The underhanded free throw is the lost art of basketball

By Zach Goblisch, Aviator Features Editor

Free throws: Just a player, the ball, and the hoop. As a basketball enthusiast striving to one day coach basketball at the high school level, I am well aware that free throws can make or break a team’s chances of winning the game.

The term “free throw” makes the shot seem much easier than it is. It takes a significant amount of time for a player to develop a rhythm and pattern that becomes proficient on the court when standing at the “charity stripe.”

Some habits or shooting forms are significantly different than others, including Houston Rockets rookie Chinanu Onuaku.

Some players kick a leg, and others dribble the ball a certain number of times. I personally have a specific breathing pattern I go through that best prepares me for the shot. Onuaku, on the other hand, uses a shot form that has been most notably used in careless shoot arounds in the driveway: the classic underhand “granny” shot.

What many people are unaware of is the success of the underhand free throw. Looking at the physics behind it, the backspin produced by the ball creates a reverse spin as to where the ball is going; this greatly decreases the chances of the ball clanking off the rim in various directions.

In addition, the arcing path which the ball takes is a much straighter and direct path than the one normally taken by a more conventional shooting form, which gives the player more control.

Statistically, the underhand shot has proven successful in the cases of many NBA greats. NBA Hall of Famer and 12-time all star Rick Barry was one of the first players to use the underhand free throw, and he finished his career with an 89.3 percent free throw percentage, which ranks fourth all-time.

Calvin Murphy, who ranks eighth on that same list, shot 89.2 percent from the free throw line with the underhand technique.

While Onuaku has not had quite the success from the line in the past, the history of players that used the underhand free throw shows that with practice, it can become a deadly weapon.

It has also brought the question as to whether or not players that struggle from the line should make the transfer to the underhand free throw. Players like Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons and DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers, who average 38 and 42.1 percent respectively, are players that have been discussed as possible players to make the switch.

While we may not see Coach Winchester teaching young athletes how to shoot underhand free throws, the so-called “granny shot” will forever be the lost art of basketball.


Science Talks will bring job experiences to DPHS students

By Mandy VanRens, Aviator staff writer

All students will eventually have a job. However, some people still don’t know what they are going to do as they become adults.  

This Thursday, Oct. 20, students can experience people coming in to talk about their real-life jobs in the science field. The event is called “Science Talks.”

Mrs. Jacqueline Mirkes, who helped set it up, explains, “They’re going to be talking about their field and trying to give students information about different types of careers that might be available. They’re trying to show different areas of science that we might not think about in our normal lives.”

Students can go to listen to the speakers during 2nd through 8th hour, discluding 6th hour.

The speakers visiting us this Thursday include:

*Colleen Geurts, Sustainability and Renewable Energy (2nd hour)

*Dr. Matthew Petersen, Will You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? (3rd hour)

*Dr. Jaime Stearns, A Physical Chemistry Approach to Next Generation Spacecraft Technology (4th hour)

*Melanie Colvin, My Job in a Laboratory (5th hour)

*Nate VanderVest, The Use of Science in Assessing and Training of an Athlete (7th hour)

*Raymond Shanle, Biowarfare (8th hour)

As the second annual “Science Talks” quickly approaches, Mirkes’s hopes are high that it will go as well as last year.

“I’m really excited about it this year,” she said. “I think last year was amazing. We had some people talk about current topics and this year will be the same. We have topics that people are flying in from other states to tell De Pere High School students about, so it’s really cool. I’m excited about what they have to share.”


Clown epidemic comes to NE Wisconsin; officers stress safety

By Zachary Goblisch and Emma Jo Hirschy

In the darkness of the forests and on the side of a lonely road, a fixed smile stares at you within the swallowing shadows of the night. As you become closer in contact with the individual, it comes clear that it is a clown, not just an ordinary clown blowing up balloons at a child’s birthday party; it is a clown that is looking to shake up the night.

The worst nightmare of many people has come true: clowns roaming the street, terrorizing those they come across.

Situations like these have been portrayed in viral videos which have taken social media by storm after the “creepy clown” epidemic swept the nation.

On Sunday, Oct. 9, eight schools in northeastern Wisconsin had to cope with a possible threat, posted on Facebook by an account displaying a terrifying clown image. The statement of the anonymous account read, “schools that WE will be targeting on Monday, October 10, 2016 are: Southwest, East, West, Preble\Washington, Franklin, Lombardi, Edison, East Depere, West Depere.”

The post was later identified as a hoax, but now De Pere Police are on the lookout for suspicious clowns roaming the city, especially with Halloween nearing the corner.

“A lot of the clown incidents are just people trying to have fun and scare people,” pointed out Jedd Bradley, a former De Pere HS liaison officer.  “We are worried about them trying to scare the wrong person and that person taking matters into their own hands and harming the person that is the clown.”

Bradley did mention that people should expect to see clowns within the next few weeks with the hectic atmosphere brought along with Halloween.

“I wouldn’t take it any differently than normally seeing a person dressed as a clown,” Bradley cautioned. “Just because of the heightened awareness of it I would be careful for sure.”

If an individual comes across a clown in the weeks to come, Bradley advises that they should “not approach the clown and just avoid the situation in general.”

In the case that a suspicious clown is spotted, an investigation will be opened to determine the meaning behind the mask.

“I guess it [would be] just like any other reaction as in law enforcement,” says Officer Arkens, DPHS’s liaison officer.

“It’s not against the law to dress up in a clown outfit, and it’s not against the law to walk the streets in a clown outfit, as long as people are acting within the confines of the law, they are fine,” says Arkens.

“I would not suggest that they carry any type of weapons or make any types of threats. Don’t approach people and threaten them, or cause any type of disruption. Other than that, they aren’t breaking any laws; but if people feel that there is something suspicious is going on, they should immediately contact the police and we will investigate.”

On the other hand, police do believe that the clown hype will come to an end soon. Bradley says that he feels “that it is people looking for attention. Just like the Pokemon, it will go away quickly.”

School beautification plan can’t come soon enough

By Maya Steele, Aviator staff writer 

Most people agree that De Pere High School isn’t the prettiest building in the world, having been built originally in 1976 with two later additions; furthermore, the discussion of the school aesthetics has skyrocketed since the recent school advertisement video.

What should we do to improve the look of our school? Administration, students, and teachers all have ideas.

Principal Nick Joseph said that how the school look impacts others’ views of it,

“It does matter…It is very important, so we’re hoping to chip away at that,” he said. “There are some things I am working on that we’re hoping to get there, but right now we just don’t have the final plan in place and then with that would be the finances that allow it to happen.”

The plan of improving school aesthetics is great; however, the plan is not ready to be put into motion and will take time.

Students also have a few more immediate ideas of their own. Freshman Jared Fietz agreed the school could use visual improvement.

“I feel like an art club could really help it,” he said. “Because adding it to the STEM program would make it STEAM, and it could really help people.”

STEM is an advanced placement program with various school subjects, but it currently lacks art as a subject. With many students excelling at art, it would be a good chance for students to help improve the school in a visible way.

However, long-time art teacher Jennifer Beyers says, “A few times we’ve had classes paint the small artwork you might notice above or near some teachers’ doors but with mixed success, limited time, and few resources.”

Later on she also recalls, “In my fifteen years at DPHS, three different teachers have tried to get the Art Club off the ground, but we haven’t found the right formula yet.”

From Beyers’s perspective, art is not quite the solution to the school’s beauty problem, and the solution may need to be found somewhere else.

Another interview with senior Bryanna Cappelle reveals the school has needed aesthetic improvement for many years, and she has another take on it.

“It kind of looks like a prison; I’m not going to lie. I think it just needs more windows, more openness. The windows are all so small,” she said.

Most of the windows in classrooms at De Pere High School are less than a foot wide often making them seem quite cramped.

With everyone having different ideas on changing the school’s appearance, I hope to see an improvement soon especially with the commons and main hallways.

Forget all the rumors: Drug testing at DPHS does not target students

By Cullen O’Keefe, Aviator staff writer

According to a 2008 study by the National Drug Abuse Institute, 14 percent of schools in the United States conducted random suspicionless drug testing on their students.

Almost all of those schools drug test athletes, while 65 percent test students in clubs, and 28 percent test all students. But are these tests really suspicionless?

This is a topic I hear many students here at DPHS discussing with their peers.

I’m sure if you’ve talked about DPHS’s drug testing policy with your peers you have heard at least one person suggest that the drug testing isn’t suspicionless and that administration singles out certain individuals.

Students begin develop this theory after they’ve been tested more than just a few times. However, if the school was violating its “suspicionless” policy, it would be illegal to call it suspicionless drug testing.

Kids need to get it out of their heads that school authorities are out to get them because they aren’t. They’re here to ensure the kids’ safety and make sure they aren’t doing things that could ruin the rest of their lives.

If you are a sketchy kid who looks like they consume drugs on the regular, of course the school is going to be more suspicious of you, but that doesn’t mean you have a greater chance of being drawn for a drug test.

For every club/sport you participate in, your name is entered an extra time for random drug testing. Add on the extra entry with ownership of a parking pass, and you have more entries than you might be comfortable with.

Of course, there is always the off chance that the school is lying straight to our faces and is singling out students for drug testing, but the chances of that are slim to none.

DPHS is a professionally run school with a good reputation, so violating their own policy would ruin our public image. Truthfully if your heart is set on football but you refuse to take random drug tests, you may as well start filling out paperwork to transfer schools because you’re not going to get anywhere with that kind of mindset here.

Personally, I feel that our administration does stick to their word when it comes to suspicionless drug testing. If students are uneasy about drug testing, it’s completely optional. If you don’t feel like chancing it, you can opt out of it with the repercussion of not being able to participate in extracurricular activities or school funded sports.


If we have to do standardized tests, they should have more meaning

By Aidan Rogan, Aviator staff writer

School-wide evaluation tests are, to many students, inevitable annoyances.

STAR, SRI, and more have eaten up entire days of class, forcing all of us to sit in front of a computer screen, answer question after question, guess “C” every time we have no clue what the stupid test is asking, and contemplate our existence in the infinitely spanning universe that we reside.

Meanwhile, we wait for class to end because we tried to get the test over with way too quickly, completely guessed on everything, and finished in 15 minutes, all while knowing none of this test will affect our grade.

Even though many resent it, I honestly don’t mind the actual tests that much. What bothers me is the fact that these “so-important-they-take-up-a-day-of-class-tests” don’t affect anyone.

At all.

I mean, sure, if someone scored a 350 on their STAR test, then yeah, that’s not exactly a good sign. But completely flunking a test like that isn’t random; they have probably already known that math isn’t their strongest suit, and they’re probably already getting help.

If I were to have a 40-point increase on my SRI by the end of the year, yet I dropped a grade-and-a-half in English and got a B-, what does that mean? What comes into play when evaluating my true skills in English, or any class, for that matter?

I believe the grade on their report card should be an all-encompassing, compiled grade, averaging the SRI/STAR score and in-class grades.

The big argument is, “Well, the district assessors look at your STAR and SRI! That’s how you’re monitored throughout your schooling!” But, why?

Why are those the big factors for the district? It’s very easy for a STAR or SRI grade to be a poor reflection of one’s actual skills in that subject.

I remember, back in 7th grade when I had just finished my district assessment for math — I went to a different school for 7th Grade, and I can’t remember the name of the test that we took — and, somehow, I got a good enough score on the test to make it into an advanced math class. But I knew that I really wasn’t too great at math back then (I was a B to B- student), and I knew that an advanced/honors math class wasn’t a great idea.

It’s also just as easy for someone who excels in some classes to not be placed in an advanced/honors class due to a lower score in a district assessment for that subject. District assessments, from my experiences, are inaccurate and can lead to improper reflections of a student’s academic abilities, and there needs to be a new system implemented if we are to have accurate evaluations of our skills that we’ve learned for anywhere between 9-12 years.


Having problems with the food

By Gwyneth Vang, Aviator Staff Writer

Over the years, many foods were changed and left a bad impression on the students who have to eat them. One could say that we’re just being picky, but the lunch is unsatisfactory.

Overall, the food could be given in a more desirable state to the students. Having better foods leads to less complaining from students, a decrease in food being wasted, and a cleaner lunch room.   

This issue has come up many times, and there isn’t much of a solution to help the kids. The teachers and staff want them to eat healthy, but some of the entrees at DPHS are better than others, and so often isn’t enough of it for the students in the last lunch.

Attending school isn’t fun to most kids, and I’m sure it’s no boisterous time for high schoolers either. Stressing out and then going to lunch where we look forward to eating with our friends and relaxing for those enticing 30 minutes is the most satisfying feeling at school.

Of course, some days I walk into the lunchroom and the food is just appalling. It is a small topic, but there is talk about it. Even the small things like spoiled milk are bothersome. Opening that milk carton, taking a big gulp and it’s all chunky in your mouth. Worst feeling ever.  

We live in Wisconsin, a dairy state, and the cheese just isn’t the best.  Students who hate the cheese remove it and all that’s left is bread. When there is pizza, it’s so greasy they wipe it off and it’s revolting.

The fruits and vegetables that are served are very good and the school is feeding their students healthily. The De Pere District Food Service Department serves students by the USDA standards, requiring at least ½ cup of fruit or vegetables, grains must be whole grain rich, and the calories are limited based on age groups.

But the main entrees should fit more to the students’ tastes, some ways to bring back some foods or make lunches better can be to ask students and see what their preferences are or choose between a few lunch items to see what they like the most.