By Paul Jones
It is Friday and everyone knows what that means. Even as people look outside and see the drizzling rain, their plans on Friday night remain the same.
To combat the weather, all they do is change the theme to “Rain Gear” and they come out with the same amount of people as they always have.
“I sit in it because it’s fun and I enjoy the themes and cheering on all my friends,” senior Gillian Orwig said. “It’s also fun because around York county there’s a little competition about who’s the better student section.”
Many students, like Gillian, will sit in the student section for many sporting events at Red Lion. It gives them a chance to cheer on their classmates and promote school spirit.
By Paul Jones
In Mini-THON’s efforts to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund, they partnered with the Harlem Wizards to raise money and put on a high flying show. The Harlem Wizards faced Red Lion teachers from around the district.
Former Red Lion basketballs players like Mr. Dennish and Mr. Bull were on the roster. Math teacher Mrs. Grove and health teacher Mrs. Gillis also signed to play.
Mini-THON is in its tenth year and is always looking for new ways to get people excited for the event. Cancer affects almost everyone in some way as it has taken the lives of millions of people. The American Cancer Society projects that 1.6 million people in this year will be diagnosed with the disease.
When this many people are affected, even children will be affected as well. No child should have to go through such a horrible disease.
That is where the Four Diamonds Fund comes into the equation. “(Mini-THON) provides any support for a family that comes into Hershey Hospital,” Ryan Small, Mini-THON advisor, said.
Mini-THON provides families with support for medical expenses, medications, and research to combat cancer. Red Lion Mini-THON has raised tens of thousands of dollars every year.
To better understand the mindset of a kid who has been diagnosed talk to Red Lion junior Trevor Vitz. He was diagnosed with cancer when he was just thirteen.
Trevor was one of the rare instances where he was affected emotionally by his diagnosis. Other kids however may need extra support and need someone to lift their spirits.
“It is just awesome to help them out and get them to smile or laugh at something and make their day better,” Small said. So bringing in the Harlem Wizards is just another way to do that.
This year, Mini-THON is representing the Knapp family, who was in attendance for the Wizards game. 1,122 people were also in attendance for the game, raising over $7,500.
Now to the game itself. The teachers were no match for the Wizards, but they put up a valiant effort. With dunk specialist “Flight”, who was part of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest and “Kaboom” who had a seven foot wingspan, they put on a show for the fans.
At half time, the teachers were down 25 points. With the aid of five and ten point plays, they were able to fight back to within two points of the Wizards.
The away team however pulled the victory out in a 98-88 victory. There were plenty of hijinks throughout the game that made everyone of all ages laugh.
There were games with the little kids and even some adults were invited onto the court. Water and confetti was spilled on some parts of the crowd and even a kiss from a Wizard to a female fan.
The members of Mini-THON are still not done however as they prepare for Mini-THON and another successful year of raising money for the Four Diamonds Fund.
By Ian Adler
On June 16, 2015, Head Football Coach Jesse Shay received a phone call telling him that two of his player’s lives had been lost in a fatal car accident. “Like everyone else, I expected a phone call to say ‘Hey, we got it wrong,” Shay said. Unfortunately, that phone call never came...
That crash took the lives of two of Red Lion’s finest young men, Stone Hill and Nick Mankin. The two friends were traveling on Slab Road when their car struck an electric utility pole, eventually causing the car to be engulfed in flames before any help could arrive.
Both would be entering their senior year at Red Lion, and both were looking forward to the upcoming football season, along with the rest of their team.
The Lions traveled to Hershey for their first game on September 4, bringing home a 40 to 20 victory over the Trojans.
The team plans to memorialize Stone and Nick in several ways, starting with stickers of the two player’s numbers, 46 and 60, to place on the team’s helmets.
Both friends and players keep the boys in their memory, reflecting back on their personalities and the things they did together.
“He was that guy who if I needed a ride, he would take me, no matter what,” junior Patrick Daugherty said, reflecting on his friendship with Hill. “We played baseball together, so we had summer trips and we were always together for tournaments and whatnot.”
In addition to football, Stone wrestled up until his junior year and played varsity baseball.
Head Football Coach Jesse Shay described Stone as a “lead by example type of guy.”
“He didn’t talk on the field much, but the guys who played with him wanted to play up to his level because he always performed at such a peak,” Shay said. “He inspired guys to try and match his intensity.”
“We’d just hang out, go hiking, fishing, drive around or go to Walmart and mess around or whatever,” junior Dylan Gurreri said. Dylan had wrestled and played football with Stone, bringing their friendship to the point it was at before the accident.
“He could be awkward, but he’s a real nice kid,” Gurreri said about Nick Mankin, a newer addition to their closely bonded friend group. “He was real quiet, but once you got to know him, he could be really obnoxious.”
Nick Mankin recently moved to Red Lion from Susquehannock during his sophomore year, and soon found a family within the football team.
“I just met Nick this past year battling over a varsity position,” Tierney said. “It was a heck of a time, but we brought it together near the end and became best friends.”
Nick played offensive guard for the Lions during the 2014 season, ending up splitting time with his former rival and newfound friend Tierney.
Tierney is using the loss of two of his closest friends as a “drive”.
“It drives me to be better to myself, my teammates and the people upstairs that can’t play the game anymore,” Tierney said. “I know I love it, and I know they loved it, so I’m using it to my benefit to give 110 percent every play of the game.”
“You know, Nick was a great teammate, but he wasn’t necessarily a ‘football first’ type of guy,” Shay said. “He played football because he loved his teammates, and although football may have been his number two or number three thing, he still did very well at it.”
One of the team’s primary mottos is “FAMILY”, a simple acronym for “Forget About Me, I Love You.” It is with this in the hearts and minds that they will carry the memory of Stone and Nick throughout the season, and throughout the rest of their lives.
By Giuliano Favorito
There’s one man in this school who’s been at Red Lion longer than anyone. That’s Mr. Sam Neff.
He graduated from Red Lion in 1967, when most of the current Red Lion student’s parents were not even born. Mr. Neff played three different sports; football, basketball, and baseball, and excelled in all of them. In basketball, he was an all county athlete, the first 1,000 point scorer at Red Lion, and received scholarship offers from several Division II colleges.
However, his real passion was football, where he played quarterback and led Red Lion to 30 consecutive wins. He received offers from the Universities of Maryland, Tennessee, Minnesota, Clemson and Delaware, to name only a few.
Initially, Neff committed to Maryland, but the coach who recruited him was leaving his coaching position, so Neff de-committed from Maryland and committed to Delaware. Neff didn’t initially choose Delaware because he thought their helmets weren’t the most appealing. He took the reigns of the team midway through his junior year, and never looked back.
Neff called every single one of his plays, unlike today where the plays come from the sideline. By his senior year, his offense averaged about 470 yards and about 40 points per game, not to mention a number one national ranking. At the end of the season, Neff and Delaware were crowned national champions.
He had phone calls from NFL teams but said that football wasn’t his life and he wanted to do other things. Now Mr. Neff has a big family and is in his 43rd year teaching. When asked if he plans on retiring anytime soon, he answered simply “I’m having too much fun.”
Health Teacher Mr. Matt Denish attended Red Lion in the early 2000s, ran track and field, cross country, and played basketball.
He excelled in all sports, bringing many championships to Red Lion. His cross country teams brought four county championships to the school and earned a spot in the state playoff.
In basketball, Mr. Dennish turned the heads of several division two schools who were recruiting him.
In track, he currently holds the 800-meter run record with a time of 1:54 and helped the 4x800 meter relay team grab the school record with a time of 7:53. Dennish said his times at states (like a 4:14 mile time) and desire to win are really what caught the eyes of Division I schools like Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas, and East Carolina.
Ultimately, Mr. Dennish chose East Carolina on a scholarship for track and field because other schools didn’t have the Health and Phys. Ed. major he wanted to take.
East Carolina is where he ran alongside NFL running back Chris Johnson and broke the school’s mile record with a time of 4:08 and the schools distance melody record (combination of 4 distance events). He earned a spot on the All-Academic team that honored the best runners with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
He attributes his success to sleeping right, eating right, working hard, and being coachable.
Biology Teacher Brad Lloyd went to Red Lion and is one of the school’s most decorated wrestlers of all-time.
He is a three time county champion, a three time district three finalist and his senior year placed third in the state, losing to the number one ranked wrestler in the nation.
What separated Lloyd? “Hating to lose,” Lloyd said. “Every morning I came to school, swam a half mile to a mile, went to practice, and then went home to lift weights or run and then repeat. I over-trained, but I had a goal.”
That work ethic didn’t go to waste as Lloyd earned a scholarship to division one Lock Haven University to wrestle. Remember the number one wrestler in the nation who beat Mr.Lloyd in high school? He went on to Penn State, and Mr. Lloyd got some revenge with a win against him.
Lloyd was a three time all-American and went to the NCAA tournament his freshman year and placed seventh. The following year, he placed third and by his senior year, Mr. Lloyd wrestled for the national championship and placed second in an overtime match. Now, Mr. Lloyd is a member of our science department.
JD Granger hasn’t spent his whole life studying chromosomes and cutting up frogs in his free time. No, once upon a time Mr.Granger played football. And he didn’t just play--he dominated.
Granger attended South Western High School and played linebacker for the Mustangs. His senior year, he helped his team reach a perfect 10-0 record and a spot in the district playoff (back then, only four teams could qualify compared to today’s sixteen).
This attracted the attention of several Division II coaches. Granger never thought he was on that playing level, until one day, he was sitting in class and was told to go to the office because the East Stroudsburg University coach wanted to see him.
Granger attended ESU on a football scholarship and fought his way into a special teams spot his freshmen year. In a game against the number one team in the nation, IUP, (one of Granger’s first ever college games) he picked up a blocked punt and returned it for a touchdown.
His sophomore year Granger started four games on defense and after that year he started every single game for the rest of his collegiate career. His senior year, he was voted co-captain by his teammates.
Granger graduated, and is now one of Red Lion’s biology teachers. He has been coaching football for the past thirteen years.
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