The Rocket Flame

Purpose In Preseason


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.


Teachers Furthering Their Education


Most people believe that once you earn your degree from college, you are done with schooling. While this may be true for some jobs, teachers at James Buchanan are encouraged and even required to further their education.


“There’s a thing called ACT 48… school districts [in Pennsylvania] require you on top of that to get a Master’s or Master’s equivalent,” said Mrs. Kayla Chambers (Faculty).


Many teachers take classes to get either their Master’s degree or Master’s equivalent. A Master’s equivalent is when you take the number of credits for a Master’s degree, but do not actually have the degree. Act 48 requires that anyone who holds a Pennsylvania certification to continue their education requirements. They must do this every five years to helps ensure that teachers maintain their certificates in active status and keep up-to-date on the criteria.


“It helps me manage time… It also keeps me on task,” said Ms. Angi Johnson (Faculty).


The criteria taught helps teachers plan better and helps them with ideas on how to instruct students differently. It will also help keep teaching relevant to the things that are happening and changing within their major. Depending on how they apply their knowledge to their classroom, teachers can help lead their students towards greater success.


“It presents challenges, but challenges are good,” said Johnson.


Teachers are given the challenge to have a full-time job and teach throughout the work day, but also take classes to further their education. They must balance multiple duties at once to make sure that both they and their students are taught what they need to pass. If it presents difficulty, teachers are given the choice to take their classes over the summer instead of throughout the school year.


“I’m really excited [about taking more college courses] because it’s teaching, and I’m always excited to be a better teacher,” said Mrs. Breanna Grove (Faculty).


Teachers not only teach you, but they are also getting taught by someone else, who serves as a mentor. They are applying what they learned in their classes to their own classroom, helping to greater the success of them and their students. It also helps them make more money, making it even more of an incentive for them to take these courses.




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.


From Student to Teacher

Mrs. Breanna Grove’s Transition from College Life to Teaching High Schoolers


Mrs. Breanna Grove

Changes can be difficult, whether it’s a new house, or even a new job. One teacher in the district has endured a lot of changes in the past year, but has used them to her advantage.


Mrs. Breanna Grove (Faculty) graduated from Lock Haven University not even a year ago. She is the current gym teacher here at James Buchanan High School, but, even in college, many changes had occurred in her life.


“I originally went to Shippensburg for middle-level education, teaching math and science, but then I knew Lock Haven had physical education,” Grove said. “I never really thought of that as a career, until I heard of it and thought about it. So that’s whenever I went up to Lock Haven and pursued health and PE.”


After moving to Lock Haven, she declared a new major and began classes.


“[I took] your typical gen eds for the first year, and after that we had a lot of physical education classes.” Grove explained, “Which were specifically games, like tactical games: ultimate football, ultimate frisbee, and soccer, and then we also had net sports as another class, which is tennis, volleyball, pickleball, badminton.”


She not only has a degree in physical education, but is certified to teach Health.


“I also had a lot of health-related classes with my Health degree, so I’m technically certified to teach Health and Physical Education. I took Anatomy, Physiology, [and] Kinesiology,” Grove added.


After graduation, Grove began to look for a job. The first job opening she found was here at James Buchanan.


“They [the Heckmans] told me about Beegle retiring, so even before the position was posted, I applied for it. This was the very first position I applied for,” she said. “After that, I applied for like 10 other positions, and I ended up getting the job of my very first application.”


There was some slight competition, but in the end, Grove was hired.


“They actually interviewed my husband for the same position. We were interviewed on the same day, but then I got a call back,” Grove said.


She dealt with all the other logistics of getting hired, and was ready to start her new job, which consisted of the typical first day jitters.


“Nervous, very, very, nervous,” were the words Grove used to describe her feelings.


One of her major concerns was being accepted, but also respected.


“Being a young person, you want everyone to like you, but you also need to be professional, and be assertive when necessary, or you’re just going to get pushed over,” Grove described. “That’s definitely been a fun learning experience.”


Though she has been teaching for less than a semester, she already has goals for the future.


“My hope is to never be the same. I think whenever you repeat things every year, people get bored with it, first of all,” she reported. “Secondly, society changes, so I believe what you teach in the classroom should change too.”


Grove not only wants to make her class interesting, she also wants to create a bond with her students.


“I think being a teacher [that] it’s important to build relationships with your students and have them be comfortable enough to come and talk to you,” she said. ”If you can’t build that respect and persona with your students, then you’re really not going to be able to reach them like you could if you were able to talk to them one-on-one.”


She believes that changes are key to a successful class in today’s world.


“Just in education specifically, in the past, traditional education was very much, you need to ‘teach, teach, teach,’” Grove informed. “Whereas 21st-century education, which is what they push now, is about building relationships, being able to relate to your students, and just know more about them, and not necessarily just teaching them all the time, but having them teach you.”


The experiences Grove has gone through over the past few years are what shaped her into the person she is today, and shows that change is inevitable.

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Mrs. Breanna Grove