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.