In Loving Memory of Coach AZ

Sad news struck FHS and Southeastern on January 22 upon hearing the news that beloved teacher and coach Matt Anzivino, AZ to many, had passed away.  He coached baseball at FHS and taught at Southeastern. He touched the lives of many past and present students in his lifetime. Many were devastated by this upsetting news.  

Anzivino was born on July 24, 1981, in Chesterfield County, Virginia.  He grew up in Warrenton, where he graduated from FHS in 1999. He played baseball here coached by Mark Ott.  He continued playing baseball in college at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, where he graduated in 2003.  He was a teacher and head varsity coach in Richmond at Varina High School. After this, he taught at Southeastern for about six years.  He left an impact on many at Southeastern with his fun learning techniques. During this time he continued his passion for baseball by being both the JV and assistant varsity baseball coach at FHS, leading others to succeed at the same place he had.  

For a while, Anzivino was struggling with bladder cancer. This is when cells in the bladder start to grow too fast and as the cancer cells develop they can form a tumor that spreads to other areas of the body.  However, he defeated this challenge, unfortunately, cancer came back. A few years later he found himself struggling with the disease yet again, and on January 22 at Novant Health UVA Prince William Medical Center, he passed away at age 37 still fighting.  His memory will live on in the minds of family members, students, and teammates that will miss him and remember him for the great man he was.

Coach AZ’s team shared a story that really illustrated his unique personality. “After we knocked off Riverside last year, which we weren’t supposed to do, we had a big dog pile in the middle of the field.  Coach AZ ran in from the dugout and dove into the dog pile, which is not something coaches usually do,” said senior Carson McCusker. He was not the only who remembers Anzivino this way, senior Lane Pearson said, “Just his excitement and how he ran on the field and jumped on the dog pile.” This story truly shows you what type of person he was.

McCusker remembers, “just his spirit and he always brought high energy and positive attitude to the baseball field every day, [and] he really helped our team.” Anzivino was someone these boys looked up and was a role model for them.  Everyone who ever met him said he was always positive. Pearson commented that Coach AZ will be remembered for, “His positivity and how he went about his day and was never negative and loved all the kids.”

Any of the baseball players who played on Coach AZ team will portray someone who was just a great person. “He was super nice and caring for all the kids, and he was just a super positive guy,” said Pearson. McCusker added, “He was a great man and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. He really inspired me to be a better person.”

“Outgoing,” was the one word Ott gave to describe Anzivino, “He was always happy and smiling.  He would do anything for you, and he truly cared about his athletes.” He was nicknamed “AZ” and that is what he went by for many.  Ott said, “he always had a smile and was always passionate towards people.” Coach Anzivino, Mr. Anzivino, “AZ” or whichever name you knew him by was always there to lend a helping hand and will be greatly missed by many.

By Catherine Smith – Staff Reporter

Jenkins Creates Flawless Film “If Beales Street Could Talk”

Fledgling director Barry Jenkins took the world by storm with his 2016 masterpiece Moonlight, winning the best picture Oscar of that year. Now after two years he has released his highly-anticipated follow-up: If Beale Street Could Talk. In Moonlight, though centered in Florida, Jenkins organically introduces a story that gives viewers an insight into the African-American experience in many areas around the states. With his new film, Jenkins zeroes in on the flawed prison system by adapting James Baldwin’s famous novel of the same name.

The storyline follows Tish, a pregnant girl whose father has been incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. Half of the film takes place in present day and deals with various struggles revolving around the newfound pregnancy, while the other half is told in flashback, and shows Tish and Fonny’s blossoming relationship before it all went wrong. Jenkins structures the story perfectly, with each flashback sequence giving context to the subsequent present-day scenes they accompany. Knowing what is to come during the flashback scenes adds a sense of dread, but does not stop each scene from displaying the chemistry of actors Stephen James and Regina King beautifully.

Like he does in Moonlight, Jenkins shines light on new actors who haven’t yet gotten their share of the limelight by giving each and every role breathing room to become their own important character. Smaller characters such as Fonny’s friend (Brian Tyree Henry of Atlanta) who is still scarred from his time in prison and from the evil that reared its head from the white prosecutors make up important pieces of the puzzle that Jenkins assembles.His style of direction often involves extreme close-ups of the actors’ faces, which means there can be no false move from the actors. Luckily, Jenkins picks performers who can hold up their end of the bargain; especially Stephen James, who shines as the main character who slowly realizes how hopeless his situation is as the film goes on.

Even though If Beale Street Could Talk is based on a novel, the film unfolds like a stage play. One standout scene in particular exemplifies that, in which the family of Tish must confront Fonny’s family regarding the pregnancy. The blocking and writing are top-notch during this wildly uncomfortable and contentious scene. Every actor carries their part well including the miniscule characters, such as Tish’s sister, who makes quite an impact with every line delivered.

Many important themes permeate throughout this film, including the implication that religion may not be there to save everyone, the effect of grief on a victim of a tragic event, and, most importantly, the systematic problems with the American prison system. If Beale Street Could Talk may take place in the 1970s, but this problem is just as prevalent in today’s society, which is why Jenkins thought it right to release the movie decades later. What happens to Fonny is completely out of his control, and the movie, despite its themes of love and happiness near the beginning, slowly starts to exert a feeling of hopelessness. The white system leaves black people all across the country helpless to argue or complain about their place in society, which leaves too many people in situations where they must deal with the repercussions of an action they didn’t even have anything to do with just because of the color of their skin.

Jenkins is such a precise director that it is hard to find anything wrong with this film. He makes even the smallest moment feel magical and life-altering, such as a heartwarming father-daughter moment in which Tish is getting ill and her father must comfort her. Maybe one of the only flaws would be that the ending scene is anticlimactic and not particularly memorable, which leaves the movie on a forgettable note, but this pales in comparison to the overall message the film sends. If Beale Street Could Talk is an important film that examines race relations in America today via the broken prison system. The awards attention this film is getting is justified, though instead of constantly nominating Regina King, they should be nominating Stephen James. Jenkins proves that he is not a one-and-done filmmaker with his second tour-de-force in a row, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

by Joel Alexander–Entertainment/Student Life Editor

Lady Falcons Wrap-up the Season

With a 5-15 record as of Friday, February 8, 2019, the Girls Varsity Basketball team is fighting their way through thick and thin for their love of the game. The girls have improved their work during practice and games and it shows. Because there are more players than last years’ 2017-18 season, it’s much easier for the Coach, Brian Foddrell.

“I have seen lots of improvements on the team, we come from not having confidence to having confidence and we are playing good defense. Our defense has gotten a lot better, good rotation, major improvements (…) I try to motivate them and tell them, hey, keep your heads up, we’re still in it, we’re still fighting and keep pressing forward,” Foddrell said.

Senior, Shniya Washington said, “Coach has taught me life lessons in and outside of basketball, to never give up, and he absolutely improved my game so much, I think he is a great Coach and I love him,” Because Washington is a senior this year, this is her last season with the team. Her defense and offense looks outstanding on the court.

“Majority of the time, positive results come from a positive mindset, so if they learn to have a positive mindset, they keep that and all things, not just in basketball, but in all things.” said Foddrell.
Junior, Tiana Minor said, “The most challenging part of basketball is trying not to get frustrated and to focus while [I’m] playing because there are lots of fans in the crowd.”

Most people can understand her frustration for her being “fouled out” during the home game against Briar Woods High School. Minor only had three fouls and the referee confused her number with an opposing player’s. Minor made some very good drives to the hoop and great passes to her teammates at the away game against Kettle Run.
As far as this season is going, the Girls Varsity Basketball team is pushing it towards the end.

by Carly McMurphy

Black History Month Appreciation

Black History Month is important because it reminds us to appreciate our ancestors that fought for our rights. We are blessed to have a month dedicated to impacting events in history. It started off as “Negro History Week” and transcended to the whole month of February. This month is a step up from the measly week we used to have. It feels so good to see black citizens now treated equally. For at a time, they were considered property and nothing more.

This year’s Black History Month is very important because it is the 400-year anniversary of when slaves were first brought to America. The events that took place so many years ago shouldn’t be censored, but rather learned from. America should be grateful to the men and women who fought for freedom and desegregation for a long time. It is thanks to them that people of color now have to same rights as any other U.S. citizen. Realizing how far the U.S. has come in achieving equality for all puts into perspective of the sacrifices abolitionists made. This new generation has now been handed the torch of equality.

The glory days aren’t here yet, though. People are still fighting for peace and equality, and they will never throw in the towel because they are fighting for what this country needs: unity. Americans are taught to love and accept all no matter their differences. To never see color, only see the heart: All people bleed, cry, and feel the same regardless. Peoples’ lives have changed for the better because of past abolitionists who valiantly sacrificed their lives so all can be equal. If it weren’t for their determination to have racial equality, America would never have known how to love each other despite color differences.

by Kendon Sheppard–Contributor

Gillette: Is the Best a Commercial Can Get?

Gillette’s well-known slogan,“The Best A Man Can Get,” has been around since it was launched in an ad in the Super Bowl of 1989. Since then, it’s been used to show men that the Gillette razor is the best razor men could possibly buy, and it would help them look their best. Recently the razor company flipped their slogan and posed it as a question in a new commercial asking: “Is this the best a man can get?” You’ve probably heard about the commercial titled “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be,” which depicts scenes of boys bullying other boys, and men harassing women in various situations. In the commercial everyone laughs or shrugs the instances off, saying the age-old phrase “boys will be boys.” The commercial then asks the question: “Is this the best men can be?” However, the mood of the commercial changes as a father breaks up two boys fighting at a cookout, and a man stops another man from catcalling a woman on the street. There was a great deal of controversy and backlash from many different people. Many men posted on Twitter they would no longer be using Gillette and even started the hashtag “#boycottgillette.”

Many thought Gillette should not have published such a political ad, and that the campaign was a very poor marketing ploy. Gillette is a huge name brand with millions of men and boys using their products, so a commercial asking men to step up and be the best they can be is perfect for such a well-known men’s razor company. The controversy comes from how the commercial made the men watching feel attacked with the condescending tone it appeared to display as it “tore men down.” Yet, the commercial is not about tearing men down, it’s about tearing down society’s mentality that actions such as bullying and harassment are just “boys being boys.” Gillette didn’t try to state that every man is toxic like the ones in the commercial; Gillette was stating that society brushes these characteristics off. We need to start holding boys accountable so they don’t continue these destructive behaviors and the belief that such behaviors are okay in future generations. We need to teach boys that they don’t need to tear each other down and that it’s not right to treat women the way they’ve been treated for years. Men are perceived as needing to be tough and strong all the time, and Gillette is trying to change that.

The company stated that their intention was to “challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man.” Many believe the commercial was saying that the actions displayed are traits all men have, but that’s not it at all. Those who did not receive the commercial well are the exact people Gillette wanted to see it. Those who felt attacked and are now trying to boycott Gillette seem to believe being held accountable for bullying and sexual harassment or assault is a bad thing. If you believe you are not one of the men in the commercial and that you are better than the toxic actions in the commercial, then prove it. Stand up for one another and hold each other accountable. Tell your friends, brothers, and anyone who needs to hear it. Challenge society’s backwards mantra: “boys will be boys.” Show everyone what it really means to be a man.

By Faith Jones – Contributor

Liz Monseur: Teacher of the Year

History teacher Liz Monseur was recently chosen by the Fauquier High School staff and administration as this year’s Teacher of the Year. Monseur has been a teacher at FHS for 36 years. During those years, she has taught a multitude of subjects, amongst the longest she taught were Special Education (SPED) and history, which she has now been teaching for 16 years.

Monseur first realized she wanted to teach after having already acquired a different position. “I went to college for social work […] once I got into social work I wasn’t enthralled with it, so I thought about going into teaching, and that’s what I did,” Monseur said. She did not, however, come up with the idea of teaching as a profession by herself, but rather had the guidance of a childhood friend. “Growing up [she] had always volunteered with mentally handicapped kids,” said Monseur. “At one point she said, ‘why don’t you go into special ed. to teach and I thought ‘well that’s interesting!’”

To this day, Monseur is extremely enthused about her job. “I work with great colleagues, and also the [amount] of students I’ve met and gotten to know over the years and still talk to and that’s wonderful. You just don’t get that in other jobs.” Since having taught for almost four decades, Monseur has learned a lot not just about teaching, but about learning. More specifically, what students learn in high school which makes the experience invaluable. “I don’t really think it’s as much the information they learn in the classes per se, I think it’s what they learn about themselves. How they develop their work ethic, how they gain a sense of achievement,” said Monseur. “I think that the experience in school [is one in which] you really learn about yourself. You learn that you can push yourself and do better, you kind of learn what you’re made of. But mainly I think for students it’s learning what success means personally, to each of them.”

Monseur has learned a lot about the world of teaching, but she doesn’t believe she’s done yet. “I’m still trying to improve my teaching strategies,” she said. To any teachers looking to do the same, Monseur has one thing to say, “Evolve. Continue to evolve and create, and never get complacent with what you’re doing.”

Monseur, thank you for 36 years of service, and congratulations on being crowned Teacher of the Year! Fauquier High School knows you deserve it.

by Celeste Pollack–Copy Editor

2019 Annual Super Bowl is a Disappointment

The 2019 Super bowl was the 53rd annual Super Bowl in history, and let’s just say it was a disappointment to a lot of people including me. The two teams that played were the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Personally, I’m tired of seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl because it’s getting quite repetitive and boring. On the other hand, I was okay with the Rams being present because it was team that we haven’t seen in the Super Bowl since 2002.

The game itself was incredibly boring and low intensity. There was only one touchdown in the entire game, which was made by the Patriots. The final score of the games was 13-3:The lowest scoring game in SuperBowl history. There were barely any exciting moments, which is what the Super Bowl is supposed to have. I fell asleep twice while watching the game and every time I woke up the score hadn’t changed.

The first half was worse then the second, but I have mixed feelings about the halftime show. I think the halftime show was okay, but it could have been better.. The best part of the halftime show was the six seconds of “Sweet Victory” from Spongebob Squarepants.

The rest of it was okay at best; nothing really stood out to me. the problem with this matchup is that these teams are supposed to be the best teams in the NFL at this point, and they both delivered a very boring game to ALL of the people who were watching. Looking at it from a spectator standpoint, this was not a good game at all and might be one of the most boring Super Bowls.

The game was boring, the halftime was okay at best and the commercials weren’t even that good. The Super Bowl commercials are always something to look forward to during the game. They usually are something that keeps you entertained during the breaks between each period. This year’s commercials were quite a let down. I only found a couple of the commercials funny and worth watching like the doritos commercial but all the rest i just put on mute and went and did something else. Both the game and the commercials are something that should’ve been a whole lot better because it’s become a very big event for a lot of people

We can hope that next year’s Super Bowl will be more eventful because it would definitely not go well with some people if it’s the same as this year. With all of the hype, excitement, and tension leading up to the Super Bowl it made this boring game even more of a let down. It feels like a lot of other people share this opinion too, even Patriots fans who won it think the same. Let’s just hope that next time we can get some more variation with the Super Bowl, and a game that doesn’t make you want to watch the inside of your eyelids instead of the actual game.

by Aidan Stanton–Contributor