Wrestlers advance to states

Sophomore Matt Raines pins a Loudoun County wrestler. Raines placed first in the 132-pound weight class and had a 4-0 record throughout the tournament.
Sophomore Matt Raines pins a Loudoun County wrestler. Raines placed first in the 132-pound weight class and had a 4-0 record throughout the tournament.
Senior Michael Villalobos rides a Sherando High School competitor at the Region II tournament on Feb. 9.
Senior Michael Villalobos rides in an attempt for victory a Sherando High School competitor at the Region II tournament on Feb. 9.


The wrestling team won the region II tournament on Feb. 9 for the fourth year in a row. Seniors, Max Strum and Michael Villalobos and sophomore Matt Raines placed first in the tournament. Four wrestlers will be advancing to states on Feb. 15 and 16.
“We finally came together as a team at Regionals,” head coach Doug Fisher said.  “We were competitive in all of our losses this year, but just couldn’t find a way to fire on all cylinders at the same time. The guys really came to that reality at Districts when we lost by such a thin margin. They took ownership in that second place finish, and really came together for a focused and determined week of practice prior to Regionals, and the result is now history.”
The Falcons have persevered through many problems this season, one of which was the lack of returning wrestlers.
“I am continually amazed, though, at our level of success this year,” Fisher said. “Other than Michael, we have had principally only three other returning starters from last year’s squad and one of those was a freshman last year.”
The biggest obstacle for this year’s squad was injuries. Senior Marko Tcheukado and junior Henry Weber were knocked out by season ending injuries.
“These injuries left a tremendous void to fill,” Fisher said. “Although their absence has provided opportunity for some, their leadership and experience has been missed by all.”
Tcheukado got in only two days of practice before breaking his leg in three places. As a senior, he will not get another chance at FHS. However, Tcheukado has joined the coaching staff for junior varsity and helped teach up and coming wrestlers what it takes to make varsity.
“I felt really bad about it,” Tcheukado said. “I had to just tell myself that I wasn’t going to wrestle this year. I am still a team captain, and I go to all the meets and help the junior varsity players with weight management.”
Weber was primed for a big year in 2013, but was knocked out by a shoulder injury which he suffered from while playing varsity football in the fall.
“It’s been awful because there have been many situations this year where I could’ve helped the team,” Weber said. “On a personal level, it sucks because I could’ve done really well this year and won’t get the chance to.”
Because of the injuries, the few remaining veterans are forced to step up and convince the young guys to compete as hard as possible.
“[The injuries to other guys] make you want to do better,” Villalobos said. “You have to do your best all the time and encourage the younger guys to keep pushing through everything.”

~Josh Henry, design editor


“Richard III” to debut this weekend

Shakespeare Troupe’s production of “Richard III” will be performed in the new cafeteria on Friday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.

Written in 1591 by William Shakespeare, the tragedy follows the rise to power, as well as the short lived reign, of Richard III of England

“[Richard III] is considered by many to be Shakespeare’s most famous and entertaining work,” troupe director senior Marina Finelli said. “It is culturally enriching, gut wrenching, and exciting.”

Strong acting by troupe members is reason enough to come out for the show, according to Finelli.

“They interpret the language so well that audiences won’t have to focus to understand the plot,” Finelli said. “They also make the twisted manipulation and raw emotion so realistic that it has me on the edge of my seat every day, even though I’ve watched them perform countless times.”

~Abby Seitz, online editor

How to beat the winter blues

Dreary skies, bitter air, the remembrance of the Christmas past, and nothing to look forward to but Spring Break; after Christmas winter can hit hard sometimes after Christmas. So, this begs the question, how does one beat the winter blues?

Every year, about 15 million people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which can cause weight gain, cravings for carbohydrates, and low energy. Plus, our bodies naturally put on weight during the winter, so along with eating excess carbs, we go into bikini season looking like bears.

1. Exercise– there’s no better way to feel good about yourself,  maintain your weight and stay healthy. Also, exercise fills your body with good chemicals and releases all the negatives ones.

2. Sleep as much as you can. When school starts after break, it’s nearly impossible to get over sit hours of sleep, but 7 or 8 hours is recommended. Go to bed at the same time, to maintain your sleeping schedule and you’ll have more energy throughout the day.

3. Eat Healthy! Eating properly has a lot to do with energy level. Unfortunately, bodies naturally crave processed foods, which lack nutrients and leave us in a negative mood. Incorporate complex carbs, like whole wheats, veggies, and fruits, and drinks tons of water.

~Maddie Lemelin, features/arts director

Polka dots, cardigans and sweaters: Oh my!

The weather outside is frightful… so dress properly. It is always difficult to dress comfortably in winter and remain warm at the same time. And some days you just don’t feel like dressing to impress. Fight that urge. I am firm believer in “look good, feel good,” dress well to feel better about yourself later in the day. Here are some new trends to keep in style this season.

1. The classic trench coat is a basic wardrobe component, but this season it’s really making a come-back; it’s a great way to stay warm and look good.

2. Lace dresses are hip and happening: dress one up with a wide belt, tights, flats or heels and you’ve got yourself a trend.

3. Cardigans and button downs are also popular this season- especially, boyfriend cardigans and denim-collared shirts. Match these up with a pendant necklace, another staple in winter style, for something a little extra.

4. Block patterns sweaters are arriving straight from the 80s; match patterned sweaters with a solid scarf for extra warmth this winter.

5. In addition to block patterns, polka dots are a total asset. Wear them on sweaters, shoes, and even pants!

~Maddie Lemelin, features/arts director

Retirement heralds end of era

As December closed and students began to prepare for winter break, principal Roger Sites revealed his own holiday surprise: after 45 years at FHS, as a marketing teacher, assistant principal, and, finally, principal, Sites will retire at the end of this school year.
“I had made definite plans a couple of years ago about when my time would be, but it was kept very close-knit – only two or three people knew,” Sites said. “It went along with the opening of this new building. I think it’s a good time for a transition. I know every crack and wall, and it’s a good time for someone to learn everything about that building as I know this one.”
Sites became principal in 1993 after years of striving for the post. Although he only expected to be in the position for a short time, his relationship with the school has lasted.
“During that time, I had said I’d like to be principal for about five years, and then go on and do something else,” Sites said. “That was 20 years ago. It’s been one of the greatest things I’ve ever done, other than family and my faith.”
As a teacher, Sites was the senior class advisor, and, for many years, planned graduation with math department head Tyrone Baltimore. After overseeing over 40 graduations, including the ceremony that Elizabeth Taylor attended with Senator John Warner, the observance has become the pinnacle school event for Sites.
“Graduation is an experience that you can’t really define,” Sites said. “I will miss thanking the kids for what they’ve done, thanking the parents, thanking the veterans. The majority of them have been times of joy and happiness with the graduates smiling, screaming, and waving. It’s just a great experience.”
Baltimore and Sites also planned and attended many eventful senior class trips, including an adventure to the 1982 World’s Fair in Tennessee; three buses of students arrived in Knoxville to a hotel that was still being constructed. (The seniors were relocated to Gatlinburg.)
“Those senior class days were very nice,” Baltimore said. “It’s really a pleasure working with him; he’s a great person, role model, and administrator. I was surprised when he made the announcement that he’s going to leave. I couldn’t believe it.”
Stephanie West, who has been Sites’ secretary for 19 years, has also enjoyed working with Sites, and will lament the loss of day-to-day moments with her principal.
“I get him his coffee or water each day,” West said. “I know that doesn’t sound like what a secretary should do, because people don’t do that anymore, but I’m going to miss those daily little small things.”
West, who describes Sites as “genuine, sincere, supportive, and a good listener,” has worked with him through thick and thin; after another job opportunity opened up at the School Board Office, West left FHS for a few months. She returned, gratefully, to a welcoming Sites.
“He’s definitely been supportive of me over the years,” West said. “He likes to tell people how I left him – as he likes to say, ‘you came crying back.’ He never lets me forget it. I just told him, but you’re leaving me and you won’t come crying back.”
After retirement, Sites doesn’t plan to squirrel himself away or sit still; he will be spending more time with his family and at his West Virginia farm, as well as continuing to be active within the FHS community. However, he does believe this is the time to step down.
“Every day, I’m just thankful for another day,” Sites said. “[But] when things are really great, that’s when you go out. It’s a good time. I didn’t want to leave with deficiencies or voids. I want to leave a smooth-sailing ship.”
Sites is also grateful for the students, parents, faculty, and staff who have made his years at FHS more than worthwhile.
“It doesn’t get any better than that for a principal,” Sites said. “If there’s a school any better than FHS, I can’t think of it. It’s a joy for me every day. If I weren’t the luckiest person in the world, I wouldn’t have stayed for 45 years.”
~ Sophie Byvik, editor-in-chief

Fauquier High School's student newspaper. By the students, for the students.