Meet BHS Foreign Exchange Student from Germany

by Jack Long

Julius Reckmann, a sophomore, is visiting from Mainz, Germany to study at BHS for the 2016-2017 academic year. Julius heard about the exchange program from a family friend. With this year of study he hopes to further open his mind to different cultures and ideas, and to grow “more experience in life.”

Julius ran for the Cross Country team this fall and plans to play tennis in the spring. Some of his favorite hobbies include playing tennis, being sarcastic, hiking, and hanging out with friends. While in Ohio, Julius has visited Bill’s Donuts, Dairy Shed, Blueberry Cafe, and watched a Dayton Flyers game. And during winter break Julius and his host family are planning to visit Florida.

The interview would have not been complete if the topic of American stereotypes wasn’t brought up. Julius said that the typical stereotypes were that the obesity level was a lot higher and everyone owned a gun. He did say, however, that there are stereotypes that he has found to be true: a strong sense of community, school spirit, and friendly people.

Julius is staying with a host family and with Matteo Moroni, an Italian Foreign Exchange student.

Ohio State Attacks hit Home

by Lauren Redfern

Monday, November 28 was an ordinary day after Thanksgiving Break at The Ohio State University until around 10 am that morning when OSU’s Emergency Management Twitter page sent out a message stating, “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.”

Ohio State uses the Run Hide Fight method for these type of drastic events.

  • Run: get as far away from the situation as possible.
  • Hide: if running is not possible, stay put and barricade any doors that would keep you safe if at all possible.
  • Finally, fight if attacked.

The situation started with the suspect calling 911 for a gas leak in Watts Hall, an engineering building which made countless students evacuate. After 30 min of waiting, one student stated that the suspect drove his car over the curb into the crowd of people. According to CNN, the suspect then got out of the vehicle and began stabbing the people around him. The Guardian reports that U.S officials state the attack was self radicalized. The suspect, named Abdul Razak Ali Artan, injured 11 people in the attacks. He then was shot dead by law enforcement at the scene.

November 29, the Islamic State terrorist group stated that Artan was acting as “a soldier” on the behalf of the group. This attack is part of a series of domestic attacks. Artan was born in Somalia and was a lawful U.S. permanent resident and a student at Ohio State.

The university cancelled all remaining classes the day of the attack but resumed the following day. Four people remain hospitalized after the attack. None of the victims had life-threatening injures. Seven people have been released from the hospital already. The attacks hit home here in the town of Bellbrook, with many alumni of the high school current students of the university. OSU has held many prayer vigils and has offered help to students affected.

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Soars to the Top Of the Box Office

Image result for fantastic beasts and where to find them photos

photo courtesy of

By Rachel Giffin

Director David Yates and writer J. K. Rowling wow us all again with the magical screenplay of the 2016 film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. As a prequel to the already popular Harry Potter film series, Fantastic Beasts was projected to do quite well in the box office polls. However, after its first showing in 4,144 theaters across Europe and North America, no one suspected anything like this.

Marvel’s Doctor Strange now ranks #2 in the box office polls, and other anticipated films,  such as The Edge of Seventeen and Bleed For This, now rank 7th and 8th next to this fantastic film.

And why not? Fantastic Beasts is an ageless story, capturing the wonder and enchantment audiences have come to expect from the Harry Potter world, while incorporating American ingenuity and humor. This film is surprisingly down to earth, while still touching the child in all of us. It has audiences rooting for the hero to beat the bad guy, which is a refreshing taste after so many other wonderful films featuring anti-heroes and jaded protagonists. And not only are the characters lovable, they’re very human, and it’s they who convince the audience that all of this might have happened in 1926, and we just didn’t know about it.

Buy or D.I.Y. Your Next Bath Bomb

By Sarah Rovinsky

Whether seeking sweet release from a week of exams that caused mental and emotional havoc–I’m speaking from experience–or simply enjoying yourself, any occasion is a perfect opportunity to treat yourself to a bath bomb. Though Lush cosmetics is, essentially, the holy grail of bath bombs, is it worth it? Lush is known for their high quality, fresh, handmade cosmetics. Their stance against animal testing also allows customers to purchase with a clear conscience. My only deterrent from buying their aesthetic-y products is my sad, empty wallet. Therefore, I have bravely attempted a D.I.Y. to prove or disprove if Lush’s disintegrating balls of magic can be replicated.

Products I used:

  • 8 ounces of baking soda
  • 4 ounces of  cream of tartar
  • 4 ounces of non-GMO corn starch
  • 4 ounces of  epsom salts
  • ¾ a teaspoon of water
  • 2 teaspoons (or 20-30 drops) of essential oil (or your favorite essential oil scent)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Natural food coloring (optional)
  • Loose cosmetic glitter (optional)
  • Bath bomb shaper or mini muffin pan (This will only change the shape and can be substituted for other desired shapes.)

First, I mixed all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, I mixed all the wet ingredients. Afterwards, I combined both wet and dry ingredients. If it is well mixed, it should hold together when you squeeze it in your fists. If it falls apart, add a few more drops of water until it reaches the right consistency. Then, pack it into whatever container you’ve chosen to shape your bath bomb. Let it dry out completely in about 24 hours.

Later I compared my homemade bath bomb to Lush’s and found that both gave off the same amount of fizz. My D.I.Y. bomb required a lot of ingredients and prep time. However, I had plenty of fun putting everything together. As for pricing, buying everything I needed easily got to be expensive, but due to the bulk amount I purchased, I can make more for less than a store-bought version. Ultimately, personal preference will determine whether or not you are willing to exchange convenience over price.

Record Success Represented at Fall Sports Awards

By: Sara Wolf

Bellbrook Athletics experienced success upon success in fall sports this year, which was reflected during the Fall Sports Awards on November 2. The fall sports at BHS consist of football, football cheerleading, volleyball, golf, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s cross country–all of which are presented by each coach at awards. Mr. Baker joked that he thought he had walked into Home Depot because of “all of the hardware” across the floor. BHS fall sports athletes have worked hard to earn every trophy and title this season, and show other schools what it means to have Eagle Pride. Each sport was spoken for in the hour and a half ceremony.

Football was coached by new head coach Jeff Jenkins this season. The season started with four straight wins for the first time since 2008. The boys ended with a 7-3 record that included hard-earned victories against Tecumseh, Brookville and Oakwood. Chandler Wren was named Offensive Player of the Year, while Logan Brittain received the Most Coachable Award. Justin Havens was named Defensive Player of the Year while also receiving the Leadership Award and a 4th Year Varsity Award. The Varsity Eagle Heart Award was given to Tom Orbash, and Spencer Szewczyk was given the SWBL Sportsmanship Award. Football Cheerleading gave Jessica Hyatt the MVP Award, Teresa LaBello the Eagle Heart Award and Madison Brown the SWBL Sportsmanship Award.

Bellbrook women’s soccer won District for the first time since 2012, ending their season with a record of 14 wins, 4 losses and 3 ties. The season ended in a tough loss to McNick Nov. 1, but a prior victory against Wyoming gave them the District title. The recorded included wins over Oakwood, Carroll, and Tipp City. Head coach Zach Huffman named Audrey Spirk Offensive Player of the Year and Bekah Vine Defensive Player of the Year. Paige Buttery was given the SWBL Sportsmanship Award and Lauren Chew was named Most Improved. The Eagle Heart Award went to Natalie Stein.

Bellbrook men’s soccer were SWBL champions this fall for the 25th season in a row. The season ended with 11 wins, 4 losses and 2 ties, which included victories over Wilmington, Monroe, and Oakwood. Shane Niemeier was named MVP, Drew Klepacz was named Offensive Player of the Year, and Rutger Marien Defensive Player of the Year. The Eagle Heart Award was given to Caleb Cargill, and the SWBL Sportsmanship Award was given to Aaron Keefer. Shane Niemeier and Dylan Robinson both received 4 Year Varsity Awards.

Men’s golf was second in the SWBL behind Oakwood this year. Their season ended with a record of 7-3. Varsity Coach Ben Trick gave his Coaches Award to Mason Zimmer and the Eagle Heart Award to Sean Ulrich. Raif Foster was recognized for having the lowest average on varsity, and Luke Dicicco was given the SWBL Sportsmanship Award.

Women’s tennis won the SWBL this year, with a 12-6 record that included victories against Fairmont, Northmont and Oakwood. Head coach Dean Grisso gave his Coaches Award to Shea Foster and the MVP Award to Andrea Szep. Abby Schultz was given the Eagle Heart Award and Jessica Tschantz was given the SWBL Sportsmanship Award.

Volleyball won the SWBL again this year, ending the season undefeated in league with a record of 22 wins and 3 losses. The girls defeated not only in-league rivals like Monroe and Eaton, but also tough out-of-league competition like Minster and Kenton Ridge. Senior Abby Crotty was named the League Player of the Year for the second time in her high school career. She also broke the school records for Total Career Kills (1,043) and Kills in Season (312). Coach Lynzee Johnson named Abby Crotty MVP and Natalie Galle Defensive Player of the Year. Crotty and Galle both received 4 Year Varsity Awards. Johnson gave the Eagle Heart Award to Kaitlyn Urbaniak and the SWBL Sportsmanship Award to Allison Powell.

Both men’s and women’s cross country teams won SWBL together for the first time in school history, and each team was represented at the state meet this year. Justin Boreman ran and represented the boys, while the whole women’s varsity team ran at state. Boreman placed 101st while the girls made school history with 6th place overall, making them the best team BHS has ever had. Coach Jeanne Johnson named Lauren Kemper and Madison Pelfrey Co-Most Valuable Runners. The Eagle Heart Award was given to Elise Kemper and Jennifer Winn was given the SWBL Sportsmanship Award. This season, senior Kayla Parker made a school record running time of 18:48 while also receiving her 4 Year Varsity Award. Emi Ford and Madison Pelfrey also received 4 Year Varsity Awards. Coach Baumer named Justin Boreman and Connor Robinson Co-Most Valuable Runners. Nico Taylor was given the Varsity Most Improved Award, Kyle Miller was given the Eagle Heart Award, and Cole Weslow was given the SWBL Sportsmanship Award. John Gallagher and Connor Robinson both received 4 Year Varsity Awards.

“Deadly Ernest” Develops in Comedy

by Jack Long

Under the new direction of Ms. Jergens this year, many of us believed we were going to see a play that finally didn’t include the words “murder” or “mystery” in its summary. However, the undying tradition lives on this year in a new form. The actors took the stage on 15 November, performing for the middle schoolers. On the following day, the high schoolers were able to view their peers performing a comedic version of a murder-mystery. Entitled Deadly Ernest, the play consists of a man named Henry who, after a short but very dramatic phase of depression, accidentally hires a man named Ernest to kill him. What ensues is situational and dramatic irony that makes watching the play unbearable at some points.

As the back story is set up in the first few minutes of the play, you can’t help but get a little bored. It’s not the actors’ fault but rather the writing. The story doesn’t allow for much leniency in the dramatics, which is disappointing because the great acting abilities of many on the stage was being muted. The play was saved, though, when a few comedic lines dropped from senior John Gallagher’s character Ernie caused the entire auditorium to erupt in laughter. Once the story settled in everyone’s minds, the comedy began to shine a little brighter. Every actor brought with them a great performance, bringing their characters to life, which certainly made everyone laugh.

You can still see Deadly Ernest from 7-9 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 17-19. Ticket prices are $8 for students and $10 for adults. It’s certainly not a show to miss; and with Ms. Jergens as the new drama director, the school musical, coming in the spring, will definitely be one to remember!

3 Movies to See this November

By Rachel Giffin

Grab the popcorn and let’s go! With so many films rolling out this November, it can be difficult to decide which ones to see and which ones to skip. Marking the top of the box offices, here are a few that are definitely worth the watch.

  1. Marvel’s Doctor Strange
    Image result for doctor strange movie photos

    photo from
    Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton
    Directed by Scott Derrickson
    Produced by Kevin Feige
    Rated PG-13
    Release Date: November 4, 2016Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, seeks help from a mysterious healer (played by Tilda Swinton) and learns to battle “unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality.”

    With newly-acquired magical powers, Doctor Strange must choose whether to return to his civilian life or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.


    “What Robert Downey Jr. is to Iron Man and Ryan Reynolds is to Deadpool—that’s what Benedict Cumberbatch is to Doctor Strange. By that I mean, he’s everything…The British actor, flashing an American accent eons away from the plummy tones of Sherlock or Hamlet, is the creative spark that ignites this bracing new entry in the Marvel cinematic universe.”- Rolling Stone

    “All in all, Doctor Strange is a fun and trippy excursion to a place where Marvel rarely seems to go: that is, to the retinal roots of the comics.The story may be nothing to write home about, but the sights to be seen there—which put the ‘bullet time’ sequence of X-Men: Days of Future Past‘ to shame—are Instagrammable.” –The Washington Post

    “A kaleidoscope of weirdness and innovative visual effects successfully introduce the newest Marvel superhero.” –USA Today

  2. Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemImage result
    photo from t3gstatic.comStarring:Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, and Colin Farrell
    Directed by: David Yates
    Produced by: Warner Bros
    Rating: PG-13
    Release Date: November 18, 2016 

    Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. He arrives in New York, where he meets a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, spelling trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.


    Reviving the magical universe from the second biggest franchise of all time is a pretty risky move, but Fantastic Beasts does a good job of blending the familiar with the new.” –Screencrush

    “Fantastic Beasts is a rich, baroque, intricately detailed entertainment with some breathtaking digital fabrications of prewar New York City. This is Steampunk 2.0, taking its inspirations from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil or Howard Hawks’s His Girl Friday but the New York she creates also has the dark, traumatized look of Gotham City. The American wizards themselves are subject to an internal debate about their attitude to the civilians; in America a muggle is known as a ‘no-maj.’ It’s a schism that threatens to reach X-Men proportions. Rowling and Yates have given us a terrifically good-natured, unpretentious and irresistibly buoyant film. There’s a scene in a speakeasy where someone orders ‘six shots of giggle-water.’ This film felt to me like twelve.” –The Guardian

    John DeFore at The Hollywood Reporter thinks the film works extremely well, but it does have some shortcomings:

    “Invention and effects are the name of the game here, predictably, and this world invites us in as effectively as the best of the Potter episodes. (Only in scenes where actors pretend to handle tiny snake-like dragons is a CG illusion unconvincing.) Somewhat less effective is the film’s character-bonding agenda: Breaks in the action for, say, backstory about Newt’s long-lost love sometimes feel like items on a checklist.” –The Hollywood Reporter


  3. Disney’s Moana
    Image result for moana film photo
    photo from Wikepedia
    Starring: Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson
    Directed by: John Musker and Rom Clements,
    Produced by: Disney
    Rating: PG
    Release Date: November 23, 2016

    Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), princess of her local island, sets out on a journey where she meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers her own identity.Reviews:

    “A crowd-pleasing oceanic musical with big tunes and beguiling characters, Moana is likely to thwack a big smile on your face. And did we mention the idiotic chicken?” –Empire
    “More than ‘Tangled,’ more than ‘Frozen,’ ‘Moana’ keeps with the tradition that made Disney the leader in animated fairy and folk tales.” –Variety