Q & A with Father Ben: What will he miss the most?


Fr. Ben says it has been a “wonderful” four years at Bishop Carroll. Photo by Elle Clouse.

Nathan Lies and Wyatt Iseman caught up with Fr. Ben Sawyer to discuss his time at Carroll and new assignment:

Briefly explain your journey to priesthood and how you ended up at BC.
“When I was young, I really didn’t want to become a priest but when I went to the University of Dallas I met young priests and some of my friends were becoming priests so that kinda got to open up my eyes and say wow, maybe God is calling me to be a priest. That desire to serve grew throughout my years of college and I fell in love with our Lord and with our church and I wanted to give myself to the church and so I entered seminary after college. I went to Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary at Emmitsburg, Maryland, and I was assigned after ordination to two years at a parish over at St. Thomas Aquinas. And then I think I remember Bishop Jackels asking me if I would ever be interested in teaching high school and I said absolutely, I love teaching. And so then he assigned me to Bishop Carroll.”

How has being BC’s chaplain impacted your life?
“It has been very beneficial for me in the priesthood to journey with high school students and their families, to be with them in the joyful moments and also when they are struggling. To be able to hand on the faith to them in the classroom, to forgive their sins, to celebrate mass for them, and to give them spiritual guidance when they need it. So I think it has impacted my priesthood because it helped me to become a better priest but it’s been a wonderful four years.”

What are some of your favorite memories and what will you miss most?
“So my favorite memories will include teaching in the classroom, the spring break mission trip to Gallup, New Mexico, the march for life trips, all school mass, and the number of students and teachers that visit me in my office. What I will miss the most is working with other faculty especially the religion department in handing on the faith. I will also miss preaching to the students at mass.”

What was your initial reaction to the Bishop’s new assignment for you? How do you feel about it now?
“I was very excited and I still am excited.”

What exactly will you be doing with this new assignment?
“I begin my Italian studies June 1st for three months and what that will prepare me for is to do advanced theological studies. It’s basically the equivalent of getting a masters. I’ll still be connected to the diocese of Wichita. I will always be a priest of the diocese of Wichita. So my studies will take me away to Rome for two years and then I will return and I will do whatever the bishop asks me to do.”

Do you think Fr. Ben Green will fit in well at Carroll?
“Yeah, I do think that he will fit in very well at Carroll. I went to seminary with Fr. Green for two years and he is a good man and he will fit in well. He will really be able to relate to the students. So yeah, I think the Bishop has left Bishop Carroll in good hands.”

Baseball Road to State

Junior PJay Henning pitching during Fridays intersquad game. Photo by Caleb Hudspeth

Junior PJay Henning pitching during Fridays intersquad game. Photo by Caleb Hudspeth

Because of the recent wet weather, the varsity baseball team held an intersquad against the JV team to prepare for the upcoming tournament. The JV squad is done with its season but is still helping varsity with their goal of state

“This gives them something to work towards and for them to see what it’s like to play against varsity competition and get ready for next year,” said assistant coach Austin Woodard.

The games against Newton and Goddard Eisenhower set for Thursday at West Urban were called off due to field conditions but this didn’t stop Coach Charlie Ebright from getting one last game in before the state tournament.

“Rainouts caused me to want to schedule another game and I thought about playing our JV because of their competition and that the live situations would help us out,” he said.

You may be wondering why the JV would even bother playing the varsity with their season over. This competitive game helps the player on routines and what to expect when trying out next year to fill the open spots on varsity.

“The intersquad game gave us the opportunity to show our talents in front of the varsity coaches and it helps us see where we need to be to fill the open varsity spots next year,” said sophomore Brock Hipp.

This is just one of the many preparations that the varsity squad will participate in while getting ready for another state championship run. After coming up short last year in the tournament taking third, the team look for an improvement from last year.

“We’re trying to see a lot of live pitching and simulate real game situations as well as overview our defense and still get our situational practice,” said coach Ebright

JV ended with a 14-2 record.

Story By: Caleb Hudspeth

Inside look at Carroll’s talented freshman Track athletes


Coach Mans instructs Thomas Helten on how to improve his jumping technique right after his final jump. Photo by Maddi Eck

by Maddi Eck, staff photographer

Every year, freshmen join the track team, hoping to one day be the best in their event. For some, that “one day” came earlier than others.

The 2015 track team at has gained about 12 freshmen on varsity, all of which are valuable to the team. Among those freshman are Joe Rohleder, Thomas Helten, and Heidi Asmussen. Rohleder holds varsity positions in the 400 meter race and long jump. He also participates in high jump and the 200 meter dash. Asmussen holds a varsity spot in triple jump, and the 100, 200, and 400 meter races. Thomas Helten is a varsity level athlete in triple jump, but also competes in high jump and long jump.

As you can see, the jumps area of track is one of many areas to be affected by all the new freshmen. This has proven to be beneficial to the returning athletes, as it motivates them to work harder so that they do not get beaten by an underclassman. Their coach, Mr. Mans, said that it is great that the younger kids push the older kids to be better.

Not only do the returning athletes enjoy the challenge of that the talented freshmen have brought, the rookies enjoy being guided by the upperclassmen. Asmussen said, “My favorite part of being on varsity is getting to know all the upper classmen.”

Fall sports athletes gear up for summer preparation

Members of the Bishop Carroll Color Guard practice a new flag routine. This summer they will hold weekly practices and attend band camp to prepare for their halftime performances at football games. Photo by Grace Kelly.

Members of the Bishop Carroll Color Guard team practice a new flag routine. This summer they will hold weekly practices and attend band camp to prepare for their halftime performances at football games. Photo by Grace Kelly.

by Grace Kelly, staff writer

For Carroll students, summer begins at 11:11 a.m. on May 21, but Carroll’s fall athletes aren’t off the hook yet. Many of the athletes are just beginning to gear up again for the hustle and bustle that their fall seasons provide. Soon after the school year ends, the practice fields are utilized by some of Carroll’s 24 athletic and spirit teams.

Many of the teams at Carroll offer a camp and hold regular practice in the summer to help improve upon players’ strength and weaknesses in their respective games. These camps and practices and held at various times and dates throughout the summer months, and coaches may even ask their players to build upon their training with weights and conditioning classes.

“The summer is a great time to practice and improve on my skills,” said junior tennis player Carlie Kobler. “Practicing in the summer is also nice because it’s not as stressful and you won’t be going into the season cold.”

While some of Carroll’s teams hold light practice and camps, others require more advanced preparation, therefore, just beginning their very long season a few months ahead of time.

Carroll’s football team has a long standing tradition of excellence and their summer preparation plays a large part in their continued high performance. Two camps are run for the freshman and the sophomores, juniors, and seniors. At the Bishop Carroll camps, the team goes over plays, while at the Hutchinson Community College football camp, the team scrimmages against other schools. The football team also participates in morning weights every Monday through Thursday.

“I believe that’s what really puts our team above,” said sophomore offensive lineman Billy Briggs. “Weights and the camps help prepare you for the season and get you in shape.”

The spirit teams at Carroll do not let down on practice either, as they have much to prepare for camps and fall performances. The Pom Squad learns a new routine to showcase at camp and additional Tuesday/Thursday practices are to be held after camp to learn new routines for football season. Cheer learns a new dance, the fight song routine, basic stunting skills for new cheerleaders, and conditions jumps and stunts. After camp, the cheerleaders teach new stunts and all the cheers and chants they perform at athletic events. The Color Guard prepares for marching band season with camp and weekly practices to teach show routines and fundamentals of color guard and marching to the new members.

Besides the obvious improvement in skill, summer practices and camp provide great opportunities for teams to grow and become families and continue on the tradition of excellence Bishop Carroll has held for so long in the athletic program.

“The summer months provide much needed time for team bonding on the Pom Squad,” said Pom coach Stephanie Taylor. “Between practicing for camp and preparing for football performances, the girls begin to know one another very well and start dancing like a unified team.”


Farewell to our seniors!


“Being at the senior farewell mass made me realize just how much I am going to miss my Bishop Carroll family.” John Degraffenreid.

“Carry the light that burns within you.” Father Ben, from his homily at senior farewell mass.

“I like senior farewell mass because during it we got to celebrate the Eucharist. I felt united to my class more closely through the sacrament.”

Watch video in HD here.

BC coaches recall the greatness of Blake Bell, who was picked in the NFL draft


Blake Bell slaps hands with fans after an OU victory. Bell, former BC star quarterback, was recently chosen by the 49ers in the NFL draft. Photo by John Rhodes, Fort Worth Star Telegram / MCT Campus.

by Brett Cass, staff writer

   It was the state semi-finals. Carroll quarterback Blake Bell took a shot some 20 or 30 yards down field to his receiver, who took the wrong route. The pass was intercepted, and the defender returned the ball downfield. He was close to scoring when out of nowhere, he was drilled by someone. That someone was Bell, who is now the new tight end for the San Francisco 49ers.
This is the kind of intensity that Bell played with in every football game, and still does today. He was rewarded recently when he was the 117th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, taken in the fourth round.
Bell told Tyler Emerick of 49ers.com “I got that call today and it was unreal,” Bell said. “I’m just glad they gave me an opportunity, and I’m pumped.”
In 2009, his senior year, Bell threw for 2,752 yards with 32 touchdowns. After that, he signed to Oklahoma University. Bell was known as “the Belldozer” at Oklahoma, where he officially switched positions from quarterback to tight end successfully.
“It was a good switch as far as advancing his career to the NFL,” said Carroll Coach Dusty Trail. “He could have had opportunities as a quarterback, but he has bigger opportunities at tight end. It was a smart decision of him to tell the OU coaches he’d switch to tight end.”
“It was my decision and ever since I made the switch, I haven’t looked back,” Bell said in an interview with 49ers.com
At 6 feet 6 and 252 pounds, Bell is by far one of the biggest tight ends in the NFL. Despite his size, Bell runs a fast 4.80 second 40 yard dash. His huge 10-inch hands make it very easy for him to catch passes. All this put together is a great set of tools for the rookie Bell, and with his work ethic legendary to Bishop Carroll football, should make him a success in the NFL.
“Blake’s a really passionate football player with a level head,” said Carroll Coach Chris Jaax. “He’s also huge, and fast, and he has an understanding of the game that most guys don’t. Coaching a player like him was a special opportunity that few people get, and it made me a better coach because of it. We’re really proud of everything he’s accomplished.”
At Carroll, Bell used to stay late during workouts and work to better himself and his teammates. He established football traditions that are still used today at Carroll, including seven-on-sevens during the summer.
“I’m proud of playing a small part in his career, but I’m more proud of him,” said Trail. “It’s fun to watch his career advance, and it makes the NFL more interesting for me knowing I’ve had the good fortune to coach an NFL player.”

Who will be next drum major? Dean has tough decision ahead

chris g

Chris Gregg is hoping to be the drum major next year. Photo by Lydia Crownover.

by Lydia Crownover, staff photographer

Every year around this time, band members who are motivated by hope and admiration fill out section leader applications. A section leader is sort of like a captain for a certain instrument in the band.

Jerrod Schmidt, saxophone, says “a section leader helps their section improve with hard work, determination, and patience, a lot of patience.”
The hopeful students fill out an application, get interviewed by Mr. Dean, the band director, and then wait in anticipation for the announcement on the last day of school. Each student has a different reasoning behind why they want to be the section leader of their instrument. Some want to inspire the underclassmen to work as hard as they can, some want to earn a letter for participating in band, and some just want to boss the rookies around.

Jennifer Bohr, clarinet, says “I want to be section leader because it means that I can help the school in the music program and I can be a leader for underclassmen in my section.”

Other than section leader, several students are applying for drum major, which is like a section leader for the whole band.

Madeline Petersen and Kolbe Peloquin were the drum majors last year and had a lot of fun representing the Bishop Carroll marching band. Peloquin graduated this past Sunday and his little sister, Lisa Peloquin, is hoping to follow her big brother’s footsteps and be next year’s drum major. Other than Lisa Peloquin and Madeline Petersen, Anna Caps, Crystal Nguyen, and Chris Gregg are also trying for the drum major position for the upcoming season.

For the multitude of instruments, Mr. Dean has to interview each and every one of the students who applied; that also includes the students applying for drum major. “The hardest part is choosing from all of the talented students that we already have,” Mr. Dean says. “The applicant has to obviously be a good musician, but more importantly, they have to have good leadership skills.”

Speakers inspire at Farewell Mass; Father Ben encourages seniors to ‘wake up the world’


Addi McGill addresses the senior class at Farewell Mass. Photo by Morgan Werth.

by Morgan Werth, staff writer

The Senior Farewell Mass began with the Presentation of Mementos and a short speech from senior class president Addi McGill. During her time on the stage, McGill thanked all teachers, coaches, and parents that have impacted the students’ lives in the last four years and prepared them for their future.

After Mass, Principal Vanessa Harshberger addressed the crowd with a speech on a phrase close to the senior class’s heart, “eagle pride never dies.” Harshberger explained all the ways that they have exemplified their eagle pride and how it will forever remain with them as it has all of our alumni.

Even more special to the senior class was Fr. Ben Sawyer’s homily, being his last homily to Bishop Carroll community. In the First Reading, the crowd heard how God spoke to his disciple Paul, and in the Gospel we were told to be steadfast in times of trial.
Father Ben best wrapped up these messages in the three pieces of advice he gave to the seniors:

1. Do not fear the cross.
2. Be joyful.
3. Wake up the world.

“Father Ben couldn’t have ended the year on a better note,” says senior Mary Linnebur. “His advice was what the senior class needed before many of us leave our Catholic school bubble.”

Shortly after explaining the importance of his three points, he shared a prayer one of Mother Teresa’s favorite prayers, Radiating Christ. This prayer further explains how we should share our faith with the world and asks Christ to intensify our want to share it.
“Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul.”

Father Ben entered with the class of 2015 and now considers himself to be graduating as well with the class of 2015. Bishop Carroll students have learned as much from him as he had from us and wish him the best of luck as he travels to Italy to share his light for Christ.


Father Ben, who “graduated” along with the seniors, encourages the seniors to “wake up the world.”

Farewell Mass highlights senior achievements


Shelby Lopez accepts the Scholar-Athlete award from Athletic Director Larry Dostert at the senior farewell Mass. Photo by Emily Demel.

by Emily Demel, staff writer

As the 2014-2015 school year comes to a close, another group of seniors leaves the nest they’ve lived in the past four years and welcomes a new chapter in their lives. Friday’s farewell mass gave everyone a chance to award them for their accomplishments this year and to bid them goodbye and good luck as they graduate from the windowless halls of Bishop Carroll.

The class of 2015 had many achievements. It was a very academically sound class led by Kellie Griffin, valedictorian, and three salutatorians: John DeGraffenreid, William Lies, and Rachel Schwindt. The class also produced two National Merit Finalists, Rachel Schwindt and Jakob Wulf-Eck, with commended National Merit students Brent Hess, William Lies, and Kristen Winningham. There were 45 Kansas Scholars Curriculum Completers, 14 Kansas State Scholars and 41 seniors were members of the National Honors Society.

The Joann M. Bieberle Memorial Scholarship was a scholarship of $500 given to a student who not only showed academic excellence but also great leadership and Christian conviction. It was awarded to Mary Linnebur. The R.J. Peck Memorial Scholarship was a scholarship of $300 and was given out to a student who showed wonderful leadership and devotion to faith during their years and Bishop Carroll. It was awarded to Megan Heng.

Senior Coleman Nordhus said, “It was really fun to see what the different people in our class had accomplished.”

Logan Albers was a recipient of the ROTC Air Force Scholarship. The Judge & Mrs. Gray Scholarship was given to Olivia Borland and Braden Schnieders. Ashlea Baalmann received the Rita A. Stolz Farm Scholarship.

Along with the many scholarships awarded, students were recognized for their talent and commitment to Bishop Carroll. Shelby Lopez and Mark Quaney received Scholar/ Athlete Awards for their dedication to excellence both in the classroom and outside in their various sports. The Golden Eagle Band Award was awarded to Kolbe Peloquin. The Golden Eagle Choral Award was given to Angelina Robledo. Camden Capps was awarded the Debate St. Justin Martyr Award while The Family and Consumer Science Award was received by Jami Reichenberger.

Mrs. Lashley, senior Alex Lashley’s mom, stated after the mass, “I loved getting to award our kids for the hard work they’ve done these past four years.”

After the mass, senior Simon Nguyen commented, “After hearing about all of the accomplishments all of my classmates made I just thought ‘wow, we’re going to own the future.’”

Track teams content but not satsified


Braden Hansard competes at City League track. Photo by Elle Clouse.


by Elle Clouse, staff writer

On a very pleasant Friday afternoon, the track and field team descended onto the Northwest track to compete at the City League Meet. On May 15, the stakes were high for every athlete. Most schools use the results of the League meet to determine the competitors that will represent the team at regionals, which means that there’s more than just a medal depending on each athletes results. The adrenaline and excitement is felt by everyone at the meet, waiting to see who will take home the gold.

After getting off the bus, Kylee Mernagh said “I feel lucky to be here for my third year, each year the competition gets better.”

Mernagh is one of the many talented athletes Bishop Carroll brought to the City League stage this year. Mernagh ended up setting a new personal record in the triple jump later on that evening.
While Rita Mernagh watched her daughter compete, she said “It’s always nice to watch the kids do well at meets.”

Noah Johnson, a thrower, talked about his results by saying “I did well enough to place, but I don’t feel like I personally did as good as I could’ve.”
Although Johnson is not satisfied, his results very well could’ve helped snag the first place plaque that now belongs to the Bishop Carroll boys track team. The girls finished second behind East High School.

As the meet concluded, a very satisfied Bishop Carroll track team loaded back onto the buses, feeling very content, but not satisfied. The team still has two very important dates marked on their calendars. These next two weekends will close out the season with a bang. First will be Regionals in Liberal, and then the State Track Meet held at Wichita State University. Regardless of how the next meets turn out, the team can rest assured that City League was conquered.

Why not us? StuCo holds first banquet


StuCo held its first banquet to celebrate a successful school year. Photo by Kaylor Nordhus.

by Kaylor Nordhus, staff writer

Just when it was thought that Executive Student Council had revamped every aspect of Carroll this year, leaders decided to hold the first Student Council Banquet.

“All the other sports get banquets so why shouldn’t Student Council get one as well?” said Aubrey Burgess, student body president.

Logan Albers, Executive Service officer, was the brains behind implementing this new banquet.
“We had such a great year with Student Council and we accomplished a lot more than we expected, so I felt it was appropriate to reward the wonderful Student Council officers for their hard work,” said Albers.

The banquet was held Wednesday in the commons, with the floating aroma of the catered meal from Olive Garden. Class videos played during dinner, while light-hearted chatter about this year’s Student Council accomplishments clung to the conversations between officers.

When the time came for speeches, each grade’s president and vice president got up to give a speech. There were emotions that mixed between relief—that all StuCo obligations were over for the year—and sadness—that the beloved seniors on both senior stuco and executive council would not be returning next year.

Chloe Charles, freshman class president, said that she thoroughly enjoyed her time at the banquet. “The classes all had a representative to speak for them and it was a great way to wrap up the year!” said Charles.

Awards were given out proceeding the speeches, and each officer was acknowledged.
“I liked giving out the awards and I think everyone felt that the job that they did was recognized,” said Abby Johnsen, Student Council sponsor.

Ms. Johnson said the goal for next year was to hopefully be able to provide the meals for each of the officers, so they wouldn’t have to pay. Another improvement for next year will be to transfer some responsibility to the parents to help out with the banquet.
“We received a pretty good turnout this year and we hope it will be even bigger and better in the years to come,” said Albers.

The voice of Bishop Carroll students