The Hawk Eye, Volume 21, Issue 4

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Hebron High School · 4207 Plano Parkway, Carrollton, TX 75010 · 469-713-5183 Volume 21, Issue 4 May 15, 2024 College acceptance (8-9) - Sports recap (10-11) - School community (13)

The Hawk Eye

Staff contributors

Lily Andersson

Olivia Evans

Krista Fleming

Peyton Kuschmeider

Saahir Mawani

Shiren Noorani

Siya Patel

Madeline Rivera

Eyesha Sadiq


Steven Jones

The Hawk Eye magazine is an official publication of Hebron High School. It is a student-produced magazine which strives to represent the student voice. We will aim to report all news relevant to Hebron High School and its student body without bias to race, religion or creed. Views expressed by columnists are their own personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of the entire staff. Editorials reflect the staff opinion and may not reflect the views of the school administration. We encourage reader input via letters and story ideas. Contact a staff member or fill out the contact form on our website,, with any of these items. The Hawk Eye is a member of Interscholastic League Press Conference, Texas Association of Journalism Educators, Association of Texas Photography Instructors, the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association.

Find us online by scanning this QR code or visiting hebronhawkeye. com!

02 10-11

Tunnel vision


04 05-07 08-09 12-13 14-15

from the Editor
Editorial: school community is essential Letter
Shooting their shot
Running home

The stage is dark.

Junior Grant Koch is in the same spot he has been in for what feels like a thousand times, surrounded by cast members he’s grown to think of as family. He takes a deep breath, heart still pounding in his chest, and the lights turn on.

He begins the show.

Grant landed his first lead role at Hebron as Buddy Layman in Silver Company’s “The Diviners” — his first acting role after student directing “Matilda.” He will be theater’s most advanced student director next year, and will direct a show for Black Company next spring.

“Lady Gaga wasn’t joking when she said ‘I live for the applause,’ because live performers really do,” Grant said. “Everything I do on stage isn’t for me or my character, it’s for the audience. I can do these things to get these reactions from people, make them feel something. That’s something close to magic.”

Lady Gaga wasn’t joking when she said ‘I live for the applause,’ because live performers really do. Everything I do on stage isn’t for me or my character, it’s for the audience.
- Grant Koch, junior

When Grant was a toddler, he played soccer and attended music lessons; he would watch the ball roll past him at games and fall asleep on the piano. Trying to help him find “his thing,” his parents mentioned the after-school Encore Kids production of “The Wizard of Oz.” He played Toto.

“No one expected me to go onto that stage and enjoy it because I was so shy,” Grant said. “But I did, and I


instantly fell in love.”

He continued Encore Kids throughout elementary school, joined the advanced competitive theater class in middle school and performed in shows through North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA).

During Grant’s seventh grade year, what was supposed to be an extended spring break turned into the COVID-19 pandemic. As he watched shows across the world shut down, his love for theater was overtaken by anxiety.

Is theater ever going to come back? Is it gone forever? Will I get to act again? And, above all else, the same sinking thought: Oh God, what am I going to do?

Attending virtual school for the rest of middle school, Grant lost motivation to get out of bed, log into virtual meetings and get his assignments turned in on time.

“It felt like someone had actually died,” Grant said. “I mourned theater — grieved it. I had something I loved, and it was like the world just yanked it out from under me.”

He got to perform again in an NTPA production of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” going into his freshman year. It was his first show in over a year, but Grant said he wasn’t nervous.

“I just wanted it so bad,” Grant said. “I wanted to perform, make the audience feel something [and] have that magic back.”

Going into his sophomore year, Grant was one of three students chosen to be a student director and directed the production of “Junie B. Jones.” This year, Grant was the student director of the allschool musical, “Matilda.”

“He’s able to separate himself from his peers, which is really necessary for a [student] director,” head director Chelsey Thornburg said. “He knows what needs to get done and he works with everyone to make that happen [and] meet those higher expectations.”

As rehearsals for “Matilda” were beginning to wrap up, Grant learned that

the Silver Company would be performing “The Diviners.” He first read the script in seventh grade, where he fell in love with the idea of playing Buddy Layman. He performed Buddy in monologues and duet scenes, but going into the audition, he was worried he outgrew the character.

“It was almost heartbreaking,” Grant said. “I had to prepare myself for failure. I had to accept that maybe I wasn’t meant to play him anymore — that he was someone else’s character now.”

Grant went into the audition with one goal: give it his all. A week later, he got the role. They began tablework and rehearsals for “The Diviners,” and, before he knew it, it was the end of April — time to perform.

“Once I saw him play Buddy, I knew who I’d cast,” assistant director Logan McGraw said. “He’s this sweet, precious boy, and so is Buddy.”

The nerves ate at him on opening night, making him nauseous during the cast dinner and pace in the changing rooms. But when the cast took their places, Grant took a deep breath and began the show.

“[Buddy] was his character, and the moment he went on stage, you knew that,” Grant’s mom, Brandie Koch, said. “I had watched his interest in theater grow and develop into a passion, and now he got to share that with everyone else.”

Next year, Grant will continue to act in Silver Company and be the student director for Black Company. By playing Buddy, Grant said he made his middle school dreams come true. Now, he’s ready to achieve his new dream: make a difference to the audience that sees his shows, whether he’s on the stage or behind it.

“I learned to just enjoy the ride,” Grant said. “As long as a show makes a difference to one person — affects one person — then I’ve done my job. I gave someone a little piece of magic, and by cheering me on, they gave me a little bit of it, too.”


Shooting their shot

Juniors create community basketball league

The clock runs down, the buzzer sounds and the crowd screams.

They turn to look and see double the crowd they expected, as the team scores a last minute three-pointer to send the final game into overtime.

Juniors Iliyan Walji, Arman Walimohammad and Haris Dosani worked together to create an opportunity for their community to come together by producing something teenagers would enjoy: the Ismaili Basketball League (IBL). The Ismaili community consists of five Jamatkhanas (the house of community) in the central Dallas region. Teenagers from various areas meet weekly on Sunday’s to play games against their friends and other teenagers from the area.

“There’s multiple purposes to [IBL],” Walimohammad said. “Obviously, [there’s] playing basketball and having fun, but it also brings people together from different Jamatkhanas; it brings our Ismaili community together, and [helps us] build more relationships.”

The first season of IBL started on Feb. 18, 2024 and ended on April 7, 2024. The games took place at Mac Sports — a sports complex in Lewisville that can be rented out for various sport games. The Mac consists of multiple basketball courts, as well as volleyball nets. IBL reserved two courts every week from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The commissioners were in charge of splitting up tasks to keep everything in order.

“Making sure week by week we [had] all our suppliers [was difficult],” Walimohammad said. “Each of us were responsible [for] different [things], like our coolers for Gatorade, making sure all the refs are coming on time, contacting the court guy [to] make sure our courts are ready and make sure everything is set every week right before.”

IBL was primarily volunteer based. When the commissioners started the league, they created a social media account where they posted all types

of updates. In the beginning, most of the posts were about drafts and completed teams, followed by posts to gather volunteers. Things like scoreboard, videos, photos and home/ away statistics were all handled by various highschoolers who signed up to volunteer and would rotate weekly based on availability.

“Each of us would [take turns] putting out a poll and [making] a schedule, so [that] whoever is available, is there,” Dosani said. “If there was only one of us running it, it wouldn’t work. The most important part is [that] we all have a role and we all contribute to [IBL].”

With fees such as court rentals, Gatorade, jerseys and shirts, IBL had about 10 sponsors in order to help them start the league, most notable, Texas State Representative, Salman Bhojani was amongst one of many. Walji said it was crucial for the commissioners to sit down and figure out budgeting as the expected cost was over $9,000 in total for jerseys, volunteer shirts, courts, refs, Gatorade, champion rings and hoodies. “We had to budget first to make sure we had all the money so everything was straight,” Walji said. “We saw that we didn’t have enough, so we got some sponsors with the connections that we had.”

High schoolers of all ages were allowed to participate and created teams to play in. Sophomore Ahad Virani, who was voted this season’s most valuable player, said playing basketball has always been a hobby he enjoyed and that it was fun getting to play with and against people from his community.

“I wanted to get better at the game and get better chemistry with my teammates [to] be stronger along the

way,” Virani said. “Playing basketball is a team game, so you have to play with the team. You can’t do it by yourself, so playing with the team helps you get closer to your teammates. [I love] playing the game and having fun with my community [since] we’re all Ismailis, [it] was fun.”

Teenagers from all around Dallas came to support their friends and siblings. Parents from various Jamatkhanas were volunteering to help out and were there to support their children. A total of seven games were played every week as games went on for an hour consecutively with the exception of a prime time game at 8:30 p.m. On the last day, which was the playoff games that were held on April 7, religious leaders came by to support and watch this vision come to life. A total of seven games were played every week as games went on for an hour consecutively with the exception of a prime time game at 8:30 p.m. The commissioners were in charge of splitting up tasks to keep everything in order.

“IBL is a way for us to bring all of the teenagers and kids in our community together in one place, whil also giving people a way to play basketball together and get better,” Junior Rahil Jiwani said. “Whenever I was talking to my friends, we would always be talking about IBL and the next week.

That something to talk about created a lot of connections for me and it brought me closer to a lot of people.”



Seniors give their stories over senior year

Status update: your portal has been updated.

The notification pops up on seniors’ phones, iPads, computers — every device they’ve been checking daily. Some will open the email immediately; others will wait to open it surrounded by friends and family. Three options will define their paths.


Accepted, rejected or waitlisted. Every year, seniors must decide their future. While doing this, they face the application process — finding the right college, figuring out how to pay for tuition and handling the mental stress of it all. The most common websites used in Texas for college applications are ApplyTexas and Common App The majority of schools require students to write essays on various topics, provide their academic records in an attempt to accurately paint a picture of who they are as a person.

Senior Nathan Araya is a first-generation student; his parents immigrated to the United States from Eritrea, Africa. Araya said because of the lack of guidance he had during his application season, he found the process difficult.

“I wasn’t familiar with Common App, Apply Texas and other avenues to send college applications,” Araya said. “[It] was the first time in my life that I was seeing these [websites]. I had to do a lot of searching online and asking people for help to understand all the paths of sending a college application.”

Araya applied to 17 schools; multiple of them were Ivy League universities. Over the last couple of years, the Ivy League acceptance rates have reached new lows, including Harvard, which was at 3.19% in the 2021-2022 school year. Araya said that since the colleges he applied to were very selective, it was important for him to have a narrative and make sure his


recreational activities correlated to a central theme.

Araya said having extracurriculars geared toward his major — biomedical engineering — allowed him to earn acceptance to Harvard University, where he will be attending college next year. He took multiple AP classes, including high-level math and science courses. To further his experience with biomedical engineering, he did internships, where he worked directly under a doctor of Pharmacology. Outside of school, he worked on cancer-related research with a professor at a university, looking for cancer treatments derived from plants.

“Once you find your narrative, you should take it as far as possible,” Araya said. “In the example of the student who wants to be a doctor, they should try to become a high officer for that medical club, accumulate a lot of hours volunteering at the hospital, and try to make [efforts] in the research they are doing, like getting a publication or creating a medicine that can treat a certain disease. I believe that when you do this, you become more unique as an applicant, which will make you stick out more to top colleges.”


you find your narrative, you should take it as far as possible. I believe that when you do this, you become more unique as an applicant, which will make you stick out more to top colleges. ”

- Nathan Araya, Senior “

Though the average number of colleges that seniors apply to is eight to 12, College Board suggests students apply to four to eight colleges. Seniors typically apply to an array of safety, target and reach schools, depending on the acceptance rates. In the middle of senior Kiyaan Aly’s junior year, he started looking into applications to make

his college list.

“I listed every single college possible, around 50 colleges — [then] I brought it down to 17,” Aly said. “From there, I went through the process and learned more about the schools with just random questions or [using] Reddit. I eventually cut those schools down to 12.”

One issue Aly said he faced was choosing the right college that would fit all of his needs. He was accepted to both Texas A&M and the University of Texas, but could not decide where to go. He used Reddit, Discord, YouTube and various social media outlets to look at dorms, the social life of the schools and the different engineering programs.

“My parents look at rankings a lot,” Aly said. “I was trying not to look at rankings, but it felt like they were pushing me to. [But] when you’re looking at the No. 12 program and the No. 9 program, there is not much of a difference.”

According to college data, 58% of seniors accumulate stress during application season. Counselor Jennae Bradley said the application process for seniors affects them heavily because of the constant worry of not knowing where they will end up going. Some students choose to take more difficult classes their senior year to boost their GPA or rank and potentially get into the colleges they desire.

“I think that most of my students and parents get very stressed because the whole idea of [applying] seems insurmountable and it’s hard to break it down into simple tasks,” Bradley said. “Applying for college is [actually] easier today than it was when I was a student. I think people have this idea that they have to do all these things, but they have made it so easy.”

There are different ways students can apply to colleges. Seniors have the option to apply for Early Decision, which requires the student to attend that university if they are accepted. Early Action allows students to still apply early and receive an early decision; however,


they are not bound to the college and can still choose another college if they want.

Restrictive Early Action only enables students to apply to one school early, but they don’t have to go to that school if they get in. Single Choice Early Action tells colleges that a student will not apply anywhere else Early Action or Early Decision. Some colleges offer Early Decision Two, which is a second round of early decision and is also a binding decision. When students apply regularly, they are not bound to the school they get into and can apply to as many colleges of their choice.

“I applied as Restrictive Early Action to [Harvard], so this is the first acceptance that I received,” Araya said. “On top of the excitement from getting accepted to Harvard, I also was relieved in a way because I didn’t know for sure if I could achieve something like that. I opened up the acceptance letter with my whole family about one week before Christmas, so we set up some congratulatory items in case I got in. Once I opened the letter and saw that I got in, my parents screamed and jumped up for joy.”

submit FAFSA requests in the process. Some significant changes in the process were the need for a FSA ID for students and parents prior to starting the form and a role-based form, meaning parents will be sent separate emails with their end of the questions.

“I haven’t gotten my financial aid package yet, [but] I’m going to appeal because FAFSA doesn’t take into [account] your siblings going to college [anymore],” Aly said. “I have two siblings [and] all three of us are going to college next year. They should have [it] divided by how many siblings are going, because that’s what they used to do. I’m going to appeal, because my home can not pay this much per person.”

The average dorm can cost anywhere from $8,556 to $12,870 depending on if the college is a four-year private or public school. Most dorms provide board, which means students have meal prep. However, students still have to pay almost $1,284 a month for their nine-month stay. To combat the housing payments, senior Paris Bradley was recruited from Louisiana Tech for basketball and received a full-ride scholarship.

Most of the time, the school itself will have a lot [of scholarships] to offer,” Yarlagdha said. “If you applied for like two or three based [on] your time schedule, like applying to multiple a month, you get a lot in the end. Some scholarships don’t give you a lot [but] you want to aim for the ones that give you $200300, because less people will apply to those and they will easily cover travel, books or food. So aim lower because those are the ones that are going to get you the most

Application fees can cost up to $90 per application, depending on the school. On average, if a student applies to all eight Ivy League colleges, they spend approximately $635. Many seniors, including Araya, worked jobs to pay for their college expenses.

“I am blessed to say that I received a full-ride scholarship to [Harvard], so my tuition will be completely covered by the college,” Araya said. “[However] working at my job last year allowed me to save up a good amount of money that I could use [in] college.”

The Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) underwent significant changes this past year, resulting in the form opening after a two-month delay and causing data to transmit to schools at a later date. Many schools had to move their deadline to

“I faced [a lot of] pressure before I got my first scholarship,” Paris said. “I don’t know why I put that much pressure on myself for no reason. After [receiving a full-ride scholarship to Louisiana Tech], I realized that my work was getting seen [and that] pressure kind of relieved itself.”

Throughout the four years of college, students can spend, on average, anywhere from $104,108 for public in-state tuition, $108,365 for public out-of-state tuition, to $223,360 for a private university. Senior Ananya Yarlagadda received multiple scholarships from schools making the tuition for her top choices for in-state and out-of-state schools nearly the same.

“Most of the time, the school itself will have a lot [of scholarships] to offer,” Yarlagdha said. “If you applied for two or three based [on] your time schedule, like applying to multiple a month, you

get a lot in the end. Some scholarships don’t give you a lot, [but] you want to aim for the ones that give you $200300, because less people will apply to those and they will easily cover travel, books or food. So aim lower because those are the ones that are going to get you the most money.”


In the light of choosing what their futures will look like, Yarlagadda said she experienced stresses such as the social pressures that come with going to a “good” and “acceptable” school. On commitment day, she said how she felt pressured by her environment to showcase where she’s going —- even though she was still in between two schools. Yarlagadda is currently choosing between the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

“UTD is my safety school because, financially, that would be the better choice,” Yarlagadda said. “[I have to ask myself], ‘Do I want to make the jump of going out of state to this great business school [with] placements in Chicago and



New York [and] really good companies that I’ve always wanted to, [or should I] go to stay in-state and do what everybody else is doing?”

With this year’s senior class coming in at just under 900 students, earning a spot on a team or in extracurricular organization can be difficult. Yarlagadda said sometimes people get unlucky with acceptance. Some of her friends who were National Merit Scholars were placed into alternative programs or didn’t get into their majors. She said it was important to remember that if you did well the last four years, you can do well in college, and a lot of that comes with knowing what is right for you.

the reality of ‘where can I truly go, what’s a reach school, what’s a match school and what am I willing to live with as a backup.’”


In the heat of applying for college, receiving results and senior year as a whole, finding effective stress-relieving methods can help avoid more serious and dangerous mental health concerns. Yarlagadda said it was important for her to reach out to people for advice, whether it be her parents, other adults or even friends.


Q: How should incoming seniors balance their stress?

A: Senior Kiyaan Aly: “Do the things you’ve always enjoyed. Like this year I rediscovered cooking, I had a food blog, so I started cooking again — it’s just so much fun to do it again.”

Q: How should juniors prepare for their senior year?

“I don’t want to settle for a school,” Yarlagadda said. “[During this process], you really have to know who you are. I have always been very independent; I don’t let those pressures come to me. Just sticking with who you are, and knowing what you want in your life and knowing that you’re going to get there, really helps you try to figure [the future] out.”

Go to the senior events. Even if you think they’re hokey, go. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity; you never get to be a senior in high school again. Spend that time with these people when you can and go to all the events. Go to prom, do [all] the things, go through that, so when you look back on it, you have a little bit more of a positive view of your high school experience.”

“It does get difficult at a certain point,” Yarlagadda said. “But [being] surrounded by the people that appreciate you and support you, [and] having things that make you feel better [can help]. If you have core things that make you feel better, then definitely stick to those and also talk to people. If anything was bothering me, [I’d] kind of close off and not tell anyone, but reaching out to people will not only help you spill your thoughts — [you can also get] really good advice.”

- Jennae Bradley, counselor

The stress that comes with getting ready for adulthood and college can affect students in various ways such as academic performance, well-being and even social relationships. Bradley said she has seniors come in to talk to her about possible classes to take in order to improve their GPA after their current transcript releases.

“It affects my seniors in the fall heavily, because everybody is really worried about where they’re going to go,” Bradley said. “Lots of times, it’s really difficult to start looking at admission requirements, then seeing

In addition to finding individual hobbies to relieve stress, spending time with others is one of the top ways of managing stress. Emotional support provided by social interaction enhances a person’s psychological wellbeing while also helping those find healthy ways to cope with stress.

“Go to the senior events,” Bradley said. “Even if you think they’re hokey, go. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; you never get to be a senior in high school again. Spend that time with these people when you can and go to all the events. Do [all] the things, so when you look back on it, you have a little bit more of a positive view of high school.” DESIGNED BY EYESHA SADIQ

A: Senior Ananya Yarlagdha: “Start applying in August, as soon as you finish junior year — that should be the one thing that you focus on. Also, don't stress about it. It's fine, everyone is going through the same thing, but don't be afraid to take risks. Definitely be open to taking risks and also just have fun, it’s your last year —I was all ready to leave but now I'm like ‘[I’m going] to [really] miss these people.’”

Q: What advice would you give to those applying to Ivy League schools?

A: Senior Nathan Araya: “Applicants need to stick out more than others if they want to get accepted to an Ivy League school. So, my advice would be telling a student to figure out their own narrative and go as far as possible with honing that narrative. I believe that when you do this, you become more unique as an applicant, which will make you stick out more to top colleges such as the Ivy League.”

Q: What advice would you give to other student athletes?

A: Senior Paris Bradley: “Keep working on your craft in whatever sport that you do, because it’s important to try to continue to improve yourself in any way, shape and form. And don’t pressure yourself, because putting pressure on yourself can make you mess up on simple things, and stress you out for no reason when you don’t [need to be].”


The phone rang.

Baseball coach Corey Farra was standing in his bedroom, facing a lake, staring at the vibrating phone in his hand. He looked at his wife, took a deep breath and answered the call. A few seconds later, he heard the words he had dreamed of: “We’d like to offer you the job.”

His wife started crying next to him. Farra asked for time to think about the decision, knowing he needed no time to think about it, only to process. His years of wishing and watching from the sidelines came to fruition.

He was a Hebron Hawk.

After coaching at Frisco High School for the past eight years, Farra became the second head baseball coach the school has had since opening in 1999. He has coached the team to the No. 2 spot in the district.

“It’s very difficult [to take over the program], but it’s also pretty easy,” Farra said. “The program is as successful as it is because of what [former head] coach [Steve] Stone did. I just came in and added my thumbprint to it. It’s already a winning tradition, and I wanted to continue that.”

Farra began playing T-ball when he was young, inspired by his brother. When he was older, he played baseball for Lewisville High School and eventually the University of Texas at Tyler. Due to his father being a

New coach finds family in baseball team

pastor, Farra spent a lot of time in the youth group of his church. It led him to know exactly what he wanted to do after college: coach. He said he tries to live a life of faith through his coaching.

“By faith, you live a life of hope as well,” Farra said. “You hope that you do good. You hope you win. You hope your team makes the playoffs. Part of that hope leads back to faith. Whether that be faith in the work you do, knowing you can rely on your teammates, teaching others to keep going — that’s

By faith, you live a life of hope as well. You hope that you do good. You hope that you win. You hope that your team makes playoffs. Part of that hope leads back to faith. “
- Corey Farra, head coach

something I hope my faith has been shown through.”

In the past, Farra crossed paths with the Hawks a few times, but never played against them; in high school, he wished he could be a part of Hebron baseball. When Stone retired after 24 seasons, Farra knew he had to apply.

“I went into that interview knowing I had a great place to go back to, but that I would leave it for a place like Hebron,” Farra said. “When I went into the interview, I had a calmness in me. I knew that no matter what path I ended up taking, it would be a good one.”

Farra got the job a few days later. That summer, he told the Frisco players he had some news and asked them to come to the field if they were in town. Two students showed up. “When only two kids showed up, I knew it was the right decision,” Farra said.

Farra missed the first week of school due to the flu and

COVID-19, and held tryouts the week he was back. Only one starter remained from the 2022-2023 season, as 23 players graduated last year. Farra has focused on “small ball” playing on the field, consisting of bunts and focusing on getting as many players to first base as possible. Assistant coach Jim Farley said the team has adapted well to the changes.

“At the end of the day, coaching baseball is coaching baseball,” Farley said. “A new team or a new coach can’t change that. It’s about teaching kids to love the game and play it well. That’s something Farra does.”

In the pre-district season, the Hawks had seven wins, five losses and two ties. After one “really bad loss” attended by previous baseball players, Farra brought the team together and told the players to bring more energy to the games and push through their losses.

“He said to never let Hawk pride die,” outfielder Chase Harris said. “He told us that we were Hebron baseball and a few losses wouldn’t change that. He said we needed to move past it — to change our mindset — so we did.”

The Hawks finished their district season with a final record of 11-3 as second in the district. The team got out in the first round of playoffs. Farra said he’s been focusing on building the team’s camaraderie — getting them to play for each other. Not only did he start having the Hawks break out by saying “family” before every game, but Farra said he’s found that family in them, too.

“I tell the team that a family isn’t always perfect,” Farra said. “Sometimes, it’s messy; sometimes, it’s clean. Sometimes, it’s great; sometimes, it’s bad. My hope is that the team has learned to stick together through it all, knowing they can go to battle because the guy right next to them is doing the exact same thing. That’s our mindset — that’s what makes us a family.”


Shooting hoops, practicing drills and dreaming of playing in the National Basketball Association. Perhaps it was childish, but to Nathan Araya, it was everything. Being on the court was a constant in his life.

It was the constant when his best friend moved away to Chicago, leaving him alone at the playground. It was the constant he had when he couldn’t find any groups to join in middle school. It was the constant he was forced to give up in seventh grade — despite all the conditioning, workouts and endless amount of stretches he did at home — after being diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease.

His dream ended sophomore year, when he overexerted himself academically, mentally and physically. He told his basketball coaches, “I’m OK, I can do this,” but the pain became unbearable and unexplainable. He had to quit.

From that point on, school became his only priority. And he wanted to be perfect

Even when the clock hit 4 a.m., he kept going; he couldn’t stop. No

longer did he have time to hang out with friends as often or experience the careless, often or experience the careless, irresponsible life of other teenagers around him. Sometimes, he feels he missed out on being a normal, dumb kid — but the feeling is only temporary.

Nathan doesn’t regret sacrificing friendships or sleep schedules for what he’s achieved, but he does regret one thing: not spending enough time with his grandma.

The weeks leading up to Oct. 4 didn’t feel real, as breast cancer slowly took over his grandma; her hair fell, her skin was pale and her breaths rasped. He couldn’t fathom a world without her — he didn’t want to. She was his second caregiver, his second mother and the second constant within his life. He wishes he could go back, help out and, most importantly, just be with his grandma.

However, as the days until graduation dwindle, Nathan knows she is proud of him. The experience of watching cancer take his grandma away has left a mark and inspired him to go into the medical field. He will major in biomedical engineering at Harvard on a full ride scholarship next year, possibly going on the pre-medical track.

His parents still don’t know he’s ranked No. 3 in the class — he wishes to surprise them at graduation. They’ve given him everything, even when they came to America with very little. Coming from a war in Eritrea, his parents wanted him and his siblings to experience a life full of opportunity. Nathan wants to pay them back for everything they’ve helped him accomplish and go to college — the first person in his family to do so.

He doesn’t know what the future holds for him and he doesn’t know if he’s made the right decision. However, whether he becomes an engineer or a doctor, he wants to help people. Nathan wants to become a constant in other people’s lives — the same thing his grandma was for him.


Flying high


Track and Field

Runners practice for the 400-meter race by running on the track at practice on Feb. 21. Track and field was able to break four school records. Senior Ritvika Kondakrindi won the 100-meter race at state on May 4.(Photo by Eyesha Sadiq)

Junior Nick Golovets walks back to midfield after Coppell scored a goal on Feb. 6; the team lost 0-3. The boys soccer team ended off the season by making it into the playoffs and ending off the season 15-4-4. The team ended second in the district with a 2-0 loss against Prosper in the third round of playoffs.

“We’ve done really good this year,” head coach Matt Zimmerman said. “I told the boys at the beginning [of] this season that I believed in this team, that I thought this team was built to repeat.” (Photo by Andrew John)

Boys basketball Guard Jalen Haynes attempts a layup to win the team’s home opener against Allen on Nov. 28; the team led most of the game, but lost in the final quarter 64-67. The boys basketball team ended its season with a 54-32 loss to Allen in the first round of playoffs on Feb. 19. The Hawks’ overall record was 21-12.

“The team played really well this year,” head coach Eric Reil said. “There were some times where we had some inconsistent play, but the guys had a really good year. I’m proud of what the guys accomplished.” (Photo by Caleb Wright)

Girls basketball

Senior guard Paris Bradley shoots a mid-range jumpshot over a Boswell defender at the end of the regional semifinal game; the Lady Hawks lost 49-44, which ended their season. The team finished the season with a district record of 14-0 and took home their second district title in a row.

“I’m very proud,” head coach Lisa Branch said. “I know we didn’t reach one of our goals of making it to state, but we did accomplish several of our goals; one being undefeated in district and repeating as district champs. I’ll miss Paris Bradley. I’ll miss Jordan Thomas. I’ll miss Micah Cooper. I’ll miss this team as a unit. They were great people, because they were great leaders and they were great players. These younger [players] have that blueprint of success that they can strive for.” (Photo by Gavin Lambert)

Boys soccer


Wide receiver Tyler Hoke is dragged down after attempting to run the ball down field in the first quarter of the Homecoming game against Plano East on Sept. 29; the Hawks won 38-28. The football team ended its season against Lewisville on Nov. 3 in a 32-10 loss. The Hawks were sixth in the district with an overall record of 5-5.

“I don’t want to say it was disappointing because a lot of people counted us out; they thought we weren’t going to win a lot,” tight end Jesse McElroy said. “But the expectations we had were high [and] our standards were set. [It was] rough because there were some games we should have won. We didn’t, and that hurt us in the end.”


Junior Chase Harris runs through home plate to score another run for the Hawks in the fourth inning of their game against Plano East at Rusty Franklin Stadium on March 22; the team won 11-0. This year, the team got its second head coach since the school opened in 1999. A majority of the team graduated last year, leaving only one returning starter. The Hawks finished the regular season second in district with a record of 11-3, and lost in the first round of playoffs to McKinney Boyd on May 4. Head coach Corey Farra said the success was largely due to an emphasis on teamwork.

“I’m a big believer in family,” Farra said. “Seeing these kids come together [and] play for the guy next to him instead of himself has been amazing. When the season ends, you’re left with memories, and I’m proud that the team has made those memories good.” (Photo by Peyton Kuschmeider)

This year was the second year for head coach John Towels, defensive coordinator Quincy Stewart and offensive coordinator Terrence Orr. The coaches’ goal for the team was for them to get better every day.

“This year we got more comfortable,” Orr said. “[Last year,] we had a new staff, so our second year being here, we were able to fully integrate our offensive [and] defensive schemes. Overall, it was successful from [the] perspective of [the students] really knowing [our] true character.”

(Photo by Caleb Wright)

Girls soccer

Midfielder Maddie Martinez goes for a kick to push the ball in a game against Coppell on Feb. 6; the team won 3-1. The girls soccer team’s season ended in a 1-0 loss to Prosper in the third round of playoffs. The team tied for second in the district and finished the season with an overall record of 18-4-4. (Photo by Caleb Wright)


Cheer performs during the last pep rally of the school year on Feb. 29. The team competed at state and placed 13th out of 70 teams. At nationals, they placed sixth and 12th in the nation with the Gameday team. Cheer captain Sloan Wozniak said the team went through many challenges this season, but also made several memories they will cherish. (Photo by Peyton Kuschmeider)




90 days.

The time between today and my first day of senior year.

have spent my entire life looking up to the seniors in high school, whether it was my older brother in 2013, Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton after first watching “High School Musical” in 2018 or my best friend in 2022. In the school ecosystem, seniors are at the top of the food chain, having all the answers to the big questions in life. They’ve decided where they are going to college, what they want to do in life — all to set the precedent for their future. But, as my time approaches, I no longer see seniors as put-together professionals, but more as the same playful children I was ten years ago.

Growing up, I’ve found myself allowing nostalgia to envelop me, almost to a fault. I first discovered I would be graduating in 2025 when I was in the third grade. Then, the year felt like a far-away reach into the future: a year filled with flying cars and personal robots.

Now, we are just a few months away from starting the end of this part of our lives, and I feel awfully under-prepared. The last two years have been filled with a barrage of reminders: “You only have two years left,” “You need to start thinking about what’s next,” “You are not in middle school anymore.” Yet, those reminders feel like they have gotten me nowhere.

“You need to start thinking about what’s next,” “You are not in middle school anymore.” Yet, those reminders feel like they have gotten me nowhere. “
- Saahir Mawani

Despite having heard the never-ending list of tasks that need to be completed at every turn, every day that passes is just another reminder that I am behind. In an effort to conceal the reality of me growing up, I’ve turned away from my responsibilities. However, I have been fortunate enough to have so many amazing mentors in my journey, all people who have experienced senior year – whether it be last year or 20 years ago. They have created a safe space for me to turn to them, to remind me that it’s time to grow up and help me with preparations for college applications.

These people have been inspiring, and their advice is a guiding light at the end of the tunnel, yet there has been a different level of insight I have received from the current graduating class. They have a constant stream of thoughts regarding all situations I worry about, having just gone through the process day-by-day. As grateful as I am for being able to take over the helm of “the graduating class” from this year’s current seniors, I will miss them in a way words can not define. In the groups of people I surround myself with, there is at least one senior — one person I won’t see, won’t wave to in the hallways, won’t talk with in class. It’s been an interesting feeling, knowing the very people who were

some of my most constant peers won’t be returning in 90 days.

Now that I have begun to fully process the gravity of the situation, there is one thing that fills my head: college applications. It is the topic I can’t seem to push out of the atmosphere. Despite all the research and all the preparation, I know I will not be able to easily complete what I need to do. Truthfully, the entire application process is the most daunting part of my senior year, and despite not knowing what exactly it will bring, I hope I can inspire someone the same way the seniors before me did.


people have been inspiring, and their advice is a guiding light at the end of the tunnel.

- Saahir Mawani

Senior year won’t be easy; I know that. However, I feel eternally grateful to be blessed with mentors and friends to support my journey through the black hole that will be opening in 90 days. That 90 days will turn into 283, where the last day of my journey here will be over, and begin somewhere completely different.

Me at 5-years-old with my mom. Throughout every hurdle, closed door, or long shot opportunity, she has been one of my biggest supporters. She has always made sure to keep the child captured in this photo alive, no matter what happens. (Photo via Fehmida Mawani) Me and senior Eyesha Sadiq on a journalism trip in April. Sadiq was initially in my grade, but she will be graduating with the senior class of 2024. Despite being acquaintances with Sadiq since our freshman year, her never-ending optimism has been an a constant influence. (Photo via Shiren Noorani)


school community is essential for students

As the school year comes to a close, reflection begins. In many ways, the school has had quite a rough year. Despite sometimes feeling as if there were no light at the end of the tunnel, students and faculty persevered. In order to not let misfortunes and emotional hurdles define a community, adversity must be framed as motivation rather than debilitation. Focusing on the moments where the school community came together, rather than divided, is necessary for a strong, close-knit community that is essential to a high school’s culture and morale.

The first pep rally of the school year was held in honor of the loss of two Hawks: former football head coach Brian Brazil and sophomore JJ Hatcher. This year’s unspoken theme in athletics, and throughout the halls of the school, was to play and succeed for those before us: to treat one another as family. In times of loss, the community came together, put aside differences in beliefs and backgrounds, and grieved together. The football team commemorated JJ’s passing at the first district game in August by holding a flag while entering the field with “LLJJ” on it — Long Live JJ. Additionally, the stadium, formerly known as Hawk Stadium, was officially renamed Brian Brazil Stadium at the beginning of this school year to honor the school’s first head football coach. While losing individuals is never expected and often disheartening, the way students, faculty and staff handled the loss is a testimony to the school’s strength.

High school is a time for growth, self-discovery and individualization. Especially in Texas, a high school’s culture is a big deal for teenagers. High school athletics and fine arts achievements, as well as involvement

in one’s community, is crucial for development in personality and oneself.

The student body at Hebron is interconnected. Student-led, school spirit organizations such as student council (StuCo) and Ruckus and Rowdy (R&R) are a privilege to be a part of. They are seen as pivotal leaders throughout the school’s community. Events they lead, such as Friday night football games and senior sunrise/sunset, are recognized as social gatherings rather than just days on the school calendar. Due to overwhelming participation from StuCo and leaders in R&R, pep rallies, organizations and activities are much more impactful, larger and inclusive.

This year, the school’s Hawks Helping Hawks needs closet was put on the agenda to be improved. About 26% of students at Hebron are economically disadvantaged. Donations are taken year-round. Initially started in 2019, the room provides students clothes, hygienic products and nutritional necessities. The inspiration behind the closet is for students to help students. Students are in charge of donating resources to the closet for their peers to benefit from. While a large portion of the student body comes from families that are fairly financially well-off, not all students have their own bedrooms, a variety of shoes to choose from or food on the table after school. The Hawks Helping Hawks closet has destigmatized the ideology of classism between students and instead, fosters a sense of empathy no matter age,

grade or background. Lewisville ISD is continuously recognized as one of the most diverse school districts in North Texas. According to the 2023-24 District Improvement Plan, the major student demographics of LISD are as follows: 36.6% White, 30.7% Hispanic, 15.7% Asian, 12.0% African American and 5.0% American-Indian/Pacific Islander. At Hebron specifically, about 70% of the school’s enrollment are minorities. Due to this, clubs exist to support and acknowledge the presence of different cultures, backgrounds and ethnic profiles, including Black Student Union (BSU), Hebron Asian Student Association (HASA) and Muslim Student Association (MSA). These cultural clubs organize fun events for students such as HASA’s ramen lunch days, BSU’s step performances and MSA’s potlucks during Ramadan. Attending a high school with such inclusivity is imperative for teenagers in order to develop a sense of self and belonging.

With overflowing diversity in our campus’s hallways, there’s bound to be disagreement and prejudice. However, the school has proven, time and time again, that its empathy and compassion exceeds the standard. The annual Big Blue Goes Pink campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, for example, provides a donation of money to an individual in the community affected by breast cancer. It’s an annual tradition that represents what the Hebron community stands for: unity.

As this school year comes to a close, a lesson has undoubtedly been learned family doesn’t need to be blood-related. An inclusive, resilient community in high school is crucial, and at Hebron, if you look at the positives over the negatives, the future looks bright for those to come.

staff OPINION 13

Andys Albums: summer vibes

“Blonde” -- Frank Ocean

Following his first independent album, critically acclaimed artist Frank Ocean released an album that characterizes the feeling of summer, both the good and the bad. Known for its heavy reliance on R&B, creative lyrics and heavy production, “Blonde” explores themes of love and self-discovery. The album is versatile and has something for everyone.

Each song is unique so it’s hard to pick, but I would check out “Ivy,” “Pink + White” and “Nights.”


Released in the summer of ‘02, “By The Way” consists of funk, rock, punk and alternative elements. The album dives into topics of self-discovery and love with a little bit of social commentary. Reaching the top 10 in several charts upon its release, “By The Way” is a great album to play this summer.

I would check out “Can’t Stop,” “Midnight” and “By The Way.”


Representing the Indie genre for this list, “Fuzzybrain” is the debut studio album by Dayglow, a solo project self-released in 2018. Sloan Struble, the only creator of this album, has jangly instruments like his guitar and interesting synths that mix well with his laid-back vocals to create a sunny, yet dreamy feeling.

My recommendations are “Can I Call You Tonight,” “Hot Rod,”


Released in 2017, “Flower Boy” marked Tyler, The Creator’s separation from the rest of his art. Moving on from alternative rap found in his big albums like “Wolf” and “Goblin,” Tyler makes his debut with his new type of music in “Flower Boy,” combining his signature rap with elements of jazz, soul and R&B.

This album is one of my most listened to, and I would start with “Who Dat Boy” feat. A$AP Rocky,) “Sometimes…,” and “911 / Mr. Lonely” (feat. Frank Ocean & Steve Lacy).

who cares? -- REX ORANGE COUNTY

Coming out in 2022, Rex Orange County’s fourth studio album represents bedroom pop the best, which is a huge part of summer music. “WHO CARES?” shows Rex Orange County’s reflection on how he started music, as he released his first studio album at just 17 years old. The album has the classic feel of his breakthrough album, “Apricot Princess” and resonates with his iconic introspective lyrics and the ability to switch music styles flawlessly.

My must-listens are “THE SHADE,” “MAKING TIME,” and “OPEN A WINDOW” (feat. Tyler, The Creator).


A letter from the editor

2024-25 Editor Team

I’ve always been one step ahead, whether it be with my academics or personal goals. I’ve always been an overachiever, constantly chasing something bigger and better. I inherited my ambition from my father, but also his selflessness.

For my senior year, I had a blueprint of how I wanted it to play out. However, only three months in, my senior year took a sharp turn for the worse. Included in our previous edition, I experienced a severe knee injury nearly 2,000 miles from home.

Learning how to walk on top of adjusting into my position as Editor-in-Chief was frustrating and, at times, discouraging. I was discovering myself while also trying to maintain a steady image of myself for those around me. Senior year proved to be my most challenging year of high school. But, with challenges came blessings. I persevered due to the incredible staff this year, which supported me through my rock bottom.

To my fellow seniors: we did it. As students who began high school at the height of COVID-19, our lives were forever changed. In pivotal moments of our teenage years, the pandemic shaped us. However, we persisted and remained one step ahead.

In this edition, our central theme is to anticipate a bigger, brighter future post-graduation — to remain one step ahead The future is in our hands, seniors. Whether life beyond high school includes college, trade school or entering the workforce, we have the power to be the best of the best, to create change in the world.

Now, in my final weeks of senior year, I plan to attend the University of North Texas on a full ride and plan to rush in panhellenic recruitment this summer. I am onto the next chapter of my life, but a special page will always be bookmarked for Hebron and The Hawk Eye.

Krista Fleming Editor-in-Chief Managing editor Shiren Noorani Sports editor Gavin Lambert Opinion/photo editor Peyton Kuschmeider Saahir Mawani Design editor Hannah Mathew Web editor Siya Patel Entertainment/social media


Brian Avila has black hair just like Philip Kwakhiran whose favorite vacation spot is Hawaii just like Mckenna Lafleur whose birthday is June 7 just like Sheyla Ruiz who’s attending Collin College just like Sophia Khan whose dream job is to be a nurse just like Gavin Kim whose go-to gas station snack is gummy bears just like Cornelius Jones whose favorite music artist is Drake just like Chelsey Romero whose favorite restaurant is Texas Roadhouse just like Christian Brekhus who’s in band just like Adrian Hautea whose favorite drink is coke just like Mia Barrios Mere whose favorite store is Target just like Janielle Sheppard whose hobby is doing nails just like Kendall Hanley whose favorite Netflix show is “Suits’’ just like Zoe Trenchard whose favorite music artist is Zach Bryan just like Molly-Kate Lundy whose celebrity crush is Jacob Elordi just like Cari Lieberson who likes Chick-Fil-A fries just like Jessica Bernardo whose favorite candy is Nerd Clusters just like Cyrus Thomas who thinks Taylor Swift is overrated just like Caleb Wright whose hobby is photography just like Dakota Stines who’s an aquarius just like Raine Valdez whose favorite store is Brandy Melville just like Noelle Anders whose favorite subject is history just like Michael Brown whose favorite drink is Dr Pepper just like Claire Farrington whose favorite Netflix show is “Grey’s Anatomy” just like Avery Gallucci who plays water polo just like Kathryn Petermen who thinks Harry Styles is overrated just like Whitney Winkler who’s attending Baylor University just like Jose Gallegos whose favorite color is yellow just like Morgan Cole whose favorite movie is “Tangled” just like Mackenzie Boyd who was born in Allen, TX just like Cate Foughty who’s in cheer just like Jane Orler whose favorite store is Sephora just like Isela Trevino whose favorite teacher is Mrs. Shadow just like Abby Ferrell whose dream job is to be a lawyer just like Jadyn Paul whose favorite candy is Sour Patch Kids just like Michael Vonstein who has black hair just like Syed Abbas who plays basketball just like Chance Disney who has red hair just like Caitlin May whose favorite subject is English just like Olivia Atkins who’s in color guard just like Charlotte Scott whose favorite drink is coffee just like Avery Nguyen whose favorite color is pink just like Olivia Evans who was born in Kansas just like Ella Underwood who is a capricorn just like Connor Moulder who thinks Five Guys has the best fries like Be Finnane whose favorite vacation spot is Colorado just like Zoe Caballero-Romo who likes to read just like Hailey Schwertner whose favorite restaurant is Chipotle just like Zain Alani whose favorite thing to wear is a hoodie just like Sophia Holmes-Rodriguez who was born in June just like James Cardona whose favorite sport is baseball just like Nolan Smiley whose favorite candy is chocolate just like Aodhan Higgins whose favorite color is green just like Will Cox who’s attending Texas A&M just like Ethan Wait who has brown hair just like Mallory Scott who is a pisces just like Aislinn Nguyen whose favorite music artist is Taylor Swift just like Vannesa Carranza whose favorite influencer is Tara Yummy just like Charlotte Kimball whose favorite vacation spot is Florida just like Roman Clarke whose favorite sport is football just like Jesse McElroy whose go-to gas station snack is Takis just like Dylan Lightfoot who thinks J. Cole is overrated just like Maxx Malyk whose favorite drink is lemonade just like Elijah Novak whose favorite color is purple just like Joseph Roy who was born in Lewisville, TX just like Shawn Basil whose favorite Netflix series is “Stranger Things” just like Patrick Edwards whose celebrity crush is Sydney Sweeney just like Lance Young who’s a Libra just like Kiyaan Aly whose favorite movie is “10 Things I Hate About You” just like Madeleine Tran who was born in August just like Jungmin Choi whose dream job is to be a surgeon just like Zainab Ali whose favorite subject is science just like Rohin Maliyil whose favorite restaurant is BJ’s just like Noah Smith who is over six feet tall just like Mark Dsa whose favorite music artist is Bruno Mars just like Isabel Matibag whose favorite color is pink just like Madeline Rivera whose favorite candy is Snickers just like Keira Smith whose favorite sport is track just like Grayson Dowdy who is attending Oklahoma State University just like Destinie Apodaca who’s in soccer just like Tatiana Diaz whose favorite vacation spot is Mexico just like Isabella Martin Del Campo who is a sagittarius just like Sean Horton whose hobby is working out just like Allison Shea who has black hair just like Nathan Araya who thinks McDonald’s has the best fries just like Anthony Urias who thinks PartyNextDoor is underrated just like Alysia Iwegbu whose favorite drink is Sprite just like Diya Faizel whose favorite sport is tennis just like Omkaar Sohal who was born in May just like Muhtasim Nabi whose favorite class is physics just like Isbaah Pirwani whose favorite color is blue just like Hyeseong Jin who was born in Korea just like Somin Joo who’s in StuCo just like Taylor Pham whose favorite candy is Sour Patch Kids just like Sai Chauhan who is 5’11” just like Caleb Jackson whose favorite restaurant is Raising Cane’s just like Devin Nelson whose celebrity crush is Billie Eilish just like Alexa Sauceda who likes to draw just like Jada Nguyen who’s a libra just like Samiya Smith who is in BSU just like Amari LaFrance whose favorite store is Target just like...

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