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Ashley News Observer- Features


Youth show livestock at county fair
The Youth of Ashley County got to show off their real “live” projects last weekend.

The Future Farmers of America Association and the Ashley County 4-H program both had students participating in the livestock contests and events at the Ashley County Fair.

Braley Moffatt stands with livestock she entered in the Ashley County Fair. (VAL GAUGHT/News Observer)
According to the program sponsors, the students feed and care for their animals to get them to meet certain requirements. The students have guidance from their group sponsors and their parents, but the students have to put in a lot of work to raise the animals on their own.

“He feeds them and raises them and he can tell you all about it,” Brooke Allen said about her son, Hayden Allen, and his chickens.

Members of the Crossett FFA who competed included Paige Thompson, Daniel Johnson, Danni Dolan, and Anna Rice. Thompson won first place in the Medium Weight Commercial Heiffer category and Grand Champion with her livestock. Johnson and Dolan both entered market hogs. Johnson won first place and second place. In addition to hogs, Dolan also entered poultry and won multiple poultry ribbons including Grand Champion Bantam Rooster. Rice entered and won ribbons with rabbits.

The Ashley 4-H members who participated were Braley Moffatt, Mabry Davis, Hayden Allen, Addison Allen, Hunter Adams, Logan Whitaker and Landon Whitaker.

Moffatt entered livstock in the Small Weight Commercial Heiffer category. Moffatt won first place and reserve grand champion. Moffatt also won multiple first and second prize poultry awards. Davis was awarded ribbons for her goats and rabbits. Hayden Allen won ribbons for his chickens including Grand Champion Poultry. Addison Allen won first place in water fowl with her Chinese goose. Adams won Grand Champion and other ribbons for his rabbits. Logan and Landon Whitaker both won poultry ribbons.

The Hamburg FFA students who competed were Nicole Martin and Ashley Hollis. Hollis also competes through the County 4-H program.

Martin raised hogs and won grand champion and reserve grand champion with her market hogs. Hollis raises goats and chickens. She won multiple ribbons with her poultry and grand champion with one of her goats.

In addition to raising animals for show, Hollis competes with her horses and participated in last week’s horse show. Hollis is a former rodeo queen and won Miss Teen Ashley County Horsemanship.

Hollis’ story began with her wishing for a horse to almost having an entire farm. Hollis says she wants to add cows.

“When we jumped in, we jumped all in,” Hollis said.

--For the complete story, see the print edition.




Tauton, Riles take top pageant titles at fair
Ashley County has new royalty as 2016 Teen Miss Ashley County, Carson Grannon, and Miss Ashley County, Lexie Stalnaker, officially passed on their crowns.

The Ashley County Fair wrapped up last weekend with the crowning of the new queens. The pageant began Saturday with the baby royalty and lasted until late Saturday night.

The winner of Baby Miss was Heidi Meeks, daughter of Travis and Lindsey Meeks of Crossett. Toddler Miss was awarded to Timber Winstead daughter of Laken Nelms of Crossett. Zoe Lauhon, daughter of Zach and Taylor Lauhon of Hamburg was crowned Tiny Miss, and Brynle Griffith, daughter of Jaley and Payden Potts and Michael Griffith of Crossett was crowned Sassy Miss.

The 6- to 12-year-old royalty was named in the afternoon. The winner in the 6 to 8 age group was Jaycee Meeks, daughter of Justine Day.

In the 9 to 10 age group, the winner was Parker Bishop, daughter of Jacob and Allison Bishop; and in the 11to 12 age division, the winner was Preslee Sturdivant, daughter of Amber Knight and Jacky Sturdivant.

The Teen and Miss Pageants were Saturday evening. The Ashley County reigning royalty, Grannon and Stalnaker, were the masters of ceremonies with help from visiting royalty, Rachel Langely. Langley is a former Miss Ashley County and the reigning Miss Southeast Arkansas.

The night ended with the crowning of the 2017 Miss Ashley County, Madison Tauton of Crossett, daughter of Sam and Stacy Taunton, and the Teen Miss, Mallory Riles of Crossett, daughter of Penny Rials.

Taunton said being Miss Ashley County feels like a dream.

“I’m so honored to be a part of the amazing group of girls I competed with,” she said. “I can’t wait to represent Ashley County this year.”

--For the complete story, see the print edition.




From Yarbrough Field to Division I: Three former Eagles cheer for the Razorbacks
Crossett residents watching the Razorback games the past few weekends might have noticed a few hometown faces popping up on their screen.

Crossett High School has three graduates who are currently cheering for the Razorbacks at the University of Arkansas.

Hannah Bigger graduated from CHS in May of 2014 and has been cheering for the Razorbacks for four years.

Crossett High School graduates Hannah Bigger, Nathan McIntyre and CeCe Cooks are all members of the University of Arkansas’ cheer squad. (VAL GAUGHT/News Observer)
Bigger was a cheerleader at CHS, and said she has wanted to be a Razorback cheerleader since she was four or five years old.

Nathan McIntyre is a 2016 graduate of CHS and has been cheering for the Razorbacks since April. McIntyre says he didn’t cheer in high school, but decided to try out for the squad about half way through his freshman year of college.

The most recent CHS graduate on the U of A cheer squad is Cleondra “CeCe” Cooks. Cooks graduated in 2017, and this is her first football season cheering for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Cooks was also on the sidelines cheering for the Eagles during her time at CHS.

Bigger and Cooks have been cheering since they were old enough to remember. McIntyre says he didn’t get into the sport until he was 19, but the decision to tryout changed his life.

“Cheer for guys was not very common in our high school conference,” McIntyre said. “I played football and baseball growing up.”

He said he wants to encourage others to get out of their comfort zone and try something new.

“Nobody thought I would make it, and laughed about it, but I kept practicing and believed in myself,” he said. “Now I’m here.”

The trio are all very happy to be cheering together, and enjoy seeing familiar faces on the squad.

“I feel like I have a little bit of Crossett with me even five hours from home,” Mcintyre said.

Bigger said having fellow Crossett alumni cheer with her “is such a cool feeling.”

“Nathan and CeCe are so passionate about the program, so it makes cheering with them so much fun,” she said.

The three said they are all very exited to be members of a Division 1 squad, but they all agree that collegiate cheering can be challenging at times.

“The most challenging part about cheering at the college level is the time commitment,” Bigger said. “It is crucial that we all manage our time wisely as most of it is taken by different cheerleading events and games.”

All three said that managing time is a must, and can be difficult at times.

“ Just in the past month, we’ve cheered for football, soccer, and gymnastics, so having good time management skills is essential,” Cooks said.
Mcintyre said he has to plan daily to balance class, work and his cheer schedule.

According to the trio, the daily life of a collegiate cheerleader is hectic, and their cheer schedule is quite demanding.

“In high school, we would practice every day, but it would not be organized or even efficient,” Bigger said. “At the college level, we have 6:45 morning workouts, two-hour practices in the evenings, pep rallies, and we cheer at almost every sport including volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, men’s and women’s basketball and football.”

Responsibility and discipline are important characteristics of a college athlete.

The cheerleaders agree that Crossett High School staff and even other students helped build them into the dedicated cheerleaders they are today.

Mcintyre said Crossett graduate Alana Sipes — who is now cheering on the University of Arkansas-Monticello squad — deserves a lot of credit for getting him a spot on the squad.

“Alana was a senior at CHS last year, and spent countless hours with me over Thanksgiving and Christmas break at the gym to help get me started,” he said. “As many times as I dropped her, she never gave up. She worked with me for several months and always kept my hopes up.”

--For the complete story, see the print edition.




Hamburg High School announces Homecoming court
Hamburg High School has announced its 2017 Homecoming court. The court members include, from front left, Hillary Cedotal, Brooke Hicks, Queen Regena Rowe, Alondra Cruz, and Mattison Tomerlin; from rear left, Lily McCraw, Shanie Wells, Macey Bonds and Claire Sanderlin. (SUBMITTED/News Observer)




Crossett High School announces Homecoming court
Crossett High School has announced the 2017 CHS Homecoming Court.Members include, from front left, Khalia Williams, Emily Rush, Kelsey Dumas, Ila Toon and Audrianne Bradford; from rear left, Katie Lynn Carter, Brooke Courson, Treasure Ellis, Kaylie Pullin and Julia McGhee. (SUBMITTED/News Observer)