April 10th Edition
By: Jackson Kelly
John Calipari is the leader of the Kentucky Wildcats. Without a doubt he is the greatest recruiter in the NCAA. However when it comes to the X’s and O’s of the game, he seems to come up short. Especially in the clutch. With 9 McDonald’s All Americans it is shocking that they one didn’t win it all and two that they didn’t go undefeated. Now before I get into detail let me say, I truly enjoy Coach Cal. He brings the best recruits. But it’s hard when we don’t make it to the National Championship game with in my opinion an NBA team to say he is an outstanding coach. Watching the game Saturday night was so discouraging to me when a Harrison twin is up there dribbling and waiting for the shot clock to go down to almost six seconds then run and put up a circus shot. Calipari seemed fine with it. And I just don’t understand how I, Jackson Kelly, could realize what was going wrong before he could. It also grinds my gears that a coach like Billy Donovan can win 30 games in a row with a team that has zero 1st round NBA draft picks, and Calipari can’t win 40 with a team that has about 5-6 first round draft picks.
Furious 7: One Last Ride
By Kasey Halcomb
The latest movie in the Fast and Furious series came out in theatres last Friday. Anyone who is a fan of racing, action, and gunfire came out to watch it. So far, Furious 7 has made a total $143.6 million at the box office since it came out. As any fan of this series knows, Paul Walker passed away in an unfortunate car crash that claimed his and his driver’s life in 2013. This left his family and any fan of him in heartbreak. They were halfway through filming the movie when it happened and it left the directors without having the slightest clue what to do. They had to use Walker’s two younger brothers and a lot of special effects to finish filming. As most people should tell you they did a great job in finishing the filming of Furious 7 because it’s nearly impossible to tell that it isn’t Paul Walker in the last bit of the movie. The movie was a great way to end the series but there have been talks about an 8 coming in the following years. This movie is for Paul Walker and is dedicated to him and his family. They finished the movie because they knew this is what he would have wanted and the directors wanted to give a lasting memory of Paul Walker in the series. At the end of the movie it shows a roll of footage of Paul Walker from the beginning of the first movie to his last ride in Furious 7 and at the end of the footage two words come across the screen and that’s all that was needed, ‘For Paul’.
Cook is Looking Forward After a Remarkable Season
By Gage Redimarker
Even with a loss to Lincoln County to end this year’s boys’ basketball season, the fans and school saw a downright amazing turnaround. From finishing with 11W-12L the previous year to 23W-9L this year, it’s safe to say that it was a great season.
Great leaders and great teams never linger on the past for long, even if there was an improvement; first year Head Coach of the Titans, Joshua Cook commented, “I am extremely proud of my team and program as a whole. We took major strides towards becoming a regional contender year in and year out. The biggest factor is the ‘buy in’ of the players in the program; they worked hard and played for the name on the front of the jersey. We have some really good players on our team, but most importantly great young men.” With basketball work outs taking place, Cook is already looking ahead and he is determined to make an even greater improvement next season. Cook commented, “Next season, our goal is to improve every game, while earning an opportunity to play at Rupp Arena.” He continued, “I’m extremely blessed with the opportunity to serve as Boys Basketball Coach at Mercer County Senior High School. I send thanks to the players, fans, and administration.”
By. Jackson Kelly
It’s been no surprise that we have missed a lot of school days this year. We had around two winter storms compiling the amounts of snow to eight inches plus on the year. We missed a total of eleven days this year, with two of them not counting against us because they are used as plan days. We used two this year which according to Principle Hutchins was our limit on the amount we could use in a school year. Plan days are basically where the teachers come and students don’t. So with all these days we’ve missed you may be wondering. When do we officially get out? As if right now it is June 3rd. One that teachers and students can agree on is that going to school in June is like the worst thing ever. One way we could’ve got out before June is to have skipped spring break.. So should we have done it? Senior student Matthew Raskin said, “No, it’s just three days. Who cares?” Hutchins agreed as well. She said “it’s a lot like a double edge sword when it comes to that no one wants to go in June. However, I feel that spring break is important for everyone to relax and get away for a bit.” Another scheduling controversy this year was missing a day for the girls Sweet 16, where the Lady Titans lost the night of March 11th to the best team in the state, Elizabethtown. We missed that next day the Twelfth because it was all the way in Bowling Green and the students who went to the games and athletes who played would’ve gotten back around two in the morning. Once again, Raskin and Hutchins agreed that it was best to miss that day because so many students went and it would be rough on them.
Mercer County Lady Titans Softball
Softball season is underway in Mercer County.
As we all know it’s that time a year again. After being asked how Coach Rob Tharp thinks this year is going so far, he said, “This season is off to a great start! The girls are responding well to challenges and are bonding well together. There are many challenges left ahead and I feel that we are up to it.” When asked what goals are wanted to be accomplished this season, Coach Tharp said “this team has some lofty goals, but very obtainable ones. We want to win our district. We want to go deeper in the regional this year than before. We feel that these goals are within reach if we continue to grow and improve.” Tharp also included, “Well, I advise my girls all the time. Everyday, practically. Be thankful for what you have. Good friends, good teammates, a team to call yours, something to be proud of. To be a part of. These days will be gone soon, high school will be over. Relationships and accomplishments together will be what are remembered.” As I talked to a few of the teammates on how they feel about their year, Mercer County Senior Kayla Crawley said, “we all bond really well together.” She would give the following advice to her younger teammates “Continue to strive for greater things, put your best effort into everything, and make the best of it because before you know it, it will all be gone.” She added, “I love all my teammates and I’m hoping for a great season with them” Also Junior Paige French added, “I hope we go to state this year. I think we’ll win districts.” We all have something we passionate about and to all my former teammates, Good luck on a great season this year!
Mercer Makes Waves at FCCLA
By Lindsay Turner
Mercer County FCCLA recently attended the state meeting at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. The attendants from Mercer’s Chapter included McKaylah Robinson, Caitlin Pendygraft, Shelbi Jackson, Victoria Merideth, Lindsay Turner, Emily Mattingly, Carson Barnett, Hailey Stinnett, MaryKate Pridey, Hannah Ingram, along with their three advisors, Mrs. Goodlett, Mrs. Sexton, and Ms. McGinnis. On the first day there, all of the state competitors presented their STAR Event to a number of judges. After presentations were finished, they took the rest of the day to relax and go shopping at the local mall. On the second day, they attended multiple leadership workshops and a banquet where they were served dinner and dessert, while the State Officers held a meeting. On the last day, awards were presented. McKaylah Robinson won 1st place in Advocacy, Victoria Merideth and MaryKate Pridey won 2nd in Chapter Service Project portfolio, Emily Mattingly, Gabby Banks, and Carson Barnett won 1st in Life Event Planning, and Caitlin Pendygraft, Alexis Bridgewaters, and Shelbi Jackson won 1st in Sports Nutrition. Each of these girls will be advancing to Nationals in Washington DC, July 5th-9th. Senior McKaylah Robinson says, “I got first in Advocacy on the importance of Folic Acid. I chose this topic because I was born with a birth defect caused by the lack of folic acid in my mother. I cried on stage because I was so proud of myself, now I hope to get a gold rating at Nationals.” Mercer County’s own Emily Mattingly was also elected Kentucky State Vice President of Star Events. Caitlin Pendygraft received her Power of One degree, and the chapter also received the State Community Service Project Award for Pennies for Patients, raising the most money in the state. When asked how she feels about the accomplishments of these girls, advisor Brittany Sexton replied, “I am very proud of the hard work and dedication these girls have put into their FCCLA Chapter. They are great role models and representatives for their chapter, school, and community.” The Titan Times wishes the best of luck to each and every one of these girls as they advance to Nationals in July!
How Does Coach Cal Do It?
By Gage Redimarker
Since Coach Cal was hired in late March of 2009, he has been, by far, the best recruiter in the country. In just his first season, he recruited the number one overall recruit John Wall, accompanied with five-star recruits DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, and Daniel Orton. He led the team to the SEC Tournament title game and a victory, but was upset in the Elite 8 of the NCAA to finish the season 35-3. That was just his first year! Since then, Calipari has recruited a total of fourteen first-round NBA draft picks, a win-loss record of 190-38 over six seasons, won a national title, and reached the Final Four in four of his six seasons while coaching.
There was a lot of scrutiny towards Calipari holding the head coaching job after finishing a disappointing 21-12 record at the end of 2013, but Calipari cemented his ability to be the head coach of the team after finishing the 2014-2015 season an unprecedented 38-1 record, and proving that not only is he, hands down, the best recruiter in college basketball, but one of the most able and successful coaches in the NCAA.
Coach Calipari has continued the excellence of the Wildcats whom hold numerous records; including, but not limited to: appearing in 54 NCAA Tournaments and 167 NCAA Tournament games, they hold the records for most Sweet Sixteen appearances (41), most Elite Eight appearances (36), and most total postseason tournament appearances (63); and I haven’t even brought up the fact that Calipari was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach.
New Face Returns Home to Lead the Titans
As many of you may know, we recently hired a new head coach, David Buchanan, for the Titan football team. David is a returning MC Titan and, on Tuesday April 7th, had a “Welcome Home” introduction where the football team and parents could meet him and ask him questions. This gave him a chance to go in-depth about many of the plays and changes he plans to make during the season. Mr. Buchanan has coached at multiple different schools in his past, coaching at Paris County for 8 years, and Mason County. When asked if he was looking forward to working with the Titans, he replied “I am excited. I want to play a role in making the football program in my hometown great for all the kids where I grew up, that would be time and effort well-spent.” Mr. Buchanan had a few words of encouragement for the team as well. “We are going to help our guys be the best they can. We are going to have fun and give a great effort. If there are guys out there that need to be playing and are not, get them in a headlock and drag them to see me in the football office. I am kidding about the headlock, but please bring me guys that need to be playing. When I met my new team, I was impressed. They were focused & attentive. They will be a great fit for me. We want to get better each day and get to November with a shot at winning every time we step on the field. Our ultimate goal is a state championship.” All of the staff and students are excited to welcome David Buchanan home to make the football team bigger and better than ever!
Robertson Tackles Tennis Team
By Gabe Tuggle
Recently, Mercer County has seen an introduction to a new boys tennis coach. Sixth grade teacher, Gene Robertson has just taken the role upon himself. After a lengthy search, far and wide, he has decided to take the opportunity with open arms. Confidence is a team player this season with hopes and ambitions reaching an all time high. According to Robertson, many players are on the boys soccer team and “are already athletic and learned the game [tennis] quickly.” He has high hopes and little doubt in this year’s lineup of athletes.
“We will certainly have an excellent season,” said Robertson. He owes it all to his players who have adrenaline rushing and excitement all around. Despite being the coach, he finds that he “learns more about the game every day.” Part of being a good coach is not only teaching your players, but also letting them teach you. High school players include Levi Lake, Denson Jenkins, Matthew Raskin, Will Rogers, Cameron Oldham, Jackie Cheng and Chris Pruitt. Most of these new faces see Robertson as a guy who knows how to work hard while having a good time. Girls tennis extraordinaire, Kennedy Thompson said, “we are prepared for the opponents we will face and are going in with a positive attitude.”
All in all, the new as well as familiar faces on the tennis team are all overjoyed to try their hand in the sport. The season is expected to have a powerful outcome on the young students and will most likely learn many lessons that will sustain them for years to come. Robertson said “our early success in practice indicates a great season for all” and for good reasons. As long as the coach believes in the players and the players believe in themselves, victory will soon become a reality.
Kathy Ayala, a senior at MCSHS, has big plans for her future. She plans on attending WKU in the fall of 2015, majoring in Apparel Merchandising, and also living on campus. She chose WKU because she’s already went and visited and she has always wanted to go to WKU. She had just decided the beginning of her senior year on what she wanted to major in. When being asked, ‘Do you look forward to graduation?’ she replied with, “Most definitely. Some people will be sad but I doubt I will be. I am more than ready to get out of here and start my life.” Also when being asked where she could see herself in 10 years she replied with, “Hopefully getting settled down and starting a family, but I also want to live in a big city and opening my own clothing store.” She believes that she will be somewhat prepared for the real world but that she is a little uneasy about some things because high school has not prepared her for them.
By: Bailey Harder
Many different activities take place in the lives of MCSH students during spring break, some consisting of lying on the beach, or just relaxing at home; some even consist of the removal of their wisdom teeth. A junior, Courtney Brown, had her wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday at the start of break. “On a scale of 1-10 the pain was about a 3.” She says. “The procedure took about 45 minutes all together. I was still a little drugged from the medicine used to put me to sleep after the surgery and I kept putting Chap Stick on my chin because I couldn’t find my mouth since it was still numb,” she says while laughing. “On the positive side I got to eat soft foods and I lived off of macaroni and cheese and cherry cordial ice cream for the first 5 days.” Lauren Beams, a senior at MCSH, got to spend her week of spring break lying on the beach soaking up some sun. “We stayed at Fort Walton beach in Florida. The weather was great; mid 70s, and sunny. We also went paddle boarding, kayaking, parasailing, and ate seafood.” Emily Patterson, also a senior, didn’t go out of state for her spring break but she used this week to have a relaxing distressing time away from school. “I mostly just hung out with friends and worked on my scholarships for college, although I was jealous of the people at the beach I still enjoyed my time in Mercer. I know my senior year is flying by so I’m just trying to enjoy the rest of it.”
Marching to Excellence
Last Sunday, the MCSHS marching band took a 6-day trip to Orlando; two of those days were for driving. The band was a part of the Disney World Performing Arts Program and had the privilege of performing amongst other bands, including Boyle, in a 10-15 minute parade around the castle in front of thousands of people at Magic Kingdom. On the first day not driving, we visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom allowing us to ride small roller coasters, such as Expedition Everest, and go on safari's and see animals from around the world. Later that day, we went to the Epcot center. They have a variety of countries that you can go to, this is called the World Showcase. A few of the countries included Norway, China, Japan, Morocco, UK, Canada, and much more. The second day, we drove to Ron Jon Surf Shop, a Florida classic, and then travelled to Cocoa Beach. We had about 45 minutes to clean up and then we went to Hollywood Studios, where there were roller coasters such as Hollywood Tower of Terror, Rock 'n Rollercoaster, Star Tours, and more. There were plenty of places to shop there as well, many being classic Disney stores, but some being themed around different movies or character types, such as "Villains in Vogue". The third day was the day of the parade. We spent all day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, allowing us enough time to go to all of the different places surrounding the castle. There was Tommorrowland, Frontierland, and more. They had multiple movie-based rides like the Pirates of the Caribbean and Aladdin. They also, of course, had the classic Splash Mountain. The fourth and final day consisted of Orlando Studios, where we visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic World, Marvel theme, and other places inside Islands of Adventure. The most thrilling and stomach-turning ride there was The Hulk, where you are upside down most of the ride. There were other rides such as the rides in Harry Potter World (Dueling Dragons, Flight of the Hippogriff, and the Harry Potter 4D ride). There were Marvel themed rides such as Spider Man, Captain America, and a few other rides for smaller children. Outside of Orlando Studios, there is a place called City walk, where you can eat at different restaurants like Hard Rock Cafe and Margaritaville, but there were smaller cafes and food stands inside the park. The bus ride was about 14 or 15 hours but I don’t think I’m alone when I say that it was worth every minute. This was a great experience for every band member and memories we'll never forget.
Kelly Gray is an English teacher here at Mercer County Senior High. She teaches all grades but seniors. Personally I would have to say that her 3rd period AP Lang class is her favorite! Mrs. Gray attended Western Kentucky University where she was able to keep a 4.0 GPA all four years of college. Besides spending her time in the class room, she also runs her own small crafting business on Etsy called “Market Place Gray”. Anyone who has ever stepped foot in her room knows how creative and artsy she can be. She is unbelievably talented and is very good at personalizing things and making them her own. So, if you ever need a craft done, she’s your go to gal! She has a family of 5 consisting of her husband, Adam Gray, and her three children, Siddalea, who is the oldest and is Mrs.Gray made over, and then twin boys, Emerson and Walker. From her instagram you’re able to tell that family is most important to her and always comes first. Having her as a teacher for the past 2 years not only has she taught me in the classroom but she aslo has taught me many life lessons as well.