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The HHS boys soccer team will face Gallatin Thursday (May 6) to decide if they qualify for district competition.

 

This is the final regular season game for the Commandos, who are 8-4-3 on the year. The game will be 7 p.m. at Gallatin High School.

 

“It’s going well,” sophomore Henry Vega said of the season. “The team should go far.”

 

Vega said the players have been practicing hard and watching film of recent games to help them prepare.

 

Assistant Coach Devin Woodard said the boys soccer team has been less affected by COVID-19 than the girls squad, which had its season last fall when the infection rates were much higher.

 

The boys team has also been able to compete in tournaments, which Woodard called a “good experience” for learning and improving.

 

Vega said the team is motivated to continue training and to have a strong finish to the season.

 

Story by Genesis Carrera and Luke Scherba

HHS has won the national cheerleading competition for the first time ever.

 

The cheerleaders finished first in the Universal Cheerleaders Association National Championships.

 

Business teacher and cheerleading coach Brittany Watson said the team has taken second and third place before but never first.

 

Because of COVID, this year’s competition was different. Instead of going somewhere to compete, Watson said, the performances were recorded and then sent to the judges.

 

The first-round video was due April 7. The team advanced to the final round on April 12 and submitted its final video on April 15. The competition aired on Varsity TV April 23.

 

“The great thing about recording was that we could record as many times as we could to make sure it was perfect,” said senior Lily Howard.

 

The team competed in the Small Varsity Non-Tumble Game Day Division and the Small Varsity Traditional Division.

 

Story by Fabian Spence and Brett Means

It’s inappropriate, hard to ignore, and all over the place at HHS.

 

Oh, and it’s also really hard to prevent.

 

“I have been here two years and have not known anybody to be caught for graffiti yet,” observed assistant principal Nicole Jiminez.

 

Bathrooms pose the biggest problem, with the private stalls a common canvas for cuss words and rude remarks.

 

The Ville News inspected every student restroom – boys and girls – and found graffiti in all of them, though some were worse than others.

 

Most of the material was inappropriate, but sprinkled in were a few uplifting, if not particularly deep, messages like “love is love.”

 

With no cameras in the bathrooms, it’s hard to catch the culprits, but not impossible with hall cameras rolling 24-7.

 

School custodians clean up the graffiti, and Jiminez said they alert administrators if they find anything troubling.

 

Story by Skyler Sons and Brennan Wilson

Many students at HHS see staff and fellow students walking through the halls, but many aren't aware of the four-legged, finned, or slithering co-habitants of the school. 

 

Many of these creatures are found in teacher Karl Wenzel’s Small Animal Science class.

 

“Most kids that take this (class) have a desire to be a vet,” Wenzel said, or they are a pet owner now or plan to be one in the future.

 

Besides providing students with information about the animals, the class also gives them opportunities to observe and interact with the creatures.

 

The classroom, for example, is home to Monty the ball python, Curly the cockatiel, Pork Chop the guinea pig, Marshmallow the hamster, Zeus the leopard gecko, and an aquarium with a variety of fish.

 

On weekends, holidays and during the summer, Wenzel allows students to take the animals home with all the necessary supplies.

 

 

If not enough students volunteer, Wenzel takes the animals home instead. 

 

Some students end up loving their adopted animal so much that they buy a new one for the classroom and keep their favorite for a pet.

 

“A lot of students enjoy and gain a lot of hands-on learning” from the course, Wenzel said.

 

Story by Michelle Khoury and Catharine Hinkle 

 

The Commando’s Ryan “el niño” Oden recently accomplished one of the rarest feats in all of baseball.

 

The junior pitched a no-hitter in a 10-0 win over Green Hill High School at home April 14.

 

“My main thoughts were to keep the ball low and on the corners,” Ryan recalled of those tense final moments.

 

This isn’t the first time he’s tossed a no-hitter. He said his first was when he was in Little League.

 

Coach Mike Hendrix said pitching a no-hitter is “very rare” at all levels of baseball.

 

“You don’t see it every day in the MLB (Major League Baseball), in Little League or in college baseball,” Hendrix said.

 

“Ryan had a great performance on the mound, and threw excellent curveballs and sliders,” Hendrix remarked.

 

The young pitcher said he has been working hard since July to prepare for this season. Someday he hopes to wind up in the pros.

 

“What motivates me is that one day I will be able to afford a big house in Miami for my brothers Luis and Carlitos,” he said.

 

Story by Luis Arjona

If there’s one person at HHS who likes Bojangles chicken biscuits more than anyone, it’s teacher Samuel Gilbert, who has been selling biscuits almost every Wednesday for as long as any student can remember.

 

He started some 15 years ago, originally selling Chick-fil-A biscuits. Over the last four years, however, Gilbert has become famous for his Bojangles biscuits, which are a staple for many students.

 

“What would you like?”

“One spicy, please.”

“Three dollars.”

“Thank you.”

 

So goes a typical exchange between Gilbert and a hungry student. However, to Gilbert, who teaches Song Writing, Creative Writing, Honors English II, and Advanced Honors English II, selling chicken biscuits is about more than tradition.

 

“The money goes back into different things for the community and the school,” says Gilbert as he tends to another customer.

 

“For instance,” he explains, “in Song Writing Club, the students will write a song, but in order to get the song recorded, we have to pay someone.” 

 

Gilbert is a sponsor of multiple school clubs and organizations like Song Writing Club, Creative Writing Club and Noah’s Promise. 

 

On a recent Wednesday, Gilbert attempted to sell 200 chicken biscuits. There have been some years in which he has sold as many as 350 in one morning, but this year, with the pandemic, he estimates that he is selling about 150 biscuits per Wednesday morning.

 

“Selling has been harder this year," says Gilbert. "Because students have to sit in the gym in the morning, a lot of seniors and juniors just sit in their cars."

 

This particular morning, by 7:35 the gym had already started to fill up with students. By then, Gilbert had sold 26 biscuits in 25 minutes of sitting in the gym.

 

As the 7:50 dismissal bell drew closer, the pace picked up and Gilbert sold more and more biscuits. With only about 5 minutes left, he had sold almost 80. 

 

After reading the book Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt, Gilbert says he has noticed a correlation between students who buy Cajun spicy versus regular chicken biscuits.

 

“It seems like there's a weird correlation,” he explains. “The people who like the regular biscuits get here early and those who like spicy get here late.”

 

Although he says his theory is not perfect, Gilbert thinks that “people who procrastinate and get to school late are more prone to like spicy things.”

 

Oddly enough, Gilbert, who is up early every Wednesday to sell his biscuits, appears an exception to his own theory.

 

“Cajun. My favorite biscuit is the Cajun one. "

 

Story by Ricki Heerdt

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