by Sinay Gomez, Staffwriter
The Devils’ Advocate
Letterettes has come back for a new semester and they are ready to give it their all once again. This upcoming year, they have lots to look forward to. They will be performing for halftime shows, assemblies, and even parades. Letterettes is a mixture of everything like dancing, marching, drill, and boards. The girls get to be part of this amazing team. This is the second year since Letterettes have made a comeback to the SUHi family. Last year was the first year since ten years ago that Letterettes made a return. Mrs. Guzman, our dance teacher, decided to bring backs Letterettes so it wouldn’t be forgotten, and so that SUHI would know what Letterettes is all about.
What many students don’t know is that it takes a lot of work and dedication to be part of the team. Using those boards isn’t as easy as it looks. They have to practice and practice until they get it. Learning a dance can be complicated for some, but dancing, using boards and marching is a whole different story. The girls need to learn how to do a little bit of everything, such as spinning the board or even throwing them and catching them while dancing. For some it might be easy, but for others it takes more time and effort.
Many SUHi students didn’t know what Letterettes were until last year. The team dedicates their time and effort to making sure they represent SUHi the way it should be presented – with pride, with spirit, with dignity. Another exciting thing the team has to look forward to is their new coach. She’s a SUHi alumna who graduated in 2012 and was part of Advanced Dance and Cheer. During her middle school days at Granger, she was involved in color guard as well. She’s Silvia Rodriguez, also known as Coach Silvia.
She’s grateful for the honor she’s received in the opportunity to coach this year’s Letterette team. This team has a lot to look forward to, especially with a new coach in the second year since its comeback. But no worries, with all their hard work and effort, it will be worth it in the end.
by Angelica Fontanilla, Staffwriter
The Devils’ Advocate
Finally! It’s the time of the year that many young Lady Devil athletes look forward to – Volleyball Season! Now that the 2016-2017 Ladies’ Varsity Team has been finalized, the team looks forward to another successful season. The Varsity Volleyball Team has won two consecutive banners since the 2014- 2015 season, making them a team to defeat by several schools in the Metro South Bay League.
With their hard work and dedication, they hope to obtain another opportunity to make Sweetwater proud and to display another banner at the end of the season. In order to work towards this goal, the ladies practice every day after school. Although volleyball is meant to be an indoor sport, the extent of their hard work can be seen through the multiple laps that they run together at the beginning of every practice. Moreover, they continue to build their strength in the weight room. Their hard work and dedication allow them to continue to build team chemistry and skills.
The team’s success, of course, would not be possible without the endless support and coaching from Sweetwater alumni, Coach Erick Hernandez. Coach Hernandez constantly encourages the ladies to continue to be competitive and determined. Not only does he take his time to coach the team, but also he helps them out individually in order to make them better. Every year, the competitiveness increases; Coach Hernandez ensures that his team is ready for any type of competition that they must face.
The ladies’ success on the court is not only derived from their constant hard work and the coaching of Coach Hernandez, but also support from friends, family and of course the highly spirited Red Devil fans highly contributes to the accomplishments of the Lady Devils’ Varsity Volleyball team.
by Jeffrey Cardinez, Staffwriter
The Devils’ Advocate
Sweetwater High School is known for being spirited and enthusiastic about participating in school activities, such as spirit weeks. Many clubs on campus help define what makes Sweetwater such a spirited school. One of the many clubs that helpz rally the students is our very own Marching Band. Band is not only a club, but also a huge family. All members treat each other like brothers and sisters. They have experienced the thick and thin throughout their high school lives. All members can count on each other.
This connection carries over into their performances. The Band creates clusters of spirit for all to enjoy. If it’s a football game, you can count on the band to give a spirited and astounding performance. Assemblies are no different. They play as they would at every event, as a family.
A new year has gone by, and so have the drum majors. For the 2016-2017 school year, Steven Rojas and Carrie Zheng have taken the opportunity to guide their band to success. When Steven and Carrie were asked what their plans are for Sweetwater’s band this year, Steven states: “…to push everyone as far as they can go to really bring out the best performance we can give. The name of the game is improvement; and I really want us to look great and sound great, and then feel great about it.” Carrie states: “My plan for band this year is for everyone to have fun at the football games… and for our band family to grow.”
We expect amazing things from band this year. So, listen well, Red Devils. The drums have already started beating.
by Marina Garcia, Staffwriter
The Devils’ Advocate
There are about 2,000 students attending Sweetwater High School. All of these students come from different places and have different stories to tell. However, there is one story in particular that deserves to be shared. Senior Antoine Serrano’s story is one worth listening to. He was born in Chula Vista in April 1999. He lived in Tijuana for most of his life until his family moved back to National City in 2013. His first year at Sweetwater wasn’t a walk in the park. Coming from Mexico, Antoine spoke very little English, so trying to fit in was a challenge. Students would bully him for not knowing how to speak English and would make fun of his accent. “I was trying to get better with my English, but those people didn’t know that I was struggling so much. I still tried to learn from my mistakes so that they would not know that their comments affected me,” he said. However, that didn’t stop this bright student from achieving greatness. By the end of his freshman year, he was placed in ELD 7/8, a regular English class and moved from bilingual math to a regular math class. He also received an award for having the highest GPA in his class.
As a result of his hard work and dedication, Antoine has had many opportunities and has attended many summer programs throughout his high school years. He was accepted and received full financial aid for the programs Upward Bound at UCSD, and the COSMOS program for Engineering Design and Control of Kinetics Sculpture. He also went to Stanford Pre-collegiate Studies and learned about Engineering.
Antoine is the first in his family to plan on going to college. He wants to attend Stanford University and hopes to major in Aerospace Engineering. His goal is to go to college and always try to become better; this has made him stay focused on his grades. His teachers, especially Ms. Claudia Tellez, have been there to provide support for him since 10th grade. Today, he is currently taking four AP classes, and is President of the Robotics Club at Sweetwater High School. Antoine didn’t expect to be where he is today. His advice to underclassmen is to set goals for themselves, take advantages of the opportunities offered here in the U.S., and always stay confident.
Antoine’s story is living proof that anyone can accomplish anything. He continues to surprise his peers and teachers with his determination and wit. Thank you, Antoine, for being an inspiration for hopefully many generations of Sweetwater students to come.
by Rocio Nava, Staffwriter
The Devils’ Advocate
Hours and hours spent studying and learning may sound like a drag, but to SUHi’s decathletes and coaches it is an honor to be part of Academic Decathlon. Students and coaches alike work hard every day to ensure a place in the county and state competitions.
This year, Decathlon is delving into the depths of World War II – everything from atomic theory to the roots of Hitler’s rise. It takes a lot of time and effort to absorb all the information, but Decathlon is made up of students who genuinely enjoy learning. “It’s so easy to teach people who want to learn,” says Mrs. Hall, the coach for literature.
Generation after generation, Academic Decathlon has been a part of Sweetwater. SUHi’s own Ms. Garcia and Mr. Arreola were once decathletes themselves. Every day students are “exposed to different topics you wouldn’t have ordinarily studied,” shares Mr. Arreola. Decathlon is for people who gather their passion for knowledge and their competitive drive to represent Sweetwater. The team’s dedication is what has allowed them to be so successful. That and the appreciation for the close-knit community which they have developed for each other.
Decathlon serves a greater purpose than just scoring points at competition. It shares the underlying message that Sweetwater is just as intelligent, hard-working, and driven as any other school. When Ms. Garcia leads the decathletes, she knows that the team is breaking down stereotypes and crushing prejudices. All Red Devils stand alongside the decathletes as they show SUHi’s excellence and bring more banners home.
by Fernando Cardenas, Staffwritter
The Devils’ Advocate
As a new year begins, clubs and sports outreach for new members who are interested in what that club or sport have to offer. The Academic Decathlon program here at Sweetwater High is no different, as they have contributed greatly to the school with banners, trophies, and plaques. This year experienced players and rookies will continue to embark on a journey to achieve first place in the county and advance to state championship.
Every year is slightly different as a new family is made with the varying perspectives of the team members who really want to make a difference. Intelligence is not a factor emphasized; it’s all about the willingness and perseverance to never quit, to strive, to always be motivated at all times. All Red Devils hold the paintbrush that encourages and guides Academic Decathlon, and other sports, towards a better tomorrow. It’s not just the team that gives back to the school, but the Red Devil spirit of the whole school that gives back us students, whether you are a teacher, principal, student, or any other staff member.
If you are interested in joining Academic Decathlon, stop by Ms. Garcia’s room after school. We’d love to meet you!
by Piolo Teo Maling, Staffwiter
The Devils’ Advocate
Word around school has been spreading about a new club on campus that welcomes students who have recently arrived from other countries and who are learning to speak English with open arms. This new club is a place where anyone can just be themselves without worrying about harsh judgment by the public nor be afraid to socialize with anyone. This club was born from the notion that new, international students spend much of their school day isolated from the general population because they are in bilingual classes, or they may even self-isolate because they are shy or embarrassed about the language barrier. However, we believe that students will learn English more quickly and integrate into our school community faster if they are invited to do so by the students who are already here and involved in the school culture. It’s a little bit like Link Crew, but this club is targeted towards English Learners and is ongoing throughout the year. This new club is known as the Cultural Connection Committee, and its advisor is Mrs. Ojeda.
The club – Cultural Connection Committee, also known as 3C – has been established on the idea of spreading awareness of the egregious effects of language barriers. It is founded on the desire for new students from other countries being able to be comfortable around the school while spreading school spirit and participating in school activities. Sadly, these students do not always have the ability to let their voices be heard due to the language barriers that prevent them from easily sharing their thoughts with the public. Many students on campus are able to communicate well with other students; however, what about the students who are unable to converse with their fellow students due to English not being their primary language?
If you want to be a part of helping SUHi’s newest students become part of our Red Devil family, you are welcome to join us on Fridays at lunch in Room 306. 3C does not require bilingual or multilingual speakers or anyone with spectacular skills in order to be a part of the club – no matter who you are, this club needs YOU!
by: Leslie Gallarzo, Staffwriter
The Devils’ Advocate
Thinking of the future can be overwhelming at times, but it’s bound to become our present and even our past. Some anticipate the future while others dread it becoming the past. Coming into high school can be so scary, to think that in about three years you will be those seniors who know where everything is on campus and are getting ready to apply to college. I’m telling you now, if you try your hardest for those A’s and B’s in every class, you’ll feel so relieved when senior year comes. Keep your goal in mind: to know that for sure you will graduate and be ready to move on to college, which is the next step in life.
Don’t slack off in any year during high school. It will have a huge impact on your life. No matter what you think, high school will influence the way the rest of your life goes. Never underestimate the power of your grades in high school because they can either take you very far or not far at all.
Don’t forget to also get involved in school. Colleges look at your extracurricular activities. It’s not all about grades; it’s also about how you multitask. Are you able to socialize well with those in your class? Get in all those extra community service hours early so that your senior year you will be able to just chill and only worry about applying to universities. Don’t forget to also get in those practices for SAT/ACT exams junior year. Colleges check the scores, and they can have a serious impact on your college applications.
Even though this may seem like too much information, don’t worry; you’ll get it sooner than you think. All this advice is for your own good. Don’t go thinking you have a long way to go before senior year. Last I knew, I was barely in freshman year orientation. But time flies when you’re occupied with life. So, you might as well make the most of it. Your future starts NOW.
by Cristian Contreras
The Devils’ Advocate
The historic statue that sits in the front of our school that represents our school’s pride and history has been there for a very long time. Everyone who attends our school knows that this aged statue is in the front of our school, but it wasn’t always there. For the longest time, this historical monument resided in the back of the old gym.
This statue is made of marble and looks taken care of, but the plaque that lays on the statue is very worn. Only under close inspection can the words “Sweetwater High, Home Of The Red Devils” be seen. Yo can tell that the plaque has seen better days, but the base and the statue overall are in great condition for its age. For many years, the school has been adorned with this statue, filled with history and fond memories. Many teachers have the campus and that statue in their hearts for eternity. Some examples of staff who attended this school include Ms. Gavin, our beloved principal; Mrs. Amezcua, a super English teacher; Ms. Haynes, one of the most patient math teachers; and many more.
Ms. Haynes speaks of old memories and majestic thoughts of her past. As she shares all her memories of the statue, her words formulate a mental picture for current Red Devils. I, for example, saw a younger version of her sitting on the stairs. She said how she remembers being young and how every morning her grandfather who once was an assistant principal would walk up to the statue and rub its head for good luck. She said that as part of that legacy, to this day, every day when she first appears on campus she rubs the head of the Devil statue and she believes it gives good luck.
SUHi is a great school, and the statue is filled with history and mystery. Go ahead, give it a try. Go get yourself a little SUHi luck on your way through our main hallway. You never know, it just may help you on that Calculus test or that English essay.
by Angie Nava, Staffwriter
The Devils’ Advocate
With the new school year comes great opportunities to expand thoughts and even greater opportunities to shine. SUHi Media, also known simply as Media, seems to be taking advantage of that this year. Media is an after school club in which students come together to make the school news, also known as The Red Devils’ Review. The students involved in Media are determined to get their peers involved in many ways, with hopes of creating a better environment. They report the school news in creative ways to get the other students’ attention and to get them more informed on what’s happening on campus. However, they don’t just want to report the news; they are determined to include the students’ perspective on things. In many ways, SUHi Media tries to be the voice of the students on campus.
What people don’t know is that Media is more than just another club at Sweetwater. Media is a family. Students who aren’t a part of Media don’t get to see what hides behind the screen. They don’t get to witness the chemistry between the students in the club. This can be seen and felt as soon as people walk into the Media room. Laughter is the first thing people hear as they walk into the Media room; the big smiles are the next thing to be noticed. The students in that club are there for one another, no matter the cost. It’s plain to see. SUHi Media has big plans they hope to accomplish this year, plans they hope to accomplish as a family together.