Hoopin’ into season!

By: Layla Rodriguez

This year’s 2023-2024 basketball season has begun. Our Pleasanton Eagle Basketball program has gotten off to a strong start. Our teams are very new and are starting to gel together and play more smoothly. We may not have won many games so far this season, but our teams are definitely growing stronger as one. Here are some words from our girl’s head coach, Coach G “My favorite part about being a basketball coach is watching the team improve. The season is very long, and our girls work hard to get better and better throughout the season so it is great to see their improvement.” Coach G is a very dedicated coach, and he loves to see his team work together as a whole to improve and dominate throughout the season.

Our basketball season has yet to start district, but here are some results from some scrimmages- Boys Basketball:  Pleasanton vs Foxtech 4-24 (win) Pleasanton vs Highland 43-35 (loss) Pleasanton vs Kings 54-40 (loss) Girls Basketball: Pleasanton vs Orange Grove 30-39 (loss) Pleasanton vs John F. Kenedy 27-61 (win) Pleasanton vs Marion 35-33 (loss). Though we may not have won every game we sure did make a great effort to keep the scores close and barely fall to the opponents. Our ladies and gentlemen put in lots of hard work each day at practice. Here is what a day at practice looks like for the girls and boys according to Coach G- “We usually start with conditioning, then we move into some shooting. After shooting we incorporate some basic skills and drills, and we finish off on working on our game plan and plays to use on our next opponent. That sounds like a lot of work! 

It’s great to see that our Eagle Basketball Program is off to a great start and working very hard each day to be the best we can be! It’s greatly appreciated to come out and support our basketball program this year and show them some love.

Womens Soccer

By: Leighlah Silva 

Soccer season has officially started here at PHS! The quill staff have partnered up with the head coach of the girl’s soccer team and asked a few questions about how he wants this soccer season to play out. This season has barely started, but the sky’s the limit for this team!

“My expectations for this season are high because our team has no ceiling in sight. This is a talented team, but more importantly, they are coachable and committed”, Says Coach Joseph. With all this excitement about soccer season starting, comes hard challenges for these talented girls! “Before they could try out, the girls were required to complete a fitness test. The varsity fitness test was a 7:20 mile and level 15 on the Nike Yo-Yo intermittent Recovery test. The JV fitness requirement was 8:30 and level 10, respectively. The actual tryouts consisted of two weeks of technical drills and a week of small-sided games.” 

Each and every day these student-athletes are working hard for district champions. This team has so much potential and amazing talent, they will in fact go far!

Rock ‘n Bowl

By: Shyanne Sexton 

In the heart of Pleasanton, where the sense of community thrives, a new chapter in high school sports is unfolding. Pleasanton High School has revived its sense of friendship and rivalry by forming its own bowling team. This new addition to the school’s roster is about more than simply strikes and spares; it’s about cooperation, skill development, and providing students with memorable memories. Pleasanton High School’s bowling team was founded by a group of enthusiastic students who realized the need for a varied sports program. Bowling, which is commonly thought of as a leisure game, was envisioned as a way to bring together students with various passions under the umbrella of friendly competition. 

As tryouts and sign-ups commenced, a diverse group of students came forward, showcasing a mix of experienced bowlers and newcomers eager to learn. The inclusive nature of the team’s formation was intentional, reflecting the ethos of Pleasanton High School – a place where every student is encouraged to explore their passions. Beyond the scorecards and strikes, the bowling team has had a profound impact on the participating students. Friendships blossomed, and students discovered talents they never knew they possessed. Sophomore Brennan Lopez said,“It’s been a great experience, it’s a great opportunity to spend time with friends.”  The team provided a platform for personal growth, teaching resilience, discipline, and the importance of teamwork – lessons that extend far beyond the bowling alley.

Student Spotlight: Emiliano Lugo

By: Leighlah Silva

Good afternoon PHS! The quill staff are coming to you with yet another student spotlight article. This month Emiliano Lugo has been selected as our spotlight. Emiliano is a highly gifted and talented student both in and out of the classroom. He participates in many extracurricular activities such as chess club, art club, and bowling club which is a new club here at PHS! You can say he is very active in and out of school. Emiliano says that all of these extracurricular activities have helped him experience new things and meet new people. His chess instructor Ms.Infante has very good feedback she says “He is very polite and generous, he helps his teammates improve in many things, even though sooner or later they will be going against each other in chess. He has a very great mindset about everyone being a winner”. 

Emiliano says that his peers have impacted his life in ways that many don’t and that is what is important because he has experienced many opportunities that he wouldn’t have experienced if it weren’t for them. Emiliano says he has adapted to the high school lifestyle by walking a lot in the hallways and meeting new teachers. 

The PHS quill staff are thrilled to have this opportunity to get to know Emiliano and honor him for being such a great student! 

Staff Spotlight

By: Layla Rodriguez

For this month’s amazing staff member at PHS we have selected our counselor Mrs.Read for our staff spotlight! Mrs.Read is one of our new councilors this year, she was formerly a counselor at our elementary. Mrs.Read first started out teaching reading interventions at the elementary and later realized her true passion. She says “I had groups of about 10 students every class period. They all wanted to tell me stories about their lives. Some stories were fun and enjoyable to hear about, others were sad and made me wonder if the student would be okay that day. As this happened day after day, I thought how wonderful it would be if this was my actual job and I could spend time helping students all day instead of listening for 5 minutes then cutting them off to work on reading.” As you can see she started out small and quickly noticed her love for helping others, and wanted to take it a step further and be able to be there for them full time. This was when she became a full-on counselor at the elementary school.

Along with Mrs.Read came her very fun, and outgoing personality, and her true passion for helping others in what she does. Here are some words from Mrs.Read: “The best part about my job is helping students in any way I can and getting to visit with them all the time. The students here at high school are fun, outgoing, kind, and want to do their best all the time. I really enjoy helping them all on their little journeys in life.” This really shows just how much she has a love and passion for taking care of her students. Mrs.Read is also a very positive role model and an all-around great person to be around! Here are some of her words of inspiration “Stay happy, healthy, and strong. The enemy will try to beat you down, so get up every day, set your mind straight, and say Jesus you got this!” Overall we are so very grateful that we have gained her as a new staff member at our campus, and that she will continue to bring smiles to our faces!


True Crime Vol. XXXVI: Jonestown Massacre(Jim Jones)

By: Kendall Zuniga 

How do you drink your Kool-Aid? Cold and sweet? Chunks of ice and light sugar? Bitter and poisoned with cyanide? Sadly that’s how the followers of “Jonestown” drank their Kool-Aid. It’s estimated that over 900 followers of Jim Jones had died that day from Cyanide poisoning, making it the largest mass intentional civilian death to be recorded since before the events of September 11th, 2009. 

The Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ(more formerly known as Jonestown) was founded in 1955 in Indianapolis, Indiana by Jim and Marceline Jones. Pastor, Jim Jones, would preach to a racially-integrated congregation during church services. At the height of its popularity during the 1970s, the Temple had a membership estimated in the thousands and was courted by local politicians in San Francisco, California. But by 1977, Jones had grown paranoid from the media scrutiny over the Temple’s suspicious activities, so he and his numerous followers moved to an agricultural settlement in Guyana, a remote country east of Venezuela.

U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan visited Jonestown in November 1978. Ryan was spurred to visit Jonestown after hearing word from a friend and former Peoples Temple member who couldn’t reach family members at the commune, as well as an written statement from Deborah Layton Blakey, a Jones aide who sought refuge at the American embassy, who recounted the goings-on at Jonestown. Sources say Jones had been rehearsing people for weeks on end on what to say to Ryan and the media. Soon after checking out the settlement, Ryan was shot to death along with four other people by Temple gunmen at an airstrip. 

The fear in Jones was setting in and believed something had to be done to keep his dark secret from reaching the light of day. Jones would often hold mass suicide rehearsals in order to see who his true followers were and which of his followers would give him the most trouble, making the trouble makers line up first to take the poison. He would also come to decide that if he were to “kill off” all the children, their parents wouldn’t have any reason to live. So, he starts with the babies and the people want to believe that this is just another rehearsal. For a lot of them it was just surreal. They couldn’t believe this man, who professed to have their best interests in mind, would actually kill them. It wasn’t until they saw the babies frothing at the mouth and writhing that they realized what was going on. 

The people of Jonestown, some acceptant and serene, others probably coerced, queued to receive cups of cyanide punch and syringes. When Guyanese troops reached Jonestown the next morning, they discovered an eerie, silent vista, frozen in time and littered with bodies. A tiny number of survivors, mainly people who had hidden during the poisoning, emerged. Jim Jones was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot.

NaNoWriMo Victories

By: Shyanne Sexton

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an annual writing challenge that calls on participants to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. This literary marathon demands dedication, creativity, and perseverance. For many aspiring writers, completing NaNoWriMo is a monumental achievement that signifies a triumph in word count and a journey of self-discovery and artistic expression. Four students here at PHS who undertook this ambitious challenge and emerged victorious. Throughout this issue and the next PHS Journalism staff will highlight 2 of the students at a time and their journeys. 

Kathryn Cornwell, a distinguished senior here at PHS fueled by a passion for storytelling and an extra hundred in the grade book, took her first steps into the realm of NaNoWriMo with trepidation and excitement. Like everything else she does Kathryn faced this challenge head-on, juggling schoolwork, jobs, and the demands of daily life. Despite initial doubts, Kathryn was captivated by the creative process, discovering hidden depths of imagination she never knew she possessed. 

Immersing herself in the hallow confines of our local Starbucks Kathryn harnessed the productive atmosphere, allowing her writing process to run ramped. The beginning of her narrative mirrored the distinctive contours of her personal life leading up to senior year as she expressed, “I wanted to tell my story but from an outside perspective.” However, as the long days of November fell by the way the story took an unexpected turn from a thin-veiled autobiography to the fictional narrative of a serial killer. Kathryn had navigated the early days of November with a steady pace, until she encountered a roadblock in her writing journey – what to do once she had shared her entire story. After days of pondering Kathryn had decided that to overcome this hurdle, she would draw inspiration from horror shows, movies, and books, shaping her character with newfound insight. As she found herself nearing the end, concluding her story became a challenging task, she had built relationships with the characters and couldn’t leave her narrative with a rushed or improper result.

The NaNoWriMo experience proved to be a roller coaster for Kathryn.  When asked if she would take on the daring challenge of NaNoWriMo again, Kathryn declined but shared her commitment to continue writing and pursuing her own creative desires. For Kathryn, the completion of NaNoWriMo signified more than just the creation of a novel. The discipline she honed during those 30 days translated into improved time management skills and heightened confidence, both academically and creatively.  

All the Journalism staff would like to congratulate Kathryn on her amazing achievement and wish her well in future endeavors.

Shelby Dambeck another Senior here at PHS also embarked on her NaNoWriMo journey this past month. The blank page stared back at her, and the challenge of writing a novel in just 30 days seemed daunting. Early days Shelby found herself grappling with a lack of direction in her story, unsure of where her characters would lead her. But, as she delved deeper into the writing process, a sense of accomplishment began to bloom.

Shelby shared that her writing started at a slow pace, the words trickling onto the page like a hesitant stream. However, as November unfolded, so did her narrative. Thanksgiving break proved to be a turning point for Shelby, a moment when everything began to click into place. With each passing day, her story gained momentum, and Shelby found herself caught up in the whirlwind of her characters’ lives. Shelby’s novel centered around a timeless theme: a love story between high school sweethearts. Yet, she approached it with a refreshing twist—deviating from the conventional narrative where the lovers live happily ever after.

The Starbucks proved once again to be a sanctuary for creativity. Armed with her favorite chai tea latte, she let the comforting hum of background noise and the warmth of her surroundings fuel her imagination. The ambiance became a backdrop for the development of her characters and the unfolding of their story. Shelby discovered that a change of scenery and a favorite beverage could be the perfect recipe for a productive writing session.

Shelby’s advice to fellow NaNoWriMo participants is simple but powerful: keep your pace and stay consistent. She emphasizes that maintaining a steady writing routine is key to alleviating the stress that can accompany such a challenge. By tackling her novel page by page, Shelby avoided the overwhelm that can often come with the pressure of word counts and deadlines. While Shelby doesn’t envision herself publishing or pursuing a career in writing, she recognizes the invaluable lessons NaNoWriMo has imparted. The discipline, determination, and creative problem-solving she cultivated during this month-long writing marathon are skills that will undoubtedly serve her well in her future endeavors to be a nurse. Whether in the classroom or any other arena, Shelby is confident that the resilience she honed during NaNoWriMo will be a guiding force.

As November drew to a close, Shelby looked back on her NaNoWriMo experience with a sense of accomplishment. Her journey from uncertainty to a completed novel is a testament to the transformative power of creativity and commitment. And, if she ever decides to take on NaNoWriMo again, there’s a promise lingering in the air—a continuation of the love story she brought to life, a narrative waiting to be unfolded in the pages of another Starbucks-fueled adventure.

Monthly Cause: Military Family Appreciation Month

By: May Smith

National Military Family Month has a rich history dating back to 1996 when it was officially recognized by the Armed Services YMCA; a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving military families. It has since gained national recognition and has become an important occasion for honoring and supporting military families. Throughout the years, National Military Family Month has evolved into a nationwide effort to acknowledge the sacrifices and resilience of military families and to provide them with the appreciation and assistance they deserve.

Military Family Appreciation Month is a time set aside to honor the importance of military families. Military families know what it means to serve. Every day, you get up and support your service members standing by during long training and deployments. You know the risks, but you accept this life of service anyway. You are the backbone of our military. You are the quiet, but steady fuel at home that keeps the fire burning. You keep track of military pay, benefits, and news, because you know they make a day-to-day difference in your life. When your time as an actively serving family comes to an end, you support your veteran. Serving is just what you do.

Traditionally, the president signs a proclamation recognizing that service and declaring November as Military Family Month. Over the month, families just like yours are honored, and recognized for their commitment as well as contributions in support of our military and nation.

Advice column: Expert Advice to Crush Stress and Thrive in Your Journey!

By: Brittney Rodriguez

Dealing with stress as a student can be super overwhelming, especially when the semester is coming to an end but don’t worry. Here are some tips that can help you manage your stress.

To start it’s important to take breaks and give yourself some time to relax and recharge. Between studying or participating in activities, take short breaks to do something you enjoy. It could be listening to music, going for a walk, or even just taking a few deep breaths. These little breaks can make a big difference in helping you manage stress.

Staying organized is another key to dealing with stress. Try making a to-do list and prioritize your tasks. Breaking them down into smaller, manageable parts can make them feel less overwhelming. Plus, there’s something satisfying about checking things off your list. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps you stay focused. 

Taking care of yourself is crucial when it comes to managing stress. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and staying hydrated. Try engaging in activities that make you happy and help you relax, like reading, drawing, or spending time with friends. Self-care is not selfish, it’s necessary for your well-being.

Don’t keep your stress bottled up. Talking it out can be helpful. Reach out to someone you trust, whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a counselor. They can offer support, guidance, and helpful advice. Sometimes just sharing your feelings with someone who understands can make a huge difference.

Finding healthy outlets for your stress is important too. Engage in activities that help you release stress and channel your energy. Exercise is a great way to do this, whether it’s going for a run, doing yoga, or playing a sport. Journaling can also be a helpful tool for expressing your thoughts and emotions. Don’t forget to pursue hobbies or interests that bring you joy and help you relax.

Remember stress is a normal part of high school, but it doesn’t have to consume you. By taking breaks, staying organized, practicing self-care, talking it out, and finding healthy outlets, you can manage and conquer stress. 


By: May Smith


Aries – Expect the unexpected on the 11th. Dreams may have some insights for you about how to make more money on the 17th & 18th. Don’t let frustrations get a hold of you on the 25th.


Taurus – Don’t believe everything that friends tell you on the 3rd. Travel can be particularly fun on the 6th. You are exceptionally charming on the 15th. 


Gemini – Expect the unexpected on the 4th. Ideas come to you about how you can improve your career on the 6th. Don’t believe everything that you hear on the 27th. 


Cancer – You know just what to say and just how to say it on the 3rd. The 17th is an excellent time to have a discussion with your mate. Don’t let others get you into an argument on the 18th. 


Leo – Be careful not to overdo it on the 3rd. Expect the unexpected on the 13th. Inner intuitions on the 17th can help you determine how to make more money. 


Virgo – Creativity is yours on the 6th. Changing your thought processes on the 8th can bring great benefits. Confusion may be around on the 27th, so avoid making major decisions. 


Libra – This whole month is especially lucky for you. A dream could bring positive changes into your life on the 6th. Folks like what you have to say on the 15th. 


Scorpio – You are full of lots of ideas on the 8th. People like what you have to say on the 17th. A personal change proves fortuitous on the 29th. 


Sagittarius – Be careful not to overdo it on the 3rd. You are particularly lucky on the 14th. Focusing on work can bring rewards on the 25th. 


Capricorn – Be careful what you disclose on the 10th. Everybody loves you and what you have to say on the 17th. Sleep becomes more important after the 22nd. 


Aquarius – Expect the unexpected on the 4th. There may be some conflict between home & career on the 13th. Everybody loves you on the 9th. 


Pisces – It is not the best day to have a discussion with your mate on the 3rd. Travel beckons and could be a lot of fun on the 17th. Your intuition is right on the money on the 21st. 

The Christmas Vampire

By: Alex Richter

In the heart of a quaint town, where carolers sang, and holiday lights twinked, lived a young vampire named George in a snowy cottage. For about a decade, he’d been disguised as a plain, young man. He’d taken the habit of adopting the tradition of the era he was in, even though it was vastly different from when he was living. Throughout the years, George had always had a special place in his heart for Christmas.

The last blue ornament was placed carefully on the tree as George sighed, admiring the beautiful Christmas tree that he’d spent hours decorating. He grabbed his phone, pocketing it, before stepping into the cold snow. Though the ground was frozen, George’s town bustled with warmth and excitement. He loved his town, and often participated in the festivities, especially during Christmas.

Rumors spread throughout the vampire community about a mysterious and mystical potion known as the “Crimson Cocoa;” this potion was known to grant any supernatural creature permanent mortality. However, since many of the vampires were hidden within the crowds, George had difficulty learning about it. He’d always dreamed of finding another vampire and being able to bond once again, yet he’d always found himself alone.

Being mortal again was what George had always wanted. A vampire gave George a map whose identity was a mystery to him. The journey appeared long and boring; even with his inhuman running skill, he’d get there in about a day or so.

The outside of George’s town was ghostly. Once he passed it, he let his legs take him as fast as he possibly could go. The birch trees were painted a bright white and black and appeared to be wooshing by him at the speed of light. The leaves changed from a deep green to a sea blue and a velvet purple. This was the enchanted forest.

George was on his feet for hours, yet didn’t struggle too much, as he was willing to speed through vast terrains to reach his goal. As he got closer to the Crimson Cocoa, he managed to find two vampires and a young ghost whom he’d recognized from his mortal life. The vampires were traveling together, yet they looked nothing alike. Their names were Clay and Tommy. The ghost, Wilbur, was a schoolmate of George’s as a teen.

“Clay shut it. You’re not my dad,” Tommy grunted as they jogged through the terrain.

“Ugh, I wouldn’t want to be your dad with you complaining this much. I don’t know how your parents tolerate you,” Clay snapped.

“Chill out, everyone. And stop walking so fast,” Wilbur murmured as he struggled to keep up with the swift creatures.

As Christmas approached, they ended up in a building that, according to the legend, held the infamous Crimson Cocoa. The air was thick with anticipation as he unlocked the door to the kitchen. Once inside, he was surprised to find not only one glimmering mug of Crimson Cocoa but three. Now the question remained, did he give it to his friends, or keep one for himself, and let one of his friends wander alone and immortal on this day?

“George go ahead, you deserve it,” Clay smiled. 

“Well, I want one!” Tommy shouted excitedly, grabbing one for himself. “If you don’t mind Wilbur…”

“Tommy, you can go ahead and do whatever you want. There’s nothing I can do to stop you,” Wilbur chuckled.

“I don’t know… Clay, are you sure you don’t want this?” George asked.

“George, take it,” Clay said, placing the warm mug into George’s cold hands.

The choice weighed heavily on George’s immortal soul, but ultimately, he’d decided to extend the gift of humanity with his supernatural companions. He would simply have to live with immortality until he found another way. Though his Christmas was merry and bright, the time ended. George stayed a vampire, and as sad as he was, his now mortal friends stuck with him through and through, waiting for the day that George’s opportunity would come.