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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.

table of contents


17 Volume 44 Issue 6 Editors Shelby Andrews Lauren Brooks Maggie Feith Jackson Lay Sean Stapleton Assistant Editor Katherine Keller Business Managers Corena Hasselle Maria Yousuf Photography Editor Jill Vondy Circulation Manager Aubrey Andrews Reporters Alex Agee Elizabeth Butler Jed Finley Sarah Hasselle Sydney McNeill Laurie Williams Jim Heckethorn Zack Golson Whitney Reynolds Morgan Reed Advisors Suzanne Edwards Laura Wright

Testing Research Bene t Concert All West School Board Changes Graduation Obama's Campaign Computer/Paper Testing A rmative Action Cars for Teens

3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 13

Tennis Hiking Olympics Best Apps The Lucky One Memphis in May The Wanted Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

15 16 17 19 20 21 22 23


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

news Students schoolwide participate in testing project Maria Yousuf Business Manager ecently the school entered into a contract with Riverside Publishing Company, agreeing to submit a sizable student sample to a research study also known as the Iowa Online Compatibility Study. This study is being conducted in order to assess the benefits of online testing as opposed to paper testing. "They are field testing some new items for various assessment through their company," said principal Jon Frye. The tests were conducted on two Thursdays, the first and the eighth of March, and the administration randomly chose 253 students from all four grades to participate. Students alternated between two tests, online and paper, in order to determine which yielded superior student performance. "It is a good idea for us to participate. We get compensation and involved in the process," said Frye. "It also gives us an idea of where testing is going." As for compensation, Riverside Publishing paid 63 dollars per student partaking in this endeavor. "Part of that will go to the student account. The other part will go toward teacher and instructional supplies," said Frye. Students taking the tests were pulled out of class at the start of the day and stayed as late at 1:30 in the afternoon. Since students were often testing too late to attend lunch, they were provided with lunch from Taco Bell and Little Caesar's. Cafeteria manager Cindy


Seniors Will Fowlkes and Ryland Guthrie take the Iowa Online Compatibility Study computer test as do juniors Jordan Thompson and Matt Diaz below. Students also took a written version.

Photos by Maggie Feith

Sawyers attested that fewer students bought lunch but also clarified that the school did receive monetary compensation for the testing. Sawyers elaborated on how fewer students purchasing lunch could affect the school. "This affects the number of people working and the choices I can offer," Sawyers said. "When I don't have the people, I can't offer as many choices." She ascertained that the school should not have to face this problem unless a similar project is repeated often in the near future. Frye confirmed that such an undertaking is unlikely. Students offered varying opinions on the testing itself, typically negative. "It was hard to stay focused because it was such a long period of time," said freshman Bri Tirabassi. "I thought it was really boring. I didn't read anything," said freshman Amanda Sanchez. "I didn't take it seriously." However, others had a more positive take on the matter. "It was a great opportunity to exercise my test skills," said freshman Diamond Jones. Students also shared their opinions on other aspects. "I think the writing one was easier than the math because I like writing on my tests," said Sanchez. "Getting out of class was pretty good. The food was all right, but it was pretty hectic and late," said Tirabassi. The results of this research have yet to be published and will most likely impact testing in the future and whether the school will lean toward paper or computer assessments.

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Global Youth Benefit Concert raises funds to support Invisible Children Morgan Reed Reporter n Saturday, March 3rd, the Global Youth Organization of Dyersburg High School held their third annual benefit concert for Invisible Children. Invisible Children is an organization that was formed to combat the use of child soliders in Uganda, Africa, by one of the most internationally wanted fugitives, Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA, the Lord's Resistance Army. The Global Youth Organization has held this concert for three consecutive years at First Christian Church of Dyersburg; every year they have raised over $2,000 to give to the Invisible Children. Global Youth is sponsored by Advanced Placement and honors English teacher Penny Switzer, who will be retiring following this year. This year's concert had a high turnout, with roughly 150 people attending, along with several of the community's youth performing. The Invisible Children Benefit concert had acts ranging from soloists to full bands. Java Cafe sponsored the concert with free coffee, as they have in past years. Sound technician for First Christian Church Elvie Reed and senior Jake Parrish were this year's sound technicians: they


helped make sure that the concert flowed without interruptions. Members of the Global Youth Organization also put in a tremendous amount of work. Co-presidents Jim Heckethorn and Morgan Reed emceed this year's concert, as well as made sure everything was in place for that night. There were several students from Dyersburg High School who performed, as well as students from Dyer Country High School. A few people who had graduated came back to play for the concert as well, including Andrew Legan, a previous co-president of the Global Youth Organization. Senior Alyssa Wells, a performer in this year's concert, designed this year's shirts that featured a globe with footprints of the "invisible children." "My sister performed in the concert; I thought the entire thing was pretty great," said sophomore Aaron Gauldin. The day following the concert, social networking site Facebook, was immediately showered with statuses about KONY2012 and the Invisible Children organization. It seems as if the Invisible Children Benefit concert sparked an interest among some teenagers to make a difference and help combat the use of child soldiers. "The concert was great. It was great to see everyone come together to support the Invisible Children," said sophomore Suzanne Shultz.

Photos by Sarah Hasselle

Junior Catherine Guthrie, senior Rachel Gauldin and juniors Katherine Keller and Emily McKee perform "This is the Stuff" at the concert.

Senior Luis Portillo goes solo on the stage of First Christian Church in support of Global Youth and Invisible Children.

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Band students attend All West Tennessee

Photo by Elizabeth Butler

Band students Maggie Feith, Landon Moore and Tara Joergens were selected to perform with the All West Tennessee Band and Orchestra.

Elizabeth Butler Reporter ifteen students from the Dyersburg High School and Dyerbsurg Middle School band auditioned for the All West Tennessee Band and Orchestra. Four of these students qualified along with one alternate to perform with the All West Tennessee Band and Orchestra. Band Students wishing to participate in All West Band and Orchestra must first learn a two-minute piece specific to their instrument. After five months of learning and practicing the music, it is time for auditions. A student auditions his or her prepared piece in one room in front of one judge who then assigns the student a score out of 110. Most instrument parts are then required to go to a second room and perform scales and sight read a piece in front of a second judge. Students auditioning are vying for a spot among the ten to thirty chairs in each instrument section of the three ensembles. The higher the score given, the closer to first chair the student gets. Auditions for All West Tennessee Band and Orchestra were held on January seventh at University School of Jackson. Fifteen students auditioned from Dyersburg out of the over two thousand that were present this year. Senior Maggie Feith, senior Landon Moore and freshman Tara Joergens from Dyersburg High School and Olivia Jones from Dyerbsurg Middle School made it into the program. Mark Betonio, also from the Middle School, placed as an alternate.


On February 2 the four students who successfully tried out and made it into the program traveled to Memphis. On Thursday and Friday, all of the five hundred or so students in the program practiced pieces for the All West Tennessee Band and Orchestra concert. The concert was held on Saturday, February 4 at the Cannon Center in Memphis. "All West was an overall amazing experience, but my favorite part had to be meeting new people," freshman Tara Joergens said, who made second chair in Junior High Red Band. All West Tennessee Band and Orchestra is an experience that can provide a variety of benefits and opportunities to a student. The benefits include performing in front of a large crowd, being directed by distinguished conductors, playing alongside peers from across West Tennessee, and better opportunites for scholarship offers. A student can also qualify for All State when he or she has made one of the top chairs in All West. All State is much more selective, and requires as considerable amount of hard work. For the first time in three years, the Dyersburg High School Band Program has had a student qualify for All State. Maggie Feith placed first chair in Senior Blue Band, allowing her the privilege to audition for All State. Auditions for All State Tennessee will be held at the Chattanooga Convention Center on April eleventh through the fourteenth. "I'm very proud of all the hard work the students have accomplished," band director Tim Graham said.

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Changes ahead: School board implements new policies Corena Hasselle Business Manager tudents experienced a change to the dress code this year and the rennovation of the school library the year before; will there be any more changes next year? Lately, it has been rumored that gray might be an additional dress code color for next year, and it is also rumored that navy pants might not be allowed. "Earlier this year, we responded to a request from the Dyersburg High School administration that we consider adding the color gray to the approved colors for tops and/or jackets for Dyersburg City Schools' students in grades 6-12. "We added the color gray for shirts and jackets to our policy concerning student dress effective for the school year 20122013, and we did not eliminate the color navy for pants, skirts and shorts," City School Board chairperson Amy Heckethorn said. Over the past three weeks the school board has conducted tours of all Dyersburg city schools. They have spoken with the administrators, staff and faculty of each school, and were able to observe students and speak with them. "I can speak for the entire board when


I say that we are very pleased with our schools. We think the change in dress policy for our grades 6-12 has been a positive move," Heckethorn said. "I do wish we could wear hooded jackets though," freshman William Cunnings said.

"Other than the addition of the color gray, the policy regarding dress will remain the same for the next school year." - DCS Board Chair member Amy Heckethorn

"I would be satisfied with the color gray being added to next year's dress code, but that would be cool if we can at least throw in other colors too," junior Savannah King said. "Other than the addition of the color gray, the policy regarding dress will remain the same for the next school year. "I don't foresee any changes in the Photo by Morgan Reed

near future; however, as a board, we listen to our school director, Mr. Durbin and our school administrators if they suggest anything that will benefit our students, the environment of our schools or the opportunity for greater learning," Heckethorn said. Besides gray as a new dress code color for shirts and jackets, other changes may take place. Next year's school calendar will change, regarding summer break, fall break and spring break; students will have fall and spring breaks shortened, which will allow for a longer summer break. In June the school board hopes to see work begin on the campus of Dyersburg High School to provide a new front entrance that will allow the library to be used beyond normal school hours, a new elevator to the library and new ADA compliant bathrooms next to the library. The board's plan also calls for expanding parking areas in the front of the school and a new east entrance area to assist students and family members when checking in or out once the school day has begun. "These improvements are just the first of many to enhance Dyersburg High School," Heckethorn said.

Photo by Sarah Hasselle

Sophomore Kason Thompson, junior Derek Polk, senior Ebony Mims, and sophomore Samantha Johnson are all able to work diligently in a distraction-free environment by abiding by the school dress code.

Freshmen Mary Catherine Newbill and Eric Lewis enthusiastically participate in a lab activity in Kim Decker!s chemistry class while sporting this school year!s dress code.

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Photo by Lauren Brooks

Graduation to be held outside for first time in school history Maggie Feith Editor n the past, graduation has consistently been held in the Dyersburg High gymnasium. While this seems like a suitable venue, it has proven unrealistic. The gym is always hot, loud and crowded during graduation, creating an uncomfortable environment; this is no setting for a civilized commencement ceremony. This year things are changing. "We're basically swapping a gym for a stadium," said principal Jon Frye. Graduation will be held in the J.C. Sawyer Stadium, much to most seniors' approval. In fact, out of nearly 170 students who voted on whether graduation should be hosted outdoors or indoors, only four voted for it to remain in the gym. "I think an outdoor graduation is great! All of my family and friends will be able to attend, and it provides a more relaxed atmosphere," senior Alyssa Wells said. "I think it's a wonderful idea because it will be in the afternoon, and one could also attend Dyer County High School's graduation. Plus, the view of the sunset will be beautiful," senior Spencer Lowery said.


Having graduation in the stadium will allow for a much more pleasant experience for graduates and guests alike. The ceremony will be late enough in the afternoon for heat not to be an issue, there will be unlimited seating for anyone who wants to attend and because everyone will be outdoors, hearing will be much easier. "I'm glad graduation will be outside. It will allow more room for the audience, and the event will be more easily controlled by DHS staff," AP U.S. History teacher Jeff Golson said. "I'm all for everyone coming to graduation who wants to and an outdoor graduation makes that possible," math teacher Anne Houston said. The gym will only serve as a fallback. At graduation practice, seniors will each be issued seven tickets to give to loved ones in case graduation is moved indoors. If bad weather is approaching, a decision will be made about the location around 11:00 a.m. on the day of graduation. If all goes as planned, seniors and their families and friends will be able to enjoy an outdoor graduation for the first time in school history on May 27 at 7:30 p.m.

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Obama's presidency gives hope to some, not others Sarah Hasselle Reporter as "Yes, we can," the slogan used in Obama's 2008 campaign, proved to be true in his presidency? Americans, promised change, had high hopes for Obama's presidency. Did he succeed in providing change for the American people? Since his 2008 election, Barack Obama has succeeded in his start to build a natural gas pipeline from Alaska. Obama has kept his promise to improve pending free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea. He promised to promote innovative ways to reward teachers: Federally funded programs are underway. Many other of his political attempts in office have been compromised or unsuccessful. President Obama compromised on letting Bush-Era tax rates expire to avoid raising taxes for most Americans. Obama promised to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants; however, The Dream Act, a bill that would have provided citizenship for immigrant children passed in House but died in the Senate. His promise to "negotiate a political settlement" on Cyprus, an island off the coast of Turkey, was not reached--talk is continuing, but progress is distant. Obama made the deployment of troops


in Iraq a leading issue in his 2008 campaign and has successfully brought the troops home from Iraq, but troops continue to be deployed to Afghanistan. "I would like to see better efforts be taken to strengthen our country and get all our troops home safely," a student said regarding the deployment of troops. In 2008, Obama promised to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which he has not successfully done yet. The possibility of the center closing down anytime soon is not promising either. The number of middle managers in the federal workforce has not yet been reduced. Also, Obama's efforts to turn over the Supreme Court's ruling in Gross vs. FBL Financial Services Inc. in 2009 and to reduce age discrimination in the workforce have not been successful. Changing taxcarried interest to ordinary income and enacting "tax fairness" for artists has been stalled. Plans for automatic enrollment in IRA plans have dissolved because of the health care debate. In 2012, flexible-fuel automobiles have yet to be mandatedanother one of Obama's campaign promises. Even though Obama did not necessarily keep all his promises, our government is complex and messy. Anyone as President will have difficulty remaining true to his or her own campaign promises. "Obama just needs time to prove that

U.S. National employment month net change is shown after Obama!s inauguration.

he can keep his promises," one student said. Some students interviewed had few opinions on Barack Obama's political efforts, or they did not know what his administration has actually been doing. Regarding his policies, a couple of students said, "Don't know, don't care." Other students said they did not like him because their parents did not care for him. One student said, "I do not follow politics; it is a waste of time, money, and effort that could be used to actually help the nation." A recent survey given to many students showed that some students' opinions have not changed since 2008. One student did say, however, that "Obama has not only made history, but he has also made time for the American people." Paul Bedard from US News also agreed saying, Obama is "not only proving that color doesn't make a difference in the Oval Office, he's helping change white America's view of blacks." One argument against the President is the increasing debt. Much of the debt accured is from the attempt to pull the country out of a severe recession. Other arguments against the president's performance are unemployment rates and gas prices. Unemployment rates have gone down 0.6% since February 2011. The public sector has been losing more jobs than the private, but The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that employers added 227,000 jobs nationally in February. As for gas prices, an Associated Press analysis showed no correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump. More United States oil production can not promise lower prices. Sometimes prices rise as U.S. production goes up, which is what has happened over the past three years. Out of the students surveyed to rate Obama's presidential performance on a 1 to 5 scale, twenty-eight percent of students gave him a one, fifteen percent gave him a two, thirty-seven percent gave him a three, four percent gave him a four, and six percent gave him a five.

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editorials Computer vs. paper testing: Which benefits students more? Sean Stapleton Editor n March 1st, 2012, and March 8th, 2012, roughly 60 students from each grade took part in a study conducted by Riverside Publishing Company to determine whether it is better to give a test on a computer or give the very same test using paper and pencil. While the assessment students took part in was merely a study, some were left wondering if Dyersburg High School's decision to participate, along with the recent increase in accessibility of technology on campus, foreshadows a switch from old-fashioned written tests to electronic examination. Both forms of tests bear positives and negatives. While it may take longer to prepare and score written tests, there is no worry concerning software malfunctions, and students, having grown up taking every test on paper, are more comfortable testing without a computer. On the other hand, computer testing allows for quick and easy access to tests, faster scoring and "greener" testing options, but students are still liable to lose their testing progress as a result of computer glitches, and not all students are capable of advanced computer usage. Ideally, computer testing would afford students and teachers more benefits with almost any form of quiz, test or exam. Testing could be more interactive on a computer and yield more options than the standard multiple-choice tests that students take on a regular basis. Tests could be given, scored and returned all in one class period, and schools would not have to worry about wasting paper and other resources for tests. However, as we all know, technology is not perfect. Computers suddenly shut down; internet connections fail; programs work incorrectly. Taking the computer version of the test for Riverside Publishing Company, some students experienced firsthand the drawbacks of computer testing: the testing program would randomly shut down, and students would have to restart their examination entirely. Some may see taking a test on paper as outdated, but at least there is no opportunity for a test printed on paper to function improperly or for one's progress on a test suddenly to vanish. Paper testing is a secure way for a student to complete a test without running the risk of encountering a problem that is entirely out of his or her hands. Furthermore, from the first test a student has ever taken to the most recent, almost everyone has been taken on paper. Granted, some quizzes such as Accelerated Reading tests are given via computer, but vast the majority of tests--especially important chapter tests and extensive exams--have been administered using paper and pencil. Students are simply more comfortable focusing on a printed test. For a school system to switch to computer testing, such tests would have to be administered at an early age and replace any other form of examination. Students cannot be expected suddenly to change on a whim the way that they have learned to take tests. They must be brought up testing on computers so that it is comfortable for them to manipulate computers. Computer testing also raises the issue that if students are learning by completing worksheets and doing written work, will it be easy for them to transfer that information to a computer screen? Will students be able to take information they have learned through writing and apply it on a non-written test? All in all, if schools are adamant about switching to computerbased testing, they should begin the testing at lower levels and allow students to grow accustomed to it early in their academic career. Furthermore, students should not be entirely forced to switch. They should be given the opportunity to take the test in either form, depending on what they are comfortable with. It all comes down to helping students make the best score that they can, and that does not include forcing them to test electronically. Photo by Maggie Feith


Junior Tiera Cole and her classmates work on the computer portion of the Riverside Publishing Company test conducted in March.

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Should colleges still be allowed to discriminate? Jackson Lay Editor hy do colleges and universities continue to profile and stereotype racially in their admissions process? Would it not make more sense for colleges to decide admissions based solely on a holistic (whole person) review of the individual and disregard race entirely? Students applying for higher education find that racial minorities are often granted special privileges in the college admissions and scholarship processes. A recent supreme court case, Fisher vs. Texas, has come to challenge this unfair practice. In 2008 Abigail Fisher applied for acceptance at the University of Texas at Austin. When she was not admitted, she sued the school for racial discrimination. The University of Texas has an admissions process that automatically accepts the top ten percent of students from each high school's graduating class. The rest of the spots are decided by a holistic evaluation that includes race as a factor. Fisher was barely cut from the top ten percent of her high school's class, but

Racism at work:


was still an excellent student. When she was denied at UT Austin, Fisher sued, believing that she was more qualified than some of the students who belong to an ethnic minority who were chosen ahead of her. Is it fair for colleges still discriminate based on race? The Supreme Court's standing decision (2003) allows schools to take race into account in the admissions process. The school's reasoning is they need minority students to make a balanced environment. This practice is racial profiling. This practice tells minority students that they have a unique viewpoint that is impossible for anyone who is not that ethnic minority to replicate, and that it is their duty to make that viewpoint known to society. The idea behind affirmative action was that students needed protection from racial discrimination. How has that evolved from preventing discrimination against minorities to providing them with added benefits in the higher education application process? There are several unfair admissions practices geared towards minorities. "I was personally email-ed by the Director of Minority Admissions of

Columbia University," one minority student said. At Vanderbilt University minority students who are accepted are informed of their acceptance weeks before their nonminority counterparts. They are invited to a special "Mosaic Day" that highlights multi-ethnic opportunities on campus. At other universities, such as the University of Michigan and Rutgers University, students applying must accrue 100 points that are awarded by the admissions process. For example an AfricanAmerican student automatically gains 20 points just for his or her ethnicity. These unfair and racist practices are reminiscent of days gone by when racial minorities found themselves discriminated against. Now, the measures that were put into place to protect students from racial discrimination are being used to bias higher level educational institutions towards these racial minorities. One would hope that the Supreme Court will provide a ruling that will completely remove race as a factor in all admissions practices and create a truly fair academic environment.

Photo from Vanderbilt University

These high school students were notified of their selection to Vanderbilt months before other students so that they could attend Mosaic Day.

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The Honda Accord Sedan!(left) earned a 5-star safety rating in each of NHTSA's combined safety rating categories. The Mazda 3 (above) with SKYACTIV� TECHNOLOGY gives fuel economy a whole new distance. The Toyota Prius (below) features a solar roof and a touch screen AM/FM cd player.

Photos from

Top new cars for teens Shelby Andrews Editor lthough there are many experiences throughout high school that give students a chance to mature and become more independent, receiving their driver's license and finding their first car is the major step towards adulthood. When searching for that first car, there are many things for one to consider. First of all, what is the parents' first priority? Is it the price, the safety ratings or the model year that makes their student happy? Students look forward to the freedom that comes with having their own license and car. With the relief of not being the first to get somewhere and the last to be picked up, students finally have the chance to be out on their own. They can drive themselves to school, to the movies and to games. Most students dream of that perfect car; whether it is the hottest sports car or the biggest truck, they soon come to terms with reality and just have to settle for anything with


wheels. "My dream car is a Nissan 370z because I like the body style," senior Jacob Pope said. "I think a used car is best for teenage drivers because I would mess up a brand new car," junior Tiara Cole said. With all of these factors in mind, what affordable cars are acceptable on the "cool" spectrum but also please the parents? Consumer Reports has researched and picked out the most appropriate cars for teenagers based upon a 0-to-60 mph faster than eight seconds or slower than eleven seconds. Consumer Reports found newer model cars were chosen as top safety picks by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. On the Consumer Report's list of most suitable cars for teenagers were the Ford Focus Sedan, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Soul, Mazda 3, Nissan Altima, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Forester, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Prius and the Volkswagen Jetta.

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Igniting a passion for God and His Word 14 trojan torch

sports High hopes for successful tennis season Katherine Keller Assistant Editor s the spring season nears, the tennis team is hard at work on the court. With many strong returning players and some eager new players, the team is looking forward to a successful season. Many of the players on the DHS tennis team have set individual goals to test themselves this season. "My personal goal is to work hard and dominate at the district tournament," sophomore Madison Vaughn said. "My goal is to win a majority of my matches this season," senior Jeff Betonio said. The team looks forward to accomplishing both of these goals and playing strong against their biggest opponent, Trenton Peabody. The tennis team works hard in practice, competing against one another and creating a little inter-squad competition. "We do footwork agilities and lots of drills to ensure our success," head coach Mark Schneider said. Nic Bowers and Josh Williams should play key roles on the boys side. As for the females, Madison Vaughn and Aura Mae Northcutt are expected to step up. "We have solid, good players from top to bottom," Schneider said. Although winning is not the only reason the team plays, a fire has been lit inside the players, and they are ready for the upcoming season. "When you win a game, you feel so accomplished, and knowing that you just won all alone makes you feel so great!" Vaughn said. The team not only looks to compete, but to have a good time


as well. "Tennis is fun and stress-relieving," new player, sophomore Elliott Feith said. "My favorite thing about tennis would have to be the enjoyment of playing the sport and having fun practicing with my teammates," Betonio said. The tennis team will be at the Activity Center during their regular season and on May 5 and 8 as they look to win the district tournament.

Junior Josh Williams hits a forehand ball to his opponent in an intense match one day after school.

Photos by Katherine Keller

Head Coach Mark Schneider gives his team instruction before they go to play a match at the Activity Center.

Sophomore Madison Vaughn prepares to serve the ball over the net to her opponent during a singles match at the Activity Center.

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Planning day-hikes to expeditions Jim Heckethorn Reporter hether you are on a short day-hike in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee or a two-week long expedition to the top of Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro, backpacking is an exciting sport. It is a worthwhile activity for anyone who loves being outside. However, many people may be driven away by the daunting task of planning a large trip and preparing for it. There are a few major things always to remember when planning a trip into the mountains. The first thing to keep in mind when you are planning a hike is your personal ability. If you have never been hiking before, it is easy to bite off more than you can chew and end up on a trip you were not quite ready for. Luckily, there are hundreds of incredible day hikes right here in Tennessee! The Appalachian Mountains in East Tennessee offer some of the most beautiful and simple hiking trips in the eastern United States. Any beginning hiker can experience the outdoors without breaking a sweat. The key to learn about hiking is to start small. No matter how much advice you receive, there is no substitute for getting your hands dirty and experiencing the outdoors for yourself. However, once you're confidant in your abilities and want to try something more difficult, there are countless treks around the globe that appeal to all different tastes. "Don't underestimate the trip," sophomore Jed Finley said. "People can be hurt on even the simplest treks when they aren't prepared." "Expect the unexpected," sophomore Taylor Flatman said. One of the main reasons people fail to finish a climb or have to quit a trail is that they do not realize the dangers present on


any hike. Dehydration, hypothermia, drowning, and being caught in a storm are all tragedies that can easily be avoided, but strike down hikers every year. A few simple steps can be taken to almost eliminate these disasters outside of an emergency. Make sure you always have enough water. When in the mountains, your body needs much more water than you may need in your home elevation, so it is always smart to over-prepare. Also, never wear cotton clothing, and even if it is not supposed to rain, always bring a rain jacket. In most cases hypothermia can be avoided simply by keeping dry. Fording a creek can be a lot more dangerous than it looks, so never try to cross moving water where there isn't a designated area for passing. Finally, never try to beat the weather. Especially if the hike is above tree line, lightning is a major danger that can only be avoided by knowing when it is time to turn back and try another time. All of this may sound a bit difficult, but if you are prepared, hiking is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can achieve. "The benefits of hiking are not only the beautiful scenes, but also the great sense of accomplishment," local Boy Scout leader and long time hiker Patrick Heckethorn said. "I thought hiking would be a breeze, but I was wrong! Hiking those mountains was by far one of the hardest things I have ever done! Never underestimate a hiker!" sophomore Joseph Permenter said. If you are interested in learning more about hiking or planning trips, check out or

Photo by Jim Heckethorn

Here sophomores Taylor Flatman, Jim Heckethorn, Jed Finley, Joseph Permenter, Nic Bowers and Tyler Jones make their way to Mt. Baldy during their eleven-day trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimmaron, New Mexico.

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London gearing up for summer Olympics Laurie Williams Reporter rom the first Olympics in 776 B.C. to the controversial 1920 games in Belgium to the London 2012 Olympics this summer, people have been, and are, curious about the best of the best the world has to offer in the field of athletics. The selection of the city where the Olympics will be held is a lengthy process that takes about nine years. Possible host cities for the 2012 Olympics included Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Havana, Moscow and Madrid, but London won the majority of votes at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Singapore in July 2005. The games will take place in the newly-built Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Center, among other places. Some events will be played in already-existing arenas: the All-England Club in Wimbledon will host tennis matches, and the archery competitions can be seen at the Lord's Cricket Ground. There are 26 Olympic sports, from archery to water polo, with more than ten thousand athletes competing this year. There are also 20 Paralympic sports in which people with physically disabilities can play for the gold. "My favorite Olympic sport would be either basketball or table tennis because they are tests of accuracy, strength, stamina and mental toughness," said sophomore Logan Epley. "My favorite event is competitive swimming because I just love the sport, and I always love to watch them do the 400 meter race," said senior Jordon Galewski. Final selections for the representatives for each country are


yet to be made, but the world will no doubt see some familiar faces. Usain Bolt won his three gold medals in the track and field division at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and will most likely qualify for the 2012 games to represent the country of Jamaica. Nastia Liukin, a five-time Olympic medalist for the U.S. women's gymnastics team, may also be returning to the Olympics this summer. However, there will also be new talent from young Olympians eager to perform well, and maybe even steal the spotlight, at their first Olympics. But the Olympics represent so much more than an opportunity for the world's most exceptional athletes to compete for shiny medals. "The Olympics, to me, represent the achievement of a lifelong dream for so many people across the globe," said sophomore Vanessa Beard. The Olympic games bring entire countries together, giving the people of a nation a reason to cheer and someone to cheer for. Because even the poorest countries can compete, the Olympics allow the whole world to participate on a level playing field. For instance, Burundi, currently ranked number four on the list of poorest countries in the world, can be proud of Venuste Niyongabo, a gold medalist from the 1996 Olympics. The official commencement of the 2012 Olympics will not only mark the beginning of two weeks of the greatest athletic competition in the world but also the beginning of new friendships between people of many different nations.

The selection of London as the host city of the 2012 Olympics was followed by fireworks displays and celebration throughout the city.

The newly-built Olympic Stadium in London is constructed with industrial waste and 75 percent less steel than other stadiums.

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Zach Golson Reporter he past two years have been huge years for the greatest apps ever made. Apps of different categories have hit record highs in downloads and are continuing to be downloaded in massive waves. The one category that seems to be the most popular is entertainment. It includes apps such as Pocket God, ifunny and vidrhythm Games on the app store are changed everyday. The top 3 games as of 2012 are Draw Something, Temple Run and Words with Friends. Consequently, the app store has reached 25 billion downloads. In the social networking category, Facebook tops the charts everytime. Other popular apps include Twitter, Pinterest, Skype and Tumblr. Music has always been an important part of the app store.

Top Apps Entertain World


Pandora has been the number one music app for the past 2 years. Spotify, Shazam, Soundhound and Vevo also grab the users' attention. In books, iBooks and the Kindle app have been fighting for the top position since their creation. Other top apps include Nook by Barnes and Noble Bookstores and the YouVersion Bible app. A note-taking app called Springpad has also been very popular. "It's the best note taking app, from writing rap lyrics to writing reminders, it does it all," junior Dakota Simpson said. Photography apps never cease to amaze users. Camera+, Instagram and Colorsplash are the top 3 apps in this category. Sports apps are not in abundance, but the most popular are ESPN Scorecenter and Fox Sports.

Student Favorite App Votes Twitter - 19 iFunny - 9 Pandora - 9 Facebook - 7 Draw Something - 5 Pintrest - 5 Temple Run - 5 FML - 2 Instagram - 2 YouTube - 1

Faculty Favorite App Votes Words w/ Friends - 4 MSU!Cowbell - 1 Angry Birds - 2 My Fitness Pal - 1 Fish Tales - 2 NY Giants - 1 Bible - 1 Pandora - 1 Daily Bible - 1 Restaurant Finder - 1 Kindle - 1 Spotify - 1 trojan torch 19

Nicholas Sparks' The Lucky One to hit theaters April 20 Sydney McNeill Reporter an brushes with death lead one to the love of his or her life? In Nicholas Sparks's fourteenth novel, The Lucky One, a veteran finds the love of his life because of his "fortunate" experiences in Iraq. Soon to be a major motion picture, The Lucky One tells the story of U.S. Marine Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) who finds a photograph of a beautiful young woman buried in the dirt while on tour in Iraq. Unsuccessful in finding the original owner of the picture, he decides to keep it for himself. When he begins winning poker games and surviving deathly battles, his friend Victor (Robert Hayes) claims that the picture is his lucky charm. Once Logan returns home from duty, he cannot get the woman in the picture out of his mind. As a result, he sets out on a journey across the country to find the woman. Walking from Colorado with his dog, he begins the long, unknown adventure. He finds the woman in the picture, Beth Clayton (Taylor Schilling), in North Carolina. Beth, a mother divorced from the small town sherriff Keith Clayton (Jay R. Ferguson), lives with her mother (Blythe Danner) and her son, Ben Clayton (Riley Thomas Stewart). As Beth's mother is still recovering from a recent stroke, Beth runs their dog business, Green Kennels, by herself; however, she is in the process of looking for an employee to help around the kennels. This job search gives Thibault a way into her life. Surprised by the strong attraction he feels for Beth, Thibault decides not to reveal his reasons for coming to find her. As she slowly lets him into her life, they begin to embark upon a passionate journey of love. Thibault's withholding of his secret, however, threatens to tear them apart while his courage hopes to save their lives. Written by bestselling author Nicholas Sparks, The Lucky One opens as a major motion picture in theaters on April 20.


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Florence Welch of English indie pop band Florence+the Machine sings at a concert while on tour for the band!s latest album.


"Give Me Everything" singer Pitbull performs during Enrique Iglesias!s world tour. Pitbull is just one of the acts at 2012!s Memphis in May.

Rapper Wiz Khalifa performs his hit song "No Sleep" at Columbia University. Khalifa!s first tour in 2010 sold out every venue.

Memphis in May brings food, entertainment Lauren Brooks Editor ith spring quickly approaching, Memphis in May will present its annual series of outdoor festivals. The exposition features the noted Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and the AutoZone Sunset Symphony. Over the past ten years, the Beale Street Music Festival has drawn over a million fans to a multistage event hosting a variety of musical acts. The Beale Street Music Festival is easily the most popular of the Memphis in May events, and this year's lineup is arguably one of its greatest. Some of the 65 acts in the festival's 36th year include rapper Wiz Khalifa, Pitbull, Three Six Mafia, The Civil Wars, Florence + the Machine, Evanescence, Girl Talk, Lupe Fiasco, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Al Green, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jane's Addiction, Michael Franti & Spearhead and Needtobreathe. Previous concert-goers highly recommend attending the event. "The Beale Street Music Festival was definitely one of my fa-


vorite concerts. There was a lot of variety among all the different acts and the atmosphere was really relaxed," senior Aura Mae Northcutt said. "It's a great event to attend because it's not that far away, and you get the chance to see really good artists in a three-day span, all for pretty cheap," senior Luis Portillo said. Concert-goers can enjoy the tunes and the atmosphere at the Mississippi riverfront Tom Lee Park in downtown Memphis from May 4-6. Fans can purchase a 3-day pass for $75.00 or a single-day pass for $32.50 in advance or $40.00 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased at Also a part of Memphis in May is the world-famous barbecue contest. The contest will be held May 17-19, also at Tom Lee Park. Hundreds of teams compete annually for the title of the world's best barbecue cook and over $110,000 in prizes. Other than the grilling, the competition also features the Ms. Piggi Idol competition where "swine test their vocal skills, and grown men dress in tutus and snouts and women kick their heels (hooves) up." There is something for everyone at Memphis in May: Purchase tickets before they are sold out.

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Photo from

The Wanted poses on a beach in Ibiza, Spain, while shooting its music video for "Glad You Came," directed by X. The music video was also filmed at two other locations in Ibiza: a club and a house party. The video has over twenty-eight million views on

The Wanted rises to fame in America Alex Agee Reporter ollowing in the footsteps of great musicians like The Beatles and Adele, British and Irish boy band The Wanted is working to make a name for itself in America. The talented group of young men who make up the band are Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker and Nathan Skyes. The boys were put together in a mass audition in London by music producer Jayne Collins in 2009. The group is currently signed with Geffen Records and Global Talent in the UK. With a fast-growing fan base, the band was able to release two albums in the UK, The Wanted (2010) and Battleground


(2011), both of which made it to the top five of the UK Album charts. After their rise to stardom at home, The Wanted decided to take the next big step in its career by heading to America. In 2010, the band signed with United States record label, Def Jams, but it did not make its first appearance until January 10, 2012, on The Ellen Degeneres Show, where it performed its single "Glad You Came." The hot, new song aired January 28 on iTunes and soon jumped all the way to No. 1 on the top ten. The song was then covered by the cast of Glee on their February 21 episode. The music video for "Glad You Came" has over twenty-eight million views on Recently on Twitter, the band announced that it will be releasing its debut U.S. album on April 24. The album is said to be a mixture of songs from their first two European albums. The Wanted has been touring in the UK and Ireland but has been back in the U.S. soon to do some promotional work, including playing on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on March 20 and joining Young Jeezy and Dev at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas for MTV's Spring Break festivities on April 2. They will be singing on NBC's Today Show on April 24, and appearing on ABC's The View on April 25.

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Corena Hasselle Business Manager onathan Safran Foer's novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a story based on an intelligent young boy by the name of Oskar Schell, who lives in New York City, and his struggle with the loss of his father in the 2001 World Trade Center collapse. Within the novel, however, other than Oskar's emotional struggle and his adventures, there is another story of Oskar's grandfather and grandmother, consisting of their meeting and his grandfather's inner struggle to speak, but it is not fully explained in the movie. The novel starts off with a quotation that entices the reader: "What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me?" Within the novel Oskar describes his day on 9/11, what he calls the "worst day"; he is at school at the time of the attack, but is let out early because of the incident. When he reaches the apartment, he has several voice messages from his dad on the answering machine; his dad was at the site of the tragedy for a meeting that morning. Oskar, a young intellectual and inspiring inventor, finds a mysterious key about a year following his father's death after breaking a vase in his dad's closet. The key is located in the vase in an envelope labeled with "Black" on the top of it. He figures that "Black" must be a last name because the first letter is capitalized. He tries to find the lock that the key opens by touring New York City in search of people with the last name of Black, as he hopes that there could be someone or something that could continue to connect him with his father. In between chapters of the novel, a series of letters explains how Oskar's grandparents met. The movie never mentions how they actually met because Oskar's grandfather, Thomas Schell, fell in love with Oskar's grandmother's sister, Anna, and that may have been too confusing for young viewers.

Movie and book review


His true love, Anna, died, and Oskar's grandfather, Thomas Schell, chose a life in which not to speak at all. He writes letters and speaks with words on paper instead and tattoos "NO" on his left hand and "YES" on his right hand for any simple questions. When he sees Anna's sister years later, they marry. He continues not to speak throughout the rest of his lifetime, and he leaves when Oskar's grandmother is expecting a child (Oskar's father). Oskar's father, also Thomas Schell, never met his own father before his death. Besides the situation between Oskar's grandparents, most of the movie and the book are closely related to each other. The book, however, was better than the movie because of its creative style, that made the reader want to keep reading. The comment that I heard at the movie theatre was "that movie was strange, but good," which is exactly true. The movie was strange in a way that viewers who have not read the book would not understand.

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Students excel at spring sports

Photo submitted by Lisa Clifft

Photo by Katherine Keller

Junior Will Clifft fires off a strong header against Crockett County.

Senior Jeff Betonio dominates his match against Trenton Peabody.

Photo submitted by Robin Andrews

Junior Jessica Thompson dives into third against McEwen High School in the Camden Lady Lions Invitational Tournament.

Issue 6 11-12  

Issue 6 11-12

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