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Bear The

September 2012 Volume 5 Issue 1

Palmer Ridge High School Monument, Colorado 80132

Soccer Off to Undefeated Start

Photo by Kathryn Patrick

Football, Soccer, Tennis, OH MY! -pg 14-1 5

In Other News New Teacher Preview-

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Labor Day Parad

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Luke Hiser

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Sept. 2012



Being Positive Makes It That Much Easier

Senior Luke Hiser meets with a college representative at the College Center in the PRHS library. Hiser plans to attend the Univeristy of Colorado at Boulder and major in either International Business or International Affairs. Photo by Andrew Bell.

By Tayanna Todd Over the years, Palmer Ridge has had a multitude of successful and extraordinary students, from a nationally ranked cross country runner to a Stanford attendee to a student who scored a 36 on the ACT. However, it can be argued that none of their stories are quite as incredible as Luke Hiser’s tale. Earlier this summer, on the evening of August 11, Hiser attended a local party in Monument, never expecting that this one night would change his life forever. After Hiser left the party, several individuals found him lying on the railroad tracks, unconscious. However, they also discovered that both of his feet had been severed by a passing train. “The only thing that I even remember is showing up at the party. I’m kind of glad that I don’t remember the rest. In the hospital, they had me progressively wake up over a couple of days and it finally grew on me that I didn’t have my legs,” said Hiser. “But I can still feel them. It’s called phantom pain. At certain times I can literally feel my toes or the bottoms of my feet. Sometimes it’ll go away after a few seconds and then other times it’ll take a few hours for it to go away. It’s seriously the most uncomfortable feeling ever.” Although many in a similar situation would become depressed, angry, or purely negative, Hiser is the exact opposite: “I know it’s up to me to make the best of my situation and not be negative or down on myself. That’s not going to help anything.

Being positive makes it much easier,” said Hiser. To many’s surprise, Hiser returned to school less than three weeks after the accident. “No one even expected me to be back until maybe second semester,” said Hiser. “The first couple of days were pretty overwhelming with everyone, including friends, teachers, and people I didn’t know, coming up to me saying ‘Hi.’ But I came back because I knew that if I was just sitting around at home, I’d get so bored. I just wanted to get back to normal as quickly as possible and enjoy my senior year.” In essence, Hiser wants to let people know that, “It’s really not that big of a deal. I prefer it when people kind of joke around with me about it and just act like it didn’t really happen. To me, I feel like it makes it easier when people act like I’m still a normal person because I know that I am. I just don’t dwell on it because I’ll be up and walking around soon enough.” Hiser’s attitude and positive outlook have allowed this adjustment to become easier; however, it’s still an ongoing process. “I miss standing up, but more than anything, I miss putting on my shoes like crazy! I just want to get going and get walking again. I’m getting my prosthetic legs really soon, which is going to be awesome. This winter, I’m hoping to go skiing too,” said Hiser. His continued and extensive support system outside of school also plays a crucial role in his success. “They [my family] have been really good and there for support. I actually can do almost everything by my-

self other than go up and down the stairs. The only real help that I’ve been getting from them is piggy-back rides down to the basement. Other than that they’ve been awesome with all the support that they’ve been giving me and letting me do things on my own. They want to help me as much as they can, but they know that I don’t like the help. So they’ve just been trying to let me do my own thing, which has been nice,” said Hiser. “We’ve put a couple bars up in the bathroom just so I can get to the toilet and to the shower, and then I actually moved into my parents bedroom, so my parents are staying in

“I know it’s up to me to make the best of my situation and not be negative or down on myself. That’s not going to help anything. Being positive makes it much easier,” said Hiser. my brother’s room for the time being. That’s another way that they’ve really helped out a lot; they’ve just been really accommodating.

They know how tough my situation is. It’s not just been hard on me but hard on them as well.” In addition to support from his family, Hiser has also formed a special bond with his doctor. “My doctor and I really like each other and get along well. He got into a really bad skiing accident when he was 20 and because of that, he just felt for me because we were about the same age at the time of our accidents,” said Hiser. “It’s also really cool because he has this video that he watches every six months, which is an inspiring Lou Holtz talk and he actually showed it to me, and he said that I was one of only three patients that he’s ever shown the video to. He’s been a doctor for 20 years now, so that’s makes me feel special. We have a really good relationship. He’s been calling my house and checking up on me and stuff. And doctors never do that, so it’s awesome.” This accident simply has not dissuaded Hiser from pursuing his future plans, rather, he has taken it all in stride. “I can actually drive whenever I’m ready, and I just need to have a handset to accelerate and brake. My doctor is going to give me one of his handsets which I can simply hook up to my car. I’m also applying to CU-Boulder where I want to major in either International Affairs or International Business. Hopefully, maybe I can translate that into doing something with prosthetics in Latin America or possibly even in starting a foundation,” said Hiser.


Cross Country Hits the Ground Running

By Kathryn Patrick With two meets already under their shiny belt buckles, (trophies from the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede race where the boys team placed 2nd and the girls received 3rd) the cross country team has had an incredible start to their fifth season. Just recently, on Friday, September 7, boys and girls varsity both placed first at Widefield. Mrs. Kandee Khodl, coach of both JV and Varsity teams, is convinced that this year is “going to be a great season. We have a lot of returners and a good crop of newbies.” Freshmen runners Brian Cross (Varsity) and Derek Ruggles (JV) agree with Khodl. “This will definitely be a good season because we have some really good runners,” said Cross. “It’s a pretty hardcore team,” added Ruggles. Junior and cross country veteran, Amber Mather (JV), shares this optimism, confidently stating, “We're ready for anything. This will be one of the strongest cross country seasons we've ever had as a team!” Despite its clear strength, PR’s cross country team has been frequently ignored by the local media in past years. However, Khodl affirms that this has no impact on her expectations for the team, and instead views this as a kind of blessing since “being the underdog helps to keep our team free from pressure and our runners’ heads clear.” While it is obvious that the team is headed for much success, there are some serious

Field Hockey

Ashley Walker (10), Courtney Daly (12)

By Lauren Mikelson This year’s field hockey season began practicing a few weeks before school started. Since then there have been two games. Due to their hard work at practice, they won both games. Lexi Fabian, sophomore, thinks that they will have a “successful and winning season.” Throughout the last few weeks, the field hockey team had improved in many ways. Not only have their athletic skills improved, their team-building has too. Kayti Lewis, sophomore, commented that there has been “a lot of communication and friendship” among the girls both on and off the field. As the first two games proved, this season will surely be successful.

Tommy Herebic (10), Quiin Tirpack (10), Zack Blehm (11) Photo by Kathryn Patrick

competitors (Air Academy, Broomfield, Cheyenne Mountain, etc.) and a number of obstacles standing in the way. One particular hindrance that Khodl foresees is that “the newbies still need time to get on board with everything and veterans must recognize their true potential as runners.” There also runs the constant risk of injury throughout

the season, but this year the Bears are determined to avoid it with mixture of “mandatory ice baths, stretching and warming up well, and by doing all we can to keep back anything that might limit our ability to run” Mather explains.

Tennis Swings into the Season

By Molly Malone This year’s Palmer Ridge tennis team is tearing up the court. They are coached by Skip Wells and the captains are Erik Sabelstrom and Ben Finger. Wells really hopes to improve his team by, “Progress in strategy, learning where to hit the ball and how to hit the ball.” He really believes that this will improve the overall wins of the team. There are also many new things about this team, especially the amount of freshman. “This is a very young team,” said Wells. There are two freshman on the varsity team and more on the JV. This leads for a lot of improvement down the road for the tennis team.

The tennis team, lead by co-captains Ben Finger (12) and Erik Sablestrom (11) Photo by Molly Malone

Erik Sabelstrom (Junior) as captain is looking forward to inspiring and pumping


Sept. 2012 Sports Calendar

Thursday, Sept. 20 Cross Country Varsity Invitational vs. Coronado Boys Varsity Tennis vs. Sand Creek* Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Cheyenne Mountain Friday, Sept. 21 Boys Varsity Tennis vs. Colorado Springs* Varsity Field Hockey vs. Denver East Saturday, Sept. 22 Varsity Football vs. Pueblo South Monday Sept. 24 Boys Varsity Golf Invitaional vs. Doherty Boys Varsity Tennis vs. Valor Christian Varsity Softball vs. Sand Creek Tuesday, Sept. 25 Varsity Gymnastics Meet vs. Ponderosa & Rock Canyon Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Air Academy* Wednesday, Sept. 26 Boys Varsity Tennis vs. Discovery Canyon Varsity Softball vs. Vista Ridge Varsity Field Hockey vs. Regis Jesuit* Thursday, Sept. 27 Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Lewis Palmer* Varsity Volleyball vs. Lewis Palmer* Friday Sept. 28 Cross Country Varsity Invitational vs. Boulder Varsity Football vs. Widefield Saturday, Sept. 29 Varsity Field Hockey vs. Fort Collins* Varsity Softball vs. Thompson Valley* *Games In Bold are at Home


Captain Erik Sablestrom (11) Photo by Molly Malone

up these young players, as well of the rest of his teammates. Ben Finger (Senior) also captain leads more by example. He plays hard, works hard, but also has fun and his leadership really radiates through the team. Tennis has already had many wins, with only a few loses. They may not have started off strong, but has steadily improved as the season has progressed. Big challenges for the team are Cheyenne Mountain, Lewis Palmer, Air Academy, and Liberty. They have a there last home game on September 21, so come and support your boys tennis team. “Go Bears!” Final words from captain Ben Finger.

By Ashley Gerhart and Kaydee Donohoo This year the PR girl’s gymnastics team is more ready to go than ever. Since the school has opened, the team has improved every year. Because of this, they anticipate this year to be their best yet. Sophomore Morgan Day believes that the team will have a great season, “We want to make it to State as a whole, but at least two of us should make it individually.” Though gymnastics is fun, it is also one of the most expensive sports offered at PR. In order to cover some of the costs, the girls hosted a fundraiser held at the Pinz bowling alley in Palmer Lake. The fundraiser was a definite success and money brought in will cover the cost of the girls competing and their team leotards. The head coach for the team, Coach Clowes, conveniently owns the Sundance Studio located in Monument where practice is conducted every Tuesday and Thursday. The team first competes against Ponderosa High School and has high hopes for a win.

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