A Force To Be Reckoned With
By Brennan Wells
The Columbia High School Football Team sure is attracting a lot of attention this 2018 football season with a complete turn around from last year’s not-so-good performance. With the guidance of Coach Builderback and his assistant coaches, the Wildcats are pushing themselves to be better than ever with incredible results. They are taking care of business on and off the field.
So far in the season the team is 5-1 and shows no sign of slowing down. When discussing the team’s success so far and his hopes for the rest of the season, Junior Ethan Bond stated, “When the team really comes together we can do anything we set our minds to. We’re just pushing ourselves as far as we can.”
Hopefully that attitude and a lot of hard work will pay off over the next few weeks as the bulk of district play will take place and the Wildcats will take on Tylertown, Jefferson Davis County, West Marion, and Seminary.
With high hopes, positive attitudes, and the drive of the players, the Columbia High School football team is a force to be reckoned with.
Soccer Starting At CHS
By Shawn Butler
So many new things have come to CHS: a new principal, a Speech and Debate Team, a Cross Country Team, and most importantly a Soccer Team. For many students, this is a pretty exciting time. A lot of CHS students played little league soccer and have longed for those days ever since. For others, though, soccer will be a brand new experience. It is also pretty exciting that our new head coach, Coach Lyles, played soccer at Southern Miss. So, it is safe to say that she knows her stuff for sure!
Many countries call soccer “football” which can become confusing at times. There are 250 million professional soccer players in over 200 countries and an estimated 3.5 billion fans. This makes it the most popular sport around the globe. It has also been an Olympic sport since 1900. Before long, CHS might begin producing Olympic Gold Medalist soccer players!
The game is played by two teams of eleven players on a field. During a single game, players can run up to 9.5 miles. This definitely places soccer quite high on the “which sports run the most” list.
The Wildcats will begin playing later this semester and will need lots of fans cheering them on for Columbia High School’s first soccer season.
Been There Dug That
By Alexis May
The Lady Wildcats are nearing the end of their season and are eager to play these last few games with hopes of making it to the playoffs. Seniors, Jori Neal, Lauren Hill, and Michelle Martin hope to end their last year playing Volleyball by at least making it to the playoffs. Sophomores Kennedy Newson and Dariel Recasner believe that with good practice and teamwork they will indeed advance to the playoffs and potentially become district champs. Coach Scott Fitzgerald explained that throughout the season the girls have shown improvement, and he believes with more practice they will continue to get better.
Freshman and Libero, Sky Abram and the rest of the Lady Wildcats are determined to end their season on a good note.
A Good Year to be a Wildcat
By Lesly Herrejon
The stats last year read 3-7 ending the year after the regular season. No County Champions and no playoff games. The stats this year are 8-2 ending the season on the third round of playoffs and with the title of County Champions. This was a good year to be a Wildcat. Having the opportunity to experience all the victories on the sideline alongside the team has been the highlight of my senior year. Losing wasn't a permanent word in the vocabulary of these boys, but hard work and dedication were. Their goals were set high and all the obstacles in their way seemed to fade as the season progressed.
During some interviews with players during the second and third round of playoffs, it became very apparent that the Wildcat football team is so much more than just a sports team. It’s a family! When asked about a favorite memory with the team, many replied that the weekend they went to JCJC was the best! And though they didn't go into detail of that weekend, their laughter as they tried to talk about it said everything. When the question, “Who in your opinion is the most talented player?” was asked, many players replied that Omar Johnson was awesome and others recognized the entire team as a whole. Teshonne Franklin stated, “This is my family. I’ve grown up playing football with these guys since peewee football. They are my brothers.” The players, especially the seniors, are grateful for this stellar season and are excited about the future of Wildcat football. “I’m just gonna come back better than this year... I’m gonna be a better me,” said Kentrel Bullock. “It's honestly bittersweet to think that this is my last season, but I feel I've left an example for the guys to keep following,”added Reagan Davis.
If I felt very proud to be a part of every game even if it was just on the sideline, I can’t imagine the feeling these boys felt during the season, winning game after game. This team came together and really was a force to be reckoned with. It is truly a good year to be a Wildcat!
Inaugural Soccer Season Underway
By Gavin Fairburn
This is the inaugural year for the Columbia High School soccer team and they are off to a good start. Senior Michelle Martin, was the first soccer player to make a goal for the Lady Soccer team. Martin said, “It felt amazing for all of my hard work while practicing to actually show up on the field.” Michelle went on to score four more goals in a single game on November 30th. The final score was 5-0 in their favor. Martin is also one of the two captains of the lady’s team. She explained, “Being a first time soccer player much less captain has been interesting. I am in the same boat as all the other girls and we are working as a team to get better each day.”
Kyle Buckley is also a senior soccer player for the boy’s team. When talking about almost winning the first game, Buckley said, “The opposing team’s last point wasn't supposed to count, but that’s in the past now. I only look forward to the future games and getting to practice on the field once more.” On November 30th both teams won their games 2-1.
The team is very excited to have a full team. Some members of the soccer team are also football players and have missed the first few games of the season. Buckley explained, “We almost won the first game without out the full team, so I can only imagine what the rest of the season is going to be like.”
Basketball Bouncing into Action
By Alexis May
The Columbia High School’s girls and boys basketball seasons are underway and all of the team members are eager to give their all this year. Senior varsity players Tajarius Monroe and TyKelvis Wright explained that under the leadership of Coach Charlie James and Coach Carmen Taylor the teams worked extremely hard preparing for this season. In addition, Sophomore Jasmine Shepard stressed that the team works very hard on a regular basis to develop and demonstrate good habits. Both teams have set their goals high and are focused on advancing to the playoffs. Senior varsity players, KaDedra Hall and Cortaysja Robinson, explained how this season is bittersweet since it will be their last. Juniors players Elizjah Abram, Kentrel Bullock, and Javen Moses along with Freshman, Jonathan Witz agree that with good practice and a strong sense of teamwork they believe the Wildcats will indeed advance to the playoffs and potentially become district champs. “We are determined to work together this season to make it a great one,” added Sadarion Magee. If you haven’t had an opportunity to check out the Wildcats, make plans to attend one of the upcoming games.
Cross Country Competes at State Meet
By Shawn Butler
This is the first year for our CHS cross country team and the season ended with a trip to the state championship. (Let’s just forget the fact that we qualified because we are the only team in our division!!)
Typical for any newly formed team, our first meet was a little chaotic and Coach Pittman’s favorite memory of the season. We had no idea what to do! They gave us chips to place on our shoes that would track our time and were numbered for each number. That would have been nice to know before we all zip tied them to our shoes. We realized our rookie mistake just before the race began and frantically had to cut the zipties and switch them.
After the first meet though, things went much smoother. “Our season was typical for a first year team. We had a quick learning curve and had to adjust quickly to the long runs required for cross country,” explained Coach Trent Pittman, head CHS cross country coach. All of the races were a 5k (3.1 miles) and as the season progressed the times of our runners improved.
The team and Coach Pittman are already gearing up for next year. Pittman stated, “We will hit the ground running literally and be prepared when the season starts.”
Cheerleaders Bring Home the Gold
By Jada Barnes
On December 15, 2018, the CHS Cheerleaders traveled to Jackson, MS to compete in the 3A State Cheer Competition. “I felt nervous but calm and ready to get on the floor and give it our all, ̈ said Abby Morris, who was a junior on the team this year. She added, “We had worked so hard for this moment. We were prepared and ready to show everyone what we had been working on.” In preparation for the competition, the cheerleaders practiced everyday from 3:30pm-6pm. Their practices consisted of them practicing each routine section by section to perfect each one. With the help of Ashley Haddox, Sara Russell, and Brandon Roberts, the team went on to become the 1A-3A Game Day State Champions! The team competed against Philadelphia High School, St. Patrick High School, Booneville High School, and Raleigh High School. Sophomore cheerleader Leah Nolan, who was very excited about the win, explained, “I felt so excited because we had put so much work into the routine and to know it finally paid off was a great feeling. There is not another feeling like it.”
Although the team had to face the challenge of changing their routine from regular competition to game day, they overcame it in order to bring home the win! Head Coach Ashley Haddox was at a loss for words after the big win. “There are really no words to describe it. It was such a great feeling knowing all their hard work paid off,” said Haddox. The Columbia High School community is excited to watch the Wildcat Cheer team defend their title at the competition next year!
Basketball Plays for South State
By Alexis May and Mary Margaret Turnage
This basketball season was full of team growth and victory! With the team making it to the third round of playoffs, it was for sure a successful season. Coach Charlie James said, “I am proud of my boys for pushing through and coming together this season.” The team ended their season with a record of 15-17. Coach James explained that he is especially proud of Darius Stewart, Josh Brown, and Jaheem Oatis for stepping up and coming through for the team. In addition, he mentioned the only two seniors on team, TJ Monroe and TK Wright, who both had a great season. “It was a really great experience, and this season was the farthest into the playoffs that we have ever gotten during my high school career,” explained Monroe.
While discussing fond memories from this season, Darius Stewart said, “I really enjoyed getting to play with the seniors and making it to the 3rd round of playoffs.” Kion Jackson added that he loved the times that he had in the locker room and how they grew as a team.
The girl’s basketball team ended the season with a 12-18 overall record and a 9-4 record in the district. The girls showed constant improvement throughout the season and made it to the playoffs. “Although they were eliminated in the 1st round, I am very proud of their success. I am excited for the next season, and I hope for continued success,” stated Coach Carmen Taylor. Mya Mikell stated, “It’s all fun and games until you get hurt.” Unfortunately she was injured at the beginning of the season and was not able to play. She still enjoyed watching and encouraging her fellow teammates. “Overall I think that we had a good season. We started off kind of rocky, but we finished strong in third place,” explained Jasmine Shepard.
“I want to wish our seniors well in their future endeavours and thank them for their contribution to the basketball program,” said Coach Taylor.