The Duncan Banner

Local News

April 24, 2013

Demon Pitchfork staff develops into productive team

Duncan High School paper wins at Media Monday

DUNCAN — The Demon Pitchfork staff will be the first to say it’s almost expected for the Duncan High School newspaper to win sweepstakes each year.

But prior to the OSSAA-sanctioned award being announced this year, Iremma Cuellar, co-managing editor, experienced anxiety about winning this year. The newspaper has won every year she’s been in high school, but she had a fear her senior year might not continue the Pitchfork’s long-standing winning streak.

This fear was ungrounded, as it turned out. The Pitchfork won the James F. Paschal Memorial Sweepstakes Award and All-Oklahoman in the Oklahoma Scholastic Media competition, an award the newspaper has been winning every year since 2008.

“It was kind of my goal (to win all four years),” Cuellar said. “It’s become expected. I would have cried if we didn’t win my senior year.”

Pitchfork Sponsor Lisa Snider said the staff has been developing into great writers, editors, photographers and page designers. Snider said, during the Media Monday awards ceremony, held April 8, the Pitchfork received 921 points out of a possible 1,000 points.

Payton Ardrey, co-managing editor, said the year started with only two staff members returning, Cuellar and himself. But as the year as progressed, the staff has developed its skills to continue the winning tradition.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Ardrey said. “It’s nice to be confident you can win it every year. I’m confident in my staff. They’re pretty good writers.”

Snider said the staff didn’t submit many entries into the individual award competitions. And as such, not many individual awards were received.

Cuellar said the awards ceremony didn’t start out promising for the Pitchfork staff. She said the Bartlesville High School’s newspaper staff was picking up the majority of the individual awards with Duncan High School making infrequent appearances in those awards.

“Bartlesville was sweeping on the individual awards,” Cuellar said. “They were cheering every time. And then we won sweepstakes.”

She was one of several students to receive individual awards for Duncan. Cuellar received 1st place in three categories including news story, feature story and sports news story. Ardrey received an honorable mention for opinion column.

Other individual awards included Chole Harrison, 2nd for writing and 3rd for a design category; Blakelee Stowers, 2nd in a design category; Skyler Baldwin, second in graphic design; Alyssa Flesher, 3rd in a writing category; Foster Gibbs, honorable mention in a writing category.

As the two most senior members of the staff, Cuellar and Ardrey enjoyed stepping into the managing editor positions this school year. Cuellar was the editor-in-chief last year, and has liked sharing the duties with Ardrey.

“It’s awesome,” Cuellar said. “I love it. Newspaper is the biggest challenge in high school; it’s like a job. It makes you want to come to school.”

Ardrey said, being an editor is a different perspective of how the newsroom operates. But the new experience has had it’s perks, even if the weight of responsibility is more evident than as a reporter.

“(I like) chair racing and jumping from person to person to help with every page,” Ardrey said.

The two editors are among 10 seniors on the staff this year. In all, there are 14 staff members. Snider said she is starting to interview students for next year’s staff with hopes of adding another sweepstakes to the Pitchfork’s legacy.

But until next spring, the newspaper will have to ride on it’s latest win, even as the seniors prepare to graduate.

“It’s odd we won’t be on staff next year,” Ardrey said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 7-24 Rotary Mike Nelson 0087.jpg Nelson discusses Duncan’s water supply during Rotary meeting

    Duncan Vice Mayor Mike Nelson doesn’t think Duncan residents need to worry about the city’s water supply.
    Despite Stage 3 water rationing, which limits outdoor watering to midnight to 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nelson said the forethought of Duncan’s forefathers, who were also Duncan Rotary members, have created a backup system for the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 Douglass Pool Update 0081.jpg What’s dug up at cemetery goes down at spray pad project

       Dana Stanley knew just where to go to get fill dirt for the Douglass Park spray pad project -- the local cemetery.
       The city is building a splash pad on top of what used to be Douglass Pool, but  before that happens  a fairly large hole has to be filled.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Traffic stop leads to drug arrest for Duncan man

    Bail was set at $250,000 Wednesday for a Duncan man who was allegedly found to have two bags of methamphetamine and two bags of marijuana in his home.
    Duncan Police Officer Suzannahe Weir said she stopped Steven Fontinott, 62,  for a traffic violation on Saturday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Man drives drunk, rolls truck in the process

    A felony warrant was issued for a Marlow man who was allegedly found to have been driving drunkenly following a rollover accident on Nabor Road.
    Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Darin Carman said William Waller, 33, was pinned under the steering wheel of his truck and smelled of alcohol.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hard year for peaches doesn't dampen summer tradition

    A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they've come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.”
    Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, might beg to differ. Even so, Porter is known for its peaches, and every year thousands of people flood this town of about 600 residents to taste and celebrate the local crop during the three-day Peach Festival.

    July 24, 2014

  • Gun and drugs found in man’s car as he flees

    Bond was set at $10,000 Wednesday for a Duncan man who allegedly left a pistol, four bags of methamphetamine, a bag of marijuana and paraphernalia in a car after running away from the vehicle.
    Duncan Police Officer Anna Van Dyck said Jahmar Sullivan, 31, opened the passenger door of the car he was riding in and fled while she was conducting a traffic stop on July 6.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-24 WaterColor.jpg Artistic expression colors her world

    Sixteen-year-old Darien Vassella is a painting prodigy.
    The Duncan native took part in a two-day watercolor class at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center to further hone her talents.
    Vassella said her family realized she could paint when she took her first art class at 13. Since then, the young artist has sold three paintings.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nighttime run to benefit fight against exploitation

    Duncan’s second annual She Is Safe Run to the Dark 5K will be held at 9 p.m. on Friday.
    The run will be begin and end at Duncan Regional Hospital.
    She Is Safe is a non-profit organization committed to globally  preventing, rescuing and restoring women and girls from abuse and exploitation.

    July 24, 2014

  • That's kind of hot!

    Unexpected isolated thunder storms moved through Stephens County on Wednesday evening with areas receiving less than one-tenth of an inch of precipitation.

    July 23, 2014

  • City Council Water rationing specter suddenly produces a crowd

    The Duncan Council met again on Tuesday, as it does twice a month, but there was something different about the latest gathering -- there were more than a handful of people in the audience.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo