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February 2008

Volume 39, Issue 4

Wanted: Mone...
Peters Township Reference
PTHS

February 2008

February 2008

Smoke Signals

Sunday

Tuesday

Monday

Wednesday

Thursday
...
News

PTHS

February 2008

Smoke Signals

Super Efforts for the Souper Bowl
Melanie Hoffman

Staff Writer

Cities around t...
4

Features

PTHS

February 2008

Smoke Signals

Future
of Online
Schooling
Paige Burris
Staff Writer
Online schooling can...
PTHS

February 2008

Emily Estep
Staff Writer

And The Winner Is…

The votes will be cast, and in
February, the major movi...
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Stephanie Cotugno

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The Language Of Love
News Writer

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How do you know that you’re
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“When I think about him
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Sara Weaver ‘08
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Opinion

February 2008

PTHS

Smoke Signals

More Tissues, Please

4.	
Titanic. This classic love story has already gon...
February 2008

PTHS

Opinion

Let’s Rock with Guitar Hero III

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Dana Hoelle

Staff Writer

	
Guitar Hero III: Legends
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Sports
Extra
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Smoke Signals

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TAYLOR
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Who is your NBA dream team?
IJ: If I could h...
Getting Pinned Not an Option
Averi Clements

February 2008

Sports

Staff Writer

After going completely
winless in the 20...
Voices in the Hall
What is your idea of a perfect Valentine’s gift?

Dan Hinson ‘08

Zac Chavel ‘10

Kristina Gaudy ‘09

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Feb. 2008 Smoke Signals Issue 4

  1. 1. D a y fro m , ne’s pp y V alent i Ha Y Y Y Smoke Signals Y Y Y PTHS February 2008 Volume 39, Issue 4 Wanted: Money for College Photo By Melanie Hoffman Senior NatALIE nITCHMANn researches financial aid during study hall in the Career Resource Center. Nitchmann college choices are between Penn State and Allegheny College. Grant Burkhardt News Editor T he common misconception among high school students and parents is that if they don’t have the right family demographic, they cannot receive much financial aid for college. This is not true. Last year, over $4 million was given to high school seniors in the form of federal aid and scholarships. To get money, however, a prospective college student must know where to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. First, the best place to look for financial aid is through the government. The biggest chunk of college aid is found in this way. Parents use their tax returns from the previous year to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms. After mailing the forms, a student can expect to receive at least few thousand dollars in aid. The only problem with the FAFSA is that it is based primarily on family makeup and income. Essentially, an only child of a wealthy family shouldn’t be counting on the FAFSA to put him through school. The next place a student should look is through the school they are applying to. Don’t wait until after acceptance to start looking for money inside the school. Every school has some money to give to incoming freshmen, and they are willing to give it to even the most mediocre students. Many application-based scholarships exist so incoming freshman can get more money to fund their education. Colleges, especially state schools, have many non-application scholarships where a student is placed into a pool of students based on high school GPA and standardized test scores. Senior CJ McAllister used this avenue explaining how, “right after I was accepted, they sent me a letter saying I had qualified to be one of their freshman scholars. The money is renewable for all four years I’m there.” All a student has to do is find out where the money is located. Most schools have parts of their website that deal with financial aid. In that section of the website, most of the money appears as scholarships. When all the money is added up, the collegiate financial burden seems slightly more affordable. The biggest resource a college student has is the federal reserve using the FAFSA, but a student can expect to get the majority of his financial aid through his particular school using scholarships and grants from different school departments.
  2. 2. Peters Township Reference PTHS February 2008 February 2008 Smoke Signals Sunday Tuesday Monday Wednesday Thursday 1 Hey Seniors! We’re Half Way there!!!! Friday 1 Boys Varsity Basketball VS. Canon McMillan 7:30 New Year’s Day! HAPPY 2008! 2 Saturday 2 Boys Varsity Basketball VS. Thomas Jefferson 2:30 Ground Hog Day! 3 Endangered Species 4 Act was enacted 1 73 9 5 Apollo 14 - the third US manned Moon expedition. Alan Shepard & Edward Mitchell walk on Moon for 4 hours in 1971 6 10 11 French & Indian War The Beatles’ first US Ended, 1763 concert in Washington DC, 1964 12 13 17 18 19 President’s Day! U. S. Marines landed on Iwo Jima, 1945 Girls Varsity Basketball VS. Greater Latrobe 7:30 Superbowl Sunday Blondie & Dagwood were married in 1933 NO SCHOOL! 24 25 180 a r e ex ch a n g e d o n Day Va l e n t i n e ’s Day National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 14 Valent ine’s Day Boys Varsity Wrestling - Montour - Senior Rec 7:30 15 Galileo Galilei’s Birthday 9 Snowball 16 NO SCHOOL! 20 Kurt Cobain’s Bithday 21 Alka Seltzer was introduced in 1931 22 27 28 M*A*S*H” TV Series final episode airs February 28, 1983 29 National Polar Bear Day Million heart-shaped boxes are chocolate are sold for Valentine’s Day each year are Roses Drew Barrymore & George Washington’s Birthday! 23 Pie Day Leap Day! Valentine’s Maze 2 Places in the United send States are named themsevlves flowers Va l e n t i n e : Va l e n - on Valentine’s Day. tine, Nebraska & Of women Va l e n t i n 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: sitlern@pt-sd.org. Dream of Your Sweetheart Day 8 Of flowers bought on 15% Coed Varsity Swimming & Diving - Canon MacSenior Rec 6:00 36 48% Millon greeting cards Va l e n t i n e ’s Boys Varsity Wrestling VS. Avella 7:30 26 World Trade Center bombing, February 26, 1993 Operation Desert Storm Ground Campaign began, 1991 7 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 Te x a s 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 http://www.astrolog.org/labyrnth/art.htm
  3. 3. News PTHS February 2008 Smoke Signals Super Efforts for the Souper Bowl Melanie Hoffman Staff Writer Cities around the world are not only looking forward to the biggest football game of the year – the Super Bowl taking place in Miami, Florida- but also a huge volunteer effort:the Souper Bowl. This event utilizes Super Bowl weekend to mobilize youth to fight hunger and poverty in their local communities. Local schools, churches, and organizations raise money for a nonprofit organization of their choice. Charities such as The American Red Cross, Kids Against Hunger, and Meals on Wheels benefit from the hard work of the communities volunteers. The Souper Bowl of Caring was started in Columbia, South Carolina in 1990. There, twenty-two churchgoers raised $5,700. There has been a great increase in popularity of the event, and in 2007 the participants raised over $8,165,644. The bar is set high for this year due to the large amount of money raised last year. Volunteers are always needed to collect money, food, and much more. Local participants are All Saints Greek Orthodox Church, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, and Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Junior Wes Schimd-Broome, an active member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church’s fundraising, explained, “The day before the Super Bowl, our church holds a 24 hour fast sponsored by different organizations by the hour. Most of our proceeds go to non-profit Lutheran organizations. In my opinion, those charities are among the most proficient and productive, and any leftovers going to the Peters Township Food Pantry.” If interested in participating, you can go to www.souperbowl.org for more details. Sweet Summer Seasons: Thespian Troupe Presents Dandelion Wine Renée Wunderlich Co-Editor-In-Chief Dandelion Wine, a tale depicting the many stages of life, love, and summer vacation, will be hitting the stage February 21-23. Director Mr. Wood will be weaving together two styles of theatre performance: presentational (facing the audience) and representational (character facing character). “Combining these techniques provides for a more unusual and imaginative production than other high school shows thus far,” said Wood, “With Dandelion, the audience needs to play an active role in ‘seeing’ the adventure play out within their own minds.” c o m m e n t e d McIntyre, “There is no set, there are no costumes, but it’s not a complete Reader’s Theatre experience. There are some scenes where characters are talking directly to each other, and stools and ladders are used as scenery. It’s all about how the actors inspire the audience’s memories and the songs of yesteryear, Dandelion Wine recalls the many whimsical elements of childhood, as well as the simple magic of a summer day. While the joys and celebrations of life are highlighted during each day during the summer of 1928, so are the darker qualities of existence, such as death and the feeling of loss. The play includes a cast The boys and their friends Lucy (senior Sara Taylor) and John (junior Drew Caliguri) also meet shop keeper Sanderson, played by sophomore James Northrop, and civil war veteran Colonel Freeleigh, played by senior Sam RodgersMelnick (who doubles as a symbolic guitar player). Ben Pritz and Dan DeLuca play Freeleigh’s old friends Pawnee Bill and Miguel. Jess Ward plays the nurse. The disembodied voices of the town chorus will be played by: Carly A d a m s , Lindsay Bayer, Olivia Bayer, Alexa Baxendell, Kelsey Boze, Kaitlyn Corbett, Julia Devine, Breanna Ferchak, Keliegh Fitzgerald, Kyle Gramling, Annemarie hall, Katy Hartenbach, Hannah Hobbs, Lauren Hobbs, Kara Hunter, Ali Jacobs, Melissa Jarrett, Sarah Leech, Carl Mitchell, Angelina Nepa, Natalie Palamides, Monica Paterra, Becky Rosky, Stephanie Shultz, Lauren Spinabelli, Madison Squeglia, MarliAnn Thinges, Ben West, Renée Wunderlich, and Laura Zini. “Combining these techniques provides for a more unusual and imaginative production than other high school shows thus far,” Wood will also be integrating many songs typical of the 1920’s, and will be aided by sophomores Evan McIntyre (assistant director) and Linsey VanNewKirk (stage manager). Ticket sales will be reported over the morning announcements and can be purchased during all lunch periods, as well as on show nights. “This performance is going to be really different,” imagination.” Written in 1975, Dandelion Wine is a semi-autobiographical drama of its author, Ray Bradbury. The plot centers on 12-yearold Douglas Spaulding (who is presumably a version of young Bradbury), played by sophomore Tom Norton. The title itself refers to the beverage bottled from dandelions found on the Spauldings’ front lawn. This homemade dandelion wine is also a tangible symbol for the blissful months of its brewing. Sewn together by summertime of characters that sprawl the emotional palate, an infinite supply of symbolism, and a route to happiness. Douglas and his brother, Tom (sophomore Harry Buzzatto) embark on adventures of all sorts, running into trouble and learning about the world around them. The Spaulding family serves as the heart of the play, featuring sophomore Justin Gaab as the boy’s father, senior Jess Rothaar as their mother, and senior Gina Wagner and freshman Hardy Kern and great grandma and grandpa. 3 NHS Sponsors Annual Dodge Ball Tournament The PTHS National Honor Society is sponsoring the 4th Annual Dodge Ball Tournament for the Make-AWish Scholarship Fund. It will be held on Tuesday, February 19th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm in the high school gym. Each school in the district will organize a faculty team. These faculty teams will compete against each other to have an ultimate champion. Admission will be $4.00. Beginning Feb 12th, advanced tickets will be sold in some of the district schools and in the athletic office at the high school during school hours. Please contact your school for specific information. Tickets will also be sold at the door on February 19th. Please make checks payable to Peters Township National Honor Society. Any parent willing to donate baked goods for this event please drop them off at the Peters Township High School labeled Mrs. Kendrick room A306 on Tuesday February 19th during school hours or bring them directly to the event. Please have them wrapped for individual sale. Thank you for all of your help! What In The World? We’ve all heard of arrests involving cars and pedestrians, but this one is truly unique: Tasos Pouliasis of Athens, Greece has been charged for damaging property after walking over a car that was parked illegally on the sidewalk. The car was allegedly blocking the walkway, making it impossible for anyone to go around it. Pouliasis is now facing a fine, while the owner of the vehicle was not even given a ticket. Tired of trying to decipher the annoying slang of American Idol’s Randy Jackson? Well, look no further, boys and girls! Lucy van Amerongen of Box in Gloucestershire, England has written a guide to teenage slang after her parents complained that they couldn’t understand anything that she said. The guide has over 300 unique words and includes three of her own personal agendas: “never make eye contact when talking to a ‘mouldie’ (parent), always mumble inaudibly, and try to include ‘like’ in every sentence.” “Till death do us part” is probably one of the most ignored vows in American history – we have one of the highest divorce rates in the world, if not the highest. What you may not be aware of, however, is that January 7th is the most popular day for couples to file for divorce. Why? “Over Christmas, people spend more time together than they usually would,” family lawyer Suzanne Kingston of Dawsons Solicitors stated. “And at New Year’s people often make resolutions and think about what they want for the future.” Which, unfortunately, may not include their current significant other. When you lose something, it’s always in the last place you look. Kristy Brittain of Magra, Tasmania had long given up finding her nose ring after it fell out when she was kneeboarding. To her surprise, she did find it again – inside of one of the fish her fiancé, Darren Triffett, had intended for that night’s dinner. I guess this proves that the old saying is true: there are plenty of fish in the sea – you just have to find the right one. I was under the impression that the expression was “taking candy from a baby”, not money. Thirty-year-old Ryan A. Mueller of Sheboygan, Wisconsin has been charged with sneaking into the bedroom of a two-year-old and stealing twenty dollars from a piggy bank. Mueller’s bond was set for $10,000 and he faces up to nine and a half years in prison. Compiled by Katie Ellis, Staff Writer
  4. 4. 4 Features PTHS February 2008 Smoke Signals Future of Online Schooling Paige Burris Staff Writer Online schooling can leave children and teenagers with bad communication skills. Sure, it’s fun to sleep in, but communication skills are needed to build character. Some parents think sheltering kids for their entire lives is going to help, but in the long run it will only hurt them. People learn from making mistakes, and social interaction is how teens discover their identity. Imagine how different someone’s life could be if they did online schooling instead of public or private school? If a student participates online schooling only for some classes and comes to public school for the rest of the time that would be ideal. They would get to teach themselves and learn how to study on their own, but also get the whole experience of elementary school through high school. “Online schooling would be a great idea.” Sophomore Kelsey Boze suggested. Others also agree, because high school is not the best at all times, and some would rather sit at home and do the school work. Classes should be online, but not totally taught on the computer. If someone goes on a trip or is missing a lot of school, it would be a lot better for them to just go online and take the class on the computer instead of waiting until they get back to make everything up. If the plan is just to take online classes for college, that’s not a bad idea because college students typically have a job, and it would be a lot more convenient than having to go to campus every day. Also, if people want to go back to college have a full time job and family, online schooling would be the better idea. Online classes can be a great thing, but not the full experience of actually being at school. GO figure Valentine’s Day Speak The History of Valentine’s Day Andrea Briggs Valentine’s Day conjures up images of candy and flowers, hearts and little cherubs wielding bows, but no February fourteenth would be complete without an exchange of valentine cards. This tradition dates back to the fifteenth century with Charles, the Duke of Orleans, who wrote what many consider the “first” valentine. The holiday itself is more ancient than that, starting with a pagan holiday called Lupercalia, celebrating the god Lupercus and serving as coming-ofage ceremony for men. The ceremony involved a lottery in which each man randomly drew the name of a woman that he would be partnered with for the rest of the year. When the Catholic Church started rising to power, Pope Gelasius changed the pagan practice to reflect Catholicism but wanted to preserve the aspects of love that surrounded the day. Pope Gelasius was faced with the challenge of renaming this holiday, and decided that the Saint “Valentine” would be an appropriate namesake. Valentine was the name of a man who was imprisoned during the third century for marrying couples during a time when the Roman Emperor had banned marriage. While in prison, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, and he would pass notes to her through the bars of his cell. These notes were signed “from your Valentine”, and this phrase is still used to sign modern valentines today. Couples today still use St. Valentine’s Day to express their love for one another. At first, in the Middle Ages, handwritten notes of love were exchanged between pairs. During the 1500’s, flowers became popular after a daughter of France’s Henry the IV held a party in which each lady received a bouquet as a valentine. Today, Valentine’s Day ranks as the number one holiday for florists, with more fresh flowers purchased that day than any other holiday. The Postal Service finds Valentine’s Day as their number two holiday for sending cards, second only to Christmas. Your Own Personal Primary Angelina Nepa OUT Syntax Editor Who Is Your Favorite Celebrity Crush? “Hilary Clinton” Senior Nate Meyers “Zac Efron” Junior Emily Grisnik Features Editor Primary elections are in full swing as the major parties poll the first states. Decisions are upon us, and the seniors finally get to cast their votes as adults for the first time. As this paper goes to print, Iowa, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Michigan have already been decided, while the Pennsylvania primary is scheduled to take place on April 22. How many students will be voting? Says senior Carl Mitchell,” I just got my voter registration card, and it’s really exciting to know I can use it.” Most of the senior class will be 18 by the time the PA primary rolls around, but it’s doubtful that many students will make it out to the polls. Every adult should make it his or her responsibility to get to the voting booth especially for a first ballot. It’s easier than ever for anyone to get registered. The League of Women Voters allows people to do it online. Facebook’s Rock the Vote group helps you register as well. There really is no excuse anymore, except perhaps not knowing about the candidates (and only a few are likely to stick around for Pennsylvania). Democrats: Barack ObamaCharismatic Illinois state senator, and renowned for his public speaking. Wants to end the war, have diplomatic relations with Iran and Syria, and establish a national health care system. Says that his inexperience as a new senator will foster changes that those in Washington have been unable to make. 180 Million Valentines Day cards are sold every year. Hillary Clinton- a very strong advocate of national health care and unwaveringly pro-choice. Wants to end the war as well as support energy conservation. Says her experience of years in Washington will make her effective as a leader. Republicans: Mitt RomneyFormer governor of Massachusetts, has executive experience, adamantly pro-life, does not believe in same-sex marriage, supports some gun control legislation, and wants to carry out the war in Iraq. John McCain- Called a “maverick” by the media for his remarkable nonpartisanship, willing to compromise with members of the Democratic Party, prolife, and opposes national health care. The decision is up to each individual voter, and anyone can vote in either the Republican or the Democratic primary in this state. Just register with either major party by April 22 of this year. It’s no hindrance to register for a certain party because registration does not matter for the final vote for the General Election in November. Regardless of what one believes, it’s important that you make a decision. As John F. Kennedy once said, “Political action is the highest responsibility of a citizen.” It just might be the responsibility of students as well. Americans spent 13.7 Billion dollars on Valentine’s Day in 2006. “Jessica Simpson” Sophomore Vince Courtney “Johnny Depp” Freshman Lexi Quarter “Queen Latifa” Junior Ben Roberson The Average male plans on spending $135.67. 36 million heart shaped boxes are sold for Valentine’s Day. Valentine,s Day is celebrated by of Canadians. 86%
  5. 5. PTHS February 2008 Emily Estep Staff Writer And The Winner Is… The votes will be cast, and in February, the major movie award events will be held. This season is sure to be filled with questions. One arises due to the current writer’s strike, but an even bigger question is ‘what will win the major awards’? Will the ‘picture of the year’ awards go to the dramatic romance, Atonement, the Coen brothers’ No Country For Old Men, or the musical, Sweeney Todd? Which actors will take home individual awards: George Clooney, Denzel Washington, or Tom Hanks? Will Keira Knightley, Ellen Page, or Cate Blanchett be named ‘best actress’? Some things are for certain. No matter what happens with the strike, celebrities will be there to congratulate themselves and receive awards, the same movies will be nominated for similar awards, and there will be plenty of boastful thank you speeches. The most coveted award of every show is without question the ‘best picture’ award. No Country For Old Men appears to be this year’s frontrunner. This crime thriller, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, has critics beaming, and it has already won 29 awards, including 7 ‘best pictures’. No Country For Old Men seems to be destined to win it all. Supposedly, the closest competition to this film is There Bridget Stasenko Staff Writer Will Be Blood, which has already won the National Society of Film Critics’ Best Picture of the Year award. Despite these promising titles, a few underdogs are gathering a lot of support. One film is Juno, starring little known breakthrough actors such as Ellen Page and Michael Cera. Freshman Carlee Schneider remarked, “I was surprised at how good Juno was. I think it has a chance to win some big awards.” Critics are calling it this year’s Little Miss Sunshine. Other popular nominees are Into The Wild, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, Michael Clayton, American Gangster, The Kite Runner, and many more. “I thought American Gangster was a good movie, but not all that it’s cracked up to be,” added sophomore Mike Lehn. Due to the Writer’s Guild of America strike, many celebrities are boycotting these award shows. Some of the key actors from this year’s movies, such as Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington, Keira Knightley, and Jodi Foster have said that they will not be crossing picket lines any time soon. And yet the show must go on. Despite the lack of celebrities, even if shows are postponed or reduced, the winners will be announced, so decide your favorite movies of the year and clear some space on your DVR. Here’s the Tip PTHS has provided its students, staff, and parents with the opportunity to report any unsafe activities. This valuable resource, called the Tip Line, is a toll-free number that is easy to call, anonymous, and nationwide. One can report anything, such as violence, theft, sexual harassment, weapons and drug or alcohol abuse. The tip line is available for use 24/7. It is very easy to use: you simply dial the number, and an operator immediately asks what is being reported. No names or personal information is necessary, just report and hang up. The operator will then take the information and act appropriately to solve the problem. It is sponsored by the K9 Resource Center, who also started conducting random drug sweeps with the use of dogs in PTHS last year. The goal of all these new security tactics is to keep the school and community safe. The Number for the Tip Line is: 1-866-TIP-LINE Chocoholic Heavenly Hershey Stephanie Nitschmann Emily Correal Layout Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it’s time to find something special for your sweetheart. Nothing says “I love you” like a traditional box of chocolates, but what brand is the most legit? Hershey chocolate is the least expensive, but it is not of the highest quality. It is dull, and has a weird after-taste. Sarris chocolate is always good. The milky chocolate melts in your mouth instantly. Not only does it taste good, but it looks good as well. You can get it in almost any shape or form. There are even bars that say “I love you” on the wrapper. But it’s Sarris; and everyone gives and receives Sarris chocolate during Christmas time. So for Valentines Day, you need to switch it up. Godiva chocolate tastes amazing and is romantic. It has a rich chocolaty taste that would make any chocoholic go crazy. There are more than twenty different types of chocolates and there are even mousses. You can also go online and get your ‘box personalized. So this year, give your valentine Staff Writer Sometimes just by looking at a chocolate bar, you can tell what delicious flavor will hit you taste buds. After unwrapping the Hershey, Sarris, and Godiva bar, their differences could immediately be seen. The Hershey bar looked very dark and you could already tell it was going to taste great. The Godiva bar appeared to be the darkest and the richest, and the Sarris bar had its typical milk chocolate look. Even with three different looks and tastes, picking a favorite chocolate bar is always at struggle. My favorite chocolate bar was the Hershey’s. It seemed to have the best balance of milk and chocolate. I could eat at least one more bar and not get that ‘wowI-just-ate-way-too-much-chocolate’ feeling people always seem to get while they keep munching away. It had the right amount of the chocolate flavor to satisfy, but it wasn’t over the-top-rich. It was also apparent that the milk leveled the taste out. Hershey’s was able to make the perfect chocolate bar. My second favorite was the Godiva chocolate. It was the first time I’ve ever tried this chocolate and the richness of it was apparent even to a newcomer. The moment the chocolate hits my tongue, the overwhelming richness of it seems to melt all over my taste buds. I’m a big fan of chocolate, so this big flavor blast wasn’t a problem for me. For those who like milk chocolate more, Godiva would probably not be the right way to go. Sarris was my least favorite chocolate. It was a little milkier but it still had a good amount of the chocolate taste. The reason I liked it less than Hershey and Godiva was because I didn’t feel that I could eat anymore after the one bar. For one sitting, the milk chocolate taste was nice, but if I were to eat another one, I think the extent of the milk chocolate taste would make me feel sick. The right blend of the chocolaty flavor and milk is hard to capture. Chocolate should be rich, but not overthe-top rich, and the milk taste should be apparent but not overbearing. With the proper blend of chocolate and milk, Hershey has managed to make the perfect chocolate bar. Mad About Fashion By Mady Dietrich Features Bring Back Patent Leather 5 Two words radiating through fashion week this year are patent leather. Thanks to designers like Marc Jacobs, Gucci, and Chanel, they have brought the patent leather look from the past and back into the fashion world. Patent leather is a hard, smooth, glossy leather that has been used on shoes and purses since the 1800’ s. Some helpful hints when you’re shopping for this new bag is: get a bag that matches your personality. For example, bright pink is fitting if you have an expressive personality. Size doesn’t matter, but usually the bigger the better. If you are going to buy one, you might as well get a larger one. Pleats on the bag are also a must, according to Elle magazine. You can use this bag at any type of event because patent leather is both formal and informal. Seth Boyden, who wanted to make a material that is durable, invented patent leather in the early 19th century. Patent leather won’t tear like some types of leather might. Boyden then started making clothing out of it, such as dresses, work boots, and jackets that, all lead to the famous bag that we have today. If patent leather isn’t for you, the once popular bag, Lesportsac might be your thing. Lesportsac has many bag styles that come in a different patterns and colors. Lesportsac makes bags out of material that is just as durable as patent leather, and are made out of many environmentally safe products. If one designer can be shown to have brought this brand back, it would be Stella McCartney. McCartney’s non-leather, PETA friendly rucksack bag is the new Lesportsac bag this year. It is in the shape of a bunny, Photo courtesy of www.bagstotesandbeyond.com Sarris Soars Above All Gina Nepa Staff Writer The mystery of the chocolate industry unfolded itself right in front of my eyes. Unwrapping the white and red seal of the Sarris bar presented me with a light brown chocolate, featuring a crispy outer layer. Next, Godiva had a darker, almost black color. Hershey had that all-too-familiar milky brown shade with a creamy taste. On a chilly morning in January, my opinion on chocolate changed forever. By far, I was magnetized towards the Sarris bar. Trying that candy first, the taste was lingering in my mouth for moments afterward. It seemed as if the bar melted on my tongue almost immediately, but did not leave a watery aftertaste. Still, after trying various samples of Hershey and Godiva, Sarris stuck with me. Hershey had a more informal, less altered taste. The scent reminded me of butter, and a sweet milkiness was captured on the first bite. However, I soon got sick of Hershey after about three small squares. Sticking a thin slice of a Godiva bar into my mouth, I experienced immediate displeasure, because of the extreme richness. I find it of no comparison to the likes of Sarris or Hershey after finishing up the three sampling experiments, I still stick to my conclusion that Sarris makes the expectations too high for the other chocolate. Taste and appearance play a prominent role towards my liking of a product, and Sarris provided just that.
  6. 6. Y oF Ge ua YLanG PT Y Stephanie Cotugno Love Y The Language Of Love News Writer Evaluating a relationship can be difficult and identifying one’s emotions can be challenging especially in high school relationships. As one begins to face unfamiliar, new, and exciting feelings, it may seem like an impossible task in determining what exactly he or she is experiencing. Here are some symptoms that help you determine if what you are feeling a crush or is true love: Y Crush? 1. Heart races 2. weaty palms S 3. lushing around him/her B 4. ncontrolled happiness U 5. Thinking about him/her all the time 6. Always seem to mention his/her name in conversations with your friends 7. Look forward to being around him/her and spending time with each other Y 1. You feel yourself and comfortable with one another, as if you have known each other longer than you actually have. 2. You can be anywhere with him/her, and always have a good time. 3. You tend to agree with one another on most issues especially on your personal beliefs, values, philosophies, and life goals. 4. You are involved in one another’s daily affairs, and put their needs before your own. 5. The conversations between the two or you are always personably and lively. 6. You joke around with each other a lot. 7. You trust him or her and feel secure when you are together. 8. If problems arise, you work through the problems and forgive each other easily. 9. You are flexible, and expect the best from one another. 10.You know you can always count on each other. Love ?
  7. 7. Y Y How do you know that you’re attracted to someone? “When I think about him all day - day and night.” Sara Weaver ‘08 “I know for sure that I like someone when our personalities click.” Shane Pruitt ‘08 “I feel warm inside like hot chocolate in my belly.” David Brown ‘09 “When she makes me smile for no reason.” Kyle Falbo ‘10 “You know you are attracted to someone when you find yourself caring about their personal issues.” Maddie Miller ‘09 “I know I like someone when I look forward to seeing him and he makes me laugh.” Carly Hancherick ‘10 “When I blush and talk a lot.” Antra Burgman ‘11 “When I want to impress her.” Kyle Sossi ‘11 Mind Racing Tongue Tied Y Heart Pounding Sweaty Palms Y Lovesick Symptoms ? Butterflies in Stomach Our senior model, Jason Chiappino, demonstrates. Y Weak Knees Visit Y http://ezinearticles.com/ to be introduced to more signs and have your questions clarified by author Christina Akiteng.
  8. 8. 8 Opinion February 2008 PTHS Smoke Signals More Tissues, Please 4. Titanic. This classic love story has already gone into the books as one of the highest grossing films of all time, and understandably so. The tragic tale is one that everyone has seen, knows, and loves. Alex Egan Opinion Editor Valentine’s Day is only a few weeks away, which means it’s the season of love. Those of you who are lucky enough to have valentines, your evening will hopefully be happily spent giving or receiving a heart-shaped box of chocolate and a thoughtful card while enjoying a nice meal with your significant other. As for those of us who are not as fortunate, have no fear. For the past however-many years of my life, I have been stuck at home on Valentine’s Day, while the majority of my friends were out with their loved ones enjoying the holiday. However, take it from the master of sweetheart-less Valentine’s Days that it’s really not so bad. All you need are your fellow lonely-hearted friends and a few romantic DVDs, and you’re set for a fantastic Valentine’s Day. I’ve complied a list of the ten best romantic movies out there (in no particular order), because I believe that no matter if you have a Valentine or not, you should always get the romance you deserve on Valentine’s Day. 1. When Harry Met Sally. Being a personal top favorite of mine, When Harry Met Sally is the classic tale of two best friends who travel down a long road of friendship, awkwardness, hatred, and falling in love. This romantic comedy will have you cracking up the entire time, while swooning over the happy ending and romance. 2. Serendipity. Serendipity is the story of two people who randomly meet in New York City, have the best night of their lives together, and vow never to see each other again unless by chance, leaving fate to reunite them. Although fairly unrealistic, this intriguing love story will be sure to make you wish this could actually happen in real life. 3. The Notebook. Of course, no romantic movie list would be complete without The Notebook. It is a challenge to find any girl who didn’t cry her eyes out during this movie, and impossible to find one who hasn’t seen it. Based on the creative writings of Nicholas Sparks, this film is a flawless tearjerker for romance lovers. 5. Love Story. As I’m sure that not many people in our generation have seen it, Love Story is known as The Notebook of our parents’ generation. With the classic boy-meets-girl storyline, the end of this tale of everlasting love and romance will have you reaching for the tissues and a new coat of mascara. 6. Romeo and Juliet. As we all know, this is the love story of loves stories. This romantic, tragedy written by the infamous William Shakespeare is the one that started them all, and will be sure to leave you weeping in awe. 7. A Walk to Remember. The story of two classmates who couldn’t have less in common snowballs into a romance so strong that not even death can destroy it. Also based on a novel by romantic genius Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember will leave you with a desire for romance and a waterfall of tears. 8. Beauty and the Beast. I know, I know, it’s a Disney movie. But who can resist the timeless love tale of a barbaric beast winning over the heart of a kind and generous beauty? The enchanting story is pure proof that love takes patience, and is a truly romantic fairy tale that will warm your heart. 9. Dirty Dancing. For some reason, this movie has always been a favorite of mine. When a professional dance instructor, Johnny, teaches a left-footed girl nicknamed “Baby” how to dance, sparks automatically begin to fly. This flick will not only steal your heart away, but it will make you want to get up and dance. After all, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” 10. Casablanca. Known as one of the best American films of all time, Casablanca is a passionate story of two old lovers who are brought together again in the dangers of World War II. Although bitter at first, the two manage to fall back in love again, but the twist at the end of the movie is one that not many can understand. Still, this amorous tale is not only a romantic favorite, but an all-American classic in general. Media Stinks Up Steroids Brian Lewis Happy SAD Katie Ellis Staff Writer Opinion Editor There is a steroid problem growing among the national media. They have double standards about how steroid incidents are reported regarding the NFL and MLB In the NFL, a player can be suspended for four games like Rodney Harrison, yet he is still in prime position to win a Super Bowl ring. In Major League Baseball, a player is crucified the second his name pops up in a report. Maybe someone should ask Rafael Palmero what the media does when a player tests positive for steroids in baseball. The worst part of this is how the national media treats steroids. For the NFL, steroids seem to be no big deal. If a guy gets suspended for any length of time, the general question is how the team will cope with the loss of an important star. Instead of railing against how the player in question is in fact a cheater, the media just seems to kick dirt over the fact that players in the NFL constantly test positive for steroids. While the media is busy sweeping the NFL’s problems under the rug, their attack dogs are busy tearing into the MLB for their steroid use. Nowadays, anytime that a baseball player is even linked to a known steroid supplier, the warning bells come out blaring about how horrible steroids are for baseball. The hard part to believe about all of this hoopla is that the media believes steroids are a bigger destruction to baseball (a sport that requires more skill than any other) than to the NFL (where power and muscle rule the day). It seems to me that this is an unwarranted double standard. Then of course, there is the Mitchell Report that just keeps adding to the bias. Released by former senator George Mitchell, the Mitchell Report was an attempt by Major League Baseball to find out just how deep the steroid scar had spread. Unfortunately, the report was short on evidence, and long on speculation. This did not stop the media from jumping on the biggest name in the report, exNew York Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens. Despite nothing except the testimony of a man with questionable ethics, the national media has repeatedly attacked Clemens for his alleged steroid use. Now don’t get me wrong, all steroid users should be banned from their respective sport as soon as they test positive for steroids, but the evidence against Clemens is circumstantial at best, and the media should not presume that he is guilty before the evidence is analyzed beyond a reasonable doubt. Fishtank: How Romantic By Renée Wunderlich Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Thursday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day. Buy your overpriced candy and half-dead flowers now before the costs skyrocket. Or you could just wait for the holiday that falls the day after Valentine’s Day. What, you may ask, is this obscure and under-publicized holiday? Why, it’s Singles Awareness Day, appropriately called SAD. It is on this day that the uncoupled people of America throw parties and send flowers to their other single friends and themselves. It is a day that you will frequently hear the phrase “Happy SAD” shouted through hallways, as there are literally dozens of people that celebrate this holiday each year. Many of you have come to believe that Singles Awareness Day falls on the same day as Valentine’s Day. Yes, SAD and Valentine’s Day did originally fall upon the same date, but in recent years SAD was moved to the fifteenth so that the holiday would become more of a celebration of single life than a festival of self-pity. “Valentine’s Day is a nice concept,” sophomore Cathy Kaecher stated, “but it’s become a Hallmark Holiday rather than a day of love and friendship. Singles Awareness Day provides an escape for those of us that dislike the commercialization of it all.” It’s also a refreshing change of pace to know that after we’ve survived the horrors of VDay, we can move on to a special day reserved for us: the singles of the world. If you’re happy to be single, then February 15 is your day to shout it from the rooftops. For those of you who aren’t, keep in mind that Valentine’s Day is a commercialized holiday – to the retailers, it’s all about plush hearts, fragrant flowers, and, most importantly, dollar signs. Consider yourself lucky if you don’t have to participate in the madness.
  9. 9. February 2008 PTHS Opinion Let’s Rock with Guitar Hero III 9 Dana Hoelle Staff Writer Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is a newly released video game, published by Activision and RedOctane, in the Guitar Hero series. This game is available on all major gaming systems, including PlayStation 2 & 3, Wii consoles, and Xbox 360. To play this game, you use a guitar-shaped controller to replicate the playing of varying genres of rock music. You play notes as they scroll in time with the music. There are four different levels of difficulty: easy, medium, hard, and expert. The game features famous rock stars Tom Morello and Slash as in-game characters. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock features over 60 total song choices, such as “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys, “The Metal” by Tenacious D, and “Knights of Cydonia” game in the series to feature online play and mobile play. The mobile play has recently been added and is only available for Verizon Wireless users. “My favorite part about Guitar Hero is that you get to play the game with an actual toy guitar. It makes the game seem more real.” by Muse. “My favorite song to play is ‘Miss Murder’ by AFI. I’m almost done mastering it on the highest level,” said sophomore Rachel Sunday. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is the first AP Exams: Are Uniform They Worth It? As with previous Guitar Hero games, a player progresses through multiple selections of songs, unlocking new songs along the way. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is the first game in the series to feature a storyline for the Career mode. The band starts out as a neighborhood sensation, and if you succeed, it can lead to playing bigger shows, getting a producer, etc. “My favorite part about Guitar Hero is that you get to play the game with an actual toy guitar. It makes the game seem more real,” said junior Brooke Wilson. Guitar Hero has been the latest video game craze this year. It has by far been one of my favorite video games of all times, and I guarantee you will have fun playing this game. So get ready, grab your guitar, and rock on! Averi Clements Ashley Czajkowski Co-Editor-in- Chief With spring just around the corner, testing soon becomes inevitable. SAT’s, PSSA’s, and finals are among the many exams high school students will encounter during the upcoming season. In addition, with many AP classes over halfway completed with their curriculum, the AP exams are also approaching. Furthermore, although they are often less emphasized in importance than tests such as the SAT’s, the AP exams can be just as crucial to a future college applicant. Obtaining credits to test out of freshmen college courses can help students enormously by allowing them to take other courses more geared toward their future career. However, some colleges will not even accept these credits. Therefore, the question of whether AP exams, or AP courses themselves, are worth taking arises. AP courses do substantially prepare those who wish to further their education in college. It provides harder testing and a more rigorous curriculum (plus, in some classes, the homework load seems to decrease immensely). However, AP exams seem to be increasing in their difficulty. In anticipation of these rigorous exams, teachers focus on preparing their students throughout the entire year. “I have high expectations for my students and focus on preparing them for the directions and format they will encounter on the exam,” stated AP Calculus AB teacher Mrs. Canfield, “In class we do actual exam questions, with an intense review in and out of class three weeks before the exam.” However, although this intense prepping takes place in the majority of AP classes, as more students sign up for AP courses and strive to take the exam at the end of the year, the grading has become more competitive. In 2006, over one million high school students took over two million AP exams (College Board). Consequently, students are finding it more difficult to achieve higher than a 3 out of the 5 points they can attain. This is especially concerning considering only a small amount of schools will accept 3’s, whereas more competitive schools will not accept anything less than a 4. Nonetheless, AP exams do provide an obvious way to expand learning in certain areas a student may have excessive interest in, and even though the student may not receive the credit he/she desires, the class will at least prepare him/her for future courses. Staff Writer Over the years, female students have fumed at the very idea of a school uniform. So why is it that we have set our own standards for dress among the student body? Girls in every grade get their hair dyed a raven-black or bleachblonde, wear narrow strips of fabric around their waist and call it a ‘skirt’, and walk in boots with various amounts of faux fur. Sure, everyone wants to look their best, but when you look the same as everybody else, it’s impossible to be noticed. The fabrics aren’t the only clothing articles being overused; the shoes are just as much to blame. Flip-flops were cute…until they were the only footwear that tread upon the ground. Now the same thing is happening with furry boots and ballet flats. Surely there are more important things in life than being “with it” in the fashion world. Many girls are tired throughout the day because they wake up extra early in order to do their hair and makeup. “I can’t stand it when girls complain how they’re so tired because they woke up at five o’clock to do their make-up. I just think, ‘If you’re so tired, then why are you getting up that early just to look good for one day?’” said senior Noelle Kartik. Even the differences in hairstyles and makeup application are being blurred. Heavy black eyeliner seems to be a necessity among female students, even though it can make the wearer resemble a raccoon. The same is true for the hailed flat iron: the primary styling tool for hair across the high school, even for girls with naturally straight hair. In terms of color, many girls seem to be following in the footsteps of Lindsay Lohan, changing their hair from dark to light and back again. Of course, no hair would be complete without painfully obvious highlights. Even skin color is becoming more and more monotonous. Once glorified as beautiful and unique, tan skin is now the norm for “anybody who’s anybody”. Even though common sense tells us that nobody gets a decent natural tan in the middle of January, many girls still find it imperative to make a trip to the tanning salon every so often. The threat of skin cancer is a mere side note to the importance of looking like you just came back from a long Malibu vacation. Because everyone looks the same in their own “unique” way, we have spared the administration the trouble of constructing a school uniform by creating it for ourselves. “Everyone wants to look their best, but when you look the same as everybody else, it’s impossible to be noticed.” HE SAID Brian Lewis SHE SAID Alex Egan Valentine’s Day What’s your ideal Valentine’s Day? Dinner, movie and a show. Is Valentine’s Day a Being swept off my feet by the man of my dreams. (a.k.a. George Clooney) Hallmark Holiday? Nope, it’s just like any other holiday that most No, but Hallmark has definitely made Americans celebrate. Why do you think there Valentine’s Day what it is. But I love are so many November birthdays? Valentine’s Day anyways! What’s better, a traditional Traditional gift - you can’t go wrong with chocolate. How do you gift or a non-traditional gift? I like it when people get creative and do something original, although chocolate and flowers are classic. But even if you do something different, chocolate is still a must. celebrate Valentine’s Day without a Valentine? Just treat it like it is any normal day. See my article on page 8.
  10. 10. 10 02 IAN IAN JACKSON Sports Extra Point Smoke Signals 01 TAYLOR RELICH Who is your NBA dream team? IJ: If I could have my dream starting five in the NBA, it would be a very tough decision to make, but the line up would be as follows: Chauncey Billups (point guard), Kobe Bryant (shooting guard), Carmelo Anthony (small forward), Rashard Lewis (power forward), and Yao Ming (center). TR: My All-NBA team would be made up of a mix of scorers and lock down defenders. Steve Nash would be my point guard, I put Michael Redd in as a shooting guard, and my small forward will definitely be LeBron James. At power forward would be Amare Stoudemire, and at center Dwight Howard. This team has a great passer, a three-point specialist, a versatile small forward, and two big men who are great defenders and can pound the ball inside. IJ: Although I like your team a lot, I think both of our lineups are very balanced. With all the tools to be a dominant team, I still think that my lineup is superior. Everyone on my team can score the rock. My team has the edge when it comes to outside scoring, however. TR: Everyone on my team can score the rock, too. The bottom line is that these are all allstars and it is hard to find large contrasts. My team has a clear advantage on the boards, and can play better on the defensive end as well. IJ: Your team may be good on D, but my guys would still score on them. Anthony might slack off on D sometimes, but there isn’t a better oneon-one defender than Kobe. Ming can block any shot down low, while Lewis also has long arms and can block shots down low or up top. TR: It’s not a matter of having long arms; it’s a matter of playing sound man-to-man defense. Ming is too slow to play good defense against the likes of Amare and Dwight Howard. Michael Redd and LeBron will be outside knocking down threes all day. My team is superior on both ends of the floor. IJ: I highly doubt that your team is superior on the offensive end. We both have great outside shooting, but my players have more ability to attack the hole. Carmelo and Kobe can score at will. Kobe would shut down Lebron, and Billups would at prevent Redd from scoring many points. I do think you’d have the edge down low with Howard overpowering Rashard, and Amare much quicker than Ming. That being said, my team would win in a real NBA game. TR: Attack the hole? Your team couldn’t attack their way out of a paper bag! Your team has zero chemistry because you have a bunch of guys that can’t share the ball. I think three of the five players on your team struggle with the concept of a team a little bit. My team has the edge, no doubt. February 2008 Outdoor Hockey: A Possible Tradition Jordan Dent Sports Editor Considering the 2008 Winter Classic received the highest rating of any NHL game in over ten years (even surpassing Wayne Gretzky’s final NHL game), the idea of outdoor hockey games being played and broadcasted more often will be considered by both the team owners and the league. Sporting events are nothing new to New Years Day, as the traditional Rose Bowl Game made its annual broadcast from sunny Pasadena, California on the same day it has done so ever since 1916. However, this was a different game, in a contradictory city, beginning a new tradition. The NHL Winter Classic match-up that was held on January 1 between the Buffalo Sabres and our Pittsburgh Penguins will hopefully begin a new sports tradition. Penguins fans knew about the game for months. They were on Ticketmaster.com the second tickets hit cyberspace on September 18 and have bought nothing but retro blue Penguins attire in honor of the team’s decision to wear the throwback jerseys for the Winter Classic. They even held a tailgate, though they were nowhere Dukes Keep on Rolling near Buffalo, New York on this very chilly New Year’s Day. No matter who the favorite was going into the game, every fan packed into Ralph Wilson Stadium was there for something much more than just a normal game, they were there for the hockey. The game didn’t just count as a win for the Pens; it was as big of a deal for the 71,000 in attendance as it was for the players. With both “O Canada” and “God Bless America” sung before the first face-off, the game was both emotional and exciting. The Pens scored early with a shot from Colby Armstrong, then Buffalo came back in the second period to tie the game at 1-1. As if it weren’t exhilarating enough, the game went into a shootout. The entire stadium was on their feet as Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal. Although outdoor hockey is nothing new to the NHL, this year’s game has the potential to open up many more opportunities for future games played in outdoor facilities. There are currently talks between the Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers of an outdoor series that would consist of games played in both Pittsburgh and Philly. The series would be a very smart marketing move on the sides of both teams, not to mention what it could do for the NHL. Ian Jackson Staff Writer Duquesne Basketball teams have struggled the past two decades. After years of success and winning teams, the last twenty years have been a total disaster. They sported an abysmal 65-166 record from 19982006, under coach Danny Nee. The “Dark Years” from 1983-2006 have caused many people to forget the dominant Duquesne teams of the 60’s and 70’s. The current generation of young people may not even know that until the 80’s, the Dukes owned Pitt in the city game every year, and they were an automatic top twentyfive team year in and year out. The tide began to turn in late 2006 with the hiring of coach Ron Everhart. After turning around two Division One programs (McNeese State and Northeastern) in the past five years and getting them each into the NCAA Tournament, he brought his coaching skills to Pittsburgh to coach the Dukes, but then tragedy struck. After the best Duquesne recruiting class in seventeen years, their four top recruits, and one starter, were involved in a tragic shooting on campus. The players shot were all key players and the 2006 season was derailed. The team was followed by a nation and city that rallied behind them, and made the 2006 season their most fun and action packed year in decades. They finished with a 10-19 record and solidified themselves as a quality team. Fans expected that with the entire team back for 2007, the time was to be now for the Dukes. “No one’s head was down,” said Kieron Achara. “We just kept on working and knew that what happened was out of our control. Looking around the locker room you would never have known what happened. We knew there was light at the end of the tunnel.” Through thirteen games this season the Dukes have a 10-3 record, their best start since the 1976 season. They are currently fifth in the unusually deep Atlantic 10 Conference; they are fifty-sixth in the RPI, out of 332 teams. Two of their three losses have come at the hands of West Virginia and a fivepoint loss to Pitt, both from the powerful Big East Conference. The 2007 Dukes have a very unique system to the way they play. They have two five man lines and the lines substitute in for each other every four to eight minutes. This helps keep the whole bench fresh and leaves two extra players to come in if a player from a line gets in foul trouble or injured. They play an up-tempo; fast break style of basketball that helps them rack up points in bunches, including a school record 129 points in a win over the Howard University Bison. The Dukes are led by senior center Kieron Achara, who is averaging twelve points and five rebounds per contest. Helping Achara, are juniors Kojo Mensah and Shawn James. Mensah is a slashing guard who is averaging fourteen points and four assists per game. James is a dominant seven footer, who is averaging a team high fifteen points, eight rebounds, and nearly five blocks per game. James is also considered one of the top NBA prospects among the country’s big men. “I like the way our team is playing right now,” Coach Everhart stated. “We haven’t played as consistently as I’d like at times, but we are starting to play well. We have lost a couple games we should’ve won, but I am confident heading into the Atlantic Ten schedule. We will compete”. Concussions: a Major Issue in the NFL Bill Berry Sports Editor Concussions have always been a part of sports, but no other injury is as common or as mysterious. Many great athletes, such as Steve Young and Troy Aikman, have been forced into early retirement by the head injury. The long-term effects of concussions are unknown. Aikman suffered as many as ten concussions throughout his career, and is believed to live a normal life. While others such as Young, who suffered seven concussions, had to deal with post-concussive syndrome, or PCS. PCS can be classified as a set of symptoms that a player may experience for a few days or up to several years. Former New England Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson claims to be suffering from an amphetamine addiction, depression, and PCS caused by the concussions he sustained throughout his career. Johnson blamed head coach Bill Belichick for forcing him to participate in full contact drills just three days after getting a concussion in 2002. In a study by the University of North Carolina on 2,488 retired NFL players, 61% reported that they had sustained at least one concussion during their career. Of that 61%, 16% claimed concussions have had a permanent effect on their thinking and memory skills. Former Steeler Merill Hoge was awarded a $1.55 million lawsuit against a Chicago Bears doctor after he failed to warn him of the risks of playing with a concussion. Hoge’s career was ended after sustaining his second major concussion in four weeks. Football’s concussion problem has made many helmet manufacturers look for a solution. Riddell introduced their concussion preventative helmet, the Revolution, in 2002. It has grown in popularity over the past couple of seasons in both the NFL and NCAA. Prominent players such as Colt Peyton Manning and Steeler Casey Hampton are known to wear the Revolution.
  11. 11. Getting Pinned Not an Option Averi Clements February 2008 Sports Staff Writer After going completely winless in the 2006-2007 season, the wrestling team is hoping to pull a reversal on their record. Although the team is having a difficult time so far, they managed to achieve a win against Bridgeport during a two-day tournament in Wheeling, West Virginia on December 28. The victory gave a morale boost to many of the wrestlers, and they are hoping that it is an indication of the future. “This is something that Coach Murdock has been working towards as well, so this was just as big of a win for him as it was for us,” said senior J.B. Almnaizel. The team added another victory to their record on January 22 against Thomas Jefferson. Many factors, including injuries, unfilled weight classes (which gives the opposing team an automatic six points), and inexperience among the Photo by Katie Gavelick Junior Nick Ceccarelli fights to gain control over his Baldwin opponent. Ceccarelli went on to lose the match by a regular decision. newer wrestlers account for the team’s lessthan-impressive record. However, Coach Murdock believes that these are obstacles that can be overcome. “We have a great team this year. A January Madness lot of them show up for every practice, even when it means getting up early in the morning. They really dedicate themselves, and you can see the improvement from match to match,” said Murdock. One beacon of hope lies in the potential of the multiple new additions to the team. “The adrenaline rush that you get when you step out onto the mat is great,” said sophomore Taylor DiBart, who is participating in his first wrestling season. Among the new varsity wrestlers are freshmen Sean Woodrow, Matt Mauer, and Matt Smith. Once on the junior high team, these three athletes exemplified enough skill to be promoted to the varsity team at the beginning of the season. “[Varsity wrestling] is more physical than it was in junior high. It’s a lot more demanding,” said Mauer. The wrestlers endure long practices almost every day, and usually have a match or two each week. They also have to work hard to keep their weight below the limit for their designated weight class. Ultimately, it will be this dedication that will enable this wrestling team to beat the odds. 11 Sports Briefs Boys Basketball Current Record is (14-6, 6-4), Fourth Place in Section 4, qualified for AAAA Playoffs Girls Basketball Current Record is (13-6, 5-5), Fourth Place in Section 4, need to win one more section game to make AAAA playoffs. Wrestling Taylor Relich Staff Writer If you are a college basketball fanatic like me, continue reading this article. If not, just tuck this article away somewhere and pull it out in March when you are looking for the teams that have been solid performers all season to put in your bracket. Before I reveal who will win the six major conferences in college basketball, I remind you that I am not saying that any of these teams will be the same in March as they are now, but these teams sure have great chances to go far come tournament time. The Atlantic Coast Conference is the best conference this year, and you could make a case for every team in the ACC to go to the big dance. In this powerhouse of a conference, the clear favorite is North Carolina. The Tar Heels have four players that average in double figures, including Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, Ty Lawson, and Danny Green. It also helps that UNC is coached by the best coach in the country: Roy Williams. The second best conference has to be the Pacific10 Conference. There are also a myriad of respectable teams in this conference, but two teams will duke it out for the PAC-10 Championship. The PAC-10 champ could be one of two teams, UCLA, coached by Ben Howland and loaded with experienced talent, or Washington State, a team who has played a weak non-conference schedule. Washington State is very solid, based on their one-loss record and their big wins against Gonzaga and USC. Most analysts would pick UCLA if they had to choose between the two, but I am going to have to give WSU the nod. UCLA is a great team, but they have not played well against opponents of their caliber, such as when the Bruins lost to the then #8 ranked Texas Longhorns. Other contenders in this conference include Stanford, Oregon, and Arizona State. Let’s not forget about the Big East Conference, which is still good, but has a few ranked teams that are struggling. In the Big East, #8 Georgetown is king. The Hoyas are playing great basketball right now, with only one loss to #2 Memphis. Roy Hibbert and company will have no easy task in defending their ranking with the alwaysgrueling Big East schedule coming up. Teams such as Marquette, Pittsburgh, Louisville, and WVU are all contenders in the Big East right now, but Louisville’s stock could drop tremendously if they keep playing the way they have been. If there is one weakness in Georgetown, it might be their very mediocre guard play. This was especially emphasized in Pitt’s big win at home against the Hoyas. Georgetown will ultimately come out on top in the Big East though, because no matter how marginal their guards are, nobody but Pitt’s DeJuan Blair has been able to stop their forwards under the basket. Moving on to the Big 12 Conference, there are three standout teams: Kansas, Texas, and Texas A&M. Despite this being a very competitive conference, these teams are the most tournament-tested, and will top the conference standings at the end of the season. Although I prefer Kansas in this one, I won’t say that any of these three teams are really a lock for the Big 12 crown. The Big Ten Conference, commonly known as a dominant football conference, could be looking at some major respect points in basketball this year. This conference has three teams that stick out, the Wisconsin Badgers, the Indiana Hoosiers, and the Michigan State Spartans. I like Indiana here, simply because they average around 83 points per game, which is a pretty impressive number. Guard Eric Gordon and forward D.J. White, who average a combined 40 points per game, lead this dynamic offense. Michigan State is not to be overlooked, however with its genius coach, Tom Izzo, and big wins against Texas and BYU. The Spartans are the most popular choice for winner of the Big Ten, but I would like to see Indiana pull it out. The Southeastern Conference is probably the weakest major conference this year, with only four teams that are capable of doing much in the tournament. These teams are Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida. The experts think that the Tennessee Volunteers will be this year’s SEC winner, and I completely agree. After getting knocked out early in last year’s tournament, Chris Lofton and the Volunteers are poised for a fabulous season. Tennessee already has knocked off previously undefeated Ole Miss. The Volunteers will be tested by #12 Vanderbilt early this year, a team that is fairly new to such a high ranking. It will be interesting to see if Vandy and Ole Miss can live up to all the hype this year. Florida is a major sleeper this year, but don’t be surprised if Coach Billy Donovan makes some noise with his young Gators lineup. Current Record is (2-15, 1-8), Wins against Bridgeport and Thomas Jefferson, season continues into February Swimming Current Record is (2-0), Wins against Upper St. Clair and Moon, meets against Bethel Park, Mount Lebanon and Chartiers Valley to close the season. Hockey Current Record is (10-6, 20pts), First Place in AA Section 2, plays against second-place Thomas Jefferson (8-7, 16pts) twice in final month of the season
  12. 12. Voices in the Hall What is your idea of a perfect Valentine’s gift? Dan Hinson ‘08 Zac Chavel ‘10 Kristina Gaudy ‘09 “A Shelby Miller.” “A big kiss.” “’A big teddy bear.” Rebecca Berardino ‘11 “A box of chocolates.” What is your ideal Valentine’s date? Rebekah Paul & GabrielleGoodzich‘08 Casey Dunleavy ‘09 “Wearing party dresses, hav- ing a tea party, and eating lots of chocolate.” Liz Hammell ‘10 “Going to a romantic dinner and a movie with my girlfriend.” “Going to see a romantic movie with a cute boy.” Jason Lewis ‘11 “Eating food.” What the teachers have to say... Mr. Loretto “Dowe’s on 9th – good food and good jazz.” P T Mrs. Deliere “Dinner at a great restaurant and a romantic card.” Mr. Redilla “What’s Valentine’s Day?” Minute the Mrs. Pinto “Gifts that are thoughtful and personal, like a poem.” Jeana Denardo ‘08 Describe the best Valentines Day you’ve ever had When I decorated my best Valentine’s day box in third grade. Imagine a perfect Valentine’s Day. Who would you be with? Where would you go? What would you do? I would go to Panera to study for bio with Steve Peranteau. Who is your Valentine this year? Michael Francis Divella. What are you getting your Valentine? The gift of having me as their valentine. What do you hope to receive from your Valentine? A big smooch Maura Lacey ‘08 Describe the best Valentine’s Day you ever had. When we celebrated Valentines day all day instead of having class in elementary school. Imagine a perfect Valentine’s Day. Who would you be with? Where would you go? What would you do? Val, because it’s the first 3 letters of Valentines Day. We’d go to Wet Pets. Who is your Valentine this year? Peanut Butter, my pet locker mouse. What are you getting your Valentine? I gave him my locker and some Sarris chocolate. What do you hope to receive from your Valentine? A mouse trap

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