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CYCLONES LOOK TO CONTINUE MOMENTUM DOWN THE STRETCH The Cyclone basketball team has arguably played the toughest schedule in the state this season. They are currently 11-7 overall and 5-2 in the 6A/7A Central Conference. Of their 18 games, 7 have come against ranked opponents which include a road trip to play the #1 team in the state, Little Rock Parkview. The Cyclones are currently ranked #4 in 6A and #9 overall in the state. Head Coach Codey Mann says, “The boys have become really close and have come TOGETHER to form a family environment. As a coach, I couldn’t ask for a better group of young men on and off the court; they never seize to amaze me.” Junior Andy Campbell is a tremendous competitor and leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 19 points and 7 rebounds per game. Sophomore Marquis Rhode is making a solid impact averaging 10 points and 4 rebounds per game. Senior Cody Underhill has made some big shots and free throws for the Cyclones averaging 7 points and 3 assists per game. The junior trio of guards Tony Jones, Kentrel Scott, and Co-Chese Temple-Laws has provided some tenacious defense and amazing ball handling skills against some of the top guards in the state all season. Jones is averaging 6 points and 2 assist


a game and hit the biggest shot of the season for the Cyclones against Ft. Smith Northside. Scott leads the team in assists dishing out 5 per game. Temple-Laws leads the team in steals and is averaging 3 assists per game. Underhill has become a great leader for the Cyclones. He says, “I feel like we have made tons of progress this year. We have started the season out pretty well by beating a couple of really good teams and competing with the top two teams in the state. I have high expectations for the rest of the season.” Underhill went on to say, “One of the biggest wins for us so far was over rival Conway in their house.” As the Cyclones prepare for the second half of the conference season and the state tournament, Mann says, “We will need to toughen up on the defensive end to be able to pull out big wins down the stretch. We must continue shooting the ball well and keep playing together as a team.” Underhill says, “For us to compete in the state tournament this year we are going to have to come to practice to get better every day and then take care of business in the rest of the conference season.”


LADY CYCLONES FIGHTING HARD The Russellville Lady Cyclones started this season with some big wins over Rogers Heritage, Morrilton, Bryant, Van Buren and Earle during non-conference play. Their record heading into the 6A/7A Central Conference was 5-6. Senior Kenzie Wiedower says, “I think the team got off to a good start. We have improved our record and beat some 7A teams.” Head Coach Steve Wiedower knew that the conference schedule would be filled with some of the best teams in the state. He says, “We need to continue to keep working hard and not let the tough competition in our conference get us down. We are improving but we still need to improve our rebounding and defense to compete with the elite teams in the state.” Some of those teams include 2013 6A state finalists Little Rock Hall and Parkview, the 2013 7A State Champions Fort Smith Northside Lady Bears, and the current #1 team in 6A, Greenwood. Other teams in the conference include highly ranked Conway and Ft. Smith Southside. Wiedower says, “There are a lot of very good players and athletes in this league and the pace of the game is very fast and physical.”

The Lady Cyclones will now concentrate on the second half of the conference season as they prepare for a trip to the state tournament in Jonesboro in late February. Wiedower says, “Taking care of the basketball is a must against the tough pressure defenses that we see in this league.” The Lady Cyclones suffered a devastating blow when their leading scorer (16 p.p.g.) and assist leader (4 a.p.g.) sophomore point guard Alyssa Owens went down early in the Ft. Smith Southside game with a torn ACL. The Lady Cyclones now need seniors Kenzie Wiedower and Shelby Gray and juniors Addy Hipps and Nichole Phillips to take over the ball handling duties. Hipps is averaging 9 p.p.g. and 4 rebounds a game and will need to pick up the scoring down the stretch. Sophomore Shameka Ealy has improved her game each night she steps on the court and is averaging 10 p.p.g. and pulling down 6 boards a game. The Lady Cyclones picked up their first conference win on Color’s Day over Mt. St. Mary’s. “This was a great win for us. The girls work hard every day in practice and continue to get better,” according to Wiedower. The Lady Cyclones will now concentrate on the second half of the conference season as they prepare for a trip to the state tournament in Jonesboro in late February. Kenzie Wiedower says, “We must do a better job of taking care of the ball, rebounding, and continue improving on defense down the stretch.” The Lady Cyclones will play a team out of the 6A South in the first round of state tournament play. This conference doesn’t compare to the talented teams that the Lady Cyclones have been playing, so they are optimistic for a victory in the state tournament.





2/13 RHS Band Concert @ 7:00 pm 2/21-23 CHRISTeens Conference 2/24 RSD All Choirs Concert @ 7:00 pm 2/25 RJHS Band Concert @ 7:00 pm 2/27 RMS Band and Choir Concert @ 9:00 am 2/28 & 3/1 Somewhere in the Fae Wood @ 7:00 pm 3/2 Somewhere in the Fae Wood @ 2:00 pm 3/3 & 3/4 Dessert Theatre @ 7:00 pm 3/7 & 3/8 State Pentecostal Talent Show 3/10 Choir Recruitment Concert @ 7:00 pm 3/13 & 3/14 RJHS Theatre @ 7:00 pm 3/15 Miss Lake Dardanelle Pageant @ 7:00 pm 3/17 Cyclone Band Invitational 3/18 Doktor Kaboom 3/20 RHS Jazz night @ 7:00 pm 4/1 Liverpool Legends @ 7:00 pm 4/3 & 4/4 Region Band Contest 4/5 Community Band Concert @ 7:00 pm 4/6 Adult Education Graduation @ 2:00 pm 4/8 Poetry Slam @ 7:00 pm 4/24-26 Little Women @ 7:00 pm 4/27 Little Women @ 2:00 pm 4/28-29 State Solo and Ensemble 5/1 Georgette Jones in Concert w/ Barry Williams MC @ 7:30 pm


NATALIE GOHMAN GOHMAN: ONE OF THE TOP FRENCH HORN PLAYERS IN THE STATE Cyclone Senior French horn player Natalie Gohman is a 2-year All-State Band member and will be auditioning soon for her 3rd consecutive All-State selection. Only the top 1% of all band students in the state achieves ALL-State Band. She says, “Making these bands is the biggest accomplishment that band students can obtain.” Gohman has been playing the French horn for 7 years. RHS Band Director Dewayne Dove says, “Natalie is an extremely talented young lady that has been a part of the Symphonic Band at RHS, the top group as determined by auditions.” Gohman is also a member of the RHS Jazz Band as a keyboard and trumpet player.  Gohman’s parents, Sonya and Mark Gohman, are very active with the Band Boosters. Her mother is currently the president of the Band Boosters. Gohman says, “My parents have always been my number one cheerleaders. They both support me in everything I do, and always have. I thank God every day for my parents because I know if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be the person I am today.” Dove says, “Natalie is fortunate to have a very supportive family.” Most people do not realize how difficult the French horn is to play. Former Russellville Band Director Julia Reynolds has been working with Gohman since she was in the 6th grade. Dove says, “The horn is a very demanding instrument and Natalie has been fortunate to study privately with Mrs. Reynolds.”   Gohman says, “I can honestly say that she is the reason for my success on the horn. Being an excellent horn player herself, she has been able to teach me what she knows about the instrument and music.” Gohman goes on to say, “I have definitely had my ups and downs playing, and she is always right there to provide wise words of encouragement. She is never demanding, just encouraging.” Gohman spends at least an hour day practicing the horn. She says, “It’s not always easy to set aside time to practice when you are busy, but if you want to be a good player it is a must.” Gohman is very appreciative of all the directors she has had in the Russellville School District. She played under Travis Beard at RMS. Jeff Kee and David Gaston directed her while at RJHS. Currently she is under the direction of Dewayne Dove and Brad Coffman at RHS. Gohman says, “Both of these directors have been instrumental in allowing me to showcase my talent in the marching and concert bands. I have been awarded solos through the years, and I am grateful to them for those opportunities. I’m honored that they felt this was something I was capable of doing. ” Band has been a huge part of Gohman’s life. She has met hundreds of other musicians and made several lifelong friends. She says, “I would not trade being in band for anything. Band is a great activity to be a part of because you have instant friends that share your interests. It can be hard at times to juggle homework and band, but they go perfectly together. I think being in the band has really helped me with my time management skills.” Gohman will be attending the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in the fall. At the end of February, she will be going up to try out for the Arkansas Razorback Marching Band. She says, “I want to carry on a family tradition that my brother, Taylor, started. He is in his senior year at the University and his fourth year in band. It has been an amazing experience for our family and I look forward to adding to those memories.” She will be studying to be a nurse practitioner. Dove says, “Through hard work and individual instruction Natalie has really excelled.  Her musical talent will be very rewarding for her and for those that are fortunate enough to listen to her for years to come.”  Gohman says, “I can’t say thank you enough to the Russellville Bands for teaching and training me to play the French horn. This outstanding experience has been a “musical spark” that has truly enriched my life forever.”

DRAKE JOHNSON JOHNSON FINDS WRESTLING A PERFECT FIT Cyclone senior wrestler, Drake Johnson, was looking for a physically demanding sport that fit his small stature and he knew that football was not the answer. Weighing in at 98 pounds Johnson turned to wrestling and fell in love with the sport after taking lessons at the Arkansas Wrestling Academy with Coach Pat Smith. Johnson is the son of Russellville Athletic Director Johnny Johnson and Center Valley Counselor Robin Johnson. He says, “My parents have supported me no matter what through wrestling. Through the best times and worst times it hasn’t mattered; they have always supported me. If I was having trouble with keeping my weight down or going through a losing streak they did whatever possible to help me.” That support has helped Johnson succeed at a high level. One of Johnson’s highlights was placing 4th in the state in the 106 pound division as a sophomore. Just recently he placed 3rd in the Greenbrier Invitational and took down a former teammate making for a sweet victory. Johnson says, “My best matches are when I know I fought hard to pull off the win. Sure, it’s fun to win a match in 19 seconds, but when you go a full 6 minutes and win by one point, that’s the greatest feeling in wrestling. It’s also a good feeling when you have family and friends in the audience watching you compete.” Another memorable moment for Johnson was when he picked up his opponent from Conway and slammed him bringing the Cyclone Nation fans to their feet on senior night. Johnson is wrestling for first year head coach Adrian Meredith this season. He says, “Coach Meredith has helped this team grow in many ways during his first year. He is very encouraging and believes in every single one of us. He also pushes us to do our best. He is a former wrestler which helps a lot because he knows what it’s like to be in a match and he knows how to mentally and physically prepare us to perform to the best of our abilities.” Meredith says, “Drake has become an amazing wrestler this season and is a great leader for the team. He is an outstanding role model, leading by example in the classroom and in the ring.”   Johnson will be attending the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and will try out for the Razorback Band on trombone in in early February. He will also be enrolling in the Army ROTC program.


Two of Cyclone Nations own were among the 75 college soccer prospects invited to the prestigious 2014 Duke Soccer Academy held January 18 – 20 on the campus of Duke University in Durham,North Carolina. Juniors Taylor Allen and Peyton Duffield made the ----mile journey to sharpen their skills and showcase their talents in front of the Duke staff and several other Division 1 coaches. Both Allen and Duffield were invited to the camp by Duke assistant coach Bryan Amos. The duo were immediately impressed by the campus upon their arrival in Durham. “ The Duke campus impressed me a lot” said Taylor Allen, “ It really met my expectations from the hotel we stayed at on campus to the training facilities, it is all well set up. My favorite part probably was their new training fields which were amazing to play on.” The training took place at Duke’s new state of the art West Campus Turf and grass training fields which include 2 full size turf practice fields, 1 grass field plus Koskinen Stadium where the Blue Devils play their home matches. Besides the top facilities, the boys were trained by some of the top soccer minds in the country. “ The coaches taught me so much” said Allen. “ Not just on the field but we learned about nutrition and working in the weight room. The coaches there really know what they’re doing and helped me realize my strengths and weaknesses which can only help me to become a better player.”


The competition at the camp was fierce as all the players were trying to catch the eyes of D1 coaches. “ The speed of play was something we had to adjust to ” said Peyton Duffield. “ At this level everything moves at an unbelievable pace.” The camp also gave the two the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the country as well as abroad. “ The players were all strong” said Duffield. “ There were some 6’5 field players that we don’t see very often and they were from all over the country as well as players from England and one from Panama.” The training included two daily sessions plus full games at night as well as lectures on nutrition, academics, college recruiting plus a session with Duke’s strength and conditioning coach. It was an exhausting three days but ones the two will remember for a lifetime. “ This camp helped me realize all the hard work and dedication it takes to be a D1 athlete” said Allen. “ The staff helped me to realize it’s the small things that make the biggest difference. This experience made me a better student athlete.” At camps like these ,friendships and bonds are formed that can last a lifetime. “ I enjoyed watching Taylor and Peyton interact with the other players” said David Duffield, who accompanied the two on the trip. “ There were 4 other campers on our flight back to Atlanta and the guys hung out and talked and laughed like they had been teammates for years.” Great competition and coaching, A weekend at Duke, new friends. All just rewards for years of hard work and dedication

SWIM TEAM CYCLONE SWIM AND DIVE TEAMS PREPARE FOR STATE The Cyclone and Lady Cyclone swim and dive teams are beginning to compete on the state level. Head Coach Gary Knudsen leads the program as a volunteer and Russellville is fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and experienced swim coach. Knudsen says,” The season has gone very well so far. We have three swimmers and two divers qualified for the state meet. Andrea Bond, Hannah Ray, and Chris Newby qualified as swimmers and Cash Stevens and Ronnie Wells qualified as divers.” Bond has become the top swimmer for the program. She has qualified in the 50 and 100 Free, 200 Individual Medley, and the 100 Butterfly. Ray has qualified in the 50 Free, 100 Breast Stroke, and 200 Individual Medley. Newby qualified in the 50 Free and 100 Backstroke. Knudsen says, “Caleb Scott and Jenner Robertson are also top performers in swimming, consistently finishing in the top 10 in our meets. All of these swimmers are improving on their personal best through hard work and dedication which includes traveling to Clarksville daily to practice after school.” Stevens is the Cyclones’ top diver and has several second place finishes this season. Wells consistently finishes in the top 10 in every meet.

evenings into our swimming and we’re starting to reap what we have sowed.” With the season coming to close and the state meet approaching Knudsen says, “Our top swimmers need to continue to work on speed and endurance and our middle performing swimmers need to step up and really improve their times.” Knudsen would like to see some of their relay teams qualify for state over the next few meets. The Cyclone swim team will compete in Regionals on February 21st and 22nd. The State Championship meet will be held on February 28th and March 1st. Knudsen says, “I think we will be competitive in the Regional meet even though we are still one of the smaller teams in the state. I also am looking for good performances at the state meet from our qualifiers and hopefully from our relays.”

Senior Cyclone Caleb Scott has seen the program make huge strides over the past few seasons. He says, “I have never been happier with this season and this team. We are tight knit and as close to one another as family. We know our strengths and weaknesses; therefore, we are more than tuned to one another and it enables us to swim and compete at levels no one could comprehend. I have the utmost respect and honor for our coach, Gary Knudsen, who has poured his free time into making us what we are today - a family. Scott is excited about the upcoming state meet as he closes out his career. He says, “State is the most important meet for high school. We have poured afternoons and



a fast rate in the state of Arkansas and Meredith is excited to see more and more schools competing.

The Russellville Wrestling program is under new leadership this season. Head coach Adrian Meredith has been working hard to grow the program and get the team where they can compete for state titles. Russellville has produced some individual state champions which is a great start. Wrestling is growing at


Meredith is working to show how wrestling can benefit athletes in all sports that they play. He says, “This team has banded together in their dedication to improvement, to become a cohesive unit, and to develop rapidly. I see great things for those with years left to develop and grow, and our seniors have stepped up beyond measure to lead the way.” One of the seniors that has excelled this season is Marlin Cuevas. He is currently on a 13 match win streak. Cuevas says, “We have come a long way this season. We were finally able to get a full team which sets a more competitive edge against everyone.” One thing that Cuevas said helped the team was the great student section they had on senior night. That support helped the Cyclones get their first team victory. Meredith has been impressed with two other seniors as well. He says, “Drake Johnson and Tyler Goodman

have shown a dedication to their fellow teammates and have earned the respect of the younger wrestlers with their hard work each day.” As the Cyclones begin preparing for state competition Meredith knows the importance of tightening up drill work and concentrating on fundamentals. He says, “Focusing on the basics and cleaning up their moves are crucial to making the step up in competition as the year comes to a close.” The Cyclones have some huge tournaments coming up. They will compete in the individual state championships in mid-February in Little Rock, where the athletes will compete for a sole title in their weight class. Following this the Cyclones will compete in state duals and compete for a team state title. Russellville will host the Tournament of Champions which will bring all the state championship wrestlers together to compete for the crown of the best of the best.

ARKANSAS STATE THESPIAN FESTIVAL, 2014 THESPIAN TROUPE 7260 Submitted by Troupe Director Stephanie Schultze

Congratulations to all our Thespians for a wonderful Festival experience. On January 23rd, forty-three RHS Thespians traveled to the campus of UCA to participate in The Arkansas Thespian Festival. This three day event challenged students to reach higher levels of performance and knowledge in the study of theatre. The following Thespians received Superiors in their Individual Events and have earned the right to travel to The International Thespian Festival this June in Lincoln, Nebraska: In Solo Acting Tori Thomas, Jessica Drain, and Yannick Ibanez. In Duet Acting Holly Hines and Jerrick Brixey. In Solo Musical Hannah Hines and Logan Kinkade. In Duet Musical Tori Thomas and Logan Kinkade and Jessica Drain and Scotty Scott. In Stage Management Maegan Anderson. And our one Act “The Pattern Is Broken” earned a Superior Rating as well as four appointments to the All State Cast for Hannah Hines, Jarod Apple, Logan Kinkade and Justyn McEntire. Maegan Anderson was selected for the All State Crew for stage managing the show. Group Musical “Welcome to Wonderland” was directed by student Hannah Hines and also earned a superior. Cast member were Jarod Apple, Cole Birmingham, Kathy Busch, Jessica Drain, Corban Gotcher, Holly Hines, Scott Hopson, Yannick Ibanez, Bryce Johnson, Ashley Luningham, Justyn McEntire, Chase Pyle, Lauren Roberts, Tori Thomas, Crystal Webb and Hannah Hines.

In our Tech Challenge events we had two teams compete where they are engaged in six different technical events. Justyn McEntire and Hannah Hines placed first in the “leg-a-platform” event. Earning a rating of Excellent in their Individual Performances were in Solo Musical Justyn McEntire. Duet Musical Jarod Apple and Chase Pyle. Duet Acting partners Kathy Busch and Ashley Luningham and partners Lexi Fernald and Lauren Roberts. In Costume Construction Zoee Coffman. In Group Acting Zoee Coffman, Lexi Fernald, Walker Knight, Garren Rasdon, and Giancarlo Sierra. Justyn McEntire was elected to serve as a Student State Officer for the year 2014 – 2015. Hannah Hines was awarded the Thespian Performance Scholarship. In addition, several students were offered lucrative scholarships to universities to further their theatrical pursuits. Congratulations to all our troupe members who worked as a team to make this year’s festival a success for Russellville High School!


Disclaimer: Cyclone Nation Magazine. 2014. The statements and opinions in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the internal staff or any sponsoring organization. The appearance of advertisements in this magazine is not a warranty, endorsement or approval of any prizes or services advertised. Although we make every attempt to ensure accuracy of the content we assume no responsibility for errors, changes or omissions. CopyrightŠ. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher.

Cyclone Nation Newsletter FEB 2014  

Cyclone Basketball, Swim, Wrestling, Thespian, Seniors Drake Johnson, Natalie Gohman - Duke Soccer Academy

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