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U. City High School 7401 Balson Ave. University City, MO 63130

U-Times December 2012 Volume 24, Issue 2 NEWS MAGAZINE


Student and staff showcase talent side by side By Alice Mutrux Co-Editor

New tardy policy Students with exotic backgrounds Page 2-3

Alumni-where are they now? Page 4-5

The annual talent show, held on Friday, November 16, was a hit among students and teachers, both of which performed for an overall “fantastic” show according to Ms. Nevils, English teacher, who coordinated the show. This is the second year that both staff and students have joined together for the anticipated event, which showcased some of the school’s finest singers, dancers, and poets. “We introduced the student and staff concept again this year which was a success,” said Nevils. “There were more acts and more talent.” Nevils organized the talent show again this year and strived to enforce strict deadlines for performers and produce a professional show. Most of the funds raised went to support the junior class. A portion of the money was given to the Angelistic Center, an organization that the juniors volunteered at earlier this year. Although there was no first place or prizes, every performer felt like a winner when the crowd went wild after each act. Many students, such as sophomores Diamond Jones, Asante Robinson, and

Cydney Poland sang, while freshmen Kayla Strong and Heavyn Jennings recited original poetry. A dance group performed a hip hop and break dancing routine. Damon McKinley, sophomore, is an aspiring dancer who performed with the group. “It was great being able to perform alongside such great hip hop dancers,” said McKinley. “The crowd was totally energized and exploding with excitement, I’ll definitely be performing next year.” The act that stirred up the most excitement amongst the spectators was the grand finale, organized by Ms. Strohm, which featured six teachers performing Evolution of Dance. Spanish teacher Ms. Williamson described the dance number as “one of the highlights of the school year so far” and tried to encourage other teachers to participate. Eventually, all of the talent shows performers joined in and closed the night on a high note. “The finale was an absolute hoot!” said senior Tony Waters. “Seeing my teachers attempt to dance was hilarious, everyone in the crowd loved that part.” Overall, students enjoyed seeing their peers shine on stage and their teachers acting goofy and showcasing their talents.

Marlynna Blumer, junior, was the master of ceremonies at the talent show this year. “I made sure that I knew all of the acts and practiced haveing good voice projection,” said Blumer. “I want to be a lawyer so anytime I get the chance to speak in public I seize the opportunity. I loved it!” PHOTO BY ALICE MUTRUX

Choir and band take center stage at winter concert Alumni picnic and basketball game Sports banquet Page 6

Choir concert Page 8

By Lily Lewis-Stump Co-Editor On Thursday, December 6, the annual winter choir and band concert was held in the auditorium. The event started with the choir’s rendition of Tshotsholoza with senior Destiny Anderson-Bush as a soloist. The concert then continued with performances of MLK, Come to My Garden, Taylor, the Latte Boy, When I Think of You, and To Where You Are. Most of the songs featured soloists, such

as seniors Camaron Ballard, Alexis Jones, Camisha Luellen, and Jordan Davis. “It was fun,” said Davis. “It was my first time doing a solo. But luckily I wasn’t nervous due to all of my previous stage performances.” The performance then progressed to the band portion of the concert. The band performed Washington Post March, River Park Holiday, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. See “Band and choir concert spotlights talent” on page 8 for more coverage.

The choir performs the opening song Tshotsholoza. PHOTO BY LILY LEWIS-STUMP

U-Times December 2012


Cigarette tax goes up in smoke

By Michael Johnson Editorial Writer U. City is a great place to live, but during elections it can be embarrassing

to acknowledge that we reside in the state of Missouri. One glaring example of this shame lies in the recent defeat of Proposition B, a cigarette tax increase. According to Tim O’Neil of the PostDispatch, we continue to own last place among the states in cigarette taxes, 17₵ versus a $1.49 national average. For the third time in a row, we fell victim at the polls to big tobacco and convenience store owners. This voting decision should be a win-win no brainer. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, increases in the cost of cigarettes reduce cigarette consumption. The effect is greatest among kids and pregnant women, but also significant among African-American, Hispanic, and lowincome smokers. With increased cigarette taxes

the state gains revenue and cigarette smoking declines. Decreased revenue from fewer sales is more than offset by a reduction in state spending on smokingrelated illness. These benefits are not mere theories. Other states with more foresight than Missouri are reaping the rewards of increased cigarette taxes. The defeat of Proposition B likely stemmed from heavy advertising, which framed it as an evil tax increase, never mentioning smoking or cigarettes. It is ironic that the opposition received support from Missouri Right to Life and the Missouri Family Network. Cigarette smoking is associated with pregnancy loss, increases in respiratory infections in the children of smokers, and death from myriad causes. If these organizations were serious about defending life, children, and families, they should have

supported the tax increase. I guess sticking to conservative politics took precedence over their stated ideals. Unbiased and informed sources such as the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the President’s Cancer Panel offer a crystal clear message: higher cigarette taxes will lower smoking and improve health. The silver lining to this vote is the narrow margin of defeat; only 50.8 percent opposed the proposition. Students should join the lobby to put higher cigarette taxes back on the ballot and get it approved. Let us get Missouri’s political thought into the twenty-first century.

Does the new tardy policy give students a new outlook?

By Adriana Smith Staff Writer The 2012-2013 school at U. City has the potential to be the best school year yet. Everything feels new, including principals and policies. Who would have thought that anyone could be happy about new rules.

2012-2013 U-Times Staff

Editors: Lily Lewis-Stump & Alice Mutrux Web Editor: Carl Sechrist Staff Writers/Photographers: Kayla Holmes Michael Johnson Emily Looby Alexander Phillips Adriana Smith Andrew White Reneise White Adviser Mrs. Mary Williams

One of the most welcome new policies of the school year is the new tardy policy, which allows a student to be late at least 10 times before being put in in-school suspension. Seniors are the main ones jumping for joy over the new tardy policy. I couldn’t blame them since U. City has gone through two tardy policies in the last four years. The question is just what kind of impact does this have on students. It could be said that seniors are most impacted by this new policy. Not only do all seniors have to worry about the 93% they need to attend the prom in April but colleges look at their attendance and certain field trips do as well. How is this policy any different from the one a year ago? If you are late, you still receive a consequence. So is there a catch? “I don’t have to go to after school detention everyday [I am late],” said Kaleel Coleman, senior. “It used to be a waste of time.” I agree completely. When students

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were assigned after school detentions, there were ways to get out of going. Now with this new policy there is more leniency on how many tardies one can have. “So far this year I have had about 11 tardies,” said Melanie Kirksey, senior. “Since then I have spent one day in ISS.” Last year, Kirksey was a tardy frequent flyer. Now she makes her way to school and her first class on time. Many students have been waking up earlier than usual to avoid any consequences of the new policy and to be able to participate in all the senior activities. The main reason for creating this policy was to encourage students to be on time for school. This is because of the new policy’s long-term effects which add up to an out of school suspension. “The administration team came up with this policy under MSET 5 (Missouri School Improvement Plan),” said Mr.

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Carter, assistant principal “We have set a goal to have a 95% attendance rate.” Carter confirmed that U. City is currently meeting that goal. The accomplishment shows how big of an effect the policy has on the school as a whole. This is great, but the new policy has also had some negative effects. “Sometimes when I walk in the school around 7: 22, I am marked as tardy,” said Kirksey. Apparently, the school’s clocks were running a few minutes fast, which made students who were on time for school late to class. Students were getting stopped at the attendance office and forced to wait in line for a tardy slip. “I wasn’t aware of this incident,”“ said Carter. “ I am sure that whatever the problem was is now taken care of.” Even though the new policy isn’t perfect, it has helped U. City improve its infamous tardy and late rate.

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Abdulraheem Olarongbe Mahmoud, Abdulkabir Ayanziji Ayanniyi, and Medinat Folorunso Salman, scientists at African universities. The use of corporal punishment is one of several differences between Nigerian and American schools. A further separation is that the school day has fewer hours in America. “In Nigeria I go to school at 6:30 [a.m.], and I get home at 5 [p.m.],” said Adeyunka. Differences in the school system are just one of the hurdles one has to overcome when moving from one country to another. For example, Adeyunka has yet to make many friends. One of the few students he has bonded with is senior Asia Garrison. “She treats me like a brother,” said Adeyunka. Unlike Adeyunka, senior Aubrey Williams is a native of Saint Louis, but her family has strong ties to Jamaica. Her mother, and several relatives, moved to America when Williams’ mother was 10. In 1999 (when Williams was 3), the family moved back to support a lone grandmother and to have more contact with Williams’ father. On July 23 of this year, Williams and her mother returned to St. Louis to prepare her for college. By moving back, Williams will not only gain in-state tuition, but also experience dealing with Americans. As with Adeyunka, Williams initially had some difficulty becoming

accustomed to America. “When I came here, I didn’t know anyone from when we were children,” she said. Therefore, friends were difficult to make. However, joining the field hockey team proved to be a wise decision. “The entire field hockey team” has since become good friends to Williams, and senior Kaicee Woods helped facilitate a friendship between Williams and senior Camaron Ballard. She also befriended senior Mariah Johnson. According to Williams, Jamaica is not altogether that different from America. “It’s pretty much the same, except for climate,” said Williams. “… In summer it’s way too hot, and now it’s way too cold.” Another major difference is that “equality is more accepted here,” said Williams. “For example, Jamaica has no gay rights. So being here and seeing people who are openly gay is very different.” All in all, both students conclude that America is not unlike their homeland. Adeyunka has good things to say of both countries. “U.S. people look nice, they’re friendly, and the teachers are easy to talk to,” he said. “It’s a free world, a free place where you can do what you like. You don’t have to misuse the opportunity.”

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS: Adekunle Adeyunka and Aubrey Williams moved to U. City this year, bringing different backgrounds from their far-away homes to their education and social lives. PHOTO BY ANDREW WHITE

Not all countries give equal access to education By Christine Politte Guest Writer On October 9, Malala Yousafazi was shot for doing something many Americans teens would consider ridiculous: demanding access to education. Yousafazi, 15, lives in Pakistan, where the literacy rate is less than 55%, according to CIA World Factbook. She was targeted by the Taliban after using her blog to advocate for equal education for women in her country. The shooting has made headlines worldwide and made some Americans realize just how much many people in this country take education for granted. Mr. Carter, 9th grade principal, says education no longer feels important to Americans because they’ve forgotten the struggle that took place to grant everyone access to it. “Early on, education was not a right, it was a privilege,” Carter said. “After the fight was over and it became a right,” he said, people began taking it for granted. “Things that are free are usually taken for granted. Things that come with a price are appreciated.” Joesph Chunn, freshman, agrees. “Those in history have fought tirelessly for education for all,” he said, but today “…you look at some of the behaviors…there just seems to be a complete lack of interest.” Not everyone worldwide has the same access to education as Americans. According to UNICEF, as of 2011 there were an estimated 101 million children worldwide unable to attend school. Children may not be

able to go to school due to poverty, discrimination, or lack of available teachers, among other reasons. This inability to get an education takes a toll on many countries. Worldwide, just over 83% of people are literate, but many countries have literacy rates much lower, such

as Burkina Faso at just 29%, according to Asia Garrison, senior, says too many American students don’t realize how fortunate they are. “We don’t take advantage of opportunities presented [to students],” she said. Many students don’t realize what an impact education has on their quality of life, especially girls. According to UNESCO, more than two thirds of the world’s 775 million illiterate people are women. Women who do receive an education are less likely to get HIV or become victims of exploitation. They’re also more likely to marry older and be able to contribute to family income, according to Many people think our country’s attitude toward education is leaving our country behind those where a greater value is placed on education. “North America has to put emphasis and value on education before we are globally defeated,” said Carter. Mr. Daly, social studies teacher, says this problem must be dealt with on the district level. “School districts have to come up with real policies they won’t back down from,” said Daly. This ensures that students don’t think they can just blow off their work,” he said. As the debate continues here in America, Malala is recovering overseas. According to, she is currently in a hospital in the United Kingdom. She’s recently recovered enough to ask for her schoolbooks to study for upcoming exams back in Pakistan.

U-Times December 2012

By Andrew White Staff Writer Most students at our school can trace their origins as far back as a St. Louis hospital. Others hail from other towns in Missouri, or even another state, but rare is the student who can say they are from an entirely different country. This year, U. City has become home for students from as far away as Nigeria and Jamaica. One such student is sophomore Adekunle Adeyunka, who hails from Lagos, Nigeria and started his sophomore year at U. City in August. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean he is a stranger to American comforts like PlayStation 3 and soccer. He sorely misses the friends he would partake in these activities with. However, not all of his experiences in Nigeria were pleasant. “I don’t miss being caned by teachers,” said Adeyunka. “I don’t miss corporal punishment.” The very concept of corporal punishment in schools is horrifying to Americans, and several studies have advocated for the end of its use in Nigeria; it has caused irreparable eye damage to several students and is often found to be less effective in instilling obedience than counseling. “The effectiveness of CP [corporal punishment] as a disciplinary measure is not assured,” states a 2011 study by


Students move to U. City from around the globe

U-Times December 2012


U. City grads: Wh Carol Jackson: class of ‘74 By Reneise White Staff Writer Carol Jackson, class of 1974, started her life by going to Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri. “I graduated from college in 1978 with a Bachelor Science degree in criminal justice administration,” said Jackson. After graduating from college, Jackson spent some time in the U.S. Army. “I was commissioned SA 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army,” said Jackson. From 1978 to present, Jackson

Marlyn Hunter: class of ‘92 By Lily Lewis-Stump Co-Editor In the twenty years since Hunter left U. City, he has accomplished many things. He has experienced working in many different fields such as the restaurant industry, social services and being a photo specialist. Hunter’s work in event planning has led him to wanting to go back to school to study hotel hospitality. While

in high school, Hunter frequently volunteered. He was also  a part of the yearbook staff during the year the mascot was changed from the Indians to Lions. “It was an honor to be a part of University City’s history…” said Hunter. “It was a bittersweet moment and I was happy to be a part of the first graduating class to celebrate.” As reunion president for class of ‘92, Hunter remains in contact with many of his former classmates.

Suzy Gorman: class of ‘79 By Emily Looby Staff Writer U. City was known for being an arts school before the turn of the century. Suzy Gorman of the class of 1979 attended U. City during the years it was most associated with the arts. She is now a photographer and owns her own studio downtown. While at U. City, she was active in many sports and activities including field hockey, basketball, volleyball, and concert choir. Gorman graduated early and went on to receive a

Nicole Anderson Adewale: class of ‘86 By Emily Looby Staff Writer Adewale spent her high school years as the president of the pep club and taking many levels of core classes. Once she graduated, Adewale went to the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she studied engineering. Adewale now owns ABNA Engineering, a civil engineering, and construction company. She also does volunteer work for FIRST Robotics, Alpha

By Alice Mutrux Co- Editor St. Louis native and ‘81 U. City graduate Marlon West is now thriving as one of the top special effects supervisors and animators at Walt Disney Animation Studios. After attending and graduating from Columbia College in Chicago with a degree in film and video in ‘85, West jumpstarted his career by producing instructional videos for Encyclopedia Britannica. He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue

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Bachelor of Fine Arts from Fontbonne. Her love for photography first started when her father passed away. Upon his death she inherited his Leica camera. Film photography was second nature to Gorman and when the digital age arouse, the switch was not easy. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jackie Joyner-Kersee are some of the people she has photographed. Her studio is located on 2508 N. Broadway, which houses some of the same equipment she used in high school and college.

Kappa Alpha Sorority, National Society of Black Engineers, and the U. City School District. About twelve years ago Adewale came back to U. City in search of schooling for her children. After a couple meetings with the principal of Flynn Park and a visit to the schools she “fell in love [with the schools], moved back to U. City, and the rest is history.” Adewale has four children, one of which graduated in 2011 and the other three are currently in U. City.

Marlon West: class of ‘81

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has been working for the U.City Police Department.“I am currently Captain Commander of Bural Services. I was the first female to be promoted to captain in100 years, in U.City,” said Jackson.All of Jackson’s accomplishments throughout her life got her inducted into the U.City hall of fame in 2009.“U.City taught me leadership skills and how to seek goals,” said Jackson. “It also gave me a motive to come back to the area where I went to school, to serve my community.”

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a job in special effects, producing TV and movies. West eventually joined the animation team at Disney during the company’s most successful era of animation- the 1990’s. West went on to animate for notable films such as The Lion King, Mulan, Pocahontas, and The Emperor’s New Groove. West’s attempts to backtrack to classic 2-D, handdrawn animation is evident in some of Disney’s more recent releases like The Princess and the Frog (2009), in which he headed the animation and effects.

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By Alice Mutrux Co- Editor While attending U. City, Emma Mutrux, succeeded in both academics and held positions like yearbook editor and ‘Future YWCA Leader of the World.’ She is currently attending Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio on a full scholarship. “At Antioch, there is an emphasis on ‘experiential learning,’” said Mutrux. “The school recommends we hold a parttime job during study quarters and that we devote a fourth quarter to co-op.” In the years to come, she

plans to self-design a major in toxiculture and survivalism. Other than work and class, Mutrux spends time tending the school farm where she and several other volunteers raise fowl and grow vegetables for the school’s food program. Mutrux’s experience working and learning in nature can be somewhat attributed to her time at U. City. “My years in high school were heavily based in service work,” said Mutrux. “I was inspired by my experiences helping the community and the school to attend a college dedicated to the volunteer spirit.”

Rachael and Dan Rubin: class of ‘01

By Michael Johnson Staff Writer Many people have different, positive experiences while at U. City. Rachel Silverberg and Dan Rubin met at U. City and have been together for 13 years. U. City has provided many positive experiences for both Silverberg and Rubin, but especially their relationship, which led to marriage. Silverberg and Rubin are living in the San Francisco Bay

Sydney Pritchard: class of ‘11 By Lily Lewis-Stump Co- Editor Sydney Pritchard now attends Columbia College in Chicago. As a student at U. City, Pritchard was the editor-in-chief of the yearbook during both her junior and senior years. This sparked her interest in graphic design which she originally majored in her freshman year of college. Later this interest morphed into advertising and then marketing and communication, which is now her official major. “Under this umbrella I can decide whether

By Kayla Holmes Staff Writer Over the years at U. City, the principals, hallways, and teachers have changed, but perhaps the most affected have been the students. In high school, Jahnene Nicks was known for her outstanding academics and position as captain of sports teams. “I was in a lot of honors and AP classes so it helped with my transition into college. I was also captain of sports teams so that helped with my leadership skills.” After high school, Nicks was accepted into UMSL

By Adriana Smith Staff Writer Hybrie Brownlee is now a Psychology major at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. Much like she was in high school, she continues to show leadership in college today. “While in college, I started an organization called NAPS (Natural and Proud Sistas), which is a women’s activist group that teaches about natural beauty maintenance and hygiene for African American women,” said Hybrie. “I am also Clark Atlanta University’s chapter of Psi Chi



Area. Both have degrees in English, but Silverberg also took graphic design classes at St. Louis Community College. She then ended up getting a degree in graphic design from California College of the Arts. Rubin stayed in St. Louis to attend Washington University where he studied English and theater. Silverberg is now employed at a small design firm that helps non-profit organizations and Rubin works at an education department of a major non-profit theater.

I want to concentrate on advertising, marketing or public relations,” said Pritchard. “I’m just crossing my fingers that everything works out when I’m done.” After completing her undergraduate degree, she looks forward to either continuing on to graduate school, traveling, or starting her career. Although she has a bright future ahead, she still misses the cherished moments she had at U. City, such as playing sports, planning homecoming and enjoying the football and basketball games. “I had a lot of fun and good times at U. City.”

Jahnene Nicks: class of ‘07

Hybrie Brownlee: class of ‘10


Emma Mutrux: class of ‘12

U-Times December 2012

here are they now?

where she graduated in May of 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in information system and accounting. “I started out in engineering and that was the hardest thing I’ve tried to do, so I changed my major,” said Nicks. “I got a job right out of college at Boeing as an information technologist.” Nicks offers advice to the class of 2013. “Just work hard and keep pushing. Although you may fail, you’ll grow from it, you need failure to grow. Challenge yourself, push yourself, and don’t settle because you can always do better, there’s always room for growth.”

(National Honors Society of Psychology).” She faced challenges going so far away from home for college because she is very close with her family. “I didn’t realize growing up how much I depended on that support system until I moved so far away and had to trust my own instincts for the first time.” After all of her accomplishments she has advice to give to the seniors of 2013. “Please make sure you have long term and short term goals along with a plan on how to reach them.” See more alumni profiles at









U-Times December 2012


Alumni use annual events to reconnect Picnic draws alumni together to catch up every summer

Alumni basketball game pits graduating classes against each other

By Reniese White Staff Writer Every year around late July or early August, U.City has its annual alumni picnic at Heman Park. Class of 1993’s Jermaane Rice, as well as other alumni, get extremely excited during this time of the year. “I go to the alumni picnic every year, yes I do,” said Rice. Many other alumni, such as Mary Hines, class of 1987, believe that people attend the picnic faithfully because it is great family fun. “It is like a huge party for friends and families, and it gives people the opportunity to share accomplishments they’ve made since high school,” said Hines. Not only can people have family fun at this picnic, Marlyn Hunter, class of 1992, also thinks it a way to reconnect with their classmates. “This picnic includes every class, we get a chance to meet and see

just to see the game,” said Jones. By Reniese White Lary Fields, Class of 1983, comes back Staff Writer to play in the game as a way to give back Game on! Separated into teams, by to the school. class, the players prepare themselves for “The money from the game goes as some friendly competition. Jermaane a donation for the Athletic Department Rice, class of 1993, plays in this game and it benefits us because it’s a way, for every year. us alumni, to interact “This game with other classes,” is for everybody said Fields. in U.City to This game would prove that they not be possible if it are the better was not for Mason basketball team Washington, class of or player,” said 1994, the organizer Rice. of the game and who Some puts it together every alumni, such year. as Mark Jones, “I think the class of 1986, game is fun,” sees the game said Washington. as more of “Everybody just loves a fun thing to come back to the to do than a school to see their competition. glory days, back when “It’s out of Different classes compete against each other for they were playing and pride and a lot bragging rights at the alumni basketball game. just to relive it.” of people come PHOTO BY RENEISE WHITE back into town

them,” said Hunter. This picnic also reminds peoples such as Michele Webster, class of 1993, what U.City has done for them. “U. City has taught me how to interact with others and how to communicate with people of different diversities, which was something I use in everyday life,” said Webster. “The alumni picnic is a good way to network and to see people who you haven’t seen in a long time.” In the future; later classes hope to have as much fun and amusement as the earlier ones do when they reach their age, Bradley St. James, class of 2011, explains what he wants to see at the picnic in future years to come. “I want to see three different things,” said St. James. “The first thing I want to see is people of my class. Second, I want to see how other classes bond with one another and third, I want to see every class bond together, as one, to represent U.City.”

Students struggle through halls

Cook takes wrestling seriously

By Carl Sechrist Web Editor It’s no secret that it can be difficult to navigate the hallways in the morning and during passing periods, especially if one needs to walk all the way across the building. The major problem seems to be students who stop at inappropriate spots. “The hallways are big enough to let everyone through; there are just people who stand still,” said senior Daniel Politte. In certain areas, students who stop to socialize during the passing period often cause serious impediments to others who just want to pass through.

By Kayla Holmes different techniques and positions. Not Staff Writer only is Cook ambitious in practice but As a third grader, Gianni Cook ran he also prepares to wrestle outside of across a flyer at school advertising a practice. wrestling league and decided to give “After running home I do push-ups it a try. He went to practice, joined and sit-ups and of course I eat right,” the league and has been a committed said Cook. wrestler ever since. When Now as a junior, Cook was Cook is looking only a forward to his high beginner at school season. wrestling He has a great he would work ethic,” said Mr. become Morgan, wrestling anxious coach. before each Not only has match. Gianni brought “I used to victories to his team get nervous but he also gets his but I don’t team pumped and in get nervous the spirit for a match. anymore, I “Gianni brings just go up At the Fort Zumwalt North tournament, junior excitement to and expect Gianni Cook takes top position after winning the the team,” said to win,” said coin toss, leading to him beating his opponent, sophomore Damont’e PHOTO BY MERINDA MORLEY Cook. “I just Williams. “He gets our get in the head in the game, he’s serious when it zone, I zone out.” comes to wrestling.” By wrestling, Cook claims he has Wrestling Coach Morgan is bettered himself as a person and as an impressed with Cook’s work ethic. In athlete.” practice, Cook and other wrestlers work on take downs and improving

Students crowd the stairs in the main hallway as they enter the building to begin the day. PHOTO BY CARL SECHRIST

“The traffic is worst on the stairs to the third floor, in the main hall and the stairs to the cafeteria,” said senior Camisha Luellen. “Kids like to sit on the stairs in the morning, “which is really ridiculous and annoying.” Unfortunately there isn’t really a good way to help alleviate traffic in those zones as the main stairs are by far the easiest way to get to different floors of the building. “Almost all the steps are always crowded,” said Freeman. He said that he will often encounter students who see someone on the stairs and just stop to talk. Freshman Heavyn Jennings suggests that traffic flow would be better if there were “more teachers trying to keep kids moving.” Jennings also said that part of the difficulty is that some students just don’t care about getting themselves to class expediently and subsequently don’t care about the students who may wish to do so. Similar to the enforcement of the ID policy, a teacher or faculty assistant could try to keep students moving along, but Luellen believes that “a traffic conductor would be ridiculous and…everyone would just get [really annoyed].” If that can’t happen, “at least be aware of the other kids around you who do want to get to class,” said Jennings.

to me complaining of at least one symptom of concussion after a hit to their head or taking a blow to the body that causes the head to jerk they have to see a doctor. That doctor has to be a MD, DO, or Physician Assistant. They are the only ones who can clear an athlete to return to play. ” Recently, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) has amplified their regulations on injuries throughout high school athletics. This is due to many high school athletes having traumatic head injuries that have gone unreported and then have experienced brain problems later in their life, from not taking the proper time to recover. Now when as athlete experiences only one symptom of a concussion they are required by the state to go a doctor and thus be cleared. Athletic trainers follow the ‘when in doubt sit them out” philosophy especially relating to concussion and other injuries. There was no specific event that caused the regulations to shift, according MSHSAA’s Jason West. “In sense it was more reactive than proactive,” said West. MSHSAA aimed to educate people on the severity of head injuries, from research and other studies done.

This increase in stricter rules has caused many athletes to struggle coming back into the sport after not playing for part of the season. Once an athlete does become injured many of them take to the recovery into their own hands. Personal training and participating in team activities (lifting weights and working in the weight room) have also improved recovery time. “Working out at home has helped me recover,” said sophomore varsity football player Chris McFadden. “Sometimes when at home watching T.V and a commercial comes on I’ll do pushups until it comes back on. Lifting weights with the team has also helped.” McFadden suffered from a loss of cervical liquid around the spine and ankle injury in the season. “It was too high of a risk to clear me out to play again,” said McFadden. Despite an unfinished season, high school athletes look towards the future when they will be able to play again and for some at a college level. “Knowing I will be playing in the fall at the collegiate level reminds me my athletic career isn’t over,” said Morley. “And the fact that I’ll be cleared to play sports in six months has me itching with anticipation. It’s something to look

After practicing and training for field hockey all summer, sophomore Deandria Walker was sidelined with a torn ACL and meniscus. She sat on the bench for the entire season and helped manage the team.”When I first learned I was going to be out the whole season I was devastated,” says Walker.”I never played but I look forward to next season.” PHOTO BY EMILY LOOBY

Fall sports banquet celebrates accomplishments of athletes By Alexander Phillips Staff Writer The U. City fall sports banquet held at the end of October in the gym was the first-time event and according to Athletic Director Coach Oligschaeger, “It was a complete success and worked out great.” This year, Coach O. wanted to recognize the student athletes, their parents and the coaches in a bigger way. He decided to expand on the previous end-of-year sports award night and instead do a banquet at the end of each sports season (fall, winter, spring). “The intended purpose is to let coaches speak about how proud they are of the athletes and thank the parents for their support,” said Coach O. “The turnout was great--my only concern had been that the number of parents who would show up would be low because this was really for them.” Coach O. estimated between 225-250 students and family members attended. When the student athletes and their parents arrived, they were greeted with a slide show projected on the wall which displayed images of student athletes in

action. Senior Mar’Tez Reed produced the show in yearbook class and took most of the photos.

“It was pretty cool being able to see pictures of me and my team on screen,” said junior Julian Askew of the boys

The gym transforms into a banquet hall for student-athletes and their parents during the fall sports banquet. PHOTO BY ALEXANDER PHILILPS

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swim team. After everyone got settled, Coach O. delivered the opening speech. Then the guests enjoyed the food and drinks catered from The Pasta House. “The food was great, after a long day at school, the food really made the day better,” said football player Tristan Hill, senior. “Plus, the Pasta House is pretty good.” Dinner included two types of pasta, salad, bread, soda, tea, water and lemonade and the guests flowed smoothly through the two lines. After dinner, Coach O. introduced coaches who spoke about their team’s record and awards for individuals. “I was a little nervous about speaking in front of a huge crowd, so I figured if I let them eat first they would be quieter and more attentive and they were,” said Coach. “That made it so much easier for me and the coaches to speak. I liked to hear about the accomplishments of my athletes but I loved to hear them scream for their coaches.”


By Emily Looby Staff Writer The start of a new season brings much anticipation and excitement for many high school athletes. Hours are poured into pre-season training and the extra work on perfecting specific skills in order to prepare for the upcoming season. But what happens when an unexpected accident causes an injury that threatens their participation in the reminder of the season and possible college recruiting? “When I first learned I would be out for six months I was really sad,” said senior field hockey starter Merinda Morley. “Sports were my life and I didn’t know a life without them. Field hockey is not only a hobby but therapeutic for me.” More serious injuries have caused some athletes to miss the remainder of the season due to the severity of the situation. Many high school athletes are now required by the state to be cleared by a doctor before returning to practice or games. “I have to follow many things, especially [pertaining to] injuries,” said U. City athletic trainer Shenay Dewberry. “Particularly when it comes to concussions, if an athlete comes

U-Times December 2012

Influx in injures requires MSHSAA to reassess rules

U-Times December 2012


Band & choir concert spotlights talent

Senior Destiny Anderson-Bush, one of the continuous soloists, singing one of the crowd favorites Taylor, the Latte Boy. “Performing Taylor, the Latte Boy was so much fun,” says Anderson-Bush. “It was the choir’s chance to be creative.”

The horn section of the band performs Washington Post March. “It felt really great to perform,” said freshman Jaime Fields, trumpet player. “My favorite song was definitely Pirates of the Caribbean but I got a great experience out of each song.”

The choir performs the final song, To Where You Are. “It’s the most rhythmic piece,” says senior Camaron Ballard. “The other songs are more classic and this one is more modern. The clashing effect was nice.” Ballard explains “clashing” as the effect of the men’s and women’s voices.

The woodwind portion of the band performs River Park Holiday. “We practiced this song every class since November,” says senior Kayla Pruitt, who plays clarinet. “This is a jolly song with a wintry feel.”

The choir performs Come to my Garden. “It was the hardest song for the men to sing because it was in the highest octave,” says senior Camaron Ballard. PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS BY LILY LEWIS

December 2012 Utimes  

Utimes newsmagazine

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