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.”

Saegertown players shine in Lions Club All-Star basketball game

by Bailey Kozalla, editor-in-chief

Lions_Clubs_International_logo.svg_-1024x971.pngSaegertown seniors Owen Chess and Stevie Siple brought their basketball talents to Maplewood High School on March 26 in the All-Star game. Sponsored by Townville Lions Club, the game featured two teams of seniors separated into East and West teams. Chess and Siple played for the West.

The East was coached by Dave Gjovic of Maplewood and the West was coached by Mark McElhinny of Meadville. The Crawford County players included seniors from Saegertown, Cambridge Springs, Maplewood, Meadville, Cochranton, and General McLane.

The annual All-Star game is laid-back and high scoring by nature. Combining impressive shot attempts, and a plan to drive in with either a cool pass or an open three-point shot, the East team defeated the West with a score of 106-66.

Despite the loss, Siple and Chess contributed with two and eight points respectively.

“I got to really enjoy my last game without all the stress of competition. I am grateful for the experience to play,”Siple said.

Chess said, “It was a really fun game overall even though it was more relaxed. It was fun to go out on the court and just enjoy myself.”

In a Meadville Tribune interview, Harry Zurasky of the Townville Lions Club said, “It was an interesting game. They all shared the ball well. They all had fun and they compete all those years, and tonight they get to just have fun together.”

United States athletes make history at 2018 Winter Olympics

by Nick Archacki, staff writer

After sixteen straight days of televised competition for winter athletes all around the world last month starting on Feb. 10, the twenty-third Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea concluded with the extinguishment of the Olympic torch at the closing ceremonies. From rising stars to veterans, our United States athletes had an impressive showing at the Olympics, creating historic moments along the way.

On Feb. 11, a pair of U.S. athletes, Red Gerard and Chris Mazdzer, brought home medals in the Men’s Slopestyle Snowboarding and Men’s Singles Luge competition. Gerard, a seventeen year old snowboarder, brought home the United States first gold medal in the games and his first Winter Olympics medal. Mazdzer brought home the United States first ever medal, another gold, in Men’s Singles Luge, Mazdzer’s first ever Olympic medal as well.

Feb. 12 was another good day for the U.S. as snowboarder Jamie Anderson brought home her second consecutive gold medal in the Ladies’ Slopestyle competition, making her the first female snowboarder to win more than one Olympic gold medal. The U.S. Figure Skating Team also brought home a bronze medal on the twelfth.

Feb. 13-14 were historic days for the United States because of the performances from two U.S. athletes. On Feb. 13, Chloe Kim, a seventeen year old snowboarder, brought home gold in the Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe with fellow American Arielle Gold placing third in the same competition to earn the bronze medal. With Kim’s win, she became the youngest woman ever to win an Olympic snowboarding medal.

Feb. 14 was the start of another memorable Olympic moment for Shaun White. The thirty-one year old icon, who holds the record for the most X-Games gold medals and also has the most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder, won his third Olympic gold medal in the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe competition. Not only did White complete his third run with a fantastic 97.75 score, he won the United States their one-hundredth Winter Olympics gold medal, the second ever country to accomplish that feat in the Winter Olympics.

The next five days were pretty tame for the United States, except for Feb. 15. On that day one of the most famous winter athletes in the world currently, Mikaela Shiffrin, won her second gold medal in the Ladies’ Giant Slalom competition. Shiffrin’s win tied her with Ted Ligety and Andrea Mead Lawrence for the most Olympic gold medals ever won by an American Olympian in alpine skiing. There were no medals won by the U.S. on February 16 and 19, but there were still a pair of athletes who brought home medals on February 17 and 18. Pittsburgh native John-Henry Krueger brought home a silver medal for the United States in the Short Track Speed Skating competition on February 17 and on the eighteenth, Nick Goepper brought home another silver medal for the U.S. in the Men’s Ski Slopestyle competition.

Feb. 20-22 were fantastic days for U.S. athletes in figure skating, skiing, and hockey. On Feb. 20, siblings Alex and Maia Shibutani brought home a bronze medal in the Figure Skating Ice Dance competition along with Brita Sigourney bringing home another bronze for the United States in the Ladies’ Ski Halfpipe competition.

Feb. 21 was a day of rejoice for all the U.S. medalists winners and a sad one for one skiing legend, Lindsey Vonn. Vonn, age thirty-three, announced earlier in the week that this would most likely be her final Olympics in her storied career. Even though this would supposedly be Vonn’s last Olympics, she still gave her best effort even through years of injury by bringing home a bronze medal for the United States in the Ladies’ Downhill Skiing competition. Although a great career would be coming to an end, that was by far not the top headline of the day with multiple medals being won by the female U.S. athletes.

The U.S. Ladies’ Speed Skating team won a bronze medal, the U.S. Women’s Bobsleigh team came home with a silver medal, and the biggest highlight of the day was when the team of Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall brought home the United States first ever medal, a gold medal, in U.S. Women’s Cross-Country Skiing history in the Team Free Sprint competition. Diggins, who finished out the final half of the competition while Randall started the run, beat out her opponent by half a ski length to earn the United States another medal.

The concluding days at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics witnessed even more historic moments for the United States on Feb. 22 and 24 as the Americans did not win medals on Feb. 23 and 25. Feb. 22 another big day for the United States as Mikaela Shiffrin made another run at a gold medal, this time in the Ladies’ Alpine Combined competition, coming up just short earning a silver medal. David Wise won back-to-back gold medals in the Men’s Ski Halfpipe competition with U.S. teammate Alex Ferreira standing right beside him on the podium, winning the silver medal. Also, on the twenty-second, the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team won our country’s first ever gold medal in the competition, beating Canada in a penalty shootout, 3-2. Ending the day for the U.S., Jamie Anderson also brought home a silver medal in the Ladies’ Snowboard Big Air Competition.

The final medals were earned for the United States on Feb. 24 and another first time milestone was achieved for the U.S. Men’s Curling team. The team of Team Shuster brought home the United States first ever gold medal in Men’s Curling. In conclusion, the final U.S. medal was earned by snowboarder Kyle Mack in the Men’s Big Air competition and bringing the overall medal count for the United States to twenty-three. All the medals consisted of nine gold, eight silver, and eight bronze medals, the fourth best country in the Winter Olympics this year.

To end the journey for United States at the Olympics, the U.S. Paralympic Team competed in the 2018 Paralympic Winter Olympics, also in PyeongChang, from March 9-18. Our United States paralympic athletes had an impressive performance at the games, their best in sixteen years, by bringing home thirteen gold, fifthteen silver, and eight bronze medals, leading all of the countries in medals this year in the paralympic games.

The next Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, China in 2022.

Crowl caps successful swim season at Districts

by Dustin Steiger, broadcast director

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Ben Crowl successfully completes the 100 breaststroke on Saturday, Mar. 3.

Junior Ben Crowl has been pushing all season for districts, and his efforts most certainly paid off.

For three years, Crowl has been swimming for Meadville Bulldog swim team, but this season has been his best. He qualified for districts in the 200 IM with a time of 2:25:34, and in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:12:29. This all led to the pinnacle of his season. On March 2-3 Crowl went with his team to Districts at the Spire Institute of Ohio, prepared to go big or go home.

At Districts, he smashed his own PR in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:08:75, shaving an entire 3.5 seconds off and placing eighth in the event overall. He also swam a 2:22:61 in the 200 IM, once again beating his own record and placing seventh in the process. This winning streak continued as Crowl and his team placed third in the 200 medley relay and second in the 400 free relay, ending the team’s season with a bang.

“It was my best [season] so far…” Crowl said. “I’m going to train hard in the off season and prepare to go even faster next year.”