Category Archives: Sports

Newman ready for the next level: college softball

by Sophie Rodgers

“Softball is not only a sport but a lifestyle, something I look forward to everyday because it gives me the opportunity to prove myself and do something with some of my closest friends.”

Senior Peyton Newman has been on the varsity softball team for four years and has made an incredible impact each time she steps on the field. Newman is one of the many athletes who are having the opportunity to play the sport they love at the next level.

“I choose to play at East Central University because I absolutely fell in love with it the moment I stepped on the campus,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else for the next four years.”

Newman had many options when it came to which school she was deciding to play at. However, this one had everything she was looking for.

“I love the girls and the coaches too,” Newman said. “Also, being able to do my desired major of nursing was very important to me.”

When it comes to this sport, Newman has taken many different things away from it in just the past few years—a leadership role and growth mentally and physically.

“Being a leader is tough, but a lot of fun in the same way,” she said. “It is interesting because you have to figure out your teammates not just in a ‘friend way’ but a way where you can push them to be a better ball player, too.”

With her selfless demeanor, Newman believed it was key to put the team first in everything she did and be there for them no matter what.

“Softball has built me into the person I am today in so many ways,” she said.

Many emotions arise with her when it comes to thinking about the past four years on varsity because that is where she grew the most. She believes she is very blessed to have had all the amazing opportunities and experiences through the sport.

“Given the chance to play at the next level is so exciting and is definitely a privilege,” Newman said. “It makes me realize all my hard work has paid off, but I also have so much more room to grow as a player and person.” 


‘Mentality change’ leads baseball team to playoffs

by Sophie Rodgers

After years of not making it out of district, senior Michael Bernhardt and team got the opportunity to be a part of the high school baseball playoffs.

“I have played baseball for as long as I can remember, select baseball for 11 years and varsity here for four,” he said.

As the starting short stop and one of the eight seniors, he plays a big part in the team’s leadership role.

“This year we have had a huge mentality change and everyone plays as a team,” he said. “We have bought into what coach’s game plan is and we are all willing to do what coach asks of us.”

A lot of the team has been playing together since they were younger, so everyone is very close. As a team, they trust each other to make good plays and that is one of the reasons why they are so successful.

Bernhardt is a very selfless player who is constantly putting the team first in everything that he does.

“Being a senior, I am really excited to finally experience the playoffs after three straight years of not making it,” he said.

With this year’s team, energy was one of the most important assets. It helped them pull off big wins like beating Southlake Carroll at the end of district play and winning the first round of playoffs over McKinney Boyd.

“Our dugout is always enthusiastic and we always play with a special type of energy,” he said.

Bernhardt is excited to see what the future holds for this team and himself after the school year and season ends.

Girls gymnastics team takes title for 21st time

by Sophie Rodgers

For L.D. Bell Gymnastics, winning is something that happens often.

This year both the girls and boys teams placed first in the district meet.

At the regional meet, the girls placed first and the boys placed second. And at state, the girls team won the state championship, their 21st.

Each team had certain athletes who placed high individually at the state meet to contribute to the team’s final place.

For the girls, senior Kyleigh Prather stood out winning vault, placing in multiple different events, and winning third in the all-around.

Also contributing to the team win, senior Kaitlin Hornsby placed second on beam and seventh in the all-around, sophomore Analise Gonzales placed 10th on vault, and junior Mayson Hicks also placed on beam and floor.

The boys team also competed very strongly at the state meet, coming in ninth. Senior Adam Tice made a big impact for the boys’ team, placing second on floor and vault.

On the way to state, again

by Aliyana Gonzalez

2015-2016 Texas champion, member of the girls gymnastics team, Kaitlin Hornsby is now in her last competing season as a senior.

Hornsby says she feels good about this season being that her team is first in state as of now. She admits that there is some competition this year so the ranking may change. According to Kaitlin, Rockwall High School specifically is going to make it “a very interesting year.”

Gymnastics has finished the compulsory section of their meets and is now moving into the optional season.

“Compulsory is level 5 and everyone does the same routines,” she said. “Optional is level 7 (or higher) and you have your own routines and the skills are harder.”

Hornsby is most excited for the optional season because it gives her the opportunity to perform “harder skills.” In state, currently Kaitlin is 13th on vault, 12th on floor, 1st on beam, and 4th all-around.

Kaitlin says that performing on beam is her favorite because it’s what she’s best at.

“I get the most nervous for beam compared to other events, but making a solid beam routine is the best feeling,” she said.

Her least favorite event is bars because they seem to be the hardest to make improvement on.

Hornsby says that she is doing well this season, breaking personal records. What keeps her motivated is knowing that this is her last year competing, so she wants to make it her best; she’s also motivated by the close competition.

Gymnast focuses on team’s goals to go to state

by Sophie RodgersSports Editor

One of Bell’s most successful sports team is the gymnastics team, filled with amazing, driven athletes who have gone further than most. Junior Xavier Pineda is one of them.

“It means so much to me to be on this team because it is filled with the most State Championships out of all the sports at BHS,” he said. “We are one of the best teams in the state.”

Being on a team this skilled comes with a lot of hard work, time management, and dedication.

“I try not to stress too much over school work because it sometimes affects my gymnastics skills, so I only focus on gym at gym and school at school,” he said.

A unique quality about Pineda is his will to push others and himself to the best of their abilities.

“My goal is to help the Bell men’s team go back to state and win districts again,” he said. “We have gotten second since my freshman year and not been to state but this year we are first in district, second in the region (the top three go to state), and eighth in the state.”

He has grown so much from his freshman year, and he is continuing to grow to this day.

“Gymnastics showed me that your mind is so powerful and you can do anything if you put your mind to it,” Pineda said. “Also, it is teaching me what it is like to take on a leadership role.”

He is an “all-arounder” which means he does all events. However, he does have a favorite.

“Since I have big tumbling and clean form in my tumbling, floor is by far my favorite event,” he said.

Pineda also loves his team more than anything, and that’s what keeps him going when things get difficult.

“My favorite thing about gym and my team is that we choose to make it about the team and not ourselves,” he said. “We want to take the team to state, not just an individual.”

This hardworking athlete is by far one the most dedicated out there, and he is ready to see what the future holds for himself and his team.

Burns not your normal athlete

by Sophie RodgersSports Editor

She has played sports her whole life, and now as a junior, Bella Burns is a phenomenal student athlete. No matter the sport, this girl has played it.

“I started playing basketball in seventh grade,” she said, “I just played because it was a junior high sport and then I actually ended up liking it a lot.”

Something unique about Burns is that she plays two varsity sports, volleyball and basketball, along with club volleyball outside of school.

“I have played basketball and volleyball on varsity since I was a freshman, and it has been such a blessing,” she said.

Being on both teams, she believes she has learned some valuable lessons having to do with life and herself.

“I have learned how to cope under pressure and that will help me in the future,” she said. “I feel like I have grown as a person and a teammate.”

One thing that she loves about the basketball team specifically is the environment that she has an opportunity to be a part of.

“It means so much to me to be on this great team,” she said. “The relationships I have made throughout this process and the family environment is irreplaceable.”

However, Burns doesn’t wish to play basketball in college but she is planning on playing volleyball.

“I hope to play volleyball in college because it is my main sport,” she said. “Although I love basketball, volleyball is just where I am most successful in.”

As Burns finishes up her high school years, she will continue to play basketball here at Bell even though she isn’t playing in the future because of her love for her team and the game.

Motivated Noble returns from injury

by Aliyana Gonzalez

A senior and member of the varsity basketball team, Jordan Noble has overcome many physical setbacks yet still is continuing on. Noble has suffered from multiple ACL tears along with surgery on his meniscus.

Noble first tore his ACL in sixth grade during a tackle in football practice; he underwent surgery and recovered. He then tore his ACL again in eighth grade trying to perform a move during football practice, underwent surgery and recovered. His last surgery was for his meniscus, which he tore playing basketball his freshman year. He recovered from this as well.

He says that recovering was a long and hard process, “rehabbing for months.” He explains that not having the ability to play sports for a while set him back a lot in comparison to his teammates.

Noble says that with the support of his family and friends, he was motivated to work towards the strength of his knee every year. He currently has no issues with his ACL or meniscus.

He started playing organized sports again his sophomore year, when he played for L.D. Bell’s basketball team. He says he chose basketball rather than football because after the two tears of his ACL in football, he didn’t want to risk it again.

He is currently still a member of the varsity basketball team and is enjoying his season, especially with a new basketball coach. However, Jordan does not wish to continue his basketball career into college, because he wants to focus on his academics.

Soccer player serves, leads, inspires others

by Sophie RodgersSports Editor

Something special about junior Holly Madden is how kind her heart is. She is always helping others. Whether it be sharing her love for the Lord with younger high school students in Young Life or being a captain for the soccer team, she is always there.

Madden is also an advanced student and a Young Life student leader.

“Managing my schedule is easy because I fill it with things I love,” she said. “I have no reason to make excuses and skip out on anything.”

Madden has played soccer for “13 years”—as long as she can remember, she said. She has played on the varsity soccer team here at Bell for three years and plays club soccer for the Dallas Texans.

“Being a captain is an awesome opportunity because I can lead a great group of girls and hopefully inspire the underclass men to be leaders too,” she said.

Many athletes strive to play at the next level and that is exactly what Madden wants to do.

“Playing at the next level is my dream because I love the game so much,” she said.

A person like her can do anything she wants if she puts her mind to it. As she has grown, she believes playing soccer has made an amazing impact on her life.

“Soccer has taught me how to be mentally tough and the true meaning of being a part of a team,” she said.

Many friends and coaches see Madden as a hard worker and a great friend. She loves the game and her friends more than anything.

She will continue to strive for greatness to get where she wants to go!

HIGHLIGHTS: ‘Outclass Keller’ pep rally

For the Keller pep rally Sept. 15, the theme was class colors, with seniors wearing white, juniors wearing Columbia blue, and sophomores wearing navy blue.

HIGHLIGHTS: ‘Hunt the Panthers’ pep rally


Students showed off their school spirit on “camo day,” Sept. 8.

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