Final game results in tears

Sophomore Nixon Chavarria sweeps away the ball from a Pembroke Hill player in the final game of the Aztecs' season.

Sophomore Nixon Chavarria sweeps away the ball from a Pembroke Hill player in the final game of the Aztecs’ season.

Bernice Gurrola and Andrea Martinez, Conexión Azteca

It was a cloudy and chilly afternoon as the players fought to win the district championship. The atmosphere at the game had grown tense due to the perceived referees unfairness. The crowd was losing it as the players stressed out on the soccer field.

On Oct. 30, the Alta Vista boys’ soccer team played against Pembroke Hill, ending the season with a loss of 2-4 in front of teachers, friends and family.

“It was fun and people were cheering, but it was also very intense due to the referees,” math teacher Connor Nowalk said.

The emotion led to the team players receiving several yellow cards. According to Alta Vista’s soccer coach Isao Osuga, the players managed to control their frustration and didn’t take it out on each other like he would expect them to, since at that point the players normally start blaming each other.

“The game on Tuesday took a lot out of us because we really didn’t have enough time to prepare for Thursday’s game against Pembroke. It was a combination of being tired, and we played a really good team,” Osuga said.

The outcome of the last game interfered with a lot of the players’ emotions and resulted in tears.

“We should’ve won the game because we tried our best, but there are some things that we can’t control, like the referees, which is what kept us from winning,” senior Edwin Ramirez said.

Out of four years of coaching the Alta Vista players, Osuga felt like this last game was one of the best.

“It was the best game out of all my years coaching because we created a family at that point; we won together, and we lost together,” Osuga said.

According to Osuga, they had hope, which led the players to give it all on the field.

“We believed that we could do it and pull it off. Therefore, it was one of the most important games that we have ever played. It meant a lot to many of the players,” Osuga said.

Homecoming pleases dancers and planners

Senior Mariela Celaya mans the front door with Ms. Werp.

Senior Mariela Celaya mans the front door with Ms. Werp.

Abby Moreno, Conexión Azteca

Alta Vista had its third annual homecoming dance on September 26. One-third of the school came to dance the night away. After a week if showing pep and school spirit, students were awarded with a dance planned by senior Mariela Celaya and language arts teacher Kirsten Werp.

“[Ms. Werp and I] basically took a day to plan the whole thing,” Celaya said. “I’m glad it turned out alright!”

During that whole day, Celaya and Werp came up with the theme “All That Glitters is Gold.” They decided to charge tickets $4 before the event and $5 dollars at entry.

During the dance, DJ Luis played a mix of many different song genres to entertain the crowd. Among the crowd at the dance was junior Maria Marquez.

“I was glad I was able to dance with some of my friends,” Marquez said. “I just wish more people could have came.”

Junior Elissa Thlocco also attended the dance. She said she loved the clever theme and the amazing decor. [Ask for decor]

“It was a great opportunity to hang out with my friends and to just have fun,” Elissa Thlocco said. “It was a great way to start off the year along with Spirit Week.”

Her younger sister, sophomore Lorena Thlocco, also turned up (or popped up) as well and said she enjoyed it. “It was fun, I had an amazing time! I danced so much, my feet hurt the next day!”

Many people said that they had fun, but they say more people should have come.

“We were hoping to get more people to come, but it’s only the beginning.” Celaya said. “People will warm up to the school and hopefully they’ll come next time.”

Volleyball sees profound improvement

Senior Mariel Fierro sets the ball while playing Cristo Rey on Oct. 9.

Senior Mariel Fierro sets the ball while playing Cristo Rey on Oct. 9.

Martin Munoz, Conexión Azteca

Better hitting, better focus… just better overall.  According to Alta Vista’s volleyball coach, Teresa Rodriguez, these are ways the team has improved from last year, and players agree.

“The team is bonding more than last year. We knew going in what we had to improve on, since there was the same amount of people in the team,” said Alta Vista senior and volleyball player Angelica Rosales.

The volleyball team is playing better than last year, winning many more games.

“We have only lost two or three games this year, unlike last year [when]we only won one game and lost all the others,” Rosales said.

There have been also some changes to team

“The team actually has to show up to practice, and if you are not truly committed to the team, you are kicked out,” senior Mariel Fierro said.

“We are actually focusing more on the stuff we need to improve on, like at first there [were] some girls who didn’t know how to serve, so we spent about 10 minutes at the beginning of practice each day; now every girl knows how to,” Rosales said.

However the team has not changed much in numbers

“There were a lot of girls at first, but they got kicked out of the team because of commitment,” Rosales said.

“We did have an increase; however, we had to let those girls go because of commitment, so we asked [them] to try out for next year,” Rodriguez said

The girls feel great being on the team.

“It feels good being in the team because it does. I don’t know why,” Fierro said.

“It’s great being in the volleyball team. Everyone gets along. It feels better than being in any other team,” Rosales said.

Senior mentorship program enters second year

Senior Elsa Cardenas enjoys a catered lunch with her mentor, Kristin Werp.

Senior Elsa Cardenas enjoys a catered lunch with her mentor, Kristin Werp.

Abby Moreno, Conexión Azteca

Seniors have a whole school year ahead of them before they take off in their lives. Since they are still learning how to set their futures by going to college, Alta Vista has provided them mentors as guides to work with each individual student and work.

“I like the mentorship program because senior seminar doesn’t cover how to handle the emotions that come with finishing high school,” senior Kathy Ayala said. She and her mentor, speech teacher Jordan Johnson, plan on meeting each others’ families. Johnson would like to talk with her parents about opportunities for Ayala’s future.

“I feel like one’s mentor becomes more of a friend, and that’s such a comforting feeling,” Ayala said.

Seniors chose their mentors by taking a survey and ranking their top administrators and vice versa. “I analyzed those and made the matches,” Data and Systems Analyst Nathania Cha said. During Spirit Week, on “Wacky-Tacky Wednesday,” seniors stayed after school and played a matching game to find their assigned mentors.

“Mentorships can become life-long relationships,” Cha said. “[They] are just another caring person that is willing to help and guide the mentee when needed.”

“The point of having a mentor is to have someone to talk to not only about college and school but for personal things as well,” Ayala said. “I know me and Johnson are gonna get along fine.”

We’ve got spirit – do you?

Ed Mendez, Kristen Werp, Bobbie McMillan, and Keith Schoen are all dressed for spirit day.

Ed Mendez, Kristen Werp, Bobbie McMillan, and Keith Schoen are all dressed for spirit day.

Martin Munoz, Conexión Azteca

Cheerleaders cheering, dance club members dancing, crowd cheering, ice dousing teachers, the soccer team running, volleyball team running, band playing music. All of these were at Alta Vista’s pep rally Sept. 2, as well the winners of spirit day announced, .

“Spirit Week is a nice way to feel more relaxed, and personalities come out especially around the beginning of the school year,” math teacher Connor Nowalk said.

“Spirit Week is a good way to show how much students and staff like the school,” sophomore Tania Viera said.

AV’s annual Spirit Week occurred during the third week of the school year.

“It is nice that the school attempts to have a unified celebration,”  senior Stevie Jo Hernandez said.

Students have different favorite spirit days, such as pajama day, wacky tacky day and decades day. “My favorite day was spirit day,” Viera said.

However there are some people  who did not dress up – “mostly seniors,”  senior Guadalupe Chavez observed.

Some people feel that Spirit Week would have been better in the year like in October.  Some would have changed the order of things during Spirit Week.

“It would also be better if the pep rally was at the end of the week not the beginning,” Nowalk said.

Spirit Week usually leads to homecoming, and AV’s Homecoming will be Friday.

“Spirit Week was earlier this year because most schools have it during the beginning of the school year, and two of our big soccer games were during the beginning of the school year,” band teacher Julie Monroe said.

“We should have better days like twin day and hat day,” Chavez said.

The organizers were exited the way Spirit Week turned out.

“Spirit Week was a great way to kick off the school year, and I am starting to see more school spirit,” Munroe said.

Trip reveals eighth grader’s immigration status


KANSAS CITY, MO — As years pass by, being a legal citizen is becoming more important to have a productive life. Thousands of people cross the border from Mexico to the United States to get a better life for themselves and their families. In rare cases, some people are not aware of their legal statues until they are older. Juan Garcia, 18 year old from Guanajuato, Michoacán grew up not really knowing he had come to the United States illegally.

Garcia has been in the United States since he was a 2-year-old. He took the long bus drive from Guanajuato to Texas, were his mom picked him up. Unlike other undocumented people, Garcia traveled with his aunt half way and then with someone he didn’t know the rest. “The only reason I’m here now is because I used someone else’s papers” Garcia said.

Garcia started pre-school like any other child his age. All throughout eight-grade he thought he was born here. When his eight-grade class was going to go on a trip to Washington, he asked his parents if he could go along. When his parents said he couldn’t he was disappointed, he asked why not. His dad broke the news; he didn’t have a passport because he wasn’t from the United States. He went years without knowing he wasn’t born in the United States.

“Finding out, it hurt me inside, it made me feel different from everyone else,” he said. Yet, Garcia pushed himself to work hard. When he got to high school his first three years he worked hard for his straight A’s. “I wanted to have a high GPA so colleges can actually accept me, maybe I could have even got a scholarship” Garcia said.

When he started senior year it reality hit him, he wasn’t going to be able to get into a good collage if he had no social. He gave up hope on going to college; he stopped trying to get good grades. “It wasn’t worth it, having a good GPA, if the most I was going to get was 100 dollars. That’s why my senior year I slacked off.”

Garcia graduated with his class of 2010. With a high school diploma he is working at a factory. Garcia doesn’t think the immigration reform will help him any, he also had the chance to apply for the dream act, yet Garcia didn’t do it. “The papers aren’t going to be working I am. I’m happy how I am,” Garcia said. “I’m not getting a lot of money but I’m not starving, my stomach is never empty.”

Garcia has been out of school for two years now; he has no hope on returning either. The only way he thinks the reform will help him is by him not getting put in jail when the police stop stops him.

Garcia has a 12 year old brother he hopes takes a turn for the best. “He has a social, he has many great opportunities in front of him, and he’s an intelligent boy. I hope he becomes someone productive in society” Garcia said.

Like his brother he also had the intelligence and the skills to get far in life. He looks back and thinks if he actually had a social he would have gone to college and made something so his brother can follow. He Is still a good role model and is pushing his brother to his full potential.

“People say it’s never too hard to go back to college, to me it is too late,” Garcia said. “Everything I had learned in all my years of school is out of my head.” He would rather look for a better job that pays more than go back to school.

Even without support ‘give it your best’, a mother’s reflection on immigrating to America


Photo from CITY, MO — The challenges and opportunities one goes through for the security of others to be well, Teresa Gonzalez Crossed the Border at a young age.

At age 22 Teresa Gonzalez went through some challenges to get to the United States to help her family in Guadalajara, Jalisco. “Some Challenges that I went through immigrating to the US were that the first time that I came it was hard.” Teresa said. “I came with my mom and they did not give us the permit at the border, so we crossed the border illegally walking with a guy who knew some ways to get across.” As she says she felt that she had to, without caring why her mom was bringing her.

Migrating the date of December 18, 1978, as she was migrating with her mom to the land of opportunities to help the family in Mexico she sets standards to believe she will make it without getting caught.

The land of opportunities known as the United States has come a long way as people try more and more to come to the United States for that perpetual life that holds benefits. “I believe that people do come to the United States for more opportunities and I gained that I have more possibilities to help my family in Mexico when they need it” Teresa said.

Teresa was set for difficult changes as she was coming from Mexico. “It was hard getting use to the US because in Mexico there are different style of life and different climates.”

The thought of not knowing what to expect coming with no idea what the United  States was like but trusting her mother.

“The weather was not too cold not too hot, we walked for four hours hiding from immigration and hiding from helicopters above us.” Teresa said. The apprehensive moment of getting caught and being sent back to Mexico after the long way she walked.

The breathing air was dry as Teresa and Her mother were walking with the man who was going to bring them to the United States.

The United States was not fit for everyone but that did not stop Teresa And her Mom for what they came for. She did not regret coming to the United States.

“More jobs were offered to me as I grew up and I was always up for learning something new.” Teresa said. She always set her mind for positive opportunities and hopes the best of it all. She saw herself different from other girls, as she grew up she would be working and not hanging out.

As days progressed more and more in the United States Teresa learned more about the holidays and cultural beliefs considering that they were going to stay in America as a permanent home for her benefits, and for her to have a better life ahead of her than what she had in Mexico.

Teresa said one thing that was different from in Mexico was the people. People in Mexico are more welcoming.

Teresa soon got into the role of education her mother was the only one supporting her. As for her family back in Mexico they just wanted for her to work like everyone else. But that didn’t stop her she gradually got her G.E.D soon after that. “I feel so accomplished.” Teresa said.

More and more doors were opening for Teresa and her family came around and felt very happy for her after all the doubts of her not being able to make it.

“It doesn’t matter if you come from a background with no support give it your best.” Teresa said.

American or Alien? Finding a balance on immigrant perceptions

Many undocumented people are thought of as either illegals or legals. This should not be the case; people who emigrate from other places, mainly Mexicans should not be called illegal but hard working people looking for a better future. People either call immigrants Americans in the making or aliens that can easily be deported. We should all treat immigrants as Americans and not have anger or discriminate against them.

Although many immigrants will get the opportunity to have a citizenship they have to be aware that not everything can change from day to night. Many have to acknowledge how much work it will take and how much support they need to add so things happen.

To me all immigrants should be classified Americans not just illegals or legals. They need to be recognized has humble people working for a better life, doing no harm. What would happen if you were to move to another country and be the outlier or the one who does not fit in and everybody looks weird at?

This is how immigrants feel every day. Most of them come from Mexico and they come to the U.S temporarily. This means they are not looking forward to becoming a citizen or taking your job. Since us Americans have more advantage we have more say and make them feel like they are home. We need them to feel that home can be both here and their original country and they can belong to two nations honorably and be respected in both.

President Obama enforced prosecutorial discretion this summer as a measure to avoid deporting some young people who were brought to this country illegally as children.

This is a huge advantage for many immigrants specially those young immigrants, because they can benefit from many opportunities that are offered to them by the U.S. They can now go to college and have a degree. But they should stick this in their mind, these things they are doing for immigrants are exceptions, not rules which means the government can throw everything down the drain. So we have to keep on doing what we do and not have a bad behavior which can ruin everything for Mexicans.

I am benefiting from this. In the future I want to become a Mechanical Engineer. I was brought to the U.S at the age of 7. When Obama passed the new law I was very excited because I can now show what I am made of and go to college and prove those criticizing people that think immigrants can’t be something bigger than a crop picker.

The main thing Americans have to do is take action and be more open minded. They need to be more open minded and put themselves in an immigrants shoe and realize how hard life can be when you are an immigrant. So lets open our eyes and support people not hurt them more, because they are suffering enough already.