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Troy High School, 4777 Northfield Parkway Troy, MI 48098



The new apocalypse Today is truly a historic day—the day of the Mayan Apocalypse. By midnight, we’ll all be dead. I’ve been really looking forward to today, because if anybody k n ows when IN CHAN LEE we’re all going to die, it’s the Mayans. This time, it’s going to happen. However, as with any approaching doomsday, we must prepare for the small chance that we won’t be wiped off of the planet tonight. If most of us are here tomorrow, we must brush away our disappointment and begin a search for the next impending apocalypse that undoubtedly lurks just around the corner. If the Mayans fail us just as Nostradamus and Y2K did, what catastrophic event will renew that feeling of doom over our heads? Are we forever doomed to dream of a bright future for humanity? The Internet says otherwise. With a simple Google search, one can find numer-

If anybody knows when we’re all going to die, it’s the Mayans.

ous blogs, websites, videos and highly esteemed Wikipedia articles all discussing the potential end of the world. All of these theories have been declared certain doom by the legion of Youtube commenters and various forum posters. The most likely threat comes from space. In 2013, a mega destructive super solar flare that a guy on Reddit claims was predicted by NASA will cause the destruction of the world’s electronics. With no Apple products and PCs to consume our spare time, we will surely perish. The always popular myth of a zombie apocalypse will become reality with nanotechnology—nanobots will magically give people the power to not die and consume flesh. Either that, or zombies will come. If all else fails, we have World War III to look for-



December 21, 2012


Celebrating more than just Santa and Dec. 25 BY MARCEY SHEHATA

Troy High celebrates the holidays with many traditions, more than just Christmas morning with Santa Claus and an empty plate of cookie crumbs. Some celebrate Christmas, some Hanukkah and some don’t celebrate anything. Some celebrate on the 25th, while others on the 7th. Some people even celebrate for eight days straight. Every family has their own interesting tradition. Freshman Yostina Abdalla celebrates Christmas on the 7th rather than the 25th. “I celebrate Christmas on

Jan. 7,” she said. “We go to church on Christmas Eve up until midnight, and then our families get together and come to my house for a late dinner. Christmas Day, we get to skip school and open presents and just spend the day with the family. Even though we celebrate Christmas on a different date, following the Orthodox Calendar, we still celebrate it with the same meaning.” The Coptic Orthodox denomination follows a Coptic calendar with different months and dates. They believe that Jesus was born on Jan. 7 rather than Dec. 25. Senior Merna Abdou and her family started their own

Christmas tradition. “I celebrate Christmas because I am Christian,” she said. “Every year on Christmas Eve since I was 6, my whole family gets all dressed up and takes a big family portrait. Afterwards, we all go to church. When we get home from church we have a family dinner then a big family sleepover. All the kids wait for Santa, who is really my uncle dressed up. Then in the morning we all exchange gifts and spend the day together.” Senior Joshua Rusgo celebrates Hanukkah. “I celebrate Hanukkah since I’m Jewish,” he said. “Every night for eight days

we light eight candles on a menorah. We also get a gift for each candle we light.” Some Jewish families celebrate the eighth day of Hanukkah more than the other seven, but Rusgo does not. “We don’t have any traditions for the eighth day,” he said. “We usually just wing it according to everyone in the family’s schedule.” Every person has their own tradition and they enjoy celebrating the holidays differently. At the end of the day, the holidays are a time to join together with your loved ones and spread holiday cheer.


Johnson’s golden life BY JAKE LOURIM

Jim Johnson went through it all. Now the Troy athletic director, Johnson skated alongside Mark Johnson and Mike Eruzione. He fired slap shots at Jim Craig. He checked the men who went on to accomplish the greatest sports miracle of all time. He played under Herb Brooks. He skated the dreaded “Herbies,” grueling wind sprints designed to condition the Americans to play with the best hockey team in the world. He took Brooks’ five-page psychological test, everything from long-term goals to family relationships to religion. “One of his goals was, we would never be outworked and we would never be outconditioned,” Johnson said. “He was going to make sure that we were in shape.” Johnson, a high school Hall of Famer at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook and star player at Michigan State, was in Colorado Springs for the 1980 Olympic hockey team tryouts. Three months before the Olympics, the U. S. was down to 40 players, and Johnson was one of them. He had taken vitamins since he was in grade school, benched nearly 300 pounds in high school and hadn’t broken a bone until college. But his body picked a bad time for a broken leg. Johnson got injured late in 1979, falling just short of the ultimate dream of competing in the Olympics. Johnson sat at home watching the unbelievable victory 6 8

There’s a small part of some athletes who can never let go of the game they love. When Johnson came home from Colorado Springs, he just moved on with his life. He had been the property of the Atlanta Flames and had been drafted by the Baltimore Orioles as a catcher, but chose to try something new. “I wasn’t about to try to go back to another shot in the NHL,” Johnson said. “When you’re hurt, you’re hurt. I had already dislocated my shoulder at Michigan State, so COURTESY OF JIM JOHNSON it’s almost like signals are being sent to you— Jim Johnson’s hockey career ended just short of the 1980 U.S. time is time.” Olympic team. But it began many years earlier with a passion, a talent and a dream that never died. After an entire childhood of hockey, Johnson went in 1980. He had worked for was rehabbing an injury and into the education field with 22 years for that moment. played in that game. Johnson degrees from Cranbrook, It would kill some people to scored on him. Michigan State and a teachcome so close and miss. After three hours of skat- ing certificate. No whining. Few people’s lives are de- ing, checking and shooting No complaints. No what-ifs. fined by one moment, one with the Russians, the Amer- “I figured I had given it a scene, one chance in the icans hung out with the Sovi- good shot, and I was kind of spotlight. Up until this point, ets. ready to move on,” Johnson Johnson has been defined by “Hockey has a way of mu- said. “It wasn’t that I was the one chance that didn’t tual respect and admira- burned out, but I took this as work out. This is the story tion,” Johnson said. “After we ‘The writing’s on the wall.’ I of the rest of the life that de- showered and cleaned up, almost felt like it was a sigfined him. we were able to go out and nal. I was at peace with it. have a beer together.” “I knew I had an education Johnson was on the U. S. That night, the Russians to fall back on, so I figured I exhibition team that lost to gobbled up everything West- could do that. I knew I could a Russian backup team, 11- ern they could get their coach, so I tried to do that.” 2. Russian goalie Vladislav hands on: different brand Tretiak, the best goaltender pens, Levi’s jeans, chewing in the world at that time, gum. See JOHNSON, Page 7


Inside the Right-toWork laws BY JAKE LOURIM

Last week, Michigan’s government enacted a right-towork law under which, as the law applicable to private employers states, “an individual shall not be required as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment to do any of the following:” become, remain or resign from membership in a labor organization; pay any dues, fees, assessments or other charges or expenses to a labor organization; or pay a similar amount to a third party in place of dues. (There is a comparable law for public employers.) Here’s what people around the school, state and country are saying about the law:

Wall Street Journal

“[I]t is an especially deep blow to unions for a right-towork law to pass in the state that gave birth to the United Auto Workers, a union that has long claimed credit for the rise of the blue-collar middle class in postwar America.”

MEA President Steve Cook

“Worst of all is the utter lies about what this does. No one is forced to join a union— that’s already illegal. This allows workers to get out of paying their fair share of what it costs to negotiate the contract they benefit from... it’s really just ‘Freedom to Freeload.’”

Gov. Rick Snyder (via

“Governor Snyder is prounion and pro-worker, and he supports Freedom to Work for two reasons. First, he believes that workers should be able to decide whether or not they want to join a union. Second, he believes that Freedom to Work is one more way that we can help Michigan’s economy be more competitive, grow stronger, and produce more and better jobs for the people of our state.”

TEA Building Representative Bill Hevel

“It means unions will have less power. We just won’t be able to represent employees and teachers as well. We don’t have a lot of leverage when it comes to trying to bargain. It’ll hurt us.”

English Teacher Shanna Frendt

“My biggest problem is the way it was rushed through legislation. Whether it’s good or bad could be debated, but it deserves time or thought. Twelve thousand people protested at the capital and none of those voices were heard.”

Got a news tip? Want to share your thoughts on our stories or issues affecting Troy High students and staff? Shoot up an email to

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Page 2 Senior Wayne Shu leads the group. A Cappella rehearses after school every Friday. MARISSA CECCATO

Behind the voices: The THS A Capella group

BY MARISSA CECCATO There is always pressure where there is performance. Whether alone or on stage, everyone needs to show their best. But what if it is only one voice, followed by two or three, with nothing but the bare talent of their voices on stage? Not only is the pressure heightened, but the reward is raised as well. This is not simply a choir: it is an A Cappella group. They meet every Friday with choir teacher Adrienne Covian. During this time, they create all their music, solos, harmonies and melodies with only

their vocal chords. “It’s a really different experience from regular choir,” junior Zena Johansson said. “It’s difficult but it sounds so much [better].” In order to be in the group, students auditioned. The try out process eliminates those who don’t care because it’s the kids that take the time out of their day that can make it into the group. They are the ones who are truly dedicated to not only the group, but to music as a whole. “If you’re going to do a tryout you have to really want it,” said Johansson. “These people are so dedicated to

music, and they’ll do anything for it.” Some students are in the group but not a choir class. “A lot of us aren’t even in choir,” senior Justin Fan said. “We just do it for fun.” “A Cappella gives me the avenue of expressing my inner voice,” said senior Wayne Shu, who did not have room in his schedule to take choir. Most of the non-choir students are in other musical groups, like band or orchestra. Taking both wasn’t an option, and they had to improvise. The group was created by Shu and his friends because of their conflicting musical

interests. They were in orchestra, but loved choir, so they created a group so they could be involved with both. There was also a shared interest in this newly popularized type of group. “We had a running idea, that our school should have an A Cappella group,” Fan said. He said they thought it could be popular because of shows like “Glee.” The many kids in the group all work hard to achieve an organic sound by meeting only once a week. “A Cappella is a place where it’s not all focused on getting the notes right,” Johansson said. “[It’s] about feeling it,

so you can get into it.” The singers also have to try out for solos in the different songs they perform. “I sing in the bases normally,” Fan said. “I was lucky enough to get a [solo] for the last concert.” In the end, even with limited meeting times and a complicated sound to achieve, everything is complete. Each student’s voice works with the others to create a talented and organic piece of music. “Even though we are really patchy,” Fan said, “it all comes together and we have a lot of fun doing it.”

From APOCALYPSE, page 1 ward to, which will start with President Obama tripping and falling on the “Launch-All-Nukes” button while playing basketball in the Oval Office. Some, however, disagree with these popular notions. For instance, one Troy High student has a particular fondness of the Gamma Ray theory, where gamma rays from a distant star dissolve the earth’s atmosphere, leading to a swift end to all life on Earth. “It’s the perfect apocalypse,” he said. “It’s the end, the way it was meant to be.” Another student, Edward Cai, claims a fantastical invasion by alien forces will end the world as we know it. “You ever see BATTLE: LOS ANGELES?” Cai said. “It’ll be like that, except we’ll all die.” On the off chance that we all survive the night, which doomsday will emerge as the next anticipated end-ofeverything? Only time will tell. But rest assured—regardless of what happens tonight, the end is near.

DOOMSDAY PREPPERS: Preparing for the end of the world

BY SARAH REGAN AND ERIN WRUBEL Today is Dec. 21, 2012. Today everybody is supposed to die. A new apocalyptical trend began recently: Doomsday Preppers. These are the people who truly believe that the world is going to end. They stocked up on supplies, barricaded their houses and mentally stabilized themselves for what is supposed to happen. A 2012 Troy High graduate has parents that are preparing for the end of the world. “I walked down to the basement and there was piles and piles of extra food and bottled water,” he said. “My dad even started stocking up on gas.” Although he doesn’t think the world is going to end, he made the best of his parents’ “irrational thoughts.” The necessities seem to be the most popular for Doomsday Preppers in Troy. A junior is also getting ready for the end of the world. His shopping list includes water and food. “I know nothing is going to happen,” he said, “but there are so many crazy people that think it’s going to occur that you never know what might happen.” However, these preppers seem to have a lot of opposition. Most don’t think anything is

going to happen. Economics teacher Dave Aldinger doesn’t believe the theories. “The Mayans just ran out of stone tablets,” he said. “Did anyone ever consider that? Just because a calendar ends doesn’t mean the world is going to blow up. Those people are idiots.” He also questioned the ac-

countability of the Mayans. Despite the fact that it has been proven that the Mayans successfully predicted things before, Aldinger strongly disagrees. “These are people who couldn’t even make enough clothes to wear,” he said. “How do they know an asteroid would land on a spe-

cific date thousands of years later?” Students within the halls of Troy High don’t seem to believe in the end of the world, either, although some students do seem to have thought about what they would do if it were to occur. Most are content with dying with the majority. When

asked how they would spend their last day, students had a variety of responses: “[I would] probably go steal a Porsche and go drag racing,” junior Kyle Leonard said. “I would drive somewhere really scenic, put my piano there and play,” senior Wayne Shu said.

“I don’t think it’s going to occur,” senior Eliza Stepien said. So within the next twentyfour hours, the world will find out if these Doomsday Preppers are smarter than the general populace. Mayans, time to prove yourselves. Or maybe they really did run out of stone tablets.

The Troy Independent - To redeem your coupon, cut it out and turn it in to your teacher along with the requirements stated. Happy Holidays! COMPILED AND DESIGNED BY SARAH CHMIELEWSKI AND SARAH REGAN

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The Troy Independent -

Teachers that make a difference

4 deadlines, 22 staffers,

Everyone has a favorite teacher: one that stood out and taught that there is more to life than worrying about a letter grade stamped onto a transcript. Multiple teachers teach Troy High students life lessons. Students honored their teachers for the differences they made in their lives. BY AMANDA MCCAFFERTY

“Mrs. Forshey and Mrs. Foster because they are really nice and I can talk to them outside of class. They act like they actually want to hear about my personal life. “

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The yearbook computer lab, shared with newspaper, is located in the English hallway connected to adviser Chr

Junior Nicole Niemiec

Yearbook finished their deadline on Dec. 15, making them halfway done with their 288-page book. Composed of 19 girls and three boys, sophomores, juniors and seniors, the staff meets every day during fourth hour. “People think it’s a blowoff class,” senior Courtney Johnson said. “It’s actually a ton of work, but it’s a lot of fun, too.” English teacher Christina Chatel has advised the Gladiator Yearbook for ten years. Chatel was on the Yearbook staff in high school and at the University of Michigan, and when she was applying to jobs after college, she found a listing for English and Yearbook at Troy High. “I brought my college yearbooks to the interview,” she said. “I think that’s what helped me get the job, because no one ever wants to teach Yearbook, and I actually came in saying yes, please,

I would love to do Yearbook. “It was a perfect storm.” Chatel said she loves yearbook because of the relationships she creates with students. “It’s amazing,” she said. “I really learn about students, more than I would in a regular classroom. We’re here until 10 p.m. some nights.” Chatel brought traditions from her yearbook experiences to Troy. In college, her yearbook staff did Secret Santas every year and exchanged gifts at a party; now, the Gladiator staff does the gift exchange the week before their annual Holiday Party. Every August, the yearbook staff meets for a picnic, where they welcome new staffers and play games. This came from Chatel’s high school yearbook. “We’re like a family,” editor-in-chief Syed Murtaza, senior, said. “It’s like I have 19 sisters and two brothers, and Mrs. Chatel is our mom.” Yearbook operates on a schedule of four deadlines throughout the year. In September, Chatel teaches new staffers the basics of writing, design and photography while editors design pages, pick out fonts and assign spreads. Then, they begin their first deadline in November, the second in December, the third in January and the fourth and final deadline in March. During deadline week, the staff must meet deadlines on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday by 5:00 after school.

rize an unlimited number of charter “Our public school system schools across the is built on the very Ameri- state. Additionally, curcan foundation of oppor- rent language in the tunity for all students to bill would exempt under the grow and excel. This new schools EAA from parts of system would divide stu- the Michigan school making difdents into tracts and elim- code, ferent educational inate opportunities for ev- standards for EAAschools. ery student to reach his or controlled Another controher full potential.” versial part of the Superintendant Barbara Fowler bill is that the new education system will be run by people apto extend to grant the EAA pointed by the governor and rights to make public educa- the EAA chancellor, maktion buildings available for ing the school system run private schools, and autho- by the governor and state

legislation rather than individual cities and their school boards. The bill will also cut funding for the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) by exempting EAA employees, in turn damaging retirement funds for teachers at nonEAA schools. But the biggest problem citizens are seeing with the planned law is the fact that the EAA can deny a student to a specific school based on any criteria they deem reasonable. Although supporters of the bills believe they will allow for equal opportunity for students throughout the state, Troy Superintendant Barbara Fowler disagreed.

“Mrs. Morris because she’s really nice and if you have a problem she’ll help you.”

Sophomore Julie Brooks

“Mr. Morrison because he keeps the class interesting. I understand what’s going on and he is really fun.”

Sophomore Ashley Messina


“Brandonisio…he was always one that made it a fun learning environment. I had him for GBBE and Bio. “

Junior Kris Zuhl

“Mr. Hamilton because he teaches you life lessons as well as the material.”

Senior Lindsay Moeller

“Mrs. Haraburda because she understands me and is really nice and smart. I can talk to her in confidence.”

Junior Lauren Ferguson

“Mrs. Yax and Mr. Smith are personally my favorite because they constantly show that they are actual people and not just teachers. They see us as more than just students.”

Senior Raneem Alayoubi

It’s 4:30 p.m. in midDecember and Troy High is quiet—but midway down the English hallway, the Gladiator Yearbook staff is still in their computer lab, poring over spreads and making corrections to meet their second deadline of the year.

Editor-in-chief senior Syed Murtaza check

On Tuesday spreads must be approved by design and photo editors senior Alaina Kozak and junior Elise Johansson, on Wednesday, by editor-in-chief Murtaza and assistant editors junior Rachel Smith and senior Tori Tomasello and on Thursday, by Chatel. “It is exhausting when it’s the third day and it’s 10:30 at night and we’re still here,” Chatel said. “But it’s


4 dead 22 sta (19 girls, 5 tea 6 ed Chatel’s 10t 288 p 20 com (3 usually 1 year

Statewide school proposal stirs up controversy BY KATHERINE MAHER AND TOMMY ROWBAL A newly proposed education bill, currently under review, has the potential to end all individual city school districts all over Michigan and merge them into one large statewide school district. If passed, the controversial education bills, House Bill 6004 and Senate Bill 1358, will expand the power of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) over education and school districts. The EAA was founded to take control of the lowest 5% performing schools in the state that aren’t improving on redesign plans or under emergency

managers. The bill’s plan to grant the EAA access to schools outside their original grasp, and when combined with House Bill 5923, could be interpreted to allow the EAA authorization to create their own schools. The driving logic behind this bill is the fact that poor towns and cities can’t pay enough taxes to afford good school districts, and that town funds should not be proportional to the quality of school districts. The state legislature wants everyone in Michigan to have access to the same level of education. However, the bill could potentially be interpreted

“Our public school system is built on the very American foundation of opportunity for all students to grow and excel,” she said. “This new system would divide students into tracts and eliminate opportunities for every student to reach his or her full potential.” “It bothers me that it would eliminate control of the district, but still use our tax dollars without our voice or representation,” Troy citizen and parent Sue Martin said. “I would think that any public school teacher would be worried, as well as any parent with a child in the public district, by any or all of these power-grab scenarios.”

The Troy Independent -


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One Direction and The Wanted are two of the most popular bands today. The Troy Independent surveyed students about boy bands. By Katie Schlafhauser


ristina Chatel’s classroom. At the end of the year, staffers write on bricks; they also decorated for the holidays.


ks spreads on day two of deadline.


dlines affers , 3 boys) ams ditors th yearbook pages mputers y broken) rbook

rewarding.” On Friday of every deadline week, they have a party where they drag desks into a circle and read aloud messages called “snaps”, complimenting each other on hard work during the week. Chatel got this idea from Legally Blond 2. Murtaza, editor-in-chief, is in his third year on yearbook staff. He decided to join after the end of his freshman year when he

had Chatel for English. “Before high school, I hated English,” he said. “But Mrs. Chatel made it fun, so I joined yearbook.” Murtaza began as a staffer and was business editor junior year. His responsibilities as editor-in-chief include checking over every page and converting spreads to PDFs before they are sent to the printer. He also plays a role in deciding the theme of the book—this year’s is “Not Just”—as well as in deciding fonts and page designs, and he is the leader of the staff. “Not Just” celebrates the idea that students are more than they appear. “You could be a quiet, smart kid,” Murtaza said. “But then you could skydive on weekends. That’s the idea we’re trying to send.” Murtaza said he loves

yearbook because of the people. “We’re all so close,” he said. “We have a ton of inside jokes. It’s a lot of fun.” “It takes so much work” copy editor Jessica Moore said, “but we’re like a family. I can’t imagine my day without yearbook.” The staff is split into five teams of students, each led by a team leader. Each team is in charge of three or four spreads per deadline. They split up responsibilities for photography, reporting, writing and designing between the members. Every March, the staff travels to New York to attend a journalism conference at Columbia University. “Friendships really start to form in New York,” assistant editor Rachel Smith, junior, said. “Plus, it’s really


cool to take classes in something I’m interested in on a college campus. It definitely helped us improve.” After the yearbook is finished later that month, they take two weeks off and relax before starting the supplement, which covers spring sports and events and is passed out in early fall. “It’s nice to have down time,” Murtaza said, “because yearbook adds a lot of stress.” However, the staff agreed that the stress was worth it. “Once you get it all done, it’s nice to see the final product,” first year staffer junior Lizzie Novak said. “It can be really stressful, but once you finish, you feel really accomplished.” “I love that I can give students a place to call home,” Chatel said.

One Direction



of students surveyed were indifferent about boy bands

of students surveyed like boy bands “I really like The Wanted, because they can sing really well. My cousin told me about them, and I went to their concert last year.”

Sophomore Shwetha Ramchandran

“I went to the [Big Time Rush] concert. In the middle of the concert [Big Time Rush] went to the audience, and Carlos was near me and a security guard brought me right over to Carlos, and I got to be right close to him, and I got to touch his hand.”

Freshman Marena Dangremond

“There’s some songs that are good. There’s no point in not liking them, because I know a lot of people [don’t like them but] I feel like they just say that because everyone else thinks so. I mean, I think they’re good.”

Freshman Eric Cheng

“I like the Wanted, and I guess One Direction’s pretty good. I like how they harmonize.”

Junior Bridget Bucaro CAROLYN GEARIG

Adviser Christina Chatel checks spreads on the second day of the second deadline. “Since spreads have already been through the yearbook editors,” she said, “I don’t find many mistakes.”

102 East Long Lake Road, Troy, MI 48085 (248) 524 9207


of students surveyed do not like boy bands “I hate [boy bands]. They’re like pop, mainstream devoid piles of crap. Have you heard them sing? They sound like they’re on helium.”

Senior Justin Kenney

“[Boy bands] are too cliché. Their music doesn’t have meaning, and they’re geared towards tween fanatic girls. Music industries are only in it for the money.”

Sophomore Brianne Yeskey

“$85 tickets and poorly made $45 shirts have bankrupted the parents of these devoted boy band followers. Stop blaming the housing market, unlimited credit, or President Fill in the Blank. Boy bands are the real reason college graduates must return home and live with their parents to sleep on a futon and, ironically, ease their pain with the sweet lyrics of “Bye, Bye, Bye.” We are heading in One Direction and it does not bring back our youth out of their basements and back to the streets.”

English teacher David Adler

Sports Southfield Stunner? No such thing The Troy Independent -


After losing to Athens in the opener, Troy faced a division test against powerhouse Southfield-Lathrup. It won with stingy defense. Was it an upset? No, the team said.


Troy senior Ben Horvath, pictured here against Athens, and the Troy basketball team picked up a key league win against Lathrup last week.

Troy Independent Bowl Picks Contest Rules Name: __________________ 1. Picks must be filled out and (a) dropped off in the envelope outside room 210 or (b) emailed to j.lourim@ before the start of a game in order to count for that game. 2. Tiebreaker is the final score between Alabama and Notre Dame, so be sure to write that as well. 3. The winner gets a $20 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card. 4. Picks can also be filled out online at the sports page. Date



Washington vs. Boise State

12/21 12/22 12/24 12/26 12/27 12/27 12/27 12/28 12/28 12/28 12/29 12/29 12/29 12/29 12/29 12/31 12/31 12/31 12/31 1/1 1/1 1/1 1/1 1/1 1/1 1/2 1/3 1/4 1/5 1/6 1/7

UCF vs. Ball State

East Carolina vs. UL-Lafayette Fresno State vs. SMU

W. Kentucky vs. Central Mich.

San Jose State vs. Bowling Green Cincinnati vs. Duke Baylor vs. UCLA

Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech

Minnesota vs. Texas Tech Rice vs. Air Force

West Virginia vs. Syracuse Navy vs. Arizona State Texas vs. Oregon State

TCU vs. Michigan State

N.C. State vs. Vanderbilt USC vs. Georgia Tech Iowa State vs. Tulsa LSU vs. Clemson

Miss. State vs. Northwestern Purdue vs. Oklahoma State

South Carolina vs. Michigan Georgia vs. Nebraska

Wisconsin vs. Stanford

Northern Ill. vs. Florida State Louisville vs. Florida

Oregon vs. Kansas State

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss

Kent State vs. Arkansas State Notre Dame vs. Alabama

Your Pick

Troy point guard Zak Noor had no business getting rebounds over SouthfieldLathrup’s six-feet forwards. Troy had no business battling Lathrup with the smaller team, beating the Chargers to rebounds and frustrating 6-4 star guard Jonathan Williams. The Colts played physical basketball with Lathrup, fighting to a big upset. Except one thing: This wasn’t an upset. “No,” said junior guard Chris Dorsey, who guarded Williams. “I believe we went into this game thinking we were going to win from the start.” They did. They played with energy from the outset, bottling up Williams and playing their best defense in quite some time. The coaches and players knew it would take 32 minutes to beat this Lathrup team. Not 24. Not 28. They were zoned in all the way. Then, when it was over, they celebrated. “These kids believe they can beat anybody, and that’s the key right now,” Troy coach Gary Fralick said. Even more shocking was how Troy won. Two of the most up-tempo teams in the state played a 57-47 game. In the past few years, the Colts have been built on runand-gun offenses with lots of 3-pointers and just enough defense. They’ve won games in the 70’s and 80’s. Troy redefined itself Thursday with a lockdown effort on one of the area’s best teams. No team, Troy or its opponents, has reached 60 in this young season. Last Thursday, the Colts shot 2-for-12 from behind the arc and won on defense. “We’re showing a lot of grittiness on defense right now,” Fralick said. “We’re going to have to buy into being a good defensive team.” Fralick said earlier in the week he would try and play zone. He decided before the game to play man-to-man and keep extra eyes on Williams. He started his usual five and put Dorsey on Williams. Dorsey was up to the task, as was sophomore Devin Alexander, who frequently spelled Dorsey. “We just pressured the ball more,” Dorsey said. “I played

the 3-ball, and my teammates just played when he drove in.” Fralick said he wanted length on Williams, and Dorsey and Alexander brought it. Williams finished with 31 points, but only 10 were in the first half and most were after the game was decided. Troy led by 13 midway through the fourth quarter and never let Lathrup within nine again. Few people expected much out of this Troy team in the beginning of the season. Even fewer did when the Colts lost to Athens two weeks ago. Even fewer did when Lathrup rolled into Troy averaging 78.5 points per game. It’s still early, but Troy could have proved it’s for real. “I don’t think anybody has played as hard defensively as we did tonight,” Fralick said. “I know it, because I’ve seen them on film. “We got physical with them. We didn’t let them go where they wanted to go.” Last time Troy got a win this big, it was last Feb. 7 when it beat Clarkston 7974 for the first time in over a decade. Now it’s one week after the Lathrup win—and look who’s back into town. Clarkston will be the ultimate test for this Troy style. The Colts just beat a team with discipline, hustle and will, the way the Wolves have won for years. But if Troy comes out on top, will it be an upset? “We don’t believe that,” Fralick said. “We think we can beat anybody. We really do. That’s why we won tonight.” Dorsey and Alexander frustrated Williams to the point where all he could do was wave his elbows at them. They had made him uncomfortable all night, as did the rest of the Troy team. Troy’s patient, deliberate offense was too much for Lathrup to handle. The Chargers couldn’t defend a team that wouldn’t let them get out in transition. Eventually, Troy’s ball handling made it so tedious for Lathrup to defend that Lathrup just pushed the Colts around. Keep trying. But they’re not going to fall down.

Go Figure: Basketball

3 78

18.9 27.5

Troy basketball players in double figures against Southfield-Lathrup last week.

Troy point guard Zak Noor’s second-half free-throw percentage for against Lathrup (7-for-9).

Seconds left when Troy trailed Athens 56-55 on Dec. 7. The Colts eventually lost by the same score. Troy basketball 3-point shooting percentage at Athens Dec. 7, including Joe Leonard’s 4-for-11.

NOTEBOOK: Clarkston visits, renewing old rivalry BY JAKE LOURIM The last time Troy and Clarkston met on the basketball court as they will tonight, it was a special night. Last Feb. 7, Troy guard James Young scored 49 points for Troy. He just outlasted Clarkston’s Nick Tatu, who poured on 47 with 12 3-pointers, in a 79-74 slugfest. Young broke the school record for points in a game, while Tatu almost did. Troy coach Gary Fralick and Clarkston coach Dan Fife have been coaching for a long time, and both said it was the best pair of individual performances they’d ever seen. Through the second half, Young and Tatu went backand-forth. The stakes are different tonight, and so are the matchups. Both stars are gone, but don’t expect any shortage of intensity. Troy will enter the game 1-0 in its new league, the OAA Red. The Colts are playing with a chip on their shoulder without Young, trying to prove that they can compete. A win tonight

would certainly go a long way. Clarkston has been playing without its best player, shooting guard Jordan Dasuqi, and likely will be again tonight. Senior Chance Huth could also miss the game. The Wolves still have other talent, and have been winning all season with their gritty, disciplined basketball. They came back to beat Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 64-58 earlier this season. Regardless of Clarkston’s injuries, Troy will need its best game to notch a second straight win over its rival. The rivalry between the two has grown as they’ve played high-stakes matchups over the years. Clarkston won late over Troy in 2009, followed by a blowout win in 2010. After a slow start in 2011, Troy proved it was for real with the win over Clarkston last season. It could make a similar statement tonight. The rivalry should be even bigger this year as the teams play in the same league. When the lights turn on tonight, it will be a dog fight.

Upcoming Schedules GIRLS’ BASKETBALL Macomb Dakota @ Romeo @ Athens

L 60-29 L 43-33 W 47-35

@ Southfield-Lathrup

L 58-19


L 58-35

Rochester Hills Stoney Creek

L 46-39

@ Marian


@ Pontiac

Jan. 8

@ West Bloomfield


North Farmington

Jan. 11

@ Athens

L 56-55



W 57-47


Dec. 21



Dearborn Divine Child

Dec. 27


Jan. 10

Bloomfield Hills Lahser @ Rochester Adams North Farmington

19 2 4 16

Jan. 8

Jan. 15 Jan. 18 Rebounds for Sydney Heath against Athens, her first double-double of the season, to go along with 20 points. Girls’ basketball starters who have missed time with injuries. Southfield-Lathrup’s state ranking, according to the Detroit Free Press, in girls’ basketball.

First-half turnovers called on Troy girls’ basketball against Clarkston last week, a 58-35 loss.

Sports JOHNSON: Hockey lessons become life lessons The Troy Independent -

From Page 1

As a child, Johnson tried out for every team he could find, so he could play more hockey. He was certainly no stranger to the scene he encountered in Colorado Springs. Every road trip they took, the Americans roomed with someone new. They became a family, exactly the way Brooks wanted them to. So it didn’t matter that there were too many guys competing for too few spots. “As athletes, you know,” Johnson said. “You’re trying out for an athletic team, and you know that there’s four spots for four centers on this Olympic team. You know who the other centers are, and you can pretty well say during the drills who’s faster going down the ice, who’s got a better shot, who’s scoring, who’s hot right now, who’s a better face-off man. “So, to hate the guy off the ice, why? You hope to be teammates and be able to get along with one another once those teams are selected. We’ve got to get on the same bus. We’re staying in the same hotel. Why carry a grudge?” Johnson didn’t. He liked everyone on the team, even Brooks, who had a fierce and sometimes harsh desire to win. Johnson appreciated his no-nonsense, straightforward approach. Coming out of high school, Johnson nearly played for Brooks at Minnesota, but couldn’t because Minnesota only offered scholarships to Minnesotans. Since his dad paid for four years at Cranbrook, Johnson took the full scholarship to Michigan State.

his wife, and so were his two sons. So, he equipped the basement with an elaborate weight room, introduced his sons to vitamins and gave them a chance despite their size. Armed with a Ph.D. and service in the U.S. Marine Corps, John was always outsmarting the competition. “My dad was a brilliant man,” Jim Johnson said. “He would analyze things: What’s best for you? What is your goal? How are we going to achieve that goal? “You’re small, so how are we going to be small? We’ve got to get stronger. If we’re going to get stronger, we’ve got to get faster. He analyzed things and broke it down into segments.” It was in part because of his dad that Johnson never let his broken leg hold him down. He worked every day of his life to achieve what he

Johnson holds the all-time record for goals in a high school career. He was later inducted into the High School Hall of Fame as the only hockey player earning the honor.

He hung out with the players on the road. He saw knucklehead Phil Verchota tape other players’ sticks together. He and Mark Johnson confused Brooks with the same last name. Not many people get to have that opportunity, and Johnson, who appreciated every sports moment when it came, savored it for what it was. “That was just fun to see guys from other parts of the country,” Johnson said. “They were all coming together for one common good.” When Johnson’s hockeyplaying career was over, he was content because he had appreciated every moment of it. That’s the way his dad taught him. John Johnson always had his sons one step ahead. “He only knew how to do things one way,” Jim Johnson said, “and that was the right way. We loved it, and never argued.” John was small, and so was

did. The same way his dad never let him give up, he never let him stop appreciating the hard work he’d put in. “You have to respect the sport,” Johnson said. “Being able to play at a high level and have the accomplishments I had, I also learned dedication and commitment and what I had to do to achieve this.” Toughness runs in the family, and Johnson’s dad, after serving in the Marines and playing football at Notre Dame, instilled it in his sons. He wanted the world for them, which was why he put all the energy and strategy he did into helping them succeed. But he wouldn’t let them do it without doing it the right way. “It’s not that my dad walked into a room and said, ‘My kid wants a scholarship,’” Johnson said. “That’s not the way it works. You earn that scholarship. You earn it by conditioning, weightlifting, giving yourself a little bit of

Jim Johnson could never stay away from the ice.

an edge, making yourself better.” Johnson said the best piece of advice his father gave him was to set his standards high and never quit. But no one can reach those high standards on the strength of a father alone. Jim expected just as much out of himself, and never let up.

Even in grade school, Johnson breathed sports. He came home quickly from school, grabbed a snack and put on his football equipment, then ran back for football practice. As soon as football ended, he’d jump in his mother’s car and change into his hockey equipment. After hockey practice, it was back home for dinner and some homework—unless, of course, the Red Wings were on. “I just could never seem to get enough,” Johnson said. Instead of going to Florida for Spring Break, Johnson went down to Cincinnati for some baseball camps. Instead of hanging out over summer vacation, Johnson went up to Toronto for ten weeks of hockey camp. His parents would come visit often. When he was at home, there was a rule in his house: Monday through Friday were work, and Saturday was the only day he could go out. Sunday was a family day. Equipped with hundreds of pounds of different weights in the basement, Johnson worked all the time. He bench-pressed almost 300 pounds by high school. “I didn’t know one kid when I was growing up who lifted weights,” Johnson said. “Kids would come over and play and say, ‘What the heck is this? You guys are nuts!’ We knew we had to get bigger.” His dad’s strategizing extended into Johnson’s playing schedule. He would meticulously figure out the maxi-

mum number of tryouts Johnson could play in. Why? There were only a few rinks in the area. “Ice was very scarce. It was a commodity,” Johnson said. “When you got ice time, you would take it.” When his dad was transferred to Minnesota, Johnson got a taste of what Minnesota hockey is like: it’s a “cult,” he said. His team won the 1970 Bantam national championship, winning a semifinal game against the Detroit team he had played for just a couple months earlier. Johnson fell in love with Minnesota hockey for two years, but he relished the opportunity to play anywhere. His parents would schedule the games. Johnson just played. There was no worrying about attention or fame or who was getting the most college offers. It was just hockey.

Sports the way they were meant to be played. “That’s what’s missing today,” Johnson said. “Everything’s organized.” Too often people focus on winning. Too often people take for granted those hours of shinny on the outdoor rinks. “If you’re practicing, you never come off the ice,” Johnson said. “Where do you think you’re going to gain more? As young kids, keep the kids on the ice. Let them just play. It doesn’t have to be structured. It doesn’t have to be organized. There’s nothing wrong with letting somebody experiment.” No one will ever know whether the broken leg took Johnson out of the Lake Placid games. But the game against the Russians, the college visits, the induction into the Hall of Fame and, most importantly, the hours of shinny in his childhood: no


Johnson moved back to Michigan for high school, where he went to Cranbrook. He left as the nation’s all-time leading high school scorer with 249 career goals, 74 of them in his sophomore year. To this day, Johnson is the only hockey player in the High School Hall of Fame. When Johnson was at Cranbrook, school would close for two weeks during the holidays. But the rink was open. So Johnson called some friends from the area and they went to the rink to play “shinny,” a term for pickup hockey. “We’d play hockey for hours,” Johnson said. “We’d sit down on the ice and eat snow for water and just say, ‘Alright, let’s play some more.’” No referees, no coaches. Just an orange cone in the net. No checking, no fighting. Just up and down the ice.

one can ever take that away. Johnson did everything he could. He ate well. He slept well. He lost weight and stayed in shape. He lifted weights. He didn’t party. “The coping skill was easy to live with because I knew I had done everything I could,” Johnson said. “It was out of my control that I broke my leg. It was out of my control that University of Minnesota couldn’t give me a scholarship. I gave myself a chance, but those are things I can’t control. It hurt, but I can cope with it.” Forty years after what would have broken some people, Johnson still holds a record, he’s in the Hall of Fame and he’s been the Oakland County Athletic Director of the Year. He has thousands of memories. So he came back from Colorado Springs with no regrets. “[It matters] how well we, as individuals, learn to cope with it,” Johnson said. “It’s stepping back and saying, ‘Did I do everything I could to give myself a chance?’ If I can sit back and look myself in the mirror and say I did everything I could to be successful, then what else can you say except, ‘I tried.’ You have to learn to live with that.” So often today athletes throw away talent with academic problems or behavioral conduct. Then there’s Jim Johnson, who never has to wonder what if.

Page 7

NOTEBOOK: Troy battles injury bug BY JAKE LOURIM First-year girls’ basketball coach Simon Bato’s Troy career is still young, but it hasn’t gotten started the way he envisioned. When school lets out for the holidays tonight, the Colts will have played eight games—a grand total of one of them with their full starting lineup. The week before the season started, Troy found out that junior Rachael Zelmanski would miss time with a foot injury. She missed the season-opening losses to Macomb Dakota and Romeo and returned for the Athens game on Dec. 4. Troy came out clicking in that one and picked up a 4735 win with its full arsenal. Junior Sydney Heath had 20 points and 19 rebounds. The Colts took some momentum into SouthfieldLathrup the following Friday night and suffered a 58-19 loss. Then, they suffered an even bigger loss: they lost Heath until after break with a sprained ankle. Heath averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds in the three games she completed. Zelmanski and Heath were the only two starters returning from last season’s team. Only seniors Jennifer Stencel and Kelly Niemiec, junior Nicole Niemiec and sophomore twins Rachel Grecky and Alyssa Grecky also had varsity experience. The injury bug has forced the new varsity players to adjust on the fly in their first seasons. The schedule has not been kind to them, with seasoned teams like Dakota and Clarkston. Those teams jumped out to leads and beat Troy on its home floor. The Colts have not stopped battling. They fell behind 32-9 to Clarkston at halftime, but battled back in the second half and played even the rest of the way. Rachel Grecky had 15 points on seven-for-eight shooting from the free-throw line. “Our girls, whether they’ve played at the varsity level or not, never stopped fighting,” Bato said. “As a coach, that’s all we can really ask for.” Zelmanski added five points and six rebounds, and Nicole Niemiec chipped in with nine and nine. The Colts return from break to four winnable games: at Pontiac, North Farmington, Oxford and Auburn Hills Avondale. They went a combined 4-3 against those teams last year. Halfway through the season, Bato said the biggest thing his team needs to work on is avoiding turnovers. “We need to take care of the ball,” Bato said. “That’s been an issue all year. We need to continue to work on that.” “I think a lot of it was mental,” Bato said after the Clarkston game. “We were making some basic fundamental errors, and unfortunately we were making them on our end of the floor. They were turning our errors into points.”

The Troy Independent -


Page 8


Susan Johnson, a middle school teacher from South Lyon, was recently suspended without pay for playing a song called “Same Love” in her classroom. A student in her eighth grade performing arts class asked if he could play the song, and after he said it was not violent or profane, she agreed. “Same Love” is by rapper Macklemore and it traces the life of a gay man and the struggles he faces because of his sexuality. Johnson told FOX News that she hoped the song would send a message to her students to be tolerant of everyone, because you never know what others are going through.

But by the end of the day, istrators should encourage a student complained to ad- such discussion, not mute ministration and Johnson it. LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) was suspended. students are five When I first times more likely heard about Johnto commit suicide son’s suspension, than other stuI was sad because dents and have she is the exact much higher rates type of person of depression. I’d want as my “Same teacher. I’ve always been a huge CAROLYN GEARIG Love” does not tell you to go out supporter for gay and be gay, and it rights and I think it’s incredibly important to doesn’t send an inappropritalk about issues like this in ate message. All Macklemore schools. No one should feel says is that it’s hard to be ashamed or stigmatized for LGBT because there will alwho they are, and everyone ways be people who think is deserving of basic human you shouldn’t marry, who rights like marriage. Admin- make fun of you, who use

slurs like “faggot” and think “gay” is a synonym for stupid. Yes, there are small religious and political references and two uses of a swear word, but above all “Same Love” encourages tolerance and acceptance for diversity. “I really love my kids and I never want to hurt them,” Johnson said. “But I also know that there’s a lot of bullying and there’s a lot of gay bashing and racial issues going on in our country and I want the kids to feel comfortable in my class no matter who they are.” After nationwide backlash, Johnson’s suspension was reversed, but I feel that this issue is far from over.


one.) I liked how Harry Pot- uncle of Frodo from the first ter and the Deathly Hallows three Lord of the Rings movwas divided into two films, ies, who is drawn into an unbut the plot seems stretched expected adventure with a too thin here. party of dwarves The first third The Hobbit and the wizard of the book Now playing in Gandalf to deis mostly ex- theaters feat a legendary position, so it dragon. The story takes nearly is told with the an hour for same cast and dianything exciting to happen. rector as the excellent Lord For those of you who don’t of the Rings movies, and the know, The Hobbit is the same quality acting appears story of Bilbo Baggins, the here. New characters include

descendant of dwarf kings Thorin Oakenshield, the elf warrior Glorfindel and the orc commander Azog. However, the goblins, orcs and trolls in this movie are unfortunately Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). In the original movies, the minions of Mordor were much more intimidating in part to being real actors in makeup and costume, and the CGI creatures doesn’t have the same effect.

‘Hobbit’ moves along a bit too slow I was as excited as anyone for this cinematic return to Middle-Earth, in the form of an adaptation of the classic prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings, but a couple of things about this movie don’t make sense. The relatively short novel is being adapted into three movies, which seems like a cash grab. (Three movies make more money than

PETER’S PALETTE by Peter Mansky

The official student newspaper of Troy High School Carolyn Gearig, editor-in-chief Jake Lourim, editor-in-chief Peter Mansky, cartoonist Sarah Regan, advertising manager Erin Wrubel, advertising manager Anna Larson, social director Amanda McCafferty, social director Marcey Shehata, social director Brendan Battle, staff writer Liza Burakova, staff writer Marissa Ceccato, staff writer Annie Chen, staff writer Sarah Chmielewski, staff writer Peter Hao, staff writer AuJenee Hirsch, staff writer In Chan Lee, staff writer Katherine Maher, staff writer Annie Pappageorge, staff writer Alex Roettenberger, staff writer Tommy Rowbal, staff writer Katie Schlafhauser, staff writer Erin Tepatti, staff writer Jennifer Doptis, adviser

The Troy Independent is the official student newspaper of Troy High School, produced by students in the third hour Writing for Publication: Newspaper class. The Troy Independent is an open forum and thus encourages members of the school community to submit letters to the editor and guest columns. Interested in joining our staff? Sign up when you complete your 2013-2014 scheduling cards.

The Hobbit isn’t a bad movie by any means, but it isn’t the movie of the year, either. It suffers from a slow plot and poorly executed CGI, but it still has the excellent sto-

ryline and great moments from the book. An Unexpected Journey is a solid choice for a movie to see over winter break, but not a must-see.

Volume 2, Issue 5  
Volume 2, Issue 5  

The Troy Independent