Welcome to Fall 2017

Flare Photo Illustration by Grace Garcia
Flare Photo Illustration by Grace Garcia
Flare Photo Illustration by Grace Garcia

Welcome to the Fall 2017 semester. The Flare has a new look, several new staff members and the same mission: To give you the latest campus news and to provide our readers with a variety of features, sports coverage and commentary – and to do so with integrity and reliability. Our latest issue is on the racks now, and features THE FLARE-FILES, filled with tips and hints for KC students. You can find it at several locations on the Kilgore and Longview campuses, or on the sidebar of any page on this website. Keep an eye out here and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more.

The advantages and disadvantages of completing college

Be prepared for the good and the bad of everything within your college career. The most common goal that all college students share is we are all here to complete college, and build our futures with great careers. Good luck to everyone on their journey to successfully completing college.

Completing college is not only an educational achievement, but it should also be seen as a great personal achievement. There are real challenges that we run into that sometimes make us want to quit, but if you prepare yourself and learn how to adapt to changes, you will reap reward at the finish line. I want to pinpoint some advantages and disadvantages that you may encounter throughout your journey to earning your college degree.

Let’s begin with recognizing some of the disadvantages that can possibly hinder us. Some of the most common disadvantages begin with ourselves. Without Self- Discipline, you will be destroyed, and sometimes there is no coming back when you can’t control yourself. Time-Management is the most important essential for success, and if you waste it, you will catch yourself knocking on the door of failure. Lack of Persistence will make you slack, and it is complicated trying to catch up and bounce back. Procrastination keeps you from being punctual, and can hinder your performance in and outside the classroom. Competitive admission of some degree plans have deadlines and GPA requirements, and procrastination with your homework and time- management can cause you to be denied and left behind in your desired degree program.

Paying for college is at the top of stress level charts for most students. Working with financial aid can bring challenges of the misunderstandings of how loans work, keeping up with deadlines, and signing on dotted lines that are not fully explained or understood. Going to college today is an expensive proposition. Students who borrow to finance their educations are finding it increasingly harder to repay those borrowings.

None of us can deny we don’t fall short of some type of disadvantage that makes our journey a little tough, but the bright side of it falls within the advantages that come with completing college. Fighting through some of the disadvantages discussed can reward us with some of the good that can come out of completing college.

There are many available enrichment resources that a lot of students don’t know about. Such as free tutoring, free printing (in limited locations), scholarship programs, and even free meals! Make sure to stay in tune of what’s going on around campus that can benefit you. There are no guarantees in life, with or without a college degree, but the odds are increasingly stacked against those with the least education and training. In the article, “Breaking Down The Value Of Your College Degree,” Robert Barone, suggested that college-educated adults are healthier than other people in the United States. To sum it up, education influences healthy lifestyles.

Through your journey to completing college, be mindful to take the good with the bad. Few words of encouragement – don’t give up, stay focused, recognize and learn from mistakes, and always try to stay positive.

To those who are fighting through, the best of luck to all of you on your way to achieving great success in earning your college degree. I chose to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of completing college because I am learning to adapt to the changes in my personal life so I can conquer my desired career success. If we recognize and embrace things that can help us achieve our goals, we can lighten the load by applying what we’ve learned to guide us through to the end.

To leave you with an encouraging message quoted by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Cotham Book Donated to Special Collections

Cotham Book Dedication


Photo by Diana Castillo / THE FLARE


“Friday Night Howl, The History of Longview High School Lobo Football,” is the history of Longview High School football since the program was started in 1909. Written by Jeremy Cotham, an alumnus of KC, this book was his dream.

This dream carried him through treatment during his battle with leukemia, which he ultimately lost in 2015 at the age of 28. Cotham was the Sports Editor for “The Flare,” KC’s newspaper.  He went on to attend the University of Texas at Tyler, where he continued with his love of sports journalism, winning many awards in his field. He even covered some of the Texas Ranger games after graduating from UT.

The book was finished after Jeremy’s death with help from his former KC journalism instructor and friend, Bettye Craddock, along with her husband Van and son Chris, (who was Jeremy’s journalism teacher at Longview High School.)

“Everything fell into place. It was a God thing,” Mrs. Craddock said, when talking about the process of receiving additional information for the book and finding a publisher.

“I felt he (Jeremy) was there every step of the way, saying ‘Yes!’ to the decisions being made,” she added.

It was important to Cotham that the history be published in a yearbook style. It is 180 pages of Longview Lobo players and coaches that also  includes stats, photographs and rosters. “Friday Night Howl” takes the reader from 1909, when the football program started, to a preview of the 2016 season.

The hard-cover, full color book is chock full of information gathered from many sources. On the “Acknowledgment” page, Cotham credits many people with providing information, which includes pictures and names from old yearbooks, and scores from newspaper articles.

Cotham’s family donated a copy of “Friday Night Howl” to the KC Library. The book is available for viewing only and cannot be checked out.

“We are happy to have the book for our collection. Jeremy was a student here so he is family,” said Kathy Fair, Director of the Randolph C. Watson Library at KC, said.

To purchase “Friday Night Howl,” contact David Cotham at 903-736-4637, cotham75605@yahoo.com or www.cotham publishing.tk/. Each book is $40 and benefits the Lobo Football Booster Club and the Longview Independent School District Foundation.

In addition to the book and to honor Cotham’s memory, his family has endowed the Jeremy Cotham Sports Journalism Memorial Scholarship Fund, benefiting the Sports Editor at The Flare.




The observant mind, LIVING THE DREAM: Part one of a series

Photo by Timothy Stuckey / THE FLAREPhoto by Timothy Stuckey / THE FLARE

Listen. Just listen, and you might be able to pick up on the quiet passion behind his words. You might not notice him. He may be just another classmate, just another fellow student to you, but he notices you. After all, that’s part of how he writes his stories.

Tristan Jensen, Portland, Oregon, freshman and member of the American Honors program at KC, is a 19-year-old published author. His first novel, Dayrunners, was published in December 2014, and his second, Parallel, in March 2016. He is working on his third and fourth books, one a supernatural novel about a private investigator named Ruby Karr, the other a sequel to Parallel.

“Do people-watching,” Jensen said when asked about the inspiration behind Karr, “because you look at people, and you start to see their kind of weird intricacies and their little habits that they think that you don’t see . . .. I think that helps create your characters.”
His writing style is reminiscent of writers like Douglass Adams and Dean Koontz.

“I like Adams’ comedic styling,” Jensen said. “I like his sarcastic tone that he brings into his stories, and I think that’s influenced my writing quite a bit.”

Despite the fact that he has already been published, Jensen is still hesitant to pin a definitive genre on his stories.

“I’m still trying to find my permanent genre,” Jensen said. “If I had to have a preferred genre, it’d either have to be mystery or adventure, because that’s what I’ve written and that’s what I really enjoy.”

“I know that I like the concept of fiction better than I do non-fiction,” he said. “I like the idea of creating a story rather than telling a previously-lived story. I’m just trying to find my specialty, you could say.”

KC sociology instructor Tina Rushing commented on Jensen’s class participation.

“He was quiet, at first, but he always makes very thought-out responses, and he asks good questions,” Rushing said. “He always brings up things from different points of view that maybe not everybody else has thought about. We do discussion questions through Blackboard, and he’s very thoughtful in his responses.”

“You can see that he does well with critical thinking,” Rushing said, “and he’s thinking not only about the question I asked them to respond to. You can tell that he’s thinking about other things that might be related to this, or if it sorts of sparks off another path for him.”

Jensen confirmed this when asked about the possible future for his books.

“Parallel, that I published this year, is going to be a series,” he said. “I’m planning on making that one a six-book series, possibly seven. I mean, there’s just so many things. I have a binder by my bed that I keep. I wake up in the middle of the night with a good idea and I write it down so I don’t forget it, and it’s pretty much full at this point.”

This creative nature however, does not translate into disjointed storytelling in Jensen’s novels.

“I think he did a good job of immediately bringing the reader in, because he starts right off and talks about the plane crash,” Rushing said about the opening of Dayrunners. “I like when authors sort of grab your attention from the beginning, so yeah, I think it’s pretty well written.”

Jensen plans on expanding into other forms of media, like e-books and audio books, in the near future.

“I feel like even those who are challenged, you know, impaired visually, shouldn’t miss out on the ability to still use their minds in a creative way to see in a fictional story and to create that story for themselves,” Jensen said. “I think that audio books do that very well, so I’d like to get into that media.”

Film however, is more of a mixed bag. Jensen said, “If the opportunity arises I’d be happy to sign a contract to do a movie or something. My only problem I have with [book-based] movies is that they cut out parts. I feel like I’d have to pull a Stephen King and direct it myself, or at least be standing behind the director, going, ‘No, we don’t need to cut that, that’s perfectly fine as it is.’”

Jensen finished with some advice for potential future authors.

“Obviously, don’t force your characters; let them grow as characters. I think that you just need to let the character really flesh out. Let them do what they’re going to do as a character; don’t make a choice that would go against things that you already set up for them. So if your character is stubborn and a thief, they’re going to steal something, whether that’s bad for the story or not; you just need to work around that. You don’t want to break character and break immersion; that’s just not good for the story.”


Judgment Day preacher speaks up on KC campus

At noon today around 30 students gathered in protest against self-proclaimed saint, Jesse Morrell, while he preached at students and stood on his soapbox labeled “Judgment Day.”
During his time stationed in the Mike Miller Plaza in front of the Devall Student Center, Morrell preached against homosexuality and drinking, while saying the campus needs Jesus.

Tori Gannon, Longview Freshman, protests against self-proclaimed saint Jesse Morrell with Bible verses.

“This campus needs a spanking with the scriptures,” he yelled at students.

Students around him shouted obscenities and Bible verses. Some sang gospel songs to combat his speech. Two students, Tori Gannon, Longview freshman, and Kassey McDonald, Kilgore freshman, counteracted his words with Bible scriptures that described Jesus as loving and compassionate.

KC admissions counselor, Wade Cates, said it was Morrell’s First Amendment right to be on campus

“He is allowed to be here,” Cates said. “We cannot force him to leave. If you do not like it, just walk away. Walk away.”

Morrell said he has spent the last 10 years traveling to more than 100 college campuses, preaching to students. His business card lists him as a missionary with Open Air Outreach.


Photo by Richard Nguyen

Video by Meaghan Morton

The Flare takes Sweepstakes at TCCJA competition


The Flare’s 2014 – 2015 newspaper staff.


The Flare newspaper won Sweepstakes in the Division II newspaper category at the Texas Community College Journalism Association’s annual fall meeting and competition held at the end of October in Austin. The newspaper also received first place in Overall Excellence. The Flare Magazine got an honorable mention in Overall Excellence The event was held in conjunction with the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association’s national convention.

KC students received awards in all but one of the newspaper categories, as well as several awards for magazine. They also brought home a few on-site contest awards.

The publications were judged from the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters. Rachel Stallard and O. Rufus Lovett were 2014-15 publications advisers. Tory Van Blarcum and Kathryn Agee were editors of The Flare. Sara Holmes was editor of The Flare Magazine.


The Flare’s 2014-2015 newspaper staff.


Kathryn Agee: Second place, Newspaper Column Writing; third place, News Writing; third place, Newspaper In-Depth Reporting; honorable mention, Newspaper News Photo

Daniel Brown: Third place, Newspaper Cartoon

Michael Brown: First place, newspaper Sports Photo

 Leah Bryce: First place, Newspaper Feature writing

Max Cervantes: Third place, Newspaper Column Writing

 E’Lexus Hodge: second place, Newspaper picture page; Third place, newspaper feature photo

 Sara Holmes: First place, Newspaper Picture Page; second place, Newspaper picture page; third place, Magazine Photo

 Tiffany Johnson: First place, Newspaper News Photo; second place, Newspaper picture page; honorable mention Newspaper Sports Action Photo

 Julianna Kendall: Honorable Mention, Newspaper Feature Writing

 Sumeyee Samento: First place, Newspaper Feature Photo

 Tory Van Blarcum: First place, Newspaper Sports Action Photo

 Victoria Whitwell: Honorable Mention, Sports Feature

Newspaper staff: second place, Newspaper Layout/design; third place, Editorial Writing; third place, Newspaper Website; third place, Newspaper Advertising; third place, Newspaper Headline Writing; honorable mention; newspaper in-depth reporting; two honorable mentions, Magazine Layout


The Flare’s 2014 – 2015 photography staff.


The staff  also won numerous Gold Circle Awards through the national Columbia Scholastic Press Association competition.

 Kathryn Agee: Third place, Sidebar Writing; honorable mention, Personal Opinon/Off-campus Issues

Leah Bryce: Honorable mention, Non-fiction Article (The Flare Magazine)

Sarah Holmes: Second place, Photo Story; honorable mention, Photography Portfolio of work (The Flare Magazine)

Tiffany Johnson: Third place, Photography Portfolio of work; second place, Photography Portfolio of work (The Flare Magazine)

John Nieto: Third place, Photo Illustration

Tory Van Blarcum: Second place, Typography – A Designed or Art Headline

Staff: First place, Op-Ed or News Analysis Page Design; third place, Single Subject News or Feature Package, Single Page Design Portfolio of work

Page 7B 4-24-15

The Flare’s first place winning Op-Ed or News Design Page from its April 24, 2015 issue.

‘Rock The Square’: The awesome life of a journalist

When the guard at the gate walked away, we made a run for it, opened the gate and snuck backstage. As we made our way to the tour bus, we kept in the shadows and out of sight from the police officers. Every time a guard or officer came near by, a surge of adrenaline ran through us. Finally, we saw .38 Special exiting the smoke-filled stage. Before we knew it, the lead singer was coming toward us and we almost tripped over ourselves running up to him. We thought to ourselves, “Wow, this is really happening!”

Fellow Flare staff member Hunter Lohr and I covered the music event Rock the Square in Tyler on Saturday, Oct. 17. We were warned we probably couldn’t get to the bands because they were under contract. However, that didn’t mean we weren’t going to try. Journalists will not give up just because they’re told no.

The experience overall made for one of the most memorable days of my life. Rock the Square consisted of a classic car show and a concert. It began with the car show which boasted dozens of classic beauties including a Chevy Chevelle and several ’60s Mustangs in mint condition. It was a classic car enthusiast’s paradise. Once we finished touring the car show, we realized there were a couple of food trucks on the square and we could not help but wander to them. We opted for a burger from a food truck called Rock n’ Dawg. It was absolutely delightful. The patties were savory and hand pressed while the fries were flavorfully seasoned. They also had interesting names for the food relating to rock, such as the ‘Fall Out Boy’ and the ‘ZZ Top’.

After lunch, we had a couple of hours to kill before the concert started so we decided it would be a good idea to walk to a record store. Bad idea. Not only did we not have proper walking shoes, but we also ended up in a shady part of Tyler. On the upside, I did find some rare records and we made it back to the festival alive just in time.

Special guest Jimmie Vaughan and his band were the opening act. They played mellow tunes featuring amazing guitar solos. It was a perfect transition between the car show and .38 Special. While we were walking around looking for good angles to take pictures from, Hunter and I discovered an opening that was not guarded. It lead to Jimmie Vaughan’s tour bus. We quickly slipped in and watched the rest of the show from backstage. When the show ended, I noticed Jimmie coming off the stage towards us. I turned to Hunter and yelled, “Jimmy’s coming! Hurry, take out your camera!” While he fumbled to take out the camera, I ran up to Jimmy and introduced myself. He was very nice and cool about letting us take pictures. He even took out his guitar. After, it took us a while to process what had happened. We were overjoyed.

We then made our way back beside the stage to capture .38 Special’s epic performance. By this time, the place was packed. Energy was high and people were dancing. The band played several of their most popular songs including ‘Rockin into the Night’ and ‘Caught up in You’. They had the crowd going wild.

About halfway through their performance, we decided would try to go backstage like we had for Jimmie Vaughan. Unfortunately, our secret spot was now completely blocked off and guarded. The number of police officers had doubled as well. We were not discouraged, though. I told Hunter that we would walk around the block all the way behind the concert. When we got there, we were faced with a gate and a guard.

Amazingly, the guard left and that is how we found ourselves sneaking in and hiding while freezing to wait for .38 Special. We had an amazing spot to witness their closing song, all time favorite ‘Hold on Loosely’. Most of the band was on the bus before we could even say hello. But it was just our luck that lead singer Don Barnes was walking our way. I jumped up faster than I’d ever have with Hunter right behind me and we went up to him, introduced ourselves, and got some great pictures with him. He was also very nice and I feel like he would have talked to us more if the policies officers had not discovered us and asked us politely to leave.

And that my friends, is what you call a great ending to our night. Now you have some insight into the life of a journalist. Pretty awesome, right?







Errors doom Rangers vs. TJC, 56-24.

Staff Writer

KC failed to bounce back from its opening loss and was defeated by their archrival Tyler Junior College Apaches in its opening home game, 56-24 last Saturday night. Special team errors and penalties plagued KC all game long. KC had three special teams turnovers and five turnovers in all. They also had a lot of dirty laundry all over the field as they were penalized 10 times for 77 yards.

KC started off behind and couldn’t recover. TJC returned the opening kickoff for 39 yards, putting the offensive unit in good scoring position. They didn’t waste any time putting points on the board as quarterback Randy Price rushed for a six yard touchdown on the quarterback keeper with 12:57 left in the opening quarter.

After KC fumbled on the punt return, TJC took advantage of the great field position and scored another touchdown with 4:09 left in the first quarter. After a KC three and out, Price hooked up with receiver Lamar Carraway for a 40-yard touchdown pass with 1:27 left in the first quarter. TJC led KC 21-0 after one quarter.

Running back Ladaedrix Payton was responsible for KC’s first touchdown as he trucked in for a 13-yard run with 12:29 left in the first half, capping an 11-play 83-yard drive.  KC’s defense fed off the momentum from Payton’s touchdown and made some highlight plays. Defensive Captain Michael Mathis intercepted Price’s pass attempt downfield.  Unfortunately, KC’s offense couldn’t capitalize on the turnover as they went three and out.  On the next possession freshman defensive end, DE ‘Andre Glover recovered a TJC fumble that three members from the KC defensive line forced on TJC’s 33-yard line with 5:42 left in the first half.  Kicker Luis Sanchez boomed a 30-yard field goal straight through the middle of the uprights with 1:53 left in the first half, trimming the lead to 21-10 at the end of the half.

KC came out of the locker room re-energized and ready to make a comeback. However, they would have to play the second half, without the majority of the crowd there. After the halftime performances, KC fans were exiting the stands and heading to their cars.

This didn’t seem to bother KC’s running back Payton as he broke off three straight long runs of 11, 11, and 15-yards to start the second half.  Following those three monster runs, Eddie Smith added a 12-yard run that put KC on the 23-yard line and in scoring position. It looked like KC was going to score and trim the lead even more.

Unfortunately KC got penalized for a personal foul and backtracked 15-yards. Then the offensive line got happy feet and they were penalized for a false start. KC was moved out of scoring position and field goal range. The Rangers started the drive strong, but finished weak and was forced to punt.

TJC scored on its next drive with a 14-yard rushing touchdown by running back Terrance Taylor with 10:30 left in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 28-10.

On the kickoff, KC punt returner Morris Williams fumbled the catch and TJC’s Treavor Pugh recovered on KC’s 14-yard line. TJC scored three plays later as Price threw a little two-yard pass to a tight end Cole Staudt, who was wide open in the back of the end zone, pushing the score to 35-10 with 9:50 left in the third quarter.

On KC’s next offensive possession Tausch tried to hook up with receiver Derrick Ledet, but TJC’s Caleb Williams intercepted on the 25-yard line. The KC defense forced TJC to punt on its offensive drive, bringing Tausch and the KC offense back on the field. After a couple of 12-yard runs from running backs Payton and Jeremiah Baines, Tanner Tausch electrified the crowd as he threw a 53-yard bomb to tight end Chris Chumley for the touchdown. With 8:17 left in the 3rd quarter KC trimmed the lead to 35-17. This touchdown gave KC new hope as they looked to make a second-half comeback.

Unfortunately, TJC wasn’t going to let that happen. Randy Price kept the ball on a QB keeper and ran it all the way to pay dirt for a 30-yard touchdown with 4:52 left in the 3rd. TJC increased the lead to 42-17. KC’s next offensive possession didn’t go well. Tausch fumbled the ball while trying to attempt a short pass to one of his receivers. TJC recovered the fumble. TJC went to score on their next two possessions, with their last touchdown coming on a 12 yard run by running back Taylor with 9:37 left in the game.

KC scored their last touchdown of the game coming on a 41-yard breakaway run by running back Eddie Smith with 5:49 left in the fourth quarter, on an 83-yard scoring drive.  TJC quarterback Price had 250 yards of total offense with three passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.

KC quarterback Tausch went 10-21 for 141 yards, with one interception, one lost fumble, and one touchdown pass. Running backs Payton and Smith combined for over 150 yards rushing with one touchdown each. KC’s defense forced two turnovers, an interception and a fumble.

The Rangers will look to rebound and get their first win of the season, as they host Trinity Valley Community College at 7 p.m. next Saturday.

Scoring Summary

1st quarter-      12:57     6 plays 39 yards     7-0

1st quarter-      4:09        3 plays 23 yards     14-0

1st quarter-      1:27        5 plays 62 yards     21-0

2nd quarter-     12: 29     11 plays 83 yards   21-7

2nd quarter-     1:53        10 plays 36 yards   21-10

3rd quarter-     10:30      5 plays 91 yards     28-10

3rd quarter-     9:50        4 plays 14 yards     35-10

3rd quarter-     8:17        4 plays 81 yards     35-17

3rd quarter-     4:52        3 plays 34 yards     42-17

4th quarter-     14:54      6 plays 29 yards     49-17

4th quarter-     9:37        7 plays 51 yards     56-17

4th quarter-     5:49        6 plays 83 yards     56-24



Welcome to The Flare Online!

Welcome to the online edition of KC’s award-winning newspaper, The Flare.

The Flare’s print edition comes out on most Fridays every Fall and Spring semester, and our regular production schedule begins Sept. 13. However, we will maintain up-to-date coverage of events and news – including football games – on here as the news breaks.

Please excuse our website maintenance as we build our new staff and find a new webmaster. If you are a current KC student and are experienced with WordPress and web design in general, please visit us at Communications-Automotive Room 125, or call us at 903-983-8194. (Compensation is likely, but we will need to determine exactly what at a later point.)

Updates will continue regardless of maintenance, so please keep checking us out here, on Twitter and on Facebook.