App Review, Forest

by Sara Willis

Forest is an app that will help you be more productive in your daily activities and keeps you off your phone so you can live a healthier lifestyle. It is only compatible with IOS devices that have the 8.0 update or later. The app was developed by Seekrtech and is sold by ShaoKan Pi for $1.99. There are in app purchases for two different amounts of “Sunshine Elixir”, which will triple you reward for either seven days or twenty one days. The current version is 3.28.1, which was updated August 27, 2017. Forest is designed to help customers avoid their phone and accomplish more in their daily lives. It is very simple to use and is visually appealing as well. This app is intended for people 12 and older who have a reason to concentrate and a phone to stay off of. The user selects an amount of time they want to concentrate for 10 and 120 minutes. The longer you concentrate the more coins you will receive to buy different types of plants and sounds. If you collect 2500 coins, you are able to plant a real tree. When the user selects a time between 10 and 20 minutes, they will plant a smaller plant. The size of the plant will be larger if you focus for more time. If the user leaves the app while a tree is growing, the tree will die and another tree will need to be planted. After planting the tree, ten seconds are given to cancel the growth of the plant. A total amount of time focused is given for each day and is planted in a forest with the trees that were successfully planted and the trees that were not able to grow. All the data is saved and can be arranged with different tags, such as study, work, social, rest entertainment, sport, or a custom label.  Achievements are given for different milestones reached in the app, and coins are awarded to the customer. This app is simple to use and a walkthrough is provided when first opening the app. I personally use the app for concentrating on homework or household chores, but it can also be used to simply help keep someone off their phone and have a few minutes of downtime. This app is beneficial in many ways and will greatly improve your life for such a low price!

App Review, LetGo

by David Griffith
I chose to review the app LetGo, which is an app made for regular people to buy and sell their possessions to other LetGo users. It is quite simple to use to not alienate the non-tech savvy. It was designed for all ages to use. The LetGo selling process is quite simple. All you have to do is (using your smartphone camera) take a picture of the item you are trying to sell and add a name and description of your item. LetGo does the rest and posts your item to its servers. Basically, think of LetGo as a mobile Craigslist. When you see an item you want, you message the user your offer, or perhaps any questions you may have, etc. People will do the same when you post an item that catches their eye. I have had only positive experiences using LetGo. Nearly all the users I have talked to and bought from have been incredibly friendly and courteous; most likely because they want you to buy their stuff. I purchased a copy of Pokemon Silver from an employee at West Hills actually through LetGo for a great price. He replied to my messages very quickly and I had an overall good buying experience. Same with when I sold a pair of my shoes. The buyer did not lowball me and came and got the shoes himself. Frankly, I recommend LetGo if you have things you want to let go of. There are plenty of users who are willing to buy your things. Also, if you’re looking for anything from furniture to a car, use LetGo to perhaps get what you want at a much lower price. All on a simple, FREE, app. If you like swap meets, browsing Ebay, garage sales, or Craigslist, download LetGo, you will be pleased with what you may find!

Beat: Interview with Derek Tingey

By Zion Reyes

This week I interviewed varsity cross country athlete Derek Tingey. The following are the questions that I asked him: What was it like being a varsity cross country athlete right from freshman year? What sports background did you have before cross country and did it help or harm you? Do you plan to run cross country in college?

These are his answers in order. Being a varsity cross country runner freshmen year has been difficult because keeping up with the experienced runners was tough. But, it’s been an amazing experience running with the varsity guys because they’re such a cool group. I played some soccer before cross country. Soccer gave me the endurance that I would need to be a good cross country runner, but it made my running form horrible. So, freshman and sophomore year I had to mainly focus on form in my training to correct it. Yes, I’m hoping to I can get a running scholarship and run for UC Davis or Cal Poly in their cross country and track programs.


by Sara Willis

This past Saturday our West Hills cross country team raced in an invitational at Kit Carson Park. The event is called the Bronco Round-Up and 37 schools competed on Saturday. West Hills ran in the division 2 races with our freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams racing.  The Freshman girls took 4th place out of 6 teams and 3 of our girls medalled. Freshman boys placed 3rd out of 13 teams with 5 medalists! Our junior varsity girls took the W coming in first out of 6 teams! The junior varsity boys got 9th place out of 11 teams. The varsity women’s team took 4th place out of 12 teams. My reliable source Katy Willweber took 7th place out of 90 girls and 1st out of the wolfpack runners! Our varsity boys took 5th out of 14 teams and 3 boys medalled. Don’t forget to go support the team as their race in another invitational on September 16th in Norco.

Wolfpack men’s water polo beat Monte Vista last week with a score of 18-3. On Tuesday September 12, the team faced off against El Cap and won with a score of 13-2. The team will play Mount Miguel next week with our highest scorer Cody Breshears. The girls polo team is getting started with a tournament this Sunday and another tournament in Los Angeles soon!

With one of the star players Sara Willis on injured reserve, the women’s golf team has not been in the running for another league win. The team was doing great with five wins and two losses before the official season start. The team currently has three losses and no wins in the league season. Many of the girls have been shooting in the sixties which is unusual for the girls. Sierra Streit is still at her best shooting in the forties. Next week the team will be up against El Cap, which is so far undefeated, but I think our underdogs will come through with the win and with Willis returning next week things may be looking up.


by Cameron Brooks

This week I  interview Cole Thorpe, a member of novice water polo. When asked why he originally decided to join the sport he responded by saying that,¨a friend encouraged me to do it.¨ He said that he never believed it would be as much fun as it is, when he was asked why he did not join it earlier. He said the main preparation includes practicing warm ups when everybody gets in the pool. Cole also said that instead of preparing differently for each game they instead,¨change our strategy during the game depending on how they play.¨

Cole is not just in water polo, he also plays hockey (he is like the biggest hockey fan you will ever meet) and roller hockey. The water polo team also practices every single day with varsity practicing twice per day. Water polo is a very tough sport that not many people play. So be sure to support the West Hills water polo team and go to their games while it is in season.


by Star Gaylord

Water Polo is a fall sport and is happening right now. Jackson Lettow plays water polo for West Hills. He has been playing for 6 years. He is a starter and  plays the flat or wing. He thinks very highly of his team and has much confidence in them. He says that the team has been getting better and better each game.

Jackson says that Cody is the captain of their team and is definitely the best player and helps them get the win almost every game. Lettow explained that in order to prep for their games; they are constantly conditioning and practicing. So far, they have played Monte Vista, Hilltop, Helix, and El Capitan. They won 3 of the 4 games. The only loss was against Helix. Their biggest rival last year was Helix. Jackson hopes they will win every game from here on out.

App Review, MLB Tap Sports Baseball 17

By Cameron Brooks

As a follow up to Tap Sports Baseball 16, MLB Tap Sports Baseball 17 includes a complete MLB license, allowing the game to feature all 30 teams and their logos. This is in stark contrast to last year’s game which would have players wearing a bland gray jersey with no logos. The game was released to the App and Google Play store on March 28, however; I reviewed version 2.02, the most current version as of September 5. The developer, Glu Mobile, kept the same basic game and premise from the last game.  The task is to just play offense and worry about getting hits, rather than pitch or play defense, which is all simulated. The game definitely made sure to show you that it can use official teams and logos, as the loading screen is a picture of Kris Bryant wearing a Cubs jersey and batting helmet. You also get to choose your favorite team the first time you open the game. Although the game is free to play, which usually means that it’s junk unless you continually pay for microtransactions, I found that Tap Sports Baseball was better than most, since you can get fairly far into the game without having to worry about spending money to have a chance to win.

The game is very basic, in that you pick your favorite team and play a 9 inning game against another opponent making sure to be patient at the plate and knowing when to swing. You get a small reward each time you win which can either be cash, the in-game kind, gold, or a franchise player coin. Cash and gold allows you to purchase a draft pick with a late round pick costing 1000 cash, a second round pick costing 4000, a first round pick costing 100 gold, and first overall costing 300 gold. Gold is extremely difficult to come by in large quantities, so I ended up getting second round picks, which can still yield you some good ballplayers. You use these picks in the game and when you win enough you move into a tier and your players get a little bit better. You can also spend some cash to upgrade individual players. Players are judged on 3 categories: hitting, speed, and power. These states can range from 0 all the way to 400 with most players hovering around a 50 overall in the start of the game. Once you move into a tier, their stats increase from being in the 50s to the 70s and 80s. Overall, MLB Tap Sports Baseball is an effective time killer, especially for baseball fans which is not crowded with microtransactions. The only real flaw I found with it is the matchmaking system which will sometimes give you somebody way worse than you and sometimes somebody much better than you. However, it is still very enjoyable considering it is a free game that does not try to do too much and does what it should exceptionally well. Overall I would give it an 8/10.

Kung Fu Tea

by Sandiela Dimatulac

Last month, Kung Fu Tea opened their first location in Santee and second overall in San Diego. This bubble tea haven has been steadily growing a following over the past couple months through social media and word of mouth. Though Kung Fu Tea is not the only place to sell boba (another commonly used word for bubble tea), people have began to leave their comfort zone of Penguin Yogurt Factory to try their highly acclaimed drinks.

Boba is nothing new to me; I’ve had it many occasions prior to the opening of Kung Fu Tea in Santee. But, out of all the boba I have ever tried, I’d have to say that Kung Fu Tea is my favorite. The reason I am so partial to them is not only because of the amazing drinks, but because of their customer service and original set-up as well. There is a large variety of beverages and their sitting area has an Asian inspired theme; something that you do not see much of in Santee . If you are curious about Kung Fu Tea, I’d highly recommend visiting soon so you do not miss out.