Early in the morning, a student walks into room 6160, the newspaper and yearbook classroom, but they aren’t there to order a yearbook or snap a photo. Tears roll down their cheeks as the weight of the world seems to be bearing down on their shoulders, telling them they aren’t good enough. For many students, this may happen more often than they would like to admit, but it is something that teacher Rebecca Dominy embraces as an opportunity to connect with her students and let them know someone is there for them.
On May 13 and 14, freshman Jacy Smith competed in the state tennis tournament at Texas A&M. After rain delay on May 13, and rounds being pushed into May 14, Jacy placed third overall. Following her year’s accomplishments, Jacy and her coach anticipate her goals for next year. With support from her parents and coaches, Jacy will set the bar higher for the following seasons.
The sounds of cleats scrape the gravel mix with the cheering crowd in perfect harmony. The bright LED lights illuminate the field like spotlights on the players. The diamond is where most baseball players feel at home, but being out on the field isn’t always so easy. Every team requires a strong leader to get them where they need to be in the game. Teammates and coaches believe senior catcher Holt Van Etten fulfills the role of leader for the Viking varsity baseball team.
Senior Justin Rowe received his Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification while enrolled in the Hammond Oliver program. During that time, he has had the opportunity to experience the duties of a nursing assistant and build upon those experiences for his future career.
As she sets her feet firmly against the blocks, the starter calls the runners to the ready. The familiar chant of “I can do this” echoes in her ears as the starter calls set and points the gun upward. Then BANG, junior Jamie Kennedy flies off of the blocks running the 200 meter dash.
Crowds fill the stadium. Students do pre-game stretches and pep talks within their teams. Coaches make sure everyone knows which events they’re competing in and where to go. Athletes line up on the track and prepare to run the 100 meter dash. The competitors take off and, when one crosses the finish line, the crowd erupts and the victor has a mile-wide smile on his face.
But this isn’t a typical track meet: this is the Special Olympics.