Senator Sonnenberg: The Gentleman from Sterling

By Taylor Boyer

I’ve always wanted to be a politician. Always. In fact, there was never a point in my life where I didn’t want to be a politician. However, certain negative connotations have always accompanied the word “politician”: falling back on promises, putting on a false face of sincerity in front of others; the list goes on and on. I thought I’d never meet a person who embodied all the best qualities of an honorable statesman; not until I met Senator Sonnenberg.

Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, a state senator from Sterling, Colorado, is a man who I believe has achieved the highest standard of integrity. The senator is a man who, as long as I’ve known him, has never deviated from his inner values, even when it might benefit him to do so. I value highly the conversations I have with Senator Sonnenberg as I know that he genuinely cares and looks for ways to alleviate the problem.

Earlier this year, Senator Sonnenberg visited our school as part of his school tour. This tour was aimed at trying to understand what ails rural school districts and how he could solve those problems as a legislator. During his tour, Senator Sonnenberg visited every single school in his Senate district. I had the unique opportunity to give the senator a presentation that focused mainly on the lack of funding to building maintenance.

After the presentation and expressing to him my desire to go into politics, the senator invited me to shadow him at the capitol. At the capitol, the Senator brought me onto the floor, asked what issues were important to me, and brought me to every meeting he had that day. Everyone loved him. They might not have agreed with him, but everyone’s face lit up as soon as Senator Sonnenberg walked onto the floor. I believe that love and respect to be a consequence of the senator’s ability to get along with and help everyone.

To no surprise of mine, Senator Sonnenberg followed through on the promises that he made when he toured my school. Just this week, the senator’s bill, which would raise 50 million a year for schools and rural school construction, passed appropriations. This action is only one example of the good that Senator Sonnenberg is capable of.

A man who once tried to “cure me” of a “political bug” has ended up inspiring me to pursue politics further. I admire the intentions of Senator Sonnenberg; I can only hope to become half the gentleman that he is. His unwavering sense of duty towards his constituents is deserving of thanks; he is a shining example of what every elected official ought to be. The gentleman from Sterling is not just a voice for the people of rural Colorado, he is a friend to them, as well as myself.      

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Wiggins Dances the Night Away at Prom

By Ellyna Van

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Seniors Maddy Shepherd and Trevor Dye were crowned prom king and queen at WHS’s prom on April 16. 

The Wiggins High School juniors hosted this year’s prom on April 16 with approximately 120 attendees. Due to weather conditions, the annual after prom party was canceled, but it is rescheduled for April 29.

The junior class came to an agreement to have this year’s theme be a Masquerade. In order to get much accomplished, it was decided that a prom committee was necessary, according to junior Bailey Eklund. The prom committee consisted of 8 juniors.

Throughout the weeks prior to prom, these students met and created decorations and invitations for prom. Eklund played a major role in the prom committee. “We definitely could’ve been better with time management, but I think the outcome was great. I liked how we used everyone’s ideas to create the different decorations,” said Eklund.

The grand march started at 6:30 p.m., where the prom dates walked down the aisle so family members and friends could snap pictures. Crowning of the prom king and queen followed shortly after. The royalty court consisted of Laura Walker, Faythe Harris, Maddy Shepherd, Becky Kopetzky, Tucker Teague, Trevor Dye, Dillon Donaghy, and Tucker Baker. Shepherd and Dye were crowned prom king and queen. After the royalty dance, all the attendees gathered in the middle of the room and began to dance.

“My favorite part about the dance was how everyone danced. There were few who sat down, and that was only because they were tired,” said junior Shane Finegan. Most people enjoyed the DJ, but they wished he could have varied song genres. There were few country songs and slow songs played, according to Finegan.

The dance was cut short at 10:30 p.m. due to worsening weather conditions. “If there was one thing that could’ve improved, it’s the weather,” said junior Kamryn Seiber. Many prom attendees also wished that they could have gone to after prom.

“This was my favorite prom out of the three years I’ve gone,” said Shepherd. “Prom was sad and fun, because I knew this was my last one. Winning prom queen was unexpected, but it made it so much better.” Prom was a success, according to Shepherd.

Wiggins Baseball Takes a Hit

By Faythe Harris

The Tiger baseball team took the trip down to Akron to play a double-header league game on Tuesday, April 29. Not only did the team lose both games, but they also lost a player to injury in the process.

The first game stayed close almost the whole time, as it was 4-4 at the top of the sixth. The Rams quickly took the lead, making the score 8-4 by the bottom of the sixth. The four runs were caused by fielding errors on the Tigers’ side. “These were mistakes that should have been avoided; some of our players got in their own heads,” said senior pitcher Trevor Dye. The Rams secured one more run in the bottom of the seventh to make the final score of game one 9-4.

Senior catcher Tucker Baker said that the feeling going into the second game was anxious because they knew that they should have won the first game, and he was curious how the team would recover from the tough loss. Akron took the early lead, getting a run in the first inning. The snowball continued to roll for Wiggins, as they made more errors in the second inning, giving the Rams the ability to increase their lead to 4-0. This pattern continued to the end of the fifth inning, with it ending 7-0 Akron.

At the bottom of the fifth, senior outfielder Austin Dinis was hurt and pulled from the game. Dinis was hit in the mouth by a ball that he lost in the lights. His mouth immediately started bleeding, and he left to go to the dentist to try to get everything taken care of. Both of his front teeth were knocked backwards and had to be put into their proper positions. “It hurt pretty bad, but I’m just happy I was able to keep my teeth,” said Dinis.

With the substitution and the Rams’ early lead, the Tigers were unable to make a comeback and ended the second game 10-2.

The baseball team will play the Sedgwick County Cougars this Saturday, April 23. Baker says that they are hoping to correct their mistakes, adjust to the changes in their lineup, and just have a better game.  

Blizzard Changes FBLA State Travel Plans

By Faythe Harris

Twenty-four  students attended the 2016 State FBLA Conference in Vail, Colorado, April 14-16. The weekend was filled with presentations and lots and lots of snow. The trip took a turn when  a blizzard came through Vail pass and changed travel plans.

The weekend started with presentations of some  projects. “Our presentation went well, but we were a little rushed,” said junior Cody Huwa. His partner was sophomore Teggan Freauff. Those that were not presenting spent the day either relaxing and enjoying the sights of Vail or going to seminars. Senior Laura Walker went to a team-building exercise with a group of other female FBLA members, and she said that the seminar was very interesting, and it caused her to think about team cooperation differently.

Friday quickly became an eventful day when everyone found out that plans had changed, and that they would be heading home on a Fort Morgan bus with some of Fort Morgan’s students. The hopes were that everyone would make it home ahead of the storm that was supposed to hit hard later in the day. However, once everyone was loaded on the bus and headed down the frontage road, the discovery was made that the interstate was closed down.

“I was nervous because I had no idea what was going to happen, or if we were even going to be able to get home,” said sophomore Courtney Jenson. After waiting for three hours on the bus, a decision was made to head back to the hotel and try to leave early in the morning.

This plan proved successful, as the whole chapter was able to load onto a bus and head down the mountain Saturday morning. Senior Brienna Baer said she was happy to be going home, but was not happy to be back on a bus.

Once everyone made it home, an announcement was made that no one made it to Nationals from the Wiggins Chapter.

8 Tigers Take Podium at Yuma Track Meet

By Courtney Jenson

At the Yuma track meet on April 12, 2016, junior Jeneen Ibrahim beat the shot put school record of 36’11 ¼” previously held by Emily Ruyle. Ibrahim threw   37’1 ½” meters to break the school record. This was Ibrahim’s first track meet, and she also qualified for state. She also placed first in javelin and second in shot put.

Several other teammates placed high in the Yuma track meet. Sophomore Courtney Jenson took first in the mile, and junior Shane Finegan also took first in the 200-  and 400-meter dashes. Along with these accomplishments, junior Connor Kaufman took third in the mile and second in the 800 meter dash; the boys’ 4×100 meter relay team took third; the 4×200, fourth; and the 4×400, fifth. The boys’ 4×100, 4×200, and 4×400 relay team was freshman Anthony Sirios (4×100), sophomores Teggan Freauff (4×100, 4×200, 4×400), and Tyler Hein (4×100, 4×200, 4×400), juniors Connor Kauffman (4×400), and Shane Finegan (4×100, 4×200, 4×400), and senior Ryan Rohn (4×200).

Many of these athletes hope to still improve on their events at the next track meet.  “I would like to improve on my spin in discus and improve form in shot put,” said Ibrahim. As Ibrahim works all practice long on her techniques for throwing, Claire Boyer works on jumping. “Getting farther when I jump and having a faster time in my relays is one of the many things I would like to improve on before our next meet,” said freshmen Boyer, who competed in long jump, triple jump, girls sprint medley team, and the 4×100 meter relay.

Many members of the team have goals to make it to state and place in the top five in their events including several athletes that made it to state last year. “I want to place top 5 in all my events at state and definitely get a time of 4:30 in the mile,” said Connor K. Seniors Reid Ernst and Dillon Donaghy both have goals to make it to state with their 4×800 team, along with some individual events.

The next track meet will be the George Washington Patriot Invite on Saturday, April 23, 2016, at the All City Stadium in Denver.

Wiggins FFA Competes in District Judging CDEs

By Roxanne Bashor

The Wiggins FFA chapter sent seven teams to the district Career Development Events competition on April, 6 2016. The dairy teams traveled to Kersey, while the other teams went to NJC in Sterling for their competitions.

The crops judging team consisted of juniors Roxanne Bashor, Rachel Columbia, Bailey Eklund, and Charlee Teague. This team placed first overall in the competition, with each person placing in the top six as individuals. Columbia said that she has hopes to get gold as an individual at the state competition.

There were eight people competing on the dairy team this year, and they placed second overall. This team consisted of senior Jessica Veeman, junior Shane Finegan, sophomores Tyler Hein and Jacob McFadden, and freshmen Jagger Dinis, Tanna Hansen, Anthony Sirios, and Justin Veeman. “I was really impressed with how well all of the members performed after the lack of time that we had to practice,” said Jessica Veeman, who was the district high individual.

The Ag Sales team was the district runner-up, and the team consisted of seniors Blake Ferris, Reid Ernst, and Jarrett Wagner and junior Cody Huwa. This was Ferris’s first time in this specific competition, and he has hopes of improving on the team activity for state. According to Ferris, the one-on-one interviews and written test went the best for their team.

Another full team that attended contest was the horse judging team. This team was made up of all freshmen members:  Alexis Combs, Jessie Gilbert, Lakota Harris, and Kylie Huwa. The horse team placed first in the district; Gilbert was the district high individual, and Harris was third in the district.

There was also a Farm Business Management team that competed and received second overall in the competition. This team consisted of seniors Kassidy Harris and Tucker Teague and junior Connor Kaufman, with Tucker Teague and Kaufman both placing in the top four overall as individuals. “I was really pleased with our team effort and individual accomplishments, but I hope to improve on my general farm business management questions,” said Kaufman.

Freshmen members Cheyenne Lehr and Caden Callaway participated in the Horticulture competition as well.

Most of these teams will be competing at the state competition in Fort Collins on May 1 and 2.

Prom: How to Fabricate Joy

By Taylor Boyer

No one could have predicted the emotional toll that prom would take on everyone involved. How can one genuinely enjoy something when you’re constantly having to worry about the state of relationships, decorations, invitations, reservations, and grand marches? Well, I’ll tell you: that’s what prom has always been about; sadly, no one cares about how fun it is.

Everything is so superficial. Having been to several proms myself, I can bear witness to the lack of substance at these dances. Underneath it all, it is truly unsubstantial. Underneath all of the decorations and fancy dresses is the product of an unfortunately mortal desire to synthesize happiness. Hundreds of pictures emerge from prom; on the surface, they create the appearance of authentic happiness, however, behind those high-quality pictures lie a tragically low-quality night.

The grand march, contributing greatly to the artificial atmosphere of prom, is perhaps one of the most disheartening elements of the night. I feel as though the elaborate introduction is extremely unnecessary and very demeaning. How many more people would show up to prom and enjoy themselves if they didn’t feel like they had to bring a date, dress up nicely, and march out in front of everyone?

Just forget everything you learned about humility and moderation when you attend prom. The grand march puts people on the spot; in people’s minds, as people walk down the aisle, attendees make comments about what other people wear and who they take to prom. At prom, we spend hundreds of dollars on decorations and clothing for no other reason than to fabricate happiness. If it’s fun you’re looking for, look elsewhere.