Month: October 2014

Rapids run for veterans

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By Corinne Minnick, Staff Writer

James River High School is sponsoring a new fundraiser to support our wounded veterans, their families, and the Fisher House. The Fisher House provides military families with housing close to a loved one during hospitalization. This 5K will take place at James River on Saturday, November 8th, from 7:30 am  to 12:00 pm.

Students can register at  for 20 dollars, and the first 100 people to register are guaranteed a T-shirt.


Feeding more with James River

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By Meg Carroll, Staff Writer

Senior Alexis Scott is passionate about supporting and assisting underprivileged people who are unable to provide consistent means of food. She decided to create a food drive for her senior capstone, which occurred during the last few weeks of the first quarter. Scott encouraged students to bring in canned goods for the initiative and the food would go to organizations within Feedmore, an influential organization that aids people in Virginia.

The spark for Scott’s passion began at her church, where a representative from FeedMore visited and spoke about the programs within the organization. Her youth group volunteered at FeedMore, and Scott was quickly swept up into the inspiring and determined efforts by the organization. After volunteering at FeedMore over the summer, Scott quickly decided to incorporate the program into her senior capstone, thus the Food Drive at James River took off.

“The goal was to reach 2000 cans. Right now, last time I checked, we’re at like 1420 cans so […] we’re getting there, but even if we don’t reach 2000, it’s the fact that like people took time to bring in all those cans, […] it really means a lot” said Scott.

The efforts by James River students impressed Scott, and without a doubt will encourage impoverished children and adults. The donated food will be given to several branches of FeedMore.

“[The food is going into] three food groups at FeedMore. There’s Meals on Wheels, Community Kitchen, and the Food Bank, and so that will be going towards all of them and it’s for like children, families, and the elderly or disabled” said Scott.

Meals on Wheels gives food to elderly and handicapped people who are unable to support themselves because it is difficult to prepare food in a confined area. The Community Kitchen prepares food for hungry and the Food Bank has a wide selection of goods for families.

Scott says this influential organization is “something I’m passionate about,” and Scott’s devotion to the Food Drive is inspiring. Her evident work with FeedMore has allowed students at James River to become involved with a beneficial and effective organization.

Crew coach rows into new season

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By: Cana Wilson, Staff Writer

The James River crew team started off their fall season with a new coach, new rowers, lots of progress, and brisk weather.

Coach Mike Johnson has been with the team since 2012 when his daughter decided to join. Last year, Coach Johnson was assistant coach, but this year, he took full responsibility as head coach.

“Being head coach instead of assistant is a lot more responsibility. The success of the entire team is now on my shoulders.”  said Johnson

Coach Johnson shared how coaching this year is different from last year when Coach Hank was the Head coach of the crew team.

“Before, I got to focus on just coaching the rowers and I didn’t really have to worry about much else. Now, I have to coach, maintain a safe environment on and off the water, schedule the regattas and arrange transportation, and set the line-ups for the boats. I have to deal with personality differences and the occasional disagreement between the athletes. I am finding the challenges fun, but stressful at the same time. This year’s team is a good one and they are really making the transition a good one.” said Johnson.

Photo by- Corinne Minnick
Photo by Corinne Minnick.

With about 70 rowers, the crew team has almost doubled in size. This year’s slots were filled within 12 hours of releasing the applications.

“The team has been steadily growing over the years.  We have one of the winningest teams in the school and the athletes know that before they apply. They hear about the teamwork and the hard work required to compete and that gets us a lot of notice.  People want to be part of a winning team and one that works hard and together to achieve a goal.” said Johnson.

For the very first time, the crew team had a “Learn-to-Row” boat compete in the head race. The head race is an annual race for the varsity and novice rowers, so it is a major accomplishment.

“The team is making great progress.  Overall, the season has been a very good one, and at the head race, we brought home seven first place medals and three second place ribbons.  The kids are really working hard together and I am very pleased at the camaraderie amongst the rowers,” said Johnson.

Throughout the season, Coach Johnson has worked really hard with the team, and their hard work has been proven through their great progress and awards.

“My favorite part of coaching is to see the growth of the athletes over their time rowing.  These kids come here scared and unassured of themselves, and by the time they graduate, they are self-assured and very proficient at the sport.  This is something that they can do for the rest of their lives, and that alone, is a big plus,” Johnson said.

Etcetera literary magazine requesting submissions

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By: Kayla Kirk, Staff Writer

The literary magazine Etcetera is an opportunity for all unrecognized artists and writers to showcase their talents. Until December 18th, submissions of creative nonfiction, short stories, songs, novel excerpts, screenplay excerpts, memoirs and poetry will be accepted. This is a great chance for publication clips for college, job applications, possible extra credit, and recognition of students pieces and or artwork.

“There are no length requirements, but we ask that students keep excerpts to a few pages,” said Mrs.Hancock, English 10 and Creative Writing teacher. “Additionally, submissions should be typed and include a heading with their name, grade, first period teacher, and the genre of the piece. Submissions should be e-mailed to”

In order to completely submit work for the literary magazine, students must head to room 1236 to pick up a permission slip and return it to the folder located in the room. For the art submissions, artists will need to go to 1313 to have their submission photographed by Mr. Manley, the art sponsor. The focus of the magazine is creative or artistic pieces.

“The literary magazine is meant to be a creative endeavor, so as long as their submission is creative, they are free to submit it. More formal research papers would probably not fit the creative intent.” said Mrs.Hancock.

Etcetera usually contains 10-30 pieces of both art and writing. Students will be informed in the spring if their piece and/or artwork has been accepted.

Field Hockey hits the field

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By: Nicholas Gentry, Staff Writer

The field hockey team has returned to the turf this season, full of talent, and working on reconstruction.

“We have the potential to be very strong in the district but we need to commit to our practice plan and use that plan in our games.  We have strong players; we need to have a strong team,” said Coach Slade Gormus.

The team practices every school day, except during matches, which can take place once or twice a week.  This could be why Gormus has such a strong connection to the players on the team, especially the seniors.

“I love all of my players and it is always hard when my Seniors leave, and it has been like that for the last 19 years, but that is what they are suppose to do, fly away,” said Gormus.

Specifically, there is a senior who will be graduating this year, Erin Strasser.  Strasser, one of three captains on the field hockey organization, trained diligently this autumn with the rest of the team.

“I think that if the school knew how much we put into it, we would have a lot more respect and support as a team,” said Strasser.

Speaking of how much they put into it; the team played two tough and huge games this fall.  These games were against Midlothian in September and Cosby in October, both at home.  Through all the tough matches the team has played through, they keep one person in their thoughts, Coach Roarty.

Gormus said, “We will always incorporate the remembrance of Coach Roarty- We have ‘Carrie On’ shirts that we will be wearing, the pink ribbons on the fence, we have tied CR pink ribbons on our shoes and I had specially made shoes done.”

Swinging into states

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by: An-Vu Phan, Sports Editor

A week ago, the James River High School Golf Team took to the field at the Meadowbrook Country Club as they qualified for the state competition for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

The Rapids qualified through winning the Conference 3 title and finishing up second at the Regionals after putting up a 20-3 season. Once at States, the team proceeded to compete in the 5A tournament against Riverbend, Chantilly and South County.

“We didn’t play as well on the first day,” said Coach Timothy Llewellyn. “But on the second day the goal was mainly to beat the other three teams and shoot for 300.”

Although the first day didn’t go as planned for the Rapids, the team eventually rebounded to finish fourth in the competition.

“The key was that everybody worked together and practiced hard.” said Llewellyn.

James River adds new faculty

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By Mary Reamy, Photo Editor

This year James River is welcoming 20 new teachers to the 2014-2015 school year.The new teachers teach throughout many different departments. If you want to meet the new teachers, check out the photo gallery!


Ms.Hassan, Spanish

Mr. Bourassa, Social Studies
Mr. Bourassa, Social Studies; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mrs. Ricks, Social Studies; Photo by Maegan Hall
Mrs. Ricks, Social Studies; Photo by Maegan Hall
Mr. Wu, Math
Mr. Wu, Math; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mr. Washburn,  Director of Special Education
Mr. Washburn, Director of Special Education; Photo by Mary Reamy
Ms. Walker, Marketing
Ms. Walker, Marketing; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mr.Smith, Math
Mr.Smith, Math; Photo by Mary Reamy
Chief Mack, NJROTC
Chief Mack, NJROTC
Mrs. Patch, Special Education
Mrs. Patch, Special Education
Mrs. Mullaney, ESOL
Mrs. Mullaney, ESOL; Photo by Mary Reamy
Ms. Rosko, Health and Physical Education
Ms. Rosko, Health and Physical Education; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mr.Mahayni, ESOL
Mr.Mahayni, ESOL; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mr. Haynes, Science
Mr. Haynes, Science; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mr. Byerson, Culinary Arts
Mr. Byerson, Culinary Arts; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mr. Marano, Math
Mr. Marano, Math; Photo by Mary Reamy
Ms.Gahagan, Fine Arts
Ms.Gahagan, Fine Arts; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mrs. Haberland, ESOL
Mrs. Haberland, ESOL; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mr. Core, Health and Physical Education
Mr. Core, Health and Physical Education
Mr. Joyner; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mr. Joyner; Photo by Mary Reamy
Mr. Turpin, Band Director; Photo by Melissa Rau
Mr. Turpin, Band Director; Photo by Melissa Rau