Kisner reviews Interstellar for The Erie Reader

By Erin Sherry, Editor in Chief

erie-reader-logo-2014Last year current senior and Panther Press news editor Eric Kisner won a first place Student Keystone Press Award from the Pennsylvania News Media Association Foundation for writing reviews. That is a state-wide award, and it has resulted in another job for Kisner. Currently, he is a movie reviewer for The Erie Reader, Erie’s only free, independent, weekly source for news, arts, and entertainment, which has a base circulation of 10,000. Kisner’s reviews appear on the Erie Reader’s online site. Check out his review of Interstellar at You can also click on his profile at the top of the page to read all his reviews.

Stewart performs with Erie Junior Philharmonic

By Sydney Kightlinger, Assistant Opinion Editor

Jesse Stewart after the winter concert at General McLane High School on Dec .2.

Jesse Stewart after the winter concert at General McLane High School on Dec. 2.

Any mention of dedicated musicians or grand performances conjures the image of middle aged adults in an elaborate theater playing some famous symphony by a dead obscure Russian composer, the kind of event parents make us attend.

This is not always the case, because some teenagers thrive on the warmth of the stage lights like sophomore Jesse Stewart. Stewart has been playing in the Erie Junior Philharmonic for two years. “There is nothing better than to be playing music with some of the best musicians all around the state,” said Stewart.

The Junior Philharmonic is an ensemble composed of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. It has students from twenty five schools including representation from all in the PENNCREST district. Jesse Stewart is the principle (first) tuba chair. Their most recent performance was Dec. 4, the Winter Ensemble Concert, where they played a wide variety of classical music. “The long hours of rehearsal really paid off. The music selection was one of our best. After the many weeks of rehearsal everything came together. I loved playing the Dubinushka,” said Stewart. The next concert is April 26, 2015.

Military homecoming: Jordan Weed surprises his brother

By Olivia Burger, Opinion Editor

Logan Weed, junior, reunited with his brother Jordan Weed.

Logan Weed, junior, reunited with his brother Jordan Weed.

On Wednesday Nov. 26, Mr. Scott Bidwell’s seventh period Algebra class was continuing as any normal class day would for junior Logan Weed. However to Logan’s surprise, the class ended with a shocker he never saw coming. His brother, Jordan Weed, had returned home for the holidays.

The surprise started when Assistant Principal Mrs. Laurie Kantz interrupted the class and said, “I think there’s someone here you’d like to see.” In the doorway stood Logan’s older brother, Jordan. Jordan had been released from the Shaw Air Force Base located in South Carolina where he is an Air Traffic Controller with an Airman 1st Class rank. Jordan’s break from service stretched from Wednesday Nov. 26 through Monday Dec. 1, giving him time to spend with his family and close friends over the Thanksgiving holiday season.

On Tuesday Nov. 25, the day before Jordan surprised Logan at the school, Jordan called his brother to trick him into thinking he wouldn’t be able to make it for Thanksgiving. “I was surprised because I talked to him the day before and he said he wasn’t coming, but he really was in the car on his way up here at that time,” said Logan.

Logan and Jordan, along with the rest of their family, were thankful for the time they spent together. Logan said, “That was the first time I had seen him in a year and a half. I hope I can see him for Christmas, but I’m glad I got to see him on Thanksgiving.”

Johnston (‘10) returns from service in Kuwait

By Garrett Johnston, Assistant Features Editor

Homecoming parade.

Homecoming parade.

Saegertown alumnus, Dylan Johnston (‘10), brother of Saegertown High School junior Garrett Johnston (that’s me) and son of MDS aid Michele Johnston, returned to the states on Nov. 4 after spending seven months on active duty in Kuwait. He returned to Crawford County on Nov. 6 after spending the required time at Fort Indiantown Gap in Harrisburg, Pa.

Johnston family at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Johnston family at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Dylan is a part of the 201st Red Horse Unit, a division of the United States Air National Guard. The unit entered Fort Indiantown Gap after being escorted from Newark, New Jersey by a police bike and a motorcycle group called the Guardian Knights. “It was really touching to see the parade when he returned,” said Michele. “I had no idea they would have an escort like that.  When I finally got to see him, I didn’t say anything. I just hugged him. So glad to have him home.” Dylan plans to return to Penn State Mont Alto in the spring to complete his final semester and receive his degree in forestry.

Vath and Reynolds commit to D1 wrestling programs

By Emily Callan, Design Editor

Dylan Reynolds and Tyler Vath signed commitments to D1 wrestling programs at Clarion and Edinboro respectively on Dec. 2 in the Saegertown High School Iibraries. (photo by Casey Fetzner)

Dylan Reynolds committed to Clarion and Tyler Vath signed with Edinboro on Dec. 2.

On Tuesday, December 2, Saegertown seniors Dylan Reynolds and Tyler Vath formally signed commitments to local colleges for wrestling.

Reynolds, a two-time state medalist, will be an Eagle at the University of Clarion. “It was an offer I couldn’t pass up, especially because I get to be with my brother,” said Reynolds, whose brother Shawn is a junior at Clarion. Vath, a three-time state medalist, signed to be a Scot at Edinboro University. Vath said he selected Edinboro because the school is D1, close to home, and offers his intended major (health and physical education).

Tyler’s father Brett Vath said, “Tyler had been looking at five other schools, and it came as a surprise to me that schools can show up late in the game but still serve as their (the wrestler’s) number one choice in the end.” Both grapplers will receive wrestling scholarships.

“It’s awesome to have two boys on a D1 scholarship program, this is the first time we have signed wrestlers to D1 since Pat Bradshaw in 2005. They are both very good wrestlers, and even better kids. This shows that there are scholarships out there, and I believe there will be more hardworking wrestlers to obtain them in the future,” said Saegertown Wrestling head coach Jim Mulligan.

Saegertown ladies travel to PSB for Women in Engineering Day

By Lianna Ketcham, Website Editor

Sophomore Sydney Kightlinger created a windmill at Penn State Behrend's Women in Engineering Day on Nov. 21..

Sophomore Sydney Kightlinger created a windmill at Penn State Behrend’s Women in Engineering Day on Nov. 21. (photo by Sydney Kightlinger)

Saegertown High School ladies ventured to Penn State Behrend today to participate in the ninth annual Women in Engineering Day. Sixteen girls in grades ten and eleven attended the day of math and science related activities along with many other schools in Pennsylvania and southern parts of New York. Guest speaker and PSB alumni, Tiffany Beers from Nike talked to the students about the opportunities that await those with engineering backgrounds.

Students attended different sessions where they created things such as windmills, gumball machines, and lava lamps. Presenters came from varying companies to help with the activities: Construction Process Solutions, Ltd., Erie Insurance, Eriez Magnetics, FMC Technologies, GE Transportation, and LORD Corporation. The program is designed to help steer students into thinking about their lives after graduation.

“It was very informative. I have been thinking about my future a lot recently, and I think engineering is definitely plausible for me,” said sophomore Sydney Kightlinger. Many students left the campus with thoughts of engineering possibilities.

To find out more, visit the Women in Engineering Day page at Penn State Behrend.

Panthers lace up skates

By Bradley Amy, Staff Writer

Saegertown players Chase Leech, middle, and Luke Triola, right, face off in a recent match.

Saegertown players Chase Leech, middle, and Luke Triola, right, face off in a recent match.

Saegertown Sophomores, Luke Triola (25) and Chase Leech (36), are spending their winter lacing up the skates, tapping the sticks, and shredding the ice all day as they join the Meadville Bulldogs Varsity Hockey team. Currently, the focus of winter sports at Saegertown is on wrestling and basketball. Although hockey is not offered here, Triola and Leech have been able to join a newly found team and make it popular with students outside the walls of Saegertown. The boys started their season in October and currently sit at 4-4-1 overall. Triola has three goals and five assists; Leech has one goal and four assists. They played Peters Township last Tuesday, and the Bulldogs came out on top with a 3-2 victory. On November 18, Triola scored a hat-trick and led the Bulldogs to a 10-3 victory. The Bulldogs will be back in action Thursday, November 20, at Harbor Creek.

Locals react to #AlexFromTarget

By Makenna Robison, Assistant Design Editor

#EmilyFromSubway takes her shot at overnight fame. (contributed photo)

#EmilyFromSubway takes her shot at overnight fame. (photo by Nick Monico)

Who is Alex from Target? Do you follow him on Twitter? Does he follow you? Saegertown junior Emily Johnson received a new Twitter follower on November 6 during the evening, and to her surprise it was Alex from Target! She says she retweeted two of Alex’s tweets, and minutes later, he followed her. Weird! Nobody knew of 16-year-old Alex Laboeuf on November 1, but by November 2, he had practically become famous with his own trending hashtag: #AlexFromTarget to prove it.

Everything started when a young girl, distracted by Alex’s good looks, took his picture as he was bagging her groceries in Texas. This picture was posted on Twitter and, for unexplainable reasons, it went viral on the internet. Alex claims to have no real talent such as singing, dancing, or acting. During his interview with Ellen DeGeneres, when asked if he had any other skills, he said, “Well, I mean apparently I can bag groceries pretty well.” The marketing firm, Breakr, tried to take credit for the rise of Alex, but everyone who has been asked about this company has denied ever hearing of it.

We know who Alex is here at Saegertown, but what do we think of him? Freshman Scout VanCise said, “I thought he looked cute based on the picture that was posted on Twitter, but after seeing other pictures of him later on, I didn’t think he was worth all the fuss!”

Though Alex has many new admirers, and nearly a million new Twitter followers, he has also experienced much negativity including death threats online. Alex has appeared on “Ellen” and been interviewed by many news outlets around the world. Modeling, movie, and television agents want to meet with Alex, and he has been offered sponsorships and advertising deals. Alex says he plans on doing what he has always done, getting up early for school, spending time with his friends and girlfriend, and working at Target, but will his fame last? Is it really that easy to become famous?

This is not the first time something like this has happened, and it certainly won’t be the last. Texas is surely larger than Saegertown, but is it possible that something like this could happen in our little town? Saegertown junior Nick Monico wanted to find out. He posted a picture of senior Emily Callan with the hashtag #EmilyFromSubway while she was working an evening shift at our local Subway on November 8 as a joking reference to #AlexFromTarget. Of course it didn’t receive thousands of favorites and retweets, but fourteen retweets and thirty-five favorites isn’t too bad!

Cross country team celebrates seniors and state medalist

By Shaun Boyle, Sports Editor

Saegertown cross country seniors: from left Tucker Geer, Jessica Tomiczek, Brendon Barclay, Chris Guy and Rachel Smith presented gifts to the underclassmen at the banquet on Nov. 11.

Saegertown cross country seniors: from left Tucker Geer, Jessica Tomiczek, Brendon Barclay, Chris Guy and Rachel Smith presented gifts to the underclassmen at the banquet on Nov. 11.

Junior Brad Amy paced three Saegertown Cross Country runners at the PIAA State Championships on Nov. 1 in Hershey, Pa. The race took place at Parkview, which used to be a golf course.  Amy finished 24th overall. Senior Brendon Barclay and freshman Beka McClymonds also had good showings at States placing 57th and 59th respectively. “It felt amazing beating my previous time from last year at states, but I felt terrible knowing that I would never get to race with Brendon and the other seniors again,” said Amy.

The Cross Country team held their banquet November 11 at Pleasant View Alliance Church. Junior Garrett Johnston said, “I really appreciated what the coaches had to say about the team and our season.” The season may not have ended on the high of last year’s state championship, but the team will still carry its seven year 58-0 undefeated Region 3 record into next year.