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Rounding Out February Spirit Events

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Joshua Holtzman

February had a lot of events held that promoted school spirit, such as the winter sport pep rally, which included the Teacher vs. Student basketball game, Mr. Glen Allen, and Silent Night. All of these events were within days of each other, making the beginning of February feel more like a whirlwind of fun events rather than the mundane of school. In this picture, the Sophomore class is showing their school spirit during the Teacher vs. Student basketball game.

Mr. Dean is leading his boys of Mr. Glen Allen to the center of the court during halftime of the basketball game. Him and Mrs. Carpenter are the head sponsors of Mr. Glen Allen and put a lot of time and effort into making the show as organized and entertaining as it can be.

Coach Clement, who teaches AP European History and World History II, refereed the exhibition basketball game, while Mr. Beck announced the game. Seen in this photo, the All-Star basketball team took over the court against the teachers. The All-Star basketball season has been going on for most of January and February as they face other Henrico Schools.

With two whole bleachers sections filled at Silent Night game, it was pretty difficult for Spirit Leader Ethan Weimer to control the crowd when they were supposed to be silent. A lot of non-verbal communication was used during the start of the game, but this poster in the picture was probably the crudest.

There was probably more Seniors that showed up to the Silent Night game compared to the winter sport pep rally shown in this picture. This is a visible representation of what teachers always describe as “seniorist,” which is when seniors become apathetic towards anything related to school. Yet, the lack of numbers was made up for by the energy and comradery of the Senior class.

One of the classic costumes of Silent Night is the Sports Center announcers, which is usually done by 5 of the most spirited guys at Glen Allen. This year seniors Ethan Weimer, Mason Fristoe, Jack Dunlop, Patrick Ertel, and Bruce Richardson took on this challenge. What is not seen in the picture is that for a comedic twist on the costume, they are not wearing underwear.

One of the many parts of Mr. Glen Allen is the Shabooya Roll Call. Taken from a scene in “The Office,” the boys of Glen Allen rather around to make a clapping beat that they say clever lyrics over. An example of lyrical genius used in the roll call is Abraham Addiss’ line, “My name is Abra/ don’t forget the ham/ and in my free time I help beavers build… nice homes.”

Tackling the Past and Rushing the Future

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Football has never been a point of pride for Glen Allen, until now. Coach Camp and the hardworking players have changed the outlook on what is Glen Allen football.

When Coach Camp first came to Glen Allen from Dayton, Florida three years ago, there were not instant results. Camp previously coached teams in Florida to state titles, but the GA team continued to struggle. But, time is needed to build a winning culture in football, as in any sport. Our Jaguars took on years of hard work, dedication, and also failure to come to this success.

There have been several exciting games for the team this year, including dominating wins such as 34-14 win against Glen Allen’s rival Deep Run and the 35-6 win at Marshall. Senior Donovan Reddick, the starting Quarterback, says their best game was against Lee-Davis this season, “It was one of our first wins this season; it was where we learned how to battle back and win when we are down at first.” Donovan is very humble about his success, but he was named 804 Varsity player of the week twice this season.

Coach Camp leads a line drill in preparation for the upcoming game Friday. Even though there are many different parts of a football team, the Glen Allen football team is close and connected like a family.

A new surprise this year for the team has been Chris Butler, a star member of the basketball team who now plays wide receiver. Transitioning between sports comes with its difficulties, Chris said. “It wasn’t easy, I’ve been playing basketball for three years, but everyone on the team made it easier for me by supporting and guiding me,” he said. Chris Butler was named All-Region 1st team Wide Receiver.

Now, the football team is 8-2. This is not only the best record in school history, but the first winning record as well. Their only two losses have been against a very strong Monacan team, who is a two seed in the 4A playoff bracket, and a one-point loss to Freeman. All of their wins have not been so close. The closest any team got besides those two losses was in a 14-point victory by Glen Allen against Godwin.

Going into the first playoff game in school history, the Glen Allen team is confident but grounded. Junior Devan Flowers says, “We are working together really well as a team. A lot of these guys have been playing together since freshman year. We went through all the losses like losing 40-0. With all the hard work we’ve put together the past 3 years it is really coming together at a good time.” Devin Flowers was named All-Region 2nd team Line Backer. Glen Allen will play at Atlee on November 9th, and the theme is WHITE-OUT. Come support our Jags!

On a muddy and torn up football field, a receiver falls but is being helped back up by his teammate. The football fields needs constant attention that is provided by Coach J and the maintenance staff.

Senior Boys Show Off Their Moves!

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If you missed the senior boys dance at the fall pep rally, you can view it —-> here <—-

The fall pep rally was the opening show to start off a wonderful weekend at Glen Allen. BOTC events, honoring jaguar sports teams, and the dance team highlighted the pep rally, but what was probably the most anticipated event was the senior boys dance.

For 3 weeks of intense morning practices, the men of Glen Allen have been working hard with Jesslyn Katz, Taryn Spencer, Julia Penik, Layne Rexrode, and Samantha Huckstep to make this years dance the best one yet. Click the link at the top to watch!

A New Twist to Testing: Learning Life Skills During SOL Periods

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During past SOL testing periods, the weeks of testing have been filled with hectic schedules and sitting in classes for three hours where little to no productivity occurs. It would take two weeks for people to do 3 or less tests; it seemed longer than necessary for the standardized tests that could be done in a couple days.

Now, through a group of caring teachers, the SOL schedule has been revamped to be more efficient and more fun for the students and teachers.

The testing period is now three days, and for everyday a student is not testing they have the option to sign up for activities that involve life skills that are not usually taught in a class room setting. If you’re not interesting in learning helpful skills that can aid you for a life time, then there is a sport or study hall option.

Some of the life skills being taught are mindfulness, practical outdoor skills, cooking, sewing, how to present yourself effectively, and so much more, mostly taught by Glen Allen teachers.

Mrs. Hach, an US History teacher and STEP Mentor, and Mrs. Cancro, a Chemistry teacher, are teaching students how to make simple meals and snacks in 5 steps or less. The themes for each day is: Backyard Barbecue for Tuesday, Mexican for Wednesday, and Italian for Thursday. Mrs Hach stated, “These activities are made to de-mystifying these things that seem hard like ‘Oh I can’t cook I’ll just go by Chickfila and get chicken minis instead of making breakfast myself.’ But if they can see that these activities are easier maybe they can do it themselves next time.”

Ms. Vogt was crucial in the decision to make this schedule change and the planning behind it. She was pushing for this schedule because “The end of the year is usually a waste of time. A lot of videos are watched and a lot of food is ordered, but no real work is done in most classes.”

This three day testing period starts tomorrow; hopefully, students can take away important skills that they would not usually learn at school, and this SOL schedule can become a regular tradition.

Come back to the Paw-print for a Recap of all the activities and pictures.

SOL Sign-up Website

SOL Schedule

Students Stand Up!

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On February 17th, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 17 teachers and students were shot. To most that is common knowledge by now, and hundreds of other shootings in schools in the past have gone through the media cycle where the victims names and stories are told, and then the media’s attention moves on to something else after a short amount of time.

This time it was different.

The students of America stood up for what they believed in, mobilized, and organized two walk out dates to commemorate the victims respectfully, and also protest, so that this time, a mass shooting does not go unforgotten.

Led by the students of Stoneman Douglass High School, two walk outs were organized on March 14th and April 20th to protest students not feeling safe in schools, to promote common-sense gun laws, and to remember the students and teachers who’s lives were taken.

At Glen Allen, over 600 students walked out of 2nd period on March 14th in protest for many reasons. The demonstration was 17 minutes long for the 17 people who lost their lives in the shooting.

Maddie Siepe films Patrick Wright while he starts the 17 minute protest with a short speech. He encouraged the people involved in the protest to use their phones to film and then post the walk-out on social media, to create more awareness and support.

Senior Patrick Wright led the walk out, and opened up the walk-out with a speech that was powerful: stating what the enough is enough movement is for, and why this walk-out needed to happen.  He stated, “This movement is important because it is showing the leaders of our country that students are still citizens. That they have the right to share their beliefs and their opinions and to educate themselves to build said opinions. This movement is important because it is showing law makers that the people want change, that the people want gun reform.”

Christian Wachter speaks for one of the students that died; a freshman who aspired to be a chef. Christian is involved in many facets of GAHS such as theater and cross country, and he continues to be a leader in the school as a senior.

Junior Mark Titus spoke for one of the 17 victims: the cross country coach at Stoneman Douglass High School. Mark stated after the walk out, “I spoke for Chris Hixon, I felt like it was really important that their names were told, because they were victims of something they had no control over it. It was an honor to speak out to my classmates and tell them one of the victims who was a hero, because reading it made me realized that he sounded a lot like coach J, a selfless guy who cared for all his students as if they were his own kids it just really hit me.”

There were also students that cared about the victims, but did not walk out, like junior jaguar Kate Gharib. Her reasoning for not walking out was that “I felt very conflicted because I do believe in honoring the victims; however, I don’t necessarily agree with the political motives behind it. I absolutely think that something needs to be done, but I’m not completely sure what that change needs to be. I still support everyone who did walk out and I’m so proud of my fellow jags!”

Also, there was a protest held at the capital of Virginia and the capital of the United States, which was centered around the idea of common-sense gun laws and to bring attention to the fact that students do not feel safe inside schools.

The next walkout is April 20th, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, which seemed to spark the hysteria over gun violence in schools. There will be students who walk out from all walks of life, and many students that also remember the victims in different ways.

There are so many different types of people in this movement, and even more people outside who criticize it. But, I encourage all Jaguars to stand up to the challenge of talking to people you are in disagreement with about this subject, to see both sides.

All the signs in the demonstration were made by Glen Allen students. Most of the signs were orange, along with the ribbons worn, as those are the Parkland school colors.

Exploring the AP Capstone Program

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As current freshman, sophomores, and juniors finalize their classes for next year, there is a lot of questions regarding classes, such as if there is too much work in a class, is it difficult material, or does this class help me later in life. New and unique classes have specific confusion over what the class teaches and what is the workload in that class; there is also excitement surrounding new classes, especially if they are an Advanced Placement class.

The AP Capstone program came to Glen Allen this year, and 20 curious students, sophomores and juniors, took on this new program. AP Capstone is comprised of two classes. First, AP Seminar, which focuses on the skills of team and individual presentation, research, questioning, and synthesizing an argument or someone else’s argument. Then, AP Research, which is a yearlong focus on an individual research paper that is submitted to college board at the end of the year.

These 8 lenses represent the perspectives that a student can look through while researching or arguing. The AP seminar program focuses on viewpoints in society and what their limitations are.

A class of AP Seminar started this year at Glen Allen with Mr. Towslee being the teacher. He worked very hard and went through a three year waiting period for the class to be administered at Glen Allen. Next year, AP Research will be taught by Mr. Zelenak once the current students finish the AP Seminar portion of the program.

Mr. Towslee had a few words to share with anyone that is considering taking the class, “Seminar is reading, writing, presenting, and thinking at a college level, but its multi-disciplinary. So, it’s not just for people who like English class, it’s for people who like history, sciences, and the arts. The students can get a say in what they want to learn and study.”

Into the third marking period, the coarse is in full force as students get most of class time to work with their teams to create their TMPs, Team Multi-Media Presentation. This project is composed of an Individual Research Report, done by every member of the group, and then the members of the group come together to showcase their research and formulate an argument on a topic of their choice.

If you do not particularly enjoy group projects, there is also an individual project that is created by each student. Both of these projects will be submitted to college board, along with a written part on the day of the exam, that will composite to create their AP score (1-5).

Students in the first year of the program, Alyssa Harris, a junior, and Mia Varghese, a sophomore, both enjoy the class and had some very helpful words, Alyssa stated, “The class workload is a lot, but the students get a lot of class time to work on their presentations. He also is very understanding and will work with the class if the class as a whole is overwhelmed.”

One of the only sophomores in the class, Mia Varghese, exclaimed, “I have learned a lot about questioning and synthesizing my ideas. My favorite part of the class is the group presentations.”

This is the 5-step QUEST model that holds the framework for how to ask, formulate, and then present a question. Questioning is one of the largest components of this program.

So, if you want to be more prepared for college and explore ideas you want to in school, apply for the AP Capstone program. Mr. Towslee recommends that only current sophomores apply for the class, but if you are very interested and a freshman, talk to Mr. Towslee about the class in room 213. That is also where you can find an application.

Classes Unite to Compete and Care

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On Friday, March 17th, hallways were filled with glorious decorations to showcase the creativity and school spirit that all the students of Glen Allen hold. These decorations were then moved to the gym to prepare for one of the most important events at Glen Allen: Battle Night!

Battle of the Classes has been going on for more than six months and it finally came to a conclusion on Saturday night.

Battle of the Classes was brought to Glen Allen to promote school spirit and also supports many charities through the competition with various food and clothing drives. So, naturally the admission ticket on Battle Night was a non-partisan food item.

The hours put in by teachers and the Glen Allen custodial staff is uncountable for this event happen. Freshmen to seniors have also been practicing for months in advance on the dance that they would perform on the 18th.

Also, teachers such as Ms. Vogt, Mrs. Cancro, Mrs. Cox, Ms. Pantele, and Ms. Hach have been organizing and participating in many events leading up and preparing for battle night.

The art captains also have been working very hard throughout every class since the first month of school to create the decorations in the gym and also the class banners.

For the art portion of BOTC, the freshmen poke fun at themselves and the stereotypes over freshmen by using a quote from Finding Nemo. The freshmen theme was Finding Freshmen; all themes created for Battle of the Classes has to either be an alliteration or a play on words of their class name. Photo Credit: Lauren Baugham

Leading off the array of events at Battle Night was first Mr. Frankenburg and Cole Tutwiler getting the crowd excited through screaming for one’s class section and a chant as a whole, The Viking Thunder-Clap.

As the night proceeded, the dance competition commenced as each class showcased a choreographed dance that matched their respective theme.

Sophomore class president, Ethan Weimer, was a key participant in BOTC. He loved participating in the dance and he stated, “My favorite part of the dance was when my boy Mark Titus and Mason Fristoe lifted me up in the air.”

The sophomores stunned the judges with their gore make up and creative acrobatics which allowed them to win this part of the competition. The juniors came in second, the seniors came in third, and the freshmen came in fourth in this event.

Sophomore Shobit Chodurry was astounded with the quality of every grade level’s dance and attributed the success to the dance captain, “All the captains are impeccable and put in a lot of hard work to make everyone participating in the dance happy.”

Cole Tutwiler and every battle captain led the gym in a Viking Thunder-Clap. This chant was popularized by the Iceland soccer team during the 2016 World Cup. Photo Credit: Lauren Baugham

Dance captain of the senior class, Grace Durret, loved being the dance captain for both social and dance aspects. She exclaimed. “More than making the dance, I enjoyed meeting new people and having fun practices with my friends,” she said.

Next was the crazy sports event. The sports captains picked peers from their respective class to participate in various athletic competition such as shooting free-throws, a running relay, an obstacle course, and a spoon-egg relay.

The juniors won the obstacle course as they conquered the puzzle at the end with ease. The seniors won the free-throw contest and the sophomores won the spoon-egg relay, the running relay, and the tic-tac-toe relay.

Junior Dave Kaul was a large contributor to the junior class throughout of Battle Night as he participated in the dance and all the sports events. Dave was very happy to participate in the sports portion and stated, “Stephan and I worked very hard to win the caterpillar competition with our teammates help and strength.”

At the end of the night, a class was crowned and it was fitting that the class of 2017, known as the most spirited class, won the school year long competition. The sophomores came in a close second, with the juniors trailing close behind in third, and the freshmen came in fourth.

Senior Ian Weimer, Sophomore Ashvin Makija, and Junior Christian Farris conquer the tail end parts of the obstacle course. The obstacle course consisted of rolling on a cart, crab walking, popping a balloon by sitting on it, shooting a lay-up, stacking a cone on another cone with your feet, stacking dice on a popsicle stick, and the dreaded puzzle at the end. Photo Credit: Kate Gharib

Freshmen Emily Kinsey was the dance captain for the freshmen class. She loved her first Battle of the Classes saying, “BOTC breaks down barriers and rivalries such as the freshmen versus the seniors. It is really cool to see all the other classes cheering on the freshmen.”

There was also an aspect to this event that was bigger than competition. As throughout the year and especially on battle night, everyone competed, but also became closer with people within and out of their grade level.

 

 

Track Jags Come and Conquer at Arthur Ashe Center

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Entering Conference 11 championships, Glen Allen track and field came into the Arthur Ashe Center with a target on their back’s since the girl’s and boy’s team have been performing well in their previous meets.

By the end of the day, the Jaguars left satisfied and excited as the girls’ and boys’ teams both placed second overall in the very competitive Conference 11.

The Arthur Ashe Center is known for its weird, short angles on the track and very dry air. Some people see it as a benefit since it is known as a great equalizer to see who is actually the toughest in hard conditions.

Sophomore Rachel Hager passes the baton to fellow sophmore Rebecca Taylor in the 4x200 meter relay. A usual indoor track is 200 meters while the Arthur Ashe track is 152 meters. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

Sophomore Rachel Hager passes the baton to fellow sophmore Rebecca Taylor in the 4×200 meter relay. A usual indoor track is 200 meters while the Arthur Ashe track is 152 meters. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

Postseason of Indoor Track has stages, first, conference competition, then regional, and then state. To determine who moves on to the regional stage from conferences, the first six people from each event and the top three relays of each event move on the regional competition.

Even though Glen Allen did not win as a team a lot of individual’s left with impressive accolades and many of first-place finishes.

On the field side of the competition, sophomore, Mason Henry, won the boys long jump with a personal record of 20 feet and 6 inches. Junior Taliyah Dozier placed fifth girls long jump. Junior Jessica McRae placed second in the girl’s shot put event and even beat her own school record with a throw of 33 feet and 11 inches. Junior Stone Grizzard placed second in pole vault with a height of 11 feet and 6 inches.

Sophomore, Mason Henry, leans in over the line to win his heat of the 55-meter dash. The reason why you see runners leaning in at the end of races is because a runner’s time is counted only once their chest crosses the line, not their feet. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

Sophomore, Mason Henry, leans in over the line to win his heat of the 55-meter dash. The reason why you see runners leaning in at the end of races is because a runner’s time is counted only once their chest crosses the line, not their feet. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

The only people who ran the 55-meter hurdles were senior Kelly Riggan, sophomore Morgan Oldroyd, and freshman  Tobias Dozier who placed seventh, ninth, and tenth respectively.

The girls and boys 4×800 meter relay both finished first! The boys 4×400 meter relay finished first as well and the girls side of that relay finished forth. The girls 4×200 meter relay finished second.

Sophomore Sathya V played a big part in the 4×400 relay and also ran the 300-meter race. Sathya stated that, “I do not mind the Arthur Ashe Center as much as other people, the only thing I do not like about it is the tight turns which make my times slower.”

On the distance side, sophomore Ali Ibrahim and senior Eddie Williams placed forth and sixth respectfully in the 3200-meter race. That is a full 22 laps on the Arthur Ashe Center track!

Sophomore Ali Ibrihim is racing with Deep Run rival Tyler Speers. Ali also ran the 3200-meter race three hours later.

Sophomore Ali Ibrihim is racing with Deep Run rival Tyler Speers. Ali also ran the 3200-meter race three hours later. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

Sophomore Ali Ibrahim is a rising star in distance track as he had a great cross country season and so far an outstanding indoor track season. He raced the 3200-meter race and was the first leg in the 4×800 relay. Ali was very excited to move on to regionals as he states, “I am excited for another shot to run fast enough to qualify for states as well as I get to spend more time with my teammates training.”

A lot of people wonder what runners think about while they are competing, Ali said when he is running that, “I do not think about anything specific while I am racing, I just try to listen to (my) coach.”

Senior Rebecca Fagan won the girl’s 3200-meter race, while senior Caroline Robelen placed first in the 1000-meter race and second in the 1000.

Senior Austin Story won the boys 1000-meter and fellow senior Patrick Russo finished third in the boys 1600-meter.

For the faster events, Freshman Star Price finished forth and sophomores, Rachel Hager and Lauren Mulholland, finished seventh and eighth in a very tough 300-meter heat. Star Price also finished fifth in the 500-meter while sophomore Riley Rudd edged Star out for forth place.

Senior Andrew Payne and sophomore Myles Alleyne finished second and sixth respectively to both qualify for regionals in the 500. Junior James Mayo finished seventh in the 300 with a time of 39.89 seconds.

After promising performances from upper-classmen and especially under classmen, playoff season for the Jags is looking promising as well as upcoming outdoor track season.

Freshman Wade Carter looks like he is behind someone, but he is actually so far ahead in his heat he is starting to lap people. He ended up winning his heat and qualifying for regionals. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

Freshman Wade Carter looks like he is behind someone, but he is actually so far ahead in his heat he is starting to lap people. He ended up winning his heat and qualifying for regionals. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

The Center Tackles TED Talks

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The first official TED Talks began as a conference where technology, entertainment, and design were covered in 1984. Now, TED Talks are presented in person and then put online to YouTube or the TED talk website to cover ideas from science to global issues. TED talks are given in the United States, usually in English, but have been translated to in over 100 languages online. There are also TEDx events, which are independent talks outside of TED; these talks help share ideas in communities.

In TED talks, visual aids are encouraged to aid the lecture and engage the audience. There are not supposed to be any long phrases on the presentation screen because all the talks are supposed to be memorized. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

In TED talks, visual aids are encouraged to aid the lecture and engage the audience. There are not supposed to be any long phrases on the presentation screen because all the talks are supposed to be memorized. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman.

These TED talks were given on Thursday, January 20th throughout the day. The topics varied across the fields of psychology, social sciences, and current events.

Junior Lauren Grob did her TED talk on how classroom engagement is lacking in most high school settings. She went on the explain, at the end of her talk, how teachers and students can become more engaged with their teaching and learning. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

Junior Lauren Grob did her TED talk on how classroom engagement is lacking in most high school settings. She went on the explain, at the end of her talk, how teachers and students can become more engaged with their teaching and learning. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

Glen Allen’s Center for Education’s junior class in Instructional Design took on the idea of TED Talks. This class is run by Ms. Ennis, who also teaches AP Psychology, coaches cross country, and coaches track.

Ms. Ennis feels that giving TED Talks are vital for people in the Center for Education. “The center is centered around effective communication, and if you want to be a good instructor, you have to learn how to make people want to listen.”

She also said, “I feel it’s a good platform for them to take something that they are passionate about and make others feel passionate about their topic.”

There is a lot of room for creativity in these talks which led to a comedic aspect in some of the talks. The presenters sometimes used memes or puns to “break the ice” with the audience.

Ashley Hennenberger is holding some notecards to aid her with talk so she will not forget to go over any information. Despite the large crown, which can reach over 200 students and teachers, she remains calm and collected. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman

Ashley Hennenberger is holding some note cards to aid her with her talk so she will not forget to go over any information. Despite the large crown, which reached over 200 students and teachers, she remained calm and collected. Photo Credit: Joshua Holtzman.

Ashely Hennenberger gave her talk on what secrets do to our mind and how we can become better secret keepers. Ashley said the research she had to do on her topic was extensive and time-consuming. These talks are known to cause massive stage fright, but Ashley said, “I was really nervous at first, but once I began speaking, I felt natural and at ease.”

 

The Ultimate Holiday Playlist to Bring Christmas Cheer

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Featuring albums like Harry Connick Jr. first Christmas album and Glee. This playlist has music for all tastes.

Featuring albums like Harry Connick Jr. first Christmas album and Glee, this playlist has music for all tastes. Harry Connick Jr. spin of holiday songs are a lot more traditional with a lot of brass instruments while Glee is all acapella. (Photo Credit: Pictures compiled from spotify.)

 

This playlist was created for all people around the holidays who are looking for a little music cheer.  There is music for everyone to enjoy on this playlist. Whether you like traditional Hanukkah music, new Christmas songs, old tales of Santa Clause and Rudolph the red nose reindeer, or songs like Feliz Navidad, there is something for everybody on this playlist.”

Personally, my favorite songs on this album are “White Christmas” by Michael Bublé, “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley, “It Must’ve Been Old Santa Claus” by Harry Connick Jr., “Christmas in Hollis” by RUN D.M.C., and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Dean Martin.

(Photo Credit: WordPress) Dean was an American singer, actor, comedian, and film producer. He also created a wonderful Christmas playlist.

Dean was an American singer, actor, comedian, and film producer. He also created a wonderful Christmas playlist and some of his songs were featured in the beloved movie “Elf.” (Photo Credit: The book “Beyond our Wildest Dreams.”)

Some songs you will see on this playlist are a lot of acapella songs by groups like Glee and Pentatonix which give a fun twist to old holiday classics.

Near the end of the playlist there is a variety of traditional Hanukkah songs that have a very fun and upbeat tune.

Sophomore, Nina Rubis, says she almost only listens to holiday music exclusively during the holiday season. Nina’s favorite artist for holiday music is Michael Bublé. Some of her favorite songs are “Jingle Bell Rock” and “The Christmas Song.”

Fellow sophomore, Braxton Psuik, loves the playlist. Some of his favorite holiday songs outside of the playlist is “Little Drummer Boy” by Justin Beiber and “Little Christmas Tree” by Michael Jackson.

 

Matchbox: Spirited, Lively, and Trendy

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The new restaurant, Matchbox, replaced the Chile’s located in the Short Pump Shopping Center two months ago and gained almost instant popularity. Matchbox’s convenient location and welcoming appearance were a perfect formula to jump-start the success of the restaurant.

Just being in the restaurant is an experience of its own. Its décor of bricks mixed with natural cut wood gives a warm and rustic feel.

When I first walked in, I was hit with a savory aroma of cooked meats and baked bread. I could easily see the brick ovens cooking the pizzas once I walked in, illustrating the openness and pride that the restaurant displays.

The lively atmosphere was matched with trendy and popular music once I sat down, making the experience more enjoyable and energetic.

Around 7:30 p.m., Matchbox is packed on a Saturday night. There was also a lot of movement inside the kitchen while pizzas were being tossed and placed in the oven at a very fast pace. Photo by Joshua Holtzman.

People can be seated either on the first floor or in a hanging deck above the first floor. The hanging deck has little glass cubicles that extend off the deck and make it a very fun dining experience.

Matchbox sells mainly American style dishes, but its specialty is pizza. There are several varieties for everyone to be satisfied with; the pizza can come in a personal pizza size, or the pizza can come in a size for the entire table to eat.

For a very packed restaurant, the service was very fast and accurate with all food and drinks coming faster than I expected. The waitress I had has been working there for 2 months and loves the job. She said, “Even though the work is fast paced and tiring, I enjoy who I work with and I love the food we serve.”

This is the size of a personal size pizza. The Pesto Chicken pizza is a favorite for customers and also people who work at Matchbox.

This is the size of a personal size pizza. The Pesto Chicken pizza is a favorite for customers and also people who work at Matchbox. Photo by Joshua Holtzman.

Fellow Jaguar Ben Jackson ate at Matchbox for the first time and liked the overall experience along with the food. Ben proclaimed, “I really liked the trendy but rustic atmosphere. The food was very good, but the price was a little too much considering I did not get a lot of food.”

Cheyne Doust ate alongside Ben, and his favorite part of the meal was the churros he ate for dessert. He also said, “We got the ‘Matchbox Meat’ which was a good pizza but a little too spicy for a pizza.”

The "Matchbox Meat" is seen as a specialty of the restaurant. The pizza has Italian sausage, pepperoni, and bacon.

The “Matchbox Meat” is seen as a specialty of the restaurant. The pizza has Italian sausage, pepperoni, and bacon with a smoky crust. Photo by Joshua Holtzman.

I got the Chicken Pesto pizza and loved it. The crust was a little burnt which I enjoyed and gave the pizza a smokier, tastier taste to the chicken. The cheese stayed intact with the pesto the entire time I was eating and never got too messy.

Matchbox seems like the new place to eat in Short Pump and I highly recommend going for the spirited mood and great food. Be prepared for good food, a little on the expensive side, and a fun eating experience.

 

The “Conference of Death” Dies

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Josh Holtzman

The course was set: Glen Allen, Freeman, Deep Run, and Lee Davis were at Pole Green Park for the last 5K race (3.1 miles) for Conference 11 championships ever.  Conference 11 in the 5A division is known by some people as the “conference of death” for its deep teams and array of talented runners.

Even though you run as an individual in cross country, it is a team sport since the entire team totals count for the place and score.  Scoring for a cross country meet is similar to golf; the top five people from each team combine to create a communal score, and the lowest score wins.  You score points by what place you finish against all other teams.  For instance, if you are the first person to finish, you score one point.

(Photo Credit: Scott Reid) Jaguars Rebecca Fagan and Caroline Robelen have been running together since Freshman year. They still push each other everyday and run together during races as seniors.

Some of the best runners in the state such as Waleed Sulliman from Freeman High School compete in the “conference of death.” Waleed won the 5A state title last year as a junior and holds the state leading time right now by 11 seconds.  Also, there is Bashir Mosavel-Lo on the Deep Run team who is 5th in the state.

(Photo Credit: Scott Reid) “Pack it up” is a familiar saying in cross country to describe runners running in a pack for strategy purposes. Glen Allen tries to follow this practice with Eddie Williams, Christian Wachter, and Ali Ibrahim.

 

With their teammates, Bashir and Waleed, were ready to take on Glen Allen’s hampered team since varsity runners Patrick Russo, Christian Wachter, and Eddie Williams all suffered injuries throughout the season.

In the boys’ race it was very close, but Deep Run emerged victorious with a score of 52 points; Glen Allen was a very close second with 56 points.  Freeman trailed with 68 points, but also qualified for regionals.

In the girls’ race, Jaguar Caroline Robelen took the individual championship with a 18:20 time and Rebecca Fagan came in second with a 18:40.

Caroline became a big star for Glen Allen High School when she beat the school record by more than half a minute and ran a 17:45 at the Mile Stat Invitational.  With all these personal accolades, she says, “I still care more about the team’s success than my own success.  If my team does well, then I am happy.”

She describes running as an escape and not a hassle like most people see running.  Caroline is continuing her running career at the University of Richmond, where the Glen Allen girls coach, Jen Ennis, also attended.

The girls of Glen Allen beat competitive Deep Run in a close race to win the varsity and junior-varsity title.  This was the last Conference 11 meet ever so Glen Allen will keep this trophy forever.

All the competition and deep teams lead to impressive junior-varsity teams as well.  In the boys’ exciting JV race, Glen Allen’s Andrew Lee won the title with a time of 17:23.  The Glen Allen JV boys as a whole placed a close second behind Deep Run.

(Photo Credit: Scott Reid) The end of the race is called a “kick.” This is when Andrew Lee speeds up and leaves all energy out on the course to win.

The end of the race is called a “kick.” This is when Andrew Lee speeds up and leaves all energy out on the course to win.

Andrew Lee recently started running for the school and has a promising future as he has shown rapid improvement through his sophomore and junior year of running.

His nickname that most people call him on the team is “pop-tart” since his teammates claims he resembles that savory pastry.  Andrew says his favorite part of running is the endorphins, which are the chemical pain killers of the body and create the feeling of a runner’s high.

 

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