A March With Pride
By: Adela Flores
With the start of a new year comes new opportunities for the Manor High School Band. They began gathering and teaching students the art of music as early as July.
“Attention to every detail starting with posture, equal space in time, and every individual move in each step is crucial when creating a strong foundation in the marching technique,” says Isaac Medina, Manor High School band director.
Kaomi Matos, band student, knows it is important to stay concentrated at the set position she said, “I tend to block out everything around me and stare at an object to just focus on my technique.”
Marching band has been proven to have many major benefits for students. It teaches them to be goal oriented and how to keep working hard to achieve those goals, how to be disciplined, work as a team, increase your ability to listen, as well as to keep repeating things until they get it perfect, and even forms friendships that may carry on for a lifetime.
“Its an experience you couldn’t possibly get anywhere else,” said Mr. Medina. Jazmine Lujan, band student, went on to say, “I've learned to be disciplined, how to be a reliable person, the concept of family, and how to work together to produce something which brings joy to everyone.”
When ask how marching band affected Mr. Medina and why he chose to teach music he responded, “From a young age I knew I wanted to be a teacher or performer.” He says it gave him a want and yearning to be the best at whatever it was he was doing and that he definitely wants his student to do so as well.
Mr. Medina went on to say, “Music give kids a chance to really express themselves and love something and I want to be a part of that.” Jazmine agrees and says, “It has benefited me in both physical and emotional ways. I can stay fit while bonding with my friends during marching band, and in concert season I can play beautiful music. It's therapeutic, and a distraction from the real world.”
Marching band is generally thought of as simply walking and playing music, but what many don’t know is that it is like no other sport. It involves everyone giving one hundred percent the entire time, unlike other sports where only a portion of the players are on field while the rest are sitting on the sideline. It's also teaches student to be reliable on each other and accountable for themselves.
Mr. Medina states, “Marching and music together is a blend of athleticism and lots of brains.”
Through his years of teaching music Mr. Medina has learned to be patient because he knows not everyone's goals are aligned with his. He also says he has managed to learn a multitude of different ways to teach music. He knows that there are many major challenges he usually has to overcome within each year such as, keeping students engaged throughout an entire rehearsal with the intensity that it takes, pushing them when they don’t want to go on anymore, and demanding excellence.
“I just want my students to reach their full potential,” Mr. Medina states. “You have to make time around everything else for band, because it literally consumes your life, but in the best way possible,” says Kaomi.
With the approach of the Region 26 UIL Marching Contest Mr. Medina says, “I definitely feel more prepared than I have the previous years, I've been seeing growth in individual students this week especially and I’m confident we’re going to put on a good show this Saturday.” Kaomi then agreed by saying, “I wasn't nervous at all just a bit anxious, we only have eight minutes to show off a months worth of practice, and this was it. This was the year to prove to everyone that Manor deserves a one.”
The Manor High School Band was also recognized at their last competition; USBands Central Texas Regional Championship, by having the best percussion, best color guard, best visual, and best overall effect on October 8, 2016.
Mr. Medina says, “I hope we are able to achieve that one we so badly want, but most importantly, that every individual tries their very best and pours their heart out on that field.”
The robotics team prepares their robot for the upcoming competition and work on it every Saturday in the Engineering classroom.
The Robotics team usually meets after school or weekends to create intricate robots which, they take to competitions. It allows students to have put their critical thinking and hand work to the test.
“It has really helped my communication skills grow and improve, because I get to work with many people whom i've never interacted with in a professional environment,” says Edward Guerrero, thirdly year Robotics team member.
It is a great opportunity to allow students to learn from failure and eventually achieve success. Not only do they have to step out of their comfort zone but also interact with new students, instructors, equipment, tools, etc.
Edward states, “I have learned that by paying attention to detail you achieve the best results, whether it be reading and analysing each instruction or learning manuals.”
The designing, testing, and production of these robots requires a lot of fundraising. Every so often the robotic team sells shirts, sweats, and many other products which helps them acquire money for equipment.
As for any team, the robotics team has specific roles for specific people.
“Communication, mechanical, electrical, and programming are the four main categories and mine is mechanical,” states Khai Ho, second year robotics team member.
Every student has a role. “I am in charge of creating the chassis, which I'd basically the body of the robot and the drive train, so how it will move around,” said Edward.
Holly Davis and Robert Beckett are the instructors who run and manage the team. Khai and Edward both agree that they are always there to help when you ask for it. They also make sure to keep everyone safe and make sure everyone is on task.
“More people should join robotics because it gives you pretty useful skills if you have plans on working in an engineering field,” said Edward.
Lastly Khai says, “It's always a lot of fun, you get so close to people they become like family, and it's a great environment that more people should be in.”
Along with growing up comes the realization of more responsibilities and setting an extraordinary example for younger siblings.
“I need to stop procrastinating and take care of my grades before it's too late,” said Micheal Dargins.
Micheal started his high school journey at Manor New Technology High School in the year 2013. He was forced to attend the school his first year, but once sophomore year rolled around he was able to choose for himself and decided it was best for him to remain there.
Micheal stated, “Sports are very important to me, I began playing at a young age and since then I loved the feeling of victory.”
Creating and performing music is equally important to him. He wishes to attend NYU in order to help pursue his dream and believes it is the perfect place to help put his music out there, while stating “I didn't want to be focused on a career I wasn't going to enjoy.”
“One of my best memories was performing at the MNTHS talent show in the year 2016,” says Micheal.
Now that Micheal is a senior he knows it will be the last year he has to enjoy the company of those who made him laugh, encouraged him and played sports with. Even then he has learned to accept it and plans to begin turning in college essays and recommendations to see where his hard work and dedication takes him.
Manor Vs. LBJ Football Game
As we all know the Manor Mustang football team will be playing against LBJ this Friday (September 16, 2016). We can all imagine the excitement and nerves that come along with it as jersey number 19, Micheal Dargeins explains.
Micheal got into football when he was in the 3rd grade; his role model was NFL player Adrian Lewis Peterson who plays for the Minnesota Vikings.
“He inspired me to be just like him”, said Micheal.
Micheal’s position is the quarterback and he states it is important because he has to make sure not to let anyone down, when it comes to blocking the opposing team.
He also says, “Football has helped me create good time management skills”.
Between being a student and an athlete, Micheal has been able to map out having a good quality practices with well throughout projects.
The football team gathers at Ramos before each game and eat together. They then make their way to the field to prepare for warm up.
The warm up usually consists of a pre- game stretch and passing/ throwing the ball to prepare their hands. The team captain, Francis Ngalamulume is in charge of what uniforms they will wear depending on where they play. After that they return to the locker room and have a team prayer, “we believe it is important for our own success as well as giving thanks for were we are,” says Micheal.
Everyone who has played on a field knows it is important to stay focused, so Michael gave us a few tips to achieve this. He says, “make sure to stick to your game plan and most importantly play like it's your last time”. The team also wishes to go to playoffs this year and hopefully make it to state.
Lastly we asked Micheal how he felt about playing against LBJ this friday and he stated, “What can I say, I basically hate the team, so I just hope we’re able to beat them and take home the win”.