Mulligan’s state title makes for sweet homecoming

By Payton Brooks, social media editor

The bitter wind was blowing across the anxious faces of the people gathered outside Saegertown High School as four fire engines blared their horns on their way through town on Sunday, March 12.

The trucks delivered freshman Kenny Kiser, junior Cody Mulligan, and seniors Jude Mattocks and Tyler Brooks, the wrestlers who had just returned from the state championship, to a crowd of cheering supporters. Mulligan stepped out first with the memory of his father placing the gold medal around his neck still fresh in his mind.

Before he could proudly return to such a welcome, however, he had to work his way there.

This was not his first time at the state tournament. As a freshman, he qualified and competed but came out without a medal. His sophomore season, he had a severe injury during a match that required him to forfeit the final two matches. Due to the injury, he defaulted to sixth place.

This year, Mulligan overcame the impairment to have an impressive season. He placed third at the King of the Mountain tournament, second at Powerade, and first at Tool City. In the three weeks prior to winning the state championship, the 182 pound section, region, and district titles went to him. Coincidentally, he beat the same competitor each time. Out of the four Panther wrestlers that competed at the Giants Center in Hershey on Mar. 9-11, Mulligan was the only one to place in the top eight. After demolishing all competition within his bracket, with a 17-2 technical fall, a 3-1 decision, and a 11-0 major, he came face to face with Dominic Fundy of Bethlehem-Center in the finals.

“I was pretty confident because he barely beat a guy that I had defeated three weeks in a row. It gave me some confidence going into the match,” Mulligan said. The first period of the championship match left the board scoreless, but Mulligan chose bottom for the second. He quickly escaped before getting a takedown to get up 3-0. He stayed on top for the rest of the period, and Fundy had choice for the third. He picked neutral in an attempt to close the gap, but Mulligan got a takedown and a technical point due to Fundy’s inactivity. For the final forty seconds of the match, his 6-0 lead stayed intact as Cody forced the kid down, resulting in one of the most dominant victories in the tournament finals.

“Cody will just work everyday. Winning the state title for Cody is not the end. It’s about the work,” head coach and Cody’s dad Jim Mulligan said. Cody’s goal is to get back into the wrestling room and improve so that he can defend his state title next year.

“I just want to say thanks. It means a lot coming back here and seeing all the people. I just couldn’t do it without them, my family, everybody else. It means a lot.” Cody Mulligan said. For video coverage of the homecoming, visit thepantherpress.com.

Early Homecoming brings mixed reviews

By Rachel Barner, news editor and Jade Allen, staff writer

Homecoming is a time of fun, hanging out with your friends and celebrating school spirit. It is usually held in late October, but this year, there is a new twist.

Homecoming this year is the night of Sept. 24, with our homecoming game being Sept. 23. Since the football season started a week earlier this year and most of the home games are early in the season, our homecoming is also early. The homecoming court was announced at the end of the last school year because of other homecoming preparations that need to be completed. Saegertown students are adjusting accordingly; however, many have strong opinions about this change.  

For instance, senior Daynna English said, “I prefer it to be early to start the school year with excitement and school spirit.”

On the other hand, some people aren’t liking this idea as much. “I feel like we don’t have any time to prepare,” said sophomore Morgan Radwick.

Some simply just do not mind the change. “I’m really impartial to it,” said freshman Carson Jones.

Because homecoming is early this year, some students have had problems finding their attire for the dance. Some feel that their time to shop for these items has been crunched. Senior Brittany Sample said, “I don’t like it because you don’t have time to get dresses.”

Saegertown is not the only school with an early homecoming. Neighboring schools Maplewood, Cochranton, and Conneaut Area Senior High are all on the same night. Students who have been invited to one of these other homecomings have to decide which one they want to attend.

Early homecoming isn’t the only change to hit Saegertown this year. Student Council and the advisors have chosen to have a theme which is “Let’s Luau.” Student Council advisor Mrs. Nicole Keller said, “It is just fun, festive, and easy to do. We are going to start picking a theme every year.” Student Council president Austin Brown said, “There’s always supposed to be a theme, but this year was the first year it was actually put into place. Every six years the themes will rotate, so in seven years the luau will be used again.”

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.”