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Mar. 2008 Smoke Signals Issue 5


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Mar. 2008 Smoke Signals Issue 5

  1. 1. HaPPY St. PaTrIcK’s DaY FroM Smoke Signals PTHS March 2008 DM a a n c c h i i nn g e Jordan Dent Volume 39, Issue 5 Photos by Annie Tarwater The Pths Dance Team enjoys themselves in Walt Disney world in Orlando, Florida during their award-winning trip. The team placed 5th in the nation over 57 teams in the small-varsity hip hop category. Sports Editor Co-Editor F or only being in its third year of competition, the dance team has certainly created a lasting impression in our community as well as teams across the country. The team finished fifth in the nation at the Universal Dance Association’s 2008 National Dance Team Competition held in Orlando this past February. The team danced its way through three stages of competition including preliminaries, semi-finals, and of course, finals which only takes the top 15 teams from the semis division. Both JV and Varsity competed steadily throughout the year, not only scoring very high at every event but also winning awards such as most innovative choreography and Dance Grand Champion. The Varsity team would regularly Photo by Annie Tarwater compete with and defeat All-Star teams in local competitions, while JV never placed any lower than second place, and second only to the Varsity girls. The Nationals team consisted of fourteen girls, whose determination from day one has shown throughout the entire year. In addition, two coaches, who have believed in their teams’ ambitions and pushed them to be the very best, were vital elements in the teams’ accomplishments. Varsity was affected with a few injuries, which resulted in two members of the JV team, Gina Settimio and Jade Murman, being pulled to fill spots for Nationals. These girls had proven their dedication through their work on JV, and both coaches found their talent to be very valuable to Varsity. Four returning seniors, Alexis Joseph, Julie Mosallem, Leanna Frey, and Mackenzy Radolec, also captained the team. Their leadership was shown through their dance ability, participation in activities such as the first annual P-Rade (sponsored by the dance team), and dedication to the team, and teammates. Try-outs were held in April, and since then, the team has dedicated their time, suffered injuries and strains, and worked toward Nationals. Summer camp at Ohio State pushed the girls by learning and competing with new styles of dance. The team held day-long practices, which proved to be successful pre-competition tools, and endured endless hours of conditioning. This allowed them to get through an exhausting two and a half minute routine. Aside from practices and competitions, the teams provided entertainment during halftime at numerous basketball games. “We consider it a huge compliment when fans stay in their seats at halftime just to watch us,” said Coach Barb Deliere. This is Mrs. Deliere’s third year as advisor of the dance team, while her daughter, Nique, serves as head coach for both JV and Varsity. Nique and Mrs. Deliere take great pride in the squad’s success this year and have high expectations for next season. Competition Wins Varsity Dance Team: -PNC Park Competition - 1st place in cateogry, 2nd over all highest score -Jamfest- 2nd place in All Star Division -Steeltown Regional at W&J - 1st place -Robert Morris Univ. Competition - 1st place -UDA National Finals in Orlando, Flordia - 5th in the nation (over 57 teams) Junior Varsity Dance Team: -PNC Park Competition - 1st place in category, 4th over all highest score -Jamfest - 1st Place -Elite Championships - 1st place in Varsity divison, most original choreography, highest score in dance category, dance grand champion -Steeltown Regionals at W&J - 1st place Robert Morris Univ - 2nd Place -(Their only defeat was when they had to compete aganist our own varsity team)
  2. 2. PT Reference PTHS March 2008 Smoke Signals March 2008 Monday Tuesday SUNDAY Wednesday Thursday Friday 2 Saturday 1 Yellowstone National Park was created by an act of Congress in 1872 2 3 4 5 National Anthem Day Dr. Seuss’s Birthday 9 10 12 11 Johnny Appleseed Day 17 Puff The Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul & Mary released in 1963 24 No SchoolSpring Break! __________________ 30 Doctor’s Day __________________ 31 Eiffel Tower opens 1889 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: 724-941-6250 x.5379. E-mail: Commentaries, reviews, and opinion columns 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 18 The Pillsbury Doughboy’s Birthday St. Patrick’s Day 23 Easter Sunday 7 13 25 19 No SchoolSpring Break! 20 No SchoolSpring Break! National Chocolate Caramel Day 14 27 3:30PM Boys Varsity Tennis VS. Moon Daylight Savings Time Begins 15 Potato Chip Day Ides of March! Earth Day! 26 4:00PM Girls Varsity Softball VS. Upper St. Clair Jewel Day 8 Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run, 1914 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Willie Stargell’s Birthday Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. Founded 1912 Paper money was first issued in the United States in 1862 16 Boston Massacre, 1770 6 21 No SchoolSpring Break! Good Friday 28 22 Reese Witherspoon’s Birthday 29 M.C. Hammer’s Birthday 7:30PM Boys Varsity Volleyball VS. Montour What do you do on St. Patrick’s Day? FEATURES EDITOR Angelina Nepa OPINION EDITORS Alex Egan Brian Lewis SPORTS EDITOR Bill Berry Jordan Dent MARKETING EDITORS Brianna Lutes Shelby Miller Olivia Cramer ‘11 “Have a party with my family.” 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 EDITOR Katie Gavlick LAYOUT TEAM Katie Gavlick, Kaylin Zawicki, Emily Correal, Shelby Miller, Brianna Lutes NEWS EDITOR Grant Burkhardt ADVISER Mrs. Sitler Kayla O’Rourke ‘10 “Go to a party at my friend’s house.” Mrs. Frick “I like going to the St. Patrick’s Day parade and watching all the of performances.” Ben Bianco ‘09 “Get a shamrock shake from McDonalds.” Steve Peranteau ‘ 08 “Wear an old school bright green hat and search for a pot of gold.”
  3. 3. NEWS PTHS March 2008 Smoke Signals 3 Fallingwater Falls Into Place Stephanie Cotugno News Writer Designed by the great American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater has captured the attention of people from all over the world with its contemporary style, beautiful views of nature, and artistic architecture present throughout the entire house. Now, in 2008, Wright’s most widely acclaimed work could soon become a World Heritage Site. Nominated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the organization seeks to encourage the identification and protection of cultural and natural heritage around the world. UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites show outstanding value to humanity and embody universal characteristics, as the sites belong to all peoples of the world. Serving as sources of life and inspiration, World Heritage Sites are unique, bold, and are representatives of past legacies. The United States’ Statue of Liberty, the Great Wall of China, and the Tower of London in the United Kingdom are among the current 851 properties of UNESCO. Hopefully, Pennsylvania’s Fallingwater will be considered one of the world’s most significant cultural and national treasures of the world. Beginning in 1936, Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater for Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar J. Kaufmann and his family. The house sits on a waterfall, which had been a popular destination for the Kaufmann’s activities and a dream area for a future home. “The architecture over the waterfall is beautiful. In eighth grade, my art class and I visited Fallingwater. It was stunning and the house took my breath away,” explained junior Sarah Kradel. It was Wright’s suggestion to have the setting of the Kaufmann home built over a waterfall located in the divine Pennsylvania forest. Fallingwater is now a main destination for tourists, but the brilliant home once served as a weekend retreat. Located in southwestern Pennsylvania on Bear Run in Fayette County, Fallingwater was Pawing For Help Stephanie Nitschmann Staff Writer Almost everyone has felt the excitement of getting a new pet. For those who haven’t, they’ve surely shared the joy when a friend or relative adds another hairier member to the family. Those who picked up their bundle of fur from the Washington Area Humane Society probably noticed that the place could use a makeover and that’s exactly what the Zootoo’s organization latest mission is. Zootoo is holding the first ever National Pet Shelter Makeover Contest. Out of the 900 registered shelters in the country, one of the shelters in the top 20 will receive a brand new look and the other 19 will receive cash donations. Getting points for the shelter is as easy as the click of a mouse. By visiting the organization’s website, http://www.zootoo. zom/makeover/, and then filling out a registration form, lending a helping hand can happen in no time. Once the registration form is completed, and activation code is sent via e-mail, which leads one to their profile. After that, one simply signs up for the shelter they would like to support, and after that, it’s all about rating. By browsing the website and doing things such as rating toys, uploading pet pictures, commenting on articles, discussing the latest pet news and more, points are earned for the shelter. Many new members to the Zootoo team are scrambling to add points for their local shelter before the contest ends on March 31. The Washington Area Humane Society has received 1,211,843 points and counting, keeping it in first place. “We are a no-kill shelter, and we provide an incredible service to the community. If we won, it was definitely deserved, “ said Faye Kennedy, a long time volunteer at the shelter. Kennels were the dogs, puppies, kittens, and other animals are kept seem to be the biggest problem in the shelter. Space and upkeep for these kennels is a pressing issue. Winning the million-dollar makeover would put all these troubles to rest for the volunteers at the shelter. With the 30 dedicated volunteers at the shelter, helping wouldn’t be a problem. When one’s cuddly friend is all bundled up next to them sleeping, their safety and shelter isn’t a concern because their new home has given them just that. But before they were where they are now, they were probably at a shelter, and shelter and safety wasn’t always there for them. Sure, the life your pet has now includes a wonderful home, but what about those pets that are still at the shelter? By logging on and earning points for the Washington Area Humane Society, one can help make a difference in dogs’, cats’, and other pets’ lives before they find their forever homes. Color Clash: The Truth Behind St. Patrick’s Day Katie Ellis Staff Writer Most people know that St. Patrick’s Day originated in Ireland, but many are not aware why the color green is associated with the holiday. The Catholics and Protestants have been at war with each other since England attempted to overtake Ireland in the year 1200. Ireland has since been separated into two countries: the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland. The Protestants in Northern Ireland quickly sided with the English, while the Catholics believed that the Irish government was capable Catholics and orange for Protestants. When a person would come across someone wearing When a person came across someone wearing the opposite color, a fight would inevitably ensue. of running the country without outside help. To show their support for their respective causes, each religious group wore a different color in public places – green for the opposite color, a fight would inevitably ensue. Eventually, the fighting lessened to the occasional pinch from the opposite religion on St. Patrick’s Day, hence the American tradition of pinching someone that is not wearing green during holiday. When the Irish flag was created, the makers kept the war between the two religious groups in mind. The flag has three stripes: green, white, and orange. The green and orange are representative of the Catholics and the Protestants, while the white stripe in between represents the hope for peace among Ireland’s people. constructed of sandstone forming living and bedroom levels over the falls. The Kaufmann family used Fallingwater as a weekend getaway home from 1937 until 1963 when the family presented their home and its contents to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The home continues to remain as Wright’s great house with its setting, original furnishing, and artwork intact. “The artwork was unbelievable. It was interesting to see all of the art, especially the paintings by Picasso,” stated sophomore Ben Gauthier. Visit Fallingwater during its main season, Mid-March through Thanksgiving. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily except for Wednesday, Fallingwater provides guided tours, fine dining at the Café, gift shops, and a conference center. Tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for children, and include access to the majority of the house’s rooms. What In The World? After winning the “Fattest State Award” multiple times, Mississippi legislators are attempting to pass a bill to prevent people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more from eating in restaurants. A BMI of 30 for a person 5’7” tall is about 190 pounds. The bill was originally proposed as a joke by a mayor in Mississippi, but was taken seriously by most of the residents of the state. Many are opposed to the bill and cite it as discrimination, and the decision to enact the bill will be made later this year. And we thought that Americans were unintelligent: a recent survey conducted by UKTV Gold, a TV station in England, shows that 47% of British teenagers believe that WWII British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is a fictional character. Of the 3000 surveyed, another 27% believed that Florence Nightingale was also made up. However, 58% of respondents thought that Sherlock Holmes, a character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was a real person. 65% were under the impression that King Arthur and his knights of the round table existed and 47% believed that Eleanor Rigby, the title character of a Beatles’ song, was an actual person. The Australian police declared a state of emergency after a drunken man threatened to blow up half of a city with a television remote. Terrified neighbors called the police after Geoffrey Fryatt claimed that he could detonate a store of chemicals with the remote. Fryatt has since been sentenced with one year of probation and has been forced to give up his dream of humanitarian aid work overseas. Maybe “Hide-and-Seek” is no longer such a great game to play with small children: fouryear-old Donovan Hasseman was trapped after climbing into a washing machine in his Dover, Ohio home. After thirty minutes of attempting to extract the boy from the machine with no luck, firefighters were forced to bring in the “jaws of life,” a tool normally used in automobile accidents to free trapped passengers from their cars. Hasseman was treated to a tour of the firehouse after he was freed, fortunately suffering no injuries. Some birds just have all the luck. Gan Shugen of Chengdu City, China, received a hen as a gift from his relatives. As the chicken was placed in a plastic bag with its legs bound, Shugen assumed it was dead and put it straight into the freezer. Two days later, Shugen heard sounds from the inside of the freezer and was surprised to find that the hen was still very much alive. “She was still warm and when I unbound her legs she could stand,” Shugen said. Shugen has also stated that the bird will no longer be dinner – she’ll live with him in his home as a pet. Compiled by Katie Ellis
  4. 4. 4 FEATURES PTHS Smoke Signals Renée Wunderlich Speak Junior Identity Crisis OUT Co-Editor-In-Chief The disease started with the classic symptoms: anxiety, anticipation, and a desire to get out. I fought hard, but nothing could distract me from the truth: I had junioritis. This “condition” is actually common among my fellow eleventh-grade peers. Those who suffer from the pressures of both the home and educational environments have a mild case. There is the onset of college visits, the possibly intrusive question about ‘The Future’, and the tests - SATs, ACTs, PSSAs, and the prep courses that take over the very lives of these students. And while all of these instigators are constantly promoting infection, the subject was not yet affected in a contagious way. Alas, they are the lucky ones, for there are the more severe cases - those brought on by associations. In other words, beware of friendships (or worse, relationships) with seniors. Exposure to collegebound twelfth-graders promotes the subject to think, to dream, and suddenly the student finds herself stuck between not only grade levels, but identities. Neither junior nor senior, the victim is permanently infected. I am the eldest child within my immediate family, a fate that is both relished and dreaded, and one of the main aspects through which I first conducted junioritis. My family places education as a priority higher than oxygen. I began touring colleges in eighth grade. The average high school student begins her quest for higher education at the onset of her junior year. The parents of these students, most of whom are proud holders of undergraduate and graduate degrees, surf college websites with crossed fingers. Naturally, they want the best for their often-reluctant son or daughter, resulting in a last minute dash to the guidance counselor. My parents avoided the anxiety of the time-pressed questioning of what lies beyond my secondary academic horizon. Nevertheless, I am still subject to the pressures of their expectations. Thanks to my loving mother and father, I have not only a narrowed list of prospective universities, but also terms applied to them like “fit”, “stretch”, and “safety.” Thus, with early preparation and daily reminders, my family gave me my first little push towards my Whats Your Favorite Part of Texting? now-worsening condition. Within the walls of a wellto-do suburban public school, “junior year” is whispered in fearful tones, as well as groaned about openly. It is the year of the standardized tests. For me, that means attending a five-month prep course for the SAT alone. Guidance counselors Liz Luttner ’11 recommend that students take the SAT at least twice. And “The interaction with others.” because sixteen-year-olds can never truly be evaluated enough, there are the ACTs and the PSSAs. Miss taking that glorious SAT? Have no fear. There is still the SAT II! Class scheduling adds to the stress of junior year. Advanced placement courses are suddenly offered, in addition to the new levels of the classic honors core subjects. Students Beth Herder ‘10 become all but encased within “I don’t know. It doesn’t take their own personal “academic as long to call someone.” track.” Suddenly, moving from an academic course to a twelfthgrade honors or AP class waits upon the apocalypse. For this reason, most students overload themselves with demanding The Paybacks of Challenging Courses Gina Nepa GO figure Alex Sabo ‘09 Staff Writer Students throughout Peters Township regularly complain. Whether it’s about too much homework, too little free time, or teachers that are too demanding, there’s always something to be said about the overload of work. In reality, these students should be thanking the school district for enacting such a challenging curriculum and constantly keeping them on their toes; colleges will fawn over a transcript coming from Peters Township. Various students, most prominently upperclassmen, are enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, of which there is additional weight in terms of calculating GPA. Students electing such tough courses are encouraged to take the AP test for each class, which can reward pupils financially through college, as colleges put real consideration into a transcript with strenuous curriculum, and/or with advanced standing credit at the university of their choice. “I took AP Stats, and I think it was a great decision, I definitely recommend it,” explained junior Amy Trotnick. Others may disagree. “I dropped out of AP Stats Technology 63% of parents who use text messaging believe that it improves their communication with their children. after I realized how intense the workload was,” said sophomore, Christa Matthews. “I had too many other things on my plate.” Colleges put extreme emphasis on the levels of classes we take, and it is fair to applaud the school for giving us so many opportunities to leave a lasting impression on our transcripts, and make something huge out of the future. As scheduling for the following year comes to an end, students plunder through the halls with their hair pulled out and their eyes drooping: stress overpowers the general population as the extreme availability of AP classes sets in. Students incorporating too many of these college level courses into their already hectic schedule soon realize the easy opportunity for failure; finding a good balance of challenging classes is the real difficulty. So every soon-to-be upperclassman, take a deep breath, and relax. Finding classes that fit your work ethic and natural talent should be your real focus. 50% of electronic products returned to stores are in good working order; consumers just can’t figure out how they work. March 2008 The average person spends 30.5 hours per month on their home computer. “The fact that I can do it in school and the teachers don’t notice.” Carl Mitchell ‘08 “I can do it under my desk without the teacher noticing.” 20% of households with kids report the youngest cell phone user to be 12 years old; 10% say they are elementary school age. 35% of US households have two or more computers.
  5. 5. PTHS March 2008 Features Life Without Technology = No Life! Changing Our Wardrobe phone call or needing information off the Internet. I ended up going to sleep around 8:30, which is a huge change from the usual bedtime of around midnight. My friends’ reactions were humorous. When I didn’t text them back, they thought I was mad at them, and they were in complete shock that I had my phone turned off. I hated not being able to ask my friends questions about schoolwork, what we were doing Friday, or all the gossip of that day. My parents’ reactions were great. My dad called me from work, and when it went right to voicemail, he didn’t know what to think. At first I got in trouble for not answering Photo by Alex Egan Peeps for Keeps Emily Correal Layout Team When it comes to Easter candy, marshmallow Peeps are a traditional favorite. The cute, colorful Peep chicks taste as good as they look. Whether they are yellow, pink, lavender, blue or green, they all taste the same: great. The sugary marshmallows melt in your mouth. On Easter morning, open your Peeps, have a taste, but save the rest for when they are the best, stale. I know it sounds strange, but Peeps are more flavorful when they are a day or two old. If chicks aren’t your thing, the marshmallows also come in bunnies and eggs. If having Peeps at Easter is not enough, don’t worry, because they also make Christmas trees, Valentine’s Day hearts, and Halloween pumpkin Peeps, so you can enjoy them all year round. Now, we cannot forget about our other Easter favorites: jelly beans and chocolate bunnies. Jelly beans come in so many flavors and colors, and have a sweet Image courtesy of: my phone, and he went on a rampage about if he buys me a cell phone I better answer when he calls. Then I explained to him what I was doing, and he couldn’t believe I agreed to it. My mom had to tell my friends when she saw them or if they called the house to find out what was going on. No one could believe it. Cell phone usage used to be uncommon, but now it is on the rise and will continue to increase over the years. People who can’t even afford their rent subscribe to cell phone service. In the middle of 2005 there was an estimated 2.4 billion cell phone owners. Cell phones are not only common in the United States but worldwide. China as over 400 million users; Hong Kong, Italy, Sweden, and Great Britain have showed a 100% increase in cell phone usage. (www. At first I thought this was going to be a big deal, but as the day went on, I got used to it. I hated not having my cell phone, but I realized I got more accomplished because I wasn’t being distracted from constant texts and phone calls. I got a good night’s rest, and was more energetic for school the next day. I could never go without technology, but once in a while, it doesn’t hurt to step away from being wired and see life outside the computer screen. Three Candy Surprise Paige Burris Staff Writer Marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies, and jellybeans are three major Easter basket traditions. Marshmallow Peeps and their many holiday styles to the very first chick Peep have never caught my eye. Although I tried them again and again, they weren’t memorable. Some say that they’re better three days old, but I disagree. Chocolate bunnies were the next thing on my list to try, I understand why they’re someone’s favorite, unless they were allergic to chocolate. They’re not my favorite, however, because I think the taste can get old. The last thing that I tried was jellybeans and their many flavors from the new to the old. The new ones, such as popcorn and chocolate, are great, but the old ones like orange and cherry are still amazing. The variety of flavors that comes with jellybeans draws me in, and definitely makes them my Easter basket favorite. Even the crazy creations that come in the Harry Potter jellybeans box makes it more interesting because you can try new things, and even if you don’t like them, there is always another flavor to try. If you Mad About Fashion By Mady Dietrich Bridget Stasenko Staff Writer Think about all arrived at school, and by the technology you use my second class, I was every day and how many bored out of my mind. hours you spend using That’s when I usually it. Now think about not whip out the cell phone having anything! This and start texting, but I was my challenge- I had couldn’t do that. I didn’t to go 24 hours without realize it then, but I got a any technology. No lot out of my classes that cell phone, computers, day because I was paying radio, iPod, or television. more attention. When I When this challenge got home from school, was first introduced to I usually watch TV for a me, I freaked out and little, but instead, I started automatically said that I homework. I finished all would fail. Then the day my homework around came when I had to do six o’clock and then had nothing to do. I couldn’t it. I started at 6 call my friends, text my o’clock am, and it was friends, listen to music, terrible. I had to drive to surf the net, or watch TV. school in silence, which Therefore, I read some was extremely difficult, magazines, ate dinner, because there is nothing and then got ready for to do in the car besides bed. It was inconvenient listen to music. I finally when it came to things like making a quick 5 When we switch our wardrobe entirely from the secure coats of winter to our mini skirts and shorts is when you know it’s spring again. So bring the spring back in your closet with bright colors, capris and shorts, lacy sandals, and flowing dresses inspired from the 50’s and 60’s. Marc Jacobs has made patterns that have bubbled purposely out at the seams. Colors that don’t compliment each other and large patterns, which are supposed to be less then perfect, like large floral prints are also very popular. H&M’s designers have created a collection with Marimekko’s popular patterns from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. Marimekko designs patterns for fabrics, furniture, and wallpaper. His designs are unique, and are currently sold at Target. High waist shorts, flowing blouses, and tiny belts have made a comeback. The high-sitting shorts that hug your waist appear to narrow it, and also flatter your chest if you don’t have a lot to work with. A belt that is about an inch thick looks great wrapped around your waist, securing a button-up blouse. Another big spring boom are the dresses that you would have seen a 1950’s housewife wear. The collared, sleeveless dress that flows out from the waist is something your grandmother would have worn when she was younger, though your grandma probably wouldn’t have paired that dress with stilettos from the modern fashion world. If you don’t want to be all dolled up in a dress, wear an old band shirt. They show your personality through your favorite band, and you can also pair this shirt up with wide leg jeans. But don’t stop short at band shirts, show you care with shirts with a cause. For example, the ONE campaign, which is to help the poorest people of the world overcome AIDS and extreme poverty, sells shirts that have their logo on it. This isn’t the only organization that sells clothing, you can find something you care about and show it through fashion. Image courtesy of: Three Candies Enter One Candy Leaves Emily Estep Staff Writer Chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and marshmallow Peeps are staples in any selfrespecting Easter basket. But which one is the best? Having tasted all of these holiday treats in the past, I knew I was going in with bias, but I tried my best to remain impartial. I start with a chocolate bunny. Not surprising at all, it is fantastic. After all, it’s chocolate. What’s not to like? The only way I can imagine this not to be good is if the recipient doesn’t like chocolate, which is very rare. This piece of candy is a giant hunk of chocolate shaped like a cute little bunny, and it’s near perfection. Next, I open up a package of marshmallow Peeps. I haven’t been a fan of Peeps in the past, but I haven’t had one in a few years. Peeps taste far different than I remember; they’re actually pretty good. The familiar marshmallow taste combines with the super-sweet sugar to form something new, and the chick shape and bright pink coloring is really cute, like the chocolate bunny. Not bad, not bad at all. Lastly, jelly beans. These tiny candies have an advantage, because there are so many flavors. I head for my favorite, cherry, which was amazing as ever. As I taste a few other types, I realize they are not all as enjoyable. In fact, other than cherry, I don’t really like any of them. Not to mention that these jelly beans are certainly not as cute as my previous options. So, after this selfindulgent display, what’s my diagnosis? Chocolate bunnies are the best Easter basket candy. Everyone loves chocolate, and to that I say kudos to candy makers-the more chocolate the better.
  6. 6. K C N OO LW LL E E D GG EE Money Matters: Paying for College Angelina Nepa Features Editor With the economy headed toward possible recession, making and keeping money is on the forefront of everyone’s minds, particularly those of college bound seniors and t h e i r parents. As students file their FASFA forms, many worry about where the money they’ll need will come from. What may surprise students is that there are several nontraditional methods of coming up with the cash, from short-term spending money, to long-term alternatives, to student loans. Most college freshman never consider work-study programs, but some jobs will get students up to five thousand dollars a year. Said Lehigh bound senior Liz Zeffiro, “A few hours a week is definitely worth the money I’ll be getting.” The federal government runs this program, which gives part of the money you earn to your employer (read: college) and gives the employee the rest. Jobs include working in university libraries, scanning meal plan cards, or working in student unions. Over 3,400 colleges and universities participate in work-study programs. Scholarships are an obvious choice, but students often can continue to apply for money throughout college, and unless it’s an academic scholarship, grades aren’t that important. Communitybased sums may be smaller, but they are easier to secure, and a few hundred dollars in local money can pay for books and a new laptop. Once enrolled, an accelerated schedule can speed up graduation time. While an accelerated schedule may be intense, it may mean the difference between three and four years and that extra $50,000 in tuition. This path is a good option for students with a definite career in mind that can choose a major right away. Most students do have to take out federal loans to pay for school, but loan-forgiveness programs exist that allow graduates to cancel part of their debt after college by working in community service. Peace Corp volunteers and doctors working in impoverished areas can have part of their debts canceled, or have their payments deferred. If after all of that strategizing, working and saving students still have loans to pay off, it’s entirely possible to do so as a working adult. Practice proper money managing, and that debt will disappear in a matter of years. Hopefully, an informed senior will make the right decisions today to lessen their financial problems tomorrow. all pennants from
  7. 7. Fun College Trivia Hogwarts or college? Students at Sewanee: The University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee, say their school resembles the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in J. K. Rowling’s popular Harry Potter series. Like Hogwarts, the university operates in its own self-contained community:The campus, town, and surrounding lakes and forests fill its 10,000 wooded acres. The foggy, mountain-bound campus is also made up of buildings designed in the Gothic architectural style of Hogwarts. Plus, high-achieving students called the “Order of Gownsmen” wear academic gowns to class, much like Harry and his wizards-in-training classmates. ( HARVARD UNIVERSITY ISUNITED STATES, AND THE OLDEST INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING IN THE ALUMNI INCLUDE SEVEN UNITED STATES PRESIDENTS. APPLICANTS FOR THE CLASS OF 2008 INCLUDED ALMOST 3,000 HIGH SCHOOL VALEDICTORIANS. MORE THAN 57% OF THE CLASS OF 2008 PLANS TO PARTICIPATE IN RECREATIONAL, INTRAMURAL OR INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS. THOMAS JEFFERSON’S TOMBSTONE LISTS THREE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, AUTHOR OF THE STATUTE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN VIRGINIA, AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA.UNIVERSITY OFEVEN JEFFERSON DESIGNED THE UVA CAMPUS HIMSELF. VIRGINIA HAS A SECRET SOCIETY CALLED THE SEVEN SOCIETY, AND WHEN A MEMBER DIES, THE CHAPEL BELL TOLLS SEVEN TIMES. College Stats Melanie Hoffman Amazing Discoveries Scientists at Rutgers University are renowned for breaking new ground in all manner of research, from working on a cure for AIDS/HIV to finding new ways to measure weather patterns. But you may not know that Rutgers researchers are also beloved for creating another scientific wonder: Cheez Whiz. ( MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY CLAIMS TO OFFER MORE CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAN ANY OTHER SCHOOL, OVER 330. Campus Hauntings In Columbia, Kentucky, Lindsey Wilson College’s Phillips Hall is allegedly haunted by the ghost of a former student. Legend has it that the student committed suicide at the dorm in the 1930s over a failed love affair. ( DUKE UNIVERSITY IS THE MOST SELECTIVE PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN THE SOUTH. THE SARAH P. DUKE GARDENS OCCUPIES 55 ACRES IN THE HEART OF THE UNIVERSITY’S WEST CAMPUS, AND IS ONE OF THE PREMIER PUBLIC GARDENS IN THE UNITED STATES, EACH YEAR ATTRACTING MORE THAN 300,000 VISITORS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. college student will spend an average of $842.66 on Back-to-school merchandise Tips for College Searching Staff Writer Between stressing over senior year, college essays, applications, and maintaining a social life, you barely have time to breathe. Here are some tips from other seniors on how to handle the pressure while making the most of your last year at home. 1. Start Early. Yes, I know, you’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true. The sooner you start to look into colleges, the better you’ll know what you want in a college. Assess what size school you want, your academic areas of interest, and possibilities of how close or far you want to go. Start your applications and essays during the summer. Once school starts, the things you need to do and the time you have to do them in don’t exactly mix. Justin Heilmann ‘08 “My total college experience per year is going to be Juniors, this is your time to start looking. about $30,000.” 2. Go College Visiting Now. Start by looking at local colleges for size and feel of the campus. The more schools you visit, the easier it will be to figure out what you do and don’t like. 3. Pace Yourself. Senior Megan Stanik put it best, “Make sure you pace yourself. If you’re doing applications or essays for a really long time, go get a cup of coffee. Do something to clear your mind before returning back to those endless applications.” Mary Irwin ‘08 “I am traveling about 10 hours from home to go to West Point” 4. Avoid Deadline Discrepancies. Deadlines tend to sneak up on you, so be sure you are positive of when your application is due. Get your paperwork into the guidance office at least a month before the deadline. 5. Letters of Recommendation. If you are not able to contact the teacher you want to write you a letter of recommendation during the summer, then be sure to do it as soon as possible. Also, make sure to give them a resume and an adequate amount of time, so they are able to write the best letter possible. Sara Taylor’08 “My parents made suggestions in my college choice 6. Essays. Those dreaded essays are finally here. The best thing you but overall I made the final can do is to write about something unique that makes you stand out. Allow other decision” people (parents, teachers, friends) to proofread and offer advice for your essays. 7. Financial Aid. If you know you’re applying for financial aid, the earlier you get your application in, the better chance you’ll have of being offered more money. Consider schools that offer the most money highest on your list. 8. Don’t Choose a School for Stupid Reasons. For example, “I don’t want to go to WVU because I don’t look good in gold.” Not the most logical way of looking at things. College is there to further your education, not your social experiences. Sports teams may play a factor in your decision, but make sure it’s not the whole reason for your choice. All in all, college is your next step in growing up. Make sure the you’re going to the school of your choice and that you’re confidant in your decision. Yes, I can almost guarantee that there will be times that you doubt your choice, but stick it out. Mostly, just relax and try not to stress out too much about the “big choice”. Megan Stanik ‘08 “Academic Departments and Locations most influenced my college decision”
  8. 8. 8 OPINION March 2008 PTHS Smoke Signals Alex Egan Opinion Editor Pop the Bubble The first and only time my family has ever moved was when I was three years old. I’m not even really sure why. Maybe we needed a bigger house, or maybe we were just ready for a change, but for some reason my parents decided to take the giant leap from Upper St. Clair to Peters Township. Some change. They say it’s a tough world out there, but here in Peters Township, life really hasn’t been so bad. I started in the Peters Township School District at kindergarten, and now I’ll be graduating in June. I’ve gone to this school for thirteen years. As the only school I’ve ever known, I think it’s safe to say that I know the place fairly well. And I think we all know that this place is a bubble. A giant, hard, plastic bubble. The truth is, I don’t think any of us here in Peters understand what life is really like outside the bubble. We’ve all grown up in an environment where everyone is financially comfortable, kids are outrageously privileged, and nobody suffers. In fact, people here wouldn’t know suffering if it were standing right in front of them. I’m not saying that I would, but at least I’m aware of the fact. Here in ‘La-La Land’, life always seems to go as we want it to. We have perfect, stereotypical, suburban lives, and we haven’t got a clue what else is out there in the world. In other places, a sweet sixteenth birthday party means cake and ice cream with family and friends, but here it means cake and ice cream for your entire MTV-worthy sixteenth birthday bash complete with a DJ, plus a shiny brand new car, which will then attract ten new friends. If anyone from outside our little dome counted the number of brand new Mustang convertibles in the student parking lot, he would think he was at a dealership. The stereotypical Peters Township reputation follows us everywhere. I once accidentally bumped into an older man at an away basketball game, and immediately apologized. But instead of accepting my apology, he replied “I know you’re from Peters Township, but you still have to watch where you’re going.” I really mean it when I say the PT spoiled brat reputation will haunt us. We think we can do as we please whenever and wherever we want, and we always find a way to get what we want, when we want it. Life has always been good here at PT. And hey, none of us are complaining. Although Peters Township has been known to be one of the top schools in Pennsylvania, there are a lot of things we haven’t learned here. We’ve never learned what life is really like outside our precious little vault, which is going to create a rude awakening for some of us when we pop our compact bubble and head on out of here. We also have never learned that we’re actually going to have to provide for ourselves someday, and that mom and dad can’t keep giving us cash or buying us luxuries for long- also a rude awakening. One of the most important things we’ve never learned at PTHS is how to deal with our own problems. We’ve never really needed to. Here, the policy has always been if you don’t like it, have your mom call the school. Despite the fact that my uneventful suburban bubble is locking me away from the reality of the world, it’s still the place I call my home. This is where I’ve grown up, made all my memories, met my best friends, and it’s a place I’ll cherish forever. I’ll never forget taking my first step into Peters Township High School. Although my freshman year was filled with change, it opened the door to countless unforgettable memories; my sophomore year lunch table, the sweater vest extravaganza, good cookie Wednesdays, the soccer team winning the state championship, listening to Mrs. Beckjord’s stories, along with so many others. It’s sad to say our school has never really had any traditions, but my friends and I decided to make our own by heading to Starbucks after school every Friday, going out to eat before cheering varsity games, having sleepovers every year before the last day of school, and vowing to make each year better than the previous. We all complain about how much we hate Peters Township, but deep down good ol’ PT will always have a special place in our hearts. I think I speak for all of the class of 08’ when I say that we can’t wait to graduate this spring. We’re all ready to move on to bigger and better things, but we all know that we’ll miss the good life here in Peters. Even after we’re gone and graduated, I don’t think we’ll ever really leave PT. It will always have a place in our hearts, and maybe someday down the road, we’ll all come back to the bubble, just for a little visit. “The truth is, I don’t think any of us here in Peters understand what life is really like outside the bubble...Here in ‘La-La Land’, life always seems to go as we want it to.” Fishtank: The OTHER March Madness By Renée Wunderlich From Stage to Screen Andrea Briggs Syntax Editor There seems to be a recent trend of Broadway classics hitting the silver screen in the past few years. I went to see three of some of the most acclaimed musicals, watched their movie counterparts, and then compared the two. Some of the differences were astounding, and some were not so different at all. Here are my choices for best of show: Sweeney Todd: The recent sensation to hit the box office, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has raked in $80 million worldwide. But this horror flick traces its roots back to the 1979 Broadway production, which recently came to Pittsburgh on its national tour. The basic plot is about a barber who is sent to prison for years on a false charge, while the judge that convicted him pursues his wife. The barber, Sweeney Todd, is released from prison and teams up with a woman named Mrs. Lovett to exact revenge on the judge. The movie changed none of the original story, which is mostly told through song, even though director Tim Burton had to condense some of the longer numbers. The biggest change by far was the scenery. Onstage, Sweeney Todd uses only a single sparse set and simple costumes, and all of the blood is implied. The movie, however, used the detailed background of a Victorianera London seen almost entirely in grayscale. The blood was everywhere – splattering shirts, dripping down mirrors, running across the floor. The first two murders stunned the entire audience, but as the movie wore on they lost their shock-value. In the stage production, every death was a terrible as the last, and because the gore was implied, the atmosphere remained oppressing. Bottom Line: See the movie, then the play. There is no question that the stage performance is vastly superior, but the story quickly becomes complex, and onstage most props are left to the imagination. It is easy to get lost, and being familiar with the songs and plot beforehand is invaluable. They are two completely different visual experiences, and present the same story in a different way. The Lion King: This Disney classic was a staple of many childhoods, and transferring it to the stage was no easy task. It’s the story of Simba: a young lion who is next in line to be the king of Pride Rock. Simba’s father and current king, Mufasa, must watch out for his brother Scar, who is trying to overthrow Mufasa and take the throne for himself. The music was astounding in the movie, with catchy numbers such as “The Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata”, and these were only improved upon in the Broadway production.There was also a new song written especially for the live performance titled “Chow Down”. As all of the characters in The Lion King are animals, taking the figure of a lion and having a human portray it is difficult. This was accomplished by ingenious use of masks, puppets, and costumes. Nothing was changed as far as the plot is concerned. When the Lion King made the leap from the screen to the stage, it was most definitely improved upon. Bottom Line: See the play, keep the movie in your childhood memories. The richly decorated costumes and the resonance of the songs are so much better onstage than they could ever be in the movie. The play is something you will never forget, while the movie will fade with time. Phantom of the Opera: One of the most romantic love stories of all time, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom has swept millions of viewers off their feet. The intense love triangle between the opera-singer Christine, her fiancé Raoul, and Erik, the mysterious Phantom, is thrilling and offset by beautiful songs that tell their heartbreaking story. There were many subtle differences in the 2004 Joel Schumacher movie that couldn’t be expressed onstage because of limitations, such as the myriad of swordfighting scenes that peppered the film, as well as some extensions and shortening of other scenes. The vocals and acting in both were fantastic, as well as the special effects of the Phantom appearing and vanishing. Unlike Sweeney Todd, where the film and the movie were two completely different presentations, Phantom of the Opera remains consistent between both genres. The movie is more richly detailed than the Broadway production, but not necessarily any more superior. Bottom Line: See the play, then the movie. Because both are terrific, neither one can really be placed above the other. But if a choice had to be made, nothing can beat seeing Phantom live – the energy of the cast is tangible, and the movie can’t reproduce the excitement of actually being there.
  9. 9. PTHS March 2008 Averi Clements Opinion Touchdown, Eight Points: A Girl’s Guide to Surviving Sports 9 Staff Writer He sits next to you with a bag of chips, donning a colorful jersey and cheering in what seems like another language. You remain silent, snagging a pretzel here and there and timidly clapping when it seems like the situation calls for it. Face it, ladies: the world of sports will always be a predominantly male obsession. Luckily, there are ways for us girls to at least act like we know what’s going on during “the big game”. Lesson One: Getting in the Ballpark This is the area where and your boyfriend will come in handy. Knowing what is going on in your newfound hobby (and future obsession) is crucial. Watch a few games with some sports-savvy friends and feel free to ask questions, especially when penalties occur – there is nothing more enjoyable than being able to yell at the refs. Pay close attention to what types of scoring determine the amount of points gained (For example, a field goal is worth three points, but a touchdown is worth six). The sport’s official website can provide a wealth of information for the rookie fan. Lesson Two: Picking a Team Never, under any circumstances, pick a favorite team just because your boyfriend cheers for them. To do so is to obliterate the credibility of every female sports fan on the planet. When choosing a team to root for, take some freedom. Take into account your birthplace or current residence. Picking a team based on their uniform color scheme or the attractiveness of their players is acceptable, so long as you don’t reveal these deciding factors to the general public. When choosing a team, be sure to make your decision towards the beginning of the season, and not when your team has made the playoffs. If you take your pick once it has been made clear that your chosen team has a chance at winning the championship game, you will be called a “bandwagon fan.” Although bandwagon fans are amusing to the real fans (the fans that chose their teams without caring how they fare in the playoffs), you do not want to become one. Lesson Three: Beat ‘Em at Their Own Game There is nothing, and I repeat, nothing more amusing than watching a guy’s face as you display your extensive sports knowledge. While providing commentary about last night’s football game can be a great icebreaker, you have to know what you’re talking about for it to work. Refer to Lesson One for tips on where to get your smarts. Even learning a bit of athletic vocabulary can work Cell Phones On Planes: Novel or Troublesome? SHE SAID HE SAID Brian Lewis Ashley Czajkowski Alex Egan St. Patrick’s Day Co-Editor-in-Chief Generally, plane rides are all the same: the passenger enters the cabin, takes a seat after stowing luggage, and prepares for the flight by somehow getting comfortable. Many lean their seat back and are fast asleep before the plane taxis away to the airstrip. The only sounds heard are the plane’s engine, a few soft, nearby conversations, and the occasional child throwing a temper tantrum a few seats in front. Imagine a flight in the near future during which the person beside you receives a cell phone call and suddenly proceeds to have a loud conversation about anything and everything. You can’t help but be agitated that you’re stuck next to this person until the plane lands. For most, this occurrence might be something they have never witnessed on airlines in America. However, Air France is starting its six-month study of in-flight cell phone service, via satellite, that would allow passengers to send text messages, e-mails, and eventually make voice calls. Although this seems like a great, revolutionary idea at first glance, it seems to hold many drawbacks. Foremost, the calls would be $2.50 per minute. (Why not just wait the few hours until you’re off the plane and save a buck or two?) Secondly, it seems as if phone calls on a plane would be a complete nuisance. The passenger cannot merely walk away but is stuck listening to the conversation another person is having on their phone. Currently, Air France’s experiment is purely a trial run that will allow executives to determine whether these advances on flights will be positive. It will be quite some time until any changes are officially implemented. Conversely, the idea of allowing emails or even a text message to be sent is great, especially for businessmen always on the go. However, phone calls would be an entirely new kind of annoyance on a plane ride. Spending hours next to a loud, obnoxious talker would be a definite downfall on a long, uneventful flight. wonders on the naïve mind of that cute boy who sits next to you in speech class. Just bringing up the great defensive line strategy that helped put pressure on the quarterback (who, mind you, could have avoided a sack if he had ventured outside the pocket) can make a guy’s jaw drop in awe. Be sure not to act too sports-savvy right away, though, or you might come on a bit too strong and scare him away. After all, a girl who knows the entire family tree of Jordan Staal could probably beat the stuffing out of anyone who had the nerve to turn down her invitation to the Prom. Lesson Four: Getting the Gear Most popular sports, including basketball, hockey, soccer, and football, have jerseys available for purchase. Once you pick a favorite team, you will be encouraged to obtain one of these shirts, which display your support of a particular team and/or player. You are allowed to buy whichever player’s jersey suits your fancy. However, do not acquire your first jersey only when your team has exceeded expectations in performance, unless you wish to be called a bandwagon fan (see Lesson Two). Jerseys can be rather expensive, so once you have received yours, take good care of it. A trend that has become increasingly popular among female fans is to buy pink jerseys. Please, until you see Ben Roethlisberger come skipping onto the field in one of these pastel-colored replicas (and trust me, girls, it’s only a matter of time), these need to be kept away from your closet. Period. Lesson Five: Preparing for “The Big Game” One of the most exciting parts about every sports season is the championship. This is the game where the best of the best come together in an all-out fight for survival… or rather, a big shiny trophy. This match-up occurs after the playoffs, which are games that decide who the final competitors will be. Many people have a big celebration for this ultimate showdown, which will certainly include lots of food. Whatever diet or health-spree you’re currently on needs to be thrown aside completely during this time. The only vegetables that should be eaten are potato chips, and you will need to be able to down an entire hamburger during the time it takes for a commercial break to pass. Bring plenty of throat lozenges, because if you are a true fan by now, it is guaranteed that you will be screaming until your lungs plead for mercy. Although we females may never be the insane sports junkies that our male counterparts have always been, we can still find ways to survive the madness… and maybe even become die-hard fans ourselves. What does March 17th mean to you? It better be getting warm outside! Spring training is well under way. Is St. Patrick’s Day an Of course; it is a perfect reason to celebrate being happy! Important Holiday? I’m an Irish girl, what do you think? How do you sport your St. Patrick’s Day I wear some green if I remember it is St. Patrick’s Day. Do you believe in How can you not believe in them? Otherwise they may steal your lucky charms… I wear my green shirt that says “Kiss Me I’m Irish,” and enjoy a Shamrock Shake. Leprechauns? Do you have a Yes, my Yankees hat. Dana Hoelle Spirit? People only call me one every day of my life. Lucky charm? Yes, I was born with the luck of the Irish! Caribbean Cruisin’: The Perfect Spring Break Vacation Staff Writer We’re over halfway through the school year, and spring break is just around the corner. People are looking for the perfect vacation to make their spring break a memorable one. Instead of looking for one destination, why not go to a few places? I think the best way to spend your vacation time is cruising on the high seas. Cruises are the ideal way to go to multiple locations. I’ve been going on a cruise every year since I was seven, so believe me when I say that you will have the time of your life on a cruise. Advantages of a cruise are that it includes food, entertainment, and traveling to different locations such as the Bahamas, Caribbean, or islands in the Mediterranean. You won’t have all those worries about booking a hotel room or finding various activities to do every night, because while on a cruise you already have all of that. “Everything is included when you’re on a cruise, and that is what I love about them,” said sophomore Dara Hoelle. Some activities on a cruise include, but are not limited to, dance parties, karaoke, bingo, buffets, Broadway shows, and excursions on the islands. “My favorite activity on a cruise ship is the shows. There is a different one every night. It keeps my family and me entertained while on the ship,” said sophomore Rachel Sunday. Cruises range from $299 to over $1,000 dollars. “Going on a cruise is well worth the money,” said junior Brooke Wilson. You get to go to many different places all on one cruise, without ever having to repack, and for one amazing price. It’s like taking multiple vacations in one. It could be a four-day or a seven-day cruise, but either way you are guaranteed to have tons of fun. With unlimited food, music, and entertainment, cruises are the best way to do what you want at your leisure.
  10. 10. Sports 10 02 E x t r a TAYLOR IAN IAN JACKSON Point RELICH Smoke Signals 02 IJ: The Pirates are going to surprise a ton of people this year, and we are going to talk about which players we think are key to that happening. I think that Jason Bay is going to be the anchor this year. He had a rough season last year, but I think he’ll get back to his 2006 form in 2008. TR: Jason Bay will definitely be a key part of the Pirates’ success this year, but I think Adam LaRoche is primed for a breakout season. He batted .272 last season, almost his career average, but he did have a horrible slump in the beginning of the year. He would have batted somewhere around .300 if it wasn’t for his horrible start. IJ: I like Adam LaRoche and Freddy Sanchez, but Jason Bay is the star of this team. Last year he suffered some serious injuries. He had knee problems that bothered him throughout the season. Even with all the bumps and bruises, he still had respectable numbers with twenty-one home runs. TR: The bottom line is that the Pirates need some power in their lineup and some power to stabilize the offense. That offense, I think, is going to come from Adam Laroche. I do believe they need both of these guys to step up if they are going to have a shot at the playoffs. I just think that Laroche is the key and that he is going to produce a ton this season. IJ: I definitely do think that Laroche will step up; that’s not what I am arguing. I just think that Bay is going to get back to his 2006 form and Laroche has never had any seasons like the ones Bay has had in the past. I think he can have a similar one, but I don’t think he matches the skill that Bay has. TR: I am not debating that LaRoche is a better player than Bay, because that is not the question. The question is who will improve the offense the most. Jason Bay has had a few great seasons and it has had little impact on the Pirates overall record. I think it will be amazing to see what LaRoche is capable of if he doesn’t have a batting average of under .150 for three months. IJ: I agree that Bay’s stats have not caused the Pirates to win any World Series lately, but imagine what it would’ve been like with no Bay in 2005 or 2006… ouch. Bay is going to have one of his best seasons yet in 2008. He never had a hitter like Laroche protecting him in the offense in the past, and last year was just a wash with both of them struggling. With Sanchez constantly on base and these two batting clean up, the 2008 season may be the brightest in quite some time. TR: “We will” see. I think that the Pirates may have bigger problems than offense. Their pitching has plagued them for the past ten seasons, and it seems to always be the missing piece no matter how hot the bats are. This could be the year it all comes together. With a new front office, a new manager, and some last minute free agency moves, Pirates fans have renewed hope for the upcoming season. March 2008 History not on Patriots’ Side Grant Burkhardt News Editor The situation: Giants’ ball, third down and five to go, and the ball on New York’s 43-yard line with 1:15 left on the clock. Giants’ oft-criticized quarterback Eli Manning avoided an initial sack but stepped straight into another – two Patriots linemen were bearing down on him. 660 pounds and the hopes of an entire anti-Patriot nation were placed on Manning’s shoulders. Somehow, he escaped the rush long enough to heave the ball 40 yards downfield where David Tyree was waiting. Amazingly, Tyree managed to hold on to the ball, even with Rodney Harrison hounding him to the ground. Immediately after the Giants finished one of the greatest upsets in NFL history, this moment was placed among the greatest plays ever. This catch begs the question: does “The Play” mark the end of the Patriot dynasty? History says this may be the case. Just as records are broken, dynasties come to an end. If we look back on dominating teams of Taylor Relich the past, we find that each decade has one franchise that seemingly paraded the city streets every year. In each empire, however, one specific situation marked the end of the supremacy. The 1960’s Green Bay Packers, the 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Cowboys of the 1990’s won a total of seven NFL Championships and nine Super Bowls, but these teams struggled with injuries, retirements, and discipline problems near the end of their respective decades. The once dominant franchises had difficulty recovering from such crippling circumstances. The most relevant case of a crumbling dynasty is that of 1980’s San Francisco. The 49ers had a situation similar to today’s Patriots: They had won two straight Super Bowls and finished the 1990 regular season with only two losses. In the NFC Championship game against the Giants (ironic?), Joe Montana left with an injury and New York thwarted the 49ers’ chance at a third straight title. In the seasons to follow, Montana struggled, Hall-of- Fame head coach Bill Walsh retired, and the reign was finished. The New England Patriots’ run as the best team of the decade may be unique from the previously mentioned teams. The Patriots ownership has proven brilliant when it comes to the issue of free agency. Last year, owner Robert Kraft assembled one of the most talented receiving cores in football by signing Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Dante Stallworth. Tom Brady is obviously at the peak of his career, and he still has an amazingly talented supporting cast to work with. The key for the Patriots is to not panic. New England probably won’t stray from the philosophy that has brought incredible success. The Patriots may have the best chance to end the “curse” of the dynasty. Certainly, millions will be watching as the Patriots attempt to cement themselves as the greatest football team ever. They are already a huge part of history, but will they fall into the trend? Will they become another footnote to history’s relentless destruction of the stereotypical dynasty? We will soon find out. Who’s On First? Staff Writer Photo submitted By Mrs. Maize T h e varsity baseball team had a memorable season last year, winning a WPIAL championship and advancing past the opening round of the PIAA playoffs. In the second round,they suffered a tough loss to Seneca Valley, but still walked away with the WPIAL title. This was the Indians first year in Quad A Section 3, which made the title After last year’s WPIAL championship, the Boys Varsity Baseball team hopes to continue their winning streak. rivals by players participating in voluntary summer that much sweeter because nobody gave the team and fall baseball, and the team’s winter conditioning much of a chance to make the playoffs in this section. program. As for this season’s lineup, it is still very Veteran varsity baseball coach Joe Maize, much up in the air. The coaching staff looks to fill gaps explained that the differences between this year’s in the lineup at positions such as first base, third base, team and last year’s team would be the gap in senior and outfield. leadership. Coach Maize commented that this year’s “We need to remain healthy and we need team only includes quality two-year letterman and the some juniors to step up, especially in pitching,” said coaching staff will be looking to fill those gaps in a Maize. The Indians have senior pitchers Nick Merich few infield positions and one outfield position. “We and James Stratico coming back, but they will be have the potential to be very good this season, but our looking to add depth to the rotation, not to mention success will depend on our players placing team goals other seniors including deep threat J.J. Jankowski. in front of their individual goals,” said Maize referring This team produces great seasons year after year. to the 2008 season. Maize explained that this is because of the tremendous Looking ahead at the section, it hasn’t commitment and dedication our players have to the changed much from last year, with strong competition program, and the fact that they make baseball their from Bethel Park, Mt. Lebanon, and Upper St. Clair. priority. PT Baseball is ready for another great season, Section 3 has been dominant in the WPIAL in recent and asks the support of the student body in their home years, as three of the last five WPIAL baseball champs contests at Peterswood Park. have come from this section. The Indians have already begun to prepare for the fierce competition from section
  11. 11. Sports Brian Lewis March 2008 Tiger Roar: Woods Chases Grand Slam Opinion Editor Tiger Woods will win the Grand Slam of golf in 2008. For perhaps the best golfer in history, the nearly unthinkable goal of winning all four of golf’s major tournaments (The Master’s, The U.S. Open, The British Open, and the PGA Championship) is now in reach. When asked by reporters after his first victory of the season at the Buick Invitational if a Grand Slam was attainable, Tiger said the goal was “easily within reason.” Even golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, regarded as one of the best golfers ever, said he felt that this year could be the best chance for Tiger to complete the sweep (ESPN). Perhaps the biggest factor in favor of a slam is the courses the four majors will be held on this year. First, the Master’s will be held at Augusta National, which has always been a favorite of Woods. In fact, the course has undergone several changes over the past few years in order to Ian Jackson “Tiger-proof” it. The U.S. Open is at Torrey Pines, a course that Tiger has dominated. No example of his amazing prowess is better than his recent victory at the Buick Invitational, which was held at Torrey Pines this year. The British Open will be held at the illustrious course of Royal Birkdale, where Woods finished one shot off the lead after the previous British Open that took place there ten years ago. After the British Open, the race returns to the U.S. for the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, which is a course that plays to Tiger’s strengths of long drives and short approach shots. Of course, it isn’t as if Tiger is the only big name player trying to win majors this year. Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els certainly want to prevent Woods from winning a Grand Slam, so look for them to challenge furiously at the Masters where Mickelson has already won, and also at Royal Birkdale during the British Open where Els has done well in the past. Some possible dark horse candidates include previous major winners Jim Furyk, Padrig Harrington, and Mike Weir, all who have shots at taking Woods down. Despite the obstacles these men pose to Tiger, it will be difficult for any of these contenders to finish him off. Another big prize on the PGA Tour this year is the second season of the Fed Ex Cup. Similar to the Nextel Cup in NASCAR, the Fed Ex Cup gives points to players based on their finishing spot at tournaments over the course of the year. The top 144 players are then taken into a playoff of four tournaments, where there numbers are reduced based on finishing positions until the final thirty are invited to the Tour Championship. Last year, Tiger Woods won the Fed Ex Cup, and looks to repeat as the champion. Though the Fed Ex Cup is a long way off, the exploits of Woods will occupy fans for the coming months. Centerfield: Center of Attention Staff Writer Last year was another disappointing season for the Pirates; they had their fourteenth straight losing season. They didn’t really have any young players break out enough to give us hope for 2008. The offense was very inconsistent, and so was the starting pitching. The one thing they did do consistently was play weak defense and have a lack of base stealing on offense. The poor defense can be blamed on numerous injuries to the core players on the team... but the base stealing? Only the conservative coaching of Jim Tracy and the lack of speed on the team can explain the pitiful amount of stolen bases. With no new acquisitions other than journeyman Doug Mientewicz, and Chris Duffy still a question mark, the team will rely on Nate McClouth and Nyjer Morgan for the bulk of speed and stolen bases. They are both good young players who can hit for a high average, help the team in a big way on the base paths, and create many more scoring opportunities. The only problem is that they both play centerfield. McClouth was the starting centerfielder last season. He posted a respectable amount of home runs (13) and had a decent average (though it took a strong secong half to bring that up). He led the MLB in stealing efficiency with a 96% success rate (23 for 24). His twenty-three steals were tops on the team. In September, the Pirates brought up a solid young prospect named Nyjer Morgan. He is a twenty-seven year old speedster who played very well in his month in the Big Leagues last year. He hit .299, with seven steals in only a month, and showed flashes of greatness with his brilliant catches in centerfield. The quick emergence of Morgan invigorated McClouth. McClouth brought his average up to .258, hit thirteen home runs, and finished the year with twentythree steals. McClouth holds the edge for now because of his experience, but it is going to a close race.”I think right now it’s a dead heat,” Huntington said. “I’m not a big fan of spring training decisions, but I think in this case, we’re going to have to make a read in Spring Training.” (www. Coming into the 2008 spring training in Bradenton, Florida, the battle for centerfield is the only competiton of all the starting spots. Many believe it could go either way. It is going to come down to whoever has the better spring training, but the Buccos should wait and see what happens. They are saying they may send Morgan down to the minors if McClouth wins the job, but they would keep McClouth on the bench if Morgan wins the starting position.They should platoon them for the first month or so, then decide who their man for the playoff run will be. Yes, the Pirates will make a run. This may be the year they finally turn over a new leaf. They have the talent to do it, but it is going to make a great difference if they are getting production in centerfield and in the top spot of the order. “Nate has helped me out ever since I came up with the Pirates and since I came into the Major Leagues,” said Morgan. “He’s definitely helped me out, and competing with a guy like that, I can’t ask for anything more.” ( Super Bowl III when the New York Jets clashed with the Baltimore Colts. The AFL champions, the Jets, entered the game as 18point underdogs to the 13-1 Colts. Before the game, Jets quarterback Joe Namath issued his now famous guarantee that the Jets would win. Broadway Joe’s prediction came true as he was named the Super Bowl MVP in a 16-7 Jets victory. The best international upset came in the 1980 Winter Olympics in what has been dubbed the ‘Miracle on Ice’. A United States team composed of amateurs and collegiate players faced off against the Soviet Union. The Soviets were the favorite to win the gold, while the US was only a seventh seed. A few months earlier, they beat the Americans 10-3 in an exhibition match at Madison Square Garden. However, when the teams took the ice, the US stunned the world and defeated the Soviet Union 43 en route to Olympic gold. The 2007/2008 college football season saw more upsets and parody than any previous year. Out of nowhere Appalachian State beat fifth ranked Michigan and Stanford beat number one USC. Hockey Record is 11-9-0, 22pts 2nd Place AAA Section 2 Clinched spot in WPIAL AAA Playoffs Girls Basketball Record was 19-8, 6-6 4th Place AAAA Section 4 Defeated rival Mt. Lebanon in semi-finals, 41-37. Qualified for Tournament. PIAA Advanced to WPIAL Championship game as an 11-seed Swimming Girls regular season record was 13-2. Boys regular season record was 14-1. Both teams qualified for WPIALS. Boys Basketball 4th Place AAAA Section 4 Sports Editor The New York Giants’ win over the previously undefeated New England Patriots is being called one of the greatest upsets in sports history. With this in mind, take a look at some of the other upsets in sports history. The first documented use of the term upset came in 1919 when an unheard of racehorse named Upset beat Man o’ War in the Sanford Memorial Stakes. The horse handed Man o’ War, considered the best thoroughbred racehorse ever, the only loss of his career. The first major upset in the NFL came in Sports Briefs Record was 16-9, 7-5. Against All Odds: Upset Special Bill Berry 11 The surprising season was capped with the University of Pittsburgh’s shocking win over the second ranked West Virginia Mountaineers in the Backyard Brawl. All West Virginia had to do was beat the sub-par Panthers to advance to BCS National Championship game. That night, the Panthers came out and handled everything their archrivals could throw at them. They held Pat White and Steve Slaton in check, and battled through numerous poor calls. At the end of the night, Pitt had shaken up the BCS standings and shocked the country. Made it to the WPIAL playoffs before losing to Franklin regional, 44-40 Wrestling Record was 4-14, 2-8. Wins against Thomas Jefferson and Avella. Four wrestlers placed third in WPIAL Individual Tournment.
  12. 12. Voices in the Hall What movie would you want to be in? Chelsea Ali ‘08 “Last of the Mohicans, because Daniel Day Lewis is really hot!” Zac Chavel ‘10 Drew Caliguri ‘09 “Rush Hour 3, because it’s a good “The Breakfast Club, because they seem to have a lot of fun trilogy-Also, Jackie Chan and Chris in detention.” Tucker are great actors” Hunter Stanchik ‘11 “Cloverfield, because it was just really good.” Who would play you in the movie about your life? Keith Quinn ‘09 Justine Griffith ‘08 “Cameron Diaz, because she seems like a fun actress.” “Jack Nicholson, because he is the man and has some mad eyebrows.” Nate Bachik ‘10 “Freddie Highmore, since he is around our age.” Angelo Toscano ‘11 “Adam Sandler, because he is funny.” What the teachers have to say... Miss Allison “Sandra Bullock, because she’s fun and animated.” the Mrs. Bird “Bette Midler.” Miss Bomba “Marie Antoinette.” Minute P T Mr. Sudol “Rear Window.” Jay Young ‘08 What is your favorite all time movie? “The Matrix”, good story, good movie. What is the scariest movie you have ever seen? The movie “It.” the clown was creepy What movie makes you laugh the most? “Friday” ...every part was funny. What movie do you find most romantic? “Love and Basketball”, two people find eachother through basketball. Ashley Caputo ‘07 What is your favorite all time movie? That would have to be, “Gone with the Wind.” Its a really old movie and i just think its fun and interesting to watch. What is the scariest movie you have ever seen? Hmm, well I thought the new “Halloween” movie was pretty scary. It was pretty bloody and gross. What movie makes you laugh the most? “Superbad.” It’s just a really funny movie that everyone loves to watch. What movie do you find most romantic? I would have to say “The Notebook.” I’m pretty sure every girl thinks it is really sweet.