Cirque du Soleil Performs in Dayton

By: Meghan Malas

The entertainment giant, Cirque du Soleil, recently paid a visit to Dayton’s Nutter Center as a part of their worldwide tour Sunday, March 26. The show featured was one acting as a prequel to the 2009 award winning film, Avatar. The show, titled Toruk: The First Flight, follows a loose plot line consisting of five unnamed characters who represent members of the indigenous Na’vi trying to save their people by fighting a beast known as the Toruk. The show also features several other members of the Na’vi that only act as part of the choreography.

Though the performers bare an exact resemblance to the beings in Avatar, and there are elements of the movie that are present like the Toruk, the life force tree, and the “rituals” held by the tribes, the performance lacked the antagonist and plot-based depth the movie possessed. Instead there was a strict emphasis on aesthetic appeal, as is common in a Cirque du Soleil show. Aerobatics and dancing run throughout the entirety of the show, and a projection-based set allowed for astounding effects. The visual stimulation alone compensate for the lack of storyline and it is often difficult to know where to look as there is something going on in every corner of the stage.

Above all, if one appreciates Avatar strictly for its sensory appeal, then the show could be deemed worthy of a watch. But, if one needs to experience a level of emotional interest in a show that is two hours long and over $30 for a trip to a performance to be worth it, than it would not be too far to say that this show falls short of expectation.

Coach Jim Place: A Legend

by Lauren Redfern

March 21, the underclass students of Bellbrook High School had the pleasure of listening to Coach Jim Place for 40 min. In these 40 min, Place, a high school football coach, told four stories about previous players and the lessons the audience can take from his presentation.

Coach Place has coached football for almost 50 years. Nine schools, 7 head coaching jobs, and multiple wins later, Place is a hall of fame coach. His players say that it’s not his win/loss record that makes playing for him so special. “He truly is a coach that cares about the whole person. Coach wants us to be great men, not just great players,” says Ponitz Junior Reece Reeves. Coach Place started to receive national recognition when he was the head coach at Stebbins High School (’82-’84) . Brent White, a player of Place’s, was awarded the National Defensive Player Award. That was the beginning of his hall of fame career.

Place moved onto the Cincinnati area where he took a Head Coach position at Middletown High School. Coach place recorded 48 victories in a five year time span, along with leading the team to the state playoffs three out of the five years. But, the most impressive stat from people on the outside looking in is the number of football scholarship athletes that went to the next level from Middletown High School. 59 student athletes went to college with some type of scholarship to play football. To be a college football player, talent is not the only requirement. The athlete must have grades that meet the NCAA Eligibility.

Place’s next move was to a place he called “vacation.” He took the head coaching job at Chaminade Julienne. In 2002, the Eagles won the DII State Championship. Place coached the team to the playoffs eight times in fifteen years, including seven straight trips to the postseason. The state of Ohio knew where Chaminade Julienne was and that is all because of one coach. Place had 53 athletes play at the next level with a scholarship in hand, and also in 1995 the senior class had over one million dollars in athletic scholarship money. Place also had a player received the Harold E. Meyer Sportsmanship award presented by OHSAA seven years straight.

Beside Place’s accomplishments on the football field at CJ, Place also started the drug and alcohol free “Winners Club.” The club had over 300 members and was recognized as the best prevention group in Montgomery County. Coach Place decided after his 15 years at Chaminade Julienne it was time to move on. Place was named Cincinnati Hamilton’s head football coach. Place might have not had great football success at Hamilton, but as the director of Character Education for the School, he placed the school as the state’s Best for Character in 2009, and was awarded the honor of being a top 15 character school in the nation.

During Place’s presentation to Bellbrook students, Coach Place stressed the importance of life other than sports. This accomplishment truly shows that sports are not always everything. After only being at Hamilton High School three years, he took a new job at Cincinnati Withrow where he would compile a 22-9 record over a three year period. He also lead the school to three straight conference titles.

After his Cincinnati coaching venture, most thought Place was done. But, he finds himself in the Dayton Public School District at Ponitz High School. Coach Place has an overall record of 245-169-2. 25 playoff games, over 140 Scholarship players and 14 NFL players. He is best known for taking over programs that need rebuilding. Place has been awarded Coach of the Year honors 14 times and was inducted into the Ohio High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012. Place when interviewed in by the Dayton Daily News reporter, Tom Archdeacon, and asked what his greatest achievement was he answered with, “Family.” He and his wife Joanie have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.

Khalid: An American Teen

by Kasen Stephensen

Last June, Khalid Robinson walked across the stage to graduate from Americas High School in El Paso, Texas. This year, the nineteen year old is an up-and-coming artist with his hit single “Location” peaking at spot 39 on the Billboard Top 100.

Khalid burst onto the music scene after Kylie Jenner featured his song “Location” in one of her snaps.  Rather than sing about riches or love, his music synthesizes old-school organ and piano with contemporary courtship. Many of his songs revolve around the cell phones and mention sent locations, snarky subtweets, and old numbers.  He has been featured on songs with the musicians Kendrick Lamar and Alina Baraz.  

Spring in Bellbrook: What to do?

By: Sara Wolf

As of March 20, it’s officially springtime. Whether or not Ohio decides to let it feel like it, spring is, as always, unpredictable. If you’re out of ideas on how to pass the cold, warm, rainy and sunny spring-ish time between now and summer, here are a few events happening in Bellbrook this spring and other ideas to help you to be better involved in your community.

Support your school!

Spring sports at BHS include softball, baseball, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, boys’ tennis, and track & field. All schedules are posted on each sport’s athletic page on the school website, but here are some early season dates so that you can come out and cheer on our athletes.

  • Girls’ lacrosse: Thursday, March 30 – Home game at the stadium against Little Miami
  • Boys’ lacrosse: Wednesday, April 19 – Home game at the stadium against Beavercreek
  • Baseball: Saturday, March 25 – Home double-header against Alter and Northwestern. Home game Monday, March 27 against Eaton
  • Softball: Monday, March 27 – Home game against Eaton
  • Boys’ tennis: Wednesday, March 29 – JV 4-5, Varsity 5-6, matches at Alter High School
  • Track & Field: Tuesday, March 28 – meet at Fairmont High School. The Golden Eagle Invitational home meet is Thursday, April 18.

Support Bellbrook’s Businesses

Bellbrook is a little town, but still home to many small, hardworking businesses that bring the little town big character. Go to the extra and worthwhile “trouble” of exploring and supporting more of our unique shops and stores that we should be proud of.

  • Bellbrook Canoe Rental – If the weather soon permits, don’t deprive yourself of a few healthy hours on the Little Miami River in a canoe, tube, or kayak. Split the cost with a friend and appreciate just how pretty Bellbrook is when you aren’t just speeding through town or driving to school.
  • Dairy Shed – Rumored to open March 23, make sure to wait in the inevitably long line to get that Bellbrook-defining ice cream that makes the wait worthwhile.


  • BellHOP Cafe – A little known fact about BellHOP is that it is volunteer run, so be sure to go support such a cozy, happy cafe in the middle of town. It’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays, but some weekends BellHOP holds open mics where you can hear local talent.
  • McIntosh’s Pub & Grub – Home of great wings, burgers, and pretzel bites, what reasons could there be not to make time to have dinner here and a nice time with friends or family?
  • Third Season Restaurant – Fast, casual, great food. They have everything from burgers to pasta to paninis and beyond on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Saturdays the restaurant is only open 8 a.m. to noon for breakfast, and is closed Sunday through Tuesday. The restaurant will reopen in April as the ownership is vacationing the month of March, so go check it out once doors open in a couple of weeks!
  • Blueberry Cafe – Arguably one of Bellbrook’s most prized possessions (right alongside Dairy Shed), the Blueberry Cafe is a favorite of not just those that call Bellbrook home, but many that drive into town just for the quaint, sweet cafe experience, and a visit from the muffin man.

Visit local parks

Other proud points of Bellbrook, Ohio, are the many parks we have. Spend a little extra time outside or just simply in a different space, breathe in that fresh air and get that essential vitamin D. Plan a picnic, hike with friends, or hang for an afternoon at one of these parks.

  • Magee Park – 1820 Little Sugarcreek Road
  • Bellbrock Park – 57 N Main Street
  • Ron Kehl Park – 1730 Sonoma Court
  • Washington Mill/Sackett Wright – 3311 Washington Mill Rd/3371 State Route 725
  • Sweet Arrow Reserve – 789 Little Sugarcreek Road
  • Sugarcreek Reserve Metropark – 4178 Conference Road
  • Petrikis Park/Vemco – 3771 W. Franklin Street

Go volunteer!

Get more involved by taking advantage of volunteering opportunities to help better your community and you in the process. Volunteer at a local church, sporting event, park district event– the possibilities are many, and are out there. See Mrs. Rivero to seek out possible upcoming opportunities.

Important Spring Dates

  • BHS Talent Show – Friday, March 31
  • BHS Spring Musical, “Annie” – 7 p.m. April 28 and 29, 2 p.m. April 30
  • Sugar Maple Festival – Friday, April 21 through Sunday, April 23
  • Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Parks District Natural Arts Fest – Saturday, April 29
  • Early Dismissal: April 12 and May 10
  • No School: April 3-7, April 14, May 29

Bellbrook Sees New Spring Sport with addition of Lacrosse

by Lauren Redfern

The sport of lacrosse is not new to the town of Bellbrook. But, it is new to the Bellbrook Athletic Department. This year, Bellbrook Lacrosse is being recognized as a school-sponsored club sport. Most ask, “What does that mean?” The Bellbrook- Sugarcreek school district does not recognize the lacrosse program as a varsity sport like the other existing programs in the school. Becoming a school-sponsored club, however, is the first step in becoming a varsity sport.

There are restrictions to the new title. All athletes must follow the athlete’s code of conduct and other rules followed by the student athletes of Bellbrook. Athletes also must follow all attendance rules the school has in place. Another new aspect to the lacrosse program is there are no other students from other schools allowed to participate. When the lacrosse program was separate, there was a mix of athletes from other districts. However, the athletes do not receive a gym waiver or transportation to games.

The lacrosse programs has almost 60 athletes at the high school level. The boys’ team, according to, has 37 members. The girls’ team has 21 members. Most of the team members on the boys’ team have been playing for several years. The girls’ roster, on the other hand, is made up of mostly first year players.

With only 8 returning members, the focus of Head Coach Jeff Chew is teaching. Chew coached in the boys’ program for 5 years, and in his last year the team won the High School Club Championship. Chew now finds himself surrounded by teenage girls. Chew had admitted several times that coaching girls and boys is VERY different. One thing that does not differ between the two teams is the will to win.

The Lady Golden Eagles started the season with a win over the Chillicothe Cavaliers. The team was down 5 goals at halftime, but did not give up. The team roared back and won the game 12-11. The lady Eagles took the momentum into their March 21 contest versus Dayton Carroll Patriots. Unfortunately, the Lady Eagles ran out of steam and were unable to produce a win. The team travels to Kettering Fairmont on March 27 for their next contest with a record of 1-1.

The boys’ team dropped their season opener to Cincinnati Wyoming and then lost another one to Kettering Archbishop Alter. The Golden Eagles are determined to not make this a trend, especially under the leadership of captains Trent Beard, Mason Zimmer, Sam Shroder, Luke DiCicco and Phillip Chevrette.

Both teams have raw talent and are fun to watch. Watch a game this season. Both teams play their home games at the Miami Valley South Stadium and would love your support.

Schedules can be found at:

Terror Attack in the UK Parliament

By Rachel Giffin

Four people were killed, 20 injured outside Parliament in a terror attack on Wednesday, March 22. Among the injured were 3 police officers. The attacker was also shot by the police at the scene. At this moment, a full investigation is underway.

A vehicle drove aggressively through pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge in London, leaving many with catastrophic injuries. Then a man with a knife tried to enter Parliament, but was stopped by the police. The entire compound went into lock down.

The attack has not been claimed by a terrorist group, but is still classified as a terrorist attack until further information comes forth. Since the attack, Scotland Yard has been flying the national flag at half mast in respect of those injured and killed.

Couple Found Dead in Centerville, Ohio

By Rachel Giffin

Airline pilot Brian Hayle and his wife, Courtney, were found dead due to a fatal dose of heroin and fentanyl just over a week ago in Centerville, Ohio. The heartbreaking 911 call reached Centerville authorities after the couple’s children woke up for school and realized their parents weren’t waking up as well.

Toxicologists have evidence that narcotics were involved, but the most startling part about the case is that Brian Hayle had been an airline pilot for 9 years before this tragic incident. The home had no history of trouble, which leaves authorities wondering how long the couple may have been involved with drug use.

For more information, see:–law/substantial-fentanyl-operation-busted-sheriff-task-force/42PtJQbtj8jUSXTlsThV3O/