The Green Pride The student news site for De Soto High School Journalism. Thu, 21 Nov 2019 19:19:55 -0600 en-US hourly 1 Wildcat of the Week: Sydney Ames Thu, 21 Nov 2019 18:43:13 +0000

De Soto High School offers a wide variety of clubs and activities for students to be involved within the community. Senior Sydney Ames is one of many students who are passionate about the various clubs she participates in.

Ames is involved in a multitude of different activities at DHS, including Mindful Mornings, a club that is designed to help students cope with stress and anxiety.

“Improving yourself mentally really is the focus of mindful mornings,” Ames said. 

Another leader of the club, senior Camryn Robbinson explains that Ames put forth a huge part of the organization that allows these meetings to happen.

“For the first meeting she made all the snacks and made sure we had teacher sponsors that showed up before [the start] to make sure the doors would be unlocked for us,” Robbinson said.

Not only does Ames organize some of the logistics of the meetings, but she also leads the members  in yoga and other relaxing routines. 

“She plays an active role in the meditation part of it [Mindful Mornings] because I don’t think any other leaders are comfortable doing it ourselves so she just does it for the group,” Robbinson said.

As a leader of the group, Ames feels that Mindful Mornings can benefit students in many different ways. 

“It [Mindful Mornings] could be a safe place for someone that is dealing with these emotions and wants to learn how to deal with these things in a positive way,” Ames said.

The group tends to these emotions by practicing guided meditation and journaling. The club provides yoga mats, paper and a small breakfast to all that attend. 

“We are trying to grow what we are doing and if we could reach students in any way, that is amazing,” Ames said.

Ames explains that stepping outside of one’s comfort zone can give a person many opportunities to meet new people.

“It [Mindful Mornings] provides a community of people who care about these things, that care about mindfulness and addressing anxious feelings,” Ames said.

Mindful Mornings is an organization  that can be beneficial to the mental health of any DHS student. Ames suggests that everyone should give it a chance.

“We really encourage joining even if you are not sure you want to become a member who comes often,” Ames said. 

Ames has been noticed to go out of her way to make others feel welcome.

“She is really engaged with other people that are also involved with it [Mindful Mornings] and the students who come to it [Mindful Mornings]. She is very supportive of everyone,” Robbinson said.

Mindful Mornings meets in the Black Box on Wednesday mornings before school at 7:10 a.m.. If it is of interest, Ames and the other student leaders would love to see new faces.

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De Soto choirs participate in district choir auditions Thu, 21 Nov 2019 15:52:42 +0000

De Soto High School choir students have recently participated in East Central District choir auditions. Students gathered at Olathe East High School to audition for the choir on Nov 9.   

“Students got their music in the summer and practice tracks that they could work on, so they had plenty of time to prepare. I tried to give them some tips for sight reading portion and give them as much information ahead of time,” choir teacher Mindy Fry said. 

The vocalists have time even prior to their audition to warm up their songs. The students competing sat in the Olathe East auditorium and practice their songs until their names were called to audition. 

“Once you get there and check in, you go into a big room in the auditorium, and they play the audition cuts for you. It was nice having a bit of time to warm up my voice a little more and get used to the cuts,” said senior choir student Ashlen Borewsow. 

The students begin the audition by performing two songs from their selected vocal part. The portion of the songs that the vocalists sing are announced a day prior to the audition. After this, a sight reading audition occurs where the vocalists must sight read the measures provided. 

“Even though we don’t know the cuts before the audition she [Fry] prepares us really well having us work really hard on the entirety of the selections we are auditioning with,” Boresow said. 

This year,16 kids were inducted into district choir, which is the most since Fry began teaching. Compared to the low amount of students chosen for district choir in years prior, it is clear the choir program is growing.  

“Last year was my first year auditioning for district choir and I was pretty nervous, but it ended up being a really fun experience. I also met a lot of really cool people who I still talk to,” junior Annie Winter said. 

Although district choir takes place on Dec. 7, the announcements for State choir will not occur until shortly after. The opportunity is open for all choir students this year, and would be a very fun experience for other choir students to consider for the future. 

“I would definitely recommend that others try to audition. It is a really good way to meet people and expand your musical knowledge,” Winter said.  


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Is ‘ok boomer’ actually a slur? Thu, 21 Nov 2019 15:14:10 +0000

Most teenagers use apps like Twitter and Tik Tok and many of them have heard the phrase ‘ok boomer.’ The term started out as a joke, poking fun at stereotypes of the baby boomer generation. Some examples include: they do not understand new technology, and they are always nitpicking millennials.

Now, more and more articles are popping up saying that ‘ok boomer’ is an ageist slur, some even going to the extent of comparing it to the n-word. But is it really? In my opinion, it isn’t. 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a slur as a shaming or degrading remark. The term ‘ok boomer’ is just a joke that has gone viral across the internet. It is a meme and nothing more. Slurs are not directed at people in positions of power, they are meant to belittle those on the lower edges of society.  

Most people who use the phrase on the internet have the decency to not say it to an older person’s face. When it is used face-to-face, it’s usually a teenager, good-heartedly, poking fun at another teen. 

In some cases, the term is also a sort of come back when teens feel insulted by their elders. Many teens are fed up with the expectations adults place on them.

Over the years, economic changes have made housing, insurance, and college tuition costs skyrocket, putting Gen Z at a disadvantage. Even more insultingly, many older baby boomers call them lazy and too reliant on technology.

After all this, I’ll ask again: Is ‘ok boomer’ an ageist slur? My answer hasn’t changed. After all the insults thrown at Millenials and Gen Z, I think the term is more of a joke than a slur and if you say it is then: ok boomer.

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Football Wildcats ready for playoff battle Fri, 15 Nov 2019 14:35:55 +0000

Tonight will be a historical night for the De Soto Wildcats and the Mill Valley Jaguars as they face each other for the first time in 15 years in football. 

The two district teams, now competing for an opportunity to go to the State semifinals, will go head-to-head at the DHS stadium. Both the Jaguars and Wildcats football themes will be traditional, yet symbolic, resembling their school colors. 

Junior quarterback Jackson Miller is excited and feels confident going into the rivalry game.

“Defense has put in a couple new schemes, and for offense, we’ve been perfecting our stuff,” Miller said. 

DHS head coach Brian King is also feeling good about the matchup, believing his players have been working extremely hard during practices all week.

“We’ve had the best week since I’ve been here,” King said. “Our kids have done a really good job taking one step at a time and staying focused and not be distracted by all the different things going on.” 

The Wildcat fans are preparing for the game by having a poster-making party to raise school spirit and as a fun way to get the student body together. 

Although sophomore Luke VanBooven is excited to compete, he knows that this game will be much different from others for the Wildcats. 

“I definitely think it’s going to be De Soto’s first actual challenge,” VanBooven said. “It won’t be an easy game.” 

While DHS is preparing for this exciting night, many on the other side of the highway are prepping for the big showdown as well. 

Mill Valley sophomore Sydney Fiatte is very curious to see who will continue onto postseason. 

“I think both teams have a pretty good chance of coming out on top,” Fiatte said. 

No matter which team comes out on top, the overall game will be historical and memorable for many. 

“It’s time for both schools to show out because this matchup is rare,” Fiatte said. 


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WOTW: Ella Boxx Fri, 15 Nov 2019 14:31:18 +0000

As the month of November rolls by at a fast pace, it is important to recognize what one is thankful for. For junior Ella Boxx, she is most thankful for her mom, more specifically: her mom’s health.

When Boxx was 11, her mom, Nicole Boxx, was diagnosed with breast cancer. According to Ella, after hearing such tragic news, her life had changed forever as a sixth grader, and she did not know how to handle the situation.

According to an interview done on the Instagram account, Ofpeopleforpeople, after a major surgery followed by 10 radiation treatments, Nicole was cancer free a few months later and is now celebrating five years of being breast cancer free.

“Cancer is a crazy thing that makes your mind go a million miles an hour,” Nicole said. “I decided that losing was not an option, and I would fight and win.”

To celebrate her mom being five years cancer free, Ella decided to have her mom’s motto during her cancer experience permanently tattooed on her body. 

“I got a tattoo over the summer that says ‘everything happens for a reason’ in my mom’s handwriting,” Ella said. “The reason why I decided to make this permanent decision is because I needed a daily reminder to keep me going everyday.”

According to Ella, her tattoo is significant because her mom would always say “everything happens for a reason” throughout her treatment. 

Nicole’s positive attitude toward a life changing experience helped Ella see the beauty in the situation.

“Although it [my mom’s experience with breast cancer] was scary, it taught us a lot as a family. It taught us to cherish every moment and to never take anything for granted,” Ella said. “It reminded us that everything happens for a reason.”

For Ella, life was not going to go back to how it was before her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because of this experience, Ella gained a new outlook on life. 

“My overall outlook on life is to keep fighting. The quote ‘God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers’ made me realize that God chose my mom to fight this battle for a reason,” Ella said. “He knew that we would all gain strength from this in the end, but we had to keep fighting.”

Similar to Ella, Nicole stresses that life is too short to take anything for granted.

“Don’t take your health for granted, hug your loved ones, cherish every single day you’re given because life is truly precious,” Nicole said.

Ella and her family were not alone in this situation. During Nicole’s cancer battle, her friends set up a meal train for her and her family. 

“It was very helpful because my dad and I did not have to worry about cooking food,” Ella said. “Most importantly, my friends and family members were so supportive and always surrounded me with positivity, which gave me hope.”

Because of her mom’s cancer journey, Ella knew she wanted to become a pediatric oncology nurse. 

“I decided that working with cancer patients is my passion. I love kids and want to do anything I can to help those battling cancer,” Ella said.

For those dealing with similar problems, Ella recommends staying strong and advises to keep a positive attitude.

“The best advice I can give to someone who is going through a similar situation is that everything happens for a reason, and God has a plan,” Ella said. “Although it is traumatizing to see a loved one experience cancer, it teaches you the real meaning of life. It teaches you that every second counts and to never take anything for granted.”

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How High School Musical compares to real-life Wed, 13 Nov 2019 20:40:49 +0000

All throughout my childhood, I imagined what high school would be like and got most of my assumptions from the iconic Disney Channel original movie, High School Musical. Once I arrived at high school, I quickly realized that high school life was not quite like it was portrayed in the movie. 

It’s now my senior year, and I am curious how my experience compared to that of Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez in High School Musical: Senior Year. From my point of view, HSM was a complete lie and does not resemble real life. Surprise, surprise, Hollywood does not accurately portray reality. 

To be honest, there are times when senior year sucks. There is a ton of homework and little motivation to complete it. This particular aspect of senior year is not very well portrayed in the movie. The seniors in this movie are constantly smiling. How do the seniors in HSM go to school everyday with such big smiles and sing all the time? It just is not feasible for a normal high school senior. 

However, there are memorable moments throughout senior year that the movie does do a decent job of portraying, such as promposals, big championship games, relationships and college preparation talks. 

The first scene of the movie is a bit intense, but does a fairly good job of accurately portraying a high school basketball championship game, but not a regular season game. The typical basketball game at De Soto High School does not have packed stands like the HSM game. 

If DHS did have a championship game, then this might change and there might be more students attending, but the gym would not be completely filled like it is in the movie. During halftime, the team goes to the locker room and Coach Bolton tells the team that there are only 16 minutes left of the season. This is a typical end of season pep talk, where the seniors get emotional and cherish the last time they play with their team. This part of the movie is accurate, but the next scene is not. 

Troy, the team captain, decides to put a benchwarmer in during the most intense part of the game. This would not happen in real-life. The captain would not decide to put the fate of the team in the hands of a rookie, especially at such a monumental game. 

In addition to portraying high school sports games, the movie includes the conversations that take place throughout senior year regarding colleges and graduation. 

All throughout the movie, Gabriella and Troy actively discuss the future and talk about their struggles regarding their college decisions. This is completely accurate in that seniors are having these conversations on a daily basis. 

 The stress of choosing a college is also evident when Troy is singing the song Scream throughout the empty hallways of East High. I frequently jam out to Scream in my car as a way to relieve the stress of school, always fully participating in the scream at the end of the song. 

I believe that the majority of seniors can relate to Troy during this song since it is difficult to decide what college to attend or what to major in. There is a lot of stress surrounding this decision. It can be a confusing time for many, with lots of emotions.   

The one thing about this scene that is inaccurate is that the school is unlocked during the night and Troy does not have to face any repercussions for breaking in and causing destruction. While in the school, Troy rips off and throws a giant banner of himself from the caterfeia wall. In reality, a student would be expelled or have to face some sort of consequence. 

Another inaccuracy within the movie is that the students are never seen overloaded with homework, scholarship applications, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or even with backpacks. Seniors are constantly stressed about all of these applications and deadlines, and can always be seen with some sort of backpack. The movie completely fails to discuss this and does not prepare teenagers to face this challenge in the future.  

Prom is a major part of junior and senior year; however, there are aspects of the night that the movie inaccurately portrays. For example, when Sharpay Evans is getting ready, she is still pondering what to do with her hair. The typical high school girl already knows what her makeup, hair, dress, picture and dinner plans by the day of prom. She would not be deciding what to do minutes before her date arrives. 

The only real aspect of prom that gets displayed is the father staring the male date down when he comes to pick up the girl. This is very common for obvious reasons; the father wants to protect his daughter on a typically special night. 

At the end of the movie, Troy finally chooses what college to attend. Usually, seniors know what college they are attending before the day of graduation, so this scene is inaccurate. There are exceptions to this, though, and people do decide their future after they have graduated

Troy also states that he is choosing the University of California-Berkeley in order to be closer to Gabriella. Now this is not too far from reality; some people do choose their college based off of relationships. However, most counselors and parents advise students to not choose a college based on relationships. This is a risky decision for Troy since no one knows what the future will hold for him and Gabriella. Something could happen and cause them to break-up. This decision is not entirely realistic.

There are obviously going to be aspects of senior year that do not get accurately portrayed in the movie, but there are also aspects that are displayed properly. 

Overall, High School Musical: Senior Year gives a somewhat inaccurate portrayal of senior year, failing to acknowledge the hardships of senior year. However, it still reminds us [seniors] that we are all in this together.


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Connor Cravens completes Eagle Scout project Wed, 13 Nov 2019 18:40:50 +0000

In a small community like De Soto, residents feel more like a family. Recently, De Soto High School senior Connor Cravens has made this possible with his Eagle Scout project.

Cravens built what he calls a “Blessings Box” at the De Soto United Methodist Church. The box serves to provide for the needy of the community. Anyone can put anything in the box and anyone can take from it, all anonymously. Cravens understands the importance of having basic necessities and wanted to help the less fortunate with acquiring them.

“I wanted to help those in need in the De Soto community because a lot of people in De Soto struggle,” Cravens said. “I wanted to remove the embarrassing aspect of getting some of those peoples’ basic needs.”

According to sophomore Wyatt Gray, becoming an Eagle Scout is not easy.

“Most of the merit badges you have to acquire to get your eagle take up to six months to complete,” Gray said. “There is lots of paperwork that you then have to go over with a councilor of that badge. You have to take your Eagle Scout project idea to the round table of your district and they have to approve the project.”

Not only do people who strive to become Eagle Scouts have to complete these tasks, Cravens had trouble finding a public building that would let him put the box on their property because of the restrictions that renting a building can have.

“A lot of the public buildings in De Soto are being rented from the city,” Cravens said.

As for band teacher Matthew Bradford, who teaches Cravens in symphonic band, he loves the idea.

“I think the project is a great way to support the community,” Bradford said. “It blesses those less fortunate and brings our community together.”

Giving back to the community can prove to be difficult, but Cravens has done it all with a smile on his face.


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Wildcat of the Week: Shelby Marquis Wed, 13 Nov 2019 18:39:36 +0000

When sophomore Shelby Marquis isn’t studying for an upcoming test or figuring out a way to improve De Soto High School as a Student Council member, she will likely be found serving lattes at Cause Coffee or on stage performing. 

Marquis, aside from being heavily involved at DHS, tries to volunteer at Cause as often as possible. 

“I volunteer about every other weekend,” Marquis said. 

Cause Coffee, located in downtown De Soto, is a non-profit coffee house that runs solely on volunteers. Marquis became associated with the organization through friends who are involved at Cause. 

Through Cause, Marquis has gotten the opportunity to learn about something she holds dear to her heart—coffee. She has also been able to learn about more issues around the world, such as unsanitary drinking water in Nicaragua. 

Another of Marquis’ interests is theater. Prior to freshman year, Marquis performed at the Culture House, an art school in Olathe but now chooses to focus solely on school-produced shows. 

“Last year, I was involved with Guys and Dolls and Footloose,” Marquis said. 

Marquis played the role of Wendy Jo, a friend of one of the main characters in Footloose, but her involvement with theater does not stop there. 

“Last spring, I was inducted into the International Thespian Society as a freshman,” Marquis said. “I had the chance to go to Nebraska for the International Thescon to go to dance and acting workshops.” 

While there, Marquis also got to see shows that the Thespian troupes put on. 

According to Marquis, her favorite show that she has been involved in was James and the Giant Peach in eighth grade, where she  played Sponge.

“I got to play a character that was totally out of my comfort zone and I got to really play with the character,” Marquis said. 

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Students go on college visits Tue, 12 Nov 2019 14:01:06 +0000

Recently, juniors at De Soto High School went on college visits sponsored by the school. They visited one of these selected schools: University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Missouri Western University, Washburn University, Emporia State University or Pitt State University.

“College visits give students the opportunity to get a sense for what the campus is like and meet university personnel,”  counselor Lindsay Hothan said.

Many students feel that college visits can help them plan and look forward to the future.

 “When I toured some colleges that I had thought would be better [than my first choice], it disappointed me, but for others it helped relieved some doubts,” senior Taylor Ellis said.

With college right around the corner for many high school students, students feel it is important to look ahead.

“The recent college visit at Kansas University was a good experience to prepare and see what college will be like,” junior Wyatt Noll said.

College visits are available for any students planning or looking at colleges.  They can help give an idea of what a student is looking for in their new home.

“It is never too early to start planning or start thinking about college or visits,” Hothen said.

Moving from high school to college can be a difficult adjustment for some students. College visits allow students to get a better idea of what college is like and prepare for it.

“Being able to go on a college visit helped me better understand what life was like at the universities, and I was also able to see what each university has to offer,” Ellis said.

College Visits allow students to adjust and see ahead of their possible future.

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Cross country team to finish season in South Dakota Fri, 08 Nov 2019 20:43:04 +0000

The De Soto High School cross country team finished their official season at the Kansas State Cross Country Meet at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence on Nov. 2. The boys’ team finished in sixth place and the girls team finished in ninth place.

According to assistant cross country coach Ben Stamey, it was the first time the girls had qualified in five years and the boys’ team repeated a top 10 finish.

However, the cross country season is not over for 25 individuals on the team. They will travel to Sioux Falls in South Dakota for the annual Nike Cross Regionals meet. 

“It’s a really big national meet so there will be people from all over and from multiple states,” Hileman said.

Last year, the only runners to travel to compete in South Dakota were the boys. This year, the team attending is bigger and includes members from both the girls and boys teams.

“We had zero girls last year and we have roughly 11 this year,” Stamey said. 

Hileman expects this trend to continue due to the head coach Jack Sachse’s dedication to getting people involved in the program.

“I think the numbers will continue to grow because Sachse is really good about helping the program and focusing on each individual no matter their time and making sure that everyone is improving and PRing [Personal Record],” Hileman said. “He’s really dedicated to not just the best runners, but the ones that are going to be on Varsity and the ones that are going to make the team better.”

The South Dakota trip, which Sachse began last year as a tradition for the team, comes at an ideal time in the season.

“It’s not a lot of pressure because the season is over. They’re in good shape already, so they get to travel and they get to run one more time on a very flat, fast course. It’s just another opportunity to be with their teammates,” Stamey said.

Hileman is looking forward to a new experience with her team. 

“I’m looking forward to running with my teammates for something that is just for fun. I think team trips are really fun because you get to talk to people that you might not get to talk to a bunch at practice and get to know them better outside of the school environment,” Hileman said.

In general, though her season has not come to a close, Hileman feels like the season was a success.

“My favorite part was how close our team was. I really felt like there wasn’t any gender difference. Both the boys and the girls really had a good time and we hung out every weekend. I really liked that it felt like one big team,” Hileman said.

With these close bonds formed during the season, the team will have the opportunity to run one last time together.

Stamey believes a team trip is the best way to finish out the season.

“Running is hard and challenging. You need some good things to come from it and this is one of those good things,” Stamey said.

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