AUSTIN DENTON | SPORTS
The La Cueva gymnasium was filled with thousands of students for the annual winter sports assembly. In a special basketball game, the newly created La Cueva Unified Sports team was ready to take the court to face the staff. With the time winding down, the next made shot would win the game. The Unified Team passed the ball around, and finally, it ended up in the hands of the hero that day.
Conner Young drove to the basket, took aim, and hit the layup to win the game for the Unified Sports team. As Young and his teammates made their way off the court, the excitement could not be contained. They had just won their first game of the year. It was visible that each member of the Unified Sports team had an exceptional amount of pride for the game and for putting on a show for the school.
No one was more proud to be a bear and to be in that moment than Young. His grandmother expressed to a crowd of people how he loved coming to La Cueva to see his friends and teachers and be a bear. Unfortunately, the time she spoke to that crowd was at his funeral.
Young passed away on December 22nd over Winter Break after a significant medical episode put him in the hospital. The entire La Cueva community was shocked to hear the news, some before walking into the doors on January 3rd, and the rest, on that day, the day La Cueva students returned from Winter Break.
As students walked into school and down B Hall, a green poster hung over the window of Mrs. Montoya’s room read in bold letters, “We will never forget our friend, Conner Young.” Messages from friends, teachers, and anyone who knew him at La Cueva, were written on the poster. These words showed how much of an impact he made on their lives.
“I’ll never forget what to do if I see a bear and I think a lot of people can thank Conner for that,” one message says. Young’s grandmother mentioned at his funeral that she would always make sure that he knew what to do in that case, and safe to say, Young passed that along to his classmates.
“He was passionate about animals and loved his best buddy, his dog, Baloo,” Young’s obituary reads. Donations to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo, Animal Humane New Mexico, or the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department were asked to be given in Young’s honor instead of flowers at his service. This further showed his love for animals, which included being a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
On January 8th, students at La Cueva showed up in green, or TMNT gear, to honor Young. “Knowing I made an impact on the community and showing support just by wearing green feels great,” said La Cueva freshman Faith Marshall. “My only memory of Conner is when he would walk into my class and always be so happy and say hi to everyone he sees and light up the room!”
Eldorado High School wore their blue on January 5th to show their support for La Cueva, setting all rivalries aside. Wearing blue that day was the final piece to the amount of activities the school did to honor Young. “We first started with a school-wide moment of silence in recognition of the student, then our senate made signs and posters to spread the word of wearing blue,” said Eldorado student Rylee Kelly. “It feels heart-warming to know that so many people can join together and become one…
STARLA OSTERHOLT | STAFF WRITER
Snackbar: one word, seven letters, but a lot of work and effort put behind it. Managed by four students, Marissa Mathias, Sergio Pena, Becca Luten, and me, and supervised by Jensen Baca, we keep a very clean and well managed snackbar.
Every day Becca, Marissa and I go in ten minutes before lunch to meet the Popeyes, Subway and pizza people and also to make brownies and cookies.
After lunch the managers stay to do inventory, restock everything, file paperwork, count registers, count the vault and clean. It goes by pretty fast because we all know our jobs and what has to be done. It is a lot easier on days when we have 7th period because snack bar is our class, so we have the rest of the day to clean, restock, count money and file paperwork.
Most days two of the special needs students will come in and help us restock. Not only does it help us, but it teaches them some skills and behind the scenes of a store and doing inventory. The help is much appreciated especially when we have two days worth of paperwork and money.
SARA BRIGHTWELL | LIFESTYLES
Walking down the halls of La Cueva, new faces always seem to pop up every year. But how did they get here, and what do they think about their new school? It turns out that no matter if you’re an incoming freshman or just a junior coming to a new school, it’s a big change. There are a lot of new staff and students that you have to get used to.
Ethan Johnson is a junior and a new student, who just came from an international school in Vienna, Austria. Before he went to Austria, he attended Sandia Prep, here in Albuquerque. “The students here are more outgoing and the main differences are size, academics, and the social aspect,” says Johnson.
There are also many incoming freshmen who are making the transition from middle school to high school. Darby Jaramillo is one of those incoming freshmen here at La Cueva, and she thinks high school is much different from Eisenhower Middle School, where she attended previously. “I’m really enjoying it, especially choir. It’s pretty different. A lot of my friends went to a different high school so I had to adjust to that.”