Category Archives: news

Who’s Texting You?

Imagine you’re having a fun time with your friends, but suddenly you get a text from someone you don’t know. The text says that someone has complimented you, or you’re beautiful, not telling you who is saying these things. The message just simply has a compliment and a random link. You click on the link and it brings you to a strange site.

Recently, in Fauquier County, multiple teenagers have been receiving very strange texts. These texts are sent by random numbers, and the message has a link attached that sends them to a very strange site. The link sends you to either the app store, a pornographic or adult site, or even just a blank page that cannot be reached. We have yet to find out what the mysterious texts are, and who exactly they are coming from. One group of Fauquier High School students, that asked there names remain anonymous, told the sheriff about these text. The school sheriff said “do not answer the text, and that they will send them to investigation.” I also asked Fauquier High School’s Vice Principal Mrs. Tapscott and she said “This is the first time I am hearing about this, but it sounds like it could be dangerous, and I would advise that you stay away from these texts.” Both the sheriff and Mrs. Tapscott advise that students should stay away from these texts. Meaning that receivers of these strange messages shouldn’t click on the link and do not  respond because we don’t know exactly who they are coming from, if it is just a scam, or maybe even something criminal. The safest thing is to just ignore it until we find out what it is.

by tyler young–staff reporter

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Community Comes Together to Support Owen Deavers

Earlier this month on a Saturday, it was busier than usual at the Warrenton Chick-fil-a. At any given time there were dozens of people milling around; the line to get a chicken sandwich was out the door, and multiple high school bands were playing next door under the BB&T bank tellers.

What brings all of these people together? Owen “The Brain Tumor Trooper” Deavers. Deavers was only four years old when he was diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumor known as craniopharyngioma. This tumor is found in roughly 120 children per year, and many of them are sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where Deavers stayed for months after his diagnosis.

This story hits home with the Warrenton community because both of the Trooper’s parents are teachers: Robert Deavers is a chemistry teacher at Fauquier High School and Elisabeth Deavers is the band director at Kettle Run High School. Both of them are cherished at their respective schools; so much so that Fauquier’s band director, Andrew Paul, began talks of a fundraiser.

“This is all Mr. Paul,” Mr. Deavers said. “He said they were going to try to do something last spring at Carousel and it got rained out…. So they finally just moved it to now–in the fall, and that’s when he got ahold of Mr. Lombardo. He’s the director at Liberty. They both decided that they would come, take part, and do the music.”

On the day of the event, many people, such as FHS Steel Pan member and Senior Gage Russell, did not expect the turnout to be that large. Luckily, they were pleasantly surprised. Even though the actual concert was held under the bank tellers of BB&T, there was still a considerable amount of people.

“I expected it to be at Chick-fil-a, but we found out later that it would be at BB&T, which is beside Chick-fil-a,” Russell said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, nobody’s going to show up.’ Ten or fifteen minutes after that, people and more people started piling in: friends that I invited and teachers and staff of the school.”

Mr. Deavers was also astonished at the amount of people that showed up to support his son. He claimed that at any given time, there were at least one-hundred people milling around, not including the kids performing.

“We had people from every part,” Mr. Deavers said. “My wife’s at Kettle Run so we had Kettle Run people; we had Fauquier people; we had people from where I used to teach at Front Royal in Warren County; some of Owen’s classmates and teachers that taught Warrenton Baptist Tiny Tots were there. Just people from everywhere.”

The hundreds of people that arrived payed off–the fundraiser raised just shy of $6,000 for Owen’s medical costs. Around $3,000 of it came from the orders placed at Chick-fil-a, while the rest came from a donation drum placed by the door.

“That’s far beyond what we were expecting,” Mr. Deavers said. “I mean, anything that we get is great, but we never imagined that we would have that much.”

Owen’s story created a sense of community that many thought was sorely needed in Warrenton. It also brought three schools that are typically fierce rivals together for one common cause.

“I think often that we live in a county that’s divided by rivalry when it comes to schools: Fauquier, Liberty, and Kettle Run,” Russell said. “But we put all those things aside and put what really matters, and that’s our morals. When we put Owen first–Mr. Deavers’ son–and realized that this is a pretty big issue, we were able to come together.”

by joel alexander–student life editor

Fauquier falls short in hard-fought Homecoming game

 

Last Friday at Falcon Field, the Fauquier varsity football team battled against the John Handley Judges for the annual Homecoming football game. The game was played on very muddy and wet grass, which made both teams change up their styles because of the condition.

Last week was Homecoming week for Fauquier High School, which included a spirit week, a school-wide pep rally, and a parade. This all led up to the football game and the dance itself. The homecoming game brought the biggest crowd that came out and supported the Falcons all season, and it showed.

“It was really loud,” sophomore Paul Heisler said. “You couldn’t hear the count, which happened when I jumped off sides.”

Falcon Field was very loud during the game, as The Zoo was filled up. “That was a good crowd,” Zoo Captain and senior Carson McCusker said. “Obviously we were disappointed with how it ended, but it was a good game and the crowd was into it pretty much the whole game.”

Fauquier, with some early season struggles, went into the game 0-4, while Handley went into the game 4-1 with their only loss being to Kettle Run High School. Once the game started off, the Falcon defense started well and never really let up. The Falcon offense, however, struggled to get much going. At halftime, the score was 6-0 Fauquier.

During halftime, the 2018 Fauquier High School Homecoming court was brought onto the field and honored. Following this, the Homecoming King and Queen, McCusker and senior Madeleine Hayes, were announced, which allowed both football teams to get a few minutes more rest than usual.

After halftime, both teams picked up right where they left off, both defenses making up for both offenses. Entering the fourth quarter, the score was tied up at 6-6. Once again, both defenses did their jobs in the fourth quarter, until the last Handley drive. The Judges were in the red zone with under four minutes to go. It was fourth and goal for Handley, and they took a shot to the end-zone, when the Fauquier defense stepped up, and smacked to ball to the ground. The Fauquier offense took over with around three minutes left in the game, but never got anything going, so the game carried on into extra minutes.

During overtime, Handley got the ball first, and made the most of it with a touchdown pass to the post.

“That guy when they scored… they had a great scheme going in overtime,” quarterback and sophomore J.T. Diehl said.

The Falcons were forced to score, or else they would lose. Fauquier faced a fourth and goal from the nine, and the Handley defense rose up and made a stop. The Fauquier quarterback was forced to rush a throw, which fell incomplete to end the game. Falcon Field, which was so energetic a few moments earlier, fell completely silent.

The final score was 13-6, John Handley.

“We had some good plays,” Diehl said. “In overtime though, once they scored we all dropped our heads. We need to focus on more practices, and pick up our heads after they score a touchdown.”

Diehl acknowledges that the team could still improve many aspects of their performance, but is still optimistic that they are a hard-working team.

“I think we performed pretty well, but we definitely could have played a lot better.” Diehl said. “I think a bunch of us played super hard, and I think we played overall pretty well, but there’s still a lot of mistakes to be fixed.”

The Falcons play an away game against Kettle Run High School tomorrow night, and Diehl is still optimistic that the team still has some tricks up its sleeve.

“I think that our record does not show how good we are. We can be a better team overall.”

by Tayte Mills – Staff Reporter

FFA recieves silver rating

From June 26-29, the FHS Future Farmers of America attended the Virginia FFA State Convention at Virginia Tech, where students participated in competitions ranging from floral design to agriculture mechanics. In addition to this, students were given individual awards and overall chapter awards. The Fauquier High School chapter was awarded a Silver Rating and is striving to do better next year, according to agriculture teacher Susan Hilleary. She said that their chapter received a Silver Rating because they did not write their goals in the correct format in the application. She added that the competition’s rigor took the students by surprise.
“The competition was hard,” Hilleary said. “I think a lot of them realized what they don’t know. For almost everyone, it was their first time doing this, so it’s a learning process.”
Junior Hannah Johnson competed in agriculture mechanics, where she had to take four written tests, make a working electrical system, weld, analyze a plot of land and build a structure to make it as flat as possible.
“It was my first year, so I wasn’t very [knowledgeable] with the tests and how well their welding machines were,” Johnson said. “I didn’t do that great, but I think did good for my first year. I learned that you don’t have to be great at something even if you know how to do it.”
Seniors Dylan Kezele and Ben Scaring were awarded state degrees, the highest award one can receive in high school: Kezele in aquaponics and Scaring in landscaping. In order to qualify for a state degree, students must create a Supervised Agricultural Experience, an agriculture-based project or job, where they spend 300 hours working on the project or earn $1,000 in their job in order to qualify. For his project, Kezele used fish waste in place of fertilizer, in order to test its efficiency and its ability to substitute for normal fertilizer. He said it was a relief to be recognized for his hard work after spending hours on the project.
“I used the waste that the fish produced to grow the plants without soil,” Kezele said. “The plants sat in a PVC pipe system, and the water that the fish lived in was filtered out from the pipe and ran through [to] the roots that pick up the nutrients in the water.”
Scaring has owned his own landscaping company for three years and used this as his project. He said it was a lot of fun meeting people from different FFA chapters around the state and getting to reconnect with members from previous years.
“[We] felt very accomplished to know that our chapter has done so much hard work and to succeed in getting the state degrees,” Scaring said.
In addition to building on their success in next year’s competition, Kezele,the chapter’s FFA president, said that he has other goals he wants to achieve in his last year with the organization.
“There are things called state proficiency awards, [which is] the best [project] for each section of agricultural,” Kezele said. “I’d like to win that for aquaculture.”

~erica gudino, editor-in-chief

Arielle Ward competes in one-act festival

In July, senior Arielle Ward wrote and directed an original piece for the Northern Virginia Theater Alliance One-Act Play Festival competition in Falls Church. Although Ward said she wrote the play on a whim, it wound up winning for best costuming and was nominated for best ensemble.
“I’ve written a bunch of one-acts for class and scenes,” Ward said. “I decided to have fun and just write something dumb that I didn’t really care about.”
Ward originally wrote it as a class assignment for Allegro, an arts school in Warrenton. However, when her teacher read it for the students, she urged Ward to submit it to the competition.
“She really liked it,” Ward said. “She thought it could do really well in the competition, so she got me registered and I went.”
The play, titled “Two’s Company,” is a story about two girls who show up at a comic convention wearing the same Harley Quinn outfit and then get into a fight about it. Ward, who also made some of the costumes showcased in the competition, said her inspiration came from previously attending many comic conventions.
“There’s a lot of people that will dress up as the same character,” Ward said. “One of the really popular characters is Harley Quinn, and I know that there’s going to be a lot more Harley Quinns since Suicide Squad just came out.”
Still relatively new to writing and directing, Ward said she did not expect to do well in the competition against 11 other acts, and was surprised to win.
“I was really shocked; I didn’t think I was going to win anything,” Ward said.“I’ve directed before, and I’ve written before, but I’ve never done something like this; I’ve never been so independent in my directing and acting, and I’ve never worked with such a big cast. I even had a few novice actors in it, and it was their first time. It was very exciting.”
Her act featured 11 actors, including junior Alyssa Gilmore and seniors Christopher Agey, Megan McCoy and Alex Craig. When directing your friends, it can be hard to maintain focus and a serious tone, Ward said.
“It’s really fun, but sometimes productivity doesn’t come as easy because they’re your friends and you want to share fun things with [them], but you have to stay with it and be diligent,” she said.
Ward said she wants to continue to act, direct and write in the performing arts, and that she was grateful for the opportunity to compete in the festival.
“Writing wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be,” Ward said. “And the theater community, even in the bigger cities, is still very comfortable and welcoming to new people.”

~alex wright, sports director

Young Life provides safe space for adventure

For the past three summers, junior Emma Gorg has been a camp counselor at Capernaum, one of many Young Life camps. Young Life is a Christian group focused on improving the lives of teenagers by spreading their message of faith. Capernaum is focused on students with intellectual and physical disabilities, where they can participate in activities ranging from horseback riding to zip-lining to swimming. The camp lasted for five days and took place in Rockbridge County. Gorg had two buddies for the week, one of them a student at FHS.
“I’ve always had a special place in my heart for special-needs kids, and I have been to many Young Life camps myself so I wanted to give [them] an opportunity to do what I’ve always loved to do [at] these camp,” Gorg said.
This summer was junior Aleeya Hodul’s first time attending Camp Capernaum. Being that her little brother has Down syndrome, Hodul said she wanted to be a part of the impact that Young Life makes on these teenagers lives.
“It was a lot of fun, and I definitely learned a lot about the campers and how much like us they actually are,” Hodul said.
The camp’s main priority is to give these campers the ultimate summer experience, one where their disabilities don’t overshadow their abilities to have fun and be adventurous, while also tying these activities in with daily messages of God.
“[The camp is centered around] having fun and making sure they’re OK, helping them grow spiritually and hear the message that they had each week,” Gorg said. “Another part was encouraging them to get out of their shell. You don’t necessarily want to get them out of their comfort zone, because then they’ll get scared, but allowing themselves [to realize] they are capable of doing all the same stuff.”
One of the camp’s main objectives is to incorporate sermons in a way that the campers can comprehend. The campers learn about the basic story of Christ, his death for the people’s sins, his resurrection and how he loves each of them personally.
“We related how Jesus forgives us for our sins to [them being able to] forgive their friends, by a hug,” Gorg said. “We say, ‘You can trust that you’re not going to fall, just like you can trust Jesus to be there for you.’ Most of the time, I tried to incorporate the [message] into each activity.”
Before becoming a camp counselor, students must go through basic training and fill out a questionnaire. Through this, they learn how to care for the campers properly and how to respond to over stimulation.
“You learn wheelchair etiquette, to not kneel down and not touch someone else’s wheelchair,” Gorg said. “[I was also taught] how to help someone when they get uncomfortable and overstimulated. We always have a set of earplugs on us; or if they just need a quiet moment, we’re taught to pull them out and talk to them.”
Because each camper had a different challenge, Hodul was able to learn how to care for each camper depending on the individual needs.
“You had to see the differences [in each diagnosis] and adjust to how you would approach situations,” Hodul said. “You just have to comforting and encourage them and be there for them, more than anything.”
Gorg said personality and attitude were key factors in making the campers comfortable and engaged. She found that she had to overcome her shy demeanor in order to do the best for them.
“Originally, I was always quiet and never was outgoing, but I’ve learned to be more outgoing. If you’re outgoing, then they will be, too, because they see [that example],” Gorg said.
Hodul said being a part of this camp made her more aware of students with special needs, and she has begun to befriend them more than she would prior to the camp.
“There was a lot of positivity and everyone there was so helpful; if you looked like you needed help, everyone was there to help you out and help the campers,” Hodul said. “[People need to learn that the campers] are different, but they’re more like us than you realize.”

~erica gudino, editor-in-chief

Martinez tours the country with Drum Corps International

This past summer, one exceptional student from Fauquier High School made the cut to join the Drum Corps International Tour, a marching band that traveled the U.S. playing in shows and competitions in various big name cities. Junior Alex Martinez spent over 2 months with the group learning about band and the realities of how it works.

“We’re basically just a band on a tour bus. We did competitions at High Schools and big football stadiums,” Martinez said.

Alex Martinez plays the euphonium for Fauquier’s marching band, and has only been playing since his sophomore year. Even though he has only been playing for a short time, Martinez has already developed enough skill to play at such a high level. Martinez had to go through an application, and audition just to get a spot.

“My friend Mason did it last year and told me about it, and he told me there was a hole I could probably fill, and I said let’s go for it,” Martinez said. “I was not confident whatsoever. I wasn’t confident because of lack of skill, I’ve only been playing for a year.”

To be selected for the group, Martinez had to try out for his spot. He went through various tests to see how he would compare with such a talented group.

“I signed up for a membership, signed up for the camp fee, then I went to their place in New Jersey and they saw how I was with the band playing wise, how I could march, how I looked visually, and then they take you out and hear you play,” Martinez said. “The next day I found out that I was contracted for the summer.”

Once Martinez was selected to join, he met up with the other 150 members to prepare for the journey. There they began their vigorous training.  

“We were in New Jersey for 2 days, then we went to Pennsylvania for most of Spring training where we get physically and mentally ready for it all,” Martinez said. “Training wise, we do 3 weeks of spring training, which are basically the hardest days, because instead of being on the bus for 1 day, it’s just 3 weeks of getting up doing practice and all of that hard stuff.”

After the band started the trip, they began a cycle of driving to a city, stopping, playing, then moving on again.

“We traveled as far as Texas, we went pretty south like Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, we finished finals week in Indiana,” Martinez said. “When we stopped we would have a rehearsal day or two, then we would have the show day.”

Practicing with such a highly talented group allowed Martinez to build skills he could take back to Fauquier with him. Playing with this skill level also allowed Martinez to see the differences with the school’s band.

“I learned that it’s all mental, you learn how hard you can push yourself and get up and do the same thing over and over again,” Martinez said. “It actually sounded good when we played. It’s a lot different from the school’s band just because of the size alone. Also the age gap was different because it was a lot of twenty year olds.”

Traveling with such a large group over this amount of time led to Martinez forming bonds and friendships with the other members.

“Playing with these people is indescribable, because you see them everyday,” Martinez said. “You’re going through some of the hardest days of your life, and they’re always there for you, and you’re there for them.”

~nathaniel thomason, entertainment director