2013 Colt Nation fall sports preview

Noah Hayden

Men’s Soccer:
Led by Head Coach Brock Sutherland, the WJHS Men’s Soccer team has started off the season hot, with a record of 6-1-2. Senior goalkeeper Wes Holifield has been one of the team’s vocal leaders, and rightly so as he has backed up all the talk, only allowing an astounding four goals in nine games.

“A solid back four in front of me has made it very difficult for other teams to get scoring opportunities and helps us put our opponents away,” Holifield says.

The goal for the Colts is simple: win the district and region, something that hasn’t happened for the men’s soccer team for five years. The team, coming off a thrilling regular season sweep of district foe Mercer County (also the sixth ranked team in the state), feels confident about working towards and attaining their goal.

Come out and support your Colts Men’s Soccer Team in their final three home games, Dunbar (9/24, 7:30pm), East Jessamine (9/28, 7pm ,*Senior Night*), and Lafayette (10/3, 7:30pm).

 

Volleyball:
When the WJHS Volleyball team, led by head coach Debbie Rose, started the season, they had no idea what was in store. With some absolutely dominating performances, the Colts are sitting pretty at 13-0. Led by seniors Ashlee Rose, Kristen Fristoe and Kelsey Sanders, the Colts have their sights set on repeating last year’s historic season, in which they won the district crown for the first time in school history.

“Our goal this season is to try our best in every game we play and to always keep our heads held high,” junior Bailey Ludt says of the team’s aspirations for the 2013 season, “The seniors are always telling us to keep pushing and never letting us give up. They help us out as much as they can whether it is just giving us tips or encouragement.”

Come out and support your Colts Volleyball Team in their final home games of the season, Mercer County (9/16, 5:30pm), Wayne/Shelby County (9/28, 11am) and Montgomery County (10/8, *Senior Night*).

 

Girls Soccer:
Led by head coach Kevin Wright, the 2013 Women’s Soccer Team look to continue this year their traditional reign of dominance in their district. With a fair share of seniors and a combination of rising youth, the Colts are trying to make a return trip to the State final four as the 2011 squad did.

“Building up the team and getting the young players experience in time to make a deep post-season run is the goal,” says junior forward Sarah Wiggins. With so much young talent, the Colts, says Wiggins, must be able to keep composure and play smart.

“We have a very young team this year… Playing smart and as a team will be important for us.” says Wiggins.

 

Golf:
Expectations are sky-high for the defending state-champion Colts, and all they have on their minds is a repeat.

“Last year we were underdogs, now we are favorites.  We can’t take it for granted; we’ll have to step up and play fearless.” says junior Connor Haas.

Led by seniors Landon Adkins, Fred Allen Meyer, Austen Swentzel and Byron Speech, as well as junior Connor Haas, the experience no doubt gives the Colts a huge advantage.

With numerous wins already under the team’s belt, the Colts hope to continue their hot streak with a mentality that Haas describes as “determination to win and the patience to wait for breaks”.

The Colts are poised for another run at state, and the odds are certainly with them. Time will tell their fate.

 

Football:
Under new leadership, the Colt’s Football Team has high expectations and is ready to take the next step in the 2013 season. Head Coach Yancey Marcum, in his first season at the helm, played football for Jessamine County and later went on to play college football at Youngstown State University. Marcum has been a long-time assistant at West and is looking to take the Colts to the next level.

“This season has been more than just learning football, it has been about learning to be grown men,” junior linebacker Josh Preston says, “The entire culture of the program has shifted as Coach [Marcum] has preached winning at everything we do, and not just football.”

The experienced Colts, eyeing a district crown and playoff berth, are believed to have the talent to do just that. The Colts are looking to rid themselves of their losing way that has plagued them the last few seasons, and newfound talent and a fresh coaching staff give them the opportunity to do so.

 

Cross-Country:
This season is a season of new beginnings for the Colt Stampede as they make the jump to the more competitive 3A high school division.

“The jump is going to be tough, we won’t be as dominate. Making state is definitely the top goal” says junior runner Joe Bandy.

Along with the division change, the Colts also welcome on a pair of new coaches in Jeremy Spainhour and Aaron Reynolds, bringing with them the mantra “getting out what you put in”.

With an overall fourth and first place finish on the resumé so far on the season, the Colts are living up to the challenge of the 3A jump. Senior member Gavin Davis leads the stampede with a first place individual finish under his belt this season

This year brings a lot of questions for the stampede, but with a strong core group, the team hopes to have positive answers to these questions and make it a successful year.

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New Bus Blunders

Dana Smith

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The new bus system is controversial for our community, teachers and students.

The system includes car riders getting dropped off and picked up in the back of the school where the old bus drop off would be. The buses currently load in front of the school, right in front of the faculty parking lot. The students depart between 8:35 and 8:45 a.m. and get on the bus again at 4:00pm.

While waiting to get on the buses in the afternoon, students must wait in the cafeteria to be let out. When they are allowed to go outside, they then have to check a board to see where their bus is.

Senior Kariane Johnson does not like this new system. She is new to West High but said that it’s more confusing than her old school.

“At my old school, the buses would always be in the exact same spot,” Johnson said. “I always knew where to find my bus. I think I would like the old way, it sounds less chaotic than this year’s way.”

Senior Courtney Creech’s opinion was nearly the same, yet her response was different. “I think it needs to change,” Creech says, “I find it awkward.”

Like Johnson, she prefers the old way.

“We got to wait outside instead of stuffed all together in the cafeteria.” Creech said.

She feels that the school board should have kept it the same as the years before. Due to this change, a lot of parents are getting confused, and although this new system has been in effect for nearly a month, negative feedback is all that has followed.

Athlete of the Month: Gavin Davis

Joe Bandy

Gavin Davis is a senior member of the cross-country team and has been running all four years of high school. He placed 32nd last year at the 2A state meet and has been a front-runner (no pun intended) of the team his entire career.

-What do you view as your biggest accomplishment of your career?”
“Running a sub 18 [minute] 5k would probably be my biggest accomplishment so far”

-What’s your fondest memory of your entire career?
“My best memory would probably when I broke 18 [minutes] for the first time, and David Smith, whom I have trained with so much, was there to cheer me on for the last half mile.”

-Do you plan on running in college?
“I haven’t really decided yet. If I don’t it will be so I can have time to train for an Ironman Triathlon. I’m actually planning on swimming this winter to begin that training”

-What are your goals this year in XC?
“Probably to run a sub 17 minute 5k and to place in the top three individuals at regional’s”

-What about for your team?
“My goal for the team is to make state and place top three at regionals.

Davis wasn’t able to make it to the Colts first meet but led them to a strong victory over three other teams in the Patriot Pride Run held Saturday, September 7.

College reconsideration

Joe Bandy and Young Koh

To many aspiring high school students, the immediate goal is, of course, college. Being in a college is the end all be all to a successful life, and if you want to flip burgers at McDonald’s, just keep your resume at “high school graduate.” No respectable person would willingly submit to a life of manual labor. No, that thought is simply too horrendous. To live in a house and have a life and a car and all the things that we attribute to a successful life, COLLEGE IS A REQUIREMENT.

Or is it?

The stereotype that has been placed on the entire concept of college is mainly how prepared for society one can be with a college degree. Reality speaks to the contrary of that rather skewed opinion.

The whole fantasy can be attributed to three main misconceptions:
1) That you will have the career of your dreams”
2) That college benefits ALL occupations
3) That the (economical) value of an occupation is inversely correlated to the time not spent in an air-conditioned office.

Realistically speaking, what will you be doing in 20 years? Most of us will be desk-bound in some Fortune 500 company, looking back at our youthful days and shaking our heads at our own naïveté. Some of us will work as manual laborers (oh no!), and some will not even have a job. Only the select few, the crème de la crème, will be working at their respective jobs of their dreams (or the jobs of all our dreams). And all the rest of us (a majority) stand at the sidelines, cheering, booingand looking up at them with envy.

College used to be the gathering place of the rich and the ridiculously intelligent. Today, the majority of Americans are middle class, and most middle class families have placed a higher value on a college education.

College is losing the privilege that it used to bring as it becomes more and more common. The college degree magic touch that used to bring people closer to their dreams is waning.

In fact, sometimes college even creates a barrier between you and your dream job. How can that be? In college, you read books with big words and have meaningful conversations about things that really matter. Well, meaningful conversations are wonderful and a rich vocabulary is never a bad thing, but how do those developments help you? For instance, instead of spending four years getting a B.A. in Philosophy, why not spend those four years developing the style and the eloquence of a writer? If you wish to become a plumber (who can make more than a neurosurgeon per hour), do you really think that a degree in mathematics is the best way to go? The order which you make this choice should be first, the consideration of what you wish to do with your life for the next 45 years, followed by second, “so, should I go to college?” instead of the vice versa.

For all of you (readers) who wish to be a doctor or a lawyer or a biochemist or philologist or something along those lines, then I wish you the best of luck in college because college is the right way to go.

However, if you presume that “good” jobs cannot be manual, you are a victim of false indoctrination. The basis on which people built professions was manual labor. In ancient world history, specialization was only possible with a surplus of food and people to work with the food. That principle does not change with time. Service industries in the United States are inflating in price as years pass, and we have to stop presuming that sweating for wages is the way to failure.

In every occupation, there are pros and cons. Somehow, society progressed to teach us “construction worker = sweat = bad” and “doctor = clean = good”. These ridiculous presumptions have to come to an end. We can’t have a city without plumbers, mechanics, and yes, we need people to flip burgers for us at McDonalds.

All things considered

Mia Zanzucchi

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Recently, the average ACT scores were released for all Jessamine County high school seniors in the class of 2014.

Even though the county composite (average) score held steady at 19.51 on a scale of 1 to 36, West’s average dropped 0.2 points from 20.51 to 20.31. WJHS and Jessamine County schools are well above the Kentucky average at 19.21 points, but if a student was to reach all benchmarks set by ACT, he or she would have a composite score of 212.

So naturally, improvement must be made in the standardized test department.

You’ve been told since the beginning of high school that the ACT is the mack daddy of tests. Grades are important but without a good ACT score, you’re out of the college game. But forget everything you’ve learned (to some degree – just so I don’t get in trouble.)

Standardized tests like the ACT and SAT measure what you’ve learned at school as well as your ability to think quickly and know how to take the test right. However, the number you happen to score out of 36 is not as important as it seems. Colleges understand the mechanics of both the ACT and SAT: you were sick that day, you had a brain fart, you missed that one day in math two years ago when that one topic was addressed.

And so they look at everything else as well: your teacher recommendations, extra curricular activities, volunteer hours, work experience, awards and essays weight as much as – and in some cases, even more than – your standardized test scores. They want to see how connected to your community you are. They’re not just looking for students to take their classes. They’re looking for students to make their campus unique.

There has even been an upward trend of colleges, specifically small yet elite liberal arts schools, not requiring standardized tests. Bowdoin College, the sixth highest-ranking liberal arts college in the country3, is “test optional.” Wake Forest University, the 27th best university in America3, doesn’t really care about your ACT scores either.

“This policy allows applicants to decide for themselves whether or not their test results accurately reflect their academic ability and potential,” the Bowdoin College admissions website says4. 15-20 percent of their class of 2016 did not submit scores during the application process4.

“Curriculum and grades, along with extracurricular activities, writing ability, and evidence of character and creative talent will remain the primary criteria for admission,” Wake Forest Magazine wrote regarding their 2009 decision to become test optional5.

“The admissions process has to be about building the best and most balanced class we can,” Wake Forest Provost Jill Tiefenthaler said in 20095. “Reliance on the SAT and other standardized tests for admission is a major barrier to access for many worthy students.”

Test scores are not everything. Grades will not make or break you. They should not and will not haunt you for the rest of your life. They are merely stepping-stones to a bright future. You can be successful without the grades and ACT scores. But can you truly be successful without passion? Can you actually make it in life without being connected to your school, community, country and earth?

That’s not something for me to tell you. It’s a case-by-case kind of thing. But should you not have that perfect ACT score, I beg of you, do not fret. Let your passions and nonacademic talents shine through and you’ll always have a silver lining.

To find out more about test optional universities, check out http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional.

Footnotes –
1: Jessamine County ACT scores hold steady in 2013 (http://kyvoice.com/extracredit/?p=1980)
2: ACT College and Career Readiness Benchmarks (http://www.act.org/solutions/college-career-readiness/college-readiness-benchmarks/)
3: U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings (http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges)
4: Bowdoin College Admissions: Test Optional Policy (http://www.bowdoin.edu/admissions/apply/testing-policy.shtml)
5: Wake Forest Magazine’s A Test of Convention (http://archive.magazine.wfu.edu/2008.09/sat/)

One Direction: This is Us

Emily Malone 

One Direction hands down is probably one of the biggest boy bands of this generation yet. Girls eight to eighteen swoon over their boyish charm and what this generation likes to call talent. Their movie One Direction: This Is Us is really no different.

Director Morgan Spurlock already had famous films like “Super Size Me” and “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” under his belt. Spurlock did just what the other directors did in documentaries like “Justin Beiber’s: Never Say Never” and “The Jonas Brother’s: The 3D Concert Experience” – follow the musical talent around to get an inside look at a life of fame. Spurlock sends a camera around getting One Direction’s “Fab Five’s” full life experience from being in love to on the road with the fans. “This Is Us” serves its purpose to the audience it’s targeting, but if you’re looking for some type of insight or real point in watching the film, you’ll be disappointed. The “1D” film showed much repetition and a little boring.

The “Fab Five,” consisting of Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tromlinson and Liam Payne, got their individual starts on the British version of “The X Factor.” Simon Cowell, one of the producers of the show, heard the newly grouped band and saw one thing: dollar signs.

In my opinion, One Direction is held together by harmony and excessive use of hair products.

If you’re a true One Direction fan, then it’s worth going to see. But if you’re someone like me or the average Joe searching for a good film then I do not, repeat, DO NOT recommend watching it. At best, One Direction: This Is Us deserves 2 ½ to 3 stars out of five.

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, Chris Colfer

Courtney  Creech 

If you like fairy tales told with a little bit of flair, The Land of Stories series is the right series for you! Follow twins Alex and Connor Bailey through the fairy tale worlds we’ve all grown up reading about and meet new, zany characters along the way.

In a world where Cinderella is with child, Little Red Riding Hood has her own kingdom and Goldilocks is a wanted fugitive on-the-run, the twins must obtain all the items in the mysterious Wishing Spell to wish their way back home to the real world. But will they get all the items in time before the infamous Evil Queen gets her hands on them?

This book is truly one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Being a fairytale fan, I love the idea of changing the plot, changing the original story around. It adds interest and flavor.

Dually performing and helping

Abbey Bowe

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West Jessamine’s show choir is unique in the world of choir; it serves a dual purpose of performance and community service, hence the name Dually Noted. Over the course of 4 years, Dually Noted has grown in size and intensity.

“This year is more organized and prepared than ever before. Our sound is on a different level. We are more confident as a group,” senior member Austin Vahle said. A group of confident, talented, sassy members needs all of these qualities and more in its leaders.

Cody Foster and Madeline Vermillion are just the two for the job. Along with determination to succeed, Foster and Vermillion bring a new concept to the table: unity.

“There isn’t a point to Dually Noted without unity,” said Foster. His co-president, or “First Lady” as Foster fondly calls her, is equally as focused on a familial vibe within the group. Dually Noted is different than other programs within the arts department. The majority of its members aren’t strictly “artsy kids”. They are involved in numerous activities including cross-country, student council, archery, and marching band.  Dually Noted is a place where anyone can be involved in music, and its co-presidents are a huge part of this welcoming atmosphere.

When asked to comment on their co-presidents, most Dually Noted members reached similar conclusions: like the group’s dual purpose, Vermillion and Foster also serve a dual purpose. Foster is assertive and determined, Vermillion is sweet and fair. Regardless of their leading style, Foster and Vermillion are both passionate about unity.

Sweeney Todd cuts into the action

Zach Rieff 

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“Sweeney Todd” is the darkest play to hit the WJHS stage. If you like horror and suspense, look no further.

“Sweeney Todd” is about a man who seeks nothing but revenge and redemption after being wrongfully imprisoned for life due to another mans desire for his wife. He comes back to find that the same man who took his wife is now after his daughter. Already enraged by the rumor of his wife’s suicide, he is subject to influenced insanity with only one target – the man who took away his life – and he will kill anyone in his way.

I strongly encourage you to come see this suspenseful, edge of your seat performance on October 30for the school performance or on October 31, when the opening night is. Hope to see you there!

West Senior completes internship in Ethiopia

Bradley Phelps

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West Jessamine senior Sarah Warren had a two month internship in Ethiopia this summer. This amazing opportunity was givento her by the World Food Prize. She was only one of 22 students in the nation to be given this opportunity.

Warren started her journey to Ethiopia in October 2012, when she attended the three day Global Youth Institute conference in Des Moines, Iowa. There, she presented her ideas concerning farming and raising livestock in third world countries, which earned her the opportunity to actually see her ideas in action.

The trip to Ethiopia was somewhat problematic though.

On June 14, Warren left from Kentucky, but without her favorite multi-tool, which was taken from her at the airport. At her stop in Germany, airport officials continued to take her stuff, this time confiscating her choice lotion. Initial hardships aside, she reached Ethiopia without much additional difficulty.

Once there, her main jobs were to interview farmers, take note of their farming methods, and collect milk samples from livestock.

Her research being funded by the International Livestock Research Institute, the milk samples were taken to a lab to be tested, where Warren was able to determine that the milk Ethiopian farmers are producing is nowhere close to meeting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. However, the locals didn’t seem to be experiencing any negative effects from the “unsafe” milk, leading Warren to the conclusion that humans can easily adapt to widely varying lifestyles and diets.

However, that doesn’t mean that worldwide food quality shouldn’t be improved, according to Warren, who is also working as part of the Safe Food, Fair Food Project, a worldwide organization devoted to providing an adequate, healthy food supply to everyone, with a focus on livestock care.

Next month, Warren will return to the Global Youth Institute conference to present her findings, as well as to be a mentor/chaperone for younger participants who are going through the same process that she did last year. Fabian Leon, a current junior at West, will be one of them.

So what does Warren have planned for the future? Before her internship, she didn’t have any intention of staying in Kentucky after graduation, but something changed during her Ethiopian trip.

“My feet are firmly planted in Kentucky,” Warren said.

She intends to become a livestock veterinarian, possibly here in Jessamine County, and to continue fighting world hunger through her involvement in various organizations.

“I’m just trying to live to serve,” she concluded.