Dunn attends 4-H Capital Days in Harrisburg

By Stefanie Arblaster, website editor

On April 1 through April 3, junior Patrick Dunn attended the 2017 Pennsylvania 4-H Capital Days in Harrisburg. Capital Days is a three day program for 4-H members ages 14-18 to enhance their knowledge on Pennsylvania state government.

Among numerous other activities, Dunn and many other 4-H’ers from across the state came together to learn about parliamentary procedure. They learned how the procedure can help them within a 4-H meeting. “It’s a great tool to use. It’ll help us problem solve and run the meetings more efficiently,” Dunn said.

  They participated in ice breaker challenges, which helped the group grow familiar with each other, attended a dance hosted by the program at the Hilton Hotel, explored the state capitol building, and even ate with the state senators.

“It was a really great experience, I learned a lot and I would definitely go back.” Dunn said.


Saegertown students take on taekwondo

By Hillary Twiford, staff writer

After school, many students participate in activities that no one knows about. For example, sophomores Renee Allen and Mykenzie Connally have been taking taekwondo lessons since October. They attend classes at Humes Martial Arts in Waterford two to three times a week to receive instruction from David Humes.

Their lessons focus on four different areas: sparring, self-defense, traditional movement patterns known as katas, and kata with weapons like bo staff and nunchucks.  However, classes in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and karadio, a mixture of karate and high intensity cardio combinations, are also available.

Allen’s favorite part of class is sparring, a match where you fight an opponent having little to no contact, whereas Connally prefers self-defense and katas because she feels like she has more control.

“I’ve been wanting to do taekwondo for awhile. I wanted to do something with fighting,” said Connally. “It seemed really cool, so Renee and I signed up to do it last minute.”

         Allen cites the reason for getting into taekwondo is because of her mother. “My mom was nagging me to do a self defense class so I said ‘hey why not?’”       

        They are currently yellow belts, but plan on surpassing orange belts and earning their blue belts in May before competing in the Champion of the Sword tournament on May 20 at Northwestern. “I’m excited for it, and we’re training really hard,” Connally said.


Saegertown barrel racer wins saddle

by Hannah Myers, staff writer

This year junior Autumn Jones will be winning a saddle for youth barrels for taking first in the Everwind Ranch Winter Series. Barrel racing is a timed event where the horse and rider attempt to complete a cloverleaf pattern without any faults. “It makes me feel like I have accomplished something huge because there are a couple of people who are big competition there,” said Jones.

Jones has been barrel racing her entire life, and is currently running with Dave Martin’s Bull Riding Mania. She shows 2-3 weekends per month in the winter and every weekend along with fair rodeo, in the summer. “The atmosphere is so different at rodeos. It’s electrifying to be in front of the crowd and under the arena lights,” said Jones.

This year she is showing a 13.2 hand pony, Mighty Mouth, also known as Mouthy. In the past, she has won three buckles and multiple awards, but nothing quite as remarkable as a saddle. Jones has plans of competing again next year.

Anglers anticipate trout opener

By Grant Phelan, staff writer

Within a week, local streams will face an army of men and women clad in boots, waders, and fishing rods. Welcome to the Pennsylvania trout opener April 16, 2017. As with every other season, fishermen can wet their lines starting at 8 a.m. sharp. “Yeah, I’m pretty excited. I heard they stocked more trout this year in Woodcock Creek,” sophomore Brode Berger said.

The PA Fish and Boat Commission stocks roughly 3.15 million trout each year in approved waterways. In 2017, that number was bumped to 4.2 million. All of these fish are up for grabs (or hooks) for the droves of people who will line the banks in hopes of filling their stringers.

The Commission fills Pennsylvania’s waters with brown, rainbow, brook, and golden rainbow trout. The golden rainbows, or palomino, are less common than their counterparts, and are a novelty that many fishermen seek to catch on the first day. These fish are spawned from a mutation that occurred in a rainbow trout in the Appalachians in 1954. Most of the time, they are the largest fish stocked in the stream, adding even more allure to their reputation of being the bright yellow and the hardest to catch. Berger, who plans to once again hit the stream, was fortunate to catch one last year. “I caught it in Woodcock Creek, down by Stainbrook Park. It was fun, especially since it was my first ever.” The 19 inch palomino was caught on a Trout Magnet.

One of the major discussions included for this season is the fact that Easter is the day after the first day, which means that many people may not participate the first day due to holiday plans. But many will stay close to home and still wet their lines. “Most likely I will fish at Woodcock Creek. I like to be the first one to the hole and in my opinion the bite slows down later in the day. So I will probably only fish till about 12-1 p.m. Still will have all day Sunday to celebrate the holiday,” sophomore Wes Price said.

Historically, many will cast spinners, worms, crickets, and the classic silver spoon to be successful. “I like to use either a red eye ant with a grub or a trout magnet spinner,” Price said. Although the masses that make the trek each year are excited, not everyone will come home with filled stringers and empty bait cans. It is all part of the experience that has almost 600,000 anglers lining Pennsylvania’s streams every year.

Extension period update: new guidelines released amid mixed reviews

by Rachel Barner, news editor and Kaitlyn Walsh, features editor

The third extension period was held yesterday afternoon, and new guidelines for this time were released to the students and staff.

According to these guidelines, this “is a time for teachers to be actively monitoring the students in their group,” and it is not a free time for the students. It requires the students to be working at all times or participating in group activities without their iPads or their phones. It is like a normal class, such as needing a pass to leave and the teacher knowing where the student is going.

So far, opinions are mixed, and these periods are falling into two camps:  team building and work sessions.  

“I think it is a good opportunity to relax from the school day to wind down little bit. We sit in a group circle and we get a worksheet with different activities on it. We don’t have a giant group, so it is more one on one,”  said senior Jackie Galford, who is in Mr. William Hetrick’s extension period.

Freshman Sam Shelenberger is in Mr. Adam Horne’s extension period, and he has similar thoughts about the extension period. “I feel like it is a good idea because it is basically a tutorial so we can get our work done, but it is not every day so we are not bored,” Shelenberger said.

Freshman Morgan Murphy, who has Mrs. Heather Papinchak, said it is treated like a tutorial. “I feel like it is a good time for catching up on work,” Murphy said. She would not change this because she can finish up her art projects, and she feels a closer connection to the students in her class.

In addition, some students feel out of place within their groups. “I was put in a room of freshman so I didn’t feel comfortable opening up. I tried to move out of it, but I wasn’t allowed and I am really annoyed. Mr. Horne is really cool and understanding about it, though,” senior Kalib Kiser said.

Others just want time to work. “I wish it were like a tutorial, especially playing a sport. I could be using that time better for myself,” sophomore Megan Walsh said.

How do you feel about this? If you want your voice to be heard about this extension period, please email rabarner@psdmail.org or kawalsh@psdmail.org.


Youngest Greco places in regional basketball competition

By Scout Van Cise, opinion editor

Lindsey Greco, fourth grader at Saegertown Elementary School, won second place in the U.S. Northeast Regional Elks Hoop Shoot competition on March 18. Greco won first in the state competition on March 4, making 20 of the 25 shots she was allowed, and beating last year’s national champion. She then moved to the regional competition with winners from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and was runner up, with 19 of 25 baskets.

Greco attended four total competitions for the event at Cambridge Springs, Warren, Penn State, and Wilkes-Barre. Between competitions she practiced often to improve her skills and prepare for the contest. “I was very proud of my daughter. She is very persistent and hardworking. She goes to the gym every morning and practices, so it was nice to see her hard work pay off,” said Justyn Greco, Lindsey’s mother.

Although Greco did not win first place, she was still happy with her results, and plans to keep practicing. “It has helped her gain some self confidence not only in basketball but being more dedicated in everything that she does,” said science teacher Mr. Chris Greco, Lindsey’s father.

What the fruit is that?

By Tyler Brooks, staff writer 

Apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes are all fruits that can be seen and enjoyed worldwide. You probably have at least one kind at home. But there are thousands of types of fruits, not just a handful of them. There are fruits that your mind cannot even imagine. When someone says “weird fruit,” names like kiwifruit, dragonfruit, and mango come to mind. But who knows what a sapote, a kiwano, or a chôm chôm is? That’s rhetorical because none of you know those.

Good news to all chocoholics out there: there is a way to eat chocolate pudding with low caloric intake and high levels of essential vitamins and minerals. To accomplish this seemingly impossible task, one must simply turn toward the black sapote, also known as the chocolate pudding fruit or as Diaspyros nigra. The 2-4 inch Central American native is commercially grown in Australia, Florida, and the Philippines. The ripe season is in December, and the fruit can currently only be obtained in the United States through mail-orders from Florida during ripe season.

A kiwano melon, Cucumis metuliferus, is otherworldly, inward and out. It is a yellow spiked melon, but its inside is a booger-green watery fluid with floating seeds. The melon is used as a source of water in its native Africa, and when it is ready to spread its seeds, it simply explodes. Kiwanos can be physically bought in Lancaster or shipped from Erie or from Shoprite.

Another odd fruit from Lancaster and Shoprite is the chôm chôm, aka the rambutan or Nephelium lappaceum, and it is essentially a hairy strawberry in appearance. But once the hairy chôm chôm is peeled, it looks like clear chapstick and tastes vaguely like grapes. It has a diverse variety of nutrients, all in modest amounts, making it like a hairy vitamin supplement.

While apples and grapes are delicious and good for you, other fruits don’t get the love they deserve. They can be more nutritious and delicious than any fruit you’ve ever heard of. Unfamiliarity should not equal unappetizing in our minds, but rather a new fruitful path to take and enjoy. Next time you visit a market, check out the exotic fruits and try something new and judge for yourself the role these fruits should play within your life.