Wiggins Tigers Football Extinguish the Holyoke Dragons’ Flames

By Pete Kammerzell

The Tigers bounced back with a 41-14 victory over the Dragons in Holyoke after a 27-20 overtime loss in Burlington that will most likely prevent Wiggins from clinching the league title.

“This game was the difference between our season ending and continuing on into the playoffs,” said senior Tucker Baker. In Baker’s mind, the offensive line needs some work and the running game could work a little better, but overall he thinks that the football team is playing very well.

Junior David Nance also felt like the game was a success. Nance enjoyed the fact that although the team was down 8-7 at halftime, they were able to pull away for the big win. “Knowing that we can have a rough first half and get it together shows us that we can really wreck some teams,” said Nance.

In Nance’s eyes, senior quarterback Kaeson Risner, who had three touchdowns and 94 passing yards, made the biggest impact on the game. “He was really able to command the offense, and when the O-line broke down, he was able to run and make some big plays,” said Nance.

The victory was a real confidence booster to sophomore Teggan Freauff: “It was relieving to go in and get that win.” Freauff believes that Wiggins out plays and out talents every team in the league and can do well going into the playoffs. He also thinks that the team is playing well with the offensive line being the main aspect that needs work. “Our O-line could use some work, but overall we’re playing well,” said Freauff.

Tigers junior Max Smailek, who had three catches for thirty-three yards, said that the game gave the team some much-needed confidence and was a relief after a tough loss. “It was a relief; we know no one can hang with our stuff, we just needed to show it,” said the junior. “It was a good win while concluding league play, and everyone worked together well to get us the blowout win.”

The Wiggins football team hosts its next and final regular season game Friday, October, 30, with the first round of the class 1A state football tournament beginning November 11.

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Outbound Lady Tigers Leave Team with Words of Encouragement

By Makayla Harris
Four Lady Tigers walked onto their home court for their last time on Tuesday, October 20. Jessica Veeman, Laura Walker, Faythe Harris, and Brienna Baer have been a part of the Wiggins volleyball program for four years.

Veeman has had a varsity jersey ever since her freshman year. As she walked onto her home court for one last time, she said, “Honestly, the first thing I thought about was how I have taken advantage of all the times that I have gotten to walk onto this court, how now I will never be able to get that back or ever be able to experience this again.”

Veeman helped the team with her high serving percentage and consistency in both the back row and the front. According to Veeman, winning her last home game meant a lot not just to her, but to the team. “Four years ago I walked onto that court not thinking that I could accomplish all that I have and my team has,” she said. “Winning the last home game made me realize that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to, and it also proved that we as a team can accomplish anything.”

Being a part of a team these last four years has helped impact Veeman’s future. She said  it has helped her become more confident in herself and has shown her that having the support of others helps you reach goals that you didn’t even know you had set.

One piece of advice that Veeman has for all the underclassmen is to take every opportunity they get, to appreciate all of the little things on their journey through high school, and to make every situation as good as you can. The volleyball program is going to miss Jessica and her positive attitude toward the game next year, according to sophomore Tori Jordan.

According to her stats, Baer has been one of the best defensive players  on the Tiger court for last four years and has helped the team make a comeback. According to Baer, being a part of a team for the last four years has helped her learn valuable social skills, leadership qualities, and competitiveness.

Walking onto her home court for the last time, Baer said, “It was kind of emotional just knowing that I will never play volleyball in this gym again. It’s weird. You don’t think you will miss it, then you’re just like ‘crap, I am going to miss this.’” Winning was the perfect way to say goodbye to the place that has been like a home for the last four years, said Baer.

As Baer gets ready to say goodbye, the last bit of advice she has for the underclassmen is to take it all in and really appreciate all the time they will have, not just to play sports but just to be in high school.

Walker has also been a major part of the Tigers’ success through the years by being one of the best defensively in the league. Walker walked out onto her home court for one last time feeling that, “It was a bittersweet moment. I mean, it was nice to play, but I didn’t know how to feel, knowing that I would never play on this court again.”

Winning her last home game was a dream come true, according to Walker, leaving a legacy that most Wiggins teams have not. Being a part of a successful team impacted her future  because it has given her “a new look on life by how I treat and speak with others that I have to work with.”

As Walker walks off the court for one last time, the piece of advice that she has for the underclassmen is, “Don’t take for granted every game you play in. It may not be in your favor, but you are going to want to do your best no matter what.”

Harris has been the captain of the volleyball team for two years and has been in the top ranks of the league for kills and blocks for the last three years. Harris is a major part of the Lady Tigers’ success, according to Jordan. Harris she said as she walked onto her home court for her last time, she was mainly focused on the challenge of what was set in front of her.

“Being a part of this team has impacted me in a way that is has shown me great leadership skills and has given me memories that I will never forget,” said Harris. Winning the last game that she will play in on her own her was a good feeling, she said: “Any win feels good.”

According to Coach Michelle Baker, Harris has been able to inspire not just a team but a family out of the Tiger volleyball program, and she has been able to bring a good attitude that the team has learned to fall back on during rough times. Harris will be a greatly missed asset to the Wiggins volleyball program, said Baker.

As Harris signs out, her last piece of advice for the underclassmen is, “There comes a point when you have to focus on yourself. Being on a team is great, but sometimes you have to know what is going to be best for you. There are going to be people that love or hate you either way.”

Coaches Baker and Kerr wanted to let these four seniors know that they have been a great asset to have on their court and are going to be missed greatly next year. With these four leaving, they are going to have some big spots to fill.

Cross Country Makes State

By Faythe Harris

Wiggins Cross Country's boys' and girls' teams, shown here with their regional plaques, both placed second at last week's regional meet. Both teams will run at the state meet this Saturday.

Wiggins Cross Country’s boys’ and girls’ teams, shown here with their regional plaques, both placed second at last week’s regional meet. Both teams will run at the state meet this Saturday.

The Wiggins High school cross country teams both qualified for the state meet last Thursday, October 22. The male and female teams competed in Colorado Springs, where both teams placed in the top two. Those placings solidified their opportunity to run at State. This also made the sixth straight year that both teams have qualified for the state meet.

The boys’ team knew before they even ran that top two was an easy goal to achieve. “I can say I was relieved that we qualified because we were expecting to place top two,” said head coach Mario Garcia. The boys took second with a score of 21. Preceding them to take first was Peyton High School, who scored 7 points. The boys’ team has been gunning for Peyton since the beginning of the season, and senior Reid Ernst said that their goal is to finally beat Peyton at state.

The girls’ team had a different story. Going into regionals, the girls’ team was tied for third with Kiowa, so going into that day they were uncertain about where they may end up. The girls were able to pull ahead of Kiowa by one point and seal the second-place finish. “It was shocking, like all our hard work finally paid off,” said senior Kamryn Sirios. Not only did the girls make it to state, but junior Maggie Allen placed first individually making her a regional champion. Allen said it was a huge accomplishment, and she was happy she was able to pull through for her team.

The two teams will compete in the state meet this Friday, October 30, in Colorado Springs.

Bustin’ Moves: Record Turnout at Homecoming Dance

By Courtney Jenson

Homecoming queen Jessica Veeman and king Blake Ferris share a dance at WHS's Homecoming. Both seniors said their last homecoming dance was memorable because of the time they spent with friends.

Homecoming queen Jessica Veeman and king Blake Ferris share a dance at WHS’s Homecoming. Both seniors said their last homecoming dance was memorable because of the time they spent with friends.

Wiggins High School’s homecoming dance was held on October 10, 2015, in the elementary gym. The homecoming queen was Jessica Veeman and the homecoming king was Blake Ferris. Ferris said that this was his first and last homecoming dance and that he liked having the camaraderie of people there. Veeman said that she had a great time at the dance with her best friend Shane Finegan and that it was very memorable due to all of her friends being there.

This homecoming dance took a lot of effort to plan. Student Council chose Fall for the theme. They sketched up many designs to make sure that everybody on the council approved. One of the hardest things to do was hang gossamer from the ceiling. The Student Council hung gossamer from the ceiling to give it a fall look and so that people wouldn’t see the gym ceiling. The student council had lots of fun decorating as they cranked the tunes and got to work. “I really like the columns. They turned out really good,” Student Council president Faythe Harris said.

As night came and people started to arrive, DJ Tyler Christiansen had music going. Junior Mason Baessler said that he liked the DJ because he was their age and he knew what the teenagers liked.

However, many other people did not like the DJ; they said he didn’t play the music loud enough and that they hadn’t heard of some songs. Senior Laura Walker did not like the DJ as he was “very boring” and was taking “forever” to play her song again, since she missed it the first time.

Many people said they consider this a memorable dance because of all the people that showed up and danced. Freshman Chloe Baker consider this a memorable night because “I got to spend it with my brother Tucker, who is a senior this year.”

This year was a bigger turnout than last year. “There were a lot more juniors at the dance than last year and as a class we went together, which was cool” said Baessler. “You normally don’t see that many people go to dances.”

Seniors Walker, Ferris, and Baker all said that this dance was a blast and very memorable, due to it being their last high school homecoming dance.

Tiger Football Gets a Homecoming Win

By Faythe Harris

The Wiggins Tiger football team achieved a homecoming win against the Highland Huskies last Friday. That game makes the fourth straight win for the varsity team. “It was awesome to continue our winning streak and it was also great to win on homecoming,” said junior Shane Finegan.

The Tigers beat the huskies 50 to 7. In the last four games the guys have let their opponents score an average of only 11 points, and have had a running clock each game.

The Tiger defense is ranked first in the league. “We have worked really hard and want everyone to know we aren’t stopping,” said senior Ryan Rohn. The team’s offense has also made a name for itself in the league.

The Tigers’ offense has scored an average of 50 points in the last four games. “We have been using our strengths to our advantage, and that has made us successful,” said Finegan. The Tigers’ offense is led by senior quarterback Kaeson Risner. He is currently sitting second in the league for passing yards. Risner worked long hours in the off season to be able to lead his team to wins like this one. Highland’s defense was unable to stop the Tigers’ offense, resulting in the high-scoring game.  

The Tigers next played the Burlington Cougars on Friday, October 16.  “This is the biggest game of the season so far and we have to work harder than ever,” said Rohn.

Three Vacant Seats to be Filled in Upcoming School Board Election

By Taylor Boyer

Candidates for the Wiggins School Board respond to questions from the audience.

Candidates for the Wiggins School Board respond to questions from the audience.

The Wiggins school board will be seeing some changes this year, as Rena Baessler, Craig Harris, and David Ritchey have expired their term limits, thus leaving three empty seats open. Seven candidates look to fill those seats. Five of the seven candidates running to occupy the three open seats on the school board appeared at a public forum on Monday.

The public forum was organized and moderated by Casey Clay, a Wiggins High School Social Studies teacher and an adjunct professor at Morgan Community College. According to Clay, the forum was an opportunity to provide voters and members of the community with “a good source of information about the candidates and what they hope to accomplish should they be elected as members of the school board.”

The five candidates who participated in the forum were Laura Lambert, Corey Covelli, Nathan Troudt, Lance Kaufman, and Jerry Wolfswinkle. The forum was attended by nearly 75 people, many of whom had questions of their own to ask the candidates.

What motivated you to seek public office?

After taking their seats, the candidates were given a brief moment to introduce themselves to the audience, and then they were asked the first question: “What motivated you to seek public office?”

The first to answer was Corey Covelli. Referring to the recent ranking of Wiggins High School, Covelli said that he wanted the district to “shoot for number one.” Covelli, who has children in the school district, said that he was grateful for what the school has done to ensure his children’s success.

Nathan Troudt, who used to serve on the school board, said, “You know who I am, you know what I stand for.” Troudt said that he also wishes to see the district in the number one spot.

Jerry Wolfswinkle said that he wanted to “identify areas in the district that need work.” Wolfswinkle, one of the four candidates with children in the district, also attributed his desire for the improvement of his children’s education as a reason for running for a seat on the board.

Lance Kaufman wishes to hold “get-togethers” with members of the school board and the community to “help the faculty and the school.” One of his main goals is to hear from the students what classes they’d like to see in school.

Having graduated from Wiggins herself, Laura Lambert said that she was running for the kids. “I was prepared after leaving high school, and I want to make sure it stays that way,” said Lambert.

Would you make any specific changes in curriculum? If so, why?

Kaufman said he thought “the school is headed in the right direction.” Kaufman also said that he would like to see the school offering more foreign language and mechanics classes. “We need to meet where they [the students] want to go in life,” said Kaufman.

Lambert said that she would make no changes to curriculum; however, she said she would make changes to improve the school’s lunch program and offer more in terms of choices for the students. Lambert said that she thought the academics at Wiggins were “outstanding.”

Covelli said he would only make changes to school board policy. Covelli wants to make sure that the school continues to offer the ACT prep class and similar programs to help improve the students. “I want to sit back, listen, and learn,” said Covelli.

“We have two ears and one mouth for a reason,” said Troudt. “We need to listen.” Troudt, like Kaufman, said he would offer more industrial arts courses and encourage welding, construction, and plumbing.

Wolfswinkle said he wouldn’t make any specific changes to the curriculum as of now, and said he just wanted to support parents and teachers. “They can’t do it alone,” said Wolfswinkle.

In your opinion, what is the proper relationship between the school board and the community?

Troudt said that the school board is a “liaison between the administration and the community.”

“The purpose of the school board,” said Troudt, “is to support the staff.”

Covelli said that there needs to be a “cooperative spirit” between the school board and the community; Covelli doesn’t believe that the school board should be involved in the day-to-day functions of the school. “The board is there to create and enforce policy,” said Covelli.

Kaufman said that the community and the board needed to “get together” more often. Kaufman also expressed his desire for members of the board to sit in on classrooms and see how the classes function.

Wolfswinkle also believes that it is the board’s job to direct and implement policies. He also said that it was the role of the board members to act as “overseers.”

“We need to educate the public,” said Lambert, “and be a liaison to the community.” Lambert also said that the board needed to act as a team to “listen and give the community feedback.” Lambert emphasized the importance of communication, saying, “The board needs open lines of communication.”
If you missed the forum and would like to watch it, visit http://www.thecube.com/event/552474 to watch the complete forum.

Bonfire Demonstrates School Spirit in Wiggins

By Pete Kammerzell

Members of WHS's cross country team speak to the crowd at the bonfire last Thursday night. Senior Trevor Dye encouraged the audience to come support the team at their home meet that Saturday.

Members of WHS’s cross country team speak to the crowd at the bonfire last Thursday night. Senior Trevor Dye encouraged the audience to come support the team at their home meet that Saturday.

Wiggins High School’s 2015 homecoming festivities featured a bonfire that was more popular than ones in years past. “I liked how big the fire was this year,” said senior Maddy Shepherd. This year’s fire was so large because the Teague family donated two semi truckloads full of wood for the fire. Shepherd also enjoyed the high sense of school spirit that was displayed, which she credited to senior Tucker Teague. “Tucker really got the school spirit thing going,” she said.

Homecoming King Blake Ferris also believed that the school spirit made this bonfire different than years past. “It was a really positive night with a lot of school spirit,” said the senior. Ferris said that if he could change one thing, it would be that the athletes should have had microphones to speak to the crowd.

Sophomore Teggan Freauff believed that school spirit is the reason why the night was such a success. “It was very positive with a lot of school spirit,” said Freauff.  In Freauff’s eyes, the only downside of the night was the weather. ¨It rained a lot, but there’s nothing you can really do about that,” said the sophomore.

The overall theme of the evening was filled with school spirit. Sophomore Britney Hart said that the evening ¨was motivating and breathtaking.” Wiggins High School looks to build their school spirit even more with nights like these. The school hopes that the school morale will remain high in the coming years.