The Trojan Torch

Dyersburg High School's online newspaper


November 2017

Matt Lauer fired amid allegations

Sydney BevisReporter

Wednesday November 29, 2017, a day that all “Today” fans will remember for the rest of their lives. The day that Matt Lauer was fired from NBC News.

  Lauer has been a co-anchor for the “Today” show for the past 20 years and was also a reporter for NBC News. That morning Savannah Guthrie, Lauer’s co-anchor and fellow reporter for NBC News, announced, alongside Hoda Kotb, that Lauer had been fired from the NBC network due to a detailed complaint of inappropriate sexual behavior that took place after the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The complaint also said that this inappropriate behavior continued in the workplace after the original incident.

  Guthrie and Kotb were clear about the fact that they were heartbroken over the firing of their friend, but they had also not been informed on all of the details of the situation. Guthrie assured that NBC would fully cover this story and that all details would be told and not shied away from.

  NBC Chairman Andrew Lack sent a memo to employees of the network early Wednesday morning about Lauer’s misconduct and the effect of his firing. In the memo, Lack told that the complaint led to a serious review, and it was a very “clear violation of our company’s standards.”

  “Girls can just accuse guys of sexual harassment with no evidence, and everyone will believe them because no one wants to be the first to accuse them of lying,” senior Miller Edgin said.

  Whether Lauer is guilty or not, the allegation was enough to release him, but he will never be released from the hearts of the “Today” show fans.  

Schiano shut out

Dakota Turnbo – Reporter

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Fans had a different idea about who should be the new head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers this weekend when Athletic Director John Curried authorized the hiring of Greg Schiano.

The Tennessee Volunteers had its guy, its next head coach on Sunday, or so they thought. Greg Schiano was the man John Currie picked to save his job and, had the pick not been so tone deaf, the fans may have accepted it.

    Nevertheless, the pick was terrifyingly tone deaf to Volunteer fans. The fans wanted a big-name-hire and instead they got another Butch Jones. It is arguable that Schiano is an even worse coach than Butch given his losing record in the NFL and barely above .500 record at Rutgers.

    His obvious football deficiencies were not the reason he was attacked by Volunteer fans though, it was his possible knowledge of the Jerry Sandusky child rape situation when he was at Penn State that had the fans up-in-arms.

    Some fans really did not like the idea of someone who allowed child rape coaching their team and others simply used it as a scapegoat to get rid of an unpopular head coaching hire, but these two were indiscernible from each other since both cited the Penn State situation as the reasoning for not wanting the hire.

    Schiano allegedly knew of the Sandusky situation. Nothing was actually proven to say he knew, but Volunteer fans still jumped on the chance to get rid of a hire they did not like.

    This brings up the question of how much power should the fans have. They smudged the reputation of a possibly innocent man all because they did not like a hire. This type of situation would have never occurred if Currie knew what the fans wanted and actually listened to them.

    For the first time in what seems like a decade or more, the fans were finally heard and listened to at this program, but it seemingly destroyed a man’s reputation in the process.

Thanksgiving filled with tradition

Lexie George – Reporter

Ever since the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians celebrated the first Thanksgiving meal in 1621, families all across America have been honoring the holiday as well as adding their own customs and traditions along the way.

  Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year for travel. Most families just hop in the car and ride to their grandparents’ house to celebrate, but some families have to travel great distances to be reunited with their loved ones for the holiday.

  The foods served at Thanksgiving are usually the same in many households. Turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce are still the go to foods to serve at Thanksgiving; however, some families add their own twist to these common Thanksgiving favorites.

  “For Thanksgiving my family always eats dressing, mashed potatoes, lasagna and pecan pie,” junior Caley Randolph said.

  After the famous Thanksgiving meal, there are many different activities families do together. Some watch or play football, and some watch the huge parades that take place.

  “After we eat, my family fellowships and plays cards,” sophomore Mary Jennings said.

  Many people believe that Thanksgiving is the day to remember what you are thankful for.

  “I’m thankful for my friends and family,” sophomore Mallory Edgin said.

  “I am thankful for my health and the health of my friends and family,” junior Morgan Gonzalez said.

Gobble Gobble


Olivia Hayes – Reporter

It seems like just a normal day. Students arrive at school and go to their first hour class, like always. The first 40 minutes go by and suddenly the announcement bell rings. A turkey gobbles twice. A short look of confusion passes over the students’ faces, but then it turns to happiness and excitement. It is turkey day.

  Turkey day is treated like a religious pastime at Dyersburg High School. Games, prizes, food and special bracelets are all part of this big celebration.

   During each class period, a game is played by the students and teachers in hopes of winning a prize. The teachers were given a turkey, and the students were given the option of a sweatshirt or a cup.

  When the announcement with the turkey gobble comes on, the students number off from one to four.

  Then, a second announcement gives a sound of arrows shooting. The number of arrow shots can range from one to four, corresponding with the students’ numbers.   

  The students with the number matching the number of arrows shot will stand up, then determine which student’s birthday was closest to the teacher’s.

  A final announcement is made to announce which teacher has won. That teacher and student will win the prize.

  The most competitive aspect of turkey day is not the games but the bracelets. Teachers are given bracelets to pass out to students of their choice. Those bracelets are the gateway to a five-minute head start to lunch.

  Lunchtime is a replication of a basic Thanksgiving meal. The tables are dressed with tablecloths and placemats with festive fall colors.

  Turkey day is enjoyed by DHS students every year and has become a tradition that everyone in the school looks forward too.



All at my heart is in Havana

Alveena Nadeem – Reporter 

Fifth Harmony wasn’t as harmonious anymore after Camila Cabello left the group. Yet, she did not let this wedge between her and the rest of the group pull her down in her climb to fame. After she released her latest song “Havana” featuring Young Thug, her career shot up into the sky.

  “Havana” was released on August 3, 2017, and was released as a promotional single for Cabello’s upcoming debut album. The song’s catchy beat pulled in people all across the world, serving as one of the top ten songs in Australia, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland, while peaking at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.

  It begins with a low beat, making you bop your head along with the song, and this remains throughout the choruses. Cabello’s raspy and unique voice can be heard repeating the word “Havana,” which is the capital of Cuba.

  She sings about a man she falls in love with in Havana. However, she had to part with him and yearns to be “taken back” to him throughout the song. Though she repeats the same set of lyrics throughout the majority of the song, the unique beat and Young Thug’s short rap scene emphasizing her words can not keep the listener from mouthing the lyrics with Cabello.

   “This song tells a love story that shows Cabello’s true emotions and pain for her love. It’s great to listen to when you just want to dance,” junior Hannah McDaniel said.

  Though this song doesn’t hold any sort of deep meaning, it has a mesmerizing beat which you can lose yourself in. Cabello’s low voice and Thug’s words make you feel casual yet ready to dance, which is a great song to listen to when you’re at a party.

Dyersburg Wolves win Sikeston tournament

Cameron BussEditor

Dyersburg Wolves prepare for the second day of the Sikeston Tournament. Heading into Sunday they were 2-0 with one win needed to clench the tournament. 

This past weekend, on November 11 and 12,  the Dyersburg Wolves travel soccer team won a tournament in Sikeston, Missouri. There were four teams in this division, which consisted of all high school players. The Wolves played two games on Saturday and one on Sunday.

  The first team they played was the Fredericktown Sharks. In this game, they gave up a goal early in the first half to fall behind 1-0. The score stayed the same until there were less than 10 minutes remaining in the game. At this time, the Wolves were on the attack when the Sharks fouled them close to the goal; this gave the Wolves a free kick right outside the six-yard box. Senior Jayvin Brasfield took the free kick and scored, placing the ball in the top right corner of the goal. This goal tied the game at 1-1, and it ended in a draw.

  “I knew the game was on the line, so when the free kick opportunity presented itself, I wanted to be the one to take it,” Brasfield said.

  The next game was against the Paragould NEA Eagles. The Wolves won this game 3-0. Prior to halftime, sophomore Clay Welch scored a goal with an assist by sophomore Luke Medlin.  After halftime, freshman Israel Barbee scored a solo goal, and senior Cameron Buss scored with an assist by freshman Andrew Kerber. This win concluded the Saturday games, leaving one game to be played on Sunday.

  For the final game, the Wolves played Kennett Palmer; these two teams had already played each other once before this tournament. The winner of this game would become the champion of the tournament, with the loser being the runner-up.

  After the majority of the first half had passed, sophomore Brandon Miller scored a goal for the Wolves. Moments later, Miller drew a foul inside the opposing six-yard box. This awarded the Wolves with a penalty kick. The goalie blocked the kick, however, and deflected it back into the playing field. After a number of unsuccessful shots, sophomore Luke Schroeder scored a goal, giving the Wolves a 2-0 lead going into halftime. The Wolves played a more defensive strategy in the second half to ensure that Kennett did not score; thus, no goals were scored by either team after halftime. The Wolves won this game 2-0 and became the tournament champions.

Dyersburg wolves celebrate after winning the Sikeston Tournament on Sunday, November 12, 2017. 

Just the Beginning for Grace Vanderwaal


Mariah Webb – Section Editor

Grace Vanderwaal is an up and coming artist who rose to fame after a video of her singing on America’s Got Talent went viral on multiple social media platforms. She eventually went on to win the 11th season of America’s Got Talent.

  Vanderwaal has recently released her first full length album called Just the Beginning. The album has an indie feel to it. Her voice is very raspy, but the way she yells her most powerful phrases adds character to the songs.

  Her first single from the album, “Moonlight,” might have been my least favorite. I am not sure what it was about it, but I just was not feeling it. It may have been the fact that she started the album with that particular song. I just could not grasp onto the idea she was trying to convey. Maybe I am just shallow, and I understand that the girl is sad, but I do not get how they were dancing in the moonlight.

  However, I really enjoyed her happier songs like “More Than This,” “Escape My Mind,” and “Just a Crush.”  I think that the happiest tone better fits her. She is young, and I do not think her heavier songs fit her. Although, she does have a mature voice, she does not know how to use it, and the ones listed are happy and better suited her voice.

  Overall, I enjoyed the album. It was not something that I would listen to again though. It is just not a style that I am into.

Nazi Rally cancelled in Tennessee

Rebecca Reed – Editor

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Photo courtesy CNN.  Counter-protesters such as the ones in Shelbyville used signs to promote their cause to cars and pedestrians passing by.

200 miles. Approximately 200 miles is the distance between Dyersburg and Murfreesboro. After traveling these 200 miles, you can find parks, museums, farms… oh, and Nazis.

  October 28, 2017, The League of the South had a rally for their “White Lives Matter” campaign. Neo-Nazis joined the nationalists’ protest.

  What are ‘Neo-Nazis?’ They are Nazis. They are no different from the ones who came nearly a century before us. Neo-Nazis seek to revive the ideology of Nazism.

  Around 800 to 1,000 counter-protesters greeted the Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists. The second rally was cancelled because Murfreesboro was not worth the potential lawsuits to follow, according to Brad Griffin, the public relations chief of The League of the South.

  As a student who learned about the Holocaust in middle school, my initial thought was, ‘Who could ever do this?’ The fact that history is repeating itself with the revival of antisemitism is horrifying.

  However, we have to find hope in the small victory of the second rally being cancelled. There should not have been a rally to being with, but when discrimination arises it is our job to call out the wrong. If we do not speak up, who will?

  Those of us who recognize the wrong within these groups’ messages have to keep resisting. We have to show up to the rallies to counter-protest. We have to speak up about this. We have to fight back.

Sriracha by Marteen leaves people singing

Abbey Alley – Editor


What exactly is “the sauce?” In Post Malone’s “White Iverson,” one line states, “I’m saucin’, I’m saucin’, I’m saucin’ on you.” In “Feeling Myself,” Nicki Minaj spits, “Let me get a number two with some Mac sauce.” Rapper Gucci Mane once said, “If a man does not have the sauce, then he is lost. But the same man can be lost in the sauce.”

  Upcoming 16-year-old rapper Marteen recently released a single with a refreshingly literal take on “the sauce”: “Sriracha.”

  There was some negative hype surrounding this single in our reporting room before anyone even knew who would write its review; it arrived in our advisor’s email, and before the song even got a fair chance, it was labelled as trash because of its premise. The reporter who got this story was to be pitied.

  How encouraging.

  Eventually, my online article deadline rolled around, and I stole this article idea from a fellow reporter. Those were trying times. However, I could not write it. I sat down to write, and every time, my mind went blank. Writing a meaningful piece about a rap song is almost as hard as spelling the word “sriracha.”

 Listening to this song is not nearly as hard as writing about it. “Sriracha” is insidiously catchy. It seeps into every membrane of your body at an alarming speed; somehow I have learned all of the words, even the small “hypeman” words like “wow” and “that sriracha.”

  “Sriracha” is accompanied by a piano part, which is common for rap songs. Many Fetty Wap songs contain a piano sample. The difference, however, is that Marteen actually wrote the piano part for this song. The passage for piano is surprisingly coherent, containing a multitude of jazzy chords and a tiny chromatic sequence. In the music video, Marteen is shown playing the piano; I have no idea whether it is possible to fake playing the piano or not, but either way, it makes Marteen’s performance and talent that much more impressive and surprising.

  Marteen’s voice has a monotonous, hypnotizing quality that could rival only that of an Advanced Placement teacher during the first hour of a school day; after a few loops, you hardly notice that the song is still playing.

  Despite this minor pitfall, “Sriracha” is still surprisingly easy to listen to. Even if it seems meaningless and shallow at first, some joy is still found in its shoulder-raising beat and hilarious lyrics. It is hard not to do some type of dance with the type of beat that Marteen himself composed for this song; it is both modern and musical at the same time. Somehow, he combined the coursing, steady beat of Broadway style piano chords with a nice, typical beat.

  If I learned one thing from Marteen’s “Sriracha,” it is that music does not have to be completely serious or deal with a meaningful topic in order to be valuable or musically viable. Sometimes, looking for a good time in your music rather than the meaning to life or musical complexity is enough. In the words of Ingrid Michaelson, “Let’s not make it harder than it has to be.”

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