Samo Visited By WASC Committee Author Anderson Speaks About



Samo Visited By WASC Committee Author Anderson Speaks About
News—Page 2 The Samohi March 17, 2005
Stolen Baseball Equipment MIA
By Chelsea Rinnig
Thieves stole approximately
$17,000 worth of baseball equipment
on Feb. 23 from Samo’s baseball shed
in the North Field. Ball machines
have been stolen from schools in
Orange County, Venice, Los Angeles, Culver City, Beverly Hills, and
the valley. The equipment from
the other schools was found at a
secondhand sports equipment store
in Orange County. although Samo’s
is still missing.
The machines are estimated to
be worth $2000 each, and authorities
have tallied up about forty pitching
machines between all the schools
combined. Thieves originally stole
the equipment by cutting through
the chain that locks the gate on
Students wait in line in the Technology Building to sign up for Advanced Placement Exams on
Mar. 11, the last day to sign up for the exams without late fees.
Photo by Max Jordan
Samo Visited By WASC Committee
By Matt Weber
pose. Administrators could not
attend the meeting, and will only
The Western Association of
find out what was said through
Schools and Colleges (WASC)
information in WASC reports.
visited Samo from Mar. 6 to 9 to
After hearing the committee’s
assess Samo for reaccreditation.
evaluation on Mar. 9, Samo CEO/
In a meeting on Mar. 9, the WASC
Principal Ilene Straus said, “I think
committee revealed its evaluastudents represented
tion of Samo to Samo
how they perceive the
school, and [WASC] got
A t t h e M a r. 9
a lot of different voices,
meeting, the WASC
some students who are
committee told facvery involved and some
ulty members areas
who are not involved,
in which it thought
and so I think they got
Samo needed more
the diverse experience
work, and those in
that [Samo] has.”
which it thought Samo
At the end of a school
excelled. The WASC
visit, WASC approves
committee listed the
each school for a cerRedesign as one of
tain number of years,
Samo’s strengths.
after which it will return
WASC also anagain.
A member of the WASC committee observes the
nounced that a big
Samo will not find out
issue at Samo was “the school after second period on Mar.8.
what kind of accreditalack of involvement of
tion it received for six
Photo by Emily Ferrell to eight weeks. The best
students in the decision making process,”
possibility would be a six
an opinion gathered from a stu- met with students prior to the year accreditation with an unofdent meeting held on Mar. 8.
meeting to brief them on its pur- ficial visit after three years.
At this student focus group, the
WASC committee asked students
if they felt they had power in their
academic lives. Advisers and
WASC officials picked students
to attend the meeting.
H-House Principal Ruth Esseln
Students to Complete Annual Research Project
By Nicola Persky
Beginning next fall, students
will complete a different research
paper each of their four years at
The project will be incorporated
in a different course for each grade
level. Freshmen will research in
their Freshman Seminar classes,
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Nicola Persky, Analee Abbott
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Adviser..............................Lorri Horn
sophomores in Chemistry classes,
juniors in English, and seniors in
Government and Economics.
Each project will have specific
themes designated to each grade
level’s project.
The freshman research paper
will center on health, while the
sophomore paper will be science
related. Literature and persuasion
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Zahir Alibhai, Nick Barlow, Jacqueline Berkman,Michael Blackman,
Lincoln Boehm, William Bromell,
Peter Egziabher, Emily Foshag, Max
Jordan, Petey Kass, David Kim,
Sanyu Nagenda, Carl Nunziato,
Alice Ollstein, Chelsea Rinnig,
Jeremy Rosen-Prinz, Marissa
Silverman, Michael Rubin, JoJo
Samuels, Samantha Walters, Matt
Weber, Nicole Wong
will be the heart of the junior project while the senior paper will be
government related.
Need for this project has
stemmed from teacher and parent concern that students lack
research skills.
Library Media Teacher Dana
Bart-Bell said, “There is a misunderstanding that students can
complete research by going to”
In addition to students simply
being unable to research well,
Bart-Bell sees a link between high
instances of cheating and plagiarism and lack of research skill in
The committee that worked
to create the project guidelines is
currently facing teacher opposition to the plan. Said Bart-Bell,
“Our biggest problem is...[that]
most teachers feel that they don’t
have a second to take on anything
The project will go into effect
for all students in Sept. of 2005,
when students will find several
pages of their Binder Reminders
dedicated to guidelines for researching and citing information
Olympic using bolt cutters. They
then cut through a second lock on
the shed and stole 40 dozen baseballs, three pitching machines, and
a number of helmets and bats that
lined the shed’s walls. The equipment was both personal and school
The baseball team borrowed
equipment from other schools to
practice for their season, which
started Mar. 3. Many players were
upset because of the loss of expensive personal equipment, such as
bats and gloves that ranged between
$200 to $300 dollars. Senior and
pitcher Max Hacker stated, “I felt
really bad for the people who lost
the gloves because some of them had
the same gloves as I do and I know
how expensive they are.”
Author Anderson Speaks
About Life, Liberty, Prom
By Alice Ollstein
“If you need to sleep, go right
ahead. I understand. Just try not
to snore.” With this sharply honest
statement, author Laurie Halse Anderson began her “author talk” Mar.
11 in Samo’s Mortenson Library.
Anderson began by talking about
her childhood and what she called
her “scenic route” to becoming an
author. “Nobody who knew me as
a kid thought I would be an author,”
saidAnderson. “I hated school. I was
bored all the time, so I took vacations
in my head.” Despite, and even
because of her peculiar traits, Anderson has become one of the most
successful young adult authors of our
generation. “There are three characteristics that make me a good author,”
explained Anderson. “I have a short
attention span, I hear voices in my
head, and I am more stubborn than
anyone in the country.”
She began the condensed version
of her life story with high school
strife, such as “feeling like I wore a
neon LOSER sign on my forehead.”
These experiences and feelings have
worked their way into her young
adult novels. “About 10 to 15 percent
of my books come from my real life,”
said Anderson. “I especially relate to
Melinda [the protagonist of Speak].
You should know I was sexually
assaulted the summer before junior
year, though not in the same way
Melinda was, and I experienced the
same feelings of alienation.”
Anderson transitioned into the
beginning of her writing career. “I
had to find a night job so I could
take care of my kids during the day.
I wanted to write children’s picture
books. I thought: if Madonna can do
it, how hard can it be?” She found
out exactly how hard when the rejection letters started to come in. “I got
hundreds of rejection letters [from
publishers], but I’m stubborn, so I
kept trying.” Besides perseverance,
Anderson offered more advice for
aspiring writers: “Nobody writes a
great first draft. Shut down the critical
voice in your head that says ‘You’re
a terrible writer’...and just write the
draft. I have to bribe myself with
food to get through a rough draft,
but then I can revise, which makes
me feel smart.”
Anderson’s honest speech, with
blunt statements such as “my father
was an alcoholic” to “History is
just sticking your nose into dead
people’s business,” drew admiration
from the students present. “I think
she’s wonderful,” said senior Mihail
Naumovski while waiting in line
to purchase one of her books after
the discussion. “I really like honest
people like her.”
The student questions ranged
from “Which of your books do you
like best?” to “Do you like Tupac?”
(The answers were, in order: “How
can I choose? That’s like asking which
of my kids do I like best” and “Yes.
I’m sorry he’s gone.”) When asked
“Where do you get your ideas for
books?” Anderson replied: “I love
gossip. I go on LiveJournal a lot.
Every young adult author has a
LiveJournal. I also use things from
my life, but never from my kids’
lives. That would be mean. I want
to use stuff that teens will relate to.
When Speak came out, my publisher
said: ‘Don’t get your hopes up [for
sales]. Teenagers don’t read.’ I said:
‘They do read! They just don’t read
boring stuff.’ ”
“We are so lucky to have such
a well-known author come speak
here,” said librarian Anne McKecknie. “She’s more than an author,
she’s a stand-up comedian! And
most young adult books are sappy
and predictable. Prom is different.
[Anderson] knows teens.”
Author Laurie Halse Anderson spoke to students on Mar. 11
about becoming a successful authorin todayʼs time.
Photo by Max Jordan
Please Don’t Run Me Over, Okay? Letter to the Editor
To the Parent Whose Car Window
I Angrily Rapped On One Early
Ever since that morning when
I banged on your car window and
chastised you for stopping in the
alley of the senior parking lot to
let your child out, thus holding up
huge amounts of traffic, I’ve been
trying to figure out how to get in
touch with you.
First of all, I wanted to apologize to you about that morning
at 7th St. and Michigan Ave.
Clearly, having an angry
teenage girl yell at you
at seven in the morning
(probably before you’d
even had your coffee) is
not fun, and by the look
of surprise on your face,
you were unprepared for
it. It’s important for you
to know that it wasn’t really
YOU who I was upset with;
you just happened to be the
final straw.
You see, each and every morning, someone stops to let his/her
student out in the alley, and each
and every morning, on my way
to school, I get an ulcer. Driving
to school is probably the most
stressful part of my day. Getting through the chaos, whether
walking or driving, is like a daily
gauntlet course.
For whatever reason, during
the mayhem before the 7:12 or 8:15
a.m. bell rings, drivers within a
two-block radius of Samo seem to
lose their minds. Students and parents alike forget that they are not
supposed to create their own lanes,
change lanes in an intersection, or
even block an intersection.
On any given day, there are
three cars stuck in the intersection; one car is halfway in the
alleyway and completely blocking Michigan, two parents are
waving their students goodbye,
By Sara Frier
practical purposes, society imbued
the numerical value “18” with a
whole lot of meaning. Suddenly,
it became okay to call someone a
child one day and send him to war
the next, with “Happy birthday,
son” as a final condemnation. We
and another two are flicking off
the driver next to them. It’s a cacophony of impatient horns, and a
handful of students look like deer
in headlights as they try to make
their way through. Sadly, this isn’t
even an exaggeration.
In 1998, a Samo student was hit
by a car at Lincoln and Michigan,
and hospitalized for mulitple days.
In the weeks following the accident, the school and the city paid
closer attention to school drop-off
areas, to ensure that they were safe,
and added the traffic light at Lincoln Blvd and Michigan Ave. This
change is not enough however;
students still get hurt.
Just this year a student got hit
on 7th St. as she got out of her
parent’s car in the morning. Do
we need more students to get hit
by cars before the community
sees the severity of the situation?
Why shouldn’t we strive to make
getting in and out of school
safe now?
Samo’s traffic situation
will not improve by itself.
To make it safe, it will
require active changes
from everyone—students, parents, administrators, and even city
officials. Although it may
seem juvenile to suggest
it, why doesn’t Samo have
a crossing guard or two to
help direct some of the traffic,
and make the situation safer?
And why do police only monitor
after school?
If the city needs extra revenue,
it could rack it up quickly from all
the traffic violations around Samo
in the morning, while making the
scene calmer.
Everyone can help the situation by adding a little calmness
and a little compassion to their
early morning breakfast, too.
I’ll be the first. I hereby promise
never to yell at another car that is
holding up traffic. If I have to say
anything, I’ll make sure to use my
inside voice.
XOXO, Brittany Benjamin
Dear Editor:
I am reading Michael Rubin’s
article on social security (“Snuggle
With a Social Security Blankie”;
Feb.25) and trying to find the reason in it.
It praises George Bush’s plan
to give American youth stock
options, which they will be responsible to manage for their own
retirement funds. The article’s illustration shows a teen working at
McDonald’s with a thought bubble
containing an electric wheelchair.
I’m not sure what the drawing
is trying to portray; is it the way
things are now, with our current
Social Security System? The one in
which the government invests your
money for you—or how things will
be with George W. Bush’s plan to
have people do it themselves?
Rubin states, “Bush’s policy
gives young people a stake in their
future. Nobody wants to think about
retirement, so a plan to give more
responsibility to young taxpayers
is exactly what this country needs
to increase awareness. Safe, private
accounts are an important part of this
solution to Social Security.”
Safe? Are you kidding? How is
the stock market all of a sudden safe?
Wasn’t there that thing a long time
ago, the Great Depression thing?
When people thought the stock
market was safe, and then they lost
all of their money?
The sad fact is that not everyone
knows how to invest wisely…obviously. If everyone knew how to work
the stock market, then everyone
would already be rich. I think if only
rich people benefit, it is what is called
“benefiting the rich.”
If the goal is for young people not
to worry about retirement, it might
not be a good idea to force them to
choose how to invest their money
(in other words, make them worry
about their retirement). It isn’t exactly a good idea to put the burdens of
adults upon the naïve, uneducated
youth; especially financial responsibility. Wouldn’t a 16-year-old and a
60-year-old have slightly different
ideas on what to do with a large
sum of money? You wouldn’t kick
a toddler out onto Wall Street and
say, “Here’s a hundred dollar bill.
Come back when you have a lot
more of these.”
Regardless, why should we rest
the rock of our futures on the fickle
and unpredictable U.S. stock market? But I never bought into that
whole Great Depression, learning
from our history bull. Let’s just go
along with our president. He’s never
steered us wrong before. His plan
is only going to cost us two trillion
And hey, we’ve got cash to spare,
right? It’s not like we are in a war
or anything.
Patrick George, senior
Clarification: Money diverted
into personal accounts cannot
be invested in the stock market.
Rubin’s article stated that the
accounts could only be invested
in a “limited number of ultra-safe
government selected funds.”
Kids These Days...Should Still Get The Death Penalty
The recent decision by the Supreme Court banning all execution
of convicted juvenile murderers
creates a curious exception to a
system long in need of reform on
a different level. Though
capital punishment itself
is generally cruel and unusual, and in much need
of rethinking as a whole, it
is wrong to protect the rare
deserving murderer from
his sentence just because he
isn’t yet eighteen. As long as
the death sentence remains
in practice, it will remain unjust to exempt anyone who
fits the bill based solely on a
meaningless cut-off age.
The question here is
not whether we should or
shouldn’t have the death
penalty. As long as the penalty is legal and practiced in
this nation, murder is murder, and
letting an unremorseful, convicted
person off the hook just because
he hasn’t quite had his holy eighteenth birthday is as arbitrary as
killing him because he has.
Somewhere along the line, for
board should be determined on
a case-by-case basis by means of
individual evaluation, especially
for something as grave as the death
sentence. None of us can credit
our current state of maturity to
the numerical value of our last
birthday; we are not archetypes, we are human and
flawed. It seems impossible to think that a court
can attribute our flawed
behavior to an age cut-off.
Thus, if we as youths are
going to demand respect
and equality at younger
ages, we must be prepared
to suffer grown-up consequences with our grownup crimes.
Supporters of the
Court’s opinion argue that
kids aren’t even seen by the
same psychiatrists as adults
because their brains are so
drastically underdeveloped in their youth, making them
less deserving of the punishment
for a developed adult. Such an
argument places older teens on a
different and all-too-enabling level,
attributing irresponsibility—even
evil—strictly to chemicals.
Well, what about love? Is young
love less powerful or meaningful
because it is felt by a hormonedrunk teen? Is everything we do
or say unimportant until our brains
balance out? The answer is a resounding “no.” If achieving young
adults are accorded the respect
they deserve, then criminal young
adults who prove to be mature
should be too, no matter what that
punishment happens to be.
The point is that, chemistry
If we as youth are go-
ing to demand respect
and equality at younger
ages, we must be prepared to suffer grownup consequences with
our grown-up crimes.
Do You Have An Opinion?
The Samohi seeks “My Turn”
submissions of up to 800 words
or a “Letter to the Editor” of 500
words or fewer on any topic,
including a reponse to published material. Please include
references for any facts you use.
We reserve the right to edit submissions for length and clarity.
assume all people are responsible
enough to drink because they’re
21, or drive because they’re 16. It’s
silly. In reality, we all mature differently: by senior year, some of us
are clueless and others practically
adult. Thus, adulthood across the
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MAIL: Journalism, c/o Santa
Monica High School
601 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Submissions due by April 15
aside, young adults are also aware
of the world. Of course, a twelveyear-old wouldn’t be executed;
there is a point where a child is
irrefutably a child and worthy of
child status, protected from certain
penalties and deserving of a child’s
treatment. A more proper cut-off
age for adult sentencing is not the
idea; rather, it is to find a way to
determine someone’s maturity
level at his individual trial in order
to decide if he is worthy of adult
sentencing. Take Lee Boyd Malvo,
one of the snipers who picked off
unsuspecting Washington, Maryland, and Virginia suburbanites
at the age of seventeen. Now,
because he was just months shy
of the cut-off, Malvo will avoid
capital punishment forever. Even
if the punishment itself is wrong,
there is no legitimate reason for
he alone to avoid it because of his
birthdate. He killed people, with
premeditated intent, recklessly
disregarding human life. Why,
all of a sudden, should he get to
keep his life?
Now, the families of the dead
will know that he lives when their
loved ones do not. Young adults
will continue to exist within a separate and ambiguous realm resistant
to the rights and responsibilities
that should come with a person’s
individual development.
The truth is, if you’re a murderer, the next day. . . you’re a murderer. Even on your birthday.
freshman seminar by Sara Frier
DMVictory: Mastering the Driving Test
By Alice Ollstein
“The Santa Monica DMV is
so anal, man! They’ll fail you for
breathing incorrectly.” Statements
such as these can be heard around
Samo, often flying out of the mouth
of a teen who has just failed his test.
And they have some truth. The
Santa Monica DMV has a reputation for being a lot stricter than
most DMVs. But, after all, would
you want an incompetent driver
careening around our beloved
community? Neither would I.
The DMV adjudicators can fail
you for committing an “unsafe maneuver,” a term so vague it could
apply to anything from running a
red light to nose-picking. The fate
of your driving future lies entirely
in their hands. How do you get
around such a speculative rule?
Be as nitpicky as they are. Here
are a few simple steps you can
take to make sure you pass your
frightening, life-altering test.
1. Make a big show of swinging your head left, right, and left
again before you enter every in-
so caught up trytersection. Don’t
You might feel invincible after earning your hard-earned license, but
ing to decipher
just move your
remember, don’t become just another statistic:
the weird symeyeballs back
bols and scrawled
and forth. The
• Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVAs) are the leading cause of death
notes that you will
adjudicator can’t
in people ages 16 to 20. MVAs account for about 1/3 of deaths
take your mind
see that.
of people in this age group.
off the road. This
2. Signal
• People ages 16 to 20 have the highest fatality rate due to MVAs
could result in failfor everything.
of any other age group.
ing to signal, runWhether it’s
• People ages 16 to 20 make up only five percent of drivers and
ning a stop sign,
changing lanes,
drive only three percent of all miles driven by all drivers. And
or even hitting
pulling over, or
yet they are involved in fifteen percent of traffic deaths.
another car. After
pulling back out
• About 5000 teenagers of driving age die in automobile acall, at 35 mph, a
into traffic, if you
cidents every year.
two second lapse
don’t hear that
• For every teenager killed, about 100 have injuries that are not
in attention means
reassuring clickfatal. MVAs are the leading cause of disability related to head
ing, you are failyou’ve traveled
and spinal cord injuries.
100 feet without
ing your test.
• Teen drivers (16-20) are three times as likely as older drivers
3. Green
to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident.
5. Mirror, mirdoesn’t always
• 17-year-old drivers are 6 times as likely to have an MVA than
ror, in my car.
mean go. Even if
the general population.
Check your mirit looks like you
• 16-year-old drivers are 20 times as likely to have an MVA than
can squeeze in
rors obsessively.
the general population.
on the other side
Every move you
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
of the intersecmake, whether it’s
tion, wait until
changing lanes,
there’s more than
backing up along
enough room, or you might get intersection.
a curb, or even coming to a stop
4. Don’t sneak a peak at the at a stop sign, should be accomcaught with the butt of your car
sticking out into the road and be adjudicator’s clipboard to see panied by an exaggerated glance
promptly failed for blocking an how you’re doing. You will get at your rearview mirror and/or
side mirrors.
6. Relax! A stressed out driver
may speed, make sharp turns,
and clutch the steering wheel in
an unsettling manner, but a calm,
collected one will pass the test
gracefully. Remember to breathe,
not in a loud, Lamaze manner, but
deeply and calmly. This will give
your adjudicator the sense that you
are in control, which is always a
good thing.
Failing is not the end of the
world. And if you stop thinking
of the DMV as an evil entity that’s
out to fail you and ruin your life,
you’ll appreciate its anal retentive license-granting ways. Automobile crashes, the number one
cause of death for 16-year-olds,
kill more than 5,000 teens per year,
and you don’t want to be one of
them ( So when you
finally do get your license and
you cruise down sunny Olympic
Blvd., you won’t have to worry
that terrible drivers are going to
mow you down, because they’ll
never get past the good ol’ Santa
Monica DMV.
Fear and Loathing Catch Up to Influential Journalist
By Michael Blackman
journalist because at 67, the man behind the fury that is Gonzo journalAll you counterculture rebels ism, Mr. Fear and Loathing himself,
take note because whether or not committed suicide on Feb. 20.
you know who he is, Hunter S.
In 1967, Thompson burst onto
Thompson, the biggest counter- the literary scene with a book that
culture rebel of them all, has left documented a year spent with a
the building. So take a few minutes notorious biker gang. The book,
and remember the life of everyone’s Hell’s Angels, did more than just
favorite Hawaiian shirt-wearing transform Hell’s Angels into a
cultural phenomenon;
it shocked the world
with a harsh, twisted,
shockingly funny literary style. Thompson’s
penchant for sharp,
effective satire made
him as thrilling as it did
controversial. In a career
that spanned over four
decades, Thompson
strived to show the
vision of America he
saw from behind his
aviator glasses. In an
early article, Thompson
wrote “America... just a
nation of two hundred
million used car salesmen with all the money
we need to buy guns and
no qualms about killing anybody else in the
world who tries to make
us uncomfortable.”
Thompson was
known for his unflinching honesty— perhaps
a result of his infamous
drug usage, which was
Hunter Thompson’s written work will be
remembered as some of the most influential of negligent, but still an
important component
the 20th century.
of his writing. After
all, is it not
the curse of all
have one tragic
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flaw that fuels
Driver’s Education, Enrollment, and Training
their writing?
Six hours of driver’s training includes:
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free pick up, drop off, and private lesson
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own hero, Ernest Heming10690 W. Pico Blvd #228 L.A., CA 90064
way, whose
very own
suicide had a
crushing impact on Thompson’s
life. It has been said that Hemingway wouldn’t be Hemingway
without his unabashed and foolish masculinity. Well, Thompson
wouldn’t be Thompson without
the drugs. Over his career, he
experimented with every drug
imaginable, but more importantly,
he did so while covering stories
as a reporter. Say hello to Gonzo
journalism— Thompson’s gift to
the world. With a style characterized
by the use of rants, sarcasm, exaggeration, and, of course, profanity,
Thompson fulfilled society’s appetite for alternative journalism- a
journalism that read almost like a
stream of consciousness and always
involved drugs.
Still, nothing prepared the world
for what Thompson cooked up in
In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:
A Savage Journey to the Heart of the
American Dream jounralist Raoul
Duke and his Samoan lawyer, Dr.
Gonzo, set out on a quest to find the
American dream in, of all places, Las
Vegas with a trunk filled with “two
bags of grass, seventy-five pellets
of mescaline, five sheets of highpowered blotter acid, a saltshaker
half-full of cocaine, and a whole
multi-colored collection of uppers,
downers, laughers, screamers, also
a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a
case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and
two dozen amyls.” Fear and Loathing
in Las Vegas is as strange and surreal
as it is fascinating. Reading the book
is, appropriately, quite a rush.
Upon hearing of his suicide,
I reread Fear and Loathing in Las
Vegas and was reminded of his
non-replicable style. Most importantly, Thompson managed to never
compromise his vision. Before he
obtained authority as a counterculture icon, he would famously turn
in his final drafts only moments
before the newspaper or magazine’s
printing deadline so the editors
wouldn’t have time to proofread
and eliminate elements of his often
controversial articles.
As I reexamined Thompson’s
work I stumbled across the following quote, which I feel perfectly
encapsulates the mad genius that
is Hunter S. Thompson: “There he
goes. One of God’s own prototypes.
Some kind of high powered mutant
never even considered for mass
production. Too weird to live, and
too rare to die.”
By Will Bromell
happens. Somewhere along the
line there’s a girl named Angela
(Rachel Weisz) and Angela’s twin
and some angels and a magic
dagger. It’s all as irrelevant as any
good commercial, the movie sells
its products (Nokia cell phones,
for instance) at the expense of
Reeves has never been worse.
After watching this schlockfest
you’ll be dying for the days of
such memorable and well-delivered lines as “Whoa.” It doesn’t
even seem fair to make fun of
Reeves’ acting abilities, because
there’s a more fundamental problem at play here: the
man can’t even speak
English. The most terrible— and therefore
memorable— line
of the movie goes
something like this:
“Where’s your bathroom?” It’s not much
of a line, I know, but
Keanu struggles on
every syllable. You
might actually feel
bad for the guy if you
could stop laughing
for long enough.
Director Francis Lawrence has
created yet another forgettable
and, quite frankly, unentertaining mess of a movie. It’s no surprise that Lawrence used to make
music videos— Constantine is all
style and no substance. As I said:
welcome to Hell.
Pass on Constantine
Movies are among the most
convenient and common ways
to escape in a hurry— at least
for two hours. If you go to your
local theater to see a film about
a distant land, then you prepare
to actually escape
into that distant
land, thanks to that
good old moviemagic. Location,
in other words, is
key. But someone
should have told
the makers of Constantine that this rule
should not always
hold true. Watching a movie about
hell shouldn’t make
you feel as if you’re Who’s the better actor: Keanu Reeves or his tie?
actually in hell.
In this butchered comic book any discernible plot, and then
morality tale, Keanu Reeves plays fills the screen with flashy editing,
the titular figure, “a supernatu- lackluster computer-generated
ral detective” who has taken on imagery and one naked dead
God’s work in an effort to make girl (who without a doubt gives
it to Heaven, after an attempted the strongest performance in
suicide guaranteed him a spot in the film).
Hell. At least, I think that’s what
Speaking of performances,
Special Report:
Top Ten Phobias
1. spiders (arachnophobia)
2. people and social situations (anthropophobia and sociophobia)
3. flying (aviophobia)
4. open spaces (agoraphobia)
5. confined spaces (claustrophobia)
6. vomiting (emetophobia)
7. heights (acrophobia)
8. cancer (carcinophobia)
9. thunderstorms(brontophobia)
10. death (necrophobia)
according to Top Ten of Everything by Russel Ash
From Aviophobia to Zeusophobia
By Sanyu Nagenda
or those of you who
suffer from logophobia (fear of
words), I sincerely apologize
for the following article.
Whether we like to believe
it or not, we all suffer from a
fear of something. While fear
of your next math test may not
be a full-out phobia like fear of
ducks, just about every fear has
a phobia equivalent. Though
some phobias are well known
because of mass media attention
such as arachnophobia (fear of
spiders), many lesser-known
phobias are left out of the
limelight. Here are some of the
lesser-known, scary, funny, and
even strange phobias that exist
and plague thousands of people
Some phobias have existed
for thousands of years. Adam
and Eve may have suffered from
ophidiophobia (fear of snakes)
after the betrayal of the snake
in the Garden of Eden and
zeusophobia (fear of God) after
they were ousted from paradise.
When cavemen encountered
their first storms they probably
suffered from brontophobia
(fear of thunder and lightning).
Our English ancestors surely
underwent febriphobia (fear of
fever) during their plagues and
Other fears have come about
with new inventions. How
many of us suffer from acute
aviophobia (fear of flying), or
because of recent world events,
nuclear bombs)?
Still think you’ve never
known fear? When we were
children many of us suffered
from monophobia (fear of being
alone), achluophobia (fear of
darkness), and lachanophobia
(fear of vegetables). Now with
the invention of medicines, light
bulbs, earplugs, and the option
of fruit, many of us have learned
to avoid our fears.
For those of you who laughed
at Pigpen in the comic strip
Peanuts, you may not know that
he suffered from ablutophobia
(fear of washing or bathing)
and could not stand the feeling
of water on his skin. Students
failing their English classes
may suffer from bibliophobia
(fear of books) and should not
be laughed at or ridiculed by
their peers. Administrators,
if you find yourselves getting
upset with students who dillydally after the bell rings, you
may want to consider the
possibility of ambulophobia
(fear of walking). Students who
look sideways at kids who can
be characterized as dressing
like “Goths” should think
twice: those poor kids might be
suffering from chromatophobia
(fear of colors). Teachers who
get upset by tardiness: your poor
students are probably suffering
from not one but two phobias:
chronophobia (fear of time) and
chronomentrophobia (fear of
clocks). For the seniors who are
finding it hard to pull through
second semester, it could be
because you’re suffering from
didaskaleinophobia (fear of
As for people with neophobia
(fear of anything new), you
probably won’t read this
somebody will tell you about this
article. For the rest of us who
may suffer from anything from
liophobia (fear of long words–
people who obviously need help
because even psychologists are
playing with their heads), to
panophobia (fear of everything),
to phobophobia (fear of fear),
do not fear, “the only thing we
have to fear is fear itself.”
The Science of Fear: Phobia vs. Anxiety
By Michael Rubin
characterized by a temporary
increase in heart rate, difficulty
thoughts of death (in extreme
cases). Sounds like your
reaction to your last English
exam, right? This is probably
not the case. Many people
misdiagnose themselves as
phobic. The reality is that simple
anxiety accounts for much of
our worries. Anxiety itself is a
natural defense mechanism to
protect us from the ills of the
world, whereas phobias are
often debilitating conditions of
irrational fear.
Phobias find their roots in
our “fear and flight” mechanism
inherited from millions of
years of evolution. The “fear
and flight” mechanism is the
instinctual sense of danger and
the resulting impulse to flee from
that danger. For prehistoric
man, it was appropriate to have
a prevalent fear of snakes, for
example, as they were a daily
threat to life. Over thousands of
years these fears were retained,
so that the average modern
human might have an instinctual
fear of snakes, despite rarely
coming in contact with them in
everyday life.
Phobias are most commonly
developed during childhood,
when young children cannot fully
cope with the world around them.
Children will often concentrate
their fear of the outside world
into one source, such as a
snake or spider. This behavior
acts as a defense mechanism
as children continue to adapt
to new surroundings. Steven
Phillipson, clinical director of the
Center for Cognitive-Behavioral
Psychotherapy, explained in
Time Magazine, “The thinking
mind seeks out a rationale for
the primitive mind’s unexplained
Some of the most prevalent
types of phobia are social ones.
According to the National
Institute of Public Health, an
estimated 5.3 million American
adults suffer from some type of
social phobia. These conditions
are characterized by trembling,
nausea, and overwhelming
feelings of low self-esteem
during social encounters. As
a social phobia progresses,
sufferers tend to increasingly
isolate themselves, often turning
to drug abuse and depression for
Clinical treatment of phobias
usually consists of psychotherapy
with an emphasis on confronting
the fears head on. The FDA has
also approved a series of drugs
(including Paxil and Zoloft) that
can help control anxiety enough
for traditional therapy to take
hold. However, these drugs have
come under fire due to evidence
of their harsh side-effects. True
progress for phobics lies in
professional treatments—well,
at least for everyone except for
prosophobics—those with a fear
Campus Life
Hot! Hot! Hot! Check Out The Sizzlin’ Red Carpet Styles of 2005
Blatz stands out in his dapper,
powder blue sports coat. With
that newsie cap, heʼs ready to
do the rhumba. Olé!
From her black rose pin to her
perfectly matching pink pumps,
Radford is the very definition
of elegance and class.
Ragsdale shows off his
impressive beaded patch but
leaves his trademark aviator
sunglasses in his back pocket.
On the first possession of the
game, Lincoln Assistant Principal
Carl Hobkirk surprised nearly
everyone with an old-school hook
shot that somehow found the bottom of the net. Not to be outdone,
the Samo team quickly took the
lead, courtesy of timely threepointers from Math Teacher Steve
Rupprecht and English Teacher
Pete Barraza. However, with a
referee dancing, music supplied
by KIIS FM, and John Adams Science Teacher Ray Avedian sporting an impressively large afro on
the sideline, it was hard to take
the spectacle seriously.
At halftime, the “Laguna
Beach” cast members amused the
crowd as Stephen made a couple
of off-balance three-pointers and
LC attempted to shoot while
wearing four-inch heels. Dieter
then announced he was collecting
donations for the charity event
he founded, “Running Home
for Teens,” which raises money
to prevent teenage suicide and
depression. However, few Samo
students were in the giving mood
and instead opted to stay in their
seats until the free autograph session began. According to seventh
grader Jaimee Kadish, the oppor-
tunity to meet the television stars
was the highlight of the evening:
“I don’t care about basketball.
Stephen is hot!” Leadership also
raffled away an I-Pod Shuffle
and a pair of round-trip tickets to
Florida, among other prizes.
The John Adams-Lincoln
squad started the second half
with a bit of a comeback, as two
Lincoln teachers hit consecutive
three-pointers to put them within
four points. As the score got
closer, the play of both squads
intensified. Lincoln Math Teacher
Andrew Lichtblau chucked the
ball at Samo Athletic Director
Doug Kim and proceeded to get
in his face; neither played for the
remainder of the game. Lichtblau was ejected and Kim sat out
on his own accord to “be fair to
both teams.” Kim regrets that the
incident took place, commenting,
“Something like that shouldn’t
happen. [One has] to be a better
role model to the kids.”
The fourth quarter was comparatively uneventful, and although Samo earned the 46 to 35
victory over the middle school
teachers, the final score was probably the last thing on everyone’s
mind following the event.
Samohi Slam: The Real Orange County
By Emily Foshag
In one of the rare school events
that appealed to both sixth graders and seniors alike, the Samohi
Slam basketball game on Feb. 26
featured Samo faculty against
staff from Lincoln and John
Adams Middle Schools. Despite
the lack of NBA All-Star players,
the evening had its entertaining
While the Lincoln-John
Adams squad appeared to take
the game lightly, Samo Math
Teacher Ari Marken explained,
“a loss would be devastating,”
especially following last year’s
loss in the celebrity basketball
Just before tip-off, Samo
cheerleaders escorted three
cast members of MTV’s reality
series “Laguna Beach” to their
seats, including Stephen Coletti,
Lauren “LC” Conrad, and Dieter
Schmitz. The cast sat in a “special
seating section” on the floor of the
North Gym. Apparently, being on
a reality television show cannot
only earn you a record deal or a
million dollars, but also courtside
seats at the Samohi Slam basketball game.
Hey Idol Contestants, Sing A Song For Me!
By Jackie Berkman and
Marissa Silverman
Samohi Idol has arrived again,
tonight at seven o’clock to be exact.
For only eight dollars, you can see
American Idol! Well, minus Randy,
Paula, Simon, and William Hung.
After rigorous auditions, Samo
has narrowed the field down to 10
Junior Mai Perches brings a
unique sense of optimism to the
competition.Also an orchestra member, Perches said, “I did Samohi Idol
in ninth and tenth grade. I also did
Apollo Night last year. It was damn
Senior Philene Lemmon is also
a Samohi Idol veteran, having competed in Samo’s top 10 as a sophomore. “I’m super psyched to do this
because not many of my friends have
heard me sing before,” said Lemmon,
a choir member since sixth grade.
While senior Brooke Borcherding has
not performed in Samohi Idol before,
she did participate in Café Samo. “It’s
good to perform in front of people and
gain confidence,” said Borcherding,
who is entering the competition with
seven years of singing experience.
Fellow competitor junior Ian
Keighley has sung since 6th grade
and is in a band. “I played drums
and sang back up for a rock band
that won Archer’s battle of the
bands,” he said. Joining Keighley
as the only other male competitor
is junior Rudy Riveron. A member
of Chorale, Riveron expressed his
motives for entering: “I’m not in it
for the competition, I’m just in it to
sing and have some fun.”
So is experience the key factor
to what it takes to be a success in
Samohi Idol? Not necessarily. Said
junior Vianney Moran, “I have no
singing experience whatsoever. My
friends and family encouraged me to
do this. [Even so, I hope] no one will
underestimate me.”
Senior Rebecca Frank also lacks
previous experience but is excited to
perform. “My godmother is a professional singer. I grew up hearing her
sing and started to pick things up.
Her constant presence just became a
part of me,” said Frank.
Junior competitor Morgan Mills
is inspired and greatly influenced by
singer-songwriter Janis Joplin. Mills,
who is presently recording a demo,
returns to the Samo stage after performances in several musicals, and
is excited to participate for her first
time in Samohi Idol.
As one of the youngest members of the competition, freshman
Jacqueline Harris has been singing
since she was three and can hardly
wait to make her Idol debut. Harris
also writes her own songs and books
of poetry.
Although many of these contestants seem to be on the path to
stardom, freshman Brittany Carriger
says she is simply sharing her talent
to make others happy. “My inspiration is God at all times. He gave me
the gift, so I give Him the glory. I
have to humble myself before Him,”
said Carriger, who will follow in her
parents’ footsteps (both professional
vocalists) as she takes the stage.
With so much talent, it is hard to
determine who will win. It will be up
to History Teacher and Leadership
Advisor Ned Acker and Pep Squad
Advisor Amy Meadors to judge the
first round and create the top three.
But the rest is all up to you. Samohi,
By Emily Ferrell and Nicole Wong
Straus is sophisticated chic in
her scarlet, two-piece blazer
and skirt. Plus, that walkietalkie is a great accessory!
Kenneyʼs casual, frayed denim
skirt is offset by her formal,
pointed heels. The look is
funky and a tad indie.
Campus Briefs
Mustangs and Thunderbirds
Take Samo By The Wheel
By ZahirAlibhai
Nestled in the dark hallways of the Technology Building surrounded by textbooks and calculators, an array of wrenches and
Ford Mustangs remains unnoticed. Curious? Just visit room T010
and see for yourself— it’s Samo’s very own auto shop course!
Auto shop is a vocational course that teaches students skills
ranging from basic maintenance to taking an engine apart and
putting it back together. Another main focus of the class is to
teach students to be responsible car consumers. “If you know
what you’re talking about, you’re less likely to get ripped off
[when buying a car],” says Auto Shop Teacher Dan Cox.
Students get to work on one of the two cars donated to the
class, a 1995 Ford Explorer and a 2000 Buick Century. Students also
work on a 1940 Chevrolet for special projects. Advanced students
are allowed to work on a Ford Mustang and Ford Thunderbird.
Working on the cars as a team is what senior George Kpachavi
finds most exciting about the class. “This class is all about teamwork. I put a motor into a 1978 Chevy El Camino and [the whole
class helped]; we all worked on it together,” he said.
The course can also prepare students for a future career involving automobiles. Senior Henry Marquis says, “Thanks to
this experience, I’m now enrolled in UTI (Universal Technical
Institute) and Mercedes-Benz is paying for my tuition.” So go
ahead, take a chance, and fuel your imagination.
7 Days In A Cardboard Box
By Nick Barlow
“Simplicity! Simplicity! Simplicity!” Every lunch break for one
week, this is what junior Fionnan O’Conner kept foremost in his
mind as he lived alone in a cardboard box, occupying Samo’s
“Thematic Garden.” According to English Teacher Berkeley Blatz,
O’Conner chose to garner “a substantial amount of [extra] credit
points” by re-creating transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau’s
New England isolation amidst the hectic activity of our own
ocean- side public school.
Just as Thoreau recorded his observations in his book Walden,
O’Conner kept a journal: “The rush of wind through the disjointed sides of cardboard was even more exhilarating than the
bustle of social interaction, which is nothing more than a manmade stimulant,” he wrote. With two “Rite Aid” umbrellas as
his only expense, O’Conner made use of natural resources, like
cardboard boxes he found in the senior parking lot, which he used
for “shelter.” He ate very little, to maintain optimum simplicity,
and isolated himself from the outside world, though it was only
five feet away from him while he lived in the Thematic Garden,
which is located between the History and English buildings.
Each day O’Conner rebuilt his shelter from cardboard boxes
and, if it was raining, umbrellas. He would read Walden and
write in his journal about the trees and the grass, as well as the
humans and insects he encountered.
Though O’Conner started his “experiment in essential living”
for extra credit points, he formed a more natural desire to become
“knowledgeable and grow,” according to his journal.
After two years working on his experiment, Thoreau left
Walden Pond because he had “other lives to live.” After one
week of lunchtime imitation, O’Conner hopes to find time in
his future life to duplicate his experiment, possibly in New York
City’s Central Park.
Sports— Page 7 The Samohi March 17, 2005
Winter Season Wrap Ups
After making the cut at Regionals, Cheer competed at
Nationals on Mar. 5 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Although its routine was to a mix by Britney Spears, Destinyʼs
Child, and Eminem to name a few, Cheer didnʼt make it to the
finals in the Medium Varsity Novice Showcheer Division of 31
Photo by Sara Frier
Girls Basketball
By Ava Tramer
Samo’s girls basketball team proved itself to be a threatening competitor this year with a 9-1 record in the Ocean League. Under Coach Marcus
Charuvastra, the girls took the Ocean League Championship.
Despite a strong finish, the team faced a tough match up in its first
round CIF playoff game against Long Beach Miliken. In an extremely
close game dominated by defense, the girls played their hearts out, in
the end losing 28-30. “I’m sad [the season] is over,” said senior Amanda
McGrew, who scored more than half of Samo’s 28 points. “Everyone
was sad and crying…but I thought the whole season was good...When
Marcus came in [a few years ago, he] made a lot of changes and made
the program a lot better.”
The team’s impressive finish in the Ocean League might be attributed
to team dynamics. “Our group of seniors was great,” said McGrew.
“We had such a good time together.” “We always kept any problems
off the court,” said senior Marshea Wilson.
Even though the season is over, the team will be sending many of its
players into the world of sports: McGrew will attend Rhode Island on
a basketball scholarship and senior London King will play soccer for
Arizona, and many of the girls have joined Samo’s track team to participate in a variety of events, ranging from shotput to long jump.
Girls Soccer
Boys Soccer
By Nicole Wong
By Emily Foshag
Despite a disappointing 1-0 loss to Arroyo
Grande in the first round of CIF playoffs on Feb.
18, the girls soccer team wrapped up its 2004-2005
season with an overall record of 16-5-2 and the
title of Ocean League Champion.
Many girls received end of the year awards
and honors for their talent. Senior Co-Captain
Payton Raffa was honored by making the AllCIF Div. III First Team (a group of players picked
from the division/league to be on a hypothetical “All-Star” team), and was named the MVP
of the Samo team as well as the entire Ocean
League. Senior Nicole Allen made the All-CIF
Div. III Second Team, and was named “Best Offensive Player” of the Samo team and of Ocean
League (Allen scored 12 goals and two assists
this season). Junior Julia Keighley received the
title of Samo’s Best Defensive Player, and was
also picked for the Ocean League First Team
along with teammates junior Nicole Hoffman
and sophomore Samantha Greene. Junior Nicole
Duvardo was named Samo’s “Most Improved
Player” for her goalkeeping skills, and was
named to the Ocean League Second Team with
seniors Zoe Mosk and Co-Captain Allison Field.
Freshman Allison Gourvitz was named Samo’s
“Rookie of the Year.” Seniors Courtney Borden
and Jenna Robbins received the Darrell Marks
Scholar Award for their excellence in academics
as well as in soccer.
Field reflected on the season: “It’s hard to find
a team where everyone gets along, and this is
the only team I’ve ever been on that’s worked
so well together.” Raffa also expressed positive
feelings about the team’s unity: “The team pulled
together and was really connected by the end
of the season. We are all friends. It wasn’t like
that when I was a freshman.” Looking to the
future, Samo’s Director of Soccer Frank Gatell
believes that “there’s a bright outlook for next
year, and we’re ready to take the program to
the next step.”
After posting a 19-2-1 regular season record
and being ranked fourth in the CIF Division III
poll going into the playoffs, the boys soccer team
ended its season earlier than most expected. With
10 minutes left in the first round playoff game
against Santa Fe, the score was tied 1-1, courtesy
of a first half goal by senior Omid Shokoufandeh.
When an opposing forward slipped into the 18-yard
box, senior Ross Cooper was forced to drop back
and make the defensive stop. To the surprise of
players, coaches, and fans alike, the referee called
a foul on the play. Santa Fe converted the resulting
penalty kick, which gave the team a 1-2 lead and
ultimately the victory.
Some of this year’s seniors commented on the
season: “It’s really disappointing when a referee
takes away your chances [at winning it all],” said
Gian Carlo Canale. Grant Buckingham rated the
season as a success overall, saying, “There were
some positives [this season]: We won league, had
a 19-3-1 overall record [including the CIF loss], and
beat Loyola for the first time ever.”
When asked what they will remember most
about their soccer careers at Samo, Goalkeeper Ari
Zlotoff said, “I’ll especially remember celebrating
at The Slice…many times.” Said Canale, “Everyday
was my best memory. I’m going to miss everyone
and their characteristics, the unique things they
brought to the team…”
The guys would like to acknowledge everyone
who made their experiences memorable: “Shout
outs to our coaching staff, Manu, and my teammates,” said Buckingham. After the Viking defense
held regular-season opponents to a school record
11 goals, breaking the previous mark of 15 set by
the 1988 squad, Zlotoff said, “Thanks to the defense
for making me look good.” Shokoufandeh added:
“Shout outs to our keeper, Ari Zlotoff, shout outs
to Danielle, Bianca, Daniela, Sam, Adrienne, the
girls soccer team, and of course Kelly.” To his teammates, Canale says thank you: “I loved playing
with you guys.”
Boys Basketball
By David Kim and Jonathan Lee
As described in the Feb. 25
issue of The Samohi, many seniors
who were projected to make
large impacts in their final season
at Samo endured injuries that
limited their ability to contribute
on the court. However, the team
survived wear and tear to emerge
glowing, notching an impressive
16-11 overall record and giving
their all in the first round of the
CIF playoffs.
Seniors M.C. Burton, John
Cruz, Jason Deutchman, Aria
Ghaffari, Petey Kass, Logan
Lemberger, Desmond Moore,
Lucas Rich, and Robert Robinson
will not play on next year’s team,
but the legacy they established
this year will play a significant
part in what success next year’s
team achieves.
Deutchman, who led the
Vikings in both scoring (17 ppg)
and rebounding (8.68 rpg), is a
humble guy who’s more likely to
credit his teammates and coaches
than himself. His best memories
of the season are not his doubledoubles but “the ups and downs
we went through.” What is he
most proud of? Not his 23 points
and 11 rebounds in Samo’s opening Ocean League win against
Culver City but “the bright future
our underclassmen have. I am so
proud that they can go on without
a bunch of us and do well in the
future.” The fact that Deutchman
emerged from an ACL tear over
the summer to lead the Vikings is
a lesson to all the underclassmen
on the team.
After many years of being in
the Samo basketball program,
Burton, Cruz, and Robinson were
all expecting to blossom into the
players they were capable of
becoming. However, after suffering back, knee, and foot injuries,
respectively, those realistic hopes
seemed to become just dreams.
But, Robinson’s emphatic dunk
in the final minutes of the first
round playoff game against Esperanza inspired the team. Burton thinks these type of moments
defined his final season: “What
made this team special was our
character. There were different
individuals with different personalities and that brought a lot
of excitement to every time we
got on the floor.”
According to Lemberger, the
Vikings consisted of “all different kinds of people. That’s how
our school is and our team is an
example of everyone coming
together and trying to do something great.”
The season is over, but the radiance these players have helped
to spread will continue to linger
for years to come.
The Girls Waterpolo team, also known as the Ocean League
Champion, was the only winter sports team to make it past
the first round of CIF playoffs. In fact, the team made it to the
semifinals, but lost to Downey (4-9), the CIF Champ. Senior
Nila Ward was awarded First Team CIF, and senior Mellisa
Mendoza was awarded Second Team CIF. “People assumed we
wouldnʼt win league this year, but we did. We put a lot of heart
and soul into our games,” said Mendoza.
Photo by Samantha Walters
By Michael Rubin
Coach Mark Black lauded the work of the entire team this season: “All these guys work tremendously hard. They put two-a-days in for the
entire year with early morning practices and afternoon practices.” The Grapplers saw four varsity wrestlers compete in the Masters Tournament,
a qualifying tournament for the State Championship. Seniors Alex Darkhovsky and Dylan Giagni, junior Sundar Mims, and sophomore Yusef
Seyed all qualified for Masters by placing in this year’s regional CIF tournament. The CIF tournament also saw every weight class represented
by Samo, a first in the school’s history.
Members of the team unanimously cited injuries as the biggest hurdle this season. Senior Ben Herold explained how the team adjusted:
“Mostly people played through their injuries. I think the biggest difficulty we had with that wasn’t really the physical aspect of it, but more
the mental wear of being injured, of being a little more aware of your limits.”
Black expressed his optimism for next year’s team. He mentioned Mims and Seyed as powerful contenders in the future: “I’m predicting
that we’re going to have a minimum of two State qualifiers next year, and maybe more—it’s that type of environment right now.” He mentioned
sophomore Jasmine “Jazzy” Green, the recent Girl’s state champ, who looks forward to qualifying in the boys CIF tournament next year. He
also said that with such a large portion of the varsity team graduating, the underclassmen are going to have to “step it up.” Black was confident
that progress would be made as he hailed his supporting coaching staff. Three-time Oregon State High School Champion Brent Wright as well
as former Samo wrestlers who have wrestled at the college level have recently returned to help the team. Black couldn’t be more pleased with
the help he is getting: “[The additional coaching] really helps these kids much more than a normal high school program can.”
Spring Sports Previews
of Fame, said, “Our goal is to win the
league title; anything else would be
The Vikings are looking to capitalize on a core group of seven returning
players to this year‘s squad. With seniors
Ian Quick and Jason Silver manning
a veteran-led team, and juniors Fred
McLafferty and Neil Klein heading up
the underclassman, Sato believes that
“this is one of the most talented groups
[she’s] been a part of.”
By Wade Moody
Here’s a look at this year’s
varsity baseball squad:
Starting Pitchers: Senior Michael Walsh’s excellent change
up and location will make him a
dominant Ocean League pitcher.
Walsh is backed up by seniors
Max Hacker and Spencer Knox,
and juniors Chris Fiala and Garrett Griffin.
Middle Relievers: Senior Edgar
Aceves and juniors James Nedleman and Gabe Gardner will help
Samo in late innings.
Closers: SeniorJustinGordon-Cooper
throws a hard fastball backed up with
an intimidating slider. Senior Stuart
Boardmen throws a hard fastball with
a solid breaking ball.
Catcher: Team Captain senior Cody
Decker will start at catcher and give
the team a powerful bat. Aceves and
designated hitter sophomore Mike
Schwartz will see time at catcher.
First Base: Boardmen and senior
Junior Villanueva will share time at
first base.
Second Base: Sophomore Kevin Gonzalez will start at second base and lead
off for the team.
Third Base: Gordon-Cooper’s strong
arm and quickness will make him a
reliable third baseman.
Shortstop: Smooth fielding sophomore Johnny Huerta is the youngest
position starter on the team.
Left Field: Senior Mike Eyler will start
in left backed up by senior Kriss Ulloa
and junior Justine Negrette.
Center Field: Junior Milan Depillers
and Walsh will battle for center.
Right Field: Senior Ryan Rodriguez,
the team’s best base runner, will start
in right backed up by Griffin.
By Daniella Greenberg
On Mar. 12, senior Cody Decker
hits his second homerun of the
season against Roosevelt.
Photo by Wade Moody
Boys Volleyball
By Petey Kass
worldwide, Santa Monica has recently
However, with a fresh season on the horizon, this year’s varsity boys volleyball
team looks to be a beacon of hope that
will return Santa Monica to the peak of
volleyball success.
After last year’s extremely difficult
schedule loaded with high powered
teams like Mira Costa and Redondo
Union, the Viking volleyball team will
enter a newly altered Ocean League that
seems ripe for the picking. Liane Sato,
to the Santa Monica High School Hall
Darkhovsky And Giagni
Face Best Wrestlers At State
By Michael Rubin
Senior Grapplers Alex Darkovsky
and Dylan Giagni reached the CIF State
Wrestling Championship, becoming
only the seventh and eighth people
from Samo to qualify for the tournament since 1975.
Darkovsky and Giagni traveled to
the RabobankArena in Bakersfield, CA
on Mar. 4 to face the top 32 California
wrestlers in their weight classes. In his
first match, Darkovsky faced Central
Catholic High School’s Louis Bland,
the number one ranked wrestler in
the state. Darkhovsky explained what
transpired: “He knocked me down
with a double leg takedown, and then I
was in the bottom position. I struggled
to escape, to get some more points on
him, but I couldn’t. It was harder for
me to scramble because of my injuries
so everything had to be on or I’d lose
my balance.” After Bland pinned him,
Darkhovsky entered the consolation
bracket where he soundly won his next
two matches. Bland went on to win the
tournament in the 152 lb. division.
Giagni faced similar circumstances,
as he was pinned up against Vacaville
High School’s Kyle Dubs, another
number one seed, this time in the 160
lb. weight class. Giagni was defeated
in the first round, but rebounded with
two strong wins in the consolation
bracket before being eliminated due
to a referee’s controversial call.
Injuries ultimately played a major
part in the results for Darkhovsky.
Darkhovsky suffered a high ankle
sprain in early January, forcing him
to sit out for much of the winter. Head
Coach Mark Black explained the disadvantage that this presented: “Not
being able to wrestle during February
was hard for him, because he couldn’t
keep up his skills and it showed,
even though he did do very well and
qualified [for state]. At that level, when
you’re wrestling guys ranked in state,
it’s a dogfight.”
Darkhovsky had high expectations. He said that he had “expected
to win State,” because he had “already
won tournaments that were just as
difficult.” Of the top eight finishers at
State, Darkhovsky had defeated five in
previous tournaments. Throughout the
season he had worked through numerous injuries, but it was the severity of
the ankle sprain that proved the most
cumbersome during the State tournament. Darkhovsky explained: “I was
able to get in on all my moves but I
couldn’t finish them because I couldn’t
push off.”
Giagni reflected on his determination to reach State. He explained his
feelings leading up to state: “With all
we’ve put into the sport, all the mornings we woke up at five o’clock, all the
running, the sweating, the blood, and
the injuries. We asked ourselves, ‘Are
we going to let them just take that away
from us?’ ” Giagni and Darkhovsky
proceeded to qualify for State coming
out of California’s most competitive
wrestling section, Southern. Despite
failing to advance to the second day
of the State tournament, Giagni was
pleased simply to compete at the
highest level: “There’s always going to
be wrestlers better than you. I wasn’t
disappointed that I lost my first match.
I put up a good fight.”
Black petitioned for the National
Championship on behalf of his star
wrestlers. Darkovsky was accepted
and will compete in April.
The boys and girls swim teams are
comprised of some of Ocean League’s
best swimmers.
Two swimmers to look out for on
the girls team are junior Allison Born,
who is especially good at the butterfly
stroke, and senior Nila Ward.
For the boys team, juniors Adam
Clein, Bobby Alex, and Kristof Igoli lead
the way. Igoli was a top performer last
year in the 500s and the 200s.
Boys Swim and Waterpolo Coach
Matthew Flanders said that the Vikings
are “looking good to win league” and to
“qualify for CIF.”
Boys Golf
players juniors Tyra Maxwell, Christine
Foley and Lana Bowie, and sophomore
Hannah Rose Peters, the Samo softball
team has high aspirations for the current
season: “We want to win league, and get
past the second round of the playoffs,”
Ocean League as “weak compared to
last year,” the Vikings biggest league
competition will be Culver City.
Time on the mound will be shared
primarily between Maxwell, who
pitched a perfect game in her first start
this season against University High
School, and Peters.
On the field, Foley will make the
move from third base to shortstop and
Bowie will move from center field to
catcher to replace last year’s Ocean
League MVP, Rosa Ordaz, who currently plays softball at UNLV. Other key
position players include junior second
baseman Kelsey Thomas and Peters,
who will start at first base when not
pitching. Assuming Peters and Foley
continue last year’s production at the
plate, hitting .486 with 32 RBIs and .416
with 17 RBIs, respectively, the Vikings
will be tough offensively as well.
By Samantha Walters
By Cara Safon
With four returning varsity players
and promising pre- season matches, the
golf team will contend against top dogs
Torrance and Palos Verdes.
Junior Alex Bon and senior Aaron
Hattenbach will carry the team through
the competitive Ocean League.
A team of 93 boys and 86 girls, the
track team is ready to tackle its opponents. “I think that this year we can
win Ocean League in both girls and
boys varsity and boys and girls froshsoph,” said Girls Track Head Coach
Patrick Cady.
Cady expects a lot from junior
sprinter Daniel Locke, who returns as
the Ocean League Champion in the
100m race and went to CIF in the 100m
and 400m by 100m relay.
By Emily Foshag
Led by returning all-Ocean League
In addition, Cady hopes for
strong performances from junior
Richard Wong, a 400m runner and
300m hurdler, junior Stephan Yang,
a long jumper, junior pole vaulter
Regina Judson, and senior Captains
Yermie Cohen and Lamir McQueen.
Cady also predicts that seniors Sabrina Fields and Rebecca Frank will
both throw over 40 feet this year in
After the tri-meet against Thousand Oaks and West Torrance on
Mar. 12, Girls Distance Captain senior
Stephanie Thornton said, “The team
did really well at the meet and we
will do even better this season than
The team’s first league meet is
today at 2:30 p.m. against Culver City.
Said Cady of today’s meet and the
upcoming season, “It’s very exciting.
I’m just going to sit here and wait to
see what happens.”
By Peter Egziabher
The boys tennis team has opened
its season with three straight losses to
yet played to its full potential, the solid
group of players remain confident.
The team, kept largely intact from
whose experience will help them in
the long run. Johnny Sappaiboon,
Brian Gelfand, Robbie Gould, Nathan
senior Jeremy Cahen helps the team
with his powerful strokes.
with several more practices the team
will be prepared. “There’s still a lot of
work to do, but we have a little time
and I know things will start looking
Lemberger Broken But Not Defeated
By Wade Moody
Down by 16 with only two and a
half minutes left, the game was over
for Samo’s boys basketball team on
Feb. 18. The North Gym was silent
as the fans and players realized that
their season was coming to an end.
The opposing team, Esperanza,
slowed its game down, taking precious seconds off the clock. This was
how the seniors were destined to end
their careers. This was when senior
Logan Lemberger stepped onto the
court, and began what would end in
a broken leg and a crowd on its feet,
passionately cheering.
Emulating former NBA star
Dennis Rodman, Lemberger does
whatever is necessary to win, sacrificing his body and doing a lot
of dirty work inside the
key. His teammates
admire him for his
hard work. “Logan is
always going to try his
hardest no matter what,
and I appreciate him
for that,” said teammate
junior Akil Gainer.
So when Lemberger set foot on
the court, the disappointed crowd
was suddenly filled with anticipation.
Would Lemberger let the season come
to its inevitable end or would he give
it his all?
Lemberger ended all speculation
as he threw himself in front of a driving Esperanza player on defense. On
offense, Lemberger drove hard to the
hoop, getting fouled on the way. At
the line, Lemberger was all focus. He
went through his bizarre free-throw
routine making his first. After missing his second, he raced towards the
Esperanza rebounder fouling him in
the process of trying to take the ball
away. Lembergerthensprinteddown
the court and took his position along
the free-throw line as the rest of the
players walked to join him.
way, preserving each second on the
clock, playing the game as if Samo had
a chance to win. The alternative of goingthroughthemotionsandlettingthe
game come to its end was not the way
he knew how to play. Lemberger’s
spirit rubbed off onto his teammates.
They would rush the ball down the
court, preserving the seconds on the
clock, and pass to Lemberger in
the post. They would
help him regain
his feet
were useless. The only way to stop
Lemberger was to take him out of
the game.
This happened with 1.9 seconds
left on the clock. Lemberger received
the ball in the post and made a nice
move before taking a 10 foot jump
shot. He followed his shot, as always,
in hopes of getting his rebound. Lemberger’s tenacity led to his downfall
as an air-born Esperanza rebounder
came down on top of him. The player
and Lemberger hit the ground awkwardly. The Esperanza player got up,
but Lemberger remained
on the floor wincing in
pain. His teammates
helped him to his feet. He
began his run back to the
opponent’s basket, but
fell to the floor when he
felt a jolt of pain in his
right leg. With great
purpose, Lemberger
took a deep breath, got
up, and limped as fast
as he could to the other
side of the court.
At the free-throw
after a hard
Photo By Emily Ferrell line, the perturbed reffall. The North
eree asked Lemberger
Gym began chantwhat he was trying to
ing “Logan! Logan! Logan! Logan!” prove. Lemberger responded with
Lemberger brought life to the team all sincerity, “I’m just trying to win
and the fans.
the game.” The referee looked at the
This resulted in great discomfort scoreboard;1.9secondswereleftinthe
and annoyance for the Esperanza game and Samo was down by 16. The
team. They no longer had a game referee, seeing that Lemberger was in
plan. They could not run any more pain,orderedhimoutofthegame. The
time off the clock because Lemberger crowd erupted in “Logan” chants.
would charge at them like a mad man.
Lemberger spent the rest of the
They did not know how to react to evening in the emergency room getLemberger’s determination. Some ting his broken right leg encased in
Esperanza players would force a plaster. His two and a half minute
laugh, attempting to crush his spirit journey turned a bitter loss into a high
through ridicule but these attempts point of the season.

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