All posts by thefcbagpiper

The mission of the Bagpiper is to provide an open forum for the unrestricted exchange of ideas and opinions and to ethically report factual school, local, and world news to the high school community while objectively explaining the meaning and significance of the news to better educate the reader, and entertain the readers using acceptable journalistic devices.

Sophomore Executive Council creates FC’s first Winter Ball

Art by Sam Haney

Story by Chloe Finn

The Sophomore Executive Council discusses final preparations for the Winter Ball around the table, as 2022 class president Levi Harrington, writes down what they need. Linens and napkins. The conversation then moves to the number of tickets sold and the number of glow sticks needed for the occasion. 

The Winter Ball is the first school dance that has been held for FC students that is not a prom or senior dinner dance, and it is the first that freshmen and sophomores will be able to go to. 

“I was talking to my dad, and he had some people at work who were thinking about how much fun they had with their dances in high school. It made me think ‘Wow, I wonder if we have one,’ and it turns out we didn’t. I thought it’d be really cool,” said Harrington.

Sophomore Reece Ausmus, treasurer, said that the dance will be an exciting event for the school and an opportunity for freshmen and sophomores to participate. 

“I was pretty excited that we were going to have something for freshmen and sophomores, because the juniors and seniors have prom, but the underclassmen have never really had a dance before,” said Ausmus. 

Sophomore Kendall Schindler said that the ticket sales have gone much better than she had anticipated, showing the student body’s excitement. 

“I’m pretty surprised by the ticket sales. We’re targeting probably 400, which is amazing, because originally our goal was 200 to get our money back,” said Schindler. 

Sophomore vice president Ella Doddridge said that she is not surprised that students are looking forward to the ball.

“We anticipated that a lot of people were going to be excited, because a lot of schools have different dances, and we only have prom and senior dinner dance, so it was good to bring something for the freshmen and sophomores to enjoy,” said Doddridge. 

Despite the hard work and enthusiasm that the Executive Council has put into the Winter Ball, not everything has gone according to plan.

“There’s been a lot of meetings where it’s just kind of back and forth. There was a period of time where we couldn’t decide, and a bunch of ideas got thrown out. Once we came together on one idea, we kind of got set in motion,” said Ausmus. 

Harrington agreed with Ausmus, and said that the work the Executive Council has put in has helped them power through.  

“We’re coming together well. We just all express our ideas of things and how we want to do them, and we come to an agreement on what we should do and talk to other people. We’ve run into some challenges where it lasted a couple weeks while we tried to make a decision, but overall, things are going smoothly,” said Harrington. 

While they certainly had their fair share of problems that came with planning the dance, Doddridge said they were able to overcome those obstacles and begin putting their plans into motion. 

“For a while we were in a space where we couldn’t figure out what we wanted. We had a lot of ideas, but we couldn’t put them into what we wanted going on that night. With the help of the faculty, we were able to straighten it all out, and by December we were able to start ordering tickets and wristbands and were ready to start selling,” said Doddridge. 

Schindler said that when she was faced with a problem, she sought advice from those around her, such as math teacher Samantha Poindexter, who runs student council.

“When we hit an obstacle I talked to my mom about it, because she is the PTO president and she has done a lot of these kinds. So I talked to her about it, or I’ve gone to Mrs. Poindexter or talked to the rest of the executives,” said Schindler. 

The Executive Council  was not alone in arranging all of the details of the ball. The PTO donated 1000 dollars to the dance, and the FC faculty, while not playing a major part in planning, has helped to guide the Council through their problems. 

“Sophomore Exec are the ones planning the dance, so we are on the Winter Ball committee. It’s the four of us, and we are the ones doing all the decision making. Other than us, it’s just the faculty and staff who are helping us, and we’re really thankful for them. We wouldn’t be where we are without them,” said Harrington. 

Doddridge also appreciates the work the faculty, such as principal Rob Willman, has done in helping the Executive Council with decisions and planning. 

“The faculty has definitely been very helpful. We’ve had a meeting about once a month with a couple teachers and Dr. Willman, and they help get our ideas along and make sure we’re on the right path, so we can succeed at our first year of doing the Winter Ball,” said Doddridge. 

Ausmus said that the most fulfilling part of creating and planning the dance will be attending the dance itself. 

“My favorite part is probably the idea of going to the dance and getting to know that that’s what I spent my time working on, knowing that I was a part of making all this happen,” said Ausmus. 

The Winter Ball was not always the plan when it was first brought to light, Harrington said. 

“It originally started as the idea of a homecoming dance, but being so far away from the date of the actual basketball homecoming it was kind of hard to relate them, so we just decided to do [the] Winter Ball so it was totally separate from homecoming,” said Harrington. 

Schindler said that if they have another dance next year, it would be closer to the homecoming game and be a homecoming dance. 

“I would definitely like to have another one. I think we are going to do something different. It was originally going to be a homecoming dance, but we couldn’t because it’s three weeks away from the homecoming game. Next year it will be a homecoming dance in the fall, not winter,” said Schindler. 

Doddridge concludes that creating memories is her favorite part of planning the dance, and that is why she would like to do it again. 

Doddridge said, “I like doing something that’s important to the school, help kids find something that they might be interested in going to and making those high school memories so that people come together.”

The Winter Ball will be held in the FC front rotunda from 8 to 11 p.m.



Photo by Brock Kennedy

Story by J.D. McKay

There are not many sports where an athlete can go to state as a sophomore and not be noticed. Add to that the fact that she has two family members on the All-State Wall and it seems that somebody should pickup on the fact that she could likely follow her family’s footsteps and be the third member of her family on the on the Wall. However, sophomore Kylie McDonald seems to have slipped through the cracks. 

McDonald has been swimming since she was in first grade. After all that time, she has settled into swimming the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard individual medley, as well as relays. On Saturday at state at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, she will be swimming the 100 breaststroke and 400-yard freestyle relay. 

That was one of her main goals this year, to swim in state, but her swimming goals are bigger than that. 

“This year I wanted to just get to state in the 100 breaststroke. But my future goals are to make the finals at state, break FC’s 100 breastroke record, and swim in college,” said McDonald. 

McDonald works hard, but swimming is also something that is in her blood. As I mentioned earlier, her uncle, Brent McDonald, was all-state in 1996, winning the 100 butterfly and was the runner up in the 50 freestyle.

“Do I feel pressure? Yes and no. Coming from a family of swimmers does mean there is a little pressure to do well,” said McDonald. “But it also comes with a family that believes in you and gives you the best advice and race strategies.” 

Her family’s knowledge of swimming means that they can help her succeed in the mental aspect of the sport. 

“My parents and coaches being encouraging is part of what has led to my success,” said McDonald. “I was told to always have fun and never doubt that I can win.”

Part of having that swimmer blood in her means she is a natural competitor; in fact, it is one of her favorite parts of swimming. 

McDonald said, “Racing is my favorite part of swimming. I love being able to compete and race against the fastest girls in Indiana.”

Girls’ swimming win sectional title

Photos by Brock Kennedy

Girls’ basketball plays Jeff tonight in Sectionals

Photo by Brooke Miller

Story by J.D. McKay

For the first time in over two years, my column is not coming out on a Wednesday. But, I wanted to publish it the morning of the first girls’ basketball sectional game. 

For anyone out of the girls’ basketball loop, we have struggled this year. There are three main reasons for that problem. 

One is injuries. It is tough to be really good when your best players cannot play, and one of the Highlanders best players, junior Grace Suer, has been out for nearly the whole season. 

The next kind of goes along with it, youth. When a team loses playes to injuries, they have to play younger players. That is not always a bad thing, but when there is only one senior on the team, it can be tough. The young players have definitely improved, but it is hard to replicate the experience and pressure an experienced player is used to. 

The last problem is height. For some reason, just about every small school that we play had at least one girl over 6’ 1”. Some, like Providence, had three. We have freshman Callie Jo Celichowski, who is a sixth or seventh player on the bench who has played a decent role this year. Then our other post player is Laney Siewert, who is about 5’ 7”.

Anyway, we have had a tough season, but the regular season does not really matter come sectionals. Tonight, they have a chance against Jeff, who they lost to earlier this year. However, Jeff lost their best player, senior Nan Garcia, to a season-ending injury, so things could be different. As usual, I will be giving my three keys to success to get the job done. 

Hit shots: This one is kind of obvious, but we need shots to fall. Anyone who has been to the last months of games can confirm that at times it has seemed like there has been a lid

Sophomore Kendall Brown and freshman Mandy Hess discuss the upcoming defensive series after a time out. Photo by Brock Kennedy

on the basket. One of the team’s best shooters, sophomore Kendall Brown, has been struggling more than most. However, she is a good enough shooter that if she hits a three early to break out of her slump, she could drop 15 points from beyond the arc. Plus, as she pulls more defense towards her, it should open up freshman Mandy Hess, who seems to be the most consistent through this slump. All in all, there are some pretty good shooters on the team, but almost all of them are struggling right now. If one or two can hit some shots early, then it should be a win. 

Lock down post defense: Last Thursday, we lost to Providence. Providence had the best player I have watched the whole year in senior Natalie Boesing. She played more aggressively than usual and she was their main post player. The team did a pretty good job of stopping her. Unfortunately, she still had over 20 points but somewhere between 10 and 15 of those were free throws. Very few post players get to the line like that in girls’ basketball, so if they can keep Jeff’s post players at 4-6 points points, they should be able to win. 

Defensive rebound: If I remember correctly, many of Jeff’s points from earlier this year came from offensive rebounds and put backs. So If we can keep them off the offensive glass, that will be good. However, if they do get offensive boards, making their big men kick it out will have a big impact as well. 

Bottom Line: As I said above, the ladies have struggled this year. However, they have shown flashes late in the year of what they could do. If they get shots to drop, they would be pretty dangerous in sectionals. An eventual matchup against Bedford will be tough, but if shots start dropping, anything can happen. However, they have to get there first, but I am taking the Highlanders to get through at least one round in sectionals. Final Score: FC 45- Jeff 38