By: Ted Berkowski ‘12, Staff Writer
Timeout is called and a pep band begins to play the fight song as fans sing along. The stadium is not sold out, but spirited fans are in attendance at Calihan Hall, where University of Detroit Mercy’s men’s basketball team plays its home games.
The atmosphere is unique, yet a world apart from the Cameron Crazies of Duke or the Izzone at Michigan State. Ignore the empty seats of the upper deck, and viewers will see that there are talented players on the court: two of them were even top 150 recruits nationally, according to Rivals.com. The pace of play is quick, with breakaway dunks and drives to the hoop. On the other end, players stress defensive pressure. Fans really understand the game.
The fans packed into the courtside bleachers know that this team is fresh and may be able to revitalize the program.
Often cast aside by the state’s two Big Ten teams, few know that the school is the alma mater to NBA Hall of Famer Dave DeBusschere or current NBA player Willie Green. ESPN commentator Dick Vitale was once the head coach of the Titans. The Titans reached the NCAA tournament as recently as 1999, winning their first game against UCLA before losing to Ohio State. They also made it to the Final Four of the 2002 NIT at Madison Square Garden, before losing to Alabama.
After a rough first season, third-year coach Ray McCallum looks to continue the progress he has made with UDM and challenge last year’s national runner-up Butler in the Horizon League. His team is projected to finish second in the league behind last year’s national runner-up Butler, according to the Horizon League media. Butler has dominated the conference of late.
The Titans are led by 6-10 Indiana transfer Eli Holman, who is averaging 15.6 points and 11.3 rebounds, according to ESPN.com. Senior Chase Simon is an athletic wing man for the team.
Those established scorers are energized this season by freshman point guard Ray McCallum Jr., who was the number 43 recruit nationally. McCallum Jr. is the son of the head coach and is averaging 12.4 points per game. For a mid-major conference like the Horizon League, such a big-time recruit is a huge addition.
Sophomore Jason Calliste is another top-150 recruit on the team, who adds strong 3-point shooting and is averaging 12.3 points.
The Titans are a very worthwhile and convenient outlet to view exciting and athletic basketball. Calihan Hall is about 30 minutes away from Grosse Pointe and tickets are just $14 for floor seats and $10 for the upper deck, which is still fairly close to the action. Most seats are general admission, so fans are free to sit in the best seats they can find, even the first row.
For fans of basketball, in general, UDM’s basketball program is rising and offers a satisfying viewing experience.
Note: UDM faces Butler at home on Friday, January 14, in what will likely be biggest home game of the season. Expect a larger, more excited crowd and players’ emotions to run high as the Titans attempt to knock down Butler’s reign over the conference.
By: Madison Ethridge ’12, Staff Writer
Being the new club at South, the gay-straight alliance (GSA) has been making headway towards its goal of gay-straight acceptance in The Pointes.
Focusing on providing a safe haven to the largely silent community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and their straight supporters at South, the GSA has been seeing a lot of positive feedback throughout South and the Pointes, said GSA member Craig Campbell ’11.
“There has been enormous support from the teachers, and the administration has been friendly,” said Campbell. “As for the community, we haven’t had any negative feedback from the community, but we do know that different groups within Grosse Pointe have noticed the revival of the group.”
With meetings every third Thursday at 3:25 p.m. the GSA has seen an increase in members each week. Attendance has been between 25-35 students, said Campbell, which forced the meetings to be moved from the commercial foods room to the student commons.
The focus of the club is an emphasis on discussion. However, on Oct. 20, 2010 not only the GSA, but also the entire school showed support for victims of anti-LGBT bullying by wearing purple, said Campbell. GSA will additionally be participating in the Day of Silence in the spring.
“The purpose of wearing purple on Oct. 20 was to show support for those being bullied because of their sexualities,” said Carolyn Alam ’12. “The day was inspired by the recent rash of gay teen suicides due to bullying, and there seemed to be a lot of purple in the hallways that day. There was a lot of support.”
In addition to the wear purple day, The Day of Silence is a day to make a statement for all those in the LGBT community who feel silenced. Those participating take an oath of silence for the entire day, said Campbell. Teachers will be informed so they can respect the silence of students who are participating.
“I think the day of silence will really have an affect on the South community,” said Devin Magee ’11. “I’m looking forward to making a stand for those who feel silenced, and try to relate to those kids.”
After only one full quarter of school, GSA has already begun to establish a comfortable environment for LGBT students. The GSA has already been helping students in the club through their conversations, said Alam.
“I hope the GSA will be able to help people become more open-minded and supportive of equal rights for all, whether they be gay or straight,” said Alam. “And right now I think we’re doing a pretty good job in taking some steps to help this important issue.”
By: DeMarco Harvard ’12, Photo Editor
In Kanye West’s new album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, listeners see possibly the pinnacle of West’s abilities as a hip-hop artist in the 21st century. Very few albums represent modern rap as well as West’s “Fantasy”, which reveals to listeners not only what West thinks, but what he orders the listener to think, too.
One of the strongest elements in the album is West’s ability to transcend all genres. In songs such as “Dark Fantasy,” “All of the Lights,” “Runaway,” and “Blame Game,” he makes use of a wide variety of musical styles to strengthen his points and overall theme for the album.
The album not only shows listeners what West is capable of as a musician, but it also gives some clarity for the Chicago-born rapper. West acknowledges that the world thinks of him both positively and negatively. He embraces all praise and criticism and reflects this with a creative new slew of both self-deprecating and self-glorifying lyrics.
This is best shown in his song “Power.” West makes no effort to hide his own arrogance, with lines such as, “Now I embody every characteristic of the egotistic.” He states this in such a way that demands the listener accept who he is, for better or worse. West’s embracing of this attitude is possibly one of the strong points of the album and even the rapper’s career. This shows his unwillingness to hide who he is through his music, even if it means the rest of the world hates him.
Though this album is a testament to West’s creativity, it does falter at times. Throughout the album, West recruits the help of other talented musicians, such as Elton John, John Legend, Alicia Keys and Kid Cudi. However, West makes little use of the talent offered to him, giving some of the artists listed above less than a verse to express their own creativity along with his. It almost seems like the only reason West even asked for their help was to slap their names onto the album. Overall, it feels like a bad afterthought.
However, whatever one thinks of West, listeners cannot deny that this album definitely features some of his best work, possibly some of the best seen in modern hip-hop. Through his effective delivery and fluency of lyrics, West leaves a mark that almost forces listeners to love and enjoy.
By: Ava Lux ’12, Online Clubs Editor
Broken, bruised and battled.
This was the outcome of South’s annual junior vs. senior powder-puff football game last Sunday at North; the seniors conquered with an 18-0 victory, leaving the juniors thirsty for a rematch.
The future looked bright and hopeful for the juniors in the first half when they were only down by one touchdown, but as the game progressed it became apparent that the juniors had no chance against their competitor’s offense. Key players for the senior team had been Sally Dixon ’11, Chelsea MacGriff ’11 and Antonette Iverson ’11, senior Aaron Mucciante said.
“The seniors had playbooks and knew what they were doing, where the juniors lacked the offensive skills,” said junior coach Pat Sattelmeier. “We came in unprepared and could not match the senior’s offensive playbook.”
“Honestly I didn’t mean to do it, but it’s powder-puff and if you can’t keep up, get out of my way,” said Dixon in response to Hartman’s broken nose.
Aside from the tactical plays, which left spectators impressed, were both teams’ aggressive attitudes towards one another and the desire to hurt their opposing teammates, fan Connor Flaska ’11 said.
“The feud between the juniors and seniors was intense, since most of the girls are friends I didn’t expect it to be as physical as it was,” said Flaska. “In the stands, everyone was waiting for the big moment where the fighting would start, and I think most of us would agree that that happened when Caroline (Hartman ’11) got hit.”
During a play at the line of scrimmage, Hartman took a palm to the nose from Dixon.
“Honestly, I didn’t mean to do it, but it’s powder-puff and if you can’t keep up, get out of my way,” said Dixon in response to Hartman’s broken nose.
Senior varsity football players Jeff Blazoff ‘11, Stephen Muer ‘11 and Victor Mattison’11 refereed the game.
“It was hard to make fair calls because both teams were doing the same thing, and even when I would make a good call people would yell at me,” said Blazoff. “Also, I’d say half the people who got injured were because they didn’t know how to tackle. Most of the girls were using their faces when they should be keeping their head out of contact.”
“We tried to make it not personal but obviously girls have problems with each other, and when there are girls you don’t like in a contact sport, its more likely people are going to get hurt,” said Dixon.
Although the fighting was apparent throughout the game, the shocker was returning home to all the Facebook fights that had been started, Clara Kay’12 said.
“All the Facebook fights were really unnecessary, but at the same time I could not help but read them. People had been saying things they knew did not need to be said,” Kay said.
Traditions remain traditions as the seniors now celebrate their victory. Juniors and coaches think a rematch in the spring would be another exciting event, however senior girls are satisfied leaving it the way it is now.
“We’re never going to rematch the juniors, beating them once was enough, but next year I really hope the class of 2013 destroys the class of 2012,” said Dixon.
South’s underdog victories on the way to the state semi-finals were bound to raise support from the school community. Students proved this by attending the games in huge numbers, ready to cheer the Blue Devils on to victory. With this show of support, it’s puzzling that when South’s administration and Student Association proposed a pep assembly to be held the day before the biggest game in Grosse Pointe South football history, hardly any students showed up. One would think the gym would be packed for such an event, but that was not the case this past Friday, as only about half of both of the junior and senior classes were in attendance.
There is no legitimate reason a pep rally should be as quiet or poorly attended as it was this past Friday. Though many students were eager to show their support at games, there are many factors contributing to the lack of attendance and spirit at the pep assembly.
First and foremost, students simply were not forced to go to the pep rally. Students seemed to flood out of the Fisher doors starting at 2:25, and if it was that easy for students to brazenly leave the school, the administration obviously didn’t enforce attendance well enough. So many students should not have been able to evade teachers and treat this assembly as an excuse to go home early.
There are several ways to solve this problem. Teachers could bring their seventh hour classes to the main gym directly after seventh hour, eliminating the passing time, which was used by many students to leave the school. Also, teachers could take attendance in the gym. If a student is not there, they would get an unexcused absence, just like they would for missing a class period. Students would then be able to go to their respective sides of the gym and cheer on the football team, with the assurance that the whole school would be in attendance.
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Another thing to keep in mind is that South students have grown used to having only a single pep rally all year, the Homecoming assembly. Students have grown used to cheering for their class and being engaged through the activities held during the rally, making a pep assembly without these things less interactive and comparatively boring.
This could have been fixed with more planning. If contests were created for the rally and announced through such mediums as the daily announcements, more excitement would have gathered for the rally, making even the less sports-inclined students likely to attend. Having social studies teacher Bruce Pelto read off each win with a short description was a great example of interactivity, but similar events needed to be included. For example, a piñata shaped as a Hawk (Farmington Hills mascot) or other activities to get students more involved would certainly increase spirit.
This problem could also be fixed by having more pep assemblies through the course of the year. If more rallies were held for bigger events, like the North-South game or a game to clinch a league title, students would become accustomed to these rallies and would be more likely to treat them as more than an excuse to leave early.
Having a pep assembly is a great way to produce school spirit and it was an inspired idea by the administration to have a pep assembly before a game with such meaning. However, school spirit cannot be demonstrated if students are not in attendance and those that do bother to show up, have nothing to engage with or become spirited about.