WHS prom to provide drama counselors

Due to excessive conflict between students in previous years, drama counselors will be on standby at the Wabaunsee High School prom next weekend.

Between strenuously searching for the perfect dress, competing to snag a date and worrying about whether your crush will dance with someone else, prom season is a time of constant anxiety and anger, which has led to some relatively traumatic experiences in the past.

According to numerous studies cited on Instagram, a student’s mental health suffers due to the drama associated with prom night, or “proma.” The Junior prom committee has reached a solution.

Students at prom this year will have access to counseling to help them deal with any traumatizing proma.

“We’ve seen firsthand how mortifying prom can be. We hope that providing students with on-site counseling will reduce some of the long-term effects proma can have,” junior Kaytlyn Meseke said.

Sophomore Karlee Feyh, who attended Prom 2018 with senior Jarett Bolinder, is still recovering from last year’s proma. Jarett, who was sick on prom night, showed up in a suit covered in dollar bills. The entire way there, he blasted “Elvira” by The Oak Ridge Boys on a loop. During the pictures, he refused to take any with her. He just took them of himself in his money suit, and the ones Karlee’s family took, he cropped her out of.  It was pouring rain that day, so, like a gentleman, he brought an umbrella. However, he needed all of it to protect his precious suit, so she just stood there, sopping wet.

“I’ve had nightmares about that day. He even had the audacity to eat his pasta with a salad fork. Every time a see an umbrella or hear a country song, I have panic attacks I really think I could have benefited from having some sort of support system there. Proma? More like trauma,” she said.

— Kendyl Bolinder, @BolinderKendyl

Happy April Fools day from the Charger!

Chicken Pattys to be served every day at WHS

Students have voiced concerns about lunches since August, and the school is finally taking action to improve the dining options at WHS.

Starting April 1, a chicken patty or spicy chicken patty will be served every day for lunch.

“Chicken patties are chosen every week which shows the student’s interest,” school delicioness consultant Chef Boyardee said.

The change will extend to first and second lunch as well as side options. Example changes include chicken and waffles being chicken patty on chicken patty, mashed potatoes being mashed chicken patty, pancakes with syrup will be chicken patty with syrup and so on.

“I just love chicken patties,” senior Luke Barber said. “It is like a dream come true.”

An exception will be made on Fridays where a single head of lettuce will be served. “It is what will complete the chicken patty in a vegetable food pyramid,” USD 329 nutritionist Diane Breiner said.

This change is believed to reduce cost of operating and storage. Fridges will be replaced with larger freezers to accommodate the increase in chicken patty usauge. A rotating circular chicken patty fryer will be installed to take away the need of transporting cooked chicken patties.

“I have to get a fryer for home,” senior Dillon Spellman said. “It could be a wonderful disc display and could be used to cook those delicious circular chicken concoctions.”

A chicken patty was asked to comment on the change but was promptly eaten by a bystander who couldn’t resist the urge. A spicy chicken patty was also asked but declined after a series of very spicy comments.   

— Sean Dugger, @seanduggre01


Happy April Fools day from the Charger!

USD 329 board approves staff changes

The USD 329 school board made several employment decisions at last week’s board meeting. The board approved the hiring of current Mission Valley teacher Jamie Rogers as 5-12 choir and band teacher. Rogers will replace the retiring Richard Philbrook.

The board also hired current student teacher Cara Flach as preschool teacher and current elementary special education teacher Kolby Harris for 5th grade.

The board accepted the resignation of special education teacher Callie Taylor and assistant football coach Adam Laubert. Both are moving at the end of the year.

WHS is still looking to fill several positions for the 2019-20 school year, including special education, family and consumer science and several coaching positions.

Barber wins powerlifting competition

Barber wins powerlifting competiton

Junior Laurel Barber out-lifted the state powerlifting competition.

This was Barber’s third year competing at 1A state powerlifting where she competed in bench, clean and squat. Barber placed 1st in clean and bench, 2nd in squat, and 1st overall. Due to the meet being a new powerlifting competition, Barber holds the record for clean and bench in 1A state along with the overall weight record of 515 pounds.

“I think I started the day off strong, then throughout the day I started to lose energy, but I’m still proud of my overall performance,” Barber said.

Barber created a personal goal this year to finish each lift five pounds from her max lift.

“Although I was a little farther away from my personal goal I was still proud of how my performance was and how I ended this season,

WHS Cheerleading announces 2019-20 roster

With a larger team, including five newcomers and five returning All-Americans, coach Cheryl Lewis looks forward to a exciting season.

“I’m very excited for our stunting possibilities as well as our continued growth as cheerleaders and dancers,” Lewis said.

Along with the growth and possibilities, Lewis said she was looking forward to the new and exciting ideas that will be infused to the team.

The team has fourteen members who are excited to see where the season take it.

“I am excited to see how far the team can grow and improve,” junior Kaytlyn Mekese said.

Next year’s squad is Jazlyn Posch, Danielle Murphy, Bri DeVader, Ryleigh Jones, Lilly Ogden, Kaytlyn Meseke, Laurel Barber, Emma Frey, Macy Falk, Shelby Wright, Jordan Magette, Justice Houston, Raegan Feyh, Kaelyn Conrad

WHS to switch from block to 7-hour schedule

WHS will have a new schedule format next school year.

The current schedule format at WHS is an 8-hour block schedule. Students have four classes each A day, and four different classes the next day with a 45 minute Adviser Base period between 1st and 2nd block every day.

The new schedule beginning next school year will be a standard 7-hour schedule with an Adviser Base period every day.

“The primary driving factor in my mind and I think in the staff’s mind is ultimately ‘What is the best case scenario for the success of kids academically?’” principal Jan Hutley said. “That is the number one thing we’re looking at, it’s what’s best for the kids. I want you guys to do well.”

The suggested new schedules included an 8-hour standard schedule, blended block schedules that included both block and standard days and the 7-hour standard schedule.

“The schedule has been looked at in the past,” Hutley said. “I don’t think anything prompted it with me. I think that conversation had already started before I got here.”

With the 7-hour standard schedule, there will be an increase in student time in each class by about one hour every week. Currently, students have about 3.5 hours of each class a week, not counting classes missed for any absences. With the new 7 hour schedule, that time will increase to 4.5 hours in each class per week.

“I think it will improve the students academically as they will retain information better when they see the subject every day instead of the current every other day,” math teacher Roger Alderman said.

Along with the core classes hoping to benefit from the change in the schedule format, classes such as weights are looking forward to seeing students more consistently.

“Weight class will be able to have more of a routine,” physical education teacher Garrett Eck said. “The shorter class times will allow workouts to be more intense as there won’t be a need for long break times.”

With the schedule change, students will have one less elective class each semester. The loss of a class each year requires a change in graduation requirements, which the school board approved last week.

Along with one less elective, senior hour will no longer be an option for eligible seniors and changes will also be made to the way teacher aides are assigned.

However, despite having one less class offered each day, there are no foreseeable changes in classes offered at WHS.

“I don’t feel like in the long run, if students do an appropriate job of planning, that the loss of elective opportunities is going to be an issue,” Hutley said.

Students are doing preliminary enrollment this week, which will allow the school to build a 7-hour schedule before the end of the year. Possibilities include moving advisor base to the end of the day and moving band and choir to the end of the day.

— Hannah Mumpower, @Hlmump01

Baseball team returns lots of experience

Junior Jackson Frank pitches during a varsity baseball game last season. The team returns an experienced roster from last season. “We really need to improve our focus during games and practice,” Frank said. The Chargers opened the season Tuesday against Chase County.

Baseball opens its season 4:30 tonight against Chase County

If a few plays had gone differently, the Charger baseball team could be looking at three straight state appearances.

The team made the school’s only state appearance in 2017, but in both 2016 and 2018, the season ended in the regional championship game — one run short of victory.

According to senior Logan Brown, that history makes this team hungry for success. The Chargers opened the season Tuesday against Chase County, the team that ended its season last year. “We really want revenge for regionals,” Brown said.

The team should have the offensive firepower to be competitive again, returning four of the top five batting averages from last season. “Batting average and runs scored was the highest it has been in my time here,” assistant coach Jess Rutledge said.

Despite graduating several seniors, the team is full of experienced players. “We have lots of depth overall. A number of kids can play multiple positions, so we’ll be pretty versatile,” head coach Jeron Weisshaar said.

Rutledge said the versatility could provide a strategic advantage. “Last year we had to adjust a lot for injuries, so we have a lot of guys with varsity experience,” Rutledge said. “We have enough depth to potentially play two completely different lineups in a double header without missing a beat.”

Pitching will provide more or a challenge, as the team looks to develop a larger roster of talent early in the season. Pitchers include juniors Jackson Frank and Eli Wollenberg, sophomores Tyler Lohmeyer and Isaac Lira and freshman Cade Oliver. “We have several pitchers, but we graduated about 50 percent of our innings pitched, so gaining experience early in the season will be important,” Weisshaar said.

Junior Eli Wollenberg said the team’s experience playing together will make them more competitive. “Everyone from our old 14 and under team, the Rattlers, is on the team this year. You know how they play and can count on them during a game,” Wollenberg said.

“We’ve been playing together since grade school, so we have good chemistry as a team,” junior Chad Chambers said.

Brown said the team is ready to compete, but they need to stay focused throughout the season. “We need to work hard to continue getting better. A lot of younger players are stepping up. We have good leadership too — everyone wants to hold each other accountable.”

Chambers also expects the team to play well. “I think we have the athleticism to win lots of games, but we need to make sure we have the mentality of a winning team. We have to work hard during practice. I think we expect to be a team that can go to state.”

Results against Chase County were not available at press time, but the team will continue its season Tuesday at home against Mission Valley.

— Brendan Praeger, @bpraeger

Softball reloads after winning state championship

Softball opens its season at 4:30 tonight against Chase County

After winning a state championship last season, softball hopes to reload for a return to state this spring.

Coach Brian Henry has high expectations for the team. “It really depends on how they come together as a team,” Henry said.

Losing only two players from the state team last year, graduate Hadley Schreiner and injured sophomore Reagan Kelley, the team plans to return strong.

“We only lost one senior and we gained some really good freshman,” senior Abby Oliver said. “We have some good underclassmen who are improving and gaining experience.”

Freshman joining the team this spring include Kaelyn Conrad, Madisyn Havenstein, Kara Hafenstine and Mayah Mumpower. “There are some underclassmen who will push for playing time. There’s some pretty good ones,” Henry said.

Wabaunsee still plans to have some competition entering the 2019 season. The girls fell to Rossville last year, and with Rossville dropping to 2A they expect to have competition in their regional this year.

“We still have to play in the tough Mid-East League and there’s a possibility of Rossville being in our regional,” Henry said, “A lot of the teams we lost to last year are returning the same talent.”

The team returns some talent of their own this year, including junior pitcher Autymn Schreiner. Schreiner announced her verbal commitment to Washburn University last week. “I’m super excited about committing to Washburn. I’ve heard so many good things about Coach Holaday and Washburn’s softball program,” Schreiner said, “Plus, they are continuing to upgrade their facilities which is awesome. Even though I can’t wait to play at the next level, I still have two more state championships to go win with our high school team.”

“It should be a good year. As long as we get along, we’ll be fine,” Henry said. The team hopes to see a lot of the same success they saw last year.

“I’m really excited to get the season started and see what our new group of really talented girls can get accomplished,” Schreiner said.

— Emma Frey, @_emmafrey_

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

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