Published on October 15, 2014
1. Smoke Signals 2006 Rewind: What was hot in ‘06? See pages 6-7 Index Volume 38 Issue 3 January 2007 News PT Focus Sports News Meet new athletic director Mr.Relich. See article on page 3 Opinion Guest writer Drew Hancherick tackles the obesity epidemic. Full story on page 5 Learn how to handle college recruiters. See article on page 8 This year’s fall talent show, which took place on November 30, was one of the most successful yet. The huge crowd turn out was influenced by a newly adopted judging system (a panel of high school teachers). The prize money, written on “game show-worthy” giant checks, added a little extra competition to the event. A rather shocked trio of string players received the grand prize of $100.00 for their performance of “Symphony No. 88”, Byron Zajdel and Dan Urbanowitz on violin and Dave Shepard on string bass. “We didn’t expect to place at all, much less in first- it’s nice to have an event that isn’t another popularity contest,” said Shepard. The other two members agreed that they never imagined such positive student feedback. These three juniors perform in the PTHS orchestra, as well as routinely in numerous other ensembles and musical events such as Honors Orchestra and other school bands. Strings and things: student talent recognized Renée Wunderlich Staff W riter Vocalists Corey Grabowski and Morgan Joyce, while performing separate acts, impressed the judges so much that they couldn’t decide between them, awarding the $75 second prize to both. “I’m proud to play my own music, and I’m glad people like it.” said Grabowski, a senior who preformed his original song “You Know Who You Are”. Joyce, who sang “Cowboy Take Me Away”, was a first time performance. “There’s a lot more variety here in the high school, especially in this show- not just a bunch of bands- there are dancers, musicians, singers…everything.” With not one, but two drum sets taking up the PT stage, seniors Colin McBride and Timmy Reeder took home $50 and third prize for their act, titled “Our favorite four letter word is: DRUM”, which they describe as nothing less than original. Both drummers are snare players on the Mighty Indian Marching Band’s Drumline, and incorporated versions of former field cadences into their performance. “It was a lot of fun just to get up there and play, and to think we only practiced once!” said McBride. Coffeehouse 2006: Hot! Hot! Hot! This past December, PTHS students displayed a variety of talents in Coffeehouse 2006: Hot! Hot! Hot! Performances included original songs, broadway duets, instrumentals, skits, and many others. Spanish teacher Beth Bockstoce directed coffeehouse, and Angelina Nepa served as student director. Held each December in the cafeteria, Coffeehouse allows audience members to enjoy coffee, cheesecake, and other desserts while being entertained by talented performers. The hosts of coffeehouse must make sure the show runs smoothly while keeping the audience entertained. Experienced thespians Jerry Scheller and Natalie Palamides hosted this year’s performance. “It’s a lot of fun,” said Scheller, who enjoyed “listening to Natalie come up with hilarious intros.” Hosting Coffeehouse was not always easy. “We had to stay up until 10 o’clock at night thinking of funny things to do,” said Palamides. As experienced performers, both Scheller and Palamides agreed that hosting is a completely different experience. “It’s more on-the-spot, there’s no actual script,” said Scheller. With set changes occurring frequently and performance order changing each night, hosting required a lot of improvisation. Performers and hosts weren’t the only ones who contributed. Behind-the-scene efforts by the director, student director, tech crew, house manager, and servers helped make Coffeehouse a success. Junior Angelina Nepa had many important duties as student director. Nepa described student directing as a very tough job. In addition to attending every rehearsal, Nepa helped with the technical aspects of the production. “I got to paint, I did all of the brickwork on the backdrop,” she said. Nepa also helped with ticket sales on the nights of the show. Coffeehouse 2006: Hot! Hot! Hot! was a major success. Attendance was high at every show, with Friday night’s show selling out. As always, coffeehouse provided an opportunity for PTHS students to showcase their wide range of talents and abilities. Photo by Kelsey Hoskins Senior Corey Grabowski performing his original song “You Know Who You Are” at the 2006 Coffeehouse. A student who excelled not only in the classroom, but on the golfcourse and in the community, Danielle Morosco was awarded the Extra Effort Award from KDKA’s Bob Pompeani on December 6th. Morosco was given the award because of her achievements on the golf course, such as team captain and state qualifyer. “I wouldn’t have gotten the award if it weren’t for Mr. and Senior puts forth extra effort Rachel Horensky Co-Editor-In-Chief Mrs. Kuhn,” Morosco stated. Her academic achievements made her more than qualified for the award. Her 4.2 GPA and her volunteer work at PetSearch also put her above the other candidates. “I was honored to receive this award and appreciate all the support from my parents and the Kuhns,” Morosco stated. Morosoco was nominated by her golf coach Dave Kuhn. Morosco received a six- foot Subway sandwich, a plaque and a $200 check was presented to the school in her name. The award was presented to her in front of the upperclassmen on December 6th by Pompeani. He was welcomed by the PTHS band and cheerleaders. KDKA filmed Pompeani presenting the award and also took footage of the students. The coverage aired on KDKA on Decemeber 14th. Senior Kevin Noone was asked to introduce Morosco and PTHS live to the KDKA viewers. After about four takes, Noone mastered his lines for the introduction. Photo by Carly Reschick Danielle Morosco accepts her Extra Effort Award in front of the upperclassmen at a special assembly held in her honor. Bob Pompeani from KDKA television presented Morosco with the award and 6-foot Subway sandwich. Taylor Piedmonte Staff Writer -Colin McBride, ‘07 “It was a lot of fun just to get up there and play, and to think we only practiced once!” Learn about the new polar bear exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo, See pg. 3 Photo by Jessica Berardino Photo courtesy of sportsillustrated.com
2. 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 Town-ship High School, 264 E. McMurray Road, McMur-ray PA 15317. Telephone: 724-941-6250 x.5379. E-mail: email@example.com. Commentaries, reviews, and opinion columns are the expressed opinion of the author and not of Smoke Signals, its adviser or the Peters Township School District. Member of the Pennsylvania School Press Association. Co-Editors in Chief Kaitlin Houser Rachel Horensky Kara Krawiec Layout Editor Catherine McCarron News Editor Angelina Nepa Life & Style Editor Colleen Counihan Opinion Editor Brittany Beyer Sports Editor Sean-Paul Mauro Marketing Editiors Emily Bigley Nick Sikora Staff Writers Jessica Berardino, Bill Berry, Emily Bigley, Ash-ley Czajkowski, Garrett Dennis, Drew Karpen, Sean Naccarelli, Chris Portz, Derek Redding, Brendan Sikora, Nick Sikora, Renee Wunderlich Layout Team Megan Enscoe, Katie Gavlick, Stephanie Gil-lece, Lisa Lerario, Adviser Nicole Sitler Puzzle by websudoku.com SUDOKU Sudoku, also known as Number Place or Nanpure, is a logic-based placement puzzle. The objective is to fill the grid so that every column, every row and every 3×3 box contains the digits 1 to 9. The modern puzzle was invented by an American, Howard Garns, in 1979 and published by Dell Magazines under the name “Number Place.” It became popular in Japan in 1986, when it was published by Nikoli and given the name Sudoku. It became an international hit in 2005. (From Wikipedia) PT Reference Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 1 NO SCHOOL New Year’s Day 2 Boys Varsity Basketball vs. USC 7:30 Varsity Ice Hockey @ Moon 9:00 3 Varsity Wrestling @ Bethel 7:30 4 Varsity Ice Hockey vs. West Allegheny 9:30 5 Varsity Basketball @ Trinity 7:30 6 Varsity Wrestling - Ft. Cherry Duels 8am 7 8 Coed Varsity Swimming & Diving @ Pine Richland 6:00 Girls Varsity Basketball @ Trinity 7:30Varsity Hockey vs. Hampton 7:30 9 Boys Varsity Basketball @ Moon 7:30 10 Varsity Wrestling @ Baldwin 7:30 11 Coed Varsity Swimming & Diving vs. Seneca Valley 6:00 Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Canon Mac 7:30 Varsity Ice Hockey vs. TJ 8:50 12 Varsity Basketball vs. Canon Mac 730 13 Varsity Wrestling vs. USC 1 pm 14 15 NO SCHOOL Martin Luther King Jr. Day Girls Varsity Basketball @ Steel Valley 7:30 16 Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Keystone Oaks 7:30Girls Varsity Basketball @ USC 7:30 17 Varsity Wrestling @ Waynesburg Central 7:30 18 Coed Varsity Swimming & Diving @ USC 6:00 Varsity Ice Hockey vs. Greensburg Salem 7:05 Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Mt Lebo 7:30 19 Girls Varsity Basketball @ Elizabeth Forward 6:00 Varsity Basketball vs. Mt. Lebo 730 20 21 22 Girls Varsity Basketball @ Baldwin 7:30 Varsity Ice Hockey @ Knoch 9:00 23 Coed Varsity Swimming and Diving vs. Laurel Highlands 6:00 Boys Varsity Basketball @ Baldwin 7:30 24 Varsity Wrestling vs. Ringgold 7:30 25 Coed Varsity Swimming & Diving vs. Baldwin 6:00 Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Bethel 7:30 Varsity Ice Hockey vs. South Park 9:05 26 End of 2nd Report Period Varsity Basketball vs. Bethel Park 730 27 Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Carrick 2:30 28 29 NO SCHOOL Girls Varsity Basketball vs. USC 7:30 30 Coed Varsity Swimming & Diving @ South Fayette 6:00 Boys Varsity Basketball @ USC 7:30 31 Boys Varsity Basketball @ TJ 7:30 January 2007 2nd: 55-MPH Speed Limit Day 6th: Fruitcake Toss Day 7th: I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore Day 18th: Winnie the Pooh Day 21st: National Hugging Day 22nd: Celebration of Life Day 24th: Belly Laugh Day 26th: National Peanut Brit tle Day 29th: Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day 30th: Inane Answering Message Day Bizzare January Holidays
3. J. Berardino News A. Czajkowski R. Wunderlich A. Nepa Outside The journal Climatic Change is due to publish a study entitled, “Going to the Extremes,” which is supposed to expose the rise of “extreme weather events,” which covers everything from heat waves to intense rainfall. Researchers believe that these climatic events will start causing trouble at the end of this century and that the overall trend of data signifies global warming. The United States in particular is expected to succumb to severe drought in the Southwest; heavy rains in the North, and a Monsoon cycle in the Pacific region. Also beginning at the end of this century, heat waves will be dispersed erratically. Taco Bells in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey are reportedly responsible for 65 cases of E. coli infection. Nine people, including an 11-year-old boy, were hospitalized. The chain announced that it will remove green onions, which are supposedly the source of the outbreak, from all dishes in its 5,800 restaurants across the country. New York city “health chiefs” voted to remove all trans fats from every restaurant in the metropolis. This ban enforces the city’s belief that trans fats may be responsible for heart disease because they increase levels of harmful cholesterol and decrease levels of beneficial cholesterol. Several frying oils, along with some types of shortening, must be removed from all eateries by July 1 of next year. NASA promised to do what it has guaranteed since the 1970’s: establish a permanent base on the Moon. The US is working with Russia and other nations with space programs to design and construct the base, which should be in operation in the next twenty years. Permanent residents will be able to live and work on the moon by 2024. The project does have its skeptics. Jeffery Kluger of TIME magazine recently remarked, “[The world’s] dreams come to naught: big plans promised by politicians with no money to follow them up; big blueprints shown off by engineers without any constituency elsewhere in the agency.” All entries submitted by Angelina Nepa Space tourism is no longer just a strange vision of science fiction writers. Although still only affordable to the extremely wealthy, space tourism may offer a new, adventurous type of exploration. Several billionaire space tourists have already taken the adventure. Now, private companies in Russia, Europe and the United States are competing to become future leaders of reasonably priced space tourism. Even though analysts (Space News) envision space tourism travel to become more and more popular, development is a slow process. These analysts stated, “Space hotels are on the horizon, but until space travel is more affordable, there will not be a substantial market for the hotels.” Virgin Airlines owner and billionaire, Richard Branson, hopes to start sending tourist to space between 2008 or 2009 under his company Virgin Galactic. The tickets will cost approximately $200,000. With this, Virgin Galactic customers will receive a two-hour trip on the “spaceliner”. Half of the voyage will be spent ascending to a safe altitude in space. During this time, tourists can experience weightlessness and observe the Earth from outrageous views. Then, the tourists would spend an hour on SpaceShipTwo as it accelerates to over three times the speed of sound and climbs to heights well over 62 miles. The shuttle would then venture back to Earth. Thousands have already been added to a waiting list in hopes of retrieving a ticket for this voyage into outer space. Once selected, they must go through long months of cosmonaut training in order to handle the trip successfully. Unearthly travels Ashley Czajkowski Staff Writer P i t t s b u r g h welcomed home two brand new baby polar bears. The new bears were brought from the Denver zoo; Koda and Nuke are both two years old. At this age, the bears already weigh 500lbs. Polar bears last resided at the Pittsburgh Zoo in 1998. The zoo purchased these animals with the hope to be able to breed them when they turn between 8-10 years old. There are already two young females in the Denver Zoo, and the two zoos are hoping to help each other with the process of breeding the polar bears. The Pittsburgh Zoo has already planned for the polar bear offspring by building a birthing den and five off exhibit holding stalls. Zoo trainers hoped that when young children come to the zoo and see the polar bears they will want to help save this endangered species. In a effort to educate children, zoo officials have advertised the poor eating choices in fish that the public makes and provided a showcase full of “good” and “avoid” fish samples. The fish that are “good” to eat are the kinds of fish that are abundant, Water’s edge well managed and caught or farmed in environmental friendly manner ; these include catfish, tuna and trout. The “avoid” fish come from areas that are over fished or caught/farmed in ways that harm other marine life, including imported King Crab legs, swordfish, and shrimp. Along with the polar bears, the Zoo is hoping to complete a replica of a Pier Town by April 2007. Buildings such as a Cannery, Sustainable Seafood Market, Towne Hall, Gift Shop, and a Fair Bait and Tackle Shop will house the sea otters and walruses. With this addition of a Pier Town to the Pittsburgh Zoo, the Species Survival Plan group hopes to inform the public of the depleting polar bear population, so that they would make a conscious effort to help save these animals. Over the past two years, 79 dead polar bears have been found in the Artic Ocean due to global warming (Pittsburgh Zoo informational packet). The job of saving these animals has now been put in the hands of Pittsburghers; hopefully, they’ll be up for the challenge. Jessica Beradino Staff Writer Relich reveals Kaitlin Houser Co-Editor-In-Chief New athletic director, Mr. Richard Relich, brings new enthusiasm to the activities pro-gram. With his main focus the students’ needs; Relich plans to accommodate student requests for new programs. Students have approached Relich with ideas for bowling, fencing, crew, and Equestrian among many others. His sec-ond focus is to provide equal opportunities for boys and girls. Lastly, he wants to meet the needs of the growing community and to make sure appropriate facilities are provided. Relich said that the best part of his job is interacting with the faculty, coaches, and students. “A good coach has to be a kind of lead-er that students are drawn to,” said Relich. Al-though his job requires long hours and a lot of communication and small details, including transportation, he enjoys attending the sport-ing events. One of Relich’s main reasons for coming to Peters is because he holds a high regard for the community. Relich said he wanted to come to Peters because the com-munity is highly respected, constantly grow-ing, and a trend-setter. Relich sees the future of our programs expanding and growing. In his free time, Relich enjoys spending time with his family. Although his job extends into the night with attending games, Relich sets time aside to participate in other activities like teaching sports management at California State University to undergraduate students. Relich took the job as athletic director for Pe-ters Township so he could be closer to his fam-ily who lives in Peters. All four of his children currently attend school in the district. Relich was an athletic director for five years and acted as a principal for three of the five years at West Mifflin School District, before he decided to come to Peters. In 1993, he took a job as director of athletics and supervisor of health and physical education at Mt. Lebanon. His first job was at Central Green High School in Waynesburg where he worked as an athletic director for 8 years. He got his masters in Sci-ence /Sports Management at Western Illinois. He graduated from Washington and Jefferson College with a degree in Economics. Relich enjoyed playing collegiate basketball during college.
4. Opinion B. Beyer G. Dennis N. Sikora S. Naccarelli People were in a frenzy during the November release of Sony’s Playstation 3, resulting in shootings, theft, and riots across America. In Boston, a man waiting in line outside a Wal-Mart to get the Playstation 3 was shot because he would not give two robbers his money. It was obvious to me that these people were sitting ducks to thieves when they were waiting outside the store for days in advance to purchase a $500-$600 item. If you’re going to sit outside a store with $500 in your pocket, at least bring a can of mace with you for some sort of protection. A game system is not worth losing your life over, contrary to popular belief. In Indiana, people almost forced their way inside Circuit City before it opened in order to get their hands on the PS3. The local police restrained them, but just the thought of trying to break in and enter a store in broad daylight makes me wonder about the intelligence of people today. If you didn’t get a PS3 the day it came out, just wait for a week when more are in stock and blame Sony for purposefully having a shortage of the product. The next incident that makes me wonder about the sanity of Americans was what happened at a Wisconsin Wal- Mart. Apparently the store only had 10 Playstation 3’s for sale; so to avoid a riot they decided to have a game of musical chairs to determine who got one. Having about a hundred people compete for 10 chairs proved not to be the best idea in the world considering several shoppers nearly got crushed, and a 19 year-old knocked himself out by running into a pole. Attention Sony insanity Garrett Dennis Opinion Writer With the rise in the cost of the standard of living, the demand for an increase in the minimum wage finally persuaded Pennsylvanian citizens to vote through the legislation changing it from $5.15 to $7.15 an hour. People agree that it was unconstitutional that someone who works for a living can still not earn enough to keep them above the poverty line. With the initiation of the minimum wage it allows working class citizens to earn a better living and help people come above that poverty level. According to Minimum Wage Facts: Pennsylvania Data, 20% of households in Pennsylvania earn between $272 and $587 a week, which accounts for 11% of Pennsylvania’s total earnings. However, with the change of minimum wage it ultimately changed the total percent of Pennsylvanian earnings to 14%. This increase helps not only individuals but also the state as a whole. Adults are not the only people that will be affected by this, students that hold jobs within their local communities will also profit from this increase. Total, this increase will affect 9.7% of all Pennsylvania workers. Since the last increase in the minimum wage, society has changed, Kara Krawiec Co-Editor-in-Chief Minimum wage not so minimal anymore “No, instead of wasting time, money, and brain cells waiting in line for a game console you could do something constructive with your life, like curing cancer.” Samantha Haskins, ‘08 “If I had $600, I would do the same.” Nate Morrison, ‘07 “No, it’s insane and the people who do it need a life that does not involve running into poles.” Mark Hayes, ‘10 “No, I think it’s ridiculous for anyone to go to extreme measures for a video game system. Think about all the time and money you waste; with those resources you could be making a difference and doing something productive with your life.” Keith Quinn, ‘09 Would you Wait in Line for a Video Game? “ He Said vs. She Said Nick Sikora Brittany Beyer In the When you have no money? The Andy Warhol museum on the North Side is always fun and Fridays from 5 ‘til 10 are half price. ($5) Around the Peters Basically all PT has to offer is hills, so sled riding seems like the obvious activity. Dig through your house for change and cash it in at Coinstar. If you don’t come across any change invite friends over and have a movie marathon. When you have no form of Pull out your parka and strap on your snowshoes, walking is the way to go! Go to PPG aquarium and watch the penguins. Or go to the Waterfront. Sleep? When I have no money I rely on the intangibles in life to keep me busy, like decorating, or watching Christmas movies with puppet reindeer with glowing red noses which makes me wonder how they got his nose to glow. Get a ride, usually just trying to arrange that is enough to be busy for at least two hours. What’s the best way to keep warm? It’s January, so take your rotting Christmas tree, hack it up, and light it on fire. Make sure you unplug the lights first. Surround yourself with space heaters, just make sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby.
5. Smoke Signals January 2007 Are you having the blues? Do you suffer from exhaustion during the Winter season? This isn’t an infomercial, so I can’t give you an Esteban guitar or anything, but I can help you. Well, you’re not the only one coming from a town with a lousy football season, constant rain, and pretty much nothing to do. The trick to beating the winter blues is plucking out your fuzzy green feathers, giving the presents back to all of the Who’s, and getting your Grinchy butt out of your house! Consider the following: 1. Go downtown and look at the lights and ice skate. If you don’t like that, you might as well grow a beard, a gut, and say “Bahumbug!” 2. Go sled-riding. Find the fastest hill in town, throw some water down it, and have a phone close by in case of any sledding accidents; you kids will be busy for hours! 3. Go bowling. Nothing represents the holiday season more than a good game of knockin’ down 10 pins. 4. Drink hot chocolate/tea/coffee/ beverage of choice. Hey, look on the bright side, if it’s hot, you’ve got plenty of snow on the ground to cool it down with! I’ve got the winter blues Sean Naccarelli Opinion Writer Imagine having the power to make a devastating amount of people believe something just because one person says it is true. Myspace.com has granted that power to people and rumors continue to spread. Most rumors come from bulletins in Myspace.com or chain e-mails. On Myspace.com, a bulletin was posted saying Ben Savage had died on September 16, 2006 due to a drunk driving accident. There was no coverage of the death in any papers, news shows, or magazines; yet a lot of people, including me, believed it. Wanting more information on the matter, I went on the Internet to investigate. When I Google- searched his death, all that came up were links saying “The Supposed Death of Ben Savage (Rumor).” I soon found out that Ben Savage was not dead, but in fact he was in the middle of making a movie called Car Babes. “I was very disturbed by the rumor of Ben’s death,” said freshman Paige Goozdich. Many other people were upset when they thought the star of Boy Meets World was dead. When Internet’s insidious side: the “death” of Ben Savage Garrett Dennis Opinion Writer – Paige Goozdich, ‘10 “ I was very disturbed by the rumor of Ben’s death.” 5 Nick Pustay, ‘07 Kaitlyn Stroyne, ‘08 E lizabeth Hammell, ‘10 Mindy Moran, ‘09 How do you beat the w inter blues? “ “I drink hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows.” “I go snowboarding.” “I spend time with my friends.” “I read a book.” “I would like two Big Macs. One order of Chicken McNuggests, and a large order of fries,” stated the rather large woman standing before me in line. “Excellent,” said the cashier, paper hat perched atop an unruly mass of curls. “And to drink?” he questioned. “A large Coke,” replied the woman. “Make it diet,” she added, almost as an afterthought. I gazed in amazement at the rotund figure in front of me. Was she serious? Judging by the look of self-satisfaction plastered on her face, this woman truly believed that she was doing herself a service by choosing a sugar- free beverage. She failed to recognize that her “sacrifice” would be offset by the several thousand calories she would soon consume in her meal. This woman’s ignorance reflected an entire generation’s inability to control its weight. According to the American Obesity Association, or AOA, one third of adult Americans are obese. That means that roughly 60 million citizens are overweight slobs, more likely to watch a full The Wonder Years marathon than pick up a carrot. Despite efforts to educate America about the gross uncleanliness and health risks associated with obesity, the number is increasing. Obese individuals are more likely to develop heart trouble and Type 2 diabetes, and usually have higher cholesterol than thinner Americans. Aside from these health risks, overweight people are usually badly out of shape and unable to experience the joy of an active lifestyle. With so many factors working against this disease, how could a person let himself become obese? There should be no excuse for obesity. Although genetics play a factor in susceptibility, the AOA states that the environment fosters the tendency towards obesity; lack of exercise, too much time spent in front of the television, and an excess of high calorie foods contribute to the rise of the disease. However, America is being educated on the subject. Commercials are frequently promoting healthy foods and exercise. Fast food chains such as McDonalds have begun to introduce low- fat items to their menus. And public schools have attempted to curb unhealthy eating at lunch with the introduction of new, healthier menus. How wonderful! Now the school’s sodium riddled, low-grade meats can be served on whole wheat instead of white. In some cases obese adults set a bad example for children. In movies and on television, the obese man is always portrayed as the “fat jolly guy.” These shameless slobs routinely use humor that crosses the line between self- deprecating and self-humiliating. T-shirts bearing slogans such as “I Beat Anorexia” and “I Don’t Suffer From obesity… I Enjoy Every Moment of it” are America tips the scales Drew Hancherick Guest Writerstudents found out that the news was false, some went from upset to angry that the Internet could start such a rumor, and others just shrugged it off. “Oh, whatever then,” said Goozdich. It’s not like this is the first time a death rumor was spread via Internet either. Two years ago people were talking about the death of Jon Heder, better known as Napoleon Dynamite. The rumor was that he either died from a drug overdose or snapped his neck in a car crash. Once again the death was not published in papers; it was simply an e-mail going around. When Heder was asked to comment on the rumor for a news article he said, “Yeah, apparently
6. “My favorite movie of 2006 was Happy Feet.” -Brandi Kohne ‘07 “My favorite event of 2006 was my birthday!” -Bobby Perhach ‘08 2006 Rewind “My favorite television show of 2006 was That 70’s Show.” -Corey Eltshlager ‘07 Pirates of the Caribbean ll: Dead Man’s chest Casino Royale Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Superman Returns Borat V for Vendetta DaVinci Code Grey’s Anatomy 24 Desperate Housewives House Dancing with the Stars Deal or No Deal Beads Leggings Prints Skinny Jeans Flats Indoor Scarves Fashion Trends Television Shows Movies
7. “My favorite sports event of 2006 was the Steelers winning the Super Bowl.” -Matt Bucey ‘07 “My favorite movie of 2006 was Talladega Nights.” -Emily Smith ‘07 “My favorite television show of 2006 was Heroes.” -Renee Heldman ‘08 Rewind The Fray Panic! At the Disco Carrie Underwood Red Hot Chili Peppers The Pussycat Dolls Fergie Big Ben’s motorcycle accident Death of Mayor Bob O’Connor Sago Mine Disaster Changes on the U.S. Supreme Court War in Iraq Democrats winning control over the House and Senate Steelers Winning Super Bowl XL Baseball’s All-Star Game held in Pittsburgh Girls’tennis winning the PA State Championship Boys’ soccer advancing the semifinal rond of the playoffs Christine Beazely advancing to States in Cross Country Football team’s double overtime win over Keystone Oaks Sports Music News
8. extra p int Sp rts Sean-Paul Mauro Chris Portz Emily Bigley How many years is it going to take for College Football to realize that the Bowl Championship Series is a joke? How many teams have to be robbed from a big time bowl game before college football finally adopts some form of a playoff? The BCS, once again, created controversy and has once again sent a deserving team to a lesser bowl game. The University of Michigan, who finished the season with an 11 – 1 record with only one loss to the number one team in the country, Ohio State, in Columbus was left out of the National Championship in favor of SEC Champions, Universit of Florida. Michigan was ranked number two in the country after their three point loss to Ohio State. They were generally referred to as the second best team in the country. However, after USC beat Notre Dame by 20, USC leaped Michigan in the rankings and was set to play Ohio State in the National Championship. Then, the unthinkable happened – USC put a wrench in the BCS system and lost to UCLA in their season ender, throwing the entire system into what has turned into an inevitable characteristic of the BCS; chaos. The race for the National Championship became a two-team debate between the Big Ten runner-up and the SEC champion. Michigan was apparently punished for not having any more games to play while Florida was rewarded with a National Championship berth by beating mediocre Florida State and a talented Arkansas team. Both teams, Michigan and Florida, have a legitimate claim for being in the National Title game. No one can say that one team has a better claim for the other – and this is why the BCS doesn’t work. In 2001, Oregon was left out after being ranked number two in both of the human polls, 2003 left number one USC out of the title game, 2004 left an undefeated Auburn out of the title game, and now this. What is remarkably BCS is a mess Sean-Paul Mauro Sports Writer New Year’s Day is over, and college coaches have made their New Year’s resolution to build a winning team for the 2007-2008 season. That’s right, coaches are searching for their next sports superstar, and it could be you. Colleges are trying to recruit for next year now, because most of the college fall sports have ended. Seniors are going to graduate and college athletes are needed to fill the gaps in the rosters. Coaches keep in contact with athletes whether that athlete likes the school or not. Athletes are bombarded with calls, letters, and visits. Some coaches will even visit during the school day, giving students a break from their mundane schedules. Humble athletes find themselves as the center of attention, to the point where they just apply to get the salesperson-like coach off their back. “Students are really looking for three things: a college they love, a sport they love, and a price they love,” said Senior John Matthis. The numerous college visitations, letters of recommendation, and applications are finally paying off because students have narrowed the search down. The task of getting into college seems less daunting but college coaches are beginning to sell their colleges to athletes this time of year. They will share all the positive aspects of the college and offer scholarships or extra financial aid for playing on their team but they also distract students from what they should be looking for in a school. Students should concentrate on the academics, the tuition, and the campus. Students go to college to learn; it’s school, even if the coach makes your decision come down to a sport: “Running in college would be nice but I’m focusing on academics more,” said Senior cross-country runner Christine Beazley. Another important factor in a college decision is the campus. “You want to be sure that you are going to a campus that you love,” said Senior Michelle Rike, a forward for the basketball team. Once students make a decision, the college campus is their home for four years. The reasons for choosing a college are different for each individual. Price, campus life, proximity, academics, and sports the list is extensive. As in any other case, students should follow their gut instinct, especially when playing sports in college. When all is said and done, the decision comes down to the student. New Year’s resolution recruiting Chris Portz Sports Writer dumb about the BCS is that it allows the subjectivity of the voters to rule, instead of permitting a playoff that would settle everything on the field. Every year, voters have to make this type of decision. They have to debate who is better based on “style points”. Based on who they think had a better schedule, who beat similar opponents worse, or how they will match up with their opponents. The fact that a team, almost every single year, has to be told that they are not going to the national championship because they didn’t have enough style, they didn’t play hard enough teams, or no one wants to see them in the National Championship is ridiculous, and quite frankly, kind of sad. The rest of the college sports world is laughing at Division 1-A football. College football needs a playoff, and the sooner the college presidents figure this out, the better college football will be. Michigan was apparently punished for not having any more games to play while Florida was rewarded with a National Championship berth... – John Matthis, ‘07 “Students are really looking for three things: a college they love, a sport they love, and a price they love” Who is going to win the Super Bowl? CT: There are a lot of great teams in the NFL this year, but with the recent demise of the Colts, my Super Bowl pick has to go to the Chicago Bears. Da Bears had their troubles with Rex Grossman, but he appears to be back on track. The sign of a great team is that even though Grossman was struggling, they still won their division in the twelfth week of the season. They have the best defense and special teams in football, which wins championships. SPTM: Without question, the most complete team in the NFL is the Baltimore Ravens. There is no denying their dominance this season. If you’re having trouble seeing them as a Super Bowl team, just think back to their 27 – 0 demolishment of the Steelers in early December. The Ravens, along with the Bears, have one of the best defenses in the NFL. However, unlike the Bears, the Ravens have a steady offense with a consistent, veteran quarterback in Steve McNair. CT: From what I’ve gathered, Da Bears have just as good of a defensive unit as the Ravens. And you know how that saying goes, “defense wins championships.” Special teams are often overlooked in football, but they often decide the outcome of a game. Devin Hester has returned a total of 6 punts and kickoffs for touchdowns thus far, a NFL record. When the Bears’ offense was having a terrible game against the Vikings, the special teams and defense scored 2 touchdowns and had a safety to ensure the victory. That is the sign of a great team. SPTM: Thank you for making my argument that defense wins championships. I’m not sure if you know this but the Ravens have the number one ranked total defense in the NFL. Also, no Super Bowl team has ever won with a bad quarterback, and that is exactly what the Bears have. You can win with a good quarterback, you can win with a decent quarterback, but you can’t win with a bad quarterback – which is exactly what Rex Grossman is. Steve McNair is a good quarterback who has turned the Ravens’ offense into a legitimate contender. Rex Grossman is a bad quarterback who has almost single handedly lost games for the Bears. CT: Rex Grossman is not a bad quarterback. He has more passing yards and seven more passing touchdowns than McNair. Grossman is not a Hall of Fame quarterback, but to call him a bad quarterback is laughable. In Super Bowl XL, Ben Roethlisbergers’ quarterback rating was 22.6, which goes to show it’s not all about offense when it comes to winning championships. The Bears defense is very close to the Ravens defense statistically. The Bears hold teams to fewer pass yards per game, and only give up 13.6 points per game, compared to the Ravens 13.1. So it’s not like the Ravens have an amazing defense and Da Bears are decent. The Bears and the Ravens both have amazing defenses, but I think the Bears defense and special teams overall are better than the Ravens.
9. SPORTS BRIEFS BOYS’ SWIMMING BOYS’ BASKETBALL GIRLS’ BASKETBALL WRESTLING 9 Smoke Signals January 2007 Bill Berry Connor Tarwater Derek Redding Brendan Sikora HOCKEY Although winter is in the air and the fields won’t be ready for another three months, nothing can stop the PTHS softball team from preparing for the ’07 season. The girls fell one game short of a playoff appearance last season, which only motivated them. “We compete in one of the most difficult sections in the area,” said senior Leigha Krivacek. Every game impacted the outcome of the season. This season the team won’t go down without a fight. The team had four seniors graduate last year leaving a large void to be filled. Last year’s spring training trip to Disney World was so successful that the excursion, after the ’07 trip, will hopefully become a tradition. This year’s trip will be to Coco Beach, Florida. Spring training trips provide time for the team to bond and play games before the actual season starts. With four important spots to fill and very little time, the girls have their position cut out for them. “We have all the talent, we just need to use it the right way,” said senior Kelley Walker. The softball team always has a talented roster but is rarely recognized for it. The team plans to work extra hard this year in order to achieve big goals. “Winning the section would be a huge accomplishment,” said senior Jessica Berardino. If the girls won the section it would be the first title since 1991. It’s a guarantee that the girls will be working extremely hard until taking the field on April 1st for the first section game of the season. Winning games isn’t the only essential aspect Spring preparation in January Emily Bigley Sports Writer The University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball team enters their fourth season under the leadership of coach Jaime Dixon with high expectations and hopes. They were ranked as high as number two in both the AP Poll in the USA Today Poll. On the court the Panthers are led by seven-foot senior center, Aaron Gray. Gray decided to return for his senior year following a breakout, 2005-2006 season, earning All-Big East first team honors, Big East most improved player as well as becoming the first player in Pitt history to average a double-double. In the backcourt, the Panthers are lead by junior Ronald Ramon. He is a three year starter and a great three point shooter. Ramon is accompanied by sophomore Levance Fields and senior Antonio Graves. Their best addition to the 2007 roster is junior Mike Cook, a transfer from Eastern Carolina who Pitt travels the road to glory Bill Berry Sports Writer sat out last season. Cook, at 6’ 4” is a versatile player who can play both guard and forward. There are numerous questions surrounding the ability of this Pittsburgh team to go deep into the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Coach Dixon and his players are confident with their mix of skill and experience. The panthers kick off their conference schedule against perennial powerhouse Syracuse. Until then Pitt will face top twenty-five opponents Wisconsin and Oklahoma GIRLS’ SWIMMING The wrestling team began training on Nov 13th. Their goal was to be the best-conditioned athletes on the mat. They had a rocky start dropping their first match. Upcoming matches are against Baldwin and Upper St. Clair. Currently the girls swim team is a strong competitor in the WPIAL. They hold practice every week and work out in the weight room. On January 18th the section meet with playoff implications is at Upper St. Clair will be held. Jessica McDade looks to assert her senior leadership during the meets. Upcoming opponents include: Moon, Upper St. Clair, Baldwin, and Bethel. The team’s current record is 2-6. They will look to their senior leadership from captain Chris Papciak who looks to lead the team in order to rebound from their slide at the end of November. Upcoming games include West Allegheny, Hampton, and a rematch against Thomas Jefferson. Girls’ basketball is 5-1. Against Fort Cherry and Albert Gallatin the mercy rule was in effect; they beat Fort Cherry (72-35) and Albert Gallatin (70-31). Twice this year lady Indians have beat the opposition by at least 20 pts. The girls had a tough loss against Mt. Lebanon (47-55). The boys’ basketball team is 2-3. The Indians are getting what they wanted from their big man, John Matthis, who has been a major con-tributor. Mark Majoris, Pat Russo, and Kevin Noone are also key factors. Alex Radke looks to rebound from a knee injury and is eager to make an impact. The boys’ swim team has been practicing to become a contender in the WPIAL AAA Section 4, with early morning practices and conditioning after school. Seniors Chris Graves and Dan Smith look to lead the boys’ swim team to victories against opponents: Moon, Upper St. Clair, Baldwin, and Bethel. As a senior, Jordan Settimio wanted to end her basketball career with great memories and new accomplishments. So far, she has superseded her goals and lit up the court. Settimio is a four-year Varsity starting guard. She has been captain for two years and plans to lead the Varsity through big games against tough opponents such as Bethel Park and Upper St. Clair. The girls’ team started off the season on a positive note when they won the Tip-Off Tournament beating Baldwin and South Park. “I looked forward to my last season. I hope to bring home some wins. Our goal this season was to make the playoffs,” said Settimio. She focused on reaching the playoffs, but her main challenge as captain was bringing the team together. Settimio believes that if the team works together off the court, they will be stronger on the court. “Since there are new girls on the team, we tried to spend time together outside of basketball to get to know each other,” she said. Settimio also ran the team’s practices and clinics. Last year, she was a huge contributor to the Varisty Settimio takes the court Rachel Horensky Sports Writer team in many close games though the season’s record was only 8-16. Though she loves basketball, Settimio plans to play soccer at the University of Richmond next year. Jordan Settimio looks to pass the ball to fellow teammate Sara Barna. The Lady Indians defeated Baldwin by a score of 49-35. Photo by Justin Broglie
10. Snakes on a plane I’d tell you I love you, but then I’d have to kill you By Ally Carter “Don’t wear scarves if you’re a boy. Girls- only if it’s cold outside.” -Will Cody, ‘09 “Fashion on the runway is wild, too bold for everday wear.” -Kara Krawiec, ‘07 “I like how the 80’s style and trends are coming back.” -Heather Sickmund, ‘07 Taylor Piedmonte Staff Writer Colleen Counihan Features EditorPT LIFE “The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls’ school – that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE, the latest in chemical warfare in science; and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class.” Cammie Morgan is a second generation Gallagher Girl and, though she’s only a sophomore, she’s already fluent in fourteen languages and can kill a man in seven different ways (including one technique with a piece of uncooked spaghetti.) She’s known as “The Chameleon”; she can blend in anywhere at anytime, completely unnoticeable, or so she thought. On her first undercover mission an ordinary boy picks her out of the crowd and begins talking to her, almost blowing her cover completely. She makes it away safely, though her partners – and two best friends – were discovered by the Target (an unaware teacher) and promptly taken back to the Academy. Cammie is forced to make her way back on foot, and finds that she can’t get this boy out of her head. The Gallagher Academy has prepared her for everything, but the one thing she isn’t prepared for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. I’D Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You is the newest addition to my list of favorite books, and I am eagerly awaiting the next novel in the series. The book was extremely well written and I found it impossible to put it down. I give this book four and a half out of five stars! Katie Ellis Staff Writer The Game’s New Beginning Artist: The Game Album: The Doctor’s Advocate Brendan Sikora Staff Writer Trend of the month:fashion to match the weather What could be more hilarious than Samuel L. Jackson fighting off a plane-full of vicious snakes? Nothing, that’s what. This comic masterpiece satisfied the months of hype that preceded its release and set a golden standard for all great bad movies to come. Snakes on a Plane is about snakes…on a plane. Why, exactly, are there snakes on this plane? I’ll fill you in. An assassin named Eddie Kim is trying to kill a witness who is going to testify against him. So naturally, Eddie decides to load up the witness’s flight from Hawaii to LA with an assortment of deadly snakes. When the plane reaches 30,000 feet, the bloodthirsty snakes are released upon the planes passengers. Disaster and hilarity ensue. Snakes on a Plane is not to be taken seriously. This movie is to be taken lightly and appreciated for what it is, a cheezy B Horror movie with a ridiculous story, ridiculous dialogue and ridiculous looking snakes. Each episode is highly improbable. The anticipation of what ridiculous event is going to happen next is what makes Snakes on a Plane so entertaining. Snakes on a plane won’t be competing for any Oscars next February. It won’t go down in history as an epic disaster movie, but it’s an amusing adventure that will entertain an open- minded viewer looking for some fun. Snakes on a Plane: Lives up to months of internet buzz and delivers some ridiculous fun. Four stars out of five stars. “The girls look like they are going crazy. The guys remind me of my Jewish heritage.” -Drew Karpen, ‘07 Being a citizen of Pittsburgh means two things: following every move of the Steelers and giving up the idea of sunny days for three months out of the year. This phenomenon causes most people to hide fashion behind bulgy materials and leave their figures hanging in the closet. Guys and girls should be very happy this winter because it is now fashionable to match the drab colors that paint their window every morning. The colors of winter 2007 are reminiscent of dark, military style outfits and revolve around army green and chocolate brown. Even the fluffiest dresses are rarely seen in colors sans opaque reds or grays that resemble the salty mush on the ground after a long night of snow. Guys should dress with a very masculine mindset. The new male jean is neither baggy nor tight, and the male adornments are all about quantity over quality. To put it simply, it’s no longer “cool” or “strong” to wear only a t-shirt in the wintry outdoors. Girls need to be less “primped.” The idea is to forget the prints and frills of summer and fall and make every outfit a little more powerful. Runway analyzers are describing the outfits with adjectives such as “cinch” and “stiff.” This is a big turnaround from the autumn’s obsession with pinks or its emphasis on silhouette. If there is one trend to keep in mind, make it layers. Layers are the new take on last season’s 80’s volume. The difference is that the largeness is worn throughout the whole outfit. The idea is to wear thin pieces on top of each other, which could mean a scarf on top of a cardigan or a basic skirt over thick tights. It’s a rather simple technique, but layering can be overdone. If it takes 5 minutes to remove the layers, people should know they’ve overdone it. Models show off the fall and winter fashions of 2006 at the Anna Sui and Alessandro Dell’Acqua shows. Photo courtesy of style.com Photo courtesy of style.com This is the newest album with beats from The Game, also known as Jayceon Taylor, Hurricane Game, or Chuck Taylor. The Game is a prominent rapper from Los Angeles, California. He raps about his difficult upbringing in Compton, California and how he followed his parents’ lifestyle and became a gang member. After being shot five times in 2001 and spending three days in a coma, The Game decided to turn his life around and become a rapper. Dr. Dre and Fifty Cent were his mentors and introduced him to the G-Unit. He left the G-Unit since he could not agree with Fifty Cent’s views. Having an album produced by Geffen Records instead of his classic producer Dr. Dre is the Game’s way of saying he can make money without Dre. This album proves to be a platinum seller and has many new songs that will turn out to be classics. Entertainment Weekly writer Muze reviewed the new album and states, “The rapper’s gruff delivery juxtaposes nicely with beatsmith Scott Storch’s ABBA-inspired disco-thump
11. Smoke Signals January 2007 11 & Style band of the month: The EPA Apple Computers have revolutionized the technological world. From the huge success of iPod music players, to the new and improved Mac Book laptops, and even their extensive variety of software, Apple has everything any hi-tech lover could ever need. Nonetheless, an iPod phone could put the cherry on top of Apple’s substantial monopolistic company. Rumors over whether Apple is preparing to launch an iPod mobile phone ended when a patent submission exposed Apple working on a device that would combine a media player with a mobile phone. Apple fanatics and Wall Street forecasters have long hypothesized the day Katie Gavlick Staff Writer when the company would move into the mobile market. Many observers believe Apple, which is notorious for it’s confidentiality around product launches, might launch a mobile phone in January at MacWorld, its annual convention. However, Van Baker, an analyst at Gartner, said such an assumption was doubtful. “Every time you get close to MacWorld the rumor mill and speculation ramp up,” Van Baker stated. (Patent Move brings Apple Phone Because of Peters Township High School media students, underprivileged children have had a Merry Christmas. The Media department participated in the Toys for Tots program. The program gives underprivileged children toys for Christmas that they would otherwise not receive, and this simple gesture made a huge impact. Media students donated over 400 toys in 2006. Buying gifts sent students back to their own childhood. “Toys for Tots is a wonderful opportunity for students to make a contribution, but it’s also a fun way to donate because people often buy the toys they enjoyed as a kid,” said, photography teacher, Mrs. Boni. The target Tiny tinker toys for tots Chris Portz Staff Writer Closer from MSNBC) Apple’s patent application described plans for a device that would mix a cell phone and a media player. In depth drawings of the phone were submitted with the patent application, but could not be recovered from the US Patent and Trademark Office’s website. The mobile handset market is seen as an important new growth area for Apple, who dominates the market in portable music players due to the success of their iPod. Apple has sold more than 70 million iPods since the device first was launched in 2001. That number however, is light in comparison with the potential market for mobile phones. age for this program was infants to age 14. This was one of the only times these children have had the thrill of receiving a brand-new gift. The Toys for Tots program has been around for 59 years and delivered 18.5 million toys to 7.4 million children in 2005. Those who donated have made a huge impact in many Board games, beanie babies, puzzles and books were just a few of the over 400 toys donated by Media Students to the Toys for Tots program. Photo by Nicole Sitler -Van Baker, MSNBC “Every time you get close to MacWorld the rumor mill and speculation ramp up,” Every band has problems with identity. The members have to agree on one lonely band name as a group and solidify their varying sounds into one single genre. In the case of the Peters Township’s local group, the EPA, the boys mastered the identification part on the first day of practice. “We were trying to place our music into a genre and we came up with ‘experimental post aggression,’” explained the EPA drummer, Colin McBride. This label transformed into the acronym “EPA,” which has stuck as their name. The band has managed to coexist for about a year, despite the recent loss of two consecutive bass players. Three of the band mates have managed to face the music figuratively and literally. Guitarist Spencer Edwards, drummer Colin McBride, and guitarist Nate Hanson unite to create highly original sounds that can excite the ears of many different music fans. The boys will trade off vocals throughout the show, but they are experienced at harmonizing efficiently enough to sing together. Colin’s drum work is consistently equivalent to that of a senior player, unlike the basic “banging” heard from most high school drummers. Edwards’ appeal lies partly in his stage performance. He has the rare ability to keep the audience Colleen Counihan, Sean Naccarelli F eatures Editor, Staff Writer attracted with kicks and dance moves without ever missing a note. Hanson seems to be the authority of the group while also being the balance. He will call out the songs to play and the rest of the band will follow uniformly. He manages to pick up lead vocals at the drop of a hat and plays his guitar with a steady intensity throughout the whole set. Hanson labeled their music as “loud and fast” and simplified the goals of the whole band when he said, “we want to make music that pushes the envelope.” While the boys of the EPA strive to develop a musical career based on deviation from musical norms, they proudly reference their songs with universally renowned bands, such as Sonic Youth, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Pixies. They are a mixture of musical tastes and varying personalities, The EPA plays their music at Dormont Recreational Center. Members include Spencer Edwards, Colin McBride, Nate Hanson, and Chad Kean. but a normal EPA show involves an obvious instrumental flow that goes beyond the independent members. Photo by Colleen Counihan
12. Voices in the Hall What is your New Year’s resolution? Who is your favorite teacher and why? How do you dress your snowman? “I don’t know.” Tony D’Abarno, ‘07 “Like a lumberjack.” Harry McNamara, ‘07 “To talk less.” Rachel Paul, ‘07 “Mrs. Gearhart! I love her!” Erin Bench, ‘08 “To eat a snowman.” Joe Stepusin, ‘07 “Gloves.” Tyler Simpson, ‘10 “I don’t have one.” Sarah Rubis, ‘07 “To not die.” Will Fife, ‘07 “Like my grandmummymama; then, we dance.” Chris Graves, ‘07 What is your favorite snow activity? “Make snow angels.” Andrea Smith, ‘07 “Mr. Kochirka ‘cuz he’s the man.” Laura St. Clair, ‘07 “Ms. O’Connor. She’s the best!” Jon John, ‘07 “In Burberry” Rachel Cichowicz, ‘07 “Snowboarding.” Josh Rush, ‘07 “Skinny sled riding.” Chuck Nettles, ‘07 “Sled riding with Santa Claus.” Corey Grabowski, ‘07
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