Dec. 2007 Smoke Signals Issue 3


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Dec. 2007 Smoke Signals Issue 3

  1. 1. Smoke Signals PTHS December 2007 Volume 39, Issue 3 Students’ Charity Gives Hope to Third-World Country Photo by Mady Dietrich S e n i o r E m i l y Yang k i n d l y d o n a t e s h e r o l d s h o e s t o t h e N a t i o n a l H o n o r S o c i e t y ’s s h o e d r i ve , w h i c h b e n e f i t s c h i l d r e n living in the Dominican Republic. Drop boxes were placed in each school throughout the district to help support this worthwhile cause. Grant Burkhardt A News Editor t Peters Township High School, where every turn brings new drama or chaos, cheerful news is sometimes hard to come by. So much so, that when a student witnesses a Samaritan feat, he might just glance over it. High school students are often egotistical and oblivious, making every selfless act much more important. However: Andrew Paul is giving back. Andrew Paul is recognizing world need. Andrew Paul is changing the stereotype. Paul has organized a district-wide shoe drive for underprivileged children in the Dominican Republic. From October 30th until December 19th, boxes will be placed at the Recreation Center as well as in classrooms throughout the district in order to collect gently used shoes for “Roberto’s Kids.” As the name suggests, “Roberto’s Kids” is a charity started in honor of Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente as an organization that looks to improve conditions for children all over Latin America. Paul and his girlfriend, Jessie Smith, have organized the drive, placing boxes at every school in the district. The two juniors, working with the National Honor Society at the high school, have worked for the past month to ensure a successful drive for the Dominican Republic and other areas of Latin America. Why the Dominican Republic? “[The Dominican Republic] is an area of extreme poverty.” “Roberto’s Kids” has chosen the most poverty-stricken areas of the country in which to donate the shoes. “As of right now I’ve collected 2,500 [shoes] that are packed and I have at least another 500 waiting to be packed.” Paul noted, “I’m unsure of what the final count will be since the shoes are still pouring in.” “The realization of how well we have it here really comes alive doing work like this,” said Paul. “Charity work gives an opportunity to better the life of someone else in the world and gives you a thankful attitude.” Last year, Paul coordinated another charity drive for Latin America. He collected gently used baseball equipment – shoes, gloves, etc. – and sent them to areas of need. As a high school baseball player, Paul knows the importance of having resources to be able to play the game. He added, “When the kids were being fitted for their spikes for baseball, they didn’t know their shoe size because they didn’t even own a pair of shoes.” The success of this caring teenager should inspire others to follow his lead. In fact, the entire community should watch and learn from Andrew Paul’s act of charity; he has a bright future ahead of him. Paul would like to thank everyone involved; “I literally had people call me from all around Pittsburgh wanting to make donations. Most importantly, I want to thank all of the people who took the time to donate their shoes.” Junior Andrew Paul proudly relishes in the success of the district wide Shoe Drive that he organized. This is the second fundraiser Paul has developed to benefit “Roberto’s Kids”. Photo by Emily Correal
  2. 2. Peters Township High School Reference PTHS December 2007 Sunday Monday Britney Spears’ Birthday 3 Wednesday Tuesday it Let 2 December 2007 Smoke Signals Snow B.V. Ice Hockey vs. Chartiers Valley 8:50 Thursday Friday Saturday 1 4 Santa’s List Day...We hope your on the “Good” List! 5 Hanukkah Begins 6 World AI DS Awareness Day 13 14 15 G.V.Basketball vs. Bethel B.V Basketball vs. Bethel 7:30 Park 7:30 G.V. Basketball vs. Mt Lebo 7:30 7 2 B. V. Basketball vs. Mt. Lebo 7:30 8 B.V. Basketball vs. Mars 3:00 9 10 11 12 16 Boston Tea Party, 1773 17 18 19 20 21 B.V. Basketball vs. Oliver G.V. Basketball vs. Shaler B.V Basketball @ Shaler High School 7:30 7:30 TBA 22 23 24 26 29 Mississippi became the 20th US State B.V. Ice Hockley vs. Greensburg Salem 9:30 25 No School! Christmas Eve 30 Bake Cookies Day Christmas Poinsettia Day 27 Kwanzaa Begins No School! 28 No School! Winter Solstice No School! 31 New Year’s Eve! No School! Boxing Day S a y Happy New Year In 10 Different Languages! Chinese (Mandarin) - Xin nian yu kuai French - Bonne année German - Gutes Neues Jahr Hawaiian - Hauoli Makahiki Hou Hebrew - Shanah tovah Italian - Buon Capo d’Anno Norwegian - Godt Nyttår Polish - Szczesliwego Nowego roku Spanish - Feliz Año Nuevo Russian - S Novym Godom Holida y M az e! Smoke Signals Smoke Signals is produced eight times during a school year by the students of Media II, III, IV Journalism and extracurricular staff at Peters Towship High School, 264 E. McMurray Road, McMurray PA 15317. Telephone: 724941-6250 x.5379. E-mail: Commentaries, reviews, and opinion col- umns are the expressed opinion of the author and not of Smoke Signals, its advisor or the Peters Township School District. Member of the Pennsylvania School Press Association. EDITOR IN CHIEF Ashley Czajkowski Renée Wunderlich LAYOUT EDITOR Katie Gavlick NEWS EDITOR Grant Burkhardt FEATURES EDITOR Angelina Nepa OPINION EDITORS Alex Egan Brian Lewis SPORTS EDITOR Bill Berry Jordan Dent MARKETING EDITORS Brianna Lutes Shelby Miller STAFF WRITERS Andrea Briggs, Emily Estep, Gina Nepa, Taylor Relich, Bridget Stasenko, Katie Ellis, Averi Clements, Paige Burris, Mady Dietrich, Stephanie Nitschmann, Stephanie Cotugno, Ian Jackson, Dana Hoelle, Melanie Hoffman, Brendan Sikora LAYOUT TEAM Katie Gavlick, Kaylin Zawicki, Emily Correal, Shelby Miller, Brianna Lutes ADVISER Mrs. Sitler
  3. 3. News PTHS December 2007 Smoke Signals Stephanie Cotugno Media Department Reaches Out to Children 3 Staff Writer For the past seven years, as a school, have donated thousands of toys to the U.S Marine Corps Reserve’s national foundation Toys for Tots. Every holiday season, from October through December, the U.S Marine Corps Reserve begins their mission of collecting new, and unwrapped toys so they can be distributed as Christmas gifts to needy children in communities throughout America. Each location of the Marine Corps in the communities of the United States acts as a sponsor as they conduct this successful nationwide campaign. The primary goal of Toys for Tots during every wishful holiday season is to deliver a new toy to every child whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. This also gives these children a message of hope that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive patriotic citizens and strong leaders of their own community. “Every child deserves a toy for Christmas, and I really like how Toys for Tots makes that happen for the children in America,” said junior Andrew Paul. The school has been promoting the great deeds of Toys for Tots since the new millennium. Every year around the holiday season, the determined Media Department sets up cardboard boxes in the rooms of the high school to receive toys from students and faculty members that will be donated to the cause. Peters Township comes together every year motivated to succeed in helping needy children across America experience the joys of Christmas by playing an active role in the foundation. “We as a department enjoy doing this campaign because it gives us an opportunity to work with our community through Peters Township Community Television to provide local families in need with gifts for their children,” stated Robin Frick, a media teacher at the high school. The foundation believes in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources, the children of the world. This foundation is not only a way to help others, but it also unifies all members of a community by bringing people together for a common cause three months each year. The Toys for Tots Foundation was founded in 1947 by Colonel William L. Hendricks. Hendricks and his wife, Diane, established the idea of giving back to people after the holidays in 1947 when the couple collected 5,000 toys for their own community. The Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and immediately expanded it into a nationwide campaign. On average, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation collects about 19 million toys valued at a total $42.9 million dollars every year in the United States. Since its establishment in 1947, Toys for Tots has distributed more than 370 million toys over 173 million needy children. The foundation is also expanding with its 558 active communities participating in the campaign every year, which covers all 50 states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Wal-Mart: Low Prices at a High Cost Andrea Briggs Syntax Editor Wal-Mart is known for having the best savings around, but these prices come at a high cost for those who make and sell their products. The commercials that air on television about Wal-Mart portray the store as a great environment with even greater deals. However, for employees, the atmosphere is less than welcoming. A large number of female workers have spoken out, saying that men are promoted faster, and are generally paid more than their female counterparts. There have even been reports of business meetings being held at the Hooters restaurant chain. While over 72% of the workforce in Wal-Marts is female, only 10% of the managers are women. Even for the male employees, things aren’t always a dream. The average pay for sales associate is $8.23 an hour for annual income of $13,861 - if an employee were to work 40 hour weeks with no sick days. The current poverty line for a threeperson family is just over $17,000. The difference is significant, over $3,000 a year. Considering that Wal-Mart rakes in nearly $200 billion yearly, it would cost them very little to increase wages so that employees may live just above the poverty line. Its higherranking businessmen make millions of dollars, but ordinary employees barely make enough to survive. Even the workers overseas aren’t safe. Chinese factory employees work under harsh conditions, sometimes locked into the factory and forced 66% of the people they hire. Even though not nearly enough employees are covered, the ones who are in the program might as well not have it at all. The average Wal-Mart worker must pay 7-25% of their annual salary just to cover the premiums and deductibles. There are times, however, when Wal-Mart opens its heart and pays for medical treatment for its employees - but then turns around and asks for the money back. Former employee Deborah Shank was in a horrific car accident that caused severe brain damage and called for nearly $500,000 in medical bills. After Wal-Mart paid for everything under her healthcare plan, they sued her husband for all the money they had provided, plus the interest that would have compiled during the three years that Deborah’s rehabilitation took place. This is not outside their boundaries; in fact, it is not unusual to see terms in many healthcare plans that say the company has every right to ask for the money recovered by an injured person. However, Wal-Mart put the welfare of the company over the welfare of a human being, and that isn’t right. “Wal-Mart put the welfare of the company over the welfare of a human to work under the threat of being fired. They are paid $0.23 per hour, well under the Chinese minimum wage of $0.31. Overtime hours go unpaid, and the average employee works an 80-hour week. Wal-Mart imports much of its merchandise from China – so much, in fact, that if Wal-Mart were its own separate country, it would rank fifth in China’s trading partners, ahead of Germany, the UK, and Russia. Healthcare is a major issue for this company as well. Only 43% of its 1.39 million US employees are covered by healthcare, compared to the average company that insures Top 10 Toys to Give This Christmas: Photo by Nicole Sitler Junior Sam Higgins does her part and contributes two toys. The Media Department donated over 411 toys to the US Marines’ Toys for Tots Foundation in 2007. What In The World? Boys and girls around the world were disappointed one by one as their eleventh birthdays came and went with absolutely no word from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But fear no more small children; Elwood “Bunky” Bartlett, a Pagan priest, won roughly $49 million dollars from his local lottery, and is planning to open a school for witches. The school will be for college-aged students but is not just for those who want to become more learned in the art of Wicca; those that honestly want to study witchcraft are more than welcome to attend as well. The real question is, will the headmaster be as sweet as Dumbledore or as wicked as Snape? Everybody on the ground! This is a… ketchup? Two masked men ambushed a supermarket employee in England as he was taking cash to the bank by throwing two large bags filled with ketchup onto the employee’s windshield. The robbers didn’t get away with much, though – they only managed to keep 400 of the 140,000 euros that the employee had on him at the time. First rule in hunting: never leave your gun lying on the ground – your dog may step on it and shoot you in the leg. Iowa native James Harris did just that and was hit in his left calf by more than 120 birdshot pellets. Incidentally, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence in Iowa; according to Alan Foster, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, hunters get shot by their dogs “a couple times a year”. The pigeon population in New York has always been overwhelming. In the past, vendors and residents would lace their birdseed with arsenic to help suppress the overcrowded species. Councilman James Odd believes that this is an inhumane way to deal with the pigeons. His solution? Birth Control. The drug has not yet been approved for the birds, but the odds look good; a similar project for geese was given the OK just weeks before. Compiled by Katie Ellis LEGO Mindstorms | Rubik’s Revolution by Techno Source | FurReal Friends | Hannah Montana Singing Doll by Play Along | | Guitar Hero 3 | Webkinz by Ganz | iDog, iCat, iFish | Transformers Toys by Hasbro | Barbie Girls by Mattel | Pleo Dinosaur
  4. 4. 4 Features PTHS New Feature Appears in Smoke Signals Here at PTHS, where the drama is so prevalent, we have very skillfully observed certain individuals, engaged in more-than-just-friends relationships, are experiencing difficult situations- most of which cannot be resolved with a simple “I’m sorry.” We get it-you are obviously going to marry your high school lab partner/locker buddy/ride home/late pass/third hand …really, we do. However, we also understand that these “friendships” come with their fair share of tears, drama, and heartbreak. This is where we come in. We are not promising overwhelming success, but we have seen every sappy, romantic movie ever made and can offer a third party opinion (assuming you have yet to consult your parents). We are concerned, fellow students who just happen to possess a gift of advisement to those unfortunate couples who feel their high school love life is slipping away. However, even though we like to think we are geniuses, we cannot possibly know who is having a problem or what the problem could be. This is where you come in. You are our inspiration. You are the only source that we have. You are the reason we are starting this monthly column. You worry us, and your stories are needed. So, write to us. Drop-off boxes will be located in the guidance office and in the library. We also understand that, by writing to us, you are being very brave, so we are going to keep this column completely anonymous. However, we would like you to know when we are answering your question in the newspaper, so we have come up with what we think is a very efficient system. Next to each drop-off box, we will have question forms where you will be able to discuss your problem, state your gender, and come up with a creative name with which we will identify you (Desperately Confused, Hopeless Romantic, Passionately Loveless, etc). We would also like to keep this anonymous on our end as well. We are not going to print our names. This is for us to know and for you to wonder about. We want to reassure you, the writer, that we are not going to simply critique and gossip about your problems. We are writing this column because we feel that it needs to be written. With the already enormous high school workload that you are dealing with, relationships should be your safety net, not the source of more stress. We really do want to help, so give us some ammunition. We promise to take our best shot. GO figure Giving December 2007 Smoke Signals Untapped PT Resources Speak Angelina Nepa Features It seems like school has been getting more and more difficult in the past few weeks, especially since teachers are trying to cram in extra work before the holidays. Your situation may seem hopelessmaybe you can’t get a good grade on a paper, tons of math problems are piling up, and you’re too stressed to function. What many students do not realize is that PT has a few resources that can help you out, even if they aren’t always conventional. Need help with a paper? Have a previous English teacher read it before you turn it in. The same goes for college essays. Given enough notice, most teachers would be happy to offer constructive criticism. Get your rough draft done early and hand it off for proofreading. Having trouble in pre-calc? Mathnasium is a great local tutoring service. They have teachers that can help you with any kind of math, no matter how challenging. It’s not the kind of place that tries to help kids pass, it helps kids get A’s. And the best part- no appointments are necessary; you can show up whenever you want as long as you pay a monthly fee. Their website claims that “Children don’t hate math. They hate being confused and intimidated by math. With understanding comes passion.” Some teachers care. Chances are the teacher you respect the most will be willing to talk to you about anything that’s bothering you. Teachers would rather you work through problems with them than show up with random late work. As Mrs. Kocan advocates on her website, “Strive for excellence, not perfection!” OUT What’s Your Favorite Toy? Andrew Nixon ‘08: My favorite toy is my Shox 360. Keith Quinn’09: Legos. Yeeeeaaah! Writers’ Strike: Is It A Curse or Blessing? Emily Estep Staff Writer After a long day are already in repeats. that students are very in of school, sports, extra- This isn’t to say that they touch with their television curriculars, and chores, don’t have new episodes schedules. Most students Candyland. everyone deserves to to present, it just means found it difficult to pick watch the new South the network or producers only one show they’ll Park or Grey’s Anatomy. support the strike. Even miss. Freshman Alyssa Some students may if they don’t support the Trier stated, “I have a obsess about TV more strike, they only have so very strict schedule, and than others; however, many unaired episodes I would die if I missed we can all agree, seeing filmed before they run one of my shows.” In fact, the a new episode of your out, and no one is there favorite show is an to write a new one. average student watches Are students TV or movies for about exciting event. The new Desperate Housewives really so attached to four hours a day. Is this is the perfect way to end television that this will really time spent wisely? a weekend, and who affect them? As it turns “TV is not always a bad doesn’t love the NBC out, it does greatly. When thing, it’s a good way to McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys. Thursday night line-up fifty students were asked stay updated on current of My Name Is Earl, 30 about the show they events,” said sophomore Rock, The Office, and would be missing most, Brad Trylko. On the other different hand, there are plenty of Scrubs? Unfortunately, twenty-five television, and the world television programs were mindless TV shows like as we know it, is in named. Leaders amongst Tila Tequila and I Love danger. On November the poll were Hannah New York. Perhaps, a Desperate writer’s strike is just what 7, the Writer’s Guild Montana, of America went on Housewives, and The we need. It will give us strike. This includes all Office. “Every Thursday time to get ahead on writers for American film, I used to look forward our school work, get in television, and radio. to watching The Office, touch with an old friend, What does this mean to without new episodes and more importantly, us? No new episodes. on, my Thursday nights finally catch up on those My football. no meaning,” old episodes of House. Shows such as The have Office, Two and a Half sophomore Anni Keffer Men, and Grey’s Anatomy explained. It seems The amount of In London, cards sold during Consumers spent a the holiday season think would fill a football plan it is nicer to give a total of people are expected field ten stories to buy their gift rather than giving to go bankrupt high, and requires holiday gifts on during a gift card or gift as a result of the harvesting of sale. the Holiday season. certificate. over-spending at trees. Christmas. Laura Karras ‘10: Grant Kocher ‘10: Tyler Martik ‘11: 10,000 300,000 37% $438.6 billion 32%
  5. 5. PTHS December 2007 Features Picking the Perfect Coat Comedy and Tragedy: Under Construction Photo by Renee Wunderlich Junior and senior thespians of Troupe 185 gather together at the Pennsylvania State Conference to sing, dance, and celebreate the art of theatre. Alex Kocher as Jonny, Annemarie Hall as Harper, and Angelina Nepa as a female opera singer. Natalie Palamides was awarded as being the most dynamic actress by the professional judging panel. The members from the Troupe also sang “For Now” from the popular musical “Avenue Q”. The piece was directed by Drew Caliguire (who will serve as Peters Township’s chair member for next year’s Conference) and choreographed by Christine Ghetto. “Festival is always amazing. You meet so many talented people who share your interests,” said Ghetto, “I’ve realized that, although I’m really enjoying my senior year, I wish I was a junior so I could come back again.” While there were no puppets present, this spunky and inspirational version of the song looked deeply into the fact that nothing in life (exempting death and taxes) is forever. Those who attended Festival in addition to the student thespians were Karyn Kuhn, Sponsor, and Mr. Barry Wood, the Troupe’s founder. Mad About Fashion By Mady Dietrich Renée Wunderlich Co-Editor-In- The Peters Township High School’s Thespian Troupe 185 recently participated in the Pennsylvania State Conference (also called Festival). The event serves as a yearly display of high school drama productions, including solo and duet performances, short skits, one acts, musical selections, dance features, various workshops, and even full-length plays. Hosted by York Central High School in York, PA, Peters was the oldest Troupe in attendance. The event’s theme, “Building Character”, was illustrated through the many student chair members decked with hardhats and tool belts. “State Conference is the greatest experience known to mankind. Period,” stated senior Eli Diamond, Troupe Historian. Eli also served as this year’s representative chair, and director of the One Act “The Least Offensive Play in the Whole Darn World”, written by Jonathan Rand. The play featured seniors Natalie Palamides and Jess Ward as two comically conservative hosts of an off-kilter infomercial. The plot centered on the magical ‘Script Cleaner 500’. With all the controversy over high schools performing plays and Broadway musicals, the Script Cleaner 500 is guaranteed to wipe away all content dubbed ‘inappropriate’. The piece constantly made fun of the bloody scenes in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the topic of “relationship indecency” in the play ‘Angels in America’, and just about every aspect of the Broadway musical and blockbuster ‘RENT’. The cast consisted of: Natalie Palamides as Shelly and Jess Ward as Alice, the hosts, Carl Mitchell as Roma/Dennis, Drew caliguri as Williamson/Mark, Nate Meyers as Linqk, Caitlyn Roberts as Tybalt, Eli Diamond as Mercutio, Samuel Rodgers-Melnick as Roger/Warren, Kyle Bloser as Abraham/The Falling Chandelier, Jackie Deily as Benvolio, Renée Wunderlich as The Page/The Surgeion, Tomas Raugh as Romeo/Jason, Laura Sunday, Gina Wagner, and Alexa Baxendell as the ‘Toga Girls’ (chorus), Christine Ghetto as Medea, Jessica Rothaar as Frankie, 5 Nothing is more stressful than getting out your winter coats and not have a single one fit. Some may look so old you wonder if they could pass for vintage. These are some simple pointers that will help you find the perfect coat. First, pea coats, puffed jackets, and vests are good for the warmer winter days, and fur jackets and jackets with the higher necks are very popular and will also keep you warm in the cold weather. This season’s pea coats are bigger than ever. Pea coats that poof or flow out, according to ‘Elle’ magazine, are very high in fashion and are seen all over. You can top your pea coat off with a medium sized belt strapped around your waist to add a ‘street chic’ look. Pea coats with the high neck and large buttons going down the front are another smart choice you could make this season. If it is a warmer day and you want something that’s not as hot and bulky, you could try a vest. You have seen them, the big, colorful jackets that are in stores now. If you like the puffy feeling of a large coat, you could get the jacket with the longer sleeves. To be more fancy, you could go for the fur coats. There is no specific popular color this season. My advice is the brighter the colors, the more you will stand out in the crowd. Skinny scarves are no longer popular. Warmth has taken over this season with the huge, bulky scarves that keep you warm on the snowy days. The scarves that your grandma knitted for you will come in handy this season. Even make a gesture and ask her to knit you one. You will earn brownie points from the grandparents and also look fashionable. Review: Hot Chocolate Review Hot for Hot Chocolate Melanie Hoffman Staff Writer What’s the best way to warm up this winter? Try grabbing a cup of hot chocolate. After testing three of the most popular coffee shops in Peters Township: Starbucks, Giant Eagle’s Market District, and Farmhouse Coffee, I’ve ranked each place’s hot chocolate. In order to do this, I ordered the same exact drink– a small hot chocolate with skim milk and no whipped cream. Farmhouse Coffee had by far the best hot chocolate. The texture was smooth and the chocolate was delicious. It wasn’t over done at all and had the perfect mixture, unlike Giant Eagle’s Market District, whose hot chocolate was more like dark chocolate, giving it a bitter taste and grainy feel. However, once it was stirred up, the texture softened and it was much easier to drink. This was almost exactly like Starbucks, only the consistency never got better. They’re known for the frappuccinos and lattes for a reason, the hot chocolate was awful. The chocolate tasted like it had been ground up with coffee, then poured into a cup. All in all, the best hot chocolate around here was at Farmhouse – and the price was great too, at only $1.80 for a small cup. This was a nice break compared to the same size cup at walletbreaking Starbuck’s $3.50 and Market District’s $2.50. For a nice break from the cold, curl up and relax with Farmhouse Coffee’s outstanding hot chocolate. Warm up with the Best Cocoa on the Block Bridget Stasenko Staff Writer A classic winter pick-me-up, hot chocolate is popular all around, but who has the best? I traveled to three well-known coffee shops to test out just how good their hot chocolate was. I went to Starbucks, Giant Eagle: Market District, and Farmhouse coffee. Starbucks was my first stop. I thought their hot chocolate was overpriced, especially for the quality of it. They charged a whopping $3.50 for a small cup. It tasted as if it had gone through a coffee filter. It was very bitter, as though they used dark chocolate to make it. I personally didn’t like it. However, it tasted a little better than the Market District’s. When I got my cup of cocoa from Giant Eagle’s Coffee Shop, it wasn’t even hot, and it was very thin, like a water substance. Giant Eagle’s price was a little lower, coming in at $2.50 for a small cup. The chocolate all sunk to the bottom, making the first half of the drink not sweet at all and the second part overpowered by chocolate. Lastly, I tested out The Farm House. At a cheap price of $1.80, I got one of the best hot chocolates I’d ever tasted. It was the perfect temperature, and the consistency was just right. I even got the option of marshmallows or whipped cream on top with a chocolate drizzle. It was the perfect drink to warm me up on the cool November day. If you want the best hot chocolate, I suggest Farmhouse Coffee. Loco for Cocoa Emily Correal Staff Writer Some people go crazy for hot cocoa this time of the year. If you are one of these people, I will hook you up with the best places to find the hot chocolate you crave. If you have a sweet tooth and want a flavorful blend of cocoa, you can’t go wrong at the Farmhouse. At a reasonable price, your taste buds will thank you while you sip the warming refreshment, topped off with cold whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. For those of you who enjoy a screaming hot, semi-sweet blend, Starbucks is the way to go. It may be a little more costly then other places, but you can always be sure your cocoa will be hot and you can get it quickly when you are in a hurry. Finally, if you like your cocoa semiwarm and not too strong, swing by the marketplace. Their hot chocolate is light and will go great with a treat from the bakery. So next time you are going loco for a cup of cocoa, remember my advice and go to the place that best suits you and your taste buds.
  6. 6. Let The Christ Ligh Alex Egan Opinion Editor It’s the day after everyone knows it’s that? Because every y running around like Sa to help our parents put The truth is, it isn’t put up when it really season. It’s that warm taking a ride down the s seeing all the different every house. It’s sort makes you feel like a l of holiday cheer, and The American trad been shared since the in all know it’s become m Every year we witness m reindeer, luminescent S strands of tiny bulbs stru of the average American more and more competiti Communities have seen e on the door, to the Clar No matter how litt lights get, they still spr neighborhood. Sure, Ch than decorations - it’s helping those in need. the lights just make the
  7. 7. ere Be tmas hts Thanksgiving, and naturally Christmastime. And why is year around that time we’re all anta’s little elves being forced t up the Christmas decorations. t until after the lights have been starts to feel like the holiday m, fuzzy feeling we all get while street on a cold December night, t Christmas lights at each and of a magical feeling, one that little kid again. It’s the feeling it all begins with the lights. dition of Christmas lights has nvention of the light bulb, but we much more than just a tradition. manger scenes, wreaths, light up Santas, icicle lights, and colorful ung across trees in the front yard n home. Neighbors are getting ive to see who has the best lights. everything from the simple wreath rk Griswold winter wonderland. tle or over the top Christmas read holiday cheer all over the hristmas is about so much more s about family, generosity, and But I think everyone can agree: season that much more festive. Photos by Alex Egan and Melanie Hoffman
  8. 8. 8 Opinion December 2007 PTHS Smoke Signals Stinky Steelers Brian Lewis Opinion Co-Editor The Steelers are currently one of the most overrated teams in the NFL. Despite all the hype and hoopla surrounding them, the Steelers really have not had an impressive win all year. Yes, they did defeat Cleveland twice, but other than that the record is very shoddy. This includes losses to former Steeler’s offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona, and another to the Denver Broncos. Of course, we can’t forget about the ineptitude the Steelers showed in their loss to the New York Jets, or the absolute shellacking the Steelers received at the hands of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Even their victories have not been as impressive as those generated by the New England Patriots or the Indianapolis Colts. A 3-0 win as time expired against the winless Dolphins showed just how far this team has fallen since its miraculous Super Bowl victory two years ago. Perhaps nobody is as big of an example regarding the lack of ability on the Steelers team as much as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Although Big Ben played an important role in the Steeler’s run to the Super Bowl, the past two years have shown Katie Ellis that he may not be the second coming of Terry Bradshaw that everyone thought he was. To me, Roethlisberger seems to be nothing more than a caretaker, a guy who just hands the ball off to Willie Parker without needing to do much else. He is not a that the Steelers have one of the most loyal fan bases, and consistently pack the stadium despite weather conditions that are somewhat lacking. In addition to stadium revenues, the team receives a substantial payment from the NFL to help cover expenses. Now I understand that the Steelers are not the New “Of course, we can’t forget about the ineptitude the Steelers showed in their loss to the New York Jets.” pure passer in any sense of the word - almost any time the Steelers are forced to throw the ball, Roethlisberger throws a crucial interception that demoralizes the entire team. One of the most troubling aspects of the Steelers is the lack of effort by the front office to retain key players. Many people have heard about the much-publicized turmoil regarding a contract extension for offensive lineman Alan Faneca. In 2006, the Steelers ranked in the bottom half of the league in total payroll. This is puzzling, considering York Yankees, but can’t they at least put some money into the team? Although the entire team does not have to be made up of highly paid stars, there are certain players that need to be kept. Despite the fact that some stars such as Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward were signed to long-term deals that is not enough. Another issue with these Steelers is their inability to win on the road. Currently every loss has come away from home in stadiums that are not extremely hostile. All of these games have shown the Steelers to be Gift Cards: Facts, Figures, Ugly Truths ineffective at holding onto the ball, and playing with the potential that they show when at home. This hurts the Steelers more than anything because the road to the Super Bowl will involve several road games. Their most recent game against the Patriots proved that the Steelers do not have the mentality to withstand the difficulty of playing on the road in the NFL. Unless Coach Tomlin is able to correct this pressing issue, the Steelers will always be a second-tier team in the NFL. Although the Steelers are currently leading the AFC North by a mere two games, times are not as rosy as they seem. In the past few games, the team has struggled to eke out two wins against inferior opponents, while getting picked apart by the premier team in the AFC, the New England Patriots. It may be that the only guarantee the Steelers have made over the past few weeks is that they will be sitting at home come the end of January. Lack of Library Space Melanie Hoffman Staff Writer Staff Writer Gift cards are a quick and easy way to provide something for everyone on your list, but they’re not always the best gift, nor are they always appropriate. Your relationship with someone plays a large role in determining the kind of gift you should purchase and how much you should spend on him or her. There are pros and cons to both gift cards and gifts. Here are some things that should be taken into consideration before you buy something: While shopping, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind; shopping for a teenager requires a different mindset than when shopping for an elderly grandparent. As most teens don’t have a serious job, cash and gift cards may be the best bet. Gift cards also provide an easy way to provide gifts for everyone on your list, including schoolteachers and other adults, such as tutors or piano teachers. For adults, gift cards from upscale restaurants like Bella Piatto or the Capstone Grill are always a good idea, while teenagers can appreciate gift cards from Best Buy, Target, or clothing stores like American Eagle or Abercrombie and Fitch. However, if you’re shopping for a close friend or relative – parents, grandparents, siblings – it’s better to hand-pick something. These gifts should come from the heart and a generic gift card doesn’t always give the impression that a lot of time and effort was spent trying to find the perfect gift. There are dangers to purchasing a gift card. Before you pay ten to twenty-five dollars for the card, be sure that there is no expiration date on it and that there is no fee for using it later. Visa gift cards, for example, begin to deduct $4.95 a month after six months if the card hasn’t been used. It’s your money; don’t let it go to waste. American markets rack up over eight billion dollars in unused gift cards every year, and most of it goes straight into the stores’ pockets. For the most part, companies will advertise if there is no charge for unused cards – it’s better for business. Another downside to gift cards is the lack of freedom that they provide. “When you give someone a gift card, you’re basically saying ‘here’s your present, but you can only use it in this specific place and it’s only worth this specific amount of money,’” stated sophomore Sam Fortna. And there’s always the problem that the amount that is given is too much or too little; if the buyer wants a sweater that costs twenty dollars and you’ve given her a fifteen dollar gift card, she still has money coming out of her own pocket. Then again, if you give a twenty-dollar gift card and the recipient wants a game that costs $18.99, there’s money left on the card that now goes to waste. While gift cards are a good idea in the long run, be sure to think twice before purchasing one. Fishtank:‘Tis the Season By Renée Wunderlich Student frustration keeps rising due to the lack of space in the library for the most important people in this school: the students. Libraries have always been a quiet place to study and work, until recently. Now it’s almost impossible to get into the library because of the classes being taught in both the main library and lab. Passes have been cut off for many study halls as a result of vandalism to the computers. Although it is a problem, it is not fair to completely shut out those who wish to do work in the library. It is also unfair to allow certain students library access everyday, while others are rarely able to go. Senior Allison Auld complained, “There have been multiple times when I needed to type something or use a computer in the library, and there are no passes or no room.” “I don’t see why we can’t use the computers in the library if there is a class in the lab,” said junior Sam Higgins. Period one study halls are in an even bigger predicament considering the Career Resource Center is now closed that period. Thank goodness for Mrs. Morriston, allowing some students to have emergency passes on occasion. She’s saved many grades, but there should not be wasted space in our library, let alone classes filling it up constantly. When asked about the space problem in the library, Mrs. Morriston responded by saying, “The only way to fix the present situation is by not allowing teachers to access the library either.” Students who are willing and able to work should be able to do just that.
  9. 9. December 2007 PTHS Opinion Gifts Under $50 Guide 9 Inside our “Politically Correct” World Stephanie Nitschmann Staff Writer Dana Hoelle Staff Writer Photo courtesy of It’s that time of year again and Christmas is right around the corner. You slept through Black Friday, shipping prices on websites are rising by the minute, and you hardly have any money to buy an expensive present. Do you want to buy the perfect gift on a small budget? If you answered yes to this question, then you need to follow the “gifts under $50” guide. For Girlfriends: The best gift to give your girlfriend is something thoughtful, and gift cards are not thoughtful. Vera Bradley purses are a great gift to give. What girl doesn’t love a designer purse? There are six different items to choose from that are under $50. The Mini Hipster, Sherry, Katie, Tote, Amy, and Maggie are all examples of purses that range from $27-$50. These bags come in different colors and patterns. Another gift to give your girlfriend is a Coach wristlet. It is just as thoughtful as giving a Coach purse but not as expensive. The Bleeker signature wristlet and Chelsea signature wristlet are $48, so they are ideal gifts that fit your budget. For Boyfriends: Guys are hard to buy for. So when picking the perfect gift for them, think of things that they will actually enjoy. You can never go wrong with getting him clothes. Find out what store he likes first. You can get two shirts for $20 at Champs, and Hollister is having a t-shirt sale, one for $12.50. When you are shopping with these sales you always get a lot for a little. For Parents: You want to get your parents something that is appreciative and is meaningful. Relaxation is the key to making parents happy. So when shopping for their gift, consider getting them a gift card for a massage. At Geno Levi’s, a thirty minute massage costs $25. If you buy two massages for both of your parents, it will be exactly the right amount of money that you’re allowing to spend. Your parents will be happy that you were thinking of their needs when you give this to them Christmas morning. For Siblings: “Anything my sister gets me I will like. It’s the thought that counts,” said junior Brooke Wilson. There is a wide range of things you can get your siblings for Christmas. Clothes, DVDS, and video games are only a few examples of what you can get them. As Brooke’s sister said, anything you get your sibling they will like. For Friends: At Sephora, they have Philosophy shampoo and body wash. It ranges from $16-$20 and the scents are incredible. “My friend purchased me the Philosophy shampoo and it was amazing! I was never so grateful for something I put in my hair,” said sophomore Stephanie Lusk. If you are still confused as to what to get your friends, it is okay to resort to gift cards. If you don’t know what to get them, just give them a gift card so they can pick something they like. In the end, you’ll both be happy. Christmas is a time for giving and if you follow this guide, you will be sure to give the people you love the perfect Christmas gift! Having politically correct things surrounding us everywhere brings comfort in the way that we cannot be offended by anything. This craze also has a negative side. It creates an illusion of what people and the real world are actually like. One part of being politically correct is using phrases and words that will not bring offense to anyone. Have you ever heard a person address someone who can’t hear as being visually oriented instead of deaf? Or someone who isn’t tall being called vertically challenged instead of short? At this point, these terms might seem a little ridiculous to include in our everyday vocabulary, but at the rate that the “politically correct” movement is going, hearing these words and phrases no longer seems like such a stretch after all. when organizations wanted to change the beloved character of the Cookie Monster on Sesame Street to the Vegetable Monster, to spread the image of eating healthy food and making the right decisions when it comes to dieting. The most recent goals of these organizations trying to stress the point of being politically correct is to make the legendary Santa Claus lose some considered politically correct. Real life was not intended to be perfect and by sheltering people, especially growing kids, from problems we have today and being polite in an over-the-top kind of way, it takes away from the reality of things,” said sophomore Laura Karras. In a way, our society turns its back on its problems and points fingers at absolutely everything else to blame. The issue of obesity has become a serious problem over the recent generation. Instead of facing the problem head on and making more serious changes, such as cutting down the number of fast food places in an area, organizations choose to point their fingers at characters like Santa Claus, as the cause for such problems. The generations before ours grew up with a chubby Santa Claus and a cookingeating Cookie Monster and obesity wasn’t a serious problem at the time. Obesity and some of the other issues our society now faces are the problem of the individual. If a person decides to go to a fast food place on a regular basis, that’s their choice, not Santa Claus or the Cookie Monsters. “The group claims that by Santa being overweight, the point of controlling obesity isn’t being stressed enough to children.” Addressing things in a politically correct way has gone beyond just words. Pictures used in school books, entertainers on T.V. shows, and even some characters from our favorite pasttimes are all feeling the pressure to give into the new “politically correct” world. The revolution started to gain the public’s attention once organizations hurried to make changes with the media. A prime example of this is Gina Nepa weight and say, “Ha Ha Ha” instead of the commonly known jingle, “Ho Ho Ho”. The group claims that by Santa being overweight, the point of controlling obesity isn’t being stressed enough to children. Also, the word “ho” holds several meanings in today’s society and one of those meanings can be interpreted negatively towards women. Although associations mean well when they choose what to change next and make politically correct, many people think it has gotten out of hand. “I personally think it’s ridiculous that everything has to be School Sports: Separate But Equal Staff Writer PT has always been known for its variety of recreational activities and overly energetic pep rallies. Controversy arises, however, as the true meaning behind these pep rallies is established. Students scoff at the school headline attention and pep assemblies being solely focused on football. Recently, two girls from varsity tennis won the PIAA Class AAA State Girls Doubles title, but minimal focus was given. At the very least, a pep rally could have been assembled to honor the winning boys varsity soccer team for its victory in the PIAA Class AAA Championship game. Students question these decisions and why the school focuses on football. “The whole thing is stupid,” explained sophomore Carly Ellis. “Our football record is horrible.” Truth be told, various other sports teams have been winning championships left and right, but the entire school prospers over the win of one football game. “I don’t like the fact that girls’ sports are less represented,” added sophomore Danielle Dolcich. Agreeing with Dolcich, a recent broadcast from tries to highlight the bias that women face while on the athletic field. On www.nikewomen. com, Tamika Catchings, a famed WNBA player, explains that “It’s not a boys thing, it’s not a girls thing, it’s a skills thing.” Next time, before we raise our arms in celebration of a win on the football field, let’s look around at all of the other star sports teams nipping us in the bud. Pucks are shot into nets, baseballs are slammed across the field, and slam dunks are proclaimed. Let’s put equal consideration into the unbelievable effort that these various teams have put in. Go, PT! SHE SAID HE SAID Alex Egan Christmas What do you want for Christmas most this year? Brian Lewis Pittsburgh Steelers season tickets. What’s your To get into my first choice college. And of course, a new pair of Ugg boots. favorite thing about Christmas? Snowboarding, decorating the tree, and seeing my cousins. Everything! The lights, the snow, the Christmas carols, the holiday cheer… I love it all! What does your Christmas Eating, sleeping, and being merry. break consist of? Eating, sleeping, Seven Springs, and having a grand old time with my friends. What’s your favorite Christmas I am going to have to go with Elf. How do you movie? You’ll shoot your eye out! You’ll shoot your eye out!!! (A Christmas Story) celebrate the holidays? Eating waffles on Christmas morning and visiting with relatives. Parties with friends and family of course!
  10. 10. Sports 10 01 IAN IAN JACKSON Smoke Signals 01 Extra TAYLOR Point RELICH Averi Clements Staff Writer IJ: T.O. is the greatest athlete currently on this planet, let alone the best wide receiver in the league. He led the NFL in receiving touchdowns last year, even while playing with a broken bone in his hand. He is the best combination of strength and speed and he runs the best routes also, he is the best player in the league and the best receiver. The girls’ basketball team has made huge progress – they’ve turned their record around from being 9 and 16 to 15 and 9 in just one year. Correal says that much of this success is due to the team’s foot speed and firm defense. She believes that the IJ: I agree that Moss is a great receiver, but second best nonetheless. Owens brings more to the table than just touchdowns, celebrations, great catches, popcorn, and great suites. The guy is the second best blocking receiver in the NFL according to an SI player’s poll in 2006(behind Steeler, Hines Ward). He also is dedicated to winning. Moss’s dedication has been questioned many times, while T.O.’s hasn’t and never will be. IJ: The Cowboys are the second best team in the league and obviously don’t have the same power as the Patriots, but T.O. is a better player. It is plain and simple; he makes his teammates truly shine. He may not always get along with all his teammates, but it is usually tough love. He has made below average quarterbacks such as Tony Romo actually become superstars, while Randy just cries if he doesn’t have a star throwing him the pigskin. Donovan McNabb has never had stats like he did when he was throwing to Owens. The only receiver in history better than Owens was his mentor, Jerry Rice. I guarantee somewhere Jerry is smiling knowing that he helped T.O. become the best. combination of great teamwork and the girls’ individual talents has helped them get as far as they have. “I see us going deep into the playoffs this season for the first time in a long while,” she remarked. The team’s future is not the only one that looks bright; Correal plans to continue playing basketball in college. “There are a lot of division colleges looking at me, and I’m going to visit the ones I’m interested in,” she said. Correal is going to attend a school that fits her academic needs as well as basketball. Even though she will be moving on from high school in under two years, Correal will take many memories from her experiences, especially the team’s victory against Bethel Park this year. They had never beat them before. “The celebration when the buzzer sounded was priceless,” she recalled. “I see us going deep in the playoffs this season, for the first time in a long while.” -Emily Correal, junior TR: I don’t really know what to say to such delusional praise of an athlete, but Randy Moss is definitely a better receiver. He can make the big plays when it counts. When he was in Oakland, he didn’t have a good quarterback to get him the ball. Now that he is with the New England Patriots and their pass-happy offense, Moss has scored 19 receiving touchdowns in 13 games. Anyway, Moss is also faster than T.O. and is a more integral part of his team’s offense. TR: Moss’s dedication has been questioned when the teams he has been on have had any other talent around him. T.O. has also had trouble in the past with his team play. All he did when the Eagles were struggling was blame Coach Andy Reid and his quarterback Donovan McNabb. To throw away all other statistics, whose team has more wins this season? I am far from a Patriots fan, but that statistic speaks for itself. Emily Correal: She Shoots, She Scores Junior Emily Correal is as much a part of the girls’ basketball team as the team is a part of her. Since she began playing the sport in third grade, Correal has had many accomplishments. She lead the high school team in scoring and rebounding in her first two years at PTHS. Among many awards, she has received the MVP award for the McGuffey tournament and was the All-District player as both a freshman and sophomore. During WPIALs, she was named the All-Section player and was among the Fabulous Five. However, her proudest triumph was when she won the Observer Reporter’s Player of the Year award as a Sophomore. Correal credits her accomplishments to her dedicated father. “My dad helps me so much by giving me tips and coaching me whenever he gets a chance. It is great to have that support. He and my mom never miss a highschool game or AAU tournament,” she said. Who is the NFL’s best wide receiver? December 2007 Jordan Dent Holiday Conversation: Sports Movies Sports Co-Editor As my family sat around the turkey, mashed potatoes, and other fixings of another absolutely delicious Thanksgiving dinner, I realized the need for more interesting conversation than just memories that consisted of “…well, back when we were in ‘Nam…,” and “…yet another time I had to bail out my little brother.” So, as everyone was wiping their eyes from the laughter, and going back for their second helping of pumpkin pie, I very casually brought up the subject of the greatest sports movie ever made. It’s a pretty safe bet that no one was expecting that to come up at that specific moment, but everyone definitely had their own idea of which movies were the best. I got pretty much the same responses from my dad, grandfather, and a few of my uncles. The list included Hoosiers, a classic, Caddyshack, naturally, and of course, a Rocky or two had to be thrown in there somewhere. However, as far as absolutes go, Bull Durham and The Natural took the top spots. My younger siblings and cousins gave me a very typical, unoriginal, of-course-they’re-onthe-best-sports-movies-ever-list list. Remember the Titans (a movie that actually deserves to be in the top five) made this list, as did Invincible, which is all right if you are a Mark Wahlberg fan. Miracle was also suggested, which is another one that would make anyone’s top 10. Am I spotting a trend? Perhaps Disney’s sappy makings of inspiring true stories that tell of a teams’ hardships and how they work together to overcome them? It gets better. We Are Marshall and Glory Road topped off the U-10 (under-10) list of best sports movies ever made. Once I reached the brainstorm of my uncle and other grandfather, I was finally starting to get some creativity. I’m not saying that I necessarily agree with them, but at least they were thinking outside the box. First, Rudy. I know many people disagree, but I think Rudy is a great movie. Slap Shot TR: Everything you said in that last paragraph was totally wrong. First of all, how can you say T.O. makes his teammates better when he single-handedly ripped apart the Philadelphia Eagles franchise? I think your comment about Moss crying if he doesn’t have a star quarterback is the other way around. Tony Romo could not be considered Ian Jackson in any stretch of the imagination “a below Staff Writer average quarterback”, and T.O. did not have anything to do with his rise to stardom. The Last year the Peters Township Boys Basketball NFC is so bad that without Owens, I think team struggled throughout the season. They finished with a poor record and didn’t really even compete with many the Cowboys would still have 14 wins of their opponents. This year promises to be different. The team has the core of last year’s players IJ: I don’t ever want to hear that kind of talk returning as well as some new additions. The main about Terrell Eldorado Owens again (yeah that reasons that this year will be different are: Nick is his real middle name. Pretty sweet huh?). It is Wilcox is another year wiser and more dominant totally uncalled for. No comment on the Eagles than in the past, JD Adamsky will get a lot of playing situation, but what did Romo ever do without time throughout the season, and this year’s seniors, T.O.? You may say he never had the chance such as Pat Russo, will continue to play steadily well. Wilcox was named as a player to watch by or whatever, but I can guarantee you he would the Observer Reporter after last season. They were have never had as much correct; Nick is off to a dominant start this season. He success without T.O. has led the team to a 5-0 record, with a team high 176 catching the dead ducks points and a clutch, buzzer beating shot to win one that he throws. If T.O. had of those games. He was awarded the Player of the Tom Brady and played in Week for his play in the first week of play this season. the Patriot’s offense, he Nick is the leading junior on the team, would have at least 35 alongside Steve Radke, and will be counted on touchdowns. to be a valuable leader to the younger players. One of those players includes sophomore Corey Wilcox, Nick’s little brother, who is constantly full of jokes. Coach Gary Goga, who is being recognized around the area as a great young coach, leads the team for his third season. He fully understands the type of talent and potential this 2008 team has. “I really like the talent we have this year. I have had talent in the past, but this team is looking really tough,” Goga stated confidently. “But they need to stick together and work hard, if they want to have a successful season.” Wilcox gives the Indians a player who is not afraid to drive to the hole, but also has the ability to knock was another proposal by the duo, along with Chariots of Fire. I heard Rocky for the second time, and they put Field of Dreams in the number five spot. Again, I don’t agree or disagree with their list, however I must give them props for thinking of movies that my under-10 league has never even heard of before. I was surprised that I didn’t hear a few titles that I figured that I would, the first being The Sandlot, which is a personal favorite of mine. Another movie that wasn’t mentioned was Friday Night Lights, which, in my opinion, is one of the best football movies ever. The Mighty Ducks wasn’t brought up either, and even though it maxes out as far as clichés go, it still has a pretty good story. I suppose the moral of my story is, when an awkward silence arises or you’re sick of hearing dumb stories for the trillionth time, bring up the subject of the best sports movies ever. You are guaranteed to hear from everyone and have a few laughs while you are at it. Nick Wilcox: Ready to Shine down the outside shot. He is great at slashing through traffic and attacking the rim. That ability will give the team a great inside-outside combo when Nick is in with a good big man. It is hopefully going to be a superb season for the team this year. They may have enough talent to finally remove the perennial losing from the minds of students. Will they make that happen? With a great player like Nick, they have the ability to do that and much more. “I hope we can pull out many big wins this season against our section rivals,” Nick told me. “Individually I am aiming for around twenty points per game, but only to help the team win. I think we can Photo By: Emily Estep make the playoffs Junior Nick Wilcox practices lay-ups. Wilcox for the first time leading the team in scoring with 25 points. since 2000.”
  11. 11. Sports Taylor Relich PT Soccer- State Champs Once More Staff Writer We all knew the team was good, but it was just a matter of time until the whole state recognized us as a force in high school soccer. Peters Township added another chapter to its illustrious soccer history with a 2-1 overtime win against Downingtown West. After falling behind 1-0, PT rallied in the second half. Mark Majoras scored the tying goal on a pass from Tim Hutchins with 7:09 left in regulation. In overtime, Shane Pruitt shot the winning goal on an assist by Nick Wilcox, to boost the team to their first AAA state crown. 11 Sports Briefs Boys’ Basketball 6-0, 2-0 in Section 1st place in WPIAL Wilcox- 25 points For Coach Bob Dyer, this championship was both a return to state gold, as well as a return to Hershey for the fourth time. Dyer was on the Peters 1988 state championship team, as well as the 1989 team that shared the state championship with Great Valley High School. He was an assistant coach for the 1998 team who lost in the final game of the state playoffs to none other than Downingtown. “This last time for me was very special because as I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate the memories that myself and the team will hold forever,” said Dyer. Through the years, there have been many changes to the PIAA soccer championship. According to Dyer, the state championship has become much more prestigious and the level of talent has definitely been raised. This state championship has not come without hard work though. Coach Dyer said that the team had a specific approach to this game. “We wanted to make sure that our players knew as much about the other team as possible, and we kept distractions to a minimum.” Dyer explained that the goal throughout the playoffs was to make each game seem like any ordinary game. Coach Dyer said, “The reason the team went so far in the playoffs is that in every game someone else stepped up.” Shane Pruitt, the team’s most highly recruited senior said, “In the state final, everyone played their best, given the conditions.” The Indians overcame pressure, expectations, and most importantly Downingtown West. The soccer team was recognized by the December 2007 Girls’ Basketball 5-1, 2-1 in Section 2nd place Correal- 20 points Wrestling Photo By: Emily Grisnik The Indian soccer team finished the season with only two losses, and won the 2007 State Championship held in November at Hersheypark Stadium. Washington County Commissioner’s Office. The team’s juniors look forward to another championship- caliber season next year, but living up to this year’s expectations will be no easy task. “It was nice to celebrate and be recognized,” said junior Nick Wilcox, “but we have to focus on next season now.” 0-1 Swimming Season starts in January The Steelers Give Back Bill Berry Sports Co-Editor Christmas is a time of giving, and professional athletes are taking the opportunity to lend a helping hand. All across the country they are using their million dollar salaries for good, by giving back to the less fortunate. But no team contributes more than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch is one of the strongest supporters of charity. His foundation, The Best of the Batch, benefits local children from the Homestead area. Batch provides underprivileged kids with opportunities to play sports, go on field trips, and attend educational programs. This year he will receive the Jerome Bettis Award for Humanity and Community Service for his work in providing local kids with a better chance to succeed. Defensive End Brett Keisel recently hosted the 65 Roses Sports Auction to benefit kids with cystic fibrosis. Keisel took a personal interest in the cause because some of the members of his family had been affected by the life threatening disease. “To have the support of the Steelers and the players, and that it means that much to them to take time out of their day and do this means the world to us,” said the director of Western Pennsylvania’s chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Pat Joseph ( Deshea Townsend, Hines Ward, Heath Miller, Carey Davis, and Anthony Madison donated their time to the Light of Life Rescue Mission over Thanksgiving. The players had the chance to help Also helping out Children’s Hospital were Health Miller, Matt Spaeth, James Farrior, Clark Haggans, and Carey Davis. They took time to sign autographs, take pictures, and interact with patients. The National Football League also gets into the giving spirit. The NFL donates $30 million of airtime to the United Way Foundation to broadcast their public service announcements. The PSAs feature athletes such as Shawn Merriman and DeShea Townsend who volunteer their time free of charge. Their messages of hope reach 120 million viewers every week. If more athletes recognize their responsibility to the community and give back the world would be a better place. Hopefully, the Christmas spirit will inspire more and more athletes to take an active role in their communities. “The more that you can do, you should. If we can bring a smile to their face just by showing up and having a conversation with, it’s the least we can do,” said Deshea Townsend ( “The NFL donates $30 million of airtime to the United Way Foundation to broadcast their public service announcements.” prepare Thanksgiving dinner, sing Christmas carols, and talk with the less fortunate. The Steelers have had a strong connection with Toys for Tots. Charlie Batch held a drive in Homestead to benefit local children, and the Steelers’ organization teamed up with the Marines for a Toys for Tots drive in early December. Linebackers Clark Haggans and LaMarr Woodley held their own toy drive to benefit Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital. Hockey 7-2-0 14 points 1st place Indoor Track Meets begin in January Boys’ Soccer CongratulationsState Champs! Girls’ Tennis Congratulations to Emily Palko and Julie StroyneState Doubles Champs!
  12. 12. Voices in the Hall PTHS December 2007 Smoke Signals What is your favorite holiday song? Melissa Carbonara and Brighid Knoll ‘08 Ron Massari ‘09 “’I Won’t Be Home For Christmas’ by Blink-182” “Mr. Antonelli’s DNA Replication song” Anni Keffer ‘10 “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Karen Jackson‘11 “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” What’s your strangest holiday tradition? Valerie Lang ‘08 “My parents hide a pickle ornament in our Christmas tree and whoever finds it first on Christmas day gets an extra present.” Jenna Simmons ‘09 Robert Lois ‘10 “My family opens our gifts on Christmas Eve” “I write love letters” Luke Cellini ‘11 “My cousins sprinkle ‘Reindeer dust’ on the front yard.” What the Teachers Have to Say Mr. Whalen “Once I was done unwrapping Mr. Maize my stocking, I would put it on my “’Silent Night’, because it brings foot and wear it the rest of out the true meaning of Christmas.” the morning.” P T Mr. Compeggie “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’, because it’s my daughter’s favorite song” Minute the Mrs. Kocan “Um, finding a pickle on the tree.” Pete Ross ‘08 What was your best Christmas ever? When my brother fell off the tree, while he was trying to decorate it. What was the best gift you’ve ever gotten? Stenger in a Santa Suit What was the best gift you have ever given, and to who? Tube Socks for my mom Do you have any Christmas traditions? Leaving cookies for Santa Claus, and a rose for Mrs. Clause What is your favorite Christmas movie, why? Bad Santa What is your favorite Christmas carol, why? Feliz Navidad Sean Connors ‘08 What was your best Christmas ever? I’ve never had a good Christmas. What was the best gift you’ve ever gotten? Can Opener What was the best gift you have ever given, and to who? I don’t give gifts. Do you have any Christmas traditions? No What is your favorite Christmas movie, why? Home Alone What is your favorite Christmas carol, why? Run, Run, Rudolph, because Mikey D said so. 12