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Sidekick Coppell High School


TV Guide

Centerspread, pg. 12-13

185 Parkway Blvd. Coppell, TX 75019

Vol. 22 No. 1

ANIME FEST hits Dallas

Entertainment, pg. 19

September 2010

The Great Exchange

Cammack unclogs the competition Kara Adkins Staff Writer

Nothing screams dedication more than Coppell football fans. They enter the stadium decked out in school colors, cheer at the top of their lungs and proudly put their guns up – or, in Cody Cammack’s case, a plunger. Honor is not the first word which comes to many people’s mind when they hear the word ‘plunger’, but Coppell High School has turned an object used for unclogging into an object used for uniting. Coppell has managed to reinvent the plunger. Its new purpose? To be held by Coppell’s very own Plunger Boy and ignite the pride of CHS’ Cowboys.

Three girls, three countries, one unforgettable experience Divya Kumar News Editor

Waking up in the morning, going to all required classes and then coming home to be greeted by hoards of homework can be seen as overwhelming to many students. Now imagine having to do all this on top of balancing the adjustment to a new language, a new family and a new location. Such are the difficulties faced by Coppell High School’s foreign exchange students, though many can agree that these obstacles

are trivial in light of the been chosen as part of this benefits from the experi- program, where they have ence they gain. traveled to America to live The with foreign a host “I decided to do the foreign exchange famiproexchange program because ly for gram has one I wanted to get to know the brought year American way of life.” four new while faces to con-junior Laura Schramm Coppell tinuHigh ing School their education in this year. YeZhenzi a local school. Though “Carrie” Kuang from China, this situation requires them Elin Lundin from Sweden, to remain away from their Laura Schramm from Ger- family and friends for an many and Angie Wiedmer entire year on top of learnfrom Switzerland have all ing to speak English flu-

ently, the program offers them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that few can boast about. While this year at Coppell High School has the ability to impart a great deal of knowledge to these four students in terms of not only American culture, but also customs specific to Texas, the backgrounds that each of these girls have from their home country can serve as an invaluable resource to add to the diversity of the school.

see Plunging on pg. 14

Photo by Aditi Shrikant

New quarterback shines, tears up CHS football field Senior Joe Minden

Peter Sblendorio Sports Editor

see Foreign on pg. 9 Photo by Aditi Shrikant

Coppell senior quarterback Joe Minden is the type of player that allows his work on the football field to speak for itself. Serving last season as the back-up quarterback, Minden rarely saw the field on Friday nights. According to senior running back Cam McDaniel, Minden demonstrated an impressive work ethic, practicing as hard as any other player

see Minden on pg. 22

Local tragedies bring confusion, grief, unity to Coppell Madison Ford Staff Writer

In the past decade, Coppell has been faced with a number of tragedies, ranging from terminal illnesses, suicides, overdoses and murders. With another tragedy occurring in Coppell this summer, perhaps the most shocking to date, questions are rising about tragic occurrences both locally and nationally. In July, Coppell mayor Jayne Peters fatally shot her daughter, 2010 CHS graduate Corinne, and herself, a story that was a harsh blow to the town. “I was in shock; completely and totally in shock. Sad doesn’t even describe it,” CHS Principal Brad

Hunt said. “Corinne was a great student and a great girl. Mayor Peters was really supportive of Coppell High School. Sometimes I think about it and still can’t believe it.”

This news shocked students as well, many of whom knew Corinne personally.

“I was in Laredo at the time [of the Peters tragedy],” Coppell High School junior Lauren Cruz said. “There were a lot of Lariettes with me there who knew Corinne. It was really traumatic, especially for them. Just seeing their faces…it was the worst night there.” Mayor Pro Tem Bob Mahalik, who stepped in as mayor following Peters’

Photos courtesy Sarah Ditto CHS 2010 graduate Corinne Peters prematurely lost her life on July 13, devasting both the community and the nation. The tradegy is one of many local occurances to shock Coppell.

death, began his new duties with the thought of

strengthening the community following its most re-

cent tragedy. “I was happy to do

whatever I could to get the city back on track and back to doing what we are supposed to be doing and getting us through that process and letting the world know that this was a very terrible thing in a very good place,” Mahalik said. “I avoided all the CNN national TV interviews and all the other things the national media wanted of my time because what good would me going on national media help our community?” Assisting the town through a grieving process has been a focus in Coppell following the Peters’ case. However, this was not the first tragedy to devastate Coppell’s morale.

see Recent on pg. 4

September 2010 news Club 21 facilitates SMARTer learning environment page 2

Julia Kim Staff Writer

Students may observe teachers attempting to integrate the newest addition of technology—SMART Boards, SMART Slates, SMART Document Cameras, iPod Touches, Flip Cams and MacBooks— into their lesson plans. In 2008, Superintendent Dr. Jeff Turner was the Design Team Leader for Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas, a document illustrating the possibilities for the future of public education. With this initiative and in the move towards 21st century learning, CISD offered teachers the opportunity to apply to be a part of Club 21. Eleven teachers and six additional academy instructors were selected to collaborate with technology integration specialists at the school to introduce newer technological installments in the building, continuing the movement that began last year in expanding technology on-campus. “I got involved in [Club 21] because I found that the traditional books and direct teaching methods did not reach out to the Coppell High School students,” Spanish teacher Cathy Vanover said. “It seems that technology is

Photo by Aditi Shrikant IB and AP Spanish Literature teacher Patrick Melville utilizes his new Smart Board technology while teaching his classes.

the new way of learning, and [by] observing my own children at home, I saw that when they wanted to learn something, they would just YouTube it. Change was needed, and I wanted to be a part of that change.” In the fall of last year, teachers interested in participating in Club 21 were required to submit an application which consisted of several questions. Teachers who passed this first round of applications were

then interviewed. CISD partnered with Tom Daccord, founder of EdTechTeacher, to begin this transformation in the classrooms, a program that he refers to as Teaching for the 21st Century (T21). The program essentially creates teacher leaders in technology integration, most of whom implement instructional change to help students develop as 21st century learners. At CHS, Club 21

teachers are expected to develop and extend skills including digital literacy, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. In addition, teachers are also required to share their learning with other staff members. “Both the Academy and Club 21 teachers received training on not only how to use the equipment but also on the instructional learning process,” technology integration special-

ist Shalone Willms said. “I think it’s [important to] engage students in the instructional process—to get them up out of their chairs and active. It gives students ownership of the learning process, and it’s more exciting.” The teacher participants of Club 21 teach a spectrum of subjects, from mathematics to Spanish. IB math teacher Karie Kosh was a part of Cohort 2.0, the second set of teachers that expressed interest in getting involved. “I applied [after] I heard a teacher across the hall talk about it; she got in the first group and I’m in the second,” Kosh said. “At the beginning of summer—about 3 and a half days after the end of the school year—there was training [at which] I learned about Web 2.0 concepts. There are also online courses which have not started but are coming.” Teachers are utilizing their 21st century equipment in a variety ways that supplement the curriculum they have prepared over the summer. “So far, I have used the iTouches to answer questions on a Google Doc that I had already prepared,” Kosh said. “The student responses all show up on a spreadsheet which is con-

venient. In my IB classes, I have asked the students to film themselves solving and teaching a problem. Essentially, if you can teach it, then you really know it.” Students are also enjoying the new installments in their classes. Senior Sydney Kapp interactively learns in IB Spanish, a class taught by Spanish teacher Patrick Melville. “I like it a lot because it makes the world of information more accessible, especially in a foreign language such as Spanish,” Kapp said. “It’s useful since I can pull up a Spanish dictionary online as a opposed to tangible dictionary that takes time to look through. Yet, sometimes it’s just distracting, and that’s not the best when the teacher is giving instructions.” However, there is a catch: the modification is expensive. To put technology into the classroom, Club 21 received money from grant funds the district received. “Some of the advantages are that it’s more engaging and reaching in a way that they [the students] want to learn, but it’s expensive and at the same time, not every teacher has access to it,” Vanover said. “It takes time—an initial big time investment from the teacher.”

From pre-AP to AP, Varnell accepts new position his internship shadowing some of the top notch staff Staff Writer members in the main office such as Hunt and Sean Jeremy Varnell, CopBagley, another CHS AP. pell High School’s former Hearing the news of Latin teacher, is expanding Varnell’s promotion came his horizons as he moves as a shock to some of his up to the position of new Latin students. Many were Freshman Assistant Princonfused about his intencipal for the 2010-2011 tions for being put into his school year. new job. For the current school “I knew a little bit beyear, former AP Laura fore-hand that he was goStout has left her post to ing to leave but I had him pursue the new principal for two years. It just feels position at Grand Praioff not having him around,” rie. Varnell was qualified senior Daniela Gaitan said. to take her place as an asBut Varnell’s love for sistant principal due to his student interaction was many years of educating limited by being a teacher students as the school’s for just one area of the Latin teacher. school, and this new proVarnell first began motion can help him exteaching when he joined pand his limits. the Coppell High “Being an AP School staff in the fall allows me to see a of 2004 with a desire to “Being an AP allows me to larger amount of stumeet and help students see a larger amount of dents, hopefully maklearn the Latin lanstudents, hopefully making ing a bigger impact on guage. His bachelors a bigger impact on them.” them,” Mr. Varnell said. of arts in the language However, a teachand his lighthearted -Jeremy Varnell, Freshman AP er cannot bounce back personality made him quickly after teaching a perfect fit for the job. one class for several “After he taught while still being funny years. Mr. Varnell will miss for a while I could see that he was a great teacher, and lighthearted,” CHS ju- the daily relationships he strong and well respected,” nior Michelle Bizzell said. had with the students. He Coppell High School prin- “He made the language so also still holds “a love for Latin” and will miss getting cipal Brad Hunt said. “The much easier to learn.” But it was in the fall to use the language within students all seem to love him, and it’s really impor- of 2008 that Varnell was his daily routines. While Varnell takes tant to have relationships ready to move up his position. He began taking on- on the job of Freshman with the students.” Varnell enjoyed line graduate level courses AP, Kathleen Cowhig will teaching Latin and experi- at Lamar University and be the school’s new Latin enced the interaction with eventually received his teacher. Cowhig was picked his students for mulipld masters. Following this was out of 25 applicants for the

Erica Rohde

years and through many graduating classes. He has high hopes for the impact his class had on the school. “I always tried to teach students that understanding content wasn’t my primary goal, but using that information in a meaningful way to understand the world better was,” Varnell said. “I hope that they became inquisitive in their other classes and speak with clarity and support when sharing opinions and information.” Though Varnell is only a few halls away from his old class, many students still miss him and the way he taught his course. “I loved how he knew how to control the class,

Photo by Arden Radford Rising from the position of Latin teacher to freshman assistant principal, Jeremy Varnell now holds a variety of new tasks, including organizing schedules and distributing textbooks.

new position and was personally chosen by Hunt and Varnell. “I think that Miss Cowhig is a very nice and personable person, very well-qualified to teach Latin and knowledgeable in the subject,” Varnell said. “From what I have seen in her classroom, I think the way she teaches is excellent. It is engaging and keeps students focused on the lesson.” Though Cowhig was hired at last minute and

moved to Coppell recently, just days before her teaching assignment, she has adjusted and loves the atmosphere of Coppell and finds joy in teaching the students. “When I got the job, I was ecstatic. The students are really fun to be around, and the classroom is lively,” Cowhig said. As the new position for the Latin teacher is secured, Varnell is enjoying his job as Freshman AP. He has been helping out

the students with organizing their schedules, has already worked with some of the freshman parents and helped with distributing textbooks. Though the first week was hectic and fast paced, Varnell has been enjoying his new job and is looking forward to the years to come. “As a teacher you’re still learning,” Varnell said. “You never stop learning even when you’re a Freshman AP.”

page 3 news CHS offers fish smaller ponds, directed learning program September 2010 Madison Ford Staff Writer

In addition to the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and Dual Credit options Coppell High School offers students, a new high school curriculum choice has been added. This year, the 20102011 freshmen had the option of participating in a new program known as the Academies. Current freshman were given the option of choosing between three Academies, each with their own focus, to participate in. The current academies available are EMAC (Emerging Media & Communications), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) and PSA (Public Service Academy). One of the purposes behind the institution of

Academies was to establish small learning communities within the school. “One of the things that all of the academies are supposed to do is be a small learning community,” EMAC English teacher Clara Caussey said. “When you have a school of 3,000 students, it’s very easy to get lost, and we want students to have a place where they can kind of feel at home with a smaller group of students.” The concept of relevant learning is also employed in the Academies. “The other purpose [for creating the Academies] was to help bring in relevance to the curriculum,” STEM Science teacher Holly Anderson said. “So, for students who were interested in a certain career path, we could bring in that relevance and tie

in all the different disciplines together so we could do more interdisciplinary studies.” The Academies are only in their first six weeks of existence, however, students have already formed an opinion of the program. “It is a lot of fun,” EMAC freshman Maggie Crosby said. “I was not expecting it to be all Pre-AP, but I am starting to get a handle on it. And I am learning a lot more how to lean on myself and learn what I want to do when I am older.” Academy students are also adjusting to the format of their classes. “It was very rocky in the beginning, we had a rough start, but it has been pretty much smoothed out now,” STEM student Matthew Johnston said. “It’s a lot like a college situation.

It is pretty similar to what you would expect, but you don’t get as much free time, unfortunately.” All the Academies follow the same basic concept of catering toward future career aspirations. However, each one is geared to a specific area of study. “Currently, the Public Service [Academy] is education and medicine, so we’ll have students geared toward education and doing the Ready, Set, Teach,” PSA Science teacher Sunny Richardson said. “And then we have students geared toward health science technology, and geared toward nursing, medicine, EMTs.” The STEM Academy’s current focus is engineering, with hopes of later broadening that focus. “We’re starting with kind of the engineering

ideas and bringing that together, but I think the overall goal is to eventually bring in how science can relate to engineering, how it can relate to math, how it can relate to technology,” Anderson said. “It is making sure we look at all of those things.” The EMAC Academy focuses on media and the current technologies that accompany it. “For the EMAC Academy specifically, [the students are working with] the really great programs, with The Sidekick and the Round-up Yearbook and KCBY – all things that are award-winning – and that was just a great place to start, with programs that were already there,” Caussey said. “I feel likr media is a really important for our students. They need to be able to analyze media

in order to function in society today.” While the work in the programs is difficult, there are aspects students are looking forward to. “I guess [I’m looking forward to] doing stuff outside of school, like if we go out and volunteer or something with the whole Academy,” PSA freshman Emilio Morlett said. The format of the schoolwork students will be doing in the academy is also a point of interest. “There are a lot of cool projects we’re going to do,” Johnston said. “Like right now, we’re working on building a design as if they were going to build a new school. There is also a bunch of cool software that we are allowed to use that most kids don’t even get to touch, so that’s fun.” Graphic by Scott Bennett

New night classes shed light on different science fields Divya Kumar News Editor

As part of the state’s four-by-four rule, students are now required to take four years of all core classes in order to graduate. While this can be seen as beneficial to provide more experience, some seniors are experiencing difficulty fitting in all required credits in their schedule in addition to chosen electives. Science night classes have been instated for these reasons, however, beyond just the typical chemistry, physics and biology classes available, two new classes have started up this year to offer students information about possible career options as well as provide them with their final science credit.


ASTRONOMY Photo by Aditi Shrikant Senior Sindhu Keepudi measures the length of the sun using her thumb to later record into a program used in the Astronomy classes.

Though often forgotten to be a realm of science because of its more romantic basis in popular culture, astronomy is among one of the more important disciplines. “Astronomy is the most dynamic field of science,” Astronomy teacher Tom Killen said. “It also ties directly into other areas of science. We use Geology to determine if water was present, as well as chemistry and physics. Astronomy needs all these fields incorporated into it to help us understand our universe.” Offered solely as a night class, astronomy students meet at the CISD Annex building, located behind Coppell Middle School West, on Tuesday nights. While there, students are able to learn about the study of the stars, as well as understand possible career options. “I was so excited when I heard about the class, because I’ve always loved astronomy, but never had a chance to re-

ally study it,” senior Sindhu Keepudi said. “It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come, yet there is so much out there that we’re not even close to. The little time I’ve been in this class, I’ve already started thinking about issues like this – it’s like the class is a blend of science and philosophy.” So far, students in the class have learned about the basics of astronomy, such as the planets and constellation names. Through means of the Stellarium Planetarium Software, which helps students obtain a view of the current night sky, they will also be able to locate and label different galaxies and stars, putting their theory to more practical means. The Pre-AP class gives students the ability to fit more into their schedule during the day, as well as obtain their final science credit in a different manner. Once a more basic knowledge into the field is obtained – since few students have extensive background knowledge in Astronomy – larger, more interesting projects are to

be tackled. In addition to using telescopes to take pictures of stars and planets, the students will also learn how to calculate and chart these things, as well as explore features of the southern sky. Later in the year, ‘star parties’ open to the public are also planned to encourage the community to explore astronomy and generate interest in how far technology has come regarding this field of science. The upcoming practical projects leave many very excited about the duration of the course. “Looking up at the stars for me right now is like reading a book in another language,” senior John Pankonien said. “There may be some pretty marks on the page, but nothing that really means anything to me. I’m hoping that after this class, I’ll be able to look up at the sky and say ‘There’s Aquarius and Pieces and Orion!’ I think that would be a really fun thing to be able to do.”

Photo by Divya Kumar Senior Zac Carelock measures the distance between the “dead body” and the chair as part of a mock crime scene in his Forensic science class.

It is often questioned what relevance learning biology, physics and chemistry will have to a student’s career later in life. The scientific field of forensics is a prime example of the culmination of all these three sciences and their practical methods. “Forensics is basically a capstone of chemistry, physics and biology,” forensics teacher Kristi Rose said. “In our class, we’re going to hit on all of this previous science knowledge that the students already know. We’re going to talk about DNA and biology, trajectory bullets and physics and identifying cause of death and chemistry. There are just so many things that tie in.” This night class, meeting every Tuesday in Rose’s classroom, is a culmination of the theoretical aspects of the field, as well as the practical ones. From handwritten tests to scoping out fake crime scenes, students will have

the ability to understand both the premise behind the forensics and what it is like to actually work with this career. Though this is only the first year the class has been offered, numerous seniors have enrolled in it. Whether it be the necessity for a final science credit that does not fit in their schedule or due to an interest in the field, Rose’s classroom is packed every Tuesday night. “I love watching shows that involve mystery solving,” senior Sachi Dave said. “The questions and investigating a crime is what appeals to me most about forensics, and I hope that this class will help me understand how forensics works and help me decide whether or not I want to go into the field later in life.” Beyond just allowing students to hone their previous skills learned in past science classes, Rose hopes that the forensics class will help students to debunk the “CSI Effect.”

Just because there are so many things that tie into the field, it is difficult to make assumptions regarding crimes. And while TV shows like CSI make it appear as though things can be solved to be 100 percent accurate, often such is not the case: if there is no confession, there will always be doubt in the conviction. In addition to this, students will learn the application of different laws passed in regards to the field of forensics. They will culminate an application of science to each one of these laws and then go about seeing how such situations would work in real life. “The most important thing for students in this class is to be able to identify career possibilities in forensics later in life,” Rose said. “This class gives them exposure to these things, allowing them to use what they already know to come to conclusions, in a more practical way.”


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September 2010

Recent tragedies help community form tighter bond Unfortunate events in Coppell remain permanently etched in citizens hearts, memories continued from pg. 1 Within the past five years, the town has seen suicides, overdoses, fatal car accidents and a tragic skiing accident. Many of the past tragedies have involved children, teens and young adults from the Coppell community. The string of tragedies in Coppell has caused residents to reflect on contributing factors to these incidences and what the town can do to address them. “Certainly our town has had more than our fair share of tragedies,” Hunt said. “You don’t think things like that can happen here, but these things can happen anywhere. Coppell’s ‘bubble’ gives a false sense of security. It is a safe town and people should feel safe. But people may turn their backs to some things. Then reality hits them right in the face.” However, suburban tragedy is not exclusive to Coppell. “I think just the tragedies that are popping up in Coppell in the top of my mind are tragedies that could have occurred in any community,” Mahalik said. “Unfortunately, I think the thing we do have in common in our community with those communities, is people willing to reach out or cry out or whatever for help.” The issue of pride overpowering the will to ask for help was a proposed element in these tragedies. “I know that in an affluent community no one ever wants to admit failure or defeat or financial distress. But whether you live in Coppell or whether you live in a very low-income community, financial distress is financial distress,” Mahalik said. “You know pride is a tough thing to get past for a lot of people. So I guess that’s the biggest lesson: if you need help, ask.” Aspects of the Peters’ case were put under scrutiny by both the media and citizens of the town. However, the question arises on where the line is between the right to voice one’s opinion and inappropriate dissection of people’s personal lives. “Everybody’s got a right to know,” Mahalik said. “That’s the society we live in. It’s an information-based society and it’s a global information society. But at some point you got to be able to draw the line between what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate.” How a high school should go about addressing these incidences is an element, as well. “It’s best just to put it out there, but to put it out there in a respectful way,” Hunt said. “Trying to bury it makes it worse. Depending on age, you don’t want to get into terrible details, especially with elementary school and middle school students. But high school students are respectful and mature enough.” The small town feel of Coppell gives way to the everybody-knows-everybody atmosphere of tight knit communities. To some, this trait is seen more supportive than intrusive in times of tragedy. “Well, I think that is one of the nicest things about the size and the community

Photos by Aditi Shrikant Top Left: The plaque commemorating the garden created at Coppell Middle School East while Taylor Storch was a seventh grader remains in the garden as part of her honor. Top Right: “Taylor’s Tree”, which is featured in the center of the garden, commemorates Storch’s memory and provides the garden with a central theme. Students have the ability to think or just relax by the tree. Bottom: A plaque honoring Storch’s memory with her favorite Bible verse - also featured on her T-shirts and bracelets - is located in the center of the garden, near Taylor’s Tree. The garden was originally made by seventh graders at Coppell Middle School East when Storch was a student. Shortly following Storch’s death, the garden was transformed into a memorial area for her, where the students have the opportunity to return and reflect.

feel of Coppell. Anytime a tragedy hits, you know whether it be a car wreck or an overdose or you know whatever the tragedy may be I think everyone feels touched by it,” Mahalik said. Coppell High School also has a support system in place to respond to tragedies affecting students and locals. “We always provide counseling services to anyone who needs it, whether it’s students, parents or people within the community,” Hunt said. “We try to help with the grieving process. In the wrong hands, however, sometimes [talking about these things] can do more harm than good.” The number of tragedies occurring in Coppell seems to be high in relation to the short amount of time in which they occurred. This could just be a reflection of a nation-wide trend. According to the National Institute of Mental Health website, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the United States in 2006, while it was the third lead-

ing cause of death among young people ages 15-24. To know for certain that Coppell’s tragedies are not statistically unique, one would have to compare the frequency of the town’s tragedies to that of the nation. However, Coppell seems more interested in pushing forward. “I think [the recent tragedies have] made us a stronger community,” Mahalik said. “Every family in every community is going to have a tragedy. It shakes you and it affects you, but I think that we’ve done a real good job of supporting one another, coming together and kind of circling the wagons and getting past whatever it is. Unfortunately, a lot of these tragedies we just can’t understand. And we’ll never understand why.”

To some, these tragedies are just a reflection of life. “I think it’s more that it’s just life, it’s unpredictable. It’s sometimes not fair, but you just have to deal with it,” Cruz said.

“I think [the recent tragedies have] made us a stronger community. Every family in every community is going to have a tragedy. It shakes you and it affects you, but I think that we’ve done a real good job of supporting one another, coming together and kind of circling the wagons and getting past whatever it is. Unfortunately, a lot of these tragedies we just can’t understand. And we’ll never understand why.” -Bob Mahalik, Coppell Mayor Pro Tem


September 2010

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Elimination of class rank affects students’ attitudes about learning Last year, I sat in on a conversation, or rather, overheard one: my classmate was debating enrolling in AP psychology. My outright answer, then, would have been “don’t do it”, To sleep or not to and the logic besleep. hind it was indeed In a neck-to-neck the grade. That much race, I choose the latter. I work wasn’t worth the can’t quite speak for every97 that wasn’t even guarone though—not everyone anteed, granted that it is is as slow a worker as me. even a 6.0 class. Not everyone stares, dazed, I was a junior at that at the clock reading 3 a.m. time, part of the battle to Not everyone glares at their rank in the top 10 percent, transcript, frustrated by the maybe even in the top 5 two-digit number that’s percent. Any extra work there. that But, jeoparI know a “Call it wishful thinking, dized portion of my the student but the focus will be back grade populaon learning—actual was tion finds learning. “ a big themselves “no”. in the same shoes as me, This time around, I struggling think twice on the matter; to raise a number by the class definitely shouts even just 0.01. opportunity. Good grade It makes a difference. or not, I (and my peer) Come end of first sewould have learned in that mester, students outside of class, satisfying the small the top 10 percent will not yet existent hunger for find the number on their knowledge. Now that I’m transcript that haunted positive that that hunger me for the last three years is steadily growing, my reof my life. Coppell High sponse would be different School, following a small on so many levels. group of schools, will no I’m sure many stulonger provide ranks for dents were once stuck in individuals not within the this dispute, and with this top 10 percent of their new policy, maybe the foclass. cus will shift from numIn the long run, there bers back to learning. is no doubt the benefits The competition will outweigh the disadat CHS is intense, too vantages. Call it wishful extreme for many - inthinking, but the focus will cluding me. I assume, be back on learning—acrightfully so, that the gap tual learning. Neither I nor between a student ranked the rest of the student body 20 and another ranked 80 can ignore the fact that edcan be a few tenths of a ucation has gradually bepoint. A college can’t use come second to grades. It this miniscule difference has become so competitive to evaluate and accept one that it may no longer be a student and outright deny true measure of success, or the other. With the district perhaps it never was.

“I would have liked to up my ranking before I graduate, but now I won’t be able to.” Junior Emily Hazlehurst

Pro implementing this new change, lower ranked students—provided that they work hard—can compete against those with a better rank, rest assured. The emphasis then will fall on other aspects of a student’s college application. Fortunately, the district made the very wise decision to keep ranks for students in the top 10 percent. Although I am not necessarily interested in attending the University of Texas or any other state school for that matter, this move to keep the top students rated provides them with a handful of “safety schools.” In the end, I fall asleep, cherishing every moment of it. Although I don’t regret it, was the extra two hours of sleep really worth that 96 in the class in the end?

High school can often be seen as the most critical time in a person’s life: the entire basis of a student’s future is founded upon the classes they take, the extracurriculars they decide to partake in and, most importantly, the grades they receive. Class rank can be seen as an indicator of a student’s success relative to the rest of their class, and can help keep track of where the student lies in relation to their readiness for college. The abolishment of rank, therefore, can lead to a serious disruption of this system. I remember the crushing blow I felt when I saw my rank for the first time on my freshman transcript. All the hard work I had put into my classes, all

Con “Rank doesn’t necessarily correspond with GPA, especially at competitive schools.” Senior Zack Korman

the late nights spent cram- categorized as the same as ming, had resulted in a one in the top 99 percent. numThe balber ance of “Whether they utilize this in- class far lower formation to work harder or rank than simply accept it, the option of and unwhat weighted I had knowing where they are rela- GPA tive to the rest of their class is seem to be the important. “ perfect wished method for. to get While the best of both worlds, this was ensuring that a student has somewhat un- feasible grades and a rigornerving, it served as an ous workload. eye-opener to the fact that With Coppell ranked I needed to step up my as highly as it is, college adgame. And, sure enough, missions officers are likely by the end of the semester, to understand that one I had been able to attain a not ranked in the top 10 rank far more desirable. percent may still be higher Had I never seen my than those who are in difrank that first year, I would ferent districts. Other fachave most likely continued tors, such as SAT scores, to work at the same pace, which provide a more balfeeling perfectly compla- anced measurement across cent with where I was. But, varying locations, play a thankfully, that small num- larger role in the admisber allowed me to change sions process than class my habits early on in the rank does. Colleges nowagame. days tend to take a much The abolition of class more holistic approach to rank past the top 10 per- admissions, viewing facets cent, however, may prevent such as extracurriculars and students in similar posi- recommendation letters tions to correct these mis- with almost equal weight as takes. They won’t be able to class rank. know what position their Therefore, class rank hard work has put them in, can do no more than idenwhether they are one per- tify for a student the exson away from making the act position they are in. cut or among the last few. Whether they utilize this If they knew they were so information to work harder close to being within the or just accept it, the option top 10 percent, the urge to of knowing where they are try a little harder would be relative to the rest of their apparent, but if they have class is important. And no clue, there is less incen- while this number in no tive to try as hard. way defines who they are, While it can be it does help to provide useargued that deleting ful information that could class rank for those be employed in a beneficial out of the top 10 way. percent will provide these students a “clean slate” for college admissions, it seems unfair for a student that is among the top 11 percent to be

“Class rank is not good because it limits the opportunities for students that want to go to college.” Sophomore Will Seitz

How do you feel about the elimination of class rank?


page 6


September 2010 Mosque at Ground Zero: a testament to religious freedom

“Nobody can deny anyones right to worship and where, but if it doesn’t get bombed, it’ll at the least be constantly vandalized. I do not see the necessity to build it at that particular location. Nice article!” Username: btc

Journalism alive and well

“Journalism is dead.” Ever since the conception of the Internet, the sentiment has been building upon itself: why have print newspapers when everything is on the Web? Why bother continuing with journalism if it is just going to die off within the next ten years? Anyone claiming this is oh, so wrong. Journalism still is – and will continue to be – the massive, thriving beast of society, no matter what changes are hurled its way. Granted, it is true that print journalism will someday be non-existent. It is a simple fact of life that we all must face; papers viewed on a website or on a Kindle will someday outshine those made with trees and ink. However, this is not a death omen to the journalism field at large: it is just a sign that it is changing, as all major fields do. Just because print journalism is gradually fading does not mean that journalism as a whole is disappearing, as well. As members of a democracy, Americans need to know

what is going on around them to keep the government as well as their personal lives in check. For example: without Woodward and Bernstein, how would we have found out what happened at Watergate? Does it matter that their articles were published in a hardcopy edition of The Washington Post? Not at all. What mattered (and still matters) is the reporting that went behind the finished copy: the countless hours they spent interviewing and researching the incident to get the facts completely and absolutely right. It wouldn’t have mattered if the world had seen it on paper or on the Yahoo! homepage. What mattered is that people saw it, period. At its core, that is what journalism is all about: finding and spreading the truth to everyone, and it is an important practice to uphold, because the truth is always begging to be heard. Just because people will start reading their articles through synthetic wires does not mean that the stories will be just as synthetic, that they will lose

their truth. Here at The Sidekick, we are looking toward the future. Sure, we are keeping up the print edition, but we have also started a web edition,, to transition from one form of journalism to the next. It is not an admittance of defeat: it is an embrace of new potential and possibilities for news and journalism at large. We are excited to be a part of the journalism world as this transition happens, to see and be a part of history in the making. Even though we journalists are fumbling our way through uncharted territory, we are still making it through the woods and creating a path for others to follow. We still strive to seek out and present the truth, as we always have, and we are still here to report as well as entertain, to voice our opinion and gauge yours. Don’t tune us out quite yet – we’re still coming in, loud and clear. That’s a promise.

Staff Writers auaAshley Attanucci auaErin Blatney auaAdam Bremner auaAddy Buigas-Lopez aua Kara Adkins aua Chris Cummins aua Kimberly Del Angel auaAbby Drake auaMadison Ford auaEmma Hair auaThomas Hair auaShelby Jurca auaLaura Kattilakoski auaRowan Khazendar auaJane Kim auaJulia Kim auaMike Pankonien auaChase Porter auaSammy Robben auaErica Rohde auaKelly Stewart auaCorrina Taylor

Adviser auaChase Wofford

2010-2011 Staff

Editor-In-Chief auaAshleigh Heaton News Editor auaDivya Kumar Opinions Editor auaMichelle Pitcher Features Editor auaMary Whitfill Centerspread Editor auaLauren Ussery Entertainment Editor auaRebecca Neumann Sports Editor auaPeter Sblendorio Photo Editor auaAditi Shrikant Business Manager auaHenna Khan Assistant Business Managers auaZeb White auaPaige Wilson Webmaster auaWren Culp

Photographers auaLexus Deloach auaViviana Trevino auaJack Ficklen uaArden Radford Graphic Designers auaScott Bennett auaBrian Hwu

The Sidekick is the official student newspaper for Coppell High School. Its purpose is to inform, entertain and provide an educational resource for its readers. This newspaper is a public forum for student expression and thus student editors make all content decisions. The Sidekick is a member of ILPC, NSPA and JEA. The Sidekick was the NSPA Pacemaker Finalist in 2002, The Dallas Morning News best newspaper honorable mention in 2006 and received the Award of Distinguished Merit in 2003 and 2008 and is a Bronze Star recipent for 2009 from ILPC. The editorials and columns presented in this paper reflect the view of their writers. Advertisements are sold as full, 1/2 page, 1/4 page and 1/8 page sizes in black and white or color. For more information you may reach the adviser in his classroom (D115) or by phone at (214) 496-6239. The Sidekick welcomes all letters to the editor, but letters must be signed before consideration for publication. Send letters to or bring them by D115.

Researchers work out problems with exercise games

“I think this is amazing. I play Wii games all the time with my sisters and I’ve found the easiest way to win is by cheating the system. With this new game, people won’t just think they’re losing weight, but they actually will.” Username: Sarah Bauer

Comments from the Web

Graphic by Brian Hwu

Movies don’t make the cut

Let me start this off by saying this is not a movie review – rather, it is a look at the future of movies in general. I’ve been a little disappointed with the quality of movies that have been coming out in the past years, but the Scott Pilgrim incident has made me reach my breaking point. What is the Scott Pilgrim incident? Here’s the gist of it: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is, hands-down, the best movie to come out this year – the storyline, cinematography and general homage to the current generation make it irresistible to any moviegoer. As a viewer, it was refreshing to see such a vast amount of creativity pouring through every frame and, as a fan of the original comic series, it was fantastic to see an adaptation done so right. However, Scott Pilgrim suffered one of the worst opening weekend box offices of the summer – and the entire year. That’s not even the bad part. The bad part is that it debuted third behind two other movies that premiered that weekend. Those movies: The Expendables (two hours of explosions and big names) and Eat Pray Love (two hours of inspirational, soul-searching re-hash.) All I have to say is… um. No. It’s not like Scott Pilgrim hasn’t been wellreceived. Almost everyone who saw the film gave it great reviews and acclaim – it got an 81 percentage

rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a fantastic score for a non-independent film (or anything not from Pixar). So how is it that a movie filled with such talent and innovative filmmaking was beaten by two lukewarm films? I don’t think the problem is with the movie. The problem is with the audience: us. Let me explain. Each time you go to a movie, you pay for a ticket; the payment for that ticket tells the production companies that you are interested in that film. Essentially, your payment is a vote for what movies you want to see and, therefore, what movies you want to see made in the future. So if a movie does poorly in the box office, there’s a slim chance others like it will be made. Since The Expendables and Eat Pray Love are doing so well in the box office, Hollywood decides that they should make more movies like it – that means more mindless action films and more sappy novel adaptations. Why is everyone “voting” for these movies? Probably because they’re not original, because they’re “safe”. People are creatures of habit, and usually don’t like venturing into new areas – so a film exploring new cinematic territory (i.e. Scott Pilgrim) isn’t going to get them to the theater as quickly. Taking risks and seeing something – dare I say it? – different has become an unnecessary leap of faith.

Also, people have gotten to a point that they would rather turn their minds off when watching a movie, making action films like The Expendables appealing. You sit down and don’t think for two hours – truly escaping your worries. This last point is the part that really concerns me. Nowadays, people don’t seem to care about the actual quality of a film; creative films with better quality are always lost amidst those with big-name actors and less cinematic quality. If this continues, chances are that there won’t be a whole lot of diversity in Hollywood in the next ten years. Isn’t that sad? That mass media is beating out artistic expression? Granted, it’s not like people shouldn’t be allowed to see and enjoy these mass media films – that’s your opinion, and it’s perfectly valid (in fact, I’m a big fan of anything James Bond.) I understand that not everyone can love Edgar Wright and Tim Burton films, and that doesn’t mean that anything that is unartistic is bad. But I don’t think that moviegoers should be deprived of brilliant filmmaking, either. Is that really such a bad wish, after all?

September 2010


page 7

Animal treatment proves ‘utterly’ disappointing graphic by Laurren Ussery

Learning secrets to success

Bestselling author liant teachers, innovative the task seems a little more Malcom Gladwell writes learning programs and an purposeful. The same goes in his recently published academically stimulating for practicing my All-State book Outliers, “Hard work environment. choir music for an hour is a prison sentence only if I, like many other each night; perhaps I am it does not have meanjust conditioning mying.” His book was self to receive a Ph. D. meant to change the “Students at Coppell High School in music education. have the capacity to be just as way people see sucThe idea that successful as the man behind cess and, for me, it did I may someday be a Microsoft – a local garage band just that. well-respected figIn his writings, from within our bubble could de- ure in something is fine musical standards for Gladwell examines enough to motivate generations to come. “ the circumstances me to check over behind success stothat English paper ries, ranging from Bill one more time before Gates to Canadian turning it in. Everyhockey players to The CHS students, tend to body wants to be successful, Beatles. In all instances, take this amazing opportu- and everybody has the abilhe found that the subject nity for granted. I get wea- ity to do so. 10 thousand was given a single oppor- ry. Spring fever, preemptive hours of devotion in a lifetunity that gave them their senioritis, sleep depriva- time. That’s all it takes. start, after which they de- tion, what have you; there Just think - that hour voted 10.000 hours to their are hundreds of reasons to you just spent reading your craft before being consid- give up on schoolwork, and Physics textbook could be ered expertly successful. I have experienced them bringing you that much Based on these stan- all. The standards we set for closer to reading the headdards, students at Cop- ourselves can be too much line “Expert physicist dispell High School have the to handle sometimes, but covers origin of universe”. capacity to be just as suc- that does not mean we have It could be you. cessful as the man behind to throw in the towel just For me, just that Microsoft – a local garage yet. I have to remind myself thought makes the school band from within our bub- of what I am working to- day seem a little more ble could define musical ward. I am working toward worthwhile. standards for generations my future, preparing myself to come. All we have to do for whatever it may hold. is put in the effort. If I tell myself that By attending a high the 10 hours I spent on Satschool with a reputation for urday reviewing for my AP excellence, we have already History essay just brought received our opportunity me that much closer to befor success. We have access coming an expert history to new technology, bril- buff (if I so choose), then

It is dark. You do not know whether it is night or day or how much time has passed, but that hardly matters now. You can barely stand up or move because of the crushing tightness of the cage. This is life for thousands of chickens in slaughterhouses and egg suppliers across the country. They are born, live and die without ever leaving their cages, ever being outside, ever even seeing the light of day. The issue of animal cruelty recently came to light with the massive egg recall that sparked the government investigation into the practices of Hillandale farms and their history of violations, including 10 civil accounts of animal cruelty that the farms’ company owner, Austin “Jack” DeCoster, admitted to last June, according to CNN. The violations were discovered after an animal rights group, Mercy for Animals, gave the results of their undercover investigation to the animal welfare officials in Maine. Their findings, to say the least, were horrifying. Inside the facilities were long rows with cage after cage so packed full of hens that some of them could not even stretch their wings. Frequently, the workers would simply leave the dead hens in their cages, but when they found one that was sick they would break her neck and leave her still struggling on the floor. Then, they would kick

her into the manure pit or simply throw her in the trash on top of a pile of dead hens and leave her to die. Even more often, hens that were sick were left to suffer without veterinary care. There was one instance where a worker presumably took a sick hen and hung her by her foot from the feeding trough, where she was left to suffer. Other hens catch all kinds of diseases from living in such close quarters, many living in spaces smaller than a piece of notebook paper. Chickens are sentient beings that can recognize each other, mourn when someone that they know dies and feel pain, just like we do. According to Eddie Garza, the Texas Campaign Coordinator for Mercy for Animals, “A lot of people who work in these facilities get desensitized to the cruelties that are done to the animals.” So it’s nice to know that we have a bunch of workers that are used to violence and doing horrible things to living beings walking around among us. The worst part is that this entire process isn’t unique to Hillandale Farms. “These conditions run rampant throughout

stead of being expected to have read a lot of books, including Austen’s, you just need to be able to recognize the writing styles of the many authors. Furthermore, while Pearce agreed with me on

the fact that Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Sense and Sensibility were all wonderful pieces of literature, they are criticisms of the time period in which Austen lived, and most high school students simply cannot relate to England in the early 1800s. While I recognize that these are all valid points, Austen novels, or at least Pride and Prejudice, should be added to the required reading list of CHS. Austen’s books do have value. Her books were criticisms of the society in which she was living, so you can imagine how badly people during that time would have taken to that; most people do not recognize the validity of a criticism until sometime after it has been said. English teachers need to make sure that these books are read by students everywhere, simply because Austen deserves to have her books remembered and read by all generations. This woman took a major leap of faith and wrote her view of the people that lived

facilities in the United States,” Garza said, “even eggs that say ‘cage free’ often come from places where the hens are all packed into one, bigger cage. ‘Organic’ means that they are fed organic foods, but no one can really say how much of it is organic.” Graphic by Scott Bennett

Chickens don’t have any sort of federal law to protect them, but even so, students can make a difference by adopting a diet that has less chicken and eggs, or even go all the way and choose a vegetarian or vegan diet. The Mercy for Animals website,, has a lot of really great recipes for vegans, as well as other ways you can help and upcoming events that they will be attending. Being a vegetarian may not sound like fun (I never really considered it myself ), but trust me, after seeing some of the things on their website, you’ll definitely consider making the change.

Austen classics absent from class reading requirements

A few weeks ago, I was in the “Required Reading” section of Barnes and Noble, trying to locate one of my summer reading books. As I scanned the shelves searching for it, there was one book I saw that I just couldn’t resist picking up – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I have read the book more than once, but it is the kind of book that excites me every time I spy a copy somewhere. This time, though, it was different. Instead of that warm, fuzzy feeling I usually get, I was sad and disappointed. I was seeing one of my alltime favorite books in the school section, yet I myself was not being required to read it. While I was being forced to endure 65 agonizing pages of Walden, there were students getting to read such an amazing piece of classic literature. I began to wonder why Jane Austen was not one of the authors that I was subjected to in high school, so I decided to ask English department head Kim Pearce.

Before speaking with Pearce, I was under the impression that Austen is not read at Coppell High School because the teachers did not want it to be, but regardless of their opinions, college professors would expect Austen’s books to be something we had read. As it turns out, I was mistaken. The school reading books are chosen by the English department based on specific criteria that must be met; they have to be complex enough as to require a teacher to help guide the students in analyzing the deeper meaning, and the teachers have to find value in the book. Both of these guidelines made perfect sense to me, because there is no point to reading a book like Twilight that does not really have anything of value in it; there is no deeper meaning to be found, therefore there is nothing to be gained by reading or dissecting this book. Also, if students are capable of reading and understanding the deeper

meaning of the novel on their own, there is no point in having a teacher help conduct discussions about the book. As for the comment about the college professors, I found out that in-

Photo by Jack Ficklen

around her, and that should be enough to get at least one of her books on the list of required school reading. Plus, most students probably haven’t heard of Jane Austen and won’t think to read her books. In fact, I bet that less than 100 people at our school have read her books, and I don’t suppose that many of them will end up reading Austen before they graduate, which is just sad; especially when you consider how many crazed girls have obsessed over Twilight and haven’t even considered trying to read some of the best romance novels literature has to offer. So, I would like to encourage you all to read at least one of Austen’s many pieces. You literally can’t go wrong with the classics – they’re classic.

September 2010 opinions Mosque at Ground Zero testament to religious freedom page 8

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution in 1787, America was envisioned as the pinnacle of freedom, where one could practice their religion without fear. Now, protestors in New York are challenging that philosophy. The reason for the commotion is because a mosque – a Muslim place of worship – is being planned near what was formerly the site of the World Trade Center. The proposed “Ground Zero Mosque” has provoked much controversy around the country – to the point that a large number of protestors have been parading the streets in the area surrounding the site of the proposed mosque. Many of the protestors defend their views by claiming that Ground Zero is “sacred ground” and a “war memorial”. Although we should not disrespect those that perished on 9/11, the protestors are taking matters to an extreme. These protestors are behaving as if the mosque is a monument to terrorism. This re-enforces the fact that many Americans are misinformed on the details of the proposed mosque: there is nothing unjust about the misunderstood establishment. First of all, contrary to common belief, the mosque isn’t being built on the actual site of what was formerly the World Trade

Center, but two blocks away. Secondly, the proposed mosque, officially called “Park51”, isn’t even a mosque in the normal sense of the word. If someone mentioned a ‘mosque’, you might think of a cacophony of bells and worshippers kneeling in the streets. Park51 is less of a traditional mosque and more of an Islamic community center that includes a mosque, among other things, such as recreational facilities, art studios and a September 11th memorial. The protestors seem to have the idea that the mosque will be an antiAmerican terrorist base, on the soil where thousands were killed by terrorists. The inclusion of a 9/11 memorial as part of the mosque combats the primary focus of the protestors’ argument. To me, it makes absolutely no sense to deny the construction of this mosque. Doing so would be a flagrant denial of religious freedom. Those against the mosque displayed ignorance-fueled signs claiming, “All I needed to know about Islam I learned on 9/11”, “Islam=Violence and Hate” and “A mosque at ground zero spits on the graves of 9/11 victims”. However, there were also some people present defending the religious rights of the Muslims, displaying signs that read

“Stop the Hate” and “Do you believe in religious freedom?” The two groups were passionate, but it never became violent thanks to a large amount of police officers supervising the protest and separating the two groups. But to me, this conflict is larger than one building: this is just one event contributing to the growing anti-Islam attitude of many Americans. Ever since Islamic radicals shocked the world on 9/11, Muslims have been looked at with increasing suspicion. I am baffled by how uninformed many Americans are about other cultures and religions. A recent survey by TIME Magazine reports that only 55 percent of people believe that a majority of Muslims are loyal Americans while nearly 30 percent are of the opinion that Muslims should not be allowed to be on the Supreme Court. The dogmatism that all Muslims are terrorists is just plain wrong. Most Muslims here are loyal Americans just like everyone else. In fact, the word Islam means “peace” in Arabic, not “violence and hate” as many have come to believe. However, there is a whole other aspect to this mosque debate. I have established that the Muslims should be allowed to build

Photo by Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/MCT Robert Kunst, of Miami Beach, protests in front of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, Wednesday, September 8, 2010. Church members there plan to burn copies of the Quran on September 11. Kunst is against building a Mosque near Ground Zero in New York and is also against the burning of the Qurans.

their Islamic Center, but I do not think it would be prudent. Yes, I wholeheartedly believe that they should build Park51 in their selected location, but many people do not. It is for that reason that I think it would be wiser for the Muslims to build Park51 elsewhere. I’m concerned that people like the Anti-Islam protestors marching around in the street would surely be a danger to innocent citizens trying to use the facility. Recently mosques have been burnt down in multiple states, including New York. This disturbs me, and

I think that if Park51 is completed, fires or worse may devastate the facility and those who use it. Although I support the rights of the Muslims to build Park51 wherever they desire, I think they should consider at length choosing a location farther from Ground Zero, for their own sake. That way, the protestors would be somewhat satisfied, the Muslims would get their community center, and there would be less risk of vandalism or injury. It works out nicely for everybody. Of course, if the Muslims in New York insist on

their proposed location, that is perfectly okay; it is their right and it is in no way dishonoring the lives lost on September 11. Every day in school we recite the end of the Pledge of Allegiance, “… with liberty and justice for all.” We must take these words to heart and allow these New York Muslims their unalienable right to worship where they choose.

September 2010


page 9

Foreign exchange students face new school, new life continued from pg. 1

Elin Lundin

These last few weeks have not been Lundin’s first time in America. With previous visits to Myrtle Beach and the northeast to visit the family who hosted her father when he was a foreign exchange student, Lundin has ties to both the country and the foreign exchange program. “My dad was a foreign exchange student, and he really enjoyed it,” Lundin said. “He’s still in touch with his host mother, and we’ve come down to America to visit her and she’s come to Sweden, as well.” After thoroughly investigating the program, Lundin was instructed to write down certain facts about herself for the application. She was then chosen by a host family based off of these requirements. Lundin’s chosen host family has a son who graduated last year, a ten-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. “I have a 15-year-old brother back home,” Lundin said. “I do like having new siblings. I’m so used to having someone my age around me. It’s a little weird to be with siblings other than my own, but it’s better than being completely alone.” Arriving on Aug. 30, the first day of the second week of school, Elin was forced right into the American lifestyle. While Cop-

pell High School can seem overpopulated and crowded to even those who have attended since their freshman year, to Lundin, who comes from a much smaller school in Sweden, the sheer size serves to make the transition all the more complex. In Lundin’s school in Sweden, rather than students switching classrooms between periods, all students are placed in certain classes and the teachers move from class to class. Similarly, school is much more of an educational hub in Sweden, where school spirit is not highly emphasized. “We don’t have school athletic teams, so there isn’t an event like Homecoming,” Lundin said. “Wearing school colors and pep rallies and decorating the hallway aren’t things that we do [at my old school].” Despite having arrived so recently, Lundin appears to be settling in well at Coppell High School. Even though several aspects of the school differ vastly from what she is used to at home, she hopes to slowly become more accustomed over time. “What they say is really true,” Lundin said. “Everything really is bigger in Texas. But I know soon I’ll get used to it. I hope this experience will help me become more independent [and] improve my language.”

Laura Schramn

Despite the fact that leaving Germany to come here was among one of the sadder days of Schramm’s life, the realization that the day she had been waiting for over a year had finally arrived cheered her up immediately. The desire to learn a new culture and debunk European stereotypes about schools in the United States propelled her to sign up for the program. “I decided to do the foreign exchange program because I wanted to get to know the American way of life,” Schramm said. “In Europe, American schools are famous for being very spirited and I wanted to see for myself if this was true.” Though Schramm has been in America for little over a month, she appears to have already acclimated to the culture. Securing a position on the CHS Round-Up Yearbook staff, Schramm has slowly begun blending in with the American way of life. “I really admire the school spirit that people have here,” Schramm said. “It’s not like that with my school in Germany. Everyone at Coppell is more spirited about their school teams and sports.” There are multiple differences between Coppell High School and Schramm’s high school in Berlin. At

Carrie Kuang

As is typical for several Asian-Americans to adopt a new “American” name to be used in school, YeZhenzi did just so as part of her transformation from a Chinese student to one living in the United States. Kuang chose the name “Carrie” because it sounded like a Chinese word meaning “melody”, as singing one of her many interests. In addition to choir, Kuang has had the opportunity to choose a greater variety of classes than those which were available to her back home. “[In China] we don’t get to choose what we want to learn,” Kuang said. “We always have to take math, and we take all three sciences – biology, physics and chemistry – every year. There aren’t these other choices to take instead.” This variety of choice is one of the many facets of American schooling that Kuang finds appealing. Another striking difference is the textbook, which is unfailingly followed through in Chinese schoolrooms, yet less emphasized in America. Similarly, the more relaxed environment of American schoolrooms is something that is appealing to Kuang. While in China she often is forced to study from the yawns of the morning to the depths of the night, the

homework she is assigned here provides her with more time to unwind. “I really do enjoy the way of study here,” Kuang said. “It’s much more relaxing and there’s not as much homework as I had back home. It gives me more time to get used to American life, rather than just study all the time.” Kuang’s tie to Coppell High School extends beyond just her education, however. Barbara Corry, CHS special education teacher and Interact Club sponsor, is the host parent who took her in. “I chose Carrie as an exchange student because my daughter, Anna, was adopted from China,” Corry said. “I wanted her to have exposure to her native culture and language, and to have a “JeJe”, or big sister. It has been quite funny to see how quickly Carrie and Anna settled into a big sister-little sister relationship, and how quickly Carrie has become woven into the fabric of our lives.” Though it will take a bit more time to make this adjustment to life in America, Kuang looks forward to the experience. “I want to meet different people and experience more differences in thought,” Kuang said. “This experience will help me improve my English and gain more opportunities for college.”

home, Schramm has to attend 17 different classes a week, compared to the seven that are required at Coppell High School. “School in Germany is much harder,” Schramm said. “I only have seven different subjects at Coppell, and I like it much better. I get more free time to do things other than homework this way. In Germany, it takes a lot more studying to get higher marks.” Some of this newfound free time is spent with her host family, who Schramm says make her feel as though she is their own daughter. In addition to this, Schramm is able to enhance her photography skills, through means of her yearbook class. She hopes that it will make her not only a better photographer, but also allow her to also meet new people and gain insight into yet another aspect of American schooling. Schramm hopes to improve her English during her stay here, so that upon her return to Berlin and completion of her studies she will have an easier time getting a job. Here until the beginning of June, Schramm has a hopeful outlook on the duration of her stay. “I’m glad that the people in Texas are so friendly and open,” Schramm said. “I will really enjoy this year.”

School by the numbers


Total number of required years of school in Sweeden

Budget for all American public and private schools


The age at which German students must choose the type of school they will attend for further education

Percent of Americans with a college degree



Maximum GPA for secondary school in Sweeden

Number of Chinese engineering students who graduate every year



Percent of Germans with a highschool degree

Average GPA of international students




Percent of German students who attend private school


page 10

September 2010

Egg recall proves to be needless worry for Coppell Ashley Attanucci Staff Writer

On Aug. 17, families, restaurants and groceries across the nation pulled egg cartons out of their fridges in astonishment. Over 380,000,000 eggs from 40 different egg brands, ranging from Lucrene to Albertson’s were recalled as traces of Salmonella Enteritidis were found present in eggs from Iowa farms, eggs that sickened numerous breakfasters and cookie-dough fanatics. Though more than 2.5 thousand Americans reported having been poisoned by the plagued eggs since May 1, Coppellians seemed not to be affected. Though local restaurants like Local Diner and Healthy Me Café admit to being questioned by frightened customers during the recall, Coppell businesses didn’t seem to be strongly affected. “We had lots of people asking [since] we serve hot breakfast all day,” Holly Wyatt of Healthy Me Café said. “[But the recall] did not affect us because we largely try to use organic eggs.” Naturally, many Cop-

pell families turned toward the Coppell Farmer’s Market to buy locally produced eggs. “Since the recall, demand [of eggs] has increased drastically,” Robert Hutchins, owner of Rehoboth Ranch, said. “Predictably, the demand for our eggs increased quite a bit. [At many points] we were sold out of eggs, but we have doubled our flock to relieve a bit of pressure.” Hutchins, who sells at the Coppell Farmer’s market and three others, and many other local producers have felt the weight of the increased demand for locally produced products. Hutchins advises that the best solution to government and voluntary recalls is simply to find a good source of farm-raised eggs in order to avoid buying from mass-production facilities that sport unclean living conditions. “Salmonella is a common pathogen that is directly related to dirty living conditions,” Hutchins said. “The laying hens raised in cages and confinement live in filthy conditions, so the eggs become contaminated.” Salmonella bacterium that infects humans

is found in many other places other than just from eggs and uncooked fowl the kitchen, like in stagnant water or on reptiles like snakes and turtles. Shell eggs usually become contaminated by the infected hens that lay them or from being exposed to chicken feces and excrement, allowing the bacterium to easily thrive and pose danger to consumers. “Remember that Rocky movie where he’s chugging down the raw eggs? Don’t try that at home,” CHS nurse Beth Dorn said. But salmonella is a serious threat, especially to the elderly and infants, and has been recorded to kill an average of 30 Americans annually. “[Salmonella] applies to every body. If you eat raw eggs with salmonella, you’re going to get really sick,” Dorn said. “It causes diarrhea, nausea, vomiting [and] cramps. Dehydration is the main concern and can be deadly. Some people like to eat their eggs sunny side up without cooking the other side, but it’ not really safe.” Symptoms from salmonella poisoning begins eight to 72 hours after in-

Photos by Viviana Trevino Coppell businesses faced worried customers during the recent egg recall. Millions of eggs sold in local stores were said to have had traceable amounts of Salmonella.

gestion, and for a healthy person, the sickness can be resolved in a few days to a week. “The irony is, the industry’s solution is not to clean up living conditions [of the big producers], but require eggs to be pasteurized, which will kill a lot of the nutritional value of the egg,” Hutchins said. Though eggs’ prevalence often goes unnoticed, many dishes cannot be concocted without the use of an egg. Mayonnaise, cakes, French toast, Hollandaise

sauce and some milkshakes all contain traces of egg, be it cooked or raw. The foods served at CISD cafeterias should not be a worry, however, as Director of Child Nutrition Jean Mosley assures. “[The recall] did not affect the schools,” Mosley said. “Yes, parents did call, but we don’t use raw eggs or raw meat for food safety [purposes].” Further, the CISD is always notified by the government in the case of any type of recall, and has

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thusly never encountered a problem, beyond the calls of concerned parents, with recalled items. “Our French toast is pasteurized and already cooked, and hard-boiled eggs [we serve at school lunches] come in a vacuum-sealed package,” Mosley said. Though news of the recall is dying down, its effects on Coppell citizens are ever-lasting as they have become conscientious consumers at the farmer’s market.


September 2010


Half a decade after the hurricane that flooded America Jane Kim Staff Writer

Sarah Meador, the music teacher at Cottonwood Creek Elementary, was an evacuee of Hurricane Katrina. It was her senior year of college at Loyola University in New Orleans, and the hurricane hit on the first day of school.

las on American Airlines. Her flight was scheduled to leave at 3 p.m., yet she left her house at 5 a.m. to get to the airport; what should have taken her only 20 minutes took her about an hour and a half. In her backpack, she carried eight bottles of water, food, three days worth of clothes, three pairs of shoes including,

Photo By Irwin Thompson/ The Dallas Morning News Kimi Seymour, 27, took a break from pushing her few remaining possessions along Interstate 10.

“The weekend we were preparing for the new school year, we were watching the weather every day,” Meador said. “We were watching the news broadcast every day, we were tracking the hurricane as it approached New Orleans.” Meador’s plan was to pack $500 cash and fill up her car; all the while, her dad, in Coppell, was trying to get her on a flight home. Meador had the last flight out of New Orleans to Dal-

her laptop and her cell phone. As Meador drove to the airport, she was glued to the radio. “The officials on the news radio were saying ‘you need to get out now because frankly we don’t have enough body bags for you,’” Meador said. “That was the moment I started panicking.” When she got to the airport, it was chaos. There were not enough planes for all of the people who had purchased tickets due to the

lack of incoming flights. “All the little food places and all the credit card machines were breaking down,” Meador said. “I have learned to always have cash on me in a disaster. Plastic doesn’t mean anything. You can have all the credit cards in the world, but that’s not going to get you that cheese cracker in the vending machine.” Meador boarded a 1:30 p.m. flight to D/FW Airport. When she watched the news about the hurricane, she was devastated to see her college city completely flooded. Two weeks after the hurricane, she and her parents drove back to New Orleans to pick up her car and on the way, they stopped by her house. The streets and the city were still filled with water, so in order for her dad to get to the house, he had to use a canoe he found on the side of the street. In January 2006, Meador returned to New Orleans and college. When Meador returned, many people had evacuated and didn’t come back and everything was scarce. The hurricane hit the coast Aug. 29, 2005 and people from Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana were scrambling to take cover from the disaster that would shake the nation. What they didn’t know was that Hurricane Katrina was

Photo courtesy Irwin Thompson/ The Dallas Morning News

Photo courtesy Michael Ainsworth/The Dallas Morning News (Top) Jeremiah Ward got by on makeshift shoes after he was rescued in the Ninth Ward. Many storm evacuees had to flee without crucial possessions. Jeremiah Ward got by on makeshift shoes after he was rescued in the Ninth Ward. Many storm evacuees had to flee without crucial possessions. (Bottom) Evacuees at the Superdome argued in the tangled line for a bus trip to the Houston Astrodome. All over New Orleans, tempers flared as thousands waited for a way out of town.

In New Orleans, the direct impact broke parts of the levee systems and the “The officials on the news ra- water flooded dio were saying ‘you need to into the streets get out now because frankly, and the city. The power and water we don’t have enough body were down and bags for you.’” many people had to be housed in -Sarah Meador, Katrina Evacuee the New Orleans Superdome after the flooding destroyed tens of thousands going to be the most destruc- of homes and 1,836 people tive and the costliest natu- lost their lives. As a result, Hurricane Katrina caused ral disaster in U.S. history. one of the largest and most

sudden relocations of people in history. Forty-two thousand people were evacuated to nearby places like Texas and other states from New Orleans, the hardest hit area, in about a week. Thousands remained, waiting for transportation, searching for missing family members or left stranded on rooftops. In a matter of a couple of days, food and water supplies ran out and the city requested help from the federal government. Aid from various parts of the world came to offer support and many troops attempted to calm down the anarchy that was beginning to occur. What used to be a vibrant, festive, lively city was reduced to rubble, turmoil and utter chaos in a matter of days. Five years ago, New Orleans was a city submerged under more than 12 feet of water. Even through all this misery and grief, the people of New Orleans have struggled to get back up and they have done it with a smile on their faces and an optimistic mindset. Irwin Thompson, a senior staff photogra-

pher for The Dallas Morning News, was on-site at New Orleans during the Hurricane. His photos of the devastation won a Pulitzer Prize. “There was this one little boy named Jeremiah Ward and he made these makeshift shoes out of cigarette boxes and he tied them together with rubber bands,” Thompson said. “On the box, it said ‘Keep Moving’. It just showed the sense of urgency and improvisation on the part of residents of the historic, low-income area as they escaped from their homes when flood waters abruptly rose.” That was half a decade ago. The city of New Orleans has still yet to bounce back to what they it was before. Too many vacant lots, too many people unemployed and the oil spill that happened recently have all delayed the rebound of the city. By next year, construction of a stronger, more dependable levee system to protect the city will be completed, as President Barak Obama said during his visit to New Orleans on the 5th anniversary of Katrina. As the years go by, the population figures have been increasing and now, surprisingly New Orleans is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. The most recent census suggests that the population is now above 350,000 placing the population at about 70 percent of its size at the start of the decade.

in depth

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in depth

ivace! Coppell High School’s show choir, Vivace!, is a 32 member ensemble that performs choral renditions of show tunes, oldies and popular music. The group focuses on combining song and dance for performance, competing against other show choirs in various events throughout the year. Senior captains Jessie Ross and Nicole Bartley work alongside Head Choir Director Jeffery Schulz to get the group ready for their performances. Their talent, although abundant, is not the ultimate key to their success: their camaraderie allows them to have a stronger stage presence and a comfortable, yet productive, working environment. “We work well because we are best friends on and off the stage,” senior Vivace! member Calyn Boyd said. Many Vivace! members are respected leaders of the student body, and all are expected to maintain a standard of academic excellence. They are not just a choir; they are a close-knit family that supports each of its members in achieving excellence. When they bring that connection onto the stage, it makes for an exceptional show. Not only have more students shown interest in joining the choir over recent years, but the choir’s performances have received enormous amounts of exposure because of FOX’s hit TV show, “Glee”, and its growing success. “We had sold-out shows last year in May when ‘Glee’ was still fresh,” Schulz said. “As a matter of fact, we had standing-room only. We were over capacity for those shows.” With the sweeping success of the popular show, more attention than ever has been drawn to CHS’s own mixed show choir: Vivace!. However, believe it or not, show choir existed at CHS long before the 2009 fall premiere of “Glee”.

-Michelle Pitcher



page 13

The curtains fly open, and senior Judy Hong is on stage — her true home. Ready to sing. Ready to dance. This is it. Earlier in the spring, Hong was involved in an opportunity that launched her career as a singer. In Dallas Star King, a local Korean singing competition, she sang “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus in addition to “Start,” a Korean ballad, and “Popular” from the renowned musical, Wicked. “[The competition] made me want to get involved in other stuff,” Hong said. “Once I’m settled in college, I’m interested in trying out for American Idol — to see what the real singing world is like.” For over a month, Hong attended vocal classes, instructed by a professor at the University of North Texas. Her single, recorded on Aug. 19, features a song reminiscing about her last year in high school with lyrics written by Hong herself. “No Turning Back” will be released with a photo-shoot by the end of September, with a music video following in October. “I chose to write about the end of a high school career path because the experience has given me insight, love and memories,” Hong said. “Those aspects impacted me the most through my life.” During her sophomore year, the talented girl partook in the school production of Footloose; by the time she was a junior, Hong was cast in Anything Goes in addition to serving as president in Brava!, an all girls’ show choir. As a senior, she is currently cast as Rapunzel in the musical, Into the Woods, and is also a part of the Vivace! show choir. Hong bows, and seconds later, the curtains are closed once more with Hong preparing for yet another dazzling performance.

-Julia Kim

TV shows-they take us on a journey through a range of emotions, from laughter to tears. And sometimes, TV shows can even inspire us to want to try new interests— to explore medicine, like the doctors in “House” and “Grey’s Anatomy”, or to reach for our dreams like the contestants on “American Idol”. Sometimes a show can simply bring out the hidden musician inside us, like the amazing cast of “Glee”, or even cause us to want to pick up a new instrument, such as the ukulele. TV is a great escape, but is it really that far from reality? Our students are proof that sometimes the best things to watch aren’t what is on TV, but instead, the real-life versions of some of our favorite programs.

Judy Hong Vivace! The Big Bang Theory For some people, medical terminology invokes thoughts of TV shows like “House” or “Grey’s Anatomy”. At Coppell High School, the Health Occupation Students of America club (HOSA) students are able to explore the reality of these shows. “The best thing about HOSA is the exposure to the medical fields; for kids to make connections on campus and serve the community,” Health Science teacher Ray Pool said. HOSA participates in different community service projects such as Relay For Life, White Rock Walk and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. They also compete in various events such as CPR, EMT and medical terminology competitions. As a result from participating in HOSA or any other medical classes offered at CHS, students can get a jump on their future medical career by volunteering at a nursing home and getting service hours to become a vocational nurse or work at a pharmacy. While some students have always had a calling to become a doctor, others found inspiration from pop culture. Health Science sophomore Daniel Park said that he first realized his interest in medical technology after watching the fictional character, Dr. House. “I remember watching an episode of ‘House’ a few years back where the doctors were doing brain surgery. I’d never really thought about working in the medical field before, but I realized that it looked really intense, and it’s something I might want to do,” Park said. Like “House”, HOSA and the classes get to deal with medical technology, but unlike “House”, students also serve their community in a friendly environment with the motto on the door, “Enter to Learn, Leave to serve.”

Doctor Who Friday Night Lights Made HOSA

-Divya Kumar 0:00 / 3:28

-Corrina Taylor

Photos by Aditi Shrikant and Brian Hwu Graphics and photos by Lauren Ussery

Though a specific time cannot be pinpointed, the increase in popularity of the ukulele is ever-present in American society. Whether it is somewhat of a “foreign” instrument, or that it appears to be cheaper, smaller version of a guitar, the appeal of the ukulele has made its way to Coppell High School. “Everybody played guitar, and I just wanted to play something different,” ukulele club founder junior Miles Pitman said. “I’ve played it every day since I got it two and a half years ago.” Such devotion to the instrument has allowed Pitman to mature his skills and become the aficionado of the ukulele at CHS. “After I started playing, people kept asking me about it,” Pitman said. “A lot of people asked me to teach them how to play it, and that’s kind of where the idea for creating a club came from.” Pitman encourages those who have never had experience with the instrument who are interested in learning to stop by once meetings start up again for the year, as there are always extra ukuleles. Senior Audrey Eichenberger was one of the many first-time ukulele players that decided to take up on this offer. “I’ve had a ukulele for a while but I never really thought about actually using it,” Eichenberger said. “But I started seeing more people on YouTube performing their songs on the ukulele, and it jump-started my interest. Coincidentally, this is the same time that the Ukulele Club started, and I decided to join.” The ukulele continues to spread in popularity on campus. Though the mystery of its appeal is slowly being debunked by its growth in prevalence, it still stands as one of the more unusual instruments, helping to create an original sound and thus a completely unique piece of music.

Health teacher and HOSA club sponsor, Mr. Pool, teaching his Health Science class.


page 14

September 2010

CHS icons begin season with fresh faces, raging pride Roberson untraditionally suits up as Cowboy Carl Spur, but expressed high hopes for Roberson in the Centerspread Editor mascot role. It takes a giant dose “I think she’s going to of enthusiasm to wear the have to get used to it, but head of Cowboy Carl – once she gets out of her just ask sophomore Caro- comfort zone and gets into line Roberson, Coppell the role, she can be pretty High School’s newest stu- crazy and fun, so I think dent mascot. she’ll do really well,” TrautRoberson began her man said. career as a mascot years In the past, the masago as the cheery Cop- cot was a friendly face pell Middle School East without a name, but this Bronco as an eighth grad- year Coppell’s Cowboy can er. The experience helped finally introduce herself. her adjust to being in the “I was on a choir trip spotlight and spreading when we realized that the excitement to the crowd. cowboy didn’t have a name, While some people and Carl just seemed to have dreams of becoming fit. So now the mascot has an athlete since they were a name – Cowboy Carl,” kids, this was not the case Roberson said. with Roberson. Roberson is not the “I just woke up one only one at CHS with day and thought ‘Wow, I mascot experience. English want to be a mascot!’ and teacher Nannette McMurI fell in love with it,” Rob- try once shared the opporerson said. tunity to be a mascot, as Getting a new stu- well. As the Howard Payne dent to play the role is only University yellow jacket, one of the many changes McMurtry was responsible for this year’s mascot. for firing up the crowd at “This year the mas- all sporting events, and cot is taking on more re- making public appearances, sponsibility and making such as visiting elementary skits for the pep rallies,” schools and taking pictures Roberson said. “And now on the day of homecoming. I’m involved with the Although being a cheerleaders and Silver mascot was often challengSpurs.” ing, she enjoyed the expeFormer mascot, ju- rience of getting to meet nior Jeff Trautman, will people she would not have be supporting the school met otherwise. this year as a Silver “I just liked being

Lauren Ussery

a part of that side of the school I had never been a part of before, like being with the cheerleaders and athletes,” McMurtry said. “There was just so much camaraderie in my school, and the mascot was the center of it, so I really liked that.” Both Roberson and McMurtry see enthusiasm as the key asset to being a good mascot. “If you have a mascot that’s willing to do crazy things and get the crowd riled up and jump into the crowd, then it kind of works,” McMurtry said. “But if you just stand there awkwardly it doesn’t work.” Roberson talked about the importance of enthusiasm while being the mascot, saying that the energy of the crowd comes from the mascot’s energy. “If I’m just standing there, no one’s going to get excited,” Roberson said. “But if I’m out there going crazy, I feel like it’s going to help get people pumped.” And then there is the issue of showcasing the school identity. As Roberson put it, the mascot is a symbol of the school. “It’s like the ChickFil-A cow,” Roberson said. “ Coppell Cowboys would not be Coppell Cowboys without their Cowboy Carl.”

Plunging into year, Cammack steps up to show spirit

Photos by Viviana Trevino and Lexus Deloach New CHS plunger boy, Cody Cammack (left), and last years plunger boy, Payton Porter (right), have both demonstrated how to be the perfect plunger boy.

continued from pg. 1

Photo by Lexus Deloach During the homecoming pep rally, sophomore Caronline Roberson, ‘Cowboy Carl ‘,dances on the fieldto Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” with the CHS cheerleaders and Silver Spurs.

Plunger Boy has been around for 12 years and gives further explanation for why rivalry with Southlake Carroll runs so deep. In 1998, Coppell was playing Southlake in football when Dragons fans began to make comments about how Coppell residents were “trailer trash”. In response, the senior boys went out and bought overalls and straw hats for the next game. Luke Pierson, a senior in the class of 1998, came to the next game dressed as a plumber, carrying the ledgendary plunger to cheer on the Coppell Cowboys. From then, on it has been tradition for the current Plunger Boy to pass the plunger to a junior of their choice when they graduate. This year’s pick: Cammack. “It’s a big honor for Coppell [students],” Cammack said. “It means I’m looked at as someone who [not only] has spirit at games, but I’m also a leader.” As Coppell’s Plunger Boy, it is Cammack’s duty

the opportunity to teach girls who love to dance and love to perform like I do,” Hoffman said. With a new director comes new changes and, according to last year’s Silver Stars who experienced the change first-hand, most of the changes were for the better of their performance. “Ms. Hoffman worked us harder and took it more seriously,” sophomore and former Silver Star Madison Coleman said. “We improved a lot when she took over.” Hoffman took the girls in a completely new direction, favoring traditional drill team moves over Lee’s modern and hip-hop twists. Hoffman’s main goal is to prepare the girls for the next step and a potential spot on the varsity drill

Most of the members of the Silver Stars team use their freshman year to prepare to audition for the Lariettes, so the more drill team techniques they learn, the more valuable they consider their year to be and the more prepared they are for the year ahead. The Silver Stars perform at various pep rallies throughout the school year and serve as the main halftime entertainment for the junior varsity home football games. “I think my teaching strategies focus more on time management and not having any downtime,” Hoffman said. “I need the girls to look good when they perform at games because it is a reflection on me as a coach and them as a drill team.”

Hoffman leads JV drill team to the stars Mary Whitfill Features Editor

Everything good comes to an end, but as Dakota Fanning referenced in the 2003 box office hit Uptown Girls, “every ending is just a new beginning.” This rings true through the practice rooms of Coppell High School as Hailey Hoffman, new director of the Silver Stars, helps the team revamp and go in a completely new direction. Last year, the 20092010 Silver Stars director Ashley Lee left her post after the birth of her daughter. In to replace her came 25-year-old Hoffman, a Kilgore College Rangerette drill team alum. “I’m very excited about directing the Silver Stars because it gives me

team, the Lariettes. “She got us more prepared to become Lariettes,” sophomore Katie Hall said. “So we didn’t really mind the sudden change and extra work.” In addition to the dances, the atmosphere of the team has changed along with the leadership. While Teen Leadership teacher Lee chose to do many sentimental and team-building activities with the girls, Hoffman cut out most of those activities in order to fit in more practice. “With Mrs. Lee, we did activities were we had to tell other members what we liked about them and things like that,” Coleman said. “Ms. Hoffman didn’t want to spend time with that.”

to get Friday night Coppell football lovers hyped up. He is at pep rallies getting students prepared for the game, roams the halls in his uniform on game days and leads the Silver Spurs in their touchdown celebration. No matter where he is or what he is doing, the Plunger Boy is constantly trying to encourage spirit and be an example of what CHS pride is all about. “The Plunger Boy pumps up the crowd, making the entire team have a more fun time playing,” junior left tackle Sam Rice said. Plunger Boy is held to all of the school’s core principles and must always display integrity and respect. On the official plunger, there is a list of signatures from all previous position holders as a reminder of the legacy the current Plunger Boy is expected to live up to. “I don’t want to be like the normal Plunger Boy,” Cammack said. “I want to get more involved. I’m looking forward to getting creative and trying to do cool stuff at pep rallies.” Cammack was given a

folder when he received his title, full of rules and topsecret information. Some of the rules include never allowing any impersonations of Plunger Boy, carrying the plunger to all football games and making sure whoever has the plunger is ultimately responsible for its safety. But nothing compares to Coppell’s good luck superstition: the more girls that kiss the rubber of the plunger, the luckier it becomes. Over the years, the plunger has been kissed over 2,000 times. Payton Porter, last year’s Plunger Boy, passed down the plunger to Cammack. “I chose Cody because he is a blast to be around,” Porter said. “He’s funny, crazy and loves Coppell High…Cody is an allaround great guy and is a model for Coppell High School spirit.” Although Cammack is not yet sure of who he will be passing the plunger down to, he is looking for a candidate full of spirit and leadership. For now, he is just excited to get the year kicked off.

Photo By Lexus Deloach New Silver Stars coach, Hailey Hoffman, directs the drill team on their new routine during a practice before a junior varsity game.

September 2010


page 15

Fresh group of Coppell students prepare to ‘rock CHS’ Ashley Attanucci Staff Writer

Everybody wants one. In any color, by any means, it’s the one thing every student yearns to wear; and with summer vacation out and school in, the ‘I Rock CHS’ T-shirt frenzy commences yet again. Ever since their introduction to Coppell High in 2007, the school spirit Tshirts have been little more than a smash hit, with the school ordering anywhere from three to four hundred shirts each year. “They’re a real hot commodity,” CHS Principal Brad Hunt said. “We introduce a new color every year to spice it up. We’re bringing orange back, [but] the new color is a secret.” The idea was conceived by 30 students the summer of 2007 at a Student Leadership Retreat. “We were just trying to think of ways to improve school spirit and morale,” senior Mackenzie Orr said. “We thought it would be a good idea if we had shirts that said ‘I Rock CHS and CHS Rocks Me’ as a reward for representing the

high school well. It would help kids work hard and be proud of CHS.” Orr himself holds four shirts, in orange, green, blue and pink, earned in various ways from choir events (like placing at the Madrigals festival) to being part of the Leadership retreat that summer. Students have found countless ways to find themselves in possession of a shirt. “How can you get an ‘I Rock CHS’ shirt? Just by doing awesome things,” Hunt said. “By serving someone or our school.” Students can land the official 100 percent heavy cotton Gildan crew-neck shirt through competing in a state level competition, whether it be for sports, fine arts or academics- or being elected as Student of the Month, as a Red Jacket or as a participant of CISD ‘Day at the Rangers Ball park’, or really any random act of kindness But some students have found ways to snag an unofficial piece of the glory. The senior class of 2008 created a popular unofficial class shirt that read ‘I Rocked CHS’ and ‘CHS

Photos by Brian Hwu and Ashley Attanucci The original ‘I Rock CHS’ shirts are given to students who Principal Brad Hunt feels show exceptional qualities. The 2009 senior class shirts mimicked the original, saying ‘I Rocked CHS’ on the front and ‘CHS Rocked Me’ on the back.

Rocked me’. This year, the clarinet section of the band created a similar ‘rock’ing theme. “Since the ‘I Rock CHS’ shirts were so popular, the clarinet section played off them and created shirts that say ‘I Rock Band’ and ‘Clarinets Rock Me’,” senior Clarinet Player Cassie Burns said. Though CHS has proven that mimicry is the finest form of flattery, Hunt

maintains that these efforts are not comparable. “You have to earn [the shirts]. There’s really only one official one,” Hunt said. Of the 1,000-plus shirts given out thus far, Hunt himself has distributed each one, and he is the only one allowed to do so. “[How often do students ask me for a shirt?] Every single day. I’m not lying - just before lunch I had someone ask me,” Hunt

said. “It’s been a huge hit.” Though not as popular (as a consequence of its rarity), but most prestigious of all shirts is the tie-dye design. “The tie-dye shirts are the best of best, the cream of the crop. They are the prize,” Hunt said. “Tie-dye shirts are very limited. We only gave out four last year.” Each of those few four shirts were awarded to last year’s valedictorian Peter Chang and saluta-

tion Henry Trahan and two 2010 graduates Sarah Omar and Satvika Ananth who excelled in community service and volunteer work. These shirts have very much succeeded in their goal to unite Coppell High School and diffuse Cowboy pride. “We believe in the mantra [that] what gets recognized gets repeated,” Hunt said. “So I want more and more kids to get recognized and involved.”

leeway in how they deal with such devices. “Listening to music helps me focus,” junior Juan Christenson said. “Last year I just had to leave my iPod in my locker because it’d get taken up otherwise. Now if my teacher knows I’m working, I can use it and listen to music.” Another policy that has been encouraged by the administration and teachers alike is that of allowing students to bring their own laptop computers to school. While the policy isn’t exactly new (it was part of a pilot program last year), many teachers have taken to the idea eagerly and are encouraging their students to use their laptops to take

notes or work on class work. “It’s cool,” Spanish teacher Patrick Melville said. “I’ve had my students work on assignments online; they’ve been turning in essays and projects online.” These new policies much more flexibility in their work now and gets them much more involved during class time.” These new policies are part of Coppell plan to impower individual students. “Using this technology here in high school provides our students with a training ground where they can learn the good discipline and responsibility they’ll need with such devices when they move on to college, “ Harrell said. On the more physical side of CHS’s new technological expansion is the school’s installment of several new devices throughout classrooms. Smartboards are replacing the schools old dry-erase boards in some classrooms, as these glossy pieces of technology offer to teachers and students alike a more interactive experience. “It’s been great,” Senor Melville said. “It was installed over the summer and has been working ever since. It’s quick, it’s interactive, it’s easy; I can’t use it enough.” The device itself is simply the combining of a projector screen and a mouse. Using a projector similar to one of the many projectors that have been installed in the ceiling of most classrooms, the image found on a computer moni-

tor is shot onto the Smartboard. The Smartboad itself then responds to the touch of a person much as if the touch were the click of a computer mouse. In a nutshell, a person can literally click, drag, highlight or select on a Smartboard much as they would a computer using their hand instead of a mouse. Now teachers can present Powerpoints, search the Internet, give demonstrations and teach lessons all with the click of a finger. Along with the new Smartboards are brand new cabinets filled with Netbooks, iPod Touches and laptops. “This is about getting the technology into the hands of the students,” Harrell said. “These new devices will allow us to do that.” While many teachers have heralded the success of the new devices in their own lessons, there are still some kinks to be worked out. Not all teachers have the devices while some simply prefer to stick with their old chalkboard. Additionally, this brand new influx of technology has resulted in an increased workload for many teachers. For instance, last year the standard forum for electronic student-toteacher communication was BlackBoard, teachers now have the option to set up their own forum. Many teachers have switched to the newly developed Google Sites app which allows teachers to create their own BlackBoard like site while others have decided to simply stick with Black-

board. “It used to be there was just one place I needed to check for updates in my classes,” senior Sungbin Lee said. “Now I have three teachers who use Blackboard and two who have their own Google sites.” While this new level of freedom has given teachers flexibility in making their lesson plans and allows them to choose how they communicate with their students, it will take some getting used to. “Blackboard’s familiar with me and [my teachers and I] know how to use it,” Lee said. “Google sites, though, is something new, and I’m not sure how exactly it’s supposed to work. I’m sure it’s a lot more useful than BlackBoard, but at least BlackBoard was centralized and everyone knew how to use it.” Teachers are also feeling the crunch as they must keep up with the introduction of all this new technology as well as their usual amount of work. “There’s certainly a lot you can do with [Google Sites],” Economics teacher Dave Garret said. “But it’s also added to our work load.” While there still may be some wrinkles to iron out, the technology expansion at CHS is going strong. “We will continue to purchase Smart technologies,” Harrell said. “We’ve been very impressed with their performance in classrooms so far and continue to expect great things from them.”

New technology leads to innovative teaching strategies Mike Pankonien Staff Writer

Coppell High School is pushing into a new era this year as new technology pours into the campus. Both teachers and students this year have access to a wide variety of new technologies as the school moves to enter the 21st century “Everyday technology becomes a bigger part in our lives,” Associate Principal Deana Harrell said. “Student’s first encounter with technology outside of the home is in school. In college students have tremendous freedom in using their own laptops

and other devices in class. How students use this freedom can determine how well they do in school.” Highlighting CHS’s new focus on technology and the use of it in school are major changes to the policies dealing with such technology. These new policies give much freedom to both students and teachers in how they use technology in classrooms. For instance, last year it was the unspoken duty of any teacher to take up any electronic device seen outside of a backpack or locker during a class period. This year however, the current administration has relaxed these policies and has given teachers more

Photo by Jack Ficklen New technologies have been added in some form or another to all CHS classrooms.


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September 2010

Freedom delves into modern middle class, suburban life Chris Cummins Staff Writer

The word ‘depression’ occurs in Freedom, in various forms and fashions, about 60 to 70 times. This may not be accurate, in a quantitative fashion, but the ethos of the novel (and indeed most of its feeling) stems from the euphoric precipices derived from mere survival and the doldrums of depression so readily, almost happily, felt by most of the novel’s cast. Author Jonathon Franzen, replete with his detailed musings on sexual politics and the blight of Middle America’s chronic depression, has crafted a daunting, almost maddeningly excruciating portrait of post 9/11 suburban America, and made it eminently, excruciatingly, believable. Indeed, all the major characters in Freedom suffer from depression, in disparate volumes and density, at some point throughout the novel. This blackness, this black dog of depression, as Churchill so aptly described it, permeates every page of

Franzen’s novel, from the irony tinged first pages, to the last, exhausted, cathartic phrase. The majority of his characters seem to exist in a moribund state of free fall, content to slog through the miasma of their depression and to bemoan the vagaries of fate. They exist in time, perhaps, but not space. The scars of apathetic parents, of parents, of the desperate need for emotional connection, however tenuous, seem to follow Franzen’s cast around, to comprise the whole of their being at first. The protagonist, Patty Bergland, is thrust into the reader’s consciousness at what might be the zenith of her existence: she is queen, perhaps by choice, perhaps not, of a once much affluent St. Paul suburb. Striding down gum encrusted streets in sweatpants and running shoes, stroller in tow, singlehandedly confronting the dual menace of biker gangs and Republicanism, Patty has seemingly fulfilled her personal criterion for existence. Her husband, Walter, is at once the perfect husband and

perfect father, working at a respectably liberal environmental conservatory, and working at saving the cerulean warbler from extinction. Oddly enough, the entirety of the conservation efforts is funded by Big Oil, or rather, Vin Haven, Big Oilman. Her son, Joey, is remarkably mature and intelligent, disdaining the more customary domains of childhood, and preferring instead to spend the majority of his time engaged in the more esoteric. He is loved by both parents and neighbors, and the reader finds himself, within the span of a few pages, charmed by Franzen’s suitably ironic commentary and engrossed deeply within the seemingly cursory biographies he has created for them. It is at this moment, a triumph of existence for both Patty and her family that the threads of her life begin to unravel, and Franzen begins to sink his teeth into their rapidly spiraling psyches. Throughout the novel, one is struck by how sad the characters really are. De-

Machete chops up silver screen Wren Culp

Staff Writer

Photo courtesy 20th Centrury Fox Machete combines bloody violence and smart dialogue to make a great film.

and promotes all-out war between the immigrants and the law. Shé (Michelle Rodriguez), a “leader in revolt” type of person, disguised as a taco seller, smuggles weapons in a movement to fight border vigilantes. But the climactic face-off between gardeners, workers and day laborers – in their section of painted low-rider cars, and redneck vigilantes – turns into a funny but brutal bloodbath. Why is Machete a B-movie? First off, the film was based off of a fake trailer that ran in the collaboration projects that Rodriguez did with fellow writer and director Quentin Tarantino

(Inglorious Basterds, Pulp Fiction) back in April of 2007. Also, when a movie is not released from a major studio or, in this case, created from a concept that was not ever supposed to be a movie in the first place, it will almost invariably turn out to be a B-movie. After seeing the mind-bending film Inception this summer only to move to this less intelligent action flick leaves the mind thoroughly disappointed. But, if you see this film, try and keep your clever guesses of the end to yourself. As a matter of fact, turn your brain off completely – you will enjoy the film a lot more. That I can personally guarantee.

Photo by Lexus Deloach The novel Freedom details the dark side of middle class life.

these characters, hear their inner voice, observe as they writhe in pain and eavesdrop as their innermost thoughts take excruciating form and function, all the while wondering, “Is it worth it?”

It is a testament to Franzen and his craft that we, like Walter Bergland, never know until the cathartic, fitting and exhaustedly satisfied ending.

was present at the Outside Lands festival and appeared as a performer on the ESPY’s. Originating in Canada, Arcade Fire has come far in their journey as a band. Their last album, Funeral, released in 2007, was accepted widely by critics and for three years filled with touring and a few free shows in support of the Obama campaign, the band has come back with an album that is potentially better than the last. Suburbs is Arcade Fire’s third full length album and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The group was given a chance to showcase some of their new material at the Reading and Leeds Festival on the weekend of Aug. 27, sharing the main stage with other notable artists, Guns N’ Roses and Blink-182. This next musician has been considered to be

an Australian Justin Bieber and already has an award under his belt. Teen Cody Simpson may not have as many hits as Bieber, but he was discovered essentially the same way - through the Internet. Simpson even won an award for “Breakthrough Internet Sensation” at the Breakthrough of the Year Awards. The young Aussie has two singles, “Summertime” and “iYiYi” which features rapper Flo Rida. He’s recently toured around the U.S. and opened for musician B.o.B.. His success so far gives reason to keep Simpson on your radar for new music. There are sure to be loads of new music being released later in the year, and these are just a few artists to consider when you’re looking for something to listen to.

New music to Blatney’s ears Erin Blatney

Web Master

Robert Rodriguez has lived the filmmaker’s dream. He shot “El Mariachi” using office chairs as Steadicams and rarely took a second take during production due to limits on film stock – and still came out with a topnotch film. Now, he is such a trusted filmmaker that he was able to turn a fake trailer into a feature length film – Machete Machete stars Danny Trejo, a longtime companion of Rodriguez who has appeared in many of his other films. This, however, is Trejo’s first lead role in any feature film; it only made sense that his leading debut would be in a Rodriguez film. The main character, Machete, is a man of honor who is driven by vengeance. A Mexican federal agent, Machete was betrayed by his own men at the feet of the vicious and overdramatic drug lord Torrez (Steven Seagal), who brutally murdered Machete’s wife. Move forward a few years, and Machete finds himself at the center of a conspiracy involving a greedy Texan politician, Senator McLaughlin (Robert De Niro) who has made illegal immigration the foundation of his re-election campaign. Not only does he support an electrified fence on the border, he calls immigrants “parasites”

pression dips its ashy hand into the lives of multiple characters at all points in the novel, in some form or another. It is engrossing, that much is true, but only insofar as watching the writhing pain of humanity is interesting. Walter steeps to ever lower levels to save his warbler, using more and more complicated bouts of euphemism, all in order to explain his mutilation of a mountain top, filled with multiple generations of recalcitrant mountain families. He grapples with the morality of raping pristine mountainside, trying to come to grips with the disparity of what he says and what he feels, as dark shadows dance across the shades of his hotel room. The ever leering shadow of possible adultery and suicide, the pain and sexual angst of multiple characters, self medication, all strain for our wincing attention, and gain it, in spades. This is the crux of Franzen’s novel; it is engrossing, immensely interesting, and a look at the darker side of suburban hood, but wrenching, in every sense. We gaze at

The beginning of the school year is a busy time and students may find themselves with less time to spend on the Web searching for music, despite the fact that there is plenty of fresh, new music on the way. To help, here’s a preview of artists to check out. Fresh from a divorce and finally recovered from a battle with malaria, British pop star Cheryl Cole is back in the studio recording another single to add to her growing repertoire of solo material. A member of the British girl band Girls Aloud and one of the judges on Britain’s popular reality show “The X-Factor”, Cole is no stranger to fame or the music industry. Though most of her singles have been solely released in her home country, she is quickly becoming recognizable in the U.S. with her growing popularity. The second artist takes us back to America and into the world of Janelle Monae. So far, it has been a banner year for the young artist with the her second studio album, The ArchAndroid, being hailed as one of the Best New Albums by and acquiring rave reviews from magazines such as Entertainment Weekly and Paste Magazine. The year could only get better for Monae, and it has. The video for her first single, “Tightrope”, was nominated for Best Choreography at the MTV Video Music Awards, and over the summer the singer

Graphic by Scott Bennett

September 2010


page 17

Blockbuster store closes, marks end of local rental era Kelly Stewart

ing, with the red DVD packages that are mailed to you and later, the mov The day some have ies that you can view onbeen dreading has finally line instantly through your come: another Blockbuster TV. Once more companies in Coppell is closing. Many started adopting this mode people doubted it would of entertainment, it seemed thrive with a place as in- unnecessary to drive all the expensive as Family Video way down to the video store as its competition, but this to rent movies that you would have secto pay more ond “Netflix is $9 a month and for anyway. store has unlimited movies. Sophclosing is Blockbuster is $4 a movie. omore Zech Thompson also a That’s what killed it.” can speak prodfor Netflix’s uct -Sophomore Zech Thompson success. of the “Netffinanlix is $9 a month cial troubles and the pos- and has unlimited movies,” sible bankruptcy of the en- he said. “Blockbuster is $4 tire Blockbuster Company. a movie. That’s what killed If you happened it.” With the rising to drive by Blockbuster on Denton Tap Road in recent popularity of Netflix and weeks, you may have no- Redbox, some wondered ticed the long line of ‘store if Blockbuster would have closing’ signs all along the trouble keeping up with the store’s front windows. Or, advances in technology, and you may have seen the they did start Blockbuster empty space left by the pre- Express which has the same vious Blockbuster beside capabilities as Netflix, but now it seems they have fallthe Allstate. Blockbuster once en too far behind to catch dominated the video-rent- up. By the end of this al industry. With soaring stock prices and diminish- month, the company plans ing competition, Block- to file a pre-planned Chapbuster managed to survive. ter 11 in order to help them But Netflix brought in a restructure nearly $1 bilnew era of movie view- lion in debt, according to Staff Writer

Photo by Arden Radford The windows of the Blockbuster on Denton Tap advertise the store’s grim future. Blockbuster did not allow cameras inside the store due to company policy, but from the outside it is apparent that it is taking a hit from its competition, Netflix.

MSNBC. In the first three months of this year alone it lost $65.4 million. Blockbuster’s official statement says “We have previously stated that we are in the process of recapitalizing the company and reducing the number of stores in the U.S. is part of that effort” Some in Coppell are

not surprised at Blockbuster’s demise. “Internet is going to be the way that people get their movies now,” said Algebra teacher Michael Fields said. “Netflix is a classic example, they’re even going away from their mailings and going to online streaming and I think that is going to be the way

that we get most movies nowadays.” As technology marches on, it does seem that more and more people will turn towards online streaming for their entertainment needs, but for anyone who misses the wide selection of movies that Blockbuster has, you can still get movies from

Blockbuster Express and Blockbuster on Demand. Blockbuster’s statement added that “content is available through a combination of full-service stores and automated retail locations, such as the Blockbuster Express branded kiosks through our relationship with NCR.”


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September 2010

Bonnot: the true ‘Guitar Hero’ of Coppell High School Aditi Shrikant Photo Editor

Between the monstrous homework load and turbulent social trials of high school, the average student doesn’t have time to engage in activities they truly have a passionate for. This is not the case for senior Kevin Bonnot. Bonnot is an active musician in Coppell as well the Dallas area. He and fellow band mates Issac Esquibel, Bryson Lozano and Rob Martinez play at Fellowship Church at least twice a week and at popular clubs such as The Door in Dallas. Earlier this year, he performed at the Haiti Benefit Concert. From a young age, Bonnot was surrounded by music in his own household, influencing him to start writing and playing some himself. “My brother’s been in music since he was 13,” Bonnot said. “Just growing up hearing him staying up late writing music has always been an inspiration. It’s always been a brother thing. I’d show him a song I wrote and he’d show me a song he wrote.” Senior Anthony Kay remembers the first time he listened to Bonnot sing, and has seen mature progression in his music since


“I’ve been listening to Kevin since he started doing music stuff in seventh or eighth grade, and since then vocally he got a lot better and instrumen-

“Music to me is its own language.” - Senior Kevin Bonnot

tal wise,” Kay said. “He knows what he’s doing now and you can tell that through his music.” Bonnot also emphasizes that the message of the song is more important than how the song is structured, and a majority of his songs stray for the conventional style. “A song that is a minute and a half long is okay to me if it portrays what I’m trying to get across,” Bonnot said. “It’s not really fit to a formula.” In addition to his brother, artists such as Bob Dylan heavily influence Bonnot’s folk based style and storytelling lyrics. While he understands the importance of writing quality music, Bonnot also puts emphasis on the entertainment factor of a performance. “I try to make it as fun

as possible,” he said. “It’s not hard to come across a person that can sing well and play an instrument well. I would definitely say a fun show beats a good show any day.” Lyrics for his songs are often about landmark experiences in his life or different stories about people around him. While many of the songs lie around depressing themes, Bonnot claims he is trying to send a hopeful message rather than a depressing one and attempts to find the “silver lining” in situations. Senior Sarah Ismail recorded a duet with Bonnot a year and a half ago named “Hopeless Fancy”. “He doesn’t worry about what an audience thinks of him,” Ismail said. “He just does it because it’s what he loves to do.” As Bonnot moves on from high school, he hopes to major in audio engineering at Belmont University in Tennessee, and is also looking forward to recording in the future. “Music to me is its own language,” Bonnot said. “It gives you a chance to communicate better and meet new people. I’ve met so many people through music and performing that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

Photo courtesy Jon Draper Senior Kevin Bonnot plays his guitar. The musician is a member of a praise music band and performs at Fellowship Church multiple times a week.

Aquarium, Legoland in store for Grapevine Mills area Lauren Ussery

Centerspread Editor

When Sea Life Aquarium opens at Grapevine Mills during summer 2011, at least one CHS teacher will have a perfect excuse for taking her class to the mall for a field trip. Aquatic Science teacher Laronna Doggett says she is looking forward to the new venue. “I think it’s amazing,” Doggett said. “I really can’t wait for it to open, because then hopefully my Aquatic Science class can go over there and have a partnership with them or something, because it’s close.” Sea Life, which is being constructed in the same location previously occupied by Gameworks, will feature a two-story, 45,000 square-foot aquarium housing more than 30 displays of diverse marine life—everything from shrimp and starfish, to seahorses, sharks and rays. A Sea Life press release reports that plans also call for displays featuring creatures native to both freshwater and coastal habitats of Texas. It will offer visitors an opportunity to learn from talks and feeding demonstrations and to learn about environmental and conservation efforts, as part of their S.O.S. (Save Our Seas) program. A huge, tropical

ocean tank and a walkthrough underwater tunnel are also planned as features of the aquarium. The logistics of building and creating the tank are fascinating to Doggett. “I’d really love to just take my kids over there and learn about what it takes to build an aquarium out of a Gameworks and what goes into it,” Doggett said. The aquarium will not only provide a place for learning, but also a possible stepping-stone to a future career. Many students taking Aquatic Science are interested in that field and becoming marine biologists. “It [the aquarium] will actually give them an opportunity to help them get internships and jobs there, and will give them something great to put on their resume for when they’re applying to college and help get them into some colleges that offer marine biology,” Doggett said. Sea Life will open alongside another new attraction, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Both attractions are operated by UK-based Merlin Entertainments. LEGOLAND, also set to open in the summer of 2011, will be located in the space formerly occupied by Woodward Skatepark. Like Sea Life, LE-

Photo by Lauren Ussery The new LEGOLAND attraction at Grapevine Mills will be a place for people to have fun and learn. The attraction is replacing the Woodward Skatepark at the Grapevine Mills mall.

GOLAND will focus on providing a learning environment in an atmosphere of fun. According to information on LEGOLAND. com, the park will cater to a younger crowd, but is open to all ages. Sophomore Shafer Pollard, who is a member of STEM, said he sees engineering potential in the new attraction.

“We might be able to use the LEGOs as a building tool for the models we have to make and for the projects,” Pollard said. “I’ve grown up playing with LEGOs and using them, and they’re fun to play with, but they can also be used for serious things like projects at school.” Though both at-

tractions might appeal especially to the scienceminded students in the area, there is another aspect of Sea Life Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre that is near to the hearts of most teenagers: summer jobs. “Sea Life and LEGLOLAND Discovery Centre will also create

new jobs and generate additional income for local companies supply and supporting these attractions,” Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate said. Competition for jobs will likely be high, so anyone interest in applying should start inquiring at Grapevine Mills Mall next spring.

September 2010 Fall trends


page 19

With new school year comes new fashions, Del Angel says Being comfortable now overrides glamorous looks Kimbereley Del Angel Staff Writer

The Coppell High School entrance gates wind up at 7:50 a.m., letting hundreds of students spill in through its memorable halls. Students rejoice as they are united with longtime friends and moan about what classes they have, discussing whether or not they were blessed enough to receive homework on the first day of school. But the biggest question behind the whole production is: What is everyone wearing? As the summer came to a close, students began to pile into shopping malls in search of the perfect outfit to compliment the new school year, the deci-

sion is difficult since there are many variations of cool new looks to rock out. Newly released fashion trends consist of rolled cuff jean shorts, bohemian tops, studded accessories, printed dresses, animal prints, bold colored clothing and bags and skinny crop pants for the girls It seems that this year’s teenage girls are most interested in sporting a look that is either cute yet comfortable, with Nike tempo running shorts, a tie dye shirt, accented with classic white Vans, Converse or the all-time favorite Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes; or, the chic girl with the popular Miss Me jeans, Forever 21 top and the glam gladiator sandals. “I think that all these looks, like the bright nail polish, collections of bracelet-on-an-arm, hair bang braid and the jelly watches, are coming from Hollywood trend setters like Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side,” sophomore

Hannah Eibert said. However, some students differ with this idea. “I think a lot of styles are actually coming back from previous trends like Converse and Sperrys,” sophomore Alexis Natale said. Sophomore Mason Adams notes that the typical guy at CHS also goes for the classic “jock” look: Nike high black socks, slip-on Benassi sandals, basketball shorts and a graphic tee. Senior and aspiring fashion major Andrew Jeter noticed that new uprising trends have spoken to guys. “Dark denim, a Vneck and some Vans have become more common on guys,” Jeter said. “Some other things that have also become popular are cardigans, plaid and a lot of styles from the 80’s and early 90’s that have come back.” So which brands are the “must have” this school year? When students were asked this, the most popu-

lar brands seemed to be Coach, Juicy, Forever 21, Vera Bradley, Nike, Hurley, Miss Me, Vans, American Eagle and Urban Outfitters. However, CHS English teacher Brynlea Taylor disagreed about the relevance of brands. “Brands are not important; quality over quantity,” Taylor said. But look out, students, you’re not the only people at CHS who are trying to look their best. Teachers like Tiffany Ganss have been spotted in cute flowered tops, calf-high pencil skirts and long maxi dresses. In comparison, male teachers lean more toward a nice button down with a tie and dress shoes. As the school year launches off its new school line, you will be sure to see these trends and many more to come in the halls of CHS for the next couple of months; so grab your wallet and head on down to the mall to catch up on the newest trends.

Photo by Lexus Deloach Junior Annie Webb looks comfortable in jean shorts with an oversized sweat shirt. A big part of today’s fashion is being comfortable.

AnimeFest comes to Dallas, brings all types together from different shows, and this year they had a band fly in all the way from JaStaff Writer pan to give a concert in the ballroom. Not to mention On Friday, the first the hundreds of people that day I was there, they had come dressed in costumes opening ceremonies for the as their favorite characters. convention in the evening. One of the many The grand ballroom was convention attendees was crammed with hundreds of Katharine Sheaferstein, seats in long rows, of which who has been to nearly all I was fortunate enough to of the conventions in the sit near the front. Dallas area. Even if I were deaf, “It’s I still just really would fun, be“It’s just really fun, because have cause you you get to be with other been get to be people who have a common able to with othground with you.” hear er people the who have -AnimeFest guest music. a comKatharine Sheaferstein It was mon the type of ground with you,” music that could Sheaferstein said. be felt more than heard. It With Sheaferstein rumbled under your feet was her friend, Regi Mitchand made the air vibrate ell. with such energy that I “The people here suddenly wondered why I are just so nice,” Mitchell was still sitting down. said. “Some people, I don’t And that was how even know their name, but AnimeFest 2010 kicked off I’ve been hanging out with the school year for me. For them all weekend.” those who don’t know, AnThat seems to be the imeFest is the name of an general consensus when it anime convention on Labor comes to why anime fans Day weekend at the Hyatt keep coming back to AnRegency Dallas at Reunion imeFest: community. AnTower. Anime Conventions imeFest is a place where are hosted for people who people from all walks of life love anime, the TV version can come and find someof a type of Japanese car- thing in common with toon (similar to American people who they may not comic books). As well as have noticed before. Not other aspects of “need cul- only that, but they can find ture such as manga, video items pertaining to their games and cult classics. obsession in one conveBut the conventions nient place. have a lot more than just After a word from the anime. They have an Art- directors of the convention ist Alley where budding about who the guest voice authors in the field can get actors were and what we their work out to the public, could expect at AnimeFest guests such as voice actors this year, we heard a sample

Kelly Stewart

Photo by Kelly Stewart Fans dressed up as characters from the cult British TV show, “Doctor Who”. AnimeFest guests dressed up in a variety of unique costumes to celebrate their favorite pop culture references, anime or otherwise.

of the Japanese band Nirgilis, who played three songs full of eardrum-blasting goodness. Then it was on to the cosplay walk-on competition, with over 50 contestants who walked on stage and struck a pose in their costumes. There was even a Luke Skywalker among them. The second day, I had the privilege of sitting down and talking to Bruce Lewis, a voice actor who does the voices for the English translations of different anime shows. “Being a voice actor is great,” he said. “Because you’re getting paid to be creative and any job where you get paid to be creative is the best kind of job.” Lewis became a voice

actor after being a radio DJ earlier. He said that he was lucky enough to have a resonate voice that is perfect for recording. Several years ago, he got a call from one of his friends, a director at Funimation, a company that translates Japanese anime into English, for a small part in the anime show “Ragnarok”. If you are interested in becoming a voice actor, he has some advice. “Dallas is a great place to live because, unlike L.A, you don’t have to have inside connections,” Lewis said. “You can basically walk in the door, and if you’re good, you can get a job. The best thing that I would do if I were your age is to come to these conven-

tions and get to know the guests from Funimation. And next time you see them, maybe buy them a cup of coffee and say ‘hey, I’d like to give this a shot.’” Another big part of AnimeFest are the booths in the Dealer Room that sell many interesting and unique items just for the type of people who go to Animefest. There are collars, cat ears, goggles, gas masks, wigs, dolls and even hats shaped like Pikachu (which I bought). The dealers themselves have just as much fun as the con goers do. “I just like to make things that are completely unique and have people buy them,” dealer Marty Enriquez said. “It makes me

really happy when people get them and get really excited because they’re oneof-a-kind things, or they’ll get something that matches their outfit perfectly and say ‘Oh, it’s finally complete!’ That feels really good, you know?” As AnimeFest drew to a close, and those who attended crawl back into their normal lives, many will already be awaiting next year’s festivities and picking out their costumes. AnimeFest is a unique avenue of entertainment, but that doesn’t take away from the experience at all. For those who love anime, but have never been, you’re certainly missing a lot.

page 20 2010 September


page 21 September 2010

Coppell joins District 7-5A, faces fresh competition Adam Bremner Staff Writer

After completing a 4-1 record in district last year, the Coppell Cowboys are poised to face entirely new competition in the new division after UIL’s 2010 realignment. In previous seasons, the Cowboys have resided in districts where traveling was not an issue. District 7-5A, however, includes three teams from Keller along with Denton Guyer, Saginaw and Justin Northwest, all of which involve a lengthy trip of at least 45 minutes from Coppell. Perennial rival Southlake Carroll fills out the group of eight as the only team remotely familiar to Coppell. Coming off a district title in 6-5A, the Dragons enter a year of uncertainty as most of their starters on both sides of the ball graduated last year. Inexperience has never slowed down the Dragons, but this year they have suffered through a controversy involving their highly touted QB transfer Daxx Garman. The UIL has pronounced Garman ineligible due to technical rules broken involving his family’s residency issues, however, the Garmans have filed an appeal hearing set for Sept. 14. The distraction has caused large concern for the Dragon-faithful as Carroll lost their season opener 35-14 to Copperas Cove. In week two, on the other hand, Carroll gained a victory against L.D. Bell, edging the Raiders 20-17.

Despite these obstacles, Coppell reassures that they will not sleep on the Dragons. “Southlake Carroll is always an intense game. Every year, they are strong team.” senior cornerback Daniel Logan said. “They have a great tradition and always play hard. They hate to lose.” Two schools, Denton Guyer and Saginaw, enter the season as firstyear Class 5A competitors. Saginaw, who reached the first round of the 4A playoffs last year, have struggled in their opening games against mediocre 5A teams. The Rough Riders do not seem to pose much of a threat to the Cowboys but quarterback Joe Minden is not making any guarantees. “You never want to count anyone out,” Minden said. “We have to take it one game at a time if we want to win district.” Guyer, contrary to Saginaw, comes off an impressive state semifinal appearance in the 4A playoffs last year posting a 13-2 record. They have a dangerous offensive game that scored no less than 28 points a game last season. The primarily run first offense is headed by senior quarterback and Oklahoma State commit J.W. Walsh. Walsh’s numbers last year were a mind-boggling 49 total touchdowns as well as 2,599 passing yards and 1,812 rushing yards. According to, he is the 14th ranked recruit in the state and the first ranked quarterback recruit

in Texas. The dual-threat quarterback could definitely presents a serious threat to the Cowboys’ district goals, and head coach Joe McBride would agree. “[Guyer] is a good team overall,” said McBride. “Their coaching staff is great and they have athletes on both sides of the ball. They will be tough to beat.” With the Wildcats moving up to 5A, they are hungry to show they can still be a force among fiercer competition. They started out successfully by defeating Waxahachie 45-7 in their season opener yet lost in overtime to Cedar Hill 42-41, presenting a game style awfully similar to that of Coppell. The Cowboys and the Wildcats match-up quiet evenly in almost every aspect of the game. “They are a lot like us in how they approach the game,” Logan said. “They just moved up [to 5A], and have a lot to prove.” Another team generally successful in 7-5A is the Keller Indians. The Indians made the playoffs with a 6-5 record last year before losing to Coppell in the first round. This year, the Keller offense is primarily pass first as they are led by quarterback Tyler Park who has already passed for 450 yards in two games this season. The Indians are a contender in their respective districts more often than not and usually at least qualify for the bi-district playoffs. Justin Northwest, along with Keller Central

Graphic by Lauren Ussery The Cowboys will have to play well against seven district opponents if they are to win District 7-5A.

and Keller Fossil Ridge, finish out district 7-5A as teams that will not particularly intimidate the Cowboys come district play. Northwest comes off a rare winless season a year ago despite making the playoffs in the 2008-09 season. This year, the Texans have already started the season off with a victory and have a plethora of seniors with playing experience on the roster. Fossil Ridge and Central fall into the same boat as Northwest. Both teams had a 2-5 district record last season and failed to make the state playoffs. They are teams that could pull an unexpected upset,

yet they are not terrific in any aspect of the game. However, Central has started the 2010 season with a 2-0 record opposed to Fossil Ridge’s 0-2. Regardless of previous years’ performances, Coach McBride is still considers the upcoming district competition as up for grabs. “When it comes to a new district, it’s hard to tell who is the toughest,” McBride said. “But Guyer and Southlake are always good teams and Keller always proves to be a playoff team.” McBride, aware of the tough road ahead, believes his team is at the top of the list among the new competition and expects a

lot out of the Cowboys this year. On the other hand, he doesn’t want his team to be nonchalant in their approach to the upcoming district games. “I consider us to be at the top of our district when it is said and done,” McBride said confidently. “However, it doesn’t really matter what I consider. We still have to go out there and get it done.” In order to “get it done” the Cowboys must prepare for district play and put away all expectations. The big games are on Oct. 1 and Oct. 15 as the Cowboys will face Guyer and Carroll, potentially for the District 7-5A title.

the class room,” McBride said. When he attends the Air Force Academy next fall he will be playing defensive line again but he says he will play anywhere the team needs him. Most of the players on Air Force for this season are either juniors or seniors on the offensive and defensive lines, and Tanner and the other recruits will be desperately needed. “I committed there because of the opportunities that the Air Force opens up for me,” Rice said. There are many opportunities for students who attend the Academy such as going into active duty as a pilot or commercial pilot, law school, business school and a chance to travel the world. Rice on the other hand said that he would prefer to be more on the business side of the Air Force. He explained to me that he would like to be a base manager which coordinates troops and supplies and is more of a business man than a sort of pilot. Being a base manager also will help him in being

a business man in the real world because many jobs hire people straight out of the military because of their leadership and work ethic. The Coppell High School football team also has some more star players getting looks for college play. Senior Cam McDaniel has been getting looks from many schools such as Stanford because of his productivity at the running back position. Senior quarterback Joe Minden is also being looked at for college ball and will probably be receiving offers by the end of the season. Senior safety Bennett Okotcha has committed to the University of Wisconsin. While Rice may not be a starter right away for the Falcons, Coppell’s alldistrict defensive end has proven his ability throughout his tenure with the Cowboys. Due to this, it is easy for people in Coppell to envision success down the line for Rice as he continues his football career at the Air Force Academy.

Future Falcon: Defensive end Rice commits to Air Force Chase Porter Staff Writer

Coppell football has fostered many student athletes, with the latest being senior defensive end Tanner Rice, who will be attending the prestigious Air Force Academy next fall to play football. Rice is a veteran player that has been playing on the varsity team for three years now for the Coppell Cowboys and will be starting on the defensive line for the rest of the season. Tanner averages multiple tackles a game and contributes as a leader on the field and in the class room. Coach Steve Fex, the Cowboys line coach said, “Tanner is definitely a leader in the classroom and on the field by leading by example but he has become more vocal as he has been able to gain the respect of everyone on the field so now he is more of a vocal leader during the games.” Rice’s decision process was difficult due to a high interest level from a number of schools. These

photo by Viviana Trevino Seniors Michael Quast (left) and Tanner Rice have been two of Coppell’s defensive leaders in 2010.

schools include Minnesota, Houston, Kansas State, Navy and Army. It was his visit to Air Force over this past summer that allowed him to feel comfortable with the program, and after talking with his coaches

and family, he made his decision this past week. Coppell head coach Joe McBride was also involved in the decision process by answering many of Rice’s questions about what to look for in a program.

In the end, Rice’s decision did not come as much of a shock to the coach. “I was not surprised by his decision because he is a good player and a good student. He has a become a leader on the field and in


September 2010

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Solitary Senior: Hatton steps up Application process simplified as leader for volleyball team for student athlete standouts Lone 12th grader stars as solid player, worthy captain for the Cowgirls Sammy Robben Staff Writer

Four years ago, girls filled volleyball tryouts dreaming of playing volleyball throughout their high school careers, but they slowly faded away until there was one: senior Chandler Hatton. Hatton has gone through the early morning practices, late night games, and weekend tournaments for four years now, and she remains as the only senior on the varsity team. Despite all of her hard work, all of the friendships and fun she’s had has made it all worth it. “I just love everything about volleyball, I’ve always thought that it was fun and I love how it’s really hard and intense but it’s also kind of girly,” Hatton said. Hatton serves as a captain for the volleyball team, and head volleyball coach Sherri Hankins believes that her role as a leader has made Hatton an even stronger player. “Being captain has forced Chandler to get outside her comfort zone— her teammates had always known her as the player who brought humor, energy and lightened up any situation. Now, Chan has to help set expectations of her teammates and make sure that the team is following through with all responsibilities.  I have seen her focus, intensity, and maturity increase tremendously as she knows her teammates are counting on her to model teamwork and accountability,” Hankins said. Playing any sport in college is a huge commitment, but for Hatton, continuing to play is worth the work. She decided her sophomore year that she wanted to play in college because she knew she could push herself to higher expectations and to be good enough to play at the collegiate level. She has committed to play for Florida Atlantic University next year, and she couldn’t be more excited. “I know I’m going love it especially at Florida Atlantic when I went to FAU for the first time on a visit, I just fell in love with it. It was like love at first sight after I had met with the players who I bonded with right of the bat, and saw the campus and met teachers and administrators I went home and I just knew that that’s where I

Photo by Sammy Robben Senior Chandler Hatton, the only senior on the varsity Coppell volleyball roster, has emerged as a leader for the Cowgirls in 2010 through her solid play on the court and the example that she sets off of it.

wanted to go. Granted, its location does play a big role in my decision too, but I know that God wants me to play volleyball for FAU and that I belong there because if He didn’t then it wouldn’t have worked out,” Hatton said. Being a senior means more than having seniority and being the oldest, but it also means that you have to lead and be an example for every other player on the team. This can be a lot of pressure, but Hatton handles it well. She has led her team to a 20-6 record so far in 2010. “Chandler’s really positive on the court, and she’s a great leader. She always knows what to say to bring up the team,” sophomore Shelby Mason. Many of the other players also agreed Hatton is good at keeping a positive attitude. “All I do to lead the team is make smart decisions and I do the right thing because I know the team looks up to me and they’ll follow my example,” Hatton said. I also make it clear that if they need to talk or anything that I’m always there and I’ll always have their back as long as they’re right.” Being a leader and setting an example are not the only hard parts of being a senior and a captain ac-

cording to Chandler. Having the responsibility of your team’s actions can be a major challenge as well. “Bear [Bass], the other captain, and I have to take responsibility for the mistakes our teammates make. That’s probably the hardest part of being a captain,” Hatton said. Not everything about being the only senior is bad though, after waiting three years to be on top Hatton is finally the leader, and she has enjoyed the responsibility as the lone senior. “It’s fun knowing all the girls look up to me and they all respect me, so they know when I’m being serious and when I’m joking around,” Hatton said. “Also, being the only senior has forced me to get to know each teammate on a more personal level than our seniors knew us last year and because of that I love everyone on the team and we all know each other and love each other for the real us and that has helped us have fun and come together as a team, “ Hatton is leaving her mark on the Coppell volleyball program and showing everyone she can do it as the only senior on the roster.  

It is not a typical day of spring practice for the Cowboys football team. College scouts are on hand to judge the talent at CHS, and the players are not holding back. With no games scheduled for more than three months, the practice is intense, as the best players on offense are going up against the best on defense. Pressure is elevated for the players getting looked at by the university talent evaluators, and the countless all out practices throughout their careers are exhausting, but the tradeoff is undeniably worthwhile. A number of student athletes at Coppell have reaped the benefits of that tradeoff, already committing to colleges to play sports through scholarship offers. And for those players, the application process is considerably easier than it is for the hundreds of seniors at Coppell that are simply applying to schools. For most four year universities, the average student must fill out a resume, write at least two essays, submit standardized testing scores and obtain several letters of recommendation. Most student athletes that commit early, however, find that the requirements are far simpler. Take senior Adam Toth for example. Toth, who has already committed

to attend Baylor University to play baseball, admits that the steps for him to officially apply to Baylor are far reduced from what the school requires from a normal student. Toth will essentially be a Baylor Bear once he submits an online application to the university, and he does not anticipate being required to write essays or include letters of recommendation. Toth’s situation is not unusual at all for student athletes. And while the majority of the class of 2011 is slaving to complete their essays and groveling for sincere recommendation letters from their teachers at this time of year, a number of standout athletes from Coppell already have their college fates sealed due to scholarship offers and simplified application expectations. Two seniors, Tanner Rice and Nate Hruby, have agreed to play football and lacrosse, respectfully, at the Air Force Academy, and senior Brandon Mullins will attend Syracuse University for lacrosse. Senior Bennett Okotcha recently committed to play football at the University of Wisconsin, and senior Chioma Ubogagu made news last year when she accepted an offer to play soccer at Stanford University. And while all of these

schools expect different things from their committed players, senior offensive lineman Oni Omoile, who has received interest from several schools, believes that the process for applying will be simpler for these athletes than it is for regular students for at least one major reason. “The process is probably easier because the schools have already offered scholarships,” Omoile said. “People can narrow it down to that sole application and they don’t have to worry about applying to other schools. While colleges still require some sort of formal application from their committed athletes, the process for applying is undeniably simpler at most major universities. While this may not seem fair to the typical student, these perks are simply part of the tradeoff that standout athletes earn after years of honing their skills and maximizing their talents in order to be given the opportunity to be offered a scholarship.


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September 2010

Minden embraces role as starting quarterback, leader continued from pg. 1 throughout the season and being as prepared for each game as any of the Cowboy starters despite his unglamorous role. Moving into the starting role in 2010, Minden has embraced the opportunity to be the head of the offense. “It’s an honor to be able to lead my team,” Minden said. “There’s a lot to prepare for each week, and it feels good to help the team win.” This work ethic and preparation, in addition to an above average size of 6-1, 180 pounds and natural talent at the position, are what gave Coppell head football coach Joe McBride confidence in naming Minden as the head of his offense in 2010 and one of the four team captains. Following a promising spring and offseason, in which Minden emerged as a clear leader for the Cowboy offense, McBride is confident in what his new quarterback can do. “Joe is a real humble guy,” McBride said. “He is respected by the players, and his demeanor is really coach like and serious. So it is easy to feel good about his role as our quarterback and as a leader for our team.” In addition to these intangibles, Minden brings athleticism to the position. He possesses a strong throwing arm and consistent accuracy, completing 58 passes through two

Photo by Arden Radford Senior Joe Minden (left) has filled the role of starting quarterback admirably, leading Coppell to a 3-0 record so far this season.

games. This bodes well for the Coppell spread offense, as Minden will be able to show off his arm by making a number of throws over the middle of the field as well as deep down the sidelines. Minden kicked off his career as a starter with an impressive debut against Mesquite Horn in the 2010 season opening game. Completing 14 of 22 passes, the Coppell quarterback passed for 140 yards and did not turn the ball over in a 13-0 Cowboys victory. He followed that up with two even better perfor-

mances against Arlington and Jesuit, throwing for six touchdowns and bringing his season total of passing yards to 693. Minden projects to remain successful in the Coppell offensive system through the season, although it is difficult to avoid questions on how well he will be able to replace last year’s standout quarterback, Hayden Hawk. Hawk earned the Offensive Most Valuable Player award for District 6-5A following a dynamic season in which he threw for 3,408 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Despite this, the Cowboys are not counting on Minden to replicate Hawk’s season. Rather, the Coppell coaching staff is confident that their new quarterback will be able to develop into an effective player on his own and be one of the key cogs on the potentially high powered Cowboy offense. “[The coaches] don’t

really talk much about replacing Hayden,” Minden said. They have shown that they are confident in what I can do. I just need to play to the best of my ability and

be a leader for the team.” Minden spent the majority of his summer preparing for the 2010 season, attending daily workouts at the Velocity camp at Coppell High School and dedicating two weeks in August to two-a-day football practices. The new Coppell pass thrower also was able to build stronger relationships with his receivers, as he quarterbacked the Coppell 7-on-7 team to the quarterfinals of state tournament. The quarterback’s de-

votion to the team has been evident not only to the coaches but to the players as well, as they have been impressed by his work ethic and drive. “Joe has invested a lot into this program the last four years,” senior running back Cam McDaniel, who serves as a captain alongside Minden, said. “He has worked as hard as, if not harder than anyone on this team. He has proven himself to be a worthy leader for our offense this year.” Despite having a new quarterback at the head of the Coppell offensive, McBride’s offensive system will be very similar to that of last years. Minden believes that the biggest changes during the season will be through the offense making adjustments and improving from week to week. “[The offensive system] is going to be the same,” Minden said. “We are trying to be more balanced with passing and rushing. We have to learn from our mistakes [each game] to be a more wellrounded and dangerous offense.” The Cowboys have showed versatility on offense this season with big performances both running and passing the ball. Coppell knows that Minden will need to be a key piece to the puzzle if they are to win games, and they are confident that their new quarterback is up to the challenge.

Cross country team looks to run to top of new district Mike Pankonien Staff Writer

It is 100 degrees outside, and the Coppell Cross Country team is dripping in sweat. Some of them have been running through Coppell every summer like this for four years now; for others, it is their first summer with the team enduring the sun’s rays. The team has been running mornings three times a week over the summer, training for both new and old members alike. “Every workout has been leading up to [this year],” senior boys captain Hunter Heaton said. “[The boys team] finished last at district last year, so we’ve been trying to bring it this year so we can break out of district.” With the team running strong at 89 members, both the girls’ and the boys’ teams are working to prepare for the upcoming season. While the boys’ varsity is made up of mostly seniors and juniors, the girls’ varsity team is made up of only two juniors with the rest being sophomores and

freshmen. Star senior runner Kim Kirby, who qualified for all-state last season, fell ill at the beginning of summer and has only recently begun to recover her wind for the season. “We’re taking [Kirby’s recovery] slow,” coach Roxanne Farris said. “We’re listening to the doctors, and hopefully she’ll be

able to run with us soon.” Early morning runs have replaced the thrice weekly runs that the team did in the summer. Meeting up at the school at 6:30 a.m., the team can be seen running throughout Coppell until 8:30 a.m. “As the summer ends and the season starts, the workouts get more intense,”

senior captain Ashley Rea said. “We have a bunch of great new runners, so we’re hoping to be starting strong this season.” The team competed in the Greenhill Relays at Norbuck Park on Aug. 21. While the relay itself is a mile and a half per runner, which is half the distance of a typical meet, it does

provide a good warm-up for returning runners and a good preview for new runners. “I think [the meet] went well,” Heaton said. “The team’s worked hard over the summer and they were able to see it pay off at the meet. The atmosphere is a lot less intense than a normal meet so it gives our

Photo courtesy Paul Osiecki The CHS cross country boys (above) for Coppell are primarily upperclassmen, where the Cowgirls feature a younger cast of runners

new runners a chance to get used to the environment of a high school meet one step at a time.” At cross country meets, the top four boys and the top four girls are placed on the first teams: the elite boy’s team and the elite girls team. The next best four runners are placed on the varsity teams, varsity boys and varsity girls. The rest of the runners are placed on junior varsity teams for the meet. Running on the Boys Elite team was senior Jordan Williams, senior Travis Huffmaster, senior Grant Vlahos and junior Weston Sandfort. On the Girls Elite were junior Kaleigh Ervin, sophomore Jenna Hernandez, sophomore Katie Sandfort and junior Natalie Sisk. At the Greenhill meet, the elite boys team came in 18th and the varsity boys came in 21st. The elite girls came in fifth and the varsity girls came in 14th. “The team’s set a goal of what they want to do,” Farris said. “Now it’s just up to them to achieve it.”


September 2010

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Golf boys eye more success in tournaments in 2010 Winning three of his summer tournaments, Staff Writer Robinson has indeed begun This past weekend the to lead by example for the boy’s golf team hit the links rising players. It seems his for the first time since last success has been contagious spring season, kicking off as sophomores Landon the upcoming fall string of Moody and Albert Lo also both have a summer victory tournaments. A multitude of se- entering this fall session. Lo, a freshman stand niors graduated last year, leaving the team fairly in- out a year ago, starts the fall experienced and searching season off with a major setfor new leadership. Gradu- back. Over the summer Lo ates like Leo Griggs, Blake suffered a lower leg injury, Van Patten and Ben Cog- keeping him off the course gins handed the team over for most of the fall season. to fourth year varsity golfer Accompanying Lo on the senior Hunter Robinson as disabled list is junior Auswell as senior Troy Hanson. tin Ansley who underwent Robinson, with loads surgery and also looked to of experience, embraces his spend time on varsity this new role and looks forward season. Boys’ coach Terry to the new season. In addi- Galbraith says he will need tion to golf, Robinson plays production out of these inpoint guard for the school’s experienced golfers once basketball team, giving him they return if they want to familiarity as a leader vo- be successful. “We have a great deal cally and by example. Robinson looks forward to this of potential for this team, season not only as a chance but not much experience at to improve his own game the varsity level,” said Galbut more importantly to braith. “If [the young golfers] can step up under tourhelp the young golfers. “I will try to be en- nament pressure I think couraging and supportive as this team will do very well.” To do well, these well as leading by example,” Robinson said. “I will try to Cowboy golfers must work keep it light so the young together, collectively, in guys don’t worry about the what is usually an indipressure. I want to make it vidual affair. Last fall, the feel like a true team sport.” varsity team was unsuccess-

Adam Bremner

ful in achieving their aspirations, however, this year, senior golfer Troy Hanson is assuring what will be the benchmark of their new team. “Our goal is to qualify and play well at regionals,” Hanson said. “If Hunter and I provide the right leadership, we should be able to reach our goal.” In the first steps toward their objective, the Cowboys participated in the Bart Granger Memorial tournament Sept. 17th through the 19th, with the team finishing 40th at the event. Since varsity can only have a maximum of five players per tournament, Coach Galbraith selected sophomores Alex Garcia and Daniel Dickens, junior Wesley Vohs and senior Grant Brown as well as Robinson to represent the team. The Cowboy golfers will continue the fall season Sept. 24th when the team takes the course for the Red Raider Raider Classic in Lubbock. This tournament is essentially a regional preview; a first look at what stands in the way for the team’s pursuit of a regional title. Additionally to Robinson and Hanson, Galbraith will send out ju-

Photo by Jack Ficklen Junior Austin Ansley takes a swing at Coppell’s Riverchase golf course at an after school practice.

nior Kevin Dunham along with sophomores Landon Moody and Jacob Hunter. This tournament will ultimately set the tone for the season ahead, testing the young players in strenuous competition. At the end of the day, the fall season is more of a

pre-season to what comes in the spring. Nonetheless, Galbraith really wants to get everything out of this opportunity as he possibly can. His aspiration is to see if the inexperienced golfers will be able to step up when the team needs them the most.

In other words, the team’s immaturity will rely heavily on the seniors leadership, especially that of Robinson. The Coppell Cowboys golf team will go through growing pains, but by spring, the players hope to be taking form into a dynamic and jointed team.

12 34 56789 Coppell High School October 2010 Varsity Sports Schedule




Wednesday Thursday


Volleyball: Denton Guyer at HOME 6:30 Football: Denton Guyer at HOME 7:30


Volleyball: Keller Fossil Ridge at Fossil Ridge 6:30

Volleyball: Keller at Keller 6:30

Football: Keller Fossil Ridge at Fossil Ridge 7:30

10111213141516 17181920212223 Volleyball: Southlake at HOME 6:30

Volleyball: Keller Central at Keller Central 6:30

Football: Southlake at HOME 7:30

Volleyball: Justin Northwest at Northwest 6:30

Volleyball: Saginaw at HOME 6:30

Football: Justin Northwest at Northwest 7:30

30 242526272829 31 Volleyball: Denton Guyer at Denton Guyer 6:30

Football: Keller at Keller 7:30

the sidekick

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September 2010

“Oh, snap!”

The first few weeks of CHS in photos

AUG 27 SEPT 10 Senior Richard Song performs with his dance group against the teachers at the first pep rally. Photo by Brian Hwu.

CHS students show off their school spirit during the 2010 homecoming pep rally. Photos by Aditi Shrikant and Brian Hwu.

AUG 24

The Red Jackets and the PTSO teamed up with the CHS staff to host a luncheon to welcome new students to the district. Photo by Jack Ficklen.


Art teacher Tamera Westervelts’ students work on their creative projects during sixth period. Photo by Aditi Shrikant.

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