Category Archives: Featured People

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

Local Food pantry serves families as Red Lion’s poverty rate increases

Shana Carey

Opinions Editor and Marketing Editor

Roughly two out of five students in a Red Lion classroom are in poverty. The poverty rate in the Red Lion Area School District has continuously increased and hit an all time high of 43% this year. In order to combat this growing number, a local food pantry both educates and serves nearly 350 families from Red Lion and also Dallastown and Eastern York school districts. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, local poverty rates have increased, and more families turn to Community REACH for financial assistance, life skills training, and food and clothing distribution. “It’s definitely increased. I’d say at least 25%,” Executive Director Mrs. JoEllyn Hynson said. ”Every month the numbers keep increasing.” 

Despite the growing poverty rates within the district, the Community Kids Food for Home Program is seeing a decrease in number of families registered. “We’re serving about 25 kids, but usually only about 10 families,” Red Lion Area School District Social Worker Mrs. Brandy Shealer said, “Before, we were serving hundreds of kids.” 

The decrease in families that are registered could be due to the availability of food during the pandemic., “Even students who weren’t on free and reduced lunch are now getting free lunches and free breakfasts.”  Mrs. Shealer said.

The intent behind this program was to make sure that all students got enough food to eat while they are not in school. “For the sake of argument, say we typically have 6,000 students,” Mrs. Shealer said. ”If you think that 40% of that 6,000 are actually in poverty, think how many students we should be serving in this program and we’re not.” 

Families that need to sign up for the program should contact Brandy Shealer or Stacy Strausbaugh directly. Starting in April, all new families can also go directly to the Community REACH website. Anyone that contacts one of these people and is already on free and reduced lunch in Skyward is added to the program. 

In the past few years, there have been many changes to the Community Kids Food for Home Program. “We decided to change the way that we distribute the food and have the parents pick it up,” Mrs. Shealer said, ”so that we could provide larger sizes, and more foods that the families could actually use.”

Parents that are a part of the program have responded positively to this change. “We’ve gotten good feedback from the families that have utilized it,” Mrs. Shealer said. “They were very surprised because we kept telling them, ‘don’t leave yet, we have another box.’”

According to Mrs. Shealer, JoEllyn Hynson at Community REACH helped to supply families with a healthier variety of foods. “We’re very fortunate to have such a wonderful partner in Community REACH,” said Mrs. Shealer. 

At Community REACH, Mrs. Hynson organizes education classes, oversees the pantry, orders the food, gets donations, and targets employees. She is also very excited about starting a baby club where families within the community can access resources for their young children. 

Community REACH serves more than food. They also offer life skills training classes to the public without needing to be a client. “We have people from Penn State come and teach classes and things like that,” Mrs. Hynson said. 

The food pantry’s kitchen was remodeled for cooking classes before the pandemic. However, in person classes are not being held in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  “Now, we’re just trying to pick up the pieces and do what we can online,” Mrs. Hynson said. 

This is not the only difference at Community REACH because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I guess the biggest change is our families are no longer allowed in the pantry,” Mrs. Hynson said. “When the family comes to the door to get the food, we push the card out and they load it up.” 

To register for the food pantry and schedule a time to pick up food, visit https://www.commreach.org/ and click on the Community REACH logo. Any volunteers that are interested in helping the pantry can find more information here

Employee Roberta Dabb, Receptionist Rosemary Thompson, Volunteer Board Member Lori Baker, and Executive Director JoEllen Hynson pose in Community Aid’s educational classroom.

In addition to volunteers, anyone can donate directly to Community REACH. They are looking for baby items, new or dry cleaned clothing items, and food for the Community Kids Food for Home Program. 

The pantry is looking for foods like cereals, pastas, spaghetti sauces, peanut butter, jelly, applesauce, and fruit snack packs. However, Mrs. Shealer said that money is the best way to donate to the program. “You and I might be able to take $1 and get a sale at the grocery store for like two cans,” Mrs. Shealer said, “but Community REACH can access the food banks and they may be able to get 10 cans for $1.”  

The goal of Community Reach is to distribute food, resources, and advocacy within the Red Lion, Dallastown, and Eastern area. “This is where you need to be putting in your efforts because they are directly in our backyard. They’re in our borough,” Mrs. Shealer said. “They’re serving our community, and we need to make sure that we support them.”

Survey shows many Teenagers consume Caffeine daily

By Kaitlyn Resline

Editor-in-Chief

The tired high school student is a troupe played through many novels and movies. The camera zooms in on a student that has just pulled an all-nighter and now has to prepare for school. To make it through the day, the student grabs a cup of coffee on the way out of the house.

The Leonid tested the reality of this troupe in a recent survey about caffeine use.  It turns out, for the majority of those surveyed, caffeine is a real part of their day.

The survey consisted of 408 students at Red Lion Area Senior High School. Freshmen made up 28%, sophomores made up 19.9%, juniors made up 27.3%, and seniors made up 24.8%.

77.7% of students surveyed report that they drink caffeine.

The common types of  caffeine beverages consumed were tea, coffee, energy drinks, and soda. 

“I used to drink coffee because I needed to stay up to do work,” senior Kehnun Sebesta said. “Now I just drink tea because I find it to be more beneficial and less harmful for my body.”

With teens juggling busy schedules and multiple demands at one time, high school students are the fastest growing population of caffeine users, a study conducted by Medical News Today said.

In the study 83.2% of teenagers consumed caffeinated beverages regularly, while at least 96% consumed them occasionally. 

This study was done on a smaller scale than the one at Red Lion, with 166 participants primarily in grades 9 and 10. 

Majority of students in Red Lion reported drinking one to three caffeinated drinks a day while only 9.7% reported drinking four to nine drinks. 

In comparison, the study by Medical News Today “44.6% of respondents drank caffeinated beverages one to six times per week, 11.4% consumed a caffeinated beverage every day, and only 4.8% never consumed drinks containing caffeine.” 

Red Lion student caffeine users are consuming more caffeine than this study.

The Medical News Today study says participants’ main reason for consuming caffeine was to feel alert, which would help them study better.

Similarly, the Red Lion survey found common reasons people drank caffeine was because it tastes good, they wanted to feel more awake, it helped with focus and concentration, and they had to stay up late. 

Mera D’Aquila, a senior at Red Lion, said she drinks caffeine to stay up late and do assignments. She believes it helps her think more clearly when she is only getting four to five hours of sleep a night. 

“Sometimes there will be nights when I have a lot to do,” D’Aquila said. “I’ll tell my mom, ‘can we just please go to Starbucks and get a coffee because I think I’m in the need tonight.’”

D’Aquila thinks she would drink caffeine less if her schoolwork was not so stressful. 

The FDA has cited that 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, or four to five cups of coffee, is not a dangerous amount of caffeine to consume. However, different people have different metabolizing rates of caffeine and respond to the effects differently. 

Common side effects listed by MedlinePlus of consuming too much caffeine includes shakiness, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, rapid heart rate, dehydration, anxiety, and dependency on caffeine. 

Although 80.3% of students report never having any unintended side effects of drinking caffeine, 19.7% report having side effects from caffeine consumption. Among these side effects students listed headaches, shaking, jittering, and nausea. 

Some students said that this happened when they would not consume caffeine for a period of time. 

Caffeine withdrawal can occur when a person consumes caffeine on a regular basis and then suddenly stops. Symptoms of this include headaches, drowsiness, irritability, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. 

The FDA recommends a gradual cut back of caffeine consumption to avoid withdrawal symptoms. If unsure how to do this, a person can talk to their health care provider about how to cut back.

Devan Chacey, Junior combines passions and talents as yearbook editor

Emily Ankers         

Editor-in-Chief

As a second year member of the yearbook staff, junior Devan Chancey strives for greatness in her role as academic editor and has taken each task assigned to her and completed it to the best of her capability for the best yearbook they can produce. 

Chancey was exposed to yearbook through her American History class in her sophomore year. She was assigned a magazine cover project and discovered that she enjoyed the process of creating and designing. Her teacher, Mrs. Axe, then discussed the idea of Chancey joining the yearbook staff. 

Junior Devan Chancey, Lion Yearbook
academic editor

As a second year member of the yearbook staff, Chancey is responsible for tasks including designing the spreads and taking over certain sections of the book to get the needed material and the correct format.

The staff runs in through groups that are assigned one central layout. They work together to design the layout of the spread before separating to work on their individual assigned pages. To do this, the staff utilizes computer programs such as Balfour and photoshop.

“Having other staff members and advisers put their trust into me to create something amazing never fails to fill me with joy,” said Chancey. “I’m very proud to be part of this amazing staff and get to work with other passionate people.”

The passion Chancey feels for her activity is not simply fueled by the work she is doing. Her passion is created from the knowledge of what is to come from all the work she and her fellow staff members are contributing. 

“There is so much to love about yearbook it’s hard to pick one thing as my favorite,” said Chancey. “If I had to pick something it would be seeing the finished product. Knowing my hard work created something amazing is a great feeling.” 

Working for a staff involved with something like creating a yearbook is a very hands-on activity. There is very little time for falling behind and not doing your part. Chancey expressed that the fast pace and constant need for alterations and tweaking keeps her excited and interested in what she is doing. 

Yearbook is based around a central deadline that is set in the middle to end of March. Chancey has emphasized the stress she feels in meeting these deadlines as she has to ensure that the school is being represented in the best way. This means that there must be accurate and appropriate quotes from students as well as proper grammar with no mistakes present throughout the book.

“Yearbook is so much more than a club,” said Chancey. “Yearbook has taught me how to use different computer programs and communicate with other people more efficiently. It also gave me something to be excited for and look forward to every day.”