Alderman a National Merit Finalist

Senior Maddie Alderman and her parents Sara and Roger Alderman, learn that she has been named a National Merit Finalist for 2019.

Senior Madison Alderman has been named a National Merit finalist for 2019.

She was first named as semifinalist last fall.

“When we took the PSAT as juniors, it was like the application to become a semifinalist,” Alderman said.

Alderman completed an essay, resume and found references to become a finalist.

Being a finalist could mean scholarship money. There are 15,000 finalists and about half should receive scholarships.

“It’s a highly respected, sought-after honor by students whose academic achievement is exceptional,” principal Jan Hutley said. “There are rigorous requirements and students must maintain those requirements throughout their high school careers.”

— Abby Oliver, @AbbyOliver27

FCA adopts a family for Christmas

Wabaunsee’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter is helping with Wabaunsee’s Santa Express and Adopt-A-Family this Christmas season.

“Our FCA chapter has adopted a local family. So our members went out and shopped for the family. We then began to gather and wrap the presents. Pastor Jamie Bonnema will deliver them to the family,” FCA sponsor Jeanne Parry said. This is Parry’s second year as the club’s sponsor. “We assisted Santa Express last year by delivering presents, although this year adopting a family was really important with our members.”

WHS STUCO and FCCLA are participating in another Adopt-A-Family as well. FCA members also believe they can experience life lessons through assisting with these organizations.

“I think it is important for high school kids to learn to appreciate how lucky we have it in life,” senior Kinsey Stuewe said. Stuewe has been a part of the club for two years now. “Doing this project shows to respect everyone at all times because you never know what they might be going through.”

WHS FCA has also made some big changes inside the club as well, with recruiting new members. Parry believes the upperclassmen of FCA have the most to do with this drastic increase of membership.

“Our membership has grown from 0 to 30 in this past year,” Parry said. “I think we have a strong upperclassmen leadership that joined at the beginning of last year. They have really developed and outreached to fellow students.”

WHS FCA also hosts 5th quarter gatherings after athletic events, and a “See You At The Pole” welcoming all students before school.

— Abby Oliver, @AbbyOliver27

WHS attempts to combat vaping

E-cigarettes or “vaping” has become a widespread problem across adolescents and young adults, and students at WHS are no exception.

According to CNN, teen vaping increased nearly 80 percent in the last year. This new trend also created a complication for high schools across America.

“As the administration and staff, we are being proactive as possible to prevent this problem from arising at WHS,” WHS principal Jan Hutley said. The high school has taken initiative by locking locker rooms during the day, and enforcing hall passes for students. “We don’t want to sit back and wait to catch someone.”

Although the WHS handbook doesn’t specifically mention e-cigarettes, Hutley clarified they fall under the tobacco section.

“It’s important for students to be aware of the consequences that will be given to them if they make this choice,” Hutley said. She also conducted a meeting with each of the classes in WHS to explain the school’s policies. “This will also be treated like any other offense against tobacco products, alcohol or drugs, and law enforcement will have to be contacted.”

Many students are also unaware of the health risks that come with vaping. In a survey conducted by Charger staff, 59 percent of students believed that vaping had the same or less of health risks than smoking cigarettes. Although hazards like second-hand smoke are canceled out, vaping actually creates more of a health risk for the user. This is because of the amount of nicotine and other chemicals are increased with e-cigarettes.

“Vaping is a very important health risk topic that teens and adults need to understand,” Wabaunsee Health Department administrator Janet Wertzberger said.  “Although vaping may be recommended for some adults who already smoke and are trying to quit, it is by no means a healthy habit for someone who has never smoked.”

WHS also sent an email out to students’ parents, informing them of the expectations and school policy on vaping and tobacco use at school.

“It’s important to let kids and parents know this information, and to make sure they know we do care about their safety and well-being,” Hutley said.

— Abby Oliver, @AbbyOliver27

Volleyball finishes 2nd at state

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WHS volleyball placed second at the 2A State Volleyball Tournament Saturday, ending the season with a 32-12 record.

The state tournament began pool play on Friday, with the Chargers as the sixth seed. The team went 2-1 for the day, making them the 2nd seed in their pool and qualifying them for Saturday’s bracket play.

The Chargers didn’t go out without a fight Saturday, knocking off the 1st seed in tournament, undefeated St. Mary’s Colgan. The team won the semifinals in two sets, 27-25, 25-22.

“We came together and really played like a team,” junior Alexis Hafenstine said. “We keep each other positive, and didn’t let anyone get in our way.”

The Chargers were set to play Garden Plain, the fifth seed in the tournament, for the championship. The team controlled most of the first set, but lost 27-25. They struggled to find their rhythm in the second set, losing 25-11.

“Going into the tournament we were the sixth seed,” senior Alyssa Lohmeyer said. Lohmeyer received postseason honors of KVA 2018 State All Tournament Team, along with teammate Laurel Barber. “ We were never expected to make it where we did, and I’m proud of my team for that.”

— Abby Oliver, @AbbyOliver27


Volleyball enters Sub-State as top seed

Sophomore Maddy Wertzberger and junior Laurel Barber block against Burlingame during the Pink Out night October 11. The Chargers defeated Burlingame and Rock Creek.

Chargers play at 1 p.m. Saturday

Abby Oliver, @AbbyOliver27

Charger volleyball heads into the postseason competition with a 26-10 record, good for the top seed at the Herington Sub-State.

The team capped off its regular season and league play Tuesday, splitting games with Rossville.The Chargers also received a third-place finish in the Mid-East League, with a 5-5 record in league play.

“I’ve been very pleased both with the JV and varsity teams. Both teams have won numerous matches and tournaments, but it’s much more than that. They are ready to get on the court early, and they want to stay late. They ask questions and want to get better on a daily basis. Finally they understand the concept of team on and off the court,” Chargers head coach Tracy Capoun said.

The players also feel confident about going into Sub-State.

“I think if we all work together and stay excited and hyped, then we have a really good chance at winning the tournament and kicking some butt,” sophomore Maddy Wertzberger said. Wertzberger has the third-highest kill percentage on the team and is also leading in the number of aces.

The Chargers are set to play 8-seed Mission Valley (7-26) at 1 p.m. Other teams at the Herington tournament include Herington, Bennington and Northern Heights. Check out the bracket here.

Volleyball is a mental game that builds on momentum. With that being said, that has been our main focus this post season. We also like to push our game a little more with plays designed around a faster offense.,” coach Capoun said.

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