All posts by Alex Smith

Making it ‘Magical’: GC drama presents Cinderella with a ‘flair

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Cinderella performances are April 28, 29, 30 at 7pm and May 1 at 2pm. Purchase tickets at Photo Credit:

Cinderella has been featured in many schools and universities across the country and it’s a challenge to present the old story in a different way. GC Drama’s cast and crew proposes to put a modern spin on it.

Brynn Elliott, 12, playing Cinderella, talked about how she plans to make the musical a unique production. She said, “I think our goal for the musical is to make it magical. We all want the story of Cinderella to seem like you pulled it right out of a movie, fairy godmother and all. We want people to be stunned by the actors, but to also be stunned by the whimsical vibe that the backstage crew created with costumes, makeup, lights, paint, and of course our sets. It’ll be an amazing show, and I couldn’t be any happier to end my theatre career at GC with it!”

Zeke Holden, 11, playing Prince Topher, discussed how he plans to make the musical a unique production. He said, “I think that each individual person has a good specific vision for how they want their character to be and sound. And it’s really been entertaining to watch myself and others figure it out.” Angel Murphy, also 11, playing an Older Woman, said, “We are going to make this production unique by put our own flair on the show.”

Elliot talked about what she thinks of being in her last production of high school. She said, “I’m really sad. This theatre program has done so much for me, and it’s really upsetting that I have to leave the department and everyone I know and love. We’re all really close, so it just makes things ten times harder.” She also discussed what the biggest things she has learned by being in drama are. She said, “I have learned patience and cooperation. You have to be patient to know what is going on in a production, especially when you’re not onstage. And just being able to take notes and do what the director says is a skill that theatre often teaches you. I have also learned to love everyone no matter what and I’m just so happy with everything our program has taught me and all of the memories I made!”

Elliott discussed how being in various productions for GC has helped her learn and grow and what memories she will take with her of GC drama when she graduates this year. She said, “Being in productions at the high school has helped me grow as a person, and as an actress. Mrs. Voigt has really helped me discover who I am as an actress, and she has influenced my personality a lot. I don’t what I would do without her. I have so many fond memories with this program, and I can’t wait to make even more before I leave.” She also talked about her plans outside of high school. She said, “I am pursuing acting outside of high school. I am going into musical theatre because it is my passion and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life.”

Holden talked about what it means to him to be one of the leads. He said, “To get one of the leads in the musical is absolutely huge for me! I think that being on stage and acting and singing with my castmates has really opened up my eyes to how much I love performing.”

Holden commented on what his individual goals as well as cast goals for this production are. He said, “My biggest goal for the show right now is to establish my own flair for theater seeing as I am very new to it.”

Murphy talked about what her individual goals as well as cast goals for this production are: “To make it fun and try to do our best.” As for Elliott, she said, “My goal is for everyone to walk away from the show happy. I think as a whole group we just want everyone to be blown away by our whole production and for it to be remembered as one of the best shows in GC history.”

Murphy discussed what she is looking forward to the most: “The performances of course but spending that time with the cast is so much fun.” As for Holden, “As of right now, I’m really looking forward to the response from the community when they see the show.” Elliott mentioned what she is looking forward to the most, “Honestly, I think I’m really looking forward to my costume changes that are onstage. My dress will transform around me and I think that it’ll be really cool.”

Elliott mentioned what songs she enjoyed the most: “I really enjoy the songs ‘Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?’ and ‘In My Own Little Corner.’ They’re just really pretty songs and they’re so much fun to sing, I really love them.” Holden said, “My favorite song would have to either be ‘Me Who Am I’ or ‘Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?’. I love the first one because it really is MY song and it’s a song that has plenty of room for improv and comedy, and the other song is just such a beautiful duet between Brynn and I.” Murphy talked about what song she enjoyed the most: “‘Stepsisters Lament’ because it is really funny.”

Of course, every production is not without challenges. Holden talked about what has been the biggest obstacle during the process for him and how he is working to overcome it. He said, “The hardest part of being in the show for me, is trying to keep it out of EVERY conversation I have! I’m very passionate about this show and I have enjoyed it so much.” Murphy said, “My social anxiety is definitely really hard with so many people.” Elliott commented, “It was really really hard for me to find Cinderella’s character. I never realized how difficult it would be to be a character everyone knows and loves, so it made me want to not mess up. I finally realized that I needed to be more myself than looking at it as a role. I’m way more comfortable now, and I’m very confident with my character.”

Murphy commented on her favorite part of the show, “Definitely when we are in the town spinning and dancing.” Elliott talked about her favorite line in the show. She said, “My favorite I think is one of the Prince’s. He says, ‘She’s my lady’. It’s my favorite because the way Zeke says it is absolutely hysterical and makes me laugh every time.” For Holden, he said, “Right now I’m torn between two lines where after I slay an evil giant and save the day, I shout ‘I wish I was doing something more important with my life!’ I also really enjoy the line ‘I don’t even know your name!’ after a kiss scene.”

For Holden, the magic of the theater is real. He said, “I will definitely be in future shows! This experience of Cinderella has been so much fun and has really given me a love for performance.”

Walker Career Center provides vocational path for students

By: Tyler Young/Staff writer

Walker Career Center is an institution that you can take for certain curriculum that you want to take in the future that your high school does not offer. Many students go there for career paths that they wish to pursue in life and there are many places to go for those classes.

Devin Evanoff, 11, is one of those students who go to Walker for their future career and interests. Evanoff takes an aviation class at Walker. He said he takes it because he’s always had an interest in flying planes and flying in planes. Evanoff said that when you go to Walker the class you would want to take is only offered in certain semesters. Aviation, for example, is only offered in the second semester. Evanoff talked about a daily walk through about his day with high school and Walker. “My day doesn’t start till 9:00 a.m. so I miss the first and most of the second block at the high school. The class is from 9:00-10:45 except on Fridays. And once I finish at 10:45 I go to the high school to finish the day.” 

Evanoff said what he does in the class is interesting and interactive. “I actually got to fly in a plane and fly the plane. It was really cool.” He also talked about the best part about going to Walker. “I don’t have to wake up early for an 8:30 class and I get to learn about my future career.” He also mentioned the interactiveness of aviation. “It’s very hands-on and we’re always doing something that doesn’t require writing down notes.” Evanoff talked about who to recommend the class to. “I’d say anybody that likes to get out of their comfort zone and just about anybody can take the class.” 

Evanoff said that the aviation class is only one semester of regular school but it also takes time out of his Spring Break. He talked about where he wants this class to take him in life. “I want to be a commercial pilot for American or Delta Airlines.” Lastly, he talked about where he goes for Walker Career Center class. “I go to Mt. Vernon High School, but there’s a location in (Warren Central township) as well.” 

Abby Morgan, 11, is another one of the students who is involved in the Walker Career path. She is studying Criminal Justice because she has always been invested into true crime and thought it would be fun to have a class not offered at a high school.

Morgan talked about what they’ve learned in class. “In my class, we’ve learned how to solve crime scenes, file police reports, handcuffing, fingerprinting, and a lot more.”

She also talked about her daily schedule. “Every day I wake up at 5:30 to get to Walker by 7:15. Then my class ends at 9:10 and I either go home until my third block starts, or I go to the library and work on any homework I may have. After that, my day is normal and I have my third and fourth block here at Greenfield.”

‘Dissecting the Material’: Students describe Berrier as ‘hands-on’, creator of ‘fun’

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Heather Berrier, biology teacher, teaches her Anatomy class about the tongue. Photo Credit: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Mrs. Heather Berrier, who has been teaching science classes at GC for 5 years, talked about what makes teaching science worth it. She said, “Every job can be stressful if you let it. That is why it is important to find things outside of your career that you enjoy and take a break. I have had several other jobs before coming to teaching and this job is by far the most rewarding. Working with you guys and guiding you in your science education is a career like none other.” 

Berrier mentioned her favorite part of being a science teacher. She said, “I absolutely love watching students learn, and with that, it is the growth I see from getting a new topic failing with some concepts, but then learning from that. Also when I have students say ‘Wow that’s so cool!’ When it’s looking at a hydra or when they understand exactly how oxygen is used in the body.” (A hydra is a genus of invertebrate freshwater animals.)

Samantha Torres, 12, discussed what her favorite thing about Anatomy with Berrier is. She said, “The atmosphere! She always makes class a fun place to be. Not only does she incorporate labs but we also do a lot of group work, which I appreciate.”

Laney Elliott, 10, talked about her favorite aspect about Human Body Systems (HBS) with Berrier. She said, “My favorite thing about Science with Mrs. Berrier is that she always knows how to keep it fun and she tells us stories of things that have happened to her and people she knows that relate to what we are learning.”

Berrier mentioned how she has handled teaching Biology II, Human Body Systems, and Anatomy during a pandemic. She said, “ ‘If you don’t bend like a willow you will break in the wind’. This is a saying I heard my entire life from my Great Aunt Bunny. And it was so true with the pandemic. I learned so much about how to teach with technology, google meets, Nearpods, video recordings, Flipgrids, things I have never used in the past but now I don’t know how I did without them.”

Elliott talked about what Berrier does to help her learn. She said, “Mrs. Berrier is very good at making lessons hands-on and working with us to make sure we understand the material.” Torres also discussed what Berrier does to help her learn. She said, “Mrs. Berrier is always a helping hand. She often reaches out to students individually when they need help. Berrier is very approachable when you have a question, or difficulty understanding a topic.”

Torres further commented on Berrier, “I have had science class with Mrs. Berrier almost every year of high school. On the first day of my freshman year I had Bio 2 with her fourth period. I was able to go the entire day under the radar…until her class. She broke me out of my shell. She was introducing herself and her family when I saw a familiar face on her ‘Welcome’ slideshow. I had Mr. Berrier for fourth grade English. In front of the whole class she said ‘Miss Torres I’ve heard a lot about you!’ It was helpful having a teacher that welcomed me so early in my high school career.” 

Elliott also had a memorable story: “While we were in first semester we were doing an eye dissection lab and it was always so funny because when it comes to different things that we dissect, Berrier is not afraid to stick her hand into whatever it is we are dissecting, and when we were doing the eye she just took part of it and turned it inside out.”

Berrier discussed the most memorable moment in her teaching career. She said, “The first time I received a thank you card from a previous student, it was an unprovoked thank you card (not on Teacher Appreciation Week) and it caught me off guard. They were thanking me for teaching and telling me I had made such a positive impact on their life when they were in my class. Sometimes you don’t really know the impact you have, and at that moment I was like ‘Wow’.”

Additionally, funny moments happen, too. “Working in the Science department you have to have a sense of humor, we laugh all the time,” Berrier said. “But to me in class it was actually last week. A student told me, ‘Mrs. Berrier I am worried about you’ and when I asked why he said ‘You repeated two jokes twice in class….that’s why we didn’t laugh the second time.’ I immediately started laughing and told him he needed to tell me when I had a grandma moment! Teaching the same class sometimes I know I will repeat myself but him calling me out on it was so funny!”

Elliott talked about what Berrier does to make HBS fun. She said, “Mrs. Berrier tells us stories and lets us do labs to better understand what we are learning.” As for Anatomy, Torres said, “Mrs. Berrier’s attitude makes science class fun! Every other day I’m in class, she walks in the room with a smile on her face. It is contagious.”

Torres mentioned what Berrier has taught her about in Anatomy this year. She said, “This year we have had depth in everything from directional terms, root words/prefixes/suffixes, to the respiratory system and even blood!” Elliott talked about what knowledge she has gained from Berrier in HBS. She said, “We have learned a lot of things this year including the urinary system, joints, and different parts of the kidney and nephron.”

Berrier discussed her favorite lesson or activity to do with the kids. She said, “I love anything with microscopes. Especially in Bio 2 we get to look at living specimens. It is not something you usually get to experience. Looking at the diagrams is learning the structures but when you get to see them moving in real life, not just a video, it is a whole different experience!”

Elliott talked about what her least favorite thing about HBS with Berrier is. She said, “I honestly don’t have a least favorite thing about class with Mrs. Berrier. She is always so fun and personable.” As for Anatomy, Torres said, “Dissections are not my favorite thing to do in science class. Berrier does let us work [with] partners though, which is nice because most times I take notes while my partner does the actual dissection. Although they are interesting to look at, the smell is too much for me!” For her part, Berrier discussed her least favorite thing about being a Science teacher. She said, “I really cannot find anything. I go to work every single day loving what I do!”

Berrier discussed how she balances her work and home life. She said, “When I leave school I turn on the mom mode. I try not to look at my email or grade assignments when I am with my family. It is very important in life to not always be working. If I have to catch up on some grading I will do this after my kiddos go to bed.” She also mentioned what she does outside of teaching Science. She said, “I am a coach of soccer and volleyball with my town’s rec league. I have been coaching for about 10 years. And I have Zumba twice a week!”

Berrier talked about what she wants students to learn in Science class. She said, “That failing is NOT failure. Experiments go wrong…all…the…time. If the scientist said, ‘Well that didn’t work…moving on,’ we would not have the medications or technology we have today. Learn in life from the mistakes you made, do not let them define you.” She also mentioned how she keeps the kids engaged. She said, “I really like group and partner work where they can talk through ideas and assignments. I also tell stories…a lot. I like to try and relate subjects that we learn in class to things that have happened, maybe not to me….but I know a lot of people with interesting lives!”

Torres talked about what she will remember the most about Berrier after she graduates this year. She said, “After I graduate I will remember Mrs. Berrier as one of the first teachers to introduce me to my future career. I plan on attending Indiana University majoring in Human Biology. Her class and attitude really inspired me to look into career paths in the science field. I plan to be a dental hygienist.” Elliott commented on what she is going to remember the most about Berrier. She said, “I will always remember that at the beginning of the year I was new and Berrier just welcomed me with open arms and made sure that I was comfortable and understanding what I was doing.”

Berrier concluded by commenting on what she wants kids to remember about her. She said, “I hope they remember that you can have fun in everything you do. I know Science is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope they enjoyed the time in my class.”

Squishmallow review: Cute, cuddly collectibles

by Shelby Duncan/ Staff Writer

Photo Link:

Many kids are fascinated by a new collectible called “Squishmallows. ”So, I decided to write a review on them. First things first, you may be wondering what a squishmallow is. A squishmallow is a stuffed toy that comes in many unique colors, characters, and sizes. They have just about any animal you can think of in any color, or any character you may like. They are extremely soft and they have a very squishy texture.

Zozo-photo from website:

Squishmallows are used in many ways. Some are simply a young children’s toy, some are collected and displayed, and some are just to use as a pillow or a fun bedroom decoration! It’s however you’d like! I’d say many high schoolers collect them and use them to decorate. My color guard team and I like to collect them and share them with each other. 

There are also lots of different sizes and that can make a difference on how you use them. Squishmallows come in 3.5 inch (keychain), 5 inch, 7 inch, 8 inch, 11, inch, 12 inch, 13 inch, 16 inch, 20 inch, and 24 inch. Obviously if you get the small one it may be a keychain, but if you get the largest one you could use it as a big chair or pillow! So it all depends on the combinations you may pick. Although, they are discontinuing the 13 inch soon! 

Personally, I love squishmallows. There are so many and they are really fun to collect. Although, there is ONE downside to them. The price. Squishmallows definitely aren’t cheap. For one small 8 inch size, it can range from 12-18 dollars depending on where you buy it. Other sizes can go up to 50 dollars. You may ask “Is it worth it?”

Now, as an individual I think it is worth it. But, others may not think the same. Many people think stuffed animals are not fun, or just stupid. So it really just depends on the type of person you are. If you love to collect things and you love things that are soft and irreplaceable, then you might like these!

All in all, anyone can like squishmallows. No matter your age or hobbies, squishmallows can be a fun thing to have. Squishmallows are at just about every store, so if you want to check them out try finding them at your local pharmacy or supermarket. I hope you have fun “squishing!” 

Link to Photo:

Spider-man: No Way Home Review: triple the trouble

by Kaydence Ham/Staff Writer×660/top/

No Way Home picks up immediately after the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Spider-Man’s identity is revealed, which means nothing will ever be the same for Peter Parker (Tom Holland). No Way Home particularly impacts their whole friend group including MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon). MIT denies all three of them admission. Peter automatically jumps to the conclusion that it’s because of his identity and the roles his friends play in his little disasters and his role of the “ friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” 

Peter has a plan, which is my favorite part of the whole movie. Peter asks Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell. But Peter becomes very indecisive and messes up the whole spell, which creates the big issue for the whole movie. 

The special effects were also really great in the movie. Something I had never seen before was the cages in Dr. Strange’s lair. Once villains were trapped in them, they could not escape even though there was no door. The cage could sense their magic, though, as well as the fact that they were not fully human. Towards the end of the movie there’s this scene where the sky is ripping open showing a vibrant purple color, and Dr Strange casts this spell and one can see it go out to the sky, and the sky starts to seal shut again. The special effects on this scene were amazing. There were so many details, and it looked so real. 

So many superhero movies now have confronted what it means to be a superhero. But in No Way Home Peter is put in a position to basically try to save the men who tried to kill other multiverse versions of him, which is when Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire are brought into the new movie. Andrew Garfield played in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014. Tobey Maguire played in Spider-Man 2 in 2004 and Spider-Man in 2002. I really enjoy the aspect of bringing in the two Spider-Man actors, and the fans really enjoyed it too. 

Peter Parker tries to save Octopus (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), and Lizard (Rhys Ifans) by taking away their bad aspects. When he brings this idea to Dr. Strange, Dr Strange disagrees and then they get into a fight in the folding multiverse which is a really cool aspect of the movie. When watching it, it was mesmerizing. There were many colors and shapes in it. The other two Peter Parkers are brought into the movie with a scene when MJ and Ned try to find their Peter, after a tragedy that he had to face. The Peters immediately go to Holland and comfort him and relate to him with things that are similar to what happened to him but in their universe. The other two Spider-Mans soon realize that the villains from their universe have come into Holland’s universe which are the villains Holland had been dealing with. 

I like the aspect of bringing back the villains from the old movies as well. Some people may say that they needed to do something more original. But this really was a great addition to the Spider-Man series. I’ve never seen a movie quite like it. No Way Home was an overall great movie; the director, Jon Watts, uses amazing effects for Dr. Strange’s powers. Watts even added some new powers into the movie for people who didn’t have them before. The idea of bringing all of the Spider-Men back was quite clever and added a lot of emotion into the movie for people who have been watching Spider-Man since the original versions. Although viewers might be sad to see them go, seeing them all on screen again, together, was an amazing experience. 

Profile: Meredith Leads Boys Basketball to Success

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Head coach Luke Meredith and the boys basketball team cheer during the sectional semi-finals at Richmond HS on March 5, 2021 against Mt. Vernon. Photo Credit: John Kennedy

Under head coach Luke Meredith, the boys basketball team ended the 2020-2021 basketball season 14-10, which is the second highest win total since 2004. Meredith, who has been the  boys basketball head coach at GC for 3 years, talked about what makes coaching worth it. He said, “It is very stressful, but this is what I prayed for. This is what I always wanted to do with my life. It’s worth it when you see the growth/development of our players through the season, years, (and) journey of playing high school basketball. It’s never easy, but ALWAYS worth it. Everything you want is always on the other side of hard.”

Adam Lester, 12, co-captain of the team, discussed the positive aspects of being on a team for Coach Meredith. He said, “My favorite thing about playing for Coach Meredith is his passion for our team, and we can really see how bad he wants to win.”

As a head coach, building relationships is very important. Meredith said, “My favorite thing about being the boys basketball coach at GCHS is the relationship I have formed with my coaching staff (Johnson, Mullins, Bolden, Loudenburg) and more specifically the current/former players in the program. We spend a lot of time together and I feel a special bond with all current and former players through this journey of basketball. I care for them, we trust each other, and they play hard for our program, community, and school!”

 Owen Anderson, 11, has seen Meredith’s enthusiasm and spirit for the game on a daily basis. He said, “I love Coach’s energy and how badly he wants us to succeed day in and day out.” 

For his part, Meredith said what his most eventful moments in his coaching experience are. He said, “My most memorable moment in my coaching experience happens to be 3 favorite items: 1) Receiving the ‘call’ from athletic director Jared Manning when I was offered the job to come here from Avon HS to be the next MBB HC at GCHS. It was a career goal of mine to be a (head coach) in the state of Indiana and to achieve that goal was a great moment for me and my family, 2) When we defeated Mt. Vernon in January 2020 here at GC. The faces of our kids in the locker room is something that I’ll always remember. We worked so hard that year, were big underdogs, and they deserved that moment. Pure elation in the locker room,  & 3) Pre-game of New Palestine game at Richmond last year 2021- seeing the fans finally back in the stands and the GC Rage student BLACK OUT gave me chills.”

Both Lester and Anderson described this moment in the locker room as one of their most unforgettable moments in their basketball career as well.

Lester talked about what Coach Meredith does to make the sport enjoyable. He said, “He really likes to joke with us and have a good time, but when it’s time to play he’s the most well prepared and organized coach there is who instills full trust in his players.” Meredith discussed how he keeps the boys engaged and having fun. He said, “I keep the team engaged and bringing the juice by pre-practice talks, music during practice, competitions in most drills, and guest speakers. We always have fun, but work hard as well!!!” Anderson mentioned what Coach Meredith does to keep things light. He said, “Coach Meredith makes basketball fun just by telling jokes and making us laugh.”

Meredith has to carefully balance his home and coaching life. His family is invested in the sport as well, which helps. He said, “I balance home and coaching because our family loves basketball. Having my boys and wife in the stands on Friday nights watching us play is something we enjoy as a family. Both my boys love the game of basketball, play for our youth GC JUICE feeder system, and always pick their ‘favorite’ players every year to cheer for from the stands. My wife does an awesome job of being supportive of me and my dreams/goals to coach basketball. We all do it together; we moved to Greenfield 3 years ago and fell in love with the community, schools, and our TEAM.”

Anderson talked about some benefits of playing basketball. He said, “Some advantages of playing basketball are being able to be with a family every single day.” As for Lester’s thoughts, he said, “The experience and memories that come with it.”

Along with the highs, there can be obstacles along the way. Lester discussed some of those challenges. He said, “The biggest challenge of basketball is fitting in my school work into my schedule as well.” Anderson added, “The biggest challenge is definitely trying to be good enough to benefit your team all the time.”

Meredith mentioned what drills and strategies he plans on using to train the boys for this year’s season. He said, “The team loves one drill: MICHIGAN MONDAY.” MICHIGAN MONDAY is a 10:00 full court competition drill that they do on Mondays in practice. Meredith talked about how he prepares the boys physically and mentally when they are facing a challenging opponent. He said, “Doesn’t matter the opponent- we will do 3 things: JUICE (energy and effort); COMPETE (refuse to lose); STANDARD (play hard ALL the time-standard is the standard). Your practices ALWAYS snitch on you in games.  REPRESENT GREENFIELD.” He also talked about what he wants the boys to learn in basketball and what his number one goal is. He said, “The #1 GOAL: Represent our school, city, and basketball program the right way. Be the best person they can be, best student they can be, best basketball player they can be!!! (In that order)” 

Meredith’s inspiration for a lot of his beliefs and principles comes from someone very close to him. “My mom- Brenda Meredith- is the most influential person in my life because she is the toughest woman I know and (she) raised my sister and I with high expectations to respect teachers/school, work hard, and always try your best,” he said. 

About how he encourages confidence and team-building among the team, Meredith said, “Confidence comes from preparation. If you prepared for the moment, there is no need to become nervous. Prior planning prevents poor performance. You put in the work in the dark when no one else is watching, so you can shine when the lights are on and the popcorn is popping.” 

There is little doubt that the players have been inspired by that light. As for what he will remember from his time with Meredith, Anderson said, “I’m gonna remember that fire he brought to practice and to games everyday which is why we have been so successful. He pushes us to work harder every day.” 

Lester will graduate this year, which makes the memories bittersweet. He said, “I’ll remember most the fun he brought to every practice and workout and how his motivation only inspired me to work even harder.” 

As for Meredith, what he wants his players to take away with them is this: “I want my players to remember that I do care for them more than just on the basketball court- its more than 4 quarters. I’ve been to players’ weddings, graduations, (and) college basketball games, and will be able to continue our player/coach relationship well after their 4 years at GCHS. Once your coach, ALWAYS your coach- that’s what it’s all about.”

GC Wrestlers ready for season

By: Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Senior wrestler Dakota Herald takes down his opponent.

Ready… set… wrestle! The GC Cougars Wrestling team is on their way to the start of another season looking to repeat last year’s success. We look in on the Cougars road to success.

Last year Coach Josh Holden was named HHC Wrestling Coach of the Year and hoping to maintain that title. Here’s what Coach Holden had to say about his first impression of the team this year. “There are a lot of them. We have 63 wrestlers on our team. They are workers. When you watch us practice it is awesome to see how hard everyone goes; they are young. 46 of them are freshman and sophomores. They are fun. This team loves wrestling and loves being together. It’s pretty awesome to see.” 

Coach Holden also disclosed his team’s goal for the season. “Our goal this season is the same as it is every season, to get better at everything we do every day.  Whether it’s wrestling, or school, or life, we want to practice doing the things that successful people do.” 

Coach Holden also had thoughts on the impact of COVID for the season. “We hope none. We thought last year we did about everything we could do to prevent being affected by COVID, but we were shut down anyway. All you can do is the best you can and hope it is enough.”

Coach Holden commented on the team’s first couple of practices. “Practices have been great.  Our team works really hard and they enjoy being coached.  You can see us get better every day.” He also discussed how the absences of seniors last year will affect the team. “We had a great group of seniors last year.  It’s always hard to replace wrestlers who have been in the program for 4 or more years and know how to do things the way we expect them to be done.”

 Holden commented on the new class of wrestlers on the team. “However, graduation opens the doors for young wrestlers to come in and start becoming the next group of leaders.  Right now we have 4 freshmen and 4 sophomores in our varsity lineup.  That is a great opportunity for them to show what they can do.” He also had some words about the freshmen. “Our freshmen are tough.  Very tough.  As I said, 4 of them made the varsity team.  That says a lot about how good they are and how great they could be.”

Holden commented on improvement from last season. “Dedication!  We have always had dedicated kids who wrestle and work out year-round.  However, this offseason there was a noticeable increase in the number of wrestlers doing more.  We wrestled a ton of offseason tournaments all over the country.  We had wrestlers going to Avon 5 days a week to get special training.  We just always have wrestlers doing extra on top of what we have always done.” 

He discussed the flaws to improve on this season after last year’s success in the HHC win and regionals appearance. “We have to learn to do things the best we can and do them that way all the time.  We want to see this team improve academically.  We want to see this team improve their behavior outside of the wrestling room.  We want to see this team strive to make other peoples’ lives’ better.”

Coach also had a good point on what the team has mastered. “We don’t feel we’ve mastered anything.  I’ve been involved in this sport for 33 years now, and I still learn every day.  There is always work to be done.” Lastly he shared his dedication for the season. “We believe that no matter what you do you do it the best you can and you do it that way all the time.  You should be dedicated to all you do, or why are you doing it.” Sounds like coach Holden is really amped for this season.

Senior wrestler Dakota Herald commented on building from last season’s success on his part. “I want to perform better from last year and go to state.” Herald discussed how prepared the team is. “We’ve got a great team this year, we’ve got all of our weights set, and we’re ready for this season.” 

Herald also talked about how far he’ll go this season. “I want to, and can make it to state.” Herald discussed the team’s previous flaws from season ago and what he’s done to improve, he said. “Freshman year I didn’t win a single match. So what I did was I built muscle, technique, and weight.” He commented on how hard the team has been working. “The team is going crazy. Coming into practice with tons of energy.”

Lastly, sophomore wrestler Braeden Ayres:  Ayres discussed what he has learned from last season’s disappointing and abrupt end. “I’ve learned some new moves. Petersons, sweepsingle, and hi c.” Ayres was asked about improvements. He said, “I’m really better on takedowns than I was last season.” Ayres commented on his confidence in the team this year. He said, “My confidence is 20/10, this team is capable for a lot of good things.” Ayres said how far he can make it this year, “As a team we will be county champs, and as a solo I can win conference.” 

Ayres also commented on flaws from last season. He said, “Taking dumb shots and not too terribly smart moves on opponents.” Ayres was also asked about how hard the team is working in practices. He said, “We’ve been working really hard this season and we will continue throughout the whole season.”

Sounds like this team is really confident in their capability. Who wouldn’t? This Cougar’s team is ready for the season.

How Rankin-Bass’ Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer “went down in history”

By: Ben Brunsting/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Hermey the elf, (left) voiced by Paul Soles, petting Rudolph, (right) who is voiced by Billie Mae Richards

Christmas, as told by Andy Williams, is the most wonderful time of the year. And what is there not to love? With traditions like decorating the Christmas tree and opening presents on Christmas Day it’s hard to not be infatuated by this holiday. But one tradition sticks out amongst the rest, and that’s our tradition of watching several of the Rankin/Bass movies like Frosty the Snowman or Jack Frost. But one Rankin/Bass movie, like its main character, will “go down in history.” Of course I’m talking about the stop motion Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie. Even with this movie coming out in 1964 – 57 years ago! – millions of people today take time out of their busy schedule to watch this genuine classic. So before you see it this year, I thought I would give you some history on arguably the biggest Christmas movie ever. 

As I said earlier, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer came out in 1964 and was produced by Videocraft LTD. “Videocraft LTD?” I can hear you saying, “I thought the movie was by Rankin/ Bass?” And you’d be right. Videocraft LTD would later become Rankin/Bass after the creators Aurthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass decided on a name change, but back to Rudolph. Rudolph’s first airing was on December 6th 1964, and it has shown every year since, making the movie the longest running Christmas special ever. 

To be running for this long the plot must be outstanding, right? Well here’s a quick rundown of the plot so you can decide for yourself. The movie starts with Sam the snowman reminiscing about the Christmas that was almost canceled because of a big snowstorm and about how Rudolph saved Christmas. We then cut to Donner and his wife who has just given birth to Rudolph. They notice his bright red nose and Santa comments on how he won’t be allowed to be in the sled team. Donner reacts by covering this nose so he can appear normal amongst his peers. This leads to a mishap later on in life where his nose gets revealed to his class and his teacher expels him. From there he meets Hermey, an elf who ran away to pursue his dream of becoming a dentist.  Rudolph decides to run away with him. From there they travel all over the North Pole meeting people like Yukon, a prospector looking for silver and gold, and the Island of Misfit Toys whom they befriend by promising to have Santa deliver them to kids. Some time passes and he grows and leaves his friends out of fear of his nose endangering them. When he returns he finds that his family is looking for him and sets back out to find them. He finds them being attacked by the Abominable Snowman and attempts to help, but he gets knocked out by the monster. Hermey and Yukon save the day by tossing the monster over the cliff, but before he is fully over he grabs Yukon and they fall together. After returning back Yukon turns out to be alive and has a now tamed Abominable Snowman in tow with him. Santa enters and announces that because of the snowstorm outside he can’t make his trip around the world for Christmas, but then he sees Rudolph’s glowing nose and has the idea to have him lead the slay. They ride off towards the island of misfit toys to deliver them and Santa says to have a good Christmas as he and Rudolph fly by the screen.

While the film does show its age upon repeat visits compared to the advancements in film seen commonly throughout film today, the retro style of the stop motion animation is always a charming reminder of the lengths directors would go to to create pieces of art. The animation of the film itself took about 18 months for every half an hour of the movie and with the movie coming out to roughly an hour in run time. That’s a whopping three whole years of filmmaking. To put into perspective it took Avengers Endgame with it’s 3 hours or runtime a whole five months to finish filming. That’s triple the total runtime in about 1/7th the time, though you’d be mistaken to call the creation methods of the film to be slow. You have to keep in mind that each time there is even the slightest hint of movement in a frame that there is a pause in real life where someone came over and moved a prop or puppet in a very deliberate way so that the movement seemed lifelike. Thus was the painstaking nature of stop motions animation.

    The marvel of Rudolph does not end just with the movie, however, as the tales of the original puppets continue. With the movie being made entirely with practical effects came the notion that someone had the original puppets used and that made collectors everywhere excited. One of the original Rudolph puppets is currently owned by Arthur Rankin, Jr. The others were said to have been given to a secretary. The secretary had given the puppets to family and the dolls were lost until in 2005 when two resurfaced on Antiques Roadshow. A young Rudolph and Santa were seen in poor condition because of having been played with and put into storage for an unknown amount of time. Though at that time they were said to only be valued at about 8-10 thousand. They were bought by Kevin Kreisler that same year and restored where they were then auctioned off at $368,000. Afterwards they were donated to a museum where they can be admired for the pieces of art they are.
    With the holiday season just around the corner and the Christmas movie countdown in even closer proximity, it’s important to recognize the not-so-modern masterpiece of stop motion animation that is one of if not America’s favorite Christmas movie of all time. And now that you know a little about the history of the classic you can enlighten your friends about the interesting history of Rankin/Bass’ Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Christmas 2020: the year we all stayed home

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: This Christmas in the year 2020 was the year we all stayed home.

    I think it is better to be a kid than an adult at Christmastime because my family’s Christmas traditions are warm, fun and pretty low-key: we decorate the Christmas tree, hang some Christmas lights (inside the house), and sing some truly off-key but hilarious renditions of Christmas carols (everyone else is off-key but my dad and me). Usually we do so two weeks before Christmas itself, but this year, it all happened just a few days beforehand – because of a pandemic.    

My family would normally go to my mom’s parents on Christmas Eve to open presents. But this year it’s going to be different. We will sit in their garage with the garage doors open (to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus) to open presents instead. After all the presents have been opened we will leave immediately. On Christmas Day, my three siblings and I would wake up and wait patiently in the hallway in our pajamas for our parents to get up before we can go downstairs to open our presents and our stockings. Later that night, we would normally go to my dad’s parents to open presents. We don’t know what that’s going to look like this year. My dad’s three brothers and their families would normally fly into Indiana for Christmas. That’s not happening this year, either. On my grandpa’s side of the family, we would normally have what we like to call the big Smith Family Christmas at the Hoosier Gym in Knightstown with all his brothers and their families. We aren’t doing that this year, either. This pandemic has changed our plans for Christmas this year drastically.

My family is strong in the Christian faith. So Christmas means a lot to us. Normally in September Realife, our church does a sermon series called “At the Movies” but because of the pandemic, that changed. On Sunday December 6, Realife kicked off a new sermon series called “Christmas at the Movies” that will uncover Biblical truths that are illustrated in clips from some of your favorite Christmas movies (that doesn’t include Die Hard) each week in December. This is the best time of the year to invite friends and family to church.

in honor of veteran’s day: Ways We Can Honor Vets

By Audrey Roberts/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: A veteran and member of the Honor Guard salutes the flag during the Veteran’s Day ceremony from 2019. Also pictured are 2019 graduate Tyler Hornaday, and Mr. Jason Cary, principal. 

As another Veteran’s Day passes, many people showed their love and appreciation for the people who fought for their country by celebrating the veterans’ accomplishments through kind acts.  But November 11 is only one day out of 365.  Many veterans end up homeless, hungry, jobless, and alone.  They need help and not many get it.

There are many times the men and women who served our country are forgotten and not given the help they deserve and need after they come back from helping us.  Many people ignore their problems or don’t know how to help.

Luckily, the second option is fixable.  There are many people and organizations that will help our veterans with what they need most.  Organizations like American Legion, Veterans Families United, Vietnam Veterans of America, and many more are out there doing all they can to help their country’s fierce protectors.

The American Legion aims to help veterans and their families.  They raise money to support veterans and their families, for scholarships, and in times of need.  They accept ‘resolutions,’ which are ideas for change a member or group of members hopes to make to the organization to make it better.

The Veterans Families United is focused on helping veterans heal and recover from their service.  Many veterans and their families can’t afford help, but Veterans Families United is focused on getting them the help they need.  They raise funds to get the tools and extra help they need to support the veterans in need.

Likewise, the Vietnam Veterans of America organization seeks to help veterans heal and recover.  They also work hard to hold the government accountable for following or not following laws that deal with veterans’ health care and try to spread awareness and get people to acknowledge their veterans.  What really makes them stand out, however, is that they focus on changing the people’s mindset towards Vietnam veterans.  Because so many people disliked the Vietnam War, many blamed the US servicemen and women who served during this time.  To fix this, the Vietnam Veterans of America works towards convincing people to acknowledge that their Vietnam veterans are not to blame.

While these organizations and many more are working hard to help the veterans, there are still ways to help veterans with smaller acts, though that doesn’t make their impact small.  There are many stories about someone taking the time out of their carefree lives to help a veteran in need.

For instance, a man on a trip to Maryland saw a man on the street with a sign that said, “I am a homeless veteran please help,” while he was driving.  He pulled over the car and gave this veteran a twenty dollar bill.  The veteran said he was moved by his kindness and extremely grateful (“Kindness Starts With One”).

Willis Bryant, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was living under a bridge in Dothan, Alabama.  When he turned to a homeless shelter, he was told about the Priority Veteran program which is possible through a grant from the Department of Veteran Affairs.  When he got in touch, they helped him get medical help and found him an apartment to live in.

John Traffanstedt is a Vietnam veteran who is a part of Mustang American Legion Post 353 in Mustang, Oklahoma.  He owns a van which he uses to transport himself and the rest of the Mustang Legion Post 353 to other veterans’ funerals.  They work to honor other veterans in the hope that their courage and lives are not forgotten.

Some ways people can help veterans in their area range from getting together with some friends to build a house for a homeless veteran to just stopping to say “thank you for your service” to another veteran.  These small acts may seem inconsequential to the person doing them, but they really will mean a lot to the veterans.

The American Legion

Veterans Families United

Vietnam Veterans of America

A list of Veteran Support Organizations

Random Acts of Kindness: Helping a Homeless Veteran

Veteran’s Stories

Something Good:Mustang Veteran Uses Van To Honor Fellow Vets

For more ways to help veterans: