Tag Archives: FC Bagpiper

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.


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

Learning other languages improves academics

By Annalise Bassett

The bell rings overhead, and students flood out into the hallway, nearly 1100 of them heading to a language class.

Many students all across the state of Indiana learn at least one foreign language sometime throughout their high school career. People all across the country are bilingual. In fact, 20.14 percent of Americans were bilingual in 2016 according to an article by Francois Grosjean, PhD, of Psychology Today. This number has doubled since 1980, when only 10.68 percent of Americans were bilingual.

Learning a foreign language is not only useful for getting a job or travelling abroad, it also affects the brain and its development. According to Whitby, a private school for kids up through eighth grade, “Language learning helps improve people’s thinking skills and memory abilities. Bilingual students concentrate better, ignoring distractions more effectively than those who only speak one language.” 

The study Whitby references, conducted by University of Edinburgh psychology professor Thomas Bak, MD, concluded that “…learning a second language can develop new areas of your mind and strengthen your brain’s natural ability to focus.”

Languages help your brain grow not only mentally and cognitively, but also physically and size-wise. A study referenced by Whitby that was conducted in Sweden concluded that the brains of scholars who learned a second language grew, while the brains of scholars who did not learn a second language did not change in size.

Learning a language can help you with skills beyond speaking the new language—it can help with focus, mental clarity, decision-making skills, memory, study skills, and more. Lead with Languages, a program that strives to spread the importance of learning foreign languages, said that studies have shown that when making decisions in a different language from your first, we are more level-headed and can make decisions more clearly. Lead with Languages references a 2012 article written by Boston University psychology professor Catherine Caldwell-Harris, PhD, on Scientific American. Caldwell-Harris wrote that your second language is less emotional, and using a second language evokes less anxiety than your native language.

All 1100 of the students at FC taking a language are affected by these skills, and some of them take more than one language, further increasing the skills that languages help develop. The younger people learn a language, the more effective studying a language can be.

“Children who learn another language before age five use the same part of the brain to acquire that second language that they use to learn their mother tongue,” said a Lead with Languages article on learning early. “Younger learners are also uninhibited by the fear of making mistakes, which is sometimes an obstacle for older beginners.”

Children who learn languages early also have cognitive benefits that those who learn later in life either do not have or have less of. 

“Compared to those without an additional language, bilingual children have improved reading, writing, and math skills, and they generally score higher on standardized tests,” said Lead with Languages.

Whether you learn as a young kid, in high school, or as an adult, languages still have large effects on your brain and your ability to communicate with others. It is part of the reason that students are encouraged to take languages, and it explains why 58.8 percent of FC’s student body is currently learning at least one language.

High school basketball is better without a shot clock

Photo by Matthew Bolus

Story by J.D. McKay

Well, our most recent loss came in a way that is expected to happen maybe once every couple of years– on a buzzer beater. However, if you have been at FC over the past two years, you know we have gotten the short end of the stick several times at the buzzer. We have lost six games over the past two years, and four of them have been at the buzzer. Earlier this season, head coach Todd Sturgeon told the News and Tribune he had been beaten on one buzzer beater in all 20 of his years coaching, up until last season.

Following the game Friday, there were frustrated Floyd fans calling for a shot clock in high school basketball. Jeff dribbled the ball out for the last minute, and even with senior Ben Purvis’s and Sturgeon’s smart play, Jeff still hit a pretty lucky shot at the buzzer. However, wanting a shot clock in high school basketball would completely change the game and make it much worse for viewers. 

Reason 1: It changes the classic parts of the game

I know this is one of my weakest reasons and the classic parts of the game are being changed in many sports like baseball. But, as Hoosiers, we should appreciate basketball as it is meant to be played. That does not mean we cannot enjoy the NBA style of no defense and crazy dunks, but we need to look back at the past and when basketball was growing into what it has become in Indiana. Milan High School, the team the movie Hoosiers was based on, held the ball for almost four minutes in their state championship game in 1954. 

Reason 2: It is logistically more complicated

The first part of having a shot clock is buying a shot clock. That can cost between 10 and 25 thousand dollars. In a generation where sports are becoming less and less valued, some small schools with bad teams could find it more worthwhile to just drop their programs and move on than to buy and install the equipment needed. Then, if it is installed, someone has to work it. In high school sports, if something can go wrong in the booth, it will. They will inevitably forget about either the shot clock or game clock. In football there is a play clock that is set at the start of each play. To start it, the person in the booth can basically just look at the official and start it when told. However, it is quite often done wrong and it is much similar than a shot clock. Plus, while we are talking about officials, at the high school level they are generally pretty bad. So even if they had some signal to restart the shot clock, their is no guarantee they would always signal it. 

Reason 3: It would reduce anticipation in the last minute

Not having a shot clock at the end of the game would make the last minute much more anti-climatic. If we knew we are guaranteed the ball again, then that possession would have meant less. Obviously we are still hoping they do not score, but it is basically a regular possession because that is what the goal always is. Without the shot clock, you expect when the last shot will be and that minute or so of waiting adds to the excitement. 

Reason 4: It really would not change the game for the better and increase scoring

For some reason, people associate the shot clock with more scoring. It works that way in the NBA, but NBA players are freaks. There are fewer than 100 high school players like that. We played a pretty slow game. We pass the ball around and look for a good shot and rely on having a good defense, which seems to be working pretty well for us. But if we were limited on the time we had the ball, it would result in some bad looks. With junior Jake Heidbreder on the team, they would probably go in pretty consistently, but for other schools without a Heidbreder, they would start scoring fewer points. Plus, with a shot clock, teams with very athletic players like Silver Creek and Jeff would just go to the hole and it would be hard to stop because of their quickness. It would take some terrific coaching (which I think Floyd has if push comes to shove) to not slow down on the offensive end and continue to play well on the defensive end. 

High school basketball in Indiana is a tradition that rivals sports in all other states, and adding the shot clock to the game would lessen the value of the sport. People think that the shot clock would make the game better. But clearly, it would ruin the game and is tough to add to the game.



By Mary Ficker