Bump – Set – DOMINATE

By: Shyanne Sexton

Sarah Scharmann and Reagan Hollis setup for serve receive

Despite the fact that the Lady Eagles are just beginning their season, scores from Varsity, JV and freshman are making for a very promising season. The Lady Eagles faced Uvalde High School at the start of the month. The varsity team, with a strong three-set win, set the tone well for the matches to come and the junior varsity team, with a 2-0 triumph, showed its true colors.

On September 7th, the Varsity, Junior Varsity and freshman teams would play YWLA High School. As each team won its respective match, these games showed to be worthwhile. 

Varsity played Pearsall at home on September eleventh, where they won two dignified sets and pulled out a three-set victory. Despite winning 2-1 against Pearsall in a Devine tournament, JV lost momentum  and suffered a loss against Poth and Del Rio. Freshman also suffered a hard loss against Poth and Pearsall at the Devine Tournament.

Later in the week, the Lady Eagles won another three-set victory at Holy Cross high school, kicking off a winning streak. However, this tone was not carried over to the Junior Varsity team, which lost to Holy Cross in two sets. 

JV and freshman teams dominated against Carrizo Springs on the seventeenth. Both pulling strong wins and setting the stage for varsity. On the very next night, the varsity team played an exceptional match against Carrizo Springs High School, remaining focused all the way, and ending the night second to none with a three set win.

In the final stages of September, the team played Brackenridge High School. After winning two very good sets, Varsity swept the other ending with a 3-0 win. JV and freshman also won 2-0, following suit with the Varsity team.

In addition to the scores, the players have also proved that the season has been and will continue to be great. Kiley Wiechring, a varsity player, has a confident view of the season. She says “I think district games are going really well, we’ve put in a lot of time and effort to get a good spot in district” and says Coach Aguirre has made changes this year so the team can accomplish extraordinary things. In addition, she said that she really looks up to Tess and Sadie on the team for the fact that they both have great leadership qualities and encourage her to do her best.

The Lady Eagles truly embody Eagle Pride. Their season has been great, and we wish them continued success in future matches as they continue to represent the school well. Pride! Pride!

Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Blanco

By: Myame Lara and Allison Collins

Mrs. Blanco

Often you might see other adults walking around your classrooms helping other students, those people are called paraprofessionals. Paraprofessionals, also known as teachers aids, are often overlooked and underappreciated. Mrs. Blanco is a paraprofessional here at PHS and has spent her time helping students here for four years starting as a long time substitute and then becoming a paraprofessional. 

Mrs. Blanco is an inclusion aid at PHS, this means she provides classroom support to all students to ensure that they’re getting their academic needs met. Being an inclusion aid means  Mrs. Blanco follows a set schedule that is also subject to change depending on extra duty assignments. Mrs. Blanco states, “As a para[professional], managing our time to ensure that we are finishing up is very important.” Which can sometimes be stressful or challenging. As a paraprofessional, Mrs. Blanco doesn’t focus on a certain subject, but because of her history as a PIT teacher at PHS, Mrs. Blanco is the person to go to for technology trouble

Mrs. Blanco states, “I really enjoy what I do, I’ve told this every year, everytime, I see you guys as my own children. I love spending time with these kids because I get to see them for four years with our PHS families, they start off as freshman and then I get to see the final outcome as a senior and see them move forward to becoming a better adult.” Paraprofessionals are often undervalued and uncredited, so when you see one, don’t forget to let them know just how thankful you are for all of their help! 

JROTC

By: River Reyes

JROTC PT team cadets participating in raider meet

In the month of September the Pleasanton High School JROTC Eagle Battalion participated in multiple competitions keeping the cadets on their feet and ready to transition into drill season. At the beginning of the month, a number of cadets from the PT team participated in the 9/11 5k Run to not only motivate and keep cadets in shape, but to remember and honor the sacrifices made on that tragic day. The following weekend, the Raider team participated in an obstacle course challenge. Participating in the meet were cadets J. Herrera, V. Herrera, A. Uhl, S. Karsky, Castelar, Seguin, A. Araiza, and K. Alegria.. The month of September was a very physically challenging month for our JROTC teams and we’re looking forward to a successful drill season over the next few months.

Staff Spotlight: Ms. Gina

By: River Reyes and Myame Lara

Custodian Ms. Gina

Some of the most overlooked staff here at PHS are the members of the custodial department. One of the custodians working at the PAC and during football games is Ms. Gina. Ms. Gina will be finished with her first year as a PHS custodian on September 8th. 

 Ms. Gina is dedicated to keeping PHS safe and clean. The members of the custodial staff are each assigned a building to take care of. Ms. Gina spends a majority of her time in the PAC building keeping the auditorium and lobby clean for the students at PHS, as well as working the PAC building, Ms. Gina also works the football games with her friend Eileen. Since Ms. Gina started working at PHS during the COVID-19 pandemic, she states that it wasn’t a big change for her, and she continued to wear her mask to keep herself and others safe. 

Ms. Gina enjoys her job here at PHS. “Don’t forget to be respectful to the PHS campus,” says Ms. Gina. Although the custodial staff is often overlooked and underappreciated, we are all very thankful for them!

Cheer

By: River Reyes and Allison Collins

The 2021-2022 Cheerleaders

Kicking off the 2021-2022 school year, the Pleasanton Highschool Cheerleaders are ecstatic and prepared. Cheer Captains, Linda Sanchez and Noelani Guerrero along with Cheer Sponsor, Mrs. Rutherford are excited to finally begin this season. 

For the month of August the cheerleaders participated in the community pep rally, the first high school pep rally, scrimmage football game as well as the first football game of the season. Their performance was outstanding and the cheerleaders represented our school well! 

The Cheer team has great leadership with their cheer captains as well as a motivated sponsor that looks forward to their performances. When asked about the responsibilities as the Cheer Sponsor, Mrs. Rutherford says, “It takes a lot of planning, everyone always thinks football season is so busy. Yes its busy, but that’s the fun busy.” 

As the school year starts, all the sports will be taking center stage and our cheerleaders will be ready to show up and out!

JROTC

By: Wanish Tortes-Mcginnis and Kendall Zuniga

JROTC JCLC Cadet participants

Over the summer, 10 highly talented cadets of the Eagle Battalion participated with the San Antonio School District in New Braunfels at a leadership camp. The following 10 who participated were Kenneth Alegria, Logan Alexander, Alania Nethken, Lorenzo Samaniego, Aries Uhl, Natalia Jones, Annie Araiza, Courtney Cearley, Valdemar Herrera, and Hayli Woodson. Eagle training camp or JCLC, was based on leadership skills and creating a bond between each of the cadets while at camp. Activities such as hiking Enchanted Rock and High rope zip lining were involved to help better the bonding experience for the cadets. 

Eagle Training camp also helped first year freshman cadets get familiar with what JROTC is like. Things such as learning basic drills, the history of JROTC, and physical training were introduced to the new cadets. 

The Pleasanton JROTC also had a leadership seminar with the return cadets who are going to be returning this school year. The seminar helped give the cadets and staff time to bond as a group. The company commander and first sergeant were able to come together and make plans for the year and for their companies. The JROTC participated in a 5k fun run on 4th of July, 3 of there cadets competed against each other and the community. Future events are currently still in the works. 

Valedictorian: Matthew Garcia

By: River Reyes

Class of 2021 Valedictorian Matt Garcia

From freshman year to senior year students compete relentlessly for the top rankings of their class, be it for the pursuit of their dreams or a strong competitive nature. The Valedictorian is the one who stands above all else, successfully maintaining the highest standard of grade and seeking out the greatest challenge with every given opportunity. The Pleasanton High School Class of 2020-2021 Valedictorian is Matthew Garcia, a well distinguished student who has worked tirelessly to stay at the top of his class for his future endeavors.

Matt will be attending Texas Tech University enrolled in the honors program looking to major in finances. When asked about his class ranking and how it affected his opportunities, he said, “It made the admissions process much less stressful and gave me more of an advantage over others…I was awarded many scholarships based off of test scores and rank…” The payoff for all of  Matt’s hard work is clear and staying on top of the workload taken was an integral part to maintaining such a high rank. Matt says that to maintain his school/life balance, he would spend “…time before and after school catching up on or getting better clarification on any task 3I may have had trouble on.” Taking advantage of the help that teachers provide is extremely important for those looking to excel in their academic pursuits as you are allowed that 1:1 experience which guarantees the clarification necessary to be successful. 

The teacher with the strongest impact on Matt’s high school career is Mrs. Bast. Mrs. Bast is the current College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus teacher. Mrs. Bast takes great pride in having taught Matt and watching him develop as a student who prioritizes challenging himself. “Matt is one of those well rounded people who will succeed at whatever they set their mind to in life and in addition to being a gifted brilliant student he’s a nice guy as well he’s a really good guy and a great role model for other students. I’m proud to call him my student.” It truly goes to show that Matt has left a strong impression on his teachers and sets a strong example for his peers.

At home Matt is just as diligent with his responsibilities as he is at school. When asked how she feels about his Valedictorian status, Matt’s mother says, “Matthew is very deserving of his Valedictorian status, because we have seen first hand how much diligent devotion, time, and bottomless energy that he has applied to his studies. We are happy for him, and have high expectations for him in the future.” As his parent, Matt’s mother is very engaged with his endeavors, both failures and successes, encouraging him to meet his highest potential. As a graduating senior, Matt will be entering the open world head first and his mother has full intention of supporting Matt now so that he can pioneer his own future with his independent efforts. 

The Valedictorian is the one who stands above all else, successfully maintaining the highest standard of grade and seeking out the greatest challenge with every given opportunity. Matt has been successful in many of his pursuits and worked tirelessly, diligently, and honorably, deserving all the recognition he has received. We congratulate Matt and hope he will continue to be his best both now and in the future.

The Back Nine

By: River Reyes

Junior, Reed Foster, during a tournament.

With the end of the golf season here, the Pleasanton golf teams are wrapping up the year with a series of tournaments. The Eagles participated in 5 tournaments and the Lady Eagles participated in 4 tournaments with Lacey Stevens qualifying for state. The month of April has been a tight ship with the build up to the end of the season.

On March 30, the Eagles placed 1st with 326 points and the Lady Eagles placed 3rd with 398 points. On April 5 Eagles Varsity placed 1st with 315 points, JV placed 3rd with 465 points, and the Lady Eagles placed 3rd with 402 points. On April 8, the Eagles placed 1st place with 626 points and the Lady Eagles placed 2nd with 789 points. On April 20 and the 21st, the Lady Eagles placed 8th with 405 points for the region 4 tournament and the Eagles placed 1st with 650 points, winning the 4A region 4 tournament.

With their win at the regional tournament on the 21st and 22nd, the mens golf team made school history being the first team to win a regional tournament and qualify for state. Lacey Stevens will be competing for the UIL State Golf Tournament on May 10th and 11th in Kyle, and the mens team will be competing for the UIL State Golf Championship on May 17th and 18th in Kyle.

Overall, the vast majority of games played were won, with the teams advancing to the finals. We wish them the best of luck in the upcoming state tournaments.  

American Red Cross Month

By: River Reyes

The month of March is dedicated to supporting and celebrating the American Red Cross. American Red Cross Month raises awareness to the duties of Red Cross workers, raises funding, volunteer support for projects and relief efforts, as well as instilling the goodwill of the people.

People who want to support the American Red Cross during the month of March can contribute in many ways including, but not limited to: donating blood, donating money, learning life saving skills through their programs to help those in need, and doing volunteer work. You may also help indirectly through general acts of goodwill as the founding principle of the American Red Cross is, “ the duty of care we owe to one another when times get tough.”

Throughout the month of March, the people of the nation should try and contribute to both the Red Cross and their local communities in honor of its vision. 

Emergency Response Vehicle with workers helping with relief

Uplifting Covid

By: River Reyes

On Tuesday March 2nd, 2021, Governor Greg Abbot announced that he would be issuing an executive order that would lift the statewide mask mandate as well as opening all Texas businesses to 100% capacity. The executive order was slated to go into effect on Wednesday March 10th, 2021. 

After announcing the reopening of the state, the executive order was hotly debated leaving many people conflicted on whether or not we should be allowed to not be required to enforce a mask mandate. Many businesses and schools announced that they would still be enforcing the same mask and social distancing policies for the safety of students and consumers, but there are still a number of schools and businesses that are taking the same direction as the state and ending their restrictions. This raises the question of whether or not it’s too early for the nation to begin operating at 100% capacity, with no restrictions whatsoever. 

No matter whether the state is open or restricted, individuals should still practice safe habits and protect themselves as not everyone has been vaccinated and the virus is still affecting millions of people as it has only been a year since the initial outbreak.

A New Goal

By: River Reyes

Team gathered for a photo with their trophy


The Pleasanton Highschool Mens’ soccer team has had quite the successful month in February with great performance befitting the top team in the district. So far the team goes undefeated with a record of 4 wins and 0 losses this month.

The boys played four games until the time of writing (February 23rd), winning each game. They played against the following schools: La Vernia Highschool (3-0), Poteet (unlisted), Uvalde (1-0), and Somerset (3-1). When asked about his favorite game, Coach Brieten said “The games have been fun, my favorite game this month has been our game verse LaVernia. It was an intense and well played game.”

With a strong hold on the season, the boys continue to improve their skills and teamwork. They will without a doubt continue to uphold both their position and standard for the rest of the season.

JROTC

By: River Reyes

Photo taken to commemorate the JPA inspection

This month the Pleasanton Highschool Eagle Battalion participated in the JPA (JROTC Program for Accreditation) Evaluation. The JPA Evaluation is designed to evaluate the JROTC program to see how well it is following the minimum program criteria.
Select Cadets were chosen to participate, creating portfolios that detailed their experience within the JROTC program. The Staff created several slides detailing the Battalion’s current state. The inspection would also extend to involve our principal (Ms. Guajardo) and superintendent (Dr. Mann). The Pleasanton Highschool Eagle Battalion performed extremely well, achieving the highest award – The Honor Unit with Distinction.
Following up last month, the Eagle Battalion held a Cadet of the month board as well as a Noncommissioned Officer of the month board. The winners of these boards were Cadet Pvt. Courtney Cearley and Cadet SSG. River Reyes from Bravo Company.

The month of February was a very exciting and productive month for the Eagle Battalion and we hope to keep the effort up for the rest of the school year.

Pleasanton Mens Soccer

By: River Reyes

Senior Mariano Gutierrez is pictured mid-game.

This month was the second bout of the season for the Pleasanton Highschool Boys Soccer team. With 6 (to be updated) games under their belts, the boys are currently at a 3-3 lock. On an even ground, the team hopes to improve upon their collective trust to create an unstoppable force.
Earlier this month, the team suffered defeat in Gonzales and Floresville, but is looking at the bright side as they held the lead for the majority of the Gonzales game and improved their plays for the Floresville games. They would then redeem their loss in full with the Wimberly game, winning 3-2. When asked about their strengths, Coach Breiten said, “We are currently excelling at our passing and communication.  Passing and communication were one of the first two things we have been working on during December and January.”
With the season settling in, the team will continue to build upon their strengths and improve their weaknesses in hopes to do well throughout the rest of the season.

Pleasanton Mens Soccer

By: River Reyes

This month, the Pleasanton Mens Soccer team will be kicking off a new season. The team has been actively practicing after school since the start of December and will be participating in their first games on December 15th and 18th. 

When asked about how the team may perform during their game, Coach Brieten said, “I don’t know how they’ll play, they’re a young team and have a lot to work on. It will be pretty exciting to see how well they perform and what we need to work on going forward.” This year’s team is predominantly composed of sophomores and juniors, with few freshman and seniors. To best prepare for the upcoming games, the boys will be focusing on conditioning, ball skills, and their team play.

Going into the season, the Pleasanton Mens Soccer team will be very unpredictable given the current composition of the team, but it’ll be an exciting season going forward. Best of luck to the boys during their upcoming games. 

Grand Prairie Shootout

By: River Reyes

JROTC Eagle Battalion Drill team after the meet

On Saturday, October 31st and Saturday, November 7th, the Pleasanton High school JROTC Eagle Battalion participated in the “Grand Prairie Shootout” virtual drill meet. Participating were the Pink Eagles female color guard, Co Ed male and female color guard, and the Armed drill team.  

Both the female and male color guards showed up to the PAC parking lot on October 31st to perform for the color guard phase of the drill meet. Both color guards had a strong performance, representing the Eagle Battalion well.

On Saturday, November 7th, the armed drill team gathered at the PAC parking lot to perform for the drill phase of the virtual drill meet. The armed drill team had a strong performance, maintaining excellent discipline and formation, with few hiccups to count. When asked about their performance, the armed drill team commander Cadet Captain Jared Griego stated, “I feel confident in our performance, all of our cadets performed to the best of their abilities.” As for some of the newer cadets, Cadet Cearley stated, “I feel like we had a good performance, it was exciting competing for drill for the first time.”

With astounding performances, our color guards and drill team kicked off the year strong with a whole season to look forward to, honing their skills for the climax of the season with 5th brigade.

Halloween Safety

By: River Reyes

Stay safe and have fun!

Halloween is right around the corner and with the pandemic in full swing, this won’t be your standard Halloween experience. Anyone planning to celebrate should be mindful of social distancing and common safety procedures. If you plan on going trick or treating, make sure to have a filtered mask, keep your hands clean and try to minimize any contact you make when receiving your treats. 

If you’re going to be handing out treats, one fun method to keep safe distance is by using a chute. You can set up a tube that will carry your candy over a safe distance for anyone receiving candy, keeping transmission low. 

Alternatively, you can always just stay home and celebrate with your household or a safe number of friends. Some fun ideas could be Baking Halloween themed treats, perhaps some frosted cookies with spooky designs or decorated marshmallows on a stick. When it comes to sweets, there’s no end to how creative you can get.

If trick or treating and making sweets isn’t up your alley, just kick back and watch some themed movies and shows; Netflix sure has no end to recommendations for season. You can watch everything from classics such as the “Nightmare before Christmas” to more recent horror flicks like last years “Girl on the third floor”, which, yes, you can safely stream from home.

This year will definitely be a first for us all amidst a global pandemic. Our holidays may be more restricted with safety measures, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun. Just make sure that you remember to keep yourself and others in mind when you make your Halloween plans.

Epidemic Effects on Education

By: River Reyes

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

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

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

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