The Rocket Flame

Dancing Through the Decades


President of Student Council, Sarah Kimmel (12) paints a sign for spirit week.

Homecoming has been a tradition at James Buchanan High School for many years. For alumni, it’s a time to reminisce. The student body sees it as a time for dancing and pep rallies; however, for a small group of students it’s the busiest time of the year. The Student Council takes on a hefty workload behind the scenes to make sure this grand event runs smoothly. 

“We had a work day right after school ended last year to plan the dance,” said Bella Shupp (11), “We laid out all the details.” 

This year, Homecoming is much earlier than previous years. This put extra pressure on Student Council members to have everything ready on time. Students usually come to the dance and see the decorations, but don’t realize how much work and planning it requires. They had to book the DJ, make decorations, design t-shirts, and plan the pep rally. 

“We put up flyers and made a bulletin board to help spread the word to get participation,” said Timothy Helman (10). 

The theme is “Dancing Through the Decades.” To promote the theme, the bulletin board was decorated with records and retro fonts. For Spirit Week, each day was a different decade starting with the 50s and ending with the 90s. 

“We chose this theme because it is easy for people to participate,” said Helman.

Many people within the school own Converses, scrunchies, and many other things that were popular fashion trends in past decades. This makes it easy to show school spirit and participate throughout the week. The Student Council also wanted to boost school spirit even more; they plan to do this through the pep rally with fun games and songs. 

“The Homecoming candidates will be singing karaoke,” said Shupp, they will also be doing a fashion show with toilet paper.” 

The Homecoming King candidates this year are: Nick Alfree (12), Brady Bigler (12), Dean King (12), Grant Souder (12), and Jacob Troupe (12). The Homecoming Queen candidates are: Kaitlyn Ebersole (12), Lily Faust (12), Ella Heckman (12), Reilly Heinbaugh (12) and Hannah Kimmel (12). 

“All the seniors nominated candidates,” said Shupp. “Then the whole school is allowed to vote for the final King and Queen.”

Typically the football game is on a Friday night and the dance takes place the next day on a Saturday night, but this year the game and dance are all in the same day. Saturday at 1 PM the game starts. At halftime the King and Queen will be announced, then at 7 PM the dance begins. 

“I just hope that everyone has fun at Homecoming. It’s a time to relax and not worry about school,” said Shupp.  

At the end of last school year, members of Student Council congregated together to plan out next year’s Homecoming. Since then, Student Council has been implementing their ideas that were written down on paper into reality. 


Behind the Throne


Under the Friday night lights of Rocket Stadium, the 2019 Homecoming King and Queen were crowned.

Shupp (12) and Cormac Houpt (12) accepted their crowns after a eventful week of participating in spirit days and games during the pep rally. But what is it really like to be Homecoming King and Queen? What goes on behind the scenes?


Candidates campaigned all week to try to get votes from the student body. Posters and banners were hung all around the building to grab the attention of students. Some candidates even passed out cupcakes and candy to persuade students.


“Campaigning was awesome! I know that Kayla Locke (12) and I had a fun time participating,” said Houpt.


Some friendly competition went on to see who could go all out with the school spirit to rack in the votes since court couples were running against each other.


“Campaigning was really fun!,” said Shupp. “It was a little intimidating for Scott and I when we saw how much Kayla and Cormac were participating in Spirit Week.”


Banners advertising “Vote for Madi & Scott” and “Kayla and Cormac for Hoco King/Queen” were posted in the front of the cafeteria. In addition, posters with catchphrases and funny pictures were posted on lockers, doors, and even in the gym locker rooms.


“It took us a while to come up with catchy sayings for our signs, but we pretty much made all of the signs during activity period and study halls,” said Shupp.


Other candidates used another way to easily spread the word to many people at just the touch of their fingertips by snapping a picture and posting it to Snapchat.


“We didn’t do many banners,” said Houpt. “Most of out advertising was social media.”


The candidates also dressed up and participated in the spirit days. This years’ spirit days were Lounge Day, Dynamic Duo Day, Monsters University Day, Kingdoms Day and JB Spirit Day.


“My favorite spirit day was the JB Spirit Day,” said Shupp. “It was nice to see everyone in green and white and excited for the football game.”

Each couple dressed to correspond with who they were running with. Each day involved a new outfit to catch the attention of their peers.

“Scott and I would talk each night to plan out what we were going to do for the following day,” said Shupp.


After a week full of school spirit and participating in the pep rally, the candidates lined up on the track during halftime of the football game and anxiously waited for the results.

“I was very excited when I was crowned king,” said Houpt. “I knew it would be close because there was so many good candidates.”


To future Homecoming candidates, many students have passed through and became king and queen and many will do it after. This years’ seniors have some advice for next years’ candidates.  


“Just have fun with it! It’s a blast and it will be a memory you won’t forget!” said Shupp.


A Disney Dance


Back in Time: The Tradition of Homecoming

The leaves begin to fall and the air becomes crisp and cool. Leggings, boots, football, and all things pumpkin: hints that fall is officially here. You know what that means: it’s also the start of Homecoming!

But what is the history behind this custom? Universities, colleges, high schools, and towns come together to celebrate Homecoming every year in September or early October. This American tradition has stuck around for over a century.

People in the local area will coordinate events like parades and pep rallies to celebrate the victory of the home team after a tough game against rivals and welcome back alumni and current students. The game is usually football, however, it can be a game of any sport. Some other events that are connected to homecoming are nominating and choosing a Homecoming king or queen, pep rallies, parades, and of course, a dance.

No one is quite sure what school had the first Homecoming. According to Michael Crampton from, Baylor University, University of Illinois and the University of Missouri are tied for having a “coming home” celebration with similar characteristics to each other.

Crampton also states that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) acknowledges the University of Missouri for the first real Homecoming celebration that took place in 1911. Chester Brewer, the football coach for the University of Missouri at the time, wanted to draw attention to the upcoming game against Kansas that was going to be played in Missouri’s brand new stadium. The coach invited students to “come home” for the game. This was the birth of the tradition of Homecoming.

Since then, high schools have been more involved with the idea of this event than colleges usually are. Allison Price from Angelo State University says that high school Homecomings are full of activities and are more about celebrating school spirit whereas college Homecomings are about welcoming alumni.

From 1911 to today, Homecoming has really changed. Dance moves, dresses, and music are not the same as they were 20 years ago.

Unlike today’s Homecoming, dresses were longer and not as detailed, shiny or fancy. Also, new music and dance moves have changed this festivity over the years because they are always being created and becoming popular.

Even though this celebration has changed over time and will continue to change, there are a few key points that will always stay. Homecoming will always be about celebrating school spirit and making memories and friends that you will remember forever.

This picture of the Homecoming court was taken from James Buchanan’s 1981 Yearbook
This picture was taken from last year’s “Candid” yearbook. You can see how styles have changed.








Stay In The Flow With StuCo

Hurricane Harvey, Homecoming & Halloween: How student council is making it happen


James Buchanan’s biggest events this  autumn all happen thanks to our Student Council organization, who have maximized their community impact despite school being in session only a little over a month.

Student Council Members gather around the supplies they collected to aid in the Hurricane Harvey relief.happen thanks to our Student Council organization, who have maximized their community impact despite school being in session only a little over a month.

Student Council members created this year’s Homecoming theme, Hollywood, and they are in full preparation mode and plan on packing tons of glitz and glam into the screen-worthy weekend.

“Expect a red carpet entrance at the dance,” said Shaelyn kaiser, 11,  who along with Victoria Hutchinson, 11,  and Kristin Embly, 11,  are the chairs of the dance this year.

The Homecoming week kicks off with different themed spirit days, the pep rally on Friday, the Homecoming parade and the game to follow.

“We’ve planned some fun games and performances for it (the pep rally)” Hutchinson said. The trio also revealed to expect some emceeing from Kaiser and fellow student Council member Bergen Stevens,11.


Other than putting all their effort into Homecoming preparations, Student Council has also been helping in the Hurricane Harvey relief.


“We put a box in the office to bring food, water, clothes and supplies in,”  StuCo president Amber Brindle, 12, said.

They’ve been collecting more than supplies but also money through a hat day they sponsored to raise money for the Red Cross relief effort.

“We ended up taking three carloads down to the drop-off station and helped organize it,” Brindle said.

On top of organizing Homecoming and assisting in the hurricane efforts, Student Council also is leaping into fall with the start of Halloween festivities.  

They plan to include the annual pumpkin-decorating contest and costume-judging around Halloween.

Student Council spends all year drawing up new ideas and plans for exciting activities and there’s no doubt this year they will continue to provide memorable events for the school.


Homecoming: Let Me See Your Green and White!

With Homecoming week, game, and dance quickly approaching, the JBHS students are ready to showcase their school spirit!


StuCO prepares for Homecoming with signs that explains the theme days of the week.

As the streamers are ready to be hung, the balloons being filled with air, the votes being counted for Homecoming king and queen, and the bitter October air, everyone knows that that means! The James Buchanan High School is preparing for the well known event, Homecoming.


“Homecoming is the first dance of the year, it is the freshman’s first dance and they get to see how different it is from middle school.” Said Gwenhvier Hunt, 11, a student who has been attending the Homecoming dances since freshman year.


Homecoming this year will be on Oct. 7 from 7-10 p.m. in the James Buchanan High School cafeteria. The Homecoming game and parade will be on Oct. 6. The parade consists of school groups who volunteer to showcase themselves as they walk down the track. The football game will be up against our competitors Frederick High School.


Performing at the football game, the JBHS Rocket Band will be showcasing their show, “Classical Madness.” The Rocket Band will also be saying goodbye to their many seniors as they walk down the track with their parents.


Also walking with their parents across the field, the seniors of both the football team and cheerleading squad get praised for their personal accomplishments throughout the year with lots of clapping and support from their peers


“It’s really fun to do all the dress ups, and to participate in the activities.” Hunt explained her thoughts on the Homecoming spirit days.



The JBHS Student Council puts on certain theme days of the week, and will ask the students to  get in on the spirited fun. Monday is Decade Day, where you dress up from your favorite decade of time. Tuesday is Twin Day, where two people dress alike to show school spirit. Wednesday people will show off their ball gowns and bling with a “Walk Down the Red Carpet.”  Thursday is a throw back to when you were a child. Friday dig out the black spirit wear so you can show school spirit with a total blackout at the game and pep rally.


The Student Council, as well as the Homecoming king and queen candidates work hard to go above and beyond to get the student body hyped by participating in all the spirit days and using this week to hopefully gain your vote.


The 2017 Homecoming candidates for the boys are: Jae-Lin Carmack, Jackson Ellis, Noah Shank, Austin Sheppard, and Hunter Sowers.  For the girls the candidates are:  Kirstyn Black, Megan Hoffeditz, Abby Mackling, Mackenzie Shughart, and Renee Sollenberger.


The student body will cast their votes the week of Homecoming. The votes will then be counted, and the winner will be announced at the Homecoming game on Friday. 


The Homecoming pep rally takes weeks of planning. “It takes a while to figure out what kind of games the candidates are gonna do and who all is going to perform and what is gonna happen in what order,” said StuCo Vice President Madison Shupp.


The pep rally that takes place on that Friday of homecoming week, is a chance to get students excited about the game and parade that night.


“The pep rally isn’t just thrown together at the last minute,””

— Madison Shupp


 In the 2017 Homecoming pep rally, you will see school spirit being represented by The JBHS Rocket Band, the JBHS cheerleaders, sports teams, and then will end the program with some fun and games with the candidates.


With the festivities ending on Friday, the part everyone looks forward to happens Saturday night as you “walk the red carpet” to the Homecoming dance.


“I like getting all dressed up and the preparation that comes with it….I can’t wait to make memories that I can make and take to college” Katlin Shatzer, 12, said about her last  homecoming dance.


According to Student Council, the dance is going to be like you are walking down the red carpet into a glamorous setting filled with Hollywood props, with colors of gold, silver and lots of glitter. Also the dance floor will be filled with well known music from a local DJ. The 2017 Homecoming dance is destined to be a memory that you will remember forever.


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