Solsma Steps Back and Gives it Everything He’s Got

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8th, 2016 by Riley

Solsma is stuck in the pocket. It’s a cool Spring evening. However, he sweats underneath his gear as he look for an open receiver. Looking to score, Trent Solsma realizes he’s been in this situation before.


His team has made it to the State Championship. He was here the year before. That day ended in defeat. Today he feels the pressure. He feels pressure to bring a win to his high school. He feels pressure of four years work. He feels the pressure of the defenders rushing at him.

At this moment he glides along the turf, picks his spot, and unloads. He has let the ball leave his hands, hoping he has chosen the right fate for it’s landing. The ball hits the receiver in the end zone! Solsma has ended the drive with a touchdown. Nearly a year after his defeat in the State Championship, Solsma has lead his team to victory.


That moment is now eighteen months past. As a sophomore at Morningside College, Trent Solsma and the Mustangs have recently been defeated in the NAIA Championship Quarterfinals. Solsma does not feel down on his luck however. Years after he first started playing football, he can see the NAIA Championship on the horizon.


“I probably started playing flag football as early as the 2nd grade,” remembers Solsma. Growing up in “Siouxland,” Trent Solsma started playing football at a young age “and just having fun.” He would play mostly with friends, but the champion quarterback did not always think about playing football.


“I was originally doing well at baseball, and thinking of that for scholarships,” he reveals. For his first two years in high school, Solsma was a successful baseball player, and he was beginning to put football as an afterthought.


In his junior year, things began to change for him. He became the starting quarterback for his school. That was the first year his team would go to the State Championship, with Solsma as their leader. “Things began to get serious. This was my first time being the leader; it was when I decided that football was something I was really good at. “


Solsma says that it is a bit of a struggle to balance football and education. It gets especially hard when you have three hours of meetings and workouts, followed by a day’s homework. However, Solsma proclaims, “Doing both is definitely worth it.”


His life does not completely revolve around playing football and going to class. He enjoys spending time with friends and “Laying back to watch TV and play games.” If he weren’t playing football, he does have other interests, such as Mass Communications. “I did some things last year on the radio and it was fun. I would love to do some play-by-play. I could definitely do that!”


As impressive as his year was, the array of talent in the NAIA is not lost on Solsma. It is rare that players reach the professional status in sports from the NAIA. Most professional athletes that have been drafted out of college are taken from the NCAA. This is something that has caught Solsma’s attention.


“I think that it is very rare that you see anybody in the pro sports that is from the NAIA, they’re mostly from the NCAA. But I’ve seen that there is great talent in the NAIA that get’s overlooked,” he explains. But this does not mean he is getting overlooked himself. He does not have the professional life in his mind for sports. “I mean, obviously, if I were to get called up, I would try my hardest,” says Solsma. “But, I don’t think the pro life is for me.”


Trent Solsma is a Secondary Education major with a focus on History. A great history teacher that he had in high school convinced him that this was the subject for him. It also gives him the opportunity to coach.


“My dream is to be an athletic director!” exclaims Solsma. He would love the opportunity to Coach a football team at the collegiate level. However, he doesn’t think he will be Coaching in Sioux City. “I would like to move somewhere else. I wouldn’t move too far away because I want to stay near family, but I might try living somewhere else.”


For now he looks forward to next year and another shot at redemption to win another championship. He knows that it will be long and hard work but he is prepared. “We do long workouts and train hard during the offseason and I think this will lead us farther than this year. We definitely have a possibility.”


So many athletes seem to have egos that spill into their personality. Mostly this is seen negatively by the public; however, Solsma believes ego is an important part to the game. “I think it’s important to keep an ego. We need to go out there and believe that we are the best players in the league and that we will win whenever we take the field.”


As we sit in the warmth of the café on the Morningside Campus and discuss the effects an ego has on the team, several people approach the table to say “Hi” to Trent. Each one is very friendly in their approach and he is friendly is response. Ego has no obvious effect on who Trent Solsma is or any seeable effect on his personal life. “I’ve never tried to be the popular kid, I just go out there and be myself, and sometimes people like me.”

Solsma matches his personality by those he admires. He also tries to be the great person and athlete that has made him so likable. “My football hero is Drew Brees. He’s a great quarterback and a great person off the field. That’s how I try to live my life.”


This high school champion is now in training for his second year as Morningside’s starting quarterback. He is preparing for a chance to be a collegiate champion, and, if the stars align, a two-time NAIA Champion. Solsma plans on becoming a high school coach and athletic director. Right now he is Morningside’s star quarterback But, whatever cards he is dealt, he has a simple and single creed to live by, “I’m just going to get up and give everything I’ve got. It’s not worth doing if your not going to give your everything.”


The American Divide: After the Election

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8th, 2016 by Riley

Liberals are angry and afraid. Conservatives are angry and afraid. Both sides are angry and afraid at the other party. Liberals are angry that Donald Trump won despite losing the popular vote but afraid because they are unsure about what a Trump presidency means. The Conservatives are angry and afraid at liberals, who are upset about the election.

This was covered in the New York Times article Political Divide on Campuses Hardens After Trump’s Victory. It takes place in Michigan, where students feel angry because of the despair that students and the University of Michigan administration participated in after the election. It then pivoted to professors who were alive in the 60s, and how now compares to then.

I like this article because it focuses on something that no one has really focused on. There are people that feel uncomfortable to talk about their support for Donald Trump. I think it is unfortunate that we ridicule these people for voting for Trump. This is the exact thing that Liberals criticized Trump supporters on during the election.

Shining light on this subject may lead to easing the tension. And I like the comparisons that they find to the situations in the 1960s. This was an good all around article because it focused on an idea that is rarely seen, but it also refuses to take a side. Which is my favorite thing to see in news articles.

Terror in Mega City

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6th, 2016 by Riley

Terror in Mega City Mall. There was an explosion in the food court of Mega City Mall that extended into the nearby shops. The explosion killed two and injured nearly 100 people. Injuries during the explosion are mostly related to smoke and fire inhalation. The injured have been transported to Jean-Luc and St. Mercy hospitals.

“There is video of the incident that is still intact, but we have not watched it yet,” states Captain Ross Fuglsang of the Mega City Police Department.  The cause of the explosion is unknown at this time. However, both present and former employees will be questioned about there whereabout during the explosion. There is evidence of terrorism, but all possible situations are being examined.

“I was eating a burger, heard a loud explosion, and I took off running,” says former firefighter Hunter Davis. Davis claims to have also pulled several citizens from core of the explosion. Off duty nurse Jared Martin was among those at the scene tending to the wounded before paramedics arrived.

There are no serious injuries reported. Mega City Mall has no timetable for reopening. Mall spokesman Bob Dillon reports that the mall is to be closed “at least through the weekend.”






Terror in Mega City. An explosion occurred earlier today in Mega City Mall. The Mega City Police Department reported that the explosion occurred at 9:50 this morning. There were two fatalities in the central area of the explosion. Nearly 100 people were injured in the explosion, most injuries pertained to smoke and fire inhalation.

“We have no suspects and do not suspect terrorism, but we are looking at all possibilities,” reports Police Captain Ross Fuglsang. Mall spokesman Bob Dillon offered security video from the incident which “remains in one piece.”

“I was eating a burger, heard an explosion, and I grabbed a couple of people and took off.” reports ex-firefighter Hunter Davis. Davis was not the only serviceman on the scene. Off duty nurse Jared Martin was on scene tending to the wounded before paramedics arrived.

“I grabbed my baby from the stroller left the building,” recalls Devin Phaly, who was shopping with his infant during the explosion. Phaly reports that mall security was evacuating people in an orderly fashion through the back of the mall. Security also reunited 12-year-old Jaclyn Arens with her father. The two had been separated by the initial explosion and were frantically searching for each other through the smoke when Arens came across mall security.

The explosion pertained to the food court and nearby shops. Although busy during the holiday season, there is no timetable for the mall to reopen. However, Spokesman Dillon expects the mall to be closed “at least through the weekend.

The Economy: Turning Good from Bad and Keeping it There

Posted in Uncategorized on December 2nd, 2016 by Riley

The unemployment rate in the United States is continuing it’s decline. The jobless is now 4.6%. This is down from the unemployment rate last quarter and it shows that the economy is strong. The strong economy that is in place for Donald Trump to take over is the exact opposite of the one President Obama inherited, but not everything is as it seems.

The New York Times article, President Obama Is Handing a Strong Economy to His Successor, jumps right into the heat of this subject. It is a well written article. First and foremost, it covers what the headline says. It is then followed by explaining how the economy is different from when Obama took office. Unemployment is going down and the economy is stronger.

My favorite thing about this article is the balance that it shows. The third portion of the article says that there are still holes in the economy that can weaken it, such as the fact that less people are in the labor force then before. But adding this makes the article effective.

Showing a strong economy is proof that President Obama has done a fine job turning the tide away from a depression. It gives him credit that people often forget to give. However, we also see that it is not as strong as it could be. They give Donald Trump’s deal with Carrier as an example that he can bring jobs back to American, and keep the ones we are losing, which can boost the economy.

I feel less scared about where we are going because of the job President Obama has done to strengthen the economy. I feel a little more at ease knowing that Donald Trump has already kept some jobs in America. This article gives me a belief that anything bad that happens over the next four years is reversible. And, this article was informative, giving the most important information immediately.

Midland Zoo Press Release

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29th, 2016 by Riley

After several deaths to the animal family, Midland Zoo is sorry to announce that Homer the Panda has died. The bear was discovered early this morning. The two younger polar bears Yukon and McKenzie were removed to be monitored by veterinary staff.

“Homer was a very curious and playful bear and we will miss him terribly,” remarked Zookeeper Sara N. Getty. The bear was found dead in his exhibit at 7 a.m. Homer is one of several that have thrived at Midland since 1985. The zoo will perform a necropsy to find the cause of death.

Director Chris P. Bacon is overseeing the results of necropsy. He stated that the “Animal welfare and the preservation of species are our primary goals here at the zoo.” The results will not be available for several weeks. This month Regina the bobcat and Kenya the giraffe also passed away. The three deaths are unrelated.

Trump Praised by Foreign Leaders

Posted in Uncategorized on November 18th, 2016 by Riley

Donald Trump met with the leader of Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on Thursday. The Prime Minister met with President-elect Trump after Trump received a barrage congratulations from foreign leaders around the globe. Prime Minister Abe said Trump was “a leader in whom I have great confidence.”

Trump also met with former foreign advisors to discuss foreign affairs. Trump has reportedly been very personable and intellectually curious during all his meetings. This is much different from the Trump that we saw during the campaign, who built his reputation on insults. Hopefully this shows that Trump will hold to his campaign promise of being “very different as President.”

This information can be found in the New York Times article Donald Trump, After Fits and Starts, Focuses on Foreign Policy. This is an enjoyable article. It is mostly enjoyable because there is no longer a candidate to be attacking or reports of the candidates’ attacks. This is informative and should be read because it represents a different Donald Trump than what we saw during the campaign, which makes me optimistic.

I did find that there are elements in this article that I could use in a feature story. I like that we are given information about Donald Trump that is common knowledge, so it needs no attribution. But the main point of the article is, arguably, found in the interviews with those surround the President-elect. This gives a nice balance of what we’ve know compared to what may be coming.

Phaly Finds Balance at Morningside

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17th, 2016 by Riley

Sophomore Devin Phaly was successful even before his attendance at Morningside. He is an accomplished wrestler himself with several top ten and top five finishes in high school. Intrigue by the acclaimed wrestling program brought Phaly to Morningside College. Since becoming a Mustang, Phaly has become an accomplished wrestler within the region.

Away from his success in wrestling, Phaly has found success in academics. He is excelling with his Advertising major and performing well with his minor in Spanish. He plans to use in major in the future to work for an advertising firm. A dream for Phaly in the future is to operate his own firm.

“If your good at something, it’s worth it” Phaly says of his college experience. He says it definitely is more time consuming to balance his school work and wrestling career, but he says he enjoys it. “When you’re graduated it’s good to look back and say you made something of your four years.”

Phaly is a Sergeant Bluff native and is never too far from family. When he wanders from sports and academics, he enjoys listening to music to relax. He has a wide range of listening material and claims Chris Brown is his favorite artist. Phaly also enjoys to travel with his most exciting destination in San Fransisco, California.

Voters Divide and Cross Party Lines

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3rd, 2016 by Riley

The election is just three days away, and the damage is done. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are now locked in a slim battle for the presidency. Mrs. Clinton’s lead was larger in early October after the backlash from the Access Hollywood tapes against Trump. However, as the month neared it’s end, the FBI’s renewed interest into Clinton’s emails turned momentum toward Donald Trump.Voter’s are now split about there choice for President outside and within their respective parties.

These are some of the issues brought up in the New York Times article Voters Express Disgust over U.S Politics in New Times/CBS Poll. The article brings up the fact that both parties have damaged each other, but also the lack of enthusiasm for the candidates. 52% of Trump voters are enthusiastic about their candidate and Mrs. Clinton hovers around 47%. They also discussed how Donald Trump has caused a divide in his party, but how Hillary Clinton is losing demographics usually won by Democrats.

This article is interesting but not informative. It doesn’t shed new light on anything for me, but I don’t believe that was the goal. The purpose was to show the ugly our politics are in, in which it is successful. I found it interesting how demographics have switched among parties and what developments may help the candidates. It almost feels like it is anti-Trump, but the information is taken from polls around the country. This makes the article bipartisan, informative, and an interesting read, but it isn’t one that will sway readers.

AT&T Rebuilds Empire

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27th, 2016 by Riley

AT&T is looking to finalize an $85.4 billion deal to buy media conglomerate Time Warner. The deal would be the second in the past year for AT&T, who just recently purchased DirecTV. At one time, in the early 20th century, AT&T was one of the most important companies in the United States. This is a big event to restore the corporation to it’s prior dominance, but it may be halted by the FCC.

Congress and the FCC are already looking into the deal that was just recently announced. The acquisition has caused some outrage from consumers as well as politicians. Bernie Sanders has already pressured candidate Hillary Clinton to stop the deal if she takes office in January.

The article AT&T Merger: This One Statistic Shows Why Feds Will Block The Deal by Fortune magazine is very informative. It does a great deal more than show one certain statistic. It gives a small background about the purchase and AT&T’s recent purchases, but it also explains vertical integration and the Judicial holdings in similar issues. And, it explains the political point of view, both candidates are against the merger.

I like the use of quotes that they use. They paraphrase when explaining the statistics in the beginning, which may be good because experts can be confusing to the less-informed. It does actually quote the experts later on in the story. The only problem I had during the entire article was with a quote that was split to identify the speaker. The break was confusing and slightly pointless when the following sentence was so short. Otherwise, I found this to be an interesting and informative article.

Don Juan to Release First Album

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27th, 2016 by Riley

“Together we’re Don Juan, that’s our name,” says singer/songwriter John Dodge. Dodge and partner Don Cooper will release an album with their band of three years. They hope to have music released “by the end of the summer.”

“It took a long time to shuck the robe of responsibility,” commented Cooper. While the duo has been performing, Cooper has kept a job as and English teacher “just in case.” After three years of performing and teaching, Cooper’s music will finally be getiing to an audience.

The group does have performance experience. Last summer they performed with music icons Jackson Browne and James Taylor. Taylor had been a fan of the group in the past and Browne has become a “real solid supporter.”

“Nobody settles for anything less than the best,” says Dodge about the songwriting process. The group has had trouble writing songs in the past and they fight about song points, but the “creative tension” helps build new songs. One critic has criticized the group for doing “nothing original” and “the ones thy do write are not worth hearing.”