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Fall edition 2009

Versus Magazine

Letter from the Editors

Dear Reader, Welcome to the first issue of Versus Magazine. The staff

at Versus Magazine is passionate about sports, and we wanted to share our passion with you. We strived to include articles about a wide variety of sports so that whatever sport you play, you will find something that you like in our magazine. Sports are universal. They petition, but they also and dedication. So in our these different aspects of

bring people together for cominvolve teamwork, perseverance, title, we tried to incorporate all sport. So we went with Versus.

Inside you will find features where we highlight inspiration athletes, opinions on aspects of different sports, and A.S.Fs that teach you about other aspects of sports, such as equipment. The experience of making this magazine will stick with us for a long time, and we hope the magazine will stick with you, too. Again, welcome to the first issue of Versus Magazine. Enjoy.

-The Versus Magazine Staff-

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VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

THE STAFF Hannah R. is 14 and is a freshman at LASA. She has two brothers, ages 7 and 12. She played soccer, basketball, and ran track for Kealing Middle school. This year, she is running Cross country, track, and playing soccer for LBJ. She wrote the articles Reasons 2 Run, A Sport Survey, and Race of a Lifetime. She plans to run track in college and go to the Olympics. She also wants to be a coach/personal trainer, or a photographer.

Andrea C. is currently a freshman at LASA. Her birthday is August 9th and she is an only child. She played volleyball and ultimate frisbee at Kealing. This year, she is playing lacrosse. She wrote the articles Willing to Coach, One Sport, Two Games, and Sports Drinks: Better than Water? She plans to go to the University of Southern Carolina and wants to major in forensic science.

Christopher D. is currently a freshman at LASA. He has two brothers, Anthony who is currently at the Air Force Academy and Patrick who is a junior at LASA. Christopher lived in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico for a year and a half after which he came back to Austin to attend Kealing Middle School. He was a starting linebacker for the undefeated district champion freshman football team and will go on to run track later this year. He is interested in pursuing architectural engineering once he gets through high school. Junior R., currently attending LASA High School, has just finished his football season and is planning on joining soccer. He has a brother, age 10, who is a 5th grader at Cunningham Elementary, and a sister, age 12, who is a 6th grader at Fulmore Middle School, all of which live in Austin, Texas. Junior plans on attending college at U.T. and wants to be a computer engineer. Both his parents were born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and attended Brackenridge High School. Junior is well known for his “different” personality. He loves a good challenge and his dream is to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an intelligent and hard working father.

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Reasons 2 Run Hannah R. Willing to Coach Andrea C. A Sport Survey Hannah R. Shea Sensation Chris D. Sport Anatomy Junior R. Race of a Lifetime Hannah R. One Sport, Two Games Andrea C. It’s All About the Shoes Chris D. A Life’s Dream Junior R. Sports Drinks: Better Than Water? Andrea C. Skills vs. Education Junior R. and Chris D.

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s n R o u s n a e R


I had been running for just over 12 minutes when I saw the finish line looming just over the top of the hill. I told myself I was almost done, and I sprinted as hard as I could toward the finish. I raced up the hill, passed up nearly 5 people, and as I crossed the finish line, I realized that it was all worth it, the hard workouts, the early practices, everything. Everyone wants to be in shape, and get exercise while having a good time. All this, and more, can be accomplished by running high school cross country. I think more high school students should run cross country. When people think of high school cross country, you usually envision a lot of running, and guys in short shorts. Many people don’t participate in cross country because they believe that, as a school team, it involves getting up too early. Many people have also told me that, in cross country, there’s too much running, that it’s boring, and that there is no point. These are the main reasons cross country isn’t as popular of a sport as say, football or basketball. Cross country practices at LBJ High School begin at 6:30 in the morning, but waking up that early and then exercising increases a person’s alertness for the rest of the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most teenagers ages 11 to 17 require 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep. Adults (anyone older than 17, so 18 and up) need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. At first 6:30 sounds really early, but after a while a routine will form, and it will easy to wake up early. It’s actually really nice to get to school before everyone else, and not get stuck in traffic. Another plus of having the practices in the morning is that it’s not as hot, so you don’t have to suffer through the Texas heat. One of the worst things about Texas is the extreme high temperatures it reached in the

a story should r cros

summer. The heat was especially miserable this summer, and according to KVUE news it was the hottest summer in about 80 years, and 4:30 is the hottest part of the day. If high school cross country practices weren’t in the morning, they would be after school, around 4:00 to 5:00, the hottest part of the day. If cross country practices weren’t in the morning they would be torturous. It’s better to have practices in the morning when people are just tired, than in the afternoon, when it’s dangerously hot. All in all it’s a good thing that cross country practices are in the morning. The ideas that there is too much running and that there is no point in high school cross country are intertwined. The point of cross country is running. Some people run cross country to run cross country, because they like running, and they enjoy the competitive aspect, while others just do it to get in shape for their other sports, or just in general to get in shape. No matter the reason for doing cross country, the point is exercise. And when the point is exercise and the sport is running, you should expect to run, a lot. At a normal practice at LBJ we will run from 2 to 4 miles. In a race girls will run 2 miles and guys will run 3 miles. The practices are not too difficult. Sometimes we run hills to strengthen our legs and speed us up for when we run on flat surfaces. Other days we will do track workouts where we run repeat intervals for about 2 miles so we can work on

...when people think of high

school cross country,

they usually envision a lot of running, and guys in short shorts...

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y about why you run high school ss country

4A , 3A, 2A, 1 A, and private school varsity Park Invitatio girls at the C nal, Saturday edar September 19 , 2009.

photo by Kevin Rieden our speed. Everyone is always able to complete the workout within a reasonable time, and everyone is a different speed. It doesn’t matter how fast a person is, the important thing is that they’re out there trying and getting exercise. It is extremely important for teens to get exercise. According to a new study by the American Running Association in Running and Fitnews magazine by age 15 fewer than a third of kids meet the government’s recommended guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day. This could lead to high blood pressure, which could eventually lead to atherosclerosis. “Decreased physical activity plays a critical role in the increase in childhood obesity”. I strongly believe that cross country could help with this issue. There is a stereotype that cross country is a boring sport. Many people say that all you do is run, and that it’s not fun. I believe that all depends on the way you look at it. If you want it to be fun, it will be. The people who run cross country on the school team will help with that. There are about 20 girls and guys on the LBJ team this, and each and every one of them are interesting and nice people. Nearly everyone runs cross country for their own personal reasons, and it’s cool to meet people that are different than you and are sharing an experience. For example, there are many soccer girls this year who are running to get in shape for the soccer season, and all of them are amazing people who make cross country more fun. Meets are also extremely fun. The more people who participate, the more fun it is.

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After running your best in a 2 mile or 3 mile race you feel like you’ve accomplished something. It’s a great feeling, and the team really supports the rest of the team. At the end of each race, everyone congratulates everyone else. Also it’s neat being a part of a team. Running and awesome teammates are the only neat things about cross country. At one of our last meets, we got chased from school by the police car because somehow we set off all the alarms at school without knowing it. I’m pretty sure everyone driving by on the highway slowed down to stare a big yellow school bus getting pulled over by the police. That’s just one of the many things that can happen if you join cross country. It’s a really good experience for anyone, and it can be extremely enjoyable. Some of the most thrilling experiences that I have ever been through are finishing races. You feel a sense of accomplishment, and also a sense of belonging to a team. Though cross country is early in the morning, and many people believe that it’s hard, boring, and pointless, the arguments against those things completely counteract those reasons. Running high school cross country is definitely worth all the early practices and hard work outs. In the end everyone ends up having a good time. There are way more reasons to run cross country than not, so I think more high school students should try it out.

by: hannah r.

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Willing to Coach Lee Willing stands over the pool, clipboard in hand. He

watches his best athlete swim the 1000 fly in record timing, winning the event. All the early-morning practice of the previous months paid off in that one moment of victory. This is what Coach Willing lives for. This is his love: Coaching.¶ Willing has been the swim team coach at LBJ High School since 2002. In the years that he’s been the coach, the team has achieved great success; the girls have placed first in District for the past five years and the boys’ have improved greatly in both district and state competitions than before Willing was the coach. ¶ Of course, Willing didn’t always think he would be a coach. He spent his childhood moving from state to state because of his fathers’ military job. When he was living in Minnesota, he played league soccer and baseball. Swimming was the last thing he thought he would pursue as a potential career. But things change. The summer before his freshman year in high school, Willing’s family moved to San Antonio, Texas.¶ “ “I had a pool in my backyard,” Willing explains with a chuckle “so I thought I was a good swimmer.” During his freshman year, he decided he would be on the swim team at his all-boy high school in downtown San Antonio. Imagine his surprise when the swim team was, to say the least, smaller than expected. There were only five other students on the team the year he started. That number more than tripled by the time he graduated. He swam the fifty and one hundred freestyle events. ¶ Once Wiling graduated from high school, he attended Henderson State University in Arkansas for swimming and planned to be a coach. The future was looking bright for him. ¶ There is no doubt about the fact that Willing loves swimming. But sometimes, the things we love to do have to be put on hold for more important things, such as family. When he moved to Austin, Texas due to his wife’s job, his dreams of being a swim coach came to a screeching halt. He discovered that in the state of Texas, you have to be a teacher to be a coach at any school. A small bump in the road was not going to come between Wiling and his dreams. So he went back to school, but with a different goal: to become a teacher. ¶ Today, Willing is a World Geography teacher at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School. But before and after school, he drops the “Mister” title from his name and becomes “Coach Willing.”

Willing has helped the swim team achieve great success in the eight years that he has been coaching the team. But there is one thing that he refuses to do when he is recruiting new swimmers: cut anyone from the team because of lack of experience or skill. “I wasn’t the most skilled swimmer when I started out, but I got better as time passed.” explains Willing “And I actually turned out to be a decent swimmer. That’s why I don’t cut anyone from the team: you never know when you’re going to find that diamond in the rough whose going to end up being a great athlete. I would know; I was just like that.” The kids on the swim team aren’t the only ones who have achieved such success. In October of 2009, Willing was selected by the University Interscholastic League as a National Federation Coaches Association state coach of the year in girls swimming. This was a great honor for him because it shows off the benefits of all the hard work he has put in to the team over the past eight years, as well as nominating him for sectional coach of the year. For sectional coach of the year, he will be considered along with several other coaches in his section. If he gets past this stage, he will be nominated for National Coach of the Year. The University Interscholastic League aren’t the only ones who think that Willing is a great coach. He is admired by students and athletes alike. “Willing’s a good coach,” raves freshman swimmer Christopher Germain. “He knows what’s best for each individual and takes the swim team very seriously.” That he does. When you walk into Willing’s classroom, you will find several relics to the LBJ swim team. So yes, Willing had to stop swimming and only coaches part time. But, in his words, “Sometimes you have to put family first,” he says “there’s not very many high paying coaching jobs.” But that in no way means that Willing doesn’t love what he does. He enjoys learning about other cultures and teaching others about countries of the world. “Sure, it would be nice to have fewer classes and give my full attention to the team. But I still love what I do.” So, what’s next for Willing? Just because he and the team have achieved so much success doesn’t mean he is showing any signs of giving up. This season, there are challenges for new batch of freshman on the 2009-2010 team that must be tackled. “This year is a transition year for us” explains Willing “We have a lot of new athletes on the team and we really need to focus on teaching them the basics of the sport.” So, what does Willing think is the greatest part of swimming? “It’s the team aspect of swimming that I think really makes it all worth while.”

By: Andrea C. Photo Credits: Lee Willing (Left) Steven P. (Right)

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Favorite Sport to PLAY

18%..............................OTHER 1%.......................................TENNIS 23%..........................SOCCER 2%......................BASEBALL/SOFTBALL 7%...........................TRACK & FIELD 11%...........................BASKETBALL 5%.................................SWIMMING 11%.............................VOLLYBALL 13%............................FOOTBALL 9%......................................NONE This is a survey of over 100 high school students. It compares 10 different sports (including ‘other’ and ‘none’). It shows which sport most teenagers like to play, and which sport most teenagers like to watch. It compares these sports to show

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By Hannah R.

Favorite Sport to WATCH

OTHER........................27% TENNIS........................................0% SOCCER...............................13% BASEBALL/SOFTBALL......................2% TRACK & FIELD...........................5% BASKETBALL..........................13% SWIMMING................................9% VOLLYBALL...............................9% FOOTBALL............................13% NONE......................................9% which one is the most popular among LASA high school students. It also shows the difference between the sports people like to play and the sports people like to watch. Some sports are played more than they are watched, and vice versa.

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Shea Sensation


We’ll see how it unfolds in the spring series when everybody has been training for 3 or 4 months.

rees fly by as 14 year old Mason Shea zooms by on his Motobecane mountain bike. This is the third race of the fall season, and thanks to his pre-season training Mason will take first place. Mason first began cross country mountain biking 5 years ago when he joined a local recreation center, and now Mason is a top competitor in his Category 2 (Cat2) division. Mason played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, but out of all of those sports, biking has been his favorite. Since joining the recreation center in 5th grade Mason has made biking his only sport. Mason trains every week for his races that are once a month and all over the state. “I train four to 5 times a week” said Mason. So far he has one every race this season and looks forward to the spring season where the competition will increase. “I got into biking through a local recreation center that had a bike team” “the bikes were stolen but when they got new funding from sponsors and from the city they got new bikes and that’s when I joined the team” said Mason. Mason has a silver motobecane with a hard tail and a front suspension shock (like the one below).

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Mason got moved up to the Cat2 division this year and is currently excelling in all his races. “there’s 3 different experience categories which are cat3 cat2 cat1. They used to be labeled as beginner sport and expert. Beginner being cat3, sport cat2, and expert cat1. Last year I was racing in the cat3 13-14 beginner men category and there I would usually place about 3rd or 4th but then this fall season I moved up to the cat2 15-18 category and the really only difference between the cat3 and cat2 and cat1 is the distance of the course” Mason said. Because Mason cannot drive himself from place to place to train and his parents don’t always have the time to take him places, he only trains in a few places. “There’s only one mountain bike course that I can train on during the week just because of time constraints which is the green belt” said Mason. When he does have time though, he goes up to the Bastrop State Park and bikes from there to Booster State Park and back. “I cant really do any other road rides by myself because of the car traffic” “its just to dangerous so right now there’s only two places that I can train unless I get a ride to a local race course”

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Mason gloomily said. Mason looks forward to having more training places once he can drive, but for now the greenbelt works perfectly for what he needs. Mason trains all the time for his monthly races that are all over the state. “There’s one near Dallas, there’s an Austin race then there is a race near cold spring Texas” Mason said, and there are also many other races. “The courses vary from the geography of the land that you are around” Mason explained, there is usually a double jeep road toward the start and finish for cars, and then there’s a single track in the trees.

Mason has had a great season start, and plans to keep going strong in this new division level. So far Mason early training has more than paid off. “We’ll see how it unfolds in the spring series when everybody has been training for 3 or 4 months.” said Mason who looks forward to having more competition this up coming season.

Mason Shea during one of his bike meets.

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By: Christopher D.

Picture Courtesy of Mason Shea

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Sports Anatomy

By: Junior R.

Soccer: It’s a very fun and simple sport. It’s extremely healthy and

great for losing weight or staying in shape. It’s a great way of losing calories and fats fast, soccer works for all the main muscle groups in your legs. Like your calves which are used for basically any purpose that involves pulling your leg back, running (some what), kicking (as you can see), jumping, leaping, crouching, etc. The quadriceps, which are made stronger/used for running, walking, lifting, thrusting and supporting your body when standing. The quadraceps is the most important, strongest and leanest muscle group in your body (so take good care of it!) It’s often also used for extensions(pushing your leg forward for any reason) like going up/down stairs, stretching, swimming, etc. These msucles are all used in soccer all the time and are great ways of toning and working them out greatly. Another muscle group is the ham strings, which isn’t excatly the same as the rest of your muscles, this consist of tendons, and muscles alike. This makes is so that you can basically move/pivot your two of your main joints. Your hip which basically controls all body rotation, along with the knee which controls most of the leg movement(more like it’s limits). Soccer really is a great sport, so great that it’s the most played sport in the world, and it’s so easy to play that the only materials you need is just 1 ball, 2 goals, like 3 opponents, and some free time.


Is a very, Very, VERY, agressive sport, no doubt about it (just look to the left.) Along with probably one of THE most emotional sports there is that someone can play. In this game though, everything is based one contact. There is practically not a single muscle that isn’t worked when playing football. For example the triceps which are used during pushing, and blocking. Also your shoulders which are one of the most important parts of the body during football because they’re what takes the beating from hits, helps alot with pushing. Next is the chest, again very important for pushing as well as shedding blocks. The legs are next which have everything to do that involves running, jumping, kicking, tackling, pushing the pile, blocking, everything that uses momentum, etc. Last but not least is your lower back, which just maybe the most important part of your bady that’s used in football. It controls where you get all your hitting power from, which means with some leg and ab power then you oppenent will be eating dirt all day. More specifically though is your abs, where if you don’t got the guts, you can’t transfer the power (all about dynamics.) But even though football is a very agressive sport it’s extremly great for getting “ripped” (or just toning and working your muscles.) The good thing about football though is that no matter what, even if your not the best, you can easily become the best. All you need is just to do alot of practice, and working out which by doing that you can easily improve your playing ability, and greatly improve your confidence, because we all know nothing feels better than tackling someone double your size to the floor.

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is another well known and played game that many people play and love. It’s very fun and almost everybody plays and has at one time practiced throwing a ball. As a matter of fact, just throwing a baseball is good exercise, because just in throwing a baseball you’re working your deltoids from the pull back and push forward in your body motion and arm. Also your trapezius (shoulder area muscles) is used when your force put on the baseball when you’re preparing to throw it at another person. Also in baseball another good thing about it is that there are several different movements which you can perform and practice to get ready for playing. For example another body strength that you may need for certain positions is hand eye coordination (sort of). The reason being is because when ever anyone who comes up to bat must have pretty great eye coordination to be able to hit the ball perfectly to aim it any direction you need it. Especially if you want to be hitting a home run, or even hit the ball because there are a lot of great pitchers. In baseball it’s all about team work like all sports are, but in this you have to multi-task by always keeping an eye of your team mates, opponents, and still do your job. It’s hard but a very fun game worth the practice and wait, so practice hard and give it your all.

Basketball: A very skill related sport that bases all of it’s tech-

nique on coordination. Which is extremely great once you work at it. This greatly inhaces your sight, eye&hand coordination, reflexes, and citizenship(good team work and sportsmen ship.) For basketball though there are only 5 positions, and each one has it’s own specific roles and requierments. For example there’s Point Guard, which needs a very skillful player in ball handling (hand & eye coordination). They also typically dont commit turnovers and know where all teammates are at all times, these players are typically the leader of the team and are realively average-bigger than the average player. Next there are shooting guards, which are the major score making players, they must be good at shooting from about 3-point line shots and handle the ball pretty well typically are the larger players. Also there is the Small Forward a wide variety of players can take this position. Anyone from LeBron James-Francisco Garcia. The basic point of this position is to be those guys (or girls) that rush down the coart and make those close range shots(free throw, 2 points, lay-ups.) Another important position is the Power Forward, these players must be pretty tall players, for the fact that thier main use is need to have some low post moves (hook shot especially) and need to be strong. Last is the centers, which must be the biggest&tallest men who’s goals are to get the majority of the rebounds and block shots. Also typically are good at setting screens.This is a very fun/emotional sport, and can get very aggrivating to others.

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race of a life-time

As Kevin Rieden raced into town he saw people lining the streets cheering. He didn’t know any of them, but they were still cheering for him. It gave him an exuberant feeling after a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. The cheering propelled him towards the finish. “I think that the finish is always going to be memorable,” he says. In August 1993, Rieden raced one of the hardest races in the world; he completed an Ironman. Rieden was introduced to triathlons while working in California in 1991. Some of his friends were doing the Monterrey Bay Triathlon relay, and they asked him to do the running part. Afterwards, he thought, “I could do that all by myself.” He started doing “sprint” triathlons, much shorter triathlons than an Ironman, and did those for a few years. At the time he was running with a group called Austin Triathletes, who were interested in participating in an Ironman. Some of them had done the Canadian Ironman the previous year, and they really enjoyed it. Convinced, Rieden and a few others decided to sign up and start training. When you’re training for a marathon, Rieden says, you’re training every day of the week, running a total of 50 to 70 miles a week. When you’re training for an Ironman you have to do all that, plus swimming and biking. It takes nearly a year to do enough training, but many people are still inspired to do it year after year. “So from January until August, I would say almost every day there was some kind of work out,” Rieden says. He trained for a marathon in January, and afterwards kept training like he was training for a marathon, but added swim- long distances on the Austin Hike and Bike Trail to stay in shape, but the ming and biking to the mix. This is a more he ran, the more he came to love the “thrill” of long distance running. lot of work, but many people still do “There’s something about a long run,” Rieden says, “where you kind of it. Rieden explains why he did all this get, they call it the runner’s high, you get in the zone where you start running and training to compete in an Ironman: you start to feel good about yourself, and it’s just a good feeling.” Rieden says. “Because I was never a really fast Rieden and his friends trained at long distances for nearly a year besprinter, I had a greater chance of out fore they were ready for the Ironman. They knew what they were capable running people running for a longer dis- of, and they made goals based on what they knew they could accomplish. tance than trying to sprint and run them “Going into a race,” Rieden says, “you aldown in a short distance,” he explains. ways have goals, but you have to be realistic.” Rieden did high jump in Usually goals for races are times, but not always. high school. He didn’t even start do- “Our goal was not to carry a glow stick,” he says. ing long distance races until he got Since the Ironman can last into the night, a participant will be handed a out of college. At first he just ran glow stick if the race volunteers think he or she is going to be running in the dark.

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[FALL 2009]

“It’s sort of an insult,” Rieden explains, “because it meant you were going to be running for 14 to 15 hours.” Rieden’s time goal was between 11 and 12 hours. He accomplished that goal with a time of 11 hours and 32 minutes. “I would have liked to finish a little faster, but at the same time I was very happy with my time,” Rieden says. He explains how he believes he did well on the swim and the bike ride. Those parts of the race felt comfortable, like when he was training. The times for those portions of the race were about what he expected that they would be. He slowed down on the run a lot because it is the last race of the three and he was “almost completely depleted of energy.” He was so drained because of the previous events that he began stopping at all the water stops. He even recalls eating cookies during the run.

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“You would have done almost anything on a run to build up some energy.” Rieden explains. The race starts early in the morning, and is and all day event. The swim is the first event, then the bike ride, and last the run. The swim was probably the easiest part of the race for Rieden. It was the first segment of the Ironman, so he wasn’t yet tired. “You don’t feel any different in the swim,” Rieden says. The swim felt consistent the whole way through The bike ride, though, was different. There wasn’t consistency, and there were many ups and downs, literally. “There were periods on the bike where you feel really strong. There were hills, there were steep climbs, that were grueling and you felt tired and hungry.” The whole run, however, proved very challenging, he says. “The run was probably the most difficult because it was out and back,” Rieden says. “When you’re running back you see people who are going to be finishing before you, and it’s kind of discouraging, but at the same time you realize that you are going to be finishing soon.” Rieden explains that as you come back into town, you see people cheering everywhere. It’s a very emotional thing. You get to the finish line, and everyone is cheering for you and it’s a very, very good feeling. “The whole town shuts down for this race… [The finish] is a very emotional thing. You get to the finish line, and everyone is cheering for you and it’s a very, very good feeling.” And it’s a feeling Kevin Rieden will never forget.

by: Hannah R.

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, t r o p S e On


young lacrosse player is running down the field, crosse in hand; ready to get the ball back for her team. She chases after the

How the game of lacrosse games because of the dif

offensive player and checks the ball out of her Crosse. A whistle is blown and a yellow warning card is thrown. The girl playing checked too roughly and the crosse was too close to her opponents’ body, therefore is an illegal move. A couple fields away, another game of lacrosse is being played. A young male is running down the field, crosse in hand, ball in the pocket of the stick, eye on the goal. He thinks he’s going to make it when all of a sudden, a defensive player comes out of the blue, slaps the head of his stick against his opponents, dislodging the ball from the pocket of the stick. He runs down the field and scores a goal. This is an example of how the rules of boys’ and girls’ lacrosse are so different. The two games are played in the same basic way, but the rules are completely different. They are so different, that it can almost seem like two different games. All these differences can make the game of lacrosse unfair to those playing; therefore there shouldn’t be so many differences in the first place. For one thing, the crosses’ the boys’ use, although they look the same as the girls, are actually completely different. According to the United States Lacrosse website, the womans’ stick must be at least 35.5 - 43.25 inches long. On the other hand, a mans’ lacrosse stick can be anywhere from 40-72 inches. Not only does the length vary, but also the pocket of the boys lacrosse stick is much deeper than the girls’ lacrosse stick. That can make it easier for the boys’ to catch the ball. The length of the field size is also different: the mens’ field is longer than the womens’ field. There are also differences in the playing time: although both games are 60 minutes long, girls’ lacrosse has halves and boys’ lacrosse has quarters. The number of players is also different. There are 10 players on the field during mens’ games and 12 during womens’ games. Overall rules for things such as checking, or dislodging the ball from your opponents stick, also differ.

So why is it that the rules vary so much between boys and girls? One argument is that girls can get

hurt easier and the rules are different to avoid excessive injuries. This is a mediocre reason when you look at studies like the one conducted by The American Journal of Sports Medicine. This study reported on the number of lacrosse injuries by high school girls and boys who play lacrosse during UIL games and summer camps. The results were that “In high school play, the injury rate for adolescent boys (2.89 per 1000 athletic exposures) was slightly higher than that for girls (2.54 per 1000 athletic exposures.)” Studies like these only prove that any sport has equal dangers between boys’ and girls’ and because of this, there is very few reasons why the sport should have separate rules.

The Differences Between


Contact vs. Non Contact: In men’s lacrosse, body checking, or dislodging the ball from the opponent’s Cro

the Crosse or bod

The Field Size: In men’s’ lacrosse, the field is 110 yards long and 60 yards wide. In

on a boys lacrosse field aren’t spaced out as much and goals on women’s

Playing Time: In men’s lacrosse, the games are 60 minutes long with 15 minute quarters for collegiate and 48 minutes long

30 minute halves rat he high school games are 50 min

Number of Players: In men’s lacrosse, there are 10 play

Different Positions: Women’s lacrosse has 3

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VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

Two G ames

can often turn into two different fferent rules for boys and girls.

Another reason why the rules shouldn’t be different is that it makes the sport of lacrosse less

appealing to either gender. According to an article by the Washington post, many high school aged players have different opinions on the other genders rules. Some think that girls’ lacrosse is too dull and the boys’ game is more fast-paced. Some think that girls’ lacrosse requires more skill. Some girls think it would be better to play

with the aggressive rules of boys’ lacrosse. Some boys think that it would be better to play with girls lacrosse rules because of it fluid motion and There are so many varying opinions that players could be discouraged and not play lacrosse because, quite frankly, the which the games are played are not fair.

The rules are not fair.

a statement that can be used to sum-

It isn’t a fair game.

strategies. potential want


rules under

” That


m a r i z e

the absurdity of boys’ and girls’ rules being different in lacrosse. Yes, rules such as more equipment for the guys and less playing time for the girls make up for the inequality in the rules. But it you get right down to it, there shouldn’t be inequalities in the rules at all. Of course, boys’ lacrosse definitely modernized while girls’ lacrosse stayed true to the original game. But there is no fundamental reason why the rules should be different.

Lacrosse overall a unique, fun game. It is a fast paced sport that requires skill, com-

mitment, and teamwork. But when the rules are different between the genders, it can be harder to enjoy the sport. This is why the rules of the game should really be changed. If there were fewer differences in the boys’ and girls’ rules, then everyone could enjoy the game of lacrosse.

By: Andrea C. Photo By: Caleb Cassidy

oys and Girls Lacrosse

osse, is permitted under certain conditions. In women’s lacrosse, rough checking and contact to the body with dy, is not allowed.

n women’s lacrosse, the field is 120 yards long, but the size can vary. Also, the goals s lacrosse fields and there is more space behind the goal in boys lacrosse.

with 12 minute quarters for high school. In women’s lacrosse, the games collegiate games are also 60 minutes long, but it has ther than quarters. T nutes long with 25 minute halves.

yers on the field. In women’s lacrosse, there are 12 players.

3 positions. Men’s’ lacrosse has 4 positions.

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VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

It’s all about shoes. Christopher D.

Baseball Cleats- Nowadays have metal studs in the

sole of the shoe for easier running on the hard dirt surface. Solidly built to withstand any kind of pounding while sliding and running. Typically heavier than soccer cleats.

Basketball Shoes- Has thick rubber soles for better grip and to prevent shock on and from the court. Has a higher ankle support than most shoes.

Football Cleats- Heavy and durable, made to keep your feet planted into the ground. The studs are large as to hold more weight and not slip though the grass. Football cleats have a stud in the front of the shoe to provide stability. Typically heavier than baseball cleats.

Golf Shoes- Has circular spike patterns on the bottom

to provide resistance in all directions and stay firmly in one spot. Has smaller rubber studs to also provide grip while on the golf course.

Running Shoes- Thick curved rubber sole to make them more comfortable and easier to run with. Provide resistance to hard ground, built to aerate the foot.

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VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

Track Spikes- Designed to be light, quick and give the best traction on a rubber track. Has manly little rubber studs in the back for extra traction. They usually have 7 metal spikes that are removable, and then a few smaller plastic spikes around the metal ones. Designed to run on the front of the foot for sprinting. Has light weight mesh that lets the foot breathe.

Tennis Shoes- Rubber sole designed to leave no mark on hard surfaces. Very padded with thick rubber sole.

Wrestling Shoes- Have high ankle support, but are

very thin and flexible. Has a rubber sole to provide grip while on the wrestling mat. Also are very light weight and durable.

Soccer Cleats- Light weight and flexible. Built for

speed and ability to resist torque. Soccer cleats do not have a stud in the front part of the shoe like football cleats, because it adds weight and is not needed.

High Heels- These serve almost no logical purpose.

They are not practical in any way shape or form. They hurt the wearer, you can't run in them, and they are even hard to walk in. These are never fun to wear and don't even look good.

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VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

A Life Dream

“I’m a keep playing football ‘till i can’t play no mo!”


wo more people come up to Jeffrey begging and asking about him and his father. Just another day for Jeffrey who is one of the star players and a hell of a running back on the LBJ football team, everybody loves to talk to him especially since his father played for a division 1A team (which later on I will tell what it is and why it’s so important.) “Hell yeah, I’m damn proud that I can tell bout my dad!” “He played for LSU who wouldn’t want to tell about him,” said Jeffrey. “I remember as a kid my dad was real well known round the neighborhood. My friends would even come to me sometimes and ask about what it was like being his son and what he was like as father,” Jeffrey proudly remarks. “Knowing me of course I told them all about him teaching me, his determination, and talent. Like my dad, I always go 100% on the field and the classroom, real talk. And like him I was a beast at football.” He says with a big grin on his face. “I just wish that the divorce didn’t separate us, now I’m lucky if I ever see him,” he grumbles with a shaky voice. Jeffrey Williams (jr.) a 15yr old African American, has a dream-wait no, a burning passion, for football. He plays full back for the LBJ football team and does great in school (while he stays out of trouble). The reason being, is for his father, who he had made a promise to and will keep and full fill no matter the odds. It’s quite amazing that someone like Jeffrey can promise somthing so big and keep to his word to the fullest, which he’s done already for the past few years and continues too! Then again jeffrey’s father is his biggest and only real hero to him, which makes sence that, that’s all he needs to wake up every morning and keep his word. Jeffrey also says that like his father, he KNOWS he’s going to LSU and nothing else, for schooling, to get his degrees in every-

Page 20

thing he’s interested in (as of right now he’s undecided). Jeffrey is an extremely confident young man with a great dream but it seems as though he’s a bit to confident so i decided to figure out just what makes him like this besides his promise to his father. I had became curious about what he had said and asked about how he can be so sure, and what would his father think of him if he didn’t make it. Would he be disappointed? “Nah, he would just be proud for me trying and playing football, he’s just a great father that way.” Jeffrey said. “Were the district champs, for first time in a long time, all it took was determination and skill. And that’s all i’m ever going to need,” And he’s right! LBJ had become district champs and had went undefeated in district for the first time in over 15years! “What do you expect, after all it did take me to be on the team, for it to finally win district.” Jeffrey laughs. Jeffrey was always determined and ready for a challenge as a kid. He was just one of those people who never gave up, even when he felt like it. Which has never happened to him except for one unfortunate event. Once his parents had split up he had began to lose his faith/encoragement to keep on going and making his dream a reality for both him and his father. For himself so he can be just as a success and

VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

great athlete as his father and even better. And for his father so he can uphold that promise that made him keep pushing it until his dream becomes a reality, even if that means he has to do it alone. Jeffrey is one of those few but proud people who has a huge burning desire for sports like football, much like his father Jeffrey who too had a huge love for football in fact he had played all his high school AND a few in college, but not any college but LSU! Jeffrey being an extremely determined football player has loved to play football since the age of 7 and hasn’t stopped. “I be going 110% in everything especially football!” Jeffrey begins to yell.” There isn’t a thing that Jeffrey can’t do, mainly because of just how talented and seriously he takes everything, he gives it his all like, his father and gets everything he wants by earning it and not relying on others to help him through it all! “I was taught everything I know from my daddy and I’m greatful for it. I haven’t stopped playing football since he taught me and don’t plan on it! I’m GOING to be #1 like my father, and ain’t nothin anyone could do to stop me.” Jeffrey emphasizes, Jeffrey is extremely passionate about football like many people but the fact that he goes that extra mile is what makes him great. “You know it baby, I go hard all day and every day. My

Page 21

father always told me that anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it, and he was right.” Jeffrey said Jeffrey is one of those few people who you can actually take his word on what he says especially when it involves something as passionate as sports he’ll give it everything he got and more. He had even told me himself, “I’m a keep playing football ‘till I drop, and can’t play no mo.”Jeffrey said, and he held up to every single word, he always is so determined to not only be the best at LBJ but also for him, once he gets the chance to go to LSU and he’s been preparing since before he even came to high school. “I’ve always wanted to play for LSU even since I was a kid, I guess, because my daddy played LSU, but now I’m so close it just a matter of time!” Jeffrey says excitedly. Jeffrey actually wanted this so badly that not only was I able to tell by his voice and determination but also because he had done something I hardly saw anyone else try to their full extent. Fortunately for Jeffrey he was one of the few who realized the obvious thing to do, to stay on the football team and make the LSU football team, something besides practicing and exercising, he had actually, kept up in his classes! Always doing his work to the full extent, paying attention, not acting up (for the most part) and making sure he would make it on to the varsity team and into LSU. He even exercises regularly for several years before high school even started. In fact he exercises about 6hrs every week, and always checks in with the coaches as well as his school teachers about any problems he may have so he could keep up the good work in the classroom and the field. Now you’ve got to respect that he not only TELLS you what he’s going to do and achieve but he just as well DOES it and gives it his all. All for achieving his dream of playing LSU and making his father proud.

By: Junior R.

VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

Sports Drinks: We’ve all done it. We’ve come home from a heart-pumping, caloriedrink. It’s a given that proper hydration is essential while excercising. ating our joints and tissues and facililating digestion. Despite this fact, sports sixty minutes at a very fast pace. So, if you decide to drink a sports drink

Size Price

20 Fl. Oz. $1.29

Size Price

60 calories, 14 grams of sugar, 0 grams of other carbohydrates

Our Verdict: For the price, Ga-

torade is a popular, tasteful sports drink that is good when you need an extra hydration boost. However, depending on the flavor, it isn’t as tasteful as other sports drinks.




32 Fl. Oz. $0.95

70 calories, 15 grams of sugar, 4 grams of other carbohydrates.

Our Verdict: We believe that

Powerade, much like Gatorade, is a tasteful, popular drink that will give you a hydration boost when excercising. However, it is a bit heavier on calories, sugar, and carbohydrates.

Size Price


70 calories, of sugar, 4 other carb

Our Verdict: Pr

like Powerade, i when you need ergy boost. De flavor, it can also ful than other

So, which one’s Our verdict is that the best sports drink, based on isn’t too much to distinguish the sports drinks ingredient more than an hour, sports drinks aren’t really good for your with things such as calories and carbs to keep you going a long, athletically vigorous workout or not, water is the best

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VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

Better Than Water? By: Andrea C.

burning workout, gone to our refrigerators, and chugged our favorite sports Water has several benefits for our bodies while excercising, including lubricdrinks can be very beneficial to an athlete who has been excercising for at least before or after excercising, which brand is better for you?


Vitamin Water

Photos By: Andrea C, Hannah R, and PhotoXpress


23.7 Fl. Oz. $100.00

Size Price

15 grams grams of bohydrates.

125 calories, 33 grams of sugar, 0 grams of other carbohydrates.

ropel, very much is a great drink d an extra enepending of the o be more tatesports drinks.

20 Fl. Oz. $1.00

Our Verdict: Vitamin wa-

ter, for the price, is a good sports drink when you need extra hydration. However, it’s nott the best drink when you need a burst of energy.

better for you?



Not ply




sufficent supof nutrients.

Our Verdict: Healthy, nutrient rich,

and guilt-free, water is the best choice before and after excercise. It hydrates better than any other drink and is generally more avalible. The owly downfall is that people tend to stay away from water because of its tasteless quialities.

price and nutritional facts, is Gatorade. There really wise. But, if you’re not excercising vigorously for body. They are meant to supply your body during vigorous workouts. Whether you’re undergoing way to quench your thirst.

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VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

Skills vs. Education What are the odds? Every year there are thousands of people in high school all over the U.S. who spend their entire life trying to get into professional level sports like NFL or NBA. Several of them drop out and try to join so that their dream might become a reality. Sadly this dream isn’t coming true because there are at least 1,000,000 people every year that have that same dream and have it crushed. Thousands of these people won’t even reach college level mainly because many of them don’t even go to college! Since their so “GOOD” at a sport they have no plans for college or even finishing high school so they don’t even bother with school but instead practicing. Leaving them jobless and since they never cared much for school and just worked o n being an athlete they didn’t really do all that well in high school. That’s IF they even ever got to finish it or if they just flunked out. Well I’m here to tell you that don’t be wasting your whole life with only one plan especially with a plan l i k e go pro in a sport. Now I’m not saying it’s impossible but it’s just about nearly is because you really never realize the chance until you really think about it. I mean really if there are millions of people in the U.S. that want to get into a pro sport. It’s much more better to stay in school, go to college and actually do it for yourself not because I’m telling you, or your parents, or your friends, or for anyone else beside yourself. Do it so you can actually have and education for you to lay back on if the whole pro athlete thing doesn’t work out. It really does pay off in the end because

Page 24

you can always have a job or get one in case something should go wrong as compared to other people who don’t. I mean is it really worth having a lifelong dream that will most likely be crushed and leave you with nothing? Of course not! I mean yeah, most people would say well I’m better than most people and I still got that 1% chance. News flash people you don’t even have a 1% chance of making it in pro sports; you would only have that if you’re like 6’6 and could make 3 point shots all day for trying to join the NBA or weighed 250lbs and could still run a mile in 6 minutes to have a 1% chance of joining the NFL. There have been many pro athletes throughout history who have finished high school and college. Some even finished college during their time as an athlete, and that’s what everybody should do either do good in school and finish college first or finish it while you’re a pro athlete. Bruce Bowen did it why can’t you? The only difference is that he had done it not because some random guy wrote about it and he listened, but instead because it’s really going to get help you out in the long run. He knew that and had swore to his mama as a kid he would finish college for him and her, and he did do it because that takes pure will power to go back to college when you’re a pro athlete. In the end though it’s not your skill that’s going support you your whole life, but and education. So what if you’re the best there is it’s still better to have and education, because what do you think happens once you get old, I don’t think you can play a sport until you die. Eventually you’re going to need something to get you back on your feet once your body is to weak/not as strong to be able to

VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

be the best anymore at a sport, what you’re going to need is schooling. With this if you should retire or just quit you can always have another job waiting right there for you. Unfortunately though many people see it a different way more as, it’s better to be young and actually still be able to play sports as appose to being old. Well that isn’t exactly true like I said earlier, you can still finish school and play a sport at the same time, it may be tough but it’s worth it. Although there is another flaw I’d like to point out about the whole concept of if I’m good I can make it. Well let’s say you’re the best in your school and always practiced well what if a team accepts you straight out of high school and you start playing what happens once you injure yourself bad is everything going to be ok then. What about when you get on the team you’ve wanted to play your whole life and then you get traded for someone better, or what if you just get kicked off the team for another guy. What if you don’t even ever make the team you spend your whole life preparing for, what will you have then that can help you? In case you don’t believe me that this happens to so many, many people then listen to this. The reason I had also chosen to talk about the NFL is because it has the largest number of players in a pro sport. Let’s see if there are 32 professional football teams with 53 players (about 70 guys on the team counting injured reserves and practice squad.) So that’s about 1,969 NFL players (not including injured reserves and practice squad which if I was counting it would be about 2240 players.) There are approximately 120 Division 1a college teams which are the teams that mainly

are the NFL drafted players. Which have like 100 players per team and there’s about 120 teams now, so 12,000 total players, so if you make it to Division 1a football there’s a 19% chance you can expect to take the next step. Also in case you aren’t at college yet, then here are some high school statistics. If there is about one high school for every 25,000 people in the US, and there’s about 12,000 high school football teams. With at least one 40 man football team at each school that makes 480,000 potential NFL players that are between 15-18yrs old. So if you can make your high school football team there’s about .5% chance you can make the NFL (this is for mainly for the highest level football in high school usually varsity). You can say the same for the NBA and except there is about a 1% chance. Of course this is going to vary greatly by person, but stay the same in terms of percentage for the most part. This is why I know that going and actually finishing college during or even before a pro sport is so helpful, and I know it won’t leave so many people hopeless like it does many times.

you don’t even have a 1% chance of making it in pro sports

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By: Junior R.

Continued on next page...

VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

The odds are... Last year, Colt McCoy achieved the University of Texas record for the most touchdowns, the most touchdown passes, the most pass completions, the most career passing yards, and also won several other awards. He was offered to play in the NFL and get paid millions (over 70 million dollars) but instead he decided to stay at UT and serve his four years with the team. Now, in 2009, Colt McCoy has begun to do worse than last year which means all those professional teams that were looking at him beforehand might begin losing interest in him. Luckily for Colt, he’s a popular figure in college football and will have at least one team to go to when he is done with college. There are people like Colt who do worse after they reach their peak, and they don’t always have the same popularity that Colt manages to get by on. I think that what Colt decided to do by giving up a chance for millions of dollars and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was a huge mistake. I think that when given the chance to play professional football, one should always take it. Lots of people don’t agree that athletes should leave college to play on the professional level. They say athletes are abandoning their education and will make things worse for themselves in the long run. Afterward, they could always get cut from a team if they’re not playing well, or get injured. However, these are all good arguments and should definitely be considered when faced with this circumstance. But the main thing to always remember is that athletes can always go back and get a college degree. While the chance to play professional level football gets smaller and smaller as time goes by. There have been instances when “borderlines” recruits begin to get ignored once they start doing bad after they gave up a chance to go pro by staying in school for another year. Also, like doctors dreamed of being doctors, athletes dream of being athletes and the best path

for either career is through college. This is why a lot of athletes end up in college when they normally would not have. As soon as these athletes get offered to play for a professional football team, they jump on it. This is the right mindset to have. Not to mention that the average salary for the NFL league is $1.1 million which is way above the average college grad’s average salary. So, with this in mind, a lot of people go for the money and view it as a good career choice. They have the right idea, which is why it’s better to go professional and if they really want the education they can come back and get it with a small fraction of what they got paid. Looking at the bigger picture, college won’t ever leave. Its easy to come back to school after leaving to play in the NFL. And because of its average of $1.1 million salary, it’s a valuable/smart career path for most athletes. Going pro is a definite win-win situation with few if any possible setbacks.

there’s not much to lose for taking a shot at the big leagues

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By: Christopher D.

VERSUS: Fall Edition 2009

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Versus Magazine: Fall Issue  

A magazine for sports lovers.

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