The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online


A student plays the New York Times game “Wordle” on their phone. Many students have stopped playing the game since it has faded.

FEATURE: Where’s Wordle?

Arianna Waller, Reporter February 16, 2024

Released in Oct. 2021 but popularized in Jan. 2022, Wordle was a hit phenomenon, taking the world by storm and counting up over two million players by the end of January. Wordle is a web-based word game...

 A student scrolls through Instagram while hiding their phone in a book. Many students employ similar tactics to get out of reading.

FEATURE: Phones Take the Throne, Books Left Alone

Meredith Shryock, Reporter February 14, 2024

There is an increasing concern in The Student Library Advisory Board about declines in reading among teenagers. According to the American Psychological Association, less than 20% of high schoolers read...

Juniors Vivi Riffel, Dru White and club sponsor Kelly Barah pose with cards made by Sending Luv Club.

FEATURE: All You Need Is Luv

Delaney Bayliss, Reporter February 8, 2024

According to the Children’s Health Council, a recent survey found that 75% of high school students reported negative feelings about their school. A new club is trying to help students who may be experiencing...

Freshman Anniston Clark goes for a layup during the home varsity girls basketball game vs Olathe North on January 10.

FEATURE: Student Athletes Fall Behind

Corinne Kingsley, Reporter February 8, 2024

As spring sports begin, student athletes juggle school work while missing classes for their sports. Athletes play up to 19 games per season, half being away games, meaning students are having to miss classes...

Covered in snow, the school building sits empty as students stay home due to unsafe weather conditions on January 16.

FEATURE: Causes and Effects of Snow Days

Jonah Frye, Reporter February 7, 2024

For students, snow days can offer a unique opportunity for students to focus on their personal lives and enjoy a day to themselves. So far, the Lawrence school district has had four snow days in 2024....

A sign outside a polling station indicates the voting location for an election.

FEATURE: Election Season Worries

Maura Langland, Reporter February 1, 2024

With the previous caucus in Iowa and the primary in New Hampshire, the 2024 election season has officially begun. Students who will be 18 next Nov. have a lot on their minds when it comes to the election. “Since...

Crossing the mat, junior Grayson Hagen prepares to shake hands with his opponent from Lawrence High before his wrestling match during the City Showdown on Jan 24.

FEATURE: Haste to History

Thomas Patton, Reporter February 1, 2024

On Jan. 20, Junior Grayson Hagen recorded his 100th win as a Free State wrestler. Hagen joins only five previous firebirds to accomplish this impressive feat. Three of those wrestlers, Matthew Marcum,...

Pie chart demonstrating Firebirds preferred caffeinated drinks. Design by Mylie Brillhart

FEATURE: Caffeine Consumption

Phoebe Morris, News Planning Team January 31, 2024

According to Verywell Health, 80% of people consume caffeine on a daily basis of which 73% are children. One energy drink typically contains 500 mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to 14 cans of soda....

Teacher Rachel Downs advises senior Chloe Mure-Limburg on a water color project in one of Downs art classes.

FEATURE: Rachel Downs Battling Health Issues While Supporting the Art Program

Nick Sprecker, Sports Editor January 25, 2024

Throughout USD 497, teachers in various departments are large contributors to student success, and take on sizable chunks of responsibility. AP Art and Design and drawing teacher Rachel Downs is amongst...

Smiling, senior Sophie Racy stands for a photo. Racy has competed as a member of the Speech and Debate team for 4 years, earning numerous medals along the way. “I think that these awards serve as a representation of the work Ive put into the activity and I was given them because the people around me in the community see that” Racy said.
(Caption by Gregory Mayhew)

FEATURE: Racy-ing to the Top

Claire Heinritz, Reporter January 23, 2024

Summing up her outstanding work for four straight years, star debater Sophie Racy’s high school career comes to a close being nationally recognized with the NSDA’s degree of premier distinction. The...

Certified Nurse Aide students review important information before a test. As a partnership with Neosho County Community College, students had the opportunity to earn college credit by taking the class.

FEATURE: Turning Passion Into Profession

Isabella Bobey, Reporter January 17, 2024

Many nurses begin training for their careers as students, taking classes to become certified nursing assistants. Being a CNA gives students the unique opportunity to work under registered nurses and with...

Bowing a bass, senior Sawyer Janssen practices for all-state auditions. Getting the results back, Janssen placed 6th in the state on double bass. “I really enjoy playing music,” Janssen said. “I love the sound of string instruments and classical music.”

FEATURE: Schedule-Maxing

Evie Chancy, News Planning Team January 17, 2024

  As each year of high school is finished and more credits are completed, students are left with an increasing amount of freedom in how they fill those empty spaces in their schedule. Seniors,...

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