Category Archives: Feature

Death, taxes and Brandon Tran

JACK ESTEPP / Staff Writer

Brandon Tran, also known as B Train, is student section leader for sporting events. Tran took over this responsibility his senior year alongside fellow student section leaders Trevor Riley and Camden Gallagher.

“I think Trevor and I can both agree that B train is the most passionate and dedicated, and honestly most iconic fan,” Gallagher said.

Ben Decker, 2017 grad, was the previous student section leader and passed on the responsibility to this trio.

“The student section is what brings the energy and no one does that better that B train,” Decker said.

B Train’s love for sports began at a very young age. Phouc Tran, his father and owner of Crown Liquor in Mira Mesa, started taking Brandon to San Diego State basketball games and Brandon fell in love with sports.

“My favorite part of the student section is being with my friends and supporting my friends who are playing,” Tran said.

“I love basketball season so much. The opposing team can hear you clearly and it is so loud in the gym. Also, after winning a big game, you can storm the court much easier than in football,” Tran added.

Along with storming the court, Tran loves to go to In N Out after big win. “Double double fries,” said Tran when asked about his go-to order.

Aside from supporting the Titans and eating In N Out, a few of Brandon’s favorite teams are the Padres and the Aztecs.

“I love going to Petco Park or Viejas Arena to catch a game. My favorite Padres player is Wil Myers and my favorite San Diego State player is Rashaad Penny,” he said.

After graduating, Tran plans to attend Palomar and pursue a degree in broadcast journalism. He hopes to find a job in the sports broadcasting industry.

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Senioritis Plagues Titans’ Final Year


The idea of Senioritis has been put down as a universal myth among high school campuses. Senioritis the lack of motivation to do work and to blow off all school related responsibilities during one’s senior year. Many people doubt that Senioritis is a real thing, but it’s easy to say, it definitely exists.

“I had always heard about it during my underclassmen years and questioned if it were a real thing. About two weeks into the year I finally understood what Senioritis meant,” senior Reilly Catrambone said.

The lack of motivation and drive to complete school responsibilities is nothing to joke about. Students who have maintained high GPA’s throughout their four years are now complacent grades they would not have been earlier due to lesser drive to put in the work.

“It is clear that some students are ready to shut down. They just need to know that graduation is right around the corner so they need to pull through for just a bit longer,” said Pat Pillsbury, who teaches a Civics course soley for seniors.

“I know it’s my last year, but I just can’t wait to get out here,” senior Cooper Fowler said.

Although senior year is supposed to be the best year of one’s high school career, it is also the most anxious year for many seniors. Many can’t wait to graduate and attend the college of their choice.

For others, college may not be an option, but they are still excited to start the new chapter of their young adulthood and pave the way for the rest of their lives. Seniors can prevent the effects of Senioritis by not losing sight of the main goal, which is graduating high school. The rest of the lower classmen, juniors in particular, can learn from the previous students who let Senioritis get the best of them; they can avoid the consequences, which include falling behind in school, getting lazy, and blowing off school related responsibilities.

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Fifth Year takes the stage for suicide awareness

Fifth Year

HANNAH WILLIAMS / Editor-in-Chief

Band fever hits Poway again when thew band “Fifth Year” takes the stage. Two of its four members are Poway High students, including senior Nolan Adameic on bass and junior Alex Leverette on drums.
Executing pure pop punk, Fifth Year’s sound is heavily influenced by Poway’s own Blink-182 and the 90’s local band music scene.
Adameic met his lead singer, Jayven Rangel, at Warp tour and right off the bat talked of forming a band. After their latest addition, lead guitatist Matt Rempell, joined the crew, the band looked for that one person who could hold a beat. Finally, the search ended as they recruited Emerald Brigade Drumline’s very own Alex Leverette.
“One of the band members was going through his fifth year of community college, and the thought of being super seniors, sparked the name idea for not only our name but our logo,” Adameic said. Their logo being an “F” stamp, which represents failing out of school and becoming a super senior.
“Our inspiration for this idea is simple. We just wanted to be in a band, and when the chance came we jumped at the opportunity,” Adameic said.
One of their songs, “Heartless” became one of their favorites because it brought the band together. “We practiced it so much it got to the point where everyone was tired and frustrated, and we could really see who each other was,” Leverette said. The song was about a girl who leads on guys, and doesn’t really care about what she does to your heart.
On Dec. 2, Fifth Year was featured at a house party concert, hosted by “Supporting to Write Love on Her Arms,” a non-profit movement dedicated to giving hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. There, the band pumped up the crowd with their upbeat tune as they opened for other bands such as Mainsail and Stick Bitz.
After their colorful performance, Fifth Year is back in the studio to continue writing rad music. Information about future performances will be posted on their Instagram: @Fifthyearband.

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Female Football Player

AMINA IDOUI/ Staff writer

Football continues to be a male-dominated sport, but it is always good to see the occasional female breaking traditional gender roles and participating in such an activity.

Senior Kailyn Lavelle is on the varsity football team and plays wide receiver as well as cornerback.

“Being on the team has been such a great opportunity. I learned a lot of valuable life lessons and pushed my limits,” Lavelle said.

Senior Kobe Brown, who plays wide receiver and cornerback as well, enjoys having Lavelle on the team.

“She has been a great team player and tries her best all the time. She is pretty equal to everyone else and is not treated any differently because she is a girl,” Brown said.

Coach Scott Coats, who has been coaching for twenty years, also appreciates Lavelle’s effort and applauds her.

“Kailyn is treated with respect and is an excellent teammate.  She is always engaged in practice and the games, rooting on her teammates and doing the right thing.  She gives great effort and is willing to help the team in any way she can.  I think everyone respects her and is happy she is on the team,” Coats said.

Lavelle has worked very hard and it continues to remain an admirable feat that she successfully participates on the varsity team.

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Fellow Titans who have survived cancer

HANNAH WILLIAMS/ Editor-in-Chief

Every year, over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, a plague where tissue cells start growing abnormally and uncontrol­lably. Some fellow Titans survived this horrific dis­ease and were willing to share their story.

Determined survivor and amazing English teacher, TeriAnne Libby returned to Poway High with her head held high after treatment and recovery for most of the 2015-2016 school year. “The waiting and not know­ing until the CT scans came back was the worst week, because you don’t know if it had spread,” Libby mentioned. Post eighteen weeks of chemotherapy, the pain continued as she received surgery then radiation for five long weeks.

“The hardest thing to go through would be chemotherapy, because it takes away all your energy, and it feels like you have the flu,” Libby explained.

Libby had a lot of support from family and friends all through the treatment. She was out for most of the school year, and re­turned during the last six weeks of the grading period, even though she was tired and was still doing radiation.

Another strong-willed survivor is math teacher, Susan Sebas­tian. She was quite surprised when given news of the diagnosis. Before making a full recovery, she suffered a long process of five brutal surgeries, fol­lowed by tiring chemotherapy that took 19 months to complete. During this process, Sebastian always had her family and friends by her side, which is the best moral support anyone can ever have.

“I have a new joy of life, and a determina­tion to be the best me I can be,” Sebastian stated.

Sebastian gave some advice to people who have been diagnosed: “Follow recommenda­tions of doctors working with you if you are diag­nosed, but most impor­tantly, all women should follow medical guide­lines—regular mammo­grams and self-exams— that allow breast cancer to be detected before it’s too advanced.”

Breast cancer is an unexpected and evil disease, and has taken away many important lives. Luckily, Libby and Sebastian are all right, and even though the struggle is un­imaginable, all the Titans are here for them and anyone who is going through this.


Seen above: Math teacher, Susan Sebastian


Seen above: English teacher TeriAnne Libby

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Memory of Madi Taylor

HANNAH WILLIAMS/ Editor-in-Chief

Madi Taylor, who would have been a freshman here, passed away on Oct. 15 after battling cancer since the sixth grade. Many Titans are af­fected by the loss, and some of her close friends remember her here.

“She was a true ray of sun­shine and didn’t let anyone get in the way of her happiness. Even though the time spent with her has become a memory, those moments are treasures. Everyone who got to know her, or even just met her knows that she gave so much to remember. Her happi­ness would always be a promise that you are loved. When we would go out and take pictures for class, she could turn the five minutes into an hour of fun and I will forever be grateful,” fresh­man Jenna Opel said.

“Madi is such a fighter and amazing girl that impacted my life and lives of others. I know she’s up there watching over us with all her puppies, and heaven got a beautiful angel and she will always hold a place in people’s hearts that no one else can fill. She left fingerprints of grace on our lives, and won’t be forgotten. Rest in peace, Madi Taylor,” fresh­man Samantha Seward said.

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Dance Team Tops All Competition

Courtesy of Jade Coast Photography

Photo Courtesy: Jade Coast Photography

MASON KERN/ Sports Editor

As the sports seasons have shifted from football to winter athletics, the dance team has feverishly been preparing for its halftime routines, pep rallies and the critically important competitions that they participate in against other dance teams from across the nation.

The mixed-class team is composed of seniors: Lauren Trust, Alex Flies, Emily Wilson, Isabella Seebruch, and Lindsay Nasland; juniors: Devon Medeksiak, Jennifer Lux, Amber Hoffman, Keiki Koch, and Ashley Staley; sophomores: Megan Lynch, Mallory Jul, Audrey Olaes, Tevai Demello, Olivia Mann, Alina Scott; and freshman: Kodi Hightower, Mikayla Voorn, Alexa Workman, Emily Alcalay, Lexie Roche, Kendall Flies, and Skyler Hightower.

The PHS dance team has impressively earned three national championships in years past, and currently has its sights set on securing a fourth win at the national level. Quite notably, the team won its last dance competition across the board, in both their singles and group competitions.

“We really want to get back to the top level and win another national competition,” Wilson said. “I think we have the talent to do it again this year, and I’m excited for what the future holds.”

The students on campus love to support the team, as its success has garnered attention not only from its own school, but students throughout the district as a whole as well.

“Yea people at my school hear about Poway’s dance team, I mean they’re really good,” Mount Carmel senior Viraj Deshpande said. “I saw them perform when I went to the football game against Mount Carmel and I was kind of blown away.”

The level of talent extends throughout all grade levels, as each individual dancer has her own backstory and portfolio of success. For example, Jul was extended the opportunity to perform on NBC-TV’s “The Ellen Show” as a dancer to perform the popular song “JuJu on Dat Beat” by Zayion McCall.

“All of us are really talented in a variety of different aspects of dancing, so when we come together on the floor, we are virtually unstoppable,” Lynch said.

Additionally, the team competed in the USA Regionals competition over the weekend of Feb. 10-11 where they secured first place in three of their routines, and placed in the top three for the rest of their performances as well.

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Bye Bye Battery

KEIRA BARRY/ Feature Editor

First it was the Samsungs, and now the iPhones are struggling too? iPhone 6S owners have been reporting that their phones are unexpectedly powering down at high battery percentages, or rapidly losing battery. While they are not catching fire or exploding (cough, Samsung), a malfunctioning smartphone is a setback for any student.

“When it’s just on, the battery just starts draining,” freshman Lori Vildibill said of her iPhone 6S.

Some phones may be powering down or losing battery more quickly because they have a different A9 chip. There are two variants of this card, one made by TSMC and one made by Samsung. The Samsung chip supposedly has less battery life than the TSMC chip.

Most of the devices that are shutting down were manufactured between September and October 2016. However, Apple has noted that “a small number of customers outside of the affected range have also reported an unexpected shutdown.”

Still, many students are experiencing no difficulties with their devices. “No problems have occurred [with my device],” sophomore Nicole Manley said.

Students experiencing difficulties with the iPhone 6S can visit a local Apple store or authorized service provider to see if their device is eligible for a battery replacement, which is offered free of charge.

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Lerner Leads Event Horse to Glory

MASON KERN/Sports Editor

Horseback riding is hard enough for most to do in and of itself. Beyond the basics of just riding this gracious animal, training it to compete in the harshest of conditions is a challenge that takes equal parts skill, patience and tenacity. This is what senior Madi Lerner has done since she was just a little girl.

“Eventing,” basically the equivalent of an equestrian triathlon, encompasses both physical and mental components that must be undertaken by both horse and rider. There are three phases associated with eventing: dressage, endurance and show jumping. Lerner has trained her horse, Jasper, since 2008 and has loved every moment of her time as an equestrian trainer and rider.

“I started riding because my mom wouldn’t get me a puppy or kitten for my seventh birthday, and instead got me riding lessons,” Lerner said. “From the first lesson, I was so glad that she didn’t get me the puppy or kitten because I immediately fell in love with riding.”

“Horseback riding makes me feel fulfilled. I feel like I can accomplish anything because it’s the part of my life that makes me feel whole, like I have a purpose,” Lerner continued.

Competitions last three days, with the first being dressage. This is followed by endurance and, lastly, show jumping. Dressage is scored based on the intricate movements that the animal makes in harmony with its trainer. Optimally the animal performs required tasks of its own accord, so as to not disobey the trainer.

Lerner competed in the national championships held at Woodside Horse Park in Redwood City, California. There she, along with her companion athlete Jasper, secured the win. However, after this event, she sustained a concussion and nerve damage when she was bucked off her horse during a training session. While she qualified for the championships again this year and the following, she is unable to attend this year’s event because protocol mandates that injuries of her kind must keep riders out of competition for a whole year.

“I knew that my injury was just a small part of my life, and that I could grow and move on from it. Also, I knew that Jasper counted on me to come back and to prove that we can compete against that we will stay a strong team and come back better than ever,” Lerner noted.

She hopes to continue to compete in equestrian events in the future, and hopes to continue fostering the best relationship possible with Jasper, as well as all other horses Lerner competes with.

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