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Underwater Athletics, extracurriculars feel the burden of COVID-19 restrictions | pg. 7



the booster Scottsburg High School


500 S. Gardner Scottsburg, IN 47170 812.752.8942 www.theboosteronline.com Volume 94, Issue 3 Dec. 18, 2020

Co-Editors-in-Chief Isabela Diaz Abby Doriot

Business managers Deegan Cornelius Justice LaMaster

Page designers Jocelyne Allen Hailee Bowen Hailey Christoff

Staff writers Jazmin Collier Ariel Hunter Catherine Rose Alyssa Williams

Online editors Hailee Bowen Catherine Valencia

Adviser Sara Denhart

The Booster is published as a forum by the newspaper students at Scottsburg High School. Each month, 700 physical copies are distributed and each issue is available online. The Booster is a member of Quill and Scroll and the Indiana Student Press Association. Letters to the editor must be signed; names will be withheld upon request. The staff reserves the right to edit letters due to length, libel, privacy or copyright laws as long as the meaning remains unchanged. Editorials and reviews are staff opinions and are not the opinions of the faulty, administration or school. OUR CREDENTIALS & AWARDS SISPA Newspaper of the Year 1998-2011, 2013, 2016, 2018 Hoosier Star Award Winner 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 ON THE COVER Abby Doriot (11) and Keyton Hollan (12) star in “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” on Nov. 21-22 in McClain Hall. Ariel, performed by Doriot, saves Prince Eric, portrayed by Hollan, from drowning. The SHS Theatre received new lights from a grant from Samtec Cares. Like athletic events, the theatre was limited to an audience of immediate households of the actors and crew members. The restriction of spectators at athletics and extracurriculars leave many programs underwater financially because of COVID-19. COVER PHOTO | SARA DENHART

Photo by: Sara Denhart




3 Cornelius’ Corner Staff Editorial: Students, staff should wait to return until receiving test results Fan support vital to game, events 4 COVID changes basketball games The Way We See It

news 5 Admin plans to move to trimesters No finals for first semester 6 Kids First Auction postpones until 2021 due to COVID-19 Favorite holiday movies 7 Positivity rates impact spectators This year's hottest gift: PlayStation 5

Photo by: Sara Denhart


Photo by: Hailey Christoff


fEATURES 8&9 Home for the Holidays 10 Humans of SHS Students give back to community 11 Volunteering gives deeper meaning, a first-hand look Students to use scanners on buses 12 Theatre heads under the sea

Sports Submitted Photo by: Jason Bagwell

13 No fans in the stands Boys Basketball 14 Coaches' POV on dealing with COVID-19 sburgbooster

Photo by: Sara Denhart

1.) Avery Kendall (12), Abby Doriot (11), Keyton Hollan (12), and SMS teacher Jeremy Zeignbein takes their final bows on Nov. 22. 2.) Jadda Tyree (12) plays Flotsam and Jetsam, Ursula’s eels, in “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” on Nov. 22. 3.) Rylan Lytle (10) holds up Kody Clancy (9) in the purple vs. gold game during Meyer Madness. 4.) Juniors Hailey Christoff, Carly Helton, Kenley Comer, Kaydence Brown, and Sara Everett (front row), Emmaline Vernon and Chase Fleenor (center row), and Jackson Brown (back row) show their table decoration project for American Studies. 5.) Ashely Martin (12) signs her letter of intent to play NCAA Division I softball at Michigan State University.







Students balance time during class Deegan Cornelius

Students, staff need to wait on test results before returning Staff editorial

staff writer Some students fall behind on school work and many will say it is because they waste their time, but are they really wasting time? Students have seven classes a day, and depending on the teacher, they may have two, three, or even four assignments at a time for one class. Most teachers give time to work to try and help the students get it done before having to do it at home. In most instances though, the free time given to the students is used for socializing, but with the amount of work laid on students, it makes sense to have time to build connections and socialize. The idea of trimesters would seem to make it less harsh on students and allow them to focus more on one class at a time because of the extended class periods. It also allows the teacher more time to explain the subject further and help students who have not grasped the concept yet. For online students, Google Meets proves beneficial and they should continue to be an option. Google Meets become helpful when students have questions or need help. It becomes much easier to join a call and ask questions than to email back and forth, which can take days to get a response. It will help online students stay on a schedule while quarantined too. Students should learn to use this resource as many students never join a session. It is still important to get school work done in the time teachers give, but it is also necessary to have time to socialize and take a break. Students need to prioritize getting work done and socialize when acceptable. Teachers need to provide help for students to get work done and understand the need for breaks occasionally.

As students, a part of Scottsburg High School, we all have to work together to follow specific procedures for everyone’s safety regarding COVID-19. Since the beginning of a new school year at SHS, the school has done a very good job of having school in-person. With there being not too many cases of COVID-19 in the Scott County, as well as the school, the school year has not been disappointing. Unfortunately, students and parents began to quarantine almost out of nowhere after everyone came back from fall break. Assuming it was from people traveling during the break, people have been quarantining since then. Staff members and students have had to get tested. The big question is should students/staff members come back to school after getting tested

without getting their results back? Not only are other people being put at risk when this happens, but it is also selfish of people to do such a thing. Without the reassurance of not having this virus, people should not return to school without receiving their results back. When most people are getting tested for COVID-19, everyone hopes for a positive outcome out of their results. People could even be so confident in themselves that they do not have the virus that they convince themselves to go back out in public without any type of results coming back. When people do this it is not just affecting oneself but also others. COVID-19 affects everyone in different ways. It hurts some people in a very fatal manner and others not so much. A few people are even asymptomatic, which means they could carry the virus but not show any symptoms at all. A handful of people do not understand the se-

verity of COVID-19. Whether it is because they have not had someone close to them carry the virus or they simply are not well informed of the virus. Collectively, everyone needs to play their own part and be responsible upon themselves and their own actions. This is the type of situation where people cannot just think about themselves. In times like these, people need to be selfless and more responsible than ever. As many people do have different opinions on this topic, all perspectives should be considered in great depth as to all the things that could go wrong out of just making one small decision that has a greater outcome. In conclusion, The Booster staff believes that it is everyone’s responsibility to make smart decisions. In this case, staying home when not receiving COVID-19 test results back is not only the smartest decision to take, but it is also the safest one for the well being of everyone.

Fan support vital for extracurricular events Ariel Hunter staff writer All sports need fans — whether it be family, friends, teachers. What if you could only have only three or four fans to support and give you spirit during the biggest game of the year? It is hard to imagine, but it is happening through schools, even SHS, due to COVID-19. Due to health department regulations, SHS has to limit tickets to parents and guardians when the county goes to a red level and immediate households only when the county goes to an orange level. Therefore, only people who live with students involved in an event can buy a ticket to go to games. Even the student’s best friends cannot come unless they are a household member and noted in

Harmony that they live with the student involved, or of course, if the best friend and the student involved are in the game or in the show. Family can be one’s biggest motivation at times, but a bigger crowd is a better game. The more fans students have at games the better they play. If students have more fans, then they have more motivation to do better. Students feel they have more people depending on them, so it makes them try harder. Students involved in sporting and extracurricular events should be able to invite their closest of friends because students all have that friend who basically lives with them but does not actually — the one that comes over so much their parents even call them their child. Now, they cannot even go to their big games unless they are playing in it with them on the team. If your family loves to social distance, keep their

mask up, have fun, and cheer loud, then their attendance at a game should not be a problem. I understand the school has to limit people so fans can social distance, stay safe, and to keep events going, but if a student has a big game or event, they want their grandparents, best friend, and siblings that no longer live with them there. However, students can be shoulder to shoulder for the entire class period in some classes. Whether in these situations for a few seconds or for the entire class period, germs can still spread with contradictions existing throughout these guidelines that are put in place to keep students safe. To end on a different note, Scott County District 2 has been doing a lot better than most schools. As a staff, we agreed that yes, there are some faults and flaws; however, we are doing the best we can do as a district. That is what is most important.

Dec. 2020, Issue 3




Save decorating for after Thanksgiving

COVID changes basketball games Isabela Diaz co-editor-in-chief

Logan Weilbaker guest writer It happens every year, as fans of the Christmas holiday — anxiously awaiting the arrival of “the most wonderful time of the year” — suddenly find no better way to herald in the holidays than by pulling out the decorations and hoisting up the Christmas tree much too early. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and the atmosphere that surrounds it, which is precisely why I am so opposed to premature decorating. With the commercialism that presently surrounds the Christmas holiday, we too often lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas — love, family, and for some, faith — and overlook a national holiday fully focused on being thankful for what we already have. Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to have a moment to breathe and be content before overwhelming chaos ensues the following month. We should take the time to soak it in, not rush ahead to ribbons and tinsel. Christmas will always be there, on Dec, 25, leaving a whole month to plan, celebrate, and “get in the Christmas spirit.” Especially during the troubling times in which we live, we owe it to ourselves to get all the “peace and goodwill” out of Christmas that we possibly can, but observing it too soon makes us apathetic and detracts from the holiday’s significance as the pinnacle of every year. In other words, there certainly can be too much of a good thing. As for me, my tree will continue to go up as soon as appropriate — and not a moment later.

The atmosphere of a basketball game — to the smacking of the ball on the court, to the squeak of shoes against polished floors, to the fans in the stands shouting, to the announcer’s roar, and to the cheerleaders cheering — makes each moment memorable. Without this, what would a game be? Yet, in 2020, high school basketball games — minus a couple parents — remain empty in the stands due to restrictions regarding the spread of COVID-19. With COVID-19 cases rising, school and health department officials have had to take extra precautions when it comes to extracurricular activities and events. Activities such as theatre, band, choir, and sports have come to a rough spot where they have to limit the number of people allowed inside, which is an essential to continue to the financial end of operating. Basketball season is upon us, and the stands are empty — no students cheer sections, no crowds, no band, no music, and no cheerleaders. All of which means no support. The elements that make a basketball game have been taken out. With this being said, who are the basketball players playing for? Before the county went to red, cheerleaders were allowed at games. However, they had to be sitting in chairs, six feet apart. Being a cheerleader means using your whole body to perform for the crowd and for the basketball players. In other words, the cheer team just had to “sit pretty” for the entire game. Now, with further restrictions, no one is allowed in except the families and relatives of the players. The stands are empty.

Photo by: Abby Doriot

No crowds: Forward Hayden Cutter (11) prepares to shoot a foul shot during the Providence game on Dec. 12. However, no one but immediate household members (under orange advisory levels) or parents or guardians (under red advisory levels) can watch the game in-person due to COVID-19 restrictions. The typically noisy and buzzing Meyer Gym becomes eerily quiet as a result of no cheer blocks and the community spectator crowds in the stands.

Not only does limiting people affect the feel of a basketball game, but it could also affect how well the players do. In a survey, “Performing Under Pressure In Basketball,” almost half of the players said they did well under pressure. The anxiety they feel of knowing people watch them makes them hit their shots more than when no one watches or just a few people watches. The

crowd’s reactions also let the players know whether they are doing a good job or not, and gives them the motivation to continue playing. People should be allowed in the game with masks worn and with some type of social distancing. Basketball games should not feel completely empty as players depend on it and the student fans depend on it.

Want more stories? Visit theboosteronline.com 04


Dec. 2020, Issue 3

NEWS Admin plans to move to trimester schedule Abby Doriot co-editor-in-chief Next year, the high school administration plans to move to a trimester schedule. The last time the high school had a trimester schedule happened about 10 years ago. “One of the burdens I’ve felt for our students is seven classes a day on top of extracurricular activities, sports and work is just too much. By going to the trimester schedule, it will allow you to just be responsible for five classes a day. So, we want to shift the focus from quantity to quality,” Principal Chris Routt said. In 2011, the Scott County School District 2 Board of Education approved the switch from trimesters to semesters for the 2011-2012 school year with a 4-to-1 vote. According to an article in The Booster published in May 2011, the change was made because it was “economically necessary for the well-being of the school district.” The district, at the time, was facing a $700,000 budget cut from the state. Instead of having two semesters each year, students will have three terms or trimesters. The first term will end in mid-November, the second term will go from mid-November to February, and the last term will end as the school year closes. Another big change to the

Back to trimesters On trimesters, classes will be 65 to 70 minutes.

schedule will bring students’ schedules to five daily classes instead of seven. The change will make class periods longer. “I’m excited about the move back to trimesters – the school was on a trimester schedule for the first five years I taught. It allowed for more unique activities during a class period – in American Studies it was really awesome,” said Jason Bagwell, history and psychology teacher and leadership team member. American Studies currently meets for two periods per day on the semester schedule, which is about 86 minutes. Each semester meets for 18 weeks. With the trimesters schedule, American Studies would meet for at least 130 minutes (two periods) per day. Each trimester meets for 12 weeks. However, the new system will take some time to

In May 2011, the Board of Education voted 4-1 to switch to semesters from trimesters.

Students will take five classes per day per 12 weeks.

adjust to, for both students and teachers. One problem for teachers will be adjusting the curriculum to fit an extended class period. “The biggest concern I have about the trimester schedule is being able to make adjustments so that I utilize all of the class time I am given. Adding an extra 20 minutes or so to a class could potentially be wasted time if I do not plan ahead enough to adjust the schedule and use all of the time given in some way,” said Sara Stuckwisch, math teacher and leadership team member. With only five classes being allowed per trimester, it creates the opportunity for more classes overall in a schedule. Instead of having 14 classes in a year, students now have the capability to have 15. “It will affect my classes because there might be a

break in the middle of a class and it will just be a totally different approach. Another way that it will affect my classes is that there is now another course that I can take, which opens up another spot for a class that I’m interested in,” Lily Walsh (11) said. However, the reduction of class periods also affects electives and courses that are not necessarily required. “The switch will affect the electives that I’m currently taking. I won’t be able to take some of the elective classes I’m taking right now, like yearbook and extra science classes. I don’t think it will benefit students that are looking to pursue college because they are only able to take a certain amount of classes and won’t have the opportunity to take some of the other college courses before college,” Rachael Mount (10) said.

Finals no more: Fall semester ends without test schedule Hailey Christoff staff writer Finals week seems to creep up upon students quicker than they expect — not to mention the long nights of studying important notes into one’s memory hours before the exam. Nothing says finals week like a sleep-deprived face with baggy eyelids, unconscious drooling, and a high-in caffeine beverage. However, this year with students attending school in-person and online, school officials decided to cancel finals for non-dual credit

and some dual credit classes. The lack of academic integrity with students taking finals in-person and online appeared as a main concern to teachers and administration alike. The Booster noted in September about the problem with testing in an in-person and online environment and the lack of proctoring during testing, especially for virtual or temporary virtual students. American Studies teacher Jason Bagwell, instead, opted to provide his students writing assignments that will replace past finals. “The dual credit courses I teach have final

written projects not final exams,” Bagwell said. One writing assignment he is giving is an essay based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s roaring-’20s novel, “The Great Gatsby.” Spanish teacher Lana Coverdale, who teaches non-dual credit and dual credit Spanish classes, said she was advised by Principal Chris Routt and the leadership team to not give out finals this semester. “I am not saying that anyone would cheat, but an at-home student could use resources that in-class students would not be allowed to use,” Covderdale said. Coverdale said she was to not have a final

because giving a final to online students increases the possibility of students getting desperate and making questionable decisions. She said finals do not provide an accurate reflection of a student’s education. “In my opinion, it’s better to prevent the circumstance and reinstate final exams when things return to a somewhat normal state,” Coverdale said. Bagwell said he was concerned about the stress on the students this year. “...We’ve had enough stress already — a high stakes test at the end of a course seems to be uncalled for at this point,” he said.

Dec. 2020, Issue 3



News Kids First auction postpones until new year Catherine Rose staff writer As the global pandemic continues into its ninth month, many local residents feel the impact to their health and their finances as people continue to seek assistance for food and services. And, now, it is affecting the children in Scott County even more as the Kids First Auction had to postpone its annual event in December. “We’ve tried to work around all the obstacles, but the virus just isn’t cooperating. The county’s numbers keep climbing. We don’t want our auction, which raises money to help children and their families year-round, to be a ‘spreader’ event,” said Ed Amick, one of Kids First volunteers. Scott County Kids First helps support children and families who do not have the resources to buy new shoes, winter coats, clothing, or food. The local organization, which has been helping families for more than 25 years, provides services year-round, not just during the holidays. During December, the organization hosts an auction to help raise funds to provide those items for children and families. The annual Kids First Auction attracts more than 25 to 50 people as people come and go most of the day with students manning phones and keeping track of bids. Other students operate cameras to televise the event from start to finish, so people can stay at home if they like and call in their bids when they see something they like. “People have been extremely generous with

Hailee Bowen staff writer

Photo from: Kids First/Facebook

Raising funds: Each year, Scott County Kids First helps provide new shoes, winter coats, clothing, and food for children and families. They help people year-round, not just during the holidays. One of their big fundraising efforts is an annual auction, where items are donated and sold when people call in to make a bid or purchase. Last year, volunteers from the community and the schools help to make the auction a success. This year with COVID-19 positivity rates above 15 percent in the county, Kids First has had to postpone the annual auction until 2021.

items donated,” Sherry St. Clair said. St. Clair and her husband, Ross, and several others have been busy for weeks sorting donated items into lots of 12 or 13 items and creating computerized lists of the more than 1,000 items the organization received. “I think the Kids First Board wants to wait a few weeks and see how the county’s COVID numbers go. We’re all hoping the virus slows down, but it just seems like it’s everywhere right now. It would be very hard, very risky for us to have a safe event that families and indi-

Favorite holiday movies 30%


Percentage of Instagram followers preferred each movie in The Booster movie head-to-head poll.


Dec. 2020, Issue 3

viduals can enjoy. It’s better to put it off until we can see some light at the end of the COVID tunnel,” Amick said. As Kids First waits to host this year’s auction, they have received two grants — one $1,000 grant from the Walmart Community Grant Program and one $5,000 from Elevation Church. Once a decision on a new date has been made, it will be announced, Amick said. The organization hopes to have the auction in January as the COVID-19 positivity rate increases.

We asked. You answered on Instagram.




Favorite holiday movies build family traditions



Other holiday favorites “Die Hard” “Gremlins” “It’s a Wonderful Life” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” “Love Actually”

Christmas movies are a staple for the holiday season. Some people watch them year-round while others leave it for December, and many have an all-time favorite or a holiday tradition about which movies they watch. After surveying students online, we asked about their favorite movies and the reason why they love the holiday classics of “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Elf,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “A Christmas Story,” “The Santa Clause,” “Polar Express,” and many others. “‘Rudolph’ is by far one of my favorite Christmas movies. I remember watching it a lot as a kid and being taught the lesson behind the famous song. It really just grew on me,” Ellie Bryson (11) said. Movies have become a big part of American households and can teach viewers some important things about life. For some, watching holiday movies instills tradition. James Rutledge (11) said his family gets into the holiday spirit when watching their favorite holiday movies. “My family and I watch ‘Christmas Vacation’ every Christmas. It’s just something my family and I can bond over and laugh about, so it’s definitely a favorite,” he said. Sarah Everett (11) said she grew up watching “The Santa Clause,” making it one of her favorite holiday movies. “I grew up watching ‘Santa Clause.’ I watched every single one, but ‘The Santa Clause 3’ has to be the top favorite.” Whether students grew up watching their now-favorite holiday classics or find a new favorite as they scroll through what Netflix or Disney+ has to offer, movies offer something for everyone to love and enjoy this holiday season.

NEWS Positivity rates limit spectators

This year’s hottest gift has no limits

Deegan Cornelius staff writer While Scott County’s COVID-19 positivity rates continue to fluctuate, the rules on who may watch high school sporting events continues to change as well. On Wednesday, Dec. 2, Scott County moved to the top COVID-19 level, red, meaning the county has a positivity rate of 15 percent or greater. As one of the 17 counties currently in red, the Scott County Health Department released new spectator guidelines for athletic and extracurricular activities. To watch a game in-person, parents or guardians of the students involved can only enter. Otherwise, fans and families who do not meet this criteria will have to stream the game or event online, if available. During basketball games, cheerleaders and band members will no longer attend games, just the players. While Scott County was on an orange level, student-athletes and their families must adhere to new guidelines released by the local health department. Students involved in the athletic or extracurricular event may have the option for their household members to purchase a ticket. While coming to and during the event, spectators must wear a mask. All events must not exceed 300 total individuals, or 25 percent capacity, whichever is lower, the health department guidelines said. Additionally, concessions remain open and will follow proper precautions and sanitation. School staff, workers, and security should be limited to essential personnel only, according to the health department guidelines. In an orange-level situation, cheerleaders are limited to 12 participating members at the event. Cheerleaders cannot stand on the sidelines and must sit six feet apart. If yelling or shouting, cheerleaders must wear a mask. Only 12 band members can participate during basketball games and also have to

Hailee Bowen staff writer

Photo by: Abby Doriot

Empty seats: Meyer Gym feels empty after the Scott County Health Department limits fans and spectators to immediate households or parents/guardians depending on the status of the county’s COVID-19 positive rates. Under the orange level, immediate household members of the players can attend events; under red level, only parents/guardians may attend. Forward Jarrett Richey (11) plays defense against Providence on Dec. 12. The Warriors lost the game, 55-45.

sit six feet apart or further if possible. Band members participating must wear masks. At band competitions, however, no limit exists of how many band members can participate. Student-athletes should wear their masks if they do not actively participate or cannot socially distance six feet apart. Students and athletes, including visiting teams, receive a temperature screening within two hours of the event. Not only does the limiting of fans in the stands impact the players, but it impacts the budget of the athletic department and budgets of extracurricular activities, who are supported through fundraisers and spectators.

For each athletic event, IHSAA officials must be paid to officiate the games. Without regular ticket sales, the athletic department has to rely on support from community businesses and organizations and any money remaining in their account from the year prior. Without new revenue coming in, the athletic department might not have funding to pay for new uniforms and equipment. At the college level, athletic directors nationwide cut sports, such as men’s gymnastics, men’s volleyball, wrestling, field hockey, rowing, and fencing — sports were the U.S. uses its seasons prepare future Olympians. At Stanford alone, 11 sports were cut due to financial constraints.

The new PlayStation 5 was released on Nov. 12 at a set price of $499; however, another option, the PS5 Digital Edition, costs about $100 cheaper. The digital edition does not include a disc drive, allowing the user to buy all games digitally. The PlayStation five offers fast load times, backwards compatibility with the PS4, an optical drive of 4K Blu-Ray, and a total of 825 GB storage.

When purchasing the PS5, owners will also get one DualSense controller. The controller has some awesome new features, such as adaptive triggers (where users can feel varying levels of force and tension to simulate real-life scenarios), a new Create button (allowing gamers to be able to capture game play quicker), and a mute button (making it easier to mute yourself from other online players).

Dec. 2020, Issue 3




Home for the Jocelyne Allen staff writer

People do different things to celebrate the holidays — some that hide pickles in their Christmas trees and others have Nerf gun fights. People all around the world do different things to celebrate the holiday season as different religions and people celebrate in a number of ways. For most people, it is not what or how we celebrate, but it is who we celebrate with making it difficult this holiday season amidst a global pandemic. Many traditions that revolve around the gifts, the tree or the people. People play holiday games to play, such as Secret Santa or White Elephant. They go to see holiday lights or displays in the area. Some traditions happen specifically in the classroom at school, such as the Spanish classes caroling or the French class making specific holiday food. The different celebrations that families or friends do helps make Christmas special.

The Nerf War

Some traditions remain tied with the family specifically. As a way of bonding and having fun, people make up a new tradition with their family and friends, such as a Nerf gun fight. “We started it a couple years ago. We all bring Nerf guns to the family Thanksgiving,” Abby Doriot (11) said.



Her family made a tradition where everyone at their family Thanksgiving brings Nerf guns, and when they are all done eating, they move the tables and start the “war.” It is mostly the children but sometimes the parents join in. One time, Doriot said her grandma was fighting along with the children. It has become a tradition in her family that helps them have fun with the people they love.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

This year, Bethel Baptist Church organized a way to bring the Christmas story to life while collecting canned food items for those who need assistance. The church turned a part of the small community of Leota into Bethlehem, including a live nativity. More than 2,000 cars lined up to drive through the live nativity filled with shepherds, townspeople, angels, wise men, animals, Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. “To be a part of the nativity was beautiful, being able to see it all be put together piece by piece and come out as what it did,” Lucas Toppe (9) said. As people drove through Leota — now decorated as Bethlehem — they were able to see a glimpse of what it might have been like for Mary and Joseph as they traveled to the Inn only to find lodging in a stable, where Mary

Dec. 2020, Issue 3

Photo from: Jaime Toppe, Bethel Baptist/Facebook

Away in a manger: More than 2,000 people drove through the small community of Leota, which was transformed into the little town of Bethlehem for a live nativity on Dec. 12. Above left, Lucas Toppe (9), Chase Fleenor (11), and Grant Comer (11) volunteered with the live nativity. Top right, a drone flies overhead to capture the traffic coming into the Leota and its famous covered bridge. Bottom right, milk jugs were used as lanterns to light the path of Bethlehem as people drove through the live nativity. In the little town, people could see the inn, the shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, the wise men, and more.



gave birth to Jesus, according to the Bible. “We did not expect the enormous amount of people who arrived for the nativity. We were very grateful for all the donations and for all the people that visited,” Toppe said. As people came through the live nativity, Bethel Baptist Church asked for canned food donations, which were given to the Scott County Clearinghouse and the Edna Martin Christian Center. The drive through method, where people did not have to physically stand next to one another to see the Christmas displays, helped visitors stay safe during the pandemic. “The best part about being part of the nativity was seeing the joy and awe on everybody’s faces. Many people were thankful we could put together such an amazing COVID-safe activity,” Toppe said.

Secret Santa

Secret Santa has become a fun, less traditional way for people to celebrate their Christmas. To play, people of a family or a group of friends give a gift anonymously to the person that they are assigned. No one knows who gives the gift to one another until the end of the game. The tradition stems from a Scandinavian tradition known as “Julklapp.” The Scandinavian tradition has participants knock loudly on a door,

open the door, and throw the gift inside. People also leave the gift on their doorstep and leave without being seen. “At Thanksgiving my grandma would bring around a bowl with all my aunts, uncles and cousins’ names and we would pick who we would be getting a gift for. The gift had to be under $20 and we would hand them out when we got together for Christmas,” Scarlett Camp (10) said.

French confections

Each year in French class, students make a cake called Bûche de Noël or yule log. The baker rolls the filled, spongy chocolate cake into a log form and tops the cake with confectioner’s sugar to resemble snow on a log at Christmas time. The tradition dates back to centuries as French people would burn a yule log from a fruit tree or pour wine on the log to hope for a good harvest in the next year. Over time, less people had fireplaces in their homes, so the Bûche de Noël was created to symbolize the tradition as most people have access to an oven. Even though SHS went virtual starting on Nov. 30 due to the high COVID-19 positive rates in the county and lack of staffing district-wide due to people testing positive for COVID-19 or tak-

Photo from: Sydney Paz (12)

C'est Noël: Faith Couch (12) and Sydney Paz (12) create a Bûche de Noël for their French 4 class even though students were virtual for the last three weeks of the semester as COVID-19 positivity rates increased in the county and staffing became an issue due to illnesses and quarantines.

ing care of those who were quarantined or sick, it did not stop French class students from keeping the tradition of Bûche de Noël alive in 2020. “I made it with my grandma and friend, Faith Couch. It isn’t an annual tradition but is something our French class always does. It was my

first time making a cake like this, and it went well. We followed a recipe through a baking website and everything was homemade,” said Sydney Paz (12), a French 4 student. “I enjoyed spending time with my grandma and Faith while making this cake.”

Dec. 2020, Issue 3






Starting as a new teacher in a typical year can have enough challenges. Starting as a new teacher in a global pandemic takes the challenges to new heights. History teacher Jonathan Boling started his teaching career at SHS this year, replacing Ryan Matheis. “I have tried to embrace the challenge and do my best just like the students are doing. I try to work hard and give my best for the students because I know they are really going through it right now,” Boling said. “This pandemic has been tough on everyone, so I am doing my best to accommodate students, while still being challenging enough that students get the education they need from SHS.” Boling came to Scottsburg because of the school's reputation and because his family lives in the area. “I grew up all over the country and have lived in several states — from Florida, Illinois, Montana, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama. But all my family is from Texas and I am a huge Texas Longhorns fan,” Boling said.


From city to city, place to place, Indiana has always been English teacher Jeremy Risen’s home. Growing up in Salem, Risen (pronounced rye-sun) has moved all over Indiana but chose to come to Scottsburg to be closer to home. He currently lives in Charlestown with his wife and children. “I grew up in Salem and have lived all over the state — New Albany, Indianapolis, South Bend, Terre Haute and a few other places. I chose to come to SHS to move a little closer to home,” Risen said. Risen taught at Salem as a social studies teacher. Now, Risen works as an English teacher. No matter where Risen has been teaching, he has always loved interacting with his students most. “No offense to my administrators and colleagues, but my favorite part of teaching anywhere is interacting with the students,” Risen said. — stories by Abby Doriot & Isabela Diaz



Students give back to their community Hailey Christoff staff writer Each Sunday, Rachael Mount (10) reads Bible stories and colors activity pages with a group of toddlers at her church while their parents or guardians take time away to focus on the worship service happening in the sanctuary. She sings, dances, helps build towers from blocks, works on puzzles, and teaches the children how to share with one another. “It brings so much joy into my life whenever I am able to go and help out. Others are also so gracious and thankful that we volunteer to watch and play with their kids so they can enjoy listening to church without interruption,” Mount said. “I continue to serve in the nursery because I can see the difference that it is making in the lives of the youth. I am appreciative of the opportunity that I have.” Throughout the school year, students around the community work together and reach out to help others in Scott County. Many of the students volunteering in the community find opportunities to help through their involvement in extracurricular groups, such as Student Council, CEASe, Youth Grantmaking and EMPOWER Scott County. Becky Foster (10), reporting director of CEASe and member of EMPOWER, has experienced several volunteer opportunities: "Some volunteering opportunities for EMPOWER are handing out lock boxes to our community for them to put their old medications,” Foster said. EMPOWER focuses on informing the community and youth about the dangers of alcohol and substance use. They work on teaching prevention, improving the health of the community, and help create positive relationships for students. The group often goes to community events to inform others about what they do in the county and have traveled to Washington, D.C. to stand up for legislation that helps an impact on creating a drug-free community. During the week of Nov. 16 – Nov. 20 and Nov. 23, the Student Council held a can food drive for

Dec. 2020, Issue 3

Photo from: EMPOWER Scott County/Instagram

Putting others first: Rachael Mount (10), Avery Kendall (12), Chloe Myszak (11), Abby Doriot (11), Logan Weilbaker (12), and Johnathon Perkinson (11) stand outside of Walmart to ring the bell to collect money for the Salvation Army during the holiday season.

six days. The council made it to where it was a competition between all four grades, having the grade with the most cans earn spirit points. If a student brought in a specific type of can on a specific day they would earn extra points. Mount, Student Council parliamentarian and participant of several community-based organizations, was one of many who contributed to the high schools can food drive event this November. “I think it affects our community by giving them the resources they need to lead better, healthier lives,” Mount said. She encourages more students to get involved in one or more organizations, such as the Youth Grantmaking and Student Council or any organization aimed at helping the community. “These volunteer opportunities bring a positive impact on our community and can bring good to the people in our community,” said Johnathon Perkinson (11), Student Council president.

Many organizations have collaborated and contributed to town hall events, back to school bashes, the annual alumni dinner, elementary school festivals, bell ringing and seminars. Just this summer several members from different organizations were given a challenge by Lori Croasdall, leader of EMPOWER, to gather as much litter as they could from the surrounding area or a chosen location. Students, parents and even close relatives joined in the cleaning of this county by giving up a couple of hours of their summer days. All of these organizations implore students to help out in the community, even if not enrolled in any of the groups. “It really makes my heart happy to see others helping out and doing their part. I also encourage you to appreciate someone in your life who does good work but whose work usually goes unseen. This could be your mom, police officer, principal, or coach,” Mount said.


Volunteering gives deeper meaning to idea of community Jazmin Collier staff writer On a cold, early December morning, Kendall Fergison (10) and I went to get breakfast together before we started a full day at the Scott County We Care roadblock. We decided to join after our grandpa was involved with the event for a while, and they needed help, so we volunteered. We also volunteered to help raise money for We Care and for the children who need clothes during the winter. The day went really well. The roadblock started at 8 a.m. on Dec. 5. At first, people were slow to come by and donate real early in the morning but the later the day went more and more people drove by and donated. I learned that there are many generous people willing to donate money for people who need it — whether it was a lot of money or barely any at all, people still stopped. It made me start to think about how much it would help the children of Scott County. It was only 37 degrees outside while we stood to collect money for the roadblock, so we felt, firsthand, how children of Scott County must feel without adequate gloves, hats, and coats during the winter months. It made our mission to collect money for We Care even more important. To prepare for the day, we packed extra clothes and gloves to sustain the weather as we stood outside until 3:30 p.m. We also made sure to have the heat running in the truck for whoever needed it to warm up. About every 15 minutes, someone would walk out to switch you places so that we could sit down or warm up. The group of people we worked with were people from the Masonic Scott Lodge #120 in Austin, where our grandpa is a part of it. At the end of the day, we raised $12,221.48,

Photo by: Jazmin Collier

Drive-by donations: Jazmin Collier (10), Kendall Fergison (10), and other volunteers from the Masonic Scott Lodge #120 in Austin stood at the intersection of Highway 256 and Highway 3 to collect money for We Care. The Scott County community did not let COVID-19 dampen their giving as We Care managed to bring its largest amount from roadblocks this year, more than $12,000. In all, We Care raised more than $46,600 to help 776 school children this year.

when combining all the roadblock locations. It was our largest raised total from all roadblocks we have had. Initially, I participated to help them out. But now, I plan on doing it every year and help with other stuff if they need it. I want to help others and help the children in Scott County.

High school students to use ID scanners on bus route Hailee Bowen staff writer The school administration added a new safety precaution to the buses in the form of a student identification card scanning system. When a student enters the bus, they scan their student identification card to let the school know they are enroute to go home. As the student gets off the bus, they, again, scan their ID card to let the school know they are home safe. For some students, it might seem odd to scan an identification card to enter and leave the bus and for drivers, the new system might become a bit of a hassle as they make sure every student scans their card. However, the entire system has the student’s safety in mind. “There are a couple of reasons for the scanners. One reason being, if a kid gets on the wrong bus, which is going to happen due to new kids, each building is able to get into their computer and see where that kid scanned in,” bus driver Polly Higgins said. “The bus is then able to be contacted and the school is able to locate the student and get [him or her] on the right bus.” Another reason, helps the school in the event of a motor vehicle accident, Higgins said. “The school would be able track the bus, see how many kids were on it, and also tell them how fast the bus was going,” she said. The new scanners will also help with contract

tracing during the pandemic as students often ride another bus to travel home with a friend, another family member, or to arrive at another location for childcare. For students, it helps to feel more safe and secure on the bus if something was to ever happen — even though the new system requires a slightly different routine every day. “I think they are an easy way to keep track of the students. I have no problem with it. I think it’s a good tool for safety reasons. I think after a while students will forget about it but if the bus drivers remind them it should be OK.” Kylie Eberle (10) said. Some students find it taking security a bit too far. They also think students will most likely fall out of the habit of scanning when getting on and off the bus. “I think it’s a good idea for safety, but overall, I feel as though students over time are going to forget to do the scan getting on and off the bus,” Taylor Ross (10). “I think it’s a little too far, just because we take attendance when we get to school. I think they will eventually forget about it just because it’s honestly pointless,” Jacqui Copple (10) said. The new bus student identification cards were tested by the elementary school students first during the fall semester. A roll out of the identification cards for high school students will occur during the second semester.

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Dec. 2020, Issue 3



Features Theatre heads 'under the sea' for fall show Catherine Rose staff writer After nearly one year of delays, postponements, and rescheduling due to the complications of COVID-19, “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” finally made it out of the sea and onto the stage at SHS on Nov. 21-22. The SHS Theatre will put the production online — for the first time in the theatre’s history — to allow more people the chance to see the show. Tickets will be available around the Christmas and New Years Eve holidays, said Robert Deirth, co-sponsor and director. To purchase tickets or to donate money, visit the SHS Theatre’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more information. To bring the show from planning and rehearsal to the stage with performances in front of an audience, the SHS Theatre had to follow changing guidelines set by the health department as COVID-19 numbers continued to increase each week the show inched toward production week. Ultimately, the show’s audience was restricted to the immediate household members of the student actors and crew members. “I absolutely hated not being able to share this production with the community. I love the reaction from people when you tell them you are a part of the drama productions that take place at Scottsburg High School because people go absolutely crazy,” said Tierra Combs, lighting technician for the show. “It really helps knowing that your community supports you. However, this year not being able to show what we have been working on through so many adversities was really heartbreaking for everyone.” “I really hate that COVID-19 has made it so that we weren't able to share it with our community and extended family. I'm very thankful that the members of our household were able to go, but it was really hard to not have my grandparents and the rest of my family there,” said Abby Doriot, who portrayed Ariel in the show. “I know we had all been looking forward to performing for a large audience, but unfortunately, that couldn't happen.” With casting and planning starting in December 2019, the SHS Theatre worked for nearly one year to make their dream of producing another Disney classic on the McClain Hall stage. The show featured more technical details than other shows in the past as extra lights were purchased through a grant from Samtec.



Photo by: Sara Denhart

Streaming online: For the first time in SHS Theatre history, the production of "Disney's The Little Mermaid" will stream online during the holiday season. Tickets will be available online through a link on the SHS Theatre social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The SHS Theatre not only lost cast and crew members, who graduated in 2020, but they took a financial loss on the show when the county health department limited their audience due to the rising COVID-19 numbers. Only the cast's and crew's immediate household members, who were listed in Harmony, had the opportunity to see the show live.

“We received a grant through the Samtec Cares program, and we were able to bring many of the technical aspects of the show to life through the artistry of light design,” said Sara Denhart, SHS Theatre co-sponsor. “We could not have done this without the help and support of Samtec. The lights helped us bring the magic of Ariel saving Prince Eric from drowning and the transformation of Ariel becoming a human and helped us set the tone for great performances from Ursula in her underwater lair.” The original show was cast with graduating members of the Class of 2020 and was set for show time in April. However, the global pandemic hit in March, and the governor’s stay-at-home orders impacted schools and communities throughout Indiana. The show was put on hold until students returned back to school in the fall.

Dec. 2020, Issue 3

“This performance was extremely more difficult than others in the past. During the spring when we had originally begun practicing, we set out the foundation of the show including plans for casting, set pieces, tech, scheduling, and final plans for show night. Coming back, almost all of those plans had to be completely scrapped or altered,” Combs said. “We had seniors that graduated that couldn't come back, set pieces had been destroyed, schedules and other commitments were changed, and we had to rethink the show with new COVID-19 guidelines.” Not only did COVID-19 cost the SHS Theatre the cast and crew members from the Class of 2020, but it cost the club financially. In the past, the SHS Theatre was able to have enough spectators to cover the large cost of producing a musical, especially a Disney one. The cost alone to purchase the rights and music

for a Disney show costs the theatre about $3,000 to $4,000, Denhart said. Add set, costumes, and other needs, and the show becomes thousands of dollars to produce, she said. “Without a larger audience, the SHS Theatre takes a large financial hit,” Denhart said. “COVID-19 has hurt our club financially along with the arts nationwide, at all levels.” Despite the challenges and losses, the SHS Theatre still wanted to give a solid performance and make the Class of 2020 cast and crew proud since they could not participate as planned. “I would say our production went really well! We all worked really hard on this show and it felt amazing to be able to finally share it with the few people that were able to be there with us in the audience.” Doriot said.


Before-game rituals keep players focused on game Hailey Christoff staff writer

Photo by: Hailey Christoff

Cheering six feet apart: Under orange-level restrictions set by the Scott County Health Department, only 12 cheerleaders can attend basketball games. The cheerleaders must sit six feet apart and wear masks at all times.

No fans in stands

Isabela Diaz

co-editor-in-chief Catherine Valencia staff writer With COVID-19 cases rising and the county being moved from an orange to a code red, school officials had to take extra precautions when it comes to things like extracurricular activities and events. For the season, basketball is in full session, without full capacity. Parents and other relatives are allowed at basketball games, few photographers and handful other essential personnel members. With this being said, the components that make a basketball game are gone. For example, the cheer block is one of the main support systems for the basketball players. “I really miss the games. The cheer block is full of school spirit and really pumps up the team. With everyone gone, I think we’re all missing a part of the game and missing the spirit during basketball season,” Mella Neace (11) said. The main focus is on the players themselves. Though parents are allowed and some relatives, the players realize the importance of having a crowd. Guard Kinlee Craig (11) said fans in the stands makes the game feel different and fans impact how the players feel.

“Having people in the stands makes wins a lot sweeter. In our game against Charlestown, both JV and varsity came down to the wire and they were great wins, but I feel that if there were fans in the stands that win would’ve been so much better,” Craig said. Another part of the basketball team is not just the players — cheerleaders and parents play a big role. A lot of changes have been made to this season for safety reasons, leaving seniors players and cheerleaders in a bittersweet spot, where they are thankful to have a season but sad not everyone can see it in-person. “Considering this is my senior year and cheerleading is my main activity that I participate in, it is very heartbreaking that I do not get to do what I love one last time. Watching through the screen is better than nothing, but as soon as the whistle blows for a timeout or the buzzer goes off for a quarter ending, I feel lost and feel like I should be getting up to cheer to the crowd,” senior Jillian Smith said. Parents feel the same bittersweet feeling for their children, who enjoy being part of the game. Tonia Richey, who is the parent of Madyson Richey (10) said the lack of a crowd has affected not only her daughter but the rest of the team as well. “Madyson feeds off of the energy from the fans. She is so used to playing with lots of noise and the new silence tends to get in her head,” Richey said.

Before taking the court, each member of the Warriors basketball team has some way of getting into the game and becoming focused on what lies ahead. The team continues to work to get in the rhythm of the game as an unprecedented season pushes forward with the team 1-1. Guard Treyton Owens (12) used past experiences to maintain the dedication of the game, including using before-game rituals to keep him focused. “I have many pregame rituals mainly because I like to have a routine in my everyday life,” Owens said. His rituals include buying the same Subway sandwich during JV games, praying during the national anthem, placing himself in the same seat while on the bus, and taking the floor second to last. Owens joked that he had several other rituals but could not list them since they would be too long. Forward Hayden Cutter (11) also prays before the game starts. “I always pray before I go out on the court,” Cutter said. Ryan Gibson (12) uses music as his preparation. “Before every game, I jam out to ‘80s rock music in the car ride to the gym,” Gibson said. Although these before-game rituals help all three players get in the game, the key factor of preparation through mastering the fundamentals of the game plays a crucial role in success. “If I had to pick an aspect of my game that was just most difficult for me, it would have to be defense because I haven’t fully been able to read what players will do next,” Owens said. “Talking a lot and being vocal on the court,” Cutter said was a challenge for him.

Photo by: Roger Vaughn, Roger Vaughn Photography

Liftoff: Guard Kaden Raichel (10) finger rolls a layup to score against Eastern Greene on Dec. 19. The varsity lost 52-38, but the JV won 49-36.

Staying healthy and the toll on one's body can also be a factor in doing well during the game as basketball quickly becomes a contact sport. Gibson said he finds it difficult sometimes to play on an injured knee. The annual rivalry game against the Austin Eagles was rescheduled to Dec. 23, a couple of days before the holiday. Originally the game was scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 25, but due to the increasing cases of COVID around the county, the Austin officials felt the game needed to be postponed until further notice. Postponed games, however, do not disrupt the grind and commitment the players have for the game. “If you want something you need to go out and fight for it and work your butt off,” Owens said. The Warriors play at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at Austin to make up the Thanksgiving game. Fans can watch the games through the athletic department’s streaming service.

Dec 2020, Issue 3




Coaches pivot in wake of pandemic crisis Catherine Valencia staff writer With Scottsburg High School providing a variety of sports to participate in, COVID-19 affected each and every one of them — including the coaches and players. Some coaches have had to drastically change their methods of coaching. Being limited to certain time, days, and people, coaches had to learn to shift away from what they have done in the past. The swim team has had to shift its core — the regular use of a swimming pool. For years, the Scott County YMCA has been the home of the SHS swim team as the school district does not have a pool on its premises. When the Scott County YMCA closed its swimming pool due to structural engineering issues, the swim team had nowhere to practice. The athletic department was able to make a deal with two area schools to use their facilities for the swim team, but then, COVID-19 hit and no one was willing to open its pool to anyone outside of their respective schools, leaving the swim team with no pool once again. The team practiced on “dry land” performing conditioning exercises in the weight room and around the school. After an extensive search, the swim team was able to find a pool at the Floyd County YMCA, but the team would have to arrive at the school at 5 a.m. to make it happen. “We have to go the furthest for practice that we’ve ever gone. It’s about a 40-minute drive each way, so we spend an hour and 20 minutes on the road and only an hour in the water. We leave at 5 a.m. and get back at 7:45 a.m., so it’s been rough so far, but our team is dedicated,” swim coach Brandon Jerrell said. Even though it is of misfortune that the swim team has to do this, they still have their goals set just as any other team does and can only hope for the best for the rest of their season. “Driving a minibus every day at 5 a.m. is definitely the worst experience I’ve had coaching in the past five years. But, it’s worth



Photos from: Scottsburg Athletics

Dedication: The swim team arrives to school at 5 a.m. each practice day to take a minibus to Floyd County YMCA to use their swimming pool after the Scott County YMCA closed their pool and the area schools would not let the swim team use their pools due to COVID-19 restrictions. Top left, the team rides the bus for 40-minutes one way to swim for an hour before heading back to SHS for school at 7:45 a.m. Above left, Rebecca Foster (10) and Allison Schmidt (11) leave the bus from their early morning practice to start their school day. Left, the swim team finally hits the water after weeks of "dry land" practices for conditioning until a pool was found.

it to see the team improve and it will be even more worth it if we are able to break the school records we are striving for this year,” Jerrell said. Although the swim team may travel the farthest for practice, they are not the only team where COVID-19 has affected them. Girls soccer coach Brian Schmidt said the effects of COVID-19 have impacted not just

Dec. 2020, Issue 3

his team but him as well. Time has been taken away from him, and when that happens, it is hard to build a schedule around it when anything could go wrong at any moment. “Part of every practice was used up by COVID-19 screenings and temperature checks. Plus, all the little talks about masks, social distancing, busing protocols, and being careful outside of school and practice

time. So, overall, yes, it ate up a chunk of our time,” Schmidt said. Even with all the downfalls that are brought into times like this, Schmidt said he always looks for the best part in the game and the players. Despite all the things that could go wrong in a season, he and many other coaches have adapted to making the most out of their seasons.

Profile for SHS Booster

The Booster | December 2020 | Volume 94, Issue Three  

The latest news, stories, and sports from Scottsburg High School in Scott County, Ind. Visit us online at https://theboosteronline.com

The Booster | December 2020 | Volume 94, Issue Three  

The latest news, stories, and sports from Scottsburg High School in Scott County, Ind. Visit us online at https://theboosteronline.com