Lady Miners Volleyball: Miners take on the Pioneers

by: TRINITI BRYANT

Staff Writer

The El Diamante Miners took on the Mt. Whitney Pioneers on Thursday night, September 16th. During the first set, the Pioneers and the Miners battled, but the Pioneers took the win: 23-25. Mt. Whitney came out strong again for the second set beating the Miners by 5. Nicole Phillips expressed how “[their] attitudes were down, but [they] were able to come back with positivity.” The El Diamante Miners gained control in the third set, finishing with 25-22. Utilizing their comeback, the Miners took their opportunity and ran, winning the fourth set 25-20. The fifth set was a fight, but the Miners brought home their victory with a score of 15-8. Emily Goldenstein stated how “[they] played well as a team” and the Miners capability to “get really energized as a team” led them to their success. The Pioneers and Miners will battle again on October 16th in the El Diamante gym. Make sure not to miss it!

 

Raiders Pull Away Late in Win

by TREVOR KAPIGIAN

Staff Writer

After a season where there looked like the Raiders had improved greatly, they wanted to come into this season and show why they can be contenders. And the Raiders showed that in their first game against the Saints. The Raiders flew into New Orleans determined to come out with the win. But future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints high-powered offense were not going to make it easy.

 

After winning the coin toss and deferring to receive the ball, the Raiders defense came out strong. Brees missed his first two throws and Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin came around and got a strip-sack fumble that was recovered by rookie defensive end, Shilique Calhoun. Raiders failed to find the endzone and settled for a field goal. The Saints bounced back and tied the game with a field goal. The Raiders next drive fixed the offensive struggles from earlier, and running back, Latavius Murray, went up the middle and scored on a 6-yard rush to end the 1st quarter.

 

Drew Brees and the Saints offense matched the Raiders after Brees connected with wide receiver Willie Snead multiple times on the drive. Brees topped the drive off with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Snead, tying the game at 10. The Raiders offense was silent all of the second quarter, not being to score at all. Where the Saints did not miss their opportunities. Brees continued to find receivers and capped another drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Finishing off the 1st half the score was 10-17.

 

Coming out of halftime, the Raiders offense went to rally around quarterback Derek Carr but still failed to do anything on their first drive. Raiders punter Marquette King sent a booming punt to the Saints that put the ball on the 2-yard line, setting up for a good drive for the Raiders defense. But on the first play of the drive, wide receiver Brandin Cooks was burned by corner Sean Smith and caught the pass for a 98-yard touchdown pass; Brees’ third of the day. The only points the Raiders came away with was another field goal making the game 13-24 going into the 4th.

 

Derek Carr and the Raiders needed a spark on offense, and Derek Carr started to connect with the receivers. Carr connected with 2nd year wide out Amari Cooper twice for 51 yards and wide receiver Michael Crabtree for 25 yards. Raiders went for two but missed their opportunity, settling for 6. They finished off the drive with fullback Jamize Olawale for a 2-yard rush. Saints kicked a field goal making the score 19-27. Raiders came back and relied on undrafted rookie running back Jalen Richard, who came out and scored on a 75-yard rushing touchdown. Raiders, for the second time went for two, and Derek Carr hit Amari Cooper who got the two-point conversion, tying the game at 27. The Saints came out and went to answer the Raiders 8 point drive. Brees connected with Snead for 43 yards, but Smith fumbled the ball and Saints rookie receiver Michael Thomas picked it up and was brought down at the 2 yard line. Brees finished off the drive with his 4th touchdown pass of the day to running back Travaris Cadet. Carr and the Raiders came back and scored off an 11-yard touchdown pass from Carr to wide receiver Seth Roberts. And for the third time, the Raiders made a gutsy call and went for two. Carr lobbed it to Crabtree and he pulled it down for the two-point conversion, giving the Raiders the lead with 47 seconds left. Brees got the Saints in range for the rookie kicker Wil Lutz to kick a 63 yard field goal. The Kick fell short giving the Raiders a 35-34 victory to kick off the season. Carr finished off with 319 yards passing and 1 touchdown. Amari Cooper came away with 137 receiving yards and rookie Jalen Richard had 83 rushing yards on 3 carries and a touchdown. Brees threw for 423 yards and 4 touchdowns, Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks combined had 315 receiving yards and had 3 touchdowns.

Kaepernick Stands up by Sitting Down

by KIERYN RUBY

Staff Writer

San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick explains why he sat during the National Anthem at the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers when he states,“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”. He has now kneeled in 4 games which has caused controversy across the NFL and the rest of the nation. Some people, like fellow teammate Eric Reid, amongst NFL players, and all types of military veterans support what Kaepernick is doing. However, a majority of people are sternly against what Kaepernick is doing and believe he is disrespecting the flag and all the veterans who fought for the liberties and freedoms that we have today.

 

Kaepernick is joining a group of pro athletes who have also decided to take a stand against racial oppression. This group consists of NBA stars Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and several other WNBA players who use their famous status to promote what they have to say. Eric Reid has also decided to kneel with Colin at their game against the San Diego Chargers in their last preseason game. Reid showed his support of Kaepernick by stating that,”he’s not the only one who feels the way he feels”. Other players across the NFL have joined in the protest by either raising their fists, interlocking arms with their teammates, and even kneeling just like Kaepernick. Former Green Beret, Nate Boyer, has shown his full support of Kaepernick by writing an open letter to him explaining why what Colin is doing is actually patriotic and that the idea of free speech is not always popular or accepted.

 

Other people, however, are not as accepting of his interpretation of the first amendment. Even though he was not aiming to bash the military, that is how it was interpreted. Many military members are outraged because they think what he is doing is extremely disrespectful towards what the flag is about and what it symbolizes. 20 year navy veteran Leo Uzcategui displayed his disapproval when he stated,”I was in the Navy, and I saw men and women bleed and die for this flag”. Also, people on social media have been hating on Colin by either ranting or even posting videos of burning his jersey. Most of his haters do agree with what he is protesting for, but do not agree with how he is protesting.
Colin Kaepernick will continue his protest until some changes are made regarding racial oppression. Whether we agree or disagree with his actions, he has still brought attention to a social issue in our country that needs to change.

Abzu Review

by JACOB PADILLA

Staff Writer

Over the last three to four years in video games, a relatively uncommon type of game has been increasing in popularity, allowing for some of the best games of all time come into existence. These are “experience” games, or games that aren’t played for mechanics, but are heavily story driven. These games are meant to be gone through with no direct goal and a fairly linear storyline, and Abzu masters the style perfectly.

 

Abzu was a game made by a game developer studio called GiantSquid, the masterminds behind a few other games of the same genre such as Journey and Dandelion. Abzu, itself, is an underwater exploration-driven game with no dialogue. It’s story up to interpretation as there is no exposition or backstory to be seen other than pictures.

 

The game’s primary feature that allows it to not have a clearly stated story is the visual aesthetic and graphic expertise of the ocean environments and habitats depicted throughout the game. The art style is pleasant to look at, as it’s cartoonish style makes it not completely realistic.This is done very well and gives a sense of fantasy in an underwater world that already exists, which is quite a good feeling. Along with this, the lighting in the different rooms is superb, and sets the mood of each stage very well. Overall, the looks and aesthetics of the game are well done and make the game more beautiful looking than any other game seen before.

                                 

The gameplay itself has no actual goal or instruction on where to go, so it forces players to seek out the paths and explore the expertly made areas of sea life in order to progress in the game. The way players move through the story and enter new areas is mostly at their own pace. Each stage has fairly simple puzzles that players use to get through to the next area; However, each puzzle requires the player look around and see all the life and environment, which is the side goal of the game. Almost everything in the game encourages people to explore and look around at the world created, making for a slow paced, calming, and gorgeous experience.

 

Abzu also has a soundtrack that is made to be calming and soothing throughout the story, setting tones of mystery and discovery as the players explore the world they are immersed in. It is coordinated with the different lighting and visual styles of each stage and are perfect for the pace of the game, and the ocean theme in general. Along with this, the performance is very smooth and runs seamlessly despite the loads of AI and individual entities that are everywhere in the game. This is an impressive feat in the context of programming and retaining the ability for the game to perform well. I found the ability to swim through a bait ball with thousands of individual fish a very memorable experience in particular.

 

The game’s story, since there is not dialogue or text, is told solely through pictures and actions taken by the players themselves and surrounding creatures. Because this is how it’s told, it can be interpreted differently depending on who is playing the game. I personally found the story to be interesting and about fixing mistakes, however someone else can interpret it as a hero story. The idea of picking apart clues for the story and putting the pieces together on your own flows well and works nicely with the exploration aspect, adding a sense of mystery and reason for exploring the world. The curiosity of wanting to find a goal gives motivation to progress other than just following a path given by the game.

 

Abzu does have a few things that can be seen as negative, such as its length. The game itself can be finished in about two hours, and can be done faster or slower depending on how fast the player wants to progress. It doesn’t have a huge amount of replayability, due to the fact it is based on discovery and learning. It has some replayability if people want to learn everything about the world, but once everything has been discovered, the game is pretty much finished. People can just watch the fish swim around and interact but not much more than that.

 

Overall, Abzu is an exploration of the oceanic world with a smooth pacing, great soundtrack, incredible aesthetics, interesting gameplay, and a story to be interpreted by each person. In the end I would rate Abzu 9/10. It only seems to be lacking in game length, although, it can be said that it is intentionally short for. Abzu is a masterpiece of a game, almost more comparable to art than a game, and puts another impressive game under Giant Squid’s belt.

Gaming for Good

By EMILY CARRILLO and EMILY DE MELLO

Staff Writer

When most people think of gamers, they tend to think gaming is the only thing they do or care about. In reality, it is so much more than that. Apart from the views, likes, and money they earn, many YouTubers use their profits for noble causes: causes that are generally overlooked.

 

In the YouTube community, there have been many YouTubers that have donated to different charities. For instance, they have made many wishes come true through the “Make A Wish” Foundation. Some of these YouTubers include Markiplier, JackSepticEye, PewDiePie, and many more. The 2016 VidCon Conference Guide states, “Top gamers have enlisted and utilized their energetic communities for the good of the world.” Through the help of their subscribers, YouTubers help spread awareness and draw in more donations for things that really matter.

 

Even from the very beginning of Markiplier’s YouTube career, he was able to raise approximately $1,100 for cancer research. From then on, he was able to raise thousands more to different charities, including the DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance), the Best Fiends Charity, and the No Cursing Challenge, where he donated $100 for every time he cursed to a charity of the viewers’ choice.

 

YouTuber JackSepticEye has recently began to do his own charity live streams, starting with the “revel4Good” livestream in hopes of raising money and awareness for the 24/7 crisis support line, Crisis Text Line. In addition to this, Jack has also collaborated to help raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and has raised awareness for other charity events, which have raised hundreds and thousands of dollars. Albeit, he is new to raising money for charities, but he has collaborated with other YouTubers in order to raise money for different causes.

PewDiePie, the most subscribed person on YouTube, has done more than just create his own video game. When he hit 10 million subscribers, he started a charity called “Water Campaign.” The charity was established so that clean water could be brought to the Raro community, Rwanda, and more. He even exceeded his goal of $250,000, earning over $400,000 in donations. When he hit 25 million subscribers in 2014, he started a campaign for children called “#BrosSavetheChildren.” This campaign was founded to provide children in need with anything they need, like school supplies, or even food and shelter. They were able to raise over $300,000, once again exceeding their goal of $250,000.

 

Perhaps not every gamer has started charities or has raised thousands of dollars for kids in need, but it does not mean they don’t support any charities or they don’t care. These aforementioned YouTubers only get credit for “being funny” or for “making good content.” They do not normally get credited for the things that have a lasting impact. At the end of the day, YouTube is not just a gateway to fame and money, but is a way to form a community and send some good back into the world.

Suicide Squad Review

By JESSICA MARK

Staff Writer

Suicide Squad is a much debated film among fans and critics. Was it good? Was it bad? Well, here is the verdict on DC’s newest edition to its movie franchise.

 

The film is directed by David Ayer, who is known for successful films such as End of Watch and Training Day, both of which were positively received in the box office. It also boasts a stunning cast of leading actors such as Harley Quinn played by Margot Robbie, Deadshot played by Will Smith, and Jared Leto as the infamous Joker. With a successful director, and an influential cast of Hollywood hotshots, where did it all fall flat?

 

The film begins by introducing the audience to an array of antiheroes, or villains as the movie would rather state. Background is given on the future team and the task at hand. Enchantress, the demonic super-villain of the movie, has possessed the body of June Moone for a number of years. She begins to become too independently powerful, releasing an army of her own creation to destroy the human race in Midway City. Task force X, commonly known as the Suicide Squad, is assigned to defeat the villain, succeeding in the end.

 

Now, addressing the issues regarding the film’s entirety. For the most part, the setting is contained into one area, Midway City, at least, the 2nd and 3rd acts of the film are. If executed well, one environment may work well for a lengthy movie, but for the most part Suicide Squad felt very limited with this approach. It was hard to break away from the sense of claustrophobia the setting gave off. On the other hand, the 1st act of the film took place in a prison type setting, which I found the most interesting.

 

As for certain scenes, some did not sit very well with me. For example, the scenes displaying the Joker and Harley’s romance were among the most aggravating to watch. The relationship was far from true to the source material. The movie portrays a more lovey-dovey romance rather than the actual abusive relationship that retains to the storyline of the comics.

 

Most characters were hardly developed upon, most seeming flat and one dimensional. The only three characters who actually received any type of development or backstory were Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and arguably El Diablo. The others were briefly explained and hardly memorable, in fact, if the rest of the cast were to be removed from the movie, it would hardly leave an impact. The previously mentioned does bring me to another critique I have regarding the film, it speaks for the characters rather than letting the characters speak for themselves. The film does a lot of explaining, yet not a lot of showing. Which, of course, may be the reason why numerous members of the squad fell thin.

 

The humor and action were present in the film. Most the humor falls flat  in my opinion, and the action happens way too often. In my opinion, switching out most of the useless fighting scenes, changing them to scenes where characters interact, and building upon would have been a much better decision. The bar scene in the film is notable for taking time to relax, and actually introduce the audience to the characters, but, sadly, scenes akin to this were hardly existent.

 

So, what went wrong with the film? A lot, unfortunately. There is a lot to be said upon the film’s cast, story, and direction. Scoring an underwhelming 26% on Rotten Tomatoes yet, still receiving a substantial amount of income in the box office by fans alike. I feel that I, among most fans, were terribly disappointed in the film. The hype surrounding the franchise led me to believe DC may be able to redeem itself, but it was not the case. I wanted to love the movie, but expectations were far from being met.

 

Hopefully, the next installment in the DC movie franchise will cease to disappoint, but for now my loyalty still, sticks with Marvel.

Mr. MacDonald-The Brain behind the JV Brawn

By SCOTT MACDONALD

Staff Writer

The El Diamante JV football team is lucky to have Craig MacDonald as their head coach for the 2016 season . On September 5, 2016, I had an interview with the head coach for the JV football team. I had seven questions for Coach MacDonald and I got seven answers. My whole point of the interview was to find out how Coach MacDonald will think his season will be.

The captains for the JV football team are Alex Perez, and Michael Alvarez. These captains are followed by Jacob Robles, their starting quarterback . Coach MacDonald is head coach of the JV football team but he is not the only one. Delano Henry, Matthew Tristao, Ryan Hopper, Aaron Thiessen, and Frank Munoz are also coaches on the JV football team. Coach MacDonald thinks the toughest team to beat this season will be Hanford West. The biggest goal for  Coach MacDonald is to improve every week and to turn his players into young adults. I asked Coach MacDonald  why he loves coaching and he answered “ I just love the concept of football and the physical part and I like to work with youth”. Then I asked Coach MacDonald how long he has been coaching and he said “ I have been coaching at EL Diamante for ten years”. This season should be a very good season. The JV football team should have a good record at the end of the season. Coach MacDonald should be proud of his JV team for the season 2016.

Principal Sanchez: Connecting with the Green Sea

by MARISSA AYALA

Staff Writer

Although an interview was made last year about Mrs. Sanchez, we chose to do a follow-up interview to catch up on other happenings into her second year of being principal for El Diamante. In this new year, Mrs. Sanchez described her beginning as “comfortable” and “used to how things go”. She also exclaimed that things feel in-place rather than out of place because when she began her career, she jumped in at a time of most chaos. She later explained about the acronym P.I.C.K. and how it’s expected to help us guide our school and help students to accomplish more, all while helping those around them. Mrs. Sanchez and I also discussed how her and the district are showing gratitude towards students who do well in school and will push those who are not, in order to better themselves.

 

Mrs. Sanchez also exclaimed  how she is connecting herself with students around the school. She shared a story with me of when she entered a classroom and the teacher asked the students a question. It was a new subject to her so  she looked around the room to try and make out the answer. Once she finally understood, she raised her hand. The teacher then proceeded to let her answer and as she answered, she found herself connecting with the students as they listened to what she had to say. Overall, Mrs. Sanchez’ second year as principal has been a world of spreading strength and knowledge, but also making connections with students.

First Year Teacher Ms. Meza is Ready to Take on the Challenge

By KIERYN RUBY

Staff Writer

As a young, first year teacher, Ms. Meza is ready to face the challenges of freshmen, block schedule, and keeping up with her young daughter in her free time. After graduating from Fresno State with a biology and French degree, she decided to be a teacher. She always wanted to help others, especially the students that may need extra attention. Mentoring students is what she really enjoys, so being a new teacher makes her excited about all the students she gets to guide and support.

 

Meza is currently teaching health, AVID, and biology. The majority of her classes are freshmen which is sometimes fun for her, but they are extremely tough students to have. She makes sure that they are always moving, talking, and participating because she knows it will be chaos if she doesn’t. Even though freshmen can be difficult, she loves that they are easily moldable and how fun it is to see the people they will grow up to be. Three different classes are demanding, but she still enjoys the three different cultures that come with each class.

 

Last year, Meza taught at El Diamante as a student teacher for Mr. Billingsley (a biology teacher). Being a student teacher helped her know where she wanted to be. At first, she wanted to teach at Redwood, her alma mater. At El Diamante, she realized how involved the science department is with their students and how much the kids are challenged. It felt like home to her. Luckily having taught here already, she is very comfortable with block schedule. She thinks it works best for the students, and it allows the concepts to sink in. At El Diamante, there is plenty of time to help her students and improve their grades.

 

When Meza is not at school, she is usually chasing around her rambunctious three year old daughter. The activities she enjoys with her daughter include painting, gymnastics, and visiting family. Even though her freshmen classes can sometimes act the same as her daughter, she knows to treat them with respect because she expects that her daughter is getting the same respect from her teachers. She has also taught in France which helped her experience different cultures and situations in the classroom. She aspires to go visit France sometime next year.

 

Ms. Meza hopes to have an amazing first year and continue to teach at El Diamante which has become a home for her. Using her experience as a student teacher at the school and as a teacher in France, she wants to help mold and mentor her students to the best of her ability.

 

The Man of Today’s Society: Misha Collins

by KIERSTYN WILBOURN

Staff Writermisha-collins

What could one small random act of kindness do to our society? Misha Collins, a man who plays one of the starring roles on The CW’s hit show Supernatural, pondered the same question. It wasn’t long until Collins decided to take action.

 

Five years ago, Misha Collins founded The Greatest Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. The foundation G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. was launched to help benefit the show Supernatural in winning a People’s Choice Award. Collins is still in charge of the foundation today and has brought home several World Records; eight to be exact. Records such as the longest chain of safety pins, largest gathering of people dressed like French maids, and the longest human chain to pass through a hula hoop. By benefiting society, Collins has donated thousands to charity and turns his social media into a positive atmosphere as he encourages others to donate to charity and volunteering in their local communities.
Not only has Misha Collins founded G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S., but Collins is also the Co-Founder and Board president of the Random Acts of Kindness organization. Random Acts believes that anyone should do their own random acts of kindness wherever and whenever. On February 12, 2016, Collins teamed up with Jensen Ackles (who also plays a starring role in Supernatural) and created the You Are Not Alone campaign. The campaign was created to help support the SPNFamily crisis network, a community that offers support for people suffering from disorders such as depression and anxiety. Fans helped support the campaign and network by buying shirts with the Y.A.N.A logo on it and standing behind the two actors proudly. Collins’ great achievements in society conclude that one small act of kindness can travel a long way and benefit anyone in need of a helping hand.