The Rocket Flame

Pinning to the Top

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On Feb. 21 and 22, five of the James Buchanan wrestlers went on to compete in Districts at Susquenita High School. These wrestlers included Shaun Reed (12), Hunter Smith (11), Logan Miller (11), Nathan Brake (9), and Hayden Shirk (9). 

Then, on Feb. 28th and 29th, Hayden Shirk participated in the second round of Districts. Shirk previously won his two matches the weekend before, leading him to Regionals.

Sending five boys to compete in this tournament and then a freshman making it to the second round was a huge improvement upon last year.

Making the podium, Shirk places 5th overall.

“We’re used to having three or four boys on the team, and this year we were able to put 12 on the mat,” said Coach Derek Straley.

Shirk and the other wrestlers have been in the mat room every day after school, practicing and watching their weight as that is a key factor in their performance. Even after all the winter sports were over, the boys continued to work every day.

Wrestling at practice, Hayden Shirk (9) prepares for Districts.

Reed, Smith, Miller, and Brake all were defeated in the first rounds in their weight class. However, Shirk went 4-2 and is continuing onto Regionals.  A big accomplishment for him over the weekend, was beating a senior he lost to two weeks ago at sectionals. 

“The main thing is getting out on bottom and taking and finishing the shots as well,” said Shirk.

He worked on techniques and improving his tactics for Regionals. Even though the other four boys did not progress past the first round of Districts, all of them continued to go to practice to keep working and prepare for next season. 

Shirk lost both matches during Regionals. This ended his wrestling for the season, but it was a successful season.

“Districts and Regionals went well but next year I hope to go farther in the rounds,” said Shirk.

All boys and coaches will be working to put all the wrestlers in Districts. With having much more District-qualifiers this year, they’re aiming for some boys to also make it to states.

 

Purpose In Preseason

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Every sport has a designated season, but who says you can’t start workouts before that start date? As winter sports are coming to an end, spring sports are in full swing. Hard work is needed to be successful at anything, and that includes sports and the fundamentals within. Many sports at James Buchanan provide preseason activities for student athletes. At this moment, preseason activities for spring sports are in full swing. Boys’ and Girls’ Track, Softball, Boys’ Tennis, and Baseball are all spending time honing their skills.

“For preseason tennis, we go to the Mercersburg Academy, where they have indoor courts,” said Nick Alfree (12). “Depending on their availability, we play competitively, doing matches and individual drills so we have a head start.” 

Many teams have optional practices like this for students, which allows them to better prepare themselves for their upcoming season. 

“I enjoy this a lot because since freshman year, I basically started from nothing to now having a good handle on the fundamentals,” said Alfree.

Athletes  use preseason activities to further their skills and keep themselves in shape for the season ahead.

“We do more weight training instead of skills, said Coach Breanna Grove (Faculty). “Skills are more during the season, off season is more general training or general fitness.”

Off-season training allows for students to make decisions on what they need to work towards and what will make them successful in the future.

“Typically the students who attend our preseason workouts are the ones who are more committed to the team, so they work harder,” says Grove.

Attendance to these activities may affect how a coach views athlete commitment and determination for that sport. These activities can show the character of an athlete and what their position could be on the team.

Sports may be a very important aspect of a student’s life; it is their time to escape from the hustle and bustle of school work.  A preseason activity allows students to practice their sport before the season officially starts. These activities are viewed by many as a way to be prepared to work hard for their best season yet.

 

Swim Season Gallery 2020

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Swimming the 100 meter Freestyle, Alyssa Young (11) catches her breath.

 

New Coaches, New Attitude

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Usually, a new coach for a team, creates a new attitude and goals for the season, this year the entire basketball program created new attitudes and goals. 

With the retirement of both girls’ and boys’ coaches last year, this left an opening for two new head coaching position. Coach Rebecca Miller (Faculty) and Coach Matt Piper were chosen for the jobs, both previously being Assistant Varsity Coaches.

“It is very challenging being a head coach, because it isn’t just about coaching one team,” said Miller. “There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes that you do that isn’t just on the basketball court.”

Most people think being the head coach is being the coach to one single team, but there’s much more than that. Having the head coach position, that means you also have to be paying attention to the middle school teams and even the elementary kids. Also adjustments and goals have to be made to better the team.

“We’re talking more about building a family and a unit,” said Piper.

The main goal for the coaches, was to do more than win games, but it was to grow as a team and become a family. Both teams have done things on and off the court to become closer.

During a timeout, Coach Piper encourages the boys to finish the game with a win.

“Everybody needs to have fundamentals and if you make your players be good basketball players, then it doesn’t really matter what plays you run,” said Miller.

With changes in the program and teams, the attitude for the players should not. Changing plays and positions is helpful, but the main idea is to just have good fundamentals and be a good ball player. 

“This season we are going to play hard and play harder as a team,coming in every day and doing our best,” said Piper.

Both coaches remain hopeful to become higher in their league and better not only the teams, but they program. 

The Setbacks Make for a Better Comeback

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Kylee Long puts on her swim cap before her first race.

It was around a year ago student Kylee Long’s life was forever changed. What was thought to be just another hunting trip turned out to be so much more. Long suffered an accidental gunshot to her right leg that resulted in a month spent in the UPMC Altoona hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“They had to amputate above the knee because they didn’t have enough to keep my knee joint,” said Long.

She was released from the hospital on December 20, 2018, and, ever since that, has adjusted to her new way of life. Long had hoped to return to the soccer field this season, but ended up finding a new interest in the pool.

“I was looking for something to keep me in shape,” Long said. “I was talking to a swimmer who recommended coming to pre-season and trying it out.”

After attending the first pre-season training, Long had an interest in swimming and decided to join the team.

“I’ve really gotten the hang of each individual stroke,” said Long. “My favorite stroke is for sure [the] freestyle.”

Long has really enjoyed learning all the new strokes and getting to know her new teammates. She was even chosen to be a captain of the team.

“Kylee works so hard and is always cheering her teammates on,” said Coach Heckman. “She really deserved the position, she is a great role model.”

Long’s goal  is to improve all of her times by the end of the season. She always speaks about how thankful she is for all the support she gets from family and friends. After only a year, Long hopes to keep pushing her limits with her new way of life.

“It’s been a wild ride,” said Long. “I can’t believe it’s been a year since my accident, but the love and support has been endless through my good and bad times.”

What’s Your Number Mean?

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Basketball season is a favorite among JB students.  Most people in the stands think the numbers on the back of the player’s jerseys are just random, but many have a deeper meaning.

Standing tall at 6’9″ ,  Colton Hartman (11). has the number 40 stitched on his jersey. He has been playing basketball since he was five-years-old. Hartman picked this number because his dad had the same number in his basketball career.  

 “It was my dad’s number so that’s why I picked it,” said Hartman.

While some players pick their number because of family, there are some who pick it because of their favorite NBA players.  Syrus Maldonado (12) has had the number three since his freshman year to his senior year. Number three is also the same number as his favorite point guard, Chris Allen, who plays for Oklahoma City Thunder. 

“ I wore it my entire high school basketball career, and it’s the number of my favorite point guard,” said Maldonaldo .

While Maldonado represents number three because of his favorite point guard, some numbers represent when the played first started to enjoy the sport.  Bryce Hissong (10) was assigned number 42 while playing basketball in sixth grade. It was the first year he started doing well and started to enjoy playing. He carried the same number throughout middle school. When he started playing for the high school he picked the number 24 because it’s 42 backwards. Others pick their number because they have the same one for a different sport.

“The numbers 42 and 24 represent enjoyment while I play basketball,” said Hissong.

Others pick their number because they have the same one for a different sport. Carley Dinsmore (10) has the number five for both soccer and basketball. Everyone would be used to seeing her represent the number five of her jersey for both sports.

“I thought it would be cool to have the same number for basketball and soccer,”  said Dinsmore.

Each player’s number means something to them. Whether it’s for a family member, enjoyment, or their favorite pro basketball player, they picked it for a reason. Most players pick a number and keep it throughout their basketball career.

Tip-Off of the Big Season Ahead

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After traveling out of bounds, the ball rests in the referee's hands before being passed into play.

No eXCuses

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Cross Country is not a sport to be taken lightly: many runners will run six days a week for almost five months.  Working hard is something that every Cross Country runner knows well. But with Districts, and States coming up, some may be working for almost a month longer. 

Going to States has always been a dream for Hailey Embree (11). Embree joined Cross Country when she was a freshman and has worked for three years towards her dreams. She is making her dreams come true this year with some very impressive times. 

“I went to all the pre-season practices and I did stuff on my own too, such as running around my development,” said Embree.

Hard work is what it takes to do well in this sport and this has allowed Embree to compete well and place at many meets this year. At the Enos Yeager Invitational she placed 13th out of almost 200 runners. Based off of the performance Embree was hopeful for the upcoming season.

“I hope good. I mean it’s a little bit shorter, but hopefully good,” Embree said.

And that’s exactly what she did.  A few weeks later, at the Clear Spring invitational, finishing with an impressive time of 21:55 she placed 3rd out of hundreds of runners. 

Another runner getting awards this season is Claire Kriner (12).  Kriner has battled for many years triumphing and overcoming adversity.

“I was having issues with my hip. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to run or not,” said Kriner,” You just kind of have to push through it.”

Kriner has been battling with a hip injury for years, but that has not stopped her from putting up amazing times. She credits adrenaline for pushing her through every race and allowing her to compete. Her future races will depend on her hip injury. 

“I do hip exercises basically every night to help with my hip”, said Kriner. “Before meets I try to visualize the course and then when I’m running I remind myself of the little things.”  

Experience goes a long way in Cross Country and Kriner uses that to her advantage. She is able to utilize tangents on the course from her past experience, cutting seconds off of her time, and in Cross Country any time is valuable.

Both runners are competing in Districts next week with 10 other runners with the hopes of making it to the State running meet in Hershey, PA. Three teams of five to seven make it to States and then 15 other individual runners. The District race is set to take place on Saturday, October 26. 

Boys’ and Girls’ Track & Field First Home Match of the Season

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Julia Trei

Taking off, Broden Green (10) keeps his place in the lead.

Spring Sports

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Owen Cooper (10) stretches out before track practice.

JB's Spring Sports

Tip-Off to the Season

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With teeming bleachers and a roaring crowd, the full gym on a Friday night was anything but quiet. On Dec. 7, the Chambersburg Area Senior High School hosted the annual Tip-Off Tournament for James Buchanan, Greencastle-Antrim, and Waynesboro High School basketball teams for both the boys’ and girls’ to kick off the season. The games began Friday night and continued into Saturday night.

This is a way to kick off the season and helps the teams out in the long run.

“It gives us a good look at the teams we will be facing this season,” says McKayla Heinbaugh (9).

Shooting for the basket, Carly Sollenberger (9) makes a final shot.

The tournament started with the Waynesboro and Greencastle girls playing, which then lead to the Lady Rockets facing the Lady Trojans. With everyone sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the buzzer to go off, the Lady Rockets put up a fight, but the game resulted in a victory for Chambersburg. The students that came cheered them on the entire way. The final score was 59-55. 

The tensions then rose when it was time for the Trojan boys to face the Rockets. With a feuding crowd and lots of energy, people waited to see the outcome of this game.

“We put a lot of effort as a team out there on the court,” says Colton Hartman (10).

The students had high energy supporting their team. The boys stayed strong and kept their heads high, but Chambersburg got the victory with a final score was 61-16.

“The environment was really good and working together as a team was good too,” said Rylan Good (10).

The tournament then continued into Saturday with the Lady Rockets facing off against the Waynesboro Indians. The girls were high in energy, ending up defeating the Indians with a score of 40-26. The Tournament concluded for the girls’ after the Lady Trojans faced the Lady Indians, which resulted in a win for the Indians.

After the girls’ games were finished, the Rockets took the court to battle rival Greencastle. With a very tight and close game, Greencastle got the win with the final score of 37-34. 

Watching the close game, the boys’ focus on their team and getting a win

The tournament concluded with Chambersburg and Waynesboro boys’ played for the championship which resulted in the Waynesboro Indians winning for the boys.  Chambersburg and Greencastle faced off for the ladies and Greencastle came out victorious.

“My favorite part about Tip-Off was being with my team, seeing the crowd, and how much the fans get into the game,” said Colton Hartman (10).

With the first game of the season done and over with, the Rocket Basketball team will continue to work towards bettering their team as a whole, as well as their score.

A Tough Kick Against Lancaster Catholic

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On Saturday, Oct. 27, The Lady Rockets accomplished more than just a win: for the first time ever, the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team made it to Districts, beating an undefeated team.

“We applied everything we learned in practice,” said Bella Shupp (10).

Kylee Long (11) with a throw-in

To prepare for the big game, the girls practiced penalty kicks and shooting all week. Before the game, the girls got warmed up by dancing to music and doing a team prayer.

  With freezing weather, a feuding crowd, and many tough players, the Lady Rockets managed to beat Lancaster Catholic. After the long game, the girls then went into double overtime, which were each 15 minutes long, and then lead to penalty kicks.

“My favorite memory was standing next to my team during the PK-shootout,” said Shupp.

Everyone was cheering in the crowds, hoping the Lady Rockets could achieve this step. With everyone on the edge of their seats, Breanna Dukehart (12) started the first round of penalty kicks, making the first goal. After twelve long nerve-racking rounds, Jade Wolfe (10) made the last shot which lead them to victory.

“It felt like having a piece of home along for the ride,”  said Addy Crouse (10). “It kind of gives us a boost of energy knowing we have their support.”

A few of our students came all the way to support our Lady Rockets and cheered them on during the game, no matter how outnumbered they were to the Lancaster Catholic Student Section.

“We were confident in each other and focused on putting everything together,” said Crouse.

After Wolfe made the winning shot, the students and parents cheered as the girls piled on top of each other.

The Lady Rockets celebrating their win

“The adrenaline was high and everyone swarmed each other while celebrating,” says Crouse

With tears running down their faces, they ran to their families and friends to celebrate the win they did not see coming.

The Lady Rockets are now moving onto semi-finals, playing Eastern Lebanon County at Donegal High School on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

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  • Purpose In Preseason

    Sports

    Purpose In Preseason

  • Swimming the 100 meter Freestyle, Alyssa Young (11) catches her breath.

    Sports

    Swim Season Gallery 2020

  • New Coaches, New Attitude

    Sports

    New Coaches, New Attitude

  • Kylee Long puts on her swim cap before her first race.

    Features

    The Setbacks Make for a Better Comeback

  • What

    Entertainment

    What’s Your Number Mean?

  • After traveling out of bounds, the ball rests in the referee

    Sports

    Tip-Off of the Big Season Ahead

  • No eXCuses

    Sports

    No eXCuses

  • Taking off,  Broden Green (10) keeps his place in the lead.

    Sports

    Boys’ and Girls’ Track & Field First Home Match of the Season

  • Owen Cooper (10) stretches out before track practice.

    Sports

    Spring Sports

  • Tip-Off to the Season

    Sports

    Tip-Off to the Season

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