Monday, November 10, 2014

Senior Night brings tears

By: Krissa Scarberry
   As fall coming to an end and winter is quickly approaching, fall sports are following behind with the closing of each of their individual seasons. On senior night, seniors from all sports and activities that take place in the fall are recognized including band, choir, football, cheerleading, volleyball, golf, soccer, and cross country.
   “I felt honored to walk across the field for senior night because it shows the integrity that I, and other seniors, possess by sticking with sports and band for four years or more,” said band member Cody Bailey.
   Each and every sport had a handful of seniors that made their way across the field on senior night, October 31. 
   “My favorite senior night memory would have to be standing on the field with Tori and Hannah, and all of the football players and cheerleaders singing the alma mater,” said cheerleader Jade Donohew “Knowing it would be the last time I sang it on our home field was hard, but I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else.”
   Senior Night was definitely a very emotional night for all the seniors and their parents.
   “I am definitely going to miss Ripley High School. I grew up here, and walking across the field for the last time was upsetting, but I’m glad I got to do it with my friends and family,” said football player Jacob (T-bone) Kay.

   Best of luck to all the seniors graduating this spring, and may the rest of their lives bring great things. Each and every senior will be missed.

Smarter Balanced knocks out WESTEST

Smarter Balanced knocks out WESTEST
By: Abbey Vidrine
   The rumors are true. WESTEST will no longer be given as the end of the year assessment. Finally, the test we have taken every spring since the third grade is over. However, that does not mean that there will not be another test replacing it.
   The Smarter Balanced Assessment will be taking the place of WESTEST beginning this year. As terrible as this does sound, Smarter Balanced differs a lot from WESTEST. WESTEST was a state wide test, and Smarter Balanced is country wide. This means that our rest scores will be compared to students all over the United States.
   The goal is to ensure that students who transfer school schools or move will be learning the same things. It will be given to grades three through eleven, so don’t worry you won’t be taking it. However, Smarter Balanced is still focused on core classes, and students will still be expected to do their best.
   Smarter Balanced is a very new assessment. It is aligned with common core, a nationwide initiative to give every state the same standards to work towards. Currently science and social studies will be the same format and have the same questions as WESTEST. However, English and math will be changing drastically. For English, students will begin with performance tasks. A teacher will begin with getting the class discussing the same subject through different activities. The activities are scripted as well, meaning that the teacher follows instructions. Then, students will read several sources and, based on the sources and discussion, write a constructed response about the topic. Students will be able to take notes on the class discussions, and they can use the notes they take to help them write the essay. Prior to all of these activities, a multiple choice English test will be given. This will not be allowed to help students write their essay. Math will consist of the same type of concept. Math uses visual aids and different types of responses instead. All four tests will take several days, but they will not be given all day.

   Students will be able to get more involved with what they are doing. It may be a new test, but it will still be taken in the spring. Therefore, that will not be a difficult change. We are not only ranked state wide, but our school will be compared to schools all over the country. This means that students will have to put in maximum effort. Smarter Balanced Assessment will hopefully be a better turnout for students than WESTEST. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cross country running to states again

The cross country team ran the regional race at Greenbrier East October 23.  Both teams qualified for the State Meet that will be held at Cabell Midland High School on November 1.
   "I am very excited that my last meet will be the state meet.  It is an honor to have run the state meet for three years now," said senior Levi Phillips.
   The boys' team got 2nd at regionals, and the girls' team got 3rd.  Outstanding performances were sophomore Dalton Fisher and junior Morganne Pauley.
   "It is amazing that I have been a part of a history making girls team.  I wouldn't have asked for a better season.  The team has worked extra hard this year and everyone deserves to go to States," reminisced senior Sapphire Parsons.

   Last season was the first time that both teams qualified for the state meet together.  This year will be the first time that a girls' team has qualified consecutively.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Homecoming 2014 slays

By: Cassidy Tolley
   Homecoming 2014 was an event to remember.  Everything from the spooky parade to our win at the football game went off without a hitch.  The hard work of the school and Student Council paid off to create lasting memories shared by the entire community.  It was a great weekend to be a Viking.
   The week of October 19 was float-building week at Ripley High.  Each grade built their float at a different location.  Each class constructed their float corresponding with the overall Homecoming theme, Haunted Homecoming.  The freshmen built a float with the theme of “Halloween Town” from an old Disney movie.  The sophomores theme was Scooby Doo, juniors had a Haunted House, and the seniors modeled their float off of “The Walking Dead”.
   “The theme made it difficult for the floats to be different,” said senior and student body president Jade Donohew.  “There’s only so much you could do.”
   Each class was given $100 of school money to spend on their float.  The rest was to be donated or should come out of the students own pockets.
   Friday, October 24, the parade started at 1 p.m.  It followed the usual route through Ripley.  However, this year, judges of the floats were placed anonymously around town.  All of the floats looked great and really complimented the theme of Homecoming well.
   “The parade did end up going really well.  It was our main goal this year for everyone to be involved in the parade, not just Student Council.” said Jade Donohew.
   After the parade came the school pep rally, where the results of the float competition were announced.  The sophomores won due to participation during the construction of their float.  The juniors came in second, seniors in third, and the freshmen in fourth.
   “Student participation is important, but it shouldn’t overcome the final product of the float,”  said teacher and float adviser Emily Okes.
   Also during the pep rally, the “Kiss the Pig” Contest winner, Coach Evan Faulker, kissed the pig.  Social Studies teacher AJ Cooper, who came in second, also kissed the pig by student demand.
   Later that night at Death Valley, the Vikings faced off against Lincoln County Panthers.  At half time the Homecoming Court were announced and featured in the middle of the field.  The freshmen king and queen were Ranse Gandee and Ashton Ratliff, sophomores Devin Hunt Lauren Hopper, and juniors Xavier Boyce and Morgan Pursley.  The candidates for Homecoming king were Matt Groves, Cody Edens, and Eldrick Milares.  Queen candidates were Elizabeth King, Morgan Pierson, and Jade Donohew.  At this time the winners for Homecoming King and Queen were announced and crowned, Groves and Donohew.  It was a great game and an even better victory when Ripley beat Lincoln County 41-7.
   Saturday, October 25, was spent for the majority of Ripley High’s students getting ready for the dance.  Earlier that morning, Student Council helped to decorate the gymnasium and prep for the dance.  At 8 p.m. the dance started.  Over 100 students attended as well as more than 16 chaperones.  The night was filled with dancing and beautiful couples.  It was a great finale to a wonderful Homecoming.

Vikings put down Panthers

By: Audra Thomas
   Friday October 24, the Ripley Vikings took on Lincoln County for our 2014 homecoming game.  The Vikings came out on top with a score of 41-7. 
   Throughout the course of the game, senior Jake Martin had 14 carries for 155 yards.  Sixty-five of those yards came from a punt return that resulted in one of his four touchdowns of the night.  Also scoring was senior Jacob Kay, and sophomore Chase Morgan for the other two touchdowns.  In the mix of that, senior kicker Easton Berry had a perfect night, nailing all five of his PAT’s.  The Viking defense also had a big game with two sacks by sophomores Anthony Jarvis and JT Spurlock. 

   In the following week, the boys in blue will be taking on George Washington Friday October 31.  Then the week after that November 7, will be the long awaited cross-county rivalry game against 7-1 Ravenswood, they will be playing at Ravenswood. 

By: Kaitlyn Thomas
    Girls’ basketball is coming up fast. The freshmen team starts November 3. Varsity and JV start November 10. There are a total of 11 returning players on the JV and Varsity. The coach on the other hand is a new arrival. This will be John Kennedy’s first year as head coach.

   “Being a new coach is exciting. It is one of my goals” said Kennedy. This year’s team seems to have much more sportsmanship since Coach Kennedy has joined the staff. Everyone is required to have a good attitude. “I feel that my team has excellent sportsmanship, not only to other teams but to each other” said junior guard Katilyn Thomas.

   “Upcoming freshmen seem very promising” said Kennedy. “Our record should improve by a land slide this year.”

   The freshmen include Maggi Criser, Kenzie Casto, Lexi Miller, Anna Kimble, Keston Smith, Presley Fisher and Maggie Bowlby. Sophomores include, Jerri Patterson, Hannah Burrgess, Julia Hunter, Laurel Miller, and Zoe Smith. Juniors include, Audra Thomas, Katilyn Thomas, Kaitlyn Thomas (transfer from Summers County) Kelsey Miller, Kyra Goff, Julia Scruggs and Mackenzie Hartley. Sadly, there are only two seniors, Emily Oldhamm and Jade Donohue.

   The basketball team will play its first scrimmage at Roane November 20. They scrimmage AAA state champions, Morgantown November 29.

   This year’s team seems to have much more sportsmanship since Coach Kennedy has joined the staff. Everyone is required to have a good attitude, “I feel that my team has excellent sportsmanship not only to other teams but to each other,” said junior guard Katilyn Thomas.

   Both basketball teams, boys and girls, will be hosting the Tip Off Dinner November 14. Tickets are now on sale for $35. You receive your dinner ticket and a 6th Man Club t-shirt. If you receive this shirt you will get in all home basketball games for free. Receiving this shirt, you will save $95. That is a great deal! The dinner will take place outside of Ripley High, in the parking lot. It will begin at 7 and end at midnight. The funding of the dinner will go to the boys and girls basketball teams. Games will take place between the boys and girls. There will be food and a bonfire. Come out and support your Vikings basketball teams!



Winkler comes to West Virginia

Winkler comes to West Virginia
By: Hannah Johnson
   Actor, author, producer, and director Henry Winkler came to Ripley on October 16. Most recognize Winkler as “The Fonz” from the 80s hit “Happy Days” but both Ripley and Ravenswood elementary-level students recognize him for his “Hank Zipzer” series.
   Winkler made his appearance in Ripley and Ravenswood, thanks to Our Community Foundation because of the “Hooked on Hank” Jackson County Reading Program. This program launched August 22, placing 50 volunteer readers in schools. Jill Canter, a Jackson County substitute teacher, read the Hank Zipzer book “Holy Enchilada!” to a Ripley Elementary School class as a volunteer.
      Canter says, “It was a great experience being a volunteer! I love the Hank Zipzer series!”
   From August 22 to October 13, the “Hank Zipzer” series introduced a competition among elementary school classes. Classes recorded minutes spent reading “Hank Zipzer” books and were rewarded with an assembly, both at Ripley and Ravenswood. Any student who completed all seventeen books in the series by the end of the year will receive an original “Hooked on Hank” t-shirt.
   Winkler not only came to publicize his book series and to reward students, but to also share an understanding of students with learning challenges, due to Winkler’s struggles with dyslexia.
   A dinner was held on the evening of October 16 in his honor. At this event at the Armed Forces Reserve center in Millwood, Winkler elaborated on his life as an actor and producer, fly-fisherman, and a philanthropist. He spoke of his life from childhood to today, focusing on the struggles he had as a student.  It was not until he was an adult that he was diagnosed with dyslexia and did not read a full novel until age 31. 

   Winkler left his audience by saying, "I live by two words: tenacity and gratitude.  Tenacity gets you where you want to go.  Gratitude...makes you clean so you are an empty vessel when you get there.”

Mockingjay: Part 1 to be top movie of fall

Mockingjay: Part 1 to be top movie of fall
By: Lucas Blankenship
   The long awaited ending to the Hunger Games saga is rapidly approaching.  Set to be released in theaters November 21 (with midnight showings on November 20).  “Mockingjay: Part 1” will be the most highly anticipated movie of the fall.
   The movie takes place after the events of “Catching Fire.”  The dystopian society of Panem has destroyed Katniss’s home of District 12 after she broke the Hunger Games at the Third Quarter Quell and escaped the Capitol for the presumably abandoned District 13 with the help of Gale.  There, she meets a band of rebels, determined to overthrow the corrupt government and save Peeta, who was kidnapped by President Snow (played by Donald Sutherland) and used as a pawn in the battle to be fought against the Capitol.
   Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson will be reprising their roles as Katniss, Gale, and Peeta.  Julienne Moore will star as a new character, President Coin.  All actors are expected to make exceptional performances in this movie, much like they have in the past.
   “Mockingjay: Part 1” is only one half of the franchise’s finale.  The second movie is set to be released November of next year.  Having two movies for a franchise ending has been very successful in the past for “Harry Potter” as well as the “Twilight” series, and is expected to be no different for the “Hunger Games” saga.  No one is quite sure where the first movie will end and the second will pick up, but most speculate that it will end after Peeta’s return to District 13 or after Finnick Odair’s and Annie’s wedding. Filming took place between September 2013 and June 2014 in locations all over the world.  There is reportedly a budget of $250 million to make both movies.
   With the “Catching Fire” soundtrack selling over 100,000 copies, it is no surprise that Lorde was again asked to choose artists to play on “Mockingjay’s” soundtrack.  Lorde’s single “Yellow Flicker Beat” is the album’s lead single and has been played over 1 million times on Spotify.  Coldplay is reported to be back on the soundtrack as is Taylor Swift.  The soundtrack will be released alongside the movie on November 21.

   People are so excited for this movie because it is the beginning of the end.  With two movies, the writers and directors will be able to fit even more detail from the book into the movies, certain to thrill read-the-book-before-you-see-the-movie crusaders.  The “Hunger Games” movies have only gotten better with each successive film, and “Mockingjay” is expected to follow up on that lofty expectation.

Girls’ soccer reaches goals
   By: Breana Swisher

   The 2014 girls’ soccer season has come to an end. The season ended with a sectional loss at home versus Capital High School.                                                    
   Senior night was a major game for the Lady Vikes.  On October 9, Callan Banks, Taylor Dale, Holly Farkosh, Morgan Pierson, and Arin Shatto were honored.  The final pre-sectional home game was played against Riverside.  They pulled off a win 1 to 0.  It was a very memorable game for the seniors.
    Senior Morgan Pierson said, “It was a very memorable night. A lot of my senior friends came and made a mob for us and cheered us on. It was very special.
   As for the rest of the season, the girls learned and developed as a team.  They had to adjust to new head coach Chris Stout and new assistant coach Melanie Pierson and once the adjustment was made, it was smooth sailing from there.
     Junior Kelsey Moore said, “It was a very successful season. We won more games than any previous girls’ soccer team has in several years.”
   With a great attitude, the Lady Vikes have a lot to look forward to next year.
Years of hard work pays off for Poole
By: Megan Frampton
   An exciting thing has occurred in our music department! Ripley High’s band instructor has been inducted into the West Virginia Marching Band Directors Hall of Fame. Sherry Poole of Ripley, Jackson County; Julia Kade of Princeton, Mercer County; and Rhonda E. Smalley of Huntington, Cabell County, were the first three picks of the newly created Hall of Fame. This induction took place October 25th at the 3rd annual West Virginia Marching Band Invitational on the University of Charleston’s field.
   Poole has been in the music industry for 39 years and the director here at the high school since 1990. She has won an abundant amount of trophies and awards and is grateful for all of the hard work from her students.
    Poole believes that her “high quality performances and recognition of the band and band members throughout West Virginia” qualified her to be inducted into this Hall of Fame.
   When asked what her first reaction was to finding out this awesome news, Poole said, “I was shocked, surprised, and of course I was honored.”
   Because band has been in her life for so long, she feels as if it is part of her and without it, it would be as if there was a piece missing. Although it may be stressful sometimes, it really is a passion of Poole’s. Poole would like to thank her students for making this opportunity possible.
    Senior, Clayton Swisher, stated, “ I do feel as if Mrs. Poole is deserving of this award because she puts in so must time and effort and you can see that she cares about band.” 
Some students stood out on the field with Poole while she was receiving her award: Caleigh Neil, Erica Gibbson, Jordan Whited, Cheslea Fisher and Kelsey Frampton (WVU Color Gaurd members) and Savannah Jones.
   She stated, “I didn’t do it by myself. Other people like past directors I have worked for, the people who have been assistants over the years, plus, all of the students who have worked very hard to allow us to put out a quality product like we do, and all of the parents and the boosters that have worked behind the scenes. They have been behind me. If I didn’t have that kind of support, it wouldn’t be possible. It takes everybody. Just because I am the person in charge, I am getting the recognition but it really belongs to everyone who has helped with the program.


Teamwork makes dream work
By: Breana Swisher

      The 2014 volleyball regular season has ended. The last home game was October 28 at home against Ravenswood.  The team fought a tough battle, but the game resulted in a loss.  It was also Senior night. The seniors this year were Ashley Mellinger, Madison Sanders, Katie Stover, and Kaitlynn Weaver
   Ashley Mellinger said, “I had a lot of fun this season, even through the ups and downs.”
The team had a building season this year.  There was a major improvement from the months of September to October from having no wins in September to having several wins in October.  With only losing four seniors, the team has a bright outlook on next season.
    Sophomore Kindra Sarver said, “The amount of progress made over the past months is incredible.  Seeing all the potential we have for next season makes me so excited.  I can’t wait to play with my best friends next year.”
   The team had wins over Nitro and Roane County.  They also had a tournament tie with Hurricane.
The JV team also had a successful month of October, with 5 wins and 4 losses.
   Senior libero Kaitlynn Weaver received all tournament player on October 4 at George Washington High School.
   The 2014 season was an enjoyable one.  It was a season full of bonding and several triumphs.  There is a lot to look forward to next season.