The Rocket Flame



Something new offered to James Buchanan last year by Mrs. Breanna Grove (Faculty) was the aspect of intramural sports. In these sports, students form their own teams and compete during Activity Period twice a week. They compete in “tournament-style” games where their team is placed in a bracket; the team who wins the most games wins the tournament.


The Intramural sports offered have been limited to dodgeball currently, but Grove plans to expand in the future.

Logan Knable (12) prepares to throw a dodgeball at the opposing team while team member, Junior Tomasello (10), tries to catch a thrown ball.

“Whenever I was getting interviewed for this position, I brought up the idea of intramurals, so we wanted to try it here,” said Grove.


When Grove was hired, she wanted every student in James Buchanan, no matter the athletic ability, to have the opportunity to participate in a school sport and be active. At the schools where she student-taught, they played intramurals there and she wanted to try something new at James Buchanan.


“They [intramurals] are more students who want to participate in sports, but not varsity sports,” said Grove.


Intramurals aren’t as much of a commitment as varsity sports are. As well as only being twice a week during school hours, they also are no-cut sports. By having no cuts, it relieves the students of stress they may have for trying out for the sports. Students don’t have to worry about making a team as they are already guaranteed to be a participant if they turn in their team form before the sport starts.


“I really like that we can form our own teams with friends and play against other students in our school,” said Lizzie Pittman (12).


Intramural sports also takes away the competitive aspect that varsity sports have. They allow students to play amongst their peers and form their own teams, making the sports less competitive and makes it more enjoyable for all of the students.


“Even if you don’t want to play, we allow students to come in the gym and watch,” said Grove.

Hunter Dysinger (11) gets ready to to throw a dodgeball at opposing team member, Kolby Daley (11).

Anybody can come down and watch their peers play Intramurals. The students cheer and encourage the teams, making it more enjoyable for the players.


“When other schools do Intramurals they get a good response from them,” said Grove.


The Intramurals at James Buchanan have so far received a good response whether they be from the player or spectators. Grove hopes to continue doing more intramurals in the future as well as broadening the sports offered.


10 Ways To Make Your Christmas Season Sleigh

After all the turkey and stuffing is gone, and 95.1 immediately begins playing Christmas music, it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit. You can finally crank up “Jingle Bells” and decorate your tree with no judgment of celebrating “too early.” There are many little things you can do to make your Christmas season as festive as possible.


Hershey Sweet Lights in Hershey, PA is a 2-mile drive through about 600 different displays of animated Christmas lights. As you drive through the winding  path, you can tune your radio to the special station that corresponds to the dancing and twinkling lights.

Hershey’s Sweet Lights in Hershey, PA.

Another way to enjoy the Christmas season is to take advantage of the deals when it comes to holiday shopping. Many stores have special promotions going on for buying lots of gifts. Malls and stores are decorated for the season and luring shoppers in with their sales and festive music. Locally, many people go to the Valley Mall or the Hagerstown Premium Outlets to do their holiday shopping.


Immediately after Thanksgiving, the upbeat and happy Christmas music begins to play which makes it obvious that it’s time for the holidays and to celebrate. Listening to Christmas music is a central idea in the holiday season.


“Listening to Christmas songs makes me enjoy this season so much because it just warms my heart how happy everyone gets,” said Lizzie Pittman (12).


One prominent thing in the holidays is shopping for a Christmas tree. Picking out a live Christmas tree is a unique experience when it comes to just getting an artificial tree out of a box every year.


“Finding the perfect Christmas tree with my family really puts me in the holiday spirit,” said Nathan Walls (12).


Another idea is ice skating. Locally, you can go to the Hagerstown Ice and Sports Complex and lace up a pair of ice skates. Admission is $5.00 and skate rental is $2.00.


“I really enjoyed going  ice skating my first time”, said Marlee Barry (12), “I liked it so much I actually once thought about taking lessons”.


Many locals in our area also spend time at Whitetail Ski Resort throughout the winter season, whether it’s time spent working, skiing, snowboarding or tubing. Whitetail has not yet opened for the season but will soon begin making snow for lots of skiers and snowboarders to enjoy.


Around this time is when many family members and friends give and receive gifts from one another. Many people participate in “Secret Santa” gift exchanges. Names are drawn out and you must get a gift for that person and keep it a secret until you exchange gifts.


“Secret Santa is a great way to celebrate the holiday because of the suspense and excitement it creates by not knowing who is surprising you”, said Emily Gipe (12).


Student Council also holds the annual Food Drive for the holiday season where students can bring in non-perishable canned goods to donate to families in need. The competition that takes place between the homerooms to win the prize gets lots of students participating.


There are also many other ways to donate back to the community during the holidays. Many “Toys for Tots” boxes and local shelters and organizations are in need of donations.


“We should all aspire to help others because helping other should be a part of your life,” said Mallory Peck (11). “Seeing someone else happy and know you were able to make that happen in some sort of way is one of the best feelings.”


Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, and sugar cookies are another way add to the holiday season. Many people bake treats to share with friends and family as a miniature present and a way to enjoy each other.


“My family always has a cookie bake day where we all get together at my great aunt’s house to eat lunch, bake cut out cookies, make a craft, and just have a good time in everyone’s company,” said Elena McNulty (11).


Memories and traditions made this time of year become annual and a special part of many people’s Christmas.


“My favorite tradition is playing Hershey Kiss Oven Mitt Relay Race at my Nana’s house after dinner,” said Harley Rife (12). “We put on oven mitts and try to unwrap a Hershey Kiss. When everyone on your team unwraps their candy, they get to open gifts first and also receive a mystery gift.”


When it’s time to relax by the Christmas tree, make sure you include watching lots of Christmas movies. This time of year, many TV channels and apps like Netflix have a wide selection of Christmas movies to enjoy with your families. Some movies to watch on Netflix are How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Princess Switch, The Christmas Chronicles, and A Christmas Prince.


“All my family watches Hallmark Christmas movies the entire day of Christmas Eve in our matching pj’s and then we make home made cookies for the younger ones to put out for Santa,” said Kali Rotharmel (12).


Many memories can be made and fun can be had while doing activities during Christmas. You can spend time enjoying the weather and seasonal activities, but always remember the real reason for the season and what it means to you.


Paint Party: Pumpkin Edition


To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

A chilly autumn breeze blows an ombre of orange, red, and yellow leaves across the grass. Anywhere you go, you are bound to smell a mixture of cinnamon and pumpkin. Porches are decorated with scarecrows, leaves, and pumpkins just waiting to be decorating. Following along with the seasons holidays and traditions, James Buchanan’s Art Club gathered up pumpkins to decorate for fall.


Club members got together to decorate pumpkins after school on Thursday, Oct. 25. Some members did a classic jack o’lantern face, while some others branched out to do anything from a monogram of their initials to a peacock with feathers.

For a while, the Art Club has not done any parties that have to do with making art; the events have usually been

While Maggie Strawoet (12) shares a laugh with members of her table, Lizzie Pittman (12) centers her attention on painting her monogram on her pumpkin.

centered around food and activities, such as Secret Santa or tea parties. This year, however, the club is trying to change that.


“Normally, our regular Halloween parties are just a breakfast during Activity Period,” said Vice President Maggie Strawoet (12), “so we wanted to do something more elaborate and artsy since this year we are really trying to change up Art Club and do more art instead of just parties.”

The Art Club advisor, Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty), really wants the members’ creations to do more for the school. Whether it is made with a group or individually, Chambers-Matulevich thinks that art should be able to hang around the school and make a lasting impact. To do this, the club needs to step out of its old habits of throwing parties centered around socializing.


“Art club should make art. We should be making art, not wasting time. It’s not a socialization club, it’s an art club,” said Chambers-Matulevich.


While getting more art out into the school is a main goal of the club, they also hope to raise community awareness of the art being created inside room 305.

As Olivia Harmon (12) paints a haunted house against a nights sky on her pumpkin, she shares a laugh with Amber Clark (12) who paints a scary face on her pumpkin.

“We want to host paint nights for everyone to come, not just for the school, but [for] the community,” said President Lizzie Pittman (12). “Also, we want to do something at the Mercersburg tree lighting ceremony to get the little kids involved.”


Taking their first step towards this new goal for themselves, the members have taken to decorating pumpkins. Whether they painted something scary or sweet, or if they used different 3D elements to enhance their designs, the members put their own spin on their pumpkins.


“I made a peacock pumpkin,” said Trinity Myers (12). “I thought it would be really fun to use blues and greens. I actually put feathers in the back to make a tail, because peacocks have big tails. Then,…I made a beak out of orange



With a new aspiration and a motivation to get there, James Buchanan’s Art Club is working towards becoming more involved with supplying art to the school and community.

Ladle Full of Creativity


Caroline Zimmerman, 9, starts shaping her bowl on the wheel. Photo by Madison Dorsey.

James Buchanan High School’s Art Club is molding the communities outlook on them one ceramic piece at a time.

Art club is not just the club that stores unique works of art in the display cases around the school; they are making a difference in the community with their upcoming Soup Bowl Fundraiser.

The group based out of room 301 spends their spare time making hand-crafted pottery bowls to sell with a variety of soups to the people who attend the fundraising event in the JBHS cafeteria on December 15th.


“All the bowls are $10 each, and you can have as many bowls of soup as you want,” explained , Lizzie Pittman, 11, Art Club President.


The function is occurring to generate money for the club’s expenses, but the unused money goes to a worthy and local charity.


Advisor Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich, Faculty, said, “The first year we did it, we made, I’d like to say, closer to two grand. Maybe not quite that much, but we ended up donating over eight-hundred dollars to Saint Thomas Tiger Totes, and that is what I’d like to do again.”


Tiger Totes is ran through the St. Thomas Elementary School, and they send home food for the less-fortunate kids every Friday. The school does this so the children can eat over the weekend. Art Club donates money to the organization to help feed more families.

The bowls are not just something that you could easily pick up in a store, but they are created differently depending on the artist who crafts them.

Using a tool, Trinity Myers, 11, carves designs into her bowl. Photo by Madison Dorsey

“I like putting my own creative twist into everything, so it’s like it’s my own work,” said Sydni Ressler, 12.  


Alongside the bowls, other items are made from clay to be sold in order to produce more funds for the club and their club trip.


Ressler stated, “Some of us just don’t just make bowls, we also can make mugs or little ornaments.”


The soup bowl fundraiser will be happening on December 155h, and the club members are already adding their flare to their pieces to sell in the school’s cafeteria to financially support themselves and assist others.

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