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The Esports Club: More Than Just Gaming


By: Max Newman and Caridad Perez; The Plaid, Staff Writers

    Esports club Formed only at the beginning of this school year, the new Esports Club is already a tightly- knit group with students who have bonded over one common interest: video games.  The club’s goal, as junior, Ashton Wallace said, is to “Create a team and find people with the same interests, have fun and overall, create a community.” The club hosts and includes a wide variety of games from different genres, according to Wallace. “We play everything; from MOBAs like League Of Legends and DotA, to platformers, FPS’s, fighting games, and a favorite right now among us is CS:GO and Rainbow Six Siege, along with Super Smash Bros on the Nintendo Switch, and Call of Duty,” Wallace said. 

     Many of the students that attend club meetings have had a history in which their childhood consisted of video games.  Since they’ve learned to read, they’ve incorporated video games into their life. “I remember when I was seven, I got my first DS with Pokemon Platinum.  It’s been my favorite Pokemon game since,” Wallace said. His love for the game, including many others, would carry on as he grew older, which would eventually dEsports member playingrive them into the competitive scene.  Students, like Wallace, thrive on the competitive aspect of gaming, such as junior, Kevin Perez. His first experience with video game competition was at a young age, in an arcade. Perez said, “We went to this Arcade in San Fran in 2015, and my brother kept destroying me at Tetris, and it made me so mad.  I play Tetris to this day still in hopes of beating him.”

     Sometime in the future, the club would like to hold Esports competitions at Upland High and at neighboring schools.  Wallace said, “It’s just a small group right now, but we’re trying to - if we get big enough - hold an actual team.”  

     The club meets Tuesdays, after school and Wednesdays, during lunch, in room G169. Perez said,  “If you like video games, or want to find people who play the same video games, or want to get in the competitive scene, this is the club for you.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


"Looking In" Dance Show Well Worth The Price Of Admission


By: Gabby Munoz and Venerise Shadday;

The Plaid, Staff Writers

  Express Dancers in White   On Friday, January 10, 2020,  the Express Dance Team and the Dance Department had their annual, Winter dance show. Express and the Dance Department had been preparing for this dance show, since the beginning of the summer and have worked very hard to perform and put this show together. 

     The tickets were sold for 10 dollars, at the student store making this the Dance company’s biggest fundraiser of the year, with approximately 500 tickets sold. Captain of the Express DExpress dancer in poseance Team, Paulina Rivera, said, “It was very stressful but I’m glad that it all turned out good in the end. We worked very hard and stayed after school for many hours, to make this show work.” The amazing performance showcased great talent and brought many dancers together. Junior Express member, Veanah Pen said, “The show really came together and I’m so happy and proud. Plus, I'm extremely grateful to have been able to dance with such a talented group of people.” 

      Although the show appeared to have been effortless, a lot of hard work and dedication was put into it. JV Express member, Kaylee Miranda, said, “The team had been working on their pieces since summer,Express dancers in blue along with having many weekend and eight-hour-plus practices.” An important member of the dance community and director of the dance show, Angelique Tahajian said, “The kids worked hard, they rehearsed for long hours and several weeks, and they pulled it off by just smilling, and pointing their toes. What I loved the most was that alumnis came to teach and show current students new techniques and ways to improve their dancing skills.” 

     The annual performance of the show proved itself to be well worth the cost of the ticket.


The Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team Takes A Shot


By: Jeddah Acklin and Jazlynn Duran; The Plaid, Staff Writers

    The Girls’ Varsity Basketball team has one goal for the year and that is to be the aggressor in every game they play. To meet their goal, the teamGirls  Varsity Basketball Team has been working hard at each and every practice, since the season began in November. 

     At practice, the players are running the floors and getting on the fast breaks. Coach, Cristine Aguilar said, “Our goal is to make the playoffs and hopefully, win a few games and advance deep into the playoffs.” The team lost some pretty talented seniors and even though the team is young and inexperienced, the coach believes that this season will be the one to help improve the team. Coach Aguilar also said, “Our expectation is to make the teams that play against us, win their W’s and to make sure you know we come out and do our best to solidify a place in the playoffs.” The team is still working to reach their full potential and is reaching new performance lengths every day. 

     Even though the team is smaller than in previous years, Coach Aguilar thinks that it could possibly help them in the next season. Without the seniors from last year, the team is working harder and becoming stronger to make it to the playoffs. At practice, it is obvious that they are talented. Coach Aguilar also engages with them during practice, by playing with them and helping them to improve. 

      Approaching the games, a few of the teammates don't have The team at practicewinning as their main priority. Player, Jenna Mchenory said, "I think me and my teammates are just trying to give it our all, that's our main goal, to work as hard as we can and see how it goes." Another teammate, Jada Pigoni, said that some of the team’s goals are, "Focusing and playing together [as a team] a lot better and as a team coordinate together." Although they believe they played better last year than they are playing this year, they do have an impressive achievement of playing Scherr high school and winning. Apparently, Scherr is known as a really difficult school to beat. Mchenory said, “I guess we weren't ‘supposed to win’ that game.” The team may think that they are inexperienced, due to the loss of many teammates, but clearly they are doing just fine with the talent they have now.


Theatre III Wins the House Cup




                               By: Vincent Arroyave;The PlaidTheatre Group III, Staff Writer

     Upland High School’s Theatre Department won big at the 2019 METFest One Act Festival this past month. Taking place at Etiwanda High School, METFest is an annual district theatre festival, where top schools perform a 20 to 25 minute, one-act play to be judged and awarded. Theatre III performed their production of “Puffs,” a play based off of the beloved Harry Potter series, with an interesting twist; the story is told from the point of view of the Hufflepuffs.

     Theatre III walked out of the competition with first place overall, as well as “Best ensemble,” an award chosen by the judges. But, the triumph didn’t stop there. Matt Morales, Nasibah Ismail, Austin Wood, and Cici Ball all received individual awards for “Acting Excellence.” 

     Success is common for the program as Ms. Rich said, “We usually do pretty well at this competition; last year we got fourth place. We try to do better every year; we’ve won first at this competition before. Second. We’ve woTrophy wonn third, fourth, fifth...ever since we’ve been going, we’ve always placed.” 

     Although success is customary for the department Ms. Rich also said, “The arts- it is very subjective. You can go in and perform and if someone doesn’t like that play, for whatever reason, then they already made a decision before they even get to see you perform. You just never know (if a play is first place). It was just our day and our time, and it was nice.”

     Overall, it was a big win for the department as Ms. Rich said, “We take that information (the awards) back to the school district. We announce it at the school board meeting, so it shows that our program is growing and that we are competitive.” With the awards boasting Upland High School’s theatre talents, the credibility of the program will continue to grow, brightening up the stage for years of prosperity to come.


The Robotics Club: Raising Money and Interest


By: Hailey Hampton, The Plaid, Copy Editor

     The Robotics Club is having a fundraiser to raise money to meet the required costs for competitions. As of now, Robotics Club has raised $9,000 out of the estimated $15,000 required to pay registration costs, hotel fees, and transportation. Graciously, Citizens Business Bank has donated $5,000 to the club. So far, they have entered two competitions, which will be held on  March 5 through March 8 and April 1 through April 4, 2020. 

     Robotics Club is attempting to raise enough money to register for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, beginning later in the year. President of Robotics ClubJunior, Jacob Fernandez, the clubś president, said, “I'm excited to see what the team can come up with, to accomplish all of the tasks that the robot needs to perform. It'll be a difficult competition, at least more than last year...I'm confident we’ll build a good robot this year.” 

     To win the competition, teams have to build a robot that can successfully perform specific tasks, depending on what the year ́s theme is. For instance, this year, the theme is Infinite Recharge. The robot is tasked with shooting balls or power cells into power ports (plastic sheets with three holes, each varying in heights and depths). Among other tasks, the robot also has to be able to turn a disc that's connected to a “Lazy Susan” for a certain rotation or until it reaches a certain color. The competition grows more complex, when several teams form alliances, in order to work together and maximize their points.  

     The Robotics Club has about twenty members that meet up every day, except Wednesdays, from 2:40 pm to 4:30 pm. JuniorSerenity Torrez and club member, Serenity Torrez said, “The club is accepting of all students, with all backgrounds and interests. Everyone gets along well and it's a fun and safe place for kids to express their interest and show off their skills”  Robotics club has something for everyone, from business and coding, to even artistic skills. The remaining amount of money needed must be reached by January 31 and club members will remain selling chocolates, for the next two weeks or until they are out of chocolates to sell.


The French Polynesian Club Perspective


By: Leilani Sanchez and Venecia Jacobo-Martinez

                         The Plaid, Staff Writers

    The French Polynesian Club The French Polynesian club is a friendly and welcoming environment that is open to any student to join. The club’s main focus is on the Islands and embracing all of the wonderful culture. The club meets every other Tuesday or Thursday of the month. during lunch, in G171. Meetings begin with, "A lesson on one of the Islands, by one of the officers.” Before the lesson, the students are given a snack to eat during the lesson. 

     President, Paea Pahulu, was inspired to, "Introduce Upland to a beautiful Polynesian culture,” after transferring to UHS her freshman year and realizing that there was no club involved with the Islands. One of her main goals for this club is to, "Keep it fun and chill, with good connections and positive vibes." At a school of nearly 4,000 students, there are only about twenty students who are Polynesian, so many of the students decided to come together as a group and, “Share with others a culture that plays a big part in [their] lives."

      The club is not only about embracing culture, but the members also work together to help the school and community. On January 20th, they are volunteering at a community church, to help put together items for those suffering from the tragic fires in Australia. The club has also helped  others in many different ways and tries to focus on the environment. 

        The club is more, as Pahulu said, “Like a family,” where most people actually are related. However, everyone is welcome, as Pahulu pointed out, the club is, “Very flexible and easy to get along with.” Pahulu said she hopes to make everyone feel, “Happy, relaxed, and connected, no matter how different one may be.”


Hip Hop Team Hits Its Mark



By: Natalie Spahr, The Plaid, Staff Writer

     On December 21st, 2019, the Hip Hop Dance Team finally had the chanHip Hop team performsce to showcase what they have been working on all year. At their winter show, they performed their pieces on stage, to a packed auditorium. For just $10, they put on a show that was entertaining from beginning to end. The show featured a wide variety of styles, including some pieces that were choreographed by the captains and lieutenants of the team.

     There was a lot of preparation that went into this show. One of the team’s lieutenants, junior, Carissa Ojeda, said, “The whole process of getting everything ready on time  was stressful, but I pushed through it and it was definitely worth it in the end.'' It is Hip Hop Team Girlsthis type of hard-working mentality that helped the team through so many long practices, in order to make everything perfect.

     One piece that stood out was the all-female set. After an undefeated run in the 2018-2019 season, it was going to be hard to top. However, they provided the energy once again and stunned the crowd with eye-catching visuals and use of music.

     In addition to the many hip hop dances, the fillers were just as crowd pleasing. Express Dance co., Hip Hip ROP, Citrus dance club, and the future scots also made appearances. which allowed the hip hop dancers time to change, as the audience still got to enjoy the show. 

     Overall, the show was fun to watch and there was never a dull moment. It was definitely worth the price of admission in order to experience and the team’s showmanship and quality performances.


Waiting For College Acceptances; One Student's Wait Is Over


By: Andre Zendejas; The Plaid, Assistant Editor


   image of Brown University  Anticipation and apprehension cloud the minds of students at Upland High School, as they eagerly await their college acceptance letters. Essay questions answered and applications submitted, it is left to college admissions officials to determine the fate of thousands of students intending to attend a four-year university after high school. Amidst the students waiting upon these decisions until March, there are a select few who have already made their post-high school plans official. 

     Senior, Ethan Fortier is one of many students across the nation, who were paired with a university, through the Questbridge program. The program, which is aimed at matching students with a number of academic institutions across the nation, Fortier matched with and will be attending Brown University in the fall of 2020. A binding acceptance with Brown, after matching with the university, one may feel relieved and relaxed to have his plan for the next year no longer left unknown. Fortier said, “At times, I just want to let senioritis settle in because it seems like everything is decided, but my acceptance is conditional, so my motivation has to remain high.”

     Since the freshman year of high school, a student is most often overwhelmed by the daunting and intimidating experience of preparing for and applying to college. Whether it be a decision in March and April, or as early as now, as is the case of Fortier, having some form of a plan for after high school, serves as a means of security and relief for students around the world, who are hoping to continue their education at a higher institution of learning. Fortier has dedicated time and effort to this process throughout high school, running in cross country as an underclassmen, taking a number of honors and AP classes, and currently, as the captain of the debate team. 

     Despite such an amazing opportunity for Fortier, he will be leaving his hometown and moving across the country for college. Commenting on such a drastic change in lifestyle, Fortier said, “I will definitely miss the weather here in SoCal.” Fortier is one of many future freshmen, who will be thrust into a virtually, foreign environment, upon leaving high school. Yet, aside from the intimidation of this, Fortier said, “Given that it is a wonderful opportunity, I have no apprehensions and I am excited to be given the chance to study at a top-rated university.”


Signing Day


 By Chris Klostriech and Thomas WingertThe Plaid, Staff Writers; Photography by: Rachelle Ignacio, The Plaid Editor-in-Chief

   Justin Flowe and Joseph Church On December 18th, 2019, Upland High School held the yearly signing event for upcoming players heading to college to play the sport of their dreams. The two major players featured at the recent “Signing Day” were Justin Flowe and Joseph Church. As Church already committed to Fresno State walking in, Flowe still had four options on the table. When Flowe was asked how he describes his journey to get to where he is Flowe chooses Oregontoday, he replies with, “It was a really long journey man. I have been playing football all my life, so I had to go through a lot of obstacles and everything to get to where I am right now. To finally be here, to know that I’ve been through a lot to get to this point, is a blessing.” 

     The number four overall prospect and #1 ranked linebacker, Flowe certainly felt the pressure for what college to choose. Both ChurchChurch signs and Flowe have grown close as Varsity players and Church understands how meaningful the moment and the journey were. When Church was asked how big of a milestone he would consider “Signing Day,” he described it as, “A really big deal for me and my family, especially because I am the first one in my family to go to college.”  

     Church sats next to Flowe, as he made the decision of his lifetime. When Flowe stood up to make his decision, he waved his Flowe signs with Oregonarm over another college hat and then quickly moved his hand to another hat, which was Oregon. Cheers come from all over the stands, including families of the two players. Both Flowe and Church will be attending their colleges for the upcoming season, with a common goal of being in the National Football League.


"Happy Holidays" Captures Holiday Spirit


By: Ashley Gudino and Pierce Sharp, The Plaid Staff Writers


     On December 5 and 6, the Theatre Department opened its new winter show, "Happy Holidays." The show was full of variety and consisted of acting, dancing, and singing performances. From the audience’s reaction, it sounded like they enjoyed every performance. In an interesting twist, a host was added, which is typically uncommon at these shows. The host knew exactly what to say to make the audience laugh, but he also announced all the performances properly. They even managed to include performances and skits from every theatre class, except for the Tech class.

     The first performance was “Bob: the Goofy Reindeer,” which was adapted and directed by Lauren Comia. The performance was by Theatre I, Period 5 and was their first performance ever. The story followed an unknown reindeer, named Bob who very goofy, as he went on an adventure with his two favorite elves, Periwinkle and Sluggy. The segment received a positive reaction from the audience. Junior, Brandon Ott, who played Bob said about his character and performance said that he liked the overall theme of the story and he enjoyed playing Bob. When asked what was one thing he would change he said, “The storyline of the play is okay but we should do something more adjusted to our age.” 

     The last performance of the first half of the show was “ Jingle Bell Rock,” performed by Theatre IV Honors. The performance was a hilarious parody of the Jingle Bell Rock performance that was featured in the movie Mean Girls. In addition, the group performed this skit at the winter rally to advertise the show. They did not disappoint anyone with the performance either.

     In the second half of the show there was only one performance “Puffs,”  which was written by Matt Cox and performed by Theatre III. “Puffs” took its inspiration from the Harry Potter books and told a comedic story about the Hufflepuffs. They crafted the story beautifully and inserted comedy at just the right places. The segment was full of variety is being performed at MetFest this year.

     Michele Richardson, the Upland High Theatre teacher and producer of the “Happy Holidays” show, when asked about the production said, “I loved all the theatre performances this year. I was very happy with how the show turned out.” Richardson said that the Theatre I classes perform in “Happy Holidays” every year and this was the third year the show has taken place.  Altogether, “Happy Holidays” did not fail to charm its audience. It really did an excellent job of helping to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.


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Upland Takes Mustangs Back To The Stable


By: Tim Johnson, The Plaid, Staff Writer and Photographer

   Upland #4 runs the ball  On Friday, September sixth, The Upland Highlanders went toe to toe against the Rancho Verde Mustangs, in their third game of the session. Returning to the field where Upland won their CIF championship last season, The scots dominated the first half of the game. They lost some of their momentum in the second half but quickly recovered and swept the mustangs with the outstanding score of 30-7.    

     Starting the first quarter, Upland received the kick-off and then hit the ground, running straight away, with some amazing runs by Tyevin Ford, also known as “Night Train.” After the Mustangs were flagged for roughing the passer, the quarterback, senior, Evan Rowe, threw a 12-yard pass to  senior, Earl Estell. It gave senior, Tyevin Ford the opportunity to run a 10-yard touchdown, with an extra point scored during the P.A.T, thanks to the Highlanders kicker, Archie Green.

     Upland handled Rancho Verde on both offense and defense. Each time Rancho Verde was in possession of the ball, it resulted in a punt or a fumble, whereas Upland scored each time they had the ball.UHS Cheer with signage

     Continuing into the second quarter, Upland kept up their intense tenacity to win and it paid off for them. It was close, however, when Earl Estell was short one-yard, after he had gained six-yards. But the Scots were able to gain that yard when they did a quarterback sneak, thanks to the offensive linemen. Unfortunately, they were unable to make a touchdown but the Highlanders still held the lead with 17-0. Due to the efforts of the defense, Rancho was unable to score in the first half of the game, so they had to punt every time they had the ball. When Upland got the ball back, senior, Jon mondragon ran an amazing game, starting with a 13-yard run and a few other short runs. Unfortunately, the Scots were 11-yards short for another touchdown. But after attempting a field goal, they were successful. At the end of the half, the score was 20-0, with what seemed like a one-sided game. 

     The Upland Highlanders kicked off to start the second half and because Upland grew sloppy with receiving penalties, Rancho Verde was able to make a touchdown and earn the extra P.A.T Both teams on the groundpoint. It gave Upland the wake-up call it needed, because it was the only point Rancho Verde was able to score, due to The Highlander’s strong defense. After several amazing offensive plays by Ford, Mondragon and junior, Daniel Sosa, Upland was able to make another touchdown and P.A.T, which brought the score to 27-7. What the third quarter demonstrated was that Rancho Verde played well but did not have the willpower to win.

     The fourth quarter started with Upland kicking off again. There was an amazing 60-yard punt by kicker Green. Upland next intercepted a pass, followed by a field goal. They finished off the game strong, with a score of 30-7. Head Coach Thomas said “The kids played well and did a tremendous job in every aspect of the game. Archie Green was awesome, with three field goals and hit a 65-yard punt. They all did tremendous overall.” Upland now has its eyes on Central Catholic, and will prepare for a home game on Friday, September 13, at 7:00 PM.



Breaking News!

The Plaid News Staff is always looking for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders who would still like to join the staff. If interested, please see your counselor or Mrs. Little in room F157.