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A Baddude’s Journal Underrated Athlete Spotlight: Junior Caleb Slaughter

Photo by Grace Allen

Story by J.D. McKay

FC has been terrific at sports all four years I have been in high school, and we have had many talented athletes. This year, if you read The Bagpiper, you will probably see some names carry over from past years, athletes like senior kicker Cole Hussung, junior quarterback Tristan Polk, senior cross country runner Sydney Liddle, and senior soccer player Katie Yankey. All four people I named are extremely talented and have earned the attention given to them. 

However, there are other athletes who are also very talented. Athletes that often are not the highest point scorers, have the fastest times, or make the flashiest plays. These athletes can be very important players on the team, too. Their few points, several great tackles, or beautiful passes could push their team over the edge. 

This week, my athlete is junior football player Caleb Slaughter. Slaughter is a middle linebacker who is in his second year of football in high school. However, he started playing football as early as he could. He did not play his freshman year because he wanted to focus on baseball. But, his year off rekindled his love for the game. You can tell in practice that he does love the game again. 

As the “mike” backer, Slaughter understands his role. “The mike backer is typically the captain of the defense, so I view my role a little bit like that. But with both team captains being on that side of the ball, I let them lead and step up when I need to. I still take charge by calling the plays that coach Polk sends in to our DB’s,” said Slaughter. 

He understands the role of a middle linebacker, though. One of his goals is to win a sectional, and he knows to do that, his tackling will need to be top notch.

“I want to miss under eight tackles this year,” said Slaughter. “The lower that number is, the more likely it is we win games.”

Slaughter also plays a little bit of offense. He has the opportunity to get his name in the paper on that side of the ball by scoring some touchdowns as a fullback or tight end, but that is not his main goals. 

“My role on offense is to block and open holes so Wenkers (Wright) can score some touchdowns,” he said. 

Slaughter also fits into the student-athlete phrase. Slaughter has the team’s highest GPA and is in the top 10 percent of his class. He said being an athlete has helped in achieving such high grades. 

“The best advice I have ever been given related to sports was that everything I learn in sports will carry over to my day-to-day life now, and as an adult, said Slaughter. 

Slaughter probably does not get much attention because, as he said, “I want to help make the rest of the team look as good as I can.” But do not let that fool you. Even if Slaughter is making others look good, he will be one of the most important pieces of a defense that gave up just seven points Friday at Providence.

Football beats Providence 28-7 on Aug. 30

By Grace Allen

Anchored in Quality

Art by Sam Haney

Story By Daniel Anderson

As stated in the previously published review, progressive metal has been taking over independent labels recently due to the intricate and pristinely-made sound that bands of the genre typically produce. Bands such as Meshuggah and Periphery set a bar for the genre, known as djent, that many bands have since tried to copycat.

But as is for many genres, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Take Baroness for instance.

While still labeled as a progressive metal and rock act, this Savannah, Georgia based band has taken an opposite approach to the genre than most current prog acts. Instead of attempting to make their sound as clean and precise as possible, Baroness (as well as other contemporaries like Mastodon and Torche) combine the genres of sludge metal, alternative rock, and heavy psych into their sound.

It would seem that they have reaped the benefits from this. Since 2007, every new Baroness release (all color-coded, by the way) has been celebrated by the hard rock and metal communities. Their first two outings, The Red Album and Blue Record, were highly praised for their combination of heavy and compressed production of sludge with the technicality and finesse of prog rock.

In 2012, their double-album Yellow and Green, saw the band going in a more accessible direction. Despite still being well-received, these two remain a bit divisive among fans for going on that route. One could release the single “Take My Bones Away” in the mid-to-late 90s and it would be seen as another Foo Fighters-esque radio rock tune.

With their next release in late 2015, Purple, Baroness almost had a return to form. It served as a middle ground between their first two hard-hitting releases and the accessibility of Yellow and Green. The album was a tremendous success for the band, earning great sales, the adoration of fans and critics, and even a Grammy nod for the lead single, “Shock Me.” 

Because of this, it was no surprise that many, such as myself, were anticipating their newest release, Gold and Grey. And, unfortunately, opinions on the results have been split once again.

Like with Purple, it would seem Baroness is once again attempting to meld heaviness and accessibility. However, the accessibility has been slightly turned up a notch, perhaps not to the same level as Yellow and Green, but it is still a bit noticeable.

Should their approach be slightly tweaked, tracks such as “I’m Already Gone” and “I’d Do Anything” could probably released as pop rock ballads in the early 2000’s. 

Not to mention, there is also the tenth track, “Emmett – Radiating Light,” which comes across a Baroness’ attempt at an acoustic singer-songwriter track (like the poor man’s Mount Eerie or Sufjan Stevens). Yet the boring, deadpan vocals, and its inconsistency compared to the rest of the tracklist could make the listener question as to why the band would include this in the album at all. 

Speaking of which, one of the most irritating detractors of this record are the absurd amount of short, mostly-instrumental interludes it contains. Not only do most of them sound lazily composed, but they contribute nothing to this record in terms of pacing. If anything, these tracks all but kill the flow of the album.

Be not mistaken, this record may be laced with flaws in its tracklist, but that does not mean that Baroness went into this project without bringing some quality to the table.

Tracks such as “Tourniquet” and “Borderlines” demonstrate the fantastic songwriting, soaring vocals and tight instrumental composition that most people associate with this band. The thirteenth track, “Broken Halo,” which is a typical song by Baroness standards, is executed well enough to where it could be placed on the tracklist of Purple.

The eleventh track, “Cold-Blooded Angels,” particularly stands out among the other tracks by showcasing the band at their most dynamic. The track goes through numerous passages and transitions while still keeping up a top-notch vocal performance from frontman John Baizley.

Despite this, the most major misstep on this record prevented me from enjoying this album any further: the production.

For most, if not the complete duration, this album is absolutely plagued with a jarring amount of technical flaws. On the opening track, “Front Toward Enemy,” the guitars and the bass are mixed together in such a way that they sound as if they are falling over one another. Also, the drums get so lost in the mix that the cymbals are really the only parts that are noticeable.

Even worse, the vast majority of these tracks suffer from the same or similar issues in production. Perhaps the worst case of these drums comes about with the final track, “Pale Sun.” Not only is it unfulfilling for an album closer, but the cymbals near the end of the track border on being white noise.

On some tracks, the opposite issue is also present. With the third track, “Seasons,” the drums finally become noticable, but that comes at the cost of the guitars and bass, which are consequently buried beneath them. The latter is also drowned out significantly on “Borderlines.”

Issues with this album’s production could potentially continue for another few paragraphs, but underlying all of this is the most frustrating aspect to me: 

Baroness has never been known for being the best-produced band out there. The difference here is that the muddy and compressed mixing of previous efforts was a part of their charm. Purple, for instance, has a level of production that is almost as messy as what can be heard on Gold and Grey. But unlike this new release, Purple at least had a slightly gruffer approach in overall composition, so the mix compliments the album well enough.

Sadly, this is not the case for Gold and Grey. To have decidedly grimy production is one thing, but to dial it to a higher degree for a selection of songs that simply do not fit well with it is completely unnecessary.

This album could have been good, maybe even great when accounting for its highlights. What a shame that its greatest fault is something that could have been so easily prevented.

Standout Tracks:Tourniquet,” “Cold-Blooded Angels,” “Borderlines”

Score: 6/10   

Tracklist:

  1. Front Toward Enemy
  2. I’m Already Gone
  3. Seasons
  4. Sevens
  5. Tourniquet
  6. Anchor’s Lament
  7. Throw Me an Anchor
  8. I’d Do Anything
  9. Blankets of Ash
  10.  Emmet – Radiating Light
  11.  Cold-Blooded Angels
  12.  Crooked Mile
  13.  Broken Halo
  14.  Can Oscura
  15.  Borderlines
  16.  Assault on East Falls
  17.  Pale Sun

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kqi3ECPn2xHvZh4_pKWD-DxvdQAKcT3QQ

 

Members Initiate New Plans for the Environmental Sustainability Club

Photo by Olivia Anderson

Story by Chloe Finn and Brianna Waggoner

Senior Kylie Bostock stands at the front of AP environmental science teacher Randy Hein’s room as she grabs the attention of everyone there. Though she expected there to be at least a few interested students, she was surprised at how full the classroom looked. Desks were full of bustling people as everyone quieted down to listen to the club president.

“I think it’s fabulous to see so many people interested in the environment,” said Hein. “To see people at the grass-roots level–especially young people–it’s reassuring. It gives me hope.”

The Environmental Sustainability Club has two major projects starting this year: creating a garden and initiating a compost.

“I’m very excited about the composting program. I worked on that all summer,” said Bostock. “I was at IU for a week, and I learned about how they do composting [and] about all of their sustainability efforts, so I kind of took that knowledge down here. I can’t wait to start our transformation into a more sustainable school.”

Along with beginning projects, the Environmental Sustainability Club is adding an executive council to assist Bostock with responsibilities she previously handled on her own.

“I have been working hours every day contacting all of these different people to get this done. They’ll kind of take some of those responsibilities away from just one person or a couple people,” said Bostock. “It’ll be several grades of kids to where we can keep this club running for several years to come rather than just a group of seniors.”

Already, students are interested in joining the new council.

“I think that being put in a leadership position, I could make more of a difference than I would [to] be able to…help better the cause,” said senior Emma Kerr.

The club, which was founded late in the year, plans to carry out more action this year compared to last.

“Last year we began in the spring, so we didn’t necessarily have any government positions, and we didn’t have enough time to create any projects that we wanted to initiate,”  said Bostock.

The Environmental Sustainability Club encourages students to research and educate themselves on environmental issues and learn how they can combat those issues.

“I was in Mr. Hein’s AP environmental [science] class, and I’d always been into a more sustainable lifestyle as I was growing up,” said Bostock. “Once you learn about climate change and how our environment is being harmed every single day, it’s kind of hard not to take action, and so I looked to see what I could do and decided to start with the school.”

Through the club, students can improve upon the school’s sustainability efforts, especially for the younger children growing up now.

“Future generations are going to have to deal with what our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents have done, and we need to be the generation that stops that and starts moving in the right direction,” said Kerr.

Even outside of the club, students have chosen to take part in the community.

“This past year I have gotten very interested in sustainability, [such as] making the most out of the products that I own, and so I just wanted to get into a group of people that were going to extend that branch into different types of elements,” said senior Natalie Hartman.

Many students are interested in assisting the environment because of their own local environmental issues. Senior Garrett Martin joined the club because he believes FC lacks an earth-friendly atmosphere.

 “We’re trying as a club to take initiative and go places as groups to clean up [when] opportunities in the club arise,” said Martin. 

Senior Claire Elmore joined the club because of how poor she felt the environment might have become.

“The agriculture that we have locally, we need to watch to take care of that. Even the beach front where the Ohio River is, it’s so messed up, and the river is [very] polluted, and there’s trash surrounding all of that,” said Elmore. “I think having monthly cleanups just in that area would get the community involved.”

Although the club is relatively new still, members have already put in effort into helping the environment.

“Over the summer, we did [help] Purdue in a pollinating day and clean up at the Falls of the Ohio and things like that,” said Martin.

In creating an Environmental Sustainability Club, students hope to inspire others to help the environment around them.

“I think that people just seeing [that] educators and students are interested in living more sustainably and having resources that are shared such as a community garden…it might make other people think, or they might be able to see how that’s modeled, and then they might be able to implement that themselves,” said Hein.

Hartman hopes for the club to continue to grow through the years.

“[The club] will affect people generationally, not be one of those things where a senior starts it and senior finishes it. It’s not a one-year thing, it’s a continuous thing we’d like to keep,” said Hartman.

Martin is looking forward to share his experiences with others within the club.

“The club is important to me because it can leave a lasting impact on the school, and while we move on, we can still hand it down to the people behind us. I look forward to having a wide range of students, not just students fully in science classes, fully in that science route, because I’m not on that science route myself. So I’m just excited to bring a bunch of people together from this school; different grades, different atmospheres, and come together,” said Martin.

The club groups students together and allows them to form their own ideas.

“[I like] being in connection with people with similar ideas that I have, and it’s really nice to hear the ideas of professors and people above me that have been working in this field for a very long time, since I want to pursue a field in most likely environmental law and sciences in general. I’m really interested in it, and this is a way to educate myself so that I’m more prepared for the classes and just anything I do in college and in the future,” said Hartman.

Unfortunately, the club mostly consists of seniors, which puts it at risk of losing most of the members by next year. Kerr mentioned that if underclassmen do not join soon, the club may disappear.

“If you guys are underclassmen, definitely get your friends to sign up. We need more underclassmen [because] a lot of us are seniors, so once we graduate it might be a smaller club, unless we get underclassmen,” said Kerr.

Elmore, however, is excited to see the future of the club in the coming years.

“I look forward to hopefully seeing this community–this club–grow, like once we get divided into committees, I look forward to seeing those individual committees grow,” said Elmore. “The number one thing I’m looking forward to is seeing the student body get more involved.”

Elmore is hopeful that the club can improve the sustainability for the future generations.

“We’re the future generations, we’re the future adults, the future politicians, presidents, doctors, [and] it’s our job to watch what we’re doing now because it’s going to affect how we live later,” said Elmore.