Count Us in For the Culture Change


Facebook Profile Picture made by Micah Retzul to change the culture.

Lizzie Crouch, Editor

Honor, Effort, Attitude, Responsibility, and Team is a group of words that when taken in the right context will make an acronym standing for “H.E.A.R.T.”, but it is also a group of words that can describe what makes an exceptional athlete. Micah Reutzel, FHS school nurse and head girls basketball coach, used this saying to ignite a burning flame that has started to make an impact on all athletics at Fredericktown High School.

It all started during the 2021-2022 school year when Coach Reutzel began to re-brand the Fredericktown Lady Cats basketball team Facebook page to represent a culture that is enthusiastic to support each other endlessly. Coach Reutzel took action by posting encouraging shout-outs to every Lady Cat team including girls soccer, volleyball, and softball. No matter how big the win was, Reutzel wanted to encourage the community to change their attitudes towards athletics.

“I did not want to settle for just existing as a school, I wanted to create a competitive culture at Fredericktown. My goal was to have a competitive team and program, and to get there the team, coaching staff, school, and community’s attitude needed to change

— Micah Reutzel


After continuing to motivate athletes across every sport, Reutzel continued his mission by spreading the H.E.A.R.T. message across the Fredericktown community through multiple activities. During Christmas of 2021 and 2022, the Lady Cat basketball team was able to extend their H.E.A.R.T. to bless local families in the community with special gifts picked out by the girls.

On February 16, 2022, Reutzel held a “Culture Night” to celebrate the Past, Present, and Future Lady Cats, during the last home game of the 2022 season. He continued to make this a tradition when he held a second culture night on February 17, 2023. Reutzel strived to take the 2023 Culture Night to a whole new level when he began to generate posts spotlighting former players and coaches.

On November 22, 2022, Coach Reutzel’s Lady Cat basketball team was honored to take part in history as they played in the first ever girl’s game in the annual Arcadia Valley Thanksgiving Tournament that has been held for the last 96 years.

As the 2022-2023 Lady Cat basketball season started, Coach Reutzel continued to change Fredericktown’s athletics culture. Reutzel develop a team Tik-Tok account to show off the girls’ personalities and grow more support for the team. Hilarious videos were made that received tons of positive feedback from the community and the FHS student body. Amelia Miller (10) states, “I had a lot of fun making the videos as a team; they ended up being very funny.”

Reutzel’s actions are proving to work as the Lady Cats’ work ethic and heart are growing stronger. This can surely be demonstrated by all of the achievements the girls have made this season. They got 2nd in the Bob Sechrest Jr. Christmas Tournament. The ladies led the championship game by 4 points at half time and played a strong game. But as Micah Reutzel put it, “Sometimes you just run out of gas.”

On top of this, the Lady Cats clinched the MAAA large school conference championship. This was a great accomplishment because the Lady Cat basketball team has not done this since the 1996-1997 season. The Fredericktown girls basketball team’s toughness should not go unnoticed as they keep making history and change the culture.

Orginally published inside of a Scratch Pad special print edition, Volume 32 Number 2, Located on Page 2 titled “Count Us in For the Culture Change.”