Opinion | KSHSAA should change postseason assignment process

As each team begins its season, players and coaches anxiously await to find out regional or sub-state assignments. It seems every year the reactions to assignments are either very excited or very disappointed.

As of now, high schools smaller than class 4A are split up into regionals and sub-state by the location of the school. Their records and level of competition are not taken into consideration.

Every regional seems to vary in the level competition. For an example, this year’s WHS softball regional assignment has a 2-1A state champion, 3A runner-up, and a couple recent state placers in the same tournament. Meanwhile, there are several regionals with teams we have run-ruled in the regular season as the top seed in the tournament. This has happened in all sports, but this year creates a particularly tough road for softball.

Although there are more schools in the 4A, 5A, and 6A classes, how the assignments are set up in the lower classes can be a modified version of the upper classes. By taking the upper half of team records in each class and dividing them up into different regionals, it allows regionals and sub-states to be evenly separated like the upper classes.

This will also make the state tournaments have a balanced level of competition and allow teams that have had great regular seasons to have a fair shot at state.

From personal experience of playing high school sports, my teams have competed in some of the most difficult games of our season in the regional or sub-state tournaments. Although the desire of making it to state may have contributed to these games, more often than not the teams played at a higher level of competition than the ones at state. The road to the state competition shouldn’t be more difficult than state itself.

— Abby Oliver, @AbbyOliver27

Editorial: Prom is great, but could be improved

We’re not sure if prom really is the “most magical” night of a high schoolers life, but everyone on the Charger staff had a great time this weekend.

We love seeing everyone dressed up in dresses and tuxedos for promenade and seeing everyone pull up in the nice vehicles, or in some cases, farm equipment. The traditional dodgeball tournament, tricycle races and inflatables at after prom make everyone tired but the memories are the best.

Still, we think there are some ways prom can be improved.

The junior class tries their best to make prom amazing, but is missing multiple days of school to decorate really necessary? The idea behind having three days of set up is that every junior has a chance to go to the hall and decorate for prom. In reality, only a few juniors are allowed to leave school, while the rest stay behind in half-empty classes. We think that spending more time outside of school decorating would be less disruptive.

Sunday after prom, all juniors are expected to clean up the hall, but only a few show up every year. A great solution to this would be paying the sophomore class to clean and letting them pick and choose what they want for prom the next year. Since there are fewer sophomores at prom it would be a great way for them to fundraise.

As we sit in class three days after prom, all the attendees are still tired from ruining their sleep schedule and staying up until 3 a.m. The dance was scheduled to go until 11 p.m., but most people were out the door before 10. Starting After Prom earlier would get students home and in bed by 1 a.m. instead of 3 or 4. We know that After Prom is supposed to keep kids from partying, but after eight or nine hours of prom activities, and several more hours of prep for some people, most students will be ready for bed at 1 a.m.

There’s also a potential solution already built into district schedule. Every April features a professional development day for teachers (although this year was disrupted because of snow days). Putting that day on the Monday after prom would solve the problem of prom zombies showing up unprepared to learn.

All in all, we love prom, but we don’t think it should disrupt school for more than a week.

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

Opinion: Barber siblings handle pressing prom questions

Siblings Luke and Laurel Barber are back to answer the most pressing issues surrounding Saturday’s WHS Prom.

How much should I spend on Prom?

Laurel: The max you should spend on prom night is $250 between flowers, the dress or tux, dinner and accessories. There is no need to go crazy for prom. It’s one night and you probably will forget about it after high school.

Luke: Spend? I didn’t spend a single dime on prom. All my clothing is hand-sewn and crafted from recycled ocean plastic. If you’re spending money on anything other than food you are absolutely certifiably stupid.

What should I drive?

Laurel: Some schools don’t do a promenade, but Wabaunsee does. It’s a cool way to show off the dresses and tuxes. Showing up in a super cool vehicle is awesome. It’s a flex on everyone else. But if the vehicle doesn’t suit your personality you don’t have to take it. Take something you like and shows you.

Luke: Well, if you’re looking for cheap, here’s a few options. Wheelbarrow, tricycles, hitch hike, cartwheel. It doesn’t matter. No one else cares what you drive. People only care about what they take so don’t worry too much about it. In three years no one will remember anyway.

What are some good conversation topics if I want to avoid awkwardness with my date?

Laurel: Try going to prom with a friend — which is super cool. No need to only go to prom if you are in a relationship. The night can get awkward if you and your date don’t have a lot to talk about. The best way to find ideas to talk about is ask them about things they like and see where it goes.

Luke: Current Eco-Political atmosphere. Just talk about little things like that — not too serious but still topical for our age. Or just do what most people do at prom and gossip about other couples’ outfits. Either/or really.

What are some essential manners for Prom?

Laurel: Prom essential manners are something that is in the unsaid book of high school. To latch arms for the red carpet, the male sticks his arm out and the girl wraps her arm around his. This way it’s not awkward trying to watch them walk. The male should open the door and allow the girl to walk in first.

Luke: Fend for yourself. Again no one cares what you do. Everyone is too worried about what they are doing. Or try to be as awkward as you can and try to make people really uncomfortable that would be funny.

What are some huge mistakes to avoid?

Laurel: Mistakes to avoid at prom are thinking that everyone should stop what they are doing and focus on you. When you are getting ready, everyone else is busy and you should be grateful that they are spending the day with you.

Luke: Don’t throw up walking down in front of everyone. Too often has that mistake been made. The worst part is that the next couple has to walk through it. It’s just a matter of time until someone pukes themselves and then the whole prom is stained green. Don’t make that mistake two years in a row — trust me.

Is Prom as important as everyone says it is?

Laurel: Prom night is as important as you want it to be. If prom is the best night of your life then let it be. Don’t let anyone ruin the night for you because of their opinion.

Luke: I can’t remember half of what happened before or after. If it’s important to you, don’t go — it will never be as “magical” as you think it will be.

— Laurel Barber, Luke Barber, @Lawl_e_20, @lubarberler

Editorial: Basketball coach’s departure raises concerns

Chris Smart will not be returning as head boys basketball coach next year.

While no one on the newspaper staff played basketball under Smart, we have several concerns about his departure.

Of course, no one working for the district will comment on the circumstances surrounding Smart’s departure. That’s standard for personnel issues. While Smart did speak to the Charger about the progress the team made this season, he declined to speak about the exact reasons he won’t be returning.

We won’t speculate on why Smart won’t return, but coaching seems to be too temporary a position at Wabaunsee. Smart is the fourth head coach to depart in the last two years, following the removal of Maggie Strait (volleyball), Skylar Suther (boys basketball) and Brian Henry (football).

This pattern presents several problems for players and for the community.

A lack of longevity makes building a relationship between coaches and players difficult. On the best teams, players know their coaches and value their advice. The best coaches know their player’s strengths and weaknesses — knowledge that takes time to develop. Some players in the WHS basketball program will have to play for three different head coaches, assuming the next coach gets more than a year to prove their worth. Constantly starting over creates a disadvantage for the team, not only in the present, but for years ahead.

We also worry that the frequent changes will harm Wabaunsee’s reputation. Will uncertainty make it more difficult to fill coaching and teaching positions in the future? A school that doesn’t retain coaches is less enticing for a person who wants to put in the work to build a successful program.

Smart’s departure has not inspired the same level of anger in the student community that followed last year’s firing of Skylar Suther. But that shouldn’t necessarily reflect poorly on Smart. Suther had five years as a teacher and coach to build a reputation and connections. Smart only received one season.

We wish the best to the basketball team and its future coach, and we hope to see the program build in the future. We also hope the next coach has an opportunity to succeed.

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

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.

Opinion: WHS Pep Club needs to try harder

Wabaunsee has the worst student section in the Mid-East league.

When the team travels to other schools the first thing you notice is the many students in the student section cheering for their team. On a few occasions, the other teams have student sections that travel with the team. The Wabaunsee student section is very weak compared to other area schools. The handful of students attending every game just sit on their phones while the team is playing.

When the student section gets into the game it makes the game more fun for the players and fans. Nothing is more fun than being out on the court and having the crowd get super excited over anything that happens. Hearing the roar of the crowd just gets the blood pumping.

The rest of the crowd can be as weak as the student section. During time outs and breaks, the cheerleaders do their best to get the crowd going, but it doesn’t always work. Standing to clap might seem like a lot of effort after a long day, but if you aren’t there to support the team, what is the point?

With around 50 players on both of the basketball teams, there could be around 100 students in the pep band and the student section. Students can start by cheering with the cheerleaders and standing when the band plays. Even if no one around you in standing and cheering, be the person to stand and get everyone around you to stand. It starts with one person to break the ‘awkwardness’ and get everyone else to do it.

We have home games on Thursday and Friday to get the crowd prepared for the possible home game next Tuesday in the first round of Sub-State.

Let’s be honest, nothing else is happening in Alma, Kansas. Come out and support the teams. You might have some fun.

— Laurel Barber, @Lawl_e_20

Editorial briefs: Chargers bring home several awards

Don’t foul a Charger

Juniors Maddy Hutley and Rhett Murray took home the gold at the Royal Valley Basketball Tournament free throw contest. Hutley shot 13 out of 15 free throws. Murray tied with another competitor in the first round of shooting and had to shoot 10 extra free throws in a sudden death round. He went 10 for 10 at the line securing a win. Junior Hannah Mumpower also took home a first place medal in the free throw contest at the Lyndon JV Basketball tournament. She went 17 for 25 in the first round, tying with another competitor and came back to shoot 21 out of 25 in the final round. Congrats to all three of these individuals!

Abby Oliver Sets New Record

Senior Abby Oliver set a new record for WHS last week at the Lyndon basketball game. Oliver scored a total of 40 points in one game, beating the previous record of 39 points held by 2018 graduate Karsen Schultz. Oliver also recently surpassed 1,000 career points scored. Oliver achieved this milestone at the Mission Valley game. Congrats Abby on these accomplishments!

State Scholars Bowl

Scholars Bowl placed 5th at State to end its season. WHS Scholars Bowl qualified for State after finishing in 2nd place at the Regional Tournament hosted at Wabaunsee. After going 4-1 in pool play, the team advanced to the championship rounds. With 6 members graduating the varsity team is wide open next year, so study up.

League Wrestling

Wabaunsee Wrestling had three wrestlers place in the top three at League Wrestling Friday night. Sophomore Eli Mumpower placed 3rd in the 132 lb weight class, sophomore Derek Wallin placed 1st in the 160 lb weight class and sophomore Koby Corp placed 2nd in the Heavyweight weight class. All wrestlers will compete at Regionals this Friday at Rossville. The top four wrestlers in each weight class will go on to compete at State in Hays February 22.

STAR events

WHS FCCLA took 23 members to compete at District STAR Events in Manhattan on February 8. These members competed in 13 various events, 8 of them going on to compete at State Events in Wichita in April.

The editorial represents the opinions of the Charger staff.

Opinion: Barber siblings dispense romantic advice for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day, love is in the air, and dating in high school is harder than ever. Fortunately, junior Laurel Barber and senior Luke Barber have great advice for high school Romeos and Juliets.

I’m an upperclassman. Should I date an underclassman?

Laurel: I say go for it. If you are happy, then stay happy. Dating an older guy is what some people are used to but dating someone younger doesn’t really matter. It’s 2019 — do you boo.

Luke: If you’re an upperclassman that means you’re probably around 17 or 18 years old. In the state of Kansas the legal age of consent is 16. Why date an underclassman when you can date an elderly billionaire. Think about it, you have college coming soon and we’re all broke. College tuition to an elderly billionaire is pennies on the hundred dollar bill.

How many zip codes apart should I keep my boyfriends?

Laurel: With social media it’s super easy to find out who is talking to who. So stick to one boyfriend at a time and if you aren’t feeling it, just break up. From the beginning set clear expectations of what you want out of the relationship and if you even want a relationship.

Luke: That’s an easy one, don’t. And by don’t, I mean have lots of boyfriends in the same zip code. Have you ever seen those tv shows where people have multiple wives? Just do that but with boyfriends. Make them awkwardly compete for your affection under the guise that they are okay with it.

How much PDA is too much PDA?

Laurel: Holding hands and a cute little 3-second hug are the only acceptable PDA. Kissing in the classroom, commons or at school is gross. No one wants to see you kiss your significant other in front of everyone. It’s more acceptable if you aren’t at school and you give them a little peck of a kiss — as long as it isn’t at a super inconvenient or uncomfortable time for people around you. Don’t kiss at church, in the middle of a grocery store or at a restaurant. It’s okay to kiss in the park. Just don’t scare little kids.

Luke: Any touching is immoral. Don’t do it. You think other people want to see you making goo goo eyes at someone? No they don’t. In fact you should do the very opposite. If you are dating someone in school you should actively try to make people think that you dislike them. Constantly make fun of them. Constantly annoy them. Do whatever it takes to make sure people think you don’t like them.

What is a good Valentine’s Day gift for my HS boyfriend or girlfriend?

Laurel: It depends… if you have been in an exclusive relationship for only a couple of months, you should get them something meaningful but less than $20. Get them some like candy and maybe a nice dinner at McDonald’s. If you have been together for multiple years than you can most definitely go a little bit more crazy. Maybe like $50 on a fine piece of jewelry.

Luke: Immortality. It’s understandable that everyone’s main and sometimes only fear is death. So free them from them from their mortal worries. There are plenty of ways to gain immortality just buy a voodoo cookbook or something and get cracking. Not that hard in my opinion.

Is Valentine’s day a good day to ask someone out for the first time?

Laurel: Valentine’s Day is one of the worst days to ever ask someone out on a first date — right next to New Year’s Day. It’s awful to ask someone out because you are lonely. It’s  Valentine’s Day. You are in high school. It’s okay to be single. Everyone has been in your shoes. Just go to DG and get someone ice cream and watch some funny movies.

Luke: Yes. Everyone thinks “oh no one’s going to ask me out I’m a major uggo so today’s going to be fine I’ll just be lonely like always”. But no, here you come guns blazing. Ask them out and it will surprise them so much that they’ll pass out on the spot. At that point you take all the cash from their wallet. They’ll be so happy they have a date they won’t even notice the missing cash when they wake up.

— Laurel Barber, Luke Barber

Opinion| Gillette ad causes pointless controversy

Gillette released a controversial ad this month raising the question, “is this the best a man can get?”

If you haven’t seen the ad, it depicts some men in a number of questionable situations, such as sexually harassing women and being violent towards each other. Towards the end of the ad, some men begin to stand up and call each other out for their actions and bad behavior. The ad urges men to be the best versions of themselves possible, and to set an example for future generations.

So why are people so upset about it?

The ad, not surprisingly, went viral immediately. Some people were thrilled and enjoyed the ad. Some people argued that the ad is unfairly attacking men and leaving out women, while insinuating that all men take part in these bad behaviors.

Similar to the #BurnYourNikes hashtag that circled social media following the Nike Kaepernick ad, some have taken to twitter to post pictures of their destroyed razors to show their disagreement with the ad.

Personally, I enjoyed this ad and believe Gillette did a good thing by making it. Some people argue that they don’t see a reason for an advertisement, but being around teenage boys a majority of the time, I do. Some behavior that could be excused as “boys being boys” is an issue that should actually be addressed.

Most girls don’t like speaking up about these things, but I’ve heard personally from many girls that issues including sexual harassment do occur every day. By bringing light to this topic Gillette is making a positive impact. Even if it doesn’t have an impact, they aren’t hurting anyone by asking men to act better and it’s not worth getting that upset over an advertisement for razors.

Whether you agree with the ad or not, you have to respect the fact that Gillette is a brand, and this is an advertisement. It was made to bring attention to Gillette and in doing so, sell their product. While Gillette didn’t necessarily have to make a razor ad political, it brought attention to its brand and addressed important issue.

Not all men act inappropriately, but the ones who do need to consider the consequences of their actions. Even if Gillete’s message only reaches a couple of people it will have been worth it.

— Emma Frey, @_emmafrey_

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