The Cougar Claw Newspaper, Oct. 2022

Page 1

Vol. 56 Issue 2

Oct. 2022

Protecting the

Players

Playoff berth, bragging rights on the line for Patriotic Game by Ashton Lux

Photo by Adalyn Campbell

In the wake of the frightening injury to Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, the question arises: Are we doing enough to protect athletes? by Ashton Lux

Per the NFL Head, Neck, and Spine Committee a Sport-related concussion (SRC) “is a traumatic brain injury induced by biomechanical forces” which can be obtained through various ways but ultimately can be summed up as an individual being hit with a vast amount of force.

Around Tomball

Since the beginning of organized sports, players have been getting hurt. Specifically, in football, big hits are one of the main drawing points, it is what attracts many players to the sport, being allowed to After a year of planning, the new cougar statue is finally on its way to Tomball. The new cat is modeled after the one that resides outside of the BYU campus in Provo, Utah. The old statue relocation site remains a secret, but for now a huge open spot is left behind.

play tough. As time went on it was soon to be realized that being hit day in and out, every week, is not healthy for the body. Fast forward to the present day there are multiple protocols to keep players safe. Numerous brands of pads, helmets, and more protective gear help players protect themselves. Many think that this form of protection and growth is substantial, which in many cases proves true. However, when it fails, who is to blame? In 2011, the National Football League worked with a board of independent directors, NFL-affiliated physicians and scientists, as well as the NFL Players Association to create the Game Day

For the past 42 years, the Patriotic Show has been a staple in the Tomball community. Every family has the event circled on their calendar. Since the opening of cross-town rival, Tomball Memorial, the show has been the stomping grounds for one of the best, deeply rooted rivalries. Coming into the eleventh year, Tomball Memorial has dominated the series over Tomball as they are now 7-3 since the 2012-2013 season. In September 2021, Tomball began to change the tide of the series with a dramatic 48-35 win as the Cougars rolled to the playoffs. With a virtually brand new team for both Tomball schools, a key goal is to stay disciplined. Many of these young players have not been in this environment with so much on the line. A game this late in the season can determine whether or not Players they can secure one of four playoff to Watch, spots in this tough 15-6A District. Pgs. 6-7 While every district game matters, for Tomball to secure one of four playoff spots early it is detrimental to win. At 3-0 in district, the Cougars have the upper hand with a bit more wiggle room than Memorial who are 1-2. Despite the 1-2 for Tomball Memorial, they have kept their games fairly close with teams like Klein Forest and Klein Collins. Not only are bragging rights and a secured playoff position on the line, but it also makes the final half of district play far more simple, especially against some of the more powerful teams of Klein Forest, Klein Collins, and Klein Cain. It also allows new Head Coach, Dave Handal, to continue displaying a winning tradition, picking up where last year’s team left off. With both teams graduating a large number of their players and Tomball gaining a new coaching staff the game has the potential to be one of the closest and is truly up for grabs. It is truly going to be about who wants it more.

See SAFETY, Page 11 Tomball ISD breaks new ground on the Juergen Road Complex, which will feature a new Elementary School, a new Intermediate, and a third district high school, not yet named but already designated as the Lions.

42nd Annual Patriotic Show Gates open: 5:30 PM Kickoff: 7:30 PM Fri, Oct 14, 2022 Tomball ISD Stadium


a halloween horror Student’s encounter with bats leaves lasting impact

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by Caroline Wilson

ust in time for Halloween, Tomball High School senior Mia McCloskey has a story to tell. On one Fourth of July night, 2021, under the radiance of bursting fireworks and shimmering lights, McCloskey was riding on her Vespa, when it was abruptly interrupted by the confused flight of a bat. What she didn’t know then, but is intimately aware of now, is that the night of this incident would leave her with months of pain and a lifetime of recovery. “Out of nowhere a bat - the animal - hit me on the neck,” Mia said. “I tumbled off my bike and skidded across the pavement.” After the incident, McCloskey was unaware of any lasting damage, only the initial pain of the crash along with the scuffs on her scooter. “I didn’t think anything was wrong,” McCloskey said, “Then, a couple of months later, the day of Thanksgiving, I wanted to try out the new Peloton.” Excited and enthusiastic about the family’s new machine, McCloskey worked on the Peloton for the equivalent of a 10-mile bike ride. “It was very stupid of me,” McCloskey said. “The next morning, I woke up, and I could not walk.” For the next few days, McCloskey was bedridden, unable to return to school. “We consulted multiple doctors,” McCloskey said. “After multiple attempts, we finally found a doctor that would listen.”

After many x-rays and examinations, it was determined that a disc in her spine had ruptured, and spinal fluid had spread throughout her back. “After that, we tried a few things,” McCloskey

said. “First, we tried a lumbar injection. After working initially, I began to relapse into worse pain than before.” After her second injection, it became clear that more extreme treatment was necessary for Mia. In March of 2021, she was encouraged to get a microdiscectomy surgery. “Essentially what it is, is an inch-long incision near the affected vertebrae,” McCloskey said. “They chip away some of the bone near the disc, and then the disc is cauterized.” Finally, in April 2021, after about a week of post-op, McCloskey could walk on her own once again. During her injury, Mia was unable to attend school. Because of this, she had to overcome obstacles and learn hard lessons. “It taught me a lot about responsibility,” McCloskey said. “I had to teach myself for the entirety of the year, It taught me the importance of relying on others.” Now, in the new year, as October begins and Halloween approaches, McCloskey has surprisingly formed an emotional connection to the cause of her injury, bats. “I actually love bats more than ever now,” McCloskey said. “When I had my surgery, my mom actually got me a stuffed bat which I adore.” She hasn’t let her pain get in he way of her love for animals. the animal. “Even though it kind of ruined my junior year, I still love bats,” McCloskey. “It wasn’t his fault. He was just confused.” McCloskey has always enjoyed Halloween but is particularly thrilled for the start of the season after her encounter.

fall watch list by Sydney Thomas-Arnold

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Hocus Pocus remains a timeless Halloween movie as it comes to charm screens each year. The story follows a group of kids who accidentally raise three chaotic witches from the dead, and continues along as they try to get rid of the witches and save the town. A sequel continuing the story of this classic has just recently been released; catch Hocus Pocus 1 & 2 streaming on Disney+.

Dead Poet’s Society (1989)

Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

Bringing in the 2000s fall atmosphere is the hit TV show Gilmore Girls. The show revolves around a fun mother-daughter duo and their daily lives. With most of it taking place in the fall season, it’s a perfect show if you’re looking for a witty, seasonal, casual watch. All seven seasons of Gilmore Girls can be streamed through Netflix.

Coraline (2009)

If you’re looking for more of a whimsical-creepy movie, Coraline is a perfect spooky watch for you. This dark, stop-motion animated film takes a different take on the usual childlike Halloween movies. It follows a young girl, Coraline Jones, as she travels to a mysterious mirror dimension. Coraline can be watched on Apple TV and Amazon Prime.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)

This overlooked Halloween classic, starring Eddie Murphy, is fun for everyone. Full of upbeat, haunted mystery, this movie follows a family who has recently moved into a haunted house and goes along as they unravel the story behind the hauntings. The Haunted Mansion can be found for streaming on Disney+.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996-2003)

Another show that brings aspects of both Fall and Halloween is Sabrina the Teenage Witch. This supernatural sitcom centers on teen Sabrina Spellman as she learns how to balance witchery within the realm of being a teenager. Sabrina the Teenage Witch can be watched on Hulu.

A brilliant movie adaptation of the novel, Dead Poets Society is an endearing yet heavy film. Featuring actors like Robin Williams and a young Ethan Hawke, the observational story follows a group of friends at a boys’ private school and their professor, who encourages them and incites a group bond through literature. With calming autumnal and winter notes throughout the movie, Dead Poets Society remains a classic fall film through the ages. This movie can be watched on Apple TV.

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a u H nted Hou y l g n i y f i r r s es o

Trick or Treat things to do around town

by Ashlynn Ritchel

Ever since 1915 when the first recorded purpose-built handed attraction was built in Liphook, England, haunted houses and horror-themed experiences have been wildly popular during fall and Halloween. With Halloween being one of the most frightening parts of the year, it makes complete sense that teens go out looking for a good scare around this time of year. For those also looking for a good way to start fall or to make plans for the upcoming Halloween, here are some of the most popular and well-known horror-themed activities in Houston: 1.13th floor Haunted House Houston 7075 Farm to Market 1960 Rd W Ste 20 13th floor is one of the most popular haunted houses in Houston during the fall. This event has different themed attractions and each have made a terrifyingly good impact on it’s participants, making this a perfect start to the Halloween mood. 2. Houston Terror Dome Haunted House 16030 E Freeway Service Rd, Channelview TX 77530 The Terror Dome is an experience with many different haunting-themed activities like paintball, escape rooms, and axe throwing, along with many photo-taking opportunities, mainly for those up for anything with a scary twist. 3. Horror Trails 1415 Almeda Genoa Rd, Houston, TX 77047 Horror Trails is a frightening drive-thru experience, unlike other haunted houses, the trails are lo-

cated in the woods and fully done in your car. This haunted event is perfect for a walking break and some great horrors. 4. Purgatory Scream Park “Kingwood Asylum” 1965a NorthPark Dr, Kingwood, TX 77339 Purgatory Scream Park is a beloved local haunted house that is known to be the largest haunt in the state of Texas. With a 27,000 square ft. lot, the house averages a 30-40 minute walk thru with nonstop scares. 5.Houston Ghost Tour 8375, 311 Main St suite d, Spring, TX 77373 The Houston Ghost Tour is a quite well-known tour in old town spring during fall. The ghost tours use guides to circuit the old town and teach about the spring haunting history, for a more laid back Halloween opportunity. 6. PanIQ Escape Room Houston 1017 Eagle St., Houston, TX 77002 The PanIQ escape room is open all year around, with seasonal spooky themed rooms for the Fall season. This facility has escape rooms with concepts like zombies and the wild west. 7. Locktopia Escape Room Houston 5326 Weslayan St, Houston, TX 77005 Locktopia is another escape room open yearround with exclusive rooms for Fall and Halloween. The rooms have different difficulties, some even dedicated toward practice on skills like endurance and thinking.

by Saige Klein

With the spooky season around the corner, many are wondering how they are going to be spending their month of Halloween. Here’s a list of fun activities that can make your Halloween experience better! Into The Woods Halloween Party (1601 Lake Robbins Dr, The Woodlands, TX) The Woodlands Waterway Marriot and Hotel will be hosting a charity fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 7:00 pm - 11:25 pm. There will be food, casino games, live music, and of course fun Halloween costumes. Halloween Market (2310 S Persimmon Lane Tomball Tx 77375) On Sunday, Oct. 30th from 11 AM to 4 pm Tomball will be hosting a Halloween market. Dress up and bring your kids for trunk or treating and a variety of different booths. There will be music, face painting, and balloons! Dutch Bros (27657 Tomball Pkwy, Tomball, TX 77377) Dutch Bros is a National coffee chain with many various locations. This year, they have many fun and new holiday drinks, including: -Carmel Pumpkin Brûlée Cold Brew -Carmel Pumpkin Brûlée Freeze -Carmel Pumpkin Brûlée Breve -Iced Sweater weather Chai W/White Chocolate -Hot Sweater weather Chai W/White Chocolate Dunkin’ Donuts (11523 Spring Cypress Rd, Tomball, TX 77377) Here are some of the newest holiday drinks and food by Dunkin DRINKS: -NEW Nutty Pumpkin Coffee -Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew -Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte -Blood Orange Refresher FOOD: -Glazed Pumpkin cake donut -Pumpkin MUNCHKINS Donut Hole Treats -Pumpkin Muffin -Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich -Maple Sugar Snackin’ Bacon

Safety Tips for Halloween by Anneliese Saenz

It’s that time of year again, Halloween! With all the excitement that surrounds the holiday, kids and teenagers alike tend to let their guard down. With the amount of people out and about, it’s important to remain on high alert. For those trick or treating this year, be vigilant and make wise decisions. -For starters, make sure to know what houses on are the National Sex Offender Registry, especially if you are taking your little siblings trick-or-treating. -Safety in numbers: Traveling in groups is far safer than going solo. -Check your candy. Although it’s a known rule, doing so decreases the risk of coming into contact

with harmful substances (such as drugs or razor blades). For teenagers who plan on attending some Halloween parties, here are some tips on how to keep yourself safe. -Have a plan of action: Know how you are going to get home if something goes wrong. -Watch your drinks -Keep an eye on your friends -Be extra cautious when driving. Halloween is a holiday that includes many opportunities to drink, so make sure to drive carefully and responsibly. The number one piece of advice is to be aware of your surroundings. Although Halloween is a night of fun, don’t let it distract you from making wise decisions.


National desert day

Make today a little sweeter at these spots by Charlotte Hildebrandt

Every day has a national day ranging from National Ask a Stupid Question Day to the Night of the Radishes. Wow, those are some weird ones. October 14th is National Dessert Day. Here are several amazing places to buy desserts in the area: Pine Street Eats and Sweets Pine Street Eats and Sweets is loved by several members of Tomball, their food and desserts have a more cabin-like feeling than most bakeries. However, that’s what makes it original and a restaurant that should be put on your to-be-eaten list. All of their desserts have a low price range of around just $4 and these aren’t just some low-quality desserts, most would rate these to be around five stars. Smallcakes Not only is Smallcakes an amazing bakery, but it also is famous nationwide. They have been on TV networks including The View, Cupcake Wars, and MTV. Not only that, but they have an amazing variety of cupcakes and ice cream flavors. They can even make flavors that seem bland into extraordinary desserts. Half Baked At Half Baked they take a unique approach to their cookies, they’re around three times bigger than the average cookie. They are extremely filling, and two to three bites will leave you full. It’s almost as if they were a cake rather than a cookie. They have various flavors, from the basic Sugar Cookie to their Gluten-Free Creme Brulee. The Cheesecake Factory Anybody who has ever been to The Cheesecake Factory can agree that dining there is an experience. Whether it’s classic cheesecake or their newest pumpkin pecan cheesecake, you name it they probably have it. Not only does it have amazing outside decor but is almost always surrounded by beautiful areas. Common Bond If you want an experience similar to The Cheesecake Factory with less traffic and a calm surrounding area, this is your place. It has decadent desserts such as macarons, heavenly tarts, and lemon gateau.

drawing by Verena Smith

How we can stop the threat of global warming? Easy ways to be eco-friendly

by Ava Bert

W

ith climate change on the rise, it is more important now than ever to reduce your carbon footprint. Thrifting and donating Fast fashion is the third largest polluting industry. It emitted 10% of the global greenhouse gas emissions and produced 92 million tons of clothing waste. Thrifting is one of the best things you can do to help limit your carbon footprint. By doing this, it prevents clothing from ending up in the landfill, while also limiting the amount of clothing you buy from fast fashion companies. Although it takes a little more time and patience, it is a great alternative to your local mall or favorite online store. Be conscious of what brands you’re buying from Although it’s easy to pick up the most popular or inexpensive cosmetic brand, it’s important to take a minute to research the ethics

of the brand you’re considering purchasing. It’s best to avoid animal cruelty, free trade, child labor, and ingredients like palm oil, paraben, and siloxane. Plant-based diet The meat industry produces the second most greenhouse gas emissions of any industry, next to transportation. Additionally, the industry treats animals incredibly unethically. They are kept in cages far too small, they are separated from their mothers, and they are physically abused. It’s understood that a plant-based diet can be more expensive, however, it doesn’t have to be. A plant-based diet can simply be reducing the amount of meat or dairy you consume, not cutting it out completely. Reduce your plastic waste There are many ways you can reduce your plastic waste. One of the best, and most simple ways you can do this is by using a reusable water bottle, reusing old plastic containers, and reusable grocery bags, using soap bars instead of bottles,

and using fabric napkins over paper towels. Compost Rather than throwing away old food, especially vegetables, make a compost bin in your backyard. Composting provides a large range of environmental benefits such as recycling nutrients, improving soil benefits, establishing vegetation, mitigating the impact of droughts, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Conserve water and energy Although this may sound complicated, it’s easier than you may think. Conserving water can be as simple as taking shorter showers and not keeping the faucet running. Conserving energy is as easy as turning off the lights when you leave the room or just utilizing the natural light in your home. While being more environmentally friendly can be difficult at times, the benefits it provides for the environment and the world as a whole are worth it.

Candy that

A look at the country’s rising epidemic of fentanyl abuse

by Emma Parada Seeing a fellow peer collapse as a result of drugs is something most students aren’t mentally prepared for. This has become a re occurrence as of late, especially with different drugs being laced with an even more lethal drug, fentanyl. Overdoses due to fentanyl have increased since quarantine, and are continuing to rise as students have been back in school. A major contributor to this is students that have been selling carts that are from unsafe companies laced with fentanyl. Only a drop of fentanyl can kill an adolescent. Overdoses due to fentanyl have increased by 56 percent since 2019. Manufacturers have even made fentanyl in brighter colors to appeal to their younger consumer market. Another concern with these new variations of fentanyl is people distributing it as candy on Halloween. It’s important to be safe and check all received

candy to make sure that it is still in the rapper and doesn’t have any suspicious markings on it. Common drugs can be laced with fentanyl-like carts, such as over-the-counter drugs, heroin, and cocaine. Carts are the most commonly laced among adolescents, so those are the most common ones that risk an overdose. With an overdose, many don’t realize what’s happening until

they start to collapse when it’s already too late. Teenagers and parents should be mindful of this situation. Teens need to be concerned with what they’re putting in their bodies or it might be too late.


The Mrs. Tomball pageant is now available for highschool girls

by Lauryn Olivarez The pressure to tip is getting heavier, and

by Katherine Holland

Miss Tomball 2023 is being presented by Aloha Beauty Lounge. Sat, Nov 19 from 7pm to 10 at the Tomball High School Auditorium with a $20 admission. This Tomball tradition has been presented for more than 50 years, and offers local girls a chance to win scholarships while preparing for college. Juniors and Senior females that attend a school in the Tomball ISD district with a physical Tomball home address/be home-schooled/enrolled in a public/provided school with a Tomball address are all able to enroll. Awards will be presented to 2023 Miss Tomball, First Runner- Up, Miss Congeniality, Excellence In Leadership Award and Community Service Award, all of which receive scholarships. Miss Tomball Pageant has been uniting young women together with the community for years. The excitement is seen among the pageant girls once again this year.

Presley Babb as 2019 Miss Tomball

“It was really fun and we met a lot of people from different schools and formed friendships and bonds,” said Pageant girl Ella Beckom, “My favorite part about being in the parade is because all the little girls call you a princess.”

What’s next for theater? We have a ‘Clue’ for you by Katherine Holland

Steel Magnolias came to a powerful end on Tuesday, Sept. 20. With the school’s first show over, what comes next? The second production of the year will be Clue (based on Hasbro’s game and TV show of the same title). Featuring a skilled cast, it tells the story of six mysterious guests who have arrived at a remote mansion for a dinner party. When their host turns up dead, the night whirls into one of mistrust, blackmail, and murder. The show will be opening on Nov. 10 and closing on Nov. 14. The cast will be practicing as much as they can to bring you the best show possible, so make sure you stop by to see the production in a couple of weeks. The tickets will be $10 online and $12 at the door. They must be purchased at least two hours before your performance of choice. 1,304 tickets were sold for Steel Magnolias, and the cast and crew hope to beat that during the running of Clue. Similar to Steel Magnolias, Clue will also be double cast. The cast will include... - Naomi Chad and Bryler Page as Wadsworth - Lia Grigsby and Kendall Rickett as Mrs. White - Presley Mazzapica and Gabby Velazquezas as Miss Scarlet

Commentary: Tipping you, for the bare minimum? No way!

- Canaan Bowles and Brian Lewey as Mr. Green - Judah Bowles and Neil Granat as Professor Plum - Adalyn Campbell and Addie Cox as Mrs. Peacock - Serenity Cundiff and Tyler Kerstetter as Mr. Boddy - Bradley Fomar and Turner Schiel as Chief of Police - Lily Howell and Kei Montejo as The Cook - Ben Kolbuck and Mason Mattox as Colonel Mustard - Eloise Masciola and Allie Postus as Yvette - Declan Matthews and Pearl Robertson as The Motorist - Elizabeth Northway and Braeden Smith as The Unexpected Cop - Ashley Smith and Jordan Till as Singing Telegram Girl - Jack Kable and Elizabeth Northway as Wadsworth Understudy - Elijah Agan, Jessie Cox, Harry Grappa, Darren Izumi, Trey Jackson, Jack Kable, Darnell Lockward, and Texas McBride as Backup Cops As well as the crew... - Eliza Andrissyan (Assistant stage manager) - MaryHelen Bucklin (Stage manager) - Ella Caouette (Stage manager) - Analia Marquez (Assistant stage manager) You can buy tickets to all Clue performances at www.TomballStage.org

Want more news? Be sure to check out the newspaper online at THSCougarClaw.com!

I’m cracking under its weight. You see, I have no problem with tipping when the service was great. My issue arises when it comes to self-serve places, such as frozen yogurt shops, or for simply ringing out my order. Oh, and don’t even get me started on people with bad attitudes. If you’re chatting me up while taking my order, congratulations, you’ve just earned a 20% tip. But if you’re looking at me like I’ve ruined your entire day by ordering a cheese quesadilla, it’s out of the question, babe.

Let’s use the lovely little taco joint, Torchy’s, for example. Great food, but the service (there is none)? Look, I’m not one to complain. Actually, I usually keep my mouth shut when my order is wrong. However, you’re asking for a tip when I’m grabbing my own drink, seating myself, and cleaning off my own table? Absolutely not. Let me make it known: I do not mind doing all of these things, but not when I’m guilted to tip for it. When it comes to paper receipts, it’s easier to leave (or not to leave) a tip, since you’re not actively being watched over. However, when I go to places that shove an iPad in my face, I swear it feels like they’re staring into my soul, silently judging me for selecting the “No Tip” button. I promise I’m not doing it to spite you and make you suffer. I just don’t think putting my burrito bowl in a bag constitutes a reward. Sorry, not sorry. Maybe if businesses paid their employees more, tipping wouldn’t be an issue! Why is it my responsibility to make up for employers’ lack of care? Bottom line: Self service? Where’s my tip?

Cougar Claw Staff Lauryn Olivarez Editor-in-Chief Ashton Lux Sports Editor Sydney Thomas-Arnold Features Editor Natalia Martinez News Editor Desi Beireis Web Editor Emma Parada Opinion Editor Adalyn Campbell Design Editor Saige Klein Creativity Editor Ashlynn Ritschel Staff Writer Owen Wright Staff Writer Leah Stinson Staff Writer Anneliese Saenz Staff Writer Charlotte Hildebrandt Staff Writer Jerry Fordyce Student Media Advisor With contributions from: Journalism class; Yearbook; Broadcasting


Tomball Key Cougars To watch by ashton lux

Abram Nicklas

When it comes to the big guys up front, right guard Abram Nicklas is as good as they come. Standing at 6’4 and weighing in at 270 Nicklas is one of the bigger, stronger guards in the district but also one of the quickest. While he may not directly add to the stats, Nicklas has an impact in every category whether it is the run game by opening up gaps for our running backs or if it is providing more time for Carter Noyes when throwing. Without the guys up front, there would be many struggles, especially Nicklas who at the mid-season break has not given up any sacks or any pressures.

Carter Noyes

After graduating a vast amount of players last year and gaining a new coaching staff, oftentimes it can be hard for a team to continue winning. This being a year of unknowns new quarterback Carter Noyes has stepped up and taken the reins for this Tomball offense. After a pair of losses in non-district Noyes turned up his play with a 34-21 win over Pearland Dawson and hasn’t stopped since as he has accumulated just under 900 yards with six touchdowns. With a cannon for an arm and the quickness of his footwork, he is able to stay poised in the pocket under pressure.

Carlos Alvarado

Picking up where he left off last year Carlos Alvarado has continued to be one of the nation’s best. Oftentimes people forget to recognize how detrimental kickers are to teams’ success, every point and possession matters. Alvarado has not only increased his leg strength as he consistently kicks from 40+ yards out, his longest being a 49-yarder but has increased accuracy as well going ⅞ on field goal attempts, and 22/23 on point-after attempts. He has also added 14 touchbacks with three onside kick recoveries.

Christian Womack

Arguably one, if not the most underrated recruit in the Greater Houston Area is running back Christian Womack. Through six games Womack has racked up 1,212 rushing yards with 17 touchdowns, just about surpassing his season stats from last year on thirty fewer carries. The senior running back has been the key to this high-scoring Tomball offense, Womack has always utilized his athleticism well on runs but where he has improved drastically this year is his strength. While continuing to be quick on his feet, he now has the ability to break more tackles and run over defenders which not only creates opportunities for him but for the offense as teams have to keep their focus on him.

Carson Monrad

Despite not having a large amount of numbers Carson Monrad makes up for it everywhere else. Monrad runs, catches, blocks, holds, he is the true swiss army knife for Tomball. The ability to play just about any position helps out this young Tomball team but what makes him lethal is his presence in each of those spots and playing them at 100% every snap.

Keegan Demmer

The captain of the defense, linebacker Keegan Demmer is the eyes for Tomball’s defense. Standing at 6’0 and weighing in at 195 Demmer has all the physical traits and skills needed but what truly separates him is his IQ and the ability to read plays. Through six games he has 61 total tackles, 45 of them being solo tackles.


MEMORIAL Key Wildcats to watch

Brayden Poe

On the defensive side, Tomball Memorial has worked through junior linebacker Brayden Poe. Where he really turned heads was in week one where the defense held four-star wide receiver, Jaquaize Pettaway, to zero yards. Since then, through six games Poe has accumulated 62 total tackles.

Reed Odell

The leader of this team is dual-threat quarterback Reed Odell. The numbers speak for themselves, through six games in the air Odell has thrown for 2,148 yards with 21 passing TDs and has rushed for 356 with seven rushing TDs, almost doubling his numbers from last year. Where Odell stands out among the competition is his size, standing at 6’5” and 200 pounds. He has accumulated one Division One offer from Western Kentucky University.

Cory O’Bryant

One of the more athletic wide receivers in the district, Cory O’Bryant has been able to pick up where players like Joseph Majack and Zachary Fields left off. With over 800 total yards and 13 touchdowns O’Bryant has been quarterback Reed Odell’s go-to target, especially with the loss of Espen Ramos due to injury at the running back position, O’Bryant has been one of the leaders for Tomball Memorial.

Volleyball’s unbeaten run leads fall sports successes by Owen Wright

Tomball varsity volleyball is really making a name for itself, being first with a dominating run through the first half of district play. The first round of district ended on Sept. 30 against Klein Cain. Since then they have won three more in a row putting them at 10-0 in district play. A couple of notable players to keep an eye on at the games are senior libero and Alabama commit Lily Hopkins and junior Kaitlyn Davis who recently committed to Texas State. The Lady Coogs hope to run the tables in the last four games of district play and hope to keep their win streak alive. A district title would be a great way to open the playoffs. If the team needs any reinforcements, the pipeline is well-stocked. The JV and freshman A teams both went undefeated throughout the first round of district as well.

Tennis The varsity tennis team finished third in district and won the first round of playoffs (bi-district) earlier this week. The team was back in action Thursday in the area round, but results were not available at press time. Stand-outs this year are Raul Hinojosa and Kinverly Ibarra, who had the best winning averages throughout the season.

Cross Country Cross Country has been doing well all season at the varsity level, putting themselves in some big meets here at the end of the season. When competing against 50-60 schools in a race, and 400-plus athletes in those races, the Cougars

Photo by Elisa Trevino

Varsity team members celebrate after taking a point during district play. have been in the top 10 in schools and Riley Trent and Laney Nash have been in top 10 individually for those races. Compared to last year’s Senior heavy teams that were very good, the team is younger this year. Both the varsity girls and boys teams only have one senior. “The talent is present, so building that talent up is what the process is all about,” coach Austin McQuary said. The JV girls have the largest team right now and have seen a lot of improvement. They won the

Brenham Hillacious Meet in September, and have been in the top 4 teams in all other races. The District Meet is set for Oct. 13.

Water Polo In its first season as an official UIL sport, the varsity team was playing Thursday after school in the playoffs. For complete results, check out today’s episode of the school’s video news program, KTHS-TV. It can be found on the newspaper’s website at THSCougarClaw.com.



In depth: A look at school dress code Significant link between school safety, dress code by Desi Beireis

From 2018-2022, the numbers of school shootings at 119, the results of these tragic events are many deaths and injuries of students. Last school year the number of school shootings are higher than ever before; In the past year we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of school shootings with numbers as high as 34 school shootings for the 2021-2022 school year. On May, 24- 19 children, along with two teachers were killed in the Uvalde school shooting, the deadliest school shooting since 2012 when a gunman shot and killed 26 people in sandy Hook elementary school. Following the attack in 2018 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland left 17 dead and many injured/wounded children and adults. School is the last place where kids should have to worry about gun violence. School shootings have become so frequent that it has become part of the reality we live in and schools have come up with new policies that are put in place to ensure the safety of not only the students but the faculty and community. Many rules that the district is enforcing are being seen as unnecessary, but they are put in place to keep everyone safe. For example, IDs are now required for the safety and security around the school, and other returning rules such as no hats, facial hair, etc., are being strictly enforced. All of these rules

Enforcing ISS when being out of dress code by Emma Parda

that are apart of the dress code are there to encourage safety. IDs should be able to be seen right away so that teachers know you are supposed to be on the campus along with making sure that the people who are not can be identified quickly if something were to happen. The district is training the staff to ensure the safety of the students and advisors in case these situations were to occur, There are many scheduled drills to ensure the students as well as the administrators know what to do/how to act appropriately in these situations. During the 2022 school year there were multiple fake threats that caused the high school and surrounding schools to go on lock down, these threats were fake and no one was actually injured. Tomball ISD has decreased the number of people who have access to the building in order to control the amount of people coming in and out of the schools. New gates and fences are also going to be put up surrounding the school to limit access to the building. Other recent changes made in the name of school safety include: • New emphasis on keeping all exterior doors locked at all times. • Additional training for teachers. • Additional lockdown and other safety drills throughout the school year. • All teachers must also wear ID badges during the school day.

Recently there has been confusion around the punishments of being out of the dress code, more specifically receiving ISS for it. Though it seems new, ISS has always been a punishment for being out of the dress code but a student would have to be out of line for a teacher or AP to send them there. “It’s only if you refuse to fix the dress code that you go to ISS,” said Associate Principal Vierkant. “You’re not really going to ISS for dress code, it’s more so for defiance.” Another instance where a student might get sent to ISS is if the student understands the dress code, yet still comes to school knowingly out of

it. For example, this usually happens when a student comes to school with a major change in hair color, facial piercings, earrings, etc. “If a student shows up tomorrow with blue hair and they’re not a brand new student, and until they fix it, we might put them in ISS,” Vierkant said. In the past, students were able to go to the nurse’s office to get a change of clothes; however, this year students have to go to an AP’s office and get something to wear. “That’s always been the rule and we don’t send you directly to ISS we give you the opportunity to fix the dress code,” Vierkant said.

Magnolia dress code lawsuit has minimal impact on Tomball by Anneliese Saenz

The Magnolia Lawsuit took place last year when the Magnolia school system dress coded a gender-fluid student on their shoulder length hair (gender-fluid, meaning the student does not lean towards a certain gender, they associates with both female and male). Tristan Miller, the student of the topic, has claimed that they felt “dehumanized” due to the punishment faced for having long hair. Similar situAthletic shorts might be comfortable, but most are too short to wear to class. Photo by Rane Paulson

ations are taking place in Tomball as well, many students are getting dress coded for their attire and hair. Students faced punishment for being out of dress code. Some students were placed in a “disciplinary alternative education program”, leading three of them to unenroll from the school district. Despite this, it was stated that students with long hair who were on the football team did not face punishment as did other students. Now, students who were punished will have their records erased. Magnolia also punished boy’s who wore earrings, but

the court ruled as sexist, the allowance of earrings for all genders will also be added with the long hair policy. The lawsuit peaked interest in many other districts, prompting changes to their policies. Although many surrounding districts have made alterations to the dress code, Tomball’s policy has had little to no change as of late. For example, the rule remains that any male student with hair longer than average will receive a warning and then a punishment if a change is not made. It is the same thing with facial hair; many boys have been told to shave.


Photographer’s

Letters from the Cougar Claw editors

Favorites

Hello everyone! I’m the Editor-in-Chief for the Cougar Claw, and I’m so excited to share our first print edition of the year with y’all! All of the staff worked incredibly hard to produce this paper, and we’re all so proud of what we were able to create. Anywhosies, let’s get acquainted, shall we? My name is Lauryn Olivarez, and I’m currently a senior here at Tomball High School. This is my third year on staff, and as for what I would like to do after I graduate, I plan on attending the University of Texas at Austin to pursue a degree in environmental science with a minor in journalism. I love Spider-Man, pineapple, and my favorite movie is Coraline. All-inall, I hope you’ve enjoyed our first edition, and stay tuned for our next one coming winter 2023!

1. Seniors Kendall Rickett and Christian Womack after being awarded King and Queen at the 2022 Homecoming football game Photo by Adalyn Campbell 2. Senior Carlos Alvarado, Kicker for Tomball Varsity football, prepares for the game alongside teammates, Fall 2022 Photo by Lauryn Olivarez 3.Tomball’s varsity football team plays head to head with the rival team in an intense game, Fall 2022 Photo by Ava Bert 4. Tomball Cougar Pride band percussion member performs alongside band during a recent football game, Fall 2022 Photo by Ava Bert 5. Varsity Volleyball team plays an outstanding fast-paced game Photo by Rane Paulson

Hi everyone! I’m Sydney Thomas-Arnold, the 2022-2023 Feature Editor. Currently, I’m in my senior year. I have been on the newspaper staff since my junior year. Apart from newspapers, I am the Assistant Costume Designer at Tomball Stage. When I’m not worrying about school, I love thrifting, listening to music, and hanging out with my friends. After graduation, I plan on getting a degree in Journalism and pursuing a career in Political Journalism. I hope you’ve enjoyed this print edition and that you will continue to support me, and all the staff that made this possible.

Hi! My name is Adalyn Campbell and I am a senior at Tomball High School this year! I am design editor of the Cougar Claw for the 2022-2023 school year. Other than newspaper, I am involved in theater and yearbook. Outside of school, I have started a freelance photography business where I do senior portraits, family shoots, advertisement and landscape photography, etc., as well as being a barista. I am so excited to be a part of the newspaper staff this year! If you would like to support my work, you can follow my photography on Instagram : @adaly.nphotos!

Hey everybody! I’m Desi Beireis, I am a senior this year. I have been part of the Cougar Claw for three years now and we have worked extremely hard on this years print edition. I am the Web-Editor for the Cougar Claw and am so excited to see what this years program is going to showcase. I am also part of yearbook and I really enjoy taking photos. One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my friends and family.

Commentary: Dealing with concussion a challenge

J

ust like any other athlete, we frequently make an effort to “suck it up” when it comes to injuries. In the heat of the moment, while our adrenaline is pumping, we are not aware of the pain or the harm we are causing to our bodies. At the quick snap of bones and ligaments, before I had even entered high school, I had already been subject to multiple injuries. Just playing the game you love, you never expect to get injured. As I went along my athletic Ashton Lux journey I continued to get hurt, every time I would get hurt the love of the game would fall, each and every time it was more loss. I have recently turned 18 and from the beginning of my journey to now have suffered even more. Three ankle surgeries, four concussions, too many sprains and breaks to count, overall, way

more than needed. And what am I left with? Life-lasting physical and mental scars, and unable to play the game I grew up loving. By no means am I attempting to make others stray away from organized sports, without sports I would not be writing this story but to truly bring awareness from a former athlete’s perspective. Take care of yourself physically but most importantly mentally. You can be in tip top shape, playing at a professional level but if you cannot stay in the proper, healthy mental state of mind it’ll all go down quickly. I was ranked highly, being recruited by colleges and because I let myself go physically I could not control my mental. Although everyone’s experience is different there is a common ground we share as athletes. We need to continue to listen to everyone, we need to continue to have empathy for everyone, overall we just need to help not only ourselves but everyone around us.


National Charity League: where it started and where it is now by Adalyn Campbell

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riginating in 1925, National Charity League (NCL), is most well known as a philanthropic organization for mothers and daughters to give back to their community and learn valuable life skills. This organization was founded in Los Angeles by a woman named Mrs. Paul William Lawrence who made food bags for the American Red Cross. Through the next decade, Mrs. Lawrence strived to create a group of young women who would help around the community. After World War II, Mrs. Marcus Arthur McClure revived the charity league and decided to extend the small organization to not adult women, but young adults from 7th-12th grade. Around 1950, the league reorganized to become solely a mother-daughter organization and officially adopted the name “National Charity League”. The mothers claimed the title of “Patronesses” and the girls “ticktockers”. They are still called these to this day. A board of managers was also formed around this time with efforts to create different branches of the league, or “chapters”. These board members formed a scholarship fund for deserving women of their organization and eventually also grew too large for just their one leadership board, creating the National Board of Directors. After growing for some time, the year 2000 marked the year that National Charity League finally reached 100 chapters. In our own community, many girls are members of the National Charity League. For the 2023 Tomball High School seniors, this is their final year of the league. After six years of service hours and community leadership, these ticktockers have the opportunity to participate in a ball called Senior Recognition. While for some girls this event happens in February, and for some in March, their final year of high school can end with a bang with their recognition. Kelsey Speed, Vice President of the 2023 Senior Recognition, is doing a lot to prepare. “I am so excited for Senior Recognition

I am very thankful for my experience there.

- Ella Beckcom

and to have the chance to honor and acknowledge the hard work that these girls and their moms have done over the past six years together,” said Kelsey. “After years in this organization it has built us all up to be stronger leaders and taught us the power of service, and I think this event forms a good close onto the next chapter of our lives.” During the ceremony, each girl can share how NCL impacted their life, what they learned, and their plans for the future. After learning and participating in the three branches of the organization: community service, leadership development, and cultural experience, for their six years of involvement, they have developed many important skills. Ella Beckcom shared her favorite experience that she has participated in. “Avani senior living was my favorite philanthropy that I did during my time in the National Charity League,” said Ella, “I was able to put a smile on the faces of the residents there, and that truly resonated with me. I am very thankful for my experience there.”

SAFETY: New state laws help protect student athletes

Continued from Page 1

Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol. Often making amends to the protocol, the overall goal is to have a plan in place so when a player does go down they can properly treat them in the moment. Since the implementation of the protocol, per the NFL Player Health and Safety organization and IQVIA, the number of concussions has continued to drop from 275 in 2015 to 187 in 2021. While the numbers have dropped and the growth of our understanding regarding these injuries has continued to improve, they fail due to a lack of regard for the players. Recently the protocols have failed Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. Earlier this year, in a close matchup versus the Buffalo Bills, Tagovailoa was pushed back and fell. He was seen hitting the back of his head, and when getting up was seen struggling to stay balanced. It was then deemed a back injury and he was cleared to return to the game, no concussion detected. The following week against the Cincinnati Bengals, Tagolvailoa slammed to the ground in what would be one of the most horrific views after a hit. He would not get up and had to be carted off the field. Many immediately took to social media and called upon the NFL and NFLPA to get involved.

Since then, the NFLPA has condemned and fired the independent neurologist who cleared Tagovailoa just a week prior after he clearly displayed signs of a sports-related concussion, Dr. Bennet Omalu has also come out with a statement of his own which was very clear and simple, “Stop playing. Stop. Hang your helmet and gallantly walk away”. While not continuing to play is certainly an option, it is incredibly difficult for many players, especially at a professional or even collegiate level. There are millions of dollars at stake, ultimately giving the higher-ups a hand over these athletes, creating a toxic work environment and power imbalance. Even at the high school level, it is not as simple as stepping away from the sport. For some of these athletes it would mean that they would be stepping away from an opportunity to play at a higher level. But more importantly, the lessons that many kids bring home while playing leave life lasting imprints amongst these young athletes. Nonetheless, at any level, it is troubling to just walk away. Regardless, something has to change. For Texas athletics, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) has responded to recent studies and is constantly looking at what they can improve.

Letters from the Cougar Claw editors Hi, I’m Ashton Lux, a Senior in my fourth year as a reporter but my second year on staff here at Tomball High School. Last school year I was our Social Media Manager and our Sports Editor, this year I have taken the role of Head Sports Editor for our entire Student Media Program. This year, I’m hoping to bring a new point of view to The Cougar Claw staff. My end goal is to attend The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in communications, specifically Journalism and Sports Media to improve my skills, eventually becoming a well-rounded journalist. This print edition was one of my favorites to make and I hope you enjoy the in-depth preview on today’s matchup. Follow me on all social media platforms @ashtonjlux for all Texas sports! Sup Coogs! I’m this year’s Opinion Editor and I am so excited to be a part of the amazing organization that is Newspaper. Other than Newspaper, I am in Clinicals and have some involvement in the costume crew for Tomball Stage. My hopes for this year are to have fun and to help earn a star award! Outside of school, I like to thrift with our Feature Editor Sydney Thomas-Arnold! I hope all of you enjoy this print edition and if you have any opinions that you might want to see on the website, then you can email me at emmaparada@ths. cougarclaw.com.

Hey Coogs! I’m Natalia Martinez, your 2022-2023 News Editor. I have so much hope for our staff this year and how amazing we are going to be this year! Along with being on the Cougar Claw staff, I’m a part of the Tomball Cougar Pride Band; I play bass 2 in the drumline!

Hi everybody! I’m Saige Klein and I am the 2022-2023 Creativity editor. To tell you more about me, I have recently become an active member in our theatre program Tomball stage, and enjoy reading, writing, and spending time with my friends. My favorite animal are cats, despite being allergic, and I love collecting and making funky earrings. I also have a love for fashion. I plan on attending NYU where I will major in Journalism and hopefully learn more about Journalism in fashion. This is my second year in this program and I’m so happy that I’ve been given the opportunity to showcase my love for writing. I am so thankful that I was picked to run Creativity Corner and give people around our school the time to shine and showcase their hard work and creative ability.


The Cougar Claw

CREATIVE CORNER Sculpture by Sabrina Truckses

by Saige Klein

La Pesadilla de una Mente Nublada Escrito por: Alanna Tellez Es un poema de una señora con demencia que sufre la pérdida de su marido Hoy no quiero amanecer… No se para donde vas Pero miro al espacio vacío de la cama Esperando a mi amor perdido Ojala volveras ¿Cuándo regresarás amor? Mi vida es una pesadilla sin ti Hoy amaneci… Nadie sabe a dónde va El camino no fue claro Y aunque te despediste Estoy esperando tu regreso ¿Cuándo regresarás amor? Mi pesadilla es amanecer sin ti Hoy amaneci… No me acuerdo quien se fue Pero alguien me hace daily Anhelo estar contigo Sabrá mi dios en los cielos quien extrano Cuando regresaras? Mi pesadilla es no recordarte Hoy creo que amaneci… Pero algo mas pasa Todo es bien claro Porque aquí estoy cogido a tu mano Sin duda en quien extrañe en un tiempo Ya regresaste, estas en mi lado Mis pesadillas se convirtieron a mis deseos más extraños Hoy amaneci En un mundo nuevo Un mundo por la cual tu habitas Por la cual te puedo rozarte con mis labios Ya regresaste mi amor Lo ideal es estar en tu presencia Pero el sueño perfecto es recordarte

Sculpture by Emily Turner

There is no must in art because art is free

-Wassily Kandinsky

Galvin Nugent is sixteen years old and a junior here at tomball High School. Although he dabbles in all art forms, the medium he used for this specific project was digital.

Digital art by Galvin Nugent

art is not what you see, but what you make others see -Edgar Degas

I AM I am Sad and Confused I wonder, why we lose loved ones I see that there’s a reason for everything I want to believe that everything’s gonna be alright I am sad, and I want to move forward I pretend that I’m doing fine, but I feel a deep pain inside I hold on to and look at the memories I often worry about my mother I cry because I, I’ve lost my sister, Yet I am an overcomer

Photo created by Verna Smith

Check out the Creative Corner page on our online site, THSCougarClaw.com!

I understand that God’s got a plan for my life I say that I’ve gotta keep fighting every day I dream, of being with her again I search for the light in the situation, and I hope to carry on her legacy, For, I am here for a reason By: Noah Hirsch