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.

Field day cancelled; Junior vs. Senior sports tournament takes its place

by Autumn Jones, marketing director

For the first time in several years, Field Day at Saegertown High School has been canceled due to inclement weather expected tomorrow.  However, the Powder Puff game has been revamped and revised to become the Junior vs. Senior Sports Tournament which will take place in the gym.  Be sure to come see these Lady Panthers in action as they play rounds of flag football, dodgeball, and nitroball to fill the void of Field Day activities. Check out the line-ups for the juniors and seniors below.

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Teachers’ hidden talents: Motocross has opened doors for Mr. Nahay

by Erik Murphy, website editor

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Saegertown technology teacher George Nahay

Mr. George Nahay has been racing motocross for years. The Saegertown technology education teacher has been riding dirt bikes since age 10 and racing since age 15 at local venues including the TV Land MX track in Pierpont, Ohio and the Maple Shade MX track in Sugar Grove, Pa.

“As a kid, I used to imagine myself riding alongside the school bus on a dirt bike,” Nahay said as he explained his inspiration for picking up the sport. His father responded to his vision by purchasing Nahay his first dirt bike.

He has a significant background in motocross and technology education as a whole. When he lived in North Carolina, he helped operate the Wide Open Motocross Park which was open to the public every Saturday and Sunday. Nahay was responsible for building the jumps on the track, grooming the track, and driving a 2,000-gallon water truck. This experience opened several doors.

One of his friends started a tactical driving company called American Offroad, which specializes in teaching offensive and defensive driving skills for combat situations, mainly to military groups. Nahay worked with them for a fair bit of time before moving to Pennsylvania, and he still visits annually.

 

He even thought about taking a permanent job in the field. “I considered teaching at a motocross training facility in South Carolina (Club MX) for riders aspiring to be professional racers. These riders are from all over the country and range in age from 12-18. During the day they train as professional athletes. In the evenings they take online classes on their own often without parents or teachers to guide them.  I worked with some of the kids individually as a tutor, but decided not to quit my job to teach there full time,” Nahay said.

Nahay continues to race during summer breaks, and he still enjoys the benefits of all his motocross experiences. He shared that he found his passion for working in technology education by fixing parts on dirt bikes.

Campbell headed to YMCA Gymnastics Nationals in June

by Kaity Gage, design editor

Throwing yourself upside down and into the air is no easy feat, but eighth grader Lennon Campbell makes it look effortless.

Campbell is currently a gymnast at the Meadville YMCA and is a member of the Meadville Twisters gymnastics team. The Twisters have been competing since their season began in October. During this time, Campbell and her teammates have attended fourteen competitions, earning trophies every time.

The team has won all of their awards based on their team scores, which are compiled using the data from each individual member’s performance in the four events: floor, bars, beam, and vault.

Although Campbell competes in all four events, her favorite is the floor routine. “My favorite move is a tumbling pass of a roundoff, back handspring, back tuck,” Campbell said.  From the beginning of her gymnastics career until now, Campbell has brought home thirty-eight medals from her competitions.

In June, Campbell and her teammates will travel to Toledo, Ohio to compete at the YMCA Gymnastics Nationals. Nationals will be conducted similar to all of the other competitions, but the stakes are definitely higher.

Whether she sticks her landings or takes a tumble, Campbell is thankful for the experience and memories she’s made with her teammates. “Competing this year has been really fun because my team supported me in every competition.”