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Injuries prevent senior from playing final season p.14 Students serve food for teachers p.12

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Senior composes original music p.7

PDA on school campus p.4 Staffer reflects on New Years resolution p.4 SSJ helps WARM p.5 Ms. Stubbs immerses in Japanese culture p.7

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Varsity football, volleyball success p.13

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Science teacher races cars p.11 Holiday recipes p.17 Students discuss opposing views on religion p.19 Staff Picks: Favorite Christmas movie p.23

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DON’T SHOW, DON’T TELL NO MORE PDA ON CAMPUS STAFF EDITORIAL Public display of affection, or PDA, is seen throughout the school. In the hallways or by the stairs, boyfriend and girlfriend hold hands, share a hug, or even a kiss. Despite the beauty of being in a relationship, PDA needs to be kept out of the school day. In fact, in the Student Handbook it is prohibited. Teachers and administration refer students to the office for discipline. Students taken more than once to the office can get up to short term AEP. When teenagers are constantly on each other it makes others uncomfortable, making these affections uncourteous. Not everyone is as comfortable in showing or seeing that much affection in public. Students come to school for an education, not to spend time with their loved one. They need to show respect for those around them who want to learn. It’s understandable that couples want to show their affection to one another with a quick hug or holding hands telling others they’re together. School isn’t an appropriate place though. Other places such as the theater, park, or restaurants are better suited.

Staff Vote 10 of 10 AGREE

Lastly, students need to speak up and tell those couples to stop. Administration and teachers must follow up with taking the students to the office for discipline, because if not, students think they’re doing nothing wrong. Furthermore, administrators and teachers could stand in places like the back hallways, where PDA takes place to keep it from happening.

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Admit it. 

At the end of every year you start to reminisce on all of the fun times in the past as well as all of the unmentionable times. All of the laughter shared, the mistakes made, and goals never met. But once the clock strikes midnight, and shouts of glee are heard all around for the New Year, the past goes out the window and it’s time to start fresh. That’s right, it’s the new year, and with a brand new year comes updated goals and wishes. Now I’ll be honest, I’ve made New Year’s resolutions before and they are not easy to reach. Yes the whole speech on how meeting every goal in the next year means everything, how I need to become a better person than the previous year, and eat healthier and so forth comes about each year. But as time passes, the school year moves on and the school load picks up and I forget about it all. In reality, it never crosses my mind twice. I never attempted to catch up on my resolutions and I most definitely didn’t have time to. Sure resolutions were fun as I made them, but once

I actually began my resolutions I kind of started to second guess what in the world went on in my head when I created this unrealistic list. Now don’t get me wrong, people have the drive to get them done but what is the point in resolutions? Why make them in the first place? I think that’s the question people ask every year as we await the confetti and thankfulness at midnight as we commence a New Year. I think that the prime purpose I made resolutions in the past all came down to the excitement that caught up with me and I just couldn’t help myself but to go overboard with what was the impossible for me. I did the ‘eat healthy and lose weight’ goal. Not a great one to put on the list. Eventually I gave up on it and never fulfilled that task. I think that happens with other people who make resolutions and never finish them as well. So here is a little tip from me. If you want to make resolutions, by all means go for it. But putting something on there that you know for a fact you will not go through with is not a plausible choice. It makes things way easier if you write down goals at which you know you will be a success.

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!""#$%&&#'($!""#$)&*+,' --.$/"012,&&+$*,$3456$"7&+$89*2:';<7<2;$=+&*: !"#$%&'()*#+&,-. Nowadays, a generous person is considered rare, and a small act of kindness can be taken the wrong way. Students for Social Justice, or SSJ, is a gathering of students who simply want to make the world a better place. This group of students proved this by visiting WARM Nov. 27 to help distribute food to families all over Wise County. “We went to WARM to help out families,” president Karen Rodriguez said. “Everyone helped out with what the people needed, from packing to distributing the food. The students who volunteered to help were seniors Leslie Macias, Alex Gabriel, and Silvia Garcia. Juniors who also lent a hand consisted of Maria Camacho, Deici Godoy, Alondra Gomez, Kaylee Higdon, Kassandra Lopez, Dianna Martinez, Lourdes Perez, Karen Rodriguez, Jennifer Romero and Katie Rowden, and sophomores Cara and Cassie Denton, Mary Guamboa, Emily Macias and Gabby Mendez. SSJ sponsor Kari Harris also came to WARM’s aide that day. “I was so proud of our students. Everyone worked very hard and did what they came to do,” Harris said. “Our students really impressed the people at WARM with how hard they worked and how much they got accomplished.” Everyone volunteered for different shifts to work. The first group worked from 9 am to 11 am, the second group helped from 11 am to 1 pm and the third group helped from 1 pm to 2 pm. Rodriguez, Harris, and vice president Kaylee Higdon helped from the first shift to the last one. Throughout the day, Executive Director Rene Ashmore coached

Kaylee Higdon, Karen Rodriguez, Katie Rowden, Gabby Mendez, Maria Camacho, Leslie Macias, Emily Macias and Silvia Garcia

Left: Mary Guamboa, Kari Harris, Karen Rodriguez, Cara Denton, Kaylee Higdon, Cassie Denton, Deici Godoy, and Alex Gabriel. Middle: Emily Mascias, Kaylee Higdon, Silvia Garcia, Karen Rodriguez and Leslie Mascias Right: Dianna Martinez, Lidia Ruiz and Jennifer Romero.

and explained to the students what needed to be done. Ashmore has dedicated 10 ½ years to WARM. Every month WARM serves around 1000 families throughout Wise. “The mission of WARM is compassion and assistance as a response to God’s grace through Jesus Christ by offering services to those with needs in Wise County in an effort to promote a productive and sharing community,” Ashmore said. According to Ashmore, helping at WARM is fulfilling and keeps things in perspective to know how one is blessed. Many people take what they have for granted while others appreciate the smallest of things. The SSJ students who volunteered saw this in the people who received food. “I felt helpful. I felt good about myself because there are a lot of people in need,” senior Silvia Garcia said. “It’s good to help one another because when you help someone, eventually you will get help in return.” SSJ also raised money for a family through a Holiday Candy Cane Gram fundraiser. This included a form to fill out and turned in to Harris. They pass out the candy canes Dec. 20. According to Rodriguez, it was all about getting into the spirit of Christmas. Higdon also wanted to include the fact that this fundraiser was to help purchase presents for the people who aren’t as fortunate as others. “I am very excited about this and hopefully we raise enough money for our angels,” Harris said.

Dianna Martinez, Jennifer Romero, Lourdez Perez, Lidia Ruiz, Karen Rodriguez, Kaylee Higdon and Kassandra Lopez

Kaylee Higdon, Maria Camacho and Katie Rowden

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FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH

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Youth Group Wednesday Night at 6:30 STUDENT MINISTRY

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Ron Johnson

1200 W. Preskitt Rd. Decatur, TX 76234

Phone: 940-627-3235 Fax: 940-627-6340 E-mail: ron@firstdecatur.us

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!"#$%#%&'()"$*)+',--)+&)&',.'/"0".)&)'$%#(%+) !"#$%&'("))#*+,+)+ Calculus and math lab teacher Elle Stubbs speaks Japanese. At the age of 17, during her junior year of college, she traveled to Japan to immerse herself into the culture. “I thought it would be fun to learn a new culture,” Stubbs said, “and being able to practice in the language and context, I guess.” Stubbs stayed in Japan for a full year and because of her age, she started back in high school. “The school was a lot different in Japan than it is here,” Stubbs said. “The school that I went to was all girls.” They went to school for six days out of the week, for eight hours a day. “Our teacher told us there were 24 hours in a day. We went to school for eight, we should study for eight and we could do whatever with the last eight,” Stubbs said. Instead of having janitors, the students in Stubbs’ school had to clean to give them a feeling of pride. “I rode my bike to school everyday, participated in the tea club, had

to do my banking in Japanese,” Stubbs said. “There are a lot of things that are very different.” Stubbs’ class traveled all throughout Japan by train. “I got to see some famous places like Mara, Hiroshima and Kyoto,” Stubbs said. “I flew into Tokyo, and I traveled to Tohoku and lived there. They called it the countryside. It was about the same size as Arlington, Texas.” Students are impressed with her colorful background. “It’s pretty cool,” junior Isaac Caban said. “I think it’s interesting that she could step outside her box of culture and pick up on another’s way of living and language.” Stubbs wants to travel back to Japan and other places throughout the world. “Japan is a beautiful country,” Stubbs said. “There are many things to see and do. But there are many other places I want to go in the world.”

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Seniors Ty Green and Austin Shugart, with choir director Chris Yurasek at the Region Concert choir performance at TWU Nov 8. Senior Ty Green loves two things in his life: God and composing music. Combining these two passions, Green composes a Russian Orthodox piece to sing. He’s made progress for two weeks. “Of course it’s in Russian,” Green said, “but basically it’s Russian church music.” Between school and work, Green is at a stand-still, but hopefully he can start writing again. “It’s been a couple weeks because I’ve been so busy with work and school,” Green said, “but I’m getting back to it soon.” Green embraces his faith with writing and composing music pieces. He wants to spread the word of Christ through his pieces. Along with Jesus, famous composer Rachmaninoff is another one of Green’s inspirations. Rachmaninoff is a Russian-born composer, pianist and conductor. “First and foremost is Jesus Christ and my second inspiration is

Rachmaninoff,” Green said. Showing off isn’t what Green intends. He wants to show how great Christ is. “The impact I want to have on people is not at all what talent I have, but what the Lord has given me and how great he is,” Green said. Green’s closest friends have high hopes for his Russian Orthodox composition and future in music arts. “I think if he actually gets it done he could be considered a prodigy,” senior McKenna Waddill said. Another fellow senior, Austin Shugart, feels Green is a very outstanding and all around good person. “I think he’s a very inspirational person,” Shugart said. “Very driven, he has a heart of gold and thinks about other people first.” Green plans on carrying his adoration for music into his future, making it a career.

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I have a love/hate relationship with snow. At first I was ecstatic about getting out of school for a day (I know, I’m a bad kid). I was happy we didn’t go to school on Friday because I kind of needed to play catch-up with my schoolwork. Throughout the day I kept thinking, “it’ll melt by the time Monday comes around. Snow in Texas always melts fast.” I’d never been more wrong in my entire life. Monday came and the snow was still there. It. Wouldn’t. Go. Away. You’d assume that a senior in high school would be overjoyed that school was canceled—again. No. I was annoyed. All weekend long I had stayed indoors—bored out of my mind—because the roads were bad. I understood, however. It was dangerous to go out and drive under the icy conditions. I understood that concept. No matter my understanding, I was still peeved. I’m weird with school getting canceled. I get bored if I have nothing to do all day long. School is usually the solution to complete and unfathomable boredom. School gives me something to do throughout the day; it keeps me busy and distracted from

doing absolutely nothing productive. So Monday came around and I began to panic. I had things to do—assignments and tasks that needed to be accomplished. I began to frantically email and text my staffers because, as luck would have it, this was deadline week and so many things were getting canceled or rescheduled. It seemed like the world was just not working in our favor. “We’ll get this done. We’ve got to get this done,” I told myself over and over again when the panic began to creep on me. Yet I was determined to get things done. School getting canceled wasn’t a leeway for me to just drop everything and relish in a mini-vacation. No, I was busy experimenting with inDesign (which I still despise with a lovely passion. I’m not a tech-person) in hopes that I could get the print’s content to fall into place. Then my Internet signal became shady and I was miffed. Oh, man. I was furious. Snow. Icy snow. A temporarily beautiful sight that ends up becoming an insanely inconvenient factor in the long run. I for one hope that the next time Texas weather decides to be bipolar, it won’t be on a deadline.

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!"#$%&'()"*+&' ,*#&-.#"/0*1)(2#))%&'(#..03")()"#..0*1)(4%05(+&(6/*%)"7#) -."#$%%&'(")*+(,* Growing up it was always the same routine So instead, we were to spend Christmas at around Christmas time. my aunt’s house in Denton. Leaving school early to start my vacation, I went to school that last day before the spending the day packing and preparing for break and it felt weird considering all the years the long journey. The 12-hour car rides spent I was absent on that specific day. The day went arguing with my sister and parents about on like any other day. The only difference bewhere we would stop to eat. ing teachers didn’t really care what we did. As soon as we neared the mountains I knew During sixth period things got weird. it was almost time. I knew I was so much I was having a fun time just hanging with closer to seeing my grandparents and cousins. my friends when I was called to the office. At It was usually the same routine; the whole first I freaked out a little, but I knew there was family gathered at my grandparents’ house nothing to worry about. I walked to the office while they waited for our arrival. As soon as and saw my grandpa David standing there we pulled in the driveway I knew Christmas with my two younger sisters. was going to be great like it always was. “What is wrong?” I thought? “What hapLike any other Christmas, we arrived two or pened”? I tried not to panic though. My sisters three days ahead of time to help prepare. In stood there looking at me. I knew I couldn’t my family this was one of the only times where show them the panic I felt. we all gather and celebrate. The car ride home was strange. Instead of I remember a past Christmas with my telling us his jokes, my grandpa David avoided grandpa Adalberto and how one year he rent- eye contact and just drove us home. ed a karaoke machine; other times we blasted When we arrived, I saw my dad’s car. This music and danced. I remember our big Christ- was odd because he was never home before mas feast of turkey, spaghetti, mashed pota- five. toes and rolls. I walked in the The holiday house and saw was also the one the suitcases on 89"("/0("*9"/(5#)(%&("/0%*(0$0):( time of year I saw the floor and my everyone in my "/%)(5#)&1"(+9*(6/*%)"7#); dad comforting family. my mother. My !"#$%%&'(")*+(,*" In my eyes, mom was crying; Christmas could I knew someonly be at my thing was wrong. grandparents’ house, the perfect house for the She struggled to find the right way to tell us celebration. It was the only place we could all that our grandfather Adalberto, her dad, died. come together. In this very moment all I heard was the I loved the Christmas stories my cousins sound of my heart beating fast as the tears and I told to make the time pass before openstarted streaming down my face. ing presents at midnight. I loved how the While I stood there crying, my mom exwhole family gathered around in a big circle plained the plan. She told me that she and my waiting for our names to be called to receive dad would fly out to Monterrey that night and our presents. In this house you could definitethat my sisters and I would drive out with my ly feel the love and excitement each Christmas dad’s parents in the morning. She told me it Eve. was my responsibility to get my sisters packed I will never forget dancing with my grandand ready to leave with my grandparents for father to the music from The Nutcracker. I the next morning. loved my Christmas; I never wanted the night I was only 12 at the time but I needed to step to end. The following year times weren’t the best up, put my emotions aside and stay strong. The next morning we left. We loaded my economically and we faced a difficult decision. We skipped out on our Christmas tradition grandpa’s car and made the 12-hour trip to by staying here instead of going to Monterrey. Monterrey. The car ride was still awkward beThe family in Monterrey understood our situ- cause no one said a word. When we reached my grandma’s house she ation; they were just upset they wouldn’t get told us the funeral was in a couple of hours. It to see us. wasn’t until then that I knew that this moment

was real. It was no game. I saw my mom and her family as they cried and isolated my sisters and me from everyone. She didn’t want us to remember our grandpa this way. I remember walking into the house and how everyone kept looking at us with those watery eyes. Three days later Christmas arrived, but it just felt like another day. No one wanted to celebrate. The adults only celebrated the event for the children. But the truth was in their eyes; this wasn’t our Christmas. This holiday that we all cared about just turned into another regular day. It disappeared. Along with the spirit went the beautiful house, sold and remodeled to a new house we no longer recognized. It was gone. My family slowly stopped going to Monterrey. We went one year and the next we celebrated here. When we did go, the whole family slowly stopped attending. The spirit just disappeared. The greatest time of the year slowly lost its meaning. As I grew up I realized that no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to make Christmas what it used to be. I also realized it wasn’t my grandpa that brought us together all those Christmases, but the family. My Christmases will never be like they were, but as long as I’m with my family I’ll be just fine. My family knows the heartbreak I suffered after I lost my grandpa Adalberto. That’s why as long as my family is with me, the holidays are bearable.


We deliver.

Best Wishes for a Great Year From the Klement family of auto dealerships KARL

KLEMENT

US Hwy. 287 South

DECATUR

940-627-1101 1-800-772-8928

Karl

Klement US Hwy. 287 North

DECATUR 940-627-6700 1-800-723-7227

115 South Trinity, Decatur 940-627-5987 Fax 940-627-1004 wcmessenger.com news@wcmessenger.com


!!!"#$%&'($!)*+!,!)'--& Physics teacher races automobiles in spare time

Sam Graff prepares to drive a Lamborghini Aventador (left) and his personal Subaru WRX (right). !"#$%&'#()*+,%' ! "#$%&'($!)*+!*!)',,&-!.'/$!0$'01$!)*#$!*(!2(+3%4/$(3-!.'/$! 0$'01$!5%23$-!.'/$!01*&!#26$'!7*/$+-!843!9'%!0)&+2:+!3$*:)$%! .*/!;%*99<!)2+!)',,&!2+!%*:2(7-!='3!3)$!%4((2(7!>2(6<!,43!3)$!%*:? LQJZLWKSLVWRQVSRSSLQJXSDQGH[KDXVWSRXULQJRXWRID¿QHO\ 34($6!/*:)2($!2(!3)$!)$*3!'9!3)$!+4//$%<!523)!1$++!3)*(!+$:'(6+! 3'!+0*%$!3)*3!:*(!6$3$%/2($!29!&'4!3*>$!3)$!52(<!'%!:'/$!)'/$! 523)!('3)2(7-!@)*3!>2(6! A$!%*:$+!2(!3)$!.BBC<!*!62#2+2'(!3)*3!2+!6$3$%/2($6!('3!'(1&! ,&!+0$$6!,43!,&!0%$:2+2'(!*+!5$11-!A2+!7*/$!2+!*3!)27)!+0$$6+<! /*('!&!/*('<!*%'4(6!:'%($%+!*(6!3%*:>+!3)*3!04+)!:*%+!*(6!3)$2%! GULYHUVWRWKHLUOLPLWDQGDWIRUFHVRIXSWR*KHDGJHDULVGH¿? (23$1&!%$D42%$6 ³,MXVW¿QLVKHGP\¿IWKWRXULQP\GLYLVLRQ´*UDIIVDLG³0\ :'11$7$!%''//*3$!:*/$!3'!/$!*(6!+*26<!E@)2+!5'416!,$!*5$+'/$<! OHW¶VGRWKLV¶,JRWKRRNHGLPPHGLDWHO\´ ! ;%*99!%*:$+!2(!*!:1*++!>('5(!*+!.3%$$3!@'4%2(7!F13%*<!3)$!9*+3$+3! LQWKH6WUHHW7RXULQJFODVV7KHFODVVLQFOXGHVFDUVOLNHWKH%0: 0VWKH1LVVDQ]DQGQH[W\HDUZLOOLQFOXGH0XVWDQJVDQG B*/$%'!/'6$1+-!  ³:HXVXDOO\UDFHLQSDUNLQJORWVDURXQG0LQHUDO:HOOVEXW VRPHWLPHVZHUDFHDW7H[DV0RWRU6SHHGZD\DQGRQFHZHHYHQ JRWWRUDFHLQWKHLQ¿HOG´*UDIIVDLG  7KHUDFHVXVXDOO\RQO\ODVWIURPWRVHFRQGVDQGWKH FDUVQRUPDOO\GRQ¶WJHWDERYHPLOHVSHUKRXUEXWWKHGULYLQJ +>211!%$D42%$6!2+!$G3%$/$-!@)$!3%*:>+!*%$!+$3!40!523)!:'($+<!*(6! $*:)!:'($!>(':>$6!'#$%!72#$+!3)$!6%2#$%!*!35'!+$:'(6!0$(*13&-! "*:)!'9!3)$!6%2#$%+!*%$!043!2(3'!*!:1*++!,*+$6!'(!)'5!9*+3!'9!*!:*%! 3)$&!6%2#$<!+'!3)*3!3)$!%$+413+!'9!3)$!%*:$!*%$(H3!6$3$%/2($6!,&!

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Pictured are several sportscars that Graff educate drivers about and test drives around courses. Photos provided by Sam Graff -*+./0*#11


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Daisy Fernandez helps out by cleaning up the tables and washing the dishes in the classroom’s kitchen. !"#$%&'"#()**+, Help comes in many different ways, and one of them is feeding their own,” Mayfield said. “One example would be the cooking skills. It fellow teachers. Students in Brandy Mayfield’s class set up tables, brew could help as a job skill.” coffee and prepare food for teachers so they learn different living skills Student Kassie Roberts helps when it comes to serving the food such as social and cooking skills. for the teachers. Other students involved include Shaina Beavers and It all started three years ago with an idea to help her students learn Daisy Fernandez. more. “I help by putting cheese in the portion cups,” Roberts said. “I grind “I was just trying to find a meaningful purpose for them to work on coffee beans, clean up the mess, wash dishes and sweep.” cooking skills but also to incorporate everything from the shopping Roberts performs both functional skills at school and at home. and the budgeting for the meals,” Mayfield said. “I help make soup at home and make hot cocoa at home in the Mayfield’s purpose is to provide the students with useful and valumornings,” Roberts said. able skills. The money that the students gather from the teacher lunches earns “The main reason we do this is them a couple of field trips as a reward. because it gives them functional living “From the teacher lunches, it saves skills. They help with the food prep by for our field trips,” Mayfield said. “We’re 97%&("7%3(+4,")6)+4"%()&(6/4''( serving and cleaning,” Mayfield said. allowed three to four field trips a year so Not only do the students prepare that helps with the cost.” )"(5).%'("7%*('1)//'(0-,(/).)&5: food for teachers; they also buy what Apart from serving lunch to teachers, 2#3*%&4"#5%"67+84 the recipes require. Mayfield sets up a coffee bar in the morn“They help with shopping for the inings. gredients,” Mayfield said. “Every week “The students really like it,” Mayfield we go to Wal-Mart. We look at the said. “The majority of the students buy recipe, make a list and divide it among coffee, and a couple of teachers.” the students so they get what we need.” Students set up the tables to get ready to serve coffee in the mornAccomplishing tasks like these, teaches the students valuable skills ings. for the future. “They do everything from setting up the cups and lids for the coffee “We focus on allowing them to live as independently as possible, to wiping down the tables,” Mayfield said. so maybe that can be from students living as a group, or some can be Mayfield hopes that the students carry on the skills they learn from capable of living by themselves,” Mayfield said. her class so that in the future they take big steps on their own. A benefit from helping serve food for teachers is another way to “When they participate in class it gives them skills for living,” Mayteach students to live independently. field said. “It helps build skills so when they leave here, they can do things on

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oming off a year where they made it to the regional finals and ultimately lost to Argyle in 5 sets, the Lady Eagles varsity volleyball team reaches the goal of winning the state championship. “Throughout the game, Coach Benedict kept telling us that it was our time,” senior Kirsten Nanny said. “That was our motivation throughout the whole game. We knew it was our time to win.” On Saturday, Nov. 23, the team played against Bellville at The Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. “I am so very proud of the hard work day in and day out that the girls have put in this past year,” head coach Claire Benedict said. “It’s still a surreal feeling. It probably hasn’t sunk in all the way.“ The team won the game 3-0 and junior Cooper Martin was named the game’s MVP. “It feels good,” Martin said. “It was so exciting and I’m glad I got to celebrate with my amazing team.” This marks the first time in DHS history that the team has won state. “This has been such a wonderful season with ups and downs, lots of excitement, and hard decisions. But most importantly, it’s been a season filled with family. These girls are my family and it’s such a joy and honor to coach them,” Benedict said. “I couldn’t be more proud that they achieved their dream.”

Photos by Jordan Shetter, Cindy Berry, and Ashley Kyle

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or the first time since 2004, the football team made it into the third round of playoffs. The final game of playoffs for the eagles ended in a 55-40 loss against Chapel Hill. “A lot of people never really gave these guys much credit,” said head football coach Kyle Story. “Some didn’t think that we would make it to playoffs.” The district ended with three wins and one loss resulting in the team moving into the playoffs. “It was a great experience learning under the seniors and experiencing the playoffs for the first time,” said junior Mike Ramos. Students now know that the varsity team has the potential to advance to the playoffs once more. “Next year I’ll have my chance to do the same thing the seniors did this year which makes me a little nervous since they will be watching what I do,” Ramos said. “We started the season off fast and definitely finished strong.” The team won the first two rounds of the playoffs and ended the overall season with a 9-4 record and the district with a 3-1 record. “The team proved everyone wrong with their work habits and they are a fun group to be around,” Story said. “I enjoyed this football season; it’s one of those seasons that you’re not going to forget.”

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With eyes dilated and disorientated, senior Tyler White experiences another concussion making it dangerous for him to keep playing football, the sport he’s played for nine years. His last concussion of nine was Dec. 12 when he and his math class were outside. Students were sledding down the hill. As he was moving out of the way, he slipped falling against senior Trey Little. After bumping into Little, he slammed his head onto the ice. “I was really disappointed because he had all the concussions last year and a lot of hit issues that he had to go through,” athletic director Kyle Story said. “I was really disappointed for Tyler that he didn’t get an opportunity to play anymore.” He started playing in third grade and recalls putting on his first blue and white jersey. “[I remember] getting to play linebacker my very first game,” White said. “It was the position my brother played and I just wanted to follow in his footsteps. He was a hard-hitting linebacker that loved the game.” White was a running and then defensive back. “I loved having the ball in my hand and being able to run all over the field and the opponent,” he said. Changing to defensive back was a coach decision. “He was a good football player,” Story said. “He was fast and played aggressive and he would have made our team better because of his athletic ability and the influence he had on the guys around him. White spent countless days in the weight room, running and watching films. “Football was a lot of work,” he said. “It took a lot physically, staying in shape and overcoming adversity during games. White longs to be on the football field. “I miss it a lot. [I liked] playing close games and doing things that people thought we would never accomplish,” he said. “I wish I could play but I know God has another plan.” Teammates he’s known forever felt the gap he left when he stopped playing. “They [teammates] missed him,” said Story. “They had been growing up since they were little playing football with Tyler and he had been a big part of the team.” Despite not playing, White is on the sidelines at every single game supporting his team and shouting encouraging words. “I feel bad for the team really because he’s already a good leader on the sidelines,” junior Justin Myers said. “It would just be awesome if he could be on the field as well.” Coaches and teammates think of him as a team player. “I’m still part of the team; I just can’t play,” he said. “Plus, I want to be there for the guys.” Senior Cory Durdon agrees. “It really sucks [that he can’t play] but he does as much as he can to stay a part of the team,” Durdon said. Story agrees White is a hard worker. “He wasn’t near as big as far as just his size but he had a big heart and he played hard all the time,” Story said. White plans to attend Dallas Baptist University and become a preacher. “I feel like a personal relationship with Christ is the most important thing you can have in life and I have such joy with that relationship,” he said. “So I want others to have that same chance.”

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Photo credit: Ashley Huggins Tyler White stands alongside his teammates at the homecoming game against Hirschi. Eagles won 45-29. ?+&'@%+)AB


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God is love. 

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I believe that good and beneficial things come from God. Without Him, one might say they are less than their full potential. In my own experiences I’ve come to learn that without God I feel incomplete and lost. Before I found Christ, I yearned for something more. Time and time again, I was hurt by the world and its expectations of good, or good enough. Contrary to some peoples’ beliefs, being good isn’t what we think; it holds more meaning than it is perceived. When you think about the definition of good, people can understand it in a multitude of different ways, but it all comes back to that person’s morals and values. What we really need to consider, is where we derive our morals from to begin with. Who is it that determines good and evil? If I didn’t believe there was a God who cared about us and longed for us to be happy, what is there to hope for, what encourages me to make my decisions for the better? Everyone naturally strives to be better, whether it’s being better in school, or doing your hair better the next day. No matter what, I believe God has put that potential in us to naturally push ourselves because he wants to see us excel more than we want to. In my life, I have never felt good enough in a lot of different areas. It really started to take a toll on me, and it affected the way I acted and presented myself. I can honestly say finding Christ was the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m not saying life is easy, because no matter what, you’re going to have struggles, but Christ lifts the burdens and makes life more enjoyable. I can testify, that I’m not ‘good’ without God present and active in my life. When I think of good, I don’t think of perfection, more like wholeness. I get a satisfaction that can’t be filled by the world, or the things in it. It comes from knowing that there is a greater love out there for us. So no matter what you think the expectations of being good are, God allows you opportunities to bypass those expectations. He also allows you to see a whole new meaning behind the word ‘good’. People falsely believe that they are good, or feel like they are okay without God in their life, but I personally do not feel ‘okay’ or satisfied without Him.

I believe 

whole-heartedly that you can be a good person without any sort of deity or ‘god’. What makes somebody a ‘good’ person are the actions they proceed with on an everyday basis. These in turn, through the eyes of society, make them a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person. Coming from an atheist, using Christian or Catholic beliefs, I believe that we don’t need a book, scripture, or Bible to show us the guidelines on how to have morals. I myself know about the harsh reality of being an atheist in a society where we are not totally acceptable. People have told me before that I am going to Hell because of my ‘evil’ and ‘satanic’ ways. Atheists don’t even believe in Satan. We don’t believe in any type of religious being! We don’t believe that when we die we are going to be made into trees. We don’t believe in coming alive as something deemed higher or lower based on our morals in our lives today. We just believe that when we die, we are dead. There are theories that our conscious lives on and that’s why a lot of people see ‘Heaven’ or ‘God’ when they have near death experiences, but just as many of them turn away from ‘God’. Atheists are good people because we choose to be, not because a book tells us we have to be. I personally know that there are both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ atheists. But who is to actually say that your belief dictates how you live your life? People just need something to follow because human nature is to follow and be taught, as an example of itself; that’s what we were taught. I’m not going to say that people who follow a religion are stupid or wrong, I’m just saying that people who don’t follow one aren’t wrong either. All the fighting that goes between those who believe and those who don’t is a battle that will never be won by either side. So to answer your question, no I don’t believe a god is needed to be a good person, just the right mind set.

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2451 S. FM 51, Suite 300 Dectaur, TX 76234

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I’m kind of twisted. Let me elaborate—I’m twisted in the sense that my favorite Christmas movie is a Tim Burton production. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” just makes my life better. It’s not a happy cliché of a flick—it’s macabre and dark and witty. It’s fun and a definite 180 from the bright, joyful, homey spirit that most Christmas movies encompass. The songs are great and catchy while Jack the Pumpkin King is just the right amount of spooky. Burton’s stop motion-musical film is fantastical. Even though it seems to fit better in the Halloween category of holiday flicks, in my mind, I still consider it as my go-to Christmas movie. 56-,78+9:0/18442 Christmas is preferably one of my favorite seasons. That’s the time when the hot chocolate, s’mores and family traditions happen. Especially Christmas movies, those are the best! My favorite Christmas film is “The Polar Express”. When I was little, it made me wish it were real, that the train passed by my house and it would take me to the North Pole to see Santa Claus. When I was small and watching this movie, I thought that maybe this really did happen, so I tried to be nice so that The Polar Express would pick me up. My favorite scene is when the kids are in the train and the waiters dance and sing the hot chocolate song while serving hot chocolate to them. I love that scene because everyone is so happy and it makes me want to drink some of that hot chocolate! 5;-3,<9:200+= “Elf” is a hilarious movie about a man raised as an elf in the North Pole. This movie makes me laugh, cry, and hide my eyes in sheer embarrassment! Now, I have a confession to make: I didn’t see this movie until my sophomore year of high school, in choir. I know, I know! I’m sorry! I don’t watch a lot of movies! But, this one was definitely worth the wait. It’s funny, modern, cheesy, magical, and it demonstrates the true meaning of Christmas. If you could only watch one holiday movie in your entire life… watch “Elf.” You won’t regret it. 5>,?+33-9@-**844

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Photos by Ashley Huggins and McKenna Waddill

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Bradley Ferris as Coneybear sings a group musical number.

Benji Walker recites his lines as Chip Tolento during dress rehearsal on Thursday, Dec.12.

Autumn Lee, Tucker Garrett and Eunice Gallegos go over blocking cues during rehearsal.

Paige Dickinson, Madison Wetter, Kirsten Shaw, Bradley Ferris, Autumn Lee, Eunice Gallegos and Tucker Garrett perform the musical number “I’m Not That Smart.”

Tucker Garrett as William Barfée acts out his role in front of a mic by explaining how his ‘magic foot’ is a great stategy for winning.

Eunice Gallegos as Olive Ostrovsky sings “My Friend, the Dictionary” in front of Meghan Darst and Josh Santos.

Meghan Darst as Mrs. Rona Lisa Peretti and Josh Santos as Vice Principal Douglas Panch, perform a scene together.

December 2014  
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