Best of SNO

Stories from West High School
COVID-19 transforms landscape of spring sports
Coronavirus

Hanah Kitamoto | March 27, 2020

On March 16, the Iowa High School Athletics Association and Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union announced that all Iowa high school sports have been suspended until April 13. This news has mainly impacted…

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A stroke of good fortune
Features

Alex Carlon | March 20, 2020

The enthusiastic ramblings of host Pat Sejak and tender smile of Vanna White are two comforts that many Americans tune in for on a weekly basis. The high-stakes competition and fun-loving spirit of…

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What does the West High community know about the coronavirus?
Coronavirus

March 16, 2020

The coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, is a respiratory disease that was first detected in Wuhan, China. There are more than 115,000 cases as of March 10, 2020 (after this video was filmed) and…

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More than a head covering
Features

Carmela Cohen Suarez | March 13, 2020

For some women, leaving the house without having their favorite ring, watch or scrunchie is an abnormality. For many, there is a specific article of clothing that they would not feel comfortable going…

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Transfers on the rise for West athletics
Showcase

Joe Goodman | March 10, 2020

It’s almost an unspeakable phrase in Iowa high school sports: transfer.

Whenever a student-athlete transfers to a new school, particularly without changing their residence, rumors and speculations…

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Calling the shots
News

Annabel Hendrickson | March 5, 2020

One thousand four hundred eighty-five students. All with different backgrounds, and most importantly, different germs. With 1485 opportunities for disease, the school can provide a breeding ground for…

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Disconnected.
Features

Alice Meng | March 4, 2020

Introduction
It’s a new day at school and you walk in the building with a pair of new shoes and a fresh haircut, a bounce of confidence with every step you take.

Suddenly, someone makes fun of you,…

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Regrowing confidence
Features

Fareeha Ahmad | February 26, 2020

Like any typical teenager, Ellie Garcia ’21 loves sweet treats and spending time with friends. On one hot summer day in Maryland, before her freshman year, she decided to go out and get ice cream with…

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Friend crush: Katy Nahra, Ann Rocarek and Christian Aanestad
Features

Misha Canin | February 24, 2020

In the morning, the three meet for coffee ahead of their busy days. At lunch, they are gathered around the dining table in room 102, definitely not gossiping about their students. In the evenings, they…

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Beneath the jersey: the 20-year history of sports uniforms at West
Sports

Joe Goodman | February 24, 2020

Forest green and Vegas gold. 

The colors that so classically represent West High athletics, or at least are supposed to.

For athletes competing under the West High name, having a high-quality uniform…

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From students to colleagues
Features

Bess Frerichs | February 17, 2020

Having taught at West High for 34 years, social studies teacher Gary Neuzil has had thousands of students. Some of which have gone on to be teachers themselves. An even smaller number, just four, have…

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Behind the burrito buddies
Features

Marta Leira | February 14, 2020

Chicken or steak? Rice? Beans? These are just the first in a series of many difficult decisions you must make as you order your burrito. Lettuce? Cheese? Guacamole? (It’s extra by the way.) But what…

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The man behind the merch
SNO's 18 Under 18

Natalie Dunlap | February 12, 2020

All it takes is an Instagram story from Chris Kim ’20 directing his followers to wear their Chong’s shirts and the next day more than a dozen students, and on occasion, a teacher, can be spotted in…

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Iowa caucus recap: student perspectives and result analysis
News

Natalie Dunlap | February 12, 2020

Many West High students, faculty and families took to their polling places on Feb. 3 to support their candidate of choice in the 2020 presidential election at the Iowa caucuses. For a majority of students,…

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For the kids: why they dance
Features

Bess Frerichs | February 12, 2020

Lucy Roth was diagnosed with cancer, a softball-sized tumor in her brain, when she was only two. She was admitted to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital immediately and went through multiple surgeries…

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West journalists take on boxing
Video

Tosh Klever | February 11, 2020

Boxing is not a sport many athletes decide to take on. For the well-conditioned athletes at ICOR Boxing the boxing gym prioritizes the community and personal growth of their members. For the last three…

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Elizabeth Warren at West days before Iowa caucus
News

Paras Bassuk | February 4, 2020

Hundreds of Iowa City residents filled the gym to show their support for Democratic candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, on Feb. 1, just two days before the Iowa caucuses.

As the dense crowd awaited…

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Iowa caucus preview: how students can get involved this February
News

Natalie Dunlap | February 3, 2020

With just three days left until Iowans will caucus for presidential nominees, the Iowa City area is abuzz with candidate rallies, media coverage and campaign events. Though only a percentage of West’s…

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Looking back: Changes in the Selective Service System
Features

Amelia Stevens | January 29, 2020

Published in the February 1, 1980 edition of West Side Story
(Editorial)
Registration for the draft may soon be a reality if President Carter’s Proposal for registration is put into effect. In his…

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“His Dark Materials” is the next big fantasy show
Arts & Entertainment

Edward Keen | January 22, 2020

Ever since my younger years, I’ve had an innate fascination with the fantasy genre. To be able to slide into other worlds with their very way of doing things and sets upon sets of magical attributes…

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Fighting for change: examining the combative culture at West High
Features

Alex Carlon | January 8, 2020

It starts with a loud shriek.

Shortly after, the pounding of shoes racing down the linoleum hallway can be heard from inside the main floor classrooms. Teachers seal off their class from the outside…

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The financial factor
Features

Natalie Katz | January 6, 2020

How much does it really cost to have a quality education at a public high school? Looking at the sticker price, nothing. Yet this year, according to USA Today, the average family spent $1223 on just basic…

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Fighting for faith
News

Misha Canin | January 6, 2020

It’s that time of year again. The bitter December wind whips through the air, bringing with it an equally chilling obstacle for students: the influx of exams crammed in before break. When the seemingly…

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Mixing it up
Features

Fareeha Ahmad | January 6, 2020

Turntables, headphones and deafening music all accompany the talented individuals and job descriptions of disk jockeys, commonly referred to as DJs. While most DJs may learn and perfect their style and…

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Securing safety?
News

Marta Leira | December 27, 2019

As technology has become more prevalent, security monitoring has increased, and people’s sense of privacy has gone down. Schools are no exception to this trend. Since West has opened, the administration…

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OK, Boomer
Opinions

Sumner Wallace | December 27, 2019

A new generational war has broken out, and words are the weapon of choice. Two little words in particular have sparked fury in the middle-aged and plastered smug grins on the faces of teenagers and twenty-somethings…

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Wrestling with stereotypes
Sports

Hanah Kitamoto | December 27, 2019

At first glance, wrestling mats might look soft. That’s what people thought about female wrestlers. But if you take a closer look, both are extremely tough. It took decades of dodging stereotypes and doubters…

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Looking back: Females fight sports bias
Sports

Amelia Stevens | December 27, 2019

Females fight sports bias by WSS Editorial Board 1971
Published in the September 17, 1971 edition of West Side Story
During the course of high school, certain extra-curricular activities are set up so…

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The winter blues
Features

Bess Frerichs | December 27, 2019

The changing of the seasons from fall to winter brings about time with family, hot chocolate and snow. However, it also brings shorter days, piled up homework and stressful holidays. For many individuals,…

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Emmie Boylan: living with spina bifida
Features

Bess Frerichs | December 10, 2019

The diagnosis

In December of 2014, English teacher John Boylan and his wife, Sarah Boylan, went to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital for their daughter, Emilia “Emmie” Boylan’s,…

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Jazzing up exercise
Features

Fareeha Ahmad | December 5, 2019

While some may drive right by the “Feeling sweaxy?” sign outside of the jazzercise fitness center on Gilbert Street, other curious individuals might just be intrigued enough to stumble upon their new…

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Human Rights Campaign announces Municipal Equality Index in Iowa City
News

Bess Frerichs | December 4, 2019

On Nov 19, the Municipal Equality Index (MEI) was announced at City Hall in Iowa City. The MEI rates 506 different cities in the United States on the inclusivity of laws and policies through five categories…

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“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” encapsulates the wonder of Mister Rogers
Arts & Entertainment

Jack Harris | December 4, 2019

It’s been an astounding 58 years since Fred Rogers began hosting a television program for children, and 51 years since the premiere of the beloved show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” In this era…

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Out of sight, out of mind
Features

Hanah Kitamoto | November 20, 2019

The soft glow of the SMART Board beams at the front of the room, casting a low-lit shadow over the faces of those residing in the front row. As you are concentrating on the presentation in front of you,…

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Mind over matter
Sports

Joe Goodman | November 18, 2019

One can of tuna.

That’s all wrestler Brock Pelfrey ’22 allowed himself to consume on the day of last year’s dual meet against City High.

In the weeks leading up to the meet, Pelfrey, who plays…

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How far is too far for cancel culture
Opinions

Mariam Keita | November 18, 2019

Imagine you wake up in the morning and open your Instagram, Youtube, or Twitter feed to see your name trending across all platforms, thousands of people calling you out, tagging you in harsh comments….

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Voiceless
Features

Kailey Gee | November 18, 2019

Inappropriate touching. Unwanted sexting. Catcalling down the hallways.

All of the above have happened right here at West High.

Almost five years ago, WSS wrote a cover story titled ‘No Excuse’…

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“Jojo Rabbit” is a powerhouse of comedy and emotion
Arts & Entertainment

Edward Keen | November 12, 2019

Taika Waititi has proven himself again and again to be one of Hollywood’s greatest tour de force directors of delightfully bizarre arthouse films that tread the line between drama and full-on comedy….

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Trojan Workhorses: Offensive linemen
Sports

Joe Goodman | November 5, 2019

They are five of the biggest guys on any given football field, yet most fans hardly even notice they are there.

Football fans eyes’ are almost always glued to the ball, meaning they focus on the quarterback…

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“The Lighthouse” is without question the best film of the year
Arts & Entertainment

Jack Harris | November 1, 2019

“The Lighthouse” is a tale of how two men, isolated on a decrepit rock, fall into a state of murderous hysteria. Robert Eggers is such a stupendous filmmaker, viewers will likely fall victim to the…

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Friend Crush: Mia Dillingham ‘20 and Mary Woodward ‘21
Features

Bess Frerichs | October 28, 2019

Mia Dillingham ’20 and Mary Woodward ’21 met two years ago in cross country, completely unaware that they both knew sign language. They were sprinters, so they became friends over their shared love for…

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No off season
Sports

Caroline Chandler | October 15, 2019

It was the golden era of West High athletics.

From 2010 to 2014, ‘Dynasty High’ won 19 state championships across 10 different sports, including seven in the 2011-2012 season alone. In 2015, the…

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Remembering Akram
Features

Fareeha Ahmad | October 14, 2019

When remembering Akram Mergani ’18, there are always certain qualities that tend to come to mind. He was funny and kind. He was passionate and caring. He was an individual who left a positive mark on…

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Forced to scramble
Sports

Joe Goodman | October 14, 2019

This is the story of a young boy who could climb as quickly as he could read. A boy who could play just as well in the band as he could on Friday nights. The story of new friends and new schools. This…

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Unsustainable.
News

Annabel Hendrickson | October 8, 2019

From a birds-eye view, the earth appears to be dead. What was once green is now brown; what was once frozen is now melted. Trees can no longer survive in the extreme temperatures, glaciers have completely…

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“Joker” review and why we need controversies
Arts & Entertainment

Jack Harris | October 8, 2019

From Todd Phillips, director of “The Hangover” trilogy, comes one of the most beautiful, jarring and controversial films in years. “Joker” is, at its best, a unique character study that just so…

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More than an app
Features

Sumner Wallace | October 8, 2019

The soul-crushing sound of a Hydro Flask crashing against the worn tile floor sets off a chorus of “sksksks” and “and I oop’s” that echo around an otherwise silent classroom. These are the exclamations…

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Postoperative
Features

Natalie Dunlap | October 2, 2019

In preparation for Maia DeGrazia’s ’20 eighth grade formal, her mother was adjusting her dress. While her mom was standing behind her, adding clear straps to the sparkly strapless top of the dress,…

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Gridiron Girls: West’s female linemen
Sports

Paras Bassuk | September 25, 2019

What began as a normal school lifting class became an opportunity for two girls to participate in one of the United States’ most male-dominated school sports.

Without schedule flexibility for…

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Twirling through the ages
Sports

Bess Frerichs | September 23, 2019

In perfect unison, the marching band struts onto the football field. They stand still, waiting in anticipation until the shriek of the conductor’s whistle cuts through the air. As they start to play,…

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