The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High


The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High


The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High


With her arms held high, junior Jenna Rickelman throws the ball across the pool during a girls water polo practice. With hours of practice after school and over the summer, Rickelman saw many improvements in her water polo skills. “When I look at [my] stats, Im so much better than I was last year,” Rickelman said.

Behind the net: Junior Jenna Rickelman’s journey on the girls water polo team

Zoya Hasan, Staff Writer May 23, 2024

As the final buzzer echoed throughout the pool arena, junior Jenna Rickelman fixes her eyes on her opponents as they launch the ball. With her quick reflexes, she deflected the ball from entering the goal....

“The first memory that comes to my head is when everyone starts doing the longhorn rumble when we call [out to the audience], they stomp and clap with us along to the beat of the cheer. I [started to appreciate cheer] when I got to high school. [At first], I did it for fun in middle school just to say that I [had a hobby]. When [I got to] high school my coach appreciated me and [listened to] my opinions. It really made me fall in love with the sport again. My favorite thing about cheer is the friendships that I get from it. [I] get to see the people I’m with all the time because [we] have practice [together often]. Especially during football season [is when I get to] hang out with [my teammates] every day. The people I met through cheer and got close with this year make me [want] to continue cheer. [I also got closer with] the people on [the] varsity team and [was able to gain friendships] through that. I am happy [that I get to] cheer with [everyone] next year. It [urges me to] keep going. The cheer community is fun because everyone just understands each other. Were all very similar [and connected] in ways and its like a tight knit family.” Alyssa Gessner, 9

Alyssa Gessner

Lydia Woodall, CJ1 Writer April 23, 2024

At the Spring Pep Rally on March 8, boys varsity water poloist and junior Jack Brau stands with the boys water polo team. The group, hoping to include everyone — whether boy or girl, varsity or JV — cheered on the girls water polo team during the sports team runouts. “Even though we all play separate games and have different practices, we like to see ourselves as one big group who represent one water polo [team],” Brau said.

Our team, our sports

Yein Ahn, Staff Writer April 10, 2024

The Super Bowl. March Madness. The 2024 Olympics. This time of the year is exciting for many Americans as various sports events take place across the country and the world. During this time, die-hard sports...

Junior Will Gonsior lies down on a pile of money, an opportunity gained by allowing the Pathfinder to use his name, image and likeness. Accusations of corruption and misconduct have revealed just how easily the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) lets money pile up where it doesn’t belong. “[The NCAA] is a business, so theyre trying to win games. No matter the sport, theyre trying to be the most successful that they can,” varsity football coach and physical education teacher Jeff Duncan said.

Foul play: Amateurism or a collegiate cartel?

Will Gonsior and Ruthvi Tadakamalla January 8, 2024

With over 1000 participating colleges and almost half a million young adults under its umbrella, the National Collegiate Athletics Association pledges to inspire and support its “student-athletes.”...

“I went through a sport-ending injury. There was a lot of time where I questioned coming back to my sport because of how separated I felt from my team and all the complications that came with my surgery and physical therapy. It just felt like a lot was holding me back and that I shouldnt even attempt to come back to my sport but [I had to] push past that. Ive been playing soccer for 12 years. If I wanted to come back and play soccer, which I love, I had to rush past the pain and the mental part of not being ready to come back. I value hard work and always push myself to the limit because, if youre not putting in 100% you wont get anything out of it. You have your highs and lows but its up to you whether or how you react to them, and [the circumstances] will get better. This is just a period in your life, [and it’s]  tough. But you have to work really hard. You have to [do what you] want to get past it to feel better.” - Hanna Jacquin, 10

Hanna Jacquin

Anuradha Vijayakumar, CJ1 Writer December 11, 2023

Female tennis players thrive regardless of their limitations. While there are many issues within the sport — unequal pay, no maternal care for athlete-mothers, unequal opportunities for different races and more — many activists have been advocating for change within the industry. “I hope there are a lot more milestones set along the way and a lot more improvements in [tennis],” freshman and JV tennis player Sara Ashok said.

Game, set, equality

Ruthvi Tadakamalla, Social Media Manager October 27, 2023

The United States Open Tennis Tournament, commonly known as the U.S. Open, was transformational for women's equality nationwide. Competitor Coco Gauff won the women’s singles division and earned a $3...

“I do cross country; I get a shirt [for running five hundred miles over the summer] and running those miles improves your endurance. I didnt think of the five hundred miles as, ‘I have to run five hundred miles.’ I [have the mindset that], six days a week, I have to run. [I] started [running] about four to five miles a day and was able to build up over the course of the summer. Its just that I had my goal; I wanted to be on varsity. I wanted to get the red legs this season, so I had my goal in mind. Red legs are a new set of warmups made up of a nicer jacket, thin hoodie, and red sweatpants, given to anyone who runs sub-18:15 in the 5k [race]. They have been a goal since I joined [the sport in] sophomore year. They are often a mark of being on varsity as well and can make you feel like you made it. I guess the same thing is true for motivating myself for school; I have my goal of keeping up my grades. Stay involved with something because its good to have multiple [hobbies] going on. Make sure to decide what you want your focus to be. You can be involved in multiple things, but, if you want to focus on sports and school, make sure to keep it balanced. Enjoy your high school years. Have some passion in what you do.” - Ryan Smith, 12

Ryan Smith

Sage Kelly, CJ1 Writer October 19, 2023

“I have always wanted to play a sport that I was good at, and have [a] strong community [within] a team. I hadn’t played a sport since 6th grade so I was very excited when I made C-team lacrosse at tryouts last year. During the eighth practice of the year, I stepped in a hole in the back field [at school] and shattered my ankle. At the time, I felt like my whole team was improving while I had to sit on the sidelines. But as I have grown, I’ve realized that it brought me closer to the people on my team, but especially [my] coaches. It made me realize how close our team really was because they treated each other like family. [If someone is going through the same thing], ask them if they need help. Moving around was hard, getting to class with your bookbag, [and] going up the stairs to your house. [But] my friends were really helpful during this time, making sure I was okay and didn’t need anything. It’s important to keep your friends close to you. Especially when they go through hard times because you never know what theyre actually going through.” - Kendall Conway, 10

Kendall Conway

Kate Roland, Staff Writer September 20, 2023

Loading the hands and getting ready to swing it, Senior Grant Meert is taking his place to face the pitch in the last game of the season against Marquette High School. Meert has been playing baseball since age three.“I love baseball and like with anything else in life, youre gonna have your ups and downs,” Meert said.

Athletes of West: Episode 5

Raj Jaladi, Newsletter Editor June 1, 2023

  In this episode, meet senior Grant Meert, who was accepted into Johns Hopkins University to play D3 baseball. Listen to learn the secrets behind his success. TRANSCRIPT Junior Raj Jaladi:...

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High