Forest Trail Declared 2009 Champion!!

•May 4, 2009 • 1 Comment

On Friday, May 1st, the Forest Trail/Valley View Challenge came to a close.  There were a lot of tears shed, a lot of blood bled, and for the most part some very healthy laughs at the expense of each other.   Forest Trail held a commanding 2-0 lead on challenges, but Valley View could still win the championship by winning all three challenges on this day.   Here’s a recap:

Wii Challenge— Tennis skills, bowling prowess, and guitar ability were on display as Forest Trail staff members did battle with the 3 or 4 Valley View staffers that attended this part of the challenge.  Remarkably, the Cardinals were able to pull out a 1st and 2nd place sweep on bowling, but managed only a 2nd place finish in tennis, and had no competitors for Guitar Hero, essentially forfeiting that event.  With a 16-11 lead in the Wii competition, there was still a chance for a tie.  

The Principal’s challenge was worth 5 points to the winning Principal’s school and bowling was the game mutually agreed upon.  After opening with a flurry of strikes and spares, Valley View Principal Jennifer Dusek bowled a career high 148 points to put the pressure on Forest Trail Prinicipal Charles McCasland.  Down 9 pins entering the final frame, McCasland made a spare and picked up a few extra pins for a final score of 156 (also a record high score for the event).  This ended any chance for Valley View to win the championship this year, but the possibility of a shut-out loomed large.

Dodge-ball — Valley View’s team doubled in size for this event and it proved to be the difference.   The games were fast and furious as both teams were out for blood. Aided by star tosser Ryan “Silver Fox” Sanderson, the Cardinals stomped the Falcons 2 games to none to claim the first challenge victory of the year and avoid a shut out. 

Karaoke — The scene was Common Interest karaoke bar, and we were all treated to some amazing spectacles of singing mastery. Forest Trail was represented by over 20 staff members and what Valley View lacked in size, they made up for in stage presence.  Songs performed throughout the night included Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” by FTE Principal and Wii Bowler extraordinaire Charles McCasland, accompanied by Jennifer Mueller.  VVE Staff member Rebekah Smith did her part to carry the Valley View team as she belted out Heart tunes barefooted to the delight of the crowd.  We heard renditions of Bon Jovi, Journey, Sir Mix-a-lot, Carly Simon, Vanilla Ice, and a show-stopping version of Don McLean’s “American Pie” which nearly brought the house down as over 15 Forest Trail staff members rushed the stage. 

All-in-all, the 2008-2009 FTE-VVE Challenge was a great success.  With new friendships and rivalries formed throughout this year’s events, I’ll be curious to see how it unfolds throughout the years and what other events will be brought into the mix.  Thank both schools for making this a success and making us the envy of all the other elementary schools that are now looking to form their own school-on-school challenge.   Here is the official score sheet, tallied appropriately on the back of a karaoke request form at Common Interest:

Official Scorecard of the FTE/VVE Challenge

Official Scorecard of the FTE/VVE Challenge


Forest Trail takes 2-0 lead in VVE v FTE Challenge

•May 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Austin, TX –

Following the epic battle on the kickball field in mid-October, the two arch rivals Valley View and Forest Trail set to fight for supremacy on the volleyball court on February 6th.   Before the game even started, a mild controversy ensued when Valley View commented on the size of the ball to be used.  After much deliberation, it was decided that play would continue with the larger Volleyball in the spirit of preserving our fore arms from multiple bruises.

In the first game, Forest Trail jumped out to a quick lead and threatened to pull away from Valley View.  With the score at 21-6, the Falcons began to celebrate, but were notified that in fact, 25 was the point total needed for a win.  The Cardinals looked to capitalize on the pre-celebration blunder and quickly scored 10 out of the next 11 points to make the score a manageable 22-16.   Alas, the deficit proved to be too much of a hurdle to overcome, as the Falcons eventually closed out the first game 25-19. 

The second game saw Valley View jump out to an early 8-2 lead behind the masterful serving of Ryan “Beach” Sanderson.  This game was much more competitive as the two sides traded blows back and forth, eventually knotting the score at 16.   At this point, with two of Forest Trail’s top spikers on the bench, the Falcons posted a rally of epic proportions that culminated in a Charles “El Princípale” McCasland two-handed slam to put the Falcons ahead for good at 20-19.   El Princípale finished off the Cardinals with a mighty serve for an ace and the 25th point, making the final score of the second game 25-21.

The Valley View team was very well represented for this challenge with over 12 players and equally as many fans.  Both teams showed a lot of grit and determination despite multiple battles with both carpet burns to the knees and the periodic “Oh I thought you had it” calls throughout. 

What this means for the View vs. Trail Challenge: 

With two of the challenges down, Forest Trail holds a 2-0 lead.  However, there is still a chance for Valley View to win the “Feather Cup”.   In May, we’ll be hosting The Final Pentathlon.   This will include 2 games of choice from either school, and a final game to be played between principals on the Wii.   The games can be physical, mental, or even virtual (on a game console) but most of all fun, and be available for multiple staff members to try.  Rules for each game will be set up after the 5 have been decided.

 If Valley View takes 4 out of the 5 games, they will win.  Conversely, Forest Trail only needs to take 2 of the games in the Final to win.   The date for the final competition will be set in the coming month as both schools are asked to submit their games of choice before the end of this month.

1st Annual FTE vs. VVE Kickball Challenge

•October 20, 2008 • 1 Comment

AP Press – October 17th

On what can only be described as a “captivating game” the Mighty Falcons from Forest Trail defeated their testy rivals from Valley View, 16-14. The game was ripe with drama as the Cardinals took full advantage of the “bunting allowed” rule to routinely load the bases, inning after inning.

Falcon Killian prepares her fastball

Falcon Killian prepares her fastball

Falcon pitcher Shelly Killian, pitched a gem of a game despite being notified only moments before that she would be rolling for the team. Buoyed by a strong show of support from their cheering section, affectionately known as the “Maxines”, Forest Trail overcame much injury and adversity during this 5-inning marathon.

Here are some highlights:

Linda "Nurse" Kimbrough Kicks for her Falcons

Falcon Leadoff batter Freddy “the Gazelle” Herrera, lead off each of the first 3 innings as the Falcons batted around the entire 11-man line-up in the first 2 innings. Freddy tied teammate Tam “WAIT!” Braithwaite for the team lead with 4 hits and 4 run scored. Falcon clean-up hitter Cody “Bazooka” Spraberry lived up to his name by leading the team with 8 RBI’s and even hit 2 homeruns.

After being staked to an early 12-5 lead, the Cardinals showed some toughness and tenacity while attempting to mount a comeback. They consistently scored 2 or 3 runs each inning, usually after loading the bases with the afore mentioned “bunting strategy”.

"the Play"

There were many key plays, including a rare double play in the third when Falcon shortstop Carl “the Hitman” Hooker caught a line drive and attempted to bean a Cardinal player going home. When the ball sailed over the runner’s head, he alertly retrieved the lose ball amongst the Valley View crowd and turned around in time to nail a second runner trying to slide into home plate. Immediately following that play, Falcon Third basemen Jennifer “Samarai” Mueller demonstrated her cat-like reflexes letting a line drive slam off her body and then quickly tagging the runner out at third.

"The Maxines"

The "Maxines" cheer their Falcons

Controversy ensued during the next two innings, as there were no clear umpires, the players had to enforce their own rules as much as possible. A Cardinal player claimed to be hit on the head, when a line drive got through a players grasp and inadvertently hit her. Falcon Pitcher Shelly was also involved in a controversial play at second base when a ball struck her on the shoulder a split second before she touched the bag.

The Cardinal team had it share of highlights as well. Team Captain,

Cardinal Kelly "The Hammer" Manzano

Cardinal Kelly "The Hammer" Manzano

Principal, and Catcher Jennifer Dusek regularly engaged in psychological warfare with Falcon players as they attempted to bat. At one point even threatening to transfer a teacher from FTE to VVE! Power hitting shortstop Keyan “Killer” Heaggans had big hit after big hit, Kelly “The Hammer” Manzano showed her leg strength on multiple occasions, and Lupe “I’m the Teacher of the Year!” Ruiz violently took out Falcon clean-up hitter Spraberry on a tag at third.

With a 16-10 lead heading into the bottom of the 5th inning, the Falcons seemed to have this one pretty well locked up, but again, the Cardinal team proved relentless and would not go quietly into this October night. After bunting the bases loaded, Cardinal Keyan hit a grandslam past a diving Steve “Mongo” Brown in

Falcon Captain McCasland intimidates the kickball with his stare

Falcon Captain McCasland intimidates the kickball with his stare

right field, tightening the score at 16-14. However, it would prove to be the final runs for the Cardinals as Falcon catcher Caitlin “The Gunner” Maher threw out Cardinal captain Dusek for the final out of the game.

Thanks to all that participated, whether it be through cheering, support or playing. Special thanks to Falcon Announcer Angela Woodbridge, who provided music in between innings and comedy during the game with her commentary during play. And thanks to 5th grade students Will B. and Eddie G. for photographing and videotaping. The Kickball Music Video will be out soon! A good time was indeed had by all.

Looking forward to the Trail vs. View Volleyball Challenge in January!!

Front Row: Jamie Berrios, Carl Hooker, Caitlin Maher, Dayna Moss, Mary Ann Simmons Second Row: Carolyn Wilson, Juanita Guzman, Cheri Look, Linda Kimbrough, Steve Brown, Angela Woodbridge, Shelly Killian, Cody Spraberry, Freddy Herrera, Tam Braithwaite, Charles McCasland, Paula Freeman