Monday, November 26, 2012

Man with the Iron Fists

 A new addition to Tarantino’s gritty film collection

By: Tabitha Hudnall
   “Man with the Iron Fists”, a new movie by hip hop superstar RZA and Quentin Tarantino, opened in theaters this past week. Tarantino is recognizable from his movies “Reservoir Dogs”, “Pulp Fiction” and series “Kill Bill”.  Being a fan of Tarantino’s movies, I expected to see a lot of fight scenes and blood. From the beginning of the movie, I could tell my expectations were correct.
   Man with the Iron Fists” is very gritty and gory. The story is set in Jungle Village, Japan, where notorious gangs such as the Lion Clan clash with the Wolf Clan on a regular basis. The main conflict is over a huge stash of gold being transported through the village by order of the Emperor, and everybody wants a piece of the treasure.
    The main character and narrator is the blacksmith of the town, played by famous hip hop artist RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan.  Blacksmith is tortured and his arms are cut off half-way by Brass Body (David Bautista) who is part of the Lion Clan.  With the help of Jack Knife (Russell Crowe) an English mercenary, he forges iron arms in order to beat Brass Body, therefore becoming the “Man with the Iron Fists”. 
   The main fights in the story take place in the town brothel, owned by Madam Blossom (played by Lucy Liu).  These battles are very gory, but corny as well.  They reminded me of a fight taken out of an old school Bruce Lee movie, with about ten times the blood.  After watching all of Tarantino’s films, it was obvious he used the same fighting techniques as in his movie series Kill Bill.
  I really enjoyed the soundtrack of the movie.  Instead of having Japanese style music that you would normally hear in a movie such as this, they incorporated music from hip hop groups like the Wu Tang Clan, Wiz Khalifa, Kanye, and the Black Keys, which gave the film a more high energy and more modern sense to it.
  On the rating scale of five, I would give this movie a three.  I’ve seen all of Quentin Tarantino’s films, and although I love them, this simply wasn’t his best.  It is the perfect movie to watch on a boring evening.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Students Bring Politics to Ripley High

By: Emily Goode
Living in the United States, the majority of teenagers are faced with the problems of the political world. Unfortunately, not everyone knows what’s happening in their own political lives. This is why teacher, Jason Ward, took action. He gathered two AP Government classes to create a mock debate.
In the process of creating the debate, three seniors were chosen by their class members to stand up to the job of representation. Zak Haga represented “Freedom”, Nate Starkey was called “The Nationalist”, and Michael Hellems represented “House”. They each had to research the candidate they were representing which, at the time, the student body was not aware of. The rest of the AP Government class was also doing their part to prepare for the performance. Finally, after all the hard work, the debates took place October 22 and 24.
After the riveting two day debate, the student body voted on which representive they thought deserved to be in charge. Everybody was informed that Zak Haga was the winning candidate. Also, it was made aware that he represented President Obama. He won over 56% of the student votes.
“The project would’ve been nothing without the class and the student body”, says Haga.
After the election Zak says, “I hope everyone who watched the debate got something from it and learned as much as I did from this experience.”
This debate was produced not only to inform students of political issues, it was also to let the students know that it’s acceptable to be part of any party, regardless of what their parents and friends are for.

Fall Briefs

By: Leah Johnson
Football- So far the Varsity football team has a record of 5 wins- 5 losses. The boys are shooting for a better overall record. Our team is planning to win the Hatchet on the 11-2-12. On Friday night our boys did a good job they beat Ravenswood to 17-16. We got the Hatchet back finally. Good job Ripley Varsity.
“We’re going to win because I’m Andy Mellert and Andy Mellert does not lie,” senior Andy Mellert said.
Volleyball -The girls’ volleyball team has won 10 games, so they have won 10-27. They have tied three of their games. The team has become a better stronger team as they learned to work together. The only senior on the team is Lyndsay Anthony; it’s her last year playing volleyball. Good year volleyball team.
“Hustle and heart set us apart,” sophomore Katie Stover said.
Girls’ Soccer- Our Lady Vikes finish the year off with winning three games this season, one against Point Pleasant. They got to play sectionals against South Charleston that is one of the games they have won. The girls won one of their conference games which also were against South Charleston. They tied one game against Cabell Midland and the other one against Poca. I’m very proud of the girls’ soccer team.
“Even if the team is down we play like score board is 0-0,” sophomore Brooke Randolph said.
Boys’ Soccer- The boys have won two games against Ravenswood and the other game against Pike View. The boys tied against Riverside. The boys finish their season off with two wins this season. Boys’ soccer has done a good job this year.
“This year was a fun season but it was building year for us, many young players gained experience and I look forward to a great season next year,” junior Jesse Matheny said.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ripley High School is Gavin Strong

By: Leah Johnson
August 24, 2009 the world was gifted with a healthy little boy. Tosha and Chad Morris named him Gavin Morris. He was Tosha and Chad’s center of attention. They didn’t love anything more than him. August 15, 2011 they had another son, named Greyson. He was also a healthy little boy.
In May 2012, the doctors thought Gavin had a bad ear infection. When his ear infection went away and the pain continued, Tosha immediately rushed Gavin to Charleston Area Medical Center. A cat scan revealed a tumor. He was sent to Columbus, OH for further testing. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed he had stage IV Neuroblastoma.
Stage IV Neuroblastoma is where a solid tumor during childhood arises in the nervous system outside of the brain. These patients are classified as having “high-risk Neuroblastoma”. This cancer is so severe and deadly that it often spreads to other areas of the body such as the bone, liver, lymph nodes, and skin. Neuroblastoma is one of the most popular types of cancer found in children and infants. Even though it is the most popular form of children’s cancer, there are only about 500 or so cases reported in the United States each year. And about 90% of those discovered are in children who are younger than the age of seven years old.
Gavin had his sixth and last round of chemotherapy October 17. On October 28, he was discharged from the hospital. Ever since Gavin was doing so well from his treatment he got to leave the hospital early.  The family is asking visitors to stay clear from seeing him, until his next check-up to minimize germs for his weak immune system. The hospital has germs and illnesses from patients at the hospitals, and Tosha and Chad wanted him to recover at home for his weak immune system. Gavin was so happy to be home and to play with his little brother Greyson.
At the tender age of two and half, Gavin knew something wasn’t right when his life took a drastic change. However he knew he had to be “big and strong”. He started showing his strong man pose, which evolved in to the “Gavin Strong” pose. He loved seeing other people do the Gavin Strong pose and people started posting pictures on Facebook and spreading the word. This brought a smile to Gavin’s face. Tosha and Chad’s goal has always been to show Gavin that he has a ton of support, love and prayers following him through his courageous fight. They also want to bring awareness to Neuroblastoma and more generally to childhood cancer. Gavin has shown such bravery and been an inspiration to so many people. Tosha and Chad feel so blessed to have such a wonderful community to support him in his battle. They want to thank all of the people that have prayed or have done anything for little Gavin. They also said thank you for brightening his day and helping bring awareness to this terrible disease.
Ripley High and the community have done so much for Gavin Morris. The community has done fundraisers to help pay for the hospital bills, they have had benefit golf tournament, they’ve had a big yard sale raising money, and eat at Bob Evans and discount 15% to him. Our community loves helping Gavin. The family even has a website where you can buy things that have the saying “Gavin Strong”. Ripley High is trying to get Taylor Swift to sign items so we can make money for Gavin. The high school made a Youtube video about it and had everyone tweet Taylor Swift. The week of spirit week, we had a Gavin Strong day/superhero day; most of the school wore something about Gavin or something superhero. Everyone Be Gavin Strong!

Ripley Wrestlers Are In Their Stances

By: Emily Goode            
                 Ripley High School is well known for our wrestlers. We have had at least four state champions and thirteen state qualifiers. The 2011 school year held our only four time state champion, Adam Bicak. Bicak left last year, but carried on his victories to Harvard University, where he now attends.
                There are many young men returning this year. There are also new people standing up to the title of a Ripley Viking Wrestler. For instance, Connor Putillion joined the team this year. The guys have two coaches this year. Their main coach is Matt Smith how has been coaching this group of guys for many years. The assistant coach is Franklin Howerton who has also coached before. They both plan to coach for years to come.
                The team is already being together for the season. Try-outs were held on the week of November 10. The team’s first home match is December 21 at 5 p.m. They have six home duals this year so the student body will have multiple opportunities to come out and support them.

New box-office hit due to theaters November 21

By: Danielle Vealey
Silver Linings Playbook
   November has an array of movies expected to come out. Not only is Thanksgiving right around the corner, but so is another box-office hit! David O. Russell presents “Silver Linings Playbook”, expected November 21.
   This star studded cast includes “The Hunger Games” star, Jennifer Lawrence, “The Hangover” star, Bradley Cooper and one of Hollywood’s most familiar faces- Robert DeNiro.
   Lawrence and Cooper are two adults who are suffering through different forms of depression. Lawrence, losing her spouse by death and Bradley losing his wife to another man- they both have issues that therapy doesn’t even seem to help. One night they go to a dinner party and a spark goes off. The two butt heads at first, but it seems as if new love is just the solution to both their problems.
   Before all of your Thanksgiving festivities, go out to see a light-hearted comedy to kick-off your holiday season.
For more information on the film, visit

Viking football team closes season with Hatchet victory

By: Danielle Vealey 
With Spirit Week drawing to a close on November 2nd, the Viking Football team made its way to Ravenswood High School that evening. The much anticipated final game of the season, the “Hatchet”, was destined to take place.
  The game was back and forth with Ripley having penalties in the double digits. Our boys came back with a sweet victory in over time. The final score was 17-16, with Nathan Tucker blocking Ravenswood’s extra point kick.
  “It was such a great game to watch, I was on the edge of my seat through the entirety of the game. It sure was a heck of a nail biter,” said Viking Football fan, Toran Cook.
 Our boys got put the Hatchet back where it belongs after four long years! Congratulations boys! The Viking Press is proud of you!

Black Friday insanity

Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the holiday season, follows Thanksgiving and is possibly a day for the commercially insane. Shoppers dedicated to getting the lowest price on their desired product form lines around buildings at the earliest hours of the morning (or the latest hours of the night) to beat the crowd and ensure that their wallet takes a smaller hit than it normally would.
    Many chain stores such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Target (to name a few) steal the show and typically have the greatest deals of the night/morning. People show up in droves, forming lines at the doors hours before they even open. And this brings to question, is it even worth it? This typically depends on the person. Some find Black Friday to be exhilarating, giving them somewhat of an adrenaline rush as they push through crowds and fight for the products they want. Some would rather stay home, deciding instead that the ensuing insanity is simply not worth it. Or, maybe instead, they take to the internet which holds some great days on the holiday of full-fledged consumerism.
Due to my wide range of experience with all things Black Friday, I have developed a slew of strategies in order to get the item you are standing in line for hours to get. Others will tell you differently, but they’re all wrong. So don’t listen to them. This is what you do:
First, you have to apply everything into this self-created equation H=P/100x2. H stands for the amount of hours you should show up to the store before it opens. P stands for price. By dividing the price by 100 and multiplying it by 2, you come up with the amount of hours before you should arrive. For instance, perhaps you are going for a $200 item. You divide $200 by 100 and then multiply it by 2, making the amount of hours you should show up early 4. Of course, this method is not completely safe due to the amount of stock a certain store might have, but it should work approximately 80% of the time (made up statistic).
Next, it’s important to always bring a friend. Friends allow you to not become bored, stay awake, escape from the line for a few minutes if you have an emergency, and also make it easier to socialize with the people around you so that you can have allies. Yes, allies; the most important asset you can have. If you make friends with the people around you, you’re almost guaranteed to not be knocked over by them in a crowd and trampled. Also, if anyone is to yell at you or threaten to beat you up because you accidentally bumped into them, there’s a chance that your allies might back you up. You need to prepare for the adverse actions of others. Adrenaline is high, money is low, and everyone who has stood in line for hours is certainly tense and nervous that they won’t even get their item which is now seeming like much less of a want and more of a need. So you might get beat up. But if you’re underage you shouldn’t worry. The legal system will take care of that.
    Either way, Black Friday is something that we are all aware of and some of us are crazy enough to pursue. Whether you decide to take part of the ongoing frenzy, the holiday is here to stay and will continue to be one of the most commercially successful holidays with the largest body count.

Homer Hickam Visits Jackson County

By: Logan Moore

Thursday, October 25, West Virginia native Homer Hickam, the author of the famous book Rocket Boys, came to visit Jackson County. He spoke at both Ripley and Ravenswood High Schools on perseverance and how he became so successful in his life. He later spoke at a Jackson County community fundraiser event at the armory in Millwood. His appearance at Ripley and Ravenswood were live-streamed for anyone to see online.

Hickam is 69 years old from a little town in McDowell County called Coalwood. He went on to work at NASA training astronauts, and he is the author of around eight successful books. In his presentation, he showed that he had a great sense of humor and was self-deprecating; “Football star brother who gets all the girls, compared to me, an average geek who had his nose in a book all the time.”

Many students were excited about Hickam’s appearance at Ripley. Senior Ashton Moore said, “Homer coming to the school was a big honor. He was a very interesting speaker and I learned a lot about him.”

Homer Hickam is a hero to us in West Virginia, and it was an absolute honor to have him speak to us here in Jackson County.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Speak Up

Lauren Mcclanahan: I enjoy watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. My mom and I usually talk about it on the phone, and since there is a time difference, I tell her what to watch for. I like to break the wishbone with somebody.
Haiden Burge: We go to the grandparent’s house and cook and have Thanksgiving dinner. I help cook the turkey even though I don’t like turkey. Then we go to my other grandparents for an hour. We normally play football or corn-hole in the backyard.
Dillon Welling: I spend time with my family and eat dinner at my grandma’s house with all of my family. My favorite thing to eat is my grandmother’s baked ham.
Parker Shreve: We gather at my grandpa’s place and eat, then watch the Cowboys and Redskins. The whole family roots for the Cowboys.

Always Here

By: Faythe Maston
   Sarah Olivia Smith may be gone, but she will never be forgotten.  The student was born on Dec. 30, 1994 and passed away on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 at CAMC’s Women and Children’s Hospital in Charleston from leukemia.  Sarah, 17, was a student here at Ripley High, a devoted mother and soon to be wife.  She was the beloved daughter of Kevin and Mary Smith.   Her fiancĂ©, Jake Stanley, and her infant daughter, Rylee Grace Stanley, will both deeply miss Sarah.
   “She was determined to beat cancer, determined to raise her little girl, and determined to get her high school diploma,” remembers Tina Holley on her visit to schedule classes for this year. 
   Sarah is an example of what all of us here at Ripley High should be, hopeful and determined for the future.

The Walking Dead devours ratings

“The Walking Dead”, AMC’s hit show, returned on October 14 to ravaging fans that brought the ratings to a record-high. The show, now in its third season, has gained a massive viewership due to the extraordinary content, unique to television, and also the ongoing comic series that began over a decade ago.
This season is set in a seemingly abandoned prison seven to eight months after the second season. Though little has been set up at this point (four episodes into the season), it’s obvious that the characters are exhausted and have been searching for refuge for many months. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), the leader of the pack of survivors, seems to be dreading his child’s birth. In comparison, his pregnant wife, Lori Grimes (Sarah Callies), is considering the merits of raising a child in a world infested with the undead and, in the end, if it’s even worth it. The shocking deaths of two of the central members of the group and the impacts of these deaths have yet to be explored, but they will almost assuredly make for some dramatic television and lead to some very interesting stories. The other members of the supporting cast are also dealing with several issues and, of course, the ongoing zombie apocalypse.
On the other side of the character spectrum, Andrea (Laurie Holden) and new comer Michonne (Danai Guria) have just discovered a civilized town in the middle of the wasteland they have been forced to live in. The leader of this civilized town, the Governor, appears to have an underlying goal that hasn’t been revealed yet. It seems that eventually both character spectrums will converge and create one ongoing storyline for the rest of the season.
It seems that many events are occurring and much more are to come. This season has something the last season missed. The second season, set on a farm, seemed to drag horribly. Entire episodes went by without anything significant occurring and, only towards the end, did we finally receive some proper character development and, of course, a large amount of zombie carnage. Compared to the brilliant first season which balanced character development, plot, and the ever-growing body count in a nearly flawless way, season two lacked immensely. At this point we are too early into season three to really judge its merit, but it’s already obvious that we are in for a much more exhilarating and brutal season than the second and possibly even the first, as proved by the harrowing fourth episode.
The third season is just getting started, but it’s already captivated a large audience as proved by its 10.9 million viewers for the premier and the continually great ratings it has received with each preceding episode. Though the fates of the characters are never certain, “The Walking Dead” will assuredly be revived for many more seasons.

Scholarship searching simplified

By: Tabitha Hudnall
   Senior year is a time to have fun and make new memories that will last a lifetime, but it is also a time of stress.  Only three months into the new school year and there are already deadlines for scholarships creeping up on us. So how can seniors make these deadlines and still stay anxiety-free?
  The most important thing seniors can do is stay informed and NOT procrastinate.  Many seniors have a bad case of senioritis.  This makes it hard to stay motivated and get necessary things done.
   “The best thing seniors can do is check out the Senior Newsletter that we pass out. It has great information and websites that students can check out for scholarship help,” stated counselor Lindsay Minardi.
   Some good websites to look up scholarships are,, and
   The College Foundation of West Virginia website ( is easy to use and has a lot of different tools that can help you with financial aid, high school planning, college planning, and even career planning.  You can make your own portfolio and save all of the information you have gathered so you don’t have to go looking more than once.
    The My College Options ( website allows you to look up scholarships based on your location, financial status, ethnicity, and your religion.  It has tons of scholarships available that you can apply for on the website, and you can upload essays that some applications require.  It’s easy to use and saves you time.
   If you want to tour a college campus but can’t actually make it there in person, is a great website to use.  You can take virtual tours of colleges, take a look at campus life, and get help with college planning.  There is also a feature for parents that can educate them on paying for college, as well as ways to help their child throughout their college experience.
   Some upcoming scholarship deadlines are the Elks Lodge Scholarship on December 7, the Lions Youth Exchange Program Scholarship Contest deadline November 15, and the deadline for free tuition for two semesters at a WV community and technical college at is November 31. 
   There are many more scholarship deadlines coming up at the beginning of 2013, so be sure to check the Senior Newsletter for this information.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Earth science getting creative

By Megan Mobley

     Maudie Moore’s Earth Science class has been studying elements that were assigned to them. Moore gave her students a list of data questions about the elements that they were to answer. Once answered, class members drew 20 circles with a triangle in the middle. Then they folded the circle on the lines of the triangle, and they stapled the folded edges together to make a ball. The research information was written in the middle, creating a ball of facts. The students also had the choice of coloring them. It’s not just fun to look at, it’s educational.
      Senior Hayley Blackshire enjoyed making the project. In comparison to regular work, she said,” I would rather do the ball. I learned more.”
       Projects help kids learn more than regular, boring, old schoolwork does. Kids aren’t interested in book work, they want to do something fun and creative. They pay more attention that way.

'Arrow' hits its mark

   What would you do if you could avenge a family member’s death and correct their wrongs?  Well, that is the base of the CW’s new action series, “Arrow”.  Based off the famous Green Arrow comic book, it stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, the titular hero of the series.  This is Amell’s first leading role, having only been a guest on numerous TV shows. With a supporting cast including Katie Cassidy, Willa Holland, and David Ramsey, “Arrow” has a star studded cast that anyone should enjoy.
   “Arrow” begins when Oliver Queen is rescued from the island Lian Yu (Mandarin for “Purgatory”) after being shipwrecked for five years and believed dead.  It is revealed that before his father, Robert, died he gave him a list of businessman who have corrupted Star City from the ground up. After returning to his hometown, Queen takes it upon himself to hunt these criminals down with his bow, a weapon he trained with while on the island, and give them a choice: repent for their actions or die.  Queen also tries to reconnect with those around him such as Thea “Speedy” Queen, his sister, Tommy Merlyn, his best friend, Dinah “Laurel” Lance, his ex-girlfriend, and Moira Queen, Oliver’s mother who may have had a hand in the shipwreck that left Oliver stranded on the island.   Throughout each episode, there will be flashbacks of the events Queen experienced on the island such as meeting Deathstroke, a famous villain from DC Comics, and being saved from a trap by the mysterious archer Yao Fei.  Lastly, the show tracks Oliver’s progress from an urban avenger to a hero as he tries to help the citizens of Star City through any way possible.
   With an interesting plot and fast action sequences, “Arrow” is an interesting turn for the CW.  The series is described as a fast paced and suspenseful with it filling in the space left by “Smallville”, a show about Superman’s origins that ran for 10 seasons.  The show has had a large amount of time and effort put into it as the scenes are polished and the actors appear anything but wooden.   Meanwhile, the show takes liberties with its source material, such as “Speedy” being Green Arrow’s male sidekick in the comics, but still stays true to the Green Arrow’s character and strengths.  The show also does a fine job of showcasing its characters’ weaknesses as Arrow tries reuniting with Laurel and Thea turns to using drugs.
   “Arrow” began on October 10 at 8:00 on the CW.  The show currently has an 8.6 on and has gained a large fan following.  The show itself takes numerous cues from Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” trilogy with its dark yet dazzling city and characters rooted deeply in reality.  Even without following the classic storyline of the comics, “Arrow” takes a modern approach that simply branches off from the original series.  Overall, “Arrow” is a fantastic show that presents fast action scenes and shows viewers that you don’t need powers to be a hero. With “Arrow” picked up for a whole season, it will be interesting to see how it changes and improves the original story.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Choir holds concert to introduce new members

            It’s that time of year again, the annual Meet the Choir concert.  It is being held on October 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.  This year the choirs will be singing fan favorites such as “A Whole New World,” “I Bought a Cat,” and “The Rattlin’ Bog,” but those aren’t the only surprises the choir has.
            A new year brings new students.  The Mixed Choir has gained 47 new students, while Concert and Chamber Choir have gained a total of 4 new members.  Just because there are numerous new students, that doesn’t mean these amazing choirs aren’t skilled. 
            “How our voices blend together is one of our strengths,” said Alexis Lewis, a senior who is a member of the Chamber Choir.  Meanwhile, Lilly Corathers, the choir director, has her own ideas.
            “I feel one of the Concert Choir’s strengths is self-reflection,” said Corathers. 
            She also feels that the Mixed Choir has an energetic attitude.  Lewis’s goal for Chamber Choir this year is to “improve our sound as a group,” while Corathers’ goals for Concert and Chamber Choir is to place at the Martinsburg Concert and Show Choir Festival and to increase the audience attendance at concerts.
            Most students do not know the differences between these three awesome choirs.  According to Corathers, the Mixed Choir is open to all students at Ripley High School with music set for the choir’s skill level.  The other two choirs require an audition which is held at the end of the school year.  Concert Choir is usually chosen as an elective by experienced band and choir members due to their ability to read sheet music.  Chamber Choir is for advanced choir members, and it travels to more performances such as the Concert and Show Choir Festival in Martinsburg.
            Overall, it sounds like the Meet the Choir concert will be one to remember.  It seems like the Choirs still have some surprises up their sleeves for their next two concerts.  The entire student body will be excited to discover the surprises the Choirs have in store.

Run, in the forest, Run

Cross country team places in Autumn Classic

     The cross country team got off to a good start in the first race of the season in St Marys on August 25. The boys’ team took home first place while the girls came in the top ten, finishing eighth in place.  With five boys in the top 50 rankings for AAA, the team plans to be a strong contender this year.  The girls’ team has three girls in the state’s preseason top 100. With a strong start to the season, the girls seek to continue to get better and improve every race.
Levi Phillips spoke of how the team tries to improve, “We run anywhere from seven to ten miles a practice, if we can keep up the pace we should be O.K.”
            Both teams ran in the Autumn Classic and fared well.  Seniors Caleb Casto and Chad Longanacre finished in the top 10 and senior Ali Cunningham finished 7. Also contributing to the girls’ team was senior Melissa Hughart who finished 29 and Maddi Randolph finished 50.   The guys’ team had five finishers in the top 30. They were as previously mentioned, Casto, Longancre, junior Jake Casto, sophomore Levi Phillips, and senior Ryan Gregory. 
“We have a good chance at making the state meet this year, if we can keep this up we will definitely get there,” says Phillips.
            Coming up are some important races including the Geico Classic which is run at Cabell Midland is on September 1. The Chick-Fil-A Invitational is September 8 in Mineral Wells. The team is also hoping to travel down to North Carolina to run in the Great American Classic at the end of September.

Homecoming takes on entertainment

      Homecoming is a huge event at our school.  Between the parade, dance, and pep rally the students have a week loaded with school spirit.  This year’s homecoming parade will be centered on the theme of entertainment, which the Student Council is eager to tackle. 

   Cheyenne Casto, Student Council member said, “We are all very eager to start making progress on this year’s event.”
Student Council is supporting each grade in an effort to bring spirit back by having them choose class flags, colors, flowers, and animals.  Representatives for homecoming court were voted on but not released.
      Our school isn’t the only group excited for the continuation of this beloved tradition.  The community as a whole also highly enjoys the festivities that are involved, such as the parade.  The alumni band is one example of how the community gets former students involved.
   With the theme of entertainment, the floats will probably be open to more interpretation of what students really enjoy.  At press time the spirit day costumes were not available. One club in particular, the Hogwarts Club, is going to have an easier time with this theme because the club is an entertainment themed organization.  This year they are doing Quidditch
   Diana Gainer, club adviser says, “This year the club is very excited to take on the challenge of making the float an organized success.”
      So come down on down and support Ripley High’s annual celebration!

Volleyball team ready to start the year with a spike!

After their outstanding 2011-2012 season, the volleyball team’s notoriety has calmed a bit. Fans have been wondering questions like, “Who’s the Captain?”, “How many people are on the team,” and more. Kacie Whitney (junior and current volleyball player) had enough kindness so sit through an interview about the team and their goals.
“Dusti and I are the Captains for this years’ volleyball team.”, said Whitney. Being an 11th grade captain had to be a big deal, as her eyes lit up with excitement upon being asked. For those of you who don’t know Whitney, she used to play point guard for our middle school, and high school basketball team, and also plays volleyball. It wasn’t until recent years that she dropped basketball, and started focusing on volleyball.
“We have a smaller team this year, than last” with only having around 12 combined JV/Varsity girls. “With a smaller team, we’re mostly focused on building experience this year.”, said Whitney with confidence.
Whitney said, “I think if the rest of the girls including myself will sit back and keep learning from not only the coaches, but also the seniors, we will be a great contender next year.” She also stated, “I’m going to try my best, and give my best individual effort to help my team have a winning season, and build team chemistry.”
If you’re a volleyball fan, you shouldn’t hold your head low. Junior/captain Dusti Fisher, junior Alicia Boggs, and senior Lyndsay Anthony are still on the floor, and all have 3 or more years of experience. Although losing vital game-changers such as, Jarah Manns and Kelli Poling could affect them, they still have enough talent to impress.
Whitney’s final statement was, “We’re just going to do the best we can, and more, and go out thinking we can win every game”, with a smile.
So get ready student body, the girls’ are already 2-0, having beat Nitro and Oak Hill September 11. So continue to show your support, and get ready for a winning season!

Kicking off the football season

    Coming off a slightly disappointing 3-7 season last year, the Viking Football team looks to turn the page, starting with a nice win over Nitro last Friday.  With new players at several positions the team is optimistic about what they can accomplish this season.  Junior Kicker Caleb Jennings says,
“We feel like we can make the playoffs and are working hard to get there.”
    After losing the first two games of the season, the team blew out Nitro 48-20 and is looking to gain some momentum with games against Lincoln County and Woodrow Wilson in the coming weeks.  The Vikings will have to keep playing hard to achieve their goal of making the playoffs, and according to Head Coach Jim Frazier, this goal is still obtainable.  When asked if he thought the Vikings could make the playoffs, he answered a definite,
    The football team puts in a lot of work every week to make the playoffs a possibility.  They lift weights three times a week, which is three more times a week than I lift weights, and have practice every weekday.  Practices include strength, conditioning, and cardio workouts, along with going over plays.  I asked sophomore Defensive End Eldrick Millares about the practices and he said,
    “The work we put in at practice really helps us perform in our games.”
    Hopefully the team can continue to perform well all season and make our school proud.

Staff Spotlight- Sarah Allinder and Allison Grattan

We have a few new additions to the English department this year, and one of them is Allison Grattan.  She teaches 9th, 10th, and 11th grade English.
She wanted to become a teacher because, “I grew up playing a lot of sports, and going to the camps I always helped out the younger kids. I love working with children and I’m very excited to be teaching.”
Grattan graduated from Western Michigan University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in history and arts with a minor in English. We have the honor of being the first school she has taught at.  Her family lives in Pike County, Kentucky, so after graduation she looked for schools nearby and found Ripley High. 
She is an exciting and adventurous person who enjoys doing extracurricular activities.
She stated, “I love being involved in sports. In school I played basketball, volleyball, and softball. I’m also big into music, and I love to read.”
Sarah Allinder is another of the new teachers in the English department. Allinder has been a teacher for 15 years. She first taught in Mason County, and then went on to teach at a private school.
She grew up in her hometown of Point Pleasant, and then went on to college at Marshall University where she obtained a Master’s degree in English and a certification in social sciences.  Allinder enjoys being a teacher because she feels she can help to make a difference.
“I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. If I went back I would always go towards education again,” she stated.
            Allinder’s hobbies include  traveling and reading. She has three kids and three granddaughters. 

Staff Spotlight- Deputy Clyde Armstead

It’s a new year and many staff members have joined the crew.  The Police Resource Officer, replacing Jonathan Penson, is Deputy Clyde Armstead. 
 Armstead grew up in Roane County where he attended a one room schoolhouse as a child.  Later he went to Spencer High School, but dropped out to join the military where he then obtained his GED. Throughout his life he has taken classes at WVU-P and Marshall. Armstead was in the Navy for four years. He also went to fight in the Vietnam War.
In 1979 he joined the Roane County Police, and then in 1989 he worked for the National Guard at Yeager Airport.  He was also a Division of Natural Resources Conservation Officer, from which he retired earlier this year.  Armstead has a total of 23 years of military experience and 33 years in law enforcement.
 “I have worked everything from a parts store, to a coal mine, to even truck driving. I have also worked about every county in West Virginia,” he said.
Armstead was offered and applied for the position of PRO Officer here at Ripley High. He stated that once the opportunity opened, he went for it.
“I love it here. The staff is wonderful and the students are great. Working with the students brings back memories of when I was younger,” the new staffer stated.                                                                       

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Meet Logan

Hi people, I'm Logan Moore. I'm a senior this year, and the editor of the Feature section. I love to write, critique things, and all things that come with english. This is good thing, since I plan to major in English and teach it. I also love art, but don't ask me to draw anything unless you want a good laugh. I'm a little awkward, but I consider myself to be nice and approachable, so don't be afraid to talk to me. I detest spiders in all forms, even the ones no bigger than a fly. Also, I plan to run for president when I reach the age. Vote for Logan, 2035.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New social media policy for West Virginia schools

     Every school has a point of no return when social media begins to allow students to harass and bully  each other online.
  Last year, and every year before that, there were no legal limits to what students could do on social networks when it came to school. But, beginning this year, a new state-wide policy has been created and enforced on students, with a separate one for teachers and other faculty as well.
     This new policy was created due to the large and ever-increasing popularity of social networks like Facebook, twitter, and tumblr. Almost every teenager and adult in the nation has a Facebook profile. Digital Buzz Blog states that Facebook is used by one in every thirteen people on Earth and 250 million log on every day.
     It’s a huge responsibility entrusted to those who agree to the terms of the site and actually follow the rules, but not everyone does. This is the purpose of the new policy. It is there to warn and protect us.  It prevents students from harassing others and being harassed.
     According the principal, William Hosaflook, last year there were more than fifty cases of online harassment and in almost all of them the police were involved. With the new policy in work, the administrators have complete control over social media problems. The police aren’t involved unless something illegal is done.
      “If I can stop it the first time, I’ve made progress.” says Hosaflook.
     Though it can’t completely control our behavior, it does present consequences. Students need to remember that actions outside of school can get them punished in school.
     The summary of the new policy can be found in the student handbook or online.

Social Networking in the Classroom: Pros and Cons

            At one time we’ve all wished that we could use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ in the classroom. Teachers and professors in high schools and colleges across the nation are thinking of new and interesting ways to implement social networking into the school day to make assignments more social and less boring than they usually are. So what exactly is good and bad about the use of social networking and how can it affect students and teachers at school?

As every teenager and young adult knows, social media is now a part of our everyday lives. Without it we feel disconnected from the world and our friends which is why having it on our smart phones and other devices make it so accessible and easy to use at all times. Of course, social networking is not something that mixes with school well, seeing as people refrain from doing work and instead pursue the distractions that it creates. But what if we could use Facebook to organize and turn in our assignments? What if we could peer-view our classmates’s work on sites such as Google+? Would these resources make learning and assignments more exciting or would they simply cause problems?

Social media sites such as Facebook and Google+ can be used to allow anyone to be connected at all times. Concerning school, students who are friends/followers on said sites can easily contact each other about assignments. For instance, if you forgot your homework assignment in algebra, you can easily ask a classmate what it is. Depending on how connected to social networking the classmate is, your response could be nearly instantaneous. On the other hand, teachers can share information amongst each other and also with the parents of students. If a student were to be having a problem in his/her class, they could simply contact the student’s parents with a private message instead of having to find their number to call them.

To get more information on how social media can improve the classroom environment, I spoke to history teacher Tabitha Craddock who used to use Facebook as a way to connect with the students in her AP Psychology class. According to her, private messaging her students through Facebook strictly about school work seemed to help them with assignments. Craddock never posted on walls and maintained a professional relationship with her students which never caused any problems. Due to recent school policies, she is separating herself from students on Facebook.

Of course, not everything about social media is good. There are many people who use it in ways that will postpone the possibility of it ever being adapted in a school setting. Students can abuse sites by posting slanderous things about other students, teachers, or their school. Cyber bullying is something that all schools are concerned with and policies to control it are still circulating everywhere. Of course, teachers are not innocent when it comes to the correct usage of social media. Teachers being friends with students is something that every school is concerned with due to the possible outcomes. Schools are not the only places concerned with the internet usage of employees. Employers are beginning to prohibit the use of social media in the work place due to the low productivity level of workers when they are on it.

As of right now, social media in the classroom is clearly just an experiment. In the future specific sites will probably be built around school and work that have limitations preventing distractions. It’s still interesting to see that it is a possibility and can eventually become something that every school uses.

Staff Spotlight - Mr. Bright

Staff Spotlight

   Mike Bright is a new health teacher at Ripley High this year. This is his fifth year teaching, coming here from Greenbrier County. He’s married, has one kid, and lives in Spencer. He graduated from Glenville College.
   He is a coach, and decided to become a teacher to hold his coaching job. His intentions weren’t to be a teacher, but he quickly fell in love with it. When asked about his experience at Ripley, he said:
   “I love it here. This is a great school with a respectable school system. A good group of students that are eager to learn.”

By: Logan Moore

Advice to Freshman

By: Logan Moore
Advice to Freshman

   You finally made it! You’re in the big, scary halls of Ripley High School now, and whether you like it or not, you’re here for just four more years. By now, you’ve probably figured out where most of your classes are, and you probably assume you know everything you need. This could be correct, but a few helpful tips from a senior can’t hurt.
   1. When venturing through the halls between classes, the rules of driving apply. You, of course, don’t drive yet, so migrating through the halls is good practice for the future. Stay on the right side of the hallway at all times, and make sure the path is clear before turning into a class. Disrupting the hall traffic is a punishable offense. Just kidding, but please pay attention in the halls.
2. In regards to number one, remember that everyone around you is trying to get to class. Stopping in the middle of the hallway to mingle with your chums could result in someone behind you being late. Be considerate of those from all buildings, as some need to run to class, and some can take a school detour and still be there on time.
3. Do not even think about going through the Senior Doors. As an underclassman, I waited to go through them out of respect for each senior class. We expect you to do the same. It would be better if you didn’t even think about them, to stop that urge you may have. It’s the same thing with Senior Benches; just walk away.
4. Although you may be a few years away from this, parking in the senior spots is also a big no. It’s not like you won’t ever have these privileges; just not while there’s another senior class present. Please respect us, and we might not make you limbo through the hallways.

5. More important than other students are the teachers and other staff. Listen to them and do what they say. It will make your experience here much better. This doesn’t mean disrespect your peers either. Just keep respect in mind, and treat others how you would want to be treated.
6. Find a group of friends that will encourage you. This school is very diverse, and I’m sure you’ll find at least one encouraging friend in each group. If you hang around people that are negative about everything, chances are you’re not going to be Mr. or Ms. Positive.
7. Pay attention in class and do your absolute best. I know, you probably hear this from everyone. They are right, though. School is very important, and helps define what you will be when you’re an adult. Senior year seems so foreign to you now, and like it’s so far away, but the end is much closer than you think. Keep your grades up, and study for those big tests. I cannot stress enough how important it is to not slack off.
8. Get help with what you’re having trouble on. Personally, I have a lot of trouble in math. Something about a bunch of numbers scattered around with a bunch of letters, symbols, and imaginary things, doesn’t click. It took me awhile to realize it, but tutoring after school or during lunch can save you from the horrible downfall in the subject that you don’t understand.
  School is only going to be as good as you make it to be. If you tell yourself that you hate school and can’t stand the fact that you’re learning valuable information you will use throughout your life, your time here won’t be good. If you knock off that negative attitude and bring in a positive one, time will fly and this will be the best experience of your life. Focus in class, but don’t let yourself get too stressed out. Relax, have fun, and make sure to do everything you want to. Before you know it, you’ll be gone and in college, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sport, took that class, or did whatever thing. Take it all one step at a time, and be positive, and you will love high school.

Opinions on the State Social Media Policy

By: Logan Moore
New State Social Media Policy
   As most of us have heard by now, a new state-wide policy regarding social media has been passed and is now being enforced. What is it? The policy basically states that any form of harassment through a social networking website towards a student or staff member of the school that disrupts the education process is now being considered a punishable offense, even if the harassment was done outside of school.
   Some may feel that this goes against their rights as an American, or they just don’t feel comfortable with strangers monitoring their profile. Is this concern really valid? I don’t think so. If someone is nervous about what they put on Twitter, Facebook, the ghost town of MySpace, or other social media sites, why are they putting it on there in the first place? Everything entered on the internet is up for people to see and judge someone on.
   I believe this new policy is an “It’s about time” moment. Why should someone get away with bullying another student while hiding behind the curtain of the internet?  The answer is, they shouldn’t. Cyber bullying is a popular method of bullying others now, and since this is the case, schools should be monitoring it just the same as they do in-school bullying.

Meet Tabitha

      Hello there, my name is Tabitha…don’t ever call me Tabbycat. I am 18 years old and a senior this year (finally).  I enjoy the simple things in life such as drawing, sleeping, playing Skyrim for hours, growing tomato plants on my patio, and hanging out with my friends and my boyfriend. I like to work a lot, so I am usually pretty busy.  I Co-Op in the Annex Office, and after school I work as an apprentice at a tattoo parlor in Ravenswood.  I love both of my jobs and the people I work with.  My favorite color is sky blue, and my favorite animals are kittens. I am a pretty laid back chick, so don’t be afraid to say hey in the hallways. I am the head editor of the Newspaper, and I hope this last year is a good one.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meet Danielle

Hello everyone, my name is Danielle Vealey. I am your average teenage girl. I live on an alpaca farm, enjoy long walks on the moon, and Nutella is my boyfriend. I have a dog who is my best friend, and I live for music. Am I musically gifted? Absolutely not. Entertainment is my thing. I am pleased by the small things and try to befriend everyone. I don’t bite. This is my second year writing for the Viking Press, and I thoroughly enjoy giving Ms. Okes a hard time on a daily basis. Oh, and writing stories.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tim Burton puts a new twist on an old favorite

By: Danielle Vealey  
With May brining in a handful of new movies, “Dark Shadows”, is coming out as well. The movie is based on the TV show “Dark Shadows” of the 1960s. The movie is to have a star filled cast, including Johnny Depp, Michele Pfiefer, and Helena Bonham-Carter. Tim Burton being the director of this film, he has taken it and turned it into something of his own.
   The original “Dark Shadows” began in June 1966 and lasted until April 1971. There were five complete seasons of the show about Barnabas Collins, a vampire, and strange events that occurred around him. Jonathan Frid played Barnabas in every season of the show and he was also in “House of Dark Shadows”, the first movie based off of the series that focused on finding Barnabas a cure and searching for love amidst his burdens. Frid just recently passed away of old age on April 14, 2012. He was 87.
   Tim Burton has made this latest installment more humorous than serious. He has focused on making people laugh more, rather than scaring anyone or making the audience sad. Depp, playing Barnabas Collins, was locked in a coffin by a witch who cast a spell on him in the 1700s. He wakes up to find out that he is in the year 1972. He comes to discover his old residence is being occupied by his descendants. Barnabas gets close to them and tries to save their failing family business that the witch (who has also returned to get Barnabas) is deliberately trying to destroy.
   Depp and his co- stars will be walking down the red carpet at the “Dark Shadows” premier on May 11. It is predicted to be a great movie that the whole family can enjoy.

Viking track team races through season

By: Tabitha Hudnall

            It is nearing the end of the Viking track season, and the runners have done a great job.  In their first meet of the season at Point Pleasant on March 17, the boys placed second and the girls placed fourth.
            During the Lindsey Mann Memorial at Roane County the Vikings were on fire with the girls placing second and the boys placing first.  The boys won first in discus, shot put, long jump, high jump, 4x110 meter shuttle hurdle, 4x800 meter relay, 4x400 meter relay, 300 meter hurdles, and 800 meter run. The girls won events in 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 800 meter dash, and 4x200 meter relay.
            The Viking Classic that took place April 27 was also a success with boys placing second overall and girls placing fifth. 
            Throughout the season, both teams have excelled their abilities and are sure to end this year with a bang. Congratulations to the teams for working so hard this season.

Award Ceremony Schedules

By: Tabitha Hudnall

            Informal Awards this year are set to be Friday May 11 and Formal Awards will be the week after, Friday May 18.  Informal Awards are on the same date as the AP United States History exam, so students taking the test will go to lunch when finished and then return to go to the informal awards.
            Informal Awards are meant to be for all members of the school.  Teachers and Coaches will be giving awards to students who have excelled throughout the year.  Awards are also given for competitions, clubs, and for sports.
            Formal awards are to recognize the seniors and their accomplishments throughout their school careers.  This ceremony gives students and colleges to award scholarships, announces Valedictorian, honors graduates are recognized and awards and scholarships from clubs and sports are given. After the Formal Awards are over the seniors are allowed to leave the school. Family members are welcome to attend.

AP Exam Schedule

By: Tabitha Hudnall

            If you are in an Advanced Placement class, you know that the next few weeks are vital for studying.  The AP Exams will be taking place May 7-17 in the Chancey-Walker building.
            Seeing as how I am in two advanced placement classes, I understand the stress that goes along with the courses.  These next weeks are crucial for last minute cramming and improvement of multiple choice and essay taking skills.
            Junior and AP test taker Zak Haga stated “I’m confident I will do well on my tests.”
             Some teachers are doing after-school review sessions to go over important materials that will help students on the exams. Some students are stressing to the extreme while others are nonchalant about the tests. They key to success is to not stress yourself out. So study, do your best, and good luck to all who are taking the AP Exams!

AP Chemistry
May 7
8 a.m

AP Environmental Science
May 7
8 a.m

AP Psychology
May 7
12 p.m

AP Calculus AB
May 9
8 a.m

AP Calculus BC
May 9
8 a.m

AP English Literature & Comp.
May 10
8 a.m

AP United States History
May 11
8 a.m

AP Biology
May 14
8 a.m

AP United States Gov. and Politics
May 15
8 a.m

AP English Language & Comp.
May 16
8 a.m

AP World History
May 17