Cheerleaders rally the crowd with sound and acrobatics, but the Sparklers cheer team get the pumps up the crowd by connecting with the audience, touching hearts with the power or inclusion. The Sparklers cheer team was started this year by Ms. Woods, Ms. Aguilar, and coach Tollison after it ended a few years ago. Its purpose: to include students with disabilities in high school festivities.
“Hopefully, there will be more opportunities for ALE students, or even for kids of all abilities to participate in extracurricular activities even sooner than high school,” Ms. Gonzales said.
During the pep rallies, the Sparklers rally the crowd when they come out with the cheer squad, following in their footsteps by repeating their moves.
“Well this past pep rally when they were not only doing the cheers but when they actually were able to do everything with us was my favorite,” said Zaire Franklin (11). “Being able to experience all of that with them was incredible.”
The students adore being apart of this team. It allows them to show their school pride and helps them to become more active and involved with school events, such as pep rallies. Sophomore Tagen Vale is just one of many students that looks forward to every Friday pep rally, as he gets to cheer in front of the whole school with the rest of the clubs and organizations.
“It feels awesome, I just like it,” Vale said.
Along with the ALE students apart of the Sparklers, many of the cheerleaders enjoy spending time with the team and learning unexpected things from them.
“I learn a lot from them. They teach me a lot in 45 minutes than I normally learn in a day. Like how to be patient. I believe that’s a key element to have with participating in things like this because it can be more challenging for them,” Franklin said. “I learn how to just have fun and be able to be myself with them. They’re all so sweet and really into hugging so I learn to be more open and accepting to affection.”
~Kennedi Adams- Design Editor
On average, teenagers spend six hours on social media every day, scrolling, liking, and sharing different photos and videos. During these hours, teenagers view and comment on different news stories online. In today’s society, social media sites like Snapchat and Twitter are common ways youth access news. It may seem like journalism is just writing with stories, but it is much more than that. Journalism constantly affects teenagers without them even knowing.
As technology changes and advances, so will journalism. Historically, it would take weeks to write a story and get news put to the public. Today, people receive immediate news alerts on their phones. The journalism field is constantly trying to find ways to keep the public informed.
“Journalism is everywhere; in magazines and social media. It’s a great privilege we have,” Kennedi Adams, the Design Editor, said.
Applications like Snapchat have short national news reports, and Twitter has news articles on the trending page. A fairly new version of journalism is Youtube. Youtube is mainly known for funny videos, however many news studios post news segments on Youtube. Along with news studios, bloggers will get paid to make videos and give their opinion on events going on around the world.
“Nowadays teens are getting news solely online, like your suggested post on Instagram or Snapchat snap stories. They purposely put in sensational news so people will see it,” Taylor Trapp, Online Editor-in-Chief, said.
It is important to stay knowledgeable about what is happening in today’s world. Journalism is evolving to help people stay informed and involved with their society. However, the technology can also be a tool that is used to mislead people. Something as simple as posting a video can alter the opinion of millions of people. Journalism is a profession that can either do good and correctly inform, or lead to a misinformed society. Journalism is a powerful field that is constantly affects youth.
~Connie Wiggins- Assistant Editor-in-Chief
Some may think frogs are gross, unintelligent, and only live with a few abilities: to hop, to see, and to eat. This is not entirely correct.
Frogs have been around for over 200 million years, evolving as the world changed around them. Frogs have the ability to adapt like all other living things; they can learn to survive in new environments and conditions. Those with desirable traits survived and produced offspring.
Contrary to popular belief, not all frogs can jump. Some species have to walk or climb because their back legs are too small and lack the force necessary to leap. These frogs’ legs are very close in length: the front legs are just a bit shorter than the back legs.
There are many different types of frogs—6,000 to be exact. Only 100 of them are poisonous and 47 are species of toad. This number seems high, but it continues to decline: climate change is a major threat to this vulnerable animal.
“I think they’re cute and underrate,” Rachel Grover (9) said. “They need love, too”.
Her words ring true: most do not realize how important frogs are. These creatures are an important food source to predators in their ecosystem. Not only do they serve as a food source, but they also help with maintaining ecological balance by eating insects.
“I think frogs are pretty tasty, but pretty cute,” Gabriel George (9) said. People and animals alike may agree with this point.
Frogs are adaptable and intriguing creatures; these underrated animals deserve admiration for their vital role in the ecosystem.
~Ryleigh McCright- Staff Writer
What is more important, school or a job? High school students are faced with this important question. Despite a heavy load, balancing school and work is a common endeavor. There are several reasons why teenagers may get a job.
“I got a job so I can prove to my parents that I could get a job and not have a bad work ethic, as well as my friends saying they always had fun at work with each other,” Tristan Dauphinais (12) said.
Teenagers may work outside of school so they can save up for something in the future, like a car. Saving money is one of the biggest responsibilities that one can learn. Quite a few parents will not support their children financially because they want their kids to work for it. This will instill a tough work ethic, and students can reap the benefits of extra money.
“I save so I know I will always have extra money if I need it and I like to save it so I can put it towards things like my truck or if I want to go out,” Conner Vital (11) said.
If families are struggling students work to support their family; their paychecks go straight to things like groceries and bills. However, while students dedicate their time to a job, they may fall behind in school work. When one constantly works after school they have little time to study or do homework. This brings up the question: can students really balance a job and school?
“School and work isn't really balanced for me because I'm spending multiple school nights staying up till one or two a.m. doing homework and having no free time due to work on the weekend,” Paul Willis (12) said.
Studies show that working long hours during the week has a negative effect on school performance. While teenagers want to earn money to save or support their family, they will have less time to focus on studies. Taking a step back from a job, like limiting work hours to just the weekends or the summer, will relieve stress and allow one to focus on what is most important: school.
~Breanna Monnette- Business Manager
The Clemens Buffaloes and Smithson Valley Rangers played a close game on Friday, September 20. The two teams entered Ranger Stadium at a 2-1 record for the season, with Clemens coming out victorious, the final score being 15-7.
“Smithson Valley is ranked very high, they were ranked ahead of us in almost all of the polls,” head coach Jared Johnston said. “You get a win against a team that everyone is predicting to get in the playoffs and predicting to finish in front of you, that’s just one big step.”
The score was close until the end, as no scoring occurred until the fourth quarter. The Rangers took a seven point lead after a rushing touchdown early in the last quarter, but the game was far from over.
“The main goal was to continue to do what we do, and really continue the game plan,” Johnston said. “We knew Smithson Valley had a great defense, but we needed to make sure we kept grinding and trust what we were doing, and we would come out on top.”
Though it took until halfway through the fourth quarter, the Buffaloes, led by junior quarterback Max Didomenico, scored twice to ice the game. The two scores came from a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown, and a two point conversion pass, all from Didomenico.
“I couldn’t do any of it without my offensive line blocking each and every play and then the receivers doing their job catching the ball,” Didomenico said. “The offense works as a whole and everyone works off of each other’s effort.”
Just as important as the offensive showing, the Buffaloes defense only allowed seven points through four quarters of football. The defense also showcased its grit by shutting down two possible game tying drives in the fourth quarter.
“We knew what we had to do to win the game,” senior Mason Chambers, starting defensive back, said. “We went out there knowing we had to get a stop, so we did.”
As mentioned, the Buffaloes converted a two point conversion after their first touchdown to take a one point lead instead of tying the score. This was the plan as soon as they scored, according to Coach Johnston, as they had practiced the two point play all week in practice.
“I believe in our kids, and I believe in our coaches,” Johnston said. “We had full support of everyone, and that play was one we had been working on since August.”
Players from both teams seemed to have a little more tension between them than normal, as many unnecessary roughness penalties were called, as well as a taunting call late in the game. However, even though tension arose, the two teams shook hands after the final quarter ended, congratulating each other on a game well played.
“We just focused on what we had in front of us, football is football and there is going to be adversity regardless,” Chambers said. “Staying calm and staying focused definitely kept our heads in the game through it all.”
The Clemens student section also showed up loud and proud to the game, making plenty of noise throughout the game to push the team to the win. Johnston appreciates this, attesting that they help the team win every game, also saying that when the team wins, everyone wins.
“I have some good friends on the team and I want to show my support for them, but I also just believe in our football team as a whole,” senior Chloe Edwards, said. “I love watching them play win or lose, and I do whatever I can to cheer them on and to make sure everyone else is too.”
Coach Johnston recognizes the heavy district that the Buffaloes are in, as well. This district includes the likes of the Judson Rockets, Steele Knights, and New Braunfels Unicorns, among other strong teams. Since only four teams from each district can go to the playoffs, each and every district win is important.
“It’s big; this is what counts,” Coach Johnston said. “There’s probably two or three teams in our district that won’t make the playoffs but, if you put them in another district, not only do they get in the playoffs, they probably win the district. So, every game is just crucial.”
Next week, the Buffaloes will have the ever-anticipated “Battle of 3009” against hometown rival Steele Knights. The Rangers will move on to play the Canyon Cougars.
“This win was very important,” Didomenico said. “It will give us a ton of confidence going into the 3009 game.”
~Brady Davis- Print Editor-in-Chief
Last wednesday, AFJROTC held their annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony. The leaders and students gathered in the mall area to bring awareness and honor all who lost their lives on the terrorist attacks that took place 18 years ago.
“I like to represent in this ceremony, because I like to honor those who lost their lives; the first responders, and the civilians. I think it’s a good way to thank them because they charge into danger head first every day,” Noah Parson (10), a student in AFJROTC, said.
AFJROTC is one of the few groups that commemorate the event regularly, which is why many students and leaders feel honored to be a part of the memorial. The ceremony gives them a chance to show their patriotism and pride.
“I feel honored because I know how hard it is for people to understand the depth of what happened, but I know that I’m ready to take on a challenge like that,” Jordan Barker (11) said. “And I’m prepared to be ready for anything to happen.”
Although many students may be too young to remember the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, many AFJROTC members and other students on campus feel a close and personal connection to the attacks. Whether they lost a family member, a close friend of a family member, or even just a friend of a friend.
“Personally, my dad was in the military at the time. And he had some, I guess you could say, close friends in New York, so that affected him which affected me in a way. So, whenever 9/11 comes around it’s kind of a big day for me.”
~Kennedi Adams- Design Editor
Newspaper gets all their funding through ad sales. Every month the staff members go to local business to sell an ad that will be printed in the newspaper. If the business opts out to purchase an ad, students need to have a call slip signed that says they attempted to gain their support.
“The hardest part about selling an ad is making or having the time to do so. A Lot of businesses are too busy to make an interview,” said Zoe Dean (9), a writer for the Correspondent.
Ad sizes and prices vary. We always offer the most expensive and go lower. First, we offer a full page ad for $200, then a half page for $130, and finally, ¼ page for $80, and end by offering a ⅛ page ad for $35. The more issues their ad is placed in, the lower the price will be.
“Most businesses tend to buy a ¼ page because it’s not too expensive and viewers are able to see it clearly,” said Janine Alapag (9), Newspaper writer.
To keep track of the budget, Editor-in-Chief Brady Davis has set up a system on Google Sheets. There is a document for expenses and income. The expense section is where we keep track of how much each monthly issue costs—it's a great way to keep a record of how much we will need to print the issues. The income file is where all the ad sales are documented for each month so we can calculate our total income. Our goal is to raise $3,785.88 in ad sales in order to fully fund each magazine and newspaper.
~Breanna Monette- Business Manager
I am a big fan of chicken. And as a chicken enthusiast, I wanted to find the best chicken sandwich in our city. First I went to Popeyes, but I was disheartened to discover that the Popeyes chicken sandwich was not available and will return by 2020. In the face of a crisis, I ventured to a different location: KFC.
Upon my arrival, the employees were very helpful. We ordered the Crispy Colonel Sandwich, which came with fried chicken breast, mayo, and pickles on a bun. The sandwich costs $3.99 and comes in three different flavors: Smoky Mountain Barbecue, Georgia Gold, and Nashville Hot. As part of the $5.00 fill-up deal at KFC, I also received a side, a drink, and a cookie. I was disappointed when I opened my sandwich to find mayo in it, since I specifically asked for no mayo. Also, the pickle overpowered the flavor of the chicken. Nonetheless, I did enjoy the taste of the chicken, and I would order it again. For the price and the amount of food, it's a good deal. Others shared similar sentiments.
“I wanted to like the KFC sandwich, but it was dry and too fried. Even with the mayo it was still dry,” said Isabella Villerreal (11).
Next, I went to my local Chick-fil-A. The employees were friendly and quick to bring out my meal. I ordered the original chicken sandwich, a $3.05 meal that consists of fried chicken breast and pickles on a buttery bun. The combo was $5.95, including waffle fries fries and a drink. I noticed that the Chick-fil-A sandwich was less fried, the pickles were thinner, the chicken was juicier, and the buttery bread really complimented the chicken. My only complaint↕—without one of the sauces, the sandwich itself may taste bland.
“I liked the Chick-fil-A sandwich better because the pickles were thinner and the chicken were juicer. I thought the sandwich didn’t need to have sauce like the KFC sandwich did,” said Jared Hinojosa (12)
In comparing the chicken sandwiches from these two well known chicken restaurants, there is no question that Chick-fil-A had the best combination of taste and texture. Even though there is some die-hard KCF lovers, in the great sandwich war Chick-fil-A won, KFC came close, and Popeyes left everyone hanging.
~Connie Wiggins- Assistant Editor-in-Chief
Ah, high school. Lots of heartbreaks, sometimes even through all four years. Most of the time, it takes a toll on teenagers because they’re unsure of how to deal with a breakup. Wrapping one's head around what has just happened can be difficult sometimes. Now, don’t expect to bounce back to the old self within a few days or weeks. Realize that there is going to have a lot of good and bad days. No matter how one copes, it’ll all be better in the end.
One of the most important things to do when going through a breakup is getting confidence back. Make time to do things one may enjoy doing with friends and family members. At the beginning, a person might be more sensitive than ever. So just take it easy on yourself, and relax. It’s completely normal to feel lonely at times, but make sure to not bottle up emotions or else one might explode. Instead, talk to trustworthy people about situations like these, or even write a journal entry to express emotions. When a person comes to terms with what has happened, it’s much easier to heal and move on.
“I turn off my phone and try to think happy thoughts and spend time with friends and family,” Aaron Weis (11), who just recently went through a difficult breakup, said.
One of the worst things a person can do after a breakup is lose self control, and engage in destructive coping mechanisms. It might feel tempting to use drugs, alcohol, or other substances that could potentially cause even more problems for one to deal with further down the road. For the time being, it will feel like there are no worries in the world. But sooner than one may think, that high will wear off and they’re right back to square one. Set a routine to regain that sense of control. Do whatever is needed to help get a little bit of stability back into one's everyday life.
“You just have to move on and not live in the past, because if you do that it will just get to you more than it already has. The sooner you stop thinking about that person, the happier you will be,” Jacob White (11), who is also going through a difficult, 6 month long, high school breakup, said.
As previously stated, no matter which direction a person decides to go, everything will resolve itself in the end. They’ll end up becoming stronger than they were before, and will be ready to move on to someone who will either be another lesson, or someone who’s a miracle. Time will tell. Remember, it’s only high school. It’s very rare that high school sweethearts marry. There’s plenty of time to find the right one. Give it time and everything will fall into place.
“It‘s going to hurt at first, but you know you just have to keep telling yourself that it’s going to be okay and that you will get through this,” Kaylee Mora (11) said, ”because high school relationships suck and most of the time don’t last, so don’t worry too much about it.”
~Kennedi Adams- Design Editor-in-Chief
I believe in His Love. When I was younger, I was incredulous at the idea of a God accepting me for who I was. The thought of other people at church staring at me with their disparaging glances, their faces contorted in order to see something within me that even parents had no knowledge of, scared me into ignorance.
When I finally came to terms with my identity, I decided to do what my mom and dad had instilled in me from the time I could talk; tell the truth. That heavy, black cloud of doom seemed to dissolve as those two words slipped from my mouth.
But then that cloud dug its grasp even tighter into my skin. The truth is not as agreeable to some as I once thought it was as a child. I lost almost all my friends, including the group of girls in which I had been close to since 6th grade. I sat alone at lunch for the first time in all of my ten years of school, thinking of the mistake I had made in confiding to those I thought I could trust. I had never felt farther from God.
Then, one night, as the moonlight creeped into my bedroom, I did something I hadn’t done since I was a child. I dropped to my knees, and I asked for His help. As I sat on my bedroom floor at 3:30 in the morning, tears blinding my eyes in the dark, an epiphany fell over me. Things were going to get better.
I believe in the unconditional love of my family. Through loving them, I learned to love myself. I owe them my entire well-being, as well as my joy. The relationship I have with my mother, father, brother, and grandparents is something intangible, and that is what has truly connected me with Christ.
In the end, there are a handful of values I can proudly proclaim: I believe that love has no bounds. It does not discriminate, and it does not choose. Love is what keeps up afloat, even when the world feels as though it’s sinking beneath our feet. His love opens a door to acceptance; and eventually, a life worth living.
~Taylor Trapp- Online Editor-in-Chief