The Rocket Flame

Pinning to the Top

Pinning+to+the+Top

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.

 

Ready? Set? Race!

Who Will Cross the Finish Line First?

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Sydney Jones

The teams race from the start line to see who will win the first event.

Ready? Set? Go!  Yells Ella Heckman (10) and the teams race off to tackle their first event.  The intensity increases as one teammate after the other races against the other teams to get a point on the board.  Ag Olympics hosted by the Ag department is a favorite for many students each year.  FFA Weeks builds the excitement for the finale on Friday for only one week out of the entire school year.

During FFA Week there are spirit days that lead up to the Olympics.  This year the spirit days consisted of: Camo Day, America Day, Farmer Day, Farm Animal Day, and Blue and Gold Day.  Each day had different criteria based off the theme.  Camo Day you were encouraged to wear any and all camo that you owed.  For America Day wearing an sort of red, white, or blue was fantastic.  Farmer Day you were to dress like a farmer.  For Farm Animal Day you were encouraged to dress like any farm.  Finally, for Blue and Gold Day you could wear any assortment of blue and gold.

“FFA chapters use National FFA Week to share agriculture with their fellow students as well as their communities,” said Adrianna Durboraw (11).

Living in a rural community makes FFA Week so much more important.  This is a way to keep our community together through something the community is good at, farming, and something that everyone loves, fun.  

“We do Ag Olympics to have fun and get the whole school involved.  Everybody in the school gets to watch as teams participate in activities,” said Adrianna Durboraw, “ FFA week is to inform people about agriculture and FFA knowledge.”

This year there were six teams.The teams were Yearbook: Rachel Kimmel, Kirstyn Black, Macey Keefer, and Megan Rummel; The Dream Team: Shane Coursey, Heath Hissong, Cody Saunders, and David Clopper; The 717: Evan Clopper, Logan Miller, Trysten Hensley, and Caleb Wise; The Thrasher: Delanie Black, Madison Hock, Lacy Nolan, and Shayla Plantz; Brothers From Differ

ent Mothers: Moses Goetz, Logan Weaver, Alex Letterman, and Trey Settings; and finally The Teachers: Ms. Fox, Mrs. Swailes, Mrs. Chambers, and Mrs. Miller.  Anyone from the school can make a team and enter into the Olympics.  There is a limit of four people per team and everyone must participate in almost every activity. This year the games consisted of: Hay Bale Tossing, Corn Shucking, Apple Bobbing, Penny in a Haystack, and a Pie Eating Contest.  Each of these activities helps students that don’t have a farming background appreciate the community they live in and the work that they do.

“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will, in the end, contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness,” said Adrianna Durboraw.

The community we live in is full of new agricultural opportunities.  Being able to bring them to school for students to learn while having fun is a rare opportunity.

The World of Wrestling

Find out how James Buchanan wrestling team did the 2017-18 season and what the future holds for them.

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Hannah Kimmel

The official proclaims Logan Miller (9) winner of the match.

The wrestling season is coming to a close as the James Buchanan Varsity Wrestling team enters their championship season.

 

This season started out strong with eleven wrestlers; for nine of them, it was their first year on the Varsity Wrestling team. Many new faces brought a lot of hope to the wrestlers, and they wanted to win matches for the team. Although they didn’t have a winning season, the boys were closer as a team than last season.

 

“I feel like this team, this year, was a lot stronger and a lot more bonded than years in the past,” said Jaelin Carmak (12), the only senior and team captain. “Just as a team, in general, we bonded real well and I feel like that’s a bigger win than actually winning a dual meet.”

 

Even though they weren’t able to win any meets, there were a lot of individual wins for some of the wrestlers, which helped boost morale and spirit.

 

James Buchanan’s wrestling team is very young with only one senior leaving this year; many of the wrestlers will be coming back next year to continue where they left off. Carmak’s teammate, Hunter Smith (9), plans to return for the next season.

 

“We need more experience. We need more talent and wrestlers, have more people out there and join the team,” said Smith.

 

Smith believes these are the ingredients they will need for next season, especially with how young the team is. There were six freshmen wrestlers this year, making up over half of the team.

 

For what the team lacks in their numbers, they make up for in their dedication and focus.

 

“When you go out there on the mat, you wouldn’t think six minutes of wrestling is real hard, but you’re using every muscle out there,” Carmak said. “You use muscles you wouldn’t even think you would.”

 

To be able to wrestle even just six minutes on the mat requires hours of training at practices. The wrestler’s condition by running two miles every practice, then they do drills to better their coordination and flexibility. They also learn different moves, so they are able to pin the competition and live wrestling and doing their own moves.

 

Though the practices are tough and tiring the wrestlers love their sport. Carmak and Smith both agreed that the best part of the season were the bus rides to and from the matches. There, the boys would talk and relax. It bonded them closer as a team making them feel much like a family.

 

The Wrestling team has been through a long and grueling season, but they are all looking forward to competing in Sectionals, February 17, at Susquenita High School. From there if wrestlers place in the top three they move onto Districts.

 

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