Coach Greg Molnar takes technical for Iroquois teen

By Bailey Kozalla, Kaity Gage, and Stevie Siple, Editor-in-Chief, Design Editor, Staff Writer

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Coach Greg Molnar

Doing the right thing when the opportunity presents itself is one of the unspoken rules of being a coach. That is exactly what Saegertown boys basketball coach Greg Molnar did on Dec. 22 at Iroquois High School.

With a definite loss in sight for the Panthers, Iroquois basketball coach Brad Breese substituted physically challenged junior Jared Anderson into the game, hoping he could score his first points in his varsity career.

With less than two minutes left on the clock, and the score 71-32, Molnar told Breese to call a timeout. He knew that Anderson’s best chance at scoring was to shoot from the foul line.

Molnar spoke to the official, “If he misses the shot, and we get the rebound, then give me a technical.”

Working according to plan, Saegertown recovered the ball, and the referee blew his whistle signaling a technical foul. Anderson went to the foul line.

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Iroquois player Jared Anderson takes his first of two shots at the line after Saegertown Coach Greg Molnar receives a technical foul.

At this moment, the atmosphere of competition in the gym transitioned to one of emotional camaraderie. After Anderson missed the first free throw, the gym fell silent for his final shot. Once the ball left Anderson’s hand, it banked off the backboard, and swished.

Before the ball even hit the floor, the crowd erupted in cheers that lasted for what seemed like minutes.

Anderson also scored the final shot in the game, taking his total points for the evening to three. 

Coach Molnar described the moment with characteristic humility:  “It was an opportunity to provide a memory and normalcy for a kid who obviously loved basketball but faces challenges no one of us can understand.”

Anderson has been playing the game since he was four years old. Thirteen years later, all of his hard work paid off. “I felt awesome. I’d like to thank your coach and your players being so nice about it. It was a Christmas present for being able to get in and score a basket.”

Anderson plans to attend Edinboro University for either sports medicine or management while also playing on a wheelchair basketball team.

A devoted fan, Charles Curtis expressed his viewpoint in a letter to Principal Tom Baker: “I was very impressed by the way your coach allowed a disabled boy on our Iroquois team to take a shot following a requested technical on Molnar’s part. It was a very emotional moment for me and the people in the gym went wild.”

Curtis has followed local basketball teams for many years, and has never witnessed anything like it. “The young man will remember this moment for the rest of his life. This is what high school sports is all about. Your coach should be recognized for his courtesy.”

Iroquois Assistant Principal Jeannene Willow was also impressed by Saegertown’s sportsmanship. “That was certainly my favorite game of the season this year. I really thought it showed a lot of class on Saegertown’s part. I’m going to remember that game for a long time,” Willow said. 

Experiencing the emotion of the crowd, Willow said, “There weren’t too many dry eyes in the gym that night.”

Karen Anderson, Jared’s mother and biggest fan, was speechless. “I was holding my breath. He’s played wheelchair basketball before. That’s been basically all he could do. He managed last year, and I convinced him to play this year.”

Mrs. Anderson has been anticipating his first moments of playing, “When they put him in finally, it was the greatest thing I have ever seen. He works hard at everything he does.”

She described her emotions while watching her son: “When I saw him out on the floor, I wanted to cry and I wanted to scream and I wanted to cheer all at the same time.”

Mrs. Anderson expressed her gratitude to Saegertown as a whole. “I thank the coach, I thank the fans, and I thank the players. I appreciate your school and how they reacted. The sportsmanship they showed means so much.”

(This story was originally published in the Feb. 14 issue of The Panther Press.)

 

Saegertown scientist schools students in chemistry

by Hannah Nicholson, opinion editor

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Saegertown alum Joe Braymer, who is a chemist in Germany, returned to share his experiences with the chemistry students  in Mrs. Kelli Peters’ classes on Dec. 20.

On Dec. 20, Saegertown High School chemistry students had the opportunity to learn about what they could do in the science field from alumni Joe Braymer who graduated from Saegertown in 2004.

Chemistry teacher Mrs. Kelli Peters organized his visit. She contacted Braymer through his mother, who she sees often during the summer. “It’s nice seeing how successful our kids are when they leave here,” Mrs. Peters said. Mrs. Peters was aware that he was doing research, and even being a chemistry teacher could not prepare her for the kind of research he does. “It’s way beyond me,” she said. In the future Mrs. Peters would like for him to come back to talk more about his research, and to talk to Mr. Greco’s advanced biology class as well.  

After his graduation from Saegertown, Braymer went to Edinboro for his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Then he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to attend the University of Michigan for his doctoral degree in organic chemistry. While he was getting his PhD, he began to do his own research at Michigan where he researched the development of small molecules that could be used to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. After receiving his doctorate, Braymer attended Indiana University Bloomington for his post-doctoral research position to expand into biochemistry.

Braymer now lives in Marburg, Germany and is working on a second post-doctoral at Philipps University Marburg. “I call myself a bioinorganic chemist,” Braymer said. He works with trying to understand how transitional metals are important to life. “You need these metals to live, and I try to understand why,” Braymer said. “I work at understanding how proteins fold and function, and how that function relates to a cellular function.”

Braymer mainly works with yeast cells which serve as a model cell for understanding human physiology. Braymer hopes that in the future his research could create medicines to help correct metabolic disorders.

“I look around me, I see colors, I see lights and I really want to know why something is red or has a certain form. That’s chemistry. I want to know why things are the way they are,” said Braymer, while talking to students in Mrs. Kelli Peters’ class about why he became a chemist.

While he was studying in Michigan, Braymer met his girlfriend from Germany. “That’s the main reason I am there,” Braymer said. “I am visiting for Christmas of course.”

Being a Saegertown alum, Braymer has some fond memories of high school. “What I remember most about Saegertown is wrestling. I wrestled every year and although I never reached my goals, I learned a lot about myself through wrestling,” Braymer said.  

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to SHS. From what I saw, there was a lot of positive energy in the school.  My advice to students is to heed advice from others but to never be afraid to make your own path.”

 

Lip Sync 2017: All the photos!

Photos by Hannah Myers, photo editor

Winners of the Lip Sync were: first place, Aaron Brown and Carson Jones with “You can call me Al” by Paul Simon; second place, Elijah Campbell with “Simple Man” by Shinedown; third place tie between Kat Diesing with “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne and Colton and Kylie Beck with “The Campfire Song” from SpongeBob Squarepants. Thanks to Student Council for coordinating this event.

Lifted takes top spot in Pennsylvania Business Week

by Hannah Nicholson, staff writer

Pennsylvania Business Week winners have been announced, and Lifted, under the leadership of CEO Claudia Fetzner, won top company. Their efforts were evaluated in their Marketing and Advertising presentations, the RONA competition, and the trade show. The top company winners received $100 each.

ACES (Americans for Competitive Enterprise System, Inc.) brings Pennsylvania Business Week to Saegertown High School in hopes that sophomores can get a sense of real business situations.

For this year’s competition, there were two products, shoes and clocks, with three companies in each category. The shoe companies were Sole Strong, Lifted, and Flexx. Sophomores came up with interesting features for the shoes which included replaceable soles, shoes with springs in them, and massaging shoes.

In the clock categories, the companies were Clock It, Paradox, and Tick Tock Technologies. Paradox was marketing for an older audience, so they had a medical aspect to their clocks that measured heartbeat and alerted a hospital if there were significant changes in heartbeat speed. Clock It took a different route, however, and marketed a clock for appliances.

The Marketing and Advertising presentations are based around how they sold their products and how well their finances did based on their marketing techniques. The sophomores made posters, speeches, and commercials to present to judges. One of the aspects they included in their presentations were the RONA (Return on Net Assets) numbers. This evaluates the company’s finances over 11 business quarters. By the end of the eleventh quarter, Lifted and Paradox were in first place in their respective industries.

On Friday, winners were announced in RONA, advertising and marketing, stockholders, and the trade show. Paradox won both RONA and stockholders, Sole Strong won advertising and marketing, and Flexx won the trade show aspect.

CEO of Lifted, Claudia Fetzner did not expect to win, but said, “We were confident in what we did. We really worked well together, and everyone did their job.”

Member of Lifted included: Efrian Vega-Vega, Charlie Johnston, Claudia Fetzner, Will Phelan, John Kozlowski, James Hammond, Austin Bedow, Brode Burger, Cheyenne Manross, Hillary Twiford, Stephanie Polach, Sierra Miller, Ben Shelenburger,  Jalisa Norr, and Brendan Mahoney.