issue 6 the latest

Land acknowledgment

Eugene School District 4j, South Eugene High School, and your Axe Magazine online would like to acknowledge that our institution sits on the homelands of the Kalapuya people.

In the Treaties of 1851 and 1854-1855, and the subsequent forced removals of many Indian people from western Oregon, some of the Kalapuya were moved to the Grand Ronde Reservation and some were moved to the Siletz Reservation. It is important to note that all of Lane County was an important trading and gathering area for camas and other resources.

During the Restoration Era, from 1977-1989, Lane County was designated at the Service Area for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Coquille Indian Tribe, and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians.

Eugene 4J District and South wish to acknowledge that descendants of the original and Service Area inhabitants of this land are still here today. They are thriving members of our schools and our communities. Countless members of other Tribes now also call our community and schools their home.

We wish to thank those original stewards of this land. We as outsiders on this land wish to remember that we need to take good care of this land and take good care of all members of our school district and community. Thank you for joining us.

Land acknowledgement courtesy of Brenda Brainard.

Mission Statement

The Axe is dedicated to the goals and ethics of journalism. As a student-run publication, our mission is to both inform the student body and spark discussion among the student body about the news within South Eugene High School and the wider community. We function under an open forum policy. We accept and may use in our publication the feedback and commentary of our readers. Email all inquiries:

Covid-19 information

Check out the links below for information on how to get a Covid-19 booster, and places to get tested.

Places to get a booster

Places to get Tested


By Mira Ciccarello


Photo courtesy of Marston Scher

WOW Hall Shooting

EUGENE, Ore. – Six people were injured in a shooting on Friday, Jan. 14 at the WOW Hall downtown. The shooter has not yet been caught. Witnesses say that the shooter appeared to be a 5-foot-6 young man in a black hoodie. He was last seen sprinting down 8th Avenue with a gun. Residents of the area told KEZI news that when they heard the gunshots, it was “disorienting”, “intense”, and “scary”. They also noted that with the recent uptick in crime downtown they are considering moving to a different part of town. Police are asking anyone with any information on the shooter to call 541-682-5111. – By Marston Scher

Photo courtesy of Naomi Saenger

talent show week

From Feb. 7 to 11, South’s Student Government is hosting a talent show week in the gym at lunch! Taking place over the course of four days, with a break on Wednesday for the volleyball tournament, this talent show will feature various acts from all over the student body. Student Government is encouraging anyone and everyone to sign up using one of the many purple flyers with QR codes posted around the school. The top prize will be a $25 VISA gift card, second place will receive a $5 bag of candy, and third place will get a box of candy hearts as an early Valentine’s Day gift. – By Marston Scher

Photo courtesy of Alesa School Distict

alsea school district shuts down

ALSEA, Ore. – On Monday, Jan. 24, the Alsea school district was forced to shut down classes and extracurricular activities after a significant number of staff shortages due to the Omicron variant. This closure came just days after the school board and superintendent decided to put into effect a new policy that made masks optional everywhere at school except the bus ride. Ironically, Monday was meant to be the first day of this new policy being put into practice, but instead school will be closed until Wednesday. As of now there is no plan to reverse the new rule. – By Marston Scher

Photo courtesy of

new emeralds stadium to be built on lane county fairgrounds

The Eugene Emeralds is Lane County's beloved Minor League Baseball (MILB) team. Up until December 2020, they were affiliates of the Chicago Cubs, but now they are affiliates of the San Francisco Giants. When the Ems were acquired by the Giants, they also moved up from the Northwest League to the High-A West League. With the change in ranking also comes some new league standards, some of which PK Park – the Ems current home field – does not meet. These standards include requirements for a locker room for away teams and a separate restroom for female umpires. Because of this, Major League Baseball (MLB) informed the Ems they had until 2024 to find a new location for a stadium in the Eugene/Springfield area, or they would face relocation. In December 2021, Lane County and the Ems were able to strike a deal to build a multi-use stadium on the Lane County Fairgrounds. The Ems future is bright in Eugene with lots of games to come. – By Sophia Telaroli

Photo courtesy of

hike of the month – middle fork path

Even though it may not seem like it during these gray, soggy, frigid late-winter days, hiking weather is right around the corner. If you are looking for an easy scenic winter hike, the Middle Fork Path might be the one for you. This 4-mile, multi-use path can be easily accessed from Dorris Ranch or from Clearwater Park. The path runs along the middle fork of the Willamette River and has a smooth terrain that is ideal for wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles. Restrooms and information kiosks are available at both trail heads, and parking is free. Your furry friends are more than welcome, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. – By Sophia Telaroli

Photo by Natasha Dracobly

Upcoming: anti-racism advisories

Between January and May, a South Eugene High School staff, and now student, alliance that calls themselves STAR (Standing Together Against Racism), will be implementing five anti-racism advisories during second period classes through winter and spring terms. STAR was founded by former ELA teacher Audrey McDaris and SPED teacher Joel Kuiper in wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020. What started as informal conversations became a focused work group. STAR was awarded a grant in 2021 to support their efforts. The grant is actively being used to address racism at South. In collaboration with South’s Equity and Diversity team leaders Beth Keech and Hira Shamsuddin, these staff members are developing a series of advisories that kicked off Jan. 26 with a webinar and keynote speech by local educator and activist Dr. Johnny Lake. These conversations have long needed to happen at South, but racist social media posts before winter break hastened the timeline and intensified the urgency to get them started.

“The media posts accelerated our determination and highlighted the immediate need to bring the work out to students on a school-wide level,” Keech said. “We are excited to get this work going and to build a stronger community for all.” –By Sarah Dione

Photo courtesy of Corina Constantinov on

west coast tsunamis

On Saturday, Jan. 15, an early tsunami warning was signaled across the west coast due to a massive eruption of an undersea volcano near the Pacific nation of Tonga. Although the swells were not harmful once they reached the West coast, it gave researchers a lot to understand. A tsunami caused by an eruption is wildly uncommon. The waves travel differently than a typical tsunami, and there is no way to predict the size or evacuation period, because it has no easily identifiable magnitude.

This warning allowed Oregon to test out its new emergency alert system that was put in place in anticipation of the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. With the help of social media and local news outlets, word about the potential threat spread in just a few hours. More concerning, however, was locals' response to the threat. Rather than evacuating, local business owners in Seaside and other coastal towns reported that unusually large crowds of tourists lined up on the beach to watch for the tsunami. – By Mira Ciccarello

Photo courtesy of Kim Green on

covid-infected hamsters

On Jan. 18, Hong Kong officials announced that they would be humanely killing around 2,000 small animals, such as hamsters and guinea pigs, in response to the recent discovery that such animals can test positive for COVID-19. This happened in a pet store where an employee contracted the COVID-19 Delta variant, and several imported hamsters from the Netherlands did, as well. In addition, Hong Kong officials will discontinue the importation of small animals from Europe because they cannot rule out the possibility that COVID-19 is transmissible from animal to human. This is despite the CDC’s assurance that transmissions between animal and human don’t seem to increase the spread of the virus by that much. – By Bettina Wu

Photo courtesy of South Eugene Athletics

sehs cheer team wins first

On Saturday, Jan. 8, the South cheer team won first place at the Orange and Black Cheer Challenge, competing with all high school teams attending that day. The team is led by co-captains Mae Carleton (senior) and Grace Hess (junior), and coaches Rebecca Race and Stevie (who also happens to be South’s newest art teacher). Performing well rehearsed dances and impressive stunts, the team brought spirit to their routine and made viewers smile. – By May Lafer-Kirtner

Photo courtesy of Logan Williamson

south spring sports

Spring sports are starting up here at South, and all students are encouraged to sign up. Six South sports will be starting up this spring, including baseball, golf, tennis, lacrosse, softball and track. For team formation information and/or to sign up for one of these sports, go to the South website, click the “Athletics Registration” option under the “Athletics” menu, and follow the instructions. Hope to see you out there! – By Logan Williamson

Photo courtesy of The Center of Disease Control and Prevention

cdc critcism

Public health experts have recently criticized the updated Dec. 27, 2021 COVID-19 guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The update included shortening quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19 and isolation after a positive test result to a minimum of five days. Some experts pointed out that COVID-19 has a long incubation period, and after five days symptoms may not have appeared yet. The American Medical Association (AMA) released a statement calling the new CDC guidelines “confusing” and “counterproductive.” Central to many experts’, including the AMA’s, criticism was the lack of a negative test requirement to end isolation so early. The CDC updated the Dec. 27 guidelines again to include a recommendation for a test on day 5 of isolation or quarantine, but kept the quarantine length at 5 days. – By Natasha Dracobly


Photo courtesy of Sarah Elizabeth on

Is football dying?

By Logan Williamson

With football decreasing in popularity over the last couple of years, it begs the question, is football dying? Youth football membership has dropped from 2.5 million in 2008 to 1.9 million in 2018. High school football decreased in participation in all but seven states during that same time period. High school football participation in Oregon specifically has dropped by more than 20 percent in the last 10 years.

Here at South, we see the effects on our own football team: South hasn’t been able to field a full team since the pandemic began, and it's been a few years since we were able to field both Varsity and Junior Varsity teams.

When asked about football at South, Senior Logan Brown said, “There are a lot of issues in administration about not being able to get everyone excited to play.”

We can identify this decrease in participation in research on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and head trauma in recent years. CTE is the result of brain trauma which is caused by repeated hits to the head. CTE is seen in many athletes that have played football and other sports where the head is being repeatedly hit.

Another potential reason for the decrease in participation nationwide could be an increase in the popularity of another sport: Soccer, which is a year round sport and arguably less risky than American football, is gaining popularity at the professional level with the Major League Soccer (MLS) developing into a bigger league. South alone has more than 70 players over all of the boys’ soccer teams – more than three times as many as the football team had registered this fall.

sports section

nfl season recap and playoff predictions

By Dylan Stevens

This NFL season was a fun one, with games all season and many memorable moments throughout. The first week went as everyone expected, other than the massive 38-3 upset between the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers. This was unexpected because of how The Packers went into this game as the clear favorite, even on the road.

Fast forward a little to week five for plenty of drama. First off, [Team] QB Russel Willson suffers tendon damage, dislocation and fractures in his right middle finger,leaving him out for several weeks. This is a massive blow to the young Seahawks offense. Secondly, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigned after a total of six years with the team (1998-2001, 2018-2021) when past emails came out with hate speech that he used toward his own players.

As the weeks went on, some notable teams were struggling. Teams like the Seahawks – who hadn’t had a losing season in the Russel Wilson era – were below .500, or had more losses than wins, and just couldn’t seem to pick up momentum against up-and-coming teams.

Week 10 was when the true playoff contenders came out, with Buffalo, Baltimore, Tennessee and Kansas City as the leaders in the American Football Conference (AFC), and the Cowboys, Packers, Buccaneers and the Cardinals as the leaders in the National Football Conference (NFC).

The last nine weeks got very exciting as the Chargers, led by Eugene’s own Justin Herbert, fought for a playoff spot. It was an advance-or-go-home situation against the Las Vegas Raiders that could’ve sent one or both of these teams to the playoffs if a tie occurred. An all-around great game went into overtime on a last second touchdown pass from Justin Herbert to Mike Williams. Both teams wanted to win, but they knew that even with a tie, they’d both go to the playoffs. After a long fight in overtime, the Raiders kicked a field goal, and secured the win after the Chargers called a controversial timeout in late overtime. Many fans believe this was likely the best game of the season and the best possible way that the regular season could end.

With the Super Bowl playoffs now in full swing and the Wild Card round in the books, here are my predictions for the rest of the rounds.

Bengals Vs Titans: After getting their first playoff win in over 30 years in the wild card round, the No. 3-seeded Cincinnati Bengals will take on the No. 1 seed Tennessee Titans. I think this is going to be a great game, with the Bengals peaking at just the right time. It won’t be easy for them, though, as the Titan’s Derrick Henry– the unanimous best running back in the league– makes his return after a fracture in his right foot in week 8. I predict it will be a close one with the Bengals coming out on top, 21-17.

Bills Vs Chiefs: This is going to be the game to watch this postseason, with two dynamic quarterbacks [names?] who never fail to put on a show, especially when they play each other. Last year the Chiefs sent the Bills home in the same Arrowhead Stadium. I expect this to be an absolute shootout with the Chiefs coming out on top, 42-41.

Packers Vs 49ers: Looking at both teams previous seasons, this should be an easy game for Aaron Rodgers and the No. 1-seeded Packers.But so far in the post-season Jimmy Garoppolo has never lost to Aaron Rodgers. This should make it a fun one to watch, and should put everyone on an upset watch. However, I still have the Packers coming out on top, 28-17.

Rams Vs Buccaneers: This will be one of the better matchups this postseason. The Buccaneers are favored in this one, but they’re beat up and missing key players, especially in their secondary, which doesn’t help when going up against the triple crown winner. You never know what will happen with Tom Brady on the field, though. I think he will make things interesting. I see the Rams on top, 28-24.

Major league baseball lockout

By Dylan Stevens

Due to the MLB currently being in a lockout – the first one since the 1990 off-season – there has been a pause in professional baseball activities around the world. This isn't a surprise, as it's been brewing for a while now. The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the owners of MLB teams couldn’t come to an agreement on a new CBA this off-season after the previous contract expired.

A CBA is a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the two major parties in the MLB. Some details of the CBA include issues such as salary structure, minimum salary, details in free-agency, and the amateur draft. It’s extremely important to the running of the league, and if one party doesn’t agree to the terms, the deal doesn’t work.

On Dec. 1, 2021, the previous CBA deal expired, and the owners and MLBPA hadn’t yet come to an agreement. This led to the owners calling for a lockout, which freezes any transactions during the off-season and beyond if it extends into spring training.

Both sides are asking for terms that would both be beneficial and non-beneficial. For example, the MLBPA is asking for a significant reduction in revenue sharing. This would make it even more difficult than it already is for small market teams, who have a lower chance of landing big names stars due to not having the same amount of money to spend, to remain competitive in the league.

opinion editorials

Texas Synagogue taken Hostage

And my worries about the after effects

By May Lafer-Kirtner

On Saturday, Jan. 15, a reform Jewish synagogue’s members arrived for what they thought would be a regular morning service. Even Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker found nothing odd about the man who showed up on their doorstep that morning. The Rabbi saw this man, who he presumed was in need of help, and invited him in for tea. Cytron-Walker said that he remembered the man telling him a story and though the man’s history didn’t all add up, the Rabbi didn’t find this too odd. After all, many people often confuse events in their own history.

The man at the doorstep would turn out to be 44-year-old British national, Malik Faisal Akram. Just a few hours later, Akram would pull his gun on the few attending services (many stayed at home due to COVID-19), threatening their lives. Within a day, U.S. president Joe Biden had condemned his actions, and Akram was called a terrorist.

On Saturday, Jan. 15, I woke up and spent hours avoiding my homework. I didn’t go to services because I wanted to sleep in. I sat at the kitchen table – when a CNN alert popped up informing me that there were people being held hostage at a synagogue in Texas, I wasn’t shocked. I was afraid, and I was angry, but I wasn’t surprised – within the past years, so many attacks have been made against the Jewish community. I wonder what it says about the world that I am more surprised that there is a woman as vice president than I am that someone pulled a gun in a shuel.

That day, I pictured the perfect American terrorist: a young white man, blonde hair, absent parents, privilege dripping down his forehead like sweat. Then, it was announced that the suspect was a British Muslim man who had stayed at a homeless shelter in the past week – someone neither white nor priveleged. I wonder what it means that it took media only a few hours to label him as a terrorist, yet the man who opened fire in a synagogue in Philadelphia in 2018 and killed people, is still not ubiquitously known as one; that when I Google that day in Philadelphia, they call him a mass-shooter and an antisemite, but that white man is never once reffered to as a domestic terrorist. I do not have to wonder why people are so willing to call a terrorist a terrorist when he is a person of color; it’s the same reason police brutality continues, or the school-to-prison pipeline for children of color is ignored.

We are raised in a system that insists upon oppressing people of color, that teaches us hate before it teaches us to read.

On Saturday, Jan. 15, no hostages were injured or killed. But for 11 hours straight, their lives were threatened every second. The four hostages called their families to say “I love you” in case they wouldn’t ever be able to again. After the four men that were being held hostage escaped, a series of four loud bangs were heard, then one bigger explosion, and then three last shots were heard. An FBI team had used explosives to get into the building, and Malik Faisal Akram was killed by the team in a standoff.

On Monday, Jan. 17, I got asked by a classmate how I was doing because of the situation on Saturday. I told them the honest answer: I was afraid. When they asked me if I meant I was scared to be Jewish, I told them yes. I am scared for my aunt who works at my local shuel, and I am scared for my cousins who live in conservative states, and I am scared for my country that refuses to reform gun laws. I am scared for Muslim people. I am scared for lower class Americans, especially those of color, for the way I know there will be politicians who use this as an excuse to say that homeless people are dangerous. I am scared because of the way I know many people will use this moment as their scapegoat for why they want to eradicate Muslims. I worry for the way Fox News reports that the gunman had mental health issues in quotes and for the way people will say that mentally ill people are inherently dangerous because of that.

It was my people that were attacked. I blame this on the person who held the gun, the government that allowed him to buy a gun, and the bigotry that runs through this country’s veins.

Don’t use my fear as an excuse to hurt people – I don’t want their blood. I only want to not be afraid of someone spilling mine.

movie reviews

"The commando" movie review

Command this one out of sight

By Nico Scharn

The Commando is your typical January movie, although you could probably figure that out just by watching its trailer. In the U.S., January is one of a few “dump months,” where distributors, who are legally obligated to release a film, essentially “do their worst” due to lowered box office expectations as a result of depressed attendance rates after the holidays. This enables them to make more money on the better, more interesting movies by saving those for peak attendance. And The Commando fits the bill perfectly, because this steaming pile of Hollywood garbage certainly wasn’t going to profit a penny any other month.

The Commando, which takes place in New Mexico, claims to possess a plot, but ultimately wastes so much time building up to it that it’s just getting started by the time it finally comes to a conclusion. It follows James Baker, a DEA agent with PTSD, and his mission to rescue his daughters after a group of crazed criminals kidnap them and hold them hostage. So, in other words, lots of room for mindless firefights and little room for interesting plot.

The Commando stars Michael Jai White (seen in Blood and Bone and Never Back Down: No Surrender) as James Baker, Mickey Rourke (seen in 9½ Weeks and The Wrestler) as Johnny, the mastermind behind the operation, and Donald Cerrone (seen in UFC 238: Cejudo vs. Moraes and UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cerrone) as Ray, a fighter who appears later in the film. The majority of the performances in The Commando were almost as atrocious as its screenplay, an extremely challenging achievement to make (although an unsurprising one, as anyone would have to be desperate to read this script and accept a role).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Commando is an absolutely horrendous disaster of an action flick, and one that should only be played in the form of background noise. It’s basically a prolonged version of its own lousy trailer.

Obviously I cannot recommend The Commando to anyone who wants more than to laugh at a bad movie with some friends, but if that’s what you’re after, you might just have a good time. Otherwise, steer clear of this one and stay safe out there this January.

"scream" Movie review

This effortless cash grab isn’t worth your time

By Nico Scharn

Scream (2022) is the fifth film of its franchise and the first to not be directed by Wes Craven due to his death in 2015. Making a Scream movie without Craven is a huge responsibility to undertake, meaning that new bloods James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick (screenwriters) had some big shoes to fill from behind the page. Unfortunately those shoes must’ve been a few sizes too big, because Scream is an abysmal disappointment of a “requel,” and its directors aren’t to blame.

JUST like all its predecessors, Scream takes place in Woodsboro, Calif., only this time it’s been more than ten years since Ghostface’s last murder spree. Unfortunately, the only way this sequel deviates from its franchise’s footsteps is by spending most of its time introducing a new group of characters.

Scream stars Jenna Ortega (Stuck in the Middle, Yes Day) as Tara Carpenter, the victim in the trailer, Neve Campbell (Scream 3, Scream 4) as Sidney Prescott, one of the legacy three, and Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why, Don’t Breathe) as Wes Hicks, a character so bland it would be extremely difficult to describe him. The cast of Scream tried their best and delivered, but strong acting ultimately can’t save a braindead script.

Scream is a very frustrating movie. Without spoilers: It’s a cash grab with a recycled plot, but at the same time it makes irreversible, enraging decisions for its franchise. I suppose it’s not so much the decisions themselves that infinitely frustrate me, but the methods by which they are executed. Scream puts so little effort into developing its most significant scenes that it feels undeserving of them. I might’ve been able to enjoy the film more if… well, if the new characters were actually interesting. But they’re not. Every single one of them is a boring, generic, idiotic horror movie character making dumb decisions that eventually lead to their death. The original movie’s suspenseful story was built on the characters knowing these stereotypes, yet still being vulnerable to the fear factor clichés; but being meta in this sequel does not elevate the story nor create any surprise. So in the long run, this sequel of Scream becomes a movie without substance whatsoever – just a cast of dumb, unexciting characters and some of their eventual deaths. In the words of the legendary Wes Craven: “Be serious, guys. Either we make a Scream movie or we make a movie and call it something else. But if it’s a Scream movie, it’s going to have certain standards.”


Infographic by Marston Scher

Infographic by May Lafer-Kirtner