Student Spotlight: Devin Derby

By: Brian Avery

In this issue’s student spotlight, we are featuring Devin Derby! Devin is a sophomore, and is usually seen spending time with his friends, laughing and joking around. We got the chance to interview him, and we asked him a multitude of questions.

We asked him what he loves most about high school, and he responded, “I think my favorite aspect of school is the people and the experience. It’s a nice place to be at.” When questioned about his favorite experience, he said that his answer was the same. We followed up by asking him what his favorite subject was, and he responded that it was English. When asked to elaborate, he continued with “I like the discussions we have over it.” He gave thanks to his former English teacher, Mrs. Meagan Novosad, stating that “She always gave me really good feedback for all my essays and what not I’d do.” Devin joined BPA this year, and is excited about all the opportunities it’ll bring him. In the years to come, he hopes to become an officer, stating that any role would work for him. Devin isn’t involved in any sports, but he talked about his plans to join the golf team.

We had the opportunity to ask Coach Everett about Devin in the classroom, and he stated “Devin is a hard worker, very bright and is very familiar with the content. He’s funny, and likes to make jokes, but he remains respectful towards me, and is always in class.” Devin is an ambitious student with his sights set on the stars, and we’re so glad he was chosen for this month’s student spotlight! Good luck with your classes, Devin!

Monthly Cause: Suicide Awarness

By: Kendall Zuniga

In the month of September we raise awarness on the issue of suicide. A topic not commonly shedded light upon due to the fear of it influencing others into committing the act but that’s not the case at all. Every day, more than one hundred thirty suicides occur, the numbers are continuing to rise as time passes. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10–34 and the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S. Every nintey minutes a person between the ages of 15 and 24 commit suicide. The suicide rate has increased by 35% since 1999, 4.8% of suicides are adults, 11.8% are young adults (ages 18-25),  18.8% are high school students, and 46.8% are  LGBTQ+  high school students. 

When asked why people commit suicide there are many answers, bullying, mental health, and someones identity are just some of the reasons why people commit the act of ending their life.

But in recent years we have started to become slightly more aware of the symptoms of those who are thinking of committing suicide. 

Social media and the entertainment industries have recently started shining a light on this dark subject everyone is usually afraid to speak about. Movies and tv shows such as “all the bright places” and “13 reasons why” show us just a glimpse of how suicide and mental illnesses can not only effect yourself, but others.

Before making a permanent decision take these things into consideration:

How do you think this will affect those around you?

What are the long term effects if the attempt fails?

How would you truly feel if the attempt failed? 

If you or someone you love are thinking about harming yourself or are possibly thinking about  suicide, talk to somone you know and trust such as a parent, guardian, or school counselor.

You are not alone.

 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)

The Trevor Project(LGBTQ+): 866-488-7386 (24/7)

Crisis Text Line: Text SUPPORT to 741-741

Last Names A-F: …………………………. Sarah Evans
Last Names G-M:  ……………………….. Marsha Leach

Last Names N-Z: …………………………. Amanda Hardy

Spirit week with PHS

By: Alexandra Garcia & Aaliyah Herrera

Monday, Sept. 27th marks the first day of spirit week for PHS. Spirit week is when students show and give off their Eagle pride during the week of homecoming. This year’s spirit week took place on September 27 through October 1. The student council of Pleasanton high school attended meetings to figure out the theme of Homecoming week, they brainstormed and came up with great, exciting ideas for the students and teachers.

The official theme’s of the week was, Monday Character day, Dress up as any Disney, book, or Movie character. Tuesday’s theme was Dress as triplets or twins. Wednesday was dress up in any space themed attire. Thursday’s theme was sweet dream pajama day. Finally Friday is the pride of PHS Green and Bling, wear mums, garders, and green. Students will be able to dress up and show pride for our football team. 

The dress code has some exceptions for this year’s homecoming week. Including: wearing hoods and hats are available as long as there a part of the costume. No full cover face mask. And if students are wearing tights for their costume they must have shorts or a skirt/dress covering with the appropriate length.

We loved to see everyone recessed up and showing their school spirit. Pride! Pride!

True Crime Vol. XXII: The Dating Game Killer

By: Courtney Henson

Rodney Alcala was born in San Antonio, Texas on August 23, 1943. In 1951 Rodney and his family moved to Mexico. Three years later after his father abandoned them, the family moved to Los Angeles, California. At the age of 17, Rodney enlisted in the military. Soon thereafter, he was discharged after being diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. Other diagnoses in Rodney’s life include narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, malignant narcissism with psychopathy and sexual sadism comorbidities. 

Rodney committed his first known crime in 1968, when he assaulted and beat 8 year old Tali Shapiro. To avoid being caught by police, Redney fled to New Hampshire where he got a job as a camp counselor under the alias of “John Burger” in 1971. After two girls recognized him at the camp, Rodney was captured and charged with child molestation and sentenced to 3 year in state prison. Alcala was released on parole in 1974 after seventeen months. Months later, he was re-arrested and charged for assaulting a 13-year-old girl. Once again, he was paroled after serving two years.  

Between the years of 1977 and 1979, Rodney lured and convinced hundreds of young men and women that he was a photographer, and photographed them for his “portfolio,” often inappropriately.  

In 1978, Rodney appeared on the game show, The Dating Show, Alcala won the competition which earned him a date with Cheryl Bradshaw, who refused to go out with him because she found him “creepy”. This is where Rodney earned himself the name of The Dating Game Killer.

On June 20, 1979, Robin Samsoe disappeared somewhere between the beach and her ballet class. 12 days later her body was found in the Los Angeles foothills. After a\the circulation of a sketch, Rodney was identified and a Seattle storage locker in his name was found with Robins earrings. Rodney was tried in 1980, where he was sentenced to death, but the verdict was overturned after it was revealed the jurors had been informed of his criminal record ahead of time. In 1986, another trial took place, but again, the conviction was invalidated after it was believed that a witness had been “hypnotized by police.” 

While awaiting a third trial, Rodney’s DNA was tied to 4 other cases. The rape-murder of Jill Barcomb, Charlotte Lamb, Jill Parenteau, and Georgia Wixted. As well as admitting to the murders of Cornelia Crilley and Ellen Jane Hover. Prosecutors admitted they would never know the extent of Alcala’s murder spree. 

For the third trial, Rodney chose to act as his own lawyer. For five hours he played the role of both interrogator and witness. At this trial he claimed he was applying for a job when Samsoe was kidnapped and that the found earrings were not hers, but his very own. Rodney made no attempt to dismiss the other 4 added charges. After two days deliberation, Rodney was convicted on 5 count of first-degree murder. In March of 2010, Rodney was sentenced to death for the third time. A surprise witness during the penalty phase of the trial was Tali Shapiro, Alcala’s first known victim. 

In March of 2010, a portion of the photos Rodney had taken were released in hopes of identification. In the first few weeks of the release, police say that 21 women came forward to identify themselves, and “at least six families” said they believed they recognized loved ones who “disappeared years ago and were never found.” Unfortunately none of the photos were connected to a missing persons case until 2013, when a family recognized the photo of Christine Thornton, whose body was found in Wyoming in 1982. 

This third trial did not put a stop to the uncovering of Rodney’s past. In New York State in 2011, Rodney was convicted of the murders of Cornelia Crilley and Ellen Hover. In 2010-2011, Rodney became the person of interest in the cold cases of Antoinette Wittaker, Joyce Gaunt, and Pamela Jean Lambson. Fianlly, in September 2016, Rodney was convicted of one last murder. After being reconized by a realitive, h Rodney was convicted of the murder of Christine Ruth Thornton.

Rodney died of natural causes in California, on July 24, 2021, at the age of 77, while still on death row.

Pacesetter Camp

By: Alexandra Garcia and Libby Sanchez

This year, our Pleasanton Pacesetter Team attended HTE Dance Camp in San Antonio. This organization specializes in training today’s young people to become tomorrow’s leaders in the world of dance. The camp lasted for three days, July 25th-27th. The first two days the girls were up and training at 7 in the morning, to 7:30 in the evening, almost 13 hours. Over the course of their time there, our pacesetters learned all their pep rally, competition, and football game routines for this year. After last year’s events being limited due to Covid-19, these girls are ready to jump back into school spirit and perform at pep rallies and our community parades once again.

At the end of last year, the new officers were chosen for the next upcoming season. This year’s officers are looking forward to leading a great year: Colonel Kaylie Stratton, Lieutenant Colonel Briana Arevalo, Major Illeana Ochoa, Lieutenant Larissa Villarreal, Sargent Selena Cerda, Social Officer Captain Alexis Robles, Co-Captain Erin Light, and Co-Captain Rosemary Garcia. 

The 2021-2022 Pleasanton Pacesetters are looking forward to a great year full of fun away game bus rides, competitions, and overall memories. Best of luck to our new officers and the rest of the girls as they progress through this year!

Leave It All On The Field

By: Courtney Henson

Senior Tatum Stanley, Sophomore Jaelyn Morales, and Junior Taylor Bryant are pictured celebrating a win.

On April 29, the Pleasanton Lady Eagles softball team faced Uvalde and secured a win ending the game with a score of 8-5. The next day, April 30, the team faced Uvalde again and after a long fight, suffered an extreme loss with an end score of 27-2. The day after, on May 1, the Eagles faced Uvalde one final time and after a long game, faced the devastating blow of a 19-4 loss, ending their 2020-2021 season. 

The differences between this year’s season and last year’s season, could not be more obvious. The season was cut short due to Covid-19 last season, so they came ready to play this season. For senior Tatum Stanley, this season posed a mentality improvement. With the new season, the players faced change and were put into new positions. “A lot of us had to play new positions and take that well,” says Stanley. This could have caused blips in the team’s plays, but instead they rose to the situation and as Stanley said “kept our heads up” as well as being, “ready for the next one.” For Sophomore Anai Gonzales, this was the first year on Varsity and first full year of high school softball. This year she feels they faced a lot of the same difficulties that Stanley thought. A “rough one” she called it, but “ I love my teammates and I’m grateful to have gotten the chance to play with them” 

For head coach, Coach Savage, this would come to be the last season she would coach. For the past 11 years, Savage has been working towards turning the program around, and it has paid off. The softball program has made it to the playoffs every season for the past 11 years, something that had not been done in many years. Coach Savage credits the amazing seasons to the “dedicated and hard working young women of this community that believed in themselves and our program.” Although Coach Savage will no longer coach at the high school level, she will continue coaching at the junior high level. Coaching junior high kids has always been a passion of Coach Savages, firmly believing that, “it’s where the basic fundamentals are instilled in kids and their future success sprouts at that level.” Coach Savage will be missed dearly by the softball team.

As the softball season comes to a close, and the year ends, the softball team looks forward to next season. Remember these words from your dear Coach Savage, “never forget to find your BELIEVE! All things are possible if you Believe!” Awesome job this season and we wish you luck in the future. Pride! Pride! Eagle Pride!

Highest Ranking Girl: April Findley

By: Courtney Henson

April Findley is one of the most kind, generous, and humble faces at PHS. Over the past 4 years April has worked incredibly hard in all of her classes. This work has paid off and April will graduate as the highest ranking girl of the class of 2021! April will be attending Texas A&M where she is studying Mathematics to, someday in the future, become an actuary. April is the student council president, an active member of NHS, a member of the Trio Upward Bound program, and a member of the 2021 class officer cabinet. 

Along with working very hard and balancing your time well, another thing that can help you stay ahead and create motivation are the people all around supporting you. The teachers at PHS can play a huge role in influencing the students. For April, three teachers had the biggest influence on not only her success in high school, but on the person she is today. April credits her motivation to actually do well in school to Mr. Roberson. Freshman year, April categorized herself as a pessimistic person but through the year she grew.  She says Mr. Roberson “opened my eyes to the world of optimism.” and that “he gave me a lot of encouragement and motivation.” Although Mr. Roberson is one of the main reasons April is going to study mathematics, Mrs. Bast also played one of the biggest roles in April’s decision. April says that Mrs. Bast “really pushes you to do your best and she like believes in you 100%,” She also credits most of her motivation and success to the lengths Mrs. Bast would go for her students. Lastly, having one of the most influential positions in April’s life is Mrs. Moos. April says “Mrs. Moos is always there for me just helping me” She has given April countless opportunities and good memories. “She is one of the best workers at PHS. She believes in her students, she’s just so sweet, she’s just overall the most caring person I know, I love Mrs. Moos, she is the best.” These three teachers’ life lessons, amazing memories and motivation will be ones April remembers for the rest of her life and lives her life following.

Although high school is only four short years of one’s life, they are memorable and important to growth. Being involved in many things resulted in April having a very memorable high school experience. April at one time was an avid runner and it paid off. As a freshman, April advanced to regionals in both Track and Cross Country which soon became one of the best memories April has of high school. “It was a crazy moment for me,” she states, “I was like “what the heck” it was crazy for me.” Alongside being involved in Track and Cross Country, April was an active and successful member of the schools debate team. Advancing all the way to state as just a freshman. Even though she was really successful in these events, April feels her greatest high school success was being the highest ranking girl, and student council president. “It was awesome.” Both of these require a lot of work and dedication and April did amazing. 

For all 4 years of high school April has been a member of the TRIO Upward Bound program. She credits this program for the preparation and knowledge she has of college and the application process. “That was probably the most I have ever been prepared for something.” She states. The TRIO program helped her with college visits, essays, scholarships, preparing them for picking degrees and majors and much more. She says they “They told me everything I needed to know.” Alongside this, the school counselors have also helped a significant amount in April’s high school to college transition. She went to Mrs. Evans with many questions and Mrs. Evans always proved to help. April says, “the counselors are really helpful, they really help a lot.” April has had somewhat of a smooth transition and she says all you “just have to ask.”

Both after and during college April intends to participate in internships. She would also like to get a masters degree to narrow down her degree from general mathematics to eventually become an actuary. An actuary is someone who does statistical analysis, “basically they just like do risk analysis for bigger companies.” This is a career April has a lot of interest in and has always thought about. “I think it’s something really interesting,” she says, “I don’t think I would get bored.” She finds the risk factory of the job the most interesting and exciting part of being an actuary. 

Through high school, everyone faces many difficulties that might hold them back or discourage them. April’s most important piece of advice is to not worry yourself crazy over GPA. She says “always try your best and try to get the higher grade but don’t kill yourself for it.” She feels it cuts down on your social life, your friends’ community and family time. She stressed that in high school you should always, “take harder classes to challenge yourself and prepare yourself, but don’t let it kill you, don’t let it push you so hard that you have nothing left.” Always enjoy your time no matter what. You only have so much time. April leaves the classes to follow with the strong statement of, “It’s ok to not be able to do it all.

Congratulations April on everything you have accomplished at Pleasanton High School. We on campus could not be more proud of the things you have done. We wish you the best of luck and know you will do great things. Pride! Pride! 

True Crime Vol. XXI: The Attic Man

By: Courtney Henson

Otto Sanhuber

During the 1920s, women were known for taking back their own love lives. When she was just 17, Dolly Korschel met Fred Oesterreich and they quickly got married. But for young Dolly, this did not get in her way of having a wildly active love life. The couple lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Fred worked very successfully at a local factory. This very factory is where Dolly and Otto Sanhuber first laid eyes on each other. When she saw that Sanhuber was fixing sewing machines at the factory, Dolly demanded that her husband send him to their house to fix her sewing machine. Dolly was 33 while Sanhuber was 17. When Sanhuber showed up, Dolly was wearing nothing but a silk robe and stockings. This was the beginning of an intense affair and the ultimate death of Fred Oesterreich.

After months of the affair between Dolly and Sanhuber, neighbors began to get suspicious of the unknown man showing up pretty often. The best solution Dolly could think of was to move Sanhuber into the couple’s attic. Sanhuber agreed and quit his job at the factory to devote all of his time to Dolly. This arrangement meant that Sanhuber couldn’t leave the house because it might result in him being seen. Sanhuber spent the days with Dolly and helping around the house, and the nights reading and writing fiction stories by candlelight. 

For 5 years the affair continued like this, until 1918 when Fred decided to move to Los Angeles. Although this could have caused complications, Dolly worked around it.  She found a house with an attic and sent Sanhuber to settle in before the Oesterreichs got there. For 4 more years, life continued for the group with the same routine as in Wisconsin..

On August 22, 1922, Sanhuber overheard Fred and Dolly fighting and emerged from the attic. He burst into the room where the Oesterreichs were fighting, and noticed that Fred was holding two pistols. Fred recognized Sanhuber from the factory and became very angry and the two began to physically fight. Fred was shot, Dolly and Sanhuber panicked. Sanhuber locked Dolly into the closet and retreated into the attic with the key and the guns, Dolly would have an alibi and Sanhuber would be invisible. Dolly told police it was a robbery gone wrong. 

After the ordeal died down, Dolly found and moved into a new house. One would assume that she and Otto could eventually bring their relationship into the open, allowing Otto to have a normal life. But instead, when Dolly moved, Sanhuber, once again, took up residence in her attic. While Sanhuber wrote more stories, Dolly got herself yet another lover. Local lawyer Herman S. Shapiro became Dolly’s fixations, but Shapiro worked long hours and this would not satisfy Dolly. Enter Roy Klumb, another lover to keep Dolly entertained, but Klumb might have been used simply to rid Dolly of the guns. Klumb ditched one gun in a tar pit, while a neighbor of Dollys buried the other. 

When Dolly broke up with Klumb, he recovered the guns and went to the police with the story. Neither gun could be tied to her because of corrosion. While Dolly was in jail, Shapiro discovered Sanhuber, but this was not a deal breaker for Shapiro. After many years of living in the attic Sanhuber was told to get lost, and Shapiro moved into the house. All charges against Dolly were dropped. Sanhuber finally escaped after living in Dolly’s attic for over 10 years.

Seven years later, Dolly and Shapiro broke up and Shapiro went to police with everything he knew. Warrants were put out for Dolly and Sanhuber. The jury found Sanhuber guilty of manslaughter. Nevertheless, the statute of limitations on the manslaughter had run out, and Sanhuber was released. Dolly died in 1961 at age 80, hopefully having learned a thing or two about relationships.

Dolly and Fred Oesterreich

Order On The Court

By: Victoria Chavez

In order from left: Shyanne Sexton, Devon Clark, Luke Harlos, Blake Moos, Cian Martinez, Gage Pawelek

The Mighty Eagle Tennis team recently played against Marion high school and took home many wins in both JV and varsity. Angel Hernandez placed 3rd main draw in boys singles. Marcus Lynch placed 1st main draw in boys singles. Conner George and Mayson Smith placed 1st in boys doubles back draw. Dillion Benavidez and Shayne Cazier placed 1st place in boys doubles main draw. Rosemary Garcia and Stephanie Hernadez placed 3rd in girls doubles main draw. Devon Clark placed 2nd in boys singles main draw. Claire Benavidez placed 2nd in girls single main draw. Shyanne Sexton placed 1st in girls single main draw. Evelynn Caraway and Makenzie Richter placed 1st in girls doubles back draw. Cian Martinez and Gage Pawelek placed 2nd in boys doubles main draw. Luke Harlos and Blake Moos placed 1st in boys doubles main draw. Bennack Conroy and Elly Hernandez placed 1st in mixed doubles back draw.  

They also played in a district tournament on April 16, 2021 in Navarro high school. Angel Hernandez boys singles won 8-3. Marcus Lynch won 8-5 boys singles. Conner George and Mayson Smith boys doubles won 8-2. Conner George and Mayson Smith Boys doubles won 9-7. Shayne Cazier and Dillion Benavidez boys doubles won 8-2. Shayne Cazier and Dillion Benavidez boys doubles won 8-5. Devon Clark boys singles won 6-1, 6-4. Devon Clark boys singles won 7-5, 6-4. Shyanne Sexton girls singles won 7-6, 2-6, 6-4. Evelynn Caraway and Makenzie Richter girls doubles won 6-3, 6-3. Cian Martinez and Gage Pawelek boys doubles won 6-3, 1-6, 6-3. Luke Harlos and Blake Moos boys doubles won 6-2, 6-4. Luke Harlos and Blake Moos boys doubles won 6-1, 6-3. Luke Harlos and Blake Moos boys doubles second place. 

Luke Harlos and Blake Moos will be advancing to regionals in boys doubles and Devon Clark will be advancing as boys singles. When asked how he felt playing his final year, Luke Harlos said, “For my last season it was great…I couldn’t think of a better way to end it off…” Make sure to wish our tennis team good luck as they compete in regionals from April 27th-29th…Pride Pride, Eagle Pride!

Monthly Cause: Distracted Driving

By: Courtney Henson

The month of April is, among other causes, Distracted Driving Awareness. Being a school filled with new and inexperienced drivers, Distracted Driving awareness is very appropriate. Every day in the United States, 8 people die of an incident involving a distracted driver. Distracted driving can be categorized as texting and driving, drinking and driving, driving under the influence, and trivial things like, adjusting the AC, changing the music, taking your eyes off the road, eating while driving, and so much more. The most usual form of distracted driving is texting and driving which causes 1 of every 4 car accidents.  

Teenagers are the most common demographic to experience distracted driving accidents. Because the drivers in this age group are newer to driving, they believe they are indestructible on the road. 16% of all distracted driving accidents in 2020 involved drivers under the age of 20. These under the age of 20 accidents are also 3 times as fatal as other accidents. It is important to be wary of how you are driving but also the driving of others around you. 

With how common distracted driving accidents are, they are really easy to prevent. The easiest way to avoid distracted driving accidents is to not multitask on the road, put away the phone, make any adjustments to your seat, AC, and music before leaving, and always keep your eyes on the road. Other safe options include, leaving early enough to plan your trip ahead. This can help to prevent looking at your phone or GPS in a hurry. Avoid eating on the road, although it might be tempting to drive through and eat on the road, this is extremely dangerous and distracting, it takes your eyes off the road and hands off the steering wheel. And most important of all, pull over or wait until you reach your destination to check your phone and notifications. 

As teenagers continue to migrate to the roadways, it is important to remember that those notifications on your phone are not worth your life. Always practice safe and focused driving on the road, as well as in the passenger and back seat.


By: Kristina Mertz and Courtney Henson

Aries (March 21-April 19)-

This month Aries, you must be completely unapologetic. Go about pursuing personal and productive initiatives as you would like, and bask in your power! This month you have to pursue and put into motion any and all dreams you have. And if the people around you are not supporting your dreams, think about your relationship with them. Find some time this month to meditate and find some self-care. Good luck Aries.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)-

The month of May is a resting month for you Taurus. You will feel not energized and depleted, so make sure not to push yourself into anything. Use this time to heal. Focus on self-care and tying up loose ends to help truly reach your work and relationship potential this month Taurus. It’s also important to remember that as the month gets close to an end, you must get back into the world. Find a few close friends to celebrate your birthday with you and enter the social world again!

Gemini (May 21- June 20)-

This month you will find yourself wanting to reconnect with a lost friend, try your best to find a positive spark out of this and rekindle your friendship. You might also find yourself to be very stressed after taking on too much this month, do not worry yourself Gemini, the stress will pass soon. As the month comes to a close tie up any loose ends and go about your time! 

Cancer (June 21- July 22)-

This month you must especially focus on what you want for your future. You will be in a very successful and positive head-space, perfect for working towards what you want. This month you will find that your close friends are longing to be with you more often, use this to your advantage and feed off of their energy!

Leo (July 23- August 22)-

This month Leo, you will be in an adventurous spirit! Make sure to explore this feeling and try new things. You are in a friendship period, try to meet new people this month Leo. Focus also on long-term goals and careers this month and might find great success and satisfaction in them. 

Virgo (August 23- September 22)-

This month you will want to surround yourself with people you trust and love. You will have lots of work to do this month, whether it is school or a job, make sure to pace yourself well. It will make you busy this month Virgo! Expect a new relationship this month, not romantic but platonic, you will have a strong connection and work well together. 

Libra (September 23- October 22)-

This month is very keen on relationships, but be careful and make sure the feeling is always mutual. You might potentially decide to take a step back and look at your relationship from a different perspective. But this doesn’t mean to be afraid of what could be, so always be honest and put yourself out there, because this could open up a new romantic relationship.

Scorpio (October 23- November 21)-

At the beginning of this month you are in major focus mode. All of the obligations that were piling up during the winter time are shouting your name. Be sure to delegate and outsource as much as possible. It’s worth it to trade a little bit of control for the satisfaction of completion.

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)-

Expect to be vibrant this month, as your self expression and passion will come to life. Fun is your first priority this season and a spring awakening is underway for you. This may also open up opportunities for a love interest, but don’t let this blindside your creativity.

Capricorn (December 22- January 19)-

Spring may be in the air Capricorn, but this month you are going to tend to stay at home a little more. Take this opportunity to prioritize self care and manage your stress levels as best you can. Most importantly don’t forget to take a break and breathe every once in a while!

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)-

This month is your month to mingle! Start being social, hang out with friends, and exchange ideas. You may even have a “dynamic duo” moment this month that could potentially take a romantic twist.

Pisces (February 19- March 20)-

One step at a time will get you to your goals. Your month is off to a practical start, you had a busy birthday season last month, so you may now have a million ideas for what you want to do next. Take a few of those ideas and manifest them into something within reach and potentially even profitable.

One Team One Dream

By: Courtney Henson

Junior, Brandi Barnett, scores a goal against Somerset.

On Tuesday, February 9, both the JV and Varsity teams faced Uvalde. After a long fight, the JV tied 3-3 and unfortunately, the varsity fell, 2-0. Soon after a week of extreme weather restricting the soccer girls, they came back ready to fight. With many games being rescheduled, the varsity girls played 3 games that week. Securing a 5-0 win over Somerset, and an 8-0 win over Fox Tech, unfortunately, after a long fight with Lavernia, the Eagles fell 1-0. That same week, the JV team faced Fredericksburg and fought for a 2-1 win. Soon after, on March 3, the varsity team played YWLA and got a 7-0 win. On March 5, the Women’s teams both faced the Uvalde Coyotes. This was a game both teams had been waiting for and preparing for. After a long game the JV Eagles came out with an astonishing 5-0 win. Unfortunately, the varsity was not as fortunate and after a long fight, fell 2-0 to Uvalde. On March 18, the varsity team faced, and beat 5-0, Somerset. On March 19, the varsity team played their last district game against YWLA and won 5-0. Securing 3rd place in district. This game was also the senior night for the girls to highlight their senior players, Lacey Stevens, Zariah Garcia, Mia Hernandez, Sydney Marecka, Renata Osorio, Lyssa Ramirez, Kaitlyn Garcia, and Sofia Rivera. 

This season has been a tough one for the girls, considering all of the hardships they have faced, but as a team, they have been able to overcome them! The varsity coach, Coach Bird expressed, I hope these young ladies take the lessons of overcoming the obstacles that we faced as a group with them and use them as they move on past PHS.Through it all, these teams have remained extremely positive and worked together to find what worked for them to work so well! “Finding a way to figure out the best way to play for this year’s team took us a little longer than usual, Coach Bird said, but I think we have finally found out who our true identity is and how we play best together as a group of 18 players.” Although the players are the focus of the team, the coach is just as important. Coach Bird is the coach of the varsity team, and he has a true passion for what he does. Coach Bird feels strongly that his job extends beyond the playing field, expressing, If they are just playing soccer and leaving it at that then I don’t think I am doing my job to the fullest.” He finds great pride, and happiness in helping his players, “Watching the girls mature and come together has been fun to watch.” He said, “Being able to overcome adversity is one of the highlights of coaching young ladies.

As the varsity girls advance to playoffs we continuously wish them luck and cheer them on. In the words of Coach Bird, “Keep playing for the girls beside you. The game is more about others than it is about you.” Good luck ladies and play hard! Pride! Pride!

Seniors from left to right: Zariah Garcia, Lacey Stevens, Mia Hernandez, Sydney Merecka, Renata Osorio, Sofia Rivera, Kaitlyn Garcia, Lyssa Ramirez.

Giving Purpose to Potential

By: Courtney Henson

On March 3 the Pleasanton High School Business Professionals of America (BPA) began their 4 day long virtual state conference. Competing members include, Senior, Alizay Haren. Juniors, Brandi Barnett, Adyson Brymer, Lauren Trapp, and Ashlyn Vera, Sophomores, Conner George, Thang Nguyen, Ricardo Ramirez, and Alexis Ramos, Freshmen, Marisol Villarreal, Preston Pilgrim and the club advisor Janie Olivarri.

The members that placed at State include Brandi Barnett, Adyson Brymer, Lauren Trapp, and Ashlyn Veras Presentation management group getting 4th place. Alexis Ramos competing in Project Management Concepts getting 6th place, and Alizay Haren competing in Health Leadership Special Topics getting 8th place. Other awards won at the state conference include the Social Buzz award. Pleasanton HIgh School BPA was one of three schools in Texas to receive this award. Follow BPA on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook @pleasantonbpa! Lastly, Ashlyn Vera has become the new Regional President for Area 2 Region 2.

Although things were different this year, the club made the best out of it! Club Advisor Janie Olivarri said, “Even though State was virtual this year, we tried our best to make the most of this experience.”

Congratulations State competitors for a job well done! You make Pleasanton proud! Pride! Pride!

Let’s Par-tee

By: Jaelyn Morales

The 2021 golf season has finally begun and both girls and boys are excited to be back on the golf course after being gone so long. Unfortunately, last year’s golf season was cut short due to Covid-19 guidelines. The teams still had two tournaments to go, but because it was cancelled, they were stopped from going to the regional tournament. “We didn’t get to finish our season last year, but I’m anxious to see how well our teams will respond,” Coach Guerra stated, “We got a good group of kids coming back and with the help of a couple other newcomers, were looking forward to a pretty good season.” 

The Lady Eagles first tournament of the season was on Feb. 2nd at the Devine Golf Course. The team consists of Lacey Stevens, Sadie Mcada, Ashlyn Vera, and Blaise Diaz finished 4th overall and had a team score of 463. Lacey Stevens led the group in individual scoring with a score of 89 and finished as the 4th place medalist. Sadie Mcada shot 120, Blaise Diaz shot 123, and Ashlyn Vera shot 131. Their next tournament was on Feb. 8th and was held at the Hyatt Golf Club in San Antonio. The team finished 9th overall and had a combined team score of 454. Lacey Stevens again led the group in individual scoring with a score of 89, next was Sadie Mcada who shot 114, Blaise Diaz shot 118, and Ashlyn Vera shot 133. 

The Eagles first tournament of the season was on Feb. 3rd at the Somerset Golf Tournament located at the Pleasanton Country Club. The team consisting of Travis Garcia, Matt Garcia, Reed Foster, Brady Stevens, and Trent Crady had an outstanding start to the season by taking 1st place with a combined team score of 350. Travis Garcia led the eagles in individual scoring shooting a round of 79 and medaled 1st place overall. Matt Garcia shot 89, Reed Foster shot 87, Brady Steven shot 95, and Trent Crady shot 110. Jake Casias also competed as a medalist and shot a round of 90. 

When asked what will be the biggest struggle this season, Coach Guerra responded, “Our districts are pretty tough and it’s gonna be a struggle just to get the players to be consistent with their play and in order to get passed the district round we’re going to need to be more consistent. I think that’s gonna be the biggest hurdle we have to face this year.” While this season is off to a pretty good start for both teams, they will have to keep working and practicing hard to have a successful season.

Staff Spotlight

By: Courtney Henson

Mrs. Royal is a name you might hear around a lot during the 2020-2021 school year. Mrs. Royal has stepped up time after time and led a class where they were missing a teacher. Earlier this year Mrs. Royal stepped up to be a long term sub for the Health Science classes. More recently, she has acted as the long term sub for Mr. Ruiz, beginning when the students came back from winter break until the end of February. She has faced every responsibility of being a teacher and done amazing while doing so!

Mrs. Royal earned her degree, a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, from UTSA in 2010. From a young age, Mrs. Royal realized she wanted to be a teacher saying, “It’s what I knew I would eventually be doing.” Through interacting with others and being a part of something bigger, Mrs. Royal has allowed herself to thrive in our community and school. While being a substitute teacher at our school, and being a long term substitute for a lot of that time, she learned a lot and made a huge impact on her students. She stated that, “Doing what mattered most with every minute I had became my goal.” Mrs. Royal rose above the challenges she faced and left a positive aftermath on her students. Mrs. Royal faced these many difficulties with a positive attitude, determined to conquer them. Understanding the lack of appreciation students have for educators is the challenge Mrs. Royal finds the hardest to overcome. “Trying to figure out a way to connect and challenge those students is what keeps me on my toes.” Although being a long term sub brought many challenges, it ultimately proves very rewarding. “It would have to be seeing change!” Mrs. Royal said about the rewards of teaching. “There is nothing like trying to connect with a student and then watching them achieve something and/or change for the better!” Luckily, through this crazy season of learning, Mrs. Royal has always been able to find the silver lining saying, “There was always so much to figure out! It was very rewarding to get to know the students and I really enjoyed most of them!”

Despite the year we had, Mrs. Royal stayed optimistic and it paid off! In her words, “You don’t know what you don’t know until you know that you don’t know something. Then you’ve got to go figure it out!” Thank you so much Mrs. Royal for everything you do, we really appreciate it! Pride! Pride!

Take The Shot

By: Courtney Henson

The Varsity team lines up for the National Anthem before playing.

As we continue to face insane things, the girl’s basketball team perseveres through it all. Playing through winter break and into the new year, we continue to be amazed and proud of the girls.

On December 11, the Pleasanton Varsity, JV, and Freshmen basketball teams faced the Hondo Owls. The Freshmen team blew through Hondo with a score of 53-13. The JV team came out on top with a score of 23-21. Unfortunately, for the Varsity team they were not able to catch a win, finishing the game with a score of 49-29. On December 12, the Lady Eagles fought hard but were not able to come out with a win against A.C. Jones Highschool. The freshmen team won 33-17. The JV teams lost 28-16 and the Varsity team 57-36. On December 15, with Christmas break rolling around, the Pleasanton JV and Varsity teams faced Blanco High School. The JV team fought hard and finished strong with a score of 27-12, getting a win. Sadly, the Varsity team fell 49-24. On December 22, the Varsity team faced Fox Tech Highschool, successfully securing a win with a score of 55-30. On December 29, with the New Year around the corner, the JV team rose above Somerset getting a 22-19 win. Unfortunately, the Varsity team was not as lucky, falling under with a 57-19 loss. On January 2, 2021, as the new year began, the lady Eagles fought hard against Bandera. Sadly for them, neither team was able to pull a win. The JV team lost alongside the 44-37 Varsity score. On January 5, the Lady Eagles faced Cuero Highschool, both the JV and Varsity teams falling short of a win, but the Freshmen team secured another win. The JV team fell just short at 32-24, and the Varsity team at 44-26. The freshmen winning 33-31. Next on January 8, the teams faced La Vernia. Although the Eagles fought hard, the Bears fought harder. The Freshman team lost 29-27, the JV teams lost 51-21 and the Varsity lost 54-42. January 12, against Navarro Highschool, all teams played very intense games. The Freshmen lost 27-23. After going into overtime, the JV team barely fell 31-30 against the Panthers. Although the Varsity team fought very hard as well, they ultimately lost 40-27. On Tuesday, January 19, the Eagles faced Gonzales High school. Unfortunately the Eagles Varsity team was not able to pull a win, losing 37-29. Luckly, the JV team was more successful, securing a 42-26 win, as well as the Freshmen team winning 50-14. On January 22, The Eagles faced the Cuero Gobblers, unfortunately for the Varsity team and the JV team, the Gobblers put up a fight. The varsity team lost 27-24, and the JV 35-33 . Luckly, the freshman team won 36-26.

Although this season hasn’t gone completely as anticipated, head coach, Coach Rentfro, is still very proud of the teams. Facing Covid-19 regulations and a tough region, the Eagles have done amazing things. “It’s been a wild season due to Covid. It’s been a real test to our patience and adaptability.” states Coach Rentfro. While this year has been very different, Coach Rentfro is still able to find the good in the season, stating, “My favorite part of the season has been seeing the team give everything they got game in and game out. It’s been great to have so many girls step up in different ways to help the team.” Through the hardships of this season, the girls continue to improve, “The team has definitely let the game slow down and not rush possessions.” states Coach Rentfro. “We are making reads more quickly and trusting their abilities.” As the season continues on, the team and Coach Rentfro remain very optimistic about the season, when asked about the furthering season Coach Rentfro says, “I look forward to competing in our district and ending our playoff drought. We have one of the tougher districts in Region 4 4A, with all our opponents currently being ranked or at some point this season. Iron sharpens iron, so facing tough competition can be a great opportunity to get better.” 

As the season progresses and the Eagles advance further, they will continue to fight hard. As stated by Coach Rentfro, “None of this is guaranteed, especially this year, and any chance to be on the court is a gift.” Good job on your season so far and good luck in the games to come. And remember ladies, in the words of Coach Rentfro “You’re lucky to play basketball today, and I’m lucky to coach you.” Pride! Pride!

A Great Day For BPA

By: Courtney Henson

The Pleasanton BPA team prepares to participate in the 2020-2021 regional competition. (Mask off for picture only)

On January 23, the Pleasanton Business Professionals of America (BPA) took part in the 2020-2021 regional competition. Although the competition was held virtually, it did not pose an obstacle to the club members. Any projects or presentations had to be pre- recorded and submitted by Monday January 18. The competing members of the club including, Senior Alizay Haren, Juniors Brandi Barnett, Ashlyn Vera, Adyson Brymer, Lauren Trapp, and Connor George, Sophomores Alexis Ramos, Jazmin Bernal, Courtney Henson, and Ricardo Ramirez, Thang Nguyen and Freshmen Alexandria Balderes, Preston Pilgrim, and Marisol Villarreal, had to show up at the school dressed in business professional attire.

After many hours of presentations and testing, grading and judging began as contestants headed home. On Sunday 24 results were announced and Pleasanton did amazing. The results are as follows: Getting 1st place in the Presentation Management Team was Brandi Barnett, Adyson Brymer, Lauren Trapp, Ashlyn Vera. The Video Production Team consisting of Conner George, Thang Nguyen, Ricardo Ramirez received 1st place. Alizay Haren competed in Health Leadership Topics and got 1st place. Receiving 2nd place in Banking and Finance was Preston Pilgrim. 2nd place competing in Prepared Speech was Alexis Ramos. Jazmin Bernal got 3rd place in Health Administration Procedures. Receiving 4th place in Basic Office Systems and Procedures was Marisol Villarreal. Alexandria Banderas as a state alternate in Extemporaneous Speech and Courtney Henson as a state alternate in Fundamentals of Word Processing.

Where Words Fail, Music Speaks

By: Courtney Henson

The Pleasanton Eagle Band standing at attention.

On Saturday, December 5, the Pleasanton Eagle band traveled to Calallen High School to participate in their area contest. They departed from the band hall at around 1pm and prepared for the long ride ahead of them. Despite the cold and rainy weather, the band performed their 2020 marching show “Music of the Beatles” to the best of their abilities. After a long season of working very hard, the 2020 marching band year came to an end. The Pleasanton Eagle Band came in 9th place, out of 14 total bands that attended. This placement did not advance the band. 

This year was a wild ride for everyone involved, but the band members made the best of what they were given. Although this year for the head drum major, Reese Decker, was the final high school marching band season, he greatly enjoyed it and looks back on it as a great experience. Regarding the season, Reese says, “My overall thoughts are that I’m just extremely grateful that we got to have a season in the first place because a lot of schools around here had their marching band season completely cancelled.” Being a drum major comes with major responsibility and the opportunity to watch the band grow and improve over time, Reese says, “Something I’m most proud of is that we advanced to Area for the first time since I’ve been in high school.”

As the season ends, the Pleasanton Band reflects on the season and is glad for all of the things they were presented with this year. While the COVID-19 restrictions made it difficult for the band, they made the best of it and had fun this season. We can not wait to see what the band comes up with next year. Awesome job Mighty Eagle Band. Pride! Pride!

True Crime Vol. XVII: Murder of the Lawson Family

By: Courtney Henson & Victoria Chavez

The Lawson family portrait taken shortly before their death.

Although Christmas day is one of the most festive and happy days of the year, for one family, things could not have gone worse. The Lawson family consisted of Charles, age 49, Fannie, Charles wife, age 37 and their 7 children, Marie, age 17, Arthur, age 16, Carrie, age 12, Maybell, age 7, James, age 4, Raymond, age 2, and Mary Lou, 4 months old. Shortly before Christmas, Charles took his entire family into town and instructed them to buy new clothes and have a portrait done of the 9 person family. Charles also took a trip to the bank and withdrew all the money in his account, which was only around $60. This was unusual behavior for the working-class family but not too much thought was put into it by the community. 

 On the afternoon of December 25, 1929, in Germaton, North Carolina, Charles sent his son Arthur into town to, very ironically, purchase ammunition while the rest of the Lawson family carried on with their normal Christmas activities. Shortly thereafter, as 2 of his daughters, Carrie and Maybell, made their way to their aunt and uncle’s house Charles waited for them down the road by their tobacco barn. As they got in range, he shot them both with a 12-gauge shotgun, then bludgeoned them to ensure their death. Their bodies were placed in the tobacco barn to risk the discovery of them as he continued his vile plans. 

When he returned home from this, he shot his wife Fannie, who was outside on the porch. The shot was heard by the remaining children in the house and struck terror in them which caused James and Raymond to run and hide. Charles made his way inside and quickly shot Marie, his eldest daughter, who had just finished baking a Christmas cake which would never be served to the family. He then found, shot and killed his sons James and Raymond before bludgeoning young Mary Lou to death. Leaving Arthur as the only living member of the family.

The bodies of all of the children and Charles’ wife Fannie were found in the house with their arms crossed and their heads propped up on pillows. Carrie and Maybell were found in the tobacco barn with their arms crossed and rocks propping up their heads. 

After completing all of this, Charles retreated into the nearby woods with 2 shotguns and the family dogs, Sam and Queen. After pacing around a tree for a few hours, Charles shot and killed himself. The shots rang out in the town and were heard by a crowd gathering at the house of the already discovered bodies of the family. Officers standing with Arthur rushed to the woods and discovered Charles’ body with 2 notes in his pocket, one reading “Trouble can cause…” and the other “No one to blame.”They also recovered the money Charles previously pulled from the bank and used it towards funeral funds to bury the family. 

There are many theories surrounding the murders and why Charles committed this heinous act. The most believed and supported being that Charles had received a head injury on his farm shortly before Christmas time and had not been the same since. Neighbors and friends reported that Charles had been acting strangely in the weeks following the injury and leading up to Christmas day. After his death, an autopsy and analysis was conducted on his brain, but to their surprise, they found no abnormalities. Another theory with lots of evidence to support it, is the theory that Charles’ eldest daughter Marie, was pregnant by her father, Charles. Marie had a boyfriend at the time of her murder and had reportedly told her boyfriend, some friends, and neighbors that she was pregnant. After the family’s death, one of her closest friends revealed that Marie claimed the baby was her fathers, not her boyfriends. Shortly before the murders, Charles’ wife had also confided in a close friend that she had worries of an incestuous relationship between Marie and Charles. 

As for what happened to the lone survivor of the family, Arthur who was merely 16 at the time of the murders attempted to continue forward with his life. After efforts to keep the farm for himself, he eventually lost it and later picked up an unhealthy drinking habit as a result of the trauma. He unfortunately died in an automobile accident at the age of 32, after drinking behind the wheel; leaving behind a wife and four children of his own. Arthur was buried next to the rest of his family.

Currently, the family’s home is a tourist attraction for all to see, with each day bringing in new people to view the horrors within the walls. The owners of the museum have tried their best to keep every original item in good condition, even the cake Marie made for her family is used as a souvenir of the massacre. This tragic event has made its mark in American history and is still haunting to those who read about it. Although these murders will forever be a mystery to us and the reason behind them has gone to the grave, we do know that an innocent family was robbed of the chance at a beautiful life. 

Together We Rise

By: Courtney Henson

The Pleasanton Eagles excitedly rush out of the Eagle to begin the game.

On October 30, the Pleasanton Varsity football team traveled to Somerset to face the Bulldogs. The Eagles battled hard, but came just short of a win. Somerset came with power and were leading 20-0 after the first quarter. At halftime, the score sat at 20-14 with Somerset still in the lead. After an intense fight during the 3rd and 4th quarter, the game ended with a final score of 29-27, Pleasanton falling to Somerset. Leading offensively were JJ Morales and Diego Luna, with a touchdown a piece, as well as Sean Ramos with 2 rushing touchdowns and 2 passing touchdowns. 

On November 6, the Pleasanton Varsity football team partook in their last district game of the season against the La Vernia Bears. After a long and hard fight through all 4 quarters, the Eagles fell to La Vernia with a finishing score of 42-0. Some outstanding players from this game include Carlos Garcia with 17 tackles, Tommy Lee Ramirez, Cole Wiechring, and Toby Garner. 

Despite the outcome of the La Vernia game, the varsity Eagles football team will be advancing into the playoffs for the first time since 2017!

On Friday, November 13, the Pleasanton Eagles faced the Austin LBJ Jaguars in the bi-district playoff game of the 2020 playoffs. After a tough fight through all 4 quarters, the Eagles fell 61-0. Sadly, this concluded the Eagles tough season and ended the seniors high school football career. 

While this has been a crazy season with both its ups and its downs, the head coach, Coach Liska, is very proud of his boys performance this year. “I am most proud of the boys who played football this year and stayed with us the entire season. Also, for making the playoffs after a 0-4 start to the season.” 

While this season hasn’t 100% gone as hoped, Liska believes the team has improved a significant amount this year and will only continue improving in the future. “Sticking together,” Coach says, “At times during the year we had a choice to fold up the tent or to try and make the playoffs. WE trusted each other and stuck together to gain a playoff spot.” With all of this in mind, when asked about his thoughts and outlooks on this season, Liska stated, “In the months of April through July the uncertainty of us even having a football season due to Covid-19 pandemic was mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. The message was to stay positive and be flexible! The Covid-19 protocols were changing daily and we had to be able to adjust and adapt. We were blessed to be able to start practice in August and play all 10 games.”

As the football season comes to an end, Coach Liska leaves the team with these words, “In life you will face adversity and things don’t always go as planned… but you have to pull up your britches, wipe your nose and do the best you can. Congratulations you survived a pandemic. MASK UP!” We will continue to be proud of the boys performance and their strength concluding this year. Amazing job this season and we can’t wait to see you return next year. Pride! Pride!

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much

By: Courtney Henson

Earlier this month, the Pleasanton Education Foundation began hosting a fundraiser to help support the students and staff of Pleasanton Independent School District. The Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports both the staff and the students of Pleasanton ISD. The foundation supports many different programs, including providing funds to encourage & improve innovative practices at all campuses and supporting students through scholarship opportunities to encourage & and support furthering education.

As this fundraiser begins across the school district, the student council club here at the high school organized the goals for the high school students to reach and the rewards that would come as a result. On Monday October 5, as the fundraiser began, the goal to meet was set at $3,000, with a reward of everyone getting to dress up on the day before Halloween. It was encouraged that every face to face learner donate $5, which would allow us to meet our goal. On October 13, the fundraiser was changed so that anyone who donated $3 got to dress up on the day before Halloween, and in the event that we reached the $3,000 goal, everyone would get to dress up. By walking around at lunch, encouraging each other, and the reward of dressing up in sight, the student council was able to collect a good amount of money from the student body. On Monday, October 13, the minimum donation required to be able to dress up was changed to $5 in hopes of reaching our $3,000 goal. 

As the fundraiser continues until the deadline on Thursday, October 29, we encourage you to donate so you can not only dress up on the day before Halloween but also support our school and the students all around you. Pride! Pride!