Dear Adult Generation: Loosen the Reigns

By: Lyndsee Reed 


Photo Credit: Google Images

It’s what people in this world thrive on.  It’s what motivates us, pushes us, and ultimately makes us into the people we are.  Yet nowadays it seems that that competitive atmosphere among kids all too often seems to be discouraged.  

And while I understand the boundaries that must be set, it’s also important to let children learn on their own.  Overcoming conflicts and learning to work through them with your peers are important situations for kids to experience.

And while it can be argued that those lessons are unnecessary, I beg to differ.  If one of my recess teachers in elementary school decided to do that, the connections with my classmates and lessons I learned would’ve been very different.

I went to a private school until I got to my high school years, so the sizes of our classes as a whole were very different.  My class had about fifteen or sixteen students give or take and we were with each other for every class, everyday.  Naturally a connection with each other was produced.  And that connection only grew stronger with our introduction to the game of capture the flag during our 5th grade year.  

Now I can’t quite recall who brought up the idea to play the game in the first place, but once we started we couldn’t stop.  It was our obsession.  Yet it was that competitive atmosphere that brought us together.  Instead of our normal separate boys and girls tables at lunch, we’d all sit together at one big one.  There, we would connect as a class and eventually pick our teams for our next game of capture the flag.

Photo Credit: Google Images

At first it was mostly simple.  The leader of the boys in the class and I, the leader of the girls, were designated team captains everytime.  We alternated who would pick first each day and which side of the playground we would get in order to make it fair for the teams.  The games went pretty smooth for the most part besides the normal quarrels between eleven year olds.

Yet after playing it for so long, the intensity started to grow.  People attempted to bend the rules, more complaints rolled in, and even some fights between friendships were produced.  But the main problem was the arguments that tended to carry over into the classroom.  

So much so, that for a few days we were banned from playing the game all together.  Understandable of course, but not the solution we needed.  This only started the blame game of who was responsible for ruining the experience for the rest of us.

Our connection was breaking. 

Thankfully, our recess teacher could see that and took the situation into her own hands.  She crafted a set of rules for us to follow and consequences if we didn’t.  She put our names on a list, boys on one side, girls on the other, for an even rotation of team captains so everyone got the opportunity to choose. And lastly she crafted a square frame out of wood that was give or take five feet across for us to place our flags in.  It was a no-enter zone so that those guarding the flag weren’t puppy guarding it. 

The games went more smoothly after that.  There were still a few arguments of course, but that’s to be expected.  I also learned that calling someone stupid, although maybe true in the moment, is ultimately not a nice thing to say.  But other than that, our connection was saved. 

We came into the classroom admiring good plays that were made during the games as well as laughing at mistakes that had occurred.  We continued to play every single day that year and continued to create a class bond that would last for a while. 

My class thrived in a competitive environment and used it to better ourselves.  If our teacher hadn’t taken a chance and let us figure it out for ourselves, we never would’ve learned how to handle not only that situation, but others like it as well.  

Everything we do in life is a competition whether we like to admit it or not.  We can’t let the small bumps in the road or minor arguments along the way stop us from finding the solution.  Quitting is not an option, especially when others do it for you.  

This generation needs to learn the importance of letting kids work things out and compete like they used to.  Let them play.  And let the

Bison Escape From Farm in Aroostook County… Again?

By: Derek Smith

Herd of bison escapes from farm in Presque Isle, Maine |

On February 27th, 2023, three bison escaped from a farm in Aroostook County Maine.

Yes you read that right, bison not Moose.

It may sound weird at first, because when you first think of bison many people do not think of Maine. However, every single U.S state has Bison in it, including Hawaii. The bison escaped the farm around 8:30 in the morning, and were spotted by people driving near Route 1A. The local police force sent out a warning to not approach the bison.

The owner of the bison, Craig Smith, was contacted by the police after the bison were detained at around noon. While nobody was hurt, the bison did cause a scare, which in turn caused The Quoggy Jo Ski Center to cancel their after-school ski program for the day.

While this story may seem strange it is actually the second time it has happened. In March of 2022, Almost one year before this bison incident occurred, 11 bison escaped from Smith’s farm. The Bison followed a similar pattern from the earlier story walking from the farm to The Quoggy Jo Ski Center area along route 1A. This caused the ski center to close until the bison were returned back to their farm. Unfortunately, one of the bison was hit and killed by a car. The person in the car was unharmed, but the car itself was completely totaled. All of the other bison made it back safely.

Due to the unnatural circumstances of bison showing up to the ski center for two years in a row, The Quoggy Jo Ski Center has adopted these bison as their mascot, and have even designed a tee-shirt with a bison logo on it.


by: Sharon A.

         The very popular annual golf tournament is taking place again on August 26 2023. This fundraiser is very effective and fun. It is where people from different places meet to compete or have fun with one another.

Mr Murray, who loves golf to a fault, was the one that thought about the golf fundraiser. Because of his love for golf, and his desire to raise more money without too much work,  he created this opportunity. 

The fundraiser has been going on for about three years. The most difficult part was the first year, like always in anything that needs to be done. It was new and it was a lot of work, especially for Mr Murray being the one looking for sponsors, calling them, and convincing them to invest in the tournament. 

But ever since the second year when he trained students to know who to call, when to call and how to email properly and politely, it has now become more of a student activity which makes it faster and easier for all to raise money

Hermon Meadow Golf Course has been a key to this success of the tournament. It is closer and it is convenient, and the fundraiser is done on a Saturday, where people will have time to come out and have fun. The fundraiser has been a success raising money: in Year 1, the class of 2024 raised $16,000; last year, the Senior, Junior, and Sophomore classes, who benefit from this yearly, raised almost $30,000.

The fee per player is quite attainable and quite reasonable, and there are a lot of good things in the tournament. There would be Bar-B-Que, food and drinks for everyone, and they entice investors to invest more than a $1000, because when that is achieved there would be good things for the investors. The winners get trophies and their name plastered in gold on the trophy.

The money is used for seniors,juniors and sophomores and it keeps rotating and rotating and the more money we raise, the better the prom, senior banquet, graduation, and other activities will be. 

This year’s tournament will be very interesting and very entertaining because of the new golf tool they are implementing, ‘’THE AIR CANNON” and they are charging people $20 to shoot. This might be the most exciting golf tournament happening in Hermon Meadows. 

Free food and beautiful scenery: that is a place I might spend my whole Saturday.

Bribery is Not the Answer, Kids

By: Lily McCann

I have never broken the law (besides running through a stop sign once) , meaning the rules of the road and just in general. My parents like to call me the golden child because my siblings, you see, are not what you would call golden children … So this one phone call to my mom was a very surprising phone call that I had to make, and let me tell you why. 

In the middle of May, I was at my job and it was already not a good night, so when my mom came in to see me and eat at her favorite place, it made me feel a lot better. But by the time she got there, my shift was over. I thought my night couldn’t get any worse, so presumably, I got in my car and drove home. 

Soon after leaving, I got the pleasure of seeing flashing blue lights in my rearview mirror; mind you only blue, no red, so I knew I wasn’t breaking the law. My first thought was  “He can’t be pulling me over, I just got on the highway. I’m still in the lane to turn onto the highway. I will just pull over so he can go get the person he wants.”

Boy was I wrong. The person he wanted was me. 

The moment this officer came to my window tears and hyperventilating started. I rolled down my window, I then tried to calm myself down as I said, “Hello officer.” He responded with “Do you know why I pulled you over, Miss??” I told him with tears rolling down my face, “No? Did I do something wrong?” He told me no. 

So this is when the story gets funny. He asked me for my license while I was still talking to him. Funny enough, my debit card was right above it. Yes I did what you are thinking, I grabbed my debit card and handed it to him. Then, my night got even worse.

“That is called bribery, and that is worth jail time.” I of course started crying even more. “I am so sorry, I thought I had my license.” He thankfully thought it was funny and was just joking. 

I then called my loving mother, bawling my eyes out on the side of the on-ramp, with the officer staying behind me to make sure I was calm enough to drive home. My mom answered and asked me if I was okay. The first thought in her mind was that I had crashed, but no, I told her that her golden child had just given a policeman her debit card. She laughed, but then asked why I got pulled over.

I told her it was because my left headlight was out. Yes, all of that just because my headlight was out.  

Lesson learned: Always make your stepdad changes your headlight before you go to work, or else you might go to jail for bribery, like I almost did.

Oh, and make sure you give the nice officer your license. Always. 

Doggy wants the Bone

By Jake Cyr, Hermon Press

It was a warm day, we had nothing to do, so my friend Tony  and I thought it was a great idea to go to Levant Elementary School. We played ball,  jammed to music, and relaxed. That was, until Tony – we all call him T-Bone – had the fantastic idea to take a walk on the trail. I can’t really fault him, I didn’t really expect anything to go wrong with a simple walk down an elementary school nature trail. Boy was I wrong. The walk was very unassuming, just walking down the trail with nothing special going on, cracking jokes. 

One bad thing about the elementary school is that there are houses very close to it, and I mean very close. Walking down the trail, you are about 100-200 feet away from someone’s house at any given moment. So when we heard dogs barking on the last stretch of the walk, we didn’t think anything of it. As we reached the end of the trail to walk onto the road, Tony and I were talking, laughing, and just generally in a happy mood. That mood died very quickly. 

The exit to the trail was directly next to a house, and with our luck that house had two dogs, and those dogs were NOT tied down. We reached the end of the trail and went down the road to the right, on the way back to the school. The dog barking got significantly louder, once again, with our absolute genius, we didn’t even give it a second thought. At least I didn’t. That’s when I heard a scream from a 4-year-old girl. Oops, sorry, it was just Tony.


 I turned around to see T-Bone running the fastest I’ve ever seen. He was moving like a gazelle, like a cheetah, like if Usain Bolt and an african hippo, had a beautiful italian unit of a child. Now when i say dog, I don’t mean the Gary Glidden type of dog, I mean like, a big ole cute dog. 

Yes, I know I said cute, but to be fair, they would be some super cute dogs in a different situation.

Alright, back to the story. After about 30 seconds, I turn back around again, and there’s about 30 feet of distance between me and Tony, and about another 20 between Tony and the dogs, and that distance is shrinking. So I do the obvious thing and start laughing. Based on Anthony’s expression of true and utter fear, I was the only one having a good time. Well, maybe not a GOOD time, but you know, I had to let out a little chuckle, it was quite funny.

After about another 20 seconds, Anthony had created probably about another 20 feet of distance between him and those dogs. That seems like some good news, but that’s about where it ended. T-Bone wasn’t exactly the physical beast he is now, so he was out of breath, and that’s when he came up with the most genius plan to ever exist. T-Bone had spotted a rock, and decided to stand on it, to be safe from the dogs. The issue with this was that the rock was about 4 feet high. You can imagine my look of absolute dumbfounded-ness. So I’m on my hands and knees absolutely losing it, laughing like a madman, watching these two dogs running towards this boulder, trying to get the boulder of a human on top of it. 

These dogs probably got 15 feet from him when Tony had his saving grace. The dogs suddenly stopped. Now to this day I don’t know why they stopped. I assume the owners had shock collars, and only just then realized their dogs were chasing two kids. Or maybe those dogs don’t like their meatballs covered in fear and sweat. Who knows? I don’t.

Now you would think my mind would be racing with thought of how we managed to not get eaten by dogs, or by how they randomly just stopped. Nope. Only thing I was thinking of was how funny Tony looked.

I have never seen pure relief on someone’s face until that moment. T-Bone barely manages to get off the boulder, and lumbers towards me. We then start our walk to the school, I am still uncontrollably laughing, and Anthony is both exhausted, frightened, and embarrassed. One of the only good things about this story is that it absolutely KILLS at parties.

Bonded By Bricks

By: Gavin Coombs

EEEERHHHH!! Hermon Hawks lose 78-18 to the Houlton Shires. This was the worst we ever were for a travel basketball team with a record of about 1 win and 20 losses. People would shoot the ball over the hoop, huck halfcourt shots mid game when we could’ve gotten a layup, and try to fadeaway when we didn’t even have the strength to get it to the hoop regularly. I will say though, this was the most memorable and entertaining travel team i’ve ever been on in my life.Photo Credit: April Coombs

I would say we had a special travel B team that year with many different talents if you want to call it that and this was definitely the most “unique” team I’ve ever been on.  2017 was one of those years where we had no talent, but one thing we did have that was driving us through the season was a whole lot of heart and a whole lot of bricks.

The weird thing about that year is that none of my friends and I cared that we were losing every game, we were just having so much fun during practices and games that we thought it was worth it. The coaches that year were my dad and Ryan Shorey’s dad Craig Shorey. Craig would be screaming at us to play like we want to win while we’re all about 12 years old and had about 2 kids who could actually shoot it towards the hoop. My dad would call the huddle and tell us to pull our heads out of our rear ends and have some fun and that’s exactly what we did. We played for fun… and fun only. 

People may have doubted our team, but we provided things other teams didn’t have… Some very stupid shots.

Nov. 14th, 2017:

SLAP! Jaykob Dow wins the jump ball, (the 7th grade, 6’2 monster that looked like big red from angry birds) the biggest player we had. Gavin Coombs recovers the ball off the jump (That was me, about 5”5 with the best two hand jump shot on the court) Dribble… Dribble…. Aghhh!! Coombs shoots two steps from halfcourt, the ball is flying through the air….. SWOOSH, Nothin but net. About 5 seconds into the game Coombs hit the first shot about 6 feet behind the 3 point line and absolutely drained it. TWEEET! I looked at the scoreboard and the score was still 0-0 and that’s when I had realized I just drained the farthest shot that year on the wrong hoop.

Photo Credit to Angry Birds Inc.

Feb. 12th, 2017:

It was 22-20 Hampden was winning halfway through the third quarter, the closest game of the season and the first time we weren’t down by thirty. Derek Smith who shot the ball over the backboard every time was on the foul line. His shot percentage was 0% and he was on the line to tie the game up. Dribble… Dribble… Dribble… Cross… Cross… Between the legs… Derek was doing his pre foul shot ritual of random moves he was not able to do and picked up the ball getting ready to launch it into outer space. The crowd was quiet waiting for the shot, wondering if this would be Derek’s first point ever made in basketball history. Aghh! Derek launched the ball with all his power like it was a medicine ball! Swoosh… The ball was launched out of Derek’s hands soaring straight up in the air.  BOOM… the ball slammed on the ground almost as hard as a cement block. Derek had just shot the foul shot behind him and everyone was absolutely amazed. He probably broke a Guinness world record for first foul shot getting shot behind yourself in a game. We will never know how one is capable of shooting a foul shot behind them, but Derek Smith had just figured it out.

Dec. 4th, 2017:

The play of the year was probably made by Christian Newcomb at our only game at Hermon High and Christian had a wide open breakaway with no one touching him. NOT A SOUL was near him. He sprinted down the court and we all thought he was going to get an easy layup, But nope he said screw that and pulled up with the farthest jumper all year 4 steps from the halfcourt line. He threw the basketball like he was playing baseball and that thing hit the backboard so hard it came right back to our side of the court and I thought it almost shattered the backboard.

Feb. 12th, 2017:

Final game of the season, Hampden was winning 22-20  near the end of the 4th quarter. This was our last chance to take home a win and our game plan was to bank it on a Zach Pyle 3-pointer. Zach Pyle was the shortest kid on our team and might have been 4”11 but he would shoot the farthest shots on the team all year and 30% of the time they would go in. Yes it might’ve been a low chance, but it was the only chance we had. 10 seconds left… Jaykob Dow passes the ball in from the sideline to Shorey in Hampdens half.  7 seconds… Shorey passes to Coombs across the court. Coombs grabs the ball and looks for the shot… it wasn’t there. Swoosh! Coombs, over the head, throws the ball across the court to Zach Pyle who was 4 steps behind the three point line with 3 seconds left. 3… 2… 1… Zach Launched the ball with every ounce of power he had in his 4”11 body and let it go. BANK!!! The ball smashed off the backboard, Boing… Boing… Boing… SWOOSH! The ball bounced 3 times and made its way into the basket in some miraculous way and our team could not believe it! We all ran at Zach almost as surprised as him that he made the shot and that we actually won a basketball game.

Some people probably think something like this is stupid because teams “need a good record” or “should want to win no matter what” things like that, but honestly we were just having a good time. Don’t get me wrong we all wanted to win, but I think the morale of the story is that although we had a horrible season and didn’t prove a damn thing all season besides “shooting a foul shot behind you was possible” I made memories that I will remember forever with that squad. We were all just friends having a good time and a bunch of buddies who became Bonded By Bricks.

Refs, Keep it in Your Pants (the flag that is)

By Josh Sullivan 10/26/22

The Raiders are up 17-7 in the second half. Derek Carr snaps the ball at 3rd and 8. He looks for an option but takes a little too long in the pocket. Chris Jones gets by his man and gets a game-changing sack. To the uneducated, it looked like a clean sack, but then the flags started to fly. 

Photo Credit The Sporting News

The current rule for roughing the passer states that “Roughing will be called if, in the Referee’s judgment, a pass rusher clearly should have known that the ball had already left the passer’s hand before contact was made”. However, if you look at the play, Derek Carr still had the ball in his hands. This is where the controversy lies. If Derek Carr still had the ball, why was roughing the passer called? 

The answer and the ref’s reasoning lies in another clause of the rule. The rule states that “when tackling a passer who is in a defenseless posture (e.g., during or just after throwing a pass), a defensive player must not unnecessarily or violently throw him down or land on top of him with all or most of the defender’s weight.” 

With this in mind, you could see why the call was made. Chris Jones came from behind Derek Carr and landed with most of his body weight on Carr. According to the NFL rules, the officials made the right call, but now the questioning from fans falls to the NFL. Are the roughing the passer rules too strict? 

If a 6’6, 300-pound man just broke past his man and the quarterback is about to throw the ball, is he supposed to walk up to the quarterback, tap him on the shoulder, and politely lower him to the ground? No. Chris Jones certainly doesn’t think so. In an interview with KSHB41, he asked ‘How should I tackle? How should I not roll on him?’ I’m trying my best. I’m 325 pounds, O.K. What do you want me to do?”

This is not an isolated incident. The same week Tom Brady was sacked by the Falcons and the refs did not keep it in their pants. The call not only cost the Falcons the game, but fueled the fire of the controversial rule.

The question becomes this: does protecting the quarterback justify these game-changing calls? 


Should the roughing the passer rule be edited?


Now the responsibility falls to us, the armchair quarterbacks, or in this case armchair refs. We have to make our opinions heard to protect the game we love, so here’s my proposal: Keep the first part of the rule, where it says pass rushers need to know where the ball is, and can’t hit the passer after the first step after the throw. That part is essential in order to protect quarterbacks. What we need to change is the body weight thing and the “unnecessarily or violently throw him down” part. A tackle is a tackle. Wide receivers don’t get that treatment. Almost every running play would result in a defensive penalty if that rule applied to running backs. Quarterbacks should accept the risk that comes with football, like every other position on the field.

Photo Credit Getty Images

 I’m not saying that quarterbacks should be consistently beaten to a pulp. A compromise could be made. The NFL could start more strictly enforcing the unnecessary roughness rule. This will protect not only the quarterback, but also all the other players.

I will end this rant with a message to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell:

Dearest Roger, by the time you inevitably read this column you will be forced to do something. Due to a track record of shaky decision-making, I will provide a short and simple action plan.

  1. Repeal the part of the roughing the passer rule that prohibits landing on the passer with the majority of their body weight.
  2. Repeal the part of the roughing the passer rule that prohibits unnecessarily or violently throwing him down.
  3. Start strictly enforcing the unnecessary roughness rule, and if that doesn’t take, beef up that rule.
  4. Tell the quarterbacks to suck it up.

This plan might save your game and take the league out of some hot water. Chris Jones and all other 300-pound pass rushers will appreciate it. No need to thank me, however lifetime tickets to the Super Bowl would be appreciated.

Yours truly,


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