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Second Quarter Honor Roll Trip
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Diamond Daily Archives, 2002-2003

This page features Diamond Daily material from the 2002-2003 school year.

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Webster, pictured in the top photo, has been returned to his home on top of the file cabinet in Mr. Turner's room following his recent kidnapping. He is pictured below with his friends. Bottom row, from left, Jiffy, Bobbette, Webster, Purple People Eater, Pog and Patches; back, Alexander Graham Bear Edit

   The courage of an eighth grade student enabled beloved bear Webster to return to his home atop Mr. Randy Turner's filing cabinet last week.
   "It wasn't anything any suave, debonair hero wouldn't do," a modest Shane Gallagher told The Diamond Daily after he rescued the animal from four "big, ugly guys."
   "Webster never says much so I didn't even realize he was missing," Mr. Turner said.
   When it was finally pointed out to Mr. Turner that the bear was gone, the fourth-year Diamond Middle School teacher didn't panic. "I considered all the options. I remembered that last year, he hibernated some during the winter months so I thought he just might be asleep somewhere."
   It was the ransom note that convinced Mr. Turner that Webster had met with foul play. "Well, not really," Mr. Turner said. "Someone else read the note first and told me, 'It looks like Webster might have met with foul play.' The note read, "To whom it may concern, I have taken your precious Webster hostage. If you ever want to see him again, you must give 300 points to eighth grade in Project CAT." It was signed "a desperate eighth grader."
   Surprisingly, the finger of suspicion first pointed at Shane Gallagher. He politely told Mr. Turner, "Uh, Mr. Turner, I don't think that's the finger of suspicion you're pointing at me." After Mr. Turner got his fingers straight, Gallagher began the sleuthing that eventually uncovered Webster.
   "I just thought, if I were going to kidnap a stuffed bear, where would I go? Then I realized that I would probably find him in the last place I looked because once I found him I wouldn't need to look any more."
   Incredibly, the four big, ugly guys had placed Webster in Shane's locker. "Those guys were really clever," Shane said. "I almost didn't think of looking in there."
   Shane admitted that the eighth graders, who won the first quarter Project CAT, are slightly desperate since they have been behind the sixth grade all through the second quarter. "But we're not desperate enough to kidnap Webster.
   "We could get a lot more CAT points for Jiffy."

   The Diamond High School Drama Department will present the two-act production of "A Country Christmas Carol," 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec 8, in the commons area.
   Tickets are $3 for adults and $1 for students.
   Cast members are: Adam Alford, Becca Jones, Zach Billings, Jolene Topham, Libby Sherrill, Deke Beckett, Justin Lane, Courtney Payton, Andrea Chaney, Ashley Shelton, Andi Ingersoll, Elliot Sutherland, Greg Vincent, Tara Brown, Megan Atkins and Amanda Ferguson. The show is under the direction of Mrs. Nancy Gillogly.
Diamond Daily Editor
   Fifty-six Diamond Middle School students were eligible to go on the first quarter honor roll trip. Their names and grades are listed below.The honor roll trip was last Thursday. The students left school at 11:15, and went to the North Park Mall for lunch. After lunch, they went to the East Bowl bowling alley, where they bowled and played at the arcade until 2:30, when they returned to school.The honor roll trip was organized by Larry Augustine, a math teacher at Diamond Middle School. Mr. Augustine has been organizing the school's honor roll trips for about 10 years. "The kids do a great job, and we're really proud of them," says Mr. Augustine. " I think that honor roll trips are a great reward for their academic achievements."Those who qualified for the trip were:
   Eighth Grade- Alicia Bradley, Amanda Brashear, Carrie Castor, Alexandrea Chavana, Ryan Clouse, Kacie Cooper, Jake Edge, Shane Gallagher, Cameron Harrington, Michael Lane, Stacia Martens, Michelle Nickolaisen, Clayton Norwood, Lydia O'Donnell, Leanne Ross, Alyssa Simpson, Spencer Snow, Zachary Towers.
  Seventh Grade- Jennifer Buening, Caitlin Carter, Amanda Cupp, David Dodson, Timothy Enayati, Devin Greenwood, Crystal Harrall, Kelsey Henson, Eli Hicks, Kasey Hockman, James Hollars, Jayma King, Laureano Kuri, Krystal Morgan, Cody Palmer, Kaci Scribner, Tanner Seward, Courtney Sweet, Sarah Sweet, Benjamin Taylor, Stephanie Taylor, Michael Turner, Courtney Wall, Rebecca Warthen, Jessica Webb, Kayla Webb.
   Sixth Grade- Jason Beckett, Sheena Chung, Whitney Cosby, Garrett Cox, Christopher Cupp, Lindsey Gilbert, Toshia Grissom, Sharon Keefer, Crystal Lane, Kirsten Lee, Ashley Nickolaisen, Samantha Olson, Shaela Smith.
Diamond Daily Staff Writers
   The Diamond High School Wildcat Pride Marching Band claimed first place Saturday at the Missouri Southern State College Homecoming Parade.
   Diamond received first overall out of 12 bands. Band teacher Mr. Rob Lundien said, "I'm very proud, very excited, and it was their best performance they have ever done. They didn't let rain get in their way and practiced in the cold.
   "I am very proud of the band's achievements and what they have accomplished."
   Some of the things the band is planning include the Veterans Day Parade and also Diamond's Christmas Parade Dec. 17.
   The flag squad is excited that it gets to have big lollipops instead of flags for the Christmas parade.
   Band members are: Dezi Powers, Renee Forest, Lendi Stirewalt, Alyssa Simpson, Robin Bullis, Erica Welch, Tosha Loyd, Heather Atler, Amy Cokerham, Alicia Bradley, Alex Chavana, Bob Taylor, Daniel Stone, Luke Hockman, Cheryl Johnson, Cameron Harrington, Jake Edge, Susan Johnson, James Riediger, Justin DeGonia, Greg Dodson, Spencer Snow, Sarah Hoffman, Raymond Tapp, David Forrest, Mark Neidert, David Spry, Clint Myers, Scott Gill, Graham Cox, Jake Newsum, Paul Holland, Ryan Clouse, Miles Lane, Charles Forrest, Sari Yamamatsu, Kacie Cooper, Krystle Allan, Kendra Sharon, Tara Brown, Courtney Payton and Taunie Brewer. Edit

   Diamond Middle School honor students will receive an afternoon off Thursday, Nov. 7. Those who made the first quarter honor roll will leave the DMS campus at 11:15 a.m. that day, eat lunch at Northpark Mall and bowl at Carl Richard's Bowl in Joplin.
   Those who qualified for the trip were:
   Eighth Grade- Alicia Bradley, Amanda Brashear, Carrie Castor, Alexandrea Chavana, Ryan Clouse, Kacie Cooper, Jake Edge, Shane Gallagher, Cameron Harrington, Michael Lane, Stacia Martens, Michelle Nickolaisen, Clayton Norwood, Lydia O'Donnell, Leanne Ross, Alyssa Simpson, Spencer Snow, Zachary Towers.
  Seventh Grade- Jennifer Buening, Caitlin Carter, Amanda Cupp, David Dodson, Timothy Enayati, Devin Greenwood, Crystal Harrall, Kelsey Henson, Eli Hicks, Kasey Hockman, James Hollars, Jayma King, Laureano Kuri, Krystal Morgan, Cody Palmer, Kaci Scribner, Tanner Seward, Courtney Sweet, Sarah Sweet, Benjamin Taylor, Stephanie Taylor, Michael Turner, Courtney Wall, Rebecca Warthen, Jessica Webb, Kayla Webb.
   Sixth Grade- Jason Beckett, Sheena Chung, Whitney Cosby, Garrett Cox, Christopher Cupp, Lindsey Gilbert, Toshia Grissom, Sharon Keefer, Crystal Lane, Kirsten Lee, Ashley Nickolaisen, Samantha Olson, Shaela Smith.



Diamond Daily Staff Writers

   Jim Siedlecki, executive producer of KODE News, has many job benefits. Among them are sleeping in late, getting free tickets and meals and various other free things. Unfortunately, there are cons, too, such as not getting home until 11:30 p.m.

   "I love my job," Siedlecki told students in Mr. Larry Cunningham's sixth grade health class and Mr. Randy Turner's second hour current issues class last week.

   When Siedlecki arrives at work each day, he starts the rundown of the evening's broadcast. At these meetings, news staff members voice their opinions on the evening's stories. "People should not be punished for voicing their opinions," he said.

   Siedlecki loves his job. "You have to be passionate about what you do," he said, adding that the long hour can tear a family apart. Before he was a news anchor at KODE, he was a spots anchor.

   Siedlecki grew up in Albuquerque, NM, and went to middle school with Freddie Prinze Jr. When he graduated high school, he attended Eastern New Mexico University and earned four-year degrees in public communications and television broadcasting.

   Then he came to Joplin for four years. When he arrived, a bought a car for $400. According to Siedlecki, "the first two years were the hardest. You had to be passionate about it. You had to want to do it." He left this area for a while, then returned, eventually changing from sports to news.

   Siedlecki said his most interesting story as a sportscaster was the NBA finals and his dream is to win the Powerball and join the PGA (Professional Golfers Association).


   The Diamond Middle School Academic Team continued to build on its winning tradition Tuesday night, tying for second place, in a competition with much larger schools at Carl Junction.

   The team, consisting of Alicia Bradley, Shane Gallagher, Michelle Nickolaisen and Daniel Stone, had the opportunity to display its skill in questions concerning language and literature. The meet was part of an ongoing competition among the schools, which will meet several times this year, answering questions in different fields each time.

   Diamond's B team, consisting of Lacey Carneal, Jake Edge, Chase Sexson and Zach Towers also competed. The teams are coached by Mr. Larry Augustine.



Diamond Daily Staff Writer

     A seventh grader who wasn't able to attend classes at Diamond Middle School will now always be a part of it.

   The DMS Student Council voted Wednesday to plant a rose bush and have a plaque by it to honor the memory of Kelsee Anderson whose life was cut short in a fire last May, just a few days before the end of her sixth grade year.

   "She was a nice, gentle person," her classmate Tonya Loyd said. Kelsee was described by her friends as being quiet, shy, and a person who disliked being in a crowd.

   Her friends, some of whom include Tonya Loyd, Tiffany Stewart, Lindsay Patterson, Misty Conner and Benny Taylor, talk about her being a good student, but also a really cool person who liked food fights, homework and was a Harry Potter fan. Kelsee always wore bandanas. Her favorite class was social studies.



Diamond Daily Staff Writer

   The Diamond Middle School Academic Team will hold its first meet 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the middle school library.

   The academic team has been a part of the school for 10 years. It has gained a good reputation, having been Ozark 8 champion every year. Mr. Larry Augustine, who has coached the team all 10 years, believes that the team will do well and he looks forward to Ozark 8.

   This year the team consists of seven eighth graders, returning members Alicia Bradley, Jake Edge, Shane Gallagher, Chase Sexson and Daniel Stone and newcomers Michelle Nickolaisen and Zach Towers. The only seventh grader on the team is Lacey Carneal.



Diamond Daily Staff Writer

   A skateboarding club at Diamond Middle School is still a possibility.

    Miss Merri Brummett, who has offered to sponsor the club, said, "I am waiting on things so the skating team is in neutral."

    Some students are not happy with the delay. Seventh grader John Fountain said he is "very mad" that the team isn't started.

   Seventh grader Levi Ellison said, "It makes no sense that it isn't started already."

   The proposed team is to be for the middle schoolers and it is just to hang out. There might also be a competition here and there. Seventh grader Harrison George said, "The reason we want a skateboarding team at school is because the skate parks are too expensive to have regular meetings and it would be too complicated to get everyone to a skate park at the same time."


   The Diamond Middle School Student Council voted Wednesday to have a rose tree planted at the school and a plaque placed beside it to remember Kelsee Anderson. Kelsee died in a fire last May. She would have been in seventh grade this year.

   In other business, the council continued to make plans for the first dance of the 2002-2003 school year. Admission was set at $3, but will only be $2 if students bring the refreshments that are designated for their classes. Eighth graders should bring candy, seventh graders pop and sixth graders chips.

   The dance is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in the middle school music room. No drinks or food will be allowed in the room. The snacks will be available at the concession stand in the lobby.

   Middle school teachers are needed to chaperone the activity.


   Red Ribbon Week will be observed Monday, Oct. 28, through Friday, Nov. 1, at Diamond Middle School.

   A special theme has been set up for each day of the week, according to middle school counselor Rob Lundien, who is in charge of the activity. Monday will be "Team Up Against Drugs Day," in which students may wear their favorite sports team's attire.

   Tuesday is "Put a Hat on Drugs Day." Students will be allowed to wear hats in classes. Wednesday is "Stomp Out Drugs Day," in which students will be allowed to wear funky and wild-looking shoes.

   On Thursday's "Say Boo to Drugs Day" students will be encouraged to wear orange and black clothing and will receive orange and black suckers provided by Student Council.

   The week will conclude with "Red Ribbon/Respect Day." Students will be encouraged to wear red and an assembly will be held during the morning with a guest speaker.


   KODE-TV anchorman Jim Siedlecki will speak to students in Mr. Larry Cunningham's second hour health class Friday, Oct. 11. Prior to coming to Channel 12, Sielecki was sports director at KSNF-TV, Channel 16.

   The program was set up by middle school counselor Rob Lundien, who is bringing in speakers to introduce the students to the work world.



   Eighth grader Kacie Cooper was elected Diamond Middle School Student Council president by a unanimous vote of council members Wednesday. The position was vacant after the former president was removed for receiving an in-school suspension.

    Cooper is on her second year on the council. Until her election as president, she had been serving as vice president, a position she also held during the 2001-2002 school year.

   Clint Myers, who is serving on the council for the third year, was elected vice president, replacing Cooper. Myers was serving as eighth grade boy representative. In previous years, he had been seventh grade representative and sixth grade representative. The council appointed Zach Towers to take Myers's place as eighth grade representative. Towers was appointed treasurer during the latter portion of the 2001-2002 school year, following the removal of a council member.


   The first middle school dance of the 2002-2003 school year will be held 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in the middle school music room. The Student Council, which sponsors the dance, set the date Wednesday, pending sponsor Mrs. Renee Jones' being able to land a disc jockey. Mrs. Jones confirmed to The Diamond Daily Friday afternoon that the disc jockey, the same one who did the recent Diamond High School Homecoming has been hired.

   Normally, school dances are not held on Thursday nights, but there is no school scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25.


   While Diamond R-4 students received a break from the daily school grind Friday, faculty members attended workshops at the school.

   During the morning, elementary teachers attended a workshop in the elementary cafeteria on "Using Computer Presentation and Hardware." High school and middle school teachers were at a workshop in the high school commons area on "Reading Across the Content Areas." The high school/middle school workshop was the first of a two-part presentation, which will be concluded at an in-service day in February.

   After lunch, the elementary teachers held another workshop in the cafeteria while the high school and middle school instructors met in the high school library for a workshop on "Using Computer Presentation and Hardware."


   Eighth grader Kyle Jones received a certificate of recognition and a gift certificate to Travetti's recently for an anti-drug poster he crreated. His poster will be displayed on the billboard north of Diamond.

   The prizes were awarded by the billboard company, Lamar Advertising Corp.


   The Diamond Middle School and High School choirs will hold their first concert of the 2002-2003 school year at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, in the high school commons area. The high school choir has 26 members. The middle school choir has 33 members.


By Randy Turner

   Diamond Middle School sixth graders had fun and helped the community during an unusual scavenger hunt after school Thursday.

   The students divided into three teams and went to various houses seeking to do good deeds for the people in the community. The rules of the scavenger hunt, which was set up by middle school language arts teacher Merri Brummett, were that the students had to complete 12 helpful acts, but no more than two at any one home, before returning to the school.

   The acts were: Take out the trash, pick up a Wal-Mart bag full of leaves, feed a pet, clean a bathroom mirror, vacuum a room, clean an outside window, clean a ceiling fan, clean an outside piece of furniture, sweep the front porch, have a moment of silence with a person, move a piece of furniture and provide a person with a drink and a back rub.

   The good deeds were videotaped and the tapes were watched when the students returned to the school. After the scavenger hunt, students stayed at the school, ate pizza and participated in such activities as beach volleyball and karaoke.

   Students who participated in the scavenger hunt included: Hannah Hoyer, Garrett Cox, Ashley Nickolaisen, Hannah Carr, Chris Cupp, Garrett James, Crystal Lane, Whitney Cosby, Samantha Morgan, James Basinger, Greg Summers, Brittney Riggs, Sami Homles, Sam Olsen, Emily Edge, Eric Baker, Seth Cronister, Cassie Sharon, Cierra Gravett, Chelsea Scribner, Shaela Smith and James Cook.

   Teachers participating in the event included Miss Brummett, Tom Danner, Nancy Berry, Merri Brummett, Billie Jean Hardy, Jodi Esposito, Frank Esposito, Renee Jones and Randy Turner.



Diamond Daily Staff Writer

Three fire alarms took care of several classes on Thursday at Diamond Middle School.

The first one went off just a bit before fourth hour. The last two went off during fifth hour, barely minutes apart. Students evacuated the middle school campus, heading for the parking lot each time.

"We have no idea if it is (a fire) or not, so we have to treat it just like its the real thing," said science teacher Mr. Tom Danner.

"I think it's just a big practical joke and we don't need to give them recognition for it," said one student. Eighth grader Jessica Harrison said, "I think it's cool. We haven't gone through a whole class yet." Middle school students were also pulled from class numerous time Thursday morning to have yearbook pictures taken.

The hero was janitor Andy Smith, who had to be tracked down each time to shut the fire alarm off. School officials do not know why the fire alarms went off.


   Diamond High School Football Homecoming royalty candidates were announced this week.

   Senior queen candidates are Rachelle Gilliam, Ashley Parker and Addie Whitehead. Senior king candidates are Kody Kelso, Bobby Taylor and Deke Beckett. Their attendants are juniors Jessi Youngblood and Greg Fetters, sophomores Megan Kinney and Josh Beckett and freshmen Lauren Fetters and Jeff Morris.

   Homecoming royalty will be crowned at halftime of the Friday, Sept. 27, Diamond football game against Oswego, Kan.


   Tryouts for three vacant spots on the Diamond Middle School Academic team were held after school Tuesday and Wednesday in the Middle School Library, with Michelle Nickolaisen, Zach Towers, eighth graders, and Lacey Carneal, seventh grader, earning the three slots. Those trying out included: Michelle Nickolaisen, Zach Towers, Lacey Carneal, Stacia Martens, Lauri Kuri, Tim Enoyati, Nick Long, Tanner Seward and Alex Chavana. The five holdover members of the academic team are Alicia Bradley, Jake Edge, Shane Gallagher, Chase Sexson and Daniel Stone. The team sponsor is Mr. Larry Augustine.


   The one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terroristic attack on the United States was observed during a brief assembly Wednesday morning at Diamond Middle School.

   The high school band and flag team performed, followed by the leading of the Pledge of Allegiance by Elementary Principal Deanna Yokley. Middle School Principal Denise Mounts read a state proclamation, followed by a moment of silence.


   Red Ribbon Week, a week dedicated to fighting alcohol and drug abuse, will be observed Oct. 20-26 nationwide, including Diamond Middle School.

   The Middle School Student Council,  during a noon meeting Wednesday, discussed numerous ways of observing the week. Some possibilities included a door-decorating contest, putting informational messages in the daily bulletin and bringing in a guest speaker.


 Eighth grader Alex Chavana has been appointed girls representative to Student Council for her class. She attended her first meeting Wednesday during lunch.

   The only other action taken during the meeting was to set up snack sales before school and after lunch. The proceeds from the sales go toward Student Council activities.


By Lacy Carneal and Caitlin Carter

Diamond Daily Staff Writers

Diamond Middle School students kicked off the 2002-2003 school year in a new building, but along with new buildings come new rules and regulations.

Ms. Denise Mounts, middle school principal, says that she expects the new facility, which is the former high school building, to really increase DMS students academics and decrease behavior problems. While some teachers are still in shock, others are making the most of it. Teachers are using the new copy room and teachers lounge that came with the new building.

And while students are looking at the future, some students are looking back. Eighth grader Kevin Harrall says that he will miss the old hallway, but he will enjoy the new building. "It's a new start for all of us and I'm just glad that I could be a part of it," Kevin said.

A new school year means new teachers in the middle school. New on the staff this year are Mr. Tom Danner, eighth grade science teacher, Kristy Harp, assistant librarian, and Becky Johnson, librarian.

Middle school students appreciate the parents and other district voters who approved the bond issue that made the new facilities possible.


By Amanda Brashear and Jacque Lasiter

 Diamond Daily Staff Writers

   Melody Lievens is the new special education teacher at Diamond Middle School this year. She graduated from Missouri Southern State College. She is 28 years old with twins and is happily married. She is expecting a baby boy.

After she graduated from college, she worked at Joplin South Middle School for a year and a half.She said that she is "very, very impressed" with her room, the building and the students whom she is teaching this year.

Her number one motivation for becoming a teacher was basically she loved to be around children. Mrs. Lievens said that she is impressed with the students' behavior and how everyone could be so close and know everyone in the school.

Mrs. Lievens said she is glad to be working in a smaller district with kind teachers and students. She also wanted to let everyone know that if you want to be great at anything you put your mind to, you should stay in school and enjoy it to the fullest.


By Sarah Sweet

Diamond Daily Staff Writer

The new Diamond Middle School science teacher, Tom Danner, has had a variety of jobs. He earned his teaching degree from Missouri Southern State College in 1970, From there, he taught for a year and a half, then became a restaurant owner and executive chef for two years. After that, he was a machinist ntil a large layoff, so he moved to St. John's Hospital, where he became food production manager for three years.

Mr. Danner has been a teacher for five years and has taught science at Jasper and at Wyandotte, Okla. He was also a culinary arts (cooking) teacher before he came to Diamond.

Mr. Danner said he came here because he heard that the kids were all nice. Also, he prefers smaller schools to larger ones. In a smaller school, he said, everyone knows everyone, while at a larger school nobody knows anyone.

Mr. Danner has lived around here most of his life, but he lived in San Diego, Calif., for 13 years. He has been married for 35 years and has three children. He owns two chihuahuas and a terrier. His hobbies are cooking and genealogy.


By Devin Greenwood and Cody Palmer

Diamond Daily Staff Writers

The seventh grade band is a new program at Diamond Middle School. The director is Mr. Rob Lundien. Mr. Lundien says that the reason he started the seventh grade band is because he wanted to help make the seventh graders better and to give them more individual attention.

That way, when they move to eighth grade, it will make the high school band better.

Seventh grade band members include: Crystal Harrell, Kelsey Henson, Kasey Hockman, Becca Warthen, Lacey Carneal, Caitlin Carter, Cassi Cullum, Tonya Loyd, Courtney Wall, Kaycee Watts, Benny Taylor, Brad Morris, Jessica Adkins, Morgan Fickle, Lee Hollars, Gram Boman, Jennifer Dial, Colter Jones, Amanda Morris, Cody Sales, Jessica Webb, Eli Hicks, Daniel Jones, David Dodson, Devin Greenwood, Justin Holden, Lauri Kuri, Mike Waddell, Harrison George, Paul Conners, Timothy Enayati, Cody Palmer, Amanda Cupp and Isaac McLees.

   Cheerleaders for the 2002-2003 school year have been named at Diamond Middle School.
   Those selected were:
   Seventh grade- Lacey Carneal, Katlyn Long, Lindsay Patterson, Nicole Watson.
   Eighth grade- Kacee Baldwin, Amanda Brashear, Carrie Castor, Alex Chavana, Samantha Vincent, Casey Welch.
   Eighth graders in Mr. Randy Turner's Current Issues class are studying the proposed Nazi march in Skokie, Ill, from the late 1970s.
   A neo-Nazi group led by a man named Frank Collin applied for a permit to hold a parade in Skokie, a suburb of Chicago. Skokie has a large Jewish population, including a number of Holocaust survivors. The issue was whether the Nazi group had First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and assembly, which would allow them to hold the march or if the threat of violence could be used to prevent it.
   The eighth graders watched the 1981 movie "Skokie" starring Danny Kaye last week. This week, they will be debating the issue.
   Project CAT, an attempt to build upon the new attitude at Diamond Middle School in a positive fashion, began today. The program was explained to DMS students Friday during class assemblies fifth, sixth and seventh hours in the school gymnasium.
   Project CAT is designed to reward the students for the good things they do every day. The students have been divided into three teams, sixth grade, seventh grade and eighth grade. Judging is based on academics, behavior, participation in extracurricular activities, volunteerism and support of school activities. At the end of each quarter, the winning team will receive the top prize, which will it choose during a class meeting early in the quarter. The second place team will receive a lesser prize and the third place team will also receive a small prize.
   Students are judged everyday on behavior in the hallways and in the lunchrooms with points tallied each day and posted so the students will know who is leading the competition.
   Points for the class with the best grade point average, fewest negative referrals and most positive referrals will be added at the end of the quarter.
   The class with the most participants in extracurricular activities, including sports, band, Art Club, school newspaper, choir, academic team and Chess Club will receive points at the end of the quarter, as will the class which has the largest number of students attending middle school activities, including ball games, concerts and academic team competitions.
   A strong emphasis is being placed on volunteer work, both at the school and in the community. Students who do volunteer work will have points added to their team's total with no limit on the number of times the students can volunteer. Diamond community organizations who would like help from Diamond Middle School students should contact the school at 417-325-5336.
   Students on the first place team will choose their own prizes, with some of the possibilities that have been discussed including a trip to an MSSC football game, a class dance, a movie at Joplin or a field trip. The second-place team will get to watch a movie at the school, with popcorn and pop. Members of the third-place team will receive a can of pop.
   The idea for Project CAT came from middle school social studies teacher Grant Reed and was developed this summer by a team consisting of Reed, math teacher Nancy Berry and current issues teacher Randy Turner.

By Randy Turner

Diamond R-4 patrons received their first opportunity to look over a "class act" Tuesday night following dedication ceremonies for the new high school building. Board of Education members conducted tours following a brief dedication ceremony before a packed gymnasium.

"We are open for business," Superintendent Mark Mayo said. "Walk around, see what a class act this building is."

The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Mayo, followed by a prayer and the singing of the school song, led by the DHS cheerleaders. Board President Paul Holland introduced the current Board of Education, President Paul Holland, Wayne Webb, Trish Greenwood, Becky Forest , Steve Johnson, Jerry Shipman and Larry Hicks, and former board members who had been involved with the project when it began. Special plaques were given to Elementary Principal Deanna Yokley, High School Principal Robert Blizzard, Administrative Assistant Tiny Bridges, Curriculum and Technology Director Larry Doennig, Transportation and Maintenance Director Eddie Jones and Mayo.

Mike Holland, who served as chairman of the steering committee which directed the successful passage of the bond issue to build the new high school, recognized committee members Mary Hockman, Bob Hockman, Bob Bass, Lisa Matthews, Tom Bradley, Janet Dodson, Colleen Holland, Larry Augustine, Penny Channel, Allen Farley, Valencia Dees, Paul Dieckhoff and Tracy Brown.

A highlight of the ceremony was a tribute to the late R-4 Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith, who put together the successful bond issue package and provided the leadership to get it approved overwhelmingly by R-4 patrons.

"One man who is not here tonight was responsible for this," Mayo said. Dr .Smiths widow, Barbara, and his daughter, Lindsay, were introduced and received a standing ovation. Mayo noted that the building would have not been possible without the work done by Dr. Smith. "This wonderful facility is his legacy."


By Randy Turner

   It's the little things that make volleyball teams into winners and Rachelle Gilliam excels at the little things.

   The Diamond senior backline specialist used her skills to good advantage Tuesday night as the Wildcats defeated Exeter 15-7, 15-4.

   She strafed the Tiger defense with three ace serves to close out game one, then showed off her defensive ability on the opening play of game two.

   A Tiger spike appeared destined to hit the hardwood when Rachelle twisted her body, flew into the air with her arms in front of her and somehow managed to pass the ball to a teammate. Seconds later, an Exeter error gave Diamond a sideout and the home team was on its way to another win.

   It was the type of win that Wildcat Coach Tony Allmoslecher has to appreciate. Not only did his team have an opportunity to fine tune their skills while beating a conference opponent, but he also had a chance to let reserves such as juniors Ashley Beegle and Kristen Bishop get valuable playing time.

   Bishop, in particular, was a revelation, serving seven straight points in game two, while dealing more aces than a riverboat gambler. When Exeter finally managed a sideout, Bishop had staked her team to an 8-0 lead. Senior Ashley Parker and Rachel Whiteley served three points apiece and junior Brittany Gilliam had one in the second game.

   The first game was dominated by Diamond's net play as B. Gilliam collected 10 of her 16 assists, setting up all but one of the Wildcat kills. Senior Ana Paula Carvalho had four kills in the game, while Falicia Phipps added three, Parker two and Jessi Youngblood and Whiteley had one apiece.

   Diamond will play host to McDonald County Thursday night.

   Diamond- Points- Parker 7, Whiteley 7, Bishop 7, R. Gilliam 5, B. Gilliam 3, Youngblood 1; Kills- Carvalho 6, Phipps 5, Parker 4, Youngblood 1, Whiteley 1; Assists- B. Gilliam 16; Ace serves- Bishop 7, R. Gilliam 4, Parker 3, Youngblood 1.


By Randy Turner

   The first time Casey Brown stepped on the floor this year, she was shaking like Jello in a windstorm.

   "It was a lot different playing volleyball in high school," the Diamond freshman said. "I didn't know what to expect and I thought people wouldn't expect me to do very well since I was a freshman."

   It didn't take long for Casey to put those freshman jitters behind her. She has been a top contributor for the Diamond junior varsity volleyball team this year and her talents were on display Tuesday night during the Wildcats' 15-5, 15-7, win over Exeter.

   In her first match of the year, Casey's spikes found the middle of the net as often as they found her opponents' floors. She definitely has the hang of it now. In game two, she nailed three kills off pinpoint sets from Brittney Stevens and Amanda McKee, then served the matchpoint, a floater ace that dropped in nicely between three Tigers.

   Casey doesn't take credit for the success of those spikes. "You're not going to have a good spike unless you have good sets and we have two really good setters," she said, referring to McKee and Stevens. "And they have to have a really good pass from the back row."

   As Casey is quick to point out, volleyball is a team sport and that was exactly how the Wildcats planted themselves in the win column Tuesday night.

   Game one featured strong serving from Stevens and Darci Price and some excellent net play from sophomore Jolene Topham.

   Kristen Hicks started off game two on the right foot, serving the first four points, one an ace and another on a Brown kill. After single serve points from Stevens and Topham, Lendi Stirewalt aced two serves to put Diamond up 8-3. Hicks served three more, one an ace and another on a wicked crosscourt kill by freshman Ricki Fountain from a Stevens set. Topham served the 12th, 13th and 14th points. The 12th and 14th came on aces, while a save by Lauren Fetters eventually resulted in a Brown kill on the 13th.

   Exeter narrowed the gap to 14-7 before McKee earned a sideout with a backhand dink off the net, setting the stage for Brown's floater ace.



By Randy Turner

   An onslaught of powerful serves from Crystal Harrall, Jessica Webb, Amanda Cupp, Jayma King and Courtney Sweet paced the Diamond seventh grade volleyball team to a 15-4, 15-13, win over Wheaton Monday night.

   Harrall stepped to the line with Diamond leading 7-4 in game one and didn't stop serving until the Wildcats recorded their 15th point. She served two aces and it didn't even faze her when the Bulldogs called a timeout to try to throw off her rhythm.

   Cupp had opened the game with three serve points, acing the first two, then C. Sweet served the next four points, mixing in  two aces.

   Game two started out in the same fashion, with Cupp firing three straight serve points, acing the first two. Webb served points four through nine, including four aces. Wheaton bounced back to tie the game at 10-10 and later went up 12-13 before King served out the match.

   Diamond- Points- Cupp 9, Harrall 8, Webb 6, C. Sweet 4, King 3; Ace serves- Cupp 5, Webb 4, C. Sweet 2, Harrall 2, King 1.


By Randy Turner

   Some solid defensive play provided the few highlights for the Diamond Eighth Grade volleyball team in its 15-4, 15-3, loss to Wheaton Monday night.

   Diamond grabbed a 3-0 advantage in game one, thanks to strong serving by LeAnn Dardenne, who aced the first point and Kacie Cooper, who served the next two. One of Cooper's serve points came on a return by Dana Bridges, which landed untouched. The other Cooper provided herself with a spectacular dig on a spike that was divebombing toward the floor.

   Whitney Booyer's floater ace was the only other point scored by the Wildcats in game one. Booyer and Alyshia Bowles had strong saves on what initially appeared to be ace serves for the Bulldogs.

   In game two, Diamond again took the initial lead, thanks to a Brittany Barwick serve point. Two aces by Dardenne provided the only other Wildcat scoring.

   The seventh and eighth grade volleyball teams will play at Granby Tuesday night.

   Diamond- Points- Dardenne 3, Cooper 2, Booyer 1, Barwick 1; Ace serves- Dardenne 3, Booyer 1.


   SENECA-  The hop, skip and jump serving style of Leanne Ross put the Diamond eighth grade volleyball team just five points away from tying Joplin South in the seventh place game of the Seneca Eighth Grade Volleyball Tournament Saturday.

   Ross was almost substituted for when she stepped to the line with her team leading 8-2. She justified her coach's faith in her, ripping through the South defense with two sinking ace serves before the Jasper County crew managed a sideout.

   Unfortuately for the Wildcats, they only scored two points the rest of the way as South put the finishing touches on a 15-7, 15-12, win and claimed seventh place.

   The Wildcats were slow out of the gate in their final match of the day. South took a 7-0 lead before Whitney Booyer regained the serve by faking a pass to a teammate, then politely dumping into the center of the South defense untouched.

   Kacie Cooper served Diamond's first point. South built its lead to 10-1 before the locals mounted their first rally. Booyer aced two serves. After another South point, Katie Dodson served a floater ace, followed by two serve points from Dana Bridges, one an ace and the other on an unreturned hit by Cooper.

   Diamond scored only one more point, an ace by Cooper that hugged the sideline all the way, dropping in just before it reached the back line.

   In game two, Diamond regained its bearings and took its first lead on a Brittany Barwick serve. After two South points, Diamond began to gather momentum, starting with a LeAnn Dardenne serving clinic. Dardenne blistered South with seven serve points, including four aces, giving Diamond an 8-2 advantage.

   Ross added the next two points. Barwick served one on a Ross return of a South spike. A Dardenne ace was the only other point the Wildcats scored.

   Earlier during pool play, Diamond lost 15-2, 15-7, to Seneca, split with Joplin North 15-13, 1-15, and lost to Granby 15-13, 15-2.

   Diamond will play host to Wheaton Monday night.

   Diamond (against South) Points- Dardenne 8, Cooper 2, Booyer 2, Bridges 2, Barwick 2, Ross 2, Dodson 1; Kills- Dardenne 1; Ace serves- Dardenne 5, Booyer 2, Ross 2, Dodson 1, Bridges 1, Cooper 1.


By Randy Turner

   It takes more than one tackler to bring Brent Morgan to the ground.

   Heck, most of the time it takes more than two tacklers to wrestle the shaggy-haired junior to the turf. When the ball is in Brent Morgan's hands, he doesn't want to stop running.

   "Nice run," Diamond Coach Brad Hocker yelled numerous times after Morgan had to be dragged down pushing, kicking and struggling for every extra inch of territory.

   The statistics from Friday night's 54-0 Diamond loss to state-ranked Ash Grove won't show it, but Brent Morgan had another solid running game. On plays when any other runner would have been dropped for a three or four-yard loss, Morgan kept fighting until he was back at the original line of scrimmage. On plays when any other back would have been tackled for no gain, somehow Morgan managed to battle his way for two or three yards.

   Unfortunately for Morgan, there were enough times that the pursuing linemen were able to get to him quickly that he ended up with 17 carries for no net yardage. He also caught two passes for 14 yards.

   It was that kind of night for Diamond. The Pirates scored early and often, going up 48-0 by the end of the first half, thanks to an impressive aerial attack, then tacking on a punt return for a touchdown early in the third quarter to complete the game's scoring. After that, Ash Grove used its reserves and stuck to the ground game.

   Though plagued by turnovers, the Diamond offense moved the chains a few times during the course of the game.

   In their opening drive, the Wildcats, starting at the 32, thanks to a good kickoff return by Justin Lane, went right to the attack. Senior Kody Kelso knifed through the middle for five yards. Morgan gained the first down with a nine-yard run, but the next three running plays went for no yardage or losses.

   Later in the first quarter, the Wildcats picked up another first down on a nifty pass play with junior quarterback Greg Fetters connecting with his classmate, Jake VanLue, for a 14-yard gain.

 Midway through the second quarter, the Wildcats drove from their 25 to the Ash Grove 46, showing some grit as they collected two first downs. On one play, as Ash Grove put on a heavy rush, Diamond countered with a screen pass from Fetters to Morgan for a 13-yard gain.

   After a two-yard pickup by Fetters and a six-yard run by senior Kody Kelso, Fetters picked up the first down with a sneak up the middle. A turnover ended the drive.

   Diamond, 0-5, will play host to School of the Osage at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11.


By Zach Towers

Diamond Daily Editor

   After three meets, Diamond Middle School Cross Country has started its season strong.

   At the first meet at Nixa, Zach Towers finished seventh while Michael Lane finished 14th.

   At the second meet at East Newton, the duo struck with second and third place medals for Towers and Lane, respectively. Also at this meet, Kevin Harrall earned his first medal with an 11th place finish.

   To finish the three-meet streak, Towers and Lane finished second and third again at Diamond Thursday. Out of the top 10 to place, five were from Diamond, with Harrall collecting his second medal, finishing in sixth place, Aaron Johnson his first, finishing eighth, and Lee Hollars finishing in 10th place.




By Randy Turner

   A fourth-quarter touchdown enabled the unbeaten Liberal football team to avoid a defeat from a fired-up Diamond Middle School squad.

   "We gave an unbeaten team all it could handle," Diamond Coach Joe Douglas told his team moments after the final buzzer sounded in the 14-7 loss.

   The Wildcats led 7-6 after three quarters, thanks to an outstanding defensive play by eighth grader Kevin Ortega, whose flying tackle stopped a Bulldog runner dead in his tracks during a two-point conversion attempt in the second quarter.

   Ortega's heroics were among many delivered by the Wildcats. Dustin Watson stopped an early Liberal possession with a fumble recovery. Ortega also recovered a fumble at the beginning of the second quarter and had a quarterback sack.

   In the second half, Josh Matthews had a leaping interception to stop a Bulldog drive that had reached midfield. Michael Lane also committed a little highway robbery of his own, picking off a Bulldog pass in the fourth quarter.

   Diamond's offense put the Bulldogs on their back legs from the start. During Diamond's first possession, Matthews's 52-yard run moved the locals deep into Liberal territory, but eventually the Wildcats were forced to punt.

   The Wildcats broke into the scoring column early in the second period, in a drive set up by a Liberal turnover. Diamond had just been stopped on downs, but the Bulldogs were unable to cleanly field Jake Newsum's punt and Ortega covered it at the Liberal 25.

   From there, it took only two plays to score. On first down, Matthews ran for three yards, then quarterback Cameron Harrington connected with Lane for a 22-yard scoring pass. The conversion attempt almost went awry when the snap was off, but Casey Youngblood was able to put the ball down and Genaro Rangel drilled it through the uprights, giving Diamond a 7-0 lead.

   A 60-yard touchdown pass play late in the half pulled Liberal to within one, 7-6.

   Diamond will play at Sarcoxie at 6 p.m. Monday.


By Randy Turner

   The Diamond seventh and eighth grade volleyball teams fell to Seneca Tuesday night. The seventh grade dropped the opener 15-6, 15-10, with the eighth grade losing 15-2, 15-8.

   In the seventh grade contest, the Wildcats led only once, 1-0 at the beginning of game two, thanks to a Crystal Morgan ace. Seneca scored the next 10 points before Diamond earned a sideout on a serving error. Kasey Hockman served the second point then following a pair of sideouts, Jayma King aced the third.

   A four-point run by King, which moved the Wildcats to within five, 14-9, was the highlight of the match. A Morgan serve point accounted for the final Diamond point.

   Diamond- Points- King 6, Morgan 4, Hockman 2, Courtney Sweet 1; Ace serves- King 4, Morgan 4, C. Sweet 1.

   The Seneca eighth grade servers had the Wildcats on their heels in the eighth grade contest, but Brittany Barwick was able to return a pair of them and bring sideouts for the locals.

   Diamond built a 5-0 lead in game two, thanks to five serve points by Katie Dodson. Dodson aced the first four, then scored the fifth with the help of a Thia Wiggins hit that landed untouched on the Seneca side of the net.

   After a pair of Indian points, Diamond earned a sideout, thanks to Barwick's stellar defense. The Seneca server had already blistered the Wildcats with a pair of aces and the next serve had Brittany's number marked on it. As the sinking line drive came straight at her, Brittany dug in her heels, put her fists beneath the ball and sent it back to the visitors' side. After the sideout, the Wildcats scored the next two points on a pair of Kacie Cooper aces. After a pair of sideouts, the Wildcats scored their final point with Alyshia Bowles serving. Bowles made a good defensive play on an Indian hit, passing the ball to Dodson, who dumped the ball barely over the net where Seneca was unable to handle it.

   Diamond will entertain Jasper Thursday night with the seventh grade match starting at 5:30 p.m.

   Diamond- Points- Dodson 5, Bowles 2, Cooper 2, Dana Bridges 1; Ace serves- Dodson 3, Cooper 2, Bowles 1.


By Kaci Scribner

Diamond Daily Staff Writer

   "Was I just dreaming it happened?"

   Diamond High School senior Addie Whitehead wondered all day Friday if she would be crowned Football Homecoming queen or if it would be one of the other five candidates, freshman Lauren Fetters, sophomore Megan Kinney, junior Jessi Youngblood and senoirs Rachelle' Gilliam and Ashley Parker. Addie said she was nervous all day.

   Addie's first homecoming she remembers going to was her freshman year. "I always wanted to be a homecoming queen, but I never thought I would be," she said.

   When the announcer was about to announce the homecoming king and queen, he had everyone's attention.

   The 2002 Football Homecoming King was Addie's escort, Bobby Taylor. She whispered to Bobby, "Oh, my gosh, way to go, Bob!"

   When the announcer prepared to name the homecoming queen, there was a lot of shaking and butterflies among the six candidates. "The homecoming queen is Addie Whitehead." A big smile came over her face and her hand went to her mouth.

   "At first, I didn't think they said my name," Addie said. "I thought I was dreaming it happened."

   Heather Leake, who crowned Addie, knows a little of what Addie felt. She was the 2001 Football Homecoming queen.

   Heather said, "I remember feeling very nervous and shaking all day."

   Heather told the 2002 candidates, "Don't be nervous and go out there and be happy no matter what happens."


By Randy Turner

   The bump, set and spike mentality of high school volleyball is usually a long way off for middle school players, but the Diamond eighth grade team got a taste of it during its 15-6, 15-6, win over Sarcoxie Monday night.

   In game one, leading 14-6 with Sarcoxie serving, the Wildcats earned a sideout thanks to a Katie Dodson spike from a Dana Bridges set.

   After that, Kacie Cooper finished game one with an ace. The game one win featured five serve points, including two aces, from Brittany Barwick, three serve points from Dodson and two apiece from Bridges and Thia Wiggins.

   It didn't take long for the Wildcats to set the tone in game two. LeAnn Dardenne served the first three points, one of them coming on a diving save of a Sarcoxie hit by Alyssa Simpson. Cooper served points four through six, acing two of them.

   After the visitors trimmed the Diamond advantage to 6-4, Dardenne served five more points, including four aces. Whitney Booyer served the 12th through 14th points.

   Diamond will play host to Seneca Tuesday (Oct. 1)

   Diamond- Points- Dardenne 8, Barwick 5, Cooper 5, Booyer 4, Dodson 3, Bridges 2, Wiggins 2, Alyshia Bowles 1; Kills- Dodson 1; Assists- Bridges 1; Ace serves- Dardenne 6, Cooper 4, Dodson 3, Booyer 3, Barwick 2, Bridges 2, Wiggins 1, Bowles 1.


By Randy Turner

   A late game three rally fell just short as the Diamond seventh grade volleyball team lost to Sarcoxie 13-15, 15-3, 16-14, Monday night.

   The sterling serving of Amanda Cupp gave the Wildcats a chance to pull off the win. She stepped to the line with her team trailing 14-9 and put on a clinic. She aced the 10th and 11th points with balls aimed at the center of the Sarcoxie defense. She sliced the 12th point down the right sideline. After a Bear timeout, she served the 13th point, then the 14th, which came via a Crystal Morgan hit off the net. Sarcoxie managed a sideout, then scored the final two points.

   Jessica Webb provided the winning margin in game one after Sarcoxie had bounced back from a 14-11 deficit to pull to within a point. Webb's line-drive ace gave the Wildcats a one-game advantage.

   Diamond will play host to Seneca at 6 p.m. Tuesday (Oct 1).


By Randy Turner

   It had to be a great feeling.

   After a night of being on the run after Oswego rushers ripped through the line with the intent of taking his head off, Diamond junior quarterback Greg Fetters had a fourth-quarter opportunity for a little payback during the Wildcats' 34-0 Homecoming loss.

   The Wildcats were forced to punt from deep in their own territory about halfway through the final period. As the ball was snapped to junior punter Casey Holland, an Indian was bearing in on Holland. He met up with Greg Fetters instead. Fetters knocked the Indian off his feet and Holland was able to launch a booming 50-yard punt to prevent the opposition from getting good field position.

   It's little victories like that one that keep the young Diamond squad as it builds experience. Oswego attacked early and often, scoring four touchdowns in the first half to go up 28-0. From that point on, Diamond played the Indians nearly evenly, chalking up another moral victory.

   After the halftime Homecoming coronation ceremonies, in which senior football player Bobby Taylor and Addie Whitehead were crowned king and queen, Oswego scored on its first possession of the second half then failed to score again.

   In the fourth quarter, Oswego was knocking on the door once more, but ran into a fired-up Wildcat defense. After Diamond stopped a first-down play for no gain, Taylor broke through and nailed a runner for a five-yard loss on second down. A third-down pass play was completed, but only for a short gain as freshman Zach Barger stopped the receiver six yards short of a first down. The Indians opted for a field goal, but junior Josh Miller smothered it before liftoff.

   The Wildcats had their best possession late in the fourth quarter. After short runs by Kody Kelso and Brent Morgan, Fetters attempted a pass to Holland, who was mugged by an Indian defender. The penalty call gave Diamond a first down at its 35.  After two incomplete passes and a two-yard Fetters run, the juinor quarterback connected with Holland coming across the middle for a 23-yard gain and a first down at the Oswego 40. That was as far as the Wildcats were able to move the ball. A turnover ended the possession after a pair of incomplete passes.

   Diamond, 0-4, will play host to Ash Grove Friday night.



By Randy Turner

   A misplay by Billings' third baseman on freshman Taunie Brewer's sharply hit grounder scored Amanda Ferguson from second and gave the Diamond High School softball team its first win of the year, 10-9 in nine innings.

   "I don't know whether Coach (Danny DeWitt) told me to go or not," Ferguson said.

   The tiny infielder started the rally with a one-out hustle double to center field. She was thinking two bases the minute she hit the ball and slid in under the tag as the center fielder quickly returned the ball to the infield.

   An anxious Ashley Brummett swung and missed at the first pitch. After a talk with DeWitt, the junior watched the next two pitches sail high. Ball three was outside. Brummett started to swing at the next pitch, which was outside, but checked her swing and was awarded first.

   Brewer was up next. She hit the first pitch solidly, but it appeared to be the second out as it went straight toward the Billings third baseman. The fielder let it go between her legs and it was off to the races for Ferguson. She tore around third and slid in well before the throw.

   "It feels good to win," she said. "It's about time."

   The sentiment was shared by her teammates. Pitcher Kathy Harrell put Diamond in a position to win with another strongly-pitched game. The senior control artist walked no one during the entire extra-inning game, while striking out four. Nearly all of the runs against her unearned, the result of Wildcat errors in the middle inning.

   The offense was provided by Ferguson and Brewer, each of whom scored three runs. Diamond started its attack early with Ferguson walking in the first inning, then coming around on a Brummett single and a Brewer double, which also plated Brummett.

   In the second inning, Nicki Bunn walked, stole second and third and scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Ferguson.

   Diamond scored three runs in the fourth with Michelle Darr, Ferguson and Brewer touching the plate.

   The Wildcats will try to make it two in a row when they play host to East Newton Monday.


By Randy Turner

   It took a while to get started, but once the Falicia Phipps show got underway, it was time for the Southwest driver to start the bus for the long ride home.

   Falicia, a junior, put on a spiking display during the final moments of the Diamond volleyball team's 15-13, 15-8, win over Southwest Thursday night.

   The final Wildcat run began with the lead standing at 10-8 and junior Brittany Gilliam at the service line. After Brittany served the 11th point, Falicia blocked a Trojan spike for the 12th. The 13th point came on a Trojan spiking error, the 14th came on a Phipps crosscourt kill from a B. Gilliam assist. On the final point, Phipps took another perfect B. Gilliam set, faked the spike and dropped a dink between three befuddled Trojans.

   The final flurry brought a close to what had been a tough match against a tenacious Southwest squad. In game one, the visitors took a 12-8 lead before the Wildcats got their game going. Senior Ashley Parker, playing another solid all-around game, started the comeback with three serve points, including an ace and a Megan Taylor kill from a B. Gilliam set.

   Solid serving senior Rachelle Gilliam kept things going with two straight ace serves to put the Wildcats up 13-12. After a sideout, a Phipps block regained the serve for the locals. Parker served out the game with the 14th point coming thanks to a poor Trojan set and the 15th came on a line drive ace which hugged the sideline.

   In game two, most of the early damage to the visitors was caused by senior Rachel Whiteley who had five serve points, including an ace.

   Diamond will return to action next week in the annual Diamond Tournament.

   Diamond- Points- Whiteley 8, Parker 7, B. Gilliam 6, Phipps 4, R. Gilliam 3, Jessi Youngblood 1; Kills- Ana Paula Carvalho 9, Phipps 6, Parker 4, Taylor 3, Youngblood 1, Whiteley 1; Assists- B. Gilliam 18; Ace serves- Parker 3, R. Gilliam 2, Phipps 2, Whiteley 1; Blocks- Carvalho 2, Phipps 2.


By Randy Turner

   A never-say-die defense enabled the Diamond junior varsity volleyball team to force a third game against Southwest Thursday night before losing 15-7, 11-15, 15-11.

   Examples of Wildcat hustle weren't hard to find. At one point, it was the diminutive dynamo, Brittney Stevens, diving into the bleachers to keep a ball from going out of bounds.

   Or maybe the play in which sophomore Megan Atkins stood her ground to get the dig on a wicked Trojan spike, making a perfect pass to Stevens, who set up Jolene Topham for the kill.

   Or perhaps the play when freshman Ricki Fountain kept a spike from hitting the ground by twisting her body, getting her hands underneath the ball and flipping it to a teammate.

   The all-out, take-no-prisoners brand of volleyball kept Jim Madden's Wildcats in the game. Topham and sophomore Sarah Simpson each served four points in the second game, with Topham adding three kills as Diamond forced a third game.

   Diamond JV- Points- Stevens 9, Topham 7, Simpson 6, Kristen Hicks 5, Casey Brown 2, Fountain 1, Lendi Stirewalt 1, Atkins 1; Kills- Topham 10, Fountain 1, Hicks 1, Stirewalt 1, Brown 1; Assists- Stevens 13; Ace serves- Fountain 4, Topham 3, Simpson 2, Hicks 1, Brown 1, Atkins 1.

   In a preliminary one-game match, other Diamond and Southwest jayvee players received an opportunity for some playing time and the Wildcats made the most of it, winning 15-6.

   Kristen Bishop and Megan Taylor served five points apiece. Amanda McKee continued her return from an injury with two serve points, including an ace. Taylor ended the game with a vicious kill on a Trojan pass that strayed too close to the net.

   Diamond- Points- Bishop 5, Taylor 5, McKee 2, Darci Price 2, Ashley Beegle 1; Kills- Taylor 1; Ace serves- Bishop 2, McKee 1, Taylor 1, Beegle 1.


By Randy Turner

   Ana Paula Carvalho's 12th kill was the one that finally broke the spirits of a game College Heights volleyball team Tuesday night.

   The Diamond senior took a pinpoint Brittany Gilliam set and slammed it home for her team's 13th point. Two Cougar errors later and the home team claimed an 8-15, 15-7, 15-8, win.

   After losing game one and falling behind early in game two, Diamond battled back behind the serving of senior Rachelle Gilliam to claim the second game. R. Gilliam had nine of her team-high 11 serve points in the second game.

   In the finale, Diamond grabbed a 4-0 lead. B. Gilliam served the first two points, both coming on Cougar spiking errors. Senior Ashley Parker served the next two. The third point came on a Falicia Phipps kill from a B. Gilliam assist. Phipps provided the assist on the fourth point, a Rachel Whiteley kill. The visitors managed to remain close until Diamond began its final push.

   Leading 9-6, Whiteley served the 10th point, followed by two more by R. Gilliam, including a Cougar spike error set up by a Megan Taylor block and a leaping Parker kill from a B. Gilliam assist.

   Phipps served the final three points, including the match-clinching Carvalho kill.

   Diamond will entertain Southwest Thursday night.

   Diamond- Serve point- R. Gilliam 11, Phipps 10, Whiteley 7,  B. Gilliam 6, Parker 3, Jessi Youngblood 1; Kills- Carvalho 12, Parker 7, Phipps 5, Whiteley 3, B. Gilliam 2, Youngblood 2, Taylor 1; Assists- B. Gilliam 26, Phipps 1; Ace serves- Phipps 2, Whiteley 1, R. Gilliam 1; Blocks- Taylor 2, Phipps 1, Carvalho 1.


By Randy Turner

   An eight-point run at the end of game three enabled visiting College Heights to beat the Diamond junior varsity volleyball team 4-15, 16-14, 16-14 Tuesday night.

   The match started out looking like a Diamond runaway as Jolene Topham served eight points, including seven aces in game one.

   The sophomore showed her skills in other facets of the game in game two, collecting six of her team-high 10 kills. Freshman setter Brittney Stevens, who picked up most of her five assists on Topham kills, served four points and Lendi Stirewalt added four in game two, but a late comeback enabled College Heights to tie the match.

   The fiery Stevens put Diamond in front at the beginning of game three, dealing four aces. The Cougars scored the next four points before Topham served the go-ahead point for Diamond.

   She also served the next five points, including three aces to give her team a commanding 10-4 advantage. Ricki Fountain made it 12-4 with two serves, including an ace. After four Cougar points, Diamond moved to within one point of a victory with two Kristen Hicks serve points. The 13th point came on a Topham kill and the 14th on a Fountain kill from a Stevens assist. A Diamond spiking error forced a sideout and College Heights only relinquished the serve one time. After another sideout, the visitors scored the final three points.

   Diamond- Points- Topham 15, Stevens 10, Fountain 6, Hicks 5, Stirewalt 5, Sarah Simpson 2; Kills- Topham 10, Hicks 2, Stirewalt 1, Fountain 1; Assists- Stevens 5, Simpson 1, Amanda McKee 1; Ace serves- Topham 11, Stevens 5, Fountain 2, Simpson 1, Stirewalt 1; Blocks- Topham 2.



By Randy Turner

    It was a calm, collected Genaro Rangel who booted the extra point that put the Diamond Middle School football team up 20-8 over Lockwood at the close of the first half Monday night.

   After all, it was the second extra point the eighth grader had put through the uprights. The first time he kicked one through, he leaped into the air and shouted. The second time..well, hey, he was an old pro by this time.

   Unfortunately, the 20th point was the last time Genaro kicked Monday night as Lockwood scored three second-half touchdowns to nip Diamond 24-20.

   Genaro's kicking exploits were among many highlights for Coach Joe Douglas's squad, which was playing for the first time in two weeks.

   One highlight was the sustained first-quarter scoring drive that put Diamond on the scoreboard for the first time this year. The Wildcats took the opening kickoff and drove 70 yards on 11 plays, scoring on a seven-yard Josh Mathews run. Key plays in the drive included a 20-yard quarterback keeper by Cameron Harrington, a 15-yard gainer by Mathews and a 13-yarder by Clay Norwood.

   The Wildcat offensive line, including Charles Forest, Kevin Ortega, Ryan Clouse, Curtis Russell, and Colton Drake, had little trouble blowing away the Tiger defense and opening big holes.

   Lockwood's first drive ended when Forest and Clouse combined to sack the quarterback for an eight-yard loss on fourth down.

   The Diamond offense took up where it left off, starting at the Lockwood 40 and needing only three plays to score. On first down, a pitch to Norwood netted only two yards, but the Wildcats went right back to the eighth grader for a 33-yard run to the five on second down.

   Norwood ran the five remaining yards on the next play to make it 12-0. Rangel kicked the extra point to increase the margin to 13-0.

   Two more touchdowns were scored in the first half. Lockwood scored on a 25-yard run and two-point conversion to trim the lead to five.

   The Tigers' final scoring drive was set up by their defense. Another key sack, this one by Forest and Mathews gave the Wildcats the ball. Norwood needed only one play, a 62-yard run, followed by Rangel's extra point kick to close Diamond's scoring.

   Lockwood scored twice in the second half, on a 27-yard run with 2:36 remaining in the third quarter, and on a 44-yard run with 4:20 left in the game. The Tigers were successful on both two-point conversions.

   Diamond was led by Norwood, who gained 120 yards on 12 carries. Mathews had 45 yards on six carries, Harrington 11 yards on six carries and Rangel 11 yards on one carry.

   Diamond, 0-2, will play Oct. 3 at Liberal.



   LeAnn Dardenne and Kacie Cooper combined for 19 serve points as the Diamond eighth grade broke into the win column, beating Sarcoxie 15-0, 11-15, 15-2, Monday night.

   All of Cooper's nine points were aces, as were nine of Dardenne's 10. Katie Dodson also had seven serve points, all of them aces. Dodson came up big in the clutch for the Wildcats, serving the winning points in each game

   The Wildcats also had five kills, two by Dodson and one each by Whitney Booyer, Alyshia Bowles and Alicia Bradley. Dardenne had three assists.

   The seventh grade team lost to Sarcoxie 15-8, 15-12.

   Diamond 8th- Points- Dardenne 10, Cooper 9, Dodson 7, Thia Wiggins 4, Booyer 4, Brittany Barwick 2, Dana Bridges 2, Leanne Ross 2, Bradley 1; Kills- Dodson 2, Booyer 1, Bowles 1, Bradley 1; Assists- Dardenne 3; Ace serves- Cooper 9, Dardenne 7, Dodson 7, Booyer 4, Wiggins 2, Bradley 1, Bridges 1.


By Randy Turner

   Christmas is still three months off, so it was visions of interceptions that were dancing in Justin Lane's eyes Friday night during the Diamond football team's 43-0 loss to Thayer.

   The Diamond senior, who stands 5-7 and only weighs 145 pounds if he's soaking wet, made those visions a reality with a big-time play during the third quarter. Thayer had already started the quarter with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to increase its lead to 36-0. Diamond turned the ball back over to the visitors on the kickoff and it seemed Thayer might be on its way to a blowout of historic proportions.

   The Diamond defense stiffened, however, starting with sophomore Nathan Moss, tackling a Bobcat runner for a two-yard loss. Thayer was able to eke out a first down, then picked up another one at the Wildcat 13.

   The Wildcats stopped the next three plays cold. Moss tackled a runner for no gain on first down. Senior Kody Kelso flipped the next Bobcat runner end over end for a three-yard loss on second down.

   That set the stage for Lane's big moment. On third and 13, the Bobcat quarterback dropped back to pass.  Lane read the play all the way. He timed his move perfectly, darting in front of the receiver and grabbing the ball.

   Thayer only scored one touchdown the rest of the way.

   The Diamond offense was never able to get untracked. It did move the ball into Bobcat territory late in the fourth quarter, thanks to a nice run by freshman Caleb DeVillier. DeVillier, starting from the Wildcat 32, broke free for 10 yards. The only way the visitors could tackle him was to yank on his facemask, so another 15 yards was tacked on, giving Diamond a first down at the Thayer 43. An interception ended the threat.

   The Bobcats were in control from the outset, scoring two first quarter touchdowns, then adding a safety and two more touchdowns in the second period. Sophomore Dusty Newsum had an interception for Diamond.

   The Wildcats, 0-3, will entertain Oswego, Kan., Friday night in the annual Homecoming game. For more information about the homecoming royalty candidates, see the story on the Diamond Daily page of Wildcat Central.)


By Randy Turner

   A seven-point game-two serving spree by LeAnn Dardenne was the highlight for the Diamond Eighth Grade volleyball team in its 15-8, 15-11, loss to Seneca Thursday night.

   It appeared the visitors were well on their way to a quick two-game sweep when they grabbed an 8-0 lead in game two until Dardenne stepped to the line.

   Seneca appeared to have a sideout on her first serve, but Alyssa Simpson was able to return an Indian volley, have it graze the top of the net and fall into a Seneca player's lap for Diamond's first point. After that, Dardenne was in control, serving the next six points, including a pair of aces before Seneca was able to manage a sideout. The visitors scored the next two points before a serving error returned the ball to the home team.

   Thia Wiggins aced Diamond's eighth points, served the ninth point, then tied the game when she hit a ball just inches in front of the back line. After that, Seneca outscored the Wildcats 5-1 with Diamond's only point coming on a slicing ace by Alyshia Bowles.

   The Wildcats held the lead only once, 1-0 in game one on a Kacie Cooper serve point. Cooper and Dardenne each served three points in that contest with Wiggins adding two. The game was highlighted by a kill and a pair of timely well-placed dumps by Katie Dodson.

   Diamond, 0-3, will return to action Monday at Sarcoxie.

   Diamond- Points- Dardenne 10, Wiggins 5, Cooper 3, Bowles 1; Kills- Katie Dodson 1; Ace serves- Dardenne 5, Wiggins 2, Bowles 1.


By Randy Turner

   A four-point run in game two was the highlight for the Diamond Seventh Grade Volleyball Team as it fell to Seneca 15-3, 15-5, Thursday night.

   The run started with the Wildcats trailing 13-1. Jayma King started it with an underhanded ace serve. She served three more points, with a solid return by Sarah Sweet and two of them by Crystal Morgan accounting for the points. The only other Diamond point in game two came courtesy of server Jessica Webb.

   In game one, Diamond took the initial lead, thanks to a Webb kill with Amanda Cupp serving. Seneca scored the news 13 points, before Diamond tallied its final two, also served by Cupp, one of them an ace.

   The Wildcats will play at Sarcoxie Monday.

   Diamond- Points- King 4, Cupp 3, Webb 1; Kills- Webb 1, Ace Serves- Cupp 1, King 1.


By Randy Turner

   Seven errors committed in two innings cost the Diamond High School softball team dearly as it lost to Ash Grove 8-4 Tuesday night.

   All eight runs scored off starting pitcher Kathy Harrell were unearned as Diamond made three errors during the Pirates' three-run second inning, two errors leading to three more runs in the fifth and two more errors resulting in the final two runs in the seventh.

   Harrell scattered seven hits and walked no one, going the distance for Coach Danny DeWitt's Wildcats. After Harrell disposed of the visitors on just five pitches in the top of the first, Diamond jumped on top in the bottom of the inning. Michelle Darr lined a single to center to lead off. Taunie Brewer reached on a dropped popup in the infield, with the hustling Darr moving all the way to third. After Brewer swiped second, Harrell lined a one-out, two-run double to give Diamond the lead.

   Ash Grove went ahead for good in the second inning, scoring three runs and added three more in the fifth.

   The Wildcats had a golden opportunity to go on top in the sixth, loading the bases with nobody out on an infield single by Brewer, a walk to Ashley Brummett and a sacrifice bunt by Harrell that was misplayed. The locals only scored two runs, even after scoring the first one and still having the bases loaded with no one out.

   Despite the three error-plagued innings, the Wildcats showed some sparkling defense. Brummett flawleslly handled three chances in the outfield. First baseman Megan Wirth made a nice tag play on a runner when a throw pulled her off the bag. Carla Garoutte made a running one-hand, over the head catch of a wicked liner in the second inning and catcher Robin Bullis gunned down two Pirate runners.

    Diamond will play at McAuley at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.


   Eighth grader Josh Matthews finished fourth in team roping during an AYRA (All Youth Rodeo Association) event at Pierce City Saturday night. He received $15.


By Randy Turner

   Caitlin Carter wasted no time putting the final touches on the Diamond Seventh Grade Volleyball Team's 15-13, 15-3, win over Granby Monday night.

   The submarining righthander hit a low line drive, underhanded shot right into the middle of the Granby defense for an ace and closed out the Wildcats' first victory of 2002.

   It was a solid team effort for the locals, who were paced by Amanda Cupp's 15 serve points, including nine aces. Cupp put Diamond in a commanding position in game two, serving the first 10 points. Jessica Webb nearly finished out the contest, serving the next four, including a line drive ace, setting the stage for Carter's late heroics.

   Game one was a little tougher for Diamond. After taking an 11-5 lead on a Webb ace, the locals gave up three points. They earned a sideout when Jayma King returned a volley and the Cardinals were unable to handle it. Krystal Morgan aced the 12th point, dropping it nicely into the back corner. The game became a little dicey after Granby picked up a sideout and scored four points to tie it at 12-12.

   After a Diamond timeout, a Cardinal serve soared wide. Cupp riddled the Cardinal defense with two aces, then King served the game-winner.

   Diamond will play at Seneca Thursday night.

   Diamond- Points- Cupp 15, Webb 8, King 3, Morgan 2, Sarah Sweet 1, Carter 1. Ace serves- Cupp 9, Webb 3, Morgan 2, King 1, Carter 1.


By Randy Turner

   Three ace serves that barely crossed the net enabled the visiting Granby eighth grade to overcome a game two 14-12 Diamond lead to win 15-12, 16-14 Monday night.

   A low, line-drive ace by Kacie Cooper had put the Wildcats in a position to win, but they were unable to put the 15th point down. Diamond built the 14-12 lead after falling behind 12-11, LeAnn Dardenne served the tying point, then the go-ahead point. After a pair of sideouts, Cooper's ace made it appear that the match would go to a third game.

   The much-improved Diamond squad rode the strong serving of Katie Dodson, who had three aces, and Sam McCallum who served three points, in the early portion of the game.

   In game one, Dodson had four serve points, with Cooper adding three. Whitney Booyer collected the only Diamond kill, a well-placed dink.

   Diamond will play at Seneca Thursday night.

   Diamond- Points- Dodson 8, Dardenne 7, Cooper 5, McCallum 3, Booyer 2, Thia Wiggins 1; Kills- Booyer 1; Ace serves- Dodson 6, Cooper 5, Dardenne 2, Booyer 1.


By Randy Turner

   A safety at the beginning of the second quarter was the only score Monday night as the Diamond Middle School football team lost its season opener to Pierce City 2-0.

   The game was a showcase for both defenses with Diamond's big-play defense coming up big time after time. The Eagles were in Diamond territory most of the first half, but Coach Joe Douglas's defense didn't let them cross the goal line.

   On Pierce City's first possession, two running plays were stopped for no gain. The first was smothered by John Fountain and Dustin Watson, while Colton Drake slammed into the carrier on the second, forcing the visitors to punt.

   A bad snap on a Diamond punt gave Pierce City its first scoring opportunity midway through the first quarter with a first down on the Diamond 15. Drake nailed the Eagle runner for no gain on first down. A second down pass play netted eight yards, but a Kevin Ortega tackle kept the receiver from getting a first down or from breaking into the end zone. An illegal procedure penalty made it third and seven at the 12. Ortega, Watson and Charles Forest gang-tackled the runner for a one-yard loss on third down. A fourth and eight pass play was completed, but was stopped with only a four-yard gain, thanks to a nice play by Ortega.

   The Diamond offense was unable to move the ball on that possession and after the Wildcats lost yardage, the Eagle defense was able to force a safety as the second period began.

   The defense was under the gun again after the free kick, which put the Eagles into Diamond territory at the 45. Pierce City moved the ball to a first and goal at the 8 before the Wildcat defense stiffened.

   On first down, Ortega and Forest nailed the runner for a four-yard loss. An incomplete pass and an illegal use of hands penalty against Pierce City made it second and goal at the 22. A sweep gained eight yards, then the Diamond defense swarmed on a Wildcat runner for no gain on third down.

   Casey Youngblood and Watson sacked the quarterback on the fourth down play to end the threat.

   The defense played well the entire second half with Ortega picking up an interception. A highlight for the offense was a Cameron Harrington pass to Youngblood, which the seventh grader caught in heavy traffic.

   Diamond, 0-1, will have a long rest before returning to action Monday, Sept. 23, at Lockwood.



By Randy Turner

   A five-run fourth inning propelled the McAuley High School softball team to an 11-1 win over Diamond Thursday afternoon.

   All five runs were unearned as the home team committed four errors during the inning. Freshman Taunie Brewer threw a strong game for Coach Danny DeWitt's Wildcats, giving up no unearned runs on just three hits and three walks through the first six innings, before tiring in the seventh. She struck out eight.

  Diamond scored its only run in the fifth on a two-out double off the third-base bag by freshman Michelle Darr, followed by a double to the left-center field wall by sophomore shortstop Amanda Ferguson.

   The Wildcats were limited to five hits with Ashley Brummett, Kathy Harrell and Brewer each getting a single. Diamond, 0-4, will play at Miller Tuesday.



Diamond Daily Staff Writers

This year's volleyball is in full swing for seventh and eighth graders. Practices started Aug. 19. The first game is Thursday, Sept. 12, at Wheaton.

Coach Bobbi Sweet said, "The girls are ready, but we're still working on some things." She coaches seventh grade volleyball. Whitney Mounts coaches eighth grade.

Team members are:

Seventh grade- Kasey Hockman, Jessica Webb, Tonya Loyd, Krystal Morgan, Cassie Cullum, Crystal Harrall, Courtney Sweet, Caitlin Carter, Amanda Harris, Amanda Cupp, and team captains Sarah Sweet and Jayma King.

Eighth grade- Whitney Booyer, Brittany Barwick, Dana Bridges, Sam McCallum, Kacie Cooper, Katie Dodson, Alicia Bradley, Alyshia Bowles, LeAnn Dardenne, Thia Wiggins, Leanne Ross and Alyssa Simpson.



Diamond Daily Staff Writers

Diamond Middle School football players are working on offense, defense and special teams. "We will have a good season," Coach Joe Douglas said. "We have 12 new players and six old players."

The squad will play its first game at home 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, against Pierce City.

Players on this year's team are: Josh Mathews, Colton Drake, Caleb Lucas, Charles Forest, Phillip Body, Ryan Clouse, Cameron Harrington, Kevin Ortega, Jake Newsum, Clint Myers, Jake Edge, Clay Norwood, Bryce Dailey, Michael Lane, Casey Youngblood, Curtis Russell, Dustin Watson, John Fountain and Daniel Callis. Team managers are Colton Griffin, Tim Enayati, Stephanie Taylor, Jennifer Buening and Kelsey Henson.


By Randy Turner

   Senior Ashley Parker served the final point in the Diamond High School volleyball team's season-opening 15-10, 15-3, win over Jasper Tuesday night in the first game played in the new Diamond gymnasium.

   It was a fitting conclusion to a game which saw Parker shine in all areas of play, serving six points, putting down four kills, and putting up an assist for a Brittany Gilliam kill.

   Diamond dominated the match from the outset, with senior Rachelle Gilliam scoring the first point. After a sideout, Megan Kinney regained the serve with a wicked kill from a B. Gilliam set. Jessi Youngblood scored the next four points, including an ace.

   After a brief Eagle rally knotted the game at 6-6, junior Falicia Phipps put the Wildcats in charge for good with eight straight serve points, including a pair of aces. Parker served the final point.

   R. Gilliam served the first three points in game two. After a Jasper point, Parker continued the onslaught. She scored the fourth point when an Eagle spike went into the net, the fifth on a Phipps dink, then she blistered the Eagle defense with a hoppin', boppin', for their caskets they'll be shoppin' ace serve. Youngblood served the next two points, including an ace.

   Senior Rachel Whiteley handled most of the rest of the scoring, reeling off six serve points, two coming on Parker kills from B. Gilliam sets and another on a B. Gilliam kill from a Parker assist.

   Diamond, 1-0, will play at Sarcoxie Thursday night.

   Diamond- Serve points- Phipps 8, Whiteley 6, Parker 6, Youngblood 6, R. Gilliam 4; Kills- Parker 4, Ana Paula Carvalho 4, Youngblood 3, Kinney 2, Phipps 1, B. Gilliam 1; Assists- B. Gilliam 13, Parker 1; Ace serves- Phipps 2, R. Gilliam 1, Youngblood 1, Whiteley 1; Blocks- Phipps 1.


By Randy Turner

   Surfing the net paid off for freshman Brittney Stevens during the Diamond junior varsity volleyball team's 6-15, 15-6, 16-14, win over Jasper Tuesday night.

   The diminutive dynamo, playing her first volleyball match for a Diamond team after transferring here last November, didn't give up on three balls after they went into the net, resulting in two points and a sideout for her team.

   She also excelled in every other facet of the game, leading the Wildcats with 18 serve points, including six aces and eight assists.

   Most of the assists went to sophomore Jolene Topham, who sparkled throughout the contest with a team-high nine kills and two blocks. Topham also contributed three aces among her four serve points.

   It didn't look like the first official game to be played in the new DHS gymnasium was going to be a winner at the outset. The visitors had little trouble winning game one, but Stevens turned the match around in game two. After Jasper went up 1-0,  the freshman served the next 13 points, mixing floater aces with line drive aces, with an occasional Topham kill added for spice.

   Topham aced the 14th point to make it 14-1 before Jasper rallied briefly for five points. Sophomore Kristen Hicks, who played a solid all-around match, evened the match with an ace serve.

   Freshman Lauren Fetters gave Diamond an early lead in game three. With the score 2-2, Fetters served four points, acing the final three. Lendi Stirewalt served the next two points. After that, it was all Jasper, as the Eagles scored 11 of the next 13 points to go up 13-8.

   Freshman Casey Brown, in her volleyball start at any level, started the winning comeback with a pair of serve points. Her classmate, Ricki Fountain, substituted for her and added another one to trim the Jasper lead to two.

   After a sideout, Diamond regained the serve on a Topham kill from a Stevens set. Stevens served the Wildcats to within one, saving a sideout by digging the ball out of the net and pitching it to Topham who slammed it down for the kill. Stevens aced both the tying and go-ahead points. Jasper rallied to tie the game at 14-14, but a serve point from sophomore Sarah Simpson put Diamond up 15-14. After two more sideouts, Hicks served the winner, which once again came as a result of a hustling save by Stevens out of the net.

   The Diamond JV squad, 1-0, will play at Sarcoxie Thursday night.

   Diamond JV- Points- Stevens 18, Topham 4, Simpson 4, Fetters 4, Hicks 2, Stirewalt 2,  Brown 2, Fountain 1; Kills- Topham 9, Hicks 1, Stirewalt 1; Assists- Stevens 8; Ace Serves- Stevens 6, Topham 3, Fetters 3, Simpson 1, Hicks 1, Stirewalt 1; Blocks- Topham 2.



   The Diamond High School softball team lost to Monett 17-10 Monday in the season opener for both teams. Diamond's attack featured a double and a single by junior Ashley Brummett and a pair of singles from freshman Michelle Darr. The Wildcats had 10 runs on nine hits and committed four errors. The Wildcat JV team lost 8-3.



   Monday, Sept. 9- Pierce City at Diamond

   Monday, Sept. 23- Diamond at Lockwood

   Thursday, Oct. 3- Diamond at Liberal

   Monday, Oct. 7- Diamond at Sarcoxie

   Thursday, Oct. 10- Jasper at Diamond

   Monday, Oct. 14- Skyline at Diamond

   Diamond Middle School Volleyball Schedule

   Thursday, Sept. 12- Diamond at Wheaton

   Monday, Sept. 16- Granby at Diamond

   Thursday, Sept. 19- Diamond at Seneca

   Monday, Sept. 23- Diamond at Sarcoxie

   Monday, Sept. 30- Sarcoxie at Diamond

   Tuesday, Oct. 1- Seneca at Diamond

   Thursday, Oct. 3- Jasper at Diamond

   Saturday, Oct. 5- Diamond 8th at Seneca Tournament

   Monday, Oct. 7- Wheaton at Diamond

   Tuesday, Oct. 8- Diamond 7th at Seneca Tournament

   Thursday, Oct. 10- Diamond at Granby

   Monday, Oct. 14- Diamond at Liberal




Jeri Rinehart and volleyball have always fit together perfectly. They will continue to do for the next four years.

Jeri, a Diamond High School senior, has chosen to continue playing volleyball at Missouri Southern State College in Joplin. She plans to study either sports medicine or nursing.

"Southern offered me a full ride and they understood my surgery and they still wanted me even though I was hurt." Jeri has a verbal contract stating that she will play for Southern, but she will not officially sign a letter of intent until April. She also plans to run track at Southern.

Jeri has been around volleyball for most of her life, taking an interest in sixth grade when she started working with former varsity coach Bill Presley and his wife, Becky. "The Presleys would work with me to get me started," she said. She gives them the credit for inspiring her to work to make the most of her volleyball talents."They invited me to watch tournaments and to practice and hang out with the high school team all through middle school."

In middle school, Jeri did a little bit of both hitting and setting. "I've always loved volleyball, even when I first started practicing."

Jeri went into her freshman volleyball season thinking she was going to be a setter, but after leaving one week for church camp, she came back and was told Heather Leake was going to set and she was going to hit.

Now, when people talk about Jeri and volleyball, the main thing that comes to mind is her hitting, but she is talented at all phases of the game.

"Jeri is the best all-around volleyball player that I've ever seen in high school. She is the best hitter and all around player and has more talent that I've ever seen in one person," said freshman Megan Atkins, who practiced with Jeri last season.

Anyone who watched the varsity team in action knows what Megan is talking about. After Heather Leake made her perfect sets, Jeri did her three-step approach and spiked the volleyball so fast and hard that most of the time, opposing players had no time to react.

Jeri started on the varsity team during her freshman year and continued to do so for the rest of her high school career. "There was a lot of pressure (during the freshman year)," Jeri said, "but Heather was there with me starting so we were nervous together. It was just awesome."

Younger Diamond players at both the high school and middle school level look up to Jeri and she has some advice for them. "Just want to be good to make others better," she said. "Enjoy it and give the glory to God. I mean, my ability to jump and all comes from Him."

Jeri says the people who inspired her the most and whom she looked up to the most were Becky Presley and Jenni Badley. "They were both really good team players and they worked extremely hard," Jeri said.

Jeri had an extremely successful senior year for DHS volleyball, making the all-regional team. She is on the ballot for all-state, which has not been selected yet.

"My best memory of high school volleyball was beating Joplin this year," she said. "I felt like that was the best game I've ever played."

As well as she played, it was hard to tell that Jeri was in pain for a great deal of the season.

She had tendinitis and her physical problems grew from there. About halfway through her senior season, her shoulder began to hurt more. "My shoulder would never hurt during the game," she said, "but always afterwards. I would get a sharp, constant ache no matter how much we iced or heated it." Shortly after volleyball season was over, Jeri had surgery for tearing in her cartilage, elasticity of the tendons and her rotator cuff was starting to tear. The surgery was successful.

With that behind her, she can look forward to college volleyball, but she has nothing but fond memories of the past four years of DHS volleyball, which she said have gone by really fast. "Next year in college, playing with different people won't be too strange because I've played with lots of different people and teams, but I will miss my teammates."


Sporting activities from the 2000-2001 school year and from the first quarter of the 2002-2003 school year are featured on the Wildcat Central archives pages. Edit