Page 1


Photo Credit: Brianna Miller

Orange out: students anticipate the returning football state champions

A zoo of opportunity Page 13

Coach Swenson awaits 300th win this season Page 14

It all begins with the beat of the drum Page 10




Syrian forces continue to riot in Damascus By Devin Pickering

Gunfire and shells riddled Damascus and its small suburbs in the country of Syria while the rebelling forces continue to riot against President Bashar al-Assad. On August 20th, 2012, President Obama threatened military action against the country of Syria due to evidence of President Bashar al-Assad moving the countries supply of chemical weapons. The question is why is President al-Assad transporting his weapons of mass destruction? “It’s a very conflicted area– tyrant murdering his people [and] attempted revolutions. It’s obviously horrible, but I don’t think we will help any time soon,” said senior Ryan Garmoe. All the rioting started on March 15th, when a small southern city took to the streets to protest the torture of students who had put up anti-government graffiti.

Syrian troops attack a Damascus suburb. Photo from USA Today.

Now, in September of 2012, roadside bombs and IED’s are a daily occurrence. The families that taken refuge in neighboring countries struggle under the consequences of this government opposition, and question when it will stop.

“The United Nations said that more than 200,000 refugees had registered in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, with 30,000 new arrivals tallied in the past week alone. The agency had anticipated a total of 185,000 registered refugees by the end of 2012,” stated The New York Times

about the Syrian refugees. In just a sixmonth period, more than 200,000 Syrians have taken refuge in neighboring countries, trying to protect their families and avoid all the riots. With the country at the brink of a civil war, many of the Syrian

Insights from school board member Andi Lipman By Natalie Liedman

Photo provided by Andi Lipman

WDMCS Mission Statement: Working in partnership with each family and the community, it is the mission ofthe district to educate responsible, lifelong learners so that each student possess the skills, knowledge, creativity, sense of self-worth and values necessary to thrive in and contribute to a diverse and changing world. School board members H. Milton Cole, Elizabeth Brennan, David J. Brown, Dr. Kevin Carroll, Jill Hansen, Mark Lagomarcino, and Andi Lipman oversee the entire West Des Moines district.

1. What power does the school board have? The board sets policy for the school district. It involves the rules and procedures that students, staff, and administrators are required to follow. The policies can range from whether students are able to use their cellphones during the school day to the district’s vision for the best way for students to achieve success. The board is also responsible for overseeing school facilities and how money is spent. 2. What changes will the board do this year? We have some very exciting changes coming in the next few months. Next semester, students will see a new cafeteria, new science rooms and new athletic areas. Construction will then begin on the new auditorium. 3. What are the goals this year to improve the community? Our goal is to maintain our status

as one of the best school districts in Iowa. A strong school district always leads to a stronger community. 4. What challenges does the board face? The largest challenge is serving a more diverse student population. To resolve that challenge, new strategies will be needed such as personalized learning plans for each student so that every student can achieve success whether they struggle in school, have language barriers, or desire to fly beyond normal course offerings for his/her age group. 5. As a school board member, what is your job when you attend meetings? Our job at every meeting is to listen to the community; discuss concerns in a public forum; ensure that money is well spent; and make sure that our decisions are focused on what is best for our students.

soldiers defected from their duty and began opposing the very government they swore to defend. Syria is expected to only get worse. “My opinion is that the United States should have kept an eye on Syria and if we have to, I guess we will have to go to war even though nobody wants to; but those weapons can’t be a threat to the American population,” said senior Tyler Magnee. With the death toll at more than 21,000 Syrian citizens continue to die due to the riots and opposition; neighboring countries are beginning to keep a constant watch on the unstable Syria. France and Great Britain released information during press conferences that they are ready for war, whether they end all the riots or the government is overthrown, Syria is on their own.



September 14th

Backpacks donated for students in need

Weinberg sets high goals By Jenna Baldus

By Kelly Reeve

West Des Moines is known to be a great place to live, and recently Money Magazine ranked our town as number 81 out of the 100 best places in the United States. However, there are many people living in West Des Moines that are in need of financial assistance. In order to help, approximately 130 backpacks full of school supplies were given to students during registration this year. Associaciate Principal, Dr. Erica Cook, led the effort to organize and raise funds for such a project. “At registration last year, I saw a need,” said Dr. Cook about starting the project. She went to Office Depot last year and asked if they would donate school supplies for students. Office Depot said they would sell the supplies at their original cost to the school. Cook then started the Matching Funds Campaign to raise funds for the project. “A very generous anonymous donor came forward with $5,000,” Cook said. Fifty backpacks were given out last year.

This year, the Parent/Teacher Organization collected funds for the project, and raised $11,000. “I think its pretty awesome to be a part of because West Des Moines people come together to help others,” said Cook. The money was taken to Office Depot where representative Amy Williams and her team gathered supplies, including paper, backpacks, binders, folders, pens, highlighters, and pencils for the 130 packs that were passed out. “My goal is to create a system that is open and friendly in a way that works,” said Cook. She hopes to be an outlet in a time of need for students. If someone needs something in the middle of the year, or they need something for a certain class, they can fill out a “Tiger Pride Supplies” form and turn it in to Cook. She will attempt to obtain whatever the student needs. This kind of project may be one of the reasons why Money Magazine ranked West Des Moines as such a great place to live.

efit everyone who is involved. Right now, the Student Council has been putting most of their time

Student president Ben Weinberg manages and addresses issues at a recent student council meeting. Photo by Jenna Baldus.

The new school year brings new students, teachers, and a student body president. Senior president Ben Weinberg plays an important role this year in leading the efforts to make 2012-2013 a success. “My main goals revolve around making a lasting positive impression on Valley High School,” said Ben. Every year the senior class makes a mark on Valley in one way or another and I want to lead the Class of 2013 to be bigger and better.” Ben’s primary goal is to make an impact on the school. He wants to get the students involved in fun activities, along with philanthropy projects that will ben-

and energy into Homecoming week. Homecoming week is packed full of fun and entertainment. “All of the information for homecoming week is out around the school with our book marks and all of the signs,” said Ben. The theme this year is Valleywood: Premiere at the Big Screen. It all begins on Monday September 17.” “Our decisions are usually all just based on ideas that get thrown around within Student Government. If a representative makes a suggestion, we take it into consideration and see how we can make it successful here,” said Ben. The decisions they make can be altered at any time for any given reason. Some of the decisions don’t ever work out, but may be changed around to result into a successful event. “I think these first few weeks have been great and will set the standard for the rest of the year,” said Ben. “The assembly was a great way to set expectations for a fantastic school year ahead.”

A rapid crescendo By Sam Greer

This school’s orchestra program began in the sixties, consisting of a small group of people united by their love of string music. On the first day of this school year, the strings group gathered during periods two and four and totaled 118 students; 31 in chamber and 87 in orchestra. Due to the exponential expansion of this class, orchestra directors Mr. Phil Peters and Ms. Michele Senger have been ordering stands, chairs, and folders to feed the growing program. Because of the increasing amount of students participating, Mr. Peters has been forced to consider dividing the orchestra into several class periods. “I did it a couple of years ago and I didn’t like having so much separation between parts of the orchestra… I might have to do that next year depending on construction.” The orchestra is looking forward to enjoying a larger classroom

space, along with a new auditorium for performances, by fall 2014. In March 2013, the orchestra is embarking on a performance tour through England and Wales. The group’s destinations include London, the Beatles museum, and Shakespeare’s hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. “I think the numbers have increased partially because of the opportunity to go to England,” says Claudia Malchow, a senior violist. “In high school there are a great number of ways to be involved through orchestra, and I think many want to be a part of that.” With such a large group of eager musicians, a full sound is expected by both directors. “The sections are more balanced. Our challenge is going to be getting a clean sound,” says Peters with a smile, “but we can do it.”

Spotlight Three Strikes and You’re



By Aaron Bell

Finals are the epitome of evil, right? Well there is a way to beat them. The Opt out policy is an advantage that many students enjoy when finals come around. The policy allows students to opt out of two different finals each semester. The policy can help to ensure that students will keep a certain letter grade. “If I end up with a low ‘A’ in a class, like a 90%, I know that I can keep that ‘A’ and not drop to a ‘B’,” said sophomore John Walsh. “I’ll be safe and will not have to worry about the final.” The policy can also help students by leaving them more time to study for different finals. “I plan on definitely opting out of two finals both semesters this year,” said sophomore Sarah Bell. “That will let me devote more time to the other finals I still have to take.” Even though most students utilize the policy, some believe that its rules are a little too harsh. One rule in particular, concerning student I.D. cards, continues to frustrate many. Ech time a student enters the building without his or her I.D., five suspension points are racked up under the student’s name. Once that student accumulates 15 points, they will

Photo Cred: Kelly Reeve

If you forget these easy to lose I.D. cards three times during the semester, say goodbye to opt-out privileges.

receive a Saturday school, and this means that opt-out privileges are gone.” I think that the rule is really harsh,” said junior Jack Walsh. “Something as simple as forgetting your lunch card three times in an entire semester should not make it so you can’t opt out of finals.” Another problem is that students are not allowed to opt out of the same final

Photo Cred: Brock Rustin

Aisle after aisle, hipsters fill the store, all aiming for the overpriced, all natural Gouda cheese that just came in stock. Four times the size of Gateway Market, the new Whole Foods Market on University looks like Walmart and Trader Joe’s had a baby and then proceeded to

feed said locally grown baby with all kinds of organic muscle-building applesauce. The emergent supermarket chain goes to great lengths to hire an ample amount of workers. It is difficult to turn a corner in the

store without seeing a mid-20 something guy proudly bearing the Whole Foods logo on his apron, while his shriveled droopy earlobes from the remnants of his gauges swing as he walks the crowded aisles. With a full parking lot seven days a week, it has become apparent that Whole Food’s new location is in a sparring match with Trader Joe’s to see who will become the more dominant organic supermarket in West Des Moines. Boasting a solid 22 years of history throughout America, Trader Joe’s undoubtedly has the upper hand as well as most of the baby boomers’ unwithering support, but Whole Foods has focused on attracting the younger crowd, which in the long run, will make a huge impact on their success. Salad bars, cheese bars, olive bars and deli bars, it feels like you are going for a stroll in downtown Iowa City on a Saturday night. However, the variety of options comes with food prices higher than the Willis Tower.

What's shakin' bacon? The thoughts from the sophomore class

You will very rarely be able to hear any money left over in most shoppers’ pockets on their departure from the store. All ads for the store scream “Locally grown!” and “Support your local farmers!”, but after entering the store, the only corn I saw was resting on a tiny table from some farmer in Adel, with no other ears in sight. This cornfused me the most, as we kind of only base our whole Iowa economy on the thousands of acres growing the sweet green plant. Other places in West Des Moines have wider selections of locally grown corn. Seeing how overpriced their produce choices are, and how the vast majority of it actually comes from California, Chile and Brazil, I would much rather prefer to hit up the farmers’ market downtown every Saturday morning. The new Whole Foods only deserves three and a half out of five ears of corn on my grading scale. Organic corn, of course.

“It’s not as strict as Southwoods. You can use your phone and stuff which is cool,” said Morgan Mankle.

on moving up to the big school. “I like the lunch options,” said Allison Kacer.

“Valley is less strict than Southwoods,” said Emily Kacer. “It’s different than Southwoods,” said Katelynn Janssen.

“It’s a pretty good school. A lot better than Southwoods,” said John Ryan. “Really big at first, now it feels long. And the classes are confusing,” said Tucker Rochleau.

“There’s a lot more freedom. Teachers are a lot nicer, they don’t care as much,” said Travis Graff.

Let's Get Saucy

By Kayleigh Pollock

The Other Place is a new bar and grill replacing what used to be Boston’s. They serve a wide variety of food but are more commonly known for their pizza. There is a reason that The Other Place is known for its pizza. It had the perfect amount of sauce and the five cheeses of the five cheese pizza (9” $8.70) added a punch of flavor in every bite. There were also many other options for unique flavors from the pizza menu. The Fettuccini Alfredo ($10.50) was great but the portion was huge. It was enough to have fed two hungry teens. The

dish was satisfactory and rich. The sauce wasn’t too thick which can be a problem with Alfredo sauce at many places. The food was great but the atmosphere was just too loud. The roof is metal so everything just echoes around and makes the room unbearably noisy. The typical sports bar atmosphere is similar to an Applebee’s and Legend’s, but the noise level made it difficult to hold a conversation. The Other Place earns 6 out of 10 stars. The food was tasty and the service was polite and timely. It was loud and just felt like your typical bar and a grill. There


both semesters. Obviously, many students choose not to take their hardest finals first semester. Truth be told, that is probably not the smartest thing to do because when May rolls around, second semester finals are here, and uh oh… you already opted out of your two hardest classes first semester, so those classes can’t be chosen again. Typically, classes get harder in the second semester, so teachers advise students to opt out of their hard classes second semester. This rule is a problem for two reasons. First, many students opt out of their hard classes first semester, so they become stuck with taking the harder final second semester. Secondly, in the case of a lot of students, many just aren’t great test takers. So if a student enters a final exam worth 20%, with a grade of 93%, they could potentially end up with a ‘B’ in the class. This angers many students because it may be easy to do well in a class, but not so easy to remember everything for the final. With rumors of the administration removing the policy altogether, maybe the best idea would not be to fight back and push for rule changes. When compared to other schools, students here have got it pretty good. The opt-out policy is something that most students take for granted; it would be a shame to have it put down the gutter.

A Whole Lot of Organic By Brock Rustin


was nothing outstanding in the overall vibe. Unless you like a loud place to eat, it would be more satisfactory as a carry out restaurant. Location: 12401 University Ave in Clive Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. -2 a.m Dishes: $5.00(salad)-$23.75(Philly cheese steak pizza) Contact: 515-225-9494 out of ten Stars:

“Blowing money on smoothies” said Cory Mullins.

“A better selection of women. I’m digging the senior girls,” said Andrew Marcun. Photo Cred: Brock Rustin and Aaron Bell



From The Halls: If You Were a Superhero, What Would Your Theme Song be?

Senior Samuel Arends “Handlebars by Flobots”

Senior Nim Kaufman “The Whisper Song” by the Ying Yang Twins

Sophomores Lexie Jensen / Taylor Pug “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus”

Junior Jaydn Swailes “Ms. New Booty “ by Bubba Sparxx

Senior Lindsey Hohl “Shawty it’s your booty” by Qwest”

Senior Danny Malina “Tik Tok” by Keisha

September 14, 2012

There and Back Again: The Return to Middle Earth By Sam Greer

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit has thrilled readers since its publication in 1937. This December, fantasy fans’ favorite three-foot-tall hero hits the big screen in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Tolkien’s story relays the adventures of the young Bilbo Baggins, who is coerced into traveling with a band of dwarves who seek treasure that was stolen by the dragon Smaug. Because the tale is a lengthy one, Jackson recently announced that it will be released in three separate parts from later this year through 2014. Fans are in heated debate about where the first part of the film will end. Ms. Erin Perry, language arts teacher, stated that she had no guesses as to where the first film would conclude, but said “I do trust [director Peter Jackson] to find good pacing. He knows how to tell the story.”

Shedding Light Ding, ding, ding, it’s 3:20 PM on a typical Thursday afternoon and within the walls of Valley High School there is a stampede of teenagers pushing and shoving their way out the doors into sweet, sweet freedom. Obviously all are glad to be free of the test-taking and question-answering but there is one thing that sounds even more gratifying than not having to watch educational videos made in the early 90’s; that’s right, food. Chips and dip, cereal, Poptarts, pizza, you name any junk-food item and it will be consumed as an afternoon snack. Why are all these kids so hungry you may ask? Well the answer is simple; they served us rabbit food alongside a sandwich that tasted like cardboard for lunch. The Healthy Kids Act was put into effect back in 2009 to try and cultivate healthy life choices in children and teens by promoting exercise at school and

Co-producing Jackson’s story is Guillermo del Toro, a writer and director known for his heavy horror-fantasy influence in films such as Hellboy (2004) and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2011). Perry hopes that Del Toro will bring some “really great monster stuff” to the film. “Goblins, the dragon, he’s got a super eye for fantasy.” Voicing the dragon Smaug is Benedict Cumberbatch, star of BBC’s Sherlock. “He’s a good choice for anything,” said Perry. Cumberbatch’s movements will also be integrated into the animation of the dragon via motion-capturing technology. Returning to Middle Earth are many familiar faces, including Sir Ian McKellan, reprising his role as the ancient wizard Gandalf, Sir Ian Holm, who portrays the older Bilbo Baggins, and Andy Serkis, the man behind the voice and movements of the sinister creature Gollum.

serving nutritional lunches. A few changes were also made for the 2012-2013 school year such as kicking iceberg lettuce to the curb and filling its spot with spinach and romaine lettuce, and forcing us to wave desserts bye-bye. The motivation for these changes is honorable because childhood obesity has become an increasing concern and eliminating it is an even bigger concern. However, the way they are carrying it out is going to backfire in the end for one very obvious reason, the more they try and feed us greens and healthy food the more we are not going to eat at school and the more we are going to stuff our faces with artificial cheese and sweetener once we leave school grounds. So what’s the point of changing our diet at school if all we eat out of school is undoing the healthy habit’s they are trying to instill in us?

Newcomers to Tolkien’s fantastic world include Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the dwarf party that sets out from the Shire with Bilbo and Gandalf, and Martin Freeman, who stars as the young Bilbo Baggins. Freeman is best known for his role as Dr. Watson in BBC’s Sherlock, where he stars alongside Cumberbatch. Since the dragon Smaug is not introduced in the beginning of the book, perhaps moviegoers will catch a glimpse of him near the conclusion of part one. “I think my eye might open at the end of the first film,” said Cumberbatch, “and then you’ll get the rest of me in the second.” If you have not yet enjoyed Bilbo’s adventures, there is still time to read The Hobbit before December fourteenth. To all those who look forward to this film trilogy, prepare yourselves for a truly unexpected and fantastic journey.

Another factor that will throw a “minor” wrench into this act is the fact that high school students are already set in their ways. We grew up on cookies with our lunches and white bread sandwiches. It is for that reason that just by telling us to like vegetables doesn’t mean we are actually going to like them. Trying to change our preconceived notion of broccoli and nine grain bread is such a long shot; the basket isn’t even in sight. The school year has only just begun so only time will tell what kind of effect these changes will have on students. However, a sneaking suspicion says that no matter how many servings of healthy food the lunch ladies ladle onto our trays, the consuming of junk-food will continue 5 days a week when the clock strikes 3:20.


Senior Margaret Cooper “Wannabe” by Spice Girls

Junior Emily Thompson “Cowboy Casanova by Carrie Underwood”

Editor-in-Chief: Kelly Reeve Editors: Jenna Baldus-Entertainment Aaron Bell-Opinion Wes Brown-Sports Natalie Liedman-News

Junior Kerry Reagan “Pretty Girl Rock” by Keri Hilson

Brianna Miller -Frontpage Kayleigh Pollock-Opinion Renu Suddapalli-Feature Leah Thompson-Ad Coordinator Madison Ward-Spotshots Kennedy Graham-Lifestyle Ashley Skokan-Profiles

Photo Credit: Aaron Bell

D e v i n P i c k e r i n g -We b master

Staff Reporters: Jenni Aldrich Gracie Cobb Brock Rustin Meghan Munch Sam Greer Taylor Mankle Jacob Bernhard

Adviser: Diane Hicks

is a publication of the students of Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa, 50266. Advertising can be purchased at 515-633-4059. Spotlight strives to inform readers of current news and social issues affecting the lives of Valley High School students. As indicated in the Freedom of Expression policy, Spotlight will not print obscene, libelous or malicious material. Letters to the Editor, guest articles and editorials, etc., are highly encouraged but must be submitted to a member of the staff at least one week prior to publication. All letters must be signed with a specific name and not a group, unless prior permission has been obtained by one of the Spotlight advisers. Spotlight reserves the right to edit all letters for space available. Spotlight is a member of the Quill and Scroll Society, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the National Scholastic Press Association and the Iowa High School Press Association. Any questions or comments pertaining to Spotlight may be dropped off in Room 137 at Valley High School. If you have an article you would like to have published, please contact editor-inchief Kelly Reeve or Mrs. Hicks in Room 137. Spotlight has received International First Place Award from Quill and Scroll , First Place Award from American Scholastic Press Association , First Class with distinction in writing and editing from the National Scholastic Press Association and First Class from the National Scholastic Press Association (2012).


Trendy tips and tricks for


7 Junior Ryley Cotton says, “I go for the more sporty look.”

fall fashion

By: Meghan Munch and Madison Ward

Ten years ago no one would believe that bright pink skinny jeans and sequined hot pants would be in style. This fall there are many new and funky fashion styles to try. Sophomore Amela Huskic, says “I love the beach look and summer-themed stuff.”

Bold tribal and floral prints are in this year, they have become popular in long and short sleeve shirts, pants and, pencil skirts. Bold patterns give a formal or casual look and add a pop of color to showcase your personality. Without breaking the bank this fall, tribal and floral prints are found cheapest at forever 21 and Target, prices starting at $8.99 Another item that is a must-have in your wardrobe this fall is the leather jacket, whether it is in ox-blood red, black, or navy blue, leather jackets can go with pretty much any outfit. However, this season, models have mostly been shown paired with dark jeans, short dresses and jean shorts. A good leather jacket is hard to find, Charlotte Russe, pricing starts at $39.99. White is a fashionable color this season and is shown frequently throughout magazines and fashion websites, on celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift who have modeled the color this season. A great tip to be on trend with white is to choose white as your pant color and pair that with a dark shoe to balance yourself out. A great place to find white pants would be American eagle with white jean prices starting at $24.99. The color trend for fall is brightly colored pants, shirts, skirts and, jeans; fabric choice is also a huge part of all types of collections coming out about this time of year. Flowing fabrics as well as lace are everywhere. Finding bright colors is easy; the place that has the lowest prices is again, Forever 21, bright shirts starting at $19.99.

Bachelorette: Madison Brackett, Grade 11 1. Ideal Date? Going out to dinner 2. Worst date so far? Walking around the mall with the guy and I caught him checking out other girls. 3. Favorite movie? Titanic 4. What do you look for in a guy? Charming, tall, strong, sweet and nice 5. Favorite restaurant? Olive Garden

6. Describe yourself in one word? Talkative 7. Favorite hobby? Cheerleading 8. Favorite T.V. show? I’m in love with the show Pretty Little Liars. 9. Favorite Class? Photo 10. Kiss on the first date? Depends on how the date goes

Bachelor: Ali El-Dadah, Grade 11 1. What is your ideal date? My ideal date would be going out to eat and then a movie 2. Worst date? I’ve been lucky; I have not had one yet. 3. Favorite movie? The Blind Side 4. What do you look for in a girl? She has to be nice and outgoing 5. How would you describe yourself in one word? Talkative

Photo Credit: Meghan Munch

6. Favorite hobby? Basketball 7. What is your favorite class at Valley? Chemistry 8. Kiss on the first date? No 9. Favorite T.V. show? Sports Center 10. Favorite Restaurant? Buffalo Wild Wings

Junior Maren Rain says “I love lace!”

Junior Ashley Ridgewaysays “I like bright colors because they show your personality.” Photo Credits: Madison Ward

Overheard in the Hall

By: Taylor Mankle “Bro, what’s that smell?” “Go run a 10K!” “I wonder what would happen if you drank bleach, would your insides get cleaner?” “It was all going good then she bit me!” “Never forget Nam!” I’m running for president ‘cause black people aren’t getting enough justice.” “Sometimes I wish I was Asian.” “That’s what she said.” “Dude, don’t take intermediate writing cause it’s the hardest class at Valley.”



September 14, 2012

Sleep habits take a toll on student schedules

By Natalie Liedman

Now that the summer season ended and classes have resumed, students are beginning to transition to their school routines and schedules. Due to class loads and extra-curricular activities, teenagers tend to not get the necessary eight hours of sleep a night. According to a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, “only about eight percent of high school students get enough sleep on an average school night.” In attempt to put more time into schoolwork, sports, and work, teenagers feel the need to sleep less and “catch up” on the missed sleep during the weekends. Each student has completely different schedules and after school activities. Depending on the classes and amount of work these classes bring, some students may go to bed as early as eight or as late as three the next morning. Senior Sabrina Fest deals with a very busy schedule, but still manages to go to bed around eleven every night. “Some nights I stay up really late if I have a lot of homework or if there are finals, but it really depends on the night. Some days when I don’t have a lot of homework, I still say up to about ten.”

What's your favorite off campus destination For Lunch? By: Jenni Aldrich “Taco John’s to get two chicken softshells”Conner Bollinger ‘13 “Panchero’s for their tasty burritos”- Drew Abel ‘13 “Valley West Mall or else my crib”- Sam Epperly ‘13 “Jimmy John’s for a slim one”- Brooke Brady ‘13 “Taco Bell, for sure”- Ben Miller ‘13 “Taco Bell, for their beefy crunch burritos”Clint Boffeli ‘13 “Culver’s, it’s so good”- Tanner Hinkle ‘13 “B-Bops, yumm”- Grant Schulte ‘13 “Chipotle”- Dalten Davis ‘13

Research from the National Sleep Foundation found that “10% of adolescents sleep only five hours and 23% percent sleep only six hours on an average school night.” In attempt to catch up on some sleep, some students prefer to take naps after school. Senior Alicia Pichler takes naps after school every day. “Whenever I come home from school, I usually take a nap from three to four or just about an hour every day,” she said. “I really need extra sleep because I would not be able to focus without it.” Although many individuals believe that they can function on less than eight hours of sleep a night, the lack of sleep ends up affecting students’ behavior and the functioning of their body. Dr. Eve Van Cauter, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, said that a lack of sleep at a young age can cause diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and memory loss at a later age. These are all possible side effects, but if students can attempt to go to bed earlier just by a few hours, they can see changes in their attention span and end up feeling refreshed the next morning.

Top tips for staying healthy By Gracie Cobb

#1: Eat Plenty of High of High Fiber Foods. Foods such as beans and whole grains are high in fiber and have the “good” types of cholesterol. They also supply about 20-30 grams of dietary fiber, which makes them lower in insulin and sugar.

#2: Include Green, Orange and Yellow Vegetables in Your Everyday Diet. Eating vegetables like carrots, broccoli and cantaloupe. These are high in antioxidants and help protect you from cancer and other diseases.

#3: Limit Your Intake of Sugar and Refined Grains. White bread and other sugary snacks are high in fat which makes them calorie-dense. One 12 ounce can of pop EVERY DAY?? adds up to 16 pounds over a year.

#4: Cut Down on Animal Fat and Other Saturated Fats. Saturated Fats are high in blood cholesterol. Instead choose lean meat products and non-fat or low-fat dairy products.

#5: Cut Way Down on Trans Fats. Processed foods and Fast food which may contain a lot of trans fat which is rich with hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Photo by Kari Schulte #6: Eat More Fish and Nuts. They contain proteins and unsaturated fats needed by the body. These foods also substitute olive or canola oil with butter or margarine.

#7: Keep Portions Moderate. Restaurants tend to make entre portions larger than they should be, so if you are going out to dinner order a starter or split and entre with a friend. Never order a supersized meal.

#8: Keep Your Cholesterol Intake Below 300. Keep your cholesterol below 300 milligrams. Cholesterol can be found in animal products, dairy products and egg yolks.

#9: Eat a Variety of Foods. Don’t eat the same foods day in and day out. You need a variety of nutrients that not all foods can give you, so eating a variety of foods allows your body to get the necessary nutrients. It also limits your exposure to harmful toxins and pesticides that can be found in certain foods.

#10: Maintain an Adequate Calcium Intake. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. You get the most calcium from low-fat products such as skim milk and low-fat yogurt. If you don’t like these foods then make sure you take supplement to keep a good calcium level. According to current research, just as there are several factors that determine the weight of an adult, there are several factors that determine the average weight of a teenager. Gender, build, and age all factor into the equation. Because teens’ bodies are still developing, the average weight of a teenager can fluctuate sunstantially from one year to the next, finally stabilizing around 18-20 years of age. The typical male falling in to the 50th percentile, at age 16-17 years, would be 67 - 70 inches tall and weigh 130 - 150 pounds. The typical female falling into the 50th percentile at age 16-17 years would be 64 inches tall and weigh 115 - 120 pounds.

Photo Credits: Jenni Aldrich


Feature 9

Y WO O D Lyndsie Angus



What activities are you involved in? Cross Country, Tang

Who would play you in a movie? Raven Symone - we have the same personality.

Favorite movie/ TV show? Legally Blonde, Criminal Minds, Hawaii Five- 0

What’s your favorite movie quote? Anything from Bridesmaids.

If you could switch places with a star, who would it be? Mila Kunis, as long as i got to spend the day with Ashton Kutcher.

If you could switch places with a star, who would it be? Oprah, She’s RICH!

Who would play you in a movie? Mila Kunis Ideal date? Riding in Tanner Hinkle’s Charger.

What is your ideal date? With Zac Efron...Duh!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Married to Zac Efron with Two kids.

Date: September 22, 2012

Time: 8 PM - 11 PM



What activities are you involved in? VSW Dance Team, VHS Varsity and Competition Team, FCA, National Forensic League. Favorite Movie/TV show? That 70’s Show. What is your favorite quote? “Rhetorical question, Woodcock!” Mr. Woodcock If you switch places with a star, who would it be? Miley Cyrus, because her fiance is gorgeous. She is cool. confident, and lives in California.

Chloe Matthews Courtney Young Favorite Movie/ TV show? The Big Bang Theory. If you could switch places with one actor/actress for a day, who would it be and why? Queen Latifah, she’s a boss. Who would play you in a movie? Emma Stone Must have snack at the movie theatre? Raisinets. What is your ideal date? A walk around downtown at night under the stars, watching for shooting stars.

Favorite movie/ TV show? Dexter (serial killer show). Who would play you in a movie? Reese Witherspoon. What is your favorite movie quote? “There is a colonial women out on the wing, There is something they’re not telling us!” - Bridesmaids Must have snacks at the movie theater? Icee, and sour gummies Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully have a good job, and I would like to be married.

Blood Drive

e ing Danc Homecom

Venue: HyVee Hall

Alex Franks

When: September 18th By: Kayleigh Pollock 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Where: Auditorium Why: If we get 100 units of blood we get a $500 scholarship that goes to a student of the schools choice. Donors will also get a t-shirt that says “remember 9-11” Requirements: Must be 16 and older. If you are under 18 you need parental consent, forms are in the office. Who: Students , alumni, parents and community members Donation time is normally around the 45 minute mark. It is a simple process and nothing to be scared of. First they take your temperature, blood pressure, and test to see your iron level. Then you move to the donation chair and they take three vials of blood for testing then you sit back and relax until you fill up the bag. It is something you don’t have to sit and watch and there is virtually no pain. After you get a band-aid, a pretty wrap and a snack, they do ask that you sit at the “snack station” for at least 15 minutes. And then you are all done and you have potentially saved a life.






8 Feature September 14, 2012

V A L L E Y Sam


What activities are you involved in? Cross Country, IHSSA, School Play, Academic Letter, Silver Cord, Acapella Reign. If you could switch places with a star, who would it be? Ryan Gosling, cause’ the dude is a stud. Who would play you in a movie? Whoever played Cameron in Ferris Bueler’s Day Off.



If you could switch places with a star, who would it be? Ray J, because he was with Kim Kardashian. Who would play you in a movie? T.I What is your favorite movie quote? “Group hug in the showers tonight.” - The Longest Yard Must have movie snacks at

Ideal Date? the theatre? Spending the day with Sour Patch Kids my significant other. Going out, eating my weight in Ideal date? flatbread pizza and nachos. Ride in the charger with Then watching a movie my boi Ben Rasley. after a long, moonlit walk.

1. Order something for her at the restaurant, ladies are all about assertiveness, just nothing off the 300 calories or less page.


Ben Rasley


Favorite movie/TV show? Spongebob Squarepants.

Ben Weinberg

What activities are you Who would play you in a involved in? movie? Student Government, Show Mark Wahlberg and Will Choir, Drama, IHSSA, Ferrell. Combining Swimming, Lumberjack Club. Wahlberg’s looks and fighting skills, and Who would play you in a Ferrell’s comedy. movie?

If you could switch places with a star, who would it be? Katt Williams, he is one the greatest comedians What is your favorite movie of all time. quote? “Pull over!” What’s your favorite “No, its a cardigan, but movie quote? thanks for noticing.” “I love the smell of Dumb and Dumber napalm in the morning.” - Apocalypse Now Must have snacks at the movie theatre? Who would play you in a Mr. Pibb and Popcorn. movie? Will Ferrell. If you could switch places with a star, who would it Where do you see be? yourself in 10 years? Channing Tatum, because Being a pediatrician. he gets girls.

How to be the perfect date By bROCK rUSTIN 2. If you somehow 3. Ensure that you don’t 4. Make reservations! manage to ruin her mess up the corsage or- The last thing you want night and/or her dress, der, there’s a big differ- is a 45 minute wait, then don’t fret; buy her a ence between royal blue end up having to go teddy bear. Chicks love and navy blue, even if across the street to tasty teddy bears. you’re colorblind, consult tacos; although the food with a seasoned profes- will most likely be a great sional. (Most likely your deal more appetizing. mother.)

I would play myself. And it would be a musical. I may or may not already have a few songs written for such show if my life ever gets interesting enough.

Must have snacks at the movie theatre? Honestly, I don’t usually have a snack---I always eat it way too fast. Biggest thing is not to get pop because then you have to leave the movie to use the facilities. Pretzel M&M’s are on the rise as a great snack for a movie though. Congratulations Pretzel M&M’s.

5. Never be afraid to let loose on the dance floor, the more your dancing looks like you’re having a seizure, the better you are doing.

But then again, what do I know about being the perfect date? I’ll probably be watching Finding Nemo in 3D on homecoming night.


Harry Potter vs. Twilight


mib day

Blood Drive


Disney D

Spotlight Entertainment The end of “The Office”


By Taylor Mankle

Every once in a while there comes a show that stretches all the boundaries of television. Our generation has had the luxury of witnessing multiple edgy shows such as Friends, Seinfeld, The Simpsons and even more recently The Office. March 24, 2005 was the date that NBC introduced the now famous show and its characters; Regional Manager Michael Scott, Assistant to the Regional Manager, Dwight Schrute, and Jim Halpert Salesmen. The Office has been aired for eight seasons with 187 episodes since 2005, and is about to embark on its ninth and final

season starting on September 20 at eight o’clock central time. Over the years this show has introduced many iconic themes along the way that are now seen in many shows all over television. “The documentary style was popularized and is now seen in shows like Modern Family along with many others,” added language arts teacher Ms. Sandra Abbott when asked what makes The Office a great and truly iconic television show. The Office has taken its fans to many places along the years from Niagara Falls for Jim and Pam’s wedding to the now well-known Scranton, Pennsyl-

vania where Dunder Mifflin is located. “It is full of situations that are relatable to normal office life which makes it more believable and fun” said Ms. Abbott. This realistic feel gives the audience a connection to the show, with both the plot and the characters, “I actually aspire to be just like Jim,” said Ms. Abbott. This connection makes the ending of the show hard for many fans, but after Steve Carell, the actor of Michael Scott, left the show many knew the end was near. “I think the show is funny,” soph-

omore Mitch Crawford said. “It is pretty sad that it is ending because my friends and I like to watch “The Office” together. “ “It’s sad the show is ending, but last season was clearly jumping the shark,” said Ms. Abbott. As this show comes to its illustrious end we can only hope that the final season will live up to the first eight award-winning seasons and leave us all satisfied and smiling. That’s what she said!

Both judges stayed on the show for two seasons and decided to leave the show in July of this year. Since the departure of both Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, the question of who would be brought on to help Randy find America’s next best singer was swirling in everyone’s mind. If a platinum recording artist leaves the show then who better to replace her with than another platinum recording artist. The American Idol producers have gone above and beyond hiring not one but two platinum recording artists. Nicki Minaj and Mariah

Carey have both officially signed on as judges for the upcoming season which is set to air on Fox in January. As all these new judges come on to the show only two veterans have remained. Originally Idol wanted to follow a pop idol format which is basically a list of guidelines that most reality competition shows try to follow, but when the fourth judge quit before the start of the season, the show went to a three judge format and has stuck with that throughout all eleven seasons until now. With Jackson, Minaj and

Carey already signed on to join or return to the show, the producers at American Idol once again attempted to create a four person judging panel. Country Superstar Keith Urban was offered the judging gig, after fellow county star Brad Paisley turned it down. It is reported that Jackson’s return to the show is now on the fence, but even without Jackson American Idol will still have three judges. Though the fate of the show is unknown, it is reportedly expected to premiere to huge crowds of fans and wellwishers.

They choose the stars By Gracie Cobb

American Idol is back and better than ever. This popular is virtually the same except the show will again be facing changes in the judging panel. Throughout the years it seems like American Idol cannot hang on to the same judges for more than a couple of seasons, except for Randy Jackson. With changes in the judging panel yet again Jackson will have to get used to a whole new set of judges. Two years ago, in September of 2010 it was announced that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler would be joining the show.

Club Preview By Leah Thompson

Invisible Children:

KONY 2012. There has been an intense battle within Central Africa for the past 26 years. Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or the LRA, who opposes the African government. Kony has also taken children around Central Africa, using them as either sex slaves or child soldiers. These children have no choice but to sometimes kill their own parents. Invisible Children is trying to put an end to the Lord’s Resistance Army, especially Kony. For more information, contact Mrs. Hansen-Smith in room 2349 or see their display at Friday’s club fair.

World Cultures Club:

Averaging about 30 members each week, the World Cultures Club organizes for a big event called International Night. During that evening, each culture represented at the high school is able to perform in honor of their culture they are studying, possibly Irish dances and mariachi music for example. Also, there is a wide assortment of food provided, like Greek baklava and Mexican tacos. The money raised by World Cultures Club is donated to various charities. This club meet Wednesday after school in Ms. Perry’s room, 1313 and is always looking for new members. Photo Credit Fatima Husain



New CBS Fall Lineup By Kyle Shepherd

David Krumholtz and Michael Urie from the new TV pilot “Partners” acting out one of many scenes they will have together. “Partners” is based on the life of the creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. photo from

With fall around the corner it is not uncommon for major T.V. networks to release fall lineups and scheduling. This year CBS has announced four new shows, all of which are scheduled to begin by September 30. Starting on September 24, Partners is a new comedy about two friends named Charlie (played by David Krumholtz) and Louis (Played by Michael Urie). These two have been friends forever, making it almost awkward when Charlie decides to propose to his girlfriend. A returning show called

Vegas is coming back September 25, which last aired in 1981. This show is being remade into a new show about a wise cracking man named Dan Tanna (Played by Dennis Quaid). This is the story of Dan and his time spent in Vegas, along with his assistants and vintage thunderbird. Remember...” What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” On September 27th, the new mystery Elementary brings back the days of Sherlock Holmes (played by Jonny Lee Miller) and Dr. Joan Watson (played by Lucy Liu). Their adventures solving crimes will create a contemporary twist. Made in Jersey (first airing September 28) is the story of Martina Garretti (played by Janet Montgomery), an Italian lawyer who decides to join an extremely posh New York law firm. Despite being the underdog and also the outcast among coworkers Martina rises to the challenge. There is a lot to be looking forward to this fall with all the upcoming new shows.

September 14, 2012

The band is back

By Jenna Baldus

This year the Marchmasters are marching along to Far Eastern music full of multiple layers of sounds and looks from the band and the color guard. Marching band is full of sweat, fun, and more work than most people think. “The show this year is very intricate, it is definitely more complex with a lot of layers,” said Mr. Chris Strohmaier, freshman director and percussion assistant. Marching band is not just walking while playing an instrument or swinging a flag around. It is memorizing music, marching in step, holding an instrument correctly, keeping the proper posture, and playing an instrument at the same time. There is more for color guard, too; performing involves of memorizing the moves, dancing and marching in step while twirling a flag all at the same time. “The most difficult part is lasting through an entire show and making it to all the sets on time,” said sophomore mellophone player Erin Healy. A set is each position that students have to make in so many counts. To make it to a set is difficult because of the variation of the sizes of steps. The Marchmasters go over each set quite a few times until it is close to perfection. This year the Marchmasters are starting off the show with some tai chi moves. Then the guard does flag, sabres(swords), sickles(rifles), and a dance with umbrellas creating a very visual look and feel. “My favorite part is just how interesting everything we do is, and how when we look back on the show we can see what our part adds and how we fit with the band,” said junior color guard squad leader Madi Gausman. Doing all the work alone does not seem like much, but when putting the show together it all flows into unique formations. The Marchmasters began rehearsals this summer with 6:30 in the morning practices to start working on the formations. To get all the formations and sounds to turn out right each section of instruments have a squad leader to teach and guide the group so they can be the best they can. There is a difficult process to becoming a squad leader; writing papers, practicing a lot more, and getting letters of recommendation. “The time commitment for all of this is tremendous but the more you put into this program, the more you get out of it, and the better everyone will be,” said senior drum major David Nicholson.

Photo Credit Jenna Baldus

“My goal is to just to get better as a leader. As a squad leader, that is my job, to lead my squad so they can be the best they can be,” said sophomore front line squad leader Nick Behrends.

Coolin’ Off




By: Jacob Bernhard

After 20 years of coaching sports, 11 here at Valley, Ryan Cooley has stepped down as head baseball coach. He won a total of 257 games in his eight year head coaching career. He coached the Tigers to two 4A state championships. When asked why he stepped down as coach, Cooley said that his three children, ages seven, five, and 10 months old, were strikes one two and three. “I didn’t want to hear about what my kids were doing, I wanted to see it for myself.” Not only will Coach Cooley have to adapt to being home everyday, but his wife and kids will have to adapt to him being home more often. Mrs. Krista Cooley, Spanish teacher married to Coach Cooley, feels that it will be an interesting transition. “Ever since we met he has been coaching, so it will definitely be different, said Mrs. Cooley .“ By the end of the summer I will either be tired of him or happy that he was home, probably a little of both.”

Coach Cooley was a part of Iowa High School baseball history. He was the assistant coach for the Valley State Championship teams from 2003 and 2004, and was the head coach for the 2005 and 2006 and state championship teams. No other 4A team has ever won four straight baseball state championships. Cooley said “Being a part of the state championship teams from 03’ to 06’ were definitely some of the major highlights of my career.” Although Coach Cooley may not be teaching on the field for the tigers, he is still teaching in the classroom. He has taught 21 years in total, and he has been teaching at Valley for 19 years. “Teaching and coaching are very different. Coaching is teaching kids with the same interest as you. Teaching is teaching kids who may not share the same interests as you, and that’s what makes it interesting.” Even though he may not be coaching this year, his love for the game

will still be very evident. “I don’t know how many games I will sit through, but I will drive by everyday. It’s a habit.” said Cooley. He also believes that there is a high chance that he will return to coaching at some point in the future. Coach Cooley knows that this was the right move in his life, but he wants everyone to understand why he stepped down. Cooley said “I have a family that needs me.” He also hopes that his players can understand why he stepped down. Senior Ben Miller, a pitcher on the baseball team, has played for Cooley in his sophomore and junior years. Although he wanted Cooley to coach him in his senior year, he understands the reasoning behind his decision. Ben said “It’s disappointing, but it was all for a great reason. A father figure is crucial for his kids.” Although he is absent from the game now, Coach Cooley said a return to coaching is likely. “When my kids get

older and I’m less busy with them, I could see myself coaching again.” Said Cooley. Although it is possible that he will return, Cooley is rounding third and focused on home.

Coach Cooley retires from his baseball coaching career to spend more time with his three daughters. “I have a family that needs me.”

Veterinarian in the Making By: Ashley Skokan

Studying, healing, and working her way toward becoming a veterinarian, senior Breanna Bagby is trying to fulfill her childhood dream. Breanna has been working at Family Pet Veterinary Center for just over a year. “As a receptionist I answer phones, create appointments, and prepare appointments for the next day. I am also called back to help restrain pets for vaccines, blood draws, and nail trims,” she said. Along with being a receptionist, Breanna is also an animal caretaker. “I walk, feed and give medicine to dogs and cats that we have boarded at our facility. I also clean and prepare the exam rooms for the next day’s appointments.” Before working at Family Pet Veterinary Center, Breanna worked at Hy-vee Corporate in the document image prep department. She also worked with her uncle selling mini-donuts at different markets and festivals before turning her career toward veterinary science. Originally Breanna had applied for an opening as animal caretaker in the summer of 2011. But when she went to her interview, her current boss had told her that the position was already filled but she could volunteer and possibly get a position based on how well she did. “Before I even volunteered, my boss hired me as animal caretaker.” said Breanna. After working all winter and spring with the animals, Breanna’s boss offered her the position as re-

ceptionist. “Now that I am back in school, I continue to work as animal caretaker and receptionist.” Breanna works on average 30-40 hours a week in addition to taking classes at Valley and Central Campus. “My main goal in life is to become a large animal veterinarian. By learning the things I’ve learned by working in a vet clinic, I will be able to apply it to working

on homework so I can have some time to spend with family and friends on the weekends. I usually spend Friday and Saturday with friends and Sunday with my family.”

veterinarian ever since I was six years old.” “I often find it difficult to balance work, school, family, and friends. When I get home from work I immediately start


at Grand View Univ

Come see for yourself…

Photo Credit to Breanna Bagby

“I don’t really have a favorite animal but I am really interested in all types of cattle and horses.” said Senior Breanna Bagby. “By working at Family Pet Veterinary Center, I have learned to work with all types of people and animals.” Brianna gets a smooch from two cows at her workplace.

with large animals later on in life.” Breanna has been accepted into Iowa State University, and plans on studying to become a veterinarian. “I have always wanted to go to ISU because they have one of the best vet schools in the country. I’ve wanted to be a

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September 14, 2012

Someone to Help By: Ashley Skokan

Damon became a therapist for Someone to help, someone to pets), depression, anxiety, or obsessive several reasons, “My friends have always share, someone to listen, someone like compulsive disorder, etc. In therapy you come to me with their problems. They said Shannon Damon; the new West Des Moines can learn to process through your life in a district school-based therapist. different way and learn new coping skills.” I was a good listener and I could talk them down from their irrational thoughts. This Damon began working in the The counselors and Damon have was mostly about relationships back when West Des Moines School district at the be- a referral process if needed for any kinds of I was in high school. Early on in my work ginning of this school year. Damon works student issues. “It is a really good idea to at CFI (Children & Families of Iowa), I was through the Orchard Place Child Guidance talk to the guidance counselors first. If it is Center. She spreads her time between my clients to the therapists You don’t have to go through referring often or sometimes the therapists reValley, Valley Southwoods, and Walnut ferred their clients to me. Through this Creek. “My typical schedule right now is life alone and you would be process I learned more about therapy Valley on Mondays and Fridays, Walnut amazed to know that a lot of and how it can help people and I met Creek on Tuesdays, Valley Southwoods on Thursdays, and at Orchard Place for people have felt similarly to you. wonderful therapists.” Along with working at Orchard meetings on Wednesdays.” she said. In You are not alone.” Place, Damon has also worked at sevthe early mornings and late afternoons eral other agencies. “I have also worked on Wednesdays, Damon can be found at - Shannon Damon at Children & Families of Iowa Domestic any of the three schools, depending on Violence Services as an Outreach Advowhere she is needed most. cate and Shelter Advocate for three-and-a Damon’s office is currently locat- more of a therapy issue, they will refer you half years, and Drake University Head Start ed outside of the auditorium in the com- to me.” as a Family Advocate for over two years.” mons area, to the left of the student store. Damon was born in Texas but “If you need to talk to someone “As a therapist, I can help people with diffi- grew up in Clinton, Iowa. She attended or if you are having a difficult time, whethcult transitions through life,” she said. “This Drake University and later changed to the er it is me, your teacher, your parents, your may be divorce, moving, dealing with grief University of Iowa where she received her friends, or their parents, please do so. You and loss of a loved one (family, friend, even masters in social work degree.

don’t have to go through life alone and you would be amazed to know that a lot of people have felt similarly to you. You are not alone.”

Photo credit to Orchard Place Human Resources

“As a therapist, I can help people with difficult transitions through life.” said school-based therapist Shannon Damon. The district approached Orchard Place/ Child Guidance Center about the possibility of providing school-based services in the high schools.

Pulling his Weight By: Jacob Bernhard

At the beginning of his freshman year of high school, Weston Hirschauer, now a junior, weighed 250 pounds. “I used to be on a see-food diet, I would see food and I would eat it.” Flash forward to the present, and Weston weighs 183, almost 70 pounds less than he did in 9th grade. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” Weston stopped waiting for the storm to pass and has transformed his body by losing 70 pounds in a little more than a year. Losing all of this weight inspired him to become a body builder or a personal trainer when he gets older. After Weston lost 70 pounds, it was apparent that he did not weigh enough to the offensive line for the football team, so he transferred his passion from the field to the gym. “After I lost all of the weight, I realized I wasn’t big enough to play football, so I decided to pursue my other interest of being a body builder.” said Weston. Many people are not very familiar with bodybuilding and how it works. When a body builder prepares for a competition,

they build up as much muscle and strength as possible by doing a plan that is called a surplus. But, when the competition date approaches, the body builder needs to cut weight by going on a plan called a deficiency. A deficiency is when someone tries to lose weight, by eating foods with fewer carbohydrates and fatty foods. It also is very hard to become a body builder at a young age because of

healthy forms of carbohydrates. He gets most of his fats from avocados, almonds, and fish oil. For protein, Weston eats lean meats such as: chicken, turkey, tuna, and salmon. His diet also consists of many vegetables. It’s safe to say that most high school students don’t eat like Weston. It’s also likely that most high schoolers don’t put in the same amount of work in the gym as Weston does. His workout routine is set up as a four-day split. Weston works out each muscle group in his body over the course of a week, with two days off when he incorporates cardio. Weston’s ultimate goal is “to achieve a physique that is aesthetically pleasing” In order to achieve this goal he puts a massive effort forth in each aspect of his life. He is even taking human anatomy to improve his knowledge of how the body functions. The most common answer Weston receives when he tells people he wants to become a body builder is “You are frickin crazy!” Weston likes to think of it as dancing in the rain.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” -Weston Hirshauer

Photo credit to Jake Bernhard

Junior Weston Hirschauer lifts weights, trying to reach his ultimate goal, “To achieve a physique that is aesthetically pleasing”

the cost to compete. “You have to get sponsored to become a professional, because it costs a lot of money to compete. I would be considered an amateur, because I do it for fun, not for income.” said Weston. This new interest resulted in a major change in diet plan for Weston. His new diet consists of a specific list of carbohydrates and protein sources. He gets his carbohydrates from oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and other


Dive Right In By Kennedy Graham

They approach, they take off, they execute, they plunge beneath the surface: they are the divers. Not many people know much about the diving team however they certainly deserve some recognition. This year, Valley has 4 of the top 6 divers in the state. The divers keep their focus on the State Diving meet, where last year they won first place. Only three divers are eligible to compete at state. Senior Ashlyn Clingman says “We have the best divers in the state; all six of us would easily qualify. The main goal for our diving team is to take first place as a team at state again. I know we have the ability to do it so I am eager to see how the rest of the season plays out.” Although diving focuses on one individual at a time, the divers emphasize support and teamwork that makes the team so strong. Junior Morgan Rafferty enters her third year on the diving team. Last year

Photo credit Dave Mable

Senior Ashlyn Clingman hopes to place high at

Sophomore Logan Jones concentrates on executing the perfect form at the meet with Southeast Photo credit Dave Mable Polk.

Morgan placed 6th at state and looks forward to going back again. “I’m really looking forward to learning a lot of new dives and going to state” she said. Not only does the diving team have strong teamwork, the history of gymnastics strengthens their skills. “It helps that we all used to be gymnasts.” Most of Valley’s competition comes from Ames. “We have the best diving team in the state, but Ames is tough” said senior Julie Dickinson. Julie nearly broke a school record held since 1983 and continues to push herself to “master a higher degree of difficulty.” The diving team also includes sophomores Sammy Benson, Logan Jones, and Kaylee Olson. Preview the rivalry at the meet against Ames this Tuesday, September 18th at the Valley Pool. State Diving will be held this year at the Marshalltown YMCA pool on November 2nd.

state again this year.

Call Jackie @ 223-5999 ext. 215



From 4-A to D-1 Senior signs with Nebraska By Jenni Aldrich

Screaming fans, intense pressure, coaches yelling, all for the love of a sport. This is what many high school athletes dream of, the opportunity to play a Division 1 sport and to become a sports hero. For senior Ben Miller, he is living that dream. After years of hard work, dedication, and tough decisions, he is finally ready to live his dream. The 6’3’ senior has committed to play baseball at the University of Nebraska next year. Ben has been playing baseball since he was four years old and plays pitcher and first base. The Cornhuskers have played at the College World Series three times in their history and Ben hopes to bring them to a fourth appearance. “I love the academics, athletics, tradition, and environment of the University of Nebraska, it just felt like the right place for me.” Ben has been working hard in

the off season by training and playing hours each day. Although baseball is Ben’s main priority, he also takes school very seriously and also makes time for his friends and family. Ben maintains a 3.7 GPA and plans on majoring in business or engineering. Ben idolizes Minnesota Twins catcher, Joe Mauer, “He’s an amazing player and has a very professional ego. I hope to be just like him one day.” Another idol for Ben is former baseball head coach Ryan Cooley who retired after the Tigers’ 2012 season. “It’s disapPhoto credit Jenni Aldrich pointing but it was all for a great reason,” said Ben about the retirement. Although Cooley will not be returning for the 2013 season, Ben is eager for spring to come. “Our goal is state, and this season is going to be a great one,” said Ben.

Follow @vhstigers on twitter. Get score updates on athletic events and find out what’s going on in school



September 14, 2012

Hitting it Hard on the Links By Kelly Reeve and Wes Brown

Photo credit: Wes Brown

Head Football Coach Gary Swenson is being recognized this year for his 300th win.

Mr. 300

Returning boy’s golf state champions face fierce competiton but are up to par.

With a goal of winning state again this season, the golf team has trained with intensity. The top three returning champions- Junior Jeff Swegle, and Seniors Broc Everett, Isaac Vandersee- whom led them to win the state title last year, are returning again, and have high hopes and determination. “The season has been good so far,” said junior Jeff Swegle. “Every round I have played has been at least level par, which is better than how I started last year.” Their record is 50-2 (as of Sept. 10). Practice is held every day after school at Willow Creek Golf Course where the team practices hard for competitions. Even though the course has suffered from the drought, the golfers adjust. “The courses are definitely dry but we are all playing under the same conditions,” said Coach Tracy Johnson. When they aren’t practicing and they aren’t in class, the golfers are usually out on the green. “We try and play as many meets as possible before school starts but since we can't play under the lights and we do not own a golf course, we do have to miss some school,” said Johnson. The biggest competition for the team this year will be Ankeny, Dowling, and Waukee. “They will definitely force us to play well to win tournaments,” said Jeff. The boys will have invitational tournaments throughout the season to compete against two or more of these competitors at once. “Our entire team feels pretty strong this year,” said Jeff. Practice does not just end when the players walk off the course at night. “Thinking positively about my game away from the course helps a lot.” The schedule can be grueling. This week alone included and invitational at Ames, a meet with Urbandale, a meet Marshalltown and an invitational at Cedar Falls. The state tournament will be held on October 5th and 6th at the Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City, where the Principal Charity Classic professional golf tournament has been hosted in the past.

The next competition will be the Valley Classic on Monday September 17.

By Wes Brown

Recently football Coach Gary Swenson was named “Coach of the Year” by the Des Moines Register. “It’s a nice honor. It’s something, as a coach, that I don’t look at it like it was anything I did. You win if you have good players and good coaches working with you. It was a nice compliment for our football program,” Swenson said. Leading Valley to five state championships over the years, Swenson describes the football team as a team everyone wants to beat. Great success has made Valley a targeted team. Coach Swenson has been working on the football field nearly his whole life. “I was a running back in high school and a receiver in college. I’ve coached at five different high schools for 39 years. This is all I’ve ever done, really,” Swenson said. “I think you learn early that you just have to be yourself.” Sometime this football season Coach Swenson is expected to get his 300th win. “When you coach long enough you start to reach certain check marks. In football it’s kind of a milestone. It’s a level that isn’t easy to get to. You have to have had a lot of good teams, which we’ve had.” Swenson said. Starting in 1976, Swenson’s career record stands at 279-96 as a head varsity football coach in Iowa, leading his team to 24 consecutive state playoff games, earning him the Iowa Coach of the Year three times. He served as the offensive coordinator for the U.S. Under-19 National Team at the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship in Canton, Ohio.

Senior Isaac Vandersee is working his way through the holes at Jester Park in Ankeny. Vandersee shot 72, helping Valley win the Ankeny invitational by six strokes.

Senior Broc Everett is walking to his next hole at Ames Country Club.

Sophomore John Walsh and Junior Jeff Swegle are watching their teammates at Ames Country Club.

Spotshots “I like my 2009 Toyota Yaris because it is stubby, chubby, cute and looks like a Pokémon! Plus my favorite color is red.” -Sydney Corning, Junior

“2005 Nissan 350Z. The thing I like the most about my car is its sound system. It’s fast and pretty, just like the driver. Its name is Hercules” -Connor Wang, Senior

“2012 Dodge Challenger SRT-8.With double the cylinders, and half the miles per gallon, my car equals out to the Toyota Prius.” -Sam Raridon. Senior

HotWheels “1994 Ford Mustang V6. My car is awesome because I’m awesome.” -Will Ward, Junior

“1995 Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 SVT Cobra. I’ve put a MSD Ignition and performance spark plugs and wires into my engine. Working on my car is a hobby.” -Daniel Oakes, Senior

“2000 Toyota Celica GT-S Turbo. I do all my own installs. I love working on cars as a project, starting from scratch and building up is my passion.” -Devin Pickering, Senior

“1984 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta. You don’t see many cars like it.” - Wyatt Sales, Senior “I love my Slugbug because it stands out against all the other cars. I have had it since freshman year. I love the color.” -Annie Rodruck, Junior


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