. He was involved in the 1998 United States embassy bombings and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Almost ten years later, the CIA was able to find bin Laden’s location, near Abbottabad, Pakistan. On May 2, the Operation Neptune Spear was ordered by President Barack Obama. After the successful mission, U.S forces took bin Laden’s body to Afghanistan for identification and buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death. Another memorable event regards Colonel Mohmar Gaddafi, who was ruler of Libya from 1969 to 2011. He was the fourth longest-serving non-royal leader since 1990, and the longest Arab leader. On October 20, he was captured in his hometown of Sirte. Gadaffi’s convoy was hit by the French air force on a road about 3 kilometers west of his hometown. He was captured alive by the rebels and later killed. In addition, the Japanese tsunami occurred on the 12th of March. Japan was struck by a cataclysmic earthquake and a merciless tsunami.This tsunami cost up to $300 billion in damages. About 5% of Japan’s output was lost, and 18,000 were killed. The royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton took place on April 29 at Westminster Abbey in London. They met in 2001 while studying at the University of St. Andrews and dated on-and-off. The cost of the wedding was just about 20 million euros, and the guest list included many celebrities from all around the world.


Also, Hosni Mubarak, former Egyptian ruler, resigned this year. Mubarak was vice-president of Egypt in 1975 and became president on October 14, 1981. He resigned because of the Egyptian revolution and now is involved in the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, a body of 20 senior Egyptian military officers. Former vice-president Omar Suleiman is now president of Egypt.


This 1997 picture shows Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.

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Social technology: Helping or hindering Aubrey Andrews Circulation Manager hat has over 300 million users, over 1.6 billion tweets per day and a little birdie on its icon? ( That is right, Twitter, and it is just one of the many social technological advances used in this generation that have reached around the world. More examples would be Facebook, with over 300 million users (; with over 1.3 million accounts (; and text messaging with over 4.6 billion people possessing a cell phone ( With all of this technology engulfing society, one may ask whether it helps or hinders students’ social statuses? By far, the negative aspects of today’s technology outweigh the positive aspects considering where they place students’ social statuses. Anything in a message can put a relationship in a bind, whether the receiver takes the message the wrong way or technical problems occur causing the message to go to the wrong person. The worst danger is when auto correct, a spell check feature for messaging devices, sets in and potentially makes the conversation utterly awkward. An example of an autocorrect error is “Grandma is in the garage” translated to “Grandma is in the grave.” An effect of technology substituting for one-on-one communication is that people forget how to talk in person, so they bePhotos by Aubrey Andrews come socially ignorant. Their people skills, which are important for joining the working class, are diminished. Some essentially Juniors Emily McKee and Ebony Maze utilize technology during school hours. Students have access to social networking 24-7. become stuck in cyberspace. Ever since the rise of instant messaging, bullies have had a safehaven called cyberspace. This type of bullying has come to be called cyberbullying and occurs when a person is targeted through the use of instant messaging. People are willing to say anything, particularly words they would never say to someone in person. says nearly 42 percent of children or teenagers have been bullied while online. A popular type of cyberbullying is cyberstalking, where an adult harasses a child or teenager. reports there have been tens or even hundreds of thousands of cyberstalking victims in the United States alone. Despite these negatives, technology does help in different ways. Communication has become more rapid and effortless since instant messaging has been around. Another positive aspect is how technology permits easier connections to other parts of the world, such as communicating with long-distance friends and increasing access to celebrities. Either way, technology plays a big role in the lives of students everyday.


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features 

Maggie Feith Editor ust when we thought the world could never be more connected than it is now with cellular phones, Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest comes along, bringing the connections to a new level. The goal of Pinterest is to “connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests,” according to Pinterest puts a new perspective on the social-networking scene. With it, people simply share the things they love by “pinning” them on virtual pinboards. “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes,” says Like Twitter, Pinterest lets you “follow” other users’ pinboards. This allows you to see the types of things your friends are interested in. “I love Pinterest because it gives me creative ideas for crafts and decorations for college dorm rooms,” senior Madison Hinkel said.


“I like Pinterest because I get a lot of new hairstyles from it,” sophomore Alyson Patton said. “I love Pinterest because I get a lot of good recipes from it,” junior Michelle Elliott said. “I like Pinterest because of all the good food, fashion and hair ideas,” junior Emily McKee said. “I like Pinterest because I can get fun craft and recipe ideas for whenever I get bored,” junior Catherine Guthrie said. “Pinterest is a way to express yourself. You can find any idea on there you choose. I have taken several recipes and ideas for makeup off of Pinterest. I simply love it!” senior Aura Mae Northcutt said. However, you can see more than just the “pins” of the people you follow when you search on specific categories such as “Humor” or “Photography.” The most interesting aspect of Pinterest is, indeed, how it connects people. You might find another person who shares your same love for vegetarian recipes or “Pomsky” (Pomeranian and Husky mix) dogs. Pinterest ultimately shows how much people have in common through the things they love. Request an invitation to Pinterest at by clicking “request an invite.” As the Pinterest team says, “Happy Pinning!”

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Students rationalize procrastination Alex Agee Reporter n English class, the teacher assigns the students a short essay that is due in two weeks. How many students will go home that day and start writing? The answer is probably not very many. Truthfully, most students will wait until one or two nights before the paper is due even to begin writing. This scenario is a prime example of procrastinating. Procrastinating means putting off or delaying an action to a later time. Why do they do it? Many people claim that procrastination is a result of laziness. “Sometimes people do it because they are lazy, but some people are just busy!” junior Emily McKee said. Lack of motivation and too much work also cause students to procrastinate. A number of psychologists believe such behavior to be a way to cope with the anxiety of starting or completing a certain assignment. Procrastinating can have consequences. If a student does not put enough time and effort into his or her school work, the quality of it can be affected. “Procrastination leads to frustration, anxiety, and more often than not, disappointment. One can almost always do better given time to think, plan, consult, create and edit first drafts. Throwing something together for the sake of meeting a deadline results in just that and not a quality product of which one can be proud. Be proud of what you do because it represents and speaks for you in a way


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words cannot,” biology teacher Deborah Gatlin said. “Procrastinating hinders students because it can cause them to get one bad grade that might determine whether or not they pass a class,” freshman Kendra Lyte said. Waiting until the last minute can mean the difference between getting an A on a Photos by Alex Agee

Junior Emily Taylor procrastinates during a class assignment by napping on her book.

project or a D. A number of students end up feeling stressed and have a sense of guilt that they would not have if they had done their work earlier. Also, procrastinating in school can develop into long-term bad habits. If students procrastinate

throughout high school, they are likely to continue in college and eventually their careers. “The secret to avoid procrastination is to just get started. Make a plan. Get a calendar that includes not just the due dates, but the dates for beginning the parts of the project. Hang tough, stay on course, make it happen. You will not be sorry that you gave your project your best because it is all about you,” Gatlin said. But are students the only ones in school who procrastinate? Teachers, like students, are also faced with a large amount of work like grading papers or creating tests. “I think teachers procrastinate sometimes, so they end up cramming in information close to breaks,” junior Julia Frye said. Although there can be many cons to procrastinating, it can have its advantages. If students only work on their assignment the day before it is done, they have all of the other days that they could have spent on their classwork to do whatever they please. In other words, it gives a person some down time just to relax and let his or her mind unwind. “Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted,” musician John Lennon said. Sooner or later, every student will be tempted to procrastinate. The important thing is to make sure that it does not become a habit. “You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again,” founding father Benjamin Franklin said.

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Inspirational Texas teen passes away on Christmas day Katherine Keller Assistant Editor n August 8, 1993, Deanne and Shawn Breedlove gave birth to their second child, Ben. Ben Breedlove was like any other kid. He ran, laughed and played, but there was one big difference between him and other children. Breedlove was born with a serious heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomycpathy (HCM). HCM is a condition in which the heart becomes thick and blood flow becomes more difficult. Breedlove learned to accept that he would not be able to play sports like other children, but also that he was not completely limited. He could still wakeboard and surf, two of his favorite things. Breedlove also found a love for posting videos on YouTube. He, along with his two best friends, Justin and Megan, began making videos in 2010. Ben had two channels: one called BreedloveTV, his personal channel, and one called OurAdvice4You, with Justin and Megan. Breedlove began to post videos about his life on BreedloveTV. He told people about his heart condition, professed his love for God and gave people


Ben Breedlove on his YouTube video, “This is my Story,” holds his first notecard that he used to start the video.

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advice about everyday situations, but two videos stood out more than any others. In December 2011, Breedlove posted a twopart video called “This Is My Story.” In this video, he wrote down his experiences with HCM on note cards and let his viewers read the stories of how he escaped death three different times, once when he was four and twice at the age of eighteen. In two of those instances, he referred to a bright light and an overwhelming peace that came over him. On December 6, 2011, the third time he cheated death, he had a vision of himself and his favorite rapper, Kid Cudi while he was unconscious in the ER. He described the peaceful feeling he had when he was four and how he could not quit smiling at himself in a mirror because he was proud of who he was. Kid Cudi quoted Breedlove’s favorite song, “Mr. Rager,” then said, “Go on.” Ben woke to the EM’s around him performing CPR. He ended his moving video with a question to his viewers, “Do you believe in angels or God?” then answered, “I do.” Breedlove passed away on December 25, 2011, to another heart attack. His video went viral soon after. His faith in Christ has been shared with millions of people, and his story made ABC News. More than 1,500 people attended the memorial service in his hometown in Texas. Ben Breedlove was an incredible young man who touched the lives of millions with his “never give up” attitude. No matter what he went through, he remained positive and loved life. Kid Cudi was deeply moved by Breedlove’s story and “tweeted” thanks to Ben for loving him. Kim Kardashian, along with many other big names, shared farewell “tweets” via Twitter to Breedlove and his family. Before his death, Breedlove spoke about wanting to impact the lives of impoverished children living in Africa, but did not know how. Through his death, the family discovered a golden opportunity to fulfill Breedlove’s dream. They set up the “Ben Breedlove Memorial Fund” through an organization called Africa New Life Ministries. This organization works to help children in Rwanda by providing education and necessities to needy children. Those who wish to honor Breedlove’s cause can donate by logging onto

Americanized Chinese food Yuki Zhang Reporter ood plays an important role in cultural communications. To match the preference of local people, Chinese food in America is Americanized. The literal "Chinese food" in the States is not exactly like the food in China. Different locations in China grow various fowl and vegetables. Considering climate, soil, and water, many factors can influence agriculture and farming. It is difficult to get raw Chinese ingredients in a small town, such as Dyersburg. “We order fresh Chinese vegetables from a Chinese market in Memphis,” a waiter at New China said. Sour, sweet, bitter, spicy and salty are the five major flavors in the Chinese dish. Traditional Chinese food is usually combined with several of those flavors together. According to the waiter at New China, the sweet sour chicken and fried rice are the most popular dishes there. Most Americans prefer fried rice to white rice. White rice is the most common staple food in China and is eaten with every meal. China Star created Walnut Chicken which is made with sweet walnut sauce and chicken. “People like it very much,” restaurant manager Kevin Weng said. People in China like cooking by stir-fry the most because they do not like heavy food. American Chinese restaurants have more fried and grilled dishes than restaurants in China. People from different parts of China have different eating habits and flavors. Guangdong is a major province that is located on the north coast of China. The most common dishes in American Chinese restaurants originated from Cantonese (Guangdong) cuisine. “Our style is based on Cantonese cuisine, and we also refine cuisine in order to make it fit more people,” Weng said. Chinese people enjoy drinking hot tea during dinner while American people prefer icy sodas. Fortune cookies are offered to guests after paying the bill in American Chinese restaurants. However, these are Americanized goods. “I had never seen the fortune cookie until I got here,” Chinese teacher Xu Hong said. Chinese restaurants in major cities of America usually have two menu lists. One is for Americans and the other is for Chinese people because there are larger Chinese populations in cities than in towns. Dishes are also served with chopsticks for Chinese people. Some original names of Chinese dishes are confusing to people when they are translated into English. For instance, guess what “ants climbing the tree” is? It is a dish made with minced pork and bean vermicelli. Known as “Chinese New Year,” the Spring Festival is the


differs from traditional Chinese cuisine biggest national holiday in China. As Americans do during Christmas time, Chinese people visit their families and have abundant delicious dinners every January or February when the Spring Festival comes. One of the traditional Spring Festival foods is spring rolls, a snack with many kinds of chopped vegetables rolled with a won ton wrapper (also known as egg rolls in America). Eating spring rolls during the New Year’s is a traditional custom of Chinese people to hope for a bumper harvest year. Dumplings are another food that people could not miss during Spring Festival. People make wishes for families and friends inside the dumpling wrapper. The shape of dumplings looks like an odd-shaped gold or silver ingot which was formerly used as money in ancient China. Therefore, people eat dumplings to hope luck and fortune is coming to them. Food is closely related to culture. Comparing dumplings and pizzas is a good example of linking food and culture. Being reserved and self-effacing is the personality of the Chinese culture. People put the vegetables and meats inside the dumpling wrapper so the diner can’t see what is inside until he chews it. Pizza, however, is filled with all the vegetables and meats on the top, which presents the open and frank characteristics of American and European people. Bread is the staff of life. Food has plenty of cultural and historical values which are worthy of study. A great way to learn the culture and custom of a country or a race is by eating their food. Photo by Yuki Zhang

A typical Americanized Chinese dish, Kung Pao Chicken, can be found in Chinese restaurants across the United States.

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sports Lady Trojans practice for next season beginning in March Mary Byars Reporter atter up! Yes, it is almost that time of year again, softball season. The Lady Trojan softball team is gearing up for their upcoming season. This 2011- 2012 team is looking forward to improving not only their softball skills, but also their leadership skills. As the season creeps closer each day, the team is anticipating getting on the field and showing everyone what it has to offer. Practices after school consist of conditioning their muscles to get back into shape for the upcoming season. The team is running and doing various strength-building exercises to improve its stamina for any game that comes its way. “The practices are tough. Our coaches are awesome, though, and they have tried to make them fun for us. We run, do ab workouts, and pitchers are starting to throw some. They have even started making us do Billy Blank’s videos,” sophomore Hannah Wright said. Like any sports team, the Lady Trojans want their season to go a long way. With all of the training the team is doing now, the expectations are high for the team.

“We made it to Regionals last year and would, obviously, like to advance farther this year,” head coach Steve Wilder said. Seniors Shelby Andrews, Ashten Maldonado, Clair Newbill, Mary Evelyn Peckenpaugh and Kayla Wright are the players who help the team move forward and strive to help others to do their best. They make sure that everything runs smoothly and also set a good example to their teammates both on and off the field. “We have grown so much in the past few years, and making it as far as we did last year just shows us how close we are to being the best. We all are ready to work hard and have a great season so we will make it to state this spring,” senior Mary Evelyn Peckenpaugh said. The team’s top competitors this season are Obion County, Crocket County and Covington. The Lady Trojans will open up the season on March 14th at home against Halls. On March 15th through 17th the team will play in the Sara Beth Whitehead Tournament in Jackson, Tennessee. “I enjoy coaching these girls, and I look forward to a good season,” Wilder said.

Sophomore Hannah Wright winds up to throw a pitch during the Lady Trojan softball teams winter conditioning.

In a practice in the middle of the winter season, freshman Kali Decker squats down to catch a pitchers throw.


Photos by Mary Byars

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Oregon offensive lineman Darrion Weems celebrates with Oregon fans after their exciting 45-38 win in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.

College football ends year with exciting bowl season Chris Wagner Editor he 2011 college football season was filled with excitement each week. Every Saturday, teams battled for a chance to play in a bowl game. A bowl game might sound cheesy, but to a football program, it is the most meaningful game of the season. The 2011-12 bowl season started off with a bang, as Temple beat Wyoming 37-15 in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Next on the bowl schedule was the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which saw Ohio win by the narrowest of margins against Utah State. The Ohio win gave the Mid-American Conference (MAC) a 2-0 record in bowl games. A couple of days later, Texas Christian University beat Louisiana Tech in a 31-24 nailbiter. Boise State continued its bowl game winning streak with a huge 56-24 win over Arizona State in the Maaco Bowl, Las Vegas. Missouri, new to the Southeastern Conference, beat ACC opponent North Carolina 41-24 in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl. Just up the road in Nashville, Mississippi State won a backand-forth thriller against Wake Forest 23-17 in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. In Memphis, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl saw Vanderbilt lose to Cincinnati 31-24. The SEC and ACC battled again in the Chick-fil-A bowl, where Auburn blew past Virginia 43-24. In the Outback Bowl, Georgia lost to Michigan State 30-33 in a triple-overtime stunner. Georgia’s loss was only the second by an SEC team this bowl season. South Carolina and Florida continued the SEC’s winning ways with wins in each of their bowl games. South Carolina beat Nebraska 30-13 in the Capital One Bowl,


while Florida beat Urban Meyer’s new team Ohio State 24-17 in the Gator Bowl. Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III led Baylor to a bowl win by beating Washington in a 67-56 shootout. The BCS bowls kicked off with the Rose Bowl, where Oregon beat Wisconson 45-38. The Wisconson loss was their second consecutive Rose Bowl loss. The next BCS bowl game was the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Stanford star Andrew Luck was unable to win his last game as a Cardinal, as Oklahoma State slipped past them in overtime, winning 41-38. New Orleans was home to the Allstate Sugar Bowl, where Michigan beat Virginia Tech 23-20 in an overtime thriller. The Discover Orange Bowl was the next BCS bowl game. In that game, West Virginia put up 70 points against Clemson, the most points scored ever in a bowl game. Arkansas was the winner of the AT&T Cotton Bowl, as they beat Kansas State 29-16. The win by Arkansas gave the SEC a 7-2 record this bowl season. Finally, Alabama and LSU, the top two teams in the nation, fought for all the marbles in the BCS National Championship, with Alabama shutting out LSU 21-0. It was the first shutout in the BCS Championship game history. Alabama showed exactly why they have the nation’s topranked defense, as they held the explosive LSU offense to only 92 yards of total offense. LSU ran the ball very well against Alabama in their meeting earlier this year, but the Crimson Tide’s defense absolutely manhandled LSU’s offensive line and held the Tigers to a season-low 39 yards rushing. Alabama, on the other hand, had no problem running the football. Junior running back Trent Richardson carried the ball 20 times for 96 yards. He also scored the only touchdown of the game. This bowl season was definitely one to remember!

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The boys’ soccer team finds ways to battle the recent inclement weather by practicing indoors and with smaller teams.

Boys’ soccer: Eyeing state tournament for second year in a row Laurie Williams Reporter t truly is the beautiful game,” head soccer coach Greg Stapleton said, as he expressed his excitement for the upcoming boys’ soccer season. The team has already begun its pre-season conditioning and wants nothing less than another state-qualifying season this year. “We expect and will not be comfortable with anything less than going back to the state tournament. At that point anything can happen, and we will have as much of a chaddnce at the championship as any of the other seven teams,” Stapleton said. Goals for the upcoming season include a third Regional Championship and, of course, attending the TSSAA state tournament for the second consecutive year. Last season the team learned that the road to a state championship game is paved with its own obstacles, such as injuries throughout the season and facing more difficult teams than the ones they encountered in their own district. Also, losing key players like Andrew Legan, Austin Evans and Andrew Lowrance will bring out the need for the team to regroup and find players to fill those important positions. “We definitely have players that should fill those positions. It’s part of the development process, getting the right players in those critical places,” Stapleton said. “Our greatest strengths are Sean Stapleton leading the defense and our ability to find the back of the net,” sophomore Josh Mathews said. For this team, big anticipations are not unusual. “Our expectations are always high, and with this group, at this point, we continue to expect nothing less than doing the best that we can do, in the right way, with heart,” Stapleton said.


The upcoming season should be exciting for all involved, as long as the team stays concentrated on the goals they have set individually and as a whole. “As far as distractions we could create for ourselves, we just need to realize where we are and where this group has come from, and we need to stay dedicated and focused and work hard every single day,” Stapleton said. The soccer team will be playing in the West Tennessee High School Soccer Jamboree on March 3rd. The tournament will take place at Kate Campbell Recreational Field in Jackson.

Coach Greg Stapleton offers advice for playing on a small field.

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The Vow: True tale of love inspires Lauren Brooks Editor magine one event that single-handedly alters your life forever. The event is tragic, calamitous. It scars you forever. For Kim and Krickett Carpenter, that event came on November 24, 1993. The Carpenters’ lives were turned upside down on that November day when the two were involved in a devastating car wreck, leaving Krickett with extensive head injuries. When she finally woke from a coma, she had no idea who Kim, her husband, was. The Carpenters’ story later inspired a book, and now their story has inspired a film. In one of Sony Pictures’s latest films,


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The Vow, Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams tackle the roles of Leo and Paige, respectively. Leo and Paige are a newly married couple when he promises her, "No matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find a way back to each other." Shortly after, the devastating car crash transpires, she loses five years’ worth of memory—including the memory of her recent marriage to Leo. Paige must essentially meet her husband all over again: she must learn to trust; she must learn to love. Tatum and McAdams shine alongside co-stars, all delivering believeable performances. Their road to new love is an enticing journey that audience members will surely enjoy. Catch The Vow beginning February 10.

Even exciting character fails to incite interest in

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Sean Stapleton Editor elling over 20 million copies so far, author Steig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo seems to have appealed to a large and clearly very patient audience of readers. While the book is currently enjoying the American literary spotlight, it does not exhibit a fast, explosive pace that will draw in fans for years to come. Simply put, the novel relies too heavily on the infrequent, albeit emotionally shocking, reveal and not enough on a rolling sequence of dramatic tension or forcible action. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo follows the story of journalist Mikael Blomkvist who, shortly after being convicted of libel, is hired by multi-billionaire Henrik Vanger to investigate what happened to his grandniece, Harriet Vanger, more than forty years ago. While the story follows the basic murder-mystery plot, Larsson does not refrain from tying in unnecessary subplots that consequently double the book’s length. While the thickness of a book should never be a consideration for serious readers, the content must be riveting if an author expects to entertain his audience for more than 600 pages. Regrettably, Larsson apparently deems it more important to describe in meticulous, droning detail almost each aspect of his characters’ lives rather than build up the drama between those characters. The book further struggles to keep a quick tempo purely because of the timeframe. Harriet’s disappearance occurred 40 years before Blomkvist is hired to investigate. Consequently, a significant portion of the novel is dedicated to researching the day Harriet vanished. Whenever Larsson decides it is time for the story to delve deeper in the mystery, he must return to Blomkvist’s having to read stacks of police reports and sort through numerous pictures. Research in itself is hardly ever suspenseful, and Larsson’s portrayal is no exception. On an even worse note, the book doesn’t have a very riveting or exciting climax. When Blomkvist does discover Harriet’s fate (with a fourth of the book still to go), the “big reveal” is neither exciting nor surprising if you really think about it. However, Larsson does seem to save his novel by introducing an altogether compelling and intriguing character in the form of researcher and computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander. Void of any emotion and virtually incapable of achieving likability, Salander’s character is more mysterious than Harriet’s disappearance can hope to be. She is a direct contrast to the droll and depressing Blomkvist, and because she is the only character that is not closely detailed, she draws the reader’s interest more than the plot does. But it is almost as if Larsson realizes that this fascinating character he has created will detract from the story he is trying to tell. So he includes her sparingly, not even introducing her until page 40. Even though the book bears Salander’s description, Larsson seems to try to bring more focus on Blomkvist and Harriet than the true piece of brilliance found in Salander. Overall, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would be more deserving of praise if it were condensed to a sixth of the length and drew more heavily on what should be the central focus of the plot, Salander. The amount of detail is often overwhelming, and if you are not interested in the esoteric intricacies of business finances, then it is probably a good suggestion to merely skim the first 30 pages. Do not expect The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to be an enticing page turner. It is not. Instead, steadily page through Larsson’s meticulous explications and focus more on the absurd, unique, interesting Lisbeth Salander.


Emotionally raw and mysteriously intriguing, Lisbeth Salander is even more compellingly portrayed in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie.

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Inspiring story offers riveting new perspective Maria Yousuf Business Manager New York Times bestseller and winner of the Exclusive Books Boeke Prize, Kathryn Stockett’s The Help follows the remarkable journey of three distinctive women in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960s. Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson are black maids working for and raising the children of white women, and the third is Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, a white aspiring writer. Skeeter returns home after four years at college to find her family maid, Constantine, absent and her best friends, Elizabeth Leefolt and Hilly Holbrook, plotting to find her a man. She lands a job writing a cleaning advice column for the local newspaper after she applies for a head position at the prestigious publishing company Harper & Row. While she fails to secure the position, she does attract the attentions of the publishing house’s editor Elaine Stein. Impressed by Skeeter’s ambition, Stein offers to publish Skeeter’s work if she can come up with an original idea, something that seems to bother Skeeter and no one else. Partly invoked by Constantine, Skeeter finally decides she will write a book revealing the domestic help’s perspective, through accounts from black maids, noting how they could not even use the bathroom indoors where they worked. However, there is a catch. Writing such a book is illegal. Throughout the novel, Skeeter conducts a series of interviews with maids in secret, discovering distasteful truths about her friends along the way. She juggles the book with looming deadlines, the truth about Constantine, her ill mother, and a tumultuous relationship with the governor’s son. Aibileen and Minny are not without their own challenges. While Aibileen teaches her white child (Mrs. Leefolt’s daughter) Mae Mobley to believe in herself, sass-master Minny copes


with an alcoholic husband and the peculiar Celia Foote. Aibileen is a kind woman embittered by the brutal, segregation-driven death of her son, and Minny struggles to keep her mouth from landing her in trouble. And all three find themselves at war with the Regina George of Jackson, Mississippi: Hilly Holbrook. The characters are poignant and relatable, and Stockett manages to keep the story humorous, despite its serious undertone.While well written as well as an eye-opener, the novel’s validity has been questioned since Stockett is speaking from a side she has not experienced herself. The movie for this novel was released in the summer of 2011, with the talented Emma Stone portraying Skeeter Phelan and Octavia Spencer capturing the very essence of Minny’s character in her acting. While obviously not as detailed as the book, it does an excellent job of bringing the story to life and shows how Jackson, Mississippi’s quaint appearance hides all the murk underneath. Whether a novel or a film, The Help is a tale of compassion and faith, courage and hope.

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Disney classic restored in 3D “My favorite scene in the movie is when Beast reveals himself for the first time to Belle.” Suzanne Schultz Reporter eturning to the theaters in 3D is animated Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast. Bringing back childhood memories, this film captures the spirit of both beautiful and beastly moments. Belle is a girl who wants to live a simple life but has the affection of a local, Gaston. Although he is falling for Belle, she doesn’t pursue him because of his conceited attitude. To save her father from being imprisoned, she makes a deal with Beast. She agrees to remain in his castle for the rest of her life if he will simply release her father. “My favorite scene in the movie is when Beast reveals himself for the first time to Belle,” junior Tiffany McCraw said. The deal is made and her life is about to change. During her stay she makes many memories and friendships. What makes those friendships lasting are the characters and their lovable personalities. “My favorite character is the candle, Lumiere. He brings much of the fun in the movie because of his caring personality,” freshmen Katie Windle said. Many friends are made, but the longer she stays, the more the master grows on her. Beauty and the Beast is a bittersweet tale of love. “I think this is a great movie for a family to bond because it can teach you not to judge a book by its cover,” a sophomore girl said. 3D technology brings even more attention to the classic, allowing better detailing to the smaller scenes. As the teacups sing and dance, they are captured in stellar cinematography. Beauty and the Beast is in theaters now.


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The Hunger Games soon to have film adaptation

Jill Vondy Photography Editor he Hunger Games, a bestselling trilogy by Suzanne Collins, has received many accolades including #1 New York Times Bestseller, #1 USA Today Bestseller and Wall Street Journal Bestseller. Many also have high hopes for the film adaptation that will be released in theaters March 23, 2012. The series centers on Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old who lives in a post-apocalyptic world. There, a country named Panem has taken over the majority of North America. Panem is divided into 12 districts, which are controlled by a powerful central city, the Capitol. The twelve (formerly thirteen until one was destroyed) poorer surrounding districts cater to the Capitol's needs. As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol, where twelve of the districts were defeated and the thirteenth destroyed, the Hunger Games were created. Every year one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen from each of the remaining twelve districts are selected by lottery and forced to participate in the Hunger Games. The Games are a televised event in which the participants, called tributes, must fight to the death until only one remains. The winning tribute and their corresponding district are then rewarded handsomely. The Hunger Games movie adaption will star Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. Lawrence, age 20, is one of the youngest actresses to be nominated for an Academy Award for her role in “Winter’s Bone.� Lawrence is also well known for her role as Mystique in X-Men: First Class. She will be joined by many veteran actors including Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland and Elizabeth Banks.


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Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America Cluster Meeting

FCCLA treasurer Cayla Crawhorn, president Alicia Martinez, member Jordan Galewski and sponsor Sandra Lanier pose near statues at the Hilton after attending a general session of the FCCLA Cluster Meeting.

While at the Cluster Meeting in Minneapolis, the group attended general sessions and workshops to share ideas and gain valuable leadership experience.

Photos submitted by Sandra Lanier

Seniors Cayla Crawhorn, Alicia Martinez and Jordan Galewski were the three representatives who attended the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Cluster Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, recently.

Issue 4 11-12  
Issue 4 11-12  

Issue 4 11-12