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Dec. 2006 Smoke Signals Issue 2

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  • 1. Have I taught you? Match the teacher with the baby picture and win $25 Visa gift card. December 2006 www.katherinefugate.com Issue 2 Life & Stlye PT Focus Signals Smoke Volume 38 Stressing over gift giving this holiday season? Stress-less, See page 10. Girls’ tennis swings in PIAA gold Kaitlin Houser Editor-In-Chief Peters Township Girls Tennis Team captured the PIAA title on Saturday, October 28, 2006, at the Hershey Racquet Club. Freshman Julie Stroyne upset undefeated Junior Kristen Roth of Lower Marion, with a score of 6-4 to 7-5. The team defeated the six-year champions of Lower Marion to move on to their final match against Shady Side Academy. The team conquered the Class AAA WPIAL champion of Shady Side Academy with a score 3-2. Sophomore Allison Riske defeated Shady Side’s Lauren Greco with a score of 6-2 to 6-1. The first matches were against Upper Dublin and Lower Merion who were previous state rivals. Doubles teams Greta Shepardson and Kaitlin Mininger and Haylee Gardner and Kaitlyn Stroyne were defeated. Although the two doubles teams were defeated, junior Emily Palko was victorious in her last singles match. Previously unknown in the tennis world, Peters defeated Lower Merion to take home the gold. The team’s impressive season ended with 19 wins and one loss. Junior Emily Palko said, “As much as it is an individual sport, it is definitely a team sport when pulling out a win.” This was the first year that the team ever made it to states. The team was pumped for the rematch against the only team they had lost to, Shady Side Academy. Photo by Judy Eltschlager Peters who? Girls’ varsity tennis team posed for a celebratory photo on the court at Hershey Racquet Club after winning the PIAA State Championship. They had a strong lineup and were determined to win the gold when they made it to states. The team held “depth” with a strong team and season. The team prepared themselves for the game by listening to their iPods. During the tennis matches, Peters Township displayed the most support for their players by being the loudest to cheer. Senior Captain Danica Sheth said, “This is the first year that we all really got along. Our personalities really meshed and we always had a blast! I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of such a great team.” On the bus ride home, the team celebrated the win by listening to music and dancing in the aisles. Julie Stroyne said, “It was fun playing with such a good team and I’m looking forward to next year.” The team held a get together sleepover to celebrate their gold win in states. The PIAA champs were proud to display their gold metals as the first girls’ tennis team from Peters ever to make it to states. Boys’ soccer advances to PIAA playoffs Emily Bigley Index Feature Are you being awarded for your academic success? Full list on pages 4 & 5 Opinion Does your family have a strange holiday tradition? Read how the rest of the world celebrates. Full story on page 3 Voices What’s Santa’s best feature? Voices, page 12 Sports Writer The boys battled their way through WPIAL – Sections 5 (AAA), compiled a (10-1-1) record, and were crowned section champions. As the boys breezed through WPIAL playoffs by defeating Shaler (3-0), Pine-Richland (1-0), and Butler (4-3), one thing remained on their minds: “Nothing Else Matters.” “When we’re on the field, nothing else truly matters except winning,” said senior defender Garrett McLean. Although the boys suffered a difficult loss to Bethel Park(1-2) in the WPIAL final game, winning remained on their minds as they entered the PIAA State playoff tournament. During the first round of the PIAA Class AAA State Playoffs, the boys beat State College High School (2-0). The season came to a close in the quarterfinal game when the boys succumbed to Manheim Township (01). Although Manheim Township defeated PT, there was no reason for the boys to hang their heads; they accomplished a lot this season. Seniors Garrett McLean, Kevin Schaeffer, Chris Koenig, sophomores Ryan Koepka, Greg Weimer, Christian Brandstetter, Cody Partyka, Tim Hutchins, Nick Wilcox, and freshman Nate Troscinski. The Peters Township “When we’re on the field, nothing else truly matters except winning.” Senior Garrett McLean Noone, Ryan Gaudy, Phil Troscinski, and junior Pat Russo led this year’s squad. Other members of the team include seniors Ryan Hartz, Kevin Danchisko, Mike Hnat, Alex Pitts, juniors Jason Chiappino, Mark Majoras, Shane Pruitt, Mark Lacy, Zach High School Boys’ soccer team had a very unique routine that tied in with the book Gates of Fire (dealing with the Trojan War). How does the Trojan War relate to soccer? It’s quite simple. Each member of the team wore two bracelets on their wrists, much like members of the Trojan army wore two bands on their wrists. Both bracelets that the boys wore were inscribed with the words, “Nothing Else Matters.” Before the start of each game, the boys removed one bracelet from their wrist symbolizing that “Nothing Else Matters” except winning the game at hand. During the war, men in the Trojan army would remove the band that represented everything else in their lives (i.e. family, friends, etc.) and continue to wear the band that symbolized winning and fighting. After the battle, the men received their second band back and were able to return to their families. Just like the Trojans, the boys collected their second bracelet back at the close of each game and returned to reality.
  • 2. News J. Berardino A. Czajkowski A. Nepa R. Wunderlich Domestic Violence and Abuse: Stats, Types, and Signs Outside Ashley Czajkowski Staff Writer Michael J. Fox stirred up controversy during the recent Senatorial elections by appearing as spokesperson for Claire McCaskill, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. Fox, a longtime sufferer of Parkinson’s disease, appeared in a commercial in support of her stance concerning stem cell research. Rush Limbaugh, a notoriously conservative talk show host, stated that in Fox’s commercial, in which he trembles and his speech is slurred, Fox was, “exaggerating the effects of the disease... He’s moving all around and shaking, and it’s purely an act.” Attacks carried out by Iraqi insurgents against U.S. troops in Iraq reached an all time high in late 2006. In October, CNN was “under fire” when it aired video clips showing militant Iraqi shooting at American soldiers. The U.S. government claimed that CNN aided the undergroud propaganda movement in Iraq because the footage showed a capable enemy while the U.S. soldiers appeared to be sitting ducks. PsychologyToday.com recently released a statement saying that a diet lacking in Omega-3 fatty acids could be cause for depression. Apparently, Omega3’s, a polysaturated fat, can help maintain the fatty membranes that relay signals from cell to cell. Scientists also estimate that two-thirds of the brain is made up of fatty acids that come from foods people eat. The U.S. has created their own version of the popular encyclopedia known as “Wikipedia,” asserting that an open website like Wikipedia is the future of American espionage. Called “Intellipedia”, the site allows government officials and intelligence officers to maintain an easily searched database with varying degrees of classified information. According to U.S. official John Negroponte, the site now has 3,600 registered users. Smoke Signals Smoke Signals is produced seven times during a school year by the students of Media II,III, IV Journalism and extracurricular staff at Peters Township High School, 264 E. McMurray Road, McMurray PA 15317. Telephone: 724-941-6250 x.5379. E-mail: sitlern@pt-sd.org. Commentaries, reviews, and opinion columns are the expressed opinion of the author and not of Smoke Signals, its adviser or the Peters Township School District. Member of the Pennsylvania School Press Association. Co-Editors in Chief Kaitlin Houser Rachel Horensky Kara Krawiec Layout Editor Catherine McCarron News Editor Angelina Nepa Life & Style Editor Colleen Counihan Opinion Editor Brittany Beyer Sports Editor Sean-Paul Mauro Marketing Editiors Emily Bigley Nick Sikora Staff Writers Jessica Berardino, Bill Berry, Emily Bigley, Ashley Czajkowski, Garrett Dennis, Drew Karpen, Sean Naccarelli, Chris Portz, Derek Redding, Brendan Sikora, Nick Sikora, Renee Wunderlich Layout Team Megan Enscoe, Katie Gavlick, Stephanie Gillece, Lisa Lerario, Adviser Nicole Sitler Family Violence Statistics concluded that there were approximately 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members each year from 1998 to 2002. However, only about three in five incidents were reported to police. Although these numbers were men and women combined, the statistics toward violence against women alone was even steeper. Each year, roughly three million women are assaulted by their partner. One in four women have been abused at some point in her life. Research by the (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) NSPCC indicated that “most violence occurred at home, (78%) and 40- 60% of men who abuse women also abuse their children”. An estimated 100 million children per year may witness or be victims of violence. This exposure could lead to an enormous public health problem. Childhood exposure to violence (CEV) has an desvastating impact on children’s development. It’s known for affecting emotional growth, physical health, and school performance. “CEV has been significantly linked with increased depression, anxiety, anger, alcohol and drug abuse, and with decreased academic achievement,” stated the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence. Domestic violence consists of abuse including physical abuse, verbal and nonverbal abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, economic abuse or financial abuse, and spiritual abuse. The types of abuse may be more obvious than the signs and symptoms. Signs to look out for are fear of a partner or family member a large percentage of the time; feeling that there is nowhere to turn for help; feeling a loss of love or respect toward a partner or family member, etc. Presently, more data on abuse has been collected from low-income than middle and upper income families. This does not necessarily affirm that domestic violence is more common among poor families than wealthier ones, only that the population most available for study is primarily low-income. Domestic violence occurs in all cultures. People of all races, ethnicities, and religions can be perpetrators of domestic violence. Domestic violence is commited by, and on, both men and women, and occurs in any type of relationship. Fortunately, family violence declined by about half from 1996 to 2006, mirroring the overall drop in all violent crime during the same time period. Still, family violence as a proportion of all violent crime remained constant during the decade. Deceitful Dictator’s Downfall Garrett Dennis Staff Writer “Remember, remember the 5th of November,” which not only is a quote from V for Vendetta, but also marked the day that Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging for the execution of 148 Shiites. The trial was held in Iraq, and the case is currently under review for appeal. Saddam, the former dictator of Iraq for two decades was the cause of many executions and hostile attacks. His own citizens feared him, but none of them dared to oppose him. A former Iraqi diplomat, living in exile described Hussein’s rule, “Saddam is a dictator, who is ready to sacrifice his country, just so long as he can remain on his throne in Baghdad,” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/). Not only was Hussein aggressive toward his own country, but also towards others such as Kuwait. In 1990, Hussein invaded Kuwait because Iraq owed debts to them. He saw Kuwait as an easy target to hit because of its size, and also the best way to get out of debt. His hostility toward people and nations he believe to be “inferior” than him was not tolerated in the United States. Most Iraqis feel confident that Hussein shall be executed by the end of the year, but others are protesting against the verdict. President Bush believes that his death will be a large step in eliminating the tyrant rule in Iraq. Change might occur with the recent “resignation” of Donald Rumsfeld and the Democratic control of Congress. The day Hussein was sentenced was, and still is, “a 5th of November that will never be forgot.” Sandwich versus saxophone Renée Wunderlich Staff Writer Dr. Hajzus enacted a lunch procedure, stating all students who formerly had a lunch period scheduled the same time as band, choir, or any related class must now eat in the cafeteria. One hundred eleven students were affected by this procedure with the majority being participants in music department programs such as band and choir. “I think it’s a waste of time to stay so long in the cafeteria. I would rather not eat than not practice. Music means too much,” said student musician Dave Sheppard. Contrarily, Hajzus stated, “This procedure restores order, putting the school’s best interests in mind. Students paroling hallways is unacceptable. Besides, having nine full class periods everyday (which most of these students do) is tragic- it can lead to stress, anxiety, and mental health problems,” said Hajzus. Music students have expressed that they felt that they were being targeted in efforts to have them reschedule their daily routines to replace their former music class(es). They also articulated a sense of insecurity with the fact that their future in the programs offered by the Music Department has yet to be officially determined. Brian Medvid, senior saxophone player, said, “Maybe I don’t want to be a professional (musician), but band has played a significant part in making me who I am.” “Music isn’t a class getting in the way of lunch,” said sophomore Drew Calliguri, “It’s a way of life and free expression. I think I speak for the whole Music Department when I say that we feel we are being punished for expressing ourselves.” Mrs. Fox and Dr. Dell met with Dr. Hajzus to discuss possibilities to resolve this issue. The music department has currently settled on a resolution to allow students without lunches to leave the last 10-15 minutes of class to go the cafeteria to eat their lunches.
  • 3. Opinion B. Beyer Christmas: foreign translations Sean Naccerelli Opinion Writer Well it’s that special holiday time of year again: preheat the oven, stuff the turkey, and dust off the good ol’ voice box for Christmas carols. I know Christmas dinner doesn’t compare to Thanksgiving (sorry Mom), but I’m still looking forward to it. I’m sure we all have our favorite Christmas dinner entrées. Just to let you know, Mama Naccarelli’s cheesy potatoes are to die for. But, many people don’t know what other countries to do celebrate Christmas. Christmas dinner is often a barbecue in Kenya. Wow, the United States’ standards are definitely rubbing off on the rest of the world. I can see it now: George Foreman whippin’ me up a gourmet Kenyan dinner on his Foreman grill. Let’s book those plane tickets to Kenya. At Christmas dinner in Britain, plum pudding is served with little treasures hidden inside that bring their finders good luck. I’d be the one whose little treasure was a hammer that would be clogged somewhere between my esophagus and my heart. No thank-you. But on the bright side, Britain was the first country to hang up mistletoe. On the down side, I usually find myself under the mistletoe while my mom is right near me. I love you Mom. “ G. Dennis In Italy, it is tradition to make lentil soup. This peasant soup reminds Italians of their humble beginnings. I mean I definitely like eating soup that reminds me of the days I was a bum on the street, but I’ll stick to Campbell’s Chunky. In Austria, the Christ Child brings presents and the Christmas tree for the children. As long as the Christ Child doesn’t “forget” to bring my new video game, Austria is fine by me. In Lebanon, a month before Christmas, families plant seeds of grain in pots. When Christmas arrives they have little pots of green to place around the tree, which is centered in the Christmas-decorated cave. Now that’s very cute, a family planting seeds for Christmas. And people say getting a new car for Christmas is great; plant a seed! In Ireland, kids leave pie and a bottle of Guinness as a snack for Santa. Luckily, Santa is of legal age. And, at least he’s got a great-designated driver for the sleigh ride home; thanks Rudolph. In Czech Republic, people believe that Christmas Eve has a certain magic that can let you see your future. I can predict my future for writing this article: a lump of coal? (Traditions taken from northpole.net) S. Naccarelli N. Sikora Your Opinion on Christmas Traditions My family comes over to my house on Christmas and we all go down to the barn and either ride or clean the horses, while most of the women cook dinner. Kayla Johnson ‘08 I celebrate my birthday on Christmas day! Laura Moore ‘09 My Aunt and I take a road trip every year to Philadelphia to visit family. Katie Fife ‘10 I’m going to Disney World this year! I hope it will become a tradition. Faults of facebook Rachel Horensky Co-Editor-in-Chief Facebook is a social networking service for high school, college , university, corporate, non-profit communities. As of December 2005, it had the largest number of registered users with over 7.5 million college student accounts created. An additional 20,000 new accounts are being created daily. It is the number one site for photos with 2.3 million photos uploaded daily, and is the seventh most trafficked site in the United States (Wikipedia). Facebook has become a popular site where people can chat, send messages and view pictures of each other, but at what costs? Lately, there has been controversy surrounding Facebook. For fear that Facebook may attract stalkers like MySpace, high schools around the country have begun to block the site from student users. Colleges and universities view their students’ Facebook profiles to investigate underage drinking and violations of dry campus policies. Students do not realize that Facebook is a diary of their activities and the activities are illustrated when pictures are posted on the site. They also do not realize that these pictures can implicate them. “College administrators are known to troll the profiles on Facebook for evidence of illegal behavior by students,” said Christine Rosen who works at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington (Wikipedia). Students have lost privileges, scholarships and leadership positions because colleges have found proof through their pictures that they were drinking. For example, students at Northern Kentucky University were charged with code violations when a keg was seen in a dorm-room picture. Students need to realize that everyone can see what they put on the Internet, and that they should keep their pictures off because people, including their own peers, will turn them in. Facebook controversy is now going one step further. Before hiring employees, employers have begun to explore Facebook in order to get an idea of the person they are hiring. People have not gotten jobs because Mrs. Kowalczyk, nurse their profiles show them drinking at parties or using vulgar language toward others. When the consequences are weighed, uploading pictures for people to look at does not outweigh the penalties of being found guilty of violating rules. Though Facebook is fun to be on, it can really affect people’s futures. People need to be aware of who views their profiles and censure what they put on the Internet. Nick Sikora We open our Christmas presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. Carly Reschick ‘07 He Said vs. She Said Brittany Beyer What is the best gift you’ve ever given? A squeaky dog toy. I gave it to my brother when he was five. I didn’t know that people made toys for dogs at the time. I was embarrassed. I adopted a penguin at the Pittsburgh Zoo for my boyfriend. You can adopt any animal at the zoo for different lengths of time and amounts of money. Depending on how much you spend you receive different benefits. Seriously, no on will expect it! What is the best give you’ve ever received? $50 in $2 bills. It wasn’t useful at all, but that’s not the point. The best gift I ever received was a record player. It’s probably twenty some years old but it still plays amazing and it was what I wanted more than anything. What is the best gift to get for a guy/girl? Tickets to a BCS Bowl. The only thing that could be better than watching the Orange Bowl over Christmas break would be being in Florida and watching the game from the stands. Girls are all different so it’s difficult to pinpoint one specific item. But if you really want to surprise her listen closely months before Christmas. She will drop subtle hints about something she would want. If you can pick up on the hints then you will win her over. What is the best way to present a gift? EBAY. Wrapped! Neatly! I would like to receive a gift from a guy that doesn’t look like a mangled ball of tape and ribbon.
  • 4. Congratulations Certificate Kohne, Jody Alescio, Carlie Cotugno, Stephanie Kradel, Sarah Come, Nina Egan, Alexandra Barbati, Alexa John Counihan, Brendan Kriston, Brian Barrett, Mary Cronin, Elisabeth Kronket, Caitlyn Czajkowski, Ashley Kuzy, Autumn Laubach, Kerriann Eltschlager, Heidi Locher, Geoff Lovell, Curry Machin, James Forbrich, Alison MacKay, Kimberly Blank, Elizabeth Gardner, Alexis Boccardi, Emily Garry, Megan Andrew Madalena, Malanos, Zachary Bowler, William Glovier, Megan Malencia, Michael B r a n d s t e t t e r , Grech, Sarah Marlett, Melanie Mathews, Ryan Christian Brickner, Kellie Gregory, Sean Mauer, Lindsay o f Broglie, Julia Grisnik, Emily Maydak, Laura Brown, Kathleen McCracken, Julie Hall, Annemarie Bryan, Bernadette Halo, Kathrine McGraw, Carrie McLean, Michael Hancherick, Mitchell c N a m a r a , M Margaret Bryan, Stephanie Burg, Kevin Hanlon, Andrew Caliguiri, Drew Hareza, Jack Medvid, Carl Metz, Anthony Campbell, William Hartbauer, Kory Milavec, Megan C a r b o n a r a , Hayes, Brian Miller, Erin Adrianna Miller, Madeline Carone, Nick Heaps, Rebecca Miller, Steven Higgins, Samantha Miller, Taylor Casaday, Ryan Castillo, Danielle Houser, Michael Ceccarelli, Nicholas Ignatius, Jamison Moran, Melinda Joyce, Morgan Murphy, Brendan Chiste, Samantha Kaushik, Charanya Nerone, Katherine Rothhaar, Jessica Trier, Emily Letter Aaron, Dana Anderson, Robert Banas, Stephen Barna, Sara Beggs, Chelsea Bergmann, Calvin Bittner, Michele Blackman, Brooke Boehme, Benjamin Bonneau, Pamela Broglie , Justin Brouwer, Derek Burkhardt, Grant Buzard, Kaitlyn Carbonara, Melissa Carey, Janel Carone, Megan Caso, Taylor Cassano, Larissa Cicero, Adrienne Creehan, MacKenzie Debowski, Michael Nicholson, Jared Ciancarelli, Aimee Kennedy, Mackenzie Oliver, Trevor Cody, William Kerner, Alexandra Conley, Justin Matthis, Erin Rotunda, Alyson Bianco, Benjamin Fink, Reina Bigley, Jenna Flanigan, Kelly Koerner, William Meadows, Tyler Benbourenane,E s t e r h u i z e n , Kristelle 2008 LoCastro, Nicole Hunter, Christina of 2 0 0 9 Economou, Joseph Lewis, Kara Beel, Christopher Gove, Brittany Hoyt, Daniel Beck, Christopher DiGnazio, John Bozic, Stephanie Goozdich, Class Devine, Danielle Amine Galiano, Brittany Gabrielle Batanian, Kiel Bell, Hilary Fletcher, Edan Freyder, Kelly Christian C l a s s Allen, Michael Berry, William Aprahamian, Kevin Correal, Emily Bardzil, Certificate Koepka, Ryan OMalley, Timothy P a h o u n t i s , Deiley, Jacqueline Deluca, Alexa Diamond, Elias DiVella, Michael Dodds, Lindsay
  • 5. Academic Awards Recipients Greenawald, Lee Pfeifer, Rebecca Phelan, Emilia Beazley, Christine Heuer, Jacqueline Bellan, Katrina Hollot, Olivia Horensky, Rachel Beyer, Brittany Houser Pitts, Alexander Plachecki, Gregory , Kaitlin Popovich, John Bianco, Michael Hull, Abigail Bossong, Katie Michael Portz, Christopher Bowes, Stephanie James, Gregory Bozic, Jennifer Jasek, Christine Radke, Alexander Brace, Channing Kean, Victoria Rafferty, Brianna 2007 Ferrara, Phillip Fletcher, Hadas Gallagher, Kelsey Ganick, Katherine Gardner, Haylee Getto, Christine Getz, Abby Giovannitti, Annelyse Greer, Daniel Hammell, Lauren Hanson, Nathaniel Hartenbach, Kathryn Heaps, Katie Heilmann, Justin Heldman, Renee Hess, Anne Hilzendeger, John Hough, Robert Huber, Kayla Hughes, Christian Irwin, Mary Tristan Jacobs, Meghan Jankowski, Delanie Jarrett, Michael Jewison, Christopher Johnson, Bethany Kaecher, Heather Kartik, Noelle Kipling, Allison Klaja, Jordan Knoll, Brighid Kocher, Alexander Sam, Alex Koenig, Christopher Scarberry, Jacquelyn Schaefer, Zachary Kolan, Daniel Schneider, Krak, Jonathan Brandon Lacey, Maura Seguiti, Gina Lacy, Mark Sestrich, Kristen Lang, Valerie Latinovich, Lauren Shultz, Stephanie Smith, Machel, Sasha Magreni, Angelina Matthew Smore, Stephanie Majoras, Mark Stanik, Megan Manning, Bridget Marks, Kristin Steeber, Charles Plaques Adams, Cassandra Grech, Andrew Brandstetter, Emily Kennedy, Patrick Knell, Jeffery Rawlings, Alan Reis, Jennifer Browell, Robyn Kohne, Brandi Bucey, Matthew Komoroski, Adam Reschick, Carly Burke, Dylan Kostak, Brent Rike, Michelle Burzotta, Jessica Krak, Justin Ritter, Rebecca Camus, Kelly Kruljac Letter , Jaclyn Carey, Ryan Leech, Emily Cichowicz, Rachel Lindberg, Savannah Clark, Kaitlyn Clements, MacCumbee, Allison Christopher Colletti , Anna Maher, Patrick Marie Maize, Aaron Counihan, Colleen Makowski, Kerstin of Matthews, Joshua McAllister, Clayton McNeal , Kathryn Milanese, Matthew Mitchell, Carl Moore, Allison Nepa, Angelina Neville, David Nicholson, Rebecca Nitschmann, Natalie Olawski, Zachary Oleynik, Alexandra O’Rourke, Chelsie Palamides, Natalie Palko, Emily Paterra, Julianna Paul, Rebekah Peranteau, Stephen Percival, Robert Ponte, Elena Porco, Tyler Quinlan, Kevin Radolec, Mackenzy Rauch, Thomas Rider, James Roberson, Caitlyn Rodgers-Melnick, Samuel Rosky, Rebecca Ross, Peter Rothaar, Peter Fornear, Ryan Jarosh, Bryan Kuzy, Nicholas Morosco, Danielle Paul, Daniel Renne, Alexis Rothhaar, Bruce Venanzi, Paige Williams, Evan Makrinos, Stephen Certificate Malencia, Veronica Cover, Chelsea Ali, Lauren D’Abarno, Anthony Danchisko, Kevin Arnoni, Kiersten DiPaolo, Andrew Mauro, Sean-Paul Chen, Jing Dolcich, Matthew McCarron, Fortna, Benjamin Donolo Catherine Helba, Julianna McMenamin, Paige Hyman, Lea , Nathan Class Doran, Jennifer Eisengart, Paige Elderkin, Christina Ellis, Carolyn Eskew, Ryan Fazio, Nicholas Earley, Sarah Easoz, Samuel Jackson, Paul McNamara, Harold Ehland, Erica Faber, Jessica Krivacek, Leigha Miller, Merrill Fletcher, Marianne Mininger, Kaitlin B. Foglia, Emily Monaco, Jessica Galatic Joyce, Mary Kate Moore, Garrison , Kayla Norton, Emily Olivo, Alexandra Gaudy, Ryan Ondeck, Matthew Giesey, Lauren O’Neil, Matthew Glicksman, Paul, Rachel Benjamin Perhach, Sarah Matthis, Christopher Matthis, John Matthis, Russell Nee, Sarah Nettles, Charles Petrozza, Luke Piedmonte, Taylor Stevans, Hollyann Sweeney, Megan Tenison, Sarah
  • 6. From Christmas pa Match the teacher with his/her baby picture and turn in completed form to Mrs. Sitler in Room A114 by December 11th for your chance to win a $25.00 Visa gif t card. 8. 5. 2. 3. 9. 6. 4. 10. 7.
  • 7. ast. . . Na m e : 1. G ra d e : H o m e Ro o m : Ma t c h t h e t ea c h e r wi t h t h ei r n u m b e r : 11. 14. M r. Ba st o s M r s . B e c kj o rd M r s . B o ni M r s . De li e re M s . Do n a ti 12. M r s . Fri c k 15. M r. H o u s e r M s . Ko b e d a M r. Ku h n M s . M cI n t o s h M s . M c Ke n n a M r s . M o r ri st o n M s . O’C o n n o r 16. M r s . Pi n t o M r s . Si t l e r 13. M r. S u s s m a n R e t u r n t o M r s . Si t l e r i n Ro o m A1 by 14 De c e m b e r 1 h , 20 0 6 1t
  • 8. ro Sp extra p int Connor Tarwater & Sean-Paul Mauro Em ily Bigley rts z au Sean-Paul M Chris Port Hard work produces high hopes Sports Editors Derek Redding What’s the Greatest Rivalry in Sports? CT: Without question, the greatest rivalry in sports is between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Though over the years the Yankees have dominated the Red Sox for the most part, it is still the most passionate rivalry in all of sports. SM: Not even close. The Yankees and Red Sox have the most overrated rivalry in sports, but not the best. That title belongs to the Michigan – Ohio State rivalry. Every year, so much is on the line for this game. Take this past year; number one Ohio State verses number two Michigan was arguably the biggest game in college football history. No matter what the records are between the two teams (which are usually very good), this game is for all the marbles, each and every single year. CT: Though the Yankees have an advantage as far as all time wins in the series and World Series championships, that’s what makes the rivalry intense. It is a combination of the Yankees success and the frustration of the Red Sox. USA Today and Sports Illustrated both described the rivalry as the “fiercest rivalry in sports.” SM: ESPN ranks the Michigan – Ohio State rivalry as the best in all of sports. Almost every single year, “The Game,” as it is referred to usually means a trip to Pasadena, CA, for the most storied Bowl Game in all of College Football – The Rose Bowl. The winged helmet of Michigan, the O-H-I-O made by the Ohio State band – so much tradition. Also, what makes this rivalry better than the Yanks – Sox rivalry is the fact that it’s played only once a year. The Yankees and Red Sox play games that are meaningless throughout the season. The Michigan – Ohio State happens once, and is always meaningful for the entire college football nation. CT: Meaningless games throughout the season? This shows you have no idea what you are talking about. Anyone with common sense knows that every single Yankees-Red Sox game is treated like a game 7 of the World Series to both teams and their fans. And if you want tradition, just look at the players, past and present, in this rivalry. Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Roger Marris, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, just to name a few. Also, this rivalry gets so heated that not only have players attacked fans, then players attack players and even managers. This is the most intense rivalry in sports. SM: Every year, Michigan and Ohio State play once in the most anticipated match in college football for a likely trip to the Rose Bowl. The Yankees Staff Writer The Peter Township High School boys’ basketball team is not thinking of the past but seeking revenge this upcoming season. With last year’s starters Alex Radke, Spencer Smith, Pat Russo, Kevin Noone, and John Matthis, the team is ready for battle. “I am ready to play this year,” said John Matthis. Coach Gerry Goga started training the basketball team in early summer with open gyms every Monday and Wednesday, and weight lifting every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. The Varsity team is looking very promising. Peter’s last season record of 7 – 16 may discourage many teams and their fans but the fans say they are going to come back for more this year. “I can’t wait for the season to start, I will try to make it to all the games this year,” said sophomore Nicole Hauck. The team is pushing themselves on and off the court. Coach Goga is making grades a primary objective to all players on the team. If players have an “F” in one of their classes for two consecutive weeks, he will be placed in SHARP and will not participate in upcoming games or practices until the grade is brought up. “ I think SHARP is a good way to keep grades up and players playing,” said sophomore Mitch Hancherik. Most importantly, all the juniors who played last year will return for their senior year to help the Indians have a winning season. Peters Township has also received a very experienced freshman coach, Mr. Houser who is also an English teacher here at the high school. “I think this year will be fun especially playing for Mr. Houser,” said freshman Phil Horensky. The Indians’ start their season off with the USC tournament which tips-off on December 1, Girls’ basketball hopes to make rebound Chris Portz Staff Writer The Peters Township Girls’ Basketball team has been working hard during this offseason. Hopefully, this will translate into a better performance than last year, when the girls’ basketball team finished at 8-16. “We have the program going in the right direction,” said senior guard Michelle Rike. The girls have two main goals this season. First, they want to improve their record from last year, at least finishing with a winning record. Second, they want to make the play-offs. These are ambitious goals because neither of these goals have been accomplished since the seniors on the team have been enrolled in high school. The girls’ basketball team has been pushing themselves during this off-season, in order to exceed their expectations. In July, the basketball team traveled to California Bill Berry University for a four-day camp, where the girls played rival Upper St. Clair. Our girls’ team showed that they could compete in their competitive conference. In August, the girls’ basketball team had attended another camp at Robert Morris University, where the girls mastered the basics. Additionally, the girls have been practicing and lifting throughout the off-season. Preparing early ensures that they will be ready for what the season throws at them. “We have much more of a team now than previous years,” said Senior Michelle Rike, “Girls from each grade level are contributing to the team and getting our goals accomplished.” There are three senior leaders on this squad: Jordan Settimio, Michelle Rike, and Shannon Wagner. With their leadership the team’s season looks promising against some tough opponents in the Big Seven Conference, which includes: Upper St. Clair, Mt. Lebanon, Fulfilling the legacy Staff Writer The Peters Township Varsity Hockey team looks to return to state championship under new leadership this season following the graduation and leave of numerous key players from last year’s run. The Indians are coming off 15-9 season where they reached the Penguin Cup semifinals losing to the eventual champion, Pine Richland. Indians Varsity hockey has been one of the most successful programs in the history of Peters Township athletics. The team captured state championships in 2002, 2003 and 2005 while reaching the ‘big game’ in 2004. “We’re really looking forward to showing people that we are a championship contender this year,” said junior defenseman Dave McDonough. Expect to see new faces this year with only four players returning for their senior season. However that won’t be a problem with players like Robbie Hough, Dave Rigatti, Zach DeFelice, and Greg Jackson. “I don’t think that our youth will be a Photo by Shelby Miller Dave Rigatti clears the puck out of the Indians’ defensive zone during the 2006 playoffs. Coach Rick Tingle enters his second season as the head coach of Indians and expects nothing less than a fourth state championship. However, the Indians will have to wait until March to make their move in the playoffs, until then come support them at the
  • 9. ek Redd er ing D Bill Be rry C on no r r Tarwate ra Siko an Brend Penguins finally coming around Sean-Paul Mauro Sports Editor With a fast start to 2006 – 2007 NHL season, this seems to be the year that the youth and talent of the Pittsburgh Penguins is starting to kick in to gear. Over the past two years, the Pens have been rebuilding a team capable of taking them the distance in the playoffs. The process started with the addition of the Canadian phenom, 19 year-old Sidney Crosby. Coming into the league, Crosby was already pressured as a rookie to be great – being hailed by Wayne Gretzky as the next great one before he took one stride in an NHL game. Crosby did not disappoint last season – with over 100 points – but the Penguins did, finishing the season in last place in the league. This year, the Penguins continued to load the line up with stars, like Russian goal scorer Evgeni Malkin, and first round draft pick Jordan Staal, and the Penguins are showing signs of brilliance. Staal was originally slated to play only the first part of the season in the NHL, and the remainder of the season with his junior team in Ontario. However, Staal has been so instrumental in the Pens’ first place start that the Penguin executives have decided to keep him in the line up for the entire season – starting his three year contract now, instead of next year. Crosby, unsurprisingly, has started the season where he left off from last year. He is in the top five in scoring once again. Malkin has been, undoubtedly, the most impressive rookie thus far, and maybe the most impressive rookie thus far in NHL history. Through his first six games, Malkin was the first player Smoke Signals December 2006 SPORTS BRIEFS HOCKEY The hockey players have been gearing up their performances this season. Their current record is 1-3. They are ready to take on Greensburg Central Catholic on 11/20. BOYS’ sWIMMING Photo courtesy of Andrew Vaughan / AP file Penguin center, Sidney Crosby, sets up his teammate with a quick pass. Crosby has emerged as one of the premier playmakers in the NHL. ever to score goals in each of first six games. Staal has been the biggest surprise for the Penguins. Staal was the first player in over 50 years to score three short handed goals as his first goals in his NHL career. Wrestlers prepare for a successful season Brendan Sikora Staff Writer 9 The Peters Township Indians wrestling team has always been a force to be reckoned with. The varsity team consists of 15-20 wrestlers yet they all train in hard conditions. This year tough opponents will be Colin Johnston and Matt Ryan both of Canon Mac. Defeating these opponents takes brutal p r a c t i c e conditions and all around toughness on the team. Big matches for this year will be Baldwin, Upper Saint Clair, and Junior Bethel Park. D a l e Murdock currently coaches the varsity team. Murdock is an experienced and knowledgeable coach. John Antonelli assists him. Both of these coaches are experts in wrestling and will make the difference in key matches this season. They will put this team through blood and paint to make them the best. The coaches yell at the wrestlers to run more and work harder and harder each time to build on their success. This year the team is young, consisting of mostly sophomores and juniors. The leadershipexperienced seniors will determine this year’s s u c c e s s . Sophomore Nick Ceccarelli says, “We have been training hard in the off season to make this year a success.” Even though this is a young Joe Fortunato team they are working hard to make this season a good one. Junior wrestler Joe Fortunato said, “We worked hard last year and we will continue to work until we are a success.” The team is ready to throw down on December 6th. “We worked hard last year and we will continue to work until we are a success.” The boys swimming team has been pushing themselves to the limit with early morning practices, in addition to the conditioning after school. The boys’ swimming team is in fit shape to glide past the opposition in the water. girls’ swimming Currently the girls swim team is a strong competitor in the wpial. They hold practice every week and work out in the weight BOYS’ BASKETBALL Last year the boys basketball team was (7,17). With the acquisition of John Matthis, adding height as well as depth to the team, they strive to make playoffs this year. The team also looks to improve their record over .500. GIRLS’ BASKETBALL The girls who were (8-16) last year, hope to accomplish their goals. The girls look to exceed expectation by making playoffs and improving their record by winning at least 13 wins. WRESTLING The wrestling team is full of talent this season. They have been training in the off-season and started practices Nov 13th. They are practicing every day of the week and are ready for their first match on December 6th.
  • 10. & Style PT LIF E Colleen Counihan Christmas shopping sans the stress Features Editor Along with the joyous Christmas season comes the not so joyous conversation over gifts. All the gift-givers must endure it (even the receivers, who then become the givers.) The conversation begins with something like this: “What do you want for Christmas?” The gift-receiver comes back with “I don’t know, I don’t care.” What seasoned gift-givers have come to understand is that this is usually code for “you better think hard, buddy, because I want something good.” Luckily, there are answers to this unforeseen reaction and they don’t involve hundreds dollars or time consuming trips. Whether the gift is for a brother or boyfriend, a shopper could stop by Best Buy for a masculine-minded browse through the electronic aisles. Best Buy has everything from CDs and DVDs to combination iPod sound “Money, because you can’t screw it up.” soothers. Try dropping hints about newly released music or movies and look for the best reaction. If this fails, there is always the Best Buy gift card or iTunes card for iPod carriers. Girls are the tough ones. No matter how many times she says she does not care about the gift, she really does care…a lot. The idea behind gifts for girls is to focus on the thought and not the money. Think of a girl’s favorite music to find a CD or her favorite color to find some matching gloves and scarf. Most girls will be perfectly happy with a bundle of flowers from just about anyone. Gifts do not always have to be about material things and some of the best ones never are. A surprise night out or a free meal can be enjoyable for both guys and girls, but most importantly, they will have a more lasting effect than a new gadget. Sometimes, the gift just comes down to time availability and shopping ability. If all this talk of shopping creates anxieties of how one can possibly squeeze a leisurely trip to the mall and track practice all in one night, think about the Internet. Amazon. com proudly offers a whole section devoted to ideas for gifts, based on gender and personal relationship. The site is overflowing with gifts ranging from sugar-free Belgian chocolates and “fairy” bath kits to the all-inclusive Johnny Cash box set. More exclusively, almost every major store in the area is accompanied by a website, therefore time cannot be an excuse anymore. Christmas and its gift-giving necessities should not be sources of anxiety or frustration. They should be chances for creativity or excuses to demonstrate one’s charm. “A nice wrappedup ham.” “Flowers because they are pretty.” Justin Broglie ‘08 “A gift certificate because they can only spend the money where you want them to.” Nate Bachik ‘10 Chase Wickerham ‘09 Jon Makrinos ‘07 Eragon By Christopher Paolini The Sweet Escape Katie Gavlick Staff Writer Gwen Stefani, the outrageous punkpop artist from ex-band, No Doubt, drops her second solo album December 5th, creatively titled, The Sweet Escape. After putting the album on hold for her son Kingston’s birth, Stefani is ready to get out what she calls, “the hottest release of the year.” The Sweet Escape follows up Stefani’s last album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. However, this album wasn’t a bunch of L.A.M.B. leftovers; it included tracks written over the past 18 months, with collaborations from Akon, No Doubt’s Tony Kanal, Nellee Hooper, Sean Garrett, Swizz Beatz, Dave Stewart, and Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley. Stefani’s first single, “Wind it Up,” intercepts snippets from “The Sound of Music” while combining her own melody. The result? A fresh, modern dance beat, that’s not retro or worn out. Songs like “Orange County Girl” provides tunes everyone can dance to, while “Candyland” has a unique sound. I give Gwen Stefani’s The Sweet Escape five out of five stars. Its creative, vivacious, and very hard to get out of your head; what more could you ask for? Amber Doerr Staff Writer “Eragon gripped the knife tighter and held very still. Soon the creature was all the way out of the stone. It stayed in place for a moment, then skittered into the moonlight. Eragon recoiled in shock. Standing in front of him, licking off the membrane that encased it, was a dragon.” Eragon is just a simple farm boy, hunting deer in the woods for his family, when a mysterious blue stone appears out of nowhere. Soon, the stone hatches, and Eragon discovers that the stone is not a stone, but an egg; a dragon egg. Eragon’s life is thrown into mystery when he raises the last known free dragon, and seeks refuge in an unknown place called the Varden. All the while, Galbatorix, an evil dictator, is after Eragon. He must flee the one place he can call home, and fight for his freedom. Along the way, he meets a man with a similar grudge against the empire, and an elf who has been taken hostage by them. Eragon is a great fantasy novel for anyone who enjoys adventure, intrigue, or mystical creatures. This book never slows down and will leave your heart pounding. Eldest, book two in the Inheritance trilogy, has already been released, and Eragon the movie is coming out December 15. I give this book five out of give stars. Lady in the Water Taylor Piedmonte Staff Writer As an avid M Knight Shyamalan fan, I wanted to like his latest supernatural fable, Lady in the Water, but I didn’t. I hoped that a shocking ending would salvage the bad film, but it didn’t. Cleveland Heep, a stuttering apartment superintendent, encounters a girl named Story swimming in the complex’s pool. He soon learns that Story is a “narf” trying to get home to the Blue World. However, vicious doglike creatures are determined to prevent her from reaching home. The Problem with Lady in the Water is that it’s constantly explaining itself. Shyamalan has a unique talent to create vivid stories, and the story of Story is indeed an interesting one, but Lady in the Water proves that a good story does not make a good movie. The flaw lies within a bad script. The characters act like they encounter “narfs” everyday. There is no disbelief in the dialogue. Yes, it’s a fairy tale, but it takes place on planet earth in present day. In the past, Shyamalan films have told great stories with aliens, ghosts, and monsters while maintaining plausibility and suspense. Lady in the Water has the monsters and the story, but not the plausibility or suspense. Lady in the Water: Good Actors, Good Director, Good Story, Bad Movie 1.5 Stars out of 4
  • 11. 11 Smoke Signals December 2006 Top 10 Christmas Movies Pittsburgh’s Kara Krawiec Drew Karpen Co-Editor-in-Chief Staff Writer With the holiday season right around the corner, families are getting ready. Families from around the world get into the holiday spirit by putting up their decorations and by watching marathons of classic Christmas movies. There were many Christmas movies dating back to the 1800’s but only 10 were picked by the viewers to make the top ten list. Starting off the list at number 10 is Miracle on 34th Street. This movie was a hit as soon as it came out in 1947. When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is characterized as being insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him as being the real Santa Claus. The viewers gave this movie eight out of ten stars. At number nine is National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation. As usual the Griswald’s plan for a big Christmas turns out to be a big disaster. This series, which also has Vegas Vacation, stars Chevy Chase and received four and a half stars. At number eight is It’s a Wonderful Life. This 1946 film is about an angel helps a frustrated businessman by showing him what life would be like if he never existed. Number seven is Santa Claus is Coming to Town. This cartoon stars a young boy named Kris Kringle, who makes a factory where he makes toys for little kids. At number six is everyone’s favorite reindeer, Rudolph the RedNose Reindeer. This is about a reindeer that is unwanted until one day Santa comes and asks him to guide his sled. Half way through the countdown at number five is Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Grinch tries to ruin Christmas for all the children in Whoville. Lets set the scene, New Year’s Evealmost 2007, but there’s only one dilemma; what’s there to do in Pittsburgh to celebrate? Pittsburgh is having its 13th annual First Night, Tickets can be purchased at any Giant Eagle for a $1.00 off discount. Photo courtesy of www.amazon.com At the end of this movie the Grinch realizes what he is doing and gives everyone their gifts back and celebrates Christmas with them. At number four is A Christmas Carol. An old man who never cared about anything learns his compassion when three ghosts visit him on Christmas Eve. At number three is one of the favorites, A Christmas Story. In this movie all Ralphie wants is a BB gun for Christmas but his mom thinks it is too dangerous. Coming in at number two is Home Alone. This is the first of the three movie series and by far the best. An eight year old who is accidentally left behind by his family when they go on vacation has to defend their house against burglars. Finally coming in at number one on the top ten Christmas movies of all time is… The Santa Claus. When a man (Tim Allen) accidentally kills Santa Claus, he is recruited to take his place. With the release of new Christmas movies to come, we will have to see if they can make their way onto the list in the future. (www.epinions.com) a celebration dedicated to bringing in the New Year surrounded by arts, music, and friends. First Night is a party for everyone. Whether a person is indulging in music or experiencing magic and theater, this is one festivity the whole family can participate in. Events start at 6pm on New Year’s Eve and go until the fireworks are done at midnight. First Night is filled with performers, jazz musicians, and other acts that can be enjoyed with the lovely Pittsburgh Cultural District in the background. Tickets are $8.00 for adults; children under the age of 5 are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased at any Giant Eagle for a $1.00 off discount. New Year’s Eve is about getting together with family and friends to celebrate a new beginning. What better way to kick start 2007 in style than to spend it with other Pittsburghers that know how to have fun! Hough, bassist John Wawrose, and drummer Taylor Maher, this alternative rock band has been turning some heads. We interviewed the boys of 65 Watts, to get to know a little more about what’s behind their music. They’re coming up on their 1-year mark as a band. Bassist, John Wawrose, compliments his techniques with influences from bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sean Rothermel proudly idolizes Scott Weiland, the past front man of Stone Temple Pilots, and present vocalist of Velvet Revolver. Their music is pure alternative rock on the exterior, but each member has mastered his instrument enough to create subtly-complex melodies and they have mastered enough stage confidence to keep the crowd swaying to the sounds. 65 Watts has managed to pull in a decent fan base, for such a short time-span. Their fans showed a noticeable amount of support when they voted 65 Watts into the 3rd place position at the high school ‘Battle of the Bands’ event in October. A band with such a spectrum of influences and such a mature sound is not to be pushed aside. Take advantage of a sound that revolves around Red Hot Chili Peppers and Weezer and check them out! If you’d like to hear music by 65 Band of the Month: 65 Watts Colleen Counihan & Sean Naccarelli Staff Writers Freshmen are rarely noted for undeniable wit or broad musical background but a group of Peters Township High School boys have taken this stereotype of inefficiency and thrown it in the faces of most upperclassmen bands residing in the school. These young men call themselves 65 Watts. Consisting of Vocalist, Sean Rothermel, guitarist Kevin Photo by Sean Naccarelli 65 Watts poses for group photo at Community Day at Peterswood Park. Photo by Sam Higgins Freshman Livia Bayer proudly sports a 65 Watts shirt at Battle of the Bands on October 12th.
  • 12. Voices in the Hall Who/what do you want for the holidays? “BORAT! I love that man!” “Alex Binder from 2-A-Days!” Josh Keffer ‘07 “I don’t know dude. I can’t think of anything funny.” “Jessica Alba.” Kaiya Quevido ‘07 Laura St. Clair ‘07 James Joyce ‘10 Where are you going for the holidays? “To the Emerald City to see the Wizard of Oz.” “Moscow, the moon, and Alaska.” Adam Komoroski ‘07 Garrison Moore ‘07 “I’m bringing my Pokemon to a top secret battle in Brock’s gym.” Casey Dunleavy ‘09 “I’m going to play in the snow with Grandma!” Laura Quinn ‘08 What is Santa Claus’ best physical feature? “The beard that’s long and white!” Sarah Rubis and Kate Staaf, ‘07 “His hot bod is the best!” Erin Bench ‘08 “His backside!” “I love his big black belt.” Dara Lisanti ‘09 Brent Kostak ‘07 What do you leave for Santa to eat on Christmas Eve? “Biscotti and pizelles.” Phil Ferrara ‘08 “Fish taco and milk.” Nolan Majcher ‘09 “Chicken wings” Dave Edmunds ‘09 “Motor oil, Castro GT” Kyle Falbo ‘10