LHS Raiders Meet

Gisselle Brenner and Harlan Smith, Student Writers

In a remarkable display of strength, determination, and teamwork, Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps [JROTC] Area Raiders from across the region gathered for a thrilling competition that marks an inspiring shift in tradition. The Lecanto High School Raiders are returning 2022-2023 state qualifiers and are anxiously awaiting this year’s run at states.


The 2023-2024 Area Raiders Meet featured male, female, and mixed-gender teams; after this past week’s competition, the latter two teams from Lecanto are now setting their sights on the upcoming State Competitions. The 2023-2024 Raiders meet occurred over the past weekend at Westport High School, where cadets showcased their physical prowess, mental resilience, and teamwork in challenging tasks. Challenges included obstacle courses, rope bridge construction, first aid, and ladder carry.


The overall spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship among the participants was genuinely uplifting. “At our JROTC Raiders meet, we go through five events: the 5k, litter carry, rope bridge, obstacle course, and kettlebell relay. This is where we combine our strength and teamwork,” said female commander Alexandria Beasley.


Tier 1 schools are mostly levels of intervention, also called primary or universal prevention. Tier 2 is the secondary level of intervention, and Tier 3 is students who receive more intensive, individual support. “We compete in Raider’s area number two. Our area consists of a couple of tiers one, two, and three schools, and we all compete together to get to the state championships,” said male team commander Ryan Dunn.


Mixed teams also allow male and female cadets to collaborate and learn from each other's strengths. It promotes a sense of unity, transcending gender boundaries and enriching the overall JROTC experience. “The Raider team is JROTC's athletic team. We go out and do a bunch of stuff, getting dirty, jumping around, and doing what we want with the people we love. It's tight-knit, and everybody gets comfortable with each other. There's no real competition between all,” said commander Jillian Zimmer.


Some commanders sadly must leave due to them being seniors. Spending time getting to know their cadets can also be a great way to know who they are and who they will become.

“I chose Raiders because it's my last year, and I love my cadets. Talking to them and getting to know them is what I enjoy; in addition, going to the area where meet and sit and talk with my cadets and just spending time with each other getting to know them. It's like my favorite part,” said mixed-team commander Amaya Maldonado.

Delicious education: Culinary arts classes serve up benefits for high school students.
Written by: Lourelai Cavanaugh-Montgomery

a picture of Chef Garcia
Photo credit: Chloe Dunn. Chef Garcia cooking some delicious cookies that can be purchased by students and staff throughout the day as a fundraiser.
  In a world where cooking shows and food culture are in the trends, it’s no shocker that culinary arts classes are gaining popularity among high school students. These classes not only teach students how to whip up delicious dishes but also provide a wide range of different life skills as well.

Our culinary arts class at CHS is ran by Chef Garcia who has been teaching for 9 years, his main goal in life wasn’t always to teach though, he actually happened to join the culinary profession a little later than most, but he fell in love with it, and he knew he had a passion for cooking. Although he loved being in the kitchen, with the long hours of standing and maintaining the food, it was hard on him so he decided that he was going to become a culinary arts teacher so he can “stay in the field” while also teaching students how to prepare and cook in the kitchen!

One of the main advantages of culinary arts classes is the life skills you learn while participating in this class, students learn their basics of meal planning, food preparation, and kitchen safety, giving them knowledge that they can apply into their daily life’s.

Student (Ayla Gipe) says that “not only do you just gain knowledge in the kitchen but also constructive criticism, to help you better yourself on what you’re doing” from learning to chop veggies to mastering the art of seasoning, these skills empower students to become more self-sufficient and more confident in the kitchen. “You really learn the Do’s and Don’ts of the kitchen” (senior Gabe Hendrickson).

Culinary arts classes also give students the ability to show their creativity, Students involved are encouraged to experiment with flavors, textures, and presentation.

This class promotes teamwork and collaboration. Students often work together in the kitchen, sharing responsibilities and learning how to communicate. Chef says that “You need a good work ethic, if you can’t work together and communicate then you may not need to be in the kitchen” teamwork in this class plays a crucial role in how smoothly things go.

Luckily students say that the classroom environment with Chef Garcia is “Very Welcoming” and it’s not hard to find your niche, “he bonds with his students and they we all care for him very much” (Mia Hilbur).

Having this class can open doors to exciting new career opportunities. With the booming food industry and rise of culinary, students who have a passion for cooking can turn their skills into a lifelong career.

Whether it is becoming a chef, a food writer, or even starting your own restaurant, the culinary arts class here at CHS is here to provide a wide range of paths to peruse. So, if you’re still in high school looking to spice up your education, consider enrolling into Chef Garcia’s class, not only will you learn to whip up delicious cuisine, but you’ll gain valuable life skills as well!

Pirate Girls Weightlifting Returns

By Morgan Gibson

The Lady Pirates placed second overall at the weightlifting competition against Nature Coast Technical High School and Weeki Wachee High School Nov. 29.

The Pirates had two champions in both Traditional and Olympic. One being sophomore Madison Boase, taking the champion title in the 183-199 weight class. “It felt pretty good to get back into the sport that I love, and the first meet back felt competitive,” Boase said. 

Boase is one of many aspiring to travel to Lakeland, FL in Feb. 2024 for state championship finals. “Winning first place means you’re improving from last year and preparing for that state championship at the end of the season,” Boase said.

Another lifter taking first place was sophomore Genesis Baker in the unlimited weight class. This is Baker's first year on the competitive weightlifting team. “This first weightlifting meet felt really good, and it was really exciting, and I enjoyed myself,” Baker said.

Placing second in both Traditional and Olympic events was junior Kaitlyn Thompson in the unlimited weight class. Third place scorers were junior Aryana Bresler, and sophomores Morgan Gibson, and Lilyana Rodriguez.

Following with top places are women who have set personal records in their events. Newcomers senior Chloe Dyal (101-110), juniors Abbie Eberhart (119-129) and Aryana Bresler (154-169),and sophomores Lily McBride (110-119), Karley Pochis (110-119), Cahli Cook (129-139), and Imani Canterbury (169-183).(129-139).

Ms. Baker 

Sophomore Genesis Baker doing a clean and jerk. Baker finished in first place in the unlimited weight class. Photo by Morgan Gibson

Ms. Boase
Sophomore Madison Boase doing a snatch. Boase took the championship title in the 183 - 199 weight class. Photo by Morgan Gibson.