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

Senior executive editor Natalie Murray, senior associate editor Lily Cooper and junior designer Ava Eaton all sit in conversation with recent clients. After the completion of the Parks and Trails Foundation logo, representatives visited the T-Wolf Agency to provide thanks for all the work done. “I know how beneficial it is to be able to work with clients,” Murray said. “We had a previous executive editor come back and tell us how good of an opportunity it is to have this agency here especially if you want to go into graphic design after high school. The people she’s in classes with didn’t have any access to the things we do here and theres only one other LISD school that has a class like this. It’s just a really good opportunity to get real world experience especially when we get to work with people outside the school. It’s just so real to get that experience with actual clientele and how things really work in the industry.”
Photo by Paige Hert
Sketch to Screen
Jane Yermakov, Reporter • February 23, 2024

Walking through the halls, climbing...

Posing with the gold ball trophy, the varsity girls basketball team takes a team photo after beating Liberty Hill 42-37 in round three of the playoffs. The team will face Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial High School on Friday at 5:30 p.m in San Antonio. “I’m feeling so excited [to move on in the playoffs],” senior guard Avery Allmer said. “I feel like this is a big moral boost because we’ve lost a lot of close games and I feel like this is just a really big win for us.” Photo by Alyssa Fox
Third Time's a Charm
Alyssa Fox, Reporter • February 21, 2024

The varsity girls basketball team...

Carefully balancing one piece of paper over another, junior Ryder Wilkinson builds a paper tower with his team at the Architecture Club’s second meeting. Ryder said he was interested in architecture in the past, but the Architecture Club allowed him to get back into it and learn new things. “I [won] one of the competitions, the first one that we had,” Wilkinson said. “[In the second competition] we lost [because] we could not build a tall enough tower that could withstand the blow of a powerful fan, [but] I still had fun because I was with my friends.”
Building A Legacy
Kaydence Wilkinson, Reporter • February 21, 2024

After hours of sketching, days...

A few of my favorite movies of this month are shown in this image. I had to limit myself to only two Andy Samberg movies, otherwise the graphic looks more like a memorial.
Movie a Day: January
Mia Morneault, Reporter • February 20, 2024

I know, another movie review article...

Echo is a short TV series about a deaf Native American assassin who tasks herself to discover the secret behind her extraordinary ancestral gifts, while trying to fall her uncle’s empire in the process. Graphic by Cason Johnson
Sight of Sound
Cason Johnson, Reporter • February 16, 2024

I was lazily scrolling through...

Pictured above is the crafting club social media page that junior Makena Filippoff and sophomore James Morris-Hodges created. The crafting club was created to allow students to have an opportunity to learn how to create different kinds of crafts and to collaborate with other students interested in crafting. “I love to do crafts but I find myself feeling lonely when doing crafts,” Filippoff said. “With no one to share my ideas or experiences with, it can get boring. I wanted to get a group of people that have an interest in learning [and] doing crafts to be able to have fun and socialize while crafting.”
Photo used with permission from Makena Filippoff
Sewing and Social Hour
Julia Seiden, Reporter • February 16, 2024

The sound of scissors snipping,...

Is Texas Back?

Here We Go Again…
Paige Hert
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.

“Longhorn Nation, we’re baaaaaack,” says then-Longhorn quarterback Sam Ehlinger after an upset win over the #5 ranked Georgia Bulldogs in the 2019 Sugarbowl. 

You’ve probably heard and seen memes associated with this simple phrase. At the time, it wasn’t crazy. The Texas Longhorns were coming off their best season in nearly a decade. They finished with a 10-4 record; including a trip to the Big XII championship game and a New Year’s Six Bowl invitation. Ehlinger, who was only a sophomore at the time, was already being considered a Heisman Trophy contender for the next season, and Texas was the Big XII conference favorite. All seemed to be lining up for Texas to return to its former glory.

Yeah, none of that happened. Texas hasn’t even come close to reaching the conference title game after losing to Oklahoma 39-27 in 2018. The most wins the program has had in a season since The Sugar Bowl is eight, in 2019 and 2022. 

Tom Herman, who was hired as the Longhorns coach prior to the 2017 season, was fired after yet another mediocre campaign following the COVID-riddled 2020-2021 season. Steve Sarkisian, an offensive-guru renowned for his time as offensive-coordinator under Nick Saban at Alabama, was brought in.

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His first season in 2021 was a disaster. The Longhorns started 4-1 and seemed to have found their identity. After blowing a 28 point lead to Oklahoma, the Longhorns lost six of their last seven games to end the season at a measly 5-7, missing a bowl berth by a landslide.

2022 was nothing to write home about, but eight wins and a bowl berth, even though they were absolutely decimated by The Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl, was an immense improvement.

And now, the #7 ranked Horns sit at 11-1; frontrunners in the Big XII, and trying to regain supremacy over the Big XII for the last time before moving to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) next season. Yes, that was a lot of drama-filled information to unpack. Oh boy, hold on to your hats (or horns), because there’s so much more to go over.

Quinn Ewers began the season on a tear; not turning the ball over once in the first five weeks. The Horns began with a sizzling 5-0 record. Two of these wins had come from not just beating ranked opponents, but embarrassing them. They traveled to Tuscaloosa to face the then #3 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, and beat them by double digits. The Longhorns moved up to the third spot two weeks later.

The #23 Jayhawks of Kansas, who were playing with their backup quarterback Jason Bean, never stood a chance. Those poor birds limped out of Austin after a 40-14 hammering. 

However, they were forced to return back to reality after once again falling to the Oklahoma Sooners 34-30 in heartbreaking fashion. They haven’t lost since, but that game exposed several issues that Texas has been trying to fix. 

Unlike other teams ranked in the top 10, Texas hasn’t really played a four quarter game this season. Obviously, it hasn’t come back to bite them enough for it to be a pressing issue, especially since it seemed to be fixed during their massacre of the Texas Tech Raiders 57-7 on Black Friday, but it prevented them from finishing 12-0 and retaining their spot in the top four. The only other “complete” game they played was a 38-6 snoozer against a 3-9 Baylor team. The Longhorns averaged 35.08 points per game this season, with most of the scoring happening in the second half during the first five games, and then in the first half during their final six games. Texas often started slowly, with touchdowns being rare on their first two drives of the game. After halftime however, they pushed the gas pedal, turning tight games into clinics. Oklahoma was the first team competent enough to take advantage of this trend; leading Texas by multiple scores into halftime. The Longhorns rallied, and actually took a 30-27 lead with just over a minute left. However, Oklahoma put an immaculate drive together to pull off the upset.

Understandably paranoid, Sarkisian decided that he needed to get his offense into rhythm much earlier in the first half, and Texas scored touchdowns within the first three possessions of their next three games. However, they struggled to score the entirety of the second half, turning the previous nailbiter-to-snoozer metaphor the other way around. It took admittedly questionable officiating for the Longhorns to escape a completely outmatched Houston team who had no business scoring more than 10 points on an elite defense. 

The BYU game was much closer than the score suggests (35-6), but that was more due to the lack-luster decision making of backup quarterback Malik Murphy, who filled in for Quinn Ewers for two weeks due to an injury to his throwing shoulder. 

I’m sure I speak for all Texas fans when I say that I would rather not think about how the Kansas State game went. Texas led 27-7 with 3:30 to go in the third quarter. After a couple of turnovers by an offense that had been red hot just a few minutes earlier, the game was suddenly tied at 27, and overtime was required with both teams locked 30-30 at the end of regulation. Like they had done all season, Texas’s defense held at the goal line to preserve a 33-30 win that the team knew they didn’t deserve, but a win nonetheless. Now, I have never experienced a heart attack, nor do I wish to, but if what I was feeling during the entirety of the second half was even a fraction of what a real one feels like, then I must be lucky to be alive.

Even with the return of Ewers, their game against TCU went almost the same way, except that the offense found their rhythm to put the game away late. Their last two games against ISU and TTU brought heart rhythms down considerably, as the Longhorns almost led wire-to-wire in both games, and the defense forced turnovers like there was no tomorrow, with the offense taking advantage (finally).

Now, here we are. 11-1; the best start since 2009, which was their last national championship appearance.  Awaiting them in the Big XII championship is an admittedly confusing Oklahoma State team. Their 9-3 record does not represent how their season went. After being blown out by South Alabama in the second week of the season, leading to a 1-2 start, the Cowboys went on a tear, even upsetting Oklahoma along the way. However, the very next week, they were blown out by a UCF team, which would eventually finish 6-6. After narrowly escaping BYU in overtime, the Cowboys clinched a spot as the second team in the conference title game. 

Texas is currently favored by 15.5 points, and many other analysts believe that OSU will not stand a chance. However, as we have learned all season, Texas cannot, and should not, take OSU for granted.

Is Texas back? Well, I believe that with a conference championship, regardless of if they make it into the College Football Playoff, then it is safe to say yes. Texas has too much talent coming in for them to regress. Hook’em.

The Longhorns play the Oklahoma State Cowboys this Saturday at 11 a.m. at AT&T stadium in Arlington. The game will be broadcasted on ABC.

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About the Contributor
Jonathan Levinsky, Reporter
Jonathan is a senior and a first year reporter. In addition to being a member of the staff for The Wolfpack, he is also a part of the choir and theatre departments. He loves to write, research and sing. He is hoping to be able to attend Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications next fall to major in Sports Journalism. He makes the worst dad jokes and constantly cracks himself up. Be careful, he might tell you one!

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