Category Archives: Features

Lee in Photography

Photography seems to be something that is very popular in our area, and a lot of people enjoy it. There is also a lot of talent that is involved in being a good photographer. Sophomore Kyla Lee has been doing photography for two years now and is doing phenomenal work.
Lee first started intro to media as an eighth grader, and going into it, she was already interested in photography. Last year, she was in Photo 1 and is now a part of the journalism staff as the Clubs and Student Life Photo Editor. Lee’s mother was a photographer when she was in high school, which inspired Lee to try it. Lee also wanted people to see the work she puts into her pictures.
When she is working on her craft, Lee looks up to Lily Thompson the most.
“Seeing all of her work and how she captures everything in such a beautiful way gives me the inspiration to do the same,” said Lee.
Out of all the things to take images of, Lee enjoys shooting sports the most. Lee thinks taking pictures of sports is more interesting since there’s more going on. Although she enjoys taking sports, she has a love-hate relationship with them. It’s frustrating for her from having to change the camera settings all the time to missing perfect shooting opportunities. Lee also enjoys getting to see how different people spend their time.
On average, Lee spends about 4 hours a week taking pictures. She usually takes photos of a sports event each week, such as a volleyball game on Tuesday or Thursday and football games on Friday. She takes photos of other events as well, such as pep sessions or activities in classrooms.
After high school, Lee plans on taking pictures in her free time and possibly minoring in photography.

Story by Avery Owens

Football Senior Smith

Senior Tyler Smith has been playing football since his fourth grade year. Smith wanted to play football because there is nothing else he could participate in where he can hit someone and not get in trouble for it. For Smith, it’s also a lot of fun to be with friends and win.
“I have improved over the years by lifting weights every summer. I put on some weight to make me stronger, but I have also gotten faster over the time, too. I came in my freshman year weighing in at 175, and my senior year I weighed in at 210. There are some improvements in my weight so I wouldn’t be too little to run the ball at the fullback position,” said Smith.
This year, Smith had three goals he hoped to achieve. The first goal was to win the Orange Bowl, which the team did. Another goal was to win PLAC, and they succeeded. His last goal was to win Sectional. The team made it to the last round of Sectional, but, unfortunately, did not succeed.
Coach England in youth, coach Adam Stroud in junior high and former varsity head coach Brian Balsmeyer helped Smith become the player he is today.
“Tyler is a very talented football player and a great kid. He has started playing for us for four years now. The way he runs the ball inside makes everyone around him a better player. His athleticism makes him very difficult to block,” said varsity football coach Jeremy Lowery.
Smith was a great asset to the football program at Paoli and would like to play football in college, but is unsure of where right now.

Story by Haley Owens

Basketball Sophomore Cunningham

Sophomore Madison Cunningham has been playing basketball for 6 years. Playing mainly as a guard, she knows the mental toughness and physical capacity needed to compete with other teams.
“My favorite thing about basketball is the experience that I get to have in front of everyone, the memories and the life lessons it teaches me,” said Cunningham.
Basketball for Cunningham is always competitive. Each day in practice helps her increase the skills she needs to be a guard, but it is not easy. With the right mindset and focus on the court, competition is a cakewalk.
She looks up to people who she always watched growing up. Role models help push Cunningham and motivate her to become a better athlete.
“Morgan Kingston and Sophie Sears inspire me because no matter the circumstances, they always gave everything they had to the game. They were able to walk through PHS as some of the best girls basketball players and hold records of our school now,” said Cunningham.
The team is striving to achieve PLAC champion and go back to defeat Eastern Pekin for Sectional. Cunningham knows the team has a lot of talent and can do whatever they set their minds to. She hopes to bring home a state title for the season.
“I hope that we work as a team and achieve the most that we can. We just have to work together and make each other better every day,” said Cunningham.
Outside of the sport, players may or may not be friends with their teammates. However, everyone needs to get along and work together. Teamwork makes the dream work, and all it takes is having confidence in yourself and your teammates on the court.
“As a friend and a teammate, Madison really pushes herself, and it shows when she is on the court with everyone. She’s going to go really far with her attitude and ability to play,” said sophomore Sierra Manship.
Although Cunningham does not plan on playing basketball after high school, she still wants to work hard and be the best she can.

Story by Kinley Block

Basketball Sophomore Manship

Basketball season is approaching, and sophomore Sierra Manship is beyond excited to get the ball moving. Manship has been playing basketball since she was in third grade, and ever since, she has developed a passion for it. Manship pursued the sport because she was inspired by her dad to start playing.
“My dad has always just pushed me to be better at everything I do, and he always helped me,” said Manship.
Manship is a center, and just like every other athlete, she has set her goals for the season. Her main goal for the season is to have the highest free throw percentage out of all her teammates and to win Sectional.
With every sport comes the pros and cons, and Manship is confident on what they are to her.
“My favorite thing is playing with all of my friends and least favorite thing is running at practice,” said Manship.
As the years went on, Manship worked to improve both her mental and physical game. Playing sports can be so much more than just the game. Athletes tend to learn life lessons that they can take with them after they walk away from the sport. Manship says that with basketball, she has become better at keeping calm in certain situations.
“Basketball has taught me to take harsh criticism and how I can respond back better,” said Manship.
To anyone wishing to play basketball, or any sport in general, Manship says to, without a doubt, be confident.
“Always be confident in yourself. I’ve learned this because the coaches are always saying to be confident that you are going to make the next shot or anything else relating to the sport,” said Manship.
Manship hopes to continue making memories with her team and to improve twice as much as last year. Manship also hopes that she and her teammates can be more successful this season.

Story by Sara Kesterson

Becht’s Holiday Spirit

Eighth grader Taylor Becht is involved with the French Lick Scenic Railway. She is currently playing as an elf and chef in The Polar Express.
“On The Polar Express, you are an entertainer and try to make every night the best for all the families. You also see how you can change any person’s life in a positive way,” said Becht.
A skill Becht has that helps her with her job is being able to talk with people and communicate in different situations.
“You should be able to make up conversation, see happiness in any situation, and be great with children,” explained Becht.
In order to have a good, well functioning show, everyone must work as a family. Each person must do their part as an “elf” so everyone on the train can keep the Christmas attitude. This job suits Becht very well simply because she loves to make people happy and has good communication and improv skills. In this type of job, you must be able to do lots of improv.
“This job suits me because I can make things up on the spot, act like a child, and sing and dance like nobody’s watching,” said Becht
Becht is good with communicating with not only kids, but adults too.
“I feel like being able to talk to the kids and adults is a big part of it all. I mean, you want to sing and dance, but if you can’t act and be an elf, then it kills everything about the show,” said Becht.
Over the years that she’s been involved with The Polar Express, she’s improved in areas such as communication. At first, she didn’t know how to talk to people, but now she is more confident than ever in herself. Becht’s favorite part of The Polar Express is being able to make people laugh and be happy and being able to change someone’s life in a positive way.
“Being involved with such a big corporation really makes you feel great. Knowing that you could have changed a person’s life in a positive way is one of my favorite things about the entire experience,” said Becht.
Becht plans on doing The Polar Express throughout her high school years, and her performance skills will only improve.
“I will probably stick with The Polar Express all the way through high school. Once you get out of school, you can no longer be an elf. I’m going to make the most of my time and do it every year,” said Becht.

Story by Angie Ceja

Vincent Reflects on Football

Millions of students across the country participate in high school athletics. In fact, there are approximately eight million high school athletes in the United States. The friendships formed, memories shared and life lessons learned through sports is what draws kids to play. Some of the most cherished memories of students can be gained through their athletic careers.
For senior quarterback Garrett Vincent, this is most definitely the case.
“My best memories are just being in the locker room with my team. A lot of times, people take for granted the bonds that are formed when people spend so much time together like teammates do. My teammates really feel like family, and it’s really something special,” said Vincent.
Vincent has participated in football for ten years and has been around the game his whole life. With his father being his coach and his entire family religiously devoted to watching football, Vincent has plenty of experience with the game. Playing for Paoli ever since third grade, Vincent has developed a passion for the game and the desire to win.
“My favorite thing about playing is winning. I love to win and to see our hard work pay off. It’s especially sweet to win now because of how much success we lacked when I was an underclassman,” said Vincent.
High school teaches students a lot of important things, but some just cannot be learned in the classroom. Football has taught Vincent many important life lessons he will always remember.
“It has really driven skills and characteristics into me that I could not have gotten on my own. One of the main things is accountability. In the Paoli football program, accountability is huge. The coaches always talk about doing your one-eleventh on the field for success and that’s a great way to teach young men how to be accountable. I’ve also learned how to be a leader on and off the field and how to relate to lots of different personalities,” said Vincent.
During his junior year, Vincent suffered an injury early in the season that shattered his hopes of playing another game that season. After receiving the news that his collarbone was officially broken and he would be missing the rest of the season, Vincent was absolutely crushed.
“My injury completely devastated me last season. I felt like I worked so hard to be where I was only to have it all taken away from me. A big thing it taught me was how to be a good teammate no matter what. Even though I couldn’t contribute on the field, I knew that my role on the team was a big one. I just turned into a cheerleader and sometimes a coach. I tried to encourage as much as possible and to help the guys who had to step in and take my spot. It also just made me really excited for this season and really determined to make it a special one,” said Vincent.
This season being Vincent’s last year at PHS heightens his determination to make it spectacular. One last chance at victory has Vincent and his senior teammates working extremely hard towards a title.
“My goals for this season have been the same since day one: win every championship possible,” said Vincent.
With the team already winning the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference title, Vincent is accomplishing his dreams. As the season is coming to an end, Vincent knows he will miss it every day.
“I really try not to think about this being my last season too much. I have loved football since I was able to walk, and the fact that it’s almost over and gone is really sad. I know that I’ll never be a part of anything like Paoli football. It’s cliché, but there is not much like it. Football has been such a huge part of my life, and it really makes me sad that in a few weeks I will never play another down,” said Vincent.
Every year, senior athletes will touch the field or court one last time, and the outcome for Vincent is no different. After finding something truly special, it’s heartbreaking to grasp the reality that in a few weeks, it will be gone. Come support Vincent and his teammates as they play what could be their final game for PHS on Friday, October 20.

Story by Hunter Hamilton

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