7 bands you need to know

Even in the digital age, finding good music can be a Herculean task. One has to sort through all of the B-grade, “underground” rappers, the poor-quality demos of aspiring country stars, and the horrible singles of rising pop stars to find the few good new artists. To help save you some time, here’s a short list of some of the best artists to check out this year.
1. Kendrick Lamar – If you haven’t heard Kendrick Lamar, then you might be living under a rock. The 25-year-old rapper established a huge internet following with his mixtapes back in 2010, but with the release of his studio album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar has become one of the biggest names in rap. He has collaborated with everyone from Dr. Dre to The Lonely Island, and Lamar has received universal acclaim for his unique voice and lyrical talent. Be on the lookout for more collaborations and a slew of awards for the young rapper.
Must-listen song: “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
2. Husky – Australian indie rock band Husky hasn’t had a hit – yet. The quartet is named for the lead singer, Husky Gawenda, whose name describes his voice. The band’s material ranges from songs with slow rhythms and soothing acoustics, to upbeat tempos and sweeping melodies, but all fall into the genre of good. This is definitely a band to watch if you like music that will make you sit down, relax, and just appreciate the song.
Must-listen song: “Animals and Freaks”
3. Angel Haze – Females rappers have been underrepresented, but recently some bright stars have risen, and Angel Haze is definitely one. The 21-year-old phenom broke into the rap scene in 2012, after she covered Eminem’s classic “Cleaning Out My Closet” – and made it better. With new collaborations and original work on the horizon, keep an eye out for Angel Haze.
Must-listen song: “Gossip Folks”
4. Florida Georgia Line – Anyone who’s listened to the radio recently has probably heard this band. The group scored a top hit with “Cruise,” off the Here’s To the Good Times LP. The band is composed of musicians Brian Kelley, from Florida, and Tyler Hubbard, from Georgia, hence the band’s name. With talent that suggests more than one-hit-wonder status, the rest of the album is worth a listen. New backing from a major country label could make Florida Georgia Line a fixture in country music.
Must-listen song: “Cruise”
5. Death Grips – It’s hard to describe Death Grips’ sound beyond the relatively uninformative term “unique.” They have described their sound as punk, mixed with hip-hop, mixed with “noise.” The group’s approach to music has garnered ample critical acclaim, with their studio album, The Money Stone, ranking ninth on Pitchfork’s Best Albums of the Year of 2012.
Must-listen song: “I’ve Seen Footage”
6. Future – Future is the second vocalist for the 2011 YC hit “Racks,” and has collaborated with big-name hip-hop artists such as Lil Wayne, Drake, and T. I.. His sound is that of a mediocre rapper, but with melodies more on point than most of the big players in hip-hop. With a new studio album, Future Hendrix, featuring Kanye West, Rihanna, Drake, Rick Ross, Jeremih, and others, it’s likely that Future will pop up in 2013.
Must-listen song: “Tony Montana (ft. Drake)”
7. Animal Kingdom – For fans of the indie alterna-rock genre, British trio Animal Kingdom delivers songs that are reminiscent of folk-rock meets Muse. The traditional guitar-drums-bass setup is accompanied by sweeping piano and synth melodies on most every track, in addition to the lead singer’s quiet voice. Although the band has been around since 2009, their latest studio effort, The Looking Away, is the one that merits attention.
Must-listen song: “Strange Attractor”

~Fiona McCarthy, staff reporter

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Retail options lack quality, variety

Living in the 21st century, patience is not a trait that comes naturally, but it’s necessary if one lives in Fauquier County. Retail development would go far to ease the stress and up the entertainment quotient.
Mall: Residents must either make the dreaded drive to Fairfax or Tysons for quality shopping malls, or wait all week and wonder why the slugs at UPS are still delivering packages with horse drawn carriages. A local mall would attract business to Fauquier, refine our wardrobes, and give us something to do on weekends.
Movie Theater: When I went to Manassas to watch The Hobbit, I felt like I had made a more significant journey than Bilbo and the dwarves. But that 30 minute drive was my only option. Fauquier used to have a movie theater, but it was filthy, small, and the projector would sometimes shut off during films. A movie theater would serve to build community by providing something enjoyable for everyone.
Book Store: Mark Twain once said, “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” The county’s book worms have mourned the death of its one and only bookstore since Borders closed last year. There is something in the ambiance of flipping through pages while enjoying the aroma of coffee, a vibe unparalleled by ordering books from Amazon or reading eBooks or even visiting the library. We need a new bookstore to restore our sanity and to improve our intellect.
Costco: Whether you go to troll the food samples or because you really need 80 rolls of paper towels, Costco offers an unrivaled impulse shopping experience. Since the Price Club days, Costco has maintained an exquisite assortment of groceries and household necessities in large quantities for bargain prices. The proposal to build a Costco in the New Baltimore area was stymied by community and land preservation concerns and issues with traffic congestion. As of 2007, more than 7,000 Fauquier County Costco members shopped at the Manassas store. Prince William County has received massive amounts of tax revenue due to the encouragement and development of retail businesses. By building a Costco, we could participate in this revenue stream, and keep Fauquier revenue at home. With a population of over 65,000, we have outgrown Walmart.

~Jake Lunsford, staff reporter

Wolfpack roughs up rugby competition

When one discusses a fast-paced, hard-hitting sport, the first thing that comes to most American’s minds is football. But, rugby actually much faster and tougher than football. The Warrenton Wolfpack, the local youth rugby club, has been playing since 2007.
“[Rugby] looked like a fun and interesting thing to do,” junior Anthony Wright said. “It was so different from every other sport I’ve ever played or heard of. You have to have more focus to play rugby; it is not like football. Games can change at any time, so you have to have a positive mentality.”
As the precursor to American football, rugby combines the finesse of soccer with the physicality of football. Behind soccer, rugby is the second most popular team sport played around the world. Although it is not as popular in America, a 2010 survey by the National Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association ranked rugby as the fastest growing sport in America.
Rugby matches are mainly played during the spring, summer, and fall, but the players practice year round. People who come new to the team have to suffer through veterans, such as junior Brady Burr, showing them the ropes.
“The big thing is just teaching them the rules,” Burr said. “Some guys can be un-athletic types, but they can be very good at rugby if they just know the rules.”
In rugby the ball can only be passed backwards. When the ball goes out of bounds, it is thrown back in by the team that did not put the ball out of bounds. The most complicated rule in rugby is offside. Generally speaking, if you are on the offense team and are in front of the ball, you are offside.
“I wanted to play for a year or two,” junior Marcus Smith said. “I wanted to give a new sport a try and I love it. I’m still a little lost with all the rules and stuff, but I still like it.”
Scoring in rugby is called a try; a player scores a try by crossing the try line and placing the ball onto the ground. Play is continuous, much like in soccer, and is stopped only when there are penalties or if the ball goes out of bounds.
Playing rugby takes not only strength, but serious endurance and stamina because play is rarely stopped.
“I like the intensity of [rugby],” Wright said. “Rugby is very fast-paced and keeps you on your toes. I also like the shorty-shorts.”
Senior Tyler Kovalik has been playing rugby for five years, and finds that the most exciting part of rugby comes from the team, not from the physical play on the pitch.
“I like the team unity,” Kovalik said. “When we are out on the field, there are 15 guys working as one organism; it’s exhilarating.”
Although Warrenton is the Wolfpack’s home base, the majority of games are played out of Fauquier County. The team participates in major tournaments up and down the East coast. The Wolfpack has placed top three in tournaments in North Carolina, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh and they have had nine players nominated for the Virginia All-State rugby team in the summer, 2012.
The spring season officially began March 16. The Wolfpack holds open practices every Tuesday and Thursday at the American Legion post in Warrenton. Anyone can show up as long as you are ready and willing to play.

~Josh Henry, design editor

‘Jonesy’ helps athletes grow: Coach serves up education and inspiration for students

You might know coach Quentin Jones as the man always rushing through the hallways in cowboy boots on some unknown mission, or as your biology teacher or the track coach. You might be one of the few students to know him as coach “Jonesy.”
“He’s kind of like a father figure,” said senior Curtis Grady, who has run track and cross country throughout high school. “He’s always there for us to help us succeed, and he’s really approachable and fun to be around.”
In June, Jones will have been at FHS for 14 years, as a teacher of both biology and employment training, and the head coach for cross country, winter, and spring track.
“The best things about [teaching and coaching] kind of go hand-in-hand,” Jones said. “It’s rewarding seeing people grow and develop, to kind of see the lights go on when they start understanding a topic or when they realize they’re physically able to do something.”
Senior Marissa McGinty has been on the track team all four years of high school and looks up to Jones as a coach and leader.
“He makes sure we get things done, but he makes it fun,” McGinty said. “He’s always available. We can always talk to him at the beginning of practice or in between classes when he hangs outside his room, even just to stop by and say, ‘hey.’”
One of his assistant coaches, math teacher Mark Scott, considers Jones a good leader.
“I have a lot of respect for coach Jones,” Scott said. “He allows his coaches to coach, listens when we have suggestions, and offers suggestions or advice as needed.”
While being a coach for all three sports seasons may sound like a challenge, Jones handles it with patience and care.
“Being the head coach especially, there’s just so much going on,” Jones said. “Sometimes it’s hard to coach. You have to coordinate all the buses for students for track meets, parents call you, the weather goes crazy… sometimes I don’t get a chance to say hi to my athletes!”
Despite all the demands on his time, Jones makes it a point to get to know all his athletes and help to train them as much as possible.
“I ran track in high school, although not as fast as some of my athletes now,” Jones said. “But I had a coach that had one assistant, and there were about 60 kids. He would just say, ‘Go run,’ and that was our practice. We’d do a five mile run and that’d be it. It made me realize that I wanted a coach at every position, to really teach the kids the techniques and individually help them improve. Just to hear them say, ‘Oh, I can do this’- that’s why we do it.”
Sometimes, however, getting a student to that point can be hard.
“I don’t want it to sound bad, because coaches had to deal with me [as a young person], too,” Jones said. “Coaching a young person is hard, because their mind is just in a lot of different places. It’s hard to make them see their own potential because they have a lot of different priorities.”
For inspiration, Jones relies on his faith, and tries to encourage students as the head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“The church plays a large part in my life,” Jones said. “I was introduced to FCA in high school, and when I came here two older coaches asked me to kind of take over, so that’s how I got into it. It’s nice, because we’re not shoving anything on anyone.”
McGinty, also a member of FCA, marvels at how Jones handles the club in addition to all his other duties.
“He’s very active,” McGinty said. “Between being a teacher, running the track team, and being a dad, he finds time to support us in FCA. He has a lot on his plate, and he balances it really well.”
Although his schedule may groan under the weight of his responsibilities, Jones looks forward to many more years as a teacher and coach.
“It’s hard to say what the best part [of FHS] is,” Jones said. “I have great memories, like winning the state championship, but really everything is great. There’s lot of laughter here, and lots of good people I work with.”

~Fiona McCarthy, staff reporter

Augustine dominates softball field

Senior Justina Augustine began playing softball when she was 10 years old. Eight years later, she has become one of the district’s top players and has signed with Longwood University’s Division 1 softball team.
“One of my neighbors needed a player on their team, and we had just moved to Warrenton so I decided to give it a try,” Augustine said. “It was love at first sight.”
Head coach Mark Ott saw potential in Augustine when he first saw her play as a freshman and has watched her develop throughout her career to the player she is today.
“She came in great as a freshman, but she’s gotten stronger and faster which has helped her game dramatically,” Ott said. “Lots of kids play sports because they love playing the game, but she is the sport; her life revolves around softball.”
While softball is primarily a team sport, Augustine enjoys the individual dynamic of the game.
“Each person has a job, and if they don’t do it, the game doesn’t come together like it should,” Augustine said.
Augustine has improved her abilities through various camps and Jim Pulchine’s Life Fitness class, where she has increased her strength. She also plays on three travel teams, in addition to co-captaining the school team with senior Ashley Brown. Because of her position, Augustine has had to prove herself both as an athlete and a leader.
“I’m more of a natural leader than a vocal one. I lead by example, and I’m always willing to help,” Augustine said. “I try to lighten the mood because I can be silly sometimes.”
Augustine primarily plays shortstop, but she also catches and plays in the infield. She made first team all–district and all region, second team all–state, and won player of the year last season. Augustine’s accolades and talents intimidate both the competition and her teammates.
“Playing with her is a little scary,” junior Josie Adgate said. “When I throw with her, I feel like I’m going to die. Her fast release is intimidating.”
Though she started on varsity her freshman year, Augustine continues to work on improving her game.
“It’s safe to say that I’ve gotten a lot stronger as an athlete because I’m more confident,” Augustine said. “My mental part of the game has developed, too, because once you’ve experienced something so many times, it’s easier to adapt.”
Longwood University offered Augustine a scholarship her sophomore year. She committed to the school her junior year, and signed with them this year.
“Becoming a college athlete has been a huge dream of mine since I was 12 years old,” Augustine said. “It’s nice to say that all my hard work has paid off.”
As Augustine recalls her fondest memories, beating Kettle Run her junior year stands out the most.
“Were down by 10 in one of the last innings and at the last second we broke through and scored several runs,” Augustine said. “It was a great game!”

~Maddie Lemelin, features/arts director

Holmes at home on pole vault

No one at FHS knows pole vaulting quite like senior Grant Holmes. With his technique constantly improving, he placed 10th in the New Balance Indoor Nationals on March 9 at the Armory in New York City.
“I was happy just to be there,” Holmes said. “I didn’t really care about where I placed, but getting in the top 10 was pretty cool.”
Holmes went to Fork Union Military Academy for sixth and seventh grade, where he began his pole vaulting career.
“In sixth grade, I saw pole vaulting and thought that it looked like it would be cool to try out,” Holmes said. “There was a guy jumping 14 feet, and that looked pretty beast to me as a sixth grader watching.”
Holmes has developed a technique over the years that works for him.
“I have a really good plant and swing, which is the take-off positioning,” Holmes said. “You have to have your hands up when you take off, but the top of my vault isn’t where I want it to be. You’re supposed to be inverted, and propelled straight up, but I tend to go sideways; we call it flagging out. I know exactly what I have to do, and I know exactly what I’m doing wrong, but it’s just so hard.”
The strength of Holmes’ ability has been recognized by his coach, Ted Uhler.
“This is the fourth year I’ve had him, and he enjoys the sport a lot. He’s really dedicated,” Uhler said. “He’s always looking for ways to improve. Currently, his best record is 14-7, which is five inches from a school record set in 1994, and his goal is to beat it.”
Freshmen Jimmy Filson is trying pole vaulting for the first time and admires Holmes’s talents in track and field.
“He’s absolutely amazing,” Filson said. “He’s really good at teaching, and he gives me something to aim for.”
Freshman and first time pole vaulter Ava Thornton sees vaulting as an opportunity to develop in track and field, and believes Holmes is the perfect role model.
“It’s impressive to see how far he’s come and how committed he is,” Thornton said. “He’s helped me with techniques and showed me tips to get over the bar.”
As a captain of the team, Holmes leads by example.
“I like being watched,” Holmes said. “It pushes me further. Watching the new vaulters helps me, too. It kind of reminds me of the basics that are easy to forget about. It’s so complex, sometime the simple stuff can help me out.”
Senior Ryan Enos, a longtime close friend of Holmes’s, has observed his positive attitude first hand.
“He has a good attitude towards the other vaulters in competitions,” Enos said.
Holmes and Enos have a special bond over pole vaulting. Since both recognize and understand the vault is important to the sport; they feed off of each other, improving technique.
That positive attitude and determination contributes to Holmes’s performance, and helped him get to nationals.
“It was a big honor to be chosen,” Uhler said. “They only select the best athletes in the nation to compete.”
Looking back on nationals, Holmes was a bit disappointed in his performance.
“As far as jumping, I did all right,” Holmes said. “I could have done better.”
After high school, Holmes intends to pursue pole vaulting at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, where he has a scholarship for half of his tuition. This spring, Holmes desires to jump five meters, a distance of 16-5.
“If I get my form down, I can clear 16-5 easily,” Holmes said. “I’m currently 84th out of about 8,000 vaulters in the nation. Being in the top 10 percent is awesome, but making [16-5] would probably get me a bigger scholarship to VMI.”
Pole vaulting has made up a big part of Holmes’ life and high school career.
“You have to be insane to [pole vault],” Holmes said. “Just go look at it; just watch it one time.”

~Ryan Perry, staff reporter

Morrison cradles pressure with ease

Although only a sophomore, Robert Morrison is a key player for the boys varsity lacrosse team. Starting varsity as a freshman, Morrison has high hopes for the season.
“Last year we were an average team,” Morrison said. “This year we are definitely going to be district champs. We are a young team, but a strong team.”
New head coach (and Robert’s father) Eric Morrison decided to cancel the Junior Varsity team to create a large varsity team, along with a practice team made up of freshman who did not make varsity. According to Morrison, having his father as his head coach has not added much pressure.
“He’s harder on me than the other kids,” Morrison said. “It’s not too bad though; it will only make me better.”
According to his dad, Morrison has the potential to be an impact player this year, but he would like to see him taking the shot more.
“Lacrosse is a team sport, and Robert is not a selfish player,” coach Morrison said. “He would rather feed the ball to a teammate than take the shot himself. But he wants to be better than last year, and I expect that he will increase his number of goals to become one of the leading scorers on the team.”
Junior Kenneth Palmer also lauds Morrison’s positive attitude.
“He has a great attitude about playing,” Palmer said. “He’s easy to work with and is a good teammate. He has the potential to score a lot of goals and lead the team.”
According to Morrison, his father initially inspired him to play lacrosse.
“He played in high school and in college,” Morrison said. “He really was my biggest influence.”
Morrison has had years of experience with lacrosse, playing for recreational and travel lacrosse leagues before playing for FHS, which contribute to his skill and leadership.
“As a returning varsity starter, Robert knows what it means to be a leader,” coach Morrison said.  “As a freshman, Robert gained a lot from last year’s seniors and team captains. With the four seniors on the team, there is a strong leadership presence. Robert knows what it takes to be a leader, and I look for great things from him over the next two seasons.”
Morrison also plays for the Battelax elite travel team, a lacrosse league for Fauquier and surrounding counties. According to Morrison, the travel lacrosse team faces highly skilled competition from states like Maryland. Although college seems far away, Morrison has already begun looking at schools where he could play lacrosse, including Washington & Lee and Roanoke College.
“Robert is disciplined and committed to the sport,” coach Morrison said. “As soon as he knew he loved the sport, he had a stick in his hand working countless hours on his skills. He is also great at meeting his academic and athletic responsibilities.”
To be able to compete at the collegiate level, Morrison knows there are skills he needs to work on, especially stick handling with his less dominant hand.
“I need to improve my off hand,” Morrison said. “It’s the biggest aspect that college coaches look for.”
With any athlete there are pressures to perform well, but Morrison feels extra pressure that comes from being a younger player who is counted on so heavily.
“It’s tough sometimes,” Morrison said. “But I’ve got a great team around me to take some of the pressure off. The biggest problem I faced last year was my size, but I had a around me to keep my confidence up even when I wasn’t doing too hot.”

~Caroline Liebel, staff reporter

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