High expectations for a new season

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The Silver Foxes anticipate another record season after their first game against Greenwood, where Dutch Fork dominated 45-19.

“I think we did really well on offense and defense. There were a couple turnovers that we had; but overall we still did pretty well and we were able to get the win,” junior Bryan Singleton said.

After practicing for the duration of the summer and creating new plays, the team is very confident about their ability to win games and have a successful season.

“Our strengths were making plays. We all made plays on offense and on defense,” sophomore Bobby Irby said.

If this game is an indicator of how the rest of the season will go, hopes are high that Silver Foxes can pull out another promising season, and make it to state as they have for the past two years. After their first state championship win last year against Sumter, both the school and the team have higher expectations.

“I think we have a good chance to make it back to state,” Bryan said.

With high expectations comes a lot of pressure for players to repeat last year’s season, or even the 2012-13 season, in which the Silver Foxes made it to state for the first time. Despite losing starting quarterback Derek Olenchuk, players are still confident that they can pull off a great season.

“Everybody knows we can do it again so there is no pressure to do it. We have the players on offense and defense to win it. And the coaching staff is great,” Senior Brandon Turner said.

The team is full of talented players, who the school hopes will help them have another great season. Among them is Matt Colburn, who recently committed to the University of Louisville, and who proved in this last game that he is still as good as ever.

But despite the natural talent of the players, the team has to focus on making consistently solid plays.

“We just have to continue making plays, giving up less points, and less turnovers,” Bobby said.

Even though the Foxes appear to be on track for another state championship, there are still some elements that will need to be improved throughout the season. However, it’s a promising start to a season that will continue as the team heads to Texas this week.

“I’m convinced that we’ll be back to back champs this year,” Brandon said. “We’ve got the momentum and the potential and just the overall attitude to do great again this year.”

High expectations for a new season

Senior Samantha Byrne takes future into own hands

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Twenty-three days, 20 states, and a bus full of strangers. Needless to say, Samantha Byrne was nervous. Boarding the bus on the Davidson College campus in North Carolina, she scanned the sea of new and unfamiliar faces that had also signed up for Teens Westward Bound. With no phone and few opportunities to call home, she would quickly bond with many of these people as they trekked across the country for twenty-three days.

“I didn’t know anyone,” senior Samantha Byrne said. “It was just me, so I had to go out and meet all these new people, and I didn’t know if I was going to like them or what would happen. I had no idea what to expect.”

Before Samantha knew it, the trip was going full throttle and there was no slowing down. They would see everything from New Orleans to the Alamo. The Grand Canyon to Las Vegas. Disneyland to Yosemite National Park. Salt Lake City to Yellowstone. Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River.

“I loved being able to the see the country. It gives you a new appreciation for where we live, and you can say you really know what America is,” Samantha said.

Although Teens Westward Bound was jam packed with incredible, life-changing moments, it was challenging for everyone to live without their luxuries, one being the soft, warm comfort of a bed.

“You have your sleeping bag, and we were either inside a YMCA or any kind of community building we were allowed to use. Other than that we’d be on a campground, and we’d just sleep outside,” Samantha said. “The next morning, we’d wake up and we’d go.”

Adjusting to this lifestyle, however, was easy for Samantha in comparison to adjusting to life without a cell phone, getting only the occasional chance to phone home and catch up with her family and friends.  Despite this obstacle, the absence of a phone allowed her to connect and grow significantly closer to the people around her.

“If you had technology, you would not bond with these people. You have to push people out of their comfort zone if you want to build these friendships.”

Not only was Samantha able to build friendships with the other teens on the trip, but each and every teen bonded with the many counselors and especially the founder of Teens Westward Bound, Dennis Deaton. He started the program nearly forty years ago and has watched the country change as he has shared this experience with countless individuals. Samantha said he gets so close with everybody and he loves you and you love him.

“If you talk to anyone who has been on this trip, they will tell you they love Dennis Deaton. He is great human being. They throw the word love around like crazy because you grow to love these people, it’s insane. But all Dennis wants is to share that with you, to share the whole country with you because he has so much love for it.”

After twenty-three endlessly exciting and busy days, Samantha was thrilled to finally return home. Her experience busing, camping, and touring America taught her so much about herself and benefitted her in so many ways.

“I’m not afraid to rough it anymore, I feel like I can go through anything. It made me more personable and more likely to socialize with people,” Samantha said.

As Samantha takes her next steps towards applying for college in her senior year, she will carry with her the knowledge and experiences of Teens Westward Bound.


For more information, go to teenswestwardbound.com. If you want to be recommended, e-mail Samantha Byrne at samanthabyrnelax@gmail.com.


Schoolwide Switchup

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School doors open to reveal yet another year where nothing is quite the same.

Previously scattered departments are now closely huddled together in their own little sections of the school to talk and coordinate amongst themselves with more ease.

This convenience is forcing teachers to leave their old beloved rooms and attempt to add personality to the plain white walls of their new room down the hall.

“I think that there are advantages and disadvantages to [moving classrooms],” social studies teacher Laurie Humphrey said. “The advantage is that I get to talk to social study teachers about common issues that we may be having in our classes. The disadvantage is that we can’t have any cross-curricular discussions between classes.”

Along with the student mass exodus to Spring Hill, several teachers left the building because of moves, retirement or relocation to the new Health Science building, leaving their classrooms behind.

“Some of these classes are currently being used for storage,” clerical assistant Cathy Campbell said, “and some classrooms are occupied part-time since some teachers only teach on A-Days or B-Days, or only use their classroom whenever necessary due to their job.”

Though the number of teachers let go should have been proportionate to the number of students leaving, there are classes filled to the brim with students while some classrooms go unused.

“My history class has way too many people. Every desk is full,” junior Matthew Weeks said. “It’s bad because you have less teacher-student interaction but you also have more people to communicate and work with.”

Universities such as Harvard and Yale are especially revered for their small faculty-to-student ratio, which gives way to smaller classes with more communication between the teachers and students.

“I would rather my class be too small than too big because you get to know the people so well and the class is less distracting,” Matthew said.

Freshman were not the only ones carrying maps and asking the Teacher Cadets where to find their classrooms this year.

“Teachers expect seniors to know where all of the classes are ,” senior Alejandro Samperio said, “but it’s been difficult so far because we are just as confused as everyone else trying to figure out where their teachers have moved to.”

Since the separate departments are clustered, they are further away from one another and create a hassle for students trying to get from point A to point B on time.

“My classes were a lot closer together last year because all of the subjects were mixed up,” sophomore Talor Gamble said. “I pretty much was always on the same floor. Now it’s scattered everywhere and I’m running all over the place.”

While a new school year starts, teachers and students alike learn to adjust to hallways they had never before ventured.

“I don’t like the way that classrooms are organized now because it gets confusing since I’m used to knowing where everything is,” Alejandro said. “I know I’ll get to used to it though, it’s just going to take some time.”


iPad’s return with new rules, expectations

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When students receive iPad cases this year, it’s clear they had never been cleaned.

Screen covers are smudged with fingerprints and assorted crumbs.

Sticker residue clings to the hard plastic where the new stickers don’t perfectly overlap.

But worst of all is the leftover sweat and skin particles in the cases’ rubber border, leaving the case slick and oily.

That will never wash out well enough.

But after complaints from parents and students, students are now allowed to have our own cases instead of the district ones.

It is completely understandable why certain students would want their own cases.

A district case may well be on its way to breaking after the treatment it suffered from its previous owner. And if it does get damaged, according to the district iPad policy, the students must pay $36 to replace it.

This looming bill waits, even though the student pays $40 for the mandatory insurance policy for the iPad itself.

The iPad insurance policy does protect the user from a huge bill if the iPad is indeed broken.

The price for a broken screen without the insurance is $200, a bent metal back would be $299.00, and the charger and adapter are $19.00 each.

These prices seem excessive, but they are very delicate pieces of technology. One drop could shatter a screen beyond compare–or it could do nothing.

That’s why the iPad case are vital to protecting and preserving the iPads for the next generation of users and why students bringing their own laptops is problematic.

A student may not want to buy a $40 or $50 case for an iPad they won’t even be able to keep over the summer. So instead, they buy a cheaper, decorative case instead of one that will provide the most protection.

This will lead to more damaged iPads, more claims to the district, and cause more problems than it solves.

There’s no problem with having the district reuse the cases and iPads from last year. Money is tight, and cases are expensive.

But there need to be some courtesies.

Before the iPads are passed out, they need to be cleaned. The apps and files on the iPad itself are wiped, but it seems like the iPads weren’t even touched over the summer.

Everything needs to be checked to make sure it’s functioning. Too many cases are already loose, the rubber border not fitting properly into the plastic shell. There’s a worry that this will affect how the iPad is protected.

But most importantly, the cases need to be disinfected. Those rubber and plastic shells have seen specks of people’s lunches, pounds of dead skin cells, and too much sweat to even want to think about just from their owner last year.

Just a simple spritz of water and wipe down would clean off anything left over on the iPad cases and make the student receiving the piece this year feel intensely better about having to reuse somebody’s old device.


New health science building open to students next school year

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By Maddie Mason, Jamie Gilbert-Fitzpatrick, Mendy Harris

New facilities, bigger rooms, better weights, and more opportunities grace the health science department.  The new health science building will be available to all students and faculty next school year of 2014-2015.

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Seniors enjoy their last hurrah together before graduation

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By Maddie Mason, Jamie Gilbert-Fitzpatrick, Mendy Harris

With the end of the year approaching, seniors have the privilege to enjoy a day to themselves.  Senior field day gives the seniors the opportunity to enjoy a fun day with his or her classmates. Read the rest of this entry »

AP testing induces panic

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By Jamie Mason, Carina Leaman, Sean Riehm

As AP exams draw closer and closer, one thing remains on students minds: study, study, study. Dutch Fork has offered over twenty different AP classes to the school and have helped prepare students throughout the year.

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