Circle of Death: Dread of the Orchestra World

Anxiety runs high with every orchestra concert. Students have to solidify their fingerings, make sure they know their parts, and most of all, work together. Perhaps there is no better way to test all of these things at once than Mr. Litle’s Circle of Death.

“It was something the director before me (we’ll call her Ms. G) did to test the kids,” orchestra director Blaine Litle said. “Basically its a small ensemble, one or two players from each section, and they play their music; it puts pressure since their sound is a lot more noticeable.”

The Circle of Death seeks to see which players need help by starting from the top of each section all the way down to the bottom. This is achieved by both comments by Litle and comments by fellow players.

“The main goal is to see where everyone is at and to help each other,” concert master of the Varsity orchestra Stephen Olvera said.

Although it’s a huge help to players, allowing them to see where they are compared to the rest of the ensemble, it’s not all happy faces and rainbows when a Circle of Death rolls around.

“It’s always a big surprise when a Circle of Death rolls around,” Olvera said. “A majority of the people don’t enjoy it because we walk into the room that day and realize it’s happening.”

But the ones who were truly surprised were the newest additions to the orchestra program – the freshmen.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” freshman Reina Garcia said. “I was nervous.”

However, students do admit that it helps a lot.

“It gets us to learn to play by ourselves and build confidence,” Garcia said. “I think it’s better to play in groups than to play by ourselves.”

Even more surprising, it seems that some people even get excited when Circle of Death rolls around.

“I think more people like it than they’d like to admit.” Litle said. “It’s a lot like a speech – if you’ve rehearsed you’re speech over and over and are well-prepared, you’re going to do fine. If not… you’re probably going to be pretty disappointed.”

Circle of Death won’t go away. With that being said, the orchestra program will only get better.

“If [the players] are willing to work for it, the Circle of Death works, and will fix all our problems,” Olvera said.


Skeeters Football Dominate Richardson

The Mesquite Skeeter’s Varsity football team impressed in a blowout victory against the Richardson Eagles during Thursdays game.

The Skeeter’s who came into the game 3-5, after a loss to Highland Park, had very little expectation combined with very high confidence which led them to being able to play loose and free minded.

This comfort was apparent as the Skeeter’s dismantled the Eagles offense while at the same time running over their defense.

With the score practically decided by halftime, being in favor of the Skeeters 49-3, Mesquite carried their destruction of Richardson into the second half.

The Eagles had no hope, giving up 13 more points in the final two quarters.

The final score MHS 62, Richardson 29.

Mesquite takes on North Mesquite on Friday, November 7th at memorial stadium with playoff implications on the line.

Orientation to Orienteering

Track, cross-country; basketball, football.

These sports are the pride and joy for us as Skeeters. But there is one club here at Mesquite High that has brought home multiple medals and trains just as hard as any other organization.

Say hello to our Mesquite High School Orienteering team!

“Orienteering is all about building great leadership skills and helping you become independent,” said Marie Romero, captain of the orienteering team. “At my first meet, I was running a yellow course, and I got lost. I was really confused and really wanted to quit. It was pretty traumatizing honestly but I’m glad I didn’t quit because I’ve grown a lot since then.”

So what exactly is orienteering?

“Orienteering is a sport where you navigate yourself through unknown terrain with a map and compass.” said senior Anthony Veiza, “You have to be able to make advanced decisions and rely on yourself.”

It may be easy to write-off orienteering as a glorified cross country, it’s actually a much more challenging sport both physically and mentally.

“It’s not all muscle like some sports,”Abel Hinojosa, the vice-president of the club, said. “It’s basically like a big Easter egg hunt – it’s a mind game where you have to make quick decisions and aim for the fastest time.”

In fact, this weekend at the first orienteering meet of this season for the North Texas Orienteering Association, Veiza managed to do just that.

“I’m proud whether I win or lose, but I only had one competitor a this meet,” Veiza said. “It was a colonel at a local Mesquite school, I can’t remember which one, and I remember passing him a couple times during the meet, and he was definitely making better decisions than I was. So, in the end, it all came down to speed – and I was faster than him.”

Anthony brought home the first place medal in the Green bracket for the meet.

“The courses get longer and more difficult as you move through the colors. The beginners start at white typically, and then they move on to yellow, orange, brown, green, and finally, red.” Veiza said.

Ultimately, orienteering is about teaching people about themselves and testing their limitations.

“At the end of the day, there’s always room to improve; I think that’s with anything really,” Veiza said. “You really only have one enemy – yourself.”

The next orienteering meet will be held on November 14 at Lake Texoma. Everyone is invited to attend.




Updates on sports

Congratulations to the MHS Cross Country teams!  The boys won District Champions and the girls came in 3rd place!  Great job Skeeters!
The Skeeters football team had some great momentum Friday night!  The weather was nice, the scores were plentiful and the Skeeters enjoyed a great win!  They are working hard this week to keep that momentum going as we travel to Highland Park this week.  
Volleyball is winding down district play with just three district games left, playing at home game on Tuesday this week.  Basketball is gearing up to start their seasons at the end of October and first of November.  
We are down to just a handful of football posters, both Varsity and JV/Freshman.  Be sure to get yours before we are sold out, $3 each or 2 for $5.  These will be available at the JV game at Hanby Stadium Thursday night and at the Varsity game Friday night.  
If you have purchased a Skeeter fan, be sure to take them to the games.  You don’t realize what the teams see in the stands.  Waving the fans could help to push the Skeeters on to score – this pertains to all sports!
Golf tournament is shaping up well.  Mark your calendars now for Saturday, April 16th.  It looks like the tournament will be in the morning this year.  If you are interested in sponsoring a hole, or know someone who is, please send us an email so we can get that started.  Registration forms will be available as soon as everything is confirmed.
20-Oct Mesquite Horn* Home 6:00/7:00 9A/JV/9B/V
23-Oct Highland Park* Away 6:00/7:00 9A/JV/9B/V
27-Oct Lake Highlands* Home 6:00/7:00 9A/JV/9B/V
Cross Country
Mon. Oct. 26       Regionals                                Lynn Creek Park, Grand Prairie
Football vs. Highland Park
Thurs Oct 22         @ Highlander Stadium                          5:30/7:00
Thurs Oct 22          @ Hanby Stadium                                7:00
Fri Oct 23               @ Highlander Stadium                          7:30


Fall in Dallas

1.At the Dallas Aboretum, you could visit the pumpkin village! The village is made out of over 75,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash! This festival includes special events like a hay bale maze, a pumpkin patch, scavenger hunts, Mommy and Me Mondays, Tiny Tot Tuesdays, music and more!  This festival is on from October to November 25th from 9AM to 5PM. Prices vary from age: $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65+, $10 for children 3 to 12. and children under the age of two are free! There is an additional cost of $3 to get into the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, and on-site parking is $15; but if you order one online then its $8!

2. The Texas State Fair is now open! With concerts, animals, rides, and great food comes great attraction! The Texas State Fair buildings open at 10AM to 10PM. The ticket prices also vary on age, but general admission is $18! Students usually get a free ticket at their school. There is self parking available on Official State Fair lots for $15 per space.


3. At Cottonwood Park, there are more than 240 visual artists lined up showing off their artwork. Exhibited paintings, sculptures, metalwork, digital pieces, and more are available to purchase. At the Lakeside Courtyard, local bands play, and you’ll also be able to find food, and drinks! There will be an Artshop filled with children activities. The festival is free as well as parking!

4. For all the anime fans, there is the Ghibli Festival: Princess Mononoke for just $8 at Angelika Film Center & Cafe in Dallas, you can watch an animated film filled with conflict between humans, gods, and nature.


Mesquite takes on Horn

The Mesquite Skeeter’s varsity football team took on the Horn Jaguar’s on Thursday, Sept. 24th at Memorial Stadium in Mesquite.

The Skeeter’s came into the game considered by many to be the obvious underdogs but that did not phase the Skeeter’s who came into game flying high with confidence.

An almost electric atmosphere flowed throughout the crowd as the boys warmed up. The tension between the two teams sky-rocketed as the Skeeter’s consistently mocked the Jaguars during their warm-ups.

With emotions flowing the game kicked off and the Jaguars offense began to dominate the Skeeter’s defense with an outrageous aerial attack from quarterback Chris Robison who pounded the Skeeter’s defense with his accurate passing ability.

At the end of the 1st quarter of play the Jaguars led the Skeeter’s 14-7 with their only touchdown coming from a 92-yard return from junior Chance Fisher.

As the second half began the Jaguars didn’t slow, while on the contrary the Skeeter’s offense practically vanished from the game. The Skeeter’s struggled to put together any attacking pressure while a couple of fantastic defensive stands kept them in the game.

The Skeeter’s special team were the only opposition to what could’ve been a blow out at halftime with another incredible kick return from Fisher.

At halftime 28-14 was the score.

The third quarter of play was subtle from both teams with the only change in tempo coming from a 2-yard touchdown for junior Jawan Edosomwan off a pass from quarterback Anthony Tennison.

As the fourth quarter kicked off the Jaguars punished the Skeeter offense, especially Tennison who at times seemed to have the ball glued to his hands.

With Tennison going down to injury, the Skeeter’s put in senior Trooper Elwonger who instantaneously changed the pace of the Skeeter’s offense.

For the first time of the game the Skeeter offense began a legitimate threat to the Jaguar defense who couldn’t keep up with the arm of Elwonger.

The Skeeter’s nearly took the lead off a 9-yard pass from Elwonger to fellow senior Russell Gray, but the field goal by junior Eddie Sanchez was missed.

With the score now 27-28, the Skeeter defense made a fantastic stop to get possession back for their offense in good field position.

With the Skeeter’s coaching staff making questionable decision to put Tennison back into the game to replace Elwonger who had just produced a sharp possession, the Skeeter offense took the field hoping to put up a good drive to the endzone.

The drive in turn ended in disappointment with Tennison losing yards on four consecutive plays to turn the ball over to the Jaguars who in result kneeled the ball to end the game.

The final score 28-27 in favor of the Jaguars.


Thumbs down to the thumb down

The idea of adding a “dislike” button, or a thumbs down icon, to Facebook has been up for discussion over social media in recent years.

The “dislike” button should not be approved because it will add unnecessary issues between the person posting and the person who responds to the post with the “dislike”.

The “dislike” button allows people to respond is a negative way to those who post. It will lead to potential confrontational between Facebookers when the response is taking in  negative way. Unlike the “dislike” button, the “like” button refers to agreeance in which is positive communication between the poster and the respondent.

This button brings unneeded negativity into social media. Social media already has the potential to bring about negativity from issues and the “dislike” button should not add to it.

Although the button allows people to express their opinion and allows use of their first amendment, the “dislike” button is unneeded. Those who disagree with a post can simply comment on the aspect of which they disagree to avoid miscommunication problems.

The “dislike” button is not necessary and should not be approved. People can respond with either the “like ” button or by commenting their views.

House of Cardboard: PALS Hosts Creativity Challenge

A Cardboard Challenge will be hosted by teacher and PALS sponsor Kenneth Martin in the small gym on Oct 31 to fundraise for the Imagination Foundation and PALS. Admission is free for anyone who wishes to participate, but donations are encouraged.

“The biggest thing we need is just kids to come play,” Martin said. “I didn’t advertise that much last year because I thought we didn’t have enough cardboard and that we’d have a bunch of people show up but not enough materials, but the response last year was just overwhelming with how much stuff we got.”

Before the challenge, students and teachers are invited to donate cardboard, masking tape, and other possible building materials.

“This year, I’m expecting definitely way more cardboard; hopefully a lot more kids,” senior Emma Pirnar said. “We’re going to try different things, to make something new. I just hope a lot more people come and see how awesome it is and come make a lemonade stand or a car out of cardboard.”

Anyone who wishes to attend may do so, regardless of age or location.

“People just show up,” Martin said. “Last year there were kids from Pumpkin Fest at City Lake that just came across the street. Even kids from Royse City and Terrell came.”

Last year, PALS decided to host a cardboard challenge after Martin showed them the video “Caine’s Arcade,” a video about a boy named Caine who created his own arcade entirely out of cardboard, which inspired him to do something similar.

“I decided to do it because I feel that kids just don’t have the creative outlet in schools to just build something and create something out of whatever they want,” Martin said. “We’re so concerned with testing, and they don’t have a chance to really get out and create whatever they want.”

In addition to teaching those participating to be creative, Martin said the challenge will contribute to a good cause. Martin said he hopes some funds raised by donations will go towards PALS, but they will primarily go to the Imagination Foundation, an organization which promotes teaching creativity and problem-solving to kids and was inspired by Caine’s story.

“Caine’s story did inspire me because it showed you that you can do anything and you can make anything,” Pirnar said. “Even if you don’t have everything you think you need, you can just work with what you have.”

Caine did work with what he had. He was a ten-year-old boy whose dad worked at a junkyard while he played. He built an arcade and hoped for customers, but none came until filmmaker Nirvan Mullick discovered it while searching for a door handle. Mullick was inspired by Caine’s creativity, so he used social media to plan a flash-mob at the makeshift arcade and filmed a documentary of the process. He also started an online donation box to raise money for Caine’s college fund, and donations exceeded the $25,000 goal.

“Caine’s story inspired me because he just built that whole arcade even though people made fun of him, he still kept doing what he loved to do,” Martin said. “Plus, that whole story about that flash-mob coming together and people coming to play his games when he thought nobody really cared about him. And it’s kind of cheesy but I feel like that’s our job as teachers, to take kids that maybe feel like no adult ever notices them or thinks they have value and showing them ‘yes, you do have value even if you get made fun of.’”

Pirnar said that her advice to anyone attending this year’s cardboard challenge is to show the kids attending that they have value, because they will appreciate it.

“Last year, myself and some of the seniors made a maze which the little kids would crawl through which was pretty fun,” Pirnar said. “It was really hard to make, and after that we made a huge castle called the Castle of Awesomeness. The kids loved it. It was pretty cool.”

Martin said that building things may be hard because part of building something is not getting it right the first time, and that is a big lesson kids should take from the Cardboard Challenge.

“My whole philosophy of teaching is that [the problem is] we don’t allow kids to fail gracefully,” Martin said. “We don’t allow kids to fail and not blow up at them. Encouraging that you don’t have to be perfect to be successful and learning to tolerate disappointment and having to learn from your mistakes I think is something we don’t teach enough in school, which is why I’m so big on being okay with failure so long as you put in the effort and learn from your failure.”

MHS Skeeter’s Football takes on Duncanville!

The Mesquite Skeeter’s Varsity Football team took on the Duncanville Panthers on Friday, September 11th.

The Skeeter’s who were coming off a close win against the Garland Owls were flying high with excitement as they took the field.

As the game began the Skeeter’s seemed to dominate the first quarter, creating many long drives down the field and challenging the Panthers defense that seemed tired and slow.

As the game progressed the Panthers defense awoke and began physically decimating the Skeeter’s offense. This led to Quarterback, Anthony Tennison getting put into a dangerous play that ultimately led to him receiving a concussion and being taken out of the game indefinitely.

With Senior Quarterback, Trooper Elwonger now in the game the Skeeter’s offense had to regroup and figure out its game plan.

The Skeeter’s offense wasn’t the only problem the Skeeter’s faced on the night. Their defense struggled against the larger and more athletic Duncanville players who led countless drives down the field.

All hopes the Skeeter’s hope of making any comeback on the night was taken away when the Panthers recovered an onside kick attempt by the Skeeters.

The final score remained Duncanville 21, Mesquite 13.