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SSHS kicks off spring academic UIL season with N. Lamar sweep

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Sulphur Springs High School Academic UIL team kicked off the spring competition season at the Dr. Tommy Eads Invitational Meet at North Lamar High School, where they won the first place sweepstakes trophy. 

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2 students earn honors at FW stock show

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Sulphur Springs High School students Hunter Stonaker and Ethan Phillips returned from the Fort Worth  Stock Show and Rodeo last weekend with several awards after months of hard work in shop class. 

Stonaker received a blue ribbon and fourth place medal for the 32-foot tandem dual gooseneck trailer he built. He spent more than three months planing and constructing the trailer for the show. 

“The hardest part of building a gooseneck trailer was putting on the side rail and squaring everything off. I have 49 lights going down the side of it and two 10,000-pound axles underneath it,” said Stonaker. “I have always wanted a trailer like that to haul farm equipment and hay at home.” 

  Phillips built a shop table that holds an oxyacetylene torch with shelving for tools and large equipment. He spent a week and two days on the project and received second place in his class.

“This is my second year at the competition, and I am pretty used to the operations,” said Phillips. “Overcoming obstacles when you build a project is always the most difficult. For example, we had to take a nine-inch pipe and hammer it out by hand to fit around the bottom of the table.” 

The Fort Worth show divided the students into different divisions then sub-categorized them in classes based on their projects. Classes ranged from barbecue smokers to shop equipment. A judging panel then evaluated similar projects. Winners received gift cards or small scholarships. 

“There are 26 total classes that are divided into projects from students in middle school, 4H, FFA and high school ag classes,” said Phillips. “Every class had a set of rules and qualifications.” 

Phillips compared the Fort Worth show to football. He said the Fort Worth agricultural show is a lot like a scrimmage. Judges will help the students learn how to get better at their craft and excel in the larger shows like San Antonio and Houston. 

“No matter how much hard work you put into your project, there is still more you can do,” said Phillips. 

Phillips and Stonaker will have the chance to win larger scholarships and more prestigious awards in February at the San Antonio show and in March during the Houston show. 

“I learned that you have to keep the judges moving, not ask a lot of questions and name off everything that has been done to your project, especially all the gadgets,” said Phillips. “Before any competition, you have to know your item from top to bottom.” 

Sign up under way for 6th Annual Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Pageant

Hopkins County ladies ages 60 or older are being sought for the 6th Annual Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Pageant, which contrary to its name is not a beauty pageant but an event to showcase senior ladies in Hopkins County.

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Genealogy society OKs agreement for move to library

After more than six months of discussion and negotiation, Hopkins County Genealogical Society gave approval to a contract with the city of Sulphur Springs to relocate the geneology group from its Main Street location to the Conference Room at Sulphur Springs Public Library. Genealogical Society spokesman Ronny Glossup said the contract received unanimous approval from membership. “At our meeting last Thursday night, the board voted unanimously to accept the contract. We had the contract like we wanted it, we took it to our attorney and got everything in order,” Glossup said. “We took it to the membership at our regular meeting. We had a motion and it was voted on, and nobody voted against it. There were 21 for and none against.” Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell sees the agreement as a win-win deal for both the city and the society. It will free up space on Main Street for additional business development in the growing downtown area. “For them, it puts them in a newer building with utilities paid for the next 99 years,” the city manager said. “For us, it frees up two buildings on Main Street to be sold and, hopefully, to be used for a retail or dining purpose.” The move will require a number of things in order to convert the Conference Room into a genealogy research facility. Society members must pack boxes and boxes of historical data and research material as well as relocate the society's computer network and other materials. “We are now in the process of finding some new shelves and different things to go in the library,” Glossup said. “It will just be a matter of time until we get everything ready to move and we will start moving.” Glossup said a date for the start of the move will not be set until accommodations at the library are complete.

SSHS play attempts to answer what happened to Edgar Allan Poe

Sulphur Springs High School will explore the descent into madness in this year’s One-Act Play, “Maelstrom.”

Historically, the events that lead up to famous writer Edgar Allan Poe’s death are shrouded in mystery. Poe was found delirious in front of Ryan’s Tavern on the streets of Baltimore, Md., on Oct. 3, 1849. He died four days later in the hospital. Poe’s medical records and certificates have never been found. “Maelstrom” tries to answer what really happened. 

“This play is a dark comedy drama about when Poe left from Richmond, Va., on his way home to New York. He ended up in Baltimore and no one knew how he got there.” said SSHS Drama teacher Lesha Woodard. “We knew that he kept asking for someone named Reynolds and he seemed drunk or very ill. Spectators said he started having hallucinations. These last days are what the play is based on.”

In “Maelstrom,” Poe heads to Baltimore to solve the murder of a woman he was writing a story about. Poe gets more than he bargain for as the woman’s fate forshadows his own.

“Poe believes that he might have even killed the woman himself, because every woman he ever loved had died,” said Woodard. 

In accordance with One Act Play rules, the script of “Maelstrom” had to be cut down to less than 40 minutes from an hour and a half run time. Woodard said she was still perfecting the abridged version so that it would make the biggest effect on a OAP judge.  

“We have worked on taking key scenes and cutting the play down to work within the guidelines,” said Woodard. “We will have seven minutes to set up the scene and 40 minutes for the entire show.”

  The students will perform the production for the first time on Feb. 20 infront of five judges, who will critique the show and help students excel in the contest. Then on March 25, the district contest commences. 

“Liam Pollard will play Edgar Allan Poe and Mikayla Jones will play Poe’s young wife, Virginia,” said Woodard. “We could only have have 15 cast members out of around 40 students who auditioned. We really have an ensemble cast from freshman to seniors. I am so excited to work with this core group of students who are dedicated to theater.”

A public performance for “Maelstrom” will be at Hopkins County Regional Civic Center Auditorium on March 29. The time is yet to be determined.

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