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march 2018

The Catalyst


Read about Magnet open house on page 2!


Should you get a Flu shot? Check out page 8!

Life &Style All about fashion week on page 9!

Sports Read about signing day on page 10!

Winter Olympics DISHA SHARMA staff writer

not be here if the games hadn’t taken a twist in 1998. Sports like Since the earliest days, the Winter snowboarding and curling were officially added to the program Olympics have pushed the extreme. But, the word “extreme” has taken on new mean- in the Nagano games, and the inclusion of the board sport served ing, as X Games-style events have taken on as a clue of what was to come. There have been sixteen events primetime airways. How did it get this way added to the line up over the last two Winter Olympic Games. Of those, ten fall into the category of action sports: men and though? It all began with the first Winter Olympics, held in Chamonix, France in 1924. women’s ski halfpipe, men and women’s ski slopestyle, men and women’s snowboard parallel giant slalom, men and women’s Referred to as International Winter Sports snowboard slopestyle, and men Week, it had only sixteen and women’s snowboard big air. countries participating in sixThese sports, of course, aren’t teen events. If you looked at new to viewers of the X Games, the line-up, ski- jumping was which was the point. The Winter the only real extreme sport. X Games started in 1997, before Back then, the Winter Games snowboarding made its Olympic were held in the same year as debut, and has served as a kind the Summer Games, a tradiof unofficial testing ground for tion that continued through the Olympics. Halfpipe events, 1992. In the years between, ski and snowboard cross, and the number of events more slopestyle, all appeared in the X than tripled, the number Games before they made their of countries participating appearance in the Olympics. quadrupled, and by the 1992 And this year in 2018, we’re games, the number of athletes getting big air snowboarding, vying for medals reached an event that is exactly what 1,800 -a record at the time. it sounds like. Big tricks have Major geopolitical brought a bigger stage. Snowevents also impacted the boarding now claims a primetime Olympics. World War II shut spot in NBC’s Olympic coverage, down the games for 12 years. The most dangerous sport in the Winter Olympics is along with figure skating, which, When they returned in 1948, freestyle skiing. to be fair, is also becoming increasGermany, which hosted the ingly extreme. Figure skaters have games before the war, and Japan now been observed to be making quad jumps in their routines. weren’t invited to compete. Cold War tensions ran high during So if history continues, this could be the review of every Winter the 1960s games, with the United States debating whether or Olympics. not to allow athletes from communist countries to compete. In This is the first time South Korea has hosted the Winter 1980, the U.S. hosted the games again. Olympics since the 1988 Summer Olympics were held in Seoul, Meanwhile, Olympic events were getting riskier with South Korea. The estimated cost of the PyeongChang Winter death-defying sports, like luge and freestyle skiing, finding their Olympics is $10 billion, five times less than the 2014 Sochi Olymway into the lineup. From 1994 to 2014, the U.S. collected up to pics, which are estimated to be the 34 medals in freestyle skiing aerials costliest ever. The city lost by three and snowboarding 18 of which came votes to Vancouver for hosting dufrom the halfpipe alone. The U.S. ties in the 2010 Olympics, and by just has so far been on the same track in four votes to Sochi, Japan for the 2014 South Korea. A pair of 17-year-olds event. The development of highnamed Chloe Kim and Red Gerard speed rail lines was key to the coun— who claimed Olympic gold in try’s Olympic bid, as Pyeongchang is women’s halfpipe and men’s slopesomewhat isolated. The new train lines style – have been the emerging stars. allow individuals to travel from Seoul Meanwhile, Shaun White avenged to Pyeongchang in less than an hour. his average performance in Sochi In total, the 13 venues, split between and returned to the top of the men’s Pyeongchang and neighboring Ganghalfpipe podium; Jamie Anderson neung, are used during the 17 days of snagged gold in women’s slopestyle; the Games. Six new sites were built, and Arielle Gold stood next to teamand additional venues were renovated mate Chloe Kim on the halfpipe pofor the Games. A record 102 medals dium, bronze slung around her neck. will be awarded in 15 disciplines. And, With those five freestyle medals in The Winter Olympics included 92 nations for the first time, viewers in all U.S. time the bag, Team USA is well on its way to competing in 15 different sports. zones will have access to live coverage of matching the 11 won in Sochi. the games, instead of a delayed replay. However, such events would

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The Academic Bowl competed on High-Q against North Gwinnett

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Prom is on March 17th! Tickets on sale!




Magnet Open House News Flash

Classes at Stoneman Douglas High School resumed Wednesday February 28, two weeks after the shooting that left 17 dead.

Team USA finished up the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang with a total of 23 medals!

SYDNEY CARLIN staff writer

The Wheeler High School Magnet Program is a prestigious center for advanced studies that focus on math and science. The center was created and designed to offer an education that covers not only academic studies but also social and emotional growth as well. Every year, eigth grade students from around Cobb County that have been accepted into Magnet attend an open house to learn what being apart of the program entails. Dozens of prospective students gather in the gymnasium to meet with tour guides, teacher helpers, and greeters to learn about the details and workload that accompanies a potential spot in the program. The tour guides are current magnet students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, and their purpose is primarily to explain the different courses that are offered to freshmen and walk them through a schedule by taking them to various classrooms. Choosing classes for the first year of high school can be stressful, so the guides inform and recommend the potential students of which courses to take based on their interests. Current students also speak from experience to give advice and paint a picture of what the next four years are going to look like for new students. The open house also acts as an opportunity for those eighth graders to join clubs and after-school activities. I asked current magnet students about their experiences with the open house, and they all had positive things to say. Liliana Henriksson noted, “Magnet open house is a great experience and a great way to meet incoming magnet freshmen and create a bond with them.” Tristan Hollon-Brooks stated, “It is a great deal of fun to see the new kids that might be coming here next year. I get to tell them some funny and interesting stories about some good times I have had in the magnet program and at Wheeler.” Briti Nandi, executive member of the Magnet Advisory Board, claims, “Volunteering at magnet open house is very exciting because you get to speak with all of the interested eighth graders about why we love Wheeler. The whole night is a fun environment to be in, surrounded by all your magnet friends and teachers.” Kayli Sweeney said, “Magnet Open House is an excellent opportunity for students that might join the program because we get

to talk to them about our experiences and get to know the incoming freshmen.” Attending the open house is important because it provides eigth graders a glimpse of how their high school life will be. Speaking with the current students is extremely helpful since they can give specific examples and tips on how to deal with the dynamic workload, time, energy, and effort that is required to excel in the program successfully. The information given during those few hours is valuable for the students because it allows them to analyze everything needed to become a magnet student and whether or not they are ready for it. There is a lot to take in as the course load for students is a lot of upkeep; they are required to take ten Math/Science core classes, four Magnet recognized Technology classes (STEM Track) or two Technology classes, and two Fine Arts classes (STEAM Track). Since the program was created, Joseph Wheeler High School has become one of the fastest growing math, science, and technology magnet high schools within the metro-Atlanta area, centering the workload around Engineering, Robotics, Medical Biotechnology, Forensics, Advanced Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Then, in 2003, community leaders and parents transformed the program to become a nonprofit organization to fund financial and volunteer resources. The program also works toward seeking support from corporate, government, and philanthropic leaders to further a strong education for the future of the school. Over the past few years, the ranking of this program has gone up tremendously; in 2012, Wheeler Magnet was certified as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) school and was recertified in 2016. Just last year, it earned the status of becoming the first school to receive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) certification from the state of Georgia. So what makes the Joseph Wheeler High School Magnet Program so unique? The wide variety of the curriculum matched with the fast pace set the center apart from other “specialized” programs. Not to mention, students have a lot of control over their schedules to take the classes that interest them the most. In their final year, seniors take on a Research and Internship project that goes beyond traditional and specialized high school standards. Students are also given a chance to participate and become recognized in national competitions, such as Siemens Competition, Intel Science Talent Search, BEST Robotics and FIRST Robotics competitions. Lastly, magnet students are not isolated; their classes are in the same buildings as everyone else enrolled in the traditional program of Wheeler.


MICHELLE NADER staff writer An employee from the CDC has been missing for two weeks. He was last seen after he was denied a promotion and left work because he wasn’t feeling well.

ICE has arrested over 150 people in California who have allegedly violated immigration laws.

The flu season this year has been those with any preexisting conditions. The vaccine helps speed the very intense. It’s already claimed the lives production of antibodies and T cells and can significantly shorten the of 63 children in the U.S. alone and hospilength and severity of the flu if caught. Another tip to preventing talizing many more. Almost 10% of every contracting this deadly disease is washing your hands. Many specialdoctor’s visit is for flu-like symptoms, such ists believe that the flu spreads by tiny droplets produced when as a fever, cough, and aches. Many people people don’t cover their nose or mouth when sneezing and coughunderestimate the power of the flu. Yearly, ing. By washing your hands, you kill and destroy the germs that you it takes almost 700,000 lives worldwide, and this year has could have come in contact with throughout the day. It is recombeen particularly bad. It is only expected to get worse. The flu mended to clean your hands with soap and water, but alcohol-based activity levels are still rising and that means the death toll will hand sanitizer also works well. By doing these two simple actions, increase as well. you reduce your chances of acquiring this dreadful infection. There are various reasons why this If you do happen to contact the flu, there flu season has been so awful. One of them are many tips on how to get back on your is the unique strand called H3N2. In past feet quicker. The first thing you should do seasons, there have been associations with is see the doctor as soon as you develop this particular strand and causing the most flu-like symptoms. They can prescribe you damage. It adapts very quickly to the vacan antiviral to try and slow down produccines that are in use. It has been around for tion of the virus. They could also give you about 50 years, and it changes and evolves decongestants to make it easier to breathe with each vaccine that is used to try and and to relieve congestion, swelling, and kill it. This strand is related to the strands runny noses. Once you go to the doctor, The shot can significantly deresponsible for the 1918 flu pandemic and you should try your best to get as much crease your risk of getting the flu. the 2009 swine flu. Another reason as to rest as possible. Less sleep can lead to a why this strand is so terrible is because of the weaker vaccine suppressed immune system making it harder to fight off this infecthis year. This year, while growing the vaccinations, the virus tion. It is best to try to get at least eight hours of sleep once diagmutated, making it weaker and less efficient. nosed. It is also beneficial to drink as many fluids as possible. With The flu takes only a few days to infect and poison the the combination of the fever, sweating, and vomiting, it is effortless whole body thoroughly. It is a severe disease that travels to to get dehydrated. It is essential to drink at least eight cups of water the lungs and attacks the body’s cells. The body then starts to a day, especially when combating the flu. create antibodies and T cells to fasten and attach to the virus If not treated properly, however, the flu will turn lethal. It can be seen itself, trying to destroy this dangerous infection. The flu hijacks in the sad story of Alivia Viellieux, a three-year-old who died from the cell’s reproductive system and creates hundreds and the flu. Alivia’s parents decided against vaccinating their daughter hundreds of copies of itself by inserting itself into the actual because of the rumors of how ineffective it was. They opted out of cells. These cells are now so full of this dangerous parasite that putting the harsh chemicals into her body. One night, she had a they burst, scattering this parasite throughout more of your fever of 106 degrees Fahrenheit and her family rushed her to the hosbody. The only thing that can help now is the continuation of pital. She tested positive for the flu, and she stayed there for three the production of antibodies and T cells to help fight off this days while the doctors tried to help kill this aggressive virus. They disease. sent her home when she appeared to be recovering, but it didn’t last. But, there are many precautions people can take to A few days later, Alivia died in her sleep, shocking her whole family. prevent it from ever getting to this point. Get the flu shot. The This case has terrified many parents and convinced them to vaccinate CDC recommends that everyone over five years old receives their children, hoping what happened to Alivia won’t repeat to their the flu shot, especially for senior citizens, pregnant women, or own.



Friends for a Cure OLIVIA CONKLIN staff writer

Over the past seven weeks, a team of twelve girls and one boy have been participating in a state-wide competition to raise the most money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The competition, called Students of the Year (SOY), challenges high school students all over the state of Georgia to see which team can raise the most money. At the end of the seven weeks, all the money raised from each team will go towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in their search to find a cure for cancer. There are several teams located all over Georgia, and a few in East Cobb too, but one of these teams includes three girls currently at Wheeler High School: Anna Current (11), Addison Kerns (11), and Olivia Conklin (10), have worked alongside their team named Friends for a Cure for the past few months making sure the entire competition ran smoothly for their team and that they were able to raise their set goal of money. The Friends for a Cure team consist of a group of girls and one boy from different schools around East Cobb including: Walton, Wheeler, Pope, and Johnson Ferry Christian Academy. At the beginning of the competition, most of the team didn’t know one another, but throughout the past seven weeks, the entire team has grown to know one another; and are all now incredibly close. The hard work put into this competition has taught the whole team many skills they didn’t have before and has even shown them life lessons for their future. We asked a few team members their favorite part of the event, and what was the hardest for them throughout the seven weeks. Grace Empric, a Pope Junior said, “Meeting so many people, I think it’ll open a lot of doors for my future, it has taught me so much about how truly kind people are. The worst part by far is that it is a lot of work!” Anna Current (11) “The hardest is statistics. Say that you have to contact someone four times before they will ever respond, which is completely true. It has been an ongoing battle to get responses, but once you get one, all the work was worth it. And my favorite part has been getting to see the impacts that LLS has done first hand and getting to experience those miracles and be able to take part in them.” Many of the girls had similar responses: They Use this code to help the loved seeing the positive effects of doing team reach their goal something for a great cause, even though asking people for money was hard and sometimes awkward. Each team has its reason for participating in this competition. Some do it to raise awareness and help out a fantastic cause, while others have personal ties to either Leukemia or Lymphoma. The Friends for a Cure team has a particular reason for wanting to do this, and her name is Peyton. A current Pope junior, Peyton Gully was diagnosed on January 7, 2017, with Mixed Phenotype Acute Leukemia. She attends church with the girls and is incredibly close to many members of the team; and when she was diagnosed, it came as a devastating shock to everyone who knows her. Peyton’s fight against cancer was a long and extensive battle; and after being in the hospitals for almost five months, was put into remission, only to be told six weeks later she had relapsed. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has created many treatments including CAR-T therapy which helped Peyton to receive a blood marrow transplant. Through the help of CAR-T and many other fantastic therapies, Peyton is officially cancer free and back at home! The entire team wanted to not only do this in honor of their dear friend Peyton, but for anyone else who has experienced or is currently experiencing the intense trauma that people with cancer and their loved ones are put through. Raising money is not an easy task, especially trying to reach a goal of 50,000 dollars in only seven weeks. This team had some pretty ingenious plans on how they were going to achieve their goal. They started by having each girl on the team have their a personal donation page along with a group page, that way if people wanted to donate they had an easy way to do so. The team also sold t-shirts and bracelets along with writing emails and mailing letters to friends and family. While that was important, so were fundraising nights. The team hosted fundraising nights almost twice a week at various places including Menchies, Chick-fil-a’s, Barre3, Fab’rik, Righteous Que, and even holding a painting class. The team worked incredibly hard over the seven weeks; and through the competition, were able to make a significant impact with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, while it also had an impacted on their lives and taught them many eye-opening and new things. Although the competition may be over, you can still find out more or donate to the cause.

Friends for a Cure Team




Is there a right age to have a baby? ESSENCE GAYNOR staff writer

Solange Knowles, Whoopi Goldberg, Shirley Temple, Aretha Franklin, Maya Angelou, and Jamie Lynn Spears. What do all these women have in common? They each gave birth to their children before the age of twenty. When age is brought up in regards to having children, there are a variety of responses. Many agree that having a child before a certain age isn’t suitable, and many disagree. All in all, the question has yet to have a definite answer. When is too young? Is there an appropriate age? One of the responses to these questions states that no, there is not a designated age that one should have her child. Often times, those that have their children during a time in their lives that is considered controversial are shamed. Those that are in support of both women and men having children when they choose to do so state that the timing is of their choosing, and judgment on their part is necessary. Troy Jones, an assistant principal at Wheeler, spoke out in regards to this. He claims that although there may not be an ideal or proper age to have a child, there is a dynamic that is essential to do so successfully. He states, “I believe that there isn’t a designated age to have a child but, there are multiple comFamilies across the country can begin in early ponents in a family that I twenties or fourties, is either one wrong? believe is a necessity. The place where the parents are at in life is a substantial part in how they take care of their children, meaning that it is vital that they are not only financially ready but emotionally and mentally. Child care is expensive. When a parent is economically prepared, they will be able to cope with that. Nurturing a child is something that parents have to be ready for. It is important that a parent is emotionally invested in their child.” Jones explains the significance of those qualities in the household and lives of the children, rather than an expected timing. While this way be true, others beg to differ. They claim that women and men of a certain age aren’t ready to have a child because they are immature themselves. Lauren Jacobsen, a freshmen at Wheeler High school agrees with this. She states, “I agree that people under a certain age should not have children because they are not at a point in their lives that they can properly provide for a child, whether that is emotionally or financially. Children need support, balance, and stability.” She goes on to explain that age plays a large factor in regards to those components of parenthood. Someone who has grown and matured to a certain extent is capable of fully investing themselves in the lives of their child or children, and that is something that should not The child’s well being should matter most, no be overlooked or forgotten. There seemed to be matter the age of the mother. an agreement amongst those in support of this claim that parents in their late twenties are more competent parents than those of younger ages due to the simple fact that they are void of the responsibilities bestowed upon those that have just entered adulthood. According to those that agree with this claim, this is a key factor when dedicating time to raise a child seeing as they are in need of fundamental support and attention. Drashti Zalavadia (12) states that the vital qualities needed to have a child and how they normally exist during the later stages of one’s life; “I think it’s okay to have a child whenever a person feels that they are ready, both mentally and financially. Typically this would be during most people’s late 20’s to early 30’s. So anytime after twenty-one would be an adequate time.” She, along with many others, seemed to agree that it is upsetting to know that there are children who are not properly taken care of and are living in poor environments, and that’s why it is crucial that children are born under the best situations possible. “I do agree that there’s an appropriate age as to when and when not to have a child because it is very saddening when a child is born under the wrong circumstances.” One senior at Wheeler High, Sydney Vanpelt, said, “At that point, it isn’t just affecting the parents lives but the It’s upsetting to know there are children who are not child’s life as well. If properly taken care of or given adequate attention someone decided to growing up. have a child, around twenty-five would be adequate timing to ensure that their children are provided for to the fullest extent.” Isn’t the well being of the growing child what matters most in the end? In the end, the age in which one chooses to have a child is inapplicable in regards to how well that child’s parented. Yes, it is easier to do so later in life, but preparation and conscious decisions are a necessity no matter what age one may be. Now that both side are stated, what are your thoughts on the topic above? Make a comment to share your thoughts with The Catalyst staff.

uber eats ban


J’LEYAH JONES staff writer

Currently at Wheeler High School, Uber Eats and leaving the school campus for lunch is not allowed. In order to get outside food, a friend or a relative has to bring it in to you. In my opinion, I disagree with this policy because you should be allowed to purchase food if you have the money to pay for it. Most people may not want to eat the lunch at school because they may want something different. Having this school policy is unfair because you are left with minimum options such as eating at school or bringing lunch from home. Many students at wheeler feel that this a ridiculous policy and it was surprisingly students who agree with this school policy. Noah Andrews, a senior at Wheeler, says that “A lot of people may not have the time to pack a lunch for school and also who would want to spend all four years of high school eating school lunch.” I agree with Noah because this policy is leaving students not to eat. Jane Marsh, also a student that attends Wheeler, agrees with this school policy. She says that “She’s cool with it and it’s a much healthier way for students instead of consuming all unhealthy foods.”

Uber Eats is the topic of conversation as Wheeler has decided to not allow drivers for Uber Eats on campus In my opinion, I believe that juniors and seniors should be allowed to leave campus considering the fact that they are upcoming graduates. I also feel that juniors and seniors are responsible enough to go out and purchase lunch. Allowing the upperclassmen to do this is somewhat of a way of teaching them responsibility. If going off campus is not permitted, I feel that Uber Eats should be allowed because the food is brought to you. It's a much safer way. Administrator Mr. Ealy said that “Uber Eats and leaving campus for lunch is not allowed because it’s a security issue and if anything were to happen to any student the school would be held accountable.” In a way, I agree, because most students would leave campus and not come back. I understand that the school staff is going by the rules and also is trying to keep everyone safe, but I also think they should set boundaries to the policy. If the juniors and seniors are allowed to leave school campus, they would at least have to go to nearby restaurants, and it has to be during their lunch period. Uber eats is not a bad idea because you're not necessarily leaving campus to get the food. When you order Uber eats the food is brought to you and honestly believe it’s a much safer way for students to get outside food when they don’t want the school lunch food. In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, I think the safety concern is relevant and justified. The odds of something happening are slim to none, but if something was to happen it would be all on the school. The admin want to limit the possibility of anything happening even if the odds are extremely low. Imagine if an Ubereats driver was to even do anything remotely wrong; it would jeopardize the school. I think that in the future the school could have a drop off location or something of the likes where the drivers wouldn’t have to go interact with the students or maybe even enter the school. There are two choices in this argument: Fix the school lunch or expect to have the students mad at you for not allowing them to get outside food and not having good school lunch, or make a system for receiving the food from Uber Eats that is safe and effective and will please both the students and staff.

Wheeler High is making strides to improve the saftey of the school by not allowing Uber Eats’ drivers on campus or in the school.



snapchat backlash


ANEYJAH JAMES-SCOTT staff writer What happens when an app changes and has new features? Well, that is called an update. Usually, when an app updates there is a fresh new feature and lots of other fun stuff that comes with the update. For instance, when Instagram updated and had new Instagram stories that everyone enjoyed and still is popular today. Or, the time where the Instagram logo changed and everyone liked it better than the old Instagram logo. Or, when your favorite game updates, and it unlocks fun new levels. Well, this update was a little different. Recently a popular app called Snapchat updated at the end of February. And I can speak for the rest of us when I say it shook us all. There has been a lot of complaints all over, even here at Wheeler. If a lot of people complain about the new update, I believe that there could be a slight chance that the old version of snapchat will come back. Snapchat announced that the former version would come back on February 16th, but unfortunately, that has not happened yet. Hopefully, around March, the old version will return, because I do not like the new update either. I just feel when the develAt the end of February, Snapchat updated opers of snapchat its technology, creating controversy on which updated the app, version users prefer. they should have, at least, kept some of the features from the older version. I’ve gathered opinions about the update and 95% of the people interviewed, said that they did not like the update. First, I want to give my opinion on the update. I like the update for its reasons, but for the most part, I wish the old version was back. I love how you can have multiple texts and that there are different fonts as well. There is Classic, Bigtext, Glow, Rainbow, Italics, Gradient, Script, which is cursive, Brush, Fancy which is another cursive, Old English, which is a font that looks like what they used in the 1800s, Comic Sans, Serif and Cooper BT. So I like the idea that there are different fonts and you can have multiple texts on one snap. The last thing I love about it the update is that you can now have GIFs on a snap. I don’t like the fact that you can view people story on the chat side, and I do not want that the number of streaks you have with a person


under their name, instead have it next to it. Now I can tell you what other students at Wheeler had to say about the update. A lot of people said that they do not like it, and I can see why. Noah Andrews(12) states that he prefers the original version. Another person, Paige Golden(10) says that she is starting to get used to the update. I feel the same way. I do not like it, and I do prefer the original The new Snapchat update released new features that version, but I left many users confused due to the new layout. am starting to get used to it. Another student, Jane Marsh(12), also says that she wishes that they would change it to something better than the original. Quincy Luis(9) says that it’s disturbing to his heart. I thought this was funny because if the snapchat update is upsetting to someone’s heart, then the need to change it. Another student Kennede Dortch(11) says that she doesn’t like and she does not get on it anymore. Amarion Chang(10) says she hates it and when it updated, she lost her streaks and some of snapchat viewers. If her viewers are lost, that could only mean that people started to not get on it as much because of the update. Isaac Martin(11) says that the update is horrible. Two people out of everyone that I have interviewed say that the update was okay, and that can work with it. I feel like there could have been better improvements or new things that could have been added. They could take down the location thing. Like you can see where friends are, and I feel like in the update they could take it down. It is a little creepy to know where your friends are and them know where you are. They could add more filters and lasting ones. Snapchat adds five new filters every week but takes them down to let new ones rotate. I feel that they could have added new filters that do not have to be taken down every week. These are my opinions and some of your classmate’s views on the latest update. What is your idea of the new update? Do you hate it like most people? Or do you like it and can work with it? Do you wish that the older version would come back or do you think the new update is an improvement? Half of me wants the old version again, and the other half of me has gotten used to it and is just living through it.

PEOPLE ON THE STREETS What do you think about the new Snapchat update? “My views went down. It glitches on my phone more often. The chats are in different orders too. Like if you send a chat, it will appear at the bottom sometimes.” -Shanyia Sallis (10)

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“It over complicates things by trying to put everything on one page. It hides stories you actually want to see and it prioritizes people who just posted a lot and not your friends.” -Diego Luque (10) “It’s okay. I really don’t have any problems with it. I’m just well adapted to technology. Everyone talks bad about it, but I don’t do streaks or anything, so I don’t experience most of the problems.” -Lahai Jusu (11) “I’m fine with it. If anything, you can mute people’s stories in the settings so their feed doesn’t show up. They now also have the deluxe emoji and I like that.” -Nicholas Puckett (12)


Prom Survival Guide NICOLE JOHNSON & LIA TABLADA staff writers

The details about prom have finally been revealed! If you haven’t heard yet, Prom will be on March 17th at the Ritz hotel. This years prom theme is a Masquerade, which means everyone will be wearing masks. Everyone wants to have a perfect prom! Here are some very important tips to make prom the best. First tip is make sure you have a schedule, nobody wants to run late to an important event! Know when to get ready and plan ahead of time. Keep in mind, you still need to take pictures and eat if that’s part of your schedule. Second tip, ladies, make sure to practice your makeup and hair! If you don’t you will most likely panic the day of the event. Know which eyeshadow and foundation works for you, and know which hairstyle you’re doing before prom. If someone else is doing your hair and makeup, make sure you inform them of what works best for you. Know what your doing before it causes you some stress. Third tip, wear comfortable shoes. The last thing anyone wants is to have sore feet while they are it dancing away at prom. If your shoes are uncomfortable a life hack is to put a bandaid on the spot you know hurts the most, it will prevent you from getting any sores and help you have a good time. Fourth thip, don’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a dress you’re only going to wear once! Check out some local stores before you make the big decision! You can also ask a friend to rent or buy their dress, it will save you lots of money. If you’re worried about someone rocking the same dress as you are, look at some online shops, not only will you find a style that suits you, but it’s also cheaper. Fifth tip, stay hydrated and eat! If you’re dehydrated you won’t have a good time. Nobody wants to take care of someone who’s passed out on the dance floor, sorry but it’s true. Don’t forget to bring your water. Eat some food! Make sure you’re eating throughout the day, as much as prom seems stressful make sure you’ve got some food in your body. When people are hungry, they are angry, nobody is going to want to deal with someone who’s got an attitude at prom. Last tip is be yourself, don’t let others peer pressure you into having some fun you’re not into and don’t let others tell you what to wear. Be true to yourself and your morals. Rock the suit or dress you’re wearing and don’t worry about what others think. Prom is all about having fun and being worry free. Prom is all about making memories, so why not keep them by taking pictures? Here are the top five cutest places for you and your friends around the area. First one on this list is The Marietta Square. If you are into gazebos and artsy places, this is the perfect place for you! The Marietta Square has a lot to offer. If you and your friends want to take things classy there is a beautiful water fountain you can’t miss out on. Take things a bit on the wild side and head over to the train tracks, not only will you get a great shot, but it’s also a very common spot everyone just loves taking pictures on. The number one reason a lot of people love coming to the Marietta Square is for the gazebo! Many people take pictures at gazebos for prom, so take advantage of the prettiest one in town. The second place nearby is for those who love the outdoors! You can take the most stunning pictures with great scenery at Roswell Mill. The Mills bridge is the best place to take pictures on, especially if you’ve got on a flowy dress! There is also a great place, the waterfall of course! But be careful ladies it could get a bit messy. If you are running late and you want the perfect spot near the Ritz, stop by Centennial Park in Atlanta! This spot is amazing if you are looking for a place in the city. If you go it’s a must to take a picture in front of Skyview. This Ferris wheel a great area for you and all of your friends to take the coolest pics! Not only is there that, but this Park is huge so bring a large group of friends ! Another place near the city is Atlantic station. Atlantic Station is also very spacious for big groups of people! It also has a lot of big buildings for that city vibe. Last but not least The Arthur Blank House. The Arthur Blank House is incredible, and you are more than welcome to take your prom pictures there! This house is big so are various spots to choose from. Make sure to respect the area, but keep in mind you are in someone else’s property. These places are all beautiful, check and see which one works for you! Prom doesn’t offer a variety of food at the venue so eating before and or after the event is a good idea. With the Ritz-Carlton being located in Downtown Atlanta there is a variety of restaurants located by it. Such as The Cheesecake Factory, Bartaco, Orient Express, and Fogo de Chao. These are all great places to visit before prom for they are filling and will keep you full during the dance. The Cheesecake Factory has a huge menu with a variety of options to choose from. They are also known for their infamous cheesecake with 34 different flavors. People tend to spend 20 to 30 dollars at this establishment for themselves but, of course, it, all depends on what you get on the menu. Another great place to go is Bartaco, a Mexican restaurant with classic tacos and some with a twist. People tend to spend 15 to 20 dollars here. Orient Express is also a great restaurant to visit. Chinese fare meets sushi & hibachi in 3 rooms of a renovated railroad car. With a price range 11 to 30 dollars, it is a great place to visit. Pictures could also be taken with the rooms being a renovated railroad car. If you like Brazilian food and meat Fogo de Chao is a stunning place to eat. You receive a card with a green and red side. You sit while waiters walk around with different meats if your card is green they will ask you if you’d like whatever they have. If you have the red side up, they will allow you to eat the food you already have. Unfortunately, this place is on the pricier side with people tending to spend around 31 to 60 dollars. It is also very fancy so going in your prom attire would be perfect. After Prom, you might not be as hungry for a big meal but maybe something to munch on. A couple of great places to visit are Waffle House, The Varsity, Steak and Shake, Marietta Diner, and Five Guys. Waffle House offers a variety of breakfast foods and a few lunch sandwiches. It is open 24/7, and it is very cheap. With people tending to spend 6 to 10 dollars. The Varsity is also a great place to snack on if you’re looking for greasy cheap food. People tend to spend less than 10 dollars here. Steak and Shake is also a place to consider. With people tending to pay 10 dollars here. It is open 24/7, but it has a rating of 2 out of 5 stars. Marietta Diner is another great place to go. It is open 24/7 with a vast menu. People tend to spend 11 to 30 dollars here. Last but not least is Five Guys a delicious customizable burger place. People tend to pay 10 dollars here.




#1: The Varsity There are few time in your life where you can get super dolled up and go to The Varsity, and prom is on eof them! The Varsity is a good alternative if you’re looking for a cheaper option.

#2: bartaco A step up from The Varsity, bartaco is a great option too! It’s perfect if you’re looking for a restaurant that is not too pricy but still nice quality.

#3: The Cheesecake Factory For a more high end dinner, The Cheesecake Factory never disappoints! Although more pricy, you’re defintitely paying for higher quality food. Also be sure to make reservations in advance for a larger group!

#4: Waffle House Whether it’s before or after prom, Waffle House is always a good move! Dining at Waffle House in your prom dresses and tuxes will definitely be one for the books!





What are you most excited about for prom? “The music selection, and dancing with friends.” -Jocelyn Benitez (11)

Female Masks

“I’m exited for getting ready and getting my hair done.” -Ambria Burton (12) “Nothing, because I wasn’t even going to go. My friends begged me to go.” -Carolyn Johnson (11)

Male Masks

*Masks will be provided. Do not bring your own.*




Shoot Your Shot SYDNEY KALTMAN online editor

Every year around October, billboards and commercials with advertisements start to appear for people to “Get your flu shot here.” Frankly, this is some advice that every person should be taking. A flu vaccine works by injecting your body with a shallow level of influenza so that the exposure to the disease will help your immune system build up an immunity to it, preventing you from getting the flu this current season. However, there has been quite a significant amount of controversy over the efficiency of the flu vaccine, especially this year. The argument that most people who don’t get flu shots have against the vaccine is “I got the shot, but I still got the flu. Therefore the vaccine is a bust.” There are so many factors that go into the effectiveness of the vaccine, the biggest one being that it takes up to two weeks to build an immunity to it, so the vaccine would not protect any exposure to the flu before then, so it is important to get the shot as soon as possible. Another common argument against the flu shot is that you can better protect your body from getting sick through living a healthy lifestyle, making the vaccine unnecessary. Madi Franovich, a senior at Walton, says, “I am almost 18 years old, and I have never gotten a flu shot, and only ever contracted the flu once.” When asked about his children’s vaccines history, teacher Ray Furstein said, “We do regularly vaccinate our kids, but they have not gotten flu shots this year.” Another component of the vaccine’s efficiency is the strain of influenza injected into you. Viruses can develop over time and Vaccine makers work hard every year to make build up immunity against your bodies antibiotics the vaccine as effictive as possible that your immune system creates, meaning that every year, the flu could be more severe and more immune to the effects of the vaccine. For instance, you get injected with last year’s strain of the flu does not necessarily mean that the virus has not evolved to something new this year, decreasing the protection your body has against it. Senior Hanna Raus says, “Flu shots do not even guarantee you protection from the flu since they don’t always work, so why is it necessary to go get one?” This year the flu has been more severe than ever before, with almost 60 out of every 100,000 people having to become hospitalized due to the flu. The reason the flu is so dangerous is that the specific strain that is going around was not covered in the vaccine this year. While we all wish that we could be perfect, nobody is, and that includes vaccine creators. The scientists who create the vaccines try to match the current years’ strain as closely as possible, but it will never be a perfect match since Many factors can go into preventing the flu by the virus is always evolvwashing your hands ing. However, exposing your body to any strain will at least give you a chance to help your immune system, as opposed to no vaccine and no extra boost. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year the vaccine has only been 39% effective overall, and 59% effective in children, in preventing any form of contraction of the virus. Although, other studies that the CDC have conducted show that flu shots do a better job at protecting you from fatal illness than it does from sniffles and aches, just like seatbelts in a car accident don’t necessarily prevent injury, but can prevent death. Alex Azar, the current United States Secretary of Health and Human Services also compared getting the flu shot to wearing a seatbelt. “Imagine if we could cut our chances of being in a car crash by 39 percent or our child’s by 59 percent,” he said. As, senior at Wheeler, Emma Greenspan says, “I do think flu shots are beneficial because they cover the most common strands, the outbreak is just so bad this year because this strand was not expected or prepared for, which is awful, but I do think everyone should get the shot.” Despite the low effectiveness of the flu shot this year, getting the vaccine in Getting a flu shot future years will give your body the best chances of before the season starts protection it could have against getting the flu, so it decreases the chances is essential to take care of your body and get the flu of getting the infectious shot. According to the CDC, the best way to ensure efficiency of the vaccine is to get it before the start disease of flu season in the fall, so your immune system has time to strengthen before the flu hits. This year only 38.6% of people got the flu vaccine before November, which is dramatically lower than the 46% of people last year, which could be another component of the extreme outbreak this year.

Ms. Rodrigiez-Zapatero SPANISH TEACHER

“She’s the best. She teaches us a lot and gives us hard work, but she still makes it fun. She has such a great personality.” -Gabriel Chung (10) “She knows how to balance work and fun very well and is very creative in her lesson plans. She always has a positive attitude and is probably my favorite teacher. She always makes me smile.” -Khila Stone (10) “She is such a nice person. She knows what her students need and want in class. If we have any trouble or questions with spanish she is always free to answer them for us.” -Amitej Bhongiri (10) “She’s a good teacher because she knows that we need to have more free time and we need to be able to relax with learning.” -Nadia Syed (10)


The Catalyst has been providing Wheeler High School with the latest news from school events to international events for the last 41 years. As times have changed, less and less people are reading physical newspapers; as a reult, the staff of The Catalyst decided to make a change. In the 21st century, everything is accessible online and easy for people to find with a click of a button. To update The Catalyst and increase our readership, we’ve published an online edition for the newspaper. If you visit our news site, you can view the latest sports scores, photos from school events, current news in the media, as well as fun polls for voting. We are bringing interactive news to a whole other level. To visit our website go to or scan the QR code below and come check it out!




NYC Spring Fashion Week ILANA CADE staff writer New York Fashion Week is held in February and September of each year and usually is a week long. During this week fashion collections from all over the world are showcased to buyers, press, and the public. New York Fashion Week began during the height of World War II when it was not possible to travel to Paris for fashion shows, so New York had the chance to show the world what could be produced out of America. Soon after “Press Week” was transformed into New York Fashion Week, and shows were staged in venues all over New York City. But in 1994 the runways found their first home at Bryant Park, conveniently located near the Garment District. Eventually, the shows grew out of the iconic midtown grassy green, and the tents as they’re affectionately called moved over to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center in 2010. Since NYFW is always a season ahead, the runways can give the public a good indication of what the trends for that season will be. This season you can see that fashion will be looking towards the 80’s. Some of the most significant trends from that era were present such as bold prints, and colors, metallics, furs, and tracksuits. This year Burberry leaned on the more abstract side of fashion. Most pieces featured a rainbow piece of clothing tying each outfit together. Along with the signature plaid print Burberry uses, metallics were another fabric of choice for the designer. As far as runway outfit construction layers played a significant role for the designer. This designer also took a social and political step forward by includOne of the Michael Kors looks ing designs that erased gender lines for the fashion community. from the show Calvin Klein has also taken a more fashionforward route this year but has still stayed true to the companies simplicity. The fabrics and prints used are really in no correlation with each other, but one of the designer’s art pieces that tie all of the clothing together are knit open face ski mask. Layering is also being used in this line and pops of bright colors on top of earth tones are a constant. 20 years after the assassination of her brother, Gianni Versace, Donatella Versace dedicated this show to him. This year Versace took a more straightforward style compared to previous shows. As usual, this collection was very sexy and form-fitting

but was still modest in a way. Plaid was a heavily used fabric in this line as well as different types of colors and styles of plaid throughout the collection. Off-White is a well-known street style fashion company based out of New York. This year at NYFW, the show was split down the middle between abstract and straightforward fashion design. Leather was a heavily used fabric this season for the fashion house, florals and polka dots were also commonly used in the line Sherri Hill is a formal wear fashion house based out of Oklahoma. This year at New York Fashion Week, Sherri Hill showed a more young and flirtatious side of the line featuring flowing silhouettes, bold prints, and elegant beading. Floral prints were also a significant component of the line. Each look stood out alone and fit together all at the same time. Christian Cowan is a winner from the tv competition show Project Runway, and since he won the show, his fashion design career has taken off. Cowan has always been on the abstract side fashion design, but this season at NYFW Christian Cowan was the perfect medium between abstract and ready to wear fashion. Colors and prints played a significant role in the aesthetic of his designs, with neon green, bright reds, fuchsias, and metallics this line was bound to stand out. Gigi Hadid wore this disco Vivienne Tam is a veteran fashion delook in the show signer based out of New York City. This session her designs pushed cultural boundaries. Mixing fashion styles between Asian and American, the color and texture that are seen in this collection take her pieces to another level. The designer was very cautious about pairing colors and fabrics to make a clashing effect, so there were silhouettes of plaid with stripes and bits and pieces of corduroy fabrics. Overall this collection stood out among others. The fashion company, The Blonds, was labeled the show of the week by many spectators. This collection was sexy and revealing but was also very simple in theory. Most of the outfits included some form of bodysuit and thigh high boots. The use of nylon and latex added more sex appeal to the pieces. The fabrics and colors used in this line are very different from other designers which was a pleasant surprise. Overall, I think New York Fashion Week was a great success for the fashion community. Designers had a chance to show their artistic talent through clothes, which is a beautiful thing.

Visiting Your Future

JAKE PEREIRA editor & chief

College is an exciting time in a person’s life. It is also one of the most detrimental times in one’s educational lifetime. College is the beginning of the rest of your life, and it tends to be the most fun! Universities around the nation vary, but they all have the common goal of furthering a student’s education for future success. There are a lot of things that college has to offer. Most colleges have clubs and organizations to include the student population. Here a student can get involved in the community and meet new people. Other popular organizations would be Fraternities and Sororities. These are social organizations that help students get acclimated to college life and help them feel a sense of belonging. The “Greek Life” is more significant at some universities than others. The Fraternity and Sorority scene can play a big part in a student’s decision to attend a university. The main priority to keep in mind when deciding a college is your major. You should choose a school that complements your major. Colleges have an abundant amount of information on what majors they heavily support. For instance, say a student major in Journalism and they must choose between some in state schools. UGA says that they have the best journalism department with the best resources available in the state. You would go there because that program gives you a better chance at future success in that intended major. One of the most prominent issues that students make is basing their decisions on the social or prestigious aspects College tours can be fun and exciting so of the school. When in reality, they should choose based on make sure to take it all in! how supported their intended major is at that school. Ultimately college is preparing you for the business world so you must go to the school that best prepares you. Now, this is all excellent advice for someone who has gotten accepted to every single school in the country and can afford to go there, but we all no that’s not the reality of the situation. Many kids have expectations of where they think they would go. Then come spring time senior year, they realize that the college the dreamed of is not going to be an option. My advice for people who have limited choices for school

goes where you think you would be happy and where you think you can succeed. College is only four years whether you go to Harvard or the University of Phoenix so don’t stress so much about what is only temporary. If you are not sure what college may be right for you, then you should go out and visit. See what you like and do not like about college, and always remember to keep an open mind. You can schedule a campus tour to familiarize yourself with the campus of the college. This is a great way to get a better feel for what fits your liking. If you can see yourself at a Remember to always remain alert and ask college when you are physirelevant questions cally there then you know you would be great there. Always remember that wherever you go, you must be comfortable as college can be very challenging for people. It is the first time in most people’s lives they are living away from home. I have visited some schools, and I have learned some valuable tips. When you are visiting a college take advantage of every opportunity you have. The more informed you are, the better. Ask all sorts of questions ranging from how are the parties to how is the dining hall food. If you have the chance, try to sit in a class for a little bit to get the feel of how the environment of the classroom is. Also, make sure to try to ask around for information regarding the college. Your tour guide is a great source of information, but understand that if all your information is coming from one source than it is destined to be biased. Ask multiple people their opinions on the school and see how they like it. Before you commit to a school for four years, you must know a lot about, so you know you have made the right decision. I have visited Georgia State University, The Citadel, and Sewanee University of the South so far. All of the colleges were all great, and I felt I got a lot of information out of each of them. They were all very different from each other, but they all commonly tried to keep me informed. This helps me decide on what I liked in a college and what I did not. Visiting a college will help you and your parents feel more comfortable making this monumental decision. Ultimately I enjoyed the experience, and I thought I asked right questions that gave me a better feel for the school.

10 Stacked As Usual TREY KERNS editor in chief

The NBA trade deadline is over and it was a wild one, particularly in Cleveland where the Cavaliers made a flurry of roster-changing deals. But the Cavs weren’t the only ones to pull the trigger on trades. Oklahoma City was rumored to be looking for back court depth at the trade deadline. That did not materialize for the Thunder as they held tight with the roster they have. As veteran players across the league begin to hit the buyout market and become free agents, OKC may have a second life. Joe Johnson was traded to Sacramento as part of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ George Hill/ Rodney Hood trade. He was not there for long and was bought out by the Kings. Johnson’s departure from the Jazz was not unexpected. He was in the final months of a two-year contract and seeking a chance to compete for a championship. He had signed a two-year, $22 million contract as a free agent in 2016 and fit well in his first season. He had a starring turn in the first-round playoff series win against future Rockets teammates Chris Paul, Luc Mbah a Moute, and the Clippers. This season, however, he struggled with a wrist injury, going out after seven games and missing the next 21 games. The deal to the Kings was made with a buyout in mind, almost as a favor. “Joe Johnson chose us, chose Quin, chose Rudy (Gobert), our play, our market,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey told The Salt Lake City Tribune after the deadline deal went through. “He’s really become a hero around here. In our mind, it was a successful relationship.” With the Rockets, Johnson was given no assurances of the role awaiting him other than Mike D’Antoni would give him a look. D’Antoni had even warned him that he might not play at all. He wanted him. And Johnson has said that playing for D’Antoni again, after three seasons together in Phoenix, was a major part of his decision. Neither might have expected him to have so significant a role so quickly. “He’s at the point in his career, he is trying to get with a team that he wants,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I was just ‘hey, great,’ just happy when I heard the news.” Some of the most talked about names heading into the trade deadline aren’t going anywhere. Marcus Smart, Tyreke Evans, Derrick Favors and others seem to be staying where they are. Although all were in trade talks to varying degrees over the last few days, ultimately, they will ride out the rest of 2017-18 with their current team. But one player that was sort of a surprise to move was Elfrid Payton of the Orlando Magic. The Suns have acquired Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton for a second-round pick. Payton is in the midst of a solid season, averaging career highs in scoring (13.0 points per game) and field goal percentage (52 percent). Phoenix’s guard rotation currently consists of second-year guard Tyler Ulis and rookie Josh Gray after Isaiah Canaan suffered a gruesome leg injury on Jan. 31. Canaan was waived. Point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, the former No. 7 pick of the 2015 Draft, is on his way out of Denver. The Nuggets are sending Mudiay to the New York Knicks as part of a three-way according to media outlets. The trade also includes the Mavericks, who will get Doug McDermott from New York while the Nuggets will get veteran guard Devin Harris. The Knicks will also send the Nuggets a 2018 second-round pick while the Nuggets send a 2018 second round pick (via Portland) to Dallas. The Dwayne Wade experiment with the Cleveland Cavaliers is apparently over. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Wade is being shipped back to the Miami Heat, the team he spent the first 13 seasons of his career. The Cavs will receive a heavily protected 2024 second-round pick as part of the deal. Wade joined the Cavs in the offseason after being bought out by the Chicago Bulls in September. Wade was both a starter and a reserve at times for the Cavs and is averaging a career-low 11.2 points per game this season.

With the new additions of George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr., the Cavs are expecting to add more energy and youth to their roster The Cleveland Cavaliers are adding to their backcourt remodel, it seems. According to reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers have landed Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood and Sacramento Kings guard George Hill. In return, the Cavs will send Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder to Utah. The Cavs are also trading Iman Shumpert to the Kings as part of the trade and Utah is trading Joe Johnson to Sacramento too. The reported trade marked another blockbuster for the Cavaliers, as they reportedly traded former All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, veteran forward/center Channing Frye and a 2018 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson. The Cleveland Cavaliers had sought to be buyers at the trade deadline and have accomplished goal. In a surprising blockbuster dealer, the Cavs have landed Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson from the Los Angeles Lakers for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and their own 2018 first-round pick. Nance is averaging 8.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game this season, all of which are career highs. Clarkson is averaging 14.5 ppg, 3.0 apg and 3.3 apg in 53 games. As for Thomas, he had expressed after the Cavs' win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday that he did not desire to be traded by the team. Thomas is averaging 14.7 points, 4.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 27.1 minutes.




Each year, on the first Wednesday of February, high school senior athletes across the country officially sign their offers to play collegiate sports. This day is known as National Signing Day; a day that is highly anticipated by both colleges and high school athletes. Some of the top players in the country even get national television coverage because of the anticipation of which school they will pick. Because of the size and following of college football, most of the media highlights football players committing from some of the top college football programs in the country. However, athletes from all sports get to experience the thrill of signing to a college. Very few people get the opportunity to commit to a college that recruited Noah Benson signing to them, so National Signing Day is something Cumberland University that many athletes, families, and coaches remember for the rest of their lives’. In fact, during the 2018 signing day, one recruit’s mom felt so strongly about her son’s pick that she walked out when he made his decision. Jacob Copeland, the 5th highest ranked wide receiver in the 2018 class, decided to sign with Florida over Alabama and Tennessee, which were the two schools his mom wanted him to pick from. So, out of frustration, Jacob’s visibly upset mom walked away from the table on live television. While this is not the ideal reaction for Reikan Donaldson signing to play a mother, it does show how seriously football at Army West Point some people take signing day decisions. Many of the top college football programs have maintained strong recruiting classes because of their top facilities, coaching staff, large fan base, and high reputation. The University of Georgia has the best recruiting class for 2018. Ohio State, Texas, University of Southern California, and Penn State follow Georgia with the top five recruiting classes. Each of these schools has a strong recruiting history and reputation in the college football world. Georgia’s recruiting class was extraordinarily talented this year with five five-star signees and many four-star signees. Three of Georgia’s five-star commits are from the state of Georgia: Justin Fields, Brenton Cox, and Jamaree Saylor. Kirby Smart, Georgia’s head coach, kept his top prospects from signing to Alabama or Michigan and got precisely what he wanted when they signed to play football for Georgia. Over the last few years, the state of Georgia has produced some of the top high school athletes in the country. In fact, according to Bleacher Report, Georgia ranks fourth in the nation for producing top high school athletes, with top athletes coming out of the state each year. Some of the best football prospects coming out of Georgia are Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Jamaree Salyer, Adam Anderson, and Quay Walker. Trevor Lawrence, from Cartersville, is Addison Cochran signing to Lehigh ranked as the number one quarterfor Swim and Dive back and number one class of 2018 prospect in the nation, according to 24/7 Sports. After an early verbal commitment to Clemson, Trevor Lawrence was finally able to sign to Clemson this year officially. Not only does the state of Georgia produce top football players, but Georgia also provides some of the top baseball players. According to Baseball America, the number one 2018 baseball recruit in the nation, Ethan Hankins, plays for Forsyth Central in Forsyth, Georgia. Ethan is a right-handed pitcher, and he signed with Vanderbilt. Finally, Georgia is also home to some of the top high school basketball players. Although we do not have the top recruit, like in baseball and football, Georgia typically produces at least a few top 100 basketball players each year. Georgia’s top five basketball players this year are EJ Montgomery, Reggie Perry, Landers Nolley, Khavon Moore, and Myreon Jones. This year, three athletes from our very own Wheeler High School signed to play collegiate sports on national signing day. Wheeler’s 6’3” wide receiver, Reikan Donaldson, signed with Army West Point. Reikan played football each year he was at Wheeler, and he played basketball for three years. Noah Benson, one of Wheeler’s defensive backs, signed to the University of Cumberlands. Noah is also a two-sport athlete as he has run track along with playing football while at Wheeler. Wheeler’s third signee is Addison Cochran. Addison signed to Lehigh University for Swim and Dive; his top positions are the one-meter springboard and the three-meter springboard. Wheeler has produced many great athletes in the last few years, especially basketball players. However, basketball players are less likely to commit to a college on National Signing Day because many high school basketball teams are still in season. This year, Wheeler is in the state playoffs, but we still have multiple players that could commit to playing college basketball. EJ Montgomery, the top high school basketball recruit in Georgia, has offers from top schools like Duke, Kentucky, and North Carolina. EJ is also considered the number two power forward in the 2018 recruiting class. Wheeler’s 6’7” center, Austin Johnson, has offers from schools including Boise State, Middle Tennessee State, Texas Tech, Washington State, and South Alabama. Finally, Brandon Younger, Wheeler’s 6’7” shooting guard, has offers from schools including Middle Tennessee State, Georgia Southern, Florida Gulf Coast, and multiple other schools.



free agent freeze

GABE AHN sports editor

2017 was a big year for Major League Baseball. The Astros won their first world series. All Major League players combined for a record-breaking total of 6,105 home runs which was 412 more than the previous record set in 2000. Many of the free agents this winter had successful seasons and played a significant role in the home run surge. Players such as J.D. Martinez, Logan Morrison, and Mike Moustakas were all in the top 10 on the home run leaderboard, yet it’s the middle of February, and these players are still unemployed. The stalemate has gone on for so long that the MLBPA has started a spring training program for free agents. This is the slowest the free agent market has been in years and neither side, the teams nor the players, will give in to their demands. J.D. Martinez had an MVP caliber year. Splitting his between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks after a midseason trade, Martinez exploded for a career-high 45 home runs in only 119 games including 29 home runs in 62 games. If he had that production over a full 162 game season, he would have 76 home runs which would break the all-time singleseason record of 73 held by Barry Bonds. He has been rated as a below average defender by Fangraphs with a -5 Defensive Runs Saved. Based on his defensive play, he would probably best serve as a designated hitter. One team, he has constantly been linked to is the Boston Red Sox. They were last in the American League in home runs so adding a power bat was definitely on the agenda this offseason. J.D. Martinez had a fantastic of Martinez and his agent, Scott fensive year last year. Boras, came into the offseason seeking a $200 million payday. Scott Boras is the most successful baseball agent in the world. He is known for his tough negotiating and ability to get his clients the contracts they desire. Back in 2015, Max Scherzer was considered the top pitcher on the free agent market. However, he remained unsigned late in January because he and Boras were willing to wait until teams met their price. Scherzer signed with the Nationals for a seven-year $210 million. The Martinez camp has stated they are willing to sit out until midseason until their demands are met. Other big position players that remain unsigned are Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Logan Morrison. All three players had great years last season, yet they haven’t gained much traction in contract talks. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are tied to their qualifying offer which means that any team that signs them (besides the team they played for last year) has to forfeit their second-highest draft pick in the up-


coming draft and $500,000 in international pool bonuses. Logan Morrison, however, comes without this penalty. He hit 38 home runs last year and made the all-star team for the first time. He was only paid $2.15 million, so he was due for a big pay raise this offseason, but at this rate, he’ll probably have to settle for a one-year contract. The market for pitchers has been just as slow as the position players. Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn are notable names that have not yet signed. Jake Arrieta shocked the world when he won the Cy Young award in 2015, but since then, he has fallen back down to Earth. His fastball velocity has decreased in each of the past two seasons which has attributed to his struggles. One reason for this slow offseason could be teams’ unwillingness to hand out big contracts to aging stars. When Theo Epstein was first hired to be the President of Baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs in 2011, he said, “The key is to pay for future performance, not past performance.” It seems that many teams are following this advice this offseason. Another reason could be that teams don’t want to commit large amounts of money to free agents this offseason because the free agent class next year is loaded with talent. Bryce Harper, Theo Epstein has inManny Machado, and Clayton Kershaw headline a free agent class that will change the face of the MLB spired frugality in many landscape. teams. Some teams have taken advantage of this slow offseason by signing lower tier free agents that have been affected by this freeze. The New York Mets were not expected to sign many free agents due to their goal of cutting payroll after a disappointing season, but they have capitalized on the opportunities that have been presented. They came out of nowhere and resigned outfielder Jay Bruce after trading him to the Cleveland Indians in August. The Mets also signed third baseman, Todd Frazier, and 2017 all-star starting pitcher, Jason Vargas. Now they have retooled for a playoff push in 2018. It is unfortunate that these free agents are still unsigned. Although it seems like this stalemate could go on forever, these players are too talented not to be signed. It’ll just be a matter of when and for how much money. Update as of 2/28: J.D. Martinez has signed with the Boston Red Sox for $110 million over five years with an opt-out clause after two years. Eric Hosmer signed an eight-year $144 million contract with the San Diego Padres. Logan Morrison signed a one year $6.5 million contract with the Minnesota Twins.


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The Catalyst- March 2018  
The Catalyst- March 2018