Monthly Archives: April 2004

Lassiter athletes making LHS proud across the board

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By Whitney Conner
Staff Writer ’06

Lassiter’s sports teams have done a great job so far. However, with a new season of sports beginning it can get somewhat difficult to remember the teams that have already finished their seasons. On that note, here’s a recap of Lassiter’s fall sports successes.

The Swim and Dive team did exceptionally well this year. Thirty seven of Lassiter’s best swimmers swam in the state preliminaries on February 19.This year, Coach Zmuda took the most swimmers to swim at state in Lassiter’s history. Out of that 37, seven males and thirteen females swam again on Saturday at the finals. While the girl’s team had hoped to place first this year, they unfortunately took third place. However, the girls did great this year in that they were undefeated up until the state championship. Jenny Schimenti, Anna Gleyzer, Abby Ahlers, and Sarah Porri won the Ladie’s 400 free Relay at state and even broke Lassiter’s school record and the county record for the event. The team won their fourth Cobb County Championship as well. Of the team, seven swimmers and three divers were nominated for the All County Swim Team. Steven Grade was dubbed Cobb County Swimmer of the Year and Coach Zmuda was honored with Cobb County Coach of the Year for the second time. As this was his last year at Lassiter, he will be greatly missed next season.

Lassiter’s wrestlers celebrate the success of their
two champions, Cody Runnels and Rod Boyd

Coach Day’s wrestling team did well, too. Cody Runnels and Rod Boyd? wrestled their way to the top as Cobb County’s only two champions. Cody Runnels also won the state match. However, he did suffer his first loss in four years against Wade Hudson of Parkview. Even though Cody will be leaving next year, he says the wrestling team is showing some potential, noting that “some of the freshmen are showing some potential as future state-winning, wrestlers.

This year’s cross country team did great as well. At the County Championship, both the boy’s and girl’s teams placed second. At regionals, the boys placed first and went on to place seventh at state. Alex McWalters was the individual Region champ. The girls placed third at regionals and tenth at state. Elena Linn placed third at state and was the Cobb County Champion.
Coach Giles is very proud of the boy’s tennis team, who has a great shot at winning the region championship. Also, Coach Giles believes Lassiter will be represented very well in the state tournament. The leaders of the team are junior Shawn Gordon and senior Max Bicklehaup. Both boys are undefeated with Shawn at 2 singles and Max at 1 doubles.

The Lassiter Gymnastics team hosted an invitational meet of eight other teams. Lassiter took both the invitational and the top three individual medals.

Lassiter’s soccer stars

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By Michelle Jaret
Special Features Editor ’04

Though the United States is one of the countries in the world that appreciates soccer the very least, that doesn’t mean we are void of any citizens that eat, sleep, and breathe the sport. Lassiter is home to two of these “hooligans,” as soccer fans in the UK are often referred to, and it’s not by accident that their passion for the sport as landed them the title of team captains of their respective varsity teams.

Megan Harris is one of the captains of Lassiter’s girls varsity soccer team and will continue playing next year at Western Carolina University on a scholarship. Playing the game since age three, soccer is a big part of her life: “I eat, sleep, and breathe soccer. Then I work at Publix and sleep some more!” It may seem extreme, but perhaps it is that kind of drive that is required to achieve the kind of success that Megan can claim. For example, Megan was Lassiter’s rookie of the year in 2001, named the best defensive player in 2002, a scholar athelete in 2003, received the United Quest scholarship in 2000 and has won several state championship titles. Megan’s achievements are certainly something to be proud of but that’s not all that the hard work is for; Megan says that what she really loves is being part of a team. She explains her passion this way: “Soccer has been such a positive reinforcement in my life. It’s been my number one motivation and has kept me out of trouble ever since I was little. I love playing, I love my teammates, I love everything about it.” You can’t argue with that, and according to her, she grew up with that mentality, “my dad is a Brit, so soccer is life. Ha.”

Patrick Flinn is one of the Varsity boys team captains. Like Megan, Patrick is very dedicated to his sport and says it takes up most of his time. Besides going to practice, Patrick hones his skills by running 2 miles in the morning (his route is on Mabry Road to the QuickTrip station, so keep your eyes open before school!) Before games Patrick claims to always eat a bagel and two bananas; perhaps his rituals seem odd to us, but we cannot argue that they aren’t working: Patrick made all county last year, was the offensive player of the year and the leading scorer. With such success, Patrick has elicited interest from many colleges to play for them, but in the end has decided to go to Dequesne University in Pittsburgh where he will receive about an eighty-five percent scholarship to play soccer. Looking back on his high school soccer days, Patrick remembers beating Milton to go to the play-offs during his sophomore year as his favorite memory. With his dedication there should be no doubt that many more great soccer memories will be to come.

Though our country isn’t exactly known for soccer it hasn’t stopped certain Lassiter students from excelling at it. As Megan and Patrick demonstrate, the popularity of the sport has nothing to do with one’s passion, this is how Megan thinks of it: “Find something you love to do and you’ll be good to go. People need to have more fun.” Indeed.

Peisel: a mountain of a man

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By Kevin Ewalt
Senior Page Editor ’04

His name is Ryan Peisel, he plays baseball, he’s batting .415 with 74 home runs and 104 RBI’s. and his bowling average is 212.

We caught up with Ryan for this interview, not surprisingly, in Lassiter’s weight room, getting buff for games ahead. The weight room was certainly unsuitable for an interview so we moved to a more hospitable location- the auxiliary gym, which Peisel saw as an opportunity to perfect his basketball game while answering our questions. Almost immediately the conversation turned to the baseball team’s current losing streak. “There is a lot of fight left in us,” Peisel remarked.” As captain of the team, Peisel is keeping the team motivated by “hitting homeruns, stealing bases, and giving wedgies in the locker room.”

Still dribbling the ball around the court, Peisel shot a three. With the clang of the rim still echoing in the background, we moved on to less serious matters. What do you like to do when you’re not playing baseball? “Well, I enjoy eating and sleeping and, of course, riding party buses.”
Just looking at Ryan you might wonder if he has any weaknesses. Truth be told, he tried to think of a few- without success. In contrast, many strengths were recalled, among them: picking up women, baseball, bowling, and the ever-classic game of badminton. He also enjoys baking with his mother Karen during the holidays. In regard to the 2004 presidential election, Ryan thinks Bush will win in a landslide. When asked about his doubts for the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, Ryan laughingly remarked that “Kerry has a droopy face like a pug and no one will vote for that.”

As Peisel shot another airball, I asked one last question: If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? “Well,” Peisel said, “I would be an elephant, because they have huge ears, of course, and because they are in the circus. Can you name one person who doesn’t think an elephant is cool? Exactly”. O! Mr. Peisel, how you are my personal savior.

Lassiter prepares for region track meet

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By Kellie Gerbers
Graphics Editor ’04

After the girls’ first place finish and boys’ second place finish at the Cobb County track meet, the future looks very bright for Lassiter’s track and field team. With the final weeks of the season at hand, both teams have high hopes for success at the region meets.

With strong individual performances by junior Stacy Doornbos (long jump), senior Michelle Pollitt (high jump), sophomore Emily Bernhardt (discuss), senior Christy Carr (pole vault), and senior Elena Linn (distance races), Lassiter’s girls’ team appears to have depth in every aspect of the sport. Similarly, Alex McWalters and Michael Jansen of the boys’ team will provide crucial points in the distance races.

Unfortunately for the boys’ team, the number of participating athletes has dropped over the past few weeks due to unfortunate circumstances as well as injuries. Junior Carson Cutrone is faced with damage to his ACL while senior James Steinburger took a nasty fall during the 110 hurdles at the Track Coaches’ Invitational at Georgia Tech last month. If the boys are to continue the 3-year region champion streak, they need to be very cautious in the weeks preceding the competition. Subsequently, both the boys’ and the girls’ teams will suffer losses at the end of the season due to the proportion of seniors graduating at the end of the year. Both coaches and students have voiced the importance of recruiting early for next cross country and track seasons in order to maintain their successful record. Despite these recent hurdles that Lassiter track has had to overcome, both teams did take home the region trophy last year and intend to do it once again at the end of this month. With hard work and dedication, Lassiter track and field will surely end their season on a high note.

Georgia Tech fans fair-weathered, Fred Adu overrated

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By Kevin Timms
Editorial Editor ’04ESPN Sporting Events? Have you ever sat down and turned on ESPN hoping to catch the end of that Braves baseball game or one of those Superbowl highlight shows, but found yourself watching some 12 year-old kid trying to spell the word <S-C-H-A-D-E-N-F-R-E-U-D-E>? And no, you may not have the language of origin but here’s a sentence: ESPN shows useless events such as the spelling bee in order to feel schadenfreude knowing that millions of disappointed viewers tuned in to ESPN only to see the next spelling world champion. And it’s not just spelling bees…ESPN also shows the Magic Card championship, Poker games, and the all new Publix Bagging World Championship featuring such great athletes as Michael Mayer. (Well…it’s not live yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see such an event in the near future.) With all the channels the average resident receives, you would think some other channel would show the “coveted” spelling bee. And then, sporting events such as Braves baseball games (TBS), NCAA Basketball Tournament (CBS) and the NFL (Fox) find themselves on channels not recognized as sports networks. I think the Hallmark channel or maybe Lifetime (Television for Women) show more sports than ESPN.

Georgia Tech in March Madness – Although they lost me a total of $15 on bets against them, I must congratulate Tech on their remarkable run to the NCAA final. However, I’d never realized how many in-the-closet Georgia Tech fans existed until they reached the Final Four. People dusted off their Tech caps and wore them with pride, “non-biased” sportscasters on local news channels wore Tech shirts and final four caps, and I’m glad Lassiter students were enjoying spring break because I’d fear the Tech yellow and navy colors would decorate every other person in the halls. Basically, I’m pretty sick of “born-again” Tech fans because one must support their teams through the bad and the good. Let’s see how many of these fans show up when the football season starts…

Freddy Adu – Compared to the Brazilian soccer legend Pele, Freddy Adu has been the focus of much national media due to his $1 million Nike sponsorship and his $500,000 salary. Oh and by the way, the kid is only 14!!!! However, I decided to sit down and go against my morals when I stooped to watch arguable the most inferior soccer league in the world—Major League Soccer (MLS). Why? To watch this so-called brilliant wonderkid. His team, DC United, brought him on with about 25 minutes to go and his team leading 2-1. His first touch, he beat seven players with moves I’ve never seen before and then proceeded to shoot a 30 yard bullet shot into the upper right corner of the goal…Then I reached consciousness and realized that all this kid did was complete about 50% of his passes, fail to make any scoring chances, and dive (pretend to fall down to obtain a free-kick or penalty.) No wonder this kid turned down European soccer teams to play in the U.S. because he can’t even hang with the overrated veterans that create the MLS.
Hawks Basketball – Just when the team realizes they’re as bad as possible, and their fans become slightly excited that at least they receive a great draft pick, the Hawks start winning, much as the Falcons did to blow a top five draft pick. The Hawks’ lack of a superstar finally meant that a team mentality could allow better basketball. Then, newly-acquired Bob Sura broke the NBA record for having three straight triple doubles…Bob who? However, his last rebound was a purposely missed lay-up so that he could get that 10th rebound and achieve an NBA record. But, the NBA nullified the rebound and Sura was stripped of his triple double but why? Nothing in the NBA rulebook prohibits intentional misses to achieve inflated stats, and did it really matter? The NBA could have at least given him the rebound and referred him to a character ed. integrity lesson at Lassiter High School.


Crazy dancing Mormons and more make Cabaret a hit

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By Liz Jimenez
News Editor ’04

Every year the Lassiter Chorus sponsors one of the most anticipated events the school has to offer. Cabaret has brought students the opportunity to musically perform for their peers for the past several years. Always a hit, the concert put on by your own peers provides impressive entertainment.

This year, though fewer than usual participated, the acts were perhaps some of the best Lassiter has seen. Big hits of the night included senior Jackie Holmes’ comedic performance of “Girl in 14G,” senior Shannon Easton’s soulful “At Last,” junior Maddie McConnell’s spirited “The First Cut,” and sophmore Addie Hampton’s romantic “Get Here.”

However, most memorable was undoubtedly the finale which included something never quite matched in Cabaret history. With an introduction by a rock n’ rollin’ Bert from Sesame Street, three crazy Mormons (seniors Brittany Cogbill and Bethanie Rogers, and junior Brooke Yates) took the stage dressed in their best rock garb. As the downbeat struck, each girl’s hand shot in the air, ready to jam.

Then, all of the sudden, a forth crazy Mormon, freshman Carter Wright, slid across the stage and into view. When he finally stopped just a few inches from the end of the stage, the crowd erupted in cheers. With this encouragement, the four dancers performed a hilariously entertaining production of the Goofy Movie’s song, “Eye to Eye” complete with moves straight out of the animated motion picture.

Finally, to end the night with a bang, all other performers joined the four crazy Mormons moves in classic Goofy Movie style.

Lassiter PTSA works hard to spoil students and teachers

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By Liz Jimenez
News Editor ’04

Lassiter students, residents of the infamous East Cobb snob district, unfailingly expect and take advantage of a number of monetary grants for special organizations, clubs, and of course, classes. Without these grants, such groups, which make up the very essence of a high school experience, would not enjoy the success they do, or even exist.

However, obtaining these grants is not always an easy job and often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Therefore, the Laureate would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Priss Gerlach, the co-President of the Lassiter PTSA and any others who have worked hard to provide Lassiter with over $4,500 of the best materials possible ranging from calculators and computers, to marine aquarium lamps, to scrabble games, to microwaves for teachers.

This year alone the PTSA has obtained mini-grants for several organizations: $1,065 to the math department, over $335 to the foreign language department, $1,000 to the Laureate, $150 to the art department, $200 to the career and technology department, $240 to the language arts department, $450 to the math department, $30 to social studies department, $440 to the science department, $260 to special education, $125 for teacher lounges, and $200 for the school clinic.
In addition to these helpful grants, the PTSA will also be giving out several $500 scholarships to seniors this year and gives two teacher luncheons per year.

Thanks to the PTSA for all of their support of LHS.

A night at the play

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By Joseph Zollo
<GEEK> Editor ’04

Four nights. Two casts. One remarkable play. Ohberg & Co.’s production of Macbeth implements a combination of both humor and entertainment that keeps the audience tentative, focused, and inconstant suspense. The great thing about this type of play is that even if the actors make a mistake, the audience passes it off. There were times that I felt confused, as if the comedy were overshadowing the story. This, of course, is understandable taking into consideration the time limits that are imposed and the fact that the purpose of the play was to be comedic, not informative.

The play begins with Mrs. Reese (Brooke Yates and Holly Hansen) telling the audience about the play that is about to begin. Shortly after that, Henry (Marcus Thomas and Nathan Pyle) walks out to hammer down a sign that says “Please turn off all electronic devices,” the sound of the hammer is so loud that Mrs. Reese cannot be heard. The whole scene is quite humorous. One of the most hilarious scenes in the play was at the end when Mr. Peach (Jeremy Mabe and Corey Bradberry), who had been making occasional commentary throughout the play, walked out wearing a dress.

The amount of laughter in the crowd at that moment was beyond what words could describe. The actors who played Macbeth (Shea Eveker and Kirsten Milliken) could not have possibly done a better job, simple as that.

Jessica Tran ‘04 thought the play was “delightful and entertaining. A perfect treat to end a long week of working.” Lassiter graduate Jameson Retel ‘03 came all the way from Kennesaw State University to see the play every single night! He thought that “it was one of the macbetter plays I’ve seen for a long time. Essentially, you take a group of students; mix them with a nightmare or two; that’s what this play is about. This is the way Shakespeare was meant to be enjoyed.”

The cast and crew of Macbeth are to be commended for doing an exemplary job in both acting and entertaining the audience. This play proves that when these amazing kids focus on something, they can really concoct something truly “evil.” To quote Macbeth, “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

Is there life after exemptions?

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By Dania Haider
Centerspread Editor ’04

For the past two years, Mr. James Carter has had a plateful with his new job as Lassiter’s pricipal. Throughout the past two years he has made many changes in Lassiter’s daily routine. The Laureate wanted to find out what Mr. Carter’s views are on Lassiter’s current standing and his plans for the future.

What were you like as a teenager?
Carter: I was an average kid. My parents were encouraging. I grew up in the inner Kansas City so I had to stay in school and be involved. I was a member of the band and orchestra playing the clarinet from the 4th- 11th grade when I picked up the tuba. I ran track, played baseball, basketball with the Boy’s Club, and some football. As any senior, I became a little bull headed my last year.

What challenges have you faced as principal at Lassiter and different schools?
Carter: Lassiter’s environment is the opposite of some of the other schools I’ve been at. In the past I have had to deal with guns, gangs, KKK, physical violence, homicide, suicide, car wrecks, and pregnancy. As always though, the majority of every school I have been at has been comprised of wonderful kids. I am impressed by Lassiter’s parent involvement and the involved kids. As in any school, two main challenges any principal faces are safety and security coupled with focus on instruction and student achievement

In the past two years, you have made significant changes, what are your thoughts on the tardy policy?
Carter: Statistics show a tremendous decline in tardies. Students need to learn the way things work in the real world. A job will expect the same responsibility.

What about the incredible numbers of students in ISS this year due to the new tardy policy? Is it worthwhile to remove students from valuable learning time?
Carter: The reason students are placed in ISS is not the school’s decision but instead the students’ for acting irresponsibly. The goal is to teach kids the importance of responsibility, allowing for an easier transition into the working world.

Now that there are no exam exemptions, has absenteeism also declined along with the number of tardies?
Carter: Absenteeism has remained constant. Exam exemptions were awarded when absenteeism was a huge problem at Lassiter. In the past few years, the absentee rate has gotten to the point it was at many years ago so there is no reason to continue rewarding the students.

What will happen with minimum day?
Carter: The county allows for only one period minimum day. Lassiter has been unique in allowing students two periods. Only one period of school. What this means is that eventually every student will be required to take at least one AP class.

Are there any policy changes you would like to make?
Carter: Prom will be a big issue. Location outside the county happens to be a big concern.

What are your goals for Lassiter?
Carter: Parents should be more involved in the planning process. Also, I would like to ensure that Lassiter gains a greater grasp on technology. Also, several of our facilities need replacement such as our track, locker rooms, and our theater. To enhance student achievement I would also like to implement more staff development and inservices.

March Hororscopes: With Lassiter’s resident psychic

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By Michael Mayer
Sports Editor ’04

Capricorn (December 23-January 20): You’re hunt for a job isn’t going so well. You should eliminate John Mayer.–then you can have the job of being my best friend.

Aquarius (January 21-February 19): When life gives you lemons, make a lemon castle with flamingoes.

Pisces (February 20-March 20): For you, sleeping equals bad luck. Think about it. Last time something bad happened to you, you had probably slept within the past couple days. So, obviously, just never sleep again, and you’ve got it made.

Aries (March 21-April 20): You are the worst sister ever. Actually, it’s between you and that sister who burned her brother’s house down with him in it. No, wait, it’s definitely you.

Taurus (April 21-May 21): You have much potential. Reach for the sky, Devry!

Gemini (May 22-June 21): You’ve let people take advantage of you. Now stop, and make a commitment to being less naïve. In the meantime, I’ll just be over here not stealing your stuff, making out with your sister, etc.

Cancer (June 22-July 22): I’ve been doing some thinking, and it’s about time you Cancer kids got a horoscope. I’ve also been wondering who would win a fight between the sun and the moon?

Leo (July 23-August 21): Start showing yourself more respect. After all, who else is going to respect someone who can’t dress himself?

Virgo (August 22-September 23): Anyone you see who is funny-looking is most definitely an alien. Anyone who seems hairy is an obvious werewolf. Oh, and the people making fun of you for your imaginary friends are just jealous.

Libra (September 24-October 23): You can’t always get what you want. So get what you need.

Scorpio (October 24-November 22): You’re too negative. Try focusing on funny, happy things, like Clay Aiken getting hit by a bus.

Sagittarius (November 23-December 22): You worry far too much about other people’s opinions of you. My opinion of you is the only one that matters.