Eagles Struggle Turned Victory

By: Heaven Marquez

Pleasanton’s Toby Garner running in for his first touchdown against Corpus Christi King. (PC- J. Garcia)

Game vs. Hondo

The Pleasanton Eagles varsity football team started off the season against the Hondo Owls after a two week break from football due to Covid, and only one week of practice back on Friday, August 28. The Eagles, unfortunately, were not able to keep up with the Owls, suffering a 31-0 loss. Their scheduled scrimmages were also shut down because of a Covid scare earlier in the month, which also contributed to the defeat, as said by Head Coach Liska. The boys started off rough, but by the third quarter, the Eagles began to get back in the groove of things. However, Hondo used the time of struggle to get ahead and win.

Game vs. Poteet

The Poteet Aggies triumphed over the Pleasanton Eagles on Friday, September 4, with a 16-3 victory. Both teams were neck and neck against each other with a tied score of 3-3, until the third quarter, when the Aggies managed to score a touchdown, making it past the Eagle defense. With a rough pass from Pleasanton finding its way into Aggie territory, Poteet managed to pull through with another touchdown to end the game. This is the first time the Aggies managed to outscore the Eagles since 2009. 

Coach Liska stated, “We were flushed a couple of times, and then a couple of balls were overthrown. Timing, we’ve got to work on and got to get better at it.”

Game vs. Jourdanton

The Pleasanton Eagles fell to the Jourdanton Indians on Friday, September 18 after a rough start from the Indians. The Eagle’s sophomore quarterback Sean Ramos made their first touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter, putting them ahead, however, Jourdanton fought back with a touchdown of their own minutes later, making the score 7-6, with Pleasanton up. After half time, the Indians looked more like the team they were rumored to be, with a touchdown, a two-point conversion, and another touchdown to place them ahead 35-7 at the end of the third. The rest of the game was uneventful on both sides, with Jourdanton victorious. 

Game vs. Devine

The Eagles traveled to the home of the Devine Warhorses to battle on Friday, September 18. Unfortunately, Pleasanton was defeated by the Warhorses 30-7 after 4 long quarters of fighting. Coach Liska stated that the Warhorses use a lot of misdirection while running, which caught the Eagles off guard. The Warhorses scored first in the second quarter, and kept the momentum going the rest of the game, with the Eagles struggling to catch up. However, the Eagles came together during the second half, getting team chemistry back after the rust took over.  The Eagle’s lone touchdown was score by sophomore quarterback Sean Ramos.“Whenever we are together, we know what we can do,” said Ramos. 

Game vs. Corpus Christi

Pleasanton really played to beat the Corpus Christi King Mustangs, with senior running back Toby Garner leading the Eagles to victory. Garner had all three of Pleasanton’s touchdowns, beating the Mustangs 24-6 for the first win of the season. “We just got it done in practice and did what we had to do,” stated Toby. “It was a homecoming win, so that makes it even better. Everyone came out and played their heart out.” The Eagles certainly played out, breaking an 8 game losing streak, from 2019 to now. The Mustangs did manage to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter, putting a few points on the board, but by that time it was too late for them, crowning the Eagles victorious.

The Eagles will play Kingsville King on Friday, October 2 before their district opening against Boerne. 

 

Lady Eagles Want the Win

By: Jaelyn Morales

Lady Eagles celebrate after winning the point against Hondo | J Garcia

 

The Pleasanton Lady Eagles started the season off with seven straight wins before falling to Poth and now stand at 10 wins and 8 losses, but with district starting they will have to step it up and play even harder to make it to playoffs and hopefully be bi-district champs again.

 Last year, the Lady Eagles made it to the playoffs after beating the Cuero Gobblers and had a spectacular first playoff game against Devine, by getting the win and becoming bi-district champs after 5 sensational sets. Sadly their next game ended their playoff run with a loss against the Hidalgo Pirates, but this year the Lady Eagles want to make a comeback and for that to happen they will need to work together as a team and overcome their obstacles.                                                                                                                    

 Their first district game of the season was against Cuero on Tuesday, September 22 and they fought hard till the end, though unfortunately came out with a loss. The score for that game was ( 25-23, 20-25, 18-25, 20-25 ) and although they were defeated it was an exciting game to watch. JV and Freshman also lost their games, but hustled and the score was close throughout the game. When asked about how this season is going so far, Angel Tucker responded, “So far it’s been okay, but we as a team have had a habit of taking too many breaks during a game and that sometimes causes us to be defeated. We’ve had some pretty good wins but I hope we can fight for every point in our upcoming district games.” Fighting for every point will be necessary in their upcoming games so they can make it to the playoffs and be champions, but to do that they will need your support. They hope to see more fans at their future games so please show your eagle spirit and come on out to one of their games and cheer them on. Let’s go Lady Eagles!       

Ace, Ace, Baby

By: Courtney Henson

The Pleasanton JV and Varsity tennis team assist with a food drive at the Pleasanton First United Methodist Church.

On Monday, August 3, after a very long break, the Pleasanton tennis team returned to practice. With a very exciting fall season ahead of them, the team was very anxious to get back. They worked very hard with a positive outlook on the season, but unfortunately this season has not gone as they hoped it would. On August 26th the Pleasanton Tennis team faced Hondo and fell 15-4. On September 2, the Pleasanton Eagles were beaten 16-3 by Devine and on September 12, with 4 players gone, they lost 19-0. Recently, on September 26, the Pleasanton tennis team defeated Somerset 10-7.

When asked about his thoughts and outlooks on this season, senior Blake Moos says, “This year we have new teams in our district so it’s going to be a difficult season for us. We’re all having fun though and that’s what really matters.” When asked the same question, junior Emalee David said “This season we’ve been doing really good so far. Despite the new challenges and regulations everyone has grown and gotten better each day.”

Coach Schwab is known to be a very optimistic person, and this answer reflects just that. When asked about his thoughts on the season Coach Schwab said “Well my thoughts on this season are that it’s 2020 and this whole season is just… wack. It’s different than any of us have ever imagined, I mean we’re on the court in masks and we can’t touch anybody. I mean we have to follow protocols on the bus. Everything is different so we’ve had to adjust to that, and it’s been crazy.” This year the tennis team is facing a district with much stronger teams, but Coach Schwab remains positive about the outlook of the season saying “we’re just as ready as we can be and we’re gonna go play. I mean we’re going in true eagle pride and eagle fashion and were going to go play and do the best of our ability. That’s all we can hope for and that’s all we’re gonna do. We’re all going to be there and we’re all going to do our best and we’re all going to walk off that court with our heads held high, whether win or lose and we’ll see what happens at the end of the 5 week run.”

The tennis teams, along with other sports, have been greatly affected by the new rules regarding Covid-19, however, they have handled them with respect and ease. Senior Blake Moos says, “Due to COVID, it is somewhat difficult to find teams that want to have matches with outside teams, but Coach Schwab has done a great job finding us matches. Also, wearing a mask on the court is a real struggle for our stamina, but we make it work!” Regarding the changes Covid has made to the team, junior Emalee David says, “Some schools can only travel with their varsity team, so our JV team doesn’t always get to play at every tournament. We also have to wear masks on and off the court, and even while we play, which has been a big challenge. Fortunately, all of my teammates are willing to get past the mask and focus on the sport.”

Although this season has not turned out as the team had hoped, they will continue to work hard and stay positive. Through this tough time, your teammates have some words of encouragement for you. Blake Moos says “Just keep coming to practice and we will keep getting better together.” Emalee David says to her fellow teammates, “For my fellow athletes in tennis and any other sport I just want to say that I’m so proud of everyone. Each new challenge that we face, we have gotten passed and are ready to face the next one. I just ask that everyone keeps persevering and looks at the positive. We’re all in this together.”

Lastly, from Coach Schwab to his players, “We’re still a team that’s standing. We haven’t even been scared about it, so the encouragement is they know that if they go out there and do what they are supposed to do things are gonna fall right and I don’t know what can be more encouraging than that. I’m proud of them, I’m proud of the work they have put in, I’m proud of what they’re gonna put in and I just hope that we’ve done enough. Well, find out. We’re gonna find out one way or another. And that’s where we’re at. We’re in one of the hardest districts we have and they are just doing so amazing. They really are awesome.” While Coach Schwab provides encouragement to his players everyday, they also encourage him and continue to make him proud everyday. “They do what they have to do, they want to play tennis,” Schwab said, “and that’s what I find so encouraging and so incredible that they want to play tennis.”

Although this season has not started as you hoped it would, we wish you the best of luck on the rest of your matches to come Eagle Tennis. Pride! Pride!

Cross Country

By: Wanish Tortes-McGinnis 

Varsity Cross Country Girls getting ready to run.

The Pleasanton Eagles have begun the school year in Cross Country with a great start. Natalia was the first meet, and overall, the Varsity girls took First Place! The Varsity boys did great as well, coming in 4th overall. For the girls, 1st place was Caitlyn Nieschwitz, Kennedy Guajardo 3rd, Mary Martinez 4th, and Kassidy Vickers 5th. For the boys, Alberto Vielma placed 16th, with Wanish Tortes-McGinnis in 17th, Xavier Rodriguez, 18th, Zander Zamora in 25th place, and Jaydon Ogg in 29th. 

During the second meet, it had rained the night before, so there were some rather damp areas to run through. Our guys and gals did quite well, for many schools were at this invitational. 

Caitlyn Nieschwitz again came in 1st, Kennedy Guajardo coming in 2nd and Kassidy Vickers in 3rd only being a couple of seconds behind Kennedy. Kara Hinojosa came in 16th, Mary Martinez finished strong with 22nd place, and pulled up the rear where Karolyna Arguijo came in 32nd. Fe Vielma in place at 33rd, and Jillian at 44th, with Raylin Castillo 52nd. Even with as many participants as there were, the girls managed to come in 12th. The boys ran hard, and Alberto Vielma came in 63rd, Wanish Tortes-McGinnis in 64th, Xavier Rodriguez in 70th, Zander Zamora in 73rd, and Jayden Ogg in 83rd. Overall, the boys came in 12th.

The last meet which was held in Bandera, brought JV girls Jillian Barcomb in 1st place, Raylin Castillo in 4th place, Sofia Aguilar in 16th place, Savannah Clark in 24th place, and Adriana Clark in 25th place. Varsity girls included Caitlyn Nieschwitz in 3rd place, Kennedy Guajardo in 7th place. Kassidy Vickers placed 9th, and Kara Hinojosa placed 13th. Mary Martinez placed 24th, followed by Karolyna Arguijo in 27th, and Fe Vielma in 32nd place. 

The Varsity Boys included Wanish Tortes-McGinnis, 24th place, Xavier Rodriguez in 27th place, Zander Zamora in 28th place, and Jayden Ogg, at 41st place.                                                    

Dilley is our next big meet, held at the High School this Saturday, September 26. Wish us luck~

Pride, Pride. Eagle Pride                                                               

 

                              

 

Making the Best of Our Home

By: Hayden Schmidt

Despite the changes and protocols in place due to COVID-19, PHS did not fail to make Homecoming Week as fun and special as it has always been. Throughout the week, students and staff alike dressed up to match this year’s theme, “Lettuce Celebrate”. Though everyone who participated showed incredible spirit, these people went above and beyond to become the spirit winners for their respective days.

Monday’s theme was a tropical “Thousand Island”, with the winners being McAda Rutherford, Luke Raney, and Toby Bird.

Tuesday was “Chopped” in two, and the twinning winners were Fe Vielma and Lindsey Klein, Adriano and Mariano Gutierrez, & Brooke Rankin and Sadie McAda.

Wednesday brought along a country “Ranch” theme, with Shyla Williamson taking the cake.

Thursday followed the annual “Tossed” Generation Day theme, and Diya Chandra, Jussiah Lopez, and Linda Rodriquez won.

Friday rounded off the week with a “House” spirit themed day, the winners being Ariel Mejia, Este’van Jackson, and Preston Pilgrim.

Sadly, this year, classes could not participate in decorating the halls. Student Council President April Findley and teacher Mr. Garcia gave their respective inputs on the reasons behind this and other troubles that came along with organizing Homecoming this year.

We’re very limited in what we’re allowed to do. Like this year, we aren’t allowed to decorate halls, due to COVID. Also, we have to be more cautious about the activities we plan and ensure that everyone can safely participate.” – April Findley

“Normally we have what we call a walk of honor. Graduates ending in a specific year, this year all the classes of ‘0, are honored at the football game by gathering and walking down the middle of the field. Due to COVID, we can’t gather them in groups. It’s too difficult in getting everyone separated. So, we made the decision to cancel that walk of honor. Another thing that we used to do was decorate the hallways, and we would spend the week and weekend before with students and sponsors, and you’d walk in on Monday and see all these wonderful decorations, but due to COVID, we can’t have the students here after 6, so the janitors can do their magic. The kids’ participation so far has been very good. It’s incredibly important to pick a good theme, and our student council did a wonderful job.” – Mr. Garcia

Kaitlyn Garcia & April Findley dress as two “Chopped” tomatoes.

Renata Osorio & Sofia Rivera starting off with tropical wear.

Shyla Williamson rocking some country attire.

Seniors participate in Generation Day.

Homecoming Royalty

By: Dillon Myers

Homecoming is an important event here at PHS and so are the people involved. There are four representatives for the three lower classes: freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. However, there are eight for the seniors, who are running for king and queen. Here is what each senior class rep replied as to why they decided to run for Homecoming king and queen and what they’re most excited about being a representative for their class:

Claudia Acuff– “I decided to run for hoco rep because I ran last year and had a good time. It’s nice being able to spend time with my other friends who are also running. It’s also pretty cool being able to walk the field during halftime.”

Kimberly Arguijo– “The reason I decided to run for homecoming rep this year was because my first three years of high school weren’t the best, so I wanted to make the best of my senior year so therefore I decided to run for homecoming queen.”

Heaven Marquez– “I just thought it’d be fun. I’ve been a homecoming rep before, and it’s fun, like going on the field and getting your name announced.”

Aurianna Rich– “I wanted to put myself out there senior year. With all the restrictions of COVID, I wanted to use every opportunity to participate in school activities.”

Gabriel Bosquez– “Because I wanted to be a representative and since it is going to be my last year in high school, I thought it would be a great idea and to make memories with my classmates.”

Blake Moos– “I’ve been a rep the past three years of high school so I decided I wanted to keep that streak going to run for rep again. I had even more motivation this year though because I also had the opportunity to run for Homecoming King.”

Devyn Garza– “I thought I would just run for fun, you know? Like it’s senior year and it would be an enlightening experience to run again this year.”

Orlando Oltivero– “Well, I originally had no intention of running, but with COVID happening and my mom wanting us to stay home, I thought it would just be fun to go out and represent the class, especially since I wouldn’t be attending school in person.”

As with every year, all students were asked to choose amongst the senior reps and vote for a Homecoming King and Queen. The winners this year were Blake Moos and Heaven Marquez. Congratulations to every representative, and thank you for keeping the spirit of Homecoming alive!

Freshmen Adrian and Ciarah Garcia

Homecoming King Blake Moos and Queen Heaven Marquez

Seniors Claudia Acuff and Blake Moos

Sophomores Brylee Miller Ayden Parker

Juniors Oscar Leal and Natalie Muniz

Student Spotlight

By: Kristina Mertz

A person who is outgoing, full of confidence, and who does not allow mistakes to keep him from going forward,” is, according to Mr. Roberson, how some would describe Justin Veale. We students at PHS often gossip and talk about the negative things going on in our campus, instead of focusing on the positive things, or in this case people. 

If you have ever had the pleasure of going to a PHS football game this year, you would most certainly see an exuberant boy yelling on the sideline, telling everybody to keep up the good work. Walking in the hallways, you might often see Justin with a big smile on his face as he fist-bumps all of his friends. To others this might seem strange, however it just goes to show how much of a difference one individual can make. Mr. Roberson says, “Justin is the type of person that holds people accountable to expectations and at the same time does it with a positive and energetic personality….I have known Justin for a little over a year… even though I did not have any personal interactions with him until the beginning of this school year. He was a student that I first noticed on the football field last year… and even though he was injured, he was limping up and down the field, hyping people up, encouraging people to get better, and just being a great team member. So before we had any interaction, he had made a positive impression on me, because of how he handled himself around his peers.” He explains,“Justin exhibits the characteristics that I would hope to see in any young man. He might make some “not so smart” decisions at times, but for the most part, he is respectful and pushes people to be better.”

Justin Veale being a proud student at PHS with a thumbs up.

Justin Veale was born in Seguin, Texas and he moved to Pleasanton when he was in first grade. His favorite part about being a student at PHS is, “…everyone being together and talking and knowing everyone around town.” He is an active member in Student Council, the Pleasanton Track Team, and the Pleasanton Varsity Football Team. Justin says he likes to make people laugh, “cause it’s funny… I like seeing other people smile and I like being the center of attention and knowing that I can impact someone’s day.” Justin’s favorite teacher is Mr. Roberson, “he’s like really involved with the class and everything.” He says his hobbies include, “playing football and I’m not gonna lie, I still like playing with LEGOS.” When asked what he plans to do after graduating, he said, “honestly, I’ve got no clue. If I go to college then I’ll go to college, but if not then I’ll get a job.” If anyone at PHS needs advice, he recommends, “Keep your head up cause it can always get better.”

Kelly Mertz, a junior this year says, “I’ve grown up with Justin, and he is very good with welcoming new people. He’s very good at creating a comfortable environment and he’s a very kind guy.” She added, “I’ve known Justin since third grade, I can still recall walking into a scary daycare and not being able to know where to go… Justin was the first guy to come up to me… he was my first friend here in Pleasanton.” Kelly said the best thing about Justin is, “he just… he makes people feel special and he can always make somebody’s day better than it was.”

Justin is an influential and very significant person here at PHS, who will always be remembered for bringing the most positivity we could ever ask for.

Teacher Spotlight

By: Kloie Sosa

CSM Nuells standing proudly at his podium

 Pleasanton High School sends a big welcome to our new Army Instructor, Command Sergeant Major Nuells. CSM Nuells is very honored and excited to be the first teacher spotlight of the new school year.

CSM Nuells is from Victoria, TX and this will be his first year of teaching. He attended Eldorado High School in Las Vegas, NV then went on to attend Webster University, earning a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration.

Some of his hobbies are racing his car (in a controlled environment), playing basketball, and lastly grilling and barbecuing. CSM Nuells served 30 years in the army, earning many awards and decorations. The Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, for example.

Command Sergeant Major Nuells has been to many different countries, including Korea, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. As of right now Nuells is still a part of the army, his last day of active duty being October 31, 2020.

Command Sergeant Major Nuells stated, “My transition has been great and stress-free since I have already started working in my second career.” Nuells realized that he wanted to teach JROTC two years ago so that he can continue to help mentor young men and women. He stated, ¨What is rewarding about my job is watching the growth of my students and how they mature and develop their leadership skills¨. Command Sergeant Major Nuells enjoys the way everyone here at PHS treats each other like family.

We are thrilled to have you at our campus and wish you a great year of teaching!

Staff Spotlight

By: Libby Sanchez

Mrs. Evans is one of the three hardest working counselors at Pleasanton High School. She not only has a positive impact on the students and adults, but our education system as well. Mrs. Evans takes her job very seriously and makes sure every student explores career options and stays motivated on their paths throughout high school. 

She attended PHS herself and after graduating from here in 1991, Mrs. Evans attended Texas State for three and a half years before graduating in 1994. She then came back to her hometown and started working in the family business once known as “Dowdy’s Store”, where she worked for 11 years after college. When word got around that the store may no longer be in business, Mrs. Evans had to start looking for more options here in Pleasanton. She wasn’t left with many, but the one that called out to her the most was indeed helping children at our local schools. She started as a math teacher at our Jr. High in 2006 and taught math for 4 years. A few years after teaching math, she became a counselor in both Pleasanton, Jourdanton, and Poteet before she settled here at the high school. 

Although counseling wasn’t always the goal for Mrs. Evans, she’s grown to love the job and the joy of helping students. “The counselor’s role is basically to be the students’ advocate, anything a student needs help with, I´m there”. Mrs. Evans has gone above and beyond to make sure this school year could be where it is now. From managing student schedules online instead of face-to-face, to college career plans for our seniors, Mrs. Evans does it all. This is her sixth year as a counselor at PHS and although she’s had to make major changes to how she does things this year, she’s come out the other side and made things work.

 

 

Bring It On: Covid Edition

By: Gabby Palacios

The PHS Varsity cheer team pictured with their awards from the last day of camp.

Every summer, the PHS cheerleaders attend a 4-Day Overnight camp with the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) and prepare for the upcoming season. However, due to Covid-19, the teams were unable to travel for camp, so the camp was brought to them.

Throughout the span of three days, the cheerleaders and mascots spent 8 hours a day learning a cheer, multiple chants, band dances, and two Extreme Routines. They also participated in leadership training to learn how to be great role models to the community, understand the sports they cheer for, and recognize what it means to be a cheerleader.

Every day, after long hours of tough work and team bonding, daily awards, varying from skill-based to fun contests, were given out. On the last day, the honorary All-American Award tryouts took place. For these tryouts, participants must perform the All-American cheer, one Extreme Routine Dance, and a jump of their choice. Any contestant who receives the award has the opportunity to travel with fellow UCA All-American cheerleaders and participate in special events, including the Varsity Spirit London Tour, where they perform in a Christmas Parade. This year, sophomore Brooke Rankin, juniors Linda Sanchez and Noelani Guerrero, and seniors Gabby Palacios, Lynda Rodriguez, Diya Chandra, and Erica Santee received the All-American award.

Junior Linda Sanchez, explains, “In my previous two years we’ve gone to an away camp so we got to meet new people and experience new teams and how they perform… We got to interact more as a team [at away camps.] This year doing an at home camp, it was different getting to know each other…”

Although they were unable to experience getting to know other teams, this allowed them to take a step back and work on building a new foundation for the team based on teamwork, friendship, and communication. “In past years, people were so caught up in wanting to hang out and meet people from other teams, that they neglected to get to know their own teammates. It was more hanging out with your specific friend groups rather than a team bonding experience. This year, I truly felt that I got to know everyone, for the most part, and bond with them as a team,” states an anonymous senior.

Although this year’s camp was different from what the team was used to, they learned a lot of new material and continue to work on and improve the skills of the team. Wishing you all a good rest of the season!

PRIDE PRIDE! EAGLE PRIDE!

Can’t Stop Dancin’

By: Eileen Jaksik

The Pleasanton Pacesetters with Albert Ruiz.

On Thursday, July 30th the Pleasanton High School Pacesetters started their summer dance camp at home in our Pleasanton PAC gym. The Pacesetter camp was a sum of two days, each day the practice lasted a whopping 7-8 hours. The Pleasanton Pacesetters learned a total of three dances, they relearned a competition pom, which is a jazz style of dance with pom poms, the dance is from the previous year to the song “light it up”, a hip hop pep rally dance, and they learned a competition novelty dance to “Just Can’t Wait to be King.” The Pleasanton Pacesetters had help learning these routines from the amazing Albert Ruiz. They learned an original routine, but decided to correct much of the choreography in the span of two whole days.

This year the Pleasanton Pacesetters have 5 new officers leading and helping their team, Colonel Kaylie Stratton, Lieutenant Colonel Alexandra Luna, Major Milagros Garcia, Lieutenant Briana Aguirre, and Sergeant Kaitlyn Allen. The new Pacesetter Officers had to not only take care of and worry about themselves, but they also had to learn how to worry and take care of the other Pacesetters at the same time. The officers had to help the new team members coordinate their team outfits and they set up sisterly events to help make the team more comfortable around each other. The new officers did very well according to Mrs. DeWaal, “They did exceptionally well, especially for the majority being first time officers.” 

The Pleasanton Pacesetters attended camp during the Covid-19 virus. They wore face masks and stayed six-feet apart while dancing. According to some of the Pleasanton Pacesetters adjusting to the masks was not a very hard thing to do. Before camp even started the Pacesetters were already use to wearing the masks due to multiple practices prior to camp. 

Mrs. DeWaal is very proud of how the Pacesetters did at their private camp. They can’t wait to compete these wonderful dances they worked so hard on to learn. A huge congrats and good luck for the 2020-2021 Pleasanton Pacesetters!

Epidemic Effects on Education

By: River Reyes

COVID-19 took the world by storm. All around the world many businesses, organizations, governments, and schools were hurdled into the unknown. Pleasanton High School was not an exception. The worldwide pandemic affected us all, forcing our school to switch to distance learning following the past spring break. Even now, 6 months later, our student body has been divided between distance learners and face-to-face learners with a new set of challenges for our school to overcome. 

Naturally, our school has adopted common safety practices to avoid the spread of COVID-19 for our face-to-face learners. There have also been restrictions put on gatherings taking place on school grounds. Everyone on the school staff has been working hard to ensure students have a relatively safe year by monitoring students to make sure they’re following our safety guidelines. Our teachers have had their fair share of difficulties ensuring that every student learns the necessary material with an emphasis on being flexible for the challenges being faced teaching both online and face-to-face. 

The students of Pleasanton High school have had varying experiences. Some face-to-face learners feel no real differences in the learning environment apart from the COVID regulations whereas some of our distance learners wish to return to face to face classes to have a better experience when it comes to classwork. In addition, students on campus have been following the new safety practices and behaving well with a respectful attitude.

This school year will prove challenging for everyone with their respective responsibilities, but we will move forward with positivity, acceptance and hope for brighter days in the future.

Childhood Cancer Awareness

By: Adriana Clark

Childhood Cancer Awareness gold ribbon

September is the month that brings awareness to those who are facing or have faced childhood cancer, a time for people to focus on the importance of finding the cause, making a prevention plan, seeking possible treatments, and cures. Families often come together during this month to tell inspirational stories of the children who are facing or have faced cancer. Each year, 300,000 people are diagnosed with cancer, and 175,000 are children under the age of 14. Cancer does not always mean that it is just one disease. Instead, it can often be found in different places in the body; the most common type of cancer found in children is leukemia (a blood cancer). Cancer is less likely caused by a child’s environment and lifestyle, but instead can be caused by genetic changes or better known as mutations. A strong family history of cancer may increase a child’s risk. Thanks to therapies, over 80% of the childhood cancer patients have become long-term survivors. Organizations the help bring awareness is the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) who help by shaping policy, supporting research, and providing free education to kids with cancer, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California help by creating a home away from home so they are able to stay close to their hospitalized child without causing any financial toll on the family, and the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation help elevate the mental, social, and emotional wellbeing of families that undergoing cancer treatment volunteers prepare packages filled with board games, books, and toys for different age groups which are then shipped out to hospitals and oncology centers across the world.

Freshman Advice

By: Hayli Woodson

91,759 Inspirational Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Inspirational quote for freshman.

High school is a great place to embark on a new journey, and this school is a great location to start planning, or even start, your trip through young adulthood. Everything from here on out is going to be a challenge, but don’t shy away from it. Embrace the troubles and responsibilities of being a teenager and use them to make your future years at PHS great. There are going to be plenty of good times and some bad, but no matter the current circumstances, you will look back on your years here and smile. Just remember that no matter how difficult your freshman year is, there are others that have survived past 9th grade. Here is some advice from the survivors, AKA your upperclassmen.

“Try to make new friends in higher grades so they can help you get used to the school better.” -Christian Salazar

“Enjoy your first year because it’ll be your last first year.” -Gabriella Chapa

“Enjoy your freshman year and make it last because you’ll miss it and 9th grade is the easiest it gets. Have fun.” -Robert Medrano

“Don’t be scared of upperclassmen, but also respect them.” -Anonymous

“Don’t judge people and look on the inside, not the outside.” -Dwayn Wilbanks

“No matter how hard it gets, just keep going.” -Mrs. Harris

This is going to be a great year freshman, enjoy yourself. Although PHS has had some changes this year due to Covid- 19, it is still a great place and has a great staff here for you. PHS may not be what it’s like in movies,  but living out your teenage years is going to be a wild ride, so buckle up and enjoy your time here.

The Lighthouse: A Maritime Nightmare

By: Kori Miller

Movie Poster for The Lighthouse (2019)

Modern directors and a higher demand for quality in films has created a breeding ground for exceptional horror movies. Directors like Ari Aster and Jordan Peele are single-handedly reshaping the genre, and it’s a welcome change. In this instance, it’s Robert Eggers stepping up to the plate with his latest horror film, following The Witch in 2015. With a short and sweet filmography, he has already proven himself to be capable of masterpieces. In 2019, he released The Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse is a psychological horror film that follows Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson), who is serving a contract job as an assistant to a lighthouse keeper (Willem Dafoe) for a month on an isolated island off the coast of England. As the two are eventually stranded with no contact with others and seemingly no hope, the only thing left for them to do is ration their food and pray for the best. However tensions rise as secrets emerge, and the two cannot stay away from each other’s throats for long.

This film has a gritty style, being shot entirely on black and white 30mm film and with a 1.19 to 1 aspect ratio to make it appear older and more sophisticated. This, matched with the combined production value and filming location, makes the real elements almost indistinguishable from the staged ones. And against all odds, it manages to fuse a surprising element of comedy, almost in self-awareness.

The actors are entirely convincing, which ironically poses a challenge for a western release. The filmmakers studied journals kept by old lighthouse keepers to develop convincing accents for the actors to dawn in the film. Due to the unique dialect, the plotline is difficult to follow without aid. This normally wouldn’t be a threat to conventional psychological films, but The Lighthouse is uniquely dialogue-based and a good portion of its relevant scenes require a lot of attention. Additionally, the film’s themes and imagery are rather disturbing which makes it unsuitable for a general audience. These factors create a following for the movie with a very specific taste. Despite the quality, not very many casual film fans took much interest upon its release.

As one of the best-received films of 2019, The Lighthouse holds a rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.5/10 on IMDB. 

True Crime Vol. XlV: Remembering 9/11

Two first responders comfort each other as they look at the chaos.

By: Victoria Chavez

At 5:45 A.M. Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Abdul Aziz al-Omari pass through security at Portland International jetport in Maine. The pair aboard a commuter flight to Boston Logan International Airport, where they would then connect to American Airlines Flight 11. 

7:35 A.M. Passengers, including five hijackers, board Flight 11 at Gate B32 in Logan International Airport, Boston. 

8:14 and 8:15 A.M. The terrorist attack and kill pilot Captain John Ogonowski and First Officer Thomas McGuinness of Flight 11 and take control of the aircraft. At this time 51 passengers and 5 hijackers (Marwan al-Shehhi, Fayez Banihammad, Mohand al-Shehri, Hamza al-Ghamdi and Ahmed al-Ghamdi) board another flight. 

8:20 A.M. American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Washington Dulles International Airport for Los Angeles. The aircraft carried 65 people, including six crew members, 53 passengers and five hijackers. 

8:46 A.M. The first plane crashes. American Airlines Flight 11 strikes the North Tower of the World Trade Center, traveling at hundreds of miles per hour and carrying around 10,000 gallons of jet fuel. The flight crashes into floors 93-99 and severs all three emergency stairwells, trapping hundreds of people above the 91st floor. 

9:03 A.M. The second plane crashes. United Flight 175 strikes the South Tower on floors 77-85. Two of the three emergency stairwells are rendered impassable and most elevator cables in the area are severed by the crash, trapping many on floors above the impact and in elevators.

9:37 A.M. American Airlines Flight 77 hits the Pentagon. 

9:59 A.M. The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses from top to bottom. It had been covered with flames for about 56 minutes. Over 800 workers, including first responders, died during this time. 

10:03 A.M. Passengers on Flight 93 take down the four hijackers in the cockpit and crash land it into a field near Shanksville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 33 passengers and seven crew members on board. 

10:28 A.M. The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses. Over 1,600 are killed. 

It has been 19 years since this tragedy has occurred. While it forever left America scarred with a taunting message, we still continue to honor those who died and those who gave their lives. We will never forget 9/11.

Poll of the Month

By: Dillon Myers

Aah wings. Wings can be eaten for snacks, celebrations, BBQs, and more.  Lemon pepper, Hawaiian, hickory smoked, or garlic Parmesan, boneless or bone-in… there are many options. Here at PHS, we were curious as to if people preferred bone-in wings or boneless wings and here are the results:

Stick-in Around for This Treat

The classic caramel apple

By: Adelena Vera

Are you looking for a sweet autumn treat? Try this simple recipe that is loved even by culinary artists. Caramel apples are a delicious and quick dessert that almost anyone can do.

Ingredients: 

  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 6 wooden sticks
  • 14 ounces of unwrapped caramel
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Nuts or sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Prepare a pan with parchment paper, then wash your apples 
  2. Stick the wooden sticks ¾ of the way into the stem end of each apple and place aside 
  3. Combine the caramel and water into a saucepan and heat over low, stir often until the caramel is melted 
  4. Stir in vanilla extract
  5. Dip each apple in the caramel 
  6. Sprinkle the desired toppings on the apple while the caramel is still hot, then place the prepared pan.
  7. Let cool, then enjoy!

 

Poem of the Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are as

The sun.

Powerful,

Great,

And Stunningly

Beautiful.

Never change.

By: Unknown

This poem speaks out to me because no matter what people think of you remember to stand strong and stay standing. Don’t let your spirits down just because of what people tell you. Be yourself, there’s nothing wrong with it!

Sincerely,

The Passionate Poet

 

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21- April 19): Aries have a full moon that appears on the 1st, showcasing your intense approach to life. During this month, you will feel drawn to speaking your mind and following your desires. Don’t be surprised if you butt heads with someone else, due to everyone wanting to say what they please in October.

Taurus (April 20- May 20): You will learn a valuable lesson this month, but as you move forward, you will find it becomes easier to express yourself.

Gemini (May 21- June 20): This time is set to pack a particularly emotional punch, and while it may be easier for this sign to accept, that does not mean that it will be easy either. Don’t attempt to go against the flow; instead, follow your ambitions and work smarter, not harder. 

Cancer (June 21- July 22): It will be wise to follow your gut this month. October will give you a leg up when it comes to finding your way around the world. The new moon on the 16th will point you towards home.

Leo (July 23- August 22): This month, you will notice a need to buy stuff. There’s nothing wrong with wanting new things, but make sure you don’t lose sight of what’s actually valuable.

Virgo (August 23- September 22): During October, a sudden warmth and sense of generosity will come over you. Harsh words will be replaced with open ears and you will find greater joy in agreeing with others.

Libra (September 22- October 23): This month, you will find yourself seeking out tasks that suit your skills. Your commitment to equality makes you a leader, especially during a time as crazy as 2020.

Scorpio (October 23- November 21): During the month of October, time with your friends will bring smiles to your face and joy into your heart. Love and relationships will feel chaotic starting October 31st. Expect an emotional outburst, but don’t assume it’s negative.

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21): A romantic connection to someone could reach a boiling point early in the month. It does look like an ending is near for you and the person you’re dating. There is one caveat to this- if you have the opportunity to go back to someone you used to love, it’s possible the full moon will help you find resolution. 

Capricorn (December 22- January 19): The full moon on October 1st will bring emotions to the surface. You may hear news of someone that can anger you. It’s also possible that a situation that you have invested in will reach a disappointing outcome. It may be rough, but you will come back from it.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18): Finances are looking sweet this month. You are likely to receive money from any source besides your paycheck. A beneficial financial opportunity is likely to arise through someone of great power and importance.

Pisces (February 19- March 20): As the month opens, you may find that a hasty decision involving money is causing many problems. The best thing you can do is take a step back, assess the situation, and begin moving on. You can always make more money and this experience may have taught you a valuable lesson.