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Vol. 51, No. 3                                                 www.minnechaug.tumblr.com                                                       December 16, 2010


Columbine victim inspires students
          by Rohit Murthy
	         Rachel Joy Scott was the first
victim of the tragic Columbine High
School shooting in 1999. The shooting
greatly affected the lives of the families
of the dead and wounded as well as the
entire United States of America.
          On Friday, December 10, Ra-
chel’s uncle, Larry Scott, came to Min-
nechaug and spoke about Rachel’s now
famous essay, “My Ethics, My Codes
of Life,” and how it impacted her fam-
ily after her death. In it, she wrote about
how people are unnecessarily cruel to one
another and why she chose to trust others
and show them compassion.
          “My codes may seem like a
fantasy that can never be reached, but
test them for yourself, and see the kind
of effect they have in the lives of people
around you. You just may start a chain
reaction,” she wrote.
          Rachel challenged her reader to
“inspire, equip and empower every person
to create a permanent positive culture
change in (our) school and community
by starting a chain reaction of kindness
and compassion.”
          During his presentation, Scott
spoke about the negative impact the im-
mense amount of violence in the media
has on children. The Columbine shooters
who took Rachel’s life were deeply influ-
enced by violent movies.                                                                                                                        photo by Kathleen Burke
          To many, violent retaliation  REMEMBERING AND INSPIRING: Larry Scott, the uncle of Rachel Joy Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine
has become acceptable because of the    High School tragedy, shared Rachel’s legacy and challenged students to be more kind, positive, and less judgmental of
                                        one another.
frequency of its appearance in television
shows or movies. “Input equals output,” ducer, is hoping to change the industry mindless violence. Scott also spoke about even in neighborhoods where one be-
said Scott as he illustrated his point. Now
                                        and make movies that will have a positive prejudice and how people are unfairly lieves that everything is going to be safe,
Rachel’s brother, Craig Scott, a film pro-
                                        impact on society, rather than ones with judged because of the color of their skin, violence can happen anywhere. The
                                                                                                        how they look, or silence and respect towards the speaker
                                                                                                        any disabilities they during the assembly at Minnechaug was
                                                                                                        have. He said that unprecedented. “The student body has
                                                                                                        we were all guilty never been so quiet,” said Physical Edu-
                                                                                                        of prejudice, but we cation teacher Melissa Doe-Largay. “If
                                                                                                        must all overcome the assembly affected even a few people,
                                                                                                        our prejudices and it succeeded, because kindness is infec-
                                                                                                        keep open minds. tious.” After the assembly, Scott met with
                                                                                                        He stressed how select students from all grades to discuss
                                                                                                        crucial it was that a club that is to be established at Min-
                                                                                                        we show compas- nechaug: Friends of Rachel (FOR).
                                                                                                        sion for one an-                 The club would carry out Ra-
                                                                                                        other.                 chel’s message, with activities such as
                                                                                                                   T h e i m - “Mix It Up Day,” where students from
                                                                                                        pact from acts of different cliques would sit together at
                                                                                                        kindness a person lunch and make sure no one was sitting
                                                                                                        does every day can alone, like Rachel Joy Scott did. Anyone
                                                                                                        be minute to life- can join the club.
                                                                                                        saving. For exam-                Today, FOR clubs have been
                                                                                                        ple, Scott shared an established in schools across America,
                                                                                                        anecdote about how doing incredible acts of kindness to live
                                                                                                        Rachel prevented Rachel’s five challenges. Rachel’s codes
                                                                                                        a bullied boy from of life have been spread across the United
                                                                                                        taking his life by States and across the world. Her uncle
                                                                                                        simply defending told us of her goal to have an impact on
                                                                                                        him from the bullies the world and how she said it as though
                                                                                                        at school.             it was a fact and not a wish.
                                                                                                                   The story             Her goal is now a reality and
                                                                                                        of the terrible shoot- Rachel Joy Scott has helped students be-
                                                                                photo by Kathleen Burke ing at Columbine come better people, has inspired millions
TAKING ON THE CHALLENGE: Students who were inspired by Scott’s message had an op-                       High School serves to view their world differently, and caused
portunity after each assembly to sign a banner agreeing to accept the challenges he presented. as a warning that, the chain reaction that she hoped for.

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Page 2                                                 The Smoke Signal                           December 16, 2010                                                             News



Concrete start for new school
         by K.T. Laliberte                    the school with equipment and supplies.                                      building saves time and money, as the
                                                                                          highest part of the frame and then watch
       Assistant News Editor                  As for the new development in the student   as it is lifted into place.      design for the school is already estab-
                                              parking lot, some drainage work needed                                       lished. Building using the model school
                                                                                                      Regarding the construction
           Since beginning construc-                                                                                                  allows for construction to
tion this past summer, the Fontaine                                                                                                   begin a year earlier than when
Brothers have stayed on schedule                                                                                                      designing a school without the
while working to build the new Min-                                                                                                   model.
nechaug.                                                                                                                                       The Massachusetts
           As of now, the project is set                                                                                              School Building Authority
to be finished in June 2012 without                                                                                                   claims that model schools
complication. The closest the project                                                                                                 allow for an additional five
has come to facing difficulty was                                                                                                     percentage points added to the
in creating a flat elevation on the                                                                                                   reimbursement rate, permit-
construction site. The soil originally                                                                                                ting schools to construct more
found on the site was unsuitable to                                                                                                   efficient buildings than they
build on, so new soil that was more                                                                                                   would previously have been
compact was brought in in order to                                                                                                    able.
ensure that the building would be at                                                                                                           In the future, as the
the proper elevation.                                                                                                                 construction continues to prog-
           Students may have noticed                                                                                                  ress, it is hoped that groups of
vibrations running through the school                                                                                                 students will be allowed to
during the fall, which resulted from                                                                                                  tour the construction site to
trucks bringing in and compacting                                                                                                     get a better understanding of
the new soil, however, this disruption                                                                                                the future school’s layout.
is expected to diminish over time.                                                                                                             Students will notice
Superintendent of Schools Martin                                                                                                      that sports fields have been
O’Shea admits that “there will be                                                                                                     removed in order to be used
times when it will get noisy,” but this                                                                                               as grounds for the new school.
should decrease once the compaction                                                                                                   Closest to the location of the
process is finished.                                                                                                                  former track is the begin-
           Work for the new school is                                                                        photo by Kathleen Burke nings of the education wing.
going on behind the scenes as well as THE BARE BONES: Workers lay down foundation for the new building, working to start the Also constructed is a structure
on site. The building committee and steel frame before the holidays.                                                                  meant for storing acid waste for
the high school staff have been working to be done, which involved disrupting progress, O’Shea said that things are go- the science department in the new school.
to finalize plans for the new school. As- the pavement. New developments such ing well. “It’s a model school built on the Near where the baseball fields were lo-
pects such                                                         as this, such Ashland School model which was built cated stands the foundation for the class-
as furniture                                                       as the steel in eighteen                                                            room wing.
and equip-                                                         frame that will months by                                                           If interested
ment need                                                          soon begin to t h e s a m e                                                         in finding out
to be taken                                                        be construct- c o n t r a c -                                                       more about the
into con-                                                          e d , s h o u l d tors. Right                                                       progress, the
sideration                                                         be expected. now, there                                                             HWRSD web-
to most                                                            Construction is no rea-                                                             site features a
efficiently                                                        will continue son to think                                                          slideshow of
benefit the                                                        throughout the (the school)                                                         pictures show-
students.                                                          winter months, w o n ’t b e                                                         ing the site pri-
A l r e a d y,                                                     allowing the f i n i s h e d                                                        or to construc-
O’Shea has                                                         steel frame to b y J u n e                                                          tion as well as
been con-                                                          be finished in 2012” said                                                           current photos
tacted by                                                          early January. O’Shea. In                                                           taken on site,
                                              photo Kathleen Burke There is ex- 2008, Ash-
vendors                                                                                                                        photo Kathleen Burke and from the
looking to HARD AT WORK: Fontaine Bros. employees have pected to be land High BREAKING GROUND: The location of the new school’s roof.
sell varied worked on site since the summer.                       a ceremony in S c h o o l school has seen a lot of change since construction. Monthly up-
classroom furnishings to the school. The which students currently attending Min- became a                                                              dates summa-



                                                                    BRIEFS
summer months following the end of con- nechaug will sign the last beam on the model school. Use of a model school in rizing the construction’s progress can be
structions will be used to finish furnishing                                                                               found on the website as well.
                                                                                                                                           said, “the audience seemd to respond well
Students MOO-ving in                                                                                                                       to our fundraising efforts. We hope to do
                                                                                                                                           it again.”
           The average Minnechaug stu-        son. New members are always welcome,        does throughout the year. The advisors                     “We definitely think (the fund-
dent may not consider the process of          and those interested can attend one of      and students worked hard this season.            raiser) was successful and we are going

                                                                                          Madrigals raffle
bringing fresh food to the dinner table,      MOO’s Wednesday meetings in room                                                             to try to put together another raffle for
but the new student organization MOO          M9.                                                                                          the spring POPs concert, seeing as that
hopes to change that perspective. MOO
is an acronym that stands for Min-
nechaug Organic Organization.
                                              NHS food drive
                                                        The National Honors Society
                                                                                                     At this year’s winter concert, one
                                                                                          could see the Madrigal singers not only
                                                                                                                                           is another concert that usually draws a
                                                                                                                                           big crowd” said Junior and Madrigals
                                                                                                                                           member Megan Wallace.
           The club is dedicated to assist-   hosted its annual Thanksgiving drive dur-   on stage, but at the door. The Madrigals                   The trip would consist of a three
ing local organic farms through volun-        ing the week of November 15. The NHS        put on a fundraiser, known as a “Chinese         day cruise competition, which will be
teer work, fundraising efforts, and advo-     accepted canned goods and non-perish-       raffle” in order to raise funds for the club’s   judged by a group of experienced musi-
cacy of the benefits of organic food.         able food items until November 19 in or-    future plans; a trip to Nassau in the Baha-      cians. To make this field trip a reality, the
           “Organic foods are grown           der to provide Thanksgiving meals to the    mas that is in the works for this coming         Madrigals have been raising money using
free of pesticides, herbicides, and other     open pantry in downtown Springfield.        spring.                                          various fundraisers. Recently the club had
chemicals that have unknown or dan-                     The total amount collected in                Members of the Madrigals were         a raffle at their winter concert consisting
gerous health effects,” said Senior John      the Thanksgiving Drive was around           required to donate $25 worth of merchan-         of prize baskets that the audience would
Cushman, President of the new club. “By       1300 items. “The Food Drive was more        dise each to be raffled off at the door          pay $1 to enter for a chance to win.
buying locally grown food you are sup-        successful than last year and the NHS       during the winter concert on December                       Altogether, the Madrigals were
porting your local economy rather than        thanks everyone for their participation,”   7. Senior Antonette Nieves said, “We             able to raise $498. They hope that the
the industrial agriculture corporations       said Event Chair and NHS member Senior      worked very hard putting together the            money they raised will allow them to
who push working class farmers out of         Anthony Barbieri.                           raffle baskets and luckily it was a good         take their field trip this spring. “This trip
the market.”                                            To help motivate more people to   outcome.” Purchasers placed their tickets,       is something Mr. Drury has been waiting
           The group has wasted no time in    donate items, a competition was formed      sold at one dollar apiece, into various bas-     to do his entire career and we decided
reaching out to the local farmers that use    among Minnechaug’s A-block classes.         kets of their interest. When asked about         this year we had to make it happen” said
organic methods. MOO has already vol-                   The class that donated the most   the fundraiser, Junior Anthony Yacovone          Wallace.
unteered at the Pomeroy Vegetable Farm        items would receive their
in East Longmeadow, and is planning a         choice of a pizza or break-
visit to the Redfire Farm in Granby.          fast party.
           MOO also has plans to improve                The winner this
the organic opportunities in the Hamp-        year was Ms. Fitzgerald’s
den-Wilbraham area. With the funds            ecology class with a total
from future fundraising efforts, members      of 286 items donated.
of MOO will be constructing a chicken                   Junior Chris
coop to provide organic eggs.                 Weyant was very pleased
           At Minnechaug itself, the club     with the schools efforts.
hopes to establish an organic garden in       “Anything that we can do
the courtyard to grow vegetables and          to help others should be
herbs.                                        done,” said Weyant.
           MOO is advised by biology                    This is just one
teachers Lea Fitzgerald and Sabra Dick-       of many fundraisers NHS
Page 3                                              The Smoke Signal                             December 16, 2010                                                  News


North Korea provokes neighbor
       by Nasim Cheraghi                   house military installations and located                                           by the Chinese, the South has held back
                                                                                         again, blamed the North for the casualties
     Assistant Features Editor             on disputed waters, wrote John Sudworth       (BBC).                               from retaliating against their long-time
                                           for the BBC.                                            This ongoing pattern shouldadversary in order to prevent a breakout
          A multitude of artillery shells            North Korea accused Seoul for       have made the South Koreans more     of war.
were dropped on the South Korean is-       its “reckless military provocation as fir-    cautious of possible future attacks. The        China, an ally of North Korea,
land, Yeonpyeong, in an attack made by     ing dozens of shells inside the territorial                                        disapproved of the North’s decision to
                                                                                         attack was considered an “accident,” ac-
neighboring country, North Korea. This     waters of the North” (Huffington Post).       cording to North Korea.              make such an attack and encouraged both
November 23 attack has been coined “the    Some say that the South should have an-                                            countries to resume peace talks, believ-
                                                                                                   Some fear that a simple accident
worst clash since the Korean War,” by      ticipated an attack from the North due to                                          ing it to be the best way to settle issues.
                                                                                         can spark the beginning of another Korean
BBC, guardian.co.uk, Huffington Post,      previous warnings, threats, and attacks.      War.                                 However, the history of the two neighbors
and numerous other media.                                                                                                                     makes cooperation seem
          According to North                                                                                                                  impossible (Reuters).
Korea, the attack was justified,                                                                                                                  The United States also
as they said that Sotuh Korea                                                                                                                 condemned the attack and
had attacked them first. How-                                                                                                                 ensured that it would de-
ever, with four deaths and over                                                                                                               fend South Korea if further
15 people wounded, there does                                                                                                                 problems arose. However,
not seem to be any reasonable                                                                                                                 President Barack Obama
cause for attack or murder.                                                                                                                   said that he would not spec-
          The island of Yeon-                                                                                                                 ulate on military actions
pyeong lies near the disputed                                                                                                                 just yet. He believes that
Yellow Sea border, only a few                                                                                                                 working to lessen North
miles from North Korea. Once                                                                                                                  Korea’s nuclear capabili-
the North Korean bombings                                                                                                                     ties and resuming peace
had begun, chaos ran loose on                                                                                                                 talks would be the most
the island.                                                                                                                                   progressive method of at-
          The South Korean                                                                                                                    tack (guardian.co.uk).
civilians feared for their lives.                                                                                                                 One would think that
“Houses and mountains are on                                                                                                                  the now almost 70-year-
fire and people are evacuat-                                                                                                                  long conflict between
ing…People are frightened to                                                                                                                  North and South Korea is
death,” said a witness of the                                                                                                                 unresolvable. The tension
attack (BBC).                                                                                                                                 continues to rise as random
          Another witness,                                                                                                                    attacks and accusations are
Lim Jung-eun, a 36-year-old                                                                                                                   fired across the border.
housewife on the island, de-                                                                                                                      The recent North Ko-
scribed her experience during                                                                                                                 rean attack on South Korea
the tragic event. “I heard the                                                                                                                has increased civilian and
sound of artillery, and I felt                                                                                                                international fear of a pos-
that something was flying over                                                                                                                sible war. “It’s unbeliev-
my head. Then the mountain                                                                                                                    able! Today’s news proves
caught on fire” (BBC).                                                                                                                        that North Korea, under
          The hour-long hor-                                                                                  photo courtesy of google.com unprovoked conditions,
ror resulted in the burning of A MOMENT OF SILENCE: South Koreans take their time to remember the victims of the November 23 shot these South Korean
eventually collapsed buildings tragedy, when North Korea shelled the island of Yeonpyeong.                                                    islands. It’s reckless provo-
and the evacuation of 1,600                                                                                                                   cation,” said professor of
civilians to shelters.                             Previously this year in March,           “It brings us one step closer to international relations at Peking Univer-
          What led the North to attack the a South Korean warship exploded and the brink of war because I don’t think sity, Zhu Feng. “They want to make a big
South so unexpectedly? Earlier that day, sunk. Investigation surrounding the issue the North would seek war by intention, bang and force the negotiations back into
South Korea test launched several shell- pointed fingers at none other than North but war by accident, something spiraling their favor. It’s the oldest trick.”
ing exercises, which they later reported Korea.                                    out of control has always been my fear,”              With each new attempt to pro-
were aimed away from their northern                Another attack, prior to the said Peter Beck, a research fellow with voke the South Koreans, North Korea is
neighbor.                                  explosion of the warship, involved a the Council on Foreign Relations, to the aiming for war. With evidence from his-
          The North, however, claimed it ruptured dam between the North and Huffington Post.                                  tory, the current situation in Korea seems
was an attack and therefore had justifi- South. The waters of the dam killed six            Thankfully, with the help of its to fit into an ongoing pattern, one that does
cation to attack Yeonpyeong, known to South Koreans, and investigation, once ally, the United States, and reasoning not have an evident point of conclusion.



New teachers enter mid-semester
         by K.T. Laliberte                           When asked why she chose                                              ness, but did not have prior experience in
                                                                                         in partially through the semester.”
       Assistant News Editor               teaching, Jenkins said, “I like to make                                         the teaching world. Her new position in
                                                                                                  Another student, junior Rohit
                                           a difference in kids’ lives and help them                                       Minnechaug is her first teaching position.
                                                                                         Murthy, thinks that “it seems like she’s do-
          Two new teachers joined          through their high school years which can     ing a good job.” She is currently teaching  However, her desire to teach
the teaching staff at Minnechaug late      be a difficult part of their adolescence.                                       made her a good candidate for the
                                                                                         two freshmen classes and a junior class, and
this year, welcoming new additions         We like to have fun in physical educa-                                          position as a business class teacher.
                                                                                         hopes to stay at Minnechaug for awhile.
to the Physical Education depart-          tion, but we learn different life lessons.”                                     “I have wanted to be a teacher since
                                                                                                  Also new to the teaching staff is
ment and the Business department.                    A current student, ju-                                                I was in high school,” said Hastings.
                                                                                         Ms. Katie Hastings who teaches business
          Ms. Eileen Jen-                                                                                                           Her favorite part of Minnechaug
kins, a previous Min-                                                                                                               is the environment. “Minnechaug
nechaug employee, was                                                                                                               has a real sense of community,
hired as a physical educa-                                                                                                          not only between staff members,
tion and health teacher af-                                                                                                         but between students and staff as
ter Mrs. Fisher retired part                                                                                                        well. So far it has been a won-
way through the semester.                                                                                                           derful place to work,” she said.
          Jenkins was also                                                                                                                     The entire teaching
a teacher at Minnechaug in                                                                                                          staff has been helping her to
2008-2009, before relocat-                                                                                                          adjust to the new job. She ex-
ing to South Hadley high                                                                                                            pressed her thankfulness to the
school part time. When of-                                                                                                          teaching staff, “Everyone has
fered a full time job as Mrs.                                                                                                       been so helpful and willing to
Fisher’s replacement, she                                                                                                           go out of their way to help me.
thought taking on a full time                                                                                                       I cannot pinpoint one person in
job would make more sense.                                                                                                          particular because anytime I need
          However, when                                                                                                             help or have a question, anyone I
asked of the transfer from                                                                                                          asked has been happy to help.”
one school to the other, Jen-                                                                                                                  Hastings is currently
kins said, “It was difficult                                                                                                        teaching business during sec-
to change schools in the                                                                                                            ond and third blocks alongside
middle of the year. I didn’t                                                                                                        Ms. Joanne Weisser. She has
know the kids names, and                                                                                                            wanted to teach since she was
they already had a routine.”                                                                                                        in high school because she
          Prior to teaching,                                                                           photos by Kathleen Burke “loves contributing to the in-
Jenkins attended Spring- WELCOME TO MINNECHAUG: Physical Education and Health teacher Ms. Eileen Jenkins and tellectual growth of students
field College and majored in business class teacher Ms. Katie Hastings entered their current teaching positions partially through and helping to shape them into
Movement and Sports stud- first semester.                                                                                           well rounded young adults.”
ies, with the intention of be-                                                                                                                 M i n n e c h a u g
coming a teacher. “I realized I wanted to nior Cameron Walulak, thinks, “She classes. Before coming to Minnechaug, w e l c o m e s M s . J e n k i n s a n d M s .
be a teacher in high school”, said Jenkins. is adjusting really well for coming she was involved in the world of busi- H a s t i n g s t o t h e t e a c h i n g s t a ff .
Page 4                                                   The Smoke Signal                             December 16, 2010                                                            News


News streamed through internet site
          by Eleanor Tynan                     which contained 250, 000 documents, was reported by the White House that                     stated that in the future, they plan to attack
                                               including depictions of how diplomats “Obama expressed his regrets for the                   a large American bank. “(It will) give a
           The Wikileaks scandal has been      and American government officials view deplorable action by Wikileaks and the                true and representative insight into how
the highlight of news reels and online         other countries. On De-                                            two leaders agreed        banks behave at the executive level in a
chats for the past few months. With a          cember 12, USA Today                                               that it will not in-      way that will stimulate investigations and
month’s worth of headlines, it would be        reported that Wikileaks                                            fluence or disrupt        reforms” said Assange. He also stated
assumed that the topic would soon fade         released information                                               the close coopera-        that although the pending bank “mega-
out of the public spotlight, but recent        regarding the U.S.’s                                               tion between the          breach” will have a large scale impact,
reports seem to suggest that the United        opinion of Turkey and                                              United States and         it will not be as prominent as the breach
States will not be forgetting this incident    Mexico. USA Today                                                  Turkey.” Even with        regarding the Iraq war, which surfaced
any time soon.                                 stated, “In cables re-                                             the many diplomat-        back in July.
           Wikileaks, though it has only       leased by Wikileaks,                                               ic conversations                    According to the same private
been in the news lately, has been in exis-     some U.S. diplomats                                                underway, the fu-         interview, Wikileaks is currently sift-
tence since 2006. The web site is designed     raised questions about                                             ture of Wikileaks         ing through many documents including
to provide the public with secret or secure    Turkey’s reliability as                                            is still up in the air.   secrets behind BP’s recent oil spill and
government documents. According to The         a global partner, given                                            As of now, several        the Russian government. They are work-
Standard (an online website that reports       the rise of pro-Islamist                                           servers are denying       ing on revealing many secrets of the oil
on topics relating to public justice and       and anti-Israel senti-                                             Wikileaks the right       companies, going even farther than BP.
fairness) website reads, “Wikileaks will       ments within its gov-                                              to a domain name.         Assange told Forbes that many of these
accept restricted or censored material of      ernment.”                                                          According to the          facts will be found through industrial
political, ethical, diplomatic or historical             This huge                                                Murfreesboro Post,        espionage.
significance. We do not accept rumor,          release of top secret                                              the “company was                    Though Assange is making plans
opinion, and other kinds of first hand         papers has led to global                                           kicked off its serv-      for Wikileaks’ future, his own is still in
accounts or material that is publicly avail-   scandal. The efforts                                               ers in the United         jeopardy. After American officials were
able elsewhere.”                               to clean up the mess                                               States and France,        unsuccessful in arresting him on espio-
            Australian citizen, Julian As-     made in the wake of                                                then PayPal began         nage charges, he fled to Europe. On De-
sange has been editor-in-chief and             the breach have been                                               refusing to accept        cember 12, the Huffington Post reported
spokesperson for Wikileaks since the           taken over by some of                                              payments for the          that Assange was surrendering to Scotland
program began in 2006. Assange was             the United States most                                             site.”                    Yard and was being held without bail until
responsible for the material published         prominent officials.                                                          Even with      it is determined how to extradite him to
since that time. The material published        USA Today reported                                                 the denial of ser-        Sweden on sex crime charges.
was controversial to say the least. Forbes     on December 12 that                                                vice attacks, the                   Even with the arrest of their
magazine reported, “Over the last year         President Obama had                   photo courtesy of google.com website seems to          leader, Wikileaks is still managing to
his information insurgency has dumped          personally made phone NEWS LEAKED OUT: The new                      have plans under-        pour out secret government information.
76,000 secret Afghan war documents and         calls to diplomats in Wikileaks offers anonymous sources way for the future.                 U.S. officials worry that the continuation
another trove of 392,000 files from the        Turkey and Mexico for controversial stories and inci-               Forbes magazine          of information leaks will lead to the dis-
Iraq war into the public domain–the larg-      urging them to disre- dents around the world.                       reported that in a       solving of diplomatic relations amongst
est classified military security breaches      gard the publications                                               private interview,       the nations of the globe. The real question
in history.” However, Assange did not          on Wikileaks and continue to engage in Assange stated that they still had many               seems to be, how long will this last, and
stop there. In November he released the        friendly relations with the United States. documents relating to the private sector          how much damage is Wikileaks capable
first of the U.S. State Department papers,     In the same USA Today publication, it that they were waiting to release. He                  of doing?


Students help underpriviledged children
         by Colin Geaghan                      raised around $170,000 last year, surpass-    class who raised the most money. Last          make the same impact as in years past.
                                               ing its $150,000 goal. Last year, more        year’s winning class was Mrs. Lowe’s Bi-       Chairperson of the event junior Micaela
	         The “Toys for Joy” foundation is     than 16,000 children and 5,000 families       ology class, with over 300 dollars raised.     Hamakawa says she donated to the fund-
one with holiday spirit that continuously      benefited from this fundraiser.               Lowe had her own method of getting her         raiser last year and thought that it went
shines in the lives of many. Following                   Minnechaug has, once again,         students to donate. “Whichever [of her         extremely well. “Lots of people donated
last year’s example, Minnechaug hopes to       chosen to participate and hopes to raise      classes] raised over fifty dollars – even if   and we raised a lot of money for under-
contribute a good amount of money in the       as much money as possible. The “Toys          they did not win the school wide competi-      privileged children,” said Hamakawa.
“Toys for Joy” fundraiser, bringing smiles     for Joy” fundraising event runs from          tion – would receive goodies from Dunkin                 Lowe agrees that the fundraiser
to the faces of as many underprivileged        November 29 to December 10 this year.         Donuts,” said Lowe. This, of course,           is a good way to give back. “I love the
children in Western Massachusetts as           All that is asked to benefit the charity is   raised morale and gave her students the        Toys for Joy fundraiser. I have been doing
possible.                                      to donate as much or as little as desired.    boost they needed to win. Lowe also            it myself since I was a kid. It is great to see
          The “Toys for Joy” foundation                  The “Toys for Joy” foundation       talked to her class about the importance       the amount of our students who will actu-
raises money to help deprived families         does, however, ask that only cash dona-       of giving back. “We talked about having        ally give back so generously,” said Lowe.
afford presents for their children dur-        tions be put forth. All donations can be      enough during the holiday season, and          As of now, Lowe’s classes are doing well
ing the holiday season. Proceeds from          dropped off in student activities through-    how other children who are less fortunate      in their efforts to fundraise, have raised
the event go to families of the Greater        out the set aside fundraising days.           than we are should have something.             over 120 dollars in just one class. This
Springfield area who have registered in                  To get more students to partici-              This really gave the kids the        year, the “Toys for Joy” foundation lost
the program.                                   pate in the event last year, Minnechaug       drive to bring in anything they could          a major anonymous sponsor, but it still
          The foundation, sponsored by         offered a chocolate fountain accompanied      which I was very proud of,” said Lowe.         expects to provide every child registered
The Republican and the Salvation Army,         by fruit and other assorted foods to the                This year, Minnechaug hopes to       with two presents this Christmas.
                                                                                                                                                      In spite of this major corporate
                                                                                                                                            loss, the “Toys for Joy” foundation still
                                                                                                                                            has the Salvation Army units in Westfield,
                                                                                                                                            Holyoke and Greenfield to support them.
                                                                                                                                            With the help of Minnechaug, “Toys for
                                                                                                                                            Joy” can bring holiday spirit to as many
                                                                                                                                            underprivileged children as possible.
Page 5                                               The Smoke Signal                             December 16, 2010                                                        News


Winter Concert inspires holiday cheer
         by Nina Orellana                   and Concert Choir- were directed by Ray-      “The art work was amazing,” said Junior      nice to hear something different, not the
                                            mond Drury.                                   Rachel White. “It was nice to see all the    same old, same old. It was nice to see
        Three words can sum up the                     The show began with a slide-       talent that we have in our school.”          [the band and choir] change it up,” said
Winter Concert put on by all three bands    show of images of various Minnechaug                    The Wind Ensemble opened the       Kenyon.
and three choirs: Christmas music ex-       students’ art work. It was a collection       concert with two pieces: “Veni, Veni” (O              The Concert Band followed,
travaganza. Countless favorites and a       of images and sculptures from the Art         Come, O Come Emanuel) arranged by            performing “Baby It’s Cold Outside”
number of traditional folk songs were       I, Art II, Studio in Clay, AP Studio, and     Davis and Longfield, a slower traditional    by Loesser arranged by Murtha, and




                                                                                                                                                    photo courtesy of The Falcon
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: At the Winter Semi-Formal dance held on December 3, students dressed to impress and smiled for numerous pictures
(right). Once in the Green Gym, students danced to three hours of continuous music. (left)

performed on December 7 by students of      Exploring Painting classes. This addition     carol featuring the euphoniums and bas-      “A Christmas Portrait,” a medly of the
all grades. The three bands- Honors Wind    to the winter concert exposed students and    soons. The band followed that arrange-       songs “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like
Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Concert        parents to a greater range of artistic tal-   ment with “Bells of Joy,” a more lively      Christmas,” “The Christmas Song” and
Band- were led by Margaret Reidy and        ent. It was a way to incorporate the whole    culmination of traditional Christmas         “We Need a Little Christmas” arranged
the three choirs- Madrigals, Treble Choir   art department into the winter concert.       carols arranged by Clark and Moses.          by Nowak.
                                                                                                                                                 Last to perform were the Mad-
                                                                                         Next up was the Treble Choir                  rigal singers who sang four pieces: “I
                                                                                   performing “How Can I Keep From                     Know a Young Maiden, Wondrous Fair,”
                                                                                   Singing?,” a traditional Shaker hymn                by Di Lasso, “O Magnum Mysterium,”
                                                                                   arranged by Littleton, “The Gift of                 by Victoria, “The Seal Lullaby,” by
                                                                                   Love,” a folk song arranged by Hop-                 Whitacre with words by Rudyard Kipling,
                                                                                   son, “Dodi Li,” a traditional Israeli               and “Fire, Fire!” by Morley. Senior Artur
                                                                                   song arranged by Rao, and “Walk-                    Wysoczanski accompanied the choir on
                                                                                   ing in the Air,” arranged by Snyder.                piano in their performance of “The Seal
                                                                                   Senior Eleanor Tynan guest directed                 Lullaby.”
                                                                                   the last selection as she is interning                        For the performers, the concert
                                                                                   for Mr. Drury.                                      marked the conclusion of many months of
                                                                                         Following the Treble Choir, the               hard work. “We’ve been working on this
                                                                                   Symphonic Band and Concert Choir                    concert since we finished the half-time
                                                                                   collaborated on “Snow!” which con-                  show,” said Junior Kalin Long, a member
                                                                                   sisted of a medley of popular holiday               of the Symphonic Band.
                                                                                   songs including “Frosty the Snow-                             Overall, the concert was enjoyed
                                                                                   man,” “Let it Snow!” and “Winter                    by a variety of audiences. “[I got] a lot of
                                                                                   Wonderland.” The Symphonic Band                     mails from teachers and parents praising
                                                                                   also performed “Coventry Carol,” a                  the concert,” said Reidy, “Students also
                                                                                   song arranged by Saucedo.                           told me they liked it.”
                                                                                         The Concert Choir also per-                             According to Reidy CD’s of the
                                                                                   formed several songs in addition to                 concert can be purchased as keepsakes for
                                                                                   its collaboration with the Symphonic                parents and students.
                                                                                   Band. Those pieces included “You                              Besides culminating the holiday
                                                                                   Gotta Sing,” a spiritual song arranged              units of the band and choir classes, the
                                                                                   by Emerson, “Things That Never                      winter concert demonstrated the musical
                                                                                   Die,” arranged by Greg Gilpin with                  and artistic abilities of students.
                                                                                   words by famous English author                                “Music is a peforming art, and
                                                                                   Charles Dickens, “Skye Boat Song,”                  needs to be performed. It wasn’t meant to
                                                                                   a Scottish Tune arranged by Patter-                 stay in the classroom,” said Drury.
                                                           photo by Kathleen Burke son, and “Snow,” from the popular                             Thanks to all the preparation
 ‘BELLS OF JOY’: The Wind Ensemble played two holiday pieces featuring a           holiday musical “White Christmas,”                  that did happen in the classroom, the
 wide range of instruments, including solos for the euphoniums and bassoons, as by Berlin arranged by Brymer.                          concert was considered a success by many
 well as a variety of percussive instruments for the more upbeat piece, “Bells of             Junior Kari Kenyon found                 involved, and performers can be proud of
 Joy.”                                                                             the joint piece refreshing. “It was                 the show they put on.


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Page 6
                                              FEATURES      The Smoke Signal                              December 16, 2010                                                       Features


Teen violence affects entire student body
         by Lisa Carson and                       different	classifications,	expressed	in	the	    that the only acted in self-defense.                   General immaturity may also
          Nasim Cheraghi                          handbook and by school law.” He says            However, Derosia points out that most        be partially to blame for school violence.
         Head and Assistant                       that	 the	 general	 definition	 of	 violence	   students have the opportunity to prevent     According to math teacher Karl
           Features Editors                       used by the school, however, is “any            a	fight:	“Most	times	when	there’s	a	fight	   Labradorf,	 students	 fight	 “because	 they	
                                                  physical contact that is unwanted.”             in school, one or both of the kids had       get upset about things that don’t matter
           Violence can be observed in                       Punishment is generally worse        another choice. Other students around        in the long run.”
children as early as preschool. It starts         if there is clear provocation or pre-           them encourage them, and the option of                 He believes that students need
out as temper tantrums, with occasional                                                                                                                         to learn that, later in
pushes and shoves. While many parents                                                                                                                           life, they will not even
and teachers are inclined to dismiss                                                                                                                            remember the things that
this as nothing more than a “phase,”                                                                                                                            upset them in high school.
the American Academy of Child and                                                                                                                               “The more responsible
Adolescent        Psychiatry       (AACAP)                                                                                                                      people are for themselves,
recommends that any seemingly violent                                                                                                                           the less likely they are
behavior should not be ignored.                                                                                                                                 to	 get	 into	 fights,”	 says	
	          This	is	because	there	is	a	definite	                                                                                                                 Labradorf. Miracle adds
correlation between children who act out                                                                                                                        that, “As you become
angrily in elementary school and those                                                                                                                          an adult, you realize that
who become aggressive later in life. Even                                                                                                                       the little things don’t
more indicative is adolescent behavior.                                                                                                                         matter.”
According to the 2002 World Report                                                                                                                                         Even         other
on Violence and Health, many teens                                                                                                                              students      agree      with
who commit violent crimes end up on                                                                                                                             this      wisdom        from
a “life-course persistent developmental                                                                                                                         the math department.
pathway,” meaning that they will                                                                                                                                Senior Regina Krawiec
continue to be violent into adulthood.                                                                                                                          believes that students
	          This	is	why	school	fights	raise	                                                                                                                     fight	 because,	 “They’re	
so much concern among administrators                                                                                                                            not at that maturity level
and teachers. In 2009, a nationwide                                                                                                                             where they can speak
survey by the Center for Disease Control                                                                                                                        out. Frustration and teen
(CDC) showed that 32 percent of high                                                                                                                            angst turns into physical
school students had been in a physical                                                                                                                          violence.”       Sophomore
fight	during	the	past	year,	and	11	percent	                                                                                            photo courtesy of CDC
                                                                                                                                                                Emily Albano puts it
of	these	students	had	been	in	a	fight	on	                                                                                                                      simply as, “They want
school property. Just under six percent           A DISTURBING TREND: Studies show that violent crime, particularly homicide, is consis- attention.”
of students reported bringing a weapon            tently more prevalent among teens than it is in other age groups. Possible causes for this                              Even before a
(defined	as	a	gun,	knife,	or	club)	to	school	     alarming statistic include over-exposure to violence and lack of communication skills.                       fight	 happens,	 rumors	
within the month before the survey.               meditation,	 or	 if	 the	 fight	 involves	 a	 telling an adult is like admitting loss.”      sometimes circulate the school. This
           These     statistics,    although      weapon. These include the traditional,                    When asked about the main build-up sets the stage for all kinds of
disturbing,	 are	 not	 necessarily	 reflected	    like knives and guns, but a foot can also reasons	why	Minnechaug	students	fight,	 drama. Students come into school with
in the Minnechaug student body. Many              be considered a weapon if someone Derosia said that, “A lot of it stems from emotions running high, excited to see a
students and faculty members, such as             is	 kicked.	 “A	 weapon	 is	 classified,	 by	 boyfriend/girlfriend drama, certainly fight.	
math teacher Kristen Miracle, say that            school law, as anything we deem to be a now when people are texting/posting                            It seems that, even though
they	 have	 never	 seen	 a	 fight	 within	 the	   weapon,” said Derosia.                         threats and spreading rumors, ratcheting many	 students	 dismiss	 fighting	 as	
halls of this school.                             Assault	 and	 battery,	 defined	 in	 the	 up anger they have before they see each immature, they too can get caught up
           According to John Derosia of           handbook as “Any willful and unlawful other.” He added that, “Technology in the action. “I don’t want to say it was
the	 Assistant	 Principal’s	 Office	 (APO),	      attempt or use of violence on another doesn’t allow kids to develop exciting, but…” says Krawiec of the one
most	fights	can	be	broken	up	before	they	         person,” results in suspension. An communication skills to reason their Minnechaug	 fight	 she	 has	 witnessed.	
start if an administrator hears about it.         attack on a faculty member can result in way	out	of	conflicts.”	This	is	supported	 Albano	also	described	the	fight	she	saw	
                                                                                                                                               as “exciting.
                                                                                                                                                         People seem drawn to violence.
                                                                                                                                               There are a countless number of videos

        Violence At Minnechaug                                                                                                                 and	 pictures	 of	 fights	 available	 online,	
                                                                                                                                               and	 if	 a	 video	 is	 captured	 of	 a	 fight	
                                                                                                                                               at school, it is sent around the entire
                                                                                                                                               building in a matter of minutes.
                                                                                                                                                         Many students admit to
          School Year                                             Fights                                     Assaults                          enjoying	 fights,	 but	 not	 many	 can	 say	
                                                                                                                                               why. “It’s entertaining,” said sophomore
           2008-2009                                                  22                                             5                         Joe Christman. “I mean, why do people
                                                                                                                                               watch boxing?” added junior Sam
           2009-2010                                                  24                                             8                         Spencer. Many students were stumped
                                                                                                                                               when asked why they would stop to
           2010-2011                                                   4                                             8                         watch,	or	even	cheer	on,	a	fight.	“I	don’t	
                                                                                                                                               know why I stop,” said Senior Becky
	         Most	 potential	 fights	 at	            expulsion. Also, if the act of violence is by the fact that, in the 1990s, youth Short, “It’s just human nature.”
Minnechaug never actually happen, due             deemed a felony or is seen by a police homicide rates increased in those in the                        Other students say they watch
to intervention by the APO. The number            officer,	the	student	could	be	arrested.        15-24 age group, mainly in developed fights	because	it	breaks	up	the	monotony	
of	 fights	 fluctuates	 from	 year	 to	 year.	               Even if a student is not directly countries (World Report). People who of the school day. Seeing someone get hit
“It’s all cyclical,” said Derosia, “In one        involved	 in	 a	 fight,	 he	 or	 she	 can	 be	 have access to means of communication or thrown to the ground is a suprise. “It’s
or	two	years;	there	will	be	a	rise	in	fights,	    suspended	for	recording	a	fight.	Although	 like texting, Facebook and email are able the initial shock of it happening,” said
most likely involving girls due to drama.         some students have complained that this to say things to people that they would junior Chris Perkins. In addition, popular
Then it will die down and go back up              is	not	fair,	videos	of	fights	are	considered	 never say face to face, inciting anger.        videos and television shows make it
again.”                                           “acts inciting other kids to create a                     There     are    many      other seem acceptable, or even desirable, for
          The school’s punishment for             disturbance,” according to Derosia. He underlying reasons why adolescents teens	to	fight	“It	gets	popularized	by	the	
violence	 and	 fighting	 is	 at	 minimum	         also pointed out that many times, the become violent. Among them are past media, and when we see it in our school,
a Saturday detention, and at most a 10            student taking the video is involved in physical or sexual abuse, exposure to it’s like ‘Whoa,’” said Krawiec.
day suspension. As to the question of             the drama.                                     violence at home or from media and                      While	many	students	see	fights	
what	 qualifies	 as	 violence,	 Derosia	                     At times, parents complain that entertainment, hereditary factors, drug as a form of entertainment, it must be
states that, “The school follows a few            their children are blameless, claiming and alcohol use, poverty, and general remembered that any violence occurring
                                                                                                 familial problems (AACAP). The Center in school should be taken seriously.
                                                                                                 for Disease Control (CDC) also includes Small problems and occurrences, like
                                                                                                 association with delinquent peers and minor bullying or a few thrown punches,
                                                                                                 difficulty	in	school	to	this	list.            can ultimately lead to criminally violent
                                                                                                            A lot of the problem also acts. Between 1992 and 2006, 116
                                                                                                 comes from over-exposure to violence students were killed in school homicides
                                                                                                 in the media, movies, and video games. in the US, and in Massachusetts youth
                                                                                                 “Students see and hear of violence every violence is the second leading cause of
                                                                                                 day,” said Derosia, “They become a death among adolescents aged 10 to 24
                                                                                                 little callous to the actual effects of it.” (CDC).
                                                                                                 Children between the ages of 8 and 18                   High	school	is	a	difficult	time;	
                                                                                                 see about 10,000 acts of violence a year stress and tension are prevalent in the
                                                                                                 on television (World Report). When lives of all students. As amusing as it
                                                                                                 violence is so prevalent in the lives of may	be	to	watch	a	fight,	keep	in	mind	the	
                                                                                                 young people, they see it as acceptable implications and consequences that could
                                                                                                 rather than taboo.                            occur as a result of this entertainment.
Page 7                                                     The Smoke Signal                              December 16, 2010                                                     Features



Harry Potter spellbinds audiences
           by Rohit Murthy                       Harry Potter,” one of the newest signs         responsible for the defeat of the most evil   argue that Harry Potter is a bad influence
                                                 of the popularity of the series, has many      wizard of all time and will attend a school   on children, but in fact the books teach
             Harry Potter is a phenomenon        attractions for the fans. Apart from the       for witches and wizards. He captured the      important morals like courage, friendship,
that, for lack of a better phrase, took the      rides and Hogwarts castle, the village         imagination of all readers, young and         trust, acceptance and perseverance.
world by storm. First came the books, then       of Hogsmeade holds most of the gift            old.                                                       The books are even ana-
the blockbuster movies, the merchandise          shops and a wide variety of Harry Potter                    Some also say the Potter books   lyzed in literature classes in colleges,
and most recently, “The Wizarding World                                                                              have become such a       like Swarthmore College, Georgetown,
of Harry Potter” theme park.                                                                                         phenomenon because       Pepperdine, and Yale University. Some
             The seven-book series has                                                                               they came at the cor-    colleges have taken up the sport of Quid-
been translated into 67 languages (includ-                                                                           rect time. People’s      ditch, a game played in the book where
ing Latin and Ancient Greek), have sold                                                                              imaginations had de-     participants fly on brooms in order to get
several hundreds of millions of copies                                                                               serted them and most     the golden snitch, and score goals with
and are something almost everyone in the                                                                             children’s books had     a quaffle, and formed the Intercollegiate
world knows well. It has been a gigantic                                                                             become tired and for-    Quidditch Association.
success for author J. K. Rowling, who                                                                                mulaic. As we read,                   Participants include Middle-
went from writing on napkins to own-                                                                                 we imagined and our      bury, Amherst, and Vassar Colleges,
ing her own castle in a little less than a                                                                           creativity returned.     along with Boston, Bucknell, and Cornell
decade. Her story itself is the epitome of                                                                               “It was our gen-     Universities. Recently, the Intercollegiate
hard work paying off. Harry’s story is                                                                               eration’s Star Wars,”    Quidditch Association became the Inter-
one of hope, a quality that Rowling had                                                                              said junior Harry        national Quidditch Association, with the
in spades.                                                                                                           Giza, “No other se-      sport now played in Canada, Mexico,
             It is a series that has affected                                                                        ries sparks so much      France Germany, the United Kingdom,
our generation immensely. Many children                                                                              imagination and          India, Australia and New Zealand.
around the world have grown up alongside                                                                             originality as (Harry                 When Rowling’s brilliant
Harry, Ron and Hermione. The stories of                                                                              Potter) does. I re-      prose first arrived on the big screen, mil-
the three friends who grew from children                                                                             member when they         lions of fans flocked to the theaters and
into adults, all the while going on amaz-                                              photo courtesy of google.com would tease us by         devoured the film with as much ferocity
ing adventures and fighting evil at every       FROM RAGS TO RICHES: After the release of Harry Pot- giving us the title of                   as they did the books.
twist and turn, were so entertaining and        ter, J.K. Rowling quit her job as a waitress and became the upcoming book                                  The story of Harry reached a
masterfully written that many of us lost        one of the richest women in the world.                              and my friends and I      new audience. For those who hadn’t read
ourselves in them for hours on end. The           merchandise can be purchased there―ev- would try and guess what it possibly could           the books, the films were a new way to
books transported us away from our world          erything from the average Bertie Bott’s mean.”                                              experience the tale. The final film, to be
every time we opened one of them.                 Every-Flavor Beans to Omnioculars.                         Thanks to Harry Potter we        released on July 15, 2011, will be eagerly
             “I think the Harry Potter books                  At Ollivander’s, replicas of have been given a reason to read for fun,          awaited by fans of the series. Harry Potter
provide something that almost everyone            characters’ wands and unique ones are preventing us from becoming consumed                  has been, and will likely continue to be,
can relate to,” said junior Jack Kapinos,         sold. The merchandise available is ex- by the technological age. Some argue the             appreciated across the world.
“They were essentially my childhood               tremely popular among fans and helps greatest accomplishment of the series was                           The mesmerizing story, the
and I think a lot of people would say the         to draw the massive crowds to the “The that it got children reading, and not only           endearing characters and fascinating my-
same.”                                            Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”             children, but their parents as well.          thology has become such an integral part
             Kapinos also visited “The                        This magical series has cap-                   The series hooked two en-        of our modern culture. The impact of the
Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” which           tivated readers across the globe. Rowl- tirely different generations.The books              Harry Potter series is clear; it reminded
he thoroughly enjoyed, saying that it             ing captured the essence of a hero with gave us all common ground to stand on.              children how to be creative and imagi-
was like he was, “right in the middle of          Harry, the instantly likeable outcast in the They were discussed among friends and          native and has given them an exciting
the books.” “The Wizarding World of               world of Muggles, who discovers he is helped many to make friends. Some may                 reason to read.


Black Friday madness excites students            unruly customers.
           by Julia Devine                                                                    agree that sales on large items, such as        from a comfortable chair where the risk of
                                                        The chaos may be one of the rea-      appliances, don’t apply to them.                being trampled is significantly less.
          Every year, as Americans get           sons that some students at Minnechaug                 In years past, stores have been                Nevertheless, every year thousands
ready to sit down for Thanksgiving din-                                                                        opening earlier and ear-       upon thousands of people will go out and
ner, thousands are lined up outside of                                                                         lier, and this year some       wait in long lines in freezing weather on
stores all over the country waiting for                                                                        stores ignored the Black       Black Friday. For some it’s for the deals
what some say are “incredible deals” on                                                                        Friday rule altogether         on the big name items, for others it’s the
televisions, iPods and hundreds of other                                                                       and started their sales on     tradition and for some it’s just the experi-
brand name products. That’s because the                                                                        Thanksgiving. The sales        ence. But whatever the reason, every year
Friday after Thanksgiving, otherwise                                                                           continued all through the      people go out and face unruly shoppers,
known as Black Friday, marks the begin-                                                                        weekend for most stores,       mobs of people and insane store open-
ning of the Christmas shopping season                                                                          but the biggest crowds         ings, while the rest of America peacefully
for many. Because of this tradition, along                                                                     were at the store open-        sleeps off Thanksgiving dinner.
with the “too good to be true” sales, this                                                                     ings.
day attracts thousands of shoppers each                                                                             This
year. Steals, like $3.99 movies at Target,                                                                     year, there
were an attractive feature of the store’s                                                                      have also
“Two Day Sale.” Stores like Manny’s                                                                            been an
had deals like “a free Whirpool dryer”                                           photo courtesy of google.com increasing
advertised in ads. Even Barnes and Noble         SALES GALORE: Endless lines of eager shoppers n u m b e r
got in on the action with “50% off all           wait outside Best Buy, hoping to get their hands on of people
cookbooks.”                                      some great deals during Black Friday sales.                   partici-
        Lines of people waited outside on                                                                      pating in
Thanksgiving Day for stores like Walmart         do not partake in Black Friday shopping. Cyber Monday, the online
to open their doors at times as early as         Freshman Abby Foley said the big shop- shopping day the Monday
midnight. Sophomore Daniella Lopez               ping day didn’t appeal to her. “If you’re after Thanksgiving. Cyber
was one of those shoppers, along with            going out at four a.m. to get a $400 flat Monday has created a way
her sisters and friends. For Lopez, it was       screen TV then it might be worth it, for people to enjoy the
more about the tradition than the deals,         but it’s not worth it for me to go out at sales and discounted items
although her friends came more for the           four a.m. and save $10 on something,” from Black Friday, but
sales, “I came for the experience,” said         said Foley, add-
Lopez.                                           ing that she also
          She describes the experience           “didn’t want to get
as chaotic, saying that there was even a         trampled.”
police officer that went through their bags                Fresh-
after they had picked up an item and put         man Katie Kraw-
it back in a different part of the store.        zynski agreed
The manager considered this suspicious           with Abby, say-
behavior and pulled them aside. “A store         ing, “The sales
clerk made us get up and we were inter-
rogated,” said Lopez, “Once they realized
                                                 don’t apply to you
                                                 if you’re the 51st
                                                                                    Commercial Printing
we weren’t shoplifting they let us go.”
        On Black Friday, some customers
                                                 person in line, so
                                                 anyone who gets
                                                                                   Newspaper Publishing
will do anything to get discount items.          there after the 50th
In 2008, a crowd at a WalMart in New             person doesn’t get
Jersey broke through doors to enter the          great deals.” The                   800.824.6548
store, trampling temporary worker Jdi-           crowds and rushes
myla Damour to death. Every year there           are unappealing
                                                                        24 Water Street • Palmer, MA 01069
are incidents at stores around the country,
often causing fights between crowds of
                                                 to many people,
                                                 and some students
                                                                                  www.turley.com
Page 8                                                   The Smoke Signal                               December 16, 2010                                                     Features

Black Ops released for enhanced virtual warfare
        by Naveed Cheraghi                     ger matches by throwing down a certain within a split second on the target and                 sault rifle 20 feet away, a task the weapon
                                               amount of CP. The top three out of the shoot. It normally resulted in a one-shot               would normally be able carry out. This
          Any avid gamer is highly famil-      six players in a                                                                               urged Treyarch to completely nerf (make
iar with the Call of Duty franchise and        certain wager                                                                                  worse) this game style, which ruined so
its strength in the video game industry.       mode win the                                                                                   many peoples’ game experience due to
Starting out as a single player game set       money.                                                                                         its popularity. Initial problems like spawn
in World War II, it has ever so quickly                    Other                                                                              sites and the knifing glitch have been fixed
evolved into the most apparent multi-          small but cool                                                                                 slowly by Treyarch, which is constantly
player first person shooter of all time.       and helpful                                                                                    pushing out updates. Another big mistake
It has racked up more game play hours          features in-                                                                                   made is that the game is optimized for the
than any other video game; an average          clude theater                                                                                  Xbox 360 and was simply ported over to
person could not grasp its superiority.        mode and the                                                                                   the Playstation 3 and PC. This ended up
With a new installment added each year,        new kill streak                                                                                with a huge headache for PS3 and PC
it has become the phenomenon of online         setup. In the-                                                                                 users because it was sometimes merely
gaming.                                        ater mode you                                                                                  impossible to get into an online game.
          Activision and Treyarch, the         are allowed to                                                                                 Again, updates have rolled out that have
makers of this year’s game called Black        go back and                                                                                    fixed some of the issues, but problems still
Ops, have not stopped short with their         watch any of                                                                                   remain.
aim to enhance the experience. They have       your past one                                                                                             Due to the game’s many issues,
added a mass of new features and kept          hundred games                                                                                  disappointment was the primary impres-
much from before, which is bound to ap-        and cut out or                                                                                 sion for common PS3 and PC gamers,
peal to the game’s enthusiasts. The game’s     share that awe-                                                                                but potential was evident. Knowing the
pre-orders alone outsold the last chapter,     some five kill                                                                                 company behind it, patches came right
Modern Warfare 2 (MW2) made by Infin-          spray or no                                                                                    ahead of release. Compared to COD 4:
ity Ward instead of Treyarch, making it        scope across                                                                                   Modern Warfare, known as the highest
the largest media release of all time.         the map. Also,                                                                                 quality game providing a great gaming
          Foremost, a well known mul-          you cannot use                                                                                 experience, Black Ops does not quite
tiplayer game mode of Call of Duty 5 is        a kill streak                                                                                  match up. The fluent online gaming and
back and just as excellent: Zombies. This      award towards                                                                                  lack of glitches of Modern Warfare places
game mode allows gamers to progress            getting you                                                                                    it at the top of the series, but Black Ops’
through levels killing Zombies while           kills for the                                                                                  new additions keep it treading closely
obtaining weapons and other perks. Al-         next kill streak,                                                                              behind.
though some new weapons and features           substantially                                            photo courtesy of google.com                     Black Ops has turned out to be
have been added, much has not changed,         lowering the GAMER NATION DECLARES WAR: Many gamers have                                       a very balanced game in which even any
which is a good thing.                         kills needed been recently equipped with Activision and Treyarch’s new                         non-gamer can play and have a good
          Probably the most prominent          for awards.        weapon, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and have been engaged in                   amount of fun. It has a ton of content to
add on to Black Ops is the all new cur-                    Wi t h warfare since.                                                              enjoy, especially with the multiplayer
rency system. It is a brilliant idea in        this game, the                                                                                 twists. Until we find out what else is up
which you are able to unlock the items         whines and cries of the casual MW2 play- kill if done properly. But to some gamers,            Call of Duty’s sleeve, expect to be enjoy-
you want, such as weapons, attachments,        ers are what caused, to many, one of the it was either too hard to do or they were             ing hours on hours of playing this game,
and camouflage, using COD points (CP),         worst decisions on Treyarch’s part. One just so bad they were not able to kill an              racking up that CP.
known as the game’s money. There is no         famously used class or game play style in enemy that was quick-scoping with an as-             Rating: 4/5 stars.

                                                                                               Taylor shares new stories
need for your experience points to dictate     MW2 was called “quick scoping.” Essen-
what weapons you unlock. Even more,            tially, all you have is a sniper rifle that you
you are able to gamble this money in wa-       zoom in, land the cross hair of the scope
                                                                                                         by Eleanor Tynan
Mountains of new stock and upgrades
                                                                                                                                              sings, “Come on, come on/ don’t leave me
                                                                                                                                              like this/ I thought I had you figured out.”
                                                                                                            Taylor Swift’s new album, She belts about a relationship that is dis-
         by Duncan Daviau                      only wintertime merriment; it is also a         “Speak Now,” is a compilation of a small solving, but she still finds herself clinging
                                               place of year round fun. About two years        town girl in a big world and a budding to its broken pieces. The anger and sorrow
           For 35 years, Berkshire East has    ago they constructed North America’s            adult realizing her faults, embracing the of the song describes the pain of once
been a family-run resort offering great        largest zip-line.                               lessons life is teaching her. Like in most again facing the world alone. In the ballad
skiing and snowboarding at competitive,                  This adrenaline pumping experi-       of her albums, Swift derives her music “Last Kiss,” she sings of the unexpected
affordable prices. The mountain, located       ence starts with a chairlift ride to the sum-   from the boys she has dated or been with. break up. The slow music embodies the
about twenty minutes west of Greenfield,       mit of Mt. Institute, where guides prep         However, in this album she graduates suffering that accompanies not knowing
is a hidden gem in the Berkshires. During      you and your buddies for the first four         from her teenage “boy angst” stage to the why it has ended. However, the songs
the winter, while most skiers and boarders     single cable zips, each ranging in length       realization that                                                 are not all about the
are itching to reach the big mountains of      from 700 feet to 1100 feet. These cables        every relation-                                                  sorrow of love and life.
Northern New England, those who know           are within the canopy of the forest, close      ship is a learning                                               In fact, her adulthood is
of Berkshire East can fulfill their winter     to the ground and fast.                         experience. She                                                  shown through her over-
fun activities closer to home.                           There is even one section where       utilizes the music                                               all theme to embrace
           In the last couple of years there   they zip you across two mountains on a          of this CD to say                                                life. In “Long Live”
has been a rapid expansion at this moun-       cable that is 2600 feet in length and, a        everything she                                                   she speaks of not listen-
tain. The owners, Roy and Jimmy Chaffer,       very deceptive, 186 feet in the air. With       meant to say to                                                  ing to the prejudices
have greatly invested in the infrastructure    speeds in excess of 50 mph, this zip is an      people, but never                                                people might have and
of the mountain, adding a new chair lift,      amazing rush.                                   got the chance. In                                               just being proud of you
56 new snow guns, dramatically expand-            As an added bonus, the mountain              “Back to Decem-                                                  and your accomplish-
ing pumping capabilities, and adding           has taken steps to reduce their carbon          ber,” dedicated to                                               ments. In “Never Grow
three new groomers. This will ensure           footprint. This past year, a 900-kilowatt       Taylor Lautner,                                                  Up” she reminisces on
better snowmaking and less wait time at        wind turbine was placed at the summit. It       she apologizes                                                   the joy of youth, and
the lifts.                                     produces 100% of their energy on site. In       for her conduct                                                  preaches that people
           Junior Jordan Leckey, a skier on    the ski shop they have also switched to us-     and realizes the                                                 should never truly lose
the Minnechaug ski team, often skis there      ing Green Wax, a locally made, petroleum        love she walked                                                  that childlike faith in
on weekends. “I’m really excited about         and PFC free wax that is taking the skiing      away from. In her                  photo courtesy of google.com life and love. Not only
the new improvements,” said Leckey, “the       industry by storm.                              message to John ALL ‘MINE’: Taylor Swift releases a have the context of the
terrain was great, but now it will be even               Owner Jon Chaffer said, “By           Mayer, entitled new album entitled “Speak Now” and songs improved since
better. I can’t wait to get out and ski.”      exclusively utilizing Green Wax in our          “Dear John,” she has landed another hit song on the her previous albums,
            For the non-skiers and board-      tuning shop and rental shop, Berkshire          scorns him for top charts ‘Mine.’                                the quality of music has
ers who wish to take part in winter fun,       East is making a real commitment to             taking advantage of such a young and in- drastically changed. Swift is clearly com-
Berkshire East offers snow tubing. For         our local environment.” In addition to          nocent soul. In “Better than Revenge,” she ing in to her own as a musician. The music
$20, aficionados of winter can tube on         their recent investment of three new fuel       exposes the sneaky way in which Demi evokes powerful emotions and the quality
several tracks of snow that are 450 feet       efficient groomers, which utilize the           Lovato stole her boyfriend, Joe Jonas.         of singing has matured greatly.
long.                                          most efficient snow making technology                       Even though the lyrics of these               The “young girl” sound of
           Berkshire East is not a place of    available, they heat all of their buildings     songs are dedicated to specific people, her Swift’s voice is no longer evident, and
                                                                    with wood cut on-          messages show maturity. For instance in has been replaced by that of a confident
                                                                    site, have increased       “Innocent,” a message to Kanye West, she woman. Though the album is topping the
                                                                    lighting efficiency by     forgives him for stealing her moment at charts currently, it will not be a CD with
                                                                    about 150 percent in       the MTV awards. She sings, “It’s okay; a timeless effect. Unlike other top selling
                                                                    the past seven years,      life is a tough crowd/ 32, and still growin’ record artists in the past such as Elvis
                                                                    and are planning so-       up now/ Who you are is not what you Presley and the Beatles, Swift’s music,
                                                                    lar installations to be    did/ You’re still an innocent.” This lyric though catchy, will probably not have
                                                                    completed by next          embodies the idea that at no age are you a long -term effect on the music scene;
                                                                    summer. Berkshire          too old to continue to grow up and make however, it will be a much appreciated
                                                                    East is a great place      mistakes. Swift succeeds once more in fad.
                                                                    for fun in any season      making sure that there is an emotion to                   Overall, the album is definitely
                                                                    and all should con-        match every occasion. For the newly worth listening to. For only $13.99 on
                                                                    sider taking advan-        heartbroken soul, there are several songs iTunes, the purchaser is sure to find a
                                                                    tage of all it has to      including “Haunted,” which is a song song that matches every emotion they are
                                                                    offer throughout the       meant for all those who have recently experiencing, and that he or she can relate
                                                                    year. 5/5 stars            ended a long- term relationship. Swift to on many levels. 4/5 stars.
Page 9                                             The Smoke Signal                             December 16, 2010                                                 Features


 Ten things to know about eggnog
             think you know about eggnog... think again
     By Sara Khosrowjerdi                                                                                                             of salmonella.
       Head News Editor                                         Beware of Egg-Nog                                                            According
                                                                                                                                      associatedcontent.com,
                                                                                                                                                             to    w w w.
                                                                                                                                                                pregnant
          It’s the time of year again                               December 24, 1817                                                 women should be careful not to drink
when the egg beaters and half-and-                                                                                                    too much eggnog.
half bottles in supermarkets make
way for a seasonal treat: eggnog.           While the little boys cry ‘merry Christmas is coming,’                                    9. An Eggnog Song
From golden to cinnamon to low-                                                                                                              The eggnog influence has
fat, eggnog is available for purchase                Shall I be as dull as a water-drunk log?                                         spread to music as well.
as early as Thanksgiving and is            No! I’ll sing you a song (for we bards must be humming)                                           In 1817, a song about eggnog,
                                                                                                                                      entitled “Beware of Egg-Nog,” was
joyously consumed by Americans
throughout the holiday season.                And the burden shall still be, Beware of Egg-nog.                                       published in The American Beacon
          Though eggnog is          a                                                                                                 and was said “to be sung to any tune
popular holiday drink, there are ten                                                                                                  that suits the measure” (foodreference.
things you may not know about this               When the bowl mantles over the elegant foam,                                         com).
favorite treat:
                                                    And the steam rises up in a silvery tog;                                          10. Eggnog Treats
                                                                                                                                             Along with recipes for the
1. Etymology
          The origin of the term
                                                  Put by the potation, keep Reason at home,                                           drink, recipes for sweets made with
“eggnog” to describe the frothy egg-             And think of my warning, Beware of Egg-nog.                                          eggnog circulate among families and
drink is debated. According to www.                                                                                                   through the internet. These recipes can
foodreference.com, the latter part of                                                                                                 range from fine dining to the kitchen.
the term “nog” is an English word                When Circe, the witch, caught Ulysses’s men,                                         It may even be something enjoyable
                                                                                                                                      for the family to do together.
for strong ale, and was adopted
because eggnog decended from the                She gave each a dram that soon made him a hog;                                               Some goods that can be made
English drink “sack posset” which                                                                                                     with eggnog include eggnog fudge,
was made with ale.
                                                  The identical mixture–’tis now as ‘twas then;                                       eggnog bread, eggnog candy and
          However, according to                   So attend to the moral, Beware of Egg-nog.                                          eggnog muffins.
howtomakeeggnog.com, the term


                                                                                                                                      E      MERALDS
“eggnog” comes from a Middle
English term, noggin, meaning                  When the circle is form’d, the glass passes round,
                                                                                                                                       C       ORNER
small, wooden carved mug used to
serve alcohol.                                  Old Satan draws night, tho’, as usual, incog.,
          A third theory says that
“eggnog” came from the Colonial                 And chuckles to see good Sobriety drown’d–
term for run, “egg-and-grog,” which           Would you frustrate his malice–Beware of Egg-nog.                                        Past The Perihelion
was shortened to “egg’n’grog”
and      then,    eggnog      (www.                                                                                                      by alumnus Ian Macpherson
howtomakeeggnog.com).
                                                   But why do I rail at one liquor this way?                                          We are planets you and I
2. Composition                                     Is no other as fatal; rum, brandy, or grog?                                        Intertwining with each other
           Though different recipes                                                                                                   A heavenly dance
call for different quantities, eggnog is        Yes, yes, they’re all one, I mean all when I say,                                     Ultimately though
typically composed of cream, milk,
sugar, eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg.
                                              And I’ll say but once more now, Beware of Egg-nog.                                      We are pawns of the Sun
                                                                                                                                      Not in control
Gelatin can be found in some eggnog                                                                                                   You are Neptune, full of ideas and
as well (associatedcontent.com).                                                                                                      expression
                                                                                                                                      Gas waiting to be formed
3. Nutrition                                                                                                                          I am Pluto
         Not to burst anyone’s                                                                                                        Cold, dense, compact
holiday bubble, but eggnog is not          of carbohydrates and 19 grams of fat.                  Amongst adults, alcohol is a        We slide around on the universal
exactly the healthiest drink around.       4. Origin                                    popularly added to eggnog; however, the       plane
According to www.associatedcontent.                 Like its etymology, eggnog’s        type varies with region.                      Occasionally crossing paths,
com, one cup of regular, non-alcoholic     origins are also debated. However, two                 In America, eggnog is typically     But never staying long
eggnog contains about 342 calories, 167    main regions of origin are most focused      mixed with bourbon or rum, but in             We’re not upset by the fact
of which are from fat. Furthermore, a      upon, east England and medieval Europe       Europe, eggnog is traditionally mixed         We don’t take it personally
cup of eggnog proudly boasts 34 grams      (howtomakeeggnog.com).                       with white wine. In Germany, beer is          We are not in control of where we
                                                                                        a popular alcoholic additive choice as        go
                                                               5. Eggnog in             well.                                         It is just universal destiny
                                                               America                            The variety in alcoholic            Every 200 years, it seems, our
                                                                      Eggnog was        additives originated from eggnog’s rise       paths seem to cross
                                                               reportedly drunk         in popularity in America in the 18th          Our planets align
                                                               by       Jamestown       century. Because the European favorites,      We are happy
                                                               settlers in 1907         brandy and wine, were heavily taxed           Though the gravity may kill us
                                                               (foodreference.          at the time, rum was used as a cheaper
                                                               com), but it did         substitute     (www.howtomakeeggnog.
                                                               not gain popularity      com) and is now rather popular.
                                                               in North America                   Though many people enjoy
                                                               until around the         alcoholic eggnog, the nonalcoholic form
                                                               18th century, when       is commonly consumed as well.
                                                               European settlers
                                                               brought        about     7. The Christmas Eggnog Riot of 1826
                                                               a resurgence in                   Eggnog became the cause of
                                                               its    consumption       a West Point mishap when, according
                                                               (associatedcontent.      to foodreference.com, cadets in North
                                                               com).                    Barracks No. 5 in 1826 decided to break
                                                                      Though       it   academy rules and make eggnog with
                                                               is now typically         alcohol.
                                                               consumed           in             As expected, their Christmas
                                                               December, eggnog         Eve celebration became rowdy, and the
                                                               may not have             perpetrators were caught. Unwilling to
                                                               always been a            submit to authority, the cadets fought
                                                               holiday drink in         back. Swords were drawn, firewood
                                                               the United States,       was thrown, and at least one shot was
                                                               as early American        reportedly fired.
                                                               cookbooks listed                  The artillery unit at West Point
                                                               eggnog recipes in        was called in to break up the fighting, but
                                                               sections for the sick    as a result of the disturbance, six cadets
                                                               and infirm (www.         resigned and 19 were court marshaled.
                                                               foodreference.           And all this fighting and chaos was just       The Emeralds Corner was cre-
                                                               com).                    for a good batch of eggnog.                    ated to showcase the talented
                                                                                                                                       writers, artists, and poets that
                                                               6. Alcohol         in    8. Health Risks                                are featured in Emeralds, the
                                                               Eggnog                           Because eggnog is made with            literary magazine.
                                                                                        raw eggs, it poses the obvious health risk
Page 10
                                           opinions      The Smoke Signal                              December 16, 2010                                                      Opinions


TLC audience laughs more than it learns
       by Bryn Rothschild-Shea                 and Christine is followed. The show docu-      last long until it is distorted by the money    Some people argue that the show is meant
           Head Opinions Editor                ments how this unconventional family           the family gets for being filmed and the        to increase publicity to help her upcoming
                                               takes part in a lifestyle that is shunned by   transition from practicing polygamy in          political campaign. Others argue that it
          TLC: the Learning Channel.           many. In TLC’s description of the show,        secret to being in the public. As is with       will hinder the campaign because of the
Viewers certainly are learning a lot, but      it states that: “Sister Wives also captures    many reality shows, the life that camera-       way she will be perceived now as a politi-
not about typical home, family and style       the intense dynamics surrounding a man         men are trying to capture will change           cian who also stars in a reality show.
topics anymore. The channel is choosing        juggling three wives while attempting to       because of cameras themselves. The star                   In two weeks, Kate from TLC’s
to make shows about controversial mat-         keep it a secret from the outside world.”      of another new reality show has already         now Kate Plus Eight will make a guest ap-
ters that are a sure-fire way to spark the     Well, if Kody thinks that having cameras       been in the public’s eye for a long time:       pearance, an interesting link among TLC
viewer’s interest (or disgust) in a way that   following him around and having the            Sarah Palin. What more controversial            characters.Yes, Kate is still going on with
is less educational than it is entertaining    footage broadcast around the country is        figure could TLC chose than one who             the show with Jon out of the picture,with
and is produced regardless of any negative     inconspicuous, he is sadly mistaken. The       was widely criticized by the public and         the family in a much different state than it
affects the filming has on the family.         TLC network reported that 2.7 million          mocked by Tina Fey on Saturday Night            was when TLC first signed their contract.
          As the drama over the divorce of     viewers watched the season finale. It’s        Live? Not only that, but the show takes         In an interview with People magazine,
Jon and Kate diminishes, other shows fill      highly possible the townspeople he’s try-      place in Alaska, which brings to mind           Jon shared that the show had “been get-
the hot seat, starting with the program Sis-   ing to hide his lifestyle from are watching    one of her most famous statements:that          ting in the way of his family, his children
ter Wives, in which the polygamist life of     it from their living rooms down the street.    her proximity to Russia gives her foreign       are complaining.” This example acts as
husband Kody and his wives Meri, Janelle       The true nature of this kind of show won’t     experience. Whether viewers are watch-          indicationof how these new shows might

Seven school pet peeves
         by Christine Murphy                   student. Next, water has become more
                                                                                              ing with pure curiosity to understand her
                                                                                              lifestyle, or just watching to see if they
                                                                                              can catch a glimpse of Russia, an amazing
                                                                                              five million viewers tuned into the debut
                                                                                                                                              end up. TLC puts the spotlight on people
                                                                                                                                              with different abilities or lifestyles in and
                                                                                                                                              broadcasts it for the whole world to gawk
                                                                                                                                              at. That kind of exposure can’t be good for
                                               and more sneaky over the years, leaking        (according to The Hollywood Reporter).          those feeling the heat of the spotlight.
           It is obvious to all that Min-      from new spots each time it rains, even


                                                                                                   Safety corner
nechaug is the best choice of high school      requiring students to detour from M to K
in Wilbraham, maybe in all of Western          hall in order to use the bathroom; Junior
Mass...or even Planet Earth. Also, Steve       Yasmine Bonemery dislikes the fact that
Metayer, a Cathedral Senior, certainly         “when it rains, you can swim down the
covets our uniform-less dress code.            hallway.” One last student complaint is        Question for November 2010, posed               ness that their child has a treatable but
However, although we, as Minnechaug            that Minnechaug water is rarely to never       anonymously by a student at Min-                deadly disease is, for parents, the first
students, are receiving a superior educa-      warm, creating a problem in the winter         nechaug Regional High School:                   step. Sometimes a citation, a show-
tion, there are still a few things that the    when students wash their hands which                                                           cause hearing at court, an increased
students of The Chaug would like to            then form icicles once they return to their    “If you get caught by the police with           fine to $1000 for possession, or a call
change.                                        subzero classrooms, leading into the next      drugs or alcohol off school grounds             from the police to come and pick up
           1. Hallway traffic is an obvious    issue.                                         and not during school hours, like at            their child at the station provide a turn-
dilemma, which will be addressed in the                  3. Were one to teleport from, for    a party, would your parents be noti-            ing point for parents: Do I ignore what
near future. It is too important an issue to   example, Mr. Netkovick’s J Hall class-         fied?”                                          is happening and live in ignorance be-
be confined to a brief description.            room to Mrs. Contant’s M Hall one, he                                                          cause its what I know, or do I hold my
           2. Water, in its many forms at      would experience that painful discomfort       Officer Menard:                                 child accountable and start getting treat-
Chaug, is a problem. First of all, there       usually associated with standing in a bliz-    Firstly, if this were to happen, you could      ment for my family around their using/
are water fountains located throughout         zard and then immediately jumping into a       be arrested if you are under the age of 21      drinking? Even if your child refuses
the school that trick students into thinking   furnace. The varying temperatures from         with alcohol. If you are under the age          treatment, enough tools learned by the
that they can stop and quench their thirsts;   room to room, even in one single hallway,      of 18, your parents will be called to pick      rest of the family around detachment,
this is not the case. In fact, these faulty    are ridiculous. At no point should students    you up and take you home. If you are not        boundary-setting and follow-through,
water fountains are located in the places      need mittens and winter coats in class;        arrested that evening, you will receive a       will slowly force the hand of the using
where a refreshing drink is most needed,       in fact, winter coats are quite possibly       summons to appear in court on charges of        child to face their choice: treatment or
such as at the top of the stairs to M Hall     against the school dress code.                 Minor in Possession of Alcohol. If you          jails/institutions/death. It may sound
and in the locker rooms. Not only are M                  Likewise, such as in the begin-      are found in possession of marijuana, two       dramatic, but after 15 years of doing
Hall water fountains dysfunctional, they       ning of this school year, it is unrealistic    possibilities arise: If 1 oz. or less, you      this work, I’ve had to be at the wakes
also produce somewhat murky, brown,            to expect students to concentrate whilst       will receive a $100.00 civil citation and       of three adolescents who felt as though
flaky fluid rather than water...this is un-    sticking to their seats in 100-plus degree     your parent/guardian will be notified that      their weekend drinking or partying was
healthy.                                       classrooms. In conclusion, students            you are to also complete within one year        a “right of passage” and whose parents
           Next, why are students expected     should not have to plan their outfits as if    a four-hour drug awareness program and          believed they were simply “typical
to sweat blood and tears in first-block        going on expeditions to the Arctic tundra      ten hours of community service. If this         teenagers letting off steam”. It is not
gym and then be dirty and smelly for the       or Sahara desert.                              is not completed, it may result in possi-       common for police to call your home,
rest of the day? Rather than making all of               4. Bathrooms. If people insist on    ble delinquency proceedings in court, as        everyone is not smoking pot, and this
their students walk around with a sheen        using bathroom stalls as their personal di-    well as an increased fine, for which both,      is not “usual teenage behavior”. If any
of sweat and dirt on their bodies all day,     aries like they do now, then bathrooms         the child and parent are now responsible.       parent is struggling to face these sign-
many schools actually allow their students     at the new school should be made from          If over 1 oz, then criminal charges will        posts that have come up in their home,
to shower after P.E., because their show-      chalkboards, and hall passes should be         be filed with the court: Possession, Pos-       please feel free to telephone me at the
ers do not flood their locker rooms. This      pieces of chalk, so that this offensively      session with Intent to Distribute, School       school for a confidential conversation
is a foreign concept to the average MRHS       unoriginal (continued on page 11)              Zone Violation, etc. Be aware that once         to look at support and options for your
                                                                                              someone turns 17, they are considered           family. I can be reached at:
                                                                                              an adult in the court system and will           596-9011 (x213).
                                                                                              graduate to adult court. Finally, if you
                                                                                              are pulled over and driving a car while         “The Safety Corner”, is a publishing
                                                                                              under the influence of alcohol or drugs,        of an anonymous question posed by
  	          621 Main Street, Wilbraham, Massachusetts, 01095                                 the officer will arrest you, your parent        anyone in the community – parents,
                                                                                              or guardian will be notified, the vehicle       faculty, students, community members.
                             2010 - 2011 Staff                                                towed, and the owner will need to pay           People can send in questions, either
                  Rachel Schluckebier ‘11 Editor-In-Chief                                     for its release.                                by email, or placing questions in our
                 Sarah Scyocurka ‘11 Asst. Editor-In-Chief                                                                                    mail slots in the front office, or under
                                                                                              Melanie LaFlamme:                               our office doors, or by mailing them
                 Sara Khosrowjerdi ‘11 Head News Editor                                       I was glad to read that Officer Menard          in to our attention. These will be re-
                    KT Laliberte ‘12 Asst. News Editor                                        included the information around the re-         viewed by both of us together, and we
                  Lisa Carson ‘11 Head Features Editors                                       sponsibility of both, the parent or guard-      will select one and respond from the
                Nasim Cheraghi ‘11 Assistant Features Editor                                  ian and the child around attendance at          viewpoint of our jobs within the school
             Brynnan Rothschild-Shea ‘11 Head Opinions Editor                                 drug awareness programs and fines. Un-          and communities of Hampden and Wil-
                Christine Fimognari ‘11 Head Sports Editor                                    til he gave this to me, I didn’t realize that   braham. We’ve chosen to call this the
                    Tori Trombley ‘13 Co-Sports Editor                                        this was part of the law. I am glad for         Safety Corner for two reasons: So that
                                                                                              it: Many of us (certainly not all) have         people can feel totally comfortable in
                  Kathleen Burke ‘11 Photography Editor                                       grown up learning how to abuse drugs or         asking questions anonymously, and to
            Anthony Yacovone ‘12 Copy Editor & Computer Editor                                alcohol from adults in our life – parents,      drive home both of our missions – to
                   Jennifer Fisher ‘11 Business Manager                                       cousins, aunts, uncles, social gatherings       support the safety, health, and well-be-
                             Layout Assistants                                                in and out of the home. But even if this        ing of our students and families from
      Marlee Scott ‘12, Courtney Bazarian ‘12, Kalin Long ‘12, Antonette Nieves ‘11,          fact makes people balk, what cannot be          both, the treatment, and law-enforce-
               Rohit Murthy ‘12, Brett Belcastro ‘13, Colin Geaghan ‘12                       denied is that the alcohol/drug abuser          ment perspectives. Our emails are:
                                                                                              or addict is the most powerful person in
                           Christopher Gerber, Advisor                                        a family unit. Our selfishness, moods,          Melanie LaFlamme, Prevention and
                                                                                              manipulative devices, and our disregard         Intervention Specialist:
  Editor’s Note: We welcome any and all letters to the editor. To submit a letter, place      for anyone other than us make us toxic to                mlaflamme@hwrsd.org
  it in The Smoke Signal mailbox in the main office. We reserve the right to edit any         be around, unless we receive treatment.
  letters submitted to the paper. All letters sent become property of The Smoke Signal        And this is why treatment for the alco-         Officer Dan Menard, SRO, Min-
  and may be used or edited for length at any time. Some material courtesy of Ameri-          holic or addict always should include           nechaug Regional High School:
  can Society of Newspaper Editors/ KRT Campus High School Newspaper Service.                 treatment for their loved-ones. Aware-                  dmenard@hwrsd.org
Page 11                                                                         The Smoke Signal                                                   December 16, 2010                                                      Opinions



Drivers’ ed can’t prepare us for parking lot
               by Maura Cyr                                                However, the parent drivers who                            an illegal driving route. For the unaware           driver tries to manipulate their position so
                                                                 insist that their children are too good for                          drivers, this is the exit closest to the ten-       that they can get out of there 20 seconds
          There is nothing quite as horrible                     the bus and who they must personally                                 nis courts.                                         earlier than all of their fellow students.
as looking through the glass of a slammed                        chauffer to the building every morning,                                        The average student might also                       This includes, but is not limited
classroom door at 7:35 in the morning,                           must understand that not everyone can                                witness driving stunts typically seen only          to; the revving of engines; bold attempts
longingly, hoping that maybe the sensi-                          spare the two minutes that are required                              in monster truck rallies; as one student            at avoiding, but also creating, near-acci-
tive teacher will open it just this one time,                    to walk from the parking lot to the curb,                            remembers: “I came to Minnechaug early              dents; lack of consideration for those who
because there were no parking spots in                           where the underclassmen are sent off                                 one morning and saw someone doing                   have been waiting longer; screaming and
the parking lot! It is frustrating to drive                      with a bag lunch, a kiss and a “have a                               donuts in his truck.”                               throwing hands in the air; begging friends
through the students’ parking lot, seeing                        nice day!”                                                                     The real trouble comes after the          or almost-friends to stop their cars; and
that several of the cars are lacking park-                                 These parents must come to un-                             final bell, when every student in Min-              sometimes threats.
ing permits, and thinking about how the                          derstand simple driving rules for a high                             nechaug must immediately return home                           Not pertaining to bad driving
$100 could have been put to much better                          school student: the “speed limit” is much                            without dilly-dally. The students of this           but also ridiculous notions about the
use. Really, that’s the equivalent of forty                      more a speed minimum, and stop signs                                 school run from the building as if the 2:05         parking lot include the desire to prove
overpriced lunches from Minnechaug’s                             only apply to those highschoolers who                                bell is signifying the final and awaited            to everyone that they’re cool enough to
cafeteria.                                                       are not invincible, which totals to 0%. Of                           collapse of the dilapidated building.               listen to incredibly loud not-mainstream-
          Anyway, the parking lot at Min-                        course, these are all sane and professional                          Again, the only automobile drivers who              but-almost-mainstream rap music and
nechaug is empty but for some dust in the                        drivers, so parking is easy. HA!                                     can almost always avoid this mayhem are             cool enough wear sunglasses regardless
wind and some student council kids at                                      The average Chaug student can-                             the student council members who flock               of the season. While doing this, students
7:15 in the morning. As 7:20 approaches,                         not park, get out of the car, and walk into                          to Student Activities to see what they              are obviously oblivious to all of the cars
the over achievers make a calm and ap-                           the school without having their lungs pol-                           can accomplish for the rioting and unap-            coming at them from every direction, so
propriate appearance. At 7:32, the flood                         luted by the truck drivers (yes, that means                          preciative student body today.                      they let the scum bags that cut everyone
really comes. The poor suckers who are                           you, Bobby Gleason), their spot taken by                                       Meanwhile, nearly every student           else go right in front of them. It’s just
trying to simply drive down Tinkham road                         a newly-licensed sophomore, or morning                               gets into his/her own car, because no one           carelessness, really.
are honked at and bullied by the 200+                            ruined by a five-minute passing-through                              would ever take the time to carpool when                       Luckily, everyone has the op-
students trying to avoid the door-in-face                        of the front row after trying to out-wit the                         they would have to wake up earlier, and             portunity to glance enviously at Matt
scenario mentioned above.                                        rest of the student body and cut through                             attempts to drive out of three exits. These         Tresch’s fabulous car while stopped dead
                                                                                                                                      ten minutes of the day separates the men            for several minutes, which proves to be
The pet peeves go on                                                                                                                  from the boys. The parking lot transforms           the only enjoyable moment of the entire
                                                                                                                                      quickly into a game of tact and skill. Each         experience.
(continued from page 10)                                        of the courtyards?

                                                                                                                                      Commercialized Christmas
                                                                          7. In regards to staircases...what
graffiti can be erased. Side note: these                        makes a person think that it is ever a good
toilet scrawlings are especially annoying                       idea to stop dead on the fifth step of
when authors use third-grade era spelling                       the staircase while other students have                                                by Rachel Ferry                    Friday,” describing the economic state
and grammar to describe acts of which no                        been surging steadily down the stairs be-                                                                                 of most retail stores on that particular
third-grader should know. Minnechaug                            hind him? Also, there seems to be a new                                          Ah yes, it’s the most wonderful          day. One event that displays the severity
bathrooms were also poorly planned for                          trend this year, which has eclipsed even                              time of the year! Sledding through fluffy           of certain shopper’s intent took place on
two more reasons: location and general                          the popular bell-imitations and wrist/fin-                            snow, baking holiday treats, and decorat-           Black Friday two years ago. In Nassau
layout. Why is it that the B Hall bathroom,                     ger snapping trends: spitting from the top                            ing homes until they become even more               County, New York a Wal-Mart employee
the hall with the fewest classrooms, is the                     of the M Hall stairs onto the students be-                            luminescent than the passing streetlights.          was trampled to death as he tried to avoid
largest, while the J Hall bathroom feels                        low. Allow a story to be shared; the senior                           These are all example of age-old tradi-             a stampeding crowd of shoppers that had
crowded when two people are washing                             class remembers the MRSA outbreak of                                  tions people look forward to at Christ-             broken through the doors of the store in
their hands at the same time? And who                           their freshman year. MRSA, Methicil-                                  mastime. However, within all the holiday            an attempt to take advantage of the sales
thought that it was a good idea to build                        lin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, is                               cheer comes another obstacle that seems             being offered.
stalls so that there is a foot-wide gap be-                     a staph-infection characterized by a rash                             almost impossible to face: shopping for                        These Christmas-crazed shop-
tween the wall and the stall door?                              of oozing sores, a fever and possibly, but                            presents.                                           pers began to surround the Wal-Mart as
           5. Construction is seen by some                      not limited to, chest pain, chills, a cough,                                     In the eyes of American busi-            early as 3:00a.m. and soon the numbers
as an aggravation, and by others as a gift.                     fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, short-                              ness, Christmas has always been viewed              began to build. Around the 5:00a.m.
On the one hand, students no longer have                        ness of breath and death. In short, MRSA                              as an economic holiday and now with all             opening time there was an estimated
to participate in the jogging-the-corners                       is unpleasant, and in 2007, there was a                               the struggles in the present-day economy            2,000 shoppers requiring local police to
track warm-up in gym, and at times the                          school-wide fear of the disease and germs                             it seems as though getting into the Christ-         be called in for crowd control.
vibrations of the building sometimes pro-                       in general. Like MRSA, globs of spit on                               mas spirit involves a little more strategy                     This tragic event ended up oc-
duce an effect similar to that of a massage                     the stairs are also unpleasant. Therefore,                            than what was expected in the past. It is           curring because after police officials
chair. On the other hand, it is frighten-                       to avoid issues like this in the future,                              these alternative views and methods that            had left the premises, all 2,000 shoppers
ing to constantly feel the need to duck                         please keep your saliva in your mouth,                                distract from viewing Christmas as a time           charged through the entrance of the store,
and cover when diligently attempting to                         rather than dropping it onto the heads of                             to celebrate.                                       breaking doors and destroying everything
research in the Media Center, or to sit in                      innocent students.                                                               Most Christmas shopping is               in their path.
an M Hall classroom and feel the build-                                   The list goes on and on. We the                             done between Thanksgiving and Christ-                          Another recent issue with find-
ing sway. As the construction continues                         students realize that some of these issues                            mas day, as a matter of fact that’s when            ing gifts for the holidays has become
to stir up dirt, senior Nate Chivers also                       cannot be changed, and will be rectified                              most retailers attempt to reach their               online shopping. Although many may
dislikes, “the fact that Minnechaug has                         in the new school which many of us will                               yearly sale goals. One of the most brutal           think they are getting great deals, there is
the same health effects as smoking a pack                       never see. However, if you read this ar-                              shopping days occurs the Friday after               a lot more to be concerned about than just
of cigarettes.”                                                 ticle and find yourself thinking, Hey! I do                           Thanksgiving Day, nicknamed “Black                  the cost of shipping. “Cyber Monday” is
           6. What is the intended purpose                      that...STOP.                                                                                                              the name given to the first Monday after
                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanksgiving, due to increased online
                                                                                                                                                                                          Christmas shopping preformed on this
                                                                                                                                                                                          day. Many types of computer viruses are

                                                                                                          Monson Savings      Your Bank Forever
                                                                                                                                                                                          spread to unsuspecting shoppers through
                                                                                                                                                                                          false websites, retail sites and even e-
                                                                                                                                                                                          mails.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     If these viruses are opened in
                                                                                      where kids, teens and college students bank, save and play                                          a working environment, then they’re
                                                                                                                                                                                          capable of spreading to other computers
                                                                                                                                                                                          in the network. Up-to-date virus protec-
                                                                                                                                                                                          tion is always encouraged whether online
                                                                                                                                                                                          shopping or just browsing the internet,
                                                                                                                                                                                          be sure to make sure that your holiday
                                                                                                                                                                                          shopping doesn’t take a turn for the worst
                                                                                                                                                                                          this season.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     So while Christmas may bring

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        w w w. m o n s o n s a v i n g s . c o m                                                                                                                                          have to face another catastrophe, similar
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Page 12
                                                       SPORTS
                                                        The Smoke Signal                            December 16, 2010                                                      Sports


Winter sports teams prepare for season
      by Christine Fimognari                                                                                                            Robert Pohli, the team has high hopes for
        Head Sports Editor                                                                                                              the upcoming season.
                                                                                                                                                  Under the guidance of new
          After a successful fall season of                                                                                             head coach and Minnechaug alum, Haley
sports at Minnechaug, the teams prepare                                                                                                 Convertino, the girls’ track team looks
for a competitive winter season. Each of                                                                                                forward to a competitive season. The
the winter sports teams at Minnechaug                                                                                                   team will be competitive in the sprinting
has high expectations for the upcoming                                                                                                  department this season, led by seniors Jen
season, putting Western Mass titles at the                                                                                              Fisher, a Republican Super 7 pick and
top of their holiday wish lists.                                                                                                        states qualifier, and states qualifying Jess
          Hoping to continue their legacy                                                                                               Cavallini, as well as Juniors Abby Boyd
of success is the two-time defending                                                                                                    and Alex Mack. The distance squad, while
Western Mass Champion girls’ swim                                                                                                       thinner than in previous years, has strong
team. The team has depth in both swim-                                                                                                  senior leadership in Christine Fimognari
ming and diving, led by seniors Christine                                                                                               and Allison Loomis; Loomis should be
Murphy, Maura Harrington and Kathleen                                                                                                   a stand out runner to watch for this sea-
Burke. Republican Super 7 pick sopho-                                                                                                   son.
more Christiana Greco will be a huge                                                                                                              The ice hockey team is under the
asset to the team this season.                                                                                                          new leadership of Steve Matroni this year.
          As defending three-season                                                                                                     Led by Junior goaltender, captain and
Western Mass champs, the boys’ swim                                                                                                     Republican Super 7 pick, Ricky Corbin,
team has a lot of pressure to perform this                                                                                              the team should have few goals scored on
season but should have no problem doing                                                                                                 them this season. Also helping to lead the
so. The team will be led by the Junior duo                                                                                              team is Senior forward Andrew Johnston
of Michael Normoyle and Wiktor Karpin-                                                                                                  - together the duo will be virtually unstop-
ski, who both won two individual titles                                                                                                 pable. With many new faces and talent
at Western Mass last year. The Falcons                                                                                                  joining the team this season, the team
also expect to gain a boost from returning                                                                                              hopes to gain experience and raise their
sophomore Joe Hibbert, who finished in                                                                                                  goal scoring.
second and third in two different events                                                                                                          Also gaining a new coach
at Western Mass last year.                                                                                                              this season is the Wrestling team, now
          The girls’ basketball team looks                                                                                              coached by Doug Daponde. The team
to improve upon last season’s perfor-                                                              photo courtesy of Andrew Ward        has strong senior leadership from Senior
mance under the guidance of new head SOARING FORWARD: Sophomore Andrew Ward jumps over the hurdle as                                    Eddie Fallon but will have to overcome
coach Pete Kowalski. With strong senior he sprints down the track in the 55 meter hurdles event.                                        the challenge of having less numbers than
leadership from Amanda McLaughlin and                                                                                                   usual.
Kelly Moran, the team looks to develop record. The team’s strong defense should boys’ indoor track team is reloaded with                          The ski team is now under the
experience in its younger players to create prove to be a huge contribution to their many new underclassmen. The team has               coaching guidance of Dave Dumala. With
a cohesive, competitive team.               inevitable success as they progress a good mix of newcomers and returnees                   the guidance of Seniors Kelsey Varzeas
          With many new players on the throughout the upcoming season.                  this season and will be led by Western          and Sara Stadnicki the team is ready to
team this season, the boys’ basketball               Despite the loss of several influ- Mass qualifying seniors Alek Godlew and         speed down the slopes and will be a force
team looks to improve upon last year’s ential competitors from last season, the Nicky Hummel. Under new head coach                      to be reckoned with this season.


Top athletes to watch
      by Christine Fimognari                  Division 1 states, came in fourth in the
        Head Sports Editor                    100 fly at states, and was a member of the
                                              winning 200 relay team at states.
          Each season the winter sports
teams at Minnechaug have several elite                 Boys’ Swimming
athletes who have worked hard to rise to
the top of the intense competition in their   Michael Normoyle: Junior won the
leagues.                                      200 individual medley and 100 breast-
          While all of Chaug’s athletes are   stroke at Western Mass last season, and
competitive and will make huge contribu-      a member of the 200 and 400 freestyle
tions to the success of their teams, these    relay teams that broke school and West-
are some of the most competitive athletes     ern Mass records, and placed third in
to keep an eye on. Based on their records     IM and breaststroke at Division 1 states.
and projected performances, these are the
top athletes to watch this season.            Wiktor Karpinski: Junior won 100
                                              and 200 freestyle at Western Mass last
         Girls’ Swimming                      season, came in second in the 100 and
Christiana Greco: Sophomore won               200 freestyle at Division 1 states, was
Western Mass for the 100 butterfly and        a member of the 200 and 400 freestyle
both freestyle relays, came in second         relay teams that won Western Mass, and
in the 50 freestyle at Western Mass and       was a member of the 400 relay that came


                                                                                                                                                 photo courtesy of The Republican
                                                                                            SWIMMING AHEAD: Sophomore Joe Hibbert comes up for air mid-stroke
                                                                                            as he races down the length of the swimming pool with the inconquerable
                                                                                            speed that has propelled him to the top of the competition.
                                                                                           in second at states.                         save percentage. As captain this season
                                                                                                                                        he is expected to anchor the team as an
                                                                                           Joe Hibbert: Sophomore broke school experienced veteran and lead them to
                                                                                           record in 100 backstroke, came in second succss in the form of an improved record.
                                                                                           in 100 backstroke at Western Mass and
                                                                                           fifth at states, came in third in 200 IM at            Boys Basketball
                                                                                           Western Mass and seventh in 200 free-
                                                                                           style at states, and was part of the Western LJ Hill: The Falcons should be led
                                                                                           Mass winning 400 freestyle relay team.       offensively by LJ, who averaged 10.8
                                                                                                                                        points per game as a sophomore. Hill
                                                                                                          Girls’ Track                  has the potential to emerge as one of the
                                                                                                                                        top Sophomores in Western Mass this
                                                                                           Jen Fisher: Senior finished second at season.
                                                                                           Western Mass and 10th at Division II
                                                                                           States meet in the 300. She was a member                    Wrestling
                                                                                           of the 4x200 relay team that won Western
                                                                                           Mass and came in 11th at states.             Eddie Fallon: Coming off an all-western
                                                                                                                                        mass football season, Fallon will look to
                                                          photo courtesy of google.com                    Ice Hockey                    continue his success on the wrestling mats
 LEAVE IT ALL ON THE TRACK: Senior sprinter and captain of the                                                                          this winter. Fallon gives the Falcons a
 indoor track team Jen Fisher sprints around the track at Smith College                    Ricky Corbin: Junior goaltender held legitimate chance at winning a Western
 during a 300 meter race last season.                                                      the team together last season with a high Mass crown this season.
                                                                                                                                                              Sports


Winter sports team summaries
Page 13                                               The Smoke Signal                        December 16, 2010




      by Christine Fimognari                 Girls’ Basket-
        Head Sports Editor                   ball
Girls’ Swimming                              COACH: Pete
                                             Kowalski
COACH: Erik Mandell                          YEARS COACH-
YEARS COACHING VARSITY: 12                   ING VARSITY: 1
2009 RECORD: 10-1 , “A” Division             2009 RECORD:
Western Mass Champions                       10-10
STRENGTHS: Championship tradi-               STRENGTHS:
tion, sprint free, butterfly, free relays,   Work ethic, attitude
depth, diving                                WEAKNESSES:
WEAKNESSES: Experience in certain            Communication,
events                                       experience together
ROSTER: Seniors: Kathleen Burke,             ROSTER: Se-
Kelly Dupuis, Patricia Fogarty, Maura        niors: Amanda
Harrington, Felicya Moran, Christine         McLaughlin, Kelly
Murphy, Casey Tarpey                         Moran
Juniors: Elizabeth Avery, Jessica            Juniors: Kait-
Barnes, Lindsey Bernard, Kathleen            lyn Golon, Em-
Dion, Hope Hagen, Chantal Savoie,            ily Lipinski, Ana
Kristen Webber                               Orellana, Kaitlyn
Sophomores: Stephanie Bandoski,              Patton, Shaye Slep-
Bridget Burke, Christiana Greco,             chuk, Irena Smith,
Rachel Lefebvre, Katie Metayer, Em-          Valerie Smith
ily Murphy, Hannah Tarpey, Bridget           Sophomores: Teje                                                                             photo courtesy of google.com
Wheble                                       Burtson, Jane Mc-
Freshmen: Abigail Godon, Hannah Go-          Williams, Fallon      SPEEDING SWIMMER: Sophomore Christiana Greco races down the length of the pool.
don, Nadia Pluta, Meghan Smith Epaul,        Murphy
Bridget Tarpey                               Coach’s Quote:                         STRENGTHS: Senior leadership,             YEARS COACHING VARSITY: First
Coach’s Quote: “Both the boys’ and           “On your best day be great, on your    numbers                                   STRENGTHS: Strong Senior leader-
girls’ teams return quite a bit from last    worst day be good, and every other day WEAKNESSES: Graduation of several ship
year and our expectation, as always, is      get better!”                           influential competitors                   WEAKNESSES: Small numbers
to compete at a very high level. As a        Next Home Game: Dec 17 vs. West        ROSTER: Seniors: Jessica Cavallini,       ROSTER: Seniors: Alley Bonemery,
group, they are very diligent and have       Springfield                            Christine Fimognari, Jennifer Fisher,     Malcolm Gladden, Ian Murphy, Richard
been willing to make the necessary                                                  Allison Loomis, Katherine Ross, Erin      Scott, Kevin Servantes
sacrifices to compete for a champion-        Boys’ Basketball                       Nehmer                                    Juniors: Ethan Remillard, Connor Al-
ship. Certainly, mental and physical                                                Juniors: Brieann Bateson, Court-          len, P.J. Baker, Zackary Kent, Joseph
toughness and work ethic are among           COACH: Michael Orzech                  ney Bazarian, Abigail Boyd, Brittany      Romito-Carey, Joshua Zuccalo
our strengths.”                              YEARS COACHING VARSITY: 3              Burkins Mary Jackman, KT Laliberte,       Sophomores: Nicolas Arroyo, Tim
Next Home Meet: December 21 vs.              2009 RECORD: 6-14                      Kalin Long, Alex Mack, Jessica Plante,    Chapman, Joseph Fearn, Anthony
Monson                                       STRENGTHS: Defense, strong coach-      Amber Warner, Meredith Whitney            Goonan, Jeff Miller, Cameron Servan-
                                             ing                                    Sophomores: Gabriella Bones, Isabella tez, Demetrios Stange, Jacob Tamasy
Boys’ Swimming                               WEAKNESSES: Only four returning        Bones, Celina Borawski, Kylie Cardo-      Freshmen: Mike Barrett, Ryan Cush-
                                             players                                so, Maria Carlson, Lauren Chapin, Julia man, Rachel Kellner, Mark Kukulka,
COACH: Erik Mandell                          ROSTER: Seniors: Marcus Elmore,        DeVine, Alison Gardner, Angela Gheen, Anthony Monteiro, Jordan Paul, Joseph
YEARS COACHING VARSITY: 12                   Donovan Haywood                        Rachel Jones, Taylor Jones, Courtney      Polidoro
2009 RECORD: 11-0 , “A” Division             Juniors: Taylor Cable, Scott Davis,    LaFreniere, Alexandra Long, Sarah         Coach’s Quote:
Western Mass Champions                       Jason Erhardt, Greg Heineman, Xavier   Martin, Catherine Matuszczak, Colleen     Next Home Meet: January 5 vs.
STRENGTHS: Championship tradi-               Smith, Tom Sullivan                    McMahon, Caitlin Morin, Kayla Perry,      Northampton
tion, depth                                  Sophomores: Tim Cebula, Lance Hill,    Jillian Preman, Amanda Robinson,
WEAKNESSES: Experience in certain            Drew Trebbe, Kevin White               Meaghan Sullivan                          Skiing
events                                       Coach’s Quote:                         Freshmen: Molly Bass, Christa Belar-
ROSTER: Seniors: Cory Benoit, Jake           Next Home Meet: December 20 vs.        do, Andrea Boyer, Madison Courtney,       COACH: Dave Dumala
Booth, John Budrow, Josh McBride,            Sabis                                  Alyssa Deane, Mahdia Hunt, Kaitlyn        YEARS COACHING VARSITY: First
Steve McBride                                                                       Lannon, Orette Morris, Helon Myles,       STRENGTHS: Strong Senior leader-
Juniors: Tyler Clark, Troy Kane,             Boys’ Track                            Jaylan Ramos, Yesun Shin, Arian Stew-     ship
Wiktor Karpinski, Michael Normoyle,                                                 art, Rachel Willet                        WEAKNESSES: Uncertainty of
Anthony Yacovone                             COACH: Robert Pohli                    Coach’s Quote:                            snowfall
Sophomores: Joe Beaupre, Nick                YEARS COACHING VARSITY: First Next Home Meet: December 17 vs.                    ROSTER: Seniors: Lauren Brown,
Duchesne, Joe Hibbert, Jeff House, Joe       2009 RECORD: 6-3                       Amherst                                   Duncan Daviau, Dan Dumala, Sara
Knight, Tom Knight, Tom Peltier              STRENGTHS: Number of returnees                                                   Stadnicki, Kelsey Varzeas
Freshmen: Zack Booth, Dan Dupuis,            and new talent                         Ice Hockey                                Juniors: Greg Maconi, Jordan Leckey
Dylan Fontaine, Chris Hagen, Con-            WEAKNESSES:                                                                      Sophomores: Maggie Dumala, Abby
nor Kelly, Connor Marcelina, Matt            ROSTER: Seniors: Nate Chivers, Ryan COACH: Steve Matroni                         Lopata, Nick Pasley, Jenna Peterson,
McBride, Tommy Normoyle, Chase               Collins, Alek Godlew, Nicholas Hum-    YEARS COACHING VARSITY: First Justine Ross, Charlie Schoonover
Reisbig, Eric Tomlinson                      mel, Brian Raymond, Josh Woodward      2009 RECORD: 4-13-1                       Captain’s Quote: “The team is strong,
Coach’s Quote: “Both the boys’ and           Juniors: Adam Chivers, Austin Gulati,  STRENGTHS: Strong goaltending             We can’t wait to start competing!”
girls’ teams return quite a bit from last    Jacob Landeck, Shane Lawson, Nicho-    WEAKNESSES: Young team without
year and our expectation, as always, is      las Ottomaniello, Peter Schultz, Jon   much experience
to compete at a very high level. As a        VanBeaver                              ROSTER: Seniors:
group, they are very diligent and have       Sophomores: Andrew Deane, Joe          Colby Fontaine,
been willing to make the necessary           Ferraro, Sam Fisher, Michael Gaziano,  Quinn Hogan,
sacrifices to compete for a champion-        Tyler Hall, James Mauer, Jeffrey Mayo- Andrew Johnston,
ship. Certainly, mental and physical         tte, Brian McCarthy, Colin Morse, John Chris Maille, Peter
toughness and work ethic are among           Ostriks, Andrew Ward                   Shadbegian
our strengths.”                              Freshmen: Samuel Conway, John          Juniors: Richard
Next Home Meet: December 21 vs.              DeVine, Luke Douglass, Kory Garbasz, Corbin, Brennen
Monson                                       Brent Kane, Andrew Kenney, Ryan        Morin, Charles
                                                              Mack, Michael Matusz- Morse, Matthew
                                                              zak, Michael O’Shea,  Rushby
                                                              Adam Patterson, Eric  Sophomores: An-
                                                              Raymond, Theodore     drew Hunt, Daniel
                                                              Schultz, Will Skala,  Jacque, Thomas
                                                              Russ Wells, Casey     Noel, Samuel Whea-
                                                              Woodward, James       ton
                                                              Zheng                 Freshmen: Cody
                                                              Coach’s Quote:        Livermore, Alec
                                                              Next Home Meet:       Robinson, Ross
                                                              December 17 vs. Long- Kiah
                                                              meadow                Coach’s Quote:
                                                                                    Next Home Game:
                                                              Girls’ Track          December 21 vs.
                                                                                    East Longmeadow
                                                              COACH: Haley Con-
                                                              vertino               Wrestling                                                  photo by Kathleen Burke
                                                              YEARS COACHING
                                                              VARSITY: First        COACH: Doug            HE SHOOTS: Senior Marcus Elmore works on his form
                                                              2009 RECORD: 7-2      Daponde                as he takes a shot during basketball practice.
Page 14                                                 The Smoke Signal                              December 16, 2010                                                    Sports


Orzech opens up about coaching
        by Josh Woodward                                                                                                                high expectations. I expect these
                                                                                                                                        kids to bring maximum effort on a daily
Q: How many seasons have you been                                                                                                       basis. Our first goal is to learn how to
with Minnechaug Varsity Basketball,                                                                                                     play together as a team. It’s a whole new
and what has been your best season so                                                                                                   group together, so there are some obvi-
far?                                                                                                                                    ous things we need to learn how to do as
A: This is my third year as the boys’ var-                                                                                              a team. We would like to qualify for the
sity coach; I was the JV coach for the                                                                                                  end of season tournament and hopefully
six years prior to that, and the freshman                                                                                               have the opportunity to compete for the
coach five years before that. I’ve been in                                                                                              Western Mass Championship.
the program for 14 years total. Our best
season was two years ago, which was                                                                                                     Q: As a coach, what do you take from
my first year as the varsity coach. We                                                                                                  each season?
went 15-6 on the season and we were the                                                                                                 A: On a yearly basis, as a coach I take
league champions that year.                                                                                                             the growth and improvement that you
                                                                                                                                        see from the start to the finish of the sea-
Q: How has the team changed in the past                                                                                                 son. I love watching the team form from
two years?                                                                                                                              a bunch of individuals in December to a
A: Graduation has changed the team dra-                                                                                                 team by the end of February.
matically. Last year we had seven seniors
on varsity, and now we have two first-                                                                                                  Q: Who is your biggest competitor this
year seniors, seven juniors, and three                                                                                                  year?
sophomores. We’re relatively young                                                                                                      A:West Side, Gerber’s team
this year. Aside from the few returning
players, Greg Heineman, Scott Davis Jr.,                                                                                                Q:When did you first start playing bas-
Jason Erhardt and Lance Hill, we are a                                                                                                  ketball?
completely different team.                                                                                                              A: I started playing organized basketball
                                                                                                                                        when I was in fifth grade. I started be-
Q: Which players do you see making a                                                                                                    coming interested in coaching basketball
big impact on the team?                                                                                                                 when I was twenty one and right out of
A: The one thing we preach on this team                                                                                                 college. I coached a JV boy’s basketball
is that it is a team game and we want to                                                                                                team at Mohawk Trail high school.
stay balanced. We want the ball to be                                                                         photo by Kathleen Burke
spread out evenly between the five guys        ORZECH UNDER QUESTION: Mr. Orzech poses for his picture                                  Q: Is basketball your favorite sport?
on the floor. As far as I’m concerned, if      shortly after being interviwed by a student. He reflects on his coach-                   What other teams have you coached in
we can have five or six guys averaging         ing career and shares his experiences and love for basketball and other                  the past?
ten points a game that’s great balance,        memorable moments he has had.                                                            A: I have coached a few other teams
and it makes it difficult for teams to shut   thing else will take care of itself.     accomplish as a program. I think this is         other than basketball, including: high
down any one player on us.                    Q: What is the situation with the fresh- a great fit for Ben. He’s a young, ener-         school football for ten years, and softball
                                              man basketball team?                     getic coach who is going to bring a lot          for six years. Basketball, I have to say, is
Q: What is your main focus in practice?       A: Ben Aitchison graduated two years not only to the freshman team, but also              not only my favorite sport, but it is my
A: My philosophy is that a team should        ago and is now our freshman basketball to the program as a whole.                         true passion.
practice like they play. Hard work and        coach. He is a tremendous asset to the                                                              I love coaching basketball and
effort are the keys to success. If you give   program. He played for me two years Q: Do you have high expectations for                  I have been lucky enough to coach it for
it everything you’ve got in practice, and     ago so he understands my philosophy this season?                                          14 years out of the 15 years that I have
lay it on the line during games, every-       and he understands what we’re trying to A: I think that for every season I have           been teaching physical education.


Students engage in sports outside of school
        by Tory Trombley                      team but want to keep playing outside
       Assistant Sports Editor                of school, and some others join the team        This is
                                              just for fun or to stay active. They might      the case
          Often times, recreational sports    not have had any other basketball experi-       with Tay-
are overlooked or seen as an alterna-         ence.                                           lor Shay.
tive to not making the high school team.                Lauren Maclellan, a junior,           Shay, a
However, this is untrue. The reality is       played recreational basketball as an al-        senior,
that girls’ recreational basketball has       ternative to a winter sport. It helps her       played
made itself prominent in many students’       stay in shape between seasons. She start-       for two
lives.                                        ed playing when her friends created a           years on
          The recreational ball program       team and invited her to play. “We can get       the school
is run by the Wilbraham Recreational          competitive, but at the end of the day it is    team but
Department. After you sign up for the         all about having fun,” Maclellan said.          then de-
program, players are randomly assigned                  Maclellan’s team, the Wilbra-         cided to
to a team or students can choose to cre-      ham Tanning Mystics, is the “defending          stop and
ate their own teams.                          undefeated champions” after becoming            play rec.
          The team has to fill out forms      league champs last season.                        “It is so
and pay a fee in order to make their team               The team consists of seniors          much fun
official. Then the intense competition        Taylor Shay and Jen Fisher, juniors Kim         playing
begins.                                       Camerota, Amber Tobin, Alyssa Willard,          with your
          Each team has a coach who is        and Kristina Ruggeri and other students         friends
usually a parent of someone on the team.      who have already graduated.                     and      its
The 15 or so girls on the team choose                   “It is less stressful and less of a   equally as
their own coach. The team tries to pick a     commitment compared to school sports,”          competi-
coach who is dedicated and has an abun-       said Maclellan. She explained that many         tive as a                                                  photo by Kathleen Burke
dance of time.                                students who tried basketball at Min-           s c h o o l Competition Arises: Students combine their skills and energy to
          The players consist of some         nechaug and who were not happy about            t e a m , ” compete against their peers in intense basketball games. Their
people who do not make the school             with it play rec.                               S h a y goal is to make it to the finals.
                                                                                                                                       said.“I definietly recommend rec ball
                                                                                                                                       to everyone.” Games are on Saturday
                                                                                                                                       nights at either Minnechaug or East
                                                                                                                                       Longmeadow High School.
                                                                                                                                                 The Wilbraham teams play
                                                                                                                                       teams from East Longmeadow and Mon-
                                                                                                                                       son.There are three or four teams com-
                                                                                                                                       posed of Minnechaug girls.
                                                                                                                                                 This amounts to about 50 girls
                                                                                                                                       from Chaug that play recreational bas-
                                                                                                                                       ketball. This is a big number for a seem-
                                                                                                                                       ingly low-key program.
                                                                                                                                                 Aside from improving their
                                                                                                                                       shooting and dribbling skills, playing on
                                                                                                                                       a recreational team serves as a bonding
                                                                                                                                       experience.
                                                                                                                                                 “It’s so much fun playing with
                                                                                                                                       all of your friends,” Shay said. Playing
                                                                                                                                       recreational basketball has proved to be
                                                                                                                                       a great way to improve your game and
                                                                                                                                       have fun.
Page 15                                                 The Smoke Signal                              December 16, 2010                                                           Sports


Swim team prepares for greatness
       by Andrew Johnston                     our team, so we can expect that this season    coming back stronger than ever; a scary                     But Mandell’s greatest contribu-
                                              will progress as well as in years past.”       prospect for other teams across the state.       tion to his teams seems to be his interest in
          The boys’ and girls’ swim teams               The girls’ team will look to         The boys’ team hopes that Normoyle and           the well being of his swimmers as students
at Minnechaug have big expectations           rewrite their record books again this year     Karpinski can both achieve All-American          and human beings.
coming into this year,
expectations which have
become the standard for
the teams over the past
few seasons.
          After sweeping
the Western Mass Cham-
pionships a year ago,
both the boys’ and girls’
teams finished third at
states. But the scariest
part for opposing teams is
that they’re coming back
stronger than they have
been in the past.
          The girls’ team
returns to the pool this
year after posting a solid
10-1 record a year ago.
With strong senior leader-
ship and underclassmen
talent, they will again
be the dominant force in
girls’ swimming.
          Super 7 selec-
tion Christiana Greco
looks to follow up her
strong performance last
year as a freshman and
should be dominant in
her premiere event, the
100-yard butterfly.                                                                                                               photo by Kathleen Burke
          Last year, Greco TAKING STRIDES: Sophomore Katie Metayer prepares for the meet against Turner’s Falls by completing a kicking step. She, along
won the 100 fly at Western with the whole team, is in good shape after returning from a 11-0 boys and 10-1 girls swimming season.

                                                                                                                        times, a feat that              He also helps juniors and seniors
                                                                                                                        has only been ac-     with standardized testing and ensures that
                                                                                                                        complished one        grades are where they should be so that
                                                                                                                        other time in this    his athletes are the definition of student-
                                                                                                                        decade by a Min-      athletes. Mandell strongly advises them
                                                                                                                        nechaug swim-         to stay away from illicit activities both
                                                                                                                        mer. More impor-      in the off-season and especially during
                                                                                                                        tantly, they are      the season.
                                                                                                                        looking for the                 His dedication to the team and
                                                                                                                        state champion-       care for his swimmers seems to be a cata-
                                                                                                                        ship that escaped     lyst for the success of his teams.
                                                                                                                        them a year ago.                Normoyle, one of the boys’ team
                                                                                                                                  While       tri-captains, said, “Coach helps us out by
                                                                                                                        the talent pool for   giving us good work ethics and prepares
                                                                                                                        the Minnechaug        us with tough practices for the post sea-
                                                                                                                        swim teams            son. He gets as much out of us as he can
                                                                                                                        and the caliber       and most of the team works ridiculously
                                                                                                                        of programs for       hard for him.”
                                                                                                                        younger swim-                   It appears as if the swim teams
                                                                                                                        mers does play        at Minnechaug are strong in every facet
                                                                                                                        a factor, Coach       of the sport: across different swimming
                                                                                                                        Erik Mandell is       events, in terms of their coaching, upper-
                                                                                                                        the driving force     classmen leadership and work ethic.
                                                                                                                        behind the suc-                 The swimming teams seem very
                                                                                                                        cess of the two       optimistic about the season. With all the
                                                                                                                        teams.                talent and focus, the teams are destined
                                                                                                                                  Mandell     for greatness.It goes without saying that
                                                                                                                        ensures that all      the teams will have great success moving
                                                                                                                        his swimmers          forward.




                                                                                        photo by Mackenzie Allosso
DEEP END DIVING: Sophomore Bridget Wheeble performs a back somersault off the diving board
during diving practice.
Mass and then was narrowly defeated at        in what promises to be a championship          are participating in
states, but still holds the second fastest    year.                                          the proper off-season
time in the event in Western Mass his-                  The Chaug boys’ swim team re-        training and sustaining
tory.                                         turns this year after posting a perfect 11-0   a diet that is conducive
          A strong supporting cast led by     record for the 2009-10 season, winning a       for producing the best
long-distance sophomore standout Katie        Western Mass championship, and placing         possible swimmer.
Metayer and sprinters Kristen Webber          third at the states meet.                                 He monitors
and Liz Avery, will help Greco. In ad-                  They return with a surplus of        their participation for
dition, every member of the girls’ 200        talent from last year’s team, including        different off-season
yard freestyle relay, which won the event     three Super 7 selections: juniors Wiktor       swim clubs and teams,
at the Division one state finals, returned    Karpinski, Michael Normoyle and sopho-         as well as maintaining
this year (Avery, Webber, Greco, Casey        more Joe Hibbert. The team looks to take       contact with his swim-
Tarpey).                                      their fourth Western Mass title in a row       mers to keep them
          After the team posted their first   this year, and is poised to do so.             on track. He gives
win last week against Central, senior                   Last year, Normoyle and Kar-         them a comprehensive
captain Christine Murphy commented,           pinski both won two individual titles          diet to follow for the
“Our newest swimmers will be a great          at Western Mass, and the boys 200 and          off-season, and gives
addition to the team, especially after see-   400 freestyle relays took first at Western     them any advice they
ing their level of competition in our first   Mass.                                          might need to help
meet. They’ve quickly adjusted to the hard              With only a few departures and       them become better
work required of them by our coach and        a great freshman talent pool, the team is      swimmers.
Page 16                                              The Smoke Signal                             December 16, 2010                                                    Sports


Wrestlers look forward to new season
           by Mike Jones                                                                                   ern Mass com-              at winning Western Mass. We have a lot
                                                                                                           petition     last          of good wrestlers back, and we think we
          As their 2010 season approach-                                                                   year. With all             can compete at a high level this year.”
es, the Minnechaug wrestling team has                                                                      these great re-                      Fallon shares the same senti-
persevered through major changes and is                                                                    turners,      the          ments. “I think we have a good team. We
looking to have a great season.                                                                            team is look-              have good wrestlers at each weight class
          During the offseason major                                                                       ing forward to             and that’s rare for Western Mass. I think
changes happened for the wrestling                                                                         a great season             that we have a good shot at competing
team. Not only did the team lose many                                                                      in which they              well this year and becoming a great
key members to graduation, but they                                                                        hopefully grab             team.”
also lost their coach, guidance counselor                                                                  first in the re-                     Last year, seceral strong per-
Steven Marino. With all these changes,                                                                     gion.                      formers, such as House and McQuade,
some would expect a transition year, but                                                                      At last years           provided leadership on the team and this
the wrestlers of Minnechaug are deter-                                                                     Western Mass               year that void will need to be replaced.
mined to make a run at the Western Mass                                                                    competition,               With those athletes graduated, the lead-
title.                                                                                                     both Gladden               ership void is being filled with strong
          The new coach is Doug Dapon-                                                                     and                        senior leadership. The captains this year
de, who spent several successful years at                                                                  Fallon finished            are Bonemery and Fallon. Last year
Chicopee Comp before coming to Min-                                                photo by Kathleen Burke
                                                                                                           in third place, at         Bonemery was an all-Western Mass per-
nechaug.                                    WRESTLERS READY TO MEET THEIR MATCH: New                       285 pounds and             former at the 152 pound weight class.
          Even though the team lost key     wrestling season has begun and the team hopes they can         215 pounds.                          Murphy will handle the 125
performers, such as Matt House and          be ready to make Western Mass as more matches continue. “We’re defi-                      pound duties and Servantes will take on
Collin McQuade to graduation, there                                                                        nitely looking             all comers at the 145 pound weight class.
are many great returners for the team.      Bonemery, Kevin Servantes and Ian to compete very well this year,” said                   The rest of the spots are open for compe-
Edmond Fallon, Malcom Gladden,Alley         Murphy all performed well at the West- Gladden. “I think we have a good chance            tition. This will lead to hard practices.


New coaches bring new talents to our teams
         by Baeu Dangleis                   am impressed with the work ethic, great                                         teamwork, respect and the importance
                                                                                          Coach Daponde,” said Junior Joe Romi-
                                            attitudes and care the players have for                                         of practice for not only hockey but any-
                                                                                          to. Sophomore Nick Arroyo said, “Coach
          This season is not only chang-    each other,” Kowalski said. Senior and                                          thing that may challenge them in life.”
                                                                                          has us doing a lot more technique prac-
ing in weather, but also in our school      captain of the varsity team, Amanda                                             Tobin played three years of junior varsi-
                                                                                          tice. I definitely see the team moving in
sports. The majority of the winter sports   McLaughlin states, “it’s a good change.       a positive direction.”            ty hockey and one year of varsity before
                                                                                                                        On the ice
teams have seen a change in staffing this   He has a lot of history with our program                                        graduating in 2005.
                                                                                          there have been coaching changes as
year. Many athletes see this as an oppor-   and he makes us work hard. He puts a          well. The Varsity and Junior Varsity Ice    Although the junior varsity
tunity to gain a new edge in their respec-  lot of heart and passion into coaching.       Hockey Teams welcome new coaches  team is small this year, with only five
tive sports.                                It’s nice to have a fresh start.”                                               regular players, their hard work is pay-
                                                                                          Steve Matroni and Kyle Tobin. Junior
          The new coach for Varsity Girls’             With all this new talent com-                                        ing off. The team won the first game
                                                                                          Ricky Corbin, the varsity goalie, said
Basketball is Pete Kowalski and the new     ing on board for this athletic season, the                                      of the season 7 to 0. Tobin also states,
                                                                                          about Matroni,“I like him. He is imple-
junior varsity coach is Janice Exley. The   athletes themselves are buzzing. Seniors                                        “I also try to keep things light because
                                                                                          menting a lot more discipline and he’ll
boys’ basketball team welcomes new ju-      Dan Dumala and Duncan Daviau, both                                              sports can be some of the most fun and
                                                                                          have an impact on the team this sea-
nior varsity coach Tom Cebulla and new      captains of the ski team, agreed that their   son.”                             enjoyable memories during a lifetime.”
freshman coach Ben Aitchinson. Min-         new head coach was extremely knowl-                     In practice the team in skating   The Girls’ Indoor Track Team
nechaug’s Varsity Ice Hockey Team is        edgeable about the sport. Daviau went                                           is excited to welcome Minnechaug alum
                                                                                          more than in previous years and there is
now being led by new head coach Steve       on to say that, “the team is going in a                                         Haley Convertino to the head coaching
                                                                                          a focus on conditioning and sprints. ju-
Matroni and the junior varsity team                                                                                              position. Convertino sprinted for
has new coach Kyle Tobin. For the                                                                                                Minnechaug and at University of
wrestling team the new head coach                                                                                                Massachusetts Lowell. During col-
is Doug Daponde. The Boys’ Indoor                                                                                                lege she majored in nutrition and
Track Team welcomes new head                                                                                                     sports psychology and is currently
coach Robert Pohli and the Girls’                                                                                                a personal trainer as well. When
Indoor Track Team welcomes head                                                                                                  asked about Coach Convertino,
coach Haley Convertino. Finally,                                                                                                 sophomore runner Colleen McMa-
the ski team has found a new head                                                                                                hon said, “She pushes us, but it real-
coach in Dave Dumala.                                                                                                            ly pays off and she’s easier to talk to
          The Girls’ Junior Varsity                                                                                              because she’s young.” Convertino
Basketball Team recruited Min-                                                                                                   started running track in high school
nechaug science teacher, Janice                                                                                                  to get in shape for softball, but she
Exley, as their new coach. Last                                                                                                  soon realized that she had found a
year she was the assistant coach to                                                                                              new passion. Through track she
Dave Yelle the former girls’ varsity                                                                                             learned about hard work and dedi-
coach. She has been playing the                                                                                                  cation and these life lessons were
sports since she was in fourth grade.                                                                                            carried throughout college as well.
“When the junior varsity job opened                                                                                              “I wanted to come back to Min-
up, it was the perfect opportunity to                                                                                            nechaug to coach because I want to
get into the program”, Exley replied                                                                                             give back” Convertino stated.
when asked about her new position.                                                                                                    As for the Boys’ Indoor Track
          The Girls’ Varsity Basket-                                                                                             Team, new coach Richard Pohli ran
ball Team has also seen a change                                                                         photo by Kathleen Burke for Longmeadow and continued his
in coaching. Coach Kowalski has NEW COACHES BRING CHANGE AND EXCITEMENT: Coaches Janice Exley and                                running career at the University
been with the Minnechaug pro- Pete Kowaslski bring change to junior and varsity girls’ basketball and are both excited. of New Hampshire. When asked
gram since the mid 1990’s. He was                                                                                                about the upcoming season he said,
the assistant varsity coach for six years good direction and we had four people nior varsity and assistant varsity coach, “I’m excited about the season; I love the
and in 2001 he became the head coach. go to states last year, we look forward former Minnechaug student Kyle To- sport and am happy to share my knowl-
Kowalski later switched to the boys’ var- to sending more this year,” Coach Dave bin states, “I have always believed high edge with my athletes.”
sity coach for five years.                 Dumala said.                          school sports provide more than the                  The coaches and athletes will
          Prior to Minnechaug, he                  Several wrestlers were also athletic competition and not only help face challenges and successes in the up-
worked with suburban and recreational excited about their new coach. “We’re the players improve their skills but to coming sports seasons, but Minnechaug
teams in town starting in the 1980’s. “I looking forward to the future under understand the qualities of hard work, sports will have a great season.




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