The Lancer Ledger The Student News Site of Lakeland Regional High School Fri, 17 Dec 2021 17:05:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Girls Tennis 2021: Motivated Players and Memorable Moments Fri, 17 Dec 2021 17:05:00 +0000 The Lakeland Regional High School’s girls varsity tennis team had a 2021 season of victories and defeats, but it was full of memorable moments. 

Coach Mr. Rich Wiley told The Lancer Ledger about which event really stood out this season: outstanding player, senior Amanda Todd, beating Wayne Hills, knocking them out of the county tournament. Coach Wiley called it a “definitely unforgettable” moment. 

In terms of the season overall, Coach Wiley said it was really successful, as the team showed  great improvement, not to mention the lot of fun with energetic and motivated players.

The girls varsity tennis team made a ‘racquet’ this season with some big wins against West Milford and Passaic Valley. (Courtesy of LRHS Yearbook)

This season, which ended on October 31, had 15 entertaining games of which two were wins against rival West Milford and one against the strong Passaic Valley. Coach Wiley credits and thanks players Todd, senior Julia Wells, junior Katja Eckerle, and junior Danielle Reid, who were outstanding this season and did their best on the court.

The team has great expectations for next year’s season, Coach Wiley said, “We hope to continue seeing improvement and some new varsity players.”

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The Best Holiday Songs of All Time Fri, 17 Dec 2021 15:05:05 +0000 Thanksgiving: Delicious food, time with family, and of course, the last time you’ll be able to go a day without hearing Christmas music until January.

With December 25th rapidly approaching, the annual tradition (or is it a ritual?) of holiday music playing from every possible place is underway once again. Therefore, it’s only fitting that we take a look at some of the most iconic Christmas and holiday songs of all time, both classic and modern.

Andy Williams YouTube Channel

Andy Williams – “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

One of the most iconic, beloved Christmas songs of all time, and for good reason. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” combines everything that makes a Christmas song extraordinary. It’s upbeat, cheer-spreading and has lyrics that highlight the best parts of the holiday season. Each time it comes on, listeners can’t help but be instantly filled with the Christmas spirit and excitement for the holidays.

The 1954 movie ‘White Christmas’ starred Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, pictured here as Betty Haynes, featured the classic holiday song. (Public Domain)

Bing Crosby – “White Christmas”

Regarded as perhaps the most famous Christmas song in existence, “White Christmas” is sheer holiday brilliance. It captures the magic of the holiday season in a way that few other songs can. The slow, calming melody inspires warmth and provokes feelings of family and community, and the lyrics are full of nothing but joy for the wonders of the holiday season. After all – who doesn’t love a white Christmas?


Perry Como / Carpenters – “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays”

Which side are you on? Classic Perry Como, or the Carpenters’ more immediately upbeat and jolly version? Either way, “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays” is sure to please, inspiring memories of home and Christmases past and exciting listeners for the annual festivities of the holiday season. Always remember: “For the holidays, you can’t beat home sweet home!”


Dean Martin “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

Who doesn’t love snow? Aside from anyone with a commute, driveway, or dislike for cold weather, of course. Even so, this classic has been able to maintain its status as one of the icons of the holiday season, and for good reason. With its storytelling lyrics, inspiring a calm, warm and joyous atmosphere, almost every listener becomes inclined to exclaim “Let it snow!”

Frank Sinatra YouTube Channel

Frank Sinatra – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Slow and calming, but nonetheless festive, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” lets you look past the stresses of the holidays and take a moment to appreciate the emotion that comes from the season. It proves that a song doesn’t need to be fast, jolly and insistent; joy can come from the little things and, most importantly, spending time with the ones you love.


Leroy Anderson – “Sleigh Ride”

An undisputed annual tradition for orchestras and bands, it would be a crime to not mention the iconic “Sleigh Ride.” A wonderfully festive composition that fits along with not just the holidays, but the rest of Winter as well, “Sleigh Ride” is upbeat and demands that all listeners be filled with excitement and happiness. Whether you prefer it with lyrics or in classic instrumental format, the song is a staple in holiday music.


Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

Picture it: November 1st, midnight. You’ve just finished listening to “Spooky Scary Skeletons” for the thousandth time in a week. Suddenly, an ominous disturbance echoes throughout the world – and it’s not one of evil. It’s Mariah Carey’s opening vocals in the song “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Google searches for the song immediately and exponentially rise: Whether you want it or not, the holiday season is here. At least, that’s how most people feel about this song and its never-ending use as a premature ringing in of Christmastime. But is this really a bad thing? Arguably, no. “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” upbeat and inspiring, is a perfect song to signal the incoming holiday season each and every year – so get used to it.

Nat King Cole YouTube Channel

Nat King Cole – “The Christmas Song”

Featuring a lyrical laundry list of activities for the holiday season, “The Christmas Song” is well-deserving of its simplistic name. Few Christmas songs are as universally cherished as Nat King Cole’s, and it’s one of the most famous compositions affiliated with the holiday. “Offering a simple phrase,” the song is truly one of the best ways to say “Merry Christmas to you.”


Percy Faith / Johnny Mathis – “We Need a Little Christmas”

With two excellent versions of “We Need a Little Christmas,” it’s hard to say which is truly the better rendition. Whether you prefer Faith’s or Mathis’ version, though, isn’t relevant. Either way, “We Need a Little Christmas” is the ultimate song for the weeks building up to the 25th. Capturing all of the most iconic Christmas traditions into lyrical splendor, it’s sure to get any listener excited for the holiday season.

Wham YouTube Channel

Wham! – “Last Christmas”

A slightly more controversial choice – But it can’t be denied that “Last Christmas” has become synonymous with the holiday season. Admittedly, the combo-Christmas song/romance story isn’t for everyone, and those who dislike it won’t hesitate to share their thoughts with you. But that’s fine – because for everyone else, it triggers feelings of holiday spirit just as well as the other songs on this list, and “Last Christmas” does its best to give off feelings of festivity and jubilance.

Which holiday song is YOUR favorite?


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Honorable Mentions

It’s a simple fact – there are many, many excellent holiday songs, and there are too many to fit in a list. Here are some strong competitors that didn’t make the list:

  • Bing Crosby – “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas”
  • Brenda Lee – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”
  • Darlene Love  – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
  • Dean Martin – “Walking In A Winter Wonderland”
  • José Feliciano “Feliz Navidad”
  • Paul McCartney – “Wonderful Christmastime”
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra – “Carol of the Bells”
  • Vince Guaraldi – Soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas

Did we forget to mention your favorite Christmas song? Leave a comment!

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Hall Passes: Back in Business Fri, 10 Dec 2021 18:47:24 +0000 Hall passes have reentered the scene at Lakeland Regional High School, as of November 22, 2021

Assistant Principal Rita Mazza reached out to LRHS staff regarding the re-addition of golden colored paper hall passes, stating that the passes have been implemented for teachers to sign and give out to students whenever leaving the room or going to extra help during the school day. While it is normal to give out passes, some students find it confusing because of the use of IDs and lanyards. 

According to Ms. Mazza, even though students use IDs to scan in or out almost everywhere, some have been seen wandering around the school and being unable to identify where they are needed to go. This would hopefully lower the chances of students walking around aimlessly. 

This is not the first time hallway passes have been implemented at LRHS. According to teachers, bathroom passes were around before COVID-19 had started. They then removed the method of giving out passes to reduce contact with students and staff. With vaccinations, masks, and a major drop in cases, limitations have been reduced. 

Along with the passes, staff are still  only allowing one student out of the room and using the district’s scanning system to scan students in the halls and in line for the restroom.

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This Won’t Be ‘The Last Time’ Swift Shocks: A Recap On ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 12:00:57 +0000 After months of waiting, the highly anticipated album Red (Taylor’s Version) has finally been released. And in less than a week after its release, Swift has managed to set new records and once again captivate the world with her talent.

Announced back on June 18, 2021, Red (Taylor’s Version) includes the full re-recordings of Swift’s 2012 album Red, along with 10 new vault tracks, or songs that almost made the album at the time of its release. After nearly five months of waiting, the album was released on November 12, 2021 and made Spotify history. According to Variety, Swift broke her own record for the most streamed album by a female in one day. Red (Taylor’s Version) received over 90.8 million streams, surpassing Swift’s own Folklore debut of 78.7 million streams. Not only this, Swift shattered the record for the most Spotify streams obtained by a female in a single day, achieving a whopping 122.9 million streams.

It is not everyday that an artist releases re-recorded versions of their already existing albums. So, why exactly is Swift doing this? In 2018, Swift left her previous record label, Big Machine Records, that she had recorded her first six albums under. Long story short, Swift spent years trying to gain ownership of her music. However, in a Tumblr blog post, Swift stated that the only negotiation Big Machine Records made was to “‘earn’ one album back at a time, for every new one” made. Swift made the decision to leave Big Machine Records due to this reason, leaving the rights to her music in the hands of executive Scooter Braun, who had bought the record label. 

Swift, now one step closer to achieving her goal of owning all her music and winning a hard-fought battle, has officially released her second re-recording, and you will have it on repeat for months. With the exception of a few note changes and some slight musical production adjustments, Swift stayed authentic to her original album, making the re-recordings feel even more nostalgic and personable for long-time Swifties. 

One of the greatest aspects of Red (Taylor’s Version) is Swift’s vocal growth. Red was originally released back in 2012. Nine years later, Swift has improved her vocals incredibly, and it is clearly heard in Red (Taylor’s Version). From hitting the high note with such control in “Red” to the obvious growth in her hit song “I Knew You Were Trouble,” Swift’s improvement is truly undeniable. 

Swift, as seen above, initially toured Red back in 2013. Swifties are excited for what future performances and tours Swift may embark on with her newly released albums, including Red (Taylor’s Version).
(jazills (CC BY 2.0))

Re-recording another album means it’s another time Swift “unlocks the vault” and releases songs that almost made the original album. Amongst these vault songs was the long time fan-awaited 10 minute version of “All Too Well.” “All Too Well” was never released as a single, yet captivated Swifties for the past nine years and became a large fan favorite. This 10 minute version includes new lyrics full of emotional imagery, new musical production, and came out with a short film directed by Swift herself. All Too Well: The Short Film stars Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien and paints the story of the song in a very moving and descriptive way. This song also is where the iconic red scarf symbol within the Swift fan base originated. 

While the ten minute version of “All Too Well” has quickly risen to the top of charts (and album rankings for many Swifties), the rest of the vault songs have been widely obsessed over as well. Songs including “The Very First Night” and “Message in a Bottle” have become popular on social media platforms like TikTok, where many users have been expressing their great love for the catchy, upbeat tunes. “I Bet You Think About Me,” a collaboration with Chris Stapleton, has been given a spotlight; the lyrics of the song have been turned into a trend that has taken over TikTok, and Swift has dropped a new music video which can be viewed here

With releasing a new album comes lots of promotion. Swift has appeared on multiple talk shows since the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Late Night With Seth Meyers. Swift also performed her 10 minute version of “All Too Well” as the musical guest of Saturday Night Live, and participated in a comedy portion of the show alongside cast member Pete Davidson. 

This was the original font associated with the Red era back in 2012. Swift has since changed the font and album cover for Red (Taylor’s Version) to truly make this record her own.
(Big Machine Records (CC0))

But Swift is always known to go above and beyond, so she collaborated with Starbucks to help promote her album. On the day of Red (Taylor’s Version)’s release, and for a limited time afterwards, Swifties were able to order Swift’s favorite Starbucks order, a Grande Caramel Nonfat Latte, by asking for “Taylor’s Version” or “Taylor’s Latte.” This collaboration came just in time, as Starbucks just recently started using their red cups for the holiday season, perfect for the celebration of Red (Taylor’s Version). Starbucks also confirmed that lots of Swift’s music was added to their stores’ playlists to really make November 12 all about Taylor.

And just like that, Swift managed to make the week of Red (Taylor’s Version)’s release truly her week. So, head on over to Starbucks in a red scarf, order Taylor’s Latte, and drive around town, taking in the beautiful autumn scenery, while blasting Red (Taylor’s Version).

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DECA’s Walkathon Raises Funds and Awareness for Children’s Cancer Mon, 06 Dec 2021 12:00:11 +0000 Lakeland Regional High School’s DECA program hosted a walkathon at the school on Saturday, November 20, 2021. The event raised $1,500 for the non-profit organization, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. 

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s mission is to “raise funds for research and develop less toxic treatments.” With pediatric cancer rates increasing, DECA agreed this fundraiser was essential to not only donate, but to bring awareness to the sickness. 

Ms. Ornella Incardona, DECA’s advisor, gave insight on what it was like to plan the fundraiser. When asked what inspired the group to donate to this organization she said,  “New Jersey DECA every year asks their DECA chapters to raise money for an organization, and this year Cookies for Kids Cancer was chosen.”

DECA members enthusiastically raised more funds through selling treats and hot cocoa on the chilly morning. (Courtesy of LRHS DECA)
Members of the LRHS community participated in the walkathon that raised both funds and awareness for childhood cancer. (Courtesy of LRHS DECA)

When questioned how the participants would raise money, she said, “So there are two ways to give money to a walkathon, number one, you can give a flat rate. You could say you wanna donate fifty dollars and walk a couple of miles, or you could just go out and ask people to sponsor you.” 

“That’s what DECA is about,” Ms. Incardona said, “giving back to your community.” 


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Lakeland Girls Field Hockey Team Hosted “Junior Day” Event Fri, 03 Dec 2021 12:00:54 +0000 The Lakeland girls field hockey team hosted a “Junior Day” event at the Wanaque Elementary School Field on Thursday October 21, 2021, to introduce the middle school junior players to those from Lakeland Regional High School. Ultimately, the goal was to create a team bond and sense of togetherness throughout all of the Lakeland Lancer Field Hockey (LLFH) programs.

Teacher and field hockey coach at LRHS, Ms. Patty Kebrdle, had lots of fun hosting the event. Coach Kebrdle shared the origins of the day, saying, “Junior Day started about 10 years ago, when the middle school field hockey team was invited to attend the high school field hockey team’s last game. The juniors played a 5 minute scrimmage during half time.” 

This wonderful tradition has changed and developed throughout the years. According to Coach Kebrdle, “Now, we announce the [junior players] and have existing [varsity and JV] players welcome them to the LLFH family.” 

Although the specifics of this event have changed over the years, the purpose has continued to remain the same. Coach Kebrdle shared her goals for the event, “We hope that the girls stay involved with field hockey so when they come to Lakeland High School they stay in the program. So far, it has been successful and our program at the high school has grown.” 

All players joined in on the traditional huddle. (Courtesy of LRHS Field Hockey)

This welcoming is done through a rose ceremony, where current LLFH players welcome girls from the junior team by giving them pink and yellow roses. In return, the junior players give varsity players red roses along with bags of candy. 

The event is truly an amazing chance for the younger players to interact with the older girls and feel part of the family LLFH has to offer. 

After the ceremony, the combined groups took lots of pictures, joined the varsity team in their pre-game chant, and  watched the varsity game against Northern Valley Demarest, where Lakeland won 4-0. 

This year’s varsity team had an incredible season ending in a 16-2-2 record. Coach Kebrdle says, “Our current success can be partially contributed to the involvement at the middle school level.” 


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Awareness: Exploring ADHD Thu, 02 Dec 2021 17:34:11 +0000 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month was this past October, and The Lancer Ledger wanted to honor those with ADHD by discussing what it is and learning how Lakeland Regional High School assists those with it. 

The definition of ADHD is a chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

The Lancer Leger interviewed Ms. Jamie Haftec-Shopshear, special education teacher, about ADHD. She says that it’s when you have “ants in your pants and you can’t sit still.” Ms. Haftec has had lots of students with hyperactivity or ADHD and loves the energy they bring. This reporter agrees, says having ADHD is more of a superpower than a disability.

It can be hard to manage because if you have ADHD you get overwhelmed easily, but Ms. Haftec recommends students with ADHD to be in mainstream classes with the right support. 

Ms. Haftec also told The Ledger that Lakeland does a lot of things to help the students with ADHD like study skills and Homework Clubs.

ADHDAwarenessMonth Coalition
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NJ’s Vaccine and Testing Mandate for Teachers Thu, 02 Dec 2021 17:16:32 +0000 Lakeland Regional High School’s administration and staff are abiding by New Jersey’s new vaccine and testing mandate for all school personnel, which went into effect on Oct 18, 2021. 

Under the mandate, teachers and staff must get vaccinated or get tested every week, and according to Mr. Novak, assistant superintendent of Lakeland Regional High School, teachers began weekly testing the week the order took place. The order, known as Executive Order 253, was signed on August 23 by Governor Phil Murphy and puts the responsibility of enforcing the mandate to each New Jersey school district. 

Mr. Novak told The Ledger that since the start of the pandemic, the school has a Pandemic Response Team. The team is made up of staff from different areas around the school. The team still meets to talk about how they can keep the school year running as normal as possible while authenticating that everyone is safe. The team also works closely with local health officials from Ringwood and Wanaque. 

The coronavirus pandemic changed things for students and teachers, but LRHS is putting forth the best effort in their actions to get this school year back to normal and ensure safety for everyone. 

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Children Ages Five to 11 Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine Thu, 02 Dec 2021 12:00:22 +0000 The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for ages five to 11 became officially available for administration as of November 3, 2021.

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) released information stating that as of November 4, the specified age group may get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, free of charge. 

Dosage amounts differ from the vaccine for those five to 11 than those 12 and older. The vaccine for the younger group is adjusted and is one-third of the adult amount, but still carries the same ingredients. Smaller needles, specifically designed for children, will also be used.

Like with adults and older children, side effects on the arm where the vaccine is administered are pain, redness, and swelling. Minor effects that emerge once the vaccine is given are chills, fever, and tiredness. Some, on the more moderate side, include headaches, nausea, and muscle pain. According to the CDC, there is no need to worry, however; any effects will dwindle in a couple days. A few more severe ones are possible, yet extremely rare. If there are any problems, consult your pediatrician for advice.

Currently, a Pfrizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only vaccine available for this age group. A Moderna and J&J/Janssen vaccine is not yet at hand.

The Lancer Ledger interviewed Ms. Anna Leszczynski, mother of two boys, one in the specified age group above. She responded, saying, “I know that a lot of people were waiting for this approval, so I’m happy for those who are comfortable with vaccinating their children and feel like this is the best decision for them.” She also mentioned that her “intention is to not vaccinate my child – at least for now,” and that she is “hopeful that this decision will remain in the hands of the parents since the vaccine only has emergency use approval.” 

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment for vaccination, you can contact your local pharmacy or pediatrician.

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A Day in the Life of a Lancer: The Award Winning XC Team – In Pictures Wed, 01 Dec 2021 16:17:59 +0000 The race is only one component to a day at a cross country meet.  So what else occurs on these anticipated days?  Read on to find out about a day in the life of a cross country runner as the team takes on the Shore Coaches Invitational on October 2.

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