Mar. 2007 Smoke Signals Issue 5


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Mar. 2007 Smoke Signals Issue 5

  1. 1. Issue 5 A Female President? Page 2 Photo courtesy of March 2007 pt focus News Signals Smoke Volume 38 How giving are you? Take the quiz inside! Pages 6 & 7 Photo courtesy of New program gives PT students a jump-start on their careers Taylor Piedmonte Staff Writer A pilot program is currently being implemented for high school students interested in careers in physical therapy. The apprenticeship program is associated with Mortland Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine. Physical Education teacher Betsy Gunther is developing and coordinating the course. “The program involves training students to be physical therapy assistants,” said Gunther. Students will go to Mortland’s, where they will train for approximately a semester and then be assigned to a team or work with an actual trainer. Participants can choose to train during school hours or after school. “In order to get class credits, students must go during school hours,” said Gunther. Students who simply wish to volunteer and get experience can go after school. This provides an opportunity for students who wish to pursue a career in physical therapy with a chance to gain hands-on experience. “This first year is just a pilot program, next year we hope to make it available for credit,” said Gunther. However, the program is not open to everyone. “In order to be accepted into the program you have to complete the Anatomy and Physiology course and be recommended by myself,” Gunther added. After recommendation, candidates will be reviewed by a selection committee, consisting of Mark Mortland, Dr. Hazjus, Mr. Relich, Mrs. Gunther, and the athletic trainer at the time of the application. Five apprentices will make up the program in future years. This year, Senior Eric Photo by Rachel Horensky Juniors Melissa Carbonara and Jen Clawges work as physical therapy apprentics in the new program. While working, the girls have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of physical therapy: taping, icing, and other techniques. Vaughn and juniors Jen Clawges, and Melissa Carbonara will be participating. “At Mortland’s, we help out wherever we’re needed…we learn the fundamentals of physical therapy” said Clawges. Their instruction will include learning the basics of taping, icing, and other physical therapy techniques. Clawges, who aspires to become a physical therapist, is excited about the opportunity. “In addition to learning everything, I’m getting a head-start on what I need to do in the future,” Clawges stated. For more information on the program, contact Mrs. Gunther. Report cards now only available on Edline Rachel Horensky Index News Daniel Radcliffe bares it all in new role. Page 2 Opinion Page 5 Sports The Steelers’ new direction. Page 8 Technology has influenced a chance in how student report cards are issued. Report cards are no longer distributed through the mail - they can now be seen on only Edline. Parents should rely on Edline as being the most complete and updated source for grades during the school year. Not only does Edline keep track of students’ grades, it also keeps and up-todate record of absences, tardys and early dismissals. As for the students, there are differing opinions as to the pros and cons of having Edline accessible to parents. Senior Brent Kostak commented, “I don’t like having Edline available to parents. My parents can see my grades whenever they want.” On the other hand, many students use Edline frequently because they are notified when Edline is updated and they can Roberta Veltri issued a letter explaining why the change was made: “Because many students made up incomplete assignments in past quarters, teach- “I don’t like having Edline. My parents can see my grades whenever they want.” ors.” To make editing grades easier, teachers can make changes daily or even after the grading periods end and Edline will be updated and accessible for parents to check. The only time printed report cards will be available is at parents’ request, for those without Internet access, and at the year-end to send home final transcripts. Veltri’s letter also noted that if parents or students need to reach teachers regarding grades, the teachers’ email addresses are available on class pages as well. Photo courtesy of Need college application advice? Co Editor-In-Chief Brent Kostak, ‘07 see their most current grades. Senior Emily Smith said, “Edline allows me to see exactly what my grades are because my teachers update it constantly.” Business teacher Ms. ers had to make grade adjustments after paper cards were printed and distributed. These discrepancies caused much confusion for parents, teachers, students, and counsel- The Edline website can be accessed by registered students and/or parents.
  2. 2. PT Reference Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 1 Pe a nut But ter Lover’s Day Friday Saturday 2 3 8 9 10 15 16 17 PSSA testing PSSA testing 22 23 24 29 Boy’s Varsity Volleyball @ Montour 7:30pm 30 31 Shenandoah Shenandoah 7:30pm 7:30pm Shenandoah 7pm 4 5 6 Faculty Basketball Game 7pm Prom Fashion Show! 11 Daylight savings time begins 7 12 13 PSSA testing PSSA testing 14 PSSA testing Albert Einstein’s Birthday 18 19 20 20 25 26 27 28 Boy’s Varsity Volleyball vs. Ambridge 7 0pm 3 : Waffle Day Boy’s Varsity Volleyball vs. Langley 7:30pm First Day of Spring! 21 National Boy’s Varsity Goof-Off Day Volleyball @ South Park 6pm Smoke Signals Smoke Signals is produced seven times during a school year by the students of Media II,III, IV Journalism and extracurricular staff at Peters Township High School, 264 E. McMurray Road, McMurray PA 15317. Telephone: 724-9416250 x.5379. E-mail: Commentaries, reviews, and opinion columns are the expressed opinion of the author and not of Smoke Signals, its adviser or the Peters Township School District. Member of the Pennsylvania School Press Association. Co-Editors in Chief Kaitlin Houser Rachel Horensky Kara Krawiec Layout Editor Catherine McCarron News Editor Angelina Nepa Life & Style Editor Colleen Counihan Opinion Editor Brittany Beyer Maze from Sports Editor Sean-Paul Mauro Marketing Editiors Emily Bigley Nick Sikora Staff Writers Jessica Berardino, Bill Berry, Emily Bigley, Ashley Czajowski, Garrett Dennis, Drew Karpen, Sean Naccarelli, Chris Portz, Derek Redding, Brendan Sikora, Nick Sikora, Renee Wunderlich Layout Team Megan Enscoe, Katie Gavlick, Stephanie Gillece, Lisa Lerario, Adviser Nicole Sitler
  3. 3. News Outside Harry Potter Angers Parents and Fans Nick Sikora Marketing Editor D a n i e l Radcliffe, star of the hit Harry Potter movies, who bears a striking resemblance to the drawings of Harry on the cover of each book, has won the hearts of millions of fans, and he is just getting started. Children idolize his character Harry, and he has flocks of Potter faithful appearing at each and every important Potter function. In a role for the recent play Equus, Radcliffe bears it all in a few scenes that are causing controversy from the parents of the children who idolize Harry. Although many aspects of the situation appear to leave Radcliffe in the middle of a life changing choice, he is expected to continue with the Harry Potter movie series, but he wishes to break free from the usual classification that follows child film stars. Although nudity in films and plays draws continual disproval by the parenting set, Radcliffe has landed a major role in a once well-received play. Equus, a play about a disturbed stable hand who blinds horses, is focused almost entirely on Radcliffe’s character, and with the gravity of a role like that, he has to do whatever is necessary to prove that he is of a maturity to tackle any role. By the time the Harry Potter movie series will be completed, Radcliffe will no longer be able to be known as the little boy that went to Hogwarts. Unfortunately for critics, at Radcliffe’s young age he must make a career out of his acting, and he has a long life to lead. He also must prove to an unbelieving audience that he can play more roles than just the role of Harry Potter. Radcliffe is looking to prepare for his future, and with the constant emphasis on preparation that students are constantly taught can Radcliffe be criticized for taking what is often a logical next step in an industry that thrives off of the ability of an actor to sell a production? Whether or not Radcliffe will surrender to the media firestorm and end his edgy roles or continue right along with them will only be determined by time. But for now, fans can look forward to the release of not only a new Harry Potter book, but also a new Harry Potter movie. Both release dates are scheduled for Summer 2007, just in time for his role in Equus to quiet down. Good Morning, Ms. President Angelina Nepa News Editor Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House, is now third in line for the presidency. While no second designated successor has ever ascended into the Oval Office, eleven vice presidents have. That is, one fourth of all vice presidents. The odds of a sudden upshot in status are very good, though probability of Pelosi actually becoming the leader of the free world is one in sixteen. Women are making leaps and bounds in politics like never before. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of the first women to be a feasible successor, holding the position of successor number four. Another woman who must be mentioned among promising political leaders calls herself Clinton. Senator Hillary Clinton recently announced that she would take the direct approach and campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. The country, regardless of extremist opinions, Photo courtesy of will have to handle powerful female leaders. These women are elected to local positions or have been appointed. None have ever succeeded at the national level, but many have certainly influenced national affairs. In addition to Secretary of State Rice and Speaker of the House Pelosi, historically great women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, and Margaret Chase Smith were effective in determining national policy. Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to be elected to both the House and the Senate as well as being the first woman ever to be nominated at a major party’s primary. Women will eventually shatter “final glass ceiling” and win the office of the presidency. Former Chicago State Representative Maureen Murphy is famous for once having offered, “The reason there are so few female politicians is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces.” Zulhaidi Omar, of Malaysia, decided to covert from Islam when he realized that he had been switched at birth and his biological parents were ethic Chinese Buddhists.   Omar recently found that his birth parents were living only a few miles away when his biological sister noticed that he possessed unique family traits.   Omar also would like to change his name to reflect his actual Chinese heritage.  In Malaysia, his conversion may be difficult, because ethnic Malays (his supposed ethnicity) are considered Muslim from birth.   A doctor in New Jersey admitted to giving a severed hand to local stripper, which she kept in a jar of formaldehyde in her apartment.   The police conducted an unrelated raid and discovered the appendage, which the physician, Ahmed Rashed, stole from a cadaver in 2002.  Rashed must complete five years of probation.   WCBS-TV, a local New York news network, revealed that city inspectors are having a difficult time enforcing than the ban on the sale of exotic meat. In the course of a recent WCBS investigation, inspectors witnessed open displays of many forbidden meats, including, “Armadillo and iguana meat, cow lungs, smoked rodent and an unidentified fish paste, along with crates of turtles and a tub of bullfrogs, and occasionally endangered gorilla and chimpanzee meat.”   The Saint Rose of Lima School, a Catholic facility in Rhode Island, recently mandated that students remain silent in the cafeteria.   Principal Jeannine Fuller sent a letter home to parents, explaining that the rule is a result of three choking incidences, and that “the school’s priority is the safety of each child.”   Students that disobey the rule and talk during their lunch period will receive a detention. All entries submitted by Angelina Nepa Spotlight on 2008 Presidental Candidates Kara Krawiec Co Editor-In-Chief With the 2008 presidential elections becoming more of a reality in the not so distant future, many of Peters Township’s students will be able to vote and voice their opinions. However, students are uninformed on the candidates and as more and more politicians announce their candidacy, it is beneficial for everyone in the younger generations to gain more knowledge not only on the policies, but also the politicians themselves. One candidate that is causing controversy, but many do not know much about is Barack Obama, the U.S. Senator from Illinois. He has become well known for many reasons, one of which is that he is one of the few African Americans that has run for presidency. Also, his promise of a plan to end the war in Iraq has raised interest. However, what many do not know is that Obama has worked to start an open and honest government. He has worked for Ethics and Lobbying Reforms and within the first two weeks of the 110th Congress, Obama helped to pass the Legislative Transparency and Photos courtesy of istockphoto. Accountability Act, which will reform lobbying and improve ethics within the government. Obama has also shown a strong interest in helping children start education earlier, and put more emphasis on math, science, and technology. First Lady, New York Senator, Best Selling author, advocate for children and familiesHillary Clinton has done it all. So what’s next for Hillary? President of the United States of America of course. That is the ultimate job to add to her already long resume. Clinton has shown her determination in making a place for herself in the political world. She has also passed legislation to help track the health of our troops overseas to ensure that everyone is safe and not misdiagnosed. In terms of education, Clinton is pushing for more qualified teachers to ensure that everyone gets an equal education. On the flip side, Arizona Republican Senator, John McCain has also announced his candidacy. McCain is well known for his services as not only a Naval aviator, but also a successful and respected senior Senator. McCain feels that we cannot leave Iraq yet because it is America’s duty to get the job done. McCain has also introduced a School Choice Legislation bill that will help the neediest students with the lowest academic GPA in public schools in each state. These students will be given a $2,000 scholarship each year for three years to pursue a chance at a higher education. It is important that, whether students consider themselves Democrats or Republicans, that they make an informed decision on Election Day. Any decision would suffice; the importance lies in making one. Voting is of the utmost importance because whichever of theses candidates are elected will dramatically impact the lives of everyone, not just those over eighteen.
  4. 4. Opinion B. Beyer “ G. Dennis J. Berardino D. Karpen Watch what you eat Would you eat a cloned animal? “If I didn’t know it was cloned, it would be a possibility.” Kelsey Hoskins, ‘09 “If it tasted good, I would eat it.” Brandon Frambes, ‘07 “I think it’s fine because it’s for stem cell research.” Nick Sanflippo, ‘07 Brittany Beyer Opinion Writer Throughout the past decade or so the topic of cloning people has become a front-page battle. Stories discussing the “whys” and “why nots” of cloning create feuds within religions, political denominations, and even nationalities. While we continue to debate the goodness, or lack there of, that may come from cloning, the public is failing to see what is being cloned right before them: animals. If you disregard animal rights completely and find yourself grasping the throat of vegetarians worldwide think twice before you quit reading. The following is not in any way an animal rights enthused article bashing meat eaters for their inhumane ways. Rather it is concerning, the animals products that you may soon be ingesting for dinner. After a five-year study, the FDA He Said vs. She Said Erin Bench, ‘08 Nick Sikora Drew Karpen Opinion Writer Following the consent to place these products on the market, the FDA also settled on the regulations of labeling, non-mandatory. By law, companies do not feel should be challenge. If we are not informed of what we are eating then we mean, if there ended up being the return of the bubonic plaque, and we traced it back to originating in cloned meat, who would everyone blame? Our food suppliers? Why take the chance whenever it would be simpler to place a little label on the package. St. Patrick’s Day “Well, who cloned the animal?” Senior trip controversy has now come to the conclusion that cloned animals products are equal in all aspects to meat from normal animals. I find it difficult to understand how five years is enough time to decide the affects these cloned products will have. What about long term affects? OR people with certain health conditions? How can five years prove that there is no harm in the consumption of these products? Brittany Beyer How do you celebrate your Irish heritage on St. Patty’s Watch Gangs of New York while eating a Shamrock Shake. I am 100% not Irish so I don’t plan on celebrating. It is that time of the year when seniors begin planning for that summer Have you ever met a trip they wait their whole high school careers for, the senior trip. There has Yes. He tried to steal my couch, but No, but I plan on hiring Lisa Lerario been an argument if juniors should be he got stuck on the way out, but now to catch me one because she is a pro allowed to go on senior trip or not. The were friends. leprechaun trap maker. juniors this year are acting like seniors and doing things that ruin the senior’s year. For example this year the juniors What’s at the end of the added a junior skip day, whenever in previous years there was no such thing. Senior skip day is a tradition that that year’s senior’s always have and never Marissa Miller and of course a pot of A pot of gold! was there a junior skip day until this gold. year. There are a couple of reasons why the juniors think that they should What else do you look forward to in March? go on senior trip. The first reason is because all of there friends are seniors that are going on senior trip. Even though all your friends are going on Track season and getting abs like LL The end of it, considering we don’t senior trip, they deserve it because it Cool J. courtesy of Mr. Scott. have a single day off. is there present for graduating high school. Juniors still have one more year to go so I believe that they can Does March come in like a lion then go out like a lamb? wait one more year. And if you don’t have anyone to go with, you can plan a In like a lion and out like a beast. regular vacation with them that is not March comes in freezing and goes out cold. interfering with their senior trip. The second reason is because they believe that they won’t have anyone to go with in their senior year. I find that hard to
  5. 5. 5 Smoke Signals March 2007 Applying to college for dummies Jessica Berardino Opinion Writer Applying to college can be the most stressful part of a senior’s life. This experience can become very time consuming and worrisome for students who have no idea where they want to go. Choosing the right college for you could require lots of help. If you don’t believe that this article won’t tell you anything new, you’re wrong. Some of these tips you may have heard before, but after applying to a maximum of 15 schools, they’re ways that have been found to minimize your stressful time. During the summer you should schedule school visits to any schools that you have started hearing about or that you know about. This will help you get a feel of what kind of campus environment you would like. Visit a variety of schools, some big and some small, some single sex and some co-ed. Also include state schools along with private schools in your search. During this process, do not be concerned with the price, unless you end up liking the school. Also over the summer it is a good idea to start looking at and reading over their essay topics. Then proceed to write some of these essay prompts so you don’t have to worry about them along with schoolwork. This will also give you time at the beginning of the year to take them to a reliable resource to check and double check for errors. Along with the essays to start over the summer, you should start planning on what teachers to ask for letters of recommendations. You should pick core classes; teachers that liked you. I do not recommend picking a teacher that you know would write a good letter, but did not like you. Find a teacher that likes you, and that you know would say nothing but good things. Now if you already know what you want to major in, find a teacher in that same area to write one. For example, if you want to major in media, take media courses and have a media teacher write one of your letters. When the summer ends, start thinking about what interests you. Think about those classes that you look forward to, and the ones you don’t. That should help you gain an idea on what type of field you would like to pursue. Towards the end of September and the beginning of October, you should start applying to colleges that have your major and that you like. Along the same time period you should also turn in all of those counselor recommendation forms and transcript request forms. Make sure you check due dates for the schools you are applying to, and that you turn in the information to the guidance office early to give them enough time to get it out. The best advice to give to any upcoming senior is to communicate with your parents. Don’t try to do this alone. This time in your life can be a very stressful one, and to keep your head clear you need to talk your thoughts out. College advisors help with the CSS Profile or even the FAFSA form, but your parents “ College advice for juniors “Actually work in school your first semester, then relax and chill out.” Connor Tarwater, ‘07 “Don’t let anyone influence your Mark Boardman, ‘07 “Get everything done quickly because Josh Rush, ‘07 “Find schools you like early and visit them early so you know if you really like them.” Matt Thomas, ‘07 could do that or even your accountant. So instead of spending your money on help, you could save it and use the CRC in the guidance office. There are always easier ways to do things, like asking for help. Talk to your parents, college recruiters of the schools you’re interested in going Woes of WoW Garrett Dennis Opinion Writer Millions of people are playing the online roleplaying game, World of Warcraft, nicknamed WoW. How can you go wrong with a game that lets you interact with millions of people across the globe while trying to fight all that is evil? Easy, you let it become a second life. In WoW, you create a character of a certain race and pledge allegiance to that race’s side (either the Alliance or Horde). The side you are on depends on the race that you choose. The Horde consists of Orcs, Taurens, Undead, and Trolls, while the Alliance is made up of Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Night Elves. Both parties think they are better than the other, and both of them are facing the same problem: the Scourge. The Scourge is a continually rising group of evil Undead that are set on destroying the earth. They are not to be confused, however with the Horde’s Undead, who have separated themselves from the Scourge. Throughout the game the player fights monsters, collects gold and treasure, and joins up with other people online to tackle a dungeon. The dungeons usually hold the most valuable items (armor, weapons, or loads of gold). The cost for an account is about $15 a month, which translates into $180 a year- a pretty who is a priest in the game to hold steep price for a the ceremony, or simply just say that computer game. they’re married. One wonders how With normal games you spend approximately $50 and then have it until it breaks or it no longer holds any interest. While some people look at the game as just an expensive form of entertainment, there are others who make it their second life. The really lonely WoW freaks sometimes even get married to people on the world-warcraft/world-of-warcraft-a.jpg game. They either find another player
  6. 6. Lending A H helps out Senior Jerry Scheller being part at his church by teaching the children’s programs and Photo by Renee Wunderlich of the cleaning team. “I feel like it’s my duty as a church member,” replied Scheller when asked why he volunteers, “Also, I like interacting with kids. It teaches them important lessons.” As far as the cleaning goes, Scheller says that he only has to dust and scrub about one Saturday a month. He feels that he is doing his part to contribute to his place of worship. Photo by Renee Wunderlich Grade: 12 Anna Colletti A nna Colletti, also a senior, volunteers at the public library children’s reading program. She is a counselor at a day camp held at Peterswood Park, has contributed to the Sweet Sunday for the Washington City Mission, and goes on mission trips with her church. Her mother works at the Washington City Mission, which she says is why it’s easy for her to contribute her time in helping the less fortunate. “All of my activities last about a year- that is, some don’t go on all the time, but there’s always something to do.” Photo by Renee Wunderlich Wes W es Schmid-Broome has gone on countless mission trips with his church, wears a SaveDarfur wristband, and buys items from the RED campaign (which is a collection of popular company products, like Chuck Taylor All Stars and Gap Tshirts, that contributes money to help fight AIDS in Africa). This ambitious sophomore also plans to help plan The Walk for Darfur this spring. Most of the charities he participates in are organized through his church. When asked why he volunteers, he answered simply: “Because I think it’s the right thing to do.” en Bozic is a senior at PTHS that makes a difference in the community. She helps out at PV teaching children and works like a teacher. She now individually tutors sixth grade students in the “English as a Second Language program,” this program is for students with parents that do not speak English. Bozic participates in these activities every Sunday for one hour. She tutors students at the Public Library or Peters Township Recreation Center. “I like to help the students speak and write better English so they get better grades in school and can feel comfortable with the language of their daily lives,” says Bozic. Photo by Renee Wunderlich Jen J
  7. 7. Helping Hand Are you a giving person? Take this quiz and find out! Directions: Read and answer the following questions and circle the answer that corresponds the most with your personality. Then tally how many a’s, b’s, and c’s you have. Whatever letter you have the most determines your personality type. 1. It’s Monday morning and the alarm is going off again. You: a. sleep the day away b. lay in bed until the sound of your parents voice is so annoying you wake up to indulge them c. wake up early; the idea of breakfast is calling you. 2. Your elderly neighbor needs a helping hand with yard work. You: a. stay at home. If they really need help, they can call a professional b. begin to help your neighbor but your friends drop by and you decide to hang with them instead c. mow the lawn, trim the bushes, and water the flowers 3. Af ter school you: a. watch television until your eyes hurt so bad you can’t keep them open b. grab a bite to eat, begin your homework, but then go to the mall with your friends. c. go to a club meeting after school, then to soccer practice, and as soon as you get home you begin homework 4. If you were an animal, what would you be? a. a sloth- slow and lazy b. a gazelle- always running around c. a lion- strong and independent, yet caring 5. The perfect summer job is a volunteer-only position. You: Answer Key: Between 1-3 c’s= Vivacious Between 5-7 a’s= slacker Between 3-5 b’s= you help only if it will benefit you
  8. 8. ro Sp extra p int Which team is going to win the NCAA Basketball Championship? Em ily Bigley rts z au Sean-Paul M Chris Port New direction for the Bill Berry Sports Writer CT: The defending NCAA champions, the Florida Gators, will win again this year. They have a 24-3 record, with an 111 record in the Southeastern Conference. A fluke loss to Vanderbilt was probably a good wake up call for this team after winning 17 straight. Going into the tourney on a big winning streak is never a good sign. They already have the experience of going deep in the NCAA tourney. With players like Joakim Noah, Taurean Green, Al Horford, and Corey Brewer, there’s no reason that the Gators shouldn’t repeat. SPTM: UCLA has the best chance to take home the national championship this season. Ben Howland, coach of the Bruins, emphasizes defense over everything. Dating back from his days at Pitt – Howland has always had the most physical teams in the country. The only difference now that he is with UCLA is that he has national championship caliber talent. Howland took a young team to the championship last year, and they have only gotten better this year. They always rise to the challenge of a big game, and come tourney time they won’t disappoint. CT: They always rise to the challenge of a big game? They lost by 16 in the national championship to Florida last year. That’s hardly “rising to the challenge.” Also, do you have any facts showing that UCLA is a national championship team, or are you just going to say random opinions such as “Howland has always had the most physical teams in the country?” Billy Donovan’s not a bad coach either-he has two NCAA Championship games under his belt including one NCAA Championship. The Gators are unquestionably one of the best teams in the country right now, they have beaten teams such as Ohio State, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and it doesn’t look like anyone can stop them when they’re at the top of their game. SPTM: Do I have any facts? How about the fact that UCLA has strong wins over Arizona, Washington, USC, Texas A & M, Kentucky, and Georgia Tech - while Florida has losses to unranked Florida State and Vanderbilt. UCLA has a strong array of guards and forwards all with a combination of speed size. UCLA guard, All-American candidate Arron Afflalo, who averages 18 points a game, can take over a game when UCLA is struggling. He has been leading them all season and will continue to lead them in the NCAA tournament. Did you say something about rising to the challenge? How about February 17; UCLA at 24th ranked Arizona resulted in a blowout 15-point win for the Bruins. I’m not sure if you know this but that same night Florida – “the hottest team in the country” – lost to regional powerhouse Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt? When did they get a basketball team? Are they Division I? Mike Tomlin was named the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers January 21, 2007, following Bill Cowher’s fifteen-year reign at the helm of the franchise. Over the past thirtyseven years the team has had only two head coaches, Chuck Knoll and Bill Cowher, but now it is time for Tomlin to lead one of the most prestigious franchise in all of sports. Prior to entering the National Football League, Tomlin gained experience coaching at Virginia Military Institution, Memphis, and Arkansas State. Tomlin got his start in the league as a defensive back coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2001 under Superbowl XLI winning coach Tony Dungy. Tomlin remained in Tampa Bay until last season when he took over as the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. In one year’s time, he was able to turn the Viking’s battered defense into a respectable unit in the NFC North. Tomlin’s first move as head coach was to promote Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator. This marks Arians’ second stint as an offensive coordinator in the NFL. The previous run was with the Cleveland Browns during the 2001, 2002, and 2003 campaigns. Over the past three seasons, Arian served as wide receivers coach under Bill Cowher. Tomlin also retained Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator, a position he has held for the last three seasons. Like his predecessors, Tomlin was Photo Courtesy Of Andrew Rush / The Associated Press Former Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Mike Tomlin was hired as the Pittsburgh Steelers new head coach on January 21, 2007 making him the first Arican American head coach in franchise history. hired relatively young, only thirty-four years old. Making him the second youngest coach in the National Football League, behind newly instated Oakland Raider’s coach Lane Kiffin. Tomlin hopes to follow the success of fellow young head coaches, Sean Payton and Eric Mangini. Payton in his first year of coaching won the AP’s NFL Head Coach of the Year Award for leading the New Orleans Saints to a NFC Championship berth. Likewise, Mangini took the New York Jets to the playoffs, just a year after finishing as the fourth worst team in the league. Some question Tomlin’s experience, but he remains confident about his abilities. NBA Playoff race heats up Sean-Paul Mauro Staff Writer The NBA playoffs – like last year – will be classic. There will be colossal match ups and, undoubtedly, epic seven game series. However, unfortunately those match ups will probably be embedded within the Western Conference playoff match ups – and the Eastern Conference series will just be another formality. As the playoffs approach, the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns, both from the West, are proving to be the cream of the crop. Both are on pace for 60 plus win seasons – and both seem able to continue their success into the playoffs. However, other western teams also seem capable. The San Antonio Spurs are obviously a team to be reckoned with come playoff time. Every head coach knows what they’re capable of, including legendary Lakers coach, Phil Jackson, “They’re comfortable with how they can play in playoff situations… They’re still a team that has to be considered very, very dangerous,” ( The West certainly has many dynasty in the east is over – and the Eastern Conference is having trouble holding their own. The NBA reigning champions – the Miami Heat – hardly seem playoff ready, as they’re barely even a playoff team as the eighth seed in the east. It seems like every major professional sport these days has one dominant conference or league. Professional baseball has the American league that always reigns supreme. The Western conference in the NHL never ceases to impress with its many dominant teams – and the most evident example of this comes in the NFL as the NFC is seen as particularly mediocre to the dominant AFC. In the NBA, this trend remains consistent as the Western Conference is loaded with great teams from top to bottom while the Eastern Conference is often over looked. However, regardless of the uneven distribution of talent demonstrated by the dominance The 2006-2007 NBA season is proving to be worth the price of admission. contenders. The Eastern Conference, however, is noticeably inferior. The best teams in the East – the Washington Wizards, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls, and the Detroit Pistons – would arguably have a hard time making it as an eighth seed in the west. The legendary era of Michael Jordan, Scotty Pippen, and the dominant Chicago
  9. 9. ek Redd er ing D Bill Be rry C on no r r Tarwate ra Siko an Brend History of the Super Bowl Bill Berry Sports Writer This year 93.2 million fans tuned into watch the Super Bowl XLI match up between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears. The third highest audience in U.S. history, but the Super Bowl has not always been so glamorous. In 1967 the first Super Bowl was played as the Kansas City Chiefs took on the eventual runaway champions the Green Bay Packers. Actually, the Super Bowl wasn’t even called the Super Bowl until 1970 when the two leagues merged. Before this year the game was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. A lot has changed from then until now. We have had record-breaking attendance and bank breaking ticket prices. One thing that had not been altered was that an African American coach never led his team to the Super Bowl. That all changed when both Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy took their franchises to the most glorious game in all of American sports. This February, Dungy’s Colts won their second Super Bowl in franchise history, becoming the eleventh team to win multiple titles. Dungy also became only the third player in NFL history win the Super Bowl as a player and a Smoke Signals March 2007 SPORTS BRIEFS HOCKEY Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Colts fifth year head coach Tony Dungy celebrates the Colts victory is Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears. Dungy becomes the first African American head coach to obtain a Super Bowl victory. head coach. He joins legendary football guru Mike Ditka and Tom Flores. If there is one thing an owner strives to accomplish it is to build a dynasty. The San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have all been able to reach the status of dynasty by winning five Super Bowls. The New England Patriots have been able to establish what many refer to as the modern dynasty. They won three Super Bowls in four years in a time of free agency. Where will the Super Bowl’s progress Rising to the challenge Derek Redding Sports Writer The Peters Township Boy’s Lacrosse team has been one of the top competitors in the sport since the team’s inception in 1996. Tryouts for this year’s team were held in early February, and they team made an impressive showing in the Slippery Rock Tournament by finishing with a record of five and one. With their only loss coming against Western Reserve Academy, ranked 27th in the nation, Peters Township looks to defeat any team who comes between them and winning. Nevertheless, section competition for the Indians will be fierce with upcoming matches against teams like Mount Lebanon, Upper Saint Clair, and Bethel Park. P e t e r s Township varsity seniors Sean-Paul Mauro, Spencer Smith, Tony D’Abarno, and Kevin Wolcott are hoping that their experience will hurl the Indians into playoff contention. “We are really looking forward to this season, we know we are going to be able to accomplish things, like winning a WPSLA championship, this year that we have never accomplished before,” said Senior Captain Sean-Paul Mauro. “This is one of the best teams Peters has ever had and we plan on making a run for the WPSLA this year,” says senior leader Spencer Smith. The Indians lacrosse season begins in March with matches against Pine Richland, Chartiers Valley, and Ohio powerhouse Hudson. The 2007 Indians are loaded with talent. They have all top three scorers from last year returning (in Mauro, Powell, and Smith) and return three all-conference players. 9 The hockey team was unable to enjoy the success of prior teams this season. They finished the year with a 6-16 record following a 4-0 win against Erie Cathedral Prep on February 26. Coach Tingle hopes to get back on the winning path during next year’s campaign. Boys’ Basketball The Peters Township varsity boy’s basketball team finished up the season February twelfth against Thomas Jefferson. The Indians posted a 5-17 record and another disappointing season. They look to rebound next year with this year’s youth turning into next year’s experience. Girls’ Basketball The Indians girl’s basketball team ended their season with a 15-9 record. They were lead by sophomore sensation Emily Correal who had a huge season. They hope to use the experience they gained this year to have success in the coming seasons. WRESTLING The wrestling team had rough season this year. Largely due to the fact that they were forced to forfeit key matches because, they did not have enough wrestlers to fit the weight classes. The coaches hope for more success in the coming season. BOYS’ SWIMMING Photo submitted by Sean-Paul Mauro The Peters Township Indians’ lacrosse team takes a warm-up lap to prepare for their game. Although PT lost their starting goalie, standout Frank Cicero (who is now playing at Division I Providence College), junior replacement Michael Moretti should be ready for the challenge. Strong showings from Moretti in their preseason tournaments has PT confident going into their 2007 campaign. The boy’s swim team is continuing their trend of success this season by posting an undefeated record (5-0). They had convincing wins against conference opponents Upper St. Claire and Mt. Lebanon. The team hopes to carry their success into the WPIALS and states.
  10. 10. & Style PT LIF E Spring fashion means a shapely season Colleen Counihan Features Editor The weather has been more of a game of “Go Fish” than a generic forecast and global warming’s star appearance has forced many residents to keep both tank tops and sweaters in the same drawer for easy access. It’s hard to imagine an average spring blooming out of all this confusion, but fashion never stops for anyone, not even the environment’s mood swings. The runway’s spring previews began way back in the fall, but it is in these upcoming months that the styles will come alive. The outfits to fit the trends are different from the idealistic spring season that is commonly known for its blooming frontier of flowy, daisysplattered dresses and powder pink flip-flops. The latest shirts and dresses range from stiff to subtly geometric and surprisingly, resemble the leaves of fall, instead of the tulips of spring. Designers Zac Posen and Burberry Prorsum see spring in odd shades of cream and gold, “I like to wear bright colors and flip flops.” but do not overlook the traditional garments, such as shorts and blouses. The most important staples of spring are also the most unexpected. Dresses are consistently seen in the trapeze-style (think triangular) and vary from floor-length to barely there at all. The most elegant styles are now paired with the most common ones. In other words, spring fashion should be good news for athletes because the sporty look is everywhere. T-shirt dresses are paired with high-heeled sneakers and tunics overlap cropped and striped leggings. A new emphasis on legs can mean both high-waisted shorts and a greater focus on pants. “Pants” does not mean baggy or tweed, but sleek, short and straight. Representatives for Proenza Schouler told Vogue magazine, “In a season when legs are so important, the only pant that feels right is skinny and perfectly tailored.” Spring clothing will definitely mean stepping out of “I like to wear all the bright colors and summer skirts.” -Emily Norton, ‘07 -Amy Burzotta, ‘10 Photos courtesy of Models show off the latest trends at the Spring 2007 Zac Posen (left) and Gucci (right) shows. “I like to wear wedges and stripped shirts.” -Emmy Phelan, ‘07 “I like to wear colorful, ligh fabrics, fun and funky vintage, vintage inspired and classic.” -Catherine McCarron, ‘07 Tattoos mark generations Colleen Counihan Features Editor They are labeled as body ink by the nonchalant tattoo addicts, sentimental symbols by the one-time users and nightmares by concerned parents. Tattoos are a consistently debated topic of this generation, but through all of the heat they have prevailed as one of the most popular body adornments of the present and with no scars bigger than the ones they induce. The tattoo has proved to be timeless throughout all of its controversial history. The Egyptians saw them as a sign of beauty and took advantage of the permanent paint for uses of marking class and displaying art. The Japanese reached out to tattoos throughout their ceremonial and religious rites. Both men and women adopted certain depictions to signify a point in life or the tribe in which they are affiliated with. It was not until the 1960’s that tattoos came into the American spotlight. The images were featured all over television and magazines, though they were more of a mark of the deviants than a socially welcomed phenomenon. It was always the bully or the criminal that sported the bold engraving on his “booming” bicep. “It was not until the 1960’s that tattoos came into the American spotlight.” These stereotypical representations have not managed to halt the millions of noncriminal, non-violent men and women getting tattooed annually. It is not difficult to see the parallels between tattoos of the past and tattoos of the present. The latest customers go to tattoo artists to embellish their skin with art; they see beauty in it, just as the Egyptians did. Some of the most common tattoos are chosen based on a person’s outlook on life. Images of crests and ethnic symbols illustrate a significance of family ties, just as the Japanese used symbols to connect with their tribes. Tattoos are slowly becoming more popular and increasingly more accepted. It is a common misconception that all people with tattoos are criminals, but it is understandable since most criminals do have tattoos. They are now more commonly seen as marks of an experience, rather than marks of risky business. Whether they are accepted or avoided, tattoos are first and foremost a choice, one that many will live with for the rest of their lives. Sounds of the city: upcoming concerts Sean Naccarelli Staff Writer By now, you’ve all probably been getting tired of watching “Friends” re-runs, or Grey’s Anatomy (that show stinks anyway), so it’s time for something new! In the next couple of months many great artists are coming near Pittsburgh, with affordable ticket prices. Petersen Events Center Pittsburgh, PA Tue, 03/13/07 Nickelback 07:00 PM Wed, 05/02/07 My Chemical Romance 07:30 PM Mr. Smalls Theatre Millvale, PA Thu, 03/15/07 Switchfoot w/ Copeland 08:00 PM Thu, 03/27/07 The Blood Brothers w/ Chinese Stars 08:00 PM Thu, 03/29/07 Mae w/ The Hush Sound 07:00 PM Fri, 04/06/07 Anberlin w/ Bayside 07:00 PM Tue, 04/17/07 Keller Williams 08:30 PM Sat, 04/21/07 Anti-Flag w/ Alexisonfire 07:00 PM Tue, 04/24/07 The Plain White T’s 07:00 PM Bryce Jordan Center University Park, PA Thu, 03/22/07 Dierks Bentley 07:30 PM 08:00 PM Post Gazette Pavilion Pittsburgh, PA Tue, 05/22/07 Fall Out Boy 06:00 PM RMU Sewall Center Moon Township, PA Sat, 03/31/07 Taking Back Sunday 07:30 PM Heinz Field Pittsburgh, PA Sat, 06/09/07 Kenny Chesney 04:30 PM St Vincent College Latrobe, PA Fri, 04/13/07 O.A.R. 08:00 PM Wachovia Arena Wilkes-Barre, PA Tue, 08/14/07 eith Urban 07:30 K PM GIANT Center Hershey, PA Fri, 04/20/07 Blue Man Group Tickets are available at www. or go to any Ticketmaster outlet.
  11. 11. 11 Coaching in the classroom Smoke Signals March 2007 Chris Portz Staff Writer Teachers are a dime a dozen in a student’s life. By the time a student graduates he will have been through over 50 teachers and that is only inside the classroom. Every so often there are a couple of teachers that stand out. Mr. Whalen was hired with a resume as an outstanding coach and experienced teacher. He has been at Peters Township High School for a year, and already he has had a big impact in the classroom and on the athletic field. Last year when Mrs. Tylka was on maternity leave, Peters Township High School acquired a diamond in the rough. Mr. Whalen, a former Cedar Rapids Iowa teacher at Xavier High School, moved to Peters Township as a temporary substitute and within six months acquired his own classes, Personal Finance and Math Essentials. His charismatic and energetic attitude has earned him the respect of his students. He also takes on the role of a mentor on the athletic field. As an assistant coach, Whalen leads the highly successful Peters Township golf team. Whalen is the Bill Belichick of high school sports; he wins no matter where he goes. There is one exception to this analogy though; everyone at PTHS likes him. For example, he has coached girl’s soccer in Virginia and his hometown of Cedar Rapids Iowa winning a championship for each program. His resume is impressive both on and off the athletic field. His teaching style is unique in the fact that he teaches the material while conversing with students. “I like how he speaks his mind and is very blunt on the topics he teaches,” said senior Steve Plachecki. Personally connecting with a teacher is rare in the stressful academic life of a high school student, and this is the reason why Whalen stands out among the rest of the teachers at PTHS. Other than an avid sports fan and an educator, Whalen enjoys other hobbies such as cooking and finding good deals at Sam’s Club. He is thrilled by a simple hello in the hallways and students wishing a “Happy Halfbirthday.” Mr. Whalen’s birthday is July 19th. He is always ready to give an explanation for any sort of problem, especially a math problem, whenever needed and he is almost always right although he still remains humble. As a modest man he will never say that he is the best teacher at PTHS, however. He Photo by Renée Wunderlich Mr. Whalen reviewing a homework assignment with his second period Integrated II essentials students early on a Friday morning. gives others credit for him getting the job even though Mr. Whalen is more than qualified, having 15 years of teaching experience and a year of interaction with the students. “If the kids hadn’t received me so well and told the people down stairs about me, I would not have Romeo’s Ex: Rosaline’s Story Cartel-Chroma Staff Writer full-length album Chroma. For only being a band for 3 years, most people consider Cartel pretty lucky to gain the attention and acclaim that they’ve received, ever since the release of Madden 2007, which had their hit song “Honestly” on the infamous videogame soundtrack. Cartel started around front man Will Pugh, and guitarist Joseph Pepper. They both were anxious to get out of Atlanta, but thought that it could never happen to a band that played shows sporadically in only one city. Their catchy choruses and melodic verses gained attention from one of the biggest labels in music right now, Epic Records. After signing to Epic, Cartel started to see the fans and shows rolling in. As every member does, the band first could not wait to get home, but after a while, Cartel adjusted to being out on the road. Now, they find themselves away from home more than half the year. Chroma was originally released in 2005, but Cartel later re-released it in June of 2006. With the release of Chroma, Cartel was crowned the number one debut artist on Soundscan’s Alternative New Artist charts. In 2005, Alternative Press hailed them as “A Band You Need To Know.” With all this energy and electricity stormed into their first CD, I’m sure Cartel will only become more By Lisa Writer Guest Fielder License to Impress Chris Portz Staff Writer “She is Rosaline, and Romeo loves her. Alas, I love her as well, and mayhap more, but Romeo did spy her first. ‘Twould be dishonorable to purse her now. ‘Twould also be pointless, for ‘tis Mercutio she desires.” Romeo and Juliet are the most infamous tragic couple of all time; it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t heard of them. But what of the other characters in the tragedy: Benvolio, Mercutio, Tybalt, and Paris? The story begins just before the lovers meet, with Romeo falling for Juliet’s cousin, Rosaline. Rosaline perceive him as fickle and decides to look elsewhere for love. She finds herself caught in the middle of a battle between the Montagues and Capulets and is knocked unconscious. Benvolio, Romeo’s best friend, sees this and rescues her, but when she awakens it is Mercutio that she finds in Benvolio’s stead. Thus begins a love quadrilateral between Romeo, Benvolio, Mercutio and Rosaline. Romeo’s Ex is one of the greatest takes on Shakespeare that I have ever read, and is full of Shakespearean references and language, and even includes some passages from the original play. Lisa Fielder is an amazing writer; Many longtime 007 fans were skeptical when it was announced that Daniel Craig would be the new James Bond for Casino Royale. There are a number of big names that Craig would be in the shadow of, including the famous Photo courtesy of Coming out of the Atlanta shadows with a bang is Cartel. In June of 2006, they released their first Photo courtesy Sean Naccarelli Katie Ellis Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Aside from the obvious pressure of the early Bonds, he would replace arguably one of the best Bonds ever, Pierce Bronson. But once again the creators of the James Bond series have made the successful transition from one Bond to the next. The triumphant transition is no surprise considering that the James Bond series has lasted 25 years accumulating revenue of $4,355,700,000 at the box office and even more in VHS, DVD, and merchandise sales. Craig’s Bond, in Casino Royale, is much more witty than his predecessors as he lacks the fancy gadgets invented for previous Bonds. He is more of a MacGyver than the usual 007 we are accustomed to watching. Craig uses an arsenal of arrogant remarks and clever comebacks instead of explosives. Bond 22, also starring Daniel Craig, is already set to release on Novembers 7, 2008 and looks to have more success than Casino Royale. Casino Royale is sure to be a best
  12. 12. Voices in the Hall A PT Minute With... Garrett McLean 1. What is your favorite breakfast cereal? Rice Crispy bites, but they don’t make them anymore! 2. What is your most watched movie? Green Street Hooligans. “West Ham til I Die!” 3. What songs are you most likely to be caught singing in the shower? It’s Goin’ Down by Yung Joc. 4. What is your biggest fear? I’m scared of dying in a fire. 5. If you could pick any decade, what decade would you want to live in? I would want to live in the 2110’s, because I want to drive a flying car. Kiersten Arnoni 1. What is your most watched movie? The Little Mermaid. 2. What songs are you most likely to be caught singing in the shower? My Humps! My sister recorded me once! 3. Who is your favorite cartoon character? Dash from the Incredibles… He’s so fast! 4. What is your biggest fear? Drowning. 5. If you could pick any decade, what decade would you want to live in? I would like to live in the 1950’s, because I like the poodle skirts, and Zach Airhart said so. What/Who is your good luck charm? “My lucky underwear; I’m always wearing them when good things happen.” –Marshall Smith ‘07 “My assortment of wild key chains are very lucky. The croissant is my favorite.” –Kelley Walker ‘07 “My infamous white grill cover.” –Sarah Earley ‘07 “My dog named Puppy Juice.” -Dave Searight ‘07 If you were stranded on a desert island, what two things would you take with you? “Buffalo chicken dip and “My iPod and my dog.” Tostitos tortilla chips. –Nick Sanfilippo ‘07 I’d be in heaven.” –Garrett McLean ‘07 “A bathing suit and, of course, my cell phone, if I’m not roaming.” –Leigha Krivacek ‘07 “I would take Emily Bigley on my left arm and Rachel Horensky on my right.” –Connor Tarwater ‘07