Light Skin. Nice eyes. Bright smile. Fifteen years old, he was just starting his life. “That was my baby,” Towanda Kellam, Lance “Duke” Hartgrove’s mother, was quoted as saying after the death of her son last summer. The flashpoint, as often happens these days, was a festering Facebook feud that ended on the street. Hartgrove’s days were ended by a stab wound to the chest, piercing his left lung and heart, allegedly committed by Rula Jones, 19, that caused Hartgrove to collapse and die in a parking lot on Malcolm X Boulevard, in Roxbury. At press time, Jones and his brother, Ilm Jones, 20, who allegedly assisted him in the attack, were both awaiting trial on manslaughter charges, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. This young teen, Hartgrove, of Dorchester, was very much known in the city of Boston. He got along with most people who came his way, and was friends with teens from across many neighborhoods. “He is a good boy to be around and he is caring and a loving person,” said an 18-year-old from Dorchester whose name -- like other teens in this article -- is being withheld for safety reasons. Hanging out and living every moment like it was his last was Hartgrove’s way of the game, teens say. Always around to put a smile on someone’s face. “Even on your worst day,” said an 18-year-old from Dorchester. In the little time Hartgrove was here, he made his imprint on people’s hearts. “He’s really cool,” said a 16-year-old from Dorchester. “And he’s not one of those people that tries to check you [out] if he doesn’t know you. He’s an awesome person to hang out with.” After Hartgrove’s death, teens and others tattooed his name on their bodies. They put up visuals on YouTube. They recorded songs in his honor. Hartgrove will always live in these streets of Boston, teens say. Every July 10, the anniversary of his death, will be a hard time for them.
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The verdict came as a complete shock to me. When I saw it on the news, I cried and cried. I didn’t know him but who wouldn’t get all teary-eyed hearing that. Even after all these months, one question still circulates through my head: “How can someone justify killing a 17-year-old?” Of course, my initial response was to express myself on social media. I didn’t write threats or hurtful comments to the defendant. I just expressed my condolences to the Martin family. Online, I happened to stumble across a letter written to the defendant. What stood out to me was the line: “I bet you never thought that by shooting a black male you’d end up inheriting all of his struggles. Enjoy your ‘freedom.’ ” This was signed at the bottom, “A black male who could’ve been Trayvon Martin.” As I read this I started to get teary, for it expressed how what he did will haunt him for the rest of his life. Even now, I sometimes catch myself thinking about why and how he got free. Then, all the things from the trial go through my mind and I have to stop myself because once again I am crying. In the end, I hope that Trayvon is up in heaven and that his family is coping with the loss of their child and trying to move forward with their lives in the healthiest way possible.
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. a) Tennis b) Golf c) Badminton d) Wrestling e) None of the above f) Keep reading
  For Domingos Lopes, 15, from Boston Community Leadership Academy, soccer is his favorite sport. He says he feels good and energized when he plays. Not only does he play about three times a week, but he likes to watch soccer, too. In fact, among those ages 12 to 24, pro soccer is now the second most popular sport to view in the U.S., according to a recent poll cited by sfgate.com. Number one is pro football, basketball is third and baseball -- once considered the national pastime -- is fourth. Jennifer Valenica, 15, belongs to the soccer crowd. “It’s a fun way to get in shape, especially for people who like to run around,” says Valencia, who goes to BCLA. Kenny Depina, 18, prefers to play football. “It’s a fun sport,” says Depina, from BCLA, “and a good way to let anger out.”
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In basketball, there are five positions. Point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center.
Some insist that point guard is the most important position because these players handle the ball and run the show. Others believe that center is the vital spot, because those players are big, block shots, can play D, and dunk over everyone else. I think they are all mistaken. In my opinion, small forward is the most important position in the game. These are the ultimate combo players, doing most anything that a point guard, shooting guard, power forward, and center can do. Most small forwards have speed, strength, and can drain jump shots. They also hit their free throws. When special small forwards like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, or Rudy Gay are not playing, it’s hard for their teams to win. Without a small forward, the team’s offense and defense starts to shrink, and it’s game over.
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“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” – Katharine Hepburn   Joshua Thomas, 16, thinks that some of the rules that can be broken are minor ones, such as those involving what you can or cannot eat or watch on TV. The more serious ones should be obeyed or people could get hurt, says Thomas, who goes to the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. Teenagers are at an age where they want to spend time with their friends or seek new adventures. Many have strict homes and feel they have to bend some parental guidelines just to have a normal life.
But, some warn, they shouldn’t take it too far.
“Constitutional rules should not be broken,” says Brian Vong, 15, who attends the O’Bryant. However, what he feels are pointless orders can be ignored, Vong says.
“I have broken school rules before,” says Vong. “I always eat in class.” Eric Wong, 16, is a hardliner when it comes to disregarding decrees. “Rules are supposed to help people,” says Wong, from the O’Bryant, “and that is why you should never break any of them.”
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