September - Ponder ISD
Ponder High Roar
Volume 11, Issue 1
Kings of the Kill
By Liz Branin
he roar of the crowd’s conversation fills your ears as sweat drips
down the sides of your face. You can smell the popcorn mixed with
the scents of both fear and anticipation. Teammates grunt fiercely
as they line up on either side of you with bent knees while the players
arrayed in front of you struggle for each breath. The whistle blows and all
goes silent, except for the distant ringing noise that can only be labeled as
“focus.” It all comes down to this moment. Will your team pull through
for a victory, or fall out in submission to the opponent?
Moments like these are what define a football player. It is not his record
or yardage, but rather what goes through his mind in the single moment
before a game-changing play that determines who he is in a uniform. For
each and every varsity Lion on the field the night of September 6, the
thought was simple – “I will not back down.”
The Ponder High School football homecoming game was one brimming
with tension. It was a close call in the second quarter when the Alvord
Bulldogs marked Ponder’s nine-yard line before receding 20 yards back
on multiple penalties. The scoreboard, however, had still not seen light
by the end of the first half. While the crowd was on its tip-toes, the teams
and coaches were anxiously awaiting the start of the second half.
Christian Worthington grabbed a hold of the leash in the very first play
of the second half when he ran the ball from the kickoff return for the
first touchdown of the night. Jose DeLeon kicked for an extra point
immediately afterward. In the next quarter, Worthington received the
ball from J.J. Torres for another touchdown, making the score 13 to 0.
Five minutes before the buzzer, the Bulldogs claimed 51 yards for a
touchdown of their own, bringing the score to a mere seven-point
difference. The Lions spent the majority of the fourth quarter on
continued on pg. 2
The Queen Takes Her Throne
By Sterling Stinson
Ponder High Roar - page 2
riday, September 6th, during the homecoming halftime,members of the homecoming
court and their escorts lined up on the field.
The beautiful girls in their nice evening dresses
and handsome young boys in their football jerseys took their turns being introduced and moving to their spots on the field as the band played
in the background. The crowd, filled with spirit
and excitement, waited eagerly to hear which of
our three seniors would be this
year’s Homecoming Queen.
The first to be announced were
the freshmen- Bailey Beer,
escorted by Jonathon Aguilar,
Jaycee Harwell, escorted by
Seth Ferryman, and Morgan
Melvin, escorted by Jacob
Summerlin. Then the sophomores- Kayla Carlton, escorted
by Austin Bennet, Josie Hunsucker, escorted by Danny
Rivera, and Lauren Pitman,
escorted by Garret Johnson
were introduced. The junior
court attendants were Leanna
Brown, escorted by Chris Aivaliotis, Madison
Hunsucker, escorted by Ryder Perry, and Shelby Greggerson, escorted
by Dustin Ferguson.
As the three senior girls
and their escorts took the
field, hearts sped up, cameras flashed, and the air of
excitement grew so thick
you could touch it. Andie Beer and her escort,
Spencer Waldo, were the
first of the seniors to join the
other classes’ nominees.
Closely following them was
Sadie Neilson and her escort, Christian Worthington.
Finally, Meredith Vedral and
her escort Brandon Dodson
took their places on the
all of the nominees were on the
field and plenty of pictures had
been taken, the moment came
to announce the Homecoming
Queen. One long silence and a
drum roll later, Meredith Vedral
was announced to be our 2013
Football Homecoming Queen.
As the sash, flowers and crown
were given to her, Meredith’s
face remained a picture of
pleasant surprise. She was
obviously elated to have been
voted Homecoming Queen the
very first time she was even
nominated. She got to enjoy her win with the
other two nominees, two of her very best friends,
who were just as proud as she was. “I was so
surprised. I did not expect to win but it was very
exciting,” Meredith commented. As hard as it
was to decide a winner this year, and as close
as it was, it’s good that the girls are proud of
each other and had a good time. Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees!
“Kings of the Kill”, continued from page 1
defense, sacking the Bulldog quarterback time and time again. In another very close call, Ponder
intercepted the ball at the 40-yard line with only 11 seconds to spare – a move that could have cost
them the game were it not successful. The Lions held their line for the remaining time, claiming a victory at 13 to six and proving that we are, indubitably, kings of the kill.
“It was our commitment to each other [as teammates] that led us to victory,” sophomore Brady Anderson said.
Trey Dunlap attributed their win to the love and support of the Ponder faculty, parents, students, and
alumni of our town.
“The boys played hard, knowing we needed a win,” varsity senior Brandon Dodson said. “Our effort
was unmatched and, with all of the coaches getting us on the same page, we pulled it off.”
By Oksana Bekh
eading up to the all-important homecoming game is the homecoming week, full of dress-up days, competitions, and, most importantly, spirit. So whether you go all out, or sit back and enjoy watching everyone
around you, you know you like it. Here’s a recap in case you missed out on even one day of this spirited week.
Dressed to Impress
This year’s dress-up days brought out the nerds, Hawaiian shirts, red, blue, and white, stripes, and stars. Spencer Waldo, Craig Reames, Tori Alexander, Sterling Stinson, and Hannah Crandall were the nerdiest kids in school
on Tuesday. Looking island-cool on Wednesday were: Leanna Brown, Erica Duran, Colton Cassidy, Glenda
Wright, and Teryana Sledge. Chase Austin, Gala Valenzuela, Cody Garner, and T.J. Pullen rocked flag colors the
best on Patriotic Day. The sounds of bells, chains, and ribbons all colliding into each other on mums and garters
rang through the halls of PHS all Friday long as the week of dress-up days came to a close with Spirit Day.
Deck the Halls
Each class had to tap into their decorating skills for this year’s hall decorating contest, which has to incorporate our team, the rivals, and/or both. The seniors shined the brightest in this contest with a Hollywood themed
hallway, complete with a red carpet, a skyline view, and a Hollywood walk of fame, which displayed the pictures
of the shining stars of our football team. Up for a game of Pac-Man? Then the junior hallway, decked out to look
like an arcade, was the perfect place to go. The sophomore hallway was disguised as a superhero layer for the week,
and the freshman hallway was a circus, literally.
Everyone got fired-up for the big game on Friday at the annual bonfire on Wednesday. The night started out
with the PHS cheerleaders getting the crowed pumped up for a speech by the head football coach, Coach Schulke,
who promised a “W” at Friday night’s game. Afterward, the cheerleaders returned to perform for the crowd again,
and then summoned the seniors to lead the crowd in singing the school’s Alma Mater. The night also included
plenty of music, a big, bright fire, courtesy of the football team and their parents, and, of course, spirit! A big
thanks goes to the Ponder Fire Department for allowing us to have this bonfire and ensuring that everything was
Ponder High Roar, page 3
2013 Football Homecoming Festivities
by Sterling Stinson
hether you’ve seen him in the halls or sprinting up and down the basketball courts, football fields, or track, you’ve probably noticed Christian around Ponder. He certainly isn’t
hiding. Loud, funny and talkative, this guy is hard to miss. When he’s not causing trouble
in the halls, though, he’s causing trouble for the other teams in his sports. As a football captain, a basketball star, and a phenomenal sprinter, he is very well known by the sports fans in our school district.
Christian first came to our small town from Denton in 5th grade and almost immediately fell into
a group of friends. One of which is his long time best friend, Austin Spiker. “Christian is an inspiration on and off the field,” Spiker commented on Christian’s influence on his peers. Isn’t that the
truth! Christian is known for his joking nature, and often brightens the days of those around. “Christian was one of the first people I met when I moved here. He’s always upbeat and trying to have fun
and he really helped make moving here easier”, Spencer Waldo, another close friend of his, added.
As a track star, Christian has made many accomplishments. His sophomore year, he made it to
the Regional Track Meet in 4x200 meter relay and 4x100 meter relay. He returned to Regionals his
Junior year in the long jump, triple jump, 4x100 meter relay, 4x200 meter relay, and 4x400 meter relay.
He was part of the district and area champion team in the 4x100 meter relay and 4x200 meter relay,
and he broke all of the running records.
When Christian leaves Ponder High School after he walks the stage this spring, he plans to go
on to college to study either Sports Medicine or Sports Psychology. He isn’t sure if he’ll continue to
play sports, but he does want to play football and/or track. Until then, though, he plans to make the
most of his senior year by making memories with his friends and teammates inside and outside of the
Senior Class of 2014
pending her first two years of high school at Northwest, then switching to Ponder for
her last two years was definitely a positive thing for senior Tori Alexander, who says the
thing she will miss most when she graduates is being in such a small school where she
knows everyone. Starting at a new school did not discourage Tori from continuing to play her
favorite sport, volleyball. Playing for eight years and dedicating up to 14 hours every week to
volleyball has definitely made her good at what she does. It has shown not only in the games,
but also in local newspapers, such as the Denton Record Chronicle, that have featured her
On the varsity team Tori is able to play all the way around, but her main position is middle
hitter/blocker, making the competitive aspects of the sport her favorite. It is no surprise that
most of Tori’s unforgettable memories are those at home games hanging out with her closest
friends, which consists of all the girls on her team. Tori is also involved with the FFA. This
year, she’s going to compete in Radio Broadcasting, Public Relations, and Dairy Cattle Judging. Inside the classroom, she enjoys classes taught by her favorite teachers, Coach Espolt and
“Tori is a really good student who works hard in class,” says Coach Espolt. “She was also
a lot of fun to have because she put up with my jokes. I believe she has the work ethic to do
anything she wants to.”
Outside of school and extracurricular activities, Tori loves being outside, going fishing,
and hanging out with her friends. “We have the most fun times together. From having girl talk
in the car or blaring music, there is never a dull moment,” said sophomore Sage Stover. Additionally she enjoys spending time with her family. As an only child, she is very close to her
mom and dad.
After graduating, Tori plans to attend Tarleton State University to study Agribusiness and
play volleyball. Leaving high school, Tori hopes to be remembered for always being nice to
people and for being on the first Ponder Volleyball Team to make playoffs.
By Haley Chasteen
by Oksana Bekh
shley Reames is a born and bred Texas girl with an aptitude for volleyball and academics and a
love for all things country. After living in Ponder for nine years, Ashley admits that she is ready to
move on but knows there are many things she will miss about this small country town.
Volleyball has been a big part of Ashley’s life since junior high, where she was already recognized for
her skills on the court, which have grown to be stronger being in high school. All of the time spent on
the volleyball courts has led to some solid friendships, including those with fellow senior teammates Emily
Summerlin and Meredith Vedral. “She is very hardworking, and that is inspiring; she supplies energy for
the team,” Vedral said of Ashley. Reames says that time with her teammates is her favorite thing about
being on the team, and that she will miss her coaches and her teammates very much when she graduates.
Even though her volleyball family may be enough for this senior, she is still proud of the honors she has
received over the years, including the title of First Team Middle Hitter/Blocker in district.
Even though Ashley is quiet the jockette, she still challenges herself academically by undertaking
courses such as Dual Credit, Pre-AP, and even taking a math class during the summer to get into a pre-AP
Pre-Cal class her junior year. She has also taken numerous agriculture classes offered at Ponder because
they pertain to her dream career in Veterinary Science. Agriculture teacher Mr. Lankford has nothing but
good things to say about Ashley. “She is a very hardworking and goal-oriented. She will make something
of herself in life.” Ashley does all this to help herself secure a spot at A&M, her dream school.
In her down time, Ashley takes her role as a cowgirl seriously, and enjoys riding and barrel-racing her
horse, Pistol. The horse, a gift from long-time friend and fellow senior and cowgirl Mary Cage, is one of
Ashley’s most prized possessions in part because she trained him on her own, which was no small feat.
There is little doubt that this senior was made for A&M, and we expect to see her leave her (cowboy
boot) print on A&M, as she has on Ponder, after she walks the stage this spring.
Senior Class of 2014
all, smart, and handsome is what every girl dreams for in any guy, right? Okay, that’s
not quite the saying, but it’s no surprise that senior Spencer Waldo takes the ballot
as Mr. Right-Minded. With honest goals and a successful start, he’s sure to do morethan-well in this crazy world.
In his spare time, Spencer enjoys watching “Friends” reruns and hanging out with best
friends Christian Worthington and Josh Peterson.
In just a year since arriving to Ponder, Mr. Right-Minded has made the varsity football
team and become a regional qualifier in the 4x100m and 4x200m relays. This accomplishment even resulted with the entire regional varsity boys’ track team coming to school with
bleached hair, an event to be remembered by over 300 individuals forever. In his time here,
Spencer has also maintained an “A” average in all of his classes.
Spencer’s favorite teacher is Coach Pitman, for whom he plays football. He says playing
sports with his friends is what he’ll miss most about Ponder and that his favorite memory is
never losing to Alvord, which is where he attended school before moving here. Spencer is
most proud of being on the school’s record-breaking relay teams and the time he beat Christian Worthington, one of Ponder’s fastest runners, in the 40-yard Dash.
After high school, Spencer plans to attend college and try to be successful in life. His
only word of advice about high school in general is to do everything you can. When asked
if he had any parting words for his loved ones here in Ponder, he said, “Don’t take yourself
There is no doubt that Spencer will continue to be successful throughout life, being unofficially dubbed Mr. Right-Minded by many of the students at PHS. We wish him the best
of luck in all of his endeavors. Good luck out there, Spencer!
by Liz Branin
Students STEP Up to Help
By Katie Dickens
Ponder High Roar, page 6
I bet you know about these kids at school, but I also bet you didn’t know that they had a name.
S.T.E.P. is an alternative program for those who learn at a different pace. S.T.E.P stands for
Students To Employment Program. Don’t feel bad for not knowing it--I didn’t either! Mr. Easterling,
the S.T.E.P teacher had to tell me, and when he did, he added, “And
now we are the only two in the district that know what it stands for!”
Well, now you all do as well!
In our school’s S.T.E.P program, the teachers’ goal is to get the studentsready to be as independent as possible and to be a job-holding
member of our community. The students study normal things like language arts, math, and science, but they also learn something called
occupational prep, where they are taught
how to get a job and how to act and dress
for a job. Our school takes S.T.E.P students from nearby places such as Sanger
and Krum, but we also have students who
come from as far away as Aubrey, Pilot
Point and Argyle.
Thanks to our school’s program, and Mr. Easterling, a good number of S.T.E.P students have gone on to have and hold jobs. Some
have been holding them for over a year, and one of his students has
even gone on to junior college to
work on getting a degree. Obviously, this program is a blessing
to its students, who are given
renewed confidence and ability to
live and function on their own. The best part of working with
this group of kids, Mr. Easterling commented, is “seeing them
through to the end, when they fit in and realize they can do
things on their own.”
As you all know, homecoming week wasn’t too long ago.
The school was decorated with posters and banners and, of
course, the themed hallways. In all of this, you may have noticed some handmade, excellent,
brightly colored posters. The students in S.T.E.P made these for our school, not to mention the
fact that it was the students’ idea to make the posters, too Each student brainstormed separately.
To no one’s surprise, everyone got compliments! People would request to have their picture taken
in front of these posters. Though of course, it’s very obvious why. I talked to one of the students
of S.T.E.P, Brianna Johnson, who said, “Everyone had a lot of fun designing their posters.” Some
students used paper they cut into shapes, while others printed some
photos off the Internet. They would help one another and share opinions or ideas until they each had them perfected. All-in-all, it took them
about two weeks to complete all of
them. These posters helped brighten
up our hallways this homecoming
season. So, next time you come
across one of the S.T.E.P students
be sure to congratulate them on
their good work and thank them for
helping us decorate!
By Haley Chasteen
he school year has begun and everything has fallen into the normal routine
here at Ponder, including the sports.
Football, being a new sport to Ponder has
not exactly done the best in the past, but
has seemed to improve since the beginning of the new season. Our varsity and JV
football boys have played in four games,
each team winning two of the four, but have
overcome every assumption made about
them throughout these games. This sudden improvement of athleticism may have
something to do with the recent hiring of
three new coaches; Thomas Kent, Greg
Lane, and Glen Shuelke.
The new assistant football coach is
Thomas Kent from
Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It’s no surprise
that when Coach
Kent attended high
school his favorite
sport was football ,
but nowadays when
he’s not involved in
the sport he enjoys spending quality time
with his family, rock climbing, and pretty
much anything outdoors. When it comes to
coaching, his philosophy is very encouraging, “The pace of the leader determines the
pace of the pack,” said Coach Kent. Going
right along with his optimistic attitude Coach
Kent expressed that the thing he enjoyed
most about his work is, instilling belief in
those that don’t believe they can. These
positive and supportive views surely will
prove to be valuable as the season continues on.
Greg Lane, the new defensive coordinator has played a major role in the teams’
improvement of blocking the opposing
team from scoring and other areas of the
game. “Coach Lane has helped the Ponder
defense incredibly and he will improve us
more as the season goes on. It is obvious
that with his knowledge we will win many
games to come.” said varsity football linebacker Jacob Whited. Relating to his coaching values Coach Lane believes you must,
‘Work to enable each and every athlete with
the ability and strength to achieve success
in life, no matter what the challenges they
may face!’ Coach Lane also conveyed that
the part of his job he takes most
joy in is, “being around kids and
sharing in their lives.” Aside from
coaching he enjoys spending time with
his family, traveling, hunting, and playing
golf. When he retires, Coach Lane plans
to travel throughout Europe with his wife,
settle down somewhere in the country, and
occasionally play golf, but while he’s still
coaching here at Ponder he hopes to make
an impression of being a person who would
do anything for you at any time.
The last, but certainly nowhere close
to least, new football coach is head coach,
Glen Schelke. Schelke and his wife both
work here in Ponder ISD. While he works
as the Head Coach
of our football team
his wife, Carrie,
works at the Junior High teaching
reading, where their
is currently going through eighth
grade. When he is not working he enjoys
watching all sports, exercising, and being
around his family. Being happiest when the
team is winning on Friday nights Coach
Schuelke believes you should always “play
like it’s your last game every night.” Being
a coach is a job that comes with many ups
and downs, but there are moments that I
imagine make the job worthwhile, including Coach Shuelke’s favorite moments of
watching kids grow up and mature into
young adults. As Coach Shuelke spends his
time here at Ponder he plans to be known
as a winner that values more than just wins
With the remaining games of the football
season and any years they spend with Ponder after this one each new coach; Kent,
Lane, and Shuelke will surely prove to be
a great addition to the athletic department.
With many views and ideas being contributed throughout the football team and the
collaboration with the fantastic coaches that
have been here for years we all can count
on seeing many improvements throughout
both teams. The improvement is already
evident and can only increase from here on
Ponder High Roar, page 7
Triple Threat for a Winning Season
Faces Behind the Roar
1. She’s 5’11.
1. She loves acting.
2. She loves writing.
2. She likes politics.
3. She wears size 11
3. She hopes to change
1. She is obsessive.
2. She loves horror
3. She is peladophobic.
1. She wants to debate for
2. She was born in Tyler,
3. She enjoys baking and
1. She loves chocolate.
2. She’s obsessed with
3. Her favorite author is
1. She loves sewing.
2. She loves rock music.
3. She’s a bookworm.
1. Miss Understanding 2.Wake Up in a Good Mood 3.Step on the gas
Ponder High Roar
Do you want your own copy of the Print Roar? See Mrs. Crider in RM 221 or your “ROAR” Staff.