The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

Pictured above is a RealCare baby that is used for the baby care project. Students in the Human Growth and Development class had to take home these babies for a weekend and learn how to care for a baby’s needs. “I liked having a constant companion with me,” Lehman said. “I was never alone for more than two seconds because it was really loud and needed constant attention.” 
Photo by Julia Seiden
Robot Babies On the Loose
Julia Seiden, Reporter • December 8, 2023

Her dark room...

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Tom Blyth’s portrayal of Coriolanus Snow in “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” book-to-movie adaptation has become a staple on social media. The TikTok hashtag “#coriolanussnow” has over one billion views with almost all of the featured videos being a fan-made edit of the actor.
Snow Lands on Top
Alyssa Fox, Reporter • December 6, 2023

Scrolling through...

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A list of 12 Christmas movies you should watch this holiday season!
The 12 Movies of Christmas
Mia Morneault, Reporter • December 6, 2023

It’s the most...

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Crossing the finish line, senior Isabel Conde De Frankenberg secures first place at the Cedar Park invitational on Sept.9. This was Conde De Frankenberg’s first race of the season and she has won this race every year since she was a freshman. “Winning felt good because it’s good to represent your school,” Conde De Frankenberg said. “Being able to run on your own campus is really exciting and I had fun.”
From Start to Finish Line
Mai Cachila, Reporter • December 4, 2023

In the rhythmic...

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AT&T stadium in Arlington is the next big hurdle the Longhorns need to leap over in order to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.
Is Texas Back?
Jonathan Levinsky, Reporter • December 1, 2023

“Longhorn Nation,...

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Taking a selfie with some of their castmates, including senior Aidan Cox, who plays Buddy the Elf, junior Brooke Ferguson shows off a sign presenting the arrival of “Elf. This year’s musical, “Elf” runs Dec. 1-3 in the CPHS PAC. “[Learning a new script is] always kind of a challenge,” Ferguson said. “You get a new cast and you get your own part. I’ve never worked closely with these people before. It’s a different environment and doing character work with someone new, trying to partner work and scene work is interesting. The script is good and it has a lot of jokes, it’ll be a lot of laughs.” Photo by Brooke Ferguson
Elf on the Stage
Jane Yermakov, Reporter • December 1, 2023

A mix of unprecedented...

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Extraordinary Magic

Review of Ben Rector’s Utah Concert
Photo by Kaydence Wilkinson
As part of Ben Rector’s Old Friends Acoustic Tour from 2023 to 2024, Rector made a stop in Sandy, Utah on Oct. 7. Performing in the concert were Ben Rector, Jordy Searcy, and Austin Goodloe. The concert took place in the outdoor Sandy Amphitheater with three musical instruments: the keyboard, guitar, and bass.

The trunk of the car slammed shut with a resounding thump. It had been a long day climbing in the American Fork Canyon in Utah, and we were all ready to get home and shower. Our good mood, however, was stopped short when my sister, Kaiya, hesitantly uttered “Hey, guys, I think we just locked the keys in the car.” We had to be at a Ben Rector concert in just two hours, and we were stranded on the side of the road with just our phones, climbing shoes and water bottles.

Several months earlier, I had received an email from Spotify informing me that tickets were available to purchase for the Ben Rector tour. I had excitedly skimmed through concert dates and times and was thrilled to see that he would be performing in Texas. Unfortunately, when I presented this discovery to my mom, she told me that the date just wouldn’t work for us. I was ready to give up, as there were no more concerts in Texas, when one of the concert locations caught my eye: Utah. I have an older sister, brother, and sister-in-law living in Utah, and my mom suggested the possibility that I fly to Utah, go to the concert with my sister, and then fly back home in time for school the next week. I latched on to this idea and a few minutes later, I had a two-way plane ticket on Allegiant Air and tickets for a concert on Oct. 7 in Sandy, Utah.

My weekend started out amazing. I flew out to Utah, ate at all my favorite Utah restaurants, watched chick-flicks with my siblings, and got a preview of college life with my older brother and sister. Everything was going according to plan…until the key incident. After we locked the keys in the car and became stranded in the mountains, I was worried that I was going to miss the concert that I had flown all the way to Utah for. Fortunately, we were able to contact a friend who found the spare key and drove it up the canyon. Unfortunately, this put us hours behind schedule. We had planned to arrive at the concert an hour early to get great seats, however, under the circumstances, we were grateful to be sliding into our seats at the outdoor amphitheater just moments before the spotlight illuminated the stage for Jordy Searcy’s opening act.

I didn’t know much about Searcy before the concert, but I was very impressed with his songs and his performance. He sang several sweet songs about his fiancé that immediately made me a fan and left a lasting impression. Next, it was time for Ben Rector to take the stage. The sun was dipping below the horizon, and the excitement in the air was as palpable as the cool Utah breeze when Rector sang his first song. Right off the bat, it was clear that Rector was a genuinely funny and good guy. He cracked jokes with every song and expressed his gratitude that we had come to his concert. He also worked hard to keep the audience engaged and involved. We clapped along to the chorus of one of the songs, we were taught a two-part harmony to sing along with him, and we even whistled as he sang. Unlike other concerts where the artists sometimes change their songs so that they are almost unrecognizable, Rector’s songs stayed true to the originals, even when they had an acoustic twist—or in one case, a harmonica twist. His songs were familiar but interesting, and I hung on to his every note.

One of my favorite parts of the show was near the middle when he paused the concert to do a Q&A with the audience. Rector was asked questions such as what his second favorite song was, what his favorite color was, and if he watched “Bluey” with his kids. His response to the last question was that he doesn’t get to watch “Bluey”  with them very often, but when he does, he admits that “Bluey”  is an “awesome show.” Near the end of the Q&A, an audience member asked him to sing an older song, one of my personal favorites: “Extraordinary Magic.” He paused at this question, and the audience waited anxiously to see how he would respond. Finally, he turned around and asked the two men playing with him if they knew “Extraordinary Magic” on the guitar. Searcy shockingly announced that he did, and with Rector’s disclaimer that he hadn’t played the song in over a year, they began. I didn’t even notice the chill in the air as I listened to the soft melodies drifting across the amphitheater. The moment truly was extraordinarily magical, and everyone could feel it. As soon as the last chord rang out, everyone, including Rector, cheered like crazy, and one by one, every audience member stood up to give them a standing ovation.

From a ‘90s country song cover to a choreographed “Little Mermaid” mashup, Ben Rector sang a song for everyone. He, his guitarist, and his pianist were jamming to the beat with giant smiles on their faces through every song, surpassing even the energy of the audience. There was no smoke, flashing lights, or giant movie screens. The concert setup was simple: just three guys on a stage. Nothing flashy was needed; their songs simply stood for themselves. Song after song, they proved themselves to be likable, genuine people. The barrier that had once separated the artist from the audience crumbled, and by the end, everyone in the audience felt as if they and Rector were old friends.

The sun had long sunk below the horizon as the time had flown by when it was time for Ben Rector to sing his final song. He prefaced this song with how grateful he was for the kindness of people in Utah and their enthusiasm for his music. Rector went on to say that in a Q&A from a concert in Utah several years ago, someone had asked him to sing the “Utah song” and he’d had no idea what that was. So, he decided to write a Utah song. As he performed it, the lyrics had everyone laughing out loud and jamming along with them; it was truly the best note to end on.

As my sister and I slowly packed up our chairs and made our way to the car, I knew that night would become one of my favorite memories. The music was incredible, the atmosphere was enchanting (despite the cold), and Ben Rector was a captivating performer. All in all, going to the concert for Ben Rector’s “Old Friends Acoustic Tour” was a solid 10/10 experience—definitely worth flying to Utah for.

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About the Contributor
Kaydence Wilkinson, Reporter
Kaydence is a junior and first year reporter. She began her newspaper career at the age of zero when she was on the front page of Austin American-Statesman along with the rest of her quintuplet siblings after her birth. She is co-founder of the Pickleball Club and enjoys reading Brandon Sanderson, watching K dramas and running... away from people trying to make her run. After she graduates, Kaydence hopes to attend Brigham Young University where she will miss Torchy’s Tacos, but enjoy the cooler temperatures of Utah.

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