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2nd period Journalism I relaxes after all their hard work on September 4 at SHHS (Photographer: Amy Blalock)
2nd period Journalism I relaxes after all their hard work on September 4 at SHHS

Photographer: Amy Blalock

We know what you did last summer…..

Journalism I students investigate what Panthers did over the summer break

September 6, 2019

Journalism I class took to the halls of Spring Hill High School to find out “What did Panthers do this summer?” The answers are pretty amazing. Students from Spring Hill’s activities were as varied as their personalities.

Heating up friendships

Spring Hill students spend summer months rekindling friendships

Summer of 2019 was a time for high school kids to take a break from the previous school year and spend their time with their friends. During school, there is not much opportunity for students to spend their free time with their friends. 


“Of course I love summer, that’s when most people spend time with their friends, that’s when I have the most time to spend with them.” 11th grader Ethan Foster said. “Summer I think would be the best time to spend with friends.”

Often times comittments to school organizations, work, and family  prevent students in high school from spending their time with their friends. 

“Sometimes it does, but I still get to see my friends on the weekend. Though I wish i could see them more often, then every now and then on a Saturday.” 11th grader Ethan Foster said. “I really just get to spend time with them once every two weeks.”


The average high school boy spends a majority of time playing video games according to my research. Do they play video games on line or face to face?


“Normally I’ll play games with my friends.” 11th grader Ethan Foster said. “I don’t really have that much time to go places with friends.”


Summer typically gives high school students more time with their friends and a break from school.


 “Because school classes and teachers make us do so much homework.” 11th grader Grant Yantes said. “We can’t hang out with friends because of school, honestly.”


Panthers Prepare,Progress

Panther Maker Summer Camp

Summertime is when people take vacations, step away from their jobs and schoolwork, and relax day-in and day-out. However, this wasn’t the case for the seventh grade through senior athletes of Spring Hill High School who attended Panther Maker. From June 3rd to August 1st, 2019,  student-athletes trained at the Spring Hill High School Athletic Complex with their teammates focusing on explosive, ground-based, and multi-joint movements to prepare for the current football and volleyball seasons and the later sports to come.

Photographer: Amy Blalock
Panther athletes endure the summer heat to make gains in August at Panther Stadium.

“I think that I have improved, the entire team has,” football player Brian Vaca said. “Panther Maker made me ready for the new season, for smoother practices, and for wins to bring home.”

Football isn’t the only in-season sport using the workouts from Panther Maker to their advantage. Volleyball is in full swing and the girls on the court already feel a difference in their strength and speed.

“Panther Maker made me hit harder and block quicker,” Varsity volleyball player Rachel Petree said. “I know that Panther Maker made me better in the sense that I am more capable, and I feel like I can communicate better with my team.”

Communication is a big thing in Varsity-level sports, but talking doesn’t only happen on the court and field, it happens on the track as well.

“Track isn’t until the spring,” Varsity track runner Tai Reid said. “However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not ready to run. Panther Maker has allowed me to lift heavier and sprint faster, and I already see better attitudes and better communication between the girls who run too.

Lady Panthers and the Boys Athletic program are ready to dominate in sports this year. Early morning practices were held so the athletes could get a jump start.“Other kids were sleeping in late and not really working out, football player Brian Vaca said. “I put in a lot of hard work though, and I know that it will pay off.”

Hidden Wonders Within the Hill

Panthers find vacations within Longview.

Students and staff alike have stories to tell from our 2019 summer break; about where they went and what they did. But for some, where they traveled isn’t on a beach,or a far away country, but right here in Longview.


“I volunteered at the church and helped at the animal shelter,” junior Taylor Brewer said. “There was always something to keep me busy.”


 Some believe that being in a class, or group changes your entire summer for the better. Being part of a sport or class is a good way to keep in touch with friends or make new ones many students and staff think alike.


“I think students could enjoy summer without going far,” robotics instructor Debbie Bass said. “Preferably if they’re involved in a sport or a group of some kind.”


Many students believe that a hobby or activity you haven’t tried before is the key to a good summer. Learning something new to keep you occupied kept, junior, Kye McKinley occupied over the summer break. 


“I wanted to learn a new instrument,” McKinley said. “And something about bass just drew me in.”


There are also many different places in Longview to visit such as Eufords Orchard, parks, lakes, and places to volunteer. Spending time with friends or family over the summer is regarded as one of the best things to do in your free time and going somewhere other than home may change how much fun you have.


“I’m sure I could enjoy summer without traveling far,” Brewer said. “There’s enough stuff to keep me busy.”


Summer Work, To Do or Not To Do?

Is summer work really necessary?

For the four in ten american’s intending to take a “summer vacation,” there’s an alternative. 

For the twelve thousand summer camps that intend to host over eleven million american attendants, for the business’ that make a net $2,297,100,000 in gross production off teenagers per week during the summer months, for the children at home sleeping till twelve, staring mindlessly at the four walls around them and repeating the cycle tomorrow, there’s an alternative.

Undoubtedly, Spring Hill students have a rocky relationship with summer work. The highly competitive student body has been taking an increasing number of AP classes, and with this extra work comes a rising amount of weight on students’ free time. 

“If it weren’t for summer work, I’d be doing what I wanted,” sophomore Ben Puckett said. “It’s so easy it’s beneficial to my grades, that’s really it.”

Perhaps it should be taken into consideration that Ben Puckett is at the top of his class, and that not every student would use their free time as wisley as him. Marshall Bodenheimer, who is at the top of the junior class, shares a similar problem.

“If I didn’t have summer work I’d read books I actually enjoy.” Bodenhiemer said. “It’s stuff we know how to do anyways.”

But teachers typically don’t view summer work through this lens. Generally speaking, summer work can take the ease off the extreme workload of AP classes.

“Because of the expansive content, it helps us cover everything we need to get done.” APUSH and WHAP teacher Emmie Drueckhammer said. “It helps students stay in the AP mindset.”

Though some students may see summer work on an unnecessary impediment on their summer vacation, not every student can be expected to further their education without school aid. For this reason summer work seems to be an apt method of preparing students for the upcoming school year. 

“It’s a necessary evil,” Drueckhammer said. “Drop the class if you feel that passionate.”

The Truth About Summer Jobs

Panthers express their opinions on summer jobs.

Students in Longview, Texas over the summer of 2019 express how having or not having a job affected them over the summer.

“With working two jobs I still had a lot of time to go do things with my friends,” senior Hayden Milam said. “And had the money to go do whatever.”

Having a job seems to give kids enough free time and money to go do things with their friends. However having no job may keep the summer less stressful!

“I did not have a job over the summer,” senior Karlie Linthicum said. “Not having a job keeps it very low stress and just gives you a break from the school year.”

Having a job may keep the summer stress free and relaxing, but may give you too much free time. 

“I worked at Putt Putt over the summer about five times a week,” senior Krista Pleasant said. “I had a lot of free time but not enough to where I was bored all the time.”

Working most jobs seems to keep kids stress free and give them something to do with a little cash in their pocket, but may all depend on the job they choose.

“Working with my dad and at Putt Putt,” senior Hayden Milam said. “My summer definitely wasn’t stressful.”

Spinning With Heart

A look at what the Twirlers and Flags were up to this summer.

The sound of the music echoes the gym, while the numbers they count ramble through their heads. This is what the 2019 High School Twirlers and Flags go through to prepare for football season. In the summer the girls practice to entertain your community. This summer the Spring Hill Twirlers and Flags have been working. These girls had twirl and flag camp and practiced at band camp everyday. As school trickled in they have been practicing three times a week.They practice early in the morning and practice late at night, to perform at games.


 “The Twirlers and Flags work hard to perfect not only our routines, but also to perfect our marching skills for band,” head twirl captain Lauren Bridges said. “Hard work got me to where I am today.”There is also a change moving from junior high twirl and flag to high school. Schedules change and more responsibilities come in the process.


“There are more responsibilities in high school twirl, you have to keep things organized,” freshman Rylie Mars said. “It makes it busier because of flag and band practice.”

   The girls put a lot of time into this activity. They spend many hours a week.


   “The girls on the line put more hours on their own practicing and taking private lessons,” twirl and flag sponsor Andrea Jones said.“They have improved so much from July when they learn the routines to the time they performed at the Back to School Pep Rally.”

The girls have to stay focused in the summer. They have their full attention on what’s coming up.


 “Twirling takes up a lot of time in my life,” Bridges said. ”Preparation for performances is what I mostly work on.”


Pack, Pride, Purpose

Panther Maker Summer Camp.

 Painful! Intense! Scorching Hot! These are some descriptions Spring Hill students used to describe workouts called Panther Maker. Panther Maker is a summer workout for students playing in sports from seventh to twelfth grades. These workouts were three days a week from 8 to 10 a.m in the months of June and July. These workouts took place at the Spring Hill gym, field, and the weight room.


“They were hard,” ninth grader Lindsey Hall said. “ It was so hot outside and I hadn’t worked out since the school year.”


For many days at Panther Maker they spent their time on the field running.


“The workouts were pretty hard,” ninth grader Halee Bray said. “ The sixteen hundreds on the field were intense.”


Other days they spent their time in the weight room getting stronger.


“They were hard,” ninth grader Micah Socoteanu said. “ That’s because they get you better.”


These workouts really let you know what you need to work on and how to improve and become a better athlete.


“Panther Maker lets you express your individual needs,” Hall said.”It shows you what you need help on.”


Snacking Our Way Through Summer!

Panthers opinions on summer snacks.

Summer gives you a lot of downtime to chill, hang out, but also to eat snacks to your heart’s desire. According to Fox News, four out of ten people in America spend about fifty dollars on snacks every week. Although it may not have been widely discussed, many Spring Hill High School students agree that eating snacks was a very important part of summer 2019.

 “[Snacks are] most definitely an important part of summer,” freshman Davion Simpson said. “I need them to survive.”

While almost all students agree that snacks are an important aspect of summer, everyone has a different favorite.

“Gummies,” freshman Sam Lepire said. “[I eat them] probably like three times a day.”

Not only are snacks consumed every day by most SHHS students, but several times every day. Some even say that they wish they could eat them more than they possibly ever could.

“I’d eat it every minute of the day,” freshman Andrew Northern said. “Ice cream is my favorite.”

While the word ‘snack’ may lead you to think of a variety of ‘junk food,’ it can also be referring to the variety of healthy foods. Many students actually prefer these healthy snacks over the common sugary ones.

“Have to be grapes,” Simpson said. “They’re easy to grab at any point and they’re really good.”

Being such a considerably large part of student’s summers, many students strongly believe that snacks should be eating regularly by everyone.

“If you aren’t snacking all summer long,” Simpson said. “You’re missing out, man.”

Travelling to Distant and Nearby Places

Panthers make memories and have fun this summer.

Panther summers were well remembered because of the events within. Whether that be going out of state to see new wildlife or just going and spending time in the water.


Panthers left the school year of 2018-19 with the intent of having a good time and that’s exactly what they did. May through August was the time for panthers to enjoy themselves because the exhausting school year was finally over. All over the U.S panthers could be found having a good time.


“I went to Florida this summer,” sophomore Destiney Dorsey said. ”It was very eventful.”


Everyone was out and about visiting new places and seeing new things. Nobody seemed to be in the same place at the same time but they were all having fun even finding humor in the most unfortunate times. Mrs Ender took a trip to Vegas when an earthquake hit.


“I was sitting in a restaurant with a bunch of hanging things and everything started swinging,”art teacher Karen Ender said. “And what’s funny is people that worked there freaked out more than the people eating there did.”


But for some people out-of-state was not their idea of fun. They liked to keep it local.


“I went to a nearby water park,” freshman Michael Dodson said. “It was fun.  We just played around in the water all day.”


All in all Panthers wanted to find ways to make the best of their summers and make new memories. For some people those memories will last them a lifetime.


The highlight of my summer was probably swimming with the dolphins. “Dorsey said that was the best part of my summer I’ll never forget it.”

Panthers at Pinecove

Panthers go to church camp.

Every summer, over 40,000 boys and girls choose to spend a week of their summer at Christian Summer Camp, Pine Cove, in Tyler, Texas swimming in the lake, learning about Christianity, playing games, meeting new people, and doing everything in between, making for a notable week each year. “I like absolutely everything at Pine Cove,” Freshman Camryn Stacey said “it’s my favorite place in the universe.”


Pine Cove is a place where you can worship Jesus Christ and learn more about the Christian religion while being secluded at a campsite for a week. “My favorite part about Pine Cove is praising the Lord without the distractions of the world,” Freshman Abbie Gilbert said, “and the dance parties and activities are super fun.” 


Building off of the activities aforementioned, Pine Cove offers many activities during the day for kids to have fun and enjoy. “When I was at Pine Cove, I ziplined and played gaga ball,” Freshman Janna Socoteanu said “I also swam in the lake and pool a lot.” 


A big part of what gives Pine Cove the reputation it has is the lasting friendships you make while there. “Getting to meet new people who are similar to me is honestly my favorite part,” freshman Camryn Stacey said “leaving camp and knowing I still have these friends to talk to is amazing and makes Pine Cove the best.” 

Time is Ticking

Spending time with family makes summer even better.

Memories, beautiful pictures, and family time: three things that can never get destroyed. Over the course of summer 2019,  Longview and Houston residents created those memories, pictures, and family time by traveling across America and other countries to spend time with family all while getting away from their small town homes. 


Going on these summertime expeditions creates many opportunities for memories. “Going back to Las Vegas would have to be my  most unforgettable moment,” Resident of Longview Texas Alia Morals said “I got to spend time with my siblings I haven’t seen in a while.”


In addition to Morals’ trip for family, vacations can also be a time to work on yourself and go outside of your comfort zone. Kim Bryant recently took a trip out of the country to experience new things and also observe new sceneries, all while spending time to herself. “Traveling to Nassau Bahamas was so peaceful and beautiful to look at,” Citizen of Houston Texas Kim Bryant said “I’ve always been the person to travel and see new places.”


Adding on to the summer festivities, Joelle Cuellar spent time with family in California when she had an opportunity to visit people she doesn’t see often. “Going to California was my most memorable memory of summer 2019,” Resident of Longview Texas Joelle Cuellar said “I got to spend quality time with family and friends I haven’t seen in a while.”


In conclusion, spending quality time with family is an important factor in Alia Moral’s life and having the opportunity to do that during the summer is crucial to her, as with many. My family and I had a lot of fun there summer.”Resident of Longview Texas Alia said “Every family needs a little quality time.”


Can You Dig It?

What the Panther Volleyball team was up to this summer.

This summer Spring Hill High School volleyball had a big change. They received three new coaches. With two a days they worked super hard with the girls to make them better athletes, putting in timeless hours. Everyone is very glad to have them and they have improved the volleyball program so much. We all hope that they keep up the great work and improve the athletics program as a whole. 

There are many people who have many different opinions about the new coaches. Spring Hill did get all new volleyball coaches in a matter of three months. Let’s find out what the volleyball coaches thought about two days and the new opportunity that they have at Spring Hill during two a days. 

“Doing something new for two a days has improved the team a lot.” Varsity volleyball coach Andrew Harbison said. “ We are now doing timed drills which has made us more efficient and quicker.” 

                Andrew Harbison has enjoyed doing two a days with the girls and believes that his new drills has made them more efficient. The change has been good though and all of the coaches seem to enjoy Spring Hill.

              “Yes, the change is good for the most part,” junior varsity volleyball coach David Plunk said. ”The learning curve is different and bigger than tennis because of the freshman and it’s a lot cooler inside.”

           The volleyball coaches have enjoyed the new change. They all enjoy doing something new, it  is what makes them better.

        “Doing something new for two days has helped my coaching a lot.“ freshman volleyball coach Chandler Touchstone said. “I am learning something new in new experience helped me learn.“

           At Spring Hill High School, especially this year with the new coaching, they are all about new experiences. Also they have received new equipment. 

           “The change was good this year,“ varsity volleyball coach Andrew Harbison said. “The facilities here are very nice and there are 3 courts which really helps.“

           Spring Hill has had a lot of new changes this year. Two days have been a lot different, because of the new coaching staff. Two days have been a lot different, because of the new coaching staff. The new changes are what makes Spring Hill great.

A Chance For Something New!

Not even new coaches can hold back our Panthers.

  This summer at Spring Hill was hot and full of change! From a new superintendent, to new coaches, to new band directors, to even new teachers. Panthers are taking theses changes head on and ready for new opportunities this school year. From the hot humid summer practices to work in the classroom our Panthers are ready to reach new goals. 


 There are many opinions regarding these changes…especially in football. Starting in June to August we were welcomed with seven new football coaches here at Spring Hill, and want to know just how our players feel about them. 


  “The season is much more intense,” junior Michael Marrs said. ”The coaches really hold us to very high expectations on and off the field.” This season is more intense than last year due to coaches expectations but holding our boys to high expectations has paid off. 


 “They definitely do bring energy,”sophomore Jordan Jones said. “Which brings more confidence to the team which might lead to more wins hopefully.” With a boost of energy and confidence any team can put their mind to something and achieve, which looks great for our panthers future. 


 “My favorite coach is Coach Jocelyn,” sophomore Grayson Crews said. “He has most energy and makes playing more fun and exciting.” With the right coaches any time is bound for success which at Spring Hill we have in the bag. 


  With the new coaching staff and energy coming through this football season there is not stopping your Spring Hill Panthers football teams. “They’re all pretty young so they get hype with us and let us get lit before games,” Marrs said. “ So ya, I think they bring a whole new sense of energy and excitement to the team.”


No More Sunsets For The Panthers

UIL regulations caused a change in practice time.


Summer, a time when you can play football from sunrise to sunset. But not anymore thanks to the UIL regulations about practice time. Springhill panthers change their two-a-day practices August 5, at Panther Stadium. UIL has added an acclimation period so that athletes are able to acclimate to the extreme heat of East Texas. To learn more about these regulations, go here:

“I think coaches are competitive by nature,” Athletic Director Jonny Louvier said. “That they sometimes would just go overboard and it is something that needs to be regulated.”

Two a days are crucial to a football team because they can practice without the stress of a game at the end of the week weighing upon them. Thus allowing practice to be more enjoyable and entertaining for the players. According to most coaches at Spring Hill High School two a days are vital to a successful year.

“They allow you to get a leg up on your offense and your defense,” Coach Jonathan Ladd said. “If you don’t have that, you start week one and you’re just going to see sloppy ball.”

Football is one of the most dangerous sports a kid can play with is being a full contact sport. But there is a solution to this, as UIL has implemented rules on what a player can and cannot do. The organization limits how much contact players can do on certain days during two a day practices.

All of these rules and regulations are for the players of the game. The coaches try to make practices as fun as possible so that the student athletes can enjoy the game they love so much. “Nowadays, there’s a lot about player safety, which is good,” Coach Jacob Juneau said. “It’s good for the game, and the more we focus on that is always going to better the game.”

Building the Blue Brigade

Follow the Blue Brigade through band camp.

Looking back at the summer of 2019 at summer band camp on August 7- August 11 of 2019 band students attended band camp at Lone Star, Texas. They went to camp to learn Friday night football game marching drills and snap drills.


“My favorite part was learning to be a more disciplined person,” sophomore Chris Martin said. “[I also like]  seeing how other people act with that discipline.” Sophomores through seniors learned to be a more disciplined people, even though it was hot outside they still did their best to help the freshman and others.


“I liked the water breaks,” freshman Anna Kelly said. “I loved when we got to have water breaks because our amazing band boosters provided cold water for us.” Because it was really hot this summer the band directors gave them plenty of breaks to get water and rest.


The rest of the band students got to see how the freshman did this year and compare themselves to when they were freshman. “The freshman did a lot better than me when I was a freshman,” sophomore Hannah Haney said. “so I’m so proud of what they accomplished at camp and can’t wait for the rest of the year.”


Some may argue that band camp needs to be longer, however some disagree.

“I definitely do not think it should have been longer,” Martin said. “I think it was the perfect length, because it was short enough to challenge us but long enough to get our work done.”

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