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ECHO Pg. 6: Alumni lead ‘Black Friday’ march on Lockwood

November 2016 Volume 102 Issue 3 100 Selma Ave st. Louis MO 63119 Photo by Cole Schnell


Table of Contents


Pg. 3 Seniors learn to teach sex-ed Pg. 4 Americans must come together Pg. 4 Willie’s Comic Pg. 5 2016 election cycle finally ends Pg. 6 War veterans return to high school Pg. 6 Alumni lead ‘Black Friday’ march on Lockwood Pg. 7 Students donate blood to people in needPg. 8-9 Mr. Webster contestants share why they deserve votes Pg. 10 New club uses greenhouse, promotes environmental care Pg. 11 Students apply for national scholarships Pg. 12 Expectations for men’s basketball rise Pg. 13 After 17-6 loss, Turkey Day may be headed down slippery slope Pg. 14 Movie delivers positive message, but too unrealistic Pg. 15 Columnist lists favorite serial killers Pg. 16 Columnist reviews Thanksgiving tradition 2016-17 ECHO STAFF


SOME MATERIAL COURTESY OF AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NEWSPAPER EDITORS/MCT CAMPUS HIGH SCHOOL NEWSPAPER SERVICE The ECHO is a monthly publication of the newspaper staff of Webster Groves High School, 100 Selma Avenue, Webster Groves, MO. To contact staff members, call 314-963-6400 ex. 11157 or write Unsigned editorials are the opinion of a majority of staff members; signed articles are the opinion of the writer. Letters to the editor of 300 words or less are welcome; submit letters by the 10th of the month to, or room 155. All letters must be signed, although the name may be withheld from publication if requested. The ECHO has the right to edit letters for publication as long as intent remains unchanged. The ECHO is a member of SSP, Quill and Scroll, MJEA, JEA, MIPA, NSPA and CSPA.

November 2016

The ECHO FAMILY The ECHO Family helps make the ECHO possible. To become a member of the ECHO Family, please contact Greg Frazier at Thanks to all of our members!

Curtin Family Dugan Family Kathy Whaley Jodi Richards Kurt Krautmann Thomas J. Zychinski Peggy Drew Smegner Webster Kirkwood Times Don and Mary Ann Schafer Webster Groves Baptist Church





Seniors learn to teach sex-ed to peers Natalie Johnson Graphics Editor

Webster’s sexual education program is exclusive to heterosexuality. LGBTQ identifying students do not receive sexual education through school. Seniors Patrick Schranck, Jane Benkelman and Annie Buck, leaders in the Feminist Coalition, are participating in the Peer-to-Peer Education Program through Planned Parenthood, advocating for the importance of inclusive sexual health education. Through the 36-hour program, the seniors will become qualified to teach sexual health to elementary, middle school and high school students. The program teaches topics like prevention and treatment of STIs, healthy and unhealthy relationships, and overall provides students with a deeper understanding of sexual health.

“It’s a real thing. Sometimes we don’t recognize it’s happening,” Benkelman said, pointing out that the current education program tends to “dance around,” as she said, the topic of sex. Benkelman said the topic needs to be addressed because there are negative repercussions in neglecting to properly teach sex-ed. Schranck would change Webster’s current education program from “sex negative” and heavily relying on the option of abstinence, to “sex positive, and LGBTQ inclusive,” a community Schranck considers to have been “severely under served by sex education in this country.” He also thinks the program should offer more options to safe sexual health regarding contraception. Buck said high school is an especially important time for education on sex health because “people are still figuring out their sexualtiy and finding who they are.” Webster’s current sex ed program is

very “one sided,” as Buck said. Benkelman described the lack of all sexual orientations being represented in Webster’s current sex ed program as “discriminatory.” The program teaches a variety of methods to practice safe sex and healthy reproductive behavior. It also discusses consent in sexual relations. Benkelman said a more effective way of teaching sexual health is from peer to peer, pointing out students might feel more comfortable and be more attentive when hearing from peers. The seniors have discussed and would welcome the opportunity to visit Hixson Middle School and educate students there. To serve the entire community, sexual education should be inclusive to all genders, sexual orientations and should offer students alternatives to abstinence. Students should be provided with accurate, applicable information useful to the realities of sexual relationships.

Letter to the Editor

Student shows disdain over lack of April 20 in zodiac signs Dear Editor, My apoplectic exasperation is ineffable, and it takes my entire aura to transcribe the dissatisfaction I feel upon reading the article Zodiac signs reveal true character in the October 2016 issue of our beloved ECHO newspaper. I found myself pleased and intrigued when my eyes first glanced upon the title, for zodiac signs are the true building blocks of our modern society. As clearly stated in Glencoe Health, “Zodiacs are the real deal.” I began to read the article in question. My palms began to sweat as I asked myself

questions that no person should ever need to ask, “Would my zodiac sign change?” and the more dire “Would my new zodiac make me bald like Eric Dunn?” I read anxiously on, reaching the paragraph on the Aries zodiac sign. I was ready to move on to the next section when my eyes perceived an abominable discrepancy: there was no April 20. I frantically searched for the hallowed date, looking under there and off yonder, but it was nowhere to be found. I was perplexed; I was bewildered; I was dumbfounded. How could an article of such worldwide relevance dare to omit such a

day of universal reverence? I can only hope that it was the author’s purposeful intention to exclude April 20, because it is impossible to inhibit that day to a singular personality. It is my konception (yes, that is how it is spelled, Caleb Bolin) that April 20, exists simultaneously and intercosmically in all zodiac signs, a dimensional state only attained by one person to this day: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In conclusion, I hope that this letter may serve as a guiding light in that it brings future reverence to the 20th of April. Luke Beggs

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November 2016





Americans must come together Over half of U.S .voters, voted against Donald Trump on Tuesday, Nov. 8. It’s easy to see why: Trump attacked women, Muslims, Prisoners of War, Mexicans, refugees and other minority groups. Trump also denied climate change, attacked the family of a fallen soldier, imitated a disabled reporter and failed to disavow the Ku Klux Klan’s endorsement of him. In spite of his divisive tactics and xenophobic message, Trump won the election. Half of the country woke up ready for the world as they knew it to end. Half of the country woke up ready for Trump to make “change.” As journalists, the election was tough to watch. One of the core principles of journalism is to report the facts. With major media outlets--similar to politics-- becoming more polarized, opinion has come to supersede truth in the world as we know it. Fact-checking didn’t play a part in how this election shaped up. While this is partially because both candidates weren’t trustworthy, there was a blatant disregard for factual truth, especially in Trump’s campaign. Trump has made people believe anything he wants them to. For example, though Trump tweeted in 2012 that climate change was a concept created “by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” Trump easily brushed off the fact that he denied climate change time and time again. Hillary Clinton also frequently denied facts throughout her campaign. During the same debate she denied that she had called the Trans- Pacific- Partnership “the gold standard.” When, during her time as Secretary of State, as the deal was forming she

said that it was “the gold standard.” A disregard for the truth did not sink either candidate because the American public did not know who to believe. We were forced to choose who we thought would be the lesser of two evils, and supporters of one candidate bitterly opposed supporters of the other candidate for a long list of reasons. However, the presidential campaign is over. It is time for the nation to heal the deep, dividing wounds that the nearly yearand-a-half long election cycle has inflicted upon us. It is acceptable to take issue with the way president-elect Trump has run his campaign. Hatred, fear-mongering and xenophobia have no place in 21st century America. It is also acceptable to have concerns for the future of the minority groups that Trump has demeaned and for the progress we have made in recent years. It is, however, not acceptable for an American who did not support Trump to claim that he is “not their president.” Half of those who voted, chose Trump, and to deny him as the president is no better than those who claimed that Barack Obama was not their president. Whether we like it or not, Trump is the president-elect and we have to do the best we can with the current circumstances. To root against a Trump presidency is to root against American prosperity. It is possible to support Trump without supporting hate and xenophobia. For those who supported Clinton or had another person in the race, remember that your voice has been heard and half of the country supports the same ideas as you. Now, however, is the time to support Trump and to try to understand where the other half of the country who voted for him is coming from. Americans cannot let one man undermine decades of social progress that we have fought so hard for. What should we do now? Fight. Fight for the rights of minorities. Fight for those who don’t have the voice to. Fight for the vision of America that you believe in. Whether or not your candidate got elected, the principles they stood for must live on, and as Americans we must move forward together--leaving the xenophobia, divisive rhetoric, disregard of truth and fear mongering behind.

Comic by Greg Frazier

November 2016




Caleb’s Conception

2016 election cycle finally ends

Caleb Bolin Political Columnist

was positive, but anybody who wanted to could have watched a full newsday of Clinton and Trump. We did watch. We watched like passengers on a train that was headed in slow motion for a wreck. Nobody wanted to watch the nation head in the direction that it has been for the last year and a half, but we couldn’t pull ourselves away from watching. On Nov. 8, people around the country went out, voted and waited anxiously to see who would end up victorious. By 2 a.m. that night, Clinton had conceded the presidential race to Trump after stunning losses in key states that pundits had assumed would vote for Clinton handed the race to Trump. There have been many different reactions to how the election panned out: fear, hopelessness, shock and anger from supporters of Clinton; pride, new hope, celebration and some uncertainty about the future from supporters of Trump; apathy or general lack of interest or hopes from many Americans who couldn’t bring themselves to support either candidate. Personally, I am glad to see this election cycle end. Watching it every day, I often wished that the country could just fast-forward to the end result of the election--whatever it would be. The election desensitized Americans on both sides of the aisle to lying, hate-speech and scandals.

Americans around the country sighed a breath of mixed relief and grief on Nov. 9, in the wake of a disturbingly dirty, disgusting, disenchanting presidential election cycle. From start to finish, the 2016 presidential election cycle was a roller coaster ride filled with highs and lows--though admittedly there were far more lows than highs--and regardless of which side Americans stood on, it is doubtful that anyone isn’t relieved the election is over. As soon as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were locked in as the presumptive nominees at their respective parties’ conventions in July, the voters’ hopes for the nation’s prospects seemed to dwindle every day. New information came out every week about one of the candidates in the election from a practically infinite mound of dirt accumulated over the years. Controversies piled up so fast that it became common for one or two scandals to overshadow one or more other scandals because--sadly--there is only so much scandal that can be covered in one newsday. The media outlets, big and small, took advantage of the election’s shock-factor to get better ratings. According to, Trump received almost $3 billion Photo by Caleb Bolin in free advertising, and Clinton reWebster Groves residents line up at their polling place and wait to vote. Donald Trump ceived nearly $1.1 billion in free won the electoral votes from Missouri. advertising--all from the constant media coverage of their campaigns. Admittedly, not all of the coverage

November 2016


News ECHO War veterans return to school and share experiences

Photo by Ashli Wagner

Veterans Don Green and Don McDaniels eat breakfast prepared by child development teacher Diane Stromberg and tell stories of past battles.

Ashli Wagner Video Editor Webster Groves High School celebrated Veterans Day on Wednesday Nov. 9, by inviting over 100 veterans from all eras around Webster to speak to students. November 11, marked the 78th annual Veterans Day since it first became a national holiday in 1938. Veterans came the school around 7 a.m. to start the day off with a breakfast put together by social studies teacher Betty Roberts and child development teacher Diane Stromberg. During first hour there was a public assembly. Boys Scouts, chamber choir and strings participated in honoring the veterans. The guest speaker was Dr. John McManus, who is also a Vietnam Veteran. During the rest of the school day veterans went to different

Photo by Riley Mullgardt

Veteran Casey Green shows students where he was positioned in the Vietnam War.

social studies classrooms to tell students about their experiences in the war. Four to five veterans visited each social studies class, and had about 10 minutes a piece to tell their stories and then take questions from students. Webster Groves High School’s Veterans Day program started about 14 or 15 years ago, and three years ago the social studies department started focusing on specific groups of veterans. This year the Veterans Day program wanted to hear from veterans who were both drafted and volunteers so students could hear their experiences. The Vietnam War was from 1954 until April of 1975. At the end of the war over 2,500 soldiers were missing in action or prisoners of war. As of April of this year over 1,600 of those soldiers are still unaccounted for. In the U.S. people against the war held rallies, demonstrations and marches to protest what was happening in Vietnam.

Alumni lead ‘Black Friday’ march on Lockwood It only took five tries, but on Nov. 25, Webster Groves students, citizens and alumni held a protest march from city hall to Old Orchard regarding the president-elect Donald Trump and his policies. Before the march, 2016 graduate Jakini Ingram spoke to a crowd of a couple hundred in front of city hall. Other speakers were former mayor Terri Williams, James Croft and Faizan Syed. After the speeches at city hall, protesters walked down the sidewalks along Lockwood Avenue to the gazebo in Old Orchard. The protesters could not march in the street because no one from the protest had a parade permit. The march was put together by Ingram and 2016 graduates

November 2016

Photo by Cole Schnell

Community members march to Old Orchrd on Nov. 25, to protest the election of Donald Trump as president.

Bonnie Randall, and Bekah Perman with help from other current students and alumni.



Students donate blood to people in need


Photo by Riley Mullgardt

Senior Jada Jackson watches as nurse inserts needle to her arm. Jackson said, “It feels kind of funny.”

Riley Mullgardt Entertainment Editor National Honors Society hosted its annual blood drive for patients at Mercy Hospital on Monday Nov. 14. The drive was organized by the students and NHS sponsor Amy Rowland said the students assisted the Mercy Hospital staff by “working the registration table, keeping students company in the donation room, and handing out snacks after the students donate.” Walking into the gym, students found a registration booth on the left side and behind that screening stations. To the right of the entrance, there was a table filled with snacks and beyond that, the donation station. To qualify to give blood, participants had to be interviewed by a Mercy Hospital nurse who asked questions about their health, their diet, and pricked their finger to test their blood. Senior Jada Jackson said, “I didn’t know they pricked your finger… That kind of hurt,” and laughed. The full process, registration to the required snack break, took about an hour but the actual giving blood process only took about ten minutes. The nurse pokes the patient’s the arm to find the vein and then sticks the needle in. Jackson said, “It feels kind of funny.” Junior Ethan Rios thoughts while eating a bag of pretzels were “that wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

Mercy Hospital’s website says the blood that people donate goes to “help trauma patients, cancer patients, new moms or other patients fighting any number of illnesses.” Student Council is set to host a blood drive Feb. 23.


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November 2016




Mr. Webster contestants share wh Andy Kimball Editor-In-Chief Graphics by Shane Dioneda DECA will host the sixth annual Mr. Webster Pageant on Dec. 1, in the auditorium. The pageant is a fundraiser for DECA’s trip to New York. Twelve senior contestants will showcase talent, perform a dance routine, answer questions from judges and create videos for the audience. Each contestant was asked to describe themselves and why they would win Mr. Webster.

7:00 pm thursday december 1



bennett durando charlie sears daniel kennebeck thomas hotaling dodge dunlap esque ewing jared brown kevin butler kurt krautmann matt haug max umali and

patrick schranck

Patrick Schrank: Dodge Dunlap: “I am someone who cares about “I am a somewhat Asian, mostly what they believe in. I’m working Caucasian male. I am athletic, I to make the world a better place.” like to have fun, and I like to make “I’m likeable, unintentionally people laugh.” funny. Also I’m attractive. I don’t “I am a social butterfly who has know if that has anything to do nice hair and killer dance moves.” (with winning).”

Kurt Krautmann “I am a young Statesmen living in Webster Groves who likes to be involved in Webster Groves activities. I swim, I play trombone, and I love getting hyped at school events #robertsrowdies.” “I’m very enthusiastic; I love being a part of Webster Groves. I love being a part of my community, and I think my leadership skills will Esque Ewing: “Very funny, outgoing, always help me as well. happy.” “I’m really fun, and my personality will take me far.”

November 2016

Daniel Kennebeck: “Definitely funny and outgoing, charismatic, a real hunk, and a guy that wants to get along with everybody.” “I have a great smile, I connect with a lot of people, and I have a secret weapon up my sleeve.”




hy audience should vote for them Jared Brown

threatened they feel. People will also vote for me out of pity. A mixture of both.”

He taught him the secret to Pageants lies in the mind and heart. Not in the looks.


One man’s struggle to win a male pageant.

Matt Haug: “I’m a jokester, warm and kindhearted. Always willing to have fun Max Umali: “I would describe myself as on and off the court.” “Good sense of humor, quirky somebody who is very adventurous and very lively.” dance moves, and a nice smile.” “I like to think I’m pretty funny. THOMAS HOTALING My dancing skills are on point.”


Jared Brown: “Nice Guy who tries to put others before himself.” “I am a good guy and I can make people laugh.”

Charlie Sears

Charlie Sears: “I am nice and friendly” “I’m charismatic, and I’m also charming.”

MR.WEBSTER Kevin Butler

Bennett Durando: Thomas Hotaling: “I’m sassy with a little bit of sug“(I’m) an alpha-male. I stand out in the crowd, people see me, and ar. I’m like a warhead candy.” “I will win Mr. Webster because I they tremble. I am very sassy.” “(I’m) very threatening. People make a mean grilled cheese.” will vote for me because of how

Kevin Butler: “(I am) creative, outgoing. I love to be different.” “I am funny, and I think my talent will put me over the top.”

November 2016




Club uses greenhouse, praises environmental friendliness Bennett Durando Sports Editor Perhaps Webster’s best kept secret is a place shrouded in mystery. Deep in the bowels of the school, at the end of a long trek up to the furthest reaches of the third floor old part of the building, cleverly hidden behind the AC Lab department and overlooking Bradford below is a greenhouse. Yes, WGHS has a greenhouse. A narrow strip of vegetation, the warm room is now being occupied by Webster’s newest activity group: Urban Agriculture Club. Started by senior Joe Grasso, the group has a small following but big plans. “We want to make the school more sustainable and environmentally friendly,” senior member Max Yusen said. “We’re trying to make the high school greener, and I think it’s important to know where your food comes from, and we’re trying to not only replicate that by educating ourselves, but hopefully by educating our peers.”

Urban Agriculture meets for now on Thursday mornings in the classroom of its teacher sponsor, Greg Wieland. However, as it hopes to gain a greater following, its discussed the possibility of moving meetings to Mondays. After starting by organizing and cultivating the greenhouse with new plants, the club has decided to attempt to branch out into apiary endeavors. The group’s founding was partially motivated by a past attempt by other students at the school to start a beekeeping club, which didn’t get the approval it needed. “Bees are an endangered species, and it’s important to give them a habitat and raise awareness for them … there are also many benefits to them, like getting honey,” Yusen said. “It’s unbeelievable.” Senior member Luke Beggs explained the predicament involving potential beekeeping. “Right now we’re trying to come up with a way to get funding and get the concept of having bees in the high school through the activities’ office,” Beggs said. “We’re trying to get as much research and knowledge about it as possible so we can come up with a cohesive case to bring to the table.”

Branch is WGHS’s newest literary magazine

Cole Schnell Ads and Business Manager

New literary magazine, The Branch, released its first issue on Nov. 1. WGHS has had other literary magazines like Reflections, which ended in 2012. The Allwrite interns are trying to revive Reflections with The Branch, but with a new name to give it a fresh start. Every first school week of the month, the magazine will be released. Three hundred copies will be printed for every issue and distributed through the English teachers. The Branch publishes students’ work. Students submit works online through The branch will accept any fiction work. There are no set maximum lengths. If a piece of work is too long, The Branch will contact the author and work with her/him to cut it down. There is no minimum. All entries are due on the 20th of the month before the month of the issue unless posted differently. “Gives students a opportunity to publish their work,” Dorothea Starr Lebeau, author of “Shall I Compare Thee to Her,” said; “I like writing and other people to see it.” Artists may also submit work for the cover, and there is photography contest with a theme unique to each month. Photos can be submitted via email to English teacher Steve Leftridge. The Branch’s goal is to fuel WGHS Allwrite Festival. All works published in The Branch are submitted to contest for a Franzie, which is a literary award given to a student during Allwrite. Franzie winners talk and read their work in the first assembly of Allwrite.

November 2016

There is also to a puzzle integrated into the magazine the gives hints about Allwrite such as this year’s theme and speakers. The magazine is broken into five different sections: a general section which will have a different name every month (“Cornucopia” in November), “Reflections,” “Coffee Mug Club Meeting at [different places],” “Papercuts” and “Webster Wayback.” The general section has the works that don’t fit in the other sections. “Reflections,” named after the WGHS previous literary magazine, is where the more dramatic and emotional works go. Coffee Mug Club is where the works are written by Coffee Mug Club members who are inspired by a mouth-unique club field trip. In November, the Coffee Club field trip was Laumeier Sculpture Park. The Coffee Mug Club is a WGHS writing club which meets once a month. November the members met at the St. Louis Art Museum and the pieces will be in the next issue. “Papercuts” are for works 50 words or less that are inspired by the month’s unique word. The November’s word was “time.” The last section is “Webster Wayback” for works written by past students published in previous literary magazines. The Branch’s teacher sponsors are English teachers Leftridge and Rita Chapman. The Branch is being funded through It has already raised enough money to fund The Branch this year: raising over $1,000 on the first two days the campaign was available to donate. Also, readers of The Branch can buy subscriptions through


11 Students apply for national scholarships


Photo from Cathy Vespereny

National Merit semi-finalists, seniors Easton Culver, Alicia DeBroux, William Kimball, Donovan Smith and Miles Umbaugh, pose together with WGHS’s other commended students.

Page Kimzey Audio Editor With over 16,000 semifinalists in this year, WGHS has five students as potential finalists: seniors Easton Culver, Alicia DeBroux, William Kimball, Donovan Smith and Miles Umbaugh. This accomplishment came to surprise to some of the students. “I totally did not expect to be one of the semifinalists at all. Like, I signed up for it as a formality, and then they were like, ‘You won!’ I’m really honored to be in with all those cool people,” DeBroux said. “I didn’t know it was that small of a number until just now actually. That’s a lot more impressive than I thought it was,” Culver said. When students take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, also known as the PSAT, they also enter the contest to be accepted into the world of the National Merit Scholarship Program. The semifinalists have some helpful tips for younger students

who plan to take the test. “Do like a practice test or two before you take it and then during the test just sort of do basic test taking strategies, go through it, and if you get stuck on something just skip it, and pick ‘C’ if you don’t know. Drink extra coffee,” Culver said. Multiple students recommend taking practice tests beforehand. “I took some prep classes and it really helped me out so if that’s your thing then good. You don’t really need to study a lot of specific facts just know how to take tests in general,” DeBroux said. Counselor Marsha Dempsey provided information that entails this reaches across the United States to give students the opportunity to join the other 323,000 high schoolers who have been awarded the Merit Scholar title. National Merit Scholarship Corporation has been a not-forprofit organization since 1955 making this its 62nd annual competition for the scholarships. Only 15,000 of the semifinalists are expected to continue to the finals where they must complete a series of tasks to get accepted. Along with an application, academic record, a list of awards and honors they have received, list of involvement, leadership abilities and employment information, they must write an essay, turn in outstanding SAT scores and be recommended by a school staff. This scholarship will be a great help for these students when they go to college. “I think the scholarship money only applies to one school because when I filled out the application they said to pick one school for it to go to. I put it towards Minnesota, which is a safety school. I think just having a merit finalist will help with other schools even if I don’t get the money for it,” Culver said. Three types of NMS will be offered this year, all ranging in price and students awarded. There will be 2,500 National Merit scholarships awarded being $2,500 each, 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships, and around 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarships awarded from various colleges across the nation. Finalists for the class of 2017 will be officially announced between April and July of next year.

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November 2016




Expectations for men’s basketball arise Greg Frazier Circulation Editor Men’s basketball coach Jay Blossom is running a slightly different offensive lineup this year. Blossom said, “Players go through intensive training during practices; they’re used to the intensity. Still, the team shows room for improvement. The team struggles in conditioning, but that’s to be expected.” The first game of the season is against Marquette on Dec. 7. Last year the Statesmen trounced Marquette, 63-37. This year’s team offers an edge of size and depth in the players, in contrast with last year’s roster. The intensity of the practices is linked to the lack of conditioning from players. Assistant coach Scott Stallcup said, “Communication is another problem in practices; you can tell by the lack of my voice during school hours.” The team practices every day after school with regular drills and testing, in addition to practices on the weekends. Junior guard and leading scorer from last year, Courtney Ramey, said, “We are taking it day by day, and we still have a ways to go. I think we have a really special team this year.” “A lot of the players grew up in Webster’s basketball system. Many of them believe in this system of training,” Blossom said. Blossom is proud and surprised at the high level of basketball knowledge and of the number of players within the program. “Players are accomplishing the goals that they set for themselves and the team. This helps push the guys to work harder,” Blossom said. Webster plays a tough schedule that includes MO’s top-ranked Vashon, Vianney and other opponents that’ll test the team. “We’re up against a lot of teams that’ll test our skills, but we have a chance of being a really good team, “Blossom said. Blossom achieved a grant of $905 that he intends to put for-

Photo by Andy Kimball

Sophomore. Carte’are Gordon goes for a dunk in a pre-season jamboree game against Sikeston. Gordon won’t be able to play in official games until this January after a 365-day transfer period of ineligibility concludes.

ward for purchasing dumbbells, medicine balls and other means of strength training for the players. “These tools will help players in many different ways,” he said. Ramey put it quite simply: “I’m looking forward to winning State this year.”

Dec. 6 Eureka @ Robert’s Gym Dec. 13 Parkway South @ Robert’s Gym

Photo from Varsity Views

November 2016



Bennett from the Bleachers



Photo by Page Kimzey

Senior quarterback and star player Donovan Daniels was under fire all game from Kirkwood’s State Champion defensive line on Turkey Day.

Bennett Durando Sports Columnist Of all the Thanksgiving traditions practiced nationwide, perhaps none is so sacred and holy as the annual clash of the Webster Groves and Kirkwood communities to celebrate a centuryold rivalry with chili competitions, pep rallies, a community run … oh yeah, and football. The annual Turkey Day Game is just as much a part of Thanksgiving for many families as turkey itself. The day is planned years in advance: go to the game at high noon, come home to a feast and eat your heart out at 3 p.m., crash at 5 p.m. These days though, something’s out of place. Something about the routine just isn’t the same. Maybe it’s the fact that every year now when we take our seats at the Turkey Day Game and hear the iconic ringing of the Frisco Bell coming from the sideline of the previous year’s winner, we know exactly which side the ringing will continue to come from at the end of the game. That’s because Webster has now lost to Kirkwood four straight years on Thanksgiving. You probably see that and wonder how I can possibly be so pessimistic. It’s just four years, right? It’s a series over 100 years old; both teams are bound to have droughts! In fact, Webster has fared well the last couple decades considering the last time they lost even three straight Varsity games was between 1986 and ‘89. The fact of the matter that can’t be ignored this time though is Kirkwood has built a wide margin of success between its football program and ours. The Pioneers are the State champs of the highest class in the state, well-established as the best team in Missouri, led by perhaps the greatest defense in school history. Webster has been a sub-.500 team two years in a row … in the class below Kirkwood. Its offense has been inconsistent and

hesitant to throw the football since losing former quarterback Rob Thompson a couple years ago. That’s not to say Webster’s players or coaches are failing in any way. They actually have done honorably considering the circumstances. The unfortunate reality of those circumstances though is the program has noticeably shrunk in numbers over recent years and as a result has been given less to work with. Meanwhile, Kirkwood just keeps growing. WG can’t keep up. Now, some optimists will attest that regardless of the current states of the programs, Webster proved this year that due to the energy and history of the rivalry, the Turkey Day Game will never cease to be competitive and exciting. That’s the scary thing about this situation, though. Webster played an incredible game this year, and Kirkwood, still on its championship high, barely even showed up to play. Still, the Pioneers held Webster to single-digits and came out on top, 17-6. The Statesmen actually kept Kirkwood out of the end zone for three entire quarters. Minus a three-minute stretch in the second quarter when Kirkwood scored both of its touchdowns, WG WON THE GAME. We clearly played an all-around better game, but that one lapse of intensity late in the first half highlighted by an interception was all it took for Kirkwood to waltz to victory anyways. If it’s that easy for the Pioneers, if it takes them just three minutes of dominance to erase 45 minutes of Webster dominance, then what kind of competition do we really have here? What makes the Webster-Kirkwood rivalry so great is the expectation that every year their game will be a toss-up. This tradition has stood the test of time because it’s perpetually been characterized by State-title-caliber play from both sides. It’s not in the spirit of Turkey Day when everyone knows who the winner is going to be, demonstrated by Kirkwood’s students half-heartedly rushing the field at the end of a weak but expected victory they can barely brag about. What needs to change to fix this dilemma isn’t what Webster could’ve done during three minutes to change the result of one game. The Statesmen need to look at the long term consequences of not fixing the pattern that is seeming to snowball more and more in Kirkwood’s favor. If Webster doesn’t build its program back to a size that can compete with the Pioneers’ growth, the Frisco Bell might not reside at WGHS for a very long time. Whether that means stronger recruiting or more advertising of the program to the youngest audiences in the school district, I honestly don’t know. It’s this kind of thinking though, the prioritization and acknowledgement of middle school and even grade school students as the future, that needs to be given attention. If not, Turkey Day could devolve to a one-sided rivalry, and we‘d be the laughingstock, the Cubs to Kirkwood’s Cardinals. Hey, the Cubs may’ve just ruined that analogy for good by winning the World Series. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but maybe we could learn a lesson or two from the Chicago Cubs. If we don’t, who knows? That unique annual dose of Midwestern Thanksgiving culture and history that we all love so much might not ever be truly felt again.

November 2016



‘No troll left behind’


Movie delivers positive message, but too unrealistic

Photo from

In its opening weekend, “Trolls” grossed nearly $50 million in over 4,000 theaters.

Caroline Fellows Online Editor “Happiness is inside all of us; sometimes you just need someone to help you find it.” From the creators of “Shrek” comes the new movie “Trolls”- a delightful but slightly overbearing story full of singing, dancing and hugging and just all out happiness. In every world of fantasy, there is a world of terror, and this holds true in “Trolls” as well.

November 2016

Amidst the bright colorful world of optimistic trolls’ singing, dancing and giddiness lies a dark world of the grumpy, moody and very unhappy Bergens. The only thing that makes them happy is eating trolls- which occurs on a very important day once a year. Young Bergen Prince Gristle Jr. (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is about to finally taste his first troll and be happy when the trolls escape, resulting in the firing of the chef (Christine Baranski). Determined to get revenge, the chef crashes a troll party and kidnaps several trolls. The protagonist, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) who is perhaps the most perky, optimistic troll of all, sets on a journey to rescue her friends, enlisting the help of fellow troll pessimistic, sulky Branch (Justin Timberlake). An additional subplot mirroring the fairytale “Cinderella” adds to the magic of “Trolls”- but it’s impossible to deny to extremities of the movie. Rapping, bright pink trolls who believe the world is full of cupcakes and rainbows, have hug time every hour, refer to each other as “Royal Awesomeness” and feel the need to scrapbook every moment will leave some viewers a little impatient and eager to return to reality. Also featuring Russell Brand, James Corden and Zooey Deschanel, the soundtrack, a central part of the movie, includes several news songs including “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” It is rated PG and runs for one hour and 33 minutes.



Botan Beliefs


Columnist lists favorite serial killers

5) John Wayne Gacy, 1942 - 1994 Born on March 17, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, John Wayne Gacy was known for working as a clown for children’s birthday parties. After being convicted of sexual assault in 1968, it was discovered he had gone on to kill 33 young males, burying most of his victims under his home. He was found guilty in 1980 and was executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994. 4) Myra Hindley, 1942 - 2002 Myra Hindley was an English serial killer. In partnership with Ian Brady, she raped and murdered five children. Hindley’s 17-year-old brother-in-law tipped off the police about her crimes. She was found guilty of three murders and was jailed for life. She was never released, and died in prison in 2002. 3) Richard Ramirez, 1960 - 2013 Born in El Paso, Tx., on Feb. 29, 1960, Richard Ramirez was an American serial killer who over a two-year rampage raped and tortured more than 25 victims and murdered more than a dozen of them. “Night Stalker,” Ramirez was influenced to become a Satanist at an early age by his cousin, a soldier who had recently returned from the war in Vietnam. After a four-year trial, in 1989, Ramirez was convicted of 13 killings. He received the death penalty and died on June 7, 2013, at age 53.

Public domain photo from WikiCommons

Here Ted Bundy is 31 years old and in custody in Florida, in July 1978, 10 years before his state execution in 1989.

Abby Botan Entertainment Columnist Serial killers can be traced as far back to the first century. According to Jan Ruis, most serial killers are born in November, so… in honor of that here is a countdown on a list of the most infamous serial killers in my opinion, even though these people weren’t born in November. According to FBI.Gov, a serial killer is a person who murders three or more people, usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant break (a “cooling off period”) between them. There have been a large number of infamous serial killers in the 20th century, and here is a countdown of five of them that were the most bizarre even though they weren’t born in November:

2) Jeffrey Dahmer, 1960 - 1994 Born in Milwaukee, WI, in 1960, Jeffrey Dahmer displayed troubling behavior following childhood surgery. Dahmer committed his first murder in 1978, and was arrested multiple times before murdering his second victim in 1987. In addition to killing the men and teenagers he lured home, he mutilated, photographed and performed sexual acts of the victims’ corpses, keeping body parts as mementos. Dahmer was captured in 1991 and sentenced to 16 life terms. He was killed by fellow prison inmate Christopher Scarver in 1994. 1) Ted Bundy, 1946 - 1989 Ted Bundy was born Nov. 24, 1946, in Burlington, Vt. In the 1970s, Bundy raped and murdered young women in several states. He was connected to at least 36 murders, but some thought he had committed one hundred or more. Bundy was executed in Florida’s electric chair in 1989. His charm and intelligence made him something of a celebrity during his trial, and his case inspired many novels and films about serial killers.

November 2016




Thanksgiving is time for food, family Natalie Johnson Humor Columnist

Twas the night before Thanksgiving And all through the house Not a creature was stirring Except for my father who woke up ridiculously early to make an ungodly large pan of stuffing. I think he likes to get a head start on Thanksgiving because the sooner it starts, the sooner it ends. Each year my family, the 40 of us, gather at my aunt’s house. We sit at five tables all pushed together, each slightly different heights, stretching out over the length of the dining room, foyer, and living room. If my cousins keep getting married and having children, our family will eventually resemble the entire town of Whoville on Christmas, wrapping around the entirety of the way in a maze like fashion. It will take a reenactment of the Feeding of Five Thousand to feed us all. Unfortunately, the bread baskets at my aunt’s don’t magically refill themselves. My dad, uncles, and grandpa stand around as my uncle carves the turkey. They complement it and comment on how spectacularly it turned out, as if they can’t see that the seven hours it has been in the oven is at least an hour too long. The thought of the Turkey, the anticipation of this bird, is the

November 2016

very thing that makes everyone so excited to celebrate. Then you see it: dry slices varying in thickness from paper thin to brick thick. You walk to the spread on the table and see that there are only three pies for the 40 of you. The lines from the can remain on the cranberry blob. The rolls are whole grain, the sweet potatoes as orange as the president-elect. My aunt started the tradition of playing “never have I ever” a few years ago. That game is dreaded by all of my cousins, aunts and uncles. It always ends in someone getting set out, like my aunt pointing out a mistake her husband made years ago. This year, the most uncomfortable “never have I ever…” was regarding politics. Never has my uncle ever voted for Hillary Clinton. The youngest inevitably wins every year, which happens to be my younger sister, and so she was left with the ultimate prize: hundreds of pieces of candy corn that had been palmed by my family. Despite the chaos, crowding and crusty cranberries, Thanksgiving has always been and will always be my favorite holiday. A day dedicated to family, food and football is alright with me. Let’s not forget the true reason we celebrate: to remember the generosity the Native Americans displayed to the colonists, which our country has so kindly reciprocated this past holiday season.

Print Version: WG ECHO November 2016 Issue  

This is the third issue of the 102nd year of the ECHO. Contents include the Black Friday march, views about the election outcome, the NHS bl...

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