Breaking Records at State

By: Jaelyn Morales

Ashon Thompson, Estevan Jackson, Juan Lopez, and Sean Ramos smile for a picture

The Varsity Boys and Girls track teams competed in the 4A Area Track Meet on Thursday, April 15th in Wimberly, TX. The Lady Eagles placed 11th with 9 points in total. Even with weather changes throughout the day, both teams worked hard and pushed through.  In the field events, Ciarah Garcia placed 6th in triple jump and Victoria Castillo placed 6th in the high jump. On the track, Kassidy Vickers placed 6th in the 3200 M run and the 1600 M run, while Jilllian Barcomb placed 6th in the 300 M hurdles. The 4 x 100 M relay team of Emree Adamitz, Kiley Wiechring, Brandi Barnett, and Marissa Rothenbach placed 7th and the 4 x 200 M relay team of  Diamond Brownlee, Kiley Wiechring, Victoria Castillo, and Angel Tucker placed 8th. Caitlyn Neischwitz was the only athlete who advanced to the Regional lV Meet for the Lady Eagles. 

The Varsity Boys placed 3rd with 91 points in total. Before the weather became cold and drizzly, the field events took place and competing was sophomore Sean Ramos who finished 8th in long jump, junior Juan Lopez who finished 4th in long jump and 8th in triple jump, junior Este’van Jackson who finished 3rd in triple jump and 5th in long jump, and freshman Preston Pilgrim who finished 3rd in pole vault. For the running events, the 4 x 100 M relay team of junior Rudy Franco Jr, Sean Ramos, Juan Lopez, and Este’van Jackson finished 5th but only by .03 seconds and sadly missed their chance at qualifying for regionals. Sophomore Averee Cantu, junior Reagan Moore, and freshman Jayden Palacios ran the 800M and finished 6th, 7th, and 2nd. Junior Justin Veale ran the 110M hurdles and finished 5th and also ran the 300M hurdles and finished 7th. Senior Ashon Thompson flying past his competitors placed 1st in the 100M dash and 200M dash and Jayden Palacios also placed 1st, but in the 400M dash. The 4 x 200M relay team of Este’van Jackson, Sean Ramos, Juan Lopez, and Ashon Thompson finished 2nd after a tough race and the 4 x 400 M relay team was the last race of the night and consisted of Sean Ramos, Juan Lopez, Este’van Jackson, anchored by Jayden Palacios who placed 3rd with a time of 3:28.24 seconds and barely missed breaking another school record. Six athletes advanced to the Regional IV Meet for the Eagles.

The Texas 4A Regional IV track meet took place at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville on April 23rd and 24th. Senior Caitlyn Nieschwitz finished 10th with a time of 2:39.21 in the 800M run. Caitlyn has accomplished so much in her 4 years of track & field for the Lady Eagles and the whole community is proud of her. The Varsity Boys placed 2nd at the regional meet and had a total of 62 points. Este’van Jackson placed 9th in triple jump and Juan Lopez placed 7th in long jump, both narrowly missed getting into the finals.  Preston Pilgrim was the first athlete to earn a spot at the state meet with a 2nd place finish in pole vault. Jayden Palacios ran the 400M dash finishing 1st with a new school record and ran the 800M run with a 3rd place finish.  Ashon Thompson placed 1st in the 100M dash and remained undefeated and also ran the 200M dash and finished 2nd. The 4 x 200M relay was unfortunately disqualified on a rules infraction and did not earn any points. The 4 x 400M relay team placed 1st and broke the prior school record time (3:27) set 46 years ago. They broke the record with a time of 3:23.507 and then broke their own record on Friday with a time of 3:28.482. “The best moment was watching our 4×4 team break the school record in prelims at regionals and then the next day break it again and beat Wimberly who was talking trash to our guys,” said Rudy Franco Jr. The Eagles didn’t let the trash-talking phase them and instead they settled it on the track. Their hard work paid off and the team met their biggest goal which was making it to the state championship. 

The UIL State Track and Field Meet was held at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the UT campus in Austin, Texas. First up for the Eagles was Preston Pilgrim who scored the first points for the team and set a new personal record when he cleared 14’-6”. Next up was senior Ashon Thompson who ran against tough competition and placed 4th in the 100M dash with a time of 10.56 and also competed in the 200M dash and placed 4th scoring points for the eagles in both events. Jayden Palacios was now up to run the 400M dash and gave it all he got to place 3rd breaking his own school record time of 21.84 seconds and winning the bronze medal. The final race for the eagles was the 4 x 400M relay team of Sean Ramos, Juan Lopez, Estevan Jackson, and Jayden Palacios. They were competing against some of the best relay teams in Texas, but that didn’t phase them at all. Ramos started the race with a great first leg and handed it off to Lopez who kept the eagles in the mix. Estevan Jackson had an amazing leg as well and to finish it was Palacios who took off for the finish line and finished in 4th place breaking the school record with a time of 3:21.51 and scoring points as well for the team. The Varsity Boys represented the school and community proudly and placed 5th with 24 points at the meet. “The way I felt about this track season is a feeling that can not be described, it was like a movie,” stated Rudy Franco Jr. For Ashon Thompson this is his last year competing for Pleasanton, but he has made his team, school, and community proud and has shown the underclassmen how it’s done. The future is very bright for the eagles and the team and coaching staff and very excited and looking forward to next year. Congratulations to the Pleasanton Track and Field teams for all their hard work and dedication. Pride Pride!

Student Spotlight: Timothy Klein

By: Jaelyn Morales

Timothy Klein hustling for the ball

Timothy Klein is a sophomore here at PHS, who before coming to Pleasanton, went to school at Wellsprings in RAK, United Arab Emirates. Timothy is a kind and responsible student who tries to help out his fellow classmates whenever he can. Timothy enjoys all of his classes, but his favorite subject is Math. When asked what his favorite part about school is, Timothy responded, “I enjoy being around other students and getting to know them.”

He is not only a smart and overachieving student, but he also plays for the Pleasanton Men’s Varsity Soccer team and runs cross country. When he’s not in the classroom, he is playing his heart out on the field. This year, the men’s soccer team came out on top as undefeated district champs and made it to playoffs where they became bi-district champs and area qualifiers.

Timothy was also chosen by Mrs. Minniear as the next recipient of the PHS Positivity Challenge. “Timothy has such a genuine smile and fantastic attitude!” she expressed, “He is polite and kind and has a positive influence on those around him.” Timothy is one of the most kind and caring students you will meet at PHS, and that is why he is this month’s student spotlight! 

Powerlifting

By: Jaelyn Morales

Lady Eagles gather for a photo

The Pleasanton Girl’s and Boy’s Powerlifting teams have had some challenges this season, but that didn’t stop them from giving it their all and working hard as a team. “Our biggest challenge of the season was, of course, COVID-19,” stated Coach Sanchez, “it kept us from being able to get in the weight room, early, as a team. There were so many protocols that we had to follow, and they changed almost daily. It was important for us to continue monitoring any of those changes and to make sure we were following the guidelines.” Even with all these challenges, the girl’s powerlifting team made it to the regional tournament, which took place in Corpus Christi, TX. Unfortunately, none of the girls qualified for the state tournament, but Coach Sanchez said he is still very proud of them and the boys. “ I am most proud of the grit and perseverance our team displayed. Regardless of the challenges they faced, whether they be from the pandemic, or from competitors or judges, our athletes lifted and represented Pleasanton ISD in a manner that should make the entire community proud of them.” Great job Powerlifting Girls and Boys!

Balancing Extracurriculars and Academics

By: Jaelyn Morales

Academics and extracurricular activities are both beneficial for someone’s mental and physical health. They are also important for a student’s growth and development, but what happens if you can’t balance both? An imbalance can cause students to build anxiety, stress and could possibly affect the body, thoughts, feelings, and even behavior. The ongoing increase in heart rate can take a toll on your body and cause low energy, headaches, trouble sleeping, and much more, but with the right schedule and some tips you can be excelling in both academics and extracurriculars, plus have extra time for yourself.

Student-athletes should know that both sports and academics are important, but between the two, academics should always come first. Your first responsibility should be learning and turning in your assignments, so you can have good grades. Those good grades will give you a better chance at getting into college and finding a good and fitting career for you. Extracurriculars like sports, art, music, drama, and environmental education can help you with your teamwork skills, language skills, problem-solving skills, and can also encourage creativity, concentration, focus, and build self-esteem and confidence. A healthy and organized balance of both will not only make you a successful student, but will also help you in future years.

To balance both you will first need to know how to manage your time. Managing your time can be rather difficult, but after a while it will get easier and easier and your stress level will start to decrease. You should start by setting a small goal for yourself, make sure it is achievable and measurable. An example of a goal could be turning in all your work on time this week or even taking a break at a specific time so you don’t overwork yourself. After setting up your goals, you should start taking advantage of opportunities. Take advantage of free periods, extra time, school resources, and friends who are willing to help you out. Lastly, you should plan ahead and don’t let your week plan you. You can use a calendar, planner, or your phone to make reminders and note when you have games, practices, work due, or free time. This will help you plan your time wisely and make sure you complete all your tasks for the day. Remember these tips and you will succeed in both academics and extracurriculars while also having fun.

Take Center Stage

By: Jaelyn Morales

Some of the members that made area and region are pictured with their instruments.

All Region and Area Band is a competition where students go through an audition process that involves hundreds who have all been preparing and rehearsing for this moment. For the audition, the students would normally travel to the event and perform their music pieces in front of judges, but this year will be a little different. Instead of going to the competition, students will be sending in a recording of themselves performing to be judged and scored. Even with this alteration, it won’t prevent students from performing to their best ability.

The students who competed and qualified for All Region Band are Jadelyn Garcia (6th chair flute), Abigail Perez (4th chair flute), Michael Delgado (1st chair oboe), Austin King (1st chair bassoon), Matthew Smith (2nd chair bassoon), Savannah Clark (1st chair alto clarinet), Shyanne Tijerina (2nd chair alto clarinet), Ricardo Alegria (3rd chair bass clarinet), Mya Cashiola (5th chair bass clarinet), Arecely Estrada (1st chair contrabass clarinet), Reese Decker (8th chair trumpet), Evelynn Caraway (4th chair horn), Kristina Mertz (5th chair horn), Toby Bird (3rd chair horn), Rylee Beddo (1st chair string bass), and Addyson Dority (12th chair percussion).

The students who competed and qualified for Area Band are Michael Delgado (1st chair oboe), Austin King (1st chair bassoon), Matthew Smith (2nd chair bassoon), Savannah Clark (1st chair alto clarinet), Shyanne Tijerina (2nd chair alto clarinet), Ricardo Alegria (3rd chair bass clarinet), Mya Cashiola (5th chair bass clarinet), Aracely Estrada (1st chair contrabass clarinet), Reese Decker (8th chair trumpet), Evelynn Caraway (4th chair horn), Kristina Mertz (5th chair horn), and Rylee Beddo (1st chair string bass). 

“I am very proud of their achievements this year,” Mr. Solis said, “They have done a very great job and I am happy with our turnouts.” Unfortunately, no students made it into the All State Band, but Michael Delgado (1st chair oboe) was chosen as an alternate and was very close to making it. Mr. Solis is hoping next year will be better and the students who are coming back continue on to the state level.

Teacher Spotlight

By: Jaelyn Morales

Ms. Infante is a teacher here at Pleasanton High School. This is her first year teaching at Pleasanton and she has already made a big impact on the students here. She teaches both World History and World Geography. Ms. Infante always has a bright smile on her face and even with a mask on you can tell she enjoys teaching and takes her job seriously. “She is a fun and interactive teacher that makes it easy for us to understand and grasp the information that is being taught,” said Alexis Ramos, a student of Ms. Infante’s World History class. 

Ms. Infante graduated from Los Fresnos High School and went on to receive her Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts/Social Studies Composite from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Before coming to Pleasanton, she was a teacher at Harlingen High School for 1 year and then taught at Bruni High School for 2 years.

When asked what her favorite part about being a teacher is, Ms. Infante responded, “I love interacting with my students and I love teaching them new things.” Although there are a lot of good and fun things about being a teacher, there are also a lot of difficulties teachers go through and one in particular this year is Covid-19.

When asked what the hardest part about teaching is, Ms. Infante responded, “All the changes this year because of Covid-19 have made it more difficult, but with the help of other teachers I wasn’t as nervous my first two weeks.” This school year has been difficult for everyone in some way, but that hasn’t stopped Ms. Infante and other teachers from trying their hardest to make sure we are safe and learning new concepts, principles, and skills.

Ms. Infante has done an amazing job this year and her positivity and encouragement that has brightened many people’s days has not gone unnoticed. Thank you Ms. Infante for being a hardworking and inspiring teacher and for everything you do in and out of the classroom.

Aiming High

By: Jaelyn Morales

Basketball players RJ Marquez, Juan Lopez, Heaven Marquez, Kayli Kennedy, and Reagan Moore pose for a picture.

The Pleasanton girls’ and boys’ basketball teams started their season off with scrimmages to get ready for their upcoming games. The Lady Eagles had their first scrimmage of the season on Saturday, October 31, against Alamo Heights. The following Tuesday, November 3, they played the Dilley Wolves. Their first game was supposed to be on Tuesday, November 10, against Crystal City, but was sadly cancelled. Their official first game was on Friday, November 13, against Bandera. They lost with a score of 39-37, but it was a very close game. When asked what her biggest goal for this season is, sophomore Sadie Mcada responded, “My biggest goal is getting our team to have a positive outlook on this season even through the obstacles, work harder than ever.” The Lady Eagles are starting the season off strong and positive and, most of all, they are aiming high this year.  

The Eagles had their first scrimmage on Saturday, November 7, against Southwest/Highlands. Then they played the following Tuesday, November 10, against the Lytle Pirates. Their first game of the season was Tuesday, November 17, against Brooks Academy. The Eagles are off to a good start, but will need to keep working hard to have another incredible season like last year. To put into perspective the Eagles had booked their first trip to the regional tournament since 1991. They did this by beating Port Isabel in the regional quarterfinals and faced Stafford in the class 4A Regional Semifinals, but sadly lost. Even though this year has been a challenge, that won’t stop either team from giving it all they got on and off the court.

Staff Spotlight

By: Jaelyn Morales

Mrs. Pippen

 

Mrs. Pippen has a very important role here at Pleasanton High School. For those who might not know, Mrs. Pippen is the registrar here at PHS, which means she is in charge of everything from report cards, progress reports, and grades to the records, enrolling and withdrawing students, and assisting parents when they need help. 

She started her job here at PHS in 2005 working in the Library, but 5 years later in 2010, she got a position working in the counselor’s office as the registrar. Since then she has been very busy helping every student in 9th-12th grade with things such as making their schedule for the school year, taking care of all the grades and GPAs, which are very important, and up keeping folders also known as PRC’s (every student has one) in a records room, which has records all the way back from the 1930’s and has to find them when a college or business is faxing them. After helping the students here at PHS, she now has to help the students who are either enrolling or withdrawing. She does this by contacting the other schools to get information, or for those withdrawing, she contacts the new school to make sure they’re going to school there and not being considered a dropout. 

This year has been a little more hectic for the staff at PHS because of Covid-19, but that did not stop them from working their hardest to give us students everything we need for this school year. “ I get a lot of help from the counseling department, we’re a great team and we enjoy working together,” Mrs. Pippen said, “We all get along and we get the job done.” Mrs. Pippen has done an outstanding job this year, as well as the other staff, and together they have exceeded in trying to make sure this school year goes great for everyone. Although this school year has been different from others, she’s still striving to help students, teachers, parents, and other staff members out, and that is why she deserves this month’s Staff Spotlight.

Lady Eagles Want the Win

By: Jaelyn Morales

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

 

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

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

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