2017 Spring sports season ends with great accomplishments by GHS athletes

by Sports Editor Ruby Williams and Features Editor Christian Banks

Posted 12 June 2017

It’s officially a wrap for all spring sports in 2017. Though it has reached the end, all spring sports ended their seasons well and achieved great accomplishments. There were teams who won their district tournaments, some who competed in the State Championships, and others who went undefeated this season.

The boy’s tennis team finished off their season with eight total wins and seven losses. They were ranked five out of seven conference teams with Senior Antonio Morales and Junior Matteo Castrechini, getting second place All Conference for the Doubles team category. The top six in the boys tennis team includes: Matteo Castrechini, Antonio Morales, Jack Lagonegro, Bryce Weigartz, Kevin Hutzler, and Charles McKellar. Another notable team member was Ethan West, who stepped into the number six spot multiple times because of a player injury.

The track team had a fantastic season with many athletes making it to postseason play. There were three conference champions, seven runner ups, five people who placed third place, and fifteen regional qualifiers, and two state qualifiers.

Freshman Ainsley Miller, Kate Neikirk, and Mikey Toms all pole vaulted at Regionals. Miller and Toms ended their season at Regionals as first team All Conference. Neikirk ended her season as second team All Conference.

Senior Vivian Pryor placed 4th in the shot put at Regionals with a throw of 37-05.00. At the 5A State Outdoor Track and Field Championships, she placed fifth. She gained fourth place All Conference 4th place All Region and fifth place All State. Senior Taige Brown and Sophomore Joe Conroy both competed in Regionals in the shot put. They both are ended their season at Regionals as All Conference. Brown threw a 38-02.00 and Conroy threw a 40-11.00.

Sophomore James Perkins threw his very last throw for Gloucester at the Regional meet. He ended his his last season with Gloucester High School as All Conference with a throw of 101-10.

In the 100-meter dash preliminaries, John Pryor ran an 11.50 and qualified by time for the State Championships. He gained All Conference and holds a school record in the 100 meter dash. The record is 11.16. Pryor also ran the 200-meter run at the Regional meet. He placed 11th and ended up running a time of 23.02.

The girls 4x800 meter relay ended their season at Regionals as 3rd team All Conference with a time of 10:45.64. The four individuals who ran on this relay were Alyssa Lass, Makala White, Allison Kladler, and Katherine Saunders.

The boys 4x100 meter relay ran a 44.53 at Regionals. They placed eleventh in the region and ended their season as All Conference in the event.

In the 1600-meter run, Lass placed tenth in the region and ran a 5:41.34. She leaves the 2017 Outdoor Track and Field season as All conference. Ruby Williams and Aaron Shipe both ran the 800-run at Regionals. They both gained All Conference this season. Shipe ran a 2:00.99 and ends the season with a school record. The school record is a 2:00.31.

The boys and girls JV soccer teams end their season on a high note with both teams winning their games against Woodside on May 9, 2017 with a final score 3-1 for the girls and  0-2 for the boys. Though they ended their season well they faced one major challenge. “ In the beginning of the season, we were still not in shape,” said Yang.

Even though the boys were out of shape, it did not show since they were undefeated this season.“We played so well this season. We have gotten better at passing the ball, especially in today’s game, and we just had a great group of teammates this year,” said Freshman Daniel Bendit. The boys will be losing several players this year.

The girls had a young team this year with a large group of eighth graders.  Coach Collier said, “The girls have improved this season especially the Woodside game and the girls feel the same way.”

“We have improved so much. Our footwork skills have gotten better and so has our defense,” said Freshman Alyssa Fulford.  

The girls also faced some challenges this season. The girls, just like the boys were working on bettering their foot and passing skills. They also lost players. “We ended up losing two of our JV players, who were moved up to varsity. To make up for our loss, we had to replace them with defenders,” said Fulford.

The Gloucester Dukes Varsity Baseball Team ended their season with fifteen wins and four losses. The team tied their last game against Warwick on June 22 by a score of 0-0. The Varsity team stands currently at a number one spot in the 5A division. The JV baseball team finished their season with thirteen wins and one loss. Their last game against Menchville was a win with a 5-4 overall score.

The girl’s varsity softball team ended with five total wins and three losses. Their last game against Menchville on June 18 was a loss with a very close score of 5-6.  The JV team finished with the same score.

All in all the spring sports teams at Gloucester High School had an incredibly successful season.

The Vikings are invading Busch Gardens

by Op-ed Editor Madison Stone

Posted 12 June 2017

Hurry to Busch Gardens, in Williamsburg, because the Vikings are invading New France as the theme park adds the new roller coaster, InvadR. Rise up to be the hero in this ambitious conquest. Hold on to your Viking helmet and feel the wind in your beard on the park’s first-ever wooden coaster.

            The newly built roller coaster, InvadR, is constructed entirely by wood, even the track. The coaster imparts nine air-time hills, including a 74-foot plunge, reaching speeds of almost fifty miles per hour. Experience high-banked turns, tunnels, and never ending fun on the new thrill-seeking ride. Grab your family, friends, and run for the hills and board InvadR.  

            Although InvadR has many twists and turns, it is considered by fans to be the easiest and smoothest riding coaster in the park for beginner riders. “It looks to be pretty easy, almost as if it is a kitty ride..until you actually ride it,” said Sophomore Jade Keller. The ride starts in a wooden building where theme park visitors will climb aboard. Inside of the building hangs Viking shields and outstanding dragon silhouettes. As night falls throughout the park, torches light the way to the coaster. Once aboard InvadR, the ride ascends up a track before plummeting down the rides seventy-four-foot drop into a tunnel. The ride continues through multiple turns at almost fifty miles per hour without stopping. It truly is a non-stop, action-packed thrill ride. The fact that it is a little bit old school, and wooden, yet it is as exciting as a modern day roller coaster, makes riders love it a bit more. Keller said, “InvadR is the most exhilarating, supersonic coaster I have even experienced."

             Although InvadR mostly gets positive feedback from its riders, it does have its downfalls. People believe that the time spent on the coaster is too short and the ride should have more activity other than one drop and several turns. Keller states that if she could change one thing about the ride, she would add more drops since “it only has one.” Sophomore Katelyn Groome said, “The coaster is very fast and unexpected bends really make the cart throw you around, some say it was fun but I felt unsafe.”  Riders also claim the seats are too small and some don’t feel safe when zooming around each bend at high speeds, claiming it has a rickety feeling. Many disagree saying it is supposed to feel fast and crazy, it goes along with the viking theme.  

            Overall, InvadR is a great roller coaster for everyone. It provides many breathtaking experiences and is a cluster of fun for every roller coaster devotee. InvadR is rated four stars on Google review and obtains only positives reviews. Personally, the roller coaster is a ton of fun. It provides the perfect amount of speed and thrill rides. I would rate it a 9 to 10 because it is just the perfect little coaster Busch Gardens needed.


The world's best friend is adventure:
a review of Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales

by Reporter Alice Bishop

Posted 12 June 2017

Friday, June 26, 2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales arrived in theatres. Not usually one for going to theatres, I found this movie a great surprise. I really liked it, despite its flaws.  

            Johnny Depp played the lead role Jack Sparrow. Depp did well, but the role was not being fulfilled. The character was very comedic, but something about it felt a little forced. The past Pirates of the Caribbean movies had moments when Jack Sparrow’s actions appeared coincidental. Those apparent coincidences are what contributed to the humorous charm of the character.

            There was an array of new characters along with returning characters, and it really gave an impression of a producer that was just pumping out a movie to gain a profit. Jack Sparrow’s small crew provides little help throughout the movie. They were mainly just hostile, and ready to quit at any given moment. The deceased Captain Salazar who is hunting Jack Sparrow felt too staged and easily swayed. His character all together was confusing, especially when  he would play the villain, and then suddenly he didn’t want to harm anyone but Jack.

One of the strengths of the Dead Men Tell No Tales, however, was those returning characters. William “Will” Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Joshua Gibbs, and Hector Barbossa were a sight. Will is only witnessed at the start and end of the movie, and he’s completely become a part of the boat, Flying Dutchman as seen in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. The character Elizabeth Swann, who appears at the end, looks more mature. Joshua Gibbs was still extremely amusing. He brightened up the movie with his sarcastic and silly comments. Hector Barbossa was a surprise to see since he’s much older than the rest of the characters. Barbossa somehow was able to be walking and control a ship at his old age with his missing leg.

Orlando Bloom played the recent Will Turner with great passion, and was quite moving in his scenes. While Elizabeth Swann, or Elizabeth Turner, played by Keira Knightley in Dead Men Tell No Tales, didn’t have as big a role, she made an emotional appearance.

            Joshua Gibbs was still his classical ready to leave Jack Sparrow behind self. Kevin McNally continued to play his role exceedingly well, and kept consistent with the rest of the movies. Hector Barbossa, otherwise known as Captain Barbossa, had his sad but lovely time within his movie scenes. Geoffrey Rush did a fine job of keeping the betraying, but caring captain in his prime. Nothing seemed forced; all appeared very genuine.

            With the 230 million dollar budget that the movie had, the scenery was eye-catching. It set the mood and tone extremely well, and really set the time between the first movie and likely last movie. Each scene appeared smooth and blended together, and the movie, two hours long, was overall satisfying to see.  

I would definitely rate this movie a four out of five, and recommend to see it with friends or family.


Love conquers all: a review of
Everything Everything

by Reporter Elizabeth Gill

Posted 12 June 2017

Imagine being trapped in your house, never being able to leave due to fatal allergies. Nicola Yoon’s best selling novel Everything Everything is now a movie in theaters as of May 19, 2017. This remarkable movie should be seen by everyone all around the world.

The movie has the visual of a young girl who has two choices: stay locked inside of her house all of her life, hidden from the world, or take the risk of going outside and possibly killing herself while having the time of her life. Which will she choose? What will the end result be?

Director Stella Meghie, who has also created the film Jean Of Joneses, did a marvelous job bringing this heartwarming romance novel come to life. Maddy, played by Amanda Stenberg, is also recognized as Rue from The Hunger Games. Maddy isn’t your average teenager. She has a rare disease called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, also known as SCID, a disease in which the body has little or no immune system, making her allergic to everything. This medical condition practically turns this young girl into a prisoner in her home. Her situation forces her to be virtually friendless and to long for the basic life that a normal teenager is able to experience.

Maddy lives alone with her mother, after a fatal accident that cost the life of her father and older brother. The loss of her two loved ones leaves the mother hanging on to the life of her sick and only daughter. Her mother,  an overprotective physician, only adds to the tension and stress of Maddy’s being stuck at home.

Shortly after Maddy’s eighteenth birthday, a new family moves in next door. They seem like a picture perfect family, but this is far from true.Olly, the only son, played by Nick Robinson, shows Maddy a walk into reality: his world isn’t so great either. The two friends quickly fall for each other and try finding a way to make their relationship work, even if it means that they could lose each other forever.

This hour and a half long of cheesy, yet adorable film is now playing in theatres for everyone, though I specifically recommend this “chick-flick” for young girls. Make sure you don’t forget to bring your tissues; it’s a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute you will hate her mom; then you will be crying for Maddy, and next you will be wooing over Olly.  While guys might not enjoy the constant churning of feelings, mother and daughters are sure to love it. My mom and I really enjoyed it.

Everything, Everything was overall a very well put together film. Meghie did a great job picking out the actors: each actor portrayed her or his character perfectly. Robinson shows himself as your average hot rebel without a cause bad boy, while Stenberg shows herself to be your cute, nerdy innocent girl.

The music was upbeat, the visual was genuinely colorful, the focus was present, the timeline of the story flowed gently, and the filters of the scenes were beautiful, making everything pop and grab the audience's attention. I would rate this film a 7.5/10 and would definitely watch it again.

A Summer Survival Guide: How to stay happy and healthy throughout the summer

by Reporter Elizabeth Gill

Posted 12 June 2017

            Summer is here at last. Get ready, set, and have a splash! With the right summer tips, you will be ready for summer in no time.

            The most important piece of advice to keep in mind during summer is to remember to take care of your skin. With the intense summer heat and humidity, you’ll need to protect you epidermis.

            With bikini season around the corner, adolescents will spend many of their days stretching out under the sun. This is perfectly fine, if they are safe about it. A familiar problem, though, is that the majority of those beach bums will “self tan” trying to get that natural-looking caramel skin, thinking it’s safe. This is far from true. When tanning unprotected, people are absorbing dangerous UV rays.The same UV rays are used in a tanning bed. These rays cause the skin to burn or in other words “tan.” This heavenly glow isn’t as great as it seems, and definitely is not worth it.
            While UV radiation is damaging to the eye and causes premature aging, it is also the major cause of Melanoma, skin cancer. One person dies from Melanoma each hour, and it is estimated that there will be 87,110  cases of this skin cancer in 2017.

One minute taken away from your outdoor fun to put on sunscreen is much cheaper than paying the price of your life because you died from skin cancer.

            The easiest way to avoid these problems is simple: purchase and wear a good and protective  sunscreen. Try shooting for a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF (sun protection factor).

            If you do happen to get sunburn, an easy remedy to help the healing process is applying aloe to the irritated parts of the skin. This can be done with with an aloe vera plant leaf or aloe-based sprays, lotions, or gels.

            Another important part of your skin that should be taken care of appropriately during summer is acne. The second common skin care misconception made during summer is how people treat acne. In the warm and dewy air, pimples start to form more frequently. Because of this, a familiar mistake made is scrubbing all of the oils out of your skin. Dirty oils such as sweat can cause pimples, but the skin also has natural oils that are needed to keep your skin moisturized and healthy. Dry and flaky skin can be another factor leading to acne.

Senior Faith Fuentes recommends Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap for $5 at Walmart. She says, “It’s my favorite skin product. I’ve rarely used any other product after I came across this. It’s heaven for your skin.” Not only is the product made specially for sensitive acne-prone skin, it moisturizes your skin while cleansing it, fades acne scars, and smells amazing.

            For those women who insist on wearing makeup in the summer, the key to keeping your face perfect throughout the blazing hot day is to wear a moisturizing bb cream with SPF under your makeup, a lightweight water-based foundation, and a good setting spray to keep every drop in place. You also need keep blotting sheets on you at all times.

            Sophomore Elizabeth Miller gives us some pointers on the importance of skin care that some people refuse to partake in, she says, “Exfoliate, moisturize, and drink plenty of water. It’s very important to keep your skin hydrated and fresh.”

The second most important suggestion to keep in mind during summer is that your body needs to be taken care of too, more than you’d think.

When on vacation or during other fun activities such as concerts, camping, and fishing while you  are in the sun, remember to watch out for heatstroke.

Not getting enough sleep, drinking too little, not shielding your head, and failing to start the day with a good breakfast are not wise choices. Instead, you should wear a hat (preferably a sun hat or “dad” hat), drink water frequently, and eat each meal in the day, along with snacks. You also need at least seven hours of sleep. These habits will prevent your body from getting weak from the heat and passing out, or in other words, having a heatstroke.

Sophomore Rebecca Wagner says,“I drink four water bottles a day during summer, and eat lots of fruit, usually strawberry or watermelon. It keeps me going strong”.

Berries are a big necessity to your summer diet. They contain antioxidants, which are helpful for destroying harmful chemicals called free radicals. These chemicals are more commonly taken in by the human body in warm climates such as in Virginia’s summer months.

If you take care of your skin and if you take steps to prevent heat strokes, you’re going to have a safe and fun summer.


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword proves unsatisfying and unnecessary

by Reporter Corey Edwards

Posted 12 June 2017

        Every several years, a new team takes on the task of creating a film depicting the famous Arthurian Legend. The legend, about a man named Arthur, who rose up to pull the legendary sword Excalibur from a stone or a lake and become king, has been portrayed in many ways from the Disney animated The Sword In the Stone (1963) to the comedic cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). Some of these movies have become extremely celebrated and praised over time. Other films, like Camelot (1967) and Excalibur (1981), have become favorites among fans of the legend and set the bar for Arthurian films to come.

But it’s been quite a while since an Arthurian film came out that fans and critics could agree on. Lots of these movies pass by as unmemorable, getting poor reviews from critics and even more pathetic sales. I was interested to see if this new movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, would change that.

The movie had an impressive trailer, showing off some impressive visuals. And some of these visuals translated to the full-length movie, for the most part. I would have to say that some of the visuals were the best features about the movie, and some of the fighting scenes were well-orchestrated too.

            Unfortunately, the positive comments I have on the movie end there. As soon as I sat down to watch the film in theater, I couldn’t even follow the plot. The opening action scene also seemed just a little pretentious. Its only function was to show off giant elephants as a hook for the audience, but just ends up being awkward to watch. What doesn’t help is that the opening credits abruptly interrupt the action with music that would fit the complete opposite type of scene. After that, the movie continues on to a compilation of Arthur growing up in a brothel and fighting on the streets for money. The compilation goes by way too quickly and is just unnecessary.

            This is a recurring problem throughout the film. There are so many parts that are either awkward to watch or not needed at all. After the compilation of Arthur growing up, there’s a strange interrogation scene in which he explains fighting in pit fights on the streets and works to convince different factions to give him wealth. I think it was supposed to impress the audience with how witty or funny Arthur is, but it’s just confusing and again, unnecessary. Other strange and confusing parts of the movie include Arthur’s continuously trying to be witty and funny, random flashbacks where Arthur replaces people in his memory for some reason, and a giant snake spontaneously appearing towards the end of the movie.

            Going back to the awkward editing in the intro of the film, there are also a few other places where the editing is spotty. One scene that is greatly harmed by this problem occurs when Arthur pulls Excalibur from the stone. When he touches the sword, it starts glowing white, and something about the white on the sword just doesn’t match. I can’t believe so much money was wasted on little editing faults like this one. It feels like no one revised the movie to see if it was fit for showing, although I know that is not true since the release date of the movie was pushed back a year. I wonder what the producer and director spent that year even doing, because the movie still feels incomplete and very flawed despite all the time the team put into it.

            In conclusion, I don’t think King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is going to satisfy anyone’s craving for a worthwhile, new Arthurian Legend movie. Between awkward editing, unnecessary scenes, and iconic Arthurian Legend events being ruined, there’s just too much going against the entertainment of the audience.


Virtual band Gorillaz return from hiatus to bring something new to the table

by Reporter Corey Edwards

Posted 12 June 2017

Gorillaz are not just a band, but a cast of animated characters, each character with her or his own quirks and personalities. Musician Damon Albarn and comic artist Jamie Hewlett, the masterminds of this musical endeavor, enhance these characters with fully animated music videos that include visual representations of each character.

Although the tacked on extensive lore and detailed story about the fictional band is intriguing, I'm more interested in the music. The music and characters run hand in hand in a complementary way. If you know a little bit of background about these characters, the music feels a bit more colorful and lively. This is why I've anticipated this new Gorillaz album, Humanz. That, and the fact that their second album, Demon Days, is a very important piece of music to me.

Damon Albarn is  a master at not only writing memorable hooks but also putting together electronic beats that range from triumphant emotional ballads to irresistible dance beats. His songwriting skills are epitomized by their variety. Somber tracks like “Every Planet We Reach Is Dead” and “All Alone” make a colony admitting defeat sound danceable, while “Feel Good Inc” and “November Has Come” illustrate Gorillaz’s undoubted ability to incorporate various hip-hop styles into their music without making a mess of their original musical style and roots.

Their ability to do all of this and put together a concise album experience featuring many acclaimed music artists is exactly what made me so excited everytime Gorillaz has released news about this brand new album. About a month before the album’s release date, the band debuted four new tracks off the album along with the album cover art and gigantic tracklist that confirmed the inclusion of a politically charged track Gorillaz released in November of last year. The four tracks, “Ascension,” “Saturnz Barz,” “Andromeda,” and “We Got the Power,” sustained my anticipation about the upcoming effort.

“Ascension” is an apocalyptic sounding song with an amazing feature by rapper Vince Staples, and “Saturnz Barz” furthers the trend of Gorillaz placing guest rappers on hip-hop driven cuts masterfully. “We Got the Power” is a triumphant group-sung track featuring punk band frontwoman Jehnny Beth from the band Savages, with a hopeful end statement despite a seemingly dreary political reality.

I have less positive comments about “Andromeda,” a sleepy dance track featuring recently broken out singer and rapper DRAM. I do not feel that DRAM was placed in a position where he can show off his naturally upbeat and beautiful singing voice or his skill at rapping. Instead, he gets background vocal placement. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to guess that he was even on the song if it didn’t say he was. His voice would have served a way better purpose singing a chorus or at least rapping a verse. Additionally, the track’s unfinished sounding instrumental does not make up for this placement, and not even a catchy hook from Albarn saves this track from unmemorability.

I've noticed tracks like “Andromeda” popping up recently in Damon Albarn’s forever growing musical discography, like his long lived band, Blur, and his solo album released a few years back. He has now entered a very mature and aged part of his songwriting career. This wholeheartedly depressing and defeated sound can be a double-edged sword sometimes, however. Some tracks benefit a lot from this newly found style, but some songs that get lost in their own melancholy, and indefinitely ending up scraping the parameters of boredom.

Luckily, when the album finally released on April 28, I was happy to hear that “Andromeda” is the only song here like that. The large bulk of the record is filled with great Gorillaz tracks. The record starts off with “Ascension,” which I still feel is one of the strongest songs Gorillaz has released in years. Following that track is “Strobelite,” a song that I don’t love, but is a very likable dance piece that keeps momentum going. “Saturnz Barz,” which precedes“Strobelite,” seems to grow on me the more I listen to it. I really like some of the braggadocious lines from guest artist Popcaan. These prove to be very memorable. His voice, as always, is eccentric but can be very good at forming catchy vocal inflections.

The next song, “Momentz,” is the first song I have any sort of major issue with. The chanted vocal style makes the track quite distinct from others, but the drum in the background is just obnoxious. Despite my initial excitement when I saw De La Soul was featured on this song, I ended up disappointed. Luckily, the album picks back up as the next song, “Submission,” is one of my favorites on the record. I was looking forward to “Submission” when I saw the tracklist for Humanz, since one of my favorite rappers, Danny Brown, was noted as the feature on the song. But I ended up enjoying it mostly because of the guest singer, Kelela. The momentum continues to the next song, “Charger.” This is one of the only songs on the album that keeps the trend of the characters in Gorillaz, as Damon Albarn’s singing on this song resembles what I mostly associate with his character, 2-D. The hook is catchy, and Grace Jones complements the song perfectly as the feature artist.

Up next is “Andromeda” and “Busted and Blue,” the two slower tracks on Humanz. I consider “Busted and Blue” to be the better track here, and it works way better as a downtime song that contrasts all the songs that come before it. After this moment of rest, the record picks right back up with two of my favorite tracks, “Carnival” and “Let Me Out.” Pusha T has what might be my favorite feature on Humanz in “Let Me Out.” He tastefully raps about his hopes of a brighter future despite the social and political chaos he perceives around him, saying, “a heaven in the sky where there is peace, but until then keep my piece at arm’s reach.”

Here’s where my biggest complaint about Humanz comes into play. The next section of the record is possibly some of the worst material Gorillaz has released to date. “She’s My Collar” is the more offensive of the two songs here, with lyrics that are incredibly corny and lazily written. When I listen to Humanz now, I usually give these tracks a skip, something I do not like to do when listening to full-length albums.

Luckily, Humanz closes just as well as it begins. I love the placement of “Hallelujah Money” and “We Got the Power” at the end of the record. It’s like all the songs that came before these two tracks are a part of some crazy party that is trying not to care about the world around it ending, yet when the party ends, these two tracks are left over to talk about the elephant in the room. “Hallelujah Money” has an amazing feature by Benjamin Clementine. In it, he sings about peace and prosperity being won by unity and tranquility rather than walls. “We Got the Power” is searching for this unity, with lyrics talking about fixing widespread issues and changing the very society that we live in completely even if the odds are stacked against us. These two songs, placed on the end of the album, prove to be an end to a concept that I can only describe as beautiful.

Overall, even with the reservations I have, Humanz is an acceptable Gorillaz album. While not perfect, it highlights what is so great about the band while bringing some new sounds to the table. It has great features, both from old and new faces in music and from artists that have recently come into the fold. The album fits into the Gorillaz discography as one of their better efforts.


Local area participants race to help raise money for local cancer patients

Posted 12 June 2017

by Sports Editor Ruby Williams

The fourth annual 5K Run/Walk was a success with a huge turnout of runners and walkers this year. This event was on May 20, 2017 at Woodville Park. It was  hosted by the The Giving Garden, an organization that raises money to assist local area cancer patients. This organization has raised over $115,000 for cancer patients since 2008.
        The night was fun filled with a selfie booth, a Glow Swag booth, and glow sticks to “glow up your night.” The event had food carts, face paintings , and plenty of game.

The Mullins Sisters, a live band, played a variety of different country songs that continuously had the crowd’s attention. At 7:15 PM, the 5K Run/Walk began

Runners ranged in age from four to sixty-two. “ I really just wanna see how fast I can run,” said Sophomore Katherine Saunders. She ran a time of 23:39.17. “I am excited to see what time I will get, since I will be running cross country next year,” said Freshman Makala White, who ran a time of 24:05.53.
    Tanner Baker, a seventh grader at Peasley Middle School lead and won the race. Baker said, “The race went well. I felt comfortable, and it was a pretty easy pace for me.” Baker ended up running a fast time of 18:05.16.

Medals were awarded to runners/walkers in each age group. In the Male and Female 0-12 age group, Kollin Wilson and Hannah Heaton placed first. The Male and Female 13-18 age groups winners were Saunders and Baker. The 19-29 age group winners were  Jacob De Los Santos and Nicole Thiel. In the 30-39 age group, the age group winners were Steven Moore and Elizabeth Lunsford. In the 40-49 age group, the winners were Jack De Los Santos and Wendy Turner. The 50-59 age group winners were Stan Gandee and Judy Link. The winners in the 60 and over age group were Don Lockard and Mary Mason.

The fourth annual 5k Run/Walk brought the community together. Sponsored by the Giving Garden, it was just another way this organization raises money to help cancer patients, including collecting cans for recycling.

The Giving Garden also is also responsible for the Healing Garden at Woodville Park, where patrons can purchase engraved bricks to place on the site; the patrons’ donations go to help cancer patients as well  The Giving Garden is always willing to accept any donations and volunteers. Potential patrons can find details at www.thegivinggarden.org.

GHS student-athletes sign with colleges

Sport Signing 2017-2

Key Club Blood Drive gathers donors

April 2017 Key Club Blood Drive2

Posted 21 April 2017

By Reporter Alice Bishop

Imagine walking down the road on your way home, and you witness a small child fall, ending up with a broken leg. The child is taken to the hospital and needs surgery, and luckily for him the recent donations of blood from a nearby high school has exactly the blood type he needs.

The  April 18 Key Club Blood Drive had sixty-two donors and collected an estimated sixty-five units of blood.

Many GHS students came to not only donate but volunteer as well. The volunteers helped provide a smooth, non-problematic workspace, and eased any nervous donors with a reassuring smile.

Sophomore Victoria Causby was a volunteer for the blood drive and provided donors with their juice boxes, snacks, and t-shirts. “[I’m] glad that people in the community care enough to donate and volunteer,” said Causby.

When entering the Aux. Gym there was the distinct smell and feeling of a hospital. Volunteers were running around busy with getting donors ready, drawing blood, and providing snacks for donors afterwards. Nurses were also there providing help, packing away the donations, and readying it to be transferred to American Red Cross.

In charge of all of this was Team Supervisor Bridgett Edwards. Edwards was the first person to solve problems, and had to be ready for any situation, good or bad. “Everything went very smooth,” said Edwards before going to provide help to a volunteer.

Gloucester Daffodil Festival kicks off spring season

Daffodil FestivalR

Posted 18 April 2017

By Reporter Eve Austin

The 31st annual Daffodil Festival occurred on April 1-2, when Gloucester County’s Daffodil Festival Committee hosted family fun all along Main Street.

This tradition connects the county and begins the spring season for all ages. Events hosted at the festival include the daffodil parade, the “Fabulous Mutt Show,” a variety of children's activities (including bouncy houses, pony rides, and a rock wall), and a five-kilometer run.  The committee also held nineteen different food vendors from all around the county.

One of the main events at the festival was the Daffodil Parade, which includes Gloucester High School’s ROTC units, local churches, Gloucester police forces, local firefighters, and many other groups showcasing themselves with creative floats.

The festival offered a number of vendors selling beautiful artwork, crafts, and various other wares. These vendors are community members given a platform through the festival to showcase their talents. Some vendors painted faces and weaved daffodil flower crowns, creating a lively springtime environment.

The blossoming gardens of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs were put on display by the Gloucester Master Gardeners. Tours were led starting from festival grounds on Main Street to Brent and Becky’s and transportation was provided.

Annually, the Daffodil Festival offers a four-year renewable $1,000 scholarship to girls ages 16-19 . The scholarship is designed to assist Gloucester County graduating seniors who have been accepted to college, community college or trade school. Students apply by submitting an essay and providing information about their academic achievement, community involvement, school activities and employment, and including a letter of reference. In 2016, Bailey Miller won the scholarship.

Young women who are active community members of Gloucester competed to become this year's Daffodil Queen. The application included submission of an essay on what Gloucester means to them as a home, their high school transcript, extracurricular activities participated in , and the attendance of an interview with a Daffodil Committee representative.

Junior Savannah Lovato, Senior Elizabeth Simmons, and Senior Brianna Miller were finalist Daffodil Princesses, and on April 1 Miller was announced as queen. The queen subsequently becomes an ambassador for Gloucester County by attending other county parades, hosting the Gloucester-Mathews Historic Garden Week, volunteering for local nonprofits such as the Main Street Library, and attending new business openings. 2016 Daffodil Queen Macy Calder said that her experience gave her a“deeper appreciation and understanding of the community, which is invaluable.”

Spring blood drive to take place at GHS

Key Club Blood Drive Photo

Posted 14 April 2017

by Reporter Alice Bishop

The Key Club is sponsoring a blood drive Tuesday, April 18 in the Auxiliary Gym from 8 am to 1 pm.

For the past four years different groups at GHS have sponsored blood drives, with the goal of collecting as much blood as possible. “[Our goal is to] collect 80 units of blood,’ said Co-sponsor Donna Jemmison.  

Last year, two blood drives were held, one each semester. By the end of this blood drive and counting the number of units from last year, the Key Club should have collected 200 units of blood.

Sign-ups for the blood drive ran from April 10 through l4. Currently, Key Club has forty participants. To participate in the  blood drive, a person must be sixteen and older (sixteen and seventeen year olds have to get parent’s permission) and must meet the height and weight requirements.

“[We have done the blood drive] once this year, twice last year,” said Key Club President Faith Fuentes, a senior.. All the donations from the school will be given to the American Red Cross Association.

Dude Be Nice Week promotes positivity & kindness

Posted 30 March 2017

Dude Be Nice Week

by Reporters Connor Hughes and Tyler Langley

Dude Be Nice week was held, March 13th-17th, by the National Honor Society (NHS). The purpose of Dude Be Nice week is to inspire students and promote kindness amongst school communities. Students displayed posters, sent “nice notes”, and said kind things about their friends on post-it notes throughout the entire week, seeking to spread positivity.

Gloucester High Math Teacher and NHS Sponsor Katie Johnson said, “During the week, students are encouraged to promote and recognize kindness throughout the school and community.” Johnson, who has served as NHS sponsor for six years, said, “I decided to sponsor because I really enjoy working with students that want to give back to the school and community.” She took a two-year break from NHS, but returned as the organization’s sponsor three years ago.  As well as hosting Dude Be Nice week, the NHS constantly works to make the school a constructive and beneficial place for students. Among these acts, NHS officers give an inspirational quote to the student body on the announcements each morning.

On Monday, students could find NHS members in front of the auditorium to write nice things about their friends on post-it notes that were later put together as a collage and displayed in front of Mrs. Johnson’s room.

On Tuesday and wednesday, students meet NHS members in the cafeteria again to write “nice notes”- notes written about friends and teachers in the form of a letter. These nice notes were delivered on Friday.

On Thursday, the National Honors Society chose five community members, or businesses that they recognized in our community. The five community members were Juan's, Riverside Hospital, GCPS Bus Drivers, the Gloucester Fire Station, and the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society. Each of these community members received gifts such as balloons, cards, and a care package of comprised baked goods. The honored in-school members included Sarah Bressin, Cher Gingues, Carlos Morales, Angela Saunders, Wrenn Kibler, Barbara Page, and the entire cafeteria staff.

On Friday the “Nice Notes” were delivered to the recipients and NHS officers.

Disney's new live-action remake, simply enchanting

Posted 30 March 2017

by Layout Editor Skyler Bauman

The long awaited live action version of the 1991 classic Beauty and the Beast has finally arrived. Directed by Bill Condon, the film made has, so far, made an astounding $693.5 million worldwide. Overall, the film is predicted to earn $1 billion, as it nearly topped the charts for the most watched musical. In merely ten days, it became the highest grossing live-action musical in history, taking the first place spot from the beloved Mamma Mia.

It is hard to say what part of it I loved the most. From the cinematography and special effects to the exquisite music and casting, I hold the movie very dearly in my heart. I have seen it a total of three times already and have listened to nothing but that soundtrack since it came out March 17, and somehow it has managed to maintain the initial magic of my seeing it for the first time.

Granted, the movie had the help of Harry Potter star Emma Watson as Belle to boost the ratings, yet there was a magic there that I believe would have been present even if Watson did not grace the film. With a “Be Our Guest” dinner scene that mirrored Disney’s animated classic Fantasia to filling in plot-holes that were left open in the animated version, Beauty and the Beast definitely delivered in all aspects.

The film also debuted Disney’s first minor LGBTQ+ character, taking the form of LeFou (Josh Gad), who falls for his devilish “best friend” Gaston (Luke Evans). This revolutionary act on Condon’s part will hopefully bring variety to the relationships featured in Disney films. Although this minute part of the movie raised major controversy, Condon asserts that LeFou’s part “...was so important. We have interracial couples — this is a celebration of everybody’s individuality, and that’s what’s exciting about it.” The abnormally diverse film clearly boded well for Beauty and the Beast, as the movie has topped the box office for two weekends in a row.

Another noteworthy part of the film resides in the music. From the toe-tapping beats of “Belle” to the beautiful melody of “Aria,” viewers leave the theatre feeling enchanted. Though the animated version will always have the original classics like “Gaston” and “Beauty and the Beast,” the new movie added to these by putting more instrumentals in the background. New songs like “Evermore” and “Days in the Sun” are sure to leave you feeling somehow engrossed with the characters.

The music, along with the impeccable cinematography, helps to put the audience inside the movie. As you watch, it feels as if you’re apart of Belle’s provincial town. The beautiful scenery and colors are worthy of the silver screen and must be seen by every Disney lover and musical fanatic worldwide. It preserves the best parts of the animated classics and adds parts that will become even more loved.

Deadrise,  a restaurant with killer food

Posted 20 March 2017

by Op-ed Editor Madison Stone

Deadrise is a waterfront seafood restaurant in historic Fort Monroe, Hampton, on top of the Old Point Comfort Marina. The restaurant provides a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices, including a bar and also a vegetarian friendly menu.  

When entering Deadrise, you are greeted with a comfortable yet active atmosphere. As an alternative to sitting inside of the restaurant, you can enjoy harborside dining on the balcony overlooking Mill Creek’s sail boat launch. The scenery is breathtaking as you gaze upon the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay during the day and the sunset in the evening. One can also view the city lights of Tidewater at night.

The restaurant is also in close walking proximity to historical locations, including Fort Monroe. Deadrise is a great spot to dine during warmer weather because one can enjoy the breathtaking views from the balcony while eating a delicious meal. Because Deadrise is located on top of Old Point Comfort Marina, there is a small flight of stairs leading up to the restaurant. A ramp is not provided for entrance purposes, so elderly people and people with injuries may have a hard time getting up to the restaurant.

Deadrise is a small restaurant, and it can get busy quickly. To avoid the hassle of waiting  for a seat, I would advise you to make reservations ahead of time. The time of day and the day of the week you visit the restaurant can affect how busy it is and how long it takes to be seated. Fortunately, the food comes fairly quickly, and you do not have to wait long once you are seated.

Deadrise is exceptionally clean inside and meets sanitation code. Outside on the balcony, the tables are wiped down and neatly arranged, waiting for the next customer to be seated.

Deadrise has exceptionally polite service, and the staff are always friendly and attentive. The servers are punctual and treat the guests with respect and good manners. The Deadrise servers check on each of the customers regularly, making sure their food order is correct, and they are more than willing to refill the customer’s drinks when needed. Though attentive, they still provide their customers with privacy to enjoy their meal.

The food at Deadrise is moderate and reasonably priced  for the quality it is. The food is absolutely fantastic and cooked to perfection, as ordered. Their seafood menu is excellent. The fries are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the drinks are cold and crisp. Not only is the food and service good, the presentation of the food is artful as well.

Deadrise is a great family restaurant for seafood lovers and a great place to gather and have a genuine get-together. Every visit is enjoyable and fun to experience. On their Facebook page, customers have rated the restaurant on average a total of 4 out of 5 stars, throughout a total of 225 reviews. You will never leave hungry or unsatisfied.

The xx’s newest full-length album intriguing, but lacking the appeal of their first

Posted 24 March 2017

by Reporter Corey Edwards

Mercury prize winners, the xx released their newest full length album, I See You, on January 13 after five years of radio silence. It is the follow up to their polarizing sophomore album, Coexist. These guys have been on my radar since their 2009 debut self-titled album, which I enjoyed quite a bit. The xx have a knack for songwriting that is unheard of these days, piling infectious hooks onto minimalist instrumentals. Although subtle, one of the most memorable parts of their music is their whispery vocals, which are the cornerstone of every memorable xx song. Off their first album, “VCR” shows off this quality perfectly with a softly spoken but still infectious hook.

            While I still enjoyed their debut album a lot, I fell out of touch with the group when they released Coexist, the follow up to their acclaimed first album. It was too far down the line of minimalism and consequently I probably couldn’t tell you half of the song titles because it’s just that unmemorable.

            Despite my lack of faith, I started to have high hopes for a new xx album when I heard one of the member’s solo projects in 2015, In Colour by Jamie xx. It included way fewer subtle electronics than the group’s usual mellow sound. On top of that, the loops and samples were bright and tasteful, helping set an atmosphere that fit the title of the album.

            Unfortunately, my hopes were shattered after I heard the first single, “On Hold.” It is the epitome of my least favorite type of xx song. Drab and directionless, the song eluded any type of hook or memorability. However, this did not stop me from enjoying a few songs off of the album. The first track, “Dangerous,” has a tasteful bass and trumpet combination to start off the record with a bang. I was surprised by how upbeat and lively the track was. “Say Something Loving” also caught my attention with it’s catchy hook and lyrics that are effective at portraying a youthful romance. One other song I enjoyed a lot on the album is “Brave for You,” which had a strong hook and guitar melody that can only be influenced by popular 80s band the Cure.

            The major issue with the overall album is inconsistency. For every track I like, there are two or three I think are boring. “Performance” stumbles along with a tired vocals and an instrumental that is way too minimal to make up for the lack of finesse and liveliness that the vocals produce. “Replica” and “I Dare You” are the same way, reminding me of the reasons I had such a distaste for this album’s predecessor. The closing track, “Test Me,” does not help put the album back on track but only serves as a disappointing ending to the album.

        If you are a longtime xx fan, definitely listen to I See You for the few great tracks I listed. If you are curious about the band, you’d probably be better off trying out their debut first, where every song makes a substantial impression, and the overall album doesn’t slow to a crawl like I See You. For now, I think I will probably stick to the debut and Jamie xx’s solo album, hoping they pick up some newfound energy on their future LPs.

 Dodgeball provides money for prom

Senior Dodgeball Tournament Slide

Posted 23 March 2017

by Reporters Amber Belvin and Alice Bishop

Dodgeball provides money for prom   

The special moment for seniors is right around the corner - prom! With this special occasion coming up, money is needed to pay, and dodgeball was the chosen answer by Senior Antonio Morales.

Friday, March 10th at 3:30 was the grand day of the senior dodgeball tournament, including Team Skittles led by Senior Hailee Fansler, Team Gladiators led  by Freshman Blackpanther Mason, Cafeteria Ladies by Cafeteria Lady Donna Yeates, and last Team Nike led by Morales. Senior Antonio Morales was in charge of this event, along with Senior Class Sponsors Carlos Morales and Evelyn Whitt. Whitt played the lead role of guiding A.Morales through setting up the fundraiser, and Sponsor Morales helped referee the game and helped Antion with setting up the tournament.

“The goal of the tournament was to raise enough money for prom and after prom,” said Whitt. It was five dollars per person to play, thirty dollars per team, and one dollar to view the game. Raffle tickets were also sold. One of the four teams, Team Skittles, played to support the Senior body, and Team Captain Hailee Fansler gave pep talks, collected the team money, and made sure everyone had a fantastic time. This tournament was the last fundraiser before prom. It raised over five hundred dollars.

Team Nike dominated Team Skittles, leaving Senior Hailee Fansler, the last opponent, standing against everyone on the opposing team,  leaving the viewers silenced in anticipation of the outcome between the odds. Team Nike won first place. Second place winner was Team Gladiators.Last but not least, Team Skittles came in third.

At the end of the tournament, Team Nike received their first place trophies after dominating the other teams. Team Gladiator won their second place trophies because of their competitiveness against the other teams. “It went great. [There were] many moments of excitement,” claimed Sponsor Morales. Everyone was surprised by the number students that were engrossed in the event. Everyone on the teams seemed to get along.

“[We've been] best friends for years, and wanted to win closest team,” said Team Skittles Player Skyler Bauman, a senior. Most of the teams wore matching outfits. The Cafeteria Ladies had their theme of Saint Patrick’s Day, Fansler said, “We saw comedic shirts online, and wanted to mimic them.” Some members from Team Nike wore seemingly matching colored shirts and shorts, whereas Team Gladiator wore outfits that didn’t match. Team Cafeteria Ladies won most spirited for their Saint Patrick's Day theme.

Overall, the dodgeball tournament was a great success, raising money for the the seniors for their prom. With other fundraisers done for prom, the outcome of the dodgeball tournament certainly appears to have given the final push towards completion.


 Foreign Lang. Dept. sponsors special week


This poster with the missing puzzle piece is encouraging students to participate in Foreign Language Week. Sponsored by the GHS Foreign Language Department, this week will be celebrated March 13-17. Photo by Reporters Connor Hughes and Tyler Langley.

Posted on 15 March 2017, Wednesday

by Reporters Connor Hughes and Tyler Langley

The GHS Foreign Language Department is sponsoring Foreign Language week this week, March 13-17.

National Foreign Language week is an event that has been held every year in America since 1957 by the organization Alpha Mu Gamma. It was founded by sister Eloise Therese, the National president of Alpha Mu Gamma from 1956 to 1960. Sister Eloise felt as though there was not enough national attention for foreign languages.

Foreign Language week is aimed to encourage students to learn a foreign language. Lynn Whitt, GHS Spanish Club Sponsor and Spanish teacher said, “The point of foreign language week is to excite students about foreign language studies.” The event takes place every March.

Whitt said, “The foreign language teachers plan the week out.” All the foreign language teachers work to encourage people to join a foreign language class.

Teachers encourage taking foreign languages by having foreign language students design posters as a grade so that these posters can be hung around school. Some posters are even entered into a contest where they are judged against other students’ posters from around the state. These works are displayed around the school, though mostly in A hall.

Each day is dedicated to a different language: Monday, French; Tuesday,  Spanish; Wednesday, Latin; Thursday, German; and Friday, Chinese.

On Thursday evening, March 16, the department hosts the foreign language banquet.

National Honor Society inducts new members

NHS Photos

by Assistant Layout Editor Alyssa O'Beirne

Posted 14 March 2017

Friday, Feb. 10 the GHS National Honor Society (NHS) inducted 81 new members.

Two hundred fifteen current members stood behind the initiates.  NHS Adviser Katie Johnson, along with a five-member faculty council, reviewed the academic and extra-curricula records of the inductees prior to the event. Johnson said, “Whether [students] were inducted or not was based on their service, scholarship, leadership and character.”

The event took place in the GHS auditorium during fourth period. The NHS student officers stood on stage and recited different characteristics that NHS inductees should uphold, such as integrity and honesty. At this formal candle-light recognition ceremony, the inductees recited the society’s pledge. Each student was called by name to the stage to sign NHS handbook.

NHS is comprised of members willing to work hard for a cause and complete tasks such as upholding and good character traits, completing community service hours, being a student with integrity, and maintaining an honest reputation within your society.

To be accepted into the NHS  program, a student must meet numerous requirements:: having 3.5 or better grade point average (GPA), involvement in extracurricular activities, and no discipline referrals while at GHS.

Sophomore Victoria Causby, a  new inductee,  said, “It took a lot of work and dedication to get to this point. Long nights of homework (and tears) have made me more studious.”

Causby also said, “Many nights of studying and hard wor  have gotten me and other students to the place we are.  I refused to procrastinate and chose to take pride in my schoolwork, which is also my advice for upcoming future inductees.” Causbt was “excited for what the future holds.”

Sophomore Cameron Thomas, another new inductee, said, “To be in this program, you must keep up with your school work. Make sure you do not procrastinate!”

NHS members must participate in community service and projects. These requirements are frequently discussed at the after school meetings located in the Duke Rock Café. Members this year will sponsor a “Dude be Nice” week,volunteer at the Montessori School dinner in April, and donate canned goods to the Page backpack program. Members give ten dollars and collect donations from the community to support such programs.  The NHS program does not receive a stipend or money from within the school or outside residence, but is sustained through dues and fundraisers.  These dues go toward National Dues that the program has to pay once a year, induction supplies, graduation supplies, and supplies needed for NHS.

Being a part of the National Honor Society program is not only honorable but serves a purpose, according to Johnson, who said,  “ NHS members raise awareness and support local small businesses within their community (by completing 25 local service hours).”

Lucifer: A devilishly good T.V. show


Lucifer, a Fox Network show also on Hulu, is about the devil’s escapades throughout Los Angeles. The newest episode was stellar. Photo by Reporter Tyler Langley.

Posted 2 March 2017

Reporters Tyler Langley and Connor Hughes

Lucifer is a television series in which the devil decides to leave hell with his demon henchwoman Mazikeen. They come to earth five years before the beginning of the show and settle in Los Angeles, California, where the duo start a nightclub named Lux. Five years later, Delilah, a girl who used to work at Lux, shows up, asking Lucifer if the bad things she has been experiencing are the result of her selling her soul to him for a favor.  He explains that she didn't sell her soul and that any bad things that happened to her after the favor were her doing.

But, as fate would have it, she gets killed as Lucifer walks her to her car, and Lucifer swears vengeance on whoever had her killed. Because of her death, he meets Chloe Decker, an L.A. detective working on Delilah’s case. Lucifer ends up working with Chloe to solve that case and continues to assist Decker with other cases throughout the series.

The latest episode, titled “A Good Day to Die,” opens up with a last time segment explaining that Chloe has been poisoned and the man who poisoned her killed himself. The main problem is that the man who poisoned her was the only person who possessed the the recipe to the antidote. To solve this problem, Mazikeen, at her boss’s request, kills  Lucifer so that he can return to hell to try to get the antidote from the poisoner.

Although the plot of this episode starts rather slowly, when Chloe's health began to fail and Lucifer decided to go to hell, the episode became more exciting.We think the episode was pretty good, because it was different from past episodes. Having Lucifer return to hell was a new idea; while he’s in hell, we also get an interesting scene where he is faced with the doorway to his own personal hell because he had murdered brother. What makes that scene so dramatic and holds our attention is Lucifer’s having to murder his brother eternally, as his personal punishment.  In our opinion, this episode was stellar.

Lucifer is not a perfect show. One of its chief flaws in this episode is its special effects. The green screen used to depict hell is not effective; it’s visually unattractive and cheap.. In previous episodes, there was more artistry to the background of hell. However, the show does have some effectively cinematography. For example, the producers use a beautiful bird’s eye view of LA when they transition scenes. That cinematography and the dramatization of “A Good Day to Die” makes this an episode worth watching.


GHS Snowcoming Week: Winterball Dance-Revised

Spirit Week - Day 5

Spirit Day 4

Day 3 Spirit Week

Spirit Day 2

Let It Go Day-R

Snowcoming makes a chilling experience

By News Editor Victoria Causby,  Feature Editor Christian Banks, Op-Editor Madison Stone, and Assistant Layout Editor Natoya Smith 

3 February 2017

Senior Class Sponsor and Spanish Teacher Mrs. Lynn Whitt affectionately holds the spirit stick, won by the Class of 2017 at the fall pep rally. SCA Sponsor and History Teacher Mrs. Rowe shows off her spirit fingers. They’re both ready for Snowcoming 2017, are you? Pictures by News Editor Victoria Causby.

The fun and festivities of Snowcoming/Spirit Week begins Mon., February 6 with various styles of dress throughout the week and culminates on Saturday, February 11 with a 4:00 PM dinner provided by Juan’s in the Duke Rock Cafe followed by the main event at  7::00 PM, the dance in the Commons.

Senior Class Sponsor and Spanish Teacher Mrs. Whitt said, “Spirit Week gives us a break from normalcy.”

Monday, February 6 is “Let It Go” day, a day for students to wear their comfiest pair of sweatpants. Tuesday is “Team Tuesday,” where students can proudly wear their favorite sports apparel.

Wednesday is Spirit Day, where students can wear their favorite red and gold clothing in support of the Varsity Dukes Basketball team. During the school day students will attend the pep rally to “hype-up” the Varsity Dukes Basketball team’s last home game.

Thursday will be Hat Day, where students can donate a dollar in support of the Police Unity Tour. To finish the week off, Friday will be Flannel Shirt Day.

Snowcoming/Spirit week ends with the Winter Ball on Saturday 11. Freshman can  purchase tickets for the dinner and/or dance during lunches beginning Monday, Feb. 6 through Friday. Sophomores can begin buying tickets Tuesday; juniors, Wednesday, and seniors, Thursday.

The prices of tickets for the dance are only $10 for singles and $15 for couples. Tickets for the dinner, hosted by Juans in the Duke Rock Cafe, are $25 for singles and $45 for couples. During the dance, refreshments will be free of charge. Money raised from ticket sales will go to Senior Prom and the after party.  

Those wishing to help the senior class on Saturday with the dinner or dance can contact Senior Class President Macy Calder or Mrs. Whitt.

Mac Miller shows a softer side with The Divine Feminine

By Feature Editor Christian Banks

posted 17 January 2017

            Mac Miller’s fourth studio album, The Divine Feminine, was released on September 16th, 2016. Many of Miller’s longtime fans were surprised at his growth as an artist. Some of his older works were critiqued as being written lazily and with no sense of direction or overarching theme.

The Divine Feminine is a more emotionally driven album than what fans were expecting. TDF ventures more into the neo-soul and jazz rap genres that have been all the rage lately. The album features many other well known artists, including Cee Lo Green, Kendrick Lamar, and Miller’s girlfriend Ariana Grande.

While the album theme overall is about love and romance, other songs dive into deeper subjects. For example, “Dang!” focuses on the loss of a loved one; “Stay” revolves around mutual separation. The album features ten tracks: “Congratulations,” “Dang!,” “Stay,” “Skin,” “Cinderella,” “Planet God Damn,” “Soulmate,” “We,” “My Favorite Part,” and “God is Fair, Sexy Nasty.”

Miller’s album really starts to shine with the second song, “Dang!” featuring up and coming neo-soul artist Anderson Paak. Paak starts off with a very memorable verse, “I can’t keep on losing you over complications/ you’re gone too soon/ Wait/ We was just hangin’/ I can’t seem to hold on to you.” Paak mentioned in an interview with Rap Genius, a site that gives detailed explanations to song lyrics, that he wrote the hook for the song based on his experience with losing relatives who passed away. This song is a personal favorite of mine because of its powerful message.

Mac Miller has always been known for his inappropriate yet quite catchy lyrics and his high-strung personality. Although this is just his personality, it takes a toll in his new album. The lyrics often times collide with the melodies presented; this collision doesn’t create a good mixture.  His lyricism can be compared to a “well-meaning kid who just can’t stop kicking his feet up on the antique furniture,” as stated by PitchFork.com. But as said before, while Miller’s album is very well produced, his lyrics sometimes take away from the instrumentals and the purpose of the album.

Overall, The Divine Feminine delivers an incredible sound and breathes new life into Mac Miller’s style. Although Mac doesn’t dive too heavily into lyricism over the album’s ten tracks, he certainly makes up for it with amazing features, lovely sounds, and heartfelt rhythms. Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop lovers alike will rejoice over the album’s sonics alone. The Divine Feminine is a welcomed addition to Miller’s discography.


SCA food drive a success

                                                            SCA members and sponsor Mrs. Rowe, along with help from GHS staff and students, 

                                                            collect over 100 cans of food to donate to the Bread for Life Food Pantry on Main Street. 

                                                            Photo by Managing Editor Frances Knight.

SCA recognizes winter spirit in door decorating contest

Door Dec Winners

Season fashion statement at GHS

Ugly Sweaters2

Holiday spirit at Gloucester High School

by Reporter Summer Smith

15 December 2016

Door Decor Slide

The holiday spirit is coming back to life at GHS. To show their school and holiday spirit, teachers and students have decorated entire hallways as well as the doors and surrounding lockers.

    Spanish Teacher Mrs.Whitt stayed after school with a group of students who volunteered to help decorate. While many students worked on hanging cards above lockers, others worked on decorating the doorways to the foreign language classrooms. Students made and decorated cards for each classroom. After they were finished,,all the cards that were created were put in a basket and were given to Mrs. Whitt.

    The lights streamed up along with the decorations made the hall look very holiday spirited and creative.

    Many believe that the decorations in the foreign language hall were put up to show different cultures. Sophomore Zeften Steinour said, “There are a lot more decorations than other halls, and it also shows students different cultures around the world. It gives students an idea on what foreign language has to offer, and shows how foreign language classes are widely cultured aside from most core classes.”

    Many also believe that decorating is all work and no play; well, that is not the case for these students. All of these decorations were achieved within the time of 2:46-4:30 after school, and this was the only day these students had to do this work. However, one of the student volunteers  brought a speaker and played Christmas music. Students were dancing and singing along to the Christmas tunes as they worked.  When it hit the 4:30 mark, they were done. The participants finally completed all of the doors and felt accomplished seeing all the work they had done.

    Along with the decorating hallways, teachers and students are also decorating the doors of classrooms. Students and teachers have decorated the doors as holiday trees, present wrappers, snowflakes, snowmen, and much more. These door decorators are getting very creative with their masterpieces. 

            The door decorating contest ends on December 15 in order for the judging to start after school. Judges remain anonymous; however, Mrs. Rowe calls them her “elves.” With the decorating of the doors and the holiday parade, it is safe to say Gloucester is a very spirited place for this time of year.

The Gloucester community makes a fantastic holiday season for those in need

by Reporter Ethan Miller

14 December 2016

                                           Key Club members volunteer at their blood drive. Seniors Gabby Richels, Sara Eddy, Hattie Yeager, Faith   

                                                    Esperanza, and Mya Pogue were on hand to help out. Picture by News Editor Victoria Causby.


Drop-off boxes, like this one in the  Counseling Office, have toys that will to some needy children thanks for 

Toys for Tots. This was one of the many charity opportunities at GHS in December. Picture by News Editor 

Victoria Causby.

Here in Gloucester, people have many opportunities to make charitable contributions to help children, adults, even animals this holiday season.

The Toys for Tots is an organization that gives toys to children in need. They collect new, unwrapped toys to distribute to kids who are less fortunate. Toys for Tots has been giving toys since 1991, and is still around today. Even here at GHS students and faculty can  donate toys. Locations for toy drop-offs are Guidance, the Main Office, and room C163; contributions will be accepted until December 16.

The SCA is collecting nonperishable food items until December 16th. Students can go to any of theirs classes, A-124 or the Library to drop off these food items. They will be donated to local food banks in Gloucester.

The American Red Cross is all about donating blood. A pint can save up to three people. Students can also volunteer their time to help the American Red Cross if they are under-aged or aren’t comfortable with needles. Sixteen year olds can donate blood with parental consent here in Virginia.

The GHS Key Club is sponsoring a blood drive Dec. 14 all day in the auxiliary gym. The blood goes to hospitals where there are people in need of a blood transfusion. “Take a little, give a little, that's what it’s all about,” said Donor Fox McPherson. Those who do donate get free T-shirts.  

Operation Gratitude sends care packages to military personnel who are deployed overseas; it also encourages people to write letters to those soldiers. It only takes a pen to support this charity.   

The Habitat for Humanity’s goal is simple: Build homes to those who lack one. People can volunteer to help any of their programs, all of which help to build houses. People can also donate furniture for this organization to sell. Those funds are to help build those homes.

There are children who have parents in prison, and those parents don’t usually get to be with their families. Angel Tree helps parents give gifts to their children, and makes sure that the families have a strong connection. Child’s Play gets hospital administrators to create lists of toys and game systems. People can donate games and toys to be placed in the rooms of those sick children. They have raised over 40 million dollars since 2003.

Charities don’t just have to be for people, either. People can volunteer to help with animal shelters around the world, and help find those animals find homes. There are thousands of animals just waiting to have homes, and people everywhere can help them find one. There are also charities like the National Wildlife Federation and the Animal Welfare Institute to help stop the abuse of animals. Charities like the Marine Mammal Center help with sea animals like seals, sea lions, and otters who are beached, malnourished, weaned too early, struck by boats, shark-bitten, or sick, and helps them get better before returning them to the ocean. The Honeybee Conservancy helps with the global bee population and you can sponsor a hive to help raise bee numbers.

There is also the Gloucester Mathews Humane Society that helps with the adoption of animals. People can volunteer to feed, clean, and care for the animals in the shelter. The volunteers can walk dogs, answer phone calls, clean cages and more. The Humane Society has been working since 1912 to help animals in the area.

There are also charities for civil and human rights. The American Refugee Committee helps with people who suffered from disasters. They provide essentials like wood and water plus long-term services such as agricultural support and psychosocial counseling.

These charities have done a lot of good for people (and animals) all around the world. Even if some people can’t do much to help, doing as little as recommending these charities to their friends and family can go a long way.

Pie’s great around the holidays, especially one in particular

by Reporter Mariah Aubrey

14 December 2016

With all of the festive dishes that come around this time of year, one can be certain almost every holiday celebration comes with pie. A wide variety of pies are certainly eaten around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but ultimately the most common pies enjoyed on these joyus holidays are apple, mincemeat, pecan, and pumpkin. But at GHS, only one is tops.

Each of these pies have special ingredients that make them the holiday desserts we enjoy so much today, and they can sometimes even bring back memories as sweet as the pies themselves. “Warm apple pie out of the oven takes me back to my little kid days when my great grandmother would make them every time we visited,” says Junior Nick Chapelle.

Memories they may evoke, but they all can have different variations to how they are made or eaten.

Apple pie, a sweet dessert originally from England, is normally made with a pie crust with an apple and cinnamon filling. It’s no wonder this pie has grown so popular and is still around today, considering the warm sweet freshness the pie has that most people love. Apple pie can be eaten with many different sides, such as vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and even sometimes cheese.

Pumpkin pie is a delicious dessert that actually originated here in America and Canada. This pie has a pumpkin based custard filling, with some seasonal spices, such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Just a taste of this dessert can put people in a festive mood. This is one big reason why pumpkin pie is loved around the holidays. Like most pies, this is usually enjoyed with some whipped cream dolloped on top.

Pecan pie is a delightful dessert originally created by the French. This pie contains eggs, butter, and sugar filling mixed with pecans and sometimes can have different syrups, or honey. To top it off there are pecans all over the top of the pie covered in sweet corn syrup. Just the thought of this delicious pie screams ‘festive.” Pecan pie is normally served hot and can be enjoyed with some vanilla ice cream.

Mincemeat pie, originally from Britain, is another sweet dessert normally served around Christmas time.This pie used to contain meat when it first came about, but now can barely have any meat in it at all but it really depends on how the person makes it. A collection of dried fruits, such as apples, raisins, and spices like nutmeg are in Mincemeat pie. They can be served and taste just as great hot or cold.

From a survey conducted on Twitter (see “pie” chart below), the Dukes Dispatch found that the most popular pie out of these four is apple pie with 41% of the votes. The second most popular pie is pumpkin (30% of the votes), third is pecan (25% of the votes), and fourth is mincemeat pie (4% of the votes).

Even though these pies can have many different variations to them, they have always tied holiday food traditions together, never failing to put us in the holiday spirit.

Virginia's peninsula area celebrates the 2016 Christmas season

by Reporter Rebecca McTavish

13 December 2016

Yorktown's Lighted Boat Parade featured many sea-worthy vessels sharing the Christmas Spirit the evening of December 3.

Indulging in all of our oh-so-familiar Christmas traditions is a much loved way of appreciating and celebrating the Christmas season. And along with the Christmas classics, aromas of hot cocoa and winter fraser, carols, and gingerbread house crafting, you may also find yourself attending some of Gloucester's esteemed holiday events.

This year, Gloucester has had many fun and spirited festivities for friends and family to enjoy.

The Gloucester Holiday Parade, which took place in the Historic Court Circle on Main Street, was an experience featuring a multitude of bands, floats, and community cheer. Santa also joined the community in riding with the parade on December 3 at 3 p.m.

A popular event that also occurred this time of year was the annual Lighted Boat Parade. Visible from most locations along the Yorktown river, the parade featured beautifully lit yachts, canoes, sailboats, and more for the attendants to enjoy on Saturday, December 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Another popular attraction was Santa and His WorkShop On the Trail. This event featured a short, yet magical trek along a “naturally decorated” trail in search of Santa and the magic he brings with him. Located at Beaverdam Park, Santa’s workshop allowed attendants to enjoy such Christmas favorites as cookies and hot chocolate. You may have experienced this merry occasion anytime on December 10th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

ChristChurch school continued its tradition of bringing the Christmas spirit to the peninsula area and community for its 36th holiday season. Festival of Lessons and Carols by Candlelight encompassed an evening of decorative adornments of Christmas wreaths, ribbons, and an abundance of poinsettias, there to honor the memory of loved ones. Its chorus brought the Christmas spirit to anyone who attended on December 11th.

If you missed these previous events, you may still partake in some of following holiday celebrations:

Oh Christmas Tree Paint Night , taking place on the 13th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., brings people, experienced or not, together to create beautiful paintings of the traditional Christmas tree under the guidance of experienced painting instructors to help in creating masterpieces.

From December 21st to 22nd from 9:00a.m. to 1:00p.m., children ages 5-10 have an opportunity to participate in the Holiday Camp at Beaverdam Park to enjoy days of fun Christmas activities and crafts. Kids will participate on a winter hike accompanied with holiday snacks.

December 21st from 5p.m. - 10p.m., the Main Library will be hosting a holiday lock-in for students in grades 6-12. They will participate in activities such as scavenger hunts, movies, prizes, and more.

One special event that will be enjoyed all throughout the Christmas season from December 1st to the 31st is Colonial Christmas. The event, held at Jamestown Settlement, features Christmas traditions from the American Revolution,and gives people a glimpse into history from influential periods in time. There will also be a screening of  “A Jamestown Christmas,” which gives insight into the different customs of the early English settlement, as well as the English colonists’ Christmas out at sea.  The American Revolution Museum also includes a Christmas holiday experience in military encampments display.

Go out, experience holiday cheer within your community, and make memories to last forever this Christmas.

Rowling casts a spell on the box office with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

by Editor-in-Chief Macy Calder

In her screenwriting debut, Rowling casts a spell on the box office, mystifying her loyal Potterheads with the latest installment in the Wizarding World: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

David Yates, director of the final four Harry Potter films, connects the magic and buzz of the Roaring Twenties in America and the Wizarding World in this film. While Yates explores the lighthearted themes of friendship and magic, he also takes a lot of time showing the evil lurking beneath the surface. With the help of Eddie Redmayne’s outstanding on-screen charm and wit alongside some curious and misunderstood creatures, the magic that Potterheads have dearly missed returns yet again. As if one new film was not enough, Rowling has promised on Twitter that four more films are to follow.

A mysterious dark magical force is wreaking havoc in New York City, leaving destruction and terror in it’s path. With the efforts of Second Salemers (an anti-magic  group) threatening to expose the Wizarding World combined with the Magical Congress of the USA (the American version of the Ministry of Magic) attempting to mitigate the damage through memory charms, magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) could not have chosen a more unfortunate time for four of his magical creatures to escape from his suitcase and venture into the city. Scamander, with the help of the Goldstein sisters Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie (Alison Sudol) and their No-Maj (Muggle) friend Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), attempt to return his creatures to safety without being framed for the devastation to the city.

The setting of the film is nothing short of extravagant, illustrating a steampunk-ish love affair through beautiful interiors and intricate details on props and costumes alike, paired irresistibly with the hustle and bustle of New York City in the 1920’s. James Newton Howard also presents a magical score to match, using a blend of familiar tunes to pay homage to past Potter films and new whimsical arrangements to seamlessly accompany the film. Howard and production designer Start Craig paint the perfect picture for a vintage Potter film, but it is ultimately the quirky band of misfits at the front of this film that captures the audience’s full attention.

It is hard to imagine anyone other than Eddie Redmayne as the lead role of Newt Scamander. While Matt Smith and Nicholas Hoult were also considered, no one quite possesses the same odd mix of teenage humor and rebellion with a mature and steadfast heart on screen as Redmayne. As funny as he is loveable, Dan Fogler’s Jacob Kowalski is a joy to watch. The audience shares his comic disbelief and awestruck wonder as he watches magic unfold around himself. He fully captures the audience's heart with his desire to open up a fresh bakery of individually-made baked goods in an industrial society that increasingly offers machine-made products. Similarly, Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol are equally strong female leads, showing how the strength of one’s courage and friendship can save the day. Without their stellar performances, the film would have lacked the usual hints of spunk and fun that Rowling sprinkles through her work.

While the movie is as mystifying as it is refreshing for old Potterheads, the film rests upon extremely dark undertones. Rowling proves that even wizards are not perfect, bringing forth issues like capital punishment, child abuse, and untrustworthy governmental figures. In Fantastic Beasts, however, instead of having evil wizards presented as a snakelike man with red eyes yelling avada kedavra, the real villains are people. Children are capable of destruction and adults can be deceptive.

In some ways, this ominous evil became the focus of the film. While it may not have been on the minds of the characters, this cinematic approach made the audience feel suspended inside the antique Wizarding World rather than immersed in it. In some ways, his style over substance method that director David Yates utilizes in his film can be a little disappointing and unfulfilling for Potterheads, who have been doing nothing but dreaming about sitting in a movie theater watching Fantastic Beasts for months. This is not to say that we are not used to seeing dark features in Harry Potter films. However, the difference between the Harry Potter film series and Fantastic Beasts is that, rather than easing into more mature elements of good and evil film by film, Fantastic Beasts introduced these features within the first five minutes of the movie. Perhaps these initial dark elements gave the 1920’s Harry Potter universe depth and dimension; however, had there been a lighter introduction, the film would not only have fully satisfied but also have left the audience completely spellbound.

At the same time, this is why it is so important for the audience to walk into the movie with the mindset that Fantastic Beasts is not another edition to Harry Potter’s story. We would all love to see the characters we already know and love, but the audience must compartmentalize Newt Scamander and his friends separately in order to fully appreciate the craft and exploration that Rowling is establishing with this film.

While dark things are sure to lie ahead for Newt and his friends, the adventures to follow will undoubtedly continue to be fantastic.

Here’s a Christmas album to throw the Christmas spirit at you

by Op-Ed Editor Madison Stone

Thanksgiving has passed and the Christmas spirit has sprung; it’s time for cheery Christmas music. The album I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Fifth Harmony has the jolly songs you’re looking for.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas is an amazing album by Fifth Harmony featuring Meghan Trainor. The album was recorded in 2014 and released on November 24, 2014 by Records and Syco Entertainment. The album was such a hit that it ranked second on 2014 Top 10 albums.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas contains these songs: “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Winter Song,” “Noche de Paz,” “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” and of course, “I’ll Be Home.” I feel as though the album was thought out extremely well. The songs, though old, fit well together. All of the songs are popular during Christmas. Both artists are talented and make this album as good as a white Christmas.

Although each song has its own Christmas feel, all of them are pleasant to listen to. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is sung by both artists. Sung by Meghan Trainor, “Frosty the Snowman” is just as cheery as always. “Sleigh Ride,” sung by Fifth Harmony, is a bit slow, but still a great classic. Trainor’s rendition of “Winter Song” has a different beat from previous versions. Last was “Noche de Paz,” sung by Fifth Harmony. This song is outstanding. Not only did it give the album its Christmas feel, more than the other songs.  The added sounds of bells, for instance, make it feel as if you’re hearing Santa’s sleigh. The harmonizing of the two voices also make this song outstanding.

Overall, I’ll Be Home for Christmas is a great album to listen to when you are ready for Christmas. I strongly recommend buying the album, or listening to it for free on Pandora.  Although the album has only seven songs, it’s so full of Christmas cheer you could listen to the songs more than once. Next time you are in the mood for some Christmas music to cuddle up to, listen to I’ll Be Home for Christmas.  

Follow these tips to survive your next next Black Friday experience

by Reporter Jasmine West

Brianna Twitchell holds all of her bags after a successful day of Black Friday shopping. 
Photo by Reporter Jasmine West.
  1. Have a plan so that you know where and when you're going to go .

When you begin your journey of hardcore shopping, it may help to have a target. Getting the right store that will supply you with all the goods that your heart desires without the hassle of  “store jumping.”

2. Go to whatever store the day before and hide what you want.

By doing this you’ll have all that you’re looking for, where only you can find them. This will speed up your shopping and get you out of there faster. Freshman Rebecca McTavish says, “Although it may not be very considerate, you've gotta do what you've got to do.”

3. Have all your coupons ready so you can check out without having problems.

Being organized with your coupons is best because it helps you when you check out. This way you're not rummaging around in a mess of things for them.

4. Bring cash so you don’t go over budget.

Doing this will help you spend only what you planned while staying in budget.

5. Park as far away from the store as you can.

Parking far away will get you out faster and safer than being really close to the store.  Rather than having to drive around just to get to the exits at the back of the store.

6. Hurry and get everything you need and get out.

As you all should know, getting only the necessities instead of browsing around will get you out a lot faster, to help skip the awful traffic.

7. Be as fast as you can.

This can help in saving time money, and your feet from being destroyed from all those carts.

8. Don't forget the pepper spray.

Having pepper spray can help you get away or out of a dangerous situation.

9.  Never let your things out of your sight.

Letting your thing’s out of  sight can be a big problem. Someone can take your things, and since there’s so many people you won’t know who and it’ll be gone.

10. Put your hair up so people can’t pull it.

A lot of people are very serious about Black Friday shopping, so there are a few that will get angry. This means that you should try your best to be cautious.

11. Wear tight clothes.

Wearing baggy clothes could be a problem. Hardcore Black Friday shoppers will do anything to get what they want. This includes a little bit of violence,grabbing, and pulling.

12. Closed toe shoes will be best.

People are rushing and not looking where they are going, so your feet will be at danger at all times.

13. Don’t let people get to close.

Yes, there will be people everywhere and all around, but if you let them get too close you can get stuck or they could take your things as well.

14.  Don't go alone it’s dangerous out there on your own.

Always have someone go with you, so you can get everything you need, and have someone helping you get through the frenzy of crazy.

15. Always have your phone on you.

You never know what could happen, so always having your phone on you is the best option.

All of these tips are from other Black Friday shoppers’ experiences and how they get through. Follow them, and you’ll get through your next Black Friday with ease. Some of these tips you can use in everyday shopping.

No two Thanksgiving traditions alike

by Reporter Mariah Aubrey

28 November 2016

Almost everyone expects to find turkey on the table at Thanksgiving. But some people at GHS found other interesting items on their T-Day menus. Graphic provided courtesy of StockPhotosforFree.com.

Thanksgiving traditions can differ from family to family, but ultimately November 24th celebrates the joy of coming together as a family. Though this holiday and it’s tradition is widely celebrated, these traditions can range from specific secret recipes to special movies only viewed that day. No matter how many times they do the ritual or how quirky the tradition may be, these special activities still manage to maintain their novelty and fun when the holiday comes.

Food is a huge part of every family’s Thanksgiving tradition, but it can be executed in many different ways. Traditional food often includes, green beans, turkey, ham, sweet and mashed potatoes, pie. While these foods are sure to appear on everyone’s table, they can be prepared in a variety of different ways. People have their own recipes when it comes to making these traditional dishes and they are often passed down through generations. Renee Hypes, an Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences teacher, makes a special cranberry sauce or relish that only her and her mom make; or how Senior MJ Frederick starts making his family's turkey 15-24 hours in advance to give it a better taste.

Activities, planning, and company can vary when it comes to family traditions. For one, there are many different games to enjoy with your family on Thanksgiving day. Sophomore Brodie Carter spends this time with his family by playing horseshoes and corn hole. Those are only a few of the many activities people do on this day. Senior Alexis Belcher sits with her immediate family to enjoy a game of football, a very common Thanksgiving activity.

The company a person has plays a big role on Thanksgiving. But, not everyone has the same amount of friends and family around them on Thanksgiving, whether it's just someone and their immediate family at home enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner, or someone traveling miles away to have a huge Thanksgiving with your whole entire family, much like Sophomore Billy Carpender, who gathers at the same house every year with his family.

Anytime a person is having company over or getting ready for a holiday like Thanksgiving, one would have to plan and prepare, and this is something many people have in common when it comes to Thanksgiving. Some people would prepare for Thanksgiving by getting up earlier to cook food or helping clean up the house or decorate.

Last, one of the best perks that come with the Thanksgiving tradition is the funny memories made from spending this time with family. This is the one thing that differs the most when it comes to Thanksgiving tradition because no two memories could be alike. “We got the pre-cooked turkey because one year we overstuffed it and, long story short, it kind of blew up,” says Junior Nick Chapelle, as this is one of his funniest memories of Thanksgiving. Another funny situation is freshman Kylee Simpson’s funny memory, where her aunt accidentally overcooked the turkey, so they had to go out and get a new one, and they ended up not eating Thanksgiving till around 12 in the morning. Those are just some of the many stories and memories shared on this day.

But, of all of these the most important part of the Thanksgiving tradition is to remind

ourselves every year give thanks and be grateful for all that we have.

GHS alumna offers sage advice

by News Editor Victoria Causby

Bailey Carrington joins Katie Byrd and sister Molly Carrington to save a moment after the 2015 GHS Graduation Ceremony. Photo by Mark Carrington.

17 November 2016

Bailey Carrington, 2015 GHS graduate and current sophomore at Tidewater Community College, recently offered counsel to GHS seniors and underclass students.

            Causby: What advice would you give to seniors graduating from GHS about college?

            Carrington: Be prepared to work for the next two to six years of your life. School work doesn’t go away. Go to class. I know that the frat boys are throwing a party and everything, but it will definitely benefit your education more if you just go to class. Some teachers require attendance.

            Causby: How did GHS help prepare you for college?

            Carrington: Some of my Dual Enrollment classes prepared me for the workload that comes with college classes.

            Causby: What helps get you through college?

            Carrington: My planner because it helps keep me organized and on top of my assignments. The syllabus is an amazing tool because that’s your schedule for the next semester, and nine times out of ten, the professor is just going to tell you to refer to the syllabus anyways.

            Causby: Now that you’re a college student, what advice would you have given to your senior self?

            Carrington: I had a very good GPA, but I still wish I had tried harder. I could have gotten an 87 on something, and I would shame myself for not getting a 90. I wish I had studied more, and put more effort into my studies, especially math.

           Causby: What's the biggest difference between high school and college?

            Carrington: You don’t necessarily have to go to class, which can be dangerous. It’s so easy to procrastinate and get behind. Even if you only have one class, it is still easy to get behind in that one class.

            Causby: How did your opinion of college from a high school senior perspective change now that you actually are a college student?

            Carrington: I thought that I would be going to so many parties and making so many new friends. Now all I do is get caught up on homework and go to work so I can support my education.

Causby: How does a college atmosphere differ from a high school one (teachers, friends, food, etc.)?

            Carrington: You have a lot more freedom obviously. Teachers are there to teach, but if you need help in the class, you have to wait for their specific office hours. They have lives just as much as we do. Making friends isn’t hard you just have to put yourself out there. College really helps you come out of your comfort zone. If you have a job, then you can eat pretty much anything you want. You don’t have to restrict yourself to food on campus. At my community college, things are very limited, so you have to go off campus to have a decent meal.

            Causby: What was your favorite moment from high school?

            Carrington: When I received my Humanitarian award at the Senior Award Ceremony. During FFA, I was involved in so many community projects. I love helping people, and giving back to the community is so satisfying. When I get my degree in Agriculture Education, I hope to open a small farm so that  kids can come and learn about sustainability, and hopefully I can give back to the community by providing them with locally grown crops and  locally raised meat. Also serving as the FFA President for my senior was an awesome moment as well.

Causby: What valuable life lessons did you take away from high school and apply to college?

            Carrington: Striving for more is always an amazing goal to have. People have so much potential to do so many incredible things. Even if things get tough, I just stick it out because I know it will all be worth it in the end.


Students take the reins for the new school store

By Reporters Mariah Aubrey and Ethan Miller

GHS's new school store is in business. Picture by Lexi Belcher.

10 November 2016

That’s right. Students are running the school store. GHS’s school store has recently opened and already, students have purchased multiple items from it.

Career and Technical Education Teacher Mrs. Outten said, “The skills and experience they gain in the store can be listed on a resume to help them obtain part-time employment. It also gives them first-hand knowledge of what is involved in running a business.”  

Students who take Mrs. Outten’s Entrepreneurship class are divided into teams of two and are each given shifts to run the store. The students have different jobs or tasks to complete while they are working in the store. These include working behind the cash register, counting the money earned, remembering to turn off the register at the end of their shift, locking the cash drawer, checking inventory, counting the items to see how much is left, listing items to be restocked, and restocking items if needed.

Currently, this store has yet to be given a name. Mrs. Outten has plans for a contest to come up with a name for the store. The person who comes up with the best name will win a $25 Visa gift card.

            The store is open before school from 7.20 am to 7:40 am and after school from 2:55-3:20 pm, and during all lunch periods. The store sells food and drinks, pencils, paper, binders, USB drives, and  many other school supplies. What they sell is mainly up to Mrs. Outten, but her students can recommend what to sell as well.

            The most popular items that have been sold so far have been food and drinks. Candy has been a very popular snack, which means that Mrs. Outten and her Entrepreneurship class must have plenty of goodies in stock. Teachers also buy candy to use as rewards for participation in classroom activities. The money earned from selling candy goes towards funding the school store.

            The idea of having a school store run mostly by students came from Mr. Avery, Assistant Principal and CTE Supervisor. The store is used as a hands-on lesson on how a business is run.

          In running the store, students learn the basics of business and the act of managing the store shows them what entrepreneurship is like. The room that holds the school store also houses the Bayport Credit Union. Students can create a bank account for easy access to their money for quick and simple purchases.

        Mrs. Outten believes that this opportunity will be incredibly useful for her students’ future.

Jonathan Meade West, Jr. is named the 2016-17 Duke of the Year

by Reporter Summer Smith

25 October 2016

Senior Jon West proudly showing off his award. Picture by Reporter Summer Smith.

The 2016-17 “Duke Of the Year” is Jonathan West.

The “Duke of the Year” is a senior who demonstrates the leadership and values we expect for in students here at GHS. Nominees have been known to go above and beyond the call for duty. They participate in their school and offer service to the community,achieve high marks academically, treat others around them with respect and dignity, take responsibility for what goes on around them, and follow the rules of society.

West said, “I didn’t win Duke of the Year by myself. I was up against some good competition, and I could not have done with on my own. It’s an award that everyone has helped me with, especially God.”  He was most inspired by his father Jonathan West, Sr., who has been his role model and hero for the longest time.

As the team captain of the varsity football team, West demonstrates leadership daily, keeping a variety of people on the same page. Besides serving as team captain for varsity football, he is defensive end, making sure nothing gets outside of him and that the quarterback doesn’t fake and run outside with the ball. No one passes him, and he helps out if someone gets inside. Jon also displays leadership in the NJROTC.

Ms. Jacqueline Riva, his physics teacher, noted the level of dedication responsibility Jon demonstrates. When he missed a week of class for an NJROTC event, without being asked even once, he collected all his makeup work and finished it all within a week. Riva described  West as a classy and overall perfect young man.

On a humorous note, she relayed an anecdote about a particular “debate” over sports teams.  West had been wearing a Virginia Tech sweatshirt, so Ms. Riva pretended to not talk to him for a while. Once the silence broke between the two, West asked if it would make her feel better if he took of the sweatshirt. When she said yes, he took off his sweatshirt to reveal a Virginia Tech T-shirt.

Other than leadership, responsibility and dedication, and a sense of humor, West is just a country boy at heart. He enjoys listening to country music; some of his favorites include  George Jones, Rascal Flatts, and Brad Paisley.

But he has other passions too. He enjoys watching football, his favorite team being the Washington Redskins. He also shares a love for history and government, finding interesting to look back on history and learn from it. He believes that  history can repeat itself, but if we can learn from it, we can change.

West sees himself majoring in political science as well. But in ten years, he expects to be “ commanding a naval vessel.”

Niall Horan sends an uproar through the One Direction fandom

by Reporter Sara Whiteman

One Direction’s own Niall Horan had fans in an uproar on September 29. That morning, the song “This Town” hit iTunes, Spotify and a number of music apps and websites. “This Town” almost instantly reached number one on the music billboards, leading him to obtain a new record in solo musician history.

“This Town” explores the genres of folk music and ballads, which if you are a fan of One Direction, you know is not his normal style. The release of this single was definitely a surprise to the fandom of One Direction, causing mixed emotions, shock and even a number one trend on Twitter. The  release was before the already shaken fandom learned that the song caused tension between Niall and One Direction’s “creator,” Simon Cowell.

Simon had since the inception of the group that he considered Niall to be the most faithful to One Direction. After “This Town” came out, he began to think otherwise.Niall Horan, 23, is known by many fans as the “favored” member of One Direction. With his blond hair, blue eyes and charming Irish accent, fans have been falling for him since the band’s union back in 2010.

In 2015, the band announced that they would be taking a hiatus from One Direction to build and grow as individual artists. They also felt that after a long five years and four tours as a band, they needed a “Well earned break.” But he confirmed that they were not breaking up.

The release of “This Town” has fans thinking otherwise. It is fair to say that after the unexpected departure of former One Direction member Zayn Malik, fans are worried that Niall will be next to leave the band to take on a solo music career.

It is also rumored for members Harry Styles and Liam Payne to be working on solo material. As of right now, there has been no confirmation of any member leaving the band, or the band splitting completely.

    “This Town” tells a story the narrator (assumingly Niall, being he wrote) and a girl, who by the lyrics and tone of the song, he obviously misses terribly. He wrote this ballad with a diverse word choice, and a sense of nostalgia as he sings the lyrics “I remember everything from when we were the children playing in this fair ground, wish I was there with you now.” His words in this section give you a feeling of home, innocence, and “the good old days.” The overall message in this song is within the line “Over and over, the only truth, everything comes back to you.” He is basically saying that after all and no matter the circumstances, all that matters is this one girl.

“This Town” has a smooth and simple tone, but gives off a rather dark mood. His lyrics are well thought out, and tell a beautiful story. This song is very enjoyable and worthy of its number one title; I am excited to see how Niall excels and grows with, and without, One Direction.

GHS has adopted G Suite for Education (GSFE)

by Reporter Ethan Miller

24 October 2016

With all the changes to Gloucester High School this year, one of the most exciting has been the introduction of the G Suite for Education (GSFE).

Instructional Technology Resource Teacher Ms. Pluim said,“Google is a very big company, their security is greatly suitable for school uses, that goes for teachers and student,” explaining why GHS adopted GSFE.

Until recently, G suite for Education was actually called Google Apps for Education. Even though the name might be different, it still functions the exact way it did before the change, with some added features such as Quick Access in Google Drive for instant access to files on an android device and new intelligence in Google Calendar.

Teachers at GHS have started to use GSFE and had mostly positive experiences with the apps. Ms. Pluim said that Google Drive was her favourite app to use.  

GSFE wasn’t the only set of educational apps considered for GHS, nor was it intended to be a big part. It originally began when a few teachers adopted its usage as a test run of some sort. It went well and eventually spread to the whole school, with more and more teachers beginning to use the apps.

    However, there have been some problems with GSFE:; Some passwords were not working as expected and had to be reset. Biology Teacher Mrs Flinchum  said, “Initially, it took a thirty-minute period just to get students oriented.” Another problem is that some students do not have internet access at home, so if they started work at school, they were not able to finish the assignment at home.

    On a positive note, Flinchum said, “ But once they [the students] were, it is fairly easy to enroll them in different classes.” Flinchum set up Google Classroom for her students.

    A few of the functionalities of GSFE are Google Drive, Classroom, and Gmail. Google Drive works as a cloud storage system. Students can store documents, pictures, slides, music, videos, and much more. Google Classroom is a way for teachers to post assignments and have students work on them online. Students can also use their GSFE account to email teachers and other students.

One of the first teachers to use the GSFE was Mrs. Flinchum. Hers was also one of the three classrooms to use them last year. Flinchum said, “In my experience, students enjoy using the technology to access the information.”

    Students don’t just have access to the apps at school; they can use the at home as well. They can check what assignments they need to do and get them done. It’s useful for students for when they are out sick or for disciplinary reasons.

    One of the many uses for GSFE is for projects being worked on by multiple people. Students can create documents via Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings and share those documents via Google Drive. Multiple people can work on these documents simultaneously using different devices. You can also use the sharing feature for editing purposes if you need someone to look over something for you. It can also be used as to communicate with fellow students via gmail.

There are some differences between a personal Google account and a GSFE account. When a student or teacher receives her or his account information from school, she or he will notice that instead of an @gmail.com domain,the school accounts are @gc.k12.va.us. One prominent difference between a commercial and educational Gmail account is the absence of ads (including spam email in relation to ads) that people usually get with Gmail.

Students also have more storage for files of documents than they did on the old GHS server. They can store files in Google Drive. Obviously, their school email accounts come with storage as well.

Moreover, GSFE has enhanced security features. Google wants to make sure that GSFE is fully suitable for a school environment. People who are afraid that the student’s personal information will be given out to a third party can rest easy. Google never gives out personal information and makes it one of their main priorities that students who use the apps stay safe. Google strives everyday to ensure that student information is and stays secure. Google also does not take ownership of anything student do or create with GSFE. According to the GSFE security page, a student’s data is protected as if it is on its own server, so people using the same service will not get access to that information.

Students are also protected against hackers trying to gain access to their accounts. Google has 500 security engineers, some of the world’s foremost experts, who are always working to keep all accounts safe. The threats get spotted early and are resolved quickly. Google also encrypts data at several levels. The RSA encryption keys are 2048 bits and get changed every few weeks as an insurance policy to protect personal information.

Fans Grieve Gene Wilder’s Passing

Fans Grieve Gene Wilder’s Passing

by Reporter Mariah Aubrey

21 October 2016

Gene Wilder, the witty actor who brought so many roles to life, sadly passed away on Sunday,

August 28th, 2016 from Alzheimer's Disease. His passing shocked many people, since he was not open about his disease because he feared that he would disappoint his fans. But throughout Wilder’s career and life, he was anything but disappointing-- from filling lives with pure imagination to making people laugh throughout the years. Wilder was a great comedic actor who always enjoyed his job.
    Early in his acting career, Wilder started out doing shows on and off broadway. However, his career really took off when Wilder met Mel Brooks, a director and filmmaker with whom he became good friends with. Over time, Wilder was casted in a handful of Brooks’ movies, typically as one of the leading roles. He wrote and directed a multitude of movies, such as The Woman in Red (1984), Haunted Honeymoon (1986), The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975), and The World’s Greatest Lover (1977).

Despite all of the roles Wilder has played, he is better known for some than others. Movies he is recognized for the most are Blazing Saddles (1974), The Producers (1968), Young Frankenstein (1974), and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971). In Blazing Saddles, Wilder plays Jim, a man from the west who transforms from an alcoholic into a hero. In The Producers, Wilder plays Leopold “Leo” Bloom: the wimpy accountant with big dreams. Wilder then plays Dr. Frederick Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein, the humorous mad scientist.

But he’s probably best known for playing the light-hearted chocolate factory owner Willy Wonka who brings imagination to life in the 1971 film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Though all of these roles are different and unique, Wilder plays them all very well by bringing them to life.

It’s no surprise that Wilder won three awards throughout his career: the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in Young Frankenstein (1975); the Nebula Award for Best Dramatic Writing for Young Frankenstein (1976); and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance in Will and Grace (2003).

Wilder ended his acting career in 2005. He said, “I like show, but I don't like the business.” He went on to write six novels.

Overall, Gene Wilder was an inspirational actor who played his roles incredibly through making people laugh or pulling on their heartstrings. The mark he has left behind is so great that it can never be filled.

EA DICE Does It Again: Battlefield 1 Rocks

by Reporter Connor Van Orden

18 October 2016

If you are a long time Battlefield fan or just a gamer in general, you probably got very excited when you heard that EA DICE was bringing the franchise back, offering a different experience than most of the first person shooter games that have been out lately.

            Battlefield 1 offers a new variety of weapons, vehicles, and strategies of play. The environment of the maps and battle are very immersive and interactive. The main reason that people are attracted to the Battlefield franchise is that the maps are much more destructible and interactive than any other game. In most games, you cannot destroy any buildings or roads; in Battlefield 1, a play can demolish the landscape.

            EA DICE, the developers, worked very hard so that the graphics could be as high quality as possible. Many early access games have bad graphics, glitches, and absolutely none of the awesome features that will be in the full  Battlefield 1 since the copy I reviewed is just a preview. For example, smoke from a trains is three dimensional. It’s almost as if you can smell it. In contrast to many early access games, Battlefield 1 is an amazing beta product.

            The developers recently released the single player cinematography video trailer, and as an avid gamer, I can definitely say that this is the first single player trailer that has made me so excited I wanted to play the game itself. Scorched earth and and multiple explosions and buildings collapsing drew you into the world of the game.

Battlefield 1 finally answers people’s request for a game that gets rid of the usual futuristic war style used for the past four years. The single player starts you off in the perspective of multiple different soldiers, each death transferring to another soldier's soul. The game also introduces many brand new vehicles, including biplanes, tanks, and even heavily armed military trains, which the players can use to advance on the opposing team. The whole environment of the battle is definitely unlike anything seen recently in a game.

            One of my favorite features included in this game is the team chat abilities. If you are on the same team as someone else, you can choose an array of ingame chat messages that your character will actually say out loud. The greatest challenge the game offers is that whatever you say can and will be heard by enemy players, thus exposing your position and possibly getting you and your teammate killed.

            Another good element about this game is the new weapons it introduces. Most recent games offer you the same guns with different name,s basically only changing the design of the weapons. Battlefield 1, however, offers brand new weapons we haven't seen before in this style of video game. These include some melee weapons like the spiked mace, trench spade, and bolo knife. Some of the firearms include the trench gun, colt M1911, and the Lewis Gun LMG.

               The game has been hyped up for a long time, and after playing the beta for a few days, I can say it was definitely worth the wait. Battlefield 1 is going to really change the way games are made from now on. Other companies have seen the astounding success of the beta version of this game and made changes to games they’re coming out with.

                Battlefield 1 was supposed to come out around this time last year. However, gamers offered EA DICE so much advice and so many suggestions that the developers delayed the beta version until August 31. Other developers should really start listening to the players of their games and make revisions that will excite gamers.

Soctober: SCA challenges students and staff to donate socks for the homeless

by Reporters Summer Smith and Jenny Diaz

17 October 2016

SCA Faculty Adviser displays donations of socks collected thus far in her room. Picture by Managing Editor Frances Knight.


            Everyone knows the month of October is the last month before it begins to get cold and snowy. However, not all of us have socks to keep our feet and toes cozy and warm throughout winter, in particular, the homeless.

To help with this problem, GHS’s Student Council Association (SCA) is  holding a drive during the month of October to gather socks for the homeless.  

SCA has set out boxes in Mrs. Rowe’s room (A124), the library, and the school store. Students and staff can donate socks by placing them in those boxes until the end of the month.

Inspired by Mike Smith, whom you may recognize from “The Harbor” videos on the Duke Daily, SCA is committed to collecting as many socks as possible before the month’s end.

While many outside the SCA might think the organization is about nothing but work, according to Senior Elizabeth Simmons members had much fun at a seminar they attended where Mike Smith talked about giving back to the community. He also had the attendants get up and dance around. “It was a loosey, goosey kind of thing,” said Simmons, who has been a part of SCA since her freshman year.

SCA members enjoy being part of the SCA club because they like helping others. ”We get to better our school and community, and make Gloucester a better place for us all”, said Simmons.  

The SCA  also enjoys helping out together as a community. In addition to the sock drive, SCA sponsors  food drives and helps organize spirit week and the homecoming dance.  All of this is possible because of the twenty-five hardworking members of SCA.

Homecoming Pep Rally Madness, Friday, Oct. 14

GHS Seniors cheer, the GHS Band plays, and the Duke himself marches on!

Principal Nate Collins announces GHS 2016-17 Duke of the Year at the Homecoming Pep Rally!

Senior Jon West pauses for a moment after just receiving the Duke of the Year Award.

Fall 2016 GHS Homecoming Parade

Senior class celebrates bittersweet moment during last Homecoming Parade on Mainstream at 5 Pm on October 13, 2016. Picture furnished by Managing Editor Frances Knight.

Thursday, Oct. 13:

Character Day: Day 4 of Spirit Week
Wizards, Witches & Scarecrows, Oh My!
Seniors Cody Civilla, Brilee Leber, Steven Hargrave, and Austin Hansford, find their inner princess.

Senior Lynn White has her bat ready for all the wacky characters on Day 4 of Spirit Week.

Seniors Sophia Ferguson, Steven Hargrave, Annabelle Rogers, and Kayla Tobin are working their magic on Character Day.

Wednesday, Oct. 12: 

Way Back Wednesday: 

Day 3 of Spirit Week

Did Senior Licia Washington travel with the Doctor recently?
Picture by Dukes' Dispatch Adviser Mr. Cox.

AP Eng. Lit./Honors Eng. 9 Teacher Ms. Larsen has gone through the Time Tunnel. 
Picture by Dukes' Dispatch Adviser Mr. Cox.

Tuesday, Oct. 11: We're Not in Kansas Anymore -- Tacky Tourist Day of Spirit Week

Day 2
Senior Marisoule Ramos-Dawkins is making some travel plans.

Senior Ally Walker is sporting some fancy tourist duds, as she plans her escape from Gloucester.

Senior Darren Hair shows off with his wacky tourist clothes.

Monday, Oct. 10: Ruby Red, White &

Blue Day of Spirit Week

Day 1

Seniors Cole Weigartz and Sam Richardson show off their spirit for Ruby Red,White & Blue Day. 
Picture by Managing Editor Frances Knight

Seniors Bri Miller and Karly Harwood find it hard to concentrate on their Dual Eng. class.
Picture by Managing Editor Frances Knight

37th Annual Guinea Jubilee is a success

by Reporter Damien Kelly

10 Oct. 2016

Crazy X Band Members David Moore (lead guitar), Dane Davis (acoustic guitar and vocals), and  Julie Martin (bass and vocals) perform at Guinea Jubilee. Picture by Reporter Jim Baughman.

The 37th Annual Guinea Jubilee opened Saturday September 23rd to kick off a two-day event to celebrate the community’s heritage. The Jubilee is focused around the Guinea Neck, a peninsula tucked between the southwest branch of the Severn River, Mobjack Bay and Sarah's Creek on the York River.

Chairmen Brooke and Tara Thomas said, “Thousands are expected to pack the fairgrounds this year because of the outstanding forecast.” While the Jubilee is no stranger to bad weather, canceling only one celebration to Hurricane Isabel in 2001, the good weather encouraged more people to enjoy local seafood and fun.

The Guinea Jubilee began on Friday, opening with arts and crafts, food booths and vendors. The food vendors offered a wide range of food from seafood, hot dogs, southern cooking, and even deep fried oreos. Then at 7 P.M., a local country-based band The Mullin Sisters drew a lively crowd out for the opening night. Saturday’s events started early at 7:30A.M with the crab walk and 5k shad run organized by Jim Baughman. Baughman, the coordinator of the run, said not many people, as he hoped, attended the event, but overall was a good event to kick off Saturday.

More guests began to arrive as the mid-morning and afternoon activities began to ramp up on Saturday. The Abingdon Volunteer Fire and Rescue parade started at 12 noon, bringing nearly 1,000 visitors to the festival. Over 40 units, including Gloucester High and other area schools, local business, nonprofit organizations, and fire companies from Virginia Beach were also in the parade. The parade commenced at First Morning Baptist Church and ended at the Abingdon Ruritan Club, which is a half mile walk. According to parade coordinator Ryan Ashe, this year's parade was a definite a success.

As the afternoon dwindled and the evening activities started, guests packed the fairgrounds. .To wrap up Saturday's festivities, the Crazy X Band, a group that delivers country, classic rock and pop, rocked the crowed before a finale of fireworks that lit up the night sky as many children and parents enjoyed the last few moments of the 37th annual festival.