Lady Panthers fall short in playoffs

By Taylor Munce, sports editor

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The Lady Panthers prepare for the upcoming match as a team.

The Lady Panthers hit their way to a positive record, finishing the season 8-6, slightly improving on last year’s 7-7 record.The ladies had their final loss against Cochranton on Oct. 30 in the semi-finals of the D10 playoffs.

Despite their losses, the ladies had positive feelings about the season. Claudia Fetzer, senior libero, believes that teamwork and hard work carried the team to semi-finals. “It’s been my best volleyball season yet due to our teamwork,” Fetzner said.

Senior outside hitter Mikayla Balog agrees that this season has been the best of her high school volleyball career. Balog accomplished her personal goal of sixty 60 kills in an entire season.

Cami Reynolds, senior outside hitter, said: “During the season I think we had the skill, but there were times when it was a hit or miss,” she believes that the team had the “push” they needed from Coach Johnson.

The Panthers’ seniors: Mikayla Balog, Carlie Schlosser, Claudia Fetzner, and Cami Reynolds have become integral parts of the team and their losses will be felt by next years’ team. Junior Carmen Kantz and junior Kaylee Mulligan will lead the 2019 team as experienced players.

 

Mrs. Heather Patton to run New York City Marathon on Sunday

By Kassie Boyd and Braeden Kantz, editor-in-chief and managing editor

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Mrs. Heather Patton will run the New York City Marathon on Sunday.

In 2017, Saegertown teacher and alumni Mrs. Heather Patton became the first woman to complete the Great Lakes Marathon Series. She is set to make headlines once again at the New York City marathon on Sunday, Nov. 4.

This year’s applicant pool was record-breaking, with a staggering 105,184 runners applying to the free, non-guaranteed lottery drawing. Mrs. Patton is one of the 15,640 athletes accepted. A total of 50,000 athletes will compete in the NYC marathon. Those who were not drawn in the lottery represent local clubs or charities that were guaranteed entry.

Not only will Mrs. Patton be running in Sunday’s race, she will also represent the United States at the opening ceremony tomorrow in New York City’s Central Park, which will be live streamed on https://abc7ny.com/ at 5:25 p.m.

Patton will begin the 26.2 mile race at roughly 10 a.m. on Sunday. “I’m excited,” Mrs. Patton said. “The NYC Marathon has been on my bucket list forever. I finally got in and I’m ready for it.”

Phelan caps off golf career with trip to state finals

by Nick Archacki, news editor

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Phelan (left) took twenty-eighth place at the PIAA Boys AA State Individual Championships.

As the sun rose in York, Pa. on Oct. 22., Saegertown senior and local golf prodigy Will Phelan took to the course for the last time in his eventful high school career.

Phelan, an athletic and academically talented senior, trekked across the state for the fourth consecutive year as he participated in the PIAA Boys AA State Individual Championships on Oct. 22 and 23 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.  

On Monday, Phelan shot an 18-hole round of 89, putting him in thirty-third place out of thirty-five golfers for the tournament. “Heritage Hills is a tough course with little room for error,” Phelan said. “I enjoy playing it, even though the layout of the course doesn’t really suite the strengths of my game.” In response to his score of 89, Phelan brought in another 18-hole round of 84, bringing his overall total to 173 and finishing in twenty-eighth place, the exact position Phelan placed at last year in this event.

Phelan is the first golfer in the history of Saegertown High School to compete at the PIAA State Championships in all four years of high school, competing with the team in 2015 and 2016, and individually in 2017 and 2018.

Each of his trips has been a unique experience. “All four years that I competed there (Heritage Hills) were different, and having several people golfing with you for the team event is a totally different atmosphere and experience than just golfing for yourself,” Phelan said. “I love the experience of golfing individually, but I prefer to golf with the team and have them there with me.”

Phelan admits he did not finish his golfing career as strongly as he hoped, but he still thoroughly enjoyed his experiences with varsity golf. “I’ll miss the connection I had with the golf team, the practices that we had, and the good times we shared,” Phelan said.

The camaraderie between team members has left Phelan with several fond memories. He cited when junior Nick Archacki plowed into the reese hitch of a Nissan truck with a golf cart at the Western Regionals Team event in 2016 as a memory that he will forever cherish. He also noted that one of his greatest moments was when he shot an 83 at the Treasure Lake Silver Course at the Western Team Regionals event in 2015, helping the golf team move on to the state finals for their first time.

Throughout his golfing career, Phelan has stunned many with his skill, grit, and unmistakable power. Phelan has evolved from a curious and inexperienced freshman to a notable and respected golfer who has left his lasting impact on Saegertown. “I’d like to thank the team for their support and Coach Hanley for the encouragement,” Phelan said. “It’s been a great ride.” 

Phelan’s outstanding year continues into Western Regionals

by Nick Archacki, news editor

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Senior Will Phelan and Coach Brian Hanley (file photo)

Saegertown Senior Will Phelan has had a successful year on the links, winning the Region 3 Player of the Year, and advancing from the District 10 Individual Championships to the Western Regional Golf Championships to be held next Monday at Tom’s Run golf course in Blairsville.

Phelan qualified for regionals last Friday at The Country Club of Meadville with a fantastic two-day, 36-hole total of 150, shooting 73 and 77 to place second at districts. Phelan made a substantial improvement from last year’s performance at the event, where he shot scores of 82-82 to qualify for regionals, advancing from there to the state finals where he placed twenty-eighth.

“I’m more than satisfied with my performance because golf isn’t a sport in which I think highly of myself,” Phelan said. “I’m no Ryan Peters, and golf isn’t my main sport, but considering what has developed over the past four years in high school golf, I’m elated to have competed for SHS.” Keys to Phelan’s success are simple: “I don’t overthink it, and I try to be as consistent as possible.”

Phelan’s advance to the regional competition marks the fourth straight year that a Panther has advanced beyond the district level. He has turned heads and is becoming a local star with his golf skills. There is no doubt that the fierce Phelan will bring his all to the Tom’s Run course on Monday. 

Saegertown soccer primed for playoffs

by Sheena Byham, sports editor

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Saegertown boys huddle during a recent game.

 

The Saegertown Panthers soccer team has started its season strong. Over the summer, the team struggled to find a head coach who was willing to take on the mantle. Alex Escalante, who was previously the assistant coach, stepped up and filled the position. One of his first initiatives was to increase team numbers with boys from Maplewood, Cambridge, and Saegertown.

The boys started the preseason with a 6-0 win over over CASH. Their record is currently 4-10 including a thrilling win over rival team, the Meadville Bulldogs. The boys have not let their losses define them, and they rallied to beat Eisenhower 6-1 on Sept. 24. “Our players are connecting off the field, but sometimes we have a little difficulty getting it together when the pressure rises,” said Logan Bill, one of the senior captains from Cambridge. “I feel that we have a chance in the playoffs if we take it seriously and focus. I hope that we can really get our passing and finishing down, so we can score easier and with more accuracy.”

The Panthers are progressing as the season continues. Coach Escalante said: “The team is good, but surely improving.” Escalante has put effort into substituting top scorer Iain Scott (who graduated last year) with senior Ainsley Kissel from Cambridge and Saegertown junior Andy Rockwell in the offense. “The season had a rough start because we had such little time to practice and get to know new players,” said Escalante. He has high hopes for the team and anticipates the boys will be playing more cohesively by playoffs.  

They Panthers will be in action again against Seneca tomorrow, Oct. 11, at French Creek Valley School at 4 p.m. 

Girls soccer team defends turf

by Morgan Radwick, design editor

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Lady Blue Devil seniors with coaches

The Cambridge Springs Lady Blue Devils soccer team has once again proven its grit with four wins this season. Coach Geoff Bristow, and assistant coach Alex Escalante are helping the ladies do their best on the field.

Senior captain Brenna Repko loves the sport. “It clears my mind, and has boosted my confidence throughout the years,” Repko said. Captains Brenna Repko and Lexie Burdick are helping the team work together while representing them as a whole.

The ladies of Saegertown and Cambridge Springs have worked very hard to get where they are now. Even though their athletic abilities are a key factor, teamwork is what really helps them succeed. “Teamwork is everything,” Burdick said, “One hundred percent.”

The Lady Blue Devils celebrated senior night on Oct. 4 with a victory against Maplewood 1-0. Honored seniors include; Sydney Morelli, Sheena Byham, Brenna Repko, Erin Fizer (from Cambridge) and Mylena Hernandez. This does not mark the end of their season, however. 

The ladies are set to play in the 2018 playoff competition that will begin in late October, and they will be in action tomorrow night against Iroquois at French Creek Valley School in Saegertown. The match starts at 4 p.m.

 

Cross Country team continues ‘Family Business’

by Chloe Luchansky, staff writer

This past week the Cross Country team traveled to compete in the Cochranton meet. Varsity boys went 0-2, and varsity girls went 2-0.

Overall, the senior high boys are 2-4 and the girls are 4-2 in the region. The junior high boys are 6-0, and the junior high girls are 0-3 in the region.

“Family Business” has once again been chosen as the team motto. From the beginning of camp the team has formed unbreakable bonds with each other. The team is a family.

“Running is about building character and discipline,” said Coach Bill Hetrick. With the countless hours of training put in, the team hopes for qualifiers in the state championship taking place in November.

Last year, the junior high boys were region champions and are on track to achieve the same goal again this season. At the only home meet this season, eighth grader Sam Hetrick, beat the junior high course record that was set in 2007 by Nate Talleda. “I was very excited and pleased with myself,” Sam Hetrick said. “Beating a record was one of my all time goals.”

Senior captain Gabe DeYoung works to keep the team pushing towards excellence. The members of the team help motivate each other during each practice and meet to achieve their personal goals.

This season the team hopes to have the varsity boys at .500 or better, and the varsity girls to have a top two or three finish in the region. The runners will be in action again on Tuesday, Oct. 9 in a tri-meet with Conneaut Area and Rocky Grove at CASH. 

Plaza Lanes under new ownership, creating hopeful future for local bowling

by Nick Archacki, news editor and avid bowler

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Plaza Lanes in Meadville is under new ownership.

As a high class bowler, I have seen all types of bowling establishments across the United States in my sixteen years of competing in the sport. There are many definitions that can describe the appearance of a bowling center, but three significant words that stand out to me are: uniqueness, attributes, and downfalls. Throughout the years, I have seen centers rise and fall, thrive or fail. Theoretically, the appearance of a bowling alley affects customers’ and bowlers’ attitudes the moment they walk through the door, which can directly affect the bowling center’s profit and popularity.

Unfortunately, Plaza Lanes in Meadville has struggled over the past five years to bring in both revenue and bowlers. Many attribute this to the lack of funding put into maintenance after a fire burnt Plaza Lanes to the ground in April of 2001. Along with the lanes being closed multiple days of the week for two straight summers, the center has struggled with the additional loss of a fully functional restaurant and bar inside the building.

However, a brand new chapter of our community’s history has already begun, and the center’s future looks promising. After finalizing the anticipated sale on Aug. 24, Kurt Baird and Ramon Rodriguez are the new owners of Plaza Lanes. Baird and Rodriguez moved from Miami to Meadville and are excited for their new future as the owners of Plaza Lanes.

We were looking to change our living situation from big city to a small town, and being the new owners of Plaza Lanes is just what we were looking for,” Baird said. “Buying the center fits well into our prior job experiences and this new start to our lives has combined many of our goals together, it’s a dream come true for both of us.” 

Baird and Rodriguez mentioned that they have large shoes to fill with the purchase of Plaza Lanes, but they are ready to handle the new challenges and opportunities that will be presented to them in the upcoming years. “Our priorities are to make the bowling center the best it can be for our league/recreational bowlers and employees by making the building a clean, fun, family environment,” Baird said. “Seeing people having a good time is golden for us and when they thank you back for what you’ve provided for them, it feels great.”

Baird and Rodriguez, along with their family members, have resolved many of  the center’s previous aesthetic issues. “We have pressure washed the outside of the building, acquired brand new bowling pins, rearranged the seating, cleaned the carpets, cut tall grass, trimmed bushes and trees along with building a new restaurant menu,” Baird and Rodriguez said.

The Plaza Sports Den, the restaurant located inside Plaza Lanes, will return with a full food menu, bar, many new beverages, and a new chef to accommodate the rebirth of the restaurant. “We hope to make our restaurant a place for non-bowlers to eat and socialize with friends and family like the Found Lounge at Cambridge Springs’ Lost Lanes.” Additionally, the front parking lot will be repaved and a new, modernist floor has been added in the front entrance.

“We need to meet all of our customers’ requirements and being here every day shows our commitment to the bowling center. We want to keep the center going and improve it,”  Baird and Rodriguez said. They added that they are happy to be part of Meadville’s history with the purchase of this historic location. 

“Moving here was a challenge for us and the local community has been wonderful, supportive, and appreciative to us during this process which we are very thankful for,” Baird and Rodriguez said. “We’re excited to be here. If you haven’t been to Plaza Lanes lately, stop on by and see what’s going on. We would love to meet and talk with you.”

Current hours for Plaza Lanes can be found on their website at plazalanesmeadville.com and don’t forget to like their Facebook page at Plaza Lanes Meadville.

(Nick Archacki has been bowling since he was one and a half years old.)

 

Saegertown students compete in Tae Kwon Do tournament

by Morgan Radwick, staff writer

Two of Saegertown’s talented students, Renee Allen and Mykenzie Connally, competed in a Tae Kwon Do tournament on Saturday, May 19 at Northwestern High School. Both took away multiple awards from the tournament, with Allen winning two first places in self defense and kata, two second places in fighting and weapon kata, and Connally winning two first places in fighting and weapon, and two second places in kata and self defense.

Allen and Connally both participate in Tae Kwon Do classes at Humes Martial Arts in Waterford. Classes are held twice a week in preparation for the competitive tournaments. As for the experience, both say it is very positive. “It’s given me discipline and acting skills.” Connally said.

Despite all the stress the day of the tournaments, the participants still have fun no matter what; but when they win first place, the day gets even better. “It feels like a bunch of butterflies leave your stomach when you win first place because its like all your hard work paid off,” Allen said.