Writing for the yearbook, in my opinion, is a bit more difficult than writing for a newspaper or a website. The stories tend to look more like three-part captions than anything else and don’t go into much detail.

In that sense, yearbook stories are like miniature snapshots of what’s going on and, while details are important, they have to be very straight to the point.


The Start of the End

On Tuesday, Aug. 11, all students returned to school.

For the senior class, it was the beginning of the end of a four-year adventure.

“My first day was fantastic,” Conner Humann, 12, said. “It’s good to know that my last year here at Vista will be memorable.”

The situation was more bittersweet than exciting for most of the students in the graduating class who didn’t know exactly how to process it.

“I’m excited for this [year], but I’m just a bit nervous to see what the rest of the year has in store,” Peter Leonard, 12, said about his last first day.

Published: Aerie Yearbook. Volume 15. Date to be announced.

I Can’t Feel My Cheeks

“I couldn’t stop crying,” Amy Huang, 12, said. She spent her winter break in tears, not because she wasn’t happy, but because the anesthesia made her sick.

Huang was one of many students who was blessed with the opportunity of spending the greater part of her break with gauze hanging out of her mouth.

“I got an infection two weeks after the surgery that made my cheek swell up a ton and caused a ton of pain,” fellow senior Caitlin Robinson said.

For many, the suffer wasn’t a solitary one.

“My friend from Valor, Rafe Kinder, came over to watch movies with me,” Drew Stahl, 9, said. “Other than that, I just sat on the couch all break. It sucked.”

The free reign on unlimited ice cream almost made the experience bearable for many.

“I ate a lot of ice cream and fruit cups and smoothies which are some of my favorite foods,” Huang said.

Published: Aerie Yearbook. Volume 15. Date to be announced.


The End of a Big Season

The Mountain Vista varsity softball season that came to an end on Oct. 12 during regional playoffs.

The eagles placed 58th overall in the state of Colorado with a record of 9-12 and a league record of 5-5.

Most players felt as if they were in shock at the end of the season.

“It was unreal because we had played games and [had] practices every day of the season,” Kelsey Heiland, 12, said. “To think we would never play another game there again was strange.”

Published: Aerie Yearbook. Volume 14. May 2015.

Blades of Glory

For Tanner Gillis, 10, hockey is a big part of his life. “I’ve been playing since I was four years old,” Gillis said.

This year, Gillis played for Mountain Vista’s men’s hockey team. The team ended the season with 19 wins and only two losses – one of which knocked them out of the playoffs. Despite the devastating loss to Regis Jesuit High School, Vista still placed second overall.

Gillis said one of the main attributes to the success and talent of the team was incorporating other schools.

“Our immediate school doesn’t have as much talent, so going to other schools definitely helps our talent level,” Gillis said.

According to Gillis, the team was built around determination.

Because of their will to win, MVHS’s hockey team was better than ever.

Published: Aerie Yearbook. Volume 13. May 2014.

Vista Goes to State

Men’s golf made it to the 5A state championship without difficulty during the 2015 season.

Austin Hardman, 12, was among the team’s top performers.

“I was pleased to take fifth in state,” Hardman said.

Vista placed eighth in the state championship. Hardman shot two over par.

“We’ve built up a really good team this year,” Hardman said.

Published: Aerie Yearbook. Volume 15. Date to be announced.

Tee Party

Aside from the impressive state run, Vista golf was successful all season long.

For the first time in MV history, the team placed first in regionals.

Once again, Austin Hardman, 12, had an impressive run. Hardman placed first individually.

Chris Rapp, 11, also showed his skill on the course, shooting three under.

“We all played amazing” Rapp said. “I stuck a wedge shot to about three feet and made birdie to win by three strokes. I can’t wait to win it again next year.”

Published: Aerie Yearbook. Volume 15. Date to be announced.

A Different Kind of Team

Gymnasts like Maddy Pontius, 12, have been on the mats from the time they were just learning to walk.

Pontius has been involved in gymnastics for the past 13 years. Her club team season and her high school team season consequently coincide every fall.

Though the sport is the same, the environment on the school team changes drastically.

“It was a lot less strict and more fun,” Pontius said about the school season. “Just hanging out and bonding with the team during the season was awesome.”

Despite the more playful atmosphere of the combine team, the girls still made a state run during their season.

Published: Aerie Yearbook. Volume 15. Date to be announced.

Clubs & Academics

A War of the Mind

Cooperation and unity are key in a competition of the mind like partner debate.

One of the most prominent partnerships in Mountain Vista’s speech and debate program would be that of Nathan Korinek, 11, and Morgan Bergstrom, 11.

Korinek said he became involved in the program along with his partner when she had asked for his help.

Korinek personally describes his time spent working alongside Bergstrom as “one of the best experiences [he’s] had all year.”

“Basically, Nathan does the research and I compile it into a four-minute speech,” Bergstrom said.

“I wouldn’t trade my debate experience for the world,” Korinek said, proudly speaking of the friendship he has gained.

Published: Aerie Yearbook. Volume 13. May 2014.

Continental League Honor Band and Orchestra

Eight members of the Orchestra were selected to play in the Continental League Symphony Orchestra. The students, along with eight other members from MVHS Band, were granted the opportunity to play at Boettcher Hall in the Denver Center for Performing Arts on Monday, Jan. 12.

The eight students that were able to play in the symphonic orchestra included violinist Tony Swope, 11, violinist Trey Yu, 12, violist Filip Pahs, 11, cellist Emily Workman, 11, double bass player Doug Meredith, 12, flute player Celeste Landy, 12, bassoonist Nathan Korinek, 12, and percussionist Joey McLeran, 12.

“I really liked to work with the conductor, Adam Flatt, because he’s the conductor for the Colorado Ballet,” Pahs said. “Getting together with everyone from the district to get to play in one big group was the best part. Especially with everyone dedicated to music, it was really fun.”

Playing at Beottcher Hall was a big change from playing in the auditorium at Mountain Vista for the participants. “Being [at Beottcher Hall] with the better acoustics and watching everyone from the stage while [we] played was a really cool experience,” Pahs said of the concert.

Published: Aerie Yearbook. Volume 14. May 2015.


Mallory Pugh for the USWNT

Only one student at Mountain Vista High School can acclaim to share a field with Hope Solo and Carli Lloyd – quite frankly, only one student in the nation can.

Mallory Pugh, 12, started her journey to the United States’ Women’s National Team when she was only four years old, dribbling the soccer ball with her sister Bri, who had an impressive soccer career at the University of Oregon, as an aspiration.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve always looked up to my sister,” Pugh said. “That’s why I started playing.”

Now, she’s a forward for Mountain Vista, Real Colorado and, most notably, the USWNT.

Prior to her involvement with the Women’s National Team, Pugh was originally on the roster of the U.S. U-15 Girl’s National Team, but missed a hefty amount of the season after fracturing her femur.

“The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome was breaking my leg when I was a freshman,” Pugh said. “Any injury in any sport kind of sets you back but just being positive with everything can get you moving again.”

Pugh got back up from the injury and went on to be a key player throughout 2013 and 2014 on the U-17 team. As the leading scorer at the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship, Pugh reeled in five goals and three assists, although this came in the same year that the USA fell in a penalty kick shoot-out in the semifinal to lose the qualification for the 2014 U-17 Women’s World Cup. Pugh finished her U-17 career with 15 international goals in 12 caps, including the game-winning point against Japan in her final U-17 match-up in February of 2014.

Following her involvement with the U-17 team in 2014, Pugh was called up to the U-20 team, making her the youngest on the roster. In her first camp with the U-20s, she scored two goals and added one assist in two game against China. She captained the team to the CONCACAF Championship victory, clinching a 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup berth. During the tournament, Pugh won the Golden Boot for scoring the most goals among any other player.

Soon after, Pugh was called up to the Women’s National Team.

“I never really expected it at all. When I got the call I was really excited,” Pugh said.

In her USWNT debut against Ireland, Pugh headed in a goal during the 83rd minute of the game that ended 5-0, USA. This made Pugh the sixth youngest player in history to score a goal for the USWNT, the youngest to do so in the last 16 years and only the 19th of any age to score in a debut game.

“It was amazing,” Pugh said about her debut-game goal. “When I first went in the game, I was super nervous, and most people can relate to that. But if you just go in and start playing, everything goes away. That’s kind of what happened to me.”

Despite climbing up the ladder of soccer prominence, some of Pugh’s closest friends haven’t noticed a distinct change in her personality.

“Developing as a person and player, Mal’s always strived to get better. That hasn’t changed,” Peyton Joseph, 12, said. “She’s just an easygoing and hardworking person and always has been. She doesn’t take anything for granted.”

Pugh’s Mountain Vista teammates all note that her attitude and actions deem her as a humble leader.

“She makes the competition a lot harder and she makes you work every single day,” Cydney Billups, 12, said. “She’s great to play against considering she’s one of the best in the country. Still, she doesn’t make anything easy for you, and it really makes you a better player and a better person. She doesn’t act like she’s better than you or anything like that. She just keeps her composure and she’s a lot of fun.”

Another teammate, Giselle Sawaged, 12, made a similar observation.

“It’s amazing to play with her just because of the work ethic she brings everyday to practice. She makes each and every one of us better just by being there and helping us out,” Sawaged said.

Her high school coach, Theresa Echtermeyer noticed her power as a leader, too.

“Her humility and her selflessness are very impressive,” Echtermeyer said. “She always wants to do what’s best for the team and that’s one of the things that’s so amazing about Mal – she wants to lift other people up.”

Pugh has long been the top recruit in the nation for her class. Despite speculation she would bypass college to go pro and play for the Portland Thorns, she has instead decided to take advantage of a full-ride scholarship to play at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Looking forward, hopefully I’ll keep playing on the national team and play for UCLA,” Pugh said, adding that the school aspect of playing in college and the atmosphere of UCLA influenced her decision to take advantage of the opportunity to play there.

The decision to play at UCLA is just one example of the pressure being set on Pugh as many sources like Bleacher Report have acclaimed her to be the “future of the U.S. national team.”

“I know the support system around me is really good so I always lean on them if I need help,” Pugh said. “I just try to not think about the pressure.”

More information on this particular piece can be found in the News Gathering section of this portfolio.

Published: Aerie Yearbook. Volume 15. Date to be announced.