Bellevue High School football program under fire

Bellevue High School's football team (in white) at the Washington 3A High School Football Championships (Photo CC: Brannon Ronia)

Bellevue High School’s football program is currently facing scrutiny after a report was released revealing unfair and corrupt actions taking place behind closed doors.

The 68-page report was released by Carl Blackstone and Robert Westinghouse, two former federal prosecutors hired by the WIAA, claiming that the Bellevue School District officials and football coaches were aware of multiple violations of WIAA rules. Blackstone and Westinghouse explain in the report that the BHS officials and coaches have, “unfairly tilted the football field in favor of the Bellevue High School football program to the obvious detriment of opponents.”

The actions that “tilted the football field” in favor of BHS included the alleged recruiting of students from other districts and excusing “questionable” addresses to gain student eligibility. According to the report, “coaches had directed players to attend classes at a private alternative school,” that football team boosters had “subsidized pricey tuition” at the private school, and that “players’ families provided false addresses to gain eligibility.”

The private alternative school, called Academic Institute, served the purpose of allowing the football players to achieve the minimum grade standards required to stay a player on the football team. According to the report, head coach of BHS, Butch Goncharoff, “directed and encouraged” the players to attend the private school, which was described as a “day care for athletes.”

In addition to the recruiting of players and the use of the Academic Institute, BHS is also under fire for improper payments Goncharoff and his assistants have received from the local booster club. The WIAA reported that the amount of money received reached around “$588,568” in a decade.

The report comes as a surprise to some, considering that BHS has had a revered football team with an impressive record. A record that has included, “11 state titles since 2001,” according to the Seattle Times.

As a result of the report, the Bellevue School District board leaders have also brought up the idea of a potential two-year ban on Goncharoff. The district board leaders claimed that, “Any coach found to have accepted money in violation of board policies should be ineligible to renew their contract for two years.”

The board leaders also plan on creating and applying more rules and regulations to the booster club to eliminate any gray area within the program. These proposed changes include, “requir[ing] the booster club to provide detailed financial reports and require boosters to cooperate with any future WIAA investigation.”

Tristan Shank, Reporter

Washington and Oregon work together in global warming efforts.

Photo representing Co2 emmissions being released into the air from vehicles (Photo Courtesy of Fleet News UK)


Washington and Oregon work to end global warming and improve quality of living.

Each year a website called wallethub.com conducts an analysis called “How green is your state.” The study considered several different factors of overall eco-friendliness in each state, some of which include: water, energy, and gasoline consumption, climate change contributions, environmental qualities, and eco-friendly behaviors.

With a score of 74.88, Washington took 2nd place in the study. The state was ranked so highly because of its general environmental quality. Washington was ranked first place in several different sub categories. The categories included: highest soil quality, highest percent of energy consumption from renewable sources, and highest water quality.

In the same study, Oregon was ranked overall at 4th place with a score 72.77. Oregon was ranked among the top 5 in the following sub categories: Highest number of LEED- Certified buildings, and highest percent of energy consumption from renewable sources.

Oregon’s efforts include passing new laws regarding coal. This year, Oregon lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1547 which is an anti- coal law, that will eliminate the use of coal fire power by the year 2035. Portland General Electric and Pacific power, Oregon’s two largest utilities, will completely stop using coal by 2030. PGE has had plans put into action already to hopefully shut down coal usage by 2025. According to the bill, there is also a requirement that states the state needs to receive 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2040.

The burning of coal is a huge factor for global warming. Coal burning is currently making a huge negative impact on global warming efforts. Coal plants are the United State’s number one source for CO2 emissions, which are the primary cause of global warming. A statistic provided by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that in 2011, coal plants in the US emitted a total of 1.7 billion tons of CO2.

Eliminating coal will also eliminate several of the low air quality contributors.Some of these contributors that would be reduced are CO2, SO2, NOx, and mercury. All of these things contribute negatively to air quality by causing smog, acid rain. They also contribute negatively towards general public health by contributing the formation of small acidic particulates that can penetrate into human lungs and absorb into human lungs.

A new carbon tax could be Washington’s largest effort at combating global warming.Washington’s efforts include voters deciding on a carbon tax in the fall. The act is called I-732, and will reduce state taxes by 1%, help to fund the working families rebate, eliminate the B&O business tax manufacturers, and institute a carbon tax of just $25 per metric ton of CO2 on fossil fuels consumed in Washington. The total estimated value of this tax is 1.7 billion dollars a year. According to the act’s advocate website.

States can become greener on a smaller scale too. Some simple things that can be done are: recycling, composting, carpooling, and turning off lights. By doing these simple things each day, an impact is being made on the overall “greenness” of a state.

Ashley Mixon, Reporter

BHHS musicians perform at Solo and Ensemble

Interrobang performs at CWU


Last weekend, Black Hills High School sent 13 of their students to compete at the state-wide Solo and Ensemble Festival in Ellensburg, Washington.

This event is held every year at Central Washington University and is organized by students in the music program there. In fact, Reese Maultsby, a BHHS graduate now studying percussion performance and music education at CWU, was a coordinator for the event. He was in charge of planning which rooms, buildings, and services would be provided for the competition, and making sure that things ran smoothly in the percussion category

In order to perform at State, musicians must win their category at their local competition. Groups are categorized at the state competition by instrument, size, and for singers, by gender.

This weekend in Ellensburg, BHHS was represented by a women’s vocal quartet, a large percussion ensemble, a percussion duet, a percussion soloist, and a flute soloist.

First group from BHHS, a percussion duet called Rrrrrawrrrrr, with Ian Swenson and Dustin Dalebout performed on Friday. They performed a piece titled “Apotheosis” and earned a 1 from all three judges; a perfect score.

After Rrrrrawrrrrr was the BHHS Women’s Quartet with Emmelyn Affeldt, Katie Zeldenrust, Sammy Schwartz, and Piper Shier. They sang two songs. The first was Latin and it was called “O Vos Omnes.” The second was French and was called “Il est bel et bon.” They too came away with a perfect score, getting 1s from all three judges.

The next performance from BHHS was Interrobang, the large percussion ensemble. This group consisted of Tristan Shank, Zoe Chapman, Draevin Luke, Ian Swenson, Will Mitchell, Colton Steele, Ethan Lovett, and Alex Robertson. They performed piece called “Ellipsis” and also received a perfect score, placing third in the state in their category.

On Saturday, flautist Emma Lindemeier, performed. She played a piece called “Serenade” by Howard Hanson and received two 1s and a 2+ from the judges.

Also on Saturday, Ian Swenson performed a multiple percussion solo. “I have practiced since January,” he said. “It was hard to stay on top of it all the time.” After performing, Ian said, “I felt really upset with myself. I thought it was all over.” But as he received more and more compliments from his friends, peers, and even strangers, “the little mistakes became more and more insignificant.” Ian came away with a perfect score and a ranking of second in the state for the multiple percussion solo category.

Kate Zeldenrust, Reporter

U.S. Women's Soccer Team protests unequal pay

Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. Soccer Team celebrate winning the 2015 FIFA World Cup in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of Michael Chow)


On March 31st, five women from the National U.S. Soccer Team filed a complaint on wage discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Buffalo News states that, the five women protesting are co-captains Carli Lloyd, and Becky Sauerbrunn, and other key members of the team including Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Hope Solo.

According to New York Times, the US Women’s Soccer team has a huge winning streak. They have won the Women’s World Cup on several occasions, one of them in Canada back in July. They have also won four separate times in the Olympics. However their bonuses for winning and wage in general are substantially lower than the Men’s team.

In the words of Carli Lloyd, she has no problem with the men on the team, but the difference in opportunity, pay and the “institution… for not treating women fairly,” is what she and the others are protesting. According to ABC News, they can be paid as little as 40 percent of what the men make on a normal basis.

Lloyd comments in an essay that, “If I were a male soccer player who won the World Cup for the United States, my bonus would be $390,000. Because I am a female soccer player, the bonus I got for our World Cup victory last summer was $75,000.” That is a $315,000 difference.

This kind of inequality is especially vexing to the Women’s Team when one considers the success of the Men’s team. Although they have qualified for the World Cup for years, they have not won a Cup in quite some time. In fact, according to FiveThirtyEight, they haven’t won a World Cup since 1930 when they placed third. This isn’t to say that they are bad at soccer. They are still phenomenal athletes yet they are not nearly as successful as their counterparts.

One of the other reasons that the Women are protesting is playing conditions. The fields that they often play on are low quality turf, according to New York Times. According to Hope Solo, they normally just play on whatever field they are put on. However last December right before a game, the Women’s team took a stand and refused to play. The turf in question was dangerous with uneven ground with hard, sharp pieces of ground. The Men’s team on the other hand always have sod laid down before their games, yet another inequality.

In order to combat these inequalities, the Washington Post reports that there are plans to boycott this year’s Olympics. Some of the women simply want to raise the issue, but Becky Sauerbrunn suggests that they should take a stand if their demands are not met.

The New York Times also reports that this is not the first time the women’s team has taken issue with how they have been treated. “Two years ago, before the Algarve Cup, an important annual tournament in Portugal, we considered going on strike over these issues, but we weren’t completely united then and wound up backing down,” Lloyd wrote to the reporter.

The plans for a boycott are not set in stone yet, as the issue is still reasonably fresh, yet the women's soccer team seem more united with this issue the longer it lasts.

Maura Moffat, Reporter

Paul Ryan refuses offer to be Republican nominee

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan greets an enthusiastic crowd

On the April 12th, at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters Speaker of the House, Ryan Paul said to the press, “I do not want nor will I accept the nomination for our party.”

“If no candidate has the majority on the first ballot, I believe you should only choose from a person who has participated in the primary. Count me out.”

This statement comes as Republican party leadership may be searching for alternative candidates, and Paul Ryan is widely liked by his party, while Cruz and Trump are not. As the New York Times put it, “Mr. Trump (or Ted Cruz) could very well lead the party to a decisive and divisive defeat.”There has been much speculation about Speaker Ryan entering the race for president, despite his many public statements claiming that he will not accept an nomination. The New York Times even reported that “Earle Mack, a Brooklyn-born businessman and former ambassador under President George W. Bush  is the major force behind a “super PAC” that is attempting to draft” Paul Ryan as the presidential nominee. Those who are encouraging Ryan’s run for the presidency don't take his assertions seriously since he said he wouldn't accept a nomination for Speaker of the House either.

If no Republican candidate has a 1,237 delegate majority after all of the delegates have been apportioned at the July Convention, the Republican Party may choose a new candidate to be their nominee. According to the New York Times, Trump could gain enough delegates to be the nominee but it would require “him to maintain the same level of voter support in the contests ahead” and if “the dynamics of the race shift against him” he will fail to secure the nomination.

Despite his refusal to run, Speaker Ryan thinks that that ideas of Trump and Cruz “might not only cost the GOP an election but could set the party back a generation (or generations) with voters,” according to the Washington Post.

Katie Zeldenrust, Reporter

Spring break offers opporunities for BHHS students

Mr. Heywood enjoys the views during a hike on Mt. St Helens. (photo courtesy of Mr. Heywood)


Washington is a great state with a ton of activities that can be done by families over spring break. Some of the activities include: seeing animals at the game farm, heading up some trails for beautiful views, and checking out the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Western Washington has a ton of family friendly activities for people of all ages, such as the Game Farm. The Olympic Game Farm, located in Sequim, is a fun place to go rain or shine. The Game Farm has several different types of animals in the driving tour such as: bears, alpacas, cows, elk, big cats, zebras, and more. Admission to the driving tour costs $12 for kids under 15 and seniors 55+, $14 for adults 15+, and all children under the age of 5 are free. The game farm also has a petting farm with goats, a freshwater aquarium, and a duck pond, though this part of the farm is only open as weather permits.

Washington is home to several beautiful places to hike. According to history and theater teacher Mr. Heywood, “the trick to hiking in the spring is finding something that is interesting, but is still below the snow level.” Some of his favorite areas to hike at this time of year are near Lake Cushman, Olympic National Park, and the Gorge. If a hiker would like to travel up Cushman, Heywood claims that two of his favorite early season hikes are Mt.rose and Lena Lake. Mount Rose is one of his favorites, but that it “is really steep, you go 3 miles and up 3,000 feet so it is straight up, but it is a really good workout.” According to Mr. Heywood, Lena Lake is “really cool because it is really low, 800ft to 1800ft, and once you get to the lake, if you want to go higher, there is the Upper Lake up the Brothers Trail.” If someone is not sure of the conditions of a hike, they can always check out the Washington Trail Association’s website for information regarding the conditions, and even check out the hike of the week.

There are several college campuses in western Washington, and spring break is a great time for students to tour their prospective universities. According to Mrs. Jones, “The reason spring break is a great time to visit colleges is because: one, colleges have already had their spring break, so full session, full classes, full activities are going on; two, because you are coming to the end of that year, you're getting ready and excited about the next year; and three, there is just so much that happens at the end of the school year at college campuses.” Western Washington University will be hosting a Discovery day for prospective students on April 8th from 12:15-5pm. This day will be full of campus information sessions, tours, and an open house. The University of Washington will have guided campus tours on Friday April 1st from 9-12, but prospective students are welcome to tour on their own at any time. Mrs. Jones also said that because of all the end of the year activities going on at the end of the year, “you will really get to see what that campus is all about.”

Skagit Valley’s annual Tulip Festival will be going on through the duration of April. During the first week of April some of the stand out events include the Tulip Days Basketball tournament and Helicopter tours of the area. The tournament is for children in 5th-8th grade, and require a team fee of $285 with a four game guarantee. The tournament lasts from April 1st- the 3rd. The helicopter tours will be running Friday-Sunday every weekend in April from noon to midnight. The tours require no reservation but information about fees and times can be found by calling (360) 377-4115.

Another fun family activity could be following Big Foot's Trail through the Hood Canal. The bigfoot field researcher’s organization (BFRO) has claimed that Washington has the more Big Foot sightings than any other state. According to researcher Johnny Manson, “Highway 109 between Hoquiam and Ocean Shores has the highest reports of Sasquatch sightings in the state.” The best way that a family can plan a Bigfoot hunt is by visiting the recent sighting reports found at this website:http://www.bfro.net/GDB/newadd.asp?Show=AB .

Families don’t need to travel far for fun this spring break when Washington has so much adventure to offer it’s residents.

Ashley Mixon, Reporter

Basketball looks back on a successful season

TJ Mickelson driving into the lane against multiple Tumwater defenders (Photo by Nicole Waldron)

Many players on the boys team wrote their own name in the Black Hills record books over the course of the season. One player in particular, junior guard TJ Mickelson, added more accolades onto his growing resume. Winning his second straight Evergreen Conference MVP award and becoming the first player in program history to reach the 1,000 point plateau, Mickelson earned himself a spot on the Olympian’s All-Area Boys Basketball team for his second year in a row. In addition, senior guard Jason Underhill broke the program record for most varsity games played in a career, and senior forward Jewell Day finished as an honorable mention selection for the Evergreen Conference.

The Lady Wolves had their fair share of individual success as well. Junior guard Emma Duff earned the honors of Evergreen Conference MVP and was also named to the Olympian’s All-Area Girls Basketball Team. Sophomore guard Lindsey Nurmi was named an Evergreen Conference first-team recipient, and freshman forward Maisy Williams was named as an honorable mention in the Evergreen Conference.

Edward Afeiche, Reporter

Black Hills DECA "Amplifies" their program at State competition

Black Hills High School DECA following the chapter dinner at Palomino in Bellevue Square (Photo by Joe Derrig)


Black Hills High School DECA competed at the Washington State DECA Competition in Bellevue at the Meydenbauer Event Center and the Hyatt Hotel.

To qualify for state in DECA you have to place in the top group in an event, either a role play, written event. This all happens at the local area competition which took place in January at Little Creek Event Center. Along with the score of your presentation, one third of a participant’s qualifying sore is a 100 question third year college marketing cluster exam. Mrs Knowlton, DECA Advisor, said the test is “is an important part of the experience, it represents real life and uses your knowledge.”

Along with competition, at the state career development conference, students listen to speakers, vote for the state president, and listen to all of the DECA chapter awards for the year. These events help shape DECA for the upcoming school year, and help shape the atmosphere of the conference. The officer team also makes it a priority to have a whole chapter meal while at state.

This year we had 22 students qualify for state in 19 different competitive events.This group of students included: eight freshman, three sophomores, four juniors, and seven seniors. Emily Dobson, a freshman from Black Hills said that “it was super exciting yet intimidating, I was proud my team made it so far but at the same time I was nervous.”

At the Washington State DECA Competition a person can medal and receive the opportunity to advance to International Career Development Conference(ICDC). This year, ICDC is in Nashville, Tennessee. To be eligible to go to go to ICDC you have to place in the top six or seven in your category. This year we had one student who made it to ICDC, senior, Draevin Luke. This will be Draevin’s second year in a row competing at ICDC in the professional selling category. DECA president Callie Bianco, was awarded a medal for placing in the top seven of a sub-category of her event.

Mikael Stigall, Reporter

Emotional Creature aims to educate and empower

Sam Mincy, Emily Feek, Brianna Smith, Madelyn Campbell, Joie Bright, Kayleigh Turner, and Director Guita Taheri working on a scene in Emotional Creature (Photo by Aaron Street)

The Black Hills High School Theater program is bringing back Emotional Creature, a student-directed play that aims to educate and empower students, staff members, parents, and others in the community. The director this year is Guita Taheri, a junior at Black Hills who strives to promote women’s rights. This year, the play shows on March 24th and 25th at 7:00 pm in the BHHS Performing Arts Center.

In order to give back to organizations that help women, the proceeds from Emotional Creature will go towards the YWCA of Olympia. Admission is technically free, however Taheri shared that “donations are extremely encouraged”. There will also be concessions, and “those proceeds will go towards the YWCA as well”.

The YWCA is a national organization whose mission is to “empower women and eliminate racism”. The Olympia chapter has many programs that can be looked into at www.ywcaofolympia.org. Donations from the play will go towards programs such as these, including Girls Without Limits, a way for teenagers and pre-teenagers to learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) programs. The YWCA also provides support for single mothers and other women that need help.

The student director highlighted that the production brings up issues that women and girls go through on a day-to-day basis, such as “the societal pressures to be pretty and liked”. Taheri also said that the play has “different stories for different girls”, showing issues such as anorexia, sexual harassment and violence, human trafficking, and shaming people based on their sexual activity. Kayleigh Turner, a Black Hills freshman and actress in Emotional Creature, said that an important value she has taken from the play is “being understanding of people and being more sensitive towards their feelings, because we’re all emotional creatures”.

The message that Emotional Creature gives “is not just about girls in America—it’s about girls all around the world”, according to Taheri. “That’s the beauty of this play. It highlights a lot of the problems that we don’t really see that much, because either people don’t talk about them or they’re not as prevalent in our society.”

The students involved in the play hope that the audience will “gain insight, perspective, and an understanding for what’s going on”, said Taheri. They want those that see the play to “see some of the injustice and help to work to fix it themselves”. Also, there’s a hope that people will learn more about resources in the community, since groups such as the YWCA, SafePlace, and Monarch will be there after the production to participate in a discussion.

On March 24th and 25th, Taheri and the other six girls in the production encourage those in the community to come see Emotional Creature. Taheri remarked, “It's a great show, you won’t regret it.”

Sammi Payne, Reporter


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