Caldwell represents Pennsylvania at National 4-H Dairy Conference

by Laura Monico, social media editor

 

Saegertown senior Erika Caldwell traveled to Madison, Wisconsin Sept. 30 through Oct. 5 as one of six Pennsylvania representatives to the National 4-H Dairy Conference.

Caldwell was nominated this past summer by her 4-H leaders, Alexis and Brooke Caldwell, to apply for the opportunity. After applying, Caldwell received a phone call from the Penn State Extension Office for an interview.  Following the interview, Caldwell was selected as one of six from Pa., and one of over 200 from across the United States and Canada to travel to Wisconsin for the event.

The National 4-H Dairy Conference is an organization that was created to allow leading dairy 4-H individuals to come together, build relationships, and grow their knowledge of the industry. The event is held at the University of Wisconsin College of Ag and Life Sciences.

At the conference, Caldwell attended multiple seminars which covered the topics of proper calf feeding and precision dairy monitoring. She also participated in a lactation lab and the dissection of an udder. The group toured local dairy destinations including Hoard’s Dairymen, ABS Global, Dairy Shrine Museum, and Crave Brothers Farms.

Taking place at the same time as the conference was the World Dairy Expo, a five day event that showcases the best cattle from across the country and displays the latest technology in the industry. “My favorite part was watching the World Dairy expo. Everyone there was really nice and friendly, and they are all passionate about the Dairy industry,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell currently lives on her family’s second generation dairy farm: “Lu-JaDo Farm.”  Although Caldwell does not plan to live on a dairy farm in her future, she enjoyed her experience. “Yes, I loved it there. I did not want to come back although I missed my cows,” Caldwell said. “It made me realize how much the dairy industry is hurting. I feel that farmers do not get enough credit for what they do. They deserve more.”

Panthers golf team come up short at D10, Peters and Phelan advance to regionals

by Nick Archacki, staff writer

GOLF2GOLF1The Panthers golf team came up short at the District 10 Team Championships last Friday at The Country Club of Meadville, losing to North East by 11 strokes (324-335). Even after the loss, Coach Brian Hanley was still very proud of his team for making it this far once again. “We weren’t the favorites this year.  I’m happy with the results. Obviously, you always want to win and you always have expectations. But I know we lost to a really good team in North East,”  Hanley said in a recent interview with the Meadville Tribune.

The Panthers won another Region 4 championship this year making it six straight titles, a new school record. Although the team’s season is over, a duo of Panther golfers aren’t finished yet, as they still have a chance to qualify for the PIAA State Individual Championships in York on Oct. 23-24 after their impressive performances last weekend at the District 10 Individual Championships.

Senior Ryan Peters and junior Will Phelan have qualified for the Western Regional Individual Championships, which is currently underway, today at Tom’s Run Golf Resort in Blairsville. Peters clinched his first ever District 10 Individual title at The Country Club last weekend shooting scores of 73-77 to take the title by two strokes. Phelan qualified for his first time by placing seventh, shooting scores of 82-82. “It’s pretty cool that I won, especially after playing poorly there the last few years. I was also really happy that Will moved on to Regionals this year,” Peters said. If one of our Panthers win the state title, it would be the first time ever in school history for golf.

Updates will posted on Twitter @PantherPressSHS.

Lady Devils shoot for soccer playoffs

by Cami Reynolds, Sports Editor

devils soccerDespite only having 15 players, the Cambridge Springs lady’s soccer team is racking up points this season with a 3-3 Region 3 record. The girls are hard at work this season competing against all teams, working their way to playoffs. “This season is good so far. It’s going better than I had predicted,” said junior striker Brenna Repko.

Gaby Chaffee, the backup goalie, had to step in when the Devils’ goalie, Casey Collier suffered an injury early in the season diving for a ball within the last six seconds in the kickoff game against CASH.

The team’s toughest competitions this season have been against Maplewood and Iroquois, and the team defeated Maplewood, but lost to Iroquois 3-0. “My favorite memory is when I scored the game winning goal in double overtime against Maplewood,” said Repko.

The playoffs will begin a week after region play is finished, but the date is TBA.

“Our goal is to win a playoff game and win the last few games we have left. We are trying our hardest to grow and succeed, but if we don’t win any playoff games, we will still be proud of overcoming the obstacles we have faced together,” said junior Sheena Byham.

The Lady Blue Devils’ next game is Saturday, Oct. 14 at Girard at 1 p.m.

DeVore to compete at states in Harrisburg

by Autumn Jones, marketing director

4-H DeVore.jpg

Michaila DeVore and her miniature horse, Buster, take first in Mini-In-Hand Trail during 4-H Round-Up.

Senior Michaila DeVore will be making the long journey with her two horses, Winsome The VZ Way and Buster to compete in three classes at the state 4-H horse show.  The state show takes place at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg on the weekend of October 27-29. 4-H members from all around the state qualified through their county round-up and their district show over the summer to make it to this caliber of show.

DeVore competes on her seven year old gelding, Winsome The VZ Way a.k.a. Vinnie in Hunt Seat and English Pleasure. She will be showing at states in Hunter Under Saddle, a class where the horse is judged on how long and low their strides are as well as how well trained they are, and Showmanship, a class where the horse and rider are judged on how well they complete a specific pattern from the ground.

She will also be competing in Mini-In-Hand Trail with her miniature horse, Buster. Mini-In-Hand Trail is a class which is judged based on an obstacle course. The course must be completed by the horse only, as the handler stands outside of each obstacle.

DeVore said, “I am excited about states because I got a new trainer and I’ve learned a lot more.” She also believes she has a better chance of placing in the top five as she has come close in the past, bringing home one sixth and two eighths.

Boys basketball uniting for early open gyms

by Stevie Siple, staff writer

In the shadow of heated fall sports, the boys basketball team is working behind the scenes every Thursday after school to prepare for the coming season.

The head coach Greg Molnar is holding open gyms on Thursdays after school. During the preseason, the guys practice offensive and defensive plays.

They had a shared open gym on Monday, October 2 at Calvary Baptist. “We had a rough start, but we feel like we will be prepared for the season. The top five is more connected, but we don’t have much depth,” said senior Jacob Steiger.

The current seniors, in addition to Steiger, are Owen Chess, Stevie Siple, Jarrett DeJohn, Billy Lilly, and Kevin Johns. They are looking forward to one last year wearing the uniform as they have worked hard for their turn on the court as seniors.  

The official start of the basketball season will be November 17. That’s when they will start practicing every day for the real games. Once the season starts, two captains will be chosen, a speaking captain and a team captain. Coach Molnar nominates players for these positions if they have received a varsity letter the year before.

The team is looking to overcome setbacks experienced last season. “We are going to face challenges every single game on the floor, due to multiple injuries, and lack of experience and depth,” Coach Molnar said.

Duck season starts tomorrow

by Braeden Kantz, sports editor

duck season.jpg

Local ponds like these will be popular spots for duck hunters as season starts tomorrow.

As fall bears down on Pennsylvania, leaves won’t be the only thing falling in the swamps of the Keystone state. The Saegertown area, or area 1B,  is very densely populated with various species of ducks due to the large amounts of low lying swamps and lakes that border the area. Starting October 7, hunters will be permitted to hit the swamps with the proper licenses. All hunters must have a 2017-2018 issue of the migratory bird license, and hunters over sixteen must have a duck stamp in order to participate in a legal duck hunt. Bag limits will vary based on location and species.

Saegertown junior Austin Bayer, a first time duck hunter, will be going out with seasoned hunter and classmate, Dakota Edmonson for his first duck hunt tomorrow. Bayer will try to bag his first duck in a pond in Conneautville. Due to the surrounding federal lands, Bayer predicts a successful first hunt.

Panthers making another run at PIAA State Golf Championships

by Nick Archacki, staff writer

As the golf season comes to a close for the Panthers, the reigning six-time Region 4 champions have proven to be the top team once again as they roared in with a season record of 4-1, competing against AAA teams in tournaments throughout the year, and placing in the top 10 each time.

The Panthers have a stacked lineup with many talented golfers and four District 10 individual qualifiers including seniors Ryan Peters and Michael Costello, along with junior Will Phelan and sophomore Nick Archacki. Other team members include juniors Brode Berger and Jonathan Merritt, sophomores Andy Hasychak and Carson Jones, and freshman Ava Jones rounding out this year’s team.

After 20 years of coaching the team, Coach Brian Hanley still enjoys coaching the golfers. “I have good and hard working kids who never give up. I like to see the golfers grow up throughout the years with their maturity and golfing skills.”

Many of the golfers have similar thoughts on how it feels to be a part of a two-time state qualifying golf team. “It’s been awesome. I have had so much fun with the team and I am pretty sad that my high school career is almost over,” said senior Ryan Peters, one of best golfers in the history of our school. Junior Brode Berger said, “It feels great knowing I get to be a part of this team.”

The District 10 Team and Individual Championships will be held Oct. 6-7 at the Country Club of Meadville. The event starts with the District 10 Individual Championships on Oct. 6. Then, the District 10 Team Championships will be on Oct. 7. If the team wins there, they will advance to compete at Treasure Lake Golf Resort Silver Course in DuBois for the Western Regional Team Championships on Oct.12.

If the individual golfers advance to the Western Individual Region Championships from the District 10 Individual Championships, they will compete at Tom’s Run Golf Course at Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort in Blairsville on Oct. 16. Then, if the team and the individual golfers advance to the state finals, the individual golfers will compete from Oct. 23-24 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York for the PIAA Individual Championships while the team state championship will be held October 25.  “We have a chance, but we are definitely not the favorites for the state title,” said senior Ryan Peters.

 

Pheasant permit created

by Bailey Kozalla, sports editor

In order to hunt pheasants in Pennsylvania in the fall, adult hunters will need to purchase a permit to hunt the birds along with their yearly license. In an attempt to increase revenue, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has created the $25 permit, and reduce the $4.7 million cost by $1.5 million to stock the pheasants every year.

Along with the admission of the permit, two of the four pheasant farms have closed, including the Western Game Farm in Cambridge Springs. Eight PGC employees lost their jobs at this farm, reducing $1.7 million from the annual budget.

According to the PGC website, the primary goal of raising and stocking pheasants is to “provide a quality game bird for regulated hunting opportunities.” However, some areas of the program had to be cut. Since 1998, the licenses haven’t been increased to cope with inflation, which led the PGC to cut down on some programs. The pheasant program happened to be one of them. This was the only way to keep the program in place. Pheasant populations peaked in 1971, when more than 700,000 hunters harvested an estimated 1.3 million birds. Last year, about 240,000 pheasants were harvested. The reason so many pheasants were harvested in the seventies lies within the discontinued Soil Bank, and Feed Grain Program. These federal programs idled areas of cropland from production that are vital to nesting pheasants. Approximately 716,000 acres of farmland was lost to urban development in the end of the twentieth century.

The state relies on an artificial pheasant population to be created, as the original thriving population in the 1960s and 1970s diminished. In the past, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was created to sustain pheasant populations on private farmland. Approximately one percent of farm fields in Pennsylvania are CRP managed. An updated federal version, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), was created to improve farmland species in joint with Pheasants Forever, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, county conservation districts, and Duck Unlimited. However, the current trends in pheasant habitat will make it very difficult in the coming years to restore thriving pheasants. Restoring these game birds will not only keep the sport alive, but it will also improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, and assist other native species, thus securing the future of farmland species in Pennsylvania.

 

Saegertown team brings home bronze in state shoot

by Kaity Gage, special media projects editor 

Thirteen students from Saegertown High School traveled to Clairton on June 4 for the 2017 Pennsylvania State High School Clay Target League State Tournament.

Two of Saegertown’s students were incredibly successful and brought home medals to display.

Junior Dustin Hunter won a third place medal in the junior varsity division for his score of 86/100. “It was the best I’ve ever shot, and I was happy to take third place overall for my first year,” Hunter said.

Sophomore Sarah Swartout earned medals for being the third best female shooter at the tournament and second for having the best score overall from this season for females.

The students have been shooting every Sunday since April, with their scores submitted online to compete against other schools in Pennsylvania.

Overall, Saegertown High School came in third place as a team behind Corry High School and Portage Area High School.

 

 

Things get choppy (at taekwondo tournament)

by Hillary Twiford, staff writer

Two Saegertown High School sophomores recently participated in the Champion of the Sword taekwondo tournament at Northwestern High School on May 20. Mykenzie Connally and Renee Allen competed in multiple categories to earn four swords each.

There were four divisions: sparring, self-defense, kadas, and weapon kadas. Connally earned first place in sparring and third in the other three divisions, and Allen earned third in sparring and second in both self-defense, kadas, and weapon kadas.

“I had to go first for the very first event, which was self defense,” Connally said. “I was too nervous. I was shaking the whole time, so I think it ruined my form.”

For Allen, the most nerve-racking part was the judges. “I don’t like talking to people I don’t know, so I didn’t like talking to the judges.” However, she still enjoyed the tournament. “I had a lot of fun, and I didn’t hurt myself!”

Connally’s favorite part of the tournament was receiving her swords at the end, but she did share enthusiasm for Allen’s favorite portion. “We weren’t a part of this thing called music kadas, but I enjoyed watching it because they were so into their routines and so energetic,” Allen said.

After competing in the tournament, both contestants strive for enhancement in martial arts. “I would improve my stance. One of the judges told me I was leaning forward, so I would fix that,” Connally said. Allen looks for overall improvement. “I want to practice more because now I know what the judges are looking for,” Allen said. Connally and Allen look forward to participating in more tournaments in the future.