Treasure Chest Yearbook Receives First Class Rating from NSPA

After making a decision as a staff to apply for more national competitions starting with the 2021 yearbook, the Treasure Chest yearbook staff submitted the 2020 edition, titled “Tidal Shift” during September to the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) for a super-critique. The student staff sought the feedback in order to grow the program and continue on the quest to produce a high quality yearbook. After waiting almost eight weeks for the critique results to be returned, the staff was astonished to have received the second highest award, a First Class rating, from the prestigious association.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the results of the critique,” Adviser Lela Siegel said. “We have won recognition the last three years from Jostens, but knew the scoring rubric through the NSPA would be much tougher. There are some small things we need to tweak in our journalistic writing but overall we are very excited to make those changes and look for a better score with this year’s book.”

NSPA offers critique services for newspapers, yearbooks, newsmagazines, literary magazines, feature magazines, and websites. As a level-two NSPA member, the Treasure Chest mailed a copy of the yearbook in order for it to be judged in five key categories: essentials, coverage, writing & editing, design, and photography. There are four levels of award ratings; the highest possible is an All-American rating, then a First Class rating, a Second Class and finally a Third Class rating. While every publication submitted is carefully judged, not every entry receives an award rating. The judges are qualified professional journalists, as well as past and present advisers of award winning programs. Judges work with advisers and journalists to base critiques on current, nation-wide best practices in the field.

Some comments on strengths of the book from the critique include:

  • Great job finding a theme that was unique to your school. You really pulled the theme into your pages
  • Coverage reflects the diversity of the school population and an effort to cover all individuals
  • There are photos everywhere which increases the chances of students being in the book
  • You have some good photographers!

Students can purchase their copy of the upcoming 2021 yearbook online by visiting http://www.JostensYearbooks.com

Virtual Band Woes

Even with football season being in question, the marching band still lines up on the parking lot every day after school to prepare for the upcoming games and competitions amidst all of the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic (if any).

“I think that the new safety measures are definitely a setback and it sucks that we can’t do as much as we hoped, but we are getting through it and having a good time”, Layla Blocker said. 

 Everything about this school year is in question but the band kids are trying to make the best out of the current situation especially the seniors who just want to make the last year memorable. 

“COVID-19 has affected each and every student in its own way. For us band kids in particular, it’s just about demolished any hope we have left. Our entire first semester in band is normally filled with travel, crowds, and sheer excitement over the show we’ve produced,” Foye Binnion said. “This year, however, we don’t know if that is even a feasible idea. It is my senior year, and I don’t know what to expect, what to hope for, or even what to believe… But, I will say- it is up to me to make what I can of this whole mess… so that I will.”

 The students had the decision to either decide to go back to face to face or virtual and about 20% of the kids decided to do virtual and the band directors had to adapt to those students to not make them feel left out. 

“Band has been the most negative experience as a student attending virtual school. I joined the band because I have a love for the music and the marching, therefore it’s been a negative experience as I am unable to do what I love. I have sometimes felt like I’m no longer part of the band because of this, but the directors have done a good job in making sure we are not left out in class, I think that affects us greatly because it gives us the sense that we’re still here in class and that we still matter,” Karen Martinez said. “While it’s many more assignments, and it’s saddening to see and have to do what we will ultimately not be performing, in the end I feel like a band student as I know choreography and music.”

 With students choosing to stay virtual, some students did decide to return to school which provides us with the question on why these students decide to return to face to face rehearsals.

“ I really wanted to be able to experience my last year of marching band because I didn’t want to waste three years of highschool and not get to experience my favorite part of school,” Jasmin Uribe said.

 Being a freshman in this unknown time can be really stressful because you barely know anybody and then your entire first year of highschool will be ruined by something out of your control. 

 “Even though I am a freshman and I might not get to experience much, I am really looking forward to going to football games with my friends and getting to perform in the marching shows,” Layla Blocker said. 

This school year is filled with so much mystery but through all this uncertainty the marching band will still practice as much as they can even if they have to go virtual

Bucs Earn Money While Staying Safe From COVID

With the sudden spread of Covid-19 spreading all across the country this pandemic has led to a near immediate adjustment to our lifestyles.

With the sudden spread of Covid-19 spreading all across the country this pandemic has led to a near immediate adjustment to our lifestyles. Teenagers all over the country have had to adapt to the new curriculum changes, mask mandiates, and even quarantine. But there were still teenagers who were able to look past all the obstacles and manage to have a some-what normal summer. 

“During this summer I worked my first job at american Eagle and besides wearing a mask while working it was still pretty fun,” Madison Skripka said.

There was a good sum of teenagers working during the summer, and the comparison from working during a pandemic and before weren’t that far off. 

“At least working for american eagle there was nothing that really felt too stressful even during a pandemic,” Skripka said “I guess the only thing that really stood out waswere obviously the mask we had to wear.”

Even when it comes to being social and seeing friends during a stressful time. teens are still willing to adjust to this pandemic and do anything they can to try and enjoy the summer with their friends  

“Me personally I was still able to hang out with my friends and still be kinda social,” Hagen Bundick Said “Obviously I still quarantined for more than 4 weeks and social distanced before I saw any of them again but any time we had got the chance to see each other we tried our best to not miss the chance.”  

Summer time is the once year break teeagers get to have before entering a new year, and enjoying your summer break is essential for all teens in high school and this is especially the case for seniors who may not even see some of their closest friends again after high school, so this pandemic has really just shown what teens were willing to do to make sure their summer didn’t go to waste. 

Pep Rallies Just One of the Broken Traditions Thanks to COVID

Due to Covid-19 and other underlying circumstances, all fall semester pep rallies have been canceled all together for Brazoswood. It is still unknown whether or not spring pep rallies may be held or canceled as well. Even though everything is still unclear, many students are trying to keep some amount of normalcy in their high school year. 

 “Pep rallies were the only reason some people got excited for school,” senior TJ Rotramel said. 

Many of the seniors expressed their disdain for the lackluster semester when it comes to traditions that cannot be carried out. As seniors begin their final year and freshmen start the beginning of their high school career, many wonder what other options students could have to be able to experience and embrace the high school spirit that encompasses pep rallies. Since Administration has other COVID related challenges to overcome, students offer ideas on other ways they could have their pep rallies. 

“We could maybe have a pep rally at the football field,” Foye Binnion said. “Just something to get their seniors hyped about their last year in high school.”

One thing to remember though would be students would have to maintain social distance guidelines and would be required to keep masks on at all times. There would be limited seating and less room for certain activities. 

“I think [administration] should at least have senior pep rallies,” Fletcher Plank said. “If it was just seniors then we could all spread out.”

The band also plays a major role in how the pep rallies are performed and are a vital resource in keeping students excited and on their feet. Many students agree that, the drumline is one of the most memorable moments of any pep rally. The drum line pumps up the crowd and is a valuable tradition most students look forward to. 

“The band most definitely would love to perform at pep rallies this year, they are something we all look forward to,” Binnion said. “Each year, we perform stand tunes in the gym and the whole school gets excited.”

Just like any other events, students have always had a specific part of the rally that has always been most favorable. Students have expressed enthusiasm about a favorite pep rally over the years. The blackout pep rally, which has always required pride points, was a crowd favorite that many students are disheartened to find out it is no longer happening. 

“Black out pep rallies are always fun,” TJ Rotramel said. 

Even though the graduating class may not have the traditional pep rallies they have come to love, many are looking forward to other traditions they may still get to have. Due to Covid-19, many changes to the school calendar have been brought upon Brazoswood, but many events are in the course of being planned. 

“I was really excited for the pep rallies, Homecoming, Senior prom, and especially the bonfire,” Fletcher Plank said.

As the year still continues on with Covid-19, students and administration are taking things one step at a time. Everything can be changed and modified with every new day, and everyone is just along for the ride. 

Band Marches On

We’ve made lots of changes to our procedures to keep our students safe, based on recommendations from medical professionals. I’m very proud of our band students who have been great about following the new procedures to ensure that we’re as safe as we can be.

Many things about this year have changed. From how we attend classes to how we participate in traditions. The band’s marching season is no exception.

“We weren’t able to have the normal amount of time like previous years. But the band is handling it really well. Our attention to detail and basics has become way better, I’m pretty sure it’s because we all wanna prevail through this year and overcome our current circumstances,” Viviana Arellano, junior, said.

Having less time is not the only thing that is different about the band season this year. They also have to take certain precautions to keep the students safe.

“We’ve made lots of changes to our procedures to keep our students safe, based on recommendations from medical professionals. I’m very proud of our band students who have been great about following the new procedures to ensure that we’re as safe as we can be,” Martin Montoya, band director, said.

One of those procedures the students need to follow is wearing a mask, even outside. While everyone seems to be complying with the mandate, it’s not exactly a popular requirement.

“Oh I absolutely hate it. The sweat builds up and it gets really gross, plus it’s way harder to breathe and talk. But if it means we get to have a season then I’m all for it,” Arellano said.

Not only will practices look different, but so will football games. Precautions have to be taken in the stands as well as on the parking lot.

“The biggest change will be the band sitting on the Visitor’s side at Hopper Field.  This allows us to spread out in the stands, so we can safely fit all of our students.  I think it’ll be fun for our home side to hear and watch us from that vantage point,” Montoya said.

Although this change seems like it could be an unpopular one, many people are actually excited to see the band from a different perspective.

“I like it. I’ve always been able to hear the other band better than the Buc band and I am really looking forward to seeing and hearing the band from across the field,” Josh Merkley, band parent, said.

The last change that is happening to the band is to their competition season. A usual competition season has hundreds of band students running around the same area all at once. But because of the pandemic, that would not be very safe, so most of the band’s competitions were cancelled.

“It’s definitely very disappointing. I feel that competitions are my favorite part of marching band. But we might still have some, so that’s something to look forward to,” Jeremiah Johnson, sophomore, said.

Even with all of these changes and challenges, the band marches on. 

Construction Creates Much Longer Walk Between Campuses

Students travelling to and from the freshman campus have a much longer walk this year between classes due to having to walk around all of the construction of the new main campus building.

 Students travelling to and from the freshman campus have a much longer walk this year between classes due to having to walk around all of the construction of the new main campus building.

“I have to walk from the last hallway in E wing all the way to Freshmen Campus while wearing a mask that affects my breathing. It also interrupts my learning time because I’m always late,” Senior Breanna Moreno said. 

The long walk is not only time consuming, but also crowded which adds to the delay in getting to class.

“When I walk from Main Campus to Freshman Campus there are at least 50 students walking from campus to campus. There is A LOT of students and traffic,” Junior Marco Guajardo said.

While the longer walk is an inconvenience for now, many students understand this is just part of the process of building the new school.

“I do not think they personally made the walk this long on purpose, I think because construction is going on, It Is the fastest route to go with construction going on. I hope this walk does not stay this long,” Junior Laela Meeks said.

Auditorium Gone; Cafeteria Moves In

It’s weird, because after sitting in the same room for lunch for 2 years, it’s weird when that changes.

This school year there have been many changes happening. Students now eat lunch in what once was the auditorium, but has now been converted into the new cafeteria.

“It’s definitely pretty different in the cafeteria, it’ll just take some getting used to. I really miss the old cafeteria, I really liked sitting outside,” Noah Alexander said.

The move has been a big change for most juniors and seniors, who are used to the old cafeteria and courtyard. They have spent all their highschool years eating and socializing in a familiar place, so it might be difficult to adjust.

“It’s weird, because after sitting in the same room for lunch for 2 years, it’s weird when that changes,” senior Macey Miller said.

Some questions are being raised about the events such as concerts and where they will be held instead. It’s going to be a challenge getting used to not having an auditorium.

“It’s weird how they leveled the floor and how you can’t even see the stage anymore,” Ashley Hutchins said.

From construction to COVID-19, there have been many adjustments having to be made. No one knows when this will end for sure, hopefully this year’s students will be able to adapt.

New Rules Force Volleyball to Choose Fans

It’s a headache, so many things going on with the new policies, travelling, practices, it’s all changed, we mask up for practices and games

This year’s volleyball season officially kicks-off this Friday with many new changes and policies in place. 

“Games are limited to five spectators per player and parents can’t interact with their players before the game like usual,” Varsity Coach Brian Soistman said. “Our first scrimmages were weird, there were only coaches and players there.” 

With games only allowed limited attendance compared to previous seasons it’s hard for players and coaches alike to adjust.

“The stands will be at half capacity, that’s the biggest change,” varsity player Reagan Blank said. “It’s my first year on varsity so I was looking forward to having all my family and friends in the stands, that part will be different, not having them there.”

With the new policies things you would not have thought about are now regulated and controlled.

“It’s a headache, so many things going on with the new policies, travelling, practices, it’s all changed, we mask up for practices and games,” Soistman said. “It’s still fun though, the girls are doing everything right, It’s just a headache.”

It’s especially hard for coaches and players especially when it’s their last season like Soistman who is retiring this year.

“I know I’m going to miss volleyball, I just love the game, it’s so strategic and such a team game,” Soistman said. 

Even though things are different, the players are still happy to be able to play this season.

“I’m just glad to be able to play the sport that I love. Many athletes weren’t able to finish out their season last spring,” Blank said. “ I know this season will be different but I can’t wait to step on the court and represent Brazoswood this season.” 

Brazoswood Welcomes Students Back Amid Pandemic and Construction

“It just feels off. Obviously, the school is smaller, but it also feels that way too.”

Traditional school days are something of the past, with last week marking the beginning of a new kind of face-to-face (F2F)  learning, and the following week introducing distance learning to everyone, virtual or not. 

With a good portion of their classmates remaining at home with distance learning, in-person student’s have had to adjust to the new policies set in place to keep the 2019 Coronavirus from spreading. With that, plus new construction, it’s a whole new experience, walking the halls of a school that once seemed so familiar. 

“It just feels off,” Lainey Gutierrez, a senior, said. “Obviously, the school is smaller, but it also feels that way too.” 

One of the consequences of the pandemic is having to wear masks, as well as be constantly socially distanced.

“You have to be socially distanced so that they [the administrators] can trace back those who might be affected if someone catches it [COVID-19],” Gutierrez said. 

The new policies also affected student’s in a rather unusual way. Some students have schedules that are hybrid, meaning on campus and off campus. This has caused a few problems with students, namely with transportation.

“Due to my schedule, I ended up having an in-person class and then 6 minutes to get home for my online class,” Neha Krishnan, senior, said. “However, it takes longer than 6 minutes to drive home so it’s been challenging to figure out a way to be on time for my next class. Overall, it has made my day stressful trying to balance the different instruction styles.”

The pandemic also caused a big decision in students and their guardians: whether to remain digital, or to return to face-to-face, 

“My parents didn’t want me going back to school because I have a weak immune system. I also didn’t feel comfortable with going back because the amount of cases in our town was only going up,” Kaitlin Nguyen, senior, said. 

Student’s who chose digital complete all their courses online, with there being quite a few differences in how school is being held. Instead of being in a classroom, they’re in their own home. Instead of being able to see their teachers and classmates face-to-face, they’re to sometimes see them through a video screen. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.

“I don’t really mind being digital because it doesn’t really affect me,” Nguyen said. “I do worry about the face-to-face students, though.” 

The choice to stay digital to some was an easy one, but those who opted for face-to-face had their own reasons as well.

“I chose F2F because I do better in a learning environment,” Lainey Guiterrez said, “It’s just difficult for me to focus at home.” 

Whether they chose F2F or distance learning, this is a new endeavor for everyone. Remember to self-screen yourself everyday, wear your masks, and socially distance. Hopefully, normalcy will return soon. 

Pair of runners Prepare for State Meet on Saturday

“I am really looking forward to the state meet,” Habeck said. “It’s my last race as a part of Brazoswood cross country, so I’m aiming to have the best race I can possibly have.”

Sam Whitmarsh and Madison Habeck will compete in the state cross country meet on November 9th in Round Rock, after they advanced in their recent regionals meet.

“Going into regionals I didn’t know what to expect,” Whitmarsh said. “I knew that there was going to be some tough competition and that I needed to give everything I had if I was going to move forward.”

With the tough competition in the regionals, Whitmarsh didn’t find out that he advanced until after the race. On the other hand Habeck knew she had the spot towards the end of the race and it helped push her to keep going strong.

“I realized I was going to make it at about the end of the second mile,” Habeck said. “My dad and Coach Tummins were yelling at me that I was in the top 10, so I knew if I just held my pace and pushed it as hard as I could that I would qualify.”

For Habeck this allows her to run her last meet of her high school career in state. Which is just another bonus to the great season she has already had. 

“My senior season was honestly amazing,” Habeck said. “I achieved all of my goals this season by medaling at every single meet, breaking 19 minutes, qualifying for state, and the girls team qualifying for regionals. I felt like all of my hard work over the past 4 years was paying off.”

All these things were not only able to be accomplished by all the hard work both Whitmarsh and Habeck have put in, but also by the supportive team and coaches they work with.

“My favorite part about cross country has to be my teammates,” Whitmarsh said. “They are all great and we push each other to get better.”

With the amazing atmosphere the cross country team provides Habeck and Whitmarsh are looking forward to running their best races yet.

“I am really looking forward to the state meet,” Habeck said. “It’s my last race as a part of Brazoswood cross country, so I’m aiming to have the best race I can possibly have.”

Seniors Prepare to Give Direction

Senior directed One Act Plays, or SOAPs, are being produced by the Brazoswood Bandits, the newly renamed theatre department, and will go up on November 16.

“I love SOAPs because they are less restricted than other plays in our program,” senior director Logan Pierce said. “The teacher basically goes hands off, other than to supervise, and the seniors have a chance to fully go into creative mode.”

The seniors aren’t the only ones who enjoy producing these plays, though, and it isn’t all just for fun.

“It allows the actors to become more creative in a cohesive effort to get a student led show on,” Pierce said. “This creativity and comradeship is what makes all the students love SOAPs as a whole, and what attracts new people who haven’t tried theatre before.” 

SOAPs brings a different kind of atmosphere to the stage that the students adore. The lack of the usual adult regulation is a major factor. 

“Actors enjoy SOAPs because it’s completely student ran,” senior director, Cole Hillier said. “Just being able to do what they love without the pressure of an adult beating down on them relieves a lot of stress in their lives. It’s one place they know will be fun and safe from any kind of anxiety.”

But acting isn’t the only skill that SOAPs helps to improve. It also has an affect on other parts of their life.

“I’d day the thing I love most about SOAPs is the chemistry that builds up between the characters,” Hillier said. It helps the cast and crew to come out of their shell and meet new people. It always makes high school easier when you go into it with a few more friends.”

The lessons that students learn during SOAPs don’t leave after high school is done. It’s an experience that sticks with them. 

“Directing a SOAP had an impact on me even after highschool,” graduate of class 2018, Tomás Whitmarsh said. “It honestly showed me how difficult and rewarding putting on a production can be and how fun it is to work with a group of people who are just as passionate about your vision for the production as you are.”

Every year, these theatre students come together and work to make something that they are proud of. 

“Even though the shows this year are short, there’s still a lot of amazement to be seen,” Hillier said. “We have amazing actors in both shows and it’s really a pleasure to work with them.”

ASL Club Offers Variety of Activities for All Students

ASL club is very active throughout the year. During the weekly club meetings, members play games, learn new signs, and generally have fun together using American Sign Language.

The American Sign Language Club went to its monthly silent dinner to interact and communicate in ASL at Chili’s on Monday.

“I ordered a sweet tea and a bacon burger.” ASL 2 student Kenzie Watson said.

For the students in ASL, silent dinners are a monthly tradition that all try to take part in. Monday’s tally counted more than 20 students all communicating with their hands, with no talking whatsoever. 

“Being immersed in ASL is a new experience and I really enjoy it,” ASL club secretary Bella Huvar said. 

Silent dinners have been a frequent occurrence for years in the ASL club for many reasons.

“We organize silent dinners so students can experience what it’s like to be surrounded by Deaf culture. Plus, it helps practice communicating ASL,” teacher and club advisor Cory Crow said. 

ASL club is very active throughout the year. During the weekly club meetings, members play games, learn new signs, and generally have fun together using American Sign Language. 

“I’ve really enjoyed signing the national anthem at football games and pep rallies, and just getting together for the club. I also really loved going to the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD),” Huvar said.

American Sign Language, one of the languages offered by our school, is loved by its devoted users. 

“What I love the most about ASL is being able to communicate, but the facial expressions used help to create a good story,” Crow said. 

Many students plan to take their new learned skills further than high school. 

“I do want to take ASL with me after graduation, and maybe even interpret one day.”

At the end of this semester, ASL Club and students are preparing for the annual ASL Christmas showcase. The students will spend eight or so weeks learning to sign different Christmas songs to be performed on a not yet confirmed date in December.
“The songs I think should be in the show are Frosty the Snowman, and literally any cover by Pentatonix,” said senior Leeann Boudreaux.

Boudreaux, the club’s historian, is one of the longest standing members of the club. 

“My favorite thing about the club has to be watching people- especially freshmen- join the club, and slowly watching their signing skills improve,” Boudreaux said. 

The ASL club is planning a trip to Washington D.C. in June. The itinerary isn’t officially determined yet, but the club is hoping to visit Gallaudet University, the only private Liberal-Arts college for the Deaf in the entire world.

“The Washington DC trip, sadly will not be all about ASL. However, if we have enough students going, we will be able to visit Gallaudet University which is really exciting… Aside from that, I’ve never been to Washington DC and it would be really cool to be able to explore the district along with several other students who also have never been. We will be able to see a TON of historical sites, along with museums, and of course the White House!!” Crow said. 

The ASL club meets every Tuesday in room 209A. The next silent dinner is scheduled for Friday, November 8th at the Italian Grill. It is only being opened to the club, and ASL 1 and 2. 

Black Out Game Means More Than Black Uniforms

Putting on the black jersey at Brazoswood is special to the players, this still resides true with many other Brazoswood alumni.

The Brazoswood Blackout game is the most traditional and historic game of the year for the buccaneers football team. This years event will be held on Friday, November 1st, at Hopper field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm. 

“The tradition around the game really adds another element compared to a normal game, but it’ll be a really cool experience with all the excitement and energy around the game,” Quarterback Trace Thompson said.

This game is the most important of the Buccaneers season, it signifies the last home game of the season. Not only that, it presents itself as the last blackout game that Brazoswood football will ever play. 

“It feels great to play in a great atmosphere in the blackout game with it being our last blackout game ever, so we all want to go out with a bang,” Center Cade Stroud said. 

This game also brings a different atmosphere for the Buccaneers team each year. 

“It’ll be very different than any other game and it’ll draw a bigger crowd, but that all will be really exciting to see and feel,” Thompson said.

This game will also present a tough challenge for the Buccaneers as they go against the Pearland Oilers. [(6-2)(3-2)]

“It’s going to be really tough with Pearland coming in but, in our district it is tough every week, we just have to prepare and execute our gameplan,” Thompson said. 

If the Buccaneers could pull off a win, it would be a monumental one. This would mark the first win the Buccaneers would have against the Oilers since joinng district 23-6A.

“My expectations for the game is to come out with a bang and show everyone how the culture is going to change in the next few years,” Stroud said. 

An additional factor that the players will have in their mind is wearing the jerseys that so many past Brazoswood football alumni have worn. 

“It’s a good feeling to be able to carry on the tradition of the past alumni and try to continue to build that for the program,” Thompson said.

 Putting on the black jersey at Brazoswood is special to the players, this still resides true with many other Brazoswood alumni. 

“It really gives you a sense of pride, for example before me Dillon Tolbert wore number 4, so you kind of don’t want to let him down, but you also want to leave your mark so kids growing up can say they want to wear number 4,” Former Brazoswood quarterback Lane Caballero said.

The game to the players just has a different feel for alumni and players alike.

“This games different because it’s a one time a year thing. There’s no redo or next one. So it intensifies the effort for everyone on the team,” Caballero went on to say.

Buc Band Proud of Lone Star Outcome

The Marching band placed second in the Lone Star preview 2019 marching contest, out of 18 competing bands, at the Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah.

The Marching band placed second in the Lone Star preview 2019 marching contest, out of 18 competing bands, at the Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah. 

You can’t just go into the competitive season with just your looks and a little bit of talent. 

  ̈I think the students all have to be committed to the performance,” director of the band, Martin Montoya said.  

There are so many things that go into a show each year, each year having a new differentiating factor. 

  ¨I think the skills that our students are demonstrating has been a very big positive for us. We ́re playing a lot of notes and we ́re playing a lot of different styles of music, in addition to marching and addition to dancing and addition to some character things,” Montoya said.

The members of the band must be ready to step out of their comfort zone and perform the show in the best way. 

¨We ask them to do weird things or do some silly stuff, or dance, or things that they might not normally do, or be comfortable doing,” Montoya said. 

 Drum major, Simone Marshall, can handle stepping up to the podium and being a beneficial factor to the band, with the help of friends. 

¨I rely on Cealen and Isaac a lot to help me keep the tempo consistent, so I never really feel like i’m the one the band is relying on,” Marshall said. 

Marshall reacts with ease when facing a problem during a performance and knows she’s doing her part with the help of others. 

¨I always watch Cealens feet because everyone on the field can hear the drums, so if i’m off of the drums then that’s gonna be a disaster,” Marshall said. 

Marshall knows how to handle her drum major responsibilities, along with home and school responsibilities. 

¨Its just a juggling act, so you have to know what your priorities are, and what time you need to get everything done by,” Marshall said. 

After performing their 2019 show, Take a Bow, the band now holds the 2nd place title for Lone Star Preview, and hopes to do better in the upcoming years. 

Four Students Advance to Area Choir Competition

Advancing to Pre Area this year, four choir students will be competing December 7th against many other people in the state. 
“Students have to learn music selected by the Texas Music Educators Association and audition on that music for a panel of judges,” said Rachel Giedraitis. 
Students work and practice hard for the opportunity to advance. 

“The most important factor to making the all-region choir is discipline; students have to be willing to put in the practice to make the choir,” Giedraitis said.
Junior Landon Beeson is one of four students advancing this year having auditioned before he is aware of the challenges of preparation. 
“The experience is more a mental game than anything else. You have to avoid getting in your own head,” Beeson said. 
Having students advance in her first year as director Giedritis said the experience was awesome
“It was fun to see the students grow and learn,” said Giedraitis.

English Students Use Halloween as a Learning Experience

Many AP English IV students will collectively be wearing costumes, during school on Halloween, that goes along with the Greek myths they are currently learning.

“Listening to me lecture is not a memorable experience even if I want it to be, but the day the entire AP English IV class dressed up, like Greek gods, while analyzing Oedipus the King, that is memorable,” English teacher Elizabeth Cherub said.

Cherub is all on bored for this learning technique that Katie Fiedler suggested while they were learning background information about Greek Mythology in class.

“I came up with this idea watching the Greek myths videos in class,” Fiedler said. “I’m participating partially because it was my idea, but largely because I like dressing up—especially flashy dresses.”

Though Fiedler came up with the idea because she thought it would be fun to dress up, many students are deciding to participate for other reasons.

“I’m participating because I heard that there might be bonus points involved,” Savannah Raymond said.

These bonus points are inspiring more and more students to join even though many were already excited.

“I was inspired to give the bonus points, on their project grade, by the excitement they were showing,” Cherub said. “Anytime I can get students to not only embrace elements of literary history but also make it relevant to the present day, I will definitely support it.”

Some students are embracing the idea of connecting who they are dressing up as, with the current day. Peter Young is demonstrating this by choosing a God that in part represents his love for Cross Country.

“I will be Hermes because he is fast and I am fast,” Young said. “Greek mythology has always interested me, so this has just reinforced that interest.”The students of AP English IV have already started analysing the story of Oedipus the King and are ready to connect the tragedy with the Greek Gods they have started to understand more and more about.

Bucs Build Character Through Mentor Program

In an effort to build a relationship with feeder schools, senior basketball players traveled to elementary schools to mentor kids last week.

“They go to mentor students and work with them on reading, classroom assignments, and behavior,” Coach Olivier said. 

One of the senior players, Jack Vreeland, attended the recent trip to the school and worked with the elementary students. 

“I enjoy how happy they are to see me and how I can help them with their education,” Vreeland said.

While the players do multiple activities with the students, working with the students in subjects they’re struggling with can be rewarding.

“My favorite thing to do with the kids is to help them learn and watch how happy they get when they understand something,” Vreeland said.

The players visit with the students every Wednesday throughout the year.

Safe Haven Brings Light to Mental Health

“It educates students and staff about suicide prevention, helps teach coping skills, and promotes emotional behavioral, relational, and academic potential of students”

Safe Haven club meets on Wednesdays to promote positivity and bring awareness to mental health

“This club provides a structured time for students to explore healthy conversations about social and emotional health,” sponsor of the club Sara Eddy said

Safe Haven meets every first and third Wednesday of the month, 3-4 in the main campus library. Mrs. Eddy said that anybody that has an interest in learning more about mental health should join. 

“Mental health awareness is very important to the growth and maturity of teens,” Mrs. Eddy said

Each month the clubs decides a mental health related topic to discuss. In the future they plan to possibly make care packages and do different types of drives. 

“Safe Haven promotes kindness, friendship and wellness, provides a safe judgment free relaxed space, and it restores hope and ends the stigma that comes with mental health,” Mrs. Eddy said. 

Many could benefit from joining this club, and you will have the opportunity to learn a lot of useful things. 

“It educates students and staff about suicide prevention, helps teach coping skills, and promotes emotional behavioral, relational, and academic potential of students,” Mrs. Eddy said.

Buc Pride Points Required for Annual Black Out Pep Rally

The traditional blackout pep rally will be held in the gym on Friday November 1st for students who have 400 pride points. Thursday October 30th students who qualified for the blackout pep rally will receive wristbands that the students will use to get into the pep rally. The blackout pep rally hasn’t always been based on pride points, 2 years ago anyone could go to the black out pep rally but that had gotten somewhat because its all black and crowded. So last year, the BUC pride committee and the student council officers came together to decide that students will need 400 pride points to enter.

“The blackout pep rally is based on pride points so students could have something to work for and would want to be there,” assistant principal Sarah Jatala said. 

From the first day of school up until now there have been around 30 opportunities to earn pride points for the black out pep rally. The cut off date for the pride points was October 18th. 

“The student council, capital pride committee and me expect a full house. We would like it to be full. That’s why we only said 400 points because lots of students already had about 350 or so and it would be easier to be able to participate but we don’t want it to be too crowded,”  Jatala said. 

Seniors Prepare to Say Goodbye to a Big Part of Their High School Career

Seniors participating in band are nearing the end of their final marching season with the award winning Buc Band and will soon say goodbye to an organization that has affected so many of them in many positive ways.

Simone Marshall, one of this years drum majors and a senior flute player in the band, reflected on her past three years with the band and said that while working with a group of such a large scale is an amazing opportunity, it is the little things and the traditions within the band that she will miss the most when she graduates later this year. 

“I think there’s something special about working with such a large group of people and having that effort culminate as a finished product,” drum major Simone Marshall said. “Of course, there’s so much more I’m going to miss, from parking lot barbeque to dancing in the stands to conducting the fight song, and so, so much more.” 

The 2020 band seniors have had many accomplishments with their past and current marching shows. Drum major Hunter Brooks recalled the day that the band made State with their 2016 marching show, ‘Above the Clouds.’ Brooks remembered how loud and excited all his fellow band members were, stating that it was loudest he had ever heard the band. 

“My freshman year when we made state, or, no no, when we made finals at Area,” drum major Hunter Brooks said. “Everybody was just screaming and that’s the loudest I’ve ever heard everybody, and then we made state that night and that was really loud too, that was good.” 

Shockley, like many other marching band seniors, has many stories to look back on from their band years. Particularly prominent was Shockleys’ first memory from her freshman year auditions, very early on she was introduced to the positive and hilarious aspects of marching band. 

“My first memory at all was auditions,” color guard second lieutenant Caitlyn Shockley said. “This one girl, like right as I walked in, she walked up to me and she said ‘If I buy you a pair of leg warmers will you wear them?’ and I said ‘no’ and I really regretted saying no. That was my first one.”

Montoya has been a director for the band all four years that the seniors have been apart of the marching band. Reflecting on the beginning of this years season he praised the seniors and explained how at the beginning of this season he appreciated how enthusiastic the seniors have been this year.

“My favorite memory with the 2020 seniors is I think how proactive they were coming into the season,” head band director Martin Montoya said. “They came with a lot of good ideas and a lot of enthusiasm for ways to make our band more successful and more efficient and I thought they just came with really great attitudes.”

SENIOR WISDOM:

Many of this year’s seniors have a lot of wisdom that being in marching band has given them over the years, recollections and advice that they wished to share with future band members: 

“Don’t give up, even if its hard, because it’s gonna be hard at some point, just keep pushing and it’ll get better,” color guard leader Madison Harper said. 

“It’s never hot or cold, just a warm one or a chilly one. Hydrate or dydrate. Enjoy the time you have with the band, because it doesn’t last forever. Most of all, try to be someone who can inspire the next generation, and share what you love with them.  I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished together this year, and I look forward to watching you as a proud alum,” drum major, Simone Marshall said 

“Don’t be scared, just go for it. It’s fun and no one is going to make fun of you,” color guard social officer Harmony Martinez said. 

“Don’t be afraid to be silly. Because everyone here is really weird,” Band president Grace Sargent said.

“I would encourage people to try and be themselves around everybody and get to know as many people as you can because this is a really cool group of people,” trumpet section leader Madison Habeck said.

“Go to practice,” percussion section leader Sloane Thompson said.

“Don’t be dumb, do what the band’s doing. Go Bucs,” saxaphone section leader Josh Gillis said.

“Stay focused during rehearsals and try to give it your all, and that no one will be upset if you give it your all,” mellophone section leader Jack Lander said.

“I would say just be confident in yourself. Everyone here is very encouraging, it’s a great organization. Just don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, don’t be afraid to try out, to audition for certain things or apply for a leadership position because in the end, it’s just going to help you either way,” clarinet section leader Evelyn Gomez said.

“Respect the leaders, because they have to enforce the rules. Also if you are always getting better, you will be good in the program. But if you are constantly staying the same, even if you are good and staying the same, you’re not going to get anywhere,” color guard second lieutenant Caitlyn Shockley said. 

“It’s not all about you. You’re doing it for other people, not just doing it for yourself. You are trying to excel the band,” drum major Hunter Brooks said.

“Make sure that you don’t force people to do what you want, make sure you ask them first before you do it. Also don’t try to do things by yourself, do it with other officers that will also help you,” color guard captain Joseph Nieves said.