Author Archives: The Leonid

It’s Flu Season: Shoot Your Shot

Brianna Cheatham

Multimedia Journalist

Winter weather is just around the corner, and along with it, the flu. With vaccines constantly updating, is it even necessary to get the flu shot once again? Every new year brings new modifications to the virus– even if it’s minor. This year you should shoot your shot at getting the influenza (flu) vaccine.

‘It’s just the flu…’ is a common thought of most people today. Many individuals skip the yearly shot due to not knowing the severity of the illness. It’s common to think that the flu is nothing more than a mere cold, however, in all actuality, the virus is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious hospitalization. The CDC recommends everyone six months and older get the flu vaccine annually.

A nurse from Wellspan Pediatric Medicine gives an 11-year-old girl her yearly flu shot. Photo by Brianna Cheatham

While some people who get vaccinated still get ill, many doctors say that it is proven that the shot softens the blow of the virus. It’s recommended to get the shot at the end of October or early November, that way you’re safe for the cold days and the holidays.

Young children are affected by the flu each year. According to NFID.Org, “an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized due to flu complications each year.” To help kids’ help in the future, getting the flu shot each year can help prevent hospitalization.

You can find that flu vaccines are offered in many medical facilities and health centers. The flu vaccine is accessible in many health departments such as pharmacies, urgent care, and clinics–even the traveling ones. Vaccines are also offered here at the Red Lion Senior High School or possibly at your workplace. 

Every year, everybody asks the million-dollar question, ‘Is this safe?’ Millions of people around the world and even around you daily have safely received flu vaccines for the past five decades. Don’t be afraid to fight off the spreading of illness  

To keep our community a little healthier and our school a little cleaner. Make sure you shoot your shot at getting the influenza vaccine this year…it’s just a little pinch!

Brianna Cheatham

Taylor Swift’s 10th Studio Album ‘Midnights’: Don’t Skip It

Payje Davis

Senior Editor-In-Chief

A brand new album after two years is exactly what we needed from Taylor Swift. The release of Midnights is Swift’s tenth studio album following her last album in December 2020 with the release of Evermore.

Midnights broke two Spotify records in a singular day following its release. Breaking the record for the most streamed album in a single day, with an astounding number of 185 million streams globally. Knocking the previous holder of this title, Bad Bunny out of the spot by just 2 million streams. Swift also became the most streamed artist in just a single day. 

Swift is also the first person to have ever occupied all 10 spots in the top 10 of the billboard hot 100. Something no one else has ever managed to do. 

A lot of news outlets, such as Insider, expected the album to be similar to her 8 and 9 studio albums Evermore and Folklore. Which wasn’t the case. This album goes back to her pop roots with her 2014-2019 era of music (1989-Lover). There is the exception of a few songs that give the Folklore/Evermore feel that fans of those albums were longing for. 

Some of my personal favorite tracks come from her unexpected 3am tracks that she announced at 3am the same day as the album release (Oct 21). That encompassed 7 more tracks along with the initial 13 that were released, “Paris”, “The Great War”, and “High Infidelity” are just some of the 3am tracks that I really liked. 

However, my absolute favorite of the seven tracks was track 19, “Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve”. A gut-wrenching track talking about a traumatizing relationship Swift got into at a young age that still haunts her. Many times throughout the song she sings “I regret you all the time” in a begging manner. 

Another gut-wrenching lyric featured in the chorus of the song is “And I D**n sure never would’ve danced with the devil, at 19.” This “19” lyric refers to her relationship with John Mayer whom she had with him in 2009 while she was 19 and he was 32. Meaning the pair had a 13-year age gap. Calling him “the devil” because it’s very weird how Mayer was 32 had an interest in a girl that’s over a decade younger than him. 

Overall I think this track is absolutely insane in the best way possible. A track that you would definitely scream to while you’re driving and people look at you like you’re a little insane. This song is also a reference to her song “Dear John” off of her third studio album, Speak Now and the two songs are often called “sister songs” by Swifties. (fanbase name for Taylor Swift fans)

My absolute favorite song out of the 20 songs is track 2, “Maroon”. It eludes to the iconic title track of her fourth studio album Red. Which also happens to be track 2. Coincidence? I think not, with Swift, nothing is a coincidence, she is very intentional about everything she does. 

Another thing about “Maroon”, the color itself is a darker shade of red. Making it almost seem like a more “grown-up” version of the color, which Swift is trying to portray between the two songs. This lyric from “Red”, “Causing loving him was Red” and this lyric from Maroon, “The lips I used to call home so scarlet it was, Maroon” are parallels to one another. Which, Swift is quietly telling the listeners that “Maroon” is a more grown-up version of “Red.” Personally, I think is so cool.

I knew this song was going to be my favorite from the initial announcement of the song during her “Midnights Mayhem With Me” series on TikTok before the album’s release. Just the name of the song sounded intriguing and like it was going to be good, and it in fact is, and lived up to all my hopes and expectations. 

Out of 10, I would rank the album a solid 9 out of 10. The album had set very high expectations. Which in my personal opinion, were met, I think they were even exceeded. There are obviously things that could’ve been done differently that would make the album a 10/10, however, I think what Swift put into the sound and production of this album was still insane and so good. 

The main thing I look for in Taylor Swift albums though is if it’s a “no skip album.” Can I listen to every song on the album and enjoy it or do I find the need to skip it when a specific song comes on? Considering the album has been out for a while, I can confidently say in the case of Midnights. It is a no-skip album.

Taylor Swift at the 2019 AMAs. Swift’s new album is absolutely fantasic.

Social studies department member takes on a new course

Serenity Nace

Staff Writer

The social studies department is coming up with a new elective for the 2023-24 school year. Steven Long, the current Sociology teacher at Red Lion, has decided to teach an Anthropology course next school year. 

Mr. Long is very excited to teach a new class for Red Lion.

Mr. Long has only been teaching for four years; the 2022-23 school year is his first year at Red Lion. He taught for three years in a small town in Colorado. “The high schools in Colorado were a lot smaller,” said Long. “There were around 400 people compared to places like Red Lion.”

Along with Sociology, Mr. Long also teaches US Government/Economics and US History. When asked why he wanted to teach a course of this sort, Mr. Long said, “I took a few courses in high school, and then another few in college.” said Long  “I had good professors so the course was really intriguing to me.”

To get people interested in taking a course, they have to know what the course is about. “Anthropology is essentially the study of cultures and civilizations.” Long said. “That also branches into physical and cultural developments; and physical developments could be broken into forensics based study, too.”

After hearing the basic outline of the course, some students would be more likely to take the course. “I’m in Sociology right now and the two [courses] are very similar,” sophomore Xavier Poulin said when asked how he felt about the class. “It would be really interesting to learn about different societies outside of the one we’re a part of.”

The National Honor Society raises high funds for local families

Serenity Nace

The participating National Honor Society members bag donated groceries at  Community Reach in Red Lion. The students were proud to have finished all 700 bags in one night, according to member Natalie Rudolph.

Staff Writer

The Red Lion Area Senior High National Honor Society recently held an event to raise money for Thanksgiving food donations for local families. The event held nine teams of teachers who each raised money and Red Lion students who donated to the cause. Their sums were added together at the end of the event. 

“I think it went well considering there was no set goal,” NHS advisor, Cameron Murray said. “The turnout was really good for not having any idea of where we wanted to end up.”

The groups of teachers, determined by the social committee, are also participating in a year-long competition with many events. Team Nine landed in first place having raised $51.37, so the total was bound to be high. Overall, the nine groups raised a grand total of $307.95. Additionally, the students who donated raised another $75.13. This means that the NHS and all other participants raised $383.08 this Thanksgiving season. 

“Student participation could have been better,” said NHS member, Natalie Rudolf about the funds raised, “but the teachers did well.”

On Nov. 8, some of the NHS members volunteered at Community Reach to help bag 700 bags of food for local families. Murray said that while they were originally supposed to bag food on both the eighth and ninth, “the students did so well that they didn’t get asked back the next day.” 

Safe to say that the NHS had a very productive fundraiser to start the year and season.

Red Lion students win graphic arts contest for safe driving

A cool, breezy spring morning, and you’re driving your daily commute to school, just as always. There’s a ding on your phone, and it’s from somebody you enjoy talking to. In that same moment you take your eyes off the road to check that message, an out-of-control vehicle slams into the side of your car.  

The Create Real Impact Contest asked young people, ages 14-22, to show how they would talk about the number one killer of teens in America, distracted driving. Junior Chase Britton and Senior Allyson Colbert, students in the Graphic Arts 3 course, were the winners of this contest, sponsored by Impact Teen Drivers in collaboration with State Farm Insurance of York County.

“Phones are a problem for teens and young adults,” said Colbert. “And that was the main idea.” 

The contest allowed for a wide variety of media that could be entered to win; including graphic design, music, video, and creative writing creations.  Colbert and Britton created a design for a billboard, which features a representation of a text message next to the words, “They need you alive.  The text can wait.”

The billboard is up and can be seen from I-83 northbound near the Emigsville exit. 

Red Lion Area Senior High School Junior Chase Britton and Senior Allyson Colbert won the Create Real Impact contest with this design, which was presented in a hand-held version to them. The life-sized billboard can been seen from I-83 northbound near exit 24, Emigsville. Photo by Tyler Wernick

Marlin Bollinger from State Farm of York County and Melissa Sweitzer from the Center For York Traffic Safety presented a one-hundred-dollar check to each student from Red Lion, a unique award modeled after their billboard design submission, as well as a one-thousand-dollar educational grant to the Red Lion Graphic Arts Program.   

Mr. Paul Thom, a Graphic Arts, Technology and Engineering Education teacher guided students through the design process and then evaluated the final design product. 

“Students prepared for the event by enrolling in the level 3 Graphic Arts course,” said Mr. Thom, “which provides industry-standard, real-world, skills for students to successfully create graphic designs and products.” 

He and the rest of the Graphic Arts program team at the Senior High, plan to use the educational grant on a future graphics-related project that will also promote safe driving for the students at Red Lion.

By Tyler Wernick

Multimedia Journalist

From left to right, State Farm Agent Marlin Bollinger, Assistant Principal Dana Schmidt, Senior award winner Allyson Colbert, Junior award winner Chase Britton, Traffic Safety Specialist Melissa Sweitzer, and graphic arts teacher Paul Thom display the $1,000 grant to the RLASHS Graphics Arts Program.  The students hold their awards,  miniature versions of the billboard they designed.  The full-sized version can be seen from interstate 83 northbound near the exit 24, Emigsville. Photo by Tyler Wernick

Red Lion Career Center Director Mrs. Morris Retires

Mrs. Morris leaves a legacy of career exploration programs at the senior high

By Shana Carey


Many students do not know what they are going to do after graduation. Red Lion encourages students to dabble in different career opportunities that can allow them to find their passions. Originally a business teacher, Mrs. Kim Morris built the Career Center from the ground up and is ready to retire after 33 ½ years in public education. 

“Red Lion has made a strong mark in York County,” Mrs. Morris said. “That makes me proud.” 

Mrs. Morris is passionate about helping students find a career that excites and supports them. She says that the key to finding this is to experiment in different activities while in high school. 

“Get your foot in and dabble a little. If it works, that’s awesome,” Mrs. Morris said. “If it doesn’t, dabble in another pool.” 

The career center was not always as prevalent as it is today. When Mrs. Morris got started at Red Lion 30 years ago, there were two programs that she oversaw while teaching a full day of business classes. Now, Mrs. Morris focuses on the Career Center and its 42 career exploration and apprenticeship programs. 

“The more opportunities you (the students) have,” Mrs. Morris said, “the more that we’ve done our job.” 

Mrs. Morris passes the torch after this year to Mrs. Scott to run the career center. Mrs. Scott was originally a business teacher before becoming a counselor and has helped students find their career paths ever since starting at Red Lion. 

“She and I have been co-workers and friends for a very long time,” Mrs. Morris said. 

Mrs. Morris sits at her desk in the Career Center with cards from students and community members hanging behind her. Mrs. Morris has met with past students that achieved their various career goals because of the career program.

Mrs. Morris looks forward to seeing how the Career Center changes with new leadership. 

“Throughout the years we continue to think of ideas,” Mrs. Morris said, “so I’m anxious to see new directions, but there has to always be continued growth.” 

Moving into retirement, Mrs. Morris will watch the Career Center develop but will also have more time to herself. Mrs. Morris told The Leonid that she is very much looking forward to “no bells.” 

She also is excited to travel with her husband and spend time with her four grandchildren. She is looking forward to “just having more time to stop and play.” 

Mrs. Morris works in her Career Center office with a bulletin board filled with pictures and thank you cards from past students. Over her years in Red Lion, she has kept in touch with many students. Mrs. Morris reminisced about meeting with one of her first students for lunch and hearing about his travels as a marine in the past 15 years. 

“He remembered things from the class that I taught,” Mrs. Morris said. “It was lovely.”

Moving into retirement, Mrs. Morris is optimistic and said, “You never know where one little possibility might take you.”

From a Cub to a Lion, Brandon Ritchey’s Baseball Success Story

The Boys Baseball team roared their way to a 9-3 record this season led by coaches Kevin Lawrence, Tyler Taylor, and Brandon White. Senior Captain Brandon Ritchey says that the story behind their great season thus far is the closeness and competitiveness of the team. 

Ritchey told The Leonid in an email interview, “The guys are all close with each other, and we have a lot of fun together. I believe that all being close and all working towards one goal is what makes this team special.” Ritchey said, “I wouldn’t want to go out and play with a different group of guys.”

Ritchey’s journey as a baseball player started long ago, when he started playing for the Red Lion tee-ball program. Shortly after, he began playing in the Red Lion and Windsor Recreational Leagues, and when he reached high school, he played for the school team, Felton in the men’s league, and club ball for Backyard University. In the summer, he plays for Red Lion’s Legion team as well.

Ritchey is also a  leader for Red Lion on and off the field, and Ritchey believes that his great knowledge about the game has allowed him to improve.

“Knowing how things are supposed to work makes it much easier to figure out what you are doing wrong,” Ritchey said. “I also think having a good knowledge of the game has helped me to be a leader for my team. It has helped me to know what to say, and more importantly when to say it.”

Ritchey plays third base, but he can also play shortstop and right field depending on who is on the mound. Ritchey has played on the varsity team for three seasons and also hopes to continue to play baseball at the collegiate level at Penn State York next season.

Brandon huddles up with teammates and coaches near the dugout. Their closeness has been a boost for the team this season. (Left to Right): Corbin Sparks, Connor Lawrence, Ryan Stabley, Connor Ray, AJ Lipscomb, Brandon White, Chase Morris, Brandon Ritchey, Reid Anderson. Photo by Michelle Stabley.

Despite having a successful season, Ritchey said it hasn’t been easy for the Lions to this point. 

“The team has faced adversity due to injuries,” Ritchey said. “Teams are supposed to have 17 active players, but because of injury, they currently only have 14 available guys. This can make things tough for the players and coaches, not having many people to work with.” 

Despite the injury bug hitting their team hard, they have persevered and now find themselves six games above .500, 12 games into the season. 

Ritchey also faced adversity himself. Back in his Sophomore season, he made the varsity team, and then the world was put on pause because of the COVID pandemic. 

“This hurt me greatly as I knew about all the fun memories and experiences that I would miss out on,” Ritchey said.

Ritchey also says that changing positions has been a challenge for him. “I was always a shortstop growing up, however due to injuries and other things like that, my team has needed me in multiple positions.”

Brandon and the rest of the infield line up for the National Anthem. Red Lion looks to win another game at home.* (Left to Right): Jason Krieger, Brandon Ritchey, Jaden Taylor, AJ Lipscomb. Photo by Michelle Stanley

Furthermore, Ritchey feels the team’s greatest accomplishment is overcoming a tough week, where they went 0-3 and lost to Dallastown in an extra inning walk off game. 

“This hurt everyone on the team. However, after losing three straight, everyone has remained focused and determined,” Ritchey said. “This has led us to win every game since then and we don’t plan on stopping.” 

As the Lions approach the final five games of their regular season, Ritchey opened up about what Red Lion baseball and his coaches taught him throughout his high school career. 

“Obviously our games are important, but the coaches all know that teaching us life lessons comes first,” Ritchey stated. “Life lessons such as how to go about each day, fight adversity, as well as how to treat others with respect are all lessons that are shown repeatedly by my coaches.”

Brandon Ritchey has been an integral part of Red Lion’s baseball team, and looks to cap off his career as a Lion by leading them into the postseason, for a shot at all the glory. 

“We know that we have the talent and drive to go out and win every day,” Ritchey said.

By George Keene

Sports Editor

The Rise of Gas Prices Pumps Up Students’ Frustration

Reese pumps gas at their local gas station, typically they only pay around $35 to fill up their car. But with the soar in gas prices, that once $35 has turned to nearly $70. Reese angrily slams the nozzle back into the gas pump and speeds off after paying that $70.

Students are on a limited budget, especially with gas prices rising well over $4. Most high schoolers make between $7.25 and $16. 

As global oil supplies remain tight and conflicts between Russia and Ukraine reign on, gas prices continue to rise, according to AAA. 

On the higher end of the pay scale, rising gas prices may only be a slight inconvenience. While for others on the lower end, gas may just be their whole paycheck. 

With gas prices climbing steadily, $11 an hour just wasn’t enough to fill up her Mazda 3 and have money left over for other expenses. 

“I hated getting gas at my old job,” junior Mya Brown said. “It’s around $50 to fill up my tank, so it’s only a tiny bit of an inconvenience now, nowhere near as much as it was before.” Brown works at Sheetz where she makes $16 an hour, while at her previous job at Lions Pride she made $11 an hour. 

Junior Tyler Doyle also told us how before the prices rose it cost him $80 to fill up his 2012 Chevy Suburban, it is now costing him nearly $140. Which is nearly double compared to prices in January of this year, which were around $3.30 according to AAA. 

Gas prices display over $4 at a local Rutters. With gas prices on the rise, students struggle to make ends meet. “It used to cost me $20 to fill up my tank,” said senior Christine Kapp, who drives a 2012 Honda Civic and works for $11 an hour at Giant. “It’s now costing me around $40, so I just don’t fill up my tank the whole way.” 

This puts people in a tight spot. Many students try to find a balance between a full tank of gas and a full bank account.

“I remember during summer of 2020, it was about $45 max to fill up my Jeep Cherokee.” said senior Mason Ritter “Now it’s almost $70, it’s been costing about a third of my paycheck just for gas.” 

Ritter also explained how it was quite an inconvenience only making $9.25. However, Ritter also told The Leonid that his employers gave him a raise to $12 an hour, making the rise of gas, slightly less of an inconvenience.  

Junior Matt Miller also explained how grateful he is for his parents with gas prices climbing to new heights. Even with his 2016 Honda Civic getting 45 mpg combined, he acknowledged how bad he feels for his parents who pay for the gas.  

“I’m broke again because of gas,” said junior Nicole Gunter. “I get paid every other week. So I put $60 in my gas tank, and then I’m making like $250/$300 so I still have some spending money.” 

“I used to have a BMW, I had to fill it up every week with premium gas,” said Gunter. “It was $50 to fill and that was before the gas prices rose.” 

Gunter is grateful to her mom for advising her to sell her car last year. 

Biweekly paychecks as a student can make it even tougher to pay for gas and other expenses, depending on how people choose to budget. Nicole currently works at Lions Pride and is so grateful her mom made the decision to sell her old car and get her a new one that has a much better fuel economy. 

She also explained how she drove to Westminster and back and still had a full tank. She now drives a 2013 Ford Fusion. 

Some students are being majorly affected and have to limit their spending habits just to fill up their tanks. While for others, it’s only a mere inconvenience.

By Payje Davis

Staff Writer

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