And Then There Was One…State Champion That Is

Varsity, junior varsity cheer excel at competition | By Makala Finley | Winning a state championship is something to be happy about, but when it’s the third consecutive year that this coveted title is received, happiness is an understatement. On Jan. 23 the varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders competed at the state championship held in the Texas State University gym. This is their third year for the varsity girls to bring this title home to the Mavs. The girls competed against six other teams in their division, and there were 125 schools total at the competition. The varsity cheerleaders have spent countless hours preparing for this annual competition, making their win that much more exhilarating.

Leaders Arise at HOSA Competition

By Christina Dimyan | Last week, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competed in the Area 1 Spring Leadership Conference and Competition. Every year it is held at a different school; this year it was at Roosevelt High School.

“It was so much fun,” HOSA sponsor Peggi Loveless said. “It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many intelligent people.”

GT English III Brings Help to Those In Need

Food bank, others, benefit from class project. | By Richard Hernandez | When asked if throwing money at an economic problem would solve it, juniors in Anne Ducote’s English III GT class went on a mission to discover the answer.

Dead Rise to Bring Awareness

Story and Photos By Juan Garcia

Black and white clothing and small red hearts covered the Madison campus signifying students in mourning for those that have lost their lives due to drunk driving. Halls were covered with tombstones. Dead Day began with a sad, but meaningful poem read over the intercom about a girl that lost her life because of a drunk driver. Jan. 19 was the annual Dead Day and students are full pledged to help raise awareness about drunk driving.

“Dead day is where we remember teens losing their lives to alcohol-related accidents,” student council vice president Nikki Herrera said. “We also bring awarness to the student body about the consequences of drinking and driving.”

Student council members dressed in either black or white and could not talk for the entire school day. Students wearing white symbolized those that have died from alcohol-related incidents. Students wearing black symbolized those in mourning due to the death of their loved ones. Student council rang a bell every 68 minutes to represent five alcohol related deaths. They also hung up tombstones to reach out to the student body.

“Tombstones are something we do,” Herrera said. “Making tombstones makes people know that [alcohol-related deaths] can happen to one of their friends.”

Raising awareness about drunk driving is a major concern for student council and they want the student body, faculty and staff, and parents to know that alcohol-related accidents can happen to anyone.

“Drunk driving happens,” sophomore Sabrina Seiler said. “We can lose our friends in an instant.”

Valero’s Dedication Floods Court

Photos By Bianca Loera | Story By Meagan Newsom |

With her twisted bun beginning to unravel, the sweat glistening on every inch of visible skin, and a newly-healed scar under her right eye, Crystal Valero approaches. As the only senior on the varsity basketball squad, Valero’s dedication not only to the sport, but also to her coach, team, school, and self has been tested both on and off the court.

ROTC Crowns Royalty at Annual Ball

Photos by Stephanie Escalante | Story By Juan Garcia

Crowning the king and queen, serving beef, pork, rice, beans, and cake, dancing, and honoring the ones that gave their life for the stars and stripes were all aspects of the ROTC annual Military Ball on Jan. 8.

“The Military Ball is a formal dinner, where ROTC students can mingle,” Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Dallin Young said. “After the dinner there is a dance, where we get to relax and have fun.”

Before the dance, there is a a speech that is read to honor the fallen soldiers. Besides the dance, one of the most memorable moments of the night was when MSG Sandoval recited a poem about a young girl honoring her fathers death at war. Many students were moved and brought to tears.

“I cried,” Cadet Major Morgan Barnes said. “[The Military Ball] was fun, I saw my friends dressed up and dancing.”

Before the dance, ROTC crowns the year’s royalty. Dallin Young was crowned king and awarded a cape and crown. Morgan Barnes was crowned queen and awarded a crown and a bouquet of roses. Hannah Oliva was awarded sweetheart and Zack Peterson was awarded escort.

“I was very happy with myself,” Barnes said. “I won over all ROTC.”

Each class awarded a prince and a princess. In Alpha class, Ashton Kominski and Whitney O’connell were crowned. In Bravo class, Jordan Choate and Clarissa Rivera were crowned. In Charlie class, Nathaniel Landry and Claudia Castellanos were crowned. In Delta class, Jacob Prangner and Shirley Flores were crowned. In Eco class, Brandon Jackson and Courtney Boren were crowned. After all royalty was announced the dance began and ROTC students danced the night away.

“The dance went well,” junior Samantha Moreno said. “It could have been better, but I liked it.”

Forensics Festival Foreshadows Future Events

Photo By Sandra Lee | Story By Samantha Sanburn |

The Forensics League held the James Madison Winter Forensics Festival this past weekend. The tournament was a huge fundraiser for the students. It was a tournament held for all other schools in the area to compete in.

“Taking into consideration that none of my students had actually run a tournament before, I’d say it was a smashing success,” sponsor Chris Mifflin said.

The tournament ran on time and there was a surplus of food in concessions and judges were abundant in number. Teachers, alumni and volunteers within the forensics circuit judged at the tournament.

“The payoff was great. We made a lot of money, the team benefited a lot and it was all for a good cause. I would definitely host one in the future.” freshman Lindsey Boyd said.

With this tournament being such a success, there are more tournaments on the horizon in the years to come.

Defense Dominates Army All American Bowl

By Richard Hernandez |

With the football season wrapping up, the end-of-season traditions begin. These include playoff games leading up to the championship game and an all-star game for those who excel on the field. For the past 10 years the Army All American Bowl has been that game for some of the nation top high school seniors. The game was played on Jan. 8 at the Alamodome.

“It meant a lot to represent the U.S. Army,” senior Aaron Green said, “And to get to play with some of the best players; it was a honor.”

This year the roster included 17 players from all over Texas that were chosen to play in the game. Some of these players included district 26-5A standout running backs Malcolm Brown and Aaron Green, along with defensive lineman Marquis Anderson.

“It was a lot of fun. It was a huge difference every one was so good; it was a good experience,” Green said.

This year the game was a defensive struggle, with the score ending with a 13-10 win for the east. The west had a 10-0 lead going into the fourth quarter, but the east scored twice in the fourth quarter gaining the lead. Soon after their defense took over and stopped all attempts the west had of regaining the lead.

“It went good even though we didn’t win, but I had a couple of good plays,” Green said. “I was proud of the way I played.”

Teachers Bid Adieu To Madison

By Kristian Bush When teachers retire, most of the time, it’s at the end of the year. However this year is different. On Jan. 14, a part of Madison will clean their desks and head out the doors. Teachers Karolynne Palamarchuck who teaches Business and English, Susie DeMarco who teaches Psychology and Government, and Jim Miller…

Boys Varsity Team Prepares for Roosevelt

Photo By Bianca Loera | Story By Meagan Newsom |

With 59.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter, a red-faced, hot tempered, balding Johnson coach calls a timeout; just 10.3 seconds later; a stern Coach Val calls a timeout. As the last 48.9 seconds dwindle down, Madison passes the ball to sophomore Brandyn Hawk at the 3 point line…SWISH the basket is good, but doesn’t clench a win for Mavericks.

With the first district game over and done with, the boys don’t let the 52-58 loss get them down, instead they look at it as a growing experience and what to look for in the season ahead. The boys are not shy to point out their own mistakes and what they need to work on.