Recap: Women’s Basketball Home Opener

December 3, 2018 was the first women’s home basketball game featuring the Jordan Matthews’ Jets in a big showdown. The game was a thrilling start to the Jaguars’ season, leaving some players excited to think about team dynamics and the future of their program.


Ana Leigh, junior guard, sees a lot of success ahead for the team.


“I expect that throughout the season we will develop a lot of chemistry and meet the goals that we set, and I think that we will be successful, and we’ll have a good time,” said Leigh.

Nichole Noel, junior small forward, is excited for the team to showcase their skills in conference play.


“I expect that we will continue to work hard and improve, and when we play people in our conference, we will be more competitive.”


The game started off a bit slow with the other team breaking away with a big lead. But the Jags had some time to think during halftime, and they had a strong third quarter. Even though the Jags lost, they learned what they need to work on to be more successful in future games.


“Our first home game did not go as we planned, we didn’t execute plays correctly, and we weren’t happy with how we were doing, but at the end of the game we picked it up and ended strongly,” said Leigh.


Leigh has also thought about potential strategies that the team could work to incorporate into their next game.


“We need to work on making layups and free throws and encourage people on the court more from the bench,” said Leigh.


Leigh thinks that having a strong fan base and support system can improve player performance and raise the spirit of the team.


“Definitely, 100 percent, people need to show out; we could definitely use more support,” said Leigh.


The team’s next home game is on December 20 against Bartlett Yancey, and the Jags are excited for another chance to showcase their work as a team.


CHS Holds It’s Annual Red Cross Blood Drive

On December 17, 2018 the CHS Red Cross Club held its annual blood drive in the gymnasium. An estimated 50 members of the Jaguar community signed up, with participants including teachers, students and parents. The whole process for donating blood takes around one hour and each person who donates saves an estimated three lives. At the end of the process donors receive snacks, drinks and a shirt to reward and refuel them after having their blood drawn.

The club started preparing at the beginning of December for the event, setting up a sign-up station outside of the media center encouraging peers to volunteer.

“I had so much fun meeting and talking to everyone who volunteered. It was great to see so many people taking time out of there day to donate blood,” said Alyssa Taylor, Red Cross Club member.

Bridget Kelley, Olivia Hall, Lina Bruno, Alyssa Dunn and Praveen Puviindran members of the Red Cross Club.

If you didn’t sign up for the winter blood drive the Red Cross Club encourage anyone who can to sign up for the spring blood drive, typically held mid April.

Students prepare for annual Powderpuff tradition

Bored of waiting three days from Monday to Thursday Night Football? Well wait no more, Wednesday, November 28 is Carrboro High School’s annual powderpuff tournament. The tradition involves women playing flag football, coached and cheered on by their classmates.

The tournament is a fundraiser put on by the Sophomore Class Council in order to raise money for prom. Additionally, each class is selling team t-shirts which can be purchased from the corresponding Class Council.

Historically, the upperclassmen tend to advance past the lowerclassmen, however last year featured the first ever upset of the sophomores over the juniors. This has caused an intense rivalry among the classes of 2019 and 2020, who could play a rematch in the finals should they survive the first round.

“There’s always a rivalry between the grades. I can remember some intensity displayed from both sides, but it’s all in good fun,” said Charlotte Ellis, 2020 class member.

Teams have held practices, developed plays and even scrimmaged against each other in hopes of going down in history as the 2018 powderpuff champions. The tournament will start at 6:00 with the senior team playing the freshmen and the juniors playing the sophomores, shortly followed by the winners facing off in the finals. Be sure to show out and support your class as they take on the rest of the school.

Fall Sports Banquet: Review

The sports season has come to a close, and that means that the Fall Sports Banquet came once again. Monday, November 26 was an evening of family, families, friends, and of looking back on the accomplishments of Jaguars across teams.

Student athletes gathered together with their coaches and parents on Monday evening to say goodbye for the year, and the mood was bittersweet. As attendees enjoyed cake and coaches presented awards, teammates shared memories of significant moments of the season.

“It was a great way to reflect on our season,” said Elly Hensley, senior volleyball player. Throughout the banquet, the sentiment of reflection and appreciation was prevalent. Coaches spoke about the successes and challenges that defined the season and lauded the athletes who went above and beyond.

“It was great coming out and seeing everyone tonight to celebrate our successes,” said Sydney West, senior volleyball player.

Men and women’s teams came together, and coaches had an opportunity to speak earnestly to their teams about their potential as the season closed out- and not just as athletes.

“It was really inspiring to see Drexler say that he cares more about our development as good people than players.” said Bela Maetzel, senior soccer player.

The First Ever Carrboro Homecoming

Friday, November 9th, the Carrboro student body celebrated a huge win from the football team by going to the first ever homecoming dance. Not a traditional homecoming dance, students did not take dates, nor dressed up, but there was definitely not an absence of fun. The SGA presented the commons with an unbelievable makeover, there were snacks – including cookies, sandwiches, chips – and drinks, but all the action was on the dance floor. DJ X (Xavier Van Raay) made students go crazy, playing a lot of upbeat pop and rap songs.

Preview of Rescheduled Spirit Week and Homecoming Events

Because of the canceled school days during Hurricane Michael, the planned spirit and Homecoming week festivities have been rescheduled.

The week of November 5 to 9 is the second Spirit Week, with new themes for Monday and Wednesday. Monday was  Character Day, which is similar to Meme Day but includes a broader range of characters. According to Mr. Severance, SGA Faculty Rep, this spirit day is an opportunity for students to wear their Halloween costumes to school or dress up as a character from a movie, game or cartoon.

“The idea behind Character Day was, it’s right after Halloween, so we wanted to give people opportunities to use their Halloween costumes,” said Severance.

The next day, Tuesday, was  a teacher workday, but students  will be back in school for Wacky Wednesday on November 7. This theme was the second most popular choice in the student survey used to decide the first spirit week’s themes.

Thursday and Friday will keep their originally scheduled themes: Jersday Thursday and Class Color Day, respectively. For Class Color Day, the colors will still be gray for freshmen, purple for sophomores, black for juniors and white for seniors.

Friday, November 9, is a big day for CHS, as there will be several homecoming events at the end of the school week. SGA will hold a  pep rally n the gym at the end of the school day. After school, the Homecoming Game will run from 7:30 to 9:00 pm, with the Homecoming Dance following from 9:00 to 11:30 pm in the Cafe Commons at CHS.

Because of the rescheduling, Student Government hopes to use the additional planning time to make the week’s events even more enjoyable for Carrboro students. They have worked hard adding activities to ensure that school spirit is at a peak during the pep rally and the week of Homecoming.

“We’re just trying to use all the ideas we can to try to increase school spirit and just provide outlets for students to have fun on Homecoming Week,” said Severance.

With these changes, the Student Government team wants to make sure that students and teachers enjoy the rescheduled Spirit Week and Homecoming events as much as they can. It is clear that CHS students can look forward to a busy and exciting week.

The CHS Latin Program Presents: The Underworld

The Latin Underworld is upon us again, bringing a day of mythology to the CHS auditorium. Latin students prepare monologues for significant figures in the Underworld and deliver them as classes walk through the auditorium, as if they had become part of the Underworld.


Jane McGee, CHS Latin teacher explained what the Underworld is for those who don’t know.

“The Underworld is a reenactment, a visual presentation of the Ancient Roman and Greek concept of what happened after life,” she said.


It’s an opportunity for students to learn more about mythology, a topic that is heavily alluded to in popular culture and literature, such as many of Shakespeare’s works or more current works, such as the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter series. It also makes appearances in other social studies classes, such as world history.


“When you’re studying world history, you read about the Ancient Romans and the Greeks, and understanding that ancient people had this idea that life didn’t end just because you died. It coexists with modern philosophies and ideologies as well,” said McGee, talking about the importance of mythology in modern education.


Audrey Carson and Zoe Morris are two of the seniors that are helping to plan this year’s Underworld, and they went into more specific details about the event.


“We’re going off, I think, the Aeneid now, where basically Aeneas entered the Underworld–someone gave him a golden bough and that allowed him to enter and leave as a mortal, and so we’re kind of playing on that with the classes now,” said Carson.


The Underworld takes place on Wednesday November 7, between 1st and 4th periods. Last year, teachers had to bring coins to get into the Underworld, but this year, they’re bringing golden boughs, or golden branches, as seen in the Aeneid, a myth about the Trojan hero who traveled to Italy and was the ancestor of the Romans.


Even though students read the Aeneid and other works involving figures in the Underworld, mythology isn’t a part of the curriculum for high school Latin classes, so this is an opportunity for the Latin students to learn more about these characters they’ve mentioned in class, and dive deeper into their myths.


Some major figures and myths that will be represented are Hades and Persephone–or, as the Romans would say, Pluto and Proserpina–Cerberus, the three headed dog, Dido, Aeneas, Tantalus and many more.


While the real Underworld is divided into three main sections, the CHS Underworld isn’t as accurate, but makes more sense.


“So we have the outside area of people who would’ve been the threshold to the Underworld, and then we have an area that’s kind of the land of heroes, so that would be like the Elysian fields, and then there’s also an area [where] it’s still the heroes but it’s not quite the paradise image,” said Morris, “And then we have Tartarus for the tortured souls, and then we have Hades’ palace and then like a few people who are stationed at the gates in between two places.”


Along with expanding students’ knowledge of mythological characters, the Underworld gives Latin students a platform for their language.


“It just seemed important to give the Latin students, who have very little opportunity to broadcast their language–it’s not the spoken language of Spanish or French, to give them presence within the school,” explained McGee.


Morris agrees, adding on that it gives the Latin class a bit of character, and allows the rest of the school to see what the Latin students are about.

Huge Shift in The Art Department

At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, Carrboro High School’’s beloved chorus teacher, Kay Johnson, retired. Johnson worked as the Chorus and Orchestra teacher at the school for 11 years, since 2007. Her retirement left two open positions in the music/art department.

Carrboro hired Valerie Puhala to serve in the vacant chorus position. Puhala taught as a chorus teacher for four years at West Wilkes High School before coming to Carrboro High. In addition to teaching Chorus, she teaches one period of AVID.

At Puhala’s last school, she was was one of the only music teachers for the day, so there was a lot more work for her. Here at Carrboro, the other music and arts teachers help her plan her concerts and other choral events.

I was excited about the closeness of the teachers in the arts department and the strength of the arts program as a whole,” said Puhala in an email interview about why she choose Carrboro High School for her job.

Casey Spillman is in his second year as the CHS band director.. He worked as a band teacher for 12 years prior to being at CHS. He replaced Ms. Johnson as the orchestra director when she retired at the end of last year.

“Once I knew it was okay with her, I checked to see could I get (basically inherit) the orchestra program. It was my request,” said Spillman.

This is Spillman’s first year directing Orchestra, and he has never worked with string instruments as a director. But his love for classical music gave him the courage to give it a try.

Spillman teaches two separate periods of Orchestra, one period of symphonic band,  one period of Jazz Ensemble and a structured study period called “Study for Success.” In addition to all this, he directs the pep band for football games. For many teachers, this teaching load could be overwhelming.

“It’s a good kind of stress; it’s far more planning. I get here in the morning anywhere between 7:00 and 7:30. I have first period planning so I need to give myself at least two hours, two and a half hours, to kind of make my plans for the day.”

Students have enjoyed having Mr. Spillman as their new orchestra teacher. Those who have had other teachers noticed some differences between Ms. Johnson’s teaching and his.

He is very encouraging and I’m sure that under his instruction the Carrboro orchestra will continue to improve and expand,” said senior Anna Biglaiser over email, who has been in orchestra for 6 years (including middle school).

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ESL Newcomers

A lot of students don’t know about the ESL program at CHS and the people the program helps.

ESL is coursework in Carrboro High School designed to help students who are looking to learn English as their second, third or in some cases as a fourth language.

It’s a really big challenge for ESL students to come to a place where nobody else may speak their language, and they need a lot of help from teachers to understand English and its vocabulary.

“International students need help more than American students,” said Jeff Roberson, retired ESL teacher, about why he made the switch from English to ESL teacher.

From the student perspective, “I think English learning was hard because of all the big amounts of vocabularies I had to learn to go through one class,” said Faisal Al Zoubi, CHS senior and ESL student.

ESL teacher Mrs. Angela McChesney chose to teach the newcomer class to learn about different beliefs and life experiences.

“I love traveling and to learn about different languages and cultures,” said McChesney, who teaches World History and English for CHS newcomer and ESL students.

Speaking other languages can help teachers connect with students. Roberson can speak different languages, such as Spanish and French, which makes it easier to explain English to newcomer students. McChesney teaches students who don’t speak English by acting out or showing pictures to their students, but best way is repetition.

“Repeating the same thing again and again [helps] because studies show that repeated exposure to vocabulary is necessary,” said McChesney.

The ESL program is an opportunity to get the students to improve their English by practicing it in a comfortable. The students are allowed more time on the test, which can help give time to understand vocabulary.

The program also includes learning about different social skills and American culture. The program gives students the chance to talk with teachers who have an experience with different cultures, which becomes a common connection between the students and the teacher.

In the end of every year, the students are required to take an ESL test. The ESL test is made up of 4 parts:  speaking, writing, listening and reading. The test is made to see if the students have improved and to see if the teachers have done their job perfectly.

“I passed the ESL test, but I have experienced it for four years, and it was kind of  hard each year, but every year I took it, I improved,” said Gerardo Medina Lopez, sophomore.