NCAAM Basketball Contenders


Staff Writer


  1. Villanova – For the casual college basketball fan conventional wisdom would say that Duke and Kentucky are the best programs in the country that produce the best teams to win a championship every year. In reality, the best program in the past five years has been Villanova. When scouting, coach Jay Wright looks for leadership ability as well as potential that can be untapped with a couple of years on the team. After winning the NCAA Championship in 2016 and getting bounced early in the 2017 tournament many oddsmakers gave Nova the 8th best odds of winning the NCAA Tournament. So far, star players Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges (best Bridges in college basketball) have proven all doubters wrong.
  2. Virginia – The best defensive team in the country that consistently holds teams to under 20 points has there eyes set higher than just winning the ACC. Coach Tony Bennett has instilled a defensive scheme that fits his players skill sets and leaves opposing teams unable to find many catch and shoot opportunities or easy post ups.
  3. Purdue – This small school in West Lafayette, Indiana dominates its Big Ten opponents with dominant big man play and skilled passers at the point that can also shoot the three. Leading the charge for the Boilermakers are the Edwards brothers, (no actual relation) Carson Edwards and Vincent Edwards. Number one and number two on the team in scoring (17.2 and 14.8 respectively); the tandem is capable of leading their team to a deep run in March.

Thunder Vs Lakers

BY: Marcus Garcia

Staff Writer


Russell Westbrook and the Thunder led against the Lonzo-less Lakers in a Wednesday night matchup. The Thunder finished the game off with a 20 point lead and Carmelo Anthony was the leading scorer. Melo had 27 points in the win and the Lakers were led by Julius Randle. After the last meeting between the two teams, where the Thunder won by almost 40, the Lakers had to come out with a new attack to ensure the same embarrassment did not happen again.


With tension between the referees and the players rising this year, Carmelo commented about how the relationship between the two was a lot stronger 15 years ago. The refs have been missing a lot of calls the past few years and the players are finally taking a stand.


The Thunder now sit at 25-20 and are the 5th seed in the west. The Lakers are not in contention for the playoffs in what is a rebuilding phase for the championship team. The Thunder are looking to keep the small win streak they have going and gain a higher seed in this years playoffs.

Senior Leadership Continues to El Diamante

By Chandler Lucas

Staff Writer



We are midway through January and boy has it never looked so gloomy outside.  The weather has been nothing but fog and clouds, I don’t think Visalia has seen the sun in at least 3 days.  Although this extremely depressing weather has blanketed Visalia, there are a lot of things to be excited about.  With the official end of the very useless “Dead Period” that CIF enforces, baseball is officially right around the corner.  Baseball season usually means a combination of sunshine and blue skies that does not include 105 degree heat.  But as fun and as exciting for some people as that sounds, baseball isn’t here yet.  Plus it’s hard to focus on other sports when you have a soccer team in full contention for a Valley title.  


After entering last week with an overall record of 11-4; the El Diamante boys soccer team knocked off Hanford and Hanford West to climb up the WYL standings, and to cement a dominant 13-4 record.  They jumped from 4th to 2nd in the WYL standings and are closing in on the mighty Rangers of Redwood.  The scoring attack the Miners possess this year is one of the main reasons why they’re streaking towards the postseason.  Entering Wednesday, the Miners have posted 25 goals and have let just 5 enter their own net in just 4 games of league play.  Their offense is without a doubt among the best (if not the best) in the WYL and their defense is also cream of the crop.


Dakotah Ybarra continues to lead the Miner attack with 17 goals.  He leads the WYL with 42 points and he’s tallied 8 assists along with his high number of goals scored.   


Now let’s change the focus to a group of girls who have the opportunity to do the same thing that we saw from our football boys.  


As many of you remember, 4 weeks into the football season the El Diamante Miners were 1-3 and looked awful.  Their lone win came against a very under-talented Monache squad and they had gotten destroyed by Tulare Western and Union.  But after that 3rd loss in overtime to Dinuba, a switch flipped.  A big switch, for that matter.  The Miners won every game they played the rest of the season until the Semi-Final game when they lost to, poetically enough, the Dinuba Emperors.  Now it goes without saying that soccer and football are two completely different sports.  But, then again, can they be so different that we won’t see another deep and very surprising surge from an El Diamante team that many people had written off for good?


The answer to that question is absolutely not.  


15 matches into the season, the Miners have posted an overall record of 8-5-2.  Technically, that really isn’t that bad.  At this pace, the Miners should make the playoffs.  But keeping this pace would be dangerous because that would give the Miners a lower seed, which also means some pretty long bus rides going to face a much higher seed on their field.  And no one likes long bus rides.  However, 15 matches is nothing.  The Miners can be a perfect example of how it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.  They have plenty of young talent complimented by strong senior leadership.  They’ve been given the recipe for success, now all they need to do is mix the ingredients.  If that happens, then it’ll feel like some massive deja-vu from football back in the fall.  



When it comes to standings and statistics, it’s once again no surprise who stands on top; Redwood and El Diamante.  One of the biggest and most fierce rivalries in the Central Valley will add many more chapters before the clock strikes midnight to end 2018.  The Miners and Rangers have been in a gigantic game of “Tug-Of-War” ever since El Diamante opened its doors in 2002.  This doesn’t go with just soccer or baseball or football, it’s literally everything.  With that being said, I bet you can take a wild guess who stands in the top 2 of the boys’ WYL standings.  


The Miners and Rangers have met early in the year.  And in the early part of the season, the Rangers have gotten the best of the Green Sea in boys and girls.  But the good news is, one match doesn’t make or break the season.  


It’s not a secret, and it’s not a mystery.  There’s a reason why Redwood and El Diamante are usually neck and neck in playoff standings.  That’s what makes these matchups so interesting.  As the playoffs lure closer to a reality, Redwood and El D games carry a lot of meaning.  I mean, they usually do anyways.  Even if it’s not a playoff spot or a top seed on the line, there will always be bragging rights.  No matter the scenario or the outcome, there will always be a lot riding on the backs of El D and Redwood matchups


I don’t expect that changing any time soon.  You shouldn’t either.

Chocolate May Go Extinct




Staff Writer

In the near future, your favorite confectionery treat- chocolate- may not exist. Scientists claim that because of climate change and rising global temperatures; cocoa beans may no longer be able to be cultivated in tropical climates. Cocoa plants can strictly only be grown in tropical climates, and need wet, humid weather to thrive. But climate change is making these climates hotter and unoccupiable for cocoa plants. This forces cocoa farmers to reestablish their farms in higher elevations with cooler climates. However, these regions that grow cocoa beans have limited elevated land. In places like West Africa ,where a large portion of cocoa beans are grown, higher elevations are nature reserves, leaving no excess land for cocoa to be grown. As if the fate of chocolate can’t be more grim, fungal diseases like Frosty Pod Rot which has spread throughout South and Central America can destroy entire cocoa plantations. Chocolate production has recently decreased as well, but the demand for chocolate continues to rise. This will increase the price of chocolate in coming years. Scientists estimate that chocolate may go extinct as early as 2050. But the future isn’t entirely grim. Some scientific specialists have began to genetically engineer cocoa plants to make them stronger and able to be grown in colder climates.

Don’t Make Me Wait


Staff Writer

Don’t make me wait for your love

Sitting here waiting on you

Patiently waiting for your touch.

Don’t make me wait one more day

See you sitting talking to him

After all the time we shared.

I die a little at night without you

We shared those moments

Laughed and cried,

Cuddled and said nothing

Don’t make me wait.

When All Hope Is Lost (Chapter 1)



by Sharon Adamson

Staff Writer


Hope, promise, belief, confidence, and faith are words unfortunately that have been on replay for the last eight years of my life, but I haven’t known the true meaning behind them or even had a moment in my life when I felt completely secure in my head since it all happened. My name is Emily Rose and I was born in a small town called Maysville, Kentucky right on the tip of Mason County. Maysville doesn’t have big city folks, no big fancy stores, or even a big shopping center like they show on TV. In Maysville, people work hard on the farm, raise the children up on the land, and go to church every sunday. Although, I haven’t been able to remember those moments in my life since it happened. Let me explain, let’s start from the beginning! Before I was born, my Mom and Dad were going to school at the high school over on West Hill Road, and they began talking for a few months during their sophomore year. Well, about four months after they met Dad stopped talking to Mom all together. She didn’t know what had happened to him. So she kept going to school and she met this guy named William later in her Junior year and from what mom says he was a real looker! Anyways, William and Mom were dating all the way up into the second semester of her senior year and they were two weeks away from their senior prom. Momma had planned on going with William until she noticed that my dad transferred into her Math class. She waited a few days to see if he’d say anything to her, but he didn’t he acted as though she wasn’t even there. On that Friday, Mom had enough and she went up to him and asked, “What happened? You think you can just come in here and act like we weren’t in love or anything? Really?” From what mom says, Dad began crying and told her he was really sorry, but his mother had died and his dad was very ill so he had left school to assist his father. Mom felt so bad for coming on to him so harshly, and she told William she wasn’t going to be able to make it to prom, and that being his girlfriend was no longer in her plans. William was mad, but he understood why she had to leave him. Mom and Dad said they were planning on going to the Prom together since she no longer going with William, but they decided that instead of going to Prom that they would pack up the car and go camp underneath the stars over on the top of Rosewood Hill about thirty miles outside of town. They drove out there, laid down the truck bed, and watch the stars fade and the sun begin to rise. Mom always told me that night was the night she knew she couldn’t live without him. After that night, Mom didn’t talk to dad for the next few days due to the graduation ceremony. Graduation day came and Mom finally seen Dad he was dressed in his cap and gown with his hair swooped back like he always had it. Dad walked on the stage to receive his diploma and he asked Mr. Lancey if he could give a quick speech. Dad got up there and said, “I would like to thank my Mom, I know you cannot be here in person but I know your here in spirit. I would like to thank my Dad for standing strong when it seemed like the world was against us. I would like to thank my teachers for helping me get this far, but before I go there is one special person I have to thank. This young lady has been hero, and if it wasn’t for her back in our sophomore I know for sure I wouldn’t be standing here today. So with that being said, Emma Rose Mckinley will you marry me?”

McDonald’s is Going Green



By: Michelle See

Staff Writer


By 2025, McDonald’s and other fast foods are planning to use recyclable or renewable materials in a package that will be put in recycling bins in restaurants. “Our ambition is to make changes our customers want and to use less packaging”, said a McDonald’s sustainability officer. Trump appointee may give McDonald’s a break in landmark labor cause. Currently around 64% of its packaging meets the standard of not using packaging that contributes to deforestation, and its plans to reach 100% by 2020. McDonald’s began purchasing sustainable beef in 2016, and its plan to completely eliminate foam packaging by the end of 2018. McDonald’s CEO is modernizing the customer’s burger experience and trying to upgrade a better experience with touchscreen ordering kiosks and table service in some locations.

KDDH ER infested with bedbugs




Staff Writer


Last Wednesday a patient brought bedbugs into Kaweah Delta Medical Center. The staff immediately took control of the infestation to prevent further spreading the staff was forced to call an exterminator into the emergency department.  The patients were transferred to different rooms while the infested rooms were being treated.


It was confirmed that the staff examined every room in the emergency department and also brought in bug control. This successfully prevented the bugs spreading to the other patients.


Bedbugs are not known to spread diseases, but can cause itching and red bumps. Some people may even have an allergic reaction.

Larry Nassar Case




Staff Writer


Larry Nassar has been the talk of the town this week and has seen some troubling rods due to his conviction of sexully abusing some of the world’s top gymnasts. Larry Nassar has been the US gymnastics doctor for more than a decade and has seen over 100 patients in his career. All this came to an end when a gymnast came forward to speak out about Nassar’s dirty acts. This caused a whole bunch of frenzy causing more gymnasts to come forward and talk about their experiences with Nassar as well. Nassar has overall been charged with over 60 years in prison after these cases against him.

This case on Nassar shows just how unsecure some of the most “trusted” places in the world can have a catch. There should be some precautions that come from this that can give some more people some closure. Deep backgrounds checks are needed to prevent stuff like this happening again.

Four South Carolina Officers Shot



Saul Mendez

Staff Writer


Four Officers,  including three SWAT members, were shot and wounded as they searched for a domestic violence suspect in the city of York, South Carolina this Tuesday afternoon. One of the four officers is in “very critical” condition said a spokesperson for the York Sheriff Department. The other three were reportedly in stable condition. Deputies were responding to a call at about 10 pm Monday after a report that the suspect in question was attacking a woman. McCall ran into the woods and a York County officer with a police dog chased him. McCall shot and wounded the officer, Faris said. The dog was not hurt. At  around 3:30 in the morning on  Tuesday, a York County Deputy reported, McCall shot the three SWAT team members. Two of them were York County deputies and one was a police officer from a nearby city. McCall was shot by officers and taken to a Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, the same hospital the officers were in. The deputy also reported that a state police helicopter was shot and its stabilizer was damaged during the search for McCall, but no one was injured and the Helicopter was able to land safely.