Leah Blefko, Miss Arkansas 2015

Leah Blefko, Miss Arkansas 2015

Beauty And Brains With Purpose
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Few people are as determined, bright, and stunning as Leah Blefko, but even fewer have the title of Miss Arkansas 2015. Blefko is currently a junior at the University of Arkansas, double majoring in broadcast journalism and sports management. On top of just being crowned, Blefko works two jobs along with taking 18 credit hours. She works for the SEC Network and is a part of the Razorback football recruiting team.

Blefko said that being a student and a current title holder gives her a different perspective that allows her the opportunity to help within the community. It is hard to not be impressed with her busy schedule, yet it’s easy because her passion is so heartening. 

I am completely inspired by her dedication to extracurricular activities and her extensive involvement on campus. She has made it her purpose, this upcoming year, to serve the state of Arkansas and her local community at the U of A as Miss Arkansas. 

Interviewing Blefko, I instantly knew she was someone I want to aspire to be like. She is constantly pushing herself to, not only reach her full potential, but exceed it. She explained that her biggest competition was not her competitors, but herself. She believes that this would not have been possible if it was not for her close group of girlfriends and roommate, who were her constant support system. They are her daily inspiration to be the best she can be. 

Blefko emphasized that getting involved and finding an activity on campus to be passionate about is important. For her, that is her work through Arkansas sports. She believes that the clubs and organizations students join will help them not only in their future careers, but as future leaders. College is a completely unique experience, unlike any other that we’ll ever encounter again, that pushes us outside of our comfort zones. Her advice to all freshman is to embrace this short period of time, learn about yourself, and become who you want to be.

Blefko has a brilliant mindset of believing that living in the present is just as important to preparing for the future. Enjoying the now is so crucial for our generation that we must find purpose in what we do. She stated that the best advice she ever received was that if she had the willingness and desire to be happy, she would live a worthwhile life.   

It is evident Leah Blefko is a respected leader on campus and will be a future leader to our generation through her everyday positive impact on so many. 











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It's Time We Gave Collegiate Bands The Same Respect As The Football Team

Collegiate bands are unfortunately overlooked and under-budgeted by their universities. They receive little appreciation, despite being such an important aspect of a college community.

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It's a beautiful day in the middle of October, and you're at a college football game. You see the sun shining down on a sea of fans, everyone wearing the home team's colors. The smell of hot dogs, pretzels, and other greasy food drifts through the air, as a cool wind blows against the back of your neck. But what is it that you hear? Overpowering every other sound in the stadium, the band is blaring their brass horns and beating their drums. Invisible but everywhere, the music fills the stadium when the team scores, excites the crowd when the game intensifies and provides the soundtrack to your favorite college traditions.

Now, imagine that game without the band. No one is there to play the fight song when a touchdown is scored, or play a victory tune when your team wins. Yes, there would still be music, but it would only be generic pop stuff playing over the speakers. It wouldn't be the same, because you don't get to experience that special kind of energy that comes from live music. Unfortunately, the band does not get enough credit for what they do. Compared to an athletic team, the band is typically overlooked and under-budgeted — especially by the universities themselves.

While the university is busy pouring all money and attention to athletics, the band is left to scavenge for support. Athletic teams receive millions upon millions of dollars, while the band gets next to nothing. My university's band has resorted to requiring each member to raise money on their own and selling $1 chocolate bars, because they receive so little funding. Just a small cut from the athletic budget would make such a vast difference in the lives of the band members. And it's not like the band doesn't deserve it - they most certainly do, with how much they add to a college community. A college without a band is like a belt with no buckle. With no band, you'd be missing a key piece of unity during a game.

The band and athletic teams work just as hard as the other, and both spend so much of their lives committed to their craft. Just like a football team, the band devotes several hours of their day to practicing. Similar to a basketball team, being apart of the band requires precise coordination. Like a soccer team, it is necessary for the band to have high endurance. And as it is with any type of athlete, it is obligatory for each member of the band to value hard work and determination. And must we not forget, the band is at nearly every sporting event, plus more. Unlike several sports, band is a year-round activity — there is no "off-season."

So you might ask yourself, with such similar characteristics to an athletic team, shouldn't the band receive at least some benefits? But here we are, athletic teams receiving all the money and perks, and the band seeing none of that.

The band is such an important aspect of sporting events and pep rallies and is greatly responsible for the fans' emotions and entertainment throughout a game. Unfortunately, most universities fail to see this and don't appreciate how much a band adds to the atmosphere and energy of a college community. Instead, the band continues to be brushed aside, no matter how talented or entertaining they are. I can only hope that in this day and age, with fine arts starting to gain more recognition, that the band will finally receive the respect they deserve.

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Will Max Holloway Derail T-City?

Will Max Defend His Belt? More Importantly Is He Healthy?

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On the 8th of December in Toronto, Canada the UFC Featherweight Champion Max "Blessed" Holloway will be defending his title against the #1 ranked fighter in the featherweight division Brian "T-City" Ortega in a fight that was suppose to take place at UFC 226 but was scrapped to health concerns in regards to the champ Max Holloway. It is still very unclear to what was going on leading up to July 7th as rumors have floated around that have left us unsure. During Media obligations now retired former Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping noticed something was off with Max while he appeared on UFC On Fox via satellite interview.

The viewers and the UFC definitely took notice that Max was not ok. He seemed to have a delayed reaction to things while sounding very drained and tired. His eyes seemed glasses, and it definitely was not from the production set of the lights reflecting off of his eyes as something was clearly wrong. Even before the interview, it was said that Max did go to the hospital, but there was nothing wrong with him. It was a mystery to what exactly was going on with the UFC Featherweight Champion even upon until now we have not received a statement about what was going on.

Over time we have heard 2 possibilities to what was going on with Max Holloway. The first rumor was that Max Holloway was suffering from a terrible weight cut which would make sense because the champ is big for 145 lbs. But did he start the weight cut too late and miscalculated his approach? Did the champ do anything different from his previous 2 fights with the former champion Jose Aldo? It would definitely give an explanation to Max "Blessed" Holloways sluggish behavior and questionable body language during the interview with Michael Bisping.

The other rumor that was floating around is that the UFC Featherweight Champion got knocked out during training camp for the fight. While that makes sense and it could have been a brutal knock out it does not necessarily line up with what how Max was acting. Especially if there were lingering effects that seems like something UFC doctors, staff and doctors at the hospital would have caught onto immediately.

While everything is still unclear news would then eventually break that the UFC rebooked the fight and Max would be headlining UFC 231 to defend his Featherweight title against Brian Ortega. It is a fight that is a must watch and it leaves everyone scratching their heads.

The last time we saw the #1 ranked fighter in the featherweight division Brian "T-City" Ortega was when he stepped in on short notice to take on who was next up in line to face Max for the belt Frankie Edgar at UFC 222. "T-City" put on an incredible performance as he solidified himself as the #1 ranked featherweight in the UFC when he became the first person to knockout Frankie Edgar. Max Holloway's last bout was when he successfully defended his belt against Jose Aldo in their rematch when he gave Aldo a brutal beating that led to his TKO victory in the 3rd round.

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