8 journalism students place at regional competition

Eight WHS journalism students placed in 11 events at the Kansas Scholastic Press Association regional contest February 28.

In the writing contests, students are given quotes and information and must write a story in 90 minutes. The copy editing contest included a short test and a story to comment on.

Sophomore Emma Frey placed first in the editorial writing competition.

“Our students write a lot of stories throughout the year, which really prepares them for this competition,” newspaper adviser Brendan Praeger said.

The students will participate at state May 4 at KU.

Kansas Scholastic Press Association Regional Results

Copy Editing

Eleanor Badeker- Honorable Mention

Sean Dugger- Honorable Mention

Yearbook Copywriting

Laurel Barber- 2nd

Feature Writing

Kaytlyn Meseke- 2nd

Hannah Mumpower- Honorable Mention

News Writing

Eleanor Badeker- 3rd

Sean Dugger- Honorable Mention

Cutline Writing

Kaytlyn Meseke- 3rd

Editorial Writing

Emma Frey- 1st

Kendyl Bolinder- Honorable Mention

Yearbook Sports

Abby Oliver- Honorable Mention

Lift-a-thon to raise funds for weight room

WHS students are working to raise funds for the weight room.

Students are taking part in a lift-a-thon March 22 to raise money for the weight room. Students asked community and family members to sponsor or donate money for the cause.

Weights teacher Garrett Eck is leading the attempt to keep the weight room up to date.

“There is still stuff we can get more of to help increase our student’s ability, whether they want to use weights for sports or work,” Eck said.

Eck hopes to buy new equipment for the classes and for the community. A few things on the list include medicine balls, yoga mats, foam rollers, new bands, and possibly a new stair stepper.

Contact Eck at geck@usd329.com for more information.

Laurel Barber, @lawl_e_20

New English teacher ‘thrilled’ to join WHS staff

Miriam Barton has been hired to fill the Wabaunsee High School English teacher position. Starting in the fall of 2019, Barton will teach English II, English IV, and College Comp.

Barton is originally from the Texas Gulf Coast region, but has been in Kansas for several years. She has been married nearly 16 years and has two children, ages 11 and 13. She completed her undergraduate education at Kansas University and her graduate at Kansas State, where she taught English courses for two years while she worked towards getting her degree in English.

Barton’s favorite hobby outside of education is cooking.

“One of my life’s passions is cooking. I mean real cooking. Homemade, from scratch stuff,” she said. “I also have a love for beautiful things. Beautiful nature, beautiful music, beautiful art and so on.”

“When I’m not cooking or reading you can usually catch me outside doing something – I love being outdoors.”

While Barton enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom, she is very passionate about books and writing, so she decided to further her education as soon as both of her children were old enough to attend school.

“Literature, and expressing myself through writing, have brought quite a bit of joy to my life, and I feel very called to share that passion and enthusiasm with young people trying to find their way in life.”

Barton said she is thrilled to be joining the WHS staff next year. “I am attracted to the kind of attention that I can give students in smaller class sizes and I feel like I can do a lot of good in the environment at WHS.  I love the literature for this age group and I am very happy to continue teaching college English courses there as well.”

Principle Jan Hutley says, “She is exceptionally qualified, and she currently teaches at the college level, so she’ll be able to teach our Hiland Community College English class. She comes highly recommended, and we’re excited to have her here. She has a lot of excitement in regards to teaching high school kids.”

— Kendyl Bolinder, @BolinderKendyl

Winter Sports Wrap-up: Girls Basketball finishes 3rd at State

Senior Abby Oliver goes to the basket during the 3rd place game against Trego Community High School. Oliver was named All MEL 1st Team, Capital Journal 2A All-State 1st Team, Sports in KS 2A All-Tournament Team and Sports in KS 2A Player of the Year. Photo by Sarah Vanstory.

The girls basketball team ended the season with a third place finish in the state tournament and a record of 22-4.

The Chargers entered the state tournament seeded number one and for the first round they played the eight seed, Heritage Christian Academy. WHS rolled to a 91-42 victory and moved to the semifinals.

“The first game, we came out and just played basketball like we know how. Unbreakable defense and fast breaks,” senior Abby Oliver said.

In the semifinals, the Chargers had a tough match up to four seed, Garden Plains. The girls came short of making it to the finals after losing a heartbreaker in overtime, 55-51.

After losing in the semifinals, the girls competed against Trego Community, the second seed, for third place. The Chargers were able to pull it through for the third place finish in the state with a final score of 49-36.

“The third game, I think was a rough start because it really wasn’t where we wanted to be playing, but we pulled it together the second half and brought home third place,” Oliver said.

The team was disappointed about not getting to play for the state championship, but was happy to end the season with a win.

“We worked hard at state and came up short, but I am just thankful we could end our season with a win and could leave (coach) Perine on a win,” junior Madelyn Hutley said.

The team supported each other throughout the entire season to get them to the state tournament.

“What made this season special is the whole year we worked together playing as a team. No one played just for themselves. We all had each other’s backs,” Oliver said.

The team finished the season with a winning record, a third place state finish, first place in the Royal Valley Tournament and second place in the Wabaunsee Invitational Tournament along with several players receiving awards.

Oliver was awarded with All MEL 1st Team, Capital Journal 2A All-State 1st Team, Sports in KS 2A All-Tournament Team and Sports in KS 2A Player of the Year. Hutley received All MEL 1st Team, Capital Journal 2A All-State 2nd Team and Sports in KS All-Tournament Team. Junior Autymn Schreiner received All MEL 1st Team and Capital Journal 2A All-State Honorable Mention.

The team looks to compete again next year, although it will lose seniors Abby Oliver and Alyssa Lohmeyer. The team will also be losing head coach Shanna Perine.

“This season was special because it was our last season with Perine and I’m  gonna miss Abby so much and I know she will do great at Washburn,” Hutley said.

— Kaytlyn Meseke, @Kaytlyn_nelle

Wrestling season ends at regionals

The Wabaunsee wrestling team faced a sorrow-filled end at the regional tournament as no wrestlers qualified for state.

Despite the forecasted snow and the cancellation of school, the charger wrestling team traveled to Rossville to compete in the Regional tournament February 15 and 16. Individuals would wrestle through a bracket where two losses would end a season while a finish in the top four would grant a trip to compete in the 3-2-1A State Wrestling Tournament. Even though five wrestlers would be competing with no high school state experience among them, the team still hoped to do well in the competition.

“I felt pretty good and we had a shot in multiple weight classes,” head wrestling coach Joey Heersche said.

The team would wrestle hard and only freshman Marek Boatwright would have his season cut short at the end of the first day. Sophomore Eli Mumpower wrestled to the semifinals where a win would put him in the championship match, but lost by pin and would wrestle through the backside with another chance at state.

Senior Sean Dugger was the first match of the second day. A close match that finished in overtime, a loss ended his season and high school career. Sophomore Derek Wallin looked to come back after a tough loss in the quarterfinals, but met a tough opponent who put an end to his state bid and season. Freshman Koby Corp would be the next Charger on the mat. A match ending in a pin would signal the end of his season. Mumpower would once again be a match away from a trip to state. He pulled ahead in the first period by points, but his opponent came back and put Mumpower on his back to end season.

“It hurt to lose again,” Mumpower said. “I hope to make it next year.”

The team looked to rebuild after the graduation of two state champions and hoped to send multiple wrestlers to the state tournament. Despite having no state appearances this year, the team still looks forward to next year and the years ahead.

Despite a disappointing end, coach Joey Heerche is optimistic for the program’s future. “I feel like the immediate future is looking good, but the long-term is looking great with 60 club members, many of them returning from a previous season,” he said.

The team will graduate two seniors at the end of the year, Austen Bonnette and Sean Dugger.

“It has a lot of fun and such a huge learning experience,” Dugger said. “I had hopes to make my last season last a week longer than it did, but a bracket with seven previous state qualifiers made it very difficult.”

— Sean Dugger, @seandugger01

Boys basketball ends season in sub-state

The Charger boys basketball ended its season in sub-state with a 78-64 loss to Hillsboro.

Although the team was disappointed in the final record of 5-16, the team stayed competitive throughout the season, with five of the losses by single digits.

“The season went decent, we definitely improved from last year. Highlight was beating Rossville, we played very well that game,” freshman Cade Oliver said.

“It was definitely a building year. We got a new coach and we tried some new things. The highlight was winning the Wabaunsee Invitational,” junior Keaton Johnson said.

The team graduates seniors Conner Brown, Tanner Imthurn and Austin Magette. The team also loses junior Rhett Murray, who received All-League honorable mention. Murray transferred to St. Marys at spring break.

Editorial Briefs: School excited to support basketball team at state

Girls Basketball Returns to State Tournament

Excitement runs rampant at WHS as the girls basketball team returns to the state tournament. A big shout out to those who made the trip to Marion to watch the girls at substate. The WHS Pep Band will be heading out to Hays on Thursday to support the girls. We need as many people as possible to show up and support the team. The game begins at 3 p.m. at the Fort Hays Gross Memorial Coliseum. With a win the girls will continue Friday and Saturday.

All-State choir and band

All-State band and choir had great representation from our district. Students included Duke Beggs, Conrad Cassell, Jordan Meseke, Keaton Mulanax, Scilynn Gros, Lanson Parry, Maverick Havenstein, Annie Wright, Dee Glotzbach, Jazlyn Posch, Rhett Parry, Isabelle Stuhlsatz, Isaac Meyer, Emily Meyer, Payton Wurtz, Ava Huske, Parker Holthaus, Rayona Munoz, Jessica Vanstory and Sarah Vanstory.

League Band and Choir and Combined County Concert

Tuesday, our musicians competed at the League Band and Choir contest at St. Marys. The WHS band and choir competed in the morning with individual soloists competing in the afternoon. Following League, WHS hosted the annual county concert with the Mission Valley band and choir. The band and choir both work hard, so it’s great to get an opportunity to see them perform.

Spring Sports Underway

Baseball, softball and track began last week. Both baseball and softball have been practicing inside due to frigid outdoor temperatures. Some practices have been in the morning due to the girls basketball team’s postseason success. Track has been enduring the cool temperatures in preparation of future outdoor meets. All teams are excited to begin the season and we hope outdoor practice will be a possibility after spring break.

April 8 changed to school day

The April 8 professional development day is now a school day in order to make up time lost due to snow days. We never thought we’d say this, but we’re sick of snow days. It’s really hard to learn in a class you only attend once a week.

Charger launches new podcast

The Charger staff has created a new podcast separate from the Senioritis podcast. The Charger staff created the podcast to address newsworthy issues in the school and explore how they affect students. To listen to this podcast, head to the Charger’s website or find us on iTunes under the Senioritis feed.. If you have suggestions of topics for future episodes, tweet @whscharger. Check out our first episode to hear our thoughts on potential schedule changes for next year, plastic surgery and more.

Secretary welcomes new baby

Congrats to Carrie and Brady Boeckman on a healthy baby! While we miss Carrie, it’s always a treat to have Mrs. Adams in the office every day.

Go cats!

Some of us are really pulling for the Wildcats this weekend. Especially Dean Wade, who is the hottest.

The editorial is the opinion of the Charger staff. Send letters to the editor to whscharger@gmail.com.

Girls basketball heads to state for the third time in five years

The Chargers basketball team is #ALLIN for the state tournament.

The Chargers enter state as the top seed at 20-3 and face 9-12 Heritage Christian 3 p.m. Thursday at Gross Memorial Stadium in Hays.

The team entered sub-state as the number one seed and was able to dominate the teams and bring home the sub-state championship. They first played Goessel, the eighth seed, at home and won 58-24. From there they faced the fifth seeded Hillsboro and defeated them 52-19. For the championship the girls played second seed Northern Heights winning 59-43, qualifying the team to state again.

The players have been preparing themselves since the beginning of the season for this moment.

“We have practiced and prepared ourselves for the moment and when it comes, I think we will be ready,” junior Madelyn Hutley said.

This hard work and preparation makes this team special to head coach Shanna Perine.

“We are all on the same page. We know what we want and we knew from the beginning what we had to do to get there. Everyone bought into our goal and worked hard everyday to get to this point,” Perine said, “The sky’s the limit for this group. They are all very unselfish and want to win for each other. We know there are no shortcuts to the top and it will take all of us to get there.”

About half of the girls traveled to state two years ago, but only a few of them were able to have the experience of playing on the court. But senior Abby Oliver said this year is different.

“This team has a certain chemistry on the court that is like something I’ve never been a part of. If we keep playing like we have been, I think we’ll put up a tough fight at state,” Oliver said.

“Nothing surprises me about a group of kids who are #ALLIN,” Perine said.

— Kaytlyn Meseke, @Kaytlyn_nelle

WHS secretary, teacher prepare for parenthood

Two staff members will be adding to their families soon. Secretary Carrie Boeckman and history teacher Jess Rutledge are the new parents-to-be. The Charger spoke to each of them about the upcoming changes in their lives.

What are you most looking forward to?

Rutledge: I think just seeing my son grow up. Seeing him go through all the stages of life. Just excited to see him grow.

Boeckman: I’ve always, always wanted to be a mom and so after we lost the first baby, I’m so excited that everything has gone well this time and that dream of mine is finally coming.

What are you least excited for?

R: Diapers. Changing diapers.

B: Puke and poop and you know, all that side of it.

Are you scared about anything?

R: Obviously you don’t want to mess it up. It’s a human baby. It doesn’t have the ability to correct the problem itself.

B: Becoming a parent is scary because you are the one solely in charge of this little person. It’s up to us to make sure everything goes ok. We haven’t done it before so we don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into so it’s just the fear of the unknown.

Are you looking forward to waking up in the middle of the night?

R: Honestly I wake up two or three times anyway (to eat), now I’ll just have a smaller version of me who wants to eat too.

What kind of parent will you be?

R: I don’t even know how to answer that. I hope a good one. One that’s going to be able to help my child, but stern so my child learns the right things from the wrong things. I hope to be a successful parent.

B: I know that my husband is going to be the parent where baby is wrapped around his finger, so I feel like I’m going to have to be sort of the disciplinarian. I don’t want to be that person, but I see myself taking on that role.

Your spouse?

R: She’s 100 percent going to be the loving and nurturing one. She is with our dogs. That’s just her nature.

How will your pets react?

R: I hope they react well. They seem really intrigued by my wife now that she’s pregnant. They love little kids, they’ve been around them, especially my deaf dog.

B: My dogs have been around other kids and done really really well around them. I think they’re going to be very protective but also very gentle.

What kind of prep do you have done for the baby?

R: We got the nursery ready and registering for what seems like endless products that you need to have for a baby. Just kind of reading up on it as much as we can. My wife and I are going to take a class in March for parents for the basics.

B: We have the nursery done and all that but because we don’t know what baby is, we don’t have any clothes really. All that stuff is going to have to come afterwards, which is kind of intimidating. We do have daycare set up and we can start that in June. We’re just going to be winging it for awhile.


R: His name is going to be Ty Allen Rutledge.

B: If it’s a boy, his name is going to be Camden, if it’s a girl her name is going to be Clara

How did you feel when you found out you were having a boy?

R: I was really excited regardless to find out that my baby was healthy, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to find out my first kid is going to be a boy.

Is he going to play football?

R: I hope so, but if he wants to be in chess club that’s cool. I’ll get better at chess and help him get better at that. I just want to support whatever he wants to do.

Favorite dad joke you’re excited to use?

R: Oh my gosh I have so many. Probably like whenever says “I’m ___” and then I can be like “Oh hi ___ I’m dad!” That’s going to be my go to.

Why didn’t you find out the gender?

B: One, there’s not many natural surprises left in life for people. This is one of them. We just wanted that moment of the doctor saying it’s a boy or girl. Also with losing our first one, we didn’t care what gender was we just wanted it to be healthy. I think its a girl personally, my husband thinks it’s a boy, but we would be excited with either.

— Emma Frey, @_emmafrey_

The parents and grandparents at WHS have advice for Rutledge and Boeckman

Diane Breiner — Enjoy every minute of every age, they grow up faster than you think.

Brandi Miller — Always sleep when the baby sleeps and make good deals with your spouse. Like “I’ll do the dishes, if you change the diapers.”

Lisa Hull — The most important thing is to sleep when baby sleeps. Most people try to catch up on things in that time, but you’ll ever get caught up anyway so it’s not worth it. And when you start to think about a second child, just know it’s really not twice as much work… but an exponential amount of work.

Jeanne Perry — Just always try and remember to take a deep breath. Don’t stress about the dishes or laundry as much. Always take time to be in the moment with them.

Jan Hutley — Spend as much time with them as you can, they learn more from you than you realize.

Laura Delfelder — When it gets hard or you’re just having a bad night, just remember that this is just a phase. Look at big picture and remind yourself it’s just a moment.

Brendan Praeger — Get lots of children’s books to read. They get old fast. After going through “Goodnight Moon” 200 times, anything will seem like a good alternative.

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