Q&A with junior Lexie Stites: Miss Harvest Homecoming’s Outstanding Teen 2019

By Mary Ficker

What does winning the title of Miss Harvest Homecoming’s Outstanding Teen mean to you?

LS: “It means that I have an incredible opportunity to connect and make an impact in my own community! With this title I am a spokesperson for New Albany and Floyd County and hope to do everything thing I can do with that responsibility.”

How has the Miss America Organization impacted your life?

LS: “The Miss America Organization has taught me the importance of service, skills that will help me in my future life, such as interview tactics, and has also given me the opportunity to meet so many new people and create lifelong friendships!”

What do you plan to do during your year as Miss Harvest Homecoming’s Outstanding Teen?

LS: “During my year I plan to share my platform Dance Across Borders as much as possible and inspire others to join me in benefiting their communities as well.”

What are you looking forward to most during the Harvest Homecoming Festival?

LS: “Everything! Pumpkin Chucking, booth days, and all the food! I can’t wait for the nonstop fun I know I am going to have!”

What do you hope to achieve with your platform this year?

LS: “I will continue to donate and share opportunities for dance with underprivileged children and keep raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals by using the ties I have in the local arts centers to share our talents to benefit those who may not be able to themselves.”

What is your main goal this year when you compete for the title of Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen in June of 2020? 

LS: “I want to have a good time, that’s for sure number one on my list! Last year I won an interview preliminary so repeating that along with a talent preliminary award are my two set goals!”

Sports unite America after biggest tragedies

By J.D. McKay

Eighteen years ago today, America was physically hit as hard as when the British burned down Washington, including the White House in 1814. America was very different at that point in time, of course. America was missing something that I believe Americans associate with our country, sports. 

It is early to say, but probably the biggest tragedy of my age group’s lifetime will be 9/11. Sports were also affected. There was not another sports game until Sept. 16. But 10 days after 9/11, the Mets Mike Piazza hit one of the most memorable home runs in baseball history. The game was the first pro-baseball game played in New York after the attacks. The Mets were down 2-1 in the eighth inning, but Piazza hit a two-run home run, putting the Mets ahead 3-2. The American flags that were already around the stadium started fluttering. Mets fans erupted. It gave the country and New Yorkers a chance to cheer about something after such a tragic time.  

However, that season was a good year to be a fan of the other New York team, the Yankees. In game three of the World Series, the Yankees were hosting the Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium. President George W. Bush was scheduled to throw out the first pitch. The game was sold out. Bush knew he needed to look good on the mound, but the pressure only rose when Derek Jeter warned him not to bounce it. When Bush stepped out of the dugout, U.S.A. chants echoed around the stadium. He threw in a beautiful pitch, and the handheld flags waved around the stadium. His pitch was a great moment for New Yorkers, showing that America was too tough to let terrorists win. 

But 9/11 is not the only moment where Americans united over sports. In 2005, New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans Saints were in a time of turmoil. They were terrible, considering relocating, and without a true quarterback. Now we know the Saints did not move. They found the answer to the other two questions in one man, Drew Brees. Brees did not only led the Saints back to the playoffs, but he also helped rebuild the city. Specifically, his Brees Dream Foundation helped rebuild schools, parks, and athletic facilities. The Saints did not play a game in New Orleans until 2006. But in their first game back, they had one moment that has been memorialized. Steve Gleason blocked a punt early in the game that was returned for a touchdown. The announcers were silent for almost a minute as the stadium erupted, and the Saints players pointed back at the fans, as if telling them that was for them. Gleason diving to block the ball will forever be outside of the Super Dome, and the title on the pedestal could not be any better: Rebirth. 

Sports have united America during other tragedies. The Astros won the World Series just two months after Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. All of Boston sports rallied after the Boston Bombing. That was best seen at the Boston Bruins game on April 17, 2013. The fans took over singing the National Anthem from Renee Rancourt, who was brought in to sing that night. 

Terrorist attacks try to bring America down. However, we typically come back stronger. Sports are not always the events that bring America together, but they help create strength and toughness in a city and a country that desperately need it. 

 

Following Highlander Band: Marching band jolts audience awake at Columbus North

Photo by Sophia Perigo

Story by Gracie Vanover

Beep. Beep. Beep. This past weekend the Marching Highlanders woke up audience members in Columbus, Indiana at Columbus North High School for the first competition of the season. The band unveiled their show SynchroniCITY for the first time for the competitive marching season and was ready to take the win.

The band played Friday evening at the FC vs Vincennes Lincoln game the night before the morning of rehearsal for contest. Friday was the first time FC supporters had seen the show at a game this football season.

“I think we did alright, everyone was in high spirits once it started,” said junior Tatum Schaefer. “Musically we could’ve done better as a whole just because we got off time and separated by sections. Other than that I think it was a very good first performance and gives me hope for the rest of our season.”

For freshmen this was their first experience on a field other than their own and for sophomores the first time they marched on Columbus North’s field since last season the performance was rained out and moved inside. 

“Last year was stressful from the rain making our performance iffy, but marching against our competition was nice to see what we had against us,” said sophomore Ryan Gude. “However, we did win most of the awards, so I feel confident that we’ll do good this year.”

Of course with any show some had the pre-show jitters but they did not allow that to stop them in their tracks. 

“[At first] I was nervous but then I realized I didn’t have to be [since we’ve worked so hard],” said freshman Faith Andres. 

This year the Highlanders have progressed farther than they have in past years even though they did not reveal it all on the field.

“I feel like we are much farther along than previous years,” said junior Abbey Taylor. “Getting our music and drill much earlier than previous years has definitely made a major impact on our progress.”

Although the band did not reveal everything they have on the field this weekend they won multiple awards including best auxiliary, best percussion, sweepstakes, and 1st in Open Class. The band will continue their season this weekend at Lawrence Central in Indianapolis. To find out where the band performs and their schedule for other competitions check out their website: www.floydcentralband.org 

 

Colts out of Luck before promising season

By J.D. McKay

One week ago I wrote my NFL preview column. I was riding high on the Colts who have a great returning offensive line, solid defense, and upgraded receiving core. If you can recall I even picked them to beat the Patriots, who are Rob Gronkowski-less in the AFC Championship game, and Da Bears in the Super Bowl. Everything has now changed. Andrew Luck, the Colts starting quarterback, 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and potential 2019 NFL MVP retired. That means while the Colts should still be pretty good, they will not win a Super Bowl. 

So now that Luck is retired, there are a couple subjects that need to be discussed: Where does that leave the Colts? Where does this leave Andrew Luck in the history books? What is the Colts game plan going forward? 

The first one is not too hard; it leaves the Colts in the hands of Jacoby Brissett. He spent the first part of his career playing under Tom Brady and has started for almost one full season. Of course, Colts fans are crushed, but I do not think that it puts us in a bad place, at least for this season. 

As for Luck, his legacy will be complicated. You cannot ignore the first few years of his career where he was sacked at least 27 times a season. That certainly led to his early retirement, and I think that can be blamed on Ryan Grigson, the Colts GM for the first few years of Luck’s career. However, last year he was sacked just 18 times. He also had an exciting career. His rookie year, he led seven come-from-behind wins, in what was a very exciting time as fans were Chuckstrong, in honor of head Coach Chuck Pagano’s fight against leukemia. Then, the next year he lead the third most exciting Colts post season game of my lifetime against the Chiefs. He came back from down 28 points to eventually win before losing to the Patriots. He then led the Colts to our third straight 11-5 season, before again losing the the Patriots in the playoffs in the Deflategate game. His next two years he missed most of the regular season before coming back to be 8-7. Then, last year he lead the team to the playoffs after starting 1-5 and won Comeback Player of the Year. 

However, expectations for Luck coming in were higher. Mel Kiper said coming in the Luck was better than Peyton Manning. Some viewed him as the best draft prospect in 30 years. Bleacher Report and others did not stop there and wrote headlines saying he was going to be the best NFL prospect ever. When you read those, you expect better things than just an undefeated record against the Titans, one of the two teams the Colts beat the year before they drafted Luck.The expectations are Super Bowls, wins against consistent Super Bowl caliber teams, such as the Patriots and Steelers, and pro-bowls. Luck only managed to fulfill one of those, and it was not one that would get you a ring or a parade. I think that might put Luck in the category of busts. He is not the biggest bust in NFL history by any means, and while it would have been hard to reach any expectations, he was not really very close to getting there. 

The Colts gameplan going forward should just to have a good year this year. The division is winnable, so make do. However, after this year, Jacoby Brissett is set to be a free agent, so if he does not re-sign, maybe the Colts will get another great QB prospect in Trevor Lawrence. This of course is very hypothetical, but a saddened fan can dream. Teddy Bridgewater is another name that has been thrown around as someone the Colts could use going forward. No matter what, the next few years as a Colts fan will either be extremely good behind our stud Brissett, or terrible behind one bad year of Brissett and then Tua Tagovailo from Alabama, or another bad year as we tank for Trevor.

 

The official news source of Floyd Central High School