HHS meets Hunters Lane in ‘Battle for Unity’

The HHS marching band will travel to Hunters Lane High on Saturday for a battle of the bands.

The event is being called the first “Battle for Unity” and features the HHS “Band of Gold” and the Hunters Lane “Human Boombox.”

“The idea is to get the two groups together,” said HHS band director Dr. Jeff Phillips. “We’re not doing this to compete but to bring groups together and have a good time.”

Band members seem excited to go. “I’m pumped and ready,” said junior Natori Simmons.

The Golden Sparks, HHS’ new majorettes team, will also perform.

The Battle of the Bands begins at 6 p.m. at the school, at 1150 Hunters Lane in Nashville. Admission is $10.

Article by Megan Grandas and Hailey Gilley


Belmont art show to feature work by HHS students

Some HHS art students will have their work entered in the 10th annual Belmont art show for high school students, which is Jan. 11 at Belmont University.

Students will have the chance to show their creativity in painting, sculpting and drawing. Art teacher Sandra Kandros will choose 25 pieces to enter in the competition.

HHS students will learn whether their pieces were selected between now and Nov. 18.

The top overall winner will receive $500 and have their piece placed on a billboard in Nashville.

Artists who take first in their individual categories win $50.

Article by Zoee Troynar


Students scream for ice cream during recent sale

The ice cream sale in Christy Brown’s marketing class last month raised nearly $500.

Ten different teams sold a variety of ice cream flavors and toppings during first and second blocks.

First block brought in around $250 and second about $200.

In first block, the top selling group earned $91 with their “Beanboozled” ice cream. The winning team in second block raised $128 with burrito-flavored and chocolate fondue-flavored ice cream.

Students will use the money for Chick-Fil-A at the end of the year.  

Article by Mason Mills and Camden McClister

As the curtain began to open, the lights flickered and the characters took the stage. On the edge of their seats, the audience members observed the wicked image of Dracula.

 The HHS production of Dracula, which wrapped up Halloween night, was a must-see this scary season with about 1,000 people attending.

“It went really well,” said theatre arts teacher Laurie Kerhoulas-Brown, who directed the play, which opened with a morning show for students followed by three evening performances for the public: Oct. 26, 28 and 31.

About 200 people attended the first night, 175 the second and 100 the third. The other 500 or so caught the school performance.

While the shows might have seemed flawless on the surface, behind the scenes “there is always something I feel we can improve,” said Kerhoulas-Brown, or Ms. K.B. as she is known to students. As she watched, she couldn’t help wanting to tinker with things like the string door, the carpet and the sound to get the performances just right.

 “The little bitty things change how good the show is,” Ms. K.B. said. “My goal is not to do high school theater; it is to do a professional job wherever we are. I want to bring it to the next level.”

Students say she and her cast and crew hit the mark with Dracula.

“I think the play was excellent,” said freshman Cullen Mnich, whose older brother Jack played Van Helsing. “Harrison (Williams) played a great Dracula and Jack played an amazing Van Helsing. Conner (Strumm) was awesome as the insane doctor, and all the girl vampires did a great job at scaring me.”

Freshman Steven Simerka described the play as “entertaining and suspenseful,” while classmate Kate Agee said, “It kept me on the edge of my seat.”

Story by Emma Miller and Olivia Nutting

When the Commandos take the field Friday for a rematch with Blackman High, they’ll have a weapon they didn't have the first time around: running back Anthony Hughes.

Hughes missed the Aug. 18 game with Blackman because of injury, and the Commandos fell 63-28.

The teams meet again this week for the first round of the Tennessee High School Football Playoffs. The game is home and begins at 7.

“I am excited because I didn’t get to play the first time, so I’m going to play has hard as a I can,” Hughes said Tuesday.

The HHS senior should be in top form. He recently won the prestigious Tennessee Titans Player of the Week for his performance against Rossview High. The Tennessean newspaper reported that Hughes had eight carries for 142 yards and returned a kick 96 yards to finish with three touchdowns in a 37-17 victory.

Coach Bruce Hatfield said the Commandos, who are 6-4 this season, are fortunate to have Hughes back and to play Blackman at home.

The coach is looking forward to a good week of preparation. “If we practice well, we usually play well,” Hatfield said.

Hughes has been in his share of big games; he has been playing football since he was 5.

“My dad made me play,” he recalled. “I didn’t want to play at first, but he made me and I fell in love with it.”

Hughes leads by motivating with his actions and his words. His teammates watched him overcome a knee injury that kept him out of the first couple games this season. He had to train harder than ever to recover.

His determination and athleticism aren’t the only things that make him stand out. Coach Hatfield said Hughes is “a good person, is nice to everybody, and works hard ... He speaks to people and makes younger students feel good by going and talking to them and listening to them. We are very proud of him for that.”

Fellow senior Tyler Dang said, “I view Anthony as a brother. If I ever need anything I can count on him, and if he ever needs anything I got him.”

Hughes plans to continue playing football in college. He has already received offers from Austin Peay and East Tennessee State.

But right now, his focus is on Blackman and the playoffs.

“If we extend the season, we’ll be playing hard teams,” he said.

Story by Kayla Delk and Giulia Giordani

Halloween is here, and for many that means trick-or-treating.

But not everyone goes door-to-door in full Superman garb seeking handfuls of sweets. A number of HHS students and teachers said they still enjoy the spooky holiday, even if massive candy hauls are a thing of the past.

"I stopped going around 8th or 9th grade," said Thomas Oglesby, assistant principal. "I still take my son and others around the neighborhood though."

Andrew Beld, physical science teacher, also gets his Halloween fix by taking his son trick-or-treating, even if it does scare up some distrubing images.

"Eighth grade was the last time I went," Beld recalled. "I went as (80s pop star) Cyndi Lauper. It was a hit."

Sophomore Jaron Tabb stopped trick-or-treating in the 6th grade "because I felt too old."

"But I still celebrate by playing Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube," Tabb said.

Some said they no longer trick-or-treat, but dressing up in costumes is too fun to pass up.

"I still dress up and go to Halloween parties or events at restaurants and theaters," said Latin teacher Caitlin Hall.

Angus Finch, a junior, also enjoys costume parties and said he has found a good substitute for trick-or-treating.

"I watch horrible movies instead," he said.

Story by Bryce Mathias




The votes are in!

The rock in the parking lot behind the gym will from now on be known as Dwayne, as in professional wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Dwayne won in a landslide with 39 votes, besting runner-up Big Bro.

The rock was placed at HHS this year by the student government and Principal Bob Cotter in an effort to raise school spirit. The contest to name the rock drew several dozen votes.

For the record, the HHS rock bears only slight resemblance to its namesake.

Article by Giulia Giordani and Kayla Delk

Reading can be habit-forming, at least that is what some HHS English teachers are finding.


A handful of teachers recently started independent reading programs in their classrooms and say the results are encouraging.


“Yesterday, as a matter of fact, a boy told me that for the first time in his life he read a book from cover to cover,” said English Department Chairman Carmen Watts, who pioneered the program at HHS last year because she said many teens do not read as much as they should due to social media, video games and other distractions.


Each day, Watts has students read a book of their choosing the first 15 or 20 minutes of class. She does approve the books to make sure they are suitable and requires students to keep a journal of what they read. Still, students have more freedom than the standard approach of only focusing on the classics. Many wind up picking up their books outside of English class.


“The last book I started reading was called Through My Eyes. It was written by Tim Tebow, and it was kind of like his autobiography, about his life and his time in Florida. It was pretty good,” said freshman Gabriel Epperson.


Watts’ colleagues Candice Cunningham, Ashley Jones and Dr. Rebecca Bene have incorporated independent reading this semester. All four teachers still assign books for class, but now students get to mix in some of their own selections.


“Most of my students seem to be, for the most part, excited about being able to pick the book that they want to read and then have the opportunity to read it because many of them don’t outside of class,” Bene said.


She added that the HHS librarians are also pleased with independent reading because “it just gets students in there and looking at books they might not normally have looked at.”


In fact, library records show that the number of books checked out this semester appears to be way ahead of last year. So far this semester, 1,397 books have been checked out compared with 1,670 for all of last school year.


“We saw a growth in independent reading last year and the trend has continued this year,” librarians Jeane Trovato and Angie Woods said in a joint statement. “We love getting student book recommendations to drive our library purchases.  We have seen several students this school year who have not visited the library in a long time to check out books.”



Story by Peter Livesay, Kennedy Tilson, Caden Watterson and Bailey Guy



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