SWAT wants to help Mustangs stay healthy

Devon Duran and Nick Maxham – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is an organization that students between ages of 12-18 can join to participate in events that support the Florida Truth Campaign. SWAT participates in local events including Relay for Life and Walk for Wellness.

“SWAT delivers a message of truth to teens and tries to explain the tobacco industry to teens in an honest way,” said LRHS nurse and club adviser Andrea Stratton.

SWAT focuses on truth behind the tobacco industry.  Tobacco commercials don’t deliver facts about their products.   Every eight seconds a person dies due to tobacco related illness or disease.

Teens who use tobacco at a young age are not only breaking the law, but also face a much higher chance of being reliant on tobacco later down the road. Ninety percent of adult smokers are addicted before they reach the age of 18.

A flyer distributed by SWAT said, “Tobacco can lead to diseases such as heart disease, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases. The Florida Truth campaign has worked better than most would expect, Tobacco use in middle school kids has decreased by 57% and high school students decreased by 37%.”

Students should be aware of the harmful side effects of tobacco and the severe consequences of starting at a young age. Children can be unaware of repercussions of addiction.


Mustang senior journalist more than just a reporter

Maddison Krstec – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- LRHS senior Gretchen Ebert has a special role for the LRHS “Mustangs Ahead” journalism program.  She profiles senior athletes ready to continue their careers in college.

LRHS senior Gretchen Ebert offers an insiders view on sports reporting

She knows the topic well.  She’s one of those athletes.

Ebert was starting shortstop on the school’s varsity softball team her freshman and sophomore years.  She made a choice to continue her career independently her junior and senior years.  She plays travel ball for the Clearwater Bombers.

Ebert travels to Clearwater two days a week and practices for three hours. On top of traveling she practices on her own daily in the batting cages and in the gym.

Ebert will continue her softball career next year at the State College of Central Florida in Ocala.  She got a full scholarship and her coach implied she will be a starter her freshman year.  She is hoping that she will be an All-American Player for her conference.

Ebert said, “I am excited to improve my skills and become the athlete I know I can be.”

Ebert is looking to study to be a television commentator.  She has been in journalism for four years and it has allowed her to be able to publicly speak which will allow her to be confident on TV.

Ebert said, ” My options are open for what I want to major in, but journalism has always been my number one subject.”

Thomas wins first monthly “Mustang Faculty Award”

Grace Harvey and Lilly Hodge – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) –  LRHS Principal Craig Little has created a Mustang Faculty Award, a way to recognize the hard work of staff members and teachers.

The Mustang Faculty Award will travel from teacher to teacher on a monthly basis

This month’s award, the first ever, went to science teacher and boys cross country coach Bryan Thomas.  Little said Thomas is a driven teacher who always puts his students’ education first.

Next month Thomas will award the honor to another teacher, who isn’t in his department.

Thomas has teaching at LRHS since the school opened, is an avid sports fan.

“It is nice to get some recognition,” Thomas said, “because everyone is working hard”.

Little has worked with Thomas since 2001, he has looked up to him since the very first day.

“I felt that I could look up to him since the beginning of my journey when I started out as a teacher, and now as I’m the Principal,” said Little.

Club of the Week Podcast – Student Government Association

Mustangs Ahead is proud to present its podcast series “Club of the Week.” Host junior Hannah Vicars features a different club every week, delving into their club activities and previewing the upcoming year with guest interviews of club members.

This week’s episode covers the  LRHS Student Government Association.

The new series brings the total number of weekly Mustangs Ahead podcasts to three. All podcasts can now be found on the new Mustangs Ahead SoundCloud page.

LRHS FCCLA collecting donations for cancer

Niki Cain– Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The LRHS Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is organizing a state community project, Debbie Packs, in memory of one of the club’s districts advisors, who recently passed away from cancer.

The project consists of filling bags with simple items such as mints, entertaining books and Vaseline.

All Mustangs can participate because FCCLA is accepting bags filled with the items throughout the month of October, with an hour of community service a bag. Anyone can contribute.

Club members are accepting bags filled with:

  • Mints
  • Entertaining books
  • Unscented Vaseline
  • Unscented lotion
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Tissues
  • Unscented lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Get well card

Bags can be dropped off in room 619.

The FCCLA’s mission is to provide community service to wherever needed, and to promote personal growth though family and consumer science education.

The club meets twice a month and focuses on working on upcoming events as well as organize volunteer opportunities for the members to take part in.

Delaney Casterline, junior, said, “I love being in FCCLA. It’s very interactive.”

With 52 students involved in the family oriented club, the community service being done is extensive.