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viking Loudoun Valley High School . Issue IV . February 2013



Freshman Kenneth Alexander, freshman Philip Akin, freshman Corey Kennedy, junior Caleb Vineyard, junior Robert Alexander, sophomore Andrew Lohr and freshman Alexander Galvan show their spirit at the girls basketball game against Woodgrove. These boys painted their stomachs in support of the girls at every home game. photo/Ainsley Sierzega cover/Tierra Dongieux

Newsmagazine Staff 2012-2013

Editors-in-Chief Rachel Boisjolie Melissa Fairfax

Managing Editors Gaelyn Foster Charles Lyons

Business Manager Sheridan Suminski

Promotional Manager Meagan Solano

Layout Editor Leigh George

Photo Editor Tierra Dongieux

Online Editors Lauren Pak Charlotte Tuohy

Writers, Photographers, Business and Promotional Staff Kelly Ashley, Carina Bucci, Jennifer Colantonio, Claire Deaver, Michael Elias, Leila Francis, Sacha Gragg, Griffin Green, Katherine Haines, Katherine Hall-Wurst, McKenna Holtz, Brianna Jennings, Samantha Morency, Courtney Morgan, Maddie Rice, Emma Rodriguez, Ainsley Sierzega, Elizabeth Sikora, Rachel Snyder, Jo Trombadore, Henry Webster

Letter from the Editors Dear Vikings, Happy belated Valentine’s Day! We hope you all had a great winter break and a stress-free exam week since our last edition. Welcome to the second semester and The Viking’s last

Adviser Paige Cox three editions! The second semester is always a time of change on the staff: we’re happy to welcome the Newspaper I class officially onto staff in order to write and take pictures for us! With their help, our print and online magazines can grow even more than they already have in the past semester. So, definitely make sure to check out for these stories as well as updates on sports games and more! If you have any comments, feel free to post them on our online newsmagazine. Doing so is a great

way to make your voice heard and make suggestions for us to incorporate in our next issues! Our staff is always looking for people to interview and pictures to take, so if you know of anyone who you would like to see either online or in print, please tell us! We’d love to hear from you. Even with these changes, of course we still have some traditions that we love to keep the same. As always, we strived to maintain an unbiased stance in all of our articles and worked hard to make sure everyone is represented fairly. If you

do not think that we did this to the best of our ability, please speak to one of The Viking staff members or our adviser, Paige Cox, in room 135. The room is always open for feedback. We hope that you enjoy our articles and pictures this issue. Please help us continue to make this publication all about you and post some comments on the online paper or talk to a staff member in person. Enjoy your fresh start this semester—keep it up, Vikes! Thanks! Rachel Boisjolie and Melissa Fairfax, Editors-in-Chief








photo/Maddie Rice

one step at a time 1/FEATURE


e can be seen running around the parking lot every day after school. He practices push-ups and curl-ups, creating a new personal record each time. He works day and night on his college applications in addition to his vigorous training. He does all of this because he has a goal. “When I was 8, I decided I wanted to fly airplanes,” senior Greg Sullivan said. “Both my grandparents were flight mechanics in the Air Force.” Sullivan is applying to the Air Force Academy and Naval Academy, but the Air Force is his first choice. The application process for military academies such as these starts earlier than most four-year universities and has many components that require hours of preparation, going beyond the average college essay. In January of junior year, interested applicants start to fill out forms to get their names out. The official application opens in July; the next task is finding a nomination from their representative or senator. Students must

write to them and then receive a response in late January of senior year. After a confirmed nomination, his or her application is finally considered, and a decision is made by the academies. “The other people make it hard,” Sullivan said. “The competition is pretty tough.” In order to complete the applications, there are also tests similar to the physical fitness tests that are strictly monitored and timed. During his last test, Sullivan had to run a mile and the shuttle run; he also had to do pushups, curl-ups, pull-ups and a basketball throw. All of this must take place in about half an hour with five minutes between each event. “I’ve had to take three [tests] so far. Most of them are pretty strenuous,” Sullivan said. A different test must be taken for each academy, along with one for ROTC, all of which require a plethora of practice and training. Sullivan ran almost every day after school leading up to the tests and practiced push-ups and curl-ups to stay fit. Of course, the military academies are not

the average university experience: some of it is difficult, and some of it is incredibly rewarding. At the academies, students are considered part of the military. They get paid as cadets, starting at $846 monthly; this number increases each year. “If I got into an academy, I would start training in late June,” Sullivan said. “They have to indoctrinate you into the military, so you have to do training.” Admitted students arrive in June to complete a six-week training program that teaches military drills. At the end, they must complete a training exercise in the woods with real circumstances, such as rationing food, where they survive for a few days while upperclassmen try to catch them. The academies also have more rigorous classes and schedules that go beyond just studying. “Everyone has to do sports every season, whether they’re intramural or varsity,” Sullivan said. Becoming a pilot is competitive within the Air Force. Cadets must have perfect eyesight,



One senior puts himself through all the tests in hopes of achieving his biggest goal. and they also must complete the four years before being judged by their grades and behavior in order to enter the flight training program. However, there are other options for those who don’t receive nominations, or don’t pass the tests, but are still interested in military. As an alternative to competitive military academies, ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) programs provide military training and a similar college experience at normal four-year universities. “I’m also applying for ROTC at Virginia Tech and WVU,” Sullivan said. The ROTC program at regular four-year universities also provides a sizable scholarship along with the guarantee of a career after graduation. “The military flies for a higher purpose,” Sullivan said. At Virginia Tech, for example, the Corps of Cadet Program is a very prestigious ROTC program. The program includes Naval/ Marine, Air Force and Army divisions. Many

scholarships are available to the cadets to make it more affordable. There are about 800 cadets who are in ROTC, as it is not necessary to be in the Corps, even though many cadets opt to join. “The academies are on active duty, and ROTC is not,” Sullivan said. “[In] ROTC I’d finish college and graduate with a commission, then apply for flight training.” If a college student joins ROTC, he or she not only has school to worry about but also additional classes, field training and leadership activities. For Sullivan, this will not be a problem, since he runs cross country and track. He has trained for months in preparation for his fitness tests and the rigorous life in college and the military, to come. For him, it would be the dream job. “I’ll never work a day in my life if I fly planes,” Sullivan said. article/Charlotte Tuohy photos/Charlotte Tuohy layout/Rachel Boisjolie, Charlotte Tuohy

fast facts












Several students have made a name for themselves through ADAM GRANT their unique culinary skills. LAINE first BRUMMELL explored her culinary side when she

began baking cupcakes for her friends’ birthdays. “I like to give them as birthday gifts,” Brummel said. “I think people like to get something on their birthday that’s a little different.” Her hours of practice clearly paid off when she won the SCA “cupcakeoff” with her “Oreo Surprise” cupcakes. “They had an Oreo in the middle of them, and then I made homemade Oreo frosting and I crumbled up the cookie and put them in the frosting,” Brummel said. “Then I put a little Oreo on top.” While Brummelll would love to work as a pastry chef, she cannot see herself persuing baking as a serious career.

has been cooking since he was about seven years old. It all began when his mother came home one night with green beans. Grant, seven years old at the time, was dismayed by the vegetable. Observing his disgust, his mother proclaimed that if he wanted something else, he’d have to cook it himself. Grant accepted the challenge and has been cooking ever since. Grant specializes in ethnic foods. He and his mother enjoy cooking Vietnamese, Laotion, Cambodian and Southeast Asian food. Grant is also fascinated by the science behind cooking, which could explain why he admires chef Alton Brown, whose show “Good Eats” explores the scientific side of cooking. While Grant is an excellent chef, he has his problem areas. “Meringues. I can’t get it right,” Grant said. “I’ve tried like three. They always turn out burnt.” Grant is serious about his pastime, hoping to attend a culinary institute and eventually become a chef.

ABIGAIL GREENE may not pursue cooking seriously as

career, but for her, it serves as a social and rewarding hobby. “Cooking is just something to do with other people to waste time that actually has an end product that is awesome,” Greene said. “Because food is awesome. It’s very, very good. I hope it’s always a thing.” In Greene’s household, cooking is a social experience or “a production” as Greene put it. With a family so in love with cooking, it’s no wonder the skills come so easily to her. Her specialty? “Terrible, terrible, terrible food. Things that make you fat fast,” Greene said. These “terrible” foods include cookies, brownies, homemade apple cake and on a rare occasion, chocolate truffles. And while she could greedily consume all of these hard-earned delicacies herself, she instead charitably shares her culinary masterpieces. “We have a saying in my family,” Greene said, “that no matter how much you get, it’s a one day supply- because we will eat everything that comes in the house. So usually we try to get it out of the house and give it to other people.” article/Jo Trombadore photos/Lauren Pak, Maddie Rice, Ainsley Sierzega layout/Jo Trombadore

COOKING TIP “I’m really good at cookies. It’s not a difficult recipe, I just use the one on the back of the bag but with only one egg, because it makes it much better that way. That’s the secret.” -Abigail Greene




Loosening the F

rom traditional white weddings to weddings with radical, full-blown themes, almost everyone has some idea about how they’d like to start their future marriage. Whether it began when they were a little girl, playing with mommy’s wedding veil, or when they were the handsome ring bearer in a brand-new suit, weddings and marriage are two of the most relatable subjects. Many teenagers perceive marriage as a blissful paradise; however, the reality is that approximately one in two first marriages will end in divorce, according to the National Survey of Family Growth from the Centers for Disease Control. Marriage practices since 1970 have been changing more dramatically than in decades past, and students’ perspectives reflect the change. As teenagers’ views transform, so does the future of marriage. Since students will be the next generation to enter into marriage, they are responsible for its evolution. Loudoun County recognizes that students are important to the development of marriage by offering a course titled “Marriage and Family Dynamics” for juniors and seniors.

The course studies the institution of marriage in addition to the many necessities to maintain a healthy relationship, such as balancing a career and family life. The national census discovered that the median age of first marriages has grown from 22.5 to 26.9, meaning that people are approximately four years older when they marry for the first time than in 1970. This could be because of a change in priorities. “A lot of people, including myself, are a lot more career-oriented,” English teacher Rebecca Walter said, adding that women have begun to form families after settling in a chosen career, rather than abandoning careers to form families. The placement of women in jobs that were previously more male-oriented, such as doctors or lawyers, allows women more independence than previous generations experienced. In fact, the value on independence is so great that some teenagers don’t plan to get married at all. Freshman Becca Roy feels that marriage might restrain her independence and is an unnecessary part of a relationship. “A relationship really changes

with the phases of life,” Roy said. “The dynamic of a relationship will change with or without marriage.” The decreased desire to marry is corroborated by the National Survey of Family Growth, which released statistics in 2012 that revealed a drop in the average of people who married from 54.5 percent to 49.2 percent, meaning that fewer people are getting married. The divorce rate has also been increasing, alongside a decrease in the average length of couples’ first marriages. The New York Times published a study that may explain why first marriages are shorter: according to new data, newlyweds enjoy their post-marital bliss for only about two years before they return to their normal pre-marital happiness. Most people misinterpret this drop in happiness to express a loss of love, but it actually represents a transition from passionate love to companionate love. Because couples are getting more divorces, divorce has gone from being socially unacceptable to commonplace. The increased divorce rate could also be blamed on a shift in how marriage is viewed by those getting

married. Many students associate marriage with family, love and stability, but none mentioned the more realistic concepts of compromise and sacrifice. “I think that sometimes people don’t realize how much work it is,” Spanish teacher Erin Boldin said. “There is a lot of compromise, a lot of give and take; you don’t always get your way.” This may be the first generation of teenagers who have begun to look at divorce as a solution to a problem. “If it benefits the family, then divorce is the appropriate thing to do,” sophomore Jenny Forbes said, adding, though, that she would “try to be strong and fix the problem” before entering into a divorce herself. While teenagers tend to frown on teen marriages, they generally do plan to get married when they are older, an attitude that hasn’t changed in the past few generations. “I just thought it was something that you were supposed to grow up and do,” Walter said. “I think as I got older, my definition of ‘grown-up’ has changed.” article/Emma Rodriguez photo/Melissa Fairfax layout/Meagan Solano


the fight against

HUNGER In one of the richest counties in the country, teens work together to help end hunger in unexpected places.

Prestigious schools, impressive iPhones, new clothes and mansion-like and to form relationships to let them know that they are not hidden, but housing developments. In 2011, the Census Bureau named Loudoun County valued and loved.” the richest county in the United States with an annual average household Loudoun Interfaith Relief (LIR) food pantry also provides food income of $119,540. However, in reality, not everyone in Loudoun receives assistance to families in need in Loudoun County. Families can receive the the perceived image of mansions, brand-name clothes and frivolous service of LIR twice a month. luxuries. Where there is rich, there must be poor; Loudoun is no exception. “We know how incredibly difficult it is for some families to seek and to Many can’t even provide the most basic of necessities. receive our services,” LIR Executive Director Bonnie Inman said. “Hunger Often overlooked, hunger in Loudoun County inflicts itself on more has placed so many people in terribly vulnerable positions.” families than people realize. Luckily, food pantries and public schools’ free LIR serves about 70 families a day; an average family is five people. and reduced lunches try to aid Loudoun residents in need of LIR determined that ten pounds of food per person will help “As a teenager, food. someone eat for three days, meaning LIR distributes 25,000 Senior Thomas Funkhauser organized a food drive this pounds of food every week. Last fiscal year, LIR issued food it’s really hard to past summer for the Tree of Life Food Pantry in Purcellville. to 91,000 people, more than 1.3 million pounds of food. see what’s going Purcellville Baptist Church, along with a ministry of several “Raising awareness about hunger is so important to on around in our other churches in Western Loudoun County, sponsors me and to LIR,” Inman said. “Anything that we can do to let community because people know that hunger is real—people are struggling to be the Tree of Life Food Pantry which aids families in need. Funkhauser and some friends handed out flyers stating certain everyone is wrapped able to provide a very basic human necessity. The times we items the food pantry needed, gathered together for three are living in can be such a challenge for anyone.” up in their school mornings at 7:30 at the main exit from Locust Grove and Hirst The recent economic issues show a true burden Farm to catch people leaving for work and collected more than work and sports.” to many. Along with food pantries providing for families, -Thomas 300 pounds of food. Loudoun County Public Schools offers free and reduced “The first day we didn’t get a lot of food, but the second lunches for those students struggling with hunger. Funkhauser day we got a lot more people coming because they started to For the 2012-2013 school year, the income for a realize ‘oh there is a food drive going on,’” Funkhauser said. household of four must be below $42,643 to qualify for “By the third day we got a lot of food.” meals at a reduced rate and below $29,965 to qualify for free meals at According to Funkhauser, teens in general fail to realize that hunger school. occurs every day all around them. In the 2005-2006 school year, only four percent of Loudoun Valley “As a teenager, it’s really hard to see what’s going on around in our students obtained free and reduced lunches; by the 2012-2013 school community because everyone is wrapped up in their school work and year, it has gone up 250 percent. Now up to 10 percent of the student body sports, and everyone around here tends to be privileged,” Funkhauser said. receives this service. “However, after doing the food drive and after hearing some of the church “It is incredibly difficult to know that families across the United States members say this food is going to feed this family for two weeks, it really are struggling to feed their families, but even right here in our community the sunk in that this made an impact on someone’s life.” need is huge,” Inman said. “The face of hunger could be you or me. It is not Administrator of the Tree of Life Food Pantry Wayne Ruckman also some stereotypical person; reminding myself that it could be me and being knows that many people fail to see the hunger that encompasses the county. thankful for what I have has become more and more important in my life.” “Many may think that there would be little need considering that we live article/Brianna Jennings in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States,” Ruckman said. “The photo/Tierra Dongieux poor and needy in our society can sometimes be ‘hidden’ in these statistics. layout/Charlotte Tuohy However, our purpose is to find out who has needs, to meet these families



atching two of the tallest guys in the school walking side by side could be intimidating. But when it’s seniors Josh Grimard and Jovon Miller, it’s not—unless they’re on the basketball court. “I’m usually a shooter and he’s more of an inside game, so when you put us together we’re pretty much unstoppable,” Grimard said. “I can make no-look passes because I know where he’s going to be the whole time.” As part of a winning team with a Dulles District Tournament two-year championship title, Grimard and Miller exemplify the varsity team’s cohesive game with their sharp passes and court presence. Junior Paul Rowley’s shots, senior Cameron Kiani’s defense, sophomore Dalton Smolens’ speed, the freshman phenomenon Trey McDyre—the entire team’s enthusiasm and hard work all play into the team’s nearly undefeated run through the season and its championship titles. “The most important thing about our team is that they really buy into the quote ‘It's amazing how much can be accomplished when no ONE cares who gets the credit,’” Coach Chad Dawson said. “These student-athletes share the basketball so well; it is truly a pleasure to coach them.” As Dawson pointed out, the team’s accomplishments are impressive and plenty. He also went on to mention the dynamic between “Jovosh,” as he began calling the duo in their sophomore year basketball season. “They have to be mentioned as one of the best, if not the best team of all time (only time will tell on the latter), in the 50-year history of LVHS,” Dawson said. “But ‘Jovosh’ is special...they really feed off of each other on the basketball court, and I imagine in the classroom as well.” And, having been their coach for the duration of their high school basketball career, Dawson knows what he’s talking about. Grimard and Miller are not only a basketball duo but a pair of best friends as well.

“I don’t really have another best friend apart from Jovon. I’ve known this man since the beginning of seventh grade, and I hang out with him all the time,” Grimard said. “I know his entire family, he knows my whole family, including my grandma—everything.” The six-foot-plus duo—Grimard at six-five and Miller at six-four—are strikingly similar in stature, though they complement each other in personality. They understand each other’s mumbles and rapid-fire talking. They finish each other’s thoughts, bounce off of each other when telling a story. They know everything about each other, as Grimard especially demonstrates, often interjecting to explain details about Miller. “In class we laugh, and no one understands what we’re talking about,” Grimard said. “We have everything in common. Music, movies, food. But not really colors. He likes red, I like green, he likes roller coasters, I don’t.” Their story began, as Grimard mentioned, in seventh grade when Miller moved from Leesburg to Purcellville. However, when Miller began to explain his move from Leesburg, Grimard interjected— “No, no, give them the whole story! California…” And with that prompt, Miller launched into his move from California to Leesburg and, finally, to Purcellville, where he met Grimard in pre-algebra class. A mutual travel basketball friend had told Grimard that Miller would be moving to Grimard’s school. Grimard tapped Miller on the shoulder in class one day, asking if he was Jovon; from there, the friendship blossomed. And they have been inseparable since, seeing each other nearly every day. Weekends are spent together, hanging out at each other’s houses or going out to the movies or on double dates with their ‘girls.’ Weekdays might be spent studying together, since the two often help each other with school; they might also venture out to Taco Bell or Moe’s or to 7-11 for a Gatorade. And, of course,



Josh Jovon A compelling friendship lies at the heart of this winning basketball team.

basketball practice bonds them every single day after school, not to mention game days. “We pretty much do everything together; there’s nothing we really don’t,” Grimard said. It is this kind of constant closeness that facilitates a mutual sense of humor, which both seem to naturally possess. “If I’m talking to Jovon, Jovon will look over my shoulder and give a head nod, and I would always turn around because I want to see who he’s talking to, maybe I know him. And there’s no one there, and he does it all the time!” Grimard said. “It’s more he pulls pranks on me; I’m not a prank guy.” So, Grimard isn’t the pranker. Miller is. “He’s a hard sleeper, so sometimes I’ll mess with him,” Miller said—to Grimard’s shock. “You do?! Well this is great! Alright!” Grimard said jovially, unaware. “I mean I did take a picture of him on the way to one of our games this year and posted it on Twitter, but that’s about it.” There is still more to their friendship though—beyond the jokes and basketball and just constantly hanging out, they are each other’s support team. “When my mom had an attack, I had to call 911…I called him to let him know, and he was just really supportive about it,” Grimard said. “I know that if I’m ever in any need, I can just call him because he’s going to answer his phone; I’m not worried about it. Unless he’s asleep!” Though these various other facets make up their friendship in addition to their sport, it does always come back to basketball, especially when the two think about where they have been and where they will be in just a few short months. With college looming in the near future, the two are facing the fact that due to different schools recruiting one and not the other, they may go their

separate ways. “I think it’d be fun to play against him in college if we don’t play together, you know,” Miller said. Grimard agreed, saying that they are trying to go to the same school but that if they weren’t able to, they wouldn’t lose touch. Instead, they would make the best of it. “I’m not going to guard him [if we play each other in college], but I’ll give him a little high five or butt tap when I score or something,” Grimard said, bantering with Miller. “I talk trash, elbow him, push him around, but at the end of the day, we’re still best friends.” And so, like all romances, bromances too must face the possibility that they could be split up come time for college—though the two don’t approve of calling their friendship a bromance, as many friends call it in teasing. “I don’t plan on not being friends with him. College will come and depending on where we are, I’m still going to talk to him. I’ll call him and ask him how my boy’s doing, and I know he’s going to play basketball somewhere so I’ll follow his team,” Grimard said. “I’m not worried because I know we’re best friends and that’s not going to change, you know; he’s not going to find someone else.” And so, in the end, their game keeps them close but their overall friendship keeps them closer. On and off the court, the two are inseparable and unstoppable. 6’5 and 6’4, Salt and Pepper, Batman and Spiderman, Josh and Jovon. Jovosh. “He’s like a brother,” Grimard said. “We’re pretty much exactly the same, except black and white.” article/Melissa Fairfax photos/Ainsley Sierzega layout/Leigh George



REVOL On December 9, 1997, 21-year-old Jeff Reese, a wrestler at the University of Michigan, died after collapsing during a strenuous weight loss exercise routine. Undernourished and exhausted, Reese paid the ultimate price for his attempt to move to a lower wrestling weight class. That year two other collegiate wrestlers also died under similar circumstances. In the past, drastic weight loss measures like those demonstrated by these athletes were unregulated and largely ignored. However, the incidence of tragic accidents related to wrestling weight loss in the 1990s shocked the nation, galvanizing state, college and high school wrestling associations. Whether they realize it or not, wrestlers all over the country are undergoing something of a 21st century athletics health movement, a wrestling revolution with new and

“When you don't feed the body in order to drop a lot of weight, your body actually begins to break down other parts of your body to use as energy.” increasingly innovative ways to monitor athletic health. In early November of 1988, coach Troy Mezzatesta was transitioning from his fall sport, football, to his winter sport, wrestling. He had only a matter of weeks to drop a substantial amount of weight to meet his desired wrestling weight class. Wrestlers, at that time, had some creative ways to shave off the weight, whether it was healthy or not. Under-eating, purging, sweating,



700 B.C.

exhaustive exercise—all were plausible methods to carry out the drastic yoyo dieting necessary to eliminate body mass so quickly. Now, as Mezzatesta coaches and monitors his own wrestling team, he recognizes the changes that have taken place in the nature of the sport. “When I used to wrestle, there wasn’t a program that said you could only lose 8 pounds or 10 pounds,” Mezzatesta said. “We lost thirty pounds like that in a season. I weighed about 180 for football, and then I wrestled at 145 pounds. In this day and age, you can’t do that.” In 2006, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rewrote Rule 1-3 of the wrestling regulations, the weight management guidelines, to make weight management rules stricter. This modified rule expects high schools to have distinct protocols that control the practice of “making weight.” The change requires that all wrestlers have a hydration test and a body fat analysis prior to their first match of the season. The hydration test indicates whether an athlete needs to restore bodily fluids, since all wrestlers must be weighed in at a fully hydrated state. The body fat analysis tells how much body fat an athlete has in relation to his body mass and denotes the maximum amount of weight that the athlete can lose. As a part of the regulation, no wrestler can lose over 1.5 percent of his or her body weight per week. In addition, male wrestlers must maintain a body fat percentage of seven, and females 12, throughout the season. The motivation wrestlers have for losing weight before competition is a matter of pure physics. At a natural weight, an athlete has a certain amount of strength that can be improved by conditioning. If a wrestler is conditioned at a

first recorded wrestling match


high school male wrestlers nationwide in 2011-2012


Regular Season Stats (win/loss) Derek Racshid


Carmine Mancini


Cade Kiely


Josh Cassada-Maple


Joseph LaFonte


Andrew Harrington


Kyle Dillon


John Williams


Christian Sierra


Sid Byers


Tyler Stipancic


Caleb Trump


Zac Gingras


Arslan Aziz


James Gore


TJ Holdrege



VHSL regulations put an end to unhealthy weight loss.

weight of 130 pounds, but decides to lose 10 pounds to make the 120-pound weight class, the athlete still has his previous strength but is competing against smaller opponents. This means the wrestler has an advantage in strength and is likely to pin his opponent more easily. While the shocking tragedies put modified regulations into motion, increased diet and health research within the past two decades shaped decisions regarding athletic condition. Studies show that rapid weight loss and yoyo dieting have instant detrimental effects. For example, a wrestler attempting to drop weight by means of an ultra-restrictive diet and excessive exercise may experience lack of concentration, irritability, muscle fatigue and exhaustion. The athlete may develop food obsessions due to the lack of calories and physically may have pale skin, dull hair and brittle finger nails. In addition to these symptoms, a woman undergoing an extreme diet may grow a light covering of hair all over her face as the body attempts to insulate itself. While the short-term effects of yoyo dieting are the first warning signs, the long term impact is the most severe. Registered Dietitian and Valley graduate Carlene Thomas explains that the last thing a person should do when dropping weight is engage in extreme diets. According to Thomas, eating less than the required number of calories causes the body to enter a “starvation period” and cling to every calorie consumed. “Every time you engage in an extreme diet that causes rapid and unsustainable weight loss, it makes it harder for you to lose weight in the future,” Thomas said. “When you don't feed the body in order to drop a lot of weight, your body actually begins to break down other parts of your body to use as energy. Even your brain.”


high school female wrestlers nationwide in 2011-2012


Fortunately, high school and collegiate wrestlers today are subject to regulations and are exposed to health research. Fewer athletes are affected by extreme dieting. According to Mezzatesta, the stereotypical game of weight loss has transformed into a system of achieving an ideal weight to help an athlete succeed in competition. Whether it be through losing, gaining or maintaining, wrestlers are now encouraged to shoot for the weight that they feel would benefit them most. Sophomore Derek Raschid, a wrestler on the varsity team, is one of the athletes who decided that weight loss was the best way for him to be more competitive. Raschid achieved his goal of moving to the lowest weight class available, losing what is now considered to be a maximum amount of weight of 14 pounds from his initial 120 pounds. According to Raschid, shaving off the weight was not easy. His stringent diet of fruit, vegetables, chicken, nuts, berries and protein shakes often left him unsatisfied, and the energy depleting effect of hunger made it difficult to concentrate in class. However, through his careful food choices, patience and determination, the athlete qualified for his desired weight class. “I could have stayed at 113 pounds, but I chose to drop to 106 pounds for my personal benefit,” Raschid said. “It is much easier wrestling 106-pound opponents than it is 113-pound opponents. My choice and hard work paid off, as I am seeing exceptional results in the 106 weight class. The choice is yours: do you want to be average in one weight class or good in a lower weight class?” article/Gaelyn Foster photos/Madeline Swartz layout/Rachel Boisjolie

rate of wrestling injury compared to football


highest weight class available



top/Senior Jimena Castillo, junior Rachael Barker and junior Lindsey Littlefield practice their cosmetology skills at Monroe. column/Sophomore Tim Passarelli, sophomore Sam Allison, sophomore Keagan Boal and sophomore Chris Brown work on their respective projects during their technology education classes at Valley.

pcoming freshmen sit agitatedly with their parents in the school auditorium, awaiting their orientation. Their future is laid out in front of them—a certain number of required courses, a certain amount of allotted electives, all leading to one destination: college, or some form of higher education. Any other options are merely an afterthought, an asterisk. High schools and the American culture are presenting college and "higher" education as the only acceptable path for young adults to take, rather than encouraging students to fill the enormous deficit of blue collar and artisanal jobs whose requirements may not necessitate a college education. "Everyone believes that if you get a solid education, then you are more likely to get a better job and be more successful," junior Courtney Schollian said, agreeing that college is essentially the only option presented as a viable immediate future to students. "I don't think it's a great thing. School isn't for everyone, yet society and our parents push it on us. It's a lot of pressure for a high school student to endure." Schollian is something of an anomaly: a consistently all-honors and AP student at the top of her class who nonetheless has taken a Technical Education course every year of her high school career, saying she has "a passion for this type of learning environment." The issue is playing out not only at the local level but on a national scale as well. Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel television series Dirty Jobs, persuasively addressed Congress about a few of these shifts in 2010, bemoaning with urgency the negative way society regards people who work blue collar jobs and the disconnect we have with them. We rarely get to know the plumbers and electricians and construction workers whom we employ; more often than not we simply leave them their dues on the kitchen counter. “I think there is a lack of appreciation for the trades until you need something fixed or a crisis that needs to be resolved,” Technical Education teacher Donald Mitchell said. “It is then that people have the eye-opening experience that they are a vital part to the heartbeat of America. That without them, we as a nation will not function.” Wagner Grier is principal of C.S. Monroe Technology Center, a Governor’s Academy located in Leesburg where many high school students from across the county go to study a concentrated field of their interest. The principal disagrees to an extent with the simplistic notion that college and artisanal pursuits are mutually exclusive, seeing a student involved in CTE—Career and Technical Education—as not being entirely separate or distinct from a student on a college-

OLLEGE? bound track. Rather he sees Monroe merely as an alternate path to college, another way of getting to the same destination. "Our students go on to college; [Monroe is] just a different route of how you want to get there—our students take marketable skills, things that they're able to do, and they can use that to help them earn their education," Grier said. "There is a college out there for everyone. I wish that our community saw more of a value of CTE." Monroe student and junior Lindsey Littlefield shares Grier's view of Monroe as an alternate pathway to the ultimate goal of "higher" education. "I went as a sophomore [to Monroe] for Health and Medical Sciences because I love the medical field. This year, however, I chose to take Cosmetology because I want the experience for a part-time job while in the Air Force," Littlefield -Wagner Grier said. "Although I'm taking Cosmetology, I am still pursuing my career in medicine by joining the Air Force in order to become an OB/GYN." Littlefield went on to stress her feeling that everyone ought to attend college in some form or another. "Personally I feel all students should go to college or another form of postsecondary schooling if only to further their general knowledge," she said. Stigma and image are almost undeniably factors as to why the artisanal trades and CTE have been marginalized. "Stigmatism is the stumbling block of vocational arts. People think that every plumber is overweight and that when he bends over his rear end hangs out. They think that college is the guarantee to be successful when in turn it doesn’t guarantee anything but more than likely you will be in debt when you get out," Mitchell said. "Every job has a visual image that goes with it, and in this case I think society is to blame across the nation." To those who take Monroe and CTE seriously, a prominent reason for the programs' appeal is that they cater very specifically to what each student wants

Our students go to college; [Monroe is] just a different route of how you want to get there.


As the nation pushes graduates towards college, Career Technical Education trains students for today’s in-demand jobs.

to do and is interested in pursuing, satisfying the educational and professional desires of many students. Appropriately, Grier has made it his life's mission to assist students from a very young age, even hosting camps for middle schoolers every summer at Monroe to get acquainted with the various programs, to help children figure out the essential question of "what is it that I like doing?" Programs like Monroe appeal to students in that they get to decide their own fate, and their fate is predicated on doing something they love, pursuing what they want, rather than having administrators dictating what is best for them. CTE education centers also offer a much more practical antidote to the more conceptual nature of traditional high schools. "Have you ever been in a class before, maybe math class, and a student has said 'When am I ever going to use this?'” Grier said. “Monroe is the perfect answer to that question." Monroe’s frequent collaboration with the county’s Academy of Science program is indicative of its practical virtues, offering an applicable, practical counterpart to AoS’s more conceptual background. Not long ago, an AoS attendee was attempting to develop a kind of fluorescent paint, and despite his extensive knowledge of the substance’s chemical makeup and properties, he had no idea how the paint could be used beneficially outside the confines of a science classroom. It was there that students at Monroe in the Collision Repair/Auto-Body program stepped in and, in partnership with AoS, made the abstract experiment into a helpful and moneymaking reality. “Monroe is where the real-life application comes in,” Grier said of the story, adding that he hopes that when Monroe’s new building is built (expected to finish construction in 2016), AoS will share the space with them, allowing his dream of the ultimate partnership between programs to come true. This shared space would be an optimal compromise for the future. It would be a situation indicative of a pragmatic resolution of the modern competition between these differing types of profession and education under one common goal: a more diverse and more useful tomorrow. article/Charles Lyons photos/Charles Lyons, Maddie Rice layout/Rachel Boisjolie


HANDS ON Sophomore David Tipton works with the table saw to make a wooden babycrib for his teacher, Mr. Mitchell. Students involved in the technical education classes learn how to use different tools and use their creativity. “You can make mistakes and you won’t get marked down for it; all you have to do is fix it,” Tipton said. “It takes a lot of concentration so you don’t cut off something on your body.”


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Our World We drive down Route 7, each of us in our own cars within our own lives on our own schedules, passing car after car driven by a different person, yet another person. We can guess what others may be doing at that moment, play a game, make up this person’s back story, but we can never know. And each of these people has their own story. Their own family. Their own connections. This is how a big world becomes small. Purcellville, home to nearly 8000 people and yet considered small. We seem to know everyone in our grade in high school; we may think we know everyone in town, and yet we walk through the grocery store and don’t recognize a face. And one town over is another little Purcellville, another Loudoun Valley, perhaps called Edison or Oakton, the name doesn’t matter; these are filled with the same people but with their own various life stories which we cannot fathom. And these little Purcellvilles are everywhere. Go even a couple hundred miles away and no one will even have heard of Purcellville except maybe that one rare person who has made a connection in this ‘small world.’ We are a little town but we’re growing bigger, as can be seen by the expansion and addition of Harris Teeter or Walgreens or the closing of Main Street Wings. Changes. The college kids leave, go out into the world beyond our little bubble, and when they come back they are astounded by how things

have changed but also by how they really haven’t. Purcellville may change but it is still the same as it always has been; it is unique in its own ways but really it is still the same as everywhere else. It’s still only a little piece to the puzzle, a small town in a county full of towns, in a state full of counties. A country full of states and a world full of countries. Similarly, in the past couple of decades, we as a country, a collection of tiny Purcellvilles amounting to a nation, have experienced a unique kind of unification through the internet. We exist within our own self-contained bubbles in addition to being part of a much broader global fabric. We can now communicate in an instant with people thousands of miles away. We can browse obscure Parisian clothing shops without ever leaving the comfort of our homes. This odd paradox, then, both encourages our sense of collectiveness and worldliness as well as isolates us even more. There are so many of us that we will never even meet, so many people we could never even fathom knowing, and each has a different perspective on life which is both similar to the other billions of people but which has a unique take. 7 billion people, 7 billion different, similar stories. article/Staff photos/Ainsley Sierzega layout/Meagan Solano


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1. Freshman Zac Nixon performs with the Western Loudoun Drumline at the Woodgrove Game. 2. The boys basketball team members each invited a teacher to Staff Appreciation Night. 3. The girls swim team prepares to dive at the regional meet. 4. Sophomore Kirsten Graves, junior Jerica Mingo and junior Jessie Hardesty wait to substitute into their game. 5. Girls basketball coach Kenyamo McFarlane pumps up his team during a time-out. 6. As the lights come up behind him, Coach Zach Collins introduces Comedy Cult at its performace during activity period. 7. The dance team puts on jerseys as part of their dance routine during the Woodgrove game halftime. 8. Freshman Haley Crosser performs on beam at a gymnastics meet.

4. 5.

8. photos/Sami Morency, Lauren Pak, Maddie Rice, Ainsley Sierzega layout/Charlotte Tuohy

The Viking Issue 4  

The fourth issue of The Viking

The Viking Issue 4  

The fourth issue of The Viking