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2000-2001 Archives

This page features news items from the 2000-2001 school year at Diamond Middle School, as well as some high school items.


By Randy Turner

One of the most difficult things for young volleyball players to do is to dig the ball out of the net and hit it back to the other side. Diamond seventh grader Ricki Fountain's ability to do just that led her team to a game one win Monday night.
Unfortunately, that 16-14, come-from-behind win was the only highlight for Coach Jim Hettinger's squad as it fell to Seneca 14-16, 15-9, 15-8.
Diamond had to bounce back from a 14-12 deficit to win game one. After a timeout, an Indian spiked the ball into the net, enabling the locals to avoid a game-one loss. Amanda McKee pulled Diamond to within one point with an ace serve. After a Seneca timeout, it was time for the Wildcats to put on their Fountain show. One of Ricki's teammates hit the ball into the net, where it was poised to divebomb straight to the floor when Ricki got her hands under it and punched it back over the net where it fell untouched to tie the score.
McKee served the go-ahead point on another Fountain hit, forcing Seneca to spend a second timeout. McKee didn't need any help from Fountain on the gamepoint. She blistered the Indian defense with a slantin', enchantin' if it was football she'd be headed toward Canton ace serve.
Diamond appeared headed for its first win of the season, thanks to putting a Hext on the visiting team at the beginning of game two. Katy Hext stepped to the service line with the scored knotted at 2-2 and when she left the Wildcats had a three-point lead.The first point came on a Darci Price kill from a Hext set, the only kill recorded by Diamond Monday night. Hext aced the next two serves to make it 5-2.
Seneca grabbed the lead with four straight points. Diamond managed a sideout when the Indian server put it directly into the net. Fountain's ace down the sideline tied the game at 6-6. A floater ace by Brittany Busse put the Wildcats ahead for the last time 7-6.
It was the last home game for the seventh graders who will play at Granby at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.


By Randy Turner

Serving woes prevented the Diamond eighth grade volleyball team from ever getting any momentum Monday night as it lost to Seneca 15-4, 15-2, in the squad's final home match.
Only six of Diamond's 17 serves successfully crossed the net. This enabled Seneca to jump to leads of 10-0 in game one and 13-0 in game two before the Wildcats were able to mount brief late rallies.
In game one, with the score 10-0, Diamond earned a sideout when Sarah Simpson received the serve, bumped the ball to Megan Kinney, who passed it to Holly Renfro for the kill. Lendi Stirewalt's ace put Diamond on the scoreboard.
After another Indian point, Renfro served a floater ace for the second point. She served another point and Simpson collected an ace for Diamond's final game-one point.
A late spiking spree by Kinney enabled the Wildcats to keep from being shut out in game two. With Seneca up 12-0, Kinney prevented the 13th point with a kill from a Melissa Bishop set. Diamond was unable to score and Seneca collected its 13th point. After a sideout, Simpson scored the initial point on a Kinney spike from a Bishop set.
Kinney's ace accounted for Diamond's only other point.
The Wildcats will play at Granby Thursday night.

By Randy Turner

You couldn't blame Genoa Johnson for being a little nervous. She had the same ambivalent look every youthful volleyball player has when she is placed into the game. Coach Eddie Jones had just placed the eighth grader on the back row during Friday night's 15-2, 15-6, loss to Wheaton.
She wanted the ball to be served to her and at the same time she was hoping it would be served to someone else, anyone else. If that was what she was hoping, she was out of luck.
Wheaton's best server tossed the ball into the air and let a line drive serve go. It barely crossed the net...and was headed right toward Genoa. The pint-sized Miss Johnson stood her ground, cleanly fielded the serve and passed the ball to Megan Kinney, who hit it over the net and eventually Diamond earned a sideout. It was the kind of play that brings a smile to Coach Jones. Unfortunately, there weren't enough of them for the improving Wildcats.
In game one, Diamond fell behind 8-0 before Amy Cokerham broke the ice with a hoppin', boppin' watch them scatter as it drops in, ace serve. Lendi Stirewalt served the other point in game one.
Cokerham was also the star server in game two, scoring a couple of points, including an ace.
The seventh grade team lost the opener 15-5, 15-2. In game one, Ricki Fountain gave the locals their only lead, serving the first point. After the Bulldogs scored the next four, Liz "The Terminator" Arnold served the second point and Lauren Fetters, whose serving has improved immensely the last two matches, scored the third. Diamond's other game-one points were served by Fountain, an ace, and Amanda McKee.
Game two was all Bulldogs with Wildcat highlights provided by a Fountain ace and a nicely-executed dump by Brittany Busse.


By Randy Turner

Though the helmet obscured it, it wasn't hard to imagine the look on seventh grader Luke Hockman's face after his error in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night's 24-6 loss cost his Diamond Middle School team five yards.
The Wildcats, trailing 18-0, had just received five yards from Lockwood on an off-sides penalty, when Luke jumped before the snap and gave it right back to the home team. For just an instant, he bowed his head, held his helmet in his hands, realizing what he had done.
"Don't let it get you down, Luke," a voice called from the stands, soon joined by two or three others. They didn't need to worry. Luke Hockman was not going to let one little misplay stand in his way.
A few moments later, on the very next play, it was Luke's key block that busted eighth grader Justin Bessman loose for Diamond's only touchdown. He took out a Lockwood defender, opening up plenty of space for Justin Bessman to complete his two-yard run to the corner of the end zone.
That was the highlight in a frustrating evening for Coach Dustin Miller's Wildcats. Things looked promising when Diamond, on its first possession, took the ball from its 35 to the Lockwood 2, a drive that started at the 6:24 mark of the first quarter and didn't end until the 5:25 mark in the second quarter.
The biggest play in the solidly constructed 15-play drive was a 15-yard Caleb DeVillier run. Otherwise, the Wildcats ground out the yardage three or four yards at a time. A penalty gave Diamond a first and goal at the two, but that was close as the locals could get to the end zone. A pair of quarterback sacks, the second of which sent Wildcat quarterback Tyler Youngblood from the game, cost Diamond 15 yards and a fourth down play was stopped for no gain.
Lockwood scored on its next possession on a 53-yard run. The score was 6-0 at halftime.
The Tigers added two more touchdowns in the third period to go up 18-0 before Diamond mounted its only scoring drive with 5:52 left in the game, beginning with runs of three and seven yards by quarterback Levi Dees and Bessman.
Bessman carried the ball the majority of the time during the drive. He followed up his initial seven-yard run with another one. After a short gain by Anthony Shipman, Bessman ran for eight yards and another Wildcat first down.
Runs by Shipman and Bessman gave Diamond a first and goal at the four. The off-sides penalty took the ball half the distance, then Diamond was penalized five, setting the stage for Bessman's scoring run.
Lockwood scored its final touchdown on the last play of the game.
Diamond, 1-2, will be off for three weeks before resuming its schedule at Liberal Monday, Oct. 9.


By Randy Turner

It would have taken a crowbar and two sticks of dynamite to pry the football loose from freshmen Greg Fetters's hands at the conclusion of the Diamond junior varsity's 16-12 season-opening win over Pierce City Tuesday night.
Fetters stripped the Eagle ball carrier on the last play of the game to prevent what at first appeared to be the winning touchdown.
It was a valiant stand by a Diamond defense which thought it had put Pierce City away a few moments earlier when a fourth down pass fell incomplete, but a roughing the passer call gave the visitors a new life and meant Diamond had to stop them four more times.
On first and goal at the nine, a run took the ball to the three where Kyle Kelso made the stop that kept the runner from getting into the end zone. The Eagle quarterback spiked the ball to stop the clock and Diamond called a timeout with 7.9 seconds remaining. "You've got to be aggressive," Coach Brad Hocker told his team in the huddle. "You've got to step up and drive them back."
When play resumed, the Eagles went to the run and Fetters taking the coach's instructions to be aggressive seriously stripped the ball and came running out of the pileup with it as the game came to an end.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Eagles took their only lead, 2-0, early in the second period when they sacked quarterback Landon Dees in the end zone. Diamond took its initial lead late in the period when freshman Brent Morgan broke a tackle and scampered 72 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion, a Morgan run, was successful to put Diamond up 8-2. That was the score at halftime.
Diamond had its best possession to open the third quarter, taking the ball 68 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 27-yard pass play from Dees to Morgan. Other key plays in the drive included a 17-yard pass from Dees to junior Denton Jones and a 35-yard run by Morgan. Diamond was successful on the two-point conversion, a pitch to Morgan, to take what appeared to be a commanding 16-2 lead.
The Eagles fought back late in the quarter on a 64-yard pass play. Another pass for the conversion trimmed Diamond's lead to 16-10 and set up a thrilling fourth quarter.
Pierce City had field position its way during the final quarter, but was unable to crack into the end zone. Its best opportunity came on defense with less than four minutes remaining. Diamond had a fourth and 14 at the 2. There was no way Coach Hocker was going to risk having punter Clarence Evans getting one blocked in the end zone for a potential game-winning touchdown. Center Daniel Brown intentionally fired the ball high and through the end zone as Evans stepped aside. The maneuver gave Pierce City its second safety and cut the Wildcat lead to 16-12, but it also gave the home team some much-needed breathing room.
Pierce City began its next possession from the Wildcat 47, but immediately coughed up the ball as Denton Jones made a falling-down interception. A couple of first downs would have wrapped up the game, but Pierce City's defense stepped up and forced the Wildcats to punt with two minutes left. A strong punt return took the ball all the way to the Diamond 18 where junior Jared Addington prevented the touchdown by bringing the returner down.
A first down running play netted only one yard. On second down, Adam Evans, Kyle Kelso and David Long broke through and slammed the quarterback to the ground. On third down, Zach Cope broke up a pass play and Pierce City asked for a timeout.The fourth down pass fell incomplete, but the roughing penalty set the stage for Fetters's last-second heroics.

Pam Findley, Diamond Middle School and High School business teacher has resigned to take a position as a business instructor at Carthage Senior High School. Ms. Findley had taught in the R-4 School District for the past six years.
She received her bachelor's degree in business education from Missouri Southern State College in 1991 and taught three years at Vatterott College in Joplin before coming to Diamond. In addition to her classroom duties, she was the high school cheerleading sponsor here.


Glenda Ball, special services director for the Diamond R-4 School District, has resigned to accept a position in the Neosho R-5 School District.


First-year teacher Teresa Marie Rodgers has been hired to teach middle school and high school business courses. Ms. Rodgers did her student teaching at Carthage.


A new varsity sport, wrestling, has been added to the extracurricular activities offered at Diamond High School. The decision was made by the R-4 Board of Education at its June 21 meeting.
Joe Douglas, who was recently hired to replace Richard Davenport as middle school science teacher, will be the wrestling coach.


By Randy Turner
The little voices were working overtime for 66 Diamond eighth graders Thursday night as they said their goodbyes to middle school and prepared for the next step in their academic careers.
Holly Renfro's little voice was telling her not to trip as she walked across the platform to accept her certificate from Middle School Principal Ron Mitchell. She had good reason to be concerned. "I tripped today during practice," she said, "and I didn't even have high heels on."
The high heels didn't faze Holly a bit. When she returned to her seat, she took a few moments to examine the certificate that signified that she was no longer a middle school student.
The little voice Samantha Young heard was an echo of her parents' telling her what would be the proper posture for such a solemn occasion. "My parents have been telling me 'bring your shoulders back and keep your back straight." Samantha's parents proudly watched as their daughter followed the instructions to the letter.
Sara Atwell's voice reminded her of the money she would be receiving later on, while Sarah Simpson's focused on the dance that was held immediately afterward in the cafeteria. "Party hearty," the DMS Student Council president said.
Joe Horton had two different voices, leading him in two directions. During the three hours between the end of school and the graduation ceremony, he changed his mind numerous times about whether he would go to the ceremony. He was one of the ones who proudly walked across the stage.
"High school is at your very doorstep," R-4 Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith told the eighth graders. He had the parents and grandparents of the students stand and the eighth graders gave them a round of applause.
Dr. Smith encouraged the students to make the most of their high school years. "As you go through high school," he said, "don't take the easy road. Take rigorous courses. Test yourself. Focus and stay focused."
He quoted the Apostle Paul, encouraging the eighth graders to "run in such a way as to win the prize."
Principal Ron Mitchell introduced co-valedictorians Kristen Hicks and Lendi Stirewalt, each of whom had perfect. 11.0 grade point averages during their sixth, seventh and eighth grade years.
In her address, Kristen took the students through their elementary and middle school years. She thanked God, her parents, her family, her teachers and "the friends who have always been there for me. Throughout the past years," she said, "our class has stuck together through good and bad, thick and thin. We have braved new classrooms and new teachers, new hallways and soon we will start high school, a whole new adventure."
"No matter what we go through," she concluded, "the class of 2005 will always cherish these precious memories."
Lendi's address reminded the students of the importance of what awaits them. "The past is behind us and the future is ahead. During the next four years, we will determine much of what the distant future holds." She thanked her family and parents "for getting me started and never giving up on me. Thank you to all of my friends who have encouraged me to do my best. Even more than these, however, I'd like to thank my God, who will never let me down and gives me strength to carry on."
She concluded by saying, "Thanks to everyone who has helped us get this far and please continue your encouragement throughout the next few years."
Other students making the Top 10, in alphabetical order, were: Patrick Beckett, Graham Cox, Rikki Dardenne, Susan Johnson, Megan Kinney, Anthony Shipman, Matt Sutherland and Samantha Young.
Following the valedictory speeches, Mitchell presented the eighth graders with their certificates. The eighth graders reacted differently as they walked across the stage. Nate Compton was solemn, while Joe Garrison threw his arms into the air in victory. A big smile crossed Cliff McKee's face after he accepted his certificate. Melissa Bishop worried about falling before she reached the platform but she navigated it without any problems.
Members of the Diamond Eighth Grade Class of 2001 are: Megan Atkins, Heather Atler, Sara Atwell, John Barnett, Josh Beckett, Patrick Beckett, Justin Bessman, Zach Billings, Melissa Bishop, Aaron Boman, Kyle Bridges, Cody Brown, Tara Brown, Randy Callis, Andrea Chaney, Amy Cokerham, Nate Compton, John Cook, Graham Cox, Rikki Dardenne, Amanda Ferguson, Joe Garrison, Josh Gill, Chase Green, Jackie Hail, Kristen Hicks, Sarah Hoffman, Jessica Holden, Joseph Horton, Andi Ingersoll, Brent Jackson, Mike'l Jackson, Genoa Johnson, Susan Johnson, Megan Kinney, Stephanie Langland, Tosha Loyd, Jordan Macy, Andrew Martens, Timmy Matthews, Brittany McBride, Cliff McKee, Justin McLees, Justin Mosley, Heather Ogle, Leticia Rangel, Franklin Rawlings, Holly Renfro, Korey Scribner, Kendra Sharon, Anthony Shipman, Sarah Simpson, Patti Smart, David Spry, Shenoah Stewart, Lendi Stirewalt, Matt Sutherland, Kaci Testerman, Jolene Topham, Greg Tummons, Greg Vincent, Ryan Waggoner, Brandon Webb, Krista White, Nancy Wiggins and Samantha Young.

By John Barnett, Graham Cox and Brandon Webb

April 26, 2001

A proposal to move fifth grade into Diamond Middle School will be discussed at the next R-4 Board of Education meeting or at a meeting sometime in the near future.
Middle School Principal Ron Mitchell says that the move would be good as far as spreading out the classes evenly, but there might not be "enough space" if the school grows too much.
If the fifth grade does move into the middle school, it would take up about three rooms.The elementary classes would in turn occupy the current middle school area and so on with the kindergarten and special education classes to follow. If this addition is made, Diamond will have one of the largest middle schools in the area.
Elementary Principal Deanna Yokley comments that the fifth grade "would be considered more immature" to the staff and other students in the middle school.Mrs. Yokley also said it will be a "better fit" for the students and teachers.
School Board Member Wayne Webb said,"It would help to organize teams, so not one class will be left out. For example, the eighth graders and the seventh graders would kind of work together and so the sixth graders wouldn't be by themselves, the sixth graders and the fifth graders would be together. If the fifth graders move into the middle school, it will not go into effect until after Christmas 2001 when the new high school is finished.
A dance for Diamond Middle School eighth graders was held Thursday, May 25, in the school cafeteria. After graduation exercises were held in the high school gymnasium, students went to the dance, which lasted until 10 p.m.
Highlights of the event included a dance contest,which was won by Sarah Hoffman and Graham Cox. The secret, Sarah said, is "you just have to shake your booty."
Graham added, "You have to know how to work the beat."
Megan Kinney was the winner in the Fat Funky Elephant Contest, saying that phrase with 11 marshmallows in her mouth.
The dance was termed a success by the students. It was organized by their parents.

Awards to top students in Randy Turner's Current Issues class were presented during the annual Awards Day ceremonies May 16 in the Diamond High School gymnasium.
Top students were:
Eighth Grade- Samantha Young, Anthony Shipman
Seventh Grade- Liz Arnold, John Gossard.
Top Writer Awards were presented to:
Eighth Grade- Kristen Hicks, Megan Atkins.
Seventh Grade- Lauren Fetters, Casey Patterson

By: Aaron Boman and Cliff McKee

April 27, 2001
Many schools are considering the use of school uniforms to combat violence and the problem of students
putting down those who do not dress well. No one has suggested adding school uniforms here. And if they did,they would run into opposition among Diamond Middle School students. The student body is still very much against the idea of school uniforms.
Student Council President Sarah Simpson is against uniforms.She said that students should'nt lose their individuality.
Mrs. Sue Macy, middle school secretary, is also against uniforms. She says that "as long as behavior is well and
the clothes are decent, students should be allowed to wear what they want.
However, Mr. Grant Reed, social studies teacher, thinks that "if everybody is equal there won't be any discrimination among the students.
A survey of 31 students and four teachers indicated only one teacher liked uniforms and three students didn't care. The other 28 students all opposed uniforms.

By: Josh Beckett, Greg Vincent and Nancy Wiggins
April 26, 2001

Diamond Middle School track team has earned 16 first place medals in four track meets. Megan Kinney had an outstanding meet at Lockwood. She earned first place in the high jump with tying the school record with five feet.
Both eighth grade boys and girls 4x100 relay teams finished first in the Diamond and Lockwood meets and hope to keep going for the gold.
Many other kids are still pushing themselves to get better so they can get to the top.
Track participants are: John Gossard, Josh Dresslaer, Ryan Cosby, Lauren Fetters, Daniel Price, Matt Sutherland, Kyle Bridges, Megan Atkins, Jeff Morris, Alyson Brown, Sarah Simpson, Josh Gill, Korey Scribner, Josh Beckett, Megan Kinney, Levi Dees, Caleb Devillier, Anthony Shipman, Zach Billings,Nancy Wiggins, Justin Bessman, Tia Finley, Darci Price, and Corey Bass.

By Megan Kinney and Jessica Holden
April 25, 2001

Hands On Learning (or PDA) is starting to become a problem at Diamond Middle School.
Most girls feel it's all right to hold hands and hug each other, but NO KISSING! Most guys feel they should be able to do whatever they want in the halls.
Teachers, on the other hand, feel differently about PDA. Middle School Principal Mr. Ron Mitchell says, "It
disrupts class, students don't concentrate." Mr. Mitchell tells kids to just"Quit" when he sees PDA. He says, "Concentrate on other things."
Eighth grade social studies teacher, Mr.Grant Reed said,"I think it should be limited as much as possible." Holding hands shouldn't be in school. "It's not the right environment."
Eighth grade language arts teacher Miss Renee Houk said, "Because my class is at the end of the eighth
grade hall, I see a lot of PDA. I tell them to stop! They know what they are doing wrong."
Current issues teacher, Mr. Randy Turner says, "I usually tell them to watch out. If they don't stop, I will send them to the office."
The guys had a lot to say. Eighth grade student Justin Bessman says, "There should not be any limits.There is not enough PDA."
Eighth grade student Kyle Bridges says, "No limits, there's plenty there(of PDA).
Randy Callis, eighth grader, said, "No, not enough. People are too strict."
Eighth grader Nate Compton said he really does not care. "I can't get any anyways."
Eighth grader Graham Cox said, "It should be allowed in schools to some extent. It's nobody else's business over what we are doing."
Eighth grader Zach Billings said, "I think teachers are too strict about it. I have gotten in trouble for PDA
before and I didn't think I should have gotten in trouble for something so silly."
What have the girls been saying? Well eighth grader Genoa Johnson said, "There isn't too much PDA, mainly holding hands and hugging." She said she doesn't feel bothered by this.
Eighth grader Heather Atler said, "I think that they should be able to kiss outside, but not in front of the

By: Zach Billings and Nate Compton
April 24, 2001
(A Review)

What is our world coming to? Some people have never even heard of Ozzy Osbourne, one of the greatest living legends today. When he started the band Black Sabbath, he set a whole new trend for listeners all over the world. Throughout his music career, he has done things that the world should know about.
Paranoid, the first Black Sabbath album released in the United States, was at the top of the Billboard charts when released and still remains known as one of the best rock and roll albums of all time. Ozzy helped start the controversial bands in America when he bit the head off of a live bat at one of Black Sabbath's first concerts. This disturbed people all over the United States. After Black Sabbath broke up, Ozzy didn't stop. He began his own band named "OZZY". He has continued making albums since then.
Many bands have made tributes to Ozzy and Black Sabbath such as Nativity in Black. In 1998, Ozzy and all the original members of Black Sabbath reunited for the first time in almost 30 years. Now Ozzy has begun his own annual music fest which lasts more than 12 hours at each stop. Many popular metal bands of today join him in this 12-hour concert.
This year, Black Sabbath will play at Ozzfest. Marilyn Manson and Pantera are just a couple of the metal bands which will play at the music fest. This man and his band Black Sabbath deserve more recognition around the world than they have received in the last 15 years.

By Melissa Bishop, Kristen Hicks, Genoa Johnson and Samantha Young
April 24, 2001

The Diamond Middle School Academic Team of 2000-01 astounded large schools with its ability to "stand up to schools twice our size," said Anthony Shipman, team captain. Diamond has won against larger schools at both Ozark 8 competitions in which it took first and in the MSHSAA Quiz Bowl Competition where it took second stumping larger schools, including Carl Junction, Carthage, Monett, Seneca, Neosho, and Lamar.
A lot of hard work and preparation go into the meets. Diamond Academic Team, in order to win its meets, practices once a week for an hour. Team members go over questions that they think may help in the meet. They have buzzers where you punch a button, a light comes on and makes a buzzing sound.
When this happens the teacher who has given the question calls on the person that "buzzed" in and that person's team gets the point if it is correct. If it's not correct, then the other team gets a chance. The same procedure goes on in a meet.However, in a large meet there are 15 rounds and each team plays the other at least once.There are 12 questions per round with extra questions to break ties. At the end of each match, the results are posted.
Diamond academic team is proud of how it has done this year. Mr.Larry Augustine, the academic team sponsor, recalls the most favorable moment when the team won the Social Studies tournament two years in a row. This tournament had most of the large schools competing in it also. " It made us feel good inside because we beat all the bigger schools that no one thought we could stand up against," Anthony Shipman said. The team has also had some funny moments was well, Mr. Augustine says. At one meet, when no one knew the answer Aaron Boman buzzed in and said "fluffy muffin."
The team has eight members who have helped in its success: Zach Billings, Aaron Boman, Greg Dodson, Luke Hockman, Justin McLees, David Spry, Anthony Shipman, and Mr. Augustine, sponsor.

By Megan Atkins, Tara Brown, Jackie Hail and Holly Renfro
April 23, 2001

Students may think the upcoming Missouri Assessment Program (M.A.P.)tests are bad, but teachers think they are worse."I think it is too subjective," said Mr. Grant Reed. Mr. Reed is not the only teacher who feels this way. Mr. Richard Davenport would rather take standardized tests. He thinks there are flaws with these tests and he questions the purpose of them. Mrs. Ann Patrick says "They're not a good test.They just find out what you know." Mrs. Patrick feels that students are more ready for it toward the end of
the year.
Although many teachers feel this way, Ms. Renee Houk feels that the tests are needed. "The tests are the best measurement tool to compare students' achievement on a nationwide test," says Ms. Houk.
Most of the teachers say that it is hard to prepare the students for the M.A.P. test when the teachers do not know what is going to be on the tests.
The teachers are only given a little detail of what's going to be on the tests.Therefore, they can only teach
us from their own judgment. "We teach a whole variety of skills to prepare the students," said Ms. Houk.
Another way Ms. Houk prepares her students is by working on constructed response questions and evaluating them. Mr. Davenport asks questions from past tests to teach certain material for the tests. Mrs. Patrick covers book material, uses labs, and follows state regulations to prepare her students.
The M.A.P. began Tuesday, April 24, Wednesday, April 25, and Thurday, April 26. This week, they will be held Tuesday, May 1, Wednesday, May 2, and Thursday, May 3.
Eighth graders will be tested on math and social studies, while seventh graders will be tested on science and communication arts. Snacks will be distributed to each student during each of the testing days. Bottled water will be given out as well to each student each day they are being tested.


Diamond Middle School students placed in several categories at the Ozark 8 Math and Science competition Tuesday at Crowder College.
Those placing were:
Science- 1. Stephanie David, 2. John Gossard, 3. Ryan Baker.
Math- 2. Team Activity, Seventh Grade 2. Casey Patterson, 4. Luke Hockman, 7. Greg Dodson; Eighth Grade, 1. Anthony Shipman, 3. Kristen Hicks.


Diamond Middle School students who participated in the annual Science Olympiad in Springfield Saturday included: Kyle Bridges, Zach Billings, Tara Brown, Nate Compton, Patrick Beckett, Aaron Boman, Ryan Cosby, Rikki Dardenne, Levi Dees, Mandi Ferguson, Brandon Webb and Justin McLees.


Terrific Kids selected this week at Diamond Middle School were Clint Myers, sixth grade; Ryan Cosby, seventh grade; and Kyle Bridges, eighth grade.


Thanks to Greg Vincent's donation of 100 books, Mrs. Houk's TA won the TA Book Contest, which ended Wednesday morning. The Houk TA collected 112 books and will receive a breakfast for its efforts. The contest was part of the Middle School Student Council's book drive. A total of 253 books were collected.
Finishing behind Mrs. Houk's TA were: 2. Allison 49; 3. Davenport 29; 4. Dees 25, 5. Brummett 14; 6. Hocker 12; 7. Turner 7 and 8. Augustine 5.
The book drive is an ongoing Student Council project during the second semester. More information about it is featured elsewhere on this page.


Track practice for Diamond Middle School began Thursday. It had originally been scheduled to start Wednesday, but was moved back one day because of the high school boys basketball team's sectional game at Kickapoo High School in Springfield.


The dean of area news anchormen, Jim Jackson of KSNF-TV, Channel 16, will speak to students in Randy Turner's fifth hour current issues class Thursday, March 8.
Jackson is the most recent in a long list of guest speakers who have come to the current issues classes. Other speakers have included: Edwina Pirotte of the Human Resources Department at Leggett & Platt; John Hacker, former news director of NewsMax 1310 and reporter for The Joplin Globe, Jasen Jones, executive director of Barton County Chamber of Commerce, Cathy Bland, a Jasper resident who told students about her search for information about her father who died in Vietnam, the Lamar High School Hi-Step group, Anna Ruth Crampton, Jasper County Associate County Commissioner; Jim Lobbey, Jasper County clerk, Barbara LaTurner, an emergency room nurse and member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and former State Representative T. Mark Elliott.
The speakers are designed to help students learn about jobs and about how their government operates and to give them insights into current issues.


Diamond Middle School Honor Roll students for the second quarter bowled at Carl Richard Bowl East and ate lunch at Northpark Mall Feb. 25.
Students making the second quarter A Honor Roll included:
Sixth Grade- Alicia Bradley, Carrie Castor, Alexandrea Chavana, Ryan Clouse, Jake Edge, Shane Gallagher, Cameron Harrington, Michael Lane, Clinton Myers, Michell Nickolaisen, Lydia O'Donnell, Leanne Ross, Alyssa Simpson, Spencer Snow.
Seventh Grade- Elizabeth Arnold, Gregory Dodson, Lauren Fetters, Luke Hockman, Casey Patterson.
Eighth Grade- Patrick Beckett, Graham Cox, Kristen Hicks, Susan Johnson, Megan Kinney, Anthony Shipman, Sarah Simpson, Lendi Stirewalt, Matthew Sutherland, Samantha Young.
Those making the second quarter B Honor Roll included:
Sixth Grade- Amanda Brashear, Dana Bridges, Kacie Cooper, Katelyn Dodson, Jacqueline Lasiter, Clayton Norwood, Kevin Ortega, Daniel Stone, Zachary Towers.
Seventh Grade- Ryan Baker, Kayla Bass, Casey Brown, Ryan Cosby, Nicki Dame, Michelle Darr, Tia Finley, John Gossard, Chad Leuellen, Amanda McKee, Mikeal Meister, Jeffrey Morris, Carra Shaffer.
Eighth Grade- Aaron Boman, Kyle Bridges, Rikki Dardenne, Sarah Hoffman, Genoa Johnson, Korey Scribner, Jolene Topham, Brandon Webb.
Students making the A Honor Roll for the first semester were:
Sixth Grade- Alicia Bradley, Amanda Brashear, Carrie Castor, Ryan Clouse, Jake Edge, Shane Gallagher, Cameron Harrington, Michael Lane, Clinton Myers, Michell Nickolaisen, Lydia O'Donnell, Kevin Ortega, Leanne Ross, Alyssa Simpson, Spencer Snow.
Seventh Grade- Elizabeth Arnold, Casey Brown, Michelle Darr, Gregory Dodson, Lauren Fetters, Luke Hockman, Amanda McKee, Jeffrey Morris, Casey Patterson.
Eighth Grade- Patrick Beckett, Aaron Boman, Kyle Bridges, Graham Cox, Rikki Dardenne, Kristen Hicks, Sarah Hoffman, Susan Johnson, Megan Kinney, Korey Scribner, Anthony Shipman, Sarah Simpson, Lendi Stirewalt, Matthew Sutherland, Brandon Webb, Samantha Young.
Students making the B Honor Roll for the first semester were:
Sixth Grade- Dana Bridges, Alexandrea Chavana, Kacie Cooper, Katelyn Dodson, Paul Holland, Jacqueline Lasiter, Jacob Nelson, Clayton Norwood, Jessica Sawyers, Daniel Stone, Zachary Towers, Samantha Vincent.
Seventh Grade- Ryan Baker, Joshua Bass, Kayla Bass, Ryan Cosby, Nicki Dame, Stephanie David, Tia Finley, John Gossard, Brandi Johnson, Chad Leuellen, Mikeal Meister, Darci Pricef, Carra Shaffer, Jake Youngblood.
Eighth Grade- Josh Beckett, Zach Billings, Melissa Bishop, Andrea Chaney, Amanda Ferguson, Genoa Johnson, Brittany McBride, Justin McLees, Holly Renfro, David Spry, Jolene Topham, Krista White.

Diamond Middle School students will take the Terra Nova tests March 13-16. MAP tests will be held sometime in April. Pizza Day is scheduled for Friday, March 16, the last day of testing.

The third quarter will end Wednesday, March 21. Grade cards are expected to be issued to middle school students on Friday, March 30.


The Diamond Middle School Council Book Drive is doing well with at least 700 books donated so far and another 1,200 expected to come from the elementary and high school libraries.
The TA book drive competition will continue through Wednesday, March 7, according to Student Council President Sarah Simpson. The TA which turns in the most books will receive a free breakfast. An article on the book drive was featured last week in The Neosho Daily News. It featured quotes from Miss Simpson and a photo of Miss Simpson, her sister, Council Vice President Alyssa Simpson, Secretary Greg Vincent, and eighth grade representatives Nate Compton and Krista White.
Miss Simpson was interviewed March 1 by KSN-TV.
The book drive is an ongoing council project.



The Diamond Middle School Student Council book drive, "Help Us to Help Our Shelves," began today (Monday, Jan. 29) with 42 books donated by the end of the day.
The council is seeking new or used hardback and paperback books, fiction or non-fiction to help stock the shelves of the new middle school library, which will open sometime next year when middle school students move into the current high school building.
Anyone with books to donate should bring them to the middle school office. No magazines will be accepted. For more information, call 417-325-5336.


The second Student Council Dance of the 2000-2001 school year will be held 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, in the school cafeteria. The council asked and received permission to have the dance start a half hour later than the back-to-school dance.
Council members are still planning activities and are lining up a disc jockey for the dance.


By Randy Turner
Nine players reached the scoring column as the Diamond seventh grade basketball team defeated Triway 39-23 Jan. 11. Tyler Youngblood led the point parade with 15 and also had 15 steals. The Wildcats also dominated the boards with starter Blake Broaddus collecting seven rebounds, reserve forward John Gossard six and Levi Dees and Nate Posani five apiece.
Diamond scored the first eight points and never looked back. T. Youngblood opened the contest with a layup, then Jeff Morris scored a two-pointer from an Austin Greninger assist. Greninger made it 6-0 with a basket from a Jake Youngblood assist and T. Youngblood drove in for two to increase the lead to eight. After a Triway basket, Diamond scored the final 10 points of the period, with Greninger and Caleb DeVillier sandwiching baskets around free throws by Levi Dees, T. Youngblood, J. Youngblood and DeVillier. Diamond led 18-2 at the end of the first period.
After that, Coach Lance Dees took advantage of the opportunity to work in his multitude of reserves and they made big contributions. In additions to points from J. Youngblood, Posani and Josh Dresslaer and the rebounding prowess of Gossard and Posani, the Wildcats received rebounds from Luke Hockman and Dresslaer, assists from J. Youngblood, Hockman and DeVillier and steals from DeVillier, Dresslaer, Hockman and Posani.
Diamond built its lead to 24-5 at halftime and led 34-14 at the end of three quarters.
Diamond- Points- T. Youngblood 15, Dees 6, Morris 4, Greninger 4, J. Youngblood 3, DeVillier 3, Posani 2, Broaddus 1, Dresslaer 1; Rebounds- Broaddus 7, Gossard 6, Dees 5, Posani 5, DeVillier 4, J. Youngblood 3, T. Youngblood 3, Greninger 3, Hockman 2, Morris 1, Dresslaer 1; Assists- J. Youngblood 2, T. Youngblood 2, Greninger 1, Dees 1, Hockman 1, DeVillier 1; Steals- T. Youngblood 15, Broaddus 2, DeVillier 2, Dresslaer 2, Morris 2, Dees 1, Hockman 1, Posani 1.


By Randy Turner
The visiting Triway basketball team outscored Diamond 21-8 in the final nine minutes to post 30-24 victory Jan. 11.
Injuries and foul trouble plagued Coach Dustin Miller's Wildcats as their two rebounders, Anthony Shipman and Kyle Bridges each picked up three fouls in the first half and fourth fouls early in the third period. Diamond was also playing without starting guard Josh Beckett, who was out with an injury.
Despite these handicaps, the Wildcats were able to start off strong, thanks to some long range artillery from Brandon Webb, who nailed a pair of missiles, including a three-pointer in the first quarter as the home team built a 7-5 lead. Diamond, with Webb scoring five points and starting guard Jordan Macy four, held a 12-7 advantage at halftime.
The lead increased early in the second half as Bridges scored on a nice feed from John Cook, then following a Triway two-pointer, Cook scored from a Justin McLees assist. Triway outscored the locals 11-2 the remainder of the quarter to take a 20-18 lead. Diamond tied the score at 20-20 on a pair of Shipman free throws, at 22-22 on a McLees basket from a Macy assist and took its final lead 23-22 on a McLees free throw.
Diamond- Points- Webb 5, Macy 4, Shipman 3, Bridges 3, McLees 3, Korey Scribner 2, Cook 2, Patrick Beckett 2; Rebounds- Shipman 9, P. Beckett 3, McLees 3, Scribner 2, Bridges 2, Webb 1, Cook 1; Assists- Zach Billings 1, Cook 1, McLees 1, Webb 1, Macy 1; Steals- Shipman 3, McLees 1, P. Beckett 1, Cook 1; Three-Pointers- Webb 1.


The Diamond Middle School Cheerleaders unveiled their newest stunt at the Jan. 12 basketball game after putting in a considerable amount of time working on it.
Nicki Dame served as the flyer with Tara Brown as the base and Casey Brown as the back spot. Side support was provided by Melissa Bishop and Stephanie David.


By Randy Turner

Clutch offensive rebounds late in the game enabled the Diamond seventh grade basketball team to hold off a much taller Mount Vernon squad 36-32 Thursday night.
With the Wildcats holding on to a slim 31-27 lead, Luke Hockman grabbed a rebound just before it went out of bounds and flipped it back to Tyler Youngblood who banked it in. The Youngbloods combined for 26 of Diamond's 36 points with Tyler scoring a game-high 15 and Jake coming off the bench to add 11.
Key offensive rebounds by Austin Greninger and T. Youngblood in the last couple of minutes, combined with an old-fashioned three-point play by J. Youngblood and two T. Youngblood free throws enabled Diamond to salt away the win.
Diamond grabbed an 11-5 lead at the end of the first quarter with T. Youngblood contribuing a three-pointer from a Levi Dees assist and led 18-15 at halftime. Much of Diamond's offense came courtesy of Dees, who had four his team-high six assists in the first two quarters.
A six-point Mountaineer run at the beginning of the third quarter put the visitors up by three but Dees tied the game with a nothing-but-net shot from beyond the three-point circle. The Wildcats led 29-23 after three quarters.
Diamond- Points- T. Youngblood 15, J. Youngblood 11, Dees 7, Blake Broaddus 3; Rebounds- T. Youngblood 9, Greninger 7, Broaddus 7, Hockman 2, Dees 2, J. Youngblood 2; Assists- Dees 6, T. Youngblood 2, J. Youngblood 1, Hockman 1; Steals- Greninger 4, Broaddus 3, T. Youngblood 3, Hockman 2, Jeff Morris 1; Blocked Shots- T. Youngblood 1, Broaddus 1; Three-Pointers- T. Youngblood 1, Dees 1.
The seventh grade will play at Granby Tuesday night.


By Randy Turner

An improving Diamond eighth grade basketball team took Mount Vernon well into the fourth quarter before running out of steam and losing 41-31 Thursday night.
Timely shooting by Jordan Macy and Josh Beckett, each of whom contributed a three-pointer, and a workmanlike performance by Kyle Bridges on the boards kept Diamond in the game until the last few minutes.
Each time it appeared that the Mountaineers were going to pull away, Diamond came up with a clutch basket. The visitors led 11-15 at the end of the first quarter and increased the margin to 13-5 at the start of the second, but Diamond fought back with John Cook scoring a two-pointer from a J. Beckett assist and Macy nailing one from downtown.
After Mount Vernon restored its lead to six, 19-13, late in the quarter, J. Beckett drained a nothing-but-net three-pointer at the buzzer to halve the lead.
The closest Diamond came in the third quarter was three points, at 21-18 on a J. Beckett basket from a Cook assist, 23-20, on Justin McLees's basket from a Macy assist, 26-23 on a Macy free throw and 28-25 on a Bridges putback.
Bridges had 15 rebounds, including nine in the second half, and scored twice off offensive boards to keep Diamond in the game.
The Wildcats will play at Granby Tuesday night.
Diamond- Points- Macy 12, J. Beckett 9, Cook 4, Bridges 4, McLees 2; Rebounds- Bridges 15, Cook 3, Brandon Webb 3, Patrick Beckett 2, J. Beckett 2, Macy 1; Assists- Cook 3, J. Beckett 3, Macy 2, Webb 1; Steals- J. Beckett 2, Webb 1; Blocked Shots- Bridges 1; Three-Pointers- Macy 1, J. Beckett 1.


By Randy Turner
Christmas in October.
Anthony Shipman's present popped loose from a Sarcoxie player's hands thanks to a hit by Chase Green and gave the Diamond Middle School football team an opportunity to win its final game Monday night at Sarcoxie. The Wildcats took advantage of it, but a touchdown on the final play of the game enabled Sarcoxie to salvage a 14-14.
The score was tied 6-6 with less than three minutes left when Green and Shipman combined for the play that gave Diamond the opportunity to win. The Sarcoxie quarterback was preparing to throw a pass deep in his own territory when Green slammed into him, causing the pass to go only a few feet forward...right into Shipman's hands. He took the ball to the seven before he was brought down.
It took coach Dustin Miller's team three plays to punch the ball into the end zone. The first play was a four-yard run by Caleb DeVillier. Quarterback Tyler Youngblood was brought down for a two-yard loss on a keeper play.
After a timeout with 18 seconds left, DeVillier scored the go-ahead Justin Bessman ran in the two-point conversion to make it 14-6.
That left Diamond 15.8 seconds away from completing the 2000 season with a win. After the kickoff, five more seconds ticked off the clock and Sarcoxie had 10 seconds to score. Levi Dees knocked down the first down pass and the second down pass also fell incomplete. On third down with 2.3 seconds left, the Bears completed a touchdown pass and with no time left on the clock, they ran in the game-tying conversion. Since Missouri State High School Activities Association rules do not provide for overtime in middle school games, the season came to a close.
The final touchdown came as a shocker since the earlier portions of the game had been highlighted by four Diamond interceptions, including a pair by Blake Broaddus and one apiece for Shipman and Caleb DeVillier.
The defense also had a number of solid hits, including one by Broaddus, which nearly separated a Sarcoxie player's head from his shoulders.
The Wildcats scored the game's initial touchdown in the second quarter, on a three-yard Bessman run, concluding a five-play, 25-yard drive that had been set up by a coffin-corner punt by Randy Callis that pinned Sarcoxie back on its one.
Broaddus opened the drive with a seven-yard run, followed by an 11-yard pass play from Youngblood to Callis. After short gains by Bessman and DeVillier, Bessman scored.
Diamond ended the season with a 1-3-1 record.


By Randy Turner

Only one thing was going to stop Chad Shelton from reaching the end zone of the final play of the Diamond High School football team's 48-32 homecoming loss to Sarcoxie Friday night. The Wildcat senior appeared to be stopped behind the line of scrimmage, but he managed to break free of the tackle and two more and was streaking across the field when a Sarcoxie player grabbed him by the facemask and yanked his head back, flinging him to the ground. That was the only way the Bears could stop him.
It was the 32nd time the workhorse back had carried the ball and had he not been so unceremoniously dropped to the ground in unsportsmanlike fashion his final carry would have lifted him over the 200-yard barrier. As it was, he picked up a game-high 186 yards.
He excelled in every area of the game, also making big plays on special teams, where he recovered an on-side kick and on defense.
Coach Brad Hocker's offensive arsenal was fully armed Friday night as quarterback Denton Jones completed 14 of 26 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was Michael Badley who snared five passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns, including a spectacular 97 yard play when it appeared the Wildcats were in danger of giving the ball to Sarcoxie in good field position.
The game might well have been a successful step in Diamond's quest for its first-ever district championship except for two penalties early in the second quarter. At that point, Diamond, which had opened the game with an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Zach Cope, trailed 12-6, but were knocking on the door for the tying score.
The Wildcats moved the ball to the eight on nine plays, including a perfectly-timed 42-yard spiral from Jones to Badley. On third and seven, Jones rolled to his right, saw no one open and sprinted for the sidelines. He was nailed out of bounds and the official signaled Sarcoxie for a late hit. The ball was moved half the distance to the goal. Even though the same penalty elsewhere on the field would have resulted in a first down, the officials indicated the distance of the penalty was not enough to give Diamond a first down, making it fourth and goal at the three. A fourth down pass fell incomplete.
The Wildcats would still have been in good shape if they had stopped Sarcoxie on its next possession and it looked as if that had happened. After a seven-yard gain on first down, Bryan Moore stopped the second down play for no gain and Jerad Addington and Lance Piatt stopped the third down play with the same result. The Bears were forced to punt from their own end zone. Diamond was cited for roughing the kicker and armed with four fresh downs, Sarcoxie quickly went to work and scored three plays later on a 77-yard pass from Isaac Sooter to Nathan Williams.
Sooter, one of the best quarterbacks in southwest Missouri, was the offensive game plan for the visitors. He completed 19 of 35 passes for 332 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown and passed for two conversions.
For most of the game though, Denton Jones was able to keep up with Sooter. It only took two plays for Diamond to strike back. The first was a six-yard Shelton run, then Jones connected with Clarence Evans for a 66-yard touchdown pass, trimming the margin to 20-12. A pass interference penalty set up the final Sarcoxie score of the first half, a one-yard Sooter run. His conversion pass to Dan Jones made the score 28-12 at halftime.
Sarcoxie added to the score at the beginning of the second half, driving 63 yards on 10 plays, concluding the drive on a 3-yard pass from Sooter to Williams. Sooter completed the conversion pass, but Sarcoxie was cited with a penalty. His second attempt was batted down by Denton Jones in the end zone, leaving the score at 34-12.
Late in the third quarter, the Wildcats began a fast and furious comeback that brought the capacity crowd to its feet and had it roaring. Cope returned a punt to the 40, but he was also pulled down by the facemask and the resulting penalty put the ball at the 25. Jones hit Skyler Powers with a quick screen pass over the middle for six. Two more plays left Diamond with a fourth and one. Shelton took care of the one and 16 more, running the ball to the 10 for a first and goal. He picked up four more yards on first down. A second down pass fell incomplete, then Shelton ran for two more. On fourth down, Jones rolled out and found Badley alone in the end zone with enough room between him and the nearest defenders to park two semi-trucks and a chihuahua. The pass play narrowed the gap to 34-18.
The Wildcat onslaught continued. Wade Kinney's on-side kick was recovered by Shelton at the Bear 46. A shovel pass from Jones to Powers netted eight, then Shelton tore up the middle behind some solid blocking for a nine-yard gain. He picked up 18 more on first down, picking up another first down at the 11. Four more Shelton running plays took the ball into the end zone on the second play of the fourth quarter. The conversion attempt failed and the margin stood at 34-24.
It was three and out for Sarcoxie on its next possession, but Diamond's next drive was stalled by an interception. Sarcoxie added another score, which should have been its final one, but more about that later. Sooter fired a 54-yard strkke to Williams to make it 40-24, then passed to Dan Jones for the conversion.
Diamond had the ball with 6:39 left and made yet another comeback in this probable homecoming battle. The kickoff pinned the Wildcats back on their eight and Shelton lost a yard on both his first and second down runs. On third down, Jones hit Badley streaking down the sideline and it nearly resulted in a touchdown. He was brought down at the three. Shelton ran in the touchdown, then Jones ran for the conversion and Diamond was only down 42-32.
The second onside kick attempt was recovered by Sarcoxie. The Bears failed to move the ball, but their punt put the Wildcats back at their 12. Four downs later, the game seemed to be over. Sarcoxie had the ball with 37 seconds left. All the coach had to do was have Sooter go to a knee and the final seconds would tick off the board, but Sarcoxie was ready to pull a Dracula and exact every last bit of blood it could get from Diamond.
The Bears had the ball first and 10 at the Diamond 12. After running for four yards on first down, Sarcoxie signaled for a timeout with 28 seconds left. A second down pitch netted only one yard, but Sarcoxie wasn't going to let it go at that and called another timeout. On third down, Sooter threw his fifth touchdown pass, a seven-yarder to Williams. The kick failed, setting the stage for Shelton's late heroics.
Wildcat Tracks- Diamond will conclude its home slate next week when it plays host to Miller in the second round of the district playoffs...Freshman cheerleader Dezi Powers sang the National Anthem...During halftime ceremonies seniors Brett Vaughn and Carrie Foster were crowned homecoming king and queen.

The Diamond Middle School Academic Team opened its 2000-2001 season Wednesday with a 245-10 trouncing of Wheaton.
Team members playing were Anthony Shipman, Justin McLees, Zach Billings, David Spry, Luke Hockman, Brandon Webb and Greg Dodson.
The locals, under the direction of Larry Augustine, continued their success at a language bowl held Thursday night at Carthage Junior High School. The squad split into two teams with a team consisting of Anthony Shipman, Zach Billings, Brandon Webb and Greg Dodson taking fourth place, even though Diamond was the smallest school at the event. Carthage and two teams from Carl Junction took the top three spots. The other Diamond team consisted of Aaron Boman, Graham Cox,David Spry, Luke Hockman and Justin McLees. It finished with a 4-5 record.

The first Diamond Middle School dance of the 2000-2001 school year was a big one for Jake Youngblood. The seventh grader teamed with eighth grader Nancy Wiggins Thursday night to take first place in the dance contest and also used his versatility at singing with marshmallows in his mouth to capture the Fat Funky Elephant Contest. (You would have had to have been there.)
The dance was planned by the Student Council, under the direction of President Sarah Simpson. Council members put up decorations after school Thursday, then stayed to clean up the cafeteria after the final dance. The Student Council sponsor is Renee Houk.

The latest Terrific Kids to be chosen at Diamond Middle School are Graham Cox, Chad Leuellen and Michael Lane.

Diamond High School student Jeri Rinehart has been named Student of the Month.
Diamond High School ninth grader Ashley Brummett received honorable mention in the Cray-Pas Colorful World Contest. The announcement was made recently by the World Awareness Children's Museum.
Miss Brummett's work was also selected to be included in the International Youth Art Exchange program. Each year, original work by American students is exchanged for art by students from other countries.
"You and your school community can be very proud of this artistic achievement," the museum's art curator Martin Morrell wrote Miss Brummett in September.


Seventh and eighth grade band members played at the Diamond High School Football Homecoming Pep Rally seventh hour Thursday, Oct. 19.
Seventh grade band members are: Luke Hockman, Greg Dodson, Amanda McKee, Logan Eck, Elliott Foster, James Reynolds.
Eighth grade band members are: Lendi Stirewalt, Heather Atler, Amy Cokerham, Tosha Loyd, Susan Johnson, Rikki Dardenne, Sarah Hoffman, Ryan Waggoner.


Diamond Middle School students who keep their assignment notebooks up to date have the chance to win big prizes during drawings held every Friday morning.
This is the first year the middle school has had the notebooks, which are designed to help students keep their homework assignments and class activities organized. They are also used as hall passes.
Each Friday, a student's name is drawn. The student may choose from among a wide selection of prizes if his or her assignment notebook is up to date. If it is not, another student's name will be drawn. The winner is announced during lunch hour. Each quarter, all students, including those who have been among the weekly winners are eligible for a drawing for a larger prize.
The first quarter grand-prize winner was Susan Johnson, who received a color television.
Weekly winners have included:
-Alyson Brown, phone and calculator
-Frank Rawlings, skateboard
-Clint Myers, phone and calculator
-Phillip Body, phone and calculator
-Sarah Simpson, Britney Spears CD
-Luke Hockman, blow-up chair
-Mikeal Meister, clock radio
-Priscilla Stalnecker, clock radio

The Diamond High School Wildcat Pride Band presented a "pep band concert" recently in the high school music room. The concert was performed for Mr. Roszell's, Mrs. Hamm's and Mrs. Smith's fifth grade elementary classes, as well as members of the sixth grade band.
The Diamond band program is experiencing a rapid growth in size and in musical ability. The high school band and sixth grade beginning band have doubled their size in one year. Last year, the high school band had around 21 members and this year it has reached almost 40 members.
"Part of this growth has been due to the overwhelming support and interest of the Diamond students," said Rob Lundien, band director. "Many that dropped out of band in the past few years have dusted off their instruments and have rejoined."
Another contributing factor to the growth of the band has been due to several musicians moving into the Diamond School District from other area schools.
"We have had band students move in from Webb City, Joplin, East Newton and several other local school districts," said Lundien.
Next school year (2001-2002) the band will reach around a record number of 50-60 memers. This will be the biggest band Diamond has had in many years. During the 2002-2003 school year, enrollment projections show the band reaching around 60-70 members.
These large numbers of enrollment projections represent the heavy amount of recruiting that is currently taking place. Several seventh and eighth grade students, who did not join band when they were in fifth grade, are now being given a second chance. Lundien is currently teaching several private lessons, before and after school, to many of these students. They will enroll into the high school band next year.
"I am also focusing on heavy recruiting of the current fifth grade elementary students. They are the future of Diamond's band program and we want as many of them involved in the band as possible," said Lundien. "Out of approximately 70 fifth graders, it would be awesome if we had at least 30-40 join beginning band at the close of this school year."
The jump in enrollment the high school band is experiencing this year is causing a few growing pains. "The more students that are getting involved in the band program means the more school-owned instruments and band uniforms that are needed."
"The school district, administration, faculty, staff, parents and community have been tremendously supportive of the band program! Because of their support and dedication to music, they are another reason for the growth," said Lundien.
"The band members have been awesome to work with and have been so enthusiastic about the changes that are currently taking place in Diamond's band program. In the years to come, it will be exciting to watch them grow even more in size and in talent."
Upcoming performances for the Diamond High School Wildcat Pride Band include: a performance at the Pittsburg State University Homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 21, a performance at the Diamond Christmas Parade on Dec. 2, and a high school/middle school band/choir Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 7, in the Diamond High School gym.
For more information on how you can support the Diamond Wildcat Band with its performances or with its upcoming fund raisers, please contact Rob Lundien, Diamond R-4 Band Director, 417-325-5188.


By Randy Turner
Big plays by Chase Green and Caleb DeVillier almost enabled the Diamond Middle School football team to pull off a come-from-behind victory Monday night, but the Wildcats ended up losing to Liberal 8-6.
The host team scored its only touchdown in the first half and successfully completed the two-point conversion, which turned out to be the difference. Diamond, despite some solid runs by Blake Broaddus in his first start was unable to get on the scoreboard.
Diamond's only touchdown came early in the fourth quarter when DeVillier, with the help of some nifty blocking, scored on a 50-yard punt return. The two-point conversion run fell short by inches.
Diamond's defense held strong the rest of the game, shutting down Liberal's offense. The Wildcat offense had two more opportunities to score the go-ahead touchdown. The first shot ended with an interception with two minutes left. At that point, it appeared the game was over, but Wildcat Coach Dustin Miller called a timeout and told his defense to go after the ball. On the next play, the swarming Diamond defense forced a fumble and Chase Green covered it.
Liberal's defense held, though, limiting the Wildcats to two yards on four plays. Diamond had only one more timeout left so the Bulldogs were able to kneel twice and time expired.
The game was the first for Diamond since it played Lockwood three weeks ago. The final game of the season is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, at Sarcoxie.


By Randy Turner
Betty Thorp's underhanded serve floated over the net and dropped untouched to give Diamond a 1-0 lead. Betty was the first server for the Wildcats...The only problem was she was also the first server in game two. Liberal's Allie Massa was the first server in game one and didn't stop until her team had a 15-0 win.
Thorp's ace gave the locals their only lead. Liberal scored the next 12 points en route to a 15-6 win. Highlights for Coach Jim Hettinger's Wildcats included four points, three of them aces, for Ricki Fountain and low, line-drive ace serve by Liz Arnold. Diamond was playing without two starters. The seventh grade season ended Tuesday night with a loss at Seneca.
The eighth grade concluded its season with a 15-10, 15-11 loss to Liberal. Line-driving serving ace Megan Kinney provided Diamond with a great start in game one, serving the first the second and third and fourth points after Melissa Bishop opened the game with an ace. Kinney's first point came on an Amy Cokerham kill from a Holly Renfro set. The second point came as a result of an outstanding defensive play by Kinney, who managed to return what looked to be an unstoppable kill attempt. Kinney delivered a rippin', flippin', jumps like Scottie Pippen ace serve.
Diamond also had aces by Bishop, Sarah Simpson and Lendi Stirewalt in game one.
The Wildcats were unable to hold an 8-1 lead in game two. After Liberal scored the first point, Kinney aced eight straight serves. After a six-point Bulldog run, Stirewalt's ace serve provided Diamond with a 9-7 lead and Renfro delivered two aces to make it 11-8. Liberal scored the final seven points.


By Randy Turner
A pair of service aces by Amanda McKee gave the Diamond seventh grade volleyball team its only lead during a 15-8, 15-4, loss at Granby Thursday night.
McKee's aces occurred after the Wildcats had fallen behind 4-3 in game one. She aced the tying point, served the go-ahead point, then concluded her run with another ace. Diamond scored its only other game-one points on aces by McKee and Ricki Fountain. Another high spot in the game was a Katy Hext kill from a McKee set.
The only game two highlight for Diamond were two late ace serves by Liz "The Terminator" Arnold, including a sinkin', if you're blinkin', you're deader than Abe Lincoln ace serve.
The eighth graders ran into some game-two difficulties after playing well in game one, losing to Granby 15-12, 15-0. A 9-2 run in game one lifted the Wildcats to a 10-2 advantage. The run started after the Cardinals scored the initial point. Megan Kinney strafed the Granby defense with two low-flying missiles, then Amy Cokerham served five points. Lendi Stirewalt also served two points. The Wildcats had late ace serves by Stirewalt and Melissa Bishop.

Terrific Kids this week at Diamond Middle School are Spencer Snow, Lauren Fetters and Megan Kinney.


By Randy Turner
It was a battered and bruised Tyler Bunn who was carried off the Diamond football field Friday night following his team's 33-13 win over Strafford. The undersized (5-9, 150) senior had given it all he had, sacrificing life and limb to help insure that his team won its second straight game.
"You all right?" a concerned fan shouted to him as he walked by.
"Yeah," he said, gasping for a little air. "I'm fine," then he repeated, as if he were trying to convince himself, "I'm fine."
Tyler was one of many Wildcats who made KYMG (Kiss Your Momentum Goodbye) plays that kept the visiting Indians from getting back into the game in the second half.
The first half was all Diamond as Coach Brad Hocker's squad capitalized on Indian mistakes to build a 21-0 halftime lead. Junior Zach Cope's interception led to Diamond's first score. He took the ball to the Strafford 32. Chad Shelton carried four tacklers 31 yards to the one, then went in untouched on first and goal. Shelton led all ballcarriers with 200 yards on 26 carries. Kyle Kelso tacked on the extra point to make it 7-0.
Diamond scored two more touchdowns in the final four minutes of the half. Senior Lance Piatt recovered a fumbled lateral at the Strafford 34. After an off-sides penalty gave the Wildcats a first and five at the 29, Andrew Whitehead gained 26 yards on first down (he had 125 yards on 21 carries) and Shelton scored the second of his three touchdowns.
Bunn made the first of his KYMG plays on the kickoff, recovering an Indian fumble at the 32. Denton Jones passed to Michael Badley for eight yards. Shelton blasted through three potential tacklers for 22 yards, then ran two yards for the touchdown. Clarence Evans, replacing the injured Kelso, kicked the extra point.
Strafford fought back in the third quarter, scoring two touchdowns to trim the margin to 21-13. Bunn came up big after the first touchdown, smothering the extra point kick. After Diamond went three plays and out on its next possession, the Indians returned the punt 50 yards for the second score and kicked the extra point to narrow the gap to eight.
A fired-up visiting team held Diamond to one first down on its next possession and forced a punt. The momentum was with Strafford, but it vanished quickly. On the punt, the Indians tried a reverse, but muffed the handoff. Senior Bryan Moore grabbed the bounding ball and carried it 23 yards for the touchdown. The extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the score 27-13.
Diamond's defense continued to make big plays whenever Strafford seemed to be gaining momentum. At the beginning of the fourth period, Wade Kinney's bone-jarring tackle knocked loose the ball and it was covered by Michael Badley. Later in the period, Tyler Bunn showed an affinity for another sport, rodeo, as he displayed his best cattle-roping technique, sacking the Indian quarterback for a 14-yard loss.
The final big play of the evening came right from the Sky, as Skyler Powers, returning from an injury that sidelined him during the last few games, showed he was in top form, darting in front of an Indian receiver, picking off a pass and zipping into the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown run. The extra point attempt was blocked.
Diamond, 2-3, will go for its third win in a row 7 p.m. Friday night when it plays host to School of the Osage.


By Randy Turner

The Diamond Eighth Grade volleyball team nearly made into the win column, but fell just short Thursday night, losing to Jasper 16-14, 16-14. The game was played in the old gym due to the annual Diamond Invitational Volleyball Tournament.
The Wildcats were poised to win game one after Sarah Simpson's ace put them up 14-13. After that, the locals had six opportunities to close out the contest, but none of them panned out. Jasper scored the last three points.
Diamond, playing some of its best volleyball of the season, jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first game. A steady Melissa Bishop served the first seven points, including a pair of aces. After two sideouts, Holly Renfro continued the onslaught, making it 8-0 with a low, line-drive ace and 9-0 with a shakin', bakin', a body count they'll be takin' ace serve. She served another to put Diamond into double figures.
The visitors battled back to trim the lead to 10-5, but Megan Kinney answered the rally with three consecutive ace serves.
Game two was almost a replay of the first game as Diamond again grabbed an early advantage. Kinney was all business as she served the first six points, including two aces. Amy Cokerham served the seventh point before Jasper got on the scoreboard. Jasper eventually went up 11-10 Two Renfro service points restored the lead to the Wildcats. Jasper scored the next three points to go ahead 14-12. The Wildcats held on match point when the serve went long. Kinney aced her serve to cut the margin to one. Jasper tried to break her concentration with a substitution, but that ploy failed. She aced the tying point and forced and Eagle timeout. When play resumed, the visitors managed a sideout and scored the final two points.
The Wildcats will entertain Seneca Tuesday night.


By Randy Turner

No one could have been more frustrated than Lauren Fetters at the way her first school volleyball season began. The talented seventh grader worked hard, made the starting lineup easily and excelled on the floor in nearly every area except one....she had a heck of a time getting a serve over.
Lauren worked and worked and worked on her problem, but nothing seemed to click until late last week when she got her first serve over the net. Once she'd had a sample of what success was like, she wasn't about to let it slip it out of her hands.
It was Line-Driving Lauren Thursday night during the second game of the Diamond seventh grade's 15-3, 15-13, loss to Jasper in the old gym. After the game one loss, the Wildcats fell behind 6-1 in game two and appeared headed toward a second lopsided defeat. Lauren made sure that didn't happen. Her hours of hard work were about to pay off.
Normally when people get four aces on their first hand, someone asks to check the deck. Lauren's serving spree inspired her teammates. Katy Hext tied the game with a fifth ace, then slipped a twisting ace serve into the back corner to give Diamond its first lead.
After a Jasper point knotted the score, Amanda McKee reached into the deck and dealt three more aces and served a fourth point before Jasper picked up a sideout.
Liz Arnold aced Diamond's 12th point and Ricki Fountain served the Wildcats' 11th game-two ace.
Diamond will entertain Seneca Tuesday night.


By Randy Turner

A spectacular 20-kill performance by junior Jeri Rinehart wasn't enough Thursday night as the Diamond High School volleyball team fell to McDonald County 15-13, 15-13, in the championship match of the annual Diamond Invitational Volleyball Tournament.
Rinehart continuing the spectacular play with which she dominated the tourney, collected 12 kills in game one and added eight in the second game, most of them coming off sets by her classmate, Heather Leake, who had a game-high 19 assists. Both games went to the wire with the Mustangs, most of whom were coached by Diamond Coach Todd Dana during his long tenure there, pulling out both at the end.
McDonald County grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first game, but Lindsey Compton served the Wildcats into the lead with five points. She began her spree with four points that came on Mustang mistakes and served her team into the lead with an ace.
The game seesawed back and forth until a five-point run, featuring two Rachel Whiteley serve points, two more by Compton and one by Ashley Parker, as well as a Rinehart kill from a Leake set, put Diamond up 13-9. Five sideouts in game one were earned on strategically placed dumps by Leake from the setter position.
The Mustangs scored the final six points.
Diamond fell behind early again in game two, but battled back with a seven-point run to take a 9-6 advantage. The run began after Rinehart earned a sideout with a resounding block on a Mustang spike attempt.Whiteley served the next five points, with the go-ahead point scored on a Rinehart special. The junior slammed home what appeared to be a certain kill, but McDonald County managed the dig, sending the ball right back to Rinehart. There was no chance for a dig on her second spike.
Rinehart and Emily Petty served the eighth and ninth points. Some late heroics, including an ace serve by Leake and some swashbuckling diving saves by Rachelle Gilliam on the back row, helped Diamond build a 12-8 lead, but McDonald County outscored the locals 7-1 down the stretch to capture the first-place trophy.
Diamond- Points- Whiteley 8, Compton 7, Parker 4, Leake 3, Petty 2, Rinehart 1; Kills- Rinehart 20; Assists- Leake 19; Ace serves- Leake 2, Compton 1, Whiteley 1; Blocks- Leake 1, Rinehart 1.


By Randy Turner

The Diamond High School volleyball team sprung a Leake in game one of its 15-0, 15-9, pounding of Carthage in the opening game of the annual Diamond Tournament Monday night and unfortunately for the visitors from Jasper County, that Leake turned into a downpour.
Heather Leake served the first 13 points, including three aces, to knock Carthage out of the game almost before it started. Serving wasn't the only area of the game in which the Wildcat junior excelled. In addition to her 16 service points, Leake had a game-high 12 assists, burned the Tiger defense with a pair of nicely-placed dumps and stood her ground for digs on Carthage spikes.
The Leake Streak began with two aces in her first three serves, forcing a Tiger timeout. The break didn't help the visitors. Junior Jeri Rinehart's dink accounted for the fourth point and was the first of her game-high 13 kills. A Leake dump made it 5-0. On the seventh point, a Carthage sideout was prevented when Leake made a diving save on a Tiger spike. Rinehart blocked a dink for the eighth point, then Leake blistered the Carthage defense with a bruisin', cruisin', they'd've been in the afterlife if they'd been snoozin' ace serve.
A Carthage spike went long for the ninth point, then Rinehart nailed a crosscourt kill from a Leake set for the 10th and the Tigers asked for their final timeout. When play resumed, Rinehart displayed her versatility, nailing a wicked kill for the 11th point and dropping in a dink for the 12th. Another Carthage spike went long for lucky number 13. Carthage managed its only sideout at that point. The Tigers were unable to score, thanks to the potent combination of Leake to Rinehart, as the junior setter's pinpoint assist resulted in Rinehart's sixth game-one kill. Rachel Whiteley served the final two points.
Carthage senior Natalie Womack appeared poised to match Leake's serving exhibition at the start of game two. Womack scored the first six points, including three aces, before a dink went wide and put Whiteley at the service line.
She started right where she left off in game one, scoring her first point, but a spike returned the serve to Carthage. The Tigers added another point before Coach Todd Dana's Wildcats began to click on all cylinders.
Senior Lindsey Compton served the second point, a Rinehart kill from a Leake set, then the third and fourth. The fifth came on an Ashley Parker kill from a Leake set. A stuff by Rinehart trimmed Carthage's lead to one point.
After a pair of sideouts, the Wildcats tied the game with Rinehart serving, then took the lead on a Leake dump. Emily Petty served the ninth point, which was made possible by Whiteley save on a Tiger spike.
After a Tiger point, Diamond scored three more with Leake at the line, including another ace serve and a Parker kill, to go up 13-8. Whiteley served the 14th point, a Rinehart kill and Compton served out the match, with the final point coming on a Parker kill from a Leake set. The game-winner was set up by a dig by Whiteley.
Diamond will continue play at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the round-robin tournament, facing Southwest. The tournament will conclude Thursday night with the Wildcats playing Coach Dana's former McDonald County team at 7:30 p.m.
Diamond- Points- Leake 16, Compton 6, Whiteley 4, Rinehart 2, Parker 1, Petty 1; Kills- Rinehart 13, Parker 3; Assists- Leake 12; Ace serves- Leake 4; Blocks- Rinehart 2.


By Randy Turner

The most important thing in any school is academics and who says you can't learn a few lessons during an athletic event.
Oswego quarterback Gabe Fuller learned a little bit about history during the second quarter of the Diamond football team's 40-6 pounding of his team Friday night. As he took the snap from his center and drifted back to pass, he learned just what George Armstrong Custer must have felt at the Little Big Horn. Only this time, it was the Indians who were on the other side of the massacre. As Fuller looked up, his face bearing a remarkable resemblance to a deer caught in the headlights, he saw Michael Badley homing in on him. As all Diamond fans know, when things are going Badley, they're going well for the home team.
As Badley began his pursuit, Fuller beat a hasty retreat. He ran back five yards...He ran back 10 yards...He ran back 15 yards. By the time he stopped running, he had gone 35 yards, smack into the arms of Chad Shelton.
It wasn't just history that Oswego was taught. The Indians also learned a valuable lesson in common courtesy as Shelton took the time to make a proper introduction.
Gace Fuller...meet the ground. Ground...meet Gace Fuller.
After the Oswego quarterback swallowed a heaping mouthful of good old Diamond sod, his team was faced with a second and 45 and instead of being deep in Diamond territory, it was backed up to midfield.
It was that kind of night for the visitors as Coach Brad Hocker's Wildcats dominated them on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball en route to their first victory of the season.
The Wildcat offense collected 425 yards, including 302 yards on the ground. Senior Andrew Whitehead gained 164 yards on eight carries and scored two touchdowns, while his classmate, Chad Shelton, ran 18 times for 126 yards and a touchdown and freshman Brent Morgan ran six times for 50 yards and scored twice.
Junior quarterback Denton Jones completed 10 of 16 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns, throwing a 35-yard strike to senior Wade Kinney in the first quarter and a 27-yard scoring pass to Badley in the fourth period.
The Wildcats effectively used the ground game to score on their first possession of the game. Shelton carried the ball up the middle four straight times for 26 yards. After a six-yard pass from Jones to Kinney, the Wildcats gave the ball to the speedy Whitehead, who zipped around the corner and ran 53 yards for the game's first points. Kyle Kelso tacked on the extra point, the first of four which the junior successfully converted.
Diamond's other first-half touchdown came early in the second quarter on a 35-yard pass play from Jones to Kinney, set up by a 17-yard Shelton run. The Wildcats led 14-0 at halftime.
Oswego's best scoring opportunity was blunted by the 35-yard sack. The Indians managed to move the ball, thanks to a holding penalty, but the next play, a run, was stopped by senior Bryan Moore for a one-yard gain and Whitehead and Kelso combined to tackle the quarterback on the fourth down play.
Diamond scored two back-to-back touchdowns midway through the third quarter. Brett Vaughn showed why he is Diamond High School's Student of the Month by picking up an Indian fumble and taking it to the eight. It took just one play for Shelton to score as he sliced right through the line, with the help of key blocks by Brett Vaughan, Bryan Moore and Tyler Bunn.
After Oswego's next possession ended with a punt, which left Diamond in excellent field position at the visitors' 28, it took only four plays to get into the end zone. Shelton set up the next score with a 13-yard run. When he left the game for a short breather, Brent Morgan immediately ingratiated himself with the Diamond fans. The high-stepping freshman scampered into the end zone to increase the Wildcat margin to 20-0. Again, the Wildcat line dominated Oswego with David Long, Vaughn, Lance Piatt and Jared Addington clearing the way for Morgan.
Oswego scored its only touchdown late in the third period. The two-point conversion was foiled by Whitehead, who darted in front of the Indian receiver, who was camped in the corner of the end zone.
Diamond completed the rout with two more touchdowns in the final quarter, a 27-yard pass from Jones to Badley, and then a late score by the second offensive unit, in which the locals taught the visitors another academic lesson.
It was back to the basics. During the first 45 and a half minutes, the Wildcats taught Oswego the ABCs of football. During their last possession, they brought out the Dees and freshman quarterback Landon Dees deftly handed the ball to his classmate Morgan three times. On the first run, Morgan gained 23 yards, carrying three tacklers with him most of the way. He only picked up two on second down, but ran for seven and the game's final touchdown on the next play.
Diamond, 1-3, will entertain Strafford at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.


Seven eighth graders in Mr. Randy Turner's Current Issues class received A grades on a recent opinion paper on capital punishment and will have their papers placed on the classroom's Wall of Fame and on the electronic Wall of Fame on this website.
The students researched capital punishment, debated it, then wrote opinion papers. Those making The Wall of Fame were:
Third Hour- Melissa Bishop, Mandi Ferguson, Anthony Shipman, Samantha Young
Fourth Hour- Zach Billings, Graham Cox
Fifth Hour- Sarah Simpson

Kristen Hicks, eighth grader, Casey Brown, seventh grader, and Brittany Barwick, sixth grader, were named Diamond Middle School Terrific Kids for the week of Sept. 18-22.


The staff for the Diamond Middle School newspaper, The Bulletin, has been selected for the 2000-2001 school year. Those chosen were: Kristen Hicks, Rikki Dardenne, Heather Atler, Ashley Watson, Daniel Johnson and Michelle Nickolaisen.

Eighth grader Korey Scribner and seventh grader Michelle Darr medaled as the Diamond Middle School Cross Country team held its first meet Sept. 19 at Nixa.
Other athletes participating for Diamond included: Kyle Bridges, Zach Billings, Jordan Macy, Elliott Foster, Alyson Brown and Kayla Bass.


Sometimes the best play you can make in volleyball is the play you don't make. That proved to be the case for Diamond eighth grader Megan Kinney Sept. 19 in game one of her team's 15-12, 15-8, loss at Sarcoxie.
The score was tied 4-4 with the Bears serving. The serve came directly at Megan, who was playing on the back row. Her first inclination was to play it, but realizing where she was, she stepped aside at the last moment and watched as the serve sailed out of bounds for a sideout.
That heads-up play set up a Wildcat rally that saw Coach Eddie Jones's squad take a 12-11 lead before faltering at the end. Kinney scored four points, including three aces in the first game. Melissa Bishop had five, including four aces. Sarah Simpson also served two points, including an ace, and Lendi Stirewalt served one.
In game two, Sarcoxie took a 7-0 lead before Diamond got on the scoreboard with a slicin', dicin,' mean as Mike Tyson ace serve by Kinney. She served another point to make it 7-2. After a pair of sideouts, Amy Cokerham served an ace. Kinney served three more points and Holly Renfro served one.
The eighth grade will play at Seneca Thursday night.
Diamond- Points- Kinney 9, Bishop 5, Simpson 2, Renfro 2, Cokerham 1; Kills- Kinney 3, Cokerham 1; Assists- Renfro 3, Bishop 1; Ace serves- Kinney 5, Bishop 4, Stirewalt 1, Simpson 1, Cokerham 1, Renfro 1.
The seventh grade team lost the opener 15-3, 15-2. Sarcoxie took a 10-1 lead with Liz "The Terminator" Arnold serving Diamond's only point. She also scored the second on an ace. Ricki Fountain had the third serve point in game one.
Arnold's ace gave the Wildcats their only lead, 1-0, at the beginning of game two. Darci Price served the other Diamond point.


Mr. Larry Augustine's sixth grade communications class at Diamond Middle School is having a busy quarter. The students' first project was a 300-point speech outline and road map of their lives. They tell about events in their past, their present and what they wish to do in the future.
Another project assigned was to tell a joke. Students were graded by the way they presented the joke that was told. Other projects include writing descriptive sentences and paragraphs and an informative speech on the topic of the student's choice. Some included Harry Potter, baseball, dolphins, gum, paranormal and root beer. They are currently preparing to read to Mrs. Henning's kindergarten class.
Projects that could possibly be done in the future include writing books, legends, demonstrative speeches and doing a report on a famous person. The class will rotate at the end of the first quarter.


By Randy Turner

Keep a knockin', but you can't come in. Little Richard's 1950s hit was the signature song for the Diamond Wildcats as they fell to Ash Grove 26-10 in the home opener.
After a spectacular opening kickoff play that saw freshman Brent Morgan pick up a Pirate fumble and run it in for a touchdown and Kyle Kelso kick the extra point, the Wildcats were limited to one field goal the rest of the way.
It wasn't that they lacked opportunities. Time after time, the Wildcats drove deep into Ash Grove territory, but in the end, the third quarter field goal was all they had to show for it.
Another turnover provided the host team with its next scoring opportunity. Senior Wade Kinney's solid hit forced a fumble and put Diamond at the Ash Grove 36 midway through the opening quarter. The first down play lost five yards. Senior Chad Shelton picked up three on second down, but the play was called back because of a penalty. The Wildcats failed to advance the ball and were forced to punt.
Ash Grove marched the ball 63 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 32-yard run by Kurt White. The extra point kick sailed wide to leave Diamond ahead 7-6.
Diamond came knockin' again late in the first quarter and early in the second, as the offensive line began to open big holes for Shelton and the passing combination of Denton Jones to Michael Badley began clicking.
After Shelton returned the Pirate kickoff to the 28, Coach Brad Hocker unleashed the Wildcat aerial attack. Jones rolled out and nailed Badley with a bullet pass, netting 14 yards. After a pair of short runs by Shelton, Jones again rolled out and threw a strike to Badley for a seven-yard gain and a first down at the Ash Grove 46.
After a short running play, the first quarter came to an end.
On the first play of the second quarter, Shelton broke through for 19 yards and another first down. The next play went to Shelton for five more, then a reverse to junior Andrew Whitehead picked up 19 yards and gave Diamond its third first down of the drive at the Pirate 14.
Shelton sandwiched two four-yard runs around an incomplete pass, setting up a fourth and two at the six. The Pirate defense held, ending Diamond's scoring opportunity.
Diamond had another chance a few moments later after senior Bryan Moore recovered a fumble at the Ash Grove 39, but that possession ended with an interception.
Ash Grove scored a touchdown and added a two-point conversion late in the second period to take a 14-7 lead.
The Wildcats knocked on the door for a third time in the second quarter taking possession with 1:59 left and moving the ball swiftly downfield. The home team gained 56 yards in six plays to set up a first and goal at the 7 with 8.8 seconds remaining in the half. Key plays were a facemask penalty against the Pirates, a Whitehead catch of a tipped pass that netted 18 yards and a five-yard pass play from Jones to Badley that gave Diamond first and goal.
On first down, Jones spiked the ball to kill the clock. A second down pass fell incomplete and Jones was waylaid by the Ash Grove rush on third down. He evaded the first tackler and nimbly slid past the second, but he was brought to the ground by the third as the half ended.
Diamond moved the ball into Ash Grove territory twice in the second half. A 14-play third-quarter drive resulted in a 21-yard field goal by Kelso. The field goal was set up by an 11-yard run by Shelton, running behind the crisp blocking of Lance Piatt and Tyler Bunn. The field goal trimmed Ash Grove's advantage to 14-10.
The next play dampened Diamond's spirits as Ash Grove returned the kickoff 82 yards for a score. The point-after failed.
The visitors scored their final touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Kinney blocked the extra-point attempt.
Diamond, 0-3, will entertain Oswego Friday night at 7:30 p.m.


By Randy Turner

At a time when most teams would be wearing down, Coach Dustin Miller's Diamond Middle School Wildcats looked as if they could play four more quarters Thursday night.
Already leading 22-0 going into the fourth quarter, the Wildcats plowed through Stockton's defensive line on their next-to-last possession, collecting big gain after big gain, en route to Tyler Youngblood's second touchdown run of the evening.
Diamond took possession with slightly less than six minutes left and immediately Caleb DeVillier broke through for 15 yards. A second-down handoff to eighth grader Anthony Shipman netted 12 more. After three short runs, two by DeVillier and one by Shipman, Diamond scored on a 30-yard fourth-down run by Youngblood.
The two-point conversion attempt failed.
Moments later, eighth grader Randy Callis gave Diamond its last possession, spotting a loose ball and making a hustling, headlong dive to smother it before Stockton realized where it was.
The game belonged to the Wildcats from the start. On their first possession, DeVillier scored on a give play from midfield. Diamond added two more big-play touchdowns, an 18-yard keeper by the quarterback, Youngblood, and a 70-yard return by DeVillier.
The win marked a perfect way for the middle school squad to conclude its home slate. Diamond, 1-1, returns to action 6 p.m. Monday at Lockwood.


By Randy Turner

A dramatic third-game comeback fell just short as the Diamond Eighth Grade volleyball team lost to Sarcoxie 12-15, 15-3, 15-12, Thursday night.
The Wildcats were down 14-2 when they began a 10-point run to turn what looked to be a laugher into a nailbiting showdown.
An errant Bear serve enabled Diamond to escape the first matchpoint and Megan Kinney served two line-drive aces to narrow the visitors' lead to 10. Her next serve went long and Sarcoxie had its second opportunity to close out the match.
The Bears failed, thanks to a clutch play by Sarah Simpson, who fielded Sarcoxie's line drive serve and carefully placed it in an unguarded section at midcourt. Diamond failed to take advantage of this second chance, but staved off elimination for the third time as Lendi Stirewalt made a diving save, flipped the ball over the net and it hit the floor untouched.
Diamond made the most of it as Amy Cokerham dealt more aces than a Mississippi riverboat gambler. Her first three serves were aces. Sarcoxie managed to return the fourth one, but hit it out of bounds, trimming its lead to 14-8. The Bears called for a timeout. The 60-second layoff didn't affect Cokerham a bit. She took up right where she left off. Sarcoxie was able to return her wicked line-drive serve, but the return went to Simpson who put it back over the net and the Bears mishandled it. The next two serves were aces, then Sarcoxie made a substitution to try to break Cokerham's string. The gambit failed. Cokerham served one more point before the visitors were able to manage a sideout. They scored the final point.
Diamond is now 0-2.


Two ace serves and four serve points by The Terminator, Sarah Arnold, were the highlights for the Diamond Seventh Grade volleyball team Thursday night as it fell to Sarcoxie 15-1, 15-6. Diamond held the initial lead in both games. Katy Hext served an ace to put the locals up 1-0 in the first game, but the Wildcats weren't able to score again. The loss dropped Diamond's record to 0-2.
In game two, Arnold scored the first point, with a little help from her friends. Sarcoxie was able to return her serve, but a good pass from Ricki Fountain to Lauren Fetters and the subsequent solid hit resulted in a 1-0 Diamond lead.
After Sarcoxie went up 3-1, Diamond halved the lead on an ace serve by Betty Thorp. The Bears built the margin to 6-2 before Diamond reeled off three more points with Arnold serving, two of them on floater aces. The final Diamond point was scored on an ace by Fountain.

The first Terrific Kids chosen for the 2000-2001 school year are: Shane Gallagher, sixth grade; Greg Dodson, seventh grade; and Matt Sutherland, eighth grade.


By Randy Turner
The first time Megan Kinney served the volleyball Tuesday night, she was a bit overanxious. She hit the ball so hard that it soared past the Granby volleyball team and nearly knocked down the back wall.
The second time the Diamond eighth grader served, it was the Granby team that nearly got knocked down. It was a case of Megan whoopie as she served nine straight points, the final eight in a row, to pace Diamond to a second game win. It wasn't enough though, as Coach Eddie Jones' Wildcats lost to Granby 15-1, 12-15, 15-2 in the season opener Tuesday night.
After Diamond lost the opener with the only point being served by Amy Cokerham, the home team fell behind 6-0. That kind of margin can disappear in a hurry when Miss Kinney steps to the line. Her first serve was a low line drive that barely cleared the net. The Granby receiver made a strong return and it looked as if Megan's string of serves was going to be over before it started. The ball was returned to the Diamond side where Lendi Stirewalt tapped it back and it fell to the floor untouched.
After that, it was Megan's time to shine. Her first ace was a twistin' insistin' just no way of resistin' ace serve, and she followed it up with seven more. By the time Granby finally earned a sideout, Diamond had a three-point lead, 9-6.
Granby narrowed the gap to one and the visitors were poised to tie the game with a strong serve, but Stirewalt was able to return it and the Cardinals mishandled the ball to return the serve to Diamond. Melissa Bishop put on a serving exhibition of her own, ripping off her two aces to increase the margin to 11-8.
Granby scored the next four points to regain the lead. After a Diamond timeout, the Granby serve went wide, putting Cokerham on the line. She dealt Granby a perfect hand, dealing four aces to close out game two.
The Wildcats led briefly in game three when Kinney aced her first two serves, but failed to score again. Diamond, 0-1, will play at Wheaton Friday night.
Diamond- Points- Kinney 11, Cokerham 6, Bishop 2; Kills- Cokerham 1; Assists- Bishop 1; Ace serves- Kinney 10, Cokerham 5, Bishop 2.


By Randy Turner
Amanda McKee served five straight points, including three aces, in game two of the Diamond seventh grade volleyball team's 15-1, 15-8, season-opening loss to Granby Tuesday night.
The McKee spree began with Diamond trailing 7-1. She served a line-drive ace for her first point, then a floater for the second. After scoring on her third and fourth serves, she aced the fifth to draw Diamond to within one point.
The Wildcats scored only two more points. The first came with Liz Arnold serving. The final point was on a Lauren Fetters ace that soared high above the net and landed just inside the backline.
Diamond had its only lead of the night at the beginning of game two when McKee served the first point, thanks to a hit by Betty Thorp that landed untouched by the Cardinals.
Coach Eddie Jones' Wildcats had a slow start in game one, falling behind 13-0 as they played in their first organized school volleyball match. The first one to get a serve over the net was Liz "The Terminator" Arnold, who was also the first and only Wildcat to score a point in game one. Another highlight was Darci Price's return of what appeared to be a low, line-drive serving ace. She got her fists underneath it and put it across the net.
Diamond, 0-1, will return to action Friday at Wheaton.
Diamond- Points- McKee 6, Arnold 2, Fetters 1; Ace Serves- McKee 3, Arnold 1, Fetters 1.


The Diamond Middle School Student Council election turned into an episode of "The Simpsons" this week when eighth grader Sarah Simpson was elected president and her sister Alyssa was elected vice president.
Sarah won a three-way contest with Zack Billings and David Spry.
Alyssa defeated Aaron Boman, Cody Brown, Carrie Castor, Kristen Hicks, Megan Kinney, Sam McCallum and Cliff McKee.
Greg Vincent was elected secretary/treasurer, defeating Kayla Bass, Maggie Bowman, Alicia Bradley, Dana Bridges, Jake Edge, Genoa Johnson and Brandon Webb.
Nate Compton was the pick for eighth grade boy representative, garnering more votes than Timmy Matthews, Frank Rawlings and Matt Sutherland.
Krista White won a two-way race with Nancy Wiggins for eighth grade girl representative.
Josh Dresslaer and Lauren Fetters ran unopposed for seventh grade boy and girl representative.
Clint Myers was the choice for sixth grade boy representative, beating Ryan Clouse, Kyle Lowry, Chase Sexson and Daniel Stone. LeAnn Dardenne was elected sixth grade girl representative, defeating Alex Chavana and Michelle Nickolaisen.

By Randy Turner
Pierce City converted two blocked punts into first-half touchdowns en route to a 28-0 win over Diamond in the Wildcats's season opener Tuesday night.
The first punt block came at the end of Diamond's opening possession and gave the visitors a first and goal at the four. One running play later and the Eagles were on the scoreboard. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
Diamond was unable to move the ball on its second possession and was forced to punt, but the ball was only in Pierce City's hands for one play as Blake Broaddus recovered a fumble. An off-sides penalty against Pierce City made it first and five, but the first down play lost eight yards and none of subsequent plays gained any yardage.
Diamond was forced to punt on the first play of the second quarter. Again, the line allowed the Eagle defense to get through and block Randy Callis's punt at midfield. A 50-yard sweep on the next play gave the visitors their second touchdown. The two-point conversion increased their lead to 14-0.
The special teams play continued to haunt Diamond. On the next play, Pierce City reached into its bag of tricks and successfully used an on-side kick, recovering the ball at the Wildcat 35. For the third straight time, it took only one play, a 35-yard run for Pierce City to reach the end zone. Chase Green's tackled stopped the two-point conversion attempt.
Diamond had a few bright spots in the remaining moments of the half as eighth grader Anthony Shipman had runs of 11 and 5 yards, Caleb DeVillier had a 13-yard run and Michael Weaver recovered a fumble, but a late Eagle score made it 28-0.
The third quarter started off on a promising note. Pierce City was able to keep the ball for only one play before Justin Bessman recovered a fumble. Diamond was unable to move the ball and was forced to punt. The next Pierce City possession saw Coach Dustin Miller's defense clicking on all cylinders, led by Bessman. On first down at the Eagle 18, Callis stood up the ball carrier and Bessman administered the finishing touches. On second down, Bessman ripped through the line and slammed the quarterback into the Diamond turf for a 4-yard loss. A third-down play gained only two yards.
Diamond was able to move the ball into Pierce City territory on its next possession, thanks to a punt return by DeVillier that took the ball to the 49 and a facemask penalty. After a penalty put Diamond back at its 49, quarterback Tyler Youngblood evaded the rush and gained 12 yards, followed by a five-yard carry by Shipman and a 12-yarder by DeVillier giving Diamond a first down at the 12.
Youngblood gained two yards on first down. An illegal procedure penalty set Diamond back five yards. The second down play lost two more, DeVillier gained five on third down, but the fourth down play was unsuccessful.
Diamond's defense allowed only one touchdown that was not set up by special teams breakdowns. The Wildcats allowed no points during the second half. They will play host to Stockton Thursday night.
Members of the Wildcat football team are: Jeff Morris, Tyler Youngblood, Levi Dees, Logan Eck, Nate Posani, Caleb DeVillier, Cody Allerton, Anthony Shipman, Zach Haskins, Roy Stafford, Chase Green, Justin Bessman, Josh Gill, Michael Weaver, Cole Shipman, Patrick Beckett, David Spry, Blake Broaddus, Greg Vincent, Randy Callis, Josh Dresslaer, Kalen Allerton and Luke Hockman.

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