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Muskie Swim Girls Kick off the Season With A Splash

By Karissa Burton

Muscatine Muskies swim girls dove into their new season at the end of summer, with practice everyday getting ready for the tough competitions that started this September.

The Muskie girls have proved that the pool isn’t just a place for swimming, but also a place for family. When asked what the team goals were for swim this year, Jessica Ahluwalia a senior this year, stated “To grow as a team, and to improve our times and work together as a team.” They have achieved team bonding through team dinners, and “the Swim Olympics”.

“The Swim Olympics” is a new activity started this year in swim. “The swim olympics are an event Alli and I created to help increase the team love” said Sarah Schoer a senior. Hope Reichert described it as “ a new activity where we compete in different events like the obstacle course, under water events, and diving. You try to rack up as many points as you can as a team and in the end the team with the most points wins.” According the the Girls “The Swim Olympics” was a success, and helped build relationships throughout the team.

The first word that could be used to describe the swim team is dedicated. The swim girls practice once or twice a day, six days a week. All of the swim girls have ambitious goals that they are striving to complete this season. The swim team has competed in seven competitions this year, they have already seen improvements in their times. They consider their best competition to be Bettendorf and Linn- Mar High School.

This new season is filled with possibilities for our swim team! This swim family is unstoppable! There are great thing to come from these twenty four talented, strong, dedicated young women.

(Starting at left) Alli Youngbauer, Hope Reichert, and Sarah Schoer, representing the Girls Swim team at their invitational on September 1st. The Muskie Girls won second place against eight teams, at their first home meet of the season.

MHS Band and Guard Starts the Season Off Right

By Makenzi Day

MHS marching band and color guard took to the field this past Saturday in Mount Pleasant and started the season off well, the band taking 3rd place in the competition and guard earning 2nd. The band has been working hard the past few months to put together an extravagant show themed around love. Students have been practicing consistently. “I’m a pretty competitive person” says guard member Liz Hurlbut (senior), “so I hope we do well this year.”

After the start of the season the group is optimistic about the rest of it. The band practices every morning starting at 6:30 am. “One of my least favorite things about being a part of the band is all of the early mornings” says Hurlbut. Many members practice additional hours each day on their own and the group has a short practice before heading off to competitions. “Our section has pep talks before competitions and it really helps to prepare me overall” says band member Adeline Hilger (sophomore). Hilger also says the group practices together a total of three hours each day. “We’re prepared to do really well this year” she states, “after Saturday we’re off to a really great start”

The group is not only focused on doing well in competitions but as do most sports, works hard in order to insure that the group feels at home. “I decided to get into guard because I thought it looked interesting” says Sydney Lobdell (senior) “I was surprised at how welcoming the group was” The group gets together once every season to eat a giant potluck breakfast, and to bond further as a group, as well as the banquet at the end of each season.

With one great competition under their belt, everyone is excited to see what the band and guard have in store for the rest of the season, and with such an amazing start, expectations are surely set high. Come see the band and their hard work during half time of the final football game of the year on October 4th

Sydney Lobdell (senior) kneels on the field during the halftime show to pick up a flag.

Muskies Start Their Season With a Winning Streak

By Sydnee Orr

The Muscatine Muskies varsity football team started their season with a 3-0 win streak before their game against Johnston, Friday night September 14th. All levels of Muskie football practice for 3 hours everyday after school, have team bonding at least once a week before games and it’s starting to pay off.

Varsity, sophomore and freshman boys teams all have ways to get them ready for game days. Whether it be days in advance or just hours before the big game. David Dalbey, a sophomore said they warm up for about 45 minutes before going out and watch the opposing team's film at practice that same week. They re-run the plays they struggle with at practice and watch the plays the opposing teams run a lot to get a jump start for the upcoming game.

Listening to the players before going into their games, they stay up and focused. While capturing pictures of the boys on the sideline you can hear the positive talk and yells to keep the energy. The players from each grade level and team can agree that the “football family” is close. Carson Orr stated, “We went to the aquatic center and have gone to my house as a team.” Having team bonding keeps these boys working together easier and a lot more enjoyable.

The players from each grade level can agree that having a relationship with your coach(es) makes learning and playing the sport easier. Brennan Broders, a senior stated, “Yes it’s because they want what’s best for you. If you’re not on the same page it’s hard to be good.” A Youth Sports Foundation coach for Muscatine, Dustin Ballard, makes sure he keeps a civil relationship with his players. “If the boys are having fun and can take constructive criticism from me, the game is easier to play for them and keeps them interested.”

Seniors, Carson Orr, number nine, and Carson Borde, number eleven, prepare for the next play.

Muscatine High School Golf Team Review

By Jenna Schulz

The start of the end of the season for the Muscatine High School Boys Golf Team has officially arrived. The season has gone by too quickly for the boys on the team. But they have done the absolute best that they can do.

The 2018 Fall Golf State Tournament is just around the corner here in Iowa. The tournament will take place on October 5th and 6th. This year, the tournament will be held at the Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville.

Brigg Burback, a junior at Muscatine High School, believes that “Anything is possible, but there is a low chance of the Muskies winning state this year.” Most of the teammates agree that there is a low possibility of the Muskies going to state, but it could happen.

Many people on the team have shared that the team has gone through a little bit of a hard time this year. Nathan Diercks, a senior at Muscatine High School, stated that “We have struggled this year and have definitely performed under our expectations.”

Dylan Bishop, a senior at MHS, went into detail that golf is “as much of a mental game as it is a physical game, if not a bit more mental. Bad shots and bad attitude will slowly take its toll on you.”

While there are some negatives to the game of golf, there are many plus sides. You do not need to be a huge athlete to golf or have good endurance.

“Golf is an independent sport and that is why I like it.” Burback explained.

If you want to join the golf team but you believe that you are not good enough, Diercks, who has been golfing since he was five-years-old, shared that you should go for it because “Coach Schultz will improve your game so much.”

The golf team is also “pretty laid back and fun,” according to Burback.

The varsity team will compete at districts on October 2nd in Marion, Iowa. If the muskies advance onto state they will compete on October 5th and October 6th in Coralville, Iowa.

It has been a good, but short, season for the Muskies. But they will always have the memories from this season to keep them whole until the season starts again next year.

Douglas Custis, Freshman, successfully puts the ball in the hole during his home meet.

Saving Money as a High Schooler

By Kayla Scholz

Entering high school is exciting for students because they can finally start driving themselves around, hang out with their friends more, and go to numerous events. However, all of these interesting activities often require money. Getting the full “high school experience” gets expensive at times. Luckily, there are several little tips and tricks that can help anyone save money.

One great piece of advice that Elizabeth Hoyt, the author of Managing Your Money: 31 Money Saving Tricks for Students, gives is to shop at places that offer student discounts. This way you can take full advantage of the financial benefits available to students by local businesses. The Coffee Belt, located on 2nd street in downtown Muscatine, is one of these types of businesses. They offer a small percent off every purchase for any student who has their ID.

Kate Sundquist, who wrote What Are The Best Financial Tips for a High School Student?, argues that keeping a record of every penny you spend will contribute immensely to helping you save money. By doing this, you can take note of specific products or services that you have been spending too much money on. For example, you might notice that you always purchase a drink whenever you go out to eat. You can save so much money by just drinking water! Water is free, and it’s the healthiest beverage you can take in.

The article 7 Ways to Save Money for College as a High School Sophomore suggests several other ways to save money as a student. For example, it recommends depositing whatever money you earn into the bank account immediately after you are handed it. This will keep you from being tempted to spend that money, and it will contribute to your savings. Also, if you have any clothes, shoes, or furniture that is in decent condition, but doesn’t serve a purpose to you anymore, you should consider selling it. Most teens are suckers for discounted items that they have been wanting for a long time, but didn’t buy because it was too expensive before.

If you want to do fun stuff with your friends and family, but are held back by the idea of spending a large amount of money, think about free activities that you can do with them. You could go on a bike ride, have a picnic, go on a hike, do a photo shoot, play board games, camp in your backyard, go to a museum, etc. The list is endless.

Addressing the benefits of choosing water over soda, the picture shows why drinking water does more than just save you money.

XCeeding Our Limits

By Macey Rogers

As the Muskie boys and girls cross country team sprints through the first half of their season, both teams push themselves to new limits in various ways. With a slow start to the season due to weather, both teams struggled to push through tough conditions as well as not getting much race environment practice due to multiple cancellations at the beginning of the season. “In the first meet we ran at in Cedar Rapids, the conditions were so bad that people were losing their shoes in the mud and ran barefoot for the rest of the race,” exclaimed senior Julia Moravec.

The conditions were so harsh that nearly eighteen people passed out, five of which were rushed to the hospital. The humidity levels were very high and the air was as thick as the mushy mud path that remained as the course. “These were the worst conditions I’ve ever seen for a meet, and I’ve been coaching for a long time,” said Tim Armstrong, who has been coaching girls cross country for many years.

After a rough start to the beginning of the season, both the boys and girls team brought home a trophy after placing first in Fort Madison, which was a combined team win. “It was pretty cool that both teams placed first and got to share a fat dub together, it made the bus ride home a lot more fun,” said senior Tevin Tovar with a smile on his face.

With a win under their belt, muskie boys and girls cross country team have the burst of confidence they need to blow through the second half of the season strong, with high expectations. “This year, it is a varsity goal that the whole team makes it to state, which I think is doable if we practice hard and run our best at the qualifying meet,” said senior Brighton Kraft, who has run cross country all four years of high school.

With heads held high and a positive attitude, these runners will do whatever it takes to have a successful season.

The girls and boys cross country team take home the gold with a combined 1st place win at Fort Madison.

MHS Greets New Faces

By Mercedes Smith and Sophie Gabriel

Every year, the faces of teachers and students alike change in Muscatine High School. Some come, some go, some move around. This year was no different. Twenty-three new people joined the MHS staff list for the 2018-19 school year. They had to start from square one-- new building, new students, new colleagues. Despite how scary this may sound, our amazing new staff maintained an optimistic outlook.

“I was, at first, a little nervous because it was so large, but everybody has been so helpful that I have come to love it,” says Educational Strategist Heather Clark. She has been teaching for seven years, but this is her first year at MHS. Clark says that the communication between teachers and the hospitality of the departments she works with has helped her transition immensely.

“I already like it,” says Lynette Larson, a new teacher to the ELA department, “and can see that it's going to get a bit easier as I learn the material and get more lessons developed.” Before coming to MHS, Larson taught in Colorado for three years and at West Middle School in Muscatine for seventeen years. She says she’s reconnected with a lot of students she had in middle school. “In some ways, it feels like coming home.”

The new staff also seems to have similar outlooks on teaching, as a whole. They’re all passionate people that hope to make a difference here. They hope to grow MHS as a school, as well as help the people within it grow. MHS’ new principal Terry Hogenson, shares the same ideals. He says he spoke to the new staff at the beginning of the school year.

“What I told [them] is always remember your why. It should never be about test scores. It’s about helping students be the best they can be. Always remember why you started in the business.”

Heidi Kuo, a new foreign language teacher this year, is already reflecting on where she hopes to see herself in the upcoming years. “[I hope to be] still teaching kids interested in Chinese. I hope, after one year, those kids can chat with me in Chinese.” Kuo previously taught in Taiwan for about ten years. This is her first year teaching in the United States.

The staff, overall, looks to be adapting well this year. They all seem to agree that MHS staff and students have been helpful in their transition into the high school. They feel they’re adapting well. “I hope so,” says Sarah Lanning, a new math teacher this year. “I’m working hard to do that. I hope I'm being successful in the eyes of the students.”

It appears that MHS got lucky with the new staff it received this year. It seems likely that the 2018-19 school year is in great hands!

Ms. Larson helping students out during Muskie Time. “I liked the idea of working with older students and I also liked the possibility of new, more challenging curriculum.
Mrs Lanning teaching her 5th period Geometry class about rigid transformations on pajama day. “I think the curriculum here is really interesting and there is a lot of opportunities that will help me become a better math teacher.”
Mrs.Quo captured during 5th period teaching her Chinese students Hanzi. “I always want to look for games for kids because world language is boring and I want them to know it's easy.”
MHS' new principle Mr. Hogenson waiting for his after-school meeting with staff to begin.
Mrs. Clark, an Educational Strategist, posing in the hall before returning to fifth period.

The Upcoming Fall Play

By Sophie Wagner

This year’s fall play at MHS is called The Matchmaker. It is a comedy show set in the 1880’s about a store owner, Horace Vandergelder, (played by Ezekiel Ellis) who refuses to allow his niece, Ermengarde, (played by Annie Height) marry Ambrose Kemper, (played by Lucas Burkamper) but he follows her to New York anyways. Meanwhile Vandergelder arranges a matchmaker for himself.

The show will be performed November 9th and 10th, at MHS. Cast and crew members are getting ready for the play by practicing very often. Junior, Jonathan Taverna, who plays Malichistack, said they “practice everyday, but sometimes different people get called depending on their part.” He said the most difficult part about being in the school play is time commitment. He explained, “We are here almost every day and a lot of us have so much going on outside of this.” Senior, Karissa Burton, who plays Dolly Levi said, “during dress rehearsal weeks, we are sometimes here from 5 am till 10:30 at night, however, it’s worth it in the end”

Burton explained that the cast and crew members involved in the play form a strong bond while spending so much time together, she said “It’s generally a small group and we get really close and it kind of creates a family atmosphere in the end,” Freshman, Bayley Hawkins, said her favorite part about the school play is the people. “They are all very welcoming and I enjoy being around them,” said Hawkins. This is her first play at MHS

Hawkins said she thinks people are going to laugh while watching the show since it is a comedy. Karissa Burton said she hopes people feel good and laugh while watching. Rene Mauck, The director and producer of the play, explained “ I think anyone who enjoys a good comedy will enjoy this show.”

Eric Chen, Emmy Holte, Bayley Hawkins, and Chace Bassett playing an acting game called “Freeze” during play practice in the auditorium.

MHS Serves Up a Change

By Justin Miller

In the 2018/19 school year, MHS implemented a new change into the school’s lunch schedule. Depending on your point of view, this new initiative might be met with a positive attitude or even a somewhat negative view. The change that has taken place is where lunch is separated into groups. These two groups are separated into A lunch and B lunch. These sessions come with some restrictions that are new this year. Let's take a brief look at what a few people at MHS think of these changes.

Martin Moreno, a Sophomore at MHS, said “I don’t like it because we have limitation and you can’t go to the gym…..you can’t walk around any more.” On the other end of the spectrum I asked Mr. Groteluschen, the Assistant principal, he had this to say, “I like the change. It has been an improvement. I know that some students are upset, but academically I think that the new changes are going to be positive.”

Sophomore Martin Moreno is not the only student finding challenges with the freedom that students have during lunch. This year students are no longer being allowed to go between the calfateria and the library during lunch time. Kyle Georgi voiced his opinion, “I think we should be able to move because there are more options for food and all of my friends are in the library.” But there are also others who are on the other side of the argument. Mrs. Hansen had this to say, “I think it makes sense…. I think it helps people to find seats and limit the traffic in the halls.”

There are definitely mixed thoughts about this new lunch arrangement. Whether you like or not, it looks like MHS is going to be trying this new style of lunch this year. For better or worse, all of us here at MHS will have a chance to form our own opinions.

A glimpse of what it looks like with students congregating in the MHS library during A B Lunch.

Macbooks vs. Chromebooks; Which is Better for School?

By Margaret Manjoine

The decade-old debate of which is a superior computer for school, Macbooks or Chromebooks. While it’s hard to decide, since both have pros and cons, there has to be a good answer. Chromebooks are bulkier and less aesthetically pleasing, however, they are good for engineering, and other coding oriented majors in college. Macbooks are sleeker, and give off a look that so many teenager and college aged students strive for and they’re awesome for writers, and non-coding oriented majors.

Let’s start with Macbooks, retailing at just under $1,300, Apple’s newest Macbook Pro comes equipped with a 12 inch (diagonal) LED backlit display, a “Force Touch trackpad”, and up to 10 hours of battery life. Macbooks are the more durable of Chromebooks and Macbooks, they seem to last forever. They’re fast until you decide to upgrade to a newer model or they get over 5-6 years old. They’re great for note-taking and have an great layout with the choices to keep files on your desktop or using Google Docs for everything.

Chromebooks are significantly cheaper, at about $500. While they hold up for a long time, the seemingly cheap plastic used as an exterior as well as the screen cracks easily. It does have quite a fast processor and if you’re considering a degree where you will need to work with a PC, this is the computer for you! Although, if you’re looking for accessibility and something that lets you access all your files quickly, this is not your laptop.

Chromebooks and Macbooks both have definite strengths and definite weaknesses, the choice is up to you. If you’re willing to pay for Apple’s brand, or if you want to stay frugal and save your money for tuition is completely your decision.

Macbooks vs. Chromebooks, which will prevail?

Everyone Becoming a Muskie

By: Hallie Hanssen

In Muscatine, there are multiple elementary schools and two middle schools. Each one had their mascots and colors. This year the school district made them all Muskies and their school colors purple and gold. A few students from each of the schools gave their opinion on what the Muskie Way would look like to them. They took the students opinions and changed the locker colors, the welcome mats, and new logos. Some students in middle school are not as excited with the change as others. They want their original mascot and colors back.

When you are in middle school you look up to high schoolers and want to be a Muskie. You wait your turn to become a Muskie. Maura Chalupa, an eighth grader at West Middle School, agrees with this statement. “It is just awkward because I feel like the high school should just be the Muskies,” she says.

On the other hand Gabriella Steele, a seventh grader at West Middle School, believes that being a Muskie early helps become more involved in the school. “I feel more involved in the Muskie Spirit and closer with the high school.” Gabriella also stated, “The mascots are what makes the schools unique.” When all the schools are the same, there is no difference in anyone’s experience.

Throughout the community people wonder why the school district changed the schools to muskies. Karey Hawkins a school counselor at MHS explains the whole idea behind the decision, “To create a sense of community so that an elementary student entering kindergarten would already feel like their part of the high school. We felt like that was a disconnection for kids who came and didn’t graduate, they didn’t feel like they belonged as part of the high school especially if they aren’t involved in anything coming in so when they felt comfortable already with colors and mascots, as silly as it sounds. But having things be familiar would help them make the transition from elementary to middle and middle to high.”

She mentions not having negative feedback from parents or students from the change. Hawkins mentions, “I think it’s more the adult community members who maybe grew up here and were used to being whatever their mascot was from the elementary school they attended.” The change concerns the kids more than the adults, so for how well the students are reacting the change is positive.

The school district changed the schools to benefit our community and unite everyone. So far the changes have only been positive and hopefully stay that way. Kids will feel more involved and enjoy their experience at the Muscatine schools more than in the past.

On Mulberry Ave, the elementary school, Mulberry adds a sign on the front of the building this year to state that they are part of the Muskie family.

Students Weigh in on Homecoming Trends

By Lexi Hirt

Homecoming is a time where everyone always wants what’s on trend and popular. Every year designers like Sherri Hill and Mac Duggal come out with new dresses and fashions that everyone wants to follow.

One major trend of this year is simple dresses, sophomore Sophia Maher is wearing a tight fitted, tank top styled, black dress. “ I really like simple, colorless dresses with no sparkles on them” says Maher.

Freshman Adella Dalbey also mentions how she prefers simple dresses with a bit of a pattern on them. Another person going with the simple theme is sophomore, Alexandria Steele. She plans on wearing a Sherri Hill pink dress with thin straps and a flowy skirt. “I really like the brand Sherri Hill because their dresses are really cute but yet still simple.” says Steele.

Sherri Hill is a very popular brand when it comes to Homecoming and Prom season, but few girls buy the brand’s dresses due to the big price tags they come with. Sherri Hill’s cocktail dresses typically run from $350-$500.

A popular trend is purchasing dresses from Le Chic Prom and Pageant boutique. Le Chic is a dress shop located in downtown Muscatine. They sell high end dresses from brands like, Sherri Hill, Mac Duggal, Rachel Allen and much more. Many girls from MHS enjoy going there due to the trendy dresses they sell. “ I really like going to Le Chic because they sell a lot of different dresses that stand out from other people,” says Steele

Although, many may stray away because of the high price tag that follows the high end brands. Alexis Moeller went to Special Effects in Moline to purchase her dress. “I really liked special effects because the people were really nice and helped with what style would fit the best” said Moeller.

To top off the homecoming outfits, girls are going to various hair salons to get their hair done. Freshman, Meadow Freers plans to have her hair in an updo. “I like updos because they are a lot less work and your hair stays out of your face.” says Freers. Steele and Maher both plan to get their hair done at Salon Incognito, a hair salon located in downtown Muscatine.

Students always want what’s on trend and popular for homecoming. They use local businesses to achieve their look for this years Homecoming dance

Sophomores, Sophia Maher and Alexandria Steele at weed park taking pictures before the Homecoming dance.

Muskie Volleyball Stunning Their Competition

By Morgan Hage

The Muskie volleyball girls are killing it this season. They have been very busy with two hour practices everyday after school, games every other day and they even have tournaments every other weekend. All the hard work is paying off. Their record right now is 4-1.

Kayla Scholz, senior, said, “My favorite memory from volleyball is when we beat Bettendorf last Tuesday for the first time since 2012.”

The team wouldn’t be a team without their coach. Tim Martin has been the Muscatine volleyball coach for a long time now. This season he’s been putting the girls through a lot of drills and practices to get them to where they are now.

Kailynn Avis, senior, said, “Yes, [Coach Martin] is strict, but he still makes practice fun.”

Even though the volleyball team always puts in hard work they do have some time for fun and team bonding. Every Monday the MHS volleyball team will have team dinners at coach Martin’s house and if they have an away game they’ll all go out to eat afterwards and do some team bonding then.

Kayla Scholz, senior, said, “We all have a secret sister and buy them a little present with a note to give them before a game.”

The Muskie volleyball girls have been having a great season. Their next game is September 25th, at Assumption. Make sure you go and cheer on those Muskies!

Muskie Volleyball players playing in their home tournament.

Low Government Involvement Regarding Air Pollution is Negatively Affecting Us

By Vada Fridley

Believe it or not, air pollution is making us dumber. The amount of debris, smoke, and other pollution being pumped into the air around us can be much more damaging than previously conceived, and the world’s governments should be doing something about it.

In a study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the study’s author, Xiaobo Zhang of Peking University in China, found that the damage air pollution has on aging brains likely imposes substantial health costs, considering that cognitive functioning is critical for making high-stakes economic decisions. This devastating air pollution can have short term and long term effects on everyone, including potentially developing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, said CNN. More findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reaffirmed that the indirect effect of pollution could be much larger than previously thought and the governments of the countries affected need to be stepping in before people are seriously hurt.

Aside from health costs, CNN reported that Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, “breathing polluted air causes a ‘steep reduction’ in scores on verbal and math test.” This is extremely important to note in developing countries considering the world's top 20 most polluted cities, according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) database, are in developing countries and developing countries tend to fall lower on the educational access and achievement spectrum compared to more developed countries for many reasons. The overall mental health and stability of people in developing countries especially is declining because of this pollution, and it should be up to the government to protect its people from the detrimental consequences.

Although the government does not necessarily need to be responsible for regulating every single big business company expelling pollution into the air, they can certainly help by passing laws or regulations that will contribute to a solution from making the world dumber. "The government should... respond to the increasing concerns on air pollution, in particular the hidden cost on intellect, which has not been recognised before”, Zhang said. Ultimately, if the U.S. and other governments refuse to make changes for the environment, that is one thing, but they should do it for the well-being of their people before it is too late.

Muscatine’s very own GPC has been criticized often in the past for over polluting the air in the surrounding area which has lead to health and environmental issues. Companies like these are in the headlines all over the world because their pollution could cause serious issues for everyone, and governments are being scrutinized for not stepping in to protect their people from it.

A Look at the Muskies New Gym

By Kyla Fear

Throughout the years at Muscatine High School there was always something missing, which was a larger space where all students would have the same opportunities to improve their physical abilities. This year that all changes, a new recreational center has been built at the high school for students, gym classes and athletic teams to use. The construction of this building first took place around early November of last year, and is set to be opened around November of this year. The gym will be approximately 26,000 sq. ft. and will consist of two full size basketball courts, a lifting room, and a turf area.

After the gym is completed, it will offer practices for sports with the set up of “ basketball hoops, volleyball nets, a scoreboard, with a chance of getting batting cages. The set up in the weightroom will be twenty racks and a strip of turf.” states Advanced and Intro to Strength in Training teacher D.J. Hawkins. “Lower levels such as JV, Sophomore, and Freshman teams to get a chance to either practice and or play games in the future.” mentions head football coach and counselor Jacob Mueller. This new gym has multiple goals for different people in the future and one of them is, “a way for us to improve our sports and our physical education,” said junior Thaddeus Swailes. Another goal is to “ have more space and to be more updated. Which means more options and more classes available.” said sophomore Carlie Blazek.

Chuck Van Hecke was determined in the voting of the school board to be the new name for this gym. His was given this honor for “his service and impact on the school district”, states Zachary Smith writer for the Muscatine Journal. Hecke was also employed in the district for 22 years, and was devoted as an Athletic Director and was later on the principal of Muscatine High School.

Get ready to get fit, because the new recreational center will be open before you know it!

Muscatine High Schools VanHecke Center is almost finished and is set to be ready for the Winter season to come.

Cheering Up the Crowd for Friday Night Lights

By Kendra Eller

Cheer is an exciting time of the year, Friday night lights, smiles, the yells of the crowd. Cheer is a huge commitment and is a big part of Friday night games. The cheerleaders are in charge of getting the crowd pumped and making everyone excited and on their feet for the game.

The cheerleaders do multiple cheers each game, but senior, Jeniqua Graves says, “the MHS beat gets the student section the most involved.” However, Jeniqua’s personal favorite cheer is Psyched. Julia Metzger, senior says, “Muskie spirit also gets the crowd super involved.” Cheer takes a lot of commitment and work to be apart of. Their practices start early in the morning before sun rise, and they cheer until sundown at football games. The cheerleaders face all types of weather during games and go through the entire game with a smile on their face.

The cheerleaders are also fundraising right now for their trip to London! Only a few of the cheer girls were selected to go to London to participate in a cheer event. This is a great opportunity for the girls to learn greater skill and travel the world. Shayleen Perez says, “we have been selling bows, glowsticks, facepaint and having bake sales to fundraise for London.” Other cheerleaders are also fundraising to go to London, so go out and support them!

Doing stunts is an important part of cheer, it takes an extreme amount of hard work to learn the techniques of different flips. Lucy Brookhart, sophomore, does as many flips as there are touchdowns, that takes a lot of skill and determination. Shayleen Perez, senior says, “I learned how to do flips at All-Star cheerleading gym.” It takes hard work to learn that technique, it took Shayleen a year to master her flips. Cheer routines, like the one performed at the pep assembly also take an extreme amount of work. Jeniqua Graves said, “it takes us 2 to 3 weeks to get the routine down, close to perfect.”

Cheer takes a lot of hard work and is often unappreciated for everything they do. Go out and support your spirit squad and help them make it to London!

Shayleen Perez, Senior, pumps up the crowd at the Friday night football game.

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