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The DGS Blueprint has relocated to our new website: southblueprint.com. Make sure to check out all of our new content.

Peace, love, Blueprint

- Joe Stellato, Editor-in-Chief of Print



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While most seniors have two or three more months to mentally prepare themselves before they go off to college, senior Jimmy Schatmeyer has less than a month before he trades in his school books for work boots.

Schatmeyer is committed to the United States Marine Corps (USMC) for four years of active duty; he leaves for boot camp on June 15. Boot camp is held at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, and it consists of 13 weeks of physical and mental training.

Schatmeyer decided to join the Marines in his sophomore year.

“Honestly [I decided to enlist] because I wanted to join something that was bigger…I figured that if no one else is going to do it, why don’t I do it?” Schatmeyer said. “I want to do something that really challenges me and makes me a better person, and I figured this is the best way.”

Within the Marines there are countless different jobs, and Schatmeyer discusses his goals and future within the USMC.

“I’m going to be a CM, which is a carpenter/contractor engineering type [job], so it’s in the engineering field. And then after two years I can switch my job if I really want to, so I’ll figure it out from there,” Schatmeyer said. “[After four years] I have to decide if I want to keep going, which I think I will, and then I just have to re-sign. I want to stay until at least Sergeant, and then see from there.”

In order to prepare for boot camp, many future Marines go to physical training (PT)  every Wednesday.

“It’s basically like a little workout that I do with my recruiter, and I run the workout that we do. It’s mainly circuit stuff and runs that we do; it’s fun,” Schatmeyer said.

Schatmeyer said that his parents are supportive of his decision, but that his father was harder to win over.

“At first, my mom was just supportive and my dad was really unsupportive, because he’s just never really liked that kind of stuff. I think my mom was more supportive just because my cousin on her side is also a Marine. But they are both really supportive now,” Schatmeyer said.

For Schatmeyer, nerves aren’t a problem–at least not yet.

“I’m really excited,” Schatmeyer said. “I think the night [I leave] I’ll probably be nervous, but for right now I’m really excited.”


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Welcome to The Blueprints 2015 senior edition. Where the quirkiness of what is “Highschool Musical” makes its appearance in the mighty mustangs home.

Start of something new:

Taking a walk down memory lane can be a whirlwind of emotions; remembering freshman year can be quite intriguing. From the interesting smells, assemblies and teachers, take a look back at some of your first moments at DGS. 

Getcha head in the game:

They had to “fake right and break left” to get some of the biggest athletic scholarships from their chosen colleges. They weren’t “afraid to shoot the outside J,” all because they put their head in the game, “You go, Glen Coco.”

Now or never:

Take a look at these senior individuals with a rather interesting college choice–from studying abroad to studying miles away from Illinois. “It all comes down to right now” as these students make a choice to kiss DGS and Illinois goodbye.

I gotta go my own way:

After high school, most teenagers have a sense of “I’m leaving today, ‘cause I’ve gotta do what’s best for me” when it comes to colleges. So follow this state map like you used to track Santa Claus as a child to see where the highest enrollment for colleges are for DGS class of 2015. 

Stick to the status quo or breaking free:

Some teens like “sticking to the stuff they know” while others are like a “wave that an ocean can’t control.” In non “High School Musical” terms, some teens go to college while others choose to travel or do something else; read all about who’s doing what after high school. 

We’re all in this together:

Vitamin C said it best fellow seniors,“As we go on/we remember all the good times we had together/and as our lives change/come whatever we will still be friends forever.” We will go “hand in hand” on this new adventure screaming “geronimo” with our cool blue caps and gowns. But first instead of taking a selfie take a look at these senior highlights… then take a selfie.


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From the exciting to the embarrassing, freshman year brings a whole new experience. For many, it’s a whole new way of life from the comforting walls of junior high.

Senior Taylor Troha had a funny freshman moment that she will remember for a long time. What Troha pictured homecoming to be like freshman year was far from what it actually was.

 “I had no idea what homecoming would be like. I had heard stories, but I thought that most people would just be standing around talking,” Troha said.

 When Troha walked into the dance, she was in shock when she realized there weren’t just a few people dancing but the whole room.

 “My two friends and I saw a huge group of kids dancing so we made our way to the middle of the crowd and just stood there and looked around because we didn’t know what to do, so we started fist bumping,” Troha said.

 But not all of these freshman moments are funny, some are filled with embarrassment. Senior Alveena Saeed explains how she unknowingly walked into the boys bathroom her freshman year.

 “It was in the morning and I woke up really late, and I just wanted to go to the bathroom when I got to school. I was on my phone and saw the hallway so I walked in,” Saeed said. “After, I was really embarrassed, but good thing I didn’t know any of the guys in the bathroom.”

 Going into a new school with new people and surroundings can be scary, but getting injured on top of it all can be even worse.

 Senior Matt Buczko tore his meniscus in his right knee freshman year attempting to do a pin drop.

 “My friends and I were messing around and dancing and one of them did the pin drop. So I decide to try and when I got down I heard a pop, and I was in a lot of pain,” Buczko said.

“I was amazed that it tore by just doing a simple pin drop. It was the worst pain in my entire life.”

 Some other moments are ones that students are proud of. For Senior Ryan Taylor, it was during his freshman year football season when he got pulled up to Varsity during playoffs.

 “It was a [really] nice accomplishment. I got to feel what the atmosphere [on Varsity] was like at an early age,” Taylor said.

All of these moments that happened freshman year are in the past, but will remain with them for a lifetime.

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saraNEWS BRIEF – Senior Sara Guagliardo attended the IHSA state competition for journalistic writing last weekend on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. She placed fourth out of the 20 competitors in her headline writing competition.

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As the school year is winding down, the boys Varsity lacrosse team is just getting started. The teams season kicked off on March 21 and the regular season is set to end on May 14 with a home game against Oak Park-River Forest.

Although the season has just started, the team is heading in the right direction. Senior Louis Mallillin says that he is looking forward to the new season.

“The season is going great. We’re currently 3-1. We lost to Glenbard West but we did win our first game against York,” Mallillin said.

DGS and DGN are combined to make the boys Varsity lacrosse team. Even though the two schools are rivals in other sports, this is not the case for lacrosse. Junior Max Morlock shares his thoughts on the team.

“Normally it’s a lot of fun for DGS to play against DGN and keep the cross-town rivalry going, but at lacrosse, we act as one big family and we really learn to appreciate and respect each others’ love for the game,” Morlock said.

Last season, the team had a 4-14-0 record. This season, the team has already picked up three wins and only one loss.

“I’m looking forward to the games; it’s really a fantastic thing to see all the hard work and dedication you put into practice pay off when you play against a team and you come out winning,” Morlock said.

Winning games is not the only new trend this season, the club has grown as well. Not only has the Varsity team grown since last season; the whole club has grown.

“Since last season, we have grown so big that we now have a freshman and sophomore team to accompany our JV and Varsity teams,” Morlock said.

The boys Varsity lacrosse team has shown much improvement since last season. Make sure to come out and support the team at the next home game on May 9 against Chicago Witney Young.

In case you couldn’t tell from the dozens of posters around the school and the thousands of tweets from students, DGS decided to forgo the typical Winter Dance this year and replace it with the more casual and relaxed Southfest. The hype for this event was enormous, with all the announcements, advertisements, emails and pictures, it seemed like there was no way to escape from having this event shoved in your face.

Despite the possibly overbearing publicity, I think that with more attendance and a slightly tweaked approach, this event has the potential to be something very cool.

Walking into the fieldhouse, the atmosphere was kind of like a wanna-be club. There was a huge glowing archway that you had to walk under, a DJ accompanied by the usual sporadic and blinding multicolored lights and even a VIP section separated from the rest by a velvet rope. Along with the typical dancing, there was also an inflatable “Wipeout” type game, enough food to feed an army, a photo booth, bags and even Wii games.

In the beginning it was pretty awkward; I didn’t exactly know what to do with myself. There weren’t a lot of people dancing until around halfway through the event, and from what I saw, a lot of people spent a good chunk of time just standing around and talking until they got more comfortable.

I think one of the main reasons it felt kind of awkward was the lack of attendance. Due to the fact that this event was held in the fieldhouse, and that the attendance was lower than anticipated, there was a ton of empty space. If there were more people in attendance, this event would have been way more fun; it would have had that nice there-are-so-many-people-here-I-can’t-move-and-everything-smells-like-sweat vibe that we high schoolers love.

Southfest was definitely different from any school dance I had ever been to–and that was the point. Social Studies Department Chair Christopher Esposito gives us some insight on why the Winter Dance was cancelled in the first place.

“We track how many students come to the dances, and over the last six or seven years we went from a dance, a turnabout, that had 1,200 people down to last year–under 700,” Esposito said. “So what the students were telling us from attendance was that they didn’t want the event anymore….We tried to re-imagine it….Personally, I think this is the best overall event we have ever put on for the students of DGS, hands down.”

From what I can tell, the feelings about this new event were split down the middle. Junior Brandon McDaniels shares how he thinks Southfest missed the mark.

“There was a lot of hype building up to it over the past couple weeks, so I kind of expected it to be a really big thing that everyone would have been at, but it just wasn’t. However, it did begin to pick up a little as it went on, but it still didn’t live up to its hype, or to my expectations,” McDaniels said.

On the other end of the spectrum, freshman Lindsey Herrmann had nothing but good things to say about the event.

“I [had] a really good time, and [I would definitely come again next year]…there are a lot of different activities and things to do,” Herrmann said.

Junior Andrew Steichen felt that his expectations were blown out of the water.  “It exceeded my expectations indefinitely….I really enjoyed everything about Southfest. There [were] a handful of [other] options this time around besides the dance, and I think everyone found something for them,” Steichen said. “Would I go again next year? For sure.”

I went to Southfest banking on leaving after 45 minutes, and 95% of the reason I attended was because it was free. Since my expectations were set pretty low, I ended up being surprised by having a decent time.

The thing that threw me off the most, however, was the dress code-or lack thereof. The only guidelines for dress was that you had to wear black, there were no specifics on formality. For me, and many other girls, this was a fashion nightmare. Most people ended up wearing nicer clothing, but in the days leading up to Southfest, there were definitely a lot of frantic “OMG what are you wearing?!?” texts flying around.

Although I’m sure a lot of students enjoyed the freedom of being able to come casually, I would have liked it more if there was an established dress code. I’m sure the girl in a $200 dress and six inch heels felt out of place hanging out with people in leggings and tank tops decked out with black war paint.

Science teacher Jennifer Wolf answers the question that we have all been wondering: Will we have Southfest again next year?

“I think we’ll have to wait and see what student response it to this…it really depends on what the students want, but I wouldn’t rule it out,” Wolf said.

Overall, I think Southfest is a really different and fun idea, and with more attendance and a few small adjustments, it could be the event that students wait for all year.

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Since the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, dating in 2015 seems to have changed. From asking your girlfriend to go “steady” to calling dating a “thing” before getting asked out, or calling your significant other “honey” and “sweetheart” to calling them “bae” or “boothang”.

 Instead of a boyfriend giving his girlfriend his letterman jacket or class ring, something  different is given.

Junior Nishant Lala has been dating junior Marisa Carioscia for a year and a half, and explains what belongings have been taken by his girlfriend.

“She’s got my sweatpants and half of my sweatshirts and a couple of shirts,” Lala said.

Going on a date to a drive in movie or going out dancing has changed to staying home and watching Netflix together. Sophomore Jessie Fortin has been dating sophomore Max Davis for a year now and explains what a normal date for them is.

“We usually just hang out at home and I watch him play xbox or we watch a movie,” Fortin said.

Fortin talks about how her and Davis families are involved in their relationship.

“Max is slowly meeting more of my family through parties. I’ve met almost all of his family. Being around fun people like his relatives is one of the best parts of being in a relationship,” Fortin said.

Even though the decades have changed that doesn’t mean dates between couples have.

Senior Emily Rzeszutko has been dating her boyfriend, senior Mason Szoldatits, for a year and explains what her boyfriend has done for her.

“Mason took me to a really nice dinner in the city for our six month anniversary and then after we wandered the city. It was just a really special night I won’t forget,” Rzeszutko said.

With technology being a big part in this generation, along comes social media. All over Twitter and instagram there are couples posting pictures and statuses on what their boyfriend and girlfriend has gotten them or done for them.

Lala explains how social media impacts couples regarding the need to “live up” to the stereotypical boyfriend exception, and shares different things they are expected to do.

“Knowing my girlfriend keeps up with the Twitter social media account “relationship goals”,  I try to make sure that she’s the girl that gets to post cute things I do for her on it,” Lala said.

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As the winter quickly approaches, the Downers Grove South Varsity girls bowling team embarks on the 2014-2015 season with a full head of steam. Sophomore Kelsey Sedlacek is one of the youngest players on the team; however, this does not affect her performance. Sedlacek first starting bowling when she was five; although, it wasn’t her choice.
“I actually started because my mom made me, but I soon began to enjoy it and wanted to improve my skills. Every year since then I have been in a league to continue bowling,” Sedlacek said.
Sedlacek started her high school bowling career last year as a freshman. Being one of the younger players she says was not easy, but as the season progressed, she became more comfortable.
“Last season I started off OK, but during the season I greatly improved and changed my bowling style for the better,” Sedlacek said.
This season Sedlacek is hoping to keep improving on her strengths, which are being able to throw the ball correctly almost every time. Head Varsity Coach Robert Topor says that Sedlacek is hoping to qualify for the state meet.
“So far this season has been really good. During the off season, I practiced a lot so when the season started again, I had improved quite a bit,” Sedlacek said.
During the season, Sedlacek and the rest of the girls bowling team practice at Brunswick Zone. When the school season comes to an end, Sedlacek puts in work at Lisle Lanes to enhance her game.
“I work with just the school coaches and then during the off season there are some coaches at Lisle Lanes that help everyone a little bit,” Sedlacek said.
The wait for the season to start is over. Sedlacek is strictly focused on having a successful year of bowling with some new faces surrounding her.
“Although it has only been a week, I already love how much fun we are having. We are all excited and ready to have a great season. I also love how many freshmen we have. They all seem ready and willing to improve and better their skills,” Sedlacek said.

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phillipenes school girl

Most think that the school days at DGS are long, but in comparison this may seem shorter than most. Schools in the Philippines have up to 10 hour school days.

Unna Fernandez, a junior at DGS, lived in the Philippines until she was 14 years old, then immigrated here for freshman year.

“The high schools [in the Philippines] start in 7th grade and end in 10th grade”, Fernandez said. “[They also] start at 7-7:15 [and end at] about 5.”

She also talked about how they had quizzes every day at school, so since she’s come here she has more time to prepare and study for tests and quizzes. “We had quizzes every day [in the Philippines, so] here I have more time to study,” Fernandez said.

Another positive aspect that came with shorter school hours is more time for her to do activates outside of school. “I joined a lot of activities so I made friends pretty easy.”

Katherine Callahan, an English Language Learners (ELL) teacher, talks about how she thinks that all students are different and learn to adjust at different speeds.

“I think it depends on what country they’re coming from and what their education experience was like in their native country. Some students have a completely different educational experience than we do here in America,” Callahan said.

With this new knowledge of schools in other countries, students should learn to appreciate the things American schools have and not take for granted how much shorter school days are compared to those in the Philippines.