Category Archives: Features

Robertson Throws the Flag a Final Time

This year, Senior Maddie Robertson says goodbye to marching band and color guard. She has been a member since her freshman year, making this her fourth and final season.

“It’s like a habit to keep coming back. After doing it one year it just seemed weird if I didn’t do it again,” said Robertson.

She has also participated in three seasons of Winter Guard and plans to do it again this year.

“For the past years I’ve pushed myself to keep doing it, but this season my mom pushed me to do it since it is my last,” said Robertson.

Out of the two , she prefers color guard because she enjoys performing with the band and finds it less stressful. 

“Over all, color guard is more organized and Winter Guard gives me tons of stress because it can’t be organized properly because we are both in Tri-state and IHSCGA (Indiana High School Color Guard Association) competitions,” said Robertson.

Of the many shows that she has performed, A View From the Top from 2017 is her favorite. She enjoyed the music, the color guard’s choreography, and the props used during the show. At the state competition, the show received 3rd place behind Springs Valley and Forest Park. 

“The whole show turned out amazing. Even the Springs Valley families were surprised we didn’t win state,” said Robertson.

After high school, Robertson plans to go to college. Although she is currently undecided, she plans to apply to Indiana University Southeast, Ball State, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“The thing I’m going to miss most about high school is how close I am to home. Going to college means distance from home and I’m going to miss it more than anything,” said Robertson. 

Robertson doesn’t plan to pursue guard after high school, but she appreciates the impact it has had on her life.

“Being in guard has made me more outgoing in a way. I talk a lot more than when I started. It’s just easier,” Robertson said. 

Through her years of high school, Robertson has learned some valuable life lessons.

“Start focusing on stuff now rather than later. It’ll kick you in the butt later on if you don’t,” said Robertson.

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Story by Jozalyn Kempf

Senior Hunter Roach Plays for His Final Season

Senior Hunter Roach shares his musical talents through many avenues. One way those talents can be seen is during a performance by the Pride of Paoli marching band.

This marching band season, Roach is featured throughout the show. In the first part, he plays the soprano saxophone in a duet with sophomore Michael Hannon, who plays the alto saxophone. In the second part, Roach performs another duet with Hannon and they both play the soprano saxophone. In the final part, Roach is a part of a saxophone quartet, in which he plays the soprano, Hannon plays the alto, sophomore Angie Ceja plays the tenor and freshman Brody Wilcox plays the baritone. 

“My favorite part of the show so far is in part two. ‘Gabriel’s Oboe,’ the music for part two, has always been one of my favorite pieces,” said Roach.

While he is featured numerous times in the show, Roach is no stranger to the spotlight. Roach has performed many solos and group features in past band shows, as well as in concert band. One of his proudest achievements was making it into the All State Band as a first part. After auditioning, Roach was selected to be a member, making him one of the top high school musicians in the state of Indiana.

Being a senior feels a lot better than being a junior. I expect good things this year because we have a lot of potential as individuals, so all we need is to coordinate our efforts,” said Roach.

After graduating high school, Roach plans on going to study business at Indiana University.

“I will miss the large group of friends that comes with being in the band, but my message is to not listen to anyone because the size of the band makes no difference,” said Roach.

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Story by Michael Hannon

Senior Alicia Neale Leads the Band

This year, the Pride of Paoli has selected a new drum major, and senior Alicia Neale has been chosen to fill the spot at the podium. At the end of last school year, the POP held auditions open to anyone in the band who would like to fill the position. The audition process included writing an essay about why they wanted to be a drum major, being interviewed by the band and former band director Ben Werne and conducting the band through The Star Spangled Banner and the school song.

Over the summer, Neale went to a drum major camp at Ball State University called Music For All Summer Symposium.

“To help prepare for this season, I attended a drum major camp that lasted one week. It was very informative and it helped me improve my conducting skills,” said Neale.

Neale isn’t the only one in her family who has had the opportunity to lead the Pride. Part of her motivation to audition came from her grandmother and her mother who were drum majors before her.

“I wanted to become a drum major because I have had two people who were drum majors at Paoli many years ago. I thought it would be truly amazing to carry on the legacy in my family,” said Neale.

It takes a lot more than knowing how to conduct to be a drum major. For Neale, it also means being a role model for the rest of the band.

“What being drum major means to me is someone to look up to and someone to rely on, not only with the music, but also as a close friend,” said Neale.

Neale had to navigate a few changes when she transitioned from being in the hornline to being the drum major, including adjusting to a new director.

“Changing directors right before marching band season was very stressful. I was taught a lot of different ways to conduct the same music and it got very confusing. It was hard to tell who to listen to about my conducting style. Although it was challenging, it has gone quite smoothly since the change. Thankfully, we all adapted to the new director very quickly,” said Neale.

Neale looks to improve everyday and earn the band’s trust.

“I think the band, as a whole, needs to work on staying together musically because sometimes we tear apart. Personally, I want to improve on conducting well enough for the band to be confident in my tempo,” said Neale.

Even with all the new challenges, Neale is looking forward to this year’s marching band season.

“I am very excited for this season because we have a lot of potential as well as the talent of each individual. I see this season going exceedingly well and I hope that we can fully live up to our potential. I am so thankful that I have this position and I hope to be the best I can be for the band,” said Neale.

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Story by Angie Ceja

Griffith Heads to Home Base

For senior Tyler Griffith, the 2019 baseball season marks the end of a great high school career. His love for baseball was first discovered when he was eight years old. When Griffith had first moved to Paoli, he started in little league, and his love for baseball continued.

He currently plays many positions for Paoli’s baseball team, including pitcher, catcher and outfielder. The training required to get to where he is now gave him the opportunity to travel across the country playing baseball.

“Playing in high school has been a great experience, but I have a lot more memories playing travel baseball. I still have friends today from travel baseball that I would practically consider family. Growing up playing travel baseball has brought me closer to my family and teammates, and I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything else,” said Griffith.

While Griffith has been apart of baseball, he has accomplished a lot. In 2018,  the team won PLAC conference for the first time since 1994. Griffith has also earned individual awards.

I have been all-conference at the high school level. I have also won the top defensive player award. During two years of travel baseball, I played for the Indiana Rawlings Tigers located in Clarksville, Indiana. I won the All-Tiger award. This award is granted to two outstanding players on each team. Playing travel ball, I have also helped my teams win multiple tournament championships across the United States,” said Griffith.

Griffith has learned valuable life lessons during his baseball experience.

“Baseball has taught me a lot about what it means to be apart of a team and how to work together in certain situations. I have developed a lot as a player playing travel ball through my high school career, but also as a person because I have learned how to be a good teammate and to always be supportive of others,” said Griffith.

With his many years of experience, Griffith would advise younger players to do their best, work hard and never give up.

Griffith is looking forward to his last year of high school baseball, but is sad to see it come to an end. Griffith strives for another conference title and a sectional title before he has to put high school baseball behind him.

“I’m pretty disappointed that this is my last year, but I’ve had some great memories. I will miss being apart of the sport more because I had made some many memories with different teammates over the years,” said Griffith.

Story by: Faith Wilder

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Photo by: Karyas Slaten

Patton’s Recovery Continues

On July 17, 2018, the summer before his freshman year, freshmen Landon Padgett, Dexter Brown and Bladen Patton had an ATV accident in Padgett’s backyard. As a result of the accident, Patton had a broken ankle and arm. Through six surgeries, emotional turmoil and missing out on multiple sports seasons, the experience is something Patton will never forget.

“I have had a rod placed in my right arm and two screws put in my right ankle. The screws later had to be taken out because they were too long. I also had an emergency surgery on my arm because of a blood clot,” said Patton.

Patton has had a slow recovery, but to him, how far he has come is a big deal.

At first, Patton started off in a wheelchair and had casts on his arm and ankle. He was barely able to move his arm on his own. By January 2019, Patton was able to straighten his elbow out, and the feeling in his fingers was starting to come back.

“Now, I am back to being independent on most things, but I think the biggest difference for me is that I can finally sleep on my stomach. I couldn’t do that at the beginning,” said Patton.

Though Patton is not far enough along in the recovery process to know of any permanent restrictions, some temporary ones include playing certain sports, writing, tying his shoes and lifting weights.

Patton is also unsure of when he will be fully recovered, but he is still determined to play basketball and football as soon as he is released to do so. One major milestone Patton has accomplished is the fact that he is now able to play baseball again. 

Because of all the obstacles that have been put in his way, having a good attitude is extremely important.

“I could’ve very easily given up by now, but that’s not me. I want to get back to doing the things I love. I look at life in general quite differently now. It can be over in the snap of a finger, and you have to be very careful. I understand that anything can happen so fast and change your life, but I know God always has a plan,” said Patton.

Story by: Gracie Walls

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Photo by: Addison Wells

Leone Reflects on Tennis Career

For senior Emily Leone, the 2019 tennis season is her last of high school. Leone discovered her love of the sport in fifth grade.

Several of my friends were going to play tennis so I thought I would try it out as well.  Also, my cousin had played tennis and enjoyed it so I figured I would probably enjoy it, too,” said Leone.

Leone has enjoyed the memories and friendships she has made because of tennis throughout her years.

“There have been a lot of different stories and memories come from tennis over the years,” said Leone.

Along with the perks of tennis, Leone admits the hard work involved with participating. She also mentions that rain is an obstacle for both her and her team.

Through the difficulties, Leone has had the opportunity to grow as a player. She has noticed the placement of her tennis balls are better and she has been playing smarter.

Along with winning matches, tennis has brought Leone lessons that will stay with her into her future. Leone mentions the mental toughness she has because of the sport, and she will be able to use that later in her life.

This season, the team started off with a 7-0 record with Leone playing number two singles. She has hopes that they will continue to have a successful year. However, Leone is no stranger to success. She has accomplished winning tournaments and was part of the team her freshman year when the varsity won sectional.

With her years of experience, Leone has words of advice to young players.

“Be patient with your progress. The only way to get better is by practicing and not paying too much attention to your mistakes,” said Leone.

With her last season coming to a close, Leone is preparing to say goodbye to a big part of her life.

“This being my last year of tennis feels pretty odd. It’s weird to think that I won’t be playing next year since I have been doing it for so long. I’ve made a lot of friendships with people I wouldn’t think I would, as well as made a lot of memories with people I have been friends with forever.  Tennis is the only sport I have ever been apart of, so I’m sure I will miss playing it,” said Leone.

Story by: Faith Wilder

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Photo by: Rebekah Reeves

Throwback Feature: Padgett’s Time at PHS

Not a lot of people stay in their hometown their entire life, but this is not the case for PHS graduate David Padgett. Padgett attended Paoli from kindergarten to senior year and graduated in 1977. Following graduation, he went to work at Brittany Factory for 8 years. Padgett was then a student at Indiana University Southeast and earned his teaching degree. With his degree, he returned to Paoli High School and became a fourth grade teacher at Throop Elementary.

Padgett got married to his wife, Kathy, on June 21, 1997 and has two children. His oldest child is Nick, a senior, and the youngest is Libby, a sophomore.

Having spent a lot of time at PHS, Padgett has the ability to offer important advice to the students here.

“Enjoy school as much as you can and participate in everything that you can,” said Padgett.

In high school, Padgett was involved in FFA and really enjoyed going to the football games, basketball games and cheering on the Rams. Padgett’s biggest regret was not playing sports in school.

“You may not think it is, but school is one of the best things in your life. So enjoy it while you can and make many friends and memories before you graduate,” said Padgett.

Padgett has been teaching at PHS for 22 years, and at the end of year he will be retiring.

“I am looking forward to retirement. I hope to be able to go camping more, working in my yard and doing things with the family. I am going to also try to find a job so I can work some to help with the bills,” said Padgett.

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Story by: Haley Owens

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