All posts by Della Hedge

FCCLA Winter Bazaar bonds school, community

by Mia Harr/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: FCCLA’s Connor Griffith, 10, talks to a winter bazaar customer.

The Winter bazaar was a success this year, with the booths stretching beyond the cafeteria, around the auditorium, library, and even into some of the academic halls. The booths were from local vendors selling things they made or from direct sales companies.

The winter bazaar is a craft show for people to do some shopping from some local small businesses, but it’s also the main fundraiser for FCCLA. FCCLA president Isabelle Monsma, 10, said, “The winter bazaar helps a lot with our club fees, like it makes our state fees cheaper so more people can come and it also helps with nationals if we make it there. It also helps with other field trips and community service we do.” The winter bazaar’s main goal was to raise money for the club but also to help small businesses. 

Monsma explained what to expect. “We have lots of people attending.  We have most of FCCLA coming to work, friends, family, we have lots of local vendors, the drama club, and we even have a few people who have graduated but were in FCCLA coming.” 

FCCLA runs the entire event. This year the students from FCCLA helped set up by promoting, putting up years signs, assisting vendors in their booths, they helped move and carry items, ran booths when vendors needed breaks, baked foods to sell, helped with concessions, and at the very end they cleaned up at the end. Monsma said, “FCCLA runs the whole thing. We make the food we sell and we plan the whole thing. Mrs. (Janelle) Keusch, our adviser, does a lot, thank God.”  They stayed after school Friday till 8pm to set up and went back at 6:30 am to continue setting up. Some of the main dishes from the event were homemade cinnamon rolls, pumpkin rolls, cookies, and lasagna or chicken noodle soup for lunch.  

However, there were challenges to this event.  Keusch stated, “The set up is most challenging due to the quick turnaround times at the end of the day. All the planning and prep takes so many hours to do.” 

Monsma stated, “We have a limited amount of people to work with and it’s amazing that it’s expanding but also it makes it more to manage.” There was a lot of planning and challenges that went into the winter bazaar but most say it was successful. 

Monsma was asked about the winter bazaar and her response was, “The winter bazaar is about community. Without local vendors and local shoppers we wouldn’t be able to do it. It reminds me a lot of Riley Days.  Lots of people come together and support each other.” The winter bazaar is an event that’s involved with the community and support from others. Keusch, when asked if she was excited, stated, “Of course! It is crazy busy, chaotic and fun.” Monsma was excited about the winter bazaar being a lot bigger this year. She described it as a very stressful thought but she knew all the hard work would pay off and it would be amazing. 

Senior wrestlers discuss season

by Trot Scholl/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Seniors Adam Saxon and Zeke Holden are in beginning match form. Photo by Trot Scholl.

Wrestling season is here for GCHS. The wrestlers have been working very hard and are ready to show out this season. Senior Zeke Holden says, “We’ve put in a lot of work this off season and it will be fun to watch it pay off.” Senior Adam Saxon says, “I’m excited to see where senior year will take me. I’ve learned this sport for three years and I feel like I can do something if I work hard for it.

    Holden and Saxon both have goals they would like to accomplish this upcoming wrestling season. Holden states, “My goal this year is to be a state placer, I have worked really hard these past few years and have been short every year but this year my goal will be achieved.” Saxon says, “I want to win my matches, it’s a basic goal but I haven’t won many matches and I want to win most of mine this year.” Having a goal for wrestling and any sport in general is a good thing. It can help you get better and do better and you can get more enjoyment out of sport and the season by reaching those goals.

To reach your goals, you must stay focused the whole time and don’t get caught off guard. Holden states, “I am gonna keep my head on straight and be disciplined and really just stay on track and it will happen.” Saxon says “I think it’s important to pay attention to minor details and make sure you are doing everything right and put those things you learned into the matches.”

    Going into any wrestling season, your view changes every year on it. Holden says, “This is the last ride, you have to make everything count this season.” Saxon states, “The perspective has changed, this is our last year to show what you can really do if you put the work in.” Having a different view on the season could help you and give you more motivation to do better.

      To prepare for the upcoming season, wrestlers will all prepare differently for the upcoming season, but still all prepare. Holden says, “I go to a wrestling academy and train with the best coaches and the best kids in the state.” Saxon states, “I have already started watching weight so I don’t have to cut during the season, and I have started lifting and working out.” 

        Now a few weeks into the wrestling season, our wrestling team is looking good. Seniors Holden and Saxon were interviewed before the start of the season. Let’s see how their answers have changed or stayed the same from last time.

    Each senior was asked about their perspective going into the wrestling season, now into the wrestling season, has their perspective changed at all or a good amount?    Holden said, “It hasn’t really changed much, as far as I know it’s my last ride so I’m running head first at the competition.”

Saxon stated, “My perspective has stayed the same, I’m still trying to win as many matches as I can and putting everything out there.” Their perspectives haven’t changed on the season, but they have both been making great improvements and living up to their goals they made at the beginning of the season.

    Both seniors were asked last time about their work in the off-season and if it will pay off. Has their work paid off for them so far this season? Adam Saxon said, “I think the off-season has helped me, I’m not as tired and I feel like I can work on technique more than endurance.” Zeke Holden stated, “So far I haven’t been thoroughly challenged in any of my matches, but my training has definitely paid off.” Their work they have put in and out of practice has been helping them a lot and paid off for them now.

    Both seniors got asked how a few matches went, how they think not just themselves, but their team has done so far. Holden stated, “It’s been a little shaky, but the last two matches we have had, I feel like our team is really starting to come together as a family. We are there for each other every match.” Saxon said, “Personally I think I could be doing better this season, I’ve been putting in the work but I’m getting beaten in matches I should be winning. On the other hand, I think the team is doing really good right now. I feel like we have a very special group of people who can make it far this year.”

    Each senior got asked about what they see differently in this team we have this year. Holden said, “Our team is definitely different from last years, I think that our team is a group of young men and women that understand how you present yourself outside of wrestling matters, we have had little to no problems with behavior outside of wrestling.” Saxon stated, “The team is a family, we all chant for each other during every match, it doesn’t matter the outcome.” This wrestling team is viewed differently by wrestlers as a better behaved team and a family that supports each other.

    Only a few matches into the season and we can safely say this team is something special. We have a strong group of seniors leading the team and a team to make GCHS proud this year.

Profile: Henderson’s best teaching assets “compassion for all,” connections with students

by Madi Short/Staff Writer

A vital staff member and teacher of GCHS is William Henderson, or as some students and staff know him, Sarge. Mr. Henderson, before he ever became a teacher, was in the military, and decided after seeing the amount of soldiers who hadn’t been prepared for life out of high school, to become a teacher. “When I was in the Army, I saw so many soldiers come into the Army that were not prepared for life after graduating high school. Many of these young soldiers lacked firm, fair and consistent role models and leadership in their lives. I thought I could assist in helping the youth of our society become more prepared for life after they leave the protection of their parents’ home.”

    Mr. Henderson has many great stories and memories with other staff, including Mr. Will Bolden and Mr. Eric Robertson. When asked what was your best memory of Mr. Henderson, Mr. Robertson replied, “When he interviewed me for a job in my driver’s education office some 10 years ago.”

    Mr. Henderson’s advice to teenagers would be, “The concept of working hard is a fallacy. You should strive to work smarter. Hard working people fail every day because they do not accomplish their goal, mission, or job. Working smarter will allow you to maximize your time and allow you to find a healthy work life balance.” 

    Many people learn from Mr. Henderson, and that includes students and staff. Mr. Bolden described some of the things he learned. “I’ve learned several things from Mr. Henderson. A lot of those things stem from his direction for a new teacher: how to set up Google Classroom, structuring lessons, communication with parents and students, connecting with students, etc.” Mr. Roberson, though he did not get into detail, stated he has learned many things from Mr. Henderson, however many he couldn’t put into writing or discuss.

    Mr. Robertson, when asked what he thought Mr. Henderson’s greatest quality was, he stated, “His care and compassion for all; he truly cares about everyone.” Mr. Bolden shared a similar thinking, as he said, “Connecting with students and communication.” Another similar statement from Mr. Robertson and Mr. Bolden was when asked what their favorite thing about him was, Mr. Robertson replied, “He is so funny. His one-liners are the greatest ever.” Mr. Bolden replied, “His no nonsense approach but it’s paired with a sense of understanding and humor.” 

    Family means a lot to Mr. Henderson. When asked what his inspiration was, Mr. Henderson said, “My wife inspires me. She inspires me to be the best I can be.” The greatest advice he’d ever received was, “to marry my wife. My father gave me that advice and like most advice he gave, he wasn’t wrong.” And when asked about his greatest accomplishment, Mr. Henderson replied, “Being a father to two outstanding young men. I have held a lot of titles in my life, but none as great as Dad.”

    In addition to family, students mean a lot to Mr. Henderson as well. Mr. Henderson has learned a lot from teaching, having said, “First, my students taught me how to be a better parent (I will always be grateful for that). Also, that every student is not the same because they all have different challenges, backgrounds, and support systems. However, all students require the same four things: A positive role model, to be protected from harm, to be treated with respect, and to be loved unconditionally regardless of their faults.”

    A feeling Mr. Henderson will never forget while  teaching would be, “watching a student graduate that many thought wouldn’t and knowing you played a part in that change.”

    From the military to teaching, Mr. Henderson shared his thoughts on the difficulty of switching from one to the other. “Initially it was hard, yes, but not as hard of a transition for many of my peers who become teachers. I was fortunate enough to start my teaching career at the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Childrens Home in Knightstown where I was an Army JROTC instructor. I left the Army on Friday and started teaching on Monday and I still wore a uniform. The structure at the home was much like the military. It was a lot like training soldiers except for they had not been to basic training.”

    On another military note, Mr. Henderson, when asked if he could do anything else, what would you do, he stated, “I believe I am exactly where I am meant to be.  However, if I had to do something else, I would have become a Transitional Assistance Program Counselor for Veterans. I know how difficult it is to transition from the military. I have always had a desire to serve others, and this would allow me to assist our heroes’ transition into the next phase of life.”

Seasonal Affective Disorder: How can it Affect your mental health?

By Izabelle Monsma /Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Days like this gray December day may be something that can affect SAD. Photo by Izabelle Monsma

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, can include a more frequent depressive mood for people who deal with depression, low energy levels, low self-esteem, over or under sleeping, less interest in activities that normally bring enjoyment, changes in weight, craving certain foods such as carbohydrates and sweets, and more. Mr. Joshua Holden (health teacher and coach) talked about other symptoms: “withdrawing from others, lack of joy in things that they used to enjoy or most kids would enjoy, extreme fatigue,  mood swings, drop in school performance, etc…”

Most of the time it will start early in fall and get worse through winter getting its worst in December through February and getting better as it gets warm again.  Ms. Jennifer Haston (GOAL Classroom and Behavior Coach) said, “We do usually see a spike of people coming throughout the winter.” SAD is most common in women but is also seen in men. It is unknown why it’s more common in women. It normally starts in young adulthood and will go throughout the adult years. 

Some studies show that GPAs drop in most fall semesters. They show good grades at first, but as it gets colder they drop, then in the spring semester they come back up to normal. Holden said, “I still struggle sometimes.  Now, think about how many 14 or 15-year-old students we have who have not been diagnosed.  They receive no form of treatment.  They struggle alone without people understanding why they feel the way they do.  It is incredibly hard for these students.  They need people in their lives who understand what they are going through and how to help them.”

Some people say it has nothing to do with SAD but information from Paradigm Treatment Centers,, who help teens and young adults, says that depression in teens can cause difficulty in concentration, planning and organizing, hypersensitivity, and more and all of those things affect grades. The same article says that teens will often refuse tasks if seen as too difficult because they doubt their ability, so that means that it can cause people to think they are just not trying but they are capable of doing the task and will affect their self esteem more than it already is.

SAD can also really affect relationships. It’s important to make sure that you are thinking about things before you do them to protect your relationships with a person affected by SAD. It can be hard for you and the person to get along and understand each other but it’s important to show compassion. An article from says that there is a good chance a person dealing with SAD might cancel plans and it will take them longer to complete tasks than it normally would. ( It may seem like laziness or lack of interest but if you give them time and space while also showing you are here for them and you care they will eventually come around. It may seem confusing and know that it’s not your responsibility to make others happy but that doesn’t mean you can’t do things to show you are there for them. Always remember that your mental and physical health always come first.

If you think you might have SAD or any other mental illness it’s important to get it diagnosed as soon as you can. Going without treatment can make things worse so talk to your doctor about any worries you may have. After being diagnosed there are lots of treatment options. There’s light exposure, phototherapy (light therapy), talk therapy, medications and if none of those things work you can work with your doctor to find a better solution for you. 

There are things that you can do to ease the effects of SAD. It’s important to find the pattern as soon as possible and then you can prepare yourself in the fall. You can try a UV light “sun” exposure can help a lot. Haston has some of these lamps in the break room.

It’s really important to pay attention to how you’re feeling so you don’t get stuck in a cycle. Holden said, “I suffer from depression and it is really tough when winter comes.  The weather changes, it’s gloomy out all of the time, and it’s dark when I get to school and dark when I leave school.  I really have to pay attention to how I feel this time of year.”

Lots of people may deny the fact that they are feeling these ways. Haston says, “Denial is the biggest thing. (Students) will say they are okay but then be skipping because they just can’t handle the class.” She also talked about finding an outlet. If you can’t talk to family, get to the doctor, maybe a trusted adult or a teacher you think you can trust. Even though it’s much better to talk to adults, if you don’t have any adults, a friend that is okay with you talking to them about it could even help to listen.

So just overall whether it’s seasonal depression, anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses, it’s important to get help as soon as you can. If you go untreated it can be harder to deal with and understand later in life. It’s also important to know the signs whether it’s for you or others, and just because someone says they are okay does not always mean they are. Mental illnesses are real and they are not just something you make up or that you can control. It’s also not a joking matter. Making jokes about these things is why some people don’t take it seriously and mental illnesses are very harmful, something to keep in mind when thinking about how to approach others during this season.

NBA off-season recaps, predictions for upcoming season

by Hunter Baylous/Staff Writer

If you follow the NBA you understand how impactful this NBA off-season has been: with a draft class comparable to the historic class of 2003, some unexpected trades, free agents signings, and injuries. I have compiled some of the most influential information and the under-the- radar information that could possibly affect your favorite NBA teams. 

The most important trades:

    Possibly the craziest move this offseason was the Jazz-Cavaliers trade. The trade includes the Cavs trading: Collins Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, 3 first-round picks, and 2 pick swaps, all in exchange for the 25 year old all-star Donovan Mitchell. With this trade transaction the Eastern Conference is even more stacked as five other teams are considered championship contenders. The Jazz had also traded their multiple time Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves for: Malik Beasley, Patrick Beaverley, Leonardo Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, and four first round picks. Coming into this season the Utah Jazz are projected to begin intentionally losing games this season to secure good draft positions as they have acquired nine future draft picks. (Information acquired from Rudy Gobert Trade & Donovan Mitchell Trade)

    Another unexpected trade was undoubtedly the Dejounte Murray trade to Atlanta. The Spurs traded Dejounte Murray for Danilo Gallinari and three first round picks. As this trade happened many people assumed that the Atlanta Hawks would have a deep playoffs run as their star point guard, TraeYoung, is subpar at defense but an excellent shot creator and Dejounte Murray being a star player as well ,leading the San Antonio Spurs in points, assist, steals, and was 2nd in rebounding for the organization. ( Information acquired from Dejounte Murray Trade)

Free agent movement:

    Now with the Free-Agent signings the Los Angeles Clippers signed the 31 year old, five time All star, John Wall to improve their backcourt. Jalen Brunson signed a $100 million 4-year deal to join the New York Knicks, who now have a backcourt of Evan Fournier and Jalen Brunson. The center ,Christian Wood, was signed to the Dallas Mavericks after the loss of Jalen Brunson. Otto Porter Jr. , who was on the championship team Golden State Warriors, now moves to Toronto to join the Raptors. Goran Dragic, the dragon, and the elite rebounder, Andre Drummond join the Chicago Bulls. (Information acquired from John Wall signing & Free Agents Tracker)

Injuries / Returns:

    The most notable injury this off-season was the second pick of the 2022 NBA draft Chet Holmgreen, who was drafted to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chet Holmgreen suffered a Lisfranc foot injury (a foot injury where one or more metatarsal bones are displaced with a sudden force to the mid foot or arch of the foot Lisfranc Injury)during a rec game in Seattle ended his rookie season. Kawhi Leonard is expected to come back but not play at least 65 games. Jaren Jackson Jr. also suffered a foot injury described as a stress fracture and is expected to return on Christmas. Jamal Murray is also expected to return this season and has some top 50+ potential if he stays healthy this season. Finally Zion Williamson is also expected to come back and play after only playing around 85 games in his 3 season career. (Information Acquired from Basketball Injury updates and returns)

Teacher Interview:

    With all this information I’ve listed here I wanted to ask someone who was passionate about the NBA that many students may know at this school. Mr. Kevin Potter, an economics teacher, is an avid NBA fan and possibly follows the league the most out of everyone I know. Mr. Potter stated that the biggest shocker during the off-season, in his opinion, was the Rudy Gobert trade due to the value that he was traded for. As Mr. Potter said, “ I figured that Rudy would be moved, but not for that price or to this team.”  Mr. Potter also stated, “For Utah this was a dream come true. You unload a player who wanted to leave while still receiving a haul! Plus they’re now better equipped to tank for (Victor) Wembanyana.” Although it was a very surprising move, Mr. Potter believes that both teams have benefited from the trade. He also believes the Donovan Mitchell trade was a great move as they were one of the worst teams in the league; he believes his talents were wasted there. 

The Dejounte Murray trade was also a trade he was passionate about. As Mr. Potter explained, “Dejounte Murray has been one of my favorite players in the league out of UW. His defensive consistency and basketball IQ make for an almost perfect pairing with Trae Young in Atlanta.” He and some analysts believe that the Hawks are going to be dangerous later in the season as they outpace other teams and could possibly steal a round in the playoffs. Although the Hawks gave up 3 first-rounders, Mr. Potter said, “You never want to unload first round picks if you don’t need to, but I’d argue that this trade all but guarantees that those picks fall from 20-30.” With the increased star power of the Hawks, many people believe their lottery picks are to fall tremendously.

Mr. Potter was not exactly excited about the free agency movement but he did give his thoughts about it. He expects John Wall not to be super productive but said, “…he just needs to D up and be a cog in the arguably the deepest team in the NBA.” His opinion on the Jalen Brunson move was similar to other analysts saying, “I like Brunson a lot but can’t envision him as much more than a #3/4 player on a legitimate contender. I expect him to post impressive assist numbers with the volume of shoot-first players on this roster, but also expect his scoring to take a hit.”

Finally, possibly the things he was the most in depth about were the returning players and player injuries. As he said the Chet injury was possibly the most heartbreaking, as he has some serious potential to be a great defensive force and shot maker but, “Unfortunately we’ve seen how guys with this build have panned out over the last few years…” Possibly the thing he and many NBA fans are the most excited for is the return of Zion Williamson, with Zion really cutting down on the weight, and taking conditioning seriously. “People slept on the Pels last season while they quietly assembled the perfect players to compliment Zion’s downhill attacking style. Teams are going to be giving up TONS of threes doubling a driving Zion this year…” This was his main point with the return of Zion Williamson, as the young player is very dominant when it comes to attacking the painted area.

“Key” to success in girls’ basketball

By Della Hedge/staff writer

Photo Caption: The girls basketball team at early morning practice, getting ready for winter ball 2022 season. 

“We had a really really good spring and a great summer,” girls basketball head coach Mr. Bradley Key commented on the upcoming season. He is very excited for the three seniors this year; he’s looking forward to seeing them lead their team as the winter approaches. 

    Mr. Key has many goals for his team and players. “I think the goal, the longer I have been doing it, is to produce better basketball players. Even better than the week before,” he said. He wants wins but more importantly he wants them to grow and a team, and this year with more experience he thinks they can get those wins and produce better basketball players along the way. “You always hope they are ready,” Key said.

He thinks they have gotten better but the team is never really ready until you play.  “We are down to 5 weeks until game time,” Key said. He is excited; he’s ready for the girls to take the court. He said that the girls are in a totally different place, they have worked and worked to get to this point. He is ready for game time and is striving for success for the girls this year. 

     Key talked about his new coaches, and he speaks very highly of them. “It’s been great having two new coaches. Megan Dawson has been with me for 8 years now.”

Kynsey Hasty, sophomore and second year team member, said of Dawson, “She has helped me improve my personal game, she is always there giving me feedback and helping me push through hard days.” Key also hired two new coaches, including Megan Henderson. “She was super good at basketball and the girls love her.” Henderson is from Alexandria, which is where Mr. Key went to high school. Also Coach Maggie Walters was his JV coach at New Castle, and the girls get along really well with her as well. 

    “I just hope we play a good version of basketball,” Key said. His aim is to prepare his girls as best he can mentally and physically. 

    “My first year of high school basketball was an eye-opening  experience,” Chaney Brown, sophomore and second year varsity member, said.

As a freshman starter she had so much pressure on her to perform well, but this year for her is different. “This year we are finally playing good basketball, we are doing things we should’ve done last year,” Brown said. Brown had very big goals like to beat New Pal and make it through the first round of sectionals. She also had personal goals like average more this year and step up and be a leader. 

    The girls will be ready to take the court this winter with the help of their coaches’ leadership. They are all very excited and ready to show everyone just who the Lady Cougars are.