Kickin’ It Into First Gear

By: Hayden Schmidt

The Pleasanton Women’s Soccer team is ready to take the season by storm

As the school year draws into the last few months, PHS has a wave of sports starting up to finish out the year. After a full semester of preparing, the Pleasanton Women’s Soccer season has begun with a kick.

The Women’s Soccer team started their season with a 2-1 win in a scrimmage against Harlandale on December 11th. A few days later, the girls scrimmaged Veterans Memorial on December 15th. They lost this scrimmage 0-2, but despite this, the team was pumped and ready for a great season. They took Christmas Break off but started again with a game against Wimberley on January 2nd. The team took a 2-0 loss, but the girls were determined not to let this set the team back. They went into the first week of school with a 3-day tournament from January 7th to the 9th. Starting off with a rocky start, the girls lost to Canyon Lake on January 7th 2-0, but came back later that day with a major 6-0 win against Great Heart Northern Oaks. The next day, the team played another two teams, falling to Beeville 2-0 and Alamo Heights 5-0. Though taking a hit, the girls came back strong on January 9th with back to back wins against Wimberley and Beeville. With the tournament behind them, the team took some time to look back and analyze the season so far. When asked about his outlook on the season so far, Coach Bird said, “We’ve had our ups and downs. We struggled against some teams we don’t normally struggle with, but we had a great game against Wimberley at the tournament and came back from behind against Beeville. It’s been kind of a roller coaster, but we’re seeing improvement, so it’s really encouraging.” After taking some time to collect themselves, the team went right back to pushing with a game against Boerne on January 12th. The girls played their hardest but fell short to Boerne 5-1. Collecting their losses, they practiced hard through the week to a tie game 0-0 against Veterans Memorial on January 15th. The team took this opportunity to keep their spirits up for their game against Calallen. Though they played their hardest, they were unable to beat the still-undefeated team, losing the game 3-0.

Though the season has had its ups and downs so far, the girls are still confident in their abilities to push through to district. “In the beginning, we were struggling, and right now we’re still trying to find our rhythm between each other, find combinations, but it’s coming along with each practice and game,” said senior Kaitlyn Garcia. 

The team is scheduled to play Fredericksburg on January 26th, with only one more game after that until district begins against Fox Tech on January 30th. We wish the girls good luck against Fredericksburg and on the rest of the season!

‘Tis the Season

By: Hayden Schmidt

Merry on Main 2020 comes to a close with the spectacular firework display

The first week of December marked the true beginning of the Holiday season, with cold weather finally setting in and the first festivities being held. The annual Merry on Main was held Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th on Main Street in Pleasanton, and was met with huge success.

Though it was up in the air how everything would occur with the looming presence of COVID-19, the event was held without troubles and had just as many participants as it always has. Businesses along Main Street opened their doors to hundreds of customers Saturday morning, and many people set up booths down the street. Homemade foods, crafts, and antiques were sold to passersby. I had the opportunity to interview Noel Wilkerson Holmes, a member of the Merry on Main planning committee, about this year’s event. 

The Merry on Main planning committee has a very important task each year, as they must organize what is arguably the largest community event of the year in Pleasanton. Noel, who handles advertisements and promotions for the event with the Pleasanton Express, spoke highly of the committee and the work they do. “There are 14 people on the committee, and we stay very organized. Each of the members has specialties that we use so we’re able to be ready and hit the ground running.” The committee doesn’t stop once the year’s event is over, either. “We begin planning the event almost immediately after the previous occasion. We meet again next Tuesday to start the process for next year.” Noel’s comments show that this group puts in a great amount of time and effort to give the community this event.

Noel also spoke on the troubles the committee faced this year with the issue of COVID-19 protocols. “We were already well into planning Merry on Main for 2020 when COVID hit back in March. The committee meets monthly, and so every meeting we met with the Pleasanton Emergency officials to go over protocols and safety we would have to implement.” Noel said that protocols were followed with the help of health officials and law enforcement, and that there were no issues. 

All in all, Merry on Main was a huge success this year, and Noel highly agrees. “Without hesitation, I think it was phenomenal. We faced a pandemic, rain, and the coldest day of the year so far, and still thousands came out to show. Vendors didn’t close down, either. They stuck it through and showed great spirit.” The entire community thanks Noel and the Merry on Main planning committee for the hard work they put in to plan this event, and cannot wait for next year’s!

One Last Match

By: Hayden Schmidt

Varsity district players get together for one last match for the season

The Eagles’ varsity tennis team has officially ended their fall seasons after competing in the bi-district tournament at Boerne on October 27. 

This season, the Eagles had to push hard to get their wins. “Since we’ve been out in a new district, we played some tougher competition. But overall, I’m proud of how well our team did this season,” said senior Blake Moos.

Despite their struggles, the team kept pushing through the season and participated in the Bi-District tournament at Boerne on October 27. The Eagles had to play their hardest to attempt to beat their opponents. Sadly, they fell short of moving on to the area tournament. 

When asked about his opinion on the results, Coach Schwab was very proud. “I think we were up against an incredible first place team in Boerne, and the results were as expected. We knew going in what the results were probably going to be, and we just got a chance to play some more tennis and learn and gain some more experience against a quality team, and that’s what we got.” 

Now that the fall season is over, players and coaches have had a chance to look back on their performance and look forward to the future. Looking back on the season and the performance of the players, Coach Schwab said, “I think based on the district we were in and the age of our team, I think we did an excellent job. We finished fourth in district, and we got the chance to play post-district play. The players played a great season and I am pleased with how they finished.” Interview answers from players.” Despite the rough season, Coach Schwab is ready to get back in the game with the Spring season. “Right now we’re doing relaxed practices just to keep in tune, and then when we come back in the Spring we’ll do our 8 Spring tournaments in preparation for the District tournament, and we’ll see where the chips lie.”

Congratulations to the players and coaches on a hard fought season these past few months. Here’s to next season!

Teacher Spotlight

By: Hayden Schmidt

Mrs. Bast planning her lessons for her classes

When walking down the 400 Hallway in between classes, you most certainly have seen a bright and smiling teacher standing outside her classroom. To those who don’t have her class, she may appear to be like any other teacher, but to her students she is one of the most caring and serious teachers they’ve had. Mrs. Bast is the Precalculus and AP Calculus teacher here at PHS, and she takes that job with an incredible level of respect. 

Mrs. Bast was born in Kansas, but moved to Pleasanton when she was seven years old. She attended and graduated from our very own Pleasanton High School, and decided to attend UTSA to receive her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Mrs. Bast never planned on being a teacher, but the role seemed to fall right into her lap. Once she completed her bachelor’s degree, NASA offered to fund her master’s degree, with the criteria that she continued research for them and taught a class for them as a Measurements and Instrumentation instructor. She said she was “… lucky enough to, as an undergrad, work on a NASA grant.” During this time, she realized that she truly enjoyed teaching. “I’m teaching college students who were working towards their bachelor’s, and I received really good reviews from them, which made me feel really good. It hadn’t been too long since I was in their shoes, and I remember things not being explained well enough, so I made sure I did the job I would have wanted my professor to do.”

After working with NASA and teaching at UTSA over a twelve year span, she was offered a job at Pleasanton Junior High as a math teacher and decided to take it. She explained, “I didn’t want to miss out on my kids growing up. I realized how much time had already passed and how much time being at UTSA was taking up, and so I wanted to be able to be with them their last few years.”

Mrs. Bast loves teaching here for many reasons. The biggest is that she remembers struggling at first when she went into the engineering program. “I just really enjoy giving the local kids a chance to learn math at the level they’re going to need, and hopefully having an easier time than I did.” When asked what advice she would give students, she said, “Follow your heart, follow your passion, and be true to yourself.”

Mrs. Bast is an incredible teacher and a wonderful person, and her efforts to better her students will leave a lasting impression on them for the rest of their lives.

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.