The Leprechaun Gold - St. Vincent
The Leprechaun Gold
St. Vincent-St. Mary High School * Volume XXXVIII * Issue 7 * April 2009 Photo courtesy of phil masturzo/
Akron beacon journal
St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
15 North Maple Street
Akron, Ohio 44303
On the Web: www.stvm.com
Mrs. Maureen Harrigal
Mrs. Barbara Wood
AN IRISH PRAYER
May the road rise ever
to meet you
May the wind be
ever at your back
May the sun shine
warm upon your face
May the rain fall
soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the
Palm of His hand.
The Leprechaun Gold is published throughout the
year for the students of St. Vincent-St. Mary High
School. There is no charge for the paper but donations
are accepted and appreciated. Unsigned editorials
represent the consensus of the editorial board.
Letters to the editor are encouraged, provided they
do not contain material disruptive to the educational
process and that they are signed. The Leprechaun
Gold reserves the right to edit submitted material
Is Nintendo’s Wii Fit an
effective exercise tool?
It seems like many Americans, especially
younger generations, have become glued to
their TV screens as they sit for hours on end
hoping to get to the next level of their newest
video game, but is it possible for video games to
become effective tools for maintaining a healthy
Since its release in spring of 2008, Nintendo’s
Wii Fit has been in high demand. Each new
shipment is gone before dust even settles on
the packages, and consumers have been calling
around for months in hopes of locating one of
these highly desired games.
What is all the hype about? Is this video game
really a reason to spend almost $100? Many
would argue that the purchase is entirely worthwhile, while some critics say that this game is
no substitute for a gym membership or traditional excercise.
The game is
offers a wide
range of activities and tools to
make users more
aware of their
The most unique
component of the
game is the Wii
movements as the
user applies pressure to it by standing, sitting,
or doing exercises like push-ups on top of it.
The balance board and Wii remotes, which are
standard hardware with the Nintendo Wii console, allow for the user to follow instructions on
the screen to partake in exercise activities like
boxing, skiing, hula hooping, yoga, and various
strength training excercises.
In addition to the diversity of activities avaliable on the Wii Fit, there are also tools within
the program to help users track the effectiveness
of their workout. Every time users log in to their
Wii Fit profile, they are offered the option to
take a daily body test. This test weighs the person and reads their BMI, which classifies them
in a range between underweight and obese. The
visual presentation of the user’s physical state is
a unique characteristic of the game that is both
motivational and educational.
After each body test is completed, users can
stamp their calender within the program which
records their information for that day. Overall
progress is depicted on a graph, which helps the
user to know if the combination of their lifestyle
and their time spent on the game are working to
help them in achieving their fitness goals.
The combination of informative tools and
a wide range of activity choices makes the
Wii Fit appear to be the perfect system to
help people who are searching for a new way
to approach their physical fitness and find a
method of exercise that is both fun and effective.
Although this innovative program may
seem flawless, there are benefits and downsides to using the Wii Fit as a method of
exercise. It’s true that the programs and activities offered will provide a good workout,
but the problem can be personal dedication. If
users don’t use the system routinely and don’t
truly push themselves in terms of the type of
exercises they do and at what intensity, they
can sometimes cheat themselves out of a truly
beneficial exercise. On the plus side, the fun
design and bright color-schemes lead the user
to believe that they
are not exercising
at all. This ability
to look at exercise
as a game can be
highly beneficial in
to come back again
and again to improve their physical
own the game and
my family and
I really enjoy it.
Everyone can find something they like to do,
and it definitely encourages me to do at least
a little bit of physical activity every day. The
game has changed my perspective on working
out. Although, I would agree that it doesn’t
entirely replace an intense workout at the
gym, doing more activity each day is surely
one step towards a healthier lifestyle.
Junior Michael Vellequette owns the Wii
Fit and commented, “I like the Wii Fit because I think it’s a good step toward making
exercise more fun. I especially like the balance games because they’re fun and helpful.”
It seems that perhaps the best approach
to using the Wii Fit as an exercise tool is to
combine working out on the game with working out in the gym, outside, or on an athletic
team. It is important to understand that any
method of exercise is only as effective as the
user allows it to be. Inconsistency and a lack
of motivation can make exercise seem impossible. The Wii Fit, if nothing else, is a fun way
to add a little extra activity to one’s lifestyle.
It might not be the answer to the world’s
weight-loss woes, but the use of this program
is a step in the right direction!
STVM students recognized
in Holocaust contest
There were two winners in the Holocaust
Poem/Essay contest. The two winners were
seniors Tim Kananen and Alex Horning. The
themes of their poems were Kristallnacht,
“The Night of Broken Glass.” Alex Horning wrote “Human” and Tim Kananen wrote
“Recipe for Violence.” They will both be
awarded their Honorable Mentions at the
Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 21 at the
Akron Public Library.
Irish art students place in
STVM art students annually enter the
Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, and
many pieces advanced to the state level. Ninth
through twelfth graders from 15 regions in
Ohio submitted a total of over 12,000 pieces to
the regional competition, where judges selected
pieces to be judged again at the state level. Students who won recognition at the regional level
included seniors Jessica Bridenthal (design),
Sarina Caponi (photography), Nick Corpas
(printmaking), Madeline Esker (drawing and
photography), Tom Freeman (painting), Carli
Molinelli (design), Rachel Munka (drawing),
John Murray (design), Whitney Porter (photography), Katie Wenmoth (printmaking), and
John Wilson (drawing); juniors Bryant Ausperk
(printmaking) and Renee Horn (photography);
sophomores Ellen Rochford (drawing), and
Mike Logsdon (painting).
Caponi, Esker, Freeman, Horn, Logsdon,
Molenellil, Murray, Porter, Rochford, Wenmoth, and Wilson all had pieces advance to the
state level. Of the pieces that advanced to state
level, 300 pieces were selected to be displayed
from April 19 to May 16 in Columbus. Porter’s
photograph, “Pirate,” won at the state level and
will be part of the exhibition.
Marching Band travels to
Disneyworld after Easter
After two years of fundraising, the band
is going to Disneyworld from April 13 to 18.
Eighty one people will be going on the trip,
including the chaperones. They will be marching for three days and enjoying a day off on the
last day of the trip.
After the Passion, Easter
break begins for STVM
Senior Peer Ministers put on “The Passion”
for the student body on Wednesday, April
8. The break begins on Holy Thursday, and
students will return to school on April 20.
Seniors enjoy mission trip
Maddie Esker, Olivia Gutbrod, Brittany JohnCo-editor-in-chief
son, Tim Kananen, Whitney Porter, and Taylor
Every year, a group of Irish seniors travel
Wray, accompanied by Campus Minister Mr.
to some of the poorest areas in the country to
Ken McDonald and Ms. Elizabeth Bickett,
serve the less fortunate. For the past several
journeyed to Kentucky this April.
years, students have worked on “The Farm,”
Their work included insulating a house, dighelping to serve the thousands of impoverished
ging holes for wooden posts, sorting through
citizens who live within the borders of Lewis
clothes, and visiting a
daycare for adults with
Founded by Father
cognitive and emotional
William Howard Bishop,
the purpose and dream of
The retreat property
the missionaries is to “go
out to rural and smallincluding trails and a
town U.S.A., where the
creek, which provided
Catholic Church is not
the students with things
yet effectively presto do outdoors during
ent, proclaiming and
their free time.
witnessing to the Good
On the bottom floor
News of Jesus Christ and
of another building there
the power of God’s love, “The Farm” provided a week of work,
prayer, and reflection for these seniors.
is a room called “God’s
mercy and justice transTime” where the students
forming the world.”
read, and spend time
According to the Glenmary Home Missionwith each other. The top floor is a chapel, with
aries, “This retreat-like immersion experience
stained glass windows created by local artists.
in Eastern Kentucky blends service, education,
Every evening in the chapel, the students
prayer, reflection, and sharing in an environplanned different reflections and activities.
ment of simple living. The Glenmary Farm
The time spent in the chapel was not the
time devoted to religious worship and
Volunteers are always needed at “The
prayer. There are only 53 Catholics in Lewis
Farm,” especially people “who aren’t afraid
County, and therefore there is only one Cathoto work, people who can see the connection
lic Church, Holy Redeemer, where STVM
between mission work and their faith,” said the
students attended Sunday Mass and a penance
Glenmary Farm volunteer director, Joe Steen.
service later in the week.
Seniors Ariel Davis, Colleen Demboski,
New Activity Center progresses
ity Center? STVM is one of the few private
The new Student Activity Center will be
schools in the state with just one gymnasium,
completed by August 1 in time for the 2009and because of this, there have been conflicts
2010 school year.
with scheduling practices and games for mulThe first floor of the building will serve as a
tiple teams at the same time. This addition will
fitness center and
allow for more pracwill hold boys’
tice space, and teams
and girls’ locker
won’t be forced to
rooms for spring
move practice off
and fall sports’
Irish property if
teams. The wresanother team has a
tling room will
game scheduled on
also be located on
the same day.
the first floor. The
top floor of the
Center is also unique
building will have
in that it will be
a practice gym
a “green” buildNew Student Activity Center will be
with one full court completed by the 2009-2010 school year.
ing. The heating and
and two half courts.
cooling system will be
The Athletic Director’s office will be near the
run by geothermal energy. STVM is the first
practice gym and this floor will also have storprivate school in the state to “go green” with
age space for athletic equiptment.
one of its construction projects.
Why does STVM need a Student Activ-
On April 2, 2009, STVM held the annual 7th Grade Visitation. Over
700 students from 18 area Catholic grade chools participated, including
two that had not previously attended, St.Mary’s in Akron and St.Patrick’s
in Kent. Indivdual students from area private and public schools also attended.
The day began with an opening ceremony in the gym followed
by a tour of the school that highlighted each department. The Drama
Department presented a half hour presentation from the recent play,
The day ended with an assembly in the gym where the Irish dancers, the cheerleaders, and the choirs performed.
Facebook -- is it friend or foe?
Advantages of social networking
Facebook has become the newest fad on the Internet, not only for students but businesses as well. Most people can quickly grasp the value of
connecting with friends and family. In fact, many people have reported
that they have replaced email and instant messaging with it.
Facebook has a clear, easy to use, and uncluttered interface. It has
a smaller community than Myspace, and therefore, a lower chance of
meeting people that one might not want to meet. Only people from
one’s networks are able to access complete information. It’s a way to
reconnect with old acquaintances or stay updated on current friendships.
Facebook also has tools such as the use of the history, which is an open
area used for changes on a page. This makes it possible for the user’s
family and friends to see all the new information that has been updated. These things can
include relationship status, mood, or activities
the user is participating
in at the time.
is a safe site. There
are security filters and
controls over who
sees a profile and who
doesn’t. It’s also a
lot harder to find new
friends on Facebook.
The search is meant to
find only people who
are already friends.
The site won’t let users
do an advanced search
for people in other networks.
Facebook also has many other activities. It is a easy way to organize
and share photos, and it is constantly changing and adding new features.
It allows users to show their “status” so that people are kept up to date.
It also allows people to show events that they are attending and makes
it easier to find true friends. Facebook doesn’t have as many bugs as
Myspace, so it runs faster, and messages are less likely to get lost. It’s
also not cluttered with graphics and advertisements.
Junior Kaylee Fox commented, “I like Facebook because it’s a great
way to communicate with people, and I think its cool to look at people’s
new pictures when I’m bored.”
Facebook makes it really easy to manage privacy settings, limiting
access only to friends.
Facebook attracts a wide range audience, but college-age users make
up a small share of the social networking Web site. Statistics from a
poll taken in January report that 54.3 percent of users are 24 or younger,
43.3percent of users are 25-54, and 2.3 percent of users are ages 55 and
older. Facebook is a Web site that is used by all ages, and therefore it is
likely that someone a person is trying to reconnect with will indeed be a
member. Businesses have also started using Facebook as a way to connect with buyers. They have information about their company on their
account, and they’re hoping customers will be willing to check their web
Junior Andrew Brinkerhoff also commented, “It’s a great way to stay
in touch with old friends, and also get hold of people whom you want to
get reacquainted with!”
Disadvantages of social networking
The popular new website, Facebook, has become one of the most used
Internet sites by people both young and old. Facebook is an Internet
site used by many people to create a personal profile on the Internet. On
these profiles, user can post information about themselves, including full
names, ages, hometown, and much more personal information.
Though this site seems like a great chance for people to stay in touch
with friends and family members, it also presents a certain danger and
risk that most people are not aware of. These risks go either unnoticed or
overlooked and are ignored by users.
On Facebook, any user can request another friend on the site. Friend
requesting is asking permission for one person to gain access to another
person and then have the ability to view that person’s information and
send messages through
that profile to another
person. This may seem
like a convenient way to
stay in touch with friends
when cell phones or other
means of communication
are out of the question,
but in reality, it poses a
problem, and sometimes,
a personal safety risk.
The risk lies within
the very foundation of
the site. Since any user
can request and talk to
another user, it poses the
question of who exactly
could be using the site
and looking at a person’s personal information. The person could be
using a fake profile posing as a young person to gain access to personal
information about another person. This poses a threat to the safety of the
user and could lead to major risks.
Junior Matt Leonardi believes that Facebook may not be the safest
site to use. “I have a Facebook, but someone stole my password, and
now I have no access to it. I don’t believe the site does enough to protect
your security or your personal safety.”
Other risks can vary from losing an account password to possibly being abducted or put at some other type of personal risk. There have been
occasions when people have been irresponsible. This is a risk that some
people choose to take.
In June 2008, 28 percent of all Facebook users were age 25-54 with 70
percent of users being 24 or younger. In January 2009, the number of users ages 25-54 increased to 43 percent with only 54 percent of subcribers
being age twenty four or younger. These numbers indicate that one cannot always be sure that the age of a person isaccurate. However, it does
say that the odds of a subscriber being over the age of 25 is now greater
than it was in June 2008.
Thus Facebook can be
a risk to a person using the
site. The consequences may
not occur for evey subscriber, but it is noteworthy
to be cautious when sharing
personal information with
News in brief
Around the Globe
President Obama goes on world tour to discuss world matters
United States President Barack Obama attended a worldwide
emergency summit of the leaders of the top 20 economies in the world
in London to discuss the future of the global economy during this severe
economic recession. Obama, along with other world leaders, agreed that a lack
of economic supervision was the cause of this economic downturn, but that if
the world is to move forward, everyone must work as one to put together stimulus packages to benefit all of nations. Obama stated at the G20
Summit that he believes if the world is to move forward, every economy’s needs must be met. The G20 also agreed to better regulate hedge funds,
by forcing them to register and increase transparency on the way they invest, as well as by controlling banks’ capital exposure to hedge funds. The
G20 also promised to increase the oversight on credit rating agencies, which will also have to register. Chinese agreement was also imperative to
the overall success of the G20, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy credited Obama with winning over China in principle to some of the ideas
presented for global recovery.
Obama then moved on to the Czech Republic to discuss the eradication of nuclear weapons. Although Obama was upstaged by the test launch of
missiles by North Korea, he proceeded to insist that the elimination of nuclear warfare is essential to the survival of the human race. He delivered the
speech to a cheering crowd of over 20,000 in the historic square outside the Prague Castle gates. Obama also told the crowd that the U.S. had a moral
responsibility to lead the movement against nuclear weapons because the U.S. is the only country in the history of the world to have actually used a
nuclear weapon of mass destruction. Obama also addressed the topic of missile defense systems to combat increasing aggression demonstrated by
Iran by saying that the U.S. would move forward if Iran continued to show aggression and not back off their increase in defense systems.
Sea to Shining Sea
President Obama rejects automaker’s business plans
President Obama rejected the restructuring plan offered by both General
Motors and Chrysler on March 30. President Obama cited the inadequacy of
the plans to turn the companies to profitability as the reason for his rejection. Obama
promised GM enough working capital for the next 60 days, and Chrysler for the next
30 days. The companies were sent back to revamp their plans and the administration
clearly signaled that backruptcy may now be a possible option for GM. The weaker
divisions at GM, such as Saturn and Hummer, would enter bankruptcy with the hope
of their sale or liquidation, while the stronger divisions, such as Chevrolet and Cadillac, would avoid bankruptcy. As part of GM’s bailout, Chief Executive of GM, Rick
Wagoner, was asked to leave his post. Chrysler has also talked with Italian automotive company Fiat about a possible merger.
Crazed Vietnamese man kills 13 in massacre in New York
Jiverly Wong, 41, of Binghamton, New York, went on a killing spree that took 13 lives. Wong, who had recently been laid off and was
frustrated with his lack of English skills and his inability to find a job in today’s struggling economy, stormed the American Civic Association building in Binghamton and fired at the receptionist. The wounded receptionist called 911 and three minutes later, police arrived at the scene, but Wong
had already killed 13 and wounded three more victims along with the receptionist. Wong then took his life when he heard the sirens of the police cars.
Police officials stated that Wong came prepared to battle police because he was wearing a bulletproof vest and carried extra rounds of ammunition.
The Heart of it All
Volunteers help MS patient by repairing home
St. Vincent-St. Mary High School juniors Bryant Ausperk and Brian Cresswell Jr. have begun
to help rebuild a multiple sclerosis patient’s home in Akron. Ausperk and Cresswell held a spirit
day at STVM to raise money for the cause. Many other volunteers have helped rebuild the home of
safety communications technician Sue Lang, an alum of STVM. Lang has been restricted to a wheelchair because of her auto-immune disease, and her home is not currently wheelchair-accessible, which
is vital to her being able to remain independent. By the end of the project, the house will have received
new drywall, fresh coats of paint, and other key improvements. Skip Ausperk, father of Bryant Ausperk,
owner of Valley Trucking & Recycling in Peninsula, donated two dumpsters to collect debris. The house
will be wheelchair-accessible after the upgrades have been completed.
Pizza shop owner kills robber
Your Pizza Shop owner John Hayes, 37, shot and killed a robber at his pizza shop off West Exchange Street in Akron. The robber, 20 yearold Patrick Finney, entered the shop with an orange ski mask and a sawed-off shotgun in his hand. Witnesses say that Finney demanded money from
the register, and Hayes gave Finney the money. Hayes then fired a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun at Finney, striking Finney four times in the torso.
Finney fell down, stood back up, and was shot by Hayes three more times. Finney staggered into the middle of West Exchange. Hayes then called the
police and told the dispatcher that he had been robbed and had shot the robber in self-defense. The startled dispatcher sent multiple police cars to the
scene, and Finney was later transported to Akron General Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead within the hour. Akron police are investigating the scene, but there is no indication that Hayes acted unlawfully. This incident was the fourth robbery at the shop since 2007.
Identity theft threatens financial security
While Americans continue to be plugged in
to the Internet as a mean of simplifying life and
staying connected to current events, Internet
providers are warning users to be cautious and
take necessary steps to stay protected from
scams. Many people do not realize how easily
criminals can obtain personal data or funds
without having to break into homes or safes.
The Internet has become an appealing place
for criminals to obtain information, such as
passwords, banking information, or social
A simple response to “spam” or unsolicited
e-mail that promises users benefits but requests
personal information is an easy way for thieves
to tap into a computer.
With enough identifying information
about an individual, hackers can take over
people’s identity in an instant. They can make
false applications for loans and credit cards,
fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts,
and can spend to their liking. Victims may
not become aware of what is happening until
the criminal has already inflicted substantial
damage on the victims’ assets or credit, with
evidence only coming on the bills.
Fraudulent activity not only happens on the
web but in public places as well. “Shoulder
surfing” occurs when a thief watches someone
from a nearby location as the victim punches
in telephone numbers or credit card numbers
or overhears a person’s information when
speaking on a phone. The thief takes note of
the information and uses it to create a fake
Easy tips consumers can take to prevent
“shoulder surfing” when in public is to select
a checkout lane with the least amount of
consumers in order to increase security when
inputting pin numbers, shielding personal
information on the screen with one’s body
when at an ATM, or simply not talking as
loud on the phone when in public. As always,
consumers need to be alert.
Even the area near a person’s home or
office may not be as secure as assumed. Some
criminals engage in “dumpster diving,” where
they go through garbage cans or dumpsters
to obtain copies of checks, credit cards, bank
statements, or other records that typically bear
names, addresses, and even telephone numbers.
These types of records make it easy for
criminals to gain control over accounts.
An easy way to protect oneself from
dumpster divers is to simply shred all important
documents that have significant security code
passwords. Either through a paper shredder or
with a pair of scissors, a shredded document is
impossible to be put back together.
In the event that identity theft happens, the
most important action that can be taken is to
place a fraud alert on all of one’s credit reports.
Companies such as TransUnion, Equifax, and
Experian prevent an identity thief from opening
any more accounts in a victim’s name. After
the alert is set, one must then close accounts
that are believed to be or have been tampered
with or opened fraudulently. Once authorized
accounts are closed, thieves may no longer
process any more transactions.
In order to receive any money back or
to start an investigation, one must file a
complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
and contact local police. With all proper
documentation, identity theft can be prosecuted
The BlackBerry rises to popularity
In this age of technology, a cell phone must
be more than a cell phone. To be able to keep
up, it must be capable of getting an internet
signal, have GPS capabilities, have easy access
to email and other files, and of course, have a
camera. The line of BlackBerry smart phones
does all of this and more.
At least one or more BlackBerry devices is
available to each major wireless carrier, including Verizon Wireless, Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, and
T-Mobile. Verizon Wireless carries the greatest
variety of BlackBerry phones which consist of
the newest BlackBerry Storm, the sleek BlackBerry Curve, the work-friendly BlackBerry
8830 World Edition, and the BlackBerry Pearl.
The BlackBerry Storm is the newest and
most exciting phone in the lineup. It is the first
touch screen BlackBerry and boasts easier
texting on the touch screen because the buttons
click when touched. It has a 3.2 mega pixel
camera, built in GPS capabilities, an Internet
browser, and BlackBerry maps. It has a 15 day
standby battery time and a six hour talk time.
The BlackBerry Curve 8900 is the newest version of this popular device. So far, it is
available only to T-Mobile users. It comes only
in black as of now, but other versions of the
Curve come in gray, pink, and red. Like the
Storm, it also has a 3.2 mega pixel camera and
is supported by WiFi. It has a 5.5 hour talk time
and a 15 day standby time.
Sophomore Erica Bennett has the BlackBerry Curve from AT&T. Her favorite BlackBerry
feature is that she has Internet access on her
“With Internet on my phone, I can get on
Facebook and keep in touch with my friends
while I’m on the go.”
Senior Whitney Porter claims that her
BlackBerry Storm can do everything.
“I can get on Facebook and Myspace, and
talk to all of my friends.”
The Leprechaun Theatre Guild presented Seussical, a diverse musical
that appealed to both young and old.
The musical’s main plot is based on many of the famous Dr. Seuss
children’s stories such as Horton Hears a Who and The Cat in the Hat.
Some of the main roles in the musical included The Cat in the Hat, played
by Kevin Murphy, Maria Kenngott as JoJo, Noah Bastock as Horton the
Elephant, and Alex Horning as Gertrude McFuzz.
More roles included Angel Garnett as the Sour Kangaroo and Bob McClure as General Genghis Khan Schmitz.
The Wickersham Brothers were played by Graham Giles, Reid Klein, and
Erik Wells, and the Bird Girls were played by Sarah Clark, Devin Sutter,
and Jasmine Wyatt.
The mayor of Whoville was played by Mario Buchannan, and his wife
was played by Sarah Stanger.
Director Mr. Gerard Neary, drama teacher, says, “The action combines
Dr. Seuss stories together. This show is different from what we’ve done in
the past because it is primarily singing and dancing. The music is very
catchy. I think some people have the misconception Seussical is for
the children only, but it definitely has some adult themes.”
The themes of Seussical range from war and its purpose, to self-acceptance, to the value of the imagination, to thinking as an individual,
and to the importance of responsibility.
When asked what Mr. Neary was most excited for about the play, he
answered, “I’m most excited for the production to come to life. These
are drawn characters we read about as children. It will be interesting
to see how our actors interpret these characters.”
The play showed March 26-28 in the evening and in the afternoon
on March 29. This performance was preceeded by a Seussical
Brunch in which the cast mingled with the children.
Sophomore Brandi Goostree attended the play and stated, “It was
very interesting and not at all what I thought it would be.”
Sophomore Abby DiFeo, who was part of the stage crew, commented, “It was an awesome experience, and even though we spent many
hours working on the weekends, we pulled it off.”
Thurgood Marshall W 59-53
For the first time since 2003 and LeBron, the Irish emerged victorious to become the Divison II State Champions, after trailing by 5 going
into the second half. Led by senior Daylen Harrison (21 points), STVM
rallied with a strong second half defensive performance. With a little less
than two mintues to go, sophomore Ricky Johnson hit a three pointer that
tied the game and then threw a long pass to sophomore DaVonte Beard
to give the Irish the lead. The Irish closed out the game on a 10 to 1 run.
Other major contributors were senior Michael Hammonds and sophomore JaKarr Sampson, each with 11 points.
Columbus DeSales W 75-61
To advance to the State Final, the Irish defeated Columbus DeSales.
Hammonds had 25 points and 4 steals while guarding all state selection,
Nick Kellogg. Harrison finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds.
University School W 64 to 54
The Irish clinched a spot in the State Final Four for the first time since
2006 after defeating University School. STVM cut a 15 point lead down
to 2, with Harrison scoring 18 points and 9 rebounds and with Sampson
scoring 13 points.
Streetsboro W 78 to 50
Hammonds led the way with 20 points and 6 steals. Harrison contributed 14 points and Sampson had 13 points, including 2 dunks.
Daylen Harrison: honor
student, state champion, and
MVP of state tournament
Senior Daylen Harrison is a leader both on the court and in the classroom. Harrison has not decided where he will go to college yet, but Cornell, Ball State, and Wyoming have all shown interest in the 6-6 forward
for both his athletics and academics. He has a 4.2 GPA, takes honors and
AP classes, and is a member of the National Honor Society.
On the court, Harrison is a man among boys. His 16 points and 8
rebounds per game statistics
speak for themselves, all with
his Second Team All-State
selection. He is one of a select
group who call themseleves
“State Champions.” Along
with taking home a trophy and
a ring, Harrison was named to
the Division II All Tournament
Team and was awarded the
Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for Division II by the Daylen Harrison is giving one of
his eight interviews after the state
When asked about his senior championship game.
role on the team, Harrison said,
“The biggest thing I have improved on over the past season isn’t any part
of my game, but it is being a team leader. As a senior it was important for
me to step up and direct the team.”
Harrison said that the most memorable part of the season was the
State Championship and the entire tournament run. Two of his favorite
regular season games included wins at Warren Harding and Garfield
Heights. He also said that he enjoyed playing the rivalry games against
Hoban, Walsh, and Butchel.
Girls Basketball: Season Overview
Final Record: 16-8
The Lady Irish finished the season as District Finals Runner-up. In
the tournaments, they defeated Akron North, Fairless, and then Minerva to make their way to the District Final Game. Unfortunately, the
girls were defeated by Canton South in the finals.
When asked why she will miss the seniors next year, sophomore
Maria Arnone answered with a metaphor. “They were the butter and
our team was the bread. Without them next year, there just won’t be as
Head Coach Joe Jakucbick said, “This year was a great season even
though we didn’t go as far as we’d hoped. We were led by four great
young ladies who will be missed.”
Jess Bridenthal: motivated
student, good friend, and
Senior Jess Bridenthal is a student-athlete who has four-year varsity
letters in volleyball and basketball.
Academically, she is an Honor Roll student and is a member of
National Honor Society, holding a cumulative GPA of 3.9. She is also a
member of Mu Alpha Theta, a math honorary, and she loves calculus.
Aside from all her academic and athletic accomplishments, Jess has
many friends and hobbies.
She commented, “I like four-wheeling and hanging out with my family. Also, I have a lot of friends. I’m going to miss them all, especially
all the girls I play basketball and volleyball with, but my sister [Becca]
is definitely my best friend. I think what I will miss the most [about high
school] are all of my friends and
Bridenthal will be playing
college basketball next year at
Ashland University, where she
has a full-ride athletic scholarship.
This year was also a difficult
year for Bridenthal, with the
death of her father.
“My senior year has been
really fun, but also really
hard,” she comments. “STVM
has been really good to me
as well as everyone here with
Mrs. Bridenthal, Jessie, and Becca
helping my family and me deal
attend girls’ basketkball Senior Night.
with the loss of my dad. STVM
is a great school and I enjoyed
my time here.”
She is also thought of very highly by her friends. Senior Nancy Klee
said, “Jess is very hard-working and always nice to everyone. She has a
great attitude about life.”
Coaches: Head Coach: Shannon Bender
Assistant Coaches: Laurie Linton, Freddie Matthews
Junior Varsity Coach: Mike Hamilton
Returning Letter Winners: Seniors Danielle Davisson, Emily Wilde;
juniors Jenna Boyle, Rachel Dedinsky, and Stacey Hoffman; sophomores
Alyssa Paolucci, and Ashlee Unrue
Greenville: L 7-1
LP: Boyle (0-1)
Kings: L 5-2.
LP: Davisson: (2-1)
Laurel: W 7-0
WP: Davisson: (2-0); Paolucci: 2 singles, 3 runs, RBI; DiFeo: 2 singles,
RBI; Wilde: double, single, RBI; Dedinsky: 2 singles, RBI.
Norton: W 16-0
WP: Davisson: (1-0); Hoffman: single, double; Weber: single, triple;
Goostree: 3 singles.
Head Coach: Anthony Boarman
Assistant Coaches: Dominique Rodgers (Kent State), Dan Misitigh
Returning Letter Winners: Seniors Mike Dehnke, Sam Trecaso,
Nick Pagni, Nick Fleming; Juniors Jon Adams, Joe Chiarappa, Jack
Uecker; Sophomore Neil Edwards
Coach’s Experience: Player/Coach Kent State Club Baseball, Assistant Varsity Football Coach 2 years (Copley High School), Varsity
Football QB Coach 2 years (STVM), Varsity Assistant Baseball Coach
Season Record: 1-1
Glen Oak- L 11-4
LP: Trecaso (0-1); sophomore Sonny Howard: single, double; Pagni:
two singles; sophomore Anthony Cicione: single, RBI; Chiarappa:
Ellet- W 17-7
WP: Edwards (1-0); Trecaso: 2 homeruns, double, 4 RBIs; Fleming:
single, double, 2 RBIs.
Head Coach: Mr. Jeff Cooper
Coach’s Experience: Cooper has coached boys’ volleyball for four years,
girls’ junior Olympics for twelve years, girls’ and boys’ high school bolleyball for two years. This is Cooper’s second year as the head coach for
the STVM boys’ volleyball team.
Assistant Coaches: Kristin Cooper, Ken Moinette
Assistant Coaches Experience: Kristin Cooper has coached boys’ volleyball for three years, girls’ high school volleyball for one year, and girls’
junior Olympics for 16 years.
Promising Prospects: Senior Jeff Goetz (libero), juniors Greg Sprungle
(setter), Matt Aberegg (middle hitter)
CANTON McKINLEY: W 25-11,25-8, 25-22. The boys started off the
season with their first win as a team, beating Canton McKinley in all three
ARCHBISHOP HOBAN: L 25-7, 25-5, 25-7.
Head Coach: Karyn Rafalke
Coach’s Experience: Ms. Karyn Rafalke played college tennis at both
Mount Union and Case Western Reserve. She has coached for two years for
the Lorain Admiral King girl’s team.
Returning Letter Winners: Seniors Joe Gresock, Tabaitha Simpson;
juniors Collins Mundy, and Diego Hildebrandt.
Promising Prospects: Seniors Jimmy Rosen, Tim Kananen. James Lloyd,
Latty Strong, Joe Vandevere; junior Alfredo Hildebrandt, and freshman
Last Season Record: 10-10
Head Coach’s Comments: ‘We are very excited about the number of
returning seniors and the potential of the underclassmen.”
Head Coach: Dan Lancianese
Coach’s Experience: 15th season at STVM although has been coaching track for 26 years.
Assistant Coaches: Bob Shell, Tony Martin, Brian Walsh, Frank
Laury, Jarin Bryant, Rick Engelhart, Ralph Paonessa, George Murray
and Branden King
Returning Letter Winners:
Boys’ Team- Richard Bradley, Todd Culver, Cash Culver, Landon
Davis, Brian Foster, Tom Freeman, Mike Freeman, Greg Gannon,
Carrington Glenn, Pat Gough, Doran Grant, Kyle Hammer, Anthony
Joyce, Frank Laury, David Lee, Brian Raglow, Dante Marcreno, Jacob
Swords, Daren Tate, Tyler Tomazic, Ian Walsh
Girls’ Team- Marie Arnone, Erica Bennett, Sarina Caponi, Angel
Garnett, Erica Hutson, Nancy Klee, Miranda Mondozzi, Jen Murray,
Jackie Murray, Natalie Nervo, Molly Miloscia, Emily Tomei, Emily
Tomen, Gabby Trifiro
Boys: Todd Culver (sprints), Landon Davis (800), Doran Grant
(hurdles and returning state placer), Kyle Hammer (throws and returning state qualifier), Tyler Tomazic (1600 and state qualifier in cross
Girls’: Erica Hutson (400 and school record holder), Nancy Klee (long
jump), Miranda Mondozzi (throws), Jen Murray (hurdles and school
record holder), Gabby Trifiro (sprints)
Comments for upcoming season: “Last year my biggest disappointment was in the lack of athletes that came out. This year I am thrilled
by the numbers. We have 72 guys and 68 ladies representing all 4
grade levels. I look forward to seeing how well all 140 athletes grow
through this journey of track and field for ‘09. With perseverance and
faith in their God-given ability, we have a few potential state placers
for both guys and girls,” commentated Coach Dan Lancianese.
World Baseball Classic action
resumed on Saturday, March
14, as Venezuela and the Netherlands faced
off at Dophins Stadium in Miami, Florida. Venezuela won a
closely-contested game, 3-1, and defeted Puerto Rico the next
Meanwhile, the U.S. matched up against the Netherlands
and won easily, 9-3. The U.S. and Puerto Rico fought back
and forth through 8 1/2 innings and heading into the bottom
of the ninth, the Puerto Ricans had a 5-3 lead. Shane Victorino stepped to the plate and singled, and then Brian Roberts
followed Victorino with another single, placing runners on first and
second bases with no outs in the inning. Shortstop Derek Jeter flew out
to right field, advancing Victorino to third with one out. Brian Roberts
stole second and Jimmy Rollins then walked, loading the bases. Kevin
Youkilis walked and Victorino was forced in to score, making the score
5-4. David Wright hit a 90 m.p.h. fastball into right field, knocking in
Brian Roberts and Jimmy Rollins, and sending Puerto Rico home for the
rest of the tournament.
The United States advanced to the semifinal round of the tournament to face defending champion Japan, and after giving up five runs
to Japan in the 5th inning, the closest the Americans came to catching
them was in the top of the 8th with a score of 6-4. Japan advanced with
a 9-4 victory over the U.S. and faced South Korea in the championship
game of the 2009 WBC at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
Japan took the 2009 World Baseball Classic championship, and the MLB
players returned to their respective teams’ spring training facilities. If the
MLB can produce suspenseful matches such as those witnessed in this
year’s WBC, then baseball fans are in for a great season.
The March Madness finally arrived. This
year five teams from the Buckeye state made it to the field of
64. These teams included: Ohio State, Akron, Cleveland State,
Xavier, and Dayton. Akron’s tournament birth represents their
first in over 20 years. Fans this year could also watch STVM
graduate, Marcus Johnson, and the Dayton Flyers.
Even with the excitement of the five Ohio teams in the
tournament, sheer enthusiasm wasn’t enough to propel any
of them to the elite eight. Xavier was the last to fall in the
sweet 16 against top seeded Pitt. This year’s tournament has
been highlighted by the Elite 8 battle between Villanova and
Pittsburgh. This game however, was between a #1 seed and
a #2 seed and was somewhat expected to be a close contest. Three #1
seeds remain and the tournament has lacked dramatic finishes. The only
true shock came when 13th seeded Cleveland State defeated the #4 seed
Heading into the final four only UConn, Villanova, Michigan State,
and North Carolina reamined. Out of the four teams, UConn was the
projected favorite to win the National Championship with Michigan
State coming in as the biggest surprise. No one thought that a team
from the Big Ten Conference would be making the trip to the Final Four
this year. The Spartans had already knocked off the #1overall seeded
The Final Four featured two very intriguing match-ups. In what came
as somewhat of a shock, the Michigan State Spartans defeated UConn to
advance to the National Championship. Although not the most talented,
The Cavs have taken a
commanding lead in the Eastern
Conference standings, with Boston and Orlando slowly slipping
behind. Cleveland, at 62-15, has
the best record in the NBA, with the LA Lakers close behind at 61-16. In the East, however, Cleveland has almost
locked up home-court advantage in the playoffs because of
Boston’s recent drop in the standings. At 58-19, the Celtics
find themselves four games behind the Cavs for the first
seed in the East. The Magic, at 57-19, are currently in third.
Stan Van Gundy, head coach of the Magic, feels Cleveland
is the team to beat in the NBA.
“It will be very, very hard now to catch [the Cavs] for first,” Magic
coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I just can’t see them losing enough games
with the home games they have.”
The Cavaliers needed an extra period, but they outlasted the Portland
Blazers in OT to win 97-92. Lebron James recorded his 24th career
triple double, putting up 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. The
Cavs committed only two turnovers throughout the game, tying an NBA
record for least turnovers in a game. The record is even more impressive because the Cavaliers had to play through an overtime period, not
just four quarters. Both teams played excellent defense all game, but the
Cavs went ahead for good by starting the overtime period on a 7-2 run
and outscoring the Blazers 11-6 in OT.
The month of March in the 2008-2009 season will go down in
Cavaliers’ history as perhaps the best month of basketball the organization has ever played. Not only did the team tie an NBA record for wins
in a month with their 16-1 record, but they also had the longest winning
streak in franchise history with 13, and locked up a playoff berth by
clinching their division. Those are just the team’s achievmentsfor the
As for individual accolades, Lebron James was named the Eastern
Conference Player of the Month for the 10th in his career and the 3rd
time this season (November, January). He averaged 28.2 points per
game on 47 percent shooting, racked up 8.9 rebounds a game, and dished
out 8.4 assists per game in March, and also had 4 triple-doubles. James’
totals in March of 479 points, 152 rebounds, and 143 assists were the
first time anyone has reached those numbers in all three categories since
Oscar Robertson in January 1965.
Lebron also was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week
twice throughout the month, winning the award the week of March 8 and
Last but not least, Cavaliers’ head coach Mike Brown was named the
Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for March. His team’s 16 wins
ties the NBA record for most wins in a month.
(con’t March Madness)
the Spartans have proved to have one of the deepest rosters in the
country. North Carolina took care of overmatched Villanova in the night
The championship game between North Carolina and Michigan State
was supposed to be a homecourt advantage for MSU. Played in the
economically distressed area of Detroit, the overwhelmingly Spartan
crowd of 50,000 out of the 72,000 in attendance, fans were taken out of
the game almost immediately. With a final score of 89-72, Michigan had
21 turnovers while N.C. had an NCAA record 55 points in the first half.
In the loss, Michigan coach Izzo said, “We just couldn’t dig into thier
lead. The turnovers were the big thing.”
Celebrities help those less fortunate
an inclusive setting for individuals with developmental disabilities to
interact and grow with other members of society.
Matt Damon created a movie to help bring awareness to H2O Africa.
Celebrities are often looked at as out-of-touch with reality, selfish,
movie, Running the Sahara, created public concern for the water
above the law, and bad influences. However, when they are able to get
in Africa. H2O Africa is driving towards finding a solution and
past their fame, glamour, and high-status life styles, celebrities around
support to ensure clean and plentiful water for struggling communities.
the United States are spreading their generosity around the world. Many
Scarlett Johansson promotes Oxfam, an organization focused on
have started their own foundations or are strong patrons of other chariglobal poverty. Johansson showed her true dedication after
she skipped the Oscars to tour Sri Lanka and India and
One notable celebrity who is active in supporting
areas funded by Oxfam. She helps create awareness and
non-profit charities is actress Jennifer Aniston. She is
hopes to guide the world closer to a solution for poverty,
active in Friends of El Faro, which is directed towards
injustice, and suffering.
a large orphanage in Mexico, and she has appeared on
Bono from the band U2, one of the most famous celebthe TV show, Oprahs’s Big Give, in helping to fund the
who is just as much an activist as he is a lead singer,
charity projects on that show. Aniston is also a celebhelped
start One Campaign, DATA (RED), and EDUN.
rity spokesperson for St. Jude’s Children’s Research
His most notable, One Campaign, is directed toward rallyHospital.
ing Americans to fight the global emergency of AIDS and
Another notable celebrity is country music singer
extreme poverty. His concerts and commercials are all
Alan Jackson. Jackson has dedicated much time and
focused on these issues.
money to the American Red Cross’s Angel’s House.
George Clooney has also been stirring up some interest
Angel’s House is a safe and secure environment for
in more ways than one. He is on the Board of
children who have been emotionally damaged and
Trustees for United Way and is the co-founder of Not On
where they can go to rebuild their family life skills and
Our Watch. Clooney dedicates much of his time and enhelp their emotional healing.
ergy to stopping the atrocities in Darfur. He is also a U.N.
While many celebrities donate their time and money Bono of U2 fame is an
to charities like Aniston and Jackson, others help to start activist for One Campaign.
So whether it’s the celebrities in New York, Miami,
organizations. Eva Longoria, Matt Damon, Scarlett
Hollywood, or Nashville, many provide some type of help to
Johansson, and Bono are perfect examples.
those suffering in it.
Eva Longoria started Eva’s Heroes, which is dedicated to providing
Media dictates the image of an“ideal” teenager
Why is it that a teenage girl is considered fat if she is a size bigger
than a 6? Young girls’ self image today is based on Victoria’s Secret
models or celebrites like
Taylor Swift and Lindsey
Lohan. It seems that girls
are only accepted by how
they look and not what
they bring to the table.
About 61 percent of
teen girls say they worry
about their looks, while
48 percent said they compare the way they look
with how their friends and
peers look. It’s common
for young girls to desire
a specific look or weight
because society portrays
a distinct mold. Media
outlets have a stronghold
on the “ideal person.”
Take a good look at
television shows and
magazines, which usually depict stunning models. Rarely is there a
normal teen posing for Abercrombie or leading a cast on a TV show or a
big movie, unless the depiction is negative.
This same “perfect” image is portrayed to young audiences as Disney
Princesses who have a stomach the size of an arm. It is a prevalent,
unhealthy image that urges young women to do whatever it takes to look
like the media icon.
“It can be normal for teens to compare themselves to others as they
work on arriving at their own unique identities. However, in the area
of body image, this can take the form
of comparing themselves to unrealistic media images,” says Jennifer Dyl,
Ph.D., of the Bradley Hasbro Children’s
Perhaps most disturbing is the fact
that media images of female beauty
are unattainable for all but a very small
number of women. Researchers generating a computer model of a woman with
Barbie-doll proportions, for example,
found that her back would be too weak
to support the weight of her upper body,
and her body would be too narrow to
contain more than half a liver and a few
centimeters of bowel. A real woman
built that way would suffer from chronic
diarrhea and eventually die from malnutrition. Jill Barad, president of Mattel,
which manufactures Barbie, estimated
that 99 percent of girls aged 3 to 10 years
old own at least one Barbie doll.
Whether five foot two and weighing 200 pounds, or five foot ten and
weighing 145 pounds, teenage girls will always look at themselves differently then what is actual reality because of this media influence.
Akron makes a resurgence on the national scene
its two sister cities from Germany and Israel has brought small business
and fun for Akronites. In the winter, Lock 3 is turned into a German Village for the residences to enjoy ice skating, German food, and shopping.
Akron was once known as the Rubber Capital of the world. During
Akron is home to two Fortune 500 companies, Goodyear and First
those days, Akron had a thriving economy and was a place where people
Energy, which have created many jobs in the area. Other companies that
moved for a steady job. Goodyear, Firestone, Goodrich, and General
call Akron home are First Merit, GOJO, Lockheed Martin, and Roadway
Tire created their first factories in Akron. Goodyear and Firestone still
Express. Goodyear recently
have a presence in the Akron area.
made an agreement in 2007 to
Although the “glory days” of Akron
keep their world headquarters
are considered long gone to many, the
in Akron for years to come.
city is on the verge of a breakthrough
With new restaurants
that will bring Akron back to life.
around the historic district
The city has been revived by many
mainly on East Market Street
components. The University of Akron,
between Main and High, outrestaurants, theaters, foreign influof-towners can enjoy a great
ences, and big businesses have helped
meal or a group of friends
reshape Akron into becoming another
can grab a bite to eat before
national and world leader in more ways
a show. Some of the newest
than one. Akron has been awarded the
spots for fun and fine dining
All-American City Award three times,
include Crave, Vegetaranian,
most recently in 2008, which put the
Big City Chop House, and The
city in the National Civic League Hall
Barley House. All the new
spots have a big city atmoThe University of Akron’s cutting
sphere like New York, Miami,
edge developments and nationally
Aerial view of the University of Akron with all of its new buildings
recognized programs have brought
and new football stadium.
Theaters, museums, and music
companies and interest back to the city.
halls in Akron hold performances
It is ranked among the top colleges in
Every weekend, people flood
the U.S. for law, engineering, and polymer sciences. The law program at
into downtown where they can enjoy a meal and drink and head over to
Akron was ranked number two by National Jurist and Pre-Law Insider
magazine. The Engineering Department was ranked in the top five in the E.J. Thomas Hall, the Civic Theatre, or the Akron Art Museum for performances, symphonies, and exhibits. Two recent music performances
nation as well. The Polymer Science Department has placed Akron as
included The Pretenders and Young Jeezy, both at the Civic Theater. The
one of the Polymer Science Capitals of the world. Other areas such as
new art museum in the historic district adds a wordly feel to the city
their business school and student wireless web access have been recogwith its exhibits and collections that it offers.
The economy of the city is one that can now compete globally.
Foreign influences have helped add culture. The bonding of Akron and
Live Nation/Ticketmaster finally have a merger
The announcement the music industry has been waiting for has come:
a definitive merger agreement between Live Nation and Ticketmaster to
create Live Nation Entertainment.
The move combines Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promotion firm, with Ticketmaster’s industry
dominating ticketing company, also bringing
into the fold the numerous artists and venue
relationships encompassed by both companies. The merger also scuttles one of the most
well-known names in live entertainment in
Ticketmaster. The companies will be combined in a tax-free, all-stock merger of equals
with a combined enterprise value of approximately $2.5 billion. Under the agreement,
Ticketmaster shareholders will receive 1.384
shares of Live Nation common stock for each
share of Ticketmaster they own, subject to
certain adjustments defined by the agreement.
The benefits of this merger, according to
Live Nation, include the ability to share technology. “The new company
will be positioned to take full advantage of its combined online resourc-
es, databases, and promotional operations to strengthen and enhance
the direct connection between artists and fans,” a spokesmen from the
This is not the first pairing between Live Nation and Ticketmaster.In
1998, Live Nation reached a deal with TicketMaster when Ticketmaster was given the rights to sell the majority of tickets to Live Nation
events. The deal expired last year but
was never renewed.
According to a Live Nation’s release,
there will be no immediate change to
organizational structure or jobs, and the
companies will operate as separate companies until the transaction closes. The
deal is expected to close by the second
half of this year.
“The combination establishes the
world’s premier live entertainment company by joining Live Nation’s concert
promotions expertise with Ticketmaster’s world-class ticketing solutions
and artist relationships to improve the live entertainment experience
and drive major innovations in ticketing technology, marketing and
service,” commented a representative from Live Nation.
The effect of steroids on America’s pastime
In America, the average sport’s fan turns on the television with the
anticipation of being entertained by pure competition. Controversy
is considered normal for sports, but after a few days of intense (and
sometimes annoying) media coverage, the ordeal fades somewhat, and
the collective minds of sports fans return to the daily happenings in the
world of sports. However, no controversy has lasted as long as what is
now referred to as the “Steroid Era” of baseball. Steroids have given
baseball a “bad rap” in the minds of thousands of fans, and with ongoing
investigations being highly publicized by sports outlets, the major blemish of baseball has entered center stage. Baseball is currently associated
primarily with steroids, and the main governing
body of baseball, the MLB, has a lot of explaining
To properly understand how steroids hit baseball
hard, one must first start with the beginning of the
Steroid Era. The creation of steroids can be traced
back to a team of scientists in the 1930’s who
developed the first synthetic form of testosterone to
help treat men who were unable to produce enough
of the hormone naturally. In 1975, the International
Olympic Committee banned the use of steroids in
Olympic competition. Penalties became stricter
in regard to the sale and possession of steroids,
but this did not phase black market dealers who
targeted athletes in major professional sports, such
as baseball and football.
Former MLB player Jose Canseco has written multiple books that tell about his experiences
with steroids during this era. Canseco, an admitted
steroid user, wrote his first tell-all book, Juiced, to
essentially turn in many current MLB players for
their steroid usage while playing. The book prompted MLB commissioner Bud Selig to respond with tougher steroid testing and stiffer penalties,
beginning in 2004.
Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell published the “Mitchell Report,” in which 90 players were linked to steroid or performance-enhancing drug usage. Superstars such as seven-time Cy Young award winner
Roger Clemens and home-run champion Barry Bonds were directly
linked to steroid use in the report. Clemens testified under oath, saying
he did not use steroids. Evidence that links Clemens to used syringes has
recently been made public, further damaging Clemens’ public image.
The increased testing would only open more doors to shame as hundreds
of other active players tested positive for steroids in 2003, including
former Texas Rangers’ slugger Alex Rodriguez.
The pictures of Rodriguez throughout his career led to suspicion
of steroid usage, as the young, athletic, and skinny shortstop quickly
evolved into a bulky power hitter over a few seasons. Rodriguez was
not punished for this because the testing was for informational purposes
only, not for penalizing players who tested positive. However, many
critics are calling for Rodriguez’s and Clemens’ records to include an asterisk (*) next to each statistic in order to identify that they used steroids
during their playing career. The speculation of how long it would take
for “A-Rod” to break Bonds’ record has now ended, and fans across the
world are disappointed as the home-run hitter whom many considered to
be clean, has now been thrown into the fire with Bonds and other steroid
users. With the Rodriguez controversy, baseball has
once again been dealt a low blow, further deepening
the wound that steroid and performance-enhancing
drug usage has inflicted upon America’s great sport.
Baseball has been considered America’s pastime
for decades, and now football has taken over as the
number one sport in the nation. Basketball, with the
remergence of the NBA and the captivating play
of the NCAA Tournament, has climbed back into a
tie with baseball for second place. The one leading
factor that basketball has over baseball is the lack of
steroid usage. When was the last time the reporters
at ESPN broke a major story about a star basketball
player using steroids? Superstars like Kobe Bryant,
Dwayne Wade, and STVM alum LeBron James have
made their fortune through hard work and dedication
to the integrity of their sport. Bryant and James are
breaking records, and not one person is asking for an
asterisk next to their records in the books.
In football, very minimal steroid usage is
evident in the NFL, as a majority of the users end
up sustaining career-threatening injuries because of
their unnatural size. Almost no players use steroids in college football.
Linebacker Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers tested positive
for steroid use twice, but followed these tests with a season-ending and
possible career-threatening knee injury that required reconstructive knee
surgery. Merriman is the only high-profile case in today’s NFL.
Meanwhile, baseball has many of these same cases, and for years
did nothing. Now, after criticism has been directed at them by countless “talking heads,” the MLB has begun to step up its procedures,
and the number of steroid users has drastically dropped in the past few
years. Baseball is beginning its climb upwards, but the Steroid Era has
hampered the progress quite a bit. With a new season on the horizon, the
nation will wait and see how baseball will continue its climb back to the
top of the sports world.
Crisis in Darfur elevates tension with kidnappings
The humanitarian disaster area of Darfur has raised worldwide attention as three aid workers were kidnapped on March 11 in Khartoum,
Sudan, the first Westerners to be kidnapped as a result of the growing
intimidation of aid agencies by the Sudanese government. The victims
worked for an international aid program called Doctors without Borders. The kidnapping of foreigners occurred after the Netherlands-based
International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese
President Omar al-Bashir, accusing him of war crimes in Darfur. Up to
300,000 people have been killed, and 2.7 million have been driven from
their homes. Sudanese officials feared the warrant would leave foreign-
ers in Sudan a target for anger and revenge attacks. Ali Sadiq, a Foreign
Ministry official, told Al-Jazeera television that the warrant “encourages
lawlessness and armed groups to target aid groups and their workers.”
Late Thursday, March 12, a state-linked media organization stated
that the kidnappers were accepting ransoms for the aid workers.
“The kidnappers asked for a ransom and they reassured us that they
don’t want violence,” Governor Osman Kebir stated.
Al-Bashir has expelled 13 aid groups as a response to his indictment
by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes in
Darfur. Despite this, Christopher Stokes, director of the Belgian branch,
confirmed that he would pull the rest of his staff out of Sudan until the
seized personnel were returned.
Current shift exists in religious affiliations
“Get involved with church ministries and let your voice be heard.”
A recent survey released by Trinity College revealed that there is a
current shift in religious affiliation. Americans are rejecting organized
religion as a whole and are looking more
to themselves for faith and instruction.
The study, known as the American Religious Identification Survey 2008, was the
third one conducted since 1990 by the
college’s Program on Public Values.
“Everybody’s on a spiritual pilgrimage, and they have to find their way. I
think people are probably turned off to
organized religion because it’s not fulfilling their needs,” stated Garland DeBord.
DeBord is among the 34 million Americans identified with no religion at all last
year, according to the survey.
Fifteen percent of those surveyed
said that they had no religious affiliation
and the number of atheists almost doubled- going from 900,000 to 1.6
“...Maybe people are turning away from organized religion because
they aren’t interested in God,” said Pastor Kim Simmons of Parkway
Church. Simmons defined religion as “man trying to bring himself closer
to God,” but said, “Christianity, or the faith of the Bible, is God reaching
out to man.”
The shift of the United States’ Catholic population from the Northeast
to the Southwest is a result of the growing Latino population where immigrants are coming from countries such as Mexico, El Salvador, Peru,
and Costa Rica. One in three Americans was reared in the Catholic faith,
although today only 24 percent are practicing Catholics . Despite this
trend, the Northeast has the greatest concentration of Catholics with the
South having the heaviest concentration of Protestants.
“I haven’t been here but a year now, but
certainly the growth over the last 25 years
is an influx of new immigrants from outside
the area,” DeBord said. He also commented
that 90 percent of the services and activities
conducted by churches are in Spanish in the
Immigrants are also disproportionately
represented among religions in the U.S.,
including Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
The U.S. is also seeing a growing population
of Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
According to a recent survey by Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans say that
they are satisfied with the role of religion in
However, Mr. Chris Salvatore feels that
Catholics need to focus on the message. “Jesus’ message is very
simple – ‘Love one another as I love you’ John 15:12. Many have
left the faith because of the sins of church leaders or hypocrisy among
church members. Don’t let these poor examples taint your view of the
faith. Second, remember why you are there (at church, that is). Is it
to be entertained, or is it to experience God in Word, Sacrament, and
community? We can’t be distracted by poor musical selections or dry
homilies. The third is to get involved. It is easier to criticize from the
outside but easier to change things from the inside. Get involved with
church ministries and let your voice be heard.”
Area churches forced to close and merge
The Cleveland Catholic Diocese came up with a plan to downsize
churches in the Cleveland and Akron area. TheBishop Lennon announced this plan on Saturday, March 14 as more than 750,000 waited to
hear the announcement. Churches
are closing as a result of the extremely low attendance in churches
recently. Twenty-nine will be closing while others in close proximity
will be merging together. In this
process, 18 new churches will be
created while there will be a total
of 52 fewer parishes.
In the Cleveland area, the most
well known church closing is St.
Ignatius of Antioch. Reverend
James McGonegal told the congregation that he would try to appeal
the closing. “This is a process and
it is not over yet,” McGonegal
said. “Stay with us. Pray with us.”
Because of population shifts, the struggling economy, and the declining number of available priests, change is necessary, according to Bishop
Lennon. Financial hardships for parishes are occurring because of
population shifts in the struggling economy.
In Summit County six churches are being closed. These six churches
are: Saints Cyril and Methodius, Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary’s, St. Hedwig, and Christ the King. Parishioners are also
being asked to recommend names for the
new merged churches. Two of the more
well known churches are St. Bernard’s
and St. Mary’s.
Another well known church in Akron
that is closing is St. John the Baptist
Church. Louis Zuzak, a 42 year member
of the church, is on the verge of quitting.
He said, “The day I found out St. John’s
would close, I went home and broke
down in tears. It’s too emotional for me
to go back.”
Thomas Jenkins has been at St.
Martha’s since 1930 and objects to the
parish merging. He said “We have no
assurances that anyone from Christ the
King will come to St. Martha’s. How
do you justify changing the name of a parish when you don’t know if
anyone is coming from the other parish?”
1 Carry to put things in
3 Light one in church
4 Peeping baby
8 Jesus rose on this day
10 March in one
11 Use crayons to do this
12 Symbol of the Crucifixion
16 Day Christ was crucified
18 Brings Easter goodies
19 Day of week Christ arose
20 They get decorated
1 A hat
2 An angel told them “He is ...”
5 Nailed to the cross
6 Small sugared goodies
7 Religious ceremony
9 Season in which Easter usually arrives
13 Easter flower
14 Symbol of innocence
17 One was at the tomb